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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Foodie Post

Alrightly then!  Had big hopes to get posted what I got for Christmas and how our Christmas went.  I also wanted to post what we are having doing for New Years, but with the kids and Christmas time.  I did find myself, in the only moments I had in between running one to work, the other to Target to spend the gift card on yet another Zombie video game, looking for a really great food blog.  Something out of the ordinary and I think I found it for us folks!  It may have been brought on by my middle daughters love of Korean sitcoms.  Sheesh, she has 3 years of French, a year of Japanese and what does she do?  Watches Korean TV.  Well at least she has a love of languages.
So now that you know what kind of food it is, you have to check out Maangchi, this is real Korean food, done in front of you with the videos you can follow along with!  I am amazed and can't wait to try a recipe or two.  I am only pondering which one first?  I have my own dumpling (pot sticker recipe) that I I am thinking....Dakkangjung or Japchae.  Which do you think?  I will let you choose.  Remember, I have small children who will complain if served the marinated squid, but all suggestions are appreciated!
If you make something let me know how it went.  Remember, if you have an H-mart nearby, they take coupons, have a great vegetable selection and a lot of the veggies 3 for the price of one.  I shop there all the time for produce in the winter, best selection around and great prices.  They also have the ready made Kim-chi if you don't want to make your own and they make it there so it is yummy.
Shall we try some of Maangchi's recipes together?  I can smell the Crispy Chicken (Dakkangjung) now.  imagine what a hit you would be if you served that for a New Years get together?  With some peoples peanut allergies, I would put them on the side in a crowd, but I can smell it now!

Dakkangjung or Crispy Chicken Yum!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lots of attention, but no one even mentioned the blog, lol.

So it started when a reporter from the Wall Street Journal found the blog and wanted to interview me on how I was keeping Santa alive for my son.  Then after that was written, contacted by a radio station in Seattle.  Interviews are below.  Really wanted to thank everyone who is following the blog!  Hope your holiday season is and has been wonderful so far!

Zombie Proof Homemaking A reporter with KIRO radio in Seattle named Alex contacted me about the interview with the wall street journal. So I called and spoke with another reporter (Alex had gone home) now I will probably be heard on air Christmas Eve morning. Wow, crazy stuff! Go Zombie Proof Homemaking!

News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM Shows - News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM at
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Video and photo editing, smartphone apps, email and other digital tools are gaining popularity as parents try to persuade their 21st-century kids that there is a Santa Claus.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Rush IS ON! Part 2 of 2

Wow, so many pics they would not fit in one blog.  That will teach me to make more "blog" time and not leave until it gets big.  Okay, so, Mark was hard to make things for.  Sheesh, what do you get your man for free or at little cost?  Well, Devin and I will be making this tomorrow.  Have not been able to get into the shop to make it yet, Mark has been hogging.  I can't wait to see what he is making me!  I made him some coupons for massages, car washes, breakfast and dinners.  He should like those.  We made him a seed vault.  We are putting in a big garden this year and that should be fun.  Will also download Google Sketch-up for him so he can design the garden.  Fun program if you haven't tried it: and I made everyone the rice heat bags.  Love those things, we have had one I bought for years and everyone fights over it.  Now everyone will have their own.
This is the lid of the seed vault.  We made it from a huge pickle jar!

We got a bunch of seeds.  Still have more to get, but this is a great start!  The tomatoes will be fun, which ones will come up?

One of Devin's old cotton shirts sewn into a bag, filled with rice.  You add a ribbon to hand it from a door.  This gets heated in the microwave for a minute to a minute and a half and soothes aches and pains.
The crochet/sewing mess!

The wrapping sewing mess.  Please notice the zombie for my son,, too funny.

The it really would not fit anywhere else mess!
Okay, so today I will clean up the mess and finish the projects.  Everything was just too numerouse to photo or blog.  Next year I will do better, I hope.  Here are a few other things; Naelyn is getting framed artwork I made, Devin an indoor knuckle mat with marbles.  I made the mat.  Meyaka gets food!  Things we canned and also fun stuff we bought her at H-mart and some dishes from Cost Plus. Somethings cannot be made.  Crochet stuff will be divided up.  It is going to be a wonderful Christmas!  Hope yours is wonderful too!

The Rush IS ON! Part 1 of 2

Part 1 of 2

Well folks the Christmas rush is on.  We have a few days to finish up and then it is over until next year for most of us.  A few things I learned this year while trying to do a cost free Christmas. 1.  Not cost free.  Even if you make the gift there is some cost involved.  Example, paint costs money, then you have to buy frames for the art.  Many more examples of that type of thing were had.  2.  I will make things all year for Christmas next year.  Having just a month or two to make gifts means a some of them did not get finished.  A lot did, but the ones that did not will get finished and given next year.  3.  We will do this every year from now on no matter how much money we make. I think we have all really enjoyed it.  Here are a couple sites for this type of thing, just in case you need some ideas.  4.  Some things will always be bought and paid for, not sure I can make a totally homemade Christmas.  I gave it a real go though and am proud.

Here are some of the highlights:
Drunken Pie Night (night before Thanksgiving)

Devin likes eating the apple peels!

The creek flooded, but managed to stay on the other side of the fence.
Can't get this one to rotate.  Anyway, this is Devin and Jorge working on ornaments made from last years Christmas tree.

I think they did well!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ebates Reminder

Just a little reminder to use Ebates this year on the on-line purchases you would make anyway.  My daughter just got a check today for $12.24.  This is free money back on things she would have bought anyway.  Different stores offer a different percentage back, but their are tons of stores you would regularly buy from, including e-bay and other large retailers.  Give it a try, they give you a $5 credit just for signing up and more credits for people you refer.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A few great things FREE

Posting these from Facebook!  Try them out!  Too much fun!

Zombie Proof Homemaking Gonna try this one this year and see what happens. I think it will be fun to get a call from Santa! It is FREE!

This Site uses Macromedia Flash and Javascript. Please enable Javascript in your browser, and then click Santa. If you need Flash, you can install the latest version free from:
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Zombie Proof Homemaking This is the greatest Christmas tool for parents and grandparents! You can track Santa Christmas Eve through Norad and Google Earth. The children can actually see where Santa is, so you can get them tucked in bed before he gets to your house. We have been doing this for years and it works! Also great games on the site.

Follow Santa as he makes his magical journey!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On the Cheap

Alright, told everyone we are trying to do Christmas for free or very little money, well with a ten year old who still believes in Santa, sorta hard.  But we went on a hunt today, Mark and I.  First, we wanted to get him marbles.  Went to Goodwill, ended up with 4 brand new books, and two funny presents for Marks Christmas party.  We got the whale character from Dr. Seuss's If I Ran with the Circus, brand new, with the tag on, for $1.99 this is  $ 12.67 wow, savings of $10.50.  Also got a High School Musical game, with the DVD, it was the original and never opened for $3.  Can't wait to see the guys he works with faces when they try and pass that on to the next person in the white elephant exchange!  Now the BIG news for those of you who have a Bi-mart.  We got the last two of these at the Tigard Bi-mart, but if you have one near, jump on it.  $25.00 on Amazon.  $5.99 at B-mart, THAT IS WHY WE GOT TWO, that was all they had, or I would have bought more. One hundred and fifty one marbles for that price, crazy.  We are making a marble mat, instruction book and a bridge to go with his marbles for Christmas, total for his Christmas, $11.98.  We had the makings for everything else in the craft closet or wood shop.  Will post the book and instructions on tomorrows blog !  ENJOY!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Please send holiday cards thanking our service men and women if you can. The Red Cross is happy to receive them and pass them along! All the information can be found here: Holiday Mail for Heroes

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FREE Personalized Santa Video Sent to Your Child!!!!!

Thank you Freebies 4 Mom for letting me know about this.  Made a video for my son Devin and he is going to love it!  Santa talks directly to your child.  Make as many as you want.
Magic Santa Video

Homemade Christmas

This year we are choosing to have a Homemade Christmas.  Yes, it is motivated by budget, but truly, finding creative ways to spend little or no money is FUN!  Devin is making Christmas ornaments for people.  He and Mark came up with the great idea of slicing up last years Christmas tree.  We have a wood stove, so they had stored it on top of the woodpile to be burned later.  Now it will be part of our Christmas celebration forever.  I am not really showing many finished products, since some of the people who read this are on my list, but here is the beginnings of their project.  Should be fun to see what they come up with.

I am working on some paintings and crocheting.  Have a few other things under our belts that include granite and other fun stuff.  Here are some of the crotchet projects.

But the thing I found that I want to share with you I am really excited about.  With my children, some kind of electronic gift is what the two youngest really want, 10 and 18.  Well check this out, you may already know, but I didn't, Amazon has a free Kindle download for your PC.  Plus, they have a huge amount of free books for the program.  I just got the program and 15 books for the kids for FREE.  Not only that, I did not even touch on all the free books, they offer a ton.  Classics and new books, even games.  Some of the games will not download to the PC version, but hey, I am happy.  Here is what I suggest,  for family members you can put this on their computers without their knowledge and tell them on Christmas day in a card, or if you are giving as a gift to a college student, copy the program to a CD and include a word doc with written instructions.  It was super easy though.  I already had an account, so you may have to open one if you don't.  Click on the link below, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, on the right side on Amazon there is a BUY NOW WITH ONE CLICK button, you will see Get Kindle for PC below that.  Click there and follow the directions.  Then, just shop at the Kindle Book Store.  So great to get The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden and the Junglebook for free along with some new titles.  You can also buy titles for the PC version.  My children LOVE to read, so they are going to like this!  Okay, so today is Pay it Forward day, so here you go!  As for me, I downloaded a few titles I think I might enjoy, so I am taking a break and reading a little!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Okay, here is a really good deal.  Ebates is a site that pays you cash back to shop on-line places you would anyway.  If you sign up with this link Ebates, you will get $5 to start your cash back account.  My daughter bought all her phone accessories and will get quite a bit back.  Great idea and deal!  Always try and save all I can this time of year!


We are now on Twitter!  Moving on into the future.  I have to say "we", because Mark is sure it is his blog too.  It really is, he helps with the pictures and cooking some of the food.  Naelyn is great at the pictures as well and took the Thanksgiving shot.  Thank you all for following along.  Great buy on Amazon for Polar Express, only $8.99 and you get to watch it yourself for two days for free.  If you have any little ones to buy for that don't have this, makes a wonderful present, especially if you wrap it with a bell, a special mug and some hot chocolate!  You can sign up for Amazon Prime free trial and get the shipping free too.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Have not posted in a few, busy with the holiday!  Here is my favorite and easy, after Turkey day recipe.

Turkey and Dumplings

Turkey Soup

Turkey and dumplings:
Anything that is left on the veggie platter, chopped small
Leftover Turkey
Leftover Stuffing
Leftover Potatoes
Leftover Green-bean casserole
Leftover Gravy
1/2 cup milk mixed with one tablespoon of cornstarch (if needed to thicken)

Saute the veggies in a 6 quart pan until soft.  Add left overs and stir until combined.  Fill with water until almost full.  Be sure to leave enough room to simmer and simmer on low for 3 hours.  Remove any bones and skin from pot.  Add milk and cornstarch and bring to a small boil.  You can also start this on low in a crock-pot or slow cooker early and turn to high when you get home, bring to a bubble then add dumplings.


2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings

Mix the ingredients and drop into the boiling soup.  Let cook ten minutes uncovered, cover and cook for another ten minutes.  Enjoy!  We did tonight and another day of food is done!  Yummy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chili Rellenos!

People have requested this, so I guess I will give up our secret recipe!  Mark and I were a whole lot more thoughtful this spring and summer about supporting local business's and farms.  It was very important to us to try support the places we loved to go, without blowing our own, diminished budget.  We started shopping at the farmers market for all our produce and found, not only were we getting fresh locally grown foods, we were getting it cheaper than we could in the grocery store.

We started finding and changing recipes to suit or tastes.  With so many wonderful veggies it was fun.  Here is our very favorite for the whole season!  Enjoy.

Chili Rellenos

The first thing I do is make my Pico de gallo or Salsa Fresca or use the salsa from this blog if you canned some :

6 large tomatoes, diced medium
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno, minced
1/2 a cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 lime, squeezed for the juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.  You can freeze any leftovers.

8 Anaheim peppers
1 cup grated colby jack cheese
1 cup leftover meat, chopped or shredded (great way to use leftover roasts or rotisserie chicken)
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
toothpicks (plain wooden)
1/4 inch of frying oil in the bottom of a large skillet or frying pan

On the grill or in the oven roast as many peppers as you want to stuff and eat now and some for freezing if you want.  We like the Anaheim peppers best, but use Poblano or your own favorite.  Roast until skin is charred all over.  I then put mine in a paper bag for at least a half hour.  This allows the skin to steam and makes it easy to remove.  While waiting for the peppers to stream, I grate about a cup of cheese for every 8 peppers.  This is Tillamook Colby Jack.  I get whatever left over meat I am going to use, chopped or shredded finely.  This is left over beef roast.
Relleno Prep
Gently use finger to split pepper.
Remove seeds.
Now remove the skin from your peppers.  You can use a dry paper towel and gently rub the skin off, or just use your fingers to peel it off.  Then lay pepper down on a flat surface and find a crack or place where it will split, run your finger up the pepper pressing gently.  It should split easily. Once they are all split, take them to the sink and remove all the seeds, this is where a lot of the heat is.  Lay on a paper towel to dry.
Gently wash out remaining seeds and skin.

Dry on paper towels.
Gently pick up a pepper and stuff with cheese and meat.  It does not take much and you need to be able to close the pepper with a tooth pick after you are done.  You will get a feel for it after the first few.  Then close with two or three toothpicks. Don't worry if you can see the filling.  Once they are dipped in the egg batter, the filling will stay put if you handle them with care.
Stuff with cheese, then meat.
Close with two to three toothpicks.
Heat oil in your pan until medium to medium high temperature is achieved.  While the oil is heating, in a non plastic bowl crack eggs, dropping only egg whites in an reserving yolks.  Beat whites until peaks are stiff, add salt and pepper and gently fold in the lightly beaten yolks.  Gently add one pepper at a time to the batter and fold batter over the top until covered, remove and add to pan.
Beat egg white until you have stiff peaks.
Add salt and pepper and egg yolks.

Gently fold in egg yolks.

Add peppers to batter one at a time and gently cover with batter by scooping it over the top.

Fry until golden brown and then flip.
Yum.  Take out and blot with a paper towel when browned on both sides.
Serve topped with salsa, sour cream and a side of beans and fresh tortillas, YUMMY!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Easy as Apples

We were lucky in a few ways this year as far as our gleaning went.  Our wonderful neighbors Terry and Shirley not only shared all of their left over tomatoes with us, but also all of their canning jars.  This was wonderful and truly a windfall for us.  Thank you again Terry and Shirley for all!!!  Then our friend Bonnie told us we could come out to the farm and glean apples.  We really went to visit with her, but also got lots of apples.  We came home and this is what we did.

Apple Butter/Sauce

Wash all the apples
Cut all the apples into quarters (do not take out cores or seeds)
Fill to one inch below the top of a six quart pan with the apples
add 1/3 cup honey
add one teaspoon of salt
add 4 cups water

Cook down until apples are tender, about the same as you would cook for mashed potatoes.  Add cooked ingredients a small amount at a time to a food mill.  I find cranking 3 times to the right and once to the left seems to speed it up a bit.  Process all the apples this way and add to a crock pot, cook on low for 4 to six hours until apples are a medium brown for apple butter, stirring occasionally.  For applesauce add back to pan, bring to a simmer, cook until you get the consistency you would like.  Hot pack into canning jars leaving half inch of head space.  Put in boiling canner, process for 10 minutes, here is a chart to help with elevation times:

Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet
Increase processing time
5 minutes
10 minutes
15 minutes
20 minutes
Remove from canner when processed and allow to cool, listen for those lids.  I love that POP!  We did two batches this way, one of butter and one of sauce.  Here is our reward!