Saturday, November 27, 2010

I learned something new today!

You can make microwave popcorn using a brown paper sack! Oh, yes, you can! Talk about saving some money...and you know exactly what goes into it. No chemicals or preservatives or artificial flavors!

It's easy too...and the kids enjoyed helping. You just add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (which I got in a big bag for $1.48 at WM) into a brown paper sack ($1.00 for 50) with 1 tsp. oil and a little salt (or 2 tsp. sugar if you'd rather have kettle corn). I figure it's about $0.15 per bag, which is a savings of about 85% (if I have any clue how to do the math here). Plus, again, you've got the added benefit of no chemicals, flavorings, etc. It was really good too!

I'm really into this idea of making things at home now. Next up is those seasoning and dip mixes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Good day

Today has been a good day. Not all of it. But most of it.

This morning we weren't able to sleep in thanks to DS waking us up at 7 demanding food. But we were lazy and fixed a big breakfast and enjoyed it. Then we all crawled back into bed :) It was fun to spend some lazy, silly time with the kids.

Then we finally got up and going and got some Christmas decorating done. Tree 1 is up and the living room is mostly decorated. We'll get to the rest later. It was really cute watching the kids help decorate the tree this year. This was really the first year they've been able to do this, so it was neat.

I got to catch up with one of my best friends on the phone and somehow managed to wrangle a visit from her and her family tomorrow! Can't wait to see them!

Then we went to River Bend's ElectriCritters with the kids and my parents. It was cold, but not miserable. We enjoyed seeing Santa, hearing a story, seeing all the lights, having some cider and hot chocolate on the trail, and then having popcorn and s'mores at the end. Then we drove to a house that designs a lights and music show before heading to the house for snacks, cider, hot chocolate and more s'mores (made with French vanilla snowman marshmallows and mini choclate chips because that's what we had).

It was a really enjoyable day. There were parts I'd rather not have had, but that's ok. That's the way it is sometimes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thinking about gifts

I've recently found some recipes for soup, dip, drink or seasoning mixes and I'm thinking about using them as gift ideas. I've found these in a couple of places. One is Julie Garro on Facebook. The other is the Tasty Kitchen website, a spinoff of The Pioneer Woman's.

I like them for myself as well. I like knowing what the ingredients are and having control over what goes into the mix. I also like the idea of having these things already premixed to use.

I think others would like them as well. I was thinking of doing little gift baskets/bags of the dip mixes for small gifts (coworkers, etc.) and doing some larger ones, maybe in jars, for couples I know.

Now it's a matter of deciding which recipes to use and what ingredients I'll need. I'm thinking Sam's is my best choice here so that I get larger quantities of the ingredients.

Let's see. I have recipes for the following things:
Dill Dip
Onion Dip
Ranch Dip
Hot chocolate
Homemade popcorn
BBQ seasoning
Taco seasoning
Seasoned Salt
Cream of Anything Mix

I was thinking the dip mixes or the hot chocolate and popcorn idea for small gifts and the ohter mixes for a gift basket for a bigger gift. Hmmm...lots of planning to do, but the work itself should be easy...measure, mix and package.