Friday, February 26, 2010

Ahhhhh the smell of fresh baked bread on a winter's day!

Ahhhh, there's nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread on a winter's day! I am snowed in here in PA and thinking of my dear Amish friends in Indiana who will be boarding a bus for sunny Sarasota, Florida! :) Hmmmm wish I was hiding in their suitcases! Thank the Lord we didn't blow away last night. The winds reached speeds of 60mph! I keep my treadmill in the garage. I went in there today only to find it this morning covered with 7 inches of snow! Oh my! I guess all I can do is stay indoors and bake.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coupon Queen!

Check out this amazing lady! She has really great tips on her website to help you save as well as earn money!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Check out this new book Rachel's Garden by author, Marta Perry! Leah's Choice is book one in the series!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A little Saturday afternoon baking

There's no better activity to do on a winter's day than bake! It fills the kitchen with warmth and mouth watering aromas! Here are a couple of pies I baked today to take to a family gathering this evening. One is an apple pie the other is coconut custard. They got a little more toasted than I preferred but still are yummy!

120 DAYS!

120 days until the first day of Summer- Monday, June 21st, 2010! YAY

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slash Your Laundry Bills!!!

Slash your laundry supply bills and extend the life of your clothes by making your own laundry soap. Lehman's makes a starter set that includes everything you need to make several batches – enough to wash more than 800 loads at less than 6¢ per load. Just a few old-time ingredients will get your laundry cleaner, for less money. Homemade soap is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin, easy on fabrics and the environment, too.
Log onto to purchase this kit.
If you would like to just make a small batch by gathering your own ingredients you can do so by following this recipe below. All 3 ingredients cost less than $5.00 and can be found at most grocery stores! It creates a watery gel that produces low suds inside the washer.
1 Fels Naptha soap bar- grated
1 cup washing soda (NOT BAKING SODA) There's a difference!
1/2 cup Borax
Grate the soap bar into a small saucepan. Cover with hot water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap completely dissolves. Put the washing soda and borax in a 5 gallon bucket. Pour in the hot, melted soap mixture. Stir well until all the powder is dissolved. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Stir, cover securely and let set overnight. The next morning, stir the mixture. Mix equal amounts of soap concentrate and water in a small laundry-detergent dispenser or container. Shake before using. Use 1 cup of the mixture for top load washers. 1/2 cup of the mixture for front load.

Amish Barn Fire

40 head of livestock survive montour county fireBy Karen Blackledge The Daily Item

WASHINGTONVILLE — Curious Holsteins milled around fire trucks as firefighters from 16 Valley companies battled a blaze that destroyed a barn and woodshop Thursday morning in Montour County. A number of the 40 head of cattle, draft horses and colts were loose, then rescued, as the fire raged, according to firefighters working at the scene off Strawberry Ridge Road in Derry Township. Those animals that weren’t loose — such as the horses hitched to a farm implement not far from the two-story barn — became increasingly agitated as the flames, smoke and sparks engulfed the 150-foot by 100-foot structure. Fire companies from Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties were summoned to the 9:33 a.m. blaze that began after fierce wind carried embers from the burning woodworking shop to the barn.
Cats and chickens died in the fire, but members of the Amish community and firefighters rescued many young cows and work horses. Woodshop owner John Z. Stoltzfus said he believes an overheated woodburner started the blaze. “I was trying to operate the shop,” he said of the 20- to 25-year-old building that hadn’t been in operation for some time. He had left the one-story building for about 30 minutes before the fire broke out. “I saw the smoke,” he said. “The stove got too hot.” As firefighters had his woodshop blaze nearly under control, someone yelled that the barn, more than 100 yards away, had caught fire. Hay and straw fed the barn fire’s flames, and fire chiefs ordered volunteers out of the building.
Numerous tankers lined Strawberry Ridge Road, along with portable water tanks. The closest refill locations were Montour PPL Plant hydrants.
“We’re talking a mile or two away,” Valley Township Fire Chief Mike Kull said. “They have to fill up with water, drive back and pump it into the portable tanks.”
Word of the blaze spread quickly, drawing numerous neighbors by horse and buggy.
Neighbor John M. Stoltzfus, who isn’t related to the family, was among those neighbors arriving by horse and buggy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Conquering Your Clutter

Check this out!! Betsy also has a wonderful book called "Me Simplified". It's an easy read that could change your life forever!! I know it did mine! Blessings to you Betsy! http://http//;photovideo

So What's A Fastnacht Anyway??

I found this article that may help!

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2010. In Pennsylvania Dutch country, February 16th, Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent, is known as "Fastnacht Day." The Pennsylvania Dutch celebrate Shrove Tuesday by eating yeast raised potato doughnuts, which are lovingly known as "Fastnachts." The name "Fastnacht" is German for "Fast Night." Fastnacht Day is a day to forget about dieting and a slim waistline and feast on doughnuts! It's a custom that had its beginnings with the Plain People. Making Fastnachts helped to use up the fat and sugar they had on hand before the Lenten fast began. Although doughnuts with holes are frequently sold as "Fastnachts" in supermarkets this time of year, those who know their doughnuts will tell you that a real Fastnacht should never have a hole in the center. All the syrup leaks out of a Fastnacht with a hole in it! To eat a Fastnacht the proper Pennsylvania Dutch way, slice it crosswise, as you would slice a bagel. Spread with butter (optional), plus table syrup Replace the top and ENJOY!
2 cups milk
1 cup mashed potatoes (no salt, milk, or butter added)
1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 stick margarine
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
6-1/2 cups flour (divided, 2 cups + 4 1/2 cups)
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (3 pounds) Crisco® or similar vegetable shortening for fryingPreparation -Scald the milk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the scalded milk with the mashed potatoes. Add 1/2 cup sugar plus the margarine. Mix with an electric mixer. If the mixture is still warm, cool to about room temperature before proceeding with next step. - Dissolve the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in barely warm water. Add to the potato mixture and mix well. Add 2 cups flour and mix again. Cover with a towel and let rise for 25 minutes.
Add the salt and beaten egg to the mixture. Add 4-1/2 cups flour, stirring it into the mixture with a large spoon. Turn onto a well floured board and knead for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add a small amount of extra flour if necessary so the dough can be handled without sticking to your fingers. Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover with a thin towel, and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about 2 hours or until it is at least double in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 3/4" thick. You can use a doughnut cutter to cut the dough or cut as typical Fastnachts - Cut the dough into 3" to 4" wide strips, then cut the strips into 3" to 4" pieces. To allow the center of Fastnacht to fry completely, cut a small slit in the center of each piece, using a sharp paring knife. Arrange the pieces of dough, about 1-1/2" to 2" apart, on large wax paper lined trays. Cover each tray with a thin towel. Place the trays in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough pieces have raised to about double in size.
Heat the shortening to 365ยบ. Deep fry until both sides are golden brown, turning one time. Drain on white paper towels. Cool completely before serving. Store in a covered, airtight container. Makes about 20 to 24 Fastnachts, depending on size. This recipe can be doubled with no change in preparation directions.
To use this raised doughnut recipe, for glazed doughnuts:Beat together: 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 tablespoons margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add enough milk to make a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly warm doughnuts or dip the doughnuts in the glaze.
For powdered doughnuts:Shake slightly warm doughnuts in a bag with confectioners' sugar, or a combination of confectioners' sugar and cinnamon.

Happy Faschnaut Day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Proverbs 16:3 KJV
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Amish Fitness Club

I found this photo with the caption "Amish Fitness Club" under it. How true!!! The amish stay fit with eating all that high carb food by working and keeping busy with household chores.

Here is an interesting recipe that I found in one of my Amish cookbooks. It's called Jogging - In- A - Jug. I am not sure if it helps you shed pounds but it sounds refreshing! Mix 5 cups apple juice, 2 cups grape juice, 1 cup vinegar. Shake and drink 2 ounces 2 times a day. The recipe says it's good for arthritis and loosing excess pounds. Hmmm?

Tapping Into God's Grid


1 John 1:7 (King James Version)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Amish - Conscientious Objectors To Health Care

I came across this video. Very interesting view point on universal healthcare.

Amish Barn Raising

This is a great version of the this barn raising scene in the movie Witness because it's in German. It puts a whole new twist on the movie. Probably one of my favorite scenes. :)

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Psalm 19:1 (King James Version)
1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The faithful will abound with blessings. Proverbs 28:20

Here are photos of the peach pie. You will find the recipe to the left of my blog. Homemade canned peaches taste best but you can use store canned peaches too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here we go again! More Snow!!

As we brace ourselves for round two of another major snowfall, I like to reflect on the positive! This is a good time for family and tackeling those chores/projects around the house that maybe were being put off. The snow also makes for a wonderful back drop for beautiful photography! It's also a great time to cook something yummy! I just finished baking a big pan of yummy gooey lasagna! Goes down good on a cold winter's day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Me...Simplified! A must read!

A Journey to Inner Joy Beneath the Clutter of Life -By Betsy Kramer

Are you ready to finally let go of the clutter in your life? In "Me... Simplified," Betsy Kramer takes readers on the bittersweet journey as she painfully learned to emotionally let go of material things after a devastating fire. Betsy shares how she picked up the pieces of her life, and made a new one free from the clutches of material baggage. Transforming her loss as a life lesson to teach others, she helps readers uncover fragments of their life buried in clutter. From time management, priority setting, to household tips, Betsy shares the steps to conquer and control all the clutter in life. With journal entries after each chapter, in "Me... Simplified," readers will have the opportunity to self-discover their own roadmap from chaos to simplicity, from discontent to joy. It's not about excuses anymore; it's about taking the first simple steps towards you; you...simplified.

Good Things

Good Things:
1. Falling in love
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts
3. A hot shower
4. NO lines at the supermarket
5. Getting mail
6. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer
7. Hearing your favorite song on the radio
8. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside
9. Running through sprinklers
10. Finding a $20 bill in your pants pocket after it went through the wash
11. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep
12. Song lyrics printed on the inside of your new CD so you can sing along without feeling stupid

Friday, February 5, 2010

Es is am Schnee-e! (It's snowing!!!)

Es is am Schnee-e translates to "it is snowing!" in PA German! I don't mind the snow as long as I have no place to go. Today I did a lot of baking and food preparation for a baby shower that we are "planning" on still having tomorrow. Weather permitting of course. I baked 43 cupcakes with little plastic babies wrapped in fondant blankets! Fun stuff on a snowy day! Also, I ended up making 2 pounds of homemade amish macaroni salad! Glad I went to the grocery store early yesterday! Yikes! Some store shelves were bare today! I will post a few pictures of the cupcakes along with a picture from my favorite amish photographer- Bill Coleman. You can check out his site further by clicking on the link on my blog. Stay warm everyone whereever you are!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Amish farm site of the movie Witness

This past October I spent the day touring the amish countryside of Lancaster county with my brother and sister-in-law. We stopped at the amish farm where the movie Witness was fimed. Everything pretty much looks the same as in the movie except we learned that the main house was torn down and the owners are in the process of building a newer, more energy efficient one for them and their 9 children! :) The "summer kitchen" where most of the filiming along with the barn and the famous Purple Martin bird house still stands. We got the priviledge of talking with the present owner. The family was so nice to allow us just to peek around. We didnt' ask to go in buildings but just admire the scenery in the yard. :) It seems funny how much this amish lady new about the movie having never scene it since the amish are prohibited from watching films.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Amish Grace - Movie on Lifetime about Nickel Mines Shooting - Due out March 28 2010

When a gunman killed five Amish children and injured five others in a Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting in October of 2006, the world media attention rapidly turned from the tragic events to the extraordinary forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish community. Through the eyes of a grieving mother, Ida Graber, and other devastated families, this movie explores the Amish's astonishing reaction to the horrific shootings - of forgiveness and compassion - Amish Grace. Written by Production Company

Based on a True Story and the Book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher. When a gunman killed five Amish children and injured five others in a Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting in October of 2006, the world media attention rapidly turned from the tragic events to the extraordinary forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish community. Through the eyes of a grieving mother, Ida Graber, and other devastated families, this movie explores the Amish's astonishing reaction to the horrific shootings - of forgiveness and compassion - Amish Grace. Written by Anonymous

My Favorite Cookie Recipe

My favorite cookie recipe is Amish NO Bake Cookies!!! They are soooo easy to make because you obviously don't have to bake them. I am a huge fan of The Amish Cook cookbook series co-written by Lovina Eicher(The Amish Cook) and Kevin Williams. I own three of their cook books: The Amish Cook, The Amish Cook's Baking Book and The Amish Cook At Home. I believe the recipe I use for no bake comes from the original cook book. Anyway, it is super easy and my hubby is contantly requesting me to make these! I encourage everyone out there if you are looking for a great series of cook books check out The Amish Cook!