Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hot Chocolate Mix Time of Year



I have been mixing up my own hot cocoa mix for about 4 years now.

I was buying the mixes that were sugar free until I started really reading the ingredients-and wow I was so surprised. Most of these have added not needed salt, and high in fats and added chemicals etc. So I was on the hunt for a healthier but tasty handmade cocoa mix.

I have tried different recipes and have settled on this basic recipe:

1 cup instant dry milk
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup sweetener.

I sift out the sugars to make sure there are no lumps and hand mix. One could also put everything in a processor to make finer if you wish.

I use the darkest cocoa I can find. There is a good one at the Amish package stores, and I also like Hershey's special dark cocoa. For sweeteners this is up to you-sugar, brown sugar, organic sugars, stevia-sugar blend, splenda etc etc. There are really allot of choices now that are affordable and accessible either sugar substitutes or organic and fair trade if you choose. 

So this morning I mixed up a triple batch that fits perfectly in the jar I use. For the cocoa I used the Hersheys special dark cocoa and for the sweetener I used 3/4 cup of splenda and 3/4 cup coconut sugar-twice. I buy dry milk in one cup packages just for this recipe so I grabbed 3 packages. 

The quickest way to get a cup of hot cocoa is to heat up your cup of water in the microwave to just boiling. Then add in tablespoons of the mix to taste. I am enjoying a cup of hot cocoa as I type and I really love the addition of the coconut sugar-gives the beverage a little more depth and richer flavor. Yum of course there are marshmallows on top too LOL

To make this even richer; warm up your milk of choosing, could throw in a few chocolate chips to melt, a splash of vanilla extract or your flavor choosing and when it comes to just a simmer (and the chips are melted) add in the dry cocoa mix. fabulous!  and if you have members in your family that are dairy free or vegan just leave out the dry milk in the mix and then mix in milk of choice.

Enjoy!

(photo found on google search)


Friday, November 29, 2013

Seeing as Today through Monday Officially Kicks of Christmas Sales---

   I have decided to join in the frenzy of the Christmas shopping sales by offering a free gift to thank you for shopping at my small business's on Etsy.
    With Black Friday today, support small business tomorrow, and cyber Monday coming up-I am offering a free gift of one bar of soap. This offer will be in effect right now through midnight Cyber Monday. (any order under 20.00 (not including shipping) will receive a bar of guest soap and any order over 20.00 (not including shipping) will receive a full bar of soap-this applies to both my fibers and my soap shop)
    Links to my shops are on the upper left hand corner of my page-just click on kathyinozarks in the fibers or soap shop link.
  I also have coupon codes going too in both shops-find those at my shop pages. 
   In comments on your purchase just write in free gift.

Enjoy all that shopping and please shop at least a little bit for handmade or small business.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

   I am thankful to be living in a beautiful place, with shelter and food, and a loving husband and today I am thankful for sunshine and warmer weather-hope to get our wood in over the weekend as it will be in the 50s


I just pulled this out of the oven-and warm out of the oven is just the best so there are two pieces missing lol  This is the recipe I shared a link to from the Eat Boutique a couple posts back. This was the Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake. 
    Hubby is not real crazy about pumpkin and since I had several over ripe bananas I swapped that for the pumpkin, changed the flour to gluten free, in the batter used coconut oil instead of butter but kept the topping the same as recipe except used gluten free flours. I used golden raisins and regular raisins, for the nuts I used pecans I will make this again-definately good eats.

We decided on a traditional Thanksgiving meal today-so I just put the turkey in the oven. I will be making latkes etc during the next few days. Happy Thanksgiving every one



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today I am Working on Getting Christmas Soap Listed in my Shop

A couple of you asked me when I would be listing, so thought I would just post a little note. I have started to take photos and list this morning.

I have the wonky bars listed now and also the Christmas Mouse soap with peppermint stick fragrance. I have two more Christmas mice to list-one bar is red on top and the other is green on top-both made with different fragrances. I also made a very pretty set of small guest soaps with the celtic stars on top.




I am not happy with some of the photos I took, so need to retake those this morning. I do have the first two soaps in the photos listed. We have another bitter cold wave coming in this afternoon-so I gotta get some wood in too. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Coming This Week-Christmas Giveaway Basket

Just to let you know to watch for my upcoming post in the next day or two-as we are sharing another Giveaway Basket;  just in time for Christmas and the holidays. As always we will ship international so our international friends will not be left out. 

I will be sharing some Christmas soaps and other items, Rita is offering one of her lovely hand knitted scarves, and I have invited a couple other blog friends to participate as well.

So stay tuned     

Good Morning Monday

Happy Monday everyone,
   This may be a very busy week for allot of you. Here in the states our Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday and then the sales begin for Christmas shopping. Those seem to come earlier and earlier every year-now sales have begun already in many stores and others are beginning on Thanksgiving day-I hope allot of people don't go out and shop then but wait til Friday instead-just saying.
   When I worked I most always worked all the holidays (telephone company operator) cause the overtime pay was worth it-and it's always been just the two of us. Back then I would choose one of my days off and make this gigantic feast and invite friends that had no family nearby either-always good eats with friends. 
    Now that we are retired and live even more secluded here in the woods-which I love-it's still just the two of us but no friends to invite over. However, when our out of state friends come in for deer season I celebrate those fun days as our holiday.
   This year since my husband's heritage is Jewish and the first day of Hanukkah is falling on Thanksgiving day (and won't happen again til almost 78,000 years from now) I decided to grab the moment and cook up foods for both holidays. I only  knew about this cause my Living Without magazine (gluten free) had a whole issue on combining these holidays with foods-everything sounds so delicious. So will report back on how this turns out and what I decided to make.
    Over the weekend it was sooooo bitter cold here-very low teens at night and yesterday it didn't even get above freezing during the day. No snow so far here though. What made it rough for us-our woodstove in the main part of the house was giving us issues-even after cleaning it well that it took hubby most of the weekend to get it going again-so with the main house so cold I did some hand quilting in the bedroom (where there is also a woodstove) and watched mostly Christmas movies-lol This time a year for some reason I am just hooked on catching up with all those family Christmas movies over on Hallmark channel. I really love that, and go down memory lane of my childhood.

   Wow, I didn't intend to right a book already on just stuff-lol  I am going to make some more Christmas soaps today and then get them listed in my Kathyinozarks Soap shop on Etsy. I will post some new photos and links in the next day or two.

  Over the weekend I did manage to visit all the blogs in the blog hop-the link is on my page here right column top button. This is for quilters and wow there are some awesome giveaways of fabrics and more. I also started following a few new blogs that looked very inspiring. I really enjoy learning new things and seeing what others are creating. The theme for this blog hop was being thankful and greatful-so was a joy to visit everyone-there are over 150 blogs to visit-so I did that off and on over the weekend too-there is still time to visit the hop-some close early tomorrow but most are closing entries at midnight tomorrow night.

  That's my catch up so far-what are your plans for this week??

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wonky Christmas Peppermint Soap-an all Natural Shea Butter Soap

Soon to be listed in my Kathyinozarks Soap Shop on Etsy; an all natural shea butter soap for Christmas. Perfect for a little gift to add to a basket or for a stocking stuffer.

I named this one wonky, cause when I cut the tray of soap into squares-they turned out pretty wonky shaped-lol but adds to the fun of handmade and Christmas.

This is a really creamy soap made with all natural shea butter soap and peppermint stick fragrance oil. I used colors of Christmas on the top and the bottom of the bar-gold, white, and red and green. The photos show both sides of the soaps. and they smell wonderful-peppermint.






Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Won--a Savora Ice Cream Scoop

  I am really not someone that wins on a regular basis-I really am not, but I seem to be winning off and on this year; and it's so much fun too LOL

  I started reading the Wonky Wonderful blog cause she posts many really delicious looking recipes. When I entered the contest for this ice cream scoop here  she shared a delicious looking Vanilla Chai Ice Cream recipe too. I really don't have a nice ice cream scoop so I figured well why not enter-lol  Fast delivery too, I gave her my address and I got the scoop in just a couple of days. I love the "hand" of this scoop, comfortable to hold and the handle has weight to it.

Vanilla Chai Ice Cream Recipe and a #Giveaway


Reading through some blogs this morning, I am running into posts that are hosting giveaways in a Quilter's Blog Hop Party-how fun is this??-a way to meed new friends and I just signed up for some beautiful hand dyed fabrics. I set up a link on the top right hand column that will take you to the list of participants-she said she would post the list later today.

The link under the blog hop will take you to a list of handcrafters that are selling homemade items for your Holiday shopping-once you click on that link-you need to scroll down just a bit for the list of participants.

I also wanted to share that yesterday I received a big box with my quilt in it that just came back from the long arm quilter. I love it! 
     More about the story of my quilt later. This was the trade for a special hand painted piece I did for the quilter. Photos later once I get the binding sewed on, and she posts first about what I made for her.

  Today we have rain all day, and is to continue through Friday before it turns very cold-so hoping no ice develops over the weekend. No lightening so far, so I am catching up on the laundry and reading blogs today-

Enjoy your day

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coupons for my Kathyinozarks Etsy Shops

Good morning all, well the sunshine has been out now for a couple days and no more high winds-which is a very good thing. We missed the tornadoes here where I live-thank goodness.

Our last friend headed back home early this morning-do to the high winds here on Saturday and Sunday, no one got a deer-but everyone did see deer the first morning. Lots of good eats every day though-we always look forward to this time of year. I smoked a large turkey on the weber grill Friday evening, we had smoked trout and beef brisket Saturday evening, Sunday we had very thick pork chops which turned out tender and awesome, and last night I smoked a venison ham that I had in the freezer from last year. I had baked up mint chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and another apple pie with yellow raisins, and one friend's wife always bakes a cheesecake for Larry-so definately enough desserts around to enjoy as well-lol

For Christmas shopping I just added a coupon code to my Kathyinozarks Fibers shop on Etsy    type in ozarkschristmas for 10% off a minimum purchase of $20.00   I set up my fat 1/8 hand dyed pieces to be sold as single pieces instead of needing to purchase a set. You can also mix and match colors of a set of 5 for a savings too. This week I will work on getting my silk blouses listed. I have listed a few rust dyed pieces and one piece of silk on silk hand dyed fabric. I still have a couple vintage tins for sale and a vintage bird picture made with feathers.

In the coming days I will be making a couple Christmas soaps to add to  my Kathyinozarks Soaps shop. I also set up a coupon here too-type in ozarkschristmas2 for 10% off a minimum purchase of $20.00

Is Christmas shopping really here already?? LOL the stores seem to start earlier and earlier every year. I love to shop handmade mostly.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sharing a Couple Blog Posts-Herbs Related & a Recipe

 I have been working on reading and catching up on blog reading off and on today. There are a couple I really want to share especially if you enjoy using and learning about herbs too.




From Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth I found her post;  Make your own-Pooh's Medicinal Honey  I just really loved this one, and especially wonderful if you have little ones.

Herbs to Tincture

From the Nerdy Farm Wife; she shares a link of an upcoming online herb class-this sounds just awesome-I don't have the funds at the moment to join this class but perhaps in the future I could take this. Go here for her post and link


And from Eat Boutique a recipe for Flavors of the Season;  Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake-which just sounds delicious. I think I will convert this one to gluten free


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sign Up for Chance to Win a Year or 20 Year's Supply of Quilt Fabric

How fun is this!!

Go Here to sign up

Grand Prize!
 This is being sponsored by Quilters Club of America, and by Keepsake Quilting

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sharing a Link for a Lavender eBook

I started following the blog The Nerdy Farm Wife recently and I love it; all things herbs, making soap, recipes and more.

This morning she is sharing her Favorite Lavender Recipes eBook for free download. I love lavender and this book does not disappoint; the information is useful, I really love all the recipes in this, along with gorgeous the photos. Check out this post

Free Favorite Lavender Recipes ebook

If you enjoy using lavender you will love this ebook too

Good Morning Monday & Catch Up

 Good morning my dear readers,
  I wanted to say first that I am not on the computer as much these days cause my old old computer is just not working well-it takes forever to load anything and then to do anything now. So I do read most of you but don't always comment cause of this.
  
   In particular these days my etsy shop crashes on me all the time so hard to view items or load so I have let my shops "fend" for themselves and as a result I have only had one sale all summer through now-so I am just going to have to use hubby's computer in the evenings to at least load some new items. I want to make a few new Christmas soaps and perhaps Rita and I will be offering a Christmas giveaway basket-so stay tuned.

  Prayers for those in the Phillippeans, I feel so bad with what they are experiencing now. Mother nature can be so cruel sometimes, and I know this is life but this was so huge in it's impact.




   Today is our last day this week to enjoy gorgeous weather-calm winds, sunshine and mid 60s in temps-it's been wonderful! Our friend Keith is here now so we have also been enjoying some "good eats" I  made a couple pies for all of us (gluten free pumpkin pie, and apple raisin pie), a little ham the other night and last night I made fajitas-not sure about what I will make tonight.
   However tonight through Thursday morning we have old man winter stopping by-high winds, snow flurries, and the high tomorrow low 30s and three evenings in the teens and low 20s-Wow that is a shock to the system!!  So tomorrow I know I will be making a big pot of bean soup with ham along with homemade cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Also a good time to warm up the house in the mornings with fresh pie baking and banana bread, and perhaps some cookies.

  We have been very stressed over our friend Mr P-he ended up with rocky mountain spotted fever-and since he failed to get to a doctor quickly he is in the 2nd stage before the doctors figured out what was going on. His family thinks we are the "bad guys" in all this and since we are not sure where he is living these days-thinking at one of his daughter's homes, have not been able to talk to him since he left here, we finally got his phone number last week, but he called back once when we were out of the house, and hasn't tried again to keep in touch. 
    A friend of the family that comes down to visit us sometimes, told us Mrs P is telling everyone we are the bad ones-geesh such drama. I am not going to mentally let them get us to play into all this and make us feel bad-I'm just not. But in the back of our minds we are stressed and concerned. 
     To make things worse hubby is getting most of Mr P's scope repairs back to re fix-so that is adding more stress for his business as he has to explain to all his customers why the repairs were not done properly, and he paid Mr P a good wage.
     Mr P must not be in touch with his body at all to not realize he was sick and needed to find out what was happening. I am thinking these two are just very dysfunctional indivduals-don't know when this all happened as Larry has been his friend for over 40 years now and thinks of Mr P as a brother.-I am really not so sure anymore. 

  I know "stuff" happens

Keep calm, breath, keep an open mind is what I have been telling myself through all this.

  I am off to warm up my cup of tea, and to clean out the woodstove in the living room-we are going to need to build a fire tonight to keep the main house from being super cold tomorrow morning.  With no winds, Larry was able to go up on the roof and be a chimney sweep for this stove yesterday afternoon. We still don't have all of our wood in yet either-but he has allot of wood ready for the splitter. 

  Happy Veterans Day to all of you that have served-thank you so much. My sweetie got an extra hug today for his time served and keeping our country safe.

  Have a good new week everyone.

    

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Help with Getting Deep Wrinkles out of Silk Blouses



The two silk blouses that I dyed with silk ties have been ready to go in my shop for sale-but I am not doing so well getting the wrinkles out. This photo now that I look at it again was still damp-and not as wrinkled as they are now.

I've been using lots of steam, the water spray bottle, and the silk setting on my iron-also tried a thick damp wash cloth on top.-not working.

I might have made the mistake of letting these blouses totally dry after I washed them-but figured I could re dampen them. Do you think I should totally wet them again by hand rinsing them again and then catch them as the are just damp to iron

Any ideas? thanks

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Remember those Awesome Cookbooks by Molly Katzen-Moosewood Series?? ( I am dating myself here lol) & Re Working one of my Bear Pieces

 Back in my vegetarian days-in the 70's and the 80's I had acquired several cookbooks that I just loved. Among my favorites were by Molly Katzen. I have not made a quiche in years and years, and used to be one of my go to recipes for a veggie night after I no longer was a vegetarian. 
    You can change up the cheese you want to use, change up the milk you want to use, and add mushrooms or not and sauted veggies that you like. When I had fresh garden veggies-I would saute them up and chop small and perfect for this too.
   So tonight I dug out my old cookbook and went by her mushroom swiss cheese quiche but changed the cheese to a sharp cheddar, used wild mushrooms that Mr L was lucky to find yesterday, and also saute'd some fresh spinach and onions. I used unsweetened soy milk for the milk. I made up a gluten free crust. Just checked on it and it's looking good-almost set now.



Mmmm I'm back from eating supper-and this was a nice dish for something different. Turned out yummy for sure.

I just checked online and she has her own site now go here to take a look. I have allot of her older books and I see she has a new one out now too and has updated her original Moosewood cookbook.

  Another lazy day for me, I dug out an older project that was about finished, just waiting for framing but decided it needed some more needle felting with silk noil and wool roving. I decided the leaves and the berries looked a little too unfinished, so I am needle felting over all the berries and the leaves now. This piece also ended up not being a standard size so I need to decide later how to finish this piece-this one is for us. 
    The pattern was a quilt pattern by McKenna Ryan. She is a very popular pattern designer of these applique quilts. Her patterns are always very detailed, and you stitch down all the edges of the appliques with a sewing machine-which I have never liked as an applique technique. She also designs the batik fabric for her patterns as well.
    I had contacted her if I could sell this piece as long as I gave her full credit for the pattern-and I told her I had changed the technique a bit but used her pattern pieces and design; she would not allow me to do that without giving her a large commission and I had to sign papers or something so I decided no-not going there (I personally think that's pushing the quilt pattern copyright laws a bit). My opinion has always been when ever someone's quilt pattern is used that I bought, I should be able to do anything with my finished piece as long as I give full credit to the pattern designer, but many will not allow you to do anything but make one piece for personal use.
    All the fabrics in this piece are my own hand dyed or sun painted fabrics, except for the bears which are reclaimed felted wool. That yellow was reclaimed jacket lining that I rust dyed and sun pained. I really love this piece so will enjoy it in my home once finished.



   If you visit her site (link above) and search for her older patterns this one is still available. I think it is bears and huckleberries.

    
   Have a great new week all.

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