Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Easy Southern Biscuits

This morning I had a taste for biscuits.  This is an easy quick recipe and so good.


INGREDIENTS

4 cups white self rising flour
or
4 cups white flour with 6 tsp. baking powder and 2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup lard or Crisco

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
or
1 1/2 cups milk with 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice


Sift flour into a large mixing bowl.  Push flour to the side to make a well in the center.


Add shortening to the well.


Then add one cup of the milk to the well.


Squish the shortening and the milk together with your fingers.


Until the shortening is broken into pea sized pieces.


Slowly start adding the flour from the sides into the milk mixture; adding the reserved milk if needed.  The dough should be soft and sticky, but not wet.  Pinch off a golf ball size piece of dough, roll in some flour and form into a ball.


Pat into a flattened biscuit shape.


Place in a greased pan or cast iron skillet.


Bake in a 500 degree fahrenheit oven for 8 minutes.  At that point check at 2 minute intervals until biscuits are golden on top.  I made mine large, so I had to bake them for a longer time.  Remove the pan from the oven carefully (the pan will be super hot).  Brush the tops with melted butter.



Allow to cool slightly.


Serve with the toppings of your choice.


Yum!  Enjoy!

God bless,
Pam

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Home Remedies: Vicks Shower Bombs

My daughter is fighting off a head cold, so I decided to make some Vicks shower bombs to give her some relief.  They are easy to make and use.

INGREDIENTS

2 or 3 heaping Tbsp. Vicks Vapor Rub
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch
candy mold or mini muffin pan


Melt Vicks in a bowl in the microwave (only took 20 seconds).  Add the corn starch and baking soda, then mix with a spoon until it forms a thick paste.


Pack tightly into a flexible mold or into a mini muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups.


Place into freezer for an hour, then remove by popping them out of the mold with a table knife.


To use lay a shower bomb on the floor of the shower where the water will hit it, but away from where you will be standing or walking.  The bombs fill the shower with a nice menthol vapor that helps to ease a stuffy head or cough.

I store my bombs in a labeled zip lock bag in the freezer.

God bless,
Pam

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good Reads: Dollar Daze

Dollar Daze: The Bottom Dollar Girls in Love (Bottom Dollar Girls #3)Dollar Daze: The Bottom Dollar Girls in Love by Karin Gillespie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dollar Daze is the third book in the Bottom Dollar Daze chick lit series. It is an adequately written and professionally written full length novel.

This book tells the story of relationships and how rigid ideas can negatively effect them. The characters are endearing and delightfully human. I did feel that the use of multiple POVs was a bit confusing and made the story seem disjointed.

Dollar Daze can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading the first book in the series, where the characters are introduced, before reading this one.

I can recommend recommend Dollar Daze to anyone looking for a light romantic read involving mature women.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Good Reads: Quicksand

Quicksand (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #3)Quicksand by Gigi Pandian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quicksand is the third full length novel in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series. It is a well written and professionally edited mystery.

Jaya has settled into her professorship and has just started a new semester of teaching when she receives an invitation to travel to Paris to reunite with an old love. She finds herself being blackmailed by a master criminal who insists on her becoming his assistant.

With a complex plot and interesting characters, Quicksand is a fun read. It can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading the series in order. The book ends with a satisfying HFN.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Good Reads: Swan Dive

Swan Dive (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery #3)Swan Dive by Kendel Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Swan Dive is the third book in the Elliott Lisbon mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel. While it could be read as a standalone, I suggest reading the series in order to have a full understanding of the characters and their motivations.

In her capacity as the director of the Ballantyne Foundation Elliott is attending a ballet, the Nutcracker Suite, when the lead ballerina is found dead in her dressing room. Elliot is tasked with assisting the police with their murder investigation and is soon embroiled in the world of dance, cooking competitions and botanical poisons.

The plot of Swan Dive is complex, circuitous and fast paced. Once I began reading I didn't want to put the book down. I was put off a bit by Elliott keeping so much evidence and information from the police. It bordered on obstruction.

The ending is a HFN and I look forward to reading future books in this series.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Good Reads: When Lies Crumble

When Lies Crumble (A Carter Mays Mystery Book 1)When Lies Crumble by Alan Cupp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Lies Crumble is the first book in the Carter Mays mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length mystery novel.

When a young socialite is left standing at the alter by her fiancé; she hires Charlie Mays to find him. What was at first a missing person case quickly becomes dangerous for Charlie and his client.

This plot is original and fast paced. I could have used more character development, especially of the main character, Charlie Mays. I had a hard time visualizing him and very little background was given for his character.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed When Lies Crumble. The first book in a series can often get bogged down, but the focus on a strong plot made this an absorbing read for me. It ends with a HFN with no cliffhanger.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Vegetarian Pasta Puttanesca

I made this dish today and it was so easy and yummy that I had to share.

INGREDIENTS

1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 Tbs. fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of roughly diced pitted kalamata olives
2 Tbs. capers
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 package of pasta

Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan, then add onion.  Cook until transparent, adding garlic, capers and pepper flakes for the last minute of cooking.  Add tomatoes, basil, and olives.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for at least an hour.


Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, then add to the sauce.  Mix together well and serve.  This is a vegan dish if you do not top it with parmesan, but I do like the cheese on mine.


Please excuse my horrible photo, but I hope you enjoy this dish.

God bless,
Pam