Showing posts from January, 2013

Easy Substitutes for Buttermilk, Whipping Cream, and Cream of Tartar

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One of my more popular posts is this one from September 13, 2009 No Buttermilk?  No Problem!  Easy Buttermilk Substitutes.  Because of it's popularity I thought I would update that post and include additional substitutes for whipping cream, as well as cream of tartar.


Lemon Juice - Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of milk. Stir and let sit for five minutes before using.Vinegar - Vinegar works in the same way as the lemon juice, add one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of milk. Stir and let sit for five minutes before using. Cream of Tartar - To use cream of tartar as a substitute for buttermilk just add 1 3/4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar to one cup of milk.Plain Yogurt - Use one cup of plain yogurt in place of every one cup of buttermilk called for.Whipping Cream

One note to keep in mind when it comes to using substitutes for whipping cream is that the substitute may change the consistency or taste of the …

Valentine's Day Date Ideas For Couples on a Budget

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is all about love, but spending time with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day can be expensive. If you are celebrating the Valentine’s Day holiday on a budget and are looking for some inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas here are a few ideas.

Do Lunch Instead of Dinner

Almost all of your most popular restaurants offer lunch specials during the week, even on Valentine’s Day. Not only will you receive a discount on your meal by eating earlier in the day you will also avoid the crowds that night. If you decide to do a lunch date why not top it off with a Matinee movie, which will also be cheaper than evening prices?

Eat In Before Going Out

Not every date night has to include eating out. If you have plans to go to a concert, see a movie, or have some other sort of entertainment planned for the evening you can enjoy a meal at home before heading out for the evening instead of dining out at a restaurant. By saving money on food, you can spend more money on th…

Celebrating Valentine's Day with Kids

Valentine's Day is still a few weeks away but it's never too early to get started planning for it. Here at the Modern Day Mom Valentine's Day is all about the kids around here.  My husband and I are not very lovey, dovey, mushy people so a holiday about love just isn't us.  However a holiday about love that we can celebrate with our kids, that is a holiday we can get behind.  Each year we try to do little things that make the holiday special for our kids, and we have several traditions that our kids look forward to each year. 
Here are a few of the ways we make Valentine's Day special for our kids:
Heart Shaped Pancakes These are a favorite tradition on Valentine’s Day around here. I have a silicone heart shape that I use to shape my pancakes but if you can't find one, just simply make your pancakes the regular way and use a large heart shaped cookie cutter to cut them into heart shapes. While our pancakes are always heart shaped we do add in variations from y…

Homemade Spaghetti and Pizza Sauce with Canning Instructions

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This is an updated recipe from a post I made in July of 2009, the original post can be found here.  I have updated the canning instructions for this recipe.
I discovered this lovely pizza sauce recipe when I was trying to perfect my homemade pizzas. All of the sauces I had tried had just fallen short of what I wanted. Once I found this basic recipe, and of course made a few adjustments, I knew it was a keeper. After taste testing it, my husband and I agreed not only was it the perfect pizza sauce but it made an awesome spaghetti sauce. When I make it I usually make extras and can them so that I continuously have it on hand for those days when I need a meal in a hurry. I can them in different size jars, with larger jars for spaghetti sauce and smaller jelly size jars for pizza sauce.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (8 Ounce) Cans Tomato Sauce

2 (6 Ounce) …

Even More Ways to Organize Recipes Online

Almost three years ago, back in March of 2010, I wrote the post Organizing Recipes That You Find Online that contained ideas for saving recipes that you find online like printing them out to go in a recipe binder, saving them as a word document, and organizing them in your Favorites Menu. This has been a popular post and with new technology (think Pinterest) the way that I have organized my recipes online has changed a little. Here are a few more ideas that you can use to save the recipes that you find online.


Probably one of the most popular ways, and one of my favorite ways, to save online recipes is by pinning them to Pinterest. I have created Pinterest boards to organize my recipes into categories; I have them organized by Chicken Recipes, Beef Recipes, Hamburger Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Bread Recipes, Cookie Recipes, Pie Recipes, etc. I also have recipes organized by holidays and seasons like Summer Menu for light summery foods, Winter Soups, Christmas, Halloween, Tha…

Hearty Turkey Chili

My husband found out in April that he had some heart problems and we have had to change the way that we eat.  So I have been using ground turkey in place of ground beef in every recipe that I can.  Many of the ground turkey recipes for chili that I found were nowhere near as hearty as the ground beef version.  So this chili is the result of the mixture of several recipes to create a hearty chili recipe that uses ground turkey and will make everyone happy.

I served the chili over spaghetti noodles and with cheddar cheese for the majority of our family, but my husband chose to eat his without the noodles or cheese and the chili was perfect as a stand alone as well.
Ingredients: One Pound Ground Turkey Two Tablespoons Olive Oil One Small Onion, Chopped 1 Cup Diced Green Peppers 2 Cups Water 28 Ounce Can Whole Tomatoes (I like whole tomatoes but you can use diced instead) 16 Ounce Can Dark Kidney Beans (2) 16 Ounce Cans Chili Beans (2) 6 Ounce Cans Tomato Paste 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder…

Menu Plan, January 14th to 20th

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
It is going to be one busy week for us this week.  We are back to school and co-op, our weekly bible studies start back up, and we have our monthly Keepers at Home meeting this week.  Which means simple meals are absolutely necessary this week!  It is probably going to take us a week or two to get back into the groove of things.
Here is what I have planned for this week: links to recipes are in red
Breakfast:  Allergy Free Granola Bars (will add in some raisins and chocolate chips)
Lunch:  Ham Roll Ups, Pretzels, Grapes,Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Dinner:  Spaghetti with Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce (missed last week), Garlic Bread
Snack:  Fruit Cocktail
Breakfast:  Dad's Homemade Pancakes
Lunch:  Leftover Spaghetti
Dinner:  Brown Sugar Ham Steaks, Crashed Potatoes (recipe coming soon), Corn, Bread Machine Bread
Snack:  Fake Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
Breakfast:  Easy Homemade Biscuits, Sausage G…

Questions To Ask When Considering The Purchase of a New House

Buying a new house can be scary. There are so many things to consider when looking at a potential new house, and one missed step or one question that goes unasked can turn out to be a major disaster.
When we purchased our current  home we asked everything we could think of, we looked at it three times before making an offer, and visited it at different times of the day making sure to check out the area each time.  Here are some of the questions that you should ask the seller before considering making an offer on any house.

The Roof
You will want to ask how old the roof currently is, along with how many layers of shingles there are currently on the roof, and if there are any leaks. Not only will this let you know if you are going to be needing to repair or replace the roof in the near future but your insurance company will ask these questions when you try to get insurance on the home. If the roof is too old or has too many layers of shingles on the roof it can cause the insurance com…

Tips For Saving Money During Baby's First Year

Raising a newborn baby can be expensive. It is reported that raising a baby can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $14,000 in the first year alone, and that by the time a child reaches age seventeen they will have cost the parents about $250,000 . That doesn’t even include the cost of college! With figures that high, saving money can be a high priority for parents. Here are some great ways to help you save money during your baby’s first year.

Buy a Convertible Car Seat

An infant car seat can be convenient, as it can be removed from the car while baby is in it and can often be attached to a stroller. However, an infant car seat can only be used until the baby reaches twenty to thirty pounds, at which point a bigger car seat must be purchased. A convertible car seat is a car seat that can be either rear or forward facing, and will accommodate an infant that weighs anywhere between five to forty or more pounds. This will allow you to get a much longer use out of just one car seat.


How to Paint Stripes on Walls

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I have been getting a lot of questions about my striped walls in my Christmas pictures and I thought I would share how it was done.  Luckily as we were doing them I took a lot of pictures because I am trying to document the remodeling of our house. 
My husband is on disability from injuries he sustained in a car wreck in 2008.  Since that time our income has drastically changed.  When he first had his wreck we had bought a lovely five bedroom home on ten acres with plenty of land and woods.  Quess what?  With a husband who doesn't always feel up to work it was too much for us.  Luckily we were able to sell and moved into a rental house until we could find the "right" place for us.  We stayed at the rental house for a year and nine months. 
In September we found the house that we are currently in.  The house was a great price (as in we will have it paid off in SIX years - that's right six years) but needed…

Getting Your Kids To Eat More Veggies

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Getting my kids to eat their vegetables is a never ending battle around my house. I know there are several cookbooks on the market that advocate hiding vegetables in everyday foods that your kids will eat regularly but for me that is not the point of getting my kids to eat their vegetables. I don’t want to be sneaky about it because I want my kids to know they are eating vegetables, and start a lifelong habit of eating healthy. A lot of the ideas below will only help get your kid to eat only one or two new vegetables at a time but the key is to get them use to eating vegetables, once your child has begun eating vegetables it is easier to get them to try new ones. The key to getting them to eat more vegetables is baby steps; you can’t expect a complete change overnight. So if you are like me and would like to get your kids to eat their vegetables here are some creative ways to get that to happen.

Peas in a Pop

When I first heard o…

Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes - Freezer Meal

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Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes these little disks of flavor are a crowd favorite at our house and they freeze perfectly for use later. 
3 Cups Flour 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil 6 Tablespoons Sugar 2 Cups Milk 2 Eggs 1 Teaspoon Salt 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
Mix together all ingredients.  Batter will be a little runny.

When making these I use my griddle because there are so many.  My kids love pancakes made in the skillet but this is just easier for me.
Pour about 1/4 cup of pancake mixture per pancake onto lightly greased griddle on medium-high heat.

Cook one to two minutes per side or until golden brown.

Let pancakes cool completely.  Once they have cooled completely it is time to flash freeze them.  This is done by placing cooled pancakes on cookie sheets (or pizza pans) and placing them in the freezer for fifteen minutes.  Flash freezin…

Menu Plan, January 7th to 13th

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
It's that time again, time for a new menu plan!  One of the things that I need to work on is more of a variety when it comes to lunches.  Soups and sandwiches or leftovers from the night before are our go to but I want to make an effort to make something a little different for lunches.  However, this may not be the week to do it because we are back to school this week after a looong break. 
Here's what I have on the menu for this week: links to recipes are in red
Breakfast:  Cereal
Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Best Ever Beef Stew, Basic White Bread (make two loaves use one for Tuesday breakfast)
Snack:  Fake Betty Crocker Brownie Mix (Make up Extras for Future Use)
Breakfast:  French Toast using Basic White Bread
Lunch: Ham and Egg Sandwiches
Dinner:  Simple Turkey Chili
Snack:  Pineapple Chunks 
Breakfast:  Omelette Muffins
Lunch:  Leftover Turkey Chili

Home Decorating on a Budget

Decorating your home is important; after all it is what makes your home feel inviting and more like a home instead of just a house. If you are on a budget decorating your home can be a challenge but it is possible to decorate your home and stay within your budget. When trying to decorate your home on a budget it is important to focus on high traffic rooms, as those will be the ones most visited. Good rooms to focus on are the living room, kitchen, and main bathroom.


Painting is the cheapest and easiest way to change the entire look of a room. A new paint job makes everything look fresh and clean, while changing a room from a boring contractor white to a bright yellow can add a whole new look to a room.

Giant Photo

Create a focal point in any room with a giant photo. Office supply stores like Office Depot, Office Max, and staples will print what they call an Engineer’s Print of one of your photos very cheaply, in most cases it is less than $10. These prints can only be done in …

Detailed House Cleaning Schedule

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The eternal debate is this one true?

Or is this one true?

I can see the truth in both of them, that's my problem.  I don't have time for detailed cleaning.  Let's face it, I hate cleaning.  The problem however is that we have five people living in our house that homeschool, work from home, and are pretty much at home twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.  Our house gets dirty pretty quickly.  We keep our house pretty clean, and everyone in the house participates in keeping it clean.  However there are times when I sit back, look at all that has to be done, and feel overwhelmed.  I have tried the Fly Lady Technique, and it just doesn't work for me.  Our house is too active to focus on just one room a week.  Therefore Fly Lady doesn't work for us. 
Instead I have come up with a detailed cleaning list for every room in our house.  We focus on one room a day.  In the morning after breakfast, and before we …

Menu Plan January 1st through January 6th

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
Happy New Year!  What more appropriate way is there to start a new year than with a new menu plan?  This year I am determined to get back to fixing more meals from scratch and to eliminate as many processed foods from our diet as possible. 
Here is what I have planned for us this week: links to recipes are in red
Tuesday - Soups and Sandwiches (still recovering from New Year's Eve)
Breakfast:  Homemade Cinnamon Pancakes using a version of Dad's Homemade Pancakes and Cinnamon Pancakes - will be making extras and freezing for future use
Lunch: Soup and Sandwiches
Dinner:  Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, My Grandmother's Green Beans, Easy Homemade Biscuits Snack: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut
Breakfast:  Biscuits and Gravy (using biscuits from Wednesday night)
Lunch:  Soup and Sandwiches
Dinner:  Pork Loin Roast with Vegetables and Gravy (recipe coming next week), Basic White Bre…