A Re-Use for Small Candle Jars

I have three Big-Mama sized spider plants that are currently having a boat-load of babies each!  In order for the babies to grow roots after you pull them off the mama plant, you’ve got to put the baby bottoms in water.  The small votive candle size clean candle jars are great for this, as are other various small sizes of clean candle jars.  

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A SIMPLE SECRET WAY TO ROLL OUT PASTRY DOUGH -WITHOUT THE MESS!!

I would like to share my own, unique way of rolling out a pie pastry dough that is mess- free with you all.  I also understand how hard it is to learn how to cook in the old fashioned ways for a generation that is used to microwave ovens and pre-frozen meals from the grocery store.  Sometimes it is good to slow down.  Cooking is alot of fun!  If you are in a hurry, and just want to find out my secret that’s ok, too! Just scan down to the bold writing and the italics and you can read it now.  I have whipped up an easy, very delicious dessert that I call “chocolate pudding pie cups”; and I’ve included exactly how I do it with lots of pictures so that it’s easy to follow! 

Learning how to make pie pastry takes some practice. Since it is kindof hard at first, I want to show you step-by-step how to make a pie crust pastry dough.  And, once you “get it” you’ll be amazed at how easy it is and how few ingredients it takes. 

LET’S DO THIS ~

Chill a large mixing bowl in the freezer.

Mix these two items together in the cold bowl:
2 & 2/3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt

Next, cut in 1 cup of shortening

(Basically, what that means, is to drop a spoon of shortening onto the flour mix and then cover it with flour; then using the edge of your fork, cut it in half, then keep cutting it until it kind of looks like small peas size)  Like this:

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Then, one at a time, add 8 or 9 tablespoons of water. After each tablespoon, kind of toss the wet flour balls to the side of the bowl.  Afterward, it should look something like this:

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I will show you how to roll out pastry dough without getting your table or even your rolling pin dirty! Here is my secret that I can’t wait to share with my readers:
I use the clear, plastic bags from the meat dept at the grocery store. They are on the rolls above the meat display, the ones you can put your meat into before you set it in your cart. The bags are free! But don’t get greedy. I just take 3 or 4 when I am in that area of the store. The largest ones are the best. They are perfect for the next part of my recipe. Here’s how:

Heat up your oven to about 450 degrees.

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So, just drop a spoonful or so of flour in to the bag and shake it around.

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Next, take 1/2 of the pastry dough that we made above and gently ball it up and set it inside the bag. It will be kind of crumbly…and that’s o.k.

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Leave the dough inside the bag and roll it out, using a rolling pin.

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It is super-easy to manipulate the dough through the bag! If you want to make a regular pie crust, just roll out the dough until it is the size of your pie pan and use the technique I am showing here below to get smooth edges.
This is how I get great- looking, smooth, straight lines:
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Now, cut through the top portion of the bag to open it up! Like so…..
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Are ya still with me? This is easy stuff, isn’t it? So just slide your hands underneath of the bag and flip it on to a cookie sheet (or a pie pan, if you wish).
As long as the plastic bag is left on the top of the pastry, you can move the whole thing around easily to fit your pan. When it is just right, lift off the plastic.

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For a sugar cookie-like pastry, add a capful of milk to the top of the dough and rub it in….

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…and a generous helping of sugar….and rub that in.
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If you are a lucky duck, it ought to come out looking a little something like this ~
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But for a sweet, regular pie crust, add just a little bit of milk.
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and a lighter amount of sugar.
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And your crust should look like this one:
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If you’d rather not use sugar, you can mix a little milk with an egg and brush the top of your crust with that to brown it nicely.
(If you are making a regular pie crust, only brush it on the outer edges. And cover the edges with aluminum foil after they brown so that they don’t burn. Also use a fork to poke holes in the bottom and sides of your crust for a regular pie crust.)

Well, whichever way you chose to top it, cook on 450 for about 10 minutes.
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Use a pizza cutter to make squares or diamond shapes. Just be your creative self, these don’t have to be perfect.
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You can store the crusts that you haven’t yet used in the refrigerator in a plastic baggie for several days so that they are handy when you want a great dessert.
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Find yourself a few big mugs, or dessert dishes, or even a regular bowl will work, if you’re not worried about being fancy.
My favorite way to make these are to layer either hot, cooked chocolate pudding or hot cherry pie filling and to top with cool whip. Oh, my Goddess, it is so delicious!!!
Take a look at this. You might see the steam rising up off the pudding in the last pic. Mmmmmmmmm.
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My daughter suggested using the whipped cream in a spray can to make it look even nicer. You should try it that way. I know it would look and taste great like that! However, I just wanted to show you how I really make it.
This could also be a fun project for you and your kids to do together, once you get the hang of what you are doing. Practice makes perfect. Experience makes it easy. Experimenting with various amounts of milk and sugar, pie fillings and puddings make it delicious. I’d love to see your pics of your creations in the comments!

5 Important Tips for Decoupaging

So who knew ~ decoupage is a lot harder than one would think!  Through trial and error I found some ways to make things a little easier.  Here are the tips about decoupaging that I discovered and want to share with you~

When you have a paper base that you want to use underneath of everything, don’t try to rip it or use smaller scraps.  Use whole sheets to cover the base, then go back in after the first layer is dried and add those smaller pieces.

This is my Gypsy design vintage suitcase ~ you can purchase it through https://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmother195

Gypsy design vintage suitcase ~ you can purchase it through https://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmother195

Staining the paper so that it looks “antiqued” can be achieved by dipping the paper into old coffee or tea.  If you dip it more than once, the sheets will start tearing when you are applying.  It is hard to work with paper that is tearing as you are applying it.

If you want to burn the edges, you should have a large bowl of water underneath, not only to stop the burning, but also to leave a beautiful, thick, black edge instead of grey ash. If you do not want your design to burn, you should wet the actual design before burning, leaving the parts that you want to burn dry.

Paris OOh-La_La Design Vintage Suitcase.  You can purchase through https://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmother195

Paris OOh-La_La Design Vintage Suitcase. You can purchase through https://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmother195

Decoupage is easier accomplished if you get a roller from a print shop.  It makes everything lay down flat and smooth.  Don’t worry too much if there are bubbles when the paper is still wet with glue.  Just try to smooth it out as best as possible….most bubbles will disappear when the piece is dry.  Besides, little imperfections will give your art character.

You can purchase a spray-on type of varnish to cover the piece and give it strength when you are finished.  Make sure that all the glue has had plenty of time to dry before you varnish your piece.

So, then, good luck to you!

What would you do…..

Every since “Good Friday” I’ve heard people going around saying things like “Why do they call it Good Friday if that is when they crucified him?”   

A ‘friend’ was at my house yesterday and said “I don’t understand – what do bunnies and eggs and things like that have to do with Easter?”

My answer to her was “Of course you don’t understand.  It is a Pagan holiday.”

She said that she ‘don’t want to hear it’. 

She was drunk and working on getting drunker.  She claims to be a Baptist and believes in God.  She will not eat at my house because I am a witch & I’m guessing she thinks I poison the food or something.  Yesterday she didn’t want to sit on my couch.  I guess that’s because of my couch make-over.  This is what it looks like:  Image

Is it really THAT bad?  Maybe it is because there are astrology signs on it now.  I really don’t know.  I honestly wonder why she even comes over.

I need better friends.  What do you think?

 

Ostara or Easter: Some Ideas & Shortcuts!

Yesterday I climbed the hill out back of our house to gather moss for the kid’s Ostara baskets.    Yes, REAL moss…like back in the olden days….not plastic, fake grass to line their baskets this year.

Image  It felt so soft, and looked good, too!  The moss also kept it’s shape really well, holding up the candy inside the baskets.

After work today, I hurried home to fix our Ostara dinner & finish making Jayvon & Monte’s baskets.

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Ahhh!  It ended up being a beautiful ,sunny day after all, thank Goddess!  I was a tiny bit worried about how the weather would turn out, because the last few days have been snowing, raining, and windy days.

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A simple meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans & of course, Carrot Cake!  It was delicious!

A few years ago, I thought I needed to make a HUGE dinner, with everything homemade.  This year I’ve been thinking a little bit differently.  I’ve noticed that, although my family appreciates it when I make food from scratch, it’s not always necessary for the holidays any more.  A simple layout tastes good and fills the tummy, leaving time to talk & enjoy company, as opposed to rushing around trying to finish everything up while everyone else gets to socialize.

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I included a small seed starter pot, a coffee filter to line it with, and a new pack of watermelon seeds in the 3 year old’s basket.  He enjoyed planting his seed and giving it a good watering.

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As a matter of fact, he watered it WAY too much, making a puddle of water that overflowed the plastic lid underneath.  His mama didn’t like that part too much, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I grabbed a hand towel & sopped up the mess – then we were good to go!

I did one thing backwards this year, and it was because I was afraid to run out of daylight, because I had to work first.  I hid the eggs before we colored them.  The kid’s sure didn’t mind…actually, they never even noticed!

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After the bunny stole our eggs and hid them about 4 times, we decided to boil the water, add vinegar & food coloring & let Jayvon do the honors:  Image  Image  Image

He did a good job!  We loved the faces he made while he was trying so hard to concentrate.

It was a very good day indeed!  Happy Ostara or Easter, whichever you celebrate, to you & yours!

The Legend Lives……………

It’s not a drink or a dance – the black mamba is widely considered the world’s deadliest snake!

"Black Mamba" Dream Catcher

“Black Mamba” Dream Catcher

This remarkable dream catcher is designed from the likeness of the Black Mamba – a  nervous, lethally venomous, and when threatened, highly aggressive snake! They are also among the fastest snakes in the world.

They get their name not from their skin color, which tends to be olive to gray, but rather from the ink-black color of the inside of their mouth, which they display when threatened.

The mamba will strike not once, but repeatedly. A bite from this fearsome serpent is 100 percent fatal, usually within about 20 minutes.

Part of the "Desert Spirit" Collection

Part of the “Desert Spirit” Collection

When the mamba feels threatened it will raise its front and head about 4 feet off the ground, open its mouth, spread a flat, cobra-like neck-flap, and shake its head.

They are invulnerable, because no animal can actually kill them. Their venom can kill just about anything, so they don’t have much to worry about. They’ve been seen in the wild attacking animals as big as lions and leopards in defense of their territory.

Thanks to antivenin and other methods, most people treated with antivenin in a timely manner can now survive the “death’s kiss.” Otherwise, say your last prayers

Something new & different.....

Something new & different…..

A Mamba’s venom attacks the nervous system ( the brain). Unlike other types of venom, this one will not rot your muscle tissue, it will simply kill you. That is the good thing. If you are lucky enough to survive a bite from a Black Mamba, there will not be any side effects.

In a class by itself:  Black Mamba!!

In a class by itself:  Black Mamba!!!

“Black Mamba” dream catcher may be purchased through:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmother195

I look off the beaten path for ideas for my designs.

EarthMother195.  Maker of extraordinary Dream Catchers.

EarthMother195. Maker of extraordinary Dream Catchers.

Hi everyone! I am EarthMother195. Check out the links below to connect with me.

You can find me here:

https://twitter.com/gypziwtch
https://www.facebook.com/EarthMother195

Saint Patrick’s Day 2013

My first stop today……..

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that’s right!  I had to go grab a hug from my grandson, Jayvon.

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No one else in this world can make me happier!

I was super surprised when I walked outside & there was big, fat flakes of snow everywhere!  Especially when yesterday there were these beautiful signs of spring.

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Well, I guess that is the surprises of March.  I hope your hands are filled with all the gold they can hold today.  I feel like mine sure are when I hold my handsome grandson!  Happy St. Patties to ya!