Cooking, crafting, and camping More fun for free!
May 29, 2012, 9:24 AM
Filed under: Craft Ideas, Healthly Living, recipes
Coconut Flour Chai Spiced Cupcakes -TASTY AND GLUTEN FREE!!!!!
                        By Jamie Calabro
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
 1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients together and set aside. Using mixer, combine wet ingredients until they are really well combined and even a little foamy. On low-speed, mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Batter will thicken only slightly and will resemble a pancake batter. Mix till all the lumps are gone. Pour into cup cake papers (2/3 full) and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cream Cheese icing works well with these flavors or eat them plain.

Buttoned-Up Elegance

Give a lightweight, linen curtain beachy flair  by stitching a border of mother-of-pearl buttons across the bottom of the rod  pocket.


Transform any object with a flat, smooth surface  into a blackboard. Here, enamel bakeware was used, but you can make use of  anything that strikes your fancy, such as an old mirror or a salvaged window.  Apply two coats of chalkboard paint using a small sponge applicator or roller,  as the fibers in regular paintbrushes tend to leave behind streaks. Chalkboard  paint comes in both liquid and spray versions. If you try the spray, be sure to  cover the surrounding area carefully to prevent spatter.

All-American Floral Wreath

4 steps for the winsome wreath

1. Saturate a 12-inch floral foam wreath  base with cool water.
2. Insert green leaves into floral foam, for  texture. Or skip this step and insert short, clipped stems of pink and white  peonies around the base, slightly varying the stems’ angles while concealing the  foam.
3. Display by hanging from florist’s wire, or looping a  grosgrain ribbon belt through the middle.
4. Maintainwreath a  week or more; place it daily in a shallow container, refreshing the foam ring  with cool water.

All-American Floral Wreath

4 steps for the winsome wreath

1. Saturate a 12-inch floral foam wreath  base with cool water.
2. Insert green leaves into floral foam, for  texture. Or skip this step and insert short, clipped stems of pink and white  peonies around the base, slightly varying the stems’ angles while concealing the  foam.
3. Display by hanging from florist’s wire, or looping a  grosgrain ribbon belt through the middle.
4. Maintain wreath a  week or more; place it daily in a shallow container, refreshing the foam ring  with cool water.

Read more: How to Make a Fresh Floral Wreath – Country Living

Cover a Lampshade

Measure the diameter of the lampshade bottom and  top, and add 1 1/2″ to each. Measure the shade’s height and add 3 3/4″. Cut a  length of fabric to size with sewing shears. For the bottom hem, fold the fabric  3/4″, iron flat, and machine stitch. Cut a piece of string 1″ longer than the  fabric’s length, fold the top 1 1/2″ of the fabric over the string, and iron  flat. Machine stitch two straight lines (1/2″ below the fold and 1/2″ above the  fabric’s edge) to create a drawstring seam. Fit fabric over lampshade, draw the  string tightly over top of shade, and tie. Evenly distribute folds and stitch  seam closed.

Candles in Seashells

Lovely on their own or as a companion to sand candles, these small lights  celebrate the beach and the summer. Collect only good-sized empty shells, or  save the shells from your next clambake or oyster fest.

seashell candles

Supplies:1.5 x 6.5-inch seashells

Six 2-inch lengths thin wire wick, primed

6 wick holders

0.8 ounces stearin

1 disk wax dye, if desired

8 ounces paraffin wax

Directions: 1. Clean the seashells  thoroughly. Then, to be sure they are really clean, put them in boiling water  for a few minutes.
2. Insert the wicks into the wick holders and place  one in the middle of each seashell.
3. In the top of a double boiler over  medium heat, melt the stearin and wax dye, if using. Add the wax. Melt and mix  thoroughly. Heat to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Fill each seashell nearly  to the top and allow to cool completely, or overnight.
5. Trim the wicks  to 1/4 inch and arrange the candles on a dish or in a bowl of sand. Light and  enjoy!

Bandanna Table Runner   –

Add a cheerful touch to the summer table with  this patchwork-style runner. Line up enough bandannas to fit the length of a  table, leaving some overhang, and stitch together. To back the runner, cut an  old cotton tablecloth (any light-colored one will do) to match its width and  length. Sew together along the edges or attach with iron-on bonding.


Here is a a great way to spend time together without spending money.  If you don’t own a tent chances are you know someone who does.   Or you can find a range of tents types and sizes for around $50-$100  for an investment in your family it is well worth it for the years of use and togetherness.

Take the kids camping in the back yard.  Make it Dad and his boys (or girls-they need dad time too)!  Or go to a local park check and see if they permit camping overnight and if they allow campfires or b-b-qs.  Bring your own food, go for a nature walk, horseback riding, bring some outdoor games, go swimming in the lake, cook out, and make s’mores.  Be a family make memories that your kids will remember for years to come:)

Allentown KOA Campground

6750 KOA Dr., New Tripoli, PA 18066-2419 Get Directions
610-298-2160 Toll Free USA: 800-562-2138 Website

Open April 1 through November 1, the Allentown K.O.A. Campground welcomes you and your family to their clean, modern campground. Enjoy the swimming pool, hay rides, and special family oriented activities. Conveniently located near Dorney Park and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and within a short drive to Hershey and Gettysburg.

Lake Towhee

Old Bethlehem Pike, Quakertown, PA 18951 Get Directions

This 552-acre park has much to offer, including a playground, picnicking, hiking, ball fields, horseback riding trails, boating, fishing, group and individual camping, ice skating, nature area and a 50-acre lake. Open sunrise to sunset.

Appalachia Spring Ranch

7187 Troxelville Rd., Beavertown, PA 17813-9109 Get Directions
570-966-0884 Website
Enjoy a vacation with horses, education, hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing and photography.
For more locations and information search the PA Tourist Commission site.

Cleanout Cooking
May 15, 2012, 8:20 AM
Filed under: Healthly Living, recipes

Cleanout Cooking.  Hey readers if you like our recipes try this one as well she is another small town girl living out her experiences!  She has really great insights and is easy to read!

Fabuolous Fast Starts to Your Day
May 15, 2012, 7:23 AM
Filed under: Healthly Living, Life style, recipes

Here are a few breakfast ideas under 300 calories.  There’s bound to be a few that will intrigue your taste buds.  Good Luck readers!

1) Peanut Butter/apple quesadila- 2 8” whole wheat tortillas, 1tbsp peanut butter, 1 sliced apple.

2) 1 egg scrambled in 1tsp oil.  1 whole wheat bagel thin; 1 turkey sausage link, and 6oz low sodium vegetable juice.

3) Strawberry French Toast-1 slice whole-wheat bread dipped in 1 beaten egg and cooked in 1 tsp butter and 1 cup sliced strawberries.

4) Pancakes and bacon-2 frozen pancakes, one tsp honey, 1/2 sliced banana, 2 slices turkey bacon.

5) Maple Almond Oatmeal- 1 cup oatmeal cooked, 1tbsp almond butter, 2 tsp maple syrup.

6)  Smoothie-1 cup nonfat plain yogurt blended with 1 cup frozen peaches, 1/2 cup calcium fortified OJ, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, and pinch nutmeg.

7) Greek Yogurt Parfait 8oz plain Greek yogurt, 1 diced nectarine, 1tsp honey, 3 tbsp sliced almonds.

Recipes for a rainy day
April 24, 2012, 6:45 AM
Filed under: recipes

On rainy cold days we don’t always have as much energy and so sometimes we can fall into a rut.  This recipe for Lasagna I was given a long time ago but sad to say I don’t remember who gave it too me.  This is Crockpot Lasagna.


1lb ground beef                             1/2 cup grated Parm                                         1 chopped onion

28oz spaghetti (I use a chunky sauce)     4-6 oz ricotta (opt)                                   2 cloves garlic

1 (6oz) can tomato paste                 12 oz cottage cheese                                       1 1/2 tsp salt

Lasagna noodles 12oz uncooked     16oz shredded mozz cheese                        1tsp dried oregano



1) Brown ground beef , onion, and garlic in fry pan.

2) Add tomato sauce, paste, salt, and oregano.  Cook till warm

3)  spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the crockpot.

4)  Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with cheeses.  If you choose to add ricotta cheese use 4-6 oz depending on the size of your crockpot.  You may also want to add more sauce to taste.

5) Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheeses until all are used up.

6) Cover and cook on low 4-5 hrs.

This is great to do when you are especially busy or feeling a little worn out.  The prep time is about 10 minutes.  And then you set it and go about your day.  Depending on the size of your family you can adapt this to the oven in a bake dish also When I cook in a dish I use a 9×13 pan and usually wind up with 4-5 layers.  Serves about 6-10 in a dish in the pot I seem to get a little more 8-12 servings.  I hope you enjoy!

No Cook Spaghetti Sauce: Quick, Easy Healthy & Economical, What More Could U Want??
April 18, 2012, 7:35 AM
Filed under: recipes

I’ve been using the following spaghetti sauce recipe for years on pizza and noodles. You name it ! No matter how I serve it, I always get rave reviews. The best thing about the sauce?” Its so easy to put together with just a few ingredients you probably already have on hand. Serve up some tonight and don’t plan on any left overs : ) (recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, July 2009 edition)

Pizza/Pasta Sauce:
7 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh or dried herbs
1 1/2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I like using the low or no salt variety)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (I like organic varieties if available)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir it up with a whisk and serve over warm noodles or as a sauce over your favorite pizza crust.

Recipes for Easter or Palm Sunday
March 28, 2012, 7:54 AM
Filed under: Life style, recipes

With Palm Sunday and Passover and Easter on the horizon, I have seen lots of advertisements for deals in several stores.   I had never noticed that there are a lot of stores in our area that carry and offer specials on Passover foods.  Some even give away free products with purchase.  For our Jewish readers you’ll want to check the circulars for which one has the best prices as I am not sure what makes a good price for each of these.

My family celebrates Easter and my husband’s family celebrates Palm Sunday.  This year brings a new challenge and some happy memories.  It may be my first time taking over the holiday.  I find that the holidays always bring back memories of days gone-by.   They say that the sense of smell is the strongest connection to memory, and I agree.  The scent of Easter Flowers such as hyacinths.  It reminds me of sitting around the table with Aunts and Uncles, cousins, kids running to and fro being chased by dogs and giggles of excitement fill the house as little ones discover the treasure hidden in an Easter egg.  The smell baked ham, mashed potatoes with butter, green beans, crescent rolls, and fresh from the corner bakery eclaires and cream puffs.  It seems a daunting task to reproduce all the aspects of a perfect holiday.

This possibility weighs heavy on my mind.  This year as host for the first time I have the responsibility to draw in my husband’s family traditions as well.  The recipe I chose to include comes from my mother-in-law’s cookbook.  Its called Pineapple Bread.

Pineapple Bread-

Oven at 350.  Use a greased casserole dish usually 9×13.  You will need:   1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, 4 eggs-(beat together well), 1 lg can of pineapple with juice, 5 slices of white bread torn in fine pieces.

Mix and bake 1/2 hour (or until puffed).

This is delicious and a crowd pleaser.  It’ll be a nice homemade addition to your table this year.

If anyone else has great Easter, Passover, or Palm Sunday traditions and recipes, please pass them along!

Stuffed French Toast-Diabetic Friendly
March 10, 2012, 8:30 AM
Filed under: recipes

Stuffed French Toast-Diabetic Friendly recipe.  Serves 6, Total time about 20 minutes.


12 slices French bread each slice about 1/2 inch thick

6 tablespoons fat-free (softened) cream cheese

1/4 cup of jam or preserves any flavor

4 egg whites, 2 eggs, or 1/2 cup fat-free skim milk

2 tbsp sugar

1) Spread one side of 6 slices of bread with 1 tbsp of the cream cheese.  Spread one side of the remaining slices with the 2 tbsp of preserves.  Pair the slices with cream cheese with the slices of preserves to form a sandwich.

2) Beat eggs whites, milk and sugar in a bowl with wire whisk until smooth.  Pour into a shallow bowl.

3) spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray; heat griddle to 325.  or skillet to med-low heat.  Dip each side of sandwich into egg mixture.  Cook sandwiches 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

This is one of my hubby’s favorites.  I hope you enjoy!