Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Couple of Live - Simple recipes

Here are a couple of recipes I came across that will make for some easy day to day healthy snacking.

Marinated Vegetables (Serves 4)

2/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon – juice only
2 tsp sea salt
5 cups coarsely chopped fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, zucchini, carrots and/or green beans)

Blend olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to make a marinade. Toss with cut-up veggies. Marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours before eating. Cover real well and they will last about 3 days, good for them in between meal snacks.

Stewed Peaches (Serves 5)

4 pounds fresh peaches
Water to cover
2 tsp vanilla
Grated rind of 1 lemon

Wash peaches and halve them lengthwise, removing pits. Cut each half in three slices. Place peaches in saucepan, cover with water, and add vanilla and lemon rind. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate in well covered bowl. You're all set for a couple of days of healthy dessert snack.

Enjoy and Live - Simple my friends...

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Pinnebog General Store Community Board

Busy week at the ol’ general store and all sorts of tips, ideas, recipes, etc. hanging on the community board with Sept. almost gone and October approaching looks like everyone around town wants to make sure neighbors and friends get their fall chores done, LOL

So without further ado lets see what we all got pinned up on the board…

I see there is a recipe for quick dill pickles hanging:

Says to get:

8 Cucumbers fresh and crisp
1-1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons pickling spice
15 peppercorns
5 sprigs of dill

then you’re suppose to slice them babies up long ways into 4 sections and stuff them into a quart canning jar. Then in a pot put the vinegar, salt, sugar, pickling spice and peppercorns and bring to boil. Then pour that concoction over the pickles in the jar and stir in them dill sprigs. After that let the puppies cool to room temp., seal the jar and put in refrigerator overnight. Says they’ll last about 2/3 weeks in there…

Seems to be a paper pinned with a list on stuff to do in the garden now, like:

· Start moving houseplants indoors. Check for pests first
· Seed a fall spinach crop
· Seed cover crops on bare spots in the vegetable garden
· Plant new trees and shrubs, to give them at least 6 weeks before frost
· Plant spring flowering bulbs
· Begin “dark treatments” with your saved Poinsettia plant
· Dry and store gladioli corms before a frost

Then it says make sure to get your October chores done too:

· Plant garlic and shallots
· Have your soil tested and amend as needed
· Harvest Brussel sprouts after a hard frost
· Clean up garden debris. Remove all vegetable plants and fallen fruit.
· Remove dead annuals from the garden, after a frost.
· Cut back perennial foliage to discourage over wintering pests. Leave flowers with seeds for the birds.
· Start raking and composting leaves

WoW! Lots of work outdoors before that cold winter gets here…

Remember though while you’re out there to take time and “smell the roses”

Looks like we have a different type of pumpkin bread recipe also hanging in the corner;

2 cups of fresh cooked pumpkin OR one 16 ounce can of canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten (Note for vegans: each egg can be replaced 1 tablespoon of flax meal mixed with 3 Tbs. water (mixed until it develops uniformly sticky consistency). That's 4 tablespoons of flax meal in total. The bread takes about 15 minutes longer to bake and is a little more dense but very good after a day of refrigeration.)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Water: 1/2 cup water if you are using fresh cooked pumpkin OR 2/3 cup water if you are using commercial canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar
Add the eggs, water, oil and pumpkin.
Stir until blended. Pour into two lightly greased and floured 9x5" loaf pans.
Bake approximately 1 hour at 350 F (175 C) Remove from the oven and cool slightly (10 minutes)

Well I think that ought to keep everyone busy this coming week and if not remember you can always;

Build a tent with blankets and sheets, chairs and chip clips with your kids, go pick apples, make that Halloween costume, decorate your house for fall, plants mums, go for a hayride, invite friends and neighbors over for chili and watching football on TV or build a fire and snuggle with someone or read a book

Have fun all, enjoy yourselves and Live - Simple!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vegan Crock-Pot Apple Butter

Time to make some apple butter, so I am sharing this apple butter recipe with you all that was sent to me from Amanda Reynolds who's a fan of KA's FB page and blog... Thank You, Amanda!

Vegan Crock-Pot Apple Butter

5.5 quart crock-pot
8-9 lbs of apples
2 c of unrefined dark brown sugar or dark brown beet sugar*
1 T fresh ginger (or 1 t ground powdered ginger, but I highly recommend fresh)
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground nutmeg
3 T fresh ground cinnamon
½ t salt
½ c apple cider vinegar

You can use any variety of apples that you wish.

Peel, core, and chop the apples finely. Transfer the apples from the chopping board into the crock pot.

Mix the sugar, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the apples 1/3 at a time and mix until the apples are coated in the sugar mixture.

Pour the apple cider vinegar over the top.

Cook on high the first hour, then turn to low and let cook for at least 12 hours, stirring every 4 hours or so.

I do this overnight and just get up and stir it once (note: tradition in our household mandates that we make oatmeal with the half cooked apple butter in the morning).

Depending on the kind of apples and how hot your crock-pot gets start checking after 12 hours.

You are looking for the apples to cook down by about half and become a mush. I usually let them cook for 14 hours. After the apples have cooked for 12-16 hours, turn the crock-pot up to high, and take the lid off. Let the liquid cook out for 2+ hours.

At this point, I love the slightly chunky texture, but if you want a creamy apple butter you can blend some of it in a blender or in the crock-pot with an immersion blender.

I freeze the apple butter in 2 c batches in ziplock freezer bags, flat, for up to one year. 1 lb of apples equals about 1 c of apple butter.

Apple butter takes a long time to make, but it’s nice to make it in the crock-pot because you can leave the house with it cooking and not worry about it. Making it on the stove requires a lot more time and attention then the crock-pot method.

*normal refined cane sugar is not vegan as animal bone char is used in the refinement process

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clutter and De-cluttering – Part 4

OK, you have started, you have de-cluttered, you have cleaned/painted, you have donated/garage sale/etc. what you wanted. Your house should now be in decent livable condition, now what?

Now comes the hard part, keeping it un-cluttered. A lot of times people who de-clutter have moments of panic, because they have had all this stuff around them and now they wake up and ‘their stuff is gone’ that is when lots of people start the Re-cluttering stage.

You have to get past that, you have to constantly keep thinking to yourself, “this is a new beginning” for yourself and family. Move past the past and move on with the new, don’t re-fill…

One method is trying the “new in – old out” approach, whenever you acquire a new item, an old one has to go. This allows you to focus on quality upgrading rather than accumulating tons of mediocre dollar stuff.

Also don’t expect things to go smoothly, I have de-cluttered dozens of times, only for the fact that as mine and the family interests, needs and lifes have changed, so has what items are clutter. It happens - families grow, lose, changed, move, etc.,etc… and that’s alright.

Eventually you will begin to see how wonderful things are after de-cluttering and to appreciate how much easier life is when you have less stuff.

You spend less time and effort on maintenance. You spend less time and effort moving, trying to find bills, or the chess set, etc.

You spend less time and effort organizing your stuff and cleaning.

What you’re left with is more time and energy and financial resources to actually enjoy life. It’s much easier now to find an hour to practice that hobby skill, or other more enjoyable activities if you’re not spending all your time cleaning and putting things away and finding room for just one more thing in that closet.

It’s much easier to save for the future if you're not in a non-stop race to see who has the most stuff. Live –Simple and life will be simple…

Now that you have time on your hands, you might want to try this great dish:

Baked Spinach -

1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 pkg frozen spinach or the equivalent of that with fresh
1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix


Melt butter in a large frying pan. Add the spinach. Break up
and stir. Add cream cheese and onion soup mix. Stir well. Place in
casserole dish and bake at 300°F for 45 minutes.

Be seeing you, Knobby...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Clutter & De-cluttering - Part 3

Diving in..............

Now that you are stepping into the Twilight Zone of Clutter - what is the best way to decide what to get rid of and what to keep??????? What do you do with the stuff that you no longer want or need???

Lets start with the clothing rule - If it hasn't been out of the drawer or closet in the past 6 months, get rid of it. There are certain exception to this though, especially for a man. Some men today do not wear suits a lot except to funerals or weddings, so if you haven't taken one of your suits out of the closet in past 6 months then consider yourself lucky to still have your family and friends around... Although if you have 12 suits hanging in the back of the closet, then that might be another story...

As for other items - Ask yourself this -

  • Do I really love this item or just pretend to because it came from Shirley and Stan?
  • Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it? This one is the most dangerous! One way to to work around this is to have someone else (whom you trust!) help you go through things. They don’t have the (sometime’s irrational) emotional attachment that you might have, but can still recognize if something should be kept.

  • Have I used it in the past year? or even the past 6 months?

  • Is it really garbage? Does it need fixing? Do I actually have time or the money to repair it?

  • Do I have another one that is better?

  • Should I really keep two?

You also can have the 6-month box; Take all your items that you unsure about getting rid of (e.g. “I might need this someday…”), put them in a box, seal it and date it. When you come across it 6 months from now and you still haven't opened it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won’t even remember what there was in the box.

One of the key things though is to take the pile of stuff you are not keeping out of the house as soon as possible, take it to a staging area in the garage or shed if you're going to sell it or the back seat/trunk of you vehicle if you're going to donate it...

Now that you are all done sorting, the stuff you're not keeping can be:

  • Donated to charities
  • List your clutter on craigslist
  • Sell it on Ebay
  • Have a garage sale and then anything that didn't sell donate it...
  • or even as I have done with many things - put at the side of the road in front of your house with a free sign on it...
  • OR Gift Everything to all your family & friends, LOL

Now I'll end part 3 with this caution - You really should stop for the day even if you are not done:

# 1 - If you find yourself hitting a “brain fog” where nothing makes sense or you find yourself holding on to everything you are reviewing - and/or #2 - If you hit a hysterical state of mind and start tossing everything without looking at it.

Of course before starting on your De-cluttering for the day make sure you put a nice crock-pot of this dessert on for your reward later, for a job well done;

- Apple Sauce -

--4 large apples, skinned ,cored, and cut in quarters
--juice from 1 lemon
--1/4 cup water
--1 teaspoon vanilla
--1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
--1 Tablespoon brown sugar

makes enough for about 4/5 people

Skin, core, and cut your apples into quarters. Plop the pieces into your crock pot. Add the juice from the lemon, and the water. Pour in the vanilla ( imitation or real), add the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. When the apples are super tender, mash with a potato masher or large fork. Serve up in bowls with some whip cream on top and maybe some warm cinnamon sugar donuts on the side...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday from the Ol' Pinnebog General Store

Apples, cooler temperatures, leaves changing color, corn mazes, cider mills, warm donuts, fires, pumpkins, farmers markets, Fall festivals, Chili cook -offs, De-cluttering, etc. etc. What a wonderful time fall is!

The big news of the week around town was that the actor Sean Penn was up in the Bad Axe area filming a movie 'This Must Be the Place.' Now I have to admit I don't know much about his movies, but from all the chatter about, it seems like he has played in some good roles... See picture gallery here: MOVIE

If that wasn't enough, after they all get done, another movie crew will be coming to town to film 'Real Steel' that supposedly will be Starring Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly and the Executive producer is Steven Spielberg.

Well anytime they need a break, they are always welcomed to the Ol' general store here for a glazed donut & an Orange Crush...

Of course all that excitement can't top the balloons and party favors that flowed around town here 'bout 2 weeks ago when ol' Lydia celebrated her 99th birthday. Here tell that there was over 60 friends, family attending and the birthday cake was as big as Paul Bunyan's blue ox, Babe...

Then again even that might have been topped by all the police and fire squads rushing to the local senior center where it was reported a HOT,HOT bridge game was taking place and apparently was so hot that the sprinkler system went off. Never knew that the kindly ladies down at the senior center still had a bit of rowdiness in their bonnets after all these years, lol

Noticed this piece of notepaper with 2 recipes on it tacked to the community board here from that wonderful Amish lady Mrs. Byler down the way, always thinking of others, she is;



combine dry ingredients; cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place.



Toss apple with sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix cake mix, egg and milk. Put into 8 inch pan. Press apple slices into batter. Drizzle any remaining sugar mixture over apples. Bake at 350ยบ till done. MY NOTE: (by done I am thinking she means about 30 minutes)

Well, got to run, but here's a poem to remind all of the main pursuit of Live - Simple -

Lord, Let me take time to see the flowers, that grow beside the dusty road.

Let me take time to lend a helping hand, to lighten someone's weary load.

Let me take time to hear the sounds, of happy children at their play.

Let me take time to visit friends, family who might be lonely today but most of all, let me take time for quiet hours, alone with Thee...

You all take care and I'll be seeing you, Knobby

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Clutter & De-cluttering - Part Two

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall that is coming upon us, with its Pumpkin pies, Corn mazes, Apple Cider and warm cinnamon-sugar coated donuts? While all that is going on lets get started on part two of de-cluttering...

Part Two of the De-cluttering process:

First off you can't go into de-cluttering willy - nilly and start throwing things away here and there. I've learned from experience that that doesn't work; 9 out of 10 times you end up with a bigger mess than when you started and you get frustrated and quit the whole process... De-cluttering is like the old joke question 'how do you eat an elephant?' answer: 'one bite at a time' and for some it takes awhile... My one big tip though is not to wait until you think it's a perfect time to do it, I have done that countless times myself and guess what, I never got started. The best time is just like the commercial says - "Just Do It"

OK, so you have decided to de-clutter an area, first thing to do is to get together boxes, garbage bags, cleaning supplies (yes, you will be cleaning also) and if your going to paint get them supplies too.

Second thing is to look at that room or area and image to yourself how you would want the room to look if you were trying to sell it. That includes each piece of furniture in it. You would not try and sell a room with stains on the carpet and boogers on the walls. You also would not try to sell a nightstand that was stuffed with papers, magazines, used Kleenex, chocolate wrappers and Pepsi spills on it. Hold on to that selling image during the de-cluttering process, it’s very important to do so… if you can’t hold an image then look at some magazines like Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens, etc. and cut a living room, bedroom, bathroom picture out that closely resembles what you image and look at that

Third thing is to make a promise to your self that 1/3 or ¼ or even ½ of the room or area you picked will be done by such and such time. Like “I want to clean up the desk and its drawers and the book shelves by the time the kids come home from school”

Fourth thing is MUSIC! Everyone works better with music, it brightens the soul, gets your feet moving and keeps you company. Get some favorite cds together or favorite radio station or your ipod and listen and work. For me the best music was pumped up songs from oldies, like Beatles, Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Bob Seger, etc.

Fifth thing is to take action – I have found that if I start on one side of room, near the entrance and work my way around back to the beginning I can accomplished more in a more organized path. I’m not bouncing back and forth between what ever item catches my eye at any given moment. I do what ever comes next down that path I started.

In part 3 we’ll talked about how to sort and how to part away with things during the action stage…

Of course you're going to have to eat too, so here's something for all to enjoy;

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

2 c. cooked noodles of any kind
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli,thawed or as usual use fresh
3 tbsp. chopped onions
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
2 cups shredded American cheese
Salt to taste
5 1/2 c. milk
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for 4
8 servings.

Live - Simple my friends, Live - Simple...


Monday, September 13, 2010

Clutter & De-cluttering - Part One

Most everyone knows about or has watched the TV show 'Hoarders' where it shows people living in EXTREME gross clutter. IMO some of it I think is made up for TV purposes only but, that's just my opinion.

From what I have seen the majority of people do not live like that, majority of clutterers live with what I call 'Livable Clutter' which means, in your mind it can be lived with or another word would be it's bearable, after all you still can walk from kitchen to living rm without stepping over too many things and you can still shut the bedroom door when company comes over, LOL.

Well as one can guess clutter and the Live - Simple lifestyle do not go together, clutter gets in the way of a natural, free flowing household, workplace, play area...

Clutter uses up space - Space that for the most part as years go by seems to just keep getting bigger and bigger. A multi-billion dollar industry (rental storage units) has grown up just because of people needing more space for their (STUFF) clutter. Another multi - million dollar industry ( 1-800-GOT-JUNK) has blossomed just to get rid of peoples left-over (STUFF) clutter.

Clutter uses up money - How? because for each piece you have that has been laying in the bottom of a closet or 'stored' out in the garage that you haven't seen or touched in 2 years has for the most part cost you hard-earned money. Even worse how about doubling the cost, because you have no room in your house so you rent out a storage unit for it... Oh and if you're storing things that might be "Useful Someday", realise that while you are storing them and hoarding them, THEY AREN'T BEING USEFUL

Clutter uses up the environment - The more bric brac, nick knacks, flower vases, un-used exercise equipment, talking fish plaques, sweaters, shoes, etc., the bigger the houses, the garages, the trucks, etc. The bigger and more of all that, the more resources are used up.

Worse of all clutter uses up time - Time that could be used for yourself and maybe more profitable endeavors or with family, friends and more recreational activities, etc.

Now I know that some people become attached to 'Their Stuff', it makes them feel comfortable having all that stuff around them and some people actually have a physical, mental and emotional hard time parting with things. So I'm not trying to talk anyone out of getting rid of Grandmas wooden Dutch shoes or Aunt Mable's antique diamond ring which is actually cubic zirconium but no one wanted to tell her... lol, but there is a difference between nostalgia and misaligned intentions...

What I am going to try and do in this 4 part series of posts is explain what clutter is and then try and show you how to de-clutter if you so desire to.

What I think clutter is:

When your miscellaneous kitchen junk drawer, desk drawer, laundry room cupboard, bedroom night stand are all jammed with your papers, appliance manuals, recipes, pizza coupons from 2003, menus from the Chinese restaurant that closed in 2006, broken lighters, stub pencils, harden bottles of Elmer's glue, sunglasses without lenses, marbles, a baggie of broken birthday candles, a head from a barbie doll, etc. - YOU HAVE CLUTTER!

When you’re embarrassed to let someone see some part of your home because of the piles of stuff you have stockpiled and you hide it all behind curtains, or dividers or the closet doors won't shut or all of it is seeping out from underneath your bed so you just shut the bedroom door. - YOU HAVE CLUTTER.

When you take 30 minutes digging through junk drawers or looking through piles of magazines, or moving about all the stored "Useful One day" stuff in the garage looking for the one thing in there you actually have any need for, or thought you did. - YOU HAVE CLUTTER.

Or how about all them shelves that are jammed full of videos or DVDs or CDs or books or video games even after you emptied them same shelves 6 months ago and put all of the old ones into a box out in the garage. - YOU HAVE CLUTTER.

In part 2 we'll see how to get started on the de-cluttering process, in mean time put a crock-pot of the following recipe on and go Live - Simple....


1 pound ground chuck or stew meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 large (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes (chopped) or the same amount using fresh tomatoes
3 cup diced potatoes
1 (16 oz.) can cut green beans or same amount using fresh green beans
2 teaspoon chili powder
2-3 dashes cayenne pepper sauce
2 (10 1/2 oz.) cans condensed beef bouillon or whatever is equivalent in using the bouillon cubes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Brown meat with onion and celery; drain off fat. Stir in remaining
ingredients and add 1 or 2 cups water. Cover and cook on low for 8-10

For you vegetarians you can just leave out the beef

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday from the Ol' Pinnebog General Store

Pinnebog General Store

Well it has been a while since I have put anything up on the Ol' Knobby Acres blog so I figure well shoot lets give it another go round and see what type of beans grow...

Been a very busy, busy week around the ol' general store this week being that new stock came in and of course the usual friends & neighbors stopping by for this or that and telling a tip or two...

Like early in week when Miriam and Soloma were just a chit chatting about kitchen stuff and what not. Like Miriam was saying how she rinses out her empty mustard jar with water and adds a small amount of it to her chili soup. or when fixing up your own flower pot/hanging baskets put a disposable diaper in the bottom to hold moisture longer. Soloma was telling how she carrys her pies to the bake sale by putting them in a 5 gallon bucket stacked with flat plates in betwix them.

Delberts kids came in and was looking for model paint, seems they were making canisters out of gallon glass jars for their mom so she could store rice, popcorn and stuff and they wanted to paint the name of the ingredients on them jars. Smart kids!

Jeb came by not feeling to good and kinda hunched over. he was looking for some Ex-Lax. Course that got all the guys hooping and hollering about everything from WD-40 to big pots of beans to even a formula for cleaning toilets, using 1/4 part bleach and 3/4 parts water, mixed in a spray bottle and applied liberally..

Well got to keep it short this week, got stock to put away and get my football picks in, but before I go someone came in and posted this poem on the community board and I thought I would share it with you all:

I thank Thee, Lord that my feet are sore, and my knees and back hurt even more.
I thank Thee too for the scratches and stings that a day in the summer sometimes brings.

I thank Thee, Lord that my eyes are red and they throb in time with my aching head. That my muscles moan and protest in pain from the weary hours of toil and strain.

Beneath my nails there is garden soil and my hands bear the marks of a gardener's toil. For the fields are ripe and the harvest great and the gathering in of it just can't wait.

So I thank Thee, Lord for it means I'm strong and can work in the garden the whole day long.
Tonight I'm sore and exhausted too, but oh, I'm among the privileged few.
Oh almost forgot, seeing that some apples are falling off the trees already I figured it be a good time to put this crock-pot recipe up that came from Eloise Smothers using some of them their apples...

* 2 cups sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 2 cups unpeeled apples, finely chopped
* 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Beat sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add apples with dry ingredients and
mix well. Spray a two pound coffee can with cooking spray or grease and
flour it well. Pour batter into can, filling no more than 2/3 full.
Place can in Crock Pot. Do not add water. Cover but leave cover ajar so
steam can escape. Cook on high 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Don't peek before the last hour of baking. Cake is done when top is set. Let
stand in can a few minutes before tipping pudding out on a plate.
Serve half-rounds plain, with whipped topping, or with ice cream & hot fudge sauce

Take care and I'll be seeing you, Knobby