Stat counter

December 9, 2012

Uncle Ricky's Sugar-free Lemonade!

Come and check out our new blog!

Things are starting to get HOT here; it was +22 C yesterday here, which a pretty hot day for May here! And we are scheduled for even more of it. YAY!

One of my favourite ways to cool off on a hot day is lemonade. But powder mixes are full of sugar, and even homemade lemonade can have a lot in it. But then I went to Vancouver to visit family and friends, and enjoyed my Uncle Rick's sugar-free lemonade. He has been playing around with making his own drinks and pop at home, and I got to enjoy this tasty concoction.

I made myself a batch the other day and LOVED it! Now, even though it is sugar-free, it isn't full of the nasty fake sugars like aspartame or Splenda/sucralose. Instead, it is sweetened with stevia (for more info on this lovely plant, check out my post!)

So without further ado:

Uncle Ricky's Sugar-free Lemonade

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add water to total 2 litres
Stir in 2 tsp of stevia powder (more to taste, if desired)

Pretty simple hey? Feel free to switch it up, add in some orange juice, some lime juice, whatever, as long as your squeezed juices measure to one cup total.
The self mixing jug and my hand-held citrus juicer-tools of the trade!
 Sit back, take a sip and ahhhhhhhhhhhh...relax!

New Blog Location!

Hello Eco Housewife followers!
If you are looking for new posts, information etc, this blog is no more...I have moved onto a larger version of this project with other wonderful Eco-Housewives.

Come and check out our new blog!

July 31, 2012

Man Stuff

Come and check out our new blog!

If your husband goes and works up North for a couple of years, he might just come home with the following:

- A new cowboy hat
- Some new cowboy boots
- A jean jacket (I couldn't even photograph this - and my city girl heart is so happy he hasn't worn it yet)
- An appreciation for Clamato in his beer
- A freezer full of moose meat
- A cribbage board made from a small moose antler
- A huge moose rack

So what I am saying is, he came back to me with a whole bunch of country boy stuff. But I am not one to complain - I love moose meat, and I am just enough of a redneck to love that cribbage board. Come one people, it was handmade in the 70's - it's vintage folk art, in my book. And I love cribbage.

At this point, I am so happy to have him home for good, he could have brought almost anything home and I would have been okay with it. Almost. Other than that jean jacket...

July 7, 2012


Come and check out our new blog!

I know, I love a corny blog post title. What can I say? I'm still a bit of a loser, even though the braces have been off for over 10 years...

 ANYWAY! It has been raining here in southern Alberta so much, I was waiting for someone to take my dog away so that after the flood daschunds have a chance to procreate. There I go again, loser. Anyway, that much rain was proof positive that my struggling plants in past years were no one's fault but mine. Clearly I was not watering enough. I have other friends who agree. it's like we all know what gardening on the West Coast feels like. Sort of. Not really. Who are we kidding here, this is prairie land.

But with all that rain, my rhubarb was VERY happy. Earlier in the spring, I had already yanked out a bunch of stalks to make the amazing rhubarb cake recipe I got from the Foodess, but now my rhubarb had grown with a vengeance. I forgot to take a before picture - but look at the pile of rhubarb stalks - and look at that pile of leaves (and look how tiny my push mower looks beside it!) And then after pulling out probably half of what was growing like a mad person, I still have that huge rhubarb plant. So it was time to get down to rhubarb-y business. And I owed a friend and her hubby rhubarb crumble since he helped me load and unload a very heavy cement urn planter I bought second-hand, and my hubby was away. (yes, I say hubby, and yes, I buy astronomically heavy second-hand planters that even two women were incapable of budging...)

After ripping out all those stalks!
But I digress - the point is, I had a ton of rhubarb and the urge to try something new. So I picked up my pile of rhubarb stalks...and then went back and picked the ones off the ground that had fallen on my way inside. Rhubarb piles are like laundry...some of the socks and undies always fall out when you are carrying the laundry pile. Sorry for saying undies while discussing food...

For the first rhubarb recipe - I had been told that rhubarb juice is delish, but I had never made it. In fact, I had never even tasted it! How could I, lover of all things sweet and sour, have missed out! So I googled it, and it was EASY! I am going to make this every day! So if you want to make your own - check out the recipe below. And the colour! It looks like kool-aid but tastes like HEAVEN.

Rhubarb Juice:

2 ½ lbs rhubarb, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Quarts of water
3 cups sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Cook the rhubarb and water on medium heat until soft. Mash rhubarb up with potato masher. Strain. Add sugar and lemon juice. Chill.
*Amazing with gingerale or club soda!!!

And then came the rhubarb crumble. Of course, my favourite person, Martha Stewart, gave this to me personally. And by Martha Stewart, I mean the editors of Everyday Food magazine. And by personally, I mean delivered in the mail. I need to make another one, since this was all eaten by the helpful hubby and I want one of my own, because I like to gorge on food like that.

Rhubarb Crumble:

6 Tb unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix with your hands until large pieces form. Scatter over filling.

Fruit filling:
2 pounds of rhubarb, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Place in a 8-inch baking dish (square or round is fine). Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes, tenting loosely with foil after the first 30 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Last but not least, the Foddess' rhubarb cake. I tweaked it a little and made it into muffins. The recipe is on her website here. I just put it in lined muffin tins and baked for about 25 minutes. YUM! Keep in mind, this cake is very moist, so don't under bake it. Part of these were also given away to a friend's hubby - this one put new brakes in my truck - hooray! Fun food fact - I have met women who don't like rhubarb (criminal!) but never men...who knows...but a man with rhubarb is a happy man.

On a side note, my neighbour then lovingly gifted me with more rhubarb from HIS garden. So I froze it. It will make a lovely dessert next week. I am worn out!

Happy Canada Day and Independence Day to everyone!!!

June 25, 2012

Adventures in Auction-going!

Come and check out our new blog!

So this spring/summer, I have discovered a wonderful new hobby! Going to auctions! I go with a good friend from my book club, and we always have a blast!
On a recent trip, we were more adventurous than usual - it has been raining for a few days...and the auction was on an guess the rest - it was MUDDY! But what is mud if not the perfect excuse to wear my new plaid rubber boots! And did they ever do the job!
So here's how the day went:

Muddy boots!

9:00 AM - Finally drag my exhausted butt to Robin's place to pick her up - the boots are pristine

9:30 - Arrive at a country garage sale for some pre-auction shopping. I bought some old (yay - smells like mildew!) books - one of which ended up containing pressed flowers - hooray!

10:00 - Arrive at the auction property. It is raining - but easing up - but it is so muddy. I think I reverted to my nine year old self - who doesn't like that slllllllllllllurp sound your rubber boots make in really deep mud?

10:30 - We have officially done "the rounds." There are some promising pieces - both as is and for projects. But right now, they are selling the unbelievable amount of farm items. *yawn*

11:00 - Buy a hot chocolate (man, my feet are getting cold!)

11:15 - Drop my mittens in the mud. And here I thought my feet were going to be the only cold part of my body today...

11:30 - Brave the port-a-potty. Ew.

12:30 - Sneak my wet mittens onto the closed BBQ lid to steam them dry.

12:45 - Buy a burger. And hot chocolate #2

1:00 - Are they ever going to get to the household stuff???

1:30 - Wander aimlessly while sneakily checking out 2 hot farm boys at the auction with their Mama.

3:00 - FINALLY! Time to buy stuff!

3:15 - Crap! I didn't know that magazine rack was being sold!

3:20 - Buy the magazine rack off of a lady who thought I was a crazy person for even wanting it.

3:30 - So this is how this is going - the group today is overspending country folk. I am not paying THAT much for THAT dresser!

3:32 - Wheee! Vintage Samsonite hat box! In pale blue!

4:00 - Peace out - the stuff I wanted is going for ridiculous prices.

But overall, a great day! C'mon, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And Robin and I could spend hours people watching at auctions! The downside - cute farms boys get nasty looks on their pretty faces when you bid them up on antique vanity dressers their Mama's want to buy. Lesson learned.

But back to the magazine rack. I get why she didn't want it. It was a small slice of ugly. But I saw its potential (That's the word your teacher used when you were crap at school but she knew it was only because you were being so darn lazy).

Here is it, in all its faux-wood, rusted glory (nothing a little steel wool won't fix!)

But then, some white paint, a little scrapbooking paper, and it is cute! Retro lines, some nice  patina on the metal. I love it!


April 11, 2012

Recycling: My Confession

Come and check out our new blog!

I have a confession - it hurts to admit that someone who claims to be an "Eco-Housewife" will admit something like this, but here goes...


There it is. And it is gross! But sometimes when the kitchen is really messy, and I see the recycled all piled on the deck, and I just want to get it cleaned up, I throw stuff out. A little cardboard here, a little plastic container there. Hey, I'm not perfect, but it's just not cool. Especially since my community only picks up garbage every two weeks, I really should recycle all I can.

And then it happened! Curbside pickup! Not municipal pickup, but a local lady who charges a great rate to come by once a week to pick up my recyclables. YAY! It suits my busy lifestyle, I can stay on top of the piles of recycling building on my deck, and I can sleep better at night knowing I am lessening my landfill contribution. :)

And then I found out this happens all over the place - in my parents city in BC, in other Alberta communities. Hooray! So all you lazy recyclers have NO EXCUSES!

And I feel better having gotten all of that off my chest! Whew!

April 1, 2012

Here comes the...sun?

Come and check out our new blog!

April has finally rolled into place, but one look out my patio door reminds me what is really out there - a ton of work!
Time to strip out all the dead plants from last year, freshen up the bark mulch (seems to be the only way to keep the cat poop away). Time to plan the big projects, and to start plotting where and what flowers to put in.
I am exhausted just looking at it.
Exhausted but excited; every spring is a chance to start fresh. Veggies or flowers? Raised beds? Re-stain the deck?
Now all I need is a nice warm day to get started!