Happy Halloween!


We only did a half day of school today. One math lesson and two Biology lessons. Those are our thickest books. If we get behind in those, we may never catch up!

We are staying in tonight and going to enjoy some Halloween treats at home and watch Ernest Scared Stupid. You just have to love Ernest movies!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!


Villi Yogurt Is Super Easy to Make!


I couldn’t believe how easy my Viili yogurt starter from Cultures for Health was to activate! I had a pint of yogurt in about 18 hours after stirring the culture packet into two cups of milk.

After chilling it for 6 hours, it was gone in no time at all! Good thing I saved 4 tablespoons of yogurt to make another quart last night. I just added the 4 tablespoons that I reserved to a quart of milk, stirred, left it on the counter, and woke to a quart of deliciously thick yogurt. I love this stuff!


Wrapping Gifts & Christmas Candy


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 🙂

I started wrapping gifts last weekend.

In fact, I am completely done with Christmas shopping for my kids.

The stressful part is over. All that’s left now is enjoying my family.

And making Christmas goodies!

We snacked on Saltine Candy Toffee while we watched Columbo last Sunday night.

My neighbor brought us a plate last Christmas, so now it will forever be Christmas candy to us! 🙂


Saltine Candy Toffee

  • 1 cup butter (do NOT use margarine)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (11 ounce) package chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)
  • 40 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (whatever you like, optional, optional) (optional) or 1 cup walnuts (whatever you like) (optional)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Line jelly roll pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Lay crackers out flat on foil.
  3. Melt sugar and butter until foamy (3 minutes).
  4. Pour over crackers and spread to coat.
  5. Bake 10 minutes in 350ºF oven.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. While hot, sprinkle with chocolate chips, let soften and melt, then spread.
  8. Sprinkle with nuts.
  9. Let cool.
  10. Refrigerate until hardened.
  11. Break into pieces like peanut brittle.


Jackolanterns, Pumpkin Seeds, & Sugar Cookies

We had a fun-filled Halloweeny weekend. 🙂

These sugar cookies are super delicious and the dough, once thoroughly chilled, is easy to work with. Let it get cold, really cold!

Pumpkins and Bats. Madison made the colored sugar. We think we may have used a Christmas ball cookie cutter, but you can't really tell.

Pumpkins and Bats. Madison made the colored sugar. We think we may have used a Christmas ball cookie cutter, but you can’t really tell.

I copied the recipe out of a cook book that I borrowed from my mother-in-law. I think it was a Betty Crocker book.

Traditional Sugar Cookies

3/4 cups shortening(part butter or margarine softened)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla or 1/2 tsp lemon extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring. Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; chill atleast 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400º. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered boatd. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes or until very light brown.

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Mario Mushroom, Paw Print, and Hello Kitty

We “carved” our pumpkins using a coloring page, thumb tack, and drill.

Madison's Hello Kitty

Madison’s Hello Kitty

McKenzie's Paw Print

McKenzie’s Paw Print

Quentin Jr.'s Mario Mushroom

Quentin Jr.’s Mario Mushroom

You must save your pumpkin seeds! They are so delicious.


We followed this tutorial. They really did turn out perfectly.

How to Perfectly Roast Pumpkin Seeds


  • seeds from a pumpkin (4-6 cups)
  • water
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  1. Clean pumpkin seeds and throw out all pumpkin residue.
  2. Soak pumpkin seeds covered in water and swish around until all loose particles float and scoop them off and discard.
  3. Just when you think you’ve rinsed them enough, place them on a baking sheet and sort through them to remove any pumpkin pieces or residue.
  4. This takes time, but the cleaner the pumpkin seeds are the nicer they will look and the crispier they will bake up.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Place pumpkin seeds into saucepan and cover with with water add a teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and cook on medium low for 10 minutes.
  8. Strain seeds and then place seeds in a bowl with a teaspoon or two of olive oil to lightly coat the seeds and sprinkle them with salt.
  9. Pour them out onto baking sheets in a thin layer.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes tossing them every 10 minutes and being careful not to brown them.
  11. Test the pumpkin seeds to check for doneness.
  12. They should be dry, crisp and the inside seed should not be brown, it should be a green color.

Deer Bologna


We were pretty sure Quentin’s last deer would not fit in the freezer.

It was the third deer coming in the house in just a short period of time.

We do love our deer meat but can’t eat it up that fast!

So we decided to have the whole deer made into bologna minus the tenderloins.

And what a good decision it turned out to be!

It is very good. Nothing at all like store bought bologna. Of course store bought bologna isn’t made from deer. As far as we know anyhow.

Our favorite way to eat it is on crackers.

008It tastes a lot like summer sausage.

If one of the guys gets another deer I actually want to try making summer sausage using this recipe.

It doesn’t sound too hard. 🙂


3 lbs ground venison with no fat (deer, elk, antelope)
1 lb lean ground beef (or ground pork)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
3 tablespoons Tender Quick

Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.  Add to the ground venison and ground beef and mix thoroughly.  Form into 2-1/2 inch logs approximately 8 inches long and pack tightly.  Wrap in aluminum foil and chill for 24 hours.

Take out of the refrigerator and piece several times through the foil.  Bake on a broiler rack over a broiler pan at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.  Take the foil off and place back on rack to finish dripping.  Rewrap and refrigerator or freeze.

simple saturdays

Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Madison made these for Quentin last night.

They were super good!!

And I just like grinding oats into flour!

The recipe came from Yammie’s Gluten Freedom.


Simple, Chewy, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Mix together the butter and sugars. The mixture will be slightly crumbly. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Mix together the soda, salt, and flour and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky. Add the chocolate chips.
Bake on ungreased baking sheets for about 10 minutes or until the edges are just becoming golden.