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Melba Toast Crackers

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

One of the easiest ways to be frugal in the kitchen is to present food differently. This helps in using what you have in creative ways, and thereby having new food, or at least food viewed as new. For instance I made a loaf of bread that was good. But no matter how good something is, it cannot be eaten everyday without getting tired of the taste.

There are many options available to eliminate waste. I could have cut the loaf in half and froze part for another time, or I could have given half to my neighbor as an act of generosity and friendship, or I could make crackers from the remaining bread and have a new type of food to enjoy and eliminate waste at the same time. Lets re-purpose bread into crackers.


Here is approximately 1/3 loaf of the bread, left after several breakfast. Although I have enjoyed this loaf, it is time to make something more from this and eliminate it from being pushed aside and left to waste.


Using an electric knife (quick breads are more crumbly, than yeast breads) which I prefer, cut slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Prepare a large baking sheet, I used coconut oil to film it lightly.


Take a small amount of coconut oil and "cream" it on a plate with a spoon. I have found that a spoon will spread the coconut oil on the bread slices easier than a knife will.


Cut the slices in half ( this is easier if you stack them up in 2 side by side stacks, and run the knife down the center), arrange on the tray and gently spread (or smear) a small dab, about 1/4 t of coconut oil on each piece. This is not specific, simply smear a bit of oil on each piece.

Homemade Melba Toast Crackers
Homemade Melba Toast Crackers

Place in a 250 degree oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and crisping. Turn oven off and leave to dry, while oven cools. Keep the oven door closed. When cool, make sure there are no moisture pockets, you may need to preheat the oven, bake 5 minutes and then turn off and let finish drying.

Note: This will be based upon your oven and the density of the bread being made into crackers.

That's it, re-purposed bread into crackers. Made with the ingredients you want to eat, so you know that they will be good for you. Great as a snack, or with meals like soup or stew. Crunchy and good!

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


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This post is part of Tuesday Twister , Two for Tuesday  ,
Pennywise Platter , Food Renegade and Foodie Friday.
6

Chocolate Cardamom Cake

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chocolate Cardamom Cake
Chocolate Cardamom Cake
Last week's oats and prune bread, was delicious. I enjoyed thick slices for breakfast toasted and spread with butter. I would think that most folks place prunes in that category, you know on the quick bread or muffin list. Prunes are elegant too, now wait, yes they are. Look at what we are making today.......

Chocolate Prune Cardamom Cake
adapted from: Kitchenography
350 degree oven

Steeping step:
3/4 c water
1/4 c sherry
3/4 c prunes

Heat water and sherry to almost boiling, add prunes, cover with a lid, turn off heat.


Leave on stove burner to steep, until lukewarm. When steeping is complete, drain well. (Reserve liquid for another use if desired*) and chop prunes into 1/2 inch dice. Reserve.


Cake:
1 c flour
2 T dry baking cocoa - plus additional cocoa to dust the baking pan
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder









1/2 c oil
1 t vanilla
1 egg
3/4 c sugar


1 T lemon juice and enough milk to make 1/2 cup total liquid - let sit while assembling ingredients


In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together to combine. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients, whisk to beat well, the mixture will fall in a ribbon from the whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, along with 1/2 of the soured milk. Combine well, add remaining milk, whisking to combine. Beat will for 1 - 2 minutes. Batter will look glossy and fall in a ribbon from whisk. Fold in the steeped prunes.

Prepare an 8 inch spring form pan, and dust with additional cocoa.


Tap out an excess cocoa powder. Pour in the cake batter.

Bake 30 minutes or until tests done in your oven. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes. Run a spatula or thin knife around edge of cake to make sure it is free from the pan. Leave in spring form pan to cool completely.


Carefully run a spatula around the edge of the cooled cake, this will help when you are ready to remove the ring, after glazing.


Glaze:
2 T butter
2T milk
1/2 c semi sweet chocolate (chips)
1/2 c powder sugar

Heat butter, milk and chocolate until hot and chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until smooth, whisk in powder sugar, whisking until smooth. Return to burner on low and whisk until shiny. Pour over cake, and carefully rotate cake to "spread" to edges of the pan. Let cool.


 Run a thin knife around the edge of the glaze to separate from the pan. Set spring form pan on serving plate, carefully remove ring from around cake.

Serves 8 - 10, serve with a whipped cream crown or a small ball of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!
0

Jars of happiness, no canning equipment needed.

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...

I love gift giving, I love gift giving from the heart even more. All of my favorite gifts have been love inspired, some purchased and the others made at home, just for me. Or by me, I give gifts too!

As I have made little changes along the way to the slower life I want to get back to, gifts made at home, play a larger and larger role. Never once have I ever thought as I travel this familiar path back to my old, new life, gifts will not be given.

A quieter life, made at home is not about removing the joys of celebration, gifts and visiting. It is about life lived, enjoyed and created at home. Homemade. With care. With pride. For those you love and care about.

I have been gifted to, very generously in my life. I love gift giving so much, I tend to gift to others in the same fashion. It is not unusual to get multiple gifts on birthdays or special occasions. One of the gifts might be a jar of happiness.

I have made quote jars for a landmark birthday, where there is a quote for each year celebrated. This is especially fun for a birthday of say age 50 or so. You can fill a good sized jar and have fun in the process.

You can find quotes at many different sources, or make up anything you want. If they have a serious funny bone, jokes are fun. Or even questions to answer. Mini Crossword puzzles can be fun, especially if they say something special and meaningful to the person receiving the gift. What would be fun for your gift giving occasion? 

Here are some quote links, also a quick internet search will reveal many more.
http://www.quotegarden.com/wise-words.html

http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/

http://www.filmsite.org/greatfilmquotes.html


This is a jar I received. I enjoy it daily, and have read the little notes many times. It sits on the bookshelf in my little computer/sewing/cookbook shelf/grandma's toy-box and sleep over couch/ room!


This is a memories jar. Each piece of paper is a memory written down by a member of the family. A simple jar, decorated with care and full of happiness. It is the little things, they really are the biggest gifts of all!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!



This is linked to:
Fresh Clean and Pure @ la bella vita
Simple Lives Thursday.
and Make it from Scratch 
4

Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cake with Walnuts

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts
Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts

Like my cooking, this blog is subject to my going back and making a change in already posted recipes. Such is the case with the Chocolate mint zucchini bread with walnuts. I had put notes in bold script on how to turn that basic recipe into a cake. Well that is simply not going to work, I don't know what I was thinking (or not thinking as the case may be!).

When I purchased the zucchini, I made sure I got enough to cook at least 2 recipes from it. It was a real toss up I will tell you, the Tomato Zucchini Gratin or this cake. The deciding factor? It is simply that the mint is coming to an end. I really wanted to perfect this little cake, so much so, that I can't let it go, I needed to make it.You can bet I will go out to the organic farmer again, real soon!

Zucchini Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Walnut Garnish
by the seat of my pants!
oven 350

2 c flour
1/2 c dry baking cocoa
1 1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda

Combine in a large bowl, then add

2 eggs
3/4 c yogurt (or buttermilk)
2 t vanilla
1/2 c oil

Beat well for 2 minutes with an electric mixer, stir in


1 1/2 c grated zucchini (3 small to medium zucchini )
1/3 c chiffonade mint leaves


when mixed well, stir in

2 c chocolate chips


Pour into 3 - 5 small loaf pans, it will depend upon your pan size OR a standard 9X5 loaf pan.

garnish with chopped walnuts (this is where I like walnuts, on top to get golden and toasted!)


bake 35 - 40 minutes for small loaf size, up to 55 minutes for standard loaf size. Let cool 10 minutes, turn out and cool completely.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!
1

How to Make a Homemade Gift Bag

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...



I come from a long line of gleaners! During times of good humor, my Mother was know to describe herself as a "natural born junk picker". But gleaning is not the same as picking through junk. Gleaning is the gathering, of the usable. This could be food in a field or tree, as well as needed information to complete a project.

I have been know to take gleaning an addition step. I enjoy and find it a challenge to glean the usable, and make something more from it. Of course I always remember my manners, and only glean when it is appropriate. In my last position, each Thursday my boss would bring in coffee service from Starbucks. Everyone loved the coffee, and when the morning meeting was over, there was loads of stuff left on the conference table to clean up.

With that said, my enjoyment of gleaning would not allow simple cleaning! Any new (unused) paper coffee cups were set aside and brought home. In addition so were all the little packets of sugar in the raw. Oh and lets not forget the paper napkins. Although I do not buy paper napkins, these work great as disposable clean up wipes, for many needs. It could be the cat or even one of us!

The most fun item to bring home were the little carry out bags. They are the same size as a gift bag, and although not as pretty they can be made attractive for your best gift, in a minute, with yet another gleaned item the Sunday comics or a splashy ad.

Come on, I will show you. 
This is a simple yet fun way to make more out of what you already have, now that is my kind of frugal.

You will want to make a weight, so that your bag will not travel away from you. This is easy to do as well, simply wrap a couple of cans up in newspaper and secure with a rubber band, then you can set them in the bottom of the bag and begin making it into a gift bag.


 

At our house the gifts for children are usually wrapped in the Sunday comics. Sometime however you need a gift bag. In our Sunday paper the comic section is a full sheet and a half sheet. The next step is to put the two pieces together.

Lay the two pieces together over lapped by about 1 1/2 - 2 inches. Line up the edges and staple on the edge and then twice more, working toward the center. What I think works best is the staple the edge, move as far downward at the stapler will reach, and then again halfway in the middle. Complete this staple process on the other edge as well.

Then place a couple of pieces of tape in the center, simply to keep it stable.


Place the weight in the bottom of the bag. Lay the bag down on the paper, and start "wrapping" the bag. It does not matter if the paper is upside down or downside up. It is a funny paper gift bag. But if you have a preference, now is the time to make that happen.


For continuity I like to have where the two pieces come together on the corner edge, but again that is not absolutely necessary.

You are simply wrapping the bag in funny paper. You will want to tape the edge when the wrap is complete.

To make the bottom flat, fold the sides in, creasing the paper to keep it flat. Then fold the two remaining flaps over each other as shown, you have room to slip in the stapler and give it a couple of staples on each side. I then will take a piece of tape and tape down the point.

Stand the bag up, and begin rolling down the top. When you have rolled to with in an inch (or so) then  fold over the edge of the bag and staple.

When you get to a handle, simple tear the comic and continue to fold and staple. As you can see from the photo below, nothing appears torn.

Remove the weight and you are ready to add the gift.

It is fun to use an ad that might depict what the person receiving the gift loves as a hobby. If your gift receiving person loves to do crafts, a colorful craft store ad would be fun. You can use any type of paper you want, it is all up to you.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!



This post is being linked to Simple Lives Thursday.
6

How to Make - Tee shirt "yarn"

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...

One of my goals has been to return to crafting. I also wanted to combine this with frugality and re-purposing of already used items or something about to be discarded. Like clothing, sometimes clothes are faded, have "pilling" or are stained and they are not as usable as you might need them to be. But the fabric content is too good to simply cut up into rags.

Tee shirts hit the spot for now. I asked the family to go through their closets and only give what would of been cast away or cut into rags. I made "yarn" and learned a lot in the process.


Smooth out the tee shirt (or in this case a tee shirt night gown) and cut it in two pieces. You will make the first cut just below the sleeve. At this point you have 2 pieces from the tee shirt.

The upper part of the tee shirt that includes the sleeves, this can be cut into rags. For the "yarn" you will use the bottom part of the shirt that is a tube of material. Lay it flat and cut off the bottom hem section. Then begin cutting into 3/4 inch strips as show below.


You will cut from one side to within 1 inch of the other side.  If you want a softer less rustic yarn, you will cut into strips that are about 1/2 inch in width, but still maintain the 1 inch border on the opposite side. . 

Very important: do not cut through the other side. 

With the cutting complete, now it is time to make a continuous piece of "yarn".

 

This is rather difficult to explain. Cutting is done right to left, and diagonal, bottom to top. I have made a drawing to show the cutting pattern and help explain. 

Crude as this drawing appears, this will help you understand the cutting pattern that you must maintain to achieve one continuous piece of "yarn". The center white area represents the uncut edge, now open and flat.

Once you have made your final cuts, you are ready to decide if you want a flat ribbon type of "yarn" or tug on the strip as you roll it into a ball to make a round shape to your finished product.
done!

You may use the yarn to crochet into what you need or want. I prefer the rustic feel of a wide flat ribbon style yarn crocheted into rugs. There is no right or wrong way to to this, you may use a rectangle pattern or the old fashion classic oval. The choice is yours. I use a very large crochet hook, in my favorite color of red!

 
Shown here beside a standard size pencil for scale. 

Here are some of the rugs I have made from tee shirts.


This is the first one, made for my granddaughter.



This is a step out mat for the shower in the main bathroom. 



This red one is my favorite, I have since added a few additional rows to make it fit snug up against the toe kick under the cabinet. 

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!


This is my first entry into Simple Lives Thursday, I look forward to reading each of the other entries. There is so much to learn from each other.

This post is shared with:
Frugal Friday @ life as mom

5

Dark Molasses Gingerbread from Miss Edna Lewis

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…


I really like Gingerbread. I spent some time this morning looking around at the largest Gingerbread recipe collection out there, Google! It is fun to search and find, but you will find so many. And then, which do you finally choose to make? I have about 6 bookmarked right now. I found many different styles of recipes, and then kept on looking until I found this one that I wanted to make.

This one from Miss Edna Lewis, as featured on The Wednesday Chef. Maybe it was the gently stewed rhubarb on the side that caught my eye, but still, it is the gingerbread that I desire. I spotted it months ago, and have thought about it often since then. I did a bit of research on Miss Lewis, she was a very interesting lady. Brave and feisty and also a  great cook. Just possibly her personality is what influenced me to want to bake this gingerbread. You see, I like feisty!

Now it would be real easy to think, that on a Sunday morning I get to walk into the kitchen and simply start in, and complete the whole recipe from start to finish, taking great photo shots along the way. But alas no, this is a real kitchen where sometimes I run low on a needed ingredient. Today is exactly a day like that. I do not have enough molasses to complete the recipe until a trip to the store has been completed.

However I am unable to get to the store right now, you see Honey worked the late shift last night and parked in a spot that renders my car prisoner until he is up for the day. I just don't have the heart to wake a tired man while he sleeps.

While I wait for his waking, I have kept busy and completed a couple other tasks. I picked the raspberries and the white currents. Oh and I took some rhubarb out of the freezer to thaw, maybe some gently stewed rhubarb will be served with our gingerbread.


Dark Molasses Gingerbread
from:  Miss Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
350 degree oven
1 stick butter, plus more to butter baking pan
2 c cake flour *
1/4 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
e eggs
1 1/2 c molasses

Bring 1 c water to a boil, add stick of butter, set aside to let butter melt.


Whisk together flour and all dry ingredients. Whisk water into flour mixture.


Beat eggs and molasses, whisk until eggs are beaten. Whisk into flour water mixture, continue to whisk until smooth.




Pour into buttered 8 inch cake pan. Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

A skewer inserted into the center will come out with no unbaked batter sticking to it, the interior of the cake will be moist.

Let cool, serves 8.


Mascarpone and yogurt  with vanilla
Serves 8
1 container 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
1/3 c powder sugar
1/2 c greek style yogurt
1 t vanilla

Beat cheese, beat in remaining ingredients, beat until fluffy. Serve with Gingerbread and stewed fruit.

Enjoy!

PS
* I do not keep cake flour, but here is a homemade version.


For each cup of cake flour needed:

Spoon flour lightly into cup, level off. Remove 2 T flour and place back into your flour canister. Pour measured flour into bowl, add 2 T corn starch, whisk until completely incorporated into the flour. Then sift together again.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

This post shared with:
Decidedly Healthy or Horribly Decadent@ ceo a's draiocht
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