Raspberry Iced Tea

2 qts. cold water
4 Louisianne family-sized tea bags
1 can frozen raspberry juice (undiluted)
1 c. sugar
10 fresh peppermint leaves
2 lemons, sliced

Raspberry Iced TeaBring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. When just boiling, add tea bags and turn off burner (but do not remove pan from burner). Let steep for 5 minutes.

In a large 3 qt. pitcher, pour sugar and spoon frozen raspberry juice at the bottom. When tea is steeped, pour hot tea over the sugar and juice. Stir thoroughly. Add cold water to within one inch of the top of the pitcher. Stir and serve with a peppermint leaf and slice of lemon over ice.

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Make a Batch of Bubble Mixture!

If you are looking for a fun craft for your kids this summer, check out what my daughter and I made–homemade bubble mixture!

It is very inexpensive and easy to make. One bowl kept my daughter entertained for most of the summer. This bubble recipe works out great if you are short on funds but need something fun and creative for your kids to do.

Here is what you will need to create your own bubble mixture:

1/2  cup dishwashing detergent (I used Dawn or Joy– I purchased it from the Dollar Store)
4-1/2  cup water
4 tablespoons glycerin
(available in pharmacies)

When you are ready to make a batch, this is how you mix it:

Measure out the water, detergent, and glycerin into container with a cover and stir gently. Note: The longer you let the mixture set, the larger the bubbles are and the longer they seem to last.

We had loads of fun playing with this bubble mixture! It kept hands and bodies busy instead of saying,
“Moooom, I’m bored!”

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Homemade Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream

Frozen Ice Cream Maker (This one requires no ice or rock salt–cool!!)

1 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 c. homogenized milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 T. vanilla extract

Stir the condensed milk into the homogenized milk. Scrape well from the sides and mix thoroughly. Dissolved sugar in the milk and add cream. Cool the mix in the refrigerator for one hour. Add vanilla and begin to follow the instructions for freezing with your ice cream maker.

1 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 c. homogenized milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I like the Dutch process kind by Penzey’s.)
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water

Stir the condensed milk into the homogenized milk. Scrape well from the sides and mix thoroughly. Dissolved sugar in the milk and add cream. Cool the mix in the refrigerator for one hour. Blend the cocoa and sugar together. While heating water to 180 degrees, add in the cocoa-sugar mixture. Mix slowly and stir constantly. Allow the mix to cool to refrigerator temperature for one hour longer. Follow the instructions for freezing with your ice cream maker.

** These recipes are from the 1997 April/ May issue of Compressed Air magazine and formulated by Penn State’s, Dr. Philip Keeney. Their practices are public knowledge–and their ice cream is SO GOOD!

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Funnel Cake

2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
2 c. milk (may need to add a tablespoon or two more based on the consistency of the batter)
1 c. canola or sunflower oil (for frying)
Mix first five ingredients together thoroughly. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Put batter into a funnel, holding your thumb over the hole until ready to pour. Pour batter into oil in a criss-cross motion, covering the bottom of the pan. If the batter is too thick to go through the funnel hole, add a tablespoon or two more milk. Cook to a light brown on both sides. Then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon. I like these shakers. Serve while hot.

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How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Yes, corn tortillas can be really inexpensive at the store.

Yes, it can get messy making homemade ones.

Yes, it does take a little time to get them to come out right.

However, it is SO worth it!

I recently got a tortilla maker. I have never used one before, so I was bound and determined to learn how to use it and make fresh corn and flour tortillas.

I have heard how tasty and fresh homemade ones are.

I wanted to experience it for myself.

The verdict?


It wasn’t that hard to make them once I got the hang of it. They cook up quick and taste really, really delicious!

Here is how to make your own. Even if you don’t have a tortilla maker, you can still make them using wax paper and the backside of pot.

Homemade Corn Tortillas


1 3/4 cups masa

1 1/8 cups of hot water


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together masa and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high.
  3. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of wax paper. Don’t try to pull the paper off of both sides. Just remove one side and place the other side face up and tortilla on the griddle. In just a few seconds you can pull the other side of the wax paper off.
  4. Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.

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2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 jalapeños (can add one extra for more heat)
3 cloves garlic
2 t. Accent seasoning
2 t. salt
1/4 c. fresh cilantro

Drain 1/2 c. juice from the tomatoes into blender. Add garlic, jalapeños, Accent, salt and cilantro. Blend thoroughly.

Drain rest of juice from tomatoes into sink, then add tomatoes to blender. Pulse gently about three or four times for chunky salsa. May blend thoroughly for smooth salsa. Great with these, Tostitos Sensations Red Chile & Lime Tortilla Chips.

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Banana Puddin’

1 1/3 c. sugar
2 T. flour
pinch of salt
2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 stick butter
1 box Nilla Wafers
1 large container Cool Whip, thawed
8 ripe bananas, sliced (May want to sprinkle a bit of fruit fresh on top of the slices to keep bananas from turning brown.)

Stir together in large sauce pan, 1 1/3 c. sugar, 2 T. flour, pinch of salt, 1 c. milk. Heat on medium-low for 5 minutes. Stir together eggs and 1 c. milk in dish. Slowly stir into pan mixture. Cook on medium low, stirring frequently until mixture coats the spoon. Remove custard from heat and add vanilla and butter. Cool.

In a trifle dish (I like this one from Pampered Chef), layer wafers, 2 bananas, then 1/3 custard mixture, then 1/3 whipped topping. Then layer wafers, 2 bananas, 1/3 custard mixture, whipped topping. Then layer wafers, 2 bananas, 1/3 custard mixture, whipped topping and last two bananas on top. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

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Pizza Dough

For our family, Friday nights are pizza pajama night.  We sometimes buy a pizza, but many times, we make one from scratch.  This is the dough we use, and every single time, it works out and tastes wonderful.

1 c. warm water
1/2 t. sugar
1 envelope yeast or 2 1/2 t. bread machine yeast
3 c. flour (plus 1/4 c. extra for kneading)
1 t. salt
1 T. olive oil

In a glass measuring cup, mix 1/4 c. warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour and salt. Pour in 3/4 c. warm water and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and add yeast mixture. Mix thoroughly again. Knead on floured surface for 5 minutes (leave surface with flour for later). Make a ball. Place in cleaned large bowl and cover with a hand towel. Let rise for 2 hours.

Punch down dough and knead on floured surface again for one minute. Roll out pizza for crust. This makes two 10 inch in diameter thin crust pizzas or one deep dish or two calzones.

Place crust on pizza pan and add toppings. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Traditional Toppings for Pizza

This is our usual sauce and toppings for our homemade pizza dough on Friday nights.  We oftentimes enjoy this pizza over a game or movie as a family.  It is a rich part of our family tradition–our Pizza Pajama night.

1 can petite cut tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
3 T. ketchup
1/2 t. oregano
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. dry white cooking wine
1/4 t. pepper
1 small onion finely minced (optional)
1 c. sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 T. olive oil

Sweet sauce:
Sauté onion (opt.), garlic and mushrooms (opt.) for 2 minutes in olive oil. Add tomatoes, paste, water, wine, sugar, ketchup, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix and simmer on low heat (with the lid on) for 30 minutes.

Spread evenly over pizza dough.

Then add your favorite toppings:
pineapple chunks
Canadian bacon
cooked sausage
cooked hamburger
sliced olives
minced onions
bell peppers

Then top with 2 c. mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan. Cook in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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