Country Cook News – August 30, 2013

Hi Everyone!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Some of my back-to-school memories are from my own school days but most come from putting my children on the bus after their summer holiday. Back in the day, my kids took their lunches to school, which for a conscientious mom is always a challenge. I frequently wondered what they actually ate from their lunch boxes and what they traded.

One time I was sending hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows in my son’s Superman thermos throughout the winter, then one day Brian asked. “Mom, can you make the chocolate milk in my school thermos into hot chocolate?” So it goes for the efficiency of a super hero thermos.  All boys seem to love cookies, so I often sent cookies in Brian’s lunch. I learned later that he was eating the cookies before getting on the school bus.

I suspect the same thing happened with many of the homemade goodies I put in his lunch, including another back-to-school favorite, Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.

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BLOG OF THE WEEK
Rural Mom is really a fun fall and back-to-school blog. It’s a blog that touches my heart; perhaps it takes me back to the days when I was raising my own kids on a farm. In any case, Rural Mom has it all: Canning, kids crafts, down-home recipes including gluten-free and dairy-free, family projects, coupons, giveaways, giving-back-to-the-community and the championing of children projects and much more. Perhaps one very helpful and timely article on the Rural Mom blog is 5 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Computer Purchases, which could save families some serious $$$s this time of year. This is a very wholesome family living type blog, the kind of site I like to recommend to moms and grandmothers. One recipe on the Rural Mom blog that I’ll be trying soon is Farm Fresh Recipe: Autumn Squash Baked Chicken and Rice, it looks like classic fall meal. You can find Rural Mom on Facebook and Twitter @ruralmoms.

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A QUOTE FROM IRMA
Never have more children than you have car windows.~ Irma Bombeck

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CANE SUGAR AND SWEETENERS
Will Cook For Friends has posted two articles about sweeteners of various sorts that come from sugar cane. Articles are well-worth the read:  Part 1 Sugar Cane and How Its Made and Part 2, Sweet Talk: Molasses, Treacle and Sorghum Syrup.
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WHAT’S THE BEST COLD CEREAL?
These days few of us have 25 minutes to stand at the stove cooking steel cut oats for breakfast. Here’s a “what’s for breakfast” news tip from Yahoo News that separates the good cereals from the not-so-good cereals. This old fashioned breakfast will get the kids out the door and raring to go.

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CB’s KITCHEN (LAUNDRY) TIP

MAKE STAINS DISAPPEAR: Original Dawn Dish Washing Liquid will remove most soil from washable clothing. It works well for everyday stains but especially well on oil, grease and salad dressing stains. Put a dab on the soiled spot, rub area gently, and then wash as usual. Presto, it’s clean!

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BUMPER CROP COVER GETS AWARD
This week I received a surprise from TheBookDesigner.com telling me Bumper Crop: Beginning with Apples had received a gold star badge from their July e-book Cover Design Awards. Last year I had the cover redesigned by Brown Media in Ireland. I was very pleased with Brown Media’s design, yet it’s always a thrill to receive kudos from an outside entity. If you’d like a free copy of Bumper Crop: Beginning with Apples, send your request to books@porkchopsandapplesauce.net. This is a PDF file that you can leave on your desktop or print out for easy reference. If you’d like a free Kindle version, copies are available on Smashwords or 99¢ through Amazon Kindle store. I’d love to get your input on the new cover…

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GOT KIDS GOING TO COLLEGE?

Here’s an article from stagetecture.com that will help get your college age kids get in the groove to organize and jazz-up their dorms. Whether they know it or not, they will miss the comforts of home, so why not create a away-from-home sanctuary? Check out Stagetecture.com for terrific ideas on home living, decorating and entertaining. They also offer a college freshman check list from IKEA that might help lower the anxiety level for some parents.

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LUNCH BOX IDEAS
Here are some lunch snack ideas from Shugarysweet.com , momalwaysfindsout.com has a Rubbermaid Lunchbox Giveaway, from The Foodie Army Wife we have Sausage Roll-ups that will travel in a lunchbox or to a party as an appetizer, and here are 25 Back To School Lunch Box Ideas from Food.com.

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FROM PBS PARENTS
Picky Eaters: Introduce them to new foods when they’re hungry. It’s harder to tempt them when their stomachs are full.

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ASK CYNTHIA A QUESTION – AUGUST 30, 2013
Judy asked: In terms of food, what’s your favorite part of fall?

My answer: That’s an easy question. My most favorite fall food is apples. Apples are plentiful and versatile. We had 9 apple trees on our farm so it’s nearly second nature for me to whip up something using apples. But I fully enjoy the entire fall harvest. Since we’ve moved to Texas I miss some of the Washington fruit, Italian plums in particular because I used to make plum conserve. I also enjoy winter squash, which is something I used to grow in my garden. I served baked squash often with plenty of butter and brown sugar. Thanks for your question, Judy, and Happy Autumn.

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Till next time,
CB

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