Sunday, February 21, 2016

Copyright information

I thought this info was worth sharing.  I have been using public domain art for years, however the world of information sharing has grown beyond belief.  It is pretty easy to see a Matisse as public domain, not so easy with the billions of images floating around on Google, Bing and Pintrest!  If you are putting your original artwork anywhere on the internet I advise you to watermark it.  If you don't there are a lot of business and people out there trolling for images and they will use and may even take credit and earn from your work!
Please note the credits and my thanks to The Blue Bottle Tree for sharing!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

DIY protein powder!

I have been purchasing protein powders for about 10 years some are good, some are gaggers! Steve
can't eat soy or dairy so finding a decent mix has been a challenge!. The last container of powder was $45.00 and that was on sale with a military discount!! 
We are middle age and looking for an anti inflammatory immune boosting morning smoothie. no body building going on here - excersize yes, running yes, health and vitality, post cancer, general wellness, yes!
.So I thought why can't I make my own with the vitamix dry container? Well I sure did! I used Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Chia seeds, Almonds and a few Dates! ground it all up (separately and then mixed). Added this to our drink and it was fabulous!! The Chia seeds gave it a slight gelatinous texture adding to the smoothness of the smoothie. and cost was about 1.00 for the pound I made. The protien content? Well I didn't take the time to figure it out ( I didn't feel I needed to), I added a quarter cup to the blend for the two of us. Yum!

Basic idea for the Protein Powder: 2 cups oats, 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup Chia, 1/2 cup Quinoa, 1/4 cup Date crumbles. I washed the rice and quinoa then dried in the oven and I always blanch and dehydrate my nuts. Doing this to the nuts activates the amino and fatty acids, removes the bitter taste (especially in walnuts) I soak the nuts over night in filtered water, make sure you have lots of water in the bowl. Then I rinse, rinse rinse. The nuts will plump up and whiten a bit. Then I put them on a parchment cookie sheet and put in my oven on 170 for about the whole day. The nuts then dehydrate and once you try this you will never go back to eating them with out blanching - they are soooo goood! then I store in a glass jar. I add a few other things for  anti inflammatory, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.  It tastes great!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you found this helpful!
Ginny M

Friday, February 19, 2016

A supporting challenge

I own a face book group called Christian Card Makers, it purpose is to be a place for art resource and fellowship.  With so many of the groups and swap clubs rejecting cards with bible verses I want a place I could share my digital art and make cards without criticism. We're small only about 75 members, but we are active and do lots of fun things!  There are a few members that make cards to support charities and the group helps them in their efforts.  This month we had a 6x6 pad challenge some of the cards went overseas to cheer a friend in hospice, the remainder went to a member who has a huge Chemo Angel list.   From the batch of cards I made I will be keeping a few for my own correspondence, the sentiments wouldn't be appropriate for the Chemo Angel work.

This is my 6x6 pad, a few sheets were missing - I love this pad and was really tempted to not use it (insert H word here)!

The cards:

They are pretty simple and Yes It is okay to use Mary Engelbreit's' calendar pages in this manner, I have written permission.

If you are interested in joining my Facebook Christian Card Makers group, leave me a comment.  It is a secret group ( I was getting hassled leaving it open)  There are no requirements, it is all about sharing the resources I have accumulated over the years, the Word  and of course fellowship!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Word Art Wednesday Challenge # 220

It is a Beautiful Spring day here in South West Texas, It will be up in the 80's again and the air is so fragrant with the smell of the mountain cedars.  It is also Word Art Wednesday's 220th Family Friendly Challenge! I hope you can take the time to enter in this weeks challenge, we have some lovely prizes and always an inspiring devotion by Karen Letchworth!

This weeks verse by Karen Murray:

Such a beautiful verse, so encouraging!  This will make wonderful cards!

I kept my card very simple this week,
Using a Magenta Stamp on water color paper  and Heat embossing:

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you  have a wonderful day!!
Ginny M

Monday, February 15, 2016

Yum, who doesn't like homemade bread?

Today I'm going to share a recipe and method  for my bread mixes.
I'm not sure if I have ever heard of someone that did not love homemade bread,  unfortunately time is always a factor in our modern world and getting that beautiful crusty loaf out of your oven some time before midnight can be a challenge.  I'm going to share a little system I have.  I have spent the last 10 years working on bread recipes and methods in an effort to get a good loaf of bread suitable for sandwiches and toast.  Some were great and some went straight to the trash can.  This is kind of a non nonsense approach and I am sure this isn't the most healthy loaf you can produce, but it is an A+ in the taste category.  After playing around with all kinds of flours this is my BASIC sandwich bread recipe.   This recipe is from  a Cuisinart cook book
I make the following substitutions: I use half unbleached white flour and half of my own grind.  My grind consists of Kamut, Barley, Oats, Chick pea, Cannellini Bean flours; pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. You can substitute whole wheat flour  or use white flour. 
 I have switched from a Great River unbleached white flour to King Arthur unbleached.  Why?  Well it tastes great, it is unbleached and not brominated and it is cheap.  I pay less than 4.00 per 5lb bag. The Great River flour had the same attributes but it King Arthur is $.79 cents a pound 
and Great river is $1.88.  
I am not trying to slam any brand, I am just relaying my findings.
I also add 4 tablespoons of good olive oil instead of 3 tbs of butter.

You can also add all kind of yummy things to this recipe, I make a veggie bread using dehydrated veggies; spinach and cheese bread and a sweeter bread with  cranberries.
It is all wonderful and it gives you the extra health benefit of having to spend more time on the tread mill.   Just remember, portion and self control and you will be all set!

Here is the fun part, I make this up in batches about a months worth at a time.  So all I have to do is add liquids to my bread machine and drop in a mix, A few hours later I have a wonderful crusty loaf of bread waiting.  I do this with pizza dough too!

I give this whole process about 2 hours of time (a month) , grind, measure and pack and label and clean up.





I have the instructions taped inside my cabinet, for each mix ( not going to even try to remember).

Bread Machine on stand by:


My grinds require That I use them within the month, so I make sure I date the containers.
I make 12 mixes a month and give a couple away along with a gift tag and the instructions.
Pizza dough I do about 4.  We don't have any gluten problems but we try to watch what we eat and balance these breads and pastas with lots of veggies, fruits and quality proteins.

I hope you find this helpful an I am glad you stopped by!
Ginny M

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to the grind

Yesterday I spent the day in the kitchen, grinding, making flour.  Last year I taught myself to can and make all kinds of preserves, what fun that was and my excuse was, we could get hit with the mother of all snow storms.  I think there is a part of me that wants to be a "prepper", either that or it is the old me that has survived layoffs, blackouts, fires, nor'easters and floods and the military shutdowns (which means no paychecks). Back in MA I had lots of room for pots and pans and food storage.  Here I don't.  In my Micro kitchen I think I use every inch of space, and I am now using a linen closet to hold my larger pots, pressure cooker and canning jars.  So where will I put a hundred or so jars of whatever I put up?  Oh well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it or when I have a case of fruit to turn into jam.

This week I experimented with grinding beans!  I ground Black Bean, Garbanzo and Cannellini.  These protein rich and high fiber flours will go into pasta and sauces.  My thought was to amp up the fiber and protein count.  When you do this you feel full faster and it has some nutritional value - not just a plate of carbs.

My first attempt was with the black bean flour.  

Yesterday I made Spaghetti with the flour. It was really, really good.
The Pasta had a nice color with black flecks. I served with a bright red sauce and fresh basil.
Here is the basic dough recipe

1 cup bread flour ( It is what I use - I make my own bread too)
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 cup black bean flour
2 eggs
2 tbs Olive oil
1tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
enough water to make it work.
I used an extruder, next time I will make it into fettuccine.

For my breads, I ground hard white wheat, Barley, Kamut, Pumpkin seeds and flax seed, this mix went into the refrigerator and I will use in in my breads along with The organic White flour I buy from Great River.

Is it a lot of work? Not really, but It requires some organizational efforts. I have always tried to care of my family's nutritional needs. Now it is just steve and I and we can really enjoy a whole food kitchen. There are so many benefits, the first is FLAVOR, followed by health, weight control and vitality!

Here are a few photos of the process:
These are photos of the Cannellini beans being processed:

 I did not want to run the risk of damaging my mixer  with these very large beans so I pulled out my Cuisinart DC-7 food processor - I think one of the best ever built for the home cook. I bought mine on ebay for 55.00, ten years ago and I use it all the time.  

I ran the machine for about 4 minutes to break the beans down.  You might want to use ear plugs.

After about 4 minutes:

Next I ran it through the grain mile
3 more times increasing the grind fineness each time

after about 30 minutes I had a very nice 32 oz of Cannellini bean flour.

This is wonderful for making sauces and soups as well as Pasta

I am thankful to have the tools to make all these great things, eating right has many dividends, we are almost never sick. I know people say they can't afford fresh, I say yes you can. When you don't spend money on junk foods, soda, soft drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, and then purchase medications to help your body cope with the side affects of all these toxins, you will have enough to nourish yourselves and be healthier.

It is very tempting to indulge, but that road ultimately does not lead us where we want to go! You can have everything this life has to offer, but if you don't have your health, you just can't enjoy it. I challenge you to take a look in your cabinets and freezer and see how much processed food your family eats.
Start small, buy a bread maker and follow the instructions and watch how your family reacts! Who doesn't love homemade bread?

With youTube and so many online sights we really have culinary school right at our finger tips - Good eating and a fun adventure, try it!!!

Thanks for stopping by
Ginny M

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Healthy Pizza

Is there really such a thing?  Healthy Pizza?  YES and it even tastes good!

This is the recipie I used from Bobby Flay:

and your can check the video out too! 

I substituted 2 cups of the white flour for 2 cups of cups of a whole multigrain.  I grind my own mix, but you can use  whole wheat or any whole grain flour you have on hand.  I added an additional 2 TSP of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1tsp honey ( is also use honey instead of sugar)

For topping I used 

Lots of spinach
4 sliced tomatoes
1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms -steamed sauted
1 chicken breast
1/4 cup shredded Manchego cheese
I drizzled a little more olive oil over the top, salt and pepper and onion powder ( normally I love lots of fresh sliced onions , but we were out)!
I cook my pizzas on my ancient pampered chef cooking stone at 400 degrees.
I cut the pizza into 8 pieces.  Plenty for two dinners and Steve's lunch tomorrow.

Cost $ 5.90
$1.96 per meal per person.
Last week we paid $22.00 for a large local pizza and honestly mine was better.  

I came to a rough count of calories to be about 380 per meal.  The flour is the heavyweight here calorie wise.  Using the whole grain mix, I added fiber and protein and raised the glycemic index a bit.  This pizza had a thin crispy crust  

The great thing about eating whole grains, you get fuller much faster and you don't have that awful bloated, food coma feeling afterward!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you give this a try, it is delicious and fun to make!
Ginny M

Psalm 19 and a freebie!

Hello Friends! I'm working on kits and custom orders this week .

Yesterday I used this illustration to illustrate using digital images for card making.  I thought you might enjoy it to for your digi stash!

I brought this passage in Psalms to my mind:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Psalm 19

My card:

 The bee hives are dimensional and the colors in real life are a bit brighter.  
This is going to be adapted for a kit.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!
Ginny M

Friday, February 5, 2016

Another project done

Anyone reading this post that is not a stamper or a paper crafter is probably going to think I am nuts.  Well I may be but that has nothing to do with stamping! There are two styles of stamps, mounted and unmounted.  both have their pros and cons.  I own, use and enjoy both styles.   But I stamp for pleasure and for work. and when I stamp for work I need to make sure my images are clear clean and perfect.  Unfortunately that can be hard to do when you are using a wood mounded stamp, especially if you are making a batch of 50.  The likelihood of  getting 50 straight images perfectly stamped, inked and lined up perfectly the first time is just about impossible.  There is a tool that I think is worth it's weight in gold for repetitive stamps, It is the Misti Tool ( I am not supported by the company - it is just a very good tool).  By using cling mount stamps and the Misti I can stamp card after card after card.

This also leaves me with a task of getting a whole lot of stamps off their blocks, indexed and cataloged.   I can't use these stamps if I don't know what I have or where they are

I have 5 trays of these

I've been putting this off for months

I brought the stamps and storage materials into the living room last night and started

It took 8 hours:

I've got my sentiments  cataloged.

The scriptures are all in another system nad thankfully done!

I still enjoy My wood stamps and find them inspiring.

A few years ago I unmounted about 2,000 wood stamps to save space and make them easier to use but I sure missed them on their beautiful printed blocks.  
I didn't do all of them - I haven't decided if that was a good or a bad thing!

Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M