My big news!

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My big news!

I’ve been working on a secret project for a couple months now. Wait for it…

I’m opening a store! ! An actual one. Lol The bricks and mortar kind. It’s in a resort village, so I’ll be busiest in summer and hopefully the Christmas season. I may sell online during the off seasons. At any rate, I think I’ll be busy ☺

I’ve been dreaming of my own shop for years and all of the sudden it just fell into my lap. It isn’t quite what I was envisioning but I’m going to let it decide for itself the direction it will take. So far I’m crafting up a storm in there. I had the chance to spend some time woodworking this summer and absolutely loved it. It made me resent having to go to my day job. It’s all that I thought about! Lol. I also finally got myself a new sewing machine. That was a long overdue purchase.
My new space is small but it has “Location Location Location” on its side.  I’m right beside the museum, backing the golf course and share the parking lot with the Restaraunt. Very popular place. This quiet little village virtually EXPLODES at the seams during the summer months when everyone wants to be at the lake.

This is the view out my side window. I am beside a museum and here you can see the back of the clay oven , where they make doukhobor bread. And of course, the iconic red caboose 🙂

I’ve had some help building the retail counter and display shelves.  Now I’m waiting for the weather to warm up. I’ve been putting off my work space storage area for far too long. I want to haul out my barn wood and tackle some pallets and see if i can’t make some crates and shelving. I have a sewing corner set up and need to make all my supplies look neat and tidy.

It’s becoming real! I hung up posters and my fb page is up and running.  The shop is called Wild Flowers Craft Co. https://www.facebook.com/wildflowerscraftco/. So by all means…head on over and take a peak. Remember I do plan on shipping items in my off season. So stay tuned. I’m already planning the end of season sale and the restock before Christmas. Lol So much to get excited about!

My girls love coming to “work” with me.  They’ve made many different items that have been really big sellers. Who doesn’t want to buy from kids?! They are kinda leaving me in the dust actually.  haha

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OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

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Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

 

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How I bake in a crock pot

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I’ve been curious about using a crock pot to bake desserts for quite awhile now. BUT….

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I never quite knew how to make it work. Do I bake directly in the crock or do I need a special insert? Also the sizes of crock pots are confusing; so I just started going through the cupboard to make a match…and then hoped the batter didn’t over flow!

I found some really good looking recipes in a crock pot book I have and I knew I had to figure this out; because 

  • a) they sound easy and delicious
  • b) I have other multi tasking things I could be doing while it bakes
  • c)  we try to conserve propane as much as possible (an RV oven sucks a lot)

We now live in a place where it costs a LOT more to buy propane than at our old place, so we try to cook with our power appliances as much as possible. I have a turkey roaster that I can bake 3 loaves of bread in. I also do cookies and muffins in it but it is large and cumbersome. So the smaller crock pot and relaxed nature of slow cooking has been enjoyable for me. I’m addicted. These recipes keep turning out amazing. They are moist and tasty and never disappoint.


So… here is my solution. I put my old corning ware dish into the slow cooker. It sort of floats there and then I just use the crock pot lid. So far the 3 recipes that I made fit in the dish perfectly. I have ended up increasing the cook time just to be sure of a thorough bake.

I made sure to check the middle for doneness.  The edges got dark but this pumpkin cake was very moist! And as a side note… I used a fair amount of walnuts and they tasted better than usual! We are not huge walnut fans but even Mr. Evolving noticed the better flavor. I’m not sure if it was the increased time in the batter causing a bit of a soak?  If you try it, be sure to comment with your findings.

So play around with your dishes and see what fits. Hopefully it works for everyone!  I feel like I may have just gotten lucky? Hopefully you have the same luck.
I’m sharing the pumpkin recipe today but need to make the others and get some pictures. Okay here’s a teaser . .. Orange chocolate pudding cake ☺ and a cobbler! oh so good! Stay tuned!

 

OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. To dress up this moist cake, reminiscent of a steamed Pudding, top slices with whipped cream flavored with a little orange zest or Grand Marnier. Or sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar before slicing.

Embracing your talents

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So you know those wordy signs on wood that are all the rage right now?  Well I thought it’d be great to join in and try my hand at it too. I looked into all the different ways one could possibly get words onto said wood. 

  1. Freehand. Hahaha. yeah right!
  2. Printing onto wax paper and doing the transfer thing. I bought the paper and then realized I have the wrong kind of printer. grrr
  3. Stencils.
  4. Photo transfer.
  5. Sticky letters to be painted over and then removed.

There are certainly options, but none were working out for me and I was getting frustrated. I wanted to participate darn it!

So I ended up grabbing my Dremel.(which has seriously been sitting around in its collector tin for more years than I care to admit; like 6 years 😬. Cause I just had to have it, for my birthday)  Anyway… I started playing around and came up with my style. Finally! It’s a little on the rustic side, but I live in lake country and there are a lot of people with cabins who may appreciate my “craft”.

“Home Sweet Home”came together so naturally and quickly. And now it’s one of my favorites.

I sold my favorite fish sign …”welcome to the lake”. And to think,  I almost didn’t take it off the wall to bring to the craft sale. I’ll have to make one for myself.

So in the end I am fairly pleased with how I got my letters onto the wood. It is certainly different from what I’ve seen. I’m finding more and more signs and such in big box store flyers. Yes I said flyers.  I don’t actually go to those places. But I was surprised that the health food store had signs. And really weirded out and disappointed to touch them and realize it was a paper coating to look like wood and what not. It’s sad that nothing is handmade anymore.  Makes me feel like this is a pointless endeavor. Do people want true art made by people? Do they care? Finding that market may be tough.

But there’s something to be said for passion. Maybe it’s contagious !

Wonton Soup 

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Wonton Soup 

I’ve been making this soup for about 5 or 6 years now. A friend insisted I come over so she could show me how.  I wasn’t sure my family would be into this kind of food but it’s always good to expand your knowledge in the kitchen and keep food boredom at bay. SO, we made wontons.


It was a huge hit! And is still a family favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have any Chinese cabbage this time so I added broccoli and shredded carrots.  

Here is a picture of what I usually use…

WONTON SOUP 

For the wontons…

  1. 1-2 pounds of raw ground pork
  2. Minced water chestnuts (1/3 can)
  3. Minced shrimp (handful) note: I have never used shrimp
  4. 2 minced green onions
  5. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  6. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  7. 1 pkg wonton wrappers

Mix all together really well. Place 1/2-1 tsp of meat mixture on wrapper and close ends together. I just gather corners and pinch tight.

BROTH

Any type of broth is good. I prefer the tetra packs of chicken broth. It gives a nice clean consistent flavor.

Pour 1 carton of broth and about twice as much water into a large pot.

Note: if you use up all the pork and wrappers; you will have a lot of wontons. I have to use both of my large pots with double the broth to cook all wontons. Otherwise I just freeze the extra wontons.

  • Now add salt and pepper to taste. We ran into an older Asian man in the grocery store once and he suggested using white pepper. So if you have that on hand, this is a great time to use it!
  • Add 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
  • Bring to a boil and add chopped suey choy (Chinese cabbage), the rest of the can of water chestnuts(chopped) and the raw shrimp. If using precooked shrimp add them later with the wontons.
  • Cook for 10 minutes
  • Add wontons to boiling broth and cook until they float to the top. (cooking longer will result in soggy falling apart wrappers. and yes the meat is cooked!)
  • Remove from heat and serve as is or  add some chopped green onion and soya sauce to your bowl (we recommend fermented soy sauce. our favorite is kikkoman)

I added some of my “personal experience” notes because we had a lot of questions when first making this. Working with raw pork was new and seemed dangerous somehow. lol My husband is terrified of cross contamination and under cooked meat. (Ive rushed him to the hospital on account of his Bbq mishap involving chicken..food poisoning does not look pleasant! Even got pulled over for that one!)

SO, give this a go and let me know what you think.  You may want to invite people over …it makes a lot! And it’s ALWAYS nice to have extra wonton pinchers!

 

Update: I just made more soup. This time I used beef broth, the recommended cabbage and the frozen wontons. It turned out great. I made sure to cook the frozen wontons a little extra so that there was a good boil and I knew they were cooked.

Blogger Awards

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Okay, this post is a long time coming. I was asked to join in the fun but I’ve been busy baking bread and making plans, big plans. More on that another time. 😉

So!…This blog (Ever Evolving Mama) was nominated to take part in the…

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Thank you Misty Meadows for this opportunity! It really exposes everyone to quality blogs that we may have not stumbled upon on our own.

The Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide their link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify).
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

This award was originally created by okoto enigma, whose blog tag line is, “…Because life is all about learning new things and having fun…” So, in the spirit of that, let’s get started!

3 things about me  

  • I am great at cooking soups from scratch but horrible at breakfasts
  • I love to bake and multi task
  • My nose turns red in the slightest cold

Here are my answers to the 5 questions asked to me by Misty Meadows Homestead.

  1. What are some of your guiding principles or beliefs?  Never stop learning and being better than you were yesterday.
  2. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again? We bought a piece of land sight unseen that was clear across the country. No I would not do it again; nor would I suggest others try this. Ha.
  3. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? I always knew I would be a mom. So yes got that right. Don’t remember the other things I wanted to be when little. I am not a chiropractor like I wanted to be in high school.
  4. What has blogging taught you?  That I am more of a writer than I even thought.
  5. How Would You Survive A Zombie Apocalypse? (Weird) Lots of ammo and secret food stashes?

 

Thanks again to Misty Meadows Homestead for the nomination.  You can follow her blog here: www.mistymeadowsadventures.wordpress.com

Here is the link to my best blog post: (most popular) rich beet chocolate cake

Now here’s where the fun really starts – I get to nominate 10 bloggers who I appreciate.  They don’t have to participate, but if the do, they will be asked to share 3 things about themselves and answers 5 random questions.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  2. What food are you best at or famous for making ?
  3. I’m repeating this one, cause it’s good… What has blogging taught you?
  4. Are you a traveler or rooted near where you grew up?
  5. Okay, Inquiring minds need to know…. Do you have goats!??

 

The bloggers I nominate are:

(Remember, you don’t have to participate, I just want to show my appreciation. ❤️)

 

I hope you enjoyed this. I sure did!

Schnitz Pie

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Schnitz Pie

This apple pie is smothered in sour cream! Say what?! Yes. You read that right. I was skeptical but curious. And quite frankly,  a little afraid of the extra calories. After all, it is topped with sugar. BUT, I had to try it! Much to my delight, it was totally worth it. And not at all sour cream tasting. Oh and that crispy crunchy topping? mmm

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Here is the full excerpt of this recipe from the old recipe book. (From Prairie Kitchens by Emmie Oddie)-as shown here in a previous post about my love of old books.

SCHNITZ PIE (Pennsylvania Dutch)

In 1800 Mennonite families from Pennsylvania settled in the forest on the banks of Grand River, Waterloo County, Ontario. At that time dried apples were used in Schnitz pie but today fresh apples add a zesty appeal to this traditional dessert.

  • 1   9-inch (22.5 cm) pie shell, unbaked
  • 5  cups apples, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
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Apparently I missed the part about arranging them “attractively” hahaha And peeling! But those are crab apples….so… not gonna do it 🙂 It’s more rustic this way. I like it!

  1. Prepare pie shell.
  2. Arrange apples attractively in pie shell.
  3. Pour sour cream all over apples.
  4. Mix flour, butter, cinnamon; sprinkle over pie.
  5. Bake at 325 F (160 C) about 45 minutes until apples are cooked and custard is firm.
  6. Yield: 6 servings

Yes you read that right… it makes a custard!!

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Biscuit Pizza Crust

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Biscuit Pizza Crust

I didn’t make a lot of pizzas in the past. I thought the yeast dough seemed like a lot work. I used to be a little afraid of yeast, to be quite honest. I’m not anymore, but this simple recipe remains a favorite around here. It’s so yummy and quick that I don’t even bother with yeast crusts. I’ve made them here and there when I’ve actually planned ahead and had the time but everyone still prefers this crust! So there you have it… why fix something that ain’t broke and is even easier?!

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Biscuit Pizza Crust  -makes one hearty pizza

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter
  • 3/4-1 cup buttermilk
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Cut in butter till crumbly.
  3. Stir in buttermilk and knead till well combined.
  4. Press out into pan. Yes, there will be holes. Just fill them in. note: I used a perforated pizza pan with parchment paper for this particular pizza and it baked up really nice. In the past I’ve used a cookie sheet but found it didn’t brown as nice as with the holes. But definitely great no matter what your pan.

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Now load your sauce and toppings. Bake at 450 till golden brown. EAT and ENJOY. mmm. mmm. Good stuff right there!

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see that? crispy crust, oozing sauce, browned cheese…..

This is a meal in and of itself. Very filling. We share this with 3 kids are stuffed by the time it’s gone. And I always forget to make that salad. You know, the one that makes this a healthier meal. haha

 

Lacto-fermented Roasted-tomato Salsa

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Ingredients:

2 lbs. roma tomatoes (8-10) cut in 1/2

4 large garlic cloves-not peeled, smashed

1 medium onion-thick rings

2 jalapenos-whole

1 small bunch cilantro

2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ,Mexican oregano

pinch cayenne

1 tbsp. sea salt

4 tbsp. whey

  • Place tomatoes cut side up, along with other veggies on a baking tray.
  • Broil at 500 degrees and check every 5 minutes.
  • Put peppers in a Ziploc to “steam”. Peel skins and remove seeds.
  • Mince all veggies (peel garlic)

Add the rest of the ingredients and put into mason jars.

Leave on counter for 2 days. Eat it up, share with friends, and refrigerate any remaining. Salsa will continue to ferment slowly. It takes on a fizziness which you may like, or you may be calling everyone to the kitchen to help you eat it up.

Note: I do not care for cilantro, so I just leave it out.

Enjoy. It’s one of my favorites!