Simple Shoestring Pleasures

I just read a post by Christina at Northern Cheapskate entitled Why a Recession is Good For Us. She has a wonderful glass-half-full attitude. There is so much to learn about ourselves, our families, neighbors and communities when we have to think before we spend. When my husband and I first got married, like many newlywed couples, we were so very broke. My grandmother used to say that we didn't have two pennies to rub together. We always tried to keep the basics in our cupboards - flour, milk, eggs, baking soda, butter, ect. - because when all else fails you can always make pancakes.
When we were really feeling broke and needed something to boost our morale we would play Find the Change. You know the game - how much change is in the bottom of your purse, under the couch cushions or spilled out on the dresser? The goal was to collect enough coins (yes,pennies count) to buy a bag of chocolate chips. Then off to the store to purchase our prize and home again to bake our scrumptious indulgence. What fun we would have making the treat together and, of course, eating as many cookies in dough as we actually baked. No matter how empty the bank account, eating fresh hot chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee always made me feel rich. Still does!
Today, as everyone is feeling the economic crunch, it's important to remember the simple things that make life fun. So, just for practice, even if you have a million dollars in the bank, play the game. See if you can find enough change to treat the family to a Simple Shoestring Pleasure.

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup flour mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips

Cream butter and shortening together. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, flour mixed with cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Taste dough. Beat in remaining flour. Taste dough. Stir in chocolate chips. Taste dough.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 min. until cookies are lightly brown around the edges. Remove cookies from oven, eat a cookie, then cool the rest on a rack.

Images by stock.xchng
Add to Technorati Favorites

Shoestring Wedding - You can afford your cake and eat it too! part 2

In my April 30 post, Shoestring Wedding-You can afford your cake and eat it too! I talked about my daughter's idea for an affordable wedding cake. To recap- she plans to order a small layered cake from an independently owned bakery that is just branching out into special occasion cakes. I love the concept of helping local businesses. Obviously the small cake wont feed the 150 some guests that will be expecting a piece of celebratory confection so we needed to come up with an equally affordable wedding guest treat.
My husband found the solution. While surfing the web he came upon Bakerella's blog. Her post for that day featured a truffle like treat called Cakeballs. They are so easy and fun to make and absolutely delicious and best of all the simple ingredients make them very pocket book friendly.

I am making some test cakeballs this weekend and will take a picture of my efforts.

Images by stock.xchng
Add to Technorati Favorites

Mom 4 Life

There is a young mother that I very much admire. When she decided to be a stay at home mom she still wanted to supplement their income so she started a wonderfully fun online store,
Mom 4 Life. Whether you are a new mother or a grandmother, visiting Heather's store is a treat. Recently Heather had a very hard thing come into her life and the life of her family. Her blog tells of her loss and the hope and strength that she has in her Saviour Jesus. I have been moved, inspired and strengthened through her heartfelt sharing. I hope that you will take some time to visit ( and shop ) Mom 4 Life and Heather's blog.
Here is what Heather says about Mom 4 Life:
Mom 4 is a unique website specializing in products that are 100% mom invented. Started by a mom of two in 2003, Heather Ledeboer has grown Mom 4 Life at a breathtaking speed. Her website now offers over 900 products. Ledeboer is passionate about being a mom and has built her business around her children’s sleep schedule and hired employees when Mom 4 Life experiences growth spurts in order to allow her to be a stay at home mom (her original goal when starting her business). Desiring to help other moms in business, Heather searches out products that are new, unique to the market and (most importantly) comprised from the handiwork of a mother. Knowing how difficult it can be to take a new product and get it in front of the target audience, Mom 4 Life steps in to do just that successfully marketing products by moms (over 250 of them), for moms. Not only passionate about helping moms in business, Heather also seeks to help moms in need. Mom 4 Life donates 10% of its proceeds to local pregnancy centers. Heather believes that it when you are blessed, you are called to be a blessing to others. Helping moms is the way that she feels compelled to fulfill that calling.”
Add to Technorati Favorites