Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Recipes: Poppy Seeds

Last week I thumbed through my binder of clipped recipes and came across one called Orange Poppy Seed Pound Cake. It was absolutely delicious and it made two loaves. It also used almost an entire spice bottle of poppy seeds! That got me thinking about how much I love lemon poppy seed muffins, poppy seeds on hot dug buns, and on top of bagels. So this week I'm sharing some tasty recipes using those wonderful little poppy seeds:

Banana Poppy Seed Muffins

2 medium bananas, peeled
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree bananas in blender (1 cup). In medium bowl, mix bananas, egg, sugar, oil and orange peel until well blended. In large bowl, combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until evenly moistened. Spoon batter into greased 2 1/2-inch muffin cups. Bake in 375 oven 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Dip warm tops in sugar. Makes 12 muffins

Radish Tea Sandwiches

1 cup minced radishes
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 cup cream cheese, softened
6 slices homemade or homestyle bread
3/4 tsp. salt
24 leaves of young argula, spinach or raddichio

Combine the minced radishes, poppy seeds, cheese and salt. Blend well. Cover 3 slices of the bread with the radish mixture-about 1/4 " thick. Top with the lettuce leaves and another slice of bread. Cut each sandwich into small squares or triangles with a sharp serrated knife. You can vary this by adding VERY thin slices of cucumber on top of the cheese, and Bibb lettuce. For a crunchy treat use Romaine. You may have left over radish mixture depending on the size of your bread.

Poppy Seed Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat 350 degree oven. Combine sugar, butter, eggs, and extracts. Mix on medium speed, scrape bowl often until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Beat 1-2 minutes more until mixed. Pour into bundt or tube pan. Bake 50-65 minutes until done. Cool 10 minutes.

Poppy Seed Dipping Sauce (for fruit)

2 cups light or regular sour cream
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

Whisk ingredients together and chill. Makes 2 cups.

Poppy Seed Butter - To each 1/2 cup butter, add 1/4 cup poppy seeds

Raspberry Poppy Seed Cookies

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter; softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat powdered sugar and butter until light. Add vanilla and egg. Blend well. Stir together the flour, poppy seeds and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture. Mix well. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indentation in center of each cookie (finger works well). Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon of preserves. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool cookies on rack.

Here's a few more from our friends at Annie's Recipes

Amish Poppyseed Bread

3 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 c. oil
2-1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. almond flavor
1-1/2 tsp. butter flavor
1-1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds

1/4 c. orange juice
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond flavor
1/2 tsp. butter flavor
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sift together first 3 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Mix and put in 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick test comes out clean. Stir all ingredients together. Prick bread loaves with a fork after baking and pour glaze over while hot.

Peach and Poppy Seed Muffins

3/4 c. pureed peaches (Jr. baby food)
1 tsp. baking soda
10 tbsp. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. poppy seeds

Stir soda into peaches and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt. Alternately add flour and peach mixture. Then add poppy seeds. Fill 12 muffin cups nearly to top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 pkg. lemon instant pudding
1 c. water
1/2 c. oil
4 eggs
1/4 c. poppy seeds

Mix ingredients together well. Bake in greased and floured 9"x13" cake pan (or two loaf pans) at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

And some more from Alicia's Recipes!

Poppy Seed Cream Cheese Bread

3-3/4 c. Bisquick baking mix
2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. red pepper
3 eggs
1 to 1-1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients except milk, blend thoroughly in large bowl. Add enough milk until mixture is fairly stiff. (Mixture will be moist and will not hold together.) Spoon into greased bread baking pan. Bake for 55 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 1 loaf.

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 c. sugar
6 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
1 c. Wesson oil
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. poppy seed
1/3 c. honey
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt

Soak poppy seeds 2 hours in 1/4 cup water. Drain well. Mix dry ingredients; add honey, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour oil in slowly, beating constantly. Add drained poppy seeds. Beat with electric mixer. Should get very thick.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins
Makes 12 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons McCormickr Poppy Seed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons whole cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormickr Pure Orange Extract
1 teaspoon fresh grated orange peel
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 teaspoon McCormickr Pure Orange Extract
1/4 teaspoon McCormickr Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups; set aside.

2. Mix together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine next 6 ingredients in a small bowl; beat well. Add to flour mixture; stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be slightly lumpy).

3. Fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

If you have any favorites to share we would love to hear about them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: Frugal Crafts for Kids

Spring came last week, bringing with it a beautiful weekend and plenty of chirping birds. Well, now Mother Nature has decided to drop the temps down again, forcing everyone back inside to watch the wind and rain from indoors. Here are a few frugal ideas for keeping the kids or grandkids busy for little or no cash out of pocket.

Visit Amanda's Cookin' for more Thrifty Thursday ideas, to join in the fun or to visit other frugal blogs that are playing along.

Juice Carton Crayon Box
Wash and dry an empty cardboard juice carton and cut off the top. Using bits and pieces of masking tape, have the children tape up the entire carton, covering all sides, the more tape the better. Use crayons to color the masking tape box. The tape makes the box sturdier and will make a great crayon holder for their desk or dresser.

Magazine House
Using an old catalog or magazine, cut out pictures of chairs, tables, curtains, bathroom fixtures and other furnishings. Spread out a newspaper or large sheet of drawing paper. Sketch an "open sided" house. Have children place the pictures of the furnishings in the rooms of their choice. They can cut out more pictures to redecorate their house, cut out pictures of people, toys, pets, anything they like!

Paper Plate Holders
Using two paper plates, cut one plate in half and place on top of the other plate (turn the half plate to form a pocket over the whole plate). Use a paper punch to make holes going around the outside of the plate. Use scraps of yarn and "sew" through the holes of the plate. Start and end at the top of the plate so that it can be extended about six inches and tied. Have your children color, paint or decorate their plates. Now they have their very own place to put prized possessions, notes from Mom and dad, special pictures and more.

Pet Rocks
Find smooth, flat or round rocks. Be sure to clean off any dirt or sand and dry completely before starting. Paint with acrylic paints. Decorate faces by using google eyes, yarn for hair, markers, glitter, and any other tidbits you like.

Visit to see all 20 Fun Ideas

Visit Old Fashioned Living for Frugal Ways to Show Your Love

Reader's Questions: A Hodge Podge

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

I have recently come across the German tradition of those twelve christmas ornaments every newlywed should have for a happy marriage. I am looking to see if there is a company that will make all twelve in a set, in its own storage box. I read your article, and if anyone should know, I feel it would be you. Hope you can help. ~Christine

There were several listed online, including Amazon, but the nicest seemed to the Inge-Glas of Germany Bride's Tree Assortment Christmas Ornament. I'm sure you could find this online easily by putting it into Google or another search engine. I also found out Hallmark made a set called: A Happy Life Ornament Collection, which is a set of 12 miniature ornaments. I'd visit a Hallmark store and ask about it, or try finding it on ebay. I hope this helps!

I have an oak tree growing in my backyard that about 50 something old. It's still growing. I can't afford to have it cut down. But I feel like it is a danger to my home and the neighbors. Especially during Hurrican season. Do you know if there are any tree angencies or organizations that try and save trees by cutting some of the limbs for safety sake. ~Elayne

The first thing that comes to mind is checking with your state extension office. Mississippi has a great website ( ) with information and contacts you can call if you don't see what you are looking for. The second thing I thought of is putting an ad in your local paper. With the economy the way it is now, someone may be willing to cut the tree down for you in exchange for the wood. It's worth a try putting in a small text ad in the classified section, and placing a couple of notes on boards in the grocery store, laundermat etc.

Can you tell me if anyone has heard of female cardinals flying into windows. My daughter has this problems it is a constant thing. ~Catherine S.

It's a common problem with many type of birds. The site for the University of Minnesota Raptor Center says:

" is likely that the cardinal sees his reflection and is defending his territory against the handsome male cardinal reflection that he sees. The solution in this case need only be temporary and should be in place for a matter of weeks or until the breeding season is over.

Hanging a window feeder on your window will actually decrease collisions, but having bird feeders a few feet from your window will increase collisions. The reason for this is that a feeder placed within five to ten feet of a window allows birds sufficient time to reach a flight speed at which they could kill themselves should they hit the window. It's best to place feeders within two feet of the window or 15 to 35 feet from the house."

There are other things you can do such as:
Put the screens in your windows to make them less reflective. (which is how our windows are and we have not had this problem except once when the sliding door screen wasn't in place.)

I haven't had to do this since our screens work so well,but spraying fake snow (the type in a can) on your windows will break the reflection as well. You can also buy special silhouettes of flying hawks and other decals that will take care of the problem.

On OFL we have tips on cleaning the outside of your house:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Some Old Wives Tales

In keeping with the old fashioned theme of this blog, I thought it would be fun to dredge up some old wives tales. Superstitions, folk lore and old wives tales were serious business many years ago. Many people depended on these beliefs for many of their day to day activities. 

I've collected only a small sampling of these old fashioned beliefs, feel free to share any with us any that you remember from your childhood! I remember "step on a crack, break your mother's back" like it was yesterday. :)

Do you remember any of these? 

Some of them I do, but many of them I had actually never heard before! 

I'm sure my grandma believed in many of these. I yelled at my husband for tossing salt over his shoulder the other day, who has to clean that up?? ME! LOL

So without further delay...

Old Fashioned Superstitions
  • If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish.
  • To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
  • If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.
  • To cure a cough: take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound."
  • For good luck throughout the year, wear new clothes on Easter.
  • Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches in the year to come
  • Pulling out a gray or white hair will cause ten more to grow in its place.
  • If you knit one of your own hairs into a garment, it will bind the recipient to you.
  • If a young girl catches a ladybug and then releases it, the direction in which it flies away will be the direction from which her future husband will come.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • A mirror should be covered during a thunderstorm because it attracts lightning.
  • If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you. If it's the right nostril, the visitor will be a female, left nostril, male
  • An onion cut in half and placed under the bed of a sick person will draw off fever and poisons.
  • If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers.
  • A wish made upon seeing the first robin in spring will come true - but only if you complete the wish before the robin flies away.
  • A spider is a repellent against plague when worn around the neck in a walnut shell.
  • A watermelon will grow in your stomach if you swallow a watermelon seed.
  • Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won't ruin it.

Shooting Stars
All wishes on shooting stars come true.
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

If you make a wish while throwing a coin into a well or fountain, the wish will come true.
Wish I may,
Wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.
If you tell someone your wish, it won't come true.

Sty in the Eye
To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite
Sty, sty, leave my eye
Take the next one coming by.

Two people pull apart the dried breastbone of a chicken or turkey until it cracks and breaks, each one making a wish while doing so. The person who gets the long half of the wishbone will have his or her wish come true.

First Flower of Spring
The day you find the first flower of the season can be used as an omen:
Monday means good fortune,
Tuesday means greatest attempts will be successful,
Wednesday means marriage,
Thursday means warning of small profits,
Friday means wealth,
Saturday means misfortune,
Sunday means excellent luck for week

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Spring Garden: Thrifty Tips

Even weeds carry tiny blossoms to astonish us. ~Marianne Poloskey

There are so many cheap tricks you can do to cut garden costs. First, always research something before you buy it to see if there is a thrifty method. I saw a perfect example at Sam's Club on Friday. They had a raised bed system that was $800.00. I will admit it was spiffy but making your own would be a quarter of the price or less, depending on what supplies you use. Below I have a few thrifty tips to use in the garden.

Homemade Seed Tape:

You'll need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water
strips of newspaper

Mix together the flour and water until it resembles a batter. This will be your glue.

Take a strip of newspaper and lay it flat on your work surface. Look at the seed instructions for the spacing needed between seeds. Dab some glue with that amount of space in-between each glob of glue. Place one seed in each glob and allow them all to lay flat until they dry.

Prepare your bed, lay the strip down in the bed and cover with the amount of soil specified on the seed packet. Water gently.

Leftover screen: When you replace screens there are always scraps leftover from trimming. Save this and use it to lay in the bottom of pots to keep the soil from falling out and it will keep bugs/pests from crawling in through the hole.

Plastic knives: Every time we have a birthday or an occasion to use plastic colored silverware there are always knives leftover. Last year I had pink knives to brighten up my seed starting:) Use them as plant markers. Write the plant name on with permanent marker and stick in the pots, seed starter containers or the ground.

Mini Greenhouses: Bakery or salad containers that have the dark bottom and the see through top make perfect little greenhouses for starting seeds. You can put the starter soil directly in them, or use peat pots. Keep the lid on until they germinate, then remove once the seeds have sprouted. As they out grow the container you can put them in their own pots.

Tips on attracting ladybugs to your garden this year--