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Mothers' Hideaway: December 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays

We at Mothers' Hideaway hope everyone is having a great end of 2009 and hope you will continue visiting us in 2010! Happy Holidays!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday- Perfect Cheesecake

Thanks Jo for today's Kitchen Tip!!

I love making cheesecake and eating it! Who doesn't? Okay maybe 1% of the population. BUT you know what I hate the most? When my cheesecake cracks just as I take it out of the oven. Luckily, I've never had to give a cheesecake as a gift so people overlook the mishap and dig in.

What I found through trial and error to fix this problem is to make sure that all my ingredients are at room temperature and to slowly bring down the heat in the oven once it's done baking. If you bring it from hot to cold too quickly that is where the mishap starts.

I always bake my cheesecake (new york style--no other like it!) on 325 for about 1.5 hours (depending) and then put the oven to 225 and crack the door open until it deflates.

80% of the time my cake comes out PERFECT. The other 20%-- well, just dig in.

Come share your Kitchen Tips with us in MH's Recipe forum!

Thanks to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tips Tuesday!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

MH Christmas Baking Challenge- week 2!

 Thanks Carmen for today's baking challenge blog!

Here are some snowflake sugar cookie favors I made for tonight's staff and board Christmas party.

A couple of my "tricks". I never use margarine, I always use butter. Although I do cheat and buy store brand. I used the recipe on called best rolled sugar cookies

and for my icing, I use this recipe

I'd go a little bit less on the milk. That's what I did this time because usually it's a little on the thin side and drips down the sides and I end up thickening it a bit. This time, I just left off the 2Tbls of milk and it was good.

The other "trick" I do is to roll the dough, cut out the cookies, place on sheets of parchment paper or wax paper and then stack those sheets on a cookie sheet and then chill them ALREADY CUT OUT. If you chill the dough, then roll and cut out, you've basically undone the whole chilling process by handling the dough after chilling. I've found that my dough actually holds the cute cut out shapes much better if I chill it after cutting it.

Those are just my tricks. I've pretty much stuck to what works now that I've found what I like. I'm to afraid of trying anything new when it comes to cut outs.

Visit our Recipe Forum for more great ideas!

Please add your link to your blog in the McLinky below! Link backs are appreciated or grab our button from the sidebar. Happy Baking :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- Cleaning Delight

 Thanks so much Hillarie for today's blog!

I isnt a delight.

I have yet to find joy in mopping floors or scrubbing toilets. The only thing Ive found delight or joy in is vacuuming and that's because I can turn on the music loud and rock out as I do it LOL.

However, I do have one little thing in my cleaning arsenal that makes me grin. My cleanser. Its my soft scrub type stuff that I got a recipe for and it works so well.

The first time I used sinks shone in that sparkly white that you only see on silly tv commercials. You know with the sparkle stars leaping off the surface...thats what happened. I was hooked right then and there and it was so clean and sparkly that even my husband noticed and commented.

He NEVER EVER EVER notices when I clean ANYTHING, let alone comments. He's the kind of fella who wouldnt even notice a new haircut unless you had mentioned you were going to get one(and even then he might forget by the time you get back). So this was amazing to me.

Its a very simple cleanser that anyone can make and use. Its got regular dish soap, baking soda(a must for all great), vinegar, and water. I put it in a budget-friendly ketchup/mustard squirt bottle(you know those kinds you see at restaurants with the pointy lids). Much better than the old shampoo bottle I was using and it was less than a dollar. I think Id recommend using those for just about anything you need to squirt stuff out of.

So, I will post the "recipe" and if any of you use it...let me know what you think!

Budget-friendly and easy to make?? Cant be that bad, right??

Soft Cleanser Recipe:
16oz of baking soda
1/2 c. of liquid dish soap
1/3 c. of water
2 tbsp. of vinegar

Stir soap into baking soda.
Add water and stir til smooth.
Add vinegar and stir again.
Pour into bottle and shake before each use.

Come share cleaning solutions you love with us at our Mothers' Hideaway forums!

Thanks to The Diaper Diaries for hosting Things I Love Thursday!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday- Natural Lip Exfoliation!

Natural Lip Exfoliation

Exfoliation is a term to describe the removal of dead skin. The importance of exfoliating your lips is that it keeps them healthy and gives them a fresher look after it's done. It can also help prevent drying and cracking. If you're a lip licker, you'll know what I'm talking about. Licking your lips can really cause them to crack. Lips do not moisturize themselves and so we all tend to lick our lips a little. Drinking enough water to hydrate your body will also help prevent cracking, peeling and dryness on your lips.

Honey is a great way to hydrate your lips. The ancient Egyptians did it and it's still used in tons of skin care products today. The more hydrated your lips, the softer they look.

Sugar is going to be used as our abrasive. It will help rub off the dead skin, leaving the fresh and new skin.

Rebekah's Honey and Sugar Lip Scrub

What you'll need:

1 teaspoon Honey

1 teaspoon Sugar

Crush sugar using the back of a spoon, mix it into honey. You'll want the sugar to soak up the honey and make a thick mixture. You may need to add more sugar or honey until you get it to this point. Use a cotton ball or your finger to apply to your lips. Rub it around on your lips in circles and apply slight pressure.You can repeat this process as necessary.

After this apply your moisturizing oil to your lips. Natural Moisturizing Oil; olive oil, vitamin E oil, sesame oil and jojoba oil, etc.

The best part about this scrub is that it's completely safe for you (and edible)!

This post can also be found on Rebekah's blog, Journey to Juniper!
What works for you during winter? Share your tips with us in our Women's Health Forum!

Thanks to We Are THAT Family for hosting Works for Me Wednesday!

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Wordless Wednesday- Christmas Season

Share your pictures with us on our forums at!

See more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday- Easy Meal Solution!

Thanks Jo for this great tip!

When I am lazy and tired but still have to make dinner, I turn to a tried and true recipe—Chicken Soup! You can basically use anything you have in your pantry. I never have all the staples—celery, carrots, onion, etc. So I usually just throw in whatever I have.

Today I threw in some chicken legs, vegetable stock, water, carrots and onion. I also put in some cracked pepper and some Turkey seasoning—hey I said it’s whatever you have on hand!

When it seems just about ready I’ll throw in some rice and whatever frozen vegetables I happen to have and dinner will be served—even for my 8 month old! Throwing together whatever items I have on hand and throwing those recipes out the window usually works for me every day, and allows me to put together a complete meal from my family. Because sometimes, it's just easier not to follow a recipe..

Come share your Kitchen tips with us in MH's Recipe Forum!! And, be sure to submit your links to MH's Baking Challenge , with blog features each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during December!

Thanks to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tips Tuesday!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Mouthwatering Monday- Rebekah's Dutch Apple Pie!


Thanks so much Rebekah for today's blog!

Rebekah's Dutch Apple Pie

This is the best apple pie recipe I've ever made. It's easy and delicious. I received so many compliments I blushed! I made it over Thanksgiving Holiday's and my Father-in-law liked it so much it gave me an idea. I'm going to make it again to give them as a Christmas present. This is part of my handmade pledge.

What you need:

1 - 9 inch Pie Pan

6 large Green Grannysmith Apples

1 Pillsbury Pie Crust (or you can make it homemade)

1 cup. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. flour

2 tsp. butter

Pie Crust Prep

First add a small bit of powder to the bottom of your pie crush then place your frozen (or homemade) pie crust in the pan. Once in the pan smooth the crust out and ripple the edged using your fingers. Use a stick of butter and lightly go over the bottom of the crust then sprinkle a small ammount of flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pie Filling

Peel and core your apples then cut up into bit sized pieces. Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour all together. Add apples and mix all together. Pour into pie.

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 stick butter

Mix together sugar and flour. Cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture using a fork, pastry blender or food processor. Sprinkle over top of pie.

Bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes. If the pie begins to brown too rapidly, cover lightly with foil.

Best served warm with vanilla ice cream. :)

Prepping the crust

Filling the pie

The crumb topping

The final results

This recipe is also featured on Rebekah's blog. Journey to Juniper.

Share your recipes with us at our Recipe forum! And, be sure to check out MH's Christmas Baking Challenge to add your links each Friday-Sunday!

Thanks to A Southern Fairytale for hosting yummy Mouthwatering Mondays!

Friday, December 4, 2009

MH's Christmas Baking Challenge- 12/4

I'm going to start off the Mother's Hideaway Christmas Baking Challenge with a classic: Chocolate Chip Cookies. Because really, what would the holiday baking season be without these classic staples? These have always been a favorite of mine, I loved to bake with my grandmother. While we would spend countless hours decorating sugar cookies, the chocolate chip ones were always my favorite to eat. So, enlisting my 4 year old son as my sous chef, we set out baking!


The Classic Recipe from Nestle Tollhouse 


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

Please add your link to your blog in the McLinky below! Link backs are appreciated or grab our button from the sidebar. Happy Baking :)

MH's Christmas Baking Challenge!

What are you baking this Christmas? Mothers' Hideaway wants to dedicate our Friday blogs this month to all the delicious baking we're doing for the holidays (we may even have to spill over into the weekend!) We'll post pictures of that week's baking and some recipes. We'd love to see what you are baking too! Use the McLinky to link to your blog featuring your baking wonders. Please visit and comment on others too! Please link back to this blog or grab our button from the sidebar :)

Merry Christmas!

Visit our Recipe Forum for more ideas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- The Season of Giving

Thanks to Meshell for today's blog inspiration!

This time of the year seems to bring out the generosity in many people. The magic of the holiday season fills us with hope and joy and the desire to share that with others. In a season that has become largely about commercialism (and let's face it, a lot of us love the shopping!), it's amazing and humbling to be reminded what a difference we can make in other people's lives. It is easy to forget that world does not revolve around us and our hectic holiday schedule. A member of our forum posted a great story the other day.

 The holiday season seems to be the busy time for most charities. Everyone seems to be in the giving mood. DH and I received a check in the mail as a credit back from our water company from when we were in the other house. It was an unexpected $80.00 so we decided to buy gifts for the Angel Tree on base. We bought clothes and diapers for two different babies on the tree. We are hoping to do some volunteer work too and get into the habit of volunteering more often.

This post made me realize that caught up in my own hectic December schedule, I hadn't even thought about Toys for Tots that we make a point to do every year. I was slightly chagrined at how easily I could forget- and thankful for the reminder of what the holiday season means. It's time to get myself and my family in gear, and remember what the Christmas Season is truly about. And that is something to love.

Do you give to charities during the holidays? Is there a certain charity you give to every year or do you just give to one you see or hear about? Share with us at our Mothers' Hideaway Forums!

Thank you to The Diaper Diaries for hosting Things I Love Thursday!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday- DIY Holiday Edition!

Thanks Jo for today's blog!

Have you ever buy a roll of wrapping paper and then realize that you don’t have enough just when you thought you were done wrapping presents?

Well what I sometimes love to do if I run out of Christmas paper is grab an old brown paper bag (sometimes you get the nice sturdy ones from the supermarket with the handles) and cut it just right so it resembles a sheet of paper. Turn it on its blank side and use pretty decorative stamps or metallic markers to embellish it. You can also do with a roll of white butcher paper. If you have kids you can also let them embellish it and give it a personal touch. Use their hands and feet in Christmas colors to make it extra special for the Grandparents!

With the left over scraps you can make lovely little gift tags for it also. I like to wrap mine with butchers twine because it gives it that rustic/country feel. A simple and cheap way to recycle that leftover paper you have no use for!
Share your tips for getting through the holidays at!

Thanks to We are THAT Family for hosting Works for Me Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday- Santa? Seriously mom?

Thanks AshleyMommy2Eli for today's photo!

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday!

Share your pictures with us at!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday- Safe cutting board disinfectant

Thanks Jo for today's blog!

How often are you in the middle of cooking when you realize all of your other cutting boards are dirty or you simply don't feel like making room and getting out another one? They say to use one for poultry/meat and one for fruits/veggies/etc. but who remembers? I clearly don't!

I try to use my glass one for meats since the knife can't cut into it like it does for the plastic or wood but sometimes I am just too plain lazy to take out the giant glass one so this is what I've come up with.

Keep in mind I don't have a dishwasher so I have to make sure to get all the germs off of everything by using really hot water and loads of soap so to make sure I really clean them well I started making my own disinfecting spray.

I could easily just use some fantastik but that can not be safe to use on food utenstils. So I use Lemon to disinfect it. Lemon is a natural disinfectant and I don't have to worry about contaminating my food. You can also scrub it with baking soda in between the disinfecting it to ensure that you get rid of any odors that food can leave behind. Obviously if you are using a glass cutting board the baking soda isn't important but for wood or plastic (which I would stay clear of wood cutting boards for meats!) it would be a good idea to give it a good scrub with the baking soda.

Here is the recipe to use for the disinfectant: 1 quart of water and 3 tbsp. of lemon juice. (I'd use a fresh one and not the bottle kind though I'm a big fan of that one for cooking!)

How do you save time and energy in the kitchen? Share with us in our Mothers' Hideaway forums!

Thank you to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tips Tuesday!