Archive for November, 2012

Well I guess today is the day for short posts from the Suburbs to the Sticks.  I love holiday scents around the house and depending on my mood, I use candles or scentsy sometimes to get that.  My friends have recently showed me another way to get great scents around the house.  I think I actually like these better because they are a little stronger and smell….more natural.

Basically pour 3 to 5 cups of water in a pot.  Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp ground cinnamon and half an apple, sliced.

Turn your pot on to a low simmer and enjoy the smell.

Make sure to check it periodically and add water so it does not simmer out all the water and scorch the pan.  I leave mine on for hours sometimes.

Also, you can add different things and make an array of different scents.  Things like peppermint extract, nutmeg, ginger, bay leaves, etc.

My other favorite combination (besides the one pictured here) is a combination of water, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peels.

Happy Holiday Season!  Erin, The Burbs


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I am not big on tree toppers, in fact the only ones I like are bows. I have recently changed the ribbon on my tree and I wanted a bow to match it so I was looking for a simple way to tie a new one. I tried and tried to tie it and failed over and over so I went to to world wide web.

This Idea is not new or anything you might not have seen before but I am the worst bow tier ever. Or at least I used to be however, I found a great tutorial online that made it super simple.

This is my bow

So here is my bow I think it looks great, I got my inspiration from the picture below.

This great bow is one I found on a blog called Kristen’s Creations.

I don’t think I could do a better job of showing you this tutorial than she did so here is a link to her blog and the tutorial.

Happy Holidays everyone,

Kimmy ( the sticks)

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I also call these homemade hot pockets.  I came up with this because my little brother is a teenager and likes hot pockets so much he would eat them for each and every meal.  Well as we all know, hot pockets are expensive, especially when multiple pockets are eaten at each meal for multiple meals a day.  Needless to say, my mother was complaining about it.  So I came up with this alternative that he LOVED and at least eliminated some of the hot pocket consumption.

This recipe will feed approximately 5 people.

Start with 1 lb hamburger and 1/4 quarter of a large onion, chopped.  Brown these together in a pan.

Once the hamburger is browned and the onions are soft, drain the fat and then return it all to the pan.  Next add 1 tsp garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Also add cheese.  Now there is no set amount here, just add enough for your liking.  We like ours super cheesy so I use a decent amount.  I also make this with different cheeses sometimes.  I have used grated cheddar, pepperjack, or other cheese before but this time I just felt like having…..well…..cheap food (as in that cheap tasting but still somehow good tasting), so I added velveeta this time.

Continue cooking until cheese is melted.  Preheat your oven to 350*F.

Now grab two canned dough sheets.  These are the rectangle sheets of dough that come in a pop open can and you roll them out.  Cut each one into six fairly even squares.

Spoon your cheeseburger mixture evenly among all the squares.  (I am only showing one square done in this next picture).

Now top it with a little more cheese if desired and close it up.  Do this by grabbing two opposite corners and bringing them together and sort of squishing them so that they won’t pull apart.

Now grab the other two and do the same thing.

Now if needed, and you can see in the above picture that mine did need it, squish any open sides together so the filling does not fall out.

Place all these pockets on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with some ketchup and you are done!

Hope you enjoy!  Erin, The Burbs

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I have seen a lot of recipes for a baked chicken and rice.  I have tried a lot.  I have not however found any that I really liked.  It seems like they are either not simple at all but taste good or super simple but taste pretty bland.  This recipe is easy but not super bland.  I think I finally have a recipe that I would make over again.  Here it is (please note that the amounts shown here are 1/2 the actual recipe amounts, my family does not eat as much as the average family right now):

Start by preheating your oven to 350*F.  Grab a casserole dish and LIGHTLY grease it.

Next, grab some minute rice (brown or white, I prefer brown).  Put about 3 cups of rice in the casserole dish.

Now, grab 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.  Cut off any yucky parts you don’t want (I clean mine pretty good because I have picky eaters that love meat but practically eat it with a scalpel in order to avoid fat, cartilage, stringy stuff, etc).  Then cut each breast in half and arrange them on top of your rice.

Now, in a separate bowl, mix 1 can of cream of chicken with about 2 cups of water.  I used a whisk to mix mine.

Pour that over your chicken.

Next, sprinkle one (1 oz) package of dry onion soup mix on top of that.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste as well as some garlic powder (I would estimate about 1/2 to 1 tsp would do it, I did not measure mine) and dried parsley (you can see I sprinkled just enough to give it some….color, I would add a bit more next time).

Finally, cover it tightly with tin foil and stick in the oven.

Let that cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  I cooked mine for 1 hour (granted there was only 1/2 the amount in mine) and the chicken was cooked through and still moist.  Finally serve, maybe with a salad.


Erin, The Burbs

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I thought this post was going to be way too late for anyone to use it but I am still seeing some pumpkins (that were not carved but painted or just for decoration) on people’s porches and stuff so maybe some people can use this.

Pumpkin carving time is my FAVORITE part of Halloween.  Not because I like to carve but because I like the seeds.  Husband usually carves with the kids while I sit and pick each and every seed out of the innerds.  It takes forever and it is a total pain in the you know what but the seeds are worth it!  So, here is the process I use:


Pick out all the seeds and remove as much of the slime and innerds as possible as you do.  Next, put the seeds in a large strainer and run water on them and clean them as best as you can.  I usually squish them between my hands and rub them all over and try to rub the slime off.

Next, put them in a bowl and add 1 cup of water at a time until there is enough water to soak the seeds well.  The seeds float so the water will never exactly “cover” the seeds.

Add about 1/8 cup of salt PER cup of water you added.  It will look like this:

Ignore the chicken boullion wrappers, that was for something else.  You can see here that there is not much to see at this point.

Now you want to let that set overnight.

Next morning, turn your oven on to 350*F.  Strain your seeds of the water and spread them out on an ungreased cookie pan.  Sprinkle with as much salt as you see fit.  We like ours SUPER SALTY.  Also note that a little of the salt will rub off.  Stick it in the oven for about 10 minutes and then stir the seeds around trying to turn as much as you can of them.  Let them cook for another 10 minutes or so until they are all dry and possibly getting the tinsiest bit browned.

Take them out and let them cool and enjoy.

All Done!

Erin, The Burbs

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I wanted to put my kids’ names on their doors in a way that was cute, a little different, and easy to remove.  This is what I came up with.


Start by getting some small wooden letters to spell your kids’ names that you can paint and paint them white (or a color that will compliment the rest of your stuff for the project).  Here are mine (already painted):

Next get small wooden square pieces (mine were about 2.5in x 2.5in.).  Just make sure that one of your letters will fit comfortably on top of one square without covering the whole thing.

Pick a few different but complimentary fabrics.  You only need a little so you can get it from the “remains” bin at your local fabric store.

Now cut your fabric so that it is about 1 inch larger than your squares (so mine would have been 3.5inx3.5in).  Place your fabric, wrong side up and place your wooden square on top.

Now take a glue gun and glue each corner down in the back like so:

Next, fold down all the sides and glue them as well, one at a time:

Turn it over and it should look nice and clean:

Now glue one letter to each square.  I glued mine in different places on the square for each name as you can see in the next picture but you could do them directly in the middle or wherever you think is cute.

Now it is time to attach them to the door.  I used velcro, the sticky backed kind because it was easiest.  I put a small square on the back of each letter block and a small square on the door where I wanted each letter and then attached them.


And finally the finished products:

The other advantage to using velcro is that it gave me a little room to move each piece around so that they were centered correctly.  Which I did after taking these pictures 🙂

Erin, The Burbs

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The Mountain Man Sandwich

This recipe is in no way mine, I of course got this from the wonderful Ree Drumond or aka The pioneer woman . She is by far my favorite food network cook. I can make just about anything she posts anytime I want because well it is all food that we keep around here on our little tiny homestead. Anyway I call this the Mountain man sandwich because well, Mountain man loves it and I love that it is a good way to get rid of the packages and packages I get of cube steak when we have a cow taken to the butcher.

Yes I know I forgot the Mushrooms

Here is what you will need.

One package about 2 lbs of cube steak ( or you can pound your own round steak into tender bits of meat)

1 very large onion, sliced

Worcestershire Sauce

Butter about 1 cup ( yes I know it’s a lot but butter makes everything better don’t you think)

Hoagie Buns

Season Salt


2 cups of Mushrooms

Swiss cheese, or Pepper jack is great too.

First thing you will do is melt some butter in the pan about ½ a stick and brown your sliced onions and mushrooms, then remove the to a plate for safe keeping. Try to stay out of them you will want to add them to your sandwich. Well Maybe you can have one bite or two.

I tired to cook both the onions and mushrooms in the pan and t did not work out so well. so I did have to remove the onions and mushrooms.

Meanwhile you should cut your meat into ¼ inch to ½ inch strips.  And season really well with season salt.

Once you have removed your onions and shrooms add about  ½ a stick of butter and throw in your meat. Once it has started to brown throw in about 10 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and a few dashs of tobasco continue to brown your meat until cooked to your liking.

While you are browning the meat take your hoagie buns and put some generous slabs of butter on them.  Then grill your buns butter side down of course until they are nice and toasted.

Once your meat is cooked, fold in your mushrooms and onions.

Put a heaping pile of your meat mixture on your toasted bun with a slice of cheese on top.

Now just sit and devour them, take in the rich savory flavor, kick your feet up an know that all is right with the world now because you have had the Mountain Man Sandwich.

Kim the sticks

For a link to the original recipe click here

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