Thursday, December 20, 2012

Econobusters/Molly Green Special

As homeschoolers we do our best to live frugally.  We try to survive on one or one-and-a-half incomes, so doing things to save money and provide our needs is very necessary.  You can get lots of great money-saving tips and tips on ways to be self-sufficient by reading Molly Green Magazine, and right now there is a great special for you to take advantage of:

You can become a Econobusters with Molly Green member for just $29 for the year of 2013.  This membership gives you the monthly Molly Green Magazine, access to three years of back issues, and access to all of Molly's E-Books.  Sign up for this great deal here.

Or you can get the SchoolhouseTeachers special AND Molly Green for just $69 for all of 2013!  Get the details on your options here.

These great specials are only available until the end of December 2012, so don't wait, sign up today!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

If you haven't read The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, I encourage you to do so.  It is loaded with great tips, encouragement, inspiration and resources for home educating families.  It is a FREE online publication that you can view here or you can download the FREE app for Apple, Android and Kindle Fire here.

The movie, The Hobbit has just come out.  Have you seen it?  Well the current December issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine features an article called "Astronomy in The Hobbit" by Jay Ryan.  Check it out on page 107 at the link in the above paragraph.

Do you know about  It's a website that is managed by TOS as well.  It has school lessons available -- Everything you need for a full program or to fill in some curricular gaps or to have a high school student participate in some wonderful electives, like filmmaking.  There are over 25 different "school" subjects presented via teaching videos, ongoing lesson plans, worksheets, lapbooks, unit studies, writing prompts, and other assignments to choose from, students can additionally interact personally with the teachers by asking them questions and gaining feedback. has a variety of classes to help you make learning exciting!

Right now an annual membership to is just $49!  That's a savings of $15.26!

In addition to the videos, lesson plans, unit studies, etc., also offers learning games and puzzles, dozens of audio recordings of popular homeschool speakers on a variety of topics, teacher and student Schoolhouse Planners -- five total, daily menus for busy homeschool moms, all digital back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and so much more.

Here are some bonuses you'll get, if you order your annual membership to now -
a totebag in your choice of the new chocolate mint colors or the cranberry winter colors, plus a copy of the hot-off-the-press first Annual Print magazine, "The Best of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine".  It's over 275 pages!  You'll want to turn to this fantastic resource again and again throughout 2013!

There are other Free gifts for joining for a full year too, so what are you waiting for, go to and sign up today!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Christmas Brunch Recipes

I wish I had more time to post on here. I have many things I want to post, so don't give up on me, I'll get them all posted eventually.

Today, however, I need to post some recipes. My boys LOVE breakfast foods and a couple of years ago, when we actually spent Christmas day at our own home, they asked me to do a brunch. I made a variety of foods, as many make ahead as possible, and there was food available all day, allowing me to relax and enjoy the time with my family. So, this has quickly become a new tradition in our home.

Now I work for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine as an Advertising Sales Representative, a job I love and work from my own home, phone and computer, and I work after the homeschooling is done for the day. We are having a TOS Staff Christmas Party Expo next Thursday evening at 7 p.m. and you are welcome to join us. We will have a presentation on the origin of your favorite Christmas Songs and a presentation on Helping your Children Really See the Christ in Christmas, as well as a Vendor Workshop by Schola Publications where Barbara Beers will present a workshop, Spelling and Grammar and Latin, O MY! – Coordinating your language arts subjects into a seamless systematic study. To join us for this FREE Christmas Party Expo, go to: and register today! All of our staff members have shared their Christmas meal or favorite Christmas food item and links to the recipes will be given, and everyone interested in my recipes will be directed to this post, so without further ado, here are my Christmas Brunch recipes:

Note: All of my baking temperatures are Fahrenheit.

Sweet Scones

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
8 Tbsps. (1 stick) cold butter, cut up
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub with fingers until it looks like fine granules. Add sugar - toss to mix. Add milk and stir with a fork until soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured board - knead about 10-12 times. Roll out 1/2 inch thick; cut with a round cutter. (I use a round biscuit cutter, but a small canning jar works well too). Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 12 minutes until brown. Cool on wire rack.

Serve with mock Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd or your favorite jam.

Mock Devonshire Cream

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl, cream together cheese, sugar and sale. Beat in cream until stiff peaks form. Chill until serving.

Lemon Curd

1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsps. finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps.) unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp. pieces

Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes. Immediately, pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, then chill, covered.

(Lemon curd keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week)

Monkey Bread

30 buttermilk biscuits (I use Pillsbury)
1 stick butter (melted) add 1 cup brown sugar and stir until smooth.

Pull biscuits apart and place in staggered layers in a bundt or tube pan and pour butter and brown sugar mixture over the biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then invert onto a flat plate.

French Sweet Bread

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt (I omit the salt unless using unsalted butter, then use 1/4 - 1/2 tsp)
6 Tbsps. melted butter
4 cups flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups total)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Dissolve yeast in water. Heat milk to lukewarm. In a different bowl, combine egg, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, if using.
2. Add yeast, milk and 4 Tbsps. butter and mix again. Add flour gradually till it can be gathered into a soft ball. Blend in remaining flour with fingers.
3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Use remaining butter to keep fingers from sticking. Don't use any more flour.
4. Place in lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled. Punch down and knead a few times. Divide in half, then divide each half into 3 pieces and roll each piece between hands into a long rope.
5. Braid ropes from middle, pinching ends together. Form into ring if desired, place on oiled baking sheet.
6. Cover and let double. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Easy Cheese Danish

For the Danish:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsps. All-Purpose flour
2 cans (8 oz. tube) Refrigerated Crescents Rolls

For the Icing:
1 cup Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsps. cream
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
2. Line bottom of baking pan with 1 can of crescent rolls. Pinch all seams together to seal.
3. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and sour cream. Spread filling on top of rolls. Place second can of crescent rolls on top of filling, with seams pinched.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar, milk and butter. After danish has cooled, drizzle with icing.

Fresh Orange Muffins

1 orange, with peel, quartered and seed removed
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees; spray a muffin tin (12) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Put orange quarters in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
3. Add egg and butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
4. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture.
5. Stir to combine.
6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for 5 minutes before removing muffins.

Sticky Buns (I have not made these yet, but will probably make these in place of Monkey Bread this year, and the rotate with the Monkey Bread every other year)

2 1/2 tsps. active dry yeast 2 tsps. salt
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees) 2 Tbsps. margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups buttermilk 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup margarine, softened 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar 1/3 cup raisins
2 tsps. baking powder 1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup margarine, 1/2 cup white sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend 30 seconds with mixer on low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
2. Stir in remaining 3 cups flour. Dough should remain soft and slightly sticky. Knead for 5 minutes. or about 200 turns on a lightly floured board.
3. Form dough into a round and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled.
4. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12 x 7 inch rectangle. Spread each half with 1 Tbsp. soft margarine, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Roll up halves, beginning at wide side. Seal well by pinching seams. Cut each roll into 12 slices.
5. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans in one pan and 1/3 cup raisins in the other pan. Place 12 dough slices in each pan, leaving a small space between slices. Let rise until doubled.
6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Invert pans onto serving plate.


1/3 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg 2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps. baking soda 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves 1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 cup molasses
1 cup hot water

1. Butter and flour a 9 x 9 cake pan.
2. Preheat oven to 375
3. Mix flour, baking soda and spices together.
4. Set aside.
5. Mix molasses and hot water.
6. Stir and set aside.
7. Cream shortening and sugar.
8. Add egg and mix well.
9. Alternately add dry ingredients and molasses mixture to creamed mixture.
10. Resulting mixture will be rather thin.
11. Pour into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes or or until a toothpick comes out clean.
12. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out.
13. Serve with whipped cream flavored with pure vanilla and sweetened with sugar.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast (1 Tbsp.)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour


1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsps. cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened

8 Tbsps. margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese (2 oz.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

1. For the rolls, dissolve yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
2. Add sugar, margarine, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well.
3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
4. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.
6. It should be approximately 1/4 inch thick.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
8. To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
9. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
10. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
11. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.
12. bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
13. While the rolls are baking, combine the icing ingredients.
14. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
15. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.

*Note: I do not make ALL of the above recipes every year. I pick and choose and rotate, but they are our favorites.

Baked Oatmeal

3/4 cup Natural Applesauce
1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 eggs 3 egg whites
2 cups brown sugar
6 cups Rolled Oats
4 tsps. Baking Powder
2 tsps. Salt
2 cups Milk 2 tsps. Vanilla

Mix everything together. Add 2 cups or more of fruit (such as mixed berries, blueberries, or sour cherries) with about 3/4 to 1 cup flour. Can add peaches or raisins too! When adding apples, add cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

16 slices white bread cubed without crust
1 lb. cubed ham (a small ham steak)
1 lb. sharp or mild cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese cubed
6 eggs
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. onion salt or onion powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
3 cups crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup melted butter

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Spread half of bread cubes in your 9 x 13 pan. Top with ham and cheeses and cover with the rest of the bread cubes. Mix eggs, milk, onion salt or powder and mustard together and pour evenly over bread cubes. Refrigerate overnight. Put corn flakes in melted butter and spread over top and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Taco Quiche

2 pounds ground beef 3/4 cup chopped tomato
2 envelopes taco seasoning 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
4 eggs 1/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup milk 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 biscuit/baking mix
Dash pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 to 3 cups chopped lettuce

In a skillet, brown beef; drain. Add taco seasoning and prepare according to the package directions. Spoon meat into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add biscuit mix and pepper; mix well. Pour over meat. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Spread sour cream over the top; sprinkle with lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onions and cheese. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings

Diane's Quiche

1 package spinach, thawed and wrung out. Put on bottom of pie plate. 5 or 6 garlic cloves, crush and put over spinach. Crumble feta cheese over top (3/4 to 1 cup). Cut 2 or 3 plum tomatoes into 1/8s and arrange over top, in a circle. Mix 1 1/2 cups milk, 3 eggs and 3/4 cup Bisquick together and pour over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces) 1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 large eggs 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups half-and-half 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk Dash salt
2 Tbsps. granualated sugar Maple Syrup
Praline Topping (recipe follows)

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 tsp. ground nutmet
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsps. light corn syrup

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage, spice or mild 6 slices loaf bread, cubed
1 large onion, chopped 6 eggs
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper 1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper salt and black pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, optional 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, crumble sausage and begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add onions, peppers, and mushrooms, if desired. Cook until sausage is browned. Drain grease and set aside.

Place bread cubes into a greased 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish. Sprinkle sausage mixture over bread. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over sausage, pressing mixture down until bread is moist. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes or until brown and puffy. Cool 10 minutes; cut into squares to serve.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Hash Brown Casserole

1 cup butter, melted and divided 1 30-ounce package frozen shredded hash
1 10.75 ounce can cream of mushroom soup browns, thawed
1 cup sour cream 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 to 3 cups corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream. Add hash browns and shredded cheese and mix well. Turn into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Evenly spread corn flakes over mixture. Pour remaining butter over top of casserole. Bake 1 hour; serve warm.

Yield: Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef (browned)
1/4 - 1/2 cup onion (minced or chopped)
2 cans kidney beans - do not drain
2 cans stewed tomatoes
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water

You can mix all of this together in a kettle on the stove or in a crockpot. Serve over tortilla chips and top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Holiday Tea

5 tea bags of regular black tea
2 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
6 oz. can of orange juice concentrate
6 ounce of lemonade concentrate

Pour 2 cups boiling water over the 5 tea bags and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Then add the sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. This makes a concentrate. To serve, add 3 Tbsps. of concentrate to 1 cup of hot water. To serve many, use 1 cup of concentrate to 5 cups of hot water!

I mix up a full batch and keep it warm in a crockpot. It is similar in taste to mulled cider.