Archives for August 2016

Seven Great Ways to Use Eggs

I went grocery shopping yesterday and was amazed to discover that (in our area anyway) a carton of five dozen eggs is only $2.69. I can’t remember the last time eggs were that cheap.  That’s a LOT of protein for less than $3.  In honor of that smoking hot deal (at Winco for local folks) I thought I’d share seven great ways to use eggs.  (The eggs in this first photo are from our chickens a few years ago.)

Eggs, wonderful eggs

  1. This one is simple as they come.  Boil a dozen or so and stash them in the fridge for an easy protein addition to any meal.  Almost all of my teens will grab an egg to take with them on the way to work, especially if I take a few minutes and peel them.  Since most of them tend to be breakfast-skippers, I call this a victory and try to have a few cooked eggs ready in the fridge as often as I can.  Here’s a recipe if you need the details of making a good boiled egg.Eggs
  2. Here’s a Cobb Salad recipe that I tweaked by adding spiced lentils. Feel free to tweak as you wish.Cobb-Salad-sm
  3. Poached eggs on toast…..yummy! And check out this recipe if you’d like to add a hollandaise sauce to make this even more wonderful.j
  4.  Mexican-Style Migas is hearty enough to be served for breakfast or dinner, and is great in the late summer when (if) you have tomatoes and peppers in the garden.migas
  5. If your family’s interests tend to center more on the dessert end of life, try this super-easy recipe for “Impossible” Coconut Custard Pie.7 Great Ways to Use Eggs (Owlhaven)
  6. Stuffed French Toast Strata-– Here’s another sweet one. We make this on Christmas Eve for breakfast, but there’s really no reason to confine this yumminess to only one day a year.French Toast Strata
  7. And finally, here’s a great back-to-school idea.  Who wouldn’t love a few freezer bags full of ready-made Freezer Breakfast Burritos? 7 Great Ways to Use Eggs

PS– With all of these recipes, you should be able to click on the photo to get to the website featuring that recipe.  And if you’re in the mood for more affordable and family friendly recipes, head on over to Amazon and check out my cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week.

‘Impossible’ Coconut Custard Pie

Here’s a recipe that my mom made when I was a child. She said that it was called ‘Impossible Pie’ because it makes its own crust, which is an impossibly easy way to make a pie. You make it by simply mixing all the ingredients in the blender, and somehow the floury part of the batter settles to the bottom of the pie pan and the coconut floats to the top, and you end up with a really yummy coconut egg custard.

We always loved it as kids and I’m sure she loved how easy it was to make, as well as the amount of protein she sneaked into our bellies thanks to the generous use of milk and eggs in this recipe.


Impossible Coconut Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Impossible Coconut Pie


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Place milk, coconut, eggs, vanilla, flour, butter, and sugar in blender. Mix well.
  2. Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch pie plate. Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

I've had good luck making this pie gluten free simply by substituting any gluten-free flour mix instead of regular wheat flour.


LivingAs we near the start of our school year, I’m thinking of what I’d like to do that’s new.  This year I’ve decided to focus more on ‘living’ books than I have in the past few years.  These are books that tell stories about our world with a lively, conversational story-telling style, in a way that makes subjects “come alive.” Here are some of the books that have caught my eye. You can click on the titles below to see more about each book on amazon.


Do you homeschool with ‘living’ books?  What books have your children enjoyed?


More Booklists

Charlotte Mason Booklist (by grade)

1000 Good Books

Summer goodies


We’re savoring the tail end of summer, including all the yummy things that come with the season.  There’s no better time of year for a good BLT.  At this time of year I’m usually awash in cucumbers, so I love to slice those cucumbers thin and add them in instead of the typical lettuce. Good bread, toasted, is the way to make these sandwiches really shine.  Since mayo is not my thing, I like a dab of mustard or some nice spicy hummus on my sandwich.   Yum!  I want one right now!


Peach Jam is another goodie from last week.  I honestly wasn’t planning on canning a .thing. this year– I’ve had such a LONG running of August canning craziness that I’d decided to take a year entirely off.  But then my sister’s neighbor was giving away peaches off their loaded tree.  How could I resist?

I brought home nearly a bushel of lovely peaches, some of which I gave away.  But I ended up with a dozen nice jars of jam also.  With the help of my youngest two daughters, it didn’t take us more than an hour, counting the time it took to process the jars.  Easy peasy.

SO easy, in fact, that I’m finding myself hunting down other canning recipes.  (Once a canner, always a canner?)  Here’s a recipe for peach mint salsa that has me intrigued, since my mint is going absolutely nuts and desperately needs taming.  Of course I’d have to buy peaches.  Hmmm… or maybe this one for tomato mint salsa???  I have LOTS of tomatoes, along with some incredibly fiery jalapenos.  Maybe that will be my next project!



Check out Owlhaven Vacation for the latest beach house updates if you’re interested in such things.  And by all means, weigh in and help me choose a backsplash for the kitchen!


August happenings

waterparkWe’ve had a busy, interesting week. Last night we went to a Family Force 5 concert that was held at our local water park.  It turned out to be a fun choice of venue.  The stage was in front of the wave pool, and the weather was perfect for an evening at the water park– hot enough we were glad for the water, but not so insanely hot that we burned out feet walking between rides.  And as always, Family Force 5 put on a really fun show.

I finished a really interesting book last week.  It’s called A Million Miles in A Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story. The book is funny, thought-provoking and just great writing!  I’ve been recommending it to everyone in sight lately because I enjoyed it so much.

This week I’ve also slowly been painting our master bath, trying out the Sea Salt paint that I’m considering for some of the bathrooms in the beach house.  John and I both love the light, calm muted green of the paint.  It’s a winner!

In other house news, we got our building permit this week for the beach house!  The very next day our contractor got the hole dug for the beach house, with foundation-pouring happening within the next week or two. I put up a couple new posts, and we can’t wait to go see some actual honest-to-goodness progress in a few weeks!

Emily, age 14, is helping with Vacation Bible School at our church next week, and will be playing the part of an oLittle-octopusctopus in the daily skits. She and I got brainstorming about what she might wear to look like an octopus, and we decided some sewing was in order. Luckily there’s Pinterest, where almost any craft you can dream has already been attempted by someone else.

We based our project roughly on this tutorial and I think it turned out fun. You add elastic to the tends of the tentacles to get that fun curl.  Still thinking about headgear, but here’s our adorable Ali modeling the legs.  It took most of an afternoon to sew, but I think it turned out really fun, and will be interesting for the kids watching the play.

Hard to believe it is already August.  With as busy as we’ve been lately, I think we won’t be jumping back into school til September.  We’re still having too much fun with summer!  How about you?  How’s your summer going?  Are your kids going back to school soon?