Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Archive for March, 2009

Super Mom Tip of the Day – How to Make a Garbage Can Compost Bin

Posted by supermom on March 31, 2009

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Super Mom Tip of the Day – How to Make a Garbage Can Compost Bin




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Make it Monday – How to Sew the Cover for the Rice Hot/Cold Therapy Bag

Posted by supermom on March 23, 2009

To make the cover for the rice therapy bag that I posted the instructions for on the last Make It Monday:

For the rice bag cover:  Cut one piece of polar fleece 7″X25″ and one piece 7″X27″ (the extra two inches form the button flap extension)

Now because this was a Valentine’s gift for our oldest daughter… I wanted to jazz it up a bit, so I also cut one piece 7″X27″ from a colourful cotton fabric on which I centered a piece of redwork embroidery.   I’m including those steps in the instructions but it is not necessary and they can be ignored if you’re simply wanting a nice soft cover for your rice bag.

For the button flap extension:   cut one piece of fabric 2″X7″ from cotton if adding that or from fleece if not.

To begin,  place center of redwork embroidery at what will be the center of the finished cover.   Remember you have the button flap extension, so the center of the finished piece would be 12.5″ from the end opposite the button flap extension.  Pin redwork in place and

Place 7″X27″cotton right side up on right side of 7″X27″ fleece.  Baste all the way around using ¼”

Turn under and sew a ½” hem on 7″X25″ piece of polar fleece.

Next, pin the two pieces of fleece right sides together.  Sew down one long side, across the end and up the other long side, using ½”

Clip seam as shown, making sure not to clip more than one half inch:clip-seam

Trim seams to ¼”.

For the button flap extension, I cut one 7″ side of the extension on the selvage edge of the cotton to eliminate the need to hem, but otherwise, you’ll need to turn under 1/2″ hem.

Pin this piece to the wrong side of button flap extension.  Sew using ½” seam as indicated in

Clip corners diagonally.  Trim seam to ¼”. trim-seams-and-clip-corners

Turn extension right side out and sew along bottom edge of cotton to hold in place.   Turn the rice bag cover right side out.

Sew two buttonholes one inch in, on either side of button flap

Fold button flap extension down.  Mark position for buttons.  Sew buttons in

Heat or chill your rice therapy bag and insert it into cover.finished-rice-bag-cover

Now sit and relax while the therapy bag goes to work on those aches and pains.

If you have any question about these instructions, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to clarify.

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Super Mom’s Jambalaya

Posted by supermom on March 19, 2009

1 to 1 ½ lb country sausage

½  medium onion, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

½  green pepper, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic (if you don’t have minced garlic, use 1 tsp garlic powder)

2 – 6 oz cans tomato paste

4 c beef broth

1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp sweet basil

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp white pepper (if you don’t have white pepper, double amount of black pepper),

½ tsp cayenne.

1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce

1 ½ c long grain rice

Cut 1 lb country sausage in half lengthwise and then slice into about ½ inch pieces.  If you can’t get country sausage, you can substitute kielbasa or polish sausage or any other similiar kind of sausage.  A more heavily spiced sausage will add heat to the recipe so you may want to adjust your spices accordingly to suit your taste.cut-up-sausage

Fry sausage in a large pot until the sausage is cooked and little bits have stuck to the bottom of the pan.  This will add flavour.   Transfer sausage to a bowl.  Drain off any excess fat.fry-sausage

Dice onion, celery and pepper.  For this recipe I used a mix of yellow, orange and red pepper to add a bit of colour and because I had some chopped and ready in the freezer. dice-onions-celery-and-pepper

Now because the sausage I use leaves hardly any fat, for this next step I add a bit of olive oil to the pot.  Add onion, celery and pepper.  Saute until onions get that nice clear look to them.saute-onions-celery-and-pepper

Next add the tomato paste and let it brown a bit.  What you’re doing here is allowing the sugar in the tomato paste to start to caramelize.  This deepens the flavour and the colour but you do have to stir it constantly over medium heat so that it doesn’t burn.   It will take a few minutes until the tomato paste turns a dark, dark red colour.add-tomato-paste

Stir in 2 c of the beef broth.   (As you can see, hubby decided to come help while I manned the camera.)add-beef-broth

Add spices and worchestershire sauce.   Stir in diced tomatoes and last 2 c of beef broth.

At this point you’ll want to taste to determine if you want more spices.  We find this is plenty spicy but go ahead and adjust this to suit your family’s tastes.

Add back the cooked sausage.

Lastly, stir in the rice.

Stir everything together

Stir everything together

Cook over very low heat until the rice is done.

Check and stir often.  If needed add extra water until rice is completely cooked.  This may take up to an hour.  Don’t try to cook it too fast or over higher heat.  The rice with stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Serve and enjoy.

A dollop of sour cream will help cut the heat

A dollop of sour cream will help cut the heat

This recipe has been added as part of:


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SuperMom Tip of the Day – Using Coupons to Build Your Food Stockpile

Posted by supermom on March 3, 2009

Recently I’ve been following the blog, Total Ready.   Several weeks ago, she started a weekly post in which she lists one type of food to buy each week with the intention that over the course of a year you will create a stockpile of a three month supply of food.

I grew up in rural Alberta and so I’m more than familiar with having a supply of food stored away in case of emergency.  It was something I continued to do throughout our years of moving from posting to posting in the Canadian Army.

Then, of course, when we bought our acreage, we planted a huge garden including about 175 hills of potatoes each year.  I canned and froze a wide variety of vegetables.  Root vegetables were stored in our cold room in the cellar.  In the late summer, I bought fruit by the case and canned it.  A few roads over from our acreage there were saskatoons growing wild.  We picked those to freeze and can.

From 1999, a picture of half of our garden with greenhouse that Dave build in the background

From 1999, a picture of half of our garden with greenhouse that Dave built in the background

We kept chickens that gave me close to a dozen eggs per day.  In the spring, we bought chicks to raise for meat.  In the fall Dave hunted so we had venison.  We bought our lamb, pork and beef from the farmers in the family.

While living that life, I could safely know that if something out of the ordinary happened, we had a supply of food that would last for several months.

Then even when we were given the opportunity to move to Maui, where fresh food is plentiful year round, I continued to keep a stockpile of canned and frozen foods, as well as flour,  sugar and spices,  just in case.

As we moved on to Florida and now Georgia, I again continued to keep on hand a good supply of the foods that we use on a regular basis.  When something we use goes on sale, I stock up.

But since moving to the States, I’ve never really sat down and figured out how long the food I have on hand would meet our dietary needs.  Thanks to those weekly postings over on Totally Ready, I’m starting to get a pretty good idea.

For instance this week, the assignment is to buy vegetables; 10 cans per person in your family, as well as a supply of frozen veggies.   To my delight, after checking my cupboards and our freezers, I discovered that I have this more than covered.

A couple of weeks ago, though, it was a different story.  That assignment was to purchase 4 cans of soups per family member.

I don’t usually keep a large supply of soup on hand, because most often I make ours from scratch.  It’s more nutritious, more delicious and I can adjust the recipe depending on what ingredients I have on hand.  But I do understand that during an emergency I may not have the time or ability to make soup from scratch, so buy soup I did.

To make it more affordable, I checked the weekly sale ads and discovered that Krogers had Progresso soups on sale for $1.65 per can.  ($1.49 for Progresso Light.)   Also that week, there were internet coupons available for $1.10/1 off any kind of Progresso soup.  I could have gone with the Progresso Light and got each can for 39 cents, but decided that during an emergency the extra calories in regular Progresso might be a better, more filling choice.   I have access to two computers so I was able to print off four coupons; enough for one person.

During that week’s trip to Krogers, I picked up four cans for $2.60.  That’s about the cost of one can when not on sale.

A quick check of my cupboards, had revealed that I had four cans of “cream of” soup… tomato (1), mushroom (2), chicken (1).   Last week, I was able to print off coupons for $1 off two cans of Campbell’s cooking soups.  I’ll be watching for those to come on sale to fill out my supply of soup.

By shopping sales combined with coupons, I’m going to be able to stock up in the food items that I’m lacking for much less than if I had to buy each of the assigned foods at full price.  And as Martha says, “That’s a good thing.”

This post was submitted as part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

As well as, over on


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