Monday, April 6, 2009

In and Around the Home This Week & Root Beer

On the Table: Whoopie pies! Some time ago someone asked for a whoopie pie tutorial. The good news is I was able to document the last batch I made, though I don't think it was the best batch. The cookies spread in the oven more than they ever had, and so they were very large and a little flatter than I like. The kitchen was very hot that night, I ended up opening a window. Perhaps the combination of the hot kitchen and the butter I used made the cookies spread. Since I don't make these often, I made a large batch. They freeze so nicely and last a long time. Well, they last until they are found, I should say. So I'll have the tutorial up soon.

Around the Home: What a relief to finish the quilted table runner, which was a gift for my mother. It was entirely machine quilted, which is still something I am new at and not very good! I can machine piece okay, but the quilting part was a bit of a challenge. I'm not eager to do it again anytime soon. It also didn't help that I made the runner up out of my head with no pattern. Anyway, now I can focus on getting spring/summer clothing in order. I already have a dress mostly sewn.

In the Garden: Lots of tidying up the flower beds, filling in soil, and planting summer bulbs. The front flower bed which I had intended as a perennial garden was mostly filled with annuals last year. As you can guess, it's a big blank slate again. But I really am filling it with perennials this year- day lilies, hostas, lavender, and viola.

In the Kitchen: We had some root beer extract laying around for some time, and I finally got around to making a gallon. It's so easy with the extract, you just need to add water, sugar, and yeast. This is the "quick" method, which will still take a few days. Here is how it went:

First I dissolved 1/4 tsp. yeast in a cup of warm water. Wait about five minutes for it to dissolve. In a separate container, mix a Tablespoon of extract with 2 cups of sugar in enough warm water to dissolve the sugar. Then, pour everything into a sterilized bottle. If you don't have a large gallon jug you can use a couple of large soda bottles with their caps.

Once your ingredients are in the bottle, fill the rest up with tap water leaving about 1-2 inch headway. Seal with the cap.

Keep in a warm place (70-75 degrees) for 3 days, up to ten days if it is winter and your house is cool. Then, place in the refrigerator to chill before opening. Pour carefully as homemade root beer leaves a yeast deposit on the very bottom of the bottle. Enjoy!


  1. Almost like making your own wine.

  2. I hope you scraped yourself off the floor so you can prepare your own well planned meals. LOL Would you believe I woke up this morning with not a single idea in my head? But once I got to thinking, ideas kept coming.

  3. That explains why the instructions on the extract explicitly state: Will Not Make Alcohol. I guess some people take the "beer" part of root beer very seriously.

  4. You know I LOVE menu plan Monday and that root beer recipe is one that I have to try just for fun! It sounds really easy. And the BBQ chicken pizza - BINGO! You always have good stuff - lucky husband over there I'd say. And you work, too?? I'm missing an energy gene I think.

  5. I had no idea you could make your own root beer. LOL How awesome is that.

    Won't you show pictures of the table runner??? I would love to see it. I know your mother will love it.

    God's Blessings,
    Amy Jo

  6. Hi Monica Sunday tacos sound good got an extra plate? and the root beer looks really good too. I will start making ours soon. Mine is somewhat the same recipe but I leave mine in the hot sun.. I got it out of one of Wanda Brunstetter books. Ray loves it, now I wonder if I should be putting in a hot place. I had posted mine on my blog last summer. Mine also makes a gallon and it doesn't last long. I'm thinking about buying a cap machine and doing them up for the fridge for the summer.
    I also am making a new summer dress with a cape . Its giving me a little trouble..
    Have u seen my store I opened up I had it posted on my blog on used books..Still have lots more to post..
    Blessings Sister Brenda

  7. How would homemade rate with A&W? If it tastes too different from that, I may not want to try it. I have had some bad rootbeers.

  8. It doesn't taste quite like anything you would get at the store.

  9. One question about the root beer - what makes it so dark? I guess root beer extract is dark but with all that water I'd think it would be so much lighter in color. Guess not, huh? I really do like to cook and try new things, but to someone who has a high skill level, I know I sound like a doofus!

  10. We make rootbeer as well. It's very nostalgic for me, as we used to make it at home in the summertime. Now I have my mom's old pop bottles to use. We make 5 gallons at a time, and lay them in the basement, but I think I'd like to try the gallon recipe sometime. One time we couldn't get it drank fast enough, and when we opened one of the bottles, the rootbeer shot up and hit the ceiling! Quite a mess, I must say.


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