Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Homemaker's Mentor

It's time for another review and giveaway, this time of an amazing set of resources on one little CD -- The Homemaker's Mentor.  This is a whole bunch of files, all relating to some aspect of keeping a home.

I was attracted to this because of the home aspects.  Titles like:
  • A Vision of Order for your Home
  • Closet Advice
  • Kitchen Sparkle
  • Master Bedroom Detailing
You know, stuff that sounds organized and clean.  Who doesn't want a sparkly kitchen?  Besides me apparently, as I haven't even opened that resource.  Truth be told, I had far too much fun with other titles.  You know, like:
  • How to Make Your Own Home Pizzeria & Ice Cream Parlour (can you say 'banana split'?)
  • Making Jerky and Fruit Leather
  • Dining "IN"
  • Cookies!
  • Beans, Beans & More Beans!
Yeah.  Fruit leather, refried beans, banana splits... definitely more fun than organizing my closet.  And it leads to better photos too.

This isn't just a bunch of recipes, or how-to's for making aprons.  This is a teaching resource, filled with practical advice.  The Beans, Beans & More Beans! materials, for instance, give information about a few dozen types of beans, along with brief advice on how to prepare them.  Then there is general advice about cooking dried beans, and a bunch of recipes.  There is information about bean flours that I found fascinating.

And that is just one of the publications in the Beans group... another has photos of bunches of different types of dried beans, with info.  Others have craft projects, or recipes.  This all prompted me to grab a pound of pinto beans and make my own refried beans.  They were better than any others I've made before, but I didn't get photos.

I did get photos of my pear overload though.  We got six boxes of pears given to us and I was at a loss as to just what to do with them all.  Many were in pretty sad shape.  Making Jerky and Fruit Leather to the rescue, though!

Here are the pears after I got them into my big ol' stockpot on the stove:

Turned that into pear sauce.  Spread it out on plastic wrap on a few baking pans, and put it into a 200 degree oven for a few hours.  It came out looking like this:

Obviously, I spread it a bit too thin in parts of it!  Once it cools a bit, you remove the plastic wrap, put it on new wrap, and roll it up.  Then you chop it into pieces.  I went with fairly small pieces:

My kids could NOT believe there wasn't any sugar added to this, as it is SO sweet.  Probably because those pears were really, really ripe...

So now, instead of six boxes of pears, I've got a bunch of pear roll-ups, 9 quarts of pear sauce, a pear cake, and the kids ate a few dozen pears last week.  I never would have tried the fruit leather bit, but because of the hints and tips in there, I'm thinking that any time I get some fruit that is a bit past its prime, I'll be mixing it in with apple- or pear-sauce, and making fruit leather.  Especially when it is chilly out and I want to heat up my kitchen!

The best part, of what I've used so far?  Chocolate sauce for ice cream, that tastes very similar to what my grandma used to make.  Doesn't this look amazing?

There is an amazing giveaway going that includes far more than just The Homemaker's Mentor.  In fact, there is over $400 worth of resources, pictured here.

You can check out a whole bunch of other fantastic reviews over at Bow of Bronze.

I'm giving away two copies of the CD as well.  If you are international, you will receive a download version instead of the CD.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amy B said...

The fruit leather is something I definitely want to try! Thanks for a great review :)

Kayla Rice said...

I am feeling constantly overwhelmed with Homemaking. Three children two dogs and a husband in the army that is away more then he is home. I could use some tips and encouragement!

Anonymous said...

I'm fortunate enough to be a homemaker and I feel that there is always something new to learn.

Unknown said...

I am still learning and would love to raise my daughter with all of the skills she will need for her own home. This set would be an amazing help!

Stephanie - Couponing Momma said...

I have always wanted to learn how to can so the Canning Lesson is one I'm very interested in.