Living Frugally, Pecan Pie Bars and Smiling Angles- HBHW Newsletter

September 23th 2009


I’m so sorry I didn’t get this newsletter out to you yesterday as planned. I’ve been struggling a bit with insomnia the past few nights and just couldn’t quite get my thoughts together enough to finish it and get it sent out. Instead I ended up taking a much needed nap before getting ready for our girl scout meeting in the afternoon.

I’m glad you are enjoying It’s been a lot of fun putting that site together even though there are still a few little technical quirks to work out. It’s getting there and there are some very interesting blog posts, articles and even videos on the site already. I’ve enjoyed reading the various comments you’ve been making on the site as well.

Here’s the link in case you haven’t checked it out yet –

I better get back to laundry and packing. I’m leaving tomorrow to head to a 3 day blogging conference and am looking forward to meeting some amazing women and learning new things.

That’s it for this week. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free to email me at

Warm Regards,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

Inspirational Quote

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions” – Albert Einstein

Ready to make a Halloween costume with your child? Homemade Halloween Costumes – no sewing required.

Reader Question

If I freeze spices, e.g. ground ancho pepper, I understand that it can
last indefinitely. However, can I take it right from the freezer and
use it, or will it’s potency be lost? Must I leave it out over night?
The problem with that, of course, is that I may not know that I will
need it until an hour or even less, before I do. But, perhaps, that
can’t be helped.



Hi Abba, excellent question. I freeze my spices and do two different things.

For my most commonly used spices, I buy them in bulk, then fill a small amount into a spice jar and freeze the rest. When the spice jar gets low, I add some more. This allows the spices to thaw.

For things I don’t use all the time, I simply take the ground spices out of the freezer and use right away. The particles are so small that they thaw almost immediately.


Even though I have been homemaking for 32 years, I am using a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth for the first time.  Is there a way to get out the “wrinkles” that are in the vinyl when it comes out of the package.  I usually iron my cloth table wear on the table, but of course, in this case the vinyl would melt.


Hi Paula,

I usually wash mine in the washing machine in cold water in a gentle cycle, then put it in the dryer on cold. That gets the wrinkles out and washes off any lose vinyl / plastic particles that may have gotten stock on it during the manufacturing process.


News From The HBHW Club

This is a new section of the newsletter. Each week I’m going to share some tidbits of what’s going on at the HBHW Club with you. I hope you enjoy these extra tips, recipes and ideas and of course would love to have you join the club.

As a HBHW newsletter subscriber, you can join for only $10 per month here:

And to make it even easier, I’ll let you try it out for just a dollar for the first 7 days.

Here’s one of the recipes that were submitted this past week.

Pecan Pie Bars


* 1 pkg yellow cake mix
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 egg


* 2/3 cup reserved cake mix
* 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
* 3 eggs


* 2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Empty the package of cake mix into a large bowl and scoop out 2/3 cup and set it aside for later.  Add the butter and the 1 egg to the bowl with the cake mix and mix together until it gets nice and crumbly.  Press this into the bottom of your pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, put the 2/3 cup cake mix, brown sugar, corn syrup, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed for a minute or two.

When crust is finished baking, pour the filling in and cover with pecans.

Return to the oven and bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes.  Let cool, then cut into bars.

And here are some of the other recipes that have been added in the past few days.

  • Layered Pizza Hot Dish
  • Ginger-Snappy Cookies
  • Chicken Stock
  • Pineapple Cheese Ball
  • German Bread Dumplings

All in all, we have over 200 new recipes in the member area already.

We’re still talking a lot about future issues of the monthly HBHW Club reports as well as doing laundry with homemade detergent.

Ready to join us? Try The HBHW Club for only $1. We’d love to have you!

Featured Article

This week’s featured article is about what it meas to be frugal. Take a minute to read through my thoughts on the topic and then share your own as a comment.

Frugal Definition – What Does It Mean To Live Frugally

Frugal Tips

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Do you have a tip to share? Fill out the submit a frugal tip form and I’ll be glad to add it to the site and share your tip in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.


Here are some of the most recent recipes that have been added to the HBHW site. Enjoy!

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Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Click here to send it to me and I’ll be happy to add it to the website.

I’m Looking For:

This section is going to be all about you. If you are looking for a particular recipe or a tip on how to do something, submit it here and I will post it in an upcoming newsletter. I’ll give you my input and other readers of the newsletter will have the opportunity to share their recipes and tips as well. So take a moment to post your questions and of course if you have a tip or idea for any question posted in this section feel free to leave a comment under the appropriate post.

I’m Looking For Requests
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I’m Looking For Responses
Below you will find some of the recent responses to the “I’m Looking For” Requests. You may also want to go directly to this section and browse through all the recent submissions and replies. To do so, click on “I’m Looking for” here, and start looking through them.
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Inspirational Story


By Catherine Pulsifer

Tears streamed down my face as I sat at my grandmother’s funeral. My grandmother lived a very full life, and was full of energy, love, and wisdom. She always said the right thing for the situation. And, whenever we had a problem, we knew we could talk with Grandma.

As a teenager, I can remember many conversations where Grandmother would give us her worldly wisdom and she would always end up saying you have an angel smiling on you dear I know you will do the right thing. Now, here we were at her funeral, and I could almost hear her saying, the angels are smiling on us. Now, I really knew I had an angel smiling on me as I am sure Grandma was in heaven smiling down and watching out for us.

I offered to help my Mum sort through Grandma’s apartment. The next few days were filled with memories, and filled with laughter, and filled with tears. As we sorted through Grandma’s stuff, it brought back some wonderful memories. I was packing the last of the dishes when my mum called to me. I went into Grandma’s bedroom, and my mum handed me a package with my name written on it. I opened the box and read the poem:

May this little Angel shine upon your home
Filling your days with cheer
Know that She stands on guard for you
To help you smile all year.

And Grandma had handwritten, “hang this stained glass angel in your window to remind you of your angel Kate! Love Grandma”

To this day, I have the stained glass angel hanging in my bedroom window. And, every time I look at it I can hear Grandma saying:

“You have an angel smiling on you dear, I know you will do the right thing.”

Final Thought

That’s it for this edition of the Hillbilly Housewife Newsletter. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I had creating it for you. I also hope that you have found the information helpful and useful. And by all means feel free to forward the newsletter to family and friends or even better, encourage them to subscribe to it.

Do you have a question, a tip, a recipe or a story you’d like to share with us? Email it to me and I’ll include it in a future issue. Can’t wait to see what you have to say.

Warm Wishes,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

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