Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Bread Recipe

A couple of weeks ago I purchased this book through my swagbucks earnings from Amazon.

I loved their first book so much that I was eager to read this one. Yes, it proves to be just as wonderful as the first.
The Duggars are just so down to earth and pleasant, their book is easy to read and full of good Godly wisdom.
One thing that makes their book so nice, is it has recipes every few pages. All we have to do is take that recipe and half it (at least) to feed our crew. :)

One of the recipes I tried today was their Golden Wheat Bread.
I looked around their website to see if I could link up the recipe there, but I couldn't find it.

It isn't exactly like this one, but it's close.

Homemade bread is such a grand thing. It just warms the heart to know you are feeding your family well. Not only is it nourishing with a good meal or a bowl of soup, but put a pat of butter and some homegrown jam on it and you have dessert too.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

Later on this week, I will begin baking for the Farmer's Market. I think I will make a couple of loaves of this bread along with some cookies, by request!

Today however, is my mother's birthday!
I love my Moma and I can't imagine anyone having a better mother than I have. It's true. She's amazing.
She is such a great supporter of me and my family and the life we have chosen to live. She is always my biggest encourager whenever I get down and out. She loves and loves and loves...
I am so thankful that she is a big part of our lives.

With that said, I am making my Moma some of this banana nut bread for her birthday!

Here's the recipe

1/2 cup lard or butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour (I plan on using 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs beaten
3 bananas mashed
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 350*
Cream fat and sugar
Sift together dry ingredients and add to cream mixture
Add remaining ingredients and mix well
Pour into well greased loaf pan
Bake 40 minutes or until set.

The glaze is just a simple powder sugar and milk glaze with extra nuts sprinkled on top.

I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Jammin

I woke up to the sound of rain this morning. It was so wonderful. Rain has been pouring all day and the children are spending a day with Grandma and Grandpa. Papa is at work, so Moma is here all alone! Whatever do I do with myself?
So, I'm jammin.
I may even be pickling in a bit too... I think I have all I need to make up some pickles, or maybe even some relish.

I hope you are enjoying your day too!


Monday, June 27, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, we were given a bouquet of Yarrow at the Farmer's Market from some of our farmer friends. I *believed* that yarrow was a flower that was used for many different things, one being a natural dye.
Through the magic of google and a nifty phone, my farmer friend was able to confirm I was correct as well as share with me the other many useful reasons for growing this flower around your home!

A very kind reader just informed me that a book she is reading, Growing 101 Herbs That Heal, by Tammi Hartung says only use the white yarrow medicinally and use the colored yarrows for dye. 
Thank you again, Mommy Set Free for your information!

  • Internally you can use yarrow for colds, flu, measles, to clear gastric mucus
  • Externally you can use it for sitz baths, wounds, astringent, headaches, cramps
  • Aromatherapy and essential oil uses are for gynecological problems, for congestion, migraines, open sores, circulation.... and so on!!!
Isn't that amazing?
I do believe that if we were to take the time to look, get our bodies back in with nature by eating what is real food, drinking what is real and stay away from man made pills (if possible) then God has provided us with SOOOO many ways to use His world around us. Everything has a purpose. 

As you know I wanted the  yarrow for dye, but before I made it up, Shannon started feeling poorly. Headache, chills, and the works.
I gave him two of the yarrow leaves. He put them in his nose for a little while and within no time his headache went away. It was amazing. Now don't be all grossed out, I mean, really. A couple of leaves in the nose is no big thing... He could have taken tylenol or advil or something, but why??? Why take something that does more damage than good?

No bad side effects with this! :)

Now, on with the dye.
I goofed.
Yep, you get the real deal on this blog.
I messed up.
I had the flowers all cut up and so lovely, but I got in a hurry and forgot a primary ingredient to help make the dye.
I was supposed to soak my wool in a plant fixitave before I put it in my dye pot.
Live and learn, right??? :)
All part of the process.
So now you know!
And hopefully you can remember this step if you are to try making the dye.

And if you are interested in growing this herb on your homestead, as we are.... a friend of ours said that it takes over. So growing it in an area where it has plenty of room to spread is a must.
It can grow in full sun. It doesn't take great soil. It can come in many colors!
If you grow this and have any other information, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!
May you have a wonderful day on your homestead!

I'm joining in today here...



Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Things Friday:

So often my Friday's are busy and I am sometimes at a loss as what to blog about on this day. I'm jumping on the bandwagon of Favorite Things Friday!
I will do my best to share invaluable items that I enjoy.
Today's favorite item is my food mill or what we called a tomato reamer.
I was given this many years ago and it is so useful when canning up my tomato sauce each year. I just love it!

It is an old tool, bought with a group of items at an estate sale.
Sometimes you just can't improve on greatness and this tool is GREAT!

I can run the tomatoes through the sieve, the juice pours out the holes and it works beautifully. It makes me happy knowing that I am using the same type of tool my great grandmothers used for all their putting-by.
The beauty is in the result. You can't get much better than that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glazed Pork Chops

Last night I made the most delicious meal. It was supposed to be our Father's Day meal, but Papa felt poorly over Father's Day, so we held off until he could really enjoy eating again. 

I had purchased some chops from our local farmer's market. Yes, pastured pork! WOO HOO!
My gracious... it was soooooo good. 

Anyways, this is how I made them.

I heated a little olive oil and butter in my skillet.
I took the pork chops and salt and peppered both sides and laid them in the skillet.
Give them time to get nice and brown before you move them.
I have learned this is a VERY good tip when cooking meat that you want tender and juicy. Another good tip is to use some tongs, rather than a fork, because when you pierce the meat, the juices flow and the meat becomes tough.

Once you meat is cooked most of the way then you get your glaze on.

I used a cup of fresh orange juice and a cup of peach preserves. 
Mix those together well and then pour over your meat.

I was telling a friend about this recipe and found out she didn't eat pork, but chicken would be delightful also!

Now that your glaze is added to the pan, turn the heat down slightly and give that meat a good chance to soak up some of that yummy flavor.
During this time you should see that it does indeed soak up some of the juice. Don't cook your pan dry. You will end up burning your meat then.

I  had a picture, but blogger is not letting me load pictures right now.
So until I can, you will just have to try this for yourself.
I served this alongside some cooked cabbage and green beans with new potatoes.
It was delicious!



Monday, June 20, 2011

First Market of the year

Good Morning, My Friends!

Saturday morning was our FIRST Farmer's Market of the year. Thankfully it was a success and just as enjoyable as last year.
I love our little market so much. Everyone is so friendly and personable. The market draws out people whom you have not seen in a while or may have never met. So many good conversations are to be had...
about farming, gardening, medicinal uses of herbs. Oh, the plethora of knowledge you can gain from those who have been at it longer than we.
Here is our table.
At our table I had the last of the gardens lettuce, strawberry jam, relish, pickled garlic, pickles, homemade vanilla, eggs, handicrafts, whole wheat cinnamon rolls, freshly ground wheat, herbs, garlic and chive butter and a beautiful handmade wooden garbage can. Our garden is still growing so not a lot of produce just yet, but... it was a great day.

These two dish towels are new to our booth this year. I found them at a local variety store. I loved the vintage look to them and knew I wanted to make something lovely with them.
So I got busy stitching some designs... I adore how they turned out. Now only if I will take the time to make one for myself. :)
Dear oh dear the day was humid! I knew it was going to be when the cinnamon dough was rising sooo quickly and my hair was frizzing. hahha.

I hope you are all enjoying your local farmer's markets.
Eat fresh, eat local!




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Around the Farm 6.16.11

Sara, at Farmama (my FAVORITE blog) is hosting Thursday posts of "Around the Farm". I haven't had a chance to participate until today.
I was so happy to get outside with my camera this morning to capture some of the beauty of what's going on Around our Farm!
Grape Clusters just waiting to ripen! YEAH! The birds ate what little grapes we had last year and this year we seem to have an abundance if they make it. So excited! Also, I have been reading that grape leaves have MANY different uses.

The lavender is in full bloom. I plan on cutting some for the Farmer's Market this weekend. It looks a bit more sparse than yesterday, but we had a HARD rain last night.
Morning chores. If you see on the right, there are the babes. They are getting so big!
Here's a close up of one of our Barred Rocks. Isn't her color pattern amazing? God is so creative!
Tomatoes! Cherry tomatoes to be exact! Our plants are a bit later than some folks around here, but we don't use any type of chemical fertilize. No miracle grow on these beauties. I'll take a little later harvest for pure, fresh veggies. Yes!

So many wonderful things happening around here lately. I am so grateful for our little homestead. Lot's of ideas floating around up here in my ole noggin too... so hopefully they will come to fruition and I will be able to share them with you as well!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Homemade Convenience Foods: Pizza

Sometimes it is sooooo easy to call up your local Pizza Delivery or your $5 pizza joint, just to get out of cooking. There are days when life is tough.
That is why it is such a great idea to have pizza made up and in your freezer to bring out on those days. I'm having one of those days, today. blech.

With summer here it is very easy to turn your homemade pizza into something that is wonderfully healthy and totally yummilicious!

Start with a basic dough for your crust. Here is the one I like to use.

Basic Dough Recipe (Perfect for pizza, hamburger buns, rolls, etc.)
2 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour 
2 cups all purpose flour
(OR, you can use 4 cups of all purpose flour) 
2 Tbsp yeast
Combine in a large bowl and set aside

In a small saucepan add the following:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
Mix in saucepan til warm but not hot!
(Remember you are adding this to your dry ingredients and the yeast will not activate if it is too cold and it will die if it is too hot)

Add the wet to dry and mix
It will begin to get thick, once it does toss it on your floured counter and knead briefly.
This is a quick bread recipe so it doesn't take but just a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle some flour back in  your bowl and add your nice smooth ball of dough back in, cover with a tea towel and set somewhere warm for about 10-15 minutes.

Once you see that the dough has at least doubled and maybe tripled, plop dough back onto your floured surface and knead a few more times.

Your dough should be smooth and elastic.
Roll the dough on your pan until nice and even.

Here's our sauce:
3 – 8oz cans tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon chopped garlic from the jar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1t salt

Mix all ingredients together and heat up until warm.

Top with your favorite vegetables and cheese.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy to be Home

Thank you my friends, for being patient with us while we were away. We were invited on a vacation with our extended family. I was hesitant at first to go away for so long without Shannon, but he insisted we go. It was a wonderful trip. The children loved it, although the beach wore poor Abram out. We would get out there every morning and before lunch time he was ready for a nap. Ha.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.

I hope you had a lovely week as well.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Be back soon

I am going to take this opportunity to step away from my bloggy space for awhile.
There is so much going on here at home and elsewhere that my mind is cluttered.
I will be back in about a week.
Until then I hope you enjoy your weekend and I look forward to talking to you again soon!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recipe I can't wait to try...

I have started using Pintrest... it is so neat and WOW at the amazing things out there on this big ole WWW of ours!
This is the picture...

Tell me you don't want them?!?!
Yeah, I do too!
Here is the link with the recipe.
I will let you know once I have made them.
My mouth waters every time I look at this picture!
Brown Butter and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies