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Showing posts from June, 2008

Monday on the Homestead

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Well the weather is just beautiful here in the PNW! We have had several days full of sunshine and heat and I just love every minute of it. I think summer has finally come to our little corner of the world.  

For the last few days I have been cooking with my crockpot.. or should I say crockpots.. I have 2 of them a big 6qt and 2 or 3 qt..  I think that is the size. It is an old one that use to be my moms many years ago, but it works like a trooper. I love being able to put both of them to use for a meal. One day I put a beanless chili in the big crockpot and cooked pinto beans in the small one. When the beans were done cooking I drained the liquid and added a little more salt and some butter and smashed them up right in the crockpot to make refried beans (not that they were fried at all..lol..).. Sierra made a salad and the combo was delicious. Another favorite combo is meatballs in the big crockpot and mac and cheese in the small one and serve with a fresh green salad.   I have been ta…

New Soap and Lotion Scents for Summer!

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I have two new goat milk soap scents for the summer season at Crystals Country Store.
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Watermelon and Iced Pineapple


And four new lotion scents!
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Pink Grapefruit, Iced Pineapple, Warm Vanilla Sugar and Raspberry


Plus for a limited time you can save 10% when you buy selected soap and lotion combinations.

Click HERE for more information.

Making Healthy and Quick Lasagna

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I am a big advocate of cooking from scratch and keeping it frugal and healthy..but every now and again I need something quick to put together that does not sacrifice health. I know I will spend a bit more to make it healthy but I also know I am spending much less than if I was to buy take out food for my family and with that added expense there would be no health advantages.
This is one meal I make that is quick to put together and I have used the healthiest ingredients I could find.

Here are the basic ingredients:

Healthy & Quick Lasagna

1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1jar (25oz approx) organic pasta sauce such as the brand Muir Glen
1 container (16oz) organic cultured cottage cheese
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Here is how it is made

Begin by gathering together your ingredients

Put a frying pan on the stove to heat up.

While it is getting hot, chop up your onion

Cook hamburger and onion until hamburger is no longer pink and onion is soft

Add pasta sauce and …

Saturday on the Homestead

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Well this last week has been crazy busy.We were working on all the last minute details to get Leanne ready to leave for Orlando (Teen Missions), CAT testing for the kids and Tobin was working like crazy around the property. 
However.. yesterday Leanne left for her 2 month missions trip to Egypt!She will spend 2 weeks in FL at Boot Camp then 4 weeks in Egypt at the Lillian Thrasher Orphanage and then 2 weeks in Switzerland for debrief.She was nervous, scared, excited..all in one!Her plane left last night at 10:00 and Tobin took her to the airport to see her off (and then he had to head to work which is one reason we did not all go.. and the fact that everyone else would only be able to go as far as security with her anyway..Tobin could go all the way to the gate with her since he works for the airline).They saw 3 other Teen Mission kids there (you can spot them by their boots..they arrive in work boots and jeans ).She called me this morning to let me know she had made it safe and sound…

Updates from the Homestead

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This last week flew by.I kept busy with housekeeping, laundry, updating my website, time on my boards, and time in town.
I was in town twice last week; once with Tobin for our weekly date and later in the week with my girls for grocery shopping.Before we got going on the shopping we went to a local community college so Emily could take her next CLEP test.The test was History I and she passed with flying colors!I was quite pleased.She is now heading onto History II.The course had a lot of dates and wars and info to memorize.She is really putting into practice the study skills she learned when she first got started.She emailed her coach when she got home to let her know she had passed. We received a call last week from her degree planner to make the specific plans for her accounting degree. She will know next week specifically what classes she will be taking. Right now she is working on all her general classes. I am very proud of all her hard work on this, on top of working full time.
Le…

Black Bean Chicken Chili In Pictures!

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While making another yummy bean dish for my family I took step by step pictures for anyone wanting to try this one out! I received several emails from ladies saying they had tried my Italian Pintos and their families enjoyed it, so I hope this will be another good one for anyone who gives it a try!

You can find the recipe for Black Bean Chicken Chili here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/blackbeanchickenchili.htm


The first step is to assemble your ingredients



Add your beans to a 6qt pot and add water





And salt…


Bring to a boil. Slowly reduce the heat over 5 minutes and put a lid on the pot and turn the burner to low. Slowly reducing the heat over 5 minutes before putting the lid on will help the pot of beans not to boil over.



Let the beans cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or longer if you live at higher elevations. Check the beans at the end of the cooking time. When you blow on one, the skin should crack. When taste one they should be nice and soft, not hard in any way.
When the beans have finishe…