Sunday, November 30, 2008

What’s Been Coking in my Kitchen?

 

This afternoon was a little busy in the kitchen. It was a quiet afternoon and seemed like a good day to get a few things done. We ate up just about all our turkey. It lasted Thursday, Friday and Saturday for lunch. On Saturday evening I took what little meat that was left off the bird and used most of it in a Mexican rice casserole. I mixed about 5 cups cooked brown rice with 3 cups chopped turkey, 1 can spicy tomatoes, a little salsa and put it in a 9x13 pan, topped it with cheese and baked it until the cheese was melted and all was hot. While that was baking I made a double batch of my Cuban black bean patties (a new recipe that is in my Cooking with Beans! eBook). We had the rice casserole, black bean patties and salad for dinner. 

 

Today I took the carcass and covered it with water, added a chopped onion, chopped celery and salt and it is currently simmering on the stove. I will leave it simmering until tomorrow morning and turkey soup will be tomorrow’s dinner. 

 

 

 

That still left today to figure out what was for dinner. We are all ready for a break from turkey so I pulled out a bag of cooked red beans from the freezer. There were probably 5 cups of beans with their cooking broth. I also had a ½ lb of cooked hamburger in the freezer (last week I only used a ½ lb in one of my soups and froze the other ½). I added this with the beans and a can of diced tomatoes. I sautéed in olive oil, onions, celery and peppers and added this to the beans along with some chili powder and Tabasco and a little salt.. and voila! Chili Bean Soup for dinner! I am serving it with tortilla chips and a salad. 

 

 

 

While I was cooking up my soups Leanne and Sierra made a triple batch of apple cinnamon muffins. I bought a 20lb box of organic Fuji apples on my last Azure order and have been working to use them up. We have eaten a lot of apples, made 3 apple pies and now 3 dozen muffins. The box is almost gone now..  

 

 

 

Here is the recipe for the muffins:

 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

 

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup cane juice crystals

1 ½ t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

½ cup milk

6 T butter, melted

1 egg

1 cup grated apples

 

In a medium size mixing bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, cane juice crystals, baking powder and cinnamon. Add remaining ingredients and stir until the flour is just mixed in. Bake in a 375 oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen

 

 

And if that was not enough going on Emily decided to make peppermint mocha lattes for her, Leanne and Sierra! LOL.. It was pretty impressive looking...



 .


I don’t have a recipe for her coffee creations printed down yet.. maybe someday! 

 

That is all the cooking for today!!  Hope you all have had a pleasant and blessed Sunday on your homesteads!

Friday, November 28, 2008

What to do with Turkey Leftovers


 

Do you have leftover turkey meat to use up and need some ideas? We usually eat Thanksgiving dinner the day after but by the 3rd day we are ready for something different. I find just about any recipe that uses cooked chicken works quite well with cooked turkey. The recipes below are actually chicken recipes but you can just sub turkey meat in place of the chicken:

 

Turkey Enchiladas This recipe is for the enchilada sauce. Fill corn or whole wheat tortillas with chopped up turkey and cheese. Roll them up and place in a 9x13 pan (or 9x9 or 11x15 pan, depending on how many people you are feeding). Pour enchilada sauce over all, top with more cheese and bake at 350 until all is hot and bubbly and cheese has melted.








 

 

And finally the last thing I do with my turkey is make Turkey Noodle Soup. I put the turkey carcass (after I have picked off just about all the meat) into a large stock pot and cover with water. I add a chopped onion for flavor and some salt. Bring to a boil and let it cook for a couple of hours. Strain out the turkey bones and remove any meat that is left. Pour turkey broth back into stock pot and add the meat bits. Bring to a boil and add noodles. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper and/or a little chicken broth powder if needed. Serve with some homemade dinner rolls and a salad. 

 

Friday on the Homestead


 

Well we are in Thanksgiving home recovery mode today! LOL.. Time for clean up and then bringing out the Christmas decorations. I have already decorated my website and blog!  

 

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. It was just the kids, Tobin and me and Tobin’s dad came too. The food was delicious. We ate dinner at about 3:00 and then I took a nap.. Funny how turkey does that to a person  . While I napped the kids and Tobin played Taboo. Then we moved onto pumpkin and apple pie. Emily was in charge of table decorations and she did such a nice job. Here is a pic of the table and place settings…

 .

 

.

Here is a pic of me and Emily and Leanne

'

 

 

And one of Isaac being his silly little self

 .


 

.

Grandpa left to go home around 6:30 and we all chatted in the living room until about 8:00 and decided it was time to watch a couple episodes of LOST. Then it was bedtime. All in all it was a relaxing day. 

 

Now we are moving into December and the holiday season. I still have several gifts to sew and packages to get out in the mail. I think after house cleaning today I will work on my little grandson Owens baby quilt. I need to get my Christmas box to my daughter and her family out in a couple of weeks.  I am adding some fudge to the box and tried a different fudge recipe that was soooo good! I will be posting the recipe for it soon. I have a couple more test batches to make and get some of it in the freezer for my other gift boxes. 

 

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving day! 

 

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Well my house has been full of activity, voices chatting and music playing today.  The girls and I have been baking and cooking in preparation for tomorrow. We started the morning by putting on Christmas music to give us all a holiday feel.   And it worked.. we rolled up our sleeves and got busy in the kitchen. Amazing what four ladies working side by side can accomplish.

 

So far here is what we have done:

Pot roast in the crockpot (that is for tonight’s dinner)

Bread cubed and dried for stuffing (I’ll make the stuffing tomorrow morning)

2 pumpkin pies made

1 batch dinner roll dough made, rolled into rolls and flash frozen. We will take them out of the freezer tomorrow morning and bake them as soon as the turkey comes out of the oven.

1 apple pie is currently being made

8lbs potatoes peeled

Jello salad all made

 

Tomorrow will be a quiet Thanksgiving Day with my family but I am very much looking forward to it. We have so much to be thankful to God for.. His blessings are never ending! May the Lord bless you as you share your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow with your family…

 

From my thankful heart to yours..  

 

Crystal  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Sierra!!


 

Sierra is my 7th child and 5th daughter. She turned 13 yesterday!  One more teenager in the home!  She had a great day. After church Emily and Leanne took her and her best friend Makayla shopping in the city.  Then they came home to pizza dinner and birthday celebrations. Sierra actually had a weekend full of birthday excitement. Makayla’s mom took the two of them to the Revolve Tour. They spent Friday evening and all day Saturday there and both girls had a wonderful time. 

 

Here are a few pictures from her birthday..

.


.

 

 

 

Makayla and Sierra

 

 

.





Happy Birthday to my sweet Sierra Beth!!


 

 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New eBook from The Family Homestead: Cooking With Beans!

.

Looking for a little help in easing grocery costs? Try serving more beans. Beans are an excellent quality, frugal food for your family. This eBook is filled with how to information, bean cooking information, step-by-step picture tutorials and lots of recipes!

 

 

 

Click HERE
for more information

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer


 

I love the liquid coffee creamers that come in all kinds of yummy flavors, but… I don’t like the unhealthy ingredients they contain. So every now and again I try my hand at making my own with better quality ingredients. I made this one today and I hope you enjoy it too!

.

.

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

Crystal Miller

 

1 cup half-n-half

½ cup cane juice crystals (can use white sugar instead)

3T canned pumpkin

½ t vanilla

½ t cinnamon

¼ t ginger

1/8 t nutmeg

1/8 t cloves

 

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat until cane juice crystals dissolved and ingredients are well combined. Enjoy in a hot cup of coffee. Store in refrigerator. 

.

.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to Richard!!




 

Happy birthday to my son Richard! He is my oldest child..  and definitely not a “child” anymore! He turned 26 yesterday.. hard to believe where all the years have gone! 

 

Richard is in the Army and currently deployed in Iraq. His unit will be back in North Carolina (Ft.Bragg)  in 5 weeks! And then home to us in Washington in time for Christmas! The family can’t wait to see him!!

 

Here are a few current pictures of him:

 

    

 

 

And this is Richard with his girlfriend Lolot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to my boy! 

This Weeks Menu


 

Monday:

Leftovers

 

Tuesday:

Polish dogs

Sauerkraut


 


Mashed potatoes

Salad

 

Thursday:



Salad

 

Friday:



Salad

 

Saturday:


Salad

 

Sunday:

Pizza: Sierra’s Birthday! 

 

 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Updates from the Homestead


 

I think today we might get a break from the rain and wind. A real fall like storm moved in a couple of days ago and dumped a ton of rain on us and came with major high winds. We lost power once too. The leaves lost a lot of there leaves as well.   Despite the windy, rainy weather my sweet hubby told me yesterday afternoon that he wanted a BBQ! So a BBQ he got! I pulled a some steaks from the freezer and put them in a little warm water to defrost quick and through some potatoes in the oven to bake and made a salad. Dinner was easy. It was fun to defy the yucky weather have an enjoyable afternoon and evening! LOL.. 

 

With all that rainy weather coming down we just focused on inside things mostly for the last few days. Tobin had his own list of details to take care of and so did I. Leanne took Emily’s place with the twins on a couple days this week so Emily could study. One day the girls all left to spend the day in town doing a bit of shopping. 

 

I have been working on my Christmas projects lately. I would love to share more detail about what I am doing, but recipients of these gifts also read my blog! LOL.. soo… I will save it for either after Christmas or I will share next Christmas!  This year I am determined to get things done ahead of time. I want to make sure I get my packages out in the mail on time. I am so excited too because my son’s deployment will be ending next month! Hard to believe 15 months has gone by.. hard for me to believe but not for him. I can see first hand how hard these deployments are for our military men. He is more than ready to come home. He will be able to be here for Christmas and our family is so excited to see him!! I guess that has been another motivation for me to get things done early! I want to enjoy my family time and not be rushing around doing lots of last minute things.

 

One thing I am going to be doing ahead of time is my Christmas baking. I am going to freeze my cookies and quick breads. I have done this many times and it is a great way to have a nice variety of goodies during the holiday season. Has anyone ever frozen fudge? I am sure it would be fine.. just wanting to hear some personal experience on this. I just don’t want my defrosted fudge to be sticky or anything.. so if you have frozen fudge before.. let me know how it was!! 

 

Today I need to focus on homeschooling, housekeeping, dinner prep, and then spend time on my projects. Dinner tonight is crockpot swiss steak, mashed potatoes and salad. I think if I, or one of my daughters, have time then we will make some more of those delicious pumpkin cookies. They are soooo good.. and maybe some pumpkin bread to put in the freezer. The biggest problem I have with baking cookies for the freezer is actually getting them INTO the freezer before they are all eaten up! So maybe I will do a quadruple batch of pumpkin cookies.. for sure I would get a bunch in the freezer!  LOL..

 

Hope you have a great Thursday on your homestead!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Fall and Winter Soaps!

 

I have my Country Store stocked with wonderful smelling Goat Milk Soaps for the fall and winter season!

 


 

Back by popular demand..

 

Brown Sugar and Spice

Oak Leaves and Acorns

 

And new this year..

 

Gingerbread Spice

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

College Plus! Questions

 

 

I had a couple College Plus! questions I am going to answer..

 

Homesteadinthemaking asked about scholarships and financial aid. You can read on the College Plus website for info on this here:


 

madiantin.blogspot.com asked about Emily’s schedule and resources books. Emily works about 40 hours or more a week as a nanny to a set of twins. She has one weekday off and the weekends off. A typical work day looks like this for her:

 

She gets up at 4:30 or 5:00 am and spends a couple hours with Bible time and study time. Then she leaves for work. She is typically gone for about 10 plus hours a day. During the day she is usually able to get in a couple hours of study time (sometimes 3 hours) when the twins nap.  Then she comes home, eats, and will do a little more study and goes to bed rather early. On her weekends she spends pretty much the whole time studying. Typically all CLEP tests are scheduled for her one week day off. 

 

As for resource materials… her coach sends her a list of resource books and websites for each up coming test well enough in advance so if we have to order anything we can do it before she begins studying for it. She also uses the REA CLEP examine prep books. 

 

I will be happy to answer any other questions that come in. You can also email questions at: crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com

 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

.



 

These were really yummy! Sierra made them for us a couple of days ago. I think they tasted even better the next morning.. all those autumn flavors had a chance to blend I guess. 

 

 

Click HERE for the recipe

.

Looking for more pumpkin recipes?  I have a whole bunch on my site.  Click HERE to see them

 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

College Plus and Emily’s Update


 

I wanted to give an update on how Emily is doing with her home study college (I have had several ladies ask for this as we are progressing through the program). This last week she took her English Literature CLEP test and passed. She now has 52 college credits. She has one more 6 credit test to take (Natural Science) and if she passes this one she will be done with the equivalent of 2 years of college and will begin working on her 3rd year.  

 

We are so very proud of her and all the hard work she is putting into this. I really can’t say enough good things about College Plus! If you want your child to earn a degree I really encourage looking into this non-traditional (thinking “outside the box”) option.

 

 College Plus! has provided Emily with a fantastic coach. Emily speaks with her twice a month and emails regularly. This gal is so encouraging to Emily and has helped to keep her on track and accountable. College Plus! also has a degree planner that spoke with both Emily and I and helped Emily to lay out what it was she desired and all the tests/courses she will need to take. The service they provide is exceptional. 

 

Emily’s next step, starting sometime at the beginning of next year, will be to enroll in Thomas Edison University. Then she will transfer all her earned credits to them and begin taking the online courses that she needs to finish her degree. If she stays on track she should be done by next fall. She started the program in April. 

 

That is our update so far. If anyone has questions about the program my daughter Emily or I will be more than happy to give you more info. You can click on the links to also find out more from the College Plus! website. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Finished Projects


 

Well this must be the time of year for me to finish all my unfinished projects! LOL.. first I finished my basket weave afghan and posted about that last week. On Sunday afternoon I finally pulled out my sewing machine and finished two more projects. 

 

The first was a blue jean quilt that I started last year for my grandson, Caden. I got so busy with other things that I was not able to finish it. Yesterday I finished it!  It was supposed to be last years Christmas present (I sent something else instead).. now it will be this years.. hope my daughter Carolyn is not reading this post! LOL..  Here is a picture of it:

.


.

  

 

For the denim squares I used a denim jumper that was too big for me to wear. And the red fabric is flannel that I purchased off eBay. This quilt is very soft and comfy feeling.

 

 

The second project was an apron. I bought a fun and unique apron pattern on line called The Four Corners Apron from this company:   http://www.vanillahousedesigns.com/p132-four-corners-apron/   It used 2 coordinating pieces of fabric. It was VERY easy to make and now Leanne wants to get fabric to make another one. I may consider making a few of these for Christmas gifts this year. It was hard to take a picture of it but I laid it out and took one pic and then Emily volunteered to model it so you can see what it looks like on (excuse the mess next to her.. it was her book and papers from studying for her upcoming English literature CLEP test today).

 

 

.


 

 

Now that I have these unfinished projects done it is time to think about more projects for this years Christmas gift list.