Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday in the Kitchen

Well today was one of those perfect afternoons to spend cooking up some yummy
foods for my family. The weather outside was cool and rainy and the house was
quiet. Here is how my afternoon in the kitchen went...

First I decided on my menu:

Potato Chicken Chowder

Garlic Cheese Dinner Rolls

Green Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

So I began by peeling my potatoes and chopping them into small pieces. I covered
them with water and set them on the stove to boil. I added a little salt too..

While they were coming to a boil I cut the chicken and an onion and got that
cooking in my cast iron frying pan with a little olive oil and some minced

After the potatoes were simmering and the chicken was done cooking I made up a
batch of ranch dressing. We make A LOT of this dressing. It is my family’s
favorite dressing. In fact my daughter Sierra was babysitting one day and had a
salad with some store bought ranch dressing and she came home and said.. mom!
That was just gross.. LOL.. I guess she is now a fan of my homemade dressing!
Plus it does not have any ingredients you can’t pronounce! Nothing like real
food… in any case, I made a double batch so it would last us a few days….

Then I started some wheat grinding….

While it was grinding away I made a salad. I made it with romaine lettuce,
spinach, red cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes. I grated the carrots and sliced the
cabbage with my food processor to make the job easier and quicker…

When that was done I decided it was time to stop and clean up. I like to wash
the dishes and keep the kitchen cleaned up as I go along…

The potatoes were done cooking so I add drained almost all the water from them
and began adding the rest of the ingredients. I started by adding the cooked
chicken and onion…

Then I added the corn (and some pepper)…

Then finally added some milk and cream and stirred it all up…

Well.. now the soup is done, the salad is done and the last thing on my list was
my dinner rolls.. so I mixed up a batch in my Bosch..

Then rolled them into little balls and let them rise and bake..

And now.. dinner is ready!!!

And… after all that I made plenty of food for us to have for dinner tomorrow
night too!

Finally I ended my little kitchen afternoon by finishing up the last of the
dishes and sweeping and washing my kitchen floor :)

Now for the recipe for the potato chicken chowder. I don’t actually have an
exact recipe written down, but, I will tell you how I make it. It is actually a
very versatile recipe and you can adjust to feed your family size.

I start with about 5 pounds of potatoes, one pound of chicken meat (I used
boneless skinless chicken breast for this batch), and one onion.

I peel the potatoes and chop them up. I cup up the chicken and onion. Cover the
potatoes with water and add salt. I added about 3 teaspoons. Then boil the
potatoes until they are tender. Drain most all of the water out.

Cut up the chicken and onion into bite size pieces. Sauté them in a little olive
oil and add a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic.

When the chicken and onions are all cooked, add them to the potatoes. Then add 2
cups of frozen corn. Stir this up. Now add the milk until you get the
consistency you like. I make a little soupy (meaning thin) because potatoes soak
up the liquid and it is thicker the next day. Taste and a little salt if you
think it needs it. Then add pepper. That is it!!

You can find the recipe for the Ranch Dressing here:

And the Garlic Cheese Dinner Rolls here:


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Welcome to my new blog home!

I really enjoyed blogging with Homestead Blogger. They recently moved their whole operation to Word Press. It looked promising at first, but after trying to make a few changes I realized it was not very easy to work with. So I made the choice to switch to a new blogger. I am very happy so far with this one! I hope it will continue to work well. I was able to import all my blog pages from my pervious blog over here, so I did not lose any of my posts!

I hope now to be able to get back to the business of blogging.. which I enjoy more than the setting up and learning my way around new programs! LOL..

Updates from the Homestead…

I got back from my vacation and felt nicely rested and refreshed and ready to tackle life again. I am encouraged because my favorite season is just around the corner.. Summer!! I love summer.. I love long hot days, swimming in my pond, working in my garden, getting tanned, making ice cream, easy freezer meals to make kitchen time at a minimum, and so on.. aww.. yes.. :)

In the meantime, my garden plant starters have grown quite big! But I am feeling it is still a bit early to put them in the ground. So they are still waiting.. I have been taking them outside to harden off but still bringing them in at night. Today the weather here looked something like this: rain, sun, wind, rain, hail, sun, wind, rain, etc… LOL.. sooo I am glad they are not in the garden yet. I know the nice weather will be here soon and it will be time to plant. I am actually hoping maybe this weekend or early next week.

Another good thing about this time of year is that we are just about done with our homeschool year.. Yea!! The kids and I can’t wait! In the meantime we are finishing up are last assignments. My older girls keep on working on their college degrees. Emily is down to the last 12 credits! Woo Hoo!!! .. we are planning a big graduation celebration when the time comes.. and Leanne is now in her Junior year after a year of concentrated effort. She won’t be far behind her sister.

When I got home I was also feeling a bit creative in the kitchen. I made a pot of white bean chicken chili (my pantry was a bit low due to being gone so I looked through it all and came up with this recipe..) it was sooo good.. well, at least my family loved it! I made a huge pot and it lasted 2 nights.

Here is the recipe:

White Bean Chicken Chili
Crystal Miller

4 cups small white beans
16 cups water
4 t salt
1lb boneless chicken meat (can be defrosted boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breast meat)
2 to 4T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
a few jalapeño slices (depends on how hot you like it)
2T chili powder
2t cumin
1t oregano
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, Colby.. your choice)
½ cup half-n-half (whole milk will work too)

In a large (6 to 8qt) stock pot combine beans, water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 2 ½ to 3 hours or until beans are soft.

Cut up chicken meat into bite size pieces. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken meat, chopped onion and jalapeno pepper slices. Sauté this until the meat is cooked and the onions are nice and soft.

When the beans are done cooking remove a good amount of the bean broth (several cups worth.. you will be adding some of it back in so save the water). Add the cooked meat/onion mixture. Add spices, cheese and half n half. Now add back as much bean broth to get the consistency you desire (can be thick like stew or thinner like soup.. it is up to you).

Heat it all back up and serve!

I served this meal with homemade
soft bread sticks and a nice big green salad with homemade ranch dressing.

This makes a lot of soup.. so if you don’t have a big crowd to feed like I do, you can cut the recipe in half or you can freeze some for another meal.

I wanted to do a cost break down for this meal because it was made with economical ingredients and because I was able to stretch the meal out over 2 meals. BUT.. I spent all my online time moving my blog! LOL.. maybe I can get to it soon..

That is all from my homestead for now! I hope you have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog is Still Here!

Hi Everyone!!

Never fear.. my blog did not disappear! We were just moved to a new server.. Thankfully I did not lose my posts in the process.. had me worried for a bit!

It will take a bit of time to figure out how this new blog works.. but so far it looks like it will be a great change.

Be back very soon!! I have new recipes and updates to share with you all!! :)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crystal’s Country Store on Vacation!

Crystal’s Country Store is going to be on vacation!


Any orders placed by May 2nd will be shipped out May 3rd.  Any orders placed after May 3rd will be shipped out on May 17th. 

This does not include eBooks..  all ebooks are automatic downloads.  After purchasing an ebook you will receive an email with a link to download your ebook.  If you don’t see it right away, check your spam filter as they can occasionally get caught up in there.