Friday, May 27, 2011

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

If you ever need a quick and easy dessert this would be the one. All you need to have on hand is a 28oz can of sliced peaches and your basic baking ingredients. I made this the other night for my family and it was enjoyed by all.

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

½ cup melted butter
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup cane juice crystals or sugar
2t baking powder
¼ t salt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 28oz can sliced peaches, drained
1 cup cane juice crystals or sugar
1t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 and pour melted butter into a 9x13 pan. In a medium size bowl combine flour, cane juice crystals (or sugar), baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add milk and egg and stir to combine. Pour this mixture over the melted butter, don’t worry about smoothing it out.. just pour it over the butter. Set this aside.

In another bowl combine peaches, cane juice crystals (or sugar) and spices. Spoon and/or pour the peaches over the top of cobbler batter. Don’t stir anything, just spoon all the peach mixture on top.

Put this into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until risen batter is golden brown.

This is the best when served warm with some vanilla ice cream.. enjoy! :)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sourdough Coffeecake

I made sourdough coffeecake yesterday and it was delicious! The whole family ate it up. It was also very easy to make. Here is my recipe:

Sourdough Coffeecake
1 cup proofed starter (see link below on how to proof your starter)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup cane juice crystals or sugar
1t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
½ t salt

½ cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1T whole wheat flour
1t cinnamon
2T butter

In a mixer combine proofed starter, olive oil, and egg. Mix to combine. Add flour, cane juice crystals (or sugar), baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix again to combine all ingredients.

Spray a 9 inch square pan with non stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Set aside while you make the topping.

To make topping combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your clean hands.

Spread topping over cake batter.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.


You can find information on making sourdough starter and how to proof your starter here: 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Sourdough Rye Bread

I made sourdough rye bread yesterday. It turned out pretty good. I would do a few things different next time. I shaped it into a round circle and it spread out pretty large as it rose. Next time I will put it in a round cake pan so it will rise up, not out. I also found the dough to be sticky. Stickier than wheat, which is what I’m use to working with. I think a certain amount of stickiness is normal with rye. I ended up adding about half rye flour and half white flour. I was hoping for less white and more rye… next time I will see if I can add more rye and less white and accept the fact that sticky is normal. In any case, it tasted very good! It had a nice sour/rye flavor to it. I do want to make it again.

Here was my process..

The night before I took my jar of starter out of the fridge and I poured all of it into a glass bowl. I added ½ cup whole wheat flour, ½ cup white flour and 1 cup of warm water (this is called “proofing” the starter). I let this sit out all night. The longer it sits the more sour the taste of the bread.

The next morning I made the bread..

I put 1 cup of my proofed starter into my bosch. I added 1 ¼ cups warm water, 3 cups of rye flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 T sugar. I mixed this up and added white flour until I had a dough of good consistency…

But as I mentioned above it was still a little sticky and I had dough on the side of the bowl. In the end I added about 3 cups white flour.

I let this rise until double in size, which took about 6 hours…

Then I turned the mixer on to mix it up and get rid of air bubbles. I then took the dough out and shaped it into a circle..

I let this rise until about double in size. This took about 3 hours…

Then it was time to bake the bread. I wanted my bread to be crusty on the outside. I preheated my oven to 425. When the oven was ready to go I took a spray bottle filled with water and sprayed the top of the dough. I put it in the oven. I sprayed again after 3 minutes, 6 minutes and 9 minutes. Then I reduced the temp to 400 degrees and let it bake another 25 minutes.

The bread did have a nice crusty outside and soft and chewy inside.. and a great taste! I will make this bread again and make the changes I mentioned above..

For dinner tonight I decided to make a pot of soup and have toasted, buttered sourdough rye to go with it. I also think this bread would make delicious sandwiches so that will be on the lunch menu this week. 

After the bread dough was made I then fed my starter 1/4 cup white flour, 1/4 cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup warm water and poured into a clean 2qt canning jar and put it back in the fridge where it will sit and wait for my next sourdough bread baking adventure!  :)

If you are interested in making a sourdough starter and doing a little sourdough baking you can find my instructions for making the starter and recipes here: 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm Back! :)

I’m back from taking my break! It was nice to have some time off the computer.. helps perspective sometimes, I think. During this time off Tobin and I got away for a few days. It was very nice. It was also good to get home and get back into the swing of life again… always so much to do.

The nice thing about getting away is you come home with fresh thoughts and renewed enthusiasm. I also came home to sunshine! Finally after so much rain and gray skies it was great to have some sunshine here at home in the last few days.

One thing that excites me is getting my garden going. My tomato starts are huge! I have had to repot some of them 4 times now. It is still a little too cool out at night to put them in the garden. Right now I am just setting them outside during the day and bringing them in at night to get them adjusted to the real world :). Tobin got the garden rototilled again yesterday so it is ready to go. I hope to get some lettuce and a few other things planted today.

News from the kitchen… My sourdough starter is still alive and well. I have big plans on using it again. The next plan is sourdough rye. I have the sourdough out tonight and it is currently proofing… tomorrow I make the bread.. I will keep you updated.

Leanne is now home from Denmark. She had an incredible visit with Emily. Enjoyed it very much but is glad to be home. She came home and had to quickly jump into her next 3 online college courses.. a few days late due to arriving home after they had started. She has been working tirelessly to catch up and get ahead of the game.. so far so good! If all goes well she hopes to have her degree by fall time.

That is all the updates for now .. will be back with more from the homestead soon! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Taking a Break

I will be taking an internet break for about 2 weeks.. 

 If you currently have an order placed with my Country Store, it will be going out tomorrow morning. 

All orders received by tonight (May 8th), will go out tomorrow.  If you place your order after May 9th I will ship it out May 23rd.  

This does not include ebooks..  All ebooks are automatic downloads.   After you order your ebook you should see an email that will have the link to download it.   If you don’t see this email (it is sent out immediately, no waiting)..  check your spam folder.   Also check the email address you have on account with PayPal.. the ebook will be sent to that email address, so make sure it is current before you order.

If you have any problems with your ebooks, email me and I will get back to you on the 23rd.

See you in a couple of weeks!   Crystal :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

It’s a GIRL!!

Yesterday my daughter Hannah had a baby girl!! She did such a great job! Had the baby without drugs or epidural.. and to see how uncommon this is the student nurse who was there said this was the first birth she had witnessed where the mother did not have an epidural! She was in awe to see how it all worked naturally!! :)  And I was in awe to see how my daughter handled it all and to once again see the miracle of birth!  What a blessing!

My new granddaughter’s name is Rylee Skye and she weighed 7lbs 14.5oz! And she is just beautiful :)


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Woo Hoo!! Emily is 21 years old today! Yea! .. but I am sad.. :( This is her first birthday I am not with her to enjoy. But she is having an awesome time in Europe and I am so very happy for her! :)

Emily has always been my daughter with a million dreams and plans.. so many in fact it would, at times, stress me out.. she wanted to do this and that and this and that and .. “oh by the way mom I have 25 College Plus kids coming to our house in October”..LOL..! Yea.. she has always kept me on my toes.. but oh, my, how I love her for her spunk, her determination in life, her tenacity! When she settles down on what she wants .. she is tenacious to get it.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2 ½ years! She then decided she wanted to travel the world and not just for a vacation.. no, my little Miss Em.. wanted to live and work and learn and experience all she could. So she signed up on an au pair website and started getting requests from families looking for an au pair. This is something that is very common in Europe. Soon she found a family that seemed like a good fit in Denmark. In true Emily style she crammed and studied and finished up her last 2 college courses just DAYS before her flight left to Denmark. However I did breathe a sigh of relief that she had finished one goal before starting another.

She left for Denmark and after a couple of months found her host family to be unstable and I suggested maybe she should come home.. nope, she was not done with her European experience and found another family in Denmark. They literally put their current au pair on a flight home and drove to the train station and picked up Emily (au pairs get a one year visa and then must move on). Currently she is in love with her host family. They treat her so well and the children are just lovely. She is very happy there. And I am happy knowing she is in a good and stable home environment.

But boy, oh boy, do I miss my spark of energy, enthusiasm, zest for life, coffee loving daughter. She is one of those rare gems in life that you thank God for on a daily bases. She is loving, kind and so respectful of her mama and dad. She loves the Lord and is honest and trust worthy. I am beyond proud to know that she is my daughter! Homesickness for her has been an issue from time to time.. I have told her.. homesickness is not a great reason to come home.. you have experiences God wants for you to have and you need to fulfill those! One day you will be living day to day life and you need to know you experienced all that you can from this time in your life.

Here are a few recent photos of Emily and her time in Europe.. and a few with her equally awesome sister Leanne who has been with her the last few weeks and enjoying her time with her sister.. The rest of the lovely young ladies you see in the pictures are her new found au pair friends. She has met quite a few and they have wonderful time together..


Happy Birthday Emily!!  May this be a truly blessed year for you!  I love you!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Menu

Here is what's on my menu for the month of May.    If you need a menu planning calendar to help plan your monthly menus you can find them here:
1st – leftover lasagna, sourdough French bread, salad
2ndcream cheese chicken enchiladas, cornbread, salad
3rd – sausage, noodles & sauerkraut skillet meal, salad
4thfish tacos w/ all the trimmings
5th – spaghetti, sourdough French bread, salad
6thranch house chicken casserole, salad
7th – leftovers
8thpizza rice casserole, salad
9th – hamburgers w/all the trimmings
10th – beef & bean burritos, salad
11th – leftovers
12th – hot dogs, coleslaw
14th – chili, tortilla chips & salsa
15th – tacos w/all the trimmings
16th – leftovers
17thCP bbq meatballs & CP mac & cheese
18thchicken noodle soup, biscuits, salad
19th – hamburgers, French fries
20th meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad
21stCP sw stew, cornbread, salad
22nd – leftovers
23rd split pea soup, pepperoni bread, salad
24th salmon patties, garlic roasted potatoes, salad
25thCP Italian beef over rice, salad
26th – oven fried chicken, garlic roasted potatoes, salad
27th – chili, tortilla chips & salsa
28th – crustless chicken pot pie w/cheesy biscuits on top, salad
29th – leftovers
30thMexican hamburger rice bake, salad
31st orange chicken, egg rolls, salad