I made these muffins the other night to go with a yummy
pot of beef noodle soup. I had cornbread on the menu but decided last minute to
try something new. They were a huge hit and my family said they made a perfect
addition to the soup..
Sweet Corn Muffins
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (aka.. soft white wheat)
1 ½ cups cornmeal
2 cups cane juice crystals or white sugar
2T baking powder
1 cup olive oil
2 cups milk
In a large bowl combine flour, cane juice crystals (or white sugar), baking
powder and salt. Mix well. In a smaller bowl combine eggs, olive oil and milk.
Pour into first bowl and mix well.
Grease 24 muffin tins very well. Fill each muffin cup with about ¼ to 1/3 cup
batter. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.
Update on my son Jacob..Well I thought it was official when I posted my blog this morning but
there has been yet another change of plans for him..he did not sign up today for the Army
Reserves and instead will be making different plans..so I will watch and see how those plans
develop this year!
We have added a new member to our family!! Our sweet Alpine doe, Bonnie,
delivered a little baby boy yesterday!! And he is so cute! He looks more Nubian
than Alpine as his daddy, Clyde, is Nubian. His coloring looks just like
mama. Since it was pretty cold out I pulled out one of my baby goat sweaters and
put it on him to help keep him warm (
http://thefamilyhomestead.com/crochetgoatsweater.htm ). By this
morning he was all warmed up and walking around with mama dad…
Mom & Dad
January life on our homestead is pretty routine (other than the birth of a baby
goat!). For Isaac and Sierra their daily focus is school and we are making good
progress through the school year. At the beginning of the school year I shared
that I was using Switched on Schoolhouse for my son Isaac. He is using it for
English, science and history (we still use Saxon for math). After a half year of
using the program I have to say I really like it!! It has saved me a lot of time
in correcting papers and organizing a schedule to make sure we are on track. SOS
does all of that for me. Isaac likes the program as well. I am pretty sure at
this point that we will be using it again next year for him.
I basically doubled the recipe and made a big bowl full….
I like to use my cookie scoop to make the meatballs. My scoop is 1T in size..
I scooped them out and put them on a greased jelly roll pan (actually it filled
3 jelly roll pans)…
Then baked them at 350 for 20 minutes ..
After they were baked I put them on a pizza pan to flash freeze (It filled 2
pizza pans, cookie sheets would work too). I did not want them to freeze in one
After they have frozen individually I will put them in a zip lock type bag and
put them back in the freezer. Now I can take out however many I need for a meal.
It’s a nice convenience to have on hand! My favorite recipe for meatballs is
I’ve recently been making a breakfast smoothie most mornings and it is sooo good
and packed full of nutritional benefits. This smoothie is easy to make and tastes
Orange & Apple Smoothie
1 orange, peeled, and separated into slices
1 apple, peeled , cored & sliced
1T coconut oil
1 T golden flax seed
1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk or regular milk can be used as well)
2 handfuls ice
Put the orange and apple into blender. Add coconut milk, coconut oil and flax
seed. Blend until smooth. Add ice to make it thick and slushy.
Yesterday evening my boys had a couple of their friends come over. The weather
outside was quickly turning to ice and not looking so great.. They spent some
time sledding down our big hill in the dark and on more ice than snow!! But they
had fun. Needless to say the boys spent the night as no one was going to be out
driving in such weather if they did not have to!
Before heading to bed I thought about what I was planning to feed everyone come
morning time. To save myself some time and effort in the morning I got a
breakfast casserole in the fridge.
Sausage Egg Breakfast Casserole
3T whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
½ t salt
a few shakes of pepper
1 to 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
¼ lb sausage (such as Jimmy Dean)
3 large mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
12 beaten eggs
Begin by making the cheese sauce. In a small pan melt butter over medium high
heat. When the butter has melted add the flour and mix until combined. Add milk,
salt & pepper. Stir with a wire whisk until it comes to a boil and thickens up.
Cook for a minute or so and remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until the
cheese melts. Set this aside.
In a frying pan melt butter and add sausage, mushrooms and onions. When the
sausage has finished cooking and the veggies are soft add beaten eggs. Scramble
and cook the eggs until they are set. Pour cheese sauce over eggs and mix to
combine. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with non stick
spray. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then to go with the egg casserole I made a batch of muffins. I have apples and
oranges as well to serve along with it this morning..
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
2c quick cook oats
½ c olive oil
2c whole wheat pastry flour
½ c cane juice crystals or white sugar
4T baking powder
1c chocolate chips
In a small bowl combine milk and oats and let sit for 15 minutes. In a larger
bowl combine eggs and olive oil and stir. Add flour, cane juice crystals (or
white sugar), baking powder & salt. Stir together until mixed and add chocolate
Spoon batter into muffin tins that have been sprayed with non stick spray. Bake
at 425 for 18 to 22 minutes. Makes approx. 18 muffins
The effort last night made for an easy morning today!
Yesterday was Jacob’s 18th birthday. We woke up covered in a thick blanket of
snow and no power. Tobin and I had to go into town to take care of a few
necessary things and had to put chains on the car to get down the driveway and down to the main highway, then he pulled over and took them off. They had
plowed, but it was still slow going. The city was just fine, mostly just rain.
What little snow they had gotten was already melted.
I kept calling home to see if the power had come back on. At one point Jacob
called the PUD (Tobin had already called them once in the morning) and they said
they were still working on it. It was almost 6:pm when we got home and still now
power. At that point it had been 13 hours. All our other neighbors had power but we
did not, so Tobin called again only to be told that they thought they were done
and had moved onto the next town! We were pretty frustrated.. but at times..
what can you do?? So we hooked up the batteries/inverters and had a little
light, and could plug in our modem and router briefly and we got the camping
lanterns lit and then started the barbeque. I had originally planed a Mexican
Fiesta dinner for Jacob’s birthday.. but that wasn’t going to happen.. so we had
bbq’d hamburgers instead! Since the day was so crazy I (or one of my girls) had
not been able to bake a cake for Jacob.. instead we got very creative…
The whole evening turned out to be so much fun.. We spent our time together
talking, laughing, and just having a great time.
Happy Birthday to my son Jacob! This was for certain his most memorable birthday
Oh.. we did get our power restored at about 1:am.. 20 hours later…
I had a lady leave me a comment on my weekly menu post asking if I would share
my chow mien recipe. Tonight we had chow mien to go along with our
for dinner. So I took some pics to show you how to make it. I don’t really have
exact measurements for it. It is one of those meals I just kind of “wing it”.
First I begin by cutting up my veggies. This recipe is pretty versatile; you can
use a large variety of veggies. There are no certain veggies you have to have.
For this meal I used: 1 small onion, 1 carrot, 3 red mini peppers, a small wedge
of red cabbage and a small wedge of green cabbage. You could also use celery or
mushrooms. If you only have one or two of the needed veggies, that works too.
You can just a few veggies or lots of them.. it is up to you. I chopped my
cabbages up, sliced my onions and peppers and cut my carrot into small sticks…
After I chopped the veggies up I measured out 10oz of whole wheat spaghetti
noodles and put a pot of water on to boil…
While the water was coming to a boil I heated my large cast iron frying pan and
then added some olive oil to it (enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Then I
added my veggies….
While the veggies were cooking my water came to a boil and added the spaghetti
By the time the noodles were done cooking the veggies had finished cooking…
I added the cooked noodles and then added spices. I used about ¼ cup soy sauce,
1 tablespoon fish sauce and a ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes..
You could also add meat to this to make it a main dish; chicken, beef, shrimp,
pork would all work well. You would cut up the meat into bite size pieces and
cook it at the same time you were cooking the veggies.
I think most everyone would agree on the importance of having children read. As
a homeschooling mom I read and saw a lot of really bad literature for children
and young people and decided early on with my children that I wanted them to be
exposed to books that have stood the test of time and are consider excellent
literature, the classics.
Over the years as I would read classic books to my kids and they began to read
them as well I saw firsthand many of the wonderful benefits that come from
Reading classics will expand and increase vocabulary. Children will be exposed
to a vast amount of vocabulary words that they might not hear otherwise. And
when the words are read in context it helps in understanding what the words
I’ve seen that reading classics gives children exposure to writers that have an
excellent command of the English language. This in turn, I believe, will help
make children better writers. When they read and see how our language is used
they in turn can learn proper sentence structure and this will help them in
their own writing. For some children reading also improves spelling.
I’ve seen that classic books most often have intricate plots. This can help
improve thinking skills as the child follows the plot.
I also love how classics will give the reader an in-depth look into history. The
books are typically set in various times in history and after reading the book
the reader walks away with a much better understanding of that time period.
The best part of reading classics is that they are very enjoyable books to read!
Many classics can be hard to get into; they take time developing the characters and
the plot. But once you are into a classic book they become almost impossible to
put down! There is a reason they are consider classics!!
This year I assigned my daughter Sierra and son Isaac their book lists of
classic books to read and here is what those lists look like:
My daughter Sierra is 16 and in 10th grade and my focus is on American
Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
David Crockett Scout by Charles Fletcher Allen
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe
My Son Isaac is in 8th grade and here is his list (more books may be added):
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Boy Knight by G.A. Henty
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
I’m working on adding a few more veggies to our diet. I make a fresh green salad
pretty much with every dinner meal but I also wanted to include a few more veggies. I
recently tried brussel sprouts. I've served them before and I have to say not many
in my family were super impressed… until I cooked them this way.. and the last batch
I made were completely wiped out at dinner time. The only one who did share
everyone’s enthusiasm for them was my son Isaac.. but then.. he is not all that
thrilled with any vegetable :) .. so I’m not really counting his vote in all
Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2lbs brussel sprouts, cut in half
4T olive oil (approx, could be a little more than this.. I did not actually
measure, just drizzled)
1T minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup water
Put brussel sprouts in a 9x13 pan. Drizzle with olive and stir to coat all the
brussel sprouts. Add garlic, salt and pepper and stir again. Pour water over
veggies. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, stir and check them. Cook for another 5 to
10 minutes or until fork tender..
We love homemade pizza! One thing I like to do is make a big batch of pizza
crusts and then freeze them for use later on. If I don’t have any in the freezer
on pizza night then I make up a batch of dough that will make 6 pizza crusts. My
family eats 2 pizzas and the other 4 crusts go in the freezer.
To make them for the freezer.. make the dough and let it rise once, punch it
down and divide into 6 balls of dough…
Roll them out on the pizza pan (my pan size is: 14 inch) that as been sprayed with
Par bake (prebake) them for 6 minutes… let them cool.. I have 3 pizza pans and
bake one at a time and then slide them off the pan and reuse the pans for the
When the crusts have completely cooled I wrap them in plastic wrap and put them
in the freezer….
When I want to use the crusts I pull one out of the freezer, remove the plastic
wrap and set it on a pizza pan. It defrosts pretty quickly (an hour or so)..
when it has defrosted I put my toppings on and bake according to the recipe…
Having the crusts in the freezer makes dinner pretty simple!!
Here is my favorite pizza sauce recipe:
3- 8oz cans tomato sauce
1- 6oz can tomato paste
1T Italian seasonings
1t minced garlic, heaping
pinch or two of cane juice crystals (or sugar) - according to your own tastes
This last weekend I did my basement storage area
organizing project. Every year I go through things and clean up, downsize and
organize it. And as the year progresses it gets messy and more things get added
to the pile and by January it is time once again to clean up and see what can be
tossed or given away.
So… here is what my storage area looked like before I got started…
I knew I would need a place to sort things as I went through it all. I have a
room next to the storage area.. we use to call it the music room when I had more
kids at home that played musical instruments.. nowadays the room is more of a
hang out room for the younger kids..
I started by grabbing the bags of out grown clothing and piling them up in the
Then I started opening each tote. I have the tote’s labeled so I know what is in
them but it always amazes me each year how much stuff I can get rid of or throw
away. I was able to get rid of things and ended up clearing out 4 totes….
Then I attacked the table next to the totes and found things that could be
reduced and gotten rid of. When I was done it looked so much better!!
I have already sorted through the clothing finding
what could be given away and what needs to be tossed. Now I need to move
on to cleaning out the kid’s closets .. and that thought makes me shudder..
LOL.. but I am determined!!