Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Busy Times

Image
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!! For me, on my homestead, we have not had our Thanksgiving meal yet. Leanne arrives home tomorrow so we will be celebrating on Sunday. I will have all but one of my children here and grandchildren and friends will be joining us as well. 



Leanne arrives home tomorrow evening and our family plans on meeting her at the airport. There is a whole lot of excitement in the air for our family right now. Her welcoming at the airport will be filled with family and friends. Afterwards we are having a little welcome home party at our house. I have goodies to serve and we look forward to just spending the time with her. Then she can get some sleep (it is a very long flight time for her) and enjoy the holiday on Sunday. 



For now I’m cooking and cleaning and preparing all I can ahead of time. I even plan on cooking the turkey and making the gravy the day before. I want to enjoy my family time with them, not be busy in the kitchen. 



Toda…

How to Roast a Turkey

Image
I am sure a lot of you reading this already know how to cook a turkey.  But I also know that many ladies have never done it before.  I was in my late 20’s before I cooked my first turkey.  My grandma or mom or mother in law had always done that part.  When I went to cook my first turkey I was reading lots of cookbooks and talking with my mother to learn.  It is not like we have the opportunity to practice turkey roasting too often! 
I thought I would just share from my own turkey roasting experience how I have done it.  There are lots of ways to do this and tips, etc..  and I am sure I won’t cover them all but will share what has worked for me. 
First is the actual buying of the turkey.  I typically have purchased frozen turkeys.  The week before Thanksgiving you can find turkeys at the best price of the year.  In fact I usually take advantage of these great prices and buy another turkey or two for the freezer. A mini Thanksgiving dinner at another time of the year is actu…

Striving for a Heart of Gratefulness

Image
Thanksgiving always means to me a time to stop and give thanks. I’ve seen many lists on the things people are thankful for in their life. I have my own list as well. But I have really been contemplating something beyond this. I’ve been contemplating and thinking about a heart of gratefulness.


How is this different you might ask? Well I’ll share my thoughts. In my mind a true heart of gratefulness goes beyond my list of what I’m thankful for. It is a deeper meaning that I am going to strive for in my life. I looked it like this.. if you were walking through a desert of heat you would be so thankful, deeply grateful for every drop of water you had. If you stood next to a huge lake, water would be taken for granted. How many things in my life do I take for granted? 


It’s not about looking at those less fortunate than I am and realizing my blessings. It is choosing every day to be honestly grateful for all my blessings. I remember something from several years ago. I was drivin…

Menu Monday

Image
I have a busy week ahead! I especially need my meals well planned. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but my daughter Leanne arrives home on Saturday so our family decided to wait and celebrate the holiday with her. So we will be having our big feast of thankfulness on Sunday.

Monday
Enchiladas, chips & salsa, salad – I have extra people in the house so I’m making 2 pans of enchiladas. I’m filling them with hamburger & rice and covering one with a red enchilada sauce and the other with sour cream enchilada sauce.

Tuesday
Chicken noodle soup, french bread, salad

Wednesday
Teriyaki meatballs, coconut brown rice, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Lasagna, french bread, salad

Saturday
Horderves for Leanne’s “welcome home” party – after picking up Leanne from the airport my family will gather at my home to give Leanne a welcome home celebration.. the horderves will consist of little smokies in bbq sauce, hoagie roll sandwiches cut in thirds and put on a platter, veggie platter w/ranch dip…

Breakfast Week! Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Image
I’ve wanted to try cooking oatmeal in a crockpot for a long time now. I’ve read mixed reviews on this recipe. One thing I learned was that if you use regular cooking oats you will end up with a gooey porridge mess. So I made this using steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are basically the oat grain, also called groats.

To make rolled oats, which most are more familiar with, the groats are put through an oat roller. The thinner they are rolled is what determines if your oats are regular cooking, quick cooking or instant. Steel cut oats are the oat groat that has been cut into small size pieces. They take longer to cook than rolled oats. That is why they work well for crockpot oatmeal.

You can find steel cut oats in some grocery stores, health food stores or online.
This was super good and my family really enjoyed it.  It seems to be showing up on my breakfast rotation weekly now because it is so easy to make.  There's nothing like waking up to a hot breakfast ready to serve.��…

Breakfast Week! Peach Coffee Cake

Image
One thing I like about this recipe is that it uses canned peaches. If you regularly keep canned peaches on your pantry shelf it is easy to put this coffee cake together for yummy breakfast. I recently served it with yogurt and bacon for a delish meal!



Peach Coffee Cake
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, pack the flour down slightly if it is freshly ground
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 cup butter – 2 cubes or sticks, softened
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 15 oz. can of peach slices, fruit juice packed preferred, drained
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside. In a large mixer bowl beat butter and honey until well blended. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and mix again. When this is mixture is well blended, add your dry ingredients and mix until it is well combined. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and pour batter into pan. Now take your drained peaches and layer in an attractive way over the…

Breakfast Week! Brown Rice & Oat Blender Waffles

Image
These are really enjoyable. I first learned of making waffles with whole grains and a blender from Sue Gregg. This recipe is an adaptation of her recipe that can be found here: http://www.suegregg.com/recipes/Starter%20Recipes/Blender%20WafflePancakes.pdf  I think blender batters such as this is a great way to enjoy a variety of grains in your diet.

Note: make sure the batter never gets too thick. The mixture should always be flowing around. I burned out a motor on my last blender by letting the batter get too thick while mixing. 

Brown Rice & Oat Blender Waffles

1 cup brown rice
½ cup oats
1 ¾ cup milk
2T olive oil
1 egg
1t vanilla
2t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt

Put rice, oats, milk, olive oil, egg and vanilla into blender. Blend on highest speed for 5 minutes. Stop blending and add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend for 3 minutes.

Make waffles according to the directions on your waffle iron. I like to make up 2 or 3 batches at once and freeze extra …

Breakfast Week! Baked Oatmeal

Image
I use oatmeal a lot for breakfast. It is inexpensive and healthy. Over the years I’ve tried to vary how I use this breakfast food so that not every morning is oatmeal porridge. This has been one version I’ve made for a long time now and it is always a family favorite. If you are dairy free you can use a substitute for the milk such as rice or almond milk.

We eat it hot out of the oven with a little milk poured over it. You can add extra sweetener if you’d like but it is sweet with the honey already added. If you want to do any preparations the night before you can mix up everything except the baking powder and salt in a bowl and the next morning add the baking powder & salt and pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake according to the recipe.



Baked Oatmeal

½ cup light olive oil or melted coconut oil
½ cup melted butter – 1 cube
1 cup honey
4 eggs
6 cups quick oats
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tbsp. salt
2 cups milk

In a large mixing bowl combine your oil, melted butter, hone…

Breakfast Week! Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Image
Now that fall is here I try and make more hot breakfast foods for my family. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you this week.

I LOVE this casserole! Sweet potatoes are in abundance during the fall/holiday season and this is another great use for them. I like the simplicity of this recipe: you don’t have to let it sit overnight, does not use any cream soups or other packaged food and best yet, it tastes delicious!! It is a great one to serve to company as well. The other reason I like it is that is so versatile. If you are gluten free and/or dairy free it is also excellent. I’ve made this casserole many times without the cheese and it is still wonderful! You can add other veggies or subtract veggies you don’t care for.

A tip for peeling sweet potatoes… I’ve heard many people say how difficult sweet potatoes are to peel. Well I’ve found a way to peel them that takes very little effort. I use a cheese slicer that looks like this…



Makes the job very simple and …

Menu Monday!

Image
Last week was one of those weeks where not a whole lot went as planned with my menu! I had a couple days where I planned to feed more people than I actually did which meant a couple extra nights of leftovers and one night that was a complete change of menu due to special requests, which I was happy to make.. So some of the meals are repeats from last week as the food is sitting in my freezer and pantry ready to be used..

Monday
Crockpot pantry soup, french bread, salad

Tuesday
Baked ham, maple roasted sweet potatoes, coleslaw

Wednesday
Laurie’s mac & cheese w/ham (using leftover ham), coleslaw

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Ham salad hogie sandwiches (using leftover ham), tomato soup, coleslaw

Saturday
Lasagna, french bread, salad

Sunday
Crockpot roasted chicken, roasted potatoes & sweet potatoes, salad

A Couple Recipes to Share

Image
I wanted to share a couple yummy recipes I made this week. On Friday I made pizza. It was not on my menu for the week but my daughter Emily & her hubby were coming for a visit and requested pizza. So I could not refuse the request! :) I made gluten free pizza crusts (my son in law is gluten free). We made 2 regular type pizza’s with tomato sauce and then experimented with a new type of pizza sauce. Sierra and I enjoy trying different things with pizza every now and again. So we made Pesto Pizza Sauce. We loved it!! My daughter and her hubby loved it.. my sons, well, in their mind, it just was not “pizza” ha, ha!! We topped the pizza with sausage, bacon, tomato slices, onions, mushrooms, spinach and of course, cheese. If you like gormet type pizzas (and you like pesto sauce) you will like this one. I’m sorry to say we did not get a picture.. too much time enjoying family and food to remember to take a pic. But here is the recipe:

Pesto Pizza Sauce
1 cup pesto sauce
¼ cup …

Updates from the Homestead

Image
November is really racing by! In fact I’m finding it hard to believe how fast this year has gone by. In just a few weeks we will be embracing a new year. But oh so much excitement before that happens. I love this time of year. The holidays are always exciting to me. However I will confess that I’ve not done any Christmas shopping yet and the thought of that is a little overwhelming, LOL! How are you doing on your Christmas shopping? Do you plan ahead, make homemade gifts, be prepared as early as possible? Wait until the last minute? :) I will say as a last minute shopper type I do almost all my shopping online. Between Amazon, Target and Walmart I can get most of it done rather quickly. And I’m thankful for UPS as well! LOL!!



The countdown continues with Leanne! She will be home from S. Korea in 2 weeks! We can hardly wait. She has been gone one year now and it seems like forever! She is super excited too. She has been busy preparing to leave. She has household items to …

Ranch Chicken Tacos

Image
This was a new recipe I tried this week. It was yummy! My family ate it up with only a handful of leftovers. 


Ranch Chicken Tacos

3lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I cooked mine in the crockpot all day)
1T chili powder
1T cumin
1 cup ranch dressing
Salt & pepper, to taste
12 to 15 flour tortillas (you could also use taco shells)
Taco trimmings: tomatoes, lettuce, chopped onions, sliced olives, salsa, cheddar cheese

After chicken has finished cooking use 2 forks to shred the meat. Sprinkle with seasonings and mix. Add ranch dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Use this as your filling for tacos.

*NOTE you can use other types of chicken such as thighs or even a whole chicken that has been deboned.
Print This Recipe:


Thanksgiving Planner

Image
3 weeks ahead of time  Figure out how many people will you be serving and how big of a turkey you will need.  To calculate this, you need to figure about 1 ½ lbs of turkey per person.  So if you are feeding 8 people you would need a turkey that was about 12 pounds.  I usually buy them bigger so I will have leftovers.  Write out guest list Plan out menu Gather recipes Write out grocery list 2 weeks ahead Buy turkey (if buying frozen ones) Make dinner rolls and freeze.  I like to freeze them before baking.  I shape them into rolls; lay them out on a tray and flash freeze them.  On Thanksgiving Day I bring them out in the morning to defrost and rise.  If your guests are contributing to the meal let them know what you would like them to bring. 1 Week Ahead Clean out your fridge to make room for the added food items IF you have not bought your turkey yet, they should be on sale this week.  Do your grocery shopping of staple items you will need for the meal
4 to 5 Days Ahead If your …

Photo Credit!!

Image
My daughter Sierra has been a huge blessing to me. She is an up and coming photographer and enjoys any opportunity to practice and improve her skills. She has been taking many of the pictures here on my blog (all pics on my blog topper where hers). You can tell the difference between her pics and mine.. hers looks really great! Ha, ha!! :D

Seriously though she has an eye for a picture.. I’ve been able to tell her what my blog posts are about and she creates the picture for me. I’m ever so grateful to her.

She has started a Face Book page to post her work on; both her photography and her art. She is a wonderful artist as well. If you’d like to see more of her work you can take a peek at her FB page and give it a 'like' if you are so inclined..

Coyote Free Art & Photography: https://www.facebook.com/coyotesiphotography

Menu Monday

Image
This week I’m having a few family favorites and easy meals. I’m also trying out a few new recipes. I’ll share the ones that pass the ultimate taste test with my family! (smile)..

Monday
Spaghetti, french bread, garlic roasted green beans

Tuesday
Chicken ranch tacos w/trimmings, chips & salsa

Wednesday
Teriyaki chicken, coconut rice, broccoli salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Hamburgers w/trimmings

Saturday
Baked ham, maple roasted sweet potatoes, coleslaw

Sunday
Laurie’s mac & cheese w/ham (using leftover ham from Saturday), coleslaw


Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 6

Image
Today’s thought is: Remember what it is all about


On day 1 we talked about homemaking being a ministry. In the midst of it all take time to remember what it is all about, your family. Hug your babies and as they grow, keep hugging. Nothing I appreciate more today is when my 30 year old son walks into the house and gives his mama a hug. Sit and read to your children, cuddle with them, make cookies with them, listen to them laugh and listen to them when they have something to say.

Treat your husband each day with love and kindness. Thank him often for all his hard work. Make him a priority in the day, not the last thing to “deal with” at the end of the day. Cuddle, talk and enjoy him and never stop nurturing your marriage.

When all is said and done the job of a homemaker is about the family, not the house. The house is important, but we do it all for them.. our husband and our children.

Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 5

Image
Today’s thought is: Never stop learning


One thing I have loved about being a homemaker is how much I have learned about so many topics in life! Spend time reading books! Read on topics that interest you and topics that will benefit your family. Over the years I’ve read and learned about many things: cooking, baking and nutrition, herbs and herbal medicine, sewing, how to save money, make homemade products and live frugally, how to garden and can, homeschooling, childbirth and homebirth, and so much more. Learning new things is fun and exciting and brings joy.


Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 4

Image
Today’s thought is: Take care of yourself


As the one who manages the home and the hearts of those around you make sure to take care of yourself. As much as you are able to, get a good night’s sleep. This is more difficult if you have babies up in the night but do your best to nap when you can and get needed rest. Start the day with a shower, get dressed down to shoes, and take care of your hair, etc. I feel more energy to start my day when I’ve taken care of the basics of taking care of me. As a homemaker I’ve found it important to not allow myself to neglect these things. I know it can be depressing to spend the day in my jammies (other than during illness and such) and with depression comes lack of joy. The caregiver of the home needs a little basic care too.


Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 3

Image
Today’s thought is: Routines, lists and planning keep life flowing smoothly



A routine is a plan of action for your day. Keep your day orderly. Spend time with basic household upkeep and keep clutter to a minimum. Make time in the day for food preparations and plan out meals to prevent stress at the end of the day. Keep a calendar of appointments and activities so you can be prepared ahead of time. Make lists to help keep you focused on what needs to be tackled each day. A life with order can bring much joy.

Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 2

Image
Today’s thought is: Homemaking is a Calling



Homemaking is not a job, it’s a calling. With a job you work for a set amount of time and then you are done. At the end of the week you receive a paycheck. If you quit your job, you can be replaced. Homemaking is a calling. God has given you a husband and a family and considered you the most capable of taking care of them, loving them and serving them. Give the Lord 100% of what you have in what He has called you to. It is a ministry of love and devotion. It’s not something you can quit and you cannot be replaced.

Realize that the meals you cook, the laundry you fold, the floors you sweep & mop say, “I love you” and “You mean the world to me” to your family.

Finding Joy in Homemaking: Part 1

Image
This week I’m going to be sharing ways to find joy in homemaking. A homemaker’s life can be filled with stresses. It is easy to lose the joy. I hope to be able to share some basic practical ways to find joy even amid stressful or chaotic times.

Today’s thought is: The right attitude

Attitude is everything. If you think your job is tireless drudgery it will be and there is no joy in drudgery. Yes, the house will get dirty, the family will need to be fed, and the to-do list is always growing. . Just remember being a homemaker is the opportunity to love and serve your family each day. For me a thankful heart is what always helps my poor attitude. I choose to be thankful that the Lord has called me to this ministry of service and I remind myself I do it for Him and how blessed I am to be my husband’s helpmeet and mama to the amazing children He has blessed me with.

And let’s not forget to start the day with prayer and reading from the Word. The Word of God in our hearts and p…

Menu Monday!

Image
Monday
Leftover beef & rice enchiladas, chips & salsa, salad

Tuesday
Baked chicken legs, garlic roasted potatoes & sweet potatoes, salad

Wednesday
Crockpot pork roast, baked sweet potatoes, salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Tuna noodle casserole, salad

Saturday
Spaghetti, french bread, garlic roasted green beans

Sunday
Chicken pot pie soup, biscuits, salad


Fall Decorations

Image
I admit I’m not the craftiest of people. However I’m truly blessed to have a creative talented daughter that is quite crafty! What I’ve admired about her creative side is that she examines what is around her, in the house or outdoors, and uses it for her creations. She loves to decorate for whatever season or holiday we are in. She asked while we were in town last week if she could stop at the Dollar Store. She wanted a few little extras to work with for some fall decorations. I was happy to oblige her on this. I spent $7 for a few flowers and some candles. She took that and items we already had and created a few beautiful decorations that are now brightening up our home. It’s nice to know that making a house a home does not have to cost a lot. If you need a little inspiration on decorating your home maybe her pictures will help give you some ideas on using things around you to create beautiful decorations for your home.

The little milk jug and wine glasses were purchased a…