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Showing posts from February, 2014

Colds and Antibiotic Soup

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This last week a cold descended upon the Miller household. Very quickly I might add! One morning my youngest son woke up with sniffles and a sore throat and by the next day we all had it along with chills and sinus congestion. The first thing we all started doing was making garlic tea. I’ve found garlic to be amazing for colds. The next thing I did was make soup with lots and lots of garlic.

Garlic is amazing for fighting colds and flu symptoms. Garlic has incredibly health promoting qualities. It is said to be an effective antibiotic and natural virus killer as well as an immune enhancer, anti-fungal, and so much more.

A friend of mine had said she made antibiotic soup for her family and I was intrigued by the name! She shared the recipe with me, which came from a friend of hers, who originally got the recipe from someone at a homeschool group a few years back. I tweaked the recipe some to make it a little easier to make. And my whole family ate the soup for a couple days …

Love and Marriage

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Even though my husband & I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this summer I still feel inadequate to give advice on marriage. Maybe because individuals are all different, the dynamics of each relationship is different; people are at different places in their lives and walking different paths. But one thing that has gone through my mind over the years is the two guidelines I’ve found as the basis for married life. Just two guidelines, but within those guidelines is everything that makes a marriage work, in my view. And they are complex but at the crux of marriage. They are from the Bible:

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.

Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I realize that in the intricacies of life and marriage this is too simplistic. But then again, much of how we react, how we interact with ea…

Menu Monday!

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I’m trying out a few new recipes this week and will share the best of them! Leanne and Sierra are cooking dinner a couple nights and have planned the menu for those nights.


Monday
Chicken curry – made by Leanne & Sierra.. not sure what else they plan for the menu!

Tuesday
Homemade pizza, salad

Wednesday
Bbq pork roast, corn chowder, salad

Thursday
Marinated chicken, brown rice, garlic roasted brussel sprouts – Leanne & Sierras night to cook

Friday
Burrito casserole, tortilla chips & salsa, veggie platter

Saturday
Hamburger biscuit bake, green beans

Sunday
Shepards pie, salad

Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

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I was asked to share this recipe if it turned out. It was very good and easy!! It was a hearty hot meal for a cold winter night that my family devoured. I felt lucky I’d remember to pull some aside for a picture!


Crockpot Cowboy Casserole
2lbs hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½#’s red potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can, drained)
2 cups beans of your choice
4oz cream cheese
2t salt
1t pepper
1 cup grated cheese

Cook hamburger and onions until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft. Put hamburger/onion mixture into 6 quart crockpot. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top in the last half hour. Serve with dinner rolls or biscuits and salad. 

I’ve been contemplating on turning this recipe into a freezer meal. I’m going to try using a package of frozen hash browns (the little cubes) in place of the potatoes (potatoes will turn brown in the freezer) a…

Homemaking Challenge for February: Final Update!

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All 3 of my freezers are cleaned out! I managed to complete the task before the month ended and looking forward March’s challenge, which I’ll be posting about soon.

The second freezer started out looking like this…

And ended up…

The 3rd freezer is completely cleaned out and now is empty. My goal had been to consolidate into 2 freezers.

The fridge got a good cleaning as well


My 2nd fridge is much small and was cleaned out not long ago so it did not need anything more than a wipe down.

For anyone joining me this month in February’s homemaking challenge, I hope you were able to get this task marked off your list as well!


We Can Do This Girls!!





Canning Veggie Stock

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After cleaning out my freezers I found several bags of vegetables that I had frozen from my garden for the purpose of making veggie stock. In order to save some freezer space I decided to use up all of the veggies and make a large pot of stock and then can it.

I know having stock canned on the shelf ready to use will be so nice. I often buy organic chicken stock from Costco because it is so convenient to have on hand. Now I’ll have my own shelf ready stock for soups and stews.

Veggie stock is very easy to make. I wrote a blog post on this awhile back. You can find the info on how to make it on my website HERE. In reality you can make veggie stock “almost” for free. If you save veggie peels, ends & pieces, limp look veggies that might otherwise get tossed until you have enough to make a batch of stock (1 to 2 gallons of veggies will make a lot of stock), then you are using food that would otherwise be thrown away to end up with food for the shelf that is almost “free”.…

Hot Process Soap Making

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I recently made a batch of hot process soap in my crockpot. I hope to make another batch in the next few days. Hot process soap is an easy quick method of making soap.

There are 2 ways to make soap. One is called cold process and the other hot process. Here is the difference:

Cold Processed (CP): This method involves combining your liquid/lye mixture with your oils and stirring until the mixture thickens (also known as “trace”) . Then pouring the mixture into molds. In a day or two you unmold, cut the bars and let the soap lay out on a flat surface to cure anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the recipe. This ensures the soap is free from all traces of lye.

Hot Processed (HP): You follow the same procedures as CP but instead of pouring into your mold you keep cooking the soap. The soap is heated and cooked all the way through to the end (meaning there is no traces of lye left in the soap). After you remove it from the mold you can cut the bars and pretty much use them ri…

Menu Monday!

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I am going through my freezers and finding several things I forgot I had!! So this week one of my goals is to plan my menu around some of the frozen food I need to use up! ~smile~

Monday
Corned beef (found at the bottom of one of the freezers), roasted red potatoes, corn on the cob (from the freezer), salad

Tuesday
Crockpot soup - creating this using what I have on hand: a small pork roast from my freezer, defrosted & cut up, cooked beans (freezer), zucchini (freezer) and I’ll add some tomatoes and seasonings… served with dinner rolls and a veggie platter

Wednesday
Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts

Thursday
Leanne & Sierra’s night to cook – menu unknown at this point

Friday
Bean soup, pepperoni bread, salad

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Taco casserole, salad

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Menu Planning Simplicity


This week’s recipes are crockpot freezer meals. All of them were very good. My family enjoyed them and gave them 2 thumbs up! They are very easy to put together. The idea behind crockpot freezer meals is that you put all ingredients into a gallon size zip lock bag, label, and freeze. On the day you want to serve the meals put them in the crockpot. I often pull them out the night before and put them in the fridge. By morning they are not completely defrosted, but defrosted enough to be able to get into the crockpot. Then cook all day. I’ve also put them in frozen. To do this I’ve run warm water over the bag long enough to loosen the frozen bag so I can easily remove it. If I start the meal from frozen I most often start it on ‘high’ and then turn down to ‘low’ in an hour or two. However you do it, they make for easy simple meals and prep time goes very quickly.

I started with 8lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. These are not the frozen ones.…

Updates from the Homestead

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Well it looks like we’ve got our winter blast after all. Snow and ice hit our area and blanketed us for several days. Compared to what others in the mid-west and east coast have dealt with, it was minor. But for us it was a few days of keeping the fires going round the clock, shoveling stairs, clearing the driveway and me worrying about my son who has a delivery route to do. I think that was the most difficult part. Knowing he was driving in snow and ice and praying he got home safely. He made it just fine, a few “near misses” with a ditch and a cement wall!! But he did his job and came home safe and sound. As I write this the snow and ice are slowly melting and the roads are clear.

My daughters and I were able to get out of the house finally after a week of being cooped up. It felt good to get out and to also get needed groceries in the house. You know it’s a crisis when you run out of half n half for your coffee! Ha, ha!!

Here are a few pics from our storm. Some were t…

Homemaking Challenge for February Update!

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We’ve had a winter storm hit our area so it has taken my attention as of late. However I was finally able to get moving on my project. As of right now I have one freezer cleaned out, defrosted, wiped clean and food back in it.

It went from this…

To this…

To this..


I still have more organizing to do in that freezer as I clean out the other 2 and more items are added.

The 2nd freezer is now empty and those items are in the 3rd freezer and it has been turned off and is defrosting.


I found several bags of veggies that I have saved for using to makeveggie broth. Most of them were from my garden last year. I currently have those veggies as well as some from my fridge that I needed to use up simmering on the stove and will can my broth tomorrow.

I also found a lot of miscellaneous items such as bags of veggies, small bags of precooked soups, meat that had gotten lost and fallen to the bottom of the freezer. My menu plan may change somewhat this week as I work to use up some of …

Menu Monday!

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Monday
Tacos w/all the trimmings

Tuesday
Homemade pizza, salad

Wednesday
Bbq meatballs, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Valentines Dinner: shrimp pasta, garlic roasted red potatoes, salad 

Saturday
Beef stroganoff, salad

Sunday
Crockpot cheesy cowboy casserole, veggie platter w/ranch dressing

Quiet Time Thoughts

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This year has started out very well for our family. We are seeing some issues resolved, making progress in projects, moving forward in areas that seemed all but stalled, thanked the Lord as a family member finished the last of her chemo and begin to move forward in her life, so many praises! It has been a blessing in many so many ways.

However, the last few years have seen some difficult times for my family. We’ve dealt with many issues seemingly hitting us from all sides. It has seemed at times like standing on the shore line and the waves keep rolling in threatening to knock us over and drag us out. Have you ever had a time in your life like this?

How does one get through it all? Strength from God, grace from God and His never ending mercies come to my mind immediately. He never promises there will not be difficult days (Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on …
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Menu Planning Simplicity

This week’s Menu Planning Simplicity is focused on 2 separate times I spent in the kitchen working on not only meals for the week but also I was able to put a couple extra meals in the freezer.

Before I got started on anything I put a large pot of beans on to cook. I knew I would need them for one of my recipes. While I was at it I cooked extra beans as well so that could have them done ahead of time for the chili that I was planning on preparing that week. Any time I can coordinate my weekly menu to cook extra quantities for meals later on in the week, I do this. It saves me time and money. It does not take any more time to cook up 6 or 8 cups of dried beans as it does to cook up 2 or 3. If I serve beans twice in a week and cook them up separately then I’m working twice as much on the same job and spending twice as much on electricity to cook them. I had enough beans for a double batch of the Southwest Stew recipe I’ll share in a moment and enoug…