Showing posts from April, 2011

Sourdough French Bread

I decided to make lasagna for tonight’s meal. It was actually on my menu for tomorrow night but my son Jacob was coming home so I decided to make it a day early. I wanted French bread to go with the meal and thought it would be a good time to experiment with some sourdough French bread. I took my sourdough starter out of the fridge the night before and poured it into a bowl. I added ½ cup whole wheat flour, ½ cup white flour and 1 cup warm water and put the starter in a warm spot to proof overnight. Twelve hours late the smell of sourdough was amazing and it was nice and frothy and bubbly. I am thinking that the older my starter has gotten (it is only 3 weeks old at this point.. LOL).. the better it is doing. My bread rose better, faster and tasted amazingly good! Much more “sour” taste to it than the last loaf I made. If you missed my post on making sourdough starter you can find it here:   Soon I w

Blog Giveaway Winner!!

And the winner is……   The Lady over at Big Beautiful Mess Blog !!  Your package will be sent out to you by Cathie . Congratulations!! You are getting some awesome cleaning supplies!! I keep using them and am more impressed every time!! That microfiber window/mirror cloth with the window cleaner (made from the Basic H2) is totally awesome! Thank you everyone who participated!! Now a note from Cathie.. Thanks to Crystal for hosting this giveaway on her site and congratulations to the winner! I will be sending your package out to you. Enjoy! To all of those who entered and are interested in Shaklee and getting some Basic-h2 for yourself. Shaklee is offering a promotion from now through May 20, 2011, purchase any Shaklee products with a minimum total purchase price of $30 member price, and we’ll waive the $19.95 Shaklee membership fee! This is the best “Join Shaklee” promotion ever offered! As a Shaklee Member, you will get ... 15% discount (off retail prices) on

First Ever Blog Giveaway!!

This Blog Giveaway is now officially Closed! I will be announcing the winner tomorrow.. so stay tuned!   I am so excited!! This is the first time I have ever done a giveaway on my blog! Sooo.. what am I giving away you ask??? A Shaklee Basic H2 Cleaning Kit for your home. My friend Cathie B. is sponsoring this giveaway. You can visit her Shaklee site here: She sent me a kit so I could try out the Basic H2 cleaner. I am impressed by how much this little 16oz bottle of cleaner can make. It is super concentrated and will make 48 gallons of cleaner! I made a gallon of the cleaner and used it on my floors. I washed all my floors (wood floors as well).. and I was impressed by the dirt it picked up! I also made up a bottle of all purpose cleaner and used it to clean my kitchen cabinet doors and appliances.. It did a very nice job! Cleaned up the greasy mess on the stove top my son left after making himself a hamburger too.. Basic H2 do

Homestead Garden: Tomato Starts and Garden Update

I transplanted my tomato starts last weekend. They all had their first two true leaves and ready for a bigger home… I have real issues with thinning and tossing my little starters. I planted 2 seeds in each little spot figuring they might not all come up and you know what .. they all did.. So I had to make hard choices and pluck out one of them because I don’t have room in my little seed starting box for them all… plus in reality that would be a HUGE amount of tomatoes. So.. I made the hard choices. :) We have had one of the wettest and coldest springs on record in my parts. So it has been nearly impossible to find enough dry days to get the garden rototilled. You need at least a day or two for the ground to dry out and then another day to finally get the job done. Normally we rototill for the first time in late February or early March. Finally this last week we had 4 nice days in a row (the first since I can’t remember when) and Tobin got out there right away and go

Dutch Oven Beef Stew

I put my dutch oven to work again! I tried beef stew in it and it was great!! Here is the recipe I used: 1lb beef stew meat 2 to 3T olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 to 3lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces 2 cans green beans, drained 1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use organic cream of mushroom soup) 2 cans corn, drained 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes 2 to 3 cups stock: beef , chicken, veggie .. Salt, pepper, seasoning salt, to taste Heat dutch oven on the stove until hot. Add olive oil and let it heat up a bit. Add onion. Cook until onion is soft.. Add stew meat and brown… Add remaining ingredients.. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Occasionally stir the stew so it does not stick. I served this meal with toasted, buttered sourdough bread and a salad.. and it was delish!  

Sourdough Bread

I have made sourdough starter many times. I have had varied amounts of success with it. I first made it using a little yeast to get it going because I just could not believe that you could create a starter that would raise bread without yeast. That worked fine, and I made a few different recipes with it before I forgot about it and it died. Then I read Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions and tried her recipe. It used rye flour and a daily maintenance of pouring the starter into a bowl, feeding it and pouring into a clean jar. I did have success with my starter and my bread, no yeast added. But eventually my starter turned a yucky color and smelled bad.. and I tossed it and I guess I tossed my enthusiasm for sourdough with it. Plus it seemed like a big hassle to change out the jar every day.. life is too busy for stuff like that.. at least for me.. :) Well, last week I was doing some bread baking and thought.. I want to try a sourdough starter again. This time I st

A Few Reflections on Raising Children

(in between the paragraphs of this article are a few random pics of my kids/family through the years).. Leanne left on Wednesday morning for Denmark to spend 3 weeks with Emily. To say I was stressed for those nearly 24 hours of flights and layovers is an understatement. She arrived safe and sound and is currently with Emily enjoying her time in Copenhagen. But it made me reflect a bit on raising children. I thought it was tough when they were young. I had to make sure that the home was safe, no sharp objects for them to get a hold of, make sure the cleaning supplies were out of reach, keep the baby gates in place, teach them to play nicely and not be rude, obey the rules, potty training, diapers, nap times, sleepless nights, etc.. Then we move onto spending the nights with friends, outside influences and activities, and keeping a stable home and during it all you think, when they get older this will be easier, I won't fret so much about them… well not quite..…

Today’s Bread Baking and Dutch Oven Chicken Veggie Soup

I spent a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen today. I made 4 loaves of bread, 1 dozen dinner rolls and some chicken veggie soup in my new dutch oven. I started out by making the bread. We were almost out so I figured I better get it going. I made 4 loaves. It is a double batch of my 2 loaf recipe and you can find that here:   Then I started my chicken veggie soup. Here is the recipe: Dutch Oven Chicken Veggie Soup 1 onion, chopped 3T olive oil 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces 1 quart green beans (or 2 cans), drained 1 quart corn (or 2 cans, drained) 2 cups sliced carrots 1 can diced tomatoes 1 quart homemade stock, can be chicken stock or veggie stock (or 2 cans stock) 2 T Worcestershire sauce 1 can organic cream of mushroom soup (a brand such as Amy’s, found in health food stores) Salt and pepper to taste Heat a 5qt dutch oven on medium high heat. When it is hot, add oil an