Showing posts from June, 2011

Homestead Updates

This afternoon was a perfect day to get out and work in the garden. The sun was shining (at least for awhile!) and it was warm. With my daughter Sierra’s help we spent some time getting the weeds under control.. always a constant battle. And then my son Isaac helped me to set up the PVC pipes we use to water the garden. Basically we have a spring fed pond that we use to water the garden. There is not a lot of elevation difference between the pond and the garden so sprinklers are out (not enough water pressure). The pond has sediment and such and it plugs the holes in soaker hoses.. so we use PVC pipe. The water runs from the pond through underground pipes to the garden. In the garden there is a faucet and place where the pipe comes up. I hook PVC pipes to this and run them to the garden. At each garden row I have ditches down the row and we let the water run down the ditch, after the water runs down the row we hook on another piece of pipe for the next row. We do this unt

Cooking with Brown Rice: Brown Rice Florentine

The word florentine makes this recipe sound really fancy.. but it’s not.. florentine just means it has spinach in it!! :) This makes a great side dish to a meal and if you cook your rice up earlier in the day or have it in the freezer this goes together super fast at dinner time.. Brown Rice Florentine 1 medium onion, chopped ½ a green or red pepper, chopped (or you can use a few mini peppers which is what I did in the pics below) 2 or 3 large mushrooms, sliced 2 cups fresh spinach baby spinach leaves or tear up larger leaf spinach in smaller pieces 3 T butter 4 cups cooked brown rice salt and pepper to taste Assemble your ingredients and chop up veggies.. Heat up a large frying pan on medium high heat. When it is hot, add the butter and let it melt. Add the onions, peppers and mushrooms to the frying pan and let these cook until the veggies are soft. Now add the spinach and stir this around until the spinach wilts… Add the cooked rice… Stir and

A Few Reflections on Raising Daughters

I got an email from a lady who was concerned about her daughter. She, the mother, held a certain belief and her daughter was away from home and wavering on these beliefs. So it made me reflect. I have had 5 daughters and 4 of them are grown and doing their own thing in life. One of those 4 still lives at home but has a busy life working and obtaining her college degree, and I see her in passing as she leaves for work and her own life. The 5th is still being homeschooled. As mothers we impart our views, beliefs, convictions to our daughters. In the end will they live and abide by these? Some may and some may not. My pastor once said if parenting were as easy as A+B=C then we would all get it right. We can’t expect because we have beliefs and views and convictions that our daughters will have these as well. There is something called free will. Every person has to walk their own path and come to their own conclusions. Honestly I would not want it any other way. We can’t be a

Cooking with Brown Rice: Jambalaya

This is a spicy rice dish I have seen made a zillion different ways. Some are very complicated, some seem to have several types of meat and seafood in it, most all use white rice. I have come up with my own version of this meal that I would like to think is pretty easy. I usually try and cook the rice early in the day so when dinner time comes around this meal goes together very quickly. One common thing these recipes have is the fact that this dish is hot.. So you can add or take away spices depending on what you like. The sausage used in this recipe is link type sausage similar to kielbasa. I buy a brand at Costco called Louisiana Hot Links. I like them because they are hot! But if you are not a fan of hot food you can buy any other type of sausage you would like. The amount of meat I give in the recipe is something that you can adjust easily. You don’t have to have a lot of meat for this dish. Jambalaya 4T olive oil 8 oz link sausage, cut in quarters ½ to ¾ lb ch

Adding More Brown Rice to our Diet

When I think of all the starches I can add to our diet (bread, potatoes, pasta, brown rice), brown rice seems like such a great nutritional choice. Good quality homemade bread is also a good choice, but we eat a lot of bread at other meals as well and I wanted more variety. I am currently on a quest to come up with more ways to serve brown rice, either as a side dish or casserole type main dishes. I have a few really yummy recipes to share but for today I want to share the first basic.. how to cook a pot of brown rice.. Cooking Brown Rice I’ve read, tried and posted on many ways to cook brown rice. I seem to always settle in on a way that is simplified. If making brown rice turns into a big ordeal then I will always end up opting for something simpler like potatoes or pasta for the meal. I have, for awhile now, soaked my rice before cooking. I did this first for nutritional reasons (the breaking down of phytic acid, but after reading a recent article I’ve been rethi

Updates from the Homestead

I had such a nice day today. I woke up with a to do list that was a mile long. I got some of it started and then my daughter Hannah came over with Rylee and Elizabeth.. and the whole list got set aside.. and how great my day was. One thing I miss about little babies is sitting and rocking them and holding that sweet little bundle. :) So when Hannah does bring that little bundle over I drop everything and enjoy the moment! Life is too short to stress.. and rocking babies has always been very high on my priority list!! Little Miss Rylee is almost 6 weeks old now.. my goodness how time flies. Elizabeth is 2 ½ and loves her baby sister. My son Jacob also came along and it was good to visit with him as well. Nothing is better than the chance to sit and talk with your grown children. The years go by quickly and it becomes even more meaningful to me to spend time with my children. Aside from children and grandchildren life here on my homestead has been moving along at

Sourdough Banana Bread & Pizza Crust

I am still enjoying my sourdough starter and trying new things.. and making some things again.. like the other day I made sourdough French bread again to go with our spaghetti dinner.. oh yum! My latest adventure was banana bread.. that was fantastic! I am patiently waiting for my current bunch of bananas to give me so over ripe ones so I can make this again. And I made sourdough pizza crust. Here are the recipes….   Sourdough Banana Bread 1 cup cane juice crystals or white sugar 1/3 cup olive oil ½ cup proofed sourdough starter 2 eggs 1t vanilla 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (aka soft white wheat) 1t salt 1 t baking soda 2 or 3 ripe bananas, mashed Combine cane juice crystals (or sugar) and olive oil in a mixer. Add sourdough starter and mix. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a loaf pan and bake at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. For the pizza crust I converted my own pizza recipe

Homestead Garden Update

We finally had a beautiful dry and sunny weekend!! I did not waste a bit of it and got my garden in right away. Due to all the rain I let the garden dry out on Friday and then got about 1/3 of the garden put in on Saturday. And another 1/3 on Sunday and the last 1/3 will be corn. On Saturday my kids Leanne, Sierra and Isaac helped me get some rows staked out and get the tomatoes in the ground. All in all I ended up with 43 tomato plants from the seeds I started back in April. I am super excited and the girls and I chatted about all the salsa and spaghetti sauce we will be making by early fall. Then I planted a ½ pound of green bean seed and Sierra planted 4 packages of lettuce seed and some flowers. Yesterday Isaac and I got the second 1/3 of the garden in. We planted, cukes, cabbage, beets, carrots, radishes, 3 types of summer squash, pumpkins, winter squash, bunching onions and lots of flowers.. I planted a couple packages of zinnias’ (it was my dad’s favorite flowe

June Menu

Monthly menu planning calendars that you can print out and write out your own menu for the month of June can be found here: 1 st – pizza, watermelon 2 nd – leftovers 3 rd – cream cheese chicken enchiladas , salad 4 th – dutch oven pot roast, new potatoes, salad 5 th – spaghetti, French bread, salad 6 th – leftovers 7 th – oven fried chicken, brown rice side dish, salad 8 th – fish tacos with all the trimmings 9 th – jambalaya, salad 10 th – leftovers 11 th – crustless chicken pot pie topped with cheesy biscuits, salad 12 th – yummy pinto beans , dinner rolls, salad 13 th – delicious Italian casserole , salad 14 th – leftovers 15 th – sub sandwiches, homemade tomato soup , watermelon 16 th – meatloaf , garlic roasted potatoes , salad 17 th – chicken noodle soup , biscuits, salad 18 th – leftovers 19 th – Red beans & rice , salad 20 th – crockpot meatballs , mac &