Showing posts from February, 2016

Menu Monday!

Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was busy but nice. Today it is back to menu planning and grocery shopping.

I did not get the chili made as I had planned last week so today it is on the menu. Instead of the chili I made meatball & broccoli cream soup. I plan on sharing that recipe and a little YouTube tutorial I made for it tomorrow.

The rest of my week is looking like this..

BBQ pork chops
I'll do these in the crockpot. I put the pork chops in, cover them with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and let them cook on low until they are tender. I'll serve rice and green beans on the side.

Clam Chowder
I have not made it in a long time. A nice bowl of clam chowder, biscuits and a salad sound like the perfect meal. You can find my clam chowder recipe HERE.

Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
I have some cooked chicken in the freezer. I'm going to make the typical tater tot casserole (recipes are everywhere on the web) and substitute chicken for the hamburger. I'll add …

What to do with all that Whey

In my last post I showed how to make feta cheese. One gallon of milk will give you one pound of cheese and about 3 quarts, maybe a bit more, of whey. Is it good for anything? Oh yes it is!! So if you make the cheese don't toss out the whey.

Whey still has a lot of healthful nutritional value to it. It is cultured (think probiotic. Probiotcs are expensive to buy and how great you can them as a by product of cheese making), it has some protein in it (whey is the main ingredient in many protein powders), it contains calcium and many B vitamins.

Here are some of the great things you can do with it....

Use whey instead of the liquids called for in a recipe. I've used it for yeast breads and quick breads. It adds a lot to the texture of your finished product. I made a batch of pancakes with it and they were yummy...

Use whey for the liquid in your smoothie. I've been doing this every day since I made cheese. It is delicious and nutritious.. A great sourc…

Making Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is one of the easiest cheeses to make. I use a recipe that a friend gave me years ago. It is good! I use to make it often when I was milking my goats and had so much milk to deal with. Recently I was in the mood to make some feta and for the first time made it with store bought milk. Yum is all I can say!

I used whole milk, which is a must if you try this. You will also need to purchase cheese cultures (or you can use cultured buttermilk, but make sure it has live cultures in it). I prefer cheese cultures because they are easy to use, store in the fridge for a long time, and are ready whenever I'm in the mood to make cheese. You will also need liquid rennet for this recipe and cheese salt. Below I'll give you some links on where to buy these products.

I'll also share the link to my recipe below..

The process..

Heat a gallon of milk up to 88 degrees (86 for goats milk). Remove from heat and add the cheese cultures and the rennet that has been diluted …

Menu Monday!

This last week I made beef bone broth in the crockpot and plan to use some of it this week. Due to the fact it was nice and concentrated I ended up freezing it in 1 cup portions. It is perfect to add to soups to boost nutritional value and give flavor.

I also made a small batch of chicken stock in the crockpot using the chicken leg bones from our meal last week. I currently have had it in the crockpot since yesterday morning. This afternoon I'll strain it, add more water and a couple of chicken breasts and let this simmer. Then I'll shred the meat and add and some noodles for chicken noodle soup. I'll serve a nice salad and some muffins or biscuits on the side.

The rest of week is looking like this...

I'll cook the beans with a portion of my bone broth. Then add the cooked hamburger & onions and spices after the beans are cooked. Cornbread and a salad will be served on the side.

Garlic Butter Chicken
I had this on my menu last week and it did not …

Beef Bone Broth in the Crockpot

I see blogs and articles everywhere on bone broth. It seems it is the latest craze. I've been making broth for years now. Nothing is really “new” about it, other than I think people are more aware of the health benefits today. I remember when my family was small I was making it because it was a thrifty use of my chicken. I'd serve roasted chicken one night, chicken meat in some casserole the next night and take the carcass and saved bones and make chicken soup the next night.

I began to understand broth for it's health and healing properties when my Mother in Law gave me Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions. I started seeing broth as a staple in the household. I made many pots of broth over the next few years. Each year we would buy a whole cow for the freezer and I'd always ask for the soup bones.

Somewhere along the way as the children were growing up and life became hectic I stopped making broth. Occasionally I'd make a pot to have it on …

Garden Season 2016!

It is way to early to even think of planting anything in my garden. But it is never to early to dream about this years garden and buy seeds. I was at the hardware store with my hubby and picked up a few packets of seeds.

One of those seed packs was cabbage seeds.

I now have a my cabbage seeds planted and I'm excited for spring to arrive and get them in ground.

I'm having a much smaller garden this year so I only planted a few seeds. We'll see how many come up and how many I end up transplanting.

I planted each teeny tiny seed in the my smallest pots...

Several years ago my hubby made me a little greenhouse box that is in his shop. It is very simple, 4 sides, a back and plastic that covers the front. Shop lights hang across the box. I put my planted seeds on a larger tray and put them in the box under the lights..

Then I put a plastic greenhouse dome over the top...

I cover this with a towel so it is dark (just for the germination process). The towel holds in …

Menu Monday!

This week is looking like it might be a bit busy. So my menu planning will reflect that. Quick meals that can be put together in no time.

Due to having kids over on the weekend I ended up making a chicken dish that was so good. I put 3 chicken breasts in my crockpot. Covered them with a sliced onion and a whole bunch of sliced mini sweet peppers and a can of spaghetti sauce (24oz). Let that cook all day, shredded the chicken up and served it over pasta. It was a hit! :)

Now for this week...

Meatball Subs
It's been a while since I made them. I use pre made frozen meatballs that I buy from Costco in the crockpot, cover with spaghetti sauce and cook on low for 4 or 5 hours. Serve in sub sandwich rolls along with coleslaw.

Baked Chicken Legs
I will either season them with lots of garlic, onions and salt and pepper or I'll put bbq sauce on them. Rice pilaf and a salad will be served on the side.

Fish Sticks
Fish sticks and tater tots is always a win at my house. I'll ser…

Winter Time & Book Reading

I am happy to see January over. It is always the longest darkest feeling month of the year. The weather in PNW has not been to bad. We've had some snow, but mostly it has been rain, as typical. Gray days are getting old. Yesterday it rained almost all day and was very gray. At one point the rain stopped and the fog set it. I could barely see anything outside...

I am enjoying the fact that the days are getting a little longer. Every now and again we are starting have some sunny days and I'm feeling that spring can not be too far away! I've seen a few more birds out and am waiting until I hear some pond noises (frogs croaking). All are sure signs of the changing seasons. I know that baby chicks have arrived in the feed stores. It does make me want to pick up a half a dozen.. :) But, I'll just be patient and wait until next year, I think, ha, ha..

One thing I have done this winter is to read more (at least more than I do during the busier months of the year).…

Thoughts from the Barn

I really enjoy my daily trips to the barn. I'm down to only 2 goats and a few barn cats nowadays. They are always happy to see me when I arrive. The cats want their food and the goats eagerly wait for the daily treat of grain. How different it is today than it was a few years ago when my barn was filled with goats and daily milking and busy children helping to do the barn chores. Now I'm the one who does it all and am happy to have it small and manageable.

Most days I haul water to the goats, rake out their stall, feed them, talk to them and they talk back :) and it is peaceful and pleasant. It is a nice time to do the chores and think and ponder many things.

One thing I've learned over the years is that it is so easy to grow way to big on a farm. It is easy to take more and more on, but harder to keep up with and manage it all. The maintenance and up keep can become overwhelming. I don't really ever read or hear that end of it when I read homesteading blo…

Menu Monday!

Last week was a busy week for me, and too busy to blog. This week I think it should be a bit better. :)

The menu went as planned, and having it planned out was very nice. Last week I mentioned the “Rub with Love” that I bought from Costco. I did use it on chicken breasts and I it was good. It was not strongly flavored, more mild. I sliced my chicken breasts in and put the rub on both sides and let it sit for about 15 minutes. I heated a frying pan, added coconut oil, and cooked the meat for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. The meal was super easy! I'm looking forward to trying it on salmon soon.

Today I'll start the week off with kielbasa cooked with cabbage, garlic roasted potatoes and green beans. It's one of my favorite comfort food meals.

The rest of the week looks like this...

Chicken Vegetable Soup
Chicken and veggies are sounding good this week. Not sure if I'll do my creamy chicken soup, chicken noodle soup (with added veggies) or try something new. W…

Menu Monday!

Happy February!! :) January always seems like the longest, darkest month of the year and I am happy to see that it is over. February gives me hope, spring will be here soon.

It's grocery shopping day for me. My husband and I are planning to get a bite to eat out and then go and visit with our son. Our schedules don't mix all that well and we've yet to see his new apartment. He lives way on the other side of the city and we'll be driving through rush hour traffic which has become horrific over the last few years. But it's the only way to see him. :) We'll be taking our ice chest to keep things cool while we visit and drive.

Last week hubby and I had a busy week (his days off are over the week so it was a busy 'weekend'). I did not get the sausage gravy and biscuits made so we'll have that on Tuesday. Tonight we'll be eating out due to a late evening.

For the rest of the week...

Chicken Breasts
I bought some seasoning rub from Costco. I…