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Brownie Snowmen

Brownie Snowmen

While visiting my grandchildren in Fairbanks, Alaska they were bored and wanted to make a treat one afternoon.  Their mom didn’t have a reindeer cookie cutter (we will have to get her one) so we improvised and made snowmen instead.

The kids had a great time and the treat was delicious.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray so it will lift out easily.
Bake brownies from a box or use your favorite homemade brownie. Brownie Master Mix
Let cool and remove from pan.
Take a cookie cutter (we used snowman) and cut out the brownie shapes.
We decorated with eyes and red hots and piped on a frosting mouth.

Making Brownie Snowmen
Cutting out Brownie Snowmen

The grandkids had a blast and of course later we had to eat some of the snowmen.  This is how we like to spend our time together.  Family is everything.



DIY Candles

DIY Candles

Early I posted about rendering beef tallow.  The link is at the bottom of the page.  Instead of using this batch of tallow to use for cooking and frying, I decided to make the tallow into candles.

First NO the candles will not SMELL like beef tallow.  You could add some essential oils to your tallow before making your candles but I choose not to do this.

These candles are very easy to make and use.  We keep them hand in case of emergency.  Plus add up the savings of not having to purchase expensive candles.  For us this is a winner!

How to make your candles.

I used old glass jars ( recycling is good remember)
candle wick
Beef tallow melted

Beef Tallow harden up.
Strained Tallow ready to sit and harden up.

Cut your candle wicks and inch longer than the jar you are using.
I attached the wick to the bottom of the jar by putting a drop of hot glue to bottom of the jar and attaching the wick.
Attach the wicks to all your jars.

Melt your beef tallow until it is all liquid.
Take a small measuring cup and scoop up some of the liquid tallow.
Pour slowly into your jar.
Fill the jar just below the rim of the jar.
Let sit up until it hardens.
Store in a cool dry place.

Enjoy using your DIY candles

DIY Candles  How to Render Beef Tallow





Reflection of Life

Reflection of Life










What Are You Eating

Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread Carbohydrate Good or Bad

As consumers we need to ask the important questions when it comes to our food.

Where was the food grown.
How was it stored and transported.
What resources were used?  Water, soil type, fuel, insecticides, herbicides
Who produced it.
Is the food really good for us or is it full of sugar and preservatives.

Corn from the garden.
All About Green Peas

Everyone has their own mind-set on what they considered process.  Some don’t care and have no interest in knowing about what they eat.  More and more people want to eat what they grow and know what is in the food they are placing on the dinner table.

Now all of us can’t grow, raise or hunt their own food.  Doesn’t mean we can’t reconnect with what is on our food plate.  Learning how to dehydrate, canning, freezing and storing food properly is something everyone should learn.  If you can’t or don’t want to grow your own food, start by purchasing the freshest simple ingredients needed to make your own meals from scratch.

Strawberries fresh from the garden.

Fresh Foods grown personally or bought fresh from local farmer.

Fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, herbs, cheese, fish, meat, grains and any other foods locally grown and harvested.

Simple foods that take some processing and preservation.

Frozen or packaged meat, fish, vegetables, rice, nuts, beans, oils and spices are just a few.

Processed food that will lose their food value over time, compared to fresh or unprocessed.

Canned vegetables, flour, yogurt, salt, processed grains like rice and rolled oats, fruit juices, syrup, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and sugar to name a few.

Food that will have ingredients such as sugar, salt, fats, dyes and additives added.

Cereal, baked goods like bread and pastries, any boxed food item, processed meats, jelly, jams, pickles, relish, condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and sauces, crackers, soups, noodles packaged, seasoning mixes and sauces in packages.  Only just the beginning of the list.

Everyone starts somewhere.  Begin slow and learn a new skill and make it happen.  Find someone who has been living this way for years or take a class.

I receive  great satisfaction sitting down to the dinner table knowing we have provided everything we are eating with our own two hands.


Beef Tallow How to Render

Beef Tallow Finished Ready to Use

Phone rings.

Friend:  Hey what are you doing today?
Me:  Rendering beef tallow from a cow that was butchered.
Extremely long awkward pause.
Friend:  What in the world do you do with beef tallow?
Me:  Use it for frying, making soap and candles.  I plain on using this batch to make some candles.
Friend:  When the zombies invade, I’m coming to live with you.

We are very much trying to learn new skills and ways to make or do things ourselves.  Less we depend on a store the better off we are.

Tallow is basically the same thing as lard, only it comes from a cow instead of a pig.  Tallow is an old fashion type of fat.  Very healthy alternative to vegetable shortening and canola oil.  Tallow is very stable at high temperatures.

Excellent source of vitamins B6, B12, K2, niacin, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and selenium.

Our ancestors knew the benefits from using tallow and didn’t waste anything.

Beef fat in crockpot ready to start cooking.

How to Render Tallow

I had an 5 pound bag of beef fat
crock pot  (I actually used two crackpots and divided the beef fat between the two)
large bowl
cheesecloth, any old cotton dish towel
large spoon

Place fat in crock pot.  Set on low and cook for 8 hours.  After the first 3 hours I start to stir and break down the fat.  Usually stir every couple of hours after that.

After 8 hours pour the fat with the liquid into a lined strainer.

Beef fat cooked and poured into a strainer.

Strain as much of the liquid out as possible.  Take the large pieces and give them to your chickens.  They will love you for this treat.

Pour the strained liquid into canning jars and let cool.  It will harden to a cream color.  I keep a jar in the refrigerator ready to be used for cooking and freeze the rest.

Since I will be making candles with this batch of Beef Tallow I poured the liquid into a deep cast iron skillet.  Be on the look out for the next post on how to make Tallow Emergency Candles.

Rendering Beef Tallow isn’t hard work at all just takes sometime to cook down.  Hope you learned a great new skill.  ENJOY!

Strained Tallow ready to sit and harden up.
Beef Tallow Finished Ready to Use




Carbohydrates Good or Bad

Grinding Wheat Berries

There is a big war going on against carbohydrates.  Are they good or bad for you?  The answer is yes and no.  Great answer right!

Fiber and carbs go together.  Most people don’t eat enough fiber.  We need fiber for these reasons.

  1.  Fiber slows down the absorption of other nutrients eaten at the sometimes as carbs.
  2. Fiber slows down carbs and prevents highs and lows in your blood sugar level.  Reduces Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Fiber helps you feel full, cutting down on the amount you want to eat

Complex carbs are the good carbs.  Why are carbs good, because it takes our body longer to break down the long sequence of sugars.  Which means the sugars are released t a lower and more consistent rate.

Food eaten straight from the earth or real foods are less processed and better for you.  Real or complex carbs are fresh fruits vegetables, beans, whole wheat, barley, couscous, brown rice and millet to name a few.

Simple carbs are made up of easy to digest basic sugars that have no real value for our bodies.  Login in fiber and high in sugar.  Soda, candy, white bread, white rice, artificial syrups, pasta pastries and desserts.  Potatoes are a couple carb but act more like a simple carb.

Read the box.  If the first ingredient is whole wheat or whole oat flour it is going to be more complex carbs.

Switching to low-fat or fat-free products still may not be a good choice.  Most of these products have sugar added to replace the fats.  All about taste and sugar taste good.

Eat foods naturally high in fiber, not foods labeled high in fiber.  Fiber has been added to foods labeled high in fiber.

We are able to grow our own wheat, vegetables and some fruits.  Adding a herb garden gives you fresh natural taste to foods.  Dehydrate, freeze and canning preserves and brings healthy meals to the dinner table.

What are your thoughts on Complex and Simple Carbohydrates?

Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread Carbohydrate Good or Bad  Whole Wheat Crackers/Plus 6 other flavors  Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread  Growing Our Own Wheat

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

If you travel by car carrying a basic survival kit with you should be a top priority.  Doesn’t matter what time of year, you should always be prepared in case of an emergency.

Most people would say well I have my cell phone so I can call and get help.  Even when the weather has been beautiful out we have been in places that our cell phones didn’t work.  Technology is wonderful when it works, but don’t count on it to always be available.

A simple car survival kit can help solve many of the problem a person might encounter if caught in an emergency situation.

Remember it makes a difference if you are travel along, with a baby, small children or even older children what you will want to add to your car survival kit.

The items listed will get you started, please add anything you think you or your family may need in an emergency.

Storage – Use a small backpack or small plastic storage container to hold all your items.

Blanket – Keep it in the car year round, just not for staying warm.

Lighter or matches – We store both just in case the lighter doesn’t work.

Flashlight or candle –  Again we store both

Tape – Duct tape is wonderful to secure most anything.

Water – 1 gallon of water.  In individual bottles or in gallon jug, your choice.

Clothing – Extra socks and jacket and if possible change of clothes.

Whistle – Let searchers know where you are.

Food – Energy bars, fruit leathers, instant meal that you can use with your water. Candy

Toilet paper – Self explanatory.

Pen, paper, book –   Something to help pass the time.

Garbage Bag – A thirty gallon size bag can be used to protect you from wind, rain and can be used for shade if it is hot out.

Compass – Determine direction of travel.

Remember to add a shovel especially if it is winter.

Keep your family safe and always be prepared.

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

Jar Sealer/Food Saver

Jar Sealer/Food Saver

Over the weekend I received a message asking me if I would like 30 pounds of pecans for FREE.  My immediate response was heck yes.

Pecans are expensive around here where we live, don’t know about the rest of you but for me this was a big money saving opportunity.  My husband was thinking about all the pecan pie that could and would be made.

So what do you do with 30 pounds of pecans?]

Jar Sealer/Food Saver

I pull out my Food Saver and get to work.  First you must know I use my food saver all the time for sealing up meat, fruits, vegetables and all kinds of stuff.  If you don’t purchase the jar sealer well you are missing out on a whole new world of sealing and saving food.

As you can see from the photos it isn’t hard to use.  My jar sealer only works on wide mouth jars.

All I did was take some clean wide mouth quart and pint jars.  Fill them up with the pecans, wipe off the ring around the jar so there wasn’t anything on the jar, place a lid on top, place the jar sealer on top of the jar and push down.  Next you take the extension hose from the bottom of your food saver and place it in the whole at the top of the jar sealer.

Turn on your food saver and push the accessory button.  Wait for it to finish sealing.  Remove the jar sealer and your finished.

Took me about half an hour to vacuum seal all 30 pounds of pecans.

I love to find m&m’s on sale and different types of candies, baking chips, potato chips anything on sale that can be sealed and used later.  They stay so fresh and nothing goes to waste.

ENJOY!  FoodSaver  Benefits of Freezer Food and Supplies

All Natural Remedies for Chickens/Ducks

Natural Remedies Chickens/Ducks

Raising a healthy flock of chickens or ducks doesn’t require the injection of hormones and antibiotics.  Everyday household items found in your kitchen and garden will prevent and benefit both you and your chickens or ducks.

OREGANO:  Oregano is a natural antibiotic.  Use fresh from the garden, dried or essential oil form.  Helps prevent coccidiosis, E. coli, avian flu, bronchitis.  Add dried oregano to the feed or water.  Sprinkle oregano around the inside and outside of the coop.

CAYENNE PEPPER:  Helps boost egg production.  Especially helpful during the winter months.  Add to feed or water.

BLACK PEPPER:  Black pepper aids in anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and helps flush ou the toxins from chickens.  Add to feed or water.

SALT:  If your chickens suffer from the heat, make a homemade electrolyte drink.  1 cup water, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder.  Mix together.  Add 1 cup to mixture to 1 gallon water to your chickens water.

TURMERIC:  Are your chickens showing signs of lethargy, swelling of legs or feet.  Adding turmeric will help.  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon into the feed or water.

CINNAMON:  Aids in the prevention of neurological disease.  Thins the blood and helps blood flow to feet, wattle and comb to ward off frostbite.  Also reduces inflammation and helps boost unit-infectious, antibacterial and antioxidant in your chickens.

GARLIC:  Repels ticks, mites and lice.  Garlic is a natural wormer in chickens and ducks.  Float whole cloves in water or crush fresh cloves and spread it inside the coop and around the outside as well.

GINGER:  Helps increase egg production.  Jus add a pinch to the feed.  Helps with upset stomach and is a great immune system booster.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:  Just 1 teaspoon added to the water two times a week during the summer helps boos calcium absorption.  Eggs will have a harder shell.

Go take care of your chickens and ducks naturally.  Farm Eggs Wash or Not  Eggshells How to Use