Category Archives: Pantry Staples

Farm Eggs Wash or Not

Fresh Farm Eggs Wash or Not

Heading out to the chicken coop to gather our farm fresh eggs is a daily experience and one that I enjoy.  Sometimes the eggs are somewhat dirty.  Very first thing you would think to do after bringing them into the house is to wash them.  After all the eggs you purchase from the local grocery story are all nice and clean.

Let me share some facts about eggs.  Eggs are covered in bacteria and germs.  As you can see from the photo these eggs are not clean.   I like to call it have some of the farm left on them.  Biggest risk with eggs is with salmonella bacteria.

Let’s talk about the eggshell.  Eggshells are made of tiny calcium carbonate crystals.  Every eggshell looks solid.  Actually each eggshell is covered with pores.  These pores allow the transfer of bacterial between the inner and out eggshell.

Hold on if your thinking your never going to eat another egg in your life.  Nature has developed its own defense against contamination.  Just before Henrietta lays her egg, her body deposits a protein like mucous coating on the outside of her egg.  The protective coating is called the bloom.  The pores of the egg are sealed, which stops the transfer of bacteria from outer shell to the inner shell and egg center.

The bloom will remain intact as long as the egg is NOT WASHED.  Just running the egg under water will remove this protective layer and the egg pores open.

The U.S. is one of the few countries that requires washing of commercial eggs.  Compared to european countries who legally restrict commercial eggs from be washed.

For example in Ireland only unwashed eggs receive Grade A or AA standards.  Ireland can’t commercially sell eggs that have been washed.

My farm fresh eggs are never washed.  The bloom is left on and for this reason the eggs don’t have to be refrigerated.

Please share your thoughts on using farm fresh eggs over store-bought eggs.  I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Wednesday AIM Link Party – http://grammysgrid.com

 

Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corncobs

Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corn Cobs
Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corn Cobs

Our pioneer ancestors were very resourceful people, mostly because of necessity.  Nothing was thrown out until every single thing was used up.  They were the masters of frugality.

Some of you may be thinking no way can this come close to tasting like maple syrup.  No I did not add maple flavoring.

My wonderful neighbors are willing taste tasters (maybe not so willing sometimes) they always tell the truth.  This Pioneer Maple Syrup made from corn cobs passed the test with flying colors.

Come on, I’ll share how you can make some Pioneer Maple Syrup.

12 ears corn shucked and with the corn cut off.  (yes you can use the cobs after your family eats sweetcorn.)
water
4 cups packed brown sugar or one 32 ounce bag.

Rinse corn cobs with cold.

In a large pot place corn cobs.  Cover with water one or two inches over the cobs.

Simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Remove cobs.  Strain liquid.  Rinse inside of the pot.  Return liquid to pot.

Add brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.

Simmer until liquid is reduced by half or to desired thickness.  Syrup will thicken as it cools.

Cool and store in an airtight bottle in refrigerator.  ENJOY!

 

 

Snack Break Diabetic Approved

Snack Break Diabetic Approved
Snack Break Diabetic Approved

Stabilize your blood sugars with these quick snacks. I have a family member who has diabetes.  Does this mean enjoying a meal becomes a struggle or boring, absolutely not.  Every person who has diabetes is unique.

Today let’s talk about snacking healthy to help stabilize your blood sugars.  My family member eats three healthy small meals everyday.  We have found in-between those meals he needs to eat a snack.  This helps him avoid peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels.

In a perfect world your snack should pair a high-fiber carbohydrate with some protein.  Here I will give you several examples of great pairings

APPLE AND NUTS.  Eat the apple with the skin on, which provides a good source of fiber.  Add some nuts or nut butter and you have a wonderful energy boosting snack.  We are talking natural nut butters with no sugar or oil added.

HOMEMADE ENERGY BARS, BITES, TRUFFLES whatever name you call them.  Protein and energy bars if made from natural ingredients.  Peanut butter, almond butter, oatmeal, raisins, dried fruits and natural seeds.  Making your own is easy and much better over the store-bought bars.  If you feel the need to purchase energy bars watch out for added sugars, processed ingredients.

FRESH FRUIT AND YOGURT.  Homemade yogurt is the best and extremely easy.  You can learn how to make your own yogurt right here on this blog.  Yogurt has healthy bacteria your gut needs.  Most yogurt you purchase in the stores have added sugar and sweeteners including syrups.

Adding fresh fruit to your yogurt will give you the sweetness you might be craving.  Buy what is in season  and add them to your plain yogurt.

VEGETABLES AND HUMMUS.  Hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, olive oil and sesame seed paste.  Hummus is a very heart healthy and has the good fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Add some fresh-cut up vegetables that are in season and you will have a crunchy, high in fiber snack.  Head out to your garden, farmers market or fresh produce section and pick up some carrots, cucumbers, celery for a start.

WHOLE GRAIN CRACKERS AND TUNA FISH.  Pick up some canned tuna when on sale.  Tuna adds protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  Forget adding mayo and use plain yogurt instead.  Add some fresh lemon juice and freshly cracked pepper.

Serve with some homemade whole grain crackers.  Check out the blog for some wonderful recipes.  Whole grain crackers will add complex carbs and topped with tuna you will have healthy fats and protein.

Enjoy eating these healthy and satisfying snacks.  ENJOY!

 

Healing Power of Honey

Healing Power of Honey
Healing Power of Honey

First and foremost, Pediatricians strongly recommend against feeding honey to children under one year of age.  The infant runs the risk of botulism.  Now that we have covered that,  we will move onto the wonderful the healing powers of honey.

Honey contains a treasure chest of nutritional, medicinal, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Honey is made up of 80% carbohydrates, 18% water and 2% vitamins and amino acids.

One tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories, is fat-free, cholesterol free and sodium free.

Raw honey is unpasteurized.  Most store-bought  honey is pasteurized, which is most commonly used honey.  The only difference is the filtration, which helps extend the shelf life on honey.

If your honey crystallizes or becomes hard, don’t throw it out.  The honey is still good.  Remove what you need and warm it up slowly in the microwave or on the stove over a pan of boiling water.

Some ways honey can help.

Alleviates allergies
Soothes cough
All natural energy drink
Loaded in antioxidants
Helps prevent memory loss
Helps prevent cellular damage
Sleep aid
Treats dandruff
Disinfect wounds and sores
Natural antibiotic
Relieve arthritis and rheumatism pain
Restores energy
Helps kill fungus
Use as a face cleanser
Prevents wrinkles and age lines
Use as a natural sweetener

Don’t over look the benefits of honey.  ENJOY!

Meat & Potato Squares One Dish Cooking

Meat & Potato Squares One Dish Cooking
Meat & Potato Squares One Dish Cooking

One dish cooking is always a plus when everyone is in a hurry,  Simple, meat and potato meal the entire family can enjoy.

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onions
Around 5 medium potatoes sliced
Cheddar cheese to spread on top (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl mix beef, egg, milk, salt, pepper, mustard,bread crumbs, onions.

Peel potatoes and slice.  Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray, or double the dish and use a 9×13 pan.

Place half of the potatoes in the bottom of our baking dish.  Spread met mixture evenly over potatoes.  Place remaining potatoes on top and pat down firmly.

Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes until potatoes are lightly brown and cooked as well as the beef mixture.  Sprinkle cheese on top to melt right before serving.

If you don’t want to peel and slice potatoes, use shoestring french fries.

TIP:  You might have to drain off some of the cooking fat before adding the cheese.

ENJOY!

 

Croutons Homemade

Croutons Homemade
Croutons Homemade

Why spend money on something which takes about 15 minutes to make.  Add different spices, herbs or cheeses and make it your own.  Once again no hidden ingredients.

Use any type of stale bread, doesn’t matter or mix them up.

1 loaf of stale bread
olive oil
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Teaspoons black pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl pull apart bread into bite size pieces (big, little you decide).  Drizzle olive oil over the bread and toss.

In a small bowl add Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper.  Mix together.  Sprinkle over bread and toss to coat.

If you need to add more olive oil now is the time.

Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.  Toss bread to turn and bake 5 more minutes.  Let cool and store in airtight container.

See how easy that was.  ENJOY!

 

Taco, Sloppy Joe, Steak, Chili, Onion Soup, Poultry Many More Mixes

Taco, Sloppy Joe, Steak, Lemon pepper, Chili, Poultry, Onion Soup, Salsa Hidden Valley Ranch Mixes
Taco, Sloppy Joe, Steak, Lemon pepper, Chili, Poultry, Onion Soup, Salsa Hidden Valley Ranch Mixes

Taking a few minutes to mix up your own seasoning mixes will bring better flavor to your meals, less preservatives and yes I healthier, fresh way to eat.  Choose your reason and run with it, as long as you are putting less toxic ingredients into your body.

Here are several easy and delicious seasoning mixes to line your pantry.  Grow and dry your own herbs to use or stock up from the store.  Either way it will beat the little packages of crap you can find in the store.

Taco Seasoning:  2 Teaspoons dried onions, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (can use flour), 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

To use:  Add 1/2 cup water, 2 Tablespoons seasoning mix.  Stir together.  Simmer until most of the water is gone.

Sloppy Joe Seasoning:  1 Tablespoon dried onion, 1 teaspoon dried green pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1 Tablespoon paprika

Use 3 Tablespoons seasoning mix, 1/2 cup water.  Stir together.  Simmer until most of the water is gone.

Poultry Seasoning:  4 teaspoon dried thyme, 4 teaspoons dried marjoram, 1 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 12 teaspoon dried sage

Mix to use.

Steak Seasoning:  1 Tablespoon coriander seed or powder, 4 tablespoons sea salt or regular salt, 1 tablespoon back pepper, 2 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 tablespoon dried onion, 1/2 tablespoon red pepper, 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix to use.

Chili Seasoning:  1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Mix together.  I use 2 to 3 Tablespoons depending on how much chili I am fixing.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning:  4 tablespoons basil, 3 tablespoons oregano, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon dried onion, 1 tablespoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons dried lemon rind

Mix together and use.

Hidden Valley Ranch Mix:  Blender or food processor.  Add 15 saltine crackers, 2 cups parsley, 1/2 cup minced onions, 2 tablespoons dill, 1/4 cup onion salt, 1/4 cup onion powder, 1/4 cup garlic powder.

Blend everything.

To use:  Combine 1 teaspoon mix with 1 cup mayo and 1 cup buttermilk or 1 teaspoon mix, 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream.

Salsa Mix:  1 1/2 cup dried cilantro, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 cup dried onion, 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper

To use:  2 Tablespoons mix, 1 ten ounce can mexican tomatoes.  Mix and serve.

Onion Soup Mix:  1/2 cup dried onions 2 tablespoons parsley, 5 tablespoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 2 teaspoons sea salt or regular salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Mix everything together.  1/4 cup replaces the package you would purchase in the store.

Veggie Dip:  1/4 cup onion soup mix, 16 ounce container sour cream or yogurt.  Mix and chill.

Oven Roasted Potatoes:  Cut potato into cubes.  Sprinkle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup onion soup mix over the potatoes.  Mix to combine.  Roast 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Mix 1/4 cup into meatloaf or hamburgers.  ENJOY!

http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=515  Stove Top Stuffing Master Mix
http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=235  Yellow Cake Master Mix
http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=1979  Gluten Free Master Mix
http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=369  Chicken Master Mix
http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=414 Meatball Master Mix

 

 

 

Vinaigrette Shake Up 4 Versions

Vinaigrette Shake Up
Vinaigrette Shake Up

Why buy vinaigrette, make it, shake it.  Store bough dressings are full of synthetic flavorings agents and stabilizers.  Making your own vinaigrette is extremely easy and allows you to customize to meet your tastes.

Here are 4 basic great tasting Vinaigrettes to start you on your way to better, tastier eating.

Balsamic and Chives:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 Tablespoons fresh chives, 1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

Add everything to a mason jar and shake.

White Wine Vinegar and Oregano:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon alt and pepper

Cider Vinegar and Thyme:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried Thyme, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Red Wine Vinegar and Basil:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Make and Shake, ENJOY!

 

Subway Sandwich Bread DIY

Subway Sandwich Bread DIY
Subway Sandwich Bread DIY

Here at Candysfarmhousepantry we are trying to bring you a better way to live.  Starting with Do It Yourself, Homemade or whatever words best describes how we want to live.  Personally here on my dead end road, getting rid of added sugar, fake food coloring and dyes, preservatives and other added junk in my food that is killing me over time.

Plus the more I stay out of the grocery stores the healthier my budget and wallet are.  Yes this takes some planning and perhaps extra time.  I have been able to stay home and raise my children.  Feed them healthier food.  Along the way we learned so many skills to help make us more self-sufficient, self-supporting and self-sustaining.

Hope you enjoy making these subway sandwich bread.

1 cup warm water around 110 degrees F.
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar or leave it out
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cups flour

In your stand mixer or a large bowl add water, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil.   Stir and let stand 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of flour and mix with the dough hook for 4 minutes.  Add additional cup of flour and mix until well combined.  Continue adding the flour 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.  The dough should still stick to the bottom of the bowl, but will pull away from the sides.  Let the dough knead for around 7 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  Your dough should be soft.  Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl which has been sprayed with oil. Cover and let rise for half hour.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Shape each piece of dough into a long skinny loaf that is around 9 to 10 inches long.  Place the rolled loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat.  Leave at least 2 inches between each loaf.  Cover the loaves and allow to rise until double, around one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake loves for 25 minutes.

After removing the loaves from the oven take a pastry brush, butter and rub over tops of the bread.  Cool loaves for 30 minutes before splitting down the middle and filling with your favorite sandwich fillings.

Chipotle, Honey Mustard, Spinach Dips

Chipotle, Honey Mustard, Spinach Dips
Chipotle, Honey Mustard, Spinach Dips

Three simple yet tasty dips that will satisfy any dip craving.  Thirty minutes or less and you have three unique dips to serve up for any occasion.  Serve these dips at your summertime get together, women luncheon, baseball or football season game day, appetizer or a snack.

Chipotle Dip

2 cups mayonnaise and 4 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

Mince the chipotle peppers.  Add mayonnaise, around 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce and minced chipotle peppers.  Stir until smooth.

TIP:  Add more or less chipotle peppers and sauce depending on how hot you would like your dip to be.

We use this not only as a dip, top your tacos, burritos, taco salad etc.

Honey Mustard Dip

1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon paprika

Add everything to a bow and stir until mixed completely.

TIP:  Use this as a salad dressing, marinade for chicken or use this to top brats and hot dogs.

Spinach Dip

2 cups mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream, 3 green onions chopped fine, 1 teaspoon dried garlic or 1 garlic clove, pressed, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1 package 10 ounces frozen spinach.

Thaw the spinach and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.  I use my hands to squeeze out the water.  Next take paper towels, place spinach between the paper towels and press to soak up at water left.

In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Stir to mix.

Add Spinach and stir until combined.

Enjoy making and devouring all these delicious dips.