Monthly Archives: July 2015

Italian Dressing Homemade

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Pouring freshly made Italian Dressing over garden salad or pasta is an explosion to your taste buds.  Place a plate of fresh vegetables on a plate and watch the dipping begin.

Store your homemade Italian Dressing for up to 2 weeks covered in your refrigerator.  This recipe will make around 1 1/2 cups of dressing.  If you need more please double the recipe.

1/4 cup of lemon juice, white wine vinegar and olive oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
4 teaspoons of dried parsley (if you have fresh parsley use 4 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons of dried basil ( 2 Tablespoons of fresh basil)
1 teaspoon of salt, dried oregano and red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a quart jar add all the ingredients.  Place lid on and shake away.  Hand the jar to one of the kids and let them shake the jar.

See how simple Italian Dressing is to make.  ENJOY!

 

Mustard Homemade

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Now you know how to make mayonnaise and ketchup.  Time for mustard.  As before please give this a try.  Fresh, delicious and simple to make.

Host a party and place all three condiments out and watch your friends be astonished at how delicious and fresh they are.  Plus they will be asking how did you make this.

It is Mustard time:  1/2 cup brown or yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons honey
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

In a mixing bowl cover your mustard seeds with water.  Be sure there is at least 3 to 3 1/2 inches water over your seeds.  Let sit over night.

Drain the water off mustard seeds.  Place seeds in a blender and add garlic, salt, honey, red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water.  Blend until smooth.

Mustard will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator.  The mustard will mellow over time.  The first week it will be really spicy.

Now go make some fresh mustard.  ENJOY!

Ketchup Homemade

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Now that you have made mayonnaise, it is time to try making ketchup.  Tomatoes should be ripening in the garden, or if you don’t have enough tomatoes you can make homemade ketchup with canned tomatoes.

Once again the taste of fresh ketchup can’t be beat.  This will make four cups of ketchup.  You can store this in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Surprise you family with homemade ketchup and see if they can tell the difference.  Remember fresh is always best.

2 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion diced ( you want about 1 cup)
4 cloves of garlic minced
6 pounds of tomatoes. (peeled, seeded and core removed) or 3 cans of tomatoes (28 ounces) Drain the juice.
3 teaspoons salt
1/4  teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon celery salt
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey

Heat olive oil and sauté onions.  Add garlic to onions and sauce for 2 minutes.  Add your tomatoes, salt, cloves, paprika, cinnamon, mustard, chili powder, black pepper.  Simmer slowly for about 30 minutes.

With your blender or immersion blender puree until smooth.

Add apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar and honey.  Over medium heat cook about 20 to 30 minutes.  You want the ketchup to thicken.  Give it a taste and see if you need to add more black pepper, salt or other spices.

Congratulations!  You have made ketchup.

ENJOY!

 

 

Mayonnaise Homemade

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If you have never tried making your own mayonnaise, please, please give this a try.  The taste doesn’t compare with the store bought version.  Honestly it isn’t hard to make and your family will be impressed.

This homemade pantry staple will last four days covered in your refrigerator.  If you have egg, olive oil, lemon juice and salt on hand, you have everything you need to make your own mayonnaise.

Ready, Set, Go:   1 egg yolk, 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

1.  First whisk together the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water in a medium bowl.

2.  Using a measuring cup with a spout, pour a few drops of olive oil into the egg yolk  and whisk vigorously.  Then add few more drops of olive oil and whisk again.  Continue add all the olive oil until you have a thick sauce.

3.  Add your lemon juice and salt.  Whisk everything and taste to see you if you need more salt.

Makes one cup of mayonnaise.

See how easy it is to make mayonnaise, straight from your pantry.  ENJOY!

Growing Our Own Wheat

We are very blessed to live on several acres of land.  Becoming self sufficient has always been a goal.  We aren’t going off the grid or turning into crazy people with a dooms day theory.

Learning new skills and having knowledge to put these skills to use is one of our challenges.  We raise chicken for meat and eggs.  Grow a huge vegetable and herb garden.  Which in turn means we do a tremendous amount of canning and preserving.  Hunting and  processing our own meat into hamburger, roasts, stew meat etc.  Our herb garden provides  fresh seasoning and using our dehydrator means not buying expensive spices from the store.

Cooking from what we provide in our pantry is important to us.  Which lead us to planting our own wheat field.  I need to thank our neighbor the Hays family who helped us in planting and harvesting our wheat field.  I’m sure they thought we were crazy, being the good friends they are, well they helped out anyway.

Winter wheat was planted in October of 2014.  It grew and went dormant during the winter months.  Spring arrived and boy did it start to grow.  We watched it turn from green to brown and develop beautiful heads of wheat.

In July harvest time finally arrived.  I was so excited.  Our yield came to 30 five gallon buckets of wheat.  Cleaning and drying came next.  Finally it was time to use our own home grown wheat.

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Look at all that beautiful clean wheat.

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Here we are grinding our wheat.  Fresh stone ground wheat.

 

 

 

 

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Here is our final product.  Fresh Homemade Wheat Bread!  We actually produced this bread from off our land.

Please leave your thoughts and comments.  We would love to hear what you think.  Even if you do think we are little nuts.  ENJOY!

Fresh Green Beans/Potatoes

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Green Beans are abundant right now, so please take advantage of this fresh vegetable while you can.  Pull out your crockpot ( way to hot to use stove) for this easy and delicious fresh garden side dish.

Ingredients:  Fresh green beans snapped and washed.
New potatoes  washed and cut into chunks
Green onions or regular onion cut into nice size pieces
Bacon (optional we love it in this dish)
salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything into your crockpot cover with water and let it cook on low all day.  The wonderful smell will drive you nuts.

Simple to make, oh so very very delicious.

ENJOY!

Homemade Pizza Sauce

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Friday night pizza night.  Nothing taste better than homemade pizza.  Add all the different toppings and cheese you like.  Your pizza will taste even better with some homemade pizza sauce you make.  Keep in mind this is one more item NOT going in your shopping cart.

You will need around 30 fresh tomatoes
2 large onions
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon basil
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon rosemary
1 Teaspoon celery seed
1 Teaspoon basil
2 Teaspoons salt

Slip the skins from your tomatoes and remove the core.  Next puree the tomatoes.  Add olive oil to your skillet and sauce onions and garlic.

Add tomato puree and all the rest of the ingredients.  Stir and cook on low until mixture is reduced by half.  Slow and steady is key here.  Be prepared for couple of hours for the mixture to cook down.

When sauce is nice and thick put into your clean hot pint size jars.  Clean off the rims and place the seal and ring onto your jars.

Process in a water bath for 25 minutes.

This recipe will make 4 to 5 pints of pizza sauce.

TIP:  Use this for a great dipping sauce for your garlic bread or spoon it over mozzarella chicken.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Ranch Dressing Homemade

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We eat ranch dressing on everything and dip just about anything in ranch dressing.  The bottled stuff is good.  If you want really good, delicious and freshly made with ingredients you add, well here is a recipe you need.

Open up your pantry to make some fresh homemade ranch dressing.  Remember it is just one more item your NOT putting in your grocery cart.

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced  (the garlic will become stronger as your dressing sits.  use less if you don’t want a over powering taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and whisk.

Chill and serve.  The dressing will thicken as it chills.

Store in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Now see how fast and easy that was to make.  ENJOY!

 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

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Just the other day I stopped by to visit a friend.  (yes I have friends), she had some bananas which were all black and mushy.  She was putting stuff away in the kitchen and started to throw the bananas in the trash.  Don’t do that!  Honestly she never considered making banana bread.

Throwing food out is something I really hate to see.  Now banana bread was one recipe I thought most everyone had and used.  So if you do have a favorite banana bread recipe, excellent.  If you don’t let me share our favorite.  This uses wheat flour, so much better for you.

Yes, I took those bananas home and made my friend a loaf of banana bread, with the recipe attached.  She can now make her own.  Another banana saved from being tossed.

Here is what you will need:  3 bananas mashed, 1/3 cup oil or melted butter, 1/2 cup honey or brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 3/4 cups wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup hot water, 1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Beat oil and honey together.  Add eggs, mix well, Stir in bananas.  Add flour, salt, baking soda and mix in.  Add hot water and mix until smooth.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan and pour mixture in.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

TIP:  This bread freezes well.

Watermelon Jelly

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If you have never tried watermelon jelly, don’t wait any longer.  We grow watermelon and always have extra.  Perfect solution is to make watermelon jelly.  I gave a jar to a friend and she reported back both her and her husband loved it.

This recipe is for you Claudette.

12 cups watermelon (no seeds or rind)
10 cups sugar
9 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 packages dry pectin

Place diced watermelon in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Pour watermelon into large stock pot and bring to a slow boil.  Add lemon juice.
In separate bowl put in 3/4 cup sugar and pectin.  Add mixture to the watermelon juice.
Turn heat to medium to high heat and bring to a full boil.  Stir so it doesn’t stick and burn.  When reaches a full boil, add rest of sugar.  Boil for 1 minute.

Fill jars and wipe rims clean.  Add lid and ring.

Process in water bath for 10 minutes.

Soon you will have beautiful red watermelon jelly to slather on toast, sandwiches, crackers etc.  ENJOY!