Monthly Archives: October 2016

Homemade Stock/Broth Plus How to Can

Beef Broth Homemade

Some people might call me crazy for saving beef bones, chicken bones and vegetables.  You might ask what in the world do you do with all these bones and veggies that most people would throw away.  First I freeze them until there is enough to fill up two crock pots.

There is nothing like homemade stock or Broth.  Plus there is one less item that goes into the grocery cart.  Yes, I save money anyway possible.  Plus feeding my family healthy without any preservatives is always a win in my books.

I will give you the how to on making beef broth or stock.  The instructions are the same for making beef, chicken or vegetable stock or broth.

Place beef, chicken bones or vegetables in large stockpot or crock pot.
Add salt and pepper if using.  (I don’t it is up to you.)
Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar.  (This helps break down the bones.)
Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer or set crock pot on low and let it go over night.
Allow the stock to simmer 8 to 24 hours.  I let mine go over night.
Remove bones or vegetables and skim for impurities.
Place in refrigerator and let the fat harden.
Remove the fat.
Pour the stock into a large clean stockpot and bring to a boil.

You may pour the stock into freezer containers and freeze to use later.

I like to can mine in quart jars.  It frees up space in my freezer for more bones.

Canning Stock/Broth

Wash and sterilize your jars, rings and tops.

Once the stock has reached a full boil, ladle into jars..
Leave one inch head space.
Wipe the tops and side of the jars making sure they are clean.
Place lids and rings on jars.
Process pints for 20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  Quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

Tips:  Veggies for stock I use are onions, carrots, celery, garlic etc.  Seasonings you might try using are dried thyme, rosemary, sage and fresh cracked black pepper.

Now go enjoy your homemade stock/broth in all your favorite recipes.  ENJOY!



Brownie/Frosting/Ganache Homemade

Brownies with Frosting and Ganache
Brownies with Frosting and Ganache

Now here is a super rich and decadent brownie.  Interested yet?  If you’re having a chocolate craving look no further.

Homemade Brownies

2 cups chocolate chips
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Frosting Layer

1 stick butter softened
3 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Ganache Topping

1 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan add the chocolate chips and butter.  Melt stirring to combine.  Remove from heat when everything is melted together.

Whisk brown sugar and sugar into chocolate.

Now add the eggs, vanilla and salt and stir to combine.

Stir in the flour until mixed.

Pour into baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minute or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Frosting Layer

Mix together the butter, powdered sugar and cream on nice and creamy.  Spread evenly over the top of the brownies.  Chill in the refrigerator.

Ganache Topping

In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to steam and is almost boiling.  Immediately remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips  Stir the cream and chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth and silky.

Pour over the frosting layer of the brownies.

Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Brownie/Frosting/Ganache Heaven
Brownie/Frosting/Ganache Heaven


No Bake M&M Snack Bars

No Bake M&M Snack Bars

Tired of the store-bought flavored enhanced expensive snack bars?  Ever thought about making your own?  This NO BAKE bar will make you wonder why you ever bought those expensive bars.

Plus if you’re not into M&M’s add dried fruit like raisins instead.  Let the kids pick out their favorite topping and make a batch for each kid to have their very own personal snack bar.

2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter or use chunky your choice.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup M&M’s or favorite topping.

Prepare a 9×13 baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the Rice Krispies, oats and pretzels.

In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour the mixture over the cereal mixture. and stirring quickly until coated evenly.

Pour into prepared pan and press down.

Add M&M’s over the top and press down firmly so they will stick.

Cut into bars and ENJOY!

Pumpkin Chili Plus 3 more Pumpkin Meals

Pumpkin Chili Plus 3 More Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Chili Plus 3 More Pumpkin Recipes

Here is another great dish I was able to make and present to our women at ladies night.  The pumpkin taste doesn’t over power the chili and brings on a new and great tasting flavor combination.

Not only did the women love this Pumpkin Chili,  it was a hit with the men in my family.

Here are some more great pumpkin recipes for you to enjoy.  Pumpkin Soup Pumpkin Hummus  Pumpkin Lasagna

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 diced onion
1 diced bell pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon salt
1 small can drained kidney beans or 2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 small can pumpkin 100% puree or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
2 cans diced tomatoes or 1 quart jar of canned tomatoes

Brown meat, drain.  Add all the spices and salt to the meat.

Add the chopped onion and pepper, beans, pumpkin and tomatoes.

Stir together and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Chili

Use your slow cooker/crock pot and throw everything in the night before or that morning.  Turn on your crock pot and enjoy when you walk in from work.  ENJOY!


Pumpkin Lasagna Meatless

Pumpkin Lasagna Meatless

For our women night this month I was asked to make some pumpkin meals.  Not goodies but real meals using pumpkin.

Deciding to make pumpkin lasagna was one of the best decision I made.  Informing the ladies that this was my first time making this great recipe and not having time to taste test the result, they basically were all going to be my taste testers.

The result, drum roll please.  SUCCESS!

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
1 onion diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can 15 ounce 100% pumpkin ( I used fresh roasted pumpkin, puree in my kitchen.)
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 box lasagna noodles cooked and drained
1 small container ricotta cheese
1 package mozzarella cheese (or more if you like cheese)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a small skillet sauce the mushrooms, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until tender.  Set aside and cool.

In bowl combine the pumpkin, cream, sage, back pepper and another 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in 11 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with cooked noodles.  Add more pumpkin sauce.  Add some of the cooked mushrooms and onions, add some parmesan cheese, add some mozzarella cheese.

Continue layering until on the finally layer top with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Freezing options:  Cover and freeze unbaked lasagna.  To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Bake at 375 degrees until heated through.

This recipe can easily be doubled.  ENJOY!

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus

This stuff is soooo good!  In 15 minutes you can have fresh, homemade pumpkin hummus to serve to your family and friends.

1 can garbanzo beans drained, save the juice.  (I cooked my own garbanzo beans, 1 3/4 cups beans.  Cover with water, let stand an hour or over night.  Bring beans to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cook for 2 hours.)
1 (15 ounce) can 100% pumpkin puree
5 fluid ounces lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup tahini paste
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt to taste if desired.

Place beans and 1/2 cup the reserved liquid into a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the pumpkin puree, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Cover and puree until smooth.  Slowly if using a food processor pour in the olive oil to achieve a smooth Consistency.  Season to taste with salt if desired.  ENJOY

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Soup 15 minutes to Make

Pumpkin Soup

Here is another great recipe I made for ladies night this month.  If you think you don’t have time to make a fresh, hot and delicious homemade soup you do.  Prep time 5 minutes.  Cook time 10 minutes.  Yep 15 minutes total.

1 small can 100% pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon dried garlic
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup milk  (for vegan substitute with almond or soy milk)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except the salt and pepper in a saucepan.  Stir to mix.  Heat over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Variations:  For a richer soup, substitute the milk with cream.

Garnish with yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche.  ENJOY!



S’more Cookies

Making S’more Cookies

Baking with my two grandsons is always tons of fun.  They both taking turns adding ingredients and stirring.  Very important they taste test the goodies before adding to the mix.

On a day when we couldn’t go outside we baked up these delicious S’more cookies and trust me these were a big hit.  Might just be my new favorite cookie.

S’more Cookies

2 sticks of softened butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup graham crackers (crushed, don’t crush to fine leave some chunks)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 container (3 ounces) marshmallow bits
2 cups chopped chocolate bars ( 7 bars or purchase 2 packages Hersey chocolate bites)

Topping:  mini marshmallows and 1/2 bag Hersey chocolate bites.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl or with your stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar.  Mix until creamy.

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.

Now add the graham crackers, baking soda and salt.  Mix together.

Next add flour and combine.

Throw in the marshmallow bits and chopped chocolate and mix together.

Drop the dough about 2 inches apart using 2 tablespoon scoop.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.  Watch closely so they don’t burn.

As the cookies come out of the oven immediately add some marshmallows and piece of chocolate to the top pressing gently.

Let cool.  These store well in a tightly sealed container.  ENJOY!

Oreos Chocolate Cream Cookies

Oreos Chocolate Cream Cookies
Oreos Chocolate Cream Cookies

My kids all love Oreos cookies.  With Oreos, white chocolate chips and cocoa powder combination this cookie is a blue ribbon winner.

Pictured is my adorable grandson sneaking another cookie.  You can see there is still a small piece of cookie on the counter and chocolate around his mouth.  He loves grandma’s cookies.

2 Sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup white chocolate chips and more to add to the tops of the cookies
12 Oreo cookies roughly crushed

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.

Mix butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix together.

Beat in the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined.

Add flour and combine.

Add white chocolate chips and Oreos.  Mix together.

Drop by tablespoon two inches apart onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 9 minutes.

Remove from oven and add more white chocolate chips to the top of the cookies.  Cool and ENJOY!




What is everyone up to on this Wednesday?

Beautiful fall day, sun is shining and cool breeze is blowing. Last night I started in two different crockpots all the beef bones I have been saving. This morning after straining and processing, I have 4 quart jars of beef broth. Some might wonder why I would go to the trouble when you can purchase broth from the store.

First there is nothing artificial about my broth or stock. No salt added. The taste can not be beat. Plus I take joy in knowing this is one more item that will not be going in the grocery cart. Money well saved.

The chickens are happy and life is good on my dead-end road.