Fall is around the corner and is the perfect time for crafting or decorating. Pinecones are the perfect crafting and decorating item.
You can literally just pick up a bunch from off the ground while taking a walk with the family. Doesn’t matter what size big or little they can be used in many different ways.
Unfortunately pinecones can seep sap and house little critters. It is all part of nature but that part you really don’t need in your home. To keep your pinecones clean and bug free they need to be dried.
How to Dry Pinecones
Pre-heat our oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place your pinecones on the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
Any sap will drip out of the cones or harden in place and those bugs will be toasted.
Be sure to use tongs to remove the pinecones from the baking sheet and set them on a flat surface to cool for 24 hours.
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?]
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.
Pull out your large sheet pan and get ready to throw together a delicious one pan meal that your entire family is going to love. Easy clean up to go along with a fast and delicious meal to put in front of your family.
Use what veggies you have on hand. Great way to clean out the refrigerator. I will share what I used to make this sheet pan meal but remember you can add what you like and what you have on hand.
Brats (I used Johnsonville Brats and boiled them so they were cooked)
Head of broccoli
Package of mushrooms
1 large onion sliced
salt and pepper to taste
If you have all your veggies prepped ahead of time it will save you time and energy and make this meal that much faster.
Spread all the veggies on your sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
In a 400 degree pre-heated oven place your sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Take out toss and spread out again. Place your brats on top and return to oven to bake for 15 minutes. Take out and turn brats over to brown on second side. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.
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.
Starting your morning off right with some type of breakfast is very important. Honestly I am not a breakfast eater. Here come the but part. If you like your morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate well pair it up with a great tasting Whole Wheat Banana Muffin.
Wonderful thing about muffins are the grab and go. While drinking your hot tea on the way to work or after you get to work, include a muffin.
They are made with whole wheat not that yuck white stuff and no sugar. Honey replaces the sugar. Very healthy and makes a great snack for after school or anytime.
Whole Wheat Banana Muffins/Bread
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)
1/3 cup oil or melted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour ( I grind mine fresh and use it immediately, okay if you can’t)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
Beat oil and honey together. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in mashed bananas.
Add all the dry ingredients in the order listed and stir couple time.
Add hot water and mix until smooth.
Bake in a greased loaf pan or muffin pan at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
May have to reduce time if making muffins.
Cool on wire rack.
These muffins and bread freezes really well. Make extra now and enjoy later.
Thirty-six years ago I was given a large cast iron skillet as a wedding gift. For several months it was moved around the kitchen until one day the hubby brought home some freshly caught fish. He insisted on using the cast iron skillet to fry up these fish.
Honestly it was one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed. Now came the part of clean up. Remembering my mom used all kinds of different size and shapes cast iron cooking skillets and pots of course I called mom. Yes, I called my mommy for help! No regrets mom always comes through.
Mom explained how to clean out the skillet and store it for use the next time I wanted to use the skillet. She explained how to keep it seasoned so nothing would stick. Plus informed me how to use it to make wonderful meals on top the stove, in the oven and even out on the BBQ grill.
My whole world changed! Some people will claim they are so big and heavy, clumsy, get hot (for more even cooking) and all kinds of other excuses. All I can say is give cast iron a chance.
How does one go about seasoning and cleaning all those cast iron skillets and pots. Not hard at all. Follow along and I will walk you through the process.
How to Season Cast Iron
Warm your skillet over low heat.
Using a paper towel and seasoning oil or fat (corn or vegetable oil) Pour around 2 tablespoons of oil into your skillet. Using the paper towel coat the oil inside and out of your skillet completely, including the sides and handle.
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Place skillet inwoven for one hour. You might want to line the oven with foil so no mess is made.
If you see some smoke coming from the skillet, DON’T panic all is well.
NOTE: If the temperature is too low the oil will be sticky which is not good.
After an hour turn off the oven and let skillet cool.
Wipe clean and store.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron
Rinse off skillet with warm water to wash away and remove loose food.
Coarse salt makes an excellent paste to scrub out your cast iron. Pour 1/4 cup salt and add few drops water into the skillet. Make a paste. Using an old plastic dough scraper rub the salt paste around to clean the skillet.
You can also use those plastic dollar store scribes that come in a pack of 5 for $1.00 to scrub out your cast iron.
Don’t use dish soap on cast iron. If soap is used accidentally be sure to rinse and dry completely. Apply a light coating of oil and wipe completely clean.
Always and I mean always put your cast iron away completely DRY. Rust spots will form if stored wet or damp.
See how easy it is to take care of all your cast iron cooking utensils. Now go on and make a delicious meal your whole family will enjoy. Clean up is a breeze!