Monday, August 10, 2015

Homemade Cold Cuts for Lunch

What's Cookin'?

Homemade Lunch Meat.  Ingredients:   Meat.

I know, almost too simplistic to post, right??  I sliced this today and thought I'd go ahead and post in case it helps someone think outside of the deli-meat-in-a-package box.  When I looked at the price of the roast (and balked at it!) and then thought of the price and yield of the packaged deli meat, the roast won cost-wise compared to nitrate/nitrite-free lunch meat.

I used a drier cut of roast for this and cut it after it had hardened in the fridge for a day.  There are over 20 slices although I may use the smaller pieces to make a sandwich spread if I have time before it is eaten.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Necessities for the "Salt Life"

What's Summerin'?

As we head out to the beach for the day I snapped a shot of our homemade sunscreen/bug repellant and homemade version of "Swim Ear."  We named it "Surf Ear" since we mainly play in the surf... Definite necessities for a Salt Life!  We are off to spend some family time between hospital/nursing home visits before we all go separate ways.  Why do children have to grow up and go to college or leave home??? Sorry to say, it doesn't get easier for me to let them go!  I know, I know, it's the natural order of things and it is as it should be... The kids have been great with all of the stress but we all could use some distraction, togetherness, and fun :).

For the "Surf Ear" I just use 1/2 white distilled vinegar and 1/2 alcohol.  Works great for us.  This formula was given to me by my MD a long time ago.

Who knew how much carrot seed oil stinks??? I found out during our annual week beach vacation in June (during a MASSIVE mosquito outbreak)  that mosquitos don't like it either - yeah!  They would actually fly into my leg and swerve away!  The sunscreen works great.  I just used shea butter, almond oil, beeswax, and carrot seed oil.  No coconut oil.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Raw Zucchini Salad: Easy, Fast, Delicious!

What's Cookin'?

Easy, Fast, Delicious Raw Zucchini Salad


1 large or 2 medium  (organic) zucchinis

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (or more to taste)

1/4 C olive oil (or sunflower oil)(I used a little under 1/4 C)

1/2 teaspoon mustard (or more to taste)

Real Salt to taste


Use a potato peeler to make zucchini "ribbons."

Mix the lemon juice and salt into the zucchini.

Whisk the mustard into the oil.  Pour over the zucchini and mix well.  I found that it doesn't "whisk" well with a fork (all I had on-hand) so I put it in anyway.  The mustard and oil mix well once they are in the zucchini and stirred around thoroughly, so no need to obsess over the mustard and oil. :)

Add more Real Salt if necessary.  Try to share!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Deal Alerts!

Okay, so in this post of Senior Frenzy I said we were moving... well... it didn't happen as expected.  Only... our stuff DID get moved but we didn't, really... so, it's more chaotic as ever!  Let's just say that I use a lot of Stress Away oil from Young Living these days! :) Prayers appreciated!

To update our Senior Frenzy:  after much prayer, deliberation, visits, prayer, deliberation, visits, prayer... okay, you get the picture!  We finally decided on a college for my second daughter.  Peace at last over this decision and on to the next step!

Primal Pit Paste deal:
Over at Food Renegade you can get a code for 20% off (click here).  I was thrilled when I saw PPP at Natural Grocers recently and bought it for my eldest (it's her preferred deodorant).  Wish they would come out with store coupons now that I've found it in a store!

Bealls Coupon (ends today!)(good for online/in store):

23andMe has buy one get one 20% off on their genetic testing kits.  I'll be using mine to help with MTHFR mutations and support - it's not just for ancestry and paternity! :)

Rand McNally has a limited time only free download of maps for educators:

Oh! If you have an Aldi, I saw grass-fed beef for $6.99/pound!  They have some organics on sale this week as well.  It's not 'organic' beef, but...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BBQ Potato Slow Cooker Meal

What's Cookin'?

BBQ Potato Slow Cooker Meal:  This was a big hit with the kids and I!  Note to self: Original Woodstock BBQ sauce is way too spicy for us (but DH will probably like it!).


2 lbs organic red potatoes (1 smallish bag)
1/2 jar BBQ sauce of your choice (we choose organic and are careful even with organic ones)
1 C sweet peas (optional but I wanted a complete meal with some greens)
1/2 pound pre-cooked grass-fed ground beef
1/4 stick butter
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese


1. Wash and quarter the potatoes.  Put in crock first.

2. Add the peas on top of potatoes (if using), spreading them around as a layer.

3. Layer the ground beef on top.

4. Dollop the BBQ around all over the top. 

5.  Add pats of butter (we were able to get some Minerva Amish butter for grocery store prices, yum!).

Cook on high 4-6 hours until the potatoes are tender (I stirred it up to test the ones on the bottom and ended up just stirring everything up together).

Layer the shredded cheese over everything and turn off slow cooker.  Serve once the cheese has melted.  Since we accidentally used a very spicy BBQ sauce, I added 1 pint of milk and stirred it into everything like chunky mashed potatoes before adding the cheese.  THEN we also put a bunch of sour cream as garnish when serving.  Can you say dairy overcompensation for the spice??? :)

By the way... the leftovers are reheating as I type for lunch today!

This recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Senior Frenzy!

What's Schoolin'?

Yes, I seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth lately!  Between still living at my mom's, having unpredictable access to my computer/internet, and... our senior frenzy - Please be impressed that we are actually on target with college apps and such! :)

So, that's pretty much it in a nutshell for school for my senior the last month-ish.  We are finally pretty much done with the applications (except for one that came up the other day so we need to get SAT scores and transcripts to them) and have already gotten those much awaited letters for almost all of them.  Phew!

We are also in the midst of moving and setting up in our rental.  The timing could not be more perfect because she is ready to jump back into her school work for the last stretch.  They will each have their own space again which will create a more peaceful working environment.

Plans?  This week I'll have one-on-one conferences with each child to set up fresh schedules, plans, and to prioritize.  We'll also visit new 4-H clubs.  We have MISSED cooking from scratch!!!  My daughters and I can't wait to make bread and such again.  That should also help with the budget...

I have a transcript template to share with you all and just some senior ideas to share, so stay tuned... :)

Easy Pretzel Sausages

What's Cookin'?

This made a very hearty lunch!  The recipe made 4 servings and cost just under $3/person.  If you think about the cost of a fast food burger (and the fact that I used high quality grass-fed sausage) then it seems like a bargain!  We added fresh fruit and avocado along with some chip choices for sides.  Oh!  And it took about 3 minutes to prepare :).


Grass-fed Sausages  (my package had 4 good-sized sausages)
1 Can Pretzel dough (homemade dough would be best!)

[Update:  *I just carefully read the ingredients (after we bought and ate it, of course) and I can't personally recommend this pretzel dough in the photo at this time because of several ingredients.  However, I LOVE this company's products (many are Non-GMO Verified and they don't use trans fats) and hope to be able to recommend this product in the future.  Plus, if you are going to buy a pre-made pretzel dough anyway, this may be a better option.]


1. Divide the pretzel dough with 2 strips together, forming 4 strips instead of the 8 (they are perforated)

2. Wrap each sausage with a "2-strip strip" in a slanted fashion until it is covered.  Place about 2 inches apart on a pizza pan or cookie sheet (in the picture mine is covered in foil - I don't recommend foil, but it's not my cookware, so...).

3. Bake approximately 15 minutes at 350F.  If any stick together you may need to separate and cook just a little longer.

4. Ta-da!  Serve with condiments/sides of you choice.

Sorry, no photos from out of the oven - everyone was circling the kitchen for lunch!

Friday, December 26, 2014

St. Stephen's Day Soup

What's Cookin'?

In honor of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, we ate St. Stephen's Day Soup today for dinner.  Mine ended up being more like a "souped" up potato soup because I used mashed potatoes left over from Christmas dinner instead of cut up boiled potatoes- but much better than my planned potato soup.  Also in his honor we made a point to pray for our enemies at our mealtime prayer... [You can read more about Stephen in Acts 6:1-15 and Acts 7:54-60]

Here is the jump-off recipe:

And another:

I used:
1 large yellow onion
2 C leftover roast, cut into very small bite-size pieces
3 Quarts homemade beef bone broth (more or less - I simmered a big pot with a grass-fed beef bone before making the soup)
2 T butter
1/3 flour
1 C leftover mashed potatoes (these were originally skin-on and whipped with butter/milk)

First I made the beef bone broth (super easy - just tossed a big bone in a pot of water with a squirt of lemon juice (couldn't find any apple cider vinegar) and lots of Real Salt.  This simmered for several hours.  30 minutes before serving I cooked the chopped onion in some palm shortening, then added the chopped beef roast leftovers.  When they were ready I scooped them to one side of the pot, put 2 T of butter in the cleared part of the pot, and added the flour to the melted butter.  Once the flour and butter were mixed together I started ladling hot broth in and thoroughly blending it into the butter/flour mixture.  Once all of the broth was incorporated I added the mashed potatoes.  Then I let it simmer for about 5 minutes before serving.

Oh, this is corny, but instead of stones we had scones with our soup... just because it rhymes...

I hope my adjustments make sense!

Garden Planner

What's Gardenin'?

Spring will be here before you know it!  Here is a cool online garden planner page:

When you click and drag a plant into one of the squares for Square Foot Gardening it shows how many you should plant per square.  It also puts planting/care info below the diagram.

Enjoy! :)