Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chicken 'n' Dumplings

What's Cookin'?

I used THIS recipe for my inspiration but below is what I actually did.  This recipe makes a double batch but somehow we didn't end up with very many leftovers!


2 Tbl butter
2 pre-cooked chicken breasts; cubed
2 quarts organic low-sodium chicken broth (I like to use Real Salt)
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
3 Tbl flour
6 button mushrooms (totally optional - just happened to have some!)
Salt to taste
Adobo seasoning to taste
Pepper to taste

2 C flour
1 teaspoon UNrefined salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 C (homemade) buttermilk (After mixing this was a bit dry so I added an extra splash of buttermilk)


1. Melt the butter in a large pot.  If using mushrooms, sautee briefly in the butter. 

2.  Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and stir into the butter. 

3.  Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring constantly. 

4.  Add the chicken and packet of vegetables. 

5.  Turn on medium-high heat to bring to a boil while you make the dumplings.

6.  Make the dumplings -  Mix the dry ingredients; add the buttermilk (more as needed). 

7.  Add spoonfuls of dumplings to the boiling broth.  Cover.  Boil for 20-30 minutes or until the dumplings are done.  I gently stirred after about 10 minutes and mine were done at about 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Hallows Eve

What's Schoolin'/Celebratin'?

Today is what most people celebrate as Halloween.  We celebrate All Hallows Eve and focus on studying/celebrating the saints.  This year it will be oh-so-simple due to oh-so-many constraints but this is what we have planned.

Halo cake:  This was dd's brilliant idea as we thought about what we had on-hand.  We just happen to have a cake in the freezer begging to be decorated and eaten.

Halos: We'll enjoy some Halo clementine oranges for snack.

St. Lucy's Eyes:  Grapes - morbid, I know!

St. Francis' Guessing Jar: A jar filled with Annie's cheddar bunnies [See THIS post that inspired this idea].

Movies:  We've checked out several saint biographies from the local library AND Amazon Prime has quite a few for free download for Prime members.  I'll update later with a list of what we watched/checked out/discovered.

This was amazing - I learned so much!

All Soul's Day [Dia de los Muertos]:

HERE is a quick recipe for Soul Cakes

Pray for Us November candy/treat bags:  From THIS blog.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Enchiladas with Sour Cream/Green Chili Sauce

What's Cookin'?

 Sour Cream Enchiladas

I used the filling left over from THESE chimichangas to fill the enchiladas.  THIS link was my inspiration.  Below is how I made the sauce.


2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 C diced red onions (optional)
1/4 C flour
8 oz organic chicken broth
1/2 jar Herdez green chili sauce
8 oz Sour cream


1. Melt the butter and cook the onions until slightly tender. 
2. Add the flour.  Stir constantly until the butter is absorbed into the flour. 
3. Slowly add the broth, stirring constantly, and then slowly add the green chili sauce. 
4. Cook, still stirring constantly, until it reaches a slow boil and continue 1 more minute. 
5. Remove from the heat and add in the sour cream. 
6. Cover the enchiladas with this sauce.  Top with grated cheese - I used 2 handfuls... Maybe 3/4 cup?
7. Baked at 350F for 20 minutes.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

PS:  Even my mom liked it!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oven-Baked Chimichangas

What's Cookin'?

I used THIS recipe for inspiration and adjusted to our needs/ingredients/leftovers.  This made a double-batch of filling so I am using THIS recipe for inspiration for chicken enchiladas with the remainder filling.


2 cups pre-cooked rice (I try to keep some in the freezer for faster meals)
2 pre-cooked, diced chicken breasts (also from my freezer)
1/3 C chopped vegetables (I used Cascadian organic Swiss chard from... the freezer)
1/4 jar of green chile sauce (Herdez is not organic but has real ingredients and is in glass)
6 tortillas (thawed earlier from... the freezer)
2-3 TBL butter (yes, I keep that in the freezer, too!)
Oil/shortening (small amount - enough for ingredients to not stick to the pan)


1. Heat oil/shortening in a pan and mix together the rice, chicken, greens or leftover vegetables of your choice, chili sauce.  You may need to add a bit of water.

2. Put approximately 3 tablespoons down the center of each tortilla.  Wrap them up chimichanga-style:  fold the 2 short ends over the filling and fold the longer ends overlapping the short ends with one long side over the other.  Put seam side down on a baking dish or pizza pan with about 1 inch between chimichangas.  Melt the butter and generously brush all around the outside of each chimichanga.

3. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until barely beginning to brown.

4. Serve with fresh salad or fruit and more chili sauce or sour cream.


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!