Saturday, December 31, 2011

52 weeks of cooking!

So over at Just I am participating in a cooking chanllenge. We will be given a topic to cook each week and score points. I think this is going to help me get motivated here as well. We already have our first months Topics. Week 1: Eggs Week2: Chinese Week 3: soup Week 4: Pan-Frying.
I already have a lot of ideas for the Egg topic and it is as if our hens have heard the hype in the house, as they have stepped up the laying. I never realized how versital eggs really are my ideas span everything from Egg nog, to egg noodles. Since Wayne is allergic to eggs I am having to use them in creative ways or feed them to me and Tyler, since Beau and Scarlett hardly eat anything.
I have two recipes that use canned corned beef. I am really excited to give them a whirl. Wayne wants me to try pickling eggs too, I am hoping to find a recipe that used dill. All my choices are going to be important for our food storage, as eggs are the easiest protein for us to come up with!
This morning we had cornmeal mush with fried apples. I was worries as there was no sugar in the mush as it cooked. I served it with butter and colored sugar. Scarlett played in hers, Beau ate good today.
Lunch was split pea soup. My husband hates peas and had resisted pea soup for year, BUT he sain he liked the soup! yay.


Read more about it at,195,147183-243207,00.htmlContent Copyright ©
2011 - All rights reserved.
2 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. salt
2 c. cold water
4 c. boiling water

Put 4 cups water on to boil. Mix dry ingredients in 2 cups cold water, then add boiling water and cook until thick. May be served warm with milk and sugar or poured into loaf pans until
firm. After the mush is firm and cooled, may be sliced and fried.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oatmeal breakfast of champions

Well Christmas came and went and my family survived! With three kids under three it was questionable a few times. We only had our tree up for less than a week. witht he holiday I took a break from the food prepping. Well maybe just a little bit. With the idea of preparing food without every modern convience I am looking at old fashioned cooking. Since I am pretty aware of pioneer cooking thanks to 'Little House on the Prairie" I am looking into old fashioned British cooking or even just British cooking. So in the middle of the night doing those long 3am breasfeeding sessions I am watching old episodes of "Oliver's Twist" Any way I tried an old fashioned boiled pudding called Spotted Dick. The recipe was in metric so it was fun to translate.
Any back to the quest to get my kids to eat oatmeal. Today I am eiteher the best mom in the world or the worse. I made no bake oatmeal cookies and believe it or not my kids ate them up... maybe it was the two cups of sugar? or maybe the chocolate? who cares!!!!!!!?


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2011 - All rights reserved.
2 cups
sugar1/2 cup cocoa1 stick butter1/2 cup
milk1 tsp. vanilla3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal1/2 cup peanut butter
Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and
milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil for one full minute.
Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (optional), vanilla and oatmeal.
Drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mama Bear Porridge

So on our quest to feed ourselves and our kids Porridge I came across a cool sounding recipe for oatmeal. I was intrigued buy the fact that the finishing touch on it was stirring in eggs. Since our hens are giving us up to 3 eggs a day I need a good way of incorporating those treasures into our diet and really an oatmeal dish with a kick of protein just sounded very healthy to feed my babies, assuming of course that they will eat the food. So i made the recipe and oddly enough it was more of a porridge texture than any dish I can done so far as they we more mush textured. However my fatal flaw was the very thing that attracted me to this dish, the eggs. My husband is allergic to eggs which is why I have issues incorporating them into our food. He can eat eggs that are cooked into food but avoids custards and things that are very eggs. He did not have a reaction to this dish (I only used 2 eggs) but the whole idea of there being an egg in his porridge made the the porridge unpalatable to him. Of course Scarlett and Beau being who they are... the only one who ate any porridge was me. But alas I already eat oatmeal and would probably eat it plain if need be. So there I was with a whole pot of porridge. Seriously we live in a time of plenty and most food is just thrown away. But what of that wasn't the case? Plus my kids didn't eat any. So I tried to get creative. So I added some baking powder to the porridge and enough flour to make the pottage the same consistency as a stiff cookie. I think if I were British the word might be scone? Then I tossed the mess onto a cookie sheet for 15 minutes until the oat cakes were just starting to brown. Voila from their noses being turned up at porridge to them happily eating oat cake cookies. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter how the food is cooked just as long as some of it ends up in the babies.
Ingredients 3 cups water 1 cup powdered milk 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 eggs 4 teaspoons butter 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons honey
Directions In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Combine the powdered milk, oats and cinnamon; quickly stir into the boiling water. Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is the desired thickness. Remove from heat and mix in the raisins and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. The hot porridge will cook the eggs completely. Divide the porridge between 4 bowls. Top each one with a teaspoon of butter, 1/4 cup of milk , and drizzle with honey.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let their be yogurt...

So I was feeding my kids snack yesterday and realized my kids live on dairy. Yes we have 20 acres but no cows or even goats. But when we did have goats we had a lot of milk and drinking milk is not the fastest way to get it gone. My kids like cottage cheese, yogurt and cheese. Now seriously I don't see the kids eating goat cheese at all. Not only that but I am paying a fortune for Stoneyfarm organic yougurt because they are the only yogurt in my local store made with whole milk. Since my kids are sitting at the 25% for height and 10% in weight I am willing to pay for the whole milk... but dang they are expensive. So i had an epiphany, what if I tried making homemade yogurt? I have an abundance of milk and just happened to have a vanilla greek yogurt in the fridge. So i found a recipe, dh watched a few people make yogurt on youtube, since I didn't know where I could put it to have it settle I watched them use crock pots, setting on the counter in blankets, and in the oven. In the end we used the oven. The yogurt turned out good, here is the recipe and a picture.


Read more about it at,1961,142161-226201,00.htmlContent Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.');
Read more about it at,1961,142161-226201,00.htmlContent Copyright ©
2011 - All rights reserved.
Yogurt making is a fun and creative experience and an
excellent quality yogurt may easily be made at home at a great savings over
store bought.
Any kind of yogurt containing live active cultures may be used as a starter,
such as ACTIVIA®, DANACTIVE®, Greek Yogurts, Kefir, etc. Try different brands to
suit your needs and to find those that yield the best results.
In making yogurt, it's especially important that all utensils and equipment
be scrupulously clean to create a friendly environment for the yogurt culture to
thrive without competition.
Homemade Yogurt:
1 quart
milk1/4 to 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
powder1/2 cup plain unflavored yogurt (such as
ACTIVIA®)2 tablespoons cream
In a medium saucepan, combine all
ingredients except yogurt. Two tablespoons of cream (or more) may be added to
the basic recipe for a richer, creamier dessert yogurt or frozen yogurts. For
everyday yogurt or yogurt that is to be used in baking, the extra richness is
not needed.
Heat milk,
uncovered, over low heat, gradually bringing it nearly to a boil. Tiny bubbles
will form around the edges of the pan; the milk should reach a temperature
between 185-190°F.
If the milk is brought up to temperature too quickly, the bottom of the pan
is likely to scald. It is important not to allow the milk to boil. Remove any
milk which forms a skin on the surface.
Remove from heat and allow milk to cool for about 20 minutes, or until the
milk reaches a temperature of between 100-110°F. Stir in approximately 1/2 cup
of active live culture yogurt or yogurt starter.
Transfer the yogurt mixture to a good quality thermos or a yogurt maker and maintain
the temperature of about 100°F for 4-10 hours. A longer fermentation period will
yield a more tart yogurt. Leave the yogurt undisturbed or it will not thicken
well, and keep it free from drafts.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Flavor as desired, adding crushed, dried or
fresh fruit or fruit
, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, Grape-Nuts, blueberries, strawberries,
raspberries, etc.
Use homemade yogurt for baking in any recipe calling for buttermilk, sour
cream or yogurt; it adds wonderful flavor and nutrition to quick breads,
muffins, pancakes and yeast breads.
Another useful purpose for homemade yogurt is yogurt cheese. To make yogurt
cheese, drain freshly made yogurt in a cheesecloth hung in a cool place; this
can be used in many recipes as a healthy substitute for cream cheese.
Save half a cup of the unflavored yogurt as a starter for making the next
This yogurt is an economical way to produce quality yogurt for diet plans
which include daily consumption. The starter only needs to be purchased infrequently in
small amounts, and the yogurt strain can often be maintained indefinitely if you
make yogurt often. Use each batch of reserved starter within 5 days or start
again with fresh starter.
It's a good plan to purchase an 8 oz. container of yogurt for a new starter
once every 1 or 2 months, or when your own strain seems to be getting weaker
(the yogurt will not thicken as well). Dried active culture is also available in
packets and may be kept on the shelf in case you run out of fresh starter.
Ball 1/2 pint can or freeze jars, either plastic or glass, make excellent
single serve containers for storage. Some yogurt makers come with glass storage
containers; others make 1 quart batches rather than single serve portions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

... And I ate Rabbit.

So we are definately working on getting the "kids" to try new foods so if we ever have to live on the proceeds of our farm, in this case home grown rabbit. I admit the worst kid is me. I do not want to eat anything with bones in it. I could hardly choke it down, even though it tasted good.


Read more about it at,1748,154172-235206,00.htmlContent Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.');
Read more about it at,1748,154172-235206,00.htmlContent Copyright ©
2011 - All rights reserved.
A lemon-herb marinade blends with
the flavor or rabbit to make a pleasantly spicy stew. Plan to start the day
before - for best results, the rabbit should marinate for 24 hours. For 4
servings you will need:
3-4 lb.
rabbit, cut up1/3 c. olive oil3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice2
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce2 tsp. grated lemon
rind4 cloves garlic, minced or
pressed1 tsp. dried rosemary1/2 tsp. fennel seeds1 tsp.
salt1/2 tsp. black pepper1/4 c. all-purpose flour2-3
tbsp. butter1/4 c. Madeira or dry
sherry3 c. chicken broth1 bay leaf2 tbsp. all-purpose
flourParsley for garnish
1. Rinse rabbit and pat dry.
Place into deep bowl or plastic bag. Set aside.
2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, lemon rind, garlic, rosemary
and fennel. Pour over rabbit. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
3. Drain and place rabbit pieces on waxed paper. Sprinkle on both sides with
salt, black pepper and flour.
4. Heat butter in heavy skillet and brown rabbit until golden. Transfer to
deep casserole.
5. Add Madeira or sherry to pan. Heat to boiling. Add broth. Boil and scrape
pan clean.
6. Pour over rabbit. Add bay leaf. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to
2 hours or until rabbit is very tender. Remove rabbit to serving dish and keep
7. Add flour to skillet. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons juices to make a paste.
Gradually add remaining juices. Cook, stirring, until thickened.
8. Pour sauce over rabbit and garnish with parsley.
Good served with: Mashed potatoes or hot cooked wild rice, spinach salad and
a hearty red wine, if you like.

Monday, December 12, 2011

i know I have been pretty quiet, nursing at the keyboard leaves
me picking and pecking one handed. I am not a good typist any way. I just
thought I’d tell you what we have been up to preparedness wise.
First of all water wise, last year when the pressure tank
went out on our well it was the last piece and we have officially replaced
every part of the well since moving here. Wayne took the old pressure tank and
put it into our master bathroom adding an additional 50 gallons to our water
storage. In addition to that we were told by the women who grew up on our
property that they had had to dig a new well and that is why the well is so far
from the well house. The old well was located in the well house and Wayne was
delighted to find there was water at about 17 feet. So he researched on line
and made from scratch a hand pump so in case of emergency power outage or well
breakage or even a juicy frog jumping on the pressure switch electrocuting itself
and messing with our connection, we will still have water!


We are feeling extremely inspired to finish up our food
storage. However we have quite a bit of food we are not used to eating.
Included in that category are, wheat berries, lentils, split peas, and some of
us eat oat meal. A whole ‘nother issue is the stuff we could grow easily if we
wanted to eat them, this would be the rabbit and duck type things.


Our HT bless his heart gave us some commercial rabbit frozen
in a box. Mind you we have raised rabbit but never felt inclined to actually
eat one. I confess that I am extremely bad about trying new foods especially
cooking them. I promised my husband that we would try the rabbit and train
ourselves to consume them. So I scoured the internet and came up with a recipe
that looked promising and I cooked it up tonight. It turned out great tender, flavorful…
but I have a hang up. I like “clean” meat no bones nothing to make me think
this thing I am eating was once alive. Anyway I had tried to remove the bones
to help it look better. However this didn’t help my stupid issue and I could
hardly eat it.

Wayne butchered our three ducks and we had cooked one for
Thanksgiving. Again not my idea of a good meat as I like boneless skinless
chicken breast and duck is so not like that at all. However again I had a great
recipe and I am assured it turned out great. Scarlett was only minimally traumatized
by daddy butchering the ducks.


We had bought 8 chickens last spring thinking that would
cover our egg needs. Since Wayne is allergic to eggs we are very light on the
egg use as it make him nauseous to be around scrambled and such finally our
hens have started to lay we are getting at least one egg a day sometimes two!
Which is very exciting to us and we are teaching Scarlett to collect the eggs
and feed the chickens. She loves them and picks them up and carries them around.

We are trying to get our kids to eat oatmeal. So I found a
recipe chocolate banana oatmeal. I made it this morning. It did not magically
make them eat oatmeal, but I figured I better start while we have the means to
sugarcoat them. Plus we don’t have bananas in food storage, but if we use baby
food bananas that will store well and we have a recipe for them. I also used a
Hershey bar easy to measure easy to store and great for hyping the three year
old to eat candy bar oatmeal.

Another issue we have not really had to deal with at all is
the electricity being off, but sometimes people in our area lose their lights
for up to 10 days at a time. That is
worst case scenario so I told Wayne I wanted enough electricity to run light at
least. So he jimmy rigged a prototype electric storage device. Basically it
provides us with enough energy to have light in case of emergency it can have
my fridges or freezer plugged into it. This doohickey thing can be hooked up
and recharged by the car, but usually is charged by the wall outlet just
storing the energy up. Like I said this is a prototype and not very strong when
we get some money we are going to make the real one. In theory this should look
like a normal end table until needed.

So as cute as the electric storage device is electricity is a
bad way of making heat and even though it can technically run the hot plate it
was a no go which leaves us to how to cook in an emergency situation. Since we
have a fire place and 20 acres of trees that one was a no brainer except
seriously who wants to go out lumberjacking? Not me! So Again Wayne hit YouTube
and came up with a solution. In our fireplace he tried to build a rocket stove,
but it didn’t work so we ended up with more of a Hobo stove out of bricks in
the fireplace instead. He has messed around with it a bit, but seriously like a
Hobo Stove it uses kindling not logs. Our experiment was making ramin noodles.
It took 20 minutes starting from a cold fire place to have three packages of
ramin cooked. Since he has already done all the math on every electrical thing in
our house he knows that cooking the ramin over the fire instead of individually
cooking three bowl of ramin in the microwave saved us enough electricity to run
one light bulb for 12 hours.


So with Tessa I was kind of sad that we didn’t buy much for
her. We bought a piggy bank and I finally got a moby wrap, no toys no clothes
but seriously she didn’t/doesn’t need anything. But I wanted something special
so Wayne build her a new cradle.


So needless to say even though Wayne still hasn’t found work
he has managed to keep himself busy! *brag alert* Wayne finally quit smoking
and is 6 weeks cigarette free, he quit when Tessa was born and today is
starting to give up his caffeine addiction.

The worlds worst blogger

Well I might be the worlds worst blogger ever, but I am back again. So what are we up to? I am no longer pregnant, I have a 6 week old daughter and the other kids have grown six months older. i am still a scrapbooker but I haven't scrapped much.
My new big things is trying out new recipes for the end of the world as we know it. Today in a high hopes of training my one and three year old children to eat Oatmeal we tried Chocolate Banana Oatmeal. If bananas, a heap of chocolate and an indecent amount of brown sugar connot convince these boogers to eat Oatmeal they are going to starve to deal if we ever run out of chicken nuggets and cherrios.
The recipe is either from or but I did take some liberities with it. So first you make up the oatmeal for four. We busted open some Scottish cut oats new experience even for us adults too. The recipe has you pour in 1/2 cup brown sugar, a mashed banana and 1/4 cop chocolate chips. Next time i make it I am making it with half the brown sugar, I am going to have baby food banana's availible from if I don't have fresh and for fun we used a Hershey Bar in the oatmeal today. It was to try to make Scarlett more excited to try oatmeal. She ate a little, Beau even less, but Wayne and I enjoyed our breakfast!
So our next end of the world meal is Rabbit! I have never cooked or eaten rabbit, not even when we were raising rabbits! A family friend gave us some rabbit so we are jumping off the deepend with some marinated rabbit stew. The poor little bunny is stewing my my oven as I type, I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow, or in a few months...