The mister of the house is a very generous guy. He bought me a vinyl cutting machine a couple of months ago and I have been having fun learning the software, the capabilities of it and the machine, and decorating things with it. Over the weekend, I decided to decorate my trusty stand mixer. I had seen a picture on Pinterest of one but wanted to use my own words and designs. After playing around a little, here’s what I came up with:
Side 1 and Side 2 are actually one piece of vinyl that wrap around the top of the mixer. The base design is a second design I came up with because I wanted to add a little customization to my mixer. My mixer gets a lot of use on a weekly basis and it’s been with us for a long time and through quite a few moves. I like “her” facelift.
People often ask me why I can food. My first response is always because I can. Seems simple enough but really there are other reasons. I like growing our own food but since fruits and veggies don’t grow year round, I need to can what we grow and don’t eat right away. I have a large family and I buy in bulk to help with the cost. That means sometimes I need to can the excess for another time. Then there’s the convenience factor. For example the other day everyone was home for Spring Break. We all slept in late but needed to get moving to head out the door. Since it would be hours before we could eat another meal we needed something substantial to fill our bellies.
So, I pulled out potatoes I had canned from our garden harvest last summer.
last summer’s potatoes
I melted some coconut oil, chopped some fresh green onions, and put in the potatoes with some seasoning to brown.
In the skillet
Because the potatoes were pre cut and precooked in the canning process, by the time cooked the sausage, gathered fresh eggs and cooked them, they were ready. I also heated up some pancakes I had made earlier in the month and froze.
In 20 minutes we had a hot satisfying breakfast and were soon on the road to enjoy our day.
quick easy breakfast
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to leeks. I had no idea what to do with them, but they came in a basket of fruits and veggies we got through Bountiful Baskets. So, I went through cookbooks and did an internet search. I found a recipe that sounded good and I since I had all the ingredients, I went for it. It was a hit and the Mr. declared leeks his new favorite vegetable. Yesterday was a very cold and windy and therefore perfect to make the soup (again). Each time I make it, I change up little things as this seems to be a great base to experiment with. Here’s what I did this time.
- 4 leeks
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 to 3 lbs potatoes cubed
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 cups freeze dried chicken or you can use fresh cooked shredded chicken
- Cut leeks lengthwise, separate, wash well. Use only the white and pale green parts, chop. Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper. Cover and let saute for 10 minutes. Check often so they don’t brown.
- Add water, broth, and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are on the soft side.
- To make the soup creamy use a blender or stick blender. If using a conventional blender remove about half of the mix and puree in the blender until smooth and return to the pot. If using a stick blender, just immerse it in the pot and blend away until creamy. (I used both methods and find both work equally as well…the stick blender is just quicker and easier to clean)
- Add chicken, Italian Seasonings and crushed red pepper and more salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer until the chicken is rehydrated (if using freeze dried) or warmed up (if using fresh)
- Served with some warm bread or rolls….yum.
*Adapted from Simply Recipes
It’s very easy to make. It tastes good. It’s affordable. It’s not full of preservatives. Did I mention it tastes good?
What You Need:
- 1 Cup regular oatmeal (quick cook is not necessary) **
- 1 TBSP coffee creamer
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- about 24 freeze dried or dehydrated blueberries
Combine oats, creamer, sugar, and salt into a food processor
Give it a quick 3 or 4 pulses to break up the oats and blend ingredients together.
Pour into a resealable sandwich baggie and add freeze dried or dehydrated blueberries.
Label and it’s ready to go.
Add about 1 cup boiling water, more or less to suit your preferences. Stir and eat when you aren’t going to burn your mouth.
This makes a quick breakfast on a school morning or even when out camping.
** I suppose you could use quick cooking oats. I find the long cooking regular cheaper and by chopping them up in the food processor they cook just as fast as the quick cooking oats do.
Celebrating all the graduates for 2012. Congratulations to you.
I decided to play with my standard whole wheat bread recipe and substituted canned pumpkin for the milk in equal amounts.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
The bread turned out really good. It was moister then normal as well as very filling. Once slice was more then enough. I will play with this a bit more because I think adding a little cinnamon will only enhance it.
Twice a week I make bread for our family. This is the bread we use with meals, for sandwiches, or whatever. I use the same basic recipe but try to liven it up sometimes, because even I can get bored doing the same thing over and over. On Monday I tried something new and the results turned out well, so I thought I would share what I did.
First I used my own basic bread recipe and let it go through it’s first rise. When it was time to punch down the dough, I divided it into 3 parts on a flour dusted counter.
One part of dough divided ready to roll out.
I rolled it out fairly thin but didn’t go wider then my bread pan.
Dough rolled out no wider then the bread pan.
Next, I added a filler to each loaf.
Dough with garlic butter.
Dough with cinnamon.
Dough with oatmeal.
Next step is fairly easy, just roll the dough up.
And place in your bread pan, seam side down. Add additional toppings if you prefer.
Let rise again.
One thing we did notice on the garlic bread. Due to the butter content in the spread, the rolled part didn’t stick together as it was rising. While this would be a problem for a sandwich bread, we enjoyed unrolling it while eating it. The other breads did not separate.
My brother-in-law “threw out some turnip seeds to see what would happen.” The result was astonishingly large turnips, which he just left in the field after eating a few.
We gleaned a lot of them. They are sweet when raw and extremely tasty when cooked. We stored several boxes in the cellar, but also decided to can up lots of them. It took 2 days with 2 canners (as one was cooling down the other was heating up)
and we netted 43 quarts of processed turnips.
I think we are good for now.
Want a really quick, easy, and healthy snack? Try these whole wheat crackers:
1 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour (I suppose store bought would do in a pinch but I can’t guarantee results or taste…ha ha)
2 TBSP melted butter
6 or 7 TBSP water
1/2 tsp salt (plus more for topping)
Mix flour, butter, and salt. Slowly add water 1 TBSP at a time until well mixed. You are looking for a wet consistency not sticky. You want this to be able to roll out thin and easily. I didn’t even use a mixer, just a spoon and my hands. Roll out until about 1/8 of an inch thick. Score crackers in squares (or shape desired). Top with additional salt and Parmesan Cheese if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let cool before eating. (Yes, I burned my tongue because I couldn’t wait.)
By themselves, they were a great snack. Topped with our own Queso Blanco, oh my………….
Let us know how they turn out if you try them.
Can you believe we are already on week 4 of our soup challenge? Time is going by so quickly. This week I bring you what I will call Throw It Together Taco Soup. This really is a fly by the seat of your pants recipe, so adjust accordingly to your tastes.
What I used:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 cup taco seasoning (equivalent of two premade packages)
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 slow cooker or crock pot
What I did:
First things first, I chopped the onion and cooked it with the ground beef, turkey, and refried beans. After draining off the fat, I put the mix in the crock pot, added enough water to cover it, then added all of the other ingredients listed. Once stirred, I set the lid on the crock pot, set it to medium and walked away from it. Eight hours later, I made some home made tortilla chips and we sat down to a wonderfully hot and hearty supper.
- incredibly easy to make
- 6 out of 6 thumbs up
And when ice is falling from the sky, it’s really nice to have an easy and warm soup to heat things up.