Sunday, April 5, 2020

Tomato Soup

This tomato soup is so rich and has layers of flavor. Try it! It’s so much better than opening a can. 

Tomato Soup

2 Tbsp oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
56 oz. canned tomatoes (or 8 fresh tomatoes diced and seeded)
7 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
2 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp pepper
8 drop Tabasco

Sauté garlic and onion in the oil u til tender. Add carrot and celery and cook 7-9 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cook and bring nearly to a boil.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Use immersion blender to make a smooth soup, or leave chunky, if desired. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

In a bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in oats.
Cover and chill dough for one hour.  Do t skip this step!

Preheat oven to 375. Spoon out dough and flatten with a sugared fork (I don’t do this, but the original recipe called for it.)

Bake 10 minutes, cool a bit, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 3 dozen, depending on how big you make the cookies.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Super Sweet Green Smoothie

This smoothie isn't for a low carb diet, but it is a delicious way to get your greens! We made it up just this afternoon. 

Super Sweet Green Smoothie 

1 farm fresh egg, raw
1 cup cream
4 cups power greens from Costco
1 banana
2 cups frozen tropical fruits
2 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp Stevita
2 scoops Orgain vanilla protein powder 

Blend all in your VitaMix or BlendTec and enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Nightshade Free Taco Seasoning

My husband has been less able to tolerate nightshades as time goes on.  Here's a nightshade-free taco seasoning that he liked.  Tostadas are back on the menu! 

Nightshade Free Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp pink Himalayan salt, ground fine
½ tbsp onion powder
½ tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp oregano

Mix all spices and use as desired.  I used one tbsp of mixture to a pound of ground beef. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pomona Mixed Berry Jam ~ Large Batch Tutorial

We love having Mixed Berry Jam on hand, and we are almost out. That isn't acceptable, so jam making is on the docket!  I thought I'd take pictures this time and post up this little tutorial.  Enjoy! 

Pour your 4 pound bag of Costco Mixed Berries in a large stockpot.  I measured about 12 cups of fruit.

We like strawberries in it, too, so I added a 2 cup measure of frozen berries, too.  That makes 14 cups of fruit, in total.  That's just an estimate, since it was measured frozen, not thawed and crushed.

Put your jars on a half sheet pan and heat them in the oven to 250 degrees.  This helps to prevent the jars cracking when you add molten hot jam.  

Next I added 8 tsp. calcium water to the berries.  Then I mixed 8 tsp Pomona pectin with 2 cups of white sugar. Whisk them together well! This was not added to the berries until they were at a boil.  That takes a while, since you are starting from frozen.  Be patient and don't burn your berries by heating them on too high of a temperature!  

When adding the Pomona pectin, use a large whisk and WHISK that fruit and add the pectin/sugar mixture slowly.  You don't want pectin clumps! 

At this point, you could add more sugar, but 2 cups was plenty for the entire batch for us.

Heat the berries back to boiling and boil of one minute.  Add hot jam to the hot jars.  Use a canning funnel.  Headspace is 1/4"for jam.  Make sure to wipe the rims of your jars with a damp cloth. If you dampen with white vinegar, the rim gets even cleaner!

Simmer lids, if needed.  Newer lids do not call for the simmering step, I have read.  My lids were bought some years ago, so they are not new-fangled and weird. 
They were simmered like a proper lid should be.

Add rings and process in a  water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Check your elevation to make sure the time is the same for your elevation!)  I use a steam canner rather than water bath. 

Remove your jars to a dry towel.  Use a jar lifter, not your hands!  Let sit overnight.  Remove rings, note the contents on the lid, and store out of direct sunlight. 

Jars can have flaws and when they do, they let you know.  Boo for flawed jars! 

I'll make this recipes another two or three times to make enough jam for the year. I put some directly into the fridge without canning, but it won't last long.  This recipe made 12 1/2 pints.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Decadent, Opulent Brownies

      I hobbled this recipe together from a couple different ones on AllRecipes.  I made 2 pans worth and brought them to church for an after service treat.  They were well enjoyed. 

Decadent, Opulent Brownies

Grease and flour a 9”x 13” pan. Preheat over to 350. 

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix together with wooden spoon.

Mix in, gently and only as much as needed:

2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  DO NOT OVERBAKE 

Cool slightly and frost with this mixture: 

Frosting: Boil together 6TB butter, 2/3 c sugar, 4TB milk for a minute, remove from heat and add 2/3 c chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Spices

I used this recipe to season 15 pounds of ground pork today. I found it at Food Renegade.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Spices

2 tbsp of dried sage
1 tbsp + 1 tsp of salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 pinches ground cloves
4 lbs of ground pork

Mix spices thoroughly through ground meat. Form into patties, if desired and freeze. I just pack evenly and flat in a zippy bag. It thaws so easily in a sink of warm water. 

The Refresher

I have been on a smoothie kick lately and this one just has to be shared.  It was really wonderful!  This made enough for my son and me, so I would double or even triple it if the rest of the kids wanted some, too. 

The Refresher
4-inch piece cucumber, cut in half
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup fresh mango, pineapple and papaya chunks
1 cup spinach, kale and chard leaves
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Orgain vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp Great Lakes kosher gelatin
3 ice cubes

Makes about 4 cups

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beef Bacon and Barley Stew

I made a very good stew from leftovers last night.  I didn't use a recipe, but created as I went. Here's the rundown. You can always use freshly cooked meat if you don't have any in the fridge. 

Beef Bacon and Barley Stew

1 1/2 pounds leftover smoked tritip (if using other beef, add a few drops of liquid smoke to the liquid portion of the recipe)
1 cup crumbled leftover bacon
1 pound bag of mixed vegetables
4 quarts water 
1 1/2 Tbsp beef broth powder
1 cup pearled barley
salt and pepper to taste
spices of your choice (I use an MSG-free rub we buy from a small local supplier.  They do not sell online.)

For roux:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour

Since my meat was already cooked, I simply threw everything into the pot (except the roux) and just brought it to a boil, then simmered for about an hour.  If you are using fresh meat, I would add lard to the empty pot and brown the meat (cut into chunks and seasoned with spices of your choice) before adding anything else. 

After simmering, bring the stew back to a boil.  Mix milk and flour together to make a roux.  Don't let it be clumpy!  Whisk into boiling stew and cook until thickened. Adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper and seasonings until you like the taste. Now it's ready to serve! 

I love how the house smells when I am simmering soup and making bread.  I paired this meal with 40 Minute Rolls, and it was SO satisfying! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

French Bread Rolls

This is one of our family's favorite recipes. I searched for it here to give to a friend, but somehow, I have failed to post it all these years.  Unthinkable, especially with Thanksgiving coming up so soon! So, prepare yourself for The Crew's French Bread Rolls:

French Bread Rolls

3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 Tbsp yeast (SAF surpasses ALL others!)
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp olive oil (I use Bragg's exclusively)
1 Tbsp salt
8 cups bread flour

In your mixer bowl, proof the yeast with the sugar and water, for about 10 minutes.

Add oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Mix, then add remaining flour. Knead for 4 minutes.  Turn out dough into a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.  Punch down. Form into rolls or loaves. Let rise for 40 minutes or until nicely poofed.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes for rolls, 25 or so for loaves. 

Makes 36 rolls or 4 loaves.  I often use half the dough for rolls and half for loaves.  This bread does not store well and is much better the day it is baked, so consider halving the recipe if you don't have a large crew to feed! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cauliflower Mashers

I found this recipe at and adapted it for my tastes and needs. 

 Cauliflower Mashers  

 1 head of cauliflower

1/2 cup butter

1 Tbsp expeller pressed coconut oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp rosemary, dried

1 tsp sea saltto taste

1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Roughly chop the cauliflower, removing all leaves.
Place in steamer and cook until it's easy to stick a fork in it (about 20 minutes).

 Saute the garlic and rosemary in coconut oil until the garlic is light golden brown.

Add the garlic, chives, rosemary, coconut oil mixture to the cauliflower.

Add a bit of chicken broth if needed. 

Use a submergible blender to blend mixture while it's in the pot.

Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Herbed Batter Bread

I found this recipe on AllRecipes and used suggestions in the comments to adapt it. This is for three 9x5" loaves, so enough for the entire family with some left for tomorrow. 

Herbed Batter Bread

9 cups flour
2 Tablespoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
6 3/4 tsp active yeast
3 3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
6 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder 

  1. Combine 6 cups flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in the water, olive oil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Turn mixer to medium, and beat for an additional 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour; mix until smooth. Scrape batter from sides of bowl. Cover, and let rise in warm place for 35 to 40 minutes.

  2. Grease three 9x5 loaf pans. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Scrape batter into greased pans; pat down with floured hands. Cover pans. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Do not allow dough to over-rise.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until the loaves sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes.  Spread butter over the top of hot bread.  Remove from pan and cool a bit before devouring.  

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Homemade “Emeril’s Essence” Seasoning Blend

Homemade “Emeril’s Essence”  Seasoning Blend

I saw this on Canning Granny's blog.

Yield: 1/3 cup


* 1 tbsp paprika

* 1 tbsp sea salt

* 1 tbsp garlic powder

* 1-1/2 tsp onion powder

* 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

* 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme

* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

* 1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy, use more)


1. In a small bowl, add all of the above ingredients and mix well to combine. (I use the back of spoon to mash/grind the ingredients together.) 

2. Transfer to a 4-ounce mason jar or clean recycled spice jar.

3. This seasoning mix is not only a great accent for meats, poultry and seafood, but is also delicious on grilled or roasted veggies! (If you're interested in Emeril's original recipe, you can find it at Emeril Lagasse's website.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pork Carnitas for Canning

I can't recall where this one came from, but it's great to have on hand for busy nights!  Double the recipe as written for quart jars. 

Pork Carnitas (Pressure Canned)

In each pint jar add: 

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp canning salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp onion powder and garlic powder
1/2 tsp orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp oregano
cubed pork to fill jar

Then add:

1 ounce water 

Leave 1" headspace

Pressure can 75 minutes for pint and 90 minutes for quarts.

When ready to use, you can crisp up the meat on a cookie sheet in the oven before serving. 

Avocado Lime Dressing

I found this recipe at Clean Eating.  

Avocado Lime Dressing 

Juice of 1 lime, plus 1⁄4 tsp lime zest
1 avocado, pitted and diced, reserve the pit
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp puréed garlic
Pinch sea salt

In a jar, combine all ingredients (including the avocado pit) plus 1/2 cup water and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. The pit will help emulsify the dressing as well as keep it a vibrant green. Remove pit before serving.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lemon Pudding

I love the middle of a lemon meringue pie.  This is the "pudding" recipe out of my favorite pie.  I may need to double it, depending on if the Lambies enjoy the dessert or not.  It's for a 9" pie, so isn't TOO much. 

Lemon Pudding

In a medium saucepan, whisk together: 
1 cup sugar, 
2 Tbsp flour, 
3 Tbsp cornstarch, 
1/4 tsp salt

Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, 2 lemons’s worth of lemon juice and their zest.

        Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to boil. Stir in 2 Tbsp butter. Place 4 egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Move to a glass bowl, chill, covered, and serve. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Amish Cinnamon Bread

Another Facebook recipe that sounds great for a cozy winter morning's breakfast...


2 cups butter, softened
4 cups sugar (I use much less)
4 eggs
4 cups buttermilk or 4 cups milk plus 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
8 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 4 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Yield 4 loaves

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fat Flush Soup

This came unattributed though my Facebook feed. Sounds like a good recipe to keep on hand, ready for the random "I'm hungry!!" cries from my Lambies! 
"Fat Flush Soup" 
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalk celery, diced
2 small yellow onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney or navy beans, drained and rinsed (optional, leave out for Primal option)
8 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes 
8 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, optional, for serving (1 1/2 teaspoon per serving)
Add all ingredients, except spinach and olive oil, to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Add spinach, stir and continue cooking just until wilted, approximately 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Tip: If you prefer a thicker soup, after 5 hours of cooking, simply remove 2 cups of soup, along with ingredients, mash ingredients with a fork, return to the slow cooker, stir and continue cooking 1 to 3 hours. When serving, drizzle a little (optional) olive oil over each bowl of soup.
Note: Olive oil helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently and supports a healthy digestive system.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

This is adapted from a recipe found at Farm Girl Tails

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Add the following to each quart jar: 

3/4 cup dry navy beans, rinsed
1 Tbsp onion, diced (I use 1 tsp dried onion, instead)
3 Tbsp chopped ham
1 Tbsp carrot, diced
1 Tbsp celery, diced
1/4 tsp hickory smoked salt or plain salt 
2 cups ham broth

Fill jars with water to 1" headspace. Prepare and add lids and rings. Pressure can at 10# for 90 minutes. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Annie's Awesome Salsa

This is from a Gardenweb forum.  It's supposed to be wonderful!  They add that you can increase the acid to 1 cup and then you can do a boiling water bath instead of pressure canning it.  

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped green pepper
3-5 chopped jalapenos
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar (and/or lemon or lime juice or a combination of any or all)
16 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes for pints.
Makes 6 pints