Sunday, December 11, 2011

Honey Cookies and an Update

We have been very busy here lately.  We have been processing deer, training puppies, and my health has taken a dive again.

Since I have been sick Hubby has been staying home more and reading Mother Earth News Archives. He found a great recipe for Honey Cookies. It is the chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies but made with honey. They came out creamer and less rich. I poured it in a greased pan and cut then into chunks. (I had two deer to process today so I was lazy when it came time to make them into cookies.)

1 stick margarine

3/4 c honey

3/4 c milk

3 TBS cocoa powder

1 Cup Chunky peanut butter

3 cups of oats

Heat the margarine, honey, milk, and cocoa powder to a boil. Boil rapidly for 3 minuets. Then add peanut butter and oats. Spread in a buttered cake pan. Let cool and cut into squares.

Wesley is still on his cooking quest. When he went to get his hair cut he talked to his hair dresser about cooking. (Yes he has a hair dresser not a barber lol) They were talking about Paula Deen. She told him to watch Rachel Ray. So this weekend I found him a show on Hulu. He told me that she used EVOO and not butter. He was Southern and Butter was what he was going to use.  So Paula Deen you won that battle by a land slide.

Now on to my health. Every one knows that I am diabetic, and have high blood pressure. They takes away sodium and sugar from my diet. Then I had high potassium. Now I have to much acid and phosphorus in my blood. So Now my diet it limited to very little. I can have vegetables, one hot dog, one egg, or a piece of fresh sausage. So if any one has any ideas please let me know.

Handme still has not returned. I bite the bullet and got the kids lab/husky puppies. This was an adventure at first. They are 8 weeks old and to small to stay out side.  I had them in my house but it looked like World War 3 in my house. So I put then in their crate on the front porch at night . They cried to much every time that hubby got up at 3:30 in the morning. So now when we are not here and at night they are sleeping in the chicken house with the long run.   The boy is named Cowboy and the Girl is named Kita. Wesley has been keeping them running so at night they are happy to go to their beds and sleep.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wesley's Creamy Pasta

Today for lunch Wesley decided to make a pasta. So I took him to the store. This is what he came up with.

5 Hot Italian Sausages (Johnsville of course.)
3 Small Cans of mushrooms (drained)
1 can of Rotel (drained)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 pint of half and half
about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (yes the stuff in the can)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Pasta (Your Choice. He used the spiral pasta to grab the sauce)(Cooked according to package directions)

First thing he did was bake the sausages. (He hates the splatter when you fry them.) He sauteed the onion and mushrooms in the Olive oil. After the onions were tender he added the can of  drained rotel. He cooked this until the tomatoes were wilted down just a bit. He added the half and half, cheese and salt and pepper. He cooked this until it thickened up just a little. Add cooked pasta and serve.

When he served it he sliced the sausages to put on top since he called them optional.  He also had bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes out to add to it if you wanted to.

He also stated that if you wanted to leave the sausage off that is fine. He would put sauteed asparagus,spinach  or broccoli in it. He also thought some ham might be good in it too.

*He had help with the dicing, opening of cans, draining of cans, and pasta. (No I would not turn my 7 year old loose in the kitchen and just let him go. lol)

Again he came up with a winner. I love to let them take control of a meal every once in a while.

He also is asking for help. He needs some ideas for oysters. He is dying to try to cook with them but doesn't just want fried oysters. So if you have any ideas please feel free to share.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Pizzas

Tonight while grilling hubby's steaks I decided to try something different. I took Portabella Mushroom caps (the large ones) and removed the stems. I then coated them with a little olive oil and salt. I placed them on the grill stem side down until they were tender on that side. When I flipped them over I added fresh spinach leaves, sliced cherry tomatoes, and whole milk Mozzarella Cheese. When the cheese was melted  I removed them drizzled them with a little olive oil and some cooked garlic.  I have seen these at Kroger but they are $7 for two of them and all they have is  cheese and spinach on them. I like being able to put other stuff in them.

These were low in sodium, high in taste and my children ate a whole on a piece.

This is the second day in a row that Wesley has given up meat when offered. I asked him if he wanted any steak tonight and a grilled hamburger last night. He has turned it down every time.

I let my kids make the decision on what to eat. They help pick out the food, they help cook it, and they eat what they want with in reason. So far they have been about 90% vegetarian since we started in that direction. I did grill some shrimp and they ate a few but not many. I am proud of them.

We are still experimenting and finding things we like to eat. Rebekka takes the fruit I keep and makes fruit salad with it. We bought a pomegranate for the salad this week.

The only problem we are going to have is eating out. Around here we do not have vegetarian or vegan food in restaurants. I live in the heart of the South. I am 2 hours away from Nashville or Huntsville Alabama.

Wesley is already planning on trying the tofu bacon, hot dogs and such. If I can get him to eat those may be he wont want to eat out so much.  I think he is going to miss what he qualifies as junk food.  I am really trying to stay away from processed foods due to my sodium problems. But I figure I can make him chips, pizzas, and such where they are way more healthier than store bought ones.

Tomorrow on the menu is spaghetti squash with garlic butter. I will let yall know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Change The World Wednesday Nov. 2, 2011

It is Wednesday again and you all know what that means. It is Change the World Wednesday.    

This week I just copied down the challenges here. (Yes I cheated but at least I gave the credit where credit is due. )

MONTH-LONG CHALLENGE: This month make note of the electricity (Kilowatts) used in your home (find this number on your electric bill, by reading the meter, by using a home electricity monitor, etc.). Then, spend one month reducing that number by 10%. In December we'll come back and report on our success including the actions we've taken to reduce our usage.
  There are several ways to cut energy. Here is an article from Mother Earth News that has great tips.

We also have a contest in the house to see who can turn off the most light switches at a time. While this makes my daughter mad my 7 year old son will go thru the house turning off everything not just lights if no one is near it. If someone is in the kitchen cooking and they leave the room for a minuet he turns off the light. Some times being the little boy he is he even turns off the light while my daughter is still in the kitchen.

WEEK-LONG CHALLENGE: This week, eat Vegan for one entire day. That means, for one entire day eat only plant-based foods ... no meat, poultry, fish, dairy, etc.

This one is not to hard to do around here. We have been slowly going vegetarian/ vegan. My son told me he would be a vegetarian as long as he could have his meat. (yes I secertly laughed at him) But that being said when I cook all vegetables and then cook Hubby meat for dinner Wesley will pick the vegetables every time. he problem he would have going vegan is the cheese, milk, egg, and yogurt. Bekka and I chose to go vegetarian/vegan due to health issues. We are both diabetic and I have some other health issues that require low sodium and extra minerals. The only reason I am not totally vegan is the cheese issue. I have only been eating low fat ricotta cheese lately since it is low in sodium but I need that extra boost of calcium.

The best way to get your children involved in going vegetarian/vegan or just eating more vegetables is to get them involved.  I let both of my children go shopping with me. They are always happy to try something new if they picked it out. I also get them involved in cooking. Bekka loves to play mix and match stir fry. She takes what ever we have on hand and comes up with some sort of stir fry.  Wesley is getting involved too. We have the wood heater going so he has a frying pan he uses and he plays with vegetables and fruit. Some days it is not all that good but at least he is figuring out what goes with what. The other night he made a yogurt and fruit salad. He took Trix yogurt, apples, and grapes and mixed them together. This would have been great until I bit down into a piece of garlic. Today he experimented with garlic butter. We had asparagus (ok that was good), raw coconut (it was ok) and pomegranate seeds (not to great but not to bad either.)  He feels great accomplishment in this. I do not let him waste food he just gets a little piece of something to try out. He is exploring flavors, textures, and different combinations.

It is helping so far in my swelling and  blood pressure. I am waiting to see how it effects my blood sugar. Rebekka's blood sugar has stabilized and they have taken her off one of her meds since we have started going mostly vegetarian. Yes there are a few slip ups. I am only human but it is an on going process and I am working hard at it. I have eaten meat for over 35 years.  Now only if we could get hubby on board and then I would not have meat in the house at all.

I almost forgot that Our friend SmallftPrints from the Change the World Wednesday Challenge gave me this great site on Vegan cooking.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Change The World Wednesday Challange

Today's blog post is about Change The World Wednesday Challenge from Small Foot Prints.

This week is about lowering your pets impact on the planet.

Here are a few things we do and a couple ideas that I probably should do.

The first thing we do is buy pet supplies that last. The bedding, combs, and such. If you buy good quality the first time then you do not have to replace it as often.

The second thing is to reuse. We use our plastic cups from fast food to scoop the feed, totes that have small cracks in them for food or water. The best thing for watering large livestock and such is a reclaimed bathtub from where they are remodeling a house.

Third is the feed. We buy our corn from a local farmer so we reuse containers. Our hogs (when we have them) get food from a restaurant kitchen. No not the stuff from the tables but the kitchen. That way it doesn't end up in the dump. All our left overs from our kitchen are put into the animal feed or compost depending on what it is. We spread it around to the goat, chickens, and dogs.

The fourth is we look for earth friendly shampoos and meds for you pets. I read labels and look for recycled containers.

And last but not least is we water all our animals out of the creek in front of the house or rain barrels. This water is better for them because it has no chemicals in it like fluoride or chlorine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recipes and Pics From This Weekend

This weekend Hubby promised the kids he would take them squirrel hunting. Yes this just thrills me. No not the hunting part but the squirrel part. I eat deer but that is about where I draw the line on the meat from game animals. They ended up with three squirrels. That is perfect since there are three of them.

Anybody that has read my blog or has known me for a while knows that Hubby loves to cook outside. He would rather eat food cooked on an open fire in cast iron that any thing else in the world.  Here is his squirrel recipe and a corn fritter we put together. I made the batter and he fried them.

 First thing you need here is some squirrels. Thankfully he handed them to me already cleaned.  The next step is to wash them and get off all the hair. This is a hard thing to do as it loves to stick. Then we soaked them over night in salt water. I drained them and cut them into pieces. I removed the legs and left the ribs and back bones together. He then parboiled them for about 30 minuets at a good rolling boil. Then he drained them and let them cool. I coated them in butter milk then seasoned flour. I set them on a baking sheet and let them sit for 15 minuets to let the flour stick. He then fried them covered in a cast iron skillet in lard.
Here is Wesley eating his first squirrel leg. Yes he asked me why I did not eat one. I told him I don't make him eat things he doesn't like and I do not like squirrel and he left it at that. I did not tell him I will not eat frog, rabbit or squirrel. Two are to close to the rodent family for my taste and I am not starving and The other reminds me of Kermit the frog to much.

 Here is the recipe for the corn fritters.
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup self rising cornmeal
2 eggs
1 can cream corn
1 cup pepper jack cheese
1 small onion minced
3 tablespoons of pickled jalapeno minced
season salt to taste
right at 1 cup butter milk

I mixed all the wet ingredients in one bowl and all the dry in another. I then added the wet to the dry and stirred until mixed together. I used right at a cup of nonfat buttermilk. It may need more if you want a thinner batter. He fried these in lard so they had a slight bacon flavor to them as well.

 Here is a look at my lardo. I removed it from salt and rinsed it. I then dried it really well. I then placed it in the fridge in a zip bag for later use. I did try it but since my car is still broke down and I did not have any good bread in the house I did the red neck thing. I sliced it really thin and put it on some saltine crackers and broiled it in the oven. It did really great even Hubby ate it. I just coated it in a mix of molasses, curing salt, thyme, black pepper corns, garlic, and rosemary. I then put it in the fridge for two weeks covered.
 This is the view from the back of my house. We have some trees turning but most are just brown due to lack of rain this year.
 This is from the back of the field towards the house.
 If you pull up in my yard you would think we are nuts. The grass at the barn is over our heads. Since the flood we have not had any animals out there. We decided to let it grow up for the wild life. When we did this we had a rabbit explosion.  We will clean it up when we fix the fence and put more live stock back out there. But for now we have some of the cutest baby rabbits running out there. I can watch them from my bed room window.
 People on twitter hear me talk about Smokie. (@waylandcook) Well here is one of his pictures. He is a double haired Pom. His hair is cut short here. He needs your thoughts and prayers right now. He is going nuts on me. When he is left alone and has one flea on him he chews his self. Right now he has no hair on his rear end. We are doctoring the scratches and handling the flea that is driving him nuts. If any one knows what to do for him when he is alone in the house please let me know. He has separation problems and does not understand he can not go every where I do. (No he is not spoiled at all lol)
And since Halloween is just around the corner here is one of Wesley's Scary pictures. Bekka and Wesley  were playing at taking pictures with her camera. I think he is supposed to be growling at the camera but I still think he looks mean. Handme is just happy to be there and is sticking out his tongue at you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

Wesley wanted to make something with Italian Sausage. He got a taste of it this last week and decided he liked it alot.  Here is what Rebekka, Wesley and I came up with from things in our kitchen. Sorry I did not get a good picture of it. It did not want its picture taken.

One small package of pasta (your choice)
One package of Johnsville Italian Sausage- hot, mild, or sweet
One jar of artichokes - drained
2 Cans of Mushrooms- drained
2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
Small Onion
Can or Jar of your favorite Sauce
Cheese of your choice

Rebekka boiled the noodles according to package directions and drain. We sauteed the vegetables and added the sauce. We then mixed the noodles and sauce together and placed in a 9 by 13 casserole dish.We took cooked Italian Sausages and sliced them. Placed them on top of the noodles. We then topped it with cheese and baked it until the cheese was nice and bubbly. Then you can cut it out into squares and serve.

This is a great way to use left over vegetables or sausages. (Not that we would ever have any left over sausages)

Our Birmingham Trip

Last weekend we took a family trip with my parents and sister to Birmingham Alabama. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Carlton Suites, went to the zoo, the Vulcan, and the McWane Center. We ate at Taco Casa, the Birmingham Zoo, The Cheesecake Factory and the McWane Center.

The Birmingham Zoo is a nice half day activity. There are several animals to look at, it is clean and well layed out. Wesley and Bekka had fun feeding the Blue Faced Honey Eaters. The food at the Birmingham zoo is not worth the time or money. We ate at the Safari Cafe. We had to wait about 20 minuets to get our food. They left off one order, got one sandwich totally wrong (It was supposed to be a BBQ but they gave us a Steak and Cheese) and when placing an order they did not tell us they were out of something. After they gave us our order then they tell us that they were out of that kind of food. We were not the only one having problems several familes were complaining about the quality, or thier order was wrong.

 We went to Vulcan park. This is a great place if you like high places. There is a museum on the ground and you can see the statue from the ground. If you are brave there is an observation deck. There is an elevator and stairs. The observation deck is a grating that you can see thru. The view is great from up that high. Hubby, Bekka and Wesley decided not to stay very long.

That night we went to the Cheesecake Factory. We had a 40 minuet wait for 7 people at around 5:30 pm. It was well worth the wait. There is alot of food on the regular plates. I ordered fish tacos and I got 4 tacos,rice and beans. But the best part was of course the Cheesecakes. We ordered several different types and took them back to the room and shared them with coffee later. Lets just say Hubby loved them and he doesn't even like regular cheese cake.

On Sunday we went to the Mc Wane Center. This is well worth your time. It is a hands on science museum. It has 4 levels of hands on activities. Wesley really enjoyed the hands on exhibits. He also enjoyed the Dinosaurs. You can see an Imax film too. The had three of them but we did not go there. We ate at the food court. They have a Pizza Hut, Subway, A noodle place, A grill, and a frozen Yogurt place.

We stayed at the Best Western Carlton Suites. It was super nice. It had an inside pool, free breakfast, and really nice rooms. The people at the front desk were really helpful. When we asked for directions they would not only give us directions they would print out the directions and a map. There are a lot of different restaurants within walking distance from this hotel too.

On Friday night the kids and I walked to Taco Casa. They have decent food for a fast food place. They make more authentic tacos. They have no other type of meat but hamburger.

There are several different things to do while you are in Birmingham Alabama. It is well worth the visit and the time to check it out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rendering Lard

This weekend  was  cool  here. So we decided to go to the freezer take out one of the boxes of pork fat we got back from having two hogs processed. (Yes ask for your fat back.) It took us a while but we finally cut all this fat into little bitty pieces. It is easier when it is partialy frozen. You need to cut it up into the same size pieces. Then you take about a cup of water and put it in your pan. Cast Iron works best.  Place your fat pieces into the pan and turn on the heat. (Not on High) We did this in our cast iron dutch oven over a fire. It takes a while and you need to stir it. When the fat pieces turn light brown and shrink in size remove them from the lard and add more. Do this until you get the pot 3/4 full. Then remove about half the lard. (Do not throw those cracklings away.)

When you take the Cracklings out  place them on a sheet pan and crisp them up in the oven. When you take them out, cool them, and place them in a freezer bag and freeze them. We use them in corn bread, for snacks (yes I eat them occasionally warmed up on a sheet pan and then a little salt.) and some times I put them in a stir fry.

When you are done with your lard you need to store it in an air tight container. We have a large metal bucket with a lid called a lard stand. It should set up kind of firm and be white in color.  Now you have a wonderful fat to cook with, fry stuff, and use for any other thing you can think of. 

It has been proven that lard is better for you than butter and margarine. I am not saying just start using it at every meal. I use it sparingly. It is even better when you make it your self. It has no preservatives in it at all.

If you are not like us and do not raise pigs for your own meat you can ask your butcher for some fat. Our butcher always has it. They make sausage and ground pork. When we got ours from the butcher they threw in extra fat for us. I keep it around also for making deer sausage in the winter. You can never have to much pork fat in your freezer.

Another thing to do with pork fat is make lardo. I have never tried to make any so this will be my first time. I have it in the fridge right now. I got a recipe off of line. Now I have to wait 4 weeks to try it.  Hubby has already turned up his nose at it. Wesley, Rebekka and I are patiently waiting. We are looking for recipes that use it. We have never tried any and no one carries it around here.  I will keep every one posted on the progress.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dulce De Leche Cake

I had some extra milk I wanted to use up this week. And since we are studying Spanish and my family loves cakes. ( Yes Bekka and I are diabetic) I decided to make a Dulce De Leche cake.

I went on the hunt for a cake from scratch. Here is the link I used.

I did not use the icing on it as that would have been way to much sugar for us. I also made mine in a rectangular pan since I am not in any way a cake artist. I can not decorate, or make a layer cake with out it falling into pieces. Yes I can cook and bake bread. I can not in any way make a decent looking cake. I wouldn't bother any way if I could. My hubby and Wes eat the cake faster than any one should. In fact this cake is already half gone and before breakfast in the morning it will be all gone.

I did poke holes with a fork into my cake before I poured the dulce de leche on it.

If you look closely you can see the vanilla bean specks in the top of the cake.

The other funny thing about this cake. I found out I have a Dulce De Leche Monster. I went thru the dining room a couple hours after dinner and there was a large lack of  Dulce De Leche and spoon marks in what was left. Even thought he took an icing spatula  and tried to hide it.   Alton Brown suggests you keep it in the fridge. I would have to make it every day in order to do that. This stuff is addicting.

Here is the spaghetti sauce I made for dinner in my dutch oven. I love the fact it is easy to clean since this made a huge mess around the sides.

I browned the hamburger meat, onion and green peppers. I added a Jar of Ragu and a can of diced tomatoes. I also added about half a jar of water. I covered it and placed it in the oven at 350 for about 2 hours. If I left it longer it would have been a little thicker but I had no complaints. Wesley said I needed to make this and put it on pizza dough and cover it with cheese.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Corn Salad

This is a salad that I came up with to use left over corn at one point in time. It has evolved to what it is today by little tweaks here and there. The latest one make it over the top.

4 cans of corn drained and rinsed
1 pint of cherry tomatoes - cut in halves or 1/4ths
one medium onion- diced
Sartori Bella Vitano Balsamic Cheese- From Publix-- see note below
4 or 5 tablespoons Dukes Mayo
salt and pepper to taste
apple cider vinegar- to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. Let sit over night in the fridge before serving.

The cheese is one I got for my Birthday from my mother. It made this salad perfect. Any kind of crumbly cheese would work. This one has a sweet kind of flavor. It taste like Parmesan with balsamic added to it.

I also got a Members Mark Dutch Oven. The enamel cast iron type for my Birthday. I decided last night to cook a roasted chicken in it. I put carrots, cherry tomatoes, and onions in the bottom of the dutch oven with about a cup of water. I put the chicken on top and baked it at 400 until done. After we removed the chicken and vegetables I thickened the juices up to make a pan gravy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Camping Green

This weekend we went to the Trail of Tears Bike Rally at Water Loo Alabama. We go camping at Water Loo alot. The Camp site we used is  called Brush Creek.  

There are several ways to go camping that are greener than normal ways. Here are just a few of them we use.

1. Buy really good camping equipment. It may cost more at first but it will last in the long run. We bought chairs, a tent, cast iron cook wear and good air mattress. We do not have to replace them near as often.

2. Prepare ahead of time. Make sure you have what you need. It cost less when you bring  it from home than the camping destination. It also saves gas and the frustration.

3. Plan your food. You do not have to cook a 4 star meal on the camp fire. We are going to take the K.I.S.S. approach. Keep It Simple Stupid.  We take dried beans, taters, can goods, sandwich stuff, snack foods, and very little that takes refrigeration. We also take our own wood that we have from trees that have blown down.  We also take koolaid and tea mixes and a 2 gallon water  cooler. This way we use less plastic bottles or aluminum cans.

4. Use cooking utensils and stuff to eat out of that are recycled, reusable or compostable. We like the Dixie Paper products since they hold up to heavy meals and we can burn them in our camp fire with out letting bad chemicals out in the fire. We use thick plastic cups from home and real silverware.

5. We do not take any thing that needs to be plugged up or takes batteries. We have lanterns for light.  We also try to camp near the bathrooms and showers. That way we have a light to use at night when we walk.

6. When you cook food either cook just enough for who is there or get to know your neighbors and share. This weekend alot of that went on. Every one would cook something and then bring it to the pavilion and share it.

7. Use shampoos and soap that are biodegradable. We had the use of cold water showers or the river to take a bath in. We used the cold water showers.

8. Leave the place cleaner than you found it. We take time while packing up to make sure there is no trash in our spot or around where we camped. You can also make sure all the aluminum cans and glass bottles people use are picked up to recycled.

This is a fun family activity and it is made even better when you make it greener.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ham and what to do with the left overs.

So today I made Wesley's day. I cooked a ham I got on sale. I normally do not do that except at the holidays because I hate eating on it all week.

This week we are going to try some new things with the ham.
The first night we had ham and biscuits. We are all a little under the weather so we did not want a huge meal. The second night we are going to try  From a Facebook Friend.   She also suggested a bean soup so that is on the menu this weekend. I am planning on using the bone and some of the left over ham and beans in the crock pot. Spilt pea soup was suggested also but since hubby would not eat it and I can not explain to Wesley that it does not have pee in it. (Yes he wont eat it because he thinks I put pee in it.)

The other things I have come up with is a ham and onions in a  cream sauce to go over noodles, omelets, boiled ham and taters (This one cane from a twitter friend) , sandwiches, and ham salad.

Handme has already claimed anything that is not edible. He is waiting by the back door as we speak. Yes I told him he was waiting awhile because I am planning on making this ham last.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Christian Homestead Forum   I would like to invite yall to the Christian Homestead Forum. We have several forums in here about homesteading, Bible study, Preparedness, Alternative Energy, Homeschooling, and many more.
 This is a great place to learn what ever you would like to know about homesteading and being self sufficient. You do not have to have a large place to live. Alot of things can be done in a minimal amount of space. We only have two acers. We raise a garden, chickens, goats, pigs, and want to get a cow.

You can do alot of different things for homesteading and becoming prepared. Learn how to make your own soaps, herbal medicine, forage, and preserve the harvest.  We even have a Weight a Min section for support when losing weight.

I encourage you to stop by, join, and come chat with us. We are online in the chat room at the bottom from 8 to 9 Eastern Mon thru Friday. There is also someone online most of the time to message if you have any questions. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Change the World Wednesday Challenge

It is that time again. The Change The World Wednesday Challenge from our Friend SmallFootPrints .

This weeks challenge is Zero Waste Week  The challenge this year is to "Reducing waste away from home".

There are several suggestions on their site. There are several small things you can do. Here are a few things we as a family do.

1. We look for restaurants that use recycled products. There are several in Gulf Shores that use straws, and to go packaging that is made from recycled paper. We do not have very many of those where I live in Tennessee.

2. We compost what can be composted (yes I bring my trash home alot of the time). The left over food is either stored to eat later, fed to the dog, chickens, or goats.

3, We alot of the time share food. If there is a bigger meal option then that is what we do. That way they only have one package, it has to be cook one time, and less waste.

4. I have also been know to go to restaurants and ask for scrapes for my animals. That way it does not end up in the dump. This worked great when we had pigs. I took the kitchen scrapes to feed them. (Not the stuff off peoples plates as those can carry diseases.) If they serve alot of vegetable scrapes you can even go ask for them and use them in your compost.

5. Finally for those restaurants that serve those extra large drinks in plastic cups. We take those home and reuse them. They are great for working out side, to use to scoop feed for the animals, and to the kids to play with in the creek and such.

I hope you take time to visit these sites and make a small step towards making the World a better place to live. One Small Step at a time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Honey Mustard Chicken

I had a recipe for a mustard chicken using Grey Pupon Mustard. I tweaked it a little bit  by adding a little honey and using regular mustard. (Yes I am not upper class enough for Grey Pupon lol). I used chicken thighs. I coated them with the recipe (below) and put them in a foil lined baking dish. (less mess and clean up) I baked them at 350 until they were done. Wesley and I really enjoyed these. Rebekka and Hubby had just regular roasted chicken thighs. They had to be different tonight. Rebekka said there was nothing wrong with the recipe she just wanted plain roasted chicken and vegetables. She put potatoes, mixed vegetables, and green beans (all drained) in the bottom of a baking dish. She placed the thighs on top and baked until the chicken was done and the potatoes were tender. (This is Rebekka and Hubby's favorite way to eat chicken except fried.)

Hone Mustard Chicken Bake

4 T.  mustard
2 T. melted butter
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Honey to taste
1 lb. boneless chicken breast

Mix  mustard, butter, garlic powder , honey and Italian seasoning in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add chicken, mixing to coat. Bake at 350°  until done.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Change The World Wednesday Challange

Have you seen  SmallFtPrint on Twitter. If not you should follow her. She has a challenge every week that is a small step to save the world. Here is her blog post this week.

The Challenge is to pick up trash while you are out and about on a walk or family activity. We do this when we go camping or go to the creek. We take two bags. One for recyclables and one for trash. We try to leave it cleaner than we found it.

What are your going to do this week to help the world a little bit at a time?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kheema and Naan

Tonight I decided to try something different for dinner. While everyone loved the Kheema not every one was thrilled with the naan. I think I did not knead it enough or didn't add enough milk as it was a little dry. Bekka made it in one big sheet to cook it. She was going to cut it with a pizza cutter when it was done but it just broke into chunks.

4 cups White Flour (Maida)
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk
1 tbsp Sugar
1 Egg
4 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Nigella seeds (Kalunji)
How To Make Naan:
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Mix the sugar, milk, eggs 2tbsp of oil in a bowl.
Pour this into the center of the flour and knead adding water if necessary to form soft dough.
Add the remaining oil, knead again, then cover with damp cloth and allow the dough to stand for 15 minutes. Knead the dough again and cover and leave for 2-3 hours.
About half an hour before the naan are required, turn on the oven to maximum heat.
Divide the dough into 8 balls and allow rest for 3-4 minutes.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with nigella seeds and put it in the oven to heat while the dough is resting.
Shape each ball of dough with the palms to make an oval shape.
Bake the Indian bread naan until puffed up and golden brown. Serve hot.

I do not have Nigella seeds so I did the red neck thing and used Crushed Red Pepper in the dough.

I got the recipe idea for my Kheema from  I changed it up as I did not have actual curry powder. I am planning on picking some up or atleast the stuff to make my own. But what I made had a nice flavor to it.

1 lb hamburger meat
1 onion diced
1 Cup water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large potato cubed
2 cans diced tomato - drained  liquid reserved
1 can green peas drained and rinsed

I browned the hamburger meat and onions. I drained them really well. I added the spices and water then stirred really well. When I got this to a boil I added the tomatoes, potatoes, and green peas. I covered it and let it simmer until the potatoes were fork tender. I served mine with Naan Bread instead of over rice. (Hubby doesn't like rice that much.)

I also used some of the tomato juice from the canned tomatoes as part of my one cup of water. I learned long ago if you can replace water with something that has more flavor the go for it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cheap Easy Meals

With the Freezers winding down I am still on a food budget. Today I tried These Taco Rings. I left off the cheese when cooking them. I served the cheese and a fresh salsa (tomato,onion,jalapeno peppers, and salt) with them after they baked.

Taco Ring

Instead of traditional taco shells, use refrigerated crescent rolls to create a Taco Ring that's a main dish or a fiesta-style party appetizer.
Serves: 6

Cooking Time: 40 min

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (1-1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan.

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in taco seasoning; add water according to package directions. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Add cheese, stirring until it melts. Remove from heat and set aside.
Unroll crescent rolls. Place wide end of triangles in center of pizza pan/stone, forming a ring, overlapping dough as necessary. Spoon meat mixture into center of each triangle. Bring smaller ends of triangles over meat, tucking ends under.
Bake 20 minutes, or until rolls are golden. Serve warm.

Transfer to a serving platter and add whatever traditional taco toppings you like, such as shredded lettuce, salsa, and sour cream to the middle of the ring.
Another budget friendly meal is Creamed Beef. My Mom use to make this when we were growing up.
She would take Carl Buddig Corned Beef and slice into really thin slices. She would brown it in a little butter and set it aside. She would take the drippings and a little flour and  make a rue. Add milk, Worcestershire sauce to taste, salt and pepper. When this thickened up she would add the meat back. She would serve this over toast points. You can serve it over eggs, taters, noodles or any other thing that you can think of. It can be made with ham, chicken, hamburger meat, sausage or left over turkey.
Another one for this weeks menu was breakfast sandwiches. I love going to the bakery section of a store and getting day old bread. Today was French Bread. I made bacon, sausage, eggs,and had tomatoes, cheese, mayo on the side. That way they can make it the way they want it. I sliced the bread and grilled it in a little butter. I got 10 sandwiches out of one  loaf. Plus the end pieces that Wesley ate while waiting for me to cook.
Do you have any budget friendly meals you would like to share?  Let all of us know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning

My Mom is always on the look out for all things foodie for me. She found this lovely spicy rub at T J Maxx's. Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning.
This is my second bottle. When she found it the second time she called and asked me if I wanted more. I had to say yes. This stuff is amazing. I just  like to put my finger in it and then lick my finger. It has a great smoky flavor with a little heat it.

Tonight I went to the freezer and pulled out some pork chops. I had some hamburger meat left over from making pizzas yesterday too. So I added the spice to both and put them on the grill. Needless to say they were gone in no time. Wesley really enjoyed the hamburgers with the seasoning mixed into the meat.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ragu French Bread Pizzas

Growing up my mom use to make us French Bread Pizzas. I use to love them it was one of my favorite meals. Today when I went to order Wesley's Birthday cake I found some great bread loaves at the bakery. They are not French bread but and Italian Loaf and one that was unnamed. They were day old loafs. (They make the better french bread pizzas.)

 The sauce I used was Ragu Sweet Italian Sausage and Cheese. I was going to use both. One on each pizza but the kids voted to keep the chunky Mushrooms for lunch time pasta. (Remember hubby doesn't like mushrooms at all.) I picked Ragu because we like the fact they have so many flavors, it is not that sweet type of sauce, and it is always good quality. Plus there is 2 servings of vegetables in some of them. (Hubby will get those veggies after all.)
 Here is one of the loaves of bread I used. They are about the same size. Rebekka cut them in half length wise. She then put a light coating of butter on them and toasted them to crunch up the crust a little. You can use olive oil here and I have put garlic down on it too at this point.

Rebekka then spread the sauce added cheese and one one loaf she added a mix of sausage and hamburger meat. She added pickled Banana peppers to one third of them. (These are great to customize for people)

Here is the plain cheese type for those of us not into ground meat.

I find these are great blank canvas for left overs. I love adding extra veggies to mine when I have them. I have used Alfredo sauce on them for the sauce. It is normally what I have on hand that can be put on a pizza that would not offend any one in the house.  After sitting in the Doctors office all day I decided to make something quick and easy. I also wanted something really good. I think this passed as a family meal because there wasn't any leftovers not even for the dogs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Left over Challenge

We are still doing the Freezer challenge at the house. I am thrilled that I have gone about 4 weeks with out spending more than $50 a week in groceries for 4 people and 2 dogs. Bekka suggested that we take it one step further to reduce wasting of food. This one is the left over challenge. I normally do not have many left overs. I feed them to my animals or to the compost. But Rebekka thinks we should take left overs and turn them into something different at lunch or dinner the next day. We will have to see what she comes up with.

The other thing we will be doing is having Throw Downs a couple times a month. The kids will be on one team and I will be the other. I think the first one they want to do is a deer stew.  The rules will be that they have to work together to come up with their recipe. If they need ingredients I will give them $20 and they will have to go to the store and work together to buy what they need within their budget. This way they will learn about budgeting and grocery shopping.

Please do not forget the Homeschool Project.   If you want to there is a discussion of where you can leave some information.

Friday, August 5, 2011

7 Day Croissant Review

Yep Another Review. Same rules apply. No one asked me my opinion, I bought this item with my own money. I drove my own car to the Dollar General, and paid for the gas too. No one held a gun to my head telling what to say. I am not getting paid to say this.

Now as for the quality of the pictures I am sorry. I took them in a poorly lite room with a very crappy camera (I have to hold the battery door shut on it to take pictures) and I was fending off two kids that had already ate their croissant.

I went to the Dollar General today to pick up some milk and cheese for the chili. I decided since I banned most junk food in the house I needed a junk food fix. I was rolling thru the isle and found these little Beauties. They are called 7 Days Soft Croissants with chocolate cream filling. I am not a big croissant person. There is none that I have found that have held a candle to the ones we get while at Disney for breakfast or sometimes snack. I get croissants for sandwiches every once in a while but like I said not a huge fan. Then I found these (See Below)

  Here is what made me pick it up. The lovely design on the package and the chocolate so lovingly taunting me. See it calls your name. I looked up 7 Days but could not find them but on the back of the package is the name Vivarti. They have a Wikipedia page. (Hint hit the word Vivarti and it will take you there.) The package says Westchester Illinois.

 It is a nice size croissant. It is not to big that it will make you sick when you eat the whole thing. It is shiny on the out side and soft and squish. (The package says not to microwave it) It has a great smell when you open the package.
It has just the right amount of chocolate too. It has the right mouth feel for a good croissant. I cant explain that texture you just know it when you put it in your mouth. Now as for price I paid a dollar a piece. I probably pay way more than that for the ones at Disney. (I normally get the dining plan so I have no clue what they cost.)

I got about half of a half before my kids stormed in and took it from me. They had an excuse ready. I am Diabetic and I am in no way supposed to eat something like that.

Here are the nutrition facts for those who look for those things like me. Serving size 1, Calories is 330 from fat 190, 22 g fat 12 saturated fat trans fat 0, cholesterol 15mg sodium 95mg, total carbs 32g, dietary fiber 1g, sugars 14g protein 4g vitamin A 10%, Vitamin c0% Calcium 4% Iron 6%

The ingredients list has a few word that I cant read but not as many as I am use to seeing. It contains wheat, soy, eggs and milk.

I see this one making it thru the junk food ban. My reasons is because it has Protein, Iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and Fiber. My children really enjoyed them. They get a thumbs up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

House of Jerky Review

First off let me do all the legal crap. I won this sample on twitter. I was not asked to do a review. The opinions in this blog are that of my children and myself. No one held a gun to my head and made me do this review, no one asked me to do this review. No one told me what to say or when to say it.  I did not get paid to do this review. Ok on to the more important things.

We left this morning to the UPS truck going down our road. The first thing out of Rebekka's mouth is they better not have that beef Jerky on that truck. If they leave it on the front porch Hamdme will eat the whole box. Thankfully it came in the mail box. Handme has not yet found out how to open it.

 We received two packages of Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky. This happens to be Wesleys favorite flavor.  Rebekka, Wesley and I opened one of the packages, (I hide the other for later) They opened the package. They said it had a great smell to it. Then they tore into the package. They decided they liked it a whole lot better than any thing they have tried before. I like that it comes in a resealable package. (Not that that matters in this house.) Here is what the Beef Jerky Council said: The taste got a thumbs up, the texture got a thumbs up, The size of the servings got a thumbs up, The flavors and smell  got a big thumbs up.

 Here is another good thing. It has no preservatives in it at all. I can pronounce everything it has in it. It also has 380 mgs of sodium which is low for beef jerky.
Here you can see it is whole pieces of beef. The texture is soft and chewy not that hard dry texture like you get in some store bought beef jerky.

They not only have Beef Jerky. They have several other types. You need to go to  I think we may order a sample pack to try out the other kind they have. Beef, BuffaloVenison, Wild Boar, Salmon,Alligator, Turkey and variety packages.  They even have Jerky for Soldiers Angels  Where you can send some to a solider that you know.

This would also make a great gift. (Yes that is a hint to mt Family members lol) So stop by and give them so love.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Potato Burgers- freezer challenge

I am constantly going thru old cookbooks, magazines, and other peoples minds for recipes. Yes I ask random people for their recipes. Ex specially at church functions. I really like the older recipes that make meat stretch really far.

This recipe I found in an old cook book. I can not remember which one at this moment in time.  It takes hamburger meat and stretches it by adding shredded potatoes to it. I take a pound of hamburger meat and add one large shredded potato and 2 tablespoons of  shredded onion. Salt and pepper to taste. I form it into patties and fry them until done. I remove them from the pan and make a white gravy from the drippings, milk and flour. I then add the patties back and let the gravy thicken. I serve it over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. (Yes more potatoes but only when I am in a carb type mood.)

I served this tonight with the crispy and creamy corn bread, fried okra from the garden, and corn from the pantry.  Oh and tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden.

This can also be made with ground pork, chicken, or turkey. If you use a leaner meat add an egg and a hand full of cracker crumbs to the meat before you mix it. It holds together better.

I have been going thru some different cookbooks that I have stashed back. Since it is way to hot to be out side for very long I am researching again. I will come up with some new things to post soon. I always take the regular recipes and change them to fit my families eating style. Big, Bold, Full flavor, and Fresh.

Please do not forget the Homeschool project.   I am starting school in about two weeks and would love to have a few to start off with.

Homeschool project

Everyone knows my children are home schooled. This year I want to start a project for them. I need everyone to help. What I need everyone to do is send a map of your state or country, tell us your favorite food from your area or country (recipe optional) , and favorite place to visit in your state or country. Also if some one in your family did something that is part of history.  And anything else you find relevant that you think a home school child should know.

This will be turned into a learning book for my children. They will study each state and country, and favorite place. I will also get into the history of that state (famous people, places ect..) One day I am hoping they can at least go to each state if not all the countries of the world.

I am hoping to expand their knowledge to things that are not in books. That are personal, local, and interesting.

The Address is :      Amy Byrd  4270 wayland springs rd  Iron city tn 38463 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grilling using the Freezer Challenge

I am still going thru the freezers and cleaning them out. I did have to buy sugar, tea, corn meal and flour besides the milk, eggs, and butter for this week. I also decided to save energy and grill meat for 4 meals at one time.
On the Grill there is a lot of meat. When I lifted the lid my husband just smiled at what he saw. There is a pork roast for sandwiches, pork chops for dinner, deer tenderloin for jambalaya, and neck bones for bean soup. I had the smoker chips on on side of the grill. I had that one side on low. I slow cooked this for several hours. the pork roast took longer than any thing else but it is three times the size of everything else too. This is all out of the freezer. I made a dent in the small chest freezer, The large chest freezer will take a while.
We used sausage out of the freezer for biscuits, gravy and sausage for breakfast. The kids have found Popsicles that have fallen down in the freezer, candy that I stash back every holiday. (Still finding that) Wesley found waffles in there for breakfast one morning. I figure I will have to get can goods before running out of meat and some vegetables out of the freezer.
We are also eating out of our garden. Tomatoes, okra, corn and a few green beans are coming it. We actually got two eggs today. The chickens have boycotted due to the weather.
If you do a blog post regarding the freezer challenge please let me know and I will link it to a post.
This post was inspired by the Sears: Grilling Is Happiness Ambassador Program at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleaning out the Freezer and Pantry Challenge

This month is a tight money month for groceries. So I decided to do something that needed to be done any way. I decided to clean the fridge, freezer and pantry. I bought milk, eggs and butter every week. The rest came from the garden and what I already had. I was surprised at what was stashed in my freezer. The kids had so much fun going thru the freezer each day to find something to cook. They even found some Frozen Easter candy.  I am close to having one out of three freezers cleaned out.

Tonight I found one pork loin, one deer loin, and one deer roast. I did not want fried meat again so I decided to smoke them on the grill.
I found a chicken carcass  that I had cut the meat off of that I am using for a stew. Frozen pumpkin that I roasted to make pumpkin bread with. This week I will have to buy flour, sugar and cornmeal too but I still have about two weeks left to go on the freezers. The kids found some fish today that I threw on the grill while cooking the deer and pork. They wanted more fish so I think they will go freezer diving this weekend to find if I have any more.

Also we are studying Earthships. Hubby is looking into building one in the next few years. Now I just have to talk him into building it like I want. I want one like the Phoenix with the fishpond and big growing area. He said we will talk about that part. He said that Wesley would be fishing in the pond everyday. I just want to be able to grow things indoors and have fresh food. I also want the no heating bill, no water bill, and the warmth of the sun heating my house. This way we would be totally off grid and I would not have a $122 water bill each month. (We water our garden and livestock from rain barrels. That is just for 4 people.) Or have to live in a house with AC that kills my sinuses.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crispy and Creamy Corn Bread

I recently got the Publix Family Style Magazine in the mail. I always go thru it and read the recipes at least. I found a definite keeper in this moths issue. I have not tested any of the others yet because I have not gone shopping for the stuff to make them but I always have this stuff on hand.

This is a great corn bread. It is not dried out and has a great crust on it. I hate normal corn bread because it reminds me of eating sand. This has a very moist center. The first time I cooked it Hubby said it was to cake like. I made a few modifications and  tonight when I cooked it I had no left overs. There were not even crumbs in the pan.

Crisp and Creamy Corn Bread
Prep:15 minuets Cool: 10 Minuets Bake: 30 minuets Oven: 375 degrees

3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 Tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 8.25 to 8.75 oz can of cream corn

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Set apart.
In a large bowl combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl combine egg, milk and butter. Pour milk mix into the flour mix and stir until just combined. Fold in the cream corn mix. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
Bake for 30 minuets or until the top is lightly golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean.

They say this makes 6 servings but to take two servings and cut them up, drizzle them in butter and bake them for 18 minuets. This makes croutons for a salad.

My modifications: I used self rising flour the second time and left out the sugar, baking powder and salt. I also took whole corn in a can, drained and rinsed it, Put it in a blender with a little milk and purred it to make my cream corn. I do not like the can creamed corn because it has high fructose corn syrup in it. (I am diabetic and can not have It)  I also had Bekka fry a few cubes in butter. They also make great croutons.

Wesley's suggestions (Well the ones besides for me to get back and let him have the whole pan) is to add some jalapenos and cheese.

*This has nothing to do with Publix Grocery store. They did not contact me in any way to do this post. Yes I have a mind of my own. The modifications are made to suit my family and not because the first recipe was messed up. I am from the South and it is a crime in my house to put sugar in anything corn bread related. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Composting and Lard

This weekend was a bit odd for us. We decided to redo our cast iron. This required fresh lard. Yes I had pork fat in my freezer. Why you ask? I keep it on hand for things like making sausage, meatloaves, cooking deer and cracklings. We raised our own pigs. When we had it processed we asked for all the fat back. But if you do not raise your own hogs you can ask a butcher for some pork fat. We have a meat market and they will save us some if we call ahead.

Hubby cuts it into small square pieces. He takes his cast iron kettle and puts a cup of water in it. Places his pork fat into the kettle. He then stirs it constantly until the fat has given up all it is going to give up. You now have cracklings. These are good for corn bread, or just for snacking. We now have lard also. We have what they call a lard stand. Which is a small metal trash can. That is what we store the lard in.

To redo his cast iron he painted the inside of his clean cast iron with a thin coat of lard. He then puts them into a 250 degree oven and bakes it low and slow for a while. Then he puts another coat of lard on them and recooks them.

We are also working on a composting project since our other one was taken over by the peach trees that came up. I am not complaining about the peach trees but they were not supposed to come up where they did. This time Hubby took the old trampoline frame and placed it by the garden. He is going to put hog wire around the bottom. We are composting in it. That way when the water runs down to the garden it will get the compost. It made a much larger space for out compost. So today we composted cardboard boxes, vegetable scrapes, grass clippings, and dog hair.

Here is a list of what you can compost:
 Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Burlap coffee bags
Pet hair
Potash rock
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Matches (paper or wood)
Seaweed and kelp
Chicken manure
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills
Gin trash (wastes from cotton plants)
Weeds Rabbit manure
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer's glue
BBQ'd fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops
Quail eggs (OK, I needed a 'Q' word)
Rapeseed meal
Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Goat manure
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it's only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad (what a waste!)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year's hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
'Dust bunnies' from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE's tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Horse manure
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets
Greeting card envelopes
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts

I even compost my bills after I tear out the little plastic windows. Do not use cat or dog poop. They can carry disease. Also weeds that have gone to seeds. They may not die during the heat your compost goes thru.

I remember going to a little store in the middle of nowhere growing up with my Uncle and Aunt. They would get worms for fishing. The man that owned the store put out the coffee grounds to attract the worms. I save mine to put into my compost pile and Wesley's Worm tote. I always make sure they are not watered down when I put them in his tote. You can buy worms to get your compost started if you have a closed system or a bottom on your compost bin. Mine is on the grass so I do not need to do either.

We are also working on our rain barrels. I am having a frog problem. I have been over run by tree frogs in the back of my house since I put the 6 barrels up this year. They are laying their eggs in the barrels and living on my windows and eating the bugs that the house lights attract. I love my frogs. We have tons due to the creek in front of our house. The problem is trying to figure out how to make them stop laying their eggs in the barrels. We use the water to water our plants and animals. I do not want to hurt the baby frogs. If I put screen over the barrels it might deflect the water. The mosquitoes have not been a problem this year with the tadpoles, bats and the barn swallows we have on the property.

For our rain barrels hubby took 50 gallon barrels he got at work and took the lids off of them. He washed them and put them on the edge of the roof line so he can catch the water from the roof when it rains.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tortilla casserole

 First off I had to show off my smoked pork shoulders from last night. I did not know Bekka took a picture until I uploaded photos for tonight's post.

Tonight Bekka and I tried to get a little creative with dinner. We made a tortilla casserole. We rolled ours up but you can also layer it like Lasagna.
 We started off with flour tortillas. You can use corn but Hubby likes the flour ones better. Yes he is my most picky eater so we cater to him most of the time and when he is at work we eat what he doesn't like.
 We dipped our tortillas into tomato sauce. You can use enchilada sauce but I did not have any so tomato sauce won out since I did not feel like going to the store.
 Here is Bekka stuffing our tortillas. We used taco seasoning, hamburger meat, pinto beans, fresh corn and onion. We cooked this together before stuffing.  This would also be real good with sauteed vegetables.
 Rebekka rolled them up and put the seam side down.
 We got 9 into our long casserole dish.
 Here we put the rest of the filling on top, the rest of the tomato sauce on top and covered it with cheese.
 We then baked it at 350 until the cheese was nice and bubbly.
Here it is on a plate. Let me just say it was great.

I mentioned earlier that you could make it with vegetables. The Mexican restaurant here uses broccoli, zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms in their vegetarian dishes. I would love to eat a whole casserole of vegetable stuffed tortillas. There are no left overs. Smokie got the last spoon full of hamburger meat. I say that is pretty good for this house.