Archive for May, 2010


Ruth’s Spinach Salad


2 lbs fresh spinach

1/4 lb bacon, fried, crumbled

sliced fresh mushrooms

chopped hard cooked egg


1 egg

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c vinegar

1 t sea salt

1 small onion, chopped

1 t dry mustard

1/3 t worcestershire sauce (this is not something I keep on hand, so I don’t use it)

Crack egg into a medium sauce pan and beat lightly.  Add sugar, vinegar, and salt.  Mix well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often until mixture reaches boiling point and is slightly thickened.  Add onion, mustard, and worcestershire sauce.  Cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled.


A Week “Off”

Randy’s Dad and Stepmom came for a visit this past week.  When they come we take a week off of work and use the week and their help to get our little farm ready for summer.  We worked in the garden, planted flowers, planted grass, weeding, and had a sewing lesson.  The guys were mechanics for the better part of the week woking on our pickup, Honda Express, and servicing both the cars. 

They were great help as always and got us off to a great start for summer.  It was such a fun week and went by way to fast.  Now it’s back to work.  Randy and I were really dreading today.  At least we have a long weekend to look forward to. 

We went out to do chores last night to find a ewe with bottle jaw which is a sign of worms.  It was nearly 90 degrees with a 30-35 mph wind and really humid.  I was hot and tired and in hopes of an easy evening of chores, a cool shower, and a early night to bed.  Instead we were wresting and doctoring sheep and looking them all over really well to make sure they were all okay.

All eleven of our cats have upper respiratory infections so I doctored them Saturday evening and will do the same tonight.  The one who got sick first and spread it to everyone else I cannot catch.  I’m going to get serious about it tonight and use a blanket to try to catch her.  I don’t know why she is so wild.  We have 2 out of the 10 who are really wild for some reason.  They were great as kittens, but little by little have just turned into little wild messes.

Randy and I are in hopes of starting and sticking to a nice little exercise routine now that summer is upon us.  I have been walking on my breaks and lunches, but have a feeling that will come to screeching hault once it gets hot out. 

I’m trying to get a game plan together for the kitchen.  I baked a loaf of bread Sunday, and we (the dogs included) nearly had a heat stroke the house was so hot.  We will be eating “cool” foods this summer for sure.  Egg sandwiches are a staple at our house and utilizing the grill and the 1/2 a beef we just got will be at the top of our menu list.

I am watching the clock until it’s time to head home and curl up in bed early.  Hope everyone is having a great Monday.


Local Beef, Whole Wheat Bread, Farmer’s Market, and Walking…

We filled our freezers to the brim with half a beef this past weekend.  We now have 340 lbs of beef to dine on.  We know where the steer was born, how and where it was raised, and know the butcher personally.  Even though we didn’t raise the meat ourselves and had to pay for it…it is still more satisfying and rewarding knowing what we are eating and knowing it is good for us.

I’m also changing up my Whole Wheat Bread back to my original recipe.  I had changed recipes so I wouldn’t have to use whole wheat bread flour.  It was just one less thing to buy and one less thing to store.  I already bought the whole wheat bread flour for this go around, but I may try it with all whole wheat flour and see how it turns out. 

Our farmer’s market opens this Saturday.  Woo hoo!!  It’s right across the street from where I work and open on Wednesdays.  New potatoes and a gallon of local/raw honey are at the top of my list!

I have also started walking on my breaks and lunches.  Last week I walked 7 miles, but this week I have only walked 1 mile so far.  I have had errands to run on my breaks and have been working through lunches to make up time for a doctor’s appointment.  It has been really stormy here, so I probably couldn’t have done a lot of walking this week anyway.  Hopefully I can get back on track soon.

The rain is nice so I haven’t had to water or run our soaker hoses.  We are just praying it doesn’t do anything severe.  Those storms in Oklahoma were so bad and it is so sad there for those people.  We lay awake at night during storms worrying about hail and Dad’s sheep without a building now.  Hopefully this storm season passes without any more losses.

Also by request, I plan to try out this recipe for Pumpernickel Bread in the next few days.  Will let you know how it turns out.

Hope everyone has a good day!


Black Bean Chicken Chili

I got this recipe from The Family Homestead.

Black Bean Chicken Chili

3 cups dry black beans
12 cups water
1 T salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 ½ lbs boneless chicken (can be thighs or breast), cut into bite size pieces
1 T minced garlic
Olive oil
1 cup frozen corn
1 can Rotel type tomatoes (spicy tomatoes)
2 T chili powder
1 T hot sauce, opt

Put beans, water and salt into a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until beans are tender and cooked. After beans have cooked, drain off about 2 or 3 cups of the liquid and reserve for later.

In a large frying pan cook onion, chicken and garlic in olive oil until the chicken is completely cooked and the onion is soft. Add this to the beans.

Add frozen corn, tomatoes, chili powder and hot sauce (if using) to the bean/chicken mixture. Add some of the reserved bean juice if needed to reach your desired consistency.

Serve this meal with tortillas, salsa and big green salad.

NOTE: this meal would also make a great crockpot meal.. just make ahead and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours


Coconut Bark…

Coconut Bark:

6 T coconut oil, virgin, expeller-pressed

1 t vanilla extract

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 T pure maple syrup

2 T unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ c pecans

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat.  Add vanilla extract, cocoa, and maple syrup.  Mix with wire whisk until completely dissolved. 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with wax paper.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to harden.

Once it hardens, break it into bite-sized pieces.  Keep in freezer.

The recommended dosage for coconut oil is 3-4 Tablespoons a day.  This is best divided and taken three times a day before each meal.  It’s best to start out with smaller doses of coconut oil to prevent die off.  Die off is the result of toxins being removed from the body.  Diarrhea may result, but this is not actually a bad things as this is a sign your body is being flushed of toxins and offending organisms.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil  “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.”

“The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.”

Here is where I buy my coconut oil and the best price I have found.

I cook our eggs in it, spread on toast or biscuits, use it as a lotion and night cream, mix into smoothies, anytime I need to oil a pan for cooking, and of course in coconut bark.

It is delicious and nutritions.  It heals cuts on hands, good for chapped lips, rub on scalp to help fight dandruff.  The list goes on and on.


Llama Treats…

Hank gives these treats two hooves up….I got the recipe from Gentle Spirit Llamas .  I adjusted my recipe below.

Camelid Cookies

1 c shredded carrots

1 c uncooked oatmeal

1 c flour

1 t sea salt

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 T sugar (I omit the sugar)

1/4 c molasses

1/4 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix sticky ingredients in a bowl.  Measure out balls about the size of a teaspoon and place on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

**As always, be mindful of any possiblity for choke.  While some do feed whole apples and carrots, cutting them into smaller pieces is a good idea.  Additionally, be knowledgeable around what plants or garden produce might be poisonous such as potato and tomato vines.  (from Gentle Spirit Llamas website by Cathy Spalding)


Dark Rye Bread…

I found this recipe on All Recipes.  I made a few changes and it turned out WONDERFUL.  I love this bread.

I used my bread machine.  It is important to put the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed below or follow your bread machine guidelines. 

Dark Rye Bread

1 1/8 c water (I use warm water)

1 T vegetable oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil)

2 T molasses

1 t salt (I use sea salt)

3 T packed brown sugar (I use sucanat)

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c all-purpose flour (unbleached)

1 1/2 c rye flour

1/4 t caraway seed (I don’t love them, so I skipped them)

2 t yeast

Set bread machine to dough cycle.  Let rise once in machine.  Remove from machine and place in oiled bread pan.  Allow to rise another time until doubled in size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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