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My garden is planted!  Finally!  I can’t believe it has taken this long, but hopefully it will be bountiful.  We planted our strawberry plants yesterday.  The kids are so excited about those starting to bear fruit.  The tomatoes didn’t freeze with the frost warning the other night and our corn and carrots have little leaves poking out of the ground.  I was most excited to plant a pumpkin patch, but unfortunately that was the last thing to get in the ground.  I really hope they sprout!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1  HAVE FAITH AND IT WILL GROW!

Last night when I tilled up the two rows for the strawberries the smell of fresh dirt was heavenly.  There is something very magical about tilling the earth.  It’s grass, you till it’s dirt filled with grass, you till a little more it’s gray dirt and finally after a little water and tender care, you till yet again and it’s black earth filled with natural nutrients capable of producing natural food for your family to eat.  Granted it takes awhile, but when I don’t have to buy those vegetables from the store it will be so worth the wait.

Now it’s to keep those kiddos out of the dirt so our little super natural creations can grow.  My kids love dirt!  Whether it’s the box full of sand or a pile of dirt our neighbor left from fixing our driveway.  It really doesn’t matter.  And if there is water anywhere near that dirt well that’s just like hitting the kid lottery, let me tell you!  Especially my two-year old daughter, even in her black sparkly shoes splashing through the mud puddles is her very favorite pass time.

I actually don’t think I made the garden big enough.  With the late spring we had I was running out of time this year.  Next year I think I will make it larger, so we can have more room for herbs and maybe a couple of rows of blueberries.  A little better plan would probably work too.  I just love having the option and the room to grow as much as I can handle.  And I guess that is what it’s all about.  Not overwhelming myself with the possibilities, just being happy with what I have done.

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If you like savory tastes then this will be the best bite you will ever have!

Karla’s Runza Recipe

1 cup grated cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 T. melted butter
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1 cup American cheese (also used cheddar)
1 lb. ground beef or seasoned pork sausage. (seasoned pork sausage is
the best)
1 loaf frz bread dough, thawed and risen
Brown meat and drain off fat. Add cabbage, carrot, onions and
seasonings. Cook until vegies are tender. Stir in cheese. Set aside. Roll dough into 16 x 8 rectangle about 1/4inch thick. Cut into 8 4-in
squares. Fill each with spoonful of meat mixture. Fold over dough and
pinch/seal well. Place seam down on greased baking pan. Brush top
with butter. Let rise 10minutes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

And you can freeze them for later!

A Health”ier” Version of Chicken Nuggets.

We love chicken nuggets at our house.  And that includes me!  I have been checking recipe sites to see if there are healthier, homemade versions of chicken nuggets, so we can try to cut out some of the preservatives.  I found one and it’s delicious.  I hope you enjoy it too.

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Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

2/3 cup milk

3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded(I found this to be too much cheese – you could cut it in half)

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs(I used italian croutons and crushed them up)

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 (18 oz) Can of 3 cheese sauce (I bought 3 cheese alfredo sauce, but completely forgot to add this at the end)  They were still really good without it!

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped(I didn’t have this)

Directions:

Preheat over 400 degrees.  Cut each breast of chicken into 3 pieces.  Dip into the milk, then the cheddar cheese, then the breadcrumbs.  Place on a baking sheet.  Cover with foil.

Bake the chicken in preheated over for 25 minutes, then remove foil, baste with butter and cook 10-12 more minutes uncovered.  Coating will crisp and chicken will finish cooking.

While chicken is cooking, place the cheese sauce in a pan and heat it up.

Remove chicken from the oven and place on the platter.  Spoon sauce over the chicken.  Top with parsley.  As I said above I forgot about the cheese sauce altogether and they were still really good!

To complete the meal I made a bowl of broccoli slaw and some green beans.  Very filling and very tasty!

 

 

Oh my did I hit the jackpot!

 I have been wondering about a substitute for the canned cream soups that make everything taste so yummy and make them so bad for you.  Well I have found it!  I found a fellow mommy blogger who makes safe healthy food for her family.  Her site is stacymakescents.com

Visit her and enjoy!

Cream-Of Soup Mix

Adapted from Taste of Home

2 cups dry milk powder (non-instant is preferred)

¾ cup organic cornstarch (to avoid GMOs)

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried parsley

¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Store in an airtight container.

To make into soup, combine 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 ¼ cups water in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. On medium heat, bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, until thick. Cool. This amount = 1 can condensed cream-of soup.

For Cream-of Chicken Soup: use 1 ¼ cups chicken broth instead of water.

For Cream-of Mushroom Soup:  use water; add ¼ cup diced, cooked mushrooms to soup after it thickens

For Cream-of Celery Soup: use water, add ¼ cup diced, cooked celery to the soup after it thickens or add a dash of celery seed to the mixture while it’s cooking.

 

Taco Bites for dinner!

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I found this on Biggest Loser’s website.  It is a healthy snack for a fun lunch/dinner option.

1 bag of Scoops chips

Romaine lettace

Chopped tomatoes

Fat Free sour cream – they used Greek Yogurt

Ground beef – cooked with taco seasoning – they used ground turkey

Shredded cheese – they used fat free

Layer all the ingredients and add other taco fixings if you like.  Serve on a platter as apetizers or for a light dinner or lunch.  My kids thought this was pretty cool.  We love tacos!

I did it and it was so good!

I tried the 4 ingredient Artisian Bread “no kneed” recipe that I posted earlier.  It took  a long time to prepare the dough, because it needs to rise a long time and then when you cut it into a loaf it need to rise again.  But now I have a bowl full of dough in my fridge gettting better and better each day.  It was so good and the kids loved it.  Try it!  4 ingredients!

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No kneed bread!

I was browsing the http://www.facebook.com/#!/biblicalhomemaking facebook page and she has a link to a video on how to make this bread.  I am definately going to try this.  I love bread and with only 4 ingredients I have to try it!  If you try it let me know how it goes!  Visit her site for more great ideas.

 

• Yield: 4 1lb loaves
About This Recipe
“This is the basic ‘Boule’ bread mix from the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I’ve mainly posted this recipe so that I don’t have to hook out the book every time. The dough is stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, taking out a bit each day as you need it, forming it and baking it. A forum I belong to love this bread, which is what inspired me to get the book. Most of them cook it in a Remoska, which is a gadget that I find invaluable. Remoska’s are from Checkoslavakia, and I believe they’ve just come to the States. In the UK they’re available from Strongly recommend getting the book, if you like this bread. They have lots of different kinds of bread which you make in this way (also sweet ones), plus ideas on how to ring the changes, recipes to use up the stale bread, etc. PS Someone said they were having difficulty getting hold of the book, so I tried to post an Amazon link for it here. But it just comes out as html gobbledey gook! If anyone knows how to do it, please let me know. Otherwise, try Amazon, guys 🙂 Very, very worth getting the book.”
Ingredients
o 3 cups lukewarm water
o 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast ( 2 packets)
o 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt or 1 1/2 tablespoons other coarse salt
o 6 1/2 cups flour, unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose ( not strong)
Directions
1.Preparing Dough for Storage:
2.Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature. Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours. With cold water it will need 3-4 hours.
3.Add the yeast to the water in a 5 quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food-grade bucket. Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.
4.Mix in the flour and salt – kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once, measuring it in with dry-ingredient measuring cups, by gently scooping up the flour, then sweeping the top level with a knife or spatula. Don’t press down into the flour as you scoop or you’ll throw off the measurement. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor (14 cups or larger) fitted with the dough attachment, or a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the mixture is uniform. If you’re hand mixing and it becomes too difficult to incorporate all the flour with the spoon, you can reach into your mixing vessel with very wet hands and press the mixture together. Don’t knead, it isn’t necessary. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. It takes a few minutes, and will yield a dough that is wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.
5.Allow to rise. Cover with lid (not airtight or it could explode the lid off). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on the top), approx 2 hours, depending on room temperature, and initial water temperature Longer rising times, up to 5 hours, won’t harm the result.
6.You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and easier to work with than dough at room temperature.

7.On Baking Day:

8.prepare your loaf tin, tray, or whatever you’re baking it in/on. Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with four. Pull up and cut of a grapefruit-size piece of dough (c 1 lb), using a serrated knife.
9.Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all 4 sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off – that’s fine, it isn’t meant to be incorporated. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will sort itself out during resting and baking.
10. The correctly shaped final product will be smooth and cohesive. The entire process should take no more than 30 – 60 seconds.
11. Rest the loaf and let it rise in the form, on the tray/pizza peel, for about 40 minutes Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period. That’s fine, more rising will occur during baking.
12. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450°F Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
13. Dust and Slash. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing knife to pass without sticking. Slash a quarter inch deep cross, diagonal lines, or tic-tac-toe pattern on top using a serrated knife.
14. After a 20 min preheat you’re ready to bake, even though the oven thermometer won’t be at full temperature yet. Put your loaf in the oven. Pour about 1 cup of hot water (from the tap) into the broiler tray and close the oven to trap the steam.
15. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.
16. Store the rest of the dough in the fridge in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next 14 days. The flavour and texture improves, becoming like sourdough. Even 24 hours of storage improves the flavor.
17. This is the standard bread. There are loads of variations – both savory and sweet – in the book.

Beef & Broccoli night tonight!

This is what we are having for supper tonight!  Yes I said supper.  I am from way up north and that is our evening meal.  Gotta love small town living!

 

What You’ll Need

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak or beef top round steak, 3/4-inch thick, cut into thin strips
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup regular long-grain white rice, prepared according to package directions (about 3 cups)

How to Make It

  • 1

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry until well browned.

  • 2

Stir the soup, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder and red pepper, if desired, in the skillet and heat to a boil. Stir in the broccoli and cook until it’s tender-crisp. Serve the beef mixture over the rice.

 

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We have been dealing with a moody pre-teen lately.  I would have thought it’s too early to call him that, but apparently that is what he is.  Yikes!  Anyway.  I have made an apt for him, because he is moody and has no energy and bursts out into tantrums at the drop of a hat, I just haven’t known what to do.  Today we had our WIC appointment and the lady that was helping me mentioned that her son had sensitivity to certain foods with additives.  She described the symptoms her son had and I know I was starring at her with my mouth wide open, because they were the same symptoms that Ben has been exhibiting for a while.  So I asked her some questions and now have been researching online about additives.  It’s amazing when you start looking at your labels.  I guess that is what they have been saying for a long time, but who has time for that.  I just wanted to get supper made and on the table as fast as I could – I wasn’t checking labels and I certainly wasn’t making much from scratch.  OUCH!  We will try the whole foods approach for a couple of weeks and see if we can get him all cleaned out.  Of course it won’t hurt the rest of us to be clensed either!  Maybe this is the turn for our family.  Many days and nights we are spread out on the couch with no energy.  This has definately been a wake up call that is a long time coming.  It proves that God has his hand in it too.  I have been praying about Ben and God brought me to this lady today.  She opened my eyes to something I had not thought of.  Which of course makes me want to slap my head,  I should have thought of it.

Let me know if your kids suffer from alergies or sensitivity to food.  I would love some insight.