Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Friday, June 30, 2017

Creative Meals ~ Eating Empty Pea Shells ~ Handiwork ~ The Garden Grows

Another creative week of stretching meals - used up the last two organic sweet potatoes I had on hand.

I had green onions and dill in the herb garden, so I made us some creamy sweet potato salad.  Yum.  The dressing is half yogurt and half mayo.  We love this stuff. 

Fish was pulled from the freezer (so thankful for that), and we still have veggies in the freezer from last year.   That bumper crop of green beans has been useful.  I still have a few servings of broccoli too.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Calendula Cookies ~ More Peas

The title is correct -  Calendula Cookies.  I added these flower petals to salads last year, and this year I am expanding.  I found several recipes in a book from the library, regarding edible flowers.  Something new to try this year, and new to blog about. 


The cookie recipe uses about 18 flower heads.  I had flowers, and I had a hankering for cookies (when I shouldn't be eating any). 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Picking Peas In Pajamas

Saturday we picked peas in our pajamas, had a leisurely breakfast on the porch (fresh eggs, homemade bread with home canned jam and coffee), and then by 10am took off on a motorcycle ride. 

We ran some errands, and rode to a campground where extended family and friends were camping for the weekend.  Good food, lots of laughs and they were all talking us into changing our plans.

We had a wedding to attend in Michigan.  Hubby's sister had been taken to the hospital (trouble breathing).  We was admitted over night for tests.

Sort of a funny tale about the weeding.  My biggest challenge?  Finding a nice outfit for an outdoor wedding, that didn't make me look like I left the garden or got off the Harley, ha ha!  I succeeded.  Even though I lost 38 lbs. last year, I found a skirt and top and some dressy sort of flip flops to wear.  And, believe it or not, a matching purse.

Sunday was a repeat.  Picking peas in our pajamas, and a leisurely breakfast on the front porch. 


Only there was no homemade bread to be had.  Zero.  Not even a tortilla.  However, I had a few pieces of homemade flatbread in the freezer, one last package of bacon in the freezer, and a few measely potatoes.  Wa-la!  Omelets were made.  Flatbread was saved for later.

We later drove up to visit Hubby's sister in the hospital.  Tests continue.  She has pancreatitis.  She's had it before I guess, but she is doing well now.


Garden work continued, but today it looks like rain.  I've been up since 3am, and my catnip tincture failed for insomnia.  It's gonna be a long week.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Salmon and Peas and the "poof" of the Mac n' Cheese

My older brother ("aka the fisherman") gifted us with some Michigan Salmon and more bluegill.  We are already enjoying the delicious fish.  I made us some salmon patties using ground organic oats, a bit of mustard, a tiny bit of water, and some green onion from the garden.  Mmmm!  

But that's not all.

 I picked more peas.  I made a pan of buttered snap peas.  I didn't have a shallot on hand, and my shallot powder is gone too.  I used an onion, and it was still delicious.

Our daughter who turned 18 yesterday requested Alton Brown's Macaroni and cheese (baked) for her birthday dinner.  I had cheese in the freezer, so I made it.  However, you won't see a photo of it here.  Zuri-raptor got her paws (and jaws) on it, and well that was to be today's lunch.  Somehow the girls, even though I reminded them, forgot it was on the counter.  The veggies of course were all saved at high altitudes which left no space to hide the dish (other than the top of the fridge, and I should have done that).  The mac n' cheese contains onions.  Sigh.  We attempted two methods to get her to throw it up, but to no avail, she would not. So.  Yeah.  The fun begins.

We finally got rain. I am heading out to pick peas and possibly radishes this morning.  It would be a great day for a motorcycle ride too, but other plans are in the works.  First I will be enjoying breakfast on the front porch.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ A Crockpot Summer


The rabbits are definitely an issue this year.  This is the worst year ever.  One had babies in my chicken run.  Big mistake.  The chickens killed them all.





Bread needed baked.  New recipe too.  The recipe is here. I turned to the internet for this recipe, and was quit pleased. In fact, Youngest Daughter saw the bread, made a sandwich, and raved about how soft and delicious it was.  Used 1 Tbsp. brown sugar vs. white sugar.  The recipe called for 2 cups of milk and room temperature. I had exactly 1 1/2 cups left in the house.  I made a 1/2 cup using dried milk to make up the difference.



Library books need returned and new ones picked up.  Ha.  Yeah, like I'm a gonna' get time to read 'em. I however am enticed by the Home and Health one - 501 recipes. I may have to add a few to my Christmas "wish" list.

I should have the kids monitor me when I multi-task.  I almost burned a frittata.  I set the timer, walked outside...should have never left the kitchen.  The other day I almost forgot the rice in the crockpot cabbage roll casserole.  Speaking of that dish, it was sort of a budget creation.

After my big birthday shin-dig, our daughter's grad party, and another daughter's expensive car repair, the budget has been pretty tight.  


I was pretty nifty thrifty with the cabbage roll dish.  I had two halves of cabbages leftover (red and green), I had a quart of home canned tomato sauce, home canned crushed tomatoes, homemade tomato condensed tomato soup in the freezer...and wa-la..dinner was made on a dime.  I used leftover ham vs. beef/pork.  Turned out Fan-tab-u-lous!  We discovered Parmesan cheese was better than mozzarella cheese.  And it's delicious without cheese.  This was the first time trying this type of recipe.  I may have to make cabbage rolls this fall when cabbage is in full harvest.  I do love my crockpot though.

Complaints were spouting from my vegetarian daughter (it had meat in it).  I told her I don't make special requests when I have to cook with what I have, and I reminded her I boiled eggs.  She's a big girl and needs to learn to cook.



The peas are flourishing and I must pick daily now.  


I made another batch of garlic scape and radish spread.  We absolutely love this stuff, and our vegetarian daughter (the one turning 18 today, and who hates most vegetables), loves it now too.  Hubby wants me to make a double batch so he can share it at work, but I'm running low on garlic scapes.  I may have a few more out in the garden.  As always, when Hubby loves a dish, says "you should serve this in our own restaurant."  Ha.  Yeah.  Like I want more work. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Broccoli Pizza

A few days back, I made homemade whole wheat flatbread.  We ended up taking a long motorcycle ride on Father's Day evening, so the pizzas were not made.  I put the flatbread in the freezer and we finally made them.


It only took a few minutes to thaw the flatbread.  Now I know it freezes well, so I'll be putting some in the freezer vs. pizza dough.  I topped them with spinach pesto, then the broccoli (and it was supposed to have wilted spinach, but I ran out after pesto was made), topped with mozzarella cheese.

 I baked them at 400°F for about 15 minutes or so.  This flatbread worked beautifully for these.  Just enough to make it a pizza, crispy on the bottom, and delicious.


The flatbread was rolled to about 7 x 5 inches.  I got 8 pieces of bread in the batch.  The recipe stated I'd get 12, but that would be the thickness of a tortilla or thinner.  The recipe I used was from food.com for the whole wheat flatbread (used part all-purpose and part whole wheat), and the pizza recipe is from Eating Well, called "Green Pizza."  We think it needs some hot red pepper flakes, but that's about the only suggestion I got from the taste testers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Strawberries, Peas, Wild Black Raspberries and Weeds

My mother wants to know why she hasn't heard from me.  You probably laughed at that, right?

And here is why.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage....it's sort of, kind of, a long post.  Or come back when you need an excuse to just sit for a spell.

Aside from that mess of a barn we have to clean up (felled tree #2 is still on the ground too)...

We picked up 4 quarts of fresh strawberries.  We used to pick up 12, but we are well stocked with strawberry jam right now. Thankful for that too.  Even if I have miss-counted, we have more than enough of the other fruit jams.  And we are needing to stock up less with the shrinking household.



Three quarts went into the freezer, and 1 quart went into a fresh strawberry pie for Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Down, Down, Down....

This showed up yesterday afternoon, while I was out fetching eggs late in the day....



and this happened......

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Herbal Hair Tonic and Hair Oil Updates

I made an herbal hair tonic to encourage hair growth and repair.  You can read the original post  here.  Why I made it is written below.  The hair tonic is made with all nettle, but I'm considering adding burdock root now.  The tea infusion I am drinking is made differently.




I have researched this through a few books and online, and do feel calcium helps hair and nails, so I made sure I was also drinking nettle and tulsi teas (infused for a stronger tea).


I made my tea infusion using 3/4 cup dry nettle and 1/4 cup dry oat straw.  Both are good combination for calcium, and hair and nail health.  I used a quart canning jar, poured boiling water over the herbs, placed the lid on, and steeped it for 4 or more hours, sometimes making it at night and steeping all night.  Drinking within 36 hours, before it goes rancid.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This and That

The bad:  my debit card was hacked for the 5th time this year.

The good:  it's back to using cash, so I'll most likely spend less.  I've said this before, but now I am really going to focus on paying cash only.  I have even been only using my pin and with the chip reader.  Folks, it still isn't safe.  Cash or credit card these days is best.  The bank said it was a "national chain" which means it was Home Depot or K-mart.  I don't get out much, and I do not pay ANY bills with my debit card.  I don't shop online with it either.

The bad:  my mullein did not grow back.  How does a person kill an invasive weed?  Ugh.  Too late to order seeds to grow it again too.  I have zero in the pasture.  I had it in a pot, but will plant it somewhere in the ground next year.

The good:  my yarrow survived the raccoons rampage on my planted pots last year.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hot, Humid and Down Right Uncomfortable

Rain was in the forecast yesterday, so I decided to do a long workout, then go out and pick what I could, and return to the indoors.  I baked burger buns for a grill out dinner.....


....blanched and froze swiss chard....

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Curried Lentils ~ A Crockpot Summer

As promised, here is the recipe for the curried lentils.  However, I don't have a photo of it.  I do have one of what I made with leftovers.

 Curried Lentils with Spinach

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garlic Scape and Radish Spread ~ Roasted Spring Vegetables with Brussels Sprouts

I am still getting a few more garlic scapes, although most have been cut of.  

If you happen to have one garlic scape, this recipe is wonderful.  I have to buy the organic cream cheese.  I don't have a source for raw goat's milk or cow milk right now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pie Pan Bangers ~ Sugar Snap Peas ~ Puttin' Up Radishes ~ Plantain Poultice

Mom gifted me some pie pans when she came to the grad party. 



They are now attached to the pea fence for another rabbit deterrent.  I just hope with "Biker Sally" up, the glass bottles in place, and now the pie pan bangers, the garden will thrive.

Our sugar snap peas are on, and growing quickly.  I can't wait to harvest that first bite.  Yum.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The party is over ~ Back to the Garden

The party is over.  Thank goodness.  On a good note, the house is clean, so I can seriously rest today.   Other than dishes, and watering all of the gardens.  It will be a high in the low 90's today.  It's hard to believe we were still planting in the vegetable garden this very day of last year.  I didn't get my cabbage in, so it may not be too late.

 Here is what I made - a double batch of homemade macaroni salad with herb garden green onions.  We love this stuff.


 Meatless, overnight lasagna with home canned tomato sauce and organic cheeses.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Garlic Scapes 4 Ways ~ Freezing Radishes ~ More Party Prep ~ Scarecrow Biker

A large bowl of French Breakfast organic radishes are going into the freezer today.  Just wash, cut smaller, and blanch 2-3 minutes (toss into an ice bath) and freeze.  They will come in handy this winter for roasted vegetables and soups.

Warning.  This is long, and I am shocked I took the time to do it with all the work I need to do yet....I'm not even sure anyone has time to read my posts lately....but....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Putting up and trying to maintain

Well, the part of the season where you bring in food and have to do something with it, has started.  It started early this year.  There was enough asparagus for breakfast, so that's what I did with it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Chickweed ~ Herb Vinaigrette ~ Roasted Radishes and Brussel Sprouts

I spent the entire day in the garden weeding, then worked in the herb garden.  It was so dry, I had to water it first to weed it.  I am so glad it rained last night.  I am forced to work indoors today.  I just need to weed the carrots and then the green beans tomorrow (or the next dry day).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Progress?

I can't tell if we are making progress indoors, but I am making progress outdoors.  I spent the entire morning watering every single thing.  No rain in the forecast, and now no rain at all for a while.  Sigh.  

I picked some radishes that I enjoyed raw after that, and shared one with the now graduated, vegetarian daughter.  She doesn't like raw radishes, ha ha!  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Another one graduated ~ rabbits

Yesterday, the big shin-dig was watching this daughter graduate.  The two on her sides are her siblings (missing a few).  And all three do not have their natural hair color, ha ha!

The graduation ceremony lasted a bit over 2 hours.  Our bums were pretty sore sitting in bleachers.  Oye. Way too long for us.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A "no kids" Vacation Week Ends

Hubby and I took off to the island for a few nights.  We were lucky to get the yurt for this trip - a no-kids-allowed vacation.  A time-for-ourselves, two days away vacation.  He took the entire week off for his vacation, and planned it all out for us.