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~

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Homemade Condensed Tomato Soup ~ From Pile to File Recipe

I noticed that a few of my recipes I collected to try, contained quick-to-buy processed foods.  One of those "food" ingredients happened to be condensed tomato soup.

I have, in the past, been consistent in making homemade condensed chicken, celery, mushroom, and even cheddar cheese soups.  So making this was super easy.  Last year's tomato harvest gave us a good supply of canned tomato sauce.

I decided to not whip up a recipe, but freeze one to see how well it freezes too.

Make this when you have opened tomato sauce and have extra that needs used up.   I may even try this by adding water to make "tomato soup" and compare the taste to my lemony-basil tomato soup I canned last fall.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  It's Happy Homemaker Monday!

Bourbon Blueberry Banana Bread

Say that three times - Bourbon Blueberry Banana Bread.  Ha!

I made up the recipe.  Sort of.  I whipped up a loaf of it, and frosted it with an oh-so delicious, bourbon-y frosting.  Not kid friendly, but a guaranteed way to make your bread last longer if you do have kids. 

Oh, and I forgot the oil, but because I added blueberries, I was lucky it added some moisture to it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Shopping Day ~ Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Saturday was a big shopping day.  We hit four stores to restock dog food, salt for the softener tank, organic meats, and so forth.  We had to make one stop for a new printer too.  We had the trunk filled, our stomachs were empty and screaming for dinner.


Thankfully, before we left, I filled the crock pot.  It's my healthier version of Pasta e Fagoli.  I make this with whatever I have, and it always tastes good.  Some years I use tomato sauce and paste, with extra broth, but this time I used some tomato basil soup and paste.  The combination was delicious.  I just had to boil the penne noodles and add them when I got home.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ Project Complete



It was a high of 74°F here yesterday.  The wind kicked up, but boy it was the strangest and oddest weather for us.  Although I don't think it broke any weather records.  I honestly don't remember it ever being this warm in February. 



Woke up to find this fella laying near the driveway.  It's not an odd thing.  Every year we find one there for some reason.  Usually after a rain storm too.  He is far from the river that runs behind us, but he may be on his way there from the ditch too.  We left him alone, but King wanted to eat him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Millet Crust ~ Fruit Trees

Looking for ways to cook green beans? Or Millet?

We had a very good harvest of green beans and this combination of vegetables was not only delicious, but utilized my garden goods we stocked up on.

Here is what I did using organic and homegrown ingredients.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

This and That


The homemade Kahlua I gifted at Christmas has been a hit.  You can get the link to it here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ New Recipe ~ Tip

 Beautiful sunrise. Although we ended up with cloud cover the remainder of the day.

Grab a cup of java or tea today.  It's a long post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Discombobulated

Honestly, today feels like Monday.  I feel sort of discombobulated due to everyone's schedules being wonky yesterday.

Two things happened that surprised me.  I don't even have photos.  Yikes.

One, I dressed for cutting wood, and as I was putting on head gear (to keep the wood chips out of my hair) Hubby said, "I going to go pick up R to help me cut wood."

"What?"

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Today I am joining Happy Homemaker Monday with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  It's sort of a strange Monday for us here.  One, two kids are at sleepovers because school is closed today for President's Day.  Two, Hubby is home too. Three, our Vet-Tech in training is home.  Our daily routine is about to be spiced up by spontaneous events. I hope you enjoy today's post.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

This and That

The southwestern quesadillas were wonderful!  The recipe is from Food Network (available online).   These are wonderful with our without the sour cream/lime dip to dip them in.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Projects in Progress

What is on my knitting needles? 


A dishcloth.


What's on my crochet hook (s)?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Popcorn Test #2

I checked the popcorn for the second time.  I took 6 kernels and used coconut oil.

The results?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Homemade English Muffins ~ Tea

I got a small batch of English muffins made.  I love these for making breakfast sandwiches.  I used the recipe at Edible Existence blogspot.  It requires very little ingredients (1 Tbsp. of honey) compared to the Honey Wheat recipe that King Flour has.



Once my einkorn flour arrives,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Random Tidbits

It was time to send this book back to the library.   I flipped through it and scanned one recipe.  It gives you a twist on some foods.  For example, there is a recipe where you shave the broccoli stalks to make a salad.  There are even a few recipes for using apple peelings and cores - apple wine jelly was one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining up with Sandra, at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, for Happy Homemaker Monday today.  My back is getting a super work out (and a painful one).  I'm on my 6th load of laundry, and have 2 more to go, and it's already noon.  Yikes.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Random Tidbits

We've been having some beautiful sunrises and sunsets here lately.


Good news!  Vet-Tech Daughter-in-Training, has an interview at a Vet clinic!  She has been working at a dog kennel, caring for animals and doing a lot of grooming too.  We are excited for her.  She is working so hard with her schooling, and getting wonderful grades.  She's also working hard at her job.  Even if it isn't the right job, it's a positive start.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Kitchen Fixin's ~ New Recipes ~ My Hour Off

I used the last of the sweet potatoes for dinner.  I'm thrilled they lasted this long.  Do you see that recipe?  Ha!  It's in my pile on the counter, but half of the recipe is missing.  It's for a beef barley soup, which is really not new to me.  However, I decided to use all the ingredients, but use my crock pot, and leave out the beef.

Funny story about this.  I was on my knees, digging through the freezer looking for beef, when I found one last bag of frozen garden tomatoes.  I was so excited the girls laughed at me.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ New Recipe

My extreme clean continues.  .  . but slower.



Every crafting container is being opened, but I know in reality, some drawers and containers will have to wait for a rainy day or next winter.  My kids are all growing up, and we just don't use some items like acrylic paints.  I think 90% of the bottles I had in a container, were dried up and tossed.  Top news, right?
 



My days are continuously emptying, sorting, tossing, donating, and getting organized.  I spent a few days putting recipes back in the "homesteading" binder, and canning recipes back into their binder (have been laying around the kitchen since last November (yikes!).  I am emptying the "try it" recipes from plastic page protectors, and filling the trash.  I (gulp) saved a few to try when the garden is producing once again.  We love sugar snap peas, and I'm always looking for a new way to cook them.

It's a good thing I took the time to hand write two recipes.  When I went to put them in the recipe box, I found all the recipes the kids used at Christmas, all in one slot (not even close to the correct tab).  I would have gone bonkers this next Christmas looking for them.

Hubby joked that I'm on "round 3" of cleaning out the utility room and our closet.  He's probably right.  But....the reality of daily chores has increased as well. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What's Cookin'? ~ Tips ~ New Recipe


Tip 1:  I found another way to use leftover (when there is any) whiskey butterscotch sauce.  Bake a cinnamon/brown sugar coffee cake, and drizzle some on 10 minutes before it comes out of the oven.


I baked the coffee cake, but no sauce to be found (sad face). 

Tip 2:  I opened a jar of home canned hot sauce to make jalapeno poppers, but need to use the rest up before I forget I opened it.  I found that adding home canned hot sauce to greens is a wonderful way to flavor them up.  I used them on spinach recently.



We are short on eggs.  The colder weather has slowed production down, but no need to panic (I told myself).  I had a good supply of ingredients to make a crock pot of steel cut oats (with apples, walnuts and raisins).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Got Wine Corks?



My name is....and I am a wine cork hoarder.


It's true.  I have had this tote of corks in my crafting supplies for years.  Many years.  Since before we moved here.

I have made many Christmas tree ornaments over the years, gifted many, and maybe even sold some.  I can't remember.

..... so I'm him-hawing at letting go of these corks.  Or keeping a handful.  Or not.  

Today, I decided to take you down "wine cork memory lane" (and myself) to decide if I shall pass these corks on.  They were not saved for storage over the years.   I have been a bit creative.

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Recipes ~ New Rug

I told a few folks that I was "taking Sunday off."  Ha!  Well, it sort of happened.  I tried several new recipes in my "try it" pile. 

First, our super bowl food yesterday:

Spicy Thai Chicken Wings.  Made using my home canned habanero-apricot jelly, freshly grated ginger, and fresh cilantro.  Delicious.  Different, and not real spicy as we thought.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Just Do It!

Saturday was a "just do it" sort of day for me.  Hubby had to take off in Daughter's car to diagnose it.  Yeah...more car repairs.  We just put a $170 part in the truck.

I have been going from utility room to closet, back and forth. It's due to the magic I am preforming.  I'm downsizing, and moving as much crafting supplies as I can, to the utility room.  The kids will have easier access and there is a small table to work on too.

Last night Hubby said, "Hey! There's a floor in there?" laughing of course.  I had yarn everywhere.

Upon entering my closet,

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pearl ~ Purging the Bedding

Ever wake up feeling like Pearl (we accidentally left her out all winter)?  Rained on, snowed, on, hailed on, wind blown, knocked down.........looking all haggard?  I did.  All of December and all of January.

February is a new month, and I am back to almost walking 2 full miles a day.  It's been painful, but trips to the chiropractor are swiftly returning my body to a painless stage. It's a lesson to myself really.  I think about that miserable experience, and I wake up to a fully charged, positive demeanor.  

I don't skip the herbal teas.  I don't skip the exercise.  I clean something every day even in the midst of a canning day, or other engaging day.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Kitchen-ness ~ Dogs

Here is what has been cookin' up this week (and last):

Banana, strawberry, blueberry bread.  I used Giada's recipe for banana-blueberry bread, but left out one banana and added a cup of chopped frozen strawberries.  It turned out very moist, and delicious.  It was a much welcomed, "after school" snack.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ma's Little House Shawl


I originally posted this back on May 10, 2013 on this blog. Blogger won't allow me to link this post back to my old post, and I want to share the pattern. Evidently, it's becoming quite popular on Pinterest.


I continue to receive emails asking for the pattern, so here it is:

Random Tidbits

The weather is turning a bit cooler today, so I as up early to make sure the fire was going (or started).  We had some lovely sunshine yesterday, and I found excuses to go outside - dump the egg shells, walk the dogs, feed the barn animals, let the goats out, get the mail.  It was so nice to see the sun for a while.

Hubby and I got a laugh out of this.  It's a writing magazine that I found, opened to this page, stuffed in the desk I am cleaning out.  Ha ha!  Oh the laugh we got.  So fitting for the cleaning I am doing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Habanero-Apricot Jelly

I dug out my canning pot, utensils, and hot peppers yesterday.  If you froze any habanero peppers, this is perfect to can in winter time. The weather forecast was for snow.  Lots of snow. 

Ha.

We got rain.  A lot of rain.  Is the weather guy drunk?  Or is mother nature drunk?




It is a "try-it" recipe that was sitting around, and it smelled so good on the stove top.