Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wacky Weather

We went from this on January 26th, to ....

...this a few days ago - warm and muddy mess.  I had to wear mucking boots out to put my laundry on the line.

  Today it's snowing again. 

All in a days work.

We now have three of us down with the crud.  I may have to make homemade cough syrup yet.  Looks like one of the kids will be cooking dinner again.  

My oldest daughter, although started getting sick later last night, stepped up to make dinner.  She was creative and scrambled eggs with my home canned salsa, and made egg sandwiches on English muffins.  For the side she cut up potatoes and fried them with cumin.  I regret not getting a photo.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baking in Cast Iron ~ Naughty Horse

Baking continues - Irish Soda Bread (Before)


Isn't it beautiful? Yum! 

I used a recipe I found on the internet, but used ricotta cheese in place of sour cream, and cut the 3 cups of raisins down to 2 cups.  I also baked it in a 12 inch cast iron pan vs. a 9 inch (didn't have one).  I just reduced the heat by 25 degrees about half way through the baking process.  The ricotta worked as well as the sour cream.  What can I say, part of our motto is "use it up."

Last night I woke coughed and coughed.  This morning I woke to a sore throat.  I am very low on honey so I cannot try the cough syrup Candy mentioned.  I hope to restock this weekend.   Two more girls are feeling ill now. 

Yesterday, while I was checking the soup on the crock pot, I looked out the window to see Blondie (my daughter's horse) with her head completely over the fence, eating the grass on the outside.  Hmpf.  I ran out and threw her some hay on the other side, to keep her mind off the grass out there.  She knows the fence is not electric.

Then when the three younger ones arrived, Blondie was doing it again.  So, out went my second oldest daughter, and got her head back in the fence.

Only a few minutes later, that daughter was back in, and my oldest was driving in the driveway.  In that short time, she (Blondie) go caught up in the fence and had her blanket half way down.  My son and I already straightened her blanket once in the morning.  She's been rolling in it already too.

Thankfully, the weather is warmer, and her blanket is off, but my oldest daughter had to fix the fence.  Naughty horse.   

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From the Handiwork Journal . . .

 . . . I am up to about 52 feet on my braid of rags for my rag rug.  This was kind of forgotten about over summer and the holidays.  This project continues.

. . . still plugging away at knitting basket weave blocks for a blanket. 

. . . my 11 year-old daughter knitted her first bean bag.  She still needs practice, but she continues to learn.

 You may also like to read this post:  Crocheted Rag Rug


Monday, January 28, 2013

Murder, Mystery, and Baking - Stress Therapy

...three things I love in a good book.  However, since I haven't been feeling well, I have spent the weekend reading this book.  My weekend included hot tea, ibuprofen, kleenex, vapo-rub, and lots and lots of sea water nasal spray.

Joanne Fluke's books must send out a subliminal message - Bake!  Bake!  Bake!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Cow?

Meet another journal I have - the dream journal.  I warned you all.  I'm definitely a journal junkie.  It's not the most written in either.  Most of the time I can't remember the dream very long after waking up.  It's looking rather boring too,  don't ya' think?  I really do need to make a cover for it. 

I woke up the other day, from another odd dream.  I must be delirious, so I checked my forehead for any signs of a fever.

Nope.  No fever. 

Hubby was still home and getting for work.

"Uh, I just had a dream we got a cow," I said clearing my parched throat and dealing with congestion.

So....that dream went right into the journal before I forgot.  It was so strange too.  A farmer nearby had a cow, but wasn't taking care of it, according to one of my daughter's.

"Mom!  We have to do something!  she screamed at me.  "He can't be feeding it!  Have you heard it moo lately?  she screamed in panic, and worried about the care of it.

Yep.  That's the kind of dream it was.  So, in my dream, we go talk to the farmer, and find out he doesn't want the cow.   So we take it.  

And then I woke up.  

I know, Earth shattering news, right?  Not the most intersting blog post yet.

The dreaded cough has set in now.  I wonder what the next dream will be about. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spinach Cups

Don't these look like green eggs?  This would be fun to make on St. Patrick's Day too.

This recipe calls for 6 oz. of fresh spinach, chopped up in the food processor.  I tripled the recipe, but did not triple the spinach.  I used organic baby spinach for mine.  The only thing for me making these in winter, was using up all the eggs we had.  With the colder weather, we are not getting as many.  I did not triple the salt either.

By the way, these re-heat nicely too.  Only one of the kids didn't like these - must have been the spinach.  In fact, one daughter ate them for her after school snack.

I'm betting that these could be cooked and frozen individually also.  I did that one school year, but with mini frittatas.  The kids just took one out the night before, and heated it quickly for breakfast, before school. Next summer I plan to make these again using homemade goat's milk ricotta. And of course home grown garlic and spinach.  Yum!

Spinach Cups
(from Tired and Wired? by Marcelle Pick)

6 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Unsalted butter, for greasing muffin cups *

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Finely chop spinach, using a food processor if preferred (this is what I did).  Then in a large bowl, mix ingredients together well.

Lightly grease 4 muffin cups.  Divide mixture among the 4 cups.  Bake 17 to 20 minutes, or until the spinach cups are set.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then loosen cups by running a butter knife along edges.  Serve.

Serving:  2 (2 spinach cups for serving)  

*Tip:  We save butter wrappers and keep them in a container or ziploc bag in the refrigerator.  They are then a quick way to grease pans (or to butter corn on the cob).   

Also, you could probably leave the salt out of this recipe.  I think the ricotta is salty enough for this recipe.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kid Funny ~ More Frozen Pipes

"You'll all need to go get a jug of sink water in the other bathroom to brush your teeth," I told the kids since the pipes were froze (again).

"Be careful for what you wish for," said my 11 year-old daughter.  "Yesterday I was just saying that I wanted to go camping.  I feel like we're camping."

Blondie finally got a nicely warm turn out blanket, to cover her.  Golly, I'm so thankful for that.  She's looking better and better every day, and even the hair around her neck appears healthier and thicker.  Her foot seems to be getting better also.

I'm praying that the water pipes do not have any damage during this cold spell.  They seem to warm up later in the evening, but I still worry when the water starts to flow again.  Say a little prayer we don't have damage.

While my oldest daughter was shoveling frozen horse poo, her dog Sadie was having a blast playing with the ice that was knocked out of the buckets.  Silly dog.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fighting Two Kinds of Colds

I woke up yesterday feeling worse than the day before, and just wanted to rest on the couch, drink hot tea, and warm up with homemade chicken noodle soup.  I'm not sure if it's a cold or possibly trouble with sinuses.

I didn't have the energy to cook chicken, and had leftover turkey.  I made a crock pot of homemade turkey-noodle soup, with homemade noodles.  I think it was the last of the noodles I had in the freezer too. 

With temperatures anywhere from below zero, to the teens, it warmed me up, and will hopefully help my body fight off this sickness that creeped in on me. 

Today, there is another 2 hour school delay.  Again, bone chilling temperatures.  Again, we have frozen pipes.  I hope we have enough in jugs to water the horse, chickens, goats, dogs and cats. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vegetable Burgers ~ Using Pinto Beans

I'm sharing another healthy recipe.  Once again, from a library book. 

I think the fact that this recipe includes sunflower seeds, which we do not eat enough of, is what interested me.  We didn't get to grow them last year, but did the previous year.

As you know, I cook many recipes using lentils and beans.  I did use pre-cooked pinto beans for this recipe, and they are a softer than canned beans.  I did add an egg to this recipe to "bind" the burgers a bit better.   Either way, you could also add more organic brown rice too.
 (Just as they went into the pan)

These had excellent flavor, and the family once again, devoured them.  These would be perfect with another vegetable side such as sweet potato fries.  Yum!  However, I kind of think the recipe title is funny - they really don't have a lot of "vegetables" in them.  Maybe they should be called Bean Patties?

These are crispy on the outside, but somewhat soft on the inside.  We did not serve these on buns, like a "burger" but ate them on a plate with a fork.

Hubby topped his with home canned ketchup, but you could top it with anything really - relish, salsa, or pickles etc. 

Veggie Burger
(Source:  Are you Tired and Wired? by Marcelle Pick)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 - 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 tsp. chopped basil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in 1/2 tsp. olive oil until onions are translucent.  Remove from pan.

In large bowl, mash pinto beans with back of fork.  Add cooked onions and garlic and remaining ingredients, except olive oil and mix well.  Form mixture into 4 patties.

Back in the skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Cook patties 4-6 minutes per side, or until evenly browned on both sides.

Servings:  4