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, June 30, 2016

Sweet Potato Black Bean Frittata

Last Sunday, I decided to make us a healthier version of a frittata.  Hubby was complaining about "too many white potatoes" in his frittata, so I went in search of a recipe that used sweet potatoes - Sweet Potato Black Bean Frittata.

I found several online, and this was amazing - sweet potatoes, a red bell pepper, onion, garlic, a jalapeno pepper, spices, fresh cilantro, and black beans.  You bake it right in the skillet you cook your vegetables in, and only need one bowl to whisk eggs.   

Although packed with flavor, I could not even get my 17 year-old vegetarian to even taste it.  Her loss.  I put a piece away for me and two for Hubby's breakfast.

Here's where I got the recipe:  Sweet Potato Black Bean Frittata

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It's Cooling Down!

My future goal is to have enough space for a good supply of sweet potatoes in a root cellar.  We are finding ways to swap out white for sweet potatoes more often, but I still like my red potatoes.  

Although a lack of rain is getting me a bit worried, I am keeping things watered.  The green onions looked terrible, but I found enough to whip up another sweet potato salad to go with our dinner (or be the dinner since the temperature was 91 degrees out).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Homemade Peppermint Extract

I decided to make peppermint extract.   We loved the lemon in the homemade frosting last week, so I wanted to make peppermint.  

I picked enough fresh peppermint to fill about a 1/2 cup.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Random Tidbits ~ Homestead Happenings

We have nothing but thistle growing in one tomato patch.  We put down a heavy layer of straw this year to prevent weeds and grass, but the thistle is up everywhere. 

I, like the dummy I am, walked through to check on my butternut squash mounds, and to weed them out.  My feet were in flip flops of all things.  

Yes, the thistle gave me a rash, somewhat like the itchy burning rash you get from fire ants (only the blisters are filled with clear liquid).  Oh, did it itch.  To get rid of it I used what we typically use for poison ivy.  Our milkweed is not up or visible yet. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mullein Tincture

I finally made it to the store to get vodka to make a mullein tincture.

I used fresh mulleinI've read that you do not want to cut more than 40% of your plant, but I am typically careful not to over harvest mine. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Garden Goodies ~ Garage Purge

I planted a few new varieties of radishes this year.  I still planted Cherry Belle for canning radish relish.  It is delicious on burgers or what not.  I will be canning it in the smallest jars this year.  We can't seem to eat it up when we open the half-pint jars I canned it in.  Either that, or I need to be more creative.  Maybe try mixing some into peas?  Or green beans?  I guess well see when we get them on the plants soon.

These are French Breakfast Radishes.  I purchased non-gmo/organic seeds from High Mowing for these.  Hubby and I will be tasting the two that I was able to pick.  Due to the second frost we had, we planted later than usual.

Has anyone planted the black radishes?  I have been reading up on them and I find them intriguing.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Dandelion Frittata ~ Night Off?

I had a leisurely morning, considering the rain gave me the day off from the garden.  I decided to make a dandelion frittata for our daughter's birthday breakfast.  

It was delicious.  So good in fact, two girls ate two pieces.  I had to put two pieces aside for Hubby to take to work before they ate it all up.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Birthday! ~ Rain, Glorious Rain!

I spent the evening baking a cake for our daughter who turned 17 today.  We made homemade frosting and added homemade lemon extract this time (vs. vanilla).  I also splurged and picked up two half gallons of organic ice cream.  It's so hot and humid here, I did not want to attempt homemade ice cream.  It was so hot in the house, that the frosting was drooping.  We put the cake in the refrigerator last night.  We only have one air conditioner unit in downstairs and the kitchen is pretty warm.  

Our  now 17 year-old, frosted the cake after I added the first layer.  The kids love to learn how to do this, as I learned from my mother.  In fact, Mom donated all her cake decorating supplies to the girls, and a two layer 9-inch round cake is traditional here.

Last night we also received rain.  Woo hoo!  Finally.  The storms, thankfully were not too bad, and the rain came down.  I am so thankful.  The gardens really, really needed it.  I attempted weeding the herb garden yesterday, but the ground was too dry to even do it.

The saga of the raccoon from h-e-double hockey sticks continues.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Random Tidbits

No rain as of today (Wed. morning).  The forecast states that we have chances of bad storms late tonight, including bad winds and hail.  I could do without the storms, but we need the rain. 

The grass is dried up and brown, and the dirt around my trees have dried so badly, the ground is cracking.  

First lettuce from the garden.  We enjoyed it with homemade bean burritos.  It felt so nice to go out and pick it vs. have to drive to the store and buy it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Baking like a "toasted cheeser"

At 7am, the heat is already bad.  I should be out there soaking the garden, but wanted to get a quick post in first.  The "beast" died a few days ago (our computer), so I'm using a laptop for the time being.  I am just trying to figure out how to get the photos loaded (picassa is not on here, so I'll work on that later maybe).

 What ever is doing this returned the other day.  Both porches were attacked like this.  My two pots of comfrey were put safely inside the garage for the night.  I can't afford to lost them, as I have lost all the other herbs. 

I swept up the dirt, filled the pots, put out a trail camera, and it decided to not return last night.  Of course that's how it works.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

And She's Down.....Up Again ~ Another scarecrow?

I've been struggling with allergies, or I thought I was, and have been very tired.  So tired, that I wanted to take a nap lately.  I never nap.  Unless I'm sick.

I took a nap.   

 (Warning:  this is a "grap a cup of coffee/tea" kind of post.  Sorry I was so chatty.  Must be that I'm feeling better today.)

Shocker.  My kids thought I was joking when I said I was leaving the porch and taking a nap.

I overslept one morning, and woke up feeling as if my head would explode.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Puttin' Up Herbs ~ Sugar Snap Peas

The last batch of oregano I dried, filled two pint jars.  I am hoping the catnip grows quickly, so I can dry more of that for my catnip tincture (for homemade bug spray).

The catnip pot was the only pot that survived the raccoon party on the porch.  The comfrey survived somewhat, and that is very much needed.  A vital herb to healing.

I picked our first sugar snap peas.  Hubby and I love to snack on them, fresh off the vine.

Short post today.  Recovering from a sinus infection.  Or what I believe to be as one. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Meet Pearl

We picked the most humid day for this project, but one 16 year-old was willing to help.  Pearl is not fancy, but we didn't dress her for a contest.  Just some thrift store clothing, one of our old aprons (full body, but had to fold it over for a waist apron), an old hat of ours, some scrap material for the head, straw to stuff her, and a few sharpies to give her a face.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Serviceberry Jam ~ Big Purge

Most people I have talked to, do not know what a serviceberry is.  It's almost like a mini-blueberry, but starts out looking like a mini-cherry.  It has the flavor of a blueberry, and is, what I call, seedy.

All the recipes for serviceberry jam, that I could find on the internet, used a large portion of these berries.  If you've picked them, you know it takes a lot of picking to get even a few cups.

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's In!

I planted the very last vegetable on Sunday. 

Saturday, I thought we had everything in, until Hubby picked up a bag and said, what about this?  Ha ha ha ha!  Oh, I was so excited it was all in and wanted to throw that bag at him.   

We reached a high of 95 degrees on Saturday, but Sunday it was in the 70's. On Saturday I chipped ice for my chickens.  We had to put fans in the barn too.  The animals were not going outside in the heat, and were looking for relief.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Garden and Random Tidbits

The current tea of my choice - freshly grated ginger and freshly squeezed lemon.  Hot tea on a hot day sounds odd, but it was good.  Today, I'm delegating iced tea making to a daughter.

My ladies got a recent treat - mushy banana and over-ripe apples. They love the bananas!  Today, I'm most likely crushing ice for them.  The heat will be high today.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Folate or just plain luck?

I thought I had taken photos of my fingernails when they were peeling and short and always breaking off.  If I find it, I will post it.   Today's post is a bit different to homesteading, but somewhat related (as to the food I've been eating).

First I tried the nettle/oat straw nutritional tea infusion.  Nothing really changed on my nails.  However, in a year's time, my dentist visits have been nothing but good as far as build up.  They would say over and over, "I can't believe how well your teeth look" etc etc.  Could that be the herbal tea drinking?  Most of them have antiseptic and anti-bacterial qualities.

About 12 weeks (or more) ago, I started adding more greens into our diet.  I read that folate is important to skin, nail and hair growth and health.  Well, I now get greens twice a day, and at least 3-4 times a week, not including green vegetables at dinner.  I increased the amount of broccoli, brussel sprouts and leafy greens in our diet. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Late Planting ~ Tidbits Updated

I'm still planting and it's June 8th.  It has been oddly cooler here the last few days as well.  I just got the collards and kale in yesterday, along with the peanuts.  I am not finished either.  It just feels weird to be planting this late.  With Hubby working such long hours, big jobs lurk.  Patience, patience, patience.

Last year's parsley re-seeded on it's own, but not enough.  I had to plant more, along with basil.  I see the chard seeds are sprouting, but not my new lavender seeds (yet).

While out planting, I noticed a few bell peppers are on!  I'm pretty happy to have gotten the popcorn in before the rain.  The popcorn is up!  Most of the pinto beans also.  I am so praying for a good year.  My romaine plants are not growing real fast, and I am hankering for summer salads. And all of the shell peas are up.  

I'm almost done planting.  Almost. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Raccoon ~ Rain

You know how I still like to share the ugly, or more difficult (more like frustrating) parts of homesteading?  Just in case someone thinks it's all daffodils and tulips?

The last few nights I've noticed more of my newly sprouted medicinal herbs (in pots) have been disturbed.  But how?  

They are destroyed now.   Not by barn cats either. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Random Tidbits ~ Lavender Antiseptic and Calming Spritzer

 Like many of you, I am like a mad woman in the garden this week.  Rain was of little chance, so I worked my bum off to get seeds in.  We have a slight chance of rain on Sunday, so I am pacing it all out, not to wear myself out (which I already did and had to take a breather).  

Thank goodness I made a recent double batch of homemade ginger-ale. It came in handy for some much needed recuperation.  Plus, more kiddos (and myself) caught the bug Hubby had.

I've also delegated some garden planting to a few girls of ours.  I haven't been happy with the results of their housekeeping help, so outside they go (unless one is still stick).  We'll get daily planting done before it gets sweltering hot around 10:30am-11am.