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~

Friday, January 31, 2020

Overcast Continues ~ Scratchy Throat ~ Romeo

Yesterday Morning.  We got zero sunshine, even though they said we might see some.

I had to make a trip to the "Big City" to fetch not only the overcast hot pads, but a set of soft violet too.  She didn't want either set, so they are up over on my farm shop blog.

With that said, a trip to town cuts all my work/play time out of the day.  I literally had time to feed the chickens before dinner, and get the mail.  There is no stove to stoke.  Hubby worked until midnight last night - no wood cut.

Last night I wasn't feeling all that great either.  I woke up to a scratchy throat.  I sipped some hot ginger tea with honey and downed some sage tincture for my throat.  I was feeling off too, so I didn't even wash the dinner dishes.

Well, I can say we are glad we haven't built the dog fencing yet.  We now know his capabilities as far as sailing over a gate.  We've moved the stairway gate up halfway to the top (the steps turn halfway up).  Now he cannot sail over that one and get upstairs and get into anything.  We'll need a tall dog fence for this guy.  He has some powerful legs.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Breakfast Plate ~ Overcast ~ Cleaning ~ Parsley Planted ~ Muffins and a Frittata

On the breakfast plate this morning - coconut waffles with homemade blueberry syrup, and organic sausage patties.

We've been hankering waffles lately, so in trying to stick to low carb, I looked up a few recipes using coconut flour and/or almond flour.  Minus the mini-chocolate chips.  Minus any sugar or sweetener.

The only thing missing?  A side of scrambled eggs.

It's been so dark here lately.  Lights on, candles are burning, and I keep cleaning to keep moving.  I can't remember a time that the darkness latest this long here.

Speaking of Overcast, I will be sharing a set of pot holders soon.  Crocheted in "overcast" color.  

Here is photo of the yarn color. The person who asked me to make them, doesn't want them now.  I just have to go back to pick them up, and have them up for sale soon.  It also cost me more to buy this particular color too.  I am just frustrated that I could have been working on something else with pay vs. no pay.  Anyway, I will retrieve them soon.

I spent another hour in the utility room - seeds are organized, same with canning jars, and tossed some things.

I shopped from the garage.  Found an under-the-shelf storage basket and now have a place for our work gloves.  It was a bit mangled, but I bent it back into shape and that's organized now.  The basket at the door was full of hats and headbands for working outside.  That room is about 80% done now.

One tote has left the garage as well, and off the homestead.  More will be leaving soon.  I few items also left the closet.

I found some parsley seeds, and although not the best time to plant indoor, I did.  We'll see what happens.

I'm doing well at balancing the day with a bit of this and that now.  I even baked us strawberry muffins.

And a frittata, because the waffles didn't last long.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Egg Laying ~ How to Half a Recipe Chart

Something I've learned baking with coconut flour - it requires a lot more eggs than Einkorn or organic all purpose flour.  Eggs of which are not getting laid by the chickens right now.  Hmpf.  I guess they are all on strike again.

I printed this helpful chart and pinned it on the cork that I glued inside a kitchen cupboard.  Sharing in case it could help others.

Do you follow MRH (Mountain Rose Herbs) blog?  They have a syrup recipe for the "blues" and it can be put on pancakes/waffles.  Hubby can't have honey, but we can.  If I can find hawthorn berries, I'll try it.

No, we didn't get wood cut last night.  I was dressed and ready to go out as Hubby walked in the door.  He said, "it's raining out."  Yeah, no wood was cut.

One of my simple pleasures. . .
Holding and reading a book.  I forgot how pleasant this feels.  I just put if off due to other "busyness."  I'll continue to work harder and keeping up with clutter, cleaning etc. so I can continue to keep this in my life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Teabag Tidbits and other randomness

We had a plethora of cardinals yesterday.  Sorry for the dirty window, and lawn furniture in the way of your view.

There were over a dozen.  I was taking photos quickly, so sorry they are out of focus too.  I couldn't believe there were so many of them in one place.

One of my daughters came out for a visit yesterday.  I was just thinking about her too.  She typically is the only daughter (that's moved out) that comes to visit anymore.  I do enjoy her company.

I had so much to do yesterday, that reading time was very limited.  I hope I can finish my book, but I do have a crochet order as well.  

We have a long week of no sunshine this week.  I have had all the lights on, which I know won't shrink my inflated electric bill, but man.

I managed to make a trip to the library, just to get out of the house for a short spell.

Seed catalogs have arrived.  I am trying to make a conscious effort to downsize, just in case we have a rotten spring.  I can't go in debt with spending and no bounty from it.  It's tough to figure out what to continue to grow and what to cut out of the list.  I miss my popcorn, but I can buy non-gmo about 3 hours from here, which lasts for us.  I know I will order more garlic.  I doubt what I planted (so late too) in the grow bags last fall will amount to much of anything.

We have officially run out of wood.  We got zero cut last night.  Hubby took had overtime.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Thankfully, we didn't get much snow over the weekend.  It was cold, but not too cold.  However, we didn't get a lick of wood split.  We had lunch with the grandkids and who knew playing barbies and trucks and cars could be so exhausting (ha ha!).  We plan on cutting wood (gulp) every night this week after he gets off work.  

...and of course the pellet stove has not been installed.  I'm going to print out his "to-do" list so he can see it daily.  Maybe that will motivate him.

I made us a crock pot chicken Mexican style soup over the weekend. Although corn (cutting this out of the menu more often) was added, it was very good.  I am so glad I found this Chia and Quinoa tortilla chips (all organic ingredients).  Hubby can add a tiny bit of crunch and a small dollop of organic sour cream (although now I have to also watch the cholesterol a bit more).

Russell Crow (aka rooster) has not charged at me since the other incident.  Not sure if he was just having a bad day or what.

Speaking of chicken, I'm having a horrible time locating organic turkey.  I even tried the organic farm 1 hour from our place.  Nope.  I guess I'll be trying the health store today.  

I have a new recipe to try this week.  Crossing my fingers I get the time to make it.  

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather outside is . . .
In the 30's all week, cloudy.

How I am feeling this morning . . .

On my mind . . .
A possible winter getaway for a night, Daughter's upcoming grad party (what foods to prepare), and the garden(s) and seed orders.

On the breakfast plate  . . .
Eggs, Ezekiel bread and jelly, coffee

On my reading pile . . .

On my TV . . .
Watched the last season of The Ranch.  I think they ended it very nicely and I think there were tears in the room.

On my to-do list . . . 
Master bath
Dump Ash Bucket
Kitchen - dishes, counters, floors
Carpets swept
Make homemade foaming hand soap
Clean coffee pot (it's brewing pretty slow today)

On my to-do list this week . . .
Can jelly
Library visit
Make lotions and lip balm
Still working on cleaning utility room, will start washing windows (inside only) soon.
Figure out a "on the go" breakfast for the next few days

On the menu this week . . . 
-Cabbage/tomato/ground beef stew type dish
-Flounder, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes
-One pan dinner - organic chicken sausage/sweet takes/onion and asparagus
Have no idea yet.  

What I am creating . . .
The last order - Xl pot holder in gray.  I still need to write the list of what I need restocked, so I can stay on track.

From the camera . . .

We saw this over the weekend in another town.  I love the idea of recycling the newspaper/magazine stands into free food pantries.  There is much need for it I am sure.  

Chore I am not looking forward to today . . .
Not really a chore, but more of self care chore - working out.

To relax this week I will . . .
Write and read.

On my prayer list . . .

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Philly Fritatta ~ Gloomy Weather

A bit late in sharing, but remember the "philly" stuffed peppers I made?  Well, we had some leftover steak, and green pepper/onion mix.  Guess what I used it for?  Although omelets sounded good, I baked up a "philly" frittata.

I added some extra red bell pepper diced.  Mushrooms would have been nice too, but I was fresh out.  

I topped it with fresh parsley.  I should have added more garlic, but it was very good.  I did not add cheese to this either.

It seems like 99% of my day rotates around the kitchen with baking/cooking and doing the dishes.  Literally.  Saturday my husband took overtime, so while we got more rain, he went to work.  Youngest daughter went to visit her boyfriend, so I took advantage of an empty house, on a rotten weather day and crocheted.  I should have been cleaning again, but I have one more order to fill.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Tiger ~ Grape Jelly ~ Weather ~ Canning Journal

I was at the computer writing up my post yesterday morning, and it was raining. I kept hearing something in the window and thought it was rain.  Not so.  I pulled back the curtain, and Tiger was on the windowsill, eating my basil plant!  It's not toxic, but he's acting up lately.  The weather perhaps?  

Or perhaps we have another stray cat eating the barn car food now.  Urgh.  Not what we need.  Apparently, Romeo isn't fond of them either.  I now have 3 holes in a curtain that covers the window that is by the food box.  Lovely.  Now I have another "to-do" on the list - sew curtain.

I canned grape jelly.  We use this to mix with BBQ sauce or other sauces for our meatballs, or enjoy for PB and J sandwiches.

The weekend brings us weather obstacles.  Again.  Rain poured down all day Friday, snow moves in today, and possibly more snow Sunday.  Looking over the "to-do's" we have, and what needs done is getting down right frustrating.

Got out my "canning" journal and added a page to it - bulk buy items and their status.  It'll help keep me on track with future orders.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Pen Found ~ Daughter goes off grid (sort of) ~ Corn Meal? ~ Philly Stuffed Peppers

I found one of my pens!  I fired off a hand written letter to one of my cousins too.

Our youngest daughter is taking psychology in school this semester.  She came home the other day and told me she was now inspired to get off social media for 2 weeks.  Her choice.  Her idea.  I had to put my hand on her forehead and ask if she was feeling okay.  I'm so proud of her.  I bet she'll like it too.  She loves going off grid at the island.  She will allow calls and texts, but has deleted all her social media off of her phone.

My resource for organic corn meal has been out of stock for a long time now.  Has anyone noticed this?  Is it available from another resource?  Our stores have zero as well.

I finally made Philly stuffed peppers.  They were soooo good too.  I used a recipe online (Tasty), read all the reviews, and used organic ribeye steak (you can't find organic flank steak).  I'll definitely make them again.  I baked the peppers for 10 minutes prior to filling them, and cut peppers in half.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Romeo ~ Baking ~ Rooster

Romeo strikes again.  He hates it when his Mom goes to school.  He's been putting his paws into the cat hole in the kitchen gate and yanking it open, when she goes out the door.  He actually did it so fast he got outside!  We got him in, but now I need a different gate there, but Tiger needs access too. 

I got another batch of fruit/nut bars made.  I have made many "granola" bars, but we love these the best.  Less fruit, more nuts and seeds.  Yum (King Arthur recipe online)!

Here is the recipe for the "Low Carb" Garlic Cheddar Biscuits I made the other day:

1 1/2 Cups Organic almond flour (superfine)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda (non-gmo)
1/2 tsp. homemade garlic powder (organic)
1/2 tsp. homemade onion powder (organic)
2 large farm fresh eggs
1/2 cup organic sour cream
4 Tbsp. organic butter, melted
1/2 cup organic shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, set aside.  Mix we ingredients, then add we to dry and mix well.

I lined my muffin pan with parchment cups for easier removal (which worked great), otherwise use a non-stick spray.

Makes 12 muffins. Batter is slightly thick, but bakes up so nice.

Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes.

Note:  I freeze organic sour cream, and had thawed it, stirred it and used it in this recipe.  It will be a thinner texture of sour cream, but worked great for baking.

Note:  I accidentally baked these the first time without the butter, and they were so tender and flavorful.

If you are looking to buy a bookmark from my other blog, the purple one is no longer available.  Thank you for your support too!  Every bit counts towards a new coop or dog fence.  Not to mention a grad party this summer.  

I posted some heart embellished paper clips on my Rooster's Crow Handicraft Blog.  

I went to the coop to feed the chickens, and guess what?  Russell Crow (aka Rooster) attacked me. Not once, but twice.  He's about to get the boot and a different rooster put in with the ladies.  I don't know why he's turned on me after I raised him and he was nice all this time.  Until yesterday.  Do rooster's change on a dime like that?  Turn from nice to mean?  Sparta was such a good rooster and lived 10 years, so this boggles my mind.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

From the handiwork journal ~ Mexican Street Corn ~ Herb Garden Question

. . .finished these keychains.  I found them in my night stand.  I just had to sew in ends and add the chains (UFO completed).

. . .finished this order of purple hot pads.  Just need to deliver them.

Here is a photo of the Mexican Street Corn I made.

I didn't "char" the corn completely, but it was very good with using thawed (off the cob) corn.  I am sort of looking forward to re-vamping my herb garden now.  The corn contains green onion and parsley.  Yum!  It was also the first time to try the mexican cheese the recipe required.

Yesterday I got smart and did all of my cooking and baking first thing.  Dish washing went much smoother.  I pulled the very last ham bone from the freezer, some split peas, the last bag of frozen garden carrots, a few celery cubs from the freezer, added diced potatoes and some fire powder (vs. onion) from the pantry - split pea/ham bone soup.

I also made biscuits for the first time, using almond flour.  I wanted something to go with the soup other than a sandwich, but low carb.  I found a recipe online, and used my home ground garlic, home ground onion, sour cream I pulled from the freezer and a bit of cheese (all organic).   I literally forgot to add the 4 Tbsp. of melted butter.  

I was a bit worried they browned too much, but they were so delicious.  Very moist biscuit, and very flavorful.  No need for butter.  I will be making these again.  Even without the butter.   

Herb Garden Make Over 2020

Question for herb gardeners - is there a resource to buy green onion bulbs with greens on them (online)?  Or just bulbs vs. seeds?  Organic of course.  I really do not want to start with seeds again.  My green onions I had, I had for 15 years plus, by someone sending me a handful in the mail wrapped in a damp paper towel, in a plastic bag.  T

They grew great and multiplied like crazy until last year.   I will be digging my herb garden out, layering black mesh and cardboard and filling it in with new soil (which means digging out the problematic rose bed across the sidewalk).

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Romeo Takes a Run ~ First Submission Done ~ Tiger's High Space Won!

After Romeo just about gave me a heart attack, by getting the zoomies and zooming right out of his collar in 4 degree weather (and putting me on a chase in pajamas and a carhartt), I finished up the housework. 

So thankful for leftovers on a Monday yesterday, which left me time to write.  It was a small story, and submitted yesterday.  It's not for pay, but a byline and free copy of their publication (if published).  It's something to get me started up again.  I feel so good about writing again, but I know summer will bring a lot of work time.

I didn't get papers filed.  Tiger was not having anything to do with Romeo.  He took to my computer area and up he went.  Away from the dog, ha ha!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Did you know you can freeze buttermilk?  I did not know this.  According to Food Network you can.  Pour it into ice cube trays, freeze, and store in freezer containers.  Organic buttermilk is hard to find, so I'll be keeping this on the to-do list.  It keeps up to 3 months.

I put a few hand crocheted "heart" bookmarks up on my "shop" blog.  

The grain free fruit and nut bars went quickly here.  I will be making more this week.  Very healthy too.  Gotta get those nuts and seeds in our diet one way or another.

Our weekend was pretty much a "stay in pajamas" kind of weekend.  I got a lot of crochet time in.  In fact, so much, my eyes need a break today.  

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  

The weather outside is. . . .
14°F (feels like 5°F)

On the breakfast plate . . .
I have no idea yet, but this is what my husband made me yesterday.  Mmmm!  So good.

How I am feeling this morning . . .
Tired.  I think I "sat" around too much over the weekend, ha ha!

On my mind . . .
Wondering if we'll get a winter getaway or not.

On my reading pile . . .
Still reading this.  My goal is to finish it in January.

On  my TV . . .
Movies from the library

On the menu . . .
Split pea/ham bone soup
Salmon patties or something with salmon
Tuna/noodle, mashed potatoes, veggie

From the camera . . .
My favorite pen has gone missing.  Urgh.  Kids!  Next trip to the "Big City" I'll have to see if I can find another one.  It's a Pentel pen, but the reviews on Amazon, say the new ones do not write like the older ones, so if I can't locate them in stores to try again, I'll be on the lookout for another favorite pen.  A writer always has a "favorite" pen to write with.

Looking around the house . . .
It's looking great these days!

Chore I am not looking forward to . . .
Cleaning the toilet.  

To relax this week I will . . .
Write.  I am really looking forward to this!

On the to-do list . . .
-clean master bath
-laundry (bedding is already washed and dried)
-sweep and mop kitchen
-work out (doing it later when the house warms up)
-bake a frittata for the next few days
-work in the utility room for a bit
-write up a list of what needs restocked for next year's craft show.  Now that I am down to one order I can get back to UFO's and restocking items for sale.

Prayers . . .
A family member on my husband's side - has MS, is in the hospital for a brain bleed and pneumonia, and continued prayers for Mom.

Prayer update:  On the missing 14 year-old.  They found his body inside a chimney of an abandoned house.  No foul play considered in his death.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Snowed in Mexican Fiesta ~ Monkfruit Sweetener ~ Organic Vodka

We had snow emergency levels on Saturday, so as I said Saturday morning, our "Mexican" themed meal get together was canceled.  Well, not canceled, but those who could make it there safely did.   We didn't want to drive back home on icy roads with all the slush re-freezing.

Our dinner Saturday night was a Mexican themed dinner.

Mexican chicken (using quinoa based tortilla chips), Mexican street corn with our corn off the cob from the freezer, and of course, Hot bean taco dip.  Oh, and Sangria.  I had purchased it to take to the gathering, so we got that out and enjoyed it too.  I will try and get photos of leftovers. 

It's always nice to be "snowed in" but that means nothing on the list gets done, other than housecleaning.  I did mention one job in the utility room for Hubby, but his response was more like, "I need a siesta day."

Today we awoke to "feels like" -1° outside.

I just cleaned out my inbox.  Whew.  I had over 4,000 emails hanging around.  I have not been good and hitting the delete button.  I will be much better about that this year.  Goodness.

I picked this up to use in place of regular brown sugar in recipes.  It's expensive, and you don't get much, so my baking will be a lot less this year.  Has anyone baked with this?  It states it does not affect glucose levels.

Being snowed in, I decided to try it in our Einkorn peanut butter cookies.  

The results?  It made the cookies taste different.  Not bad, but not as good as good 'ol real brown sugar.  I'll stick with the real stuff, and just not bake them as often.

Organic Vodka has returned to the liquor store.  The brand "Rain" stopped making their's organic.  It's not cheap either.  That small bottle is $27.21!  It's made from sugar cane vs. grain/potato.  It will work for homemade vanilla extract, but not sure about using it for a tincture.  Unless I am wrong on that note.  I believe tinctures must be made with a grain alcohol.

Update on the low carb homemade bread.  It does not toast well.  We have breakfast sandwiches and toasted the bread.  It falls apart on you.