Archive for the 'RECIPES' Category

Homsteading: How to Make and Can Jam

Making Jams Homsteading: How to Make and Can Jam

A few weeks ago my friend asked if I wanted to come over and make jam. I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and I was happy I did. It was so much fun and when we were done, we had 4 flavors and over 2 dozen jars of jam. We split the bounty in half, giving each of us 12 jars of jam. In my mind each jar was already counted for because I had so many people to thank for all of their kindness and love.

One of the wonderful things when we were canning and jamming is the reminder of how much I love to homestead. The idea of canning something — so it will last through a long blizzard when we have nothing else to eat, we will have the canned food in the basement — makes me feel accomplished, resourceful, sustainable and like I am providing for my family. That night I purchased a canning pan and have been daydreaming of my future garden in which I will harvest abundant food, berries and vegetables from and host canning parties. We will wear cute aprons, drink whiskey on the rocks and play poker while waiting for each batch to cook and can.

We followed 4 different recipes but ultimately cut out most of the pectin (if it called for it) from most of them because we desired a more preserve style (runny) spread, rather than a jam.

Here are the 4 recipes we used:

Mint Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was my second favorite. It would be perfect on top of a bagel with cream cheese or even mixed into a cocktail (mint julep perhaps?).

Blueberry Preserve - this was my favorite because there was no sugar, instead honey was used to sweeten it. And I simply love dark berries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was a tad too sweet but delicious and offered nice surprise with the lemon skins cooked right into the jam. Next time I would cut out the sugar and substitute in honey.

Ginger Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was a nice contrast to the other two berry jams, it had a nice tart bite yet still that sweetness you want in a jam. 

And here and here are a few resources we followed for canning.

Making Jams 1 Homsteading: How to Make and Can Jam

How about you, are you canning or jamming anything?


Easy Dairy, Sugar and Gluten-Free Granola

granola1 Easy Dairy, Sugar and Gluten Free Granola

granola2 Easy Dairy, Sugar and Gluten Free Granola

My husband has mastered this amazing gluten, dairy and sugar-free granola recipe that dresses any parfait perfectly.

Natural, Nutty Granola

  • 3 c. gluten-free rolled oats (we use bobs mill)
  • 1/2 c. cashews
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c. almonds
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. dried banana chips
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 4-6 tbs. of grape seed oil
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon (optional)
  1. Mix everything but the raisins & banana chips in a large bowl. Spread onto baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 300 degrees till golden brown, about 1 to 1.5 hours. Mixing every 15-20 min.
  3. Let cool and toss with raisins & banana chips. Serve. Enjoy!

DIY Cold Remedy Elixir

CREImage DIY Cold Remedy Elixir

CREImage3 DIY Cold Remedy Elixir

A quick fix from my Herbal Encyclopedia for this sick lady (meaning me). I call it the Cold Remedy Elixir:

  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp of shredded ginger
  • honey to taste
  • steep in hot water

Drink 3-5 times daily while symptoms persist.

Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

Pizza Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

Pic1 Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

pic6 Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

pic4 Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement
team copy Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

pic5 Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement

In January, with the help from my friends and husband, I celebrated my 31st birthday. If you know me then you might know my latest kick when gathering with friends or family is to play a game. Succotash has been the winner lately, but sometimes it’s charades, cards, euchre, telephone…. You get the point.

I believe that encouraging everyone to participate in playing a game like succotash encourages us all to let our guards down a little, it encourages us to talk with strangers, it keeps us engaged and most importantly, it makes us laugh – I don’t care who you are, this game is seriously funny!

I titled this post Every Smile [and Pizza] is a Direct Achievement because when I look back at these photos like these and see everyone smiling, well almost everyone, I feel like we made each others lives a little happier, even if it was for just a night.

To my friends who warmed our home with love, laughter and amazing pizza creations; thank you.

PS: If anyone is interested in the recipe, I created some pretty delicious gluten and dairy free pizza dough. 

Tangerine Sky

TangerineSky Tangerine Sky

It’s hard to believe that this image above was taken on Seneca Lake and has no filter or editing. This is really what the sky looked like late August. I am grateful to have captured it.


On another note, but staying with the tangerine theme – I have been saving all of my tangerine peels for something magnificent. Here are the things I made with them:

  • Tangerine Powder / Spice
  • Sugar & Tangerine Scrub
  • Tangerine Essential Oil

Here is how I did it:

1. First, I collected and dried a bunch of tangerine peels. They must me really dry, like breakable.

Peals Tangerine Sky

2. I put the tangerine peels (and a few grapefruit peels) into a blender and blended into a powder.

Peels Tangerine Sky

powder Tangerine Sky

3. Then I portioned out 3 different jars of power; 1 for the scrub, 1 for the spice and the last for the essential oil.

threepowders Tangerine Sky

4. Sugar & Tangerine Scrub: I took the powder for the scrub and added equal parts of sugar to peel. When I go to use this, I will add a little bit of oil to make the scrub.

Scrub Tangerine Sky

5. Tangerine Powder / Spice: I added the tangerine powder into a spice jar for easy sprinkling on things like salmon. I used this the other night on salmon, mixed with fresh crushed black pepper and salt and it was delicious!

Salmon Tangerine Sky

6. Tangerine Essential Oil: And lastly, I used the remaining tangerine powder to make Tangerine Essential Oil. Use the same directions from my Lavender Essential Oil Tutorial here.

Oil Tangerine Sky

Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to help! Do you have any peel/food scrap recipes?

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

VeganChocolateIceCream Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

VeganChocolateIceCream1 Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

Looking for a desert that’s easy to make, vegan, sugar-free and has ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge or pantry? Well, this is one of my new favorites. It takes just a few minutes to make and the results are delicious!

Here is what you need:

  • Blender
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 c of vegan milk (I used hemp)
  • 2 tbs of almond butter
  • 1 tbs of maple syrup
  • chocolate bar/shaved chocolate (optional)
Put all ingredients into blender, blend on high til smooth.
Serve immediately, makes 2 servings of soft serve style ice cream.

Brownie Pie

BrowniePie 600x450 Brownie Pie

In an attempt to quince my thirst for chocolate, I created a dessert that is amazingly delicious and is dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan. And yes, it is AMAZING!

My husband and started an allergy diet about three weeks ago to help discover any allergies we may have and to ultimately strengthen our digestive tract, learn more our bodies and eating better and to eat whole, organic and delicious food.

We have been dairy, gluten, corn, sugar and peanut free for about three weeks.  I couldn’t handle another day without chocolate.  So, I found this amazing recipe, adapted it to our dietary needs and what we had in our pantry. We were in heaven.

Here is the recipe:

 Brownie Pie

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp soft tofu
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (use only 1/4 cup if using 3tbsp oil)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy/rice/hemp milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional: chocolate chips!

Combine dry ingredients, and mix well. In a blender, combine wet ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a 8″ oiled pie pan, cook for 15-20 minutes at 325 F. Let cool, serve with fresh mint or fruit. Enjoy!