Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tons Of Autumn Crock-pot Recipes

I love crock pot recipes, especially in the colder months.

Being a homeschool mama, collecting and trying new crock pot recipes has become an obsession with me. My crock pot has become my best friend. I use it almost daily. It has made my life so much easier. I just throw in the ingredients and supper will be ready within a few hours. It is especially helpful on Sundays after church.

Main Meal and Soups Crock Pot Recipes

Now you can get them too!  Just go to

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Planning For Your Next Garden

Planning is the most important task you can do in your garden whether you are starting a new garden or planning next years garden in your current spot.  Fall is the perfect time to do this so if you don't have snow on the ground or your ground isn't already frozen, get to it, there is still time.

The Basics of Garden Preperation is:
  • Turn the Soil.  Remove all the previous vegetation from your annual planting areas and turn the soil or, if you are using the Lasagna or Back To Eden plan skip the turning and just remove all the previous vegetation.
  • Test the Soil.  Your soil test will tell you what admendments must be done to the soil and fall is the BEST TIME to do this.  That way any admendments have time to meld together and further compost into your soil.  Turn the Soil again after you add your admendments.  My favorites are manure and Kelp.
  • Level the Beds.  Get your beds all nice and level.
  • Cover the Beds.  We just got done with a record drought and I'm wondering about next year.  Either way I'm going to cover my beds now and be ready.  This will save me mountains of time later.  You want to first cover your beds with a layer of three sheets of newspaper (no color and soy ink please) then cover that newspaper with 3-4 inces of wood chips and leaves.  Don't worry you are still going to be able to plant in this in the spring.  Just think how awesome it's going to be!!!
Free Seed Catalog - Garden Seed Catalog

Now you can start going through all your seed catalogs and order all the catalogs for next year, which should be arriving in the mail by December!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Get Rid of Clorine Bleach and Make Your Own!

Why Bother?
  • Bleach can often cause respiratory issues.
  • It can also cause burns to the skin and even nervous system damage.
  • Allergies and asthma are often irritated by bleach and can cause serious reactions in those who have problems with these conditions already.
  • Beyond causing its own problems, chlorine bleach also has some really dangerous potential reactions with other chemicals and materials.
  • Each year thousands of calls are made for help and of those calls about 1/4th of them are related to bleach and the household cleaners that contain them. Many of these accidents involve children and can be potentially fatal.
whiten clothes with all natural homemade bleach

Yes, the simple stuff we use to whiten clothes is not safe. In fact, bleach can be deadly.

To find out more go to THANK YOUR BODY and get the recipe for something that will work just as well in your wash!  Your family will THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Low Carb, Low Sugar Seven Day Fast Menu Plan

What's all this about a low carb fast. Typically a 'fast' is a way to cleanse, rest, heal your body and a low carb fast is no different. What we are trying to accomplish is to remove sugar and high glycemic carbs from your diet to give your body a rest from the onslot of all that insulin rushing through your body which makes your body turn insulin resistant just to survive.

Thai Sir-fried Vegetables

I go into more detail in my post:  SCHEDULING A LOW CARB, LOW SUGAR FAST

Day One Menu

Day Two Menu

Day Three Menu

Day Three Menu

Day Four Menu

Day Five Menu

Day Six Menu

Day Seven Menu

Can your body heal itself?  I think so.  I try to do a Low Carb, Low Sugar Detox at least quarterly.  Look into other issues that might be causing your blood sugars to be out of wack.  Gluten Intollerance is one of them.  My Doctor called Type 2 Diabetes and Gluten Intollerance SISTERS.  Some are calling Alzheimers the new Type 3 Diabetes so it is prudent to get your blood sugars in control.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Washing the Wax Off Apples

If you are like me you wash your fruits and vegetables before you peel them or eat them.  Washing Apples to get the wax off them can be a real problem, especially since we also like to eat the peels on these fruits.

While we carefully wash all our fruits & veggies, apples have a food-grade wax covering the outside of the skin that doesn’t wash off easily.
Recently Joy In My Kitchen posted an excellant article on how to remove the wax from your apples.  It's a great article so take the time to view it. 
While you are peeling those ORGANIC apples (I never suggest using the peel from any apples, oranges, limes or lemons that are not organic) don't forget to save them and make some yummy Honey Apple Tea.  I also found this recipe from Joy In My Kitchen
Apple Honey Tea
6 apple peels from Organic Apples
3-4 C water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1 T local honey
1 T lemon juice
  1. Place apple peels in a sauce pan. Cover with water and lemon juice and cinnamon
  2. Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is colorful and appley.
  3. Strain out the apple peels using a colander positioned over a large bowl.
  4. Then, add in the honey. Taste... add additional honey or cinnamon to taste.
  5. If you are serving right away, you may choose to add a cinnamon stick in place of ground cinnamon. Then, to keep the tea warm, transfer to a crockpot set to "low" or "warm".

**To make ahead for a frugal holiday party beverage, just boil the apple peels and then freeze the liquid.  Add to your crockpot about 3 hours before serving, and heat through adding lemon, honey and cinnamon sticks to taste. Serve warm from the crockpot.**


Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Money Saving Tips

  1. Challenge yourself to try making your own things.  Have you tried home breadmaking?  This is one thing that will save you a good deal of money for just a little time.
  2. Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances. Check them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean. Look behind the appliances, and use your vacuum to gently clear away dust. Check all of the vents, especially on refrigerators, dryers, and heating and cooling units. The less dust you have blocking the mechanics of these devices, the more efficiently they’ll run (saving you on your energy bill) and the longer they’ll last (saving you on replacement costs).
  3. Cancel unused club memberships or magazine subscriptions rarely read. Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? Cancel these club memberships, even if you think you might use them again someday – you can always renew the membership at a later date if it turns out that you actually do miss it.
  4. When shopping for standard items (clothes, sports equipment, older games, etc.), start by shopping used. Quite often, you can find the exact item you want with a bit of clever shopping at used equipment stores, used game stores, consignment shops, and so on. Just make these shops a part of your normal routine – go there first when looking for potential items and you will save money.\
  5. Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and medicine costs and lost productivity. That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore the world and get your hands dirty sometimes – that’s good for you, too – but basic sanitation does help keep the medical bills away.
  6. Give a gift of a service instead of an item. For new parents, give an evening of babysitting as a gift. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their pets when they travel. Offer up some lawn care as a gift to a new homeowner. These are always spectacular gifts for anyone – I know that, as a parent of a toddler and an infant, I love receiving a babysitting gift, probably more than any “stuff” I might receive.
  7. Switch to term life insurance. Repeat after me: insurance is not an investment. Switch to term insurance instead and use that difference in cost to get yourself out of debt and start building some wealth. Universal and whole policies are much more expensive and offer a sub par investment opportunity – you’re much better off getting yourself free of a debt burden than spending extra on such things
  8. Master the ten second rule. Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.
  9. Learn how to dress minimally. Buy clothes that mix and match well and you’ll not need nearly as many clothes. Then you can mix and match a vast number of combinations!  I have 5 slacks, 2-3 skirts and 7 tops that will mix and match together!
  10. Air up your tires. For every two PSI that all of your tires are below the recommended level, you lose 1% on your gas mileage. Most car tires are five to ten PSI below the normal level, so that means by just airing up your tires, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 5%. It’s easy, too. Just read your car’s manual to see what the recommended tire pressure is, then head to the gas station. Ask the attendant inside if they have a tire air gauge you can borrow (most of them do, both in urban and rural settings), then stop over by the air pump. Check your tires, then use the pump to fill them up to where they should be. It’s basically free gas!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quiet Time

You can keep Christ at the center of your life by spending quiettime with Him.  This quiet time is an appointment you keep with Him daily.  Here are some suggestions for developing a consistent quiet time...

  • PRIORITY - Mke this a priority in your day.  Select a time and schedule around 15 minutes daily.
  • PREPARATION - Find a place where you can be alone.  Have your materials together (Bible, journal, devotional book, prayer list, pen or pencil).
  • PLAN - Develop a plan that includes prayer, Bible study, and writing down your thoughts.
Begin your time in prayer asking the Lord to guide your thoughts to be compatible with His thoughts.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Do Crabapples Make You Crabby?

That's funny.  Crabapples are those tiny little apples that you find on those trees that bloom so profusely in the spring and put on such a great show.  Crabapples (Malus) are the most stunning of spring flowering trees for your landscape. Many of them are small in stature and can be beautiful throughout the changing seasons (spring flowers, fall fruit, textured bark and craggy branches in winter).

Crabapple trees are probably the best apple pollenator you can put in your home apple orchard, every orchard should have one.  Yes, they can be a bit messy and a pain to clean up after every year but you will have a much better harvest of your large apples if you plant at least one of these.  I am planning my planting of heritage apples for next spring and a Whitney Crab Apple will be among the lot. Crabapples are great for pollinating regular apple trees; their pollen does not affect the taste of the larger apples.  The small to medium size trees are perfect for smaller spaces, used for privacy screens, even growing under power lines. The fruit is useful to wildlife, including many songbirds.

Are they good for you?  SURE! Brazilian researchers place apple second only to cranberries in phenolic content and antioxidant activity, so crabapples would also fall into that category. In other research, when several fruits were tested ‘in vitro’ on human liver-cancer cells, apple rated third in antiproliferation activity. They concluded that “dietary cancer prevention is proposed to provide a new alternative biomarker for future epidemiological studies in dietary cancer prevention and health promotion.”
‘Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits.’ Sun J, et al. Dept. of Food Science, Cornell Uv., Ithaca, New York, USA. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4; 50(25):7449-54

Kelly Rossiter Photo

Perhaps it's the mess they make that gave them the term "Crab"apple, but more likely it's their bitter, tart flavor that caused them to get the name.  I remember crabsapples pickled and served every year on my Grandmother Shavlik's Thanksgiving table and I've spred my toast with lots of Crabapple Jelly. We've even been known to throw a few into our apple cider blend for that added spicy tang. Unfortunately, you need to have a tree growing in your yard, or know someone who does, because they are an old-fashioned fruit and you can't find them in stores. I sincerely hope that they come into fashion again, because I see lots of possibilities for this fruit beyond jelly and spiced or pickled crabapples-- chutney, pies, sauce, fillings, juice....

The following recipe is adapted from a blog by Stark Brothers Nurseries.

Canned (Pickled) Crabapples

Preparation Time: 2¼ hours
Yield: Approximately 6 pints
You need:
  • 3 pounds crabapples
  • 2½ cups honey
  • 2½ cups pure apple cider vinegar
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
  • 3 sticks cinnamon, each broken in 2 or 3 pieces
  1. Wash the crabapples (discard those that are blemished), wipe clean the blossom ends, and leave the stem intact but trimmed short.
  2. Prick the crabapples in 2 or 3 places with a fine skewer and place half in a large kettle. Cover with the honey, vinegar, and water. Stir all together.
  3. Tie the spices in cheesecloth and add to the crabapples in the kettle.
  4. Cover the kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are tender but not falling apart.
  5. Remove the crab apples from the hot syrup and put aside. Repeat with the remaining half of the crabapples.
  6. When all the crabapples have been cooked, remove the kettle from the heat and return the first batch to the hot syrup.
  7. Allow the apples to cool in the syrup.
  8. Drain the crabapples, discard the spices, return the syrup to the pan, and bring to the boil.
  9. Pack the crab apples into pint or quart jars, cover with the boiling syrup to within ¼ inch of the tops, and screw on the lids.
  10. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Saving Money In the Kitchen

The theme of today's post is a saying that my grandmother used to say:

Waste Not, Want Not

So today we're going to give you 10 ways to save money in the kitchen and not waste a thing!

  1.  Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays. Use in recipes that call for coffee or drop into coconut or almond milk for a refreshing drink!
  2. When you have that one or two little spoonfuls of vegetables leftover and you’re not sure it’s worth saving, chop them and put them in the freezer in a zipper bag or plastic container. Reach for these veggies for omelettes or soups.
  3. Never throw out bones from roasts, poultry or fish. Use this for making broths and stocks.
  4. The ends of baguettes and french loaves or any bread that is getting old–don’t throw it out! First dry it well in the oven overnight with the light on.  Then place in the food processor and pulse, making bread crumbs. Store in freezer.
  5. When bananas get overripe and mushy, don’t throw them out! Peel and freeze. These are perfect for banana bread, smoothies and “soft serve” non-dairy ice cream.
  6. Compost everything you can’t find a way to eat! Or feed it to your chickens. Or feed it to your worms for great vermicompost!
  7. Bruised fruit or fruit that has passed it’s prime that everyone passes up in the fruit bowl, cut it up and freeze it. Use in smoothies.
  8. Save your banana peels and plant them under your rose bushes to give your roses a potassium feed.
  9. Place used coffee grounds around your pepper and tomato plants to boost soil nitrogen.
  10. Turn leftover rice into rice pudding!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Home Remedies

Today we are going to send you to the site of a fellow blogger for some great tutorials on making herbal tinctures and teas.  You are going to love:


Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday's Money Saving Tips

  1. Make your own items instead of buying them. I like to make my cleaners and laundry Organic Essential Oilsdetergents.  Hunt around for recipes – it’s amazing how many things you can make at home in just a few minutes that saves a ton of money compared to the commercial version.  Personally, I prefer to make my own with essential oils so that I and my family can avoid those chemically ladden ones.
  2. Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities. This is often a tricky thing to do, but there are a number of techniques you can try.  Be the first one to suggest something – that often gives you the power to steer the group towards things that are cheaper. Have you priced a round of golf lately?  YIKES!  Geocacheing is one great idea.
  3. Don't Speed. Not only is it inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle. My son is a State Trooper and if we get a lead foot and get pulled over my son is sure to know about it within 10 minutes as was the case when we got a warning for speeding a few weeks ago. Boy, did we hear about that one!  It’s highly cost-efficient to just drive the speed limit so keep that gas in the tank
  4. Read more. Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to the public – just go there and check out some books that interest you. Then, spend some of your free time in a cozy place in your house, just reading away. You’ll learn something new, improve your reading ability, enjoy yourself, and not have to spend a dime. 
  5. Always ask for fees to be waived. Any time you sign up for a service of any kind and there are sign-up fees, ask for them to be waived. Sometimes (but not always), they will be – and you save money just by being forthright about not wanting to pay excessive fees.
  6. Eat less meat. For the nutritional value, meat is very expensive, especially as compared to vegetables and fruits. Simply change around your regular meal proportions to include more fruits and vegetables and less meats – eat a smaller steak and a bigger helping of green beans, for example. Not only is this a healthier way to eat (saving on health costs), it’s also less expensive.
  7. Use a brutally effective coupon strategy. Here’s the trick: wait a month before using the coupons. Save your coupon flyer out of your Sunday paper for a month, then bust it out and start cutting anything that might be of interest. For a bonus kicker, use the coupons in comparison with your grocery store flyer that week to find out ways you can use a coupon to reduce the cost of an item already on sale – you can wind up paying pennies for some things and, on occasion, actually get food for free.
  8. Utilize online bill pay with your bank. This serves two purposes. First, it keeps you in much closer contact with your money, as you can keep a very close eye on your balance and be in much less danger of overdrafting waiting for those checks to clear. Second, it saves you money on stamps and paper checks by allowing you to just fill in an online form, click submit, and have your bill paid. Try it out, if you’re not already.
  9. Always keep looking ahead. Don’t let the mistakes of your past drag you down into more mistakes. Look ahead to the future. The choices you make now won’t affect the past – but they definitely will affect the future. Think back, and remember how the bad choices you made earlier are costing you now, and constantly remember to not make those mistakes now so that they don’t cost your future self.
  10. Connect your entertainment center and/or computer setup to a true smart power strip. A smart power strip basically cuts power to all devices on the strip depending on the status of the first item on the strip. So, if you have your workstation hooked up to this, every time you power down your workstation, your monitor powers down, your printer powers down, your scanner powers down, and so on. You can do the same thing with your entertainment console – when you turn off the television, the cable/satellite box also goes off, as does the video game console, the VCR, the DVD player, and so on. This can save you a lot of electricity and significantly trim your power bill.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Time to Plant Garlic

People all over the world have used garlic for centuries. Specialty garlic is food that can be enjoyed in a manner much like fine wine. Garlic thrives in rich, well drained, composted soil with a pH between 6-7. Adapted to many climates, garlic is easy to grow and is bothered by few pests. Separate the cloves of garlic just prior to planting. Plant the cloves 4-6 inches apart, covering them with 1-2 inches of soil. Elephant garlic is planted 6-8 inches apart and covered with 4-6 inches of soil. In the plains states garlic is best planted in October so it has time to establish a good root system before cold weather settles in. When spring growth begins, water to keep the soil slightly moist, and fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer applied every two weeks until bulbing begins. As harvest approaches, watering should be less frequent to avoid molding or staining. Cut off any flowering stems at the top leaf to redirect energy to the bulb.

HARVEST: Garlic should be harvested when 3-4 green leaves remain on the stem. Each green leaf represents one layer of covering over the bulb in the ground. If there are no green leaves when you harvest, you may find the cloves are exposed when you dig up the garlic.

Freshly dug garlic can be used straight from the garden, but if you let it dry slowly in the shade, it will last for several months.Click To Enlarge

Tie the plants in small bundles and dry in a cool, shaded, well-ventilated location. After about 2 weeks, you can hang the bundles in a cool location, out of any direct sunlight. You can also remove the stems and store the garlic heads in a mesh bag.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Cold and Flu Thoughts

Here are some hints for avoiding the Flu this season:

  1. Eat 2 cloves pickled garlic per day.
  2. Drink Grandma Farmers Herbal Immune Builder Tea once a day
  3. If you feel the flu or a cold coming on drink Grandma Farmers Cold and Flu Tea
  4. Wash your hands throughout the day.
  5. Every time you shake someone's hand, wash yours.
  6. When you go to the store wipe the cart with sanitizer wipes.
  7. When you use a public bathroom do not touch anything with your hands or skin.  When you flush....RUN!  The germs are spewing through the air.  Use sanitizer wipes throughout process.  80% of people who use public restrooms don't wash their hands.  That means there is probably urine and fecal materials on all public surfaces including toilet seats, stall handles, toilet handles, sink knobs and exit handles.  Use a towel to touch these objects.
  8. Avoid touching your face with your hands.  A cold or flu virus can easily be transmitted through your eyes or nose.
  9. Dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide regularly.  This will kill potential germs plus if you have a cold or flu, it will helpyou not to re-infect yourself.  Remember to rinse your toothbrush in water before thouching any fabric.  The hydrogen peroxide will bleach out your towels.
  10. Wipe your cell phone, computer key board, doors and door knobs/handles with damp sanitizer cloth inside your home and vehicles.
  11. Increase your vitamin C to 2000 mg daily for adults and 500 mg a day for children.  I use Vitamin C Ascorbate.
  12. Take 1-3,000 units of Vitamin D daily, especially in the winter.
  13. Increase your Vitamin B complex by adding it in addition to your whole food Multi-vitamin
ATTENTION: Information given herein is for informational purposes only.  We do not pretend to be physicians.  Please see your physician for a medical condition your may have.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Ten Money Saving Tips

  1. Turn off the television.  A really big way to save money is to watch less television.  financial benefits to this are: less exposure to guilt-inducing ads, more time to focus on other things in life, less electrical use, learn to communicate with your family, etc.  Watching TV is a great to unwind in the evening, but look for another hobby to do that.  Secondly, don't just turn it off,  unplug it too, as the TV continues to use electricity when off.  We put ours on a plug strip that way we just flip the switch.
  2. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, jams, jellies, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make awesome gifts for others because they involve provide a personal touch.  Include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the store.
  3.  Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it. One should never go into a store without a list. Make a careful plan of what you’ll buy before you go, then stick strictly to that list when you go to the store. Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list, no matter how tempting, and you’ll come out of the store saving a bundle.
  4. Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards or a game. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and you'll have a great time.
  5.  Instead of throwing out clothing that needs repair, fix it instead. Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button – sew a new one on with some closely-matched thread. Don’t toss out pants because of a hole in them – put in a patch of some sort and save them for times when you’re working around the house. Simple sewing can be done by anyone – it just takes a few minutes and it saves a lot of money by keeping you from buying new clothes when you don’t really need to.
  6. Don’t spend huge amounts of money entertaining your children. Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply. Buy them an end roll of newspaper from your local paper and let their creativity run wild. Make a game out of ordinary stuff around the house, like tossing pennies into a jar, even. Realize that what your children want most of all is your time, not your stuff, and you’ll find money in your pocket and joy in your heart.
  7.  Drink more water. Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you won’t eat as much, saving on the ol’ food bill. You’ll also find yourself feeling a bit better as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most Americans are perpetually somewhat dehydrated).
  8. Make a double batch of a casserole. Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, it’s often still easier to just order some take-out or eat out or just plop a prepackaged meal in the oven. Instead, the next time you make a casserole, make two, three or four batches of it and put the other's in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up – easy as can be. Even better, doing this allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each casserole cheaper than it would be ordinarily – and far, far cheaper than eating out or trying a prepackaged meal. AND you'll have something ready to go when you find a friend in need.
  9. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle. Plus, cleaning your air filter is easy to do in just a few minutes – just follow the instructions in your automobile’s manual and you’re good to go.
  10. Do a price comparison – and find a cheaper grocery store. Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store, even though quite often it’s not the one that offers the best deals on our most common purchases. Keep track of the things you buy most often, then shop for these items at a variety of stores.  I keep a notebook handy whenever I go shopping.  I check the notebook after I've created my menu to note where I want to shop for the best deals that week.  Don't forget to compare sale ad prices while making your shopping list.