German Pot Roast w/ all the Trimmings

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

This German Pot Roast will melt in your melt for sure!

3-5 pds chuck roast

3-5  garlic cloves, sliced thin

onion, sliced

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

2 cups strong coffee

1 cup water

salt and pepper

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast- let sit for 24-48 hours

Make two cups of strong coffee and water

Two cups of strong coffee and water
You're supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You’re supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You won't need a knife. Its so tender!

You won’t need a knife. Its so tender!

Balsalmic Roast 2

Make slits in roast, insert sliced garlic pieces into slits. Place the roast in a glass bowl and cover with one cup vinegar and sliced onions. The vinegar not only flavors the roast but also helps to tenderize it. Add a little more water to cover the roast. Refrigerate  for 24-48 hours.

Remove the roast from vinegar, pat dry and place roast in cast iron skillet on HIGH. Brown on both sides in iron skillet. Add the coffee and water- cover and cook on low on stove top with lid for 6 hours (I have made in oven as well, temperature on 300 for 6 hours).

Take roast out of liquid, it will fall apart. Oh my goodness this is  incredibly succulent and tender,  it melts in your mouth.

 

bread

Dill Casserole Bread

 

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 T. butter, melted

2 t. dill weed

1 egg

1 cup cottage cheese (I use curds)

2 1/2 cups self rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s)

(If you use regular flour you’ll need to add 1 t. salt and 1/4 t. soda)

 

Dissolve yeast in water. Mix all other ingredients. Let rise. Stir down. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Let rise- the longer the better! I let mine rise for 2-3 hours. Bake on 375 for 20-25 mins or until done.

 

potato salad

German Potato Salad

 

7-8 small to medium organic potatoes- chopped

salt to taste

8 slices uncured bacon-fry until crisp and save grease

1 red onion- diced and fried in bacon grease

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 heaping tablespoon flour

1/4 cup organic apple cider

1 bunch chopped chives

Fry bacon till crisp. Crumble, set aside and save grease. Add chopped onion to grease and fry until translucent. Add chicken broth, flour and apple cider to the mixture. Turn off heat. Put chopped potatoes into water seasoned with salt, in a pot. bring to boil and cook for 12 minutes. Drain water off. Add potatoes to other mixture and stir. When time to serve add the crumbled bacon and chopped chives. YUM!

Fry onions in bacon grease

Fry onions in bacon grease

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

Serve meal with salad!

Fried Gluten Free DONUTS

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Is your mouth watering yet? These donuts are DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

 2  envelopes active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk ( I used raw goat milk)

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1/3 cup shortening

5 cups of gluten free flour (I used Pamela’s)

1 quart shortening for frying

Ingredients for  Frosting:

1/3 cup butter

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Recipe Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Recipe makes 12 large donuts

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.
    Ingredients

    Ingredients

    photo 2

  6. Gluten free dough never gets elastic like gluten dough. I added a little extra flour. While sitting it will become more solid.

    Gluten free dough never gets elastic like gluten dough. I added a little extra flour. While sitting it will become more solid.

    Dough rising

    Dough rising

     

    Not elastic but more like biscuit dough

    Not elastic but more like biscuit dough

    Must be well floured below dough or it will stick

    Must be well floured below dough or it will stick

     

    Gluten Free donuts don't rise as high as gluten donuts

    Gluten Free donuts don’t rise as high as gluten donuts

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  7. Organic shortening

    Organic shortening

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Thank you Jennifer and Alex Craig, for making these for us and sharing how you did it!

Tips for Traveling Cheap

Forth of July Picnic

Forth of July Picnic

We traveled 3000 miles in three days on $300.  It was an ADVENTURE!  Jennifer and I traveled from Virginia to L.A., CA.

I love a good challenge, don’t you?  Where do you want to go or need to go this summer? Does it seem impossible?  Then do it!

I’ve got my master’s degree in pinching pennies after raising five daughters. On top of raising them, we sent all five to college and have married four of them, so far.  Many days there’ve been no pennies to pinch.   So, we’ve had to work harder.

Several years ago Jennifer got an internship in L.A., CA.  She needed to get there with all her belongings- on the least amount of money possible.  We looked at the three big budget needs of travel: Mode of transportation, food, and lodging. We calculated every mode of travel meticulously- plus shipping her belongings. Every way we sliced it, we came up with car travel being the cheapest.

This is how we traveled 3000 miles on $300 in three days:

~Our VW Bug could go 45 miles to a gallon on the highway. We needed approximately 66 gallons of gas for 3000 miles. We mapped out the cheapest places to get gas and drove wisely on the highway.  We didn’t carry heavy luggage or coolers that would add drag to the fuel consumption.  We made the whole trip on $220 in gas.

~We calculated that we would need three nights of lodging.  We asked friends in TN (Micca Campbell) and OK (Tammy Dennis) if we could stay overnight with them on our journey. We made WONDERFUL memories with them.  Our last night we stayed at the cheapest hotel (THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED). It was definitely a memory which could be a post all on its own.

~We brought ALL of our own food. Loaves of organic bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, apples, boiled eggs and water.  Not once did we buy fast food.  Not once did we visit a convenience or grocery store and not once did we sit down in a restaurant. Not once did we buy a bottled water.  We filled up jars with water at home and refilled along the journey.

Traveling is expensive, if you aren’t careful.  In I Corinthians 4:2 We are told that, “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” I want to have been found faithful with all the Lord provides for our family.

It’s a holiday weekend.  Yay!  Dale and I traveled to the beach to be with our children and grandchildren.  For the trip, I packed a picnic lunch.  I  poured chili in the bottom of mason jars, poured homemade corn bread batter on top of that and topped with shredded cheddar cheese.  I then baked the jars in the oven on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let the jars cool before putting tops on.

To add live enzymes to our meal, I included my Cucumber Salad and watermelon stars.  I filled mason jars with water for drinking and added organic chips to the basket! YUM!

You can also make my Chicken& Dumpling cobbler in mason jars.  Where do you plan to go this summer or where do you wish you could go? I would love to hear what food you bring on trips to save money!

Faith that Moves Mountain’s

IMG_0006Last weekend I spoke in Odessa, TX and Fort Payne, AL. Today I’m headed for Salt Lake City, Utah for a Women’s Aglow retreat. The theme of the weekend is, FAITH that MOVES MOUNTAINS!! “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ” Matt.17:20

This is going to be a POWERFUL weekend!! Anyone in Utah or near it want to come?

Made some Paleo banana muffins for Dale to eat while I’m gone!

Paleo Banana Bread (Gluten Free)

6 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup raw honey

1 tsp vanilla

8 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

1 cup ripe banana’s

Preheat oven to 350. Stir all ingredients together and pour into loaf pan or muffin pan. Bake for 40-55 min for loaf and 20 min’s or more for muffins. I added chopped walnuts to mine! Enjoy!

 

A Proverbs 31 Woman Provides Food for her Family

Vinegar in waiting for the chive blossoms

Vinegar in waiting for the chive blossoms

 

Proverbs 31: 10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

 She gets up while it is still night;

she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;  for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;  she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household  and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done,and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

A Proverbs 31 woman provides food for her household. She plans in advance and works for the good of her home.

Chives grow like weeds, the blossoms only bloom in the spring but then you have chives all summer, fall and  winter.
Chive blossoms make beautiful flower arrangements, taste delicious chopped in salads or steeped in vinegar and supply us with vitamin C. Blossoms steeped in vinegar for a week or two give a gentle taste of onion with a beautiful pink color.

Gently wash organic chive blossoms to remove dirt and bugs. Let dry. Pour your favorite vinegar into a jar, then add chive blossoms. Let steep for a week or two in cool dark place. Wha-la- Chive blossom vinegar!Use in homemade salad dressings, serve salads with oil and chive vinegar on side, sprinkle over fried fish, sautéed kale or dandelion greens. . .!photo

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Add cleaned chopped chive blossoms to your favorite vinegar and steep in cool dark place for a week or two

Add cleaned chopped chive blossoms to your favorite vinegar and steep in cool dark place for a week or two

Winner from last weeks drawing is Kelly Wolff!  Please contact me about getting your gift! 

Are You Physically Empowered? Your pH Level Tells it All

 

 

watermelonTo live an Empowered Life- you must take care of your spirit, soul and body. If we live a holy life honoring God with our whole heart yet  forget to fuel our body (temple of Holy Spirit) with premium fuel- we suffer. I want to run this race to win (I Corinthians 9:24)the prize like an Olympic gold medalist.  To do this I’ve got to be intentional about how I fuel my body.

God designed everything to be in perfect order, our bodies included. He designed us to be kept at a delicate pH balance of 7.365, and our internal temperature at 98.6. Every cell, organ and bodily function are dependent on those being kept in that order. When they aren’t, our bodies start to degenerate; suffer pain, age prematurely, gain excess weight, get cancer, heart disease, diabetes. . .  So, the key  to keep our body running at optimum levels just like God designed is to keep our body at the pH and temperature He designed us for.

The pH scale goes from 1-14 – 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is acid, and anything above 7 is base or alkaline.

As you know a fish aquarium must be kept at proper pH or the fish die. A swimming pool has to be kept at a proper pH so bacteria can’t grow. Your body must be kept at proper pH level or your body degenerates and suffers disease.   What we eat and drink helps keep our body at the optimum pH level. Sleep, rest, stress and exercise also contribute to our pH level.

How we live and what we eat will determine how we run the race before us. To make healthy food choices we need to look at the pH level of the food we eat. We need to choose a balance of healthy foods. Sometimes even when eating healthy our pH level is still acid. We need to monitor our pH level until we are in the optimum range every day. The only way to know what our pH level is, is to buy a pH tester and test through out the day. You’ll be shocked at how much raw fruit and vegetables you need to eat to maintain your level.

Every pH food chart you look at online ranks foods a little differently. It categorizes foods from most alkaline to most acid. On one site you’ll see a food ranked low alkaline and another it is low acid. The reason for discrepancy  is; all foods are grown in different soils with different nutrient levels. Take for instance a home grown tomato, ours planted in fertile organic soil produces a fruit that doesn’t even resemble the flavor, texture or nutrition of the ones in the grocery store. Some charts say a tomato is alkaline some say low acid- you get the point. Eat as organic and homegrown as you can for optimum nutrition.

pH test strips- can be bought at any health food store

pH test strips- can be bought at any health food store

Most Americans are overly acid.  The standard American diet is acid forming food;  processed breads, deserts, soda’s, pasta, sugar, beer, fast food, lack of rest and an overload of stress.

An Empowered life runs at the optimum pH level of 7.365 so that we can run and not be weary. God gives each of us talents to use for His glory. Are you living up to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus in your life? Or is your health getting in the way? Come on- let’s run this race! I struggle too, I love coffee and junk as much as you do- but I can’t let it rule me. In order to have my French pressed organic coffee in the morning I have to eat a huge bowl of fruit to off set the acid. If that doesn’t work, I may need more rest.

This was my breakfast today. I did add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee(acid) 3/4 alkaline 1/4 acid

This was my breakfast today. I did add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee(acid) 3/4 alkaline 1/4 acid

To eat healthy we need a balance of alkaline and healthy acids. The majority of our food needs to be alkaline.  Let’s try to make 3/4 of our plate alkaline and 1/4 healthy acid.

Alkaline foods- this is by far exhaustive

Lemons

Watermelon

Limes

Grapefruit

Mangoes

Papayas

Asparagus

Onions

Parsley

Raw spinach

Broccoli

Garlic

Kale

Cucumber

Avocado

Bell peppers

Amaranth

Dates

Figs

Melons

Grapes

Kiwi

Berries

Apples

Pears

Raisons

Cantaloupes

Okra

Squash

Green beans

Beets

Celery

Lettuce

Quinoa

Zucchini

Sweet potato

Oranges

Bananas

Pineapple

Peaches

Tomato

Fresh corn

Mushrooms

Cabbage

Peas

Olives

Potato skin

Pumpkin

Almonds

Chestnuts

Millet

Coconut oil

Avocado oil

Olive oil

Flax oil

Cod liver oil

Almond oil

Sprouted grains

Lemon water

Green tea

Kombucha

Apple cider vinegar

Raw honey

Maple syrup

Raw sugar

Raw goat milk

Goat cheese, whey

Wild rice

 

Acid foods- this is by far exhaustive

Processed honey

White sugar

Brown sugar

Molasses

White flour

White rice

Brown rice

Pasta

Pastries

Wheat bread

Kidney beans

Pinto beans

Lima beans

Navy beans

Peanuts

Prunes

Potato

Eggs

Stress

Smoking

Processed food

Butter

Yogurt

Raw cow milk

Cottage cheese

Cheese

Ice cream

Coffee

Beef

Chicken

Pork

Venison – lowest acid

Fish- cold water, lowest acid

Equal, Nutrasweet,sweet ‘N Low-highest acid

Beer

Soft drinks

Lack of sleep

 

Watermelon Rind Pickles- Fermented (Highest Alkaline)

1 rind from an organic watermelon- Wash watermelon. Eat or drink the pink part- also nutritious. Chop the rind into 1 inch pieces and put inside large jar

2 tablespoons Sea Salt

2 tablespoons whey (if you don’t have this just add an additional tablespoon of salt to the above measurement)

1 quart water- Add salt and whey to the water and stir, then pour on top of rind in jar. Cover.

Let sit in 72-80 degrees for three days then put in refrigerator. It may need to be burped to release air once in a while on counter.

Watermelon rind contains a compound known as citrulline, according to a study published in the June 2005 issue of the “Journal of Chromatography.” Citrulline might serve up a range of medicinal benefits. Evidence in the March 2011 edition of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” suggests that the citrulline in watermelon rinds gives it antioxidant effects that protect you from free-radical damage. Additionally, citrulline converts to arginine, an amino acid vital to the heart, circulatory system and immune system. Nutritional facts about watermelon

Salmon puffs with sweet potato and alkaline salad-3/4 of the plate is alkaline-1/4 is healthy acid

Dilled Salmon Puffs with sweet potato and alkaline salad (fermented lemon peel, cantaloupe apple, dates, spinach, lettuce, beets, flax oil)-3/4 of the plate is alkaline-1/4 is healthy acid

Dilled Salmon Puff’s w/ Avocado

8 oz. can of wild salmon- crush bones and keep for calcium or toss bones out
1 avocado- peel, pit and mash avocado
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup fresh dill, shopped
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in bowl. Grease muffin pan and fill each 1/2 full. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 min’s or until done.
Serve with a alkaline filled salad on the side and baked sweet potato. We put fermented lemon peels on every salad. Lemon is in the top seven high alkaline foods.

An alkaline desert or on the go food

An alkaline desert or on the go food

Banana Bread- Lowest Alkaline

6 eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk- I crack a coconut open and use fresh. You can use  canned
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. organic vanilla
8 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or butter)
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour (I used walnut this time)
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup ripe banana’s, mashed
Mix all ingredient s well. Pour into muffin pan or loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25-50 mins. Depends on if you’re making muffins or loaf and what you’re baking in glass, metal or ceramic.
Cool for 10 min’s before inverting.
Spaghetti squash and meatballs w/ alkaline salad- 3/4 of plate is alkaline 1/4 healthy acid

Spaghetti squash and meatballs w/ alkaline salad- 3/4 of plate is alkaline 1/4 healthy acid- salad has fermented lemons on it, parsley, spinach, tomatoes, kale and cucumber w/ olive oil

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

1 spaghetti squash (alkaline)
Tomato sauce (lowest alkaline)
Olive oil(alkaline)
Raw goat cheese- shredded(alkaline)
1 lb. venison (lowest acid)
 1. Prepare spaghetti squash. Cut squash  in half, take seeds and stringy part out, baste with oil and bake for 50 mins in 450 degree oven. When done,  scrape inside of squash out with a large spoon. Looks like spaghetti! Toss salt and olive oil  to taste.
2. Prepare tomato sauce. Sauté one chopped onion and 4 diced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil until done. Add 12 oz. fire roasted crushed tomatoes, chopped fresh rosemary and chopped thyme to taste into sautéed onions and garlic. Stir and simmer.
3. Prepare goat cheese- shred finely  or use crumbled
4. Prepare meatballs- in a bowl, add raw venison or hamburger, one beaten egg, 1/3 cup finely diced onions and salt to taste. Form into balls. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan. Add the meatballs to the hot oil. Fry until slightly browned on one side then flip to next side . Brown on that side and then continue cooking till done.
Put a serving of spaghetti squash on each plate, top with tomato sauce, a couple meatballs, more sauce then with goat cheese.
A cup of green matcha tea is delicious- I add a little frothed raw goat milk- Green tea is very alkaline and goat milk is low alkaline. I could add a little raw honey to this and it would still be alkaline

A cup of green matcha tea is delicious- I add a little frothed raw goat milk- Green tea is very alkaline and goat milk is low alkaline. I could add a little raw honey to this and it would still be alkaline

Fresh orange juice- drink immediately after juicing for optimal enzymes

Fresh orange juice- drink immediately after juicing for optimal enzymes- Alkaline

Winner of last weeks drawing for the books and Target gift card is Tina who posted at 2014/03/12 at 1:07 PM! Yay! Tina email me your address!!

Twelfth Night Dinner

 

 

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on. . .

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on in our Home

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotions, welcome!

It was the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended… It was a Twelfth Night Dinner.  The smell of roasted rib roast enveloped us as we walked through the front door. We were ushered through the bustling kitchen.  It was filled with homemade dishes.  Yorkshire pudding and mushroom pie were being taken out of the oven as we made our way to the family room adjacent to the dining-room.  Candles flickered all over the table.  Jars of homemade pickled watermelon rind and other delicacies adorned the table.

Their only daughter, Heidi (11 years old), was sitting on the sofa. We sat next to her.  A wig covered her sparse, thin hair. Cancer had taken a toll on her brainstem and she wasn’t who she used to be physically or mentally.  Slowly, she explained to us why her family celebrated Twelfth Night.

She looked off into the distance and recalled the beautiful story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus. The wise men were Gentiles (non-Jews) and were willing to go any distance to worship and adore Him with their finest gifts.  At the close of her story, her words got slower.  She took a long pause- we waited. Our daughters didn’t move a muscle nor did my husband or I.  It was as if she were listening to a voice we couldn’t hear. Our hearts melted when slowly she said “Come let us adore Him and give Him our best- just like the wise men.”

Clanging pots and dishes jolted us back into the twentieth century. Pat, our hostess invited us to gather ‘round the table. Her toddler started to cry. She said, “Please excuse Galen, his ear drum burst last night. He didn’t get much sleep, he’s a little grumpy.”  We joined hands and prayed.

I sat mesmerized that night, by this family.  While suffering, they served.  One child suffering the effects of brain stem cancer, another with a dreadful ear infection, a mom with no sleep, a third child that begged her attention and yet, she served us with joy. How ironic that her and her husband would host a night of worship in honor of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus.

We ate our food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and praised God together.  Our children were young but even they could sense the sacredness of the night. No one said a word on our way home. Years have passed since then, but every 12th night after Christmas, I remember the Kastock family and that special dinner. Heidi went home to be with the Lord. But she lives on in my heart as the greatest story teller of Twelfth Night, that there ever was.

It was literally the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended. The food was incredible.  The fellowship sweet but the living example of a suffering servant is so indelibly etched in my heart and soul that it changed me forever.

Lord, help me to never wait until my circumstances are perfect to serve. Help me to serve when nothing is perfect, when life is hard and when it’s good.  May I celebrate You all the days of my life with the same tenacity and with my finest gifts just like the wise men, and the Kastock’s.

I don’t know about you but I’ve already got the family in mind I want to invite over. How about you? We can’t wait till things get easier.  It never does! To make it easier, you could have them over for just coffee and dessert.

The best  Coconut Cream Cake (Gluten Free) recipe ever to serve with the coffee!

A make ahead dinner, try- Chicken and Dumpling  Casserole (Gluten Free) I keep one of these in freezer at all times for unexpected company. You can bake it before you freeze it or freeze unbaked, both work.

Pat Kasktock’s Twelfth Night Yorkshire Pudding

2 Corinthians 12:9a, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

Who are you going to invite? Leave their name in the comment section to enter the drawing to win this amazing book, Everyday Confetti written by my dear friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and a $30 Target gift card to get the baking pan you need! The book is being released January 21, 2014. I’ll pick the winner next Wednesday!! Everyday confetti

 

8 Christmas Cookie/Candy Gift Recipes

 

Cookie lead photo

A memorable Christmas tradition in our family is to bring goodies to the homes of hurting people on Christmas Eve. Notice I didn’t say our favorite Christmas tradition but a memorable one. The kids didn’t actually like this tradition when they were little. Just this week I got a call from one of our grown daughters, Hannah and she said even though it wasn’t one of her favorite traditions as a child, it is as an adult. She wants to carry the tradition on in her family. Throughout the year we would make a mental note of those who had lost loved ones, endured cancer, lost their jobs or husbands. Then on Christmas Eve we would deliver goodies to their homes and pray for them.

I’ll never forget one year in particular. We went into the home of a family who had lost their only teenage son. We didn’t call before we came. it was a surprise visit. The dad was drunk and he wasn’t a drinker.  The mom was crying.  The kids were sitting by the Christmas tree with no gifts. Sadness consumed the house. We gathered them into a circle, held hands and prayed. They didn’t want us to leave, we brought not just food- but the joy of the Lord. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Bringing good tidings of great joy to the poor and brokenhearted; Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and open prison to those who are bound…To comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  We are His ambassadors carrying His anointing to the lost and hurting ones, He loves. Let’s be His hands and feet and bring joy where there is none.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes  to make for your goodie deliveries.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 180

Prepare your goodie containers. Save oatmeal, cocoa and coffee canisters throughout year. Wrap cans with paper you’ve saved  and have fun decorating with supplies on hand. The point is to spend the least amount of money and make it look better than anything you could buy.

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies-GF

1 box of chocolate cake mix (we used a gluten free mix, any cake mix works)

1/3 cup water (depending on how many ounces the mix -you may need as much as ¾ cup)

3 tablespoons shortening or butter, softened

Mix all ingredients. It will be a little dry. If you can’t form it into a ball, you need more water. Add extra slowly. Dust the counter with a little cocoa powder, roll out dough and use cookie cutter to form circles.  If your dough is too sticky, form into silver dollar size patties by hand and flatten.

Bake on greased baking sheet for 6 minutes on 325 degrees.

Filling

3 ½ cups powdered sugar (organic)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup shortening or butter

3 tablespoons hot water

Mix well. After cookies have cooled squish a heaping wallop of frosting between two cookies! YUM

 

Candied Oranges

Candied Orange

6 thick sliced organic oranges (non-organic orange peel shouldn’t be eaten, chemicals are heavy)

4 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

Wash oranges. Quarter and peel the skin and pith off. Slice peel into thin strips. Put orange peel into a pot of cold water, bring to boil over high heat. Pour water off and repeat 1-2 more times. This helps take  bitterness away. Remove orange peels from water.

Empty pot and now add your sugar and 1 ½ cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, bringing the temperature up slowly to 234. Add the peels and simmer for 40 minutes. DON’T stir, it can make sugar crystals in your syrup. Drain the peels and roll in a little sugar if you desire. Let sit for several hours.

I actually used fermented oranges on one batch- OH MY GOODNESS—it was better than anything I’ve ever eaten. The oranges were soft inside and the outside was hardened candy. It was like eating heaven.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 196

Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups organic brown sugar (all sugar not organic is genetically modified)

5 ounces whole milk (I used raw goat milk for my lactose sensitive family)

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups organic powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use artificial, it cheats you of perfection)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter a 9×9 inch square pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat sugar, milk, butter and maple syrup. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into mixing bowl and beat on medium until thick—about 3 minutes. Fold in nuts and pour into greased pan.

Let cool overnight. Slice into 1-inch squares.

 

Pecan Toffee

Pecan Toffee- GF Not hard but a soft crunch- YUM

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

1 cup butter (don’t use margarine)

1 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup or maple syrup (if you can’t find organic corn syrup use maple syrup)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup crushed toasted pecans

Line a 9 X 13ish baking pan with foil and grease. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts into bottom of pan evenly. In pot add butter, sugar and corn syrup or maple syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling.

Clip a candy thermometer onto side of pot. Cook and stir over medium heat. Stop stirring after sugar melts.  Cook until candy thermometer reaches 290 degree. Watch carefully, it can burn after 280. If it starts to turn too dark after 280 turn off heat. Pour mixture evenly over chopped nuts in greased pan.

Let stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Let melt on top for a couple of minutes.  Spread chocolate over whole mixture. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top. Cool, when firm lift out of pan and break into pieces. Store in tightly covered container.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 189

Banana Bread Muffins- GF

1 ¾ cups self-rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s Baking Mix or dairy free Cherry

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup milk ( you can substitute with yogurt)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup butter

1 cup organic sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

If you use non-self-rising flour you’ll need 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda and ¾ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour into muffin pan or loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees  for 25 minutes.

Muffin topping

½ cup sugar

½ finely chopping nuts

4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix sugar and nuts together in a bowl. Melted butter in another small bowl.

Dip cooled muffin top into melted butter, then dip into sugar and nut mixture.

Enjoy!

 Flourless Decadent Brownie- GF

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (dairy free if you’re lactose intolerant)

1 ½ sticks butter

5 beaten eggs

½ cup organic sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 cup pecans

Melt chocolate chips and butter in bowl and stir. Add all other ingredients and pour into 9X9 pan. Bake on 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 138

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter

2 cups organic sugar

½ cup milk (lactose sensitive people most often can tolerate goat milk)

1/8 tsp salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup crunch peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, milk and salt in pot. Stir and bring to rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla.

Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Work quickly it will start to harden!

Homemade Marshmallows dipped in chocolate are GREAT to giveaway.

Blondie’s frosted in Christmas colors

Caramel Pecan Pie Cake muffins

Marshmallow Fruit Salad- GF

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Some recipes are so special that you use them only at  holidays and special occasions–this Marshmallow Fruit Salad  is one of those recipes! It’s a labor of love that’ll be passed down for generations. Serves 40 people-6 0z each or 20 people with leftovers for the next day.

Use organic ingredients when possible for longevity of your life.

2 cups of cooked Arborio rice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour (I use GF)

½ tsp. salt

3 egg yolks- beaten

1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

2 15 ounce cans mandarin oranges

1 ¾ cup of juice from pineapple and mandarin orange’s

7 cups homemade marshmallows -Homemade makes a huge difference, but you can use store bought. I actually wouldn’t make this without homemade marshmallows. It’s what makes it special.

2 ½ cups Truwhip (homemade whipped cream is the ultimate ingredient but lactose intolerant people can’t eat it. Most tolerate Truwhip which is 70% organic w/ trace amount of sodium caseinate. Cool Whip is genetically modified- don’t use it)

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Only use Arborio rice for this recipe.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, juice from fruit- stir well and cook on medium until thick. Stir into cooked rice. Refrigerate overnight- to absorb all the goodness into rice.
  3.  Next day, stir into rice mixture; Truwhip, marshmallows, pineapple and mandarin oranges. Mix well.
  4. I make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet--fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet–fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    Thickened

    Thickened

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

     

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

In the olden days people decorated their homes with homemade treasures, often with resources grown on their own farms. I’m excited to share with you 10 nostalgic fall ideas we made this year from resources grown(mostly) our property.  I hope you make a few for your home! If you have any  old-fashioned ideas for fall decorating–I would love to hear them!

An industrious woman always plans for the future. Pin this post so you can plan for the things you’ll make next fall.  In the spring you’ll want to plant  flowers that you’ll dry at the end of summer for your fall arrangement. You’ll want to plant gourds and pumpkins if you have space. Back in the day even those who had little money purchased a few basic items in town at a store, like cloves and a lemon. I spent less than $10 on everything I made in this post.  I’m not sure how much money a grapevine wreath is in the store. You may find one at a yard sale or thrift store for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  A good resource to find free treasures to decorate wreaths would be in the forest. Go on a nature hike and return with bags of possibilities.

#1 Dried Zinnia Wreath

My summer Zinnia's dried--now I can enjoy them all year!

My summer Zinnia’s dried and made into a wreath! I enjoy them all year! I’m giving away zinnia seeds to 3 people! Just tell me you want seeds in comment section! I’ll pick 3 winners next week–save them for next spring!

Picked fresh Zinnia's multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

I picked fresh Zinnia’s of multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top.

Cover flowers with silica crystals. I've had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

Cover flowers with  crystals. I’ve had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

After the flowers come out of microwave- shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack

Put covered flowers  in microwave for a couple of minutes-shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack.

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

Let dry completely for a couple of days- these are ready!

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers into place

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers onto grapevine wreath

 

#2 Pinecone Tree- We have pine trees on our property, so pine cones are plentiful. If you don’t have any–ask someone who does to give you some. Most people who have pine cones have hundreds or thousands to share.

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We're putting lights on it tonight!

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We’re putting lights on it tonight!

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Pinecones_in_bowls

 

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Half opened

Half opened

Pinecones_in_oven_open

Fully open- you can turn heat up for faster opening or reduce to slow–they are dry and break more easily when to heated too high

 

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_DG_101413_Hartwood_VA_SG_inside_1186x890

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_SG_102113_Hartwood_VA

 

 

#3 Cornucopia I bought our basket- but baskets are easy to make if you’d like to be 100% authentic!

I've had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it will fall produce

I’ve had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it with fall produce

#4 Pine cone garland

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

#5 Stained Glass Dried Leaf & Flower Art

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

 

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and inbetween

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and in-between Can you guess what these are?

 

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY 049

Pansy in the center

Fall Leaf Stained Glass

#6 Pomander- Clove Studded Lemon

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle oris root over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle orris root, cinnamon and ground cloves  over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. Every few days I shook the bag around making sure the powder covered it well.  The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

The blue bowl holding the cloves was made by my sweet nephew Thomas Killian, he makes  handmade pottery and has an online store.

Pomanders are wonderful smelling.  You can decorate them in patterns, wrap a ribbon around them and place in a bowl or cover completely and preserve them for years to come.

Supplies needed: small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)

cloves

Spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon,  ground cloves and orris root

Knitting needle, toothpick or nail

#7 Corn Husk Garland

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2.  Pull the husks up over the corn--like in the photo

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2. Pull the husks up over the corn–like in the photo

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas_DIY_004_1186_890

Tied twine around each corn husk

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn't perfect, it overcooked the husks. You're supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn’t perfect, it overcooked the husks. You’re supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together with twine

 

 

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

 

#8 Natural Wreath

Fall wreath- Fall weeds and produce on a grapevine wreath–whatever you

find interesting in your part of the world that dry’s well- stick in the wreath

and hot glue into place. This only last one season. Next year it will be an

entirely different look depending on what I find interesting in our field.

 wreath1186X890

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Wreath_corn

#9 Pomegranate pumpkin face

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy-

#10 Retro Art

 

I'm going to send a copy of this retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m going to send a copy of my retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m giving away some of my zinnia seeds! Tell me your favorite color flower below to enter your name for the drawing. I’m picking three winners for the seeds. I’ll announce winners next week.

If you are a subscriber to my blog I’ll send you the retro Thanksgiving Day art next week!

Winner of $40 Target gift card and devotion book  from last week is Mary T. you posted on2013/10/14 at 12:09 PM! email me your address!

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole- (Gluten Free)

drying flowers, hannah's house, chicken casserole, gnoii 132Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

1 chicken

1 onion

3 carrots

water and salt

Dumplings

2 cups of self-rising flour (I use gluten free baking mix)

¼ cup butter, melted (more is always better)

¼ lb cheddar cheese, shredded

2/3 cup buttermilk ( you can substitute w/ homemade plain yogurt)

2 eggs, beaten

  1. Cook chicken in water with 1 diced onion, three chopped carrots and salt to taste.  Cook for 2-6 hours depending on how tender you want or how long you have. Take chicken out of broth, take skin off and debone. Shred chicken. Save carrots.
  2. Mix all ingredients for dumplings and set aside.
  3. Grease 9 X 13 baking dish. Evenly distribute shredded chicken and saved carrots into dish. Pour 2 ½ cups of chicken broth on top. Add salt to taste. Pour dumpling mixture on top in mounds and  spread evenly.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 min’s or until dumplings are fully baked on top.
  5. To freeze: Bake, let cool and wrap tightly- put in freezer. Let thaw and reheat on low heat. Sometimes I freeze it unbaked. If you do that, let it thaw and then bake 40 min’s are until done.

How to Make and Can Pear Butter

Sharon’s Pear Butter( I double the recipe)

We have an abundance of pears on our property. We just found another tree drooping with pears a couple of weeks ago in our field. Some people are allergic to apples so pears are a great way to enjoy the same recipes with a fruit similar. I would recommend using apple cider in this recipe if your family members can have apples. I posted how to make your own pear cider in here.

10 cups chopped pears (approximately 5lbs)

2 cups pear cider (you can use apple)

3 cups sugar (you can make it without sugar)

1 tsp ground gloves

1/2 tsp allspice

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Wash, peel,core and quarter pears. You don’t have to peel the pears if they’re blemish free.

2.Cook pears in cider and sugar until done, 20 min’s on high.

3. Pour pears in small quantity into blender and puree.

4. After all pears are pureed put spices in and stir

5. Pour into a pan and cook in oven on 350 degrees for at least 7 hours. It becomes thick and rich the longer it cooks.

Don’t use iron pans, it turns the pear butter a dark color and takes on the taste of iron. I learned this the hard way. Glass, stainless steel or ceramic are good choices. Test for desired thickness by spooning a drop of pear butter on cold plate. If no liquid oozes around edges, it is ready.

6. Ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

7. Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Yeilds 5 pints

 

Eating Your Weeds- Milk Thistle for Your Liver

Butterflies enjoying Milk Thistle next to barn

Butterflies enjoying Milk Thistle next to barn

Jonathan is doing well. Would you continue to pray? He needs our prayers. Thank you!! After walking the halls of  the hospital  and seeing all the sick people it makes you want to be healthy, doesn’t it! Hence, this post on Milk Thistle.

Milk Thistle is growing all over our property. For years I thought they were a pain and to some extent they are if you touch the thorns. They’re weeds that literally grow like wild here in VA.  Our cows and sheep wouldn’t eat them, nor our goats! Finally I did some research and found that God was saving them for us. The above ground parts and seeds are medicinal.

The seeds most often are used for liver and gallbladder disorders.

Some people use milk thistle for diabetes, diseases of the spleen, prostate, cancer, depression and, uterus. It is also used for allergy symptoms. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In foods, milk thistle leaves (cooked)and flowers are eaten as a vegetable for salads and a substitute for spinach. The seeds can be used to make coffee substitute and tea.

I’m using my Milk Thistle seeds raw on salads, in our smoothies and in our oatmeal. Having a healthy liver is vital for our health. Here are just a few things the liver does:
*Controls the production and removal of cholesterol
*Makes clotting factors
*Produces immune factors such as gamma gobulin
*Creates bile to help digest food and absorb nutrients
*Helps to clear the body of waste, toxins, and drugs
*Helps to maintain blood pressure
*Helps to support the liver’s ability to regenerate damaged tissue
*Reduces inflammation of the liver and gallbladder
*Improves digestion by stimulating bile production
*Helps to detoxify the liver from poisons
*Provides the body with antioxidants
*Helps to treat cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice, and chronic hepatitis.

Milk Thistle is a super nutrient for liver health. For more info on Milk Thistle read these links:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-milk-thistle-seed/

http://naturallivingsocal.blogspot.com/2012/04/milk-thistle-seed-liver-regenerator.html

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/milk-thistle-benefits-and-side-effects

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” I Cor. 6:19-20

Chop the tops off the milk thistle plant-wear gloves

Chop the tops off the milk thistle plant-wear gloves

milk thistle 6

Let the tops dry for a week in a dry place

Pull the purple top out and you'll find this fluffy stuff with seeds on the ends

Pull the purple top out and you’ll find this fluffy stuff with seeds on the ends

I held the fluffy part and with one gentle tug the seeds came off easy. If you do a bunch you can shake the heads in a big bag and the seeds will drop to the bottom of the bag.

I held the fluffy part and with one gentle tug the seeds came off easy. If you do a bunch you can shake the heads in a big bag and the seeds will drop to the bottom of the bag.

We eat the seeds on our salad, in our smoothies and in our oatmeal

We eat the seeds on our salad, in our smoothies and in our oatmeal

 

milk thistle4

milk thistle 3

Elderberry Elixir- Flu and Virus Remedy

Elderberry Elixer

Elderberry elixir

Elderberry is prolific on the Glasgow Farm. Our honey bees were in bee heaven early this summer with all the  Elderberry blossoms. Elderberry is famous for it’s ability to treat flu and virus symptoms.  This was my first year to make my very own Elderberry elixir. For years I had read how Elderberry  trumps Tamilfu for flu and virus remedy ability, so I decided to make a batch! It is so like God to put the very remedies we need in close proximity to us.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Elderberry Elixir Recipe
Two pint canning jar (or other glass jar that seals well)
Two cups washed ripe elderberries (it took an hour to pick the ripe one’s from the unripe!)
Two cups of high quality brandy
One cup of raw honey
Pour all ingredients into mixing bowl together and stir well. Pour into sterilized pint-sized jars. Secure top on and shake carefully. Let sit in cool dark place for four to six weeks. Strain well, reserving liquid and store in airtight jar in cool, dark place. You don’t have to strain if you don’t want. Shake  before using. Store in small tincture bottles if you have any. The elderberry tincture (elixir) will last a year or more. This is the first year I have made it! The remedy goes back to Hippocrates.

Take a teaspoon every three hours at onset of flu or virus. You can put a teaspoon into a cup of water and drink as well.  Take until well! If you’ve come into contact with someone with the flu or virus I suggest to take 3 or 4 times a day.
Of course- rest and eat chicken soup along with your Elderberry elixir!

“Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1951.”

Make sure you don’t eat unripe elderberries, the stem or leaves. They can make you very sick.

A Elderberry bunch- the unripe ones and the stems are dangerous to eat. Only use the ripe berries, the black ones

An Elderberry bunch- the unripe ones and the stems are dangerous to eat. Only use the ripe berries, the black ones

Unripe elderberries, in addition to the plant’s leaves, twigs, stems and roots, contain traces of cyanide- So be careful!

Elderberry Elixier ingredients: Raw honey, good quality brandy and Elderberries

Elderberry elixir ingredients: Raw honey, good quality brandy and ripe Elderberries

Pour all ingredients into mixing bowl

Pour all ingredients into mixing bowl

 

Stir elderberries, brandy and honey

Stir elderberries, brandy and honey together

Pour into pint sized jars-this recipe fit into 2 pint jars

Pour into clean pint-sized jars-this recipe fit into 2 pint jars

 

Elderberry Elixier

Elderberry elixir

 

Elderberry_hay_baler_field_DG_Hartwood_VA_8813 (17)

Elderberry elixir Secure top on and let sit for 4-6 weeks. You can strain out the berries at that point or let them stay and get stronger.

Elderberry_Hartwood_VA_DG_8313 (2)

 

You can order  Elderberry bushes from  Gurneys.com.

 

Elderberry tree/bush grew up  through our baler

Elderberry tree/bush grew up through our Baler they would take over our field if we let them!

 

Elderberry bush hanging over bunny

Elderberry bush hanging over bunny

Retro Mint Patties

Retro Mint Patties

Retro Mint Patties

The most requested recipe from our  vintage barn wedding last month? The mint patties! They were a HUGE hit, here is the recipe!

RETRO MINT PATTIES

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 4 cups  confectionery sugar (organic confectionary sugar doesn’t perform as well in color but  non organic is genetically modified)
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 4 tablespoons milk ( I use raw with full cream top)
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (don’t use imitation flavoring PLEASE)
  • 1 tsp pure organic vanilla extract (the better quality you use the better tasting it is)

mint_line

Coating:

  • 1 lb  white chocolate, chopped (the better the quality the better the taste)
  • soft gel paste colors ( for weddings and showers I use regular food dye. For all other occasions I use all natural dyes. The photo is representing the regular food colors)

 

Instructions for the Filling:

  1. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer now’s the time to pull it out (with paddle attachment)! If you don’t, get your arm muscles ready for a work out.  In mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, milk, peppermint oil and vanilla.
  2. Mix for 2 minutes on medium high. My mixer started to overheat, if that happens turn it off and let it cool down. Don’t burn your motor up.  Cover and chill filling in bowl for about 30 minutes.
  3. After chilled, roll into 1.5″ balls and place on wax  or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to create a patty. Chill for another 30-60 minutes until firm and remove when your coating is ready.

Instructions for the Coating:

If you have a double boiler- use it. I don’t have one so it makes this recipe more difficult.  In a double boiler, bring water to boil. Once boiling, turn the stove to low and add your chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth. Stir continuously. We borrowed a melting pot for chocolate from a friend, they’re around $20- it helped a lot.

Divide your chocolate into 3 bowls. Add a couple drops of color to each bowl and stir. WORK QUICKLY at this point, once the chocolate is 80 to 84 degrees on a candy thermometer you can begin dipping the mints into chocolate. The chocolate starts to harden in the bowls when the temperature decreases.  Dip patties into chocolate, coat both sides. Set in a cool place but not refrigerator to set. After hardened you can refrigerate. You can make in advance and freeze.  They were WONDERFUL!!

*filling recipe adapted from Joy of Bakingmintjennifer_mint

 

Retro Mint Patties

Retro Mint Patties