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Saturday, September 28, 2013

FALL FAVES - together at last! Stuffed Acorn Squash Deluxe Recipe

Two of my favorite fall foods - baked squash and stuffing - together in one dish! Hope you love it as much as we do, it's savory and delicious!
STUFFED ACORN SQUASH DELUXE >>>Ingredients: 1 (6 ounce) package broccoli and cheese flavored rice mix/ 1 pound breakfast sausage/ 1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded/ 1/2 cup chopped apple/ 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seed/ 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese/ >>>Directions: *Prepare rice mix according to package directions; cover, and set aside. *Place squash halves cut side down onto a plate. Cook the squash in a microwave oven for 5 minutes on High, until tender but firm. *In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until evenly browned; drain, and set aside. *In a large bowl, mix together the prepared rice, sausage, apple, and coriander. Stuff each squash half with the mixture. *Cover stuffed squash halves with plastic wrap, and heat in the microwave until squash is cooked through and soft, about 5 minutes. Remove plastic, and top stuffed squash with cheese. Continue to cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Join the Sustainable Blogs List!

Sustainable Suburbia: Striving for a lower impact lifestyle. Join the Sustainable Living Blogs Linky Lists FROM SUSTAINABLE SUBURBIA: >>> Join our Sustainable Blogs List! >>> CATEGORIES: I’ve divided the blogs into several groups. It was hard to decide how to do this, and there is certainly a lot of crossover : Suburban and Urban Homesteading; A Country Plot: Out of Town Homesteaders/Self-Suffciency; Parents Living Sustainably; Frugal & Low Consumption Living; Crafty Hand Made; Real/SOLE Food; It’s All About The Garden; General Slow, Sustainable or Simple Living (just in case those headings have left someone out!).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Making Honeysuckle Jelly - it's EASY!

The nectar from honeysuckle flowers smells divine - in our area, they are blooming in the wild right now, and they're everywhere! Nothing says springtime like a jar of sweet, floral-y jelly. This makes a beautiful, bright-yellow to gold colored jar, that is wonderful on toast, biscuits or scones! HONEYSUCKLE JELLY (Yield: 7 half-pints) >>>INGREDIENTS: *4 cups honeysuckle flowers *4 cups boiling water *1/4 c. lemon juice *4 cups sugar *1 package liquid pectin >>>DIRECTIONS: First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals. Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally. Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe. In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar - bring it to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 minutes, reduce the heat if necessary to avoid boiling over. Ladle the jelly into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on the lids. Allow it to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed. Store in the refrigerator after opening. If you won't be using it right away, you can process the jelly in a water bath canner. ********************************************************************************************************************************************* "He with cowslips pale, Primrose, and purple lychnis, decked the green Before my threshold, and my shelving walls With honeysuckle covered." ~Mark Akenside

Friday, May 17, 2013

On your mark, get set, GARDEN!

Friday Felicitations! We are anxiously awaiting the time we can transplant into the garden. Seeds are on standby. Go for tilling! The unseasonably cold spring has kept us tapping our green thumbs with impatience. Soon! Soon! Soon! We'll have to wait until Monday though, according to the moon phase guide. By the way, here's the Farmer's Almanac (moon phase) planting guide for May: ---MOON PHASE Planting Guide (from Farmers' Almanac)--- May 2013 16th-19th A Barren Period. Good For Killing Plant Pests, Cultivating, Or Taking A Short Vacation. 20th-21st Excellent Time For Planting Corn, Beans, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops. Favorable For Sowing Hay, Fodder Crops, And Grains. Plant Flowers. 22nd-24th Excellent For Planting Aboveground Crops, Starting Seedbeds And Planting Leafy Vegetables. 25th-26th Do No Planting. 27th-28th Plant Late Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, And Other Root Crops. 29th-31st Kill Plant Pests On These Barren Days. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Grandpa used this guide, and so do I! So, while we wait, we've fenced in and tilled the new garden area: (You can see our neighbors' visiting peacocks in the background!) AND....started a few "Stacked Stone" projects, like new beds and foundation facing. Here's a work in progress, a small cistern under the downspout for the chickens to use when they get thirsty: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *** I start with a layer of brick to make a level surface, and then add stone on top. First I take the wheelbarrow down to the stream bed, load it up with flat shale rock (we have A LOT of it!) and then cart it to the project area. I can feel my biceps building! ON MONDAY, there will be a FRENZIED FURY OF PLANTING up in here! How are your garden plans shaping up? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them." ~Liberty Hyde Bailey

Monday, April 22, 2013

Homemade Hair Chalk - Color for your Locks!

Hello my farm followers! If your kids are anything like mine, they ADORE the new hair color craze! For a more lasting color change, my girls have tipped their hair with Jerome Russell's "Punky Color". It lasts about a month, is very bright at first, and then gradually fades out. It shows up MUCH better on blonde hair (which they have) rather than brunette. You paint it on with a brush, (We use a small sponge brush and just throw it away afterwards!) let it sit a bit, and then rinse it out with water. BE CAREFUL not to get it on anything else! But here's a great way to add temporary color to your locks - use oil pastel crayons! Just lay your hair on a piece of paper, and scribble away. Use long strokes, following down the length of your hair. Simple, easy to do, and it washes out with your next shampoo. It's great for matching your hair to an outfit, or for spirit days at school. Here's my daughter Rowan, tipping her hair with green and blue for Earth Day: We also made Earth Day recycled toilet tissue tube kazoos, with only 3 items - *empty toilet tissue tubes, *wax paper circles, * rubberbands. She used the oil pastels to decorate the kazoo too! What are you doing today for Earth Day? ******************************************************************************************************************************************** "And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." ~Khalil Gibran

Monday, March 4, 2013

Family Favorite EASTER goodies!

I miss all of the old, sentimental Easter traditions, don't you? When I was little, I remember all the ladies coming to church on Easter morning - and they ALL wore HATS and GLOVES! Isn't it sad that we hardly dress up at all anymore? Well, not this year! I am determined that I and my girls WILL wear Easter Bonnets this year, and I'll post pics when we do. Here are two yummy Easter recipes that we love, enjoy your holiday - and WEAR A HAT!!! "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade. I'll be all in clover and when they look you over, I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade. On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us, And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure. Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet, And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter parade." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HOT CROSS BUNS >>>INGREDIENTS: 3/4 cup warm water 3 Tb butter 1 Tb instant powdered milk 1/4 cup white sugar 3/8 tsp salt 1 egg 1 egg white 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tb active dry yeast 3/4 cup dried currants (optional) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons water 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons milk >>>DIRECTIONS: 1. Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program. 2. When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double. 3. Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes. 4. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes. 5. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls. 6. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack. 7. To make crosses: mix together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and milk. Brush an X on each cooled bun. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PEANUT BUTTER EGGS >>>INGREDIENTS: 2 cups creamy peanut butter 3/4 cup butter 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 3 cups crispy rice cereal 1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons shortening >>>DIRECTIONS: 1. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and butter. Stir in confectioners' sugar and crisp rice cereal until a dough is formed. Place this mixture in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow it to cool until it is easier to work with. Shape mixture into egg shapes and freeze for 20 minutes. 2. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler over low heat. When melted, dip egg shapes in chocolate. Place on waxed paper and allow to cool. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Here comes Peter Cottontail Hoppin' down the bunny trail Hippity hoppin', Easter's on its way Try to do the things you should Maybe if you're extra good He'll roll lots of Easter eggs your way You'll wake up on Easter mornin' And you'll know that he was there When you find those choc'late bunnies That he's hiding ev'rywhere"