Using Freeze-Dried Chicken

I love having my freeze dryer. My favorite item that I love to freeze dry is not Ice cream (Although “Astronaut Ice Cream is Delicious – Remember Astronaut Ice Cream from the 1980’s?? check out this link if you have a minute: https://amzn.to/2OU33ai Yes, I literally make this now with my Harvest Right Freeze Dryer and my kids love freeze-dried ice cream).

Fruit is not my favorite either, although the kids go GAGA over the fruit snacks that we make.

And it isn’t the leftovers that I freeze-dry for Larry and Shelby to take to work for their lunches. These are SO convenient and don’t take up any freezer space because these are SHELF SAFE!!

Here is my affiliate link to My Harvest Right Freeze Dryer  – https://affiliates.harvestright.com/377.html. They are pricey but so worth it. I have no waste coming out of my kitchen.

I have freeze dried green bean casserole, lunch meat (yes, lunch meat when I can get it on a SUPER SALE), veggies out of my garden. We have made homemade “cup of noodles” with organic healthy ingredients and a lot less salt.  Soups and stews have been dried and later eaten as well as Alfredo! I even freeze-dried beef liver sliced up for my doggies for treats! We have even freeze-dried excess eggs, (Raw and whisked) and goats milk right off of our homestead. 

Of all of the things that I have used my freeze dryer for, I think that freeze-dried baked chicken has been the best item that I have made (you can purchase canned freeze dried chicken as well).  When I can pick up boneless skinless chicken for less than $1.50 a pound in my area, you can bet that I am buying extra and cooking in my crockpot or roaster oven for later. 

 

So what do you make with freeze-dried chicken? ANYTHING that you make with fresh baked chicken – Fajitas, alfredo, chicken with sauce, casseroles, tacos, chicken salad sandwiches…. literally ANYTHING!

So, HOW does this work?

This is very simple. Depending on the item, you can either choose to reconstitute with hot water by submersion (Either in water or thrown into soups), you can use a spray bottle to reconstitute (I use this method for things like kale or spinach that I am not added into a soup), you can wrap an item in a wet paper towel (think tomatoes) or you can leave as is and use on items or eat it CRUNCHY THe kids LOVE to eat strawberries like this and I have found that if I crumble up guacamole – yes, I did make and freeze-dry this as an experiment – it tastes GREAT on salads. 

 

OK, My friends here is the down low – This is EASY! Do not be intimidated by freeze-dried foods!!

 

 

 

Discovering Education – Geocaching

Getting your homeschooled kids up and active can sometimes be a  daunting task. We discovered geocaching almost 10 years ago and are still having fun. Now that the kids are bigger (and some are driving), they like to go out and some of them have created their own geocaching profiles too.

Geocaching is basically a GPS “treasure-hunt”. You are looking for a container where you sign your name and put it back for the next person. There is a website at www.geocaching.com. You can also download an app at the google play store.  

 



 

 

 

 

Raising mealworms for animal feed

The Benefits Of Raising Mealworms

Mealworms are an ultimate healthy snack for chickens, ducks, geese, and quail. They are jam packed with protein and something that your critters absolutely love. We raise our mealworms to feed to our hatching babies in the house. We raise (Grand Champion) Quail. The babies go CRAZY over the mealworms that we put in their feeders. 

A few things I have found in raising mealworms are that:

I know what I am feeding my birds!

I know what I am feeding my kids, why shouldn’t I monitor what I am feeding my birds too? After all, our birds give us meat and eggs that my kids are eating. Mealworms pack so many nutrients and protein. And your birds will thank you for it. 

Meals worms are one of the easiest additions to your homestead. I keep mine in a tub(with holes drilled into the top) and an old fishtank in my laundry room. I feed each container a potato on Fridays and blow out their tanks once a month of all of the “skins” that they shed. Yep, that simple! I have a few pieces of cotton balls in each container for them to lay their eggs in and the bottom of my containers either have oatmeal or chicken scratch. 

The mealworm life cycle is in four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and darkling beetle. The larvae stage is what I feed to my birds. 

 

You can find me and others at the Simple Life Mom Hop and the Simple Homestead Hop!

Elderberry Syrup for those winter colds

My children know that when they are starting to feel yucky, they can just go into the fridge and get out the elderberry syrup. And all they need to do is to take a spoonful. We have been making this for years. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries (There are many places to get these… The best price that I have found and from a company that I trust is Mountain Herbs – https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/elder-berries/profile
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (I keep these around for my chai tea)
  • 4 whole cloves (I keep these around for my chai tea, too)
  • 1 cup honey (I buy local honey from a small store in my area called HoneyMan.)

Instructions

  1. Add the berries, water, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon stick to a large pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, reduce the berry mixture to a simmer. (I actually cooked today’s batch on my wood stove)
  3. Allow ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat.
  5. Add your honey to your jar.
  6. Strain the berries from the juice, using a cheesecloth and small mesh sieve over your jar. 
  7. Now you have the perfect syrup for fighting off the sniffles this season. Keep your jar in the fridge.
  8. Take 1 tablespoon daily by spoon . When I am in the middle of a cold, I take it 3 times a day. 

You can find me and others at the Simple Life Mom Hop and the Simple Homestead Hop!

Age Appropriate Chore Chart – FREE PDF Download

Living with a larger family full of kids and critters and homeschooling the whole crew, a house can get in disarray and fast.

Here is an age-appropriate chore chart to help get you back on task. We recently re-implemented this with even our older kids as a reminder of what we can all work on together. (We did not add any pet or farm responsibilities here.

Here is a FREE Download:  KrisandLarry - Age Appropriate Chores for Kids (19 downloads)

Colloidal Silver – What is it?

After 2 weeks of coughing and tight lungs, I finally went in to see the doctor. Dr. Chris took one look at me and said Walking Pneumonia…. ewww Every year at the same time, I get severe allergies and then cough an wheeze for months.  Fast forward to 11/7/2018 (now 5-1/2 weeks with a cough and mucus) It is time to hit the books and break down and purchase some colloidal silver. Many of my family and friends had suggested it. 24 hours after, I stopped taking my chest congestion medication. And my mucus is finally moving!

What I can tell you is that I feel ridiculous that I didn’t try this sooner and have been coughing for almost 6 weeks. After 4 days, I am still slightly coughing, but do feel 100% better. 

There is no flavor…. and no you are not drinking something that looks like molten mercury.  (I have to admit that was one of MY questions too!)

I am using a spray bottle and I give 2 or 3 good sprays 4 times a day.  

It is a 4oz bottle of WATER with 10ppm (10 parts per million of micro silver suspended in distilled water. )

Colloidal silver has been used for centuries to promote good health and studies continue to also show that colloidal silver outperforms many mainstream methods used against harmful organisms. With so many cases of antibiotic resistance, it’s no wonder why colloidal silver has become extremely popular in recent years. Consumers should know, however, that not all silver products are created equal. Here are 5 things you must know about colloidal silver.

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-things-must-know-colloidal-silver/

5 Things About Colloidal Silver
1. Parts Per Million (PPM) is Mildly Important
When it comes to colloidal silver, don’t get caught up in how many parts per million — or PPM — a solution has. Although it’s not a mundane detail, what’s really important is the particle size. Smaller particles can move more easily throughout your body and they’re more bioavailable. Particle sizes less than .005 microns are ideal. Sometimes this is indicated on the label, sometimes not. One way to tell if silver particles are too large is by examining the color of the solution. A dark or murky-color usually indicates large silver particles and other impurities.

2. Silver Won’t Upset Beneficial Intestinal Organisms
A lot of people use silver as defense against harmful organisms. Unlike antibiotics which wipeout both the “bad” and the “good” organisms present in the intestinal tract, silver maintains a balance of intestinal microorganisms. Silver absorbs quickly in the upper GI tract, and little gets through to cause problems for the beneficial bacteria in the small intestine and colon.

3. Good Colloidal Silver Won’t Turn You Blue
Occasionally you may hear of an individual who develops argyria, a condition that develops when silver proteins cause a blueing of the skin. (Do a Google search for Paul Karason.) While this may happen when people use ultra low quality silver solutions, pure hydrosol colloidal silver without additives, proteins, or salts does not cause this condition. This is why it’s imperative to obtain the purest solution available.

4. Purity Matters
Colloidal silver isn’t just a mixture of silver and water; it’s a solution where the silver particles are suspended in water and have an electrical charge. This type of solution requires ultra pure water. It also requires special equipment necessary to create and maintain a constant charge. Many colloidal silver home brew kits use salts or other compounds during the process to suspend the silver in the solution. Products like this do not offer the same effect as colloidal silver produced with high voltage technology.

5. Only Use the Best Colloidal Silver
Not all colloidal silver products are created alike. First and foremost, choose a product that’s been produced using high voltage alternating current technology. This production method requires specialized equipment and produces a silver solution of unparalleled quality and purity compared to low-tech low voltage methods

The following is a GREAT article to help understand more about Colloidal Silver and its uses. https://wholelifestylenutrition.com/natural-solutions/uses-and-benefits-for-colloidal-silver/

USES AND BENEFITS FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU!
WHAT IS COLLOIDAL SILVER?
Colloidal silver is a mineral that can be beneficial for the body in many different ways.It is a solution of water containing nanometre-sized particles of suspended silver.(3)

It has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, helps heal wounds and cuts, and helps treat eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. 

USES AND BENEFITS FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER

USES FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER

There are many uses and benefits for colloidal silver.  Here are just a few from Web.MD:

Colloidal silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria (tuberculosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera); parasites (ringworm, malaria); and viruses (HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, warts).

Colloidal silver is also used for lung conditions including emphysema and bronchitis; skin conditions including rosacea, cradle cap (atopic dermatitis), eczema, impetigo, and psoriasis; and inflammation (sometimes due to infection) of the bladder (cystitis), prostate (prostatitis), colon (colitis), nose (rhinitis), stomach (gastritis), tonsils (tonsillitis), appendix (appendicitis), and sinuses (sinusitis).

Other uses include treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease.

Colloidal silver is also used to prevent flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, and the common cold.

Some women take colloidal silver during pregnancy to aid the baby’s growth and health as well as the mother’s delivery and recovery.

Colloidal silver is applied directly to the skin for acne, burns, eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, skin infections, and Staphylococcus infections. ~ Web MD

It should go without mentioning that you should always talk to your healthcare provider before trying this or any supplement.

BENEFITS OF COLLOIDAL SILVER

There are so many uses and benefits for colloidal silver, and better yet — there are also proven benefits too!

Here are 8 proven colloidal silver benefits from our friends over at Dr. Axe.

Discovering Education – Field Trip – Bearizona, Williams, Arizona

****Note: It is a RIVER OTTER, not a SEA OTTER in the video****

What a fantastic time we as a family had up in Williams, AZ visiting Bearizona for their fall homeschool day.  Bearizona is an amazing zoo type park in Northern Arizona. It is on 160 acres and comes in 2 parts. The first is a 3-mile drive through where you can see many animals in a more natural environment. The second part is a zoo where you can walk through. 

Check out our adventure in video and photos below.  This park gets a 2 thumbs up from our homeschooling family! And we plan on going again!

 

 

 

Recipe – Cheesy Beef Noodles

This is a recipe that I found a long time ago and had jotted down on a post-it note. We have been making this for about a year now and have altered it to fit our family. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1Tablespoon Italian seasoning, dried basil or oregano
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of roasted green chilies
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 cups

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and set aside
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook into small crumbles until browned. Set aside.
  3. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and seasoning until fragrant. 
  4. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in chilies and diced tomatoes.
  6. Gradually whisk in beef stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in pasta, beef, and heavy cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Stir in cheese until melted.
  9. Serve immediately.