Review: MunchPak

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MunchPak.com
International Snack Subscription Box

Today’s review is on the MunchPak. It is a snack delivery program that contains snack foods from around the world. We chose a monthly subscription and chose the original box which contains 10+ items. It was the perfect size for use to try everything. 

We didn’t wait long for the box and it was less than $25 dollars for the one that we chose. It was delivered only 3 days after we ordered it. WOW! And there was a variety of snacks from 7 different countries. I loved that they were labeled by country in the box and each of the kids found something that they link. 

Laughs and giggles went around the table along with the foods. I foresee us studying each of the countries that we received foods from in our homeschool program. 

This received a 2-Thumbs up from everyone in our house!!

We can’t wait for next month’s kit. 

International Snack Subscription Box

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff (or Solar Oven)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Beef Stew Meat or Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste
  • 4 cup Beef Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce (I substituted Teriyaki sauce the last time that I made it because I was out of Worcestershire)
  • 1 whole Onion, Sliced (I tend to only have red onions here, but any will work)
  • 4 cloves of Pressed Garlic
  • 16 ounces Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 2 cups Sour Cream
  • 1 handful Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Serve over Egg Noodles, Mashed Potatoes Or Rice 

INSTRUCTIONS: (This recipe works well in your solar oven as well)

  1. Place meat into the crockpot and cook until browned. You can cook this in a pan and add to the crockpot or if you have a ninja 4 in one cooker, you can use the stovetop setting.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir until well combined.
  3. Pour Beef Broth on top and 
  4. Add sprinkle flour, salt,  and black pepper. Stir until combined (Sprinkle to prevent clumping) 
  5. Cover crock pot with lid and set to cook on Hi for 6 hours or Low for 8-10 hours. 
  6. Once done turn crock pot off and allow to cool for 20 minutes or until no longer simmering 
  7. Stir in sour cream
  8. Serve Beef Stroganoff over noodles, mashed potatoes or rice. Sprinkle with parsley

Favorite time of the year AND Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime and spending it outside with my family and friends. I love the sound of the cicadas in the trees of Arizona. I love eating freshly picked watermelons from the garden and swimming in the pool with the kiddlings…

But my favorite time of the year is the fall when we start to can (applesauce is my favorite) and bake. Hoodies and apple pies!! Fires in the fire place. I love baking bread and biscuits. I love the smell of cookies coming out of the oven. (My waistline, however, doesn’t love that part! 😉 )

I love the approaching winter season when we celebrate the birth of our savior. 

Every day in the fall, I try something new in my kitchen. I attempt new cookies or bread. I love making dinner in the crockpot. I love creating new soups for my family. 

This morning in my area, we woke up to the first day of frost on our windshields. It was 34 degrees out when I got up at 3:30 for my classes to start. And our high today isn’t supposed to get over 55 degrees. It is a crockpot kind of day!

On the list for the week –

  • Chicken and Dumplings, Biscuits, Crockpot beef stroganoff, homemade noodles, and animal circus cookies.
  • We have beautiful purple cabbage coming out of the freeze dryer this morning and apple slices going in.
  • We plan on having a road trip if it doesn’t rain at the end of the week

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/4 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

COMBINE together butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat until combined. Next, beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour, oats and chocolate chips.

Drop on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees

*This recipe doubles fantastically – We add 1 bag of chocolate chips to a doubled batch.

 

 

Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

Oathkeepers - Medicinal Herbs (17 downloads)

http://www.yourbodycanheal.com/medicinal-herbs.html

How to Use Medicinal Herbs

So you’ve decided you want to incorporate herbal remedies into your health regimen. Congratulations! You’re embarking on a journey that will help your body heal itself from the inside out in a way that is much more natural, safe and gentle than conventional medicine.

It’s also a journey that can be a little confusing. There are many different types of herbal remedies out there. Sometimes you will find the same herb sold in many different preparations. What do all those different terms mean? Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ways medicinal herbs are sold and used.

Tablets and Capsules: Like conventional drugs, herbs are often packaged and sold in tablet and capsule form. Tablets involve compressing an herb into a round or cylindrical shape, usually with some sort of binder, colorant, flavorings and coating that prevents them from breaking down in the body too quickly. Capsules are usually made of gelatin and the herb is placed inside the shell. Other ingredients can also be mixed in to make the herb taste better or to prevent it from being digested too quickly. Vegetarians can find capsules made of vegetable cellulose, but check the label to make sure you know you’re not getting any animal products.

Extracts: Herbal extracts may be sold as tablets, capsules orliquid herbal extracts; the herbs contained in an extract are far more concentrated than those in a standard pill. Extracts are made by soaking the herbs in alcohol or water (or a combination) and filtering and drying the herb at low heat. Much like culinary herbs become stronger when dried, herbal extracts are highly concentrated remedies, allowing you to take many fewer pills to get a large dose. Continue reading Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

250 day update for VIPKid

So this just happened! I have been an Online ESL teacher with VIPKid for 250 days so far. I love making my own schedule and working around the kid’s activities.  (and I get to bring home an income while the kids are sleeping!!) I chose to work online as an ESL teacher in order to bring in extra income. With the kids getting bigger, everything from clothes and gifts to food. 

As of 10/10/2018, I have taught over 500 different students. I got to be a substitute teacher for 6 weeks. And I have been the teacher in over 1700 classes. I LOVE MY JOB!!

I love that I can still be home with my kids every day. I love that I don’t write a curriculum. I love that my commute is 45 steps to the coffee pot and then 20 back to my office. 

250-day update!!! VIPKid, teacher Kris

IF YOU HAVE FOUND MY VIDEOS HELPFUL

Please feel free to return the love and apply with my Teacher Recruitment Portal link:
https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popup?refereeId=5761972&refersourceid=a01
-OR-
If you have already started the interview process and didn’t sign-up with a recruiter, you may email our education department (teachvip@vipkid.com.cn ) letting them know Kristen Mazy Fullmer referred you and attach my referral code: KRIST0210

I am always ready to answer your questions you have referred me.
Email me: kris@krisandlarry.com
with any questions you might have.

Follow me on Instagram: @krisandlarry_homestead

Garden & Happy – 8 Best Egg-laying Chickens

My friends over at Garden and Happy posted a GREAT article on the best laying Chicken breeds.  Here is the article (and a link to their site: https://gardenandhappy.com/best-egg-laying-chickens/)  And as most of my readers know…. I love me some chickens! I mean where else can you get fresh eggs to feed my crew??? I did take the photos mostly out…. They were having issues loading them on my server. 

There are few things better than having fresh eggs at hand for creating all kinds of mouthwatering dishes. Thanks to a resurgence in self-sufficiency, people around the world are enjoying fresh eggs from their own chickens instead of running to the grocery store to get them. Take note, however, that some chickens are better than other varieties when it comes to getting quality eggs. Read this guide to find the best egg-laying chickens for your needs, before you get your coop started.

1. Rhode Island Red

Photo credit: Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/en/users/Capri23auto-1767157/

The Rhode Island Red chicken is a hardy and adaptable variety, ideal for first-time farmers. Developed in—you guessed it—Rhode Island in the mid 1800s, these chooks became so popular that they ended up as RI’s state bird!

This breed adapts well to both hot and cold climates, and isn’t sensitive to rain or snow. In fact, they maintain their happy-go-lucky demeanor regardless of weather, and are friendly, pleasant hens to have around.

Rhode Island Reds have a deep red to almost brown colour, and males have a ruby red plume and facial skin layer. This chicken breed prefers to socialize with others of their own breed, so they’re not great for mixed flocks.

These hens adapt well to either being free ranged or cooped, though they enjoy roaming time outdoors. In terms of laying capability, you’ll get an annual egg count of around 260, medium-sized brown eggs per bird.

2. White Leghorns

The White Leghorn chicken variety is one of the most prolific egg layers out there. They have an early maturity rate at about 16 weeks old, so they can start laying eggs while still quite young. This makes them a very popular breed for egg lovers.

Their annual laying count falls in the 280-300 range! This is in the highest egg-laying bracket, so if you really like omelettes, put this breed at the top of your list.

This chicken variety lays large, white eggs, which can often have double yolks. They’re beautiful birds, with tall, slender statures and white plumage, upright tail feathers, and long legs. In terms of temperament, they’re known to be skittish and will often take flight if provoked. As such, they’re better suited to more experienced farmers who have the proper equipment to suit their needs.

3. Golden Comet

Golden Comet chickens are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns. Amazingly, they’ve inherited the best traits from both breeds. Plump and stout, these chickens have dark, golden feathers, and occasional white lacing on their necks and tails.

These gorgeous birds have more than just their looks going for them. Golden Comets are well known—and preferred—for their easygoing, calm demeanor. This breed’s nature makes them one of the best egg-laying chickens for small areas. They’re also ideal as household pets… though you might want to invest in some chicken diapers if you let them live indoors.

Golden Comets are naturally and mothering, and are as nurturing with their own chicks as they are with human children. They’re affectionate and gentle, and if you choose to breed yours, you can rest assured they’ll mother their offspring well. This breed is also friendly with different chicken breeds, so they’re ideal for mixed flocks.

Comets have an annual egg count of between 275 and 330 large, brown eggs. As such, they’re preferred by those who sell their eggs at farmers’ markets.

4. Barred Plymouth Rock

Barred Plymouth Rock chickens are on the larger side, and this helps them to be highly resistant to cold temperatures. They have a round, robust body size and are covered with white and black speckled features on top of a fluffy gray undercoat. These layers make them perfect for cold climates like the northern USA and Canada, since they can endure snowy weather well.

This breed has a high annual egg-laying rate, at approximately 280 large, peach-colored eggs at a constant, predictable rate. They’re also known to be quite calm and content in nature. Due to this pleasant demeanor, they get along well with other animals, whether livestock or household pets.

5. Golden Laced Wyandottes

Golden-Laced Wyandotte chickens are known for their curious temperament. They love to forage, which makes them a perfect breed if you’re looking for chickens that will be able to fend for themselves. Their predictable, highly energetic nature makes Wyandottes a great breed choice if you want to raise free-range birds.

By having a chicken breed that forages well, you’ll be able to lower your chicken feed expenses exponentially. Your hens can hunt for their own food outside, and are great for clearing “pest” insects like slugs and caterpillars from your vegetable garden.

Golden Laced Wyandottes have beautiful, black-tipped, dark brown feathers. Expect around 200 small, white eggs from your hens every year.

6. Buff Orpington

These golden girls are sure to be a hoot in your flock. They’re a top breed to consider if you’re planning to raise chickens in pens. Their fluffy feather layers makes them cold hardy, but they don’t handle heat well.

Buff Orpington chickens are medium-sized birds with gold-yellow feathers. They can be expected to lay around 200 small, light brown eggs every year. They’re very tame in nature when alone, and social in groups.

Their friendly attitude makes them an ideal chicken breed for suburban farmers and garden growers who have limited space, or those who choose to raise their birds in coops. These big, friendly birds are also incredibly smart. Some farmers have even trained their Buff Orpingtons to obey commands!

7. Ameraucana

These hens are also called “Easter Eggers”, or “Easter Egg chickens”. They produce a large amount of eggs annually, with shell hues in all shades of pink, blue, and green. They were bred in the United States in the 1970s, derived from Chilean Araucana hens.

Ameraucanas are known for their gorgeous appearance. These beauties are medium brown with white, yellow, and deep brown speckles, and golden beaks. Their appearance ensures that you that you’ll never tire of watching these supermodels outside your window. They have an odd body shape with a stout beak, slanted lower tail feathers, long neck, and stout head.

Their yearly egg rate is about 260, and the hens are known to quite broody. This means that they’re overly protective of their fertile eggs, especially around fellow hens. Other than their motherly attitude, they are generally well behaved.

8. Andalusian

Andalusians are known for their small stature, and are the opposite of Barred Plymouths in every way. They have a high heat tolerance, and stunning blue-black feathers. They lay approximately 170 large, white eggs annually, which is on the lower end of the laying scale. That said, they have the highest laying rate among heat-tolerant varieties.

Indigenous to southwestern Spain, Andalusian chickens thrive best in hot climates. This makes them ideal for egg lovers in the southern USA, and warmer European regions. They’re known to jump, run, and take flight, but are typically non-aggressive in nature.

This is a rare variety that may be a bit more difficult to find. It is, however, gaining in popularity thanks to chicken hobbyists.

Are You Ready to Raise Backyard Chickens?

Thanks to recent bylaw changes, many people in suburban areas have permission to raise chickens in their backyards. These permissions are limited so specific areas, and have to adhere to certain requirements. If you’ve been toying with the idea of raising your own hens, find out whether you’re permitted to do so.

The most important thing to mention in this article, however, is to be make sure that you are 100% ready to raise hens before even looking at buying or building a chicken coop.

First, make sure that you have adequate space on your property. Chickens need enough room to spread their wings and get their recommended amount of exercise. You need to meet your area’s laws and safety standards for a chicken coop and pen. These ensure that your chickens will be safe from predators and inclement weather.

Be careful if you live in an area where wildlife runs rampant. It might not be the best thing to add chickens to the mix, as you may put their lives at risk. In addition, chickens require food and water that might not be readily available at a local store.

A Final Note:

The most important thing to remember is that chickens are living beings that need proper care. They need love, attention, and affection just like any other animal, and can’t just be tossed in a pen and neglected. You have to ensure that you have the time and energy to interact with them and check them regularly for any health issues.

Chickens are a lot of fun to raise, but they’re also a big responsibility. If you’re dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort, then go right ahead. Set up a coop, get yourself a couple of hens, and experience the joy of farm-fresh eggs every day

Discovering Education – Creating Lapbooks


Creating Lapbooks for your child’s homeschool program is a GREAT way to bring out that budding crafter in your house. 

Lapbooking is a creative way to use a file folder and create a “book” or research report. 

Our house tries to break out of the normal routine by creating a lapbook and presenting an oral report on the topic. 

 

krisandlarry-lapbooktemplates.pdf (25 downloads)

Have a Cricut Air – Here is the online link to the file. https://design.cricut.com/#/design/111471747

 

Cherry Black Pepper Jam

I have been making this jam for many, many years and boy, is it good on a toasted sourdough turkey sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese (or 3 sandwiches if you are Griffen or Berlyn). I can’t say “YUUUMMM!” enough.   When I open a jar, I  know that  it will be gone faster than I can say “cherries!” 

We also make this same recipe with Strawberries as well. And man, that black pepper just adds a bit of kick perfect for a sweet and savory dish. 

I never make quite enough of this jam either to last until cherries are ripe the next year. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 cups of  pitted and stemmed cherries ( I buy mine in bulk from my local fruit lady in the fall. HI JESS! and they come in 5-gallon buckets, pre-pitted!)
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 4-1/2 TBSP Pectin
  • 2TBSP Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Bring to a boil and then add

  • 6 cups sugar

Stir, Stir, Stir!!! And bring back to a rolling boil for 1 minute. 

Now, you can can add to your jars and can these bad boys for later use. Please follow all canning requirements to ensure safety. 

Four Pemmican Recipes

I am sharing this set of recipes this morning. This is an amazing super-food perfect to keep in your to-go or bugout bag or even as an emergency mini-snack for your kiddlings.  This is a re-posted article from http://www.wildernesscollege.com/pemmican-recipes.html 

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/pemmican-recipes.html

 

By Filip Tkaczyk

Are you looking for some excellent pemmican recipes?

Wait, what is this thing called pemmican and where did it come from?

 

For starters, pemmican is originally a Cree word for rendered fat. Pemmican is a food used by a variety of Native peoples for many generations, and was adopted by the fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries. It likely originates from North America. Native American scouts who spent a great deal of time on the go depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time. Often times pemmican was their food of choice.

This amazing stuff is a dried mixture of meat, berries and rendered fat (also called suet or tallow). It is an invaluable survival food that when prepared properly using good pemmican recipes can last anywhere from several months to several years without refrigeration!

Pemmican is a great asset to have with you while exploring the wilderness even today. Though most classic pemmican recipes require the use of meat and fat, it is also possible to make it vegetarian as described below.

Here are some great pemmican recipes you can try out to make this amazing food. Try out the following 4 recipes and see which one you like best!

Pemmican Recipes
Recipe # 1

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups lean meat (deer, beef, caribou or moose)
  • 3 cups dried fruit
  • 2 cups rendered fat
  • Unsalted nuts and about 1 shot of honey

Instructions:

Meat should be as lean as possible and double ground from your butcher if you do not have you own meat grinder. Spread it out very thin on a cookie sheet and dry at 180 degrees F for at least 8 hours or until sinewy andcrispy. Pound the meat into a nearly powder consistency using a blender or other tool. Grind the dried fruit, but leave a little bit lumpy for fun texture. Heat rendered fat on stove at medium until liquid. Add liquid fat to dried meat and dried fruit, and mix in nuts and honey. Mix everything by hand. Let cool and store. Can keep and be consumed for several years.

Recipe # 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs dried beef (see recipe 1 for drying instructions)
  • 1.5 cup raisins
  • Beef suet

Instructions:

Grind meat to fine pulp in a blender. Now add in the raisins. Chop this mix enough to break up the raisins and mix in well. Melt the suet to a liquid and pour into the mixture, using just enough to hold the meat and raisins together. Now allow this to cool slightly. Put this into a pan and let it cool completely. Next, cut the pemmican into strips, than divide it into bars of about 4” long by 1” wide. Bag these separately and you can store them for several months.

Recipe # 3

Ingredients:

  • Dried lean beef, buffalo, or venison (see recipe 1 for drying instructions)
  • Beef suet
  • Seedless dried fruit

Instructions:

Melt the suet until it becomes golden brown and liquid. Strain out any solids. If you cool it, re-melt it and strain it again it will improve the shelf life of the pemmican. Grind the meat into a powder. Chop or grind dried fruit and add it to meat. Pour liquid suet onto meat/fruit mixture. Mixes best if suet is warm, and allows you to use less of it. Now, press the pemmican into a tin using a spoon. Let cool in the fridge, than turn it out and cut into bars the size of candy bars. Wrap each bar in wax paper or paper lunch bag, label and store.

Recipe # 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dates
  • 3 cups powdered jerky (or powdered tofu-jerky)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • Honey (as a binding agent, add as much as needed)
  • 2 cups nuts

Instructions:

Grind all this material together, except for the honey. Add in the honey alittle bit at a time, and mix well each time. Pour into pan until about three quarters of an inch thick or make them directly into bars. Refrigerate and cut bars out of pan. This is a sweet concoction and in cold climates, honey can be replaced with suet and processed just as in pemmican recipes seen above.

Tips for making good pemmican

Here are some tips for you to improve your ability to use pemmican recipes properly, and make good pemmican:

  • Talk to your local butcher to acquire the suet. A local co-op butcher might have the healthiest choices in terms of organic meats. You may be able to acquire the suet for free in certain places.
  • When rendering (melting) the suet, be careful not to burn it or make it smoke.
  • The warmer the climate you are going to be using the pemmican in, the less fat you need in it.
  • This is also true for the time of year. Use less fat for the summer time, more for winter.
  • Label what you make, especially if you try different recipes.

Lastly, remember to experiment with your own recipes. The key points for making pemmican are to make sure that you render the fat (suet) properly and to make sure that the meat and fruit you put into the recipe are very dry, not cooked or partially dry.

Try making some pemmican of your own today!

 

Repost – Aquaponics

After a heavy storm, we took down our aquaponics system. It will be going back up in the garden in the next few months.

Here is a video of what we had up and running before. 

Make sure to like and subscribe to our youtube channel.