Tag Archives: Recipes

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!!

 

 

 

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!

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.
 
 

Instant Oatmeal recipe

I love that I can have a warm breakfast available for my kids on colder mornings and I know exactly what  they are eating. And even my younger kids can make this themselves. 

 

 Strawberries’n’cream or Peaches’n’cream Instant oatmeal 

(our family triples this recipe to make it worth our time to make)

  • 3  cups quick oats, divided (1 cup ground up, 2 cups regular)
  • 1 cup dried milk
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups sugar or  powdered Splenda (to taste) you can also alter the flavor and use sugar cane or brown sugar. I try and use less sugar.
  • 1 t salt
  • 3/4 cup freeze dried peaches or strawberries (broken into small bits)

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients until throroughly blended.

We store it in a large recycled gallon size pickle jar with a 1/2 cup scoop.

To serve, scoop 1/2 cup of oatmeal mixture and add desired amount of hot water. Stir until desired consistency.  Some of my kids like their oatmeal thick and other like it very runny. 

Homemade Chai Tea

I love the taste and the smell of Chai Tea… I hate the price tag at coffee shops…. So, Let’s make our own!!

 

Chai Tea: a beverage that is a blend of black tea, honey, spices, and milk.

 

I simmer 3 black tea bags in a pot with 4-6 cups of water. I add my spices in a cheesecloth or flour sack wrap that I tied close

Spice bag is filled with several cinnamon sticks, and about a Tablespoon of whole allspice, whole cloves and whole coriander, 3 or 4 whole star anise. I also add about 1 teaspoon of ginger and cracked black pepper. This mixture gives a yummy spice flavoring. Sometimes I will add some licorice root as well to change the flavor. 

I cut a flour sack to a 6x6in square and place all of my spices in the center and then tie the top. 

Once brewed, let the tea sit and seep for about an hour to meld all of the spice flavors. 

Fill a glass 2/3 with the tea mixture and add ice and top with milk. I sweeten mine with liquid stevia or local honey.

Have some yummy tea for me! <3

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

One of my favorite snacks is pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or roasted pumpkin seeds (whole). I eat them on salads, in my homemade granola or just as a snack.  You can salt them and roast, or roast plain. You can flavor with lime and chili or with cinnamon and sugar. I obviously only make this is the fall and hopefully  it lasts for a while. 🙂

To start, I separate the seeds from the pumpkin string pulp. This is not an exact science. But I do have a ton of little hands (and kunekune pigs who love the pulp) and toss those seeds into a strainer and rinse. 

Next, lay seeds out on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. And let air dry for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Once dried, toss with a tsp of olive oil and spread back out. Sprinkle with your topping/ flavor of choice.(or leave plain) This can be garlic powder, sea salt, chili and lime juice etc.

Place into the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Stir and back in for 10 more minutes. 

 

 

 

Favorite Circus Cookie Recipe

One of my all-time favorite cookies is the Circus cookies. This is a recipe that we have been using for years. LOVE that the kids can help out (and since the littles are getting older, they can even do this one themselves) and make these as well.

I picked up the mini Noah’s Ark cookie cutter set (Here is the link on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CHh9cH) that is the perfect size for these little cookies. 

Cookies

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp half and half,  or 6 Tbsp heavy cream, or 7 Tbsp of milk plus more as needed

Instructions

For the cookies:

  1. In a mixing bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until well combined.
  3. Mix in egg, vanilla extract. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Divide mixture into 2 equal portions.
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill 1 1/2 hours, or until firm. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350. 
  6. Dust a clean work surface with flour then roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into mini animal shapes, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 3/4-inch between cookies. Bake in preheated oven about 7 – 11 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool several minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. For the icing: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough half and half or cream to reach a medium consistency (not runny, not thick). Spread over cookies and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles after frosting each one. We dunk cookies into bowl and remove with fork, and let rest on a cookie drying rack until glaze has set.

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.

 

 

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!