Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple pie anyone?

Now I 've never been that interested in baking and quite frankly I'm still not. I love to cook and cook my way, I add a bit of this and alot of that if you catch my drift...I do sometimes stick to the recipe, but if I don't have all the ingredients then I typically sub with what I do have.
So while I think  for now I'll  steer clear of wedding cakes, I do think I'll try my hands at an old fashioned apple pie. Who doesn't love apple pie? Gosh I think I'd just bake one  to smell it cooking in my house!
So today my son and I picked pretty much every last apple from one of our 3 apple trees and then a few from another. Actually I picked the apples and Parker ate...he's such a cute little helper.
The recipe I'm using today is from my  sister n law who was on an apple pie misson last year. 
This is the recipe she found and believe me its out of this world! Out of maybe the 3 apple pies I 've baked in my entire life I would say the one I made today was the best...I think alot of it has to do with the apple coming straight from our tree, and the pure satisfaction you get knowing you made this beautiful masterpiece...aah its all about the little things in life.

Grandma Ross's Pie Crust..This was Meghan's recipe too:)
2 cups flour
1 t salt
2/3 cup + 2 heaping T Crisco
Work together to form peas. Add 1/4 cup ice cold water. Work into dough and divide the dough into to separate doughs. One for the bottom and one for the top. Roll out cover and set in fridge.
Caramel Apple Pie
6 cups apples
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla( I use a french vanilla paste you can buy at specialty food stores)
4 t heavy cream
4 t butter
Today I didn't do the Streusel topping but if you want to here ya go!
Streusel Topping
!/2 cup flour
3t sugar
1 t butter
1/2 a bag heath toffee chips

1 beaten egg and sugar for dusting.

Pre heat oven to 425
Make the pie crust divide into 2 flat discs wrap them into plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until filling is done.
Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle them with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook 8 Min's, to soften apples. Roll out 1 pie shell and place into pie plate. Turn apples into pie shell. Make sterusel topping : combine the flour and sugar. Mix in butter with a fork until coarse crumbs. Stir in toffee chips. Sprinkle over pie. Roll out 2nd dough and place over pie. Brush top of pie with beaten egg and dust with sugar. Bake for 15 Min's. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 45 Min's. Be sure to put something underneath the pie, it will most likely leak during baking.
Its rustic!

Thank you feathers.


This was a slice of heaven

This is not a turkey, but I still haven't named her.

New deck:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lets break bread together...

For years I grew up watching my mother cook in the kitchen. In fact most  of my memories when I was young are of my mother cooking. Now back in the day, way back, she would cook alot of my father's favorite foods. Roasts, mashys and the famous pork chops with rice. This was all very normal to me then, after all isn't that what most moms did?? All I knew was that dinner was always there at the same time everyday, and it was SO good. I now think back to those days and realise how much more their was to that picture.
Maybe my mom didn't know it then  but what she was doing was creating memories for me. Memories that I would carry on to my son and husband. Memories that I would crave and spend hours trying to make that same meal that only mom can make. Its called COMFORT FOOD... and that's exactly what it is.
Thank you mother for all that you did for us. It means more to me than you will ever know.
So tonight I made one of my favorite comfort foods, a dish my mother made for us years ago. In fact I think I have a church cookbook somewhere from when I was like ten and my mom published it  saying that it was my recipe! What a great mom!!
 I usually cook this when its stormy out and I just need to be warmed up..
Here's my memory of Goulash soup....

  • 1 package of ground pork( I use all natural)
  • 1 package ground beef ( I use all natural)
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic chopped
  • 4-5 yellow potato's quartered
  • 1 can homemade stewed tomato's or store bought
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • some dried oregano, 3 shakes
  • A few good shakes of paprika
  • garlic salt 2 shakes
  • garlic powder 2 shakes
  • onion powder  2 shakes
  • Cayenne pepper  3- 4 shakes
  • worcesteshire   2  dabbs
  • (remember all seasoning is to taste)
  • Just use commen sense.

In large soup pot on med high heat cook the ground beef and pork until browned  and almost cooked. Add salt and pepper
Add the onion and garlic
Add all your seasonings
then add your stewed tomatoes, potato's
stir then add your beef broth
turn heat down to med low at this point
we want a simmer.
Then add your tomato paste and worcestershire

Let soup simmer for at least an hour
It should be smelling great!!
I love this dish either by itself or with some yummy bread
and a glass of red.

I hope you love this soup as much as my family and I do.

Chop, chop.

now add your broth..
Its getting there, but not quite yet
When it looks like this, it done.
Time to eat!
Let's break bread...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blessing's come in all shapes and sizes

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the air was crisp, just how it should be in the fall.
I absolutely love days like today. I had no real agenda except for the usual keeping the house, running errands and most importantly taking care of my amazing sweet little boy Parker. My biggest blessing. We started off the morning right...feeding the sheep apples and playing with the chickens. Today my blessings were simple ones. They were moments that you just want to savor. His smiles and giggles, his falls and his cries. .moments of life like these are blessing's in all shapes and sizes, and I am so thankful for each and everyone I get. After our usual morning out on our "farm" we took off our muddy boots and got warmed up with some lunch, then its off to dreaming of trucks and trackers for my love. And for me...well that's when I knew I just needed some quite time working in my kitchen. I couldn't think of a better time to get to peeling those big beautiful  red blessings. My crate of tomato's I bought at the farmers market. I knew I either wanted to  do stewed little baby's or make homemade tomato sauce. I decided to go for the stewed tomato's only because I knew that sometime this winter I would go to reach for a can in my pantry and there would be none. I hate when that happens! and it usually does so yes today it would be stewed tomato's. Click on the link to see the recipe I used. It was alot of peeling and chopping but depending on how much you want it was pretty easy and a nice way to use your time. I was thinking today that not only is caning a way of saving me money on store bought items it is a whole new way of cooking. Just think, if you grow or buy from a farmers market whats in season and make your own sauce or jam or what have you, you are not only saving money but you are saving flavor!! How great it will be to go to my pantry  in the dead of winter and pull out freshly stewed tomato's?? that I made and knew exactly what was in it! I am just amazed at how cool this is, and then to top it off I can make wonderfully delicious recipes with my homemade fresh ingredients..its a whole new way of cooking and thinking. So, enough of my rant enjoy the photos and I hope you find many blessing's today in many shapes and sizes.

Good morning!

Don't forget to compost!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweet cider apple butter

This morning we fed the sheep some apples

Wow I am so amazed at how delicious this tastes! I 'm telling you if you have only had store bought apple butter than you just have to make your own.YOU JUST HAVE TOO! Its like tasting food for the first time when you make it fresh and can it yourself.  I am pretty sure I will never buy applesauce, apple butter, pickles, peaches and who knows what else because once you taste the yummy freshness of what you have made you simply won't be able to go back. No, I'm afraid store bought just won't do. Honestly I didn't really even like applesauce that much, but since I have a growing boy to feed  I thought this year I am going to take full advantage of the 3 apples trees we have  out here.  I made apple sauce the other day and couldn't believe how amazing it was, I'd swear it was like eating apple pie in a can! This year those apple trees won't just be for  feeding  the deer!! Do you know another amazing thing about making your own fresh and fabulous home canned goods? Well for one your house is always smelling delicious, and two your making wonderful gifts to give for Christmas and the holidays. Yep I'm hooked, I fully admit I am a canning addict!! and proud of it. Cheers!
Time for mums..
PS, I thought I would start adding links of some of the tools I use for canning and other items I found helpful, take a look or just simply ignore- up to you:)

Sweet Cider Apple Butter

 6 lbs apple (about 24)
2 cups sweet cider
3 cups sugar
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Wash apples, core, peel and quarter apples.
Combined apples and sweet cider in a large sauce pot. Simmer until apples are soft.
                                  Puree using a food processor or food mill, being careful not to liquefy.
                                  Measure 3 quarts apple pulp.
                                To make butter: Combine apple pulp, sugar and spices in a large sauce pot, stirring until
                                 sugar dissolves. Cook slowly until think enough to round up on a spoon( I put mine in 
                                a crock pot on low) Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove
                                bubbles. Adjust 2 piece cap and process 10 Min's in a boiling water caner.
                                  Note- this needs to cook on low for along time so either start in the morning or put on
                                     low all night) and make sure the lid isn't super tight, the steam needs to escape so
                                    the sauce can thicken.

                                Ball Blue Book


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Home is where the heart is...

 It was the perfect day to try my hands at mustard pickle....

   Mustard pickle?? What? That's what I said when I was reading one of my favorite blogs, mustard pickle what in the world is that? Well as I kept reading the history behind this mustard pickle I just new I had to make it. This is a recipe from  Its a special tradition in her family. Its suppose to be amazing over roasts and ham etc, and if its as good as I think its going to be then I 'd like to make it a tradition in my family too. After all, the home is where the heart is and I want everyone who walks through my door to  feel welcome and  loved. So today I made my first memory of making mustard pickle... and I will say that I had the best time making this. Yes it was A LOT of chopping,  and thankfully I preped the night before, but it was such a pleasure to chop and cook and work in my kitchen. I loved looking outside and seeing my chickens scratching around, (such troopers in the pouring rain:) and to watch my son Parker play with his toys and chase Bella around the as I was cooking I was also saying little prayers all day, thanking God for this life and all who are in it.
3lbs of pearl onions, my hands hurt after peeling them.

Lots of chopping, lots.

A break in the rain
Wait 4 weeks to eat

I love seeing all those cans


I had more pics of the cooking process but my camera was giving me trouble.