Saturday, April 30, 2011

Help Hurting Families in Alabama

This is a beautiful collage of the Lee family farm that was totally destroyed from a tornado this week. The husband to Sherry Lee and father to 13 kids, Thomas Lee was killed protecting his family.

Here is a link for anyone who would like to help the Lee family or other families that have been devastated by the tornadoes.

Help Hurting Families in Alabama

Friday, April 29, 2011

Selah - Unredeemed

To my blog friend Sherry Lee (A Bakers Dozen Barnhouse News) and the Lee family who lost their husband/father and home this week from a tornado. My prayers are with you in this tragedy you face.

May God's grace carry you all. Tears......

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orange Rolls

I love the smell of fresh baked bread in the morning. Especially these orange rolls or cinnamon rolls. mmmm , I love the smell of the yeast in the breads. I also love the look on every ones face when they wake up in the morning and come into the kitchen because they smell something good. ("Now that's what I'm talkin bout ya'll, it just don't git no better then that!")

Sorry, I was born in Texas and sometimes I just blurt stuff like that out. Anyway.......Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Out Of This World Orange Rolls

2 pkg dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 C. warm water
4 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. salt

soften yeast in the 1/4 cup warm water

In large bowl combine butter, sugar, eggs, the 1 C. warm water and salt. Stir in yeast then 2 1/2 C. of flour. Beat with mixer until smooth. Add the rest of the flour and mix well. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (1 hour).

Punch down, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning about two hours before baking divide dough into 2 sections and roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 in. thick. Spread with a thick layer of softened butter and sprinkle with grated orange rind. Roll each section up just like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into 1 in. slices. Place on greased baking sheets, cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes until they look nice and puffy.

Bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes
Frost while still a little warm

1 1/2 C. powered sugar
1 TBSP grated orange rind
2 TBSP orange juice concentrate
3 TBSP butter

Beat well with mixer and spread on warm rolls.
(I used my Kitchen-aid stand mixer until I burned it up...:o( good thing it was still under warranty and they are sending me a new one....Red, of course!)

I have used this dough recipe for cinnamon rolls before and they were wonderful.
Also I have used the dough right away without refrigerating over night and that worked just fine too. I have not made these with fresh whole wheat flour but I am going to give it a try. I would think that you might still want to use part all purpose flour but I'm not sure, I will have to experiment with it and see. If you try it before I do let me know how it works for you.

Try these sometime, your family will love them.
Happy baking!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blessings of Bounty (In the midst of tough times)

I was excited when I heard that there was a food co-op in my area. Bountiful Baskets is a great food co-op that is available in many other states as well. It is available in 11 states to anyone. Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. All you have to do is go to their web site and join. Each state has multiple pickup sites. If you live in one of these states go to the website and click on the link that says locations. It will then let you select your state and then show you the pickup locations in your state. My pickup location is just 15 minutes away.

There is a one time fee of $3.oo and each basket you get is $15.oo or if you want organic it is $25.00. You may buy as many baskets as you want and you may get them each week. The produce you get is a little different each week. If you can't use one a week you can just get one every other week. There are other things available each week as well, things like bread, nuts, granola, tortillas , it varies each week.
As you can see you get quite a bit of stuff.

Here is the list of produce that was in my basket last Saturday:

1 Romain lettuce
2 - 6oz. pkg radishes
7 small apples
1 - 1lb. pkg. carrots
1 large bundle of celery
4 med yellow onions
2 bundles of broccoli
4 mangoes
5 tangelos
1 large bunch of green bananas
1 small Honeydew Mellon
1lb strawberries
9 small cucumbers

This has been a tremendous blessing to us this winter. Being in the housing construction business we are really feeling the effects of the housing slump this country is in. Also the nature of the work we do (concrete flatwork) is seasonal so typically we are out of work every winter for several months.

I have been able to get a good start on a food storage this year in spite of being out of work. We also have a freezer full of hand raised pork and grass fed beef. We really have all we need and are even able to help out family members that are in need.

I found a dairy near by that sells raw whole organic milk for $5.00 a gallon. The milk is a bit pricey but I'm able to make our own butter, buttermilk, cream and Ice cream with it. I will be trying my hand at cheese making very soon. I buy 3 gallons a week @ $15.00 add that to $15.oo a week for the Bountiful Baskets = $30.00 a week I have to spend on feeding a family of 5 with plenty to share. We did trade work for the meat in our freezer and I do a Costco run about once a month.

What a blessing! What bounty in the midst of tough times! God IS so good and He alone is faithful!!!

How has God blessed you this year? Have you been able to help someone else with what God has blessed you with? Even with your time? If there is one thing I have learned (my beautiful mother has taught) it is that God will be a debtor to no man and you can't out give God. Its like the law of gravity.

Luke 6:38
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure -pressed down- shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

God, show me today who I can help, not so you will bless me but because this is your heart.

Blessings to you all

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homestead Revival: Give Away: Homemade Living - The Series!

I was just looking at these books yesterday on Amazon and was thinking how I'd love to have this whole collection.
Amy over at Homestead Revival is hosting a giveaway for all four of the books. These are great books with tons of practical information and some great recipes some are traditional some are very adventurous.
Homestead Revival: Give Away: Homemade Living - The Series!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Real Life on the Farm

WARNING!!!! These pictures are not for the faint of heart!
Remember the darling little stud colt I brought home last year? Taz
Well, Taz is getting big and a little proud of himself, in fact he has been getting a little pushy, a little nippy and just plain full of himself. He has also discovered that he like mares. :o)
SO, It was time....snip snip......poor Taz. Oh not to worry, he is just fine. A little sore and swollen maybe even humbled a bit but fine. No longer a stallion, Taz is officially a gelding! YEAH!!!!

What a sweet gelding he will be now.

The vet (Sam) a great guy! pulls Taz's wolf teeth while he is sedated. The wolf teeth get in the way and the bit bumps on them so they are pulled at this time. That way when he is two and sent off to the trainers he won't develope any bad habits of gettting behind the bit.

Just a little blood, not much. The vet scrubbed him good with iodine scrub and made an incision and then.........snip snip off they go. Taz didn't feel a thing. He was asleep.

I do feel bad though poor guy, he got it at both ends!

After he woke up the vet helped him to his feet and then he walked like a drunk sailor back to his stall. Doesn't even know what hit him. This is real life on the farm! Its all for the better, Taz will be much safer to be around as a gelding then he would be as a stallion. It will only take a few weeks for him to heal then it will all be forgotten.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hosanna in the Highest!

They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vanilla Extract

After reading several other blogs about how they made their own vanilla extract I decided to try my hand at it. This just sounded too yummy and easy. I had no idea you could make your own extracts so easily. I ordered my vanilla beans from The only other ingredient was ****VODKA*** gasp! who knew? not me. Not really being one to frequent the liquor store, I sent my oldest son :o) He was more than happy to run the errand.

Mountain Rose Herbs also sells little old fashioned bottles with cork tops for bottling your extract once it is finished. This will make great gifts for Christmas baskets. The girls and I are planning to do Christmas baskets this year and we will fill them with homemade extracts, dried herbs from the garden, we have Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Basil and Mint (Mountain Rose Herbs also has cute little bottles with corks for dried herbs). We will also put in some home canned or preserved items from this years harvest. Will put in homemade ranch dressing mix (no MSG) along with the recipe on a cute recipe card. Toss in a loaf of homemade bread of some kind and wrap with plastic, tie on a cute bow and ta da....who wouldn't love a gift basket like that? The possibilities are just about endless and I still have plenty of time to think about what we could put in the baskets.

Here is my first attempt at making vanilla extract:

25 organic vanilla beans (split up one side)

1/2 gallon vodka

Place beans in a 1/2 gallon glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

Put away in a cool dark place to steep for several months (6-8). Get it out and shake it up about once a month.

Mine will be done by the Holidays!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Signs of Spring And a totally random day The snow has melted all but for a few small patches. The ground has thawed out and is trying to dry up a bit. But we are supposed to have stormy weather the rest of this month. grrrrr I'm so ready for warm dry weather. Sooooo much to do! But yesterday my husband got three of the horses runs cleaned out with his bobcat, he also cleaned out their water tanks. We now have a huge pile of manure and shavings from the horses stalls for composting.....I really have to dig in my heels to keep my husband from hauling this away......Still struggling to get him on board with the use of compost. We do create quite a lot with 6 horses that live in stalls with runs all winter and only go out for turn out time to run and buck a few times a week in the winter months. I know this looks like a lot of compost.

This is the compost pile from last year. This has composted over the winter and we will now be able to use it in the new garden expansion. We will mix this with a load or two of good top soil.

My mother and dad come and get some every year to put in their garden and flower beds.

My mother calls this stuff "Gold". She had really bed soil that was heavy clay but after a few years of mixing in our composted manure/shavings it is very nice soil that contains a lot of organic matter.

I love it when my horses runs are all cleaned out and they don't have to clop around in a big mess and when all the moss is cleaned out of their water tanks and their water is fresh and clean. We try to keep them clean but in the winter this is a bit of a pain because we have to put in tank heaters to keep the water from freezing so then there are cords that have to be covered to keep them from getting a hold of them and getting shocked. All this then has to be dismantled in order to clean out the tanks then it all has to be put back together. We do it but just not as often in the winter.
I was thrilled to seee that my Swiss chard had survived the winter and is now coming up. The ground in the garden boxes can be worked now and I have several things coming up in the herb box. I cleaned out this box today and was surprised to find that I had left some carrots over winter and they survived too.....I had no idea that they would live through the winter like this........I pulled them all up and washed them then took them out to the barn for horse treats.

The horses love the carrots from the garden!!! They are so much more fragrant and so much sweeter then the ones you buy in the grocery store.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homemade Coffee Creamer

After much debate I have finally convinced Dewayne that the coffee creamer he lives on is nothing but chemicals and sugar water.....Oh, don't get me wrong, It tastes really good..But It doesn't even have cream in it. Its also very expensive. So I went on a quest for a healthier alternative. I found a great web site called there I found several recipe's for homemade coffee creamer among lots of other here is the link if you want to try it yourself.