Friday, August 31, 2012

Super Green Veggie Powder

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Oooh, oooh, I found something really neat while surfing the web one night and I just had to try it and I love, love, love it!

Over at The Nourished Kitchen, Jenny came up with a wonderful idea to use all the greens .... beet and turnips tops, carrot tops, kale, Swiss chard, peppers (with seeds removed), celery leaves, even herbs......she later mentions that she also uses tomatoes, onions, or anything that is in excess in her kitchen or garden now so it isn't just 'green' veggie powder.  I will also be including the chives that need to be trimmed once the next batch of 'greens' is done drying.

from this morning's be added to the dehydrator
After a batch has been dried, I ground the greens in my little coffee actually worked very well instead of using my mortar and pestle.  As they turned to a powder, I would add more until the whole batch was turned into my super powder. 

Now what do you do with the powder you ask?  I will sprinkle it in stews, soups, casseroles...even scrambled eggs, quiches and omelettes.  Almost like my own homemade Mrs. Dash!  The combination of flavors from all the vegetables will add so much to my dishes....not to mention the added nutritional value!

For now I am storing my super powder in a glass canning jar until I find something more suitable for my spice cupboard. 

Can you imagine using every, single part of the vegetable?  How cool is that?  Thank you so much Jenny for thinking 'outside the box' and sharing it with us all.  My dehydrator will be working overtime for many weeks to come.

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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It's time again for Thrifty Thursday!

A cute little wooden angel with tin lid wings, long wooden legs and rusty, iron hair.  A Goodwill find with a price tag of 99 cents.  She already has a home on my kitchen wall.

Next up...the cutest little painted garden spade.  A whopping 50 cents!


Keep on thrifting and give your loved ones a hug!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cooking Squash

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Squash has been on our nightly menu plan for over a week now and it will continue for a while yet.  We love squash...all types although this year was the first year I tried buttercup and crooked neck squash.  

Last night was buttercup from our neighbors Brian and his father Larry who brought us some the other day.

Since I have not tried this variety before I had to look it up on the Internet.  Finding a method that I thought would be tasty, I gave it a shot.

Cutting the buttercup in half with a sharp knife, the recipe suggested peeling the outer layer....

and clean out the seeds membrane (I used a melon scoop).

Adding about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a 9x13 inch cake pan, I turned the peeled and gutted squash upside down in the water.  I placed the pan in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a fork can be easily pierced all the way through the squash.

Carefully placing the cooked squash on the dinner plate, I liberally spread butter and brown sugar over one whole side.  Is this how you prepare yours?  I would love to try different methods and recipes so please share!  

Please remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

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I have a glass cutting board that I love.  I have this cutting board for over 10 years.  For me it is just the right size and it has a permanent place on my counter top.   I never have to put it away or take it just sits there ready to be used.

On the underside of this cutting board are little, soft plastic knobbies that do two jobs; they keep the board from sliding around when cutting and raises the board just enough which prevents scratches on your counter top.  Well one of those knobbies went astray.  It was horrible I tell ya!  Every time I tried to cut something, the board would tip.  UGH.  

My first thought was I needed a new board which around here runs about $25 to $35 for the same size as mine......THAT was out of the question, then I thought maybe I could just buy those little knobbies.  They must make and sell them separately, right?  Well, I looked and could not find them (I could have been looking in the wrong section of the hardware store though).

I came home defeated.  I removed the other four knobbies (there was one in each corner and one in the center) and used the board for a few days.  Okay...THIS was NOT going to work!  The board slid- skidded all over the place!

Then for some reason a light bulb went off in my head....that happens to me sometimes!  My trusty old hot glue gun.  I dug it out, added a new glue stick and plugged her in.

Turning my cutting board over and giving it a very good clean, I waited for the hot glue gun to be ready. Once hot enough I carefully squeezed enough glue onto each corner and in the middle where the old knobbies had been.  Since the glue was hot it self-leveled and then began to cool.  I kept my fingers crossed, hoping my idea would work.  My dear hubby didn't think it would, he thought the knobbies would be of different levels which would make the board uneven once again.

I left the board to cool for a few hours.  I wanted to make sure the glue was dried all the way through. By dinnertime, I turned the board over to give it a try as I needed to get my salad ready and .... IT WORKED!  Yahoo!!!!  

I have now used the board for over a week with great success.  This makes me extremely happy as I will never have to worry again.  As long as I don't break the board, I can easily replace the hot glue knobbies whenever it is needed.

I hope this help some of you out there that might need to do the same someday.  Have a great day and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Busy Weekend

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This past weekend has been busy with company, housework, yard work and dehydrating. 

Potatoes was first on the agenda for the dehydrator as we were given soooo many and we really don't eat that many of them in the summer.  Our diet consists mostly of salads and fresh vegetables during the warmer months with a few bbq's tossed in but in the winter our diet changes quite drastically.  The body needs substance during the long, cold Minnesota winters.  Stews, soups, casseroles and meat and potato meals are the norm.   With dehydrated potatoes, it is easy to toss them into the stews and soups that are usually bubbling away in the crock-pot each day. 

So yesterday was spent peeling, cutting and popping them in the Excalibur......all 50 pounds worth!  The potato chips I mentioned here, did not turn out as planned but I have a few other ideas I will try and will definitely let you know if they turn out....they won't go to waste though as I will use them in the same way as the other dried potatoes.

I find this type of work is very satisfying...I'm not sure if it is the rhythmic peeling and slicing of the potatoes, the friends who kept me company and enjoyed a cup of coffee while I was busy or the comforting idea that slowly, the pantry will be re-stocked.  Whatever the reason, tasks such as these make me happy.

Today is errand day....groceries, banking and of course I have to check out the thrift stores so I better get at it.  The sun is beginning to rise and I still have to go for my morning hike.  Have a great day everyone and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday's Blessings

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this week I loved the ......

smell of - the country

sound of - my dog Sammy barking

taste of - fresh garden vegetables from neighbors and friends

sight of - my hubby

feel of - my grass under my feet

things I am thankful for this week .....

- my Mom and all that she did for me

- my son and his girlfriend and all that they did for me

- being home

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday's Snaps

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Remember to give your loved ones a hug and have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Generosity of Neighbors

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We were truly blessed this week by neighbors who have bountiful harvests.  The garden goodies just kept coming through the door to our surprise.

Our neighbors knew how our summer went and have been so generous and we are ever so thankful.

Onions, snap beans and zucchini from neighbor Dave who in my opinion is one of the best gardeners I know.  This was the third time he has brought us goodies...he mentioned next will be acorn squash as he has waaaay too many for Liz his wife and himself to eat.  Yummy!  The zucchini has been frozen, the snap beans have been eaten and the onions will be used unless we get more which I will then dehydrate them.  I love using dehydrated onions in stews, soups and chili.

Next up was the 5 gallon pail of potatoes...are they not just beautiful?  Our neighbor Bill did a wonderful job this year!  He also mentioned there would be many more to come....his crop is huge and he is a single man.  I have a batch of potato chips in the dehydrator as I type this....the first time I have attempted such a thing but the potatoes were so large, I couldn't resist trying.  If they turn out well, I will make more and dehydrate some more just plain for stews and soups which we eat in abundance during the winter.  

Can you see the apples in the background?  Our neighbor John brought a bushel...they are not crab apples...regular apples which are surprisingly very sweet.  I have already made applesauce with them and it is oh so delicious!

Then neighbor Brian and his father Larry carried in buttercup squash, crooked neck squash and cucumbers!  I had never tried either type of squash so off to the Internet to check to see how they were to be cooked and boy oh boy are they delectable!  Now one of my favorites and they will be added to the seed list for next summer.  

Funny how things work out isn't it?  I was thinking that we would not be enjoying garden fresh veggies except through a farmer's market but here we are munching and loving the generosity of such good neighbors and friends.,,,for this we are truly thankful.

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Linking up with Amy over at Homestead Revival

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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It's Thrifty Thursday!

Found these cute little ceramic gingerbread girl and boy platters...complete with two spreading knives each.  Cost .50 cents at a garage sale this summer with my Mom.  Perfect for holiday entertaining.

Then I found this at Goodwill.  I LOVE Dave Ramsey and his approach to controlling the finances.  I already have his books but now can watch the DVD!  Cost.... $1.99.

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Poor Garden!

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Bob decided to only plant potatoes and onions in the large garden this year while I was away and the peppers, broccoli and tomatoes would be in the little garden.  He figured that is all he would be able to handle on his own.

Our large garden started out 20 by 60 feet and this is what it looks like now.....

yes, there are potatoes in there...see?  LOL

My poor garden.  It will take alot of work to get it back up to point where I can plant again next year.

Here is the small garden....he has been harvesting some items from it...we will be enjoying three stuffed peppers tonight and have been enjoying the few tomatoes as they are ready.

Well I better get at it....lots of work today.

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

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Onions can be very pungent when slicing.  As cutting into one, the smell will assault the nose and the tears will start to fall which in turn can blur the vision long enough to cut into ones finger instead of the onion.....I am speaking from experience here.  :-)

There are many tricks out there aimed to keep this from happening but the best one I have found so far is to simply rinse the onion under cold water before slicing.  

I first take off the outer layer of 'skin' and then will rinse the onion under cold, running water from the tap.  This always seems to work well for me.  How about you?  Do you have a good tip to keep the tears from falling when slicing those tantalizing onions?

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

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