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Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Best Tuna Salad Recipe Ever

    This is a very flavorful tuna salad recipe.  Once you try this recipe, I am sure you're going to take your old boring tuna salad recipe and toss it to the curb.  

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The Best Tuna Salad Ever

1 (5 oz.) can tuna, drained, and flaked
1 sm. Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 hard boiled egg, crumbled up with a fork
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 T. mustard
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. lemon juice


     In a medium sized bowl, add in the tuna.

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    Dice up your apple.

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   Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

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         Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on lightly toasted bread.   Sometimes we also like to add in some sliced green grapes.  Yum!

      I know some people like celery in their tuna salad but my husband HATES celery so I like to add the apples in to replace the crunch and seriously, I think it's better with the apple.

     Also, some people never put eggs into their tuna salad but with eggs is my preferred way.  Adding eggs is one way to add protein to the meal and it helps stretch the tuna salad further.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

JZBRAIN Vacuum Sealer Review


    I was recently honored to check out and review the JZBRAIN vacuum sealer.  I have wanted a sealer for some time because we do process a lot of meat at home on our farm and being able to seal up the meat in dinner sized quantities would make life a lot easier.  

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      Being able to seal our food will keep it fresh for so much longer and I won't have to worry about our food becoming freezer burned or absorbing smells or tastes from the freezer.  A friend of mine has a different brand of sealer and this one we got is soooo much better than hers and has a lot more features!  

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     It comes with easy to follow directions and works wonderfully.  I was impressed that you can do dry food but also food that is wet or moist like steamed or poached, it has a mode to do those too.  You just push the button and it sucks all the air out and seals up the pouch perfectly.  

     I am so glad we got this and highly recommend it for anyone looking to purchase one in the near future.  

    You can buy one from the following link on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NRQQ98Q



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

How to Make Southern Style Sun Tea

   
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 I have been enjoying sun tea as long as I can remember.  I had a gallon of it seeping outside recently when a friend dropped by and she asked me why I had a jug of dirty water sitting out. 

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After 30 minutes in the sun.


      I told her I was making sun tea and she looked at me like I had grown 2 heads.  She had never heard of sun tea before.  I asked around to some of my younger friends and they had not heard of it either.  I think it is so sad that it is a "thing of the past" so I thought I'd teach everyone who has not heard of it how to make it.  

    Making sun tea is great for many reasons but the main reason is because it tastes superior to "regular" iced tea.  Letting the tea seep for a few hours in the sun makes a really smooth and delicious tea that is so much better than any other type of tea you can drink.  Also, you don't have to turn on a hot stove when it is already over 100 degrees outside!

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1 1/2 hours in the sun

    The first thing you need is a gallon sized glass jar with a good fitting lid.  You need a lid that will seal out any bugs or other creepy crawlers that might try to get into your tea as it seeps.  I found this gallon sized jar at Wal-mart.  I like that it looks like a canning jar.  I prefer not to use plastic jugs because the plastic can leach out into your tea and that can affect the taste and it probably wouldn't be too healthy either.   Any large food type jar will work...even old pickle jars, as long as they don't smell like pickles anymore.

     Pour water into your jug and add in 4 family sized tea bags.  I use Luzianne tea bags but that is just a personal preference.  Use whatever brand is your favorite.  Place the lid on the jug and place the jug outside in a sunny location.  Leave the jug in the sun for 2-3 hours, depending on how strong you like your tea.  Once it reaches the desired color, bring inside and throw away the tea bags.  Add sugar or any other add in you desire (lemon or orange slices, mint, etc.) and serve the tea over ice.  

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Sun tea always tastes great, especially when served in a mason jar!

     Keep the tea in the refrigerator.  The key to really good sun tea is not allowing the tea to come to room temperature so be sure to place the tea into the refrigerator soon after bringing it inside.  

     If you prefer to have herbal tea, it is the same directions except add in 1 cup of fresh herbs or dried flowers after adding the tea bags and putting it outside.  I especially like adding in hibiscus flowers but mint or chamomile can also be nice.

     I know there is a bit of controversy among some that say that sun tea is unsafe to drink but I have drunk it my whole life.  The controversy stems from people saying that sun tea is unsafe because bacteria can grow because they say the water does not reach 190 degrees or greater but the research is out that says that it is NOT the sun tea that is unsafe; it is the unsafe drinking water that is the issue.  So if you feel safe enough drinking your water then your water is safe enough to use to make sun tea or you can always use purified bottled water!

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

How to Freeze Fresh Blackberries

     
How to freeze blackberries, how to freeze fresh berries

      We love fresh blackberries.  They are so delicious and really are one of summer times most scrumptious treats.  We are lucky enough to have a lot of wild blackberry bushes on the property but you have to be quick because if not, all the birds and bears will get them.  Also, blackberry season is really short so you have to be fast if you want any at all.  We try to go out and pick them daily during the 3-4 weeks they are ripening.  We eat what we want and we also freeze a bunch so we can enjoy them throughout the year. 

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      The first thing you need to do is wash your blackberries thoroughly.  If you plan on using the blackberries in a pie this winter than I would toss the blackberries in sugar after washing them and then lay them out on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and place the pan in the freezer.  Once they harden (2-4 hours), remove them off of the trays and place them in freezer safe baggies.  Remove as much air as you can and then put them back into the freezer until you need them. 

      If you plan on using them for anything else besides a pie, then follow the same steps as above but just don't toss them in the sugar.  

    Frozen blackberries can be stored in the freezer up to 1 year. 

    If you prefer to dehydrate the blackberries, it is easy to do also.  

     For us, the best way to enjoy frozen blackberries include:

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Beefy Chili Noodle Skillet Meal

    This is a really easy and super-fast meal to get on your table that is also super tasty.  It is really hearty and delicious.  It is perfect for those busy nights that you need a dinner quick but want it still to be good and not something out of a "box".  This recipe is similar to Hamburger Helper meals but without all the preservatives and the mystery powdered cheese. 

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A bowl of my delicious Beefy Chili Noodles.

Beefy Chili Noodle Skillet Meal

2 lbs. ground beef or venison
2 c. beef broth
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 package (16 oz) egg noodles
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained
2 T. flour
1 T. olive oil
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. pepper

   Brown the ground meat in a large pot over medium heat in the olive oil with the garlic powder and onions added.  

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The ground beef, garlic powder and onions cooking in the olive oil.


     Once the beef is browned, do NOT drain.  If you drain it, you also drain off the flavors of the meat, onion and garlic, so do not drain it.  

       Stir in the flour into the beef mixture and mix well.  Cook and stir for one full minute.  Stir in the chili powder, paprika, oregano, celery salt, salt and pepper.  Stir and then stir in the tomato sauce, corn, and beef broth.  Stir well.  Add in the uncooked egg noodles.

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    Cover the pot with a lid and turn the fire to low and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the egg noodles are al dente.  By this time most of the liquid should also be absorbed.

    Uncover, turn the stove off and stir in the cheese.

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Serve and enjoy.  

   Two cups of this pasta dish has 50 carbs.  I share this information because my husband is a diabetic on an insulin pump and needs to know the carbs in a meal to adjust his insulin.  

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July!

I just wanted to take a second to wish each of you a very happy and safe 4th of July.  Much love to each of you!

Independence day, 4th of July,


Independence day, 4th of July,

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Goat Milk Caramel Sauce

  This caramel sauce is so easy to make and really is the best caramel sauce you will EVER eat.  It blows any caramel sauce you can buy at the store out of the water.  If you have access to goat's milk, I truly recommend you try it.  Just be sure to use goat milk because this recipe will not work with any other kind of milk. 

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The hot caramel sauce on a bowl of ice cream


Goat Milk Caramel Sauce

1/2 gallon of goat milk
2 c. sugar 
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 T. of water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

   Turn your crockpot onto high.  Pour into the crockpot your milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  

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     Stir every 10 minutes until the milk is hot and the sugar is dissolved.  As soon as the sugar is dissolved (it won't take very long), stir in the baking soda.  

   Continue cooking on high, stirring about every hour.  After the mixture has cooked for 2 hours, stir in the cornstarch.  Whisk well.   

     I generally cook it about 8 hours total before using it.   If you want this thicker, remove the lid after 6 hours of cooking and cook it 2-3 hours with the lid off of the crockpot.  

     The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months but the sauce never lasts more than a day or two at our house because it is so good we use it on about everything.

     It makes the perfect ice cream topping but Ron and Bub LOVE to add a tablespoon of it to their coffee.   We also like to drizzle some over our bread pudding.  What ways do you like to use caramel sauce?

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Super Easy Yellow Rice Recipe

     This yellow rice is so easy to make and goes great with about any main dish.  It truly is one of my favorite side dishes.  Not only do I think it is pretty but it tastes every bit as good as it smells.  It is light, fluffy, and delicious.

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Super Easy Yellow Rice

1 c. long grain rice
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

     Heat up the butter in a pot over medium heat.  Stir in the rice, garlic powder, and onions.  Cook and stir until the rice becomes light brown.

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  Stir in the turmeric and then pour in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, and ginger and turn the heat to medium-high.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn it down to low and cover.  Allow it to simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork before serving.  

     This is perfect like this but sometimes I like to bolster the flavor and nutrients by adding in a cup of frozen peas or frozen carrots.  It also adds some color and makes it even prettier.

      Freezes well and reheats beautifully.

     A half cup of prepared rice is a serving and there are 40 carbs per serving.  

     Here are a few dishes that I like to serve this yellow rice along side of:


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Friday, May 10, 2019

No Soak 15 Bean Soup Recipe

     This is another meal that I shared on my Wednesday "what's for dinner" post on my Facebook page.  The post got a lot of comments and even more requests for the recipe so here it is.

 
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    This makes a really satisfying dinner and is not just for cold days.  I make this all year long because it is so hearty, rich and smells divine.  It has so much flavor that you will want to make it again and again.

     Beans not only taste really good but they are to be considered a "super food".  They are packed full of fiber, protein and antioxidants and not only that, but you can store them for years and they are also one of the cheapest food you can buy.

    Here are some suggestions to what to serve with this No Soak 15 Bean Soup:

    This recipe calls for 15 different kinds of beans.  I generally just buy a one pound bag of "15 bean soup" that you can find at most grocery stores.  If you can't find it, just use whatever kinds of beans you prefer.  Here is an image of the mix that I buy.

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No Soak 15 Bean Soup Recipe

2 cups of the bean mix
1 lb. cooked ham, shredded or cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and diced up
2 celery ribs, diced
2 bay leaves
1 large white onion, peeled and diced up
1 envelope of ham flavored concentrate (picture underneath the ingredients)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. thyme 
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt

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    Pictured above is the ham concentrate I used.  I bought it at Wal-mart.  There are 3 envelopes in the box and I used just one for the recipe.  Pretty good stuff to keep on hand because it flavors about as well as a ham hock does.

  First thing you need to do to make this soup is to turn your crock pot onto low.  Open up your package of beans and set the seasoning pack that comes with it aside.  I don't use the seasoning pack that is included.  I generally give the seasoning packet to my mother-in-law to use but you can do with it what you want.  I prefer to season my soup with the spices I choose.  

       Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water.  Put the beans into your crock pot and pour in the stock/broth on top.  In a skillet, heat up your oil.  Once the oil is hot, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery together until the onions are translucent and the celery is softened.  

     Once they are done, scrape the veggies out of the skillet and into the crock pot.  Add in the rest of the soup ingredients and gently stir.  Put on the lid to the crock pot and allow the soup to cook for at least 6 hours.  The soup is ready when the beans are tender.  I often will allow the soup to cook for up to 10-12 hours so it will develop even more flavor.  

     Remove the bay leaves before serving.

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     If you prefer to cook this soup in a cast iron Dutch Oven, just sauté your veggies as before and then rinse the beans and add in the beans and all the other ingredients and cook over low-medium heat for about 2 hours.  

    One cup of soup has 29g of carbs and 9g of fiber.  I share this information because my husband is a diabetic and uses an insulin pump.   Depending on the amount of carbs in a dish is how he knows how much insulin to take.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cooking a Roast in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

   Pot roast is a favorite of most families.   It is the most flavorful, comfort meal that is a staple Sunday evening meal for so many of us in America!  It takes a bit of work to make this but it is TOTALLY worth the effort.  Quick and easy is not always best and this is one recipe that proves that fact.

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Cooking a Roast in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

4 lb. rump roast (or chuck roast)
1 lb. carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
3 c. beef broth
6-8 mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
4-6 large potatoes, peel and cut into large chunks
3 T. olive oil
 1 medium onion, halved or cut into slices
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

    Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

     You will need a large cast iron Dutch oven for this recipe and it needs to be about a 6 quart sized one.  Be sure to also have a lid that will fit it and your Dutch oven needs to be well seasoned.

     Place the oil into the Dutch oven and heat the oil on medium-high heat and then put the roast into the hot pan and sear the meat on all sides.  Searing the meat locks in the flavor so do not skip this step.  Sear on each of the 4 sides for about 2-5 minute per side.  You want it browned well.  Once it is seared, remove the roast from the pan and place on a plate and set aside.

     Throw the onions into the pot and cook them until they are softened.  Be sure to stir them often and do not allow them to burn or caramelize.  Scoop out the onions once they are softened and set the onions on a plate and set aside.

     Stir the carrots into the hot oil and let the carrots brown a bit on both sides.  They only take a minute or two in the hot oil.  You are not cooking them, you are just browning them a bit.  Once browned, remove them and set them on a plate also.

       Put the onions back into the pot and then stir in the garlic powder, basil, rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar.  Slowly pour in the beef broth.  Stir and bring the liquid to a slow boil.  Allow it to boil for 1 minute and then turn off the stove.

     Gently place the roast into the hot liquid.  Be sure to go slowly so you don't splatter the hot liquid onto your skin.  The roast will not be fully submerged and that is okay.  You want about half of the roast to be covered.  Add a bit more beef broth (or water) if needed.  
     Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the roast and cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place it into the oven.  You do need to use a heavy lid...using aluminum foil will not be enough.

      Bake for 2 hours.  After 2 hours, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid.  Carefully, flip the roast over.  Again, be careful to not get burned.  Add in the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms and more beef broth (or water) if it needs it.  Replace the lid and put the Dutch oven back into the oven and bake it for another hour or two.  The roast is done when it falls apart easily and the veggies are soft.  

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      This meal serves 8 and each serving has 18 carbs for those who use an insulin pump (like my hubby).  
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Sometimes we even mash up the potatoes and make gravy from the pan drippings.


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I shared this on Facebook recently and got a great response


I shared this recipe with the following blogs and link parties:
Tuesday's with a Twist
Proverb's 31--Homemaking Link ups

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cheesy Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole

   It is really hard to beat the combination of cheesy, crispy tater tots and chili dogs.  It is pure and delicious comfort food.  It's an easy meal to make and is sure to become a family favorite.

   
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Cheesy Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole

2 1/2 c. shredded cheese, divided
3/4 c. ketchup
1 (28 oz.) bag of frozen tater tots
8 hot dogs, cut into small slices
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9"x13" cake pan and set aside.  

    In a large bowl, stir together the chili, ketchup, hot dog slices, Worcestershire sauce, onions, and red pepper flakes.  Mix the mixture well. 

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     Spread the mixture into the cake pan.   Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of your shredded cheese on top.  I used a mix of montery jack and cheddar cheese but you can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer.

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    Now, spread the tater tots over the top and place into your oven and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove and sprinkle a cup of cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove and enjoy.

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    I used homemade chili for this casserole but you could use canned.  If you use canned, use 2 (15 oz) cans.  You could use either with or without beans or one of each.  

A serving is 1 1/2 cups and has has 42 grams of carbs.  My husband is diabetic and on an insulin pump and has to know the carbs in the food he eats to enter it into his meter so sharing that here just in case anyone else needs to know also. 

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I shared this recipe with the following blogs and link parties:
Tuesday's with a Twist
Proverb's 31--Homemaking Link ups

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easy recipes