Traditional Food How To: Bone Broth {in the slow cooker}

I get lots of questions about how I make my bone broth.

I started out using a recipe from a book, but have adapted my own way of doing it since then.

Bone broth is FULL of nutrients that help heal the body and gut, & improve digestion.  Do a quick Google search for the benefits of bone broth, and you will see what I mean-gelatin, proteins, and nutrients dense, it is a favorite in our home.

Our family used it as the base of a homemade baby formula {and part 2 here} for our son with a dairy allergy, and a very messed up gut.  Every bit of me (and my husband) believes that bone broth helped heal our infant son’s gut, get him off medications, and get him healthy again, as an alternative to commercial formulas.  {I am not a doctor and what I write here is strictly my opinion, not medical fact}

We now give bone broth with a pinch of real salt during illnesses, cold season, and share with the dogs, chickens, and cats.

So if you want to replace the store bought “broths” and sodium in a square bullion cubes for a real, nutrient dense food, that is easy to make, keep reading!

  1. First, you have to get the bones by preparing a chicken, preferably from an organic grassfed chicken.  So, I make (an amazing) whole chicken in the crock pot or using my 9 Qt Le Crueset in the oven.
  2. Just cut up some carrots and onion, maybe some garlic, and any other veggies you like.
  3. I rub my chicken down with organic olive oil, Himalayan pink salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.  But season yours however you like.
  4. Put your chicken in the crock pot (I start mine frozen so I cook it all day on low, but if yours is thawed 4-6 hours on low will probably cook it through nicely) BREAST SIDE DOWN, so it doesn’t dry out.
  5. Place your carrots and other vegetables in around the chicken.
  6. Add about 2 cups of water, and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours, or longer if frozen.
  7. About an hour before it is done, I flip it breast side up and season the breast really well.
  8. Pull the meat off the chicken bones and serve as you choose. (by itself, in soup, on pizza, in chicken salad, on a sandwich … the possibilities are endless.  And you can really make that meat stretch for some frugal meals!)

That is how you acquire your bones (and flavorful chicken for the week)!

{The great thing is, you can cook a chicken every week (say on Saturday, or Sunday), have chicken for recipes during the week (or freezer meals!), and make a new batch of bone broth every week for the freezer!}

Here is how you make (chicken) bone broth

You will need:

  • crockpot
  • water
  • aple cider vinegar
  • a fine mesh strainer (metal is better than plastic here, it is finer)
  • jars/plastic bags
  • funnel (not necessary but definitely helps the pouring process)

Your chicken has cooked and your house now smells good enough to attract passersby.  You have removed all the meat from your chicken, and are left with the bones, skin, etc.

  1. Place the bones back in the crock pot.
  2. Add a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  This will draw the minerals out of the bones.
  3. Cover the bones with water, leaving 1 inch at the top.
  4. Turn the crockpot on low, and let simmer all night.  If you are feeling really froggy, in the morning add more water and let it go another 18- 24 hours.  I usually let mine go about 2 days in the crockpot.  This will cook those bones good!
  5. When the bones are done, use a big spoon to pull out the bigger, obvious bones.  Compost/trash them, or smash and feed to dogs/animals on the farm.
  6. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a big bowl
  7. Pour your strained broth into plastic bags or glass jars for freezing.
Before the broth is strained
remove the bones, fat, cartilage, etc from crock pot
**Tips**
  • Use a pastured chicken if you have a local source; we raise our own each year.
  • When putting your bones in the pot to cook, you can add in celery, carrots, onion … any vegetables you like (just like you did for the chicken meat).  They will only add flavor and nutrients!
  • When freezing in glass jars, be sure you are using wide mouth jars, and you stop at the fill line.  I never screw my lids on all the way until it is all the way frozen, because I lost an ENTIRE huge pot of {organic, grassfed} beef bone broth to my jars busting.  Talk about devastation.  So use the right jars and I’d suggest not sealing them air tight right away, because that liquid is going to expand up as it freezes and will need room to do so.
  • Make sure you freeze your broth in amounts you will use in a recipe.  Rarely will you use an entire gallon zip lock full of bone broth, unless you’re making a soup.  I freeze mine in pint and pint-and-a-half jars.  The pint-and-a-half jars are the COOLEST jars ever. and so versatile.
  • I also add chicken feet from our pastured chickens. Chicken feet are full of gelatin, which is a nutrient dense food when found naturally from organic sources.  This will absolutely improve any broth and make it gel so well! Bone broth done correctly should gel.
  • I suggest reading about the benefits of chicken feet in broth, because they far outweigh the weirdness of seeing chicken feet in your crockpot.  =)
I use my bone broth in any recipe that calls for broth, and add it when cooking brown rice and black beans.  Talk about FLAVOR (and nutrients!).
You can make delicious, from scratch soups like this.
Your family will thank you.
And drink every last drop from their bowls.
So there you have it- bone broth in the crockpot.  When you or someone in the family is feeling sick this winter, thaw a jar and have them drink it, or make them a soup with it.
It is truly a real, healing food.
Next time I will post how I make my bone broth from organic, grassfed beef.
Have you ever tried making bone broth?  If you try this method, let me know how it goes in the comments!

Crunchy Baked (dijon) Chicken with GF Alternative

I saw the original recipe on Rachael Ray .  Her title for it was Baked Devil’s Chicken-I adapted it a bit for our family.  You may want to look at the original recipe for other ideas.

It is a deliciously spicy, crunchy fried-chicken-alternative.  The good thing is, even with the spicy dijon mustard and red pepper in the coating, my kids DEVOURED this.  And, without anything to dip it in!

Before I share the recipe, I want to share something with you.

The secret to a crispy, crunchy baked chicken is getting it up in the air- lay a cooling rack in your cookie sheet.  Place the chicken on the cooling rack so the bottoms can crisp up!

the secret to crunchy baked chicken {www.quietinthechaos.com}

 

Crunchy Baked (dijon) Chicken

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Crunchy Baked (dijon) Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken breasts (or any chicken pieces you'd like)
  • dijon mustard
  • For the coating:
  • panko bread crumbs
  • dried or fresh rosemary
  • red pepper
  • paprika
  • dried minced onion
  • salt and pepper
  • *I just eyeball my spices; add them to your taste. Remember you are coating several pieces of chicken. be generous =)

Instructions

  1. Set up your "stations" first:
  2. a bowl w mustard & basting brush
  3. a shallow bowl with coating ingredients
  4. Prep chicken:
  5. using a basting brush, brush the spicy brown/dijon mustard onto both sides of the chicken
  6. dip chicken into the panko bread crumb mixture
  7. flip chicken and coat other side
  8. lay each piece of chicken on rack over cookie sheet
  9. Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is done in the middle
  10. Enjoy!

easy crunchy chicken spices

For my spices, I use an organic minced onion from Azure, dried parsley from my herb-garden-pot, my favorite real, Himalayan salt.  Also, I used panko bread crumbs because they do NOT have milk in them; the regular bread crumbs contained milk?  I like the panko- they make for a larger, crunchier coating.

 

***** For a Gluten Free Alternative: I like to keep the heels of our Udi’s GF Bread in the freezer. When I need to make GF bread crumbs, I just toss what I need in a zip lock bacg and smash with a rolling pin. You can also use dried coconut, or GF oats!

I served this to my family with lima beans and baked sweet potatoes- there were NO left overs! My 20 month old absolutely loved it, as did everyone else.

Do you have a favorite baked chicken recipe?  Please share in the comments!

Friday on the Farm: {Birthday & Camping Edition}

I am writing this on Sunday and back dating for the sake of hitting Friday on the Farm. *insert cheesy face here*

We have spent the last 2 weeks celebrating birthdays … one right after the other. It has been a joy!

The kids got a new play set/fort/swingset/tree house/whatever you want to call it for their combined birthdays. Hopefully it will last for years to come, and will eventually become an actual tree house in the woods, near the pond.

They each got a small little special for their birthdays- the 7yo a field press and the last Narnia book, The 5yo Mister a bug/small animal terrarium for nature studies and a bug field guide, and the 3yo little Miss a fairy garden house.

Each of the kids had their own special birthday cake- all gluten and dairy free. Boy did that require some special grocery store trips … But we managed to do it!

Mister’s “rocket” cake:

Big sister’s Smores ice box cake:

Little Miss’s dirt cake:

The husband smoked up some BBQ for the week:

We spent Wednesday-Saturday camping at a local state park; all 6 of us in the pop up camper and our new caravan (not forgetting to bring out RV battery as that comes in incredibly useful sometimes!) that we finally managed to get finance for (thanks to Auto Finance Online, see this site for more info). It was surprisingly less difficult than expected. More specifically, after the first day and night, we had things figured out. haha. Keeping the caravan safe and secure is definitely a concern for anyone who owns one. Wheel clamps for caravans ensure that your caravan is not going anywhere you don’t want it to!

A few random camping with tiny humans tips we found made things easier:

  • Get one of these for the baby. just trust me. There is a time and place for a pack n play, but these little sleep tents are amazing when traveling! They fit in the tiniest spaces and can easily be covered with a light blanket for darkness
  • cover baby’s sleep tent or pack n play with a blanket
  • noise. machine. We took the humidifier we use at home in the kids’ rooms, but then remembered the pop-up has an AC fan, so we used that. PERFECT for blocking out the noise at a camp ground during naps and bedtimes
  • kiddie potty. We just keep on in the camper now, because it is easier than them using the camper potty, and we dont have to go up to the bath house, AND we don’t have to worry about them having privacy from fellow campers
  • wagon– saved our lives. when baby wasn’t being toted around in it, fed in it, or just playing in it, the 3yo was pulling it around for fun
  • picnic blanket– again, couldn’t have done without it
  • crocs for every child
  • overalls the kids can rewear each day, with a clean shirt underneath
  • just leave all the luggage bags in the car to keep camping space clear and organized. It’s a tip I learned from a friend after they hired a campervan with Rent.is on their European adventure, and it makes sense. Each night I got out their PJs, they changed before going into the camper, and I put their dirty clothes into the dirty clothes bag. Clothes to be reworn were placed on top of their bag (in the car) for the next day

Just some camping fun:

I woke each morning to my husband making coffee and breakfast over the fire. He is irreplaceable.

It was a lot of hard work, but one of the best family vacations we have had. My sweet husband did most all of the heavy lifting and hard work, and though I know he enjoys it, it was such a blessing to me. I actually got to chill and not really fret about anything. It was really nice.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

FMF: Visit {& Processing Meat Chickens for the Freezer}

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is Visit

.

.

and go!
I am outside on this beautiful Memorial Day weekend writing my FMF post, because I didn’t have 5 minutes yesterday … on Friday.

Visit is a great prompt for me this week; my mom is coming to visit.  She’s a school teacher, so she just got out of school for summer break, which works out perfectly because we are butchering our meat chickens this weekend.

(pictures courteous of my 6.5 year old)

Cornish Cross Meat Chickens ready for Butchering

 

Today is set up day, where we get all the equipment ready, gather our tools, etc.  Then tomorrow morning we will get up and get busy!  My mom will keep the kids occupied and out of the way so we can work as quickly as possible without interruptions (like making lunches, snacks, playing, etc).  Butchering and processing, bagging, and freezing 50 chickens is a LOT of work and takes a pretty long time without 4 tiny humans needing you every few minutes.

Raising our own meat on the farm means a lot to our family; for our children it is just a way of life.  For my husband and I it encompasses everything we want our children to learn about life in general.  Raising, and caring for animals the way they were meant to be raised, in a clean & happy environment, then butchering them humanely, in a process that preserves the integrity of their purpose is important. Not wasting parts of the animal, not covering them in dangerous chemicals for the purpose of mass production and shipping … those things are important to us.

You work for what you get, even when it costs more in the long run that buying it at the store, (and it is worth it), is a lesson we like passing on to our kids.

So, we are excited to see Mia, and thankful she can help us with the tiny humans, while we work.  The kids will enjoy her and it should be a nice week of weather for her visit.  After the work, we will spend the rest of the week playing.

(I will have a post with pictures and steps, on how we process our meat birds soon!)

Link up with the Five Minute Friday community this week, at:

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Beginning Our Gluten Free {GF) Journey

Well, the day has come. I’ve avoided it for a while, against my better judgement; but avoiding it seems to no longer be an option.

beginning-our-gluten-free-journey

Max came into the world with a dairy protein allergy & with his little belly all a mess. He was a pretty miserable baby, despite a few periods of happiness. In general, he cried a LOT and was uncomfortable, suffering from reflux. We searched, prayed for direction, and through amazing circumstances were able to heal his gut through a homemade baby formula. (And make a few wonderful, life long friends along the way-so many blessings.)

As he has grown older, he has suffered from a non-stop stuffy nose and allergies to his environment. His immune system tends to be much weaker than the rest of ours; he is always sick worse and longer than we are. If we have a cold for a week, he has it for 3. If we have a stomach bug for 2 days, he has it for 5. I do everything I can to keep his immune system up (probiotics, bone broth, nutritious food, no dairy because he IS allergic to that, VERY limited sugar, 90% real food diet, etc).

But the one thing I haven’t done is remove gluten from his diet. He eats an egg sandwich every morning, and usually a sandwich at lunch right now (because with a newborn and 3 other tiny humans, I don’t have time to cook 3 hot meals right now). Dinners aren’t usually very wheat-filled, unless it is homemade lasagna or something with pasta, which isn’t often. We actually don’t consume a lot of wheat anyway.

But to substitute and change the wheat we do consume intimidates me. =/

But, in July our dentist (who is a holistic practitioner) was very adamant that we get Max off gluten; he was concerned about his lack of breathing through his nose, and how it is affecting his m0uth, and could further impact his heath. I told him if he told me to do it, I would.

But then the baby came, and life IS hectic at home, and I just let it go for a bit.

Then at our doctor appointment this week, she also recommended we get him off gluten. She said that a major cause of his symptoms could be not only a gluten intolerance, but lowering the inflammation caused from the gluten could greatly help his healing, breathing, and allergies in general.

Basically if gluten causes MORE inflammation in his body, then removing it can limit the immune response he is having to environmental allergens like dust, pollen, dander, etc.

Inflammation is inflammation- regardless of the symptom it shows itself as (in this case allergies and being unable to breathe with a constant congested nose).

His lungs are clear, there was no wheezing, so she doesn’t feel like it is asthma at this time.

So, here we go- beginning this journey. If going gluten free gets him back to his normal health, then I will just learn to make our lives gluten-free! I’ve found a lot of lovely recipes that I’m going to make for him if he is allergic to gluten but I haven’t made any of them yet. There is actually a lot of great gluten free foods available at the minute and I can’t wait to try some of them out if he does test positive.

Are you gluten free in your home? Please share any/all tips and info you can! I would love to learn from you. =)

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Easy Freezer Meal Plans {MyFreezEasy- a review}

myfreezeasy

One of the biggest downfalls I have encountered in our homeschool (and daily life in general) is when I fail to plan- menu plan, that is.  Thankfully, there is MyFreezEasy!  We have been using the MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership and so far it has saved me several times!

I love having my freezer stocked with foods for the month, to avoid hitting the grocery store for more than just produce every other week.  But what I love even more is having a freezer stocked with actual meals that I can pull out to thaw, or cook straight in the crockpot from frozen to done- and MyFreezEasy has done all the prep work of meal planning for me!

What I don’t like about meal planning and freezer cooking?  Hours (or weekends) spent prepping, chopping, mixing and combining recipes for the freezer.  With MyFreezEasy, I can get 2+ weeks worth of meals prepped and in their containers for the freezer in just an hour, or even faster depending on the plan I have chosen.

We received the Premium Annual Membership- this includes the ability to change up the meals in your monthly plan.

How Does it Work?

When you sign up with MyFreezEasy, you get access to 8 different meal plans for the month.  These include:

  • Traditional Plan – 10 meals: mix of different types of meals
  • Gluten-Free Plan – 10 meals: completely gluten-free, including sides
  • Slow Cooker Plan – 10 meals: all freezer to slow cooker style
  • Clean Eats Plan – 10 meals: all “clean ingredients”
  • 20 Meals Plan – 20 meals: mix of different types of meals
  • All Chicken Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using chicken breasts/chicken thighs, so you can get the chicken on sale and stock your freezer
  • All Ground Beef Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using ground beef so you can get the ground beef on sale and stock your freezer
  • All Pork Chops Plan – 10 meals: all recipes using pork chops or pork tenderloin so you can get the pork on sale and stock your freezer

I personally used the all chicken meal plan, because I have such a hard time with chicken recipes that all my kids will eat.  They just aren’t fans of chicken breast.  So I used this plan and so far, no one has complained once!

Each month you receive new meal plans than the month before; so if you really enjoyed a certain plan or recipe, simply save it on your computer, and print for your records.

Each plan includes:

  • shopping list (different organizational options to choose from)
  • details on how to assemble your meals
  • printable labels for your bags and meals if you’d like
  • videos with tips and tricks for the recipes in each plan
  • dairy free modifications for all recipes (our family has dairy allergies, so this is perfect for us)
  • Gluten-free modifications on all recipes as well

With the premium annual membership you can create your own meal plans, customize already existing plans, and have access for a “my favorites” section in your account, PLUS 2 months free!

How I Used the Plan

I used a large pack of chicken breasts like these from Costco, to make several “all chicken” meals for the freezer.  Because our family is large and my small children eat like teenage boys, I doubled each recipe in one bag.

chicken-breast-meals

 

I did do some customizing/tweaking of some recipes.  If I knew we didn’t like a certain ingredient, I skipped it.  If I thought the recipe could use a little kick, like cayenne pepper, I added it.  I didn’t print labels, I just wrote the recipe name and instructions for cooking on the bag.  Oh- and even if something called for a tray, it went in a bag. =/ Because 1) I am lazy, and 2) honestly, I don’t like using aluminum trays if I don’t have to …  And I don’t currently have room in my freezer for actual baking dishes- So, into baggies they went!

Chicken meal plan recipes {MyFreezEasy review}

It was seriously that easy.  I already had the ingredients on hand, but I did look over the grocery list and loved what I saw, especially that it could be organized to suit my needs (which for me, is in the order things are found in the grocery store).

This membership really does do all the work for you- no grocery lists, no hours in the kitchen assembling meals.  Nope- it is fast, easy, and simple.  Personally, I have found that the simpler it is to do something in this season of my life, especially in the kitchen, the more likely I am to do it.  These recipes are not complicated, they do not call for tons of different ingredients, or hard to find ingredients.

MyFreezEasy really has helped change our homecshooling days for the better easier; especially with a newborn in the house!  My time to cook is very limited at this point.

Connect with MyFreezEasy

Click the banner below to check out other reviews from the Crew:

read-more-reviews-2016

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Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Friday on the Farm {May 20, 2016}

So this is titles Friday on the Farm … but it is actually Saturday on the farm.

This morning was full of lots of chores- watering the meat chicks in their brooder, weeding the garden, moving the tractor coop to the backside of the fence (the big white horse fence), and prepping everything to put the meat chicks into their tractor coop. This operation is only on a very small scale, but as you can imagine, some chicken farms will have tractors from sites like fastline to keep up with the workload.

I was able to get the meat chicks all caught, put into a box (it took about 5 trips from the brooder to the coop), and unloaded into the tractor coop.

BOY were they some happy little chickens!

meat chicks in PVC tractor coop-may 2016-QuietInTheChaos.com

They are going through 5 gallons of water in about 12 hours! Hopefully that will change since they are now outside where they will get moisture from the ground, grass, air, etc. Their brooder was in the barn tack room … let me tell you that was NOT pretty and I won’t be doing that again. There just wasn’t enough airflow, even with the window, and the ammonia built up SO quickly, I couldn’t keep enough fresh bedding added to it.

The tractor coop, provided they can keep warm, will be MUCH better! They are mostly feathered out, with a few bare spots which they will likely have for some time, as the last meat chickens did. And some still have fuzzy heads… then others are completely feathered out. We will see it goes.

This afternoon after naps, we all loaded up for a trip to Heaven, e-hum, I mean Costco. After we got home the kids played a while outside, then I started my chores.

The big girls gave left me some eggs in their nest boxes. They free ranged all day, and their feeder was empty so I gave them their new feed-which they LOVE! It is a custom, soy free mix. I will give details on that via another post, but I am so thankful to have found a feed mill that makes a custom feed. And inexpensive to boot! Woo hoo! It can also be used to finish the meat chickens off the last 3+ weeks! How great is that?

Egg Chores {QuietintheChaos.com}

I took a few shots of the garden- I can’t take credit for its beauty, other than for choosing the lovely 6 seater patio set;
my husband is the gardener! He gets it tilled, planted, weeded, etc. I just help with a bit of weeding, and of course harvesting. =) The potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes are looking great! The asparagus has given us a large harvest this spring, and we have let some go to seed. The peas look like they need a wee bit of help, but I think that is cause we have not weeded much the last week in all this rain.

The Garden May 2016 {QuietInTheChaos.com}

The electric fence has worked out well; one of the calves got out and went straight to the garden. When the fence zapped him he didn’t bother returning. =) It also keeps Thora and Charlie from trampling through it, killing the plants, as they play and romp. The brown box there is full of marigolds my husband started from seed; we will plant them in the garden later, just for some pretty color.

We also have a smaller garden that we have not planted, but is full of strawberries … we had intentions of killing everything in that bed and planting some squash, watermelon, corn, and okra. But all the strawberries are coming in like crazy! So hopefully the hubby will choose to let those be; our oldest is allergic but so far the other two don’t show symptoms of strawberry allergies. =)

After we got the kids in bed, we looked up and saw our Great Pyrenees, Thora, herding the calves from the front pasture, back to their pasture. Apparently they have found a high spot they can easily slide under the fence. She got them all the way to their gate by the time we made it out back. Thankfully they easily went in.

calves 3.5 months old {QuietInTheChaos.com}

You can see they are gaining well! We were hoping to just turn them on grass (you know … cow-newbies and all), but because they need extra protein and carbohydrates you have to feed them feed until a certain weight, or it will stunt their growth and cause other possible problems. I am going to see if my custom chicken feed lady can do a custom cow feed, too!

They are BIG babies- I have finally gotten the big, obstinate brown one to warm up to me. Now he begs for rubs and scratches; they both like to be brushed and will take scratches anywhere you are willing to give them! That shorter black one, Ketchup, is my buddy though. He has never been scared of us and is super friendly. (Yes, I love my cows. No, it won’t be hard to send them to butcher next year to feed my family).

After that, my husband rigged up the heat lamp in the tractor coop for the meat chicks. Really they are a week or so too young to go out, so we are just praying for a good outcome. But I couldn’t handle them being in that brooder any longer! It was just too much extra work and thus wasn’t fun for me, and didn’t seem like the healthiest option for them starting out. So, he hung a heat lamp that we will keep on at night, and plug into the barn. There is also a tarp acting to protect them from wind and rain. It is supposed to be warm the next 2 weeks (80 degrees and above) but of course, rainy!

meat chicks in tractor coop May 2016 (with heat lamp) www.Quietinthechaos.com

I think he has decided to get some more metal panels and place around 3 side of the coop so we can just start brooding them in the coop and no need to worry about wind/rain/etc.

My new laying chicks don’t even have a blog post yet! Aaaah! They’re already 3 weeks old, and feathering out nicely. We lost 2 of them-1 barred rock, and 1 rhode island red, right after they arrived. I quickly moved them into the garage where I could better control the airflow and temperature-they are brooding in a big (empty) metal water tank. They have done much better ever since. We have not been handling them very much, but starting this next week I think we will- I just didn’t want to stress them and lose anymore babies. But they seem more sturdy now, and they need to start earning their names!

So, that is pretty much it for today. This week J.Tom cut the yard and my walking path around the pasture. Gotta get back to regularly exercising before it is time to have this baby! (8 more weeks til due date!) I worked on getting what seemed like 25 loads of laundry done- Oh my goodness I am ready for sunshine again- I need my clothes line back! It makes things so much simpler.

The pond is full, with spring rain! {QuietintheChaos.com}

Thanks to the tons and tons of spring rain, we have a full pond, blooming flowers, growing garden, and happy animals. So, it has been a beautiful, blessed week on the farm!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

The Beginning of Spring {simple woman’s daybook 22}

Outside my Window …
It is dark and quiet.  Last night we had some coyotes come very close to the house; our Great Pyr was going crazy.  It will be interesting to see if they come back again tonight.

I am thinking…
I am so tired.  This time change .. *whew* I love spring, but this time change has completely messed up mine and the husband’s schedule.

I am thankful…
For my mom coming out tomorrow to see us!  She hasn’t seen the farm since it has officially been ours, not that there is much to see … but you know.  It will be a good visit.

In the kitchen…
It is CLEAN!  I cleaned today.  I also ground fresh whole wheat this morning to have on hand this week.  There are also new cabinet pulls waiting to be installed- swapping the big oak knobs for flat black.

I am wearing…
My gown and sleepy eyes.  So ready for bed!

I am creating…
I have a list of plans for my Bible journal, and am still working on the girls some more dresses.

I am going…
To the airport tomorrow, and Costco I hope.  We need fruit for the week, and some steaks!

I am wondering…
When this spring wind is going to die down some!  And when I can finally plant some flowers in my pots out front.

I am reading…
My The Old Schoolhouse Magazine- I love that thing!  And it is a great encouraging distraction while I wait on the new Sonlight catalogue to come.

I am hoping…
this week isn’t too cool and windy.  It has been so nice for a month, and now that my mom is coming, I want her to enjoy it, too.  Hopefully it will be nice, calm weather.

I am looking forward to…
this week with my mom, getting my Neon Coral Lamy fountain pen in this week!

I am learning…
the time change gets harder as you get older.  =/

Around the house…
It is clean!  I cleaned today; dusted, vacuumed, steamed floors, kids picked up their things.  We got some school reading done and overall it was a good day.

A favorite quote for today…
Spring Time Change

One of my favorite things…
SPRING, fresh air, watching the trees and flowers get buds and bloom, working in the yard with J.Tom, watching the kids be farm kids.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Get my mom from the airport, get tags for my car, and get my hair-did.

A peek into my day…

This actually happened about 10:00pm last night, but it was too perfect not to share.  I have tried every recipe everywhere for the perfect bread machine bread, that I can make dairy free.  And I found it!  Recipe to come soon!
A look into my day

Simple Woman {Daybook}

How to Make (real food) Snowcream {snow ice cream} *with dairy free ingredients, too!*

Almost a year ago our family moved out to the midwast, {from the warm south}, to the great state of Nebraska.

Nebraska, where spring is cool and green, summer is warm and sunny, fall is crisp and orange, and winter is cold and snowy.

Yay for our first big snow!  We were supposed to get a “dusting” but instead wound up with a good 8+” in our backyard.  Coming from the tristate area of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, all we ever got was ice, so real snow was an absolute treat!

With our first real snow, we decided to make {real food} snow cream!


This isn’t your mama’s snow cream- there are no processed ingredients, and that means NO white sugar!

Brownie points for being an awesome mom making snow cream, and super brownie points for making it healthy for your family.

Here it is, you will need:

  • A big pan or bowl of clean snow (my picture above shows enough for at least 6 people ..)
  • Some Grade B Maple Syrup  (a little goes a looong way)
  • A little raw milk (or any milk will be fine)  *for a dairy free alternative we used rice milk*
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • maybe some cocoa
We added snow to our bowls, topped it with a few tablespoons of maple syrup (which surprisingly does’t taste like maple syrup when it’s not on pancakes…)
Then added about a 1/4tsp of vanilla to each bowl, and a few tablespoons of milk, maybe even a 1/4cup?
**For a chocolate variety, sprinkle with a bit of cocoa, but not too much because it can make it bitter**
And that’s it!  Delicious, and mostly healthy, snow cream!  Lexie loved it and has asked to make it every day since; I finally gave in today. Mister at 15 months isn’t crazy about cold foods, so he wasn’t a fan, and enjoyed a pear instead.
Have you ever made snow cream with your family?  What’s your favorite recipe?
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Menu Monday: October 26, 2015

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

 

Menu Monday Week of October 26th:

    • Sunday:  Roast, potatoes, salad, cow peas with bacon
    • Monday: Roast sandwiches, cow peas, homemade bread, roasted broccoli
    • Tuesday: fried chicken, roasted broccoli
    • Wednesday: breakfast- eggs, toast, baked oatmeal
    • Thursday: burgers, baked potato chips, salad
    • Friday: leftovers
    • Saturday: ribs, baked beans, salad

Breakfasts will be fried egg sandwiches and oatmeal/quinoa for the Mister, fried eggs and oatmeal/quinoa for Ila, and oatmeal or quinoa for Lexie (since she doesn’t like eggs).  Max and Ila both like a second course after their eggs.  =)

Just FYI: the salad we eat almost every night of the week is romaine lettuce with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, with cherry tomatoes.  The kids devour it and it is a good way to get dark green.  Sometimes I add baby kale.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday

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