Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cinnamon Roll LOVE

Don'tcha hate it when you find a fabulous, out of this world recipe when you're trying to lose weight? Once I made these, I threw out any kind of food management. Well, at least on Sunday mornings when I make them. I can spend the rest of my week making up for it, right?These cinnamon rolls are so good. I mean good. Paula Deen good........probably that good because, afterall, it's her recipe.


Dough:1/4-ounce package (or 2.25tsp) yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
Glaze:4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. (For some reason I always come out with 11....maybe I cut mine thicker.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

My husband, the most gracious man when it comes to my cooking, said, "These are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had!" Then my older son agreed. So maybe there is some truth to it. Either way, these have become a Sunday morning staple at the homestead.

This post is linked to the Barn Hop and Raising Homemakers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beekeeping Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all of you who entered my Beekeeping Giveaway. Today said........

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2011-08-27

That means that Carol is our winner!

Congratulations to you Carol! Next month I'll be giving away a book on Root Cellaring- stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2011

seriously homemade herb dressing

A friend of mine asked me to post this recipe and I am happy to share it because it's a good one! I'll be honest and say that this is not my creation. It actually came from a Homestead Blessings DVD, The Art of Cooking.Photo Credit
My favorite thing about it? It's easy and it's TOTALLY from scratch, using yummy foods right from your homestead like eggs, buttermilk, and herbs from the garden.
Here's how it starts- Make your own mayonnaise. If you haven't made your own before, don't worry, it's not hard. Plus, you can use the leftover for those summer tomato sandwiches!
In a blender, combine
1/4 C Sunflower Oil
1 Tb Vinegar (I use white)
1 Tb Lemon Juice
1 Egg
1 tsp Salt

Blend for 3-5 seconds, just to combine the above ingredients, then DRIZZLE 3/4 C Sunflower oil WHILE the blender is running- blend until all oil in incorporated and mayo is thick. I capitalized those few words there to really emphasize the need to pour slowly and make sure that the blender is running, otherwise you'll end up with a runny mess.
(Note: I use sunflower oil because it's one of my favorite oils but I think in the DVD the West ladies use Extra Light Olive Oil.)

O.k., so your mayo is made. You're going to use about a 1/2 cup of it in a pint size mason jar. Here's the best part of the recipe.....the rest is up to you!! There are no specific measurements but here's what you'll need....



Fresh Herbs, like parsley, oregano, basil (or dried ones if fresh aren't available)

Garlic powder

Onion powder

I put my mayo in a jar and then stir in my honey first thing. The honey mixes better if you add it before cold buttermilk from the fridge. Then add your buttermilk, chopped herbs and garlic and onion powders to taste. Adding the ingredients, you're going to want to fill up the rest of the jar.
Let the dressing sit on your counter, or in the fridge, for at least a half hour to allow the ingredients to blend together.

Pour over your salad, dip your sliced cucumbers or carrots or use as a spread on your sandwich. However you choose to use it, enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

reconsidering off grid

Don't you love it when other bloggers inspire you to really re-think things? Amy's post got me thinking about what it really means to be off-grid. To some it may simply be getting away from the power company. Not being wired into the system, using a generator/battery system, solar, hydro or wind power instead. But what about really being free from big industry and "the man?" Here are some things that came to my mind to consider as my family and I think about off grid living...

Power. Spending $15,000-30,000 on a solar system is fine. After all, the sun isn't powered by man. But what would happen if there was a collapse of society and then sometime after, the solar panels broke or wore out? How would I fix or replace them? What if I needed a new inverter; where would it come from? Can we figure out a way to live simply without power?

Photo Credit

Food. This is really two part- growing and eating. First, growing: How can I save seed from my garden? How am I going to feed my animals (chickens, cows, hogs...) without the help of the feed store? (At this point, we buy all of our feed except for the grass and bugs that the animals eat.) Would I be able to grow all of their food too? Second, eating: How can I preserve food without a freezer or refrigeration? How much do I really know about curing, salting, smoking, fermenting, and drying?

Photo Credit

Money. How much debt do we have? How can we free ourselves from that? What if there was no work for my husband? Could we survive on just our land and what it produced?

Water. How will we get it? Do we know how to build a hand-dug well? What other systems could we use to store up water sources such as rain water?Photo Credit

Everything Else. What about toothbrushes, clothes, vehicles, gas, lumber, toilets, toilet paper!, writing instruments, lighting, and the list goes on and on...

Could we really prepare ourselves to truly be off grid and without the modern things of today? Have you considered any of these? What have your thoughts been?

P.S. Don't forget about the beekeeping giveaway a few posts down!

This post is linked to the Preparedness Challenge.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the busiest time of the year

The end of summer. Fall. It's the busiest time around here- even putting spring to shame. Harvesting the garden is busier, in my opinion, than planting it. I spent an hour and a half yesterday harvesting green beans alone. Then I spent another couple of hours snapping, filling jars and canning. With the help of my trusty homemaker in training, my daughter.

But it's just not the garden, it's getting ready for the school year, putting together our daily schedule, making sure that I have all the curriculum that I need. And what's more? Hunting season has already begun! Well, bow season at least. And in just 4 more weeks, rifle season opens.

I'm also feeling nesty lately. No, I'm not pregnant....although I would love to be. Maybe it's the other baby we have around here now....

Meet Miss Oakley. She's a Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff) and she's 12 weeks old. She likes squeaky toys, chewing on anything and brief walks. She's loyal to her family and loves lying around.

I haven't had a puppy in over 12 years. All the work though is now coming back to me. While I'm still loving her puppy breath, all the loose skin, and the way her ears flop around while she runs, I'll be happy when the housebreaking, chewing on the furniture (good thing it's all second hand) stage is over.

Ah summer, I'm glad you're still here for a little while longer. A few more trips to the river, a few more BBQ's, I'm going to hold onto as much sunshine as I can now because I know the rain will be here all too soon!

What's your busiest season where you live?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's Tuna Time

The Tuna is just starting to come into the harbor this year. Getting fresh from the ocean Tuna is one of the many blessings of living near the coast. And because we're mountain folk, backwoods, okie-like, this is how we do it- outside, on the plywood, away from the house.

The kids had more fun than they should have with the fish. Ya know, the usual poking of the eyes and slapping the mouth open and shut to make the fish "chomp down."
My wonderful mountain man of a husband is a pro at cutting up any animal- including fish.
I'll be canning this later this month. For right now though, since other things are so busy, the Tuna is in the freezer.

In other boon-dock news, we have another bear. No matter how many we kill off.... I mean... "drive away," they still come back. The bear was here a couple weeks ago, dumpster diving. But the other night he/she did something that put a price on it's head. Too bad the Beekeeping book doesn't have a "What to do in case of bear attack" section.

I'm going to try and reconstruct as much of the hive as possible and then wait up with the 300 Wetherby until the bear comes back.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beekeeping- Review and Giveaway** CLOSED**

This month I read the book "Beekeeping" to review. Boy, did I enjoy this read! The book isn't too thick- only 128 pages, but I loved every page! I think I read through it in just a couple of days. Each day I was excited to read what else Joanna Ryde had to say. Being new to beekeeping myself I found this book to be super helpful with lots and lots of information. Topics are made simple for the novice to grasp and the book is actually entertaining too.
The only few "cons" I would give this book are the fact that there are no real photos. All the pictures are drawings. There also isn't much detailed information about mite control. I've heard a lot about mites destroying entire colonies. I haven't noticed any in our hive as of yet. For better information about diseases and bugs that may infest your hives, try looking for a book that specifically has to do with raising bees in your area. If you're on the California Coast, this book is great.
Overall though, Beekeeping is certainly a book I would add to my collection. It would make a great quick reference. It offers a fantastic general knowledge that is perfect for the beginner, like me. If you know someone who wants to start a colony or that has just begun their adventure in beekeeping, this book would make an excellent gift!

If you'd like the chance to win a coy of the book here's how you can:
1. Leave a comment here letting me know if you already keep bees or are hoping to in the future.
2. FB or Tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment letting me know that you did
3. Blog about this giveaway (a simple post will do just fine) and leave a separate comment letting me know that you did

The giveaway will be open until August 26th and a winner will be chosen the following week.

This post is linked to the Barn Hop!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Homestead Handboook Giveaway Winner!

Well, I'm up at at 'em this morning! Here we go with a winner!
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2011-08-01 in AM! :)

That means that our winner is........ Brie said...
"I am brand new starting out on my journey to homesteading. We have two years before we can actually separate and go off grid. I really need all the info I can get in preparation for the big move."

Brie, I don't have a way of contacting you so I need you to contact me. Leave a message here with your email or email me directly at

Thanks to all who entered! This month I'll be reading "Beekeeping" and giving away a copy. Stay tuned!
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