Trying to keep my sanity in tact, while keeping bellies full

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Husband Loves Couscous-Just Don't Tell Him!

Every time I walk past the couscous at the grocery store, I almost drool. I love couscous because it's like a blank canvas. It will take on any flavor and add a light sweetness. But, the husband always made a face and said he didn't like it. So for nearly five years of marriage, I've deprived myself of the wonderfulness of couscous. I finally had enough! He was going to eat it, and like it! I don't know what to call this dish; all I know is it's delicious and we both cleaned our plates!

It's less of a recipe and more like generalities, but here goes....

In a large skillet, sear 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add in stock (preferably beef, but I realized I was out of beef and used duck instead), carrots, celery, onions, a splash or two of rice wine vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper.


Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until beef is tender. Mine took about 45 minutes. While that's cooking, use your leftover veggies and make some stock to cook the couscous in. When the beef is nearly done, toss in two portabella  mushroom caps, sliced, and steam some asparagus. Cook the couscous by combining equal parts of boiling stock and couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. 

Serve by laying asparagus on bottom, couscous next, then top with meat and vegetable mixture-make sure to get lots of the juice from the pan!!!

The best part of this was he ate everything on the plate. After he was done, I asked him if he liked the couscous! He finally admitted that maybe, just maybe, he likes couscous.


Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. The post you link up MUST CONTAIN A RECIPE!
4. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.




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Monday, September 19, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 9/20

Instead of sharing a recipe with you all today, I'm going to share a story. I'm part of an amazing group of women called the Real Farmwives of America and Friends. And as we speak (type, read...whatever the case may be), one of these ladies is battling for her life right now.











Leontien, from Four Leaf Clover Dairy, is battling cancer, again. And to show her how much we love her, and are praying for her, we're giving her a "love bomb". So go visit her blog, read about her panties (you'll understand when you see it!), visit the Facebook Page, tweet her a message (#Power2Panties), anything you can to show some love for Leontien!




Friday, September 16, 2011

Homemade Root Beer

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Red Star Yeast

 If I was a planner, which we all know I'm not, I totally would have made some beer.
Since I didn't have time to make beer, I made root beer!

I looked around a bit and it seemed to be fairly simple. You'll need:

an empty 2 liter bottle
1 c sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon root beer extract
1/4 t yeast
water

To start, place a funnel in the top of the bottle. Add sugar and yeast.

Swirl around to mix together. Next add root beer extract.

Add in about 3 cups of water and mix well.

Finally fill the bottle to almost the top. You'll want to leave about 1" to 1 1/2" headspace. Tighten cap and let sit at room temperature until you can no longer squeeze the bottle. Depending on what kind of yeast you're using, it could be 6 to 48 hours. I used Red Star Quick Rise yeast, so it took just about 6 hours for the bottle to be ready. See all the carbon dioxide bubbles formed by the yeast?! That's how this root beer gets the carbonation.

When you can't squeeze the bottle anymore, refrigerate over night. Now it's ready to drink!
The root beer went over great at our bonfire this weekend! The whole bottle was empty before I knew it! At one point, a couple of our guests even hid the bottle so they could have the rest! I think I may have inspired these two to start making their own sodas.


If root beer isn't your drink of choice, what about ginger ale?
To make ginger ale, you'll need:

2 T fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon yeast
juice of one lemon
1 c sugar
water


Pour sugar and yeast into bottle. Swirl around. Mix the ginger and lemon juice together to make a slurry.


 Add slurry to the bottle. I used a kabob skewer to push it through my funnel.


Add water and shake bottle until mixed. Let it sit out at room temperature until you cannot squeeze the bottle. Refrigerate over night. Enjoy!
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 9/13

In case you missed my post on our new fire pit, make sure to check it out and find out how you can win one of your own!

Tonight for dinner, we had braised pork shoulder with wild rice and broccoli. DELICIOUS! And the best part, it's super easy!

To start out, give the pork shoulder steaks a good rub. Like a deep tissue massage for the pork. I used a mixture of paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.


 Then pour a little bit of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and get it hot. Sear each side of the meat.
Next, add in an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Then pour some stock over the whole thing.
Bake, covered, in a 300 degree oven for an hour and half to two hours. The meat should be tender, but not stringy.
Now, I couldn't let all that gorgeous gravy go to waste, so I made wild rice in it!



Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. The post you link up MUST CONTAIN A RECIPE!
4. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.




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Roasted Hotdogs, S'mores and a Giveaway

The awesome folks at Avant Garden Decor gave us farmwives and friends the opportunity to review one of their fine products. Let me tell you, they have so many great choices, I had a really hard time deciding which product we wanted to try out. We finally decided on the Portable Fire Pit.

I chose this one for a couple of reasons:
1. Wheels. I really like the fact it's so easy to move around our porch. We can pull it right out to the middle of the porch when we need it and scoot it on over out of the way when we're done.
2. The shelf on the bottom. It's super convenient to be able to stash firewood down below. So not only can you wheel it around, but the firewood is always right there!
3. Well, I just really liked it!

Just like most things you receive in the mail, we had to put it together when it arrived. Super easy! It even came with the tools needed! Now that's my kind of company.

All that was left was to enjoy, and Labor Day weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity. Honestly, it was the first weekend it was cool enough to be comfortable around a fire!

By the way, this is what happens when you let the husband start the fire. You end up with one tiny flame in the middle and everyone is trying to cook their hotdog in the same place. Sigh. Time to put the camera down and show him how to make a real fire!

Back up boys! Let the ladies show you how it's done!


Now that's how you build a fire! Time to eat!


After a little digesting, and fire maintenance, on to the s'mores!




We like them with chocolate graham crackers!

Now it's time to just relax and spend some quality time together. And suddenly develop a shyness from the camera. Teenagers...what can you do? Even a fire pit can't solve everything!





If you would like to win a Fire Pit of your very own then head over to the Real Farmwives of America & Friends Blog and sign up for the giveaway!"


Avant Garden Decor did provide me with this product to review, however the thoughts and opinions shared about this product on this blog are my own.


Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apple Picking '11













Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 9/6

Time for our next Gooseberry Patch recipe! We're on to #6, so after just a few more, I'll be giving away a copy of What's for Dinner!

 Tonight, we made Chocolatey Chocolate Cake
First, get out all the ingredients, substituting coffee for the water the recipe calls for
 Then mix them all up together
 Then pour into a greased 13x9 pan and bake for 30 minutes.
 I topped it with a whipped marshmallow vanilla icing

Delicious!


Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. The post you link up MUST CONTAIN A RECIPE!
4. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.



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