Strawberry Shortcakes (from scratch – without a packaged mix)

P1050852Sunshine, Summer, Simplicity, Strawberries, and Shortcakes. They just all go together too well to not make this dessert at least once this summer!

Strawberry Shortcakes make such a pretty little dessert to the eye and a yummy dessert to the taste!

There are many different styles of this classic berry treat. Some people use pound cake or a plain yellow cake, and some people prefer angel food cakes to absorb those yummy strawberries!

My personal favorite version is with the slightly sweet individual biscuit-like shortcakes. The most well-known way to make these are with a pre-packaged biscuit mix, like Bisquick.

But, you can make them quick as a wink on your own with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This will be cheaper, as well as better for you than a packaged and preserved mix.

These shortcakes are buttery, slightly sweet, with a fluffy inside and a little crunch on the outside from the sprinkled sugar!

Here’s how to make them!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Chicken Noodle and Cheese Dinner

P1050828Want an easy dinner that everyone will love? Try this: Chicken and noodles, covered in a creamy sauce, and then topped with cheese.

That sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, it is!

It’s true- there is nothing fancy about this dinner, and there is nothing difficult about this dinner. But, there is a lot delicious about this dinner- and my kids and husband love it when I make it! And that is what makes it a keeper.

Continue reading

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (no eggs)

P1050861-001

There’s nothing like the taste of homemade ice cream. Yum!  Whether it’s served at the church ice cream social or as the finishing touch to your backyard family cookout, homemade ice cream is always pleasing and the perfect simple dessert.

Well, this strawberry ice cream is no exception. It is absolutely delicious- fresh strawberry taste, cold and creamy, sweet and tart- it’s the perfect welcome to summer!

My family gave it rave reviews, and most everyone went back for (at least) seconds.

And what a great way to use those strawberries you worked so hard to freeze and save after berry picking!

Continue reading

Our Favorite Homemade Tortillas

P1050759We love tacos around here. I make them a lot. It’s one of those meals that everyone at the table is always excited to eat- and without complaints- yay!

Switching to my own homemade Taco Seasoning from packaged taco seasonings was one of the first changes I remember making when I began to switch to truly homemade food.

But, this favorite meal of ours still needed a change…the tortillas.

So, we have recently switched from the store-bought pre-packaged tortillas to this homemade version.

And here is why- Instead of eating this along with our tacos: whole wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils), contains 2% or less of leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum sulfate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate), salt, molasses, vital wheat gluten, fumaric acid, mono- and diglycerides, fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, guar gum, sodium metabisulfite, soy flour, calcium propionate, and potassium sorbate (preservatives), enzymes. (found here)….

…we now enjoy tortillas made with only flour, salt, baking powder, lard (or butter), and water!

These tortillas are sturdy enough to hold all your fillings without falling apart, they are soft, and you will find them a little thicker than store-bought tortillas.

Continue reading

12 Practical Tips for Transitioning to Real Foods

Real Food -SaveThe journey into Real Foods and a more Natural way of life will begin in different ways for different people, and will manifest in different ways, too.

For some, the interest in this journey might come from an article online that talks about the benefits of bone broth or lard. For others, it might be health problems that make them start considering a change to the diet. Maybe it will begin with you when you are on a field trip with your child at a local farm. Maybe a few backyard chickens will be the catalyst that lights your passion for getting back to the truth about food. Or maybe the light will simply come on when you read the ingredient list on the box of your favorite cereal, cookies, or boxed mix, and you realize that your body just was never meant to ingest these things!

I think for me, it was a really slow progression that was influenced by little things and bits of information at a time that finally clicked. The beginning of my journey was mostly about replacing the packaged and processed foods we ate- from snacks to dinner ingredients- with truly homemade, made from scratch alternatives. Somewhere in there I began to seek out more grass-fed meats, better milk options, healthier fats. Then, along the way, I began replacing my non-stick pots and pans with cast iron, stainless steel and stoneware. Natural Remedies fascinate me…and the journey continues!

And though the journey continues, I can say my pantry, refrigerator and cabinets looks totally different than they did 5 years ago, and I absolutely believe we are the better for it. The further I get from the packaged and processed, the less I want it.

But, I’ll be honest. Though this journey is extremely rewarding and exciting, it can also be VERY overwhelming and even discouraging sometimes. There is SO much to learn, so many changes to make, and sometimes the options are very few. I might not know where to find grass-fed beef, or I can’t afford dairy herd shares to give me access to raw milk. Sometimes I find it overwhelming that just when I think I am doing something right, I find out I was really mis-informed.

But, don’t throw in the towel!

Here are a few extremely simple and practical tips that have helped me (and still do!) as my family has transitioned into more Real Foods.

Continue reading

4 Excellent Resources for More Real Foods & Learning Forgotten Skills

PicMonkey CollageFor Christmas this past year, I asked for several books and cookbooks- and between my husband and extended family, I think I received each one I asked for.

All of these books relate to either real foods, or forgotten skills and know-how from time’s past. I absolutely eat this stuff up!

So- for those who might be similarly-minded, I thought I’d share with you the books that have been in my hands recently. I’m learning a lot!

I have been enjoying jotting down ideas and quotes and learning all sorts of interesting facts and increasing my knowledge. Though, I must say that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know!

Continue reading

Multi- Grain Sandwich Buns

P1050592If you would like to bump up the taste of your sandwiches or burgers- make homemade buns! Not only will you love the taste, you can also know that you are going to end up with a much more natural and healthier product than something similar that you might buy at the grocery store.

Just take a look at the ingredients found in this brand of Hamburger Buns!  (Wheat Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Gluten, Salt, Barley Malt, Datem, Mono- And Diglycerides, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Propionate (To Retain Freshness), Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Flour, Vinegar, Sorbic Acid, Ethoxylated Mono- And Diglycerides, Enzymes, Whey, Yeast Nutrients (Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Sulfate), Ferrous Sulfate (Iron), “B” Vitamins [Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)],Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Azodicarbonamide, Calcium Dioxide. If Topped, Also Contains Sesame Seeds Or Cornmeal. Contains: Wheat, Milk And Soy.) 

That is a LOT of add-ins! And for all that, I don’t even think most store- bought buns or sandwich breads even taste that good!

Well, this recipe is very easy and the buns are delicious.

These are very similar to another recipe for Homemade Sandwich Buns that I have posted. However I wanted to add in some other grains to make a healthier bread- and I love the way it has turned out. I make these often- whether it is for your typical PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich or a juicy burger or pulled pork sandwich…or even toasted with some butter and honey for breakfast! These buns also store very well. Keep tightly covered and they will remain tasty for several days.

The directions for this recipe are the way that I do it using my bread machine for making the dough. Obviously, you can adjust the directions if you are making the dough with a mixer or by hand.

Continue reading

Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder

P1050643

Where soups are concerned, I think this one is my very favorite!

My sister-in-law, Christa, first introduced me to her version of this soup many years ago, which is very similar to the way I now make it.

Hearty and comforting, this soup is creamy and cheesy, a little bit thick- like a chowder- and filled with tender chunks of chicken and vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, corn, and onions.

P1050641I love it all over again…every time!

Not only does it taste great on a chilly evening for dinner, it also warms up to make wonderful leftovers that taste just as good for lunch the next day.
Continue reading

I Love Lard!

P1050603You might be thinking, “You love, what?!”

LARD!

I am rendering some in the crock pot as we speak. Did you know it is actually GOOD for you? It’s high in monounsaturated fats, Vitamin D, etc. Not to mention, it makes the best baked goods and it is awesome for frying. I am LOVING using it!

Continue reading

Orange Burst Pancakes

P1050552I’ve been on a real pancake kick lately! It started with a steak and eggs and pancake dinner at our house last week, followed by several pancake breakfasts!

Pancakes are great because you can whip them together in one bowl- for quick and easy cleanup, and you can cook them in minutes- for all those growling bellies.

I really like this recipe because, like My Favorite Pancake Recipe, you still get the health benefits of oats and wheat flour in the pancake, and then an added surprise of little bursts of orange that are just enough to brighten up the flavor. Top with a little buttery maple syrup and you’ll enjoy very bite!

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: