Monday, October 28, 2013

All Things Handmade

Sometimes I feel bad when Jed has to go to work and I can stay home and not have to dress up for the cold and slave away all day. But then I remember that he gets to come home to a clean (mostly) house, his laundry done, the bed made (the "last one in it has to make it" theory doesn't always work), and all his meals made for him! If you ask me, I'd say it's pretty fair!

Today it was a snowy, cold day. And when it's a snowy, cold day, it just motivates me to make things. It started out with making Jed's breakfast. I had (re) seen a recipe on pinterest, of course, that I wanted to try out.  It was called a Honey Cloud Pancake. How wonderful does that sound?  It is a mix between a pancake and company's breakfast. I only stole one bite and it was quite tasty I'd say. Plus it had no sugar
in it so that's a bonus. Just honey as a sweetener.  The recipe can be found here.  I think I will be making this again. Maybe in a larger pan so Jed can share.
The Honey Cloud Pancakes with bananas and blackberries. Who knew blackberries went red when cooked!

I wanted to make an enchilada soup for supper because a) we have free beef so I tend to cook a lot more with ground beef since we aren't paying for it (other than cow work) b) we like soup. Especially on a snowy day.
Most of the recipes I saw needed cream of chicken soup which I don't have. Since I tend to make a lot of stuff from scratch, and avoid the processed stuff as much as possible, I just made the "soup". Who knew it was so easy! When I get my chickens, we MAY butcher them so I can make my own chicken stock. We typically just buy chicken breasts so can't really make stock out of that...Jed will likely say otherwise when it comes to butchering chickens as that was a horrid part of his childhood. Haha!
Making my own "Chicken Soup"
Enchilada Soup, Salsa and Chocolate pudding

This is today's makings. I feel like I made a lot more than just this. But maybe that's because I have the privilege of washing every single dish, down to a little spoon, by hand. After washing, drying the odd dish or two, (I believe in air drying my dishes) and then putting the dishes away, about 4 different times today, you start to feel that you made enough food to last a year....
We had gotten 25lbs of tomatoes from the Bountiful Baskets, so I used a tomato, and some peppers to make Jed some salsa. And then used some tomatoes in the enchilada soup.

I've been saying for oh, maybe 2 weeks that I'm going to make Jed some chocolate pudding for his lunch and I finally made some! Also, super easy to make! We had bought a massive pack of pudding packs from Costco, but alas, our Costco puddings have run out, and we haven't gone to Costco :(   (Costco is my favourite store. Hands down.) Plus, why buy it if you can make it just as easily AND you know what's all inside of it! Conveniently enough, I had all the ingredients, all in one cupboard minus the milk and butter. Hurrah.
I made enough for about 4 little containers, and just enough for me to lick clean the bowl and spoon. Delish.
My dad used to always make puddings for us to eat after meeting. The instant kind. Those are definitely yummy, especially the pistachio one, but the homemade kind is just as good. A different taste, so not really comparable if you ask me.

Then on Saturday, I made these Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels.  They lasted maybe 12 hours.  Luckily, I had to go help give calves shots. Otherwise they may have only lasted a few minutes. 
The original recipe called for a full bag (16oz) of pretzels but I only had half a bag because pretzels were kind of my addiction for the last while. 
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

I altered the recipe a little bit, due to my lack of pretzels.
1/2 bag pretzels
                1/4 cup melted coconut oil
                                                                      1/4 cup sugar (I used less than that and had tons to spare)
                               2 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
                  a splatter of dried cinnamon
(coconut oil+pretzels+sugar+cinnamon+salt=obviouslythegreatestthingever)

Mix oil, sugar, and cinnamon together. Mix evenly over pretzels.  Cook in a preheated to 300 oven for 30 minutes, stirring periodically so you can sample them.

Also, notice that little utensils holder behind the pretzels? You actually can't tell it's a utensils holder, but it is. It holds all our wooden spoons, and trust me we have a lot! Anyways, when we were in Nebraska last week, we stopped at some friend's of Jed's who he had met when he went to school there. They gave us the holder as a wedding gift. Isn't it the most adorable thing Ever?! It was handmade by a lady in Valentine, NE. We love it.

I've really started to enjoy the satisfaction of making things from scratch, instead of buying them at a store. Since having been married, I have made yogurt, pudding, enchilada sauce, every single meal, bread, salad dressings, cookies etc from scratch, and that's just what I remember off the top of my head! It's super convenient/forceful that we live in the middle of nowhere, and the nearest Walmart is 1.5 hrs away and the Costco is 3 hours away. We try not to buy at the local IGA as prices are quite high (for Montana at least!) and we are cheap.  We buy milk, eggs (hopefully only for a year more, as my chickens that i'll get in the spring will be laying by winter!) icecream, chips and the other odd thing from the store. All our produce is from Bountiful Baskets.
Note to all Canadian family and friends: 1) for 1.5qts of icecream, we get it for between $2.50 and $2.99 each (tax free, thanks Montana State)
2) for $15 with the Bountiful Baskets, we get about 6 varieties of fruits, and 6 varieties of veggies
which is roughly a $50 value! That'll last us just about 2 weeks! I often order extra things from BB, like this week it was 25 lbs of tomatoes for $13!
That saves us a TON of money on produce! Plus the local store has the smallest produce section I've EVER seen. We went to Safeway in Spearfish last week, and I had forgotten what a nice produce selection looks like!
I wish Canada had a produce co-op program to offer, as it is SO good. Or maybe it does, in larger cities?!

1 comment: