Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pepper Jelly (Home Canning)

I have enjoyed pepper jelly for years, but this is my first year making my own.  And, wow is it good!

I used these adorable little jelly jars, and hope to give some of these cuties as gifts.

For this pepper jelly, I used one red pepper, one yellow pepper, one orange pepper, two green peppers, and one jalapeno pepper.

If you like spice, add more hot peppers.
If you don't like spice, then only use sweet peppers.

Start by getting the water set to boil in your water bath canner.

Always follow safe canning guidelines.

The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is a great reference to have on hand.

Now let's make some beautiful, colorful, delicious pepper jelly.

Pepper Jelly
makes 10 jelly jars

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
2 green peppers
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter (to help reduce foaming)
5 cups sugar

Cut off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds.
Finely dice up all the peppers (using a knife or food processor).
Place diced peppers into a large pot.
Add vinegar.
Stir in pectin.
Add butter.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in sugar.
Return to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute while stirring.  

Ladle into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Wipe jar rims.
Cover with lid and band.
Put on rack inside canner
Continue filling other jars.
Lower rack of prepared jars into the water bath canner.
Put lid on the canner.
Process for 10 minutes.

A favorite way to enjoy this colorful pepper jelly is to pour some over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The New Pioneer Magazine Fall 2017

Summer is flying by!

Like many of you, our summer has been packed full of adventures.
Long days of fun (and work) in the sun, can make for a sore body and tired mind.

How about a little pampering with some home made bath salts made with dried herbs and essential oil?

The Fall issue of The New Pioneer magazine is on news stands now.  In it you will find my easy DIY article with steps on how to dry herbs and make bath salts that will help calm your mind and pamper your body...something we all need every now and again.

With Fall knocking on our door, Christmas is right around the corner.
Add a pretty tag and bow, and this will make a great gift for someone.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Country Garden

Our little country garden received a face lift this year.

We added raised beds and gravel pathways.

I'm working on an article with details, but I wanted to give you a little peek at how well it is working out.

The tomatoes are growing up cattle panels.

The first couple of ripe ones may not have made it into the house.
Instead, they went straight into my mouth.  ;-)

I have some new farm helpers this summer.  I've caught them napping on the job a few times...good thing they are adorable!

The kohlrabi has already been harvested.

Strawberry plants were planted, and I am so looking forward to next year's harvest.

Radishes were a first for me this year.

As were sugar snap peas. 
We have been eating them plain and sauteed in olive oil with some s&p.

If you are thinking about raised beds, I say go for it!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Breakfast Casserole With Cottage Cheese

Who says 'breakfast' casseroles are for breakfast only?! 

I enjoy a good breakfast casserole for dinner.
(I'm curious...Do you say dinner or supper for the evening meal?)

The addition of cottage cheese had me wondering about this one, but oh my, it was good.

I've actually made this two different ways...

one with bacon
one with ham

both were yum-a-licious!

Click over to Community Chickens to get the recipe.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Farm Photo Friday (June 2, 2017)

Welcome to Farm Photo Friday at LL Farm.

These pictures show  the 'real life' stuff that is going on during this busy season on our homestead.
All of these pictures were taken on my cell phone and have not been edited.
Warning!  I didn't even crop out the weeds.  ;-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Deck With Corner Pergola

Finally, I give to you...the deck with corner pergola!

I know, I know, it's about time I finished the finale of this 4 part series.
If you missed them, or you forget, you can read about the process here:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

7 Tips To Stop An Egg Eating Chicken

After dealing with an egg eater in our coop, I decided to do some research and implement some of the findings.  I discuss 7 tips in my recent article for Community Chickens.  If you have dealt with breaking an egg eater, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Graduation Cap Card Holder

It's almost graduation time!

One of the most popular gifts to give at graduation parties are cards.

As the proud parent of a graduate this year, I wanted to create something unique for people to place those special cards in.

I decided to make a graduation cap card holder.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The New Pioneer Magazine Summer 2017

The New Pioneer Magazine Summer 2017 issue is now available!

This magazine is amazing, always full of great ideas.

I am honored to have 2 articles in this issue.

The first article is about home canning.  Something I've talked about here on the blog before.  My Mom used to can heavy volumes in her summer kitchen.  Generations before her canned as a life necessity.  Although I don't can like they did, I do dabble in home canning.  I involve my girls in the kitchen as much as possible, and I am thrilled to say that they are part of this article.

The second article is another DIY project that Handy Hubby made for our small farm.  It is a slow hay feeder.  Before this we just threw hay on the ground, which was a waste of money!  The cows trampled on and used the bathroom on it, wasting a lot of it.  If you have livestock that you feed hay, this DIY is for you!  

The magazine is available at most places where magazines are sold or you can order on line.

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Farm Photo Friday (April 21, 2017)

Welcome to Farm Photo Friday at LL Farm!
Lots to share today, so grab a cup of coffee and walk around the farm with me, won't you.

The apple blossoms have made their beautiful appearance.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Learn How To Blow Out Eggs

Have you ever wanted (or needed) to know how to blow out an egg?
Blown out eggs are great for crafts, Easter egg coloring, and farm fresh egg arrangements.
Maybe you have an egg eater and want to try the egg filled with mustard trick.

You do not need anything extreme to blow out an egg, just a few things that you probably have lying around the house.
Click here to read how to blow out an egg.  I have a tutorial, with pictures, in an article that I wrote for Community Chickens.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Farm Shenangians

What a week!  Full of farm shenanigans.

It has been raining off and on for days.  The wind has been howling.  A few snowflakes fell.

The fireplace has been going strong...in April.

Our dog cornered a raccoon...onto our roof...where it slept all day!

One of the chickens has become an egg eater...in the coop!

The cows got out of the pasture!  I calmly coaxed them back in with food, then put my heart back in my chest.

Four adorable barn kittens have been born.

I rearranged the living room for the 149th time, only to put it back the exact same way.

I think I need a nap.

And this photo bomber?  Her name is Hermione.  She's not the one that cornered the raccoon.  But, she is the one that had to go outside, which is how I say the cows near the driveway.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Starting Sunflower Seeds In Eggshells

Why wait to plant seeds outside?  You can start sunflower seeds today, right inside your home.

Tall, beautiful sunflowers are a welcome sight around my chicken coop and run.

The sunflowers add a burst of color to our landscape and some needed shade for my ladies.

Although sunflowers grow fairly quickly, I just don't want to wait.  So, I got a head start this year, and you can too!

Read How To Start Sunflower Seeds In Eggshells  and the best time to start seeds indoors here.  It is my recent article for Community Chickens.

No expensive pots or lights are needed!

And please, gain some knowledge from my past failure.  I certainly have.

Happy Spring Planting! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Children's Book

I want to share some exciting news with y'all...

My friend Janet Garman from Timber Creek Farm has wrote a children's book!
It's titled Margarita and the Beautiful Gifts.

It is a cute story about farm life...ducks to be exact.  Margarita, the duck, wants to give the farmer a gift and had quite the adventure in doing so.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Chocolate Chip, Pecan, Coconut Cookies

Do you ever talk to yourself?

I do.  After all, I have the best answer sometimes! ;-)

Case in point...

It was a cold, windy day.

Cookies sounded good.

"What should I make?" I asked myself.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Put Your Chickens To Work

From egg laying duties, garden chores, fertilizer, and of course entertainment,
the ladies are back to work after a winter break.

Click HERE to read my recent post for Community Chickens.

Monday, February 27, 2017

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix

Sweet and Salty.

Enough said, right!?!

Who doesn't need this combination every once in a while? ;-)

This snack mix is a hit with adults and kids...when you need to take something for a sports game, a school class party, a pot luck, or just because.  After all, who needs a reason to eat chocolate!?!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Individual Meatloaves With Cheesy Sauce

Some foods seem to be in constant rotation...

Meatloaf seems to be a menu staple for many home cooks, me included.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Chicken Terminology

Whether you are new to raising chickens or you are a seasoned chicken keeper, there are some words that you may scratch your head, and think 'what'?

I just wrote a post for Community Chickens listing (in alphabetical order) some common chicken terms.  Click HERE to read.

Community Chickens is a website from Mother Earth News and Grit magazines, bringing you lots of poultry information from flock keepers just like you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Benefits Of Using Wood Ash Around Your Chickens

If you have access to wood ash from a fire place or wood burning stove, why not put it to work for your chickens.

In my recent article for Community Chickens I go over some benefits of using wood ash around your chickens.  Click HERE to read more.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Garlic Crostini

Do you like garlic bread?
Then you are going to like this 'recipe' for garlic crostini.

For the bread, I like to use a french baguette, sliced about 1/2 inch thick.

I like to bake the crostini on a stone.  It helps to create even baking on these small pieces of bread.
But, a regular sheet pan or cookie pan will also do a fine job.

Start with some extra virgin olive oil.
Mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley with the oil.

Brush both sides of the bread.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.

Turn the bread over.

Bake for an additional 2 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Mmm Mmm
Crispy bites of pure goodness!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cheesy Garlic Potatoes

Are you a meat and taters kind of person?

...or maybe just a tater kind of person?

Many times, I enjoy the side dishes more than the main dish.

Taters combined with garlic and cheese?

Yes, please!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Traveling Lilac Bush

It all started twenty some years ago...

I purchased my first home over twenty years ago.

In the yard was the most beautiful, big, fragrant white lilac bush.  

A start of that lilac bush has traveled with me throughout the years.

I have planted, nurtured, and watched a piece of that original lilac bush grow many times over.  

This is my fourth property to have a start of that lilac planted.

Starts have also been given to friends and family throughout the years.
Its growth and beauty never fail.

This picture is from my parent's property.
This beauty had humble beginnings...
It was just a start, many years ago.

We have been having quite a mix of weather this winter...
Frigid cold with snow.
Ice and sleet storms.
Chilly rain with high winds.
Warm, Spring like temperatures.
Only to be followed by cold again.

This tender start is just 1 1/2 years old.
She is excited, yet confused...
She has started to bud.

I had a little talk with her, explaining that she needed to continue to rest for a couple more months.
She doesn't need to be budding yet...it's not time.
I blew her a kiss and told her that I would welcome her with open arms in the Spring.

I hope she takes my advice to rest a little while longer.
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