Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli

Let me start by saying that in the world of cooking,
I think garlic and ginger should get married and have kids!

The powerful combination is DELICIOUS!

I have made a similar recipe like this on the stove top, but I must say that allowing the beef to become saturated with this enticing sauce while cooking in the crock pot is genius!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

We Have Been Published!

I am so excited to share with y'all that we have been published in a magazine!

In the Spring issue of The New Pioneer magazine (now available) you can read my article about our chicken coop that we built out of re-purposed materials.    

The New Pioneer magazine is full of great information for the pioneer that lives in all of us!  Wherever you are on your pioneering journey, you will find inspiring stories and projects throughout this issue.  Topics range from gardening, animals, cooking, DIY projects, and even a collaboration with

  The pictures throughout the magazine are real projects and real people.  I love that being a contributor to this magazine allows me do two things that I am passionate about - writing and photography. 

I am honored to have my picture and bio listed with some amazingly talented people.  I have more articles in the works and will be a regular contributor.  The New Pioneer magazine is published quarterly.  You can find it in most places where magazines are sold, or you can subscribe to it here

Thank you for checking it out!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How To Dry Oranges In The Oven


Did you know that you can dry oranges in the oven?
No expensive dehydrator needed!

Just a couple hours in the oven and I had these beauties.
I love how the light shines through the orange slices.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Using The Deep Litter Method In The Chicken Coop

winter and chickens
Using the deep litter method in the chicken coop is natural, economical, and healthy.  It is a common practice used today by many chicken keepers, usually during the cold Winter months.  However, it actually got its start during World War II as a means of saving labor and litter.  And, it generally occurred over six months or longer.
straw inside coop
Here’s how it works:
The poo droppings are full of nitrogen.  Combined with a carbon (such as straw or dried leaves) natural decomposing will occur.  It is important to use a litter that will fluff up (not be compacted).  Turning the top layer to the bottom frequently, adding new straw to the top, and the natural scratching from chickens make it all work.
Having a well ventilated coop helps to break everything down.  It’s the same concept as composting kitchen scraps in a bin that you turn frequently.  Come Spring, there should be no foul smell, and you will have a fine, decomposed matter to use in your garden.
According to a study done by the Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station in 1959, using the deep litter method offers many health benefits, if done properly:
  • It helps to naturally ‘insulate’ the coop, maintaining a healthy temperature for your flock.
  • It can serve as an immunization against coccidiosis.
  • It helps to destroy salmonella bacteria.
  • It can provide needed vitamins for your chickens.
  • It can lessen the need for added protein to your flock.

Click HERE to read how I use the deep litter method in our chicken coop and dangerous signs to look out for.

You can read this entire post at  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baked Polenta Croutons

Baked Polenta Croutons are great to eat alone as a snack or they add the perfect delicious crisp to your favorite green salad.

Polenta is one of my favorite things to make.  Not only because it is simply delicious and easy to make, but also because you can mix up the flavors each time you make it (think cheeses, herbs, milk, cream).  Click HERE to see my basic polenta recipe.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

DIY Peppermint Bath Salts

Soothing bath salts infused with peppermint oil can have a calming effect on the body and help to relieve sore muscles.

Sound like something you need right now?

Peppermint essential oil is the first oil we ever tried.  And now it is a staple in our home.
It works great for headaches!

It's easy to make your own peppermint bath salts...all you need are three ingredients.

DIY peppermint bath salts
1 cup Epsom salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix all together.
Put in a mason jar secured with lid and band.

Add some twine and a tag, and voila!  you've got a gift.
DIY Peppermint Bath Salts are the perfect gift for...
Get Well Soon 
Hostess Gift
Just Because
...who says there has to be an occasion?

Happy Soaking ;-)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Farm Photo Friday (January 8, 2015)

Welcome to Farm Photo Friday!  

The weather has turned colder and we had our first dusting of it!

No more frozen water for the cows!  Yeah!!

The creek...well, that's a different story.

As much as I love a cozy fire, I think these two might enjoy it just as much.

This squirrel seems to be doing some last minute prep work for the cold days and nights ahead.


A beautiful ending!

MAKE it a fantastic weekend.
~ Lori

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Warm Cranberry-Apple-Orange Drink

This warm cranberry-apple-orange drink is just the thing needed on a cold evening.

If it's just you or a few people, toss it together in a sauce pan and let it simmer as you slowly sip away mug after mug.

If you're hosting a get-together, put it in the crock pot and set it to low.  Guests can serve themselves all night long.

You can easily jazz up this cozy drink with some spices or sugar, but I love the simplicity of this 3 ingredient drink.  

Warm Cranberry-Apple-Orange Drink
Combine equal parts cranberry juice and apple juice
Add orange slices (unpeeled)
Warm through (either in a crock pot or a low heat on the stove)
The longer it simmers, the more infused it becomes, making it even more delicious
*Do not let it boil*

That's it - 3 ingredients!  I told you it was simplicity at its best.

I recently served this at a get-together and many raved about the flavor.  They were amazed at how easy it was to make.

Now, if only there was a little snow outside that window ;-)

I am now on PINTEREST...won't you follow along?  Click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Easy Chunky Blue Cheese Dip

Do you like blue cheese crumbles?

I  L-O-V-E  blue cheese crumbles...sometimes I eat it right out of the container.  ;-)

I also enjoy a good chunky blue cheese dip, especially with celery.

Celery is good, but come needs a little something with it.

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