Parchment Cupcake Liners

Cut a piece of parchment paper and trace a 5 inch circle on it.

We realized too late that there were no cupcake liners in the house for Kid1’s birthday cupcakes. Rather than running to the store for bleached, colored, pre-folded liners, TinyHands made some out of unbleached parchment paper. They turned out gorgeous! Here’s how to do it, in pictures!

Cut a piece of parchment paper and trace a 5 inch circle on it.

Cut out a 5 inch circle of parchment and find two measuring cups that nest snugly. We used 1/4 cup measures.

Place the parchment in your muffin tin or the larger measuring cup, and press the … Continue reading Parchment Cupcake Liners

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Grains

Mama with some home-canned goodness

Lately people in the GAPS/Paleo/Real Food/WAPF world have been buzzing about how nearly everyone should eat grains. They say that once you “heal and seal” your gut, “properly prepared” grains will be worth eating.

People whose intolerances continue or who simply don’t want to take the risk of eating foods that have hurt them in the past are told over and over that they didn’t do their healing protocols correctly or give it enough time. Even more alarming, on the basis of a couple very small, short term studies and anecdotal evidence, celiacs are being told that if you just … Continue reading Top 10 Reasons to Eat Grains

Transforming Leftovers: Beef & Broccoli

Beef & Broccoli Leftovers Transformed

Beef & Broccoli Leftovers Transformed

I am all about leftovers. Even if they don’t look like much or I’m tired of a dish or didn’t like it much the first time, I save them. They can be transformed!

This time, we had rosemary pot roast leftovers. Now that was a delicious dish to start with, but by the time we were finished with it the first time all that was left was the onion gravy, some carrots, and a tiny bit of the meat, some bones and cartilage. It was really mushy and hardly a meal in it’s own right. … Continue reading Transforming Leftovers: Beef & Broccoli

Bulk Buying Savings: Beef

Cow and calf.

Buying the Beef

Grassfed cows get to live a natural life.

It’s a high priority for our family to eat pasture raised beef for lots of reasons. We believe in the humane treatment of animals, being as low impact as possible, and that grassfed beef is more nutritious. But store prices put it out of financial reach. We started buying beef in bulk a quarter of a cow at a time due to limited freezer space. Buying that much meat at a time worked out pretty well for a while, until the kids got less picky and started putting it … Continue reading Bulk Buying Savings: Beef

Bulk Buying Without Breaking the Bank

ketchup, salsa, green beans, apple butter, applesauce

Today our cow is ready for pick up: the whole thing, all at once, in lovely little freezer-ready packages… in just one day we spent almost as much money as it takes to feed our family for a month!

Ketchup, salsa, green beans, apple butter, and applesauce made from this year's bulk buys.

Last summer it was the same deal, but with produce. We support our local economy, eat only the highest quality food, and shop in season for the best prices. But that means buying and drying, freezing, or canning a year’s worth of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, … Continue reading Bulk Buying Without Breaking the Bank

Creative Food Storage

Inside of my fridge

Eeek! There's no room for the giant pots of stock I made!

Some houses are built to store food. They’ve got basements and pantries and big cabinets with lots of room. Our house is not that house. Our house barely has closets, let alone dedicated food storage. This presents a particular problem when figuring out how to store all the perishable foods I buy in bulk, my ferments, and large pots of stock that I haven’t had time to freeze or can.

Check out my fridge. That thing is packed to the gills! I’ve got 20 lbs of carrots … Continue reading Creative Food Storage

How to Buy a Freezer


So. You’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of deep freeze. Welcome! We bought our first deep freeze 3 years ago and have never regretted it. We have, in fact, recently purchased a larger chest freezer. So now we’ll have two. Yep, we’re those people.

There are several major considerations when buying a deep freezer:

New or used? Chest or upright? Manual or auto-defrost? Size? New or Used?

When purchasing anything, I generally fall on the side of used. Why make more stuff when we already have so much? In the case of refrigerators and freezers, though, … Continue reading How to Buy a Freezer

Do I Really Need a Chest Freezer?

Yes. Yes, you really need a chest freezer.

I could wax poetic about how a chest freezer is a glorious place where your favorite foods are kept in their original, delicious states, waiting for you to come fish them out and enjoy. I could rhapsodize about eating blueberries, strawberries, and peaches in the dead of winter that didn’t come from South America. Pesto, lentil soup, chili just as delectable as the day you prepared them. Dried fruit that never molds. Nuts that never go rancid. But I won’t.

I’ll talk cold, hard numbers. (get it? like ice!) A little disclaimer … Continue reading Do I Really Need a Chest Freezer?

Transforming Leftovers – Waste Not Want Not

brussels sprouts were past their prime but still made a god supper

brussels sprouts were past their prime but still made a god supper

Sometimes we’ve got the best intentions, and it just doesn’t work out. Now that our house is insulated for the most part, the kitchen stays too warm to keep things like apples and veggies fresh. We’ve taken to measures like keeping carrots on the back stoop, apples in the back of the truck, and brussels sprouts in a closet on the north side of the house.

they don't look good now, but they'll taste good later

The only trouble is sometimes we forget about all that good food … Continue reading Transforming Leftovers – Waste Not Want Not

Transforming Leftovers – Wintry Waldorf Chicken Salad

This wintry salad has a delightfully surprising tart note.

This wintry salad has a delightfully surprising tart note.

Here’s a winter time take on a fall classic. I started with this Chicken Waldorf Salad Recipe and tweaked it to fit what I had in the house. Had I had any salad greens or lettuce, I would have served it as a green salad. But I didn’t, so it got served neat.

Wintry Waldorf Chicken Salad serves 4 Salad: 1 medium apple (sweet or tart), unpeeled, chopped 2 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used leftover roast chicken) 1 large carrot, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 green onion, … Continue reading Transforming Leftovers – Wintry Waldorf Chicken Salad

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