September 30, 2011

Ooooohhhh the Fun!!

I'm just so excited that I'm bursting at the seams!  Well, I guess I'm already bursting at the seams with this little dude/dudette that is going to be born soon, but what I mean is I'm so excited for some fun things that will be coming your way starting tomorrow! 

So sit tight and tune in tomorrow morning for the beginning of a lot of fun!  Can you hardly stand the drama?!  The excitement?!  Me, neither!  Share it with your friends...they're not going to want to miss this!


September 29, 2011

Menu Plans

Here you'll find dinner menu plans that you can 
download and save, print out, and click links to 
go directly to recipes.  Enjoy!

October 2011 Menu Plan

November 2011 Menu Plan

December 2011 Menu Plan

If you like these menu plans please share with friends on Facebook!  Click the "Like" button to share!

Breakfast Routine

I'm really not a big fan of buying boxed or bagged cereals.  They are mostly pumped full of yucky stuff for my kiddos and if they're not then they are very expensive.  Besides, my kiddos can plow through a box of cereal like locusts on corn.  However, we all have different seasons in our lives and so buying bagged cereal is one thing during this pregnancy that had become a common occurrence.  It's nice to know that it's in the pantry in case we have a busy morning.  Most mornings, however, my dear sweet kiddos have been very helpful in that case.  I have no energy to stand at the counter and whip up a breakfast to feed our troops after being outside milking a goat.  Nor do I really want to look at a raw eggs, drippy pancake batter, or uncooked wet oatmeal in the morning.  Makes this preggo mama a little queasy at times. In comes the gang...

My oldest two are very adept at pancakes, scrambled eggs, making oatmeal, whipping up a smoothie.  The oldest four are pros at making muffins in the afternoon for the next day's breakfast. My middle three are very happy to crack eggs to whip up scrambled eggs or get ingredients for the older kiddos.  Sometimes the pancakes are a bit runny in the middle, sometimes someone puts a bit too much cheese in the eggs, but that's fine.  They are learning and being a big help to me and our family so we'll roll with the punches.

Since I posted our month of October's dinner menu yesterday I thought I'd share our usual breakfast routine with you in hopes that it may give you some oomph to do something other than cold cereals if you're stuck in that rut.

Saturdays -- Saturdays are usually low-key for us.  Usually we have nowhere to go so we can take our time on breakfast.  If my hubby's home we'll make a big breakfast of Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, Baked Eggs, and Apple Puff Pancakes.  If he's not home then the kids may do something simple like French Toast and fruit.

Sundays  --  On Sundays we're pressed for time since we get up earlier than any other day of the week to try to make it to church on time.  Most Sundays we'll have one of the following: Overnight Coffee Cake, Bananaberry Muffins, or Sour Cream Blueberry Bread  (all prepared the night before).

Weekdays -- The kiddos will take turns making various breakfast dishes.  Pancakes with Homemade Blueberry Syrup, Scrambled Eggs, Yogurt Smoothies with Granola, French Toast, Breakfast Cups, and Baked Oatmeal.

Now...I have to add that we do have boxed and bagged cereal on hand, which is usually reserved for Wednesday mornings.  We have piano lessons that start early on that day so we need to get up and around.  If we have time on Tuesday and plan ahead one of the kiddos will whip up something for the next morning.

I realize not all of you have the situation that we have.  We homeschool so our days are a little more relaxed and we aren't held to a time schedule based on the school bus and when the school day begins. We also have a troop to help prepare meals and you may be one your own.  Either way with a little pre-planning your breakfast can be more than boxed cereal.

Short on morning prep time?  Follow these tips:

*Mix up the wet and dry portions of a recipe the night before.  That will work well with most of the recipes.

*Have a jar of pancake mix all ready to go on the counter. 

*Mix up a few batches of baked oatmeal's dry ingredients packaged up and in a container to cut down on prep time. 

There are more breakfast ideas on the the Breakfast Page of the blog.  Go HERE or click on BREAKFAST tab at the top of the blog under the header.

September 28, 2011

October Menu Plan

Here is our tentative menu plan for the month of October.  I say tentative because baby is due early November, but I've gone a week or two early with our last three babies so we shall see what October brings us!  *smile*  If you have a question, feel free to comment or shoot me an e-mail (the envelope button on the left column).  I'll be sharing my fall breakfast ideas soon!  Enjoy the recipes!

October Menu Plan

September 27, 2011

Win $50 from Gooseberry Patch!

The wonderful folks over at Gooseberry Patch have done it again!   

Simply purchase a cookbook or calendar at a local shop or on-line at my Amazon shop and mail in your receipt or e-mail a photo of your receipt and you'll be entered to win a $50 Gooseberry Patch gift certificate! 

If there's something you don't see on the shop page click on any item then click on the customer review for that product and it will take you to Amazon's site through my affiliate account. Thanks a bunch!

For more information visit Gooseberry Patch's blog HERE.  Remember to link back to Amazon through my affiliate link so I get credit, o.k.?  Thanks so much!! 

Homemade Soap

Making soap for the first time can be a bit scary.  I know...I've been there!  But once you have a batch or two under your belt it's no big deal.  Really!  Especially if you have a partner in crime BFF to help you!

Here's what you need for natural unscented soap:
12 oz. lye granules (my bottle from the hardware store was sold in a 16 oz. can so I had to use my kitchen scale and an old container to measure it out -- **Pre-measure it before you get started!)
4 cups milk partially frozen (it needs to be mostly frozen since the chemical reaction with the lye will scorch the milk) ---  We used goat milk!
48 oz. shortening (You'll want to use Crisco.  We tried the store brand.  It didn't work as well.)
32 oz. coconut oil
16 oz. olive oil
6 qt. sauce pan for partially melting the shortening and coconut oil (this can be a good'll only use it for melting the oils)

The following items you'll need to be kept just for soap making...never use these items for cooking!

8 qt. stainless steel pot 
large wooden spoon
large rubber spatula
Stick Blender
Mold for pouring soap into (I use an old toy bin)

First melt shortening and coconut oil in a saucepan on low. Once melted, turn off. (You can skip this step and just add the oils to the lye/milk mixture when the lye/milk mixture is ready, but I prefer to not have to deal with clumps splashing the liquids around.  It will take a bit longer to saponify -- chemically blend.) 

Place partially frozen milk into soap making pot.  Very carefully pour lye into pot while stirring with an old wooden spoon.  Be very careful not to inhale the fumes.  We did this outside, but you can do it inside near an open window.  We took extra precautions to wear face masks and have vinegar near by.  Should you get splashed by the lye put vinegar on your skin to neutralize the base of the lye.

Once the milk is well mixed with the lye, carefully pour the melted shortening and coconut oil in.  Add in the olive oil. 

Mix with the stick blender.  **Be careful not to lift the running blender out of the pot!**  The mixture can burn you.  It won't burn you in the sense that it's hot, but that the chemical in the lye will burn your skin. Blend until the soap mixture starts to thicken.  It's called "trace".  When you can shut off the blender, lift it out of the pot and drizzle a line of soap on top and it stays in it's drizzled line for a few moments, then it's "trace".  

Now your soap is ready to pour into the mold!  This is the exciting part!  Pour it in, tap the container on the table a bit to get out air bubbles.  Cover with a lid of some sort (box, cookie sheet, etc.) and a blanket and in about 12-24 hours cut it into bars.  (When it seems stiff enough to hold the cut, but not too stiff to cut, you be the judge, then it's ready.  Depends on dampness in the air and how cool/warm it is.) 

The longer the soap sits the longer the bar will last.  I sell it after it's cured for 2 weeks.  If it's sat for 2 months then even better, but I can't help myself.  I like to try the soap as soon as I can!  *smile*

A few notes about soap, lye, etc.  ...

*You can't make soap without lye.  Really.  You can make milled soap with already made soap and then pour into molds, etc.,  to get around coming in contact with lye, but all soap comes from a mixture of lye, liquids and fats.

*Lye can burn your skin...powder form, liquid form, in the soap before it cures.

*Most soaps you buy at the store has had the glycerin removed and therefore not as good and healthy for your skin as natural soaps.

*While I realize Wikipedia is not the source for all information they have a good overview of soap HERE.

*All sorts of fun things can be added to soap!  I have made oatmeal and honey and I'm working on a recipe for pumpkin pie soap!  The possibilities are endless!

*I'm sure there are people out there who are well-versed in soapmaking.  Please feel free to chime in with your tips, etc.  The above mentioned is what has worked well for me.

~ ~ ~

Want homemade soap made with goat milk for a rich, creamy lather?  
Hop on over to my Etsy site HERE to purchase.  
If you are local you can e-mail me for an order as well.


September 26, 2011

Chili Mix

I mentioned in my Taco Mix post that I love to make up a bulk batch of seasonings for popular dishes at our home so that dinner prep is super simple.  Following is my Chili Mix in bulk.  The recipe for the chili is HERE.


Chili Mix Bulk Recipe

1/2 c. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/4 c. chili powder
8 tsp. pepper
8 tsp. cumin
8 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Makes a bit over 2 1/4 cups of mix.  Store it in an air tight container.  When needed scoop 9 1/2 T. mix for 1 batch of chili.  Again...chili recipe is HERE.


September 23, 2011

Lemon Shake-Ups

Our family is off to the fair this weekend to enjoy some yummy fair food, some familiar faces, and awesome barnyard animals!  I will undoubtedly buy one of these yummy beverages, but you can make them in your own home, too!  Oh and just for the record...this preggo mama is going all out!  Elephant ears, cheese on a stick, cotton candy, lemon shake-ups!  Mmm  mmm...nummy!


Lemon Shake Ups

2 lemons (cut in half)
1/2 cup sugar
crushed ice

Squeeze lemons in a large glass or cup, add sugar and crushed ice (how much is up to you). Place the squeezed lemon halves in and add water (your desired amount). Cover and shake, shake, shake! Remove the lemon halves and enjoy!

*Feel free to add more sugar, less lemon, etc. to get your desired taste.
*Try boiling the sugar and lemon to make a syrup which can be frozen (into ice cubes) and used when desired.

September 21, 2011

Menu Planning

When our computer crashed at the end of last year I completely lost a recipe/menu planning program from my computer.  Since then I feel like I've been paddling upstream trying to make my menu plans easy to do and easy to use.  I don't want to fork out the dough for that program again.  (Yes, I'm cheap!)

Last night I had an idea that maybe I'd make up my own set of menu planning worksheets that I'd share with you lovely readers.  Well I just hopped on one of my favorite deal sites (Money Saving Mom) and she had the best news ever!  She has downloadable and customizable menu and grocery planning sheets!  Yes, I would love my own Old House Kitchen worksheets, but for this time in my life why reinvent the wheel?  You know? 

So...hop on over to Crystal's blog and download these forms.  You can save them as pdf's and then type on the form itself, save it, and print out what you like!  I plan on doing Oct.'s menu plan and taking a screen shot to share it with you.  That's the plan, anyway.  I can't believe September's on it's way out the door already! 

September 20, 2011

Now Available!

Today is the first release of the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking!  I am so excited!

Go HERE to order today! 

View sample recipes from the cookbook...
Caramel Crunch Apple Pie
Lemon Slice Cookies
Triple Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
Apple and Berry Breakfast Crisp 


How 'bout some fun?! 
I know, the giveaway was fun and I'm just an all around fun kinda gal, what more fun could we have, right? *wink* 
But...I thought it would be neat to see if we can get to  
1000 Facebook fans by my birthday October 8th
   I have a giveaway planned for that time, anyway, but if we get to 1000 fans it'll really be fun! So...share away with friends and family who need a great site with fairly simple recipes that have been taste tested by some of the pickiest eaters!
 If you haven't yet become a Facebook fan you're missing out on some extra fun!  I post a question, kitchen or craft tip, and links to other fun kitchen or craft sites daily!  Click on the Facebook button below to take you there!
 Sound like a plan?  Great! Now go share away! 

September 18, 2011

Movin' On Up!

You know you want to sing it with me.  You know, the theme song from The Jefferson's back in 1980-something!  "We're a movin' on up...".  *sigh* I know, I'm silly. 

Anywho...this blog is sort of movin' on up in the blog world.  When anyone asked before what my blog address was it was a bit of a mouthful to say "Old House Kitchen dot blogspot dot com".  And if they wanted to write it down I had to spell it out.  Non-bloggers have no idea what a "blogspot" is, anyway.  So...starting right now...I welcome you to...OLDHOUSEKITCHEN.COM!  So...share the new web addy with all your friends!  Don't fear, though, everything is still the same.  All the links work well and if you find a problem please let me know.  And if you type out the old addy you'll still arrive here.  Yay! I go... "We're a movin' on the East a delux department in the sky" know you want to sing it with me!

Gooseberry Patch Giveaway Winner!

The blessed recipient of

(or Unscented Goat Milk Soap if you prefer)
Hand Crocheted Wash Cloth
Sample Packet of Spiced Chai Mix
Mon Cherie

I will be contacting you for your choice of oatmeal and honey or unscented soap and also your mailing address.

Thanks so much to all who entered!   Look for a fun treat next month since it's my birthday!
If you would like to pre-order this book for under $20 (regular retail is $30), then hop on over to Amazon and  pre-order right now! 
I noticed some of the favorites at my Etsy site were the goat milk soap, the chai mix, and the snowmen ornaments.  Now is the perfect time to start stocking up for Christmas gifts!  *hint, hint*  And I'll be adding more items weekly on the site so I'll be sure to update you when they are added.


September 17, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Review and a Giveaway: Apple and Berry Breakfast Crisp

Today is the last day of the review of the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking.  The giveaway ends tonight!  So be sure to enter for that HERE.  I thought I would end this review with another scrumptious recipe!

Apple and Berry Breakfast Crisp

4 apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. cinnamon
Optional: vanilla yogurt (try my homemade recipe HERE)

Combine all ingredients except yogurt in a large bowl; stir until fruit is evenly coated.  Spoon into a lightly greased 8"x8" baking pan.  Sprinkle Oat Topping evenly over fruit.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm with yogurt, if desired (or you can really spoil them and serve it with ice cream!).  Serves 9.

Oat Topping:
1 c. quick-cooking or long-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 T. all-purpose flour

Notes:  I prepped the dry ingredients for the fruit and the topping (minus the butter) the night before, sealing them in air tight containers. Whipping it up in the morning was a breeze!  I substituted canned peaches for the apples since we were out of apples. It was deeeelish! I also doubled the recipe for my crew and baked it in a 9x13 dish!  Recipe said that it served 9 but I knew my hungry crew of 7 would be wanting more.  Glad I did.  The dish was empty in minutes!

September 16, 2011

Lunchtime Fun!

My older kiddos love peanut butter and jelly. (Well, my oldest two girls are allergic to peanut butter so they eat soy nut butter, instead.) But my youngest three...they're not big fans.  I don't know what the problem is.  I love peanut butter on anything!  And jam is heavenly!  So it couldn't be anything genetic!  *smile* What's a mom to do?  I had to get creative.

A cookie cutter makes anything fun!
This one's in the shape of a chicken!

When she asks for a "chicken sandwich" we know what she means.  *wink*

A thumbs up from this dude!

The chicken cookie cutter is made by Ann Clark and you can purchase it HERE along with many of her other adorable cookie cutters.

* * * 
Remember to go HERE to enter the
Contest ends tomorrow!

September 15, 2011

Taco Seasoning Mix

I have fiddled with a few online recipes and came up with a homemade taco seasoning that's not too hot yet has a little bit of a kick.  It has flavor, but not too much to overpower the rest of your taco.  Perfect combo of spices and herbs if you ask me!


Taco Seasoning Mix

1 lb. browned ground beef
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. sea salt
1 t. black pepper

Add the ingredients listed to browned ground beef.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Better yet...make it in bulk so you have it on hand and ready to go!

Taco Seasoning Mix (bulk)

6 T. chili powder
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 T. paprika
3 T. ground cumin
1 T. salt
1 T. black pepper

Makes approx. 1 cup of mix.  Store it in an air tight container.  When needed scoop 2 1/2 T. mix for 1 lb. of ground beef.

*  *  * 
Remember to go HERE to enter the
Contest ends this Saturday!

September 14, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Review and Giveaway: Triple Chocolate - Sour Cream Cake

As promised I have another yummy recipe to share with you from the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking.

This recipe is super yummy!  It will definitely satisfy any chocolate craving that you may have!

Triple Chocolate - Sour Cream Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 1-oz. sqs. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. baking cocoa
1/3 c. boiling water
2 eggs
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl; set aside.  In a food processor or blender, mix chocolate, sugar and cocoa; process until crumbly.  Add boiling water to chocolate mixture.  Blend until chocolate melts.  Break eggs into food processor and mix well.  Add butter, sour cream and vanilla; process again.  Place flour mixture into food processor; pulsing until all ingredients are well-blended.  Lightly grease and flour an 8" springform pan; pour batter into pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.  Remove cake from oven; let cool on a wire rack.  Remove cake from pan.  Frost cooled cake with Icing.  Serves 10.

1/2 c. whipping cream
6 1-oz. sqs. bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped

Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat (do not boil).  Add chocolate and stir for one minute.  Remove pan from heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Cool icing to warm temperature, then spread on cake.  Refrigerate cake to allow icing to set before serving.

Notes:  I used an 8x8 square greased cake pan since I naively gave away my P. Chef springform pan many years ago.  Back in the newlywed days when hubby volunteered to cook every meal but then we had stir fry every night for a week. was at the beginning of that week.

I also misread the recipe and bought all unsweetened chocolate instead of some bittersweet for the icing.  As you can imagine it would have been really bad so I had to be creative. This is what I came up with for the icing:

1/2 cup whipping cream
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
Follow the directions like above, but when the chocolate is mostly melted stir in 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar.  It has a bit of a dark chocolate taste to me, but was deelish on this cake!

*shh* Don't tell anyone, but our oldest daughter and I really enjoyed dipping banana into the left overs icing in the sauce pan! 


Go HERE for the recipe for Caramel Crunch Apple Pie and to enter the giveaway!
Giveaway ends Saturday September 17th at midnight!

Gooseberry Patch provided me with a copy of this book.  No additional compensation was received.

Find out more about Gooseberry Patch HERE!

September 13, 2011

Big Book of Home Cooking Video Preview!

The folks at Gooseberry Patch have put together a preview video of their cookbook.  Vickie and Jo Ann share their favorites from the book!  Warning:  you will be hungry after a peek at this video!  *smile*

Take a peek at the video then if you can't wait for the winner of the giveaway to be drawn you can hop on over to Amazon at my affiliate link to pre-order one  for you or a loved one!

September 12, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Review and Giveaway: Lemon Slice Cookies

As promised I have another yummy recipe to share with you from the Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking.  This cookie recipe is fairly simple so I set my girls to work in the kitchen on it.  They did a great job!  Yesterday a group of us took cookies to our local firefighters to thank them for our service.  Since it was the anniversary of 9/11 we thought it would be a wonderful encouragement to them for the jobs that they do.

Lemon Slice Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy; blend in egg, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture and mix until just blended.  Divide dough in half; with floured hands, shape each half into a 10-inch long log.  Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm.  Cut each roll into 1/4-inch thick slices; arrange on greased baking sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.  Makes about 3 dozen.


Go HERE for the recipe for Caramel Crunch Apple Pie and to enter the giveaway!
Giveaway ends Saturday September 17th at midnight!

Gooseberry Patch provided me with a copy of this book.  No additional compensation was received.

Find out more about Gooseberry Patch HERE!

September 11, 2011


Where were you on 9-11-01?

Hubby was at work and the kiddos and I were gone for the day shopping in Amish country at a flea market with a friend.  There was a little bit of talk going around that a plane had crashed into a building in New York but I didn't think anything catastrophic had happened.  When we left early afternoon I called my husband on a friend's cell phone and he said to fill up the van with gas no matter how much it cost.  He also said to go straight home and turn on the t.v.  Wow, was I shocked.  The Twin Towers? The Pentagon?  A plane diverted from the White House by a very brave group of men?  Really?  Thousands of people dead?  My kiddos were 4, 3, and 1 at the time so they had no idea what we were watching.  I sat and cried over the devastation and the fear that the people in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania must be feeling.  I sat and cried over the lives lost that might not have known the love of Jesus.  Then I went out and put my flag back out (I had just put it away Labor Day.),  and prayed.

Please take a moment today to remember the victims of 9/11.
Thank the Lord for your life, your health, your family, and your country.

God Bless.

September 10, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Review and a Giveaway: Caramel Crunch Apple Pie

Hey there everyone!  I am so excited that Gooseberry Patch contacted me to do an early bird review of their new cookbook coming out the 20th of this month; Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Home Cooking.

What's better yet is that you can have your very own copy!  Yep! Gooseberry Patch has kindly given me a copy to give away to one of my blessed readers!  Before we get into the giveaway I want to share a recipe with you.  I'll have a few recipes to share with you from this new book over the next week.  I tell you what!  It was so difficult to choose a few recipes!  You should see my list of recipes that I want to try!  Phew!  My kiddos and I are going to be busy little bees in the kitchen this month!  There are sections devoted to breakfast, casseroles, slow cookers, sandwiches, cakes and cookies, breads and more!  Today's recipe is a yummy dessert that you won't have to worry about having any leftovers to put away!  My family loved it!

Caramel Crunch Apple Pie

9-inch refrigerated pie crust  (I used my homemade sour cream crust recipe HERE)
24 caramels
2 T. water
4 c. apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 t. cinnamon  (I used 1/2 t.)
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (I substituted oatmeal since we have some that don't like nuts)

Fit pie crust into a 9" pie plate according to package directions.  Melt caramels in water in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Spoon apples into crust; top with caramel sauce. Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add walnuts; sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serves 6 to 8.  (I baked it for 1 hour total time.)

Doesn't that recipe just sound and look yummy?! 

*  *  *


*  *  *
Since the cookbook's theme is "Homemade" today I'm opening my new Etsy site full of "Homemade" items! 

Entry 1   
Go visit my Etsy page HERE.
Leave a comment here with your favorite piece in my collection. (One entry)

Entry 2
Share the link for this giveaway on Facebook.
Leave a separate comment telling me so. (Another entry)

Entry 3
Blog about this on your own site.
Leave the web addy in a separate comment.
(Another entry)

Please be sure you leave something that distinguishes you from other comments like "Carmen from northern Indiana".

**All entries need to be a separate comment for drawing purposes.  I count up the total number of comments and then enter it into picks a number then I count down to that number in the comment section.  If all entries are left in one comment unfortunately you will only get one entry.**

One blessed reader will win...

(or Unscented Goat Milk Soap if you prefer)
Hand Crocheted Wash Cloth
Sample Packet of Spiced Chai Mix

Giveaway starts NOW and 
ends Saturday September 17th at 12:00 (midnight EST).

Gooseberry Patch provided me with a copy of this book.  No additional compensation was received.

Find out more about Gooseberry Patch HERE!

If you would like to pre-order this book for under $20 (regular retail is $30), then hop on over to Amazon and  pre-order right now!

It would make the best Christmas gift for friends, family, newlyweds, coworkers!


September 8, 2011

Barbecue Sauce

Last week we butchered a few of our roosters.  I had no clue until a Facebook reader clued me in to the fact that we couldn't cook them until they've rested in the refrigerator for a day or two or the meat will be a bit tough.  (Thank you Mindy!)  I read her comment too late.  The first five roosters were already done in the roaster.  *sigh* So...we have a bit of tough meat on our hands.  I looked up some sauce recipes and came up with my own concoction.  The family enjoyed the sauce.  The chewy chicken meat was another issue.  Most of us found it palatable, but a few (the younger ones) said their jaw hurt.  Oh my!'s the recipe...chewy chicken omitted.  *wink*
Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 T. onion powder
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
2 T. Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.   Bring to a boil and turn down to low-medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Pour over cooked chicken, pork or beef in a crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Makes enough to pour over about 3 pounds of cooked meat, so you'll want to use a small crock pot.

September 5, 2011

Green Beans and Bacon

I love fresh green beans out of the garden all steamed and sprinkled with a little butter, salt and pepper!  But what I really love is green beans cooked with bacon!   It's super simple!


Green Beans and Bacon

Fry up one pound of bacon.  I usually bake my bacon, but for this recipe you are going to want to fry it!  Once the bacon is cooked to your liking (we like crispy but not so well done it turns into powder) place the bacon on a plate and drain most of the bacon grease from the frying pan.  Place 2 quarts of green beans (raw--we like fresh from the garden or frozen from the garden) in the skillet, crumble bacon over the top of the green beans, cover and cook on medium until the green beans are cooked (until they're bright green).  Once they are done you can serve them with your favorite main dish.  My favorite combo would be Easy Peasy Chops, Smashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Bacon, and Honey Yeast Rolls.  Mmm...yummy!

September 4, 2011



Please pardon my dust!  I'm working on a few changes here on the 'ol bloggy.  One thing that will help in my menu planning would be to have a nice list of recipes...all neat and tidy.  I thought you all might enjoy it as well.  I still have the search tool in the right hand side bar, but it's not as handy as it used to be.  It's not just my computer or blog, either.  Other bloggers have experienced the same snafoos.  So I thought I would make categorized lists of recipes.  Under the header up there you'll see "Beverage", "Bread", and so forth.  Click on the word and up pops a list of recipes.  Click on those titles and it will take you to the post with the recipe for that item.  I'm not finished.  Up next on my blog to-do list is a list of dinner ideas and soups/stews or something like that.  Any suggestions?  Any typos?  Let me know in a comment or hop on FB and comment on the Old House Kitchen Facebook page.  Our e-mail server has been down the last few days and I'm not sure when it will be up so if you don't want to comment on FB or in the comment section it may be a while before I can see it.   Thanks a bunch!

Coming this week is a recipe for barbecue sauce, a few pics of some finds from my day trip with my BFF to Shipshewana (Lord willing!  We're supposed to go Tuesday!  Pray for good weather!), a new recipe, and a reveal of my Etsy site!  Oooh I can't wait!  

September 1, 2011


I've made applesauce each fall for years...with the exception of last year.  I didn't have the time or a good deal on apples so I skipped that last year.  Therefore a post was skipped on it...not to mention my home skipped on the yummy scent of apples cooking on the stove!  I recently got a note from a reader on Facebook asking if I had a recipe for applesauce.  Boy, do I ever!  I love it! It's easy peasy! I think you'll like it, too! 



8 pounds of apples peeled, cored, and quartered -- about 24 cups (I've used all kinds, but my favorites Macintosh and Jonathan.)
2 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
sprinkles of cinnamon (to your liking, if you like at all)

In a 10 quart pot combine apples, water, and cinnamon (if you like).  Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.  Make sure you stir it often so it doesn't scorch on the bottom.  Now, you have a few options.  If you like it thin you can run it through a food mill or in a food processor.  We like our applesauce chunky so I take about half out and run it through my Norpro Sauce Master and the other half I'll use a potato masher to chunk up the apples in the pot.  (By the way...I peel and core the apples before starting.  Some people run the whole apple through the sauce master but I think the peel and core give it a bitter taste.)  Then I put the sauced apples back in the pot.  Stir in sugar.  If you find it's too thick and needs a bit more water you can add some more...about 1/2 cup.  Bring to a boil then you are ready to can!  (This recipe will make about 6 pints.)

To can it:
Sterilize 6 pint jars, lids and bands.  (You can either run the jars through the dishwasher and take them out as soon as the sterilize setting is done or boil them for 10 minutes.  I do the latter.) 

Funnel hot applesauce in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space (where the threads stop at the bottom of the lip).  Wipe rim and threads of jar to make sure it's free of sauce and then put on lids and bands.  (I dry my lids and bands real quick with a clean towel before putting them on my jars so they don't rust.)  Make sure the bands are tight, but don't get all Superman on them and crank it don't want it that tight!  Process in boiling water for 15 minutes. (Make sure the water starts boiling after you put the jars in before you start the timer. And make sure that the water is covering the jars at least an inch.)

Well now I am all excited to go apple picking this month!  And I can't wait to make some yummy applesauce!


We really like to use our homemade applesauce to make Cherry Cinnamon Applesauce as a side dish with fall and holiday dishes!  Yummy!

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