Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Vanilla Bean Syrup {with Printable Labels and Option to Can} & Favorite New Pantry Cookbook


This week is our ode to the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle and we will be featuring some tutorials, tips and other products from the collection that I personally love. Today I am sharing a resource from the bundle that has become a favorite of mine and a recipe from it! It is full of old fashioned meal ideas and is shared by a woman who has no modern appliances and lives on limited electricity. The reason I mention this is because her recipes are real and down to earth! I love it to so much that I will be printing it out (and it is over 300 pages!). These are the kinds of recipes that have been interesting to me as of late-- ones that are nourishing and can be prepared from your basic pantry staples without needing a trip to the grocery store. I have only dreamt of a cookbook like this -- for the common farm pantry and frugal, from-scratch cook! No need for fancy ingredients to make these homemade and healthy comfort foods! May I introduce you to...




"A Cabin Full of Food" by Marie Beausoleil (349 pages!)

~~ The Ultimate "Store What You Use and Use What You Store" Cookbook ~~

As Marie (the author of the cookbook) explains...

"you don't need another cookbook that requires a shopping trip before you make dinner. You need to know how to cook with what you have...

The Irish have a saying: Better a cabin full of food than a hungry castle.

I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, too many people would rather be in the middle of a cabin full of food because most of us are not used to dealing with food (and lots of it) in its natural state.

Whether you’re on the farm or in town, you’ll find great classic recipes that you can use today in this cookbook. If you have a fully stocked pantry, you have what you need to feed your family!

This book is organized by food type (grains, vegetables, fruit, meat) and written in a conversational, easy to follow format. It’s packed with almost 1000 easy, frugal, traditional recipes that will help you make the best use of what you have in the pantry already!

This is a massive, value-loaded book with over 300 pages of recipes.

This isn’t a cookbook so much as an encyclopedia on homestead cooking written by someone who knows what she’s doing – the author lives deep in the woods, raising four children in an off-grid cabin with solar power, wood heat and no fridge.


FARM FOOD

My grandfather always said to eat food that remembers where it came from.

But in this era of cans, boxes and bags, it is sometimes hard to know what to do with simple, from-the-farm food.

My book contains over 1000 of my own recipes, or ones that I have adapted and used over the years to make my own. There are lot of plain old classics that have almost been forgotten.

And quite a few come from the hand-written tried-and-true recipe books of my Old Order Mennonite friends.

These are recipes that have stood the test of time.

FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FANCY

You don’t need another book telling you how to make exotic ingredients into meals. This is real, down home cooking at its best. Save money by making your own ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato soup and more from fresh tomatoes.

I’ll show you how to put up the garden bounty to quickly use it all winter. Learn to keep up with the egg and milk abundance when you have small livestock."

  ~ A Cabin Full of Food by Marie Beausoleil (part of the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle)


Marie also shares a variety of pre-made spice recipes, a section on grains which shares many interesting frugal recipes such as a mixed coffee substitute, war yeast bread and leftovers quick bread. It is not a normal cook book but reminds me of an old fashioned receipt book. Her book is segmented by garden produce and how to use each one in each category and even includes some home remedies. There is a recipe for bean loaf instead of meat loaf (lots of bean recipes) that I am eager to try (lots of frugal recipes in general)! This book retails on Amazon for $23.99 so you are really getting a great deal for it in this "Back to Basics Living" Bundle as it is included with 70 other resources for $29.97 (yes, for $4 more and you get an enormous amount of downloadable e-courses, books, charts, organizational printables and much more)! 



This is probably one of her fanciest recipes that I am sharing today as it uses a vanilla bean (while the remainder of the book focuses on common pantry ingredients, garden harvests and animal products) but as a coffee lover, I had to try it! Marie mentions what a nice gift it would make and I must agree (I am sharing some vanilla bean syrup labels in case you would like to make some!).



She also says to drizzle it over baked goods, add to hot beverages or stew fresh fruit with it. I would like to add that you could even create the fancy cold coffee drinks with it! A bit of leftover morning coffee from the fridge... a splash of cream, a few cubes of ice, a drizzle of this syrup and you have an iced vanilla coffee.



Vanilla Bean Syrup Recipe 

(shared with permission by the author)

Bring to a simmer the following ingredients in a small saucepan:
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans (split lengthwise and scraped) *
Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into 2 half-pint jars. Make sure to distribute the beans into each jar. You can refrigerate once cool or you can preserve it for your pantry she says. To do so, wipe the jar rims, apply lids and rings and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner for a shelf stable syrup. Do make sure your jars have been sterilized first if you opt to can the syrup like I did.

* I get our vanilla beans on eBay from a French merchant as they are much more affordable this way.



Other homemaking books included in the bundle from the "Cooking From Scratch" section are:




The "Gluten Free Muffins" cookbook is something I am really interested in since my daughter is affected by gluten. These recipes are all with whole food ingredients which I really appreciate. We are also beginning to dabble with sourdough (which she seems to tolerate well since the gluten is eaten in the fermenting process) and so I look forward to digging into 'The Discovering Sourdough" resource. The "How to Become a Better Home Cook" is a 101 booklet for those who are ready to begin cooking their own meals. The author also shares a few of her favorite recipes and they all look delicious and like something our family will eat! There is even a "10-Minute Prep Freezer Meal" e-book in this mix!

There are also a few books which are "meal planning" inspired! You are shown step by step instructions on how to menu plan. The author also shares a month's worth of her meal plans. The bundle also includes two other meal planning recipe books which are created for your convenience and nutrition in mind. If you are interested in testing out some of the new kinds of healthier eating concepts out there, there is a a 4-week menu complete with simple and delicious grain-free and dairy-free recipes and done-for-you grocery lists. We tried the "grain-free dinner roll" recipe with our tuna sandwiches for lunch and it was delicious! The same author also shares a booklet for a 4-week menu complete with simple and delicious gluten-free recipes and done-for-you grocery lists. Many of these recipes will be used when some of our family members come to dinner that have dietary restrictions and I am grateful for these resources!


And lastly, for those of you who haven't yet purchased our Ebook, it is also in the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle and includes very frugal recipes to enhance your meals using fruit scraps (yes, the pieces you would normally throw away!). Are you interested?


You will find the bundle at 95% off the retail price for this week only. The total value of the bundle is over $800 but is sold special in this sale for $29.97. If you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE and all purchases through our link will help to support this blog. Thank you kindly!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 


Monday, January 16, 2017

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 140


“Books are like people: fascinating, inspiring, thought-provoking, some laugh, some meditate, others ache with old age, but still have wisdom: some are disease-ridden, some deceitful; but others are a delight to behold, and many travel to foreign lands; some cry, some teach, others are lots of fun, they are excellent companions and all have individuality - Books are friends. What person has too many friends?” 
~ Gladys M. Hunt
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc). ~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


** Today we are sharing a special book-bundle download offer! **


This download package is brought to you by Jennifer and Bill Osuch, the lead team members over at the Back To Basics Living Bundle. They are responsible for encouraging me to write my Ebook this year! You might know them from their website Self Reliant School where they teach gardening, real food cooking and preserving skills. They’re good, country folk :)
Our Ebook, 100+ DIY Projects to Make with Fruit Scraps is also included in the Bundle!

They have put together an outstanding eBook and eCourse bundle this year. You might have seen last year’s bundle? The quality of resources, the step by step getting started guide, the seamless and incredibly easy to use download area, their unprecedented customer service, and all the bonuses included in the bundle are wonderful.

Since many of you are interested in natural healing, cooking from scratch, preparedness, simple living, DIYs, and so forth, I think you’re going to love this year’s collection! But it’s only going to be available for a short time -- one week only starting today!

This year’s bundle includes over 70 resources (including our Ebook) to help you get back to the basics and will encourage you to:
  • Cook from scratch using nourishing real food
  • Plant, harvest and preserve your own vegetables
  • Learn what it means to live a simpler life without stress
  • Create a wholesome, healthy food storage
  • Learn how to create and use natural remedies and body products
  • Plus learn how to live a more frugal life, do more things yourself, manage a small homestead, and much much more!
  • It also includes printable organization charts, preserving printables, therapeutic coloring books, printable planting calendars, homeschool unit studies, preparedness guides, simple living inspiration, etc!
If you were to buy each of these resources separately you’d pay over $800, but for this short sale it’s 96% off! Like buying in bulk, there’s a ton of goods and it can be overwhelming. That’s why they have created a getting started guide that will help you utilize the most relevant information to you so you can begin getting back to the basics immediately.

The book categories are:
  • cooking from scratch
  • do it yourself (with e-courses in soapmaking and sourdough breadmaking)
  • food storage
  • frugal living
  • gardening
  • homesteading
  • natural parenting
  • natural remedies
  • preparedness
  • simple living
Tutorial #1 ~ DIY Vanilla Bean Syrup with Option to Can!

The bundle is only available for a few days: January 16-22!  I will be sharing some tutorials, tips and other goodies this week from the wonderful resources that I think you will appreciate!
Click HERE to find out more (all purchases from this link help to support our website)!
Happy living and learning!
Love,
JES


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

**Please also note that the posts shared on this link up from other bloggers do not necessarily reflect my own personal views or opinions (meaning I do not condone every article that may appear here). Like all literature, please discern everything you read with the Holy Scriptures as your lens.**

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Welcome Home {Random Thoughts on My "Return"}


Dear reader, these last three months had been busy as I published a few blog articles in advance, prepared for house-guests and spent time with my out-of-the-country family. It was such a blessing to see my loved ones again!


In the meantime, one of our major and one of our minor appliances gave up the ghost, both of our computers crashed and we have a fridge that is on life support! :) Yet, life goes on... And I am happy to have this one computer repaired and running which gives me this opportunity to update you all.


It was heart-wrenching to embrace family and be forced to let them go. Everything bottled up inside that you never realized you held so strongly, it overflows into the heart, and aching tears spill in abundance. When all the good-byes have been said, it leaves you with a sense of loneliness and longing.


But I am grateful. I am grateful for the piles of  laundry that need attention. I am grateful for the appliances that need tending. I am grateful for the messes in the corner that had been neglected during our visit. 


For this is where the homemaker will find solace -- in the home. She will embrace those daily rituals, beautify them and invest her time and energy into what is standing before her. She will receive strength from this calling because of He that has called her to it. Whatever has left you hanging last year or whatever remains unfinished this year, I encourage you to "welcome home" as a healer. It is the pleasantest of distractions.

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
~ Nehemiah 8:10


Epilogue: With that being said, I will be diving back into the blog next week as I share about the Back to Basics Living Bundle. This is the opportunity that encouraged me to write our Ebook in the first place and I am excited to be a part of it. I will be sharing some tutorials, tips and other goodies next week from the wonderful resources that I think you will appreciate! There are so many fun and useful parts of homemaking and I hope these upcoming posts will inspire you to enjoy being home!

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Wonderful Winter Canning Projects for Your Pantry


"The pantry door stood wide open,
giving the sight and smell of goodies on the shelves..."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

My favorite time to can is in the winter when the kitchen needs the heat of the simmering pots and steamy, boiling canning equipment! Winter also gives you a slower canning pace without the rush of the summer harvest at your heels. Here are five of our favorite seasonal canning projects to fill your pantry shelves:




I don't think I need to share the convenience of having cooked beans in your pantry and dried beans are ready to can year round! These are as versatile as it comes. Visit here for 14 meals to make with pinto beans and I hope it inspires you to stock your cupboards! We also like to process black beans and white beans. You will find our tips for canning beans here.




Simmering soups, stews and a variety of rices are all the more beautiful if you have a supply of stock and/or broths to infuse nutrition and flavor into your meals. These can be made with leftover vegetable scraps, meaty bones or a mix of the two and make a wonderful addition to the pantry! Visit our tutorial here.



Lemons are now in season and falling off trees! Canning the juice is very simple and is very handy to have in the pantry! We use ours in homemade meat marinades, jams and everything else you need a splash of lemon juice (such as these ideas here). 


Marmalades


Marmalades are fun to make and add a splash of color to a cold winter day! You can read my sentimental musings in the article above and see why I enjoy this pantry project.



This recipe above is for the traditional marmalade which features sugar. Ladle some onto scones, stir into hot and cold teas or smear over cream cheese and crackers for a fun treat.


And once you are finished with canning that lemon juice or anything else you make with lemons, prepare a batch of our frugal "French inspired" lemon syrup. With a glass of sparkling water, you can look forward to enjoying some refreshing drinks in the summer! Happy winter preserving ladies!


"...study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-1
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). Clip art background courtesy of Free Pretty Things for You.


Greetings, dear ladies! For the new few months, I will be sharing a few pre-scheduled posts (and round-ups) as I prepare for and enjoy a wonderful extended visit with out-of-town family. With that being said, I will not be able to do much online "visiting" and commenting but would still love to hear from you in the comments should you desire to share. Thank you for understanding and have a lovely week!
Love, JES
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