Thursday, July 9, 2020

Beloved Book Giveaway ~ The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home by Jan Berry

"Our gardens and backyards are filled with flowers, herbs and weeds that have the potential to provide many fun and useful products for home, health and beauty."

Warm and sunny greetings to you all! Today we are sharing the third of seven little giveaways I had promised for this little blog! I call it the "beloved book giveaway" because I adore an informative book packed with pretty pictures to inspire and this book does just that. This is the expanded version of the book I reviewed and gave away a few years back. It is now packed with 151 recipes for your skin, health and home. What a fun resource to add to your home library! Thank you to Jan Berry at The Nerdy Farm Wife who made this giveaway possible πŸ’›

This "Big Book" features easy, all-natural DIY projects using herbs, flowers and other plants. I am sure if you were to poke around your front yard, you would find many botanical treasures that are useful in the home. The dandelion is one such under-rated plant and there are many purposes they boast.  Jan teaches how to turn them into lovely things! Or how about the beautiful rose? And lovely lavender? To make something from their romantic petals and fragrant buds is very enjoyable!

I don't recall if you remember the recipe I shared from the older version of the book. It is for a honey, rose and oat face cleanser. It is so easy to make and so lovely for your skin! These little projects make homemaking fun and also make wonderful gifts! All natural body products can be very expensive and these recipes can $ave a lot of money!

The chapters in the book include:
  • Nontoxic Herbal Skin Care
  • Naturally Soothing Salves & Balms
  • Exotic Body Butters & Lotion Bars
  • Easy, All-Natural Creams & Lotions
  • Garden-Fresh Bath Bombs, Soaks & Salts
  • Beautiful Bath Melts & Scrubs
  • DIY Lip Care
  • Luscious Hair Care
  • Simple Homemade Soaps
  • Herbal Home Remedies
  • Nontoxic Solutions for the Home
  • All-Natural Pet Care

As you can see, there is something for everyone! Many items from the book can be made with simple oils (olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc.) and staples from your pantry (oats, honey, sea salt, etc.) along with some basic botanicals (i.e., dandelion, roses, chamomile, mint).

I will be sharing the recipe for the floral cleansing grains within the next week or so (with the permission of Jan). These are pictured above and are comprised of normal homemaking ingredients (as I call them). They look so lovely that I can't wait to prepare them! There is something about the flower aspect in skincare that I find very feminine, beautiful and romantic.

This little giveaway for "The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home" by Jan Berry will be open for the next 7 days (it ends on Thursday) and is open WORLDWIDE. You have the option to enter it in 7 different ways (pick and choose as many options that work for you!) in order to have up to 7 different chances to win! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below!

Note: Where it says "leave a blog comment" on the giveaway widget below, please click it as there is a special question for you to answer in the comments :) Happy kitchen-crafting and wildcrafting ladies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Home-Made Meals Strictly From the Pantry ~ Proverbs 31 Preparedness Series ~ Please Share!

"The wise store up choice food and olive oil..."
~ Proverbs 21:20a

(Note: It is amazing how life goes. When I reopened this blog, I perused the old articles I had prepared for future posts and the Proverbs 31 Preparedness Series had this entry next in line in the queue. I know that many people were interested in this very topic months ago! I am kind of upset with myself for not being able to post this prior to all the chaos but we will remedy this now. So, keep in mind that I typed many of the sentences prior to where we are today and I am just shaking my head that events already occurred (worldwide) that required the use of a Proverbs 31 Pantry! Our efforts dear ladies, are not in vain!)

We see that the proverbial woman laughs at the time to come or even rejoices, depending on the translation (Proverbs 31:25). I think this must be because -- instead of worrying about the future, she is proactive in the present time. Those who have been with me for awhile know I have been writing about pantries and encouraging you to put love into them for many years. This is all good and helpful! But, in order to be completely productive, I'm learning it is just as important that we learn how to make meals using food strictly from our pantry!

When we think of pantries, we often think of grains, legumes and other random foods instead of potential menus. However, a well stocked pantry can provide the means to make a complete meal if we are creative. We try and maintain a decent inventory of pantry products (aka food storage) for many reasons (here are 10). 

Recently we saw many things disappearing from the store shelves. Fresh food is something we take for granted unless we live on a farm or have a productive garden at the time. Grocery stores may not always offer what we need to produce the meals we currently enjoy. This is where I think a recipe book of STRICTLY pantry derived ingredients would be most helpful! I know there are freeze-dried meals and already prepared foods you can store but I am interested in maintaining foods we currently enjoy in our pantry (and not investing in items we wouldn't normally eat or buy). Can we make a proper or decent meal and/or snacks from scratch, from our pantry, that is somewhat healthy from "clean" ingredients, without all the food preservatives found in the pre-packaged meals? 

I am interested in and developing recipes which require nothing from the refrigerator or freezer (as that may not be available at one point or another for various reasons).

Some easy ideas come to mind such as a jar of pasta sauce + spaghetti  + shelf-stable parmesan cheese = pasta marinara.

Here are some other ideas for meals that I brainstormed up which you can make in a pinch from the pantry:

- Pasta Salad with dried pasta, canned olives, a jar of artichokes, drained canned diced tomatoes & Italian dressing (make your own from pantry ingredients here).

- Tostada shells (or dip the following with tortilla chips) layered with canned refried beans, jar of salsa, canned jalapeΓ±os, diced green chilis, canned olives and anything else from the pantry that sounds good with this combination.

- Italian Pizza (the original pizza from Italy doesn't necessarily include cheese as a topping!) using a pizza dough recipe (ingredients easily found in the pantry), top with pizza sauce (or tomato sauce with herbs), shelf stable parmesan cheese, dried herbs, olives and anything else you have stored away that sounds good.

- Homemade granola.

- Oatmeal topped with dried fruit, coconut, nuts and seeds.

- Beans and rice.

- Beans and rice burrito with homemade tortillas.

- Beans mixed with canned veggies and tomato sauce and spices and poured over pasta.

- Black beans and Spanish rice burrito with homemade tortillas.

- Flatbread with quick hummus (Blend together in food processor the following ingredients: 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cups chickpeas - drained and rinsed*, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 6 drops food-grade lemon essential oil, and salt/pepper to taste). Recipe courtesy of Young Living Essentials Oils.

 * Tip - Don't discard your chickpea liquid! You can use it as a sub for eggs! ~ Submitted by Lana


- Basic white bread (ingredients are all in the pantry) with nut butters and/or jam/jelly.

- Tuna mixed with mayo (we keep the individual packets of mayo in the pantry for on-the-go trips) and relish and served on homemade bread or serve with chips or crackers.

- Popcorn with melted coconut oil (or your favorite oil) drizzled on top. You can also sprinkle nutritional yeast on top (very healthy addition), shelf-stable parmesan cheese or any other seasoning combination for a hearty snack.

- Trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, cereals or any type of chocolate you have.

- Bean salad with drained and rinsed beans, drained and rinsed canned, diced tomatoes, drained canned corn, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, dried garlic and any other dried herbs to make a tasty combination.

Pie/quiche crust (this recipe uses strictly pantry ingredients which you can be creative with using canned fruits or going the savory route with canned veggies).

- The same pie/quiche crust can be made into individual turnovers (hand pies) and filled with canned fruits and any savory combination of vegetables and grains that you can concoct.

- Chocolate chips or bars can be melted down and mixed with a variety of things such as dried fruits, nuts, coconut, seeds and cereals (and dropped onto a cookie sheet and cooled down) to make easy desserts.

- Easy rocky road with 2 cups of melted chocolate chips mixed with 3/4 cups of peanut butter. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of nuts. Allow to cool and stir in 3 cups of mini marshmallows. Spread in (greased or lined) square pan and refrigerate until firm.

Seasoning Mixes to make your meals more flavorful.

- I also keep a good supply of collagen in my pantry which is a great source of protein. This can be mixed into many meals to get a boost.

Meal Ideas From Our Readers:

“I make bean burgers using mashed beans, some type of tomato product, dehydrated onions, oatmeal or crackers crumbs etc fry or bake. I just add flavors that work together. The tomato sauce, ketchup or other adds some moisture and flavor the crumbs or oats help it stick together. Or look up Vegan Loaf most can be made using pantry ingredients.” - Submitted by Ginger

"In a pinch I take from my pantry a can of beans, a can of mixed veggies, a can of corn, a can of Rotel or tomato sauce, season with taco seasoning. Mix together and pour into a cute casserole dish πŸ₯° make a batch of cornbread dumplings (no eggs needed, use canned milk) dollop on top of bean mixture and bake until golden. I’ve heard of people keeping this thing called Velveeta in their pantry 😱 I suppose, if you must, can use as cheese 😬." - Submitted by Jenny T.

Here are some tried and true recipes from other websites which feature normal pantry ingredients and don't require eggs, milks, cheeses and so forth (and don't include things I wouldn't normally buy such as freeze-dried eggs, etc.):



Resources Shared by Readers:

A Cabin Full of Food Book by Marie Beausoleil - Submitted by Gill (more info here - great resource)

Now it's your turn! What ideas do you have? What recipes do you have?

If you have a link to a recipe, I will add it to my list above, just leave it in the comments.

If you have a recipe you can share (and have no online link), please type out the recipe in the comments and I will copy and paste it into this list. I will place your name after it if you choose to leave it.

Afterwords, my goal is to compile all these recipes and include them in my Preparedness Notebook under the "tab" Pantry Meals. Won't that be useful and give peace of mind that you can prepare for your family a decently delicious meal with what you have on hand? If I am really ambitious, I will try and share a printable of our collaborative effort that we can all print out for our notebooks.

Let's challenge ourselves to see if we can prepare some healthy and tasty meals for our families.  This is such a nice preparedness skill to have on hand in these uncertain times -- to be able to make meals based strictly off of your food storage!

There are many "ordinary" homemakers like ourselves who feel this importance and are sharing their ideas and experiences that you may also appreciate such as Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting and Patsy at A Working Pantry. I also glean much from the Preparedness Mama (though her blog is solely preparedness tips) and The Prudent Homemaker.

On a side note, I think my comments work again with thanks to The Locust Blossom for her kind help (she also is a supporter of pantry building)! Also, 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).

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Easy Rustic Flavorful Summer Squash Crustless Quiche (Low Carb)

The fateful summer of '15... when a 5-gallon bucket of zucchini appeared in my kitchen each morning still haunts me. My only weapon of defense has been the power of a good recipe! Having an arsenal of ideas of how to use this prolific vegetable has been my life's mission (we all have our calling! πŸ˜‰). Here is how to transform your abundance of summer squash into an easy and healthy meal (and with no weird ingredients!).

All you will need is...

6 tbsp. butter
8 c. thinly sliced summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, etc.)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 large eggs
4 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

(This recipe can easily be halved for an 8 by 8 pan -- with less baking time.)

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced zucchini and onion. Cook and stir the vegetables until tender. Drain and cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and seasonings until blended.

Lastly, mix together the cheese, zucchini mixture and eggs with the seasonings (I told you this was easy!).

Finally, pour the mixture into a greased 13 by 9-inch casserole dish. Bake on a lower oven-rack until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes). The quiche should be golden on top. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

This can be served simply with a summer salad or some rice and steamed vegetables for a full meal.

For our printable recipe, visit here (I accidentally deleted the main recipe after uploading it on Google and forgot to include to grease your 13 by 9 inch pan first -- so please do so prior to baking)! For other ideas of how to use up your summer squash, visit here!

This recipe has been adapted from Taste of Home

Happy harvesting! 

P.S. I still am having trouble commenting... I am not sure what is going on but I would love for you to share your favorite zucchini recipes with us if you have a moment! I am always looking for ideas! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Happy Hostess Giveaway! ~ Beautiful Blues

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
~ 1 Peter 4:9

A merry Wednesday to you all! Today we are sharing the second of seven little giveaways I had promised for this little blog! I call it the "happy hostess giveaway" because of the sweet apron but any woman who serves in her home is a hostess every day to those she loves. This means that we don't need a special reason to wear an apron! We are His servers to all who enter our doors so let us always be a gracious one.

I also hope that this little vignette of homemaking goodies will inspire you to open your home and "share with the Lord’s people who are in need" and to "practice hospitality" as the Good Book says (Romans 12:13). You can don your apron with a smile, measure out flour with the pale blue cups for a cake, empty the batter into your pan with the pretty spatula and then wash your hands, dishes and countertops with all the fresh smelling kitchen essentials! Don't underestimate how a simple dinner (or even a cup of coffee, tea and a basic dessert) can be a beautiful way to share some light and gentle laughter with those who are lonely or going through hard times. Use your homemaking tools for the forces of good! πŸ’™

Now let the fun begin!..

This giveaway includes:

A set of 3/Williams Sonoma "Fleur de Sea" Kitchen Essentials Kit,

"Fleur de Sel captures the invigorating freshness of a seaside meadow with its light floral scent. Top notes of verbena and juniper with hints of lily and rose are enriched by warm cedar and sandalwood. Made in the USA exclusively for Williams Sonoma with premium-quality essential oils sourced from around the world, our soaps and countertop spray are formulated for natural cleaning and rejuvenating. They work without harsh ingredients – and are extra-gentle on your skin. The blends contain no parabens, ammonia, chlorine or lauramide DEA; all products are biodegradable and none are tested on animals."
Williams Sonoma Fleur de Sel Kitchen Essentials Kit
  • Set of three includes 8 oz. each of our Hand Soap, Dish Soap and Countertop Spray.
  • Biodegradable, environmentally friendly blends are highly effective yet gentle.
  • Hand soap contains soothing olive oil, aloe vera and glycerin.
  • When accompanied by good hand washing techniques, effective against germs and viruses.
  • Dish soap contains soapbark extract, a natural degreaser.
  • Countertop spray contains natural cleansers and aromatic oils.
  • Phthalate-free.

a 100% cotton ruffled apron in beautiful blues from Country Cotton,

a floral silicone spatula with wooden handle,

(at this point you may assume I have a spatula fetish but in reality it is just a floral fetish πŸ’™)

and a KitchenAid pretty powder blue measuring cup and spoon set.

(all noble tools for the serious homemaker πŸ’™)

This little giveaway will be open for the next 7 days (it ends on Thursday) and is open WORLDWIDE. You have the option to enter it in 7 different ways (pick and choose as many options that work for you!) in order to have 7 different chances to win! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below!

Note: Where it says "leave a blog comment" on the giveaway, please click it as there is a special question for you to answer in the comments :) Happy homemaking ladies!

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