Animals, In The Kitchen

Llama Treats…

Hank gives these treats two hooves up….I got the recipe from Gentle Spirit Llamas .  I adjusted my recipe below.

Camelid Cookies

1 c shredded carrots

1 c uncooked oatmeal

1 c flour

1 t sea salt

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 T sugar (I omit the sugar)

1/4 c molasses

1/4 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix sticky ingredients in a bowl.  Measure out balls about the size of a teaspoon and place on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

**As always, be mindful of any possiblity for choke.  While some do feed whole apples and carrots, cutting them into smaller pieces is a good idea.  Additionally, be knowledgeable around what plants or garden produce might be poisonous such as potato and tomato vines.  (from Gentle Spirit Llamas website by Cathy Spalding)

In The Kitchen

Dark Rye Bread…

I found this recipe on All Recipes.  I made a few changes and it turned out WONDERFUL.  I love this bread.

I used my bread machine.  It is important to put the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed below or follow your bread machine guidelines.

Dark Rye Bread

1 1/8 c water (I use warm water)

1 T vegetable oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil)

2 T molasses

1 t salt (I use sea salt)

3 T coconut sugar

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c all-purpose flour (unbleached)

1 1/2 c rye flour

1/4 t caraway seed (I don’t love them, so I skipped them)

2 t yeast

Set bread machine to dough cycle.  Let rise once in machine.  Remove from machine and place in oiled bread pan.  Allow to rise another time until doubled in size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

In The Kitchen

Guacamole, Fresh-squeeze lemonade, and strawberries…

There are a few things I may never be able to grow and may never be able to live without entirely and avocados are one of those things.  I LOVE guacamole!

These were used to make a big batch of guacamole.  I don’t use a recipe, but the ingredients include:

lemon juice

lemon pepper

garlic powder

sea salt

diced tomatoes

and I think some onion powder

I would use cilantro if I had it on hand, but I rarely have it on hand.  I also put one of the avocado pits into the guacamole.  It’s supposed to keep the guacamole from turning brown.  I haven’t really seen the benefits, but continue to do it anyway.

I also whipped up some fresh-squeezed lemonade.  Country Time cannot compare.


This makes 2 quarts.

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (I use raw, organic) I am trying to decrease the sugar content as our taste buds adjust

2 quarts water

Stir and then chill.

Last but not least are the strawberries. 

I am not always able to buy organic.  Sometimes it’s not available and sometimes our budget just does not allow for it.  So I soak my non-organic fruits and vegetables for 30 mintes in water with a gulg or two of white vinegar and then mist with hydrogen peroxide.  This is proven more effectiven than bleach at killing Salmonella, Shigell, and E. Coli bacteria.

Or just use vinegar and water:

Fruit and vegetable wash:
Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly.  Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.

I also use the peroxide/vinegar spray to clean the kitchen counters and bathroom.  I bought a big bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide and just attached a spray nozzle directly to the top of the bottle.  In a separate bottle I diluted it 50/50 with white vinegar and distilled water.  I added a little orange essential oil from a nice clean smell, but this is totally optional.  The trick is they have to be sprayed separately.  It doesn’t matter which order.  They just have to be in separate bottles and sprayed separately to be effective.

I TRY to buy organic according to the Dirty Dozen List.  If it is at the top of the list I try to only buy organic and at the bottom I generally go for the lesser priced commercial version.  That being said you will notice strawberries are at the top of the list.  They were dirt cheap at Sam’s, and I couldn’t walk away.  So they soaked in vinegar water and were rinsed a couple times before they became part of our strawberry shortcake.

We aren’t perfect in our little kitchen, but we do try to eliminate as much exposure to chemicals and nasty bacteria as we can in a way that fits our budget.

In The Kitchen

Beer Making Time….

Randy actually made the beer last Sunday and it was supposed to be bottled this Sunday, but we were busy.  That left bottling for Monday night which wasn’t really a convenient thing to have to do, but we got it done.

The beer is left to ferment for a week in the beer and wine bucket.  After a week comes bottling.  The beer is then siphoned from the beer and wine bucket into the Ale Pail for bottling.  Siphoning the beer allows the beer to be drained into the Ale Pail bucket while leaving the yeast and hops residue behind and prevents a cloudy beer.

Once the beer is in the Ale Pail it goes up high so the siphoning tube can be attached to the spout and the bottles can be filled and later capped.

I’m the loan bottle washer.  I have to sanitize and rinse all the bottles while Randy fills them and later caps them.  We ended up with 56 bottles of beer for the cost of the ale mix $18, 1 1/2 cups of corn sugar, and the bottles caps.  This makes for about a $0.36 bottle of beer or half the price we could buy domestic beer in the store and about 1/4-1/3 the price we could buy imported beer in the store….and our’s isn’t pasturized.

These bottles will have to set for 4-6 weeks for their second round of fermenting.  If the bottles are filled too full or not capped tight enough, this is the stage where all the bottle explosion stories are made.  Pressure will build up and if there isn’t room in the neck of the bottle or the cap isn’t securely in place the bottle may explode creating a mess. 

We keep our bottles in our pool house in an old refrigerator that doesn’t work anymore.  This way if there is an explosion it is contained and outside of the house. 

We are trying not to drink very much anymore.  But with summer coming on this will give us a treat every now and then and keep us from having to buy beer at the store.  If you don’t account for your time or the start-up cost of the beer making kit, this really is a frugal way to have good quality (non-pasturized) beer around.  The kit will pay for itself over time and one of the buckets can be used for wine making if we choose to go down that path later.


In The Kitchen

Whole Wheat Bread (new) Recipe…

Here is the bread recipe I am currently using:

1 3/4 cups warm water

1 t sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 T molasses (or honey) I use molasses

4 1/2+ cups whole wheat flour

2 t yeast

Put these in order into bread machine.  Set to dough cycle and run.  Let rise once in machine.  Remove from machine and place in oil loaf pan.  Let rise until double.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I changed recipes not too long ago because I got a grainmill for Christmas and needed a recipe that only called for whole wheat flour.  My other recipes also called for bread flour so this one is easier for wheat grinding purposes.  This recipe uses minimal ingredients and ingredients I usually have on hand.

In The Kitchen

Making Herbal Tea…

We are on a tight budget and one of our “budget busters” is tea (and coffee).  In hopes of saving money in this department I decided to mix up my own herbal tea with herbs from our herb garden.  This was so easy it’s a shame I didn’t do it sooner.

All I did was take a quart of dried spearmint and a quart of dried lemon balm from the pantry.

Put them in my food processor.

And voila….

Herbal Tea.  Please excuse my sloppy, smeared label. 

This is really good to sip on these cold winter evenings.

In The Kitchen

Hillbilly Housewife Granola…

We love this stuff!

Peanut Butter Granola  (We triple it and “healthy” it up a smidge.)

6 T Butter

1 c Natural Peanut Butter

1 c Raw Honey

1 t Vanilla Extract

1/4 t Sea salt

9 c Rolled oats

1 c Nuts of your choice, slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, preferabley soaked) (optional)

Melt butter and peanut butter in a 3-quart saucepan.  Add honey, vanilla, and sea salt.  Stir until smooth and hot throughout.  It doesn’t need to boil.  Add oats.  Stir until oats are completely coated.  Add nuts if using them.  Mix.  Turn the mixture into an ungreased cookie sheet or 9×13 pan.  Spread the granola out eveninly and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  It will be brown and crispy.  Remove it from oven and allow to cool in pan.  Break into pieces once it has cooled and store in a sealed container.