Nutrition, Self-Sufficiency

How to make Cottage Cheese…

I got the recipe from Countryside Magazine and it is de-lish!

No-rennet Cottage Cheese

1 gallon milk (I use raw)

1 cup cultured buttermilk

Warm the milk to about 95 degrees F.  Stir in buttermilk and allow to set at room temperature for 12-18 hours.  The milk will clabber, or become thick.

Cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes and let rest for 10 minutes.  Place the pot into a double boiler-type potand heat at a very low setting until the curd reaches 115 degrees F (I didn’t use a double boiler, I just kept it on low for a little over an hour).  Stir often to keep the curds from matting together.  This will take an hour or more.

The curd is ready when it is somewhat firm on the interior of the cheese.  Cook longer if necessary.  Some whey will rise to the top.  Let the curd settle to the bottom of the pot, drain off the whey and place the curds in a cloth-lined colander to drain.  Be gentle, as the curds are rather fragile.

Allow the cheese to drain until it stops dripping (I let mine hang overnight).  Place in a bowl and add salt to taste.  I usually use about one teaspoon of kosher or canning salt per pound.  Stir in about four ounces of half-and-half or cream ( I used cream off the top of our raw milk) per pound if you like a creamed cottage cheese.

I had some for breakfast this morning and it was the best.  Hope it turns out as well everytime I make it.

I have been fighting a cold since Saturday.  I have been consuming a lot of Vitamin C poweder and Echinacea/Goldenseal along with Throat Coat Tea.  I prefer Gypsy Cold Care, but I drank what we had on-hand.

I want to make my own by buying my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Budget, In The Kitchen, Nutrition

New Menu Planning…

I have decided if Randy and I are going to keep up with our evening chores we are going to have to make some changes to our evening meals.  Cooking from scratch is healthy and yummy and all of that good stuff, but it is also time consuming.  With both of us working full-time it’s going to take some doing to eat healthy and get everything done that needs to be done.

So, I am working up a menu plan, fairly general, to make our evenings more open to taking care of our animals (especially with baby chicks on the way).

Monday:  Crockpot

Tuesday:  Soup and Sandwiches (usually egg or grilled cheese)

Wednesday:  Crockpot new or leftovers (add tortillas, cornbread, etc.)

Thursday:  Grill (from the freezer) 

Friday:  This will be our big meal of the week because I am off on Fridays.  I also hope to do some cooking for the freezer so we have casseroles in the freezer to get us through the following week.

We will probably have to implement some rice and beans back into our menu to allow for some bulk cooking.

Our menu this week isn’t on track with this new menu plan, but here is what I have planned for the week.

Monday:  Egg (homegrown) sandwiches on homemade bread

Tuesday:  Link Sausage cooked over sweet potatoes and turnips in our cast iron skillet.

Wednesday:  Stir-Fry (bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes over brown rice).  The rice is soaking as we speak.

Thursday:  Pork chops on the grill and veggies of some sort.

Friday:  Roasted Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Turnips, and a salad.

Cook ahead:


Black Bean Chicken Chili

Chicken Tetrazinni

Hopefully I will get some tortillas made, but we’ll see how the day goes.  I also have a lot of housekeeping to do.  One day a week just doesn’t cut it when you are trying to cook for 4 days and clean for 7 days worth.

Hope everyone has a great week.


Water test…

Our water test came back a-ok, so we are leaning toward Salmonella.  Randy and I still haven’t made a full recovery.  We are supposed to start a second round of antibiotics, but I’m holding out until I see my kinesiologist Tuesday to see if he has an alternative route to take.  Right now I am taking Oil of Oregano to help with my upset stomache and will start Echinacea/Goldenseal this evening to battle the repercussions of the antibiotics.  I’m also going to start a Vitamin C regimen of about 6,000-8,000 mg/day to give my body a swift kick.  I’ve read up to 18,000 mg/day is okay, but I’m going to start at 6-8,000.  I’m also trying to eat lots of plain yogurt to add good bacterial back into my system.

I haven’t been to the dairy yet and won’t make it over there until Friday or Saturday, so we have no yogurt, no kefir, no nothing until then.  We pitched everything after our doctor uttered the word salmonella.  So, we will have to start over. 

I also hope to make another batch of kombucha over the weekend if I can get my hands on some organic black tea.

I’ve been eating homemade/fermented sauerkraut daily in hopes of getting my body back in shape to fight for itself.  We really hated to do the antibiotics, but at the time we had no choice.

I’ll keep you posted on how my “self medicating” is going.  I get an eye roll from my husband sometimes, but I still forge ahead.  He’s always amazed when it works.

Have a great weekend!


We are so sick…

Five days of sickness.  We aren’t 100% sure which ailment we have/had, but it is a slow recovery either way.  Randy and I have both been sick at the same time.  No fun when chore time rolls around.

Salmonella-milk, eggs, meat, fruits and vegetables

Giardia-water (specifically un-chlorinated well water)

Monday we saw a PA (are they not just better than doctors 9 times out of 10) who put us on meds for both.  Blood work showed bacteria, but no specifics.  We are having our water tested tomorrow, however, they cannot test for giardia.  They test for E. Coli and if it comes back positive they assume giardia exists also.  Basically if you have E. Coli in your water you have issues no matter what.

When going through the questions in the doctor’s office I obviously had to bring up the raw milk, farm eggs, home processed meats, etc and she never really batted an eye.  No lecture on buying pasturized milk.  Nothing.  It was so nice.  I guess even the doctors are starting to think outside the modern medicine box.

I tried what I could think of before resorting to prescriptions, but we were getting weak, dehydrated, and not getting any better.  Just for fun, here is what didn’t cure us:

Large doses of Vitamin C (4,000-8,000 mg per day)

Oil of Oregano (high antioxidant, cure mild stomach problems)  We surpassed “mild” almost immediately.

Yogurt (good bacteria)

Lots of water (unfortunately it was unfiltered well water)

It will be a long recovery from the information I have read (2-3 weeks), but we are starting to feel human again.

Animals, Nutrition

Supplement Review and baby chicks

Okay, there isn’t much to review in the way of supplements.  We got our Twin Lab CLO Lemon to try in hopes of saving some money and not use the Carlson brand.  No way!  Twin Lab tastes fishy and not good at all.  We will use the Twin Lab because we have it, but then we are switching back to Carlson CLO and fish oil.

Koal has only been on CLO (Twin Lab Unflavored) and Vitamin C powder for one day.  I will post later on what the results are with his allergies/supplements.  If we haven’t seen any improvements by Friday I will load him up and take him to a vet about 70 miles away to get a second opinion. 

Randy has the day off today, and I wish I was home with him.  I want to be home curled up in bed right now.  It’s cold here in Kansas and after this weekend’s events I could use a little extra sleep. 

Randy will be moving these cute little guys into a bigger pen today. 

Just one of the many things on his “to do” list.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day.



I placed and order yesterday from Vitacost.  It shipped the same day.  I was so excited.  I had originally checked Amazon for these items, but found them cheaper at Vitacost

Twinlab Super C Powder

Twinlab Norwegian Cod Liver Oil Unflavored

Carlson The Very Finest Fish Oil

Shipping is a flat rate of $4.99.

The vitamin C and the unflavored CLO is for the dogs, specifically our little mutt with allergies.  I’m leaning toward atopic dermatitis and hope the CLO and Vitamin C will help.  Vitamin C is suppose to work as a natural antihistamine amongst other things.

I’m comparing the Twinlab CLO to the Carlson CLO we already have on hand.  I would love to pay $4-$5/bottle compared to $23-$25/bottle. 

I also placed and order from More than Alive for herbs to make our own shampoo (nettle, sage, and rosemary).  I usually order from Mountain Rose Herbs, but they were out of a few things I needed.  More than Alive ended up being less expensive because you don’t have to order as much, so it worked out.  I also ordered a book from them Created to be His Helpmeet.  I have wanted to read this for a long time, and our library doesn’t have it so I coughed up the money and bought it.  I’ve read mixed reviews on it and want to see for myself what it is like.

I visited the kinesiologist/chipropractor yesterday for an adrenal/thyroid issue.  He put me back supplements containing bovine adrenal, bovine thyroid, carrot, and magnesium citrate, yum.  They seemed to work the last time I took them I just didn’t stick with it. 

I’m also trying to take Virgin Coconut Oil daily (or close to it).  I have also tried to eliminate for cut back on peanuts/peanut butter to help my thyroid.  Peanuts and soybeans, goitrogens, block iodine absorbtion in the body.  It’s always something, right?

Have a great day!

Green Living, Nutrition

Nutrition, Supplements, and our Environment…

I have been studying ways to change our diet and improve out health for a couple of years now.  It started with Crystal Miller’s website and the purchase of Nourishing Traditions and progressed from there.  I was convinced it would take a lot of money to eat a “healthy” lifestyle.  However, I have changed my tune and believe what you spend eating the right food and supplements you save in doctor’s office visits, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medication.  Also, by eating more “whole” foods you tend to not suffer from hunger pangs in between meals.  Two of the best resources for me are Mercola and Weston A. Price

Here are a few things I changed at the beginning of my journey to leading a healthier lifestyle (somewhat in order).  *May I note my husband has been SO supportive and accommodating through it all.

First things first:

No Soda

Drink Raw Milk (no homogenized, pasteurized, soy, or otherwise milk)

Bake My Own Bread

Whole Grains (whole wheat flours, organic oatmeal, steel-cut oats, whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, etc.)

No More Processed Foods (boxed cereal, spaghetti sauce, etc.)


Organic Raw Sugar, Raw Honey, and Stevia

Apple Cider Vinegar

As we adjusted to these changes I gradually began adding to it little-by-little.

Organic, Local, or Homegrown produce only:

This helps not only your health, but the environment by buying locally.  Good Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (my aunt gave me a copy knowing I would be intrigued)

Path To Freedom is also a wonderful sight.

Homegrown and/or Grass-Fed Meat:

Chicken and Eggs-homegrown

Pork-locally raised

Beef-grass-fed, no hormones or antibiotics



Cooking from Scratch:

Crystal Miller has a wonderful site with recipes for baking and cooking from scratch.  She discusses the importance of soaking your grains, rice, and beans along with homemade beauty product recipes.

At our home I am the sole chef (unless the grill is used).  Grilling can alter food and should be used sparingly.

I bake my own bread products (sourdough, whole wheat, pizza dough, tortillas, etc.).  I also do a lot of canning, drying, and freezing produce from the garden to eat throughout the winter months.  We use stainless steel and cast iron cookware and glass storage containers as much as possible to prevent metals and toxins from the plastic from leaching into our food.  I would also like to discontinue the use of our microwave.  I use it as sparingly as possible now.

One new addition to our household is a juicer.  I ended up with an ulcer a few years ago, treated it with expensive prescription only to have it return.  So, the juicer is first and foremost for cabbage juice to treat my ulcer.  From there I hope to get more creative and make it a part of our routine.

For the Future:

The Purchase of a Grain Mill

The Construction of a Cheese Press

The Construction or Purchase of a Solar Oven

And hopefully someday the construction of an Off-Grid home with as many organic, reclaimed, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly additions as we can afford and find.

Supplements Added to our Daily Routine:

MonaVie-twice a day (morning and evening)


Kelp-morning (I’m the only one who takes this)

Brewer’s Yeast (I’m the only one who takes this)

Cod Liver Oil (in the winter)-morning

Krill or Fish Oil (in the summer)-morning

*We take one ounce of MonaVie and one teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil/Fish Oil in the morning.  The both taste wonderful, so it’s a nice little sweet jolt to get you going.

We start feeling a bug some on we add:

Vitamin C

Echinacea/Goldenseal or Oil of Oregano

We also use tinctures sold at our local herb shop for:

PMS (cramps)

Sore Throat/Laryngitis


Supplements for Pets:

We struggle with one of our dogs having skin allergies especially in the winter.  Our vet has used steroids, anti-inflammatory pills, and antibiotics.  They all worked in the past, but this year nothing did the trick.  So, I read up on some alternatives to prescription medication.  We now use one teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar on our dog’s food morning and night.  Guess what, no more rash.  I may add Cod Liver Oil for good measure, but haven’t yet.  I have also been looking for an alternative to Frontline for repelling fleas and ticks.  We haven’t tried anything yet, but I am researching the use of brewer’s yeast and garlic.  I will let you know what I come up with and how it works this summer.  We also feed our dogs a certain brand of dog food which has nearly eliminated joint problems our Blue Heeler was suffering from in her hips.  We switch from Science Diet (Joint Formula for the Cattledog and Sensitive Skin for the mutt) because they just weren’t working.  We gradually switched them over to Purina Mills Exclusive Lamb & Rice, sold at Purina feed stores, was approved by our very picky (when it comes to dog food) vet.  Make sure you have some of their old food on hand whenever you switch to new food.  Do it gradually by cutting it a little at a time so their systems can adjust to the diet change.

I know this is not everything.  We will continue to make changes and improvements to our diet.  These are just a few things to get you started.

A really great blog to read concerning nutrition is Living, Loving, & Learning.  Kristy is a mama concerned with the health of her family and knows it starts with the food they eat (or don’t eat).

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!