Category: Recipes

Easy Homemade Hard Apple Cider

Easy Homemade Hard Apple Cider

In the Spring we make dandelion wine. In the Fall, we make hard apple cider. One of the things I love about making hard apple cider, is it’s a great way to use up those extra not-so-pretty apples or extra apple cider you have laying around. Hard apple cider is beautiful, delicious, seasonal and easy home-brew project. What You Will Need 1 gallon of apple cider 1-1 1/2 lbs of sugar or honey a glass jar or food-grade bucket brewer’s yeast (optional) an air lock campden tablets bottles The entire process can be broken down into three different steps: Apple Cider […]

Grape Hyacinth Lemonade

Grape Hyacinth Lemonade

Where we live right now is not my idea of a homestead. We’re in the suburbs, next to a major highway on 1/3 of an acre of compacted clay. We’ve had to truck in top soil to even grow grass. But one of the beautiful things about our current home is the carpet of weeds that great us every Spring. The carpet of purple dead nettle, henbit and grape hyacinth are a welcome, refreshing sight after a long, cold Winter. They’re also a tasty buffet for hungry bees and other pollinators, so we try to wait as long as possible […]

Strawberry Ginger Switchel

Strawberry Ginger Switchel

Switchel has been on my radar for years. In fact, I have four (FOUR!) bottles of molasses in my pantry because it’s a main ingredient and I have had plans to make switchel for years. Touted as the old-school Gatorade, switchel is the electrolyte-filled energy drink of early American farmers. Sign up for our newsletter

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are heroes in my household. Mashed, smashed, baked, scalloped, fried…I could Bubba from Forrest Gump all day long with sweet potatoes. They’re amazing sources of Vitamin A (214% of your daily recommended allowance in one cup of baked sweet potato), C (52%) and manganese (50%). Regular potatoes can’t hold a candle to them. Add to that my husband’s penchant for fries and you’ve got a winner! Hubby’s obsession with fries borders on the unhealthy. It’s the one food he could eat every day for the rest of his life and never tire of. While the recipe below is […]

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

This is one of those recipes that feels like cheating. Five minutes worth of prep (maybe even less – I should time myself) and you get a beautiful, foolproof, succulent Sunday dinner. Buying a whole chicken is cheaper than buying the individual pieces at the store because it saves the companies butchering costs. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have your own home-grown meat chickens, this recipe cooks the chicken long and low all day, so they end up juicy and tender. Sign up for our newsletter

Preserving the Kale Harvest

Preserving the Kale Harvest

Here in Virginia, the Spring has been very generous with us. A few weeks of rain, and very mild temperatures. I absolutely love growing Kale, and grow it from seed every year. It is very easy to grow, and hardy and can withstand freezes and heat. This fantastic weather has ensured my Kale crop has exploded. We’ve been eating it daily and giving it away in bag-fulls. And I’m still drowning in it! Sign up for our newsletter

Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

For some reason, in the cold and dreary Winter, I start craving calorie-laden not-so-good-for-you food. I like to blame it on my ancestors needing to pack on the pounds to hibernate through the Winter, but let’s be real. I’m bored and baking is a warm distraction that has brownies at the end of it! Sign up for our newsletter

Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Canning

Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Canning

Homesteading is often about making or creating what you could otherwise buy in a store. Why do we put in this extra effort when it would be much simpler to drive to the store and pick up a bottle? Because there’s a pride in accomplishment, because we can control exactly what goes into our food, because by making it ourselves, we’re proclaiming to the world, I CAN! Sign up for our newsletter

Make Dandelion Wine at Home

Make Dandelion Wine at Home

While it might be fall, the dandelion wine I made in the spring is now mature enough to drink. It’s a tradition in my family, as the first frost is creeping in, and the leaves are falling, and we’re bracing ourselves for a long, cold winter, to break out our dandelion wine and enjoy a glass in front of the fire. It’s a lovely way to remind us of the hot, humid summer days, and to officially close the summer season. I love this wine. I love that it’s homemade, it’s painfully simple, and doesn’t require a lot of wine-making […]

How to Prepare Tomatoes for Canning

How to Prepare Tomatoes for Canning

Tomatoes are a homesteader’s boon. They’re a relatively easy crop to grow, one plant can produce many pounds of fruit and tomatoes can be used in countless delicious recipes. The only down-side to tomatoes is that they all tend to ripen at the same time and you’ve got to figure out what to do with your bounty! Sign up for our newsletter