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Friday, July 31, 2020

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp, with a secret ingredient!

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp! This recipe is one you will want to try, why? Because not only is it delicious, but it has a secret ingredient that you should not leave out!

When I made this Slow Cooker Apple Crisp the first time, I almost left out the secret ingredient. But I am so glad I didn't, because without a doubt it makes the flavor! The topping is nutty, crumbly, and just right over the top of the apple slices bathed in a touch of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. 
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.30.2020

Lacto Fermented Dilly Green Beans, Greek Chicken with Salad, and Aqua Fresca are this week's featured posts.

Hello and Welcome!

At camp just like at home, I use the grill as a means to get a meal or even just a recipe completed, quickly. And of course, the best part of this getting done quickly is that I don't woman the grill, it is manned by my hubby! Getting your hubby (or any cooking partner for that matter!) involved divides the work, and everyone gets to contribute to the effort of getting dinner on the table. The roasted onion salad I am sharing with you today is the combined result of our working together to get dinner done! This grilled salad is delicious and leftovers are great on sandwiches or burgers...

How to make Roasted Red Onion and Grape Tomato Salad with Feta and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Roasted Red Onion and Grape Tomato Salad with Feta and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Roasted Red Onion Salad and Grape Tomatoes with Feta and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
by the seat of my pants!

1 large red onion, sliced into 4 thick slices
olive oil to brush on the onion slices
1 c grape tomatoes, halved (or a large handful)
1/4 c Feta Cheese Crumbles

Roast onion slices over moderate heat, until crisp-tender. Taking care not to char too dark or burn (onions have quite a bit of natural sugars)

Place roasted onion slices on a serving plate. 

Arrange the cut grape tomatoes over the top of the onion slices. 

Drizzle with the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette, garnish with the Feta Cheese. 

Offer additional vinaigrette when serving. 

#campfood!
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tagine of Chicken and Olives

Looking for something a bit different, that the family will enjoy? If so, you will want to make this Tagine of Chicken and Olives, a delicious old-world flavor in a quick to fix pressure cooker meal...

I have always felt that a bag of chicken thighs in the freezer is like money in the bank for making a delicious and in this case, a quick dinner! Usually, Sometimes I have been guilty of taking meat out to thaw for our dinner, without a specific recipe in mind...and while that is true, it is perfectly OK when you have a few wonderful recipes like this one to fall back on. 

All the flavors come together wonderfully in this dish. Personally, I am a big olive fan, so this ranks right up there as a true favorite. Cold fresh fruit for dessert completes the evening meal. And leftovers make great lunches for those fortunate enough to have a microwave at work...

When serving the family Tagine of Chicken and Olives, choose a deep plate with a bit of room for the delicious broth.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Slow Cook or No Cook Favorites for these hot days of Summer!

Are you looking for a Slow Cook and No-Cook meal plan? These offered selections are sure to please the family and definitely easy on the cook! 

No matter how hot it gets, dinner still needs to be cooked. After the third day of burgers and dogs (and believe me, there is nothing wrong with those family favorites for dinner!) everyone might be ready to enjoy something else for dinner. Why not make it just as easy on the cook by enjoying this slow cook and no-cook menu plan? 

For those with really hungry eaters at the table, add a loaf of french bread and butter. 

Slow cook and no-cook favorites for this hot days of summer!

Three Ingredient Pineapple Thai Chicken Not too sweet, not too fruity! Tender with a bit of a spicy flavor, but no real heat...


Slow cook and no-cook favorites for this hot days of summer!

Or you might consider this tasty and easy to throw together Melt in Your Mouth Meat Loaf! 


Slow cook and no-cook favorites for this hot days of summer!

Black Bean and Mango Salad  Don't be afraid to try this unusual combination, it really is delicious!

Slow cook and no-cook favorites for this hot days of summer!

But if baked beans are on your mind, you will love this version of Slow-cooker Potluck Baked Beans. 


Slow cook and no-cook favorites for this hot days of summer!

Creamy Banana and Kiwi Parfaits This is a refreshing parfait that is nothing more than fruit and yogurt. The flavors of banana and kiwi are lovely together. PS if you desire a bit of whipped cream, please feel free to add a drift of cream to your parfait!

Thanks for stopping by!

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encouraging hearts and home
Thursday, July 23, 2020

How to make a Homemade Wedge Pillow.

How to Make a Homemade Wedge Pillow because purchased wedge pillows are hard! This pillow project may appeal to a few people or possibly none at all, which is OK. Many folks and not just me live with an ongoing issue with an ulcer. 

Healing an ulcer is not always easy, plus often you will not know what just upset it for the day. Then that day can turn into a week of bad days before healing takes place and your ulcer settles down. A wedge pillow can offer help in regards to comfort while sleeping. You see...


How to make your own Homemade Wedge Pillow.

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.23.2020

Strawberry Snaps, Chocolate Chip Pie, Summer Squash Lasagne, and DIY Shopping Bag are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Today is granola making day! I try to eat oats every day. I divide my breakfasts between granola, baked oatmeal, Scottish oats, and occasionally a serving of overnight oats. The easiest of these is cooked oatmeal. A pan of oatmeal is cooked and served throughout the week with the help of the microwave to get it good and hot. Sometimes I cook oatmeal with raisins, sometimes not. Sometimes I make poached dried fruit to enjoy on top along with a dab of butter, and a drizzle of honey. 

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.16.2020. Stop by and say hello!
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Granola, in the works!

But the granola is a different issue! It is crisp, baked to a golden brown, and always enjoyed! I have two basic flavors Honey Almond and Maple Pecan that I enjoy and here recently I have been playing around with a new flavor of granola, one inspired by a childhood favorite - Pop-Tarts! Yes, you read that right, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts were a favorite when they came out in 1964. And I am old enough to remember that day because when my mom went shopping, a box came home! And I never forgot that flavor combination and now I enjoy that same flavor in my newest granola flavor...
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Granola

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Granola, tastes just like Pop-Tarts! Another easy to make granola your family to enjoy. Granola is so easy to make, why buy it?

The one treat I remember from my childhood was Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, I loved them! They were not a regular visitor at our table, but when they came home from the grocery store, I wanted mine toasted and buttered. In the beginning, Pop-Tarts did not come with frosting (which was too sweet for me, anyway), but buttered, straight out of the toaster nothing was better, or so I thought...but they were a sometimes treat. With 5 kids that little box did not last long!
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Whole Grain Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies

This little batch of Whole Grain Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies solves all your summertime dessert needs! 

They are just right on their own or alongside a dish of fresh berries. Fortunately, just as summer ends, and right about the time you need a cookie to send off to school for lunches or shared treats, these sugar cookies once again will come to your rescue.  


How to make, Whole Grain Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies.
Whole Grain Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies!

On their own, these cookies are tender and chewy, not too sweet and so easy to make. Ane they are the perfect recipe to bake for kids (of all ages!) and with kids, as a fun activity. If you are looking for a bit more sweetness in the way of dessert, they make a wonderful sandwich cookie with a bit of chocolate frosting or strawberry jam in the middle!

This recipe calls for White Whole Wheat Flour. While this might not be in your kitchen currently, White Whole Wheat Flour is a natural strain of grain and the perfect way to introduce your family to whole grain treats. While these cookies are a good beginning recipe to get the family to enjoy whole grain treats, they can be made with regular whole wheat flour!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Breakfast Menu Favorites for July!

Breakfast is an important meal for everyone. Some folks like to eat right away, while others may need a bit of time to get ready for the day and that includes eating breakfast. Fortunately, both styles are correct!

Today we are offering a menu plan suggestion of our favorite healthy, low refined sugar and whole grain favorites. Many are make and store like granola and others are easy to make breakfast foods that are easy to reheat and enjoy as each person prefers. 

Two recipes that will be new to Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household is Brown Sugar Cinnamon Granola. This tasty treat was the result of my enjoyment of Pop-Tarts when they came out in 1964! Brown Sugar Cinnamon was one of the original flavors and remained my favorite during my childhood. Boy, where does the time go?!

Another new recipe to share and one I have been making for 20 plus years is Blueberry Breakfast Cheesecake. High in protein and delicious in flavor, look for it soon!



We also enjoy these make-ahead Super Fruit and Vegetable Breakfast Squares.   You could certainly bake the batter in muffin papers for a grab and go breakfast, but we use a 9X13 pan. They wrap and freeze great for smaller families and reheat easily for a quick, nutritious breakfast. 



We always have at least a couple different tubs of homemade granola ready to go. You might enjoy Honey Almond Granola and Maple Pecan Granola for breakfast at your house!



And for those that like a hot breakfast, I would like to offer Morning Oats with Maple Blueberry Compote and Toasted Hemp Hearts.  It doesn't get much better than this and this hot breakfast doesn't take long to cook. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Slow-cooker Potluck Baked Beans

Potluck Baked Beans, the one bean dish you will serve again and again! Don't be surprised if they are requested by the family, and by anyone inviting you to come and share a dinner. Fortunately, the ingredients are available year-round...


While we almost always cook from scratch here at Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household, Pork and Beans is one premade product I turn to for this recipe and a few other delicious recipes that I plan on sharing. Simply put, this easy and frugal dish is good. Actually more than good...


Potluck Baked Beans would be perfect with your next barbeque because once they are stirred together and in the slow cooker, that is it! No stirring, or checking or worrying. Leaving you free to enjoy your day with family and friends. Leftovers, should you have any, are delicious cold the next day or freeze for another meal. 
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.16.2020

Easy Southern Pickled Okra, How to Single Crochet, and How to Cook Dried Beans are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

We are home on our 2-day leave from Camp Hosting and it appears the cat has missed us! While he has been a stubborn one most of his 17 years, this time back home is different. He is cuddly, and a solid lap cat should I take a moment between laundry and other chores to sit for a minute. 

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.16.2020 @ Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household.

When we traveled for a year volunteering at National Parks, he went with us! It was quite an adventure for us all, as he had never been further than his own backdoor for a little sunshine! But we made him a hide-y hole in the storage under the bed, where he could come and go as needed/wanted, and he took to travel lickity split! But for our current adventures, we have a much smaller trailer and he is too fat to fit in the current storage space! 

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.16.2020 @ Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household.

Since we home share with our daughter and son-in-law, he is really never alone. Plus we are home twice a week for him to get plenty of treats and love, should he be in the mood! Cats are funny, they run hot and cold on attention, but he seems to be softening in his demands for things to be given on his agenda...
Monday, July 13, 2020

Favorites to remake in July Menu Plan

Some recipes are too good to make only once. And that is the problem with food blogging! But we have a fix for that...

Here at Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household, I have always felt the need to share something NEW from my very first day of blogging! But here lately I have come to realize that many of the delicious dishes we have enjoyed in the past are calling out to be made again. And so an executive decision has been made. They will be made and enjoyed again!

For the month of July here is a list of remakes:

Slow-Cooker Potluck Baked Beans. This will be a new recipe for Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household and you will love them. The recipe calls for commercially canned Pork and Beans which when bought on sale in the summertime, are the best pantry staple ever! And to clarify, yes, we do cook from scratch around here, but sometimes a little help in the kitchen is a good thing...and besides pork and beans are like Nutella. They are a part of my pantry and I hope yours as well. 



These healthy and delicious Creamy Banana and Kiwi Parfaits. Because when you have a really ripe banana this is the way to eat it, as part of dessert!



It is also time for another jar of Taco Pickles. These tasty jewels are good with just about everything, not just tacos...and right now with fresh radishes from the garden and cilantro needing to be harvested is just the right time to put this easy ferment together. 



And it is time for a chocolate fix for those who share my dinner table! These Whole Wheat Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies mix up fast and provide a crunchy, chocolatey treat everyone enjoys!

And another recipe that will be new to Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household. Fruit Cocktail Cookies. This recipe has been in the family for almost 50 years (yikes!) but I want to remake it in a whole wheat version and to be honest, I am pretty excited about this venture! Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!
 

Hey you, don’t miss a post! Please consider following Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household. To follow by email, and/or by RSS feed, complete the application located on the right-hand side of the blog. Please Note, some posts may contain affiliate links, thank you for supporting Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household.

PS, friends, and family who love good food and household ideas might love us too! Tell them about us, and thanks for the referral!

You may also enjoy, Creative writing from the heart... stories of life, living, and family.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Mark Bittman's Black Bean and Mango Salad

With the markets full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, now is the time to enjoy this unusual but delicious Black Bean and Mango Salad! It is the perfect salad to serve with your favorite grilled meat for a quick and easy dinner. Who knew a can of beans and a piece of fruit could result in such an enjoyable salad?

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.09.2020

A Rock Rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, Grilled Pork Kabobs, Volunteerism, and DIY Memo Board are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Today I am knee-deep in dirty laundry! When we come home from Camp Hosting for our two days off, there is laundry to do, bread to bake, and a few other assorted chores to take care of before we return to camp. It is funny really, even in the summertime, life keeps humming along on the chores we must do each day! 

Bread baking was a new learning process with our new altitude in the Bitterroots!

I thought I would offer a glimpse into our campsite and the beauty of the Bitterroot Mountains...


Honestly, this volunteer life is not so bad! We get some exercise, lots of fresh air and the best part is the wonderful people we get to meet while being of service. 
Sunday, July 5, 2020

Simple Nut Bread, naturally sweetened, whole grain delicious!

Looking to upscale your baked goods? Simple Nut Bread is naturally sweetened whole grain and delicious! If you love graham crackers, you will love Simple Nut Bread. Tender, delicious, and no refined sugars, bake some today...


Friday, July 3, 2020

5 Ingredient Banana Bread

Busy days require easy recipes. This recipe for 5 Ingredient Banana Bread is just that recipe! Plus it is so easy to stir up, even the kids can make it. 

5 Ingredient Banana Bread, a good recipe for any beginner cook in the kitchen, young or old alike! So if you are wondering what fun activities to offer your young ones, baking is one to put on the list! 


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.02.2020

Planning A Staycation, Brown Sugar Peach Ice Cream, Mosaic Garden Art, and Simple Embroidery for Beginners are this week's featured posts. 

Hello and welcome!

Our time at camp is going well, we have met so many nice people from all over! Most of the campers are from our own state of Montana, but we see more and more license plates for surrounding states as well as one from as far away as New York...which as it turns out is a state we hope to visit someday.

I have been working on different dried fruit (so easy to pack and store when camping!) poached in black tea and honey syrup. I have to say, it is so delicious, even though when I poached the dried figs I had in the camping pantry, they were not very pretty. My second attempt was with home-dried plums and those little jewels were delicious spooned overcooked oatmeal. The method couldn't be simpler, and it is perfect for just about any dried fruit you have in your pantry. You could even change out the tea flavor if you choose. 

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.02.2020
Black Tea and Honey Poached Dried Plums served for breakfast over oatmeal.

Tea and Honey Poached Fruit
by the seat of my pants!

2 black tea bags
2 c water
2 c (loosely packed) dried fruit
2-4 T honey (if your fruit is sweet like figs, use the smaller amount) as desired
dash of salt

Place water, tea bags, and fruit in a medium-sized pan. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let "steep" until room temperature. Remove tea bags (do not squeeze out, the tannins will affect the flavor), bring back to a boil, add honey and simmer until half of the liquid has evaporated. 

Encouraging Hearts and Home 07.02.2020

Let cool. Enjoy!

#campfood!
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Oatmeal Cookie Dough for the Freezer. With Five Flavor Variations!

Be prepared for drop-by guests or snacks for after school with Oatmeal Cookie Dough, for the Freezer. With 5 flavor variations. Cookie baking is now so easy!

Even though I have been cooking for over 50 many years, I am still learning to be better prepared in the kitchen. Being prepared can have a different meaning to each cook, or for that matter the needs of your family. But being prepared is a skill worth having and developing to its maximum potential. Cookie dough tucked into the freezer is one such way to be prepared. Oatmeal Cookie Dough to be exact!

Currently, the skill I am working on is cooking for "just the two of us". I remember fondly that just a few years ago, I was worried that I was not cooking enough with two teens in the house! From time to time I would think how nice it would be to cook for only two. Boy was I wrong! Most recipes are geared for more than two, and leftovers are nice, but not all week...so the real trick is to revamp how you do things, like this recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Dough