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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 09.24.2020

How to make a face mask, DIY Gifts in a Jar, How to make Ginger Beer, and Coconut Cream Pie are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

We have been busy with the installation of our woodstove for winter use, and have hit a bit of a snag, the pipe! With delayed shipments going to stores, sometimes what you need, simply is not available. We have not moved on to plan B, ordering it online and hoping it is shipped out as promised! 

Next weekend will be our last at camp, and while I will miss the serenity of the forest, there are so many chores waiting for us right here at home, it will be a pleasure to get to them. 


At work, I have been canning applesauce (so far 75 quarts) and making Peach and Lime jam (24 6oz jars). Tomorrow will see me making a Pear Caramel Sauce to can and a few trays of Peach Fruit Leather to use up the last of the peaches. 

And wouldn't you know it, as soon as is possible, I need to get started canning for my own pantry...and with that, how has your week gone? Getting to the end of season chores that seem to be waiting for us all? 
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Green Bean Soup, this soup tastes like summer time.!

Green Bean Soup, might sound unusual, but...it is easy to make, delicious, and light! Also perfect for the warm autumn days ahead as well as the cold winter on the way. This delicious recipe uses green beans from your own garden, or from the local Farmers Market!

Green beans are so easy to grow! This means I am always looking for new green bean recipes. This summer soup caught my eye but trust me, it can be made year-round. This soup is perfect for the green beans now safely tucked away in your freezer too. 
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 09.17.2020

A beautiful Apple Torte, Remedies for 9 common ailments, DIY Japanese Knot Bag, and Apple Oatmeal Bars are this week's featured posts.  

Hello and Welcome!

We have been busy around these parts! My husband has also been working hard to get the wood stove installed before winter arrives...


The heat shield is made of Hardy Board covered with corrugated tin. The platform base is set to be covered with a layer of Hardy Board, then a layer of tin. From there the stove may be set in place. Once the stove has been placed, the piping can be installed. We also have 2 cords of wood coming, there simply was not enough time to cut, split, and stack wood.....
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 09.10.2020

DIY Bottle Cap Pumpkins, Instant Pot Potato, and Leek Soup, Grace Tinley Scarf, and How to Dry Hydrangeas are this week's featured posts.

Hello and Welcome!

As it turns out, we will have a very busy few months ahead of us! We have been asked and have agreed to continue hosting at the campground weekends only for the month of September. We also have to get our little wood stove that has been purchased, cleaned up, and installed! Plus take delivery of two cords of wood, and get it stacked and covered...And with the added expenses to get this final project completed we have taken on temporary jobs for the next few months. 

That is our strategy, to work additional job(s) in lieu of payments for needed items. We were very lucky, each of us found a job on the same day. Plus our new employers were understanding of our weekend schedule for the month of September. When September closes, there will be fruit on our trees that will need to be processed and a few gardening and yard chores to get done, like I said a busy few months for us...

How about you, how do you handle the need for extra funds in your household? 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Oven Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions

Got squash? Oven Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions are easy to prep, taste delicious, and are adaptable to whatever temperature you might need to cook the main dish or other side dishes. Plus it tastes good, even the kids will enjoy this dish. Don't let this recipe pass you by...

Roasted Delicata Squash, caramelized with onions.
Easy Oven Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions

I did not like Delicata squash the first time I cooked it because quite honestly I cooked it with the wrong method. I view this delicate vegetable in the same light as other winter squash. I cut it in half, scraped out the seeds, and gave it a roast in the oven. Only to be disappointed, and vowing to not bother with it again.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Braised Green Beans with Tomato Garlic and Thyme

When it comes to dinner, you can never go wrong with a vegetable dish. Or even two. Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes Garlic and Thyme will become a new family favorite! Plus this dish practically cooks itself, always a plus in a busy kitchen...


As summer comes to a close and the long days begin disappearing, make sure to enjoy as many meals with family as is possible. And trust me here, it is not the food that makes these gatherings so memorable (although good food is never the wrong dish!) it is those around the table, that make the meal special. That was true at the beginning of time and is still true today.


We were given a picking of green beans from the daughter and son-in-law's garden, those beans will be on our table tonight. Braised with tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. The only thing that would make them taste better, would be if we were sharing with family.


Food from your garden, cook with what you have!
Tomatoes combine with green beans from the garden make a delicious braised vegetable dish.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 09.03.2020

Dear Homeschooling Mom, What's Up Wednesday, Easy Black Bean Soup, and 13 Ways to Preserve Herbs are this week's featured posts.

 Hello and Welcome!

And just like that, August is gone! We are back home from camping and getting ready for the cooler weather ahead. Today we picked up a wood stove to install in our little apartment so we will be warm and cozy this winter. Our first winter in Montana was a bit chilly as we did not have time to get a stove installed before the cold weather came to visit and stayed! 

We are also busy stocking the root cellar with basics we like to keep in bulk and taking stock of the jam left from last year while making plans for preserving the fruit in our little orchard that will be ready to harvest soon. 

Summer jewels, homemade jam and jelly!

This year we have pears on the pear tree. Not a bumper crop but I am hoping to make a batch of my favorite Pear Butter. We will have lots of Italian Plums to get picked, dried, canned, and made into jam. Plus there will be apples to make into applesauce.  

Also this fall we hope to get the gardens set up so we are ready for planting come spring. What are your fall/winter plans? 

Blackberry Cranberry Red Grapefruit Jam.

Do you have jam and jelly favorites you make each year to enjoy and gift to family and friends?
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How to Cook Beets in your Pressure Cooker

Cooking beets no longer needs to take a long time! Welcome to "How to Cook Beets in your Pressure Cooker."! If you are a beet fan, you will love the convenience of using the pressure cooker. Beets are now a snap to cook and serve.

One of the kitchen promises I made to myself was to master cooking in the Pressure Cooker. You see, I had learned "pressure cooker phobia" as a child, and I wanted to work through the misconception of cooking under pressure with confidence, accuracy, and pride. Along with good food to eat! 

My mother had a stovetop model, but she used it as just another pan, never attaching the lid to cook under pressure. I remember clearly her words of warning, "they will blow up if you are not careful". Bless her heart, but regarding pressure cookers, mom did NOT know best!

Quick and easy, How to Cook Beets in your Pressure Cooker.

Honestly, it took many years and the arrival of the Electric Pressure Cooker for me to even want to get on board with using a Pressure Cooker. And by the time I purchased my first Electric Pressure Cooker, I had owned a stovetop model for many years...I think I had tried to cook stew once, but mostly it sat on the shelf in the pantry and got moved around from time to time when I needed something behind it! 

I had a large amount of pressure cooker desire, but I had a bigger amount of pressure cooker fear...