Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Vegetables...

I just finished harvesting the last of the carrots from the garden. I got almost 10 pounds this year, and it really didn't take up that much space in the raised beds! I roasted a chicken the other night, and now I have leftover chicken, onions and fresh carrots simmering for chicken and dumplings tonight.

Homemade chicken stock smells AMAZING!!

I also have the carcass boiling away with the leftover onions and brussels sprouts from the first dinner, as well as the stems from the herbs I cut from the herb garden and added to the chicken and dumplings. This stock will go into the freezer to cook with later. I love that I can get 3 good meals (that serve 4 people!) from just 1 chicken and some veggies from the garden!

I also bought my first pumpkin of the season last weekend! I love pumpkin, and I hope that someday soon it will grow in my own garden, but for now I was just happy to see it on the grocery store shelf! There are so many ways to cook it, and the flavor is adaptable to most any dish or seasoning. This one will be roasted and pureed, most likely, and eaten with just a touch of salt and pepper.

Do you have a favorite fall vegetable that you look forward to all summer?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sometimes Husbands are listening and thinking, just not saying anything!

Last night, for the umpteenth time, I attempted to talk to my husband about getting chickens. He has been adamantly saying no for about 5 years now, but I have been faithfully been pestering him in the hopes that he would at least tell me why. As I said it again, I braced myself for the usual "I don't want to talk about it right now", but instead, he threw back "I am actually VERY interested in getting chickens now, and what do you think about getting a cow?"


A cow! That is not something that would happen any time soon, but my husband has been listening to me after all! Our conversation briefly touched on raising pigs and rabbits as well, and I can say with some confidence now that this IS going to happen. When my Husband has been thinking about something enough that he starts talking about it, it means that he's already weighed the options in his head, and that part of the battle is won. Now lets just hope that Mr. Super Planner doesn't go overboard on the coop!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Harvesting with the Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener!

Its harvest time for The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener! Check out their latest video... and look for Woodside Gardens to be featured a little over halfway through!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

From Scratch Chicken Noodle Soup!

My husband has been feeling under the weather for a few days now. He is always asking for chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. I had never made noodles before, so yesterday, I decided that I would learn!

Basic Homemade Noodles:

2 cups flour
1 tsp dried herbs (such as basil, sage, or rosemary) crushed *optional*
1/2 tsp salt 
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup flour

Stir together flour, herbs, and salt. 
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, water and oil. 
Add to flour mixture and stir to combine. 
Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup flour onto clean kneading surface. 
Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). 
Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. 
Divide dough into four equal portions. 
Using a rolling pin or pasta roller, roll each portion into a 12 inch square, about 1/16 inch thick. 
Let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes. 
Cut as desired. 

You can dry it to cook later, or make it right away! Boil for 10 minutes or so, and you're good to go!

 Hanging my first ever homemade noodles! Why have I never done this before?

The soup was a hit, especially with the 3 year old, and we'll be eating the leftovers for dinner again tonight! It was made with carrots from the garden, and the chicken stock was some that I had made previously and stored in the freezer. Honestly, the noodles were so simple to make that I don't see myself buying them any more! Home cooked may take a bit longer, but what a great feeling to share this wonderful meal with my family, knowing that there are no chemicals or preservatives anywhere in the meal!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Emergency Power Supply...

For those of you who follow Alaska's weather news, you've probably heard about the double whammy of storms that have hit us (especially Anchorage) the last 2 days. There are still a lot of folks without power, for the second day.

The local (Anchorage) newspaper is reporting this today.

I'd like to re-share an article I wrote a few years back...

Emergencies, and why we aren't as prepared as we think we are...

I can't stress enough how important it is to be prepared BEFORE a disaster strikes! Something as simple as no electricity will make things miserable very quickly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Today's Harvest...

Despite the mediocre harvest due to this year's wonky summer weather, there were plenty of successes as well! Today Lily and I decided to harvest the potatoes and the carrots...

From 4 seed potatoes and 1 garbage bag came this...
 3 pounds of perfect little potatoes!

Next we pulled the carrots... (well 2/3 of them, the rest we are saving for another day)
6 pounds of beautiful, sweet, crisp carrots!

Lily wanted to eat ALL of them!! I love teaching her where food comes from, and I really look forward to the day that she plans and plants her own garden!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Making Home-Made Bread...

Most of you have probably noticed that the cost of groceries is starting to get out of control. Prices are always high in Alaska, so this just compounds the problem. Bread is one of the things that is most noticeable to me right now. A good loaf of bread, even the grocery store brand, is running between $5 - $8, and its bound to go up more. I have written in the past about my favorite bread book, but I think its worth sharing again. I am not paid in any way for this post, and the authors of the book have never contacted me.

First off... this is THE book.

(I'd be willing to bet that your local bookstore or library will have a copy as well!)

I bought this book a couple of years ago, and have not made any other bread since then. It has a ton of recipes, and its fantastic because I can make a rustic bread loaf, pita bread, even awesome sweet rolls... all from the same batch of dough!

 The bread from last nights dinner...

Breadsticks to go with some homemade bean soup tonight...

My son has recently discovered a love of clam chowder, so I'm going to teach him how to make it, and some bread bowls to go with it!

Do you have a no fail bread recipe that you use?