Cannin’ and such – The end of summer 2021

Here is a short list of things I don’t like:

  • Humidity
  • Oppressive heat
  • No rain
  • Wasps
  • Fleas
  • Stinkbugs in the garden
  • A summer cold

And here is a short list of things that always happen during Texas summers:

  • Humidity
  • Oppressive heat
  • No rain
  • Wasps
  • Fleas
  • Stinkbugs in the garden
  • A summer cold

At least I can say that summer 2021 DID have more rain, at least through early July. Plus, we didn’t have but a few days of 100+ degrees.

I was not inspired this year to do much in the garden. Last year, I grew stuff like there was no tomorrow (and frankly, who knew?). But this year was the summer of B.L.A.H. (Being Lazy And (probably) Hormones (because frankly, when do they NOT rule our lives?).

Even so, I did get some things accomplished.

I planted enough cucumbers to make almost a years’ worth of pickles. I made a few “spicy” jars this year.

We grew some apples! You don’t hear about Texas apples, do ya? But it can be done! Despite me running over the tree two years ago on the UTV, our tree survived!

Our muscadines produced really well, due to all of the rain we got this year. I still had about 21 pints of grape jelly from 2020, so I couldn’t figure out what do. Then, it hit me: JUICE. Who doesn’t love grape juice? Well, duh. So if you are into making jelly or juices the ONLY way to fly is to get a steam juicer. Throw the fruit in, add water to the bottom pot, heat, and POOF! You get beautiful juice that can be canned as is, or made into beautiful jellies. Don’t even touch the fruit on top; don’t squeeze it with a spatula or you get ugly jelly, like I did in 2020. It puts sediment into your juice and makes it cloudy.

This picture is when I was juicing “Carlos” bronze muscadines. They are amazingly sweet and remind me of those expensive “cotton candy” grapes.

On the left is the finished juice of the “Carlos” grape, and on the right is the finished jelly of “Noble” – a purple muscadine. See how clear the juice/jelly is? So easy with the steam canner. Worth every cent. (Mine is no longer available on Amazon. As of 9/23/21, they have a Roots & Branches brand for $69 that looks nice! It’s one quart smaller in capacity than what I have, but I paid over $125 for mine, thanks to the 2020 canning frenzy)

And in the Weird files, which, admittedly, are very thick over here on the farm, I had a mystery squash come up in my orchard along the fenceline. It grew all over my grapes and I just left it to see. Well…it was a spaghetti squash! What the heck! I could have planted a million of those seeds and probably never grew a vine as nice as this one. I think we got 6 squash from it and they are delicious. So I think I’ll plant some sketti squash next to my grapes on down the fence next spring. Why not? A little cabbage worm ate off some of the skin, which is what you see here, but it didn’t hurt the squash at all.

So maybe it wasn’t my most productive summer ever; oh well. Now I’m just ready for the rains to come to break the official spell of dryness that always hits us in September. Meanwhile, the insane amount of seedlings I have started for our fall garden are sprouting and growing. I have promised them that I’ll not fail them when it comes time to get them in the ground.

Goodbye, summer of B.L.A.H.! Here’s to a productive fall!

I found the recipe, but I died of hunger



Yes, I am about to hit you with a first-world problem. Yes, it is petty and silly but I just wanted to throw this out in the world and see what you think. Let’s create the scenario:

You look at the clock and it’s close to 5pm. “Crap! I haven’t EVEN thought about supper. Better find a recipe,” you say to yourself. You have chicken thawed in the fridge (miraculously…I know this never really happens, but play along), and you are hormonal, so you want something creamy, full of cheese, and at least 7,000 calories per serving. Your Google search brings up several pages of yummy sounding dishes, and you click on one that sounds tasty: “Maw Maw’s Secret Never-Fail Creamy Cheesy Crunchy Super-Easy Baked Chicken”.

It is on a “mommy blog” kind of a blog site, which all great, but as soon as the page loads, you realize you have a problem. The title of the page may be “Maw Maw’s Secret Never-Fail Creamy Cheesy Crunchy Super-Easy Baked Chicken”, but directly below the title, there is no recipe. Just words. A lot of words.

In fact, it is a ten chapter story about how Great-great-great-great-great grandmother Maw Maw created this recipe in the latter part of Colonial times and fed it to the early settlers where it was supposed to have saved an entire village following an outbreak of smallpox.  She then passed it on to Great-great-great-great grandmother Mildred, who brought it to a potluck after the signing of the Constitution, where Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin both declared that it was the best thing they had ever eaten. Some years later, Great-great-great grandmother Maypearl was able to save the famous recipe from the hands of the Union soldiers by smuggling it in a secret compartment in her hatpin. Later, the recipe was served at various family functions, saved lives, and was sworn to secrecy and only released upon Grandmother Minnie’s death in 1987.

Interestingly enough, the recipe includes 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, a “99 cent bag of Doritos”,  a box of Velveeta (cubed), and a brick of cream cheese. But who am I to be asking these kinds of questions?

It all started for me after reading The Pioneer Woman’s blog years ago. At first, I looked forward to her close-up photos of melting butter, cheesy strands of deliciousness as it was being served, and gooey, creamy dessert goodness. But after a while, the number of photos increased. The story grew in length, and suddenly EVERYONE in the blog world was standing two inches from their cast iron skillets with their Rebel DSLR camera to grab that perfect macro shot of a stick of butter dissolving into a lovely yellow pool. Look, I’m not knocking the woman, after all, she made a mint off of her posts, but enough is enough and I’m certainly not picking on dear Ree. But sheesh. Recipe novellas just need to die. It’s five o’clock, I’m hangry and hormonal, and if I don’t find that recipe (and after reading all of that you had BETTER put it into a print-friendly format!), I am gonna throw this laptop between two sliced of (heavily buttered) bread and eat it.

Something else of note is that I’m sorry, but Paula Deen and the like didn’t pull these recipes out of thin air. They have made a fortune on reprinting the exact same recipes that I can get out of my Junior League of Fussybottom/Possum Holler Full Gospel Baptist Church/Coonlick County Electric Co-op fundraising cookbooks.

Now I’m off to my cookbooks to find something that calls for Doritos, a cream soup, and 2 sticks of butter. See ya!



New Year’s Revolution


Happy 2013!

With the new year, I have decided a few things.

1.  Less meat, more veggies in our diet.

2. Cook at home and stop dining out so much.

3. No more Facebook.

4. Plant a bigger garden

So far, I’ve been doing all four, which is pretty amazing for me.  Of course, we’re only 9 days into the year.

To help me along, I bought some cookbooks for inspiration, because most of my cookbooks are the typical, everyday Southern American diet which consists of 5 major food groups:

1. Bacon

2. Cheese

3. Cream cheese

4. Butter

5. Cream-of-whatever soup

Last week, my new cookbooks arrived.  First up is, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I haven’t made very many recipes out of it yet, but it is like a ‘Joy of Cooking’ for vegetarians.  I did made some aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and served it with an avocado club sandwich and it was PHENOMENAL.  I could have downed about 4 of them.  I actually got to use my mortar and pestle that has been slowly developing a nice dust layer on my shelf.  I had to look up a video on how to use the thing as I was completely clueless.  Luckily, all the garlic DID remain in the little bowl without flying out everywhere.

Next up is Weelicious by Catherine McCord.  This cookbook is geared toward families with young children.  We have been using this cookbook several times a day already.  While I think some of the recipes do need slight tweaking, so far, the majority of them have been hits with the kids. Last night I made the Graham Crackers, and we totally scarfed ’em. Fortunately, they made a huge batch when you roll them out to 1/8″ (and NOT the 1/4″ recommended), so there are plenty left.  I like Weelicious because it is mostly low sugar recipes or uses alternative sweeteners like agave nectar and honey.  You can get many of the recipes for free right on her website, too.  I made the Beet and White Bean hummus a few days back.  I have never eaten a beet in my life and I have to say I was very surprised.  I figured it would taste like dirt (that’s my own weird thought on beets), but fresh beets are very sweet and have a consistency of a carrot.  Not to mention that they are my absolute favorite color: fuschia. Be forewarned, though, because they will turn everything fuschia that they touch.  Anyway, it makes this radical hot pink hummus.  When Jason came home, I whipped out this neon dip with some baby carrots, celery sticks, and bell pepper sticks, and he looked at it like it had a dead rat in the center of the bowl.  Especially after I told him it contained beets.

Poor Jason.  His Granny made him eat canned beets as he grew up and she was a Clean Plate enforcer.  So, Jason HATED beets.  Or so he thought until he tried my dip!  Actually, it just tastes like a good bean dip and nothing more.

In addition to adding more veggies to our diet, I also bought some different grains and rice varieties.  I made a wild rice soup that was just out of this world.  When I served it at dinner, my youngest daughter ran upstairs, grabbed her diary, and made an entry, as you can see above.  She then brought it back down to be sure that I saw it.  In addition to “I hate soop, Mom” you can clearly see the arrow breaking her little heart and ripping it in two.  Because that’s exactly what I was trying to do by making a good, healthy meal, you see.  As I was slaving in the kitchen for a few hours to prepare this soup, I was thinking to myself, “Now what could I prepare to make my child absolutely want to vomit?”  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, neither child would come within 10 feet of the soup so Jason and I got to eat it all.  Oh well. We can’t win ’em all.

Anyway, I can’t say that I miss Facebook.  I have broken up with Facebook and moved on to Pinterest, which I find much more inspirational and I also do not check it constantly like I did with FB. Although some pins are just nauseating (gold staples, anyone?), you can at least search what you like and the comments aren’t irritating.

As far as the garden goes, we planted our onions about 4 days ago.  I’m glad we did, because this week has brought flooding rains that will be great for getting them established, providing that a river doesn’t decided to run through the front yard and carry my baby onions to the bottom of the hill.  I tried a few new varieties this year, including Texas Legend, Super Star, and Red Candy Apple.  We also planted our old favorite, 1015s.  Plus THIS YEAR I planted the things in good, deep compost which I did not do last year, and ended up with the saddest, sorriest lot of onions I ever planted.  Now is the time to start some cole crops, and I’m also getting my taters ready to plant by letting them develop some nice eyes before planting them.  I am also going to try some new things in the garden including bok choy, turnips, and winter squashes.



On the left, we have an organic sweet relish. It’s a very tasty relish. It has minimal ingredients, and no high fructose corn syrup, which is apparently extremely difficult to NOT find in a store bought relish. It is a 16oz. jar. It cost me $6.00. Yes, six dollars just to avoid having HFCS in my food (plus, no food dye! )

Now, on the right we have nine 16oz. jars of homemade bread and butter pickles, which can be easily transformed into relish with one pulse of a mini food processor. Cost? Well…

I had the jars and rings already, so I don’t count that. Pickles were 7 dollars (no, I didn’t grow any this year…too burned out after last year). Sugar was around 2 dollars for what I used. Spices around .50. Vinegar around 1.50. So, we’re looking at $1.22 per jar. Total cost? Eleven bucks out of pocket. I don’t count labor, because I enjoy doing it, and I’m not going to sit around and try to figure out propane costs. Still, you can definitely see the benefit of doing it yourself!

Grocery Challenge – Part 3

Well, I have the February total.

We spent 338 dollars on groceries.  This is 100 dollars more than January, however, I did buy some meat on sale and Jason made a few solo trips to the grocery store.

How did you do for February?  Were you able to track down your receipts and tally ’em up?  If you’d like to share, please tell us how many people you’re feeding and your grocery amount in a comment for this post.

Now for March!  I hope you all have your CrockPots dusted off and ready.  For this month, we’re going to keep track of grocery spending again (and you can also track fast food/restaurant spending if you’d like…trust me, it will help you to cook at home or learn how to cook!).  But this month, we’ll be cutting back when possible to see how much we can knock off of that grocery bill.  This can mean using coupons, buying store brands, and/or not buying convenience foods.  While February was simply a month to track spending, March will be a month to both track spending AND try and really reduce grocery spending.

It’s very easy to get swept up with impulse buys and convenience foods at the grocery…I still do!  I mean, I’m human.  However, by tracking my spending, I am much more conscious of doing so now….so, I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to.  I hope that February was an eye-opener for you!  If you haven’t started the Challenge yet, make this month your ‘February’ and follow along. I’d love to hear your results and how you were able to save.

For myself, I do not do a great deal of couponing.  Instead, I stick to non-brand name foods (as long as they taste good!!!) and I try not to buy a lot of convenience foods.  I do realize that some nights I will be too tired to cook, so yes, I will pick up some cheap frozen pizzas.  But usually, I will make my own.  (I assure you it is NOT difficult!!!)  I also shop at 3 different stores to find the best prices on items.  These stores are all very close to each other, so I’m not burning up my gas trying to save money.  I also try to remember how much items cost at each one so I can get the best deal.  Some people even have a price book…a small notebook where they record the best deals on foods.  Probably not a bad idea!

For March, since I am technically a month ahead, I’m going to do the Pioneer Days Experiment.  That is, I am going to try and buy groceries ONCE this month to see how it affects my grocery bill for the month.  I will report back on this.

I’d love to hear your comments…they always brighten my day!

Busier than a one legged cat

Well, as we all know, fall is an insane time of year.  After Halloween, my days turn into minutes and before I know it, it’s the New Year.  I have spent the last few weeks baking and preserving and doing all THAT.  I decided a few weeks ago to finally clean out our deep freeze and actually do something with the many bags of juice and tomatoes that I had.  So, with the blackberry juice and the blueberry juice, I made some jelly.  This time around, I used a new type of pectin:

I think that maybe I just bought it because I loved the box.  Seriously, I wanted a low-sugar pectin and had read about this type (low-methoxyl).  It’s very easy to use and causes your jelly to set up rather quickly.  In fact, it gels so well that I should have reduced the amount of pectin called for, since it made my jelly have a ‘jelled cranberry sauce’ consistency.  Anyway, the results were delicious, so who cares?

Here’s the jelly coming to a boil.  I love that color.  Sigh.

Then, a few weeks before that, we had our first ‘freeze’.  Hahaha.  Joke’s on me.  It didn’t really freeze, but since I thought it was going to, I harvested all of my peppers:

As you can see, it was quite a bit.  We were in a hurry, so we threw it all on a tablecloth in my kitchen.  Next came a few hours of chopping and freezing.  Anyway, I’m gonna brag about my peppers here since I have never really grown any great bell peppers.  This year was different.  I got my best peppers in September and October (they were planted in April). Best variety this year?  “Jupiter”, hands down.  I plan on planting lots of those next year!

My biggest bell, a Jupiter:

Trust me, it was a biiig pepper,  even if it was only 4 inches.  Oh well.  I won’t make any lewd jokes here.  So, what are the secrets of growing good bells?  Picking a good variety, fertile soil, and keeping them well-watered.  Not WET, mind you, but in high summer when the leaves droop a bit, your butt had better be out there giving them some water.  Otherwise, the walls of your peppers will be paper thin and pathetic.  You know, like mine were last year.  Moving on…

Mmmmmmm.  Cinnamon rolls.  Who doesn’t love fresh rolls?  I made so many a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t want to look at another roll, or even eat one.  For a great recipe, you can go to Allrecipes, and search for ‘Clone of a Cinnabon‘.  I used the icing from that recipe, but for the actual bread, I used their ‘Sweet Dinner Roll‘ recipe.  Why?  Well, I found that the Sweet Dinner Roll recipe is extremely easy to do and also extremely versatile.  Plus, I memorized it.  And maybe to a lesser degree, I was offended that the ‘Clone’ recipe calls for MARGARINE.  That’s like a slap in the face. Sure, sure, I know I could substitute butter, but….


Well, so that’s what I have been up to.  That and the winter garden.  But I don’t have any pics for you of that, so it will have to wait.

Now, I will leave you with a picture of my faaaaavorite cornbread…my Mamaw’s recipe. I’ll have to add it to my blog so you can experience it, too.  I love ‘cakey’ cornbread with a little bit of sweet.  I don’t like cornbread that you have to swallow an entire glass of tea with because it’s so dry.

The Country Spice Rack

So, way back in February, I did a post called the Country Pantry, which gave you an idea of the foods I regularly keep in my pantry.  Now, I’m on to the spice rack.  Let’s talk spices just a minute.  Spices rapidly lose their intensity and flavor in light, which is why most people keep them in the cabinet.  They also don’t need to be exposed to too much heat, so don’t park them right next to your stove, either.  Ideally, your spices should be no more than 6 months to a couple of years old.  (why can I hear some of you laughing?) After that, their flavor starts to go downhill.  Now, of course, we have no way of knowing how old they were to begin with, in the store, right?  Just to add to the confusion.

About 4 years ago, I began buying my spices in bulk at a local natural foods store.  I cannot tell you how big of a difference that makes!  I have actually read where some published ‘foodies’ have said that they buy those 50 cent (to a dollar) spices you find on the bottom shelf at WalMart, because it doesn’t make a difference.  Now, it may not make a difference if you are buying Great Value spices, but there is a HUGE difference in these fresh, bulk spices and GV brand stuff.  The chili powder is soooo strong, it makes you long for enchiladas and chili.  The cumin makes you drool.  So, I’m just telling you there’s a difference.  Also, did I mention that it is so much cheaper to buy in bulk?  You aren’t paying for packaging, so you are just paying pennies for this stuff.

Also, people, STOP buying pre-ground pepper.  I would like to slap the fool who came up with that!  There is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING like fresh ground pepper.  All other pepper should be deemed illegal.  If you want to be cheap (like me), go to the McCormick section, buy a little $2 pepper grinder (complete with peppercorns), and when it’s empty, have your husband wrestle off the top so you can refill it with fresh peppercorns.  It can be done.  I have refilled mine twice now.  I admit I can’t rip the top off myself though.  If you love pepper, go with peppercorns.  I promise you, you will not regret it.

Also, pass on the garlic salt/onion salt/etc.  It’s so easy to make this at home, and they charge you an arm and leg for these specialty items.  (ok, maybe $3 isn’t an arm and leg, but if you already have the ingredients, might as well make your own, right?)

I save my old spice jars (especially glass ones…I’m trying to get away from plastics), and just refill those with the bulk spices.  I know approximately how much I use in a couple of month’s time and buy accordingly.  We fly through cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder around here so I go through a good amount of that.  I store everything on a double stacked ‘lazy susan’ in my cabinet.

As a final note, here’s another reason to avoid certain spices.  Salmonella sickened over 250 people after they ingested a certain brand of salami which happened to be seasoned with pepper that contained salmonella.  So, I am wary of cheap-o spices.  I’m not sure if those spices were even available to the public, but still.  I pay attention to where the spices are manufactured.

My Little Country’s Spice Rack:

Salt (sea, iodized, and pickling)

peppercorns and grinder

chili powder


garlic powder

onion powder

celery salt (I loooove celery salt, wonderful in chicken salads)

celery seed (great in cole slaw)

dried oregano

ground oregano

parsley flakes

dried dill

cayenne pepper

paprika (another spice that is waaaaay better fresh)

ground mustard

mustard seed (used in pickling)

ground turmeric (mostly used in pickling)

ground ginger (for stir fry sauce…I could get away with about a teaspoon a year)

dried basil

lemon pepper

Knorr chicken bouillon/beef bouillon (I use the kind found in the Mexican food section.  It is in powder form..who wants to screw with those blasted cubes???)

poultry seasoning

pickling spice

crushed red pepper

whole cloves

ground cloves

whole allspice

ground nutmeg


Zatarain’s/Tony Chachere’s cajun spice

That’s just about it for spices.  I also have a product called Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up salt, and it is delicious!  I am sure if I tinkered enough, I could make it, but….nah.  It’s good on everything and the salt is flaked, which I really like.

Now, here’s a word on poultry seasoning and pickling spice.  Don’t go into the store come Thanksgiving or Christmas and expect to find any poultry seasoning.  Likewise, don’t go into the store in summer and expect to find pickling spice.  Good luck.  So, I am warning you NOW, when October comes, run out and snatch up some poultry seasoning (which around here, we use to season our dressin’ with…we don’t have stuffing, we have dressin’).  It is also good to use if you ever make sausage, because it has quite a lot of sage in it.

The pickling spice will go on sale probably around September or October, so gear up for next year’s pickling season soon!  Don’t be one of those women, such as my old self, who would go looking in vain for some dadgum, stupid poultry seasoning and NO STORE HAS ANY.  Well, that was actually before I discovered the health food store, but still.

Now, let’s talk spice mixes.  I have been making my own taco seasoning for the past couple of years and it’s delicious and so easy to make.  I saved a tiny jelly jar to keep it in. Here’s the recipe.  I double it, but really need to quadruple it, honestly.  You can do that very easily with allrecipe’s serving size calculator.  I also had, for quite a while Paula Deen’s House Seasoning.  If you can’t find Jane’s Krazy Salt, here’s a super easy recipe for a great, all-around seasoning for everything:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix together, put in a little glass container, and there ya go.

Now, let me also mention using fresh herbs, too.  In my garden, I try to keep rosemary, parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, majoram, thyme, and tarragon going.  Then I just walk out the back door and snip what I need.  You just can’t beat the flavor of fresh herbs.

Lastly, here is a good guide to storing spices in your home.  Bon appetit!

Goodbye Tom, hello sausage

As you may have read earlier in my blog, I butchered my first turkeys earlier this year.  I am going to give you a step by step on how I made some turkey breakfast sausage and some ground turkey.  Here we go!

All you need for turkey sausage:  I used a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid, a big ol’ bowl of turkey chopped into 1.5″ pieces, a roll of pork sausage (they were out of plain ol’ fat), and another big bowl to catch the ground meat. 


 Most of the turkey was breast meat, but I did have some leg meat in there.  I chopped into 1-1.5 inch cubes to feed into the grinder, and I seasoned with a sausage recipe I found on Allrecipes.  Mostly, it was salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and some red pepper.  I don’t remember the rest, but if you look up breakfast sausage on most any recipe site, you’ll find something that looks tasty.  You also need to stick your meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to grinding.  It makes it a LOT easier to pass through the grinder.  The metal face plates should also be stuck in the freezer as well.

 Here I am feeding the meat into the grinder via a wooden plunger (tip: don’t use your fingers unless you really just don’t like them)  Anyway, first, you grind with a coarse grinding plate (which you have stuck in the freezer beforehand, and you will finish with a fine plate. For some grinds, you can just get by with the coarse plate, though.  The only difference is that the fine plate has smaller holes through which the meat passes.  Anyway, you just put the chunks in the feeder, plunge it down, and it comes out all nice and ground!  When I made the sausage, I did use some pre-made Jimmy Dean pork sausage, and as I ground, I just added it in here and there.  Turkey is very lean, so it needs a little fat to get that sausage just right.  You will also notice a skillet in this picture…when I was done with a ‘pass’ through the grinder the first time, we fried up a little to give it a taste test.  This way, you can correct your spices before you send it through the fine grind.

Coarse grind:

Fine grind:

So then I just made them into sausage patties, and stored them on waxed paper, stacked, in a freezer Ziploc.  For the plain ground turkey, we didn’t season at all, and rolled them into 1/2 pound balls, storing them also in freezer Ziplocs.  And that was all there was to that!   A lot easier than I thought. 

For the final picture, a word:

You know those vintage ads, where the woman always has this shocked, yet pleasantly surprised face?  As if the Good Lord himself came down and handed this woman a blender/coffee/toothpaste/oven/etc?  For whatever reason, I ‘do’ this face in photos.  Unfortunately, I turn my “vintage ad face” up WAAAAAAY too much and end up looking like a psychopathic version. I could darn near be grinding up my husband/dog/mother in law in this picture, judging by my face. Oh well.  Do enjoy.


Glorious, golden waffles
Fresh out of the waffle iron


 There’s nothing quite like homemade waffles.  Nothing in a box mix even comes close to homemade.  Funny thing is, I hadn’t ever even made my own waffles until a few years ago.  And I JUST started making my own pancakes.  What in the world was I thinking?  Now, copy down this here recipe and get your waffle iron heating up…


2 eggs (I use one goose egg)

2 cups flour (I use one cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)

1 3/4 c. milk

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. sugar

4 tsp. baking POWDER

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle iron.  Beat eggs in a big bowl until fluffy.  Add in flour, milk, oil, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, JUST UNTIL SMOOTH.

Spray iron with non-stick cooking spray (usually only takes one application for all waffles).  Pour a small amount of mix onto hot waffle iron (I use a small gravy ladle for this).  Cook until golden brown.  Makes 6 servings.

The trick to really great waffles is not to overcook them to where they are hard and crunchy, but like a pancake with a light crust.  Mmmmmmm, now douse those babies with some syrup, pour you a cup of coffee and enjoy!!!


Good to the very last bite…

The Country Pantry

My friend Jamie asked me the other day to help her come up with recipe ideas.  But, you can’t make a dish without the right ingredients, right?  So, I tediously wrote down a list of most everything I have stocked in my pantry.  May I also add that I began this list about 6 weeks ago, and I had so much stuff in there my hand cramped as I was trying to record it all and I had to take a 6 week leave of absence from that project!   Without any further ado, here is:

 My Official Pantry List:

Tomato Products:

Canned spaghetti sauce

tomato sauce

tomato paste

Whole tomatoes (including home-canned ones, I recommend buying whole ones and cutting them up for recipes, the flavor is better!)

tomato based soup base (home-canned)

Red enchilada sauce

Canned fruits:

Pineapples, in own juice!

Pears in own juice,

Peaches, in juice

Cranberry sauce


Black beans

Kidney beans

Garbanzo (chickpeas) Beans

Great Northern Beans

Pork N’ Beans

Black eyed peas

Pinto beans

Canned Veggies:

Diced green chilies

Pimiento peppers, diced

Creamed corn


Sliced Mushrooms

Green enchilada sauce (made from green chilies…qualifies as a veggie for me!)


Organic peanut butter

Solid white albacore tuna

Wolf Brand Turkey Chili, no beans (tastes GREAT)

Dry Goods:

Quick cook oatmeal

Organic rolled oats (takes a little longer to cook than quick cook)

Bob’s Red Mill Muesli cereal

Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal (can you tell I’m a fan of Red Mill now???)

Cream of Wheat

Assorted whole grain cereals, like Kashi Go Lean/Go Lean Crunch


Popcorn, both microwave and kernels

Elbow macaroni

Egg Noodles




Boxed Mac N’ Cheese

White Rice (oh no!)

Instant white rice (horrors!!!)

Instant brown rice

Organic brown rice

Scalloped potatos (boxed)

Taco shells

Panko bread crumbs (for a crispy, crunchy coating)

Seasoned bread crumbs

Rice A Roni

Cornbread mix (I prefer my own, but just in a pinch….)

Graham crackers

Wasa whole grain crackers

Stuffing mix, chicken flavored

Jello, assorted flavors


Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Cream Soup mix (AWESOME, recipe to come later!)

Onion soup mix

Dried Legumes:

Pinto Beans

Lima beans


Navy Beans


White vinegar

Cider vinegar

Red wine vinegar

White wine vinegar

Rice vinegar

Balsalmic vinegar

Sherry cooking wine

Dry white wine (I use Chardonnay, in the little 4 packs)

Dry red wine (Usually use Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot in the little 4 pk)

Assorted cooking goods:

Olive oil

Vegetable oil

Sweetened condensed milk

evaporated milk


Vegetable shortening

Pancake syrup

Baking soda


Brown sugar

White sugar

Flour (we are currently switching from white to whole wheat)

Powdered sugar

Yellow cornmeal

Powdered milk

Sweetened coconut


Pickling salt (for making canned goods)


Instant coffee

Regular coffee beans

Hot cocoa

Black tea

Whew, see why my hands needed that 6 week break???  Let me also add that I am currently switching everything over to whole grain products where possible, and I am trying to get away from white sugar and white flour, too.  So, all of my noodles and such will soon be whole wheat pastas.  I’m trying to get rid of as many possible processed foods as I can without going crazy!  I hope that this list will help you with stocking your own pantry.  Recipes will also be coming soon!