Saturday, December 15, 2012

Soup and Sandwich Saturday

It's a rainy day in Princeton.  A good day to make soup and bread.  Although I do make bread every other day and soup a couple times a week.  So I guess any day is a good soup and sandwich day.  My dad lives with us and he is 88 years old.  He loves homemade soup so that is what he gets everyday for lunch.  I always make it too thick for him and he wants it watered down a bit.  I wonder if that is from the old days when you could feed more people by just watering down the soup or stew.  I will discuss my favorite appliances for accomplishing this at a later time, but today I'll tell you how I make Creamy Vegetable soup and English Muffin toasting bread.  I wasn't in the mood for a lot of chopping and cutting today, so this is super easy and quick.  It's just a dump and heat sort of soup, but it's delicious.  It feeds a ton of people or 3 people many days. I added some cooked chicken today, but it isn't necessary.

Creamy Vegetable Soup

 In a big kettle, probably 8 qt. or so, bring to a boil 7 cups of water.


1 bag ( 12 oz) of frozen mixed vegetables
1 bag (16 oz) of frozen broccoli florets or fresh broccoli if you have it.

Bring back to a boil and then add

1 bag (32 oz) of frozen hash browns.  I like the southern style which are little squares
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup chopped onion

Simmer for a few minutes and then add

2 cups milk
2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
12 oz. pkg. of American cheese slices (stir in until melted)  
I like the real American cheese that you can separate but isn't packaged separately.  It's a pain to unwrap 16 slices of cheese or you could chunk up some Velveeta but it takes longer to melt.

English Muffin Toasting Bread

You could just mix this up in a bowl, but I picked up a bread machine at Goodwill for $4.99.  There are a ton of them in thrift stores because people thought they were a good idea and then didn't use them.  I put the ingredients in the bread machine, set it for the dough cycle, when it beeps I dump it out into a regular bread pan,  cover and let it rise and bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  I figure a loaf costs between $.25 and $.50.

1 1/4 c. of water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda (English muffin bread always has baking soda)
3 cups of flour
3 Table. dry milk ( you can eliminate this and use milk instead of water for the first ingredient)
2 teaspoon of yeast ( I buy this in bulk at a local Mennonite store)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Miracle of Kefir

In March of 2008 after suffering many digestive difficulties from Radiation therapy I had received the previous year, I started to research natural remedies.  I came upon Kefir.  It brought me back to health.

Kefir is easily digested and provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins.  Kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system.  When I read about it's benefits,  I went online and ordered some grains.  They look like small pieces of cauliflower and when added to milk, ferment the milk and add billions of healthy bacteria.  Every morning I would drain the grains out, add more milk and start the process over.  I would make a smoothie out of the drained fermented milk.  I would add whatever I had on hand from frozen strawberries or blueberries, ripe banana, carrots, spinach along with some cranberry juice to add a little sweetness.  I also put in flax seed and chia seeds.  When the grains reproduce to the point that some have to be removed, I would share with others or grind some into the smoothie.  In almost 5 years, I have never had to order more grains, they just reproduce themselves.  It's a one time investment.  Whenever you want a break or go away, the grains can be put in fresh milk and put into the refrigerator for several weeks.

There are many websites and youtube videos which discuss the benefits of Kefir.
 Here are two websites for more information but there are many many more:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trail Cam Photos

The past few days were have had some interesting photos on our trail camera.  Gun hunting season ended in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago.  We were happy to see that the deer that have been coming to our feeder all year had lived.  The buck doesn't come everyday but we saw him from a photo during the night.  His antlers were in tact and he was alone.  The next night he showed up with a doe.  Half of his antler was hanging down.  It appeared that he was shedding his rack already.  I researched it and found out that after the rut (male chasing the female to mate), the buck will shed his antlers.  They will grow back again in the spring.  The size of the rack does not show the age of the animal, but its nutrition and general health. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How I Became the Cabin Countess

Over ten years ago we had the opportunity to look at a property in Princeton, WI.  We were almost ready to relocate.  The log house needed a lot of work but the property itself was wonderful.  We had always wanted to escape the city and here was our chance.  We decided to purchase the property which was totally contrary to what we usually do.  We always went with a sure thing and very rarely took chances.  After making an offer, we got it.  Now what, do we move or rent it out.  We decided to pack up and move.  It was the best decision.  Welcome to my world. 

December 8, 2012 Snowstorm

This was the first snow of the winter.  It was only a couple inches but very wet and stuck onto the branches to make a beautiful sight.