Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Slow Cooking

I bought a new slow cooker by Bella for $20.   I have a 7 quart Hamilton Beach which I love, but sometimes it runs hot and I don't want things overcooked.  I don't think I have it filled enough even though I am feeding a large family.  I have one that is 3 1/2 quarts, not big enough for daily meals.  

It is manual,  I like to keep my slow cookers simple.
I do not have a picture of the finished product but I tried Crock-Pot Sticky Chicken from Flavour & Savour.  It was a winner and just a small portion for leftovers.

Since I have the never ending supply of ground venison I am looking up more recipes calling for ground beef. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bread Baking Sunday

Woke up the mixer:

Baked two loaves of honey wheat:


2 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
4 cups wheat flour
2 cups bread or all purpose flour

Maybe 1/4 cup extra water

Dissolve honey in water add yeast, let foam.
Mix in butter and salt.  Add gluten then add flours.  Knead until smooth.  Oil a large bowl, add dough, turn to coat and cover. Let rise 1 hour.  Punch down place in two oiled loaf pans, cover and let rise 1 inch above top of pan.  Preheat oven to 350 bake 25 - 30 minutes.

Now sandwich bread is ready for the week.  Bought a new slow cooker.  I know, I know I didn't need another but then again I did.  More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy New Year... a bit late

I  am sure the title of this post should be Where the Hell Have I Been, but I will leave it as is.  Well for the past year I have been at work at my first out of the house job in quite a few years.  Getting back into juggling work and home has been quite the challenge, much easier when I was younger lol.  I started off part time which quickly turned into full time.  So many things have fallen by the wayside and I am trying to add more things back as time allows.  I have read blogs when I can.  I miss blogging, all the instant stuff seems so much more impersonal and then everyone points to their blog anyway.
I cannot remember the last time I canned anything that I have grown, or sewn something of use.  A fact I find depressing.  It will get there little by little.  I have been knitting socks.  My husband is fond of his and shows them off.  Here is a pair I am working on now:

It is a simple pattern and with all the colorful sock yarns I don't feel the need to use something with more of a design.  My husband only wears black socks so I like to work on colorful ones for myself when not working on his, it breaks things up.
My middle son is going to State next year (go dawgs!) and he is excited.
I still have three at home and the older two are doing well.
What direction is my blog going to go in?  Well the same as it always has, daily life.  I have been using the crockpot more for dinners, and I have to plan better for that.  We love to eat, nothing has changed there!
On another note, who the hell finally unleashed winter??  This week it finally hit at once!  The socks are coming in handy.  I will post again soon, I hope this finds you healthy and warm.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cooking From Cookbooks

I think I made an unconscious resolution to cook more from my cookbooks.   I have a lot, it's an addiction, but it has been far to easy to just hop on Google to look things up.  So far the round up this week has been:

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.  This book was a birthday gift from my sister-in-law.  It is a beautiful book.  I made the carrot cake recipe.

It even looked like the picture!  Not everyone enjoys carrot cake here but everyone tried it and loved it.

Another winner:

Shell pasta with cauliflower and red pepper flakes.  I am the only one who likes cauliflower and everyone had this and liked it.  My husband said, "It's the best way to choke down cauliflower."  

More of a common sense recipe I made was pan fried potatoes from this book, another gift from my sister-in-law:

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone also by Deborah Madison.  

Last night I made this in the slow cooker:


Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss.

It was good but over cooked due to user error not the recipe.  Even though I increased the recipe my slow cooker runs hot and I have to remember to adjust times not only for this fact but I did not use bone in chicken thighs.   I do look forward to making this again. 

I have had the first two cookbooks for months and the the slow cooker book for well over a year and hadn't cooked from them.  I seem to make more from my bread books. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Into The New Year

I did not mean to be away for so long.  I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  We are are healthy and well but for a few friends it was not so great and life was a little hectic here.  

I think I have sock knitting down and will have to post more on that another time.  Hats also but I do not have pictures since they have been flying out of here.

I do want to share a gift that my mother-in-law gave me over the Thanksgiving holidays.  


They were both hand stitched by lamp light.  My husband's grandmother made these in the 1930's and 1940's.  The homestead did not have electricity or plumbing until 1954.  My mother-in-law shared stories about having to crawl under quilting frames in order to eat at the table.  The bottom one needs some restoration, they are a treasure and I am happy to have them.  

My sewing hasn't been going well, I think my brain lost it's function to adjust patterns lately so I think I'll take a break from that.  I can hand stitch anything but get me around a machine ......

Also, Big Food, Big Garden, Big Life has new digs over a Word Press.  I finally updated my links to reflect this.  Another post soon!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Soy Curls

On some of the blogs I read I have been seeing posts about soy curls.  Curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a box from Butler Foods.  

Half of an 8 oz package will make generous helpings for two people.  First you have to re-hydrate them, then squeeze out the water.

I decided to re-hydrate some morel mushrooms also to add to them.
My brother in law is the great morel hunter and my sister in law sent me some last Christmas and I have been using them sparingly.  I also dices up onion, green pepper and added some bbq sauce.

As far as a meat substitute goes this was pretty good.  I made two tortilla wraps with them and have half left over which means I will find out how well it reheats.  A lot of people will say some meat substitutes have the consistency of chicken but I have to say this one is very very close.  With shipping included each bag is over $5 but for a non gmo product I don't think it's bad and I didn't regret my purchase.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Baking and Carving

Homemade rolls for Sloppy Joe sandwiches the other night.  I am sorry I cannot find the link for the recipe, I thought I had saved it.  I started to carve a Hitty doll, from Rachel Field's  Hitty Her First Hundred Years.

Not that I needed another project.  I ordered a blank from ebay.

Balsa wood, I am glad it is a soft wood because my hands ached the first couple of days.  Her head and body are rounded out somewhat and I am just using a pocket knife.  At least she has a neck now.

I made her a dress from a pattern I found online to get more of a feel for her size.  It's getting there.