Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

I am hoping for tomatoes out of the garden this year but I am just not quite sure, between horned worms and bugs and a possible fungus who knows, but they are looking better than they had looked, so I am hopeful. Until then I purchased some organic produce from my goat milk lady last week to make a big batch of freezer spaghetti sauce.

This is my first summer to make things myself to store up for the winter and I am having so much fun. Not making quite as much as I would like but I do have to start somewhere!

I did double the sugar in this recipe because DH likes his spaghetti sauce sweet, I was able to use fresh parsley from my herb buckets and oregano from the sweet neighbor lady.

4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
16 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

In a slow cooker saute together the onion, garlic, green pepper, and vegetable oil. Cook until onion is transparent.
Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, sugar, salt, and ground black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 hours on low heat. Stir frequently.
Let sauce cool. Pour sauce into quart size freezer containers. Store in freezer.
When ready to use sauce, stir in can of tomato paste.

You can find this recipe at AllRecipes by clicking Here

Friday, July 24, 2009

Honey-Whole Wheat Cakes

This is my favorite whole wheat pancake recipe ever, we use raw honey in them and goat milk and the flavor is just wonderful. These are great with traditional syrup or cold at lunch time, or homemade strawberry jam, peanut butter and honey!!! I don't remember where I got this recipe, here it is below:

1 egg

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 c. quick oats

3/4 c. milk

2 T. oil

1 T honey

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Mix and pour into cakes on griddle, for a twist last time I added a handful of dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, they were really good cold too! I always double the recipe and then we have extra for "snacks" throughout the day.

I am including a picture of them!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ambleside Curriculum

I am very thrilled about the new homeschool curriculum that I found. It is called Ambleside Online and mirrors that of the Charlottle Mason way of teaching. The website is extensive in it's free booklists, links, and information.
I feel like I have been given a treasure. I have made a list of all the books I am looking for as we will be starting Kindergarten and Year 1 with Ambleside. I have found many on Ebay and Amazon but really want to check locally first.
Many of these I can print off online for free (which I will do) and I could get them from the library but it would be great to have our own copies to read as we please. You can fiew the site at http://www.amblesideonline.org/

They even have a link you can go to to view the regulations of homeschooling in each state. Very helpful, may we long have the freedom to teach our children!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Homemade Edible Playdough Recipe

In response to Rhonda's blog....good ideas to keep 5 year olds busy.
My girls can spend hours playing with playdough, we mix it up together and then I give them cookie cutters, little wooden rolling pins, plates and pans and they love acting like they are cooking!
Recipe and link below:

Peanut Butter Play Dough

one 18-oz. jar creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk

Mix ingredients together
Knead it with fingers, forming into desired shapes
Add other foods like M&M's or peanuts for eyes, mouths, etc.
HINT: When not using this homemade play dough recipe, it MUST be stored in an airtight container.
This and more recipes can be found at: Easy Child Crafts

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Easy" Bread

Today I was looking in the cabinets and things are getting low (time to go shopping) so I was trying to think of what to have for lunch for me and the kiddos. BREAD! So I pulled out my favorite Betty Crocker cookbook (it's the one I grew up with, I find that you are partial to the Betty Crocker cookbook you grow up with).

I found the Streamlined Batter Bread which requires no kneading and so it is now rising on my stovetop waiting to enter the oven.

Here is the recipe below from the 1971 Betty Crocker

Streamlined Batter Bread

(No kneading, short-time rising, snap shaping. All this and versatility too. Just try one of the flavor-twist variations to enhance your menu)

1 T active dry yeast
1-1/4 cup warm water
2 T shortening ( I use oil)
2 T sugar (you could use honey)
2 tsp. salt
2-2/3 cup flour ( I used 2 cups of fresh ground wheat and 2/3 white flour)

In large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add shortening, sugar, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Blend 1/2 min. on low speed, beat 2 min. on medium speed. (by hand 300 strokes). Stir in remaining flour. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 30 min.

Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Spread evenly in greased loaf pan. Smooth out top of batter by patting into shape with floured hand. Cover, rise double, 40 min.

Heat oven to 375. Bake 45 min. or until loaf sound shollow when tapped. Brush top with melted butter. Remove loaf from pan; cool on wire rack.

When I get my trusty computer back I will start posting actual photos of my baked goods.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Whole wheat sugar cookies

The girls were requesting a snack this afternoon so I found a recipe for whole wheat sugar cookies off of www.allrecipes.com, I love that you can search for a recipe by ingredients (in case you don't have something, as in my case...No butter)
These mixed up great and rolled into balls nicely, they are in the oven, we'll let you know how they turn out.

1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix the white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Roll into balls, and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake 9 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire racks.

Recipe can be found here:


I get fresh ground wheat from a local lady, she said that if you freeze it within 72 hours of grinding it regains is nutrients. I hope to start grinding my own soon.


Today is dedicated to simplifying my life in the matters of laundry and dishes. Simply put there is too much....a family of 5 does not need 30 plates, 15 bowls, etc. Granted I am not going to throw the extra way but right now they are clutter. I am going to go through and simplify my kitchen and weed out what we don't need, I am going to make things simpler and keep out 5-6 plates, 5-6 bowls and cups. Because if there were 50 plates in that kitchen they would still all get dirtied before I had a chance to wash them.
I am going to do the same thing in the laundry room, why do we need all of these clothes....I am going to prioritize the most important and box up the extra, this will keep my laundry pile much smaller and easier to "stay on top of"
I'd love to hear your comments on ways that you simplify your life!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mint Lye Soap

Here is the link for the mint lye soap I mentioned I used in the homemade laundry soap, the smell was so refreshing, makes you want to do laundry!!!

If you buy some, let her know Maries Cottage sent ya!!!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

There's just something rewarding about making something you can use yourself. I found an easy recipe for a powder laundry detergent and I just love it. I'm one of those shortcut people, so if I can find a homemade simple way to make something, I'm gonna do it!!!
Here is the recipe below:
1 bar of soap Fels Naptha,  ivory or lye soap)
2 cups of borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle in stores)
1 cup of washing soda (honestly it's hard to find....let me know if you find a place CHEAP....so I know it's not the same but I use 1 cup of baking soda found in the laundry aisle as well)
Grate the bar of soap and simply add the rest of the ingredients....stir and use 1 Tablespoon per regular load of laundry.

Last time I used mint scented lye soap I found on etsy, I will include the link to that seller soon.
Then I liked to keep a washcloth with drops of lavender essential oils on it and I throw it in the dryer with the laundry. My clothesline still hasn't been set up since the move. ;-)
Feel free to include your laundry soap recipes below!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Welcome to my Cottage Homestead

This blog will be dedicated to my life beginning the makings of our homestead and slowly moving towards self sufficiency in many ways of life.

We will include recipes that we are making for the week, pictures of our farm animals and produce, and more.

We will also be offering our homemade homestead creations....so if you are an avid homesteader or just beginning (like me) join us, comment, tell us the things you have learned and share with us!!!

We would also like to add fellow homestead bloggers to our favorites!!! Email us if you have one!