Woodpile in September

Well, it happened.  Yesterday afternoon my husband lit the furnace.

I was perfectly comfortable in my fleece sweatshirt with the house at 70 degrees, but he gets antsy this time of year to light it for the first time, so he did.  It didn’t take long before the house was at 75 degrees and the kiddos and I had shed our sweatshirts.  At least he was no longer asking me every 20 minutes if he should light the furnace.

My husband had a few good days making firewood and we’re almost ready for the upcoming winter.  Usually October is the big push for firewood, but without a field full of pumpkins to harvest for sale this year, the woodpile is ahead of schedule.

You want to see some pumpkins?  Of course you do!  Read More »


A Strawberry Cheesecake with a Chocolate Swirl

I’d been itching to bake something fancy for awhile.  Saturday was my sister’s birthday, and she and my parents wanted to come out and visit us, so I happily volunteered to make her a birthday cake.  I stewed for awhile about what to make… there are far too many good ideas out there!  But, no matter how much time I spend on Pinterest, when I need to make a special dessert I will most likely make a cheesecake.  And it’s got “cake” in the name, so it qualifies as a birthday cake, right?

Besides, cheesecakes are kind of my thing.Read More »

Meet Blanche’s Calf!

Well, we had a little excitement this morning.  My husband woke up to go to work and found that Blanche had her calf overnight!  We don’t know exactly what time she had it, but the calf was up and nursing by the time my husband discovered it.  You always worry a little when it’s their first calf, but all went well and neither the cow nor the calf had any issues.

The calf is a little heifer!  She’ll be registered with the American Hereford Association.  As of now she’s just known as”602D,” but we’ll decide on a name soon.

Here’s one of the first photos my husband took this morning, right around sunrise:


Read More »

Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Ready to add some zing to your pantry?

A few years ago I had a less-than-sucessful attempt at homemade barbecue sauce.  We didn’t have a food mill back then.  That, coupled with the fact that I may have added ingredients at the wrong time, left me with a sauce that had a weird mouth feel and not much flavor besides tomato.  Ever since we got our food mill I’ve been itching to give a homemade, tomato-based condiment another try.

I have a lot of jalapenos in the garden, and I already have an abundance of pickled jalapenos from 2013 in the pantry.  So, I needed to do something different with them.  I decided to take a few jalapenos and my meager crop of tomatoes and try my hand at a homemade hot sauce.Read More »

Homemade Chili

This is a super simple recipe that uses some of those tomatoes you worked so hard to put up at the peak of the summer canning season.  I love this recipe because I always have the base ingredients on hand, and you can add in whatever else you’d like.  A little minced garlic would be a nice addition, and I’ve added celery and bell peppers of every color if I’ve had to use them up.

If you like a spicy chili you can kick it up by adding in some hot peppers – jalapenos or something even hotter.  Before I had a toddler to feed I would add some cayenne.  Again, something I always have on hand.Read More »

Relish the Thought (Canning Dill Relish)

No matter how thorough you are, there always seem to be a couple pickling cucumbers that hide from you and by the time you find them they’re about the size of a pint jar… or bigger.  You don’t need to let those cucumbers go to waste, they’re perfect for making relish.  If you don’t have pickling cucumbers you can go ahead and make this with slicing cucumbers.  I did.

Homemade pickle relish is delicious, and it’s not difficult to make your own.  A food processor makes short work of prepping all the ingredients.  A couple-hour soak in salted water is followed by a short boil, then simply pack in into jars and process it in a water bath canner.Read More »