Weekend Homestead Happenings

This weather is just crazy!  One day it’s cold like winter should be and the next day it’s warm like spring.  Friday it was cold and windy then by Sunday it was sunny and warm.  But the wind was awful, I swear I thought I was going to end up in Kansas walking the babies.

By the way, these are our babies.

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Because it was dry and warm this weekend I finally got the chance to start on my butcher block.  It’s an old butcher block island that needs to be sanded down and refinished.

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I got the top sanded down pretty good, but this is not going to be a quick task.  I also have to rely on the weather because I’m doing it outside.  But, I don’t want to rush this, it needs to be done once and done right.

Weekend eats:

Some brunch: sauted chicken with mushrooms, peppers and kale with fried eggs.

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Some dinner: Beef short ribs with mushrooms and a side caesar salad.

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Some sweet treats:

These look like truffles, but they are actually frozen sweet black cherries, topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of good life chocolate chips.  It was quite tasty and not too bad for the waistline.

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However, I did make truffles this weekend.  I used a recipe from the Primal Blueprint cookbook.

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Photo credit: The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

I used the idea of the Primal recipe, but I ultimately had to add some peanut butter to help thicken the truffles because I used a bit too much milk.  Still, they are very tasty and they are Z Man approved.

If you aren’t familiar with the Primal Blueprint, it’s by author Mark Sisson who writes about reprogramming your genes and eating a paleo based diet while allowing for an 80 / 20 ratio for those who love (perhaps) chocolate and red wine 😉  Yes, hello that would be me.

What is the Paleo diet?  The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts.  Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn’t consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes.

I’ve been following the Primal Blueprint for a while now and I’m working on a post about it that I hope to complete next week.

If you’re interested in the Primal Blueprint, Mark has a great website  www.marksdailyapple.com

I have to admit that I also made some brownies for the Z Man.  I didn’t and wont be eating them because they are not allowed in my diet (right now), but clearly I was craving the sweets this weekend.

And thanks to the warm weather I was able to get some meal prepping done on the grill for meals this week.  Grilled chicken and mushrooms and sliced sweet peppers.  By the way, right now sliced sweet red peppers are my “chips” giving me that crunch I want.

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How was your weekend?

Till next time, y’all stay safe out there!

Lori

Friday’s Frugal Five

We are already almost half way through January.  WOW!  Time is just flying.

The Frugal Girl is trying a new recipe each week for 2017 and I thought it would be fun to join in.  I made curry chicken and vegetables served over jasmine brown rice.  It was not our favorite and will not make it back on the menu plan.  I’m sure it could’ve been made better, but it was just a bit too sweet and not very spicy like we anticipated it to be.

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Friday’s Frugal Five:

  1.  While I did stray from the menu plan a bit this week, it did not require a trip to the grocery store as I already had everything on hand.  The only purchases I’ve made so far this month were planned.  I didn’t plan a no spend January and of course it’s not no spend, but the only other expenses outside of monthly household expenses (groceries, electric, internet) is the physical therapy copay for my finger and a chainsaw for the Z Man.
  2. One of my 2017 goals is to wake up earlier and get my exercise done before leaving for work.  So far so good, but I would like (and probably will need) a new pair of tennis shoes before long.  For right now I’m using a lightly worn pair I purchased last year for work, I’ll hold off on that purchase for a bit but not too long.  Must take good care of the feet.  Exercise is a good thing, exercising at home is better and no gym fees is the best.
  3. All the bills are paid for the month.  The budget is made out for the next three months and hopefully this will not be a snowy winter and I’ll not miss a lot of work.  While I love a good snow day every now and then, I don’t like using my paid vacation time off during the cold winter months.
  4.  Meal plan for next week is made, and I’ll pick up any needed groceries tonight.  Right now all I need is bananas and kale for my morning smoothies, some peas for a turkey pot pie and some tortillas for enchiladas.
  5. We purchased a chainsaw for the Z Man.  We heat our home 100% with wood, wood that the Z Man acquires by finding people who are wanting trees taken down and away.  I can’t say that it’s free heat because there is the expense of the chainsaw, oil and gas but it is a lot cheaper than electricity or gas heat.  We found a great deal on a chainsaw and it was needed.  As hard as that work is, it’s important to have good tools to get the job done.

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,

Lori

Happenings On The Homestead

The Z Man bagged another nice buck last weekend which fills his tag for bucks this season.  I can tell he is a little melancholy about being finished with deer season, but I am so happy that we have P-L-E-N-T-Y of meat in the freezers.

I’m so proud of the Z Man.  I swear he is like the deer whisperer.  It’s almost as if the deer come to him.  He enjoyed his hunting this year.  He bagged a 10 pointer, a 8 pointer and a 7 pointer.  I canned one and the other two are in the freezer.  We are so very blessed.

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I was not able to help Z Man with the processing because I’m still pretty limited with the use of my left hand from cutting my finger.  He did a fine job with it.

We got the bacon from hog #2 smoked.  This is one of the most beautiful sights…  I wish you could smell it!!!

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This bacon will be sliced, packaged and frozen.  No nitrates or unknown ingredients here, just pure pork goodness.

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When smoking bacon it’s not necessary but it is best to leave the pig skin on the meat to keep it from shrinking up a lot.  Last year I removed the skin prior to smoking the bacon, but this year I left it on and look what we ended up with.  I know this can be used for something great, I’m just not exactly sure yet what that is.  I think I’m leaning toward dehydrating it a bit for dog treats.  Lucky dogs!

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I needed to bake an apple pie to take to work for a birthday present…  The Z Man requested one too 😉

I decided to add some dried cranberries for extra zing.  Delicious, especially with a big scoop of ice cream.  It’s the holidays, we’re supposed to indulge a little bit.

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I made a batch of yogurt because we always have yogurt in the fridge.  Yogurt, fruit, granola and a drizzle of maple syrup is almost as good as that cranberry apple pie. 😉

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Right before thanksgiving I bought a large bag of carrots and potatoes.  I know, I know, but I wasn’t about to let them go to waste.  They will make an easy, quick, and lovely stew with the canned venison.

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Hello, my name is Lori and I’m addicted to canning.

What fun things did Y’all get into over the weekend?

Till next time,

Lori

What Was Cooking This Week

Breakfasts were…

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Smoothies for breakfast, well smoothies for my breakfast, I haven’t been able to convince the Z Man into it yet.

Right now I’m also enjoying a mushroom scramble and a apple on the side for breakfast too.  This isn’t a great picture, but it was yummy.  This particular one I added homemade salsa on top.

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This is what the Z Man likes to call “Somma” which means some of this and some of that.  I took this picture before adding the bow tie pasta and fresh grated parmesan cheese.  I served it along side grilled venison tenderloin.  Very healthy and one of our favorite meals.  It’s also very good with homemade pesto mixed in.

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Another one of our favorite meals is enchilada night.

This particular week was venison and black bean enchilada with homemade guacamole, homemade salsa and homemade yogurt.  We always use yogurt in place of sour cream.  I love that most all of this meal is grown and / or harvested by our own hands.  But then again most of our meals are.

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And I roasted some veggies this week too.  Carrots, turnips, butternut squash, potatoes and onions.  I love roasting veggies, it’s such and easy side dish for any meal.

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And there is a chicken in that pot 🙂

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So that’s pretty much what we ate this week.

Lunches were leftovers of these meals.

I did not buy any groceries this week, so that keeps my total at $89.84 for the month.

We eat pretty darn good around the Z Homestead  😉

What did y’all eat this week?

Till next time,

Lori