Friday, 26 October 2012


I was busy as a bee this afternoon, soldering some of my solar panels together, finally!! My "Red Green" dad decided to take the first crack at it, so he would know how to instruct me on putting them together. Turns out we had to do it differently than my instructional video that I'd been watching. I will take a video of how I'm putting them together and post it on the "Alternative Energy" page within the week.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Read About it!

I recently bought a homesteading book, bursting with so much information that I haven't gotten through it all! So I thought I would share some good reads with you as well. If you are a "doomsday prepper" then you'll definetely want to buy these books because if something happens, you will not be able to access information on your computer - only books will do!
Here is the book I bought:
Homesteading: Back to Basics
And here are a couple more you might be interested in:
How To Grow Lots on a Small Amount of Land
The Backyard Homestead: Raising Small Animals

Here are some more items that I've checked out:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Making Cheese

I found a recipe to make Queso (which is really just the Spanish word for cheese) but this specifically is a "frying cheese" meaning it won't melt.
Heat 2 c. milk to 180 degrees and then stir in 4 Tbsp vinegar. It will immediately separate the whey and start forming clumps. Keep stirring 5-10 minutes (I only stirred 5 minutes). Then pour into a cheesecloth-lined sieve. You don't need to press the cheese (unless you want to), you can keep it in a ball.

After making the cheese, I stored it in a ziploc bag with some paper towel because it still seemed a little damp to me. The taste was good (a little vinegar-y aftertaste) but not too bad for cheese that I whipped up in 10 minutes!! Baby tried some this morning and seemed to like it. Husband (who is Colombian and therefore Queso is one of their main cheeses) tasted it last night and deemed it acceptable.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Chocolate Syrup

With no more gardening to do (except watering my few indoor plants... namely cotton, cilantro and potatoes), my new project is finding DIY recipes for various mixes instead of buying them pre-assembled from the store. For example, Hamburger Helper mix, chocolate syrup for milk, Bisquick mix... all of them I plan on making myself. I've already tested out the Hamburger Helper mix and once I make a huge batch I will put the recipe on here. For now, I'll put the chocolate syrup recipe up, enjoy:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups cold water

Stir all together and keep stirring over medium heat until it thickens up. Then add 1 tsp vanilla once it cools off. Store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

I personally am going to see if this freezes because I love making chocolate milk but can't always take the time to whip up a batch of syrup every couple days.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Winter Knitting!

Now that the cooler weathers are here, I start to pick up my needles and hooks to make warm coordinates for gifts and for immediate use. Baby has already outgrown all last-year's winter items (babies do that) so I have already made her two pairs of mitts and two toques.

I will be posting a new crochet toque pattern (very easy) in the Crochet section - it is not the exact same pattern I follow, but it's very close and easily customizable for those who already know how to crochet.

If you want to "spice it up" a bit, make it in a fruit colour, and then switch to green at the top to look like a tomato or strawberry or what have you. Babies always look good in whimsical hats!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Real Pumpkin Pie

I will not be posting this on the recipes page quite yet, wanted to share it on the main page first. We bought two jack-o-lantern pumpkins but I decided I wanted to EAT them instead. There is no rule saying the big pumpkins are not edible, so we made them into pies! Here is the recipe we used:

1) Cut pumpkin(s) in half. Take out all seeds and fibres.
2) Place open-side down on a shallow pan with water at 350 in the oven.
3) Cook for 45 mins or until easy to pierce (mine was fine at 45 mins)
4) Make the pie pastry. Follow your favourite pastry recipe or this one below:
Mix together: 5 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 3 Tbsp brown sugar. Cut in 1 box (pound) shortening with pastry-cutter or two knives. Add to the dry 1 egg. Put 1 Tbsp vinegar in a 1-cup measure and fill the rest with cold water. Add wet ingredients to dry. Press pastry into a solid mass with a fork, roll it out and line a pie pan.
5) Blend all the pumpkin in a blender (if it wont blend good, add 1 egg to make it more liquidy). To make the pie filling combine 2 c. pureed pumpkin, 2/3 c. sugar, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 eggs, and 1/2 c. milk. It will be a bit soupy, that's fine.
6) Pour into unbaked pie crust. Put in 425 oven for 8 minutes then lower to 350 for 30-45 minutes or until it doesn't jiggle anymore.
Note: if you are freezing this, 1 3/4 c of the pie filling mix fills one small pie. I freeze in individual portions to make it easier!