Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce

Fish and tartar sauceWe don’t have fish to often, but when we do I like to have tartar sauce to serve with it.  A couple years ago I realized it was rather stupid to keep buying bottles of tartar sauce, use them once and place them in the fridge for next time.  “Next time” usually didn’t come until it was to late to salvage the rest of the bottle or it had been long lost in the depths of the refrigerator.  So I found this easy homemade tartar sauce recipe and we have been using it ever since.

Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 2½ tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir.

Tartar SauceIt tastes WAY better than store bought and if we have any leftover I add a little ketchup and it makes a WONDERFUL dipping sauce for fries, tater tots, or pretty much anything you would use ketchup on.  We put it on hamburgers the other night…..yummm!

Fry SauceA great tasting, easy, tartar sauce with no waste!

 

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Love Your……Emu?

I know we’re supposed to love our neighbor and all, but what if your closest neighbor is an emu?

A big emu….

Emu 1A big emu with a fluffy butt….

Emu 5A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces the fence across the road….

Emu 3A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces and makes a loud thump, thump, thump noise…..

Emu 4A big emu with a fluffy butt that paces and thumps and watches us with creepy eyes.

Emu 2Are we supposed to love our creepy, thumping, pacing, fluffy butted neighbors too?

She or he (at the risk of highly offending our feathered neighbor I’ll just call her a her on this post) does have some good qualities too.  She is actually rather entertaining and I’m kinda partial to fluffy butts.  The creepy eye thing, well I just try not to make eye contact so it doesn’t bug me so much.  Our feathered neighbor is a bit curious too.  She came over for a visit the other day to see what the guys where doing in the shop.  It was a particularly nice spring day so Digger opened up the big shop doors to let in some sunshine and fresh air.  He was welding away when he saw some movement out of the corner of his eye.  He flipped up his welding helmet and there was our nosy neighbor just staring at him.  It was a short visit, she didn’t want to chat or have a beer, she just turned around when Digger saw her and headed home.  Being the nice neighbors that we are Digger and Jade followed her half a mile down the road to make sure she made it home safely.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

 I’m still not sure if this includes the feathered kind, but as long as she doesn’t come peeking in my kitchen door, I can love her……from a distance. ;)

 

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March 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

My favorite time of year!

spring The animals are LOVING the warmer weather.

cat

chickenMy chickens egg yolks went from yellow to dark orange as soon as the new grass popped up and the bugs came out!

Spring!

Guess What

lilacCompost in the gardenUncle Tom came over and dumped the compost pile into the garden.  Hopefully this will help amend our poor soil on the east side of the garden.  Why do we have poor soil only on the east side of the garden?  Well, it has something to do with a retired go-cart track.  Read more about that here.

EcoGlow20Another great thing about spring is CHICKS!  This came in the mail today, so we are off to pick up some chicks tomorrow!!  Today is also the first day of our spring break and I’m looking forward to getting LOTS done in and out of the house this week.

So glad y’all stopped by.  Happy spring everyone!!

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Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets

This post contains affiliate links.

I used to go through LOTS of store bought onion soup mix packets.  I would buy them in bulk and put them in tons of stuff like tater tot casserole, hamburger patties, on pot roast or oven roasted potatoes…..the list goes on.  Then I became more aware of what I feed my family and I started reading labels…… :(   Sadly, I stopped buying them and for a long time we just did without.  Then I found this recipe and now I just make up several “packets” at a time!  This way I have them on hand to use anytime my little heart desires……which is often,… VERY often. :D

Homemade Onion Soup Mix 1This is super easy, but there are lots of spices to get out and measure, so if you’re in a hurry it can be a little frustrating…especially if you’re used to ripping open a little envelope and dumping it in.  That being said I recommend while you have the spices out, make up several batches. :)

Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets

5.0 from 3 reviews

Homemade Onion Soup Mix Packets
 
This will make one “packet” of onion soup mix.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a small resealable container or bag and shake.

That’s it, onion soup mix packets without MSG!

Onion soup mixI get my super fresh organic herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.  They will make your from scratch cooking taste even better!!  Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company with a cool web site.  Go check it out, you will not be disappointed. :D

This recipe was adapted from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers

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Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles

I’m excited to share this one with you!  I’ve made chicken noodle soup many, many times but this one is by far my favorite.  I think it’s the homemade noodles and homemade chicken stock…..yummmmm!

Chicken Noodle SoupStart out by chopping up a medium sized onion and a cup of carrots.  Add them to a big pot with olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, basil, and thyme.  You can add celery too, somebody in our house doesn’t like celery so I leave it out.

SoupSaute for a few minutes until the onions are cooked.  The carrots will not be done yet, but they will finish cooking in the stock.  It will smell amazing!  Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, salt, and a bay leaf to the pot.

Chicken StockLet it simmer for a half hour or so, while you make the noodles.  Here is the recipe for homemade egg noodles.  I use about half of that recipe in this soup.

Egg NoodlesAdd the noodles to the simmering pot, the fresh noodles will cook in just a couple minutes.  If you made your noodles ahead of time and added them dry, it will take a bit longer.  When the noodles are done remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste and your soup is ready to serve!

Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • homemade egg noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a big pot saute onion, carrots, thyme, parsley, basil, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are cooked through.
  2. Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, bay leaf, and salt to the pot and simmer while you make the noodles. (let it simmer for at least a ½ hour)
  3. Add the fresh noodles or dry noodles that you made ahead of time to the simmering pot and let the noodles cook thoroughly.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

chicken soup with homemade noodlesThis makes a hearty meal for four people. I usually double it and enjoy leftovers. :)

 

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Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs

With all the egg recipes I’ve posted you would think I’d have shared a deviled egg recipe a long time ago.  The truth is, I never had a recipe before; I just kind of added whatever, and then a little more of whatever until it tasted good.  So I decided I needed to take the time and measure everything so I could share the recipe.  Little Chef wanted to help as usual, so I let her peel the eggs.  While she was doing this I left the kitchen for another chore.  When I returned she already had them peeled, washed, cut in half, the yolks were mashed up, and most of the ingredients were in the bowl.  When I told her I had wanted to measure the ingredients, she looked at me like I was from Mars.  So I explained that I wanted to share the recipe as a blog post.  She rolled her eyes…..that happens A LOT since she turned eleven last month.  It seems the older she gets, the more ridiculous I get.  Anyway, I decided to just look in the bowl and “guess” at how much of what she had put in and go from there.  Her eggs turned out VERY yummy, so I was hoping I had “guessed” correctly.  The next weekend I made the eggs again using the “new recipe” and took pictures along the way. They tasted just like Little Chefs yummy eggs!  Maybe I should have called these “Little Chefs Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs”?  Maybe not,… I don’t need the eye roller getting a big head or anything.

Sweet Relish Deviled EggsStart off by hard boiling a dozen eggs.  Here is my tip on how to boil and EASILY peel farm fresh eggs.  It’s a life saver if you have very fresh eggs and you don’t want them mutilated when you peel them.  After you have peeled the eggs, wash them, cut them in half and place the yolks into a bowl.

Deviled EggsMash the yolks with a fork, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Then taste it….salt?…pepper?…more relish?  It’s all up to you!

Making Deviled EggsThis came out a little lumpy, so I used the immersion blender on it for a few seconds. (Love that thing!)

After it’s all mixed up, spoon the filling into a plastic bag, seal the bag, cut a small hole in the bottom corner, and squeeze the yolk filling through the hole into the empty egg whites.  For years I would carefully spoon the filling into each egg, the plastic bag method is WAY faster, and much more fun!

eggsSprinkle a little paprika on top and you’re done!

All DoneHere’s Little Chefs recipe for delicious “Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs”:

5.0 from 1 reviews

Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs
 
Makes 24 deviled eggs.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs peeled
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Cut your peeled hard boiled eggs in half length wise.
  2. Place the egg whites on a tray and the yolks in a mixing bowl.
  3. Smash the eggs yolks with a fork.
  4. Add the first 5 ingredients to the yolks and stir.
  5. If it’s to lumpy for your liking you can use an immersion blender to make it a little smoother.
  6. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Spoon the filling into the egg whites or use a plastic bag as described above.
  8. Sprinkle each egg with a little paprika.

 

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February 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Goodbye February….Hello March!  If you saw January’s photos you know we have had some crazy weather, and February was no exception.  It did finally snow, then melted extremely fast.  It was nice to have that long awaited white stuff around for a couple days, but now I feel that winter is complete and it can go….away….any minute!

Finally SNOW! (480x640)We got about a foot of snow, so school was cancelled that day and it was nice to stay home.

Brave chickenThe chickens were not happy about it and only one brave lady ventured out of the coop that day.

Chicken in the snowThe human girls enjoyed the snow much more than the chicken girls. :)

Fun in the snowTemperatures dipped down into the single digits several times.

Frozen eggsJo came back from the coop and said, “look mom, every chicken laid an egg today!….But, 5 of them froze and cracked”.  I was disappointed, the dogs and cats were not. :)

I got a shiny new washer and dryer a couple weeks ago.

DSCN1399 (640x480)It was one of those things we have been putting off for a LONG time.  Who wants to spend money on a washer and dryer when there are sooo many other “fun” things to spend money on.  Like a new, bigger chicken coop. :)   It got to the point that we couldn’t ignore the horrible sounds coming from our old washer and dryer.  I was really bummed about it at first, then I realized how fortunate we are that God had provided for us financially and we were able to purchase these very necessary items!  Now that I have them home and have used them, I have to confess,…  I REALLY like them.

Just a couple days ago God provided AGAIN.  This time it wasn’t a necessity, but it was something I’ve been wanting and dreaming about for some time now.  Please don’t laugh…..

DSCN1407 (640x480)IT’S MY NEW CHICKEN COOP!!!!!  Yes, it’s a big empty box off the back of a truck…  Digger needed this thing off the truck it came on so he can turn it into a mini log truck.  All it needs is a chicken door, a people door, a window, and a paint job!  I’m so excited!  I’ll keep posting updates on my redneck chicken coop. ;)

Thanks for stopping by the red double wide!

Boots Prayer

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Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg NoodlesI had never thought of making my own noodles until we got chickens.  Once all seventeen  ladies started laying, anything with the word “egg” in it caught my attention, so I decided to give egg noodles a try.  I’m so glad I did because they are DELICIOUS and fun to make.  My girls love to help make them, and noodles are surprisingly forgiving.  You really can’t mess them up.  :)

If you have fancy equipment like a food processor and or a pasta maker, please feel free to utilize them and make your noodle making experience a little easier.  I don’t have either one of those things….. and that’s where kids come in handy.

Put a cup of all purpose flour in a mixing bowl and add 2 eggs with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

flour and eggsStir until you have a sticky clump of dough, then turn it out on a well floured surface.  Knead the dough until its smooth and no longer sticky or clumpy.  You will need to add flour as you knead to keep it from sticking to the table and your hands.  (Okay, I know that’s bad, but I couldn’t resist!)  The amount of flour you add will depend on how big your eggs were.  If you get too much flour and it gets too dry just add a little water.  Like I said, it’s forgiving….just keep kneading and adding until you have a nice smooth dough.  When you have achieved a nice smooth unstickyness, put the dough into a plastic bag and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

After it has had a rest, sprinkle flour on the table, the dough, and the rolling pin.  You don’t want it sticking to anything.

Egg Noodle Dough Roll the dough out very thin.  The noodles will puff up when you cook them, so the thinner the better.  Cut the dough into strips with a knife or a pizza cutter.  You can make long skinny noodles, short fat noodles, or any size in between.  What kind you make will depend on what you are going to use them for.  If the kids are “helping”, you will end up with an interesting variety of shapes and sizes!  It’s all good, cuz it all eats good! :D

egg noodlesYou can cook them right away in boiling salt water, or by adding them to a simmering pot of soup.  They will only take a couple minutes to cook, so keep your eye on them.  You can also put them on a cooling rack to dry.  It will take two to several hours to dry depending on how thick they are.  When they are COMPLETELY dried, store them in a bag or a jar for up to a month.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Homemade Egg Noodles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until it all comes together, it will be sticky and lumpy.
  2. Turn the dough out on a well floured surface, knead and add flour until you have a nice smooth dough that is not sticky. If you get to much flour just add a little water until you get it right.
  3. When you have the right consistency put the dough in a plastic bag and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  4. Place the dough on a well floured surface and sprinkle flour on the dough and rolling pin.
  5. Roll dough out very thin and cut into noodles with a knife or pizza cutter.
  6. You can cook them right away in boiling salt water or dry them completely and store for up to a month.

 

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How To Freeze Waffles, Pancakes, And French Toast For Easy Weekday Breakfasts

This is the easiest thing EVER.  Why have I not been doing this for years!?!?  I love easy, yet healthy breakfast foods.  The kind that I don’t have to worry about on weekday mornings.  Lately when I have the time, I make a HUGE batch of fluffy whole wheat pancakes, or waffles and then freeze whatever is left.  When I have bread that’s getting a little old I make french toast and put it in the freezer.  (sorry chickens no more stale bread for you)

How to freezeThis is how I do it:  Take your cooled off leftover pancakes, waffles, or french toast and layer them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I have gone up to 4 layers)  Try to make sure they are not touching so you don’t have to hack them apart.

Freezing BreakfastPlace them in the freezer until they are frozen through.  The more layers the longer it will take.  I just leave mine in over night.  When they are frozen through, place them in a dated, resealable, freezer bag and put them back in the freezer.

Freezer WafflesIt’s that easy, and now you have a homemade, fast, healthy breakfast on hand.

To reheat them on those crazy weekday mornings, just pop them in the toaster.  You may have to adjust the timing or temperature on your toaster so they have time to thaw out and toast.  My girls use the toaster for the waffles, pancakes, and french toast, but if you aren’t into crispy pancakes and french toast you can always microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes or preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes.

It’s sooooo nice to have yummy, healthy options in the morning that don’t come from a box.  :)

 

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January 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

The beginning of 2014 got off to a rough start.  The flu made it’s way through our house and my class room, then once we got rid of that, a nasty cold made it’s rounds too.  I THINK we are all on the mend now and maybe I can get a little caught up on EVERYTHING.

Along with our health, the weather was a bit off too.  We started January with very mild temperatures.  Mild enough that we were even able to hire Uncle Tom to come and finish building our fence around the barnyard.  Building fence in January is a very rare thing around here.  Well, for everyone but Uncle Tom…

New FenceThe fence is now complete and it looks GREAT!

Kitty in the windowThe weather was so unusually mild I was even finding myself wishing for snow and wondering what happened to winter. (I never wish for snow)

Dust BathThe chickens loved the mild weather; here they are enjoying a nice dust bath.

Eggs of plentyWith the addition of a few hours of artificial light in their coop we are still getting PLENTY of eggs this winter.

Winter did finally come, but not in the way we were hoping for.  Instead of some nice fluffy snow, we got a layer of ice in the form of freezing rain then the freezing fog settled in and stayed awhile.  Freezing fog is not a stranger around here, but this stuff was NASTY and it seemed it would never go away.

FrostHere is a couple of willow trees laying on our brand new fence.  Sure glad Tom finished clipping the wire before all this showed up!

Heavy FrostAfter a few days the trees started snapping, and our drive way turned into an ice skating rink.

DSCN1045 (480x640)DSCN1048 (480x640)After about 2 weeks of this frozen wonderland the fog lifted a bit and we thought the sun was coming……but, not before it dumped another 1/2 inch of freezing rain on us over night.  This caused near by power poles to snap and of course many more trees.  We lost power and all the local schools were cancelled for the day.  I was still recovering from a cold so I took the opportunity to grab a book and curl up under a blanket.  After 12 hours of no power, I was reminded of how thankful I am for the little things in life…..like flushing toilets and warm water.  The sun did FINALLY come out, and the frost disappeared VERY quickly.

The SUNOur poor trees…. :(   The image below is of one of the seven tops from our big white fir tree that broke out.  Seven tops gives a clue that such heavy hoar frosts have happened before, but we’ve seen nothing like this in the near fifteen years living here.  This top drove itself into the somewhat frozen ground well over a foot, and sticks nearly ten feet in the air.

BranchI see a huge bonfire in our near future…..hotdogs anyone?

DSCN1075 (640x480)On a happier note, Digger did some bartering with a good friend of ours and we ended up with a freezer full of grass fed beef!  Oh, how we have been enjoying beef, lots of beef!  We ended the month by celebrating Little Chefs 11th birthday.  What a blessing she is. :)

Thanks for stopping by the Red Double Wide!

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