Friday, April 30, 2010

What's for Dinner- Sausage Pesto Casserole

Sausage Pesto Casserole

2 cups uncooked Rotini pasta
1 pound Italian sausage links cut into 6 Pieces (I used 1 pound bulk Italian Sausage)
7 oz Pesto (I used prepared but you could make it fresh and use)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cook and drain Pasta per directions

Cook Sausage in saucepan until brown. Drain.

Stir in Pesto sauce water and pasta into sausage. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle with Cheese.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Nasturtium Vinegar

Nasturtium Vinegar

Nasturtium flowers
1 c White wine vinegar

Combine 12 rinsed and dried nasturtium flowers and 1 cup of white wine vinegar in a glass jar with a screw-on lid (if lid is metal, line it with plastic wrap).
Let flowers steep for 3 weeks to a month.
Strain and rebottle in decorative bottle.

Planting Seeds

I planted some seeds in the Square Foot Garden today:

Simpson Elite Lettuce
Gypsy Hybrid Broccoli
Baby's Leaf Hybrid Spinach
Chantenay Carrots
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Snowball X Cauliflower

I also planted some Marigold seeds in the 4 corners

By the end of the week I will have transplanted the Contender Bush Bean Seedlings

Sunday, April 25, 2010




1 large gallon jar
1 cup cubed pineapple
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup maraschino cherries including juice
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup sliced canned peaches including juice
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy


1 box cake mix
1 small box instant pudding
3/8 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 portion fruit

In the one gallon jar, combine the pineapple, 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let ingredients sit in jar for 2 weeks, stirring daily. At the end of two weeks, add the maraschino cherries, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let the mixture sit for two more weeks, stirring daily. During the forth week add the canned peaches, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of brandy. Let sit another two weeks, stirring daily. Separate the liquid. DO NOT refrigerate the liquid.
In a large gallon jar, put 1-1/2 cups of the starter, 2-1/2 cups of sugar and 1 large can (28 oz.) sliced peaches. Mix well and cover jar with a paper towel. Do not refrigerate or screw lid on jar. Stir every day for 10 days. Next, add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple. Stir everyday for 10 days. Add 2-1/2 cups sugar and 1 can (16 oz.) fruit cocktail. Slice contents of 1 jar (10 oz.) maraschino cherries and add with juice. Stir every day for 10 days.

On baking day, drain the fruit and divide it into two equal parts. Save the juice and use it as starter for friends. You will have enough for five starters (approximately 2 cups each). DO NOT refrigerate the liquid because it will stop the fermenting action.

For each cake you will need: To each cake mix, add pudding mix, oil, and eggs. Beat until smooth and fold in fruit and nuts, batter will be thick. Pour mixture into a greased tube pan, then bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes. Turn cake out of pan while hot.

When cooled, the cake freezes well. The choices of flavored cake mixes and pudding mixes is yours and coconut may be substituted for nuts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blackberry Bush

Blackberry Bush with straw mulch

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups white sugar, divided
3 cups milk

1.In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.

2.On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.

3.Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another Kind of Raised Bed Garden

Key Hole Gardens

Keyhole gardens are a technique used to grow vegetables in a dry climate. They are actually a special form of raised bed gardens: circular waist high raised beds with a path to the center. Walled in by stones, there’s a basket made from sticks and straw in the center that holds manure and other organic kitchen waste for compost.
Since they look like a keyhole from above, they are often called keyhole gardens and also promoted under this name in Lesotho, where the charity organisation “Send a Cow” has been promoting the creation of these special gardens for some time now.

So what makes these gardens so special?

•the surrounding stones retain the rich soils and keep it safe from erosion
•the round shape retains moisture
•compact size, even small plots can be used for gardening
•raised beds enable the sick and elderly to help with the gardening work
•center in the middle is used for composting and reuse of greywater (= reuse of nutrients)

Tomato Ladders

These are we chose to support our Tomato Plants with.
We have used them in the Family Garden with success.
They also are space saving which is a priority since we are planting using the Square Foot Gardening Method

                                                            Red Tomato Ladders, Set of 3

Tomato Ladders
Heavy-Duty Tomato Ladders Hold Over 100 Pounds!

If you have a really big tomato crop this year, will your plant supports be able to handle the load? Our exclusive Tomato Ladders are the sturdiest you can buy, because they’re made with 7mm steel uprights — 20% thicker than others on the market! They’ll last season after season too, thanks to a weatherproof powder coating. Best of all, our Tomato Ladders are better for your plants. The rounded-V shape protects plants from wind and accidental breakage. The seven cradle-shaped cross-members give multiple places for vines to rest, and make it easy to set the ladders into the ground. Tomato Ladders will make the most of your garden space, reduce pests and disease, and give you a bigger harvest of juicy, unblemished fruit — guaranteed!

-Ladders hold a huge harvest — over 100 pounds
-Ladders cradle fruit-laden vines more effectively than stakes
-V-shaped design protects each plant's main stem
-Ladders nest for compact off-season storage
-Add our new Ladder Extensions to support your tallest tomatoes

You can check out the Tomato Ladders at or click the links below!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Family Garden

We had our Garden Planning Meeting for the Family Garden Co-Op.

We have some new members and are planning on growing some new items this year.

Follow us at:

Hearth Cooking Class

Hearth Cooking Class

Journey back in time to explore the creation of a historic meal from hearth to table. Participants will learn the techniques used in hearth cooking while preparing a meal using authentic ingredients and historic recipes and tools. At the end of the class enjoy the fruits of your labors by the warmth of the William Morris House fireplace.

The class will take place on Saturday, May 1 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Carillon Historical Park. Space is limited and advanced reservations are required. The cost is $35 for Dayton History members and $40 for non-members. For more information and to reserve your seat at the table, please contact Brandi Picek at 293-2841 ext. 107 or

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Green Bean

A sprouting Green Bean Plant

We are ready!

The Raised Bed is filled.
It is 4 foot by 10 foot.
We used a premium Top Soil Mix that
contains Top Soil, Sand Loam and Compost.
I also added some cow manure.

The seeds are sprouted

We are ready to plant!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vintage WWI Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake

Vintage WWI Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake

1 C water
2 C raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 C brown sugar
1/3 C shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Place water, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, shortening, nutmeg and salt in a saucepan and mix. Place on heat and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes. Allow to cool, then sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir into cooked mixture. Place in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for one hour.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's for Dinner- Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Hawaiian Sweet Bread for the Bread Machine Recipe

Makes 1 2 1/2 pound loaf.

1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons powdered milk
3 teaspoons yeast
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant potato flakes
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 eggs

Measure ingredients into the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.

I set my Bread Machine on Quick Setting with a light crust, and press start.

You could also use the bread machine to do just the dough.
Take the dough out and form a round loaf, let rise, then bake in the oven at 400 degrees.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Backyard Homestead

This year we are expanding out little backyard homestead. Here are some of the changes and additions:

I am starting plants from seed this year.
I came across these little greenhouse starters at Dollar General!

Lettuce, Beans, Tomato and Pepper seedlings

Our rain harvesting system.
Matt will be putting a spigot and hose on the trough

The start of our Compost pile

A bed for wildflowers

A Blackberry Bush
I put some grass clippings down as mulch

Our Raised Bed Garden!
Matt built this great bed. It is 4 x 10.
We are letting in settle a little and
then Matt is going to use a post hole digger
and level it to the ground
We are planting using the Square Foot Garden Method.
I will keep you posted on our progress