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.

Dogs 1

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.


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.



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


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.


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


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.


How was your weekend?

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


Weekend Homestead Happenings

Some people may think it a bit smug to blog about grocery budgets, meal planning and prepping, or homestead happenings right now because some in this country are amidst protesting and expressing their opinions over the newly elected president.  And, I suppose there are more important things right now than my meal plan or the number of eggs the chickens laid yesterday, and believe me, it’s not that I don’t care.

But…. the sun will rise tomorrow, the chickens will need to be taken care of and we will have to eat, so here we go…

Weekend happenings…  well first I’m sorry I’m late with this post, but yesterday was a very busy day of snacking and lounging because it was a “snow” day from work for me.  😉

I made yogurt, but I also made coconut yogurt with coconut milk.  Yep, I just took a couple cans of coconut milk and used the exact same process that I always do for making yogurt and it turned out perfect.  My coconut yogurt does contain dairy, because I used a dairy culture (dairy yogurt) to make it.

coconut-milk  yogurt 20   Yogurt 2

I’ve loved adding it to my morning smoothies.  I had those two cans of coconut milk in my pantry for quite a while, so it was time to use them.

Last weeks “eat the freezer” went good.  But, we decided to carry it on into this week because well um…..


As you can see, there is still a lot of eating to be done.

I did do some meal prep this weekend.  I cut up veggies for meals and snacks for the week.  There is two containers of veggies for us, a bag of veggie scraps and pieces for the freezer for making stock and a nice bowl of snacks for the chickens.


Other than that the Z Man continued on stockpiling wood for next year and I pretty much spent the weekend piddling in the kitchen.

Oh, and by the way we got 5 eggs yesterday, just in case you did want to know. 😉

How about you, how was your weekend?

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



Frustrated and Friday’s Frugal Five

I may be a bit grumpy today but I feel the need to get something off my chest…..

Seriously people just stop it, just stop it already!!! You are absolutely making fools out of yourselves and it’s getting out of hand!  What are you trying to prove, do you even know WHY you are doing it?  Or, is it just something one of your friends is doing and you thought you would do it too.

Why is it every time you take a picture you have to pucker your lips like your kissing the air.  It looks stupid!  It’s not cute, and it’s not sexy!  Enough already!!!  If you want people to take you seriously then stop trying to look like a carp (which is a fish with big lips that is a bottom dweller sucking trash of the bottom of the lake, just in case you didn’t know). Really, tell me how sexy does this look to you?


There…. that’s my PSA for today.  Just my 2¢

Friday’s Frugal Five:

While I do make most of the food we feed our dogs, because I have access to quality ingredients here on our little homestead and can make good food for them at minimal cost… at the same time I do like to keep some store bought kibble around for the just in case (I’m running late, run out of homemade, too lazy or for whatever reason).  I bought some dog food, kale for smoothies, and I did splurge a bit on some nuts for a recipe I wanted to try, that turned out great.  I’ll post that recipe next week.

Sorry, no grocery picture this week. 😦

My grocery budget for January is $300 this week I spent $43 bringing my total for the month to $161 leaving me $139 for the rest of the month.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  • I spent a good amount of time on the phone with Direct TV negotiating our bill.  The discounts I negotiated last year ran out and the bill doubled to $109 and that is a big fat NO.  I got it back down to $56 which is $2 higher than what I was paying, but it also included a $4 across the board Direct TV increase for all customers so it’s actually $2 less.
  • This weeks “eat the freezer” was a success and we’ll be doing it again next week because there is still a lot of food in the freezer, and hello my name is Lori and I’m a border line food hoarder.  In full disclosure I need to confess that Monday was one of those HUNGER days.  You know the ones where you could eat your arm off and still be hungry…  well I caved and bought a breakfast biscuit on the way to work.  It was $4 and change, but the balance of the $5 went into the change jug.  I’m not proud of my weakness, but I do feel better having confessed my discretion.
  • I did buy an extra gallon of milk this week because I need to make yogurt this weekend.  I used the last little bit of my homemade yogurt so I also had to buy a new starter for it.  If you want to see how I make yogurt you can read about it here.
  • I manged to drag my lazy self up out of bed early every morning this week so I could get my exercise in before going to work, because it makes me feel better when I exercise and lets face it my ass isn’t getting any smaller.  Exercise = better health = no sick days (hopefully) = working and making money = frugal.
  • Lastly, honestly we are just a couple of people who love our God, our family and our country.  We are not disrespectful to others, we believe in taking care of ourselves, not expecting government or anyone else to take care of us.  We are responsible for our decisions, right or wrong and we do not place blame on others for our shortcomings.  We do our part to not be a drain on society, we pay or taxes, we support our communities and we very often try to lend a hand to others in need when we can.  We are not up to our ears in debt because we live a simple lifestyle and we can and will protect ourselves against the ignorance and selfishness of others.  We represent ourselves.

Have a great weekend.  Stay safe friends!

Till next time,


Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I was in the mood to make soup, but honestly that isn’t unusual for this time of year.  I had been wanting Panera broccoli cheddar soup since a friend mentioned it in her meal plan on Z Life What’s Cooking Facebook page.

But it wasn’t until I walked down to the garden that I realized it was my fate To Make Soup!

Ok, I honestly was just going to the garden to get some leftover greens for the chickens, and then I saw this.


Well hello there Mr. Broccoli, lets put you in a pot!  (Yes, I actually still had broccoli in my garden in January, I know crazy right!)

This is perfect for my “new” weekly recipe, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe each week.  I’ve never made cheddar broccoli soup so I googled recipes and found several that I could tweak as my own for the ingredients I had on hand.

This is what I did…

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 Tbsp of olive oil (or bacon grease 😉 )
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced


Saute veggies in butter and oil until soft then add:

  • 1 cup of flour to make a roux

Cook roux for 5 – 10 minutes then whisk in:

  • 4 cups of (warmed) milk
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • S&P to taste ( 1 tsp. of each)


Cook and stir mixture about 5 minutes and then add:

  • 8 cups of small (even a little bit chopped) broccoli florets


Cook and stir about 10 – 15 minutes until broccoli is softened, then add:


  • 8 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Stir until cheese is melted.


This makes a big pot of soup.  My 8 quart stock pot is almost full, shy of about 2 quarts.

But, I’m thinking this soup will freeze nicely and if I’m cooking I’m always making more than one meal.

The recipe could easily be cut in half if needed.

This soup is beyond delicious!  So Good!

Now I wont have to buy Panera soup when the craving hits, I’ll just go to the freezer.


The last time I bought Panera was around $10 for a small cup of soup and a small salad.  This pot of soup (6 quarts) would cost about $23 (in my area of grocery costs).

That comes to about $1 per serving for a Panera size serving of this soup.   Have you ever got a bowl of soup at Panera (or anywhere besides home) for a $1 or less?

But, if you have broccoli in the garden or freezer and homemade chicken stock on the shelf or freezer, then the (immediate) cost of this soup would be minimal at best.

To go with it I made a fresh loaf of Katy’s, the author of The Non Consumer Advocate’s homemade bread AKA The Tightwad Gazette’s homemade bread recipe.

Just YUM!!!   No, really that’s all I could say, YUM!

Since I’ve never made this soup before, I’m counting this as my new recipe for the week, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe every week in 2017.

Go ahead, make some soup and bread…  You’ll love it!

Till next time,