How to make Buttermilk

I was in search for a muffin recipe this week and came across this one, for pumpkin bran muffins.  I made a special trip to the store and made sure that I had all of my ingredients, but of course I forgot the buttermilk.  Buttermilk is one of those things that I just don’t buy because most recipes only use just a little bit, and then your stuck with a cup or so left over, and what do you do with left over butter milk?

Maybe this is common knowledge, but I just discovered all you need to make buttermilk is, milk and vinegar or lemon juice.  That’s IT!

How to make Buttermilk
Homemade buttermilk ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 tsp vinegar

Mix 1 cup of milk with 4 1/2 tsp vinegar (or lemon juice) let it sit on the counter for 15 min or so and you will have instant homemade buttermilk!

*note* If you do happen to remember to buy buttermilk for your cooking you can pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.

Here is a link to 66 yummy buttermilk recipes, YUM!

 

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Moss and Mushrooms

This weekend I walked around the property looking at the plants starting to wake up from their winter nap.  This last week we had a bit of rain fall mixed in with sunshine and spring is really starting to show its self, even if it still is a little over a month away.  I started to take pictures of the moss growing in the trees, and the mushrooms that are starting to get with the program.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushroom Moss and MushroomsI had never heard of Turkey Tail mushrooms, but that is what these are, see they look just like turkey tails!   I am not a mushroom expert, so I will say I am about 75% sure that these are in fact Turkey Tail mushrooms.  Turkey Tail mushrooms have been linked to help improve the immune system in people who have breast cancer, good to know?  Walking around looking at the trees on our land I have come to realize I think a few of them might be dead, because they don’t have any buds on them yet, and all the mushrooms and fungi growing is quite impressive.Mushroom

Tree Bark
Tree scars
Fungi
Fungi

Do you see the face, I didn’t even notice it until I was looking back at the pictures I took!  Woodpeckers have done a number on most of the trees around our house, and whom ever lived here before had no clue what they were doing when it came to caring for the plants and trees.  Many of the trees have scars and healed over scars from someone taking an axe to them and just hacking into them partly.  Mushroom statue

Future home of a fairy house
Future home of a fairy house

A few weeks ago I was cleaning up an old flower bed and I found this cement mushroom berried in the dirt.  I thought I might paint it and turn this little hollow in the tree into a fairy house.  I think my son might enjoy a little spot in the yard where magic might exist.Green Moss on tree bark

The moss
The moss

I hope where ever you are the signs of spring are starting to show themselves!

Feeling like spring

Just some snap shots of my last week or so.  Enjoy!

Holiday Pointsettia My Poinsettia flowers are still doing amazing sitting in the window.  I have never had much luck keeping them alive longer than a week or so, I am feeling quite proud of myself for keeping them in good spirits this long!Tree Blossom Snowdrop flowerThe flowers, bushes and trees are starting to awaken from a short winters nap this year.  Pollen has been blanketing my car on a daily basis, however I welcome the early signs of spring.

Reflection of a beautiful sunset in the window
Reflection of a beautiful sunset in the window
Fence post hole digging
Fence post hole digging
future chicken coop
future chicken coop

Pallet Chicken CoopMy pictures for our chicken coop are not the best, but we have been making progress the last few days while taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Yardart
Starting to decorate the yard?
Firepit
Fire pit!

Everyone should have a fire pit.  Eventually we plan on making this a little bit more permanent, more rocks, gravel and the metal ring will be gone.

Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls

And my domestic self made a batch of cinnamon rolls, that really hit the spot!

 

 

 

Taste Test

Last week I received my Frosty Voxbox from influenster.  For those that have never heard of influenster they send you boxes full of goodies to try, test, and review 100% complimentary.  I love free stuff, and I like giving my honest opinion on products.

Today I took the Celestial Seasonings taste test.  I had a trial sized packet of Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane *Decaf Green Tea in my Frosty Voxbox to try.  So, with the babe napping, I thought a well deserved tasty treat was in order for myself.

Celestial Seasonings taste test
Celestial Seasonings taste test

The tea sample had two tea bags inside and when I opened the packet I could instantly smell the peppermint tea.  The tea smelled fresh, and full of peppermint leaves.  I boiled myself up a pot of water and just before the water boiled I poured it over my tea bags that I had put into my little black teapot.  One of the best things I ever did was buy my little black teapot.  I have a winter ritual where I make myself a pot of tea every afternoon, and today the weather is on the verge of falling snow, so today is perfect for this tea!

Candy Cane Lane
Candy Cane Lane

DSC_1150After three minutes of steeping I poured myself my first cup of tea.  Candy Cane Lane reminded me of a York Peppermint Patty.  I love peppermint patties, so I thought that this cup of tea was quite delicious.  I have tried peppermint tea before, but this one seems to make me feel like “Ah, yes! I just had a cup of tea!”  I can feel my stomach and my throat warm up and it feels nice on this wintry day.

One good cup of tea
One good cup of tea

Candy Cane Lane tea is more than just peppermint, it is decaf green tea, orange peel, natural vanilla and mint, cinnamon, milk thistle, blackberry leaves, roasted carob, roasted chicory and vanilla bean.  So in other words, Uhh, yum!  If you are in the mood for a peppermint flavored tea I would recommend Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings, even if you are a bit of a tea snob you should give this one a chance!

Thank you influenster for the complementary sample of tea, I loved drinking this during my “me time”.

 

 

Sunday Funday!

This weekend we are visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Today is the day where we are starting a new family tradition.  Our little elf on the shelf came last night!  We decided that we were going to have him come on November 30th, and he would bring his north pole breakfast (click here to get an idea of what I am talking about) This year because it is our first year doing elf on the shelf our breakfast and decorations are simple, our 2-year-old doesn’t get the concept of it all just yet.  I will be sharing the events of this weekend and how we introduced our son to the elf on the shelf tradition next Sunday.

Because today is a family day and the holidays are officially here, I am just going to share this little bit of holiday inspiration with you, a link to Mountain Rose Herbs.  The link below will take you to a blog post with 5 different festive herbal drinks for your winter holiday celebrations.  I am considering making the Rose and Cardamom Eggnog, yummy!

roseeggnog
Rose and Cardamom Eggnog

 

The Mountain Rose Blog.

Do you have any fun family traditions or festive libations you create every holiday season?  I would love to hear what your holiday traditions are I am always looking for new fun things to do!

Comfort Food for Sunday Funday

Some Sundays are just meant for lounging in sweats, and watching movies all day… Today was one of those days.  Well, we did manage to make it outside and finished raking up the last of the fallen leaves before they got wet. To make our lazy fall day complete I decided to make my grandmothers fresh apple cake.  I had so many apples left over from making applesauce last week, I thought a little piece of comfort food on this day would be okay. image

 

In order to make my grandmothers fresh apple cake you will start with the usual suspects, sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, and apples.   You will need to peel, core and dice the apples into a bowl and gently mix in with wet ingredients.

image

imageThen you will want to get your dry ingredients ready.  Flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts (optional).

imageimage

imageMix dry ingredients together and then pour in the apple mixture and stir together.

image

You may need to put a little elbow grease into stirring the cake mix together.  The cake batter will seem dry once everything’s incorporated , so don’t worry.  You will then pour the cake mix into a greased and floured 13×9″ pan, or you can use cooking spray that works too.

image

imageGently spread cake mix evenly in pan and then bake!  This cake went so fast I didn’t even get a chance to plate it and take a halfway decent picture of what it looks like when it is ready to eat.  When the cake cooled I frosted it with a simple cream cheese frosting.  This cake is simple good old-fashioned comfort food.image.

apple cake

 

Homemade Apple Sauce

homemadeapplesauce

Last week I got a bunch of apples from my aunt and uncle and I made applesauce with them.  It is so unbelievable easy to make apple sauce!

Granny Smith Apples
Granny Smith Apples

To make applesauce you first, put your apples in one side of your sink, you will peel and core them on this side. Then on the other side of the sink you will want to fill it with water and add a few tablespoons of salt and a few tablespoons of vinegar, this will help prevent your cored and peeled apples from browning, just like how lemon juice prevents browning.

 

Apple peels
Apple peels

You then dice up your peeled and cored apples into small pieces and put them into a large soup pot.  I then added 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg to the apples, but really the sugar and spices is up to you and what you like and how tart you like your sauce.

Apples cooking down
Apples cooking down

I brought water to a boil, put a lid on the pot, then simmered the apples on medium heat until they started to get soft.

Ready to mash up the apples into sauce.
Ready to mash-up the apples into sauce.

Once the apples were soft, I then mashed them with a potato masher until the sauce was smooth with some lumps.

Because I had so many apples I decided that I would can the applesauce.  So, I then put lids and clean jars into hot water, and I poured the hot apple sauce into the hot jars.  I chose not to put my jars into a water bath, I have no clue if that was a huge mistake or not?  You can go here and read about water bath canning here, and here is the official Ball recipe for applesauce.

 

HOT jars and lids
HOT jars and lids

 

My set up
My set up
The finished product
The finished product