Thursday, November 22, 2012

Martha Levasey's Sweet Potato Casserole

Years ago, when I was a young speech pathologist in a school system, the Special Education Department would have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner just before we had our Thanksgiving break. Each one of us brought something to add to the dinner. I was never a fan of sweet potatoes... I would eat a bite each year... a BITE each year when I was growing up because I really didn't like them. Until Martha Levasey brought her Sweet Potato Casserole.
I fell in love with sweet potatoes! No marshmallow stuff on these... this had a topping that crunches slightly when you put the serving spoon in, and the delectable steam rises. I think it is better than pumpkin pie!

For the past 30 some odd years, I have been making them her way for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. When the children were home, they helped me make this... I would get whole walnuts and their job was to crack open the walnuts and get the meat out, then chop them up. This has become a tradition that I hope is passed on to their own Thanksgiving tables.

In honor of Martha, here is her recipe

1 large can of sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk

Mix this together well,  and put into a 9x 13 baking dish.
Add topping:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix together

Top the sweet potatoes and bake for 45 minutes at 350* 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cool kitchen tip

I got this tip from one of my forums

The plastic top from a Parmesan jar will fit on  canning jars... powdered sugar, baking soda for cleaning, just a nice alternative to the plastic jar. 

It will fit on old mayonnaise jars also.

You can use the lids on the quart jar for hot chocolate mixes and the kids won't be as apt to spill when they spoon some out...   It will also fit on pint jars... even use the half-pint for your spice mixes. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Aloe Vera Plant

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 17 Things About Aloe Vera You Didn't Know

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Preparing your chickens for winter (and keep them laying)

What do you need to do to keep your chickens laying and happy through out the winter? 

A couple of things come to mind: 

Preparing the coop:
The coop should be draft free, but have plenty of airflow. Make sure that the airflow also keeps predators and rodents out of the coop. Plug up all the holes. :)
Supplementing light:

Chickens need at least 12-16 hours of light in order to maintain their egg production. The ideal is about 14.5 hours. Many farmers add light to their hen house at the end of August. If you haven't started the light already, your production will go down. The hens will molt, and then they will start up again. But you will lose a few weeks of eggs.  
You can add 15 minutes of light each day to maintain the 14.5 hours (if you begin at the end of August) but many of us completely forget about it until September rolls around and we suddenly realize that the days are getting shorter (then there is the dreaded Daylight Saving Time)

Some set their timers at the end of the day and then again at dawn... For example: the timer is set at 5 am and go off at 8 am, and also set it for 5 pm till 9 pm. This gives the hens those extra needed hours of daylight.

I read somewhere that it is best to give light only in the morning. The reasoning behind this is when dusk starts gathering, the hens all begin to find their place in the coop and on their perch.

There is a hierarchy and the oldest most mature hens get the top roost, and the younger ones go for the lower roosts... unless you have hens like mine and the young ones manage to find a foothold on the ceiling beam closest to the wall. For this reason, there is sometimes a little bit of scrabbling to get to the roosts.

If you are adding supplemental light at that time, and the light suddenly goes out due to the time you have set, then the hens may be caught on the floor eating, or walking about and have to find their places in the pitch dark. So, for that reason, I add all the light in the morning and let nature tell the hens when to roost in the evening.

A simple 40 watt bulb will work for a 10x10 coop.


The hens will also start eating more at this time. Our hens are completely free- ranging through out the day... no fences at all, they wander at will gathering the bugs and seeds from plants. But they also know that winter is coming, the temperatures are dropping, so to compensate, we give them a supplemental feed. When snow is on the ground, we feed the chickens a mixture of corn, wheat, oats and sunflower seeds. We also bring out a lot of left-overs from our meals. They love it.


Be sure the chickens have water... warm water will be greatly appreciated. Be sure to check through out the day. Water will freeze very quickly, crack your water bowl and leave the chickens the option to eat snow - not a good idea.
If you have electricity in your coop, you can make your own heated waterer.


I do know that there are some that add heat to their coops. We have never done that. In fact the first year we had chickens we didn't have a coop. They roosted in the trees through out the winter. In the morning the snowy blobs in the trees would move and shake. Snow would come down off the chicken and they would fly down to the ground where we would feed them.
Chickens with rose combs are fine without heat, but chickens with the large single comb will suffer from frost bite. The comb will turn black and eventually fall off. If you are not going to add any heat, be sure that the chickens you have a winter-hardy. Some common winter hardy breeds are: Dominiques, Australorps, Easter Eggers/Ameraucana, Orpingtons, Brahma, Cochin, to name just a few. 

If you do feel you would like to add some heat, by way of maybe a heat lamp, be sure that the hens do not have the opportunity to actually sit on the lamp (it is really useless to have it so high that they can't huddle under it anyway). Heat lamps can be very dangerous and will start a fire (we have personally experience with a fire from heat lamps).

Chickens put off a lot of heat, and there are places where the coop is attached to a greenhouse giving the green house supplemental heat. If your coop is well insulated, the chickens will be quite warm from their own body heat. Make sure there is a sufficient amount of litter on the floor.

If you feel you really do need heat, try a radiant heater These can be put on the ceiling. You can find some on the FarmTek site:;ft1_heaters_accessories;ft1_tube_heaters

Finally... be sure to gather your eggs a few times a day, or they will freeze! 

Chickens venturing out of the coop and into the snow

Friday, August 24, 2012


I have always had fun making jelly or jam. If you strain the juice out of the fruit, that is a jelly - it is usually clear. If you keep the fruit in the final product, that would be a jam.
Some of the traditional ones I have made are Wild Blackberry and what I call Three-Berry (which is a combination of whatever berries I have on hand). This could include any berry such as blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry... etc

Here are some of my unusual favorites: 

My daughter Bethany and I made Red Grapefruit Jelly one spring when we were visiting my mother in Florida. A friend had a grapefruit tree that had an abundance of fruit. She brought over a box full, and knowing we couldn't eat it all, we made jelly:


31/2 C. fresh squeezed red grapefruit juice
1/4 C. lemon juice
7 C. granulated sugar
2 (3 oz.) pouches liquid pectin
Red food coloring (optional)

Combine juices and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off any foam. Stir in liquid pectin. Add 6 to 8 drops of red food coloring. Ladle into hot sterilized jars and cover with lids and rings. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes to seal. Makes 6 jars.

Mountain Dew and Pink Grapefruit

My son loved to drink Mt. Dew, so for Christmas one year, I made him Mountain Dew Jelly. It is delicious:


3 1/4 C. Mountain Dew
2 T. lemon juice
4 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 pkg. Sure Jell pectin

Pour the Mountain Dew and lemon juice into a 6- to 8-quart pot. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then follow the Sure Jell directions. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

NOTE: You can use more Mountain Dew and reduce it to 3 1/4 cups for a more concentrated flavor.


12 dried red corncobs*
3 pt. water
1 pkg. powdered pectin
3 C. granulated sugar
1 T. lemon juice

* Red corncobs come from what is termed "field corn" that is raised to feed animals. However, you can use corncobs from the sweet corn you have just had for dinner!
Rinse cobs well. Break in half. Boil gently 30 minutes and strain the juice through a wet cloth. Measure to get 3 cups. If necessary, add water.
Add the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil.
Add sugar and heat to dissolve.
Bring to a boil again, boil for at least a full minute or until it starts to jell - another minute or so. Skim; pour into sterile glasses or jars and seal.

The corncob jelly takes it's color from the cobs that you use. I have always just used the cobs from dinner and the jelly is a pale yellow. It has a wonderful flavor that is good on toast, biscuits and popovers.

Hints for Successful Jam & Jelly Making

Make only one batch at a time. Doubling the recipe does not make the jelly jell (I have had many mistakes by trying this) 
It is now recommended that all jelly be processed for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
To prevent growth of molds and loss of flavor and color, pour hot product into hot canning (mason) jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace for jams, butters, conserves, marmalade and preserves, and 1/8-inch for jellies. The small amount of air trapped between the lid and the product will be heat treated during the water bath processing.
Wipe jar rims, adjust lids (place hot flats on jar and screw band/ring on tightly).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Buying grass-fed beef in bulk

If you are wondering how to buy meat in bulk from a local farmer, here is a good way to break it down for 1/2 a  beef for a family of 5 

56 1# packages of ground beef
7 packages of stew meat
5 packages of soup bones
5 chuck roasts
1 rump roast
2 cross rib roast
4 packages of short ribs
 1 tri-tip 
8 sirloin tips
7 packages of cube steaks
2 fillet
7 top sirloins
16 rib steaks
14 T bones

Here's another way:

83 pounds divided as follows:
 ~21 packages of ground beef totaling 47 pounds, 14.3 ounces of meat 
~5 roasts totaling 12 pounds, 4.1 ounces of meat
~15 packages of steak totaling 18 pounds, 14.8 ounces of meat
~2 miscellaneous cuts totaling 3 pounds, 15.3 ounces of meat

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rainbow Cake in a Jar

Find the recipe at:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rocking horse from a pallet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This rocking horse was made from a pallet that was from cherry wood.  We drew the picture on paper to get the general idea of the shape we wanted.

The wood was glued together and cut into the shape. Put together, sanded and sealed!                                                                                                        
In hindsite, we would have added a back to the seat, to make it more saddle-like

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicken coop

I am hoping that by writing this blog, my husband Jim, will be inspired to build me a new chicken coop!
  You see, Jim has built many chicken coops, but so far has sold all of them! The favorite one is this one:
This coop has a large enough door to get in and clean the coop. But if you don't need to, on the front are the nest boxes, and you can gather eggs from the outside.
On the back of the coop are custom made food bowl holders made by Jim's cousin Dave of  Physical Steel

The holders rotate out of the coop to be filled.

A few other mini-coops Jim has built that could also be used to house bunnies:

(Here we are finishing up a coop, that houses 4-6 chickens, to be delivered)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Raising Pigs

 ***Currently we are not open to the public,
 due to illness, changes and construction.***

Pigs are a great 4-H project for kids. The goal of the 4-H market hog project is to encourage integrity, sportsmanship, cooperation and an ability to communicate through activities such as demonstrations, talks, judging events, tours and exhibits.

Some believe that pigs were the earliest animal to be domesticated, not the cat or dog. Paintings and carvings of pigs over 25,000 years ago have been found. The Chinese domesticated pigs 7,000 years ago.
There is a difference between the farm pig and the potbelly pig - and it is not just related to size.  If you would  rather have a pet and not raise the pig for food, then I would suggest a good pot belly pig - The price is higher than a farm pig, so be sure to get what you are paying for...


FEEDING: Use a pre-mixed feed from the feed store - This is the easiest way to feed. They eat up to 3 pounds of feed. Or get your own: corn,peas,  barley, oats, rye even weed seeds are all fine to feed a pig. 

You can also feed a pig any discarded food from your plate - they will eat anything except onions and citrus peels. Don't feed chicken bones or any pork.

Raw vegetables. If you have a great source (Farmer's Markets, food stores, etc) or you grow your own, vegetables and fruits are wonderful feeds for your pigs. Let your pigs clean up the garden after the harvest.

Pigs can be raised on the long as food and water is accessible to them they won't wander. They love to eat greens.  Rotate the pasture by moving the pigs every day with an easy to move electric fence.

 Pigs can get rather aggressive when they are  hungry. If your pigs aren't hungry they won't try to eat you.
When pigs are young, fencing isn't much of a challenge - they stay where the food is! Even in an unfenced pasture. 

A pig needs to be kept cool, they have no way to sweat much - the way they cool down is in the mud. Provide a place for the pig to wallow - Otherwise, spray him down. White pigs will get sunburned, so they need shade.

Pigs need minerals from dirt - clumps of sod will work - they will eat the greens too. 

WATER: Fresh clean water is essential. Water is the most important part of a pig's diet. One-half to two-thirds of a pig's body is made up of water. Pigs should be supplied with as much clean, fresh water as they will drink. Pigs can live longer without feed than without water.

FENCING: they will stay in an electric fence, but once they learn to get out they will.
Stone, woven wire, and electric have all been used. Woven wire with electric on the bottom seems to be the best.

Some pigs root a lot and some do not. The black and white ones (Hampshires) seem to root the most (in our opinion). The red (Durocs) are less likely. But all pigs do root. They can root up asphalt their noses are so strong!

They do not jump, so the fence doesn't need to be high, just sturdy enough to withstand rooting. (Burying the bottom board is best)

The minimum space for one pig to be happy is 100 square feet. But if you will only have it a short time, less is OK. The boards on the fence should be close together, nail all boards to the inside of the posts. (The pig will push them loose).    

We love our pigs. Pigs are one of the larger animals on the farm. They are smart, and gentle (this is NOT the way with the boar). We have had the pigs be a hit in our petting zoo. We had tubes in the fence, and visitors simply put feed through the tube which fell into a trough - the pigs appetite is insatiable...

Duroc: These pigs have a medium length and slight dish of the face. The ears should be drooping and should not be held erect. color may range from a very light golden, almost yellow color, to a very dark red.  On the average, this breed needs less feed to make a pound of muscle than the other breeds.

Tamworth: From England, the head of the Tamworth is rather striking as compared with that of many other hogs in that it is long and has a snout that is moderately long and quite straight. When seen from the side, the face usually has a very slight suggestion of a dish. Long body, and long legs.
Yorkshire: An all white pig, it is thought that the first Yorkshires brought into the United States were brought
Berkshire: Black with six white points (nose, tail, and legs), these hogs have erect ears and a short, dished snout. They work well in enclosed facilities and are noted for their siring ability.
Hampshire: These are the oreo pigs. The Hampshire breed of hogs may well be one of the oldest original early American breeds of hogs in   existence today. They are black with a white belt that extends from one front leg, over the shoulder, and down the other front leg. They have erect ears and are popular for their lean, meaty carcasses.

Mariann sitting with "Portia the Pig" in labor


BOTTLE FEEDING THE PIGLETS: If you need to bottle feed a piglet - use fresh goats milk if you can. If not, we have used powdered goat's milk you can find in the grocery (in the baking aisle)  Another choice would be milk thickened with a little baby food and sweetened a little with light corn syrup. A bottle with a lambs nipple will work. It won't take long before the piglet will eat out of a pan and can have cream of wheat, or oatmeal. If the piglet isn't thriving, the best thing to feed is an egg.  2- 7 of them 3 times a day.  It won't be long before you're ready to get them outside in a regular pen!

If you love those little guys, piglets can be house broken. They gravitate naturally to sawdust. have a box with sawdust near their pen and they will do their business in the box. 

That is it in a nutshell


Hamlet is a mini pig. He is probably one of the most enjoyable animals we have  raised. He lives in the house with us, is litter trained,  gives kisses for Kiss the Pig contests, walks on a leash, and knows the words:  "no", "pigpig", "Hamlet", "sit". Here he is taking a  treat from my daughter's mouth.

Bath time.

Hamlet is now 5 years old.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Even thought the weather has not been the warm sunny days of Spring - the way I totally like them, I decided I needed to start cleaning out the part of the barn that holds our rabbits. It is backbreaking work and I have to admit I am going to do just a little at a time. Tomorrow I will work more, and hopefully if it's not rainy, I will take some cages outside so I can work around it easily. I hope to have a Bunny Barn somewhere near the chicken coop so the main barn can be used for other things.

There is always work to be done on a farm. Even one as small as ours. Cages to be cleaned, barns to be mucked out, animals fed, gardens tended to, fences mended or built...

Staying cool on the 4th of July

There are a lot of people this 4th of July that are still without poser from a storm that blew through a number of Mid-Atlantic states. 

So, how are you keeping cool today? Add your ideas!

One of the first things we do in the winter, is try to keep the cold out of the house by covering the windows. Using the same principal, keep the hot out of your house the same way. Window coverings work ok, but an insulated curtain works wonders. I have taken 2 pieces of material, slipped a piece of fabric batting in between and sewn them up. I use this in the winter, but when you have not ac in the summer this also helps. Blankets will also work. Bubble wrap in a pillow case.  Cardboard with aluminum foil to reflect the sunlight out. 

Keeping direct sunlight out of the house is the goal. At night, when the temperatures drop a bit, open the windows and let the cool air in. In the morning, shut the coolness into the house by closing and covering the windows.

If you are lucky enough to live by water, go swimming. The best way to keep tempers in check is to cool off. It also gets rid of pent up energy.

Sometimes the cities will open fire hydrants.

If you have no way to go swim, wet a washcloth and place it on top of your head. This will cool your body down. Years ago, Jim and I went to the Indy 500 where it was sweltering. Putting the wet washcloth on our heads was a way to keep cool.  A spray bottle with some water in it to mist your face works well too. I remember seeing a spray bottle with a personal fan attached at the Dollar Store a few years back. That would work well too...

Ice in a small bag or ice pack in your hat. When I was in high school and would march in the band, the uniforms were extremely hot. The 4th of the day parade can be one of the hottest times to march. My mother would fill an ice pack and put it on top of my head under the band uniform hat (which was very similar to the British Guard uniforms!)

(Ice packs can be found on

If you can go to the mall, or shopping center that has ac. 

Drive in your car for a little bit. If you can find a road with a lot of trees, you will be amazed at the 10 degree difference that could make. 

If you have water, fill the tub with cool water and soak.

Place cooling sheets over the fuzzy material on your furniture.

If you have a basement, create a way to get the cool air up stairs. My grandmother had vents in the floor of her house. When we were upstairs, we could see through them and watch the adults downstairs. These floor vents can be opened and closed.

If all else fails, rent a room at a motel for a night... 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Are you prepared for the loss of electricity?

In light of the past few days where so many people in the Mid-Atlantic region lost power, I thought I'd address some issues. First of all, you CAN survive without taking a shower for a few days, You CAN live without air conditioning. You CAN live without t.v. or  lights. (Go to bed when the sun goes down and get up at dawn) 

Air conditioning was invented in 1902  by Willis Carrier  as a solution to keep muggy air in a printing plant from wrinkling magazine pages. As with the modern day computer, the air conditioning unit went through many stages before it became a common household machine. It was considered a luxury. As a child in the 60's I remember my best friend's mother taking us swimming in their car which had air conditioning. It was stifling inside because she insisted the windows be kept up until the ac had sufficient time to cool the air. We were glad to get out at the local pool as by then the sweat was rolling off of our faces. When she came back to pick us up, the card was frigid. We, of course had cooled off all afternoon at the community pool, and the car felt like it could snow at any moment!

We went to school without ac in the schools. After recess, our bodies dripping with sweat, our faces red, the teacher would keep the lights off, the windows open and we would lay our heads down on the desk for a cooling down period. I remember one teacher telling us that the quieter we were and the less we moved we would be able to feel the slight breeze coming in through the windows. To this day, if I am that hot, I often lay quietly near a window, and wait for the slight breeze to find me.

As Americans, we are quite spoiled when it comes to our comforts. And the least little thing to change that comfort throws us into a panic. Yet there are people all over the world without ac. In our own country, the Amish do not have air conditioning. Yet if you see their houses, you will notice deep porches, which keeps the summer sun from shining directly into the windows. There are also trees shading the house. The house that I grew up in had huge trees all around it and a wrap-around porch. I have to admit, though, that my Dad kept a fan in the window upstairs as a way of pulling out the days heat, then pulling in the night air.

Although on our homestead we do have electricity, we lived here for 8 years without any in the house. We found that when you live without electricity, going outside to work and do chores is not much of a problem. You simply don't notice the heat that as much - the outside temperature is pretty equal to the inside. But, if you have air conditioning,  you really notice when you are going from a cool house to the oven outside. Yes, you can actually survive without the air conditioner.

So, if you are already used to it, and the power goes off, what can you do? I am sure a lot of you have already read preparedness information and simply didn't think it would apply. Now is the best time to access what you need to do if this happens again.
First of all, be sure to have water. Water, water, water is a huge key to survival. When the power is off, the pump will not bring water to you to drink, or to use for cleaning the dishes, flushing the toilet. So, you will need a supply of water for drinking and some for the other things. Washing your dishes by hand is easy. Using paper plates temporarily may be a better option.  Flush the toilet only when needed. Take the tank lid off of the back and fill it with water, then flush. 

Matches and a lamp filled with lamp oil will help keep the rooms lit when it is dark. Don't use these to light your way through the house as the possibility of dropping them and starting a fire is too risky. The lamps can be placed in a room, maybe in front of a mirror and light the area. Flashlights should have plenty of fresh batteries.

Sleeping can be a big issue. Move your beds to the lowest level of your house. Sleep near a window that may let the night air in. Sleep on your porch or even in the yard. The night air is cooler so get as close to being outside as possible. 

The hardest part is keeping your food refrigerated and frozen. Not always something that you can accomplish. Don't open the freezer. The longer the power is out the less likely you will be able to save your food if you keep opening it. Keep your windows covered to keep the sunlight out if there are windows near the unit.  You can also put ice in a cooler and keep your refrigerated food in there. We used a cooler for many years as a fridge without any problems. We did have to purchase ice, so be sure to have enough coolers to hold the ice you think you will need. 

When the big black out on Nov. 9, 1965 came and took out power to 7 states and parts of Canada,  my mother told me then to always cook with a gas stove. And I have always had a gas stove. Without power, you can at least have a hot meal (although this isn't a blessing in the heat of the summer). The new stoves now  have an electric ignition that won't let you  light them (all for our safety, you know). In that case, a camp stove with those little propane cannisters will do in a pinch. Cooking outside on the grill is an option. And for those adventurous, use a solar cooker. The first one we had  was made out of boxes, but Jim made me a wooden one last year. There are also sites you can get ready-made solar cookers.

My great aunt was without power in the middle of winter for 3 weeks. She was in her 90's at that time. She put blankets over all the doors that led out of the kitchen and brought in her small love seat. She stayed in the kitchen with her oven on for warmth. Not that I would recommend this to anyone, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

A generator is a huge help. This time when the power went out, my husband, Jim, ran the generator 2 hours at a time, then let it sit for a couple of hours before running it again. This was to keep the 2 refrigerators, one freezer and our incubators running. That was all the load the generator could take, and with the run-on gas that we experienced, (the lines were so long)  we didn't want to run out of gas and not be able to use the generator at all. It is a noisy, annoying thing to have, but it saved all of our food (although we do not know if what was in the incubators survived yet). 

And last, but not least, if you can find a lake, pond, river, creek with good water to take a dip in, this is a great way to relieve the tension of being hot all the time! 

Friday, June 29, 2012


A gosling asleep in the aquarium the first day

This year our incubator has been going non-stop. We have hatched out emu, ducks, turkeys, chickens, red-golden pheasants, quail and turkey.
The goslings have so far been my favorite. They are a few weeks old and are currently grazing on grass outside. Because they were born in the incubator, and I guess because my voice was the first one they heard. I can call to them and they will come running, peeping the whole way. 

We started them out with a commercial starter/grower, being careful that it wasn't medicated.  They can get messy with water, so I watch and limit the water a little at first. A wet, chilled gosling can easily die. I use a 1/2 gal chicken waterer, filling it up 1/2 way. 

By 4 weeks they are outside forging for themselves. I bring them in at night. Even if I get them after the sun has started to set, all I need to do is call, and they will come running. 

As with ducks, they are not ready for any swimming until they get their adult feathers. They have a shallow pan (as you can see in the picture above) but also unlike ducks, they don't seem to be too anxious to get water all over themselves.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Basic Frittata Recipe

Such an easy way to use eggs, this type of recipe can be for breakfast or made into a dinner recipe. I love frittatas because it requires very little in preparation and execution! I make this in the morning with left over chicken from dinner the night before. If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use Mrs. Dash's Original spice mix, Italian Seasonings, etc. The choices are limited only by your imagination.

Basic Frittata Recipe from the Incredible Edible Egg site
recipe image

What You Need

cup liquid, such as milk, tomato juice, broth
tsp. dried thyme leaves OR herb of your choice
Salt and pepper
cup filling (see below)
tsp. butter OR vegetable oil

Here’s How

  1. BEAT eggs, liquid, herb and salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended.ADD filling; mix well.
  2. HEAT butter in 6 to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat until melted. POUR IN egg mixture; cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. REMOVE from heat. COVER and LET STAND until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 5 to 10 minutes. CUT into wedges.


  • Season your frittata with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil or cilantro.Choose seasonings that complement your filling.
  • Frittatas taste good cold and travel well - perfect for picnic fare or a take-along lunch.

Insider Info

  • Make fillings from your favorite foods or from leftovers. Use a combination of meat, seafood or poultry, cheese, vegetables and cooked pasta or grains.
  • For fewer or more servings: Adjust the filling, liquid, seasonings and pan size proportionally to the number of eggs used. For 2 eggs, use a 6-inch pan; for 6 eggs, an 8-inch pan; for 8 eggs, an 8 to 10-inch pan.
  • Filling ingredients should be cooked, not raw. Pieces should be cut fairly small and drained well.
  • Three ways to serve a frittata: Serve wedges right from pan, slide uncut frittata topside-up onto platter, or invert frittata onto platter to show its nicely-browned bottom.
  • Broiler Method: Prepare frittata in a pan with an ovenproof handle. (To make handle ovenproof, wrap it completely in aluminum foil.) Cook on stovetop until eggs are almost set. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, bread crumbs or crushed chips. Broil about 6 inches from heat until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains and cheese is melted or topping is lightly browned.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Foods you can grow from kitchen scraps

I thought this was so interesting! You can grow celery from your left-overs?

Happy National Egg Month! Our first recipe

It is obvious, by our homestead, that eggs have become a passion with us. We gather them, we incubate them or we eat them
This is National Egg Month.
Recent research has found that men and women who ate 2 eggs for breakfast as a part of their low calorie diet lost 65% more weight and had a 61% greater reduction in BMI. Eggs keep people more satisfied until their next meal.

**SCRAMBLED EGGS (generally use about 2 eggs per person $.26 a person $1.04 for family)
 In a small bowl, crack open 6 eggs Using a fork, or whisk, beat in 6 tablespoons milk until blended. 
 Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon butter or cooking oil (or use cooking spray) until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.  Pour in egg mixture.  Reduce to medium-low heat.
 As mixture begins to set, this is a good time to add anything – mushrooms, onions, cheese. Then with a wooden spoon, gently scrape the eggs across bottom and sides of pan, forming large, soft curds. 
Continue cooking until eggs are thickened and no visible liquid egg remains.