Weekend Links

C.S. Lewis Weeknd Links

Faourite Links

Deviled Eggs with Bacon @ Simple Foody

Take the Rose @ Five in Tow

Healthy Chocolate Mint Truffles @ Worth Cooking

Rule of 10: An Easy Formula to Simplifying Your Wardrobe @ Richly Rooted

Rule of 10: An Easy Formula for Simplifying Your Wardrobe – See more at: http://richlyrooted.com/2014/08/rule-of-10.html#sthash.QRtavQ8n.dpuf
Rule of 10: An Easy Formula for Simplifying Your Wardrobe – See more at: http://richlyrooted.com/2014/08/rule-of-10.html#sthash.QRtavQ8n.dpuf
Rule of 10: An Easy Formula for Simplifying Your Wardrobe – See more at: http://richlyrooted.com/2014/08/rule-of-10.html#sthash.QRtavQ8n.dpuf

Favourite Deals

I’ve been using Lilla Rose flexi clips for about four years now, before that I admired them for a few years. Right now they are having a sale on new and retiring styles making it perfect time to try one for yourself! They work for all hair types and come in many different sizes and styles.

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How to Can Peaches in a Simple Honey Syrup

How to Can Peaches in a Simple Honey Syrup

Peaches are the fruit I look most forward to in the summertime! Well, I guess I have to add in strawberries, cherries and nectarines as well.

California’s Central Valley has some of the best summer fruit in the nation! I beg to differ that our peaches might even be better than Georgia’s but I’ve never been there so I better watch what I say!

There is one thing I know, you can.not. buy peaches from the store! No questions asked, if you do and you’re happy with them you don’t what you are missing out on. If I can’t buy them fresh and local there is no way I am even eating them. I tried that once, big mistake.

Peaches are the perfect summer fruit, sadly their growing season is short. There are five options:

  1.  You enjoy them in the summer and that is the end of them
  2. You freeze
  3. You dry them
  4. You make fruit leather
  5. You can them

As much as I love and promote eating with the seasons sometimes it is nice to have a bit of peach sometime later on in the year.

Fresh Peaches

I have very limited freezer space so I only freeze a few gallon size bags of peaches each year. The past few years I have either dried, made fruit leather or canned peaches. My prefered form of preservation is canning.

Canned peaches are the perfect after dinner dessert or topping for oatmeal. Most store-bought canned peaches are canned in high-frutose corn syrup. Then there is the BPA concern so I haven’t bought peaches from the store in years. When I was little we did get to eat some that were canned in a light syrup ever so often. I like to make a simple honey syrup for my peaches. Sometimes I’ve run out and just canned them in water and not noticed the difference.

Organic peaches are always preferred but can be a bit pricey. I tend to haunt the farmer’s market and buy peaches from the “sceconds” bin. Seconds are fruit that are bruised or otherwise blemished making them not able to be sold full price. I’ve found that many time there are only slight bruising or spot so I always buy them. I end up only paying 1/4 of the price!  It makes the farmer happy to be rid of it while at least getting a bit of money and it makes me happy too since I’m saving lots of money.

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How to Can Peaches in a Simple Honey Syrup
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel your peaches. You can peel them with a paring knife which is what I normally do since I am using bruised fruit. You could also freeze them whole for about an hour and them rub the skin off under running water. Lastly you could put them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds and then place them in a bowl of ice water for another 30 seconds. Pick the peach up and the skin will come right of.
  2. Cut your peaches. You can cut them in half or slice them to your desired thickness. Place them in a bowl.
  3. Fill each jar with your cut peaches. Pour the lemon juice over the peaches. Use 1 teaspoon for each pint jar and 2 teaspoons for each quart jar.
  4. Bring the lids/seals to a gentle simmer.
  5. Bring the honey and water to a simmer to make a "syrup". Once the honey is dissolved turn off the heat.
  6. Pour the hot syrup into each jar, just filling to where the threads of the jar start.
  7. Wipe the rim and place the seal and lid on the jar. Twist on the ring, being sure not to make it too tight.
  8. Place the jars in a water bath canner or pressure canner without the lid.
  9. Cover the jars with water and bring to a boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the jars from the pot with a jar clamp and place on a counter or table covered with a dish towel.
  11. Allow to fully cool and seal before storing away.
  12. If you have never heard a jar seal before, it is music to the ears!

Have you tried canning before? What is your favorite thing to can?

 

 

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, Wildcrafting Wednesday,

 

 

 

How to Save Money on Real Food Part 1

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The journey to eating real food always needs to be filled with grace. There are many ways to save on real food, organic and non-organic alike. Over the next couple weeks I will be sharing tips on how to save money on real food that will nourish your family and keep your budget in check.

Teaching people to make wise choices in purchases and learning how to use basic foods that we normally wouldn’t think to save like bones and vegetable peels is a bit of a passion of mine. I remember the first time I saw the cook at the school where I served in Mexico tossing the bones and offal from the chicken she was cutting up. I asked her why she didn’t save them to make stock. It turns out no one had ever taught her, she was just doing what everyone around her did. The next time she made chicken she giddily showed me the broth she had made from the bones and offal that she was going to use in our rice that day. Sometimes a person just needs to be taught. It is my hope that “mis hijas” in Mexico will rememer the things I taught them.

You might remember the book I co-authored this year, Frugal Secrets of Real Foodies. It is full of more in-depth tips, how-tos and recipes how to save money on real food. It also includes the authors’ personal stories on how we came to eat real food and save money while doing so.

Consider today’s post and next weeks a crash course while the book will take you a bit deeper.

Join a  Natural Foods Co-op

The word co-op has been part of my vocabulary since I was a little girl. It is hard to remember a time when my family didn’t belong to one. Azure Standard is by far (in my opinion) the best natural foods co-op out there! The have good rates, a wide and I mean wide verity of items chose from and you can buy small to very large amounts. If I want to try a new brand of coconut milk and only want one jar, that’s no problem or if  I really like something I can buy a few flats of it. Since Azure Standard is based out of Oregon there is no sales tax. An added bonus it that there is no shipping! Once a month you send your order in and meet the driver at a designated drop point to pick up your things.

My Top Azure Picks:

  • Wheat Berries
  • Sucanat
  • Apples
  • 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Seal Lids
  • Coconut Milk
  • Chicken Feed
  • Real Salt

Save Veggie Scraps

Don’t throws veggie scraps away! Peelings, bits and pieces of vegetables like carrots, onions and celery make great additions to stocks. Cilantro roots and stems give amazing flavor to rice and soups. A little bit of leftover herbs can be blender with butter to make an amazing herb butter!

Save Bones

Bone-broth is so incredibly good for you! I can’t even begin to enumerate the reasons why I believe that everyone needs to eat it at least a  few times a week. Homemade broths and stocks are the foundation for delicious soups and stews. They are also very frugal to make. Cartons of broth from the store are lack luster and cost up to $4 for a 16 oz carton.

I use a lot of chicken broth in my cooking so anytime I have chicken on the bone I save the bones in a zip lock bag and store them in the freezer until I have enough to make a pot of broth. Some may find it gross to reuse bones that have already been “chewed” on but the freezer and cooking process will kill any germs that might have been on the bone.

Buy off the Clean 15

I don’t know anyone who can afford to buy 100% organic food.  That is why the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List come in hand. If I can afford to buy the items on the Dirty Dozen I will. If not I pass them over and buy off the Clean 15. I try to follow this for grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms alike. Sometimes though I still really want that orange even though I can’t afford the organic ones so I buy it, eat it and am grateful for it.

Buy in Season and Local

Buying in season will save you money where ever you go. It will also ensure that your food tastes better. Have you ever eaten a peach in the middle of winter? Blach!!! I can’t even go there. It just doesn’t taste right. Peaches can’t grow in the winter which means they were shipped from somewhere that is  warm and picked before it’s prime.

This also ties into eating local. I remember visiting an aunt in the mid-west one summer, she was raving about a plum that she had bought at the store. I enjoy a good plum so I bit into one. I was taken aback by the bland flavor. When I looked that the box I saw an area code from somewhere just south of where I live in California. In order for the plum to get to Missouri and still look pretty without spoiling the plum had to be picked before it’s prime just like peaches you buy in the winter. Picking fruit before it’s prime also decreases the nutritional value. I love buying fruit at the local stands in the summer. They are less expensive and bursting with flavor, plus you are helping a local farmer!

Buy Seconds

Buying in season and local may save you some money but at times it still costs too much. Organic local peaches cost $2.50/lb in my area. Yet if I buy “seconds” AKA bruised fruit I only pay 75 cent/lb! Many times there is one little nick or blemish in the fruit so the farmer sets it aside. I bought about 24 lbs of fruit from my farmer one week for only $15! Most of the fruit was in near perfect condition. You can also look at the grocery store for marketed down items that are almost to their expiration point that the store wants to get rid of.

 Stay tuned for Part 2 next Monday!

 

 Now it’s your turn! What are your real food money-saving tips?

 This post is part of Fat Tuesday,

Frugal Tips to Reuse Your Real Food Flops

RealFoodFlops

Real food flops, we all have them. It’s always frustrating when you make something that just doesn’t turn out right. You spend money on high quality ingredients and then the recipe just doesn’t turn out.

I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me! Sometimes it’s as simple as forgetting about my whole-grain rising and not baking well, other times it is simply rushing things. Regardless of I HATE waste! There is little that rubs me more wrong in the kitchen than food not being valued.

If you are anything like me, I’m sure you will enjoy these frugal tips to reuse your real food flops!

Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

Make a potato soup or potato pancakes. A simple Mexican favorite it to mix shredded pot roast with mashed potatoes for tacos.

Bread

Dense bread, over risen bread, too salty of bread… I’ve done all three. There are a few ways I like to use them.

  • Make croutons
  • Make stuffing
  • Make bread crumbs
  • Make bread pudding
  • Give them to the chickens

Clabbered Milk

Raw milk turning to clabber is always a sad thing and while it’s not an actual flop (unless you forget to put it in the fridge) it is a sad thing that can happen.

  • Use to soak your bread/muffins
  • Again feed it to your chickens (they LOVE that stuff)

Kombucha

I have a  few bottles of kombucha that I forgot about and let ferment too long right now, sad day but there are a few ways to reuse it.

Chocolate

Have you ever tried to melt chocolate and had it seize on you? Kimi Harris at The Nourishing Gourmet has a recipe for chocolate fudge sauce made from seized chocolate.

Running Yogurt

Runny yogurt is a sad thing that has happened to me more than once. Thankfully I stopped having that problem a few years ago (except for my goat milk batch, I don’t know what went wrong there). A Proverb’s 31 Wife has lots of great tips on how to use it!

 

Failed Mayo

This can make a great salad dressing or you can use it to make chocolate mayonnaise cake. Trust me on the cake, it’s great!

Lumpy Lemon Curd

I love lemon curd! In fact I have a recipe for lemon curd and raspberry curd in my book, Steeped! Sometimes I don’t pay attention or stir well and the egg starts to cook to quickly, leaving chunks of eggs, GROSS. A simple trick  is to pour it threw a fine strainer or cheese cloth while it is still warm to strain out the lumps. I like to use the back of a spoon to gently push the curd through the strainer.

Don’t forget to get your own copy of The Frugal Secrets of Real Foodies and enter in the giveaway, it ends today! Plus if you buy the book today you get free printables and coupon codes!

What are you tips for reusing your real food flops?

Weekend Links

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There is nothing like a slow weekend to curl up and read for awhile. I love it when I can carve out some time on a Saturday or Sunday to relax with some good reads and a cup of tea or coffee. I hope you enjoy these finds as well!

Weekend Links

6 Small Habbits to Increase Contentment @ Red and Honey

Cuban Picadillo @ The Nourishing Gourmet (I LOVE Mexican picadillo so I can’t wait to try this!)

Sweet and Simple Cherry Hand Pies @ My Humble Kitchen

Why Mending Matters @ Small Town Simplicity

Deals

A new book, The Frugal Sectrets of Real Foodies, I wrote with a few blogger released this past week. If you buy it by Tuesday the 15th you get some awesome bonuses and discount codes.

Don’t miss out on the giveaway we also have going on. You have a chance to win a gift basket from Jovial, Real Salt or Mountian Rose Herbs!

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