Simple Meals Friday #96

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Welcome to Simple Meals Friday!

There is nothing like having a collection of simple meals to throw together in a slow cooker first thing in the morning or in a skillet as a last minute dinner. What are your favorite slow cooker, rice cooker, skillet meals and salads?
We want to know your easy to make meals. It’s great learn and be inspired by others. When you link up on any of our sites the links will show up on all the blogs.

Meet Your Hosts

 

  1. Katie Mae of Nourishing Simplicity
  2. Katie of Simple Foody

Please Read and Follow these Simple Meals Friday Rules

  • Keep the foods “nourishing”, such as homemade chicken stocks, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (lard, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, tallow), unrefined sugars, flours and salts and meats.
  • Please don’t include recipes using processed oils such as soy and canola oil, msg laden bouillon and other highly processed foods. If I notice a recipe using these ingredients it will be deleted. Try to incorporate traditional methods of preparing foods like, sprouting, soaking, sourdough and lacto-fermentation.
  • Link back to this blog hop, it is a common linking courtesy. It helps to build a stronger blogging community. That way we can all learn and share with each other.

We enjoyed reading all your submissions. The hosts will pick a favorite post to feature on next week’s Simple Meals Friday. If you want to be featured please be sure to link back to this blog hop. Our favorites will be featured on facebook and pintrest!

Featured Simple Meals

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1. Vegan Basil Pesto from Avocado Pesto

Are you ready to link-up?



Soothing Lemon Chamomile Popsicles

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Children of all ages love popsicles! Okay, so do adults, who are we joking here. I still remember the days at friend’s houses when we would suck on cold bright-colored pops. I loved them but those will never be seen in my house if I have anything to do with it.

Thankfully I have a mama that raised me right and knew the harm that sugar can have on people, especially little children. Instead we had tasty homemade popsicles made from fruit juices. The freezer was always full of them and if for some reason we did run out new ones were made right away.

I’m over at Modern Alternative Mama today sharing these soothing lemon chamomile popsicles!

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 summer time! Well, I guess I have to add in strawberries , cherries and nectarines as well. California’s Centural 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 three 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 pricy. 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
Author: 
 
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 with out 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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Save Money on Real Food Part 2

How to Save Money on Real Food

Real food isn’t cheap, there is no way around that. That’s why it is important to learn to use what you have and be informed about where you might find deals on real food. Last week I shared a few tips on how to save money on real food, today we are going to continue on with that in part two.

Buy in Bulk

Co-op

Last week I mentioned buying from a co-op. Co-ops are a great option for buying bulk items. In fact almost all of my dry bulk purchases come from Azure standard. I buy bags of grains, sugars and other items in 20 to 50 lb bags. If you don’t want to buy that much of an item or don’t have to storage space you can buy smaller quantities at a time as well such as 5 lbs. I also buy things like almonds, peanuts, sherded coconut and cocoa powder in 5 lb bags.

Grocery/Amish Stores

Many grocery stores like Raley’s, Sprout and Whole Foods have a wide verity of bulk bins where you can stock up on smaller amount of bulk items. Modern Alternative Mama buys many of her bulk purchases at a store in Amish Country a few hours from her home.

Farmers

If you can afford to, buying meat in bulk is a wonderful way to save money on your meat purchases. I went in with a friend last year and bought  1/6th of a cow. There is nothing like having fresh meat in your freezer for the year. When I was younger I remember my parents’ buying enough whole chickens to last us a year. Diana of My Humble Kitchen wrote a post last year about using tax returns to buy pastured beef in bulk for the year. If you have land you could look into raising your own like my grandparents’ did. If you buy meat in bulk or want to raise your own you are going to want to look into a deep-freeze or a stand-up freezer.

Farmer’s Markets

I buy large amounts of peaches every summer to preserve for the rest of the year. Like I mentioned last week I normally buy “seconds” since I will be cutting them up anyway. The farmer I buy my fruit from also gives discounts when you buy a whole case or fruit. Depending on where you live there is all kind of produce that you can buy in bulk to preserve for later.

Barter

Bartering is a great way to save money on real food. You might have great garden while a friend might have chicken for eggs. Why not swap produce for eggs? Or it might be that your local dairy man (if you are blessed to have one) will trade you raw milk for homemade soap. Some farms will give you produce in exchange for labor. There are many ways to trade goods or skills for real food items depending on the community where you live.

Make your own

Have you ever read the “Little House” books? They were hands down my FAVOURITE series growing up. Ma Ingalls had so many practical and necessary skills that she taught her girls that have become a lost art. Thankfully my mom imparted some of those to me at an early age so making my own essentials has never seemed weird. As time has gone on I have learned more skills to make my own essentials that I used to buy from the store.

I do buy a few minimally processed foods from the store that are time saving and nice to have but that list is very short.

Here are some of the things that I make at home:

  • Bread (including all baked good with the exception of an occational loaf of sourdough bread)
  • Broth/Stock
  • Ice Cream
  • Lard and tallow
  • Pizza
  • Chicken Tenders/Nuggets
  • Pancakes and Waffles
  • Yogurt and Dairy Kefir
  • Kombucha and Water Kefir
  • Canned Fruit
  • Dried Fruit
  • Frozen Fruit
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Crackers
  • Mayo

 

Here are the packaged Items I buy at the store:

  • Pasta (including rice paper and wonton wrappers)
  • Frozen Fruit
  • Pepperoni, Bacon, Link Sausage
  • Chocolate Bars and Chocolate Chips
  • Occasional Potato or Corn Chips
  • Occasional Corn Tortillas or Sourdough Bread

 

What are your monet saving tips? I’d love if you shared then in the comments! I might feature them in this post and/or share them on facebook!

Weekend Links

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Favourite Links This Week

15 Real Food Weeknight Meals @ Red and Honey

Managing Bug Bites with Herbal Remedies @ A Gypsy Herbal

Discontent with Discontentment @ Mason Jar Values

25 Ways to Pray for and Aid Persecuted Christians @ The Road to 31

Favourite Memories

My ninas are huge Jane Austen fans! They love watching both “newer” versions of Pride and Prejudice, even though they will agree that the 5 hour version is best. Last year I filmed them “performing” an Austen Era dance after a tea party the threw themselves. I finally have internet that is strong enough to upload it and share it with you!

Favourite Deals and Giveaways

I am giving away 2 bottles of doTERRA essential oils on Natural Mama in Progress. There is also the chance to win a Lilla Rose Flexi Clip and more! There are only two days left so you don’t want to miss out!

I love Bulk Herb Store! They are my number one go to place for organic dried herbs and good information. Plus did I ever mention that I write for them? ;) This week they are having a better than Black Friday sale. It really can’t be beat! Check out just some of the deals mentioned here! If you have been wanting to get a copy of Making Babies, Making Herbs Simple or Making Vegetables now is your chance! They are 50% off!! You can bet that I will be using this coupon code!

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