Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls. My goodness, you can make them so many ways. Regular, raspberry, blackberry, peach….help  me, Jesus.

These are my go to cinnamon rolls. I’ve tried so many other recipes (even the Pioneer Woman’s, *gasp*), but this one, this one takes the trophy every.single.time.

I never measure things, and neither do the old-fashioned Mennonites. This recipe was actually adapted from an old recipe that a beautiful Mennonite woman gave to me. I had to learn, quite often, how to adapt recipes that I tried at home when trying to replicate Mennonite recipes from the cute little Mennonite store I used to work at. But, it has made me a better cook and baker because of it!

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Dough Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbs of yeast
  • Stir together in small bowl (or your stand mixer) and let sit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.
1/2 cup salted butter
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
6-7 cups flour
  1. Heat butter, milk, and sugar in a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar and salt are dissolved. Let rest until lukewarm. I actually just let it set for about 5 mins and then go ahead and use it.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine butter/milk mixture and yeast mixture.
  3. Add 6 cups of all purpose flour, slowly. Your dough should be a little sticky, but still firm. You can also knead by hand. If dough is still too sticky, then add up to another cup of flour in half cup increments. Knead until smooth and elastic
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl and lightly grease top of dough. Let rise for about 45 mins or until doubled. I like to use a heating pad to speed up the process, or I put the bowl on top of a towel over the burner that I was using to melt the butter mixture. Makes it rise quicker.
While the dough is rising….

1 stick butter

  1. Set out 1/2 to 1 stick of butter to soften while dough rises.
Once dough has risen….
  1. Once dough is risen, divide dough in half and roll each half out into a ½” to 1″ thick rectangle. If you’ve done it right, you’ll notice that your dough is very light and airy feeling as you roll it out.
  2. Spread 1/2 of the stick of butter onto the dough.
  3. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar and cinnamon across the butter layer.
  4. Starting from a long side, begin rolling your dough tightly into a long cinnamon roll log.
  5. Once rolled, take a piece of thread (or use a sharp knife) and cut ¾” to 1” cinnamon rolls, depending on what size you’d like. Place in a buttered pan (I use 4+ round cake or pie pans, but you could use a rectangle baking dish). Let rise for approx. 15 minutes and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes OR until tops are start to color around edges. You do not want your cinnamon rolls brown on top. As soon as they start to turn, take them out. This keeps them extra moist. Allow to cool until warm to the touch, then add frosting while still warm.
  6. You can use the other half of the dough to make more cinnamon rolls, or you can use them as dinner rolls.Now comes the best part…the frosting!

Frosting. It’s the best part of cinnamon rolls, isn’t it? This frosting is super simple and easy.

3 Tbs soft butter
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk

  1. Stir together all ingredients, starting with just 4 cups of p. sugar.
  2. Add sugar gradually until frosting is “spreadable”.
  3. Frost rolls when they are still warm but not too hot. This allows the frosting to start melting, but still keeps frosting on top of rolls.

I hope that you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my little family has!!


How To Make Spinach & Cheese Quiche

Quiche is probably one of the easiest things in the world to make. And better yet, you can swap out vegetables and herbs for whatever is in season. Once you have your egg base recipe perfected, you can add in whatever veggies you want. And voila, your farmstead quiche is divine.
Here’s a quick and simple quiche recipe just for you!
Our newly added White Leghorns just started laying, and they are egg laying machines, let me tell you. So with the abundance of eggs, spinach, onions, garlic, and herbs, quiche was absolutely on the menu recently.
It’s simple really—you make an egg base of 6-7 farm fresh eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of cream.
After that, you throw in whatever veggies you want—wilted or cooked, preferably.
Make your pie crust (I’ll give you that recipe too!), pour the mixture in, bake it at 350 until it’s not jiggly, and BAM, you’ve made a quiche.
You know me, I really don’t have time to measure, but this recipe is so darn easy to eyeball and measure that I was able to create the recipe for you in no time.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Spinach and Cheese Quiche

Pie Crust:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 lb cold butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
1 egg
Egg Base:
6-7 fresh eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1-2 cups shredded cheese of choice
Veggie Mix:
1-2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tbsp thyme
bacon grease (or butter or oil)
Pie Crust Method:
  1. With a grater, shred in cold butter to 3 cups flour. Toss shredded butter in flour. Mix with utensil until it creates a sandy like texture.
  2. Add vinegar, water, and egg. Mix well.
  3. Do not add more liquid. Simply use your hands to finish mixing the crust until it is completely kneaded and soft.
  4. Form into a ball. Split in half. Flatten into thick discs and freeze until ready to use.
Make Egg Base:
  1. In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, cream, and herbs.
  2. Add in cheese and mix well. Set aside.
Make Veggie Mix:
  1. In a skillet, add bacon grease and onions. Cook until translucent.
  2. Add in handfuls of fresh spinach, add thyme. Cook until wilted.
  3. Allow to cool in a separate bowl, then add to egg mixture.
  1. Take out pie crust and place on a floured surface. Roll out with rolling pin in a circle, like a pie crust. Place in prepared tart dish or pie pan.
  2. Add quiche mixture.
  3. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until no longer jiggly in the center.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
  5. Store in air tight container in the refrigerator if you have any leftovers.

Homestead Cooking | Homemade Yeast Rolls


I started my very first job when I was a teenager in high school. It wasn’t some elaborate thing that I wanted. I had big plans in my head of what I wanted to be, and baking wasn’t it. But never-the-less, it was an income for me to spend frivolously. And later in life I’d come to find that I would enjoy it more than I realized. My very first job was working in a little Mennonite specialty store and bakery in my hometown — it was called The Farmer’s Wife.
I could sit here and tell you that everything I learned when it comes to cooking came from my mom and grandma, but I’d be lying. You see, most of what I learned came directly from that little country store and the wonderful women that worked within it. But this particular recipe came from a beautiful Mennonite woman who I cherish deeply. She loves her family more than you could imagine. She truly is a Proverbs 31 woman, and she is inspiring even when she doesn’t realize it.

My need for a good yeast roll recipe came about eight years ago when my husband, aka Mountain Man, asked if I could make homemade rolls for dinner one evening. I tried, and I failed…drastically. Mountain Man isn’t one to hide his true feelings when it comes to things, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. This time, it was a bad thing, as his response went something like, “why can’t you make rolls like those Mennonite women do.” You have got to be kidding me….

So I humbly asked a friend for her favorite yeast roll recipe, and she gracefully mailed it to me on a sheet of paper through snail mail. Snail mail….how official it was back then. It was nice getting something in the mail rather than having to print it off on the computer or stare at the iPad while making the recipe.
I made the recipe, and it was awful. I made it again, and again, the same outcome. By the tenth try they finally started to resemble normal yeast rolls. And what I quickly realized is that it wasn’t the recipe that made them good, it was the technique. I often watch food network, where they talk about people’s techniques in the kitchen. For years I scoffed because I truly didn’t think it made a difference….boy, was I wrong.
So with that said, below you will find the recipe, slightly tweaked, for these sinfully tasty yeast rolls. The recipe is extremely easy, however, I tried to convey the technique as much as possible in the recipe so that you can hopefully avoid having to make these ten times before you get them right!
Homemade Yeast Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbs of yeast
Stir together in small bowl and let sit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.
1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
  1. Heat in a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar and salt are dissolved. Let rest until lukewarm. I actually just let it set for about 5 mins and then go ahead and use it.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine butter/milk mixture and yeast mixture. 
  3. Add 6 cups of all purpose flour slowly. Your dough should be a little sticky, but still firm. You can also knead by hand. If dough is still too sticky, then add up to another cup of flour in half cup increments. Knead until smooth and elastic, but still sticky.
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl and lightly grease top of dough. Let rise for about 45 mins or until doubled. I like to use a heating pad to speed up the process, or I put the bowl on top of a towel over the burner that I was using to melt the butter mixture. Makes it rise quicker.
  5. Punch down dough, grease three 9″ round pans (you won’t fill the third one completely). Grease your hands with oil if necessary for the next step. Pull off large walnut size balls and knead until smooth. Basically, if you’ve ever made loaf bread, this is the point where you knead and roll it to fit the loaf pan. I just knead it and tuck the ends up into the bottom center to make a smooth top.
  6. Put 8 to 12 rolls per pan — I prefer 8-9 for larger rolls. If you want smaller rolls, you can adjust size etc.
  7. Let rise for about 15 mins. Bake at 350 for 18 mins.
You’re done!

Watch me make them here —

Homemade Chicken Tacos and Tortillas

As we continue our homestead journey, I find more and more that I’m able to dabble with different ingredients to create beautiful new meals for my family.
This past week, I decided, very off the whim, to make some chicken tacos completely from scratch. In the below video, you’ll see the very quick process, and below that, you’ll find the recipes!

1-2 lbs chicken
1 small can chipotle in adobo sauce
1 quart chicken stock
Garlic powder, Cumin, salt and pepper to taste (1 tsp each)
1. Brown chicken in skillet. 
2. Shred chicken. Add 1 chopped chipotle and 1/4 of the sauce from the can
3. Add 1 cup chicken stock, and continue to add chicken stock as it dries up. Keep chicken moist at all times. Add seasonings. Continue to simmer on low heat until ready to serve.
1/2 bag pinto beans
It’s really that easy. Just cook the beans — 1 part beans, 2 parts water — on a high boil until water is almost depleted. Add 2 more parts water and simmer for 1 hour. Add salt to taste. 
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup luke warm water
1. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. 
2. Add oil and water, mix until dough forms into a ball. 
3. Turn out onto surface (lightly floured if necessary) and knead for 3-5 mins or until smooth and elasticy.
4. Make dough into 2 log forms and cut small pieces (1.5-2 inch pieces) off each log. Form them into balls and allow them to set for 15 mins. 
5. With a rolling pin or mason jar, roll dough balls out on a floured surface into tortilla thickness and shape. The thinner the better. 
6. Heat skillet up to med-high heat and place tortilla round one at a time into skillet. Cook until bubbles form, then flip and cook for another 15-20 seconds.
7. Keep tortillas in a pan covered with aluminum foil or a pan top to keep them warm and soft.
All of this can be re-heated for a second meal the following day if desired. Simply reheat the tortillas in the microwave or on a grill pan.

Artisan Sourdough Bread and Starter

One of my favorite things to indulge in is bread. Though I can’t indulge often—because large amounts of gluten simply don’t agree with me—I have found that Sourdough bread is less harsh on my body.
Because of the fermented yeasty goodness, sourdough can be a great bread alternative for those with gluten sensitive digestive systems. Not only that, it’s simply delicious. The process of sourdough is incredible, and a science in and of itself. The bacteria and yeast break down the sugars and gluten in the bread, allowing your body to digest it better than regular bread.
Here is a great recipe that I enjoy making. Please keep in mind, this is a true sourdough recipe, therefore requiring a long amount of rising time to ensure the breaking down of gluten and sugars. This also creates that nice crusty outside, and large air bubbles on the inside of the loaf. I’ve also included my sourdough starter recipe.

Good sourdough bread must start with a good sourdough starter. If your starter isn’t active enough, your bread won’t rise properly. Here is my tried and true starter, and the one I always use!

Sourdough Starter

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 – 1 cup cold water
1 quart size mason jar

Day 1: Combine flour and water into quart size mason jar, or large crock, until consistency is a thick pancake batter like consistency. Cover top tightly with a cloth or paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Set in warm place on counter out of direct sunlight. Consistency is the key in this recipe, not the amount of flour and water.

Day 2 and 3: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water every 12 hours (or twice a day). Make sure that your starter is less than halfway full in the jar. If it is more than half full, it could spill over during fermentation. Simply pour off excess. In fact, I always take a cup of starter out before adding the flour and water. Again, consistency (thick pancake batter) is more important than amount of flour and water.

Day 4 through 5: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water once a day. Again, pouring off any excess. You will continue doing this every single day from this point on. Transfer your starter to a permanent home such as a sourdough crock or larger jar. Do not use plastic or metal. Again, consistency (thick pancake batter) is more important than amount of flour and water.

Your starter will begin smelling very fragrant after day 5. Before day 5 it might smell very sour and musty. Don’t fret yet. As long as there’s no mold and you’re keeping up with feeding it properly,  you’ll be fine.

After it has successfully fermented, it will have a very lovely yeast smell to it, almost vinegary, and it will be full of bubbles. It can take up to 7 days of feeding your starter before it is ready to use. It will become very bubbly and active. Once it is ready to use, you’ll take out what you need and add flour and water back into the mixture every single day. If you are not going to make bread every week, then you can refrigerate the mixture and feed it once a week. However, it does much better just staying on the counter and feeding it daily.

Artisan Sourdough Bread

1/2 cup to 1 cup sourdough starter1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. oil
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. salt
6 cups flour

1. Add all ingredients, holding back two cups of flour, into a mixer or large bowl. Knead until smooth, adding remaining 2 cups of flour, or enough flour until the bread forms into a soft ball.

2. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for ten minutes (or do so in your stand mixer), until dough is elastic and smooth. Flour loaf as necessary. Dough should be sticky by not extremely wet.
3. Put dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise for 12-14  hours.
4. Punch down dough and turn out on a floured surface. Knead again for 2-3 minutes, lightly flouring if necessary.
5. Form a round loaf, pulling the top of the bread tightly. Very lightly dust outside of loaf with flour. Let rise on the counter or in a floured proofing basket for 2-3 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375. Place a dutch oven (with lid) into the oven to pre-heat.
7.  After dough has risen, remove dutch oven from the oven. Remove lid and carefully place sourdough loaf in the dutch oven. You can rearrange the loaf into more of a ball if necessary, but do not knead. Place top back on dutch oven and bake covered for 30 minutes.
8. Remove lid after 30 minutes and cook bread uncovered until golden crispy or desired darkness/doneness. When tapped on, loaf will sound hollow when done.
9. Turn loaf onto a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.
10. Use a very sharp bread knife to cut into your loaf and enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Mayo

So, I have failed miserably on my recent Whole30 journey. But I am bound and determined to finish it with strength and dignity. This week, that included making homemade mayonnaise. I don’t use a lot of mayo for myself, but when I need it, I need it.
I must say, I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought mayo ever again. This mayo turned out incredibly thick and creamy. I used a duck egg instead of a chicken egg, and I think that helped. It’s just a few simple ingredients — an egg, oil (a light tasting oil, like avocado, light EVOO, etc), salt, and lemon juice!
Once I am off of the Whole30, I’m going to try to add Apple Cider Vinegar and some organic evaporated cane juice (sugar). I used a food processor, because that’s what I had, and it worked amazingly well!!!
This recipe came from the Whole30 website.


1-1/4 cup of light olive oil, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced


•Place the egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, mustard powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, blender, or food processor. Mix thoroughly.
•While the food processor or blender is running (or while mixing in a bowl with a stick blender), slowly (very slowly!) drizzle in the remaining cup of olive oil.
•After you’ve added all the oil and the mixture has emulsified, add lemon juice to taste, stirring gently with a spoon to incorporate.


Homestead Cooking | {Fresh} Homemade Lemonade

Last week, the backwoods kid and I spent a day at his grandparents farm. As always, everything at grandma and grandad’s is better than what’s at home. And it just so happened that today, it would be lemonade. That child can drink the heck out of some lemonade. So, being on our journey of “all natural” and less processed, I thought it would be fun to make homemade lemonade at home for him this week. He was pretty excited about it too.

Let’s forget about the fact that lemons aren’t native to Virginia.

Let’s forget about the fact that you just absolutely cannot find “organic” lemons at the grocery store, and especially not the farmer’s market.

And let’s just pretend it’s completely pesticide free, okay?

Ok, now that I got that off my chest…..whew….


Lemonade is OH so easy to make, and with just 10 lemons, a cup of sugar, and some water — it makes an entire gallon of yummy goodness.

I can remember, several years back — before the little guy was born — when my husband took me to one of his Hispanic friends houses for Easter. They had the best homemade lemonade I have ever tasted in my entire life. Who am I kidding….they had the best everything I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. I am grateful that God placed me with a husband who is equally as hungry for Hispanic food as I am.

We started by squeezing 9-10 lemons, by hand, over a mesh strainer, into the gallon jug that we would be using.


Then, we mixed one cup of regular sugar with the hottest of hot tap water. You could boil it down on the stove if you prefer to make a “syrup” with the sugar and water, but honestly, it’s fine just dissolved in hot water.

We added the sugar water mixture to our gallon jug, mixed well, and then filled it up the remainder of the way with cold tap water.

You’re done. That’s it. Easy as pie.

Actually, ten times easier than pie. And less messy, too!

Jr really enjoyed helping me squeeze the lemons and stir all the water in. After we finished combining everything we threw a few of the squeezed lemons into our jug for extra lemony flavor.

Place it in the fridge to chill, and enjoy a nice fresh glass of lemonade on these hot summer-time days! Husband especially enjoyed it when he got home from work.

Next time, I’m looking forward to fermenting our lemonade (along with the rest of the fermented things on our counter top!).
{fresh} Homemade Lemonade
10 fresh lemons
1 cup of regular sugar
1 gallon of water
1. Squeeze lemons over a mesh strainer into a 1 gallon jug
(or use a juicer and place juice of lemons into jug)
2. Mix 1 cup of sugar into a large jar of very hot tap water.
Mix until it dissolves completely.
3. Pour sugar water mixture into gallon jug, stir.
4. Fill remainder of gallon jug up with cold tap water. Stir.
5. Place 2-3 of the squeezed lemons into the jug for extra flavor.
Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Homestead Cooking | Homemade Strawberry Shortcake {Seasonal}

Let’s just take a moment to wallow in the pity together, shall we?

The horrible realization that strawberry season is quickly coming to an end…..oh, the horror!!

But with strawberry season ending, that means so many yummy veggies, peaches (one of my fave seasons!), and eventually apple’s (another fave, even better than strawberries and peaches) , are well on their way into our kitchens!

With that said, I thought it only fitting to have a strawberry recipe as strawberry season slowly begins to die out this year.

You’ll have to excuse me, I was a bit under the weather yesterday, so I didn’t take a lot of photos. But this recipe is so easy that you don’t need them.

I was also torn between the “southern style” shortcake or the “take me back to my childhood” shortcake. Clearly, I chose childhood. Plus, it was the easiest for a sick mama who just went strawberry picking that morning!

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake


(recipe altered from a Food Network recipe ages ago)
serves 4 people


You’ll Need:
Strawberry “filling”:
1 qt fresh strawberries
+ 1-2 tbs sugar

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs sugar OR 3 tbs honey
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400*.
– Wash, top and quarter your strawberries. Place them in a bowl, toss with 1 tbs sugar. Add more if you’d like, but 1 tbsp is generally enough for fresh picked  strawberries.
– Set strawberries in fridge and allow to set for 30 mins (at least).

– Combine the remainder of your dry ingredients. Stir together.
– Add heavy cream to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
– Place mixture into an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until just barely golden on top (15-20 mins).

– Place heavy cream, sugar (start with 1 tbsp) and vanilla (start with 1 tsp) extract into a bowl. Whisk or mix with a hand blender until fluffy. I prefer the whisk, as it only takes about 5 minutes. Add more sugar and vanilla to taste if necessary. We prefer a less sugary whipped cream.

– Cut shortcake into squares. Place strawberry mixture on top of shortcake, and top it all off with some whipped cream.

Ta-da! You’re done! How easy was that?

Happy Eating!


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*Disclaimer: While I am an herbalist, and herbalism is not regulated by the FDA, I am not a medical doctor. The recipes and tips on this website are geared towards those who want to live a more natural lifestyle.
Please use all herbal remedy recipes on this website only after doing thorough research in regard to your own health needs, and after seeking medical attention if necessary. 
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