Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Rustic Crust

A thick pie crust and warm chicken and veggie filling are the basis of this rustic homemade chicken pot pie. Just like grandma made it, you’ll enjoy this recipe for years to come.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Pie Crust

One of my family’s favorite dishes is a piping hot homemade chicken pot pie. But you can’t just make a chicken pot pie with a pre-made crust. No way. It must all be homemade from start to finish. That’s the best part of this rustic homemade chicken pot pie.

Not only is this recipe easy to make, it’s also easy to freeze. This recipe makes two chicken pot pies, which means you can freeze one and have a freezer meal on hand as well. It’s easy to whip together, and your family will love this hearty meal on your farmstead table.

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How to Make and Pressure Can Chicken Bone Broth (with video)

Chicken bone broth is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to total health and wellness on the homestead. It’s so incredibly easy to make bone broth, and chicken bone broth is one of my favorites. You can create other bone broths as well, like beef, lamb, or venison—but chicken is one of the most versatile that you’ll create. We use chicken bone broth in soups, stews, and even just to drink as a meal replacement, especially in the winter months. If your body needs a little extra joint help, adding bone broth to your daily diet is essential to help rebuild collagen in your body.

It’s even better when you know where the chicken came from that you’re using for the bone broth. We raise our own birds, make our own homemade chicken feed, and raise our chickens on pasture. It makes all the difference!

In this blog post and video, I’m going to walk you through the easy steps of how to make chicken bone broth, and how to pressure can it as well. We’ll also talk about the benefits and why it’s so important to learn this skill on your homestead.

The Benefits of Bone Broth

There are so many different benefits of bone broth, not only for your body and health, but for your homestead as well. Let’s walk through some of those benefits.

  • High in minerals and electrolytes
  • Can help improve joint health
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Help soothe and heal the digestive tract
  • Helps restore and strengthen the gut lining
  • Is full of beneficial collagen that helps maintain healthy skin, joints, cellulite
  • Aids the metabolism
  • Packed full of amino acids
  • Increases bone strength
  • A great way to put culled birds to good use

The benefits to bone broth are endless, as you can see. There are so many subcategories to the main categories, that it proves just how much of a powerhouse this liquid is on your homestead.

Making Bone Broth From Your Chickens

Whenever I need to make a new batch of bone broth, I normally like to make it from my own chickens. If you have chickens that need to be culled because they are old or you have too many roosters, they tend to make the best bone broth. However, you can also use the chickens that you raise for meat, or a chicken from the store. Never let a chicken carcass go to waste! Always save those bones and feet to make this liquid gold. You can pressure can it and store it for later use.

How to Clean Chicken Feet

In a large pot of hot water, bring the water right under a boil and add the pre-washed chicken feet to the water. Stirring constantly, allow the feet to set in the water for about 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the water to come to a complete boil. After 3-5 mins of blanching, remove from heat and allow to cool until you’re able to handle them. You can run them under cold water if you’d like. Once they have cooled off enough to touch, start peeling the skin and scales off of the chicken feet. Scrub the feet thoroughly after all of the skin and scales have been removed, then store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Putting Your Broth Together

Now that you’ve gotten your carcass and chicken feet prepared, you’ll need to consider veggies and herbs to put into your bone broth. Here are the herbs and veggies I choose.

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Now it’s time to put your bone broth together!

  1. In a large stock pot or in your slow cooker, add the chicken carcass (picked clean), rough cut veggies, and at least 2 handfuls of various herbs. Cover the carcass, veggies, and herbs completely with water, place the lid on the pot, and cook on low heat for 24-48 hours.
  2. After the desired time of cooking, strain out all of the carcass, veggies, and herbs. The liquid you have left is your bone broth.
  3. Store your bone broth in canning jars in the fridge for up to 48 hours until you’re ready to use or pressure can.

Pressure Canning Your Bone Broth

Pressure canning your bone broth is the easiest (and cheapest) way to preserve your harvest. Please note that your elevation and location will play a major role in how you can your bone broth, so check your pressure canning manual first.

  1. Fill your canning jars with your bone broth, leaving a 1-inch head space. Cap finger tip tightness.
  2. Place your cans into your prepare pressure canner (typically filled with 3 quarts water and the canning rack). Place cans on the canning rack and close the lid.
  3. On your stove top or camp stove, bring your canner to a boil and allow a steady and fast stream of steam to escape from the vent for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes of venting, place your pressure gauge on the vent and bring the canner to pressure (at my elevation I can it at 11 lbs of pressure). Once your canner is to pressure, can for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.
  5. After the processing time, allow your canner to release naturally. Place your cans on a towel on the counter until completely cooled, then transfer to the pantry.

And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to make your own bone broth and can it!

Use your harvest for all kinds of meals, or save it for winter time when bone broth is the best comfort food in the world!


Watch the Video Here!



How to Make Homemade Chicken Feed

Many chicken keepers might be interested to know that a natural and simple alternative to commercial layer feed is to make your very own non-gmo or organic chicken feed. Besides the fact that homemade chicken feed is pleasing to the eye with vibrant grains and veggies (versus compressed pellets), it’s also fairly easy to mix together, will last longer (since you’ll be using whole grains, not crushed), and is quite easy to increase and decrease supplements and minerals as you see fit. We started making our homemade chicken feed recently, and it really has made a complete and total difference in how we raise our chickens. 

Not only is the feed completely non-gmo and mostly organic, but I’m able to mix up a large batch all at one time. My favorite part? My feed actually sprouts when it gets wet, therefore, making sprouting and fermenting our feed all the better and easier to accomplish!

Is Homemade Chicken Feed Cheaper?

The quick answer to that is, well, no. In fact, depending on what you want to add to your chicken feed, it could be a lot more expensive. I can get a 50 lb. bag of non-gmo chicken feed from my farmer’s co-op for $16. I spend about $20 per 50 lbs to make my own homemade feed. If you can find an organic or non-gmo feed that you really love, and you’re concerned about the extra couple of bucks, then stick with it. But if you want to create your own feed with supplements and herbs, I’ll tell you, you won’t regret it.

Chicken Feed Vitamins, Minerals, and Protein

I learned how to make this feed from one of my favorite chicken keepers in the whole world—Harvey Ussery. He is one of the chicken kings here in Virginia (the other is Joel Salatin), and he even lives nearby! I’ve adapted it to our own needs and wants here, seeing as we free range most of the time. And I’ve also simplified it a bit more so that you have flexibility in your recipe as well.

While this recipe is super easy to throw together, there are a few things to consider when making your own feed, such as vitamins, minerals, and protein. Here are the things chickens need to have in their diet. They can get most of these things by simply free-ranging on pasture or from kitchen scraps, but for confined chooks, you’ll need to switch it up a bit and offer a pre-made mineral and vitamin supplement, like Nutri-Drench or Poultry Nutri Balancer.

Vitamins Your Chickens Need

Vitamins A, D, E, and K

Thiamine (B1)

Riboflavin (B2)

Vitamin B12

Folic Acid


Pantothenic Acid




Minerals Your Chickens Need












15%-18% protein intake


A Note on Salt

Salt provides a great source of minerals and sodium chloride, and chickens do need salt in their diet, however, it should never exceed .5% of their diet.

Adding Herbs to Chicken Feed

Once you’ve chosen your options to put into your feed (and there are lots), you can start thinking about adding an herbal regime to your chicken’s daily ration. You can find an extensive list of chicken herbs and other things you can put into your chicken feed in my book that’s coming out in Spring 2019, or a few listed in my new book, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion. But until then, it’s important to know how to administer herbs to your chickens.

Make sure you are using dried herbs if you are mixing them into feed, but more importantly, don’t mix herbs into large batches of feed. Also, it’s best not to use powdered herbs, as  you’ll lose them all during mixing.

Simply make an herbal mix, keep it in an air tight container, and then add a scoopful of herbs to the feed ration each day. Your herbs will stay fresher longer, and their efficacy much higher.

Here are some herbs and things to consider adding to your feed ration:

  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Nasturtium
  • Mint (peppermint or spearmint)
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds

Time To Make the Chicken Feed

It’s time to make your chicken feed! I’ll tell you, choosing what things to put into the feed goes way beyond this recipe. I hope that you’ll consider purchasing my book when it comes out in Spring 2019. The options are endless, and it’s so fun to create your own feed!

You should be able to source all of the ingredients for the feed from your local farmer’s co-op. You may also be able to find it online, or bulk order through other locations like New Country Organics.

Basic Natural Chicken Feed Recipe

Based on 100 lbs of feed

Wheat (20 to 25 lbs)

Cracked Corn (20 to 25 lbs)

Peas, split or whole) (20 to 25 lbs)

Oats, optional (do not feed in excess of 15% as they can cause runny droppings)

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (5 lbs)

Flax Seed (1 lb, do not exceed 10%)

Mineral premix, optional (.5 to 2 lbs, depending on pasture availability)


Free Choice:

Sea Kelp


Cultured Dry Yeast

Fish Meal (optional, not to exceed 5%)

Calcium Source (eggs shells, aragonite, or oyster shell)


*Slight flexibility has been given in the base portion of this recipe so that you can adjust according to your needs if you pasture range. Birds that are on pasture generally get more vitamins and nutrients than those in confinement.


Don’t forget, grit is especially necessary for chickens that aren’t on pasture or free-ranging. It helps the gizzard break up grains and feed! You can purchase grit, or even just grab a handful of sand near a creek bed to throw in with your chickens. Grit consists of small pebbles, sand, and other natural gritty substances from the earth.

For an added bonus with your feed, soak your feed for 24 hours before offering it to your flock. You’ll use less feed and your chickens will digest it so much more efficiently!

And that’s it!


Old Fashioned Mennonite 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 Mennonite 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.


Homemade Mennonite Yeast Rolls Recipe

I started my very first job when I was a teenager in high school. It wasn’t some elaborate thing that I wanted (and I definitely didn’t know how to cook mennonite yeast rolls). 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 mennonite 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. It also makes an incredible Mennonite Cinnamon Roll Recipe.

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 mennonite yeast roll recipe (after all, she was mennonite!), 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 Mennonite Yeast 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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