Category Archives: Homestead Kitchen

abundant zucchinis & tomatoes = ratatouille

  1. large sweet onion, chopped
  2. 8 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  4. 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
  5. light olive oil to saute in (eggplant soaks up lots of oil)
  6. 2 bell peppers, chopped
  7. 2 – 3 med. tomatoes, chopped
  8. apx. 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  9. 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  10. butter (to taste) for the rice
  11. sea salt (to taste)
  12. ground black pepper (to taste)
  13. pinch basil
  14. pinch Italian seasoning
  15. apx. 2-3 Tbsp. dry red sherry or cooking wine
  16. 1 sm. can tomato paste
  17. 1 reg. can tomato sauce
  18. parmesan cheese (to taste)
Warm large cast iron pan to med. heat, add oil and eggplant.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven type pan, add oil, onions and garlic. Saute until beginning to become tender; a few minutes.
Remember to keep turning the eggplant…
To the dutch oven, add zucchini. Allow to soften a few minutes and add bell pepper.
After a few minutes add tomatoes, and stir gently.
Add the softened eggplant, mushrooms, dry sherry, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings. Stir gently.
Simmer until all the vegetables are tender.
To serve: scoop buttery rice into serving bowl, sprinkle with some parmesan cheese, and top with ratatouille. Sprinkle top with a little more parmesan cheese, if desired.


Summer Means Green Fried Tomatoes

My mother made, her mother made them… how many generations ago this started I’ll never know, but I’m sure glad it did. Unbleached all-purpose flour, sea salt, ground black pepper, a smidgen of baking powder – dip the sliced green tomatoes in water, then the flour mixture, fry on med heat (cast iron skillets are my pan of choice – as well as light olive oil), turning, ’til coated in crunchy, golden brown goodness- let cool and drain on paper towel covered plates. This is the taste of summer…


This Evening’s Menu…

Corn Chowder sounds good, and the spicier the better, as far as I’m concerned, so I found this lovely, highly rated recipe at to try this evening:

Spicy, Creamy Corn Chowder

Originally submitted to by: Jeanne Jones

Modified by: Patti

Photo by: SunnyByrd



“This creamy chicken and corn chowder, made spicy with ground cumin, green chilies, and hot pepper sauce, will warm you right through. Shredded Monterey jack or sharp cheddar cheese and half and half make this soup rich and delicious.”

Prep Time: 20 minutes     Ready in: 55 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes     Serves: 6 hearty diners



3 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts- cut into bite-size pieces

1 large chopped onion

4+ clove garlic- minced

5-6 Tbsp butter

4 heaping Tbsp Frontier brand chicken flavored broth powder (or bouillon)

2 cup hot water

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

4 cups half and half

3 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1-   1 lb. 2 oz. bag frozen white sweet corn (I use Pictsweet “family size” from Walmart)

Cream in blender: almost cover with water, add dash of salt, pref. sweetener

1 1/2 –  7oz can diced green chiles

3 dashes hot pepper sauce

3 carrots- chopped

fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)


1. In a dutch oven, brown chicken, onion, and garlic in butter until chicken is no longer pink.

2. Dissolve the bouillon (or powder) in hot water; Pour into Dutch oven, and season with cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and   simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in cream, cheese, corn, chilies, and hot pepper sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted. Stir in chopped carrot. Simmer until carrot is softened. Garnish with cilantro.

bon appetite!

Update: This recipe originally said serves 8, however I knew when I started I needed to double it for my family of 6. I used a whole large onion, 4 times as much garlic, etc. I’m changing the  servings amount above to 6, and the ingredient quantities to reflect how I modified the original recipe. I also omitted the tomato and replaced it with chopped carrots. This was absolutely DELICIOUS, my whole family loved it, including me. It’s a five star keeper!


powdered milk…

Powdered milk; an essential for a food storage pantry? I’ve never been a fan so I’ve been trying some powdered soy milk alternatives, but I am disappointed in their lack of protein and general nutritional deficits, so I am turning my sights toward the real thing.

I’ve been reading various taste-test results for powdered milks, and while there are more options out there than I realized, I have been interested to see that  a couple of brands pop up over and over as the taste test winners.  Happily, they’re both real milk- not some conglomeration of sugar and other unwanted additions. The winners that stand out are: Country Cream, with Provident Pantry coming in a very close second. Note: these are both instant powdered milks.

Country Cream comes in both a food-storage-ready 3 pound 1 oz. can (currently 15.99 at Grandma’s Country Foods) and a 25 pound pail (currently for 92.25). Although they also have a sample available for only .89, I would only try that if already ordering other products as the s/h is very high.

Provident Pantry comes in a 3 pound 8 oz. can (currently for 19.95 + 6.00 s/h at Emergency Essential & Amazon)

Here’s a recipe I came across for making non-instant powdered milk actually taste good enough to drink:

1. Mix as per directions

2. Add 1/8 to 1/4 real vanilla per gallon

3. Make it the night before in barely warm water with a whisk and refrigerate it.

I’m going to try this tonight with some Organic Valley nonfat dry milk powder that I just received today (from Amazon). I might mix in a little coconut milk powder to make it creamier. (I can’t stand non-fat!) I’ll let you know how it turns out~

(Again, none of the companies I mention know I exist- I’m just sharing my personal discoveries along the way to a healthy food storage pantry.)


Whole Grain Pizza

Happily, Hunky Sawdust Man said that this was “better” than the restaurant pizza- so here it is: (This is for one pizza- I doubled it to make two.)

Crust Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 3 Tbsp  butter, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain flour (fresh ground red and white wheat, if avail.)
  • 1 Tbsp yeast

Other Ingredients:

  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 jar sugar-free spaghetti sauce (I used Classico tomato and basil)
  • a few handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp pizza seasoning (I used Frontier)
  • 5-6 Tbsp pesto sauce (I found a small jar w/ 100% olive oil at Walmart)
  • sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
  • chopped bell pepper (fresh or fresh-frozen)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup canned chicken breast (or left over pulled chicken)
  • 1/2 large red onion (chopped/sliced)


  1. Using a bread machine, put ingredients in bread machine in order listed and set to quick dough setting.
  2. Meanwhile, liberally butter a 16 inch round pizza pan. (I placed a pizza pan with holes inside a solid pizza pan.)
  3. About 10 minutes before dough cycle is completed, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  4.  When bread machine is finished, roll dough out into your hand, shape in a circular form, gently flatten, then lay crust in pan and  press evenly into pan.
  5. Sprinkle sea salt over crust, then sprinkle about 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top and bake crust for 15 minutes.
  6.  Remove crust from oven and spread sauce evenly over top, add cheese and remaining toppings.
  7. Place pizza in oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or a little longer) until golden brown.
  8. When done, remove from oven, slice and serve… yum.





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