Monday, December 31, 2012

I am Finally Back

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas ours was great and very busy.
Travis graduated from ASU on the 19th so we left the 18th we had another good snow so we had to start feeding cows before we left Andy had a friend come feed while we were gone. We had planed to stay in Phoenix until Sunday but since we had to feed we came home Friday.

Its so funny you can go from this to

this in less then 6 hours. It was so nice in Phoenix. A Little cool but no snow.
I would hate to have to decorate this tree It was very pretty though.
The graduation was really good there were two ceremonies the large one.
Then one for each of the smaller classes.

Travis got his degree in Mechanical Engineering and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.8 so proud of him.

We were able to get a windshield while we were there for 100 dollars, here at home they are at least 250 dollars so what we saved on that paid for our trip.
Came home and pushed snow and finished getting ready for Christmas. Sunday afternoon we went to my aunt and had Christmas with them then Christmas eve we went to Andy’s moms to have Christmas with her and on the way home we had blizzard conditions we have a bout 25 miles of rural roads and they were awful ( She lives in the middle of nowhere) then 25 miles of county roads which were not much better. So it was a little late when we got home. On Christmas day after we opened our gifts we went to my dads for brunch and to open gifts there. When we got home from that it was time to go feed.
Then the day after Christmas I took done the Christmas tree and cleaned house I usually wait until new years day to take it down but we were doing a dinner for Kayla and Travis for there graduations on Sunday.
Thursday we had another dinner at my dads One of my brothers had to work on Christmas and couldn’t get back home until then so we all had dinner with him and his family.

Friday we went sledding all day. My brother uses his jeep to pull a car hood that we have modified the last few years, one group would ride then they would trade off while the others were getting warmed by the fire We cooked hotdogs to eat. Was lots of fun.

Saturday I spent all day getting ready for the dinner for Kayla and Travis.
Sunday we had the dinner I made Chili and my Mom made some fried bread for Navajo Tacos. I also made a couple pumpkin pies a apple pie and a chocolate cake.

We had close to 30 people we all fit but the house was full it turned out real good.
As you an see I have been very busy but hopefully now it will slow down a little and I can get back on schedule.
Hope everyone has a great New Year

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Storm and a College graduation

Kaylas College graduation was this last Saturday.She got a degree in English with a writing option. 

Friday night a big storm moved in. We woke to close to a foot of snow. The gradation was in Durango which normally is a 45 minutes drive but it took us close to 2 hours to get there. My battery was going dead so I didn’t get very many pics but I did get the bag pipes at the beginning. I love bag pipes

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Then a little later on the Native Americans did a song it was real good. It is kind of hard to see but they have a big drum in the middle.

Katie Joleen Kayla and Travis

Coming home the roads were a little better but by the time we got home we had more snow about 18 inches all together which is good we need it so bad. I just hate having to do chores in it though

We leave in the morning for Phoenix for Travis’s graduation and don’t ya know there is suppose to be another storm coming in tonight or in the morning.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Canning Onions


I have been caning some of my onions. I can them in quart jars then when I open one I can keep it in the fridge to use out of until gone which in my house don’t take long as I cook a lot with onions.

First I peel a lot of onions.


Then I quarter them so they will fit in the food processor.

I chop them. I just love my food processor I would hate to have to do this by hand.

Then put in a big pan. And cover with water just to the top of the onions so they are covered.

I cook these down until translucent and fork soft.

I then put into my Jars liquid and onions leaving about a ¼ inch head space.

Put on your hot lids and rings.

Put in pressure canner ( do not water bath) and process for 50 minutes for quarts and 45 for pints at 15 pounds of pressure ( or what your canning book says for your altitude).
After your canner has cooled take out and let cool. The onions will be a darker color that is ok. Use just like you would a chopped onion in your cooking they are a little softer but not to much ( like a cooked onion).
I use to chop them ythen put in quart jars in the freezer but since I am trying to get away from freezers this works great.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dehydrating and Freezing Sour Cream

Finally I am getting this posted I have had several people ask how to dehydrate sour cream it is pretty easy. It takes up less storage space when dried as opposed to it’s regular form, and many people dehydrate it to have on hand in case of emergencies. It can be used in sauces, dips and casseroles.

I covered my trays with plastic wrap. Or you can use baking sheets

I stirred the sour cream real well so it was creamy and a little easier to spread.

Then put a couple spoonfuls in the middle and spread to a thin layer .

Put in the dehydrator be careful not to fold the plastic up over the sour cream dehydrate at 130 to 140 degrees you don’t want it very high or it will turn the sour cream brown, until very dry it will be very brittle if not dry for a little longer. It will have a little oily feeling on it this is fine as long as it is very brittle.

Put in the food processor to powder I put it in the blender after the food processor it powder it more .

As you can see it is not very powdered in the  food processor.
It will be a little more powdered in the blender. When you put it in the blender put just a small amount at a time so it will powder.

To rehydrate use the ratio of one part powder to appx ½ part of warm water not to hot or you will curdle it let sit for a while to let it thicken then stir I like to put mine in the blender to make it a little more creamy it will not be like fresh but close

I put mine in quart jars. You want to store in the fridge ( if you will be using fairly soon)or the freezer I like to keep mine in the freezer.

To freeze sour cream just put the container in the freezer, thaw out when needed. It is very thin when thawed out so I just use it for cooking.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Self-Sustaining Pantry week 4

I didn’t get near done what I wanted to was under the weather for a couple days so that didn’t help.

We got 3 large loads of fire wood this week-end so I wasn’t able to do anything else over the week-end

I was able to work up 50 pounds of onions I canned 6 pints of caramelized onions and 7 quarts of plain onions the rest are still in the dehydrator so not sure how much I will have there.

I dried 6 tubs of sour cream.

And I hate to admit it but I bought 20 boxes of Hamburger Helper the store had them for a dollor we don’t eat them often but the girls like the Taco and Enchilada ones with the rice so if it has been a crazy day we will cook up some of that.

Didn’t get any soap made I really need to do this we are out and having to use store bought and the whole family hate it.

Nor did I get any potatoes or jerky made. So I think for this week I will try to do some of the things I didn’t get done last week in addition to a bunch of sewing I need to get finished for Christmas.

Have a great week and don’t forget all the sales to help stock up on food and other necessities.

Canning Caramelized Onions

I am Canning some of my onions, these are so good you can eat them on sandwiches or just warm up to eat like fried onions.

First I started with a large pan of onions.
Peeled off  the skins
Slice in half.

Then cut into slices.

 I filled a large roaster pan with the sliced onions and two sticks of butter or margarine. I did end up adding one more stick of butter add as much butter as needed to keep from sticking.

I cooked it for several hours as you can see it reduces down a lot about 3/4 and very browned. Then put in your pint jars you do not need to add anything else. Put your lids and rings then pressure can for 75 minutes at 15 pounds or what your owners manual recommends for your altitude 

As you can see they do get a little darker in the canner. I have always warmed them before I use them. A great way to keep your onions

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Roasting Garlic

I have some garlic left from last year so I figured I had better get something done with it before it goes bad so I roasted it.

First I take off all the extra shin but don’t take to much, you want it to hold together. Then slice the top just a little where you can see the cloves.

Put in a muffin tin then drizzle a little olive oil (just a little it does not take much) I have thought about using a spray bottle to spray it on but never think of it till I am done.

Cover with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for about half an hour until fork tender.
Take out and let cool.

When cool remove the cloves they just fall out sometimes I will slice off a small slice of the bottom to make it easier to come out.
Then I put on a tray and put in to the freezer until frozen then put in a bag back in the freezer then when I need some garlic I take out what I need.

They are so good. I have even been
known to eat them just like this.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Canning Chicken Chipotle Taco Meat


We love chicken chipotle tacos so when I had some leftover turkey I thought I would can some taco meat. You can do this with chicken or turkey.
First I took 3 cans or frozen Orange juice and one can of chipotle peppers.


I put the peppers in my mini chopper then put the orange juice and peppers in a pan and added 3 cans of water. Brought this to a boil. Meanwhile I put the turkey in my pint jars.

Pour the boiling juice/pepper mixture over the turkey in the jars then I ran a knife along the sides to get out the air bubbles. Put on the lids and rings then processes for 75 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure (check your owners manual for the correct pressure for your altitude).

When done pull out of canner.

When you get ready to eat just pour into a pan .


Reduce down until the liquid is cooked down .


Put on a warmed flour tortilla top with cheese, lettuce
And what ever your like on your tacos.

I plan on canning several more jars of this as it will be nice on busy night to just open a jar heat it up and have supper.