Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cast Iron Cooking

Some of our favorite family memories are eating Saturday morning pancakes, made from scratch and cooked on my favorite cast iron. The morning would start out with kids from all corners of the house, piling in on the end of our bed. Then after lots of giggles and kids begging for breakfast we would make our way downstairs.

That was then. My favorite griddle, having nearly retired from pancake duty is working full time again. I've given up some of my previous notions about them being less than modern, most suitable for pancakes and camping, too hard to maintain...and you get the drift. Some of it has just been lack of education. Yep, still learning.

In short, I've fallen in love with cast iron. Truth be told, it is my oldest son's doing. He's brought home some wonderful old pieces from thrift stores, cleaned them up and made them into amazing work horses that would be sad to part company with. 

How about this loaf of bread? Yep...baked in cast iron. 

Pizza anyone?

Breads, pies, cakes, biscuits, pizza, meats, veggie dishes and a whole host of wonderful foods all cooked in what was almost a forgotten tradition. You'll even find them outside those quaint country style restaurants. Grandma's pans aren't forgotten.

I love frugal and free so I've found a great resource at the public library. Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking, foreword by Colleen Sloan. The recipe for the sourdough bread up above came from that book. It's a great book to start out with.

Another great book is A Skillet Full by Lodge Press. There are lots of main dishes, soups, sides and even desserts found there. 

Here are also few links to get you started.

In case you were wondering about the pizza? Check out the recipe to my Easy Pizza Sauce and the Gluten Free Pizza Crust recipe here

Fall is in the air here in the Midwestern United States. If you have cast iron, pull it out of your cupboard. If not, start looking around for a couple pieces of your own. Warm up your home with the aroma of some delicious comfort food. It is a pleasure you won't want to miss.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday! I'm off to a cross country meet this afternoon, so I'm glad I have the menu done and supper ready for when we get back. I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday and can't wait to see what's posted there because I know I can use some ideas for good healthy comfort foods.  Hope you have a great week and we'll see you later!



Beef Stew
Homemade Bread


Hot Ham and Cheese
Sweet Potato


Breakfast for Supper
Homemade applesauce

Tonight is the busiest night for church activities for both me and my husband, so pancakes and sausage, egg bake or even eggs and toast makes an easy to prepare choice that gets us out the door quickly.


Chicken Tacos


Cast Iron Skillet Pizza using Gluten Free Pizza Crust found Here and Homemade Pizza Sauce Here


Cheddar Cheese Chowder


Beef Roast
Normandy Vegetables

Easy and Inexpensive Pizza Sauce

Years ago we were cured of frozen and takeout pizza when I started making my own. However, it's been even more recent that I started making my own pizza sauce. Here's why:

  • Pizza sauce from a jar at the store is expensive stuff! My homemade costs less than half of the cheaper store brands. Why was I ever buying it in the first place? 
  • It's so easy! You can make your own Italian Seasoning Mix, or just put together your sauce from scratch in a few minutes and you're on your way to an amazing pizza
  • All the added chemicals and sugar are not in the homemade pizza sauce. 
A can of tomato paste will make enough pizza sauce for three large pizzas. I use minced garlic, onion powder or onion flakes, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, basil and olive oil. The amounts depend upon personal taste really, but for starters try:

1 garlic clove
1 T. dried parsley
2 tsp. onion flakes
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
2 T.  olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water

Blend ingredients. Stir and bring to a low boil, Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Fresh basil and garlic from your garden or the farmers market adds a little extra flavor and zest that is fantastic. Enjoy!

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    Our View of the Lunar Eclipse

    Good morning! What a beautiful time of year in Wisconsin, and what an awesome view we had of the lunar eclipse last night. It was just last week that our oldest son brought home a telescope and for the first time, outside of a textbook, I saw the craters of the moon. Can you imagine that feeling?

    If you have any photos from last night, or any other photography, Snapfish has a great app for making a poster print. I'm sure other services do too. I used Psalm 19:1 and one of our photos to make a poster for my son's birthday. It's a neat way to share God's word on the walls of your home.

    We have eight children, and several have left the nest for their own families and their own careers. It's but a breath of time that we have to share the wonders of God's creation along side our children. We do this with the view however, that without God, nothing exists. (John 1:3) We don't worship the creation. We serve God by being stewards of his creation and all glory and honor is his.

    In serving God we serve an all knowing, ever present, all powerful, merciful and loving God. He doesn't simply 'have' love for us, he is love and he sent his only begotten son into the world as our Redeemer and Savior. He is mighty to save!

    Isaiah 40:26  Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?  He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

    In case you were unable to see last the eclipse last night, enjoy our unedited photos and very limited photography skills. Have a great day!

    Lunar eclipse 9/27/15

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    Menu Plan Monday

    Menu Plan Monday at Orgjunkie

    Good Morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We took our youngest daughter to college on Saturday and while it's wonderful to see her working toward her goals, I know that she is going to be very much missed here.

    It doesn't seem that long ago that our dining room table was filled with 8 wiggly kids all waiting for Mom and Dad to dish out their plates. Now we're down to our two youngest boys and and older son in college who is rarely home for meals. Sometimes it's just 3 of us, and occasionally just 2 of us.

    Time flies and it will go even faster as I work to finish taking care of the last of the produce from our yard and garden and get involved in school activities. I knew I had to get back to some solid menu planning. So here we are. I try to take a couple requests from the kids. One has been asking for Chicken Alfredo so I had to include that in this week.  Most of these are pretty easy to do and some of the prep work can be done in advance. 

    That's it for today. Hope you have a wonderful week and see you next time! 


    Turkey Tenderloin
    Mashed Potatoes
    Green Beans

    Everyone loves this turkey tenderloin. Makes an easy meal! 


    Grilled Salmon
    Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad 
    Homemade Applesauce


    Chicken Alfredo
    Gluten Free Pasta
    Salad-using up some of our cherry tomatoes

    Cook all the chicken and use for Quesadillas later


    Cucumber Salad
    Black Bean Chocolate Cake


    Homemade Pizza


    Chicken Quesadillas
    Frozen Berries and Whipped Cream


    Mini Meatloaf 
    Baby Carrots
    New Potatoes