Tag Archives: recipes

I recently celebrated my birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a special homemade Chinese dinner with friends! Since we were out of town visiting my mother-in-law we took over her kitchen and created a fabulous meal.Chinese Dinner This was our menu for the dinner:

 

Crab Rangoon in Tartlet Shells

Spiced Asian Snack Mix

Mandarin Almond Salad

Simple Egg Drop Soup

Beef with Oyster Sauce

Kahlua Brownies with Ice Cream

 

It was such a fun evening! Celebrating with friends and family with good food in the perfect way to enjoy a birthday. I was in charge of the appetizers, which were so easy. The ingredients were made ahead of time and I just added the filling to the tartlet shells and popped them in the oven for a ten minutes. When the company walked in the door they were ready to enjoy.

 

My husband took over the rest of the meal; after all it was my birthday! The Egg Drop Soup was a new recipe but very easy to prepare for company. All the chopping was done before hand. The vegetables were cooked in the broth and at the last minute the eggs were added. After the soup course everyone sat at the table for a few minutes while my husband cooked up the Beef with Oyster Sauce. I have to say next to the World’s Best Eggrolls Beef with Oyster Sauce is a real favorite. You can use Bok Choy or Broccoli or any green vegetable in the recipe. Bok Choy is the preferred way we enjoy it. The rice was pre-cooked and was quickly heated up in the microwave.Homemade Chinese Meal

 

Everyone loved the meal! We had to show off our Pei Mei cookbook, which we’ve been using since 1980! So many memorable meals!Homemade Chinese Meal

 

I picked up dessert from our local Farmer’s Market bakery. You can purchase three good-sized Kahlua Brownies and split them all in half for a perfect dessert. Just warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds and serve with ice cream. These brownies were the perfect finish to our Homemade Chinese dinner.

 

I have shared the recipe for Beef with Oyster Sauce previously. Here is the recipe for the Simple Egg Drop Soup.Homemade Chinese Meal

 

Simple Egg Drop Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

½ tsp. Minced ginger

1 Tbsp. Soy sauce

3 scallions, chopped

¼ tsp. White pepper

¾ cup sliced shitaki mushrooms

 

Directions:

 

Take ½ cup of the chicken broth and combine with the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.

 

Put the chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, scallions, and white pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir. Reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the beaten eggs. The eggs will spread out into ribbons. Turn off the heat and garnish with a few more sliced scallions. Serve immediately.

 

I hope you enjoyed our homemade Chinese Dinner. I will be sharing the Crab Rangoon in tartlet shells in a future post.

I’ve made a similar dish using the grain farro, and if you are not familiar with faro you should check out my post. Farro is a wonderful grain to cook with. In the winter I love soups and creamy comfort food. This Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots is an easy dinner that tastes very much like comfort food! You can enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day or use them to make a Chicken and Barley Soup. However you enjoy this Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots, it will warm you up on a chilly day. I like the fact that the whole meal only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and then 40 minutes of roasting/cooking time. The meal will be on the table in no time.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

 

Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

 

Ingredients:

 

2 large carrots cut into ½ inch slices

2 medium parsnips cut into ½ inch slices

1 tsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ cup shallots, chopped

1 cup barley

½ cup white wine

3 cups homemade chicken broth

1 tsp. Ground coriander

2 cups baby spinach

4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the carrots and parsnips in a large rimmed baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and roast, stirring once, until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the shallot s and cook, stirring often until softened, about two minutes. Add the barley and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir often. Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed, about to minutes.

 

Add the broth and the coriander to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the barley is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the roasted vegetables and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Transfer to the serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots Serve at once.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

coconut candyI know the holidays are over and we’re all try to make better eating choices but I had to share this recipe from my husband’s grandmother. For years I have been hearing about “Gram’s Coconut Candy”. I have a cookbook that contains all the recipes she had in her file and one of the recipes is for her famous coconut candy. As the Valentine’s Day approached my husband and I decided to give it a try.coconut candy

 

We knew it wouldn’t be the same for two reasons, first of all Gram always used fresh coconut! I didn’t have any fresh coconut on hand so I had to use dried coconut. Second all of many of Gram’s recipes didn’t have exact measurements and her recipe for coconut candy was no exception. For example she would say “add a bit of vanilla” or “add confectioners sugar”. I’m sure it made perfect sense to her as she had made the coconut candy numerous times before. I’ve had wonderful results with other recipes such as Beach Plum Jelly, which had very little directions or measurements, just an equal amount of sugar and juice.jelly, pantry

 

After some online searching I actually found a recipe very similar to Gram’s but with some measurements. By combining the two recipes we came up with a wonderful treat to enjoy for Valentine’s Day. When making these coconut candies you have to work quickly as the coconut cream part dries out very quickly.The coconut confectioners sugar dough is also very stiff to work with.  It helps to have another set of hands to work the dough and to roll the balls.coconut candy It would also help to have more chocolate melted that the original recipe called for as I ran out of chocolate halfway through the process. We were all pleased with the result and will try it again using fresh coconut.coconut candy

 

Alma’s Coconut Candy

 

Ingredients:

 

3 Egg whites, beaten very stiff

2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar

¼ pound of grated coconut

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

 

2 boxes semi-sweet chocolate

2-4 Tbsp. Butter (Gram’s recipe actually called for paraffin wax but I opted for butter)

 

Directions:

 

Mix the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, coconut and egg white together. Roll into small balls and let stand for ½ hour.coconut candy

 

Meanwhile melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. When the chocolate is cool dips the coconut balls into the chocolate, Set the balls on a cooling rake to harden.coconut candy Once the balls cooled store in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

 

The flavor comes out if the coconut candies are allowed to sit for a day or so. I imagine if you used fresh coconut candies these would be even better.


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How To Use A Mason Jar Vacuum  Sealer

 

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Amish Chocolate Frosting

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Do you love English muffins? Did you know you could make your own English muffin bread, which tastes so much like a real English muffin? I’ve been making this English Muffin Bread ever since I was first married, long before I ever made my first loaf of “real” bread. It is perfect toasted for breakfast especially smothered with some of my own jam. It also freezes well, the recipe makes two loaves so enjoy one today and put the other loaf in your freezer to enjoy later.

This recipe comes together quickly. Mix the ingredients; place the dough in your loaf pans, let rise and cook. That’s all there is to it. There is no kneading and even if you have never made bread before you will have success with this recipe. When we gather for the holidays I am always asked to bring a loaf or two of this delicious English Muffin Bread. Don’t be surprised if your family falls in love with this bread and you find yourself making it regularly!english muffin bread

 

English Muffin Bread

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cups flour
5 tsp. yeast (2 packages)
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ baking soda
2 cups of warm milk (120-130 degrees)
½ cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
Cornmeal

 

Directions:

 

In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat on high for 3 minutes. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to make this bread using the regular paddle not the kneading hook.

Stir in remaining flour, the batter will be stiff. Do not knead. Grease two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal.english muffin bread

Spoon the batter into the pans and sprinkle with a dusting of cornmeal on the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.english muffin bread If I cover with plastic wrap it helps to lightly spray the plastic wrap with nonstick spray.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.English muffin bread Removed from the pans immediately and cool on a wire rack.

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During the cold winter months there is nothing I enjoy better than a warm bowl of soup. Whether we’re enjoying soup for lunch or making a dinner out of it you will find soup on the menu at least once a week! One of my favorite soup recipes is the Smokey Butternut Squash Soup.smoky butternut squash soup

 

The recipe is very simple and the only has a few added ingredients other than the butternut squash. One of the ingredients is bacon, which gives this soup a smokey flavor.

Next time you want to try a new soup make this smokey butternut squash soup, you’ll be glad you did. I’m sure it will freeze well but we managed to enjoy it and didn’t have time to put it in the freezer!

 

Smokey Butternut Squash Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 butternut squash, 3 pounds. Peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

12 onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 slices of bacon, diced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

4 slices of bacon

½ tsp. Thyme

2 ½ homemade chicken broth

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the butternut squash, onion, pepper, bacon and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle it with the olive oil and toss to coat gently. Put the mixture into your baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

 

Meanwhile cook the remaining 4 slices of bacon until brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

 

After the vegetable mixture is done, heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butternut squash mixture and thyme and cook one to two minutes more. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth and use your immersion blender to puree.

 

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the soup is slightly thickened. If it is too thick you may add some more chicken broth.smoky butternut squash soup

 

Serve this smokey butternut squash warm. Leftovers can be frozen or enjoyed another day.smoky butternut squash soup

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I found on Damn Delicious.

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