Tag Archives: recipes

A few days ago I made some homemade mozzarella and ricotta. Since these cheeses are best used while they are fresh I decided to make another one of our favorite lasagnas, pesto-spinach. I adapted a recipe I found on the epicurious.com web site. I made two small 8×8 lasagnas so I could freeze one. They freeze beautifully.

First make a white sauce:

lasagna, prudent living

White sauce

2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for one minute. Add milk and wine and whisk until smooth. Cook until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and salt.

For the spinach:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-10 oz packages of frozen spinach, drained well

Heat the oil in a separate pan. Add onions and garlic.

onions, garlic, saute

Saute onions and garlic.

Sauté until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach stir until well mixed. Mix in 1 ½ cups of the white sauce.

spinach lasagna

Add spinach to onions and garlic.

For the lasagna:
Lasagna noodles
28 oz of fresh ricotta cheese

ricotta, lasagna

Fresh homemade ricotta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese

homemade cheese, mozzarella

Fresh homemade mozzarella

Herb pesto

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2 inch-baking dish (or use two 8×8 pans).

Mix ricotta and Parmesan together. Mix in egg.

Spread ½ cup white sauce thinly over the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the spinach mixture over and sprinkle with1/3 of the mozzarella. Top with noodles and half of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle half of the pesto mixture evenly over the ricotta. Continue layering with noodles, remaining spinach mixture, 1/3 cup mozzarella, noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and then remaining pesto. Top with the last noodles. Spread remaining white sauce over the top, sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover the dish with a piece of buttered foil.

Bake lasagna until heated through and bubbling at the edges, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil.

Remove foil. Broil lasagna until top is browned in spots, turning dish occasionally for even browning, about 4 minutes. Let stand a few minutes to set up.

Serve and enjoy.

homemade lasagna, recipe box

Pesto Spinach Lasagna


Linked to Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Linked to FrugalFollies.com Cheap Recipes and Money-Saving Tips

This recipe is light, quick and easy – and so good! Feel free to use any other vegetable if you are not an asparagus fan.

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
¼ cup water
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp rice wine vinegar

Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.

green vegetable, soup, prudent living

Boil asparagus in water.

In a separate pan bring the chicken broth to a boil. Whisk together the water and cornstarch in a cup until smooth and whisk into the broth. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat until the broth barely simmers. Slowly drizzle the lightly beaten eggs into the soup, while stirring in a circular motion. Cook about 1 minute. Gently stir in the soy sauce and vinegar. Add the asparagus and serve.

asparagus, soup, homemade

Asparagus Egg Drop Soup

Makes about 4 servings.

This post linked to Frugal Food Thursday.

 Cheap Recipes and Money-Saving Tips

Earlier this week I told you how to store ginger. One of our favorite recipes that uses fresh ginger is another recipe adapted from our beloved Pei Mei’s Chinese Cookbook. You can use any green vegetable such as Bok Choy or broccoli. I use a large shallow non-stick pan to cook this meal and use less oil then the recipe calls for.

1 pound lean beef (flank steak)
15 pieces of scallions
15 slices ginger (quarter large)


½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp oil

Seasoning Sauce:

oyster sauce, sesame oil

Ingredients for seasoning sauce.

2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp sesame oil


1 pound green vegetable (bok choy, broccoli)
½ Tbsp wine
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Slice the beef very thin into 1” squares, put in a bowl and marinate for ½ hour at least (longer is better). Slice the beef when it is still partially frozen as you can cut it into very thin slices. Then add in 2 Tbsp oil and mix well.

beef, Chinese cooking

Remove any fat and slice beef thinly.

Chinese cooking, beef

Beef in marinade










Boil the green vegetable in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and stir-fry with Tbsp oil, season with wine, salt and sugar, set aside.

green vegetable, broccoli


Heat oil in wok add beef and stir fry until done. Remove beef and drain off oil from pan.

Use another 2 Tbsp oil to stir fry scallions and ginger,

ginger, chinese cooking

Thinly sliced ginger

Chinese cooking, scallions


add beef, stir quickly over high heat, add the seasoning sauce.Beef and Broccoli, Chinese cookingbeef and broccoli, Chinese cooking Stir until thickened and heated through. Add broccoli.







Serve over rice and enjoy!

Chinese cooking, beef and broccoli

Beef with Oyster Sauce

Linked to MakeAheadMealsForBusyMoms.com Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Linked to Foodie Friday too!BWS tips button, GooseberryPatch, Saturdaydishes

I’m sure many of you have fond memories of those delicious icebox cakes made with the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.

surprise cake, icebox cake

Surprise cake ingredients.

In all the years of enjoying them I never thought to make them as individual cakes. However I came across this recipe in a book called Cook What You Love by Bob and Melinda Blanchard. This recipe makes the most elegant but extremely simple dessert. You make it several hours ahead or even a day ahead so the cookies have time to soften and then serve as a fancy dessert the next night. Good enough for family or company!

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee powder
24 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
Crushed Chocolate Wafers for garnish

Using an electric mixer beat the cream, sugar, vanilla and coffee together until the cream holds its shape.

whipped cream, dessert

Whipped cream with instant coffee

Spread about 1 Tbsp of the cream onto each wafer. Stack 6 wafers together for each serving, alternating the wafers with the cream and pressing slightly so they hold together.

cookies, prudent living

Wafers and whipped cream

Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the stacks to cover the wafers completely. I use a little wax paper under the first cookie to keep the plate clean.

Using wax paper to keep the plate clean.

Using wax paper to keep the plate clean.

Once the cookies are covered with cream I remove the wax paper.

Once covered, remove the wax paper.

Once covered, remove the wax paper.

Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with crushed cookie crumbs and serve.

Ready to serve.

Ready to serve.


Surprise Cake

Surprise Cake

Liked to: MeandMySweets, SaturdayDishes, FoodieFriendsFriday, Sweet2EatBaking, GooseberryPatch

Are you a dog lover? As we stock our pantries let’s not forget about our four legged friends!  We have two dogs in our household; Riley, a Boston Terrier:

Boston Terrier, dogs

Riley by the river.

Boston Terrier, dogs

Riley, the Boston Terrier










and Purtie, a pug.

Pugs, dogs

Purtie enjoying the sun

Pugs, dogs

Purtie, our pug

Neither of these dogs were ours to begin with but they have made their home with us. Purtie was originally our daughter Katie’s dog. However Katie settled on the west coast and Purtie didn’t. Riley belongs to our oldest daughter, Jessica. She and her husband moved to London for two years and Riley came to live with us. Both dogs love their treats. They will often go outside on the coldest nights just because they know they will get a treat when they come inside. With trying to get back to basics and have a healthier lifestyle I decided to look into recipes for dog biscuits. Figured it couldn’t be too difficult.  I found a very simple recipe and decided to give it a try.

They smelled delicious as they were baking!

4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
½ to ¾ cups chunky peanut butter
2 ½ cups water

Mix all the ingredients, adding more hot water if necessary.

homemade dog biscuits

Whole wheat, oats and peanut butter

Knead well.

homemade dog biscutis

Dough just about ready to roll out.

Roll out to ¼” thickness and cut into shapes with small cookie cutters.

cookie cutters, homemade dog biscuits

Dog biscuit cookie cutters.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

homemade dog biscuits

Biscuits ready to bake.

Turn off heat and let cool in the oven overnight.

I have to say they were a big success!

homemade dog biscuits, prudent pantry

Finished dog biscuits

A sad note: I made these dog biscuits last weekend with the thought of writing about them today. Purtie, our pug has had some health issues recently and yesterday she took a turn for the worse. We think she suffered some sort of stroke. She spent the day quietly in her bed and passed away late afternoon. So this post is in honor of Purtie, she was a wonderful addition to our family and will be greatly missed.

Pugs, dogs

Purtie 8/2/02-3/7/12

Linked to: NourishingTreasures, RealFoodForager, CallMePMC, GooseberryPatch

The Morristribe’s Homestead Blog Carnival #2

The Morris Tribe Blog Carnival

Staying healthy is important. We try to take precautions to stay healthy. We always tried to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office. Shortly after moving to Vermont a friend sent us the recipe for “The Master Tonic”. At first I was a bit skeptical but made a batch and figured whenever we started to feel under the weather we would take a dose. Whether or not it was a coincidence we managed to stay very healthy! I even had several friends who asked for the recipe! I share it with you today exactly as it was shared with me. Beware when you chop fresh horseradish the fumes are quite powerful and when you chop hot peppers DO NOT rub your eyes, and be sure to wear gloves! When you gargle and swallow with this tonic I swear you can feel fire coursing through your veins!

Master Tonic: A Natural Antibiotic

Pro biotic: antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitical.

Important note: As required by law, this information is provided by the right of free speech for educational purposes only, as natural or non-pharmaceutical remedies or therapies are in some nations today now often deemed illegal. We must therefore insist that if you are ill or have any disease or healthy problem that you contact a medical doctor immediately and ask their advice before trying any formulae, or suggestion given in this material.

This is a modern-day version of a recipe for an extremely powerful natural antibiotic originally used to fight infection like the Bubonic Plague that killed over a third of the world in the 1300’s. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics it fights both bacteria and viruses, and is effective against pathogens that have developed immunity to existing drugs.

hot peppers, horseradish, garlic, ginger, vinegar

Master Tonic Ingredients

Master Tonic:

1 part fresh chopped garlic cloves (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral anti-parasitical)

garlic, master tonic, prudent living

Chopped Garlic

1 part fresh chopped white onion, hottest onions available (similar properties to garlic)
1 part fresh gated ginger root (increases circulation to the extremities)

ginger, master tonic

Chopped Ginger

1 part fresh grated horseradish root (increases blood flow to the head)
1 part fresh chopped Cayenne Peppers, the hottest peppers available, i.e. Habanero, African Bird, or Scotch Bonnets etc. (A great blood stimulant)

hot peppers, master tonic

Hot Cherry Peppers

1 bottle raw, unfiltered, unbleached, non-distilled apple cider vinegar

Fill a large glass jar ¾ of the way full with equal parts of the above peeled, fresh, chopped or grated herbs.

garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger, hot peppers

Ingredients layered in a large glass jar.

I use a ½ gallon glass-canning jar and add a cup of each of the above ingredients. Then fill up the rest of the jar to the top with raw, unfiltered, unbleached, non-distilled apple cider vinegar. (It should look milky) shake jar at least once a day for two weeks, and then filter the mixture through a clean piece of cotton (an old t-shirt) or cheesecloth, then bottle and label. If possible make sure all the vegetables and herbs are fresh and organically grown if possible, use dried herbs only in an emergency.

natural antibiotic, master tonic

Master Tonic

This tonic stimulates maximum blood circulation while putting the best detoxifying herbs into the blood. It strengthens the good guys (probiotic) in your system that helps define against infection that broad-spectrum pharmaceutical antibiotics kill. This formula is not just for the sniffles; it has helped to turn around the deadliest of infections.

The dosage is ½ to 1 ounce, two or three times daily (1-2 Tbsps. a time), gargle and swallow. Don’t dilute with water. For ordinary infections, a dropperful taken 5-6 times a day will deal with most conditions. It can be used during pregnancies, is safe for children (use smaller doses) and as a food is completely non-toxic. Make up plenty; it does not need refrigeration and lasts indefinitely without any special conditions.

(I believe the friend that shared this with me got it from The University of Natural Healing, Dr. Richard Schultzs’ adaption of Dr. Christopher’s’ original anti-plague tonic)

Linked to: MindBodyandSole

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