Cooking, Homeschooling

Using the newpaper to the fullest

I recognize that newspaper subscriptions are not as common as they were before the advent of the internet, smart phones, and other new technologies.  Such a shame.  We used the newspaper in so many different ways as I was teaching my own children, and I still use it as I work with young people today.  Here are just a few ways it can supplement your academics:

Discovery learners (explanation in my post on Feb. 26, 2013)

  • Have them identify letters and numbers from the large print.
  • Cut apart the lettering in the headlines.  Have them create their spelling words, or simply assemble familiar words from the letters.
  • Look for the pictures which accompany the stories.  Cut out various pictures which can then be categorized into different emotions.  If you use images from throughout the paper, you may be surprised at the variety of feelings caught on film.
  • Give each child a length of print and have them look for the most commonly used letters.  Make a graph or a chart with tally marks.  Look at other print media.  Do your findings match there as well?
  • Later discovery learners can look for the most important or persuasive words in an article.  Why did the journalist choose those words?  Which other words could they have chosen?
  • Put together a family newspaper.  Have your children play reporter/journalist.  Call extended family members and gather information about each person, then try and write articles that are informative and interesting.
  • Find the weather report and track what is forecasted as well as the actual weather happenings.  How are they the same?  Different?  What other information is included with the forecast?
  • Many papers offer an educational page or insert each week.  Look for them.  They often have games, and activities to make your studies more interesting.  Can’t find one? Call your local paper and ask.

Analysis learners- many of these will work for application learners as well (explanation in my post on Feb. 27, 2013)

  • Give your teen an amount of “money” to invest.  Have them choose stocks to purchase, and then follow the stock prices in the economy section to see how well they did.  Watch the stocks for two months or more to get a clearer picture of what happens with the stock market.  Graph the results.
  • Have your youth clip coupons and use the ads to put together menus and the shopping list for the week.  Go to the store and see how well they can stay within the family budget.
  • Have your student copy a sentence or two from an article of their choice.  Have them diagram it.
  • Look for recipes that feature foods your family likes or would like to try.  Organize them into a three-ring binder.  As you make them, make a note of which ones you enjoyed, what worked well, what might be a way to “tweak” them, or just toss the ones which you wouldn’t make again.  (Often the recipes in the paper are taken from the latest cookbooks.)
  • Look for unfamiliar words to use in a vocabulary list.
  • Read an article looking for a specific part of speech.  Circle or underline the nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, etc.
  • Cut out or copy a comic strip.  Put white out over the text in the thought bubbles/spoken words.  Have your students write their own text.
  • Read the editorials together.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Why?  Can you find a flaw in the argument?  (We did this daily for years.  My entire family became much more competent at putting a well-worded argument together, and were able to discuss current events intelligently with those around them.)
  • The local section of the paper often lists upcoming events.  Plan a field trip as a family.
  • Track your favorite sport or team.  Learn to analyze stats, memorize players and their numbers, or look for the ways injuries, weather, playing fields, or fatigue affect the game.

Application learners (explanation in my post on Feb. 28, 2013)

  • Use the classified ads to look for jobs requiring different levels of education.  Using the salaries listed, have them look for housing, food, transportation, and other living expenses to put a budget together for a month or more.  (You will have to provide utility costs.  Those aren’t in the classifieds.)
  • Keep a notebook of clipped articles dealing with a current event or social issue important to your family.  Watch for changes as time passes, or look for the various biases of different reporters.  After you have taken time to examine the issue more fully, write a letter to the editor explaining where you stand and why.
  • Keep reading the editorials together.  Consider having your young adult write a paper on an issue which they find concerning.  How does it affect them as they move into adulthood?  How might change be accomplished?  What roadblocks would need to be overcome?
  • Look for recent quotations or famous sayings to put in their quote/penmanship books.  Why did they choose what they chose?
  • Do the crosswords puzzle, or at least attempt it.

The newspaper is not as popular as it once was and yet it can assist us in the most challenging part of home schooling- using different media in order to avoid academics from becoming mundane.  It can enlighten, challenge, and shed light on a considerable number of items in our lives.  This list is just the beginning.  Take a minute and spend time in your local paper, and see how many different ways you can use it in your own home!

Home and Family, Homemaking, Organization

Spring cleaning

Its that time of year again.  The tulips and daffodils are poking out of the ground, the trees are budding, and everyone is ready to get outside and shake off the cobwebs of winter.  Just remember- your house could use a good airing too!  We don’t need to go the extremes of a century ago, (they dismantled and cleaned even some of the furniture) but it is a good idea to clear some things out, and make sure you have a house that will make the coming-and-goings of warmer weather simpler.

Basic items you may find useful include vinegar, cheap shampoo, baking soda, your favorite essential oils (we love grapefruit and eucalyptus),  a good non-toxic  cleaner,  cleaning rags, garbage bags, music you like to listen to,  boxes or bags for donations to charity, and a feeling of abundance.  (If you can recognize the multitude of blessings you have, you will think more clearly and be more objective about what you truly ought to keep and what is excess.)   This project is not just for Mom.  Get the entire family involved.  Little ones can refold and sort linens, use a whisk broom, help carry smaller items as you clear, or wipe down lower surfaces.  Once they can read labels easily, allow them to organize things by size, color, or type.  (No toxic substances should be handled by young children.)  Bigger kids can learn to scrub (even in the corners), clear, and sort.  Everyone in a family should be a participant in maintaining a clean and tidy home!

Start in the room that needs the least amount of work.  (If your bathroom needs a good scrub, and a few shelves straightened, start there.)  The more quickly you have one room sparkling, the more motivation you will have to keep going. Do the next area that is not too bad, and so forth.  If you can do a drawer or two, or a closet, or room a day, you will get done fairly quickly without being chained inside when the weather is good. Set some goals, and get to it!

In the bathroom, use the vinegar (with essential oils added if you desire) on shiny surfaces and tile.  Buff glass dry with crumpled newspaper; use cotton rags for anything else.  Cheap shampoo is great for anywhere body oils collect.  Clean your tub, your combs and brushes, even ring-around-the-collar with it.  If you need something with just a bit of a gentle abrasive, baking soda is your friend.  It also is a great deodorizer.  Pour about half a cup down your drains followed by a cup or two of vinegar.  Stand back and watch the action!  The foaming will help clear your pipes, and freshen them. Polish the hardware.  If your toilet bowl needs a good soak, use good quality denture tablets.  Let them sit overnight, swish in the morning, and most stains under the waterline will be gone.  Sort your linens.  Clear and wipe down any shelves or cabinets.  Check your medications for expiration dates.  As you finish, take a minute to enjoy what you have done!

Clear out one cabinet or closet as a time.  Touch each item long enough to decide if you need/want it.  Does it fit?  Do you use it?  Do you hate it, but it was a gift?  Keep the good.  Donate the unnecessary.  Toss/recycle the trash.  Have a day when you gather the toys, games, and other playthings.  Mend the boxes.  Do you have all the pieces?  Put all the Legos/blocks/toy soldiers in their own container.  Doll stuff needs a central home.  Are there games you just never play?  Puzzles you have never put together?  Schedule a time to do so, or donate it!

As you dust, take EVERYTHING off the surface.  Clean it.  Then put back your favorite things.  Only re-place those things that add to the look of the room or serve a purpose.  If you had too much on there to begin, don’t put it all back!  What would look better somewhere else in your house?  What items need a nice box or basket to be stored neatly?  What do you no longer need, or which items are not adding anything to your life?  Donate them.

As you clean, have a box or basket for items you need, but they belong somewhere else.  Whatever lives in a different room, put in the box.  Don’t leave where you are currently cleaning; you may never finish the job.

Paperwork can be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of any organization project.  If you have file folder, a sturdy box, a recycling bin, and a way to shred or burn anything with personal information, you can take an afternoon and just plow through it.  This may be the one area where family help is not a good idea.  Put a system together for paperwork, finances, etc. so that it can be maintained.  I have five file drawers where all of my household, school-related, financial, or personal paper lives.  Give your older children and teens a box of their own.  Help them create a system for papers, certificates, pay stubs, letters, etc.

Your children can, and should, help you go through their rooms.  What do they no longer need?  What have they stashed under their beds, or in their drawers?  Clear it out.  Sort it.  Put back what really matters.  Help them share in the excitement of having created a clean, organized, fun place to be; help them learn to share their excess with others who need what we take for granted.

If money is tight,  take not needed (but still nice) clothing, toys, or other household items to a consignment shop for resale, or box them up and hold a yard sale this summer.  If you talk with your extended family, neighbors, or friends you will often have enough to create a good-sized, therefore better attended, sale.  (Just be sure to have a system to keep track of how much money goes to each family.)

We do not need to have a professionally decorated house, or a lot of money in order to live in a pleasant, inviting space.  Clean it up.  Clear it out. You can fashion a refuge from the outside world where people want to be with a little elbow grease and lots of love.  Happy cleaning!

Finances, Gardening

Favorite gardening books

We are finally getting a taste of spring!  Warmer days, cool nights, sunshine, and buds on the tips of trees.  Time to think about the garden!

In our home, we sit down and talk about what each person would like to eat, preserve, or try during the coming growing season.  Once we have our list made, and our garden planned and drawn on graph paper, it is time to inventory our seeds and decide what new thing we will be trying.  Some years we try a new variety of vegetable.  Some years we experiment with a different growing method.  But each year many things remain the same.  We always plant peas, and corn, and tomatoes, and cucumbers.  We always work as a family.  The weeds always seem to get a bit beyond us by late August.  And we always eat well!

The amount of food that is produced from just a few seeds can be worth some thought!  We have a large garden plot and plant around two dozen different kinds of veg, but even if you have just a bit of space, you can eat well with a few tomatoes plants, one cucumber, some lettuce, a squash, and a couple pepper plants. You can even share a packet of seeds with a friend or neighbor, and split the cost if you only need a small amount.

Not sure how or where to start?  Here are some of my favorite books.  They cover a variety of options for gardening.  Enjoy!

1001 Hints & Tips for Your Garden published by Reader’s Digest

The 12-Month Gardener  by Jeff Ashton

Carrots Love Tomatoes and Roses Love Garlic by Louise Riotte

Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham

Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon

Garden Smarts by Shelley Goldbloom

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control by Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardens    Suzanne Ashworth

Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell

Cooking, Finances, Home and Family, Homemaking

Broth- a wonder food!

My house smells heavenly this morning.  There is beef broth simmering away in my Crock Pot. (It is being created from the trimmings of the beef we bottled yesterday.)  Broth is so simple to make, and has so many uses!  And all this from the bits and pieces that would otherwise be thrown out.

I use my Crock Pot when I make broth.  I can leave it on the counter overnight or when I am out and around during the day with no worries.  Broth needs time to develop flavor, so it will cook on low for 12-24 hours.  Once the flavor is well-developed, strain the broth off into a pitcher or large bowl, and chill it overnight in order for the fat to rise to the top and solidify.  When it is chilled, skim off the fat layer and use it, or bottle/freeze it for later.  I have dozens of bottles of various flavors in our food room just waiting for use.

Basic broth

Place bones, fat, skin, or any part of the meat you don’t intend to eat in to a Crock Pot.  Add onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and turnips (if the meat is beef) to the crock.  Fill with water.  Turn the Crock Pot on low and let it cook.  (You can use the peels, leaves, or trimmed ends from any of the vegetables for broth.  Just ensure they are clean, and throw them in.)  I have made broth from chicken, turkey, beef, ham, and fish.  You can also make it from vegetables.

If you find you don’t have adequate trimmings to fill your Crock Pot one-third full, freeze them.  When you have gathered enough for a batch, thaw them and you’re in business!

We add broth to grains such as rice and cracked wheat when we cook it for dinner.  (We used ham broth last week when we made pinto beans and rice for dinner.  There was no meat, but it tasted like there was! Yummy!)  You can use it for gravies, sauces, soups, or risotto.  I also use it for braising meat.  It is inexpensive to make, and is so versatile.

My husband has a rice/vermicelli side dish recipe that is fantastic and uses whichever broth goes with the meat you are serving.  This recipe feeds 8-10 people.  Feel free to cut it in half.

1/2 stick butter

2 cups vermicelli, broken into 1/2 inch pieces

3 cups rice

2 quarts broth

2-3 teaspoons soup base

Melt butter in 4-6 stock pot, or large pan.  Add rice and brown until very light brown.  Add vermicelli and continue browning until pasta is a toasted.  In a separate pan, combine broth and soup base until heated.  Add enough broth to cover the rice/vermicelli mixture to the stock pot when browning is completed and boil until liquid can no longer be seen (a glass lid is perfect for this if you have one).  Take off heat, and allow the grains to continue to absorb the remaining liquid-about 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

Finances, Homeschooling

Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

Giving your children a first class education need not cost a small fortune.  Homeschooling can be very successful without spending hundreds of dollars every year.  There were a couple of years when we only spent $25 for the entire school year.  Other years we spent more.  What we did worked.  My assurance of that?  My children have received full-tuition scholarships to BYU-Idaho, the Presidential scholarship to USU, and graduated college with honors. You have the ability and resources available to you to be a successful homeschooling parent whether you have lots of cash or limited funds if you are willing to be disciplined, focused, and can keep a sense of humor on the challenging days!

There are a myriad of free resources:

  • Barter-Trading what you can do for those things with which you are struggling.  In the past our family has bartered for “stuff”, tutoring, sewing lessons, help with the younger children, you name it!
  • The public library-Most parents vastly under-utilize this resource. Books, CD’s, music, magazines, classes and presentations, and some of the best books sales available.  Get to know the librarians at your local branch.  They can be gold mines in ideas and information!
  • Convention/curriculum fair vendors-Their advice can be as valuable as their products BUT KEEP IN MIND-if a vendor spends time working with you, ethics dictate that you purchase from them instead of looking for a “better deal” somewhere else.  Their time is money.
  • The internet-wow! Ideas and forums for the Moms, ready-to-use curriculum and games, places to order wonderful supplies, access to recordings of great music, art pieces to study, answers to just about any question you or your child may have.  Gotta love it.  (Ensure that you have a good filter so that the seedy side of life does not get an open-door invitation to your home!)
  • Catalogs-lots of catalogs.  Ever notice how ordering from one company can increase your mail exponentially?  That’s okay.  Look through your favorites with a new eye.  What can you create for your children?  What could they do?  What things ought to go on gift idea lists for the grandparents?  What could your children earn money to purchase for themselves?
  • Share what you have; ask for assistance with what you need.  People are generally flattered if you ask for their help in a certain area.  (Thank yous are always a good idea.)

There are great resources that are close to free. 

  • Shop second hand.  Thrift stores, yard sales, used book sellers are all gold mines!  If you have never tried it, you are in for some surprises.  Keep in mind what you all ready own, what you need, and know the retail prices for the things you are trying to find.  Some things will be bargains; others will be over-priced.
  • Community Education classes-for a minimal fee you can get your feet wet in a vast array of subjects.  Great for adults and kids alike.
  • Become familiar with stores such as All A Dollar, WalMart, Big Lots, etc.
  • Conventions, support group meetings, seminars.  Some charge a fee, others are simply the cost of a babysitter.  (Know what you’re getting if you are paying more than a few dollars.  Overspending is easy and can be frustrating if you do not come away with usable information.)  Meetings provide an opportunity to gain great information, and to create a support network.  Can’t find one that fits your needs?  Consider starting one.
  • Public television-technically it is free, but if you are using it consistently, send them at least a small donation.
  • Field trips-great for bringing your curriculum to life and giving everyone a break.  Look for smaller learning opportunities as well as the larger, obvious ones.  (Does someone in your area train helper dogs?  Keep bees?  Remember the Depression?)
  • The newspaper-history as it happens, biographies, recipes, humor (always needed), science, art, field trip ideas, editorials.  I love it.
  • Throw a party!   Turn your next unit into a celebration.  Dress in period dress, serve period food, play the games and listen to the music that fits with your study, maybe even put on a play.  Invite the grandparents, neighbors, whoever.

Curriculum ideas

Language Arts

  • Memorize poetry and other significant works (or portions of them)
  • Study other languages.
  • Play Mad-libs, Scrabble, or other language games
  • Put on a play
  • Read a book and then watch the movie. How do they compare?
  • Read, read, read and talk about what you are reading.  Just remember to use great literature!
  • Write. Journals, letters, stories, reports, jokes, nonsense words, poetry, research papers.  Write with them.  Write on your own.  Share what they are writing with others.
  • Learn to write an outline.  It will help them in coming years as well as now.

Mathematics

  • Make your own manipulatives from wood, felt, beans, paper, cloth, just about whatever you have a surplus of can be a learning tool.  Get the whole family involved.
  • Play math games.
  • Teach life skills; budgeting, financial planning, cooking, building
  • Find a math book at a second-hand store or on line (often for a small fraction of what you would pay retail.)
  • Barter for a good math tutor if you need one.

Social Studies

  • Be social. Leave home.  Get to know a variety of people from variety of backgrounds.  Try new things.
  • Serve/ volunteer/ get involved.  Spend time helping at the food bank, the library, a hospital, the local shut-ins.
  • Get involved in the political process with your children.  Campaign, put out fliers, participate in a “honk and wave”, learn about the principles and freedoms we have the good fortune to enjoy.
  • Experience other cultures through festivals, food, music, neighbors, art, maps.  Learn some basic vocabulary.  Sing a song in the language it was first written.  Try re-writing a basic board book in a different language.
  • Study the holidays.  How are they celebrated in other places?  What are their origins?  What holidays are unfamiliar to your family?

History

  • We LOVE history!  You get to learn about real people who did REAL things.  Use real stories!
  • Science, art, music, and family stories all have a place in your history study.
  • Have a time line.  Let me say that again.  Have a time line.  EVERYONE needs to see how things fit together.
  • Study documents and speeches.  Memorize some.  Dissect others.
  • Purchase a copy of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary. ( I realize this class is on saving $$$$.  Some things must be purchased; this is one of them.  Use it often to make it well-used and loved.)
  • Put on a play or write a radio broadcast for events you have studied.  (How would news have spread during the period you are studying?)
  • Study world history as a complete picture.  (What was happening in Europe or the Middle East during the Revolutionary War?  What was happening in Asia during Europe’s Dark Ages?)
  • Stay away from textbooks.  They are boring,  have limited information, and put people to sleep.
  • Build models, make costumes, recreate the things used in the past.
  • History is fun in the kitchen.  Make johnny cake or hummus or hard tack.  Live with just the items the pilgrims or the Templar Knights would have had for a day.
  • Watch good documentaries or historically-based plays or movies.

Science

  • Plant a garden.  Preserve the surplus.
  • Watch the weather by building your own instruments.  (There are great books at the library for this.)
  • Start a collection.
  • Learn survival skills, first aid, basic health, and nutrition.
  • Keep a pet.
  • Get into the kitchen.  Learn about reactions, heat and cold, bacteria etc.
  • What did you want to learn about as a child?  Now is the time.
  • Check experiment books out from the library.
  • Read about famous scientists
  • Use your hands.  Get dirty.  Dissect things for biology.  Go rock hunting for earth science.
  • Keep a nature notebook

Geography

  • Make a map or collect them.  Display them as you study history or various cultures.
  • Contact different tourist centers for informational packets, or look for information on the internet.
  • Learn to use a compass.
  • Study the changes in the earth’s physical geography or political boundaries.
  • Memorize countries and capitols/states and capitols.
  • Talk with people who have lived in different parts of the US or other countries.
  • Study your family background.  When did your ancestors come to America.   From where?  Where did they settle?
  • Study the wildlife of the earth.  Where do they live?  How have they adapted to survive?

The Arts

  • Be creative.
  • Learn by doing.  Try different handicrafts, look at books on famous works of art, art technique, or famous artists.
  • Try needlework, sculpture, painting or any other art media.
  • Go to an art museum.
  • Keep a nature notebook.
  • Attend music concerts at the local high school.  Attend the annual musical.
  • Many churches or schools have non-denominational concerts that are free, covers multiple genres, and is always fun.
  • Check out CDs at the library.  There is a series of CDs that introduce classics by adding memorable and goofy lyrics called Beethoven’s Wig.  I highly recommend it.
  • Learn about the lives of famous composers.
  • Take instrumental music lessons.  (Barter maybe?)
  • Teach your children the basics of rhythm and tone.  As a family experience different styles of music and performance.  Not sure where to start?  Ask the best musician you know to help you find resources.  (They may even volunteer to help.)
  • Learn to lead music as a family.
  • Read plays.  Go see one.  It could become a habit.
  • Attend dance concerts.  Learn the basic steps for ballet, tap, jazz, whatever.  (You may have a twelve-year-old in your neighborhood who could share what they have learned.)
  • Teach proper etiquette for attending a concert, play, or museum.

Real Life

  • Teach your family to cook, clean, do laundry, etc.
  • Have a basic schedule for your academic days.  When do you do chores, academics, free time, etc?  Stick to your schedule.  The phone, door, and other appointments can derail the best of intentions if allowed to do so.
  • Homeschooling is a family affair.  Keep Dad in the loop.  Share chores, meals, and decisions as a family.
  • When you have a genuine emergency or life-changing event, make it part of what you are teaching.  As a family, we experienced miscarriage, death, military deployments, moves, unemployment, illness (Mom spent six months on her back in bed), heart surgeries, and a few other opportunities for learning.  Just remember that your children will learn to handle the unexpected by watching you handle it!

Just a few other thoughts:

  • Textbooks are not necessary to a good homeschool.  My personal exceptions to that rule are Math U See or Saxon Math (for 5th grade and older) and The Making of America for studying the Constitution with your teens.  If your teens are specializing in a specific science, get a good high school text for them to work through.  As a rule, classic literature provides a much more diverse and interesting education.
  • Use 4-H and Scouting books.  They are interesting, inexpensive, and easy to understand.
  • Put a stop sign on your door.  Let the phone go to voicemail.  Focus on your children.
  • If you bought something that everyone dislikes, forcing your family to use it does not do you any favors.  Put it away to try again later or sell it or even give it to someone who can use it.
  • Have a book with a bad text?  Take it apart and save the pictures, maps, lists, etc. for future projects.
  • Make games, flash cards, dominoes, whatever.  You can often produce things rather than purchasing them.
  • Give learning games, books, etc. as gifts.  You can spend your money on fun but inane things, or you can spend the same amount on a well-thought-out item that will be appreciated and effective.
  • No one loves your children as you do. You can do this. Just remember that bad days will happen. Challenges will crop up. That’s okay.  Square your shoulders.  Keep going. Call a friend. Take a break.  Go for a hike.  Bake cookies.  Have a game day.  Start again tomorrow.

Survival Skills

  • Write a family or school mission statement.  Know where you are headed; it makes avoiding detours much easier.  We found that some things are interesting, but not necessary for where my family is going.
  • Collect aluminum cans.  Hold a yard sale.  Sell things you aren’t using in a consignment shop or on ebay.  Use the money acquired to buy needed school supplies or for an annual pass to something you just can’t get enough of in one visit.
  • Have a home library.  Yard sales, thrift stores, used book sellers are great resources for inexpensive, classic, interesting books.  We now have a library of over 3,000 books.  The average price paid is under $5.
  • Cut costs in other areas.  Hang out your laundry.  Cook from scratch.  Lower your clothing budget.  Use it, re-use it; do not discard anything until you are sure it is really dead.  Learn what you really need!
  • Ensure what you doing is both legal and ethical.  Thrifty and dishonest are not the same thing!  If it feels shady, don’t do it.
  • Know what you have.  Money spent because you cannot find what you own is money lost.  Clutter and lack of focus can be expensive.
  • Set your priorities for acquisitions.  Search and pray for what you really need.  It is out there somewhere.

Spending large sums of money is easy when you homeschool.  There is so much that can be of worth and/or trendy.  But it is so often unnecessary.   Your homeschooling journey can be a tremendous opportunity for learning, growth, and creativity.  Tight finances and limited resources are a reality, but do not need to be the determining factor on how well we educate our children.  Learn to think “outside the box”, pray, work, and you absolutely can prepare your children for the rest of their lives!

Cooking, Homemaking

Recipes using dehydrated foods

Recipes for
Dehydrated Ingredients

These recipes are some of our family’s favorites using dehydrated ingredients.    None are particularly difficult or time consuming.  All of them rate high on the “yummy” scale, as well as being easy on the budget!  As you begin making them, just remember to assemble your ingredients before you begin, making sure to rehydrate, soften, and grind (flours) as needed!  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

2 c. sugar

1 1/4 c. vegetable oil

4 eggs (I use dried.  1/2 c. powered eggs and 1 c. water, beaten well)

1 c. whole wheat flour

1c. all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

3 cups dry carrots, rehydrated (if using cubed carrots, pulse into smaller pieces before rehydration)

1 c. nuts (optional)

In large mixing bowl, mix together sugar, oil, and beaten eggs.  Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl.  Stir dried ingredients into wet ones, then fold in rehydrated carrots and nuts.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  It is done when the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Cool completely.  This can be topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, or cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

1/2 c. butter (1 stick), room temperature

5 tsp. cream cheese

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Cream first 3 ingredients together.  Add powdered sugar gradually and whip until smooth.  Makes enough for a 9×13 cake.

 

Potato Pearl Casserole

1 c. potato pearls

2 c. water, hot

1/3 c. sour cream, room temperature

1/4 tsp. onion salt, scant

2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

3 tbsp. parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper

Combine potato pearls and water.  Add other ingredients, mixing well.  Spoon into a 9×9 buttered casserole and top with grated cheese, if desired.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (just to heat through).  Serve warm.

 

Peanut Butter Chews

1 c. powdered sugar

1 c. peanut butter

1 c. non-instant dry milk

1 c. honey or corn syrup

Mix sugar and milk powders together thoroughly. Add peanut butter and syrup to dry mixture.   Knead with your hand to combine.  Press into a cake pan and cut into bars, or roll into walnut size balls.  Optional- add nuts and/or dip in chocolate.

 

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef

1 1/2 cups cooked cracked wheat

1 tbsp. dried onions, rehydrated

1/4 c. green pepper, diced

1 can tomato soup

1 tsp. mustard

1/2 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute beef, onions and green pepper in a large skillet.   Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 20-30 minutes, until desired to consistency.  Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

 

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c. white beans, mashed

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

3 c. oats

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Beat mashed beans, sugars, egg , and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add to bean and sugar mixture; mix well.  Drop onto greased cooked sheets and bake for 10 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

 

Rice and Apple Breakfast

1/3 c. apple juice

2 c. cooked rice

1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp raisins

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 handful dried apple slices, rehydrated (For best flavor, rehydrate them in the apple juice, heated.)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes over low heat.  Serve plain, or with milk.

 

Apple crisp

2 c. rehydrated apple slices

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. rehydrating liquid

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine and spread in a greased, 8 inch pan.

Topping:

3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/4 c. rolled oats

1/3 c. butter or margarine

1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine and sprinkle over apple mixture.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm or cold.  Good with cream or ice cream on top.