Here on our little hillside, in WV, we try to live a simple life. One where we can try to make the best decisions in regards to what we feed our family, and where we source our foods. We try to make green decision that are not only good for our family but for our community and planet as well. There is no place I would rather raise a family, than these WV hills! So I guess it is our responsibility to preserve them, and our heritage.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

ice fishing bounty

Around our house, we have four seasons.  Ice fishing, bass fishing, ginseng, and hunting.  That takes us from January to December.  Last year was a huge disappointment when there was no ice.  So far this year it has been on and off, but at least the boys have been able to get out a few times so far.

We love every year when a bunch of people go out and try to catch their limits.  We have a fish fry, with fries, hush puppies, and all the homemade trimmings.  There hasn't been enough ice this year for that but we did manage a few good fish dinners.  We normally make a simple batter and fry them up.  I would offer up a batter recipe, but I still haven't found the perfect one.  So by all means, if you have a good batter recipe, PLEASE share!

There are two local fishing areas that have walleye, perch, and bluegill.  With spring around the corner, I am not sure how many more trips out the boys will make.  At least we had the chance this year.  I guess if it comes down to it, they might have to take a short break from bass fishing to stock up on walleye later in the year.

On a side note, the weather was beautiful today, all the snow melted off, and I got some outside work done, finally!  We got one of the apple trees cut back and the back yard cleared from the debris left from Sandy.  Also got all three porches cleaned and ready for spring, trimmed the Rhododendron that fell in front of the basement door, and started to clear the garden for this year.  It wasn't much but it was a good start, and it was so nice to spend my first full day outside!  Hurry up Spring!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

homemade pancakes

As my daughter starts eating more and more solid foods, I am looking for more healthy recipes to make that she can snack on.  I don't like to buy store bought snacks, and prefer to make things from scratch so I can control what goes in my food.  So I have been on the hunt for healthy baby friendly foods.  I made pancakes the other day, and it was hilarious to she her eat them.  She took one bite and her eyes got really big.  Then she proceeded to eat an entire pancake, I am not sure she came up for a breath while shoveling it in!  I am not a totally strict mamma.  I did put a teeny tiny bit of butter and syrup on hers.  This could explain why she liked it so much.   :)

There are 101 different pancake recipes.  You can make so many substitutions or additions, the possibilities are endless.  I used a basic recipe.  It uses milk, cause quite frankly, I hardly ever have buttermilk on hand.

1 3/4 C Flour
2 TBSP Sugar
1 TBSP Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1 1/2  C Milk

add dry ingredients to bowl mix in milk & egg
let raise a little then cook on griddle.

Stack them, top them, serve them, and eat them.  

The variations on this basic recipe are endless.  Adding vanilla, banana, pumpkin, chocolate chips, blueberries, applesauce, etc. Using Wheat flour, whole grain, multi-grain, or a mixture.  Using Stevia, Agave, or some other sweetener.  Whatever you feel like, but a basic recipe is always a good place to start.

I do however recommend you have a good castiron griddle.  And Lodge makes the best. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

raspberry cobbler

I  decided on a cold winters day that it was time to break into my frozen berry stash.  What better way to enjoy those berries than in a delicious cobbler.  It was a desperate attempt to create a bit summer in the dead of  winter, and I think we came pretty close.  :)

When I froze the berries, I added a little sugar to them so they would be ready for cobbler or crisp when I needed them.  I also froze them in quarts, because for either a crisp or cobbler, you would need at least a quart of berries.  I  thawed them out and added them to a 9x9 baking dish.  I didn't need to add anything to them, just sprinkle with a little flour to thicken the juices as it cooked.  
The cobbler topping is very similar to a biscuit recipe, but sweeter.

Mix 1 Cup Flour
2 TBSP Sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Then chunk in the cold butter
mix till it looks like course crumbs
beat 1 egg with 1/4 C milk
mix with flour mixture and spoon on top of the berries

I sprinkle dough with a little extra sugar, then Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until underneath of topping isn't doughy anymore.
 Then serve and enjoy!!
 I like mine with milk and sugar!!