Homemade Garlic Powder

Homemade Garlic Powder

Who knew homemade garlic powder could be so easy? If you're anything like me, when a recipe calls for garlic, you use twice the amount - okay, three times. Making your own homemade garlic powder is not only incredibly simple but it tastes wildly better than store-bought.

Want to take it a step further? Grow your own garlic. Garlic is easy to grow and store. There are many varieties available for any zone. Garlic is a staple to the homestead and has many medicinal uses, even topical uses

homemade garlic powder

Homemade Garlic Powder

Ingredients

  • Garlic cloves, as many as you'd like.
  • Tools: Dehydrator

Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic
  2. Thinly slice it 1/8" thick, if you have a mandoline, that's perfect.
  3. Spread in a single layer on dehydrator trays
  4. Dehydrate at 125 degrees.
  5. Your garlic is finished when it snaps. If it bends, it needs more time. Typically, this takes 8-10 hours.
  6. In batches, put the garlic slivers in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder until powder.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to a year.
If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use your oven on its lowest heat setting; however, this method isn't ideal as the garlic is more prone to burning and the higher temps denature the beneficial enzymes and antioxidants. A dehydrator is an incredible investment. This is an affordable option.


clean your wood cutting board

How to Clean Your Wood Cutting Board

How to Clean Your Wood Cutting Board

We use our wood cutting board for everything. I snagged a gorgeous, heavy, heirloom-style cutting board from a local woodworker and I've never looked back. I vowed that I would put time and effort into cleaning my wood cutting board since we all know that funk can get trapped in the grooves.

I've only ever used soapy hot water, until I learned that that's not cutting it - pun intended. When you make grooves in the wood, bacteria can get trapped underneath. If you're using one cutting board or cutting meat where you cut your vegetables, bacteria can easily form in your cutting boards. 

I love a beautiful wood cutting board. It ranks up there with my cast iron in my favorite kitchen items. Like cast iron, if you take care of it, you can ensure it is clean and extend its life dramatically. 

Here is a simple way to clean and sanitize your wood cutting board. This is great to do every couple of months to ensure your wood cutting board is clean and in good shape for long term use. 

Step-by-step to cleaning your wood cutting board

First, wash and scrub your cutting board with hot soapy water. 

Next, pat dry and spray your cutting board with white distilled vinegar. If you don't have vinegar in a spray bottle, simply pour some on and wipe it around. 

Third, pat it dry again and sprinkle your board with salt. I use a coarse celtic sea salt

Next, cut a lemon or lime in half and rub the salt into the board with your citrus. Small circles. You'll find out if you have any cuts on your hands now. Do this until most, if not all, of the salt is dissolved. 

Then, pour on some olive oil and rub all over the board. 

Let your board completely dry, then brush off any excess salt. 

If you want to take it a step further, you can add a bee's wax based board balm after your board is completely dry and cleaned off. I like to use a bee's wax board balm since it is all natural and very effective at sealing the wood to prevent moisture and bacteria from hanging out in the grooves of your board. 


hormone latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Looking to heal those hormones and reduce your caffeine intake, but don't want to lose out on your five minutes of morning peace with your coffee? This hormone healing chamomile latte is the perfect alternative if you're trying to go caffeine-free with a creamy, dreamy latte. 

Maca powder will add hormone support and healing since it is an adaptogenic herb. Try making your own vanilla extract it's so easy! 

By cutting out caffeine you can dramatically reduce the stress on your body and reduce the amount of time your body spends in a parasympathetic state. 

I started to notice that in the mornings, when I was working from home, before the nanny my stress was high. Very high. I felt panicked, I was irritable, and it started my day off so poorly. It is a stressful situation to try to get yourself ready for the day, a baby ready, breakfast, coffee, fire up the laptop for work, get through a few emails. I'm already pretty high-strung. The absolute last thing I need is caffeine. 

I switched to organic swiss water process decaf coffee at first. Having that hot mug in my hands while I distract my babe with scrambled eggs and smushed blueberries is just blissI needed something. Then I decided I wanted to support my body with my morning drink, that's when I switched to these hormone healing chamomile lattes. Still creamy and delicious just like my coffee, but supports my body instead of depleting it. 

hormone latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Ingredients

  • Chamomile tea bag
  • 1 pinch Sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk, or more to your liking
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare one cup of chamomile tea
  2. In a blender combine the tea and remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend for a few seconds.
  4. Pour into cup and enjoy

canning mistakes

Top 10 Canning Mistakes

Top 10 Canning Mistakes

Even the most seasoned homemaker can make these common canning mistakes. Just starting out or need a refresh? Review these top canning mistakes to be sure you are getting the most out of your hard work and keeping everything safe for your family. 

1. Not Sterilizing Jars and Lids

Prior to placing any of your foodstuffs in jars, you'll want to be sure that all of your jars and lids are sterilized. To do this, take your canning pot, fill it with water and place your jars and lids inside. Get the water up to a boil and let the jars and lids boil for 5 to 10 minutes. 

2. Not Adjusting Canning Pressure Based on Altitude

The processing time for water bath canning and pounds of pressure for pressure canning needs to be increased at higher altitudes to destroy heat-resistant bacteria and to ensure home-preserved food products are safe to enjoy.

3. Using Incorrect Canning Method

For acidic foodstuffs like tomatoes, pickles, peaches, salsa, pickled peppers, and more of the like, you'll use the water bath method for canning. For non-acidic foodstuffs like broth, beans, meat, and more, you'll use the pressure canning method. 

4. Overfilling Jars

Always leave a 1/2 inch of headspace, minimum. Headspace is needed because foods expand as jars are heated. The air in a food, its starch content and the processing temperature determine how much a food will expand. Air expands greatly when heated to high temperatures; the higher the temperature, the greater the expansion.

5. Not Wiping Jar Rims

Any liquid, oils, or debris on the rim can prevent the lid from making an airtight seal. Use a clean rag to wipe the rim of all jars. 

6. Leaving Air Bubbles

Removing extra air and leaving only the proper headspace amount is important to ensuring a proper seal. As the hot air escapes the jar, it removes the oxygen from the jar and creates a vacuum seal. Too much headspace, due to trapped bubbles rising to the top, can reduce the seal's success. 

7. Reusing Canning Lids

Lids are only meant to be used once. Save used lids for dried goods like teas and herbs, ferments, oils, and storage. 

8. Overtightening Lids

When tightening your lids before dropping them in, be sure to only finger-tighten the rings. Overtightening the lids will prevent air from escaping through the top. This is how the bottom of the jar may pop off. 

9. Moving Jars Too Early

Once removed, let jars sit and rest, completely undisturbed, for a minimum of 12 hours. After 12 hours, check to see that lids sealed, remove bands, and place the jars in storage. 

10. Leaving Rings on Jars During Storage

By removing the rings, failed lids are easier to spot. Without the rings, you will be able to see mold and rust much easier. 


Beef Cuts in a Half Cow

Beef Cuts in a Half Cow

Purchasing half of a cow (also known as half beef, side of beef, half a steer) can be so daunting. Do you actually get the entire half of the cow? Who has a freezer that large? Will you have to cut it all down yourself? No way! Buying half a cow means that you get all of the cuts of beef that are made from half of the animal. Each section of the cow is custom cut to your specifications.

But! That's a lot of options. Most folks don't know all of the possible cuts of beef. Where do you even start? Right here with your favorite beef farmers. 

We will break down (pun intended) each section of beef, the characteristics of each section, and your options for beef cuts. At the end, you can check out our Beef E-Cookbook to get delicious recipes for every beef cut in your half cow. How easy is that?

The More You Know

People like to learn when they are making an investment and purchasing from a local farm is definitely an investment. Will it save you hundreds of dollars in the long run? Absolutely. Is it a lot of money up front? Definitely. If you know the proper verbiage and understand how the process works, you can talk the talk and walk the walk with your friends and family while you are slinging your locally-raised and deliciously marbled steaks on the grill. Knowing all of the beef cuts in your half cow makes it even better. 

Technically, it's not a cow. At least, not always. 

This just might be a thorn in the side of your beef farmers, but! it's a good thing to know. Technically, most beef (especially locally-sourced beef) comes from steers, not cows. Cows are female cattle who have had a calf. Steers are castrated males, typically raised for beef. Heifers are females who have not yet had a calf. Bulls are intact males, typically used for breeding. If you purchase your beef cuts from the grocery store, your beef is from all four of these categories. It can also be from beef breeds or dairy breeds. But, that's a story for another day.

For the purposes of this lesson, when you purchase from a small farm, nine times out of ten, your beef will be coming from a steer. For the purposes of this article reaching the most people based on what they Google to find this article, we're going to continue to call it a half cow

Beef Cuts in a Half Cow

Turning a half cow into delicious beef cuts is no small task. Understanding how beef is processed gives you insight into what you're going to stock your freezer with and sheer appreciation for the dying craft of butchering. 

Primal Sections

The cow is broken down into eight primal sections, which are large sections of each part of the cow. If you are purchasing a half cow, you will make cut selections for each of the eight primal sections from one side of the cow. If you were purchasing a whole cow, you would make cut selections for each of the eight primal sections from both sides of the cow. It'll make a lot more sense once we move along. 

Once your half cow has dry aged and is broken down into the eight primal sections, the butcher takes your cut sheet and cuts each primal section into cuts according to your specifications. For a detailed walk-through of the entire process at the butcher, check out our article The Process, Pricing, and Timeline of Buying a Whole or Half Cow

Ground Beef

Unfortunately, the entire half cow can't be made into steaks. When most folks inquire about half a cow beef cut options, they often ask for ways they can get the least ground beef and the most steaks.

Picture it like this, the butcher has a giant bowl set to the side for ground beef. All of the trimmings as their working and anything you select to "grind" on your cut sheet goes into that bowl. When the butcher is done, all of the beef in that bowl is ground together into ground beef and packed together. Even if you don't choose to grind any sections of your half cow, you will still get a good amount of ground beef, typically 30-40lbs. The "grind" selection is available for each section of the cow. 

If you choose ground chuck, ground brisket, ground round, etc. that means the butcher will take that specific section, grind it separately, and pack and label it separately. More on that later! 

Chuck

The chuck, which is the shoulder of the steer, is known for its delicious fatty goodness. Fat equals flavor, y'all. The chuck section is a very large section of the steer that can be made into a variety of different cuts. Since the shoulder tends to bear a significant amount of weight, the beef needs some cook time to break down the tissues to make the meat tender. All of the fat means that you won't need too much help in the flavor department and your risk of the beef becoming dry is very low. The chuck section yields approximately 40 pounds of meat per half cow. 

Ground Chuck 

Ground chuck is made when the butcher takes the shoulder section, trims it from the bones, grinds the trimmings, and packs it separately from the rest of the ground beef. Typically, you will see ground chuck have a 80/20 lean to fat ratio. This is great for meatballs and making your own burgers, as the fat helps it stick together. 

Chuck Roast

By far, the superior roast, in my opinion. With all of the fat, the flavor is awesome! It doesn't need a whole lot of extra TLC like many other roasts do due to their lack of fat. The bone will give it extra flavor. If you select boneless, the roast will come trussed with either twine or a net wrap. 

Chuck Steaks

Bone-in and boneless options here. Typically, for a subcategory of chuck steaks that we call "boneless chuck steaks", which are more tender than the main chuck steaks. These are: Denver, Ranch, Flat Iron, or Chuck Eye. Our butcher cuts Denver and Ranch steaks small, under 6 ounches. Flat Irons and Chuck Eye are a lesser known but delicious cut. For your straight up bone-in or boneless chuck steaks under the main category, they will have good flavor. Just remember, since the shoulder gets a lot of work, they aren't going to be as tender as a filet. 

Stew Meat

Stew meat in a half cow means that the butcher takes the chuck section, cubes it, and packs it into one-pound packs. This is a great option if you like to just crack open a pack, dump it into the crock pot, and forget it. 

Brisket

The brisket is the lower chest area. The brisket it responsible for supporting approximately 60% of the steer's weight. Due to all of that work and connective tissues, cooking the brisket requires a little finesse and a lot of time. 

Typically, you'll see the brisket kept whole or cut in half. Our butcher gives the option to make ground brisket, similar to ground chuck, but only on a whole cow. 

When leaving your brisket whole or cutting it in half, choosing to get your brisket untrimmed is smart. Meaning the butcher is going to leave most of the fat on. If the butcher trims the brisket, depending on the butcher, they may trim all of the fat off. This is how our butcher does it. Check with your butcher or farmer to know exactly how they will cut the brisket. 

Since brisket requires a long cook time to tenderize the tissues, the fat around it keeps the meat from drying out. Fear not, you don't need a fancy smoker or a ton of experience to make brisket taste delicious. Our Beef E-Cookbook has a delicious recipe for tender oven-roasted brisket. 

Shank

The shank section is truly between the shoulder and the knee of the steer. It is the leg. The cuts are very distinct, as they have a bone in the center with the meat around it in a disc shape. 

Customers do have the option to get the shank whole; however, we rarely see this. The legs carry a lot of weight, obviously. So these cuts are tough and best braised and cooked low and slow to break down the tissues for a tender and flavorful dish. Don't shy away from the marrow - it's delicious and is loaded with nutrients.

Osso Buco

Larger discs with a thickness over two inches are considered Osso Buco.

Soup Bones

When the discs are cut smaller, they are considered soup bones.

Rib

Cue the singing Angels. The Rib section. Tender and flavorful. The rib section is a great indicator of the quality and grade of the entire steer. If the steer was raised and finished properly, the rib section will be heavily marbled with streaks of fat throughout.

Bone-In Rib Steak

Technically, a steak is an -eye (like ribeye) if it is boneless. If it is bone-in, it is simply called a steak. When the bone-in rib steak is left with a few inches of bone on it, it's called a cowboy steak. If it is left with the entire rib bone intact, that is called your Tomahawk steak. Our butcher does not cut Cowboys or Tomahawks, but at least you can get it bone-in and know you're getting all of that delicious beef. 

Boneless Ribeye

Otherwise known as a delmonico. Pretty straight forward that it is a boneless steak cut. 

Prime Rib Roast

The centerpiece of many Christmas dinner tables. The prime rib roast can be left whole (otherwise known as a seven-bone roast), cut according to your roast weight specifications, or it can be cut into one four-bone and one three-bone roast. 

Loin

Don't you dare grind this, y'all. The loin section holds the most well-known cuts. A fun fact that most people may not know is that a t-bone and porterhouse are the same exact cut. When looking at a t-bone or porterhouse, it is actually the NY strip on one side and filet on the other. When the filet is over 1.25 inches wide, it is a porterhouse. Whenthe filet is under 1.25 inches wide, it is a t-bone. 

If you choose boneless steaks, you'd get filets and NY strips. If you choose to keep the steaks large and bone-in, you'll get t-bones and porterhouses. It doesn't get more simple than that. Either way you cut it, you'll get a variety of sizes since cattle aren't perfectly square. 

Plate

This rib plate section is the section most folks think of when they think of the ribs. Fatty and flavorful! The rib plate needs either a cook marinade or a long cook to break down the tissues. You can get the plate cut as a whole plate, otherwise known as Dino-bones. We don't typically recommend this unless you have experience with the whole plate, as they can be upwards of 16 pounds. 

Short Ribs

If you can picture the ribs coming down vertically, the butcher cuts horizontally every two inches and sections out two bones for each piece. Typically, these come in 3-4 pound packs with several rib pieces inside. 

Korean Style Ribs

Otherwise known as franken ribs, korean style ribs are cut very thin, approximately 1/2-inch. Typically, they are 4-5 bones across. 

Round

The round is split up into several sections - the eye round, the top round, and the bottom round. The round is a lean tough section as it bears a lot of weight and gets a lot of exercise. Tougher cuts require time to break down those fibers, either through a marinade or cook time, or both. Lean means no fat, so it will need a little help in the flavor department.

Roasts

As mentioned, round roasts are lean and on the tough side. They'll need some extra love and time. 

Steaks

While the round can be cut into steaks, it typically isn't recommended for a slap on the grill with some salt and pepper. If anything, folks have the option to get cube steaks. Cube steak is where the butcher cuts the round into steaks and runs the steaks through a tenderizer. Then, you'd take your grandma's favorite recipe and dredge, fry, and pour gravy over top for country-fried steak. 

Shaved beef

Just like cheesesteak meat. This is a fan favorite. Sliced very thin, shaved beef is great for cheesesteaks, stir-fry, pho, and more. A great option for making good use of the round section. 

Fajita meat

Cut into fajita strips. Dump in the pan and season. Talk about easy. 

Kabob meat

Cubed round packed in one-pound packs. This is great for a last minute weeknight dump-and-go meal, although they could use a marinade if you have the time. 

Flank

It's a little odd that this is a section all on it's own, since the flank is pretty small. From our butcher, there is only one flank steak per half cow. It's a thin cut, approximately 12-inches in length.  

Beef E-Cookbook and More Half Cow Resources

BEEF E-COOKBOOK for a walk through of each section, the cuts that can be made from each section, and delicious recipes for each cut option available. Plus! A guide to cooking the perfect steak and a bunch of our favorite recipes for ground beef to mix up your mundane menu. 

If you're wondering how the entire process works from drop off at the processor to pick up, how everything is priced, timeline and more, check out our article The Process, Pricing, and Timeline of Buying a Whole or Half Cow from field to freezer. 

For how much meat to expect, as far as the number of beef cuts with half cow inventory sheet examples, our How Much Meat to Expect in a Whole or Half Cow article will get you what you need. 

Lastly, if you're wondering how much freezer or cooler space you'll need for your half cow, our article on on How Much Freezer Space Do I Need for Whole or Half Cow or Pig will give you estimates so you can make all of the necessary preparations.

 

Please note that the information in these articles are based on what our steers yield at Hayfield Farm and what our local butcher shop's practices are.
If you are purchasing from a different farm, your hanging weight, meat (finished) weight, cut options, pricing, and packaging may be different. 


bone broth

Herbal Bone Broth

Nourish your body with this delicious nutrient-dense bone broth. All of that gelatinous goodness will fuel your body. Warm bone broth in a large coffee mug was my go-to during those early postpartum months to get my mineral stores back in a good place and re-hydrate. After pregnancy, birth, and nursing - your minerals really take a hit. 

Sourcing quality products is what you'll want to focus on when making bone broth. This version is a little extra. Feel free to add or subtract what you have on hand. My best bone broth hack is to add vegetable and bone scraps to a bag in my freezer for a few weeks as I use them for dinners. Once the bag is full, it's time to make broth. 

Try fire cider for another option to boost that immunity. 

bone broth

Herbal Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • 2lbs bones
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 sheet of seaweed
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

1. Roast bones on 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

2. Simmer in a large pot with water overnight, or for eight hours.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for six more hours.

4. Let cool.

5. Pour into jars to process or store flat in freezer bags (see note)

Notes

While using plastic freezer bags isn't ideal, this is often the easiest and best option for some. Once broth has completely cooled, measure desired amount into bag. Remove air and seal bag, lay bag flat on baking sheet. Label with marker. Stack multiple bags on top of baking sheet and place in freezer. When frozen, take bags off baking sheet for storage. I recommend storing in 2-4 cup increments.


cast iron care

Cast Iron Care

Cast Iron Care

Ahhhh, yes. Cast iron. The staple of a homestead kitchen. Much like sourdough, cast iron care is one of those things that folks are terrified of and don't know where to even start. Much like sourdough, again, cast iron is very forgiving. Keeping in mind how these pans were used by your grandma is helpful when approaching your cast iron today. 

How Grandma Used To Do It

First, a single pan or dutch oven, or a pair of each, was likely used for every single meal, every single day. This means they got a lot of work and if you know anything about cast iron, it's that it gets better the more you use it. 

Second and related, your grandma probably didn't have to go through the hump of seasoning it enough for use. Cast iron is incredibly durable, so it was likely passed down from generation to generation. That's a lot of meals. Getting a cast iron now means you're likely buying one brand new. If you can find one at an antique or second-hand store that is in good shape, snag it. 

Third, cooking fats used then were very different than cooking fats now. Now, the American kitchen uses a lot of oil. Your grandma likely cooked every meal by starting that pan with a heaping scoop of butter or lard (pork fat), instead of the more lean options like olive oil.

Fourth, cast iron care isn't a skill that is passed down anymore. Folks, mostly women, don't know how to care for their cast iron and when non-stick requires literally zero care and you can throw it into the dishwasher, why wouldn't you go that route?  

You just bought your first cast iron. Now what?

Alright, congrats! You're doing this. I believe in you! Everyone says you need to "season" your cast iron. But, what does that really mean? To me, season just means to build grease over time. When you buy new, you're starting with a blank slate. Without enough extra fat or oil, things are going to stick to your pan. Stick with it though, pun intended! The more you use your cast iron, the better it will be. 

Take it out of the box and wash it well with soap and hot water. You're starting with a blank slate. Even though some say that are "seasoned", they likely haven't been, so it's better to get a good clean to start off right. 

Next, set your oven to 350 degrees F. Put your pan on the stovetop and turn it on low. Take a tablespoon of lard or butter, drop it in the center of the pan. Let it melt a little so that it will easily spread. Remove it from the heat and use your hands to grease the entire pan. Once the oven hits 350 degrees F. Put the pan in and turn the oven off. Come back later in the day after the pan has cooled and wipe it with a dry paper towel and store it. 

Ideally, you would do this multiple times before you actually cook on it. I like to do this every so often when my pan needs a little extra TLC.  

If you want to start cooking, just use extra cooking fat (butter, lard, oil) to keep things from sticking. 

Tips

  • It's always, always, always way easier to clean cast iron when it's warm.
  • The only care item you truly will need is chain mail. Think of it as your cast iron's own personal dish sponge. This will help get 99% of the gunk off with water alone. 
  • You really don't want to use soap, ever. Unless you have something terribly stuck on and nothing below is doing the trick. Use some soap. The soap removes the grease that you've been working so hard to build. Best to use it sparingly. 
  • The handle gets hot, grab a handle cover or two. 
  • Besides my heirloom cast iron pieces, I really like Lodge cast iron. It's durable, reliable, and affordable.
  • There's nothing better than cranking up the temp, smoking up the kitchen, and getting an incredible cast iron sear on a steak. 

No-Time-To-Care Care

It's Wednesday night, you threw together dinner and have to get everyone cleaned up and ready for bed. The last thing you can do is care for one more thing.

If your cast iron is warm, bring it to the sink. Use the chain mail and hot water to get everything out from dinner. Throw it on a drying rack or towel and you're done. 

If your cast iron is cold, pour some water in the pan on top of dinner remnants. Put the cast iron on the burner and bring it back up to medium while you clean up other items from dinner. Trust me, this is better than fighting the cold stuck-on bits. Grab the warm pan and bring it to the sink. Use the chain mail and hot water to get everything out. Now is a good time for your drain catch to shine. Throw your cast iron on the drying rack or towel and you're done.

A-Few-Minutes-To-Spare Care

You've done the steps above from "No-Time-To-Care Care" and have your cast iron cleaned out and wet. Put your pan on the stovetop on medium-low, dry or wet. Clean up the rest of dinner. Turn the burner off and leave the pan until tomorrow. 

Dad-Has-Bedtime-Covered-Tonight Care

Before you start cleaning up dinner, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You've done the steps above from "No-Time-To-Care Care" and have your cast iron cleaned out and wet. Dry off your cast iron with a dish towel. Pour or place a tablespoon of oil, butter or lard in your pan and put it on your stove top on medium. When the butter/lard just  starts to melt or the oil starts to spread and shine, remove the pan from the heat. Take a paper towel, fold it up to protect your fingers, and rub the oil or fat all over the inside and outside of your pan. When your oven is preheated, put the pan inside and turn the oven off to let it cool as the oven cools. Remove the pan tomorrow before you cook again.

Grab a glass of wine, run the sink periodically, bang a couple dishes around, get into your secret chocolate stash. He's got this, take the breather. 

Tough Spots

My go-to approach is to fill the cast iron with water, typically an inch, but feel free to add more depending on where the sticky gunk is. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the burner off and safely and carefully pour the water into the sink. Again, let that drain catch do its thing. With more hot water and your chain mail, scrub the bits. 

My last resort is to add a little soap to a sponge and spot treat stuck on areas, rather than putting soap in the entire pan. If you have to use a little soap in the entire pan this one time, it won't be the end of the world. 


fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Homemade Fire Cider

If you've never heard of fire cider before, it is a spicy tonic that is used to fight colds and flus and boost the immune system. It's a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and herbs all topped with vinegar. After steeping for a few weeks, all of these beneficial ingredients are strained out and the liquid is used to add to soups, stews, sauces, marinades - but I most often use it as a tea or as a shot. 

Use a variety of ingredients in your fire cider, whatever you have on hand or prefer. Common additions are ginger, honey, lemon, oranges, red onion, elderberry, garlic, horseradish, turmeric, and cayenne. Other beneficial ingredients that can be used are black pepper, jalapeno, echinacea, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, thyme, rosehips, pomegranate, and limes. 

A large glass 64-70 ounce jar is best. Apple cider vinegar is going to be the best tasting and beneficial vinegar to use. As always, use high quality ingredients. 

fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 month
Total Time: 1 month 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 64 oz jar with lid, sterilized
  • 2.5 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 orange
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup horseradish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch fresh turmeric root
  • 2 TBS rose hips
  • 2 TBS elderberries (boil these in water for 10 min and strain, first)
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1.5 cups of honey

Instructions

  1. Chop onion, jalapeno, garlic into large rough chunks
  2. Grate turmeric, horseradish, ginger
  3. Slice lemon, lime, and orange
  4. Add all ingredients to jar, except apple cider vinegar. While adding, smash ingredients with a muddler.
  5. Pour apple cider vinegar over ingredients to cover.
  6. Shake well
  7. Cover and set on counter for 4-6 weeks.
  8. Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer
  9. Store liquid in glass bottle
  10. Drink 1-2 tablespoons a day alone, add to tea, soups, stews, etc.

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Drink

Let's make this popular order - the Starbucks Medicine Ball - into a drink that is actually nourishing for the body. Kick your winter cold with this homemade version.

The Starbucks version has 30g of sugar. There is honey in the Starbucks version, but it is not up to the standards you would want to provide a medicinal benefit. It contains potassium sorbate (a preservative), gums, and "natural flavors" (can be a unknown variety of lab-made flavorings). Nothing about those ingredients set your body up healing. 

Let's stick to the good stuff that will actually support our bodies. That's the whole reason we would order the Starbucks Medicine Ball over your usual double-pump, cold foam, latte-blah-blah triple espresso, right? 

Ginger, honey, lemon, and peppermint are the ultimate tried and true threat for cough, cold, flu, congestion, and overall funkiness. Take a drink if you feel something coming on or if you need a little immunity boost. 

I like to swap out the tea depending on how I'm feeling or what I have on hand. Ginger, honey, and lemon - you really can't go wrong adding it to any tea blend. I prefer loose leaf tea. You can typically find it for much cheaper than bagged tea, plus you avoid chemicals and bleach that are used in most tea bags. My favorite tea balls are durable and reusable. Plus, you can mix and match single varieties of tea to make your own custom blend, depending on your needs. 

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ginger root, chopped into small sections. Peel, if preferred.
  • 3 lemons, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey, preferably local
  • plash of water
  • High quality peppermint tea

Instructions

  1. Blend the ginger, lemons, honey, and water
  2. Pour into an ice cube tray
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Add a cube or two to your hot peppermint tea

 

 


Fermented Garlic Honey

Fermented Garlic Honey

Cold and flu season is here. This fermented garlic honey great home remedy to have on hand to boost your immune system. Garlic is a powerhouse and widely recognized for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral properties. Garlic is a great addition to any garden, too. It doesn't take up a lot of space, and while it does have a longer growing season, it doesn't require much care. Choose varieties that store well for homegrown garlic all year long. 

Fermenting garlic in honey makes it easy on the belly and compounds all of those lovely benefits. Take a spoonful when sick or when you feel a funk coming on. This fermented garlic honey is a perfect for kiddos - a spoonful of sugar, right? 

While I'm totally on the slow living train, this garlic chopper saves so much time - it works great with ginger too, and has everything you need to chop, mince, and dice without sticky garlic paper fingers. 

Fermented Garlic Honey

Fermented Garlic Honey

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Raw honey
  • Sterilized jar

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the garlic
  2. Place garlic in the jar
  3. Pour in raw honey until garlic is covered
  4. Lightly put the lid on, finger tight, and place in a dark cabinet
  5. Tighten lid and flip the jar every day (fun activity for kids).
  6. When the jar is right side up, loosen the lid again

Notes

Over time, you'll see bubbles - that's the fermentation!

Disclaimer: As with anything, do your research and choose the best route for your family. Do not give honey to children under one year of age.