Kale Soup

This time of year the greens really start coming in.  After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale.  You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale.  Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 yellow or red potatoes diced
  • 4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
  • 3 medium golden beets
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)

Directions:

  • Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
  • Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
    • On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
    • Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
    • Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large.  (You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem.  Waste not want not.)
    • Dice your garlic scapes small.
  • Add in your herbs.
  • Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
  • Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
  • Stir the contents.
  • Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
  • Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.

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Enjoy and let me know how you enjoy this recipe.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Haystacks

With the arrival of summer comes VBS (Vacation Bible School).  With VBS comes lots of energetic wee ones that love snacks.  The best kind are always homemade with lots of love.  on June 22, 2017 the Quest Meal Prep class made cookies for our VBS.  What better treat then the yumminess of old-fashioned no-bake haystacks.

Here is a very simple recipe to share with your family, friends and anyone else!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 lb of BUTTER not margarine.  That’s 1 stick of butter. softened.
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (or Almond Milk)
  • 1/2 cup of Peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 cup of quick cook oats

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl  place your softened butter.
  • Add in your sugar and whip until blended.  (a great arm work out!)
  • Add in your cocoa and blend in.  You want to make sure everything is blended well and there are no “butter chunks”.
  • Add in your Milk and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your Peanut butter and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your vanilla and your pinch of salt, blend in evenly.
  • Add in your oats 1 cup at a time, stirring in evenly until all three cups are added.
  • Make into round balls by hand or by using a cookie scoop and place on parchment paper and a tray and refrigerate covering with plastic wrap of course.
  • Serve & watch the explosion of smiles.

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Enjoy and always let me know how you liked the recipe and your variations.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam

As you may or may not know, my husband and I make and sell jams and jellies.  You can check out what is available on the Store page here.   However,  I will share with you a very basic Jam recipe.  A favorite which is not complicated at all is Strawberry Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups of crushed strawberries (approx 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 Three ounce packet of liquid natural pectin

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • 6 half pint jam jars with sealing lids and rings
  • candy thermometer
  • Large pot for making the jam
  • Waterbath canner with frame insert (to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the canner and to lift in and out).
  • Canning funnel
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Long handled metal spoon
  • Ladle
  • A small bowl and spoon
  • towel and place to place your canned jars (Must stay in one place for approx 24 hours to ensure a great seal)

Now for the directions:

  1. Make sure you sterilize your jam jars.  Whether by the dishwasher, or boiling water in your canner and placing your empty jars in the canner.  Jars ALWAYS need sterilized, even strait out of the box ones.
  2. Place your small bowl and spoon in your freezer to get cold.
  3. I will use a food processor to crush my strawberries, you can also smash with a potato smasher by hand.
  4. Add your sugar in your large pot.
  5. Add in your lemon juice.
  6. Add in your strawberry “mash”.
  7. Add in your liquid pectin.
  8. Stir until the sugar is “dissolved” into your mash.
  9. Place your candy thermometer in your pot, attaching to the side, but not touching the bottom.
  10. Turn your stove on HIGH.  Yup you read that correctly, I use the setting of 9 on my stove.
  11. NEVER STOP STIRRING!!!!
  12. Watch your thermometer closely.
  13. I also use a silicone mitten to avoid splash burns on my hands while stirring.
  14. When your candy thermometer reaches 225 degrees F, set your timer for 6 minutes.
  15. KEEP STIRRING!
  16. When your timer goes off, remove your pan off the stove (onto a hot pad).
  17. Take your bowl and spoon out of the freezer and using your stirring spoon put a little in the bowl and set to the side for about 5 minutes.  Check the consistency.  With this time it should be perfect.  If its too running, put back on the heat for another two minutes and recheck.  You can also add a little sugar but NEVER add more pectin.  It doesn’t take much for your jam to become a brick.
  18. Once your consistency is where you like it, its time to fill your jars.
  19. Use your funnel & ladle and fill each jar to 1/4 inch from the top (or the bottom ring of the top).
  20. Wipe down the lip of all your jars.
  21. place your “lid” on each jar and tightly screw on the rings.
  22. Now using your canning jar lifter, place your jars in the water bath canner on the wire insert.
  23. Make sure you have enough water in your canner to cover your jars 1 inch.
  24. Put your lid on your canner and turn the stove on high.
  25. When the water in the canner comes to a full rolling boil, set your timer to 15 minutes.
  26. When your timer goes off, turn off your heat and leave on the eye until the rolling boil tones down.
  27. Take off the lid, and lift the wire insert up and one by one using your jar lifter place your jars on the towel in a safe place where they can stay and cool for at least 24 hours.
  28. Each jar should POP.  That’s the sound of a good seal.
  29. The jam can stay on the shelf for years, once opened you should put in the refrigerator.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

I good friend of mine surprised me today by asking if anyone had a good Turtle Soup recipe.  This brought back a huge smile and a fantastic memory, so, here it is, my turtle soup recipe.

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 10 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
  • 8-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pound turtle meat,  diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • Dash bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 lemon slice

In a soup pot combine the first 9 ingredients. Cook and stir for 30 minutes.  blend in flour.

Add beef broth and tomatoes. Cover, simmer 45 minutes. In a large pot combine turtle meat and water. Cook, covered, until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove meat to cool. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid.

Add turtle meat, reserved liquid, sherry, hot pepper sauce and lemon to soup pot. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

Tears…

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I’m going to get very real and raw this evening.  I am going to open up and share the tears behind my smiles, the ones that I work so hard to hide.

My greatest joy(s) have been the only that brought me heart wrenching sorrows.    On January 1, 2016, my greatest heartbreak happened, my first born son committed suicide.  He would have been 30.

For all that I have been through in my life, nothing has devastated me as much as that phone call telling my that my son was found dead.  No parent should ever get that call.  No parent should ever have to bury their child.  I remember feeling so numb and even after over a year it still feels like it isn’t real.  But it is.  I cry a lot.

Without getting into deep personal details, I will say that the only thing that saved me from darkness was faith.  I know my son is in God’s loving arms and that is what gives me comfort.  I know in my heart he is not suffering anymore.

I’ve heard others say they become angry at God when a child is taken away, whether from illness, crime or accident.  I suppose I was too.  But if anything it drew me closer to God.  My faith has grown stronger from all of this.  But more than anything it has created a desire, so strong, to help others that I can’t ignore it.  To let others know that they are not alone.  God is with us always, he is a very loving Father and he cries with us when we hurt and bad things happen.   It’s also helped me to understand that this living world is not our final home and I know I will see my son again, someday.  But in the meantime, I need to be an instrument of change in this world, there is so much to do.

It really doesn’t take much to change someone’s day, week, month, year, maybe their life.  Maybe that sandwich you give to a homeless person on the street gave them the energy to get to a place where they can heal and get help to help someone else.  Maybe, that smile and happy greeting you give someone at work prevented them from ending their life.  Maybe, just maybe, that hug you gave a child, helped them see hope in their dark world.  You don’t know until you begin to do God’s work by just being you.

And you know what, when you start doing things for others, your own clouds disappear. You heal.  Your heart may always feel “broken” but the funny thing is that we are continuously filled when we have cracks, because we always have more room to be filled up with better things.

I see my son in the eyes of others.  I never want them to feel alone, because they aren’t.

Just something to think of in today’s busy world.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice