Monday, May 23, 2011

Homestead Giveaway Winner!

Dear contest participants and casual observers,

Congratulations to our giveaway winner - Lori!

Lori will be receiving one copy of Carleen Madigan's The Backyard Homestead, courtesy of Storey Publishing, along with a few Dotal Anecdotes bookmarks and recipe cards!

Feeling as though you'd like something free, too?  Download this PDF with two of our most popular blog recipes, and print it for your personal records - just a little something to soften the blow!

Thank you again to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Mrs H

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Giveaways - Backyard Homestead!

Dear weather-watchers and grub-grubbers,

With spring in full bloom, everybody is happily troweling away in the dirt!  Did you have some frost-buried annuals that burst up through the ground, or some slow-unfurling buds anticipating honeybees and pollinating breezes?  Are you already thinking about canning ... preserving ... and maybe growing a few chickens?

With everybody looking for creative ways to save money, it's only logical to spade in a few seeds and double-quintuple the return on your money with home-grown vegetation or even animals for food!

If you are curious about any of these endeavors, one of my favorite publishing houses, Storey Publishing, would be a great resource for you.  They publish books on country living and recently sent me a book to review, which I thoroughly enjoyed (it was also recommended to me by at least half-a-dozen industrious ladies I know), about backyard homesteading ... hence the appropriate title:  The Backyard Homestead!

I am loving this line-illustrated, tastefully written book!  Everything from raising pigs to canning recipes to laying out a garden plot in your backyard is covered in delightful detail.  If you're just growing on the porch and want to expand your backyard repertoire, this is the book for you.  If you're a semi-pro with an acre of goats and chickens and want to start adding your own wheat and nuts, it's covered!  If you live in an apartment (that's me!) and you want to cold-store winter squash, can in season, and have a few pots outside the kitchen window, welcome to your new study guide!  This would be a phenomenal resource for a homeschooling family because - if you're anything like we were - every chapter is a new project that teaches the kids and benefits and provides for the family!

I am giving away one lovely copy of this delightful book - so enter the competition below in the comments section!

Here's what you do to win: write your first name, email (like this: andrea . globetrotter (at) gmail . com), and where you'll be homesteading (on the porch? back 40? a quarter-acre? a glass-enclosed terrarium?).

I will randomly select one winner by May 21, 2011 - and I will contact you via your email account to get your address for mailing!

Thank you for participating and I look forward to hearing about your homesteading pursuits!

Mrs H

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mr H's Favorite Dinner - Man food!

Thanks for reading this post, I'm so excited to visit with you!  
After you've gleaned all the good information you need, visit our new blog platform at to read even more fascinating tidbits from the kitchen and the fields. 

Dear friends and family,

In honor of our upcoming 2nd anniversary and Mr H's pending graduation, it seemed appropriate to post this recipe!  This simple dinner is one of Mr H's very favorite dinners ... or breakfasts ... or lunches ... he really likes this food any time of day!  It's exceedingly easy and quick to make - especially if there are two of you in the kitchen!  There are no quantities really because it is just based on how much we have in the cupboard at the time!  His recipe has never been written down anywhere, so you're about to see the first edition!

I'll just call it ....

Mr H's Favorite Dinner
This is a great meal after you've had a long 12-hour day of running, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, running, swimming, cycling and weight lifting.  Not that any of us does that...  It's just that that is what I've been told by somebody who does

Potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite-size pieces
Onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
Garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Sausages, chopped into bite-size pieces
Jarred chilies
Olive oil
Any seasonings you like (a blended seasoning like Penzey's Ozark Seasoning, Slap Yo Momma Cajun, or just plain ol' S&P, parsley, italian seasoning ....)
Optional ideas: shredded cheese, canned beans, frozen corn, chopped sweet peppers

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, and add potatoes, onions, garlic, a little seasoning, and sausages.  Cover and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally (20 - 30 minutes, depending on your pan and how many potatoes are in it!).  Add chilies, corn, and any additional seasoning you may need.  (If you are adding a can/jar of beans or corn, throw them in here!) Cover again and let all heat through, stirring occasionally.

If you like, top with shredded cheese before serving.  Enjoy your meat 'n potatoes!
If you are eating vegan or vegetarian, just leave out the sausage and cheese! 

Suggested Accompaniments:
Indian Fry Bread
Hot Fruit Compote
Immensely Popular Cheesy Bread
Strawberry Jell-O Salad

Waiting patiently,

Mrs H

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Soon Enough! And ... Jell-O!

Dear patient ones,

Soon enough, I will see my husband!  In a few days is our 2nd wedding anniversary.  A few days after that I'll fly to his training camp with my mom, friend, and parents-in-law to see him graduate!

I can hardly wait.

my little sister proudly wears her Navy shirt!

In the meantime, spring seems to have made a tentative appearance here with a few sunshiny days between the rainy days!  My cousin and I took advantage of the fine weather to take a carpet outside and wash it and dry it, laying it across the picnic table in the warm sun!

My camera disappeared for a few days, but happily my mom found it in my shoe basket.  One glance at the last picture on the camera and it is easy to see why it was in such an odd place .......

Since warm days are coming, it is only fair and just to crack out the first Jell-O salad recipe.  This is a family classic that I stole from my Mom; you can make any of a thousand variations on this, but the original is a huge hit whenever we make it.  I made it the other day and left out the strawberries, cause I didn't have any!

Strawberry Jell-O Salad

1 package (6 oz) Strawberry Jell-O (or raspberry!)  You will NOT be adding cold water as instructed on the package
2 cups boiling water
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened (chop it and let it sit out a while)
16 oz carton Cool Whip, thawed
16 oz carton unsweetened, frozen, whole or sliced strawberries, your choice

Dissolve Jell-O according to package.  Blend in softened cream cheese and Cool Whip; stir in strawberries. Chill until firm.  If you like: Top with more whipped cream or Cool Whip, and/or additional strawberry slices!  Add blueberries for a patriotic touch .......... Go Navy!

Out to soak up some vitamin D!

Mrs H



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