Sunday, September 13, 2020

How to Dehydrate Garlic

Hi reader friends! I hope all is well in your little corner of the world.

We have had some really busy days in the recent weeks, but the work has been satisfying and fulfilling.

One project found me, I didn't go looking for it. I ended up with a lot of garlic I knew I was never going to be able to use before it went bad. I didn't want to throw it away, so I decided to dehydrate it. 

I started by cleaning all the cloves.

Once that was done, I chopped the cloves into coarse pieces and placed them in the dehydrator.

The dehydrator was set at 135° F. I left the dehydrator for several hours. Once the pieces were dry and crispy, I moved the dried garlic to an airtight jar. The dry garlic can be processed into smaller pieces for minced garlic or ground into powder for homemade powdered garlic

What do you do with extra produce you don't want to go to waste? Leave your great idea in the comments below!

If you would like to see the video of the process, you can find it on My Modern Homestead channel on YouTube, here. If you enjoy your visit there, please like and subscribe to receive notifications when new videos are posted! 

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

We're Vlogging Now!

Hi reader friends! I hope this post finds you happy and well! We've been up to all sorts of fun. We've been doing everything from getting ready for fall with some fall decorating to doing all sorts of kitchen projects.

Have you heard the latest news?? I took a great leap of faith...or took the plunge??...and started a YouTube channel! You can now find me on My Modern Homestead. I have a ton to learn, though. I just knew if I waited until I had it all figured out, I would never begin. My vision is for the blog here and my videos there to go hand in hand. I would love for you to visit me there. Don't forget to leave a thumbs up and click the subscribe button if you like what you see there and want to stay in touch.

Today's kitchen adventures will eventually find their way into a video, but I thought I would give you a sneak peek here!

We began our morning by getting a roast sliced up to go into a marinade for jerky. Then we moved on to slicing up what was left of my big log of cheese from Pennsylvania! 

We got over eight 8oz packages of sliced cheese. We got them vacuum sealed and into the freezer. 

The hubby got the jerky into the smoker early this afternoon along with some boudain. All the meats are finally done, and they are sooo delicious!! 

Once we got all the cheese and jerky mess cleaned up in the kitchen this morning, I moved on to working on some extra tomatoes. I had too many to use right away, but not enough to do a canning project with. After we threw the sealed packages of them away, they sat there sadly accusing me. Finally, I couldn't stand their sad pleas anymore. I pulled them out, washed them, sliced them, and put them in the dehydrator! 😂😜 I will grind them into tomato powder when they are dry. I can't waste perfectly good food.

It has been a great day here! I can't wait to get the video finished and posted for you all! What have you been up to today? I'd love to hear about your day! Feel free to leave me a note in the comments, and don't forget to come visit us on My Modern Homestead! 

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Friday, August 7, 2020

How to Dehydrate Onions

Hi reader friends! Today's post is a quick and easy kitchen project. 

Recently, I found myself with more onions that I knew what to do with. I don't want them to go to waste. My freezer is full, so I decided to dehydrate them to use at a later time. The process is very easy if you would like to try it yourself.

All you need to do is peel and chop the onions into small, uniform sizes pieces, and spread them evenly on your dehydrator trays. Try not crowd them. The more space you can give the onion pieces, the better and quicker they will dry. I had to crowd mine more than I would have liked.

Turn your dehydrator on 135° F and let the dehydrator do what it does best. If you have a lot of trays, you may find your trays need to be rotated a few times during the drying process. Normally, the onions should be done around 10 hours, but mine had to run much longer since I had so many trays and so many onions on each tray. I highly recommend you dry your onions outside. You will know your onions are ready when they sound hard and dry moving in the tray and no longer feel soft. Move them to an airtight container to store them.

Warning! Don't give into the temptation to try one! You may find you aren't left with very many to store away! They are so good! They have the flavor of the fried onions you buy to place on top of green bean casserole. Yum! I only let myself eat a couple so I would have a picture to share with you and so I would have enough left to use in another project that I will try to share with you at a later date. 

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dry Ranch Seasoning Mix

Hello, reader friends!

It's been a while since I've visited with you here! I hope life is treating you well with the chaos in our world today.

I wanted to stop in and share a simple and practical recipe with you. If you've been around a while, you know I have a strong aversion to using seasoning packets from a store, so I almost always make my own. I thought I had shared my recipe for my ranch seasoning before, but it turns out I never did, as I discovered after a search for it to share with a friend. So at long last, dear readers, the recipe has arrived for her maiden voyage! I hope your journeys with her her are beautiful and tasty. Don't forget to share your culinary adventure pictures with me!

Dry Ranch Seasoning Mix
1/4 c dried parsley flakes
1/8 c dried dill weed
1/8 c onion powder
1/8 c dried chives
1-1/2 T dried onion flakes
1-1/2 T garlic powder
1 T sea salt
1-1/2 t Goya Adobo All purpose
1 t black pepper
1 t paprika
1/2 t dried basil 

Add all ingredients to a mini food processor. Process until dry ingredients are broken down well and form a consistent powder.

Use 1-1/2 t to 2 t of seasoning mix to replace a packet of ranch seasoning. Add more to taste.

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lemon Basil Shrimp with Pasta

Good day, reader friends!

I hope you are taking care of yourself and keeping yourself healthy during these crazy and trying Corona Virus days.

Have you found yourself in the kitchen more lately? I have! It feels strange having not been to a restaurant in so long. I was going through the freezer yesterday and found a bag of shrimp so I pulled it out to use today. After thinking a while yesterday about how I wanted to use it, I settled on Lemon Basil Shrimp with pasta.

I have to apologize in advance. This was one of those meals I just quickly threw together with no intentions of using it for a blog post. It was just so delicious and people started asking for the recipe, I figured I would write it out as best as I could. There is no "recipe." I will just tell you what I did.

First, I put my water on the stove with a good amount of salt to boil the pasta. As the water heated, I placed my non-stick skillet on another eye to warm. I also used this time to drain the shrimp that thawed in the refrigerator overnight. I also gathered the ingredients and spices I wanted to use. I pulled out bottled lemon juice (I didn't have fresh lemons on hand.), dried basil, salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Once the water started to boil, I turned up the heat on the skillet to medium-high heat and added two tablespoons of butter to melt. I then added the noodles to the boiling water to boil for 8 minutes. Once the noodles were boiling in the water, I added the drained bag of shrimp to the skillet with the melted butter. I lightly salted it. I stirred it around until the shrimp slightly started turning pink. Then I sprinkled lightly with chili powder. I also added a good amount of basil garlic powder, and lemon juice (I used several good squirts- it depends on your taste). I continued stirring until the shrimp were mostly done. There was liquid still in the pan. Don't worry if this happens with your shrimp. The pasta will absorb any remaining liquids. I removed the skillet with the shrimp from the heat. Once the noodles were done, I drained them well and added the noodles to the skillet with the shrimp. To the noodles and shrimp I added a couple more squirts of lemon juice, a little more basil, and one more tablespoon of butter. I returned the skillet to the hot eye and continued to toss the ingredients until the liquid was absorbed and the shrimp and noodles were done. That's it! It is a very quick and easy dish to whip up! I hope you have a chance to try it!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

How to Make Finely Ground Sugar

Good day, reader friends!

Don't stress!! I know it's the holidays and you are busy! I see those recipes you've been looking at that call for ingrients about which you aren't so sure! Here is help for one of those such ingredients!

Finely ground sugar is commonly used in European baked goods and candy. It is ground more finely that regular granulated sugar, but it's not as fine as confectioners/powdered sugar. I've never used it or seen it in a store personally, yet, I ended up needing it for a recipe I wanted to try.

Making it was very simple. I used my coffee grinder for this process, but using a small food processor may work.

To make the finely ground sugar, simply place about a quarter cup of regular granulated sugar into the mill.

Pulse a few times until the sugar is broken down into very small granules. Just be careful not to over-process and turn your sugar into a powder.


It's just that easy! Repeat the process until you have your desired amount of sugar.

Now, there is one less thing to stress over! Go enjoy your holiday! ❤

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Citrus Peel Candy

Good day, reader friends!

We have been doing our annual Chrsitmas Around the World activities the last couple weeks when we have been able, as we lost a dear family member last week.

One activity I wanted to try this year was to make Stollen, a traditional German Christmas bread. The recipe I wanted to try called for candied citrus peel. I've read that there is no comparison between the store-bought version and the homemade version, so I decided it would be fun to make our own. It turns out, I was correct! I thought I would share the process with you in case you would like to try it also.

I began with organic produce, and I would not make this candy without using organic fruit since citrus is a sprayed crop. The following picture shows the fruit I used. You can use any combination you would like, but make sure to stay close to the same quantity.

Next, cut the ends of each fruit, and cut the rind away from the fruit.

Cut peel into quarter inch slices, place them in a pot, add cold water, and bring them to a boil. Boil the peels for 15 minutes.

Drain the peels and rinse them with cold water.

Repeating this process one or two more times will reduce the bitterness of the citrus rind.

Next, add two cups of sugar and one cup of water to the rinsed pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar. I didnt wait for my sugar to completely dissolve.

Add the peels to the pot. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow boil, and stir often so that the peels do not stick or burn.

Continue to boil until the rinds start turning translucent and the syrup is thick.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove a few rinds at a time from the pot, letting them drain for just a few seconds. Place the rinds in finely ground sugar.  (Click here to learn how to make your own) Toss them around a bit to make sure they are coated well.

Move the coated peels to a drying rack. 

Let them dry on the racks for one or two days. The peels are now ready to use or store in the freezer.

I hope you get a chance to try them!

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!