Potato Pancakes

I got this recipe from my parents.  I don’t make these often, but they are good.  {print recipe}

Potato Pancake

4 cups potatoes, peeled and shredded

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon onion, grated

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

cooking oil

Rinse potatoes in cold water; drain well.  Place in large bowl.  Add egg, flour, onion, salt, and pepper; mix well.

In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium heat.  Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls into hot oil.  Flatten to form a pancake.  Fry until golden brown; turn and brown the other side.  Drain on paper towels.


Hot Chocolate Mix

I found this recipe online.  It originally called for a pinch of cayenne pepper, but we left that out.  This will make enough mix to fill a quart jar most of the way up.  I like this recipe as it does not have the non-dairy creamer in it.  {print recipe}

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/4 cup powdered milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Mix all the ingredients together.  I used a sifter to make sure I got out all the chunks.  Store in a quart jar or container.  To use, put 1/4 cup mix in a mug.  Add 3/4 – 1 cup of water.  Stir and enjoy.


Dried Onions

We can’t store all the onions over the winter, so I started drying them and use them in soups, casseroles, or even grind it into onion powder. 

Start by peeling your onions.  You want to make sure you peel that layer that would be tough if you just peeled and diced it up for fresh cooking. 

Peeled onions

Once I think I have enough to fill the dehydrator, I set up my meat slicer.  This makes the slicing go fast and I can have uniform slices.  I slice the onions up.

Sliced onions

I spread the sliced onions on my dehydrator trays.  I will leave them as they are sliced.  Some do fall apart.

On the trays

Plug in the dehydrator and let them dry.  Depending on how thick the slices are, it could take close to 18 hours or so.  I left these ones in overnight.  I also plugged the dehydrator in out in the shop.

Dried onions

October Menu

1 – Taco soup and corn bread
2 – Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
3 – Asian chicken rolls, rice pilaf
4 – Taquitos, Mexican rice, refried beans
5 – Potato, ham, broccoli chowder, fresh bread
6 – Layered steak dinner in the crock pot
7 – Fish, rice, veggies
8 – Bean and bacon soup, bread
9 – Roast, potatoes, carrots, onions
10 – Chili spaghetti casserole
11 – Pinto beans and corn bread
12 – Beef stew, biscuits
13 – Tilapia, rice, veggies
14 – Cube steak and gravy served over rice, veggies
15 – Cabbage stew, rolls
16 – Smothered chicken, rice, veggies
17 – Beef and broccoli
18 – Black beans and rice, tortillas, scrambled eggs
19 – Cheesy Hamburger soup, rolls
20 – Beef fajitas
21 – Fish, rice, veggies
22 – Pea soup, bread
23 – Pork roast, potatoes, carrots, onions
24 – Tacos
25 – Chicken chimichangas
26 – Chicken noodle soup, bread
27 – Tilapia, rice, veggies
28 – Pork strips and mushrooms served over noodles
29 – Chili feed and hay ride at church
30 – Lasagna, veggies, garlic bread
31 – Tater tot casserole, veggies

Apple Crisp Pie

I found this recipe on the internet, and of course, I changed it some.  I like to use more brown sugar in an apple pie than white sugar.  {print recipe}

Apple Crisp Pie

6 cups apples, sliced thin

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

4 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 double pie crust recipe


1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Peel, core, and slice your apples.  Toss them with the lemon juice.  Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch.  Lightly toss and then add the melted butter.  Gently stir and then fill the pie crust.

For the topping, combine the flour and sugar.  Cut in the butter until crumbly.  Stir in the oats and walnuts.  Sprinkle on top of the pie.  Bake at 375º for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the apples are done.  You might need to cover with foil after 30 minutes or so.

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

I found this recipe on the internet, but can’t remember where, so I can’t link back to it. This does make a double pie crust. {print recipe}

1 cup pastry flour (I use fresh ground soft white wheat)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I have also used hard white wheat)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

4 – 5 Tablespoons cold water

Mix the first four ingredients and then cut in the butter until crumbly.  Stir in the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the flour is moistened and it almost forms a ball.  You don’t want it too wet.

I have found the easiest way to roll this out is to put some plastic wrap down on the counter.  Depending on the width, you might want to put two sheets, side by side.  Sprinkle with flour and put your crust on the plastic wrap.  Press it down and sprinkle with some more flour.  Put two more sheets of plastic wrap on top and then roll the crust out. 

Take the top plastic wrap off and set aside to use for the top crust.  Flip the crust into the pie pan and then take the other plastic wrap off.  Repeat with the top crust.

Roasted Peppers

One year we had a lot of bell peppers.  I had heard about roasted peppers and wondered what to do.  My parents had been up here before going on to Colorado.  They happened to stop by a stand or something and the family was roasting peppers.  My mom called me and told me what they did.  We use a weed burner torch, but you can also use a small propane torch.  I use to freeze them, but I wanted to can them so I did some research and this is what I came up with.  If you can peppers, you really should roast them.  When you roast them the tough skin is burnt off. I canned them one year without roasting them and we had a lot of tough skin in the jar.

Wash your peppers and set up your work area.  I took an oven grate and set it up on some cinder blocks. 

This is the fun part.  Roast your peppers until they are black.  You will need to turn them and do the other sides.  You will start to hear some crackles and the peppers will start to blister and then turn black.  Once they are black on all sides, put them in a pot with a lid on them.  Let them set for 20 minutes or so.

There were a few spots that did not get black all they way, or they black had come off already.  The reason for letting them set is the black will come off easier. I have a strainer in my sink to catch all this black skin.  I wash them off under running cold water.  The black for the most part just comes right off.

Put them in a bowl until you have them all done. 

Then you want to cut the tops off and take the seeds out.  Please wear gloves when handling these peppers after they are roasted if you are using hot peppers. 

After I cut the top off I slit it in half.  I cut or pulled the membrane off and then dipped the pepper in a bowl of water to get most of the seeds off.  I then cut them into strips and then diced them up.  At this point you could freeze them as well.  Just put as much as you would use at one time in a container or bag.

I diced my peppers up and put them into some 1/2 pints.  I added 1/2 teaspoon salt and then some water.  I left 1/2 inch head space and then we pressure canned them for 35 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure (we are above 2,000 feet, so I pressure can everything at 15 pounds). 

Cheesy Hamburger Soup

I came up with this “recipe” after reading about cheeseburger soup.  I used some leftovers that needed to be used and then added what I thought it needed.  My family doesn’t care for Velveta cheese, so I tried something different.  {print recipe}

Cheesy Hamburger Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, diced

1/2 pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 cup corn

1 can Nacho Cheese Fiesta soup

1 quart diced tomatoes, undrained

Start by browning your ground beef along with the onion, peppers, and celery.  Drain the meat and then add the other ingredients.  You will want to make sure your stir the soup often as the nacho cheese soup may stick.  Cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

Apple Cider

We pressed some apple cider this weekend.  Harold has been researching how to do it at home and this is what he came up with after watching other videos, etc.

Holcomb Cider Press

We bought a brand new garbage disposal.  We bought a 3/4 horsepower disposal and he mounted it to this plywood board.  This board is on a metal frame that he had made but never used.  The Sausage/Lard/Cider press is mounted on the end.


We started with a wheelbarrow load of apples.  Here we have two different kinds from our orchard.  We had to cut the wormy spots out.  We do not like to spray our fruit, so we end up with worms.

Cut up apples

We cut up the apples and put them into two buckets.  We did a mixture of the two apples.

Grinding up the apples

The next step was to grind up the apples using the garbage disposal.  Harold did both buckets of apples and that gave us one bucket of ground up apples.

Ground up apples

Once we were done grinding the apples up for that first load, We put the apples into a pillowcase sack that I had made.

Getting ready to press the apples

We put the sack into the press and then slowly pressed the apples.  We had a bucket hanging from the table to catch the cider.

Apple Cider

We then put the cider into jugs until we were able to can it.

Holcomb's Apple Cider

I went ahead and canned it after this.  We have learned that we should have let it set and then slowly pour it into jars so the sediment will stay out of the cider.  It still tastes good.  We will strain the next batch.  I water bathed the cider for 15 minutes, just like apple juice.

Zucchini Muffins

This morning I tried a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for zucchini bread.  I made a couple of changes and then I baked them as muffins instead of bread.  I will be making these again. {print recipe}

Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

6 Tablespoons olive oil

Spray your muffin pans.  I made 18 with this recipe.

Cut the ends off the zucchini and grate it.  Lay your shredded zucchini in a clean dish towel and roll it up and then twist it to get any extra liquid out.  Measure out 1 1/2 cups zucchini and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, sour cream, eggs, and lemon juice.  Gently stir in the zucchini.  Sift together the dry ingredients and gently mix in until moistened.  I did add about 1/2 cup or so of chocolate chips just before it was all mixed together.

Bake at 375º until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.