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December 2011 Blog Posts (27)

New Year's recipe: Espresso Bark

I don't plan on making wild and crazy (or unreasonable) New Years resolutions.  I will continue to eat healthy and exercise.  I will try to stress less about things that I cannot control.  

I will NOT be giving up coffee or chocolate!!!

Espresso Bark
Ready in: 25 mins.
Servings: 12
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon margarine
3/4 cup whole coffee beans
1/4 cup…

Added by Marianne Smith on December 30, 2011 at 9:18am — No Comments

Seaweed in the Garden

That's right, SEAWEED!!! It's free and plentiful if you live near the coast.

This morning I got up early (free parking before 8am) and went down to the beach with 2 grocery bags and a big plastic bin. I took my plastic bags down to the shore and picked the freshest seaweed which was just washing up on shore. After just 5 minutes both of my bags were full.***Rinse well so you don't bring home little creatures who need the sea***

Back at the…


Added by Marianne Smith on December 29, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

How to Make a Healthy Stock

Earlier this year I wrote a post on cleaning chicken feet. However, I did not go into the details of why it is important for me to have those chicken feet added to my stock pot. The fact is any variety of properly made stock (whether from chickens, beef, lamb, or white-tailed deer) provides many health promoting vitamins, minerals, and…


Added by Carol J. Alexander on December 29, 2011 at 9:55am — No Comments

Treating Our Tools with TLC

It’s so easy to simply hang your shovel on the nail when you hang up your proverbial towel at the end of the growing season, but there are a few simple practices that will help to preserve quality tools for decades of use.  The following tool care steps can also be used during the growing season for routine maintenance.

Many of our garden tools such as shovels, spades, knives, clippers, etc, are constructed of a combination of materials, often metal and wood. And while I have…


Added by High Mowing Organic Seeds on December 28, 2011 at 2:35pm — 2 Comments

Baking: Sourdough Bread

Greetings!  Remember back when I told you all about my final attempt at making a sourdough starter?  I never reported back about my progress...mostly because that attempt, like all the others, was a sad, sad failure.  Still, a few failures have never stopped a girl from trying.  So a few months later, I tried again and now I have a healthy whole-wheat sourdough starter.  Today, I baked my first loaf of sourdough bread.  Now that I've discovered how…


Added by Geraldine McIntosh on December 26, 2011 at 7:55pm — No Comments

We're On Baby Pig-Watch

our prego american guinea hog

Curly Sue is one of our purebred American Guinea Hogs that is pregnant. She was due to farrow yesterday (Dec. 21). As you can see in the photo, her underline is developing. As of this morning, we could not express any milk, nor is her mammary area warm to the touch. This leads us to believe she may be more than a day out from giving birth. But really, who knows? She's…


Added by Coyote Ridge Farms on December 23, 2011 at 3:29pm — 5 Comments

No Snow For Christmas... yet

What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this time, those of us who call west-central Minnesota home had 3 ft of snow on the ground already.  This year we have none.  When we do get snow, it’s only a dusting and the above normal temps, quickly melt it.

Our area has a 90% chance of “enjoying” a brown Christmas.  A white Christmas is defined [by our local TV weather guys] as having at least ½” of snow on the ground (often referred to as snow-pack).  If you view our webcam…


Added by Coyote Ridge Farms on December 22, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Oh, what a year for Growing Cities!

The end of 2011 marks a year of production on Growing Cities for Dan and I (Andrew)!  We feel so fortunate and pleased to be working on this film and can’t wait to have a final product to show everyone.  Although there is a long road ahead to reach that point we’ve really come a long way in twelve months. From dreaming of the open road and planning the itinerary last winter, to the road trip this summer, to a three-month stay in San Francisco transcribing the film – we have experienced and…


Added by Growing Cities on December 21, 2011 at 11:04am — 2 Comments

kombucha what?

Kombucha. Comb-boo-cha. Ever heard of it? It's the hippie, new age, magical "elixir of life". It's actually just fermented sweet tea, but I prefer "elixir of life", don't you? I'd heard about kombucha maybe a year or two ago and had seen bottled…


Added by Christine on December 19, 2011 at 2:36pm — 5 Comments

This has got to be our best Christmas ever

The holidays are great in so many ways. I'm sure everyone has their own special aspect they especially like. For instance, yesterday, I helped my wife decorate the tree. You can really tell it is one of her favorite things at Christmas time. However, I have always hated anything to do with Christmas lights, especially outdoors. I prefer to enjoy the ones our neighbors put up. She says I NEVER help with the tree, but this year is different.

Not everything at Christmas time is happy and…


Added by Barter Neighbors on December 19, 2011 at 12:42pm — 4 Comments

Holiday Cookies

Last year, a HOMEGROWNer posted a Christmas Cookie Countdown recipe for chocolate-covered cherry cookies (all the best flavors baked into one). 

This weekend I'll be making dozens and dozens of holiday treats - old favorites like Russian tea cakes and peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies and gingerbread and some new recipes (peppermint bark!).

What are your favorite…


Added by Caroline Malcolm on December 16, 2011 at 4:51pm — 1 Comment

roasted applesauce

[Originally posted on my blog briciole as salsa di mele arrosto / roasted applesauce]

roasted applesauce

A little while ago, a friend of mine gave me a case of apples…


Added by Simona on December 15, 2011 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Doing 'Dark Days Chalenge' this year, are you?

Not Dabbling in Normal is hosting this years Dark Days challenge, it's about eating one meal a week (or more!) of SOLE foods. Sustainable, Organic, Local , Ethical. We can do that, right?

I wrote about my first attempt, and why it's important not just to ME, but to all of us, that at least some of us eat local!  I have a new blog, subRural…


Added by Tamika Adjemian on December 14, 2011 at 10:05pm — 1 Comment

Morning Glory Muffins & Cheap Homemade Applesauce

I'm sure many of you on here already know about buying apple "seconds" (the apples that have some dings and bruises) to make cheap homemade applesauce. Now that it's winter I absolutely love making lots of baked goods and replacing some of the fat with applesauce!

I recently posted on my blog about making low-cost homemade applesauce…


Added by Aliza Ess on December 13, 2011 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

How to Make Butter

A friend recently gave me 4 gallons of cow's milk. We've always kept dairy goats, but the cream from the Jersey cow was a special treat. I turned that 4 gallons of milk into yogurt, mozzarella cheese, butter, buttermilk, and whey. And, of course, we got to drink fresh, raw milk.

How to make…


Added by Carol J. Alexander on December 13, 2011 at 2:48pm — 3 Comments

i love to barter for canned preserves and soaps

hi,my name is divina.I have been knitting for over a year now and absolutely love it. i also crochet among baking goodies.i like to barter my fingerless gloves, scarves,cowls,crochet headbands,bracelets,and clutch handbags in exchange for canned preserves of any kind,sauces, organic preferrably seeds, handmade soaps, and frarant bath salts in pretty jars. as well as some nic nacs for the house. i also sew things like small heart pillows with lace(fillers for the house or gift items for…


Added by divina alvarado on December 13, 2011 at 1:32pm — 1 Comment

HOMEGROWN Fair Winners and Wrap-Up!

The first-ever HOMEGROWN Fair was a huge success! A hearty thank you to all who shared photos, videos, recipes, stories and skills over the past month. What a year you’ve all had – and how wonderful it is to share in your accomplishments and learn something new from each submission. The Fair was a…


Added by HOMEGROWN.org on December 9, 2011 at 3:28pm — 4 Comments

Eat More Kale

Once upon a time there was a humble artist named Bo who made t-shirts.  He called his one-at-a-time silk screening shop “Eat More Kale”.  He was loved by t-shirt wearers, small-scale farmers and kale eaters worldwide, but particularly in Vermont, where he lived.  [I have seeded and weeded in my "eat…


Added by Deirdre Holmes on December 9, 2011 at 11:02am — 1 Comment

Eggless Birthday Cookies

I found a recipe last night more out of desperation than curiosity.  I've been a bit distracted lately and even with a trip to the supermarket I was out of eggs.  It seems I just forgot.

It's my hubby's birthday so he got to choose what I made for dinner last night.  He chose the easiest dinner (in my opinion) that I have prepared so I have made it a bunch of times.  For dinner we had Chicken Tacos with cilantro, mixed greens, onions, jalapenos, sour cream, salsa and cheese.  But…

Added by Marianne Smith on December 7, 2011 at 11:14am — No Comments

Eco-Friendly and Budget-Friendly Gift Giving

Christmas is right around the corner.  Every year the news reports of crazy shoppers and over-consumption around this time.  This year I have a few ideas for Eco-Friendly gifts, all of which are Made in the USA. Whether handmade, homemade, locally grown or locally produced, why not try something new this year.

DIY Lotions and Soap:  There are literally hundreds of recipes available online to make your own…


Added by Marianne Smith on December 5, 2011 at 3:11pm — No Comments

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