Category Archives: Recipes

Valentine Love ‘Potions’

Oh, Valentines day! The day of love! Herbs have been used throughout the centuries to not only attract members of the opposite sex, but also to enhance intimate relationships.  Now, herbals certainly can’t make you fall in love, or even trap someone into loving you, but you can certainly enhance the love relationship that already have with your spouse, and how can that be a bad thing? What better way to attract your valentine than by creating a romantic massage oil or using a blend of oils to help guide cupids arrow? One of our most primal senses is the sense of smell, and aromatic herbs can certainly assist with attraction. Just take a nice carrier oil, like almond oil, grapeseed oil, or apricot kernel oil and add about 15 drops of essential oils for every ounce of carrier oil. You can experiment by combining oils that you and your partner both enjoy. Scents are categorized as base, middle and top notes. For the best results when creating a mixture, you will want to include a top, middle, and base note oil to create harmony, just like in a musical chord. Some romantic essential oils and their properties are listed below:

Top Note Oils

  • Cardamon: Elletaria cardamomum: A warm, spicy oil increases circulation. Aphrodisiac and  stimulant.
  • Black Pepper: Piper nigrum: Promotes circulation, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and promotes stamina.
  • Ginger: Zingiber officinale: A warming oil, and stimulating aphrodisiac. It increases local circulation.

Middle Note Oils

  • Jasmine: Jasminum sambac: Narcotic, floral, and aphrodisiac. Contains a chemical constituent known as indol that has a distinct animal earthiness.
  • Rose: Rosa damascena: The rose has traditionally been associated with love and is an intensely floral aphrodisiac.
  • Neroli: Citrus aurantium: Distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, this oil is calming to the central nervous system and nourishes the heart.
  • Ylang Ylang: Canaga odorata: Highly narcotic and aphrodisiac. In Indonesia ylang ylang flowers are spread on the beds of newly married couples.
  •  Clary Sage: Salvia sclarea: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, euphoric, and sedative.

Base Note Oils

  • Vetiver: Vetiveria zizanioides: Distilled from the root of a grass this oil is grounding and nourishing. It is a circulatory stimulant yet sedative to the central nervous system.
  • Patchouli: Pogostemon cablin: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, grounding and balancing.
  • Sandalwood: Santalum album: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, and sedative. Contains sesquiterpenes, which are known to be calming to the nervous system.

A sample mixture for a romantic massage oil would be something like this:

Cardamon (Top) 7 drops + Ylang Ylang (Middle) 3 drops + Patchouli (Base) 5 drops for a total of 15 drops of essential oil mixed 1 drop at a time into 1 ounce of apricot kernel oil, then tip bottle gently up and down to mix.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils until you find a scent that you and your spouse really enjoy!

This post is part of the 26th Edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday at Mind Body and Sole

20 Things to do With Soured Raw Milk or Cream

Raw milk or cream sours much differently from commercially prepared milk or cream. In commercially prepared milk, the product has been pasteurized, or heated at high temperatures, to kill any bacteria that may have been in the milk. As a result, not only are the pathogens killed, but also the beneficial bacteria that aid your body in digesting the milk, as well as the enzymes and most of the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and magnesium which help you body absorb the calcium in the milk. This is why artificial vitamin D is added to milk – to replace what was destroyed in the pasteurization process. Also, the milk is usually also homogenized, or forced through a screen that breaks the cream into unnaturally small particles so that it will not separate.

Because of this, pasteurized homogenized milk is much different from farm fresh milk straight from the cow. Milk that has undergone this type of processing putrefies as it sours because for one, it is a blank slate so to speak, and any wild bacteria floating around in the air can settle in the milk. In our environment many types of bacteria are commonly found which can become pathogenic, or dangerous, under the right conditions. These bacteria – e-coli, campylobacter, staphylococci, salmonella, and others – are common and generally benign in our environment until they find the right media in which to grow. Pasteurized milk provides an ideal environment, where unpasteurized milk contains many beneficial bacteria which naturally inhibit the growth of these types of pathogenic bacteria.

Try this: Set two jars of milk out on the counter in a warm location for several days – one pasteurized milk and the other raw or unpasteurized milk. The pasteurized milk will begin to stink, while the raw milk will generally have a more mild cheese like smell. The pasteurized milk would be dangerous to drink, while the raw milk would be perfectly safe, even if you did not find the flavor pleasant. Many traditional cultures actually did drink their milk clabbered, and even preferred it that way.

For pasteurized milk of course, there is really only one thing that you can do with it once it has reached this point unless you want to risk becoming seriously ill – throw it out! Soured raw milk on the other hand can be used for many things. Of course you could drink it, but many people now are unaccustomed to the sour flavor of clabbered milk, so I have put together a list of 20 things that you can do with raw milk or cream that has unexpectedly gone south while you weren’t watching.

  1. Use the whey, or the clear liquid that separates from the milk, to soak nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains, which makes the nutrients in these foods more readily digestible. You only need a tablespoon or two to add to the water that you are using to soak your grains. After the grains have soaked for 24 hours, cook them as you normally do before using them.
  2. Mix soured milk into pancake batter, biscuits, or quick breads in place of buttermilk or other liquids called for in the recipe.
  3. Mix soured cream into scrambled eggs or eggs used for french toast before cooking them.
  4. Mix soured cream into mashed potatoes instead of milk
  5. Add a little buttermilk culture and set it out on the counter for another day – then gently heat the milk until it curdles and then strain, add a little fresh cream and salt – viola, cottage cheese!
  6. Add a little buttermilk culture and allow it to sit until fully separated. Then strain soured milk in cheesecloth until you have cream cheese.
  7. Use the soured cream on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.
  8. Warm slightly soured milk on the stove top and add cocoa powder and raw honey or raw cane sugar for a delightful cup of creamy hot chocolate.
  9. Use soured cream to make white sauce or cheese sauce
  10. Use it to make kefir or yogurt
  11. Use a dollop of soured cream to top a baked potato or a bowl of chili
  12. Add seasonings to the cream and turn it into a yummy ranch dip for veggies.
  13. Whip slightly soured cream with a bit of cream cheese and raw honey for a delightful whipped topping for fruit filled crepes
  14. Make mozzarella cheese – it’s easier than it sounds!
  15. Add a little buttermilk culture to slightly soured cream, allow it to sit on the counter for a day, and then pour it into your food processor or blender and make it into cultured butter.
  16. Throw it into the blender with berries an a banana to make a yummy smoothie
  17. Use the soured milk or cream in any recipe that calls for milk – pumpkin pie, clam chowder, etc.
  18. Treat your pets, chickens, pigs.
  19. Pour it on your compost pile.
  20. Put a cup of sour milk in a gallon of water and spray it on your garden for a fabulous fertilizer.

I am sure that there are many other things that you could make or do with sour raw milk or cream – experiment and be creative! – but this should be a good start for those of you who are wondering “What do I do with this now!?”

How to make mozzarella: – It is not necessary to microwave the curd – just drain the curd, heat the whey to about 175 F  and use heavy kitchen gloves to hold the cheese ball under the water for several seconds, then remove it and stretch it; if it breaks repeat the process, but do not leave the cheese in the boiling water or it will dissolve into the water and you will lose your cheese!

Making Yogurt with Villi and Greek Cultures

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Making Villi and Greek Yogurt

When I got my yogurt cultures in the mail from Cultures for Health, I was really excited, but had to put the project on hold due to my trip to the Raw Milk Symposium that weekend. I wanted to have plenty of time to do it right. So when I got back from Wisconsin, I pulled out the packets and with some very enthusiastic help from 7-year-old Zee, I went to work. We started with the Villi culture. Zee opened the packet for me and measured out the recommended 1/2 tsp of culture, which I mixed into 1/2 cup of raw milk. I left this in a canning jar on my stove top for 24 hours checking it occasionally – OK, so I hovered a little, I’m a little controlling – sorry! – after 24 hours, it was still not setting up, so I checked the instructions and saw that on the back of the page of instructions there was a special section for raw milk! So, I set the first try aside and started over, this time I slowly heated the milk to 160° and then cooling the milk to room temperature before adding the culture, and then began the waiting process all over again. Being a somewhat scientifically minded person, I left the first batch on the stove top along with the second one, and waited (alright – I already said I am not much good at waiting, but I really don’t think I hurt it any.) The next morning, the first batch had gelled up to a kind of slimy runny consistency, while the second batch was still not set up. I left it there and decided I would check it again when I got home from work.

When I got home, the first batch had gelled into a very soft yogurt that held form when first scooped up, but then collapsed into a really runny yogurt, more like kefir. The second one was much more firm and was beginning to separate from the whey. Glad that there was an extra half teaspoon, I used the pure starter and mixed it in to a quart of raw milk that I had mixed in about 1 cup of cream, and set it on the counter again. This batch set up very nicely after 24 hours and had a really nice thick mild flavored yogurt. Yum! I used the 3rd 1/2 tsp to make another pure starter (done right by heating the milk first) and put it in the refrigerator to be used in the next batch – I will make another pint of yogurt by heating the milk and then I can use 2 Tbsp in each quart of raw milk without having to heat it again until I want to make another batch of pure starter. This is done to preserve the integrity of the villi culture, because bacteria from the raw milk can change the culture and yield unpredictable results.

The Greek yogurt was a bit different – it requires very low heat. I started out right this time, warming the milk to 180° this time (as per instructions) and then cooled it to 110° before adding the culture.  With only 1/2 cup of milk, much of the liquid evaporated out. I used my food dehydrator and I am wondering if it may have been a little to warm. I put the starter into a Ziploc baggie and put it in the refrigerator. I think I will bring in the cooler and use the hot water method instead.

To be continued! . . .

The Way to a Man’s Heart . . .

Show your man how much you love him for valentines with this heart shaped meat loaf and mashed potatoes:


2 – 3 Lbs of lean Hamburger
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 Eggs
1 c dry Whole wheat Bread Crumbs
1/2 c cooked Wild/Brown Rice
1 small can Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomato Paste
3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Garlic

Sauté onion in butter until translucent. Mix into raw hamburger with eggs, rice, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, and then stir in bread crumbs. Form meat mixture into the shape of a heart on a large foil covered cookie sheet top with tomato paste mixed with the remaining Worcestershire sauce. Bake for 45 min to an hour at 375° or until done in the Middle. Serve with steamed veggies of your choice and roasted garlic mashed potatoes below.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

Scrub and cube 4 or 5 large red potatoes. Do not peel. Put potatoes into a 2 quart saucepan and add several peeled cloves of garlic. Add 2 to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes and garlic are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water and add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 1/2 cup butter. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little milk or heavy cream if needed for consistency.  Fold in 1/2 cup of grated cheese (optional).

And to round it out, try these yummy garlic cheese biscuits: To your favorite drop biscuit recipe, mix in grated cheese and garlic powder. My kids can’t get enough of these 🙂

Nothing Better than Soup on a Cold Night

There is nothing better than a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold night. Here is an easy to make recipe for hamburger soup:DSC02160

1lb ground beef, browned with 1 minced onion
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2  bag frozen vegetables
1 cup beef stock
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed

Put all ingredients in a pot and cover with water and cook on medium until all vegetables are soft enough to poke through with a fork.

DSC02166This goes really well with garlic cheese biscuits. Use your favorite drop biscuit recipe and add 1/2 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. drop onto a buttered cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. YUM!

A Thanksgiving Feast

2 Turkeys, one injected with teriyaki sauce and lemon juice and deep fried (Man Style), and the other roasted with butter, garlic, and rosemary

1 Ham

Traditional Stuffing

Rice Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Sweet Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

Little Smokies in BBQ Sauce

Green Goop (green jello powder mixed with cool whip, cottage cheese, and canned pineapple and oranges)

Yellow Jello (lemon jello with cream cheese and fruit)

12 Pies: 3 pumpkin, 1 chocolate pecan, 1 pecan, 1 apple, 1 peach, 2 lemon meringue, 1 banana creme, 1 chocolate creme, 1 coconut creme (This doesn’t count the pies that Denise brought that never got taken out.)

Sparkling Cider (4 gallons of cider and 2 lbs of dry ice)

11 adults, and 21 kids

Apple Picking Time


We have a whole tree of delicious, although somewhat bug infested apples. Most of them are good, but pray before you take a bite . . . or just cut them up first.

Today, between conference sessions, we went out and picked up the windfall apples, and we also picked about three bushels to make applesauce. Nothing like a good day of hard work to bring the family together!

Making Applesauce

Applesauce is easy to make, and if your kids are anything like mine, they suck it down like locusts in a cornfield! (ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it seems like it sometimes!) So, it was a real blessing to have the apples come on so well this year. It is like getting a free bonus and I don’t even have to go to the grocery store!

If you have never made applesauce, you should give it a try sometime. All you have to do is get a bunch of nice sweet apples — not the tart type like granny smith apples, but sweet ones like a gala or a golden delicious. Then you peel, core, and chop the apples, throw them in a pot, rinse them, and then cover them with water and cook them until they are soft enough to mash with the fork, but don’t over cook! If they look like applesauce before you run them 


through the food processor, then you have cooked them too long. Once they are cooked, drain out the water and blend them in the blender or with a food processor until they are applesauce. If you use a good sweet apple, you don’t need to add any sweetener.

Once you have the applesauce, if you made a really big batch, you just fill your bottles, put on the lids, and heat for about 15 to 20 minutes in a hot water bath. Then take them out and let them cool so you can put them in your pantry where the kids will then find them and slurp them down before you can say “HEY!”

French Toast

6 Eggs
2 Tbsp Condensed Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
Whole Wheat Bread

Beat eggs, mix condensed milk with cinnamon and whisk into eggs until mixed evenly. Dip bread in egg mixture and fry in pan on medium heat with butter, being careful not to burn the butter. Top with your choice of fruit, butter and honey,  or syrup.

For stuffed French toast, beat 8oz cream cheese, and ¼ to ½ c of your choice of fruit. Using thin sliced bread, spread 1 slice of bread with filling, place two slices of bread together, and dip in egg mixture. Fry in butter and top with powdered sugar or fruit.

Molasses Cookies 

Last night I was really craving molasses cookies . . .These are soooo good!

1 ½  c Butter
1 c Sugar
½  c Molasses
1 c Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Cinnamon
½  tsp Cloves
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Ginger
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Baking Soda
4¼ c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Cream together butter, sugar, molasses, and eggs.  Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and ginger.  For high altitudes, add another ¼ cup of flour. Combine all ingredients until well mixed.  Refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.  Roll into 1” balls, and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400° for 8 – 10 minutes until edges are set.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Optional: Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate and set to dry on waxed paper.

Anji’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some days you just need a cookie! I try to make them as healthy as possible without sacrificing the soft chewy cookie taste . . .

Cookie Base
1 c Butter
½ c White Sugar
¾ c Brown Sugar (or substitute 1c organic Sucanat sugar for both brown and white sugars)
1 Egg
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Vanilla
2 c Flour (add an extra ¼ c flour for high altitudes – I like to use spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 c Chocolate Chips
½ c Oatmeal (I like to use Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain cereal)
½ c Chopped Pecans
Mix butter, sugar, and egg. Add salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in flour until mixed evenly. Stir in chips, oatmeal, and nuts. For other variations, try adding other things to the cookie base recipe—for example, white chocolate chips, dried blueberries, and chopped pecans. Be creative! Drop in spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for @ 8 to 10 min at 350°. (Do not overcook!)


Fred’s Special Cap’n Crunch Cookies: add 1 c Captain Crunch Berries cereal and ½ c of chocolate chips
add 1 egg, 1 c oatmeal, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, and ½ c chopped nuts
Peanut Butter: add 1 c flour, 1 egg, and 1 c peanut butter
Carrot: add 1 c grated carrots, ½ c crushed pineapple and ½ c chopped nuts
Mocha Chunk: add ½ c flour, 1/3 c cocoa powder, 2 tsp coffee crystals dissolved into 2 tsp coffee liquor, and 2 c chopped semi sweet chocolate bars. Omit vanilla.
Ginger Snaps: add 1 tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp cloves, and ¼ c molasses. Omit vanilla, ¼ c sugar, and ½ c butter.
Pumpkin: add 1 c pumpkin, ½ tsp nutmeg, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Optional: add 1 c chocolate chips. Omit ½ c butter.
Thumbprint: Add 1 egg. Omit sugar and ¼ c of brown sugar. Roll in 2 c chopped nuts. (Indent and fill with jam after baking.)
Chocolate Thumbprint: add 1½ c flour and ½ c cocoa powder. Roll into balls and roll in 2 c chopped nuts. Press indentation and fill with filling: heat 1/3 c corn syrup and add 1½ c chocolate chips. (Fill before baking)

Some of these variations are still as of yet untested. So, try them and then leave a comment on how they turned out. have fun!