Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks -Homestyled cooking & a hearty meal!

Ham Hocks and Split Pea Soup

Here’s a cool weather soup that hits the spot. I grew up with pork and beans, and split pea soup, so I created my own recipe using a combination of both flavors to make this soup. It’s thick, delicious and filling and will serve 4-6 bowls of soup, depending on the size of your soup bowl.

Even better it reheats wonderfully and like most soups or stews, the flavors will infuse overnight making the next day’s serving better than the first! I like this alone, with just some bread. There are a couple of variations that I’ve tried depending on my cravings that day.

When you find a basic combination that you like, enjoy experimenting with the dish by adding in different flavors that change the texture and enhance the flavors...

Read more

Guide to Landscaping for Winter Birds

We showed you how to attract birds to your garden for the summer, but now we want to share with you how to care for your winter birds.

When winter is here and the days grow short it seems like many things are dead and everything seems so lifeless. I found that adding just the right equipment to your landscaping will attract winter friend into your yard. Watching these winter friends interact with each other will give you great pleasure. I have young children in my home and one summer we decided to make our yard more attractive for winter birds. These winter birds came into our lives and made our winter months something great.

If you would want to persuade the winter birds to make their homes near you and your family then you will need to take a good look at your landscaping and see what yo...

Read more

Positive Steps That You Can Take Now to Reduce Heating Costs

The current high prices of heating fuel and electrical energy are making the cost staying warm in the cold weather unbearable. Energy department officials estimate the average family in the United States spends $1,600 on energy a year and the cost can’t help but increase with crude oil always threatening to climb to $100 per barrel. There are many things a homeowner can do to reduce energy waste and save money. Many projects cost little or will payback their cost quickly.

Energy Reduction Hints for Homeowners

  • Make sure attic and wall spaces are well insulated. Most insulation projects are suitable for many do it yourselfers and there many qualified contractors that specialize in insulation work.
  • Wash laundry and clothes only when you have a full load ready to go...
Read more

Winter Home Prep: 10 DIY Tips

WInter Home PRep tips

If you’re a warm weather fan like Laura is, the thought of the coming winter months can be a bit depressing. The knowledge that these bright sunny days will soon transform into those cold windy nights, is enough to make anyone want to find a warm cozy corner of their home to hunker down in hibernation. Unfortunately, if you’re homeowners like we are, you know there are way too many things that need to be done around the house in preparation for those icy rain storms and heavy snow. Winter can be very damaging to your home. Ice and snow can build up on roofs leading to leaks or structural damage, water pipes can freeze, and heavy snow can wreak havoc on plants and trees. So before you grab your homemade quilt and hot cup of cocoa, take these simple steps for winter home prep.

10 Winter Ho...

Read more

Possibilities With Pumpkins: The Life Cycle of a Squash Enhances the Family Circle

Picking a pumpkin is one of the joys of childhood. In autumn pumpkins are ubiquitous at grocery stores, garden centers, and farmers markets. The most fun place is the pumpkin patch where children can see the fruit as part of the life cycle of a living vine.

Within the life cycle of the seasons in a garden the pumpkin goes full circle. Seeds sown in spring produce a flowering vine throughout the summer. Fruits harvested in autumn become decorations, food for wildlife and humans, residence for rodents, and seeds for snacks and next year’s garden. Winter remnants of the plant become organic nutrients in soil supporting seeds sown in spring.

Pumpkins prompt possibilities which link generations together in the family circle...

Read more

Super Simple Kosher Homemade Applesauce: Made Easy With No Special Equipment or Complicated Procedures

Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is a favorite among children and adults alike. Some homemade applesauce recipes require special equipment, complicated and time consuming procedures and seem to be more of a hassle then it is worth. However, fresh homemade applesauce can be made very easily in small batches with no special equipment and in less than half an hour. And the best part? It’s Super Simple and Kosher Too!

There are many benefits to making your own applesauce. You can have fresh applesauce any time of the year; however it is best when apples are in season. Applesauce can be made with any apple variety as each variety has its own unique flavor. Making fresh applesauce ensures a fresh product without any unnecessary additives. Important nutrients are retained due to the minimal processing required.

How ...

Read more

Learn how to Freeze Fresh Garden Vegetables

store garden vegetables for winter

As the garden harvest comes rolling in, many of us are left with more vegetables than we can comfortably eat. As always, to help your neighbors, offer some to them, trade with other gardeners for things they both of you didn’t grow, hot water can some, and freeze some for the winter.

Have you ever tried freezing your own vegetables? Because many of them contain enzymes that will cause them to lose color while frozen, it can leave you with a colorless bunch of vegetables, which don’t look appealing. I recommend blanching them before freezing them, it helps keep their color vibrant, and also makes cooking them from frozen easier.

Homemade frozen vegetables are healthier than store bought ones, since you know you’re vegetables have been grown organically. They are also friendly to the walle...

Read more

Save Money by Cooking at Home

By the end of a busy day most parents are very tired from working all day. It’s very tempting to just pick up fast food on the way home. Preparing home cooked meals don’t have to take a lot of time. Cooking dinner at home will save a family a lot of money every month. There are many ways to make cooking at home easy and fun.

Look at Weekly Grocery Store Ads for Sales and Specials

When the weekly ads come in the mail don’t just throw them in the trash. Plan the family’s weekly meals around what the store has on sale. If a busy family buys the items on sale, it makes eating at home much cheaper than eating out. When planned accordingly there are many meals a family of four can make for under $5. Using coupons is also a great way to save money on groceries.

Buying in Bulk can Save Money

If a ...

Read more

Fall Gardening Chores: Prepare the Organic Garden for Winter

The onset of autumn is bittersweet for many gardeners, as we say goodbye to our tender annuals and vegetables but welcome the respite from intense gardening chores. Note your successes and failures in your garden journal, and make plans for next year’s growing season.

Fall Gardening Chores

Clean Up Autumn Leaves

Organic gardeners with deciduous trees face a mixed blessing in the fall. Dead leaves are an unparalleled source of carbon in the compost pile, and gardeners should keep a ratio of four parts carbon to one part nitrogen in the compost bin. However, gathering all this free fertilizer is laborious, and it’s tempting to neglect raking chores.

Fallen leaves quickly mat together and form a suffocating blanket on the lawn...

Read more

Battery Selection for Alternative Energy Electricity Generation

Designing a residential wind or solar power system requires many engineering considerations. One of the biggest decisions is whether to design a grid-tied (GT) or off-the-grid (OTG) system. This decision is a prime motivator in design of the battery storage system. A professional can design and install an appropriate system for each unique situation.

A typical GT system feeds excess electricity back into the power grid, running the consumer’s meter backwards. If the grid is available, it is also used to supply power to the home if necessary. OTG systems rely totally on themselves and backup generators to supply electricity needs. Either system may use batteries to store energy, but going OTG requires battery storage.

Sizing the Battery Bank

There are several technical issues to be consid...

Read more