Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gluten Free Lasagna

This is a "made up on the spot" recipe using things I had on hand at the time.  It turned out really well and tasted delicious. 

The night I made this I actually made two variations.  One of them was dairy free for the girls.  Both were very good. 

I will say that you need to be sure that no one in your family is allergic to tomatoes or eggplant before serving this dish as my youngest grandaughter had an anaphylactic reaction after eating this.  The E.R. personnel feel certain it was tomato, but her pediatrician thinks it could possibly have been the eggplant.  Both tomatoes and eggplant are in the nightshade family. 

Gluten Free Eggplant Lasagna

Two eggplant thinly sliced lengthwise
Sphagetti sauce (homemade works fine)
Ground beef (browned)
Cottage cheese
Mozzarella cheese (grated)
Parmesan cheese (grated)

Lightly spray your lasagna pan to prevent sticking.  Then place thinly sliced eggplant in the bottom.  Mix sphagetti sauce and ground beef together and cover the eggplant.  Next put a layer of the cheeses and repeat until all ingredients are used.  Make sure to end with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until the eggplant is cooked through and tender. 

Dairy Free variation

Follow above recipe, but replace the cheeses with a dairy free alternative (soy, etc.). 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Potato Soup Recipe

We eat a lot of soup around here and Potato Soup is one of my favorites.  I thought I would share our recipe.  This recipe feeds my family and most of the measurements are approximate since I rarely measure when making soup.

Potato Soup

4 cups chicken stock (I use my homemade from the freezer)
6-10 medium potatoes cut into small pieces
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves garlic chopped
salt, pepper, parsley, and celery seed to taste

Put all into a stockpot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes and onions are tender.   Thicken with cornstarch and water.  (You can use milk if you do not have dairy free family members). 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Quick Update

I thought I would take a minute to post another quick update from the Baker Homestead :).   Things are still pretty hectic and for now it doesn't look like that is going to change. 

My daughter, Amanda, has been on bedrest for the last week or so and during that time she had an asthma attack that required a trip to the doctor for meds.  In addition to the asthma, Rachel woke up vomiting one morning.   Of course, since she was sleeping on the couch with me at the time it was a fairly rude awakening :). 

This grandmother has great admiration for all of the mothers of little ones out there.  My youngest is sixteen and I've forgotten how to function when getting up three or four times a night with little ones that can't (or won't) sleep.  Add middle of the night sickness and bedwetting to the mix and I'm about pooped :).  

After the bout of asthma and vomiting I thought we were doing good, but then on Saturday Ellen had an anaphylactic reaction to something that I cooked for supper.  We're still not 100% sure what caused the reaction, but are thinking it had to be either tomato or eggplant.  We made a trip to the E.R. for steroid shots and a prescription for steroids to be given at home. 

Sunday, for some reason, I was totally exhausted.  Not the normal kind of exhausted, just almost to the point of not being able to function exhausted.  I had to take a few minutes just to walk around a little and unwind.  I also took Ellen to Walmart with me while Rachel was napping.  I needed to pick up a prescription for her, since the pharmacy was closed by the time we left the E.R. on Saturday evening.  Just getting out of the house that few minutes seemed to really help my state of mind. 

Yesterday I carried Amanda back to the doctor for a checkup  and she has been released from bedrest, but still cannot do any lifting, bending, squatting, etc.  When we came out of the clinic the van would not start so we had to have someone come pick us up.  Thankfully my sons were able to replace the alternator on the van that evening and it's now back home and running good. 

After Amanda's doctor appointment we took Ellen to her doctor for a follow-up on Saturday's E.R. visit.  When we left the pediatric clinic we went straight to the hospital for blood work to be drawn for a RAST test on Ellen.  Hopefully we can find out what caused her reaction on Saturday.   We then went and picked up an Epi-pen for her.  Having that is making her Mom and me both feel much better.

My garden is starting to produce a little bit now.  So far we have enjoyed zucchini, eggplant, squash, peppers, strawberries, onions, and herbs that we have grown ourselves.   The grass has about overtaken things and since I don't really have time to worry about that I just wade through the grass and pick what's there. 

Well, I guess that's about all that's going on here.  Hope all of you are having a great summer.  I look forward to things slowing down a little so that I can catch up on what everyone else is doing through their blogs :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Plan for the week of July 17

Keeping it simple!

Sunday -  Pizza

Monday - Soup & Sandwiches

Tuesday - Hamburgers, potato Salad, chips & salsa

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Salad, Biscuits

Friday - Brown Rice Lasagna (

Saturday - Leftovers

Breakfasts - fruit, eggs & toast, smoothies, cereal

Lunches - Sandwiches, soup, fruit, smoothies, raw veggies

Saturday, July 16, 2011


In the midst of all the craziness around here lately, I've still managed to do a little canning.  Thought I would share a few of our favorite recipes.  A lot of my recipes don't actually call for processing in a canner.  I am comfortable with that, but feel free to process them if you feel the need.


10 cups squash (shredded)  ( use yellow squash)
1 big bell pepper (chopped or shredded)
4 large onions (chopped)
 4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
2 1/2 tablespoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix first three ingredients well and add 3 tablespoons salt and let set over night or at least 10 hours.  Put into colander and drain.  Combine last five ingredients in pot and bring to a boil.  Add squash and simmer for 30 minutes.  Put into jars and process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. 


8 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers
2 bell peppers (sliced)
1 large onion (sliced)
1 1/4 cup vinegar
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons celery seed

Put cucumbers, peppers, and onions into a jar.  Mix other ingredients and pour into jar and refrigerate.  Keeps for several weeks.



Soak whole cucumbers in salt water (1/2 cup to 1/2 gal water) for 48 hours.  Remove and cut off ends.  Slice and put three tablespoons alum to each gallon of cucumbers.  Add enough water to cover.  Let stand 24 hours and drain.  Place back into churn or glass containers and cover with vinegar.   Add 2 tablespoons powdered tumeric to each gallon of pickles.  Let stand 24 hours.  Drain vinegar and put pickles back into containers.  Put a layer of pickles, then a layer of sugar until jar is filled.  Be sure top layer is sugar.  Let stand 24 hours.  Takes about five pounds of sugar per gallon of pickles.  The sugar will turn into syrup and the pickles will keep for months on the shelf.  I usually make mine in gallon jars and put some into quart jars to keep in the refrigerator. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Quick Update

The last few weeks have been busy and blogging (obviously) has been low on my list of priorities.  I'm thankful that we have had quite a few "at home" days recently, which has enabled me to get a few (much needed) things done around here.  As any of you that are trying to start (or maintain) a homestead know, there is ALWAYS quite a few things that need to be done :)

Anyway here's a quick update on life here at home.

My Dad is still not feeling well, but thankfully he will be seeing his cardiologist this Friday.  I am really praying that the doctor can figure out what is making him feel so bad and get my Dad back on the road to good health.

My daughter has been doing much better the past few weeks.  She still tires easily which is pretty normal when you're pregnant during a Mississippi summer.   Throw in two toddlers and it's amazing to me that she functions at all :).  

We have started getting  a few squash from the garden and have also been dehydrating some of our herbs.  It's beginning to look like that's about all we will be getting from our summer garden.  My tomatoes and cabbage did not do well.  (Actually, I do have ONE tomato plant that looks as if it will produce a few tomatoes). 

I have already been planning a fall garden and am sincerely hoping that we have better luck with that.  I guess I need to find a little more time to spend working in the garden, but lately time has been a precious commodity with many, many demands on it :)

I'm still milking daily, but for some reason the last three or four days the milk has been tasting "off".  I don't have a mastitis test kit, but I do have a strip cup.  The milk shows no flakes, the udder is not hot and feels totally normal.  The goat is eating well, is not pastured in a weedy area, has fresh hay and grass to eat and overall appears healthy.   I guess I will spending some time this week trying to figure out what the problem is with her.  Oh well, as I said before, there is always quite a few things to be done and that's just one more to put on the list. 

I did not make a menu plan for this week, simply because I haven't had time.  A precious man of God and very dear friend of ours went to be home with the Lord this weekend and I just haven't had the time to think much about menu plans.  I know that we will be eating leftovers from the weekend and will probably have a couple of nights that are simple soup and sandwich nights.  Outside of that, I have no plan.

Well, I guess it's time for me to get started with the laundry.  Ferrell is at church camp this week helping out as a counselor, so I'm trying to take up the slack.  That boy has NO idea how much he is missed :)

Have a good week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I haven't had much time to blog this week, but what little I've been on has been very frustrating.  I don't know if anyone else is having the same problem I am, but I am having trouble commenting on my blog or anyone elses.  Everytime I try to I get an error message.  If you have left me a comment, I promise I'm reading them and I usually take time to read your blog I just can't seem to respond or comment to anyone.  Oh well, maybe it will work itself out soon.

Even though my week has been busy, we have had a good one.  Monday we had a sweet young man come over for supper with our family and enjoyed a great visit.  We did not do fireworks this year, but we had plenty of good food and fellowship.  

Today, I carried my Dad to the doctor for a pacemaker check.  The pacemaker checked out fine, but since he is having some other issues the doctor scheduled him for some more tests on the fifteenth of this month.  Everyone's prayers are appreciated. 

The rest of my time has been spent soaping, cooking, gardening, babysitting, cleaning, and helping Amanda do some rearranging in her house and shed.  Life is good here on the homestead.  So how's your week going?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Menu Plan for July 3, 2011 - July 9, 2011

For the most part this week appears to be another week without many away from home activities.   I do have quite a bit that needs to be done around here though.

Since my Dad is now having trouble with his blood pressure, he is planning to call the doctor Tuesday to see if he can get an appointment for this week.  If he does get an appointment, I know that at least one day will be spent taking him to the doctor.

In addition to that, I have some squash that I need to get into the dehydrator and also some herbs that are ready to gather.   I also plan to make some more plantain/comfrey salve since we seem to be accident prone lately :).

I have a few more batches of soap I would like to get made, in addition to experimenting with some recipes.  I have also been asked to make soaps for a young lady to use as "guest favors" at her wedding.   Hopefully, the molds will be in this week and I can get started experimenting with that as well.  

All in all, I think that I have plenty to keep me out of trouble this week, even without the need to be away from home much.

Here's our menu plan for the week.

Sunday - Deer roast, butterbeans, corn, cornbread

Monday - Sloppy jo's, potato salad, tortilla chips, rotel dip

Tuesday - Sphagetti, salad, homemade bread

Wednesday - Sandwiches, soup, bread

Thursday - Taco salad, refried beans, chips, salsa

Friday - Hamburgers, crockpot baked beans, chips

Saturday - Grilled chicken sandwiches, salad, chips

Breakfasts - oatmeal, eggs & toast, fruit, smoothies, cold cereal

Snacks/desserts - watermelon, homemade ice cream, goat's milk fudge, cheese & crackers, fruit, smoothies