Simple Organic Dog Food in the Crockpot-Freezable!

If you’re anything like us, you want to give your precious fur-babies the very best life you can. There are just not enough words to describe how much I care for our dog-child, Lilly. We recently had to lay Johnny’s dog, Frank, to rest and it was one of the hardest things we have had to endure as a couple. The emotional vulnerability that comes with losing a pet that you are extremely close to is hard to deal with. Frank was there for Johnny before I was! They enjoyed many beach trips together, and since I have been around for the past (almost) two years we have gone to the lake just about every weekend, with Frank as our captain. If either one of us caught a fish, Frank was the first to inspect it and decide whether it was a keeper or not. Most of the time he decided he should just eat the fish right there! Frank is laid in the ground on our acre of land on the farm; Johnny made him a cross and we take him wild flowers sometimes. Through the pain of losing a family member we have made even more of an effort to live in the moment and enjoy every bit of our Lilly. She is such a light in our lives. Just like a grandmother, when you care for someone you want to FEED them. You want them to eat well. Humans have a choice, we make decisions about what we eat. Dogs, on the other hand literally eat what they are given. That is why I started making Lilly’s food with REAL ingredients in the crock-pot. When I first heard my best friend Andi tell me this is what she does for her furbaby, my first thought was; “Lilly is an outside dog, she runs around on the farm, she is very athletic and could kill a bird or rabbit and just chow down, I don’t need to make her food for her.” But I chewed on the idea for more than a week, and I realized that Andi couldn’t be more right. Dog food you find in the grocery store is packed with animal by-products and grains, this not what we should be putting our dogs bodies if we truly care about them. Even the “better” dog food like Blue Buffalo is a highly processed product and for the price of that food it’s not so strange to consider buying organic ingredients to make your own. As crazy as it sounds to make food for your dog it can seriously ADD YEARS TO THEIR LIVES. It’s also a plus that its VERY easy to do, and you could potentially make several months-worth of food in just a few days.

Frank and Lilly

Here’s the recipe! (Thanks Andi!)

 Ingredients:

3lbs Chicken Thighs

1 Can Organic Sweet Peas

1 Sweet Potato

1 Can Organic Carrots

1 Can Organic Beans (Kidney, Black, or Pintos)

1 Apple

2 Tbs. Olive Oil


Directions:

Put all ingredients except olive oil in crockpot for 8-9 hours on low.

Mash together with 2 tbs. olive oil.

Measure out 1/4-1/2 cup size servings and freeze.

In the bags ready to freeze

I recommend mixing in their regular dry food with it and gradually wean out the dry food slowly over a weeks time. I recommend doing this because switching food abruptly could cause stomach issues, so to be on the safe side don’t forget this step!

Enjoy your pup for as long as you can! Little moments make the big ones, so always be present with them!

My sweet Lilly Anne (the road was closed by the way)

 

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20 Minute Double Chocolate Muffins

I have been craving muffins lately. I am getting married in 76 days so I have been avoiding sugar but I just couldn’t resist making these! They are so simple and bake quickly! I also purchased an old Hoosier cabinet and just had to take some pictures!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup oil

1 egg (beaten)

1 cup semi sweet morsels

 

 

 

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside

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Mix all wet ingredients in  large bowl and mix in dry ingredients.

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Mix well

Grease a 12 muffin tin or use cupcake liners

Fill each about 3/4 full

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Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean

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Easy Apple Pie with 4-Ingredient Pie Crust

I don’t always make homemade pie crust, but when I do it’s for apple pie. Just kidding, I do always make homemade pie crust because I have the SIMPLEST recipe EVER! I love good food, but love good food that is made as simply as possible even more!

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With the harvest season quickly leaving, I realized two things; 1. I am not ready for Thanksgiving at all. And 2, I hadn’t made a single apple dessert. So here she is! I had some extra motivation when I visited a very good friend and left with a bag of apples that she so graciously gave me! She is a wonderful photographer and before I left her home I had posed for what turned out to be my favorite picture of myself ever. Bask in its beauty above.

I will get straight to the good stuff and hand over the super simple and delicious recipes!

4 Ingredient Pie Crust

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold water

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Directions:

  1. Mix flour and salt, add water evenly to mixture and combine well.

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2. Add oil and continue mixing by hand.

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3. Split into 2 equal parts. Roll one evenly and place in pie pan.

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4. Set the other half of the crust to the side to be used as the top crust after filling is made.

Easy Apple Pie Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

4 to 5 apples; pared, cored, and sliced

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Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Add apple slices to the cinnamon sugar and toss.

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3. Put apple mixture in prepared pie crust and top with butter throughout. Put second half of pie crust on top. Pinch edges and ventilate.

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4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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5. Enjoy!

I find that this pie freezes well and can be saved for holidays! Want a guaranteed Thanksgiving day hit? Look no further!

CHEAP & EASY Laundry Detergent!

This morning I woke up to a dirty house. I’ve had a cold that WILL not go away, and it shows. Laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, pretty much everything imaginable needs to be done. I was feeling considerably better today so I thought I would dive into the jungle and CLEAN! Then I had another thought; “Self,” I said to myself “let’s make the mess a little bit bigger before we clean!”

What a wonderful idea! So I decided to make my ever so messy (but so easy to make) laundry detergent. I usually make about 4-5 quarts at a time and it lasts FOREVER!

I started making my own laundry soap because my dad had noticed that using even the FREE AND CLEAR store-bought laundry detergent, that it was making him itch! Not good! This recipe is hypo-allergenic, can be used in HIGH EFFICIENCY washers, and can be tweaked (if you’re as into making things your own as I am).***

Did I mention it is SO simple. You need three ingredients and some kitchen stuff you already have!

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What you need:

1 bar of Fels Naptha

1 cup Super Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

Directions:

First, grate the bar of Fels Naptha (my absolute least favorite part of the whole task)

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Next, go ahead and blend the grated bar in a blender to get it as powdered as possible.

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In a bowl, pour out the powdered bar of soap. Add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Super Washing Soda. Mix with your hands to get it all incorporated.

Add the mixture into the blender a little at a time just to make sure that it is all blended well. Also make sure that the pieces of Fels Naptha are tiny enough that they will dissolve in the washing machine. Nothing is worse that left over crumbles if soap in your clean clothes.

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Once you feel that it is all blended well, pour detergent into a quart jar. This usually makes about a quart per turn.

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Now for the clean up… of the WHOLE HOUSE including this little mess I just made!

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Use 1 tablespoon per load of regular laundry

Use 2 tablespoons if the laundry is heavily soiled

I have found that this detergent works wonders on a mechanics work clothes. Oil stains, grease, and grime are no match!

INGREDIENTS:

1 bar Fels Naptha soap

1 cup Super Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

DIRECTIONS:

Grate bar of Fels Naptha

Blend bar of Fels Naptha

In a bowl mix Fels Naptha, Super Washing Soda and Borax

Blend in small batches

Pour in quart jar

1 tablespoon for lightly soiled laundry

2 tablespoons for heavily soiled laundry

*** You can add laundry scent boosters to the mixture to make the laundry detergent scented!***

Easiest Cake Ever?

I had been commissioned the task of baking a homemade cake for a church function, so I went to one of the simplest cakes I know. I love taking food and being able to just bring an empty plate home, this is one of those things.

#1 thing to know about me: I despise “box” cakes, or mixes. I just hate them. There are so many possibilities when you make something from scratch. Plus you don’t get all the chemicals and  artificial junk in there if you don’t want it.

This is a very basic and “go to” cake recipe. I LOVE IT. You can do so many things with it!

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It’s so easy it HURTS!

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter or margarine

2 room temperature eggs (farm fresh if you’re lucky!)

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla (you can substitute pumpkin spice emulsion during the fall, or peppermint for MINTer!)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon FRESH lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (again with the substitutions!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a bunt pan.

Beat sugar, butter and eggs in stand mixer, add milk and vanilla. Mix well.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat for about 1 minute until it’s smooth.

Pour into pan, bake 30 minutes.

When done, flip upside down on a wire rack.

For Icing

Mix sugar, lemon juice, milk, and vanilla.

If it’s not thin enough add milk.