InstantPotDuo60

Six Quart Instant Pot Duo © Instant Pot

My husband bought me a six quart Instant Pot Duo60 for my birthday about a year ago, when it went on sale on Amazon. I’d started to see comments on them from fellow foodies, and I thought – slow cooker and pressure cooker and rice cooker? Sounds great! (Current number of reviews on Amazon: 26,925 with a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating). This appliance is REALLY trendy right now. Whenever I mention I have one, I get asked about it. Read the rest of this entry »

ClayTestAllSamplesSome people exclusively use essential oils to scent their soaps. I don’t, for a couple of reasons. 1) They are medicinally active and you really need to know what you are doing to use them safely (see this post for more on essential oil safety). 2) They tend to be quite a bit more expensive than fragrance oils and your options are limited by price and availability (there just isn’t an essential oil that smells like coconut or pears, for instance). 3) Often times, the scent tends to fade rather quickly in your bar. That grapefruit essential oil soap that smelled amazing when you cut it six weeks ago? Three months in it now smells like, well, soap. I DO have several all essential oil soap offerings though (Lavender-Lemon, Fresh Lemon, Rosemary Mint and Peppermint, and occasional seasonal mixes like Orange-Patchouli), and am always looking for new combinations to try that won’t break the bank and will hold up over time.

When the “how do I get essential oils to stick in my soap” question comes up in soap making groups, the answer from the soaping brain trust is almost always “use clay to anchor the scent”. I’ve seen it repeated over and over and over in the last 8 years. And so I started asking, has anyone ever done a side by side comparison with and without clay? And the answer was almost always no, or an anecdotal “I can tell the difference”. Read the rest of this entry »

DrOz3DaySo, if you know me at all, you know I’m not one to go in for fad diets or super trendy detox fasts. Because, well, science. Read the rest of this entry »

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So we try to get away from the farm for a bit every winter, before we start having lambs and need to tend to greenhouse seedlings. The criteria for our destination is simple. It needs to be warm, culturally interesting, and someplace we haven’t been. This year we chose Los Angeles.

Los Angeles! Literally every time we told someone that’s where we were going, they looked at us like we were nuts, and said, “why”.

Here’s what we liked about LA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seriously. This just makes me happy.

It’s January, and my mail box is groaning with the weight of seed catalogs. Normally, I’ve inventoried my seeds by now and have put in an order (Fedco, Johnny’s and Seed Savers Exchange are my go-to seed sources). But this year I’ve been catching up on bookkeeping instead. Oh the joys of owning a small business.

But as I flip through the catalogs, I almost always turn to the pepper pages first. You see, I love peppers. All kinds of peppers. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know this. At least 17 of the recipes listed on the recipe tab of this blog contain peppers, NOT including the spice mixes. Was there ever one vegetable that was so versatile to the homestead? That has SO many uses, not to mention being a nutritional powerhouse (hello vitamin A, C, B6, E and Folate? My top two things to grow are tomatoes and peppers, but if I had to pick only one, it would be peppers. Read the rest of this entry »

IceStormSo, I’m not much into the holidays. If it were up to me, I’d leave the country the day after Thanksgiving (which is my high holy day because, ahem, it’s all about the food and company) and go someplace warm until March 1st, and just skip the whole debate about whether we should put Christ back in Christmas. (If this holiday has significant religious meaning to you, I genuinely respect that. I’ve read some really moving pieces on the four weeks of Advent this year. Just leave me out of your “lets see how far we can get people to share this” messenger messages.) Read the rest of this entry »

HawthornInFallWell, here it is December. Whew. What just happened?

I had my last farmers market October 28th. Phew. Always a huge milestone to finish up with that full 6 month stretch of every Friday/Saturday markets. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is the reheated in the micro version, as we had dinner guests when it was originally served and I failed to get a picture.

So, for years, I’ve only had access to the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain on rare occasions when we visited a “big city”. For a long time, Trader Joe’s (TJ) wouldn’t go into states where liquor sales are not allowed in grocery stores, so they were non existent for the 16 years I lived in Colorado. TJ is now much more ubiquitous (and a lot of the liquor laws have changed), but they still won’t go into smaller or less affluent communities. And they always seem to arrive AFTER I move. One opened in Spokane about 2 weeks before we made the move to Walla Walla. Sigh. There isn’t one in the Tri-Cities…yet. So whenever we’re back up in Spokane, or over on the west side of Oregon or Washington, we hit up TJ and stock up on a few things like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and, of course, chocolate. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, we went from days in the 90’s to days in the 70’s in what seemed like a nanosecond. But upon review, we did get a week of 80 degree days. And we FINALLY got some rain, after a wet spring and then nothing for months and months.

September Temps 2017

Read the rest of this entry »

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First baby picture. This is what I sent my husband when I visited the pound. “I think you need to meet this one” was my comment.

We have a new kitten! And I’ve become one of those crazy cat ladies where the vast majority of the photos on my phone are of my cat, lol. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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