Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Red Hot Chili Pepper Paste / Kirmizi Biber Salcasi

Red pepper paste is a common ingredient used in Turkish cuisine. I like it because it gives a little kick and a nice red color to any dish. I especially like to use it in Bulgur Pilavi.

I keep a Ziploc bag in my freezer for any peppers that have turned red and started drying up. When I have a decent amount I make red pepper paste.

This recipe is very versatile and practically fool proof. You can use red bell peppers for a mild paste, a mix of bell and chili peppers for medium heat, or like me just chili's for a spicy hot paste.
I used dried peppers but fresh are fine too.

If using dried peppers first rehydrate them a little by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit until cool. Once cool pull the stem and seeds out. Wear gloves for this. I didn't and my hands were burning for hours.

Boil peppers (fresh or rehydrated) about 15 minutes until soft. Put peppers and a couple of  ladle fulls of the boiling liquid in a blender. (I used 2 ladle fulls for about 1 quart of peppers) Blend until smooth. Add more liquid if needed to keep the blender going.

Put pureed peppers into a pot. Add salt. Cook over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful that it doesn't BURN. Once it is thick and at the consistency you like (I like mine a little thinner than the store bought one) put it in a clean jar. Drizzle a little evoo over the top if you'd like. I make small jars at one time so I do not can mine but this summer depending on my pepper harvest I may try to can some.  Keep refrigerated.

Now it's ready to use. Spread it on toast. Saute it with a little butter for eggs. Add it to soups, pasta sauces, bulgur, anything you'd like to have a little extra heat.


I am linking up to the Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead
Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

Hadith of the Week

Abdullah bin Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects: a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for his subjects, a woman is the guardian of her home and children and is responsible for them, and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, everyone of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6719; Sahih Muslim 1829

Squirrel Rescue: What To Do If You Find a Baby Squirrel

Yesterday Evening my neighbors dog got out. After returning it home I noticed something in the driveway. At first I thought it was a little puppy or maybe a rat. It wasn't moving. I told my step sister to come over. She looked closely and yelled "it's breathing, it's alive"! She picked it up and placed it on the grass. That is when we saw the tail and knew for sure that it was a squirrel.

I ran inside and quickly checked the Internet and asked my Facebook homesteading group "what should I do"? One lovely lady gave me the number of a local wildlife rehabilitation center. I called and they were closed for the day. I went on their website,,and found some great information.

About an hour later it started getting dark. I checked to see if it was still there and sure enough it was. Me and my darling husband went talked to our neighbor about the situation and placed the baby in a small box that I had placed clean rags in. Make sure to use gloves just in case the animal is sick. I learned that rodents don't carry rabies but there are a million other things that they can have.

We brought it inside to keep in warm and safe overnight. I checked the surrounding area for any hurt or dead adult squirrels, but did not see any which gave me hope that its mama was still alive. During the night it cried for it's mama. I barely could sleep worried that it might die from dehydration.

This morning my mom said that she had seen an adult squirrel jumping from branch to branch looking for something in the tree near where I found the baby. I waited until it was light out and got the baby ready to hopefully be reunited with its mama. I filled a water bottle with hot water and placed it in an old sock. I placed it near the baby to help keep it warm.

I put the box under the tree and went back inside. After about 20 minutes I went to check and it was gone. There was no sign of struggle or blood or anything so I don't think it was attacked by a predator.. I believe that the mom found it and brought it back to its nest. I sure hope so.

How cute is that?
Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest
 This week I am linking up to the Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Frugal Accomplishments

Back in October I started my debt diet. I have managed to pay down quite a bit of our debt since then. But to keep myself motivated and focused I have decided to start keeping track of how I have saved money each week. So here are my frugal accomplishments for the week of:
April 8- April 15, 2013

Wednesday I made a trip to the Salvation Army to see what I could find for BB. Wednesday's are 1/2 price day at my local store. I found a bread machine for $7.50 and a lovely candle stick, that actually holds our thick rolled beeswax candle, for our mealtime blessing for $0.75.  I also bought a light windbreaker, 2 t-shirts and a pair of shorts for BB for a total of $5.00.

Friday I bought a $50.00 Whole Foods gift card from a friend for $40.00.

Saturday I searched the yard and basement for scrap metal. After a trip to the scrap yard I came home with $16.00 in my pocket.

Sunday was 1/2 off day at a biannual consignment sale in my area. I found some great deals. I got 3 short and t-shirt sets for BB (1 still had the tags on), 3 t-shirts and 1 pair of shorts for $21.00. I also found a washable car seat cover that I got for $6.00.

Last month I bought boots at K-mart that were marked $14.99 but rang up $19.99. Sunday I found the receipt and went to get the price adjusted. That's 5 more dollars in my pocket.

Monday I spoke to the manager at our local Gymboree about a Groupon that had expired while we were in Turkey last year. She worked with me and agreed to 3 classes for free and unlimited free play for 1 month. We went to our first class today and BB loved it!

I did do quite a bit of spending this week, but BB really needs some clothes for the warmer weather and if I were to have bought everything at retail value I would have definitely spent triple if not more.

I am inspired from TenThingsFarm's frugal accomplishments posts to create a snack basket for when we are on the go. What a great idea! I will try to get that done this week and let you all know how it goes.

This week I am linking up to:

Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hadith of the Week

"Surely, a person's degree in Jannah (paradise) is elevated and he asks, 'Where is this degree coming from?' He is told, 'This is because your children are making istighfar for you."
Hadith Sharif, Sunan ibn Majah

Istighfar is the act of seeking forgiveness from God.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rag Bag

I can not sew to save my life. LOL. Actually let me rephrase that. I can not sew using my sewing machine. For whatever reason anytime I try to use my sewing machine something goes wrong. A needle breaks, the thread jams.. something always happens that makes me just give up. I dream of really learning how to sew and making beautiful garments but for now I am sticking to quick and easy projects like this rag bag.  Actually it is meant to be a grocery bag caddy but I mostly use reusable bags and really needed a home for all of my rags.  I love this fabric. I had it in my stash for a while now and am so happy that I finally got some use out of it.  It is a heavy black and white toile.

I had taken an online sewing class where I learned how to make a French seam, which I used for the long side of my rag bag. That is actually the only part that was done on my machine. After that my machine was acting up so I just hand sewed the elasticized ends and the strap. The strap is a little wonky but overall I like how it came out.

This week I am linking up with CrunchyCatholicMomma's Stash Bash and NaturalSuburbia's Creative Friday and
The Country Homemaker Hop

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Farm Days

These days on the farm have been so incredible. I am loving getting my hands dirty everyday and soaking in the sunshine. I have been spending more and more time at the community garden which is now officially my home away from home.
My favorite part about my second home are definitely the goats.  Oh how I want one. The kids are just about the cutest things I have ever seen.

The buck, Boaz, and BB really hit it off. They were tagging each other. It was so funny. Here I am with Boaz by my side keeping a watchful eye on BB.

BB made a new friend with the community farm's farm dog Bello.

One of my main goals for my son is to teach him to love being out in nature and to instill a strong work ethic. The best way to teach him this is by tending the land. The other day I went to the community garden to work.  BB was not exactly happy about that so I put him in the "backpack" as I call it and got to work tilling the earth. He was snug as a bug close to his mama. One of the other members snapped this pic. I am in love with this picture right here. It reminds me of the beautiful, amazing women in Africa that can do just about anything with a baby on their back.

My chicks, can I even still call them that, are huge. Every time I check on them it looks like they have grown. They are now 2 weeks old. I will be sad to see them go but have another batch coming in May. I can't wait!

This week I am linking up with
Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

Farm girl Friday

Small Footprint Fridays

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ayat of the Week

"Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.''
Holy Qur'an (39:10)