Bone Broth

Bone broth is relatively easy to make and has a lot of health benefits. It’s rich in minerals that support the immune system. It contains compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline that may help to heal and seal your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation. It may help strengthen your bones, help you to look younger, give you energy during the day, sleep better at night, and just overall fee better. It’s rich in gelatin which may support skin health and protect your joints. It may also help to reduce inflammation in the body.

You want to make sure you get grass fed beef bones or organic chicken bones. You can also use any other bones you like. Conventional beef bones are full of antibiotics, hormones and have usually lived in less than decent conditions. Conventional chicken bones are high in arsenic simply because the FDA allows chickens to be fed arsenic in the feed.

Almost all the ingredients I use are organic. Only when I can’t find organic, is when I use conventional. I also use filtered water. I have a reverse osmosis water filter hooked up under my sink. That was one of the best things I have ever bought!

You want to use a stainless steel pot to make this broth. The non-stick pots can leach too many chemicals in the long simmer time that is required to make bone broth correctly. I use a 12 quart pot and reduce the last few hours of simmering so it is very concentrated.

Bone Broth

Ingredients can vary. It just really depends on your taste and preference. Since my son is allergic to garlic and onions, I omit those.

2 whole organic chickens, roasted and all meat taken off (save for other meals)

2 large organic carrots (more if you like it a bit sweeter)

2 organic celery stalks

1 medium yellow onion

3-4 large Crimini mushrooms (or your favorite mushrooms)

2 sprigs of fresh oregano (1 tsp dried)

3 sprigs fresh parsley (1.5 tsp dried)

1 sprig of fresh thyme (1/2 tsp dried)

2 TBSP organic apple cider vinegar

Bake the chickens in the oven at 450 for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Let cool and remove all the meat. I slice some for dinner, put some in the fridge to make chicken salad sandwiches for lunch and freeze the rest in a couple freezer bags. This is great for chicken and dumplings, chicken noodle soup, etc.

If you’re using raw beef bones or any other raw bones, bake in a baking dish for about 30 minutes at 350. This brings out the flavor. Don’t forget to loosen all the caramelized bits and use that in the broth too.

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse the vegetables and rough chop them. You don’t need to peel the carrots.

Put all the bones in the pot along with all the herbs, vegetables and apple cider vinegar.

Fill the pot with filtered water, up to about 1-2 inches from the top.

Bring to a vigorous boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer.

Simmer times:
Beef/Bison/Venison- 48 hours

Chicken/Duck-24-36 hours

Fish- 8-10 hours

Lamb- 12-16 hours

After it simmers fro about 30 minutes or so, a froth will rise to the top. Remove this with a spoon and throw away.

Let simmer for the recommended times listed above.

You may have to add water a couple times to keep it full but llet it cook down the last several hours so it becomes very concentrated and takes less room to store.

Once done, remove bones and vegetables.

Carefully pour through a fine mesh strainer.

Quickly cool down the broth by adding ice so bacteria doesn’t start to grow by letting it slowly cool down. The broth is very concentrated so the little bit of ice won’t make much difference.

Once it is cooled a little, set in fridge to completely cool the rest of the way.

After it’s cold, there will usually be a thick layer of fat on top. KEEP IT! DON’T throw it away! Put it in a container and store it in the fridge. If you used bones from animals that were organic and pasture raised, this fat is awesome! It’s bone broth butter and you can use it much like regular butter; sauté vegetables, caramelizing onions, frying eggs, etc.

Pour into glass jars and freeze.

Use the broth to make gravy, soups, stews, and sauces. You can also add some salt, heat it and drink it. We drink this a couple times a week especially when we’re sick.

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One Pan Chicken and Spinach Pasta

I love an easy meal to cook but I love a kitchen that is easy to clean a lot more. This meal is both of those things plus it’s so yummy and satisfying. My boys, who happen to detest spinach, couldn’t get enough of this and not once did they attempt to pick out those little green leaves.

One Pan Chicken and Spinach Pasta

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Hulling Strawberries with a Straw

A hulled strawberry is a strawberry that has had its stem and the fleshy white pulp removed. Many people think this pulp is flavorless and it can be tough so they hull them to make sure they only get the juiciest, sweetest and most tender parts of the strawberry. 

Hulling Strawberries with a Straw

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

The frosting on this cupcake actually tastes like a strawberry milkshake. It’s so good, I could eat it by itself with a spoon.

Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into tiny pieces

1 1/4 cups organic flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 TBSP ground flax seed + 1/8 tsp baking powder + 6 TBSP hot water

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup safflower oil

3/4 cup whole milk

 Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting2

In small bowl, mix ground flax seeds, 1/8 tsp baking powder and hot water. Set aside.

Remove stems from strawberries and cut into tiny pieces.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat safflower oil, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed.

Add flour mixture to bowl of oil. Add milk and mix until blended well but don’t over mix.

Mix in diced strawberries by hand.

Pour into lined muffin pan, filling liners about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for 19-21 minutes

Let cool before frosting.

Makes 12-15 cupcakes.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting 

4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 package)

16 medium strawberries (about 1/3 cup pureed strawberries)

1/4 stick butter (2TBSP), softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Cut stems off strawberries. Use blender or food processor to puree strawberries. Put in small pot and cook on medium heat until the puree becomes thick. This could take a little while; about 10-15 minutes.

Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract. Mix in pureed strawberries.

Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time mixing well and desired consistency is achieved.

Make sure to cook the strawberries down to get the water out so the frosting won’t be thin and runny. 

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Before I made these, I saw countless recipes that were basically the same and all the reviews were the same as well; blah! The recipes that had rave reviews were made with boxed cake mixes and canned strawberries so I set out to make a scrumptious strawberry cupcake completely from scratch.. and I did!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla cupcakes are my son’s favorite. These are moist and delicious!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Candy Cookies

I love oatmeal raisin cookies, but I wanted chocolate so I compromised and combined the two. There is a company that makes candy without all the crap in it and it is totally amazing. Unreal is the name getunreal.com Nope I’m not affiliated with them in any way, other than loving their candy!

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Candy Cookies

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Buttered Cookie Sheets

Most cookies don’t require the cookie sheet to be greased or buttered, but there are a few exceptions, such as baking oatmeal cookies. I don’t use the non-stick spray because it is full of nasty chemicals. Using oil is just messy and it tends to burn wherever there isn’t any food cooking on it.

Buttered Cookie Sheet

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Beef Tips in Gravy

Tender beef tips in savory gravy served over fluffy rice. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I used to serve this over mashed potatoes, but I’ve recently fallen in love with Basmati rice again. Nobody really knows what beef tips are any more. It was once most often it referred to tenderloin tips or sirloin tips which are two separate cuts of meat. Now, it’s usually any cut of meat that has been trimmed away from a larger cut. I use stew meat for this. 

Beef Tips in Gravy

Browning and then simmering the meat is the key to tenderness when using stew meat. Be patient, don’t rush it. You will be glad you did.

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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love a good thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookie. Soft, but chewy in the middle with a slight crisp around the edges is perfection. I like these even more than a chocolate chip cookie and I’m a total choco-holic! Now, that’s saying something.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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