12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food, Ranch Life

I am sure everyone has at least one person in their life who loves this dish! Holy cow do I! My whole family goes hog wild for this breakfast and really…I could take it or leave it, but…when I want to make them happy I make this dish.

This past Father’s Day was pretty special as our kids are all home now and it was a pretty special day. Our daughter hasn’t celebrated Father’s Day in over 8 years so she wanted to make him his favorite dish. Later for dinner, our son made him his favorite appetizer. The one an only 7 layer dip which he got a surprise after we devoured the beautiful dish.

Done on my Cricut…a little homemade something by everyone in the family.

The biscuits are really DROP DEAD awesome! Seriously! I have tried many recipes but this one beats them all. How do I know? Because my man adored them and said, “hang onto this one hon!” So I did!

My favorite beverage to serve, Ginger Beer spritzer with limeade all freshly squeezed with the appetizer.

Ok…a little sidetrack there with the whole plate which led to the dinner menu, which too was fabulous. But for now, on with the beginning of our special day…

Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup powdered milk
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp coarse pepper
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 cups buttermilk
Don’t forget to add the butter to each one! This makes these divine!

Directions: Preheat oven 450 degrees

  1. Whisk the first 2 together.
  2. Add sugar, salt, sage, baking powder, cream of tartar, and pepper. Mix with fork well.
  3. Cut in butter. I cut them into cubes to help. Add shortening again blending and cutting in well.
  4. Add buttermilk mix until dough forms.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and spread out using your hands. Cut out circles to form biscuits. Make them about 1″ thick.
  6. Melt 2 tbsp butter and brush on each biscuit.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Done and beautiful!

Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage cooked
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. season salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook sausage until fully done. Add your milk and heat for 2-3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle in flour stirring as you do. Add seasonings and you are ready to pour over those warm biscuits!

Eat up! YUM YUM!

This dish really is the best we have ever come up with and believe me…we have tried a ton of varieties over the years.

Enjoy…and let me know what you think!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and the gang!

COMMENTS:

Please share!

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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

This recipe is one I go back to over and over again as it is just so easy and the taste of every bite is just downright amazing! Mouthwatering in every single bite! I guarantee it!

I think you will find it a go-to too! You can use any meat really but of course, steak is my man’s fav…so here ya go.

MOUTHWATERING FLANK STEAK

Ingredients:

  • flank steak (1 lb or so) cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Liquid Aminos (so much better for you than soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp. sherry
  • 2 tbsp. sugar with 1/2 tsp. molasses (my brown sugar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. arrowroot (better for you than cornstarch)
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • jalapeño (optional) diced
  • noodles cooked to package directions
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions:

In a 4 cup glass mixer, mix amino, sherry, sugar, garlic, arrowroot, and lime juice. Whisk well. Place in a bowl the steak strips and half of the mixture. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The longer the better.

In a skillet with some olive oil, add onion and peppers. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add your steak marinate to the skillet. Let cook until brown on one side, then flip to brown the other. Add remaining marinate and veggies. Stir well then add you noodles and mix well until all is well with the soul! YUM! Serve on plate with a slice of lime, and cilantro. Oh man this is an amazing dish!

Broiled Veggies:

Simply place on a cookie sheet a variety of your favorite veggies. I used mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, (variety color), bell pepper, (colors too), and zucchini. Cubed Feta cheese sprinkled everywhere. I used big chunks from a block of Feta. I also added cool cucumbers chopped to place on top of the dish to serve that was not broiled. The cool mixed with the hot is refreshing.

Next, I shook up in a mason jar, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp Liquid Aminos, and Worchester sauce, salt, and pepper, and if you like a little kick, a sprinkle of cayenne. You will top half of this mixture to all your cut up veggies on the tray and then place in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes until cheese is brown. When done, arrange on a plate and mix in your flank steak mixture. (you can add the rest of your mason jar if you like)

Top with cilantro allllll over the top and even on the plate to add a little decorative flare!

ENJOY…my man sure did!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Ministry, Peace, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Support…Truly A Gift

Dan and I have longed to have our big equipment be covered as the expense of these machines aren’t cheap so taking care of them is much needed. Over the past year, we have been praying about how this could happen and where. It dawned on me one day our hay shelter has room either side to add a lean-to. So I asked Dan about it. He looked at it and just like that…we had an idea to use this space to “hide” and protect much of this loose equipment. Next hurdle…money. We continued to pray…

And as Dan was sharing how he would build this he asked a friend who is experienced in building some suggestions. This man jumped at not only building it but paying for it ALLLLLL as well! Only JESUS provides like this! Truly…a gift!

Men at work for the Lord

I made a fun lunch for them using my homemade hummus. A little worried they wouldn’t like the healthy eating…but gave it a shot. They loved it! Plus a full mason jar full of Truvy Heart and Hydration drink which is full of electrolytes, like drinking Gatorade but MUCH better for you. You can try the variety pack here.

Here is the recipe for the wrap and hummus.

If you are an energy drinker, ask me how to improve your health by getting the boost, but not bad caffeine. Truvy has a wonderful NEW product that TRULY is wonderful especially for those early mornings or jobs which you need a boost. Here is the product if you want to check it out. Comes in 3 flavors. I highlighted the Cucumber/Mint, but feel free to add what you like. SOOOO delicious! And hydrates as well! What energy drink does that? NONE!

Another 4 legged friend

Our little Tigger has not been back from her adventures in the wild for over 2 weeks so we decided to add another little one to help keep Mousy company. Meet Moon…a female rescue…

Sorry for the poor image…she’s a skittish one.

More to come

They guys are still at work finishing this project as rain and sessions delayed them. One thing which is hard doing big projects in the summer is our heavy schedule of kids and IS our priority no matter what else is important to get done. Working around the sessions is a must. I will post the finished look soon, I hope!

God’s blessings upon you…

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

We have an awesome board who loves to pray and serve our ranch ministry! Dan and I wanted to have them for dinner and give them all a relaxing and fun evening and the Lord sure provided a beautiful evening.

Missing the guys in this shot!

We began our evening at the ranch to have appetizers and pray. I greeted everyone at the gate serving these watermelon slushies. As each of them came in I shared about the new things happening around the ranch. We ended by enjoyed sitting around the fire and catching up before we headed to our home down the road.

We greeted our board with a watermelon slushy….non alcoholic of course!

So easy to make…

8 cups of watermelon, 1/2 cup simple syrup, 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice, extra lime for garnish, Himalayan salt for glass garnish.

Blend all together and pour over ice cubes. Serve with your garnish. Store extra in the refrigerator if you have any…HA!

Tip: simple syrup is 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of water bring to a boil and stir for one minute. Let cool completely before putting into your mixture.

We also served a simple bruschetta and fruit salsa. Keeping with the theme of summer freshness as you will see throughout our menu.

Brushetta with fresh little tomatoes.
Peach salsa and we added regular hot salsa and guacamole

Let’s start with dessert! This took me a lot of time to make mostly because it was really hot outside and the steps were tedious…but so worth it for this crew of friends. Here’s my special post and recipe.

So beautiful and I brought them out on the pontoon for our lake cruise.

Along with the ribs we served some amazing sides:

Crispy Potatoes with a Hasselback and Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 c packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayo
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped (we made 2 one without the hot and one with)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground fresh pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut each potato in 1/8 inch slices, taking care not to slice the potato through al the way. Leave a 1/2″ base on the bottom to hold the potato together.
  4. Set each potato on the baking sheet and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Roll potatoes around to coat in oil, then turn them cut side up. Squeeze the sides of each potato to open the cuts in the potties so the oil works its way through into each slice.
  5. Sprinkle tops generously with sea and pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes until slices are crispy and slightly speared, and the base of each Otto is soft.
  6. While you wait for the cooked potatoes make your sauce. Put all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour into dishes making sure to separate your jalapeño one if you decide to do that.
  7. Serve each potato with the drizzled sauce over the top. It is indeed an over-the-top side!

TIP: The sauce went amazing on with everything we served! Mixed with the ribs people were dipping and adding to their plates! OOOO so good!

NEXT…Salad!

This dish for the flavor to pop takes a smoker for the best results. If you don’t have a way to smoke, you can put on a grill on your stovetop to get the blackened look. You can also brush the corn with a mix of butter and smoked paprika. We use our smoker the rancher way…fresh wood not chips! It’s not only cheaper…but OOOOOH what a difference in flavor!

Last but not least…what every cowboy family loves…CORNBREAD served in a skillet of course! Served with honey butter and added touch but really makes it!

The only way to serve cornbread…in a skillet!

Ranchstyle Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp. cream of tarter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tbsp. shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 450 degrees
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda, herbs,, and tarter. Stir together.
  3. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir with a fork well. Add the 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir again. Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, melt 1/4 shortening. Slowly add melted shorting to the batter, stirring until just combined. In an iron skillet, melt the other remaining 2 tbsp of shortening over the medium heat. Pour the batter into the HOT skillet. Spread to even out the surface. (Bater should give you a nice sizzle.)
  5. Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and edges are crispy.

What a night! Having the meeting on the pontoon was such a delightful way to enjoy the dessert and enjoy the summer night which was perfect! Setting up the table with the little name tags in chalk to label the food and give each of them the gift of making their own herbal summer tea. It really was special meeting night. I think we will try and do this every year!

God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Many homemade sanitizers are not good…

You’ve heard! DON’T make your own! They are not the real thing! Buy only certain brands! The list goes on. And…some of it is true. But there is a recipe that does work, is very strong in protecting germs AND is better for you as natural always is.

I love this recipe because it not only uses natural ingredients but also the essential oils are pretty complementary to what most people will enjoy putting on their hands. I think you will find it wonderful too.

Make Many Bottles

I would suggest making up at least 3 bottles of this as you make it. We have them all around our ranch for kiddos to use as well as keeping us from germs and washing those dirty hands from ranch fun. I also made up some for each of our vehicles to have handy when shopping in town and in the woodshop too. I am sure you have special areas you want to have a bottle handy, so think about that before you begin. Of course, triple or double your measuring amounts.

If you have darker mason jars, it is best for keeping light out when using oils.

Here ya go:

What you will need, easily dispensable bottles, dark is best…LOVE this product from Masonjars.com

Essential oils: Blend in a separate bottle and label as you like. I put a GERM BOMB!

Clove, Rosemary, Lavender, Spearmint, Thyme, Basil, Sage.

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 tbsp. grain alcohol (find local liquor store or natural food products)
  • 1 tsp. vegetable glycerine (best to use non-GMO from coconuts )
  • 1-2 TBSP. Colloidal Silver (depends on desired consistency)
  • 10-20 drops of above oils

Mix first 2 well then add next 2. Mix again and add oils. Blend well before pouring into dispensers.

Enjoy keeping your family and guests sanitized especially during these trying times! These make great gifts too!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Smokin'

OH! What a delightful dessert this little treat is! We had a dinner party/Board meeting at our home this last weekend and this dessert sure hit the spot! Enjoying the summer temps, laughter, and friendships and of course food always makes for a great time!

I found this recipe and of course had to tweak it a bit for natural ingredients instead of canned or boxed shortcuts. I love serving the best I can even if it takes an extra step or two.

Here ya go…ENJOY EVERY SPOONFUL!

Ingredients:

Cupcake part

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter at room temperature, salted
  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 2 large eggs (one more if you have chickens who have a tendency to be smaller)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of fresh vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. half and half

Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup lime juice

Lime Filling

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

6 tbsp. sugar

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature

2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/2 cup lime juice, plus 12 thin lime slices, for garnish

1 10 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup slivered almonds or macadamia nuts

Directions:

  1. For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray silicone cupcake pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, and cream of Tarar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until nice and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk; mix for a few seconds on medium speed after each addition. Scrap the sides of the bowl, then mix a final time.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan on a rack, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.
  4. For the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the lime zest and juice and let cool completely.
  5. For the lime filling: Beat the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside. Put the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the lime zest in a separate bowl and beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and beat on low speed just until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped cream.
  6. To assemble: Slice the cupcakes in half horizontally and place a bottom piece in each of the twelve 8 oz mason jars. Spoon half the lime syrup over the cakes. Spoon the lime filling into the jars and top with the remaining cupcake pieces. Spoon the remaining syrup over the cakes. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Put the mason jar lids on each and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with the nuts of your choice and lime slices before serving.

TIP:

If you decide to refrigerate overnight, place your nuts and lime slices ON TOP of your jars so you don’t forget to add them… I did this…bummer for the guests, but it is a nice touch!

Yummy in the tummy!!

Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

I have always wanted to have a diffuser when I travel and NOW Rocky Mountain Oils provides such a thing! This little guy is so cute and easy to travel with you can take it anywhere.

Perfect for on the go or in the office!

Another great idea from Rocky Mountain Oils! I think you will find this to be an awesome addition as well as a great gift idea! I love how you can get a special as you group the perfect oils to use with this diffuser. Like the Peppermint, or Immune Strength. Both are wonderful for sinus and immune-boosting. The orange is one that is rated in the essential oils as the TOP 5 everyone should have…so there ya go! You get 3 of the top 5 with an amazing mist diffuser!

So small and beautiful too!

Love the bundle idea! Take a look!

Perfect combo to fit all the important needs to good heath!

Try it I think you won’t be disappointed!

Here is a little clip of how it works.

Enjoy the aroma and health benefits of essential oils!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

If you are watching your carbs, you know noodles are not the best option for a side dish. But have you heard about Zoodles? It’s taking zucchini and making little noodles with them turning a side dish into a healthy alternative. MAN…I love these things! I think you will too!

SOO pretty!

Ingredients:

Start with slicing 4 zucchini’s and spiral them, place in a bowl

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin oil
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup mozzarella chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Toss oil and salt and pepper into spiraled zoodles bowl.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes to pull in all the flavor.
  3. Add tomatoes and basil give another toss.
  4. Sprinkle on balsamic vinegar and serve.

Wanna know a FUN new item I came across? Give this a whirl! A company which is all mason jar related!!!!! It is so awesome! I love all the different options for tops, especially because when I make my own salad dressings or marinates in a mason jar the pour spouts are so easy to use! AND I can keep my ingredients in glass vs. using plastic. LOVE LOVE LOVE this new find! TRY THEM!

Love this New find! Infuse you water keeping clean!

Let me know what you think of this easy recipe and feel good side dish!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

Having a daughter as an officer without hesitation we support our folks in blue.

Dan and I served in the mounted patrol a few years ago and enjoyed serving the county in any way we could. So it’s no surprise I wanted to make something festive for these summer celebrations, especially since our girl is home for good!

Oh, these were the days!

I started making shirts for our ministry team and for helpers which helped me practice. I tell ya the company Expressions Vinyl is awesome! I love their videos and special help they give when something doesn’t work. I appreciate that not only for myself but for ones like you who try them I know I am sending you to a great company!

To make this shirt however was a bit more tricky because it was a layered process and adding the BLUE strip made it even more tricky. But, it worked! Using the Cricut Explorer and having the Cricut Design space to put the design together to form this wonderful expression of where the necessary tools to pull this off. I also have a heat press which I have found to be much better than the iron due to the heat intensity. If you are going to get into crafting such products, one must have the right tools!

I did the white layer first, stars second, and the red pulling the one red one-off, ironed on than did the blue by itself. MOM was last.

Material used:

  • Use the Easyweed brand NOT stretch if you have the Cricut press or iron

Red, white , and royal blue, and Black or dark navy blue for words.

Enjoy! It’s fun and make wonderful gifts too!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and support the ones who protect and serve,

Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

I love root beer but I tell ya what…Sasparilla is a whole new way of enjoying the ol’ fashion west and the authentic taste! Putting together fresh herbs to make this wonderful beverage fits into any party you are planning. Adding the good ol’ homemade ice cream to make the favorite root beer float….well there ya have it…PURE YUMMINESS!

Sassafras plant, you can smell it as soon as you scrap the stem.

Yes, there are some health risks out there due to the sassafras but like anything eating or drinking too much ill causes issues, so check with your doctor. AND here is a wonderful LINK for more helpful info on this wonderful herb and drink!

Now onto the recipe that will cause your taste buds to burst and impress your whole family you made it homemade!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Stir in sassafras bark, sarsaparilla root, birch bark, ginger, hop flowers, juniper, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and licorice.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl through cheesecloth or strainer. Make sure to squeeze as much of the herbs as possible getting all the juice through.
  5. Stir sugar into the pure liquid making sure it is dissolved. Your mixture should be still very hot so the sugar will dissolve easily.
  6. Allow cooling to room temperature.
  7. Pour in your ginger bug and stir.
  8. Now you’re ready to bottle. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into individual flip-top bottles and seal. Leave at least one-inch headspace. You can also use these bottles.
  9. Leave in room temperature on your counter for 3-5 days, “burping” them each daily to release the pressure.
  10. Place in your refrigerator for up to 6 days. Remember, this is fresh stuff so you want to drink it up!

TIPS:

Vanilla beans are super expensive right now, so I make my own vanilla using 2 beans opened up in a mason jar, and fill with whiskey. Shake as often as you remember and keep for 4 weeks before use. That is MY pure vanilla. If you can swing the bean, get the cheaper 3 pack.

If your ginger bug isn’t giving enough fizz, you can add club soda to your drink to give it that root beer pop!

Enjoy! It is worth the work! Simple really!!!!! You will knock the socks off your guests and or family!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

I am sure you will enjoy every sip of this amazing beverage! Remember…it isn’t a BEER so it can be a blessing for any age!

Your starter

Ingredients:

Just a note…this is done in liters and grams to be more accurate with your measurements. I suggest a nice scale especially if you do a lot of cooking with teas, herbs and so on. It really helps with knowing how much to take out or add for flavor. Also, I really encourage you to purchase fresh ingredients. The spices in your local grocery store sit for many months. This way you can not only get fresh but smaller quantities and FREE shipping!

4 liters of filtered water

400 grams ginger root

500 grams sugar

3-star anise

30 black peppercorns, ( a little spicy so if you want…go less)

12 allspice , whole

12 cardamon pods

3 cloves

200 ML ginger bug

Instructions:

  1. Put ginger roots into a food processor and blend a few seconds. Put a little water in to blend well.
  2. Put water into a big pot and pour ginger root along with spices into the pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, add sugar, and simmer for 30 minutes. During this process taste to see if you want to add any more of the spices. I should of put fewer peppercorns in as you can always add. Ours has a bite!
  4. Turn off heat and leave overnight to steep in all the flavors.
  5. The next morning, strain spices out into a seave, strainer, or cheesecloth. Push down on spices to get every bit!
  6. Add your ginger bug, stir, and bottle with bottles with swing caps.
  7. Let sit for a day opening the swing tops once or twice to release pressure. The longer you let sit the more alcohol content will increase. Here is a breakdown.
  • 1 day: .02 %
  • 2 days 1 %
  • 3-4 days 1.5%
Great drink for any time anyone!

ENJOY!!!!

Love deeper, sip healthier, and talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

What in the World!

Yep…just what I thought…what is a ginger bug? I love ginger. I love what it does for all the medicinal needs of our bodies. So when I saw you make a fermented bug to add to syrups or other recipes like making your own ginger beer, I was all in!

What is Ginger Beer?

This cool and delicious soft drink which is filled with health benefits. Many think because it has “beer” attached to the name it contains a lot of alcohol. Of course, like any fermented homemade drink the longer it sits, the more the alcohol content. But for most who make it including my recipe, it is less than .02%. It is not so much fermentation in the actual drink as it carbonated as it sits. A lot like a Kombucha is really good for you and can be a beverage for any age.

What are the health benefits?

  • relaxes you and your mood
  • smell enhances your mood as you sip away
  • relieve pain and mental fatigue
  • helps with depression
  • has anti0inflammatory properties to help with internal inflammation
  • anti-bacterial properties help with mucus and upper respiratory and coughing
  • anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties help to boost the immune system
  • MY FAVORITE…natural probiotic as in the formation it improves digestion, maintain the microbial flora of the gut and fights and fights gut bacterial.

Are you SOLD YET?

I was! I love this concept and easy to do. Yes, it takes time, but what an awesome drink to have in your refrigerator for any event or daily beverage. YES, it contains sugar. But much of it is fermented out during the process. It is AWESOME!!!

Next step…make your ginger bug than you will be ready for the ginger beer recipe!

Your base

How to make your bug!

Ingredients:

2-3 Tablespoons of grated ginger root

1/2 cup of organic sugar

2 cups filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Grated or cut up a ginger root. I like to have it grated to better get the flavor out.
  2. Fill a quart size mason jar with 2 cups of water
  3. Add sugar and ginger to water and shake it up.
  4. For the next 3-5 days keep adding 1 tbsp. of ginger and 1 tbsp. of sugar…shake up.
  5. I do keep a lid on the jar but you can just put a coffee filter on it and use mason jar canning ring to hold into place.
  6. Make sure to add each day and still with a metal spoon or shake.
  7. When you see it FIZZ at the top you know it is working!

Comment:

Please let me know if you tried this and the ginger beer…I think you will like it.

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

Learning on my own

Did you ever see something and you just wanted to know right away the directions on how to make it? Well, that was me when I saw the stand-up gnome idea. I love them! I think it’s because they look more alive! HA! So I explored all the ins and outs and came up with this simple way to make them. I hope it helps you if you want to try your hand at making one.

Steps one by one

STEP ONE: Getting your material

Styrofoam cones ( I tried many different ones and came back to this simple one)

Material (base theme) Cut 9″x 9″

Bamboo sticks legs

pipe cleaners for arms

Accessories for your character (like the bucket, or flower)

Beard

pom poms (top of hat and nose)

Shoes ( baby socks already made or plastic eggs and cardboard to make your own)

Pool Noodle cut 2″ thick

glue gun

Shoes were very detailed using ribbon for the laces and outer trim

STEP TWO: Assemble

Have your cone flat on a surface. Place your nose in center and shape your beard around your nose. I use sewing pins to hold it all in place before I glue to make sure it is what I am looking for.

This cone is a harder styrofoam I would not recommend use the one I have listed soooo much easier!

Next add you legs. If your using pins you can shift the beard and nose if need be at any point.

STEP THREE:

Making your hat. I used a simple gnome template and traced it onto my material. I made 2 so I could have two sided look. Placing them right sides together sewing along edges of course leaving the bottom open to place over the cone. I also use material for the edge of the hat just for fun. I sewed that first before sewing all together.

STEP 4: Making the legs

You can use toilet paper tubes or a pool noodle. I found the pool noodles easier to work with. Cut the noodle to the size you want.

Simply take the extra material and wrap around the noodle. Again I pinned first.

STEP 5: Add your shoes or socks over the pool noodles. The sticks I poke through the plastic shoe. Noodle goes around the inside of the shoe.

If you buy the socks individually they come with these plastic shoes.
plastic shoes really make it easy and fast…but skinny looking

STEP SIX: Arms are next. use one of the baby sock and cut in half. Sew up the sides. This will make a natural elbow and little mitten hand. Put over a pipe cleaner that you cut in half. Stick into the cone under the beard.

Cut pipe cleaner in half and one baby sock

STEP SEVEN: Assemble your gnome! Once you like how everything looks, start hot gluing each part to secure.

Different Shoe Looks

Each way to do the shoes comes out a little different
Here is the video on how to do this one. Fatter look to the feet.
Gnome Feet Video

Oh, I hope these turn out for you! I love them and love to use different themes. I will be making more on rainy days so I will share them here!

HAVE FUN!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

My hubby and I saw a gal making these muffins and I commented to him how I made these when we were first married. I even still had the recipe in my special box. My sister gave me this to make when I was in my early teens and I LOVED them so much I would make them as often as I could. So of course when I got married they became my special go-to breakfast muffin. OH MY, are they amazing. The only difference was this gal dunked the whole muffin into butter, I just did the tops…I have now switched…the WHOLE muffin is so much more crunchy and yummy!

ENJOY every bite… as with a good cup of coffee or tea, you won’t eat just one!

Prepare 2 bowls for dipping or should I say drenching…

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 /12 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg (using a whole fresh one is best, you will never go back to the store-bought bottles)
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
Drench that muffin!
Smother that coating!

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Spray 12 muffin cups

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and nutmeg

In a big bowl, blend together butter and eggs until creamy

Slowly add the dry ingredients alternating adding milk. Mix until all is well blended. ( I use my Kitchen Aid for this as it makes it easy to blend and add the alternating milk and dry ingredients.)

Using an ice cream scoop, plop into batter into muffin cups. By using the scoop they will be evenly baked and perfectly round.

Bake for 20-25 minutes

While the muffins are baking, mix a cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Have another bowl for your melted butter

When the muffins are done, while still warm, dip muffin into butter covering the whole muffin, then roll that buttery goodness into the sugar/cinnamon mixture covering the muffin. Repeat with all your muffins.

SERVE WARM…really there is no other way to eat them! ENJOY!!

PS…they freeze well too.

Enjoy EVERY bite!
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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life

September 20, 2020

Mitch”s INR is on the rise. It continues to show the transplant team his liver is worsening. He did get results back from and MRI which showed nothing new. His moral is amazing! He is getting out dirt biking with his sister and dad too…occasionally, but mostly spending his days keeping his house and enjoying Sky. He also starts puppy class which again will keep him busy training. Sky will be the best dog ever with all the time her master has for her!

The kids enjoyed making Dan and I a beautiful meal one Saturday night. Mitch did an amazing job on the steak and Kinzey is enjoying her skills at pie baking. MAN, we were all stuffed and enjoyed some great family time together! We also spent a day in Park Rapids for Dan’s birthday. Memory lane for Dan and I as we use to live there and owned a restaurant. Horrible time other than we had Kinzey there.

Wonderful meal by the kids! Every bite was full of flavor!

We are loving our extra time with the kids. It has been too many years apart for sure! I guess we are making up for it!

Dan’s special day!

September 13, 2020

Mitch continues to hang in there. Amazing really. Waiting for the day to receive a call for a new liver makes us all on edge, but especially Mitch. Every time the phone rings, planning on a get away, or simply filling up a day when you can no longer work. It is a difficult time for sure and we are thankful the Lord provides financial needs and of course this new little girl, Sky. She is defiantly filling his day as only a puppy can!

September 5, 2020

Mitch’s new girl…Sky

This last week has been a whirl wind as Mitch needed to go in for an MRI due to his blood work showing some signs of something going on. On Thursday he did so along with a new set of blood samples and he received a call from his transplant coordinator that his INR has risen to 28. She stated his INR is rising more rapidly now and to make sure his phone is on and be ready for a call at anytime if a new liver is available.

What to think? Really? We all sat down as a family excited yet anxious as news like this means so much. We pray daily for healing, comfort, and strength and truly we feel it. The Lord is working in all these areas of our hearts, minds, and soul. We will continue to update as we know things, keep you posted, and of course…PLEASE pray. We believe in only the submission of leaning on our Jesus through prayer. HE IS IN CHARGE! Thank you!

August 10, 2020

We have been celebrating each day we can have with this guy! I tell ya…enjoying family get away’s one day with seeing Llamas (we are thinking about getting some for the ranch one day), going out to eat, and a special evening going to Adult and Teen Challenge fundraiser for dinner. Why was it so special? Well, as always being with these guys brings us joy seeing them and hearing their testimonies, but also Sam came over and prayed over Mitch’s liver. Holding his hand over his liver and his other over his shoulder claiming healing and renewal brought Dan and I to tears. NEVER is prayer more powerful when it is spoken out loud RIGHT when you need it!!!! SO awesome! We are so thankful everyday!!

Mitch’s #’s are rising, 24 was his last test and the yellowing is stronger. But, I think he has a gorgeous tan! He’s hanging in there…thank you for praying and encouraging him. He needs it!

Day fishing with some friends

July 6, 2020

Our Lord is faithful and true and gives us hope everyday!

As we continue to wait for the liver to be available, Mitch continues to do well. He is staying active even got out wave running on the lake over the 4th! SO awesome! He also is able to take a hydration drink which is an herbal product I now sell because of what it does! Incredible really! Instead of the Gatorade and other products out there that do NOTHING for your health AND what it did for Mitch, I was sold! It hydrates your body NOW as soon as you drink it, tastes fabulous with all the herbs I love (Elderberry no less), and because of the electrolytes in the product it stops Mitch’s headaches. AMAZING! If you have a hard time drinking your daily dose of water…this will help! Just email me, I would be happy to share more! (homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com)

When Mitch has his headaches he gets really sick. So much so he vomits and is down for the day or more. So I am so happy we found a product that works!

If you want to connect with Mitch and give him an encouraging word, please email him. He would love it! You can email me on the above address and I will forward you his addy. Truly, will help him through this time of waiting! THANK YOU!!!!

June 12, 2020

A Happy Birthday for our little beaner, Mackinzey celebrating 27 years and not celebrating her birthday for 7 years…WOW! So fun to have her home!

With that, Mitch got busy in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for her and helping with appetizers and her cake! It was such a fun evening. Also…fun to have him happy and enjoying what he loves so much.

He is now LISTED with the liver transplant nationwide! His test made it so he could officially be listed. Loving life he is for sure and living everyday he is feeling well as best as he can. KEEP praying!!! He needs them!

We also paid a visit to a local assisted living facility and Mitch did all the pictures. We even got in the paper! Here are some of his shots! Great job Mitchy MO!

May 25, 2020

Today Mitch is doing great! Isn’t it wonderful we can be in the midst of a trial but have total peace in what is to come or even happening right now but totally ok with it? I love that about our faith! Just trust and obey and see what He gives us!

Mitch has a team of many people who call him weekly to check-in, make sure he is up to date on paperwork, labs, and so on as well as check on his mental health. He really feels special we can tell! He smiles a lot and has more energy since his symptoms and reactions from meds is under control.

He stays with us a few days at the beginning of the week so we can do home church together and have a family meal or two or three or…the kids hang out for more often. He then will head back to his home to take care of things there. We know there will be a day he will have to totally live here for a period of time so we encouraged him to take what he can get now and live his life as best as he can. He loves that!

He does miss his work at camp but he is hoping when they open he can lend a hand in volunteering on his good days. What a gift he can give during his time of waiting.

Mitch surprised me on Mother’s Day! He made a great meal too!

May 28, 2020

Mitch and I are headed to the cities for some tests he needs. This will give an accurate reading for the team and transplant coordinators to have him listed. He is at 18 INR now and when it reaches 30+ is when things will get more serious. OR if he has more trouble like he did last fall with his bile duct or anything else that will cause him to be listed higher. Until the tests come back I will update this again and of course, we trust in our Jesus for it all. PLEASE pray for Mitch and his strength, his faith, and most of all his morale. With Jesus there is NOTHING to fear!

God’s blessings upon you ALL!

Lee and Dan

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Ranch Life

Oh boy, this was a stretch for me! Yep, not a fan of jarring jam but I really love homemade things where I can choose the amount of sugar and of course the natural ingredients that surround us. Like dandelions! Why I love these cuties so much…look below.

Aren’t dandelions just so pretty to see? All those shiny, yellow balls of sunshine around in the spring makes me smile every time I see a field of them. Especially when I am in the midst of them picking away for dandelion syrup, dried leaves for my salad, fresh too, and of course jam. But I wasn’t familiar with how to do it so of course, some experimenting going on.

So cute these little jam jars I kept from a stay at a fancy hotel

One important step is to prepare your jars and lids. I do this ahead of time. Put them in a water bath to sterilize and of course, be nice and hot when you are ready to pour in your delightful jam.

Preparing jars and lids

Next is prepping your dandelions. Make sure you get all the green out at least as much as possible. I use my thumb and pointer finger and rub the end of the flower to release the yellow head and not get any green. It works pretty well. My little helper daughter had a hard time, but after the first cup or two she got the hang of it. AND then… didn’t want to help anymore! Save the leftover dandelion stems for your ranch or farm animals. They will LOVE you for it!

Rebel!
My other competition…he gets the leftovers too!

After you get the dandelions into a bowl you need to steep them for at least 12 hours to really help with the flavor. Just boil 4 1/2 cups of water and when it is at a boil, pour over your prepared dandelions. Now…you will be ready to start your jam. Look below for each step so you know in advance what you can prep.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups dandelions
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. pectin powder Pomona’s Brand comes with calcium water to help use less sugar)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. citric acid
  • 4 1/4 tsp. calcium water

Instructions:

  • Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil and pour over your dandelions. Allow to steep for 12-24 hours.
  • Drain your tea through a strainer making sure as much tea is out as possible. Place tea in Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  • Mix sugar and pectin powder well
  • While the tea is heating, add lemon juice, calcium water, and citric acid. Make sure it dissolves well.
  • Once the tea is at a boil, slowly add your sugar and pectin mixture. Stir and make sure once again everything is dissolved. Skim off any foam. You don’t have to get every little bit, but what you can.
  • Allow to once again turn to a boil. Remove from heat
  • Ladle the mixture into prepared jars. Wipe rims, place lids and bands on.
  • Once again put jars int a water bath which is at a boil and let sit for 10 minutes. Longer if you are at high altitude.
  • Let sit for 12-24 hours to set.

Did you have fun yet? I tell you, it is a process and the first time they were still liquid. I waited for 48 hours and had to add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp. of pectin dumping all the jars back into the pot. Brought them to a boil for 10 minutes and once again canned them up repeating that process. It was worth it! They turned out! And they taste delicious!

Yummy treat!

I made some homemade graham crackers and served them with this jelly for a snack. It was a treat!

Enjoy and God’s blessings as you live like a pioneer!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

WHY DANDELIONS ARE SO WONDERFUL:

This sweet flower is an important medicinal herb. Did you know that? The whole flower and especially leaves are wonderful! Just look at this list!

  • good source of calcium and Vitamin K
  • helps with bone loss hence the above
  • the fiber in the root which is helpful for bone loss as well as gut health improving digestion and constipation
  • full of potent antioxidants
  • helps fight inflammation
  • may reduce cholesterol
  • helps fight sugar cravings
  • may lower blood pressure
  • helps aid in healthy liver
  • may aid in weight loss
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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

I am not totally doing Keto as I do have my occasional grain and fruit but I try and follow the EXTRA goodies in special recipes. This recipe took some tweaking because for one it was SUPER sticky to work with and I also added gluten-free flour to help make the dough roll out well. I think you will find it awesome as well and feel good about making a smores or two!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 6 tbsp. pure maple syrup or Lakanto sugar-free sugar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1 pinch of Himalayan salt

Have 1 cup of Gluten Free flour to add if it’s sticky when combining

Directions:

  • Preheat oven 325 degrees
  • Combine all dry ingredients into a large glass bowl
  • Add beaten eggs and stir
  • Add remaining wet ingredients
  • As you mix together if it is not forming well into a dough add 1/4 cup at a time of the gluten-free flour to help it combine. Once it forms a ball place on parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes
  • Remove dough and place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll out to 1/8″ thick. You should be able to peel off the top parchment without any stickiness. Place on a baking sheet
  • Using a pizza cutter cut into squares. Sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon on top if you like. Make sure to take a fork and poke holes in each square.
  • Place in oven and cook 15-20 minutes. Enjoy the amazing aroma and eating them without too much guilt!
  • I waited 10-15 minutes to let them cool before I broke them apart. It’s hard though they taste great warm!!!! AND serve with a homemade Dandelion Jam! OHHHH SOOO GOOD!!!
They are so yummy and in-between some 80% Cocoa bar and a marshmallow…well…what a treat!

Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, The Boys

No Kids…gettin’ itchy to help

Under normal circumstances we would be buzzing around the ranch with kids, adult groups from a local addiction program, and workhorses doing chores and helping where they can. But with this pandemic things are different. The ranch is quiet. The gardens buckets and decor are barren due to low funds to not fill with beautiful colored flowers and with little rain it’s even dusty like a ghost town. Our ranch is set up to look like a mini western town and I told my husband a tumbleweed floating by would be a perfect scene. I was feeling a bit like we aren’t doing enough to what the Lord has blessed us with.

Tumbleweeds are pretty even though they are dry and dusty

Change of attitude brings joy

I had a zoom meeting with other ministries like ours where we get together now and then to share ideas. It has been swimming in my mind to take the horses to places to help cheer up folks and one of those places is a retired home or assisted living place. I was holding back due to the illness attacks specifically for this group and truly was afraid to go. I was allowing some lies to be in my mind that simply were just holding back the obvious. These folks no matter what needed to be loved on. We could take all our precautions along with us and just let go of the reins and GO! SO…we did…just that…and guess what? It blessed a lot more than just the residents!

Oh the joy of touch!
Giving the boys a treat

Pure Delight!

We also decided to invite one of our students who comes to the ranch on regular bases. This was a much-needed activity for her to be a part of as she has suffered from many difficult trials. I tell you, watching her interact and be a part of this day was so amazing! For a teenager to give and be focused on others as well as see their hardships and how they smile right through them was such a great life lesson.

The horses were perky as the winds gusted to 30 miles an hour and of course wind and horses can always be a challenge. But they handled the noises, wheelchairs, walkers, flying kites, and different surroundings like champs! They enjoyed showing off their stuff and Bokoda even took a bow at the end.

So precious!

Each horse was painted with a word and a verse that was associated with the word.

Our student loved this art part!

Our demo focused on the love of Jesus and the message of hope especially during such trialed times as this virus. Wearing our bandana’s, looking like we just robbed a bank from the Wild West, we shared the message of our Savior who knows all our fears and sees all our tears. Such a delight to see their nods and responding, “beautiful”.

Dan demoing
The crew!

I went into this knowing the elderly would be blessed but as always when the Lord puts something on my heart to move, I am the one blessed! He says in His Word, “it is more blessed to give than receive” yet we all received so much love and joy from both the residents as well as the staff.

Indeed it was a wonderful day in the midst of such difficult times.

You are loved!

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Oh my is this soup amazing! If you are watching your weight or at least trying to eat healthier, this is for you and your family! It is supposed to have potatoes in it but I substituted cauliflower instead as we really don’t eat potatoes that much anymore. You can see a report on its effects here.

Flavor just dances in your tastebuds! Even the next day it is delightful.

Hope you like it as much as my family did.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped up
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 tsp. chicken boullion powder
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 lb cooked bacon

Directions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven, combine cauliflower, water, chicken bouillon, and garlic; bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered, until cauliflower is tender, 12-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in large cast iron pan, cook sausage and mushrooms over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles, 5-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon drain onto paper towels and pat dry really well to get as much grease out as possible
  3. Add sausage and mushrooms to cauliflower mixture; return to a boil. reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes or so. add your milk, sour cream, and pepper; heat another 10 minutes. Serve with bacon.
I was so excited to eat this I forgot to add a sprinkle of basil on top!

So wonderful…let me know if you tried it!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, eat well,

Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating

Trying a new recipe is always a little risky especially when it doesn’t have the ingredients in it you think will add flavor. I know I recently tried cauliflower rice and it was downright disgusting! It was just cauliflower bits and had a flavor that was so icky. I learned just by FRESH every time and you can’t lose.

So this recipe I tried and even my hubby enjoyed it. No broth or store bought canned broth which means you will need to add salt to taste. The cilantro FRESH is a must for a garnish. It really adds to the flavor.

Hope you find it as enjoyable as we did! It’s May and it’s snowing out! 3″ so far…YUK so soup was a highlight of our day. Who knew? Soup in May!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium purple onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken up and chopped
  • 32 oz water
  • 1 tsp. of sea salt (more for taste if you like)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Minced fresh cilantro, garnish

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook and stir until softened, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add Curry powder; cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add cauliflower and water. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; cook covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in coconut milk; cook an additional minute.
  5. Remove from heat; cool slightly and puree in a blender. (you can skip the puree part and just serve chunkier)
  6. Serve in a bowl and garnish with cilantro.

Yummy to the tummy!

Let me know if you tried it! Comment below.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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