Knives and Cutting Boards

Here are 13 tips when buying kitchen knives and cutting boards:

Kitchen Knives:

knife magnet

  1. You can get by in the kitchen with just 3 really good knives~ Chef, Serrated and Paring.
  2. Chef knife is usually 8 to 10 inches long.
  3. Serrated knife is for soft foods, cold cuts, bread and tomatoes.
  4. Paring knife is usually 3 to 4 inches long.
  5. Look for knives that will hold an edge - no knife can be "ever sharp".
  6. Bolster is what provides balance during use.
  7. A full tang means the blade goes all the way through to the end of the handle. Some knives have an enclosed handle and some have handles where you can see if the tang goes to the end or not.
  8. Professional sharpening is usually needed about once a year. The "sharpening steel" is not for sharpening, but to keep the edge on the knife. You should use the steel on your knives every time you get ready to use the knife.

Cutting Boards:

  1. Should be wood or plastic. Glass boards will ruin your knife edge. You want them sturdy and thick, not thin and flimsy.
  2. I use plastic for RAW MEAT, because they can go right into the dishwasher. I use wood for everything else, including cooked meat.
  3. What to look for in a wooden cutting board: Maple is the best for care and ease on your knives. Get one that is as big as you can afford. You really only need one, as it will last a lifetime with proper care.
  4. Features to look for include a carving well, juice trough and finger wells.
  5. Be sure to use food safe mineral oil on the wood when it looks thirsty to keep it from splitting or cracking. Never put it in the dishwasher. Hand wash with soap and water then dry immediately.

Essential Kitchen Tools

We all have cook books that list all the essential cookware and tools for a well-rounded kitchen. I am going to share with you some of the tools I use the most and why they are an important implement for my kitchen.

1. Oven Thermometer ~ The only way to know if the temperature of your oven is correct is to have an oven thermometer and LEAVE IT in the oven. Most problems with cakes made from scratch that do not turn out as expected can be traced to oven temperature problems.

2. Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometers ~ Do any of us really know what the A,B,C or 1,2,3 on our refrigerators or freezers mean? Of course not. Put a good thermometer in each place. Leave it overnight and check the temperature the first thing in the morning after the doors have been closed all night. Make adjustments as necessary and leave the thermometers there for spot checks.

3. High Quality Chef Knives ~ You really only need 3 good knives:
A) Chef knife - usually 8 to 10 inches
B) Serrated knife - for soft foods, cold cuts, bread and tomatoes
C) Paring knife - usually 3 to 4 inches

What to look for in quality knives:
1. Will hold an edge.
2. Bolster - provides balance
3. Full tang - blade goes all the way to the end of the handle.

Plan to have them sharpened professionally about once a year - this usually costs $2 to $3 per knife.

A STEEL is not for sharpening, but just to keep the edge on the knife. You should use your steel on the knife edge every time you get ready to use your knife in the kitchen. And of course it should go without saying that your kitchen knives are for use on FOOD ONLY!

4. Wooden and Plastic Cutting Boards ~ Never use glass cutting boards as they will ruin the edge on your knives. I use plastic for raw meat only because it can be put directly into the dishwasher. I use wood for cooked meat and everything else.

What to look for in a Wooden Cutting Board: Maple is the best for care and ease on knives. Get one that is as big as you can afford - you really only need one because it will last a lifetime with proper care. Features you can look for: juice trough, finger wells, carving side. Treat your wooden cutting board with care - never put it in the dishwasher. Hand wash and dry immediately. Use a food safe mineral oil whenever the wood looks thirsty to keep it from cracking or splitting.

5. Pastry Knife ~ Makes quick work of incorporating butter into flour mixtures for scones, biscuits, etc. I like the one from Pampered Chef.

6. Microplaner and Zester ~ These are wonderful little tools for grating fresh spices, cheeses, making zest and garnish. There are usually two types of zesters: one with holes only on top and one with holes on top and one larger hole on the side. The larger hole on the side is for making curls for garnish. Remember to never zest into the white part of the fruit because this part is bitter. You can freeze zest to use anytime - so never throw out your citrus fruits without zesting them first!

7. Silicon Spatulas and Basting Brushes ~ These are very heat resistant. I find is worth paying a little extra to have these on hand. With the silicon basting brush you never have to worry about getting those bristles on your food!

8. Cooling Racks ~ These are essential. If you don't use a cooling rack and instead place your bakeware on the stove or countertop, you are holding in heat and continuing to cook your baked item. Also, cakes will have a soggy bottom if they cool in the pan placed on the stove or countertop instead of on a cooling rack. Be sure to purchase a sturdy one to support your heaviest bakeware.

9. Cake Tester ~ I love using these instead of toothpicks that are never long enough. I have mine from Pampered Chef.

10. Parchment Paper ~ Do most of you put your cheeses into plastic baggies and toss them into the fridge? The result is wet, slimy cheese. Instead, wrap your cheese in parchment paper and then put it into the plastic bag. No more wet, yucky cheese. It will last longer too. This also applies to lunchmeat you get at the deli. I also use my parchment paper for many baking uses in the oven.

11. Pastry Cloth ~ I know, our grandmothers used to just throw some flour on the countertop and start working that dough. But when you put flour on the countertop, what usually happens is the flour gets incorporated into your dough and can make it tough. A pastry cloth is meant to keep your dough from sticking without incorporating the extra flour. Try one - you'll love it.

12. Meat Thermometers ~ These can be really helpful. There are two types: instant read and oven. The instant read is used for grilling and once the meat is removed from the heat. It is not heat tolerant for more than 15-20 seconds. These usually have a very small dial. Oven thermometers have a large, easy to read dial because they are meant to go into the oven with the meat and allow you to read the dial through the window of your oven. It should be placed in the thickest part of the meat but not all the way through to the pan or through fat or touching bone.

13. Cookie Sheet vs Jelly Roll Pan ~ What most people call a cookie sheet with the 1/2 inch high sides all the way around is actually a jelly roll pan. A cookie sheet is completely flat and allows for very even cooking. A jelly roll pan causes the heat in the oven to go up over the sides and down into the pan. If you have cookies that seem to cook unevenly, you need to make sure you are using a cookie sheet and not a jelly roll pan.

Seasoning Cast Iron Pans

Here's how to do it properly so the pores will seal out odors:

A. Lightly oil the pan with vegetable oil. Don't forget to do the lid too.
B. Place the pan and lid in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
C. Make sure you put the pan in the oven upside down. This is essential or you will bake the oil in and have a sticky residue.
D. You might need to season the pan 2 or 3 times before you first use it.

Store your cast iron with paper towels between them to absorb any excess moisture and prevent rust. If you have sticky residue, use lots of elbow grease and steel wool with no detergent, then re-season. For rust, you must scrub and re-season.

Pots And Pans

These are the pots and pans that I use in my kitchen for most of my cooking:

1. CAST IRON ~ (made in TN - there is a Lodge factory outlet near Chattanooga) ~ This is my number one choice for many reasons. It is very cost effective. It is durable and will last a lifetime. It is an excellent heat conductor. Most people today don't use cast iron because they do not know how to season it properly. Although you can buy pre-seasoned cast iron today, I still prefer to season my own.

How to Properly Season Cast Iron: Here's how to do it properly so the pores will seal out odors:

A. Lightly oil the pan with vegetable oil. Don't forget to do the lid too.
B. Place the pan and lid in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
C. Make sure you put the pan in the oven upside down. This is essential or you will bake the oil in and have a sticky residue.
D. You might need to season the pan 2 or 3 times before you first use it.

Store your cast iron with paper towels between them to absorb any excess moisture and prevent rust. If you have sticky residue, use lots of elbow grease and steel wool with no detergent, then re-season. For rust, you must scrub and re-season.

2. Stainless Steel with Copper Bottoms ~ I use these for a lot of everyday cooking. I look for heavy duty pans with a riveted handle. I want to make sure the handle does not come off! Also, a riveted handle will allow you to go from cooktop to oven (what I do with my breaded lamb chops - yum!). Copper is a great head conductor.

Microwave Care

Microwaves must be very clean to work properly. Microwaves work when short waves generate friction, which generates heat and cause the food to cook.

To clean:
Simply put water in a large bowl and bring it to a boil. Keep the door closed and allow to steam for about 5 minutes, then wipe clean. You can add lemon juice to the water if odors are a problem.

~ Never use aluminum foil
~ Never use Ziploc plastic bags
~ Paper towels are used if you want steam to escape
~ Waxed paper is used if you want to keep steam in

Food Arrangement:
~ Put big items on the edges and smaller items in the middle because the middle is the last to heat up.

Removing Freezer Odors

~ Objectionable odors in the freezer may be caused by food that has been left in the freezer too long, food that has been packaged improperly or by food that spoiled when the electricity was off.

~ Several different solutions can be used to clean the interior surface of the freezer. Try these one at a time. Be sure to rinse the freezer surfaces well and dry them before trying another solution.

~ Do not mix ingredients in different solutions. Baking soda and water might do the job. Use 2 Tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water.

~ If the odor remains, try a vinegar and water solution. The formula is one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water.

~ Household chlorine bleach may be effective. Use 1/2 cup of bleach to one gallon of water. No matter which solution you choose, rinse well with clear water after cleaning.

~ If odor still remains, you can try leaving a crumpled newspaper in the freezer for a time.

~ Charcoal briquettes or activated charcoal in an open container may help remove odor.

~ Other choices could include coffee grounds or kitty litter left in an open container in the freezer.

~ If odor-causing moisture has been absorbed by the insulation of the freezer, the odor may be impossible to remove. If the interior surface has been cleaned and rinsed and an unpleasant odor still remains, you may have to replace the insulation.

~ In the meantime, if you must use the freezer, be sure to double-wrap all food placed inside. As soon as you take food from the freezer, remove the outer wrapping before the food thaws. The odor should be left in the outer wrapping so the food will not be affected.

Refrigerator Facts

Believe it or not, there are proper ways to store foods in your refrigerator. The refrigerator is meant to keep cold foods cold, not to make hot foods cold. Always get hot foods to at least room temperature first before placing them in the refrigerator. Store your foods in shallow dishes to ensure even cooling.

~ Never store dairy products in the door because it is too susceptible to temperature variations. Butter is okay if it is in a lidded compartment that protects it from outside temperature when the door is open.
~ The door is perfect for juices and condiments.

~ Always goes somewhere inside the refrigerator on a shelf

~ Always go inside the refrigerator and kept in a carton. Use the cute little egg basket for something else.

~ Put them on the bottom shelf which is usually the coldest part of the refrigerator. Always put on a plate or in a bowl in case of leakage.

~ Usually have separate drawers that are humidity controlled
~ Remove them from any plastic grocery bags
~ Put paper towels in the bottom of the drawers to help absorb moisture and to catch any leaks

Helpful Household Hints

1. COMPOST: Need extra compost material? Ask a neighbor to save their coffee grounds and egg shells for you. Most people drink coffee and eat eggs. It is very convenient to save these 2 compost materials in a coffee can or other container. Collect from your neighbors weekly. Then surprise them with some fresh garden tomatoes or a delicious bag of garden greens as a thank you for their efforts!

2. CLEANING: If you are like me, you despise using store-bought chemicals to clean your home. They are expensive, have strong smells and if you can find the ingredient listing on them, most are chemicals we cannot even pronounce. Not things I want around my children, for sure. I clean virtually my entire home with a vinegar, water and orange concentrate solution. In a 32 ounce spray bottle I mix 15 ounces of white vinegar, 15 ounces of water and 2 Tablespoons of Earth Friendly Products Concentrated Orange Plus All Purpose Cleaner (I've had this 22 ounce bottle of concentrate forever!). Invert the bottle a few times to mix the products together and clean away! I clean my stove, kitchen counters, mirrors, windows, glass doors, kitchen floor, car windows, bathrooms, kitchen table, etc. ~ basically anything you would use Windex or 409-type products on. When you use this on mirrors or glass doors for the first few times, it may take some elbow grease to get them streak-free because of the soap scum buildup from the other cleaning products. Use a piece of newspaper and before you know it they will shine!

3. LAUNDRY: For laundry, my all-time favorite products are the Shaklee Laundry Products. We use the fragrance-free powdered laundry detergent - it only takes 1 to 2 ounces for a full load (that's 2-4 Tablespoons - talk about economical)! Most people use WAY too much laundry detergent and have residue in their clothes and their washer - try this test - put a small load into your washer and turn it on without adding any detergent. If you still get suds, then you've been using too much detergent and have soap residue in your clothes.

Note: If you are interested in getting Shaklee products without having to sign up to distribute, zip me an email, as I am already signed up as a distributor.

4. LAUNDRY: I make my own fabric-softener that I spray directly into the dryer from the Shaklee Soft Fabric Concentrate. I mix a solution of 1/3 of the Softer Than Soft with 2/3 water and spray 6 to 8 sprays in the dryer before adding my clothes.

5. DISHWASHER: Again, I love the Shaklee dishwashing powder. It only takes 1 to 2 teaspoons (yes, that's correct) of their powdered detergent for a full load of dishes. One package of this dishwashing powder usually lasts me about 6 months!

6. HAND CLEANING: Most of us do not wash our hands long enough. Remember that fingernails are dirt and germ magnets. We should wash our hands in the hottest water we can stand with soap for at least 20 seconds. If you are teaching children, 20 seconds is the ABC song once or the Happy Birthday song twice!

7. KITCHEN SINK: To make your stainless steel sink shine like new, fill it with hot water and 1 cup of bleach all the way to the rim. Leave it for at least one hour. Drain and RINSE WELL. Then use some cleanser and be sure to rinse it clean. You can clean around the rims with a sharp utensil. Faucets clean well with an old toothbrush and dental floss. Wipe the sink clean with spray cleaner of your choice. If you wipe your sink dry at night and occasionally wipe with spray cleaner, it will shine for a long time.

8. GARBAGE DISPOSAL: To keep it smelling clean, cut grease and keep the blades sharp you can occasionally run ice cubes and lemon wedges through it.

Pressure Cooking

I absolutely LOVE my pressure cooker. I use this much more often than my crock pot, mainly because the day tends to get away from me before I remember to get my crock pot started. With my pressure cooker, I can start a roast thawing in a sink of water at 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, cook it in the pressure cooker for 20-30 minutes depending on thickness, and still have dinner ready and on the table by 5:00 or 5:30!

My pressure cooker is stainless steel and is a 6 quarter cooker. I wouldn't suggest anything smaller if you want the ability to cook a wide range of items.

Important Pressure Cooking Tips:

  • Please remember that pressure cooking speeds up the time that your meat is cooked. Most roasts and items like short ribs can be cooked in 20-30 minutes using a pressure cooker.
  • Please follow the instructions that come with your pressure cooker and do not guess at cooking times.
  • If meat is pressure cooked too long, it will become tough - many make the mistake of thinking that this means the meat is not done and needs to cook longer - this is not the case.
  • If you do overcook in your pressure cooker, you can cook the meat longer to a point where it can be shredded for beef bar-b-que sandwiches or other dishes.
  • For excellent information about proper pressure cooking and recent pressure cooker recalls - please visit this site:

About Herbs and Spices

Types of Salt:

~ Kosher - is just salt.
~ Table - is mined and has anti-caking agents and iodine added.
~ Sea - is my favorite. It is evaporated sea salt and contains trace minerals.

About Olive Oils:

~ Extra Virgin - comes from the 1st press of the olives. This has the most flavor.
~ Olive - comes from the 2nd+ presses of the olives and does not have as strong a flavor.
~ Light - goes through a super filtration process and is lighter in color and flavor. This filtration process is done to increase the smoking point. Use this type only when sauteing.

Fresh Herbs versus Dry Herbs:

~ I always prefer fresh herbs when I can get them. The ratio for fresh vs. dried for recipes is 3:1.

~ I try to buy whole spices whenever possible and grate or microplane or grind them just prior to use. This provides for a better, fresh flavor.

Did You Know?

~ Cream of Tartar - is a white crystalline ACID on the inside of wine barrels during the aging process. It is chipped off and gives us cream of tartar.

~ Baking Soda - is a leavener that works in the presence of an ACID. You can test for freshness of your baking soda using warm vinegar. It reacts immediately when it gets wet. Bubbles make light and airy cakes and are why we cannot delay once a cake batter is ready to bake or the bubbles will run out of steam!

~ Baking Powder - is usually double-acting. Double-acting means it works when wet and when hot. You test for freshness by using water and looking for bubbles. It is used in doughs because of the need for handling before baking and the delay in cooking.

General Cooking Tips

General Information:

1. Keep your oven door closed when baking. Use a thermometer and look through the window. Most baking problems are caused from the oven door being opened too often and the temperature fluctuating in the oven. Always start out at the lowest baking time and increase if needed.

2. Basting meats in the oven is totally un-necessary - it prolongs cooking time because it lowers the oven temperature every time you open the door.

3. Cooking meat in the oven is just like baking, except it is called roasting.

4. The bigger the roast, the lower the oven temperature should be.

5. For roasting, bring the item to room temperature first. This eliminates crusting on the meat and doesn't lower the oven temperature as greatly when you put your meat in. Always cook roasts with the fat side up. Browning beforehand is not really necessary. Remember to allow all meats to rest after cooking. Roasts should rest for 10-15 minutes before carving for ideal juiciness and tenderness.

6. Marinades: Must have three things to work properly. Once you know these three, you can experiment making your own!

A. Oil = moisturizer. If your meat is dry, it didn't have enough oil.

B. Acid = tenderizer. If your meat is tough, you didn't have enough acid.

C. All else = flavor. Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc - these add flavor.

7. A little plain vinegar sprinkled over any meat before cooking it will act as a tenderizer. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tablespoons on roasts, steaks, etc. right before cooking. This does not affect the taste. For a delicious zing, though, try using balsalmic or wine vinegar.

Testing For Doneness

There are a couple of ways to test for doneness WITHOUT a meat thermometer:

1. Turn your palm up, spreading fingers far apart, then:

~ Press the center of your palm - this is how a Medium to Well-Done steak should feel

~ Below your index finger - feels like a Medium steak

~ Below your thumb - feels like Medium-Rare steak

~ Beneath your little finger - feels like Rare steak

2. To test for doneness, press the meat with your finger:

~ Rare meat will be soft and wobbly

~ Medium will have a springy firmness

~ Well-Done will feel very firm and unyielding

PERFECT Grilling

Remember these hints for perfect grilling:

P reheat your grill - wait until it is the right temperature to begin
E nsure best results with at least CHOICE grade steaks
R etain flavorful juices - use only tongs or a spatula to turn, never a fork
F lip the steak only once
E ach side should be grilled for about 3 to 6 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness
C heck doneness with a meat thermometer for best results
T ime to enjoy your meal!

Successful Grilling

~ Steaks should be allowed to come to room temperature before cooking for optimal tenderness. When cold meat is put onto a hot grill, it causes the muscle fibers to seize and can result in a tough texture after cooking.

~ Steaks are optimum in flavor and texture when cooked to no more than medium doneness.

~ When steak is cooked, the marbling melts at high temperature. This helps to make the beef juicy and tender. Beef with very little marbling is often dry after it is cooked. This is especially true if the steak is cooked a long time. Marbling also gives beef its unique flavor. A good steak will have quite a bit of marbling.

~ Prepare charcoal for grilling. When coals are medium, ash-covered (about 30 minutes), spread in a single layer and check cooking temperature. Position cooking grid. To check temperature, carefully hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away - 4 seconds for medium heat.

~ Leave a small amount of outside fat on the steak while it is cooking to preserve juiciness. Trim the fat off AFTER it is done cooking.

~ Season beef with herbs or spices as desired, but hold the SALT until just before eating. Salt will pull the juices out of the steak during cooking causing less tenderness.

~ Keep the steaks at least 2 to 3 inches above the heat when grilling outdoors - remember - the closer the heat, the tougher the meat!

~ When turning steak, NEVER use a fork - only use tongs. The fork punctures will release the meat juices and leave the steak tough and dry.

~ Grilling at medium to medium-low temperatures ensures even cooking. If the temperature is too high, beef can char and become overcooked on the outside before the interior reaches the desired doneness.

Beef Cooking Terminology

Roasting ~ is just like baking, except you are cooking meat. This can be either with dry heat or moist heat or a combination of the two. For Dry-Heat, place meat fat-side up, on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan. Roast in the oven at 275 to 325 degrees. Searing the flesh side may increase moisture retention. Meat may be cooked like this in a rotisserie. For Moist-Heat the meat is either partially or tightly covered to keep it from drying out. If covered to tightly, the meat will be steamed instead of roasted.

Broiling ~ is most suitable for tender steaks like Rib-eye, T-bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, Club, Filet. This is best for meat that is 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Trim the excess fat to prevent curling. Place meat 3 to 3.5 inches from the heat in the oven with the temperature set to broil. Broil until meat is brown on one side, turn using tongs and broil until desired doneness. Be sure to grease the broiler rack to prevent sticking and line the broiler pan with foil or 1 inch of water to aid clean-up.

Pan Frying / Sauteing ~ Brown meat on both sides in a small amount of shortening or oil of your choice. Do not cover or cover only minimally to prevent splatter. Cook at a moderate temperature, turning occasionally until done. An easier method could be something like the Foreman Grill.

Braising ~ This is sometimes called pot roasting or stewing. You can carefully brown the meat prior to braisingm but this is not necessary. Add seasoning and a small amount of liquid. Cover and cook at low temperature - steaming the meat - until tender. Keep tightly covered and turn occasionally to keep the meat moist. Braising can be done on the stovetop or in the oven.

Freezer and Fridge Storage Times

To help ensure optimal enjoyment of your grass-finished beef, here are the recommended storage times for refrigerator and freezer.

Fresh Steaks and Roasts

  • Fridge: 3 to 4 days
  • Freezer: 6 to 12 months
Fresh Ground Beef
  • Fridge: 1 to 2 days
  • Freezer: 3 to 4 months
Leftover Cooked Beef
  • Fridge: 3 to 4 days
  • Freezer: 2 to 3 months

Remember that the longer you store your beef in the freezer, the less vitamin content it will have when you finally prepare it.

Also, periodically check for any packages with a broken vacuum-seal. Plan to cook that package soon to prevent the risk of freezer burn and off flavor.

What Are The Grades of Beef and What Do They Mean?

There are 5 primary grades of beef:

PRIME ~ is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. Only about 2% of the beef in the U.S. is graded Prime. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime Roasts and Steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (roasting, broiling and grilling). This grade is the most expensive to purchase.

CHOICE ~ is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice Roasts and Steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy and flavorful. Like Prime, these are suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round and blade chuck, can also be cooked with dry heat, but be careful not to overcook these. Using a meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking and assures a safe internal temperature.

SELECT ~ is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juciness and flavor of the higher grades. Most meat purchased in the grocery today is graded SELECT. Only the tender cuts (loin, rib, sirloin) should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or cooked with moisture to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.

Standard and Commercial ~ frequently sold as un-graded or as store-brand meat.

Utility, Cutter and Canner ~ are seldom, if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make hamburger and processed products.

About Us

Here you will find some of our favorite recipes and beef cooking tips, thoughts about cooking implements and tools, a listing of my favorite cookbooks and some helpful hints to make cooking for your family something you can really enjoy!

At our house, we try as much as possible to prepare the majority of our foods from scratch, using healthy ingredients. Now, do I grind my own grain for my bread every day? Do we grow all of our own vegetables? No, we're not quite there yet. But we do try to pay close attention to what we eat, how it is prepared and how and where it was grown or raised. We try to eat a diet free of artificial flavors, preservatives and colors.

It is amazing to me the items in the grocery that have artificial colors added for no good reason I can see (almost everything does - check it out next time you go shopping). For example, why does chocolate cake mix need red food coloring? Why does sweet relish in the store have yellow food coloring? What ever happened to all natural, pure vanilla flavoring instead of vanillin? Why does the baby wash need to be purple or blue? What is with all the corn syrup and partially hydrogenated fats?

These are things I ask myself when I shop and try to teach my girls to have inquirying minds about. I can't help but think that people ate healthier food in my grandmother's day; food grown on their own homestead with their own hands from seeds they'd saved ~ when butter was homemade and your ice cream wasn't cotton-candy flavored.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family does.

Kitchen Helps

These links will take you to posts about various kitchen helps that I've found throughout the years that have helped me keep my kitchen running smoothly! Please zip me an email if you have any questions!

Essential Kitchen Tools

Kitchen Knives and Cutting Boards

Helpful Household Hints

Refrigerator Facts

Removing Freezer Odors

Microwave Care

Favorite Pots and Pans

Seasoning Cast Iron Pans

Baking Hints

Here are links to posts about general baking hints that will help you with your baking from scratch ~ if you have a question about baking that you don't see answered here, please feel free to send me an email and I'll be happy to make every attempt to answer your question!

Baking Tips

About Herbs and Spices

Beef Cooking Tips

Listed here are the links to posts that should help you when cooking your grass-fed beef. If you have a question that you don't see answered here, please drop me an email and I'll be happy to make every attempt to help you!

The Most Important Thing To Remember!

Portion Sizes

Testing For Doneness

Pressure Cooking

Fridge and Freezer Storage Times

Successful Grilling Tips

PERFECT Grilling Hints

General Cooking Hints

Miscellaneous Helps

Beef Cooking Terminology

Grades of Beef and Their Meanings

Left-over Roast Beef Ideas

Ways to Stretch Sirloin Steak

Contact Information

If you would like to contact us about a recipe you'd like to see, a recipe you'd like to share, or if you have a question about our ranch ~ please use the following email link ~ we'd love to hear from you!