Quick and yummy lentil pork chop soup

I was organizing my pantry and found a bag of dried lentils – it was great timing because we had leftover smoked pork chops from the night before … so how about a lentil and pork chop soup?

It was DELICIOUS … our guests thought so to and asked for the recipe!   So here it is 🙂


2-3 pork chops diced
1 large onion diced
3 Tbls Olive oil
1 bag frozen chopped spinach (12-16 oz)
1 bag of dried lentils (2 lbs rinsed/sorted)
1 Tbls thyme
1/2 Tbls garlic powder
Salt/pepper to taste

•Saute onions and a pinch of salt and pepper in olive oil on medium heat in heavy stock pot.   Stir frequently until light brown and lightly caramelized (about 10min).

•Turn heat up to medium high and add in diced pork chops,  thyme,  garlic,  and another pinch of salt/pepper.  Until golden brown.

•Saute in spinach another pinch of salt/pepper until evenly incorporated.

•Add lentils and fill pot with water.  (The amount of water you add depends on how thick you like your soup.  I filled mine 3/4 full.)  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on med low for 10min.  After 20 min taste the broth and add salt/pepper to taste (be careful it’s very hot!).  Let simmer for another 40 min stirring occasionally.

That’s it … easy peasy lentil and pork chop soup!

“Fraked” chicken recipe

“Fraked” is a word we made up here on the farm to describe the perfect way to make fried chicken … fry and bake it at the same time!!


2-3 lbs Chicken pieces (however you like them – bone in or boneless,  skin or skinless)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups Flour
Panko (or Bread crumbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional seasonings: Paprika, thyme (or poultry herb blend),  garlic powder, onion powder
Frying oil (canola or vegetable)
Roasting pan

Place all the chicken pieces on a cookie sheet and season well on both sides (I used all the optional seasonings listed but a simple salt and paper works well too).

In a flat bowl (something you can easily dip the chicken into) whisk the eggs and heavy cream together and set aside.

Now it’s time to assemble the “breading station”.  Make sure the bowls you use are flat enough to dip the chicken into.  It will look like an assembly line in this order:

Seasoned chicken –> Flour bowl –> Egg mixture bowl –> Panko bowl –> Clean cookie sheet

Working your way through the the line, pick up the chicken and dust it in the flour (both sides).  Shake of excess and dip it in the egg mixture,  let excess drip for a second and place in panko.  Place breaded chicken on cookie sheet.  Once breaded it is time to “Frake” the chicken.  The longer you let the breaded chicken rest the easier it is to fry it without loosing all the breading.  (I try to prepare the chicken in the morning and let it rest in the refrigerator before I fry it for a Saturday lunch but most days I only have 30 min to let it sit while I make the side dishes!)

Fill a high sided roasting pan with 1 inch frying oil.  Place in the oven at 450°F.  When the oil has reached 350° gently place the chicken in the oil and close the oven.

Flip once half way through cooking.   When chicken reaches 170°F pull it out of the oil and place it on a cooling rack to drain and cool slightly.

Use caution when working with hot oil – I used long heavy tongs to handle the meat.

And that’s oven Fraked chicken … I hope you love it as much as we do!!

A Year supply of laundry detergent for under $13.00 and 5 minutes!!

It takes less than $13.00 and 5 minutes to make a batch of laundry detergent that will last you 12 months (240 loads of laundry).

I find it easier to mix a 6 month supply at a time … so here is what you will need for a 120 load supply:

4lb box of Borax
3lb 7oz box of washing soda
1 Fals-naptha bar
Cheese grater

In a large bucket with a lid (I use a 3 gallon) pour in washing soda and borax. Grate the Naptha bar into the bucket (it is MUCH easier to grate it using the rotating grater pictured below). Put the lid on tightly and shake to combine.

That’s it … you now have very effective laundry detergent for 6 months and it cost you less than $6.50 to make it!!

Use 2 Tablespoons per load of laundry.

Clean your microwave using lemon scraps!

Clean your microwave the easy, chemical free way!

We use LOTS of lemons around here!!  A great way to use leftover lemon rinds is to clean the microwave.

Fill a heat resistant glass container with water and the lemon rind.  Microwave on high for 8 min.  Leave the microwave door closed for another 2 minutes giving the steam time to work the baked on gunk loose.  Wipe down with clean towel … it’ll come right off!!



Once you try it, it’ll be the only way you clean your microwave … at least that’s what happened at our house 🙂

Farmer J’s perfect strawberry lemonade!

The perfect strawberry lemonade!

My hubby makes the BEST fresh lemonade.   When we had an abundance of strawberries I decided to add pureed strawberries to his recipe.  It was delicious!!  Here is the recipe …

4 washed medium-sized organic lemons (halved)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup of warm water
2 cups of pureed strawberries
Filtered water

In a 2.5 quart jug squeeze the lemon halves and drop the rind in the jug with the lemon juice.  Mix the sugar and warm water together until completely dissolved and add mixture to jug.
Add pureed strawberries and stir the mixture.
Then fill the jug with ice and add filtered water.  Stir mixture again and serve.

Gooey Cinnamon rolls using natural yeast

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Gooey Cinnimon Rolls Using Natural Yeast

Now that we have this lifetime supply of FREE yeasthomemade vanilla extract and easy to make cream cheese what are we going to do with all of it … well I’m a sucker for a gooey fluffy cinnamon roll so let’s do that first!

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Gooey Cinnamon rolls using natural yeast

  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup yeast starter (find out how to make it here)
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour + 1 Cup
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tabelspoons Butter (melted)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Mix Whole Milk, butter, and Sugar in a pan. Bring to a 180°F. (You are just scalding the milk here. If you boil it you went too far, it will curdle the milk.) Remove from the heat and let it cool until warm (110°F).

Bringing milk mixture up to 180°F

Getting the natural yeast ready while waiting for milk mixture to cool to 110°F

Put mixture in a mixing bowl and add the natural Yeast starter.  (I now switched to my stand mixer and used a dough hook but you can stick with the mixing bowl and spatula if you don’t have one).  Add 4 cups flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt.  This mixture will be very sticky, that’s normal.  Cover the bowl (I used a glass pot lid) that let rise for 6-12 hours (until doubled). After it has risen, turn out to a floured surface and add 1 more cup flour while kneading it all in.

Combine filling mixture and set aside.

Adding cloves and nutmeg to the classic brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Roll dough into into a rectangle.  Cover with a thin layer of melted butter, sprinkle liberally with filling mixture.

Starting with the long side away from you, roll the dough up towards you. Fold the dough up and close the roll by pinching it together.

Now take a pastry cutter (or a sharp knife) and cut the roll in half.  Then cut the right half in half, and those 2 pieces in half until you have 4 equal pieces.  Repeat on the left half.  You will end up with 8 equal pieces. 

Place them in a greased pan without touching each other (giving them plenty of room to rise). 

Cover and let them rise about 1-2 hours (until they fill the pan).

and put them into the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes. 

Remove and cover with frosting!


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