Perfect Chicken with Top 3 Homemade Dry Rub Recipes

Dry rubs are easy to make at home, and with three truly amazing recipes below, there is really no need to buy expensive spice mixes from the store! A dry rub is a mix of dry spices and herbs as opposed to wet marinades. Dry rubs can be made in large batches as they keep fresh for a long time and are easy to store. In this post I will share my absolute favorite homemade chicken rub recipes (at the bottom of this post), and also give you important tips on how to apply seasonings to chicken, which will make a world of a difference in the end as far as flavor goes! In addition, I’ll let you in on what I do to make sure my chicken is cooked to perfection and super juicy! The flavors in all three of the recipes in this post makes chicken taste like something you’d find at a great restaurant! They have quickly become must-keep recipes for my family as we absolutely love them, and it’s fun with variation! If you do try these recipes, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance! Why Make Your Own Rubs? Homemade seasoning mixes have several benefits over those purchased at stores: They save you money, give you variety with the endless choices available, and they are usually also healthier choices […] Read more »

How to Grow Carrots From Seed to Harvest. Tips & Pictures

  Homegrown carrots are known for their sweet and flavorful taste. They also have a bit of a reputation for being hard to grow, but I have found that carrots are fairly easy if they have the right growing conditions. A little bit of information and preparation goes a long way. Being a hobby gardener only, and not a professional, I have personally grown carrots successfully for several years. I’ll show you what I do and give you some how-to tips that can make a big difference in getting them to germinate and grow properly. First some information to help you understand what carrots need in order to thrive in the home garden, then some practical pictures to show you exactly what to do: How to seed, germinate, grow, and harvest homegrown carrots.   Important factors to be aware of Soil conditions Carrots like sandy, well drained soil. They do not do well in clay, compact, rocky, or water logged soil. They like moisture, but not wet soil that will not drain. If your natural soil is not optimum for carrots, you could try a raised garden bed and prepare it with soil that will work better. Otherwise, gypsum may help improve clay based soil. Before you sow, till or work the soil deep and well, down to a couple of inches below the debt of fully grown carrots. Remove rocks, twigs, roots etc. Carrots like loose soil with little […] Read more »

20 Favorite ALDI Products List, Quality for Less

      When an ALDI discount grocery store opened up in our area, I decided to compare some prices and check out various products. I came up with a Top 20 list of my favorites products, plus a couple other lists that I hope others will find helpful as well. In general, from what I’ve found, ALDI’s groceries are much lower in price than foods from our “regular” supermarket, and cheaper by far if compared to smaller grocery stores. Other stores can sometimes have sales that are better than ALDI’s regular prices, especially if you combine with coupons, but then again, ALDI actually run weekly sales as well, and these prices are outstanding! I think some of ALDI’s products are not only inexpensive, but downright better than their counterparts from other stores! If you happen to have a Trader Joe’s near you (known for products with healthier ingredients), check out this post on reviews of, and ingredients in their beauty products! The ingredients are looked at in light of chemicals to avoid, and how safe these products seem to be compared to those from regular super markets.  ALDI and Trader Joe’s have different owners but from the same family. One thing to be aware of is that ALDI is a smaller grocery store; some of their products are available only at certain times, so if a product is all of a sudden no longer available, you may very well find […] Read more »

Norwegian Pancakes, Recipe With Picture Guide

    Traditional Norwegian Pancakes We kids always rejoiced when we came home from school to discover we were having pancakes for dinner! Growing up in Norway, pancakes were always large and super thin, fried up one at a time in a buttery skillet. They were soft with a crispy edge around them; just melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Cooking alongside my mother from a very young age, I learned how to make them as a child, and then I carried the authentic Norwegian pancake tradition along to the United States as a grown-up. In the following pictures and with the help of my son who is now learning (and doing a fantastic job, may I add!), I will show you how to make and fry them. The recipe is added on the bottom of this post, first using standard American measurements, then a second recipe using metric measurements (ml, grams, etc.). If you do try this recipe, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance! One thing I want to point out is that there are different, very strong opinions out there (by Norwegians!) on whether or not Norwegian pancakes should contain sugar. The bottom line is that some make them sweet and some don’t. And it seems people believe that whatever they are used to is the correct way. Well, there really is no […] Read more »

Growing Tomatoes Part 3: Common Problems & Natural Solutions

  Growing Tomatoes: Common Problems and How to Handle Them Growing your own food can be fun, educational, and very rewarding. Tomato plants seem to be among the most popular to grow in that regard. Unfortunately, tomato plants can develop a myriad of different diseases and problems, although I find that despite a few issues now and again I am usually able to harvest loads of deliciousness! Even though a lot of things can go wrong in a home garden, there is also a lot you can do, and naturally so, to prevent or handle diseases, bugs, and disorders. In this post I will focus on a few common conditions on tomato plants that I have personally experienced, and what I have found to be helpful in that regard. I will not go into every disease and pest problem that can occur as I am a hobby gardener only, so I will leave it up to the experts to help you with the rest.   Tomato Hornworms  These beautiful (or creepy!) worms are a very common pest in the United States. They can do significant damage if you do nothing to prevent them or get rid of them as they find their way to your plants. If left alone to feast, they will consume the majority of plants and tomatoes, growing several inches long. That’s what happened to my plants years ago as I didn’t even know they existed! There […] Read more »

How to Make and Bake Norwegian Lefse

    Lefse is a food very much associated with Norway. With fond memories of their old traditions and culture, people with Norwegian heritage often love to bake lefse and feel the nostalgia of years past, especially during Christmas. In Norway, this dish is also served during other holidays, or any special occasion. In this post I will share details on how lefse baking is done, along with lots of pictures of the process and two different recipes on the very bottom of this page. The Askeladden Lodge of the Norwegain-American organization Sons of Norway, holds a popular, annual event called “The Lefse Party“. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, winters can get mighty cold and snowy, so this is a perfect time to get together to bake lefse! Members who have lefse griddles and other equipment bring it along, and everyone enjoys this fun time of teaching and learning while lefse dough is rolled, flipped, and baked. Then, finally comes the time to add toppings and enjoy a splendid meal together! Visitors and new members are always very welcomed at Askeladden Lodge, and to any of the many lodges across the country. Locations and more information can be found by clicking the Link to Sons of Norway, and the Link to Askeladden Lodge of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Askeladden Lodge can also be found on facebook. The generous members of Askeladden Lodge were so kind to let me shoot photos and learn from them […] Read more »

Tasty, Cheesy White Chili Recipe with Chicken

    I originally tasted this wonderful chili at an outdoor youth event with our church. This was during the month of October, and where we live it can easily get cold this time of year. This evening was chilly indeed, so chili was the perfect food to keep us warm! There were several pots of chili served, all from different recipes, and though all of them were tasty, this one by Tamie was by far my favorite! When I inquired about the recipe, I was given a link to the Taste of Home website. That same fall, with a few minor changes to the original recipe, I made a huge crock pot for my husband’s workplace as they were having a chili contest, and I gave him a big bag of shredded cheese to serve along with it. The cheese was to be used as a topping, of course. Instead he dumped the entire bag right into the pot, stirred it up, and wouldn’t you know, he came home with a trophy! Wow, first place!! This was now an award-winning recipe! I asked how many had entered, thinking maybe there were 40-50 or so, and it turned out there were around 8 other pots… So yeah, we got first place out of 8! Wow, pretty cool, huh? Well, at least people enjoyed it, so I’ll take that to heart. And we had a cool trophy to look at for […] Read more »

Moist Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe

  Banana bread has been a staple recipe in households across America for generations. Most recipes seem to be pretty similar to each other, and I find that they often are fairly bland. And there’s really no reason for a bland result. It is so easy to make a banana bread packed with flavor and moist at the same time! After monkeying around with my original recipe, which was already a good one, I made changes to use real butter, brown sugar, more salt, extra vanilla, sour cream, and more. The result has been outstanding! There is of course another major difference between most banana bread recipes: they come with or without nuts. Why some people choose to add nuts I will never understand. And of course, those same people cannot fathom that I would make mine without! Even so, nuts can be added easily and is optional in this recipe. The resulting loaves are very moist and delicious with all these special ingredients to bring out the flavors. If you do try this recipe, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance!   Moist Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe To start out, use an electric mixer (or just a spoon) to beat together softened butter, brown and white sugar, and eggs. There’s no need to beat hard, just blend together well. (Use dark […] Read more »

Improving Cake Mixes: Rise Taller, Taste Better

    Using a box cake mix is a very convenient and easy way to quickly whip up a delicious cake. I want to share with you some simple tips that I hope you will find helpful in order to make these cakes even better. Tip number 1: How to fluff it up and make it taller: If the box calls for more than 1 cup of water, I have found that it is best to use a little less than called for, sometimes down to 3/4 cup. In general, I just make sure the cake batter is a little on the thick side, because I find that the cake will rise better to be taller and fluffier. I baked two cakes side by side to show the difference. In the first picture, I added the amount of water that the box called for: In the second picture, I put in a bit less to make the batter thicker. As also seen at the top of the post, here’s the result; the piece of cake to the left was from the first recipe, using a normal amount of water, and the piece to the right was from the thicker batter. Tip number 2: How to make the cake taste “from scratch” while also making it healthier: Use apple sauce instead of oil. Yes, apple sauce, no kidding! It is healthier by far, with more fiber and other nutrients, and has far fewer […] Read more »