Our Favorite Summertime Recipes

It’s summer time & the eating is….. cool. Cool as in-temperature. Cool as in- it’s so hot I’m hungry but I don’t want to think about cooking!!! So here at Homestead Blessings we make & drink lots of Mean Green juice ( some folks call it Reboot) made with cooling cucumber! Here is a recipe I adapted from the original. We try to get organic lemons & apples, but when they’re not available just peel them & pray!! What’s nice about this juice is that, depending on where you dwell, you can grow the ingredients!

Mean Green

  • 2-3 large cucumbers
  • 2 apples, medium-large
  • 6-8 leaves kale- right now some of us are dealing with thyroid issues so we are limiting our intake of goitrogens  & use Lamb’s Quarter & other Herbs instead of the kale- you can also use romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 lemon or 1 small

Wash produce & press through juicer. Taste- you may want to add more apple.

Picking cucumbers for a Mean Green Juice!
Picking cucumbers for a Mean Green Juice!

This makes approx. five 8 ounce glasses, 8 ounces of juice is what your body can process at a time. Awww! Yummy! For more yummy nutrition you can add a tablespoon of flax oil & 1 tablespoon of a superfood blend.

Pesto with tomato is another recipe we whip up weekly. Add a lacto-fermented pickle- we made these for the first time last month after years of wanting to!!!- & some cheese (see our Dairy DVD for how to make Mozzarella & more!) yum! Here’s the recipe for Westo Pesto found in our Homestead Blessings Cookbook. If you want to be super healthy soak & dry the nuts/seeds first.

Westo Pesto

1 cup Seeds or Nuts- I like to use a blend of sunflower, pumpkin seeds & walnuts

1/2 – 1 cup Olive Oil

2-3 cloves Garlic

Approximately 4 cups Basil- I like to include other greens too for extra nutrition! Lamb’s Quarter, Kale or Parsley etc.

salt to taste

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese or Nutritional Yeast (optional)

Blend the seeds/nuts in a blender or food processor until finely ground. Add garlic. Then, with the blender/processor running, add basil leaves a few at a time until you’ve added them all or it won’t blend, then start adding the olive oil (& the rest of the basil if you have more). Continue blending until the basil is well incorporated & you have a thick paste. Hand stir in the salt & parmesan cheese/ nutritional yeast. This can be stored in the fridge or frozen for winter enjoyment!

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans These are fun to grow, easy to pick & cool to watch them turn back to green while cooking!
Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
These are fun to grow, easy to pick & cool to watch them turn back to green while cooking!

Here’s another fast, easy recipe for the summer, using ingredients fresh from the garden!

Summer Green Beans
3 TBS.  Olive oil
1 LB. fresh green beans, snapped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 purple onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 handfuls fresh basil
Layer ingredients in order given in a heavy bottom pot. Cook over medium high heat till green beans are tender. You don’t have to stir this, or add water- tomatoes and green beans make their own juice as they cook. Cecilia created this simple but tasty recipe a few summers back and it’s now our favorite way to eat fresh from the garden green beans!

Read about our great adventures of a tiny garden & our temporary homestead at  www.homestead-blessings.com/homestead-blog

Enjoy the recipes & may your summer be filled with lots of fresh veggies & joy!!!





Chocolate Chess Pie


This pie is so easy and delicious! Using ingredients right from the homestead, it’s also fairly healthy.

Make it gluten/grain free with a nut crust. 2 cups ground nuts (pecans or walnuts work great) stir in 1/4 cup melted butter & 1/2 teaspoon salt, press into pie pan and pre-bake for a few minutes.

Chocolate Chess Pie with Maple Syrup
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 unbaked pie shell {refer to our recipe in the Homestead Blessings Cookbook}
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and pre-bake your pie shell.
Melt butter and pour into mixing bowl. When it is room temperature, add the eggs and whisk and beat until it has an almost creamy consistency. Add maple syrup, vanilla and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth and well combined. Pour into pie shell and bake for 35-40 minutes. The center should be set and a tooth pick come out clean when it is done.

  Read about our adventures in making maple syrup on our Homestead Blog www.homestead-blessings.com/homestead-journal


Many Blessings,

Jasmine for the West Ladies


Sorghum Cookies


What is a Sorghum Cookie? Well, first we must define Sorghum! Sorghum is a syrup made from the sorghum cane. It is a fascinating process we’ve been blessed to take part in for the past 20 years with our amish/plain neighbors. Each year they grow between 1-3 acres of sorghum cane per family. It is grown and harvested in succession, one family helping the other, so ‘ Sorghum Time ‘ is always a community event. The fields are plowed, disced, cultivated and sown with teams of horses in the late spring. Resembling corn in it’s early stages, the sorghum is then thinned and weeded by hand through the early summer. As the sorghum canes grow taller and taller, seed heads begin to develop and the fields no longer look like a corn patch. In the early fall, when the seed heads have matured, the cane’s sugar content is at it’s peak. Now it’s time to strip the leaves off, cut it down, cut off the seed heads and lay it in piles to cure for 7-10 days.

Sept. -Oct. 2010 151



Sept. -Oct. 2010 153


Then off to the press, turned with horses, where the sweet, green juice is squeezed out. Next comes the boiling in a huge vat, fueled with logs. After several hours, the once thin, greenish, cane juice becomes thick, dark brown sorghum molasses. It has a taste of it’s very own, thick and syrupy with a deep underlying sweetness that is overcome by the musky flavor of natural yumminess. Sorghum molasses over hot biscuits is a old time Southern favorite and has been used in baking for many years in the South. The Homestead Blessings Cookbook has several recipes using sorghum, Basic Whole Wheat Bread, Feather Rolls, Cecilia’s Country Cornbread and Molasses Drop Cookies.  To find sorghum click here.

And here’s what  you have been waiting for, delicious Sorghum Cookies.


Our plain/amish neighbors taught us how to make these amazing, melt in your mouth cookies. They have large families & gatherings hence the approx. 175 cookie yield! Sorghum Cookies keep for several weeks, the flavors only getting better with time, so gather family and friends and have a cookie bake! Eat some, swap some, wrap them up and give some!!!!

                                       Homestead Blessings Sorghum Cookies


2 cups butter,softened                                             8 teaspoons baking soda

3 cups sugar                                                              1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups sorghum  molasses                                     6 teaspoons cinnamon

8 eggs                                                                          4 teaspoons ground cloves

10-15 cups flour (all-purpose)                               4 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt                                                         optional: 2 teaspoons each ground nutmeg,                                                                                                 ginger, coriander coriander & ground allspice

Powdered Sugar


Mix wet ingredients in order given. Starting with 10 cups flour,add dry ingredients & mix well. add additional flour one cup at a time until dough is stiff enough to roll into walnut sized balls. You may not need all 5 cups. Roll cookie dough balls into powdered sugar, do not flatten. Place on cookie sheets lined with bakers parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8 minutes or until tops are cracked and bottoms are golden brown. Do not over bake. Remove from cookie sheets and allow to cool. Makes up to 175 cookies, most of the time for us.  These will keep for several weeks.





More on Bone Broth

Here’s some more tidbits on Bone Broth, see previous post for directions.

Bone Broth can be made out of grass fed/free range/wild chicken, turkey, beef, venison, lamb, fish (fish only requires 8 hours of boiling/simmering, some like to boil/simmer beef for 48 hours)

Bones from butchering, roasting, baking can be used to make Bone Broth (for better flavor with beef, pre-roast raw bones for 30 minutes).

Creative ways to consume Bone Broth:

Use it to make gravy with coconut flour or nutritional yeast.

Use Bone Broth as a base for soups & stews.

Use it to cook Quinoa, or vegetables.

Quick & easy- warm up a cup a Bone Broth, flavor with sea salt,  your favorite herbs and spices & a tad of coconut oil, pour into a pretty mug with a sprig of parsley, yummy!


The West Ladies of Homestead Blessings

Making Bone Broth


Earlier this week, a friend gave us some venison bones left over from butchering, a few went to the dogs and with the rest we made Bone Broth.

We put the bones in a large stock pot, filled it with water and added 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and let the bones soak for 1 hour. The soaking in vinegar water helped draw out calcium and other minerals from the bones. Then we put the pot on our wood cookstove & brought it to a boil and continued to boil/hard simmer for 24 hours. Before the last hour was up we added an onion and a couple of garlic cloves for health benefits and flavor, you can add parsley and other veggies too.

After cooling the broth we strained it and put it in a 2 quart jar and placed the broth in the refrigerator, you could also can or freeze the broth.

We drink a cup of warm bone broth a day to strengthen teeth and bones and help provide essential nutrients.

Another great drink that provides calcium and many other essential nutrients is Green Smoothies, but that’s for another post , for now check out our DVD The Art of Cooking and make a Green Smoothie right along with us. It’s on sale now! Nourishing Traditions is an excellent book,full of information on ancient food preparation, ingredients, bone broth and more    available at  www.homestead-blessings.com           Many Blessings,

The West Ladies


Nourishing Traditions