Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Batter Bread

This is another yummy way to use up extra sourdough starter. For other flavors search for “batter bread” in the search box here on the blog. It should be at the top of the sidebar on the right if you are reading on a computer, or if you are mobile it should be all the way at all the bottom under the comments.

Pumpkin Spice Batter Bread:

2 cups sourdough starter

1/3 cup oil

3/4 cups honey

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk or water

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 – 16 oz can of pumpkin (or 2 cups of pumpkin purée)

Mix the above ingredients until well combined.


1 1/2 tsp baking soda

All purpose or whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture resembles a very thick pancake batter that is about the texture of softened cream cheese or buttercream icing.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or a large greased casserole. Let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.

Bake 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or the internal temp reaches 190 degrees.

Mexican Coleslaw – three different ways…. Plain, Creamy, and Fermented

Sometimes your best meals come for what is lying around in your pantry waiting to be used.

Such is the case with this recipe.

I had leftover pinto beans and hamburger to use up for lunch one day this week, and I was trying trying to think of how to make it a little different or special since we had just eaten the same meal for lunch the day before.

What do I have I asked myself?

I had a Napa Cabbage that needed to be used up. What could I do with that. Well, I could make coleslaw, but traditional cole slaw doesn’t really fit with this meal, and only one of my kids really likes it.

Cross that off the list.

What about Mexican Coleslaw. Yes. That might work.

What can I put in it.

Cabbage, red onion, garlic…. The recipe started formulating in my mind. Here it is for your enjoyment.

Mexican Coleslaw:

Cabbage (green or Napa work well), chopped or grated. Grate the amount needed for the dish you are serving this week and the number of people in your family.

1 cup red onion, chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/8 cup salt for every 4 cups of cabbage

Black pepper, a few good shakes

1/2 tsp chili powder for every 4 cups of cabbage

1.5 tsp cumin for every 4 cups of cabbage

Juice from 1 lime, or 2 tbsp of bottles lime juice per every 4 cups of cabbage

Throw it all in a bowl and toss together.

Now this is where your options come in.

Mexican Coleslaw Three Ways:

1. Plain: Eat it as is. This is what we did. We used it as a topping for our Mexican lunch in place of lettuce. If you find it a bit dry, drizzle a little bit of olive oil to distribute the spices and moisten it up a little.

2. Creamy: Add mayonnaise. If you want a creamier slaw, add a little Mayo at the end and mix in. This would be wonderful on top of Mexican food as well.

3. Fermented: If you haven’t added oil or Mayo, this is where it gets interesting. You can add more salt and turn it into a Mexican lacto-ferments sauerkraut. This could be done with any leftovers that didn’t get eaten at your meal, or with the whole batch if you desire. Add about 1 tsp of good sea salt per every 4 cups of cabbage. Go by taste. It should be salty, but not so salty so that you don’t want to eat it. Taste as you go when adding salt. Once salted, pack into a clean jar, cover with a follower (glass weight, sterilized rock, ziplock baggie filled with marbles). Cover with filtered water so that all the food contents are submerged. Cover loosely with a lid. Label and date. Loosen the lid at least once a day to release any gases. Eat at any point, but allow it to ferment for 1-2 weeks or until the taste is to your liking before transferring to cold storage.

I enjoyed mine with a taco bowl topped with my homegrown, fermented cherry tomatoes (see lead photo).

For more information on fermented foods visit the Pantry. Or for a more thorough resource, I highly recommend Shannon Stronger’s Traditionally Fermented Foods book (affiliate link).

Extra Cranberries? Try this yummy relish….

Do you have extra cranberries to use up after Thanksgiving? Try this Lemon Cranberry Relish. It couldn’t be easier. It works for Thanksgiving, but I’ll tell you a secret. I made extra this year so that I have some for Christmas too. That beautiful red color will be lovely on my Christmas table.

This recipe can easily be halved or doubled. Here’s what you need:

1 package whole fresh cranberries

1/4 cup chopped lemon peel or 1-2 tbsp lemon zest


Simply chop the cranberries in your food processor (or leave them whole if you want), cut up your lemon peel into little pieces or chunks (you could use lemon zest too if you don’t want the chunks of peel in there), put in a jar, and cover with honey to 1” above the fruit level. That’s it!

Swirl the cranberries around 2-3 times per day or whenever you pass by the jar to keep them well coated as submerged. After a couple of days you’ll notice that the honey becomes more liquid as the fruit release their juices into it. You can begin eating it at any point, but the flavor is best after a week or more of fermentation time.

Amazingly this is a fermented relish. The anti-microbial properties of the honey are acting as a preservative for the fruit long enough for the liquid to be released into the honey which then allows the honey to ferment. After fully fermented, which takes about 2 weeks (more like 4 weeks if you use whole cranberries) the this will last indefinitely in the fridge. If kept at room temperature it will continue to ferment and eventually turn to alcohol if left out long enough. I keep mine out on the counter, but it never lasts long enough to bother putting it in the fridge. We eat it up.

And feel free to play with flavors. I’ve also tried adding orange and cinnamon, but the lemon is my favorite. 

This recipe makes a great jam substitute if you are trying to avoid sugar. I also use it in baking to make flavored biscotti or scones, or even as a flavoring or sweetener in my morning tea.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Birthday Cookie

The six-year-old requested this for her birthday this year. We are mixing them up now! Give this recipe a try. 😊

Cast Iron Skillet Cookie:

1 stick butter and 1/4 cup tasteless oil (I use light olive oil), melted

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Whip the sugar, honey, and butter several minutes until light and creamy (this step is important, don’t skimp on the mixing). Then mix in the egg, salt, and vanilla.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

Stir together.

Mist your skillet(s) with cooking oil. You can either use one 10″ skillet, or three mini cast iron skillets. Fill with cookie batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Bread again…

Resurrecting this recipe from the Family Favorites page today. Two loaves are about to go in the oven. If you need an gluten-free version click on the Allergy Friendly page.

Happy Fall everyone! 🍂🍃🍁🍂🍃🍁

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Anyone else going through hand soap like there is no tomorrow? Between doing more as things recipe from COVID, and getting dirty playing outside it seems like we are running out of hand soap every time I turn around. I’m glad it only costs me pennies to make more rather than $3 a bottle. We’ve saved thousands over the years by making our own soap. It works great, and feels like the expensive brands you buy at the mall.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap:

In a foaming soap pump, add the following:

1 tbsp of your favorite dish soap

8-15 drops of your favorite essential oils

1 tbsp aloe gel (optional but makes it feel silky smooth)

Fill with water, and shake!

And you’re done! And it cost you about .03 to make rather than $3.

On another money saving note, you can buy empty foaming soap pumps on Amazon, but in my experience, those don’t last and stop working after a couple of months. The best I’ve found are the Dial foaming soaps at the grocery store. I buy the pumps, use the soap in them, and fill them up again. I’ve had some of them for years. They really work great.

Apple Crumble

This is similar to Apple Brown Betty which is baked, but this is a quick, allergy-friendly skillet version, and can be made in small batches. It’s a great way to use of stale ends of sourdough bread, but regular bread works great too.

Btw, Carolyn at Homesteading Family (affiliate link) as a great Apple Brown Betty recipe.

Apple Crumble:

This recipe is dairy, sugar, soy, nut, and egg free, and can be made gluten free as well.

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp avocado oil, or butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1/4-1/2 cup water

2-4 slices of stale bread, coarsely crumbled (for a GF version use gluten free bread)

Peel and chop your apple, heat skillet over medium heat and add your oil and apple. Sauté for a couple of minutes or so, and add the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until all the apple pieces are coated. Next add the honey and vanilla, stir quickly so that the honey doesn’t burn, and gradually pour in some of the water to make a sauce. Don’t add all of it unless you need it. Add the crumbled bread and stir until coated and heated through. Serve with ice cream or heavy cream if you can have it. Makes 2-3 servings.

Gingerbread Cake Pan Cake

This recipe is moist, delicious, allergy friendly (nut, egg, dairy free), and it can be mixed straight in the pan which maximizes cleanup.

Gingerbread Cake Pan Cake:

You can certainly mix this in a bowl or a mixer and add the batter to two regular round floured cake pans, or you can grab a 9×13” casserole and a fork and get busy.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

Add all of the following into your bowl or directly into your 9×13” casserole and mix with a fork until all the dry ingredients are combined.

Then add…

1/3 cup oil

1 cup water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

Add all of the above ingredients into the bowl or cake pan and stir with the fork until all the lumps of flour have been mixed. Be sure to scrape to the bottom.

Bake 350 degree for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


Sourdough Banana Bread

Moist and flavorful, and a great way to use up excess sourdough.

3 cups sourdough starter (fed or unfed)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup water

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sugar

3 very ripe, mashed bananas.

Mix all of the above together and then add…

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp cinnamon

1-3 cups whole wheat or whole grain spelt flour. Add 1/2 cup at a time until the batter is about the texture of softened cream cheese.

Pour into greased loaf pans.

Ready to go in the oven.

Cover and let it rise for about an hour or until it almost reaches the top of the pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Internal temp should register 190 degrees.

Remove from pans immediately and place on cooling rack to cool. Makes 2 loaves.


Vegetarian (or not) Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Soup

This is a hearty, savory soup good for an easy weeknight dinner.

Start by sorting 1 pound of black eyed peas. Add to the Instant Pot liner.

Chop the following and add to the IP:

4 carrots

1 cup onion

1/2 cup celery

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Add 8 cups of water. Lock the lid on the pot, seal the pressure valve, set to high pressure, 38 minutes, warm setting off. Quick release when finished.

When finished cooking, add 4 cups chopped kale, chard, or spinach.

If you would like to add meat, add cooked chicken, sausage, Turkey.

Serve with my Sourdough Cornbread, and garnish with fresh cilantro and dehydrated Jalepenos.


Sourdough Cornbread

This Texas girl grew up on good southern cornbread. It was a staple alongside a big pot of pinto beans.

Since I’ve been doing sourdough a lot lately, I thought I’d give sourdough cornbread a try. This is based on my grandmother’s cornbread recipe with a few tweaks. It’s delicious and moist, not grainy at all. You should all try it.

Sourdough Cornbread:

1 cup cold sourdough starter

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

2 tbls honey

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

Mix all the above ingredients together. Then add…

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 whole wheat

3/4 cup corn meal

1 tbls baking powder

Mix and pour in a greased cast iron skillet 8×8 casserole dish.

Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Dehydrated Jalepenos

Might sound weird, but this is a great way to preserve your peppers whether spicy jalepenos or some other pepper.

Simply slice, spread out on a dehydrator tray, and dry at 125 degrees for about 12 hours or until crispy.

They are great sprinkled on pizza, Mexican food, or anything you want to add a little crunch to. And let me tell you, in my opinion, these are far superior to canned or picked jalapeños.

After they are dry, store in a jar until needed. I’ll tell you, I can’t grow peppers where I live, but I will buy jalapeños in bulk just so I can try them. Give it a try.