Bone Broth in the Pot

I don’t like to throw away poultry bones before sucking them dry of all goodness. Bone broth is incredible wholesome and so easy to make, it makes sense to cook the bones before discarding them.

  1. After a turkey or chicken has been plucked clean of meat put it in a pot.
  2. Cover the bones with water.
  3. Simmer, covered, for 12-24 hours on low on a stovetop, or in an instant pot for 2-3 hours.
  4. Cool the broth to room temperature.
  5. Strain out the bones with a colander. I usually wrap a Ziploc back around the bas of the colander to catch the broth as I strain. Then I zip up the bag and lay it flat in the freezer.
  6. The bone broth can be easily thawed by running the bag under hot water.

Uses: Soups, stews, rice, casseroles, any time a can of broth is needed. When we are struggling with illness in our home, I pull out a package of stock, add lots of garlic and some salt, keep it warm in a pot and sip on it all day.

Why make instead of buy?

1) Using the bones is not wasteful. Not being wasteful is a form of gratitude. When we are ungrateful for something, we tend to treat it with disregard, as though it is- easy come and easy go. If we appreciate something, we will not cast it aside easily. There are times in life I am unable to cook up the bones from a bird. It makes me a little sad, because I feel as though I am pouring a half gallon of amazing stock in the trash, but I also know that it is not with ingratitude that I do not cook up bones, so it is okay to move on from those sad thoughts.

2) It is in a way, free broth! One chicken, depending on its size, makes about 4-8 quarts of broth. Making one’s own broth is a sensible way to save money. A can of similar quality broth can run up three dollars and up…if it can even be found.

3) Stock made with bones contains collagen which helps nourish our body’s bones, easing and even preventing arthritis and bone loss. Collagen is good for skin, hair, and nails too. Minerals and collagen found in home-made bone stock are much higher than most store bought versions of stock. A good stock will be so think with collagen, it will gelatinize in the fridge. Very few store-bought stocks can claim that.

Honey Cough Chews

1 1/2 Cups honey

1 T. Powdered Ginger

1-2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper (This can be skipped for little ones who are sensitive to spices, but it is very helpful to relieve congestion if one can take the heat)

This is a candy making process, so I do not recommend doubling the recipe and I also recommend keeping the measurements and temperatures as precise as possible to avoid over cooking or undercooking.

  1. In a large, heavy pot, ON MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT, Cook all the ingredients to a soft crack (185F/140C on a candy thermometer) It is important to cut the heat immediately as soon as the temperature is reached. There is a fine line between making perfect candy and overcooking.
  2. Line an edged pan with parchment paper. (I use a jelly roll pan, but a 9×13 works fine too).
  3. As soon as the honey and spices have reached the 185 mark, remove from heat and dump into prepared pan.
  4. Do not touch it for a good 15 minutes. It is incredibly hot and can burn skin easily.
  5. Once the honey has cooled to where it can be touched, wash hands, but do not dry them. With wet hands, gently pick up the honey and begin to play with it…stretch, twist, pull, wrap. This is the same method used to make pulled taffy.
  6. For the next 10-15 minutes pull the honey, twist it, pull, it. Wet or oil hands as needed to prevent sticking to hands. It will start to change in color as air bubbles are put inside the honey.
  7. Once the honey is looking whitish and opaque, and cool to touch make a long rope out of it and lay it on the parchment paper.
  8. Use scissors to cut the candy into 1 1/2 inch logs.
  9. Wrap each piece in rectangles of parchment paper.
  10. These MUST be stored in an airtight container or they will get sticky. A jar or Ziploc bag work fine. They will last indefinitely, and can be kept in the family medicine cupboard to be used as needed.

Honey is a scientifically proven cough remedy. It also acts as an expectorant, so the cough is not only tamed, but the mucus is loosened and allowed to drain or be coughed up with less restriction. Honey sooths the throat. And honey has no side affects, unlike traditional cough medications.

Ginger helps ease a cough and reduces bodily-including sinus sand chest -inflammation.

Cayenne Pepper-a little spice gets the nose running right? I love cayenne pepper for its slow burning heat, and yes, it does help drainage and interestingly soothes sore throats too!

When my children were still toddlers, their pediatrician told me not to use cough syrups at all, but recommended honey whenever they got a cold. I can personally attest to the healing powers of honey. I like that I don’t have to even wait for it wo work, but feel results immediately.

I use honey a lot during illnesses. I add honey to tea, give the children honey-sticks, and even make these honey chews to help with healing and discomfort. I also make A Healing Punch to help speed up healing as noted in another post.

A Healing Punch

Vitamin C crystals (Well known to heal the body, but are quickly excreted and must be constantly taken throughout a day to be most helpful)

Baobab powder (highest antioxidant in any known fruit)(Also has potassium which helps prevent muscle cramps from fluid loss during fevers)

Matcha Tea Powder (it is like concentrated green tea, but it naturally calms the body without making it tired. Contains EGCG which prevents the growth of many viruses and bacteria)

Stevia (Since Sugar can slow down or prevent healing, to sweeten home-made drinks, I rely heavily on stevia. I buy it in powdered form, but it can be purchased in liquid as well)

D3K2 Liquid (My chiropractor hooked me on liquid D vitamins. Adding K2 to D vitamins helps in the absorbency of D. Studies show that people with low D in their systems heal slower than those who have enough D. D is important in daily life, but more important in those who are sick)

Natural Extracts (I have an inspirational lazy-susan full of natural extracts. I use them to flavor coffee, milk, and make my own cold drinks. I have found an brand called “Olive Nation” to have the best flavor for the money, but will purchase from other sellers as well. I generally stick to extracts which are water based flavors, oil based flavors work well in cooking, but don’t mix well in most drinks)

Salt (a small bit of salt helps restore electrolytes, similar to Pedialyte or Gatorade. This is especially helpful if a lot of water has been lost due to a high fever)(I like to use pink salt or sea salt, rather than an ionized salt)

Healing Punch

  • 2 teaspoons Vitamin C Crystals
  • 1 teaspoon Baobab Powder
  • 1 teaspoons matcha tea powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia (this is a lot for stevia, but vitamin C is so acidic, it is needed-more can even be added if one finds 1 t. to be too tart.)
  • 5 drops Liquid D3K2
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
    ice as desired
  • 1. Mix ingredients together and sip slowly throughout a morning or afternoon. Do not guzzle down. It is actually most effective if taken in slowly as the nutrients are given time to absorb into the body, without flooding the system.
  • 2. Experimenting with different extracts is fun too.

Lentil Sausage and Pepper Stew

Stew Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onions finely diced
  • 5 peeled and diced cloves garlic
  • 1 peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 3 sweet peppers (any color) julienned
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 lb. cooked turkey sausage (Check out this amazing recipe)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt (may need more to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  1. Start by making the thickened stew, with sautéing the diced onion, garlic, and sweet potato in a saucepan or instant pot with oil.
  2. Drizzle olive oil lightly over julienned peppers and onions-roast them together in the oven at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.
  3. Once onions, garlic and sweet potato have sautéed about three minutes, add the herbs and salt and red pepper, along with the 4 cups chicken stock. (This can be done in an instant pot or a large pot on the stove)
  4. Red lentils can be added to the soup mixture.
  5. Cook lentils in seasonings and broth for 10 minutes in an instant pot, or 20 minutes on a stovetop. The lentils will cook up and look like mush.
  6. Puree the lentil mixture until smooth.
  7. Add roasted peppers and onions and cooked turkey sausage.
  8. Serve hot with a few fresh or dried herbs sprinkled on top.

In an effort to eat more lentils on a regular basis, I created this recipe this morning. I love the Indian and Mid-eastern cuisines in which lentils are often used. However, I decided to tryout lentils with other culture’s foods to give a more versatile flair in my daily dose of lentils. I must say, this recipe is a real winner!

Spoiled to all Store bought- Turkey Sausage


  • 1 lb. ground turkey (I get them in the frozen section at Aldi for about $2)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds (I grind them in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  1. Mix ingredients together in a mixer or by hand.
  2. Shape into patties or cook up chopped

Note: This is a spicy sausage, perfect for Italian style main dishes like lasagna, rice, meatballs, soups and stews. If one wanted a sweeter breakfast style sausage various sweeteners (like maple, honey, stevia, raw sugar, brown sugar) and extracts (like liquid smoke or maple) could be used. Personally, I am happy with this sausage for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The Gift of Lasagna

white and brown dish on black ceramic plate

I think every home-maker is wise to have a great lasagna recipe in her back pocket. It is a versatile, comfort food that most people absolutely love. 

Lasagna is also a dish that freezes very well. I generally have a lasagna hanging out in my freezer. It is great to pull out on a dreary day. Lasagna is also an great food to gift a friend in need of a meal. And truly, if one has a lasagna in the freezer, it makes inviting friends over super easy since it cooks up easily and simple sides like garlic bread and salad pair so well with it. 

After many mediocre attempts at making lasagna, I tweaked my recipe to perfection. I think my family has been spoiled to all other lasagnas as a result, but in all good grace, lasagna is one of those recipes that can be altered little by little to the content of each family.

In a way, lasagna is kind of like a fingerprint of a home. We each have a slightly different version, that is personal to our taste. Maybe that is taking lasagna to an exaggerated level of importance, but oh my, I do value a good lasagna.

Oh, I should note that I never make just one lasagna. Lasagna is way too much work for only one. I always double my recipe. It is expensive, but it is not something we eat every month, so I don’t make it all the time. I usually add lasagna ingredients to my shopping list when I pull our last lasagna out of the freezer. And sometimes I spread out the ingredient purchase over the course of a month or so.

The Ellis Family Lasagna

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 jar Classico (or home-made) tomato/basil spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pkg. Barilla gluten free, ready-to-bake lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz. small curd whole milk ricotta
  • 16 oz. small curd low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded skim or whole milk mozzarella
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan (the real stuff-not the can)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Extra cheese to top(Parm, mozz, and or Cheddar)
  1. Cook up the meat and add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat
  2. Shred all the cheeses
  3. Mix all the shredded cheese with ricotta, cottage, and egg into a gooey mixture
  4. spread a bit of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan
  5. Place one layer of uncooked noodles on the meat mixture
  6. Spread cheese mixture edge to edge on hard noodles (I often use my hands)
  7. Spread more meat mixture on top of 1st cheese layer
  8. Add another layer of noodles
  9. Put more cheese on top of that layer of noodles
  10. Spread meat mixture on the second cheese layer (depending on how thick meat and cheese is spread, this may be about all the ingredients. I like to to eek out three layers)
  11. Layer rest of noodles on the meat mixture
  12. Spread on one more layer of cheese and then meat
  13. I like to sprinkle any extra cheese on the top. A blend of cheddar and mozz. is pretty.
  14. The lasagna can be frozen at this point or baked. DO NOT BAKE AND THEN FREEZE.
  15. Cover lasagna with a lid or with foil for the entire baking time.
  16. Bake at 350 for 1 hour (from fresh) OR Bake 350 2 hours (from frozen)
  17. Uncover and COOL 30-40 minutes-this is very important or the lasagna will fall apart if it is not given time to cool enough to set up. We have dug in too early and it is still good.
  18. Serve with garlic bread and Italian salad. Brownies make a great dessert with this meal.

Meat: I use a pound of organic/grass fed beef, but there is room for cheaper forms of beef in this recipe

Sauce: I have made my own, but lasagna is so much work to make, I am very happy with the Classico brand. It also contains no sugar which is a great bonus.

Pasta: I started using gluten free lasagna noodles seven years ago. The rice noodles are better in flavor and texture than any other noodle I have used. I like that I do not have to pre-cook them which saves me time in the process of making lasagna. Plus, it frees up my lasagna to share with my friends who cannot eat wheat, so that is an added bonus.

Cheese: I buy all my cheese in block form. It saves me a lot of money, and the cheese is creamier than the pre-shredded versions. I have a food processor and shred block after block on lasagna making day. TIP: Aldi has inexpensive triangles of parmesan. I buy several and shred them up myself.

Yes, lasagna making is a time taking, budget killing venture, but oh my is it a wonderful comfort food to have on hand. I have fallen upon lasagna time after time for a hearty meal to share with friends, brighten up a gloomy day, and gift as a meal to someone in need of cheer. Lasagna is really a perfect meal to keep on hand for such a time as this, or that.

Just the Cheeseburger Soup


1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour (I used rye to keep the carb count low in the soup, but higher carb flours like wheat also work-it is just for thickening the soup)

4 Cups Bone Stock (chicken, beef, or turkey)

1-2# ground beef (better with more, but easier on the budget with less)

1 onion (Chopped)

3 celery stalks (chopped)

3 Carrots (Chopped)

2 T. chopped parsley (fresh or dried)

2T. chopped basil (fresh or dried)

2 t. onion powder

2 t. garlic powder

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

2 t. black pepper

1 t. salt

16 oz. block cream cheese

16 oz. extra-sharp shredded cheddar

8 oz. shredded gouda

1) Make a roux but melting the butter in a pot, then whisking in the flour until a clumpy mixture forms.

2) Slowly add in bone broth, mixture will continue to clump before smoothing out into a thick creamy consistency, then will loosen into a nice liquid.

3) Add cheeses and parsley, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper

4) Stir soup until all cheeses and seasonings are completely melted together.

5) In a separate pan cook meat with onion, celery, and carrot until meat is cooked through and the veggies are semi-tender.

6) Dump the meat mixture in the cheese soup.

7) Optional-a hand blender can be taken to the soup to further chop up the veggies and meat (friendlier for those who have a hard time eating veggies), or the meat and veggies can be left in their current chopped form.

So this variation of cheeseburger soup is a bit less usual in that it does not have potatoes in it. It makes it lower in the carb and friendlier for those watching their blood-sugar and waistline.

Honestly, it is delicious and makes a rather large pot of hearty soup. A great dish to share with others on a budget, or freeze for a quick heat up meal.

St. Patrick’s Day Means Sauerkraut Time


1 head of cabbage-washed, shredded

Good salt (like sea-salt or pink salt)

Tools: Flat pans and something to squish with (I use a rolling pin with the rollers taken off) 2 Quart Mason Jars (Washed and sterilized-I use the dishwasher, then rinse them out with vinegar just before stuffing)

  1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large flat pan on a stable surface
  2. Sprinkle salt over the top of the cabbage. I use about 2t-1T per head, depending on the size of the cabbage. (It helps wilt the cabbage and provides more flavor to the finished kraut)
  3. With the end of a blunt object, press the cabbage HARD, twisting and turning. (This is a great upper arm workout ladies!)
  4. When the cabbage turns from green to translucent and there is about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan, the hard work is done.
  5. Stuff the jars to about 2″ full, pressing in hard to make sure water covers the cabbage in the jar about 1″.
  6. Sometimes I will leave my rolling pin in the top of the jar to further press down the cabbage.
  7. Place the jars in a small pan (In case they overflow, sometimes they do that is a good thing), and cover the batch with a light towel.
  8. Let nature work. Amazing, friendly bacteria will begin populating the cabbage, tuning it into the most tasty, sour, bite of bacteria on any hot-dog.
  9. Every day, these jars need to be checked to make sure water continues to cover the cabbage. If the cabbage meets air, it will spoil and ruin all that hard work. I have neglected to squeeze my cabbage long enough and that has happened! SO sad!
  10. I start tasting on day two. Once the cabbage tastes as sharp as I desire, I lid it and pop it in the fridge. Done!
  11. I make large batches and freeze the kraut. I do not recommend canning sauerkraut. Once it is canned, all the good little friends inside are dead, so it is no more than pickled cabbage. It can be heated slightly and still maintain much good bacteria, but high temps are not good. It will last years in the back of the fridge, so no need to worry about eating it fast once it is made.

When do I make sauerkraut? It is about that time. Every year around the beginning of March, grocery stores lower the price of cabbage dramatically. Yes, cabbage is super cheap year round, but before St. Patrick’s Day, I have been able to get an entire head for about .35. I buy about six…eight, if I am feeling industrious.

Does everyone in my house like sauerkraut? I love sauerkraut and don’t enjoy a hot-dog without it. But it was not always the case. When my mother had it, none of us kids would touch it. She got creative and put it in chocolate cake! That cake was requested by us on many occasions. I think sweets were so rare in my growing up home that if we asked for sauerkraut cake we were at least likely to get cake. Now, I have truly come to enjoy it’s tart nature and hope my children will at some point. DO far one of my children is on board with me. So I enjoy a side of sauerkraut with kielbasa, liver, and hot-dogs with her. Maybe cake would help the rest of them like it too!

Why is Sauerkraut Healthy? Sauerkraut is a fermented vegetable, meaning that it allows friendly bacteria, whose names I will not bore you with, to grow. Good sauerkraut can host a number of bacteria, similar to sourdough, yogurt, or vinegar. Friendly bacteria is important in our innards and we eat far too little. I believe in eating a large variety of fermented foods in order to get the largest variety of little friends in my innards. Not every fermented food produces the same bacteria or even enough bacteria.

Why Do I Make Sauerkraut instead of buy it? I choose to make my own sauerkraut rather than buy it because the processing in most store bought sauerkraut kills all bacteria, especially canning. I also love the depth of flavor that I can get by making my own.

Beautiful Roasted Vegetables and Beans

1 chopped sweet pepper

1 chopped tomato

1/2 chopped onion

6 cloves pealed garlic

1 chopped cucumber

Fresh Kale leaves-several handfuls

1/2 can black beans-drained

Course salt and pepper

Dried garlic granules

A few tablespoons of Olive oil

Reduced balsamic vinigar (balsamic vinigar that has been boiled for 5 min)

1) Heat the oven to 450

2) Chop and toss the tomato and vegetables (except black beans) on a large flat tray.

3) Spinkle the veggies with garlic granules, salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

4) After 20 minutes of roasting in the oven, add the black beans into the mix and give a slight stir.

5) After 10 minutes, remove vegetables from oven and cool about 10 minutes.

6) Drizzle veggies with the reduced balsamic and enjoy!

Roasting vegetables is an excellent way to preserve the nutrients since their is no leaching of vitamins into the water.

Roasting also brings out the flavor of the veggies. And they are so beautiful in rich colors. They aquire a nutty flavor which is a personal favorite.

Throwing in a protien like beans, meat, fish, or quinoa can make roasted vegetables into a complete meal.

Almost any vegetable can be roasted. And multititude of seasonings can be added for flavor. For example, roasted sweet potatoes with nutmeg and butter are great for autumn. Handfuls of kale with olive oil and salt is also delicious. Cubed red potatoes with olive oil, rosemary and salt is my husband’s favorite roasted vegetable.

Enjoying the season’s varieties of vegetables is a flavorful adventure.

Pesto Dressed Chicken Salad


1 bunch chopped green onions

2 stalks chopped celery

1 chopped tomato

2 small chopped cucumbers

A handful baby kale


2 cloves of garlic

1/ olive oil

3/4 cup parmesian

2 cups fresh basil or basil and parsley mix

1) chop and miz veggies and chicken together

2) Blend or food prosess pesto ingredients

3) Mix the salad and pesto-add parmesian to garnish if desired.

When I was a little girl, I fell in love with my mother’s pesto. It was bursting with flavor and nutrients. As most childhood foods, I forgot about it until a recent visit to my mothers and tasting her pesto again.

Home-made pesto is totally different from what can be purchased from a store.

And pesto gives a punch of herbal garlic to far more than pasta. Like the wonderful dressing it becomes in place of traditional mayonaise in this chicken salad.

Pesto can made up and kept un the refrigerator to be used as needed on veggies, chicken, or yes, of course, pasta.