Whole Lotta Cooking Going on!

While Gene was outside this weekend building the covered chicken enclosure this weekend, I was doing a lot of cooking.

Baked sweet potatoe

I roasted an organic Amish chicken in a galvanized roasting pan filled with onions, garden tomatoes and organic carrots. The sides for that meal were Fruit stuffed sweet potatoes. YUM! And, did you know that sweet potatoes are a super food?

Chicken in granite pan

Shssss. don’t tell anyone but I think I am having an affair with sweet potatoes right now…

Baked sweet potatoe

Then I took the chicken bones and boiled them up and made my famous kale, sweet potato, sausage and fennel soup. This soup has a couple of culinary surprises too and they are a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. On a cold winter day this soup is to die for. This recipe is one I adapted from RecipeKeys.com

Fruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

(Adapted from www.recipekeys.com) by Donna Allgaier-Lamberti

This is Gene absolute favorite!!


½ half cup half and half (I do not use this)

2 sticks of butter (I do not use butter but sub. maple syrup)

12 Sweet Potatoes (I use 6 for the two of us)

3 Granny Smith Apples finely chopped (I use 2 apples of whatever type I have on hand)

½ cup Macadamia Nuts finely chopped (I use one small bag of Pecan nuts finely chopped)

½ cup finely chopped dried apricots

2 handfuls of craisin’s

½ cup (or more) of maple syrup


  1. On day one (the day before I am serving) I bake the potatoes in a glass casserole dish at 350 for one hour. Refrigerate.
  2. Slit potatoes length wise and then crosswise to make it easier to scoop out a section of potato to later stuff.
  3. Take sweet potatoes pieces remove skinned and chop up small to add to fruit mixture.
  4. Cut apples in half, core, skin and dice.
  5. Chop up rest of the fruit and mix fruit and removed potatoes in a bowl.
  6. Spoon the fruit mixture back into the opening in the potatoes.
  7. Heat oven to 325.
  8. Pour the maple syrup over the top of the potatoes and fruit mix.
  9. Sprinkle nuts over the potatoes and mixture.
  10. Cook for one hour or slightly more.

I’m sorry I don’t have a photograph of the soup to share. My camera card is full to the brim and I have to go to town to buy another card, but not today.

We ate like kings and queens this weekend. I hope your holidays were full of healthy and delicious culinary surprises as well!

Small House Homesteader, Donna

Making Homemade Kahlua for Gifts

An ounce a day keeps the doctor away…..

I admit it. We’ve been in “vacation mode” over Thanksgiving weekend. I’m doing a bit of cooking too since it’s a holiday weekend and we do a few extra things to celebrate.

We usually don’t drink much here on our homestead. I’ll enjoy perhaps an occasional cold beer on a hot summer day or a glass of wine with dinner when entertaining.  And Gene never drinks after having hepatitis as a teenager while growing up in New York.

3 kalua USE

Homemade Kahlua! Looks like I made enough for three years!

But around the holidays it nice to be able to offer a little something special to our guests so I make homemade Kahlua this time of year. It also makes a very thoughtful hostess gift as well!

It only takes five ingredients and Kahlua lasts forever. It is so flexible to use that I can offer it in hot coffee, cold on the rocks or with milk for a White Russian. Easy peasy!

I made a double batch of my homemade Kahua this year so I can take a small fancy bottle for a hostess gift and give a few away as a Christmas gift too.

Homemade Kahlua Recipe

2 quarts boiling water

7 cups granulated white sugar

1 cup instant coffee

1 quart 190 proof grain alcohol

Melt sugar in boiling water. Boil another quart of water and add 1 cup of instant coffee. Boil one minute and let it cool. Add 2 ounces of vanilla and 1 quart of 190 proof grain alcohol.

Now I plan to find some pretty bottles in which to contain the coffee based treat.

Enjoy a holiday toast on me!

Small House Homesteader, Donna