Pear Blueberry Kompot Beverage

Pear Blueberry Kompot Refreshing non-alcoholic fruit beverageOther beverages will pale in comparison to a Pear Blueberry Kompot. Before the day began, I had no idea that I would be googling “What to do with pear peels” and going down a rabbit hole learning the history of kompots. The pears were getting past the point of no return. I planned to preserve them canned in water but ended up making a batch of pear butter and pear blueberry kompot.  

That’s life when you don’t want to waste any of the harvest goodness. I have a hard time looking at the peels and cores from soft fruits and tossing it all to the compost bin. I am glad that I learned to make tomato sauce from the scrap pile. And so, as I started cooking the pear butter, I looked at the bowl of pear peels and decided their must be a way to turn those into attractive food. 

The first hurdle to overcome was confusing the term kompot or compot with compote. A kompot is a European non-alcoholic beverage similar to a fruit juice. You can serve pear blueberry kompot both hot and cold. I found references and recipes for kompot on many Eastern European cooking blogs, Ukranian recipe blogs and Russian Websites. On the other hand, a compote is a dessert sauce prepared from fruit and drizzled over cake or other sweet food. 

Pear Blueberry Kompot

While the pear butter simmered, I had time to start the pear blueberry kompot.  I tossed together 2 quarts of water and the pear peels from a dozen pears. I added a cup of blueberries, one cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and continue  on a low boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit and cool. 

When the liquid has cooled, strain out the solids. I used a strainer lined with cheese cloth to make sure my juice beverage was clear. You could also line a strainer with a basket style coffee filter. Of course I could not find these when I needed them. 

Pour into quart canning jars, and store in the refrigerator.  But first, I had to try a serving of this beautiful fruit juice drink. It was refreshing and delicious. I can also see that it would be amazing served warm on a chilly day, like hot cider.

Pear Blueberry Kompot and a Bonus from the Scraps

The pear butter was still bubbling and the kompot was complete, but there was still a problem. I still had a pile  of boiled fruit that was rather large and still looked wasteful to me.  This reminded me of the tomato sauce I made from scraps. Why not do the same with the boiled fruit? I began pressing the boiled fruit from the pear blueberry kompot through the fine mesh strainer. You could also use a food mill for this. I press with the back of a large spoon, pushing and scraping the fruit. Occasionally, scrape the fruit puree from the bottom of the sieve.

pear blueberry kompot

pear blueberry kompot

After I extracted all the puree from the boiled fruit, I gained two cups of fruit puree! This can  be used like applesauce in recipes or eaten as is. I plan to use it in baked goods, in place of some of the oil. You could also use the puree in this recipe for breakfast muffins in place of the fruit. Final production – one jar of pear butter, two quarts of pear blueberry kompot and two cups of pear blueberry puree. Oh and one totally messy kitchen!

Pear Blueberry Kompot


2 to 3 cups of pear peels

1 cup of bluberries

1 cup of sugar

2 quarts of water

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely. 

Strain out the solids using cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer.  

Store in glass jars in the refrigerator.

For other ideas on using fruit for beverages look into making a shrub!  Or try this recipe for making mead.  Looking for a more adult beverage? Check out this Shrub recipe from Lovely Greens.

pear blueberry kompot refreshing non-alcoholic fruit beverage




Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna

Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna DSC_5595We are not vegetarians. Never even entered our minds. Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna is a perfect blend of hearty meat dish and garden fresh goodness. We like hearty meals and when I have tried to serve my family a meatless dinner, well, lets just say it was not met with rave reviews.

When I was visiting my daughter, she said that we would be having her zucchini lasagna recipe for dinner. I was surprised because her husband is a fan of eating meat for dinner. It sounded good to me, though so I was looking forward to trying her recipe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the recipe included meat! It was not vegetarian lasagna, but zucchini lasagna with meat. And, it was delicious. I really think this tastes like the original lasagna. The zucchini has the texture of lasagna noodles and the rest of the ingredients are the same as the original recipe.

Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna

Make sure that you start this recipe early in the day. The texture of the dish and of the zucchini is much better if the water is drawn out of the zucchini and that can take up to an hour. The entire process took me about an hour and a half to get it ready for the oven, including the wait time to draw water out of the zucchini. I baked it for the suggested 45 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. I hope you will enjoy this version of Zucchini Lasagna.


Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna DSC_5587

Zucchini Lasagna

I’m sure there are also many ways to vary this recipe. If your garden is providing a generous amount of tomatoes and green peppers, increase the freshness level by making your own tomato based sauce. If you are looking for more dinner time recipe suggestions take a look at this post with quick and easy dinner recipes.

Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 9
A Delicious, hearty take on the standard vegetable zucchini lasagna
Write a review
Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 4 large zucchini sliced as thin as you can length wise. Try for 1/8th inch thickness or try using a mandolin
  2. 1 pound of ground beef, sausage, turkey
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1 cup chopped onion
  5. 24 ounces of pasta sauce of choice
  6. 15 ounce Ricotta Cheese
  7. 16 ounces shredded Mozzarella
  8. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  9. 1 large egg
  10. salt
  1. Start well in advance of dinner time. Slice zucchini and lay slices out on parchment paper or paper towels. Salt the zucchini slices to pull out the excess water. This will help keep the lasagna from being soupy. Wait at least 40 minutes. I waited one hour. Wipe or dab off the water from each slice using a paper towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly cook the ground meat with the chopped onion and garlic. drain the meat mixture. Add the pasta sauce and simmer. In the meantime, in a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and 12 ounces of the mozzarella. Add the egg and mix well.
  3. Put a small amount of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. You can make one large lasagna using a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or two smaller ones using two 8 x 8 inch pans. If you are feeding a smaller family, this would give you a dinner to freeze for another evening.
  4. Begin building your lasagna, starting with a zucchini layer, then spread the cheese mixture, then the meat and sauce layer. Continue for two to three layers and end with zucchini topped with sauce and the remaining four ounces of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until topping is browned to your desired amount.
  6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes to firm up before cooking.
Timber Creek Farm
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zucchini lasagna




Quick Healthy Dinner Recipes

quick healthy dinnerQuick healthy dinner recipes are essential to planning meals for a busy homestead family. Even if the family is a downsized family of two! Dinner brings us together for a connection. Sharing the food we grow and prepare at home or purchase locally gives us nourishment to do our work. 

It’s no mystery that as our family’s grow and change direction, our meals need to adapt. If we don’t adapt we can find ourselves staring at an empty oven at 6 PM, wondering how to salvage dinner time.

Quick Healthy Dinner- Our Needs Change

As empty nesters, we face this scene too often for my comfort. Yes, we could go out since it’s now just two of us and not too costly. However we prefer to stay home, most nights. Both of us still work, plus the farm and other obligations find us seeking a quiet evening after the days work.  Eating at home means we know exactly what we are eating. Knowing what went into the meal is becoming more and more important to us as we strive to stay fit and  healthy. Some families have diet restrictions or concerns. Having meals planned helps to ensure a good meal is on the table, and no family members health is jeopardized. 

What I Need for Quick Healthy Dinners

Meals that require a little prep time to deliver a tasty, hot, dinner in less that an hour fill many of our needs. These recipes are what I find myself searching for more and more. Quick healthy dinner recipes can be prepared in the oven, crock pots, and pressure cookers. One dish meals are delicious and nutritious even on the most hectic school, work, harvest, canning, sports days.  

In addition, many of these recipes are perfect for teaching beginner cooks how to prepare a meal from fresh ingredients, instead of a box. Having more than one cook in the house is always a good thing!

While I am not good at planning or organization, having ingredients on hand helps. Then, add a stack of recipes that can be pulled together quickly, and I am saving dinner time and avoiding  take out food. 

Recipes From Our Kitchen and Others

quick healthy dinner

quick healthy dinner

Chicken Chile is a crock pot recipe that takes little time to throw together. Allow 4 hours for it to cook in the crock pot. It uses cooked chicken, so save some from a roast chicken, or cook ahead of time, and place in the freezer. Then quickly assemble this recipe and go on with your day!

But Wait! There’s More! 

I asked some of my friends that blog, to share some recipes with me for this post. Mouthwatering ideas popped into my inbox! Please click the photos or the link provided to get to the original post. 


This one popped up in my news feed recently on facebook. I follow the site Grow a Good Life and was thrilled to find a recipe that I had all of the ingredients in the house ready to make! We had this for dinner that same night and it was delicious! You can substitute the veggies to suit your taste and preference. I am looking forward to trying it again with fresh from the garden summer squash.

Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables


quick healthy dinner

From Homespun Seasonal Living

Nothing says quick like a ready made batch of sloppy joe filling. Grab the rolls and salad and everyone is fed! Here’s the trick. This recipe was intended for pressure canning. When I made my batch, I froze three cups in zip lock bags in the freezer. It takes little time for the small amount to thaw and we had yummy sloppy joe sandwiches in no time!

From 104 Homestead.

Nothing says Comfort Food like a casserole.  And don’t miss the funny story at the beginning of this recipe post!

A Farm Girl in the Making Shared a delicious comforting soup recipe.

Attainable Sustainable

No one argues with a good bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup in front of them. Make up this version in very little time.

Reformation Acres shares a delicious idea for Chicken with Bok Choy

All I can say about this recipe from Green Eggs and Goats for Shrimp and Grits is “get in my belly!”


Stay Tuned for More Quick Healthy Dinner Recipes being added here soon!

quick healthy dinner

Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook


stacy lyn's harvest cookbookStacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook has been released! I have long anticipated this day not just because it’s a wonderful book of homesteading and delicious recipes. Stacy Lyn Harris is also my friend. Yes! I have a friend who is a talented chef, mother of seven delightful children, and wife to her best friend. Well known in her southern community and due to the popularity of her previous books and television show, I am sure Stacy Lyn’s Harvest doesn’t need me, to tell you how wonderful the book is.  You are probably waiting in line to buy it already. Or you have it saved to your “wish list”. In any event, however you plan to bring Stacy Lyn’s Harvest home to your family, you will be so glad you did.

Why do I Feel So Strongly About Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook?

I first learned of the book quite a few months back. Stacy Lyn called me because a deadline for the book had been changed and she needed some help proof reading before the pages were sent to the design team and printer. What?!  I was momentarily awed. I would get to preview this new book while helping a really sweet friend.  

And so we began. We proofed and compared notes along the way. The time allotted was short but by midnight we had almost finished the read through. I had drooled all day over the recipes in this book! But there was more. Helpful personal stories and ideas on how to run many facets of a country homestead. Chickens, honeybees, vegetable gardening, harvesting, preserving, and most importantly, putting family first, at all times.

Stacy Lyn’s Harvest cookbook will encourage you to prepare dishes that you may have thought were above your skills. And she makes it easy!  (have you been watching her live video tutorials this month on line?) 

There is not much more I can say. I will be bold at this point. Buy the book!  

stacy lyn's harvest cookbook


But Wait, I Almost Forgot….

Stay tuned to my social media channels next week because I have included a copy of Stacy Lyn’s Harvest in an awesome giveaway to welcome spring and spring cooking, harvesting, homesteading and more. Stay tuned for more on that coming up this weekend and early next week.

Here’s the sneak peek!  (If you don’t do social media, the same option will be in my weekly newsletter.  sign up to receive the newsletter here.)

stacy lyn's harvest cookbook


If you want to keep on reading, here’s the press release about the new book, Stacy Lyn’s Harvest. 

Southern chef Stacy Lyn Harris is the bestselling author of three books , founder of the popular Game and Garden blog, and  a co-host of “The Sporting Chef” on The Sportsman’s Channel. Her simple approach to sourcing and preparing delicious meals makes life easier for those who want great fresh food everyday. 

As her family began to grow, she left her career as a lawyer to raise seven children (now ages 7 to 22), a garden full of vegetables and a few happy chickens and bees. Throughout her homesteading journey, she has shared her knowledge on wild game, sustainability, cooking and gardening in three cookbooks


With nine mouths to feed on a daily basis, Alabama chef Stacy Lyn Harris keeps it simple, but doesn’t skimp on elegance. Her seven kids enjoy homegrown food, prepared beautifully and sustainably thanks to a few chickens in the back, a year-round kitchen garden, milk from a dairy farmer just outside of town, and locally-sourced free-range meats. 

Always served up in Stacy Lyn’s rustic-refined style, her dishes are classic Old South, but with a fresh, healthy, beautiful twist. Culled from her family’s farmstead near Montgomery, Alabama, Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook (March 2017) offers recipes and tips for a simpler, better way of life through growing, harvesting and cooking from nature’s bounty. 

As founder/editor of, Stacy Lyn is known for her elegant approach to outdoor living and natural, free-range cooking. Featuring full-color photos, Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook includes more than 100 field- and farm-to- table recipes that meet her three-part criteria: family friendly (easy, with simple ingredients), fresh, and tasty. 

There are cherished family recipes, free-range meat dishes derived from her husband’s hunting obsession, and lighter takes on decidedly southern classics—all prepared simply, in the freshest way possible. The book covers food from the garden, pasture, woods, and water in four sections: 

  • “The Garden” features Fried Green Tomatoes, Jalapeño Poppers, Corn Chowder, Fried Squash with Tomatoes and Pesto, and other recipes to make you wish it was summer all year long.
  • “Beyond the Garden” delves into beekeeping and raising chickens for an amazing Honey Butter to pour over Cinnamon Pear Buns and your favorite Egg Salad Sandwiches with Refrigerator Pickles.
  • “From the Pasture” focuses on free-range, pasture-fed game recipes like Braised Short Ribs, Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo, and Juicy Pork Chops, plus a how-to on sausage-making.
  • “Seafood and Fish” includes Stacy Lyn’s favorite entertaining recipes, Best Ever Clam Bake and Perfect Fish Tacos.
    For city dwellers or anyone who feels Stacy Lyn’s way of life is out of reach, 15 “how to” articles sprinkled throughout the book offer steps for cooking and eating sustainably in any setting—including container gardening, saving seeds, preserving, foraging, composting and more. 
  •  For more information about Stacy Lyn, subscribe to her websites, and and follow her on your favorite social networks @stacylynharris on Facebook and Instagram. 

PEAR APPLE JAM for a Delicious Combo Spread

Gathering the fruit for the pear apple jam was easy. Our local market had some delicious looking pears and I had been wanting to make a pear jam. I purchased five pounds of the fruit, but I am not sure how much was left when I went to make the jam!  Fortunately I did have enough for two cups of finely chopped pears called for in the recipe.

I searched for a pear jam recipe and came across this one for PEAR  APPLE JAM.   It is from  Great!  I still had apples too!


pear apple jam

2 cups peeled cored and finely chopped pears
1 cup peeled cored and finely chopped apples
6 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
6 ounces liquid pectin (2 pouches)

Directions for Pear Apple Jam

Crush the apples and pears in a large heavy  bottom saucepan. and stir in the cinnamon.  Thoroughly mix sugar and lemon juice with the fruits and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  
Immediately stir in pectin.  Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  
Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam and fill hot sterile jars leaving 1 inch of headspace.  
Wipe jar rims, and cap the jars.
Process for 5 minutes for 4 ounce jar,  10 minutes for 8 ounce jars in a hot water bath canner. **

Yield: 7 – 8 half pint (8 ounce) jars

pear apple jam

 Note-  I was able to fill 8 half pints and 1 four ounce jar.  I usually have an extra jar or two ready to go, just in case.
** I amended the directions to include the canning times I use.

More on Safe Canning

When learning to can food for storage, fruits, jams and jellies are a good place to start. Canning the acidic fruits requires a couple hours of prep time and a short processing time in the hot water bath canner.  The high sugar content in many jam and jelly recipes can be slightly adjusted to taste once you get a feel for making jam and jelly. 

Vegetables require the use of a pressure canner in most cases. The lower acid content in most vegetables means that a higher temperature and longer processing time is necessary to kill any potentially dangerous bacteria. Use the canning methods outlined on the USDA website or the Ball Canning Guide for best results.

Canning Green Beans

How to Pressure Can Root Vegetables


pear apple jam