Treats from the Homestead 3 January 2023


January has arrived and I am back in the kitchen again. Dave goes back to work tomorrow and things return to “normal”. There is still some junk food left from Christmas vacation but it will keep and we can space it out over a couple of meals in the first quarter.

What then have I been cooking? Only two meals so far, one super traditional and one so easy I forgot to photograph the results.

New Year’s Day

Every year on New Year’s Day for as long as I remember dinner has been chips and queso. It isn’t difficult, leftovers, if any, keep well, and it morphs to feed a crowd easily. Crowd pleasing dish that works just as well for a Church potluck or feeding a pack of hungry teenagers.

Queso for New Year’s

1 pound of ground beef

16 ounces of Velvetta cheese

16 ounce jar of green taco sauce

Tortilla Chips

Cook ground beef until a deep gold brown, season to taste. Cube the cheese while the beef cooks, doesn’t have to be a small dice. Drain off any fat if necessary.

Place the cubed cheese and taco sauce in the same pan as the ground beef. Allow the cheese to melt and the flavors to meld over a low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure no scotching. If you want a slightly thicker queso, add some shredded cheddar at the end.

Serve in individual portions or place in a serving dish for everyone to help themselves around the table, with chips.

Serves 2-3 hungry people. For every additional 2-3 people, double the recipe accordingly.

The Second

When I did grocery shopping for Christmas, I picked up a pork shoulder. We had planned to eat it over the holidays, but well the lure of being lazy was to seductive to even make this incredibly simple meal.

The pork shoulder was about nine pounds with the bone-in. It was just defrosted enough to fit into my pressure cooker, so I seasoned it up and tossed it in with some seasoning and cranberry juice with a wee bit of water. It took a good three hours to cook, plus depressurized, until tender and the bone separated. Then I switched the Ninja over to slow cooker, shredded the pork and tossed in some barbeque sauce.

Instant shredded BBQ pork that put those convenience meals in the grocery store to shame, as a fraction of the cost. Plus I control the salt content and there are no preservatives to extend shelf life. Bakes some rolls or buns and it is easy sandwiches for lunch or dinner. It freezes well, assuming you have sufficient leftover to freeze.

Side Note

My order of reusable gallon bags arrived from Amazon yesterday. They are plastic and silicone free and can be used repeatedly. They are freezer friendly. I ordered two sets of six bags easy for the cost of one reusable Ziploc bag of the same size from our local grocery store. I picked up one of the Ziploc reusable bags from the grocery store and I am pleased with it. It seals tightly and currently is storing my turkey stock for soup later this month. The $15 price tag for one bag did not please me however and thus the search for alternatives on Amazon. A good portion of those first twelve bags will be used to marinate meat in the freezer. At least a couple will be reserved for storing cookie dough and bread dough in the freezer.

Best part about these bags, and the Ziploc bag, is just how thick they are in comparison to a normal, disposal plastic gallon freezer bag. I am hopeful that the quality increase will prevent freezer burn, because let’s be honest we all have the one odd thing that somehow gets lost in the freezer no matter how diligent we attempt to be.


Feels good to be getting back into the routine of cooking and eating healthier. Holidays are a nice break from the every day but honestly, our stomachs and health are always so much improved when we return to the boring of the everyday meal.

May you have a fabulous week on your homestead be it large or small! May your blessings outweigh your burdens!

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published