Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review: Homestead Blessings - The Art of Cooking

In a world where homemaking skills are, at best, ignored, and too often ridiculed and looked down upon, I love that the West Ladies of Homestead Blessings, are spreading their love and knowledge of so many wonderful homemaking topics!

My daughters, especially A2, LOVE learning about cooking and working in the kitchen, so when Franklin Springs Family Media gave me the choice of which of the Homestead Blessings videos to review, choosing The Art of Cooking seemed like the logical choice.

We received our video a few days before we were scheduled to leave for our week in Williamsburg, but despite all the preparations we were in the middle of, I couldn't wait to sit down and watch the video with the girls.  The West Ladies are so personable! Watching their video is like sitting in the kitchen chatting with them while they cook. I also have to admit, I was fascinated by all the things they have hanging on the wall behind them, I could watch it over and over just to see all the interesting things on that wall, hee hee.

As I was watching the video, I thought . . . this is great, but I wish they gave me the complete recipe(s) on one screen so I could pause it and write it down. But then, when we were ready to try a recipe and I went looking, I found something even better, you can put the DVD in your computer and there is a .pdf of the recipes!! Woo-hoo, no copying required, just print it out and you're good to go (though some of the simpler recipes aren't included, but that's ok. What a great idea!!!

We didn't have alot of time that week for extra cooking, and now that we're home, we're trying to catch up on laundry and stuff, so STILL haven't had alot of time for anything beyond the bare minimum of cooking, but we did get to try a few recipes before we left for Williamsburg.  What I was the most excited about was their tomato soup recipe. I already have a tomato soup recipe that I'm happy with, so initially figured  I wouldn't get much out of that particular part of things, but then, as I watched it, I got a GREAT idea!! I also have a tomato sauce recipe that I like but my girls don't like it because it doesn't have "chunks" in it. This summer we tried making some chunky tomato sauce but weren't very happy with it. BUT, the tomato soup recipe on this video was for a tomato soup that had chunks of tomato in it, and I realized that I could combine that aspect of the soup recipe with the sauce recipe I already use, and it would be PERFECT!! I had tomatoes that needed to be used before we left, so on Friday, as we were trying to pack and such, I also had a big pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove (Little Bit desperately wants to see whenever there's anything cooking, so she tries to climb the oven door), and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!! I'm so excited with my new sauce recipe, and it's all thanks to the West Ladies' tomato soup recipe! Woo-hoo!!!  Their video also got us in the mood for homemade pizza, so we had fun one evening using a couple frozen crusts from the freezer, and making our own version of their yummy pizza!

But then . . . one of the recipes the girls REALLY wanted to try was their recipe for apples and onions. Now I have to admit, I was skeptical (at best)! I like apples, and I like onions, but TOGETHER? Ick! Especially because I'm very picky about mixing sweet & savory (I can't stand any form of sweet & sour, for example).It also seemed odd that the girls wanted to try this since they don't even LIKE onions! But they kept coming back to wanting to try that recipe, and it was something quick and easy, so we made it for lunch one day (it's on the West Ladies' breakfast menu, but that's ok).

We re-watched the part of the video that tells how to make it, and then I set the girls to work. They don't like cutting onions, so I did that part, but they did the rest. It did smell delicious!! But I served up small servings just the same . . . but we all LOVED it!!!  The "savory" aspect of the onions seems to completely disappear and it's just a yummy, sweet . . . almost dessert! But it's healthy! The girls thought we should have it again the very next day but since I'd only  bought a few apples to use for this recipe, and we were leaving that morning for Williamsburg, we put it off. Now that we're home, I have a feeling we'll be getting some more apples soon and this will become a regular breakfast &/or lunch around here, it's SOO yummy! And easy, and healthy! What more can a busy homeschool mom ask for?

So, all-in-all, this was a GREAT video!! Full of yummy recipes (you can see a list of the included recipes here).  An added bonus for our (vegetarian) family, there was only one meat recipe, I'll admit we fast-forwarded through that part. But the rest of the recipes were vegetarian or easily adaptable, the pizza included pepperoni but it's easy to leave that off.

AND . . . Franklin Springs Family Media has these videos on sale right now for only $14.95, or check out their boxed sets for savings when you buy more than one of the Homestead Blessings series.

And now the really cool part, Franklin Springs Family Media has generously offered up to 3 copies of Homestead Blessings The Art of Cooking to give away to my readers!  So, if we get up to 25 entries, I'll give away one copy, 26-50 entries, I'll draw 2 names, and over 50 entries, I'll give away 3 copies.

Mandatory first entry:  Visit Franklin Springs Family Media and leave a comment on this post telling me which of the Homestead Blessings videos you think sounds most interesting.

Additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry.


  • Follow my blog (link in the right sidebar), or let me know that you are already a follower.
  • Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment here with a link to your blog post.
  • "Like" Franklin Springs Family Media on facebook.
  • Post about this giveaway on facebook.
This giveaway will close on September 28. Winners will be notified on September 29. Please make sure that I have a way to contact you (via your blog or e-mail address). If I cannot contact you, I will have to pick another name. You will have 2 days to respond to me, or I will draw an alternate name.

This giveaway is now closed, winners have been notified. If they do not respond, alternate names will be chosen and notified.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Homestead Blessings The Art of Cooking from Franklin Springs Family Media in exchange for writing this review, Franklin Springs Family Media is also providing the videos offered in this giveaway. No other compensation was received and my opinions are my own.

59 comments:

La Tea Dah said...

I think that the "In the Kitchen" series sounds the most interesting --- but actually --- all sound great! I'd like to see the outdoor cooking and bread-baking one as well.

LaTeaDah

La Tea Dah said...

I am a "follower" of your blog now. It's official! I've been following you on my own for quite some time --- but without the benefit of the blogger tool. :D

LaTeaDah

La Tea Dah said...

I have "liked" Franklin Media on Facebook.

(Trying to follow all the instructions properly...)

LaTeaDah

La Tea Dah said...

I posted about your give-away on my Facebook wall (but will blog about it later when I have more time).

Thanks!
LaTeaDah

Arlete Cevada-Marcos said...

Hi LaRee,
Love your blog! Your girls are growing so quickly and beautifully...
I'd LOVE to win a copy of the DVD!
I visited their site and The Art of Crafting DVD looks really neat too.
I've never won anything before, so I don't really anticipate that I'll win this... But thank you so much for sharing the info about these DVDs. They seem great!
Warmly,
Arlete :-)

Mrs. White said...

Thanks for the chance to win! The art of sewing looks like a good one.

Blessings
Mrs. White
puritanlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Mrs. White said...

I am following your blog!


Blessings
Mrs. White
puritanlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Kimberly said...

The art of quilting sounds neat.

Kimberly said...

I am now following your blog.

Karina said...

I think the Art of Bread Making would be great, because I'm trying to learn to make all our bread here at home!

Karina said...

I follow your blog.

Karina said...

I "Like" Franklin Springs Media on FB.

Karina said...

I posted about your giveaway on FB.

TN Quiltbug said...

I looked at their blog and LOVE their Art of Quilting! But they really all look good!

TN Quiltbug said...

I am following your blog now! :D

TN Quiltbug said...

I posted about this give-a-way on FB!

TN Quiltbug said...

Almost forgot! If my name is drawn, you can contact me at smenzmer@gmail.com !

Debra said...

I think this one sounds fabulous, but I'm also particularly intrigued by the candle-making one.

Debra said...

I am already a follower. :)

Guiding Light said...

Here from the crew. I am now following your blog - and would appreciate if you would follow me back! :-)

Guiding Light said...

Oh wow! I just visited their site and they have SO MANY...what a tough decision! I think I might go with The Art of Canning.

Guiding Light said...

I now "like" them on facebook.

Guiding Light said...

I have posted on facebook

Blossom said...

I am a follower now :)

northlaurelschool@gmail.com
nlfamily.net

Blossom said...

I liked Franklin Springs Family Media on facebook.

northlaurelschool@gmail.com
nlfamily.net

Blossom said...

The Art of Gardening is one that I have wanted to watch/own for awhile now. I wouldn't mind the entire set of The Great Outdoors.

northlaurelschool@gmail.com
nlfamily.net

Sarah said...

It's so hard to decide :) The Gardening one, the quilting and the sewing one :)

Sarah
www.homeschoolblogger.com/ohiosarah

Sarah said...

I'm following.

Sarah
SeekingHim @ gmail dot com

Sarah said...

I already like them on FB :)

Sarah

Sarah said...

posted on FB about the contest:
http://www.facebook.com/sarah.bailey1#!/sarah.bailey1?v=wall&story_fbid=110792448981893&ref=mf

Sarah

Canadianladybug said...

Homestead Blessings: The Art of Bread Making is my pick. Would love to learn to make fresh bread...


The other one would be Homestead Blessings: The Art of Canning just to learn more about it. We do canning already.

Canadianladybug said...

I am a follower

isa.ocinc@gmail.com

Canadianladybug said...

I liked Franklin Media on Facebook!

Canadianladybug said...

I posted on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/canadianladybug


isa(dot)ocinc(at)gmail(dot)com

Beth said...

The art of soap making would be my first choice! I have always wanted to make soap since my Mom did it when I was little. Id also love to see the art of quilting, another thing inspired by my Mommy.

Beth said...

I "liked" the Franklin Media page on facebook :0)

Beth said...

I am now following your blog :0)

Beth said...

I shared about your giveaway on facebook also :0)

Nikki said...

Canning, Gardening, or Herbs - So hard to choose!
This is a great giveaway!

Nikki said...

I follow your blog now.

Pam in Ohio said...

I posted a link to your blog and the giveaway on Facebook.

Pam T.

Pam in Ohio said...

I posted a link to your blog and the giveaway on Facebook.

Pam T.

Pam in Ohio said...

I liked "Franklin Springs Media on FB"

Pam in Ohio said...

I am now following your blog.

Pam in Ohio said...

I would like the kitchen series. Sewing is a close second!

d price said...

The Art of Cooking looked great. Especially interested in the salad dressing recipe.

Stephanie said...

I think the canning one or the herb dvd would be great to watch!
stephanie . bergsma @ hotmail.com

Stephanie said...

I follow Franklin Springs on Facebook :)
stephanie . bergsma @ hotmail.com

Joy said...

I'm following you now!

Joy said...

I friended them on FB.

Joy said...

I hope to win this!! I really would like to see if I can do this before buying the other DVDs!! :D I am failing in homemaking 101!!

Gayle P. said...

Have been wanting learn soap-making--so that one sounds inteeresting to me. Though the one on herbs does too!

Gayle P. said...

I have signed up to follow your blog.

Gayle P. said...

I have "liked" FranklinSprings Media on Facebook.

Gayle P. said...

I just posted about your blog and the give-away on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/franklinsprings?v=wall#!/profile.php?id=1290187746

Vicki said...

Following your blog!

Vicki said...

I don't have a blog to post on :) Does that disqualify me? LOL.

Vicki said...

I "Liked" FSM on FB!

Vicki said...

I posted on FB about the review/giveaway, and included a link.