7 Days Until Release of: WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling and More

The countdown is on! My second book will officially be published in just one week from today. I am so excited to share it with everyone. I know many of you have questions about how to can with WECK jars and I hope that I have successfully answered all your questions with my step-by-step guide. In addition to canning with WECK jars, I have also included recipes on how to ferment, pickle and infuse with them. I even breakdown the variety of jars and explain which style is best for what method of preservation and include a quick reference guide to help you translate your standard canning jar recipes over to WECK jar sizing.

I started using WECK jars over a decade ago because I liked the fact that they have a glass lid. The only material touching my food is glass, no questionable toxic lining to worry about, as with other canning jars. A huge part of why I enjoy preserving food at home is because I have control of what ingredients I include in my preserves, so knowing that there are no toxic chemicals leaching into my preserve is incredibly important to me. Plus, with the lid being glass, I can reuse them over and over.

Last week I processed 20 pounds of tomatoes and turned them into homemade Bloody Mary Mix, one of my favorite recipes included in the new book. It’s hard to pick just one favorite because I included so many, such as fermented escabeche, homemade fruit shrub recipes, homemade alcohol infusions (you won’t be buying flavored vodka [or any infused liquor] ever again) and there are also 5 delicious guest recipes, contributed by amazing women, ranging from Canada to Florida.

If you haven’t reserved your copy yet, click here.

Also, my first book, Can It & Ferment It is still in a price war with other online retailers, and is available at the low price of just $11.55, it’s a great opportunity to stock up on a few copies for the holidays. You can order it here.

Be sure to use hashtags #CanItandFermentIt and #WECKSmallBatch when posting on social media so I can find your cookbook posts.


prize logo.jpg

During a few google searches earlier this year, I came across an online shop called Stone Creek Trading, Ltd. I quickly fell in love with their old world traditional products that are imported from Poland. All of the products are made of natural materials (not BPA laden plastic, or lead in the paint!).

Emily and her husband own the business and reside in Illinois with their children. This family-run business offers great kitchenware items as well as decorative items but I’m most fond of their fermentation supplies. They offer a wonderful variety of shapes and sizes of fermentation crocks and they even manufacture their own all-glass crock weights in serveral different diameter options!

My absolute favorite product that they offer is their cabbage shredder <—- I have this BIG one. This product changed my sauerkraut-making game. Kraut is a staple in our home and it used to take me 45 mins to chop up 3 heads cabbage (maybe I’m slow? But it is time consuming nonetheless!). Now with the shredder, I shred up 3 cabbages in less than 10 mins! They offer a medium size and will soon be offering a small shredder as well!

I’m so excited to announce that Stone Creek Trading reached out to me to host a GIVEAWAY for all of my lovely social media followers.

To enter:

Head on over to Instagram and follow @stone_creek_trading and click back to my GIVEAWAY POST on my Instagram account and let me know which of the 3 prizes you’d like to win.


Prize #1: Luna Glass Crock Weights – non-porous glass weights to add to fermenting crocks to keep the produce under the brine.

Prize #2: Medium Size Wooden Cabbage Shredder, great for slaw and PERFECT for sauerkraut making.

Prize #3: A $25 shop credit to Stone Creek Trading to apply to any thing that you want.

No Instagram account? No problem. “LIKE” their Facebook page. You must let me know in the comments of this blog post that you “liked” their page in order to get an entry.

Want additional entries? Visit stonecreektrading.com, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address to receive their newsletter! Once again, you must leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know you signed up to receive an entry.

Winner will be announced on my blog December 2nd, 2016 as well as on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account. Don’t forget to check back!

Good luck!

COMPLETE ALL 3 TASKS TO GAIN 3 ENTRIES INTO THE CONTEST! Contest will end 12/1/16 at 11:59pm Central Time Zone. This contest is open only to U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states.


The Stone Creek Trading Giveaway had a great turn out and the owners are so happy with your excitement that they decided to give ALL 3 PRIZES away! The winners have been notified and have 72 hours to claim their prize – so check your e-mails! The winners are:

Judy – $25 Store Credit, Melissa S. – Luna Crock Weights and @wright.r for the highly sought after Cabbage Shredder.

Stone Creek Trading is also extending a special discount to all Minnesota from Scratch readers! Get $5 off any order over $50! One per customer, good through December 9, 2016. Discount code: MNScratch5

Congratulations winners! There will be more giveaways to come in 2017!

Thanks for reading!

Fun Stuff, Helpful Links, and Tasty Treats!

I used double-sided scrapbooking paper.

Homemade Paper Flowers

Just in time for cutesy St. Valentine’s Day decorations and card making.  These are a fun, simple way to enjoy the upcoming day of love sharing.  I used double-sided scrapbooking paper that I had in the closet.  My flowers in the photo range from 2 inch square to 12 inch.  The flowers may be used as table decorations, to embellish a card, or use glue dots to attached to a stick to make a unique bouquet for the season!  Visit Dozi for a simple tutorial.  I didn’t even use a pencil I just cut and rolled.  Be creative and enjoy!


No More Hesitation Gluten-Free Flour Mix + Banana Bread that Rocks!


27 bananas and I didn’t waste a 1!

I did a paleo diet for 8 weeks last year which lead to my realization that I have a gluten intolerance and boy o’ boy do I notice the gluten now!  Two weeks ago I was digging in the freezer when frozen bananas were getting in my way.  I decided to pull out all the bananas and to my dismay it totaled up to 27 frozen bananas!!  I love the Banana Banana Bread Recipe because it uses 2.5 cups of bananas per loaf!  However I didn’t want to make a gluten-bread.  So I looked to the Gluten Free Girl’s amazing formula for gluten-free all-purpose flour.  Using my combination of her suggested formula in this video I was able to make load of FANTASTIC gluten-free bread that very day!  Best banana bread I’ve ever had and I’m not just tooting my horn.  Everyone that tried it loved it.

Hello Outbox, Goodbye Clutter

After moving around from place to place since I graduated from high school and went off to college I began collecting “stuff” – I know you can relate.  Three college transfers, one marriage, one child, and one divorce later I’ve got MUCH clutter!  Although many times I’ve had some sort of outbox (my front porch, a laundry basket, or a corner in the basement), it has been years since I have used the system. Apartment Therapy’s recent blog reminded me of the effectiveness of a system and in just two weekends I was able to tackle a house full of clutter.  The great thing about outboxes now is that there are so many on-line swaps that you can easily make a profit and de-clutter at the same time!  Today my outbox is simply a temporary table in the basement (at least that’s the plan).  You can see mine is overflowing with de-clutter, but that’s okay because the rest of the house feels much better already.  Here are the simple rules they point out in their post:


My outbox!


  1. Anything can go in the Outbox
  2. The Outbox is allowed to get messy
  3. Everything must stay in the Outbox for at least one week
  4. After that time you have several choices:
  • Take anything back out
  • Leave anything you are undecided about for one more week
  • Dispose of the rest by moving to the garbage, recycling bin, or giveaway pile – or post to on-line swap and make a little extra cash

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pumie Scouring Stick!

pumieBetween my white (but stained essentially black with cooking scars) electric cooktop and the bottom of my rust-stained toilet bowl any normal person would have thought twice before spending a week at my house!  Both which had brought constructive feedback from close friends and family always wanting the help me with my “cleanliness problem”.  After little effort they too would inevitably give up.  And since I prefer not to use harsh chemicals, I was actually considering a new toilet because I couldn’t stand looking at it anymore!  Fortunately for me I discovered the Pumie Scouring Stick!  Both my toilet and cooktop were stain free in less than 10 minutes after I returned home from the store!  Maybe me, my friends, and my family are the only ones that don’t know about this amazing, chemical-free, must-have-in-every-household item, but as I see it, it’s too good not to share!  Each stick is less than a few bucks and is so versatile you should probably just pick up a couple!

WIN a $200 Toys R Us Gift Card or $200 via PayPal #Giveaway!


Welcome to the $200 Toys R Us Gift Card Giveaway!


Award winning author Carole P. Roman is a former teacher turned businesswoman. She has successfully run a family business with her husband that employs close to five hundred people. Her most favorite job is being grandmother to her many grandchildren.

Roman has two wonderful sons and hit the jackpot in the daughter-in-law department. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband. Her first book, Captain No Beard – An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life has been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 as well garnered the star of remarkable merit. Captain No Beard has developed into a series of 3 more books.



Her next project is the book series I Want To Do Yoga Too. She is currently working on a new educational series that explores different cultures from a child’s point of view. Carole has included Mexico, France and South Korea in the series. Turkey and Norway are coming soon!

Carole P. Roman would love the opportunity to have one lucky reader pick a country for an upcoming book.

In addition, the winner will get signed copies of all the books in the series and will receive the new book as soon as it is released. A second winner will win a $200 (USD) Toys R Us gift card or paypal cash.

Enter to win a $200 Toys R Us Gift Card or the chance to pick a country for Carole P. Roman’s “If you were me and lived in…” series

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.

One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on August 25th, 2013.

——>a Rafflecopter giveaway<——

This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.

If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in a future giveaway event like this one, sign up for Giveaway Promote’s weekly giveaway events newsletter.

Naegleria Fowleri: The Freshwater Amoeba That KILLS – Please Read

Reported cases of PAM by state in 2012.  Source

Reported cases of PAM by state in 2012.

Our family went swimming at a local lake over the weekend. It was my daughter’s first time swimming in the lake and I made sure she had her nose plug on at all times. Whenever she went in the water I required her to wear it, ESPECIALLY when she was near the shore where the water is warmer. She was the only person on a crowded beach with a nose plug on. Many people laughed and stared. I figured they were looking at her because she looked so darn cute and her little pink nose plug made her resemble Rudolph a tad. But I felt that some of the people were giggling and talking quietly to another was because she was wearing a nose plug.

The water was so warm the day we went swimming. The 6 day heatwave had just ended and my husband made the comment that the water was warmer than bathwater.  I was disappointed to see that not one other person was protecting their nose, but then it dawned on me that perhaps no one else was aware of the potential harm that could lurk in the water. Therefore, I decided to devote a blog post to the deadly freshwater amoeba: Naegleria Fowleri in hopes to bring some awareness to this 100% preventable killer amoeba.

This particular amoeba lives in freshwater: lakes, rivers, ponds and hot springs. But can also live in pool water if it is not chlorinated properly. Have you ever used a neti-pot before? Did you know that you are only supposed to use distilled or boiled water that has been cooled down? Well that is because of the potential harm of this amoeba. When water heats up near 80º F, the amoeba thrives and if it enters through a nose (adult or child), the amoeba travels to the brain and causes a fatal brain infection called Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM).

Initial symptoms are similar to meningitis and the flu and usually occur 5-7 days after contact, but once the symptoms hit, death occurs just 3-5 days later due to the rapid progression of PAM. Symptoms are not limited to, but could include: Fever, changes in taste,  stiff neck, headache, vomiting, confusion, loss of balance, hallucinations or seizures. There is no cure for PAM and it is completely preventable if you are safe. If you look up Naegleria Fowleri on the internet, it is likely that you will find information about it being “rare”, but the truth is that it is common for a misdiagnosis to occur and therefore it is not properly recorded.

When water is warm (I’d say above 70ºF just to be safe, because it can still be present once the water cools), be sure to wear a nose plug or facial mask to keep your nose guarded or just avoid the water all together. The amoeba can enter your nose even without your face being submerged; splashing around in the water can still cause the amoeba to enter your nose.

I first became aware of Naegleria Fowleri when I saw a posting about a family that lost their 7 year old son to this amoeba. They have since dedicated their lives to making people aware of the potential risks of swimming without a nose plug or mask. To read more about this family’s story, visit Kyle Cares. There is also additional info about the amoeba as well.

Currently, there is a 12 year old girl in Arkansas that is suffering from the “rare parasitic meningitis”. Please send positive vibes in her direction, she needs them now more than ever. Here is a link to that story: Kali

Let’s make as many people aware Naegleria Fowleri as possible! Please pin this, share it on facebook, tweet it, blog about it, whatever you have to do to save another person from dying from such a preventable death.

Protect yourself and your family by keeping it plugged!

Take care, Stephanie

Five Eco-Friendly Stain Removal Tips for Carpeting

Today Ben Clark is taking over the blog to give you five eco-friendly spot removal tips. I would definitely recommend trying out these options before breaking out the harsh chemical strain removers. 

Hi, my name is Ben Clark. I am the owner of the world’s greatest company (at least I think so). I own Kern Carpet Cleaning. Additionally, I am a dad. This means that I am either cleaning up messes at work or I am cleaning up messes at home.

I think we can all agree that we envy our kids’ limitless-supply of energy. However that same energy often results in spills, stains and food covered floors. Today, I am going to talk about five eco-friendly carpet cleaning secrets. These tricks will show you how to use common household items to clean stains out of your carpet.

1. Baking Soda

Eco-friendly spot cleaning tips - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Let’s start with one of my favorites:  Baking Soda. Most of you grew up with this in your spice cabinet. Personally, my mom kept Baking Soda in the refrigerator, but that is beside the point. This pasty powder can be used to remove some of your toughest stains.

Start by mixing baking soda and water together until you form a thick paste.  Massage the paste into your carpet and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. After the paste has had time to soak into your carpet, use a tooth-brush to scrub the stain.  This will work on most stains.

2. Cornmeal

Eco-friendly spot removal - - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

If you are anything like me, you won’t use this method. I happen to LOVE corn muffins, so naturally, I wouldn’t dream of pouring cornmeal all over my carpet. However, for those of you who are less-attached to the worlds most delicious muffin, this will work wonders on carpet stains. This can even remove grease stains.

Use cornmeal by simply pouring all over a grease stain. Let the meal sit for 30 minutes. Next, vacuum up the mixture and scrub out any remaining stains with soap and water.

3. Table Salt

Eco-friendly cleaning tips - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Salt is similar to corn meal as in it absorbed stains. This works best for liquid stains like spilled juices. Soon after your child spills their fruit punch on your white carpet,  pour salt over the stain.Wait 15-30 minutes to let the salt absorb most of the stain, after which you can vacuum up the salt particles.

If you are able to see remaining of the stain, you can repeat this two or three times. Lastly, you can use soap and water to scrub-out any remaining spots.

4. Vinegar

Vinegar is admittedly pungent, but ironically it works miracles on smelly carpets. If you have a stain that smells (like urine), pour vinegar over it.

I recommend you pour a healthy dose on your stain and let it sit in your carpet for 20 minutes. After the vinegar has had enough time to interact with your stain, soak up the vinegar with dry towels.

Lastly, wait until your floor is 100% dry and use a vacuum to suck up the particles that will have formed on top of your carpet. This will remove most smelly stains. There are some, like cat urine, that will need something specially created to fight off cat urine bacteria.

5. Blot and Keep it clean

Remember that stains are typically not set as soon as they touch your carpet. More often, they are set when people mishandled them. The first thing you should do to a stain is blot it with a dry towel. Try to remove as much liquid as possible from your carpet without pressing the stain deeper into your floor.

Secondly, use dye-free, unscented soap and warm water. This is not only eco-friendly but it is also better of your carpets. You don’t want to a colored soap into your stain because that will make it harder to remove. An unscented bar of soap can be used to remove basic stains out of your carpet.

I hope these tips will help you keep your house stain free.


Ben Clark

 Leave a comment below if you know of any eco-friendly carpet cleaning tricks.  

Painted Flower Pots – A Great Craft for Kids and A Thoughtful Gift Idea!

Painted flower pots with flowers - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Last month I bought some terracotta flowerpots from our local hardware store in anticipation of Mother’s Day.  Over the last 6 weeks, I have let my daughter slowly work her magic on these pots that we will be giving as gifts for Mother’s Day.  She had a good time painting and I had fun helping.


  • Terracotta pots
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes or foam brushes
  • Foam stamps (optional)
  • Glitter Glue (optional)
  • A sealant for pots that are intended for the outdoors, such as Mod Podge – outside

Painted Flower Pots - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

On sunny days, we took this craft outside and that made it even more enjoyable.

Painted flower pots--- - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

I found some insect and flower stamps at the $1 store, as well as glitter glue.  I find that the foam brushes work best for covering the pot evenly with paint. The acrylic paint dries pretty quickly and then you can go back for a second or third coat.

We bought the flowers from a nearby flower shop and planted them. She is very excited to pass them out over the weekend!

Happy Mother’s day!
Take care, Stephanie

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