Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

Sometimes I see a recipe that just sounds wonderful, and I have to share it!  That's what happened when I saw this recipe for Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball from Bacon Today.  Enjoy!

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

Click for Bacon!
Yep, that’s right. This recipe is a giant ball of bacon and cheese. What’s not to love? And if you’re a bacon-loving turophile (a cheese fancier), like I am, then you’re probably already planning out your next party just so you can make one of these tasty cheese balls and celebrate it’s deliciousness with your friends and family. I mean, it’s a wonderful cheese ball, but it’s not like I’m going to eat the whole thing in one sitting… *checks to make sure no one is looking, eats a chunk of cheese ball* Actually, never mind. you don’t even need to throw a party. Go on, make one for yourself! There’s no shame in eating the whole ball of cheese, right? Right…?! *eats another chunk of cheese* Mmm.

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Ingredients:

Two 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
One 1 oz. package Ranch dressing mix
2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 cup cooked, finely chopped bacon
Ritz crackers (crushed)


In a medium-sized bowl, mash cream cheese. Add the Ranch dressing mix, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits to the cream cheese and stir.
Crush the 6 Ritz crackers and mix them with the chopped pecans in a small bowl. Shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball, and roll the ball in the chopped nut mixture until it’s evenly covered.
Cover and refrigerate until the ball is firm, about 1 hour. Serve with more Ritz crackers. Enjoy!
- See more at: http://bacontoday.com/bacon-ranch-cheese-ball/#sthash.QRvSsNgb.dpuf

Tips & Tricks- Freezing Potatoes

If you have ever wondered what to do with those potatoes that are about to sprout, here is the answer!
Freeze them!
Yes, you can freeze potatoes when they are shredded, french fried or diced.
The trick?  Once cut, soak them in cold water, rinse, and soak and rinse again.
Lay on a tray lined with paper towel a few minutes to dry them.
Put in plastic bags and freeze.
Your potatoes will remain firm and ready to cook!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Free Kindle Reading App!

Wish you could download those free Kindle Books you see other Homesteaders write about? Did you know that you can download a FREE Kindle Reading App onto most any device?  That means you can download E-Books and don't have to purchase a Reading Device!  

Click on the link below to read more about it, and download your FREE Kindle Reading App!

Prevent Garden Pests Safely with Neem Oil

It's that time of year again- our gardens are producing all kinds of delicious veggies, and our kitchens are filled with canning jars and lids. If you grow your own food, it's thrilling to see your seeds turn into food for your family. 

But how do you safely keep away those pesky pests?  According to Discover Neem, Neem Oil is a completely safe way to get rid of all kinds of insects, without concern for toxicity. 

Here is an informative excerpt from Discover Neem, followed by my recipe for Neem Oil Pesticide!

Is It Safe To Spray Neem?

Using Neem Garden Sprays

Whether it's safe to spray neem is an important question to ask. There are several issues here...
Not all insects are bad. Does neem spray make a difference between bad and good bugs?
And what about spraying neem in the vegetable garden? How long do you have to wait until you can eat your tomatoes?

Does spraying neem harm beneficial insect?

Please only use neem spray in the very early morning or late afternoon, or you may hurt beneficial insects. Neem oil is not toxic to them, but it can suffocate them if you spray them directly and the soap can hurt them too.
You should only spray neem at times when insects are not active. Once the spray has dried it is not harmful to good insects any more, only to sucking and chewing bugs.

How safe is the neem spray for yourself?

Totally safe. There is no need for protective clothing or anything like that. You can even use neem oil spray on yourself! People use the more concentrated mixtures as a safe and natural insect repellent. It's much better for you than the harmful DEET. Not only that, it is actually good for your skin. Really.

Can you spray neem on edible plants?

Neem spray can be used on your fruits and vegetables. You can spray vegetables and fruit trees with neem spray right up until the day of harvest. Also, there are no herbs, vegetables or fruit trees that are sensitive to oil sprays.
Soil drenches are designed to get the plant to absorb the neem oil through the roots. There are some vegetables, like onions, cabbages, and tomatoes, that apparently do not like soil drenches with raw neem oil. Spraying, however, is fine.
Neem is generally safe for all plants, both edible and ornamental. However, all oils can do injury to sensitive plants. 0.5% is a low enough concentration to avoid that, but be careful if plants are drought stressed, when the humidity is high, or during periods of extreme heat or cold.
Do a test application before you use neem oil spray on plants that are known to be sensitive to oils: impatiens, fuchsias, hibiscus and some roses, trees like maples, hickories or black walnut.
If used correctly, during the early morning or late afternoon, and not during humid weather or on drought stressed plants, you should be fine. But don't take my word for it. Always test your mix before you spray neem on new plants!

Here is the recipe that I have used to help control my garden insects~

Neem Oil Pesticide from One Ash Farm Recipes

1 oz. neem oil
1 gallon water
1-2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing soap (this helps it "stick")

Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle or hose-attach sprayer and spray 
onto your trees and plants liberally!

Click Here to Buy Neem Oil (affiliate link)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tips & Tricks from One Ash- coming soon!

Several years ago the youngest One Ash-an said to me, "You're going to have to write all these tricks down so that I have them when I am running a home one day!". Even though I have assumed she was learning by watching and helping, that statement has stuck with me ever since.  And thinking about it now, this blog seems like the best place to document, and also share,
 the Tips and Tricks I use around the Homestead.  

I hope you will have fun following and learning from this new addition to our blog, 
and if you have any ideas you want me to include, feel free to leave a comment!  

Look for the first Tips and Tricks post coming soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heirloom Seed Giveaway

If you grow a garden, then you know how frustrating it is to have 
to buy seeds over and over again each year.  
By using Heirloom seeds to grow your garden, you can harvest seeds from 
your plants to use next year, or to store away for future use.  

Read more about how to do this, and join us in supporting our friends at 
Blue Yonder Urban Farms and Seeds of the Month Club for this terrific giveaway!  You can enter to have the chance to win the following:

1 Year Subscription to Seeds of the Month Club


Use the link below to enter, and make sure to subscribe to 
One Ash Plantation Homestead Blog, and "like" One Ash Farm and Dairy Supply Company on Facebook to earn even more entries into the giveaway!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Choosing a Ripe Watermelon

The watermelon are just about ripe here in South Carolina, and we are ready for them!  

Every year we wait, and wonder, as to when they will be just right to pick and enjoy.

This chart is a great visual on how to choose a sweet and juicy watermelon.  Hope it helps you pick the best ones!