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Beef Bone Broth, Tomato Soup, Maple Baked Beans Recipes and More!

Happy Monday! You might notice that this week’s post looks a little bit different than our usual Monday recipe post and I really hope you’re going to love our new changes.

Instead of our typical single concept posts, we’re moving toward more collective writings that will include a bit more of our story, rather than the usual how-to’s and tutorials.

I think we’ve all had enough of those…

From here on out, we’ll be starting our Monday’s with a collection of recipes from our own homestead kitchens.

We hope you’ll join us on our journey of sharing our kitchen fails, wins and of course, the recipes for everything else in between.

Early Fall in Vermont | Food Life Design

From the Homestead Kitchen:

Fall has arrived here in Vermont. The leaves are turning into a stunning rainbow of red, orange and golden yellow and the mornings are rich with fog and cool breezes. And you know what that means, right?

That’s right!

Soups and Stews and Casseroles and Warm, Comforting Soul Food!

So, come on into my kitchen and see what’s cooking this week…

Beef Bone Broth | Food Life Design

Pressure Canning Beef Bone Broth

When we got our side of beef in the spring, we received a whole bunch of soup bones that I’ve had sitting in the freezer. And since the garden is finally finished and the holiday rush in the shop hasn’t started, I thought it’d be a good idea to get some on the shelf to help with quick, easy meals throughout the winter.

Making your own beef bone broth is super simple!

All you need is beef bones, with or without meat, water and some herbs and spices.

Throw it all into a slow cooker and let it cook for a day or two.

After it’s all cooked, ladle it into jars and pressure can as directed in the recipe below.

I promise, after you make your own beef bone broth, you’ll never want to buy the junk in the store again!

It’s so flavorful! Not to mention amazingly healthy for you, too.

And yes, you can do this with chicken, too!

Here’s the recipe:

Pressure Canning Beef Bone Broth


  • 4 to 5 lbs. beef bones (with or without meat attached)
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons real salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 sprig each; rosemary, thyme, oregano


  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Strain, reserving broth. Discard bones and broth or feed it to the chickens.
  3. Ladle bone broth into pint jars. Clean rims of jar with a damp cloth.
  4. Cover with clean lids and rings.
  5. Process in a pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes.
Tomato Basil Soup | Food Life Design

Tomato Basil Soup

Even though the garden is buttoned up for winter, I still have a ton of tomatoes left to process, so I thought Tomato Basil Soup would be a great meal to have on the shelf for those busy nights ahead!

Is there anything better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold, winter night?

I think not!

My Tomato Basil Soup starts with fresh tomatoes, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can go ahead and used canned tomato sauce (as noted in the printable recipe below).

If you happen to have some fresh tomatoes left from the summer garden, get ’em washed up!

Arrange the tomatoes on a couple of large baking sheets and bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes or so. Then, throw them into a food mill and start spinning.

You’ll need about 2 quarts of sauce for the Tomato Basil Soup.

After you’ve milled all of your tomato sauce and removed the skins and seeds, add a bit of olive oil to a stock pot or dutch oven and heat it up on medium temperature.

Add some garlic and chopped, fresh basil to the hot oil and saute for a minute or two.

Pour the tomato sauce into the pot, add a little apple cider vinegar and some sugar and stir it all to combine.

Cook on medium-low temperature for 3o minutes or so.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or butter crackers.

And yes, you can pressure can this soup, too!

Follow the instructions shown here for pressure cooking soup.

Here’s the recipe:

Tomato Basil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 2 quarts tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Heat olive oil on medium temperature.
  2. Add garlic and basil to hot oil. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Continue cooking on medium-low temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  6. Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Vermont Maple Baked Beans (From Scratch!)

Vermont maple syrup and homemade baked beans…does it get any better?

These Vermont Maple Baked Beans are made in the slow cooker and there is NO soak time required!

All you have to do is rinse the beans, mix up the sauce and throw it all in the slow cooker to cook for the day.

It’s really that simple!

Plus, you can easily pressure can these baked beans to save for the winter, too. Just follow the standard baked bean cooking times here.

Here’s the recipe for these yummy beans:

Slow Cooker Vermont Maple Baked Beans


  • 2 cups navy beans, dried
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon each:
  • - red pepper flakes
  • - garlic powder
  • - onion powder
  • - real salt
  • - black pepper


  1. Rinse beans and remove any broken or cracked beans or small stones.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Add rinsed beans to the sauce mixture.
  4. Cook on low temperature for 12 to 14 hours.
  5. Serve hot.
Easy Pumpkin Bars | Food Life Design

Easy Pumpkin Bars

You knew I couldn’t let the fall go by without a pumpkin recipe, right?

These delicious pumpkin bars are super easy to make and if you’re a pumpkin lover, you really want to make this treat!

Just mix up some sugar cookie dough, whisk together a can of pumpkin, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk, then, bake.

It’s really that simple!

Oh and did I mention, it starts with a package of sugar cookie mix?

Here’s the recipe:

Yield: 16 BARS

Easy Pumpkin Bars


  • 1 package sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each; cloves, nutmeg, ginger


  1. Combine sugar cookie mix, butter and egg in a mixing bowl.
  2. Spread cookie dough into an ungreased, 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
  3. Combine pumpkin, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and spices in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour pumpkin mixture over the cookie dough.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
  6. Cool on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  8. Slice into 16 bars and serve.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen with me! It’s so much fun to just relax, have fun in the kitchen and prepare some good, old-fashioned homemade food for the family, isn’t it?

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Have an Awesome Day!


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