Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Aebleskiver – Danish Pancake Balls...

12:02 pm - 38 degrees - raining...

The kids and I were at my parents’ house yesterday when my dad started rummaging through their kitchen cabinets, pulling out extra cast iron pots and pans and asking if I would like to have them.  Of course I would!  Dad pulled out this odd looking pan, I had no clue what it was for, and Mom tells me that it’s an æbleskiver pan.  Of course it is.  As I’m Googling what an æbleskiver pan is used for, Dad whips up a batch of Aebleskiver! 

Aebleskiver (pronounced: aye-bill-ski-ver, singular and plural) are like a melt-in-your mouth... donut?... beignet?...  popover?... or something else entirely?... that is formed into the shape of a ball.  Whatever they are, we all loved them!

As it turns out, Aebleskiver is nothing more exotic than a Danish pancake ball.  That’s right – pancakes shaped into balls – although this does not adequately describe the distinctive taste and texture.  And for this shaping feat, only an odd-looking pan (Lodge Cast Iron P7A3), some manual dexterity, and a little initial patience are required.

The name Aebleskiver which literally means “apple slices” in Danish, makes people believe that there are slices of apples inside, which is correct – if you put apple slices inside!  There are hundreds of ways to make Aebleskiver, and everyone has their own favorite recipe and way of serving them. 

Just a few of the many ways to make Aebleskiver!

My parents just happened to have an æbleskiver pan (which came home with me by the way), and knew how to use it!  Why have I never heard of or tasted these before?!  I can see these becoming a staple in our house hold!  They are unbelievably quick to make and oh so delicious!  So of course, I just had to share this wonderful discovery!

Here is a basic Aebleskiver recipe that you can tweak and add to...


~ Aebleskiver ~
4 eggs separated
1 tbsp. sugar
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups milk

Beat egg yolks until light.  Add sugar and beat until thickened. 

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together and add to the yolk mix, alternating with butter and milk. 

Beat egg whites until soft and fold into batter.  Your Aebleskiver batter should be similar to pancake batter in consistency.  You must be able to pour the batter into the cups on the pan.

Fill each cup of the æbleskiver pan 2/3 full.  Cook over medium heat until bubbly, turn with skewer or fork and cook on other side until golden brown.  (Note:  For round, rather than oval Aebleskiver, make four quarter-turns, rather than only one half-turn.  After you get the hang of turning the Aebleskiver, you will find the process quite easy.)

If desired, a small piece of cooked apple, dollop of jam, or other filling can be pressed into the center of each cup of batter before turning.

Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, honey, jam or whatever your taste buds desire.

~ Enjoy!


{Fun Fact:  How were these tasty pastry balls invented?  One theory goes something like this... Back in the good old days, when the Vikings were roaming up and down the coasts of Europe and the waters of the Atlantic, one band of these Vikings had been particularly hard hit in battle.  So, when they got back to their ship with their horn helmets and shields all dented and banged up, they decided to have one of their favorite dishes to help them regain their strength – pancakes!  In those days they did not have modern conveniences such as frying pans, so they greased their dented and dinged shields and poured the pancake batter on them over the fire and ended up with Aebleskiver!}

Freezing Rain...

9:56 am - 38 degrees - raining...

We had several days of freezing rain which left behind a thick layer of ice giving everything a beautiful semi-gloss finish.  



Although it was beautiful, it was horrible to drive in.  After the the county road and our driveway had been blown and plowed, we were left with a thick ice layer that would not go away.


We were having to chain up and drive in 4-low, 1st gear every time we traversed the super slick road and driveway.  After a day and a half of chaining up my rig to take the kids to school and go pick them up, I was able to put on and take off my chains in 5 minutes!  I think that's pretty good.




Nothing would break through that thick ice layer so we were stuck with waiting until we had a few days of warmer weather.  Tony was then able to break up the ice a bit and the above freezing temperatures and rain has done the rest.

We are now left the ugly snow...  the snow that has been plowed, blown and shoved that has dirt, mud, gravel, and rock mixed in.  


At least the driveway and road are finally melting out though!  It has now been two days since I have had to use chains.  We're still having to use 4-wheel drive in a few spots on the driveway, but after the rainfall today, we may be back to regular driving conditions!   


Winter Wildlife...

9:34 am - 38 degrees - raining...

Why hello there!  Good morning!

Cat curiosity.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dutch Baby Pancake...

5:10 - 32 degrees - temp is dropping quickly and wind is picking up...

I have had this recipe for Dutch Babies since high school, and I absolutely love them.  A Dutch Baby Pancake, which is sometimes called a German Pancake, or a Dutch Puff – call it what you want, but think of it as a sweet cross between a crepe and a popover that takes just a few minutes to prepare and will melt in your mouth.  They are sooo delicious!

A Dutch Baby has the light delicate batter and goes great with filings just like a crepe, but when it hits the hot cast iron skillet and cooks in the oven for a bit, its sides puff up in all the airy, crispy glory of a popover.


~ Dutch Baby Pancake ~
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Optional toppings: 
butter 
powder sugar
cinnamon
fresh squeezed lemon juice
fresh berries 
syrup

Place a 10” cast-iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs together until light and frothy.  Add milk, vanilla, salt and sugar, and whisk until combined.  Sift in flour, and whisk just until smooth.  Let rest for about 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven, add the butter and let melt completely, swirling the pan to allow the butter to coat the entire bottom.

Pour the batter into the skillet over melted butter, and place back into the oven. 

Bake for 15 minutes, until the Dutch Baby is puffed and golden brown.  Remove from oven and use a spatula to loosen the edges of the Dutch Baby.  (Reminder – the Dutch Baby will fall soon after being removed from the oven – it’s supposed to do that!)

Cut into wedges and serve warm.  Sprinkle with fresh squeezed lemon juice, powdered sugar, butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, fresh berries – whatever your taste buds desire!

~ Enjoy!

{Fun Fact:  Dutch Babies are tremendously popular in the Pacific Northwest.  According to local lore, they originated at a restaurant in Seattle called Manca’s Café and then became even more popular by The Original Pancake House that started in Portland, Oregon.  While these pancakes are derived from the German (Deutsche) pancake dish, it is said that the name Dutch Baby was coined by one of Victor Manca’s daughters.}

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Snowflakes And Sunshine...

7:03 pm - 15 degrees - 35+ mph winds...

Tony said that we have an odd phenomenon going on today.  There was not a cloud in the sky, yet it was snowing.  There was a low-level fog layer to the East, this is what was creating our snowflakes.  

The thick fog a couple miles East of us is dense enough for a single nuclei to freeze, allowing other fine water droplets to form around it creating a snowflake. The tiny snowflakes are then blown in by the high East winds.

Snowflakes and sunshine.

Saturday Evening Post…

5:47 pm - 16 degrees - 35+ mph wind gusts...

A small glimpse into our lives as we live off-grid… sort of like eves dropping.  It may be a thought, quote or a conversation; funny, sweet or sad; but it will always be true.  We will see if it resonates with you…


{messaging back and forth}
Me:  “Wind gauge is down.”
Tony:  “What did you do to it?”
Me:  “Nothing!”
Tony:  “You can also measure wind speed by dunking your arm in water, then stand outside with your arm in the air, and time how long it takes to freeze.”
Me:  “Um, I’ll pass!”
Tony:  “Please send video.”
Me:  “Of what?”
Tony:  “Waiting for the water to freeze.”
Me:  “Nope, not doing that!”

Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 10 Posts Of All Time...

9:58 am - 21 degrees - 25-30 mph winds with 65-70 mph wind gusts...

I’ve written over 487 blog posts, and it’s always interesting to me to see which ones are the top posts.
Today I am sharing with you the top 10 posts from Off-Grid Home Sweet Home.

1. Log Reindeer... from October 2013 {click here}


2. Kids Handprint Stepping Stone... from May 2011 {click here}


3. Board and Batten Siding... from July 2012 {click here}


4. Off-Grid Power {Generators}... from July 2013 {click here}


5. One-Pan Skillet Cookie... from December 2011 {click here}


6. Swedish Torch... from June 2013 {clickhere}


7. Alaskan Chainsaw Mill... from May 2013 {click here}


8. Off-Grid Power {Battery Bank}... from March 2013 {click here}


9. Questions and Answers... from October 2013 {click here}


10. Gravity Fed Water System {Water Storage}...  From January 2012 {click here}



Happy New Year!...

9:56 am - 21 degrees - 25-30 mph winds with 65-70 mph winds gusts...


Thursday, December 31, 2015

20 Small Reminders...

12:42 pm - 23 degrees - overcast, strong winds...

Are resolutions the same as a to-do-list?  I don’t really know but I work really well when I have a list.  Anyways... here are a few small reminders I am aiming to keep in mind for the new year!


1. Believe that anything is possible.

2. Choose a narrow path.  The sooner you pinpoint exactly what you want to achieve in your live, what you want your legacy to be, the sooner it will happen for you.  Don’t choose the well beaten path; create your own.  Dare to be different and aim for the moon.

3. Break a bad habit.

4. Work hard(er).  Start each day with goals.  Set your goals high and higher... your limits are only those you believe to be true.

5. Purge the unnecessary and decrease clutter.

6. Embrace change.  If life were consistent and without ups and downs, it would be boring, bleak and monotone.  We’re here to dodge bullets, get back up when we’re kicked down and make decisions for ourselves.  It’s all about building your character.  Never fear change, it could be exactly what you need.

7. Never allow waiting to become a habit.  Live your dreams and take risks.  Life is happening now.

8. Eat more real food.

9. Try to grow more food.

10. Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.  But never forget you don’t have a body, you have a soul.  Your exterior will never define your interior.

11. Exercise daily even when it sounds like a terrible idea. 

12. Its okay to eat cereal for dinner.  You only live once...

13. Make time for creativity.

14. Be loyal.  In love, friendships, and most importantly with your family.  Stay true to your word.

15. Hug the ones I love more.

16. Find the best in others.

17. Show others the best in me.

18. Own your mistakes.  The only way to learn is to make mistakes.  The only way to learn from mistakes is to own them.

19. A lot can happen in a year.

20. You’ll never be as young as you are right now.

Mountain Fun...

10:20 am - 23 degrees - cloudy, strong winds...

Out having fun in all the snow.  






Solar panels are buried.


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