All posts by Nicholas

Hello World!

Hey has moved, as we did. Join us on our new website for podcasts/videos of our adventures in setting up our very own homestead on the big island of Hawaii in the rain forest; taking raw land and making it a working homestead. We will be building a house, setting up gardens, orchards, and animals all on a shoestring budget. Our recipes will become more and more Paleo in design as we move away from grain, legumes and dairy. We intend to release a cook book of our own and start possibly offering homemade (by us) products for sale through the site. So check back often as we are moving towards making our intentions a reality. In the future there will even be opportunities to visit our farm and help.

The Generosity Of Our Fellow Man

I just had 5 wisdom teeth removed (yes I am extra wise) then on the car ride home we had a tire blow out. Something I could have easily changed out myself if I had not just had surgery. So we had to change the tire on the side of the road, during below freezing weather. So homesteaders the moral of this story is, if your car is vibrating hard at every speed go have it checked out and do not drive it until the tire literally explodes at the worst possible time. Fortunately someone stopped to help us change that tire.

And to the dear man who stopped on the side of the road to help strangers, people he had never meet, and will never see again.  I THANK YOU. We usually only hear about the worst in our fellow man, and often forget of all the kindness that is in this world. This man is the reason that the world is still a great place, he is a perfect example of why I believe, we as humans are still mostly good.

Cheese Cake

Cheese Cake                                                                                                      TWC


2   8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese – softened per pkg.

½ cup Sugar

1/8 cup Flour

½ tsp Vanilla extract


½ cup Milk

1 tsp Lemon juice

1 tsp Lemon peel powder


2 medium Eggs


Beat first group in mixer

Add next group and mix well

Add eggs one at a time and mix lightly


Pour and level in 10” Graham pie crust

Bake at 325 for 60 min.

Cool completely

Refrigerate 4 hours before serving


Spring/Fall Egg Casserole

This is considered a spring/fall recipe because that is when Swiss chard is in season.

3 potatoes (Shredded)

5 Large Swiss chard Leaves

6 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 12-16 oz. package of bacon cooked

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup Shredded pepper jack cheese

6 cherry tomatoes

Cook bacon and crumble, reserve 3 tablespoons grease. Put shredded potatoes in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch pan, layer on Swiss chard cut into strips, then the cherry tomatoes that you sliced.  Add bacon and grease.  In a separate bowl mix eggs, milk and cheese, pour evenly over potato mixture. Place 9 x 13 pan in 375 degree preheated oven for 45 min or until the cheese is lightly browned.



White Christmas Fruit Cake

Cake – White Christmas Fruit Cake                                          NCC/TWC

[I don’t know original source for this – we’ve made many years we both continued to improve fruit/nut mix each year to 2011]


Three loaf batch (each about 4 ½ x 8 ½ x 2 ¼” and 3 lb.):


Grease pans, line bottom with wax paper, and grease paper too.


66 oz (not critical)     Fruit and nuts:

20 oz. Pineapple Chunks (dried candied) – cut avg. chunk into 4 pcs.

15 oz  White Raisins – sort thru to pick out any stems, hard pcs, leaf pcs, etc.

10 oz  Chopped Dates (not whole Dates).  (Not white, but tastes so good!)

5 oz. Dried Apricots – cut into small 1/8” to 3/16” cubes.

16 oz Walnuts (or Pecans) coarsely chopped.


4 ½ cups              All-purpose Flour

2 tsp                     Baking Powder

½ tsp                    Salt

1  tsp (or more)  Lemon Peal (dry, ground)


1 7/8 stick            Butter or Margarine softened

1 7/8 cups            Sugar

8 med.                  Eggs

3 ¾ cups               Orange Juice (w/pulp)


Combine fruit and nuts in a large mixing bowl (4 qt. possible – 5qt. better) .


Add dry ingredients to fruit and mix well.


In a smaller mixing bowl:

cream butter with sugar,

add eggs and mix well,

add juice and mix well.

Add to fruit and flour mixture and blend.

Transfer equally to three loaf pans, and press flat on top.


Bake at 275 degrees (cover with cookie sheet for first hour) for 2 ¼ to 2 ½ hours until top

is firm, and toothpick comes clean (check at 2 hrs).


Cool completely in pans.

Turn out, peal paper, wrap tightly, and store in refrigerator or freezer.


Slice thin (3/8 to ½”).   Good spread with butter or cream cheese, or even plain!



Cherokee Purple Tomato

 Here at The Cunningham Homestead we are trying out different varieties of fruits and veggies, we like the idea of finding Heirloom breeds because they haven’t been genetically modified. I have been told that heirlooms are harder to grow; in my experience it has not been that different although that tomato plant did take longer to mature.

Cherokee purple tomatoes are really neat looking they are an heirloom breed tomato so they are not perfectly round. The skin is prone to splitting and is a purple red color but not too different. When you cut it open, however the flesh is a brilliant dark purple color. My husband said it looks like a tomato that is going bad color wise. It has a sweeter taste than traditional tomatoes and seems to be less acidic with soft flesh. If you are looking for a different heirloom breed tomato for your garden I would suggest this one.


Homemade Dishwasher Soap

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

1 cup Borax

1 cup Super-Washing Soda

½ cup Citric Acid

½ cup Kosher Salt

Just mix and use 1 tablespoon per load

You can get the Citric acid at Wal-Mart in their canning isle, it’s a small bottle but it is only 2.95 and it is enough for 2 batches that way if you like it you can go online and order it in larger quantities.

White vinegar works great in place of rinse aid, just fill like you would with jet dry. Really works well and is so much cheaper.

Cake – Mom’s Nameless Cake

Cake – Mom’s Nameless Cake      LHC (as revised NCC by 1 ½ times for 13 x 9 pans)


1 cup Shortening

2 cups Sugar

4 Eggs

2 5/8 cup Flour

¾ tsp Baking Powder

¾ tsp Baking Soda

¾ tsp Salt

1 1/8 tsp Nutmeg

1 ½ tsp Allspice

¾ cup Nuts

¾ cup Raisins

1 ¼ cup Applesauce


Bake at 350 for 45 min.




Garden Notes

Garden notes: started our fall garden seeds today, they are soaking in water and I will plant them tonight. We are planting snap peas, snow peas, loose leaf lettuce, beets, turnips, collards, mustard, carrots, spinach, Heirloom lettuce and green onion. These are in addition to the tomatoes and cucumbers I have already planted for fall.

We currently have cherry tomatoes, plumb tomatoes Cherokee purple tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, bell peppers pumpkin, zucchini, green beans, watermelon and cantaloupe. The herbs we are growing include; dill, basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.   We planted cauliflower but the bugs ate it and we had to remove them.

This was the first garden we have attempted and we have learned a few lessons so far; you don’t need 5 cherry tomato plants, 3 green bean plants aren’t enough, pumpkin and cucumber seeds can be easily confused, one zucchini plant is not enough (who knew it would be so tasty) pepper plants need to be started earlier if they are going to make peppers, peas are a cold weather crop, watermelon is just plan hard to grow, and growing your own food is incredibly rewarding!          

Some of the most fun we have had is spending the day in the garden together weeding, planting, harvesting, and planning what to grow next. Sophia loves to play in the dirt and who would guess it I do too. I have rarely felt more fulfilled then when I harvest veggies from my garden to cook up for dinner for my family. I have seen those veggies from seeds through harvest and know they are perfectly healthy never sprayed with chemicals or artificial fertilizers. I can feel good about my daughter grabbing a tomato off the vine and eating there in the garden. 

Something about growing your own food makes you not want to waste even a little bit of it, you stop seeing it as just food and start seeing it as all the hard work it took to get to that point. You look for ways to use it like zucchini chocolate chip cookies, and ways to preserve it like canning and freezing. You turn to friends and neighbors for advice, cook books have become permanent members of my kitchen and the need to preserve my efforts even gave me to courage to ask the young Mennonite lady at my local farmers market if she knew anyone who would teach me how to can. That turned out to be fun, her mom is teaching me and it opened up a whole world of possibilities with in their community.


Cake Frostings

Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting 1                                NCC


1 8  oz pkg Cream Cheese softened

½ cup Butter or Margarine softened

1-16oz pkg confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1 tsp Vanilla extract


Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth

Add conf. sugar and vanilla

Beat until light and fluffy



Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting 2                                NCC


6 oz Cream Cheese

½ cup Butter

1 tsp Vanilla extract


Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla, beating until smooth

Gradually add 4 cups Powdered Sugar



Cake – Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting                    From a Cream Cheese box


1 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese softened

1 tsp Vanilla

5 ½ cups powdered Sugar


Combine cream cheese and vanilla, mixing until well blended

Gradually add sugar, mixing well after each addition

12 servings



Cake – Lemon Butter Frosting


6 Tbsp Butter

4 ½  to 4 ¾ cups sifted Powdered Sugar

¼ cup Lemon juice

1 tsp finely shredded Lemon peel



Drizzle for sweet rolls

1 cup sifted Powdered Sugar

¼ tsp Vanilla

Milk to desired consistency

Just stir and spread