Visit Owner Builder
                  Green Home
Owner Builder Green Home


Site Map

Scam Alert
About Tom Landis
The Owner Builder Coach


Owner Builder Projects

Working With Professionals

Owner Builder Green Home

Down Home Radio



Home Building Video

Consumer's Advantage

Shop & Compare

Owner Builder Seminars

Home Library


Legal Stuff


Get the Home You Want

Is Your Site Buildable?

About Construction Loans

Budget Estimating

Shopping For Home Design

Contractor/Supplier Tips

Be An Active Learner

Our Newsletter

OBS News Archive

Get More Info



Your Planning Guide

Guide Contents

10 Ways to Collaborate

Decision Making Process

Design/Build Matrix

Building Green

Contract Documents




Budget Estimate

Cost Analysis


Trade Contractors




Quality Control

Punch List


"Down Home with Tom Landis" Streaming Audio

Live Radio Show every Saturday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m.

The New Cottage Home
Click here to visit site

"New Family Home" with Guest Jim Tolpin
Click here to stream audio

Tom interviews Jim Tolpin, author of The New Family Home and The New Cottage Home, as well as current president of the National Association of Home and Workshop Writers. Mr. Tolpin takes listeners through how and why he wrote these two, very fine books on creating custom homes, in which he emphasizes both the aesthetic and functional realms for the residential design/build process.

 Get Real PlayerVisit for the entire audio archive


Here's a recipe our three children really enjoy!

12 large clams

Scrub the clam shells and steam them in enough water to cover.

Remove the clams from their shells, and then chop fine. Reserve clam meat.

Strain the liquid and add enough water to make 6 cups. Reserve clam water.

2-4 slices of bacon

Cut the bacon in very small pieces.

Fry until crisp and brown.

2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 cup chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Drain bacon fat, and then add to the skillet, veggies and reserve clams & water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until potatoes are done.

Add to Veggies:

2 cups whole milk
1 can of creamy celery soup (A MUST)

salt and white pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 tablespoons "quick-mixing" flour
Mix the cornmeal or flour with a little cold water and stir into chowder

And, then...add...

8 0Z shredded monterry jack cheese



Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, these scones are wonderful split open and filled with raspberry jam.

3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chilled margarine, cut into 6-8 pieces

1/2 cup currants
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup golden raisins slightly chopped

1 cup buttermilk

Topping Mix:
sugar and cinnamon mix to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a mixer, mix first five dry ingredients together.

Add margarine and cut into flour mixture until well blended. Add four fruit items.

Pour in buttermilk and mix with wooden spoon only until blended.

Gather into a ball and divide in half. Roll into two circles 3/4 inch thick, then cut each circle into 8 wedges.

Place wedges on cooking pan, then sprinkle cinnamon sugar lightly on tops on wedges.

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.


A visual delight: yellow cake with big patches of blue. Your lunch box will be the envy of the crew!

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil or melted butter (or combination)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 1/2 cups blueberries (If frozen, then thaw. Drain berries and dry on paper towels.)

Topping Mix:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oats (regular or quick)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together, in large bowl, the first four dry ingredients.

In separate bowl, whisk eggs, then add milk, oil/butter, and lemon rind.

Combine both bowls by hand mix until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in blueberries.

Grease muffin tins and fill 3/4 full.

In separate bowl, combine topping mix with fingers. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon topping mix on each muffin.

Bake in oven 25-30 minutes depending on size of muffin tin.


Here's a slight variation on a classic favorite!

1 1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup oat flour or oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Combine butter, brown and white sugar together then add eggs and vanilla briskly beating for 2 minutes.

Thoroughly mix with baking soda, white and oat flour then stir in chips.

Chill dough for 2 hours.

Form dough into balls and bake on tray at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.


Take a few extra slices in your lunch box. When you get home, there won't be any left for your evening snack!

3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs (beaten)

1 pound canned pumpkin

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

2/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs together.

Add pumpkin to mix.

In separate bowl, mix 7 dry ingredients then add to pumpkin mix.

Stir in water just until all ingredients are mixed.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9" x 5" x 3" metal loaf pans. Rap pans on counter to settle any air bubbles.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then unmold and let cool completely on a rack.


Enjoy this bread with a cup of coffee or tea at breaktime. This bread has just the perfect balance of sweetness, vanilla, and spice.

3 medium zucchinis

4 eggs
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup walnut halves, broken into large pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Shred the zucchini then measure out 2 2/3 packed cups.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually beat in the sugar. Slowly whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.

In another bowl, combine the 5 dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured 9" x 5" x 3" metal loaf pans. Rap pans on the counter to settle any air bubbles.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold and let cool completely on a rack.


If you take a portion of this baked good in your lunch box, you'll need to pack it in tupperware so you get the savory fruit juices from the bottom of the dish.

5-6 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
zest of 1 or 2 lemons
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put peaches in buttered 9"x13" baking dish topping with lemon juice and almond extract.

Combine sugar, tapioca flour, and lemon zest pouring over peaches.

Bake for 25 minutes stirring one or two times until bubbly.

Add berries sprinkling evenly over top of filling.

While fruit filling bakes, prepare following topping mixture.

1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, cold
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 pint whipping cream

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda thoroughly.

Cut cold butter into small pieces adding to dry ingredients then, with pastry blender, work butter into ingredients.

Add beaten egg and buttermilk tossing together lightly with fork until it all holds together. Don't overmix!

Drop by soupspoonfuls onto hot fruit distributing evenly in baking dish with approximately finger space between each spoonful.

Sprinkle with sugar then continue to bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Top with whipped cream.


My Dad's home recipe which I found scrawled on a scrap of paper and taped on the inside cover of his recipe book.

Fillet salmon and cut into strips or chunks.

Skin may be left on or off salmon fillets depending on personal preference.

For marinade brine, mix thoroughly:

1/4 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed bay leaves

2 cups soy sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water

Marinate salmon fillets fully-covered in brine recipe for 12 hours.

Remove from marinade brine and rinse thoroughly.

Pat dry salmon fillets then air dry for 2 hours.

While salmon fillets air dry, soak first pan of wood chips in water. This batch of water-soaked chips is used in the first pan only at beginning of smoking process. I use alder chips but many different species do well depending on your taste.

Oil smoker racks to avoid salmon fillets sticking to metal parts.

Place salmon fillets on smoker racks with skin side down.

After first batch of water-soaked chips is used, continue smoking process with dry wood chips.

Smoke for 12 hours at low heat.

Remove from smoker and allow to cool before storing.

Smoked salmon fillets store well in zip-lock type storage bags if kept refrigerated.


Heat 2+/- tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add 4+/- finely chopped garlic cloves then saute for several minutes.

Add 1 cup half n' half cream, 1 cooked and diced red pepper, and 1/2 pound baked salmon then simmer for several minutes.

Add 1 cup diced fresh basil and 1 cup shredded fresh parmesan then let simmer, adding small portions of whole milk (if needed) to preferred consistency.

Salt or pepper to taste.

Pour over pasta; I prefer Rotini style.

Here's two savory sites for making additions to your Lunch Box:
The Splendid Table

If you'd like to share a baked good item from your family favorites, please send the recipe so it can be posted for others to enjoy.

Email comments to:
Owner Builder Services -- Tom Landis

Visit the Owner Builder Coach for more free information:


Special thanks to Olympic Web Design for hosting.

Tom Landis © copyright 2008-2022 - All Rights Reserved