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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Minimalism is Great!

Minimalism Is Great, But You Do Need These Items In Your Kitchen
If you’re of the school of thought that prefers to keep things simple in your home, you probably steer well clear of items like popcorn makers and spiralizers. However, no matter how minimalist you want to keep your kitchen, there are a few items which you really have to have in order to prepare and serve food!

If you’re trying to keep your kitchen equipment down to a minimum, here is our guide to the essentials for basic cooking.

Silverware
You won’t get very far if you don’t have any spoons, knives and forks in your kitchen drawers. Are you going to eat every meal with your fingers? There’s no need for very fancy or expensive cutlery, but at least four forks, knives and spoons will make sure that you can not only feed yourself in style but also any friends or family members who pop around for dinner.

Flatware And Cups
If you’ve got silverware to eat with, you’re going to need something to eat off! Plates, preferably in two sizes, bowls and some cups and glasses will ensure that you can serve up a meal without worrying about having to wash up between courses!

Food Preparation Essentials
Even if you aren’t a culinary whizz, you’re almost certainly going to need a few basic food preparation essentials. A spatula will allow you to stir foods as they cook, while a large serving spoon will be essential for ladling out portions. You’ll also need a minimum of one high quality knife which will be suitable for cutting up meat and vegetables for soups, stews and stir fries. There are many different types of knife on the market today, and you’ll find some of the best products that you can choose from discussed here. Don’t forget to invest in a can opener and a bottle opener as well. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to open that bottle of wine!

Pots And Pans
Of course, you’re going to need something to cook food in. Even if you’re only planning on opening packets and tins, at least one saucepan and a skillet will make sure you can prepare food without too much difficulty. You’ll also need an oven tray or roasting dish and if you can stretch to it, a glass casserole dish would be a great addition to your kitchen equipment.

Some Key Electricals
Even if you’re determined to keep your countertop electricals to a minimum, there are a few that you’re certainly going to get plenty of use out of. A microwave is an absolute essential, whether for preparing food or for re-heating it. You’re also going to get a lot of use from a toaster – who can live without toast? A kettle is another key piece of equipment for most people, but perhaps a coffee maker would be a better choice for anyone who is a huge fan of their cup of java in the morning!

Some Protective Items
If you don’t want to burn your hands every time you take a dish out of the oven, you’re going to need some oven mitts. You may also want to think about getting an apron too – unless you particularly like the stylish appearance of splashes of food and grease on all your favorite outfits!

The Best Of The Rest
Although we’ve covered all the basics, there are a few more things you might want to consider adding to your kitchen essentials list. Some measuring spoons and cups could be very useful if you’re planning on baking, while some Tupperware dishes could be invaluable for storing or heating up leftovers. A mixing bowl and a blender are two more items which could be very useful for anyone who is keen to do a little more in the way of food preparation, and for those who are looking for the absolute easiest way to prepare nutritious meals with minimal effort, a slow cooker could be the business, and could revolutionize the way that you prepare meals for yourself.
So, there you have it, the absolute essentials that your kitchen can’t do without. Anything else may as well be frippery! 


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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Recipes for the Perfect Christmas Meal



     Christmas is just a few days away so I thought I would share a list of my tried and tested recipes to make your Christmas go smoother.  

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    For Christmas breakfast or brunch, nothing can beat my French Toast Casserole.  It makes a cake pan full of delicious French Toast without all the work of making individual pieces of French Toast

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French Toast Casserole

   Now that breakfast/brunch is over with, it is time to start making your Christmas Dinner.

    We have turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas so here is my Pineapple Glazed Ham recipe.  This is the recipe we use EVERY single year.  Your ham will turn out moist and so tantalizing that it will be hard to stop eating it, even after you are stuffed.  Everyone who has ever tried my ham begs for the recipe so that is why I am sharing it with y'all today!

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Pineapple Glazed Ham

    We love potatoes and we always serve Homemade Mashed Potatoes for our Christmas Dinner. 

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Homemade Mashed Potatoes

   Another side we serve is my Creamy Corn Casserole.  The corn casserole might not look super pretty but it more than delivers on taste.  It turns out so creamy and is always a favorite no matter when or where you serve it.

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Creamy Corn Casserole
Of course, no meal is complete without some type of bread so I will be serving my Potato Rolls.  They are super simple to make and they turn out light and delicious every single time.

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Potato Rolls

    And to go with the rolls, some delicious Cranberry Chutney.  You won't believe the depth of flavor and how aromatic it is.

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Cranberry Chutney

    We love desserts so we make several different kinds.  This year I am making my Chocolate Chip Pie, my Chocolate Mousse Pie, and some Chunky Chocolate Chip Bars.  Chocolate overload but we wouldn't have it any other way.  




Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
Chunky Chocolate Chip Bar


     I hope you found this post and my recipes helpful.  I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Our 2018 Homestead Goals...How did we do?

   This year is almost over with.  My how the time has flown.  It seems like I just barely created my goals for the year and now the year is almost gone.  I just went over our goals for 2018 and wanted to see how we did.  Fair, not great, but perhaps next year we will do better.

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To put in the hours.

     I think we did pretty good here.  Bub got where he was waking up an hour earlier than usual since it gets dark so early now.  Ron really put in the hours too.  

Eat from our freezers and pantry.

      We ate a LOT more this year from our freezers and pantry so a job well done here. 


Garden plans.

      We put in a lot of hours in the garden this year and really reaped the benefits from it.  

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Just a few of the vegetables we were able to harvest from our garden this year.


Building updates.

     Ron was able to build a lean-to off of our existing building.  It is nice and allows us a new place to store hay and other items.

      Ron also built me a new porch.  Before I just had a set of 5 wooden steps straight out of the front door.  Now I have a beautiful 9'x16' porch to enjoy.  
      
      Bub and Ron both constructed new feeders for all the goats.
      Ron built Elsa and the girls a new goat house.
      Bub started making some new mineral block holders and has 2 done so far. 
      Ron built a winter cover for the well pump housing. 
      

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One of the feeders that Bub made for our goats.


Animals.

    We did not add any new animals to our homestead but have 6 of our goats have been bred and all are due in mid-March.

Food preservation.

     I did not get any canning done do to my heart issues this year but did do a lot of dehdyrating.

How about you?  Did you complete your 2018 Homestead goals?  

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Gravitt Farm’s 2019 Kidding Schedule


    
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One of our babies from last year.

     Our 2019 schedule has been planned!  Around September and October is when we breed our goats, so here is our planned 2019 kidding schedule.  Each year we strive to make our herd better and I am hoping we are going to have some awesome kids born here next year!

  • Dainty Girl (Saanen) was bred to Casper (Saanen) on 10/20/2018 and is due on 3/19/2019.  Breeding verified.

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This is Dainty Girl with one of her babies from last year.

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Casper showing off his beard.


  • Dairy Queen (Saanen) was bred to Casper on 10/20/2018 and is due on 3/19/2019. 

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Dairy Queen...this is before she was full grown.

  • Belle (pygmy) was bred to Little Moo (pygmy) on 10/20/2018 and on 10/22/2018 and is due on 3/19/2019.  Breeding verified.

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Belle


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Little Moo having his dinner

  • Daisy Mae (pygmy fainting goat) was exposed to Little Moo on 10/21/2018 and is due on 3/20/2019.

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This is Daisy Mae.  She is Brownie's daughter.

  • Brownie (pygmy fainting goat) was exposed to Little Moo on 10/22/2018 and is due on 3/21/2019.  

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Brownie

  • Gracie (pygmy cross) was exposed to Little Moo on 10/22/2018 and is due on 3/21/2019.

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Gracie

    Our breeding priorities are milk production, longevity, temperament, and improvement of the breed.

    If you like this post, please check out our Farm Life page for more posts about life on our homestead.  

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Incredible Apple Pie Enchiladas

    These Incredible Apple Pie enchiladas give you all the cinnamony goodness of a hot apple pie but instead it is stuffed into a tortilla and drizzled with a lovely caramel sauce.  For an extra treat, serve it with a scoop of ice cream for the perfect dessert. 

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    You just can't miss with this easy and delicious recipe!  

Incredible Apple Pie Enchiladas

16 flour tortillas
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

       Butter a sheet pan.  Lay out your tortillas.  If they are too stiff, put them into the oven for a minute or two and it should soften them right up.

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        On each tortilla spread out about 1/4 of a cup of your pie filling.  

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    Sprinkle on some cinnamon, a small bit of ginger and then nutmeg.  Now roll up the "enchilada" and place it in your buttered pan.  Continue with the rest of the tortillas.

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    Set the pan aside and make the caramel sauce.
    In a medium sized pot, bring the butter, the sugars, and the water to a small boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer it for 3 minutes.  Be sure to keep stirring as it cooks.  Once it is done, pour the sauce over the enchiladas.

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    Let stand for 15 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  After 15 minutes, bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes.  Remove and enjoy.   So simple that it will become your new "go-to" dessert.  

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Homemade Glazed Cinnamon Apple Fritter Recipe

   These apple fritters fry up perfectly.  Warm, sweet and just the right amount of cinnamon!  The batter turns out perfectly so you can make nice and fluffy fritters similar to a dumpling or you can also make them nice and flat...your choice. 

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Homemade Glazed Cinnamon Apple Fritters

1 1/4 c. diced apples
1 c. flour
1/4 c. milk
2 lg. eggs
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Glaze: 

1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

     Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside. Mix together the eggs, sugar and milk.  Fold in the flour mixture until JUST moistened.  Then fold in the apples.

     Heat oil in a skillet to 275 degrees.  When the oil is hot enough, drop in 1/4 cups of batter into the oil.  Dropping them this way produces thick and fluffy fritters but if you want the flat type of fritter, pipe the dough into the oil instead.  We did the dumpling style here.  

      Cool on a wire rack.  As it cools, you can prepare the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together.  It should be the consistency that will run off a spoon.  If it is too thick, just add in a bit more milk.

    Drizzle the glaze over the apple fritters and enjoy.  ou can just sprinkle powdered sugar over the fritters instead.  They are delicious either way.  Today we used the glaze. 

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    These fritters pair nicely with my French Vanilla Coffee or my Double Chocolate Chip Frappe!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #countrifiedhicks — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


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