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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Top Posts of 2018

     2018 was a nice year.  I had a LOT of health issues with my heart so I did not blog as often as I needed to but was pleased with the recipes that I was able to come up with.  This year, all but one post was a recipe.  That makes me proud. 

      Just click on the name of any recipe or post I have here and it will direct you to my blog post.  Enjoy!


     The #1 viewed post that I made this year is "How to Dehydrate Aloe Vera".  In the original post, I explain how to dehydrate Aloe Vera and why you should try it too.   This post was viewed over 10,000 times in the first 30 days I had it up!  

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Dehydrating Aloe Vera


     The 2nd most viewed recipe for this year is my Classic Sheet Cake recipe.  It is the same recipe I have used for over 20 years.   

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Classic Sheet Cake Recipe

    The 3rd most viewed post of 2018 is my post on How to make Perfect Mashed Potatoes Every Time.  Our family loves mashed potatoes.  I used to think there was not such a thing as bad mashed potatoes but have found out, that sadly is not true.  I have tasted super dry mashed potatoes; soupy mashed potatoes; bland mashed potatoes, gummy mashed potatoes, etc.  Today, I am going to teach you how to make perfect mashed potatoes every time.  My techniques will show you how to whip up a batch in no time that turn out fluffy, light and buttery!

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
How to Cook Perfect Mashed Potatoes Every Time


    #4 on the list is my blog post that I really opened up and poured out my soul is "Letting Go".  It is very emotional and I hope you will read it and understand.

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Letting Go!

     Next up in line would be my post:  35 of the Most Frugal Tips.  It is a collection of the best frugal tips that I know.  

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
My Most Frugal Tips all in one spot!

#6 is my post on Cooking Ground Beef in the Crock Pot.  In the post, I show you my technique that works for us. 


Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Cooking Ground Beef in the Crock Pot

    #7 was on my first attempt to Cook Asparagus and it turned out nicely.

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Oven Roasted Asparagus

   #8 is a really refreshing drink my Lemonade Freeze.  I could easily make this every day.  It is that good!

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Lemonade Freeze


   The next recipe is one of my FAVORITES... STEAK FINGERS WITH COUNTRY GRAVY!  (Excuse me while I wipe my mouth from drooling!)   

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Steak Fingers with Country Gravy...MMMM!

    And the 10th most viewed post of the year was my recipe for my Blue-Ribbon Winning Baked Beans.  

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Blue Ribbon Winning Baked Beans

    

     My most popular post of ALL time would be my post on Frugal Living which has been viewed over 100,000 times.  


Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Frugal Living

    The #1 viewed recipe of ALL time would be Chicken and Rice Soup Mix in a Jar which has been viewed well over 50,000 times.

Top Posts of 2018, most popular blog posts, most viewed recipes, most popular recipe,
Chicken & Rice Soup Mix in a Jar

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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.  

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas


    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

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
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!

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
Pineapple Glazed Ham

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

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
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.

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
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.

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
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.

Christmas Dinner Recipes, Recipes for the perfect Christmas Meal; traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas Dinner recipe ideas, best Christmas dinner menu ideas
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.

becoming self-sufficient, goal setting for homesteaders, Homestead goals, our homestead goals in 2018, setting homestead farm goals



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.  

becoming self-sufficient, goal setting for homesteaders, Homestead goals, our homestead goals in 2018, setting homestead farm goals
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. 
      

becoming self-sufficient, goal setting for homesteaders, Homestead goals, our homestead goals in 2018, setting homestead farm goals
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


    
2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
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.

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
This is Dainty Girl with one of her babies from last year.

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
Casper showing off his beard.


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

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
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.

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
Belle


2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
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.

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
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.  

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
Brownie

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

2019 goat kidding schedule, kidding schedule, goat farm, baby goats,
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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