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!  

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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.   

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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!

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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.

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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.  

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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. 


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Cooking Ground Beef in the Crock Pot

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

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Oven Roasted Asparagus

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

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Lemonade Freeze


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

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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.  

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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.  


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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.

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Chicken & Rice Soup Mix in a Jar

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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.  




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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.  You can just sprinkle powdered sugar over them or leave them plain.  They are delicious either way. 



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



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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Soft & Light Homemade Biscuits

    If you are looking for a soft, light and delicious biscuit recipe, this one is for you!  These bake up so light and tender every single time you make them.  Every time I make them the boys (my hubby and 2 sons) run to get them and literally within minutes they are all gone so I always make 2 batches so we have some for our evening meal too.
 


Soft & Light Homemade Biscuits
 
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. whole milk
1/3 c. pre-creamed shortening
1 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
 
         Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  
 
         Put all your ingredients into a large bowl and stir just until a wet dough forms.  Do not overmix because overmixing causes your biscuits to be tough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead exactly 6 times (no more and no less).  

        Roll out the dough to 1/2" thickness and using a biscuit cutter cut out your biscuits.  

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          Place the biscuits onto a cookie sheet, leaving about an inch in between each biscuit.

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     Bake for 11 minutes.   Makes 8 biscuits.
 

 

     I love to eat these biscuits for breakfast with some of my Cherry Amaretto Jelly or Corn Cob Jelly!





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Monday, November 19, 2018

Delicious Cranberry Chutney Recipe

       This Cranberry Chutney is so delicious.  I swear if you make it and try it, you will absolutley LOVE it.  It is so aromatic and has the best flavor.  It will become a yearly Thanksgiving favorite that will get you praise each and every single year.  It is very smooth and not bitter at all like some cranberry recipes can be. It is absolutely berrylicious!




    Cranberry Chutney is the perfect side to your Thanksgiving meal.   It is great as an appetizer served with Brie and some crackers or serve it over some sliced turkey or roast pork.  The slightly tart and sweet flavor just goes so well with so many things.

       It is really easy to make and tastes so much fresher and better than anything you can buy at the store! 

Cranberry Chutney

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries
2 medium sized apples
1 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
dash of salt

   
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    In a medium saucepot, add in the cranberries, water, sugar, allspice, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon.

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     Bring up to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Cover and cook on medium for 5 minutes or until cranberries "pop".    As they cook, prepare your apples.

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     Peel your apples and then dice them.

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  Stir the apples in with the other ingredients in the pot.  Cover and cook on medium for about 15 minutes, or until the apples are soft. 


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    Allow it to cool and then place into the refrigerator.   I store mine in a mason jar.

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    Isn't it so lovely?!
 
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How to Make the Best & Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese

            Mascarpone cheese is a creamy & delicious Italian cheese.   It is really versatile but can sometimes be hard to find at yo...