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Winter Reflections: Embracing the Season

  It's no secret to those who know me, I am not a fan of winter! I don't like being cold, I don't like the long dark gray days we can have here in the Pacific Northwest and long nights. Each year I seem to go into a winter funk. Last year I decided to try something new and that is, learn to embrace each season for it's uniqueness and difference from the last. Find the positive, find the blessings. As long as I continue to tell myself I don't like winter, I won't see anything different. Here is some of what I have discovered. Winter is a lot about resting. The trees that look dead are not dead, they are resting in preparation for the spring. In the past very little to no traveling was done in the winter. People rested. Not the rest and sleep type rest as life still has to go forward each day. The type of rest that you do when you can't move about as easily as other seasons. The type of rest where more time is spent at home with family or friends. Maybe

Winter Reflections: The Routines of Life

  Daily life is made up of routines. Those simple things we do that make life flow during the day. I've thought a lot about routines since hubby retired almost a year ago now. We have our morning routines. Hubby starts the fire to warm things up and I get the coffee made. After that we sit by the warmth of the fire, sip our coffee and talk about our plans for the day. He usually has some project he's working on or weather providing he is outside doing various tasks. I have home things I work on, chat/text with family, work on YouTube videos. And so the day begins for us. In the afternoon I usually have either a cup of coffee or sometimes I'll have a cup of tea. The tea makes me smile and remember and think of the days when my daughters were young and I was homeschooling them. In the winter afternoons our routine was to make tea and have some homemade snack. Sometimes it was just a slice of warm, just out of the oven bread, with butter, if it was baking day. Other day

Thanksgiving Planner | The Family Homestead Archives

  Thanksgiving has always been a big gathering at my house with family. This year it will be smaller because so many of my children live out of state. But no matter how many people you plan to be gathering with this holiday it helps to have a plan.  I wrote out this plan many years ago and it has served me well. If you need a little planning assistance perhaps my Thanksgiving Planner will help you out!  I'll be sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you over the next couple weeks.  Thanksgiving Planner     3 weeks ahead of time  Figure out how many people will you be serving and how big of a turkey you will need.  To calculate this, you need to figure about 1 ½ lbs of turkey per person.  So if you are feeding 8 people you would need a turkey that was about 12 pounds.  I usually buy them bigger so I will have leftovers.    Write out guest list   Plan out menu   Gather recipes   Write out grocery list   2 weeks ahead Buy turkey (if buying frozen ones)   Make dinner rol

My Favorite Apple Pie!! | Fall Time Baking

 It's fall time so let's make an apple pie!!  Apple pies and fall time are a great combination! I'm sharing my favorite apple pie recipe. I also have a link to my Never Fail Pie Crust recipe.  Below the recipes is my video showing you how to make this delicious pie!  ************************* Our Favorite Apple Pie 5 to 7 tart apples (5 cups) 1 Double crust pastry shell ½ cup sugar 3 to 4T flour (use the higher amount for juicy apples) ¾ tsp. cinnamon Peel and core apples and cut into slices. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the apples. Toss carefully to coat the apples slices without breaking. Pour this into the pie shell. Top the pie with with second crust. Bake at 400 for 35 to 45 minutes or until apples are soft. Never Fail Pie Crust: I had some leftover apple slices so I turned them into Stewed Apples. Stewed Apples: I did not use a recipe. I melted butter (3 or 4T) added apples and a little bro

Making Soup without a Recipe | The Family Homestead Archives

  Not only is fall time a great reason to have some delicious soups but soups are a great way to use up your leftovers. You don't always need a recipe to make soup. Here is my tried and true method for making soup, no recipe needed!  (From The Family Homestead Archives) ******************* Making Soup without a Recipe Crystal Miller When I make soup I will occasionally follow a recipe, but not always. I have found that often times the most frugal use of my food can create some yummy soup combinations. Taking a few of last nights leftovers and adding a few more ingredients from freezer and pantry can yield a delicious homemade soup. This makes better use of the food you have (prevents science experiments from taking place in your refrigerator ~smile~) and is super good on the food budget. Serve these soups with homemade bread or biscuits and watch your family smile in satisfaction. If you don’t feel you are creative enough to come up with your own soup, think again. It is easy to do

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls | Fall Time Treat!

  I love these pumpkin cinnamon rolls!! I hope you do to. A great fall time treat! :) This recipe makes 2 9x13 pans or 1 large jelly roll pan. If that is more than you want the recipe can be cut in half.  Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Crystal Miller   2/3 cup milk ¼ cup butter (half of a stick or cube) 1 cup pumpkin puree ¼ cup honey 1 t salt 2 eggs 1 T yeast 5 1/4 cups to 6 cups flour** Butter Brown sugar Cinnamon **Options: you can use half white flour and half whole wheat flour   In a sauce pan combine milk and butter.  Heat until the milk is hot and the butter almost melted. Pour the milk/butter combination in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid or Bosch mixer.  Let this cool to lukewarm.  Add the pumpkin pure, honey, salt, eggs and yeast.  Stir until well mixed.  Add flour and mix until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of your bowl but is still soft and pliable.  Let this sit and rise for 30 to 45 minutes.   Turn the mixer back on to punch down the dough.  Take the dough out of the bow