Saturday, December 20, 2014

Less Than A Week Till Christmas So Let's Party at Simple Saturdays


Join us for ideas on living a Simple Lifestyle and being Self Sufficient!

Simple Saturdays Joey

Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!
Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

 This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

 

 What Can I Post?

Anything and everything related to a more Simple way of life OR Self Reliance....
This may include:
Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!
*PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE*
 Make sure and include either a:
1. Text link such as: I participated in Simple Saturdays Blog Hop
2. Or ADD the blog hop button below (copy/paste) with a link back to the Blog Hop.

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

 How Can I Be a Featured Blogger?

By linking up AND HAVING A LINK OR BUTTON/LINK BACK TO THE BLOG HOP!
Our featured blogger is chosen each week at random by our Co-hosts...and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!
If you are selected as "Featured", make sure and grab your button (just copy/paste):
simple saturdays featured button
**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. **

Congratulations to our Featured Blogger this week:

Ashley from Grow, Pray, Build  has an amazing article perfect for our last hop of the year! She is learning 
what I beleive we all need to learn...“Just do your best and let God do the rest.”! Thank you Ashley and Merry Christmas to you and your precious (growing) family!
frugal fridays
Ready to get to the hop? Add your link below.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crumbly Top Apple Pie --- Guest Post by Angie

Welcome back to another day of Christmas Sweets and Treats Week. My friend Angi from A Return to Simplicity is here to share with you her recipe for Crumbly Top Apple Pie.

                                                 

Ever take a bite of overly syrupy apple pie, sandwiched between two soggy crusts?

I have. More times than I care to admit.

Yet, there is something so inherently comforting about a slice of warm apple pie. (Which is probably why I kept sampling different apple pies, despite the sub-standard texture and taste.)

So why not revolutionize the apple pie, and replace the top crust with a lovely crumble instead?

This solves the soggy crust issue, dries up a bit of the over-syrupy consistency, and adds an amazing sweet and salty crunch to the top of the pie!

To make the pie, you will need:
  • Unbaked Pie Crust
  • 5-7 apples (Needs to equal 6-8 cups of sliced apples
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

For the crumbly top:
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of sucanat (completely raw, unrefined sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Roll out your pie crust, and arrange in a pie pan.

                                

Slice your apples, and mix with the remaining pie ingredients.



Stir until the apples are coated, and pour into the un-baked pie shell.



To make the crumbly top, begin by melting the 2 Tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan.
Add the rest of the crumble ingredients to the melted butter, and stir thoroughly.



Sprinkle the crumble on top of the pie.
Resist the temptation to pick off and consume multiple apple slices covered in crumble! :)
Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.



The crumbly top should brown and crisp up like this!  
Allow the pie to cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

This is crumbly top apple pie is amazing eaten when it's hot, warm, or cold.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream!



Now you can enjoy crumbly top apple pie this Christmas, and rest in the knowledge that only a minimal amount of unrefined sweeteners are included.

About me
Angi

Sharing with Wow Us Wednesdays Tilly's Nest Simple Saturdays

Monday, December 15, 2014

Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge ---- Sweets and Treats for Christmas Week


Happy Monday. We only have a little more than a week left until Christmas and I thought it is the perfect time to start sharing our sweets and treats we love to bake around the holidays. 

Sunny Simple Life


My friend Elaine from Sunny Simple Life is sharing with us today her recipe for Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge. 

I'm pretty sure this is going to be on my table sometime this week.

Enjoy the sweets.

 Here's Elaine....

If you love funfetti cakes and cupcakes, you are going to love this fudge. Festive for the holidays too with all the colored sprinkles. This fudge is a huge hit with the kids too.


Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge:

 1 box of Funfetti Cake Batter
 1 1/2 cup powered sugar
 1/2 cup butter cut into pieces
 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
 3 Tbsp. milk
 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
 Extra colored sprinkles

 Put the first five ingredients in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave for two minutes. Now stir to mix and add the white chips. Stir them in. If the batter is dry like cookie dough go ahead and add a tinch of milk. Should be like slightly wet cookie dough. Spread into an 8x8 pan lined with waxed paper or buttered foil. Press in and top with sprinkles and press them in just enough to set in batter. Refrigerate for at least three hours. Lift from the pan and cut to slices. If it doesn't want to come out of pan then set the bottom of the pan in about 1/2 inch of warm water for a few minutes and then it will come right out.

Met Monday Show and Share Tweak It Inspired by Charm

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Little Less than 2 Weeks Till Christmas It's Time for Simple Saturdays Blog Hop


Join us for ideas on living a Simple Lifestyle and being Self Sufficient!

simple saturdays

Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!
Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

 This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

 

 What Can I Post?

Anything and everything related to a more Simple way of life OR Self Reliance....
This may include:
Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!
*PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE*
 Make sure and include either a:
1. Text link such as: I participated in Simple Saturdays Blog Hop
2. Or ADD the blog hop button below (copy/paste) with a link back to the Blog Hop.

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

 How Can I Be a Featured Blogger?

By linking up AND HAVING A LINK OR BUTTON/LINK BACK TO THE BLOG HOP!
Our featured blogger is chosen each week at random by our Co-hosts...and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!
If you are selected as "Featured", make sure and grab your button (just copy/paste):
simple saturdays featured button
**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. **

Congratulations to our Featured Blogger this week:

Rachel from Grow a Good Life has a most timely and excellent post that y'all just went nuts about:
mice
Ready to get to the hop? Add your link below.


Friday, December 12, 2014

How to Have a Frugal and Fabulous Christmas Day 5


I hope you are enjoying the week with all the practical how to advice from 5 entirely different families showing you so many ways you can have a Frugal and Fabulous Christmas.



This year my husband and I decided to completely simplify Christmas. We have been working on changing our thought process for the last couple of years. It's not how much you give monetarily but how much you give of yourself that truly makes it a special holiday.



Tree and Decorations

We have an artificial tree we use every year. Our allergies are set off by the real ones so it's just not possible to have one in our home.  I've only bought one container of ornaments in the last 2 years right after our house burned down.  Now every year I choose to buy one ornament that has some sort of special meaning for us. One great project I have this year is making salt dough ornaments for the tree and then we can sit and paint them and hang them with ribbon. 

There is also a ton of pine cones laying around out here in the country that we love to spread over newspaper and take some spray glitter and make sparkle. A few ribbons or even some twine or fishing line and voila cute ornaments that didn't break the bank.

Another option is to set the oven on a low temperature and put a few pinecones on a baking sheet and set in the oven for 10 minutes after shaking them in a large paper grocery bag with a few drops of Cinnamon essential oil. Nothing makes the house smell like Christmas then cinnamon. Yummy.

I also use lots of greenery everywhere and recycle my bows from year to year.  

Gifts

If you like you could go out and spend a fortune on gifts, charge them to your credit card, and spend the next several years of your life paying them off or you could make up your mind that it isn't worth it.

Perhaps you could go to the Dollar Tree where Christmas cards are in packs of 18 and sold for a $1 and get out a pretty pen sit down and write to all of the wonderful people in your life exactly why it is you adore them and are thankful for them.

If you want to save a fortune and feel like the richest person in the world make the time to sit down and do this. 

Post stamps are 49 cents and 49 cents a person is a lot cheaper than going broke. For those friends and family members that are close just drop it off, when you drive by on errands or visits, in their mailbox.

I do buy some gifts for the many foster kids we have had in our home and frequently they are things I have purchased on sale or clearance throughout the year. 

If you are going to have a surprise little one never fail to stock up on the Kohl's $5 stuffed animals and books. I use my Kohl's cash to buy them. 




Thrift shops are a great way to buy toys and other gifts for people. Frequently the items just need cleaned and some minor repairs. 

You want to make an 8 year old happy, go to a thrift shop and buy up all the balls you can. Each ball might run you 50 cents or $1 each. Stuff them in a trash bag and tie it up with curling ribbon and watch their eyes almost explode thinking about all the possible ways they can use them. Essentially, you are killing 2 birds with one stone. You get to send them outside to blow off some energy and making them happy at the same time.

Food

For those you absolutely have to buy for consider making them something homemade. I bake lots of different cookies and put them on plates and wrap them in cellophane and tie with curling ribbon for those I absolutely adore.

You could also make homemade salsa or tamales or gift them with handmade jellies and jams. 

For your Christmas feasts just think of it as a regular meal and splurge on the desserts. 


Entertainment

Practically every major city and even smaller cities now light up  a park for Christmas.

For us the next major city over has a wonderful lighting festival every year. We take all the munchkins and our friends and family and both walk and drive through. They ask for donations at the end so we always put in a few dollars. 

You could also have a cookie decorating party and a salt dough ornament decorating party for those you love.

We also have it on the Hallmark channel non stop. Free movies non-stop for over 30 days. Mugs of hot cocoa with mini marshmallows and curling up under the covers is a wonderful way to spend a few hours.

Perhaps the most important thing we all need to remember about Christmas is that it's about the birth of Jesus. We are starting a new tradition this year of baking Jesus a birthday cake and singing him Happy Birthday. 

It's not about spending a fortune it's about being grateful for what you have and for loving on all of the wonderful people in your life that both drive you crazy and make you smile.

A simple thank-you in a pretty card is sometimes all that is needed to make someone smile and feel truly blessed for the holidays.

To read more on this series go here  here here and here.