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On The Home Front Favorite Granola

I have personally been enjoying this recipe for years! Originally a neighbor shared the recipe with my mother and she continued to make it! When I left home I copied the recipe and have been making it myself ever since. The recipe is simple and you can make it as is or add more ingredients if you’d like.

I no longer add the brown sugar, finding it sweet enough with just the addition of honey. You can also replace the brown sugar with maple syrup. You can also vary the kind of nuts you use. I’ve made it with walnuts, pecans and slivered almonds. I think the almonds are the family favorite! Once the granola is cooled completely you can also add a variety of dried fruits; cherries, cranberries or raisins. This recipe is easy, inexpensive, very flexible and tastes much better than anything you can find in the supermarket. It also makes wonderful gifts. I usually make up a few bags with a custom label to give as Christmas gifts.

On the Home Front Homemade Granola

6 cups of quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1/3 cup sesame seed
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Heat oats in ungreased 9 x 13 pan in 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seed and chopped nuts and stir. Combine brown sugar, vegetable oil, honey and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until coated. Divide mixture in half. Bake half in an ungreased 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often to brown evenly. Cool.IMG_1044 Repeat for other half, don’t let it get too brown or it will burn! Store in an airtight container.

granola, pantry, cereal, homemade

Store granola in an airtight container.

Gifts From The Kitchen: Cranberry Orange Marmalade

This is a wonderful recipe to make when cranberries are at their peak between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The scarlet cranberry lends a tartness to compliment the orange of this marmalade.

Cranberry Orange Marmalade

2 medium oranges
1 lemon
3 cups of water
2 cups of fresh (or frozen) cranberries
4 cups of sugar

Remove the thin outer rind of the oranges and lemon and cut into very fine strips, you can also use a zester.

zest, lemon, chutney

Lemon zest.

Place the rind and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce the heat. Boil gently for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the remaining white rind and seeds from the oranges and the lemon.

marmalade

Chop orange and lemon.

Finely chop the pulp and the cranberries in a food processor and add to the saucepan.

Finely chop your ingredients.

Finely chop your ingredients.

Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and cover and boil gently for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Boil gently in a saucepan.

Boil gently in a saucepan.

Add the sugar to the fruit mixture. Return to a boil over high heat and boil rapidly uncovered until the mixture forms a gel, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from the heat. Ladle into sterilized jars and process in your water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes about 5 cups.

Marmalade

Cranberry Orange Marmalade

Isn’t it a beautiful color? It will look perfect in your Christmas gift baskets!

Linked To: WeekendRetreat, FoodieFriday, PinJunkiePinPartyFreedomFriday, #FoodieFriday, #WeekendBites, FromtheFarmHop, WhatToDoWeekends, WeekendPotluck, LHITS DIY, CelebrateIt, CleverChicksBlogHop, MixItUpMonday, HolidayBest, LinkUp#62, MunchingMondays, MotivationMonday, TheGatheringSpot

HomeAcre Hop #100

christmas hop graphicWelcome to The HomeAcre Christmas Hop!

One week till  Christmas!  Next week we will be taking the week off to enjoy time with our families. We’ll be back January first to celebrate the New Year!

Today we invite you to share your homesteading, homeschooling and homemaking post.

After you’ve shared your favorite blog post stop by and visit some of the posts as well.Be sure to visit the other hosts as well. We would love to have you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Google+, Instagram or by email

Tracy @ Our Simple Life
Sandra @ Clearwater Farm,
Kathi  @ Oak Hill Homestead,
Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre,
and Me! (Nancy @ On The Home Front)

Each co-host will feature their favorite post so be sure so check out the other blogs to see if you’ve been featured! Be sure to link back to one our our blogs if you’d like to be featured! Thank you everyone for your fantastic posts.  If you were featured be sure to pick up your “I was featured” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!

One of my favorite posts last week was Nancy Po’s post on the Little Homestead in Bosie’s Annual Dark Day Challenge! Her challenge is to eat locally during the dark days of winter! Try to cook four meals each month focused on Sustainable, local and organic ingredients. Are you up for the challenge? Check out Nancy’s blog Little Homestead in Boise. dark days

Congratulation Nancy! Be sure to pick up your “I was featured button”!

If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop! We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week! If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!

Prudent Living on the Homefront

Please, only link posts that you haven’t linked before and follow the rules!

Before you link up your perfect post remember the rules!

1. Family friendly posts only!
2. Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
3. Link as many seasonal and harvest posts as you’d like! Older posts are great too.
4. Please, only link posts that you haven’t linked before!
5. Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
6. If you wish to be featured, you must link back to

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It looks like we’re going to have a white Christmas; I really don’t think all this snow will melt in the next week.Snowy stream At least I hope not. The snow has been beautiful, clinging to every twig and branch.snowI love the light in December, even an ordinary fence looks beautiful.Picket Fence December is also the Wassail Parade in our neighboring town of Woodstock.

Wassail Parade

Wassail Parade

This parade is all  about horses and wonderful costumes!Wassail Parade Riders on horses, horses pulling wagons and tiny, miniature horses and donkeys trying to keep up with the parade!donkey

The logging continues on our property and the pile grows larger. Just when you think the pile can’t get any bigger a log truck will show up and take the logs away.logging Our chickens are finally laying again. We have a small flock right now, only six birds but we’ve been getting 3-4 eggs every day!eggs What is December like where you are? Wherever you live I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season!ChristmasLinked to: OutdoorWednesdayThursdayFavoriteThings, SimpleLivesThursdayPintasticPinterestingParty

 

15 Perfect Green Gift Ideas

When you really care about the environment, finding the perfect gift can be a challenge. The great news is that you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list and keep everything green. Check out these great suggestions:

1. Organic Coffee
Look for hand-harvested coffee beans packaged in a biodegradable bag. These extra-delicious beans are the perfect gift for your foodie friends who need some great-tasting caffeine each morning.Cup of coffee

2. Reusable Grocery Bag
If you use traditional bagging methods at any grocery store, your options are usually paper or plastic, which in environmentalist terms translates into kill a tree or strangle a bird. Gift a sturdy, reusable grocery bag to cut down on the amount of tree killing and waste.

3. Bath Salts
Find organically made bath and soaking salts like these that can put minerals back into your skin as you soak. Such salts contain only natural ingredients, so there are no chemicals to send down the drain when you empty the tub, and the non-chemical mixture of these salts is simply heaven for the skin.

4. Homemade Candle
Try your hand at making a green gift this Christmas. Get an eco-friendly container, some natural beeswax, and your favorite pure, scented oil to make a delightful candle that’s environmentally friendly.

5. Diet-Specific Cookbook
Those who choose vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free diets often do so to show their respect for their bodies and the world they live in. However, many people who switch to these diets fail to get the essential nutrients they once received from meats and grains because they don’t know the proper substitutes for those nutrients in their new diet. Give those friends a cookbook that will teach them what foods to eat specific to their diet so that they can get all of their vitamins, protein, iron, and other essential nutrients for the body through healthy recipes.

6. Food Canning Kit
For your gardening friends, gift a canning kit so they they can store their homegrown foods and enjoy them year round.

7. Organic Clothing
Major clothing manufacturers are a big contributor to pollution and waste. Some clothing lines are specifically geared toward making clothes using a process that’s friendly for the environment. Look into these clothing lines for some fabulous and fashionable gifts!

8. Smart Thermostat
Though the makeup of this gift isn’t exactly green, the technology can make all the difference in your attempts to conserve energy and natural resources. These thermostats learn your regular daily cycles and turn the heat and air conditioning on and off at different times of the day, cutting down significantly on unnecessary gas and electricity use.

9. Pedal-Powered Charging Station
If you know someone who loves biking, give them a pedal-powered charging station. This station using the energy you create from pedaling your bicycle to create power for the charger, thus fueling your devices with clean energy and giving you a

Apple Date Muffin Mix

Having a full pantry means having items on hand to make some wonderful gifts. Last year I made several jars of Soup Mix to give away as gifts. It was a great gift idea but the jars made quite a large pot of soup! This year I decided to mix up some mixes that made smaller batches. Perfect for smaller families or empty nesters!

When you make up this mix be sure to use a good quality of chopped dates so they aren’t too sticky!

Apple Date Muffin Mix in a Quart Jar

½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 cup dried apple slices, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped dates
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
¾ cup chopped nuts
2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Using a wide mouth quart canning jar, place brown sugar in jar first. Press into place. Add sugar to the jar next. Add sugar to jar first.Place your chopped apples in a small bowl, add the dates and spices and too well to coat. Press firmly into the jar. Add you chopped nuts in next.Add nuts and dried fruit.

If you don’t want the flour to sift into the nuts you can cut a circle of lightweight cardboard using the jar lid as a pattern. Place the cardboard on top of the nuts. Add the flour last.

Ready for decorating.

Ready for decorating.

Decorate the jar lid to make it look festive.

Apple Date Muffin Mix

Apple Date Muffin Mix

Copy and attach the recipe to your jar! Fill your gift basket with Muffin Mix and some tea!

Apple Date Muffins

  1. Empty mix into a large bowl. Blend all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add ¾ cup milk, 1 egg and ¼ cup of oil. Mix until just blended.
  3. Spray 16 – 18 muffin cups of use paper liners. Fill 2/3 full of batter.
  4. Bake 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees.

Linked To: CleverChickBlogHop, MixItUpMonday,  HolidayBest, LinkUp#68, MunchingMondays, MotivationMonday, MerryMonday, HomesteadBarnHop, You’reGonnaLoveIt, HearthAndSoulHop, WordlessWednesdayHop, RecipeLinkUp, PennyPinchingParty, RivertonHousewives, WordlessWednesday, HomesteadBarnHop, CreateAndShare, CreateItThursday, LovelyLittleLinkParty, ThinkTankThursday,

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