I recently celebrated my birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a special homemade Chinese dinner with friends! Since we were out of town visiting my mother-in-law we took over her kitchen and created a fabulous meal.Chinese Dinner This was our menu for the dinner:


Crab Rangoon in Tartlet Shells

Spiced Asian Snack Mix

Mandarin Almond Salad

Simple Egg Drop Soup

Beef with Oyster Sauce

Kahlua Brownies with Ice Cream


It was such a fun evening! Celebrating with friends and family with good food in the perfect way to enjoy a birthday. I was in charge of the appetizers, which were so easy. The ingredients were made ahead of time and I just added the filling to the tartlet shells and popped them in the oven for a ten minutes. When the company walked in the door they were ready to enjoy.


My husband took over the rest of the meal; after all it was my birthday! The Egg Drop Soup was a new recipe but very easy to prepare for company. All the chopping was done before hand. The vegetables were cooked in the broth and at the last minute the eggs were added. After the soup course everyone sat at the table for a few minutes while my husband cooked up the Beef with Oyster Sauce. I have to say next to the World’s Best Eggrolls Beef with Oyster Sauce is a real favorite. You can use Bok Choy or Broccoli or any green vegetable in the recipe. Bok Choy is the preferred way we enjoy it. The rice was pre-cooked and was quickly heated up in the microwave.Homemade Chinese Meal


Everyone loved the meal! We had to show off our Pei Mei cookbook, which we’ve been using since 1980! So many memorable meals!Homemade Chinese Meal


I picked up dessert from our local Farmer’s Market bakery. You can purchase three good-sized Kahlua Brownies and split them all in half for a perfect dessert. Just warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds and serve with ice cream. These brownies were the perfect finish to our Homemade Chinese dinner.


I have shared the recipe for Beef with Oyster Sauce previously. Here is the recipe for the Simple Egg Drop Soup.Homemade Chinese Meal


Simple Egg Drop Soup




3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

½ tsp. Minced ginger

1 Tbsp. Soy sauce

3 scallions, chopped

¼ tsp. White pepper

¾ cup sliced shitaki mushrooms




Take ½ cup of the chicken broth and combine with the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.


Put the chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, scallions, and white pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir. Reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the beaten eggs. The eggs will spread out into ribbons. Turn off the heat and garnish with a few more sliced scallions. Serve immediately.


I hope you enjoyed our homemade Chinese Dinner. I will be sharing the Crab Rangoon in tartlet shells in a future post.

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!


We’re so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit! Every week we get together here for another hop and I hope you’ll join us. The Hop runs from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Have fun exploring all the great ideas that have been shared, and add your homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling posts with us if you’re a blogger. I’m sure you’ll be blessed and inspired by all these great ideas!

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterestInstagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook

Kelly at Gently SustainableFacebookPinterest

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

This week’s featured post:
How To Install a Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash


Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
20 Frugal Depression Era Recipes

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight all of the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.

Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • Please note: By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured; no additional permission is required.
  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!

As we near the end of February I begin to look forward to the gardening season. My garden is planned out and as of today my seeds are ordered! It will be a while, I can’t even plant anything outside until Memorial Day but my seeds are ordered! Filling my seed order is a rite of spring. Spending time in front of the woodstove looking at the seed catalogs helps me to realize that spring is coming.


Usually I start certain seeds indoors, like tomatoes and peppers. However this year I will be purchasing seedlings from our neighbor who has a good selection of heirloom seedlings. Why not support his local business?


These are the seeds I ordered this year:


Provider Bush Green Beans – Provider green beans are my favorite. They have an early yield and produce an abundant supply. Plenty of beans to enjoy and make dilly beans!seeds ordered

Masai Bush Haricots Vert – These beans will be a new variety to try in the garden. They are slow to fatten so if you miss a day picking you can still enjoy them.seeds are ordered

Lemon Cucumber – Another new plant for my garden! My daughter grew these cucumbers last year and my grand daughter loved them. Unlike traditional cucumbers these are round and yellow! Yellow cucumbers have a tender skin and are very prolific. I hope they grow as well for me as they grew for my daughter!seeds are ordered

Y-Star Patty Pan – another new variety to try! Also grown by my daughter last year with great success. Picked small for a tasty summer squash flavor with a hint of nuttiness.seeds are ordered

Jackpot Zucchini – One of my favorite zucchini. Produce high yields of long medium dark green zucchini. My problem is remembering that they do produce well and that two plants is more than enough!seeds are ordered

Long Pie Pumpkins – the description in the Fedco catalog sold me. Besides being an old heirloom variety they supposedly make the best pies! They remind me of the Gete okosomin squash I grew!seeds are ordered

Nantes Carrots – These are a favorite in my garden. They grow extremely well in our rocky Vermont soil and are so tasty.seeds are ordered

Red Ace Beets – A classic beet, which I have grown previously. These beets are an early producer with good yields.seeds are ordered

Tango Lettuce – another favorite. I usually plant several varieties of lettuce in the garden, as we love summer salads. Tango lettuce has a slightly tangy flavor, which makes it a winner.seeds are ordered

Sweet Basil – another plant I grow every year. This is the classic basil and is ideal for tomato sauces, pesto and salads.seeds are ordered


I still have quite a variety of seeds left over from last year so if I have any extra space I will probably use some of my flower seeds to add a bit of color. Have you ordered your seeds yet? What are your favorites. It’s always such a good feeling when my seeds are ordered!




My first goal was to update my goal list each week.  I have to say having a post on goal setting has helped me to stay focused on what goals I want to accomplish this year.

The biggest drawback is to remind myself that I have the whole year to work on accomplishing these goals. Hopefully you, my faithful readers will remember this as well and not get tired of reading about my progress!goal-setting 4


  1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure. Done!! So excited after all this time I finally have a secure website! Now to work on monetizing the blog.
  2. Monetize my blog.  Still on my to do list. Time to put this goal on the forefront! It would be nice to have some money coming in for a change.goal setting
  3. Create a cookbook! One step at a time, get the blog running smoothly, increase readership and then I’ll be working on the cookbook!
  4. Be diligent about getting 10K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week. Why am I have such a hard time with this goal? Just so you don’t get the idea that I’m sitting around all the time, my husband and I do workout six days a week using an online program which we love and which fits into our schedule. It’s not always easy, but having my husband as a workout buddy sure helps! However, I’d still like to get some steps in each week. I did get one 4 mile walk in but had to wear spikes as the road was icy!goal setting
  5. We continue to prepare for an eventual house sale and continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year! I’ve actually started a box in the garage for everything we are getting rid of. I also have a bag of clothes to go to Goodwill. This is an ongoing project. Went through my closet again and managed to weed out a few more items I haven’t worn in ages! 228 items to go!goal setting
  6. Read more books this year! Very little time to read this week! We’ve been celebrating my husband’s 60th birthday all week! We had friends here last weekend and lots of family coming up this coming weekend, and spending all my free time cooking for company! So the pile of books remains to be read!goal setting
  7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead!  As I mentioned last week, lots of company coming. Planing a detailed meal plan for 15 is fun but time consuming. Not all will be staying at our house, but we’ll have a houseful this weekend.goal setting
  8. Finish 4 3 knitting projects.  First project completed, knitting bag sitting on the couch, but as I said no free time this week!goal setting
  9. Clean out our freezer. Managing to fill the freezer with food for company while at the same time using up such things as tomato sauce while making the lasagna.
  10. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast. We came up with a list of three people that we would like to visit while we’re still living on the east coast. Now to take a hard look at the calendar and plan these trips. Probably won’t happen until April at the earliest.goal setting


So we’re now into February and I’m looking at my goals and working on them. Having this post has kept my goals in the forefront of my mind. I just have to remember the key is to keep looking forward!




If you’re a homeowner, you probably have some kind of outbuilding on your property. Many of us make use of a shed by storing our gardening and outdoor supplies there. However, as a detached outbuilding, it can be really difficult to keep it as an effective, usable space. Often, we allow it to fall into disrepair. Sometimes, it becomes an absolute eyesore that eventually houses nothing more than broken tools and lots of spiders.What to do with your shed


Here are some ideas for really putting that shed to use and making it a space that serves you and enriches your life!




As mentioned above, most of us use sheds to store our tools, especially in the winter when they’re not in use. However, few of us are really using the space to best effect.What to do with your shed


  • Install hooks for tall tools. Digging through tangled-up gardening tools is one of the most obnoxious things in the world, right? You can’t reach the hedge clippers until you disengage the hoe, apple-picker, and rake from each other, and get some old tarp out of the way. Instead, have everything displayed on the walls so that they have a clear place, and you can actually walk around on the floor.
  • Clean gardening supplies every year. Before you shut everything up at the end of the growing season, always take some time to clean your tools. Not only does this make your shed much cleaner and more functional, but it also keeps your supplies in better shape, preventing rust and and the frequent disrepair that requires you to replace them over and over again. If you properly clean and store your tools, you’ll be able to launch straight into the best parts of gardening when next spring comes!
  • Use creative organization. There are so many ways to make the most of a small space. This link has some great ideas.  




One of the best ways to really utilize the shed is to turn it into a space that’s perfect for your projects. Instead of just storing things there that you take out to use elsewhere, you can utilize the space as an active workzone. This means that if you’re redoing furniture, teaching yourself to paint, putting together a model airplane, or building a shelf, your shed could be the perfect place to have an in-progress work protected and put aside. There are just a few things that you can do to make this shed seem like a workable area.What to do with your shed


  • Do a bit of weatherproofing. Sheds are usually not very airtight, which makes it easy for dirt, pests, and cold to get in. In order to make the space more comfortable, you can add caulking to the cracks and spaces, put a carpet on the floor, and some weather stripping around the door.
  • Wire it for electricity. It’s hard to get things done out there if you can’t have overhead light, a charger, or a place to plug in electric tools. It’s easier than you think to wire an outbuilding for electricity. Running the wires through a rigid metal conduit (RMC) will protect the connection and prevent you from having to dig too far down. Just make sure that you get the proper permits, and hire an electrician to do the final connection to your central electrical panel.
  • Install some shelves and a work table. If you don’t want to do any extra technical work, you might just purchase sturdy, industrial-style shelves that you can easily assemble inside of the space. Once you have these work stations set up, it will be almost irresistible to get to work.


Get Away from It All


Have you heard about the she-shed revolution? Rebelling against the “man-cave,” women everywhere have found new freedom by claiming a space outside of the home just to be by themselves. It’s a place where you don’t have to be on call for all the questions and minor disasters that the family has inside. You’re not cleaning up after anyone, or moderating the inevitable arguments that children will have. Instead, you can set up this area with a comfortable couch, a shelf of your favorite books, perhaps some notebooks for writing and sketching. Take some time out here to work on something for yourself, and decompress after a busy day.

I am so excited to offer my readers another giveaway! I love the name of this giveaway as it reminds me of my daughter’s dog Riley. You may remember when she used to live with us! I’m sure Riley would prove of this Snoring Dog Giveaway!Boston Terrier, dogs


It’s time for a new giveaway at Katherines Corner and I’m joining Katherine and some of her bloggy friends to bring you the House and Home Giveaway sponsored by Snoring Dog Studio!

One winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to Snoring Dog Studio and $75 Cash or Amazon gift card ( winners choice)

Prizes are provided by Katherines Corner, Snoring Dog Studio and the giveaway hostesses.

PayPal and Amazon are not affiliated with this giveaway, but they are the means of cash or gift card distribution.

Please remember to follow Katherine, your giveaway Sponsor and ALL of the giveaway hostesses so you can get all of your entry opportunities.

Katherine-Katherines Corner

Lisa- Casa Bouquet

Marilyn-Marilyns Treats

Nina-Vintage Mamas Cottage

Laura- Not A Trophy Wife

Bev-Eclectic Red Barn

Nancy- Nancy on the Homefront

Marla-Marla Martenson

Diane- Mamal Diane Keeping Life Simple

Roz-La Bella Vita Cucina


Disclaimer from Katherines Corner-Some of Katherines giveaways have sponsors, Katherines Corner may receive compensation for reviews and advertising provided. However, no compensation will influence the outcome of any review or giveaway win. Katherines Corner provides reviews to readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. Katherines Corner and its affiliate Bobskatie Enterprises reserves the right to not publish a review of a product or products that do not meet the specified instructions provided to product submission companies or individuals. Reviews are posted in the appropriate section at Katherines Corner and also at Amazon.com ( subject to products availability) This in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

Good Luck in the Giveaway!

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