During the cold winter months there is nothing I enjoy better than a warm bowl of soup. Whether we’re enjoying soup for lunch or making a dinner out of it you will find soup on the menu at least once a week! One of my favorite soup recipes is the Smokey Butternut Squash Soup.smoky butternut squash soup


The recipe is very simple and the only has a few added ingredients other than the butternut squash. One of the ingredients is bacon, which gives this soup a smokey flavor.

Next time you want to try a new soup make this smokey butternut squash soup, you’ll be glad you did. I’m sure it will freeze well but we managed to enjoy it and didn’t have time to put it in the freezer!


Smokey Butternut Squash Soup




1 butternut squash, 3 pounds. Peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

12 onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 slices of bacon, diced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste


4 slices of bacon

½ tsp. Thyme

2 ½ homemade chicken broth




Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the butternut squash, onion, pepper, bacon and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle it with the olive oil and toss to coat gently. Put the mixture into your baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender.


Meanwhile cook the remaining 4 slices of bacon until brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.


After the vegetable mixture is done, heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butternut squash mixture and thyme and cook one to two minutes more. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth and use your immersion blender to puree.


Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the soup is slightly thickened. If it is too thick you may add some more chicken broth.smoky butternut squash soup


Serve this smokey butternut squash warm. Leftovers can be frozen or enjoyed another day.smoky butternut squash soup

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I found on Damn Delicious.

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

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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:
Re-Purpose & Up-Cycle Your Jars and Bottles!


Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
20 Things I Always Buy in Bulk to Save Money

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

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

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Let’s start hopping!

Several years ago I shared my experience of being given some seeds for the Gete okosomin squash from a friend of mine in Wisconsin.finding gate okosomin seeds No matter what the actual story is of these wonderful seeds they are definitely an heirloom squash that has been grown for years and years. In fact when the seeds were first discovered finding Gete okosomin seeds was almost impossible. As a result after my post was published I have had numerous requests for seeds.finding gete okosomin seeds


When I first was given the seeds I planted them in my garden. Unfortunately that was the year we had a real drought and the harvest suffered. I did get some seeds but now enough to fulfill all the requests I had.finding gete okosomin seeds


Our house then went on the market and last year I cut way back on our vegetable garden and did not even plant any of the squash seeds. I continue to get requests from people who are having trouble finding Gete okosomin seeds.finding gete okosomin seeds


Since our house is still on the market and we’ve had a lot more interest this year I may or may not even have a vegetable garden this year. I thought I would do a little research for those of you who are having trouble finding the Gete okosomin seeds.


If you do a Google search on these Gete okosomin seeds you will find that there are not very many places to purchase the seeds.


Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds would be my top recommendation. Baker Creek is currently selling 10 seeds for $6.00. I love the story of Baker Creek Heirlom Seeds and am glad to support them by purchasing their seeds. Jere Gettle always had a passion for growing things, and at age 3 planted his first garden. Ever since, he wanted to be involved in the seed  industry. So in 1998, at the age of 17, he printed his first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. The company has grown to offer nearly 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs, the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the USA.


They are also available from the SeedWise website. A packet of 10 seeds is $3.50.


I also found an offer on Amazon for Frozen Seed Capsules. It lists that the capsule includes Gete okosomin Squash Seeds plus five rare garden seeds for $24.95! Seems a little high for me!


There were also two offers on Google.


Heirloom non GMO Gete okosomin Winter Squash Seeds for $0.99 plus $2.64 for shipping from eCrater-Survival Seeds. There was also a listing from Bonanza-Little Sprouts Farm’s Booth for 10 seeds for $5.64 plus $2.95 shipping.


I hope this helps for those of you having trouble finding Gete okosomin squash seeds. As soon as my garden is up and running I plan to grow these wonderful winter squash once again. They store well and have a wonderful taste. Well worth adding to your garden.finding gete okosomin seeds



goal-setting week oneMy first goal was to update my goal list each week. However with all the blog issues I’ve been having transferring my blog to a new host I’m a week behind! Oh well, the blog is back up and running and should be a secure site very soon. Having a post on goal setting has helped me to stay focused on what goals I want to accomplish this year.


Here is how I’m doing on my goals.


  1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure. Done!! This has been on my to do list for months but actually making the jump was kind of scary. I am so happy with my new host and am so excited to move forward from this point on.
  2. Monetize my blog.  Right now I have no ads running on my blog. I would like to start earning something on my blog instead of it just being a hobby. As soon as my site is secure I will be looking into advertisers. Who do you use? I have some recommendations but haven’t committed yet.goal setting
  3. Create a cookbook! I have been writing my blog for over six year and have accumulated many recipes online. Time to make them available in a cookbook form, either as a downloadable PDF or in a hardcopy or both! This is in the planing stage and really I just have to start!
  4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week. Maybe I should try for at least 3 days out of 7! This goal is harder than I thought especially this time of year. I walk on a dirt road so if the weather is icy I really don’t want to venture out. I am very good at getting 5-6 thousand steps a day but right now I am only getting the full 10K steps in once or twice a week. I will get better!goal setting week 1
  5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year! I’m not going to have trouble with this goal, this past week I cleared out 11 pieces of clothing from our closet and three cookies cutters from my collection. I also went through our everyday china and got rid of three chipped plates. 233 items to go!goal setting week one
  6. Read more books this year!  This goal should not be an issue either, I love to read and have already finished 2 books. I have books by the bed and books on my iPad so I always have something to read! I enjoyed both of these books. My favorite was The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, just so uplifting and such a charming story. Arthur Pepper’s wife has recently passed away and he finds a charm bracelet that he’s never seen when going through her belongings. He ends up taking an trip to find out more about each charm. It’s a quick and delightful read.goal setting week 1
  7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead!  I did much better with this goal this week. I actually thought about what we would be eating each and every day and made a calendar to follow. It took a little time but it sure is helpful. I stick to the meal plan and no snacking! That way my clothes should still fit come spring!goal setting week 1
  8. Finish 4 3 knitting projects.  First project completed, I made a hat for my daughter. It’s been a project in the works and it is so nice to have it completed. She even sent me a photo! Three more projects to go!goal setting week one
  9. Clean out our freezer. First step was to take inventory which I did. I have the inventory now on my kitchen desk so I can see what I have and plan how to use the food up.
  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 well into January 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!



For many people who know how to play a musical instrument, they probably took lessons as a kid, when their parents would sit them down everyday and make them practice. Pretty soon, this probably manifested itself into a passion that they continue to have to this day.Pursue Music


However, this isn’t the only path for people who want to get into music. There’s a tendency among adults to think that, if you don’t already know how to play an instrument, you missed the train on doing so. This isn’t the case, though. There are plenty reasons why you should work towards learning a musical instrument, today, if that’s what you are passionate about doing…


It’s easier to train your ears, as an adult


One of the most difficult aspects of teaching music isn’t trying to get a kid to play an instrument, but to help them train their ears to recognize different auditory traits. Over time, young people eventually pick up on ear training, but it’s a long and arduous process.


However, this is actually something that is much easier and quicker to learn, as an adult. Learning to recognize things like audio dynamics and dimension is a simpler task for more developed ears. So, while kids who learned to play an instrument have an advantage in some ways, there are other ways where it is easier for adults to learn, quickly.


Your brain can change, even after it’s developed


One concern that people have is that they think their brains won’t develop to incorporate musical flow when they are adults. After all, there’s a reason that children are able to pick up on foreign languages much quicker than adults, because their mind is more malleable at that age.Pursue Music


However, while it can be more difficult, neuroscientists at UC Irvine have shown that a fully developed brain still has the capacity to change and develop habits that are necessary to learn an instrument. It does, however, require a bit more dedication and brainpower at the start to develop the mindset to learn a musical instrument.


Continuous practice is key


When you start learning a musical instrument, your brain needs to work incredibly hard to recognize and play each note, not to mention stay in rhythm. This is why it is so difficult to start learning an instrument when you are older. However, this trend can reverse after a tremendous amount of practice. Continually using your brain power to play each note will eventually build pathways that make it easier for your brain to tell your body what to do.


What’s so tricky is that your brain has probably never had to build these specific pathways before, if you’ve never learned to play an instrument. However, it’s just like typing words on a keyboard, eventually your mind will build habits that make it a second nature.


There are benefits to practicing music, casually


Typically, most people have their own reasons for wanting to learn to play an instrument at a later age. Maybe they’ve heard a piece of music that inspired them to take it up, or maybe it’s something they’ve always wanted to learn and are just getting around to it. Aside from those reasons, though, there are major mental benefits to learning an instrument.Pursue Music


Playing music stretches your brain like a muscle, and forces it to adapt to new and strange situations. This can help develop better memory and alertness, and can even have mental health benefits. So, in addition to learning something you already wanted to learn, playing music is like eating vegetables for your brain.


Music structure is easier for adults to understand


While you may not have realized it, there’s an extremely passive step you’ve been doing to learn how to play music for your entire life: listening to it. Listening to a wide variety of music has instilled an inherent understanding of how music structure works, even if you aren’t able to intellectualize it, quite yet. For this reason, while learning to play the notes naturally may take time, you already have a head start to playing songs and understanding how they fit together.

My husband has a big birthday coming up and I’m putting together a menu for 12 people who will be helping us celebrate. When planning a dinner party I like to find appetizers and main course dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. This recipe for glazed pineapple kielbasa bites is just perfect. I can make the glaze ahead of time and cut up the kielbasa earlier in the day. Before baking I will soak the toothpicks and put the pineapple on top of each kielbasa slice. Just before the company arrives I will pop these delicious glazed pineapple kielbasa bites in the oven and they will be ready to serve in no time.glazed kielbasa bites


Glazed Pineapple Kielbasa Bites




1 (14 oz) Kielbasa, I used a turkey kielbasa

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, use juice for the glaze

3 Tbsp. Teriyaki sauce

1 Tbsp. Sweet chili sauce

1 Tbsp. Honey

1 Tbsp. Pineapple juice

Plain toothpicks




Soak the toothpicks in water for 20 minutes before baking.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a piece of pineapple on top of each slice of kielbasa and place on the parchment-lined pan. Put the toothpicks in after you put the glaze in, this will keep the toothpicks from burning in the oven!glazed kielbasa bites


In a small bowl combine the glaze ingredients. Glaze the kielbasa and pineapple bites. Stick each portion with a plain toothpick.glazed kielbasa bites Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot. Let cool slightly and serve.


I tried these out for a small diner party we had and they were a big hit. The leftovers kept well and we were able to enjoy them the next day. I’m sure they will be a big hit at my husband’s birthday party too! Do you have a favorite appetizer that you can make before the company arrives?

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