Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

The New England colonists used molasses as their primary sweetener in cooking and baking. Molasses cookies have had a long history. The first recipes for these delicious cookies appeared in early American cookbooks around 1877. The recipe for these old fashioned molasses cookies came from a friend’s grandmother. These molasses cookies are thick and chewy and filled with raisins and nuts. They are easy and quick and perfect to fill your cookie jar. Use a dark robust molasses for the best flavor. I have made Molasses Crinkles for years, these old fashioned molasses cookies are a little softer and have a wonderful taste reminiscent of a cookie your grandmother made.molasses cookies

 

Molasses Cookiesmolasses cookies

 

Ingredients:

 

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. Ground cloves

¼ tsp. Ground allspice

¼ tsp. Ground nutmeg

8 Tbsp. Butter, softened

1 cup sugar

½ cup molasses

½ cup brewed coffee, room temperature

½ cup raisins

½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 350 and adjust the racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl.

 

With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the molasses and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and the coffee alternately in two batches, beating until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the raisins and nuts.

 

Working with 1 Tbsp. of dough at a time, shape the dough into balls. Place the balls on the prepared cooked sheets, spacing about two inches apart. Bake until the cookies have risen and are just set, 8-12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for two minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool complexly.molasses cookies Store  the molasses cookies in a airtight container.

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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
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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 posts:

Most Visited:
Being Self Reliant – The Self Reliance Challengehttp://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/self-reliance-challenge

My Favorite:
12 Creative and Smart Kitchen Organization Ideas

 

 

 

 

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!
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  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
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  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
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  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!


Although we don’t have any chickens at the moment, keeping chickens has always been a part of our life. When our house eventually sells and we relocate buying chickens will at at the top priority. I can’t wait. I would love to have one of my goals for the Self Sufficient Challenge to be getting chickens but with the house on the market keeping chickens just doesn’t make sense.keeping chickens

 

Why keep chickens? Chickens provide hours of entertainment. The minute we used to drive in the driveway our chickens would all come running; curious to see if we had any treats for them. During the fall we would allow the chickens to free range, this means the chickens could pretty much go wherever they wanted to. We would often find them peering into our back door as if to say, “can we come in?”keeping chickens

 

Our Buff Orpingtons were so friendly; I think they enjoyed spending time with us rather than with the rest of the flock. One of my favorite pictures of my mom was taken when she was visiting one summer; one of the buffs squeezed through the fence and began to follow my mother around. Eventually my mom just sat down on the coop steps and held the little Buff, that’s all she wanted.keeping chickens

 

If you want some real entertainment give one of the chickens a worm, they will run around trying to quickly swallow the worm before any of the other birds can catch her. Not only are chickens entertaining but they also would supply us with beautiful fresh eggs every day! If you’re still not convinced here are 11 health benefits of eggs.keeping chickens

 

So if you’re looking for ways to cut your budget consider cutting the cable and getting a few chickens instead. Keeping chickens provides hours of entertainment and fresh eggs. Sounds like a deal to me!keeping chickens

Follow along as I team up with some very talented bloggers for the May Self Sufficient challenge. Join us as we challenge ourselves to live a more self reliant lifestyle for the entire month of May!

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead

Robin – A Life in the Wild

Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry

Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm

Ashley – Practical Self Reliance

ShawnaLee – Homegrown Self Reliance

Frank – My Green Terra

Maria – Maria Zannini

Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront (that’s me!)

 

My first goal was to update my goal list each week. We are almost halfway through the year, can you believe it! I am really enjoying keeping my goals in the forefront. Some goals I am doing really well at, like reading and completing mu knitting projects. Others, like getting 10 K steps at least 5 days each week, I still haven’t accomplished! I have to say that thinking about the goals each week is keeping me motivated to complete them.goal setting

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!

2. Monetize my blog.  In the works, I have set up an account with Amazon Affiliates! Soon you’ll be seeing links to my favorite items on Amazon. Next on the list is to look into Google Ad Sense.

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 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week. I’m not sure why I am finding this so hard to complete, however my husband and I do work out everyday on an online program so it’s not like I’m being a total couch potato! Just have to get in the routine of getting a walk it at the end of each day. A year ago we we’re on the west coast and had no trouble at all getting our walks in!goal setting

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!  This is an easy goal, I have a box that I loves on the table and I add to it each week. At the end of the week I count up the items and move them into the Pile I am collecting to donate to the schools annual yard sale. Another 20 items out of the house this week –  139 items to go!goal setting

6. Read more  25 books this year! Only read one book this week called  Trauma Room Two. In this collection of short stories, Dr. Green takes the reader inside the emergency room. Based on fifteen years of experience as an ER physician, he reveals the profound moments that often occur in emergency rooms for patients, their families, and the staff that work there.  It was a quick read but very thought provoking.  Still keeping track of the books I’ve read on Good Reads, what a wonderful app. I can keep track of all the books I have read, the books I want to read and the books I am reading. I listed on the app that I want to read 25 books this year, 9 to go! Beginning to think my goal here should have been a few more books!goal setting

7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! I’m learning the fine line of figuring out what we’re going to eat each week and plan it so that we don’t end up with too many leftovers. When we spend a weekend away this doesn’t help. Trying to focus on recipes that only feed four that way we can enjoy a meal for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunch.goal setting

8. Finish 4 1 knitting projects. Third project finished. I loved knitting the mobius scarf so much I may start another one although I still want to complete the sweater ornament! Nice to have another knitting project finished!goal setting

  1. 9. Clean out our freezer. Such progress! Freezer is well under control now. Downstairs there is just some tomato sauce and two loads of bread I recently made! Used up the last of the blueberries in a shake. Making progress!
  2. 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. Our trip to North Carolina is coming together. We’ll be gone a week and will be able to visit family and at least four friends! Looks like we’ll have a long day of driving the first day but after that it will be manageable. It will be the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer. Plus we’ve been meaning to visit our friends in North Carolina for years! Hoping to get two other trips in this summer one to Maine and the other to upstate New York.
    goal setting

 

Can you believe it’s May already!  Another month and half the year will be gone. I’m so thankful to be keeping track of my goals, I think I will have a good chance at completing them all!

 

This month I also have a few goals related to the self-reliance challenge I am part of. My husband and I have always had the goal of being more self sufficient each year. The goals for this month of May Challenge are the following:

1. Get my vegetable garden planted.

2. Do a foray and look for wild leeks.

3. Make my own bread this month and don’t buy any store bought bread!

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I am so excited to be part of the month long challenge to become more self-sufficient. My husband and I have been living a self-sufficient life style for many years. We raise our own food and preserve most of what we grow. We have also raised our own meat chickens and have had chickens for years. Chickens not only provide entertainment but you can’t beat the taste of fresh eggs. We have taken many steps to save money.

 

There are numerous ways to save money on the home front.saving money

 

One of the easiest ways to save money is to make your own rather than buying store bought food. Some of the items I make all the time are granola, bread, yogurt and chicken broth. If you have not tried making your own bread give it a try. I make three loaves at a time, one loaf to enjoy and two for the freezer.saving money

 

Groceries

 

Another way to save money is on groceries. One of the best hints I was ever given to save money on groceries is to pay cash! Determine what your budget is and take only that amount of cash to the store. Yes you will have to keep track as you shop but you will have such a feeling of accomplishment when you get to the check out and stick to your budget!saving money

 

Plan ahead.

 

By planning what meals you will be cooking for the week you can shop for only the items you need. You can also plan meals around items you already have in your cupboards and freezer.saving money

 

Buy in bulk. Even though our household is only my husband and I there are still certain items I purchase in bulk. I am part of a local food co-op and an order is placed once a month. By knowing my prices and I can determine what items are a good deal and what items I can get cheaper elsewhere. I purchase items like bulk oatmeal and wheat berries.saving money

 

Have a garden!

 

I wrote a post last week on Why Garden? By growing your own fruits and vegetables you can save a lot of money and enjoy fresh tasty good that you’ve grown yourself.saving money

 

Make your own cleaners and laundry detergent.

 

Homemade cleaners are easy to make and so much healthier than many store bought items. You will be amazed at the money you will save. Check out my blogs about making household cleaners and laundry soap.saving money

 

Being self-sufficient has many aspects and saving money is one of the components. If you have no debt and your expenses are low you can save money and be prepared for the future.

 

If you’d like more information on being self-sufficient check out these wonderful bloggers. We are all taking part on the May 2018 Self Reliance Challenge.

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront

Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead

Robin – A Life in the Wild

Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry

Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm

Ashley – Practical Self Reliance

ShawnaLee – Homegrown Self Reliance

Frank – My Green Terra

Maria – Maria Zannini

Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Even though we all sleep every day (well, hopefully) it remains a rather mysterious thing, scientifically. Although we’ve learned a lot about sleep, its function, its purpose, and its disorders… there are still many things that elude us.Sleep 2

 

As far as we can tell, sleep is a restorative time for the body and mind (not that we had to tell you that.) Sleep is an important time for the mind to store memories away and process information. It’s a time when the body repairs itself as well. Without sleep, we become easily fatigued, forgetful, and if we go long enough without, we can even become mentally unstable.

 

The amount of sleep needed each night varies from person to person, but studies show that most people get less sleep than they need. Here are some facts about sleep, and some tips for getting more effective, restful sleep in your life.

 

The Brain Is Just as Active During Sleep

 

Although it might feel like your brain just switches off when you fall asleep, the truth is that your brain is almost as active during sleep as it is while you’re awake (and in some stages, it’s as active or even more so.) While you sleep, your brain is doing a lot to process information that you obtained while awake (and even new information that you’re receiving as you sleep!) If you’re able to get enough sleep, you’re more likely to make good decisions during the day, and even resist harmful habits. Additionally, while your brain is processing this information, it’s much better-able to form connections between disparate things, which is an essential contributor to creativity and recall ability.

 

Everyone Needs Different Amounts of Sleep

 

Although we tend to stick obsessively to the “you need 8 hours a night” model of sleep, the truth is that the amount of sleep needed per night is highly subjective. It differs from one person to another; and it’s mostly based on your age and your genetics. Some people function just fine on 6 hours. Others actually need 9 hours of sleep in order to be in peak condition. In order to determine how much sleep you actually need, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Do you feel drowsy in the middle of the day?

  • Do you wake up feeling refreshed?

  • Are you able to fall asleep quickly, or do you lie awake for a while?

  • Do you have a hard time remembering things throughout the day?

 

Your answers to those questions could determine whether you’re getting the right amount of sleep. Remember that although you wake up feeling groggy, it might be that you’re getting too much sleep, rather than not enough. Typically, we also need more sleep when we’re young, and when we’re recovering from sickness.Sleep 1

 

Lack of Sleep Leads to Major Health Problems

 

There are many ways that your body acts out if it’s not getting the right amount of sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, depression, and obesity. So even if you think that you’re getting by just fine cheating your body out of the sleep it needs, you’re probably paying a price that you don’t even realize.

 

It’s also important to note that while medication can help regulate sleep, most sleep aids also come with complicated side effects, especially if you become dependent on a substance in order to fall asleep. It’s always best to first try behavioral cues to improve sleep (some of which I’ve included below.)

 

Timing Makes a Difference in Quality

 

Although it might seem like sleep is sleep, no matter what time you get it, there’s actually a difference in the quality and type of sleep that we get depending on what time of day it is. This is actually pretty heavily influenced by the sun, even more so than our own personal clocks. For example, the sleep that you get before 2 a.m. is usually very valuable deep sleep that works to restore the body and mind, and so if you’re someone who tends to stay up late and sleep late, you might be missing out. Additionally, the light that you’re exposed to while you’re awake can have a major effect on your circadian rhythms. Getting 30 minutes or more of early-morning sunlight can help you sleep better at night than 2 hours of direct sun in the afternoon.Sleep 3

 

Some Tips:

 

In order to sleep better, here are 5 natural tips that have been proven to assist in sleep quality and regulation:

 

  1. Exercise regularly (5 days a week or more.) In many studies, this is shown to have just as strong of an effect as medication. However, it takes 2 weeks or more of a routine for it to have optimal effects, so it’s important that you are regular about it.

  2. Have a sleep routine. Speaking of being regular, you can train your body into sleep with the power of routine. Utilize specific sensory experiences, like lighting, sound, and even smell in order to tell your body it’s bedtime.

  3. Make a sleep-conducive atmosphere in your room by keeping the temperature a little cooler than you like it during the day (usually, in the 60’s) and getting complete darkness on your side with some blackout curtains.

  4. As mentioned above, getting sunlight early in the day regulates your circadian rhythms. Take a walk in the morning before 10:00 am.

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