Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

 

Winter is usually the time we enjoy tomato soup but this roasted tomato soup is perfect on a cold, wet spring day. Roasting tomatoes in your slow cooker intensifies their flavor. This roasted tomato soup is flavored with herbs and garlic and simmered with chicken broth, ricotta and Parmigianino cheese. Top the soup with a dollop of spinach pesto and you are in for a real treat. The soup needs to cook for six hours. The spinach pesto can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.roasted tomato soup

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

Two 28oz can peeled whole tomatoes, drained

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried marjoram

½ cup chopped red onion

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ cup vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ cup Parmigianino cheese, freshly grated

Spinach Pesto

 

Directions:

 

Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, marjoram, onion, garlic, salt, pepper flakes and broth in the insert of a 5-7 quart slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, until the tomatoes and onion are softened. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Whisk in the ricotta, cream and Parmigianino cheese. Cover the cooker and turn it to warm. Allow the soup to come to serving temperature. Serve the soup with spinach pesto.roasted tomato soup

 

Spinach Pesto

 

Ingredients:

 

Two 10oz packages of frozen baby spinach

½ cup pine nuts

2 cloves garlic, peeled

Grated zest of 1 lemon

½ cup packed fresh basil leaves

½ cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

2/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

 

Put the spinach, pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest, basil and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the mixture is chunky. With the machine running slowly pour in the oil and process until the mixture comes together. Season with salt and pepper. Store the pesto, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.roasted tomato soup

 

Plan ahead for this delicious roasted tomato soup. You can make the pesto ahead of time and make the soup the day before you plan to serve it. Add a grilled cheese sandwich and you’ve got a delicious lunch!


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

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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:
Foraging For Dewberries

My Favorite:
7 Recycling Solutions for Small Houses, Condos, and Apartments

 

 

 

 

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

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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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Why Garden? When I think of becoming more self- sufficient one of the first things I think of is having a vegetable garden. Having your own garden is an excellent component of a self-sufficient lifestyle.why garden It’s also a wonderful activity to engage the family. Involve your children in planning your garden, and plant vegetables they like to eat. Include vegetables, like radishes and lettuce that are quick growing as well.why garden

 

I’ve always had a vegetable garden, some gardens have been very small and others much too large! There may be some start up costs involved in setting up a garden, but with time a garden does pay off financially. Herbs will pay for themselves quickly. Eventually so will the berry bushes, fruit trees and fresh vegetables. If you preserve your harvest you will save even more money. Having a pantry and a freezer will help you to prolong the pleasure of the harvest.why garden

 

When I think of the reasons and ask myself “why garden?” I can think of so many benefits. Having a garden will give you exercise. You will have a great satisfaction of knowing where your vegetables come from. Looking at your pantry at the end of the growing season and knowing that you grew what is stored will give you such a good feeling. You know exactly what is in each canning jar and what the ingredients are.why garden

 

In the end you will probably find that the benefits of a garden can’t be measured in dollars and cents. For me I enjoy the time I spend in my garden. I love having a productive hobby I can share with others. I also love filling my pantry shelves with the gardens bounty, salsas, and sauces and jams all made with the bounty I grew. We’ve even designed our own salsa labels for gift giving.why garden

 

If you are asking yourself why garden, bring your questions to me. If you have already decided to plant a garden this year here is an excellent post on preparing the garden for spring. However big your garden is have fun and enjoy the experience of gardening!

I am so excited! This next month I will be joining a dynamic group of bloggers in the May 2018 ~ Self Reliance Challenge! 31 Days To A More Self Reliant Life

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!)

 

What exactly does it mean to be self-reliant? According to Webster it means “having the resources to be able to survive without outside assistance.” When we are truly self-reliant, we can use the blessings and abilities God has given us to care for our families and ourselves and find solutions to our own problems.http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/self-reliance-challenge

 

When we think of our grown children becoming self-reliant and we think of them being able to support themselves, pay their own bills and manage their money. When I think of my husband and I becoming more self-reliant I tend to think of self-reliant living. The ability to survive when times get tough. Sometimes we want to become self reliant and sometimes we have to. It is good to have a sense of being self-reliant before you are forced into it due to difficult circumstances.

 

Things can rapidly change in our world, you may have a good job today and be unemployed tomorrow. You can survive a flood or a terrible storm but then find yourself cut off from civilization because the roads are destroyed.self-reliant

 

There are several steps you can take to make sure that you are just a little more self-reliant than you have been. It won’t happen overnight but with a little preparation you will be ready for what ever lies ahead.self-reliant

 

The first thing is to get out of debt. This should be your number one priority. Being in debt costs you money. Taking care of your debt will give you an important sense of freedom. Money that was going to pay off your debt can be used for other things.

 

Learn new skills. Learn to grow a garden or bake bread. Take up sewing or knitting. These are skills you can use to help out the family and you might even be able to make a little money. I bake three loaves of bread at once, one to enjoy and two for the freezer!self-reliant

 

Learn to preserve garden harvest, whether you have your own garden or are buying from a local farm market. You can have such a wonderful sense of security having a full pantry.self-reliant

 

Most important, have a plan. Spend a few minutes thinking about what would happen in a financial crisis, national emergency or weather related emergency. Make lists of what you would need, plan on what steps you would take. You may not need to think about a national emergency but being prepared for your next hurricane or winter storm is always a good idea. Better to be prepared and be able to help your neighbors than be expecting help from others. As we move into the month of May I will be sharing posts on ways to save money, starting your garden, preserving your harvest and cooking from scratch. If you are interested in joining us on our journey please click HERE for more information.

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! I tend to get a little stressed when I realize just how fast the year is flying by. However, I am making progress!goal-setting 14

 

      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. Our week was pretty rainy. However being away for the weekend meant I did a lot of walking! Fun to be in an area with sidewalks and so much to see! To top it off Saturday was an absolutely beautiful spring day!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!  More decluttering, I am amazed at the things I continue to find to pass along, this week it was only 6 items  to be exact, out the door! I have a new game with our grown children. I take a picture of something and they say keep or toss? For example, I was going to get rid of our fondue pot as we haven’t used it in ages. My daughter quickly spoke up and said “NO” she wanted it! 159 items to go!goal setting
      6. Read more  25 books this year! Managed to read two books by one of my favorite authors Kristin Hannah. Read Home Front and The Nightingale. Enjoyed both of them. Since The Nightingale is another WWII book I think I’ll take a break from WWII! Still reading Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always out loud everyday. Such a good book.  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, 10 to go! Beginning to think my goal here should have been a few more books!goals week 14
      7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! We were gone over the weekend so meal planning kind of took a back seat. Helped a friend celebrate her 60th and attended a funeral. A weekend with both highs and lows.
      8. Finish 4 2 knitting projects. Second project finished! I am loving this mobius infinity scarf I’m working on.The colors are my favorite and I may have a hard time giving this one up. since we had a short road trip this last weekend I got a lot of knitting completed. By the time we get back home the scarf should be completed!goal setting

    9. Clean out our freezer. Such progress! Freezer is well under control now. Downstairs there is just some tomato sauce and one more container of frozen blueberries! Making progress!

  1. 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!
    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!

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Hard to believe that it is almost May! Pork shoulder is a favorite for the slow cooker.  This south of the border entrée will have your family celebrating in no time! The pork is so tender and can be served with corn or flour tortillas or ladle it over steamed rice. I love making meals in the slow cooker, a little effort in the morning and your house smells delicious the rest of the day and dinner is waiting for you at the end of the day! Whether or not you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this delicious pork dinner is worth serving any time of the year!cinco de mayo pork

 

Cinco de Mayo Pork

 

Ingredients:

 

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. chili powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder meat, excess fat removed and cut into 2 inch pieces.

2 tsp. Salt

1 cup homemade salsa (medium or hot depending on your taste)

½ cup beef broth

One 16oz package of frozen corn

Flour or corn tortillas for serving

 

Directions:

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, chili powder and garlic and sauté for about one minute or until the spices are fragrant. Sprinkle the meat with the salt and brown the pork on all sides in the seasonings. Transfer the pork to the insert of a 5-7 quart slow cooker. Add the salsa and broth to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the insert and add the corn. Stir to combine. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve with the warmed tortillas. Makes about 6-8 servings.cinco de mayo pork

 

We don’t usually celebrate Cinco de Mayo but this delicious pork dish might  warrant a celebration every year!cinco de mayo pork

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