Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Free Amazon Book - Christmas Super Value Pack 600 Christmas Recipes

Here is a great book to start your holidays off right from my affiliate partner on amazon.  And right now it's FREE!  Just click the picture to be taken to the book or click HERE.  If you like these free offerings please like me on facebook and follow me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Forest Wreath Review and Giveaway!

I love fresh wreaths and Christmas Trees.  The smell of a real wreath is impossible to replicate with fake scents or candles.  You just have to have the real thing!
That is why I was so excited when Christmas Forest offered to let me review one of their wreaths.  The hard part was choosing one.  They have a great selection of different styles that you can see HERE.  In the end I choose the Highlander Wreath because it suits my Christmas d├ęcor.  I love plaids and a more rustic look.  The Highlander wreath seems to usher in memories of holidays across the oceans and through the ages. This old-world Christmas wreath features aromatic noble fir and princess pine, and is made the old fashioned way—painstakingly handcrafted with a traditional Tartan plaid ribbon and bow.
Jingle Bells Christmas WreathThe moment I opened the box the heady scent of fresh pine overwhelmed me!  I loved it and actually leaned in and took a few big whiffs. I was really impressed with the beauty and quality of this wreath.  It looks so much better than the ones you buy at the local store. I have had it up on our front door for a good week and it still looks great even after suffering through single digit temperatures, snow storms and rain.  I have never had such a beautiful wreath.  Thank you Christmas Forest!
Christmas Forest also has a great page under Christmas Ideas on the history and origin of Christmas Wreaths and how to choose a wreath that will last. They also sell a large selection of Christmas Ornaments.  I highly recommend Christmas Forest for high quality, beautiful wreaths. 

Connect with Christmas Forest



Christmas Forest is giving one lucky Thrifty Housewife reader a Christmas wreath of their choice!  Use the rafflecopter to enter, all entries are optional, all winning entries are verified for completion. Good luck!

The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen. The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  Open to US and Canada.  All Entries are verified.

Easy Creamed Corn

Creamed Corn my way

Most people think that creamed corn is the slop that comes from the can.  I would only feed that to my chickens!  Homemade creamed corn is amazing and super easy so make it once and taste the difference.  This is for thanksgiving dinner so it makes allot.  Halve it for a regular dinner.

Two packages frozen white corn (or ten ears sweet corn if in season, cut off kernels with a sharp knife and then use the back of the knife to scrape the cob to get all the "milk" out)
2 cups cream
4 tablespoons butter
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer until the cream is thick.  Serve hot with thanksgiving dinner.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How To Make Mashed Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

I am planning to make allot of my Thanksgiving sides in our crockpot this year.  I have two crockpots.  One is a big one and the other is one of those 3 pot kind that you can do three side dishes or a small main and two side dishes.  I have been using my crockpots almost on a daily basis since my surgery.  It has been an amazing help because by dinner time I am usually worn out and do not want to cook a full meal for 6 people while various children tell me they are starving to death.

I found this great site called The Kitchn that step by step shows you how to make yummy mashed potatoes in your crockpot for Thanksgiving.  This is such a big time saver!  I'm doing it.  It even has a super easy print option at the top.  Go HERE to get the instructions which are super easy by the way!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Free Old Fashioned Cookbook - Farmhouse Classics - Pickles, Chutneys and Preserves

I love old fashioned cooking and canning so I thought I would pass this one on from my affiliate partner on Amazon.  And it' FREE at time of posting!

In Anticipation of Thanksgiving: How To Roast a Perfect Turkey Easy

Sunset; James Carrier; Ojai Roast Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic
I love turkey, in fact I love it so much that when it is on sale I buy as many as I can fit in my freezer so that we can eat it year round.  And at 75 cents a pound or less around Thanksgiving its a great money saver. 

I know that many women are intimidated by roasting the holiday bird so I thought I would give my never fail method of cooking the best turkey you've ever had. Also my turkey is, if I do say so myself, famous.  This is because I do two things that make it moist, flavorful, and falling off the bone (no joke) delicious.

First I brine my turkey - submerge in a herb, salt, sugar bath- for at least two days

Second I roast it in a Reynold's Turkey Bag

Those two steps ensure a moist tender bird!  If you want to have the best turkey ever this year think about brining it and using the turkey bag.  The bag requires no basting, you just throw it in there and let it go, and the brine will give your bird a ticket to flavor town.

Here's my method

Turkey Brine

2/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
5 fresh sage leaves or 1 T dried
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 T dried
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns crushed
1 plastic oven bags turkey sized
1 big roasting pan
1 big stock pot

Possible additions:  Fruit juice such as cider or apple juice in place of two cups of the water

Put all ingredients in a 3 - 4 quart sauce pan.  Add 8 cups water or 6 cups water and two cups fruit juice.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Boil three min.  then remove from heat and add 4 cups cold water and stir.  Let cool.

  Place your thawed, rinsed, raw turkey into a really large non reactive stockpot that it will fit in.  Pour cooled brine over the top and pour an additional two cups cold water on top of that.  cover with its lid or tinfoil.   Place turkey in the fridge or a really cold room that is secure from your dog getting at it.  Allow to brine from 12 hours (for a smaller turkey) to 48 hours (for a 20 lb or bigger turkey)

When ready to roast remove from pot and rinse with cold running water on the inside and outside really well.  Especially if you used the juice because the added sugar content can cause the skin to over brown if not rinsed off.  Rub fresh herbs and olive oil over the skin but no more salt!

Place in  turkey bag according to its directions.  I don't stuff my bird so I place a quartered apple, onion, and some fresh thyme sprigs in the cavity.  Seal and bake according to directions on the box.

When done slit open the turkey bag to keep it from sticking to the skin.  It is normal to see the meat actually starting to fall off the bone a bit.  Cover immediately with a tin foil tent and let rest 20 minutes.  This allows the juices to distribute and makes for moister meat.  Then carve, serve, and give thanks for the amazing turkey!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Bad

Hunting season is BIG here.  And I mean BIG!  Deer, elk, and pheasant abound and pretty much everyone hunts.  I found this great article by Will Brantley on reasons you Venison might taste bad and ways to prevent it.  I found it very informative and wanted to pass it along!  Click HERE to go to the article, its a great read.  If you like seeing these kind of posts please like me on facebook and follow me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Free Amazon Books- Paleo Kids snacks, The Art Of War, The Preppers Pantry and More

Here are some great free kindle books from my affiliate partner on Amazon.  These are free at time of posting so make sure and check the price before buying.  If you appreciate seeing these posts please follow me via GFC, Twitter, and Like me on facebook and then you wont miss out.

Review/Giveaway - Maty's Natural Cold and Flu Products

I have to admit that I'm a little obsessed with being ready for cold and flu season.  With four children preventing them has become a part time job in my life because when one of us gets sick all of us gets sick.  It slowly wends it's way through the family resulting in me playing nurse for about a month. I call it our Month Long Winter Illness Celebration. .

Recently though, I have been looking for natural cold and flu meds for my children and I.  I tend to have weird reactions to standard over the counter meds, and I would much rather use natural products for my children any day.

That's when I discovered Maty's Healthy Products!  Maty's is a company that makes all natural cough syrups, chest rubs, and even a nasal ointment for adults and children. 

Here is some info on the founder and her company:

In 1996, my daughter Maty was born with severe heart defects. And to make matters worse, she was born without a spleen. It was a challenging time for our family. By age five she underwent three complex surgeries to repair her heart. Although her heart was mended, she was left with difficult medical issues and a weakened immune system. Her condition made her vulnerable.

Desperate to help my little girl, I devoted my time to finding natural remedies that would help her get and stay healthy. Along the way, I uncovered many traditional natural remedies that were no longer widely used. I began to apply modern knowledge of nature’s healing agents to the age old remedies I was discovering. They became very popular with family and friends.

It is these traditional remedies I discovered in my research that have now become Maty’s All-Natural product line, available from my family to yours. Our line of all-natural remedies is made from only the purest ingredients, procured from responsible sources. They are safe and effective and created straight from a mother’s loving heart. We believe that when you GET BETTER you will DO BETTER! We wish you continued good health and happiness….naturally.

When Maty's offered to send me their line for a review I was thrilled!  I too have searched for all natural products for my children ever since my eldest son was born with severe allergies to any synthetic cleaners or products.  The more I found out about chemicals used in everyday products the less I wanted to expose any of my family to them.  So I sympathize with the founder of Maty's completely!

Maty's sent me their full line for review.  The first thing I tried because I had come down with a cold, was their adult chest rub.  I love chest rubs because they help me breath but don't have nasty side effects like traditional over the counter meds.  However I do wonder what company's put in them since it is absorbing into my skin.  Maty's Chest Rub was amazing though.  Not only is it all natural, but it smells amazing and did clear my nose and help with my cough.  It also didn't burn like some chest rubs do on my skin.  This is a product I will use all winter!

One of my children also came down with the same cold so I had a chance to try the children's chest rub on them.  Now my kids hate chest rubs, most children seem to in fact.  But Maty's Children's Chest Rub seemed to be less hated and more tolerated.  First off it doesn't burn or tingle, which is what my children seem to hate, and it smells heavenly!  I noticed my child slept better and their nose was clearer for breathing after application.

I also got the all natural baby ointment.  Although I don't have a baby anymore I did use it on my chapped skin and it helped protect the skin and heal it faster.  For a baby's bum this would work great and is petroleum free!

I also tried both cough syrups, one for me and one for my children.  It really did seem to help with the cold and tasted good for both of us.  I love that it's all natural and contains buckwheat honey.  Also for children here is a big benefit.  With over the counter children's cold meds you have to be really careful with dosage, every year children go to the emergency room due to overdosing on cold meds either from parent mistakes or from getting ahold of the bottle.  But with Maty's since it is food based you don't have to be concerned (but you still should be careful, use common sense)!  I was always a little paranoid and kept (and still keep) all meds and cleaners well out of my children's reach.  These products would have been such a comfort when my children were toddlers!

The last thing I tried was the nasal ointment.  You actually put this in your nose and I was a little nervous about trying it.  I have sinus problems so I was wondering if it would help.  The thing I thought might happen is it burning, but it didn't at all!  It did seem to gently help clear my nasal passages and that is a big plus for me!

I would recommend Maty's Healthy Products to anyone looking for all natural cold and flu aids this year.  It is priced the same as other over the counter meds, all natural, found at many retailers, and most importantly works!  You can buy Maty's Healthy Products at many retailers found HERE.

Connect with Maty's Healthy Products


The Giveaway!

To get your prepared for cold and flu season Maty's has generously offered to give one of my lucky readers their full line of Healthy Products! They will receive one full sized bottle of Adult Cough Syrup and Adult Chest Rub. Use the rafflecopter below to enter.  All entries are optional, all winning entries are verified for completion." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen. The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  Open to US only.  All Entries are verified.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Build a Spring House For Non Electric Refrigeration

I know I know!  Right now the focus of most people is how to keep things from freezing.  But this information is really good to have.  Essentially a spring house is a stone or cinderblock structure built over a stream of flowing clean water.  You store things that do better cool temperatures during warm weather in it and store your butter, milk, and cream directly in the stream of cold water in waterproof containers.  I would love to have one of these!  Go HERE for complete instructions. Refrigeration

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Huge Composter Giveaway! Valued at $334.00!

 Check out this giveaway that is just perfect for getting your winter composting started.  Eartheasy is giving away a Jora ComposterCompost Keeper, and replacement filters. It is a prize valued at $334.90! 
To enter go HERE

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home Made Hot Toddy Mix - Way better than store bought!

Every fall of my childhood my family celebrated the tradition of making home made hot toddy or hot buttered rum mix. I would look forward to it as one of those signals of the beginnings of the holidays.  Since it is super easy even children can do it, and kids love the non alcoholic version either in hot water or hot milk.  Personally to me it tastes like a chia latte. This year I made it again and my children and husband were so excited to get the first cup.  I enjoy it with milk as more of a sweet treat.  The fresh ground spices give it a wonderful aromatic quality that is perfect after spending time out in the cold weather.  I recently looked at the ingredients of store bought hot toddy mix and saw of course high fructose corn syrup plus all sorts of other weird unpronounceable ingredients.  You can certainly use organic ice cream and butter for this.

Hot Buttered Rum Mix

1 lb softened real butter -  do not use fake butter

1 pt. vanilla ice cream softened - the better the brand the better the flavor haagen daz is good
1 lb brown sugar
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg ground
1 tablespoon cinnamon ground
1 teaspoon allspice ground

Fresh Nutmeg and Allspice
Whole spices like this last almost forever in the cupboard as apposed to the pre-ground spices you buy which will only have a good flavor for a few months and then you have to throw them out.
grinding the spices in a simple home coffee grinder brings more intense flavor
The Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.  You can see the flecks of vanilla!

Mix the sugars and butter until light, then add the spices and vanilla until combined well, then add the ice cream.   Keep in an airtight container in the freezer.

To use add desired amount (start with a tablespoon and add more if needed) to a cup of boiling water or milk.  Add rum, brandy, or whiskey if desired.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fried Apples - Old Fashioned Cooking

After reading the Little House books I was interested in trying out the idea of fried apples.  This was an accompaniment to dinners and breakfasts in the book Farmer Boy.  So I looked it up on the net and then added my own tweaks. Fried apples are really delicious and are perfect for cold evenings.  This is really good with pork or chicken or with a hearty breakfast.  Easy to do too, as long as you have lots of apples.  I buy my apples in bulk from an orchard for 50 cents a lb. and got 125 lbs. so I have lots of apples to play with.  The cooking time varies depending on how many apples you use and what variety. You want to use a cooking or baking apple like galas, granny smith, etc..  I use a mixture of them.  Here's the recipe

Take 10 large apples or less if your feeding less but this reheats well


Then slice into 1/4 in slices

In your skillet melt 1 stick of butter and add apples and then cook over medium high heat adjusting if apples are burning

When apples start to get soft grate over some nutmeg if you like and add one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Mix up well.  When the apples start to caramelize and get brown they are done.  Serve with breakfast or a dinner of chicken or pork.  Serve warm or hot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Honey Candles 100% Beeswax Candles Review and Holiday Giveaway!

Do you love to burn candles around the house?  I do!  I delight in the warmth and comforting ambiance candles give a room.  My children ask me every night to light the candles and I often put on soothing music to go with them.  You would not believe how that tends to calm children down.   I prefer beeswax candles over any other type!  The reasons being they let off a light sweet fragrance that's not too overpowering and they also are all natural.  Unfortunately most candles you buy in the store contain all sort of interesting chemicals that I don't want my family exposed to.

Beeswax - Fluted Sphere - NaturalWhile on my search for beeswax candles I found the company Honey Candles. 

Honey Candles is a small business owned by Roy and Leah Honkanen who live in Canada. For over 15 years they have focused on creating bee-friendly, green, healthy and natural beeswax candles and incense.

Beeswax - Yule Tree - NaturalThey have a wonderful site that is not only beautiful but also set up very nice so that it is easy to navigate.  They have tons of information on beeswax candles and how to care for them that you can find HERE.  They carry dozens of types of candles in not only the natural beeswax color but also many other colors as well.

Some of the reasons I prefer Honey Candles 100% beeswax candles over other candle types is

  • Non-hazardous  
  • Non-carcinogenic
  • Dyes are not tested on animals
  • Solvent free
  • Does not contain hazardous additives such as naphtha or naphthalene
  • We use a minute amount of dye in our candles, less than 0.0125%
  • None of the components in the dye is required to be listed in the California Proposition 65 list of cancer causing agents
  • Can be shipped in all weather conditions because of its high melt point

  • The candles from Honey Candles are bee friendly, eco friendly, and renewable. Something else I learned is that beeswax candles can actually help clean your air! Beeswax candles have long been known for their air purifying effects. Unlike soy and paraffin candles, 100% pure beeswax creates negative ions when burning, creating a similar effect as houseplants. Negative ions neutralize bad positive ions such as allergens, dust and air borne toxins thus improving air quality.

    Beeswax - Ponderosa Pine Cone - NaturalHoney Candles sent me three holiday inspired candles to review.  The Fluted Sphere, Ponderosa Pine Cone, and Yule Tree all in natural which I prefer although there are other color choices.  When I received  my candles I was so impressed with the workmanship and crisp lines.  They are almost too pretty to burn.  But I did light them and  the glow they let off is lovely.  They are very bright I noticed, and let of a light honey scent as they burn.

    The only drawback is that beeswax candles are more expensive than what you would buy in places like Wal-Mart (super cheap).  However I have looked through the better candle catalogues and they run about the same as Honey Candles but still contain all the chemicals I try to avoid. 

    Honey Candles would make a great gift for Christmas, Thanksgiving, housewarmings, or hostess gifts.  They also would be great to light around the house as they add a warmth and coziness to your home that is so suited to the holidays. They are the highest quality candles I have ever used and are eco responsible at the same time.  I would recommend them to anyone.  You can see the care and commitment Roy and Leah Honkanen have put into their products.

    Connect With Honey Candles


    The Giveaway!

    Just in time for the Holidays Honey Candles has generously offered to give one of my lucky readers the three holiday candle set that I reviewed which is a  $61.00 value!  Use the rafflecopter below to enter, all entries are optional, all winning entries are verified for completion.  Good Luck!

    Cant Wait?

    Honey Candles is running a great free shipping offer for all orders over $125.00.  Go HERE to buy your own!
" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

     The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen. The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  Open to US and Canada.  All Entries are verified.