Looking for a simple, healthy, and inexpensive breakfast protein option? This homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage is very easy to make and customize!
Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage
I don’t always make a meal plan, especially when we have crazy busy weeks. But I do have a basic structure to what I make for meals each day. It usually goes something like this:
Dessert (once or twice a week, usually fruit based!)
We also usually have 2 snacks a day and the contents will vary. All families are different and have different needs but this is what works for us and our budget. For me, it helps to have a structure like this even when I don’t have a specific meal plan.
Breakfast can be a hard meal for me to come up with a healthy and inexpensive protein for. Sausages from the store can be spendy. I do make Homemade Beef Sausage Patties but we’ve been very low on beef lately until our next cow is ready to be butchered so I’ve been using more turkey since it’s less expensive than beef.
This recipe can easily be customized to your family’s taste but this is how we like to make these little homemade sausages.
Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage
What You Need:
1 pound ground Turkey
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, thyme, garlic, and salt (and onion if desired). You may need to mix with your hands or a spatula to get it well combined.
Place the meat mixture into a quart size freezer bag.
Cut off one of the corners and “pipe” sausages into a 9×13 baking dish or a cookie tray with sides. I know, they aren’t the most attractive things but they taste so good!
Bake the sausages at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the internal temp of the sausages is 165 degrees F.
Enjoy the sausages with your favorite Homemade Pancakes or freeze to enjoy later. I like them with sauteed veggies!
Isn’t it crazy how the littlest people in our lives seem to take up the most space? All of the toys and the clothes and the special furniture and everything else that is a “must have” when you add to your family.
It can be hard for your children to understand this journey, even though you know it will better them and your entire family, it’s always good to have them as involved in the downsizing and moving process as much as you possibly can.
This week I’m sharing on Mother Earth Living’s website how we easily fit all of our children’s things into our small new home and how we included them fully in the moving an downsizing process. They’ve all been troopers and have transitioned very well. Hop over to their site to read the full article.
Considering adding goats to your homestead? Contribution writer Rebekah is sharing just a few wonderful reasons of why you should raise goats today!
Why You Should Raise Goats
If you own a homestead, there’s no doubt that the idea of raising a goat has come to mind from time to time. While goats host a range of benefits to your finances, health, and happiness, they have received little attention from conventional farmers because their products aren’t as widely marketed as are those from other animals, such as cows or chickens. However, goats are one of the most inexpensive, easy to care for animals. You should consider raising goats on your homestead for the following reasons.
Milk and Cheese
Owning a goat can substantially reduce your dairy bill. Goats take up less space and cost significantly less money to raise than dairy cows, and a good dairy goat will produce about six to twelve pounds of milk a day. While your goats need to have kids in order to give you milk, a goat can produce milk for up to three years without having to be rebred.
Goat’s milk is much easier for humans to digest than cow’s milk. It contains about four percent butterfat and smaller, less dense fat globules. This means that people who have dairy allergies or are lactose intolerant are less likely to have an intolerance to goat’s milk. Goat milk is better for you than cow milk in terms of its nutrient content. It contains more protein and less sugar, with additional calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
And what to do with all of that leftover goat’s milk (because you surely won’t drink twelve pounds a day, right?)? Why, you can make goat cheese! Goat cheese, also known as “chevre,” has a distinctive, tangy taste. It is creamier than traditional cheese and serves as a wonderful addition to any meal as a substitute for traditional cheese.
While very few people eat goat meat in the developed world, it is a common staple in many parts of the world. As previously mentioned, goats use fewer resources than cows. Goat meat is technically a red meat but is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork, and even chicken. It has a flavor similar to lamb, with earthy–yet delicious–undertones.
Some breeds of goats can produce fiber. Angora and Pygora goats produce mohair, while cashmere goats produce cashmere. Fiber can be used to spin your own yarn, which can then be knitted, weaved, or crocheted into a variety of products.
Goats have earned a bad rap for getting into people’s flower beds and–yes, cartoons–hanging laundry, but many of these myths are unfounded. While goats do love to eat plants–any type of plants–they won’t usually tackle non-herbaceous items. Goats reduce the need for herbicides, decrease the risk of fire, and control weeds in hard to reach areas. They love to eat difficult-to-remove plants such as blackberry brambles and even poison ivy. To control the ravaging impact they might have on your lawn, simply pasture them into the area you’d like cleared, and restrict their access to your rose bushes and front lawn.
Goats are exceptionally strong, with the ability to carry up to thirty percent of their body weight. Because their feet are so small, they have less of an environmental impact than horses or cattle. You can use them as pack animals and don’t even need to pack them food, as they’ll eat what they find along the way. They can also be trained to pull carts.
Goat’s milk can be processed to create soap. Goat soap is a high-dollar commodity in many specialty stores. The milk creates a soft, mild soap that is excellent for people with sensitive skin.
Breeding and Reselling
If you have dairy goats, you will inevitably need to breed them to keep a supply of milk flowing. You’ll also need to replace goats that you sell or slaughter. To avoid an overpopulation, you might consider reselling. Goats sell, on average, for around a hundred dollars–higher for specific breeds. This can get some steady income flowing into the homestead.
Goatskin can be dried and tanned as leather, just as cow skin would. It can be used for rugs, gloves, or other attire to help cut down on your extra expenses.
Goats eat just about anything, and, in addition to cleaning up your lawn, can also help cut down on your waste by eating leftover food. If you decide not to feed your goats leftovers, you won’t need to feed them much at all. They can pretty much take care of themselves during the summer, but in the winter will need only a couple of flakes of hay per goat per day.
Simply put, goats are noisy and will bleat at any and all intruders.
Goat dung is used all over the world to fuel fires but is also a wonderful addition to your garden.
An average goat produces over a ton of manure each year, with feces in pellet form. This makes it easy to handle, and a great addition to your garden or compost. It is high in potassium potash, and nitrogen, a balanced mixture that will help your plants thrive.
Goats are fun, playful, and lovable. They can provide companionship and entertainment, and many people have even compared them to dogs. Goats are social animals and will enjoy helping you work. They are friendly towards other animals, so if you have existing livestock, you don’t have to worry about them clashing.
Furthermore, if you have children, raising goats is a great way to teach them responsibility. Goats need to be cared for at least twice a day (especially if you milk them). Children will quickly learn about the cycle of birth and death and will gain expertise in training and caring for these precious animals.
While goats can tolerate heat extremely well, you’ll need to provide some sort of basic shelter like a barn or shed if you plan on raising them through the winter. Otherwise, goats are incredibly easy to care for, and you will reap the benefits of owning them almost instantly.
Do you raise goats? Have you considered raising some?
Rebekah lives on a 22-acre homestead in New York, raising bees, chickens, and lots of veggies. When she’s not practicing or writing about homesteading, Rebekah teaches high-school English.
Have way too many clothes for the space you are living in, or maybe you are overwhelmed by the number of choices in clothing that you have when you get up in the morning? A minimalist wardrobe will be perfect for you!
Building a Minimalist Wardrobe
When you have very limited closet space in your home you have to be careful about everything you bring into it. On occasion, I love to go clothes shopping to change up my wardrobe. I like new (to me) things but I also like to spend very little on my clothes because I get them at rummage sales or thrift stores and then I either sell them or give them to someone when I’m ready to move on or if they no longer fit.
But if you checked out my tour of our 400 sq foot home, that we lived in 5 years ago you know that we didn’t have much closet space and personally I’d rather not fill what we do have with clothing! It was in this home that I learned how to have a minimalist wardrobe. In the next home we had, we barely had room for clothing because there were no closets, it was so old! Now we live in just 380 square feet and I was happy to discover that when we moved in, I didn’t have to clean out any clothing. My wardrobe was already in a minimalist state and I didn’t need to pare it down to move in.
Today I’m sharing how I keep a fun minimalist wardrobe. These ideas are easy and things that anyone can do to help save space in your closets and keep your wardrobe simple. Not only is a simple wardrobe perfect for small spaces, but it creates much less of a headache in the morning when you are picking out what you want to wear for the day. Here are a few of my best tips for creating a minimalist wardrobe.
The kids’ clothing. More than enough for all of them! (One bin for tops, one for bottoms, and one for pjs. Baby has an extra bin for one piece rompers/outfits.)
Keep Less Space for Your Clothes
This concept is pretty simple. If you have less space for clothing, you will keep less clothing! If you have the space, use your closet to organize something else instead of filling it with clothing. Create that linen closet that you already wanted or find room to organize some cluttery items that just don’t seem to have a space. We had too many clothes cupboards in our current home so instead of thinking that I should fill them all up, I turned one into extra pantry space so that we can still shop at Costco and store the larger amounts of food while we are on the road.
Right now we have exactly one closet for hanging items (for all of us), one shelf closet for children’s clothing (which I keep in fabric bins for drawers), and small 3 bin shelf (for my husband and my clothing), and one dresser that we each have a small drawer in. You can read more about ideas for Minimal Children’s Clothinghere.
When Something New Gets Brought In, Something Old Goes Out
I use the rule that if I bring a new article of clothing in, something else that I’m not wearing as much needs to go out. Another good rule to follow when you are first starting to simplify your wardrobe is that when something new comes in, 2 or 3 things go out. It’s a very painless way to keep your clothing closet thinned out and cleaned out and you can still change it up when you want to.
In our space, I only keep enough hangers for the clothes we currently have. If I went to the store to buy more hangers, I couldn’t just buy one, I would have to buy at least a pack of 10 which would make it tempting to add 10 more items to my wardrobe. To keep from being tempted, I created the rule that I cannot add any more hangers to the closet. That means if I bring something new home, something must go otherwise I simply won’t have the space for it.
My husband and my clothing that is not hung. (Jeans, shorts, pants, lounge, etc.)
Remove Seasonal Clothing
Up here in the North, we need a good amount of winter clothing as our winter runs for the majority of the year, and winter clothes take up so much room! Instead of keeping all your clothing out all the time (I don’t think you are going to wear that sweater when it’s 100 degrees out!), put away the seasonal clothes into a plastic tote during the offseason. This idea will help your clothing closet stay the most functional and you won’t be storing a bunch of clothes in there that you aren’t wearing at the moment. Plus when you pull them out during the correct season it will be like getting all new clothes again because you haven’t seen them in a while.
I have a tote under our RV with winter clothes since we don’t really need them this year, but I know it will be nice to have a few things in case we run into some chilly days.
Keep Only What You REALLY Wear
Do you have an outfit that you like or you wore once and swear you will wear it again but as of yet, you haven’t? Time for the outfit to go. If it’s nothing something you really need and you don’t really know if you are going to wear it again, sell it or donate it.
This can be a tough one when it comes to what you spent on the outfit. Many times we are keeping an item in our closet that we only wore once or twice, or maybe even never at all, just because we paid a lot for it and can’t bear to let it go. If it’s taking up space in your closet that you don’t really have and don’t intend on using it again, you must let it go. Find someone to donate it to if you need to, but let it go.
Keep Only What You REALLY Wear Part 2
Have you recently stopped working outside the home? Then do you really need those suits or business clothing anymore? Only keep the clothing that is actually practical for you to be wearing at this time in your life. The same goes for those that are trying to lose weight. There’s no need to keep all your clothing (random sizes) in your closet at the same time. If you want to keep the smaller clothing, then just put it away until you get to that size. It will be like opening a present when you get to get out that plastic tote of smaller clothing!
One thing to remember with this step, don’t toss out clothing just because you don’t use it every day. If you clean out your closet because you generally stay at home and only keep the comfy clothes…what happens when you go to town? Or go to church? Or have a get-together? Consider all of your normal activities before you fully clean out the closet.
Keep Clothing That Goes Together
Have a zebra print skirt but no shirt to wear with it? Time for that to go. If you have a limited clothes closet…try and fill it with cute basics that go with many different things rather than single outfits that must go together. Regular jeans, shorts, and neutral colored skirts are great staples and then you can add fun shirts to go along with all those staples.
I have a number of basic tank tops. In the summer I wear them with skirts and shorts, in the winter/fall/spring I put them on with a cardigan. Just those few basic tanks tops make up the majority of my wardrobe because they are so versatile.
A few of my tank tops. I love these!
Build a Wardrobe that Makes Sense
Finally, if you are needing to build a new wardrobe altogether or are lucky enough to start from scratch, you have the perfect opportunity to put together a great basic wardrobe that will fill all your needs. As I mentioned above, I enjoy having a few basics that create so many different outfits, it really helps me to make the most of my wardrobe!
I’m not a fan of t-shirts or long sleeve shirts, in the summer I’m all about tank tops and in the winter, cardigans and hoodies are my best friends. I use the tanks plain in the summer and under the other shirts in the winter. I can mix up several colors of tanks under the cardigans and get a different look every time.
I have 2 pairs of basic jeans that I can use year-round and prefer skirts that are maxi or knee length. I pair these with tanks in the summer and the tank/cardigan combo in the winter, along with a pair of leggings underneath.
Along with a few pairs of capris/shorts that I use in the summer (mostly for gardening or outside work), and some dresses for church and town, this makes up my entire wardrobe. It’s pretty basic but for me, as long as my clothing is comfy, modest, and useful, it makes up the perfect minimalist wardrobe.
Foraging is the art of finding and collecting wild plants for food or medicinal purposes. It can be a very rewarding way to spend an hour in the woods, not only are you getting fresh air but you’re immersed in the flora around you and touching the roots of our food history. If you’ve never foraged before I’d like to offer a quick start guide to get you out and looking for edible or medicinal plants in the forests and fields around you.
Begin by investing in a book for your geographical area. For me, in Alaska, I have two I depend on, The Boreal Herbal and Discovering Wild Plants. I’ve read them both cover to cover and take them when I go foraging. Ask around, find an independent bookstore or the local public library, both will know which books you are specifically looking for.
Find a mentor. This may be easier said than done, but when asking in your local library or bookstore find out if there are going to be talks or lectures or even groups that meet up who might have an idea of who could teach you about the edibles in your area. Another thought would be to contact the Cooperative Extension service for your area, most of them work hand in hand with master gardeners and state biologists in the area.
Begin by identifying plants right in your yard. Some good beginner plants might be dandelions, chickweed or pigweed.Then move on to your shrubs or trees for identification. I wouldn’t be worried about eating anything right off the bat, for now, you’re learning leaf and stem shape, growing habits and positive identification.
When you’re ready to pick, try to go with your mentor or join a group who is going on a dedicated foraging trip. Or at least pick plants who have no dangerous qualities like a mess of dandelion greens.
Be mindful of the quantities you pick, please don’t over pick a patch of anything, when you overharvest you don’t leave enough for the plant to regrow from. There may not be any for you next year or the other animals that depend on that wild plant for food.
Never harvest more than you can use, eat or put up. What a terrible waste of time and plant energy.
Expand your repertoire slowly, building on experience, successes and book work.
Always eat a small amount of foraged foods to start with just to make sure you’re not allergic. Then try a bigger amount next time until you know you can safely eat your foraged foods.
Always pick in a healthy ecosystem, don’t pick weeds where the dog goes to the bathroom, likewise don’t harvest plants next to a busy highway.
If you’re new to foraging sometimes the whole thought of it can be overwhelming but I think I’ve given you some solid, easy basics to work with here. I can’t stress enough the importance of finding a mentor or a group to work with when getting started with foraging. Their knowledge is deeper and more intimate that any book can give you.
Laura Sampson, a lifelong Alaskan, is the writer of Little House Big Alaska, an Alaska lifestyle blog. She’s a mom to three boys and attributes every gray hair and wrinkle to them. Laura shares her farmhouse with her husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats, the obligatory flock of chickens inhabit their own coop out back. She’s been blogging for 9 years and enjoys living the writer and social media influencer’s life.
Everywhere we go, from family functions to school parties, our kids are sure to be bombarded with sweet treats. Looking at the ingredients of packaged fruit snacks, you will find artificial colors and dyes, high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy ingredients. I feel great about offering these homemade fruit snacks to my kids as a healthy alternative! They only contain real food ingredients and no refined sugars. These are perfect to have on hand for an on-the-go snack option.
Benefits of Gelatin
Gelatin is the dissolvable powder used in this recipe to create the Jell-O like texture of the gummies. When I first discovered gelatin, I had no idea it was so nutritious! It is made from the bones and tendons of animals and turned into collagen powder from which gelatin is derived. Similarly, bone broth is a natural source of gelatin. I chose to use gelatin powder from grass-fed cows in this recipe due to the numerous health benefits it offers.
Gelatin can be used to:
Improve digestion and gut health
Decrease joint inflammation
Strengthen hair, nails, and teeth
Aid in weight loss
Improve the quality of sleep
The flavors of homemade fruit snacks are easy to customize. I chose to use a strawberry and orange combination, but you can use any fruit/vegetable combination that you prefer. I used a fruit puree for this recipe but you could also use a juicer to make any flavor of juice you want and then follow the directions below to make it into gummies!
1. Wash and blend approximately 15 strawberries in a blender until pureed. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl so that the seeds can be filtered out.
2. Combine strawberry puree and orange juice in a saucepan. Heat on low until the liquid is almost simmering.
3. Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes and then add honey to the mixture.
4. Once combined, stir in gelatin until it is dissolved.
5. Use a dropper to fill the silicon Gummy Bear molds. Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until the gummies are firm.
Hannah and Becca are two sisters from Southern Michigan who began their blog as a way to share their ideas for a simple, healthy, and happy lifestyle. If things like gardening, raising chickens, homeschooling, cooking healthy meals, DIY projects, and home remedies are up your alley then you will love the information they share on These Lovely Acres.
Have an abundance of rhubarb? Fresh or frozen? Your family is going to love this Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake recipe!
Springtime and early summer is when the rhubarb leaves begin to grow and unfold and all of the delicious rhubarb appears. It’s a little funny that we usually serve this vegetable as a fruit but nonetheless, it’s SO good and usually in abundance.
I love making things with rhubarb! It’s wonderful to use fresh but also works just as well frozen or canned. (Here’s how to Can Rhubarb.) If you are looking for several recipes to use your rhubarb in, jump over to my post full of Easy Rhubarb Recipes for Spring.
This cake is a yummy play on a coffee cake. The recipe will fit in a 9×13 pan which is quite a bit unless you are serving a crowd so you can always cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8×8 baking dish instead.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar, eggs, butter, and salt together.
Slowly add in the buttermilk and mix until it’s well incorporated. If you don’t have buttermilk from the store, you can learn to How to Make Buttermilk here.
Add in the baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Mix until there are no lumps of batter remaining.
Fold in the pieces of rhubarb last. You can use fresh or frozen. You may need to bake slightly longer if you use frozen because of the moisture content.
Pour the batter into a greased, or tin foil lined 9×13 baking pan. If you’d like, combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and crumble over the top of the cake before baking. If you want to lessen the amount of sugar used, skip this step.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center is no longer wiggly. Let it cool slightly to cut but serve warm.
For a delicious optional, but highly recommended topping:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Half & Half
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Combine on the stovetop and simmer together for 2 minutes while constantly stirring. Serve as a warm sauce over warm pieces of the Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake.
If you’ve been looking for another great way to use up your fresh rhubarb this spring, I hope you will give this recipe for Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake a try!
Are you feeling like you want to declutter in a big way? Here’s exactly how you will feel when you begin getting rid of a large amount of stuff from your home and your life.
What It’s Really Like to Get Rid of Over 75% of Your Things
In the past few weeks, we’ve been so busy preparing to move that I haven’t had much time for new blog posts! Since it’s blizzarding this weekend (yes, in April), I thought that it would be a perfect time to sit and get some writing in.
I’m often asked about downsizing and de-cluttering. I wrote quite a bit about it in my 31 Days to Simpler Living ebook that I published after we’d already lived in an RV fulltime and then moved into a tiny farmhouse. Now I’ve been decluttering and downsizing in a major way again so I thought I’d share a bit more about it and how it really feels to get rid of over 75% of your things.
Since we plan on moving into our RV for an undetermined amount of time (but not less than a year), I knew that a major cleanout was about to happen. We are literally downsizing from about 3000 sq feet (plus outbuildings) to right around 380 sq feet. A bit of a difference isn’t it?!
So what is it really like to get rid of over 75% of your things?
It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of decisions that you don’t really want to have to make. It’s easier just to keep the stuff and tell yourself you can deal with it later. But if you ever are forced to make a decision (like if you need to move), there’s nothing you can do but go through the steps to clean out, unless you really want to pay for storage on your material items.
Our family’s decision was to buy an enclosed trailer. If it doesn’t fit in the camper or the trailer, it can’t stay and has to be trashed, donated, or sold. And I’m not talking about a 40-foot shipping trailer/container either. For us, that means getting rid of almost all of our furniture and carefully considering each item that goes into a box.
What else is it like to get rid of over 75% of your things?
And not just because it’s work, but because it’s emotionally draining. You don’t really realize how much you care about your items until they walk out the door in someone else’s hands. Some pieces are easy to get rid of, some are not. My rule has been, if I can buy it again someday, I can sell it now. If I can’t ever buy it again, I need to consider if I want to store it for 1+ years, if it’s not worth that, it needs to go.
The last time we moved into an RV, I took several months to carefully pare down our things (and we had less then!) to get everything to a manageable amount. This time I was really crunched for time and have only had less than 2 months to fully clean out.
But what is it really like to get rid of over 75% of your things?
It really, truly is freeing. Once you realize you may have an attachment to some of the material things in your home and you are able to let them go, there is a weight lifted off your shoulders. You are no longer burdened by the weight of so much “stuff” and you feel a release of being “owned” by your possessions.
I will admit that the feeling is rather addicting. Once you get to that point, there’s no telling how much stuff you will want to get rid of. It took me about a month of cleaning out to get here. Not that it didn’t feel good to declutter in the beginning but now that I’ve let go of so much, I can really see how little we need and the rest of the stuff is just flying out the door. I want to live life, I don’t want to feel owned by my possessions.
I don’t believe that you need to downsize to a smaller home to be able to downsize and declutter your possessions. It does help to give you that sense of urgency, but it’s not always necessary. Anyone that no longer wants to feel the burden (or honestly, just doesn’t want to have to do as much cleaning!) can work on downsizing the number of possessions you have and cleaning out the clutter, both literally and figuratively, in your life right now.
Are you feeling the need to clean out this spring or are you planning on downsizing in a major way anytime soon? I’d love to hear your comments!
Crispy Peas are a great little snack recipe that can be made in a few minutes and then enjoyed for a crispy, salty snack. You won’t even think about the extra serving of veggies you are getting!
Crispy Peas Snack Recipe
This probably makes our family abnormal but we love peas here in our home. Fresh peas, frozen peas, peas in a pod, shelled peas…you name it, we will eat it. My boys love peas so much that they will head out to the garden every single day in the spring and summer and eat any peas they can find.
I love peas because they are healthy and prolific in the summer in the garden AND inexpensive in the winter at the stores if you buy them frozen. There aren’t many organic veggies that you can buy for $1/lb, but frozen peas is one of them so it makes sense that we try and make the most of them.
I’m always looking for new, cheap snack recipes that I can add to my Snacks Under $1 list and today I’m sharing a new one with you! Perfect for all the fresh and frozen peas that you can find right now.
Crispy Peas Snack Recipe
What You Need:
If you are using frozen peas, begin by rinsing the peas under warm water so they can thaw.
Once they’ve been rinsed, place the peas on a clean towel or paper towel and let them dry for a minute or two. If you are using fresh peas, you can skip both of these steps and start with the next one.
Place the peas on an ungreased baking pan. I use a large stone baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the peas and sprinkle on the desired amount of salt (you could also use onion salt, garlic salt, or even Seasoning Salt for different flavors). Use your fingers to move the peas around and try to get each of them coated with oil and salt.
Bake the peas at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until peas are crispy.
Serve warm or at room temp. Store in an airtight container.
Does your family enjoy eating peas? Will you try this Crispy Peas snack recipe?