Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trifle Bowls


I received some super cute trifle bowls one at my bridal shower and another for my birthday. Christmas dinner was the first place I used them.

The first bowl we made a fresh fruit layered salad, which included: cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi, grapes, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, and one can of peach pie filling.


The second was a layered lettuce salad that included: lettuce, peppers, onions, celery, apples, bacon, cheese, and a light dressing.

"We" meaning my wonderful husband helped me create these dishes! I am one lucky lady.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Here's to wishing each one of you a blessed New Year full of love, happiness, and good health!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A little behind this year....

We stepped off the airplane in Bismarck, December 10th and that's when it hit us...Christmas is right around the corner. We had shopping to do, gifts to wrap, cards to send, baking to do, etc. This will be the first year we didn't mail a Christmas card, and the first year I wasn't planning on baking....until my husband started making requests!

This past Saturday our kitchen was hopping, cookies, cookies, and more cookies! We baked chocolate chip almond cookies, a triple batch of cut-outs which are very time consuming by the time they are decorated, dipped pretzels and a double batch of peanut butter blossoms.



As I was taking a break from decorating, Justin decorated a cookie especially for me and then another for our dog Lucy which he will eat! 
Merry Christmas to you all! 


Monday, December 19, 2011

A wonderful excuse...

...for the lack of posts on here. I am pleased to share with you all that I am now a "Mrs." and couldn't be happier. We will not be sharing our photos until after our wedding reception which is set for January but here is a sneek peek from our trip! We certainly had a hard time coming home and leaving such beautiful tropical weather!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If you haven't already....

Buy it....read it...share it! One of my tenants shared this book with me. I couldn't put it down.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tastes just like pumpkin pie!

Last week I decided to give up bread, potatoes and candy in an attempt to eat healthier and trim a few pounds off before our the wedding. During supper last night my fiance turned to me and said, "can you make me some brownies, a cake, some cookies, something sweet?" I chuckled and said of course. After all the guy has been quite a trooper eating oranges, cut up apples with peanut butter, and peaches as dessert for the past week.

I pulled out the cookbooks and recipe box looking for something we haven't had for awhile. I remembered a few years back at a WW meeting a gal talked about a good healthy dessert she had made. I didn't know the words "healthy and dessert" could possibly be used in the same sentence. I tonight I made it.
Pumpkin Cake
1 box spice cake mix
1 can of pure pumpkin

Directions: Stir together and pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I whipped come cream to top Justin's and otherwise use a fat free cool whip.

**Instead of making a cake try making muffins. Yields 24 muffins. 1 muffin = 2 ww pts.
  
After the first bite...came the first comment...."tastes like pumpkin pie!"  (This cake is very moist.) It's not too late to add these two ingredients to your holiday grocery list and enjoy a guilt-free dessert with you family!

Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coleslaw

Recipes from scratch are always a favorite but then there are days when you just don't have enough time! For example this last Saturday, we worked cattle! I've already shared the Calico Beans recipe and here is the coleslaw recipe! The truth is: Not every recipe needs to make 20 dishes dirty to taste awesome!


Coleslaw
2 bag of coleslaw mix
1 small bottle of coleslaw dressing
3 apples peeled and cut into small pieces
1 bag of slivered almonds or cashews...whichever you have on hand
onion to taste if you wish

Directions: Mix it together, chill and enjoy!

I like to think the more apples I add, the healthier it is or the less guilty I feel eating it. I used low fat coleslaw dressing, the guys couldn't taste the difference. I highly recommend cutting the calories if possible....especially if you cannot taste the difference. This coleslaw was a big score!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Calico Beans

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here and the stores full of Christmas decor already! I'm not sure if we are a little behind this year or if we start preparing for the holiday's earlier each year!  We brought the cows home and worked them yesterday. It's a given that the ladies of the farm provide a hearty meal for the help. This year I made the beans and coleslaw. Have I ever mentioned how much I love crock pots? Well if I haven't I LOVE CROCK POTS! I was able to put the beans in and head out the barn to help! I will add that it doesn't matter how good of a camera or how good a  bean recipe tastes, photos never do justice. Cheyenne requested that I post the recipe on my blog so here it goes....

Calico Beans
1 lb hamburger
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T salt
1 T mustard
1 T vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 can pork and beans
1 can butter beans
1 can kidney beans

Directions: Fry the first three ingredients in a frying pan. Then add all the ingredients to a baking dish. Bake at 250 for 1 hour.   ***In a programmable crock pot cook on high for 4 hours. Stirring occasionally.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. I generally double the recipe to ensure we have left overs! This recipe has been borrowed from my lovely sister, Brandee!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A steal of a deal....


I recently found an old bench at garage sale...yes that's right I go to garage sales and I like to!! It's amazing what some people think is junk is anothers treasure. I have been looking for a small bench for guests to sit on to put their shoes on or take them off. I came across this little bench for a whopping $10 of course I bought it right away.


I purchased the bench knowing that I couldn't stand the cream colored cover pad....I went to the local craft store and found some  vintage looking-stylish- and yet very stong material and recovered the bench all by my self! This is what it looks like now.


The bench looks great and and is just what we needed to set beside the door.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Movie Night

Although this isn't much of a recipe I'm going to share it anyway. Harvest has finally been wrapped up for the year, living on a farm this doesn't mean for a moment that things will stand still! As the days are getting shorter so my fiance and I are getting to spend more time together in the evenings. We enjoy watching movies or series such as Walker Texas Ranger or the Dukes together. We normally have some popcorn with M&M's
or peanuts but just for fun we had ice cream. Here is a photo of the banana split I made for my honey!

In an effort to make this dish as healthy as possible I loaded the bowl with banana slices first added a little ice cream, and drizzed caramel and chocolate in the shape of a heart.

We certainly enjoyed these!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creamed Chicken and Dumplings



Creamed Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken breasts cut into stips - sprinkled with your favorite chicken seasonings
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cream
2 cups milk
1 cup peas
salt and pepper to taste
1 can biscuits



Cut chicken into strips and place on the bottom of your baking dish. Mix cream of celery, cream of chicken, cream, and milk together. Pour over chicken. Layer peas on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking over the entire dish.


Bake @ 350 for 1 hour.


Remove baking dish from the oven and add the dumplings. I cut my biscuits into four equal parts and layer on top of the creamed chicken. Return to the oven to bake the biscuits about 15 minutes or as directed on the packaging.


Ta-Da you have an awesome hearty meal!
Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pork Chop Supreme

Pork Chop Supreme
1 box Stuffing 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 soup can of milk
Pork Chops
Swiss Cheese




This is one of the easiest casseroles to make and I always try to make enough to have leftovers! Sprinkle the pork chops with your favorite seasonings...here are a few I use *salt/pepper-onion and garlic powders-season salt-lemon pepper-rib rub-steak seasoning* of course I normally don't use all of them at the same time, it just depends what I feel like that day!

Single layer the pork chops on the bottom of your baking dish. Prepare stuffing as directed on the box and spread evening over the chops. Next: Stir the milk and cream of mushroom soup together and pour over the stuffing. Sprinkle with shredded/or layer with slices of swiss cheese. (The only way we ever eat swiss cheese is if I'm baking with it, so if you are nervous trust me that is taste a whole lot better baked than on a cracker!)

Bake uncovered for an hour at 350.

Baking times can vary, I highly recommend probing the pork chops to ensure they are completely baked!

Variation: Use chicken stuffing and chicken breast with broth!

Serve and enjoy!

This recipe was invented in my kitchen...one of those days I just didn't know what to make and starting putting things together! :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scalloped Corn

This is a family favorite passed down from my Great Grandma Zelda. As a little girl I always knew any family gatherings on my dads side of the family would have this scalloped corn, fried dressing, and custard pie. Yummy good ole recipes G&G brought with them to the Dakota's from Kansas.


Scalloped Corn
3 cans cream style corn

1 can whole kernal corn
1 strip saltine crackers -crushed
1 stick butter - melted
1/2 cup milk

Mix together in a baking dish, we generally use a 9x13 pan however today I used a 9x9. Grandma used to bake hers in pretty baking bowls as well. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Treats!

I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post until a friend texted me and said she missed the recipes. I have been busy busy working on the house and this week will consist of cleaning the yard up. These North Dakota winds have made quite a mess of the apple trees. Lucy (our dog) generally helps me clean the apples up....or distracts me from cleaning them. Saying she "loves" playing fetch is an understatement! :-) I hope to post more recipes soon. I signed up to make 6 dozen cookies for church last week, and the cookies were absolutely mouth watering! That recipe will be coming soon!
Okay enough yacking and onto the recipe....

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday but I certainly enjoy making cookies, popcorn balls, and any other festive creations I find. I ran across this recipe this past week, it's easy to make and very tasty. Rather than posting my photos...I'm going to share the image straight from the magazine....it's just so darn cute!

Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wallpaper

Working on the house continues......
Off with the old

On with the new!


I spent quite a bit of time taking down some dated wallpaper only to put more up! Paintable wallpaper....it's completely awesome. This has certainly added a lot of character to our office.

I spent most of Saturday completing the wallpaper project in our office. I used an inexpensive "Mocha Stained Glaze" from Lowe's and antiqued the wall as follows:


Step 1:  Apply glaze generously with a paint brush.
Step 2: Let set for 10-15 minutes



Step 3: Using a dry rag, wipe the glaze off until you have the desired look.
I used one of my Fiance's old t-shirts! lol :-)

A close-up.


Our office is still under contruction so a complete room photo will be posted later.

Have a great week everyone!




 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cowboy Birthday Cake




Our Godson, Grady Daniel turned 1

Our nephew celebrated his 1st birthday on September 11th. Coming from a country western family the theme was "Little Buck-a-roo." His mommy spent a lot of time planning for the party and pulled of an amazing bash. Here are some photo's from the party followed by the cake his Auntie (I) made for him!
Ready for the party!




One of the two birthday cakes at the party.







Grady with his babysitter.

Grady riding his John Deere "Buck" we gave him.













Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Garden Fresh Veggies All Winter Long!!

Lack of posting can only mean one thing........I've been super busy. Since I have shared the step-by-step process of freezing fresh peaches I thought I'd share with you a couple more veggies I have been freezing...seems more like stock piling for the winter!

Farmers Markets are absolutely amazing but the season is short lived. I have picked up an abundance of cabbage, peppers, and zucchini. There is nothing better than cabbage soup during a North Dakota blizzard. Since veggies don't keep very long, freezing them is super easy!

It's as easy as cleaning the veggies, chopping or shredding them up to the desired size, and measuring them into freezer ziplock bags. It is importants to get as much air out of the bags as possible and make sure you are using "freezer" bags! I always write the date and contents with a Sharpie so anyone that is digging through one of the many freezers knows exactly what each bag is.

I hope you've enjoyed this tip from our kitchen!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Peach Pie

Peach Pie
1 prepared pie crushed (your favorite homemade or store bought works)
6 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoons almond extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
couple pats of butter (to be placed on top of filling)


Slice peaches directly into pie crust. Pour almond extract on peaches and stir to evenly coat the peaches. In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over peaches. Slice small pats of the butter to lay on top of the pie filling and cover with the top layer of pie crust. Pinch edges together to seal the sides.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven to 325 for the remaining 45 minutes. A trick to keep the edges from browning is wrap small strips of tin foil around them.

Pies don't have to be boring.......I used a cookie cutter to decorate the top of my peach pie with cute little stars!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peaches...peaches....peaches....

Peaches...peaches....peaches....


It's that time of year again...fresh juicy peaches. We normally can peaches but this year I wanted to try to freezing them. So far it has been a success. The benefit to freezing vs. canning is enjoying the texture of having fresh peach pie and peaches 'n cream this winter!

 This is how I did it. Dip the peaches into boiling water for about 45 seconds. Then transferred them to a sink full of ice water. Once they cool, peel and sliced them in half and disposed of the pit. I let the halves soak in a very lite syrup to avoid them turning brown. The syrup mixture was a 3:1 mixture of water and sugar....(i.e. 3 cups boiling water + 1 cup sugar) plus a splash of lemon juice!

Divided the peaches into freezer ziplock bags. Be sure the syrup covers the peaches to prevent freezer burnt peaches and get all the air out of the bags like so:...

I filled each of my bags with about 5-6 cups of peaches. This is the perfect amount for my cobbler, kuchen, and pie recipe.

I hope you have enjoyed my first time freezing peaches adventure!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Grape Salad

 It's simple, and simply awesome!

Grape Salad
Grapes
8 oz cream cheese - softened
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
crushed pecans - optional

Beat cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla together. Add grapes (washed) and pecans. Stir until evenly coated. I used a whole bag of grapes and it seemed as though I could have used more. We fell in love with this salad last night. What a treat.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Broccoli Almondine

This salad is awesome and one of my favorite things to bring to holidays, family gatherings, birthdays, and to just have at home. My mother is the queen of salads and this is her recipe.
 Broccoli Almondine Salad
            2-3 heads broccoli - cut into small pieces
2 cups shredded cheese - any flavor you like
1 lb of bacon - fried and crumbled
grapes - cut in half OR craisins
onion chopped finely - amount varies this is optional
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar

Stir the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate dish blend mayo, sugar and vinegar together. Pour over salad and stir together until it is evenly coated, chill and serve.

*Keep in mind that ingredients such as sunflower seeds, onion etc are optional. Make it to fit your palate!

Enjoy!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Country Livin'

Fall harvest has started and the guys are busy as ever! We live close enough to town to run in when needed, but far enough away to make us appreciate Sam's Club and buying in bulk. Here are a few of our latest purchases!

You are probably laughing by now but the convenience of having orange juice, snacks, chips etc in make like quite easy for my fiance to pack a quick lunch! Of course when I'm off work and get home I prepare a hot meal for supper!

I have to admit the young boy at the cash register chuckled when he saw me buy a case of beans! I assured him they weren't all for me. :-)

If you shop at Sam's Club I have found that not everything is always cheaper in larger quanities. As much as I sound like my high school accounting teacher I often calculate things to see what the cost is per item. If you shop wisely you can certainly save a lot money!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stir Fry

As a result of planning our wedding, taking engagement photos, and moving I haven't been able to post as faithfully as when I had first started. I took time out over the weekend to make one of my favorite entrees:

 
Stir Fry
cabbage
carrots
peppers
onion
cubed steak - brown and cubed
broccoli
teriyaki sauce

  
 In a large kettle or a wok heat a small amout of oil, add ingredients. You can use as much  or as little of the ingredients as you like. For us I load up on cabbage, carrots and broccoli!

Home raised corn fed beef! (Cubed Steak)


I normally prepare ours over medium heat. Stir quite often. When you notice the vegatables are getting soft, sprinkle teriyako sauce in and continue to fry. Once your stir fry has a nice caramelized look it's ready to serve! 

A few ingredients

Enjoy!





Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shrimp Alfredo

Eating healthy can be challenging, then after time you find things that make it easier. I've never been completely crazy about pastas but when I'm not supposed to eat them.....I want them. This isn't your normal aflredo recipe but it's still great.

Shrimp Alfredo
Shrimp
Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta
Butter
Cream
Salt & Pepper
Garlic salt or powder
Onion powder


Boil noodles as directed on the packaging. Saute shrimp in butter, add some cream and spices. I prefer spicy shrimp so I also add cayenne pepper. Add steamed broccoli for more color. This is a simple way to make a hearty meal that is going to stick with you for a long time!

Grocery stores no longer have a just a few types of noodles...they have nearly a whole isle. Somewhere in that area you will find these "Smart Taste" noodles ina  purple box. They are high in fiber and taste amazing and are great for counting Weight Watcher Points!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beef Um Ups

A friend had posted that she was making these for her family one night. I thought they sounded quite interesting and asked her to share her recipe! This is the exactly what she sent me:

Beef-Um-Up
1 pound hamburger, browned
Shredded cheese, any flavor you like
Taco sauce
Egg roll wraps

Brown one pound of hamburger, when it's cooked, drain the extra juice if there is some. Turn the heat down to low and then add the shredded cheese. Stir in a half a jar of taco sauce. Place a heaping spoonful or more in the center of each wrap.
I added extra cheese.


The egg roll wrap packaging does a wonderful job showing how to roll them up. I often brush a little egg yolk on the seams to seal them for frying or baking.

Fry or bake them until golden brown or what you think looks good!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy 75th Birthday


August 1st is like a holiday in our family as every year we celebrate my grandpa's birthday. This year is a milestone birthday as he turns 75 on August 1st. We will be celebrating with friends and family at a grilling out/watermelon feed and of course...cake! Here's to the best lookin' 75 year old grandpa out there, love you!
As special thanks to my mother for helping make the cake, and Cheyenne for drawing the horseshoe which looks awesome!

The straw bales are made of cake!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Working in the house!

You might have found my post called "Bye-Bye Wallpaper" a little off especially for a Country Cookin' Blog. With this said I think I'm going to to have to change the title to "Country Livin'". The next six weeks are going to be busy making changes to the farm house we are going to be calling home. I like to think I'm pretty good at decorating but always love hearing about cool things people see and or do to freshen their homes.

First off, I am happy to say that my extended family own "Hague's Paint and Decorating", in Newton, Kansas! Yay. I absolutely love looking at the websites they share on Facebook!  Click here to be directed to their fan page on Facebook and while you are there..."Like" them and you'll find awesome tips, trends, etc in your newsfeed!

 

I can normally find one paint color I like but struggle finding what is going to look good with it. With that said they referred me to this website (Benjamin Moore Color Guide) to help me decide on colors.  How awesome is it that I can click on a color I like and it displays that color along with two other colors that look great with it! Awesome, I know.
This website is cleary my new best friend!
Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Aunt Kelly's Pork & Potato Dish

How to feed a hungry man with 5 ingredients or less:

With summer upon us, it's all about cool salads, sandwiches and refreshing drinks. My guys still enjoy a good hearty hot meal every once in awhile....short on ingredients try this:


Aunt Kelly's Pork & Potato Dish
1 1/2 pounds breakfast pork sausage
1 large can sauerkraut
5 pounds potatoes
salt & pepper - to taste

Brown sausage in pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off. Stir in drained kraut. Peel and boil potatoes, mash as you usually would. In large roaster, place sausage/kraut mixture on bottom of greased roaster. Then, smear the mashed potatoes over the top.

Place in oven on 350 degrees, uncovered until potatoes are golden brown on top. Make sure you don't leave it in too long.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Winner

If you follow the my blog you are probably waiting to hear the winner of last weeks contest!! To enter you all you had to do was answer this question: 

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Well...enough waiting let's get to it. All entries were put into a mixing bowl and one lucky name has been drawn......and the winner is:
BLou said...
"Slap n Chop" dealy bob from Pampered Chef.

Congratulation BLou you will be receiving a PC Mix N Chop in your mailbox very soon:
Thank you for participating. Be looking for more fun contests in the future!