Farmer's Daughter

Although 20+ years removed from the farm, farmer's daughter is still a title I enjoy.
Growing up on a farm taught me many invaluable lessons, two of those being frugality and creativity.
Now as a wife and a mom, I love to put into practice what I learned growing up as a
Farmer's Daughter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chili with Fritos

I love this chili.

It was passed down to my mom from a lady at church and then to me. We have enjoyed it for several years now.

It is a nice switch from the traditional chili with spaghetti - you know, the kind that necessitates the dipping of peanut butter sandwiches. I can't eat regular chili without a . . . who am I kidding . . . without several peanut butter sandwiches!

Although no peanut butter sandwiches are required with this chili, it is a favorite of mine.

2 large can of stewed tomatoes
*I like to use whole tomatoes and break them up with my hands - leaving fairly large pieces of tomatoes
1 pkg. chili mix (McCormick's)
1 can chili beans (optional)
1 lb. hamburger, browned and seasoned
shredded cheese
sour cream

In large skillet, brown ground beef - seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain and set aside.

In stock pot add tomatoes, chili mix, browned ground beef, and beans (if using). Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve chili with shredded cheese, Fritos, and sour cream.

This recipe is easily doubled - and as with any chili, it is even better the next day.

Programming Note: I will highlight turkey breast with cranberry sauce another week and not this week.

Love Me

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa

I can in no way, shape, or form take any credit for this recipe. It is from a website I faithfully visit every day - The Pioneer Woman (see my link on the right side bar).

She posted this a couple days ago. I made it today. We may never buy store bought salsa again.

I dumped all the ingredients in my new blender, pulsed a few times and viola! Salsa.

1 can (28 ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 once) RoTel tomatoes (one Original and one Mild)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
Juice from 1/2 lime

Combine and pulse in food processor or blender until desired consistency.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Love Me

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels

Life has kept me from the grocery store this week and so I am totally off menu.

But that is fine. I actually have found it fun and challenging to make suppers all week from already on hand ingredients.

You know that Farmer's Daughter frugality. Surprising what a little ingenuity can do.

We had this soup along with turkey sandwiches last night after church.

Make this old Amish soup and you will want to dig out your prairie skirt and call your man Pa. I did and he liked it.

Rivels or rivlets: an easily prepared short "noodle" that acts as a dumpling-like broth-stretcher

2 or 3 chicken breasts
32 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. parsley
dash of pepper
1 can yellow/white sweet corn, drained

Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours - until chicken falls apart and vegetables are tender.

3/4 cup flour
1 egg

Dump flour on cutting board, making a well in the center. Crack egg into well. Using fork, incorporate flour into egg - making rivels. Spread these apart on cutting board and allow to dry while soup cooks.

With soup at a boil, add rivels and allow to cook for 15 or 20 minutes. Rivels will plump into tiny dumplings.

Love Ma (a/k/a Me)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ham/Hash Brown/Broccoli Casserole

I have to admit I did not make this casserole last night.

In fact, I have never made this casserole.

I planned to make it.

But after watching Joel play his heart out in his basketball game last night, I didn't have the heart to serve this for supper and watch him pick through it trying to avoid eating something green.

So we had biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs for supper last night.

Let me tell you - there was no picking at his plate.

Just in case anyone is interested, however, here is the recipe for the ham/hash brown/broccoli casserole.

1 pkg. frozen hash browns
1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 stick butter
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10 oz.) frozen broccoli, thawed
1 1/2 cup cubed ham

Combine all ingredients. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (uncovered) at 350 degrees.

Love Me

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1/25/10 Menu

Tuesday - ham/hash brown/broccoli casserole, fruit ambrosia
Wednesday - sloppy joe's, cottage cheese, chips
Thursday - turkey breast with cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans
Friday - chili with Fritos/cheese/sour cream
Saturday - blueberry muffins and spinach quiche (breakfast), pulled pork sandwiches (supper)
Sunday - swiss steak (using Joel's venison), mashed potatoes, corn
Monday - Left over pulled pork sandwiches, chips, fruit

Recipes I will highlight this week: ham/hash brown/broccoli casserole, turkey breast with cranberry sauce, and Friday's chili.

Love Me

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Pasta is pretty tricky for diabetics - which stinks because I like pasta. What's not to like?

It is cheap, quick, filling, and tasty.

But it is super high in carbohydrates and notorious for causing blood sugar spikes. I have not experimented with the whole wheat pasta but have read several mixed reviews.

Pasta is merely a vehicle for sauces and cheeses, so it makes sense that other things could be used as this vehicle. Spaghetti squash and zucchini are frequently substituted for pasta. A quick internet search yields several recipes and tips for cooking with spaghetti squash and zucchini.

I plan on trying one of these alternatives in February. It may take me until then to figure out a way to sneak this past Joel.

Although I ended up not making this on Sunday, I decided I would go ahead and post the recipe. It is, like most pasta dishes, simple, quick, and filling - but not necessarily that cheap because of all the cheeses involved.

Stuffed Shells in Marinara

1 1/2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. jumbo pasta shells
2 small or 1 large tub of ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepper to taste

Cook shells al dente according to package directions - being sure to add salt to the water. Drain.

In large bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, 1/2 of the mozzarella, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.

Pour ample amount of sauce into bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Stuff cooked and drained shells with cheese mixture. Arrange stuffed shells on top of sauce.

Pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Stuffed Shells Florentine -

Add 1 pkg. of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained to cheese mixture. Yummy!

Stuffed Shells with meat sauce -

Just add 1 lb. browned and seasoned ground beef to spaghetti sauce.

Love Me

Friday, January 22, 2010

Frank-Bacon Bats

This is another recipe from the cookbook my mom made. With a big football weekend coming up, this recipe might come in handy.

Football, hot dogs, bacon, a full case of Pepsi Throwback . . . sounds like a game plan.

16 frankfurters (or hot dogs if you're a Hoosier)
1 1/2 c. pickle relish
1 Tbsp. mustard
16 slices of bacon
16 hot dog buns

Make lengthwise slits in hot dogs. Mix relish and mustard. Spoon into slits in hot dogs. Wrap each with bacon slice and fasten with toothpick. Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Comment from Mother: We used to make these hot dogs when we lived at the little house on St. Rd. 44. Diane and Elaine were in grade school when we fixed these.

I have made these a couple times and they are TASTY!

Love Me

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Maple-Topped Oven Pancakes

I love those recipe books you find in the checkout lane at Walmart or Kroger - from Pillsbury, Taste of Home, Bisquick . . . I have a hard time passing them up.

Actually I have a hard time passing up a lot of things in the checkout lane.

Standing there waiting, I suddenly feel the need to buy Chapstick when my lips aren't even chapped or travel size Febreeze, or a two-pack of playing cards, or a mini flashlight . . .

I guess that is why all of that stuff is there - it's pretty good marketing actually.

But I suppose buying a cookbook and a diet Snapple Peach Tea is better than buying a Snickers and a Doggie Snuggie in order to fulfill my compulsive shopping need.

Although Scooby would look pretty doggone cute in a Doggie Snuggie.

Scooby in his hoodie.

This recipe is from a Bisquick Breakfast and Brunches cookbook I picked up years ago. It is an easy way to feed the entire family pancakes without standing in the kitchen all morning.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup
1 1/2 cups Bisquick Original baking mix
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Maple-flavored syrup, if desired.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1/2 cup brown sugar, the margarine and syrup in 1 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Pour into ungreased 13x9x2 cake pan.

Beat remaining ingredients in medium bowl, using wire whisk or fork, until blended. Carefully pour over syrup mixture.

Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when touched in center. Cut into 3-inch squares; turn each square upside down onto plate. Serve immediately, with maple flavored syrup.

Note: If you do not have Bisquick on hand you can substitute the following:

1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

Another note: Just be careful with Bisquick and pancake mixes. Mother always stores hers in the freezer which is what I do. This is probably a good idea because mold can grow in opened boxes - especially outdated boxes. This mold can cause serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to mold. Aways check the date on the box before using.

Love Me

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carolina Autumn Salad

This recipe was given to me by my mom. It was one of the many recipes included in the cookbook she made for me and my sister-in-law last Christmas.

What a treasure. If you are a fan of cookbooks, I have to say that this one would probably evoke a little envy if you were to see it.

This cookbook deserves a post all its own. It is chocked full of wonderful recipes - recipes that were staples in our home growing up. And the neat thing is that Mother included little personal notes about most of the recipes - like who liked what recipe best and who passed down certain recipes to her.

I love this particular recipe. It is so different. It is akin to Waldorf salad but without the sweetness.

1 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped celery
1 large red apple, diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup salad dressing (ie. Miracle Whip)

Combine all ingredients and chill.

Note from Mother: Don't chop the cabbage too coarse. Slice the celery very thin. This has a very good taste. All ingredients blend well. This may have come from the MoorMan's restaurant in Illinois.

*MoorMan's was the brand of hog feed Daddy fed in the 70s and 80s. They were a large corporation with their corporate office in Quincy, Illinois. My parents visited the corporate office on different occasions and obviously ate in their restaurant a time or two. I remember going there once when I was pretty young.

Adjustments I make to this recipe: I usually double the cabbage and probably cut in half the celery - just because I really don't care for celery.

Love Me

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1/18/10 Menu

This week will be spent a lot on the run and the meals planned reflect that.

Tuesday - pizza and chips with friends and family after Joel's game
Wednesday - chicken tenders with honey mustard dipping sauce before church
Thursday - meat loaf/baked potatoes/Carolina autumn salad/peach cobbler
Friday - eat out after Joel's basketball game
Saturday - oven baked pancakes/scrambled eggs/bacon (brunch) vegetable soup (supper)
Sunday - stuffed shells/garlic bread/salad
Monday - chicken pot pie/mashed potatoes/carrots/chocolate chip cookies

Recipes I will highlight this week: Carolina autumn salad, oven baked pancakes, and stuffed shells.

Love Me

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prune Breakfast Butter

I know I said I would post this recipe in February, but this stuff is just too good to wait! We had it on biscuits with lunch today and EVERYONE like it - even Joel!

Don't be scared. Prunes are just dried plums and this prune butter (get it - it's like apple butter) tastes a lot like plums to me.

It makes a great spread on buttered toast or biscuits.

And I bet it would be even better if it were spread on a buttered English muffin. Yummy!

It has a light prune/plum taste with just a hint of lemon. It is smoooooth so there are no texture issues that some people - namely my husband - have with prunes.

Be brave and make some this week.

1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 regular-size Earl Grey tea bags
1 cup pitted prunes (about 8 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine boiling water and tea bags in a medium bowl; cover and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags.

Combine brewed tea and prunes in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until prunes are tender. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Place prune mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

Combine prune mixture, sugar, and lemon rind in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 months. Yield: 1 3/4 cups

I poured mine into two jelly jars. One to keep and one to share.

Weight Watchers Points - 0

Love Me

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Farm-Fresh Spinach Quiche

Be sure to click on picture to enlarge.
Pretty impressive fluted crust wouldn't you say?

This dish is amazing. I made it this morning and it was a big hit - I think it is the bacon that makes it so good.

Serve it for breakfast - or like we had it this morning as a brunch for sleepy heads who stayed up all night at the youth group lock-in.

8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled and divided
9-inch pie crust
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Sprinkle half of crumbled bacon on bottom of pie crust. Mix cheese, spinach, milk, eggs, and flour together. Pour over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbled bacon on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour until center is set. Makes 8 servings.

*Note the two jelly jars.
They contain prune breakfast butter that I made today too.
I will highlight this recipe sometime in February.

Spinach - it's not just for Popeye!

Love Me

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nana's Miracle Vegetable Soup

It may seem because I post a lot of dessert recipes that I don't follow a very good diet for someone with sugar diabetes as my grandpa would say. This is not really the case.

I do enjoy eating a good dessert, but even more, I enjoy making a good dessert.

I enjoy making and serving my family wholesome, hearty meals which do include an occasional dessert. Ok, maybe we have dessert a little more than occasionally.

However, I am pretty good anymore about only eating a small portion. And in all honesty, since we often have seven people at the supper table, portion sizes are very reasonable.

Any left overs are promptly packed away in the next day's lunches. Out of sight, out of mind.

I really do like my feet, eyes, and kidneys and don't care to lose them to this wicked disease. And after a pretty bad scare with my eyesight last year, maintaining healthy blood sugars is a priority for me.

The kids, knowing that diabetes may be in their future, now have a built in governor when it comes to sweets. Except with orange rolls. Good thing Christmas morning only comes once a year is all I have to say about that.

In honor of my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with diabetes, February - normally known for candy and chocolates - will be full of healthier, lower sugar posts!

With that being said, this is a wonderful, healthy soup to have on hand. I love having this soup ready made in the refrigerator. It makes a great addition to a sandwich at lunch. It is a filling snack by itself.

And - it is good for you and tasty at the same time!

Brian's mom (Nana) gave me this recipe. She has made it as long as I can remember. Believe it or not you will not miss the meat because the cabbage somehow takes the meat's place.

If you are following Weight Watchers, I am pretty sure you can eat the whole pot and it would only be a couple points. However, I wouldn't recommend eating the whole pot unless you have a good book you want to read in the privacy of the bathroom.

Cabbage (1/2 head)
1 can tomato juice
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 bunch of broccoli, cut up
1/2 pack of frozen diced onions - or 1 large onion diced
2 or 3 carrots (canned carrots will also work - but don't add them until later in the cooking)
1 small head of cauliflower, cut up
1 can green beans (optional)

*No corn because of the starch.

Put all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add water if necessary, but usually the broth is fine by the time the vegetables cook down.

Eat and feel good about it!

Love Me

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce

Bread pudding evokes many memories with me.

It was a frequent dessert at our house growing up. Mother would make it in the same round glass baking dish every time. This was the glass dish that she would use the lid to bake potatoes.

Growing up bread pudding was always made with chocolate chips. Melted chocolate with the warm milk soaked bread was, and still is, quite a treat!

Aunt Ann made her bread pudding spiced with cinnamon, raisins, and apples. It is good as well, but a different kind of good.

Although I truly love bread pudding with chocolate chips, I think I like it best with lemon sauce. Smooth, buttery lemon sauce. I could eat the sauce with a spoon straight out of the sauce pan.

Actually, I have eaten the sauce with a spoon straight out of the sauce pan. I have also eaten cold, leftover bread pudding for breakfast.

If I haven't already said it - I love bread pudding.

The History of Bread Pudding -

Bread pudding was born in the 13th century. Known as "poor man's pudding" it was created as a means of salvaging stale bread. The bread was soaked in milk or water, then sugar, butter, fruit, and/or spices were added, and then it was baked. Sometimes the mixture was housed in a "sop," a hollowed out loaf of bread. Modern bread pudding is made by pouring custard and other flavorings over cubed bread and then baking it.

Many of our current Christmas traditions, including culinary ones, can be traced back to Victorian age England. Various puddings, including bread pudding became classic Christmas fare. In Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol, Christmas dinner is highlighted by the presentation of Mrs. Cratchit's plum pudding, which Bob Cratchit proclaimed "the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage." Hmmmm. Well I can't guarantee your spouse will feel the same, but this bread pudding recipe will at least make their tummy happy.

(taken from

This recipe makes my spouse's tummy happy!

Basic Bread Pudding -

4 cups bread torn into bite size pieces
2 cups milk scalded with 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt

Place bread pieces in 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Blend remaining ingredients. Pour milk mixture over bread being careful to soak every piece of bread. Do not stir.

Place baking dish in a plan of hot water (1 " deep). Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve warm with lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce -

3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
4 tsp. butter

Beat egg yolks lightly and set aside. In a separate bowl blend together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

Heat water in saucepan; gradually add sugar mixture into the water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring until mixture boils to a clear consistency and sauce thickens.

Remove from heat. Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Return yolk mixture to saucepan.

Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and butter.

Bread Pudding with chocolate chips -

Make Basic bread pudding adding chocolate chips to bread before adding milk mixture. Bake as directed.


Love Me

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As Easy as Pie

Pie without the pressure of making a pretty fluted crust. What will they think of next?

Swiss Apple Pie

1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped peeled tart apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine the egg, sugar, and the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into egg mixture just until moistened. Fold in the apple and walnuts. Transfer to a greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Cold night is now warm.

Love Me

Slow-cooked Corn Chowder

I am switching things up a bit and having this chowder tonight instead of when listed on my weekly menu. It feels more like a chowder night than a swiss steak night.

Not sure why. It just does.

2 1/2 cups milk
1 can (14 3/4 ounces) cream style corn
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 3/4 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Or you can do what I am doing tonight.

I am dumping everything in a big pot and heating it up to boiling then cooking it over med-low heat for 2 hours - or until everyone gets home for supper. Whichever comes first.

I have cooked it both ways - and it has always been good!

We are having this tonight along with warm, flaky biscuits with butter and jelly.

And after washing all the bowls and spoons, I will go downstairs and and whip-up on my entire family in Wii tennis!

I love talkin' smack!

Love Me

Monday, January 11, 2010

1/11/10 Menu

This week has started off being a little crazy. Driving 75 miles one way to Joel's away game tonight was just one of the things that has left me tired and my tank empty (literally).

Tomorrow is already looking just about as complicated.

My dogs are tired, and I am a day late in making my menu and grocery list for the week. But I am excited about making a menu that can include baked items!

Tuesday - swiss steak (using tenderloin from Joel's deer)/ mashed potatoes/green beans/bread pudding with lemon sauce
Wednesday - grilled cheese and tomato soup
Thursday - veg. beef soup/cheese and crackers/swiss apple pie
Friday - DATE NIGHT!!!!!!!
Saturday - applesauce oatmeal/prune breakfast butter/farm fresh spinach quiche
Sunday - chili with peanut butter sandwiches/oatmeal raisin cookies
Monday - slow cooker corn chowder/biscuits

Recipes I will highlight this week: bread pudding with lemon sauce, swiss apple pie, farm fresh spinach quiche, and slow cooker corn chowder.

Love Me

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Super, super simple baked chicken

It absolutely doesn't get any easier than this.

I am not kidding.

It is almost embarrassing how easy this chicken is to make.

Bone in chicken pieces (I used two chicken thighs)
1 jar salsa with fruit (I used Paul Newman's Mango Salsa - yummy!)

Remove skin from chicken. Place chicken in baking dish. Pour salsa over chicken - enough salsa to adequately cover chicken. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees until juices run clear.

Go beat your youngest son at Wii boxing with all the extra time you have!

Love Me

Cowboy Enchiladas

This is a filling recipe that is guaranteed to leave you riding heavy in the saddle.

(Note: This recipe serves a crowd.
Unless you have big, strapping boys like mine,
you might want to cut this recipe in half.)

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 doz. flour tortillas

Brown ground beef and onion. Add Velveeta cheese and cook until melted. Stir in salsa to mixture.

In a saucepan heat soups and Ro-Tel tomatoes together. Fill tortillas with beef and cheese mixture, roll, and place in a well greased 13x9 inch pan. Pour soup mixture over tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I like to serve these with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream on the side.

Find a cozy spot on the couch and put in a Wild, Wild West DVD - because that is all you will want to do after you eat these!

Love Me

Friday, January 8, 2010

In the oven

Excitement about our new oven has everyone salivating about what baked item they want first. Here is the list so far:

Bread pudding with lemon sauce - I think the thought of this is what drove Brian to the store to shop for ovens.
Cowboy Enchiladas - Levi has been asking for these for months. Definitely a recipe worthy of a post.
Chocolate Brownies - Megan's request. The more chocolate the better.
Red Velvet Cake - This is to make up for being cakeless at Christmas.
Peach cobbler - Joel requested this. He became a fan of peach cobbler after spending the day with Grandma and Grandpa!
Biscuits - This is what I am looking forward to - warm biscuits with butter and honey.


Let the baking begin!

Love Me

Ode to Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese - the underrated side dish. Full of protein and low on carbs. And very versatile.

Good with sliced peaches or pineapple for a sweet treat. Good with pepper as a savory dip for potato skin chips.

Brian's Grandma White introduced me to this cottage cheese brand. It may be more expensive than the store brand, but there is just no comparison.

I love the drier consistency. But my experience has found that the lowfat (2 % milk fat) version is not as dry.

Michigan Brand Cottage Cheese

Michigan Brand Cottage Cheese was developed in 1929 by a German immigrant in Michigan. He produced what is called "Old Fashioned" or "Farmers" cheese.

This cottage cheese is very dry and small curded. Because the product is so dry it will have a longer shelf life than other cottage cheeses. Michigan Brand Cottage cheese is excellent for cooking and is a great replacement for ricotta cheese in lasagna.

Available in 4 varieties: Small Curd, Lowfat, Nonfat, and Large both a 15 oz and a 24 oz size. The Small Curd is also available in a 3 lb and 5 lb container for families and Food Service cases, as well as an 8 oz individual size!

Thanks Grandma White!

Love Me

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steak with mushrooms and onions

In honor of the snow today, I decided we should have steak for supper. After work I went to Walmart and bought a package of six lovely center cut round steaks.

I also bought swiss cake rolls, fudge rounds, fudge stripe cookies, fig nutents, pop tarts, cheese on cheese and peanut butter on cheese snack crackers, cheese puffs, and another bottle of Pepsi Throwback.

I seem to have forgotten about my sugar diabetes as my grandpa would say.

I didn't eat the stuff though - I bought it for the kids. That's it. It was for the kids.

Okay, I had a few fig nutents. But that's all.

Ok, three swigs of the Pepsi Throwback and a package of peanut butter on cheese crackers too.

Now back to the steak.

This little number went together really fast and smelled wonderful while it was cooking. It was a pretty simple meal tonight.

Steak, cottage cheese, the rest of the French bread from the other night, and applesauce.

2 to 2 1/2 lb. boneless beef bottom round steaks, fat trimmed, cut into 6 equal pieces
1/2 cup steak sauce
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine steaks and sauce in large ziplock bag. Massage contents to coat evenly. Refrigerate atleast 1 hour, up to 8 hours.

Remove steaks from marinade. Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in large skillet. Add steaks and brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Remove skillet from heat.

Layer mushrooms, onion, and steaks in 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Deglaze skillet with small amount of water and then add juices from pan to cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours or until meat is tender and cooked through.

Adjustments I made to this recipe: I only had time to marinate the meat for 15 minutes and I cooked it on high for 3 1/2 hours. The meat was still very tender and full of flavor.

The snow has now been adequately celebrated.

Love Me

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Crockpot Moist Drumsticks

Can you still have a crockpot meal for supper when it is 3:00 in the afternoon and your thighs are frozen hard as a rock?

Your chicken thighs I mean. It's cold here but not that cold.

The answer to that question is yes - a resounding yes. This is where the Farmer's Daughter ingenuity and perseverance comes in handy.

I ran the chicken thighs under warm water until I could break them apart. Then I defrosted them in the microwave until they were mostly thawed.

I plopped them in the crockpot and set it on high instead of low. Brian called to say he was working a little late, and we are now set to eat supper at 7:00 pm!

Supper at home! It is worth the work.

This is a new recipe for me, but the sauce sounded good so I thought I would give it a try. As I mentioned, I am using chicken thighs instead of drumsticks.

More meat - need I say more.

I will also be using light soy sauce. It's the healthy thing to do. I hate fat fingers - you know, from all the salt.

3 pounds chicken drumsticks (skin removed)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Place drumsticks in a 5 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl combine the tomato sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

Remove chicken and keep warm. Strain cooking juices. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth, stir in juices. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chicken.

We will be having this tonight with cottage cheese, egg noodles, and french style green beans.

And all will be well with the world.

Love Me

Monday, January 4, 2010

Potato Soup with Beans

My mom gave me this recipe and then loaned me the Taste of Home Heart Warming Soups magazine where she got the recipe.

Winter now seems a little less foreboding.

This potato soup has quickly become our family's favorite potato soup. It is fairly quick and easy and the sour cream and dill add just enough twist to keep your spoon busy!

2 medium carrots, shredded
1 Tbs. butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 1/2 tsp. all purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream
Pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook carrots in butter for 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in the broth, potatoes, garlic and dill. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

With a slotted spoon, removed half of the potatoes to a bowl; mash with a fork. Return to pan. Stir in the beans. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sour cream, and pepper; add to soup. Cook over low hear for 5 minutes or until heated through (do not boil).

Yield: 6 servings

Although not on the menu for tonight, we had this for supper tonight along with some crusty French Bread and some warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Now to go soak in a hot bath. Ah, life is good.

Love Me

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lemon Buttermilk Sponge Pudding

This is as good as it gets - as cozy as a warm, worthless blanket.

I used to make a recipe similar to this back when the kids were really little. I had a souffle dish that matched my strawberry plates, and it was perfect for this recipe. But the dish broke and was never replaced and lemon pudding cake became a thing of the past.

That is until now! The crockpot recipe book Hope got me for Christmas has this wonderful recipe in it. Back again is lemon pudding spongecake!

Happiness. Coziness. It is back.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup 2% buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp. lemon extract
3 large eggs, separated

Coat 4 quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray.

Whisk together sugar, flour, and salt in medium bowl. Make well in center and pour in buttermilk, lemon juice and extract. Stir, gradually incorporating dry ingredients, until batter is smooth. Whisk egg yolks in small bowl until pale, then whisk into batter.

Place egg whites in another bowl and beat until stiff with electric mixer. Gently whisk one-third of the beaten egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites with rubber spatula. Pour batter into cooker.

Cover. Cook on high 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until puffed and top is set (pudding will be brown around edges). Turn off cooker. Let stand, covered, at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with blueberries if desired.

Make this today for someone you love. I made mine for this boy.

Love Me

1/4/10 Menu

Monday - crockpot swiss steak/cottage cheese/green beans
Tuesday - potato soup with white beans and sour cream/French bread
Wednesday - deli meat sandwiches/chips/fruit (quick meal before church)
Thursday - crockpot moist drumsticks/salad/fat free egg noddles
Friday - eat out after Joel's game

A lot of the meals this week are in the crockpot because I work a lot this week. Joel has two away games which ramps the hectic level up a notch. I also am using the crockpot a lot because my oven is still on the blink.

Brian and I have unofficially started a fitness challenge - with each other not against each other. So my goal is to send him with healthy leftovers every day for lunch.

Along with Levi working, Megan will be back to substitute teaching and Joel will be back in school as well, which will necessitate me restocking my bowls. These have proved very handy with making lunches and provide easy access to after school/work snacking.

Bowls (which need filled) hold poptarts, granola bars,
oatmeal packets, snack crackers, snack cakes,
applesauces, fruit, drink mixes . . .
everything for breakfast, lunches, and snacking!

Recipes I will highlight this week: potato soup with white beans and sour cream (our new favorite) and crockpot moist drumsticks.

Love Me

More than what's for supper

I started making menus in 1987 as a young bride and newly minted eighteen year old. It was a suggestion from my mom.

One I actually followed.

To me menus are invaluable. Menus help me plan my grocery list and keep me from standing in the kitchen at 5:00 pm wondering what I can make out of a can of tuna and a tub of cream cheese frosting because that is all I can find in the pantry.

Menus also keep me out of the McDonald's drive-thru on my way home from work. Menus also ensure that we eat vegetables on a regular basis and not just those found under the cheese on a pizza.

I wish I had all of the menus I have prepared over the years. It would be comical to say the least. When Brian and I were newlyweds it was not unusual for supper to be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of peas.

It's all about eating healthy.

As the kids were born and life became more complicated, so did my menus. As I would sit every week and prepare our menu, I would include on it what was going on that week. Church events, home school gym and swim, library outings. These things later changed to include nights I would be gone at nursing school, classes Brian took at Bible College, basketball games, school programs, piano recitals . . .

My weekly menus have grown from just what we were going to eat to a blue print for our life each week. Crockpot dishes are planned for days I work. Quicker meals are planned on basketball game nights. Lunch menus have been added to accomodate Joel's hollow leg and Levi's high caloric need for working at FedEx.

As life has changed, my menus have chronicled it. My regret -

I should have kept them all.

Love Me