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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is a quintessential fall food! Even though it is still 90 degrees here and hardly fall - Megan inspired me to make it.

You see, she made it for Adam on Monday night, and he loved it. She was so proud of her supper that she sent me a picture of it plated on her Turf Green Fiestaware!

Too bad the picture was really dark or I would include it with this post.

You gotta love Shepherd's Pie - there are like a million different ways you can make it. I made it totally different than Megan did - but that's the beauty of it - it is still Shepherd's Pie!

Megan's version:

1 can Dinty Moore
2 envelopes of instant potatoes
cheddar cheese, shredded

Pour Dinty Moore into 8x8 glass baking dish. Prepare potatoes according to packaged directions. Place on top of Dinty Moore. Cover with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and cheese is melted.

My version:

1 lb. ground venison
2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tsp. beef bouillon
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
instant potatoes
cheddar cheese, shredded

In large skillet heat oil; add onions. Cook until glossy. Add ground venison. Cook until no longer pink.

Add beef bouillon and water. Heat until boiling. Turn down heat and add flour, stirring until thick.

Add peas and corn. Remove from heat. In large bowl, make instant potatoes (6 servings) according to box directions.

Pour slightly cooled meat mixture into 8x8 baking dish. Cover meat mixture with instant potatoes; cover potatoes with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Love Me

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/10 Menu

Busy week this week - it seems all of us are going in different directions! Hopefully we will all meet up around the supper table at least a couple times this week.

Monday - Date night with Joel! He and I ate at Subway - Joel's favorite (well second to Long John Silvers).
Tuesday - Shepherd's Pie, applesauce, buttered bread, simple spinach salad with ranch dressing
Wednesday - grilled cheese and tomato soup
Thursday - Swiss steak in the crock pot (using the last of our venison tenderloin), green beans, brown and serve rolls
Friday - Eat out after Joel's soccer game
Saturday - Brian's family reunion - take zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and banana nut bread

Recipes I will highlight this week: Shepherd's pie, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and banana nut bread (made from basic bread recipe).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cheesy Spinach Croissants

Warm, buttery croissants could feasibly go with just about any and every meal in my book!

These cheesy spinach croissants pair perfectly with tomato soup, meatballs, or roast beef. They are also a great appetizer for a dinner party.

I have two versions of cheesy spinach croissants that I love - one is super simple and the other a little more complicated. But BOTH are great - I mean, how can you go wrong with the Pillsbury Dough Boy?

Simple version:

1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls
frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

Open can of crescent rolls; unroll and lay each out flat. Place a spoonful of spinach on wide end of each roll and top with a small square of Velveeta. Roll each crescent roll as directed on can. Bake as directed on can.

*sliced water chestnuts can also be added - simply mix in with spinach.

More complicated version:

1/2 c. chopped onion
4 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 tsp. jar-type minced garlic
10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
3 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. nonfat sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

In sprayed skillet, saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.

Separate dough; place spinach mixture evenly on wide end of each roll. Roll as directed on can; place on nonstick baking sheet. Repeat with remaining rolls. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Love Me

Oriental Spinach Salad

This is another DELISH spinach dish! A dear friend from the Breast Cancer Support Group I lead gave me this recipe - thanks Debbie!

The water chestnuts really send this salad over the top in yummy-ness!

2 bags spinach, torn
2 cans water chestnuts, sliced thin
2 cups fresh bean sprouts (or approx. 1 bag)
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and broken into small pieces


1 cup salad oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake or use a blender to lightly blend. Ingredients can be mixed the day before and stored in the refrigerator.

Toss the salad and add the dressing just before serving.

*Note: I think this makes a little too much dressing for my liking. I would recommend pouring the dressing on a little at a time and then tossing the salad - adding only the amount of dressing you want.

Love Me

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cornbread Salad

Although this salad may not fall under the healthy category, it is certainly good!

It feeds an army and is, therefore, great for pitch-ins!

1 pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 (9 inch) pan cornbread, crumbled
2 (16 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbed
2 (17 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained

Combine salad dressing mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise; set aside. In large, pretty bowl or 13 x 9 dish place half of the crumbed cornbread then layer with 1/2 of the beans, tomatoes, green pepper, green onions, cheese, bacon and corn - followed by 1/2 of the dressing mixture. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tips and Tricks:

To add a little kick - mix 1 can drained RoTel tomatoes to dressing mixture.
Use low fat mayo, sour cream, cheese and turkey bacon to reduce calories.
Buy ready-made cornbread - saves heating up the oven on a hot day.
Use bottled Ranch dressing instead of mixing your own (omit sour cream and mayo).
Serve this instead of traditional cornbread pudding for a side with Mexican dishes or chili.

Love Me

8/23/10 Menu

After 4+ hours cleaning the kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry, I now finally feel on top of things again!

Hooray! for a clean kitchen!

Monday - turkey Manhattan, frozen corn, left-over German chocolate cake
Tuesday - crockpot meatballs and rice, cheesy spinach croissants, and salad
Wednesday - egg salad sandwiches, chips, dill pickle spears (before church)
Thursday - venison stew with biscuits, fruit cup and cookies
Friday - birdnests (lunch) eat out after Mitch McVicker concert
Saturday - Family Reunion! Take cornbread salad and fruit tray!

Recipes I will highlight this week: cheesy spinach croissants and cornbread salad

Love Me

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Once again a menu-less week has led to haphazard suppers thrown together at the last minute and way too many trips to Walmart.

One of these days I will get my life back together and plan menus and grocery shop. Settling into the school year should help.

In an attempt to make forward progress toward this goal, my early exit from work will be used to clean the kitchen and . . .

. . . dare I say it, the REFRIGERATOR!

Supper tonight will, therefore, be a hodge-podge of left-overs and near expiration items.

Nice thought isn't it?

You might call it a half-price supper.

Love Me

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/9/10 Menu

There is no menu this week.

It's been too hot to cook . . .
too hot to eat . . .
too hot to blog.

I would wish for fall . . .
for chili . . .
for pumpkin pie . . .

But I don't want to wish my life away.

I rather want to enjoy each and every day -
whether they be hot or cold!

This is the day that the Lord has made -
I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Praise God for HOT summer days . . .

here is my list of cold, summer foods to rejoice and be glad in:

garden tomatoes chilled in the fridge
fudge pops from IGA
even better - seedless watermelon
grapes and whipped cream cheese
COLD pickled beets
cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches
homemade ice cream
lemon shake-ups
fresh frozen blackberries served slightly thawed
chilled Pepsi Throwback

Yes, I am a bad girl.

Love Me

Monday, August 2, 2010

Freezer Pies

These freezer pie recipes are from a 1979 magazine insert put out by General Foods Corporation (the makers of Jell-O and Cool Whip). I remember it like yesterday when Mother got these recipes and first made them. I think we had a new pie every night!

When Mother put together her cookbook a couple years ago, she went through all of her many checkout lane cookbooks (Pillsbury, Jell-O, Bisquick . . .) and church cookbooks in order to pull out her favorite, most used recipes. She then distributed all of these many, various cookbooks to me, my sister, and my sister-in-law.

I love the ones I got! They are so familiar - even somehow comforting. Crazy how looking through an old cookbook can make everything seem right with the world for me.

Fortunately, when the pile was distributed I landed the Jell-O freezer pie insert. Lucky me and now lucky you!

My favorite is the chocolate pie, but I remember Daddy always liked the coconut best so that is the one Mother usually made!

Milk Chocolate Pie

4 oz. milk chocolate
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. sugar (for less sweet pie, omit sugar)
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crust

Heat chocolate and 2 Tbsp. of the milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.

Beat sugar into cream cheese. Add remaining milk and chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.

Fold chocolate mixture into Cool Whip, in a bowl, blend until smooth. Spoon into crust, freeze about 4 hours. Store any leftover pie in freezer.

Creamy Coconut Pie

1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups coconut
1 contained (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crust

In blender, combine cream cheese, sugar, milk and coconut. Blend for 30 seconds.

In a bowl, fold mixture into Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Top with toasted coconut. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving. Store any leftover pie in freezer.

Creamy Cheese Pie

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 container (4 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crust
topping of choice (cherry or strawberry pie topping,
fresh fruit . . .)

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Blend in sour cream and vanilla.

Fold in Cool Whip, blending thoroughly.

Spoon into crust. Chill until set, about 4 hours. Serve topped with desired topping.

Banana Dream Pie

2 envelopes Dream Whip (can you still buy this?)
2 3/4 cups cold milk
2 pkgs. (4-serving) banana cream instant pudding
1 graham cracker crust (chocolate works well)

Prepare Dream Whip with 1 cup of the milk as directed on package, using large mixer bowl.

Add remaining milk and puddings. Blend; then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Spoon into pie crust. Chill at least 4 hours. Store any leftover pie in the freezer.

Love Me

8/2/10 Menu

I am giving up cooking and instead giving in to a life of eating from the drive-thru.

Joel is away at soccer camp this week, the heat here has returned, Megan and Levi are gone most evenings, and all Brian ever wants to eat anymore are BLTs now that tomatoes are in season.

Who needs a menu when all you eat is BLTs?

Does anyone have any McDonald's coupons I can have?

Monday - chicken patty sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes (of course), spinach, applesauce, oatmeal cookies
Tuesday - meatball subs, cottage cheese and chips
Wednesday - eat out after church
Thursday - crock pot rotisserie chicken, creamed spinach, sweet potatoes, pickled beets, bread pudding with lemon sauce (It's my birthday and I can cook what I want to! Ha ha)
Friday - celebrate both mine and Brian's birthday at my parents (Homemade ice cream, angel food cake and strawberries are on the menu!)
Saturday - venison roast with potatoes and carrots (we didn't have it last week as planned), Hawaiian bread, chocolate freezer pie - Joel will be home!

Recipes I will highlight this week: freezer pies!

Love Me