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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Crock Pot Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

Crock Pot Sausage & Cheese Tortellini, Adaptred from

 Hi y'all! Geez it's been a long time since I've been on here and I'm truly sorry for that. Life gets away from us too easily and things like blogging seem less important when things in your personal life are stressful, difficult, and trying. To say this year so far has been hard, would be an understatement. But we're coming out on the other side and I'm so thankful for my amazing hubby and kids and the closeness we share. I pray that never ceases.

We have had some joys in this year though... I have a new sister!! Lol! My husbands brother finally found himself a wife, and can I just say we are beyond thrilled for them! My son just got back from spending the night with the newlyweds and he had a blast! And in less than 2 weeks we're taking the biggest trip we've taken as a whole family, we're driving about 2,000 miles to go to IL for my best friend's wedding! We've been friends for almost 20 years, and she was my Maid of Honor, and now I get to be her Matron of Honor, and my kiddos are Ring Bearer and Flower Girl respectively! It's exciting to be a part of this, and I'm just praying we make it through the drive! lol!

That about summarizes up my crazy life, oh there are things I left out of course, but you get the gist. Now onto the food....

Believe it or not I have still been cooking.... However not many new things. Getting dinner on the table recently has been more of a chore than ever before as I'm not home most days. Which is another reason for the lack of posts, I haven't had anything new to share. But recently I've been trying to cook more, and tonight we tried this new recipe and my whole family devoured it!

Y'all know I'm a fan of crock pot meals, preferably ones where there's no pre-cooking involved. But I saw this one on Pinterest and just had to give it a try. And after a few adaptations my goodness was this amazing, and surprisingly lower in calories than I expected... A 1 1/2 cups per serving is only 321 calories according to MyFitnessPal! Oh did I mention I've lost 30 lbs? No? Oh well I have! I feel amazing! Ok, back to the recipe! lol! It was delicious, easy and I know these leftovers won't last because my new Sis in Law is asking when she can come eat some more. ;-)

Ingredients: 6-8 servings at 1 1/2 cups (calories ~ 321 per serving)
20 oz. 3 Cheese Tortellini (I bought the Buitoni one in the deli section)
1 Lbs. Hot Italian Sausage (I bought the links and just removed the casings)
2 15oz. Cans Diced Italian Tomates
3 Cups Chicken Broth (I made my own with Boullion)
6 oz. Cream Cheese, sliced into cubes
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Remove the casings from your sausage and cook in a large skillet over med-high heat until browned and cooked through. Meanwhile spray a 6qt. Crock Pot with cooking spray, and put the tortellini, broth, tomatoes and cream cheese in the crock. Once the sausage is cooked, drain off the fat and add to the crock pot. Mix well, and cook on high for 2-4 hours. If you can stir occasionally. Once cooked add the mozzarella and mix well, serve hot with your favorite garlic bread and a side salad.

This dish came together so quickly and easily, and the taste really was amazing. I did alter the recipe because I didn't think it needed the extra cup of broth since it's not a soup, nor did it need the full 8oz. of cream cheese to be creamy, and we really didn't miss it. This was perfectly cooked, was not soup like at all and had phenomenal flavor! 4.5 stars!

Happy Spring!
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alredo, Farmers Wife Original Recipe
 There are 2 things I like a lot about winter... Getting to make and eat lots of soups... And an excuse to eat pasta because it's not swimsuit season... hahaha! Ok not exactly, but it made you laugh right? I don't know about you but in our house pasta is always a hit. There are very few ways that my family doesn't go absolutely nuts over pasta, and this is one that they all love... Even the alfredo haters!

I came up with this recipe many years ago when my Husband and I were first married. He requested Chicken Alfredo for his birthday just a few months after we were married and he wanted it homemade! Now I will admit my cooking has come a long way over the last (almost) decade or so, and when we were newlyweds we ate a LOT of sandwiches... lol! But when given a challenge I will on occasion anyway raise to it and this was a success beyond what I expected. My hubby loved it, and it quickly became my most requested dish for family get togethers. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

2 tablespoons butter
1 pint heavy cream
2-3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (eyeball it)
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, sliced into small pieces (or in a pinch I've used the pre-cooked grilled chicken you can buy at the grocery store doesn't really make a difference)
1 (16 ounce) package fettuccine pasta, cooked according to directions on package

In a medium saucepan or a skillet, melt butter at low heat. Add garlic, simmer until brown. Add cream, stir until butter and cream no longer separate. Stir in cheese with a whisk until melted. Add in the spices. Continue to cook at low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to boil. Combine with chicken and pasta and serve. Can garnish with some chopped parsley, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
For cooking the chicken you might want to marinate it a little before cooking it to give it some more flavor. I usually do mine in a little lemon juice, with salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic… depends on my mood! Stick it all in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, and make sure to coat the chicken well, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes Can grill, broil, or even pan fry if you want.

This recipe gets RAVE reviews from my friends and family, it's fairly simple to make and is quite yummy. I also use the sauce from this to make a Chicken Alfredo Pizza modeled after Olive Garden's Chicken Alfredo Pizza.
5 Stars

 Happy Cooking!
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Hamburger Vegetable Barley Soup

Hamburger Vegetable Barley Soup, Family Recipe

Happy 2014 y'all! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season and that this new year is treating you well! Our holidays were very busy, but for the most part good. We've got a lot coming up in the coming year, most of it incredibly exciting! For those that don't follow me on facebook, my Brother in Law is getting married this March and we're so excited for him!! His Fiance just happens to be one of my closest friends so it's extra awesome for me, but being Matron of Honor has me busier than a bee!!! Plus my dearest and oldest friend in the universe is getting married just 2 months later in May and we're planning a big trip to be there for that! So please forgive me if I'm absent a lot, life is a bit ahead of me at the moment.

But this recipe cannot wait!! It's an oldie but goodie, and I don't know about you but I'm tired of big heavy meals and ready for some lighter eating. Recently I've lost about 20lbs over the last 5 months by trying to eat lighter, and so far it's working! And this soup is not only delicious, but it's not full of fat, since it's mostly veggies. Our family loves this soup, even my kiddos. And it's going to be a huge hit at my future Sis's Bridal Shower next weekend. (I hope anyway... lol!) So if you're tired of heavy meals, and want a delicious soup I hope you'll give this a try!

1 lbs. Ground Beef
6 cups Beef Broth
2 cups Sliced Carrots
1 1/2 cups Coarsely Chopped Celery
1/2 cup Coarsely Chopped Green Pepper
1/3 cup Barley
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 8 oz. cans (3 cups total) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce

In a 5 quart Dutch Oven or stock pot, brown ground beef, drain; stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until Vegetables and barley are tender. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot with a big chunk of french bread or your favorite rolls.

This was one my favorites growing up, always reminded me of Grandma's house. I was surprised this was so well received by my hubby, but he loved it! It's super easy, and totally delicious! It also freezes really great. 4.5 Stars.

 Happy New Year!
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

Apple Cranberry Oatmeal, Farmers Wife Original

It probably won't come as a surprise to many people that I'm posting 2 breakfast recipes in one week. But you know me and I LOVE breakfast foods! And with the holidays fast approaching... (Yes I realize that one is this Thursday... lol!) we can all use some healthier breakfast options after all the pumpkin pie we're about to consume.

This last week my hubby has been home a lot due to massive amounts of rain keeping them out of the fields, and when he's home I like to experiment with recipes. Well I've been playing around with oatmeal for a long time and this last week I made up a recipe my WHOLE family liked, and that is saying something since some of my family isn't huge on oatmeal. Now this recipe is something you could easily adjust to fit your taste. More sugar if you like it sweeter, or less if you like it more tart. Either way, it's fabulous, fast and easy!

Ingredients: yeilds 2 serving sizes, which actually fed all 4 of my family members
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup Fresh Cranberries
1 3/4 cup Water
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Put your water in a medium saucepan and allow it to come to a boil. Once it starts boiling add in the diced apple and the cranberries. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, or until the berries have popped and the apples are softening. Add the oats, spices and sugar and stir. Allow the mixture to cook, stirring often for 5-6 minutes. Then cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Serve warm, with milk or however you like your oatmeal.

We give this 4.5 stars. My family loved it, my kids gobbled it up and so did I, my hubby said he'd like it more tart next time but otherwise loved it!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich, The Farmers Wife Recipe

Today is a rainy day here in the southwest, which is something akin to a snow day for most of the nation. Things shut down, maybe not school unless it's flooding, but farms which is our biggest industry (and quite obviously my favorite!) and things just kind of slow down. For us being a homeschool family we take advantage of these rare and special days. My son gets the day off school because Daddy gets the day off work (well not really, he has paperwork but our 5 year old thinks that is fun too, I mean it's farm related so it must be awesome right?!?) And on days such as this I love making a special breakfast for my family.

Now don't take this to mean I ALWAYS make special breakfasts because it rains... Because I don't, I am in no way superwoman and there are times that a take out pizza suits me just fine! But then there are rainy days where all I want to do is bake, plus you add to it the holidays are just around the corner and it ups the baking desire. Well this isn't your normal baking recipe, and but my family loved it!

Now you can use whatever your favorite breakfast bread is, English muffins, bagels, sandwich thins, or even a tortilla and make it a burrito of sorts. But this is easy, and a great way to have breakfast on hand and ready for the whole week!

Eggs (no set amount, that is up to you!)
Canadian Bacon Slices (you can use ham, bacon or sausage as well, but this is our favorite)
Sliced Sharp Cheddar (again you can use your favorite, but sharp cheddar is AWESOME in this!)
English Muffins (or bread of choice, we used some honey wheat buns my Mom in law made!)

Spray the wells of a jumbo muffin tin with non stick spray. Crack one egg into each well, and break the yolk with a fork and add pepper. Bake at 350*F for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Meanwhile slice open your bread and place them open on a baking sheet. Place one slice of cheese on the top piece of bread, and the canadian bacon on the bottom. Once the eggs are finished cooking, remove from the oven and switch it to the broiler, place your pan with the bread under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese and heat the meat, once done (keep a close eye on these!!) remove from the oven, place the meat on top of the cheese, and add the egg to the bottom bun, assemble and eat!

I know this isn't your typical recipe with strict guidelines etc. But it's really based on how much you want to make. Once these are made you can wrap them in wax paper and place in the fridge or freezer for a quick meal later in the week. Just make sure you unwrap it before heating in the microwave or oven. We loved these with homemade hashbrowns and some fruit on the side, and of course you can't forget the coffee! ;-) We give this 4 stars!

 Happy Eating!
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Banana Bread

~Banana Bread, Family recipe~
Happy weekend friends! Fall is among us now, even here in the southwest and I'm loving it! For me fall is all about soups, fresh baked bread, pumpkin coffee, hot chocolate, and delicious baked goods! What about the fall colors you ask? Well I'd love those too except I live in the desert and the only color changes I see are in the fields when the tractors are either Green (personal fave!) or Red (blech! hehe!). However I grew up back East and can totally appreciate the beautiful leaves changing colors, and at times do miss the change. But alas, I'm stuck baking up goodies in my kitchen instead of watching the leaves change... Hmmm... I think my waistline would be happier if I moved... ;-)

Ok, back to the recipe at hand. Well I have to admit I can't take all the credit for this one. It's a recipe I slightly adapted from my Mother In Law! Why did I change it you ask? No good reason, except pure laziness and my need to spice things up.... LOL! Ok, truthfully the original recipe has some wheat flour in it (which I rarely use and so it goes bad quickly) and OJ which doesn't keep long in my house... It's usually half gone by bedtime the day I buy it. I love the original recipe, and will post the original and tell you how I changed it so you can make it both ways and see it's fabulous no matter how you make it! 

Now I know, most everyone is posting sinfully delicious pumpkin recipes, and I love those too. But who doesn't love a good Banana Bread? This is great for fall, full of delicious flavor, and wonderfully moist! Enjoy a loaf or 2 this weekend, it's great with a cup of coffee! ;-)
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour (or 1 3/4 cups if you're being lazy like me!)
1/2 Cup Wheat Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon (my additions, you can leave it out but I love the spiciness it adds!)
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg (^ what she said up there!)
3 Mashed Bananas
1/4 Cup Margarine or Butter, softened
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice (I usually leave this out and just do all of it Lemon Juice)
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Egg
1/4-1/2 Cup Raisins (or chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, use your imagination here!)

Heat oven to 325*F, grease & flour (or use Baker's Joy!) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan, or mini loaf pans work too. Using your mixer blend all the the wet ingredients together, and while that's mixing whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the raisins, and gently mix. Then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let it cool.

This is a pretty basic and classic recipe which is why we love it so much! My family gives this 5 stars, and I hope yours does too! ;-)
  Happy Fall Baking!
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Easy Potato Soup

Easy Potato Soup, Farmers Wife Original

Ahhh... It feels good to be back! Finally have a computer that's working again... It's been an interesting month y'all! lol! It started a few weeks ago when our 5 year old thought it would be a cool idea to try to plug my phone charger into a port on my laptop... Fried my motherboard... Yeah... That was not a good day... But My amazing Hubby was able to recover all my files and set me up with his old desktop. I've just been biding my time waiting for him to get his junk I mean files off of it. ;-)

Then my whole family came down with colds... And these were NASTY! For anyone who's gotten the nasty head cold that went around last month I am truly sorry for you... cus it was bad! I'm glad to say we're over it and getting life back to normal! But that is what spurred this lovely soup recipe I'm about to share with y'all!

I don't know about you but when I'm sick all I want to eat is soup (did I mention I lost 5 lbs. while being sick?!? Oh yeah baby! haha!) but I quickly get tired of the traditional Chicken Noodle or Rice soups... So I came up with this, and it was delicious, creamy and my whole family LOVED it! Now granted our sinuses were stuffed up, and our taste buds were off... So i guess if you hate it blame it on my nasty head cold... Lol! ;-)

2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Onion, diced
1/3 Cup Bell Peppers, diced (whatever colors you have or prefer!)
1/2 Cup Diced Ham (I cheated and used deli meat... but it worked and tasted great!)
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Pepper to taste
1 16oz. Package Diced Frozen Hash browns (sometimes called southern style but with no seasoning)
4 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cups Milk
2+ Cups Sharp Shredded Cheddar (to taste)
Diced Green Onion
Crumbled cooked bacon
Sour Cream

In a large stock pot melt the butter, once melted saute the onion, peppers and ham. Add the flour to make a roux, then add the hash browns (frozen is fine) spices, and chicken stock. Let the cook on Med-high heat until potatoes are cooked through and it's slightly thickened. Add the milk, and cheese and stir to mix and melt the cheese. Serve warm with your choice of toppings and crackers or fresh baked bread!

I know this sounds almost too easy to be true but it really was good, smooth and very comforting. We loved it with some leftover garlic french bread. 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!
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