Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poll for a new Cookie Recipe

Hey everyone!! I have a poll going on right now for a new cookie recipe! Head on over at http://apps.facebook.com/opinionpolls/poll.php?pid=1291160217 and vote for your favorite cookie which will be featured on my blog in the next couple weeks, just in time for Christmas!
Happy Voting!!
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Best Mashed Potatoes Ever

 Slightly Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

My assignment this year for Thanksgiving was the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. And let me tell you I was a little nervous about making 10 lbs. of potatoes, something I've never done before. Before you freak out, I have made potatoes before, but in small quantities. Now I didn't lose any sleep over these potatoes, and my arms still aren't as svelte as I'd like. But I had some weird dreams where the potatoes got mad at me for "hurting" them, and they wanted to eat me, and my arms were pretty sore from hand mashing them. But my fears were quickly vanished when I tasted these amazing potatoes. I've honestly never had creamier, and more flavorful potatoes in my life. Which is hard to say because I didn't think you could beat my grandmothers mashed potatoes, but somehow I managed. There was not a single leftover of these potatoes, and I've never received more compliments on my cooking as I did for those potatoes. I very, very highly recommend these for your Christmas dinner! I know hand mashing seems like a lot of work, and yeah I suppose it is, but it is SO worth it. Please don't EVER whip your potatoes, this breaks down the starches and makes them gummy, and let's face it who wants to eat baby food for a holiday?!?! I used 2 different hand mashers, one metal that is more your typical masher. And one with smaller holes for once I got them mashed with the first one, just to get more lumps out. I will be honest and say I spent the better part of an hour mashing 10 lbs of potatoes (which equaled 6 quarts of mashed potatoes), but it was worth every minute of it!

Ingredients:
10 lbs. Russet or Golden Yukon Potatoes (I used Russet) Peeled and chopped into quaters
4 sticks of Unsalted Butter, softened
2 8oz. Packaged of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Dash of Accent or Salt depending on your preference
Dash of Garlic Powder (optional, could use Lawry's seasoning salt, or whatever your favorite seasoning is)

Directions:
Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters, or even pieces. Place in a large pot, and cover with water so there's about an inch or more of water above the potatoes. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally til the potatoes are fork tender, about 30-40 minutes. (Fork tender is where you can pierce a potato with a fork and it slides in easily and falls apart) Once the potatoes are done, drain off most of the water, and then place back into the pot. Turn the burner on low, and start to mash with a metal masher. Once well mashed, cut 3 sticks of butter into pieces and mash that into the potatoes, you'll save the other stick to put on the top of the mashed potatoes to keep them moist. Repeat with the cream cheese, cut into pieces and mash into the potatoes. Add in the whipping cream (could use half and half or milk, whatever you have on hand) and the spices. Continue to mash until you reach the consistency you desire. Be sure and taste the potatoes along the way, so you know it's the flavor and texture you want. Spray a 6 quart crock pot, or oven safe container (such as corningware) with non-stick spray (I used butter flavored), and pour the potatoes in. Use a knife to spread them evenly and to get a nice smooth look to the top. Cut about 5 Tablespoons of butter into pieces and place on top of the potatoes. At this point you can place them in a warm oven, or crockpot to keep them warm, or you can cover them in foil and place in the fridge for 1-2 days before hand (this is what I did). When you're ready to warm them back up, make sure you have about 4 hours before you need them. Take them out of the fridge and let the pot sit at room temperature for an hour. Then (if using a 6 quart crock pot which I recommend) take the foil off and put the lid back on. Place in your crock pot's base and turn on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Then just turn the crock pot down to warm and add the remaining butter on top. *If not using a crock pot then you will need to cover the container with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.* Serve warm with your favorite gravy.

Review:
I know these are very detailed potatoes, and may seem a bit intimidating, but trust me they're really pretty easy, and TOTALLY worth the extra work! They were phenomenal potatoes, and delicious with the Turkey Gravy I made too. They stayed very moist and warm in the crock pot, to take them to my In Laws house, I just placed the whole crock pot, base and all, in a box that fit it perfectly. Since we only had a 25 minute drive they stayed pretty warm, and I just turned them back on low for half an hour when we got there, and then just kept them on warm til I noticed they were all gone!! They were such a huge hit, and everyone greatly enjoyed them. I hope they make it to your holiday table this year, and that you enjoy them as much as we did! 5 stars.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Orange Cranberry French Toast

 Farmers Wife original.

I love making breakfast for my family, whether it's for breakfast on the weekend or for dinner on a dreary night. It's one of our favorite meals to eat together, and there's just something about eating breakfast as a family that is so special to me. Brings back memories from my childhood I suppose. After I saw the original recipe for this bread on another blog, and her idea to use it as French Toast, I knew that I'd be making that asap, but of course with my own french toast recipe! Now this is my normal recipe for french toast, that I just happened to make with the Orange Cranberry Bread. But this recipe is phenomenal with your normal white bread, or a delicious egg bread. I genuinely hope you enjoy this recipe, it was such a delightful treat for us!

Ingredients: makes about 8-10 slices of french toast
4 eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Dash of Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg

Directions:
Slice the bread in 1/2 inch slices. In a shallow dish, beat eggs and add in remaining ingredients. Mix together til combined. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Once the skillet is hot, dip the bread in the egg mixture and evenly coat both sides. Place on the skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes per side til nice and golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices. Serve warm with maple syrup, or syrup of your choice and whipped cream (optional).

Review:
This french toast, especially with the Orange Cranberry Bread is seriously delish. It's light and refreshing compared to regular french toast. We gobbled this up so fast, I'm already thinking about making it again! Now The Farming Tot wouldn't try it, he was in one of those moods, but he said it looked nummy. lol! I very highly recommend this for your next breakfast meal, with a nice hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and topped with some maple syrup, whipped cream and a sprinkle of dried cranberries.... Ok now I'm hungry! 4.5 stars.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Orange Cranberry Bread

 Adapted from Liv Life.

As a part of my seemingly obvious fall series right now, this bread is being added to the series. When I first saw this bread featured on Liv's site, I knew I'd be making this very soon. I love fruity bread, especially for breakfast on a Sunday morning with my family. I couldn't find any oranges, or plain orange juice in my local stores, probably because of the holidays coming up, so I improvised as I often do, and the result was a wonderful, light, soft sweet bread. I planned to make this into french toast for breakfast on Sunday morning as a thank you to my Sister In Law for watching the Farming Tot, while the Farming Husband and I went out for our anniversary. I'm pretty sure it did the trick, ;-)! We gobbled it up as fast as we possibly could. Now I know I've gotten your hopes up for a recipe to use this bread as French Toast, and I promise you it's coming, but I'm going to make you wait a few days because first you need to try this bread by itself. You won't be disappointed!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup pineapple orange juice (room temp)
1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons yeast

Program machine for a Sweet Bread (your machine's "normal" setting will work just fine), 2 pound loaf on the light crust setting. Add ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer, typically the order I have listed. You could easily make this in your stand mixer and bake it in the oven, but I don't have settings for that.

Review:
We loved this bread, I think it may be my new favorite breakfast bread. It has a light orange flavor that compliments the cranberries so well. It's soft, and yummy and make a great French Toast (coming soon!). 4.5 Stars.

P.S. Thanks to all my wonderful readers for getting me to 1200 views!! That's over 600 views in just the last 6 weeks. I appreciate you all and hope you continue enjoying The Farmers Wife's blog and recipes! God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Hot Chocolate Mix

 This is my Mother In Law's recipe, that I've adapted some.

The Farming Husband grew up drinking this hot chocolate, it's quite obviously his favorite. I remember the first time I watched my Mother In Law make a HUGE amount of this mix up because everyone drinks it all day long, I'm pretty sure my eyes were as huge as the container she uses to keep it in! Well since the Farming Hubby doesn't live with Mommy and Daddy anymore, obviously I now make my own large container of this wonderful mix. Now since both the Hubby and I love chocolate I've upped the amount of Nesquik in this recipe, doubled it actually, lol! We just love this wonderful treat, it's rich and creamy, and very chocolatey, great with peppermint added to it, or cinnamon. The Farming Husband adds one peppermint to his travel mug of it every morning before heading out to work. This would be great to have as a drink option for your Thanksgiving or Christmas guests, or even packaged up as a gift.

Ingredients:

6 cups NesQuik
2 cups Non-Dairy Creamer
1 cup Powdered Sugar
10 cups Powdered Milk
Directions:
Add all ingredients together in a large container. (I use a container that had an energy drink powder in it, that says it holds up to 80 oz. or 5 lbs. and this recipe fills it.) Put the lid on the container and shake, shake, shake. Mix until everything is well combined. Use 1/3 cup scoop per 8 oz. of hot water.

Review:
We really love this mix. It's foamy, and rich, great topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. My favorite is to add a peppermint, and let that melt into it, top it with whipped cream and some small peppermint pieces. Yum!! This will keep in a sealed container for about 6 months. 5 stars.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cinnamon Streusal Muffins


This is a Famers Wife original.

These muffins were a last minute dinner for us one night. Every once in awhile (ok... about once a week. haha!) I like to make breakfast for dinner for my family. With the Farming Husband working long hours, and being up and gone long before me and the farming to, we rarely get to eat breakfast together. So this is my way of making up for it, plus who doesn't love a fresh baked piece of bread, or muffin with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee?!? About half an hour before dinner was supposed to be ready I found out that the Farming Husband's best friend was coming over for dinner. As I'm sure you can imagine I was a little embarrassed at serving a guest breakfast for dinner. But at that point the house smelled like a fall day, and darn it I wanted to eat those muffins! I was surprised beyond imagination when our friend ate about 4 of these muffins as fast as he could get them in his mouth. Not only that but the farming tot gobbled these up, not only his but he stole from our plates too. These would be a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast, that can easily be made ahead of time. Or even a new dessert option at your family table this year.

Ingredients: makes about 16-20 muffins
2 c. flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
Streusal:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. softened butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. Combine all muffin ingredients in electric mixer and beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a few tablespoons of batter into each cup, so it's about half full. Prepare streusel topping and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon in the center of each muffin. Using the ice cream scoop, scoop in the rest of the batter and top with remaining streusal. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Or until the streusal is golden and the muffins are firm to the touch.

Review:
We really enjoyed these muffins, they were delicious and such a great treat. As always if they are approved by the farming tot then they must be good. ;-)! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. 4.5 stars.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grilled Terriyaki Sandwich

 Inspired by Stephanie Cooks

As you know I tend to adapt most recipes to fit either my family or even my mood. I think the original looks delicious, however I couldn't find her original ingredients in my local store, so I made the changes below. I highly recommend this sandwich, even during the winter months. Get out your grill pan and enjoy a summery treat! Now for those of you without a grill pan, let me just say, go get yourself one it is a purchase you will not regret. I do not typically splurge on kitchen items (as much as I want to!!) but I did on this a few months back, and I've used it weekly (sometimes several times a week) ever since! It's more than paid for itself, and we just love it! I recommend one that is reversible so one side is a smooth griddle, and the other is a grill pan. Now back to the recipe, I hope you will try this soon! If a two year old, and a picky Brother In Law will eat this happily, I think you too with get rave reviews!

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
3/4 cup Kikkoman terriyaki sauce
Pineapple rings, or Pineapple wedges sliced thinly
Provolone cheese (optional)
Potato, or onion buns
Mayo
Lettuce, tomato, red onion (optional)

Directions:
 Place the chicken in a ziploc bag with 1/2 cup of the terriyaki sauce, make sure it's well coated. Marinade chicken for 1-2 hours. Heat a grill or grill pan and cook the chicken until cooked through. When the chicken is almost done add the pineapple to the grill, spread a small amount of sauce on each side of the pineapple. Once grill lines appear flip the pineapple. Assemble the buns with a little mayo, and a slice of provolone on one side. Top with a piece of chicken, and a pineapple ring. Add lettuce, tomato, and onion (if desired.)

Review:
We really enjoyed this sandwich. It was a nice change from a typical sandwich or a burger. My 2 year old enjoyed the chicken by itself with some pineapple on the side and we were a happy family! 4 Stars.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Chips


This is a Farmers Wife Original

I was in need of dairy free dessert this past weekend for some wonderful company, and wanted something light and yummy! We had my Sister in law and her hubby over for dinner, and had a wonderful dinner of Chili and fresh baked Bread (also dairy free), and after a heavy meal like that you want something light. I have to say I was very pleased with this recipe, and could see this being a wonderful addition to your holiday menu, or any party menu as a appetizer/dessert. You can mix up the combo of fruits as well, for the holidays you could use cherries, apples, raspberries, kiwi (for that red and green color!) or whatever your favorite combo is! I truly encourage you to make this soon, if you are anything like me fresh fruit is delicious any time of the year!!

Ingredients for Salsa:
1/4 cup diced Mango
2 diced Kiwi's
1/4 cup Blueberries
1/4 cup Blackberries, sliced in half
1/4 cup Raspberries, sliced in half
1 tablespoon Strawberry Preserves
1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice

Cinnamon Sugar Chips:
5-10 10in. Flour Tortilla's
Vegetable or Butter cooking spray
Cinnamon Sugar mix in a shaker

Directions:
Combine the fruit together in a small-medium serving bowl, in a small container mix together preserves and lime juice til it's a glaze like texture. Pour over fruit and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. Cut into wedges. Coat wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray. Arrange on a baking sheet, and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. Both items can be made ahead of time, just place cooked chips in a plastic bag and cover and chill the fruit til ready to serve.


Review:
We really enjoyed this. It's a great change from your normal heavy dessert, and very easy to put together. I made this up earlier in the day and just arranged it on my serving tray when I was ready to serve! I very highly recommend this recipe, it's light, but absolutely delish! 4.5 stars.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday Cookie Pizza


This is a Farmers Wife Original.

For my son's birthday this year, he requested a big cookie with a tractor on it. For those who don't know my Husband is a farmer, and my son thinks that's the most awesome thing in the world, so we had a big John Deere party. You could make this cookie without making a design out of the fruit.

Ingredients:
1-2 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough (or homemade cookie dough, I was short on time, and we also made a large cookie to feed 15 people)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawedFruit of your choice. I used:
Pineapple, Kiwi, Blackberries, Orange (the colors for the tractor)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice cookie dough and arrange on greased pizza pan, overlapping edges. Press dough flat into pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, soften cream cheese, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust. You can chill for a while at this point, or continue by arranging the fruit, in whatever design you want. Brush with some orange, or lemon juice just to preserve the fruit. Chill until served.


Review:
We LOVED this! It was a huge hit this summer at my son's party. It tasted amazing, and I will admit is so yummy for breakfast with a cup a coffee ;-) hehe! We really really love this, and I urge you to try this next time you need a dessert, it's not as heavy as cake and who doesn't love fresh fruit? 5 Stars.


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Adapted from Annie's Eats.

Another fall recipe!! Are you sick of them yet? I sure hope not because I have several more up my sleeves this year. ;-) These were seriously the best, fluffiest and easiest pancake I think I've ever made. And they are kid approved, which you know makes them a keeper in my house! I have yet to be disappointed with a recipe from Annie, and these were no different! I did increase the pumpkin just a bit, and added a little extra spice (can't get enough spice in this house), and have reflected those changes here. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup & 1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine.  (The batter may still have a few lumps – that is okay.)
Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

Review:
Seriously... You're still reading this?!?! GO MAKE THESE NOW!!! lol! Seriously, amazing pancakes. Love them, can't say that enough. Sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar and some maple syrup, YUMM!!! My 2 year old devoured these, and he doesn't devour much of anything! 5 Stars.

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