Friday, February 25, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Adapted from Bread Machine Magic.

Since tomorrow is Saturday, I thought it only fitting to share a most delightful brunch recipe with y'all! How I wish I could invite you all over to try this delicious cake, unfortunately I can't (mostly because it's all gone, haha!) so I guess you must make your own! Last Saturday a friend of mine was in town, so we decided to get together for Brunch, now you know me, I can't let anyone leave my house hungry. It would defeat the whole purpose of having someone over! I can't tell you the torture I put myself through trying to figure out what to make and changing my mind a million times (what I wore that morning, I had no problem choosing, but the food... I feel like a failure as a girl. Anyway...) and the stupid dough not wanting to rise because of our weather... It was quite an interesting battle for myself. However, this coffee cake did not disappoint! Even my little Sous Chef loved it! And I'm pretty sure my friend did as well, you'd have to ask her for sure but typically when a guest asks for the recipe I know that's a good sign! Ok, back to the recipe. This was so easy, and fluffy, and well... Nummy! I really hope you'll give this a try soon, and know that if I could have you over to eat this with me and a giant cup of coffee, I so totally would! (I mean seriously, any excuse to eat this coffee cake... so... who's coming over?)

Ingredients: this makes one 9 in. coffee cake
Dough:
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Water
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons Butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Yeast (I like red star brand, dry active yeast.)

Topping:
1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2/3 cup Heavy Cream

Directions:
Place dough ingredients in order listed (or according to your bread machine's instructions) in your bread machine. Set on Dough cycle. Once done, grease a 9 in. cake pan. Roll dough out on floured surface til it's 9 inches in diameter, and place in cake pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. About 30-45 minutes (or in my case 90 minutes...) *Tip * Turn oven on to 200F degrees for 1-2 minutes, then turn off and place pan in oven, remove before pre-heating.* Once dough has risen, take 2 fingers and poke holes all over the dough. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping, and evenly sprinkle over entire cake. Then pour the cream evenly over the cake. Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm.

Review:
The best part of this cake is that the topping becomes like it's own glaze on the cake... It really is amazing! I was so nervous about this cake, partially because it did take an hour and a half to rise, but it turned out amazing, and so light and yummy! 5 stars.

The Farmers Wife

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Note

Hey all, I just wanted to say I'm sorry if you got my last post through feedburner and it came through weird. I am honestly not sure why this happened, but it is fixed now! Thanks!

The Farmers Wife
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TAG! You're it!


My dear friend Brandie over at The Country Cook, has just tagged me in a game going around the blogosphere! You may remember a similar game we all played as kids... Tag... I hated that game. Lol! I was always the slowest, and was constantly "It". But this is a version I can totally get on board with, so here are the 9 questions I have been tagged to answer, and I get to tag some people of my own choosing! AHAHA!! (Imagine an evil laugh inserted here hehe!)


1.What do you refuse to eat?
Pork rinds... Seriously, fried pork fat. How gross is that?
2. What is the most ethnic dish you have ever made?
Hmmm... Well probably Breakfast Burritos. We live so close to the border and let me tell you they are truly ethnic and AMAZING! Either that or Gyros, which were so so, I used to love them as a kid but I wasn't as impressed with the homemade.
3. Salt or Sweet?
Both! Give me a bag of pretzels mixed with a bag of M&M's and I'm the happiest girl EVER!
4. What kitchen gadget can you not live without?
Oooo... Just one? Honestly... Probably my coffee maker. Ha! For those who don't know I drink close to a whole pot a day.
5. Last restaurant you ate at?
Actually dined at? Texas Roadhouse. But last one I got food from, Panda Express.
6. Where would you like to live if you could move anywhere in the world?
Paris, France. I loved it when I visited there in high school, and would love to spend more time there. Eating my way through the country sounds heavenly!
7. What is your blog about?
Homecooked meals, my hope is to bring more families to the dinner table to eat together, and to make kid friendly meals that please every palate.
8. Do you have pets?
Nope, we're all allergic to most animals. :-(
9. What’s the last city you visited?
Wellton, AZ. Never heard of it? That's cus it's tiny ;-)
And now for my Tags!
Holli from Shih's Cooking
Tag!! You're it! Now it's your turn to answer these questions!

The Farmers Wife


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

3 Minute Brownies


Original Recipe found here.

So most of you know that my Hubby is a Farmer... What you may not know is that he is a geeky farmer... one who stumbles a lot! HA! Ok let me clarify, by stumble I mean that my hubby is one of the awesome millions that use the site Stumbleupon.com quite frequently. Ok I lied... daily. ;-) And because of this awesome site I get several links texted to me through out the day, normally I look them up asap and comment back. Well this afternoon my amazing geeky farmer sent me a link to a picture with instructions to make these 3 minute brownies. Now unlike my usual, I for some reason didn't look at it right away, in fact I don't remember getting it, but sure enough it was there in my message folder. Well after dinner tonight, I was doing my daily ritual of perusing cooking blogs, and the farming tot commented on The Brown Eyed Baker's White Chocolate Coconut Brownies, which I thought looked amazing. But my little guy just kept saying "Mommy, that's not a real brownie! Brownies are BROWN!!" Ha! Well that then ensued this hilarious conversation with my hubby:

Him: "Oh, did you make those brownies?"
Me: "Um... What brownies?!?"
Him: "The link I sent you..." Looks at me like how could my wife possibly forget a recipe including chocolate?!?
Me: "You sent me a link?" checks phone... "Oh, huh never saw it. Cool!"
Him: "So... we gonna go make them or what?!?"

Which of course meant a prompt visit to the kitchen by the entire family, all 3 of us crowding together to make these 3 minute brownies, and my boys literally pulling up a chair to sit at the microwave and watch these babies cook. Lol! Oh I love my boys! But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with these little bad boys. I mean who doesn't love the idea of a 3 minute, single portion, hot brownie?!? If you don't, well maybe you need to have your head examined. Sorry was that mean? Oh well, just consider me a chocolate freak. But seriously, try these, you'll be amazed!

Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons Oil
3 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Chips
1 Microwave Safe Mug

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in a mug with a fork. Then add in the egg, oil and milk. Mix until well combined, making sure to mix in the bottom corners. Add in the chocolate chips and stir. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. The brownie will rise up out of the mug (depending on how large a mug you use), and then settle back down. Invert onto a plate and top with whipped cream or serve with some vanilla ice cream! Yum!

Review:
I've made microwave brownies before, and they are pretty awesome. Now I know not everyone is cool with cooking in the microwave, and generally I am with you on that. But so far with these 2 recipes (honestly the only things I have EVER tried to cook in the microwave), I have been pleasantly surprised by them both. These were moist, and chocolatey, and very cake like. I was very happy with these! 4 stars.

Told ya they were yummy!! ;-)

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pizza Bread

 This is a Farmers Wife Origianl.

Hello friends! Oh how I missed blogging! Really, I did, but I did need a break too. Sleep has been something I have been severely missing this last month, and I finally caught up just a little. But, even with my break I was still cooking! And boy do I have some yummy goodness to share with y'all!! Now some may call this Stromboli, and yes it is very similar, but to me this was like eating a loaf of pizza! And come on, who doesn't love this idea? This was one of those recipes that was born out of necessity, you see I was going to make sausage bread, and I was really excited about it, then I go to cook the sausage and it smells like stinky feet. Like really stinky feet, ok I guess you didn't need to know that, moving on. But I already had the dough made and the peppers cooked so I had to do something. Well I had leftover Salami from when I made Hoagies, which was luckily still good. And I had turkey pepperoni in the freezer, and so out came this delightful treat! Now I have to say I'm excited about this one, because you could mix it up and make so many different variations on this, I honestly can't wait to give some of my other ideas a try! But for now I'll leave you with this last minute masterpiece! I hope you like it!

Ingredients:
Dough: adapted from Bread Machine Magic
(I made homemade but you can easily use a store bought dough)
This is for a bread machine:
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

Filling:
1/2 Green Pepper, diced
1/2 Red Pepper, diced
1/4 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Dash of Oregano
Pinch of Basil
Fresh ground Pepper
Pinch of Salt
4 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce (I used my homemade sauce, which I will post later this week!)
Sliced Hard Salami
Pepperoni (I love the turkey pepperoni, same great flavor, a lot less fat!)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:
Place ingredients for the dough in your bread machine, in order listed or as recommended by your machine. Set to dough and let it go. Once that is done roll out into a rectangle, about 15x8. In a pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, peppers and spices until soft and fragrant. Evenly spread the sauce onto the dough, and layer the salami and pepperoni on top of that, leaving about 1 in. on each side. Top with sauteed vegetables, and cheese. Then starting at one end roll up the bread until it forms a log, and then tuck the ends in on the bottom forming a loaf. With a little water on your hands, seal the edges all together. Pre heat the oven to 400F degrees. Place loaf on a baking sheet that has been greased with a little olive oil. Using a pastry brush, brush a little olive oil all over the loaf, and then sprinkle the top with a little garlic powder. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden. Let it cool briefly and slice.

Review:
This really is an easy meal, that was utterly delightful! Even the Farming Tot ended up eating some of it and liking it! This heats up really nicely either back in the oven for a bit, or in the microwave. We really, REALLY enjoyed this dinner, and happily ate the leftovers. And since this is so versatile you can literally put any filling you want in this dough! 4.5 Stars.

The Farmers Wife

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Awards!

Hello Friends! I feel so blessed to receive the Stylish Blogger Award again, this time from a wonderful woman who has a lovely blog, Mateja over at Indulging Life.


It's so nice to receive awards like this, meaning that someone is really enjoying what I'm doing, and supporting me. So, with that said I am so thrilled to get to pass on this great award to some of my fellow bloggers as well! Now according to the rules I must share 7 things about myself and share this award with 15 other bloggers. So here goes!

7 Things about myself:
1. I am a Pastor's Kid, my dad has been in the ministry my whole life.
2. I have only one sibling, and he's 11 years younger than me.
3. My hubby and I met online, and have been together for 6 years, with less fights than I can count on one hand.
4. I've had 2 miscarriages, and consider my son to be my miracle.
5. I love to read romance novels.
6. I dream about food, seriously.
7. I love to sing. So much so that I can hum a tune and carry on a conversation at the same time without realizing it.

Too serious? I'm sorry. This blog is a big part of my heart and soul, and I've already shared so much with you all, so I thought I'd give you a slightly bigger window into what makes the Farmers Wife who she is.

Ok now for the fun part, Here's my picks for bloggers who deserve this award!

Brandie @ The Country Cook
Laura @ What's Cookin' at the Muñoz's?
Amanda @ Baking Without a Box
Katie @ So Tasty, So Yummy
Kristi @ Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right
Christina @ A Little Sumpin' Sumpin'
Tracey @ Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Becky @ Baking and Cooking, a Tale of Two Loves
Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
Mamashack @ The Yum Yum Factor
Toni @ Tnt-cook
Lisa @ Sweet As Sugar Cookies
Holli @ Shih's Cooking
Abeer @ Cake Whiz
Kara @ Happy When Not Hungry


I love to visit all these wonderful blogs, they always have great stories and delicious recipes! I hope you will check them out too! 


The Farmers Wife

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon Garlic Chicken, Farmers Wife Original

I love crock pot meals, they make me insanely happy. Yes I know what you're thinking, I'm weird, but hey I'm cool with being weird, it makes life far more interesting to accept my weirdness. haha! Now you probably know by now that I love any dish that has rice, but what you probably don't know is why. Well, it's easy. Yes I just admitted to liking rice for it's simplicity factor, so sue me! (Actually please don't...) Here's the thing, for us dinner is always sort of up in the air, I never know what time the Farming Hubby will be home to eat so it makes it very hard to plan meals. My little Sous Chef eats at 5:30pm every day for dinner, no matter when my hubby is home because he just can't wait, and since half the time my husband doesn't get home til close to bedtime for our little man waiting to eat dinner together is not an option most days. So what I love about meals with rice is if the main dish is done, and can easily stay warm or be heated up quickly, then all I have to do when my hubby texts that he's on his way home is make some rice, then dinner will be on the table when he walks in the door! (Yes I am serious, I strive to have dinner ready when he walks in, I'm old fashioned so what?) But this meal, well it is one of our favorites. ALL OF US! Even my little Sous Chef likes this meal, in fact my Hubby's family even likes this meal (which is a total win in my book!). It's so versatile, super easy, and just so pleasing to even the pickiest of palates. That's is what makes this a winner! You can make this with Lime Juice instead of Lemon, you can cook up some stir-fry veggies on the side with a bit of the sauce, and I have yet to be disappointed with this recipe. You have to try this easy recipe, come on, you know you want to!!! ;-)

Ingredients: serves 6-8 people
6-8 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (I place mine in frozen, which is why I cook on high for 1 hour)
2/3 cup Soy Sauce (low sodium)
1/3 cup Lemon or Lime Juice (either fresh or concentrated)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoons Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard

Directions:
Spray a 6 quart crock pot with cooking spray, then place the chicken pieces in the bottom. In a bowl mix together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken, and mix. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 3-4 hours. *Optional: To thicken the sauce, make a cornstarch slurry (equal parts water and cornstarch mixed to a paste like texture) and add to the sauce, allowing it to come to a boil and thicken.* If adding stir-fry vegetables, heat a small amount of the sauce in a wok, and cook the vegetable until tender, serve along with the chicken on hot rice.

*Rice tip*
When making rice add some chicken bouillon to the water before it boils, adds some flavor to any dish. If making a beef dish add some beef bouillon. I do this instead of adding any butter or extra fat.

Review:
Seriously simple, yet amazingly delicious! We just love this meal, with both the lemon and lime. I love to serve with with chopped green onions on top, and some fresh lemon. This is kid approved, and my go to recipe for a lazy dinner! 5 stars.

The Farmers Wife

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chicken Fingers

 Slightly Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

I don't know about your family, but ours could go through a whole bag of chicken fingers pretty freaking fast. I mean what's not to love, chicken... good, breading... good, being a total fatty...good!!! ha! I remember the very first time my little Sous Chef had chicken fingers. They were admittedly from a fast food joint (*gasp* I know), and it seems like forever ago! But I still remember that first bite he took, not only was it a milestone that he was eating finger food, but he just loved it! I don't think he'd ever eaten that much in one sitting before that day. Ever since, my little Sous Chef has had a very strong love for chicken fingers, and because of that chicken fingers went from an occasional "I'm too tired to care what we eat" dinner, to a weekly menu item in our house. Now I've made my fair share of recipes for chicken fingers, but this is my favorite so far. Not only were they incredibly easy, but they were so flavorful. We all enjoyed them, and they heated up really well as leftovers too. I hope you're family will enjoy these as much as we did!

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Strips (Or chicken breasts cut into strips)
Buttermilk
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Poultry Seasonings
1/4 teaspoons Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil
Garlic Salt

Directions:
If using chicken breasts, first thing you need to do is cut the chicken into strips. Then rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, in a large bowl submerge the chicken strips in buttermilk for at least 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you’d like). In another bowl combine flour and spices, mix together well. Add about ¼ to ½ cup of buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it, just to moisten it. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Take a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken strips until they are all ready to cook. Once the oil is good and hot, begin cooking the strips a few at a time. Cook them for about 2 minutes per side. Once golden and crispy, place them to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with garlic salt while still hot, and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Review:
These were just amazing! Do not skip the sprinkle of Garlic Salt!! This totally makes the chicken strips stand out among all other strips we've ever had. We had ours with BBQ sauce, but they would be great with whatever sauce you like, or plain. 4.5 Stars

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And the winner is...


And the winner is.... Comment# 3 Samantha C. with her comment: "Third...isn't that the nerd in the polka dot dress? Uh...I'm okay with that! So excited...."

Congrats Samantha, I will be contacting you shortly to get your address!
I am so thankful to each and everyone of you who entered this contest, and I hope that you'll continue to be a part of The Farmers Wife. Also if you are interested in buying this wonderful book for yourself or someone you know, you can do so at my Amazon Store.
The Farmers Wife

Details: Winner was chosen using Random.org's number generator. Only one comment per person was calculated for a fair choosing. Due to internet difficulties I could not get the generators widget to work in this post, but this was the first number it generated. Thanks for participating!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

 Slightly adapted from The Country Cook.

Happy Valentines Day, to all my friends, family and bloggers! If you know me you know that The Farming Hubby and I really don't do much for Valentine's Day. Oh don't get me wrong, we have in the past, but nothing super special to write home about. In fact there's only really one V-Day that sticks in my head... You want to hear the story now huh? Well good, because I'm in a sharing mood. ha! 

It was 5 years ago, and we were just dating at the time (long distance, we got engaged less than a month later though). I was still living at home, and I was working very late that night. The coffee shop I used to work for did a special sitting for a fancy dinner that night, well 2 sittings actually. And I worked all day, got home I believe after midnight... Anyway, not much time to even talk to my man on what's supposed to be the most romantic night of the year and yes I was kinda sad. I called my Mom as I was headed home, and because I hadn't eaten anything I asked her to make me a pop tart (back in the days before I really had to pay attention to every bite I took!) so that I could just eat and crash. Well I get home, and as always put the car in the garage and went into the house. After sharing with my mom about my day and devouring my pop tart, I went to go call my man before completely crashing. Well I get him on the phone and he's acting all weird (not entirely unusual but... haha! Love you babe!), finally he asks me if there's a box at my door, well naturally being in my room and being EXHAUSTED I look out my bedroom door. Ha! I'm such a dork, anyway back to the story. So after some searching I go discover a box at the front door, which no one had seen because we never used that door. And it was a Pajama Gram, these cute little Pj's, with some bath stuff, all for me! Now I know he had NO way of guessing that I wouldn't find it til after midnight, but for me that special treat being there just brightened my whole day. I can't honestly say how much he remembers about that night, and I'm not always great at remembering details, but that is the only Valentines Day that I really remember. 

Ok now you may be wondering why I felt the need to share this with you, for me eating breakfast for dinner on Valentines Day just seems appropriate after that first meaningful one of me eating Pop Tarts. And when I saw my wonderful friend The Country Cook post this recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, I knew I HAD to make these for our Valentines Day Breakfast Dinner. I did change a few things, and not because they needed it as The Country Cooks recipes are definitely great on their own, but as usual because of what I had in my pantry and I wanted to make little hearts for my man! I hope you'll check out her site as well, she is doing some great things over there. And because I can't help myself I can tell you that these are simply amazing! The Farming Tot and Hubby both really like these, (though the tot does call them cookies and eats the frosting off first. haha!) I hope you'll try these for your sweetie. And I wish you a very Happy, and Love Filled Valentines Day!

Ingredients:
For the Biscuits:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup raisins, I used Golden Raisins
1 cup buttermilk

For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons. milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
Red Food Gel *Optional*

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450F degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in vegetable shortening using a pastry blender or a fork until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in raisins and buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened, I found I ended up needing to use my hands to really mix it well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times.
Roll dough to about ¾ inch thickness and cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a mini biscuit cutter or in my case with a small or medium sized Heart shaped cookie cutter, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes for medium biscuits and for about 6-8 minutes for mini biscuits, until slightly golden and still soft. I used to lower cook time, and these biscuits are soft and flaky.
Now for the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, vegetable oil, cinnamon and red food coloring in a small bowl. Stir until completely mixed. Drizzle over hot biscuits or dip the tops of the biscuits in the glaze. I dipped mine, and did a white drizzle on top of some for a little decoration. If you want to serve these warm, you can reheat in the microwave for about 5 seconds.

Review:
We have really been enjoying these as a snack since I made them Saturday, and I have to say they are really great warmed, with some vanilla or butter pecan ice cream on the side... Yum! They're also great with a cup of coffee. I know they will be a great Valentines Day treat for you and your loves too! 5 Stars. 

 Happy Valentines Day from The Farmers Wife

LAST CHANCE!! 
The Giveaway ends tonight at midnight! So be sure and enter, the winner will be announced Tuesday Morning! 

If you miss out and want a copy of this book you can order your very own copy from my Amazon Store. 

 
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Pudding


Slightly adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy.

You know those sudden late night cravings for chocolate? I think almost every woman knows what I'm talking about. You're sitting there, all happy and normal then all of a sudden the urge to eat everything chocolate in the world hits you! Well I had such a craving last night, except luckily for my boys I had it right after dinner so they both could enjoy this wonderful treat! When I saw this on So Tasty, So Yummy, I knew I'd be making it soon. I mean homemade pudding, is there a more perfect little valentines day treat? If you're like me you grew up eating pudding every time you were sick, or eating out of a lunchbox. Now I'm not putting down the packaged stuff, I still love it. But homemade is SO easy, and quite frankly is just more special. I wish you could've seen my little guy as he was bouncing around the kitchen waiting for me to finish making his pudding, this boy LOVES chocolate, and the worst part for him was the waiting to eat it part. We gobbled this up so fast, and are fighting for who gets the leftovers. The addition of cherries was a wonderful treat, a nice subtle change from the typical chocolate pudding. Next time I might add some cherry extract instead of the maraschino juice for a slightly stronger cherry flavor. But this was awesome! I hope it graces your Valentines Day table!

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
2 3/4 Cup Milk (I used 1%, and it was a very creamy smooth pudding)
2 Tablespoons Cherry Juice (from the Maraschino Cherries, if using extract use less)

Directions:
In a medium saucepan combine the dry ingredients. Put over medium heat, and whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon (pudding texture). Add in the cherry juice and mix a little more. Then let it cool briefly, and keep in fridge until ready to serve. *Tip* to cool it quickly to serve right away, put it in an ice bath. In a large bowl add ice and water, then place a medium bowl in the ice bath and pour the pudding into the medium sized bowl. Place that in the fridge for about 10 minutes and serve* Garnish with cherries.

Review:
I was a little surprised that this was so creamy and rich using 1% milk, but I just loved it! If you wanted an even richer texture use 2% or Whole milk. But there's really no need for it, and who doesn't love a low fat treat! This would be a great Valentines Day treat, especially if you have little ones around. And you can make it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge. 5 Stars.

The Farmers Wife

The Giveaway is still going on until Monday, I hope you'll enter to win this great cookbook. It's a great book for anyone in any stage of life! And if you have a wedding coming up you can buy this great book as a gift on my Amazon Store! Check it out!
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mongolian Beef


Slightly adapted from Elly says Opa!

This recipe was a delicious pain in my rear... It smelled great (after i redid the garlic), tasted wonderful (after I spent way too much time on it), Was cooked perfectly (even though I thought it never would), essentially we loved this dinner, however the getting to eat it part was stressful. I have you intrigued now huh? Well, have you ever seen the movie Meet the Parents? You know how absolutely EVERYTHING that could go wrong in that movie did, well that was this recipe! I shall now explain.

I made this recipe while my Hubby was still home sick, thinking "Perfect, he can keep an eye on the little guy while I focus on this and get dinner on the table faster" (because I was STARVING!). WRONG! I even made everything easy for myself, bought pre-cut meat so I could skip that step. Set up all my stations before getting started cooking. And I gave myself an hour to make it, which ended up being and hour and a half. (remember I said everything went wrong...) So here's the big story. I was getting started, the meat was already done in it's corn starch coating, and I was getting ready to saute the garlic. And let me tell you, I've never EVER burnt garlic before... Never, not once! But right as I put the garlic in the pan, my little Farming Tot had a complete and total breakdown. Over what, I honestly could not tell you, not sure I knew then either, but he refused to go to where his dad was so I could keep cooking. Instead he stood in the middle of the room SCREAMING! So I leave my delicious garlic to go soothe him, Finally get him calmed down, and by now I knew the garlic was ruined because the whole house smelled like burnt garlic (not a good smell... just take my word for it!). So I have a little mental breakdown myself (don't forget I'm seriously starving here), and start all over again. I get over that and start on the rest, oh and did I mention that I realized I forgot to buy the ginger? Yeah... So I had to compensate and put ground ginger in the sauce, which it still tasted fine, but just added to my breakdown. So I finally get the sauce done (after spilling some of it on myself), cook it for a couple minutes, dump it out and throw the meat in. At this point it seems to finally be coming together so I just relax. Then the meat... Oh that freaking meat... I swear it mooed at me in protest of being cooked! Really, I'm not crazy, that freaking meat MOOED AT ME!! Ok not really, but maybe it should've, might've made me laugh a little. That is after I wet my pants from screaming in fear... Ok back to the story. So I cook it, exactly according to directions in the recipe. Something I rarely have a problem with. But this meat did NOT want to cook. Now I like my meat well done, no red at all, but I've never had this much problem before. I got it all nice and browned, poured the sauce in, let it cook for a bit and checked the meat to find out that it was RAW inside! Never in my entire cooking life has this ever happened to me, so now my sauce is getting really thick, but my meat seems to be going back to the cow stage... I tented it with foil in hopes of holding the heat in so it would cook faster, which did seem to help, but after about triple the normal cooking time it was just barely done. And my sauce was well... thick. haha! Finally it was done, I served it up, and I will admit even with the set backs it was delicious. Really, I'm not kidding, we loved it. But will I ever make this again? I honestly don't know. My hubby asked me if it was worth all the effort, but I couldn't' decide. It was the best Mongolian beef I have ever had, seriously. I do hope you will try it, and maybe if ya'lls efforts are not as disastrous as mine was I will restore my hope in the ease of this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain (or pre-sliced stir fry meat)
3 Tablespoons corn starch
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoons grated ginger, (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) red pepper flakes
2-3 large scallions, sliced

Pat the steak pieces with paper towels to make sure they're dry. Next, mix the steak and cornstarch together,  make sure all the pieces are fully coated, but shake off excess corn starch. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes (add in the ground ginger here if using that instead of grated).
Heat half of the oil in a wok at medium-high heat and add the ginger (if using grated) and garlic.  Once fragrant (30 seconds or so), add in the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Let the sauce thicken to your liking, and then add the green onions in just before plating. Serve over rice.

Review:
As much of a pain as this recipe was, it really was delicious. It had a nice balance of heat and sweet, and I just loved the sauce. Better than our local Chinese restaurants Mongolian beef by a lot. And it really is a simple recipe, I think the cooking fairies just decided to curse me that particular day. I do hope you'll try this, and love it as much as we did! 4 stars, ( I would give it 5, but it was such a pain in my back burner... ahah!!)

The Farmers Wife

PSSST: Only 5 more days to enter the Giveaway! Please check out this post, and remember to comment on it to enter, that is key!!  

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken Picatta

 Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten

Wanna know a secret? I know you do...... Ok well I'm going to tell you anyway! I LOVE to watch cooking shows! HA! Ok, not a big secret, but hey it's a guilty pleasure for me. And not only that, but the Farming Tot LOVES to watch them with me, and his favorite to watch is The Barefoot Contessa! Go figure! I'm starting to think from here on out I should call him my little sous chef, since that really is more his title, he's always saying "Mommy, you should make this." or coming up with random ideas for food he wants. But even with all of that, when we were watching Ina make Chicken Picatta a couple weeks ago, I really did not expect him to be so enthusiastic about it and ask me to make it, usually his requests are more dessert oriented. But I decided, hey why not? Got everything to make it the next day, and while the Farming Hubby was home sick I made this along with Garlic Mashed Potatoes for my boys. And surprisingly it was a huge hit! Even my little guy ate the chicken and loved it! Now let me tell you, he is very much in that terrible two stage, and refuses to try almost anything new to his plate. But this one wasn't very hard to convince him of at all, in fact he's already asked that I make this again. Now I did change it up some, I didn't use any wine to make the sauce, instead I used chicken stock. And I added Panko to the Breadcrumb mixture because I just love panko! And also I forgot the add the last bit of butter to the sauce, and let me say we didn't miss it at all! I hope you all enjoy this delightful chicken dish! This recipe is for 2 servings, though I added a third chicken breast for us and had no problem with these measurements listed. But this would be a great, easy Valentine's Day dinner to whip up for your sweetie, even after a long day at work!

Ingredients:
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded out to 1/4 in. thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko
Good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup chicken stock (or white wine)
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs and panko on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and then the bread crumb mixtures. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, chicken stock, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Review:
This really was so delicious, it was such a delightful change from our normal weeknight dinner. And I really enjoyed the burst of lemon, this gave it a summer feel that was very welcome with the cold weather we've been having (yes, even us here in the desert have experienced abnormally cold temps. lately). I hope you will give this a try soon, and that you enjoy it as much as we did! 4 stars.


The Farmers Wife


P.S. Don't forget to enter my Giveaway going on until Valentines day!

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Giveaway!!!

I am SO happy to be back among the blog world, I am sorry for my absence, but it just couldn't be helped. I am still getting back to normal (waking up with a migraine this morning doesn't help though), but I just can't wait any longer to share this with you! I've been cooking up this idea for awhile, and have had this sitting in my kitchen, trying to decide if I was really sure I wanted this to be my first giveaway, but I just have to share this with you! Ok, you ready? The Farmers Wife is giving away a copy of Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook! 


Ok, for those of you who are old married ladies like me, you may thinking, "Um Kim, why would I enter a contest for a book about cooking for newlyweds?!?". And my answer is, STOP THINKING! Haha! Ok not really, but allow me to explain. First off, I was given a copy of this book as a wedding gift and I remember our very first home cooked meal as newlyweds came from this cookbook. And I remember it was... Interesting. Ha! Now I knew how to cook, that wasn't the problem. But I wasn't great at timing out a meal back then, and had never ever made pizza dough without a bread machine (back before I had one of those too). Now it was a tasty pizza, but it was late to the table, different from what we normally like, and looked kinda funky. But there we sat, by the candlelight, eating our very first homemade pizza together, and laughing at my lame attempt to be romantic while eating BBQ Chicken Pizza.... And it is a memory that has stuck with me over the years. So when it comes to Valentines Day, I tend to get sappy and remember the days when I was scared to be so inventive with food, and followed this cookbook to a T! So for me this is the perfect thing to giveaway for Valentines day! It is full of romantic inspired recipes, not only dinners for 2, but also great food for a dinner party. This book as some of the best basics that I think we all tend to forget from time to time, such as making your own mayo, to roasting garlic, fondues (talk about romantic!), and so much more! I have never been disappointed with a recipe I've made from this book, and I hope that you'll be as excited as I am about this book!

And I want to add a note here too, I know that "Wedding Season" is coming up, so for anyone who needs a great wedding gift, please enter this contest too! All I ask is you include a note with a link to my site along with the gift, and I'm totally cool with you "re-gifting" this!

Ok, so now are you ready for the rules? Yes, every good contest has to have rules, I'm sorry!

How to enter:

1. Become a Facebook follower of The Farmers Wife, you can also follow the link on the left hand side of the blog to the Facebook page.

2. Become a Google follower of The Farmers Wife Blog, also located on the left hand side of the blog, right above the Facebook badge.

3. Invite your Facebook friends to like The Farmers Wife Facebook page as well.

4. Leave me a comment here on this post, letting me know you've done all of that, and your favorite post from The Farmers Wife and you will be entered to win! (This is how the winner will be generated, so please leave a comment or unfortunately it won't pull your name into the possible winners!!!)

Important Details:
This giveaway is open to USA residents only, including  APO/FPO DPO (18 years of age and older) and will run until Monday, 2/14/11 (Valentines Day) at 11:59 pm MST.
-Winner will be generated via a random number generator software program. 
-Product will be shipped from me, via USPS, winners name will be posted on the blog, and will be contacted by me. I will need the winner to email me their name and address for shipping.
-If you are commenting using your mobile phone browser, please make sure your comment appears and stays posted before you navigate away.

Ok, now get busy, and Good Luck Everyone!! I am so excited to share this with you all! 

The Farmers Wife

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coming tomorrow!

Hey all! I've missed posting more this week, being sick is no fun. But I am finally on the mend, and am so exited to be back! On that note, I am beyond thrilled to announce that starting tomorrow, February 7th through Monday February 14th, (Valentines day!) We are having our first giveaway!!! I hope you will tune in tomorrow to check it out and enter to win!

I really can't wait to share this with you all, and am so excited! Have a great night!

The Farmers Wife
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bean Dip & Party Food

I know you can't see the beans... I was too hungry to take any more pictures!
 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

Ok so I know I did a whole thing on how I don't like the Super Bowl, and while that hasn't changed I do know that I am in the minority on this, and though I had planned to ignore the whole party food thing, I just can't! Going through my recipes and doing some early Spring Cleaning of the categories I realize that I have more party food recipes on here than I realized and I have another one I want to share. Bean Dip! I am sure that mine is about the 1 billionth bean dip recipe you'll see this week, but other than it being "the magical fruit" (yes I had to add that in there ! I live with only boys remember?!?!?) bean dip is the quintessential Party Food. You just can't go wrong with this, and the endless possibilities of bean dip... Now my particular recipe is served cold, but for variety you could make a warm bean dip and for that I highly recommend my friend The Country Cooks bean dip . Looks seriously fantastic to me! I may have to make this for Sunday while I watch every chick flick known to man! ;-) Look to the end of this post for links to more of The Farmers Wife's Party Food!

Ingredients: this recipe makes an 8x8 in. pan.
15 oz. can Refried Beans (I like the Fat Free)
8 oz. Sour Cream
1-2 Tablespoons Green Chili Sauce (Or Salsa, but I like the variety of the green chile sauce)
1/2 Packet of Taco Seasoning
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Green Onions
Optional:
Sliced Black Olives
Diced Jalepenos
Diced Green Chili's (Though I wouldn't add these if you use a green chili sauce)

Directions:
In an 8x8in. pan spread the beans on the bottom, as your bottom layer. In a seperate bowl combine the sour cream and taco seasonings, once combined spread on top of the beans. Next spread your green chili sauce, or salsa on top of the sour cream. Sprinkle your desired amount of cheese over the entire pan, probably about 1 1/2-2 cups worth. Then layer on the veggies as you please. Cover with foil and let it chill for at least 1 hour before serving. This helps it firm up so its easier to serve. Once chilled serve with Tortilla chips.

Review:
So simple and easy, which is just the way I like it! I will occasionally make this for dinner for my hubby and myself because it's just so yummy! It does have a good bit of spice to it, but remember I'm from the southwest, so it's practically against the law to not make food spicy. haha! I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for your Super Bowl parties this weekend, and as promised here are links to some other party food from this Farmers Wife! Enjoy! 4.5 Stars.

Party Food!!
(So you know there is a specific party food category on the site, and all of these are listed there too!)

Hoagies (You can mix these up so much to your specific tastes, and make several for all your guests!)

Pineapple Mango Punch (This is guy approved, my man made up this concoction himself! Nice alternative to beer, cus I'm sorry but I hate that stink!) 

Cookie Pizza (I know this may seem more like chick food, but I'm sure you could get inventive and use the colors from your favorite team to make a design on your cookie!)

Pizza Bites (These are both man and kid approved, so if you have any kids coming to your party these are a must have!)

Potato Salad (Simple, basic, total man food! Add in onions or pickles as you see fit, or put them on the side!)

Italian Beef (Easy, delicious, and feeds a crowd! Serve with little buns, or big ones)

Crock Pot Savory Chili (Because every football party requires some good chili!)

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Chips (A wonderful dessert, that's different from your typical variety!)

Hope you all enjoy your Super Bowl Parties, and that this helps with our menu planning for the big day! I personally hope to catch every chick flick possible and chill with my family all day! ;-)

The Farmers Wife

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