Sunday, November 11, 2012

Holiday Tips and Menu Ideas


 
Good Morning y'all!! Today's post is not exactly a recipe, but every year I like to re post my Holiday Cooking tips and Menu Ideas for y'all. I know Halloween is just the start of the Holiday rush for most, and with Thanksgiving just a few short weeks away I know we're all starting to prepare. So here are a few helpful hints to make your holidays a little less stressful and some menu ideas!

Holiday Tips!

1. Get as much baking done as you can in the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Baking takes so much more work and time than cooking, it's good to have it out of the way.

2. When making Mashed Potatoes, if you are serving a large crowd and want them to stay warm once they're mashed put them in a crock pot on a warm setting with a small amount of butter on top to keep them warm and moist. (This is also great for keeping stuffing, sliced turkey, sweet potatoes, gravy all those things warm too.)

3. When using your crock pot for anything such as breakfast, potatoes, soups, make sure you spray it with non-stick cooking spray first. It will make your clean up that much easier

4. If it's cold outside and you want to keep your guests nice and warm, keep things like coffee, tea, hot chocolate or cider on hand. For things like Hot Chocolate and Cider you can also keep those warm in a crock-pot. In fact most things like that you can make in the crock-pot as well. Either with your own blend of Hot chocolate or with packets, just add the right amount of water, heat it up in the crock-pot and keep on warm.

5. When making a Turkey, be sure and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing to keep the juices in the Turkey.

6. Keep the leftovers and reuse. Things like Turkey Tetrizinni, soups, potato pancakes, etc. are all wonderful things on a cold winters day. And can be frozen and pulled out at a later time.

7. Take leftover place cards, or just some card stock and make labels of what different items are, or the ingredients in them so that if things look similar you know what you're having, or if your family has some allergies or diabetics they know what is safe to eat.

8. Wear an apron all day long! This one I can't stress enough, especially if you tend to be a bit of a klutz. I am constantly spilling on myself while cooking, and eating and if you're like me you wear something nice for the holidays you want to keep it clean. So wear an apron and once clean up is done take it off and show off your still fabulous outfit!

9. Be patient and try not to worry. Food reacts to our emotions, as weird as it sounds. If you are stressed and doing too many things at once, things will get burnt or just spoiled, which will only stress you out more. And plan your cooking schedule. If things cook at the same temperature take advantage of that and cook multiple things at once. And don't be afraid to cook things a day or so in advance, you can bake your Turkey and then while it is resting *very important to let your Turkey rest before carving! See tip #5* you can re-heat your sides. And crock pots are great for this too!

10. Clean while you cook! You will be surprised how easy this is and how much stress if will relieve at the end of your dinner! While things are cooking and before starting the next round, wash whatever you can then or get someone else to do that for you, so that once the food is served and you are done eating you can relax and only have the dinner dishes left to clean up.

For some Holiday Recipe Ideas:

Breakfast:
Main Dish:

 Side Dishes:

Desserts:
Apple Pie (Sugar Free or regular)

Beverages:

For some recipes of things to make with leftovers check out these:


Happy Holiday Cooking!



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Monday, November 5, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

Adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake.
I don't know about y'all but I have a serious weakness for Chinese food! I crave it all the time, could probably eat it almost everyday happily. However the chances of me actually having Chinese is incredibly rare. Generally I get it when my Mother In Law starts craving it and I convince her to take me to lunch. ;-) lol! Anyway, since I don't get this delicious take out very often I have started trying to make my own. I've successfully made Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Orange Chicken that we love and recently I decided to try my hand at another classic... Bourbon Chicken!

For those of you who don't drink alcohol, don't worry there isn't actually any bourbon in the recipe. This recipe is kind of a typical Chinese chicken, sour with a hint of sweet. It's incredibly easy to throw together, and when my hubby got home he said he could smell it cooking while still in his truck outside! And my boys both gobbled this up as fast as they could! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Ingredients:
4-5 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or 1 tbsp. olive oil)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup apple juice, or orange juice
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce
 Cornstarch Slurry:
1 Tablespooon cornstarch/1 Tablespoon water (optional)

Directions:
Spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray (or use the 1 tbsp. olive oil).
Add chicken and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove chicken from skillet, and set aside. While cooking chicken mix together remaining ingredients, minus the cornstarch slurry.
Add sauce, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. If you prefer a thicker sauce, combine 1 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp. cornstarch in a separate bowl and add a little at at time to reach desired consistency (I like a thick sauce so I use all of it). Serve over hot rice, if desired.

Review:
We LOVED this!! If you're a big Chinese food fan, you HAVE to make this soon! This was probably the best bourbon chicken I've ever had, I absolutely love this with a big bowl of  rice!! SOOO yummy! 4.5 Stars.

 Happy Cooking!
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bars

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bars. Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Happy Fall y'all! I know for most of you the weather has cooled and the leaves are beginning to change color, here in AZ I'm sad to say our temps are still in the 90's with no real end in sight. :-( That is probably the one thing I miss the most about living in the midwest is the fall season, the cooler weather, the beautiful leaves... And wearing sweaters which cover up my least favorite areas.... haha! But even with the warm temps here, my mind is on fall and all the delcious fall flavors. I've already cracked out my big ole' cans of pumpkin a couple times this season and my family is really enjoying it.

A few weeks back we had a farm dinner, and I was asked to bring the dessert. Now as a lot of you know I love to eat dessert... but don't always like to bake it... Baking is messy, and it takes so long, I get sick of it easily. But these bars were actually quite simple and I was able to bake them during my darling baby girl's morning nap! They were such a huge hit, and with 2 pans of these we only brought home about 4 bars!! I hope y'all with enjoy these, and I have to say I think they would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving tables this year, a nice break from the traditional desserts!

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 package cinnamon chips (or could use chocolate chips)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth. Then add in egg and vanilla until combined. Add the pumpkin and mix well. The mixture will look slightly curdled. Reduce speed to low, and add in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in cinnamon chips. Spread it evenly in the prepared pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve.

Review:
These really are just moist, almost cake like and very flavorful!!! You could frost them with a cream cheese frosting if you'd like, but they are decadent all on their own. We give this 5 stars.


Happy Fall!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pancake Squares

Adapted from Big Red Kitchen

Hello friends! I know it's been a few weeks since my last post, what can I say? Life is anything but slow these days! I'm doing my darndest to keep up but honestly most days all I care about is keeping my kids healthy and happy, and getting a shower... lol! Cooking still happens, but I admit I haven't made a whole lot of new things, this Mom has been pulling from her archives for quick and easy meals. Plus my wonderful Hubby has officially started lettuce season so I'm pretty much a farm widow and only feeding me and my little 4 year old! That is however what inspired this recipe!

I've been trying to come up with easy, yet special meals for me and my little man since he is missing Daddy so much. And while I adore my regular pancake recipe, I hate standing at the skillet cooking for 40 minutes. This was so easy, took no time at all to throw together, and was fabulous! I really want to experiment more with this recipe too, like adding pumpkin and other things! Yum...

Ingredints:
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons melted Butter
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, and grease an 8x8 pan. Then in a bowl combine the wet ingredients with a whisk. Then add in your dry ingredients and whisk til combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite syrup!

Review:
Considering the entire pan was gone the night I made these... I'd say it was a huge hit! Our family is giving this a 5 star rating!

Happy Baking!
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cranberry Orange Scones ~ Guest Post!


Hey y'all! I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am for today's guest post! Some of you may have seen her comment on my blog a lot, and on the facebook. You know her as Marcia, but in reality she is my Mom! Growing up my Dad did a lot of the baking in my house, his Dad went to culinary school and taught my dad a lot about cooking. But my Mom was always there making our birthday cakes and dinner every night, and recently has been cooking and baking a lot more. I admit I'm a little sad I don't get to be there to taste all of her creations, because every time I talk to her my Mom starts telling me about her latest and greatest cooking experiment making me hungry! I did a silly Q&A with my Mom for this post, so y'all can get to know her just a little bit! I hope you enjoy!
 ______________________

Q&A With Marcia (The Farmer's Wife's Mom!)


1:# Tell us a little about yourself and your family, how long have you been married and a mom?
My name is Marcia, and I'm Kim's mom.  This is so exciting to be guest blogger on The Farmer's Wife.  I have been married to Paul (Kim's dad) for 27 1/2 years.  Kim is our oldest, she has a much younger brother, Zach, who is going to be a freshman in high school this fall.

#2: When did you first start cooking, and have you always enjoyed it?
I started cooking in high school.  My mother (Kim's Grandma) is an amazing cook and so is her father.  Also, I had a wonderful experience in high school with the most wonderful home economics teacher.  I haven't always loved cooking like those I mentioned, but I am currently unemployed and have always wanted to experiment with different scone recipes and now I have the time to do that.  

#3: If you could eat one thing every day what would it be?
Ha Ha, this is a funny question, and I'm sure Kim already knows what her mother will say.  Let's just say I have never met a chocolate I didn't like.  Confession! (My name is Marcia, and I'm a chocoholic)

#4: What inspired today's recipe?
I love scones and wanted to try different ones.  This is my second recipe of scones.  I had made a Maple Oatmeal Scone a few weeks ago, but these Cranberry Orange Scones are my favorite so far.  I do believe I will try next to make Lemon Blueberry Scones.

#5: How much arm twisting did your daughter do to get you to do this post? ;-)
HA HA, Kim, you are so cute.  I am not as talented as my beautiful daughter, but what can I say, I would do anything for my Kim.  She is an amazing daughter, wonderful wife, mother and big sister. 

Thanks Kim for letting me share this recipe. Give it a try and make yourself a nice cup of coffee to go with it and sit back and relax.


Cranberry Orange Scones

4 cups All Purpose Flour (with an extra 1/4 cup for later in the recipe)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 T of baking powder
2 t of salt
1 1/2 T of orange zest
3/4 pound of unsalted cold butter, diced
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 t of heavy cream for egg wash
2 1/2 cups of powered sugar
8 t of orange juice

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

In a large mixer blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest on lowest speed until blended then add cold diced butter on lowest speed until the butter is about pea sized.  Mix eggs and heavy cream together and add to mixer.  Mix until just blended.  The dough will look lumpy at this point.  In a small bowl put the 1/4 cup of flour and cranberries and coat the cranberries, then add to mixer and mix on lowest speed until blended.   Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead to make sure completely together.  Flour rolling pin and roll out dough to about 3/4 inch thick and cut into squares and place on baking sheet, (I cover the baking sheet with either a Silpat sheet or parchment paper).  Beat egg and the teaspoon of heavy cream and brush the tops of the scones and sprinkle a little sugar onto each one.  Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until tops are browned.  Remove from baking sheets and put on cooling racks for about 15 minutes to cool.  Mix the powdered sugar and orange juice to create glaze and drizzle over scones.    

_______________________


Thanks Mom so much for this delicious recipe and wonderful post! I am so honored to be able to have my Mom on this blog sharing with you all today. I hope you all enjoyed this post and recipe as much as I have. And please show my Mom some love in your comments! ;-)


Happy Baking!
Featured on: Everyday Mom's Meals
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BBQ Chicken Cups

BBQ Chicken Cups, Farmers Wife Original

Hello world! I suppose after 2 months it's time to take the blog off of auto pilot and start posting again! Thank you all so much for bearing with me as I took a maternity leave just letting the scheduled posts take over. I can't promise how much I'll be around in the coming months, we have a lot of commitments that I wasn't quite expecting for the months following our daughter's birth. But it's been an adventure and we've been able to spend time with some family and friends we haven't seen in a very long time!!

 Ok, back to the recipes. I have still been cooking during my blogging hiatus but admittedly not a whole lot of new recipes, I've basically been on auto pilot. But this is one I made recently to try to mix things up and we really enjoyed. It was one of those last minute, throw a bunch of stuff together and pray for the best. And it was a pretty big hit! My little Sous Chef ate like 3 of these in one sitting which is very unusual for him. I used leftover of the Shredded BBQ Chicken  I made, and some yummy biscuits and turned one of our favorites into something entirely different. I hope y'all will enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 tube of Buttermilk Bisquits
1-2 Cups Shredded BBQ Chicken, (could use bbq beef too)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Directions:
Preheat oven according to biscuit package (typically 350F degrees). Spray a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray. Cut the biscuits in half and in your hand form each half into circles. Place the circles in the muffin wells and spread out so that there is a little well in the middle of each piece of dough. Place about 1 tablespoon of bbq mixture in the middle and top with cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the biscuits are golden. Serve warm.

Review:
This was a very simple recipe that didn't require much if really any prep work. Great for a last minute week night dinner, or even a simple party food. You could easily make this an appetizer by cutting the dough into quarters and using a mini muffin pan! 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sausage Egg Pizza


Sausage Egg Pizza, Farmers Wife Original

It's really no secret that we like breakfast foods in our house. If you're a long time follower of my blog you will already know this. I'm constantly experimenting with different recipes to make for breakfast, or in most cases breakfast for dinner. But this recipe actually isn't new to our family, I've been making it for years, but because I only make it about once or twice a year I tend to forget about it.

This recipe is one of those that was born out of my desire for a fairly quick and easy dinner and very little in the house. (If you ask me sometimes those are the very best recipes.) And it was such a huge hit I often wonder why I don't make it more often... Oh right... The Calories. Let me tell you, I've done everything I can to cut the corners and make this slightly less fattening, but it really is one of those meals you just have to forget about your waistline for a little while and enjoy. Plus it is very kid friendly, and when you have a picky eater sometimes all that really matters is getting them to eat semi peacefully. This comes together so quickly, and it's one you can get the kiddos involved in making too. My son just loves helping squish the crescent dough into the pan for the crust, and the kind of gooey sticky feeling of it all. lol! So next time you're in a bind, I hope you'll give this a try. It goes great with a cup of coffee and some hash browns!! YUM!

Ingredients:
1 lbs. Bulk Pork Sausage (don't get maple flavor)
1 8 oz. Tube Crescent Rolls (I like the reduced fat)
6 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Milk
1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
Dash of Dried Parsley
1 1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar

Directions:
In a skillet cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, drain off fat. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degree. Unroll crescent rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 pan, press dough 1/2 inch up the sides and seal the seams. Sprinkle with the sausage. In a bowl beat eggs, add in the milk and pepper, pour mixture over the sausage. Sprinkle with the cheese, then bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until crust is golden and the eggs are cooked through.

Review:
This is a big hit in my house, even my little sous chef eats it!!! It's a nice change to the normal pizza night in our house, and if you're like us and never get to actually eat breakfast together, it's nice to have breakfast for dinner every once in awhile. This is great with a simple fruit salad on the side and a big cup of coffee! 5 stars.


Happy Cooking!



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Monday, July 2, 2012

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches


Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Farmers Wife Original

There are some recipes that you make so often that you forget not everyone know about it. I admit to having some of those in my repertoire. This is one such recipe. I invented it several years ago when I was pregnant with my son (who is now 4!!! AHH!!) as it was easy and didn't require hardly any work for this worn out momma. And it was such a huge hit with family and friends that I've kept it around all these years. Now this isn't some fancy recipe by any means, really nothing impressive here. However it's simplicity and flavor make it a keeper in my book, and I'm so glad to finally be sharing this with you all!

This BBQ Chicken is fantastic for parties (like July 4th!!), or a busy work day. I can't tell you the numerous times I've made this for a semi last minute guest, and all the many ways I've used this chicken in leftovers. I've used it as the base for my BBQ Chicken Pizza, Calzones, I've even made a new recipe that has yet to be shared with you all BBQ Chicken Muffins! Those were pretty amazing! I hope you enjoy this simple meal as much as my family does!

Ingredients:
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I use frozen)
16 oz. Barbecue Sauce (I like KC Masterpiece Original for this recipe)
Your favorite Hamburger Buns

Directions:
In a large crock pot place the chicken, cover with the sauce so that it fully covered with extra to spare. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once chicken is cooked shred, place back in the crock pot (can add more sauce if needed) to simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve warm on buns.

Review:
I told you it was simple! lol! Nothing major or complicated about this recipe but I can assure you it is a crowd pleaser! This also freezes beautifully. 4.5 stars.


Happy July 4th!!!



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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oatmeal Cran-Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Cran-Chip Cookies, Farmers Wife Original

Recently I posted the "Perfect" Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, but what I didn't tell you was that my experimenting that Saturday didn't end at the oatmeal raisin cookie! I also decided to experiment with another new recipe that had been floating around my head. That was for an oatmeal cookie, with dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips... Oh yeah baby!! Now I've had similar cookies before but they've all had white chocolate in them. And don't get me wrong I love white chocolate, but what I hadn't ever seen done was them with a dark chocolate.

I don't know if you've ever tasted the combo of cranberry and dark chocolate before but I have, and boy is it amazing! It really blows your mind and makes your taste buds dance! And I desperately wanted this flavor in a cookie. So I took the basis of my oatmeal raisin recipe, and changed it up just a little adding in the cranberries and chocolate... And oh my goodness were they amazing! I thought my oatmeal raisin cookies got raves, but as soon as everyone tried these cran-chip cookies the reviews were off the charts! I got the closed eyes, blissful face, and then once they could speak again everyone said they were absolutely amazing! They then became the favorite of the cookies I made, with everyone going back for more! Basically these were a HUGE hit, with both family and friends! So next time you want to try something a little different I hope you'll think of these, I personally can't wait to make them again!

Ingredients: makes roughly 20 cookies
1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
2/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
2/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (or your preferred chocolate)

Directions:
In your mixer blend the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla til smooth. Then in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low-medium speed until combined. Then add the oats, dried cranberries and chocolate, and mix well. At this point chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. Once mixture is chilled, spray your cookie sheets with non stick cooking spray, and using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop drop scoops of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on your sheets. Bake at 350F degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and slightly golden on top. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Review:
Amazing, really just simply amazing! I really don't like to toot my own horn when it comes to my recipes, but really you just have to give these a try to know just how simply amazing they really are! 5 stars

Happy Baking!






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Friday, June 15, 2012

She's Here!!!


Hey y'all! It's been a couple weeks since I posted a new recipe, in fact the last one was posted while I was in labor with our sweet baby girl! Meet Nichole!!!


Nikki a pretty easy going baby. Rarely is she overly upset, if she's really gassy or is getting her diaper changed are about it, otherwise she is the most laid back baby I've ever seen. Josh is absolutely in love with his sister too, loves holding her and kissing her. I've pumped a few bottles and he's gotten to feed her which he just loves doing.


Labor was definitely different this time around, being induced was a different experience but they say I handled it well and even still was only in labor for a little over 13 hours (Josh was 9 hours) which is very quick for an induction, and I only pushed for 12 minutes!!! They started me on a pill called Cytotec to induce and then had me walking for about 2 hours. That brought on some pretty strong contractions, about 2 minutes apart lasting about 45-60 seconds a piece. Finally they gave me an epidural, and my midwife (who was FANTASTIC!) broke my water and with the help of pitocin I progressed very quickly from that point on. In fact it probably would've been less time except my nurse forgot to check me at one of my position changes, and when she checked 45 minutes later babies head was right there. haha! She was telling me not to cough, sneeze, laugh nothing til my midwife got there. My midwife must've ran every red light possible because she was there within minutes. And with my midwife, nurse and Jeremy being the only ones in the room it was actually almost a fun birthing experience. It was so relaxed, I was able to push when I felt I needed to. It was such a different experience from Josh, and I'm so glad. They were cracking jokes the whole time, Jeremy was supporting my head so I could breathe easily, I'm really happy with how everything went. And she's so healthy and happy. She's a tiny little thing too, weighing 6 lbs. 4oz at birth and 19 inches long. She is a fantastic nurser as well, within an hour after birth she started eating and ate for almost an hour straight amazing both us and the nurses. And we were released in less than 24 hours too, for the most part Nikki is a wonderful sleeper at night only getting up once at night to eat! We are really enjoying our baby girl and I'm so glad to be able to finally share our birth story and that she is finally here!!

Nichole, born May 30th, 2012

Love always,
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Farmers Wife Original

For years I have been in the search of the "Perfect" oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. It is probably safe to say that oatmeal raisin is my absolute favorite cookie ever, but it has to meet specific requirements to be good in my book! First off they must be soft and chewy, no hard and flat cookies for this Momma! Yuck! Second they must have an abundance of raisins, lots and lots of raisins, otherwise it's just too oatey. Third they must have a really good cinnamon/spice flavor to them. Yes I realize I am very picky about my cookie, but you know you feel the same! (and if you don't you will after you try these!)

With my pregnancy I've been craving these cookies something awful, honestly for months. I tried a few things, but nothing was really what I was searching for. Then finally one Saturday towards the very end of my pregnancy I decided that enough was enough and I WAS going to find the perfect recipe... And I did!!! I wish y'all could've seen my big ole pregnant self dance around the kitchen when the first batch came out of the oven... I was beyond happy with the results. Not only did they produce the smell I was hoping for while baking, but they were puffy and chewy and totally delicious. I fell in love! My son woke up from his nap smelling these fresh out of the oven and the look on his face at that first bite so perfectly mirrored my own that I just knew I had done it, I found the perfect recipe. But that wasn't enough, I then proceeded to make every person that came to my house for the next few days also try these so I could get their opinion in hopes that my pregnant taste buds weren't being wonky. And sure enough they all agreed, it was the perfect balance for an oatmeal raisin cookie!! I was so happy with this success, and I'm so glad to share it with you now!!

Ingredients: makes roughly 16 cookies
1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 Cup Raisins

Directions:
In your mixer blend the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla til smooth. Then in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low-medium speed until combined. Then add the oats and raisins and mix well. At this point chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. Once mixture is chilled, spray your cookie sheets with non stick cooking spray, and using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop drop scoops of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on your sheets. Bake at 350F degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and slightly golden on top. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Review:
These were so super easy, the dough came together so quickly I couldn't believe it! The key to keeping these fluffy and chewy is the chilling time though, so do not skip this part! You can also scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet and freeze them before baking, and once frozen place the rounds into a ziploc bag so that you always have cookies ready to go that just need baked! We give these a 5 star rating, they were just that good!

Happy Baking!


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Italian Chicken Tenders

Italian Chicken Tenders, Farmers Wife Original

As most of you know I have a son, a very silly, picky, food obsessed son. He is affectionately called my Sous Chef, and he loves this title. He will go around telling people "I'm the Sous Chef, and Mommy is the Head Chef!" He has this adorable John Deere apron that he wears when he helps me in the kitchen, and he is always full of ideas for new dishes. Well not too long ago my little Sous Chef asked me to make him some crispy chicken tenders for dinner. Now I have my go to recipe that I always make, but this particular night I was running low on ingredients to make them and was really tired. So together my little Sous Chef and I came up with this recipe, Italian Chicken Tenders.

Now I don't know if I'd really go so far as to say they are Italian... But we used Italian breadcrumbs to bread them and add flavor and my son deemed them Italian. lol! These came together pretty quickly once we decided what we wanted to do, and we all really enjoyed them that night. We made a special honey mustard sauce to go with as that is our dipping sauce of choice and sat down to a delicious meal as a family, a meal that came from the mind of my *almost* 4 year old!

Ingredients:
1 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders (or about 4 breasts cut into tenders)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
Salt and Pepper
Non Stick Cooking Spray

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400F degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray. Then in a bowl combine the eggs and milk, set aside. In another deep dish combine the breadcrumbs, and spices. Dip each tender into the egg mixture making sure to evenly coat, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until fully coated. Place on your baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders. Once all the tenders are coated, spray them with the cooking spray (this will help seal in the crumbs). And bake for about 15 minutes, carefully flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on your oven, until golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve warm with you favorite dipping sauce.

Review:
These came together so fast and really were full of flavor and very juicy. My son gobbled them up and so did my Hubby! I added the extra spices because my breadcrumbs seemed fairly bland and we like extra garlic, but you can leave them out if you want. 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hot Fudge Pudding

Hot Fudge Pudding, Grandma's Recipe

Growing up there were certain recipes that were staples in our house. Grandma's Buttermilk Chicken was one, another was Buttermilk Pancakes with Apple Syrup, Chocolate Chip Bars, and my all time favorite Hot Fudge Pudding. Man this stuff was always gone as fast as it came out of the oven, we drooled over it, acted like hungry monkeys waiting for it to finish cooking, and were completely intoxicated with the smell of it. It really is THAT good!

This recipe is another of my Grandma's recipes that I feel so blessed to be able to share with you all. I love my Grandma's cooking, she really always was the best and I think I take after her with my love of cooking and creating recipes. This hot fudge pudding is an old fashioned recipe, it's not pudding like you buy in a box at the store. It's a cake, that is baked and creates a sauce that when you pour the hot sauce over the cake it makes this pudding like texture. And let me tell you folks it is to die for! Death by Chocolate would be another good name for this recipe, as it is full of chocolaty goodness and will make the die hard chocolate lover fall in love with chocolate all over again! I don't make this recipe very often as I really like the fast desserts that don't heat up my house, but a few weeks ago I got a craving and nothing but making this right that second would fulfill my craving. So... I made it. Sure it was hot already, probably about 90 degrees outside, yes our house was really warm by the time it was done... But man was it ever worth it! I hope y'all will give this a try sometime when you want a warm and decadent chocolate treat!

Ingredients:
1 Cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Melted Shortening
Topping:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 3/4 Cups HOT Water

Directions:
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa. Then add the milk and melted shortening creating a batter. Spread in a 9" square pan. Mix together the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of cocoa, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Pour the hot water over the top of the cake. Then bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes. The cake will rise to the top and the sauce settles on the bottom. Let cool a few minutes, then serve by spooning cake into a bowl and topping with the sauce from the bottom, serve it warm by itself or with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Review:
This delicious dish really is quite easy to put together, but requires patience in waiting for it to cook. We just love this dessert and let me tell you it is a crowd pleaser! You can easily double this recipe and cook it in a 9x13" pan for a delicious dessert for your next dinner party! 5 stars.

Happy Baking!


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Easy Chicken Quesadilla

Easy Chicken Quesadilla's, Farmers Wife Original

When my Hubby and I were married we were given a Quesadilla maker. I know sounds kinda silly right? Well to be honest it is. I have used it a few times over the years, but it never gave me that authentic perfectly browned and crispy quesadilla that I longed for. Living in the Southwest it's not hard to get real Mexican food, and one of my favorite restaurants here seriously serves the BEST quesadilla's I've ever had. And recently after meeting a friend for lunch there I ordered those fantastic quesadilla's and decided I was finally going to figure out how to make them myself. And I did!

To be honest my favorite quesadilla has steak in it, because it's just so darn good... lol! But I don't typically keep steak around my house so when I make these I usually use chicken which is still yummy. The great thing about these is you can really make them to order based on each member of your families preferences. For instance my son likes the standard chicken and cheese only, but my hubby and I like them more loaded with tomatoes and green chilies and onion... Yum! Man I'm getting hungry... lol! I hope you'll give these a try sometime soon, they are so simple for a lazy weeknight but are also so very tasty!

Ingredients: this makes 1 quesadilla
2 10 in. Flour Tortillas
2/3-3/4 cup Shredded Cheese of choice (I typically use Cheddar but you can use whatever you prefer)
1/2 Cooked Chicken Breast, chopped into pieces (for a pinch I use pre-cooked grilled chicken strips to make it easy)
*Optional*
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Green Chillies
Diced Onion, (I liked using Green Onion)
Diced Jalapeno's

Directions:
Prep all your ingredients, chop all the veggies you want and chicken and set aside. Then heat a 12+ inch skillet  on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Once hot place one tortilla down and start adding your fillings half the cheese first, then chicken and your choice of toppings, then top with the remaining cheese and top with second tortilla. Using your spatula press the top tortilla down a bit then cover the pan with a lid or foil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and the bottom side is browned and crunchy. Then very carefully flip over and cook the other side another 2-3 minutes. Once your cheese is all melted (covering with a lid helps melt the cheese faster) and the top and bottom are browned and crunchy remove from pan and let sit for a minute before cutting into wedges. Serve warm with your choice of sides, sour cream, salsa, guacamole etc.

Review:
I know this isn't an overly impressive recipe, or difficult by any means. But sometimes I think the simplest recipes are the best to have in your arsenal! We love these and I make them often as they are easy to throw together and taste so very good! 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dairy Free Baked French Toast

Dairy Free Baked French Toast, Farmers Wife Original

As a kid one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant for breakfast was French Toast. I loved the big giant thick slices, with the huge glob of butter and powdered sugar on top, and your choice of syrups... That was seriously one of my favorite things as a kid. Now that I'm all grown up I rarely order the french toast anymore because I can't justify letting myself eat that many calories... haha!! So I make it at home and try to make it as "healthy" as possible. But recently with my pregnancy dairy has become an issue for me, and that meant no more french toast as one of the main ingredients in the batter was Milk. Then a good friend introduced my Hubby and I to Almond Milk and all my problems were solved, I can drink it by the glass, use it in cereal, just about anything and it doesn't make me sick!! I LOVE IT!! 

I tried other kinds of "milk" before finally finding the Almond, I tried soy and that wouldn't stay down. Tried rice milk, and it worked for a few days then halfway through the carton it also made me sick. Never did try the coconut milk because honestly I am not a coconut fan. But almond worked and I have been a very happy Momma ever since. I actually really like it, probably more so than regular milk I must say. So when I finally decided to attempt making French Toast with it I was so pleasantly surprised by the results. It added such a nice flavor to my regular french toast, my son gobbled it up, and even my Hubby approved! It was a hit, and to make it even better I got to indulge in my craving! You can use whatever milk you prefer in this recipe, but I highly recommend if you haven't given almond milk a try you should. It is so very tasty!

Ingredients:
8-10 Slices of Bread
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

Directions:
Pre-heat your oven to 350F degrees and spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. In a deep dish beat the eggs, and add in the remaining ingredients. Dip your bread in the batter and evenly coat both sides. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip each slice over and bake another 5 minutes until both sides are golden brown. Serve warm with your choice of syrups.

Review:
We really loved this french toast, and I'm actually contemplating making this for dinner tonight! You can use your standard griddle method of cooking this but I really love baking it in the oven, it adds an extra crunch to it and then you can cook all the pieces at once which makes my life a little easier! 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mango Pineapple Sorbet

Mango Pineapple Sorbet, Farmers Wife Original

Hey y'all! I know it's been weeks since I've posted, hopefully that'll be changing soon. I'm working on scheduling a post a week from now til July for y'all while I take my Maternity leave. I've been beyond exhausted lately, so finding the energy to even look at a computer screen has been difficult. But luckily I have still been cooking as we have to eat and I get cravings! haha!

I don't know about where y'all are but here in AZ it's already feeling like summer, ugh! Now don't get me wrong I love living here, but the 100+ degree days while pregnant are NOT fun! Thank goodness for a working air conditioner. Normally I'd be wolfing down the ice cream to help beat the heat but this pregnancy has rendered me lactose intolerant... :-( I miss my ice cream, really badly, like I dream about eating it again... haha! But I have found a few alternatives that I actually am really enjoying. One being this very easy "sorbet". As some of you know I don't have an ice cream maker (Mother's Day is coming though... hint hint to my Hubby!!) but I've been able to make do without it and still get some delicious cold treats that I can actually eat. This one was probably one of my favorites, and you could easily change up the fruit used to suit your personal tastes, but I happen to love the combo of mango and pineapple. It has this tangy tropical taste that I find very refreshing on a hot day. I hope you like it!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Pineapple cut into large chunks
1 Mango, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 Banana cut into large chunks
1/4-1/2 cup Water

Directions:
Slice up all the fruit, then place it in your freezer for a few hours. Once fruit is frozen, add it all and the water into your food processor (or blender but I find my food processor works better for this), and pulse about 10 times, then you will need to scrap it down. Keep processing until smooth, adding more water if needed. This will take awhile with the fruit frozen. Once it's all smooth you can serve right away for a more creamy sorbet, or you can place in a freezer safe container and freeze for another hour until more solid, then using an ice cream scoop, scoop into a bowl and eat. This will keep in the freezer for a couple weeks.

Review:
While this is a very simple recipe it does require some planning ahead of time, with the freezing of the fruit and all that. Now you could buy already frozen fruit and cut the time to almost nothing if you wanted to. The banana is a must as it helps it from being too tart, plus it provides a needed texture to hold it all together. I just loved this and already have plans to try adding some other fruits next time! 4.5 stars.


Happy Summer!

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Banana Bread Pancakes

Banana Bread Pancakes, Farmers Wife Original Recipe

I love breakfast foods, it really is no big secret around here. My go to meal at the end of the day if I'm tired is typically something breakfast related, because it's easy and filling. It's not very often that my family gets to sit down to breakfast because of our schedules either, so sometimes it's a lot of fun to get in our pj's in the evening, and gather around the table for a fresh "breakfast" for dinner! I know we're silly (and yes whenever we have breakfast for dinner we do all get in our pj's first, just something fun about it!) but you would be bored with me if I didn't get silly every once in awhile!

The other day I had promised my hubby I'd make pancakes for dinner as he was craving them (I know aren't I the one who's supposed to have the pregnancy cravings?!?) but you know me, I can't just make plain pancakes all the time! So I decided to try a little of this and that, and ended up with what tasted exactly like banana bread in pancake form! Oh My Goodness Y'all!!! They were amazing! My 3 year old ate 1 whole pancake in 5 minutes flat (which NEVER happens!) and then asked for another one! I couldn't believe it, my kid eating dinner and him not taking forever. These pancakes were fluffy, and full of flavor without being overwhelming with banana. Mmmm... So I just couldn't wait, I had to share this recipe with y'all ASAP so you can share them with your family this weekend! Bon Appetite!

Ingredients: yields about 14 pancakes
1 Egg
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Large Ripe Banana's, Mashed
1 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

Directions:
Heat your griddle to 350F degrees, and grease well. In a large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients including the banana. Then add in the dry and mix until thick. Using a gravy ladle, ladle about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake. Flip when bubbles start to form in the middle. Serve warm with your favorite syrup.

Review:
Honestly, I think I may have found my new favorite pancake. I just LOVED these! Maybe it's the pregnancy talking, I don't know, but y'all really have to give these a whirl. I give them 5 stars!


Happy Baking!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Favorite Italian Beef

Favorite Italian Beef, Family Recipe

Do you ever wish you could do very little and yet have a delicious dinner on the table that your whole family will love? I know I do, especially recently as my energy level seems to be decreasing significantly lately. The thought of throwing a few things in the crock pot, and letting it cook all day allowing me to do very little and still have a delicious meal, makes me one very happy Momma these days! This Italian Beef recipe is just such a recipe.

As most of you know I'm now in the 3rd and final trimester of my pregnancy, and I'm trying to cook meals that will freeze well so that we can still eat homecooked meals after our little girl is born, but with very little effort. I've been wanting to create a category for Freezer Meals for a long time now, and now I am! Now it has it's very own category you can search for here at The Farmers Wife! I'm really excited about this new addition, and hope y'all will enjoy this new feature too. Now back to the recipe... lol! This Italian Beef is a meal that not only tastes amazing the first day, but almost even better after being frozen and warmed back up. I love this recipe, not only for it's simplicity, but it is VERY full of flavor. And to make it even better it is kid approved! My son just LOVES this meal whenever I make it!

Ingredients:
1 2-3 lbs. Roast
1 Cup of Water
1 Package Original Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 Packages Zesty Good Seasons Italian Dressing

Directions:
In a 6 qt. slow cooker place the roast, pour the water around it and sprinkle in the seasonings. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once cooked shred the meat and add back into the pot with the juice from the meat. Serve warm on your favorite sandwich rolls. Optional* serve with extra juice on the side for dipping. This freezes well for up to 2-4 months in an airtight container.

Review:
Told you it was simple didn't I? Trust me it is very full of flavor, and smells absolutely tantalizing while cooking all day! Our family gives this 5 stars!

Happy Cooking!



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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites, Farmers Wife Original

"Brownie Bites are Yummy!!!" ~ My Little Sous Chef. Today as I write this post my little man is sitting right here with me providing his commentary on these brownies. My little guy especially loved these brownie bites I made a few weeks back for a party, they were full of chocolate which he loves, and perfect for his little hands to carry around and munch on. (Plus I secretly think he liked that he could steal them off the platter without Mom or Dad noticing... haha!) These brownies were a labor of love though I must admit...

The weekend I made these it was for a housewarming party, and I made them along with a few other desserts. Now I love to cook, y'all know that. But baking isn't really my favorite these days... Being on my feet in a hot kitchen with the oven on for hours only adds up to a backache, swollen feet and a very grumpy pregnant Momma in my house. But I was determined to get these done, even though it did take a couple tries... Oh these brownies hated me!! The first batch flopped, and I mean FLOPPED! They were crusty and sunken and not what I would want to serve at a party (though they tasted fine, and are sitting in my freezer while I figure out what to do with them... thinking Brownie Trifle!) So I made them again, same recipe, but different less humid day. And they were perfect! Still not sure what caused the first batch to fail, but the second batch was the perfect little mini muffin, that was moist and fluffy just how I wanted them to be! And they were a hit at the party too, not to mention passed the inspection of my picky 3 year old! Overall these are actually quite easy, and perfect for any party!

Ingredients: yields about 50-60 mini brownie bites
2 Cups Flour
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
1/3 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 3/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Cocoa
2/3 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Water
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Directions:
In the bowl of your mixer whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add in the shortening, 1/2 cup water and vanilla and beat on medium until combined, scraping down the sides at least once. Then add the other 1/2 cup of water and eggs and beat 2 more minutes, until fully combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and spray a mini muffin pan with non stick spray (I used Baker's Joy with the flour in it). Using a 1 Tablespoon scoop, scoop batter into each well. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until springs back when touched. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes before serving. These can be made the day before and kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Review:
These really were quite simple, and such a crowd pleaser. The kids loved them, and so did the adults! I'd give them a 4.5 star rating!


Happy Baking!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Chicken Ramen Salad

Chicken Ramen Salad, Family Recipe
 Cravings... They are both a wonderful and a horrible thing to a pregnant woman... They are wonderful in the sense of something actually sounds good to eat, but awful if you can't have it right at that moment the craving hits you. haha! Oh c'mon you know it's true... No matter who you are or what stage of life you are in chances are you've too been hit with a craving at one point that left you either satisfied or completely angry with the world for not allowing you to eat whatever it is you want. 

Ok now that we've sufficently covered the fact that I have cravings, you've probably also figured out that I was craving this recently... For about 2 weeks to be exact. And it's been driving me NUTS!! I've dreamt about this salad, imagined I was eating this salad, and even contemplated yelling at the grocery stocker kid for not having the broccoli cole slaw last week when the craving first hit (you'd be glad to know I refrained from yelling though!). To describe how much I love this salad let me tell you this...

I would rather eat this salad than eat chocolate any day of my life!! 

You can revoke my girl card now if you'd like to. But I just can't help it, this is my favorite salad. I grew up eating this as a kid and I love how fresh it always tastes no matter what time of year I make it. It's so incredibly simple to throw together and is typically a crowd pleaser (I say typically because up until my hubby and his family I hadn't met a single person who didn't love this salad, but these farmers are not a fan... lol!). And I know it's not really salad weather in most of the country but I hope you'll forgive me, this Momma just had to have it and share it with y'all! ;-)

Ingredients:
Salad:
1 12-16 oz. bag of Broccoli Cole Slaw
2 Packages Chicken Ramen Noodles
1-2 Grilled or Roasted chicken breasts (or you can use 1-2 Packages Grilled Chicken Strips)
2-3 Green Onions, Chopped
1-3 T. Sunflower Seeds (optional, I leave this out),

Dressing:
1/3 Cup Oil
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Sugar, or 8 packets of Splenda
1 T. Soy Sauce
1 t. Pepper
2 Flavoring packets from the Ramen

Directions:
Mix together the dressing first, can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight, or right before serving. In a large bowl combine the Salad ingredients, and break up the ramen noodles into small chunks (I just hit the package with a spoon to break it up before opening). Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to salad. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix.

Review:
This is a wonderful light summer salad, that is filling and delicious! I will admit this is the one thing you can find me standing in the kitchen eating leftovers out of the container at midnight... lol! My hubby is not a huge fan of this, but he's not a big veggie or salad eater. My little sous chef however loves it! Personal opinion this is even better the next day, except it's not as crunchy! 5 stars!

Happy Cooking!

 
 This recipe is linked up on:

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Bars (or Cookie Bites)

Chocolate Chip Bars, Grandma's Recipe
 Good morning y'all! It's so great to have a new post for you, and I've got a lot more on the way I promise ya. Normally I'd make apologies for my absence from the blog and I truly did miss blogging. But honestly there was no way around it, life sometimes grabs you by the horns and things start to change and you have to learn to adjust in a completely new way, and well I guess that's what's been going on over here. We're getting ready for the arrival of our little girl in really just 15ish weeks (YIPES!!) and I've been doing some slight catering on the side which I do enjoy however I think that adventure needs to wait a little longer until this Momma doesn't have a little person blocking her way to the kitchen counter... haha! But it has been an adventure!

A few weeks ago I got a late night craving for these chocolate chip bars my Grandma used to make. My boys wanted Ice Cream, which if you follow me on Facebook you already know I've become lactose intolerant this pregnancy and Ice Cream is just not an option for me anymore (though I do still crave it!). So I decided to whip up a batch of these little treats and that just started a whole new adventure...

Just a few days later my Brother In Law asks me if I could cater the desserts for his house warming party. As much as I love my BIL I admit I had to think about it, right now anything like that requires a lot more energy and even time than I have most days. But I did agree, and pretty soon my brain starting working overtime. I came up with several ideas of things that would be good, gave him a list (which I did have to change due to a lack of fridge space) and he chose his favorites... Everything on the list... haha! Luckily for me there was only 4 things on that list. But right at the top was "Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites" and my plan was to experiment using the recipe for these Chocolate Chip Bars, and scoop the batter into mini muffin pans and go from there... Guess what?!? IT WORKED!!! They were a HUGE hit, especially with the little kids as they could so easily grab a handful and wolf them down long before the parents realized it... haha! Just kidding! But really, one of the comments I got were "Where did you get these, they look like they were store bought but taste homemade..." now I don't know about y'all but when the people in my family say that something looks like it was bought in a store that means it looks too "perfect" to have been made at home, which is a high compliment. So I'd say overall, even with the first batch of Mini Brownie Bite (recipe coming soon!) failing, 48 hours in the kitchen baking, very swollen feet and sore back... It was all worth it in the end. The party was a success, and my desserts were gobbled up before lunch was even served. (But don't ask me to cater anything for the next week... I'm pretty sure my feet still hate me!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites, Grandma's Recipe adapted by The Farmers Wife

Ingredients: makes 1 large jelly roll pan, or roughly 56 cookie bites
1 Cup Shortening
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup Water
2 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
6 oz. Chocolate Chips (I used mini chocolate chips for the cookie bites)

Directions:
Pre heat your oven to 350F degrees, and lightly grease your pan (or mini muffin cups, I used the Baker's Joy with flour in it, worked GREAT!). In your mixer, cream together the shortening and sugars until smooth. Then add the eggs, salt, baking soda, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Once smooth add in the chocolate chips. To make bars, spread evenly in a large jelly roll pan, this may require using your hands, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. To make cookie bites, scoop about 1 oz. of dough into each well, and bake about 12 minutes or until golden. Let cool in pan a few minutes and serve. *These will keep for a few days if in a airtight container.*

Review:
Obviously I love these, I grew up on them and have now gotten my Hubby and Son completely hooked, as well as the rest of my In Law family. And I have to say I almost like them as cookie bites more than anything else, the texture was spot on and with the mini chocolate chips there was more chocolate per bite... YUM! 5 stars.

Happy Baking!!


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Kim's Casserole ~ Homemade Hamburger Helper

Kim's Casserole, Family Recipe

 Hey y'all! It feels good to be back to posting somewhat regularly! My hubby got me set up with our old laptop so that I can blog while he's working at home now! YAY!!! lol! Today's recipe is a family classic from my childhood and I'm pulling it from the archives as I've recently re-made it and changed it up a bit!

I honestly don't know where this recipe originated other than my Mom making it fairly often when I was young because I just loved it, (hence it's named after ME! haha!) and it's an easy and cheap meal to throw together. I honestly kind of forgot about this recipe until last week when my little Sis-In-Law was perusing my blog and found it and decided it must be made the very next day for lunch. My little sous chef just adored this and ate it up, my Sis got seconds, and I (being pregnant and suddenly majorly craving this) ate a lot more than I'd like to admit... HAHA! It reminded me of my childhood, and really was just an all around comfort food and with all the stress of the last few months it really hit the spot. Now I know this isn't the most figure friendly meal I've ever posted, so if you're wanting that feel free to check out another recipe. But it is cheap, easy and a big time kid pleaser. And also when I make Mac and Cheese I use only half the butter recommended and always use lowfat milk too and so far my boys haven't noticed... ;-) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 Lbs. Ground Sirloin (ground beef works too)
1/4 Onion, diced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 boxes Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
1 can Tomato Soup
1-2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (to taste)

Directions:
Cook Macaroni according to directions on package. Meanwhile in a skillet saute' onions and garlic in a little bit of Olive Oil. Once translucent, add the ground beef and 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning and brown, once cooked drain the fat. Add the beef to the cooked and prepared macaroni. Pour the tomato soup in the pot and mix. Add in the remaining seasonings (to taste) and stir. Makes about 6 servings.

Review:
This is a really easy dinner. Comes together really fast, and is a major kid pleaser. We had this a lot growing up, and for me it tastes like my childhood. It's fairly rich because of the soup, but it really is yummy! 3.5 Stars


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