Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bado and his best friend...

We were always told how "funny" basset hounds are... It couldn't be more true!!

Blurry, but I just had to share what we often look out the window and see! Bado and Mr. Grey on their perch!  Our vicious guard dog and guard cat!

This was the best picture I could get tonight of some of our funniness here on the farm! This was taken through the window holding back the blinds and hollering at sweet Bado hoping he didn't jump down!  Who wouldn't want a Basset?!?!
Never mind the poor drought stricken potted plants in the back ground!  They held on as long as they could!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recipe Randomness!

Yesterday I had a day off!  Well, I would call it a day off, some of you may call it more "work" than "work".  I got to spend my afternoon in the of my favorite things to do!
A friend had a baby so I prepared a meal to take to them and a meal for us while I was at it!  Taking food to another family always worries me!  "what do they like and not like" "what should I fix" "will it be done in time"??  So I went with good old fashioned Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots!  I tried a new recipe that I found here!  It's really close to one that I've been making for years.  I usually use Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup, Lipton's Onion Soup, Seasonings, and a little water!  Mike said that this one was the best roast I had ever made!  Hmmm...maybe he was extra hungry!?!

Fall-Apart Roast

3 1/2 – 5 pound beef roast {I used Rump Roast}
2 small jars or one large jar of beef gravy
1 can sliced mushrooms {any size you like}
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 c. pre-made Italian dressing

Mix everything up, pour it over the roast, and cook (covered) at 300° for 4-5 hours depending on the size of the roast. {I cooked mine on 350° for the full 5 hrs.}
Delicious, and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
*Add some potatoes and carrots the last couple hours to bake alongside the roast.

{NO picture needed...everyone
knows what a roast looks like, besides,
we ate it before I thought about it!}

I also made Arkansas Green Beans!  The best side dish EVER!!  A great dish to take to a pot luck supper!!

Arkansas Green Beans
  • 5 (15-ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 12 slices bacon {or the whole pkg. like I did}
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 7 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°. Place the drained green beans in a 9×13″ baking pan.
Cook bacon in a frying pan on your stove top until bacon strips are cooked enough to chop into large pieces (they should be done, but not real crispy) {I cut mine into smaller pieces BEFORE frying}. Sprinkle the bacon pieces on top of the green beans.
Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the green beans and bacon. Bake uncovered at 350° for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Then for dessert, I made one of my family's favorite {and most requested by my youngest Sister}...

Peach Pie {delivered to the friend}

Rita's Pie Crust {makes one crust}:
1 c. all purpose flour {not level! Dip measuring cup in flour and shake off excess}
1/2 c. crisco shortening
1/2 tsp. salt

Cut the crisco into the flour and salt until thoroughly mixed in. Then add 1/4 c. COLD water and mix with a fork until all water is incorporated.  Smooth dough into a ball, flatten and place on a floured surface.  Sprinkle a little flour on top of dough and roll out to desired size.
Note: Rita is my Grandma's sweet neighbor lady and when my Grandpa passed away she brought over a couple of pies!  I couldn't get over how flaky and wonderful her crusts were! She so graciously shared her recipe!  I will forever use this crust recipe!!

4 c. peaches
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. almond extract
3 T. corn starch

Mix together and pour into unbaked pie crust. Top with a few pats of butter and then sprinkle cinnamon over all {to your liking}.  Sometimes I use the cinnamon and sometimes I don't, depending on my mood!  I have to add that I worked REALLY hard on perfecting this filling!  Many flopped pies before getting it absolutely right for our family!

Crumb Topping:
1 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter {cold}

Work together with pastry blender then "crumble" on top of pie with hands.

Cherry Pie {kept here at home...Mike's favorite {YES, he's spoiled...peach is my all time favorite and I gave it up} I WILL BE MAKING ANOTHER PEACH!

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. crisco
1/2 c. COLD water
Cut the crisco into the flour and salt until thoroughly mixed in. Then add the COLD water and mix with a fork until all water is incorporated.  Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten one at a time and place on a floured surface.  Sprinkle a little flour on top of dough and roll out to desired size. Repeat for top crust after filling is added.

3 cans tart cherries in water 
4 T. cornstarch {not heaping but not leveled off either}
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. red food coloring
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Mix up filling ingredients and let sit for 20-30 min. while you are making your pie crusts.  After placing your bottom crust in your pie pan, then pour in filling. {be careful not to let the RED cherry juice splatter on you}!  Put a few slits {or designs like I do and sometimes with small cookie cutters} in your top crust then place it over the filling.  In a small cup put about 1/4 c. sugar in it and add a little bit of milk stir until you have a smooth workable consistency! NOT too much milk or it will be too runny {it should still be grainy}!  Using a spoon, spoon it over your top crust covering it all then use the back of the spoon to smooth it around.  This will give you a sweet crunchy top crust!
*Bake for 20 minutes at 425° then lower the oven temperature to 375° {you may want to loosely lay a piece of foil over the top to protect the crust from burning} Bake for another hour or so, start checking on it after 45 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned and the juices bubble up thickly.  Let pie cool for 3-4 hrs. before cutting it!

 I was going to squeeze in my HOMEMADE ROLLS too but...I ran out of time!  Oh well, there's always another "day off" for baking!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Old Fashioned Fried Chicken~Mmm, Mmm, GOOD!

Now I know most everyone knows how to make Fried Chicken.  I thought I did too until my husband came home with a new “recipe” from one of his sweet little weekly hair ladies.
He said, “You don’t know how to cut up a whole chicken do you!?” I said, “Of course I do, I used to cut them up all the time!!”  He was amazed!  I guess it’s been too long ago and he just doesn’t remember.  Besides, who doesn’t want to buy one already cut up to cook!!

He told me to grab a piece of paper and write down what he was about to tell me.  I looked at him and said, “Are you kidding?  Do you really think I need a “recipe” for fried chicken?”  {Remember, he’s the one that can’t boil water so for him to give me a recipe seemed quite odd!} So I went along with his little funny and wrote down word for word what he told me!  And then he said, “Don’t HAVE to use a cast iron skillet for it to turn out crispy!”

Well, I had to prove to him that I knew how.  If you know know I LOVE a challenge!
We have a local bulk food store and they have FRESH {as in NEVER been frozen} whole chickens that come in on Thursday’s every week.  On Thursday I grabbed me a couple of chickens and the preparation began!

~Old Fashioned Fried Chicken~
1.    Cut up your FRESH whole chicken! {I haven't looked but I’m sure youtube has a video for this}
2.    Soak chicken pieces it in salt water overnight.
3.    The next day, put shortening in a cast iron skillet and turn the fire up {not blasting up, just up}!
4.    Lay the chicken pieces out on a plate or platter and season them with salt & pepper on both sides {I threw in a little garlic salt too}.
5.    Dip the chicken pieces in flour ONLY {this is where I almost rebelled against his “recipe”!  NO milk and egg or buttermilk???  How was this going to work?}
6.    Crisp/brown both sides then turn the fire down a bit, put a lid on allowing a little steam to escape, and cook slowly!

My Dad used to make the best fried chicken and my Aunt Ann requested it for her and my uncle last time they came to visit. She told me I did it right??!!!  Aunt Ann...I have to tell you this one topped it!!  Mike said it was the best fried chicken he’s ever eaten!  AND my 7 yr. old grandson Keegen said {while eating warmed up left overs}...”MiMi, what did you do to this chicken, this is the best chicken in the world!”
Go for it!  Get out of your fried chicken box and give Mike’s “recipe” a try!  I promise you won’t be sorry you did!  Remember, the cast iron skillet is a MUST!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cinnamon~Vanilla Coffee Creamer

My Husband LOVES to add a little coffee to this...

Since we live 40 miles away from the nearest Wal-Mart…it’s not always easy to just stop and pick some up!  AND half the time when I brave going into that huge, overwhelming, cart-filling place, they don’t even have the creamer in stock!  All the other flavors are there and they ALWAYS have the generic brand of the Cinnamon Vanilla creamer {I’ve tried to pull that one off-NO WAY doesn’t work}!
Well, he ran out AGAIN!  So, as I was lying in bed last night trying my hardest to fall asleep, I remembered seeing a recipe for French Vanilla Coffee Creamer, I thought why not, I’ll give it a try and just add in cinnamon!!  At midnight I popped out of bed {I would have NEVER been able to fall asleep if I hadn’t} and ran to the kitchen to see if I had everything and sure enough, I did!  You see, he would be getting up WAY earlier than me and I wanted it to be ready for him.  Kind of a little surprise...

He found it and tried it!  I got a phone call this morning WITH APPROVAL!  He said, “you know that was pretty good…the more I drank it the more I really really liked it”!  If you know him at all you’ll know, he’s NOT a creature of change!  Same toothpaste, deodorant, soap, razor, clothing {brand}, alarm clock, etc… for as long as I’ve known him!  Me on the other hand, I’m a sucker for every new thing on the market!  Probably one of the main reasons I DON’T like to watch TV…those darn commercials suck me in every single time and I want to go NOW to purchase the “new” item!
I would love to share the recipe with you so here it is:
Cinnamon~Vanilla Coffee Creamer
  • 14oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 14oz half & half (you could use milk)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


    Pour all of the ingredients into your container. Tighten and shake vigorously for a few minutes until well combined.

The original recipe came from here!