Tuesday, March 27, 2012

HELP Name Our Puppy

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family.....his name so far is "Puppy".  "Puppy" is a yellow lab and he loves attention and cuddling.  I have a soft spot for Labs.  I grew up with a lab and she was such a great family dog.  I wanted to get my kids the perfect family dog as well so we got a yellow lab several years ago.  A few months ago Molly went to dog heaven and the kids were heartbroken.  It has been so strange not having a dog to chase off rabbits and greet us with a "smile" whenever we return home.  There was a lot of debate about getting another dog and what kind to get.  Myself and my 3 younger children were voting for a lab.  My husband and oldest wanted a blue heeler because they wanted a "working" cattle dog.  My hubs eventually caved and let us get another lab.   

Since we don't have a name yet we would love your BOY puppy name suggestions.  Please leave a comment with your suggestion.  You can also like my  Facebook page and leave your suggestion there.

Puppies are so darn cute!!!

How cute is that?

Thanks for your help in naming our new puppy!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Preparing for Spring

Spring has arrived early this year.  We have had amazingly warm temperatures.   Today's high is suppose to hit 87 degrees {I am not complaining}.  The wheat fields look luxurious and I swear I can actually see it growing.  With springs early arrival that means that my hubs is preparing for the spring planting and spraying season earlier than normal.  

A few years ago we purchased a sprayer so we would be able to spray our fields rather than to hire it done.  It is probably one of the best purchases from a financial standpoint, plus we can control when the fertilizer is applied.  It seems when we hired it done it would never fail that the company we hired to do it would show up when the wind was blowing 9-0.  I always wondered if any of the fertilizer actually landed in the fields when it was so windy.

One disadvantage of doing our own spraying was filling the sprayer.  We have a large well that we use to fill the sprayer at our feedlot.  Anytime the sprayer was empty my hubs would have to leave the field he was working in and drive the tractor and sprayer to out feedlot to refill it with water.  In the essence of time this can be rather inconvenient so this year we have stepped up and now have a trailer with tanks to haul to the fields rather than my hubs leaving the field to go refill.

Nothing like another project on the farm!!!  To complete this project my hubs was in need of someone who was small enough to fit inside the water tank opening {that eliminated me}, but tall enough to reach the top {my son was a little upset he didn't get this job because he wasn't tall enough}.  Our middle daughter was the perfect choice with her petite stature.

My hubs wanted to put a clear hose attached at the top and bottom of the tank so he could see how full the tank was at a glance.  This meant cutting a hole at the top and bottom and placing a tank bung on the inside of the tank to attach the hose on the outside.

Here she goes!

She was successful and we have the tube attached.

There are two tanks so she did this job twice and it was really hot out when she was inside those tanks.  I  made her drink plenty of water when she got out....because I am a super mom like that!!

After her job was done, it was up to my hubs and Jr {our hired man} to do all the plumbing and get this functional.  These smaller tanks mix up all the fertilizer.....it requires a pump and a bunch of plumbing parts.....don't ask me....I really don't understand how it all works.

It ended up looking like this.

After getting everything hooked up my hubs brought the truck and trailer over to the feedlot to fill it with water and make sure it all worked.

When it was up and running it looked like this.  There was quite the excitement over seeing it work and this little tornado looking thing inside the tank.

Another successful project on the farm.  Oh, and while I was at the feedlot I snapped a picture of this hill in our pasture.  I have REALLY BIG DREAMS for this hill.....maybe someday.....


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Call it comfort food if you will, but this casserole got rave reviews from household.  My hubs is not a huge chicken fan, but he couldn't say enough good things about this casserole.  Okay, he did say it would probably be better with steak...lol.  I told him it would not be BUFFALO CHICKEN then!!!

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

8 Potatoes, diced {I leave the skin on because I am lazy}
2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, diced
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
6 Tbsp Hot Sauce {I use Ortega)
2 Tbsp Honey

1 Cup Bacon, cooked and crumbled
11/2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese
3/4 Cup Green Onion, chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, hot sauce, and honey.  Add diced potatoes and toss until all the potatoes are nicely coated with seasonings.  Place potatoes in a 9x13 casserole dish that is coated with cooking spray leaving behind as much as the seasoning mixture in the bowl as you can.  Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes until crispy stirring occasionally.  Add chicken to remaining seasoning mixture and toss until chicken is nicely coated.  Allow chicken to marinate while potatoes are baking.  When potatoes are done, remove from oven.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees.  Add chicken and seasoning to the top of the potatoes.   Top with cheese, bacon, and green onion.  Continue baking for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.  Enjoy!!

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Be sure to check out the original Buffalo Chicken Casserole recipe at Cook Lisa Cook!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roasted Potatoes Carrots & Onions

I had planned on posting this recipe a couple days ago, but I was hit INSTANTLY with the flu bug that is going around.  My youngest daughter has been sick since Monday, then my oldest daughter came home from school not feeling well on Tuesday.  I was keeping up with my youngest daughters demands request for a drink every 10 minutes and keeping her wash cloth wet {with REALLY cold water....imagine an 8 year old with a high pitched squeal giving you those instructions...she really is sweet} that she placed on her forehead and neck.  I gave them their fever reducer as directed.....cause I am super mom {insert laugh here}.  Then it hit me too.....like one moment I was fine and the next I just hurt.  My joints ache, I spiked a high fever, and my tonsils feel like they are bulging from my neck.  Needless to say, I spent the next 2 days in bed.  At one point I had to ask my hubs what day it was because all I have felt like doing is sleeping.  My hubs was so kind and got some medicine for me and checked in on us "sickies" throughout the day.  He is a great nurse!!!

I am still sick and running a low fever of 100 down from 103.6, my body is still aching, and my tonsils are the size of Texas, but I have managed to get out of bed.  Now that is improvement!!!  I so badly want to go out and enjoy this fantastic weather we are having, but I am just not feeling good enough.  Ugh!!!  But, good for you, I am able to sit here in my recliner with my computer perched on my lap to share this yummy recipe with you.

Roasted vegetables are so easy.

Preheat oven 475 degrees

I used:
2lbs Carrots
6 Potatoes
1 Vidalia onion
3 Cloves garlic
6 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Tsp Dried thyme
1/2 Tsp Dried Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste

Peel carrots, cut into bite size pieces.  Dice potatoes into bite size pieces leaving the skin on.  Cut onion into eighths.  Mince the garlic.  Combine carrots, potatoes, and onion in a large bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over vegetables, add garlic, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Toss until the vegetables are covered in olive oil and seasoning.  Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and cover with foil.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and continue roasting another 30 minutes {or until your desired crispness is achieved} stirring every 10 minutes.  Serve.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Texas Sheet Cake With Mocha Frosting

This past weekend we had company.  I love when we have friends around.  It is always a good time for us and the kids.  Visiting, laughing until our sides ache, telling old stories and making new memories is right up my alley.  Plus, I love to provide an all out feast for our friends.

I made smoked spareribs on our Traeger {I mentioned that on my new facebook page} which I hadn't done before.  They turned out fall off the bone phenomenal!!!!  I served the ribs with roasted vegetables and salad.  I thought about the traditional coleslaw and beans that are typically served with ribs, but I wasn't in the mood for coleslaw or being traditional.....cause that's how I roll.  For dessert we finished stuffing ourselves with Texas sheet cake complete with mocha frosting.

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This cake is ridiculously delicious and will defiantly make your guests groan....so go ahead and groan right along with them.....you don't want them to groan alone!!!!

For the cake:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
5 tbsp Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 Beaten Eggs
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla

1 3/4 stick Butter
4 tbsp Cocoa
6 tbsp Milk
3 tbsp Instant Coffee Crystals
1 tsp Vanilla
4 cups Powdered Sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

In a saucepan, melt butter then add cocoa.  Stir together.  Add boiling water and allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds.  Turn off heat and pour over flour mixture.  Stir slightly.

Combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.  Stir buttermilk mixture into the cake batter and combine.  Pour into a greased sheet cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes till done.

While cake is baking make the frosting.  Add coffee crystals to milk and stir until coffee is dissolved. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add cocoa, stir to combine.  Turn off the heat.  Add milk/coffee mixture, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Stir together.  Pour over warm cake.  Serve.

Now, go make this cake!!!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Easy Caramel Popcorn

So today I had a craving for caramel popcorn.  I have a major sweet tooth {yeah, bad I know} and caramel popcorn seemed to be the go to sweet treat I wanted.  This is ridiculously simple to make.  It is perfect for an after school snack for the kiddos too.

1 3.5oz bag of microwave popcorn
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
salt to taste

Pop popcorn according to package directions.  Place popcorn in a large bowl with a lid.  Heat remaining ingredients on med-high heat until it resembles a syrup consistency.  Pour caramel sauce over popcorn.  Place lid on the bowl and shake until all the popcorn is evenly coated.  Pour popcorn out onto wax paper and allow to sit until caramel has hardened.  Store in an airtight container.

I think I am missing an ingredient and didn't think about it until after the fact.........but I think if I would of drizzled a little Nutella over the top of the caramel popcorn it would have been even better!!!!  Anyone have a love for Nutella like I do???