Tuesday, July 27, 2010

German Pancakes

Since we have chickens, we always have lots of eggs and I'm always looking for ways to use them in my cooking.  The kids are huge fans of "breakfast for dinner" meals, so tonight I made German Pancakes.
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Optional Mix-ins
1 can apple pie filling
Ground sausage, with or without cheese
Chocolate Chips

Blend eggs, flour, baking poweder, sugar and salt in standing mixer.  Slowly add milk, then vanilla and melted butter.  Let sit for an hour, or overnight (in the refridgerator).

Preheat oven to 425.

In 10inch pan, spray inside and sides completely with non-stick spray.  Place pie or other fillings in pan  (or you can use 2 8" pie or cake pans).  Pour batter over.  Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.  Reduce temperature to 375, bake for 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven, slide onto place, slice and serve warm!
I have teenage boys in my house, and this recipe, which says it serves 4, will maybe serve 2.  If you're lucky.  So, for a family of 6 I tripled this recipe, then used four 8" pie pans.  I would take a measuring cup and distribute out the batter evenly to balance it out.  With all 4 in the oven, I cooked it 5 minutes extra with each temperature.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime Success: SNACKS!

We've all had the same problem.  When they are home for extended periods of time, kids get bored and want to eat!  And good heavens, can they eat!

I will have to admit, I got this idea from a Super Nanny episode and adapted it for the kids. 

Here is what we do.  The big baskets contain snacks.  The top blue one is for cupboard snacks, the one on the right is for stuff in the fridge.  The kids then each have their own, smaller basket. For things such as popcicles, etc, I have a craft/popcicle stick with that treat written on it that they put in their basket. They were able to choose 2 treat snacks, at least 1 had to be healthy (string cheese, raisins, etc).

 Each night BEFORE BED, they pick out three snacks for the next day and put them in their own basket.  Then, during the day, they are allowed to eat those snacks anytime they want, without asking, before 4pm.

This gives them choice, an opportunity to plan and think and they can see it all visually. 

No more "can I have...." questions all day long! 

Good luck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcoming the Goats

Shortly before our wedding anniversary my husband asked me what I wanted, and I laughed and said "a goat".  Well, I definitely married the right man - because I got exactly what I wanted!  Now, it is a bit off-season as most are born in the spring.  But we found a couple of ones we liked. 

First is Thor.  He is a 3 month old Fainting Goat.  He was kind of picked on in the herd we got him from, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the underdog.  He is so sweet, he thinks he's a dog and will just hop into your lap.  I'm hoping to get a few does and breed and raise fainting goats.  They are just so sweet.

Next is Sheeba.  As in, Queen of Sheeba.  She is a year and a half old, and has that teenage mentality of thinking she's in charge of everything.  We got these two first, and she would keep letting poor little Thor know that she was top goat in the herd. She is a pygmy/cross and won't get much bigger than she is now.

Next are the first of our milking goat herd.  They came with names, but I have to get a feel for them to see if they fit their personality.  For now - the mom (Misty) and daughter (Snowball).  They are pure-bred Nubians and are just as sweet as can be.  But momma sure lets Sheeba know that she is now top goat!  They are much bigger than the other two but very friendly.
Our anniversary date fell during our family reunion a couple of weeks ago.  We were discussing the fact that I was getting some goats for my present and my mom (who is a big fan of jewlery for her gifts) said "I think my daughter needs a lesson on gifts!"  My dad laughed and said, "I think my wife is the one who needs the lessons." 

I sure am lucky to have a man in my life who supports me in both my brainy and farm wife aspects of my life!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

Mother Hubbard Recipe
Remember that old nursery rhyme? The one we’ve all related to a time or two when we’ve looked blankly into our kitchen cupboard and fridge wondering what to put together for dinner? Well, I’ve dubbed those recipes that I come up with during those days “Mother Hubbard Recipes”. Fortunately for my family, they tend to fare better than the dog in the rhyme.

So, without further ado:

Mexican Shepherd's Pie

• 1lb Ground beef
• Taco Seasoning
• 1 can corn, drained
• 1 can kidney beans, drained
• 2 cheese packets from 2 boxes of mac n cheese
• 1 cup milk
• 1 package of Corn bread mix (I <3 Marie Callender’s brand)

• Pre-Heat oven to 350 (or as directed on corn bread package)
• Brown ground beef, drain, add seasoning and 1 cup water, simmer.
• In a separate bowl, mix cheese packets with 1 cup milk, whisk until creamy.
• Add cheese sauce, drained cans of corn and kidney beans and mix well on stove.
• While that simmers, combine corn bread mix as directed on package.
• Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray, then add the meat mixture. Spoon Corn Bread mix over meat and bake for 30-40 minutes or until corn bread is lightly brown on edges and cooked.

Yup, I put a nice sized dollop of sour cream on mine. SO very good! There are lots of different ways to vary this up depending on what mix ins you desire (or have in your cupboard). Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summertime Success: Dishwashing Overload - CUPS!

This is a series of articles showing up throughout the summer in regards to ideas and strategies that I come up with or utilize to make the time the kids are home that much easier!

Now, I can't take credit for this idea.  My mom did this when we were growing up one summer.  Now I understand why!

Every day, we'd go through EVERY.SINGLE.CUP. in the blasted house.  Some only used for a quick sip.  Others left on the table half full of Kool-Aid or (ugh) milk.  And, really, it's just crazy.

At Wal-Mart last night, I picked up some nice, sturdy PLASTIC cups on clearance (4 for $.25  KACHING) and wrote the kids' names each on a cup.  Now they each have their OWN cup to use throughout the day, and I'll make sure they're washed each night.

Now no more asking "Who's drink is this on the table!"  That alone was worth the quarter.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Tin Foil Dinners

The best part about these meals is that everyone gets exactly what they want.  They're great for camping, or can be done at home as well.

Basic Ingredients
Hamburger patty
Chicken strips
Round steak
Steak, cut into strips
Summer or Polish sausages
Whatever tickles your fancy

Thin cut potatoes
Diced onion
Sliced carrots
Pea pods
whatever is fresh from your garden

Cream of chicken or mushroom soup
lipton onion soup mix
lemon pepper
seasoning salt


Take two 12" pieces of tin foil.  I place them crossways one over the other.  Place potatoes on foil, then layer meat with veggies, seasonings and a couple pats of butter.  Place in coals, or oven at 350 for 40-60 minutes.  Enjoy!

Here's how I did it tonight:

Had young lad dig a hole for fire

Making their dinners:

Look!  A happy face!  Oh, wait - we weren't supposed to play with our food?

Forgot a pic of it all in the fire, but here we are opening them up to enjoy!

Mmmmm, dinner!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Occassionally I cater in the breakfast for our monthly company call at work.  Traditionally I do breakfast burritos, bacon-wrapped smokies and a baked good of some sort, and fruit.  This time, I wasn't sure what baked good to do, so I requested the opinion of a co-worker who asked for Scones.

I'm guessing they were good since they were all gone! :D

Scones with Variety

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons cold butter
1 cup (8oz) vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup milk

Mix ins for Variety
  • Cherry Chocolate Chip
    • 1 1/2 cup dried cherries
    • 2/3 cup mini chocolate or vanilla chips
  • Orange Cranberry Chip
    • 1 Tablespoon orange extract or orange juice concentrate
    • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1 1/2 cup cranberries
  • Blueberry
    • 2 cups fresh, frozen or dried blueberries
  • In standing mixer combine dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Combine the wet ingredients (milk, yogurt and any extracts) and mix until just moist
  • Grease baking sheet and pat the dough into a 8'' circle.  Cut into wedges and seperate.  Brush with milk to brown.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Instead of the circle and pie-shape, I also will double the recipe and press it into a bar pan or large cookie sheet and cut into smaller square pieces to serve more people.