Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (Tuesday)

More white stuff, yadda, yadda, yadda : p Being punctual is not a strong point and I will cover that in my upcoming resolutions post.

Monday-We went out to eat and had steak and lobster (Kurt had ribs with his lobster tail)

Tuesday-Smoked sausage, saurkraut, tator tots, and corn

Wednesday-Kurt wants pizza from a local place so we'll go pick it up. Probably sausage or hamburger with bacon and fresh mushrooms. Kurt likes extra cheese, but I never order it because there is already a ton on it.

Thursday-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans

Friday-Crispy ranch chicken breasts, rice, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Saturday-Spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread

Check out more inspiring menus at OrgJunkie

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Weekend Ramblings

Uffda! That's Norwegian for you pilgrims. We have been busy, busy, busy here. The weather has been wreeking havoc for the past week on our already hectic and crazy lifestyle. Every other day Kurt has had to plow snow. Seriously, enough of that white stuff. We already hit the record for the month of December. We would really appreciate a break until the end of the year. We are simple people and a three-day break would seem rather heavenly and very welcomed!

So now you have my weather update, I hope you all enjoyed Christmas in your own way. My girl opened up her presents Christmas morning, but Kurt got stuck with the tractor hauling manure. He had to walk back to the barn for a shovel and he was in the "back 40". He was in the field furthest back and the lane is a half-mile back...we don't have 40 acre fields though. Our land has too many dips and tree lines. I called the neighbor to come and give Kurt a yank with his tractor. Before you can tell them Merry Christmas, you ask are you busy. Will your tractor start? Kurt actually got the tractor dug out, but got stuck after he finished spreading. Good thing I called Warren because he dragged Kurt out.

Back in the barn, the corn silage silo stopped running silage out. A moment before I asked my husband what his favorite Christmas song/hymm was. That's when he let out quite the naughty words. He never did answer my question. Up in the silo he went, to put the stabilizer bar back together. I then proceeded to run the outside water tank over for the heifers and some water ran into a calf pen. Oops. If Kurt was making mistakes, today was the day to make mine as well. We arrived at his parents a half our late for dinner.

We had a nice time visiting with his family, but we still needed to milk the cows and head to my parents. It tires me out thinking out it. All I will say is we made it home in one piece and had a pretty good time.

Tomorrow my girl is going to stay a night or two with my parents and Kurt and I will be going out for supper. We have a gift certificate to a supper club down the road from us. You might think I'm a total yokel, but I love a good cheeseburger. Seriously, but I don't want to waste a night out ordering a burger so I crave one and have a conflict of interest when we get there. Kurt thinks I'm silly, but we had burgers today for lunch so hopefully that will cure my craving.

Once we take our tree down, which will be awhile, I will take some pictures of our house. I have pictures from before I painted and moved in. I think they are quite interesting. I have lots to talk about this week. Resolutions, goals, food, cows, etc.

I forgot to mention this morning we had two calvings that we did not plan on. Kurt thought we had another day to go. We usually calve our cows in pens and they were full. Anyway that makes a rough start to day, and the drifts of white stuff in front of my garage door and milkhouse did not help. Our poor milkman went in the ditch today and Friday and I don't remember them ever doing that. Please take some of that white stuff it's pretty, but it has to go!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hey, It's Christmas

Sorry for the blurry picture. I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Be safe in your travels and content with your company. We will be headed to the Christmas program at our church later tonight and travel will be slow. The plows are out, but country roads are not priorities.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday-Since the Packers on Monday night we are having: Pigs in Blanket and loaded potato skins along with some fresh fruit

Tuesday-My cookie exchange is getting together for lunch and there is program practice that night so we are keeping it simple with: Tacos

Wednesday-I'm honestly not sure what is going on this day. I'm thinking tenderloin and baked potatoes.

Thursday- Merry Christmas! We are going to my In-Laws.

Friday-We are having a simple get together with our friends at our house. I'm thinking, meatballs, cheese, sausage, and crackers, chips and dip, bacon wrapped chesnuts, and a goodie tray.

Head over to HERE for more great menu ideas.

Weekend Update

I have been busy in the kitchen and my house is looking like I need to get busy in some other rooms. I made PW's Cinnamon Rolls and they were actually fairly easy to make. My husband thinks they are addicting. That is a good thing then! Miriam I would say make them for Christmas morning, your husband will enjoy them! Chex mix is a big hit at our house and I usually make it throughout the year but I only made one batch. It looks like it will last us for awhile. I need to make some truffles today, but we had another snow storm and that means extra work. Kurt is plowing around the buildings, but it's so windy the drifts will be back in no time.

I made oreo balls and creamy chocolate balls this afternoon. I need to dip the oreo balls. They look like piles of mud, but they sure are sweet. Our milk man comes tomorrow and I think I'm going to give him a pan of cinnamon rolls and a small bag of chocolates. We received a duffle bag from our trucker(milk man) and the cooperative that we ship our milk through sends us a cheese box with sausage and ring bologney as well. Plus we got a bonus. The more cash flow the better this time of year : )

We obviously did not go to church today. I could not get out of the driveway and our church is 8 miles away in the country on roads I know will be drifted. My daughter has her dress rehearsal for the Christmas program today. Luckily there is a second one on Tuesday night so I do not feel bad about not going today.

I'm also experiencing some drama within my family. It is very irritating and it's putting me in a cruddy mood. I'm trying to get past it but I can not fix it since I'm not creating it. I want to fix it that is my problem. Grrr I'm just frustrated and irritated. I am hoping I have time to watch a Christmasy movie with my daughter like Home Alone that would probably be the most age appropriate. She might find National Lampoons Christmas Vacation funny but we can save that for another year : ) We also have A Christmas Story (you know, you'll shoot your eye out?!)

These are pictures from two years ago. The first one was the one we put in Christmas cards. That calf pictured is now a cow and it is pretty friendly. Maybe next year I can get a picture of the cow and her then put a copy of the (will be 3 year-old) picture. We'll see. Stay warm and fuzzy : )

Friday, December 19, 2008

Caramel Corn

This recipe is from my mom. I made some of the other day. If I can make this, anyone can. Check out the Recipe Swap at the Grocery Cart Challenge.

Caramel Corn
1 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Pop the popcorn and put it in a large roasting pan. Mix butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Take mixture off the heat and add the baking soda. Pour over the popcorn and stir to coat. Bake for 1 hour at 250*, stirring every half hour. Store in airtight containers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Me and Baking

I apologize for my previous post being so smushed together. I tried fixing it repeatedly and I can not figure it out. Maybe someone knows what I'm not doing right. Thanks! Meghan

If did not say it already, I had big, really big plans for this Christmas season in the baking and goody making departments. I really did not enjoy making cookies until I received a cookie scoop. My husband loves chocolate chip cookies, but I would have rather poured them in a pan and made bars. How easy is that? The cookie scoop has eliminated my fears of making the perfect cookie. Well perfect drop cookie. Cut-out cookies are a whole different deal. Last night as they stuck to my cookie sheets and I cooked them to a crisp, I remembered why I do not make these miserable devils. There I said. I do not like cut-out cookies. They put me over the edge. My daughter reminded me before she left for school that I needed to make the dough for the cookies. Already taken care of Darling, I bought five pounds at the store. Her response was, but Stacey (my baking crazy friend) makes her own dough. This kid spent one day with Stacey three years ago while I went to a funeral and she remembers that? She was three and a half.

Thank goodness for frosting that is the only way these cookies can be saved. As for my sanity, next year I will be buying or exchanging with Stacey for some cookies. I made about 10 dozen peanut butter balls. I ran out of chocolate two-thirds through the last batch. My husband thought they were fine the way they were. I could have called them mud balls because I made them with chocolate graham crackers and rice krispies. I decided to roll them in powdered sugar which makes them look much more mysterious : )

I am also going to make PW's Cinnamon Rolls and give those to our veterinarian, milk hauler, breeder, Mac's teacher, the veterinarian clinic, and some dear neighbors. I need to get these made before Friday because we have herd check with our vet on Friday. These look so good and easy to make. I encourage you to try some of her recipes. There are some really tastey treats waiting to be made over there.

I also usually make Chex mix. A lot of Chex mix to be exact. I have not made any since October or maybe even later than that. How sad! I need to find a pan to make it in because I threw the one I used in the garbage. Onward, upward looking for a pan. I made it with a roasting pan a few times ago and my result was slightly on the burnt side. I know, how do you burn Chex mix? I wondered that myself.

I also had a crazy idea to have a cookie/candy exchange with three of my friends. Seriously what the heck an I smoking (note-I've never smoked anything in my life)? So baking-crazy Stacey already has her stuff made I'm sure. Atleast I know my other two friends are just as slow as I am. We are not getting together to exchange until Dec 23rd but seriously the days are getting shorter and my list is getting much longer.

Other things I would like to make and I will make!
  • Caramel Corn
  • Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies for my dad
  • Cookie dough truffles
  • Meltaway truffles

Did I mention my mom and I bagged 56 quarts of saurkraut on Saturday? I think I took home 20 some bags. I really only needed about 10 to 12 so I will be giving those to people who like it. So far, my friend Kristie likes it and I'm hoping our vet does too! Wish me luck!

I better get back outside. I was in here to get my daughter on the bus. Forgot to mention it has been bitterly cold here. Temperature was -10 when I came in this AM and yesterday it got to a high of 2. The wind chill made it feel like -20 to -35 yesterday. No wind this morning, yet. We are suppose to start getting some snow later tonight into tomorrow afternoon. Hurray.

I think I just need to put a lot of space in between my paragraphs. Is that it?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I have been very busy trying to make peanut butter balls, cut-out cookies, and catch up on my sleep. Last week I was so tired and it got me into to trouble a few times with my husband. I fell asleep when I should have been out milking. Oops. I'm switching how I do things at night because I get pretty tired. I do not sit on the couch in the living room because it's too convienent to grab a blanket and fall asleep. Lesson learned...I think.
Monday-We had leftover taco casserole and pork chop bake
Tuesday-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Wednesday-Chicken parmesan with spaghetti and breadsticks
Thursday-Tuna noodle casserole
Friday-Leftovers or maybe out to eat
Maybe you noticed, but we have meatloaf a lot. I make the best according to myself and my daughter. My husband likes it too, not that it matters. Ha, ha. I must confess something. The chicken parmesan is from a box with the name On-Cor on it. It must have been an accident that I discovered these tastey little buggers because I normally do not buy frozen meals. For 2.50 to 3 dollars it is a quick an easy meal with spaghetti along the side. I will be back later...as in tomorrow to tell you all of the yummies I have made. Trust me it's nothing to be impressed by, but I have big plans to make more this week : )

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who Doesn't Like a Good Party?

The Holstein Breeders in our county like to have a good time. I think other counties know this because at our get togethers there are usually a few other breeders from surrounding counties. The more the merrier should be our slogan : )

Wives and their husbands look forward to the Annual Meeting/Banquet on the second Tuesday of December. Four months later we party after our County Sale at a nearby supper club until the wee hours of the morning. I told you we like a good party. Then in July is our county fair and their is an open class show for dairy cattle on Friday. After the show on Friday night we bring a dish to pass and have a heck of a good time. The winner of the show buys beer and pop. The barn is just packed with people and it is so much fun.

We have a camaraderie and understand what goes on in each other's daily lives. It is so nice to visit with my Holstein women. I have met some really great women and more importantly have some really special friendships established. When you are having trouble or no trouble these women are there to share the good times and bad. Because they have been there, and if you have not been there yet you will be as well. It's farming. There is no guarantee, it's all a gamble. But friends last, and are their to pick you up when you are down or celebrate when you've done well.

My husband is on the Holstein board so he gets together monthly with about 8 other men. My Holstein ladies and I think we should get together every month or so too. I think that would be great. I do see a few on a regular basis around town or at church. It is so nice to get away from the farm and visit with others who share a common goal. Usually after you have shared your woes, someone can top your awful event with their own horrific tale. Sometimes that is all it takes to make Kurt feel better because he's sure glad he didn't have to through what they did. You can appreciate what you have. I know that doesn't sound too good, but it's what farmers do. It's theraputic for them to talk about. They would not admit that, but us, women we know.

I have some big goals for today. Make Christmas candy maybe peanut butter balls. Get my lights on my Christmas tree. Go to Fleet Farm and get some cat food and do some shopping. Milk the cows of course. To me, all of that sounds rather aggressive and I'm feeling like a nap now after a breakfast of pancakes and sausages. I forgot I really need to keep working on Christmas cards as well. Now that I told you what my plans are, what are you doing to prepare for the coming of Jesus? It is Advent : )

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Turning 1 is Fun

My neice (and God-daughter, Kurts too) had her first birthday on Saturday. Her birthday is actually December 14, but I think my sister-in-law has to work that day. She was so cute smiling for the cameras and I was tickling her feet. I don't see either of my neices much, but when I do I love to get pics of them.

Except for one problem. Big sister who will be three June 1st does not like getting her picture taken. Not even by her mom! She takes such cute pictures when they have their pics taken professionally. I guess that is all that counts. I remember when my mom took my brother and I to Sears I think for pics. I think I was about three and he was almost two. The photographer brought out Cookie Monster or a Muppet and started crying trying to save my brother from the scary monsters. I was such a good big sister!

Hunkering Down

Snowstorm Carter has arrived and had already delivered seven inches of snow by 6 am. We are expected to get up to 14 inches of snow. We are not completely done with our chores this morning, but Kurt needed to plow/push some snow. This pic is up by the house. I think he gets distracted with all of the snow and goes where ever he sees a drift because he is suppose to be clearing behind the barn. We need to clean the barn (empty the gutter that's full of manure and bedding, etc) and he told me I could go in the house for awhile.

I thought I take some pictures of him clearing away the white stuff. I guess he doesn't like being pictured because he started heading my way. In case you are wondering, that is an Oliver 770 and some people love their Olivers. Kurt puts up with it because it has hydraulics and it's useful especially in snow. We also have a bucket that Kurt puts on the front in the summer for cleaning the barn yard or other projects. I must point out too, this is the only green tractor we own. The other three are RED. Maybe you did not want to know that and maybe now you won't like me, but darnit we love our RED tractors.

The schools are all closed for the day. Too bad snow days are not fun days for farmers. Today you do chores, milk, and plow snow. We do plan on getting the lights on our tree and hopefully decorating it. I need to put out my nativities. I have two and some other small items to decorate the house with. I need to start collecting some more decorations. We also have our Holstein Annual Meeting/Banquet tonight. I hope the roads will be safe to travel on by tonight. It sounds like the snow was going to stop around Noon or so. The banquet is not until 7:30 tonight. I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I know, clothes. Thank you!

Here our some of our heifers and bred heifers eating hay outside. The snow is really sticking to their backs you can see. Don't worry these ladies have two barns to go in to get out of the elements. It's really not too cold out today, but the snow is blowing.

Happy shoveling, snowblowing, pushing, or plowing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu Plan 12/8-12/14


Hamburgers, tator tots, and salad


County Holstein Banquet-it's family style chicken and beef tips at the banquet hall down the road from us...we are suppose to get 8 inches of snow by Tuesday mid-day.


Pork chop bake (recipe below)


Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, jello, and chips


Smoked sausage with saurkraut, scalloped potatoes, and green beans




Crockpot Beef Roast

Pork Chop Bake

4-bone-in or boneless pork chops

1 package of prepared stuffing

1 can apple pie filling-homeade is the best!

Brown chops in butter on both sides and season. Pour filling into bottom of 9x13 pyrex or baking dish. Lay chops over filling. Layer the stuffing over pork chops. Cover with foil. Bake at 350* for approximately 45 minutes until the pork chops have been cooked thoroughly. This is delicious. Make sure you get a bite of pork, pie filling, and stuffing together. It's wonderful!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Here I am ____

Fill in the blank and name one of my favorite hymms. This has been a busy week as usual. We moved a group of heifer calves closer to the barn and combined them with the group of four bred heifers. We actually took two of the bred heifers and brought them in the barn. They are both due around Christmas. A bull and a heifer were born this week, and Monday we will take the bull down to the sale barn to be sold. The heifer calf we named Sabrina because her dam's (mother) name is Salena. All of our cows are Registered Holsteins and it is how we keep track of cow familys. Once in awhile I run into a mental block and have a hard time figuring out a name. We currently have cows starting with the letter D, P, I, S, K, M, A, and C. The I cows are definetly the most challenging. Right now we have Isabell, Ivory (whose dam is Ivy), Irene, Idea, Ivette (Ivory's daughter), Iris (daughter is Ireland), and our newest calf is Itty from Ivory. She was born three weeks early and is a little spit-fire.

Would you like to see some wedding pictures? These are our proofs from our wedding. Just fill in the password which is farming. We were married June 21st and have been together for three years. My daughter is from my first marriage and that's another story. Kurt is my little girl's dad and she has not had contact with her biological for three years. She was three when I got divorced and we met Kurt. She has known Kurt half of her life and they definetly have a connection. Someday soon I'll share the story of how we met. Hopefully I can make it sound interesting because it does make a good story. Here is a sampling of pictures from the wedding.

The answer is Lord or the song is known as I the Lord of See and Sky. That is one of our favorite songs.

On a different note, who does St. Nick? I did not even know what that was until I was 11 or so. My family does not do that tradition. We are Lutherans and it seemed like the Catholic kids/families were the ones who did that. Is it a Catholic-thing? I do not know and I wonder because I would not know when it happens but my daughter is in first grade and you know how children talk. It is definetly not a tradition we will start doing because the other kids and their family's do. Uh, oh I almost felt like a was going to start ranting...I will go and

Monday, December 1, 2008

Menu Plan 12/1-12/7

Yesterday I finally made broth/stock from my turkey. It yielded a lot. When I say a lot, I mean I was hunting for containers. My best guess is I was blessed with three gallons : ) Plus I have a pot of soup simmering on the stove. I will add egg noodles and make dumplings after the egg noodles are cooked. This is my first time making this kind of soup. Don't laugh, the only other kind I have made is ham and bean soup. I always make a spiral sliced ham for Christmas and have mastered (I really mean conquered) the art of making ham and bean soup. Hahaha.

With the three to four inches of snow we got last night, the soup should hit the spot after the midday milking. There are some pretty big drifts between the barn and the house. Of course, I did not wear my winter boots. I have to tell you we almost gave up on the school bus this morning. The bus normally comes around 7:40 and that is when the first (she's on the second) bus came by. I was wearing sweatpants, a jacket, and my hooded sweatshirt over my head and freezing. My daughter was happy as a clam in her snow boots and pants, winter jacket, hat, mittens, and scarf. I kept checking the time and I was going to drive her if it got to be 7:45 or 7:50. I texted Kurt and told him that and we were going to take the truck. We were near the front door when Kurt texted me back. I c it. He was in the milkhouse which faces south where the bus was coming from. I looked, sure enough there was the big yellow limousine. Crap, I told my girl to run. Poor thing, it's not easy to run in snowpants.

Back to our meals...

Monday-Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (from Thanksgiving)

Tuesday-Spaghetti or chicken parmesan with spaghetti and garlic bread

Wednesday-Maybe we'll go down the road to a place that does a chicken and taco buffet for $5. I could easily deal with that.

Thursday-Leftover turkey noodle dumpling soup or others.

Friday-Homeade pizza-my daughter keeps asking for it

Saturday-My niece's birthday part

Sunday-Something in the crockpot or maybe pork chops

I am feeling kind of lazy this week. I would like to get my Christmas tree bought and put it up. Plus, I think I'm burnt out from cooking last week. To get inspired check out Org Junkie for some great menu plans.