Friday, February 27, 2009

Tator Tot Casserole

Have you noticed a casserole theme? Sorry about that but I go through phases where I can not get enough of the stuff. Ten years ago, when I was living at home and my mom was taking care of my grandma, who was dying from cancer, three hours away I made supper for my dad and 17-year-old brother. I was only 18 and had a fascination with casseroles. My mom and her sisters would joke about my dad and brother getting stuck eating Meghan's creations again. I think my dad would go get takeout from some places when it was my mom's week to take care of grandma because he had had enough casseroles. Tator tot casserole was not in my arsenal yet.

Kurt thinks tator tot casserole is the best. I think Mac could go without because of all the vegetables, but she deals with it. Go check out some other probably non-casserole recipes at the Recipe Swap : )

Tator Tot Casserole

1-2 pounds cooked, seasoned ground beef or turkey
2-3 cans veggies (beans, carrots, corn)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk
Shredded cheese, optional
Bag of frozen tator tots

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the tator tots. Pour casserole in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with tator tots and bake until tots have reached desired crispyness. About 35-45 mins.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Tuesday)

I had my plan done in my head as of yesterday, but no time to put it on here. We had an appointment in the afternoon with our farm instructor through the tech college, one this morning to pick out a picture for our church directory, the insurance guy is coming tomorrow morning, and Thursday afternoon our crop specialist is coming over. Too bad we don't have a "conference room" because we could sure use on on weeks like this. I have been working at getting pictures of our dining room/the conference room up since Friday. Check here and hopefully they will be up shortly. At least I have to make sure the house is clean which is nice because sometimes items start to take over areas like the kitchen table...not fun. After looking through the Sunday paper, is it just me or are the stores not running any great deals? There is nothing I need to go running to town for this week. Piggly Wiggly has been have the best stock-up deals. Saturday I bought about 12 cans of cream of chicken, celery, and potato soups and five pounds of cheese for $10. We should be good for awhile unless something comes on sale from the Pig. That is what I have been up to and here is what we plan on eating this week.

Monday-Kurt's choice Tator tot casserole

Tuesday-Pork chops, box potatoes (scalloped) or stuffing, and corn

Wednesday-Ash Wednesday I can eat meat this day (and Friday because I'm a Lutheran and that is how I grew up) but I thought I might make Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole or Crockpot Beef Roast because we might go to church that night. Either way it's something simple.

Thursday-Cheeseburger Meatloaf or Taco Casserole (this is the week of casseroles hopefully no one gets tired of them : ) )

Friday- I think I'm going to go "meatless" again and make Haddock with baked potatoes and a veggie.

Saturday-Leftovers or pizza
Other menu ideas can be found HERE

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dining Room

Before I moved into Kurt's house, his parents had to get the rest of their stuff out (they moved to town seven years earlier). Then I wanted to make the house feel more homey. The feeling I got when I came in the house was dark, cluttered, and not at all feeling like a home. Maybe because it was so cluttered it just drove me nuts. Because we are renting, the only thing I could do was paint and put my own window treatments. The flooring is old, worn, and definetly needs to be replaced but I can live with it unless we decide to buy this place. Then out with the old (and gross) and in with the new, dust free flooring : )

Here is the before.

Here is the after. I "HEART" the color which is a cream and the curtains my mom made. My cookbooks, family pictures, a plaque from the Holstein Association, and the intercom occupy the counter area. Some of my cows are the shelf and then some serving pieces above. The door on the left is the pantry which is the length of the wall. Along the right side only my sewing machine is there sitting on the floor unlike the other pic where there is a lot of stuff.

Here is a dark picture. See all of the stuff on the walls on either side of the window. Yuck.

Ta-da. I prefer this. : )

Do you like it? It was the best I could do. I'm not a magician.

Puppy Chow

This is an addicting snack. I'm just warning you. You will have to make it over and over and over again if you have chocoholics like I do in your house. I don't mind except I'm on the last box of cereal. I'm not sure why this is called puppy chow. Maybe it is to make it sound less appetizing? If you watch Jon & Kate Plus 8, they make this too and they call it Monkey Munch. This is my recipe for the Recipe Swap. Go check it out.

Puppy Chow

In a large microwave-safe bowl combine. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue doing that until the mixture is smooth and combined.

1 stick of butter (margarine would be fine)
1-1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup peanut butter (I eyeball it)

Pour a 12 oz box of Crispix or Chex cereal into the bowl. Stir gently to make sure all of the cereal has been coated. In an ice cream pail, put one cup of powdered sugar in the bottom. Pour coated cereal over the top. Dump remaining powdered sugar on top. Put lid on pail and shake. You may have to move cereal around with spoon and shake again. You can spread this out on wax paper to cool, but I normally don't.

12 oz box of Crispix or Chex
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar

You can freeze this if you like.

Check out what's going on at Married to the Cows hopefully I will have a new post shortly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am not planning on heading to the store until Saturday so I will be making meals from our stash and leftovers. I have been kind of lazy and have a few items that need my attention in the fridge ASAP. Leftover spiral sliced ham, spaghetti, meat sauce, broccoli, and lettuce (before it turns nasty on me). I also need to make Kurt's chocolate chip cookies this week. I'm going to do a quadruple batch but I have to do it in two separate bowls. I made some puppy chow today to take care of the need for sweets. Kurt has told me he needs cookie or candy bars at all times in the house. You don't need to worry about Kurt's need for sweets. He works hard and is a lean 175 pounds. He'll be fine, it's me who needs to stay away from the sweets. Here is our plan for the week and to find more inspiring recipes check out OrgJunkie.

Monday-It's up in the air. We have a Classification party(going to check out a friends cows that were scored today, there is food and lots to drink out in the barn) to go to so might just eat a little before we go incase there isn't food. There is usually lots of food but you never know.

Tuesday-Chicken parmigiana with the leftover meat sauce and spaghetti

Wednesday- Ham and scalloped potatoes

Thursday-Pork chops with shake 'n bake, potatoes, and veggies

Friday-Out to eat in Green Bay, we are going to the Toby Keith concert.

Saturday-Chicken noodle dumpling soup

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Growing up we ate tuna sandwhiches (tuna and Miracle Whip on toast) but my mom never made this casserole. I remember tasting it at potlucks and thinking it tasted pretty good. I have experimented and found a really good combination. Now the church I go to is putting a cookbook together and I'm submitting this one. We also had it for supper the other night and it is very satisfying. With Lent coming up in a few weeks, this would be a great recipe to add to your meatless menu plans. I hope you enjoy it. Go over to the Recipe Swap to find more.

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

1-16oz pkg egg noodles, cooked
2 cans tuna, drained
1-2 cans cream of celery or chicken soup
1 soup can of milk
2-4 heaping Tbs Miracle Whip or mayo
peas, canned or frozen (optional)
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

Combine above in ingredients and bake in a 9x13 baking dish or dutch oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and top with crushed potato chips or cracker crumbs (we prefer the chips). *Note* I have seen recipes where the crushed potato chips are folded into casserole but I have never tried that-sounds good to me! Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

Check out what's happening at Married to the Cows

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What a deal!

My friend Loree sent me an email with a TGI Fridays coupon in PDF file. It is buy one entree get one free. They do not expire until March 1st. If you would like this coupon leave your email in the comments and I will forward it on to you.

I am guessing I could put it in Google docs maybe or something like that but I'm too lazy sorry.

The Circle Continues

Heading towards four years ago when I went through my separation and divorce, Mac was only three-years-old. I was really lucky and had many helpful people in my life. Mom and dad, Heidi, Amy, Dana, Jessica, Emily, Stacey, and I'm sure there were a few more that came to our rescue when I needed to go to work and Mac needed a sitter.

My friend Sara is now going through a pretty similiar divorce (her husband cheated on her like mine did), but she has two children both under three-years-old. Two weeks ago I watched them on Friday night for her and this last Friday I watched them again. I really like watching them plus I am paying forward the helpfulness that I received (and I get out of the night milking). Unfortunately for me their dad is watching them this Friday and next Friday (the 20th) we are going to the Toby Keith concert in Green Bay. Sara milks the night shift (5pm to 9pm, 300 cows) at a farm a couple of miles north of us. She is going to come milk our night shift on the 20th which only takes an hour after she is done milking at her normal job.

We have a pretty busy week. Yesterday we went and had our taxes done. Today I had to take me car to get an oil change and Kurt went to two feed mills to get bags of feed and supplies. Tomorrow Mac's class is celebrating the 100th day of school which was Monday I believe. Parents were in invited in from 10 to 11am and then you could stay an eat lunch with them. It's Lasagna or mac n cheese day. Yippee. I was hoping for something better (my favorites in school were grilled cheese and tomato soup, spaghetti, tacos, and burgers). Kurt is taking a cow up to Equity (sale barn) she got to stay here eight months longer than we thought she would. He was over at the neighbors yesterday and was looking at a cow to buy to replace the one we are selling. He wants me to take a look at her (I make the final decisions around here you know : ) ). We need to get over there and look which doesn't sound like it would take long but both Kurt and I like to talk. (Remember the pop aisle???!!!!) Thursday is somewhat open yet. We really need to get to Fleet Farm to get more supplies (like cat food and milkhouse stuff and I need some new barn footwear, badly). Friday Kurt is getting his haircut in the morning and then we are meeting a friend (who is actually related to Kurt and used to work for him and was an usher in our wedding) for lunch because he has his own farm he is running so he is really busy. His parents are also our neighbors that we are looking at buying the cow from well actually his brother in case you were wondering. Aaron is on a farm about 10 miles from here and the last time we met with him was around the end of October before we went to 3x milking. He was invited the day after Christmas but the boy was too busy (understandable he's always busy), but we are meeting at a place down the road from him. Anyway...Saturday is Disney on Ice in Green Bay. That is my mom, sister-in-law (Jessica), niece Ellie, Mac, and I will be going there. Busy? I think so.

Enjoy the weather. We are going to have unseasonally warm temps close to 50 today. It is really windy though otherwise I was thinking of hanging out some blankets on the clotheline.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday-Scalloped potatoes and ham, and a veggie

Tuesday-Kurt has his Holstein board meeting (they feed him there and will probably be pretty close to what we ate on Monday) so I think we are going to have a frozen pizza and breadsticks or maybe just leftovers.

Wednesday-Tacos or Spaghetti

Thursday-Grilled ham and cheeses and chips

Friday-Homeade pizza with hamburger on it.

Saturday-It's Valentine's day. I'm not sure. Mac and I are going to Disney on Ice with my mom, sister-in-law, and niece during the day.

Check out more menu plans here

Friday, February 6, 2009


Growing up my mom would make pancakes on the weekends because she worked full-time during the week. She would use Bisquick and that is the only way I knew how to make them. My ex was not impressed with these pancakes and his mother gave me the recipe she used to make pancakes from scratch. What a novelty!
I checked in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and found a recipe for pancakes. Shockingly this was not some secret that pancakes can be made from scratch and not a baking mix. I prefer the recipe I'm going to share with you to any baking mix (sorry Mom). I have also mixed up the dry ingredients for 10 batches or so ahead of time. I then measure out the total dry ingredients called for in the recipe and add the remaining ingredients.

In a large bowl or measuring cup with a spout, combine the following.
1 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
In a separate bowl, combine
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tbs cooking oil (I use applesauce)
Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until blended but slightly lumpy. Pour about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter onto a heated griddle. Flip pancakes after top is completely bubbly. Finished when edges are dry and bottom is golden. I like to put chocolate chips over batter when it is first poured onto griddle.

Check out more recipe ideas at the Recipe Swap.
ETA: The batter can be made ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge. This is also an easy recipe to double, triple, etc. I usually double it. If we won't eat the extras with in a couple of days, I individually wrap each pancake in plastic wrap and store in a large freezer bag (in the freezer : ) ).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Where Was I?

I actually made Kurt worry about me today. We are classifying our cows tomorrow at 11am so our milking times are backed up by a couple of hours. I needed to go grocery shopping today because I had a coupon for free milk (not that I needed it, but I do buy chocolate milk) that expired today. I left a little after 11 and figured I should be back by 1:30. I only planned on going to two stores. The one store was the free milk, cheap ice cream (99 cents for a 1/2 gallon), and cheap Gold Bond lotion...but I actually found cheap TP which I had a coupon for and it was doubled (only on Wednesdays). This all has nothing to do with the story.

Fast forward to the next store. Festival Foods was having a Dollar Days and there were a lot of items I wanted to stock-up on like frozen waffles, egg noodles, gold fish crackers, 2-liter Pepsi products. Usually I spend around $40 to $70 when I go shopping, but it had been two weeks and I knew it was not going to be good. Like $102 not good, but I did buy deli meat, chicken, and some soup which is a bit pricey.

When I got out of my car at Festival it was 12:07 pm. Awesome, I told Kurt I should be back by 1:30 and he said right more like 3 (we needed to start milking at 3pm). I skipped the deli and hot bar because there were people getting their lunches and I wanted the food hot. Since it was for Kurt's lunch, I was going to go back to that side of the store when I was done. I planned on getting my frozen waffles and ice cream right before heading over to the deli. As I turned into the pop aisle I noticed a familiar person. A person I have stood and talked to before in the grocery store in our own town.

Her husband is also a dairy farmer and he is on Holstein board with Kurt. We know them very well and the last time we talked she mentioned we should have lunch sometime. So I chatted with Karen for awhile. Kurt sent me a text meanwhile, here it was 12:45pm when he sent it and I looked at it 2:20pm. I talked to her for almost 2 hours! In the pop aisle! I think the guy who was stocking the Coke thought he we were nuts. I like talking to Karen obviously, but we really need to do lunch or supper sometime!

After we were done talking I felt like my sugar was low, and I needed to eat something which I had planned on doing on my way home an hour and a half ago. So I hurried as best as I could and I called Kurt to let him know what was going on. I had no idea it was as late as it was. I told him he should have called because that is what I would have done. I quick went through Arbys and this was across from Arbys. That van is perpendicular with the road. I have no idea how in the world it ended up like that or why it would be like that. It is shoved up in the snow bank. I thought it looked interesting. There were two squad cars behind it because part of it was hanging in traffic. Wierd.

I am going to go rest up now. We are going to milk at 12:30am. Yuck.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week we are eating what we have whether its in the pantry or freezer. Exciting, I know! We ate really wierd food yesterday during the Super Bowl. It was more so an odd combination of food. Sticky dogs (little hotdogs, grape jelly, chili sauce), BBQ bacon chestnuts, chicken breast chunks with sweet and sour sauce, and taco dip with chips. My stomach is still turning, but it was good!
Monday-Turkey and gravy (from freezer), mashed potatoes, and green beans
Tuesday-Tator tot casserole
Wednesday-Hamburgers, flavored rice, and salad
Thursday-Pork chops (from freezer), hashbrown casserole, and veggie
Friday-Hot ham and cheese grilled sandwhiches, tomato soup, and chips
Saturday-I have two hams in the freezer I think I'm going to make one and some scalloped potatoes (real ones)
For more menu ideas check out OrgJunkie