Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday



We have lots of leftovers from the party. I have a whole ice cream pail (4 quarts) of shredded pork loin roast. I have a few ideas for it but I don't know how much I can get Kurt or Mac to eat of it this week. Check out menu ideas at OrgJunkie!

Monday- Pancakes and sausages

Tuesday-Pork-fried rice : ) YUM

Wednesday-Taco casserole with shredded pork instead of regular beef taco meat.

Thursday-Something simple

Friday-Chicken breasts, broccoli and linguini

Check out what's happening at Lime-Acres!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spaghetti Salad

This will be a quick post. I finished my chores before Kurt so I'm waiting for him to finish feeding cows. Then we need to clean the barn which means we will turn on the barn cleaner and all the manure will magically disappear. Hooray!


Spaghetti salad is the recipe I am sharing on this week's Recipe Swap. I think it is so good and if you love vegetables I think you will enjoy this recipe.



Spaghetti Salad


1 pound cooked spaghetti
1 bottle Zesty Italian dressing (I used Kraft lite)
4 Tbsp McCormicks Salad Supreme
Chopped veggies as much or as little as you like. I prefer tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers because I'm scared of onions, olives, etc.



Combine all in a large bowl and refrigerate covered for atleast 4 hours. Enjoy!



Check out what's happening at Lime-Acres!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Correction

As I was looking for my shiny, black SmartPot Rival crockpot that intimidates me and I have to use the owners manual to funtion, I found something. I was telling the world last week that I own seven crockpots. It was all a lie I am sorry to say. I forgot that I wanted a cute small 1-1/2 quart crock for dips or smaller items. So um, yeah I own eight crockpots. Please don't call the authorities because I am prepared to relinquish my rights to a couple. Heck maybe I'll have to have a giveaway. I still have two in a box remember??? So they aren't used or anything like that. My grubby mitts have not touched them but thankfully I do have an abundance of crockpots. Because I had to pull out three to cook 10 pounds of pork roasts and my kitchen cupboard it now filled.



Kurts out feeding and bedding the cows so I better get back to work. I have to help him let the cows back in.



Crockpotally Yours,
Meghan

Quick Note

I'm getting ready for a little girl's birthday and a bit older more mature grandma's birthday (she turned 94 on Monday). I have a rather long and aggressive list planned for today. Want to hear what we are having to eat on Saturday? Of course you do.



Baked chicken drumsticks in a crunchy coating (will go in crockpot to stay warm)
Shredded pork loin roast sandwhiches
Homeade saurkraut for those who like it with their pork
Cheesy hashbrown potatoes
Baked beans
Spaghetti Salad (recipe later or Friday)
Fruit Salad (recipe later or Friday)
Cheese, sausage, and crackers
Veggies and dip
Potato chips
Rainbow jello (multi-layered in a 9x13)
Maybe taco dip if I feel really ambitious
Brownies
Black Forest Cake
White cake from the store



Just checked online to see what our milk check was. It was a hundred more than Kurt expected so hopefully that helps his mood. He gets really cranky when finances get tight or are lacking and boy have they been lacking...I better get moving. I'll have some recipes later when I feel like taking a break from cleaning and laundry.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday



This is Mac's birthday week. Her birthday is on Saturday and I'm sure I will mention this a few more times this week. I have lots to do. Cleaning, shopping, locating presents that I hid in the house, cooking, baking, and teaching two Adventures in Dairyland classes this week to fourth graders. I also go in and have lunch with her which I think I'm going to do today and bring in a treat. I have cupcakes in the oven so I better get the menu down and get movin!




Monday-Swiss Steak and mashed potatoes



Tuesday- Chicken parmigiana



Wednesday-Hamburgers, rice a roni, and grean beans



Thursday-Leftovers or a frozen pizza



Friday-Perch from the deli at the grocery store--it's actually very good!



Saturday-I'll let you know in another post.




Check here to see what's happening at Lime-Acres Holsteins . I had to go rescue the cupcakes. But the dumb smoke alarm in the living room went off which is wierd. It's two rooms away from the kitchen. Oh well. Go get some great ideas for your menus at OrgJunkie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marshmallow Chocolate Bars

A couple weeks ago, during fellowship after church I had the best chocolate, brownie-like bars with marshmallow on top with a layer of frosting which had Rice Krispies in it. They were so good. By accident, I found the recipe in the cookbook from the church I used to go to and where my mom and dad still belong. Go check out other recipes over the Recipe Swap




Marshmallow Chocolate Bars


Cream
3/4 c butter or margarine
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs


Add
3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)


Mix all and spread in a prepared 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Spoon 7 oz jar marshmallow creme or enough mini marshmallows to cover. Put back in oven for about 3 minutes to melt and soften. Spread over the top and make smooth.


Melt 6 oz each of chocolate and butterscotch chips and 1 cup of peanut butter (any kind) together in the microwave. Add 2 to 2-1/2 cups Rice Krispies. Spread over marshmallow layer and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Seven Crockpots for Seven Meals

Could that be a musical too? Just kidding. So I have seven crockpots/slow cookers and I'm not afraid to admit that. My first crockpot was my grandma's Rival which must be from early 80s or late 70s. I'm sure my mom will comment and let us know. That crockpot's crock is non-removable which makes it less appealing to me. It works well but I like a removable inside.



Before I was married to Kurt, I owned three crockpots/slow cookers. Then I registered at three different stores and was given a wedding shower. A red Rival oval six or seven quart crockpot with a carrying case showed up at the shower. Sadly it is still upstairs in it's box. I promise I will use it by this summer. My aunt and cousin-in-laws (cousins' wives-two cousins, two wives just to make that clear) gave my shower gift to my mom to give to me. It was a black, six quart (or bigger) programmable Rival crockpot. I pulled this one out of the box for Thanksgiving and used it for the sliced ham. Thank goodness it comes with directions because that crockpot has more than the normal functions of low, high, and warm. Seriously, I am kind of intimidated by it. There is a probe to stick into the item you are cooking to make sure it is heated to proper internal temperature. Lots of other things too which I did not have time to master yet.



So now the count is at five crockpots. Next comes the wedding. One round, four quart Rival crockpot which has a light green colored crock. This is my favorite one. It is the perfect size for everything that I cook. A four quart round slow cooker that I will admit is still in it's box upstairs with the red Rival from the shower. What does a girl do with seven freaking crockpots? Go into business and rent them out? Haha. I am planning on downsizing my fleet this summer to only five crockpots. Hope you liked hearing where they all came from. : )

A Birth Announcement

On Sunday, we had our first heifer calf born since December 2nd. The surprising part is she was born red and white not black and white. Red and white seem to be worth more money. If you are raising beef cattle though, black-hided cattle are worth more. I'm not sure why. Back to the baby...
This is what our newest addition looked like minutes after birth. Kurt had to pull her out and Mac watched. I was in the house cleaning, but came out after Mac came running in to tell me we had a red heifer calf. I though she was joking. There is no way, well there was a way but we did not even think we had a chance of getting a red calf. Krunch, her mom is licking her clean, which is what a good mama cow does after her baby is born. Normally there is not a yellowish tint to the calf goo but Kurt said she must have had an infection of some sort.
This calf is the perfect size for Mac to show at the fair in the Kids and Calves showmanship show. But we might sell her because she is a marketable little lady. She will probably turn black but she is definetly red (for now) and she has an awesome pedigree. Plus she is show age. Dairy cattle are shown in classes which span three months. She would in the spring calf class which is March 1 to May 31. Her birthdate is March 15.

Now we must come up with a name for her. It has to start with a K and I had a name picked out before she was born and we did not know if it was going to be a heifer or bull. I though Kream would be a good name for her. Otherwise we have come up with Kween (Queen) or Kaboom because her mom's name is Krunch so Kaboom would kind of go in theme with her mom. Kween because we (I mean me) are spoiling her. She is sooo cute. I can't help it. I'm sure after a few more calves are born she'll be old news but for now she's a hot topic.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




Monday- Ribs in the crockpot with homade saurkraut, cheesy potatoes in another crockpot (I'll explain below), and baked beans or green beans (Mac will pick)



Tuesday- Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole (have not had for about a month although it's been on the plan)



Wednesday- Leftovers--spaghetti from Sunday or casserole



Thursday- Smoked sausage, more homade saurkraut, and potatoes of some sort



Friday- Pizza made with Betty Crocker pizza crust, jarred pizza sauce, raw hamburger, light layer of mozzarella over the top. Yum. The hamburger does get cooked and it is much better than making with the hamburger already cooked.



Saturday- Chicken in the crockpot with carrots and stuffing on the side.



Go check out Erin at $5 dinners who is hosting this weeks MPM!



Check here for what's shaking on the rest of my blog.




**I am making the cheesy potatoes in the crockpot because I want to see if they will turn out. I am planning on making them for my daughter's birthday on the 28th. I have an abundance of crockpots (ahem, 7) and don't want to tie up the oven if I can throw it in the crockpot instead.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Black Forest Cake

Go check out the Recipe Swap for other great recipes. This a great cake. It's easy and really hits the spot if you need something sweet. I am going to make it in two weeks for my daughter's birthday and Kurt's soon-to-be 94-year-old Grandma's birthday. Mac is going to get a store-bought cake. It is the first one in seven years of birthdays so I do not feel too guilty. I'm hoping to make this cake into a layered cake by baking it in round pans instead of a 9x13.



Black Forest Cake

1 pkg Devil's food cake mix
3 eggs, beaten
1 can cherry pie filling


Mix eggs and pie filling together. Stir in cake mix. Pour into prepared pan of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.


Frosting for Black Forest Cake

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp milk
1 cup sugar

Heat to boiling and boil for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tsp vanilla. Cool and frost.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frugal/Cheap Curtains



This is my first time taking part in WFMW .
Back when I did not have a lot of money, wait I still do not have any money. I wanted to replace the curtains in my living room and kitchen/dining area of my poorman's palace. I loved my house by the way except it was located in a "community" (nice word for trailer park).


I recruited my mom to help me. She knows how to run a sewing machine really well. She had a brilliant idea because of the amount of fabric I would need it would have cost me more than I had to spare at the time. The flat sheet! They are sold separately and cost less than 10 dollars depending on thread count and brand. I think I bought two or three for eight dollars each if I can remember that long ago (atleast 4-1/2 years). I picked navy and my mom made me five valances and two panels. Not too shabby. Plus no one knew they were bed sheets.




Now my "new" bedroom desperately needs curtains. I have the curtain rods up and mini blinds, but they need a little color. I'm thinking of looking through the stash of sheets I already have and pulling out a top sheet or two. I'm also thinking of mixing and matching up depending on the style of curtain I make. I have a single window that will get a valance or sweeping panel to the side for it. Then I have a double window that needs more than a valance. Maybe cafe style curtains even though that does not seem very bedroomy does it? Otherwise I could make a valance to match the singe window then panels in a different color/pattern to match. I would really like to be able to do this without buying any new sheets or fabric.
It worked for me once and hopefully it will work again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Weekend

With the time change and our very busy weekend, I was so worn out. Friday we worked all day. When I say all day, I mean all day. I was in the house a few hours but during that time I wrote out bills and made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. There were no naps or nothing Friday. But I would make up for it in the coming day, and the time change really messed my system up.



Friday I filled out the cards that go above the cows stalls. They list the name, sire and dam information, production records, and who the cow is bred to or when it is due to calve. After the second milking, I ran in the house to fill out some bills to make sure they got to the post office by four because that is when they close. Then I was in the house until 6:30 baking cookies. I sent Mac out sooner than I went out which worked out fine. I can get out of the house faster if I don't have to nag her to get her clothes change. This way when I was ready I went out. When I got to the barn Kurt was almost done vacuuming the cows. Sounds kind of silly, but their winter hair is shedding. Plus it feels good to them to get the dead hair off and it makes them look sooo much better. Not kidding. Then we started washing their tails. Mac really wanted to help with this. Kurt showed her what to do and the two of them worked on the dirtiest tails. After the second one, she had had enough but Kurt made her keep going and she did really well. I started milking before they were done because my back was hurting and I needed to change my activity.


Before I started milking, I had to find my cat Rat. She is so cute and is still a kitten for another month (she'll be a year so to me she's still a baby). I ended up finding her in the machine shed. Someone (Kurt or his dad) shut the door and she must have been nosing around. She was so happy to see me I could barely hold her she was so excited. Kurt was wondering what was holding me up. I think he's jealous of her. Can't say I blame him.


At quarter to ten, Mac asked if she could go in and go to bed. She went in and to bed. Lucky her. We were having some of the county Holstein breeders over to see our cows. There were two other farms they were going to see as well but we were the first stop on the tour. They were not going to be here until 11, but the morning goes really fast when you're trying to get everything done. I was lucky enough to have time for shower thank goodness. We had a little more than 40 people come.


After everyone left, we started milking again around 12:30pm. By 1:40pm we were in the truck and headed to McDonalds to get lunch through the drive-thru. The last farm stop was at 2 and were there til almost 4 I think. I got to talk to lots of my girlfriends. One of them insisted that we come over for supper because they were going to get take-out Chinese. They were also the one's who were the second farm on the tour that we did not get to see (not that we haven't been to their place tons of times). So we went over to their place and I rode with her and another friend to get the food. What a good time we had. This Chinese food was from a top of the line place (there is no buffet there) it is gourmet Chinese to me. Not that I could tell you the difference but there definetly was one.


Kurt had asked his cousin who lives about 8 miles north of us if we could come and see his cows Saturday night. So after supper at our friends, Kurt went out and looked at their cattle. Then we three hopped back in the truck and headed north about 16 miles (we were south of our place). That was at about 6:30 we got there. Mac got to ride one of there horses. Kayla their daughter actually led her around and Andrea (Kurt's cousin-in-law : ) ) and I got visit. Somehow the conversation got on bikes that Mac needed a new one and Kayla had one she had outgrown. Perfect, she gave it to me because they were going to get rid of it anyway. What a deal! We did not leave there til 9:30pm. Kurt and his cousin Ken could probably talk all night. That's okay though.


We still have to milk and feed the heifers in the barn. Yuck. We got to bed at midnight (1am with the time change) and I got up at 7am new time. Church was not happening today. Sunday school did not happen either. We got a snow storm that started around 11am. I took a three hour nap and got out to the barn to help Kurt milk at 3pm. I'm still not right on the sleep yet.


Yawn...Kurt's at a church in town playing in a dartball tournament. I should head to bed. Maybe I will have something a little more interesting to talk about later.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday



Monday-Broiled fish (because we have not eaten it yet and it needs to be cooked)

Tuesday-Leftovers (Meatloaf and fish)

Wednesday-Build-your-own tacos (I'll make mine taco salad)

Thursday-It is just Mac and I because Kurt has his Holstein board meeting, whatever we want...maybe tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Friday-Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread

Saturday-Baked chicken, potatoes, and a veggie


Visit OrgJunkie for more menu ideas or check out what's happening here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Correction

Cheese curds are not a waste product, but cheese singles are (I won't say the brand name because they come in generic as well). My mom sent me an email me informing me this here it is...




Meghan you need some education as far as cheese curds go... they are not waste products!! That is what is packed into to the round tubes that get compressed to make the cheese wheels, etc. if you ever buy the really really fresh cheddar... you can see shapes of the curds. I'm so embarrassed that you wrote that cheese curds were waste products, considering that your grandpa was a cheese maker as was your great grandpas (Gilson and Winter). Have a great day!! Hope you get some of the relief that the govt. is giving out to the dairy farmers. We are going to the cabin this week end. Talk to you soon. Mom




I am not a complete dipstick. I must get back to the barn. Lots of work to do today in there. I have to make these later.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary (yesterday)

Yesterday was our four month anniversary of milking three times a day. Time flies when you are working your rear off unfortunately mine is not literally off. Bummer. To me now it is a challenge to see how long we can keep this up. We do not have any regular hired help just Kurt and I. Kurt's dad shows up in the afternoons when it suits him. He likes to do field work and drive tractor so he will be here in another month or so when there is work to be done. Once a month we have a friend milk one milking for us which I really, really look forward too.



Back to the challenge of seeing how long we can do this, my friend Sara and her soon-to-be ex milked 3x for eight months. As I said before, Kurt and I are milking 3x to make more money and in turn pay down debt. Then the milk price when down, way down. Enjoy your cheap food (sorry, but I hope it does not last long). I noticed milk was down 1.10 a gallon at our store in town. Atleast the price at the store actually went down when our price did as well. Cheese curds were a dollar cheaper too. Do you know what a cheese curd is? I call it a waste product. Something extra they are getting out of the whey. Plus they make a killing on it. Try them they are good. I have to get Kurt a bag whenever I'm near a store or cheese factory.



Do you want to know what I do all day? No? Well I'll tell you anyway. I have a very fascinating life and I feel I need to share it : ) Haha : )

5:30-6:45am Milk the cows and clean the milkhouse (milking equipment)
6:45-7:15am Clean, feed, and bed three pens of heifers that are in the barn
During this Kurt feeds the cows their haylage, corn silage, grain, protein, and special powders (they are magical according to Kurt), throws hay to the heifers outside.
7:15-7:45am I go in and get Mac ready to go out to the end of the driveway to wait for the bus
7:45-8:30am Clean the barn (turn the barn cleaner on to empty the gutter that is full of poop) and bed the gutter. I scrape the straw into the gutter that is behind the cows. Fill up my heifer feed and bring it back near the pens so I have for their night feeding. Feed the heifers in the pens hay.
8:30-11:30am Free time (breakfast, errands, chores in the house, paperwork/business work, nap, whatever we want to do)
11:30-1:00pm Let the cows outside, bed the cows, feed the cows the same stuff from this am, and set up the milkhouse, fillup feed pails in the feed room, and let the cows back in.
1:00-2:15pm Milk the cows and clean milkhouse
2:15-3:00pm Feed the heifers outside hay, haylage, corn silage, feed mix and their magic powder. Kurt gets hay down to feed the cows it. Kurt also cleans out the heifer shed if it needs it.
This is where we change it up. The heifers in the pens need to be fed again. Sometimes I come back out between 5 and 6pm to do it or we do it after milking. Kurt also feeds the cows a third time which is sometimes after the last milking or around 5 and 6.

6:30-8:30 or 9pm is Free time.
9-10:30pm Milk, clean milkhouse, and give cows more haylage and heifers in pens more hay.
Just an FYI the cows always have feed in front of them to eat.
This is a typical day, but it gets changed up depending on what is going on. Yesterday we had a meeting at noon so we milked later and were out in the barn longer in the morning to have everything ready when we got home.



Now when field work and planting begins, I will probably be on my own a lot in the barn or I will be in the tractor and Kurt will be in the barn. I can't plant or plow, but I can disc and drag fields. It's kind of theraputic. Yawn. I think I need to nap before all of my "free" time is gone. Kurt is already asleep on the couch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




Here is what I'm planning on for the three of us to eat this week. It is another busy week. March is a busy month and it is every year so I'm prepared (I think).





Monday-Leftovers, exciting I know : )



Tuesday-Cheeseburger Meatloaf, potatoes, and carrots






Thursday-Leftovers, not sure



Friday-Broiled haddock, french fries, coleslaw



Saturday-I hope Godfather's pizza : )




Check out more menu plans over at OrgJunkie!