Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday-Homemade macaroni and cheese with turkey blend smoked sausage and salad
Tuesday-Pork chops, baked potato, salad, corn
Wednesday-Chicken Enchiladas from WW cookbook (thanks Mary!)
Thursday-Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
Friday-Pancakes, bacon, and fresh fruit
Saturday-Leftovers...since I need to make a dish for our potluck at church.
Check out OrgJunkie for other menu ideas! I have to get my list ready for run to the grocery store(s) and I also need to try and complete OrgJunkie 28-day Organization Challenge. Let's just say I am trying. I am not a magician and my husband is partly to can I just throw his stuff in a box??? : )

Friday, February 26, 2010

Seven Layer Bars

I need to make these bars for a fundraiser tomorrow. The reason why I need to make them is because they are tasty and I'm short on ingredients for other recipes that I linked up below. Specifically chocolate chips. I am running real low and this recipe is very forgiving-anything goes. You may end up with four layer bars or 10 whatever you come up with they will be a hit! More recipe located at the Recipe Swap.

Seven Layer Bars

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1-1/2 cups graham cracker or Oreo crumbs

1 cup each chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter or vanilla chips, chopped walnuts, flaked coconut, and anything else that floats your boat.

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter in a 9x13 pan and melt in the oven. This won't take long so stay close. Swirl around pan to evenly coat bottom and around the sides. Sprinkle crumbs in an even layer and press into butter. Then layer chips, nuts, and coconut ending with sweetened condensed milk over the top. Bake until turns golden brown about 20 to 30 minutes depending on oven. I tend to cook mine too long so watch closely after 20 minutes. Enjoy!

More bar recipes worth trying!

Eclair Dessert

Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Special K Bars

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save the Ham!

I go grocery shopping about every two weeks and more times then not I pick up a pound of sliced ham from the deli. I am not one to let expiration dates dictate whether food is still edible but deli meat is an exception. With any other food I would throw it in the freezer but for some reason I don't and won't do that with the ham. Not sure why and I think I'm sounding crazy. But for that reason I have two wonderful recipes to use up that short-lived deli ham or regular ham for that matter.

Ham and Cheese Frittata

Oil, enough for a thin coat in pan
3 cups shredded or southern hashbrowns, frozen
Ham, chopped
6-10 eggs, beaten (I use one carton of egg substitute)
Swiss, sharp cheddar, gouda, fontina or your favorite cheese about 1-1/2 cups shredded

In an oven-proof skillet heat oil and add hashbrowns. Make an even layer across the pan flipping after about 6-8 minutes. Spread out to form a crust and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Lay ham over potatoes and then pour eggs over that and season as desired. Cook over medium heat on the stove. With a spatula run it around the outside of the eggs after they have set to allow unset egg to flow to the outside (kind of what you would do with an omlet). After the outside is pretty well set, stick skillet into a 375 degree oven to allow the center to set. This will depend on the how far the frittata was cooked on the stove so just watch and give the skillet a jiggle. If the center does not jiggle pull out your skillet and top the frittata with cheese. Put back in the oven to melt the cheese which will not take long. Cut into wedges and enjoy. Tastes great the next day too!

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Ham slices
Potatoes, sliced
2-3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
onion powder, ground mustard (optional)
2-1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Colby, Sharp cheddar, or Gouda (these work really well)
additional milk and cheese

Depending on the amount of potatoes you use this will all vary slightly. Usually I make either a 9x13 pyrex dish or regular dutch oven size amount. Layer potatoes on the bottom and top with the ham in the middle. Then make a roux. Take a medium saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted sprinkle the flour and seasonings into the butter. Using a whisk mix together and allow to cook for a few minutes. Mixture will bubble and stir around occasionally. Turn heat up to medium high and pour in milk. Stir constantly until thickens. Reduce heat and continue stirring constantly until desired thickeness is reached. Added shredded cheese. This is really good with tortilla chips in case you get the munchies not that I would know what that is like. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and ham. It may look like its not saucy enough so I add milk around the edges just so the bottom of the dish is covered. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Additional cheese can be put on top at the end of baked until melted. More great leftovers. This is one of my top five favorite meals.

Check out WFMW for more great tips!

Update on the Challenge

Oh my the challenge...My time is almost up. I can say I have made some progress but there is a lot more to do. My husband has a pile he of papers, publications, etc which he is in charge of organizing. I have been piling it on his desk chair. The funny part. If he needs to sit at the computer with me, he will sit on his pile. He told our herd vet about this and got a laugh out of him. With only five days left in the challenge I hope to buckle down and finish this with a completed room. I may have to gather Kurts stuff up and put it in a garbage bag. Is that cheating? Does anyone else have husbands like this? He threatens me if I throw something of his away he will throw something of mine away. I make sure I get rid of items he will never know are gone. Shhhh!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday-Turkey burgers with cheese and maybe lean bacon, oven fries, green beans.

Tuesday-Hot beef and mashed potatoes, corn

Wednesday-Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Thursday-Crispy Ranch Chicken, potatoes, green beans


Saturday-Something simple : )

My blood pressure and cholesterol are high. Which means it time to change what we are eating and start trying to live a healthier life. Easier said than done but I am trying and I have lost five pounds. I am hoping to lose a total of 13 so eight more pounds by my daughter's birthday which is March 28. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Milking the cows three times a day only provides a low impact workout and I am not constantly moving if I am milking with someone else but by myself gets the heart pumping.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday/Lasagna Recipe

Photo from

Monday-Whatever...we had a very late lunch

Tuesday-Hearty Meatball Lasagna (recipe below), garlic bread and salad

Wednesday- Shake and bake chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, green beans

Thursday-Turkey chili or leftovers for the Pickies

Friday- Crunchy baked haddock, oven fries, rye bread, and salad

Saturday-Leftovers or out for supper

Courtesy of Doctor Oz
Hearty Meatball Lasagna

1 box whole wheat lasagna sheets, cooked
3/4 lb chopped portobello mushroom caps (about 5) or white button mushrooms
1 10 oz. bag baby Swiss chard or baby greens (can also use frozen chopped spinach as a substitute, thawed and well drained)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 lb part skim mozzarella, thinly sliced or grated
1/4 cup grated Italian cheese
8 meatballs
Your favorite high-quality jar tomato sauce (no meat in it)

Preheat oven to 375.
Toss mushrooms with 1.5 tbsp olive oil on a baking sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer into a medium bowl and mash 8 meatballs into mixture. In a large saucepan, sauté chard in remaining olive oil and garlic over medium heat until wilted. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cooked chard and egg. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.Add sauce to the bottom of an 11x14 pan, add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles over, then spoon the ricotta mixture over the top. Then add some meatball and mushroom mixture on top of that. Then place a few very small pieces of mozzarella (spread out) and more sauce to cover layer. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Top last sauce layer with remaining mozzarella (this should be most of it) and sprinkle with grated cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and cook additional 15 minutes.

I am going to omit the Swiss chard and substitute fat-free cottage cheese for ricotta. I am also going to make this tomorrow during the day and not cook the noodles. I hope you enjoy because the picture is making me hungry!

Check out OrgJunkie for more menu plans.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Half-Baked Chicken Fried Chicken

Half-baked chicken fried chicken. Do I really need to say anything more? The chicken stays moist and is a really great treat if you like fried chicken. I love the crunchy coating and hopefully others checking out the Recipe Swap will too!

Let's get started! For this you will need a few items. There are very few measurements and it's more so keep each item on hand if you need to add'll get the idea.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts
flour (1 cup)
beaten egg(s) (2)
saltine crackers, crushed (1 sleeve)
seasoning or chicken coating mix (opt)
olive or canola oil

I usually use a 2.5 to 3 pound bag of breasts which is about 5-6 breasts. My ingredients amounts will be based off this. But it is easy to add more if you need more, just remember that so you don't start off with too much.

Assemble 3 bowls/containers large enough to lay a breast in for dipping. Put the flour, beaten egg, and cracker crumbs (with/without seasoning or coating mix) in their own separate bowls. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Preheat oven as well to 400 degrees. Have a baking dish ready to transfer chicken into. I use a 9x13.

Take a chicken breast and coat it with flour on both sides. Shaking off the excess and then dip into beaten egg, covering both sides. Remove from egg to the cracker crumb mixture. Make sure to coat entire surface of chicken. Carefully put into frying pan with butter and oil. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side. You want a golden color on each side.

I have to do atleast two batches. You don't want to overcrowd the frying pan. Three is the most I can fit in their. I also add more butter and oil if it needed which it will be needed. Transfer to a baking dish.

I bake mine at 400 degree until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Probably about 30 minutes or so. I use my trusty thermometer. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting in. Enjoy your half-baked chicken fried chicken!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

28 Day Organizing Challenge

OrgJunkie is doing a 28 day Organizing Challenge. I am up for a challenge and I definetly have a room for the challenge. Meet our office.

Our very disfunctional,

very cluttered,

very unorganized mess, I mean office.

Farm stuff, tools, Mac's school stuff, bull stud catalogs...

The list is endless! Check back at the end of the month for photos on the progress and see if I completed the challenge!

One of the Best Christmas Presents Ever

Men are funny. If you casually mention while walking in a store that a certain item interests you and you would like to be a future owner of said item, and you are with your husband they will do one of two things. Ignore you or buy it for you. I casually mentioned that "someday" and I meant someday not Christmas I wouldn't mind having one of those to Kurt. One of those was a large rectangular griddle and those were my exact words to him. For Christmas I got one, and for Valentines day a huge food processor. I'm not one of those women that gets mad if he buys me something for the kitchen because I actually like this kind of stuff. But at the time, we were not married and I lived in an apartment. I did not use either item for a good couple of months because I was not too sure where they fit into my life at that point. Silly I know.

Of course there was one particular small kitchen appliance Kurt would not buy me. I almost forgot to mention this was the guy who surprised me with a small chest freezer for my birthday that same year (farming must been good). But for some reason the butthead wouldn't get me what I truly longed for, especially if I was going to be married to him for the rest of eternity. I would tell him all my friends are getting these and he said that is something more for a 10-year wedding anniversary. I was not waiting 10 years for a mixer.

See my husband loves cookies. Chocolate chip cookies and the dough. He's a farmer and farmer's love cookies. My husband told me if I am ever wondering what food I need to have around the house for him cookies are at the top of the list. That's the only thing I remember on the list...maybe Pepsi or Sundrop was the other....caffeine and sugar. What is, what a farmer runs on! Anyway...when I make cookies for him I cream the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla with my hand mixer, yes a hand mixer. To combine the dry and wet ingredients I usually used a spatula. I broke atleast two spatulas doing this because I always make a double batch. If not a quadruple batch in two bowls because my husband is serious about his cookies.

I don't know if he took pity on me but we had a little extra money at the end of this year. 2009 was a rotten year and I was not expecting anything for Christmas. Early in December Kurt told me if I wanted I could go get myself one. So I did and I use it not like the other gifts that were barely used at first. It came with a dough hook, whisk, and a mixing attachment. It was a great gift and its versatile. Unlike my hand mixer I am not afraid that it is going to blow a gasket because this baby was made to mix dough. If you make items that require an electric mixer a lot, I highly recomment investing in a KitchenAid mixer. I plan on using mine until the end of eternity or until Kurt is sick of cookies which ever comes first : )

This is linked to WFMW

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

To view other menu ideas check out OrgJunkie. I took an inventory of my freezer to get some ideas this week. I am all out of roasts which to me are so simple and easy to throw in the cockpot frozen. If it's a pork roast I dump a bag of frozen saurkraut over the top. YUM. Or leave it plan add some seasoning and water. My beef roast recipe I use is just as simple(link below). Or I use water and seasoning and add my potatoes and carrots so they cook right along-very yummy. I need to do some grocery shopping either later this week or early next week. Before I go further I have to admit I am always paranoid about forgetting something while I'm shopping which makes me feel unprepared each time even though I have a list. Ugh. There I feel much better.
Monday-Crockpot beef roast (its a rump this week), potatoes, and carrots
Tuesday-Spaghetti casserole (from the freezer), garlic bread, and salad
Wednesday-Pancakes, bacon, and fruit
Thursday-Hamburgers, tator tots, and green beans
Friday-My dad's birthday the big 6-4 : ) I'm hoping for a perch supper courtesy of the birthday boy.
Saturday-Easy Chicken and Rice bake, broccoli, and cream corn. Going to Disney on Ice during the day so I'll have this ready to go in the oven when I get home.
Sunday-Tenderloin tips with noodles, salad, and corn (Kurt's favorite meal)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One of Those Days

Maybe it is one of those weeks. Not terribly busy but plenty to do. Monday was my day "off." I only had to due my normal chores in the morning, come to milk in the afternoon, feed my calves and heifers in the barn around 6pm, and go out at night for the third milking. Tuesday we test which means there is a technician here who takes a sample from each cow that is milking. Because we milk 3X and have a registered herd of cattle, we have to test two of the three milkings so our herd production records are official with the Holstein Association. I like our tester she is fun girl who likes to talk and that makes milking go quicker. Maclayne had a small project due on Wednesday. When she got home, Kurt asked when we were going to work on it. I told him I wanted her to get it done tonight. Well duh! She had to have it done tonight because tomorrow was Wednesday. Oops.

Wednesday I had to go have my blood pressure rechecked and blood drawn for some tests. My blood pressure was down to 114/84 and two weeks ago it was 132/92. I'm happy it came down but now I need to get it down to a healthier level. Especially the bottom number. My appointment was in the morning since you need to fast 12 hours before the blood draw. When I got home at 10:30, Kurt was on the couch half asleep. I figured I could either go on the computer and catch up with my stuff on here or take advantage of the quiet and hop into bed. I hopped into bed. I woke up 45 minutes later to the phone ringing and I had not been sleep too well. Ran to pick up the phone and it was no one I knew on the ID and Kurt was sitting at the table eating a banana. I went back to bed for another hour but this time pulled the extra flannel comforter over me. That felt good. Nice and warm this time.

Maclayne took cold lunch to school today because she does not like it when they have breakfast for lunch. She claims she gets syrup all over herself and then she's sticky for the rest of the day. When I opened the fridge for breakfast there was her sandwhich. The rest of her lunch was packed and in her bag. So I ran down to school a little bit ago because I'm nice and I would hope my mom would do that for me if I had forgotten my sandwhich. Then again my mom worked away from home and wouldn't have noticed it but anway!

I'm also job searching. Oh how fun. If I could find something working from home and be hired, that would be just awesome. I have my husband reading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. Awhile ago he ordered a book off of an infomercial called Debt Cures, but the funny thing is he used a credit card to pay for it. I think Dave Ramsey's book is making more sense. I am so sick of credit card debt. If you are familiar with the snowball method, I have trying to do that for years. This time I am going to be successful. I have five credit cards and if I have had a job I could easily pay off four of the five in a short time. Ahhh financial freedom, atleast on my end here I come! I hope, but I really do not want leave home to work. My daughter would be sad and is sad when I have to go to work. I really hate that part and working in the summer would just be awful. So I have been trying to be resourceful and think of alternatives to making money and paying down debt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It is still Monday for 14 more minutes. Hey, I made it thanks to milking cows three-times-a-day which means I am still awake. : ) Only 5 hours until I need to get up. SMILE : )

Monday-Mexican hamburger and rice (AKA Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada), corn, and cornbread

Tuesday-Personal sized pizzas with salad

Wednesday-Chicken Fried Halfway Chicken (recipe to follow), baked potato, green beans

Thursday-Hot ham sandwhiches, sugar-free Jello, chips, and pickles

Friday-Poorman's lobster (recipe to follow if it tastes good, cross your fingers), baked french fries, and salad

Saturday-We are going to my friend Loree's wedding and her reception is at a country club which open to the public to rent so I'm curious to see what it looks like probably no big deal and probably the only time I will ever be in one.

For more menu plans check out OrgJunkie