Sunday, February 11, 2018

February On The Farm

You never know what winter in Wisconsin will bring. I took these photo's on January 27, a mere two weeks ago. The chickens were happily free ranging. They had their paths around the ice and the minimal snow. 

I didn't realize how much things had changed until looking at these pictures. We have received lots of snow in the last two weeks. One snow alone brought us 6 inches, so we are looking quite a bit more seasonal and snow covered now. 

 The chickens had a nice break though and have been able to stretch their legs. Hoping as the days start to get longer, we will begin to see some eggs from them again. We don't provide heat or light for them, it's all up to Mother Nature, so in the winter eggs are not plentiful!

 While we didn't have a lot of snow up until recent, we did have more than enough ice. This "field road" is so covered in ice, I won't even try walking over it!

Mr.C. is hesitant to go over the ice also :)

Mr. C enjoying the nice day we had. Queen of the farm was near by, but wasn't in the mood to pose for a photo. Maybe next time!

Be warm my friends!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Warm Chili

I love chili, in fact it's in my top ten favorite foods. It always makes me happy, I never think "oh no, not chili again...."! I've been to a couple chili cook-offs and I LOVE tasting all the chili's. It gives me so many ideas, of course I never follow through with them... but I do love them! I wish my husband shared my love of chili so we could go to more cook-offs and eat more chili!

Which brings us to this recipe. My husband. He just doesn't love my chili. I've been making my chili for YEARS! I first shared it on the blog 6 years ago! Check it out here. Well, husband has become less of a fan of spicy than he ever was, and honestly I think some of the foods have become a little spicier? Like the chipotles in adobo, anyone else think they have gotten hotter over the years? Or maybe it's just my husband rubbing off on my tastebuds and I am not as tough as I used to be. 

I needed to find a chili we could agree on. I found it! Just walking through the grocery store yesterday, I saw a can of enchilada sauce and was inspired. A couple tweaks to my old recipe, and this recipe was born. And approved.

Enough spices to warm and give amazing flavor, but nothing to set you on fire. We have finally found the compromise with this "Warm Chili". Not bland, not hot, but warm!

As a side note, I am proud to say the canned tomatoes and tomato paste used in this recipe were canned by me, from my garden! So proud!

Warm Chili
1 lb. lean ground meat (turkey, venison, or beef would all work well)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can medium red enchilada sauce
2 (15 oz) cans chili beans ( I used 1 can mild, and 1 can medium)
1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes
1 - 2 cups water

Crushed tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Green onion

In large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground meat until brown.  Drain.  Stir in onion and peppers; cook until vegetables are tender.  Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Stir in tomato paste, beans, and enchilada sauce. 

In blender, puree tomatoes with one cup water. 

Simmer about 1 hour before serving. Add additional water if needed.

Garnish as desired!

Sharing this at:
Weekend Potluck
Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hello 2018!

First of all, let me say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy any other holiday you may celebrate!  It's been a while since I've been here and I am not happy about that.

My new job is keeping me busier than I expected, but it's a good thing as I am enjoying the new job quite a bit. Husband has been in his off season at work, so he has been around home more often, and of course leaving me with less time to be on the computer.

We are in the middle of quite a cold snap, but most of the country is. The chickens are getting along fine, although not laying many eggs for us. We have been buying eggs for a couple weeks now. I typically pick up eggs at the country store up the road, which are from a local farmer. But, there have been a couple times when I have had to pick them up in town. Wow... I didn't realize how used I have become to farm fresh eggs! I value my chickens a whole lot more right now!

Rest of the critters are all good. Dogs are the adorable cuteness they always are. Cat's are enjoying their cozy life. With this bitter cold, we have let the barn cats into the basement, so they are content and purring up a storm.

Food. I'm cutting back and cleaning up the diet. Things got a little out of control in 2017, so it's time to re-evaluate habits. I've been cutting back on the carbs, without cutting them out entirely. Cookies, oh my... there was so many cookies last month... So, husband is on rations and enjoying the cookies I put in the freezer to keep them out of my reach.

My blog goal for this year is two recipes a month. One cookie recipe, that will help keep me baking which keeps husband happy, and readers happy also! And, a special young man named Atticus who looks forward to my cookies. With the closing of the Fill the Cookie Jar group, I need to get on my own schedule. And then for the second recipe, I want to share a recipe with a healthy twist.

And pictures! I seriously need to get outside and take more photo's! When's the last time I shared an update from the farm. Better time management folks, better time management is needed in my life!

Be warm!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Boiled What? Boiled Peanuts?

To give you a little background on my love for boiled peanuts, I first learned of them on Paula Deen's show, back around 2004. I tried my best to find a video clip of this episode to share with you, but all I could find was this excerpt of her actually making them. It was interesting. I had never heard of such a thing. Living in Minnesota back then, and still being fairly fussy, cooking wild rice in a new hot dish was on the edge for me, boiling peanuts sounded like pure craziness.

Part of the reason I remember this Paula Deen episode so well is that I saw it shortly before my first trip as an adult to South Carolina.  During that trip, I visited with my cousin's family in Upstate S.C. While out seeing the sites and learning the area, I can remember being at a Peach Farm, and while driving away, asking my cousin about this "boiled peanut thing" I saw on the cooking show.  We whipped around in the road and went right back to the peach farm where they sell boiled peanuts. Plain and Cajun style. They sell them in big styrofoam cups (the same cups we would get coffee or soup in here in the Midwest). Dear ol' cuz got me a huge mug of both to try. I was so excited to try them. Here is this mug full of steaming boiled peanuts. I'm sad to say, I hated them. It was just to much. Peanuts were supposed to be dry, cold (or at least room temp), and DRY!  Oh well, at least I tried, right? While heading for home a day or two later, a couple of hours down the road into Tennessee, I kept thinking about them and decided that I did like them. It was just the shock of it all.....I needed more boiled peanuts! Thankfully, I found one gas station that sold them and was able to munch away going down the interstate.

I've been in love with these boiled peanuts, ever since. If any one in my circle heads south, there is always the request to bring back as many as they can for me. I can find canned boiled peanuts locally, but they just aren't always the same. I've made boiled peanuts a couple times, but getting the right raw/green peanuts shipped to Wisconsin when you are such a novice can be a gamble.

But then some days are your lucky day.... The day you see on facebook, that your foodie friend Lynn, in South Carolina, is home making boiled peanuts. You wish you were there to help, learn, and sample! I took a shot and asked Lynn if she would ship any to Wisconsin, I mean just maybe she needed help eating them up! Well, Lynn said yes, and I couldn't have been happier :) 

A couple days later I had a wonderful package waiting on the porch. AND.... Lynn added the bonus of Cantaloupe Jam! And, just to show you the power of the south, and the southern cook... I am a person who does not care for Cantaloupe, but Lynn makes a mighty tasty Cantaloupe Jam, and I will try her cantaloupe foods any day!

If I have you craving any southern foods now, go on and check out Lynn's blog: 

Soon, I'll tell you about when Cousin Donna shocked my world with a cheese sandwich! You just never know what you'll get in South Carolina!

Have you ever had a boiled peanut??