Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top 10 of 2013

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I've seen some other blogs sharing their most popular recipes of the past year, which made me curious. What were the most popular recipes I had shared? 
I pulled these recipes together to share with you in a year end recap. 
I'm now feeling the urge to make some Baked Ham Balls, and some Buttery Garlic Ranch Pretzels!






















Friday, December 27, 2013

Random 5 Friday

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So, I am trying something new on the blog today. 
For some time now, I have been reading Random 5 Friday where some of my blogger friends link up. 
I've decided to give this a try, and see how I like it.
Rules are:  Share 5 random facts about you, your day, your pets, your kids, whatever!



Random 5 Friday

The new snow plow driver in our township is awesome, he is making winter a lot easier to handle.

I received several new cookbooks for Christmas, I am so excited to start reading them.

I wish our snow plow driver was our mail carrier. A PO Box may be in order if we want to get our mail.

Trying a new recipe for cabbage and ham soup tomorrow. It was recommended by a friend.

Our Christmas tree will be up for a few more days. My parents make a point of visiting every year to see our tree, and the way the roads have been, they haven't been here yet.





Linking up with Nancy @ A Rural Journal



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter is here - A week in photo's

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We have had a couple weather systems move through in the last week. 
First we had an ice system move through. Luckily, we didn't get hit bad. 
Once the roads were cleared, I admitted it was kind of pretty!




 These boots AREN'T made for walking.  
Hard working trudging through the snow with these, when you have to be careful for the ice underneath it all!

Truckin' Man is home for the holidays. He is now on duty for the wood stove. 
Kind of like the start of a vacation for me :)

We all went for a walk today. Rusty loves when Truckin' Man is home, too. 
He gets to kick back and relax from guard dog duties for a while.

We went to see my grandparents yesterday before the snow started. 
Gram sent me home with this lovely blanket. I wish I had her talent!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Gumdrops

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I was wanting to break out of the tried and true recipes this Christmas season, and try to make some new treats. Between Pinterest, and so many amazing bloggers sharing their recipes, I was INSPIRED! One ended up being a disappointment, but out of all the new recipes I tried, that really isn't bad. Most of them were good! I even made caramels for the first time ever .... patting myself on the back for succeeding on that one. 

Then, I had a recipe that I found absolutely outstanding! Homemade Gumdrops! I have no idea how I stumbled across this one, but it was one of those I couldn't get out of my head. I just had to try it! I am so in love with these little goodies! I could have dressed them up a little more and used a cookie cutter, but I don't have any miniature cookie cutters. Plus, I figured with just cutting them into squares, I would have less waste. I am so glad I did it this way!

You can make these with whatever flavor of gelatin you like. You could even make these up with your favorite football team colors for a great game snack! I am so not a football person, but I know people love their game time foods!



Homemade Gumdrops (Source: Mom On Timeout)

2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 - 3 oz pkgs flavored gelatin
2 - .25 oz envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tsp lemon juice

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Set in refrigerator to chill.

Add 2 cups sugar, applesauce, gelatin, unflavored gelatin and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Stir until combined, then let stand for 1 minute.  Stirring constantly, bring gelatin mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for one minute, then pour into the refrigerated pan.  Refrigerate overnight, or until completely set.

Cut around the sides of the pan to loosen the gelatin. Carefully, remove from pan, and place on cutting board. Be VERY careful doing this to not let the set gelatin fold over onto itself (It will take a lot of work to release it, if this happens!)

Using a sharp knife, cut the gelatin into horizontal rows, then cut vertically to make square shaped gumdrops. (You could use cookie cutters here, if you like)

Cut a sheet of wax paper larger than the pan.  Sprinkle remaining half cup of sugar over the paper, push each gumdrop into the sugar,  and let set on top of sugar.  Let dry overnight. Toss gumdrops around in the remaining sugar.  Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!!!

Sharing this recipe at:

Weekend Potluck
Throwback Thursday

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our Little Man

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It's been a rough year for our chickens. Sadly, we lost some beautiful birds. 
Things are better now, we just have a smaller flock.

One of our joys is our little man, Punky. When we got him as a chick, we were not told a breed, just that he was a bantam.  It didn't take long for me to research his specific features, and learn that he is a Porcelain D'Ucle Bantam.

This is Punky back in May.

The more he grew, the more rooster characteristics we saw.

Punky is growing up. Truckin' Man told me about something Punky did about a month ago, but I did not witness it myself until this past week. 
Our little Punky, is crowing! It is the cutest little crow!

Today, Punky spends most of his time in the general vicinity of anywhere 
Butterscotch, our Cochin Bantam, is.

I think Punky likes the way Butterscotch walks!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tiger Butter

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A few months ago, I found a food blog that was new to me, Southern Plate.   I even won a cookbook by the author of Southern Plate, Christy Jordan. After reading through her blog, I found recipes there, as well as her cookbook, that I am so anxious to try.

Let's start with Tiger Butter. I feel like I have been missing out on a very important treat that I had never experienced until this past week.  Am I the only one that has never heard of this before? I did a quick google search on it this morning, and it is quite popular. There are tons of versions and recipes, but it all comes down to two key things. Chocolate. And. Peanut Butter. Sign me up for this treat please!  What I am sharing with you today is a bark. It's quick. It's simple. It's 3 ingredients! So, if you need a last minute recipe to impress, make this!




Ever since making this, I keep remembering commercial's from the 70's for Reese's Peanut Butter cups. These commercials are so funny to watch today. Do you remember these commercials?




Tiger Butter (Slightly Adapted From: Southern Plate)

1 lb White Almond Bark
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, break almond bark into chunks. Melt according to directions on package.  When completely melted, add in peanut butter. Stir until completely mixed.  Pour onto lined sheet pan. Smooth and spread with spatula, until desired thickness of bark is reached.

In small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips following package directions. Drop spoonfuls of melted chocolate onto peanut butter mixture. Swirl with a knife (have fun with this!).

Set pan aside to cool and harden, or refrigerate for faster results. When hardened, break into pieces, and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sour Cream Cookies

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It's time to "Fill the Cookie Jar"! This month, Cynthia challenged the group to bring our best holiday cookies. So, today I bring to you Sour Cream Cookies! My mom and I have been baking these cookies as long as I can remember. The recipe is in an old church cookbook that is slowly loosing it's binding...  I do wish there was a way to get it put back together with some some new spiral binding! It is my go to cookbook for so many recipes. Like this one!



This dough is so soft, it's like working with a "pillow" of cookie dough. It really is a dream to work with. The cookies are very soft, with soft lines. I love how my snowflake cookies turn out with this recipe. Depending on the size and shape of your cookies, this can be a lot of cookies, so I often cut the recipe in half.


If you are interested in joining Fill The Cookie Jar group on facebook, fill out the form that can be found at Fill The Cookie Jar. Each month we bake a different theme for the cookie.
We bake, we share and we enjoy our cookies!

Sour Cream Cookies
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shortening(Crisco)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In large bowl, blend sugar, sour cream, shortening, eggs, and vanilla until combined. In medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Divide dough into two balls.  On floured surface, roll dough out to between 1/8" and 1/4" thick, and cut with cookie cutter. Place on lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes or just until a hint of golden-ness around the edges.

Cool on sheet 3-4 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely. Frost with your choice of frosting, and enjoy with as many of your favorite sprinkles as you like!







Sharing this at:
Weekend Potluck
Throwback Thursday

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Tree

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We took some time away today to go cut down our Christmas Tree.  We try to do this every year, only one year we failed due to timing and bad weather. Today was the perfect day! We went to a local tree farm, Snowy Ridge Christmas Tree Farm. This lovely farm has made getting your Christmas Tree such a wonderful experience.

We walked all over the farm looking for the perfect tree. We walked and searched more than we needed to, just because it was such a beautiful day!



 We finally found the perfect tree, and Truckin' Man carried it back to the tree station.


These awesome folks shake and trim your tree. We had a couple brown branches, and they cleaned them up for us. They ask which vehicle is yours, and send you off to the warming shack while they wrap your tree for you!


Once you get to the warming shack, you are offered coffee or hot chocolate.  Rest your feet while sipping your beverage at a table with some cookies! They have everything decorated with adorable ornaments and decor that you can purchase, if you like. (I only bought a few things!)


The fun continues for kids of all ages! My friend, Michele and her kids, went the day before, and enjoyed roasting marshmallows over the campfire. Michele let me share her picture of the fun her kids were having with the day.... don't you wish you could pull up a stump with them and roast your own marshmallow?  They even took a ride on the Zip Line to the tree house!

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