Friday, March 21, 2014

Random 5 Friday


After a conversation this week with Carla, from The River, about morels,
 I am so excited for picking season to get here!

Yesterday,  we went to meet with all the powers that be, and the farm is finally in our name!

Since the farm is in our name, Truckin' Mans "Honey do list" just grew by a mile :)

There is still to much snow outside to do anything much out there, but the hens sure think otherwise. It's fun being outside, just watching them stretch their wings.

Our barn cat,s that started living in the basement with all the horrible weather, are finally back outside. I think they are a little sad, thinking they were getting promoted to indoor status. 

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hearty Oat Loaf

My parents get to see a lot of pictures of our food. My mom does some proof reading for me. However, much to their disappointment, they don't get to do any taste testing.  They live close, but not that close.  Since they are always wanting to sample, when they call to say they are coming over, I try to make sure I have something on hand.

For their last trip over, I didn't have anything. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.  I don't think well under pressure, so a cookbook was useless. I needed photo's. Pinterest... Save me! Yup, good old Pinterest. I had this recipe pinned. It came together so quick, and it was a lovely moist quick bread. This bread is definitely best the day that you make it!

Hearty Oat Loaf  (Source: Delightful Country Cookin')

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp oats, divided
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2  cup milk (I use 2%)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 inch round baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.  Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  Spread batter into baking pan.  Sprinkle batter with remaining 2 Tablespoons oats.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

For best quality, enjoy same day!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mom's Creme de Menthe Cake

This past weekend we invited a neighbor gentleman over for dinner, and I know how much he loves having a home cooked meal. Since it is such a treat for him, I try to make a full course meal, including dessert, whenever he joins us. 

This past week I knew I had cut my meal prep time to short and was going to need to find a short cut somewhere. I tried remembering some tried and true desserts that would be fast to prepare. Somewhere out of my memory bank, I remembered my mom's Creme de Menthe Cake. It has probably been twenty some years since Mom made this cake, so long in fact, she didn't even remember this recipe. Thankfully, my memory can be sharp as a tack on odd trivial pieces of info, so I knew the exact book where she had the recipe. Mom scanned it, emailed it, I went shopping, and the cake was a hit!

This is so simple. Perfect quick answer to an impressive cake. You know it's good when the neighbor gentleman, politely asked if he might be able to take a little bit of cake home with him!

Mom's Creme de Menthe Cake (Source: My Mom)

1 box white cake mix
4 Tbsp Creme de Menthe, divided
8 oz tub Cool Whip
6 oz Hershey's Fudge Topping
Green food coloring (optional)

Make cake following directions on box, adding two tablespoons of Creme de Menthe. Bake cake following directions for 9x13. Cool cake.
Once cake has cooled, warm 6 ounces of fudge topping. Warm it enough that you can pour and spread it on the cake (you don't want it so hot that it runs off the cake). Spread fudge topping, completely covering cake. Set cake in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add remaining Creme de Menthe, and green food coloring to Cool Whip. I added three drops of food coloring to get the shade of green I was looking for. Spread over top of fudge layer.

Refrigerate until serving.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adios Old Man Winter

I haven't shared much around the farm this winter, because well.... it was hard to share. It's typically dark by the time I get home from work. On the days I didn't work, it was often so cold it really hurt my face! So, I certainly wasn't very inclined to be out taking many pictures. Plus, I am not sure how good the extreme cold is on camera's. I always mean to research that, yet never get it done.

Finally, spring and warmer temperatures are starting to show us teaser's of what is to come. I am so excited! We could see our driveway for the first time in months this weekend! Funny how such a simple thing can bring so much joy.... and mud! But, the mud will soon dry.

Two of the ladies wondered out over the weekend and braved stepping in the snow.
It's been months since we have seen their fluffy butts wandering around!

 Snowdrifts melting, showing more and more of the drive.

 We had so much snow, this is how far above my bird feeder I am when filling it!

I was SO happy to be outdoors over the weekend, but really there wasn't anything to do. So mucky you couldn't walk much of anywhere. To much snow left to start any spring projects. What else to do but build a snowman! 

Happy Melting!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Creme De Menthe Skillet Cookie

It's time to Fill the Cookie Jar! For March, the theme is Green or St. Patricks Day. I don't think I have a fraction of Irish in me, so this was the first time for me to really plan on baking anything with this theme. Since I had no preference, I let my cookie loving men pick what the cookie was to be. I gave them three choices. Lime. Mint. Or one with a beer reduction. They all vetoed the Lime option. Beer reduction was out because even besides Truckin' Man, all of my cookie connoisseur's have CDL's, and drive for a living. They don't take any risks, not even having booze baked into their daytime snacks. With all that, they picked mint. A tough one for me, since I do not care for mint. So, Truckin' Man brainstormed this creation up with me. In the end, this cookie was a collaboration of those around me!

The end review, this cookie was delicious, but quite the sugar rush! One small slice seemed to be enough for everyone. Even the guys with the sweetest of a sweet tooth said that it was quite a rush. So, my advice... Serve with a glass of milk to help balance it!

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!

Creme De Menthe Skillet Cookie (Cookie source: Brown Eyed Baker)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup Andes Mint baking chips

2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1-3 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 Tbsp Creme de Menthe

Chocolate Top
1 cup milk chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter

Melt butter, and cool to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, beat the butter(melted and cooled) and sugars together on medium speed with electric mixer. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. Add the milk chocolate chips and Andes baking chips.

Turn dough into skillet and press into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cookie is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookie has cooled, prepare frosting.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 1 tablespoon milk and creme de menthe, beating at low speed just until blended. Add more milk if needed to reach spreading consistency. Spread frosting on cookie. Set in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Remove cookie from refrigerator.  In small bowl add chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds; remove and stir. Microwave for an additional 20 seconds until completely melted. Spread over top of frosting. Chill for 30 minutes.


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