Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pecan Chewies and a Give Away!

Don't you love it when you find a recipe that you absolutely love? It can be the most simple recipe, with ingredients you have in your fridge and pantry, but it just knocks your socks off!

That is exactly what happened when I made Pecan Chewies from my newest cookbook "South Your Mouth", authored by one of my best blog buddies, Mandy Rivers, who blogs over at South Your Mouth! These bars knocked my socks off! My parents dropped by shortly after the bars had cooled, and pretty much knocked their socks off too! Being Mandy is from South Carolina, I thought it was appropriate to use my special stash of South Carolina pecans that my friend Missy has me supplied with! I honestly would not change one thing about this recipe, they were perfectly buttery, nutty, delicious!

The other super cool thing going on? I get to giveaway one of these cookbooks to one lucky reader! I am so excited to share this cookbook with you. I LOVE Mandy's recipes. Her name is so common in our house, you would think she was a neighbor.  Truckin' Man will ask what's for dinner... my answer "Potato Goulash". He will raise an eyebrow at that and I tell him not to worry, "It's one of Mandy's recipe's". Once he knows it's her recipes, he asks no further questions!

Mandy is a mom on the move, so she has lots of family friendly recipes. I have yet to find her use an ingredient that I can't easily find, and livin' where I live, shopping can sometimes be a challenge!

Contest is over. Congrats to Marilyn!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with your email address. If you prefer, you can email me for your chance to win at

Deadline: Saturday, July 26 11:59 pm CST
Winner: I will randomly choose a winner and announce it at the top of this post. The winner will also be notified via email; if the winner does not respond within 72 hours, another winner will be selected.

Pecan Chewies     (Source: South Your Mouth)

1 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream together melted butter (cooled back to room temp), sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla with mixer until smooth and creamy.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mixing until completely combined. Stir in pecans, mixing until they are evenly distributed through batter.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until set in the middle. Once cooled, cut into bars and store in airtight container. 


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flowers on the Farm

The yard work and flowers around the farm have been a work in progress. This year is more about maintaining than anything else. With all the projects going on, we thought it was smarter to keep it that way! However, I couldn't resist the urge to buy a new color of an iris when I found one in the local garden center, for 60% off!

Here is a little bit of what is in bloom right now!

So many hosta's!

My favorite hosta.

I love my lilies!

 We have so many hollyhock. We never planted a single one, but in our weeding and cleaning up, we uncovered them from years ago! A lady that lived hear more than twenty years ago, remembers that the lady before her had hollyhocks! How cool is that?

 This is the newest mystery plant we have uncovered. We tore down a shed that was attached to the back of the house, and have since found about five of these growing. We both agreed that they did not look like a weed, so because of our curiosity we let them live! It looks like one is ready to bloom and I am so excited to see what it is! It is very much resembling a flower I know as "Moon Plant". 

What do you think it is?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Spicy Tomato Burger

I was beyond excited when Red Gold Tomatoes contacted me about their Summer Grillin' Party. The party began June 25th on their facebook page. During the party, which ends on July 23rd, they are holding a weekly drawing for 1,000 aprons..... AND a grand prize of a Big Green Egg Grill and Red Gold Grilling kit. How cool is that?

To add to the fun, they sent me tomatoes, recipes and an apron! I have had so much fun with these tomatoes. I made a delicious baked main dish I will share with you another day. For today, we are talking about a burger on the grill! A burger with tomatoes in it! I was leery of this. Truckin' Man and I are not big on tomatoes on our burgers, but you know what? We loved them IN the burger. So, parents... if you want a way to get your kids to eat another veggie... try this! 

Disclaimer: Red Gold provided me with tomatoes and an apron for participating in the 
"Summer Grilling Party", but all opinions are my own.

Spicy Tomato Burger (Source: Red Gold)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 - 14.5 ounce can Red Gold Petite Deiced Tomatoes with Green Chiles (Drained)
Salt and Pepper
Cheese (I used cheddar, but recommend topping with a Pepper Jack cheese)
Burger Toppings

Preheat grill.
Drain tomatoes well. Combine ground beef and diced tomatoes. Form into patties. Season well with salt and pepper.

Place patties on grill and cook until medium well. Top with cheese and close grill for another minute, until cheese is melted.

Remove and assemble burgers with your favorite toppings!


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Raspberry Cream Cheese Dessert

I LOVE raspberries, it is my most favorite berry... 
Except for maybe black raspberries pulling a close second. Since my moving to the farm, we have really got a nice red raspberry patch growing that absolutely thrills me. 

The red raspberries have been producing for a while now, but mainly just enough to snack on. Last weekend when we finished one of our big projects, we walked over to the patch and hung out there for about half an hour relaxing and munching on some berries. A couple days later... boom... Berries are in abundance and needing to be picked! I was ready to bake something amazing with them. I scoured through some of my cookbooks, then moved onto pinterest, and ended up doing some good old fashioned google searching and finally found what I was looking for!

You see, Truckin' Man LOVES cheese cake. Loves and adores it, his all time favorite dessert. He is always asking for me to make it for him. And, I did make it for his birthday, but really... we are two people who love to eat, so we do not need to have a dessert in the house like cheesecake to often. So, this recipe I thought was perfect! Cream Cheese, but not four packages of it. And, it was a huge success. It has enough cream cheese for the flavor to come through, but it is light! I don't feel nearly so guilty after indulging in a slice of this dessert! And, Truckin' Man was lovin' every bite of it, so I think we have finally found a cream cheese dessert to keep both of us happy!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Dessert  (Source: Foodess)

2 cups graham crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup raspberries
Additional raspberries for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom of springform pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper. Set aside. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir until completely combined. Press into bottom of springform pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned around edges.

In large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, sugar, and lemon juice, mixing well. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. In small bowl, add raspberries and mash.  Gently fold berries into the cream cheese mixture.  Gently pour filling into parchment pan, smoothing top when done.  Refrigerate minimum of 4 hours.


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Around the Farm

Our warm months seem to be passing by so quickly! Between the day job, taking care of normal life duties, now the garden, and the baby chicks, I have been seriously lacking in my blogging!! Please know that life is good! We are just busy busy, and enjoying some time outside! 

Our chicken coop is still a work in progress, but the chicks are loving it! They are growing so fast, they keep pushing us to the next step faster than we thought we would have to be there! Like the day I knew they needed to feel that green grass under their feet!  Truckin' Man roughed in a door opening for them, so that they can get some sunshine, bugs, and fresh green grass!

Some just liked to look without actually taking that step outside!

So much fun watching them. This picture is already a couple weeks old, and they have lost most of their fuzz, and have feathers growing in.

 Very few have names so far, but this lady does. This is Georgette!

This is one of the two Buff Cochin Bantams we have.

   We did have three Silver Laced Wyandottes. Two of them were for my parents, and they took them home to their coop yesterday.

 The chicks quickly out grew the little chicken run, and the low fence. So today, we had to put in the permanent fencing. That began with needing a gate.  I found an old tailgate to a wagon that was made out of 2 x 4's. I thought that was a perfect start! After looking at it, Truckin' Man agreed and cut up a couple old barn boards to fill in the gaps. Isn't it perfect?! I just LOVE it!

Do you have any baby chicks this year? I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independence Day Jello Sugar Cookies

Today is the July edition of Fill the Cookie Jar! This month our theme is a Patriotic Cookie. I just have to give a big thanks to Cynthia for organizing this group and keeping us challenged. I really like the push to try a new cookie and break out of my routine!

For the Patriotic Cookie, I decided on these Independence Day Jello Sugar Cookies.  They are so fun and a great cookie! Definitely a bit of a sugar rush with each cookie, so be sure if you make these to share with your friends! I frosted with a cream cheese frosting to cut the sugar level down a bit. Really? Are you believing that? I will try any excuse to have Cream Cheese Frosting in the house!

 Having such a fruit flavor in a cookie is a bit strange for me, and not something I would make regularly. But, definitely fun and tasty, for a treat! These would be fun with orange for Halloween, or lime for St. Patricks Day. Of course, cherry and lime for Christmas. Even fun for a tailgating party with your teams colors!

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!

Independence Day Jello Sugar Cookies   (Source: Somewhat Simple)

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 oz Cherry Jello, divided
3 oz Berry Blue Jello mix, divided
2 Tablespoon Sugar
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until completely combined.  In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing until flour is completely combined.

Divide dough in half.  Add 3 tablespoons of Cherry Jello to one half of dough, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring.  Mix until color is completely combined and no streaks remain.  Next, add 3 Tablespoon of Berry Blue Jello, and about 1/4 teaspoon of blue food coloring to the other half of dough. Mix until color is completely combined. 

Set aside two small bowls, and add one tablespoon red jello mixed with one tablespoon sugar to a small bowl. And do the same with the blue jello, adding to another bowl with one tablespoon sugar.  Roll one tablespoon of cookie dough into ball, then roll in the coordinating jello sugar mixture.  Place on baking sheet several inches apart.  Flatten each cookie slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.
Once cool, frost and decorate as desired.


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