Sunday, November 10, 2013

Molasses Cookies

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I first posted this cookie recipe almost exactly three years ago! While there is nothing magical about baking theses cookies in the fall, it has become a sort of tradition for us. I don’t use regular molasses in these cookies – I use sorghum syrup. And we just happen to know some people who make sorghum syrup. And that always happens in the fall! So, every time we get a fresh batch of sorghum syrup, you guessed it, I bake these cookies!

molasses cookies with candle


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Welcome Baby Doc!

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Wow… what a couple of weeks it has been! Right on the heels of saying goodbye to our favorite Martin cat, we welcomed our son into our lives.

Baby Doc was born on Friday, Oct 18. He weighed in at 8 pounds even, and was 19 inches long. Frankly, we expected him to be closer to 10 pounds. He was almost a runt! Winking smile 

Baby Doc one day old

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Missing Our Martin-Cat

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We lost a very important member of our family on Monday night. After 5 months of dealing with kidney problems, invasive surgery, a handful of complications, and a whole lot of ups and downs, Martin died on Monday night.

handsome Martin
There aren’t quite the words to express what Martin meant to us…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Decorating for Fall

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I love fall. It’s my favorite season! The weather here in Indiana turned to fall about 2 weeks ago, and then it warmed right back up again last week. (Dani came to visit from New Hampshire, and thought it was still summer here!) This morning, it was pretty cool, and I’m hoping it stays that way for the rest of the season! (It gives this 9-month pregnant lady a nice break from the heat!)

Last year, my fall decorations were all about the mums. This year, we had a phenomenal year for pumpkins in our garden, so it’s all about the pumpkins!

front porch fall 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stay or Go Burritos

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The fall tends to be a busy time for farmers. It’s harvest season! This means lots of long days, complete with very early mornings and very late nights. No matter when harvest starts, it always seems as if farmers are in a race against the weather to get the crops in and stored before it gets too cold or too wet.

Lucky for me, Farmer Doc and I don’t raise crops. We raise cattle, and run a veterinary practice. So this time of year isn’t quite so busy for us. But, we do get hit in the spring and summer when it’s time to work the cattle (vaccines, deworming, artificially inseminating, checking for pregnancy, and later working the calves) and harvest and bale the hay all at the same time!

stay or go burrito

Monday, October 7, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

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One of the yummy vegetables we planted in our garden this year was butternut squash. (Actually, technically, I think these are a fruit? Ah well. It doesn’t really matter.) Our butternut squash plants didn’t fair too well… they got attacked by some strange wilt disease. But we did manage to get about 6-8 squash to play with. I tossed one into this Garden Veggie Stew, and made most of the rest into soup!

buternut squash soup

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spinach and Egg Casserole

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We love breakfast for dinner around here. This Spinach and Egg Casserole (with some sausage thrown in for fun) was fantastic for dinner, but would also be great for breakfast!

spinach and egg casserole

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mini Calzones

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Are you getting ready to host a football party? Need some snacks to serve? Or are you just looking for a fun twist for an otherwise boring weeknight meal? Try these mini calzones!

mini calzones

From Gooseberry Patch’s new cookbook, “Hometown Harvest” these mini calzones are sure to be crowd pleasers! (Don’t forget – I’m giving away a copy of this cookbook this week! Stop by this post to enter for your chance to win!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baby Bump 36 weeks

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I can’t believe there’s only one month to go before we get to meet Baby Doc! The time has been going so fast…

36 weeks baby bump
(Don’t mind the dust bunnies in the photo. I can’t bend down to pick them up anymore. Someday I’ll vacuum again…)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Garden Veggie Stew

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I was recently asked to cook a recipe that somehow relates to my connection with farming and agriculture. My first thought was, “This is easy! We raise beef cows, and I cook with beef all the time!” And then I thought to myself, “Self, you also have all that yummy produce from your garden this summer – why not experiment with it a bit?”

And that’s exactly what I did. I call it Garden Veggie Stew. Farmer Doc has been calling it Feutz Farm Stew. Make it your own, and call it whatever you want!

garden veggie stew

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hawaiian Chicken

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Is it fall? Is it summer? This sweet Hawaiian Chicken from Gooseberry Patch’s “Hometown Harvest” is perfect in your crockpot for this transition weather!

hawaiian chicken

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hometown Harvest Cookbook Giveaway

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Are you ready for fall yet? The weather around here just turned, and it is finally feeling a little more like fall. I am sure ready! To celebrate, I have this wonderful cookbook from Gooseberry Patch to giveaway – their new “Hometown Harvest”!

Hometown Harvest
This fall-themed cookbook hits all the high points of a great fall. The chapters include:

  • Hometown Pancake Breakfast (some amazing breakfast recipes!)
  • Church Social Soup Supper (chock full of new soups to try)
  • Thanksgiving Dinner to Remember (some classics, and some new twists on side dishes)
  • Game Day Get-Together (tons of appetizers and finger-foods for a crowd)
  • Pumpkin Patch Sweets (what's fall without dessert?)
  • Slow-Cooker Potluck Pleasers (my favorite - crockpot meals!)
  • Over the River & Through the Woods (heart warming stories from Gooseberry Patch families everywhere!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tangy Pineapple Meatballs

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Are you looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer for your next football party? Need something easy for a big family get-together? Just want a juicy meatball sandwich? This is the recipe for you!

tangy pineapple meatballs


These Tangy Pineapple Meatballs are from Gooseberry Patch’s new cookbook, “Hometown Harvest”. I am so excited to have a copy to review! I’ll also have a copy to give away to one lucky reader! That giveaway is live right now, so stop by this post for your chance to enter!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lazy Pierogies

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Did you catch the Real Farmwives of America & Friends over the weekend? We had a freezer cooking extravaganza! (Search #FarmGirlsFreeze on Twitter or Instagram to see what we were up to.) Ten of the ladies got together and cooked 11 batches of each meal to share. Holy moly – that was a lot of cooking! We worked hard, we had a blast, and we each came home with a freezer full of meals for this harvest season!

We all cooked from Gooseberry Patch’s cookbook, “Our Favorite Freezer-Friendly Recipes”. And we found some great stuff in that cookbook! I made the lazy pierogies, and from what I hear, they were pretty tasty!

lazy pierogies

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Storing the Garden’s Bounty

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Between the heat we had and the rain we have not had in the last few weeks, our garden is about finished. Except the pumpkins. Those babies are still going strong! The tomatoes are growing and getting ripe, but could use a little more rain to help them finish the season strong.

Farmer Doc and I have been doing a lot of canning and freezing around here to store all the good stuff that has been coming out of our garden. We spent our entire day on Labor day canning tomatoes and cucumbers. (Well, except for the part of the day when he had to go deliver a calf. Nothing like a laboring cow on Labor Day!)

This was the first time we had used the Sauce Master to deal with our tomatoes. Holy smoke – why did we not get one of these earlier?!? This beats the HECK out of blanching, skinning, and seeding the tomatoes… Just wash them, chop them up into quarters, toss them in the hopper, and crank away!

sauce master setup

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cheesy Cornbread Sloppy Joes

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It is finally September! While I still have 7 weeks to go before Baby Doc makes his arrival, it also (hopefully) means that this weather will start to cool off! (So I’m hoping that these last few weeks are a little more bearable than the last two weeks of 95+ weather have been!)

Autumn is my favorite season – I love the weather, the decorations, and the cooking! I had an amazing time two years ago cooking my way through Gooseberry Patch’s “Autumn with Family and Friends.” I am so excited that this year I have a chance to review Gooseberry Patch’s new fall cookbook, “Hometown Harvest”

The first recipe I tried were these Cheesy Cornbread Sloppy Joes. Farmer Doc’s response to this recipe was, “This is great, definitely make it again!”

cheesy cornbread sloppy joes

There are more yummy recipes from “Hometown Harvest” coming your way, so get ready for a very yummy fall!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cautiously Optimistic

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Martin has made some serious progress since my last update! He took another step backwards, but this past week and a half has been very positive for the little bugger!

Martin in the window
Martin first started having problems because of his kidneys. He was making kidney stones, and wasn’t able to pass them. So his kidneys got obstructed, and they couldn’t clear the toxins from his blood like they were supposed to. So he didn’t feel good, and he stopped eating.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chicken Paprika

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This recipe isn’t quite as quick as some of the others I have posted recently, but it certainly is tasty, and it’s still a one-pot stovetop meal! Plan this for a night when you’ll have a little more time before everyone is screaming for dinner, and you’ll be in great shape!

chicken paprika

This recipe is adapted a little from Gooseberry Patch’s “101 Stovetop Suppers” cookbook.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Baby Bump 31 weeks

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As of today, I’m officially 32 weeks pregnant (the pictures are from a few days ago). That means there’s only 4 weeks to go! Holy moly… how did that happen? This is pretty unbelievable…

(Update. Apparently I can't do math. Or read a calendar. I'm not 4 weeks out... There are eight whole more weeks to go! I guess that means we have plenty of time...?)

Big huge thanks to everyone who commented and sent me emails on my last baby bump post about the things I should (and shouldn’t) worry about. I did take a mom-friend shopping to help finish out my registry. I’m sure we’ll be adding a few things here and there, but I think we’ve got the important stuff taken care of.

The bump is definitely getting more pronounced. The kid is definitely getting bigger.

baby bump 31 weeks
I had another ultrasound last week to check in on Baby Doc. He’s weighing in at an estimated 4.25 pounds. Average for this age is 3.3 pounds. Yep, he’s above average. Still. I thought his head looked like it was getting pretty big. The ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell me what the circumference is… In retrospect, that’s probably a good thing…

profile ultrasound 31 weeks
We got our first 3D ultrasound pictures. I think these photos make the baby look sort of lumpy, and kind of creepy. The ultrasound tech told me that I was wrong, and he looks very cute. He’ll probably be cute when he’s born.

3D ultrasound face 31 weeks
Last week, my fingers apparently got swollen. I’ve been keeping an eye on my wedding rings, to make sure they didn’t get too tight to get off my fingers. I had a moment of panic on the way back from the doctor’s office when I almost couldn’t get them off. But a little elevation and holding my hand directly in the path of the air conditioner in the truck, and I was able to get them off.

swollen fingers
Now they’re on my necklace instead of on my fingers. (Don’t mind the cat hair on the shirt. It’s an occupational hazard.)

wedding rings on a necklace
Next up? Turning this messy room into a nursery…

nursery before
I’ve got some great plans for it… but it’s going to take some serious work…

Friday, August 23, 2013

Slowing Down… For Now

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It seems that the garden is slowing down. A little bit. For now. All we need is a little bit of rain, and I’m sure it will spring back into action. But for now, I’m welcoming the (short-lived) break.

The zucchini and summer squash have about had it. But not quite. They are still throwing a few large fruits out there. (Really all this means is that we don’t go check them enough anymore. Anyone need a giant summer squash?)

yellow squash
Most of the butternut squash plants have died, but there is one that is holding on like a trooper. And he is putting out some great-looking butternut squashes! I can’t wait to make these guys into soup in a few weeks!

butternut squash
The spaghetti squash plants are still going strong. For whatever reason, they have not been affected by the butternut-squash-wilt that is at the other end of this row. So we’ll have plenty of spaghetti squash to go around when these are ready. (Any ideas on how to preserve these? I’ll need to do some research pretty soon!)

spaghetti squash
Our tomatoes are just barely starting to get ripe. (The cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes are way ahead of the “regular” size tomatoes.) There have only been two that have been ripe enough to pick yet, but they are coming…

ripening tomatoes
Oh boy are they coming! We’re going to have to dedicate a whole weekend to canning tomatoes, I think…

green tomatoes
The watermelons are doing way better than we thought. They are good at hiding under their carpet of vines, and it’s hard to walk through without stepping on the plants. So we’ve been letting them do their thing without too much supervision. I think we’re going to need to start paying attention soon… they should be starting to get ripe any time now.

watermelon
The cantaloupes are doing great. There are bunches and bunches of them in there. And, I’m sure, they will all come ripe at just about the same time. So we’ll have some fresh, I’ll freeze some, and we’ll be giving plenty away in town! (I wish there was a farmer’s market in Gibson County… we would so be there with these!)

cantaloupes
The wall of cucumbers has slowed down. A lot. One whole drawer in my refrigerator is full of cucumbers (plus a few more that wouldn’t fit in the drawer.) We’re going to need to make some pickles this weekend. In the meantime, the plants are putting out flowers and attracting bees like it’s their job (which, I guess, it sort of is), but there are not many new fruits coming on right now. A little rain, and the cucumbers will explode again…

cucumber wall
I am pleased to report that the main crop of green beans is finished. We picked the plants, pulled the beans off, and canned 53 quarts. (Yes, I said 53 quarts.) Over two different days. We kept plenty for fresh eating, too. There are still some late beans left out there, but they have been competing with the weeds and I’m not sure how well they have done. (I’m choosing to ignore them for now.)

Farmer Doc picked three rows of sweet corn last weekend, and we wound up with over 8 dozen ears. He cut down the corn stalks and we fed them to the cows (they were pretty happy!). We gave some away, ate plenty fresh off the cob, and froze a bunch thanks to Beyer Beware’s freezer corn recipe. That will taste great this winter!!

sweet corn
And behind the corn is the pumpkin patch. I used to think that the cantaloupes were taking over the world. But I think the pumpkins will give them a run for their money. The plants are well over knee-high, and have completely carpeted that section of the garden. So here are a few things that I could see walking around the edges…

pumpkin patch
We have pumpkins in all shapes and sizes coming along, complete with more flowers ready to turn into pumpkins. (Did you know that pumpkins start out green? They’ll turn orange as they get ripe and ready to pick.)

pumpkins
I must have stumbled into the ornamental gourd section of the pumpkin patch here. These cute little guys do start out yellow/orange, but aren’t ready to pick yet. They’ll get a little bigger, a little harder, and the stems will dry up when they are ready to pick. They are tough to find underneath the plant carpet – good thing they are orange!

gourds
Have you gotten a break from harvesting and putting up your garden’s bounty, or are you still going strong?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skillet Tacos

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These last few weeks have been absolutely crazy for us! Farmer Doc and I have been traveling a lot, working a lot, trying to get ready for Baby Doc, dealing with the bounty of fresh veggies from our garden, and now Farmer Doc has started rehearsals for a play for the Gibson County Theatre Company this fall! Having the Gooseberry Patch “101 Stovetop Suppers” cookbook has come in quite handy for some quick and easy dinners for us lately!

I adapted this one a little bit, from their Taco in a Pan. I give you… Skillet Tacos!

skillet tacos
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