Saturday, October 12, 2013

6 ingredient Beer Bread

Some of you may know I have a fear of baking with yeast.  My first experience was in 4-H and not a very good one so I have tended to shy away from baking with yeast my entire adult life even though I love baked goods made with yeast.  So that being said when I found the recipe for Beer Bread in Gooseberry Patch's Hometown Harvest cookbook, I knew I had to try it especially since was recommended for serving with that Fried Corn Chowder we happened to love.

Beer Bread


3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
12 oz. can beer or non-alcoholic beer
2 T. butter, melted


In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add beer; mix well.  Pour into a greased 9"x5" loaf pan.  Drizzle butter on top.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-50 minutes, until golden.  Slice while still warm.  

Enjoy and I may or may not be able to speak from experience when I tell you that this bread is pretty dang good with the melted butter accidentally gets omitted.  (I found the melted butter in the microwave as I was cleaning up the kitchen after we ate our Fried Corn Chowder and Beer Bread.)

We have loved every recipe we have tried so far from Hometown Harvest so don't forget to enter for your very own chance to win a copy of the cookbook!

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. Additionally, this post does contain an affiliate link.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

8 tips for meal planning

Feeding a farmer during planting and harvest season is not always an easy task and more than likely every farmer has their own "rules" for eating when they are busy in the fields. Over the past 13 years, I've tried to learn the "rules" of The Farmer and his dad, but even then it isn't foolproof.

However, I will say that these 8 tips usually serve my mother-in-law and I well.

8 tips for meal planning on the farm

  1. Supper will never ever be at the same time every night especially during planting and harvest season so we must be flexible as well as the meals we make and/or buy.
  2. A slow cooker can be your best friend, especially one with a keep warm feature.
  3. Sometimes fast food or carryout from a restaurant are your best option.
  4. Messy is never good whether we are talking about sauces, sandwiches, etc...
  5. Easy to eat is essential.  
  6. Planning is good essentially when it comes to meals, but you must also be flexible that plans can always change.
  7. Never try to guess what they are thinking.  Sometimes they will want to grab their food and go and sometimes they will stop and eat with you on the tailgate of the truck.  
  8. Be flexible, never take it personal, and enjoy every moment as some of our kids' best memories involve taking dinner to their dad or grandpa and sneaking in a ride in the tractor, combine, or semi.
So while following #1, #2, and #4, and possibly #5, #6, #7, and #8, I'd like to share this quick and easy recipe from Gooseberry Patch's Hometown Harvest for Layered Potatoes & Onions.  

Layered Potatoes & Onions


3-4 lbs. potatoes, thinly sliced
3-4 lbs. yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 c. butter, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh chives to taste (optional)


In a slow cooker sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray, layer 1/4 each of potatoes, onions, and butter; add slat, pepper, and some chives.  Repeat layering, ending with butter and seasonings.  Cover and cook on high setting for one hour.  Turn slow cooker to low setting; cook for 5 hours more.  Serves 10-12 or one hungry farm family.  

Be sure to enter my giveaway to win your very own copy of Hometown Harvest!

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. Additionally, this post does contain an affiliate link.

Additionally, I am participating in Indiana's Family of Farmers Table Talk Series and received a gift in exchange for my participation.  I'm one lucky girl!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fried Corn Chowder

The temperatures are starting to drop a little and on days like that soup sounds perfect to me.  So when I found this recipe for Fried Corn Chowder in Gooseberry Patch's Hometown Harvest , I knew we were going to have to try it and we were not disappointed.  Even my normal non-soup eaters liked this chowder.

Fried Corn Chowder


3T. butter, divided
2 c. fresh or frozen corn
2 T. dried, minced onion
2 c. potatoes, peeled and finely diced (this was 4 potatoes)
2c. hot water
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper


Melt one tablespoon butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Add corn; cook, stirring often, until tender.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a separate large saucepan or stockpot.  Add onion and cook until lightly golden, stirring often.  Add potatoes and hot water. Simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain half of the liquid.

In a bowl, add flour to milk; whisk until no lumps are visible.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir flour mixture into hot potato mixture; blend well and stir in corn.  Simmer until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.  

Serve hot with Beer Bread and bacon bits if desired (unfortunately, we didn't have any bacon.).  Makes 6-8 servings.  

This chowder was relatively easy to make but my hands were busy so I apologize for the lack of photos during the cooking process.

This was the perfect lunch on a rainy Sunday even if we were slightly depressed since the rain is slowing down the harvest season on our family farm.  

Be sure to enter my giveaway for this awesome cookbook and good luck!

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. Additionally, this post does contain an affiliate link.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hometown Harvest Cookbook Giveaway

Harvest finally started on our family farm last week.  This is one of our family's absolute favorite times of the year.  And although it is not going quite as planned with some rain and fog the last few days, we are so excited for harvest to be here.  So when Gooseberry Patch's Hometown Harvest cookbook arrived a few weeks ago, I was super excited to start cooking some new recipes that are perfect for the harvest season.

So far, we made Fried Corn Chowder and Beer Bread from the Church Social Soup Supper section.

Parmesan Pork Chops (recipes coming soon) from the Thanksgiving Dinner to Remember section

and Layered Potatoes & Onions from the Slow-Cooker Potluck Pleasers section.

And this is just the start.  There are several other recipes marked in the cookbook for us to try this harvest season.

Now besides getting to try new and exciting, yummy recipes with each Gooseberry Patch cookbook I get to review, the best part is that they always send me an extra one to give away to one of my lucky readers.  So here is where you can get in on the fun...

To enter the giveaway for one copy of Gooseberry Patch's Hometown Harvest, all you have to do is comment on this post.  You will have 3 opportunities to comment as follows:

1.  What is your favorite thing to eat/make in the fall?
2.  Which of the above recipes are you most excited to see on my blog?
3.  Which recipe would you rather see on this blog:  Tortellini Caprese Soup, Brussels Sprouts & Shallots, Turkey Noodle Soup?

It really couldn't be any easier.  This giveaway will run through October 14th.  Good luck!!!

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. Additionally, this post does contain an affiliate link.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy On the Go Harvest Granola Rounds

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day...

This isn't the first time I have said this. Unfortunately, this summer, we haven't seen a lot of it which hasn't been good for our corn and soybeans trying to grow in the fields.  Although it hasn't been quite as dry as last summer, it has definitely been less than desirable which is why rain this time of year is not exactly welcome. Rain this time of year will not help our crops as their growing season is over and harvest season is upon us; however, we can't harvest our crop if the ground is wet.  So after the rain this week, we will wait for it to dry up before heading to the fields and hope that harvest will begin soon.

That being said, I am always looking for quick and easy snacks that The Farmer can take with him when he is in the fields as harvest usually means long hours.  And this recipe is a super double bonus as it is not only quick and easy, but also rather nutritious, and can serve as a snack or breakfast.  I had seen a few recipes for these "health balls" floating around on the Internet, but when our great friend Nancy made some for The Farmer and I this summer, we were hooked and they will be the perfect snack for me to keep on hand during the upcoming harvest season.

Easy On-the-Go Harvest Granola Rounds

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla


Mix all ingredients together.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.  Roll into rounds and store in air tight container.  (I made approximately 40 one inch rounds.)  Enjoy!!!!


  • Store in refrigerator if desired.
  • Pre-package 4-5 rounds in a sandwich bag for a grab 'n go snack or breakfast.
  • Perfect with a glass of milk

I am participating in Indiana's Family of Farmers Table Talk Series and received a gift in exchange for my participation.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kid Friendly Apple Cranberry Pops

Now, I wouldn't have made it through the Farm Girls Freeze event without the help of Big Sissy and Little Sissy so it was only fitting that they decided to whip up their own recipe during the event as well from the same Gooseberry Patch Freezer Friendly Recipes cookbook.

Big Sissy and Little Sissy decided to make Apple-Cranberry Pops

Apple-Cranberry Pops

12 oz. can unsweetened frozen apple-cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
2 c. plain yogurt
2 t. vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together.

(After some trial and error and few messes, I would recommend adding the ingredients in the order of yogurt, concentrate, and vanilla and use a whisk to mix the ingredients together.)

Pour into small paper cups.

Insert a wooden treat stick into the center of each yogurt cup.  (We also learned through trial an error that they are some tricks to this step too, but you will have to stay tuned for those.)

Freeze overnight.

When ready to enjoy, let stand at room temperature for a few minutes; peel off paper cups.


Super Easy Freeze and Bake Lasagna

So last weekend while college friends, Tequila, Tutti Fruity, The Captain, and Miller, were heating it up on the beaches of Florida, I was freezing it up in the kitchen with some of my fellow Real Farmwives.  (Unfortunately, my work, farm, and mom schedule didn't make traveling to Florida to possible, but that allowed me to join in on the freezer day fun and watch Big Sissy and Little Sissy's soccer games while The Farmer watched Bubby's football game at the same time.)

Thanks to Gooseberry Patch and their Our Favorite Freezer-Friendly Recipes cookbook, I had a bunch of new recipes to choose from for the Farm Girls Freeze event.  Now I have learned a few things since our last freezer cooking day so I had a few requirements when looking for a recipe.  I was looking for one with relatively few ingredients and one that was easy to put together.  From my experience this is key when making a recipe in bulk and I had 11 batches to make.  (Thankfully I had Big Sissy and Little Sissy to help me.)

This is how I stumbled upon Freeze & Bake Lasagna.  8 ingredients which actually became 7 because I couldn't find one of them and it call for uncooked lasagna noodles so it my opinion it more than met my requirements.

Freeze & Bake Lasagna

28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb. ground beef, browned or I used 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned
8 oz. jar mushroom pieces, drained
16 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 T. Italian seasoning
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked and divided
2 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese ( I couldn't find any plain Monterrey Jack cheese so I just substituted mozzarella cheese)
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine sauce, beef/sausage, and mushrooms; set aside

Mix ricotta cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning together; set aside.

Layer as follows in each of 2 ungreased 9x5 loaf pans (I couldn't find disposable 9x5 loaf pans so I improvised with a 9x13 pan and doubled my ingredients when layering):

once cup meat sauce,

2 lasagna noodles,

1/2 cup ricotta cheese mixture,

1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layers.

We then covered with Press 'n Seal and then aluminum foil as it is ready for the freezer.

When ready to prepare, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Remove Press 'n Seal, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

And then enjoy!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Who says you can't go home

Home is where the heart is...

This summer has been full of events that have made me think of "home."  And not just where I live today, but where my heart has been over the years.

The summer started with a major focus on 4-H at this pigpen.  Big Sissy is a 4th generation 4-Her as this was her second year of 4-H.  With our county fair the last week of June, Big Sissy spent the majority of her time the month of June working on her many 4-H projects.  As I've said before, 4-H has always played a big part in the lives of The Farmer and me and it is such a joy to watch Big Sissy love 4-H.  Now I'm not quite sure how we will make it when all 3 kids are in 4-H, but we will find a way just like The Farmer and I's moms did.


Any way, Big Sissy had a pretty amazing second year of 4-H that will continue into the State Fair next week.  I'm so glad that she is enjoying carrying on this tradition that was started many years before her and is even seeing some success in the show ring like my mom did many years ago which was  lot of fun as my mom and Aunt S were there to share in the fun that night along with The Farmer's parents and Uncle K


I even got to visit my "home" county fair this year.  This was my youngest cousin's last year of 4-H.  He was the last of my generation to finish 4-H in our county.  There had been someone in 4-H in my home county since I started 4-H more years ago than I'd like to admit... 1987.  That is a lot of years of family picnics, traditions, and fun at the fair.  Hopefully next year, my niece will start 4-H and start the tradition of the next generation of 4-Hers in my home county. 

Some things have changed but many have stayed the same including many of the faces.  It was great to visit my home fair even if I do like my own recipe for Beef and Noodles better than theirs now, but this is where my love of Beef and Noodles started. 

This past weekend I really did get to go to one of my past "homes." 


Several of my sorority sisters and I converged on Purdue University for the weekend to relive our college years.


It was amazing to see so many women that had an impact on my life and to visit one of the houses that really built me. 

So I don't know who says you can't go home, because I've been going "home" all summer long. 

And although this summer has gone by in the blink of an eye and isn't officially over, the start of school is coming sooner rather than later at this pigpen as Big Sissy and Bubby head back to school on July 31st.  This just may or may not be the same day Big Sissy's pigs and muffins go to the State Fair for judging later in the week.  (No pressure on The Farmer or I.)  That being said hopefully we can still squeeze in a few trips "home" either down memory lane or making new memories with what is left of the summer of 2013. 

Thanks to Indiana's Family of Farmers for getting me to return to my "home" of blogging.  Although this is a sponsored post as I'm a Table Talk Contributor this month for Indiana's Family of Farmers, my love of my "homes" and the traditions and recipes of them are all my own opinions and thoughts. That being said, be sure to check out Indiana's Family of Farmers on Facebook, Twitter, or their blog as they have a lot of fun stuff happening especially with the upcoming Indiana State Fair. 

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