Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pleasing Pizza Dip

Pizza is a pretty popular option around the pigpen these days with a 10, 7, and 3 year old that are always on the go.  So when I found the recipe for Pleasing Pizza Dip in Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooking Year 'Round, I knew we had to try it and we were not disappointed.  In fact this dip offers one easy way to incorporate that pizza flavor into your party with the ease of a dip. (I must admit I'm not a huge fan of crock pot recipes that require prep work, buy my Pampered Chef micro cooker made the prep work a breeze.)

Pleasing Pizza Dip

Combine all ingredients except tortilla chips in a slow cooker.  

Cover and cook on low setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until dip is smooth and warmed through.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Enjoy and be sure to enter my giveaway to win your very own copy of Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooking Year 'Round cookbook.  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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup

Let me just say this isn't just any loaded potato soup... It is super easy, delicious, and Big Sissy even asked for seconds.  So needless to say this recipe will become a year 'round regular at the pigpen even if it does appear in the Simply Speedy Springtime section of Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooking Year 'Round cookbook.


Loaded Potato Soup


32 oz. pkg frozen hashbrowns with onions and peppers, thawed
(I could only find a 28 oz. bag but it worked just fine)
8 oz. pkg cream cheese, diced
(any type would work:  regular, reduced fat, fat free)
10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
10-3/4 oz. can cream of celery soup
10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish:  shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, crumbled bacon, crackers, etc...


Place hashbrowns in slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients except garnish.  Stir.


Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours.


Garnish individual servings as desired and serve with crackers.


Serves 6-8 or at this pigpen it served 5 with a couple people getting seconds and no leftovers.

I hope you all enjoy this soup as much as our family did and have entered for my giveaway to win your very own copy of Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooking Year 'Round cookbook.  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, January 26, 2013

Slow Cooking Year 'Round Giveaway

There has been some major excitement around the pigpen this last week as we have we have been trying all kinds of new recipes from one of Gooseberry Patch's newest cookbooks, Slow Cooking Year "Round.


From main course options like Beef Stroganoff and Italian Beef in a Bucket that hit the spot after a long day of work, school, and the kids' extracurricular activities (recipes coming soon),



to scrumptious soups like Loaded Potato Soup that was perfect on a cold winter night,


to yummy sides like Creamy Mac & Cheese (recipe coming soon), 


and delicious dips like Hot Crab Rangoon Dip (recipe coming soon) and Pleasing Pizza Dip that just might be perfect for that upcoming football game 



and we have not been disappointed and still have several more recipes marked to try.  This just may be my absolute favorite Gooseberry Patch cookbook which is why I'm so excited that Gooseberry Patch not only sent me one cookbook to review, but one to giveaway to one of my lucky readers.

So good luck and if the widget does not appear, please click on the rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Making memories on the farm


I still remember when my very first litter of 4-H rabbits were born my first year of 4-H more years ago than I'd like to admit.  It is a memory that will stick with me forever.  It didn't go exactly according to plan, but now that I've been through the process of labor and delivery three times I know it often doesn't go according to plan.   That being said, being able to be around and care for newborn animals is an amazing experience and one that I'm glad The Farmer and I can share with our children.  

This past weekend The Farmer, Little Sissy, and myself were out of town for a meeting which meant Big Sissy and Bubby were in charge of our newly born litters of 4-H pigs and one due while we were gone with the help of my father-in-law. Big Sissy and Bubby were so excited.  

Big Sissy took notes on her new iPod Touch from Santa so she knew how to feed the sows and their litters.  

She then not only kept us updated on every happening in the barn including a new litter complete with 12 new pigs, but she kept her best friend, who lives in a subdivision, up to date as well complete with the pictures in this post.

I love that our kids love the farm and their pigs so much and cherish all the memories they are making.  


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life lessons learned from Leontien

The power of one...

It is not every day that someone like Leontien enters one's life; however, I'm sure the impact she had on many of our lives will never be forgotten and her legacy will live on through everyone that knew her.

Before I met Leontien a few years ago, her reputation preceded her.  I had heard stories of her passion, zest for life, and determination to chase, meet, and exceed her goals and dreams and I was not disappointed once I met her.  There was just something about her that made you want to smile and fight harder for your own convictions.  She knew what she wanted and was willing to make it happen until that nasty C word entered her life not once, but twice, but even then she remained true to herself.  I never will forget the last time I visited with Leontien with my dear friend Cris from GOODEness Gracious.  Leontien would not sit down to visit with us until she made sure she had offered us something to drink and eat and also made sure we took home plenty of yummy chocolates to our loved ones.  She had a heart of gold.

In the spirit of her heart of gold and in honor of her 34th birthday today, many of her friends are doing a random act of kindness.

Now if I was truly being random, I wouldn't have put any thought into this, but since Leontien will always remind of the importance of hard work and planning, I wanted to make sure there was meaning behind my act of kindness.

Leontien came into my life as we shared a joint passion for agriculture.  Her love for her cows and her dairy could not be missed.  So tomorrow morning after I drop Big Sissy and Bubby off at school, Little Sissy and I will be delivering 34 gallons of milk to our local food pantry in memory of Leontien.

Miss you!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Maybe it's cold outside...


The temperature in Indiana sure is a little wacky these days.  Since Christmas, we have had several inches of snow on the ground and winter like temperatures.  This has all changed this week as the snow is almost all melted, we've had over an inch of rain in the last 24 hours, and we are approaching 60 degrees as I type this. 

The dramatic weather changes not only wreak havoc on everyone's sinuses at the pigpen, but it also makes me very thankful for the way we raise our pigs.

As you know, The Farmer and I are the fourth generations of our families to raise pigs.  Our ancestors would be amazed with the care we can provide our pigs with the changing weather patterns we are currently experiencing.  My mother-in-law can tell many stories of what it was like to raise pigs in snowy, icy, cold weather conditions that overnight become wet and muddy. 

This is just one of the many reasons that I'm glad that we can raise our pigs today in climate controlled barns that allow us to protect them from the elements (and predators) and provide them with a 70 degree climate year round especially when we may or may not be cozied up around our fireplace at home trying to stay warm (of course The Farmer is always makes sure the pigs are taken care of first).

So with the tune of Baby It's Cold Outside running through my head, Maybe it's cold outside ...

We really can't stay
Maybe it's cold outside
We gotta go away
Maybe it's cold outside
This evening has been
Been wishing the rain away
So full of ice
I'll hold your umbrella today
The Farmer would start to worry
But the pigs are warm inside
Bubby would be pacing the floor
The pigs are protected inside
So really we don't have to scurry
Farming is our first love
The pigs are our top priority


Friday, January 4, 2013

The Farmer and the tablet


"Oh, the Places You'll Go"

I don't even know if Dr. Seuss could have imagined the places we could go thanks to technology.  Just on our family farm alone over the last few months, technology allowed for some exciting new additions on our family farm.  


These lovely ladies came to our family farm by way of Arkansas and will someday be the mommas of Big Sissy's 4-H pigs.  

Anyway, what do these pigs have to do with technology?  

Well you see The Farmer used this super handy, easy to use, and  super fast like 4G LTE fast tablet that he was testing from Verizon Wireless to bid on these pigs in an online auction.  (Online auctions didn't even exist not that long ago, but every year there are more and more of them as they allow people like us to look at, bid, and purchase pigs from all over the country.  Something that would be quite difficult without technology.) Any way, thanks to being able to view pictures of the pigs online, he purchased these 4 pigs all from the comfort of his chair at home and then drove to Arkansas a few days later to pick them up.  


 The whole thing is quite amazing to me that basically with a "computer" that fits in the palm of his hand, The Farmer was able to make some exciting purchases.


Needless to say, The Farmer fell in love with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and was quite depressed when we had to send it back.  Had I not been done with my Christmas shopping for him when we sent it back, there may have been one waiting under our tree for him, but alas, there was not.  I guess it is a good thing for him that he has a February birthday.
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