Sunday, July 24, 2011

 We are just getting started in the "farming" business (I think we've owned cows for 3 years or so. . . We do not have the latest greatest equipment.  We do not know everything.  But we're having fun!
 We were finally able to buy this awesome powerstroke Ford!  That helps a lot!  We can now pull about anything that needs pulled, like a trailer full of hay (borrowed trailer) or a trailer full of cows (again we have to borrow a trailer).  Unlike the old Toyota we have (which is a great pickup for bad weather) it would not pull anything very good. . . Like one cow at a time was all you could haul. . .
We have a great tractor.  Unfortunately for unloading a trailer of hay it is not great.  The lift will not go high enough to reach the bales of hay so we (as in J) has to pull each bale off one at a time and then move them into place along the driveway.  Yes, our driveway is lined with hay bales but we don't really have a better place to put them.  I am not in this world to impress people with how my driveway looks, as long as it's clean from trash and clutter I'm happy!
One of these days we'll be able to buy a tractor with a front end loader and our own hay hauling trailer and cattle trailer.  But until then we are blessed with friends and family who will loan us trailers.  And blessed with the ability to *pull* each bale off instead of the trailer.  Wow, was it only about 2 winters ago that when we had to feed hay we had to tie onto it and pull it into the pasture with the Toyota pickup?  Man, we're moving up in the world! 
(P.S. I do not pick out what my husband wears so please overlook his attire.)  (P.S.S. He makes me smile!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why are you not seeing many posts?  This is why
I'm working my tail off (well if I had a tail I would be) getting ready for this.  (Thanks to Shorty, BS, and Raskell for their had work too) We are getting TONS of freight in, like pallets at a time that are taller than me!  We are trying to clean things up a bit.  I'm working on prices sheets and signs AND trying to keep up with regular daily work like helping customers, paying bills, order, and talking on the phone (which I really hate).  I need my slaverrrrr sister to come back to work so I can have someone to boss around and do the jobs I don't like to do (like clean the bathroom).  HURRY BACK KATIE I MISS YOU!  (She's been cooking at church camp). 
I do get Saturday off this week and hopefully next week, then after that I'm probably moving back to 4-6 days a week instead of my slacking 3 days a week.  Hunting season will be here soon! 

And this is the latest project I've been working on. . .
Trying to gather enough hay to get us through the winter.  This is my Grandpa loading my first load. 
*OFF SUBJECT*  I just spent 8 minutes looking for my camera so I could download pics for this post and couldn't figure out where it was, um yeah, it was hanging on the chair right next to me.  DOH
*BACK TO SUBJECT*  Today was the first time I've ever pulled a giant trailer, a giant goose neck trailer, a giant goose neck trailer with a full load of hay!  Yeah, I was worried a bit!  Thankfully it turned out easy enough.  I even backed it up and it went where I needed it to!  Tomorrow morning J will unload it and we'll go to Glenco for the next load.  Then I think my daddy is going to pick our pickup and trailer up and take it to KS to pick up some kind of tanks and then load it with another load of hay and I'll swap him and bring another load home on Monday after work.  We have to have 70 bale to get through the winter and we're at 19, picking up 13 in the morning and then another 20 or so from dad next week.  Was hoping we could find more closer to home but it looks like we're going to have to get the rest from Stonewall, which is a long drive! 

Also did this this week. . .
 Tomato Juice!  Cleaned the tomatoes and blended them in the blender to make juice.  I do not strain them because I like the pulpyness of them to use for salsa!
 Cook this until all the foamy stuff goes away.  Put them in steralized jars with about a teaspoon of canning salt, wipe the mouth off and put a top on it!
 Hot water bath for 15 minutes.
And then you have beautiful and tasty tomato juice!  It made my house smell wonderful!!!!  I only got 5 quarts but I feel bless with that since most people aren't getting any tomatoes!  We have 80 plants and *should* be getting WAY more than we are!  The HomeStead variety is the ones that are doing the best.  Thanks Grandma Iva Louise for starting them and giving them to us!

We have one more cow due to calve, hope she has a pretty little red baby girl or two!  :D  But odds are against us on boy vs girl calves.  5 cows calved and so far 4 have been bull calves.  Oh well, I guess we'll be able to sell them in the spring and have a little pocket money. 

Last thing for tonight Take a look at this, I got first place :D  WOOHOO

Well, it's way past my bed time! 

Praying for Rain, Peace, and Love! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Okie Chips

Well, I will never be able to go to the Fillin Station and order these again.  Why you ask?  Because they sold out and it's going to be a chain Boomerang.  :(  So So sad for a good food place to go away.  So here's my version of Okie Chips. . .

2 large baked potatoes (yes already baked), I think they're best if they are still kinda firm
2 giant hand fulls of shredded cheese
4 pieces of crispy fried bacon, crumbled
Chives, chopped
Ranch Dressing
Slice the baked potatoes into medallions, thickness is up to you, I like mine middle of the road. . . Place them into a hot cast iron skillet with a touch of butter (to keep them from sticking) and fry on both sides until golden brown.  Remove and place them on a single layer on a large plate.  Sprinkle with cheese (I like a lot) and microwave until almost melted.  Add the crumbled bacon and chives and microwave about 30 more seconds until everything is melted together.  Serve with ranch dressing on the side.  The place I would order these from always made Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing from the packages, it's way better than what you get in the bottle.  I think they used sour cream and buttermilk both but can't remember for sure. . .

HomeMade Chocolate Gravy

Well, I posted a pic of one of my favorite meals the other day with out the recipe and got called on it so here it is. . . Kinda of ;-)  I was taught by hand with no measurements so I'll see what I can do. . .
 Start with homemade biscuits, my recipe is a self rising flour, an egg, a little crisco, and some milk.  Again no real recipe, it's done by feel.  :(  sorry, I know not a lot of help.  Maybe one of these days I'll measure as I go.
 And the magic begins!  Chocolate gravy!  Start with some sugar, maybe 2 cups, add cocoa, maybe 1/4 cup, you want it to resemble sand, the darker the "sand" the more chocolaty it is. . . Then add a few tablespoons of flour (that will thicken it)
Here's what my "sand" looked like before adding the final ingredient, milk. . .
I have no idea how much milk, maybe 2 cups or so, you can always add more if it's to thick.  Cook it over medium heat stirring often until it thickens up, probably 10-15 minutes or so. . .
 Don't forget the ham steak!  This is a must.  lol.  Actually it is a must for me, my granny always fixed it like this so I can't eat this meal with out the ham!
Whala, this is what you get.  I always cut my biscuits in half and top with a ton of butter then pour on the gravy! 
 OH, Pepsi is a must with this meal for me also!  Grandma Carolyn always served Pepsi for breakfast!
Here's my mom cooking for me the other day, chocolate gravy on the back burner, white gravy on the front, along with hamsteak.  Some may want eggs with this meal or hash browns but not me.  Just give me biscuits, gravy, butter, and ham and I'm in heaven!
P.S. Mom makes this for us *every* Christmas morning and I always look forward to it!  But my Grandma Carolyn use to make it for me about every other time I stayed the night with her, which was often!  (at least once a week).  She passed away when I was 16 and I sure do miss her!  Waffles was the thing she rotated in with the gravy.  One of these days I'll make them and share.  I actually have a real recipe for them. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

No Electric. . .

In the middle of my afternoon nap the electric went off. . . Around 3:30ish (pm) I think. . . John called it in and I went back to my nice long nap.  Woke up about 5, still no electric. . . (Found out there is a big fire south of us that took out some electric poles) We decided since it was National Ice Cream Day and we couldn't open the freezers to get out the homemade ice cream because of letting the cold air out we'd go into town to Braums. . .(If you are not familiar with Braums you should be ashamed, lol, it is a dairy store that has a TON of different wonderful ice creams) I had a shameful big NONO heath bar sundae (only a single dip to my credit) and J had an ice cream cone with a dip of lime and orange sherbert.  And that folks is how you celebrate Ntl. Ice Cream Day with no electric.  lol
Anyway, back to no electric.  After eating ice cream in the air conditioned car we headed home and decided to get the generator out and going. . . We have 3 chest freezers and a frig that needed some coolness.  Oklahoma summer isn't really conducive to no electric things thaw fast!  (I think it's 100+ and it's 7:45 pm).  So, J got everything hooked up and had enough power to hook the internet stuff and a couple fans to it also.
Fans helped tremendously!  It was only 85 in the house but that's still warm with no air flow!
Now I'm trying to decide what I can fix on the grill for supper.  Everything is frozen and we have no water because of being on a well system.  UGH.  We should have got supper when we were in town getting ice cream I guess.  I have some bologna but J said he'd pass, he's not much of a bologna lover like I am.  MMM Bologna and fresh garden tomatoes!!!! 
Well, until next time.  Lord bless you all with peace and love and electric!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


(Well, a week overdue but here it finally is)

I helped again with VBS at our church this year. . . In the kitchen of course.  Here's kinda how it went. 

Thrusday was a fairly easy day. . . We started snacks at 8:30 am but I didn't get there till 10 am because of a misunderstanding in time. . . But anyway, the first snack was pretty easy. . . Horse feed is what it was, basically some candy corn, chex mix type stuff that looked like something a horse would eat.  Lunch was again pretty easy, just turkey and ham sandwiches, chips, salad, and not homemade cookies. . .
(Don't you love the cute bandana decor, I used these at my sisters wedding that was a western theme)

After lunch we had about a 5 hour break. . . Ended up resting for about an hour then starting supper, which was wagon wheel pasta with meat spaghetti sauce, salad, green beans, ranch bread (yummy), and again not homemade cookies. . . Oh we also made some rice krispie treats for them to much on during the evening oh and "bed rolls".
 Over cooked the wagon wheel pasta a little so it was more like broken wheel pasta, but the kids ate it up anyway. . .
 Green beans are always a hit!  The bread was french bread cut in pieces slathered in butter then sprinkled with ranch dressing powder mix.  It turned out VERY good!  Baked it until it was crispy and ate it up!
This was the first time my helper (who is several years older than me) had ever made rice krispie treats.  I know you're thinking, WHAT????????  So, I had to show her how to get her hands dirty!  :D

Sorry, forgot to take a pic of the bed rolls but this is what they were. . . Thin to medium sliced ham with softened cream cheese spread on each slice and a piece of a pickle spear rolled up in it, or some had pretzels rolled up for those who didn't care for pickles.  They were the just before bed time snack, hence the "bedroll" name for them. 

Friday was a full 3 meals and 3 snacks!!!  For breakfast we fixed sausage patties (that they had gotten that were pre-cooked and pre-frozen, not the best in the world but I guess they were thinking easy not good), we baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes which was super easy.  We also had frozen biscuits, package gravy, scrambled eggs, some with cheese and some without.  Of course the with cheese went over 100 times better than the without!  And pancakes (bisquick, yuck), some plain, some chocolate chip, and some blue berry.  The kids LOVED the variety and we did not have much of anything left!  Sorry, I was to busy to take pics.  For rotation snack (that's where the age groups break up and rotate through the different classes) we made belt buckles. . .
They were sugar cookies (that again were not homemade, boo) that we had baked and the squirted some canned icing on and the kids decorated them with sprinkles and M&Ms.  Huge hit, not many kids don't love cookies!  And the had a blast decorating them!  Some made their initials, some DUMPED on the sprinkles, some wanted only m&ms. . . It was a fun project for them and we had to kill 25 minutes so it was nice for them to have a hands on snack.
 hahaha, here's my get up for snack/story time!  Chaps were a bit long or maybe my legs were a bit short? 
 A partner in crime.  Lisa is the best story teller ever and the kids love her!  She always gets into the action!
 Yep, I had a horse!  I even had a horse race with Laso Lisa during the program on Saturday afternoon.  I need to see if she got it on video or has any pics.  (I forgot my camera)

Anyway, back to food. . .

For lunch we made chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, corn, tator tots, and salad.  EVERYTHING was a hit, but we made to much mac n cheese!  Who's idea was that?  Um, I'm not telling!
 Chicken nuggets in the oven. . . Easy but next time if it's my choice I'd get better quality ones. . .
 Serving lunch
 Well, the plate is kinda yellow, we didn't do a very good job of making a pretty colorful plate, but it tasted decent!
After lunch the kids went to a water park so I went to town and picked up a few groceries (our church is in the middle of no where).  We needed eggs and milk to make homemade ice cream!  I also needed coffee creamer. 
 Well, Tay was taking pics while we were shopping, in the very corner you can see hazelnut, that's my favorite!!!

 Hum, who's neck was Fancy Nancy wanting to wring?  lol
This is the snack we fixed for the kids when they got back from the water park. . . Crumbled oreos, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and mint chocolate marshmallows. 
Oh and while the kids were gone I made cherry, peach, and apple cobbler, and vanilla and chocolate ice cream or the after supper snack.
Friday night we just grilled hot dogs and had chips and left over mac n cheese and tater tots.  Easy and good.  After the kids rested and played some games we had the cobbler and ice cream.  YUM! 

Sorry no pics from Saturday, I forgot my camera.  :((
Saturday because it was also food day (where the church gives food to the needy) we had to do an easy breakfast, we had cereal, granola bars, and fruit.  Easy but everyone seemed to like it ok. 
For our rotation snack we made camp fires, which were big crackers with can spray cheese and chow main noodles (for the fire) and broken pretzels (for the logs).  Turned out pretty good!
For lunch we had soft tacos and nachos!  Just flour shells, taco meat and the fixins. . . And canned nacho cheese and chips.  That was the only time we ran out of something and it was meat. . . The kids ALL loved the "Mexican" food idea! 
And that's it, 3 full days of food but they had gotten so much canned and store bought stuff that it really wasn't that much work.  I'll have to make a few suggestions if I help again next year because I'd rather the food be amazing rather than just decent. . .

I did enjoy the days there and the time I got to spend with old and new friends!  And I think the ladies in charge of the whole shabang did a great job!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Heels Packin Heat

CALENDARS ARE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Go to Heels Packin Heat to get the details!!!!!!

Here's me.  I'm June. . . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do you take water for granted? 

What would happen if it was dirty? 

Well, we've been dealing with that today.  106 degrees and we have no clean water.  :(  Thankfully I had a gallon of water left over from an event where I had to make coffee off site!  And that's what I've been drinking.  We took showers in water that is a little muddy but a lot better than no shower at all! 

After the plumber came out and charged $65 for a 3 minute service call to tell us he couldn't do anything but we'd have to pull the well and cut the bottom off, the case had probably caved a bit at the bottom. . .   I called a neighbor to ask if he knew anyone who pulled wells and he said he'd help J do it (J has no plumbing experience at all and didn't have a clue what to do)!  Sweet!  So, J came home early from work and they got busy.  C suggested we let it settle for several hours before using it to make sure it's good. . .  A big giant huge thanks to our awesome neighbor C for helping John work on our water well!  We will hopefully have clean water again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Several months back I was challenged to make a red velvet cheesecake with no further instruction than that. . . Here's what I came up with.  P.S. if you are on a diet please skip this post. . . P.S.S. I hardly ever use a real recipe so please bear with me as I try getting this down.

First you start out with 2 red velvet cakes.  I made them square because I have 4 of the same size pans.  This time I used a homemade recipe but will not do it again because it was expensive and about the same taste wise as a *box* cake mix.  But I'll include the recipe just in case someone wants to try it.

Red Velvet Cake
(This is the recipe exactly how I got it from one of my sales guys mom)
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
1 -1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring
2 tablespoons cocoa
2-1/4 cup plain flour (I use a good a good cake flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk   
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp. butter flavoring (if desired)

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs.Beat until well mixed.
Add coloring and cocoa
Add salt, flour and buttermilk alternating flour & milk, beat after each.
Add vanilla
Alternately add soda and vinegar but  do not beat just blend well after the soda & vinegar.
Bake for 30 min. at 350 degrees
(This is the note she included with it. . .)

I separated this equally into 2 square cake pans by using a kitchen scale and then baked it until done.  I also lined the pans with parchment paper so they would release easier.  I froze them in the pans after they were done so they were easier to handle and cut the tops off to level them after they were frozen (if they needed it)

For the cheesecake here's what I do. . . 
4 packages softened cream cheese
Sugar, um maybe about 2 cups.  I just dump until I like it and taste as I do.
about a teaspoon of vanilla
pinch salt
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 eggs
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, add the sugar, vanilla, salt, sour cream, and all purpose flour and beat untill all incorporated.  Then add the eggs one at a time and beat just until they are incorporated, do not over beat at this point. 
I always line my pans with parchment paper so that the cheesecake is easy to come out.  I do not use a crust with this cake. 
Bake the cheesecakes in a hot water bath at 300 for about an hour or until they are no longer jiggly in the middle. 
After the cake is completely cooled freeze them in the pan for a few hours so they are easier to handle.

Here are a few "helpful" hints in baking a cheesecake that I've been taught and learned by trial and error along the way. . .
Always line the bottom of the pan (at least) with parchment paper, it makes the cake release so much better!  I hardly ever use a *real* cheesecake pan, I've made them all shapes and just using the parchment paper helps make them easier to handle!
Don't over beat the eggs
Bake in hot water bath!!!  I think this helps keep them from cracking. . .
Don't bake too hot or to long, it will also cause cracking.  If you are worried about it cooking to long just turn the oven off when you think it's close to being done and leave the door shut, the heat left will help cook them the last bit.  Actually, I do that most of the time. . . 
Always let them cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 pk. 8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1-2 bags powder sugar. . . 
Blend together cream cheese and butter. Add powder sugar and beat until you get the consistency to spread well. I never measure my sugar just add and beat until it gets like I want it.  It normally takes about one bag but I like to always have extra on hand. . . And as always please please please use real butter in this recipe and every other one you make, it's not worth cooking if you're going to use fake stuff!

OK, now you have all the key ingridents now you just have to layer. . . First start with a layer of red velvet cake, top that with a layer of cheesecake, top that with the last layer of red velvet, and top that with the last layer of cheesecake. . . 

Now dump on the icing!  Spread it all over to cover ever little spot.  I will normally swirl mine a little because I'm not good at "smooth". 

Refrigerate this concoction for a few hours and then EAT.  But if you let it refrigerate 8 or so hours it gets better!  I actually think it's best the 3rd day, it gives very thing a chance to meld together.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This is where I've Been. . .

Spent Thrusday, Friday, and Saturday at church cooking for VBS kids, today we had a conceal carry class.  I'm worn out and ready for normalness!  I'll post all the details about VBS when I get rested up.  But it was a good time and I enjoyed it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chocolate Gravy!

I woke up this morning thinking about my Granma Carolyn and her chocolate gravy!  She would make me either homemade biscuits, ham, and chocolate gravy *or* homemade waffles when I stayed the night with her and grandpa, which was OFTEN!  I miss her but am so glad for the memories!  So, I decided on breakfast this morning of homemade biscuits, ham, chocolate gravy, and an omelet for J (he isn't a big gravy fan).  She would always fry eggs for Grandpa Bill and also make white gravy. . .
This is how it'd done folks!  Open the biscuits and put a chunk of *real* butter on each piece and pour on the gravy!  Serve it with some ham steak and chow down!  I even served breakfast this morning on my Granma's dishes!  These are the only dishes in my cabinets that I am 100% attached to and I have at least 15 sets of dishes!  I love serving food on them that Granma use to make!  I just wish some of it was as good as I remember hers being!  I miss you Granma but I will see you again one day!

Happy Independence Day!!!

Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Our preacher read this part of the letter John Adams wrote to his wife yesterday in church and the part about guns caught my attention because something John and I always try to do is shoot guns on Independence Day!  So I *love* this letter and will remember it for a long time that the founding fathers always intended for us to have guns and enjoy them!
So, what did my wonderful husband get me for Independence Day?  Single Action 357s that are consecutive serial numbers!  HECK YEAH!!!!!!!  Spoiled?  Yep you could say that!

They are a blast to shoot!

It will take some figuring out to be able to shoot them both at the same time.  My thumbs are a little bit to short to reach the hammers easily. . . But I will get it figured out.  Dry fire will help.  And I'll probably have to have a different set of holsters if I'm going to quick draw, these aren't very slick.  But one step at a time.  I need to find out what else J needs for reloading and get him started! 
Praying for God's protecion, love, and rain on your Independence Day!