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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

LB's Beer Brats...

We love brats on the grill, but they always seem to take forever to cook and then the outside is usually too well done,  so I always boil them in beer first.  When I saw this recipe in Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook, Slow-Cooker Fall Favorites , I added it to my list to be one of the first to make.  They taste just like they came off the grill and now we can enjoy one of our favorite summer foods all year long.  We prefer to top the brats with sauteed onions and pepper, so I  sauteed some green peppers also.  Keep your eyes on the blog next week because I have a copy to give away to one of my lucky readers!



LB's Beer Brats

Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 Bratwursts
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 ounce can regular or non-alcoholic beer
  • 6 to 8 hot dog buns
Cooking Directions
  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, cook brats, onion and garlic in oil until brats are browned on all sides.
  2. Pierce brats with a fork and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Spoon brats mixture into a slow cooker; pour beer over all.
  4. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours, until brats are no longer pink in the center.
  5. Serve brats on buns, topped with onion from slow cooker.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

She's 6!!!

Mel, our spunky, sassy, energetic, and compassionate middle child is 6 today!
 It's hard to believe that 6 years have gone by this fast.  She loves to laugh and tell joke after joke after joke.  She definitely has her dad's sense of humor!
 She can go from happy to upset in one second flat and for those of you who have witnessed that, you know what I'm talking about.  She may have developed this trait from me;)
 She loves to dress up and "look nice" which means that she loves to shop!

Happy Birthday, sweet Mel!  You are definitely one-of-a-kind!  I hope you have the best birthday yet!
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Bacon & Cheese Breakfast Casserole...

I have a confession to make...I rarely cook breakfast for my family.  Most mornings it's cereal, pop-tarts, pancakes, toast, microwave sausage sandwiches ...something easy.  Mornings are so hectic and cooking breakfast just adds to the chaos.  So, when Gooseberry Patch gave me a copy of Slow-Cooker Fall Favorites and I saw this recipe for Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Casserole that you can make in the CROCKPOT the night before, I knew I wanted to try it! I made it on a Saturday night so we could enjoy it on Sunday morning and everyone liked it.  B was a little skeptical at first and asked for Honey Nut Cheerios, but she finally gave in and said she liked it and even cleaned her plate!  So, if mornings are chaotic at your house also, I highly suggest making this recipe for your family!






Bacon & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 32 ounce frozen shredded hashbrowns
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until translucent.
  2. Stir in hashbrowns and cook until golden.
  3. Place the hashbrowns in a lightly greased slow cooker.
  4. Top hashbrown mixture with green pepper, bacon and cheeses; set aside.
  5. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour egg mixture over cheese in slow cooker.
  7. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours, until a knife tip test clean.
  8. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on servings, if desired.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classic Buffalo Chicken Dip...

I love appetizers!  In fact, I could make a meal out of them and sometimes when I eat at a restaurant, I will order off the appetizer menu for my actual meal....unless they have pizza!    I recently made this for a family get -together that took place pool side.  I use the term 'recently' lightly because it was about a month and a half ago!  This was a big hit.  The best part, it was made in the crockpot!  I have always loved cooking in my crockpot, but since my crockpot menu has grown from only roast, potatoes and carrots in the last year or so, I love it even more!

So, I highly recommend this delicious appetizer for your next party.  Your guests will love it and will probably ask for the recipe.;)  The recipe came from Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook Slow-Cooker Fall Favorites- .



Classic Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients
  • 2 10oz. cans chicken, drained
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 Cup cayenne hot pepper sauce
  • 1 Cup ranch salad dressing
  • 2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, salad dressing, and one cup cheddar cheese in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, on high setting for about one hour, or until cheeses are melted.
  3. Turn heat to low setting;stir in remaining cheddar cheese until melted.
  4. Serve with baguette slices, or tostitoes for dipping.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

School is In Session...

School has officially been in session for a week now.  Mel started last Tuesday as a big, bad Kindergartner.  Our school system has the kindergartners attend school a day before all the other students so that they are the only ones in the school.  I love that!  Then Mel stayed home on Wednesday while B went to school and then I sent them both on Thursday.  So, I kind of felt like we had three first days!

The first days of school always have me thinking, "Where did the summer go?"  It goes by way too fast.  I know we don't start as early as some schools in our state....some started on July 30th...but I miss the days when we started around the 15th of August, or better yet, around the 21st like when I was in grade school!  Oh well, I guess it's a sign of the times and we just have to deal with it!

Here is Mel proudly posing with her first day of school sign...
 She is into anything that is cheetah print, so I wasn't surprised that this was her choice to wear on the first day of school!


 Lucky B got to stay in her PJs while Mel got on the bus...she did hide in the house when the bus pulled up.  She didn't want anyone to see her in her jammies:)
 So much stuff to take on the first day!
 There she goes!

 I wasn't as sad for Mel's first day as I was for B's.  I think it was because I knew what to expect and I prepared myself mentally.  She was ready to go which helped.

Here is B not-so proudly displaying her first day sign!
 She loves anything camo (yes, she and Mel are complete opposites when it comes to fashion!), so I wasn't surprised when she wanted to wear this for the first day.
 B wasn't as excited as Mel for school to start.  The first few days were a little rough as she had a hard time adjusting from the fun of summer to school, but it's improving.  We are fortunate that she has another great teacher this year!  In fact, it's the same teacher she had in first grade!


And just like that, we have two in school.  I have to say, I am enjoying my one-on-one time with Miss Jo!  I hope all the kids, parents, teachers, administrators, and everyone else in the school system have an awesome school year!
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Week of Fun at the County Fair...

Our fair was a week and a half ago and I think I have finally recovered enough to write this post!  The girls aren't in 4-H yet, but they are already getting a pretty big taste of all that it takes to exhibit projects at the fair.  They entered open foods, which Mel received champion for her Buttermilk Coffee Cake and B received first place for her Candy Dandy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  Brad's mom helped with all the baking, thank goodness!

Here is Mel making the final product (they made two practice cakes and one final)...
 One of the first things to do at the fair is to find the perfect size tire to fit in...

Tuesday was the hog show.  B was in the runt class.  She has done this for three years now and I can definitely see the improvement.  Sorry for the blurry pic.  If you've ever been to a hog show, you know that everything is a blur:)...
Wednesday night we brought the girls' Holstein calves to the fair for the dairy show on Thursday.
 This was their first time showing dairy calves and they loved it!

Showing their calves to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.  Love this picture!...
Brushing her calf before the show...

 So excited...
 Waiting...
 More waiting...
 More waiting...
 I think they looked adorable in their all white clothes with blingy belts and boots!

Mel couldn't quite handle her calf by herself, so Brad helped her.  Maybe next year!
 B actually let me french braid her hair, which never happens!
 Eyes on the judge and your calf at all times..




 Part of the cheering section.  Brad's dad and grandparents...

 The judge talking to B...
 All done!


 Showing their calves to their cousin Taylor...
 Jo loves them just as much as B and Mel..
 Special thanks to the Loggan family for helping us out so much this year!  Even though I grew up on a dairy farm, I know nothing about showing dairy calves and Brad showed beef in 4-H!

Even after being at the dairy show most of the day on Thursday, we still came back Thursday night to see all the beef cattle.  The beef show is on Friday and for at least the last 15 years, I have always gone in on Thursday night to see all the beef cattle! I snapped this photo with my phone of Beef Show Eve...
We make the girls aware that the fair isn't about the rides, it's about the animals and projects.  The rides are just a nice bonus!  So, once the projects and animals are finished then we ride rides on Friday night.

Of course, everything is more fun when friends join you!

This picture pretty much sums up how we all felt once the fair was over...

Exhausted!  The best part, I asked the girls what their favorite part of the week was and they both said, "Showing their calves."  Not the rides, not the food...showing!



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