Monday, January 31, 2011

Tate's Miracle Conditioner

Around here it's referred to as "foo-foo"... that is anything that falls in the category of all-natural, organic, or at times, simply new and different.  One of my newest, and most favorite all-natural products is Tate's Miracle Conditioner. I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, especially with long hair... is this stuff really going to work?  Well, let me tell you, it works great, and on more than just your hair.  Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Tate's.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes

You can't be a farm girl without meat and potatoes.  This was the standard fare in our house growing up... meat, potatoes, and "what kind of vegetable do you want?" from Mom.  Although I've tried many new and different dishes since I've been out on my own, meat and potatoes is always the go-to comfort food.  Here's my recipe for pot roast served with mashed potatoes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes

With our chicken the other night, we had Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes.  Before I get to the potatoes, I have explain a little more who this Pioneer Woman (PW) is.  Several years ago, a friend introduced me to the world of blogging by sending me to a site called The Pioneer Woman.  This was a city girl living in the country, telling stories about her life on the ranch, sharing recipes that she cooked for her family, and offering insight into the world of photography.  Her website now has tens of thousands of followers, and continues to entertain and encourage people across the county.  I have made many of her recipes, and have loved every one.  I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I have.

Check out The Pioneer Woman website sometime soon:

She has also created an on-line community of cooks and bakers at Tasty Kitchen:

Now on to the potatoes....

Grandpa Jim's Chicken

The thing we probably remember most about Grandpa Jim was his story telling.  Everything from the spilled milk incident with his basketball buddies to telling off the general during the Koren War.  I remember something else about Grandpa Jim.... he made the best baked chicken.  It wasn't anything fancy, but it was tender and moist, and would melt in your mouth.  I asked him to share the recipe with me, so I could make it myself.  And now I will share it with you... especially with my Mom and sisters because you know first hand how tasty this chicken is.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

Here is a quick, delicious recipe for peanut butter pie.  With the help of my dear friend, Shallin, peanut butter pie was on the agenda for girl's night.  This recipe is adapted from Pioneer Woman's chocolate pie recipe.  It is also super good - I would recommend making one peanut butter and one chocolate.  I do have to warn you that this recipe does contain raw eggs, so make sure you buy them from a source you trust... preferably from local, free-range chickens.

Jane's Perfect Pie Crust

I have to admit, I used to use the store bought pie crust.  Please don't hold it against me... they taste pretty good. However, several years ago I started paying closer attention to ingredient lists, and as a result I started taking the time to do more from scratch.  And that includes pie crust.  My dear friend Jane shared this recipe with me, and told me "You can't kill it."  I think she saw my fear in trying to make pie crust, and was being encouraging.  This pie crust is very forgiving - if I can make a good pie crust, so can you.  It will take a little practice to get it just right (at least for me it did), but don't give up, it's so worth it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Apple Crisp & Apple Pie Filling

A very tasty, very easy recipe for apple crisp.  The original recipe calls for fresh apples, but I adapted it to use home canned apple pie filling... this is the easy part of the recipe.  Either way it will be very tasty.  The original recipe for the apple crisp, using fresh apples, is below.  I have also included the recipe for canning the pie filling.  The pie filling is most fun to make in the fall with fresh picked apples, but can be made anytime.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please stop whatever you are doing and go make these cookies right now.  I have had a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my life, and these are pretty close to number one.  I'll have to eat a few more before I can make a final decision.  One of my classic go-to chocolate chip cookie recipes is a bar cookie recipe, and is super quick to make.  (I will share the recipe some time soon.)  But it is well worth the extra time and effort to make these ones.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Pizza

It's become a Friday night tradition in the Ayers' house... homemade pizza.  First is the recipe for the crust, and below are some tips for how I’ve tweaked the recipe to make it work for me.  And below that I have a list of super yummy toppings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Seed Catalog

Today it is a winter wonderland outside, and the thought of spring is the furthest thing from anyone's mind.  But there is hope, in the form of the seed catalog.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Photo Credit

I want to give proper credit for the photo in the header. It was taken by my Mama in the pasture at home, and is a picture of one of my Highland cows.  This one, whose name was Katie, was sold to a family in Brookville.  I am now officially out of the cow business, but hopefully will get back into it one of these days.  More about the cows and grass-fed goodness another day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The $10 Solution

"Did you know that the typical carrot travels 1,838 miles to reach your plate?  How much money, time and energy does it use during its journey from seed to table, and through how many hands does it pass?  It's almost impossible to calculate the REAL COSTS of food production, processing, packaging, shipping, and storage, but there is another number that DOES make sense.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

French Onion Soup

At the request of a friend, French Onion Soup was on the menu tonight.  I have a recipe I found several years ago... it's a copycat from Panera Bread, and some of the best French Onion Soup I have ever had.  And I will add my disclaimer here: it tastes really good because someone else came up with a good recipe, and I simply followed the directions, and then made a few minor adjustments. This holds true for most of my recipes. What makes this so tasty is the cheese and the homemade croutons.  Without them, it's just some onions in beef broth... not so tasty.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Here we go...

I've been reading blog posts for a while now... it all started with The Pioneer Woman about 4 years ago.  So a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to start a blog of my own.  And now I'm finally brave enough to write the first post.  I'm not exactly sure what this will turn in to, or how often I will post.  My goal with this blog is to share what I know and love about food and crafting and gardening... all from my little piece of heaven in the suburbs. I'm planning to post at least once a week - whether it's a new recipe, or a link to a website, or just some musings about what's on my mind.  I'm hoping that as I get into this I will be posting more pictures, and sharing more information. All I ask is that you be patient with me as I figure this out. 

With that I will leave you with a photo of my farm girl beginnings...