Friday, September 16, 2016

Crock Pot Company Casserole

Harvest is right around the corner.  I mean it's already here! Rain is forecasted for the weekend, but we have had a few customers hauling corn into the elevator this week.  Corn that was planted early last spring is testing 22-19% at the elevator. 

The sunrises have been amazing lately!! Sometimes it's hard to get the old iPhone to actually capture the exact colors of the sky, but this view is out of our back yard.  We are so blessed to have this view every morning! 

Time to start thinking about comfort food, crock pot food, and when you have the time between harvest, football food! Tailgating at it's best, brings best friends and great food.  

Company Casserole makes a big serving, so it is great for tailgating! If you love/need leftovers, this is the perfect recipe! 

There is so much happiness in this crock pot.  Cheese and pasta.

Your company will love this recipe! 

Crock Pot Company Casserole

1 lb . hamburger
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
16 oz spiral pasta (or any pasta of choice)
1 cup sour cream
8 oz of cream cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic, sea salt,  pepper to taste

Preheat skillet on stove.

Cut up a small onion, sauteed in the pan until transparent.  Add one pound of hamburger with simple seasonings, sea salt, pepper, and garlic salt. When hamburger is brown, add the spaghetti sauce.

Cook noodles, but remove from water before they are completely done, they will cook more in the crock pot.

In a separate bowl, add the sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  

In the crock pot, start layering with the beef and sauce, then noodles, then cheese mixture. End with beef and sauce and top with remaining mozzarella.  I like to season with salt and pepper in between the layers.

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.


If you are ready for some tailgating fun, sign up for the Colt's Best Tailgate!

Indiana Soybean Alliance supplied me with this awesome Colts Crock Pot for this post!

I linked this recipe up to  Whatcha Crockin' Wednesday Week 9. Go check it out! So many awesome crock pot recipes!

I also linked up this recipe to The Country Cook, Weekend Potluck. Amazing recipes over there! 

Monday, September 05, 2016

Crock Pot Shoups Pork BBQ Sliders

It's football time folks! It's time to have friends over and enjoy some football!   Simple, easy food, made in a crockpot is the way to go this time of the year. I know my son is a big COLTS fan and was so excited when this crock pot showed up at home!

This recipe would also be great for late dinner nights with the family.  We have lots of sporting activites going on right now, and harvest is just around the corner.  We will be making this often!

We tried a new BBQ sauce.  We had friends a the Indiana State Fair who said we needed to try Shoups BBQ.  This BBQ sauce has a great taste, a little kick of spice, and everyone in the family likes. it! We picked up a lot of BBQ and I don't think it will last until next summer when we stock up at the State Fair again!

Use any type of cheese you like, I used mozzarella and it melted nicely on the pork BBQ.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last Day as a Cavalier

This day is hard.  Writing this post is hard.  

We are not moving. Ever.  Again. 

Today is the last day kids are a Cavalier and last day at Tri-County schools.  

We didn't move across the country like some friends I know who are making that move soon.  We have always lived in Jasper County and in the Rensselaer school district, but it was convenient to take the kids to Tri-County because that was the same town I work in. If the school needed a volunteer, I was there. If someone was sick, I was there less than five minutes.  It worked.

First Day of School 2015

Macie starts middle school next year, this is a big move and decided it was time. Ryan will be in 4th grade, and Mason will be in Pre-K.

Great friends were made about eight years in preschool at Tri-County, and we continued to stay at Tri-County schools.  It was a great decision.  The teachers are amazing, the families are awesome. The school was a great atmosphere for the kids.

Preschool gang
We took lots of pictures in preschool!

First Day of School 2015
Student Council Homecoming Float


Student Council buddies - All Hands on Deck!

Tri-County Schools has always put on an amazing Christmas Program.  Such a blessing.  You can't help but get goose bumps every time the 5th graders sing Silent Night.

Tri-County Christmas Program 2015

Sports and clinics offered to the kids was a great opportunity.

Winter Basketball

Winter Basketball
DARE Essay Winners. I left a leadership meeting early to rush to the school to see the 5th grade DARE Graduation. I am so glad I did because Macie was the DARE Essay Winner from her class.  All the winners read their essays at the graduation.

DARE Essay Contest Winners

Spring Baseball
The kids won a lunch with the Principal during the TC PTO Spring Carnival.  She took the kids out separately and she wrote to me, "Enjoyed having lunch with this fine man. You have polite, considerate children who are a joy to be with!"

Ryan picked Bells in Wolcott. 
Lunch with Principal Mrs. Bordner
Macie picked Subway in Wolcott.  Mrs. Bordner said, "Enjoyed having lunch with your sweet Macie today!"
Lunch with Principal Mrs. Bordner

Field Day 2016

Planting seeds at the Intermediate School for a butterfly pollinator garden Monsanto and the TC FFA are sponsoring.

Macie almost getting her hands dirty.

Last bus stop in Remington. By the end of the year, the Brook's bus stop in town turned into our bus route as well!

Last Day of School 2016

The bittersweet day.  I didn't think we would make the switch to Rensselaer this soon, but I knew the day would come.  

It's amazing to think about all the friends and family who have helped with carpooling to and from preschool, games, events, feeding them snacks and subway, buying them Gatorade because mom won't, watching them while Dave and I work long harvest hours, making sure they did their homework.

I hope they are strong when they leave school today, hug their teachers and friends, and walk out proud.  We are so proud of them.  They both received student of the month awards, Honor Roll, perfect attendance, Cavalier Character award, and Student Council.  They make us so excited about what lies ahead for them!

It definitely takes a village to raise my monkeys, oh, I mean children.  

Our village is growing and expanding. We will meet new friends and family. Great opportunities are coming!  Rensselaer is dear to Dave because that is where he went to school, and he's excited about his kids becoming a BOMBER!
Last Day of School 2016

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

So proud of my kids. They really enjoy working in the barn, and spending time with their 4-h projects.  These Mother's Day pictures are not fancy, but just shows them getting dirty in the barn.  Just how I want them to remember growing up.  Working hard and being responsible for chores and animals.  The best part is sharing their experiences with their friends and family.  Explaining to others how we care for our pigs, how feeding is important for show pigs and how we take extra care of them.

It doesn't matter what special time you spend with your kids, if it is at dance, ball practice, ball games, or in the barn doing chores.  It is quality time spent with kids.  Kids need our attention, they need our approval. Be present, and encourage them.

Friday, April 29, 2016

How is lawn soil different than field soil?

In the last post. We talked about leveling out our front yard.  After the construction machinery left, there was lots of sand and ruts in the yard.  We brought in sand to fill in the holes, and leveled the yard, and raised the height of the yard.  The next step was to select a soil that would work the best for our climate and could grow grass quickly.

When you think about an "ideal" soil for our front yard,  you think of a top soil that is black.  Selecting a black top soil could be very expensive choice.  We picked a sandy loam soil for our top soil.  A loam contains about equal amounts of clay, silt, and sand. It is a very fine soil and a couple shades darker than the sand, but not a dark soil.  It is a very fertile soil and sandy loam drains well, but keeps nutrients.  Loam soil is ideal for vegetable farmers.  The best farming soils are said to be right here in the Midwest.  This would be an ideal soil to also find in the fields. The soil would be easy to work with tillage equipment and maintain good nutritional values when it is managed correctly.

The next step to creating a front yard is bringing in the dirt. After many piles of dirt, it was time to spread it out and prepare it for seeding.

Next time we will talk about the type of seed we selected for our yard.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Angel Food Cake with Homemade Carmel Icing

Things are quiet around here.  Like the calm before the storm.  Spring.  Plant 2016

It's been fairy cool, and soil temperatures have remained pretty cool.  No one around here is in a big hurry to get in the fields.  

We celebrated Dave's "BIG 40th" a couple weeks ago.  I really thought I would have a big party for him. I did surprise him for his 30th, and our 10th anniversary. No party this year.  It was probably the best since he wasn't feeling the best.

His favorite cake is angel food. So while he's home with a sick kid, and not feeling the best himself, he made his own cake!

He told me I was in charge of the icing.  I knew he would want the homemade caramel icing.

You can't walk away from this project. It needs your attention.  We have featured this caramel icing recipe when we made Angel Food Cupcakes.

The end result is delicious and fabulous, and  you wonder why you don't make angel food cake every week!

Are you waiting for the recipe? I could post about 40 pictures of this cake or make a movie.  Macie helped take pictures.  Lots of help from the family in the kitchen.

Grandma Lois Caramel Frosting

2 tsp.       Margarine (or butter)
2/3 cup    Brown Sugar
1/3 cup    Evaporated Milk
1-2 cups     Powdered Sugar

Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
Stir in 1 tsp vanilla.
Stir in enough powdered sugar to make spreadable. Immediately pour over cake.


I linked to the Meal Plan Monday, go check out some other great meals!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Leveling out a new yard. How to you prepare?

One of our projects this spring is prepping the yard for a complete makeover.  Last fall when the house was completed, we decided to wait until spring to put down top soil and seed the lawn.  The past winter did not bring many snows.  As a result, the sand was exposed for most of the winter.  The sand blew all winter.

From this picture taken last summer, you can see there is some major work to do to the yard.  This picture was taken before the windows and siding were installed.

You can also see we received too much rain last spring as well!

This area was worked a few time by the contractors, using a small bulldozer.

The black line is a sealer  on the foundations wall. This needs to be covered up to protect the foundation..

The first thing to do is prepare the area.  We have already raked the sand, picked up sticks, stones, rocks, glass from old mason jars that were from the old house, and other remains from the construction.

We were welcomed home the other night with loads of sand.  Why put more sand on top of sand? Sand is a cheaper filler than dirt, and we have some areas in the yard that need to be filled in.

There is a lot of sand that needs to be added to the back of the house.  This spring we will concentrate on the front of the house.

So, bring on the sand. Pile it up.

I see a few loads of dirt in our future!