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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Top 10 Things 4-H has Taught our Family

We are beginners here.  This is our fourth year in 4-H, and at the end of every year we always say, "We won't do that again," or "Let's do that again!"  We look back and laugh at certain things, and sometimes we talk about favorite barrows the kids showed.  I know when we get to year ten, our list will be different!  Raising kids on the farm is very rewarding.  Raising kids on the farm gives them a first-hand experience of many life-lessons. Some lessons are rewarding, some are hard.  

I spent my summers growing up in the barn and at livestock shows.  My friends showed livestock, we worked together and hung out together.  In my first year of 4-H, I use to tuck my jeans in my boots. Not sure I would repeat that fashion statement today, but by my tenth year, I owned different colored jeans, like black, red and a pair of striped jeans. Jeans went over my boots by then. Things change.  One thing that hasn't faded is the memories I had of that week at the fair.  I remember where we stalled, the judges and the friends we made that week.

TOP 10 THINGS 4-H HAS TAUGHT OUR FAMILY

  1. Hard Work Pays Off   This pertains to so many things. Practice makes perfect. It is very evident who has worked hard on a project on show day. It is noticeable as soon as the animal enters the ring.  If you want it bad enough, you will work for it.
    Chores, 4-H

  2. Work Hard, Play Harder Fair time is a great time to kick back and relax and have a great time.  We always feel like we can relax the day after the show.  Then we enjoy watching the beef and dairy shows the end of the week.
    4-H Beginner Showmanship Winners
  3. Deadlines Deadlines are very important. Register for 4-H, deadline to register your animals, record book deadlines, and state fair deadlines. One day, your kids will have deadlines with their jobs, and hopefully these skills will help them meet their deadlines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Crock Pot Lava Cake


The weekend before Valentine's Day, Macie pulled out a farm magazine, and told me, "Papa wanted me to make this." She had it saved in her room, so she wouldn't forget. She had it hidden in her closet. Maybe because that was the easiest place to find it.  If you can imagine a pre-teen room, that is exactly what her's looks like.

She was in charge of this recipe, and I was excited to see her try a crock-pot recipe!



This was my chance to watch her find all the ingredients (I hoped we had all of the ingredients!) This is a simple recipe, so you will most likely have all ingredients.



This recipe was tucked inside  the February edition of The Progressive Farmer magazine.  Between features on irrigation and new generation farmers, is a recipe about sugar, and lava cake.  Recipe credit goes to Rachel Johnson, Stupid Good Food.




I am sure someone licked the spatula, who can resist!?


After a couple hours in the crock pot, it looked delicious! Very easy dessert recipe! She called papa to come down for dessert, she had a surprise for him! 


Crock Pot Lava Cake
PRINT RECIPE
1 20 ounce double chocolate brownie mix
1 large egg
⅓ c water
⅓ c canola oil
1 3.9 ounce box chocolate pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
Cooking spray
Cool Whip

  1. Prepare brownie mix, egg, water and oil in bowl until smooth.  
  2. Prepare pudding mix with milk in a bowl, whisk until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spray crock pot with cooking spray, turn on low.
  4. Add brownie batter, use spatula to smooth out.
  5. Add pudding mix on top of brownie batter and swirl into brownie batter.
  6. Cook on low for 2 hours, or until edges are set.
  7. Serve with Cool Whip










Sunday, February 12, 2017

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

I just had a conversation earlier this week with some awesome blogging friends about all of the different types of small appliances we own.  What we can/can't live with, what has earned a permanent place on the countertop, and other small appliances we rotate from counter to pantry.  In my house, one small appliance that has a permanent place on my counter is the 6-Quart Crock Pot.

The crock pot saves us time in the evenings.  When we are busy with sports, or Dave is busy in the fields in the spring, or we are both busy in the fall, the crock pot helps us get that delicious meal ready! 








This week I got together with some blogging friends, and we had a freezer meal party! A very special thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers for this fun experience.  Eight of us exchanged our recipes and took home 8 amazing meals that will help us get our family fed on our hectic evenings. Think about some of your favorite family meals.  They might be easy to make ahead of time and freeze.  It saves you money, because you are not eating out, and you might be looking for those special ingredients to go on sale. It's a WIN for YOU! Check out the 8 freezer meal recipes we shared that day!

If you think you would like to take a few hours, and have a freezer party with your friends, you should check out The Queen of Free, Cheri Lowe's blog about having a successful freezer meal day.  You will get most of your day by being very well prepared. 

I have had this recipe in the recipe box for a few years.  Since I started my job as a grain originator 14 years ago, this was a recipe I made the first fall I was very busy working long hours at the elevator. 


I use Campbell's soup for this recipe. 2 cans of cream of chicken and 2 cans of cheddar cheese.


Place chicken breast in the bottom of a Crock Pot sprayed with Pam cooking spray.  Use salt and pepper for taste.


Add all soups over the chicken.  Cover Crock Pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or 6-7 hours on low.  When chicken is done, remove from Crock Pot and shred.  Add chicken back to crock pot and stir. Keep on low or warm until ready to serve over rice or pasta. 













Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice
PRINT RECIPE
Ingredients:
2- 3 pounds chicken breast
2 10.75 oz Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
2 10.75 oz Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place chicken breast, cream of chicken soup and cheddar cheese soup in crock pot.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
4. Remove chicken and shred, return chicken to the crock pot.
5. Serve over rice or your favorite pasta.

Freezer Option:  Add all 3 ingredients to a labeled gallon freezer bag, remove extra air, seal and freeze!

If you would like a faster option, try the  Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice.




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“This post was sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers but all thoughts and opinions are my own”

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Crock Pot Spicy Enchilada Stack


I am adding a few Mexican recipes here! They are delicious, and they are easy! That is the best part!  We need to get dinner done, and move on to other things, like basketball practice and homework. We also look forward to catching up on our favorite shows.  Have you seen "This is Us"? I would say that is our new favorite show!






Crock Pot Spicy Enchilada Stack is delicious! I took it to work, and it was a hit! A friend at the flower shop in town was too busy for lunch, so I ran lunch over to her! She loved it, too!



Brown ground pork with a chopped onion on the stove in a large skillet. Drain excess fat after pork is browned.  Add black beans, corn, salsa, jalapenos, green chiles, taco seasoning and enchilada sauce (set back 1/2 cup for later) to the skillet and stir.



Spray your crock pot with a nonstick spray.  Depending on the size of your tortillas, it could take one or two to line the bottom of the slow cooker.  Add 1/3 of the ground pork mixture, add 1/2 cup cheese.


Repeat with the next 2 layers. Top with tortilla, enchilada sauce and cheese!





Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high heat for 2-3 hours.  Garnish with your favorites, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream.



Crock Pot Spicy Enchilada Stack
PRINT RECIPE
1 pound of ground pork
1 chopped onion
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup of corn
1 cup of salsa
2 jalapenos diced, seeds removed
1 4.5 oz can of chopped green chiles
2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
Flour tortillas
2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
Garnish:
Avocado, Roma tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream

  1. Brown ground pork in a large skillet over medium heat with a chopped onion. Drain excess fat.
  2. Stir in black beans, corn, salsa, jalapenos, green chiles, taco seasoning and enchilada sauce.  Keep ½ cup enchilada sauce back.  
  3. Coat inside of crock pot with nonstick spray.  Depending on size of your tortillas, place and cover the bottom of the slow cooker.  Spread ⅓ of ground pork mixture over the top. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese.  Repeat next 2 layers, top with remaining tortilla, enchilada sauce and cheese.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high heat for 2-3 hours.
  5. Garnish with avocado, tomatoes or cilantro.




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