Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Snack Crack

As I lay here in bed deciding if I am going to make it after my Zumba class tonight I cannot keep this stuff of my mind. Sweet salty goodness that begs one to keep eating it. I really don't know the name of this stuff and frankly I don't know if I made it the way it was intended,but I do know this I am completely and totally addicted to it!
You all know quite well about my struggles with Pinterest and the dad gum nonfunctional links! I have discussed this with you I promise! Any who that's where this crack was born! Yesterday we were napping and watching movies after church and before we went to my parents for our Easter dinner, or supper I think supper because to me dinner is lunch but then why do we even have the word dinner if lunch already has a name. I mean you don't see people calling it binner it's brunch so again when is dinner? And what is the point of this story? Oh yes the crack! Anyway I wanted to make a little snack mix to take out to the rents for Easter. 
I stumbled upon a pin that had this amazing looking snack mix and it had an ingredient list! I was set I even had all the ingredients, winner! But then it happened I clicked the picture and a whoops your link is broke and a sad face told me the link didn't work. Well imagine my disappointment and then determination! I am so glad I forged on the only problem is the entire batch is now gone! But whatever you do make this stuff, just don't bring me any! Oh my thighs can't handle it...ok if you insist bring me a small bag. Scratch that made a little bigger! Who am I kidding just bring me the whole dang batch!!!

Snack Crack

1-10oz Bag Fritos Corn Chips
2 Cups Pretzel Twists
2 Cups Rice Cereal
1 1/2 Cups Peanuts (I used Roasted Salted)
1 Stick Butter
1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup M&M's 

Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a large sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl combine chips, pretzels, cereal and nuts. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup, bring mixture to a boil and allow it to continue to boil for 3-4 minutes without stirring it. Once your caramel is cooked pour over the chip mixture and stir to evenly coat the mixture. Dump the mixture out on to the sheet tray. Bake for 15 minutes stirring half way through. Once baked spread mixture out on to a parchment lined counter to cool. After a few minutes of cooling but not completely cooled add your M&M's. Store in an air tight container. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cereal Coated Crunchy French Toast

Terrible picture I know but trust me it is GOOD
If you have been looking for something different to fix for an up coming brunch or want to spice up your typical french toast you have come to the correct place! Oh gracious this stuff is amazing. Crunchy on the outside but nice and soft and pillowy on the inside. Yea I might have to make this for supper tonight! But I love breakfast food all the time. Brunch is my favorite meal to go out for. I just love it and french toast happens to be one of my very favorite things. 

Give this a try for your next fancy smancy brunch or your Wednesday night supper you will not regret it! Oh and switch up the cereals if you would like! Just ENJOY!

Crunchy French Toast

8 pieces Texas Toast
4 eggs
1 cup Half and Half (Whole Milk or Cream would work as well)
1 TBSP Vanilla
2 TBSP Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
2 cups of Honey Bunches of Oats (ground into course pieces)

Heat oven to 300. Position a cooling rack over a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven. In a shallow dish whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a second shallow dish place the cereal crumbs. Working with just a few pieces a bread at a time soak in egg mixture, you want the bread to soak up the liquid but not become too soft. Then coat all sides of each piece of bread with the cereal crumbs. Once you have a couple of pieces ready heat a small amount of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place bread in the skillet and allow to brown for about two minutes per side or until nice and golden. Then place each piece in the oven to finish cooking and stay warm. Continue with remaining pieces. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Thoughts on National Agriculture Day...

Today is National Agriculture Day, a day that is intended to recognize and celebrate the abundance that agriculture gives to each and every one of us. This day is really special for me because my entire life each and every day revolves around agriculture, at home, at work, in the car pretty much always. I feel we need to celebrate this industry that is the foundation of our country every day, and I do my best to do that. As a nation I think one day is great as well. 

Her first litter of pigs for the year.
The thing is in recent years it seems that the agriculture industry is fighting an even larger uphill battle than ever before. Farmers and agriculturalist alike are being made into these people that no one trust and can’t seem to understand. And by no one I mean your average consumer. So today I want to share with you and anyone who seems to care why agriculture is so important to me. Besides the obvious that I like to eat. 
Headed to the sale barn on a Saturday with Daddy 
To me agriculture is a time honored tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation in my family. I fell in love with agriculture before I even knew what it was, the first time I laid eyes on Lady the ewe my dad was buying for me. And the first time she lambed and I saw those twins I didn’t know if I would ever want to leave that barn. This is something I can’t explain to most I just knew from that day forward that I always wanted that feeling. And I still get it each time I see a baby pig being born or witness a momma cow searching for her calf, or even the sight of the first a planter in the field in the spring. It’s a feeling of pride and responsibility that I don’t get anywhere else one that I want to pass on. 

Learning to drive not in drivers ed but in a pasture.
Today I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of Charlot learning the love of this industry. I want people to realize that there are people behind this industry trying to pass it on to the next generation and the generation after that. We want our industry to be strong and robust we want to be trusted. Each time I see something on social media or the media in general that shines a negative light on this industry I love I feel a little piece of my heart being pulled with it. I know that the further removed people are from the agriculture industry the harder it is for them to understand but please if I can ask you one thing it is this… if you have questions ask a person directly involved in the industry and please please please don’t believe everything you see and read.  
Washing her summer show gilts

Learning some school lessons at the State Fair

Checking Cows
There are so many families out there just like mine, these are the people that feed you each and every day and would give up everything to make certain they can keep doing it. 
Eating supper on the tailgate of a pickup
Visiting daddy and poppy in the hay field
Falling in love with her first gilt Daisy
Learning the love of the show ring
Being Daddy's gate assistant
And one day she will see this and know she was born into this industry.

Today I am leaving you with this my favorite quote from Paul Harvey’s So God Made a Farmer Speech and my favorite quote about farmers in general. 

"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

"In the Winters Chill or the Summers Heat Farmers and Ranchers Work so the World Can Eat"

Happy National Agriculture Day!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pulled Pork Pizza

Ok so I know I have not been a good blogger basically in a long time. Please forgive me I seem to say that a lot to you guys but I really mean it. I have stories to tell and recipes to share I just need to be better about actually sitting down and typing them up. Plus with the impending arrival of the second child in our lives I need to be a better blogger. I want this child's early days and days/months/years to follow documented just as I did Charlot's. Anyway thanks for sticking with me coming back and continuing to read. Does any of this have to do with the above picture, NOPE. I needed to get that off my chest before I could present this amazingness. 

Today is Pi day 3.14 day, and many people like to celebrate by eating pie, I plan to make one tonight. But if you want a different type of "Pie" this will be for you, a pizza pie. A Pulled Pork Pizza Pie to be exact! Sounds a bit different yes, is it a bit different yes, does it taste amazing yes, so what do you need to do MAKE IT!

This little jewel was born out of necessity...the hubs decided he needed to try his hand at smoking an entire pork shoulder, delicious yes but also tons of meat. We had eaten it with baked beans and slaw we had prepared it with potatoes, green beans, and cornbread, we had had our fill of pulled pork sandwiches. And when I say we had had our fill I'm really meaning me, I'm pretty sure the hubs could have continued the trend eaten a few hundred more sandwiches. But I was ready for something else, and I was craving pizza. I won and let's face it the hubs won too because he loved this pizza! 

If you happen to be like me and need an idea of what the heck to do with your leftover pulled pork here ya go! The slight creaminess of the sauce plays in really nicely with the spice of the pork. Then the cheese well you just can't have pizza with out ooey gooey cheese. Lastly my favorite part was the pork got kind of crispy on the edges like bacon and its saltiness combined with the brininess of the banana peppers perfection. But when you got the perfect bit it was absolutely incredible. Oh now I wish I had some more pulled pork at home! YUM!

Pulled Pork Pizza

1 Recipe of Pizza Dough (your favorite, frozen, or the kind in the tube will be fine)
1/4 cup Mayo (the real deal NOT Miracle Whip)
3/4 cup BBQ Sauce (I used Gates because I love the spice and the vinegar in it)
2 Cups Pulled pork 
1 8oz block Cheddar Jack Cheese (grated)
Jarred Banana Peppers to Taste

Heat oven to 400. Prepare your pan (I always use rimmed cookies sheets) by spraying it and sprinkling it with a bit of cornmeal, spread your dough out in the pan. In a small bowl combine mayo and BBQ Sauce, spread over your crust. Top with Pulled Pork, then Cheese, and last the Banana Peppers. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and pork is crisping up! Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before slicing. ENJOY! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chicken Ramen with Thai Peanut Sauce

Do you ever just have a hankering for something very particular, ok so maybe it is just me and the pregoness. Yesterday I could not get the thought of HuHot Peanut Sauce out of my head I wanted it I needed it. But driving an hour to get it wasn’t happening. So I turned to trusty Pinterest to see if I could find a recipe for a Thai Peanut Sauce, well of course I could Pinterest has EVERYTHING. The only problem was is that almost all the recipes I found contained coconut milk! Say WHAT! Number one I don’t like coconut, but I kind of figured that the peanut butter would over power the coconut. Number two I wasn’t driving to the next town to locate this, I needed to be able to find the needed ingredients at my local grocery store. Which I must say is AMAZING!!!

I kind of just threw caution to the wind and headed to my local C&R, Lo and Behold SILK COCONUT MILK!!!! I’m not sure that is what the recipes I saw had in mind but hey I used it and it worked wonders! FYI every ingredient in this recipe was available at my local grocery store! Again Amazing store with amazing people and selection! But back to the dish. This sauce made my typical chicken ramen stir-fry totally different sweet and hot and a bit sour from the vinegar gracious it was good! I even used some of the extra sauce to dip my lovely egg roll in! Give this a try if you are wanting to mix up your weeknight meal with a little taste of Thai!!! Plus it was done in under 30 minutes!!! BONUS!

Chicken Ramen with Thai Peanut Sauce
2 Large Chicken Breasts (Cut into Bite Sized Pieces)
1 Bag of Tri-Colored Slaw Mix
3 Packages Ramen Noodles (reserve one flavor packet)
2 Cups Water
1 ½ Cups Thai Peanut Sauce
2 TBSP Teriyaki Sauce
Sesame Seeds (optional)
Heat two TBSP of Oil (I used coconut) in a large non-stick skillet, add chicken breast and cook through. Remove chicken from skillet, season with salt, and set aside. In the same skillet heat another TBSP of oil add your slaw (don’t add the dressing if it comes with it) sauté for 5 minutes or so just to soften the cabbage. Remove from skillet and set aside. Using the same skillet pour in water and one seasoning packet from the Ramen, stir to dissolve add in the noodles cover for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once noodles reach desired tenderness add chicken and cabbage back in combine, then stir in the Peanut and Teriyaki Sauce. Add more peanut sauce if you like. Top with Sesame Seed and Serve! YUM!

Thai Peanut Sauce
1 ½ Cups Coconut Milk
½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 TBSP Sriracha Sauce (More if you like it Spicy)
2 TSP White Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a small sauce pot heat over medium low heat until sauce is smooth and thickened, this will take some time just be patient.  It’s so worth it!