Friday, December 27, 2013

December Babies

A week or two ago Mr. H. told me that he had spotted 
some new baby calves born to the longhorns that live across the road

Since then I have seen them a few times from our bedroom window,
but hadn't had a chance to walk over and take a peek at them until today.

There are three babies.

One is all black, one is all white,

and one is black with a white under belly, white spots on it's back hoofs,

and a white heart on his forehead! :-)

Isn't that the sweetest thing?!

From The Farm Blog Hop

Christmasy Oreo Truffles

with Christmas sprinkles!

My daughter's idea. :-)


Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I wanted to make a "big girl cheesecake" for Christmas this year.
In other words, I wanted to use my spring form pan and not my usual simple cheesecake in a pie tin. ;-)

The recipe I decided to try was from Sugar and Spice by Celeste
It was very rich.  My son took one bite and said, "no thanks" 
but the rest of us had no problem with it. :-)
My mom and I thought it got better each day it was refrigerated!

The only thing I did different than what the recipe said
was to double the crust ingredient amounts. 
I also used the microwave for everything the recipe said to use the stovetop and a saucepan.

It was definitely triple chocolate yum!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Homemade Pecan Praline Sauce

you will need -

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
7 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup evaporated milk

Place pecans and 3 tablespoons butter in a glass bowl.
Microwave 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.
In another glass bowl melt 4 tablespoons butter.
Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and flour.
Stir until combined.
Microwave 3-4 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved, 
stirring after each minute.
Add pecans and evaporated milk.
Stir well and pour into jars.

Store sauce in refridgerator. 
Will keep three weeks after opening.

Makes approximately 24 ounces of sauce.

From The Farm Blog Hop

Pasta Fagioli Soup Mix

Soup Mix in a Jar!
A favorite homespun holiday gift.

For Pasta Fagioli Soup -

Place 1 cup small pasta shells in the bottom of a large mason jar.
Add a layer of 3/4 cup red beans.
Add a layer of 3/4 cup great northern beans.
And a layer of 1 cup pinto beans. 

Combine spices and place into a small bag.

3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf

Fold over bag and staple. 

Carefully place bag on top of beans.

And top with lid.

Add a piece of fabric or ribbon and attach the following recipe to prepare soup.

Additional ingredients needed -
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
fresh grated parmesan cheese, optional

Carefully remove seasoning packet from jar and set aside.
Remove beans; sort and rinse.
Set pasta aside.

Place beans in a large pot and add 6 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  
Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Drain and discard liquid.

Return beans to the pot.
Add contents of seasoning packet and 8 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are tender.
Add tomatoes and salt; cover and simmer 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Stir in pasta; cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.
Remove bay leaf before serving.
Top with parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!

Makes 14 servings.

From The Farm Blog Hop

Menu Plan

Supper Menus
December 22nd-29th


bbq sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans

Christmas Eve supper - toscana soup, olive garden salad, garlic breadsticks, christmas cake mix cookies, triple chocolate cheesecake 

Christmas breakfast - sausage balls, butter braid, cinnamon rolls, cranberry scones, coffee, juices, and chocolate milk
Christmas dinner with Mr. H.'s family - taking mashed potatoes, rio grande dandy green bean salad, tea

Christmas lunch with my family - cheddar cheese enchiladas, green chili enchiladas, taco bar, spanish rice, refried beans, black beans, tortilla chips, picante sauce, guacamole, pico di gallo, fudge, chocolate billionaires, oreo truffles,  M&M cookies, hot cocoa bar



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mrs. Meyer's Seasonal Scents

I was so happy to find the holiday line of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products at Target
right before Thanksgiving.

I enjoyed using the orange clove scent during the last few weeks of fall.

Right now I'm using the Iowa Pine scent.

I am saving the Cranberry scent to use in January and February.

Then I'll switch back to Lemon Verbena or Basil for the springtime!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

~Chocolate Dipped Spoons~

Mmmm!  Chocolate dipped spoons!

Such a fun, quick and easy Christmas time craft.

Easy for kiddos to do and such pretty results. :-)

A package of chocolate candy coating and a jar of sprinkles makes 4 dozen spoons.

Gift them as a bouquet. :-)

So festive.
Tie them onto a gift!

They pair wonderfully with homemade

Dip these spoons in any hot beverage -
coffee, cocoa, tea.
Nibble the melting chocolate off the spoon or completely stir it into your drink.
There is no wrong way to consume these tasty treats.

Enjoy! :-)

From The Farm Blog Hop

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Candy Apple Jelly

So pretty for Christmastime,
Christmas Candy Apple Jelly
is apple-y and cinnamon-y
and really simple to make!

You will need - 

4 cups apple juice
1/2 cup red hot candies
1 box (1.75 ounces) powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar

Combine juice, candies, and pectin in a large saucepan until pectin is dissolved.
Bring to a boil and then add sugar.
Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for two minutes.

Skim off foam and carefully ladle into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4" head space.
(Jelly will be liquid at this point.  After cooling completely overnight it will set up.)
Place sterilized lids onto jars and tighten bands.
Process 5 minutes in water bath canner. 
Carefully remove jars from canner and listen for pings
to make sure each jar seals properly.

Makes twelve 4 ounce jars.

From The Farm Blog Hop

Mocha Hot Cocoa - a Christmastime Favorite!

A batch of mocha hot cocoa makes lots to share at Christmastime.

Teacher gifts, coworkers, neighbors...

Everyone loves hot cocoa!

It is one of our favorite treats, too.

So I always make sure to save a jar or two for us!

From The Farm Blog Hop

I love to make this special cocoa just at Christmas time!