Pepper Poppers

What are some of your favorite summer foods?

One of ours is Pepper Poppers.
Take your pick of sweet peppers or jalapenos, then stuff, wrap, and grill them.

Poppers (5)

So good.

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The Cast of Characters:
Poppers (1)
Peppers, either sweet peppers or jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon.
Optional: mozzarella cheese sticks

Clean your peppers by cutting the ends off and coring them.
Poppers (2)
Usually, I just stuff them with cream cheese; sometimes I put a little plug of mozzarella in first and then fill the rest with cream cheese, your choice on that. My children liked the mozzarella in them the last time, I preferred it without.

Poppers (3)
Wrap a half slice of bacon around the end and secure it with a toothpick.

Since the pepper and bacon grilling time are not equal, I usually cut the bacon slices in half and fry or bake it just a little prior to wrapping it.

Poppers (4)
Grill for approximately 15-20, maybe 25 minutes. It all depends on the temperature of your grill. You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer.

Poppers (5)

We all love them.
Try a few and find out if you do too!

 

Clean your peppers.
Stuff them with cream cheese.
Wrap bacon around the ends
and secure with a toothpick.
Grill until pepper is softened.
Enjoy!

Holiday Snacks

The Holidays call for snacks of all kinds because every time you turn around, there is another gathering to attend. What kind of food gets your attention? Salty? Sweet? Candy? Cookies?

Candy doesn’t get eaten very well around here. I made some last year and it sat here for so long I finally put it in the freezer. Around April I found it and just quietly pitched it. Now cookies or something like that, they are usually gone in no time.

choc covered pretzels

An easy one that my kids all love are chocolate covered pretzels.

My Mom always bought the big twisted pretzels and carefully dipped every single one, nice and neatly. My patience level for that doesn’t even register so I started dumping a bag or two of these in a big bowl, melting chocolate and stirring it together. I poured them out on wax paper and when they were almost dry I broke them apart. They don’t look perfect, but the kids are happy with them!


Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread men (2)

I have made these gingerbread men almost every year since Shelly posted this recipe. I’m telling you they are the easiest and the best there is. Once you make these you will never want to do all the rolling and patting and hard work of other, less than stellar, gingerbread men.

Easy Gingerbread Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
 1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 1/2 cups flour
 
Melt butter and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Mix in all the other ingredients.
Spread on a 10×15 cookie sheet.
Bake at 350* for about 12 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes. Cut into shapes!
Once they are cooled, I drizzle them with a thick glaze/frosting piped out of a bag. If you want to frost and decorate them like little men, go for it.
– – –
 Edit to add: the glaze recipe was just a shot in the dark. Maybe 1 cup of powdered sugar and a few drops of milk to get it to the right consistency. I put it in a small sandwich bag and cut the tip off one corner to pipe it out of.
Gingerbread men (1)
Be sure and keep all the edge pieces and drizzle them with icing too. Trust me when I say they disappear just as fast as the little men.
I call these the “mom pieces” because the kids go for the real ones and I can sit here and pop little bites into my mouth and never have a clue how much I actually consumed!

Protein Balls 
This is not necessarily a holiday snack, but a good and easy one, and maybe just a tiny bit healthy.
Protein Balls (1)
Protein Balls
2 C Honey
2 C Peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
6 C oatmeal
1 C chopped nuts
2 C mini chocolate chips
Mix well and scoop into balls.
Store in the refrigerator.
These can also be frozen and then just pull a few out whenever you need them.
Protein Balls (2)
My kids like these in their lunches as well. I am not a health-nut mom, but if there is something (sorta) healthy they like, better then total junk.
So tell me, what are your favorite Holiday snacks?

Winter Days

News from around the farm…
Well, not really because we have no animals other than our fat cat named Jack, who is always free to a good home since he’s not technically ours but rather the neighbor’s, but I would give him away anyway!  Now wasn’t that a great run on sentence to start out with?! As far as news, I don’t know… January was fairly relaxed and rolled into the next month that has the weirdest spelling. This month has been crazy. All kinds of things happening at the same time. Too many things.

feb-17-8

Monday was butchering day… does that interest any of you? 🙂
I know some people just perish at the thought of butchering, but it really doesn’t bother me. It was something we did every winter when I was a kid so it has good memories.

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Food wise around the farm….

feb-17-3

Madison continues to bake.
Not everything turns out perfect and this was one of those times. 🙂
The macaroons were not growing feet! ??
Don’t ask me.

feb-17-1-honey-dutch-blend

This stuff.
Oh, my word. Make it. Eat it.

It’s called Honey Dutch Blend. It’s not my recipe, it comes from my friend Anna and I think it came her way from someone in our big Miller family, never the less, make and eat. If you are a health nut, just skip over this recipe and keep reading. If you appreciate all things sticky, ooey, gooey and good, just turn a blind eye to the ingredients and enjoy it. 🙂

Honey Dutch Blend

1 box Honey Combs – 1 box Rice Chex -1 box Corn Chex – 1 bag of Pretzels
Mix together in a large bowl.

1 c. Honey
1 c. Karo
2 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
4 sticks of Butter
Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes
Add 1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir and quickly pour over cereal mixture.
Spread on wax paper until dry.

It makes a huge batch and it can be cut in half if you wish.

We also made Mocha Brownie dessert the other night.

feb-17-2-mocha-brownie

This has got to stop, though!
When there is all this good food in the house I have no self-control. none.
Thankfully, we took this to a family gathering and only had half of it left to tempt me. With a crew like mine, that was only enough for one round of dessert.

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Do your kids like to listen to stories?
Go HERE and listen to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
Reagan loves them! I think she was born in the wrong era.

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School Days for the kids…
Our teachers do a great job keeping the winter months exciting. Every week there is one or two days with something happening.

They had “clash day” in January but those pictures make me shudder!
One day was “Missionary Day.” The top activity for that day was when the kids smuggled Bibles into the school and hid them. The teachers spent quite a lot of time searching and declared that next year they will bring in reinforcements because the kids are getting better at it every year.
There is cozy-day, popcorn day, exchanging lunches, snack day and more. One day every family is supposed to bring a gallon of milk… hot chocolate day?

Last week we celebrated 100 days of school. They were supposed to dress like a 100-year-old person. I wasn’t home that morning but they needed very little help! One of them especially loved this day.
feb-17-7

I told Dakota to just wear sweatpants because if I were a 100-year-old, I would sit in my chair all day like that. 🙂
Reagan happily dug through a box of old lady dress up clothes I had for other occasions.
Madison didn’t know what to wear so I told her I would stop at Goodwill. I did, and there it was in all its glory for only $4. I took it up to check out and the two little old ladies working the register picked it up and started exclaiming. I opened my mouth to tell them why I was buying it when one says, “This is just beee-u-tiful!” I quickly closed my mouth without speaking and left grinning.

feb-17-9

Yesterday we spend 3 hours on the tubing slopes with the honor roll kids. It was a lovely, bright and sunny day and the kids quickly warmed up! To say they were hungry for lunch after 3 hours of this was an understatement.

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The princess and I have been busy.
feb-17-4

Her room was always just leftover colors from Dakota and she dreamed of having a pink room. Well, her mother is not a lover of all things pink, but oh well, it shouldn’t be too hard to repaint when she is done with pink.

I did my usual painting thing. Started the day by planning to clean the room. Oh well, may as well paint a coat of pink, ah shoot, while it’s drying we’ll do a little gray. Hey, the pink is dry, let’s give it another coat, and by now I would hate to mess up another day, let’s just finish it all! And so by 4:30 we were done. She says, “I didn’t think we were going to do it all today!” Well, neither did I.

feb-17-5

She was happy, happy, happy that night!

~~~

feb-17-6

When you have a birthday and can almost not get to your gift because everyone else wants to see it too.

The princess has a birthday coming up too. She is all concerned about me going to town alone sometime or else she won’t have a gift for her birthday!
Unknown to her it’s already in hiding.

~~~

feb-17-10

Psalms 91:1-2
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty… He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting in Him.

What do we need in a storm?
shelter. rest. refuge. safety.
Where do we find that?
In Jesus.

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Apple Puff Pastry

Autumn calls for all things apple in the desserts around here.

I have recently discovered puff pastry and how easy it is to use.

apple-puff-pastry-5

It is found in the frozen section of your local grocery,
by the deserts and pie crusts.

apple-puff-pastry-1

Let it thaw for about 40 minutes, spread it out on a floured surface and give it a slight roll to smooth the seams. If the seams break, use a little water and pinch them back together before rolling.

After you’ve smoothed and flattened it a bit, cut it down the center.

apple-puff-pastry-2

Spoon your pie filling onto the center of one half and brush the edges with a beaten egg.
Place the second half on top and use a fork to press the edges to seal them.

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Brush the top with the rest of the beaten egg.
Cut about 4 small air vents in the top.
(which I forgot to do in the photo above)

apple-puff-pastry

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Cover with a glaze and eat them warm!

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Now, for the filling, you have two options.
The easy way or the hard way. 🙂

First choice, the easy way.
Go buy a can of apple pie filling and spoon it on.
Done.

The second choice is to make an apple filling.
It’s a lot more work, but goodness, I just wanted to eat all the filling
before I got the pastry rolled out.

You can use a filling recipe of your choice or the following recipe.

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Apple Puff Pastry

Apple  Filling

4 large apples
(app 4 cups, finely sliced)
8 TBS butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Melt the butter and dump sliced apples into the pan.
Stir until lightly browned.
Add cinnamon and sugar.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.

1 box Puff Pastry.
Thaw 40 minutes, roll out and cut down the center.
Place apple filling in the center of half.
Whip one egg and brush the edges of the pastry.
Top with the other half and use a fork to seal the edges.
Brush the top with remaining egg.
Cut 4 air vents in the top.
Bake at 400* for 15-17 minutes or until brown.

Cover generously with a powdered sugar glaze.
Serve warm and enjoy!

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Oreo Cookies

There are few things in life that can fix common problems like a good cookie.
Add a cup of coffee, and it’s even better.

When it’s a kid with the problem,
they are always happy to have a cookie to help the hurt!

When it’s me, with or without a problem,
well, I am just always happy to eat!

Oreo Cookies (1)

My Mom found a recipe for homemade Oreo Cookies
and they have been a hit around here.

We like them tiny, you can eat more that way.
We started scooping them out
and than cutting each scoop in half to make them smaller.
It makes more cookies and they are so cute!

Oreo Cookies (2)

About two or three bites and it’s gone
and you can justify eating another one because they are so small!

Oreo Cookies (3)

Oreo Cookies

2 boxes Devil’s food cake mixes
4 eggs
1 1/2 c Crisco

Mix together.
Bake the cookies for 8 minutes

(time may differ with ovens)

Filling:

8oz Cream cheese – softened
1 stick of butter – softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 c powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, add butter and mix.
Add vanilla and powder sugar.  Mix until creamy.

Place a spoonful on half of the cookies.
Top with the rest of the cookies.
Taste a few while working.

Oreo Cookies (4)

I experimented with different brands of cake mix but this one turns out the best. The cookies are a little flatter with the Betty Crocker brand and work well to put filling between them. When I used another kind, they were more like fat little nuggets.

vanilla cookies

We did try other flavors too.
These are butterpecan, but I wasn’t so fond of them.
My sister tried a yellow cake mix and said they were good.
I guess your options are only limited to all the kinds of cake mixes.

Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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