Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

Today I don't have a recipe for you, (I'm sorry!) but I want to say a big Happy New Year to each and everyone of you. This last year has been so amazing for my and my family and I hope you don't mind as I share some of our reflections of how our last year was.

At the very beginning of this year we bought a new house. Now this was both an exciting and extremely trying time for us. We lost 2 houses we really liked along the way by being outbid, one is actually in the same neighborhood we live in now. But in the end God really blessed us with an AMAZING Realtor, none of this would have happened without her, she's become a good friend and I feel so blessed to know her. And though our house is not our dream home, it is home. We love it here, and our neighborhood, and we have room for our family to grow which is the most important part. We also sold our former residence really quickly, which was such a blessing to us to not have to pay 2 mortgages!

Our son, The Farming Tot has grown SO much in this last year! Some days I look at him and wonder where my little baby went, because he is such a big boy now! This last year he said "I love you" for the first time, and it's something he now says everyday and it warms my heart so much! I've gotten to watch him grow from being a very dependent baby to this independent toddler that he is now, with SO much life and personality (much of which has really come forth in the last year), he adds such a brightness to both mine and the Farming Hubby's day. Now he's not perfect, the terrible twos really have been terrible, but to watch as he overcomes even those temper tantrums has been... well interesting. haha! But recently I got to watch him with one of his "cousins" (not really a cousin but may as well be), and saw how gentle he was with his young cousin. It really warmed my heart to see that side of him. He will be a great big brother!

We found out that we are going to be blessed with a Niece or Nephew next year around the Farming Tot's 3rd birthday, and couldn't be more thrilled! The Farming Tot thinks it's so awesome, and prays for his new cousin every day. I can't wait to meet this little person, I know my Sister-In-Law and her Hubby will be amazing parents and I can't wait to spoil my little Niece or Nephew!

I also want to say thank you to all of you who read this blog, and have helped it get to where it is today! I never thought almost 2 years ago when I first got the idea to do this that I would have a marketing contract on my blog, and be a featured publisher anywhere! What started as my way to keep track of my favorite recipes has turned into something beyond my imagination and is honestly a dream come true! I love to cook and invent recipes, and I love being able to share them with all of you. I really look forward to another year with you all, and can't wait to see what the future holds for this Farmers Wife!

Now I have a feeling some of you may be hoping for some big announcement at the end of this, and while I know a lot of my fellow bloggers have made a lot of announcements in the last week or so, I do not have one for you. This last year has had it's fair share of ups and downs, some of which are too personal to share over a blog post. But through it all this has been a place for me to escape and come to my own little food world and forget for a little while the struggles and fears of life. I hope that this next year will bring some wonderful changes not only to this blog, but also to our Farming Family in general. I hope that you all will bear with me through these changes, and I can't wait to start the journey of another year with all of you, my faithful readers! I look forward to some of the new challenges I'm planning for myself (one of which is Royal Icing!!), and to sharing more recipes with you all!

I also want to say a big Thank You to my Farming Hubby! He has been an unending source of support for me as I've moved forward with this blog. He's helped me with fixing layouts when the HTML is just way to confusing for me. And he's even become a faithful reader himself, which I appreciate so much! Not only is he my guinea pig with each and every new recipe I create, (and I appreciate your honesty honey, it helps me so much!) but he's also great at helping me figure out what little tweaks can make a recipe even better! I wouldn't be The Farmers Wife without you babe, I love you so much!

Also a big thank you to the Farming Tot (though he can't read this himself... haha!), he is also my guinea pig, and a lot of the times how I measure if a recipe really is good or not. If a toddler will eat it, and want more, you know you've got a winner! (I honestly don't understand why they're not our food critics, they're the most picky palate to please!) I love when you come help me in the kitchen, and decorating cookies with you was the most fun ever! I love you, my silly boy!

I also want to thank all my friends and family who've supported me through this journey, and also give me their honest opinions on food and are my other guinea pigs! (Have you noticed that all the people in my life are "pigs"?!?! hehe!) I love that you all actually read this blog, and give me your honest opinions and support. It means so much more to me than you'll ever know!

I wish I had a reward to anyone who actually read this whole post... haha! Maybe in this next year I'll get up the courage to actually do my own giveaways, and take this to an even bigger level! I pray that you all have a blessed New Year, and that 2011 will bring a new adventure to each and everyone of you! God Bless!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peppermint Brownies

 Adapted from Annie's Eats.

Happy *almost* New Year everyone! I hope your Christmas was wonderful, and full of great food! I know ours was, and I'm still in shock that I somehow still fit into my skinny jeans. ;-) I have to say this year was wonderful, watching the Farming Tot really get into his presents for the first time... I almost wish you all could've seen his enthusiasm on Christmas Morning, it really gives you a wonderful sense of Christmas spirit to watch a little child enjoy this holiday in a way he never has before. I assure you for him it was pure TORTURE that we made him eat his breakfast first, now I did make cinnamon rolls which he does love, but that didn't matter in the least bit. All he wanted was those presents!

Farming tot itching to open his gifts!

 For the first time ever I got the privilege of making our own Christmas dinner, and let me tell you, I was a little nervous but extremely excited! It's been years since both the Farming Hubby and I could smell a turkey cooking while we opened our presents, it was wonderful! Now I am really itching to share this new Turkey recipe with you and I invented *the juiciest turkey ever coming soon!*, but for today I'm starting with the desserts, because let's face it, they really are the highlight of the holiday meals, and if you're anything like our family you have plans for New Years too and I highly suggest this delicious brownie as a wonderful addition to your New Years Feast! It was a huge hit at our family Christmas party on Sunday, and there were hardly any left. Now I will be the first to say that this is like a fudge/brownie/holiday treat, not quite your normal brownie in the least bit, but better if you ask me! I love Annie's recipes, she is quite an amazing chef. Unfortunately for me, where we live a lot of the time I have to improvise to make her recipes work just because the selection in the stores is horrible! But I hope that you'll enjoy my adaptation of this wonderful recipe!

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1½ cups unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 bag Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark, wrappers removed and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter, and heat 1 minute at a time in the microwave, stirring after each minute til smooth and melted together, about 3 minutes. In another large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined and add in the chocolate mixture until well blended. Whisk in the peppermint, vanilla and salt. Then add in the flour until just incorporated. Pour half the batter into your lined baking dish, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the batter, and then pour remaining batter on top. Bake about 30-35 minutes. While baking remove the peppermint bark from their wrappers and do a rough chop. Once the brownies are cooked, evenly sprinkle the bark on top of the brownies and return to the oven for about 2 minutes until slightly melted into the brownies. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack, chill until hard and then cut into squares. *Tip* to cut them smoothly, take a large knife and run it through some warm water before cutting into the brownies, repeat after each row so that you always start cutting with a clean knife.* These can be made a couple days ahead of time and kept in the fridge.

These were a huge hit! The peppermint is not overwhelming, more of a slight accent flavor, which was a wonderful addition to our meal. The original recipe calls for the Hershey's Peppermint Kisses, but I could not find these ANYWHERE in our town, so if you can find them they would be wonderful on top instead of the bark, but both ways I'm sure would be wonderful and I know the kisses would be cheaper! 5 stars.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

This is a Farmers Wife Original.

I've made this recipe before, granted it's been a couple of years. In fact I believe I was pregnant with the Farming Tot when I made this recipe last, ah the memories! There is something very special to me about eating a delicious bite of turkey with a little dollop of cranberry sauce on top... Yum! Now I have absolutely nothing against canned sauce, but it's SO easy to make homemade sauce that I just don't even see the point in not making it anymore. What's absolutely wonderful about this sauce is that you can make it days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until your holiday meal, which for me is a lifesaver when you have a lot to cook and bake (and if you find yourself forgetting to buy ingredients so you are running behind... Yes I am guilty of that this year!!). Oh and did I mention it also freezes well so you can keep the leftovers to use for other recipes throughout the year! Happy cooking and Baking this Christmas Season!

3/4 cup Water
2/3 cup Sugar (more if needed)
The zest and juice of one Orange
Dash of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cloves
12 oz. Bag or Fresh or Frozen Cranberries

In a medium sauce pan, combine all the ingredients minus the cranberries. Heat over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved add in the bag of cranberries. Stir and heat until boiling. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, til the berries have popped and the mixture is thick. Take off the heat and let cool, the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. At this point you can either can it, put it in an airtight container in the fridge or serve.

This is a family favorite, not only do we love cranberry sauce but the added hint of spice just gives it a wonderful festive flavor. It wonderful on my favorite holiday leftover sandwich, a roll, with a little sauce, turkey and stuffing... Yum! 4 stars.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What to look forward to!

Hello all my blog friends! I know I've been absent the last few days, we've been busy getting ready for Christmas and I haven't been feeling all that great either so I've been taking it easy. I had another cookie recipe I wanted to share with you all, but somehow in transferring the pictures to my computer they got deleted and I can't find them :-(... Oh well, instead I will entice you all with the baking I've got coming up the next few days and what you can look forward too! I am really excited to get to plan my own Christmas Day menu for us this year. I felt incredibly special yesterday at the store,  I got the VERY last Turkey Breast for the 3 of us, the last box of Gingersnap cookies for my Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes, the last bag of Peppermint Bark to make my Chocolate Peppermint Brownies (was going to use the Peppermint Hershey's Kisses but they were out of that). It was insane how many things were sold out already. It's times like this that I really miss living in a very large city. Where we are is pretty good size, but the variety is not what I'm used to and I do miss it. Luckily for me, my Mother is able to occasionally ship certain things to me (such as the Cinnamon Chips used in my latest cookie recipe!). Anyway, hopefully as a little inspiration to some of you here's my list of goodies for this Christmas!

Christmas Day:
Roasted Turkey Breast, with a Garlic Herb Butter
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Cinnamon Apples (a new recipe for these than my original!)

Family Party day after Christmas:
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips
Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

I am really looking forward foodwise to this holiday this year. The Farming Tot is SO excited about Christmas for the first time, which has made this holiday season so much more special for The Farming Hubby and I. I can't wait to watch him open his gifts Christmas Morning, and my hubby for that matter to open his too. Well to close this I just want to say a huge thanks to each and every one of you for helping The Farmers Wife to get to where it is today, without my loyal readers I wouldn't be this far along and even though I never imagined it, I am so thankful for all of your input and comments. God Bless you all and from the Farming Family to yours I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

The complete frosted yumminess
This is a Farmers Wife Original.

Here it is, not only recipe number 3 of cookie palooza week, but the winner of the Cookie poll, Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies.... Can I just say oh my goodness these were heavenly!!!! So fluffy, and delicious, almost like a cake in a cookie form, but the perfect (yes I used the word perfect haha!) texture for this cookie. I made these as a dessert for a ladies lunch today, and they were a huge hit. Both with and without frosting these are seriously amazing. Can you tell I liked them yet?!? The Farming Tot has given his approval, and I caught the Farming Hubby eating one for breakfast this morning on his way out the door, so they must be pretty delicious! And if you have extra frosting, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate, you can then use this for other cookies or Christmas desserts, such as Pumpkin Roll. I sincerely hope you will give these a try for Christmas this year, they are definitely something different, but they won't disappoint!

Ingredients: makes 24 cookies

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Softened Butter
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Cinnamon Baking Chips

6 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar. Then add in one egg at a time.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and light in color, about 1 minute. Add in the pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until well combined.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time,  just until incorporated.  Gently fold in the cinnamon chips with a spatula, or use the paddle attachment. Using an ice cream scoop, drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them a few inches apart.  Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until the tops feel set, about 14-16 minutes.  Allow to cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, combine the frosting ingredients in your mixer, and mix on low until the sugar is all incorporated and then whip on medium-high speed until light and smooth. Using a knife or spatula spread desired amount of frosting on each cookie. Keep the frosted cookies refrigerated.

Make these cookies, unless you hate pumpkin you will love these cookies. Seriously, I like them that much that my review is everyone should try them! 5 stars.

Un-frosted cookie, still incredibly delish!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Recipe 2 of Cookie Palooza week!! Now I have to admit so far these are my favorite of the cookies I've made. Actually change that, they're my new favorite cookie! These were SO soft, and had just the perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate... Needless to say these were the first cookies to be completely devoured in my house, and for good reason! Now I know peanut butter and chocolate combined in a cookie form is nothing new, we've all had the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's Kiss in the middle, and I do love those cookies. But there's something so delightful about these cookies, I can't say that I'll ever make the others again. I wish I'd had the time (and energy) to do a chocolate drizzle on top of these for decoration, and maybe next time I will. But I sincerely hope that you will enjoy these this holiday season as a great addition to your Christmas baking, and a new treat for you all! Oh and did I mention these are fabulous with a hot cup of coffee?!?! *sigh*

Ingredients: makes 24-28 cookies
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
2 tablespoons Water, room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; add into the peanut butter mixture, 1/2 cup at a time til incorporated. Fold in chocolate chunks. Using an ice cream scoop, drop cookies a could inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely. 

Delicious, fabulous, amazing, light, creamy, soft, pillowy, peanut buttery, chocolatey.... Just  few words to describe these cookies! Make you hungry yet? Well get off the computer and go make these, they're that amazing! Trust me! 5 stars!!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar Cookies

 This is my Grandmothers Recipe.

It's Cookie Palooza Week here on the Farmers Wife, and I'm SO excited to share my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe with you all. This is the recipe I grew up with every Christmas, and had so much fun decorating them every year. I will be the first to admit these aren't fancy cookies, I didn't use Royal Icing as most do these days to get that perfect finish, and I let my 2 year old help decorate the cookies too (Scroll to the bottom to see a picture of his creations!). But to me perfect cookies may look nice, and be great gifts, but you just can't beat the old fashioned cookies and frosting. For me that's Christmas cookies, where you can be as messy as you want (and it's encouraged), and the "ugliest" cookies by most standards these days are so very special to our hearts. My son may not be the best artist in the world yet at 2, but the memories I have from that day of decorating will last me a lifetime! I hope that you will enjoy these Old Fashioned cookies, and that they too will bring you back to your childhood, and the wonderful family memories you may have!

Ingredients: This is for a full recipe which makes 4 dozen cookies, I halved this as there is only 3 of us
2/3 cup Softened Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
2 Eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 cups All Purpose Flour

Cream butter and sugar together in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat in the eggs. Dissolve baking soda in milk and add to the egg mixture along with the vanilla and salt. Add in the flour slowly. Once the dough forms a ball, form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1/2 and hour to 1 hour. Once chilled roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting. Once cut place on a lined baking sheet (I line mine with wax paper), and bake at 350 degrees for about 6-8 minutes. Cookies should still be soft as they will firm up as they cool.

Decorator Frosting:
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tablespoon Butter
Milk to moisten (eyeball it, but no more than 1/2 cup should be perfect consistency.)

With a whisk attachment on your mixer, mix together the ingredients until desired consistency is made. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar, and vice versa if it's too thick add more milk. Icing may be colored, (I recommend the gel colors as they don't add more liquid to the frosting, and you get a brighter color) or used white and sprinkled with colored sugars or other decorations.

We had SO much fun making and decorating these cookies, not only were they delicious and just the perfect Sugar Cookie, but they warmed all of us heart and soul! Be sure and let the little ones help you decorate, and if they're old enough cut out the cookies. We had a blast with these, and I hope you will enjoy them too! 5 stars.

Unfrosted Sugar Cookies
The Farming Tot's Creations!!!

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cranberry Muffins

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

Ok, so I lied... haha! I came up with another Leftover recipe at the last minute that was SO yummy I had to share them with you right away! Now I don't know about you, but when I see fresh cranberries for sale, I buy them by the bushel (ok not really but it's funny!), and then stick them in the freezer so I have cranberries all year long, or for last minute holiday cooking. Well I happened to have some leftover cranberries in the fridge from the Pineapple Mango Punch I made for Thanksgiving that I decided needed to be used up. Now I love breakfast foods, it's the ultimate comfort food to me, a nice yummy muffin, some cheesy eggs and a big cup of coffee... *sigh* what could be better?!? I wish I'd had some orange zest to add to this, but even without it, they were delicious and best of all Farming Tot approved!! I certainly hope you will make these soon, for breakfast, a snack or even dinner (my preference)!

1 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 beaten Egg
3/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Oil
1 cup Coarsely Chopped Cranberries

Streusal Topping:
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Butter

Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with a paper bake cup, set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk and oil. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Chop the cranberries and fold into the mixture. Using an ice cream scoop with a release butter, scoop one scoop full into each muffin cup, should fill it about 2/3 full. To make the streusal topping, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a bowl with a pastry blender, or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the muffins with the streusal mixture and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until golden, and firm. Cool in the muffin cups for 5 minutes, remove and serve warm.

These were seriously delicious. A nice combo of sweet and tart, and a wonderful way to use up those leftover cranberries we all have from the holidays. The streusal topping adds a little crunch and an extra sweetness that is delightful. I was surprised the the Farming Tot gobbled up a whole muffin himself, but he loved it! 4.5 Stars.

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Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

The last recipe of Leftover week! I can't believe it, I actually had more I wanted to share with you all, but unfortunately this week hasn't gone quite as I'd hoped and we had some internet troubles again as well. A couple of days after Thanksgiving, we had some leftover fried rice from some chinese takeout. That was all that was left, and I really didn't want to waste it, and by now was seriously tired of Turkey, so I decided to come up with a quick(ish) idea for a dinner to use up this rice. I threw some Chicken Thigh Strips in the crock pot, poured some store bought sauce (I mentioned that I felt incredibly lazy this particular day right?), cooked it up and served it on the heated rice. And honestly, it was so yummy I was so glad there was another servings worth of this left for lunch the next day. You could make this with just plain rice no problem, but if you're like me and when you get take out you eat the noodles, and whatever main meat dish you order as fast as possible, and the fried rice they give you just pales in comparison to the other options. I have had so much fun this week sharing some of my favorite Leftover meals, and who knows, maybe we'll do this again! I can't wait for next week though, to share my cookie recipes with you, I hope you'll enjoy them, and come check out Cookie Palooza week on Monday!

1 Container Fried Rice (about 2-3 cups worth of rice)
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. Skinless Boneless Chicken Thigh Tenders (I would not recommend using chicken breasts for this as they will likely be dry, you can use any type of thigh meat you like)
1/2 bottle of Panda Express Orange Sauce (I found this at Walmart)

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in the chicken, and the sauce (can add more sauce if you want) and stir til mixed. Cook on High for 1 hour, and on Low for 2-3 hours, until chicken is cooked through. Pour the leftover rice into a bowl, and add 1 Tablespoon of the sauce from the chicken and mix. Microwave for 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute til warm through, and moist (can add more liquid if you want, this is a great tip for re-heating any rice, add a small amount of liquid to it and it will bring it back to life). Serve with Chicken on top.

This dish is slightly spicy, definitely has the kick to it that Panda Express's Orange Chicken has, but it really was a delight and so easy. The Farming Tot did not eat this, as it was too spicy for him, but the Farming Hubby and I really enjoyed this. Next time I have leftover rice around, I will totally be making this again! 3.5 Stars.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

Recipe number 3 from Leftover Re-Purpose Week! Can you believe it?!?! Well let me start off by saying, I love pizza, there I said it. I admit to loving a very fatty food. But honestly, who secretly doesn't love pizza?!? Now I'm not even just a plain ole pepperoni lover, I love pizza in all shapes, sizes, flavors, crusts, except Canadian bacon and pineapple.... Sorry but that's not real pizza. Now typically at least every other week we have some form of pizza in my house, be it homemade, Little Caesars, boring pepperoni, etc. Every once in awhile I will get this strong craving for Barbecue Chicken Pizza. Now mind you this is not something either The Farming Hubby or I grew up with, but when we were first married and we had been given a bread machine as a wedding gift I decided we'd eaten enough boring pizza while planning our wedding and I wanted something new. So I experimented with a BBQ Chicken Pizza. I still remember The Farming Hubby coming home from work, looking at that pizza and saying "What in the world did you do to a perfectly good pizza crust?!?!" haha! I don't really remember how that specific pizza tasted anymore, but I know I've never made that same recipe again. But I liked this concept of cooking outside the box, so I didn't give up, and decided to go in search of my perfect BBQ Chicken Pizza and for me this is it! I use the same shredded BBQ Chicken that is in my BBQ Chicken Calzones. And don't get me wrong I still love those calzones, but they're a little hard for the Farming Tot to eat, and quite frankly on pizza night I just want easy peazy. I love the flavor and texture of this pizza. And it's simplicity is wonderful. It's a great way to use up the leftover BBQ Chicken from the sandwich's I originally make it for, but it is once again a TOTALLY different food experience.

Shredded BBQ Chicken:
4-6 Chicken Breasts (I put them in frozen)
1 16 oz. Bottle of KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce

Place Chicken in the Crockpot, pour the bottle of sauce on top, should be enough to coat and have a little extra. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours. Once done shred the chicken with two forks and place it back in the crockpot for another hour or so to soak up more sauce. Serve on rolls, or use to make Calzones, or Pizza. This also freezes beautifully!

Pizza Dough: (I made homemade but you can easily use a store bought dough)
This is for a bread machine - Makes a "medium" pizza
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

Place dough ingredients in bread pan starting with wet ingredients. Select Dough setting, and press start.

Once the dough is finished, using your hand form a round pizza crust either on your pizza pan or a pizza stone.

2/3 - 3/4 cups BBQ Chicken mixture (it depends on how big your crust is, and how much you want on it)
2 chopped, Green onions or a few tablespoons chopped Red Onion (My personal fav.)
Shredded Cheddar

Spread Chicken it evenly on the crust. Sprinkle Onions, and then Cheese on top of that (you can add anything else you want, but we like it simple). Bake at 350 degrees for about 16 minutes, or until crust is slightly golden and the cheese is melted. Bake longer for a harder crust, we like a softer crust.

We really love this easy pizza. For us it is a treat from our normal pizza night, and for me I love it because not only does it come together pretty quickly, but it's really cheap and easy to make. And I love that I can re-use my BBQ chicken and make 2 completely different meals from it. The BBQ Chicken does freeze beautifully, so if you still have leftovers of it, freeze it and next time you want this pizza just pull it out and let it defrost! 4.5 stars.

*Pizza Dough adapted from Bread Machine Magic

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken Terriyaki Stir Fry

This is a Farmers Wife Original.

It's day 2 of Leftover Re-Purpose week! This recipe was made from the leftovers of my Grilled Terriyaki Sandwich. You see I made this wonderful sandwich, but I had leftover grilled chicken, pineapple and terriyaki sauce, but no more buns to serve it on. So I got to thinking one night that I needed to use that up, but how could I do it differently and I ended up with this. We really enjoyed it, and you'd never know it was made from leftovers! The Farming Tot gobbled up his entire plate and then tried to steal some from ours (so you know it's yummy lol!) and there were no leftovers of this dinner let me tell you! I wish I'd had some stir fry veggies to throw in the mix too, as that would've been wonderful, but it was one of those "I need to go to the store but, you couldn't make me move if you wanted to" kind of days. But one of the beauties of leftover re-purposing is you get 2 meals essentially for the price of one, and for someone on a budget (and with a toddler), it's a lifesaver! Next time you make those sandwich's I hope you'll use any leftovers and give this a try!

1-2 Grilled Chicken breasts, diced. (I used the leftover strips from the sandwich)
2-3 Pineapple spears, diced
1/2 Bottle of Kikkoman Terriyaki Marinade and Glaze
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Water
2 Cups cooked Rice
*Stir Fry Vegetables can be added if desired*

Dice the chicken into small bites, (if you're not using leftover chicken, cut the chicken into strips, marinade the chicken in a little of the sauce and grill, or pan fry and then dice.) Place in a medium saucepan. Add the diced pineapple, stir fry veggie's (optional), the terriyaki sauce, lime juice and water. Heat on low heat until bubbling, and thick. Serve over rice.

I was a little surprised by how much we enjoyed this recipe, especially the Farming Tot, but it was a huge hit, and such a great way to use up those leftovers that otherwise may have gone bad. I really think it'd be wonderful with the Vegetable added in, and wish I'd had some on hand but unfortunately I did not. Next time I will be sure and add them in. 4 stars.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Find us on Facebook!

I have an exciting announcement to make, and yes more exciting than reusing leftovers! ;-) The Farmers Wife is now on Facebook! I hope that you will Like our Facebook page so you can receive more updates from the Farmers Wife's kitchen, spoilers about upcoming events on The Farmers Wife, and to join in any discussions and feel free to ask any cooking questions you might have! I am very excited about this, and there is a like box that will stay on the left column of the blog, but I wanted to personally invite you all to join me over there too.
Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Pineapple Mango Punch, with Juice and fruit Ice Cubes

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

The wonderful Farming Husband volunteered us to bring the ingredients for punch to Thanksgiving this year. Knowing what a picky drinker he is, being able to take something that I know at least he will enjoy means the world to me. And luckily everyone else seemed to enjoy it too! Within minutes the punch bowl was completely empty and I had to leave my hot plate of food to go make more (which I also didn't mind because my own cup of punch was empty hehe!) Now I know most traditional punches for the holidays are Cranberry or Apple flavored, and while that's wonderful and I like those too, I wanted something a little different (And quite frankly cheaper) and this was a delightful treat! Now I'm kinda kicking myself for not using pineapple sorbet to keep this cold as that would have been wonderful, but since my store was sold out and I was too lazy to go to another one I bought an extra can of juice, and some canned pineapple and fresh cranberries and made my own ice cubes! It was so delicious, and with the extra that we didn't use The Farming Hubby and I have been thoroughly enjoying a glass or two here and there!

Ingredients: for one bowl of punch
1 46 Oz. can of Dole's Pineapple Mango Juice
1 2 liter bottle of Lemon Lime Soda (I used store brand and haven't noticed a difference from name brand)

Ice Cubes: make 112 ice cubes
1 46 oz. Can of Dole Pineapple Mango Juice
1 20 oz. Can of Pineapple tidbits in juice
1 Bag of fresh Cranberries, rinsed
2 cups of water

For the ice cubes, make a few days in advance. Pour the can of juice into a large pitcher, along with the juice from the can of pineapple and the water. Mix well. In 4 ice cube tray place a piece of pineapple and a cranberry in the bottom and fill with the juice mixture. In another 4 trays, just pour juice with no fruit added. Freeze until hard, and then place the cubes in ziploc bags, and keep in the freezer til ready to use. For the punch, pour a can of juice and a bottle of soda in a large punch bowl. Mix with a ladle and then add in 14 juice cubes, and 14 juice with fruit cubes. Stir, and serve.

This really was a delightful and light punch. Not overpowering, and complimented our Thanksgiving dinner quite nicely. It was so refreshing compared to a lot of punches I've had in the past. Didn't leave a sticky taste or feeling in my mouth, even the Farming Tot enjoyed a little bit of it. I hope you will enjoy this punch for any special occasions you may have! 4.5 Stars.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leftover Re-Purpose and Cookie Palooza!!

I am really looking forward to what we've got planned for the next 2 weeks. Finishing up this week with recipes from Thanksgiving. And next week is Leftover Re-purpose week, to be followed by Cookie Palooza week! I hope you'll tune in the next couple of weeks and enjoy some delicious new goodies! Here's a sneak of what you've got to look forward to:

Leftover Re-Purpose:
Turkey Tetrizinni
Orange Chicken with Fried Rice
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Chicken Terriyaki Stir Fry

Cookie Palooza:
Sugar Cookies with Homemade Frosting
Spice Cookies
And a couple TBD.
Go to my Poll on Facebook to vote for my newest recipe idea to be featured during Cookie Palooza Week!
The options are:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip cookies with a Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cookies with Cranberries
Pumpkin Cookies with Cranberries and a Powdered Sugar Glaze

Happy voting, and be sure and tune in the next couple of weeks!

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Turkey Gravy

 This is a Farmers Wife original.

You can't have Thanksgiving (or Christmas for that matter) without turkey gravy for your Mashed Potatoes, Turkey and Stuffing! That would make for a very sad holiday if you want my opinion. I've made gravy in the past for special dinners, but it has been a couple of years. Then this year since I made the Mashed Potatoes (I did not make the Turkey, so I can't take credit for the delicious turkey fat and juice used to make this gravy), and since The Farming Hubby's Aunt who did make the turkey didn't know how to make the gravy I did a quick tutorial at our dinner. Not only was the gravy a huge hit, but it was absolutely delicious. Reminded me so much of the gravy I had growing up at my Grandma's house, and let's face it, that's the way we all want our holidays to taste. Just the way Grandma made it! Normally I would add some Turkey or Chicken stock to this to make more gravy, but we didn't have any on hand and we were short on time. If you do this then you will likely need to adjust the fat-flour ratio listed in the ingredients here.

Ingredients: makes about 3-4 cups of gravy
4 Tablespoons of Turkey Fat (skim the fat off the top of the drippings and use that)
5-6 Tablespoons of Flour (more if it's not as thick as you'd like it)
4 Cups Turkey Juice (this is the dark broth that cooks off the turkey), or Turkey or Chicken stock
Pepper to taste

In a large pot (or use your roasting pan on the stove and you can leave all the yummy little bits in the pan for more flavor. I however didn't have the roasting pan to use), heat the fat until it's hot. Add in the flour, start with about 5 Tablespoons and whisk til it forms a roux. A roux is when the fat and flour makes a smooth paste like substance. If it's too thin add more flour. Let that brown on medium heat for a few minutes. Once browned slightly add in your stock, or turkey juice (be sure to skim the rest of the fat off, so you're only adding the dark brown juice) or both. Whisk continuously until it's all smooth and incorporated. At this point it will still be thin, you will need to let it simmer stirring occasionally for it to thicken up. After about 10-15 minutes, if it still seems thin combine equal parts water and flour in a small container til it's a smooth paste (1 Tablespoon of each). Add that into the pot with the gravy and whisk it in. This will help thicken up your gravy, without forming lumps. *Never just plop flour or cornstarch into a sauce or gravy without doing this trick.* Continue cooking until thick and brown, adding in your desired amount of pepper or other seasonings you like in your gravy. *Do not add salt to your gravy without tasting it first, turkey stock tends to be salty all on it's own and adding salt can make it too salty*. Once thick and brown pour into your gravy boat (or a carafe to keep it warm), and serve.

For a family that doesn't generally devour gravy, this was gone before the end of the line! Next time I will definitely be adding more stock to this to make a larger batch of gravy, but this should feed about 15-20 people pretty well. For me I think it was the highlight of my meal. I've so missed my Grandma's holiday cooking since moving to Arizona, and this is the closest I've gotten in several years! It tasted wonderfully, and everyone seemed to really like it. I know Gravy is intimidating to a lot of people, which surprised me when I was making it, but it's really not that difficult, just takes a little time and patience. 5 stars.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poll for a new Cookie Recipe

Hey everyone!! I have a poll going on right now for a new cookie recipe! Head on over at and vote for your favorite cookie which will be featured on my blog in the next couple weeks, just in time for Christmas!
Happy Voting!!
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Best Mashed Potatoes Ever

 Slightly Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

My assignment this year for Thanksgiving was the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. And let me tell you I was a little nervous about making 10 lbs. of potatoes, something I've never done before. Before you freak out, I have made potatoes before, but in small quantities. Now I didn't lose any sleep over these potatoes, and my arms still aren't as svelte as I'd like. But I had some weird dreams where the potatoes got mad at me for "hurting" them, and they wanted to eat me, and my arms were pretty sore from hand mashing them. But my fears were quickly vanished when I tasted these amazing potatoes. I've honestly never had creamier, and more flavorful potatoes in my life. Which is hard to say because I didn't think you could beat my grandmothers mashed potatoes, but somehow I managed. There was not a single leftover of these potatoes, and I've never received more compliments on my cooking as I did for those potatoes. I very, very highly recommend these for your Christmas dinner! I know hand mashing seems like a lot of work, and yeah I suppose it is, but it is SO worth it. Please don't EVER whip your potatoes, this breaks down the starches and makes them gummy, and let's face it who wants to eat baby food for a holiday?!?! I used 2 different hand mashers, one metal that is more your typical masher. And one with smaller holes for once I got them mashed with the first one, just to get more lumps out. I will be honest and say I spent the better part of an hour mashing 10 lbs of potatoes (which equaled 6 quarts of mashed potatoes), but it was worth every minute of it!

10 lbs. Russet or Golden Yukon Potatoes (I used Russet) Peeled and chopped into quaters
4 sticks of Unsalted Butter, softened
2 8oz. Packaged of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Dash of Accent or Salt depending on your preference
Dash of Garlic Powder (optional, could use Lawry's seasoning salt, or whatever your favorite seasoning is)

Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters, or even pieces. Place in a large pot, and cover with water so there's about an inch or more of water above the potatoes. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally til the potatoes are fork tender, about 30-40 minutes. (Fork tender is where you can pierce a potato with a fork and it slides in easily and falls apart) Once the potatoes are done, drain off most of the water, and then place back into the pot. Turn the burner on low, and start to mash with a metal masher. Once well mashed, cut 3 sticks of butter into pieces and mash that into the potatoes, you'll save the other stick to put on the top of the mashed potatoes to keep them moist. Repeat with the cream cheese, cut into pieces and mash into the potatoes. Add in the whipping cream (could use half and half or milk, whatever you have on hand) and the spices. Continue to mash until you reach the consistency you desire. Be sure and taste the potatoes along the way, so you know it's the flavor and texture you want. Spray a 6 quart crock pot, or oven safe container (such as corningware) with non-stick spray (I used butter flavored), and pour the potatoes in. Use a knife to spread them evenly and to get a nice smooth look to the top. Cut about 5 Tablespoons of butter into pieces and place on top of the potatoes. At this point you can place them in a warm oven, or crockpot to keep them warm, or you can cover them in foil and place in the fridge for 1-2 days before hand (this is what I did). When you're ready to warm them back up, make sure you have about 4 hours before you need them. Take them out of the fridge and let the pot sit at room temperature for an hour. Then (if using a 6 quart crock pot which I recommend) take the foil off and put the lid back on. Place in your crock pot's base and turn on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Then just turn the crock pot down to warm and add the remaining butter on top. *If not using a crock pot then you will need to cover the container with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.* Serve warm with your favorite gravy.

I know these are very detailed potatoes, and may seem a bit intimidating, but trust me they're really pretty easy, and TOTALLY worth the extra work! They were phenomenal potatoes, and delicious with the Turkey Gravy I made too. They stayed very moist and warm in the crock pot, to take them to my In Laws house, I just placed the whole crock pot, base and all, in a box that fit it perfectly. Since we only had a 25 minute drive they stayed pretty warm, and I just turned them back on low for half an hour when we got there, and then just kept them on warm til I noticed they were all gone!! They were such a huge hit, and everyone greatly enjoyed them. I hope they make it to your holiday table this year, and that you enjoy them as much as we did! 5 stars.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Orange Cranberry French Toast

 Farmers Wife original.

I love making breakfast for my family, whether it's for breakfast on the weekend or for dinner on a dreary night. It's one of our favorite meals to eat together, and there's just something about eating breakfast as a family that is so special to me. Brings back memories from my childhood I suppose. After I saw the original recipe for this bread on another blog, and her idea to use it as French Toast, I knew that I'd be making that asap, but of course with my own french toast recipe! Now this is my normal recipe for french toast, that I just happened to make with the Orange Cranberry Bread. But this recipe is phenomenal with your normal white bread, or a delicious egg bread. I genuinely hope you enjoy this recipe, it was such a delightful treat for us!

Ingredients: makes about 8-10 slices of french toast
4 eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Dash of Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg

Slice the bread in 1/2 inch slices. In a shallow dish, beat eggs and add in remaining ingredients. Mix together til combined. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Once the skillet is hot, dip the bread in the egg mixture and evenly coat both sides. Place on the skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes per side til nice and golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices. Serve warm with maple syrup, or syrup of your choice and whipped cream (optional).

This french toast, especially with the Orange Cranberry Bread is seriously delish. It's light and refreshing compared to regular french toast. We gobbled this up so fast, I'm already thinking about making it again! Now The Farming Tot wouldn't try it, he was in one of those moods, but he said it looked nummy. lol! I very highly recommend this for your next breakfast meal, with a nice hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and topped with some maple syrup, whipped cream and a sprinkle of dried cranberries.... Ok now I'm hungry! 4.5 stars.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Orange Cranberry Bread

 Adapted from Liv Life.

As a part of my seemingly obvious fall series right now, this bread is being added to the series. When I first saw this bread featured on Liv's site, I knew I'd be making this very soon. I love fruity bread, especially for breakfast on a Sunday morning with my family. I couldn't find any oranges, or plain orange juice in my local stores, probably because of the holidays coming up, so I improvised as I often do, and the result was a wonderful, light, soft sweet bread. I planned to make this into french toast for breakfast on Sunday morning as a thank you to my Sister In Law for watching the Farming Tot, while the Farming Husband and I went out for our anniversary. I'm pretty sure it did the trick, ;-)! We gobbled it up as fast as we possibly could. Now I know I've gotten your hopes up for a recipe to use this bread as French Toast, and I promise you it's coming, but I'm going to make you wait a few days because first you need to try this bread by itself. You won't be disappointed!

1 1/4 cup pineapple orange juice (room temp)
1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons yeast

Program machine for a Sweet Bread (your machine's "normal" setting will work just fine), 2 pound loaf on the light crust setting. Add ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer, typically the order I have listed. You could easily make this in your stand mixer and bake it in the oven, but I don't have settings for that.

We loved this bread, I think it may be my new favorite breakfast bread. It has a light orange flavor that compliments the cranberries so well. It's soft, and yummy and make a great French Toast (coming soon!). 4.5 Stars.

P.S. Thanks to all my wonderful readers for getting me to 1200 views!! That's over 600 views in just the last 6 weeks. I appreciate you all and hope you continue enjoying The Farmers Wife's blog and recipes! God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Hot Chocolate Mix

 This is my Mother In Law's recipe, that I've adapted some.

The Farming Husband grew up drinking this hot chocolate, it's quite obviously his favorite. I remember the first time I watched my Mother In Law make a HUGE amount of this mix up because everyone drinks it all day long, I'm pretty sure my eyes were as huge as the container she uses to keep it in! Well since the Farming Hubby doesn't live with Mommy and Daddy anymore, obviously I now make my own large container of this wonderful mix. Now since both the Hubby and I love chocolate I've upped the amount of Nesquik in this recipe, doubled it actually, lol! We just love this wonderful treat, it's rich and creamy, and very chocolatey, great with peppermint added to it, or cinnamon. The Farming Husband adds one peppermint to his travel mug of it every morning before heading out to work. This would be great to have as a drink option for your Thanksgiving or Christmas guests, or even packaged up as a gift.


6 cups NesQuik
2 cups Non-Dairy Creamer
1 cup Powdered Sugar
10 cups Powdered Milk
Add all ingredients together in a large container. (I use a container that had an energy drink powder in it, that says it holds up to 80 oz. or 5 lbs. and this recipe fills it.) Put the lid on the container and shake, shake, shake. Mix until everything is well combined. Use 1/3 cup scoop per 8 oz. of hot water.

We really love this mix. It's foamy, and rich, great topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. My favorite is to add a peppermint, and let that melt into it, top it with whipped cream and some small peppermint pieces. Yum!! This will keep in a sealed container for about 6 months. 5 stars.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cinnamon Streusal Muffins

This is a Famers Wife original.

These muffins were a last minute dinner for us one night. Every once in awhile (ok... about once a week. haha!) I like to make breakfast for dinner for my family. With the Farming Husband working long hours, and being up and gone long before me and the farming to, we rarely get to eat breakfast together. So this is my way of making up for it, plus who doesn't love a fresh baked piece of bread, or muffin with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee?!? About half an hour before dinner was supposed to be ready I found out that the Farming Husband's best friend was coming over for dinner. As I'm sure you can imagine I was a little embarrassed at serving a guest breakfast for dinner. But at that point the house smelled like a fall day, and darn it I wanted to eat those muffins! I was surprised beyond imagination when our friend ate about 4 of these muffins as fast as he could get them in his mouth. Not only that but the farming tot gobbled these up, not only his but he stole from our plates too. These would be a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast, that can easily be made ahead of time. Or even a new dessert option at your family table this year.

Ingredients: makes about 16-20 muffins
2 c. flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. softened butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. Combine all muffin ingredients in electric mixer and beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a few tablespoons of batter into each cup, so it's about half full. Prepare streusel topping and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon in the center of each muffin. Using the ice cream scoop, scoop in the rest of the batter and top with remaining streusal. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Or until the streusal is golden and the muffins are firm to the touch.

We really enjoyed these muffins, they were delicious and such a great treat. As always if they are approved by the farming tot then they must be good. ;-)! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. 4.5 stars.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grilled Terriyaki Sandwich

 Inspired by Stephanie Cooks

As you know I tend to adapt most recipes to fit either my family or even my mood. I think the original looks delicious, however I couldn't find her original ingredients in my local store, so I made the changes below. I highly recommend this sandwich, even during the winter months. Get out your grill pan and enjoy a summery treat! Now for those of you without a grill pan, let me just say, go get yourself one it is a purchase you will not regret. I do not typically splurge on kitchen items (as much as I want to!!) but I did on this a few months back, and I've used it weekly (sometimes several times a week) ever since! It's more than paid for itself, and we just love it! I recommend one that is reversible so one side is a smooth griddle, and the other is a grill pan. Now back to the recipe, I hope you will try this soon! If a two year old, and a picky Brother In Law will eat this happily, I think you too with get rave reviews!

3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
3/4 cup Kikkoman terriyaki sauce
Pineapple rings, or Pineapple wedges sliced thinly
Provolone cheese (optional)
Potato, or onion buns
Lettuce, tomato, red onion (optional)

 Place the chicken in a ziploc bag with 1/2 cup of the terriyaki sauce, make sure it's well coated. Marinade chicken for 1-2 hours. Heat a grill or grill pan and cook the chicken until cooked through. When the chicken is almost done add the pineapple to the grill, spread a small amount of sauce on each side of the pineapple. Once grill lines appear flip the pineapple. Assemble the buns with a little mayo, and a slice of provolone on one side. Top with a piece of chicken, and a pineapple ring. Add lettuce, tomato, and onion (if desired.)

We really enjoyed this sandwich. It was a nice change from a typical sandwich or a burger. My 2 year old enjoyed the chicken by itself with some pineapple on the side and we were a happy family! 4 Stars.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Chips

This is a Farmers Wife Original

I was in need of dairy free dessert this past weekend for some wonderful company, and wanted something light and yummy! We had my Sister in law and her hubby over for dinner, and had a wonderful dinner of Chili and fresh baked Bread (also dairy free), and after a heavy meal like that you want something light. I have to say I was very pleased with this recipe, and could see this being a wonderful addition to your holiday menu, or any party menu as a appetizer/dessert. You can mix up the combo of fruits as well, for the holidays you could use cherries, apples, raspberries, kiwi (for that red and green color!) or whatever your favorite combo is! I truly encourage you to make this soon, if you are anything like me fresh fruit is delicious any time of the year!!

Ingredients for Salsa:
1/4 cup diced Mango
2 diced Kiwi's
1/4 cup Blueberries
1/4 cup Blackberries, sliced in half
1/4 cup Raspberries, sliced in half
1 tablespoon Strawberry Preserves
1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice

Cinnamon Sugar Chips:
5-10 10in. Flour Tortilla's
Vegetable or Butter cooking spray
Cinnamon Sugar mix in a shaker

Combine the fruit together in a small-medium serving bowl, in a small container mix together preserves and lime juice til it's a glaze like texture. Pour over fruit and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. Cut into wedges. Coat wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray. Arrange on a baking sheet, and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. Both items can be made ahead of time, just place cooked chips in a plastic bag and cover and chill the fruit til ready to serve.

We really enjoyed this. It's a great change from your normal heavy dessert, and very easy to put together. I made this up earlier in the day and just arranged it on my serving tray when I was ready to serve! I very highly recommend this recipe, it's light, but absolutely delish! 4.5 stars.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday Cookie Pizza

This is a Farmers Wife Original.

For my son's birthday this year, he requested a big cookie with a tractor on it. For those who don't know my Husband is a farmer, and my son thinks that's the most awesome thing in the world, so we had a big John Deere party. You could make this cookie without making a design out of the fruit.

1-2 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough (or homemade cookie dough, I was short on time, and we also made a large cookie to feed 15 people)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawedFruit of your choice. I used:
Pineapple, Kiwi, Blackberries, Orange (the colors for the tractor)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice cookie dough and arrange on greased pizza pan, overlapping edges. Press dough flat into pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, soften cream cheese, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust. You can chill for a while at this point, or continue by arranging the fruit, in whatever design you want. Brush with some orange, or lemon juice just to preserve the fruit. Chill until served.

We LOVED this! It was a huge hit this summer at my son's party. It tasted amazing, and I will admit is so yummy for breakfast with a cup a coffee ;-) hehe! We really really love this, and I urge you to try this next time you need a dessert, it's not as heavy as cake and who doesn't love fresh fruit? 5 Stars.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Adapted from Annie's Eats.

Another fall recipe!! Are you sick of them yet? I sure hope not because I have several more up my sleeves this year. ;-) These were seriously the best, fluffiest and easiest pancake I think I've ever made. And they are kid approved, which you know makes them a keeper in my house! I have yet to be disappointed with a recipe from Annie, and these were no different! I did increase the pumpkin just a bit, and added a little extra spice (can't get enough spice in this house), and have reflected those changes here. Enjoy!

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup & 1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine.  (The batter may still have a few lumps – that is okay.)
Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

Seriously... You're still reading this?!?! GO MAKE THESE NOW!!! lol! Seriously, amazing pancakes. Love them, can't say that enough. Sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar and some maple syrup, YUMM!!! My 2 year old devoured these, and he doesn't devour much of anything! 5 Stars.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cranberry Oat Bread

The Farmers Wife Original.
 This recipe is for a Bread Machine, though I am sure you could make it without. I've made this recipe several times before, almost always for fall, and typically with raisins. It goes wonderfully with the Cran-Apple Butter, which is actually what is spread on the bread in the picture. As you already know, I adore fall and cooking this bread is another way to make your home have that wonderful scent of fall. I tortured my Hubby and his Cousin last saturday night while this bread was baking (and myself too lol!), and as soon as it was out we devoured some. This is a good hearty bread, wonderful for a quick breakfast.

This recipe is for a 1 1/2 lbs. loaf. Should be baked on your Bread Machine's standard setting, and light crust.
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/4 Cups Water
3 Tablespoons Oil
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Cups Bread Flour (or All-Purpose if you don't have bread flour. I've done it both ways and it always comes out great)
1 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries (or Raisins)
1 3/4 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (I use Red Star Brand, found at walmart)

Place all ingredients in the bread pan. Select Light Crust setting, and 1 1/2 lbs loaf and press start.
Observe as the dough kneads, after 5-10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff or your machine sounds like it's straining, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch. After it bakes, remove the bread from the pan, and place on a rack or a cutting board and allow to cool 1 hour before slicing (I did not do this... it was WAY too tempting...).

We love this bread. It really is a great loaf to keep on hand for a quick breakfast. It could easily also be made with Wheat Flour to be even healthier. We absolutely love this with Cran- Apple Butter, or even toasted with some cream cheese, or even just plain! 4.5 Stars.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cran-Apple Butter

Adapted from Mommie Cooks.

If you're like me you love fall, and everything about it. The colors, the smell (yes fall as it's own smell, trust me!), the foods, the weather... And even though I live in a warm climate and our trees don't change colors, and leaves don't fall, and the weather doesn't drop as drastically as I might like, I can still make fall foods! This is the second time I've made Apple Butter in my crock pot, the last time was when I was pregnant with my now 2 year old and it was purely out of an intense craving then. This time my 2 year old was asking for Mommy to make Apple Butter and I came across this recipe. I urge you to try this soon, it has an amazing flavor and your house will smell like fall withing 20 minutes of this cooking! I honestly could see making this and only having it cook a couple hours til it's all soft and serving as a side on Thanksgiving Day!

10-12 Apples, Chopped (I used Gala Apples)
3 Cups of Whole Cranberries
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of White Sugar
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
4 Shakes of Salt

Peel and chop the apples, and toss in the crock-pot in a cap full of lemon juice. Add in remaining ingredients and stir. Cook on low for about 12 hours. It will be a nice dark color. Once cooked transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth. Then can or store in an airtight container.

We love this butter! I like it better than just plain Apple Butter, has a better flavor by far. I made a Cranberry Oat Bread to go with it, and it's just a wonderful fall treat! This makes a great gift for the holidays as well. I very highly recommend you make this soon. 5 Stars.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Garlic Chicken Wrap

This is a Farmers Wife original

I was having one of those "I want something healthy" kind of days, but not wanting to put forth a lot of effort. I used the leftover sauce from the Italian Chicken Panini's and it added a great flavor! This was a simple and easy wrap that you could easily make the night before and wrap up in some plastic wrap for a healthy lunch at the office (or wherever) the next day!

This recipe is for one wrap
Sauce: (If you've made the sauce and have leftover don't worry about making another batch!)
2-3 Tablespoons Mayo
1-3 Teaspoons Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Marinade and Sauce (more or less depending on personal preference, I typically do 2)

1 Large Sun dried Tomato Wrap, or wrap of your choice
4 Slices Roasted Chicken lunchmeat, or Turkey
1-2 Slices Provolone Cheese
Sliced Tomato
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Red Onion

Warm the wrap in the microwave about 10-15 seconds, just warm enough that it's more flexible. Spread some sauce evenly on one side of the wrap. Then about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom start layering your lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and meat. Once layered start rolling up the wrap, starting at the bottom and rolling up. Wrap in plastic wrap if making ahead of time, or slice it at a diagonal in the middle and eat!

I really enjoyed this light and quick lunch. It came together so fast, with a lot of the flavors of the Panini I made the day before, but with less calories and fat. Which always makes for a happy mommy! Feel free to mix it up using your favorite wrap, or fillings of your choice. 3.5 Stars

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Italian Chicken Panini

This is a Farmers Wife Original

You know those days (everyone has them), where nothing sounds good, it's dreary and your tired from whatever your day's tasks were? For me it's cleaning and chasing a 2 year old, and trying not to look too haggard at the grocery store (where they know me by name... should I be scared by that?!?). We had a day like that not too long ago where I just felt like dinner needed to be as easy as could be but I wanted something new, out of that came this sandwich. It has quickly become a favorite, and quite honestly I've used this sauce for wraps, and on salad's too and love it which is why I make extra sauce! I hope you give this a try, and love it as much as we do!

Serves 4
For sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Mayo
1-3 Teaspoons Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Marinade and Sauce (more or less depending on personal preference, I typically do 2)

8 slices Italian Sandwich bread (or your favorite bread)
4 Slices Provolone Cheese (or Cheddar, my hubby likes his with cheddar)
Roasted Chicken Lunchmeat, (I get hillshire farms chicken breast lunch meat)
Sliced Tomato

Mix together the sauce and taste it, add more sauce to your preference. Next heat your panini pan or grill pan. To assemble the sandwichs, butter one side of each slice of bread, on the other side spread a little of the sauce. On top of the sauce layer your desired amount of chicken (about 4-6 slices), tomato and cheese. Top with a slice of bread sauce side down and grill to your desired browness. Serve warm with a side of sliced fruit or a nice soup.

We really loved these. I was a little hesitant at first, but have made them several times since that first night and both my hubby and I love it. It would be good with a little spinach added if you wanted, but we're not huge spinach fans so I leave it off. You could also add more sauce if you wanted, or have some on the side to dip if you really love it! 4 stars.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

This is a Farmers Wife Original.

8oz. Orzo Pasta (looks like big grains of rice)
1 can Chicken broth
2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/3-1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan
2-3 Tablespoons Sauce from Bruschetta (no tomatoes just the juice)

In a small saucepan combine chicken broth and orzo and bring to a slow boil. Boil til all the broth is absorbed into the orzo. Once cooked, add in remaining ingredients and stir to combine and til the cheese is melted through. Serve warm.

We just loved this side dish! It was a great compliment to the Bruschetta Chicken, and so easy and yummy. Unfortunately I didn't think to picture it separately from the chicken, but it really is worth a try. Orzo has quickly become my new favorite pasta, it absorbs flavor so beautifully and because it's small like rice it makes a wonderful side. 4.5 Stars

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