Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

 Adapted from The Country Cook

What a week it has been huh? I know I don't normally talk about the going's on of the world because I don't think it really has to do with the food I make. But this week has been full of interesting life events. First with the horrible weather in the south and the flooding, and then yesterday with the Royal Wedding. Now I know for us in the USA the Royal wedding really won't affect any part of our lives, however who doesn't love a great fairytale? I admit I didn't get up at 1am to watch the festivities live (I'm not THAT crazy!), but I did get up at 6am to watch the rerun (because I am a little bit crazy... haha!) and I thought Duchess Catherine looked AMAZING! And those 2 seemed very much in love, which was so special to watch. But I can't help but wonder what food they ate that day... haha! I don't know about you but I remember the foods I ate the whole weekend of my wedding. Kinda crazy I know, but it's true. Which brings me to this recipe.

Now I told you I had another recipe using The Country Cook's Grilled Chicken Skewers, in my Grilled Chicken Pita recipe. But I have to say, this salad is something I would have been seen eating a lot right around our wedding, you see I had gained a few lbs in the months right before our wedding. Nothing major, my dress still fit, but sitting and breathing weren't much of an option, so I kicked my weight loss into gear. Believe it or not but I actually lost more than I had gained and my dress ended up fitting better than it ever had on my wedding day! (Sorry I had to brag just a little, it was a big deal to me! lol!) So I started eating salads daily, and cereal, and pretty much nothing too heavy along with working out. And though I didn't eat this exact salad, it is SO similar to a lot of the ones I concocted back then, and along with the Royal Wedding, eating it just brought back all those memories to me. I loved this salad as it was incredibly easy, totally delicious and while filling it was also still a light lunch, which is great on a hot day!

1 1/2 cups Chopped Lettuce (I like romaine)
1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Green Onion, diced
Leftover Grilled Chicken, cubed and warmed
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Dressing: leftover sauce from pita's or you can make more with this recipe
1/2 cup reserved Marinade (before adding the chicken measure out 1/2 cup and set aside)
1/4 cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

Homemade Croutons: these were a last minute add as I realized I was out of croutons
2 Slices dried out white bread
Cooking Spray
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Powder

Using the leftover grilled chicken, (or if you don't have anymore, cook up a fresh batch), heat it up in the microwave for about 1 minute. In a salad bowl, place your chopped lettuce, tomato and onion. Add the warmed chicken, and croutons and cheese. Then using either remaining sauce from the pita's (or making fresh), pour that on for your dressing. And serve. To make Croutons, dice the dried bread, and spread on a small cooking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with the spices. Toss and repeat if necessary. Place under broiler for a few minutes until toasted and firm.

Simple, essentially turning the pita into a salad. Honestly I think I loved this even more than I loved the pita. It was so easy and delicious. Overall my new favorite salad. And the sauce make a fantastic salad dressing!! 4.5 stars.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grilled Chicken Pita's

 Adapted from The Country Cook

Hey y'all! How are you this fine morning? Yup, I'm actually in a fairly good mood this morning, coffee's still warm and yummy, my little Sous Chef is being good, chilling at the moment. Except for the not so bright spot of needing to go the grocery store later (yuck!), so far it's been a great day! Which is why I wanted to share this recipe with you! I love spring foods, the salads that everyone starts putting together, the fresh fruits, (hate the allergies that come along with spring, but LOVE the food!) and I have to say this meal had a very "Springy" feel to it. Now you've heard me talk about the Fabulous Brandie over at The Country Cook, she is the sweetest and a great friend, and a superb cook. Well a couple months ago she posted  recipe for Grilled Chicken Skewers, and ever since I've been eyeing them, just waiting for the right opportunity to try them. (By the way I've made a few things from her blog already and have loved every single thing I've tried!) Well such an opportunity came last week, but since I couldn't find skewers at my store, and I knew I wanted to eat more than just chicken I decided to turn it into a pita sandwich... Oh baby were they good!! Now my hubby says it's "Chick Food" so he wasn't overly thrilled, but he did say that the chicken itself was awesome. And I have to agree, the chicken was so juicy and delicious. And my house smelled AMAZING while these were cooking up on my grill pan. I hope you'll give these a try and check out Brandie's site too, oh and this isn't the last you'll be seeing of this chicken recipe... There's something else I cooked up with it coming later this week! ;-)

For the marinade:
3/4 cup Olive Oil
2/3 cups Soy Sauce
1/2 cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cups Prepared Mustard (Dijon or Yellow, I used Dijon)
1/4 cups Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4-5 Chicken Breasts cut into strips, or Chicken Tenderloins

1/2 cup reserved Marinade (before adding the chicken measure out 1/2 cup and set aside)
1/4 cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

Pita Filling:
2 Whole Wheat Pita Breads
Green Onion, diced

In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients and whisk til combined. Measure out 1/2 cup of marinade and set aside to make the sauce. Add the chicken strips to the bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours. In a small bowl combine sour cream and reserved marinade, whisk to combine. Add more or less marinade/sour cream to get desired taste and texture. Keep in the fridge til ready to assemble. Using a grill or grill pan, heat on medium heat and grill your marinated chicken strips. About 5-8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. After the chicken is cooked, you're ready to assemble your sandwich. Slice each Pita in half and open up the little pocket. Place you lettuce inside and drizzle a little sauce down the middle. Add in your Tomatoes, Chicken and Green Onion, top with a little more sauce, and serve.

Look at the juicy Chicken grilling up!!! YUM!
Personally I'd give this 4 stars because I (as a chick) just LOVED it. My hubby would only give it probably 3 stars. Would eat it again, but not his favorite overall, however the chicken itself he gave 5 stars. So if you have a hubby who's not big on Pita Breads, or doesn't like something "Chick Foodish" than maybe save this for a ladies lunch or just for yourself. I personally plan on making this for a lunch pretty soon! Thanks Bran!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Bowtie Pasta

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

A few weeks back I was having one of those "My brain can't function" moments, while putting together my grocery list. I looked at recipes and couldn't seem to actually process what ingredients I would need, eventually I just gave up and threw in the towel and decided to head to the store anyway because when you're out of pull ups and and milk... Let's just say this is one unhappy household! haha! While wandering around the store my juices finally got flowing and I came up with a menu plan, then much to my dismay the store was out of what I came up with so I had to improvise... Life is funny like that sometimes isn't it? You're probably wondering what the outcome was aren't you? Well it was a fairly cheap grocery trip (other than the pull ups... haha), food that lasted over a week, and several new recipes... Overall, I would say a success! But enough about the grocery trip... Now let's talk about this recipe...

I knew I wanted pasta, that's pretty much the only specific I had about dinner that night. So I got up off my rear, went into the kitchen and brewed a pot of coffee. I know not exactly pasta, but it made me happy and put me in the mood to cook. After I downed a giant cupful of coffee (note: anyone remember those GIANT mugs they used at Central Perk on the set of Friends? You know... the ones that are so giant they resemble a part of the woman's anatomy... haha!! It was one of those!!) I started pulling stuff out of the pantry and fridge that looked Italian and starting cooking. The results? Well I've never seen my Sous Chef eat an entire bowl of pasta in 30 minutes before... And then ask for more... Then steal pasta off our plates.... And thus ensuing a fork fight between my Hubby and my Son over who would eat Daddy's Pasta... Haha! I love my boys! The pasta was a HUGE success, and I must say it made incredible leftovers too! Plus... and here's my favorite part, the entire meal was about $10 and it made enough to feed 6 people! Which makes this meal about $1.66 per serving... Now I don't know about you but I find that number freaking AWESOME! Here's my tip, buy store brand pasta, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, as well as the cheeses. Most of them really are just as good as the expensive brands, and they are SO much cheaper! Oh and the other thing, 1 serving... under 400 Calories!! You read that right!!

1 package Bowtie Pasta (whole wheat if you prefer, I personally don't care for it)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced or finely chopped
1/2 White Onion, diced
2 1/2 Links of Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (half a package, you can save the other half for another recipe)
1 15oz. can of Tomato Sauce
1 15oz. can of Diced Italian Tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Basil
Dash Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2/3 cup Ricotta Cheese (all skim is fine for this recipe)
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan (plus more for garnish)

Cook pasta according to directions and desired doneness. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, start on the sauce. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic and onions until translucent. Once cooked add the turkey sausage, squeeze it out of the thin casing, then break up into smaller pieces and brown. Once browned add in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, along with the spices. Let that simmer for about 15 minutes til it reduces a little and become like a thick Italian gravy (Italians call their tomato sauce "gravy" and it's typically thick and rich). Once thickened, add in your cheeses. Mix until melted through, add in the pasta, toss and serve warm. Garnish with a little shredded Parmesan, and parsley.

I always feel like I'm being arrogant by giving one of my original recipes a 5 star rating... But with how much my boys LOVED this, I have to say that it was superb and I will be making it again and again! So this does deserve it's 5 star rating!  It was incredible easy, and totally satisfied my pasta craving... for the next week! haha!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Winner of the Cookbook!

Happy Easter Everyone!! I hope you are all having a blessed weekend, I for one am crazy busy but I wanted to announce the winner of our cookbook!

The winner is Shirley with her comment: "Everything is done! Here is my email:" Congratulations Shirley! You will be contacted soon by both myself and Laurie Alves (the author of the cookbook) and she will give you the info you need to collect your cookbook. I'm so excited for you Shirley and I hope you enjoy this cookbook as much as I have!

Happy Easter y'all! And if you would like to purchase your own copy of Laurie's book you can get a PDF copy of this book, but you can also purchase the Kindle Version here.

The Farmers Wife 

Winner was picked via a Random Number Generator. The widget hates me and won't work in my posts, but the numer it came up with was number 16 which was Shirley's comment, based off of one comment per person. Thanks for entering and look for some cool new giveaways in the future!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Recipe Roundup

I've been caught in another game of tag, only this time it's all about food for your Easter Celebration!! My friend The Country Cook tagged me to put together an Easter menu for y'all using recipe's already on my blog. Now I think this is a pretty cool idea, and while this isn't my exact menu for our Easter dinner this is what I would make if I could only cook recipes from my own blog! Like Brandie I don't have a Ham recipe on my blog, though I will after this Sunday! Links to the recipes for these treats are underneath each picture. Here we go!

Every good holiday starts with a good breakfast! 
And this is similar to what my little Sous Chef asked to have this sunday!


And we all need a drink...

And for dessert....

I think that about rounds it up!! Doesn't that look like one giant, fattening holiday feast?!? haha! Now to share the menu for our actual feast!

Ham with Maple Orange Glaze (though I'm going to use Pineapple), Candied Sweet Potatoes, Maple Glazed Carrots, Jordan Rolls, Apple Sauce and for dessert a Low Fat Cherry Cheesecake.

I am really excited for Easter this year, and I pray that you all will have a wonderful day in celebrating that HE is Risen!!! 

Now I get to tag some of my friends to do this too! So here are my tags:

Food is Love
In Katrina's Kitchen
Chef and Steward
Pinay in Texas
Sandra's Easy Cooking
The Farmers Wife

Last chance to enter the Giveaway, it ends TONIGHT (Good Friday) at midnight! Winner will be announced Saturday! 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Guest Post, and Cherry Chocolate Biscotti

Hey friends! I am SO excited to announce that I'm doing my very first guest post over at The Country Cook today! I was so honored that Bran asked me to guest post for her, and had to come up with a brand new recipe to share with all of her readers, as well as all of you! So I hope you'll pop on over to her fabulous blog to not only check out the recipe, but also to see all the wonderful recipes she has over there! The Country Cook is full of wonderful homemade, southern comfort food (This is why we're such good friends! haha!) and I know y'all will just love it! So check her out, and my recipe for Cherry Chocolate Biscotti!!

The Farmers Wife

There's still time to enter the Giveaway, going on til Friday night! Check it out, I can't wait to see who wins this fabulous cookbook!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

Have you ever gotten an idea stuck in your head that just won't go away? I get that ALL the time, typically it's food related. (I really think about food way too much... haha!) Recently I got this idea stuck in my head to make a panini using Roasted Red Peppers. Some of you may know that my obsession with Roasted Red Peppers has been fairly recent, not that I've never had them before now, just didn't obsess about them until recently. lol! When I made my Hoagies a few months ago, the obsession started, I'd forgotten just how delicious these babies were. And ever since then I've been keeping either a jar of them around, or fresh to roast myself (recently though it's been jarred only as our peppers have been looking kinda gross...) and not long ago I made Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, which I've now made a few times and have gotten rave reviews from family. But I couldn't end there, I knew there had to be more recipes that show cased how amazing red peppers are. Finally it hit me, really early one morning while I was sipping my first cup of coffee... Panini's... How I hadn't thought of it sooner still boggles me. But I was determined, so I invited my Sister In Law over for lunch, and decided she could be my guinea pig! (hehe! Aren't sister's the best?) The panini's came off the grill right as she walked in the door, we sat down at the table, and next thing I know the sandwich's had disappeared!! (ok not really, we scarfed them down as if we'd never seen food before, but that's beside the point.) They were AWESOME! I made them again this week for my wonderful Hubby, and he loved it too! So to end a lengthy post, that has quite frankly made me very hungry, I recommend you try these, and soon!

Ingredients: makes 4 sandwich's
1 whole Roasted Red Pepper
1 Green Onion
2 1/2 Tablespoons Mayo (more or less depending on consistency)
Dash of Oregano
Pinch of Freshly Ground Pepper
Pinch of Salt
Drizzle of Olive Oil

8 Slices of Bread (I used White, but Italian, Wheat, Sourdough, would all be great!)
4 Slices Provolone Cheese (or cheddar)
Sliced Chicken Breast Lunch meat (I used roughly 4 slices per sandwich, but use how much you want)
Sliced Tomatoes
1 Roasted Red Peppers, thinly sliced
Olive Oil

In a food processor, or blender, combine the sauce ingredients. Puree until mostly smooth, and easy to spread. You can make this ahead of time and keep covered in the fridge. Heat your Panini maker or grill pan, and spray with cooking spray. Brush Olive Oil on one side of each slice of bread. Then spread a layer of sauce on the opposite side. Layer your chicken, cheese, tomato and peppers. Top with another slice of bread, sauce side down. Repeat with remaining sandwich's. Cook until golden and the cheese is melted. Serve Warm.

This was simple and yet pretty light sandwich, one that was exploding with flavor! The sauce stays fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. 4 stars.

The Farmers Wife

Psst... Don't forget to enter my Giveaway for the cookbook 5 Ingredient Solutions! Going on until Friday the 22nd!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Fudge Krispies

 Farmers Wife Original.

Growing up Rice Krispy treats were like a household staple, and quite possibly the most fun dessert we made. I remember helping my Mom make them for different occasions, and always thinking that some day I would make them with my kids. Recently I had a craving for rice krispy treats made from Cocoa Krispies, and wanted to do something a little different with them. While sitting up late one night, in bed with my Hubby, we went over a few possibilities. (He's so awesome!) Eventually coming up with a Cocoa Rice Krispy treat with a peanut butter fudge and a chocolate ganache topping. I got your attention now huh? These were pretty freaking awesome, if I do say so myself. Now I don't do desserts all that often, I'm more of a breakfast/dinner kinda girl. I love a good dessert, just hate the mess of baking. But these were surprisingly easy, and totally decadent and delicious! I made them about a month ago when my Brother In Law came over for dinner, and with him being the pickiest member of my in law family, I never honestly know whether he'll like what I make or not, but this particular evening with Buttermilk Chicken and Mashed Potatoes for dinner, and this for dessert... Honestly I've never seen him eat so much so fast! lol! So I think that was a good sign that these were pretty bomb. My little sous chef absolutely loved helping make these, and enjoyed eating them even more! Just one piece of advice... Make sure you have milk on hand to go with these! They're rich, and worth it!!

Krispy Treats:
6 cups Cocoa Krispies
4 cups Mini Marshmallows (or 1 10oz. bag of regular sized marshamallows)
3 Tablespoons Butter

Peanut Butter Fudge:
2 cups Sugar
14 Tablespoons Milk
4 Tablespoons Shortening
4 Tablespoons Margarine
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
8 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
4 oz. White Chocolate Chips

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Cocoa Krispies, stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
Or make in the Microwave:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Remove and add in the Cocoa Krispies and stir until well coated. Using
buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Once treats are done, let chill in the fridge for about 1 hour. Then in a medium sauce pan combine the sugar, milk, shortening, margarine and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Once it reaches a boil, let it boil for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla and peanut butter. Pour on top of the Krispy treats, it will sink in and create a fudge within the treats. Cover with foil and chill again for 1 hour. Once chilled, make the ganache's by cooking the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the top of double boiler's over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. *You are making both a white chocolate and semi-sweet ganache*. Once done, pour the semi-sweet ganache over the chilled treats, and spread out. Then drizzle the white chocolate over that with a fork. Chill until ready to serve.

These fall into the easy, but slightly time consuming dessert category. However overall they were pretty simple, and absolutely worth the extra work! We give these 5 stars, and I will totally be making these again soon!

The Farmers Wife

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Giveaway going on until April 22nd, and enter to win a great cookbook!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thanks to my Fans, It's Giveaway time!

Good Morning all!! I have to say that I am so honored and flattered to announce the The Farmers Wife's Facebook page has reached over 200 fans!! I've been promising for awhile that once we reached 200 I would do a giveaway, and I have to be honest, we reached that number long before I thought I would! But thanks to all of you I have a great giveaway, one I am ecstatic about! Ready? Along with my friend Laurie Alves from Food is Love, I am giving away a copy of her NEW cookbook!
I am so honored to have Laurie a part of this giveaway, and to promote her new book. I've actually had the chance to read the book myself and I have to say I was really blown away by this cookbook! Laurie has done a fabulous job of creating simple, yet elegant recipes for chef's of all ages! For me as a busy Mom, this is such a helpful tool and helps answer the daily question of "What's for dinner tonight?!?". I can't wait to try her Ham with Maple Orange Glaze for Easter this year, looks totally delicious and will help keep me out of the kitchen for the entire holiday! Can't wait to see what other books Laurie comes out with, and she is coming out with more books! We're giving away a full color PDF copy of this book, but you can also purchase the Kindle Version here. OK y'all, ready for the rules?!?

Giveaway Rules:
1. Be a fan of The Farmers Wife on facebook, already a fan? You're already qualified!

2. Be a fan of Food is Love's facebook page, already a fan of her's? You're already qualified!

3. Repost the link to the giveaway on your Facebook/Twitter accounts.

4. Leave me a comment here on this post, ALONG with your Email address, to let me know you've done all of that, and you're entered! Just one comment per person is fine with me!

The giveaway will run until Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 11:59pm MT. I will announce the winner on Saturday the 23rd. I need your email so that we can email you the information to get your copy downloaded. *You do NOT have to be US citizen to enter this contest, anyone from anywhere can enter!* The winner will get a full color PDF copy of the cookbook. Winner will be picked via a Random Number Generator.

Good Luck! And thanks for all the Foodie love y'all!! Can't wait to see who wins!!!

The Farmers Wife

This giveaway is being sponsored by Laurie Alves of Food is Love, the Author of the book 5 Ingredient Solutions.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

 Farmers Wife Original.

Late night cravings... We all get them at one point or another. And I don't know about you, but I tend to go for the sweet stuff late at night, what can I say? Sometimes a great glass of milk and some cookies really does help you sleep better! ;-) Growing up, having sweets before bed was typically something I only did at Grandma and Grandpa's house (sorry Mom, but they spoiled me!!), and I remember back then thinking to myself "When I grow up I'm going to eat cookies every night before bed!" haha! Oh the things we thought as kids... As an adult I honestly only do this on a rare occasion, typically if I want something I'll grab an 80 calorie yogurt or some granola. But a little over a week ago, we were relaxing and I suddenly wanted something sweet and wandered into the kitchen and decided to make chocolate covered strawberries. I know, I'm crazy for attempting something like this late at night, but you know the saying "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!", it was pretty fitting for that night! So I quickly made these up, and we were very pleased with them! Now if you have a ton of time, you can do tuxedo dipped strawberries, with dipping them in white chocolate first and then after they harden dip in the dark and decorate, and I want to attempt these soon. But for this I went basic, good ole' chocolate and some drizzled with white chocolate. This is simple, easy, and a great late night snack!

1 lbs. Strawberries, rinsed and dried
16 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Alternatively you can use white, milk, or dark, I actually did a combo of semi and dark)
Parchment Paper


Put the chocolate into a heatproof medium bowl. Fill a medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth, very important, do not let the chocolate boil as this will cause it to burn and it will change the taste. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.) Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. If you want to drizzle white chocolate, make the chocolate sauce the same way you made the dark chocolate sauce, then using either a piping bag, or a fork, drizzle the white chocolate onto the cooled strawberries. For the Tuxedo finish, dip them in the white chocolate first, then set in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool, then dip only the sides in the dark chocolate, leaving a triangular space of white chocolate in the center. Set aside and then using a piping bag pipe the bowtie and buttons on. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Best. Late. Night. Snack. EVER!!! This not only felt a little less sinful than eating cookies because the strawberries are good for you, but it was sweet and yummy! I actually did the sauce in the microwave to save time since it was late, but they turned out fabulous! 4.5 star.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hamburger Buns

 Original Recipe The Homesteading Housewife

For once this is not a recipe I created, but I have to feature it for you because of the story behind them. For those of you who know me well, you know that I absolutely HATE shopping. I know, I should have my girl card revoked for that statement. But shopping, especially with a toddler is not my idea of a fun day, even if it's just running to the store for one item, I will go out of my way to make sure that NEVER happens (do you know how difficult it is to put socks and shoes on a 2 1/2 year old?!?). Well... when I decided to make the BBQ Beef Sammies a few weeks ago, I quickly realized after throwing my creation into the crock pot that I did not have any buns or rolls of any sort in the house. After about 5 minutes of searching the web I found this recipe for Hamburger buns made in the bread machine! Well that right there told me pretty much all I needed to know. But honestly the story doesn't end there... haha!

Background for ya, I spent pretty much that whole day cooking, I did get some laundry and other things done, but cooking and doing dishes was the largest part of my day. My house smelled amazing, with the beef cooking, and the rolls baking, I swear my husband was salivating by the time he walked up the driveway. But then, he came inside and the following conversation ensued:

Me: "Hi babe, dinner's almost ready!! Doesn't it smell good?"
Hubby: "Hey, yeah it looks great. Where'd you get the rolls?"
Me: "Oh, I made them. I was too lazy to go to the store."
Hubby: "Wait... what? You were too LAZY to go to the store to buy pre made rolls... so instead you spent all day making them from scratch?!?!?!"
Me: "Um... Yeah... I'm awesome like that!"
Hubby: "That's one way to say you're incredibly weird..."

Haha! I kid you not, that conversation then proceeded to make it's way to my Hubby's family out on the farm, his co-workers, my family, and then even onto Facebook (my SIL made sure the world knew how insane I was lol!) and now the blog. I've had people text and tell me how silly I am for being "Lazy", and that I need to change my definition of lazy, and all of this in just the last 2 weeks. It's been quite interesting, I've apparently become a legend for my "laziness" and I'm ok with that, because you know what?!? These rolls were worth the effort. I may never buy pre-made rolls again, and I think these would even be incredible dinner rolls too. Ok, now who's going to go posting about the crazy Farmer's Wife who needs to re-evaluate what being lazy means? Bahahaha!!!


3 3/4 Cups Bread Flour
1 1/4 Cups Milk, Slightly Warmed (I used 1%)
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 Beaten Egg
2 Tablespoons Butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Teaspoon Salt

Place all ingredients into your bread machine, according to your manufacturer's instructions. Set on Dough setting, and let it do all the hard work. Once done, lightly flour your counter and turn out the dough. Cut in half, and then roll 1 half out about 1 inch thick circle. Using a 3-4 inch round cutter or glass, cut out rolls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Once finished, brush the tops with melted butter and cover with clean towels. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour *Tip* Turn your oven on to 200 degrees F for 1-2 minutes, then shut off and place the cookie sheets in there, remove before preheating to bake them.* Once risen, remove towels and bake at 350 degrees F for 9 minutes, or more. Until golden brown. To make hot dog buns, shape into logs.

Honestly, though I may need to seriously re-evaluate my life, I have to say these were pretty simple and easy. And though not as easy as buying the pre-made ones, they tasted SO much better and were definitely worth the effort! 5 Stars.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

BBQ Beef Sammies

 This is a Farmers Wife Original.

As some of you may know, I was born down south. Yup, down in Memphis TN and proud of it! I admit that I haven't spent a whole lot of time down south. My family moved to the Midwest when I was still a baby, and I haven't been back to visit in at least 10 years or more. But I still have fond memories, spending time with my cousins and going antiquing with my Mom and Aunt, but I also remember the food... Oh the southern food.... I swear to you there is no better comfort food in the world, than good ole' fashioned southern comfort food!!! I remember how exciting it was to go eat out at some of our favorite places, typically getting pulled pork, but sometimes going outside the box and getting BBQ Beef, typically served topped with coleslaw, I however opt to keep mine on the side (less messy that way!!). This brings me to my recipe, a few weeks ago I was sitting at home, with a roast I had planned for a nice juicy pot roast, when I realized my carrots and celery were frozen.... Haha! This happens to me a lot, unfortunately, I swear my fridge hates me. So after sitting on the cold, hard tile that is my kitchen floor, crying over my frozen veggies, I suddenly got this intense craving for BBQ Beef... And I turned that sad almost non dinner into a winner! (bahaha!! I just rhymed... I'm such a loser!)  And I have to say, though it's been a long, long time since I had one of these to compare, this was pretty darn good! The house smelled so amazing all day long while this slow roasted in my crock pot, it was hard to wait til my Hubby got home to eat it!! Everything was homemade in this dinner, the beef, the rolls (recipe coming later this week!), and potato salad, and at the end of the day I felt pretty proud of myself for coming up with this at the last minute, and it was a hit with my Hubby too!!

3-4 lbs. Beef Roast (Cheaper cuts of meat work wonderful in the crock pot.)
1/4-1/2 Onion, Sliced
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Barbecue Sauce (I used KC Masterpiece Original)
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Water

Spray a 6-7 qt. crock pot with cooking spray, and place the roast inside. Sprinkle the sliced onions on top. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients, and pour over the roast. Place the lid on, and cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred the beef with 2 forks, and place back in the sauce until ready to serve. Serve warm on buns with or without coleslaw.

This was simple, yet extremely tasty. Brought back all those southern comfort food memories for me, and seemed to hit the spot with my man too! Served with homemade buns... This was a real treat! If you want a stronger BBQ flavor and that saucy texture add some more sauce on top of the meat before placing the top bun on! YUM!! 5 stars.

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