Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pulled BBQ Beef

Pulled BBQ Beef, Farmers Wife Original

Hey y'all! Man it feels like forever since I posted a recipe... I'm so sorry about that! Things are just nutty around here lately, and I think I've finally accepted that the normal I've always known is gone. I just have to adjust and find a new "normal" My hubby has been working on paperwork for our farm a lot recently (yes, farms really do require quite large amounts of paperwork believe it or not!) which means he is using my laptop while I try to figure out how to clean and do my normal household activities without disturbing him. lol! And my little Sis in Law is spending 4 days out of the week with us as she needs a place to crash between her classes at the local college. And she has been using my laptop for her homework in the afternoons... So basically I'm trying to find the balance and time to do more than check my email! I have still been cooking, though I've hit a bit of a creative slump recently I hope to get out of it soon. Don't worry though, I have tons of recipes to share with you in the meantime!

Today's recipe is one I've played around with for awhile. One of those I had to perfect before sharing with you. Some attempts have been very lazy and blah, and some were very difficult and time consuming. But I finally hit gold a couple weeks ago and this delightful meal was the hit of my family!

As most of you know from reading my last post, my Hubby and I are expecting an addition to our family in the form of a little girl this spring! And we couldn't be more thrilled. But I am doing things a little different this time around, I'm planning meals that can be frozen and easily reheated after our little miss arrives. With our Son that wasn't an option, we just had a teeny tiny freezer that my Hubby filled with about 15 lbs. of meat 2 weeks before I gave birth... haha! So I was juggling a newborn, being a Mom, company, and trying to feed my family. It was slightly stressful. This time around we not only have a big ole freezer in the garage, but I want to be able to relax and not worry and stress about food so much, and have meals that can easily be made for last minute company coming over. (And that my Hubby can cook himself while Mommy feeds our little miss! hehe!) That's where this comes in, this freezes wonderfully! And I knew it would, it's something we just have to heat up and grab some bread or buns and eat. Perfect! I just had to get it right first... haha! I think y'all will be pleased with this easy but flavorful dish, it's so simple and will totally drive you nuts smelling it cook all day long! ;-)

2 lbs. Chuck Roast (I buy cheap cuts of meat for crock pot meals)
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder, divided
1 Can Root Beer
2-3 Cups KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce, but it needs to be thick)

Spray a 6qt. Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray, then place the onions on the bottom. Sprinkle the pepper and garlic powder evenly on both sides of the roast, then place into the crock pot on top of the onions. Pour the can of root beer around the roast, then cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once cooked, take out the roast and shred the meat. Drain out most of the liquid left in the pot, leaving as many onions as possible. Put the shredded meat back into the pot, and add the barbecue sauce until it's evenly coated and saucy. Put the lid back on and cook another hour on low, this allows the meat to absorb even more of the barbecue sauce. Serve warm on your favorite buns or rolls.

This dish was beyond easy, but so full of flavor! The root beer adds this amazing flavor to the meat, and let me tell you what, you could smell this cooking all the way down the street... We had a guy come to the door the day I made this and he immediately asked what on earth I was cooking because he could smell it as he pulled up! HA! Now that's a good meal! 4.5 stars.

Happy Cooking!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reminiscence and an Announcement

I'm a little late in doing my year in review for 2011, and I apologize for that! Things have been very hectic recently, and I had some special news I wanted to share with y'all (at the end!!) and was waiting on some last minute info to come through. But don't worry, I promise this won't be too long... lol!

This last year was such a roller coaster for not only The Farmers Wife, but our whole family. My Hubby has worked more hours this last year than previous years, which was at times a struggle. My Son started potty training and doing preschool at home with Mommy. And I have been busy trying to keep on top of everything!

At times this year I know my focus has been off this site more than I would have liked, either with working on other projects, or with some personal difficulties. This June I ended up in the ER with excruciating ear pain in the middle of the night, turns out a wonderful (NOT!) spider decided my ear looked yummy that night and wanted to eat my ear drum. Lovely huh? Not so much... After battling that very painful incident I now have lost significant hearing in my right ear and still battle pain at times. Also this year we experienced a couple of losses in the form of Miscarriages that are never easy and take a toll on me physically and emotionally. We've always wanted to have a large family, and I think this year we realized that a large family was not in God's plan for us.

There have been blessings this year too though, we became and Aunt and Uncle for the very first time this year with the arrival of our precious Nephew this June! He is such a sweet and adorable little guy and we all love him so very much! It has been fun watching his parents grow with this new little person in their lives too. As I always said they really are amazing parents, and I'm so glad to be able to share this journey with them as we are constantly swapping parenting info. We've also spent a lot more time with my little Sis-In-Law as she attends college just minutes from our house and spends a lot of time "mooching" food off of me! :-) But we enjoy having her around and my Son just loves seeing her all the time.

This year my site has grown by leaps and bounds as well, and that is all thanks to my wonderful readers! I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you and your amazing support and love I always feel. I hope that in 2012 we will continue to grow, and this site will have even more recipes and food info for you all!

Now for the big news... I know many of you have wondered at my recent absence the last few months in posting, and while it may not seem it, I have been doing some "slow cooking" that last few months... You see the truth is I haven't been feeling very well. I've battled a lot of sleepless nights, indigestion, nausea, headaches, emotional moments, exhaustion, and a whole myriad of symptoms... Did you guess yet?!?!?!

I'm PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally after years of battling losses and starting to feel that we may never have more children, this September we got a very welcome surprise. And we couldn't be more excited about this baby arriving early this June (or late May as my son was early!). So far this has been a normal pregnancy (although I have been much sicker hence the lack of posting) and still have yet to gain weight. But here I am at 19 1/2 weeks and I have one parting piece of news to share with y'all that we are just beyond thrilled about.

It's a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We just found out early this week, and that's the piece of news we were waiting on before announcing. We are all so excited to have our precious little girl, and to complete our family! Nichole Ann is scheduled to arrive June 3rd, however high chance of her being early. And since I know y'all will want to meet her, here's is a picture of our precious little girl!

Our little girl, Nichole!
I really can't tell you enough how I appreciate y'alls support as I've been taking a step back from not feeling well, and never telling you why. lol! But I wanted to get to a "safe" point before announcing because of my history of Miscarriage. I know this next year will be a challenge with keeping up here on the blog and our changing family, but I look forward to the challenge! I have some new special recipes I can't wait to share with you, and some new categories that will be coming over the next year. Such as Freezer Meals, and Baby Food! I look forward to sharing the rest of this journey with y'all!

Happy Baking! ;-)

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Baked Cinnamon Apples, Farmers Wife Original

I'm BAAACK!!! haha!! I know it's been WAY too long since I've posted. Life has been just slightly hectic recently and I'm still trying to get my bearings back. We had a wonderful, but slightly stressful Christmas and New Years, and while I love this time of year, I admit I am always happy to be done with the stresses of it all. Coordinating everything when you have a little one and 3 Christmas's to attend, things can get pretty hairy. But we survived, and I think are getting back to a semi-normal life. Typically every year I do a reflections post at the end of each year, but I'm behind so you can look for this post sometime next week! For now how about we talk about some Apples!!!

It's really no secret that my family loves Cinnamon Apple recipes. I've been working hard the last few years to recreate our favorites at home, and so far have been somewhat successful... But this year I did it. I achieved what I thought was impossible... I got it RIGHT! These apples turned out to be a HUGE hit with our extended family on Christmas Day as a side dish, and my family alone ate my test run of 4 apples between the 3 of us in one sitting.... lol! These apples are so easy, they're great as a side dish, or on top of your favorite pancakes! I hope you'll give these a try and soon!

5 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 Cup Apple Cider
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

Peel, core and dice your apples into 1/2 inch pieces. *This can be done the day before just place in a ziploc bag with lemon juice and refrigerate.* Place the apples in a baking dish. Then in a medium saucepan combine the remaining ingredients, and cook on medium heat whisking frequently until it comes to a boil. Let it boil for about 4 minutes then pour over the apples and mix. Pre-heat your oven to 325F degrees, and cook the apples for about 55 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even baking, until the apples are fork tender. *If the sauce thins out while cooking, make a cornstarch slurry of 1 tablespoon Cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of water, mix well and add to the apples and bake for 5 more minutes to thicken up the sauce.* Serve warm.

I have to say these get a 5 star rating from our house and our family. They were such a huge hit, I'm so glad I made them for Christmas this year! I quadrupled the recipe and cut up all the apples the day before which made this a breeze!

Happy Baking!

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