Friday, December 31, 2010

Ott, A's Country Christmas


It's funny how a little thing like getting married to a guy from Wisconsin, a 7 hour drive from Indiana, can put such a kink in all your holidays.  While I enjoyed spending Christmas with Ott, E and his family amongst the land of dairy farms, cheese trays and Packer fans.  Nothing compares to a country Christmas back home in Fulton County, Indiana.  
I recall waking up early on Christmas morning and opening the gifts Santa had left us as well as those from my parents.  Then we would get dressed and pile into the car and head to my maternal grandparents house for Breakfast.  They lived in the same town but it was about a 7 mile drive.
During the winter months all the sheep were kept on my grandparents farm.  While they are all out on pasture in the fall months, come December they would be brought up to the barn.  Our flock has their baby's in late January early February, so by bringing them up to the barn we could keep a closer eye on them and give them extra shelter when the lambs are born.
Regardless what day it was morning chores were always done before breakfast.  So I knew my grandfather would be up bright and early to do chores prior to us arriving.  I love the look of white snow against their big red barn.  And I always think how warm and cozy the sheep must be out in the snow with their wool fleeces.  Our breed of sheep, Shropshires, can grow about 3 inches of wool in one year. 
Grandma would have a big breakfast for us and then it was time to exchange gifts with them.  Their farmhouse would be all decorated for Christmas and I smile every time I recall these fond memories.

To see how the other Real Farmwives of America and Friends celebrate Christmas on their farms, be sure to check them out on facebook.   

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

country side phOTTography

Winter Sunrise
Ott, E took this picture of the corn field behind our house during the sunrise one morning.  I love the way the prickly frost glistens, almost like gold, on the corn stubble in the sunlight.  (If you click on the picture and it will open in another frame and be bigger.  I think you'll find it is really worth the view!)    

When farmers leave corn stubble standing in a field like this it is good for soil as it decreases erosion from water and wind.

This post was linked to: Outdoor Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday at Live and Love Outloud.  

Monday, December 27, 2010

tomOTTo basil bread

The bread machine is back in action this week and baking up a Tomato Basil Bread.  Firstly, I feel the need to inform you that I kind of created this recipe myself so you are truly getting an Ott, A original here.  But the best part is that is uses the dried tomato flakes that I made from tomatoes grown in our garden this past summer.  The dried flakes pack quite the punch in the flavor department so the bread is delish!!!
As always, here is one of my handy recipe cards so you can make this recipe for yourself.  Simply click on image and then print it off.

This post was linked to: This post was linked to: Tasty Tuesday Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Tuesday at the Table with All the Small Stuff, Hearth N' Soul with the Girl Chef, Delicious Dish at It's a Blog Party, Anything Related Tuesday at All Thingz Related, Yeastspotting

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ott, A's Holiday Mantle

The big day is almost here and Ott, E and I are all set!  Besides the outside lights, the two Christmas Trees and all of my Holiday Baking, I also decorated our mantle for Christmas as well. 
Of course there are some holiday Longaberger baskets.
And Minnie Mouse gards our Christmas Tree.
Then some greenery and lights amongst some more Longaberger Baskets, holiday figurines, pictures, stockings and candle votive.
This Post was linked to Homey Goodness Challenge

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ott's 2nd Christmas Tree

PhotobucketEarlier this week I showed you pictures of my Gone With The Wind Christmas Tree and today I'm sharing pictures of the tree in our living room.  This tree contains a lot of ornaments from my childhood, and decorating the tree always brings back a lot of memories.

There are ornaments that are homemade.
And ornaments that are store bought.
There are ornaments representing things we like.  (Boiler Up!)
And ornaments representing places we've visited.
There are even ornaments that mark life's milestones.  (First Christmas together.)
And all of them together make up our lovely Christmas tree. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

take a bite OTTa these Bourbon Balls

This recipe for Bourbon Balls is sure to make your holidays merry and bright!
Recipe for Bourbon Balls.
10 oz. Nilla wafers, crushed into crumbs (2.5 cups)
1 cup finely grund pecan halves
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 cup bourbon
3 T. light corn syrup
granulated sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, stir together cooke crumbs, ground pecans and powdered sugar.  In a seperate microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate until it's melted.  Stir in bourbon and cory syrup.  Add the chocolate mixture to the crumbs mixture and stir until throughly combined.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.  Pour some granulated sugar into a dish.  Form the chocolate mixture into small balls the size of grapes, and roll each ball in the sugar.

This post was linked to: Tasty Tuesday Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Tuesday at the Table with All the Small Stuff, Hearth N' Soul with the Girl Chef, Delicious Dish at It's a Blog Party.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ott, A's GWTW Christmas Tree

I'm a big fan of the movie Gone with the Wind (GWTW).  So much in fact that I have been collecting the ornaments at the Hallmark store.  Each year another ornament comes out with one of the many dresses Miss Scarlet wore in that film.  So last year I was thinking "whereever shall I go, whatever shall I do."  So I decided to go buy a 2nd tree and display all of these ornaments.  This tree is located in the corner of our dining room and I use red accent ornaments to coordinate with the other colors in my dining room.
Of course besides Scarlett there are also scenes that include the dashing Rhett Butler.  "Frankly my dear, I don't give a ....."
This was the red dress Scarlett wore when she went to visit Melany.
And "fiddle-de-dee" who could forget the dress made out of curtains.
Or, the moment Rhett proposed to the widowed Scarlett.  "Afterall.... tomorrow is another day!"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

There is snow on the ground and holiday decorations everywhere … but the gals over at Country Comfort Cookbooks are looking for recipes served in the SUMMER for the 4th cookbook in their Country Comfort series. (The first two can be found on and they gave the Holiday one away on my blog last week.)

If interested your name, city, state will stay with each recipe you submit. The series has been doing very well and they are gaining a following of cooks who are not only enjoying the recipes and tips but the touching stories many of the contributors shared with them!

The recipe does not have to be an original one… but one that has either been handed down to you by Grandma, passed onto you by a friend or you have adapted to put your own spin on it. If you would like please share a few sentences about where it came from and why it’s special to you, what occasion you serve it for and why.

The founders, Mary Elizabeth and Monica, have asked me to tell you that if you are interested to please send them an e-mail at no later than January 20th.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Ott, A wore to the Christmas Party

PhotobucketSo I was at the Mall trying to do some Christmas shopping when I passed by this store front window and there on a mannequin was the most amazing blouse I had ever seen.  It was like the crowds of shoppers parted, the light shone down on it and off in the distance I swear angels were singing and in that moment I knew.......  this blouse would be great for all the upcoming Christmas parties I be attending this month.  It had these cute flowers around the neck, which are so girly and in right now.  I had to have it so I walked directly into the store and purchased it.

PhotobucketI continued on with my shopping. I had my list of items, I had my plan for purchases, I was all set and then out of the corner of my eye I saw something red. I stopped dead in my tracks and stared in amazement at the most perfect pair of red shoes. And not just any pair of red shoes, but red shoes the same color as my blouse and with a little coil of material that kind of looked like a rose, just like the material roses on my blouse. There again the light was shining down, and angels were singing, this was destined to be, I mean how many times do you find something so perfectly matched? I couldn't walk away from fate.  So........ I purchased the shoes, and while the clerk was ringing me up she said, did you see we have a clutch to match?  (There were those angels singing again.)  Shoes and a purse that match, now that is the ultimate.  I was so ecstatic that I almost started singing with those angels I kept hearing. 

I added a ring and a pair of earrings along with a black skirt and I was all set to celebrate the holidays.

this post was linked to: What I wore Wednesday on the Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ott, A's Christmas Dinner Table

As I mentioned last week our house is all set for Christmas.  The last of the Christmas cookies are cooling as I type this, but today I wanted to show off our festive dining room table.  I love having people over around the holidays and eating around our dining room table.  There is a Christmas Tree in the corner and a big bay window that overlooks our front lawn.
Our tablecloth has holly and red berries on it, so I coordinated my centerpieces to be red and crystal.
I have red chargers to compliment our white dinner plates.  Then I have red napkins to tie this color scheme all together.
Red candles in crystal stemware, and then white votives in red candle holders showoff my centerpiece.

And some red ornaments to add a little bling.
And of course there are Christmas Charms for the wine glasses.

I like how the napkins look like a bow with the napkin ring in the center.
And lastly name cards with holly and berries as well.  (Because I love to keep the theme going.)

This post was linked to: It's a Blog Party, Table Top Tuesday, and Tablescape Thursday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

roll Ott sugar cookies...errr....I mean... roll out sugar cookies

One of the many things I love about my red kitchen is that it is ideal for baking Christmas cookies in.  I can spread out all over my counter tops and have several batches going at once.  Like these roll out sugar cookies which were from a recipe that my great grandma had.  As you will see from the recipe below it's written in an "old school" format and calls for lard and sour cream which I find a little unique as you don't see that in too many recipes now a days.  I cut out these cute reindeer cookies and decorated the face and antlers.

Roll Out Sugar Cookie recipe:
Cream together 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oleo or lard, 1 pinch salt, 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in the sour cream.  Add 1 or 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well and add 3 cups flour that has 1 tsp. baking powder sifted in it.  Add enough extra flour until dough will roll well.  Roll out and cut with cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased baking pans.  Bake at 350 about 12 minutes.

This post was linked to: Tasty Tuesday Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Tuesday at the Table with All the Small Stuff, Hearth N' Soul with the Girl Chef, Delicious Dish at It's a Blog Party.

Ott, A's Country Comfort Holiday Cookbook Winner

And the winner of the Country Comfort Holiday Cookbook as selected by is............................

Contestant #8 Mrs. Mix-it!  She became their fan on facebook and said... "I just Liked you as Cook Underwriter."  I'll be getting in contact with her soon to get her the prize.

But don't worry if you didn't win because you can still purchase it for yourself on
Big Thanks to Monica and Mary Elizabeth for donating this book and be sure to check them out on facebook.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ott, E's christmas party in Chicago

Ott, E and I just got back from spending the weekend in Chicago.  Luckily we beat the snow home, but while we were there for his company's Christmas party we were sure to stop by Marshall Fields (or some of you may call it Macy's but I will refer to it as Marshall Fields.) for some last minute Christmas shopping.  So this is a picture of the Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room which is a restaurant inside Marshall Fields.
Then, it was time to go out to dinner and to our surprise our taxi pulled up out front. 
24 people fit inside and it was off to dinner.
The next day we came home.  And I gotta say, "there's no place like home."

Friday, December 10, 2010

our christmas cOTTage is all decorated

The day after Thanksgiving, while some people are out shopping I was at home getting out my Christmas decorations.  So of course my trees are decorated, the lights are on my porch outside, my Christmas cards are addressed, most of my gifts are purchased and there are Christmas cookies in the oven baking.  As I sit in my living room looking around at my tree and festive holiday mantel, I reminisce about back when I was a teenager and used to help my grandparents get their farmhouse all decorated for Christmas.  Today I am guest posting over on the Indiana Family of Farmers blog, so be sure to stop and read about one of my favorite December memories.
For today's post, I will show you the lights on the outside of our house. 

These cute little trees line the sidewalk and light the way to our front porch.

And Ott, E's reindeer greets everyone at the front door.

Be sure to drop by for a Latte' next week as I will be showing off my Christmas trees and decorations on the inside of my house.  Until then I hope you are getting all ready for the holidays at your house and are staying warm and cozy.
This post was linked to Hooked on Christmas Holiday Tours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

but Ott, A it's cold outside

Looking for someplace to go on these cold wintery days?  Try a local winery.  I recently visited Huber's Orchard and Winery in Starlight, Indiana.  Huber's has over 30 wines they make on site from grapes grown on their family farm.  They are also the only winery in the state to have a still and make their own Brandy.
Hubers has a tasting room in the loft of this barn and a restaurant on the main floor.
Even though it's winter the vines still have a beautiful and almost artistic look to them.
The barrel room is located in the basement of the barn where the wine is aged. 
So many varieties of wines to choose from, but I recommend the Starlight Red.
 And check out these festive bottles for their Christmas White Wine.
Besides the winery, Huber's is also an Agri-Tourism destination with lots of other activities for the whole family to enjoy.  Check out the Indiana Family of Farmer's Blog for more information about Huber's and a $50 gift card giveaway!!!

Also, since Christmas is the season of giving, don't forget to check out the County Comfort Holiday Cookbook I'll be giving away this week on this blog.


This post was linked to: Wordy or not so wordy Wednesday