Thursday, March 31, 2011

Winner of Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge: Canned Tomatoes


This month winners of the Iron Chef Challenge featuring Red Gold Canned Tomatoes is.......... 

from Jen over at From Mess Hall to Bistro
Judge Linda Wallace had the following to say about this winning entry.  "This recipe is quick and easy and uses ingredients that most people have in their pantry, including 2 Red Gold Products, Salsa and Diced Tomatoes.  Healthy is something everyone is looking for in today’s world. This recipe uses turkey and black beans which are both great foods for a healthy diet.  Enjoy and know you are feeding your family a very nutritious meal. Thanks for letting me be a part of this great Iron Chef Challenge!"

And this month we are also giving away a cookbook selected in a lottery style by and the winning number is....

Congratulations to both our winners who will be receiving a Red Gold Cookbook and Big Thanks to Red Gold for being our sponsor this month.  Be sure to follow them on twitter(@RedGoldTomatoes) and facebook for all the latest tips, news and recipes.  And I hope you will all come back next month with some great Easter baking recipes featuring Clabber Girl Baking Powder.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Stop on the Ott's Breaded Tenderloin Trail

Another stop along our Breaded Tenderloin Trail took us to The Sinking Ship located near Broadripple in Indianapolis.  Stopping in for a quick lunch Ott, E called the atmosphere of The Sinking Ship to have somewhat of a "punk rock bar" feel. With some creative artwork on the walls and a menu that has the "worst Breaded Tenderloin in Town"... hey their words not mine...

When Ott, E and I ordered this tenderloin we actually thought it was quite good, with a different flavor.  The breading has a mild yet peppery taste to it and pairs nicely with the Kaiser Bun it's served on. 
The next time you are in Broadripple stop by the Sinking Ship and order the worst tenderloin in town!

We are always looking for more places to try, so if you know if any in your neck of the woods let us know!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ott, A's dried tomato light wheat pasta recipe

Last summer when I dehydrated these tomatoes I knew I wanted to use them in salads, breads and soups, but never thought about using them in a pasta.  Yet here I am 6 months later incorporating them into my latest ravioli recipe.
This recipe is one I tweaked myself and made in my new stand mixer.  I used a white whole wheat flour in the this recipe since they claim whole wheat is heathly.  I will admit it the addition of the tomato flakes gave the pasta a great taste and compliments any pasta sauce very nicely.  Here is the recipe that I created.

After feeding the pasta dough through my pasta maker attachment, I layed it out on a drying rack for 10 minutes before cutting into 2 inch squares.  (I also love the look of the red tomato flakes throughout the pasta.)
I then added my ravioli filling (spinach, cheese and chicken).
Next I sealed the edges of the ravioli with a little water and then press the top layer of pasta into the bottom.

Lastly I crimped the edges of the ravioli with a fork.
Drop the ravioli into a pot of boiling water for 7-8 minutes.  Pour spaghetti sauce over ravioli and serve.

This post was linked to: Melt in your Mouth Monday on Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Tasty Tuesday on Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Hearth N' Soul with A Moderate Life, Delectable Tuesday on Home Sweet Farm, Tasty Tuesday on 33 Shades of Green, Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro and Gooseberry Patch Recipe Roundup.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ott, A and the real farmwives of America discuss the cycle of life

The Real Farmwives of America & Friends are discussing.... The Cycle of Life this week.  Be sure to check out the Real Farmwives facebook page to find out what all the other farmwives have to say on this subject.

Like most kids growing up on the farm;I learned quickly about the cycle of life. I'll never forget the first time I saw a baby lamb being born and was shocked to find they came out wet and sticky.  Or the time our pet Dalmatian named Freckles passed away. On a farm its an almost daily occurrence that something was either being born (lambs, chicks, kittens, calves, puppies, goslings and more) or being nursed back to health, or being sold, or passing away.  The cycle of life happens everyday and I've always believed God has a plan and a purpose for everything on our farm.

There was this one calf in particular that I recall around my Sophomore year of high school; a bottle baby named Pejou.  You see Pejou was born to a heifer who probably wasn't ready to be a mother just yet.  She had no interest in her calf and not very much milk to give.  In situations like this, it's only natural, as a farmer to step in and try to bottle feed and help the calf. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes those ques of the female animal not accepting her young are a natural instinct something else is wrong. Sometimes it may be hard for us as humans to figure this out and no amount of vet visits can change the situation.  Sometimes it requires faith knowing that the good Lord has other plans, no matter how hard accepting those plans might be.

When this orphaned calf was brought up to the barn we noticed right away that there was hard spot around his navel where he had an infection.  After a quick trip to the vet's office we got some meds and began doctoring this infection while feeding him replacement milk with a bottle.  (The vet mentioned the calf probably only had a 50% chance to make it.)  I had my doubts, but I also had hope and knew regardless what happened God was in control of the situation.  Somedays the calf seemed well, and somedays he acted a little lethargic.  Each morning and evening he got his bottle and some extra pats on the head of encouragement, and eventually after some time this calf started to get stronger and healthier.

After a couple of weeks he got a name.... Pejou.  You see his fathers name was Pete, and I always thought his mother looked like a Maine Anjou (another breed of cattle) so I combined those names and got Pejou (pays-you). After a couple more weeks he got a halter and by the time summer rolled around he had a permanent pen right inside the barn with the pasture area in front of the barn as his personal pen.  Pejou had an attitude and acted like the whole barn lot was his.  When you walked from the house out to the barn, Pejou would see you coming and run up to the gate to greet you.  Can you imagine a 1000 pound steer running up to you like a dog waiting to be petted and then following you around the barn lot while you did chores???  Well that's what Pejour did.  He wore a halter so you could pull or push him out of the way if you needed to and he was by far the tamest steer we ever had.

As cute as Pejou was and as much time and effort that went into raising him; after a year and half, we loaded him up on the trailer and sold him.  We had done our job as farmers raising him to the best of our ability and he served his purpose by being sold.  The money I got for him went to help pay for college expenses.  I've mentioned before in this blog that raising and selling animals is a business proposition; a car salesman doesn't get attached to the cars he sells and likewise a farmer with the livestock he raises.  While I'll always smile when I think of that big bottle baby, I will also always know God had a plan for him all along!

This post was linked to Farm Friendly Friday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

what I'm liking a Latte' this week: Hydrangea Cake

What I'm liking a Latte this week is a beautiful cake from the blog I am baker.

Check out this Hydrangea Cake made by I am baker. Isn't it beautiful!?!?! It just makes me long for spring or fun bridal/baby shower.
If you haven't figured it out by now I would love to be able to pipe and ice cakes (I talk about it with my simple cupcakes all the time) but lack the hand/eye coordination to ever make it look good. However, I am baker has a great tutorial on her site showing you just how she made this lovely cake. Stop by and check it out and I think you'll "Like it a Latte" too!!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

my recipe for johnnie wasOTTa

Yes, the name of this recipe really is Johnnie Wasotta, and no I didn't just make that up for the sake of my crazy titles that have OTT in them. This recipe has always been a favorite of mine. When I would come home from college I would request ahead of time that she make it while I was home on break, and now that I'm married and cooking meals for Ott, E and I it's a staple at our house now too.
There is just something about tomatoes and hamburger mixed with noodles and cheese that makes it a go to comfort food. I love the richness of flavor that the tomato soup gives to the recipe, and the texture of the burger and noodles on my tongue when I eat it. Of course it doesn't hurt that it's really easy to make as well.

With just a few ingredients and about 30 minutes of time you too can cook this hearty meal for your family.

And of course I used Red Gold Canned Tomato products whenever possible, because they are processed right here in Indiana.  For more great recipes featuring canned tomatoes be sure to check out my Iron Chef Challenge Linky Party going on this week, sponsored by Red Gold.

This post was linked to: Melt in your Mouth Monday on Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Hunk of Meat Monday on Beyer Beware, Tasty Tuesday on Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Hearth N' Soul with A Moderate Life, Delectable Tuesday on Home Sweet Farm, Tasty Tuesday on 33 Shades of Green, Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro and Gooseberry Patch Recipe Roundup.

Monday, March 21, 2011

gOTTa love a girl who knows how to accessorize

A couple of weeks ago I shared my obsession with shoes. So today I am sharing my obsession with purses. Yes, I change purses as often as I change clothes. I realize you may think it's crazy to change purses that often (think how I feel while packing for a trip) but I only carry 4 things in my purse; my wallet, keys, cellphone and blackberry. That's all I need.  So of course I have a purse in every color of the rainbow.
And then I have purses that are the neutral colors.

And then I have those purses that match my shoes exactly.
I love it when my purses match my shoes. (It's the ultimate.)
You gotta love a girl who knows how to accessorize!!!
This post was linked to: Mingle Monday and Making Friends Monday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge: Canned Tomatoes

The themed ingredient for March's Iron Chef Challenge is.............
canned tomatoes

Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare something using a canned tomato product, post a recipe along with pictures and any tips on cooking the dish. Posts must include Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Badge (code found in sidebar.)

Prize: The winning post will be announced on this blog on March 28th and the winner will receive a cookbook from the sponsor; Red Gold.

Also this month we will be having a drawing for a cookbook as well, so you have two ways to win. Each recipe linked up to this party will recieve one entry and the winner will be announced on the 28th.

Big thanks to Red Gold for sponsoring this event. Be sure to check out them out on facebook and twitter for lots of other great tips and recipes.

The Linky will be open from March 18th - 25th.
Good luck and may the best chef win!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ott, A explaination of a lamb creep

Last week I shared pictures and information as to what happens right after baby lambs are born on our farm.  If you missed that post, please go read it first so you are all up to speed and can better understand what happens next as today I'm sharing what happens to the lambs when they are around 5 days old. 

Around the 5 day mark the ewes and lambs are used to each other and the lamb is growing and becoming quite active.  They are moved out of their "bonding pen" inside the barn and relocated to an outside smaller pasture with a shed and a lamb creep.
What's a lamb creep?  This is a pen inside a shed out in a pasture that is created so lambs have a place to access feed and hay that the ewes can't get to.  The pen has slats in the gate that are small enough the lambs can fit though and the ewes cannot.  This gives the ewes and lambs a chance to get away from the each other.  (I tend to think of it as kind of a play pen for lambs.  While you may put your child in a play pen to keep them contained, the lambs run into the play pen to access feed and hay that is just for them.)  They can come and go from the pen as they please.  And the ewes can see the lambs and know where they are.  During this time they are still nursing but they are also starting to eat grain and hay on their own.

The creep is kept bedded down with straw.  This keeps the pen nice and dry for the lambs.  In the corner of this creep you see a hay rack.  Because the lambs are just starting to eat solid foods on their own, we make sure to give them the highest quality of hay we have to entice them as much as possible to start eating it on their own. 
To the right of the hay you see the feeder.  Lambs are fed a high protein pellet with extra vitamins and minerals to give the lambs additional nutrition they need to grow.  Because the feed is high in protein we do not want the ewes to eat this feed, so that is why it is kept in this creep that only the lambs can get to.  These pellets also contain some molasses in them, which again entices the lambs to eat it and adjust to solid foods.  The continuous feeder is always kept full so the lambs eat throughout the day they will never run out. 
As the lambs grow the type of pellots we feed them will change to continue to meet their nutritional needs.  The ewes are still feed grain and hay and plenty of water as well, but they are fed away from this lamb creep.  The lambs could eat the ewes feed but usually don't eat too much as it is not as sweet or as tempting as their pellots.
As spring weather comes and the grass starts to green up, both the ewes and lambs will nibble on the fresh grass.  At around 6 weeks the lambs will be weaned from the ewes and the creep pen will be taken down.  Even though there is still a crispness in the air, don't worry about the lambs being cold.  As long as they have a place to get out of the wind and rain they are fine.... they are wearing wool you know.... 
A lamb creep is one of the ways we ensure our lambs are properly taken care of and are receiving the nutrition they need. Twice a day we are feeding and checking on their health and well being to ensure happy ewes and lambs.
This post was linked to: Verde Farms Farm Friendly Friday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

what I'm liking a latte this week: calves

Well last week I shared a little about the baby lambs being born on my family's farm.  Back in the days when I was in 4-H we also raised Simmental Cattle. Once my brother and I were out of 4-H we sold off all the cows and just focus on the sheep now.  Recently, I have seen some other bloggers posting pictures of the calves being born on their farms.  While I don't miss all the work associated with raising cows I do miss seeing the calves.  With Spring being less than a week away "What I'm liking a Latte this week" is newborn calves. 

First up I wanted to stop by and see Katie from the blog Griggs Dakota  She had a set of twin calves born.  What a big challenge for that mother to take on.  But I'm sure the rancher is up for the challenge to help out.
These appear to be Hereford Cows (one of my favorite breeds with that red and white color) and Katie has some more great pictures and information on her blog to share about them.

Next up we visit Marybeth from the blog Alarm Clock Wars where she has a bottle baby named Charlie.  As you will learn from Marybeth's post Charlie's mother did not have enough milk to nurse the calf by herself so he is getting some supplement through a bottle. 
Morning and night, Marybeth is out at the barn checking on Charlie and all the other cows and calves.

This week is National Ag Week and a great time to thank farmers for working hard everyday to put safe and realiable food on our tables.  Ag touches every aspect of your life from the clothes you wear, to the desk you sit at, to the fuel you put in your car and crayons your kids color with. 

Big thanks to Katie and Marybeth for letting me use pictures from their blogs.  Please stop by both of these blogs and learn more about how these farmers take care of their animals.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

i finally gOTT one and now i'm making ravioli

I want you all to know there is a new love in my life!!!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have waited.  How much I have wished for this.  Longed for this.  Dreamt about this.  I planned for this.  Saved for this.  And finally it just happened.....
I got a Red Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!!  (And don't worry Ott, E knows all about it.)
And I got the pasta roller/cutter attachment.  So the first item I made with my new mixer was ravioli's. I made a spinach pasta from scratch, with a chicken spinach filling.  It was delish, fun to make and the green color works out well for St. Patrick's Day.  So here's how I did it.
I mixed up my spinach pasta in the stand mixer and then kneaded it with the stand mixer as well. 

Spinach Pasta Recipe
4 cups flour
1 can, finely chopped spinach drained well
4 eggs
1 T. Water
Pour in blender and mix just until blended.  Replace mixer paddle with bread hook and need for 2 minutes.
Break the dough into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece into a pancake.  Install the pasta roller on your stand mixer and feed the pancake through the roller on speed 4.  I ran the flattened pasta through the roller 2 or 3 times to achieve the best shape and consistency.
Place flattened dough on a drying rack while you continue working on the rest of your dough.
Cut dough into 2 inch squares.

Place 1 Tablespoon of filling on each square. 

Recipe for filling:
1 lb. cooked, finely cubed chicken
1 can spinach drained
3 T. of mozzarella cheese
dash of salt, pepper and nutmeg
Combine ingredients together.

Wet the edges of the dough with water.  (This will help seal the dough to the top layer.)
Place another 2 inch square of dough on top.
Use a fork to continue sealing the edges of the ravioli.  Then place ravioli on drying rack for an hour.
On the stove, in a pot of water add a dash of salt and a spritz of cooking oil, once boiling add the ravioli for 7-8 minutes or until cooked to your desired tenderness.
Plate and serve with pasta sauce.
So yummy and so fun to make.  Just think of all the different pasta recipes and filling recipes I can try now.

This post was linked to: Tasty Tuesday Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Hearth N' Soul with the Girl Chef, Delicious Dish at It's a Blog Party, Delectable Tuesday on Home Sweet Farm, Tasty Tuesday on 33 Shades of Green, Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ott, A's newest breaded tenderloin find

I grew up in Rochester, Indiana and at the local B&K Drive-In there were breaded tenderloins on the menu. I have been there numerous times and had ordered those or their onion rings or their rootbeer. They were fine, and I enjoyed them. So when I started out on this quest for Indiana made breaded pork tenderloins a good friend of mine asked if I had tried B&K's hand dipped breaded tenderloin? I initially thought... yeah, I've had the breaded tenderloins at B&K but then I thought....are the hand dipped different? 

Yes, she said. So when I was up in Rochester last I went to the B&K drive in and specifically asked for a "hand dipped" breaded tenderloin. And oh my goodness..... it was amazing. I had no idea what I was missing. This was a fabulous tenderloin, great flavor, great moisture, great breading. I liked it so much, I ate it all before I could take a picture of it. So if your are up in Rochester be sure to go there and ask for the hand dipped. You won't be disappointed.

This post was linked to: Mingle Monday and Making Friends Monday, on Reviewed by Mom.