Thursday, June 30, 2011

Winner of Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Milk

And the winner of June's Iron Chef Challenge featuring Milk in honor of June being National Dairy Month is........

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fresh Asparagus Soup

Nothing beats fresh Asparagus this time of year, and I recall a summer a couple of years ago when Ott, E and I made Asparagus soup in my apartment while we were dating.  We spent way to much time chopping and pureeing the asparagus and ended up make a total mess in the kitchen.   But that was then and this is now and I can safely say I have found a much better recipe and easier way to make this tasty soup.
To start with I cleaned 1 1/2 pounds of fresh cut asparagus by washing them off under running water and then cutting the tough bottoms of the asparagus off and discarding.  I then chopped the asparagus into bite size pieces.
I cooked the asparagus in a skillet over medium heat with 1/2 cups chopped onion, 6 Tablespoons butter and a dash of salt for about 8-10 minutes.  When the onions become limp, sprinkle with 6 Tablespoons of flour.  Continue to stir over the lowest heat possible.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What to do with a Wash Tub Besides the Wash

I received an 8 gallon galvanized round wash tub in the mail from Red Hill General Store Bucket Outlet and thought us some fun uses for it.  Like Bobbing for Apples at a party.

Or making an outdoor decoration out of it by adding some water, candles and flowers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

RFOA: Dirty Jobs

Today "The Real Farmwives of America and Friends" are discussing Dirty Jobs on the Farm.  And I can tell you Mike Rowe has nothing on us.  Everyday the Farmwives are working on the farm, working jobs off the farm, taking care of kids, cleaning the house and tackling laundry and that just what happens prior to lunch.

So for my blogs Dirty Job segment I share with you the hardest working Field Market Development Specialist I know....... Ott, E!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month and that is the reason Iron Chef Challenge features Milk this month.  Milk contains 9 essential nutrients that are lacking in most American Diets.  One of which is calcium and 73% of Calcium in the food supply comes from milk and milk based products.  And regadless what flavorings you put in milk (chocolate/strawberry) those 9 essential nutrients remain.

This months sponsor of the Iron Chef Challenge is Dean Foods and Kelsay Farms.   Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States.  The Company's Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment is the largest U.S. processor and distributor of milk, creamer, and cultured dairy products. These offerings are marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands, as well as through private labels.  Deans products are processed with the help of our 25,000 dedicated employees working in approximately 100 plants across the U.S. and Europe.

Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge: Milk Linky Party


In honor of June being National Dairy Month the themed ingredient for this month's Iron Chef Challenge is......


Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare something using Milk in the recipe, post the 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 the week of June 27th and the winner will receive a Dean Foods Prize Pack along with a $25 Gift Card to Wal-Mart to purchase Milk with.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Wore to Work

The weather here has been humid so a new suit with short sleeves was in order.  These short sleeves are great for keeping cool when you have to be outside for meetings.  This suit from the limited is black with little gray flecks throughout.  I wore it with a gray shirt, black purse, black heels and silver earrings on my way out the door to work.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chocolate Royal Rhubarb Muffins

Rhubarb is in season around these parts and my parents grow some in their garden which they gave me to cook and can with.  This past weekend I was busy chopping it up and canning jam and pie filling with it.  (But I'll blog more about that during Canning Week 2011!)  With all this chopped rhubarb I thought I try some baking and had an idea to tweak a recipe make muffins.  Not just any muffins.... I made Chocolate Royal Rhubarb Muffins, and I must say the tartness of the rhubarb merges with the sweetness of the chocolate into one amazing muffin that is sure to tickle your tastebuds!!!  Ott, E gave it a 10 out of 10 and was asking for seconds so without further delay here is an Ott, A original recipe for Chocolate Royal Rhubarb Muffins.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame....

"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd...."

What says summer more than an evening at a baseball game???  And while your there why not enjoy a hot dog and a drink too.  Well my fellow Hoosier readers..... today is your lucky day.  You see Indiana's Family of Farmers (IFOF) is allowing me to give away 8 tickets to the Indianapolis Indians Baseball Game on July 19th at 7 PM.
Besides the tickets winners will also get a wristband to join IFOF in the picnic area for a special picnic at the park that will include a choice of hot dog, hamburger or pulled chicken BBQ along with baked beans, pasta salad, fruit salad, cookies and drinks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunflower Dishes

Come right on in and sit down as today I am showing off my favorite set of dishes to use when hosting a dinner party.  These are Pfaltzgraff dishes and the pattern is called Evening Sun.  I love them for two reasons... the first reason is that they have sunflowers on them and the second reason is that they look great with my red tablecloth.  (Of course I also like them because they are dishwasher safe too.)  I have place settings for 12 and several of the serving dishes.  So come right in, and take a look at my table scape.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pancakes

My favorite Saturday mornings start off with Ott, E making pancakes for breakfast.  Yes, that's right, I said Ott, E.  He is the pancake maker and he has a fun appliance to make his pancakes and a tasty recipe to share.
One year for Christmas we received a Quesdilla maker.  It's small round and flat on both sides.  (sound familar)  We looked at the maker and thought.... I wonder if you could make pancakes with this.  So out came a mixing bowl and some ingredients and we poured in some batter and closed the lid. 
Apprehensively, we raised the lid of the Quesdilla maker and we found

Monday, June 13, 2011

plOTTing & planting: Green Beans that Vine???

Another beautiful weekend here in central Indiana and what better way to enjoy the outside than by working in our garden.  I must admit it is looking really great as all of our plants are growing, flowering and overall looking really nice. 
However, Ott, E discovered something about our green bean plants that we didn't know..... they are the vining style of green bean plants.  (You see in the past we had the bush variety, so we were both quite surprised to see these long shoots reaching up looking for a place to climb.)  A quick trip out to our garden shed and we found some posts and fencing and built a fence for them to grow up.  We don't know quite how this will turn out, but I guess it we will give these vining green beans a try.
The Kohlrabi is starting to made a bulb so it will be just a matter of days until they are ready to be picked.
And our Cilantro is coming right along.  This is our first year growing herbs, but I'm anxious to try this in my homemade Salsa.
Our zucchini's are from seed are coming right along as well.
Then theres are Adirondack Blue Potatoes which are flowering up a storm.  They have already been hilled twice by Ott, E and are looking great.  I can't wait to harvest them and see those purple potatoes.
Lastly, our tomato plants have been flowering and a couple have started to turn into little fruits.  We have 8 different varieties of tomato plants and I am longing for fresh BLT sandwhiches and salsa. 
This post was linked to Monday Madness, Tuesday Garden Party on An Oregon Cottage, Wordless Wednesday on Project Alicia and Wordless Wednesday on Pinke Post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a Weedy Wordless Wednesday

The wet spring has kept farmers in our area out of the fields longer than expected.  So a couple of weeks ago if you were driving through the country side you might have seen some fields that look like these below.  Although in some ways they do look rather pretty they are weeds.  And weeds limit the ability of crops to grow and produce at their full potential.   Ott, E took these pictures of weed covered fields and helped me identify them to share with you, so the next time you are out driving through the county side and see a field like this you will know exactly what week that is out there blooming.
Above is a field of henbit, which is a part of the mint family and has square stems.
This is a field of cressleaf groundsel.  It has a yellow flower and grows to be about waist high.

This is a picture of purple deadnettle which is closely related to henbit.  It also is a shorter growing weed with small purple flowers.

This post was linked to Outdoor Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday on Live and Love Outloud, Wordless Wednesday on a Project Alicia and Wordless Wednesday on Pinke Post, Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Weekends usually call for a pizza night at our house. Sometimes we eat out, sometimes we get take out, sometimes we make it ourselves, and sometimes we get real creative with how we make it.

I have a recipe I love to make for Pizza Dough in my bread machine; it's great as the machine does all the kneading for you.  Just dump in the ingredients and go do something else for about 1 1/2 hours.
pizza crust ingredients:
1/2 tsp. of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup water (room temp.)
2 T. Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients into bread pan.  Select Dough setting.  Press Start. When finished press the dough out to fill your pizza pan.

For a Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Pizza we start by pouring Alfredo Sauce on the dough. Be somewhat generous with the amount of sauce that you use as too little can make out for a dry tasting pizza.  Then, sprinkle fresh cut spinach on top of the sauce.

Next we sprinkled some sliced, cooked chicken on top of that.
Lastly, we sprinkled shredded Mozzarella Cheese on top of everything.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
This dough bakes up nice and thick and is the kind of crust you want to sink your teeth into. As you can seel the cheese melts down and the complements the creamy Alfredo sauce, chicken and spinach.  I don't know how much healthier it is than your traditional pizza but it is every bit just as tasty.
This post was linked to; 2 Maids a Baking, 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, Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro.

Monday, June 6, 2011

a Wren House

My Grandfather gave me a birdhouse gourd, a month or so ago, so I have been working on turning in into a birdhouse for a Wren. I've been trying to attract more birds to our back yard, so I thought perhaps some birdhouses would do the trick.  To learn more about birdhouses to make to attract other varieties of birds to your lawn I highly suggest checking out today's post on The Real Farmwives of America & Friends blog.  They have a great tutorial and a give-a-way for you to win a birdhouse of your very own.
Of course with my sunflower obsession I had to decorate it with some paint and here is how I did it.
I cleaned the gourd with some soap and a kitchen scratch pad.  My grandfather said that Wren's only need a hole the size of a Quarter in order for them to get in and out and keep other birds from taking the space.  So I traced a quarter on my gourd.  Then I took a power drill and drilled small holes around the edges of the circle.and I kept drilling them closer and closer together until I could punch the hole out completely.
Next I drilled a couple of larger holes in the bottom of the gourd.  This is so if rain gets inside the gourd it can run on out and not bother the nest.
After that it was time to pain the gourd.  I used acrylic paint and painted white and yellow flower petals around the center of the hole.  I then used a sponge and sponged brown paint around the hole for the center of the sunflower.
To distinguish my petals I took a black sharpie marker and outlined the petals individually to make them stand out more.
After I was done painting the gourd I realized that I probably needed to spray some type of varnish on the gourd to help protect the paint, but I didn't know which kind.  So I contacted someone who I knew was an expert on gourds..... Ann from the blog Butterflies, Gourds & More.  She recommended a small bottle of exterior/interior water base varnish from a hobby store.  So I found this can of Modge Podge and following Ann's instructions I gave the Gourd 3 coats (one coat a day for 3 days so it had plenty of time to dry in between.)  And just like Ann said, it would smell bad so I did it out in the garage so it was well ventilated.
This post was linked to: Metamorphosis Monday.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June's Iron Chef Challenge will feature Milk from Dean Foods & Kelsay Farms

PhotobucketThis month's Iron Chef Challenge will feature Milk in honor of June being National Dairy Month. Whether you making your own ice cream, or baking up a tasty desert Milk is a staple in just about everyone refrigerator.

I am really excited to announce the sponsors for this months Iron Chef Challenge is Dean Foods & Kelsay Farms'. Dean Foods is the country's largest processor and distributor of dairy products. Though the specific Deans brand name resonates in the Midwest, they are associated with several other brands such as Land O'Lake, Gandy's and Broughton to name a few. (You can check out their website to see what brands are on your area.)

Kelsay Farms is a 6th generation Dairy Farm located in Central Indiana.  The milk from their farm goes directly to Deans Food where it is bottled up before going to area grocery stores, schools and restaurants.  You can learn more about Kelsay Farms on their website, or follow them on facebook and twitter @KelsayFarms.  Kelsay Farms is also home to two of the Real Farmwives of America, Liz and Amy, the bloggers over at 2 Maids a Milking.  Liz & Amy weekly give you a behind the scene look at life on their Dairy Farm, as well as recipes and tips on raising kids.
The guest judge for this month's Iron Chef Challenge will be a Representative from Dean Foods. 

The prize for this month's Challenge will be a Dean's Food Prize Pack, and Kelsay Farms is providing a $25 Gift Card to Wal-Mart for you to your buy Milk with.
And because we are so excited about June being National Dairy Month you will have a second chance to win this fabulous prize pack.  Simply head over to 2 Maids a Milking Blog and sign up for your chance to win!! 

The Recipe Linky will open on June 17th and run through June 24th. The winner will be announced the week of June 27th!

Big Thanks to Dean Foods and Kelsay Farms for being our sponsor and for providing safe and nutritious milk to households across America!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Indy 500 pictures

This past weekend I took Ott, E to his first Indy 500.  I figured he lived in Indiana long enough it was time he experienced the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for himself.  Since it was the 100th Anniversary of the track I figured what better year to go and bought us ticket.  Although it was a hot (92 degree day) we had a great time and he took some great pictures which I am happy to share with you today.

The Pagota and Ott, E enjoying his first Indy Car race.

Above is Ana Beatriz and below is a picture of Danica Patrick.
Above is the top of the pole sitter Alex Tagliani and his wife.  While below is everyone's favorite Helio Castroneves.
Above is Scott Dixon and below we saw Mario Andretti walk by and snapped this quick pic. 
And I'm guessing you all saw the crazy ending to the race as it is one that will probably go down in history.
This post was linked to Outdoor Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday on Pinke Post.