Friday, July 29, 2011

Winner of July's Iron Chef Challege: Flour

And the winner of July's Iron Chef Challenge featuring King Arthur Flour is.........................

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scenes of downtown Indianapolis

Just wanted to share a few pictures from above of downtown Indianapolis.  It's kind of a unique view of the city from a different angle that you might not have seen before.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Salmon burgers

Ott, E surprised me one evening by making Salmon burgers and fixing them on the grill.  I was really impressed that he found a recipe, bought the ingredients and grilled up these tasty burgers all on his own.  He said they were easy to make and I can admit that they tasted great with a little bit of BBQ sauce on top. 
To start with Ott, E mixed together a package (7.5 oz) of flaked Salmon, 1 T. mayonnaise, 1 tsp. olive oil, a dash of salt & pepper.  He formed this mixture into two patties.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Canning Week 2011 is exactly 1 month away!

Can you believe it???  Canning Week 2011 is only one month away.  My garden is exploding with ripening produce and I have spent a couple weekends and evenings canning away the extra bouty that Ott, E and I can't eat right away.  That's why my infamous canning partner in crime, Jen from Mess Hall To Bistro and I are proud to announce that we will once again be hosting......... 
Canning Week!

August 22nd - 26th, 2011

Each day that week we will post recipes and tips on how to can, along with easy step by step instructions so you try canning for yourself.  It is our hope that if you don't already can you will gain enough insight and knowledge that you will feel confident to try canning for yourself.  I've said it before and I'll say it again if you can follow a recipe and bake a cake you can follow a canning recipe and can for yourself.  It is also a great time management technique as a couple of hours in the summer canning fruits and vegetables save me countless hours all winter long when preparing meals. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Celery Harvest

Celery! Every Relish Tray has it featured, right next to the carrots. Kids eat it covered in peanut butter. Adults eat it as a healthy snack. But do you ever think about where celery grows or how it is harvested. Ott, E did some research on celery while he was working in Michigan a couple of years ago. These pictures were taken back then and when I came across them I knew I had to share them with all of you here on the blog.

In the state of Michigan Celery is started out by seed in a greenhouse and then is transplanted into the field starting in May.  It is continuously planted for the next month or so, this way harvesting can take place in July through early September.  Celery grows in Michigan in a muck (high organic matter) soil.
As you can see in these pictures the tires on these tractors are built for handling the soil.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge Sponsor: King Arthur Flour

Besides the fact that King Arthur Flour has a high quality product that is great for baking with, one of the reasons I was so excited to have them be apart of the Iron Chef Challenge is that they work closely with the farmers who produce the wheat they use. King Arthur Flour has two video clips that show how dedicated and hard working the farmers are who grow the quality of wheat it takes to make flour. These videos are really great to learn more about how farmers care for their crop and the land. There are also some great pictures of harvesting wheat.

The first video is entitled "In the Field with Our Farmers."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

one chocolate sandwich cookie...two ways

I know I've mentioned before how much Ott, E likes anything with a chocolate and peanut butter combination.  What I haven't mentioned is how much I like anything with a chocolate and mint combination, but it's always one way or the other when baking up a delicious dessert.  Until today.....
I was looking to make some cookies this past weekend and came upon this recipe for a Chocolate Sandwhich Cookie in my Taste of Home cookbook. The recipe called for a mint chocolate filling.  For some reason the thought of making a peanut butter filling popped into my mind.  Hello... Genious!  What an idea?!?!  I can make the same batch of chocolate sandwhich cookies and then make half with a mint filling and the other half with a peanut butter filling and end up with two different kinds of cookies.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dried Cilantro

Cilantro was a new herb for us to grow in our garden this year.  I like to use cilantro in my salsa recipes so I thought it might be handy to have some growing and ready to use for when my tomatoes turn red.  I can safely say that the cilantro really took off and was easy to grow for us.
I wanted to dry some and keep it to use later in the year for recipes.  I figured by drying some cilantro, I easily saved myself the $5 it would cost to go buy cilantro in the spice isle of my local grocery store.  So here is how I did it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ott, A's July Iron Chef Challenge: Flour Linky Party

The theme for July's Iron Chef Challenge is Flour, sponsored by King Arthur Flour.

Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare something using King Arthur Flour in the recipe, reference what variety of King Arthur Flour they used and link to King Arthur's website within their post. Be sure to include 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 July 25th and the winner will receive the newly republished Original King Arthur Flour Cookbook and five signature flours (all-purpose, bread, white whole wheat, premium whole wheat, and unbleached cake).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our traditional wheat field picture

Every other year Ott, E and I have a tradition. (Granted it's only been since 2007, but it's our tradition so that's what we're calling it.) You see the summer before we got engaged Ott, E had this idea to get our picture taken in a wheat field. He had the field in mind and set his camera on top of his car with the timer set. I was already out in the field and Ott, E would push the button to start the timer then take off running into the field to get next to me in time for the click and flash of the camera. He ran back and forth two or three more time to ensure we got a good picture. Ironically 4 years later he is still running back and forth between me and the camera to continue our tradition. Perhaps it was our farming roots or the fact that we both work in Agriculture that we were drawn to such a pretty backdrop. And usually the picture makes it to the cover of a Christmas Card or blog post.

This year was the year to take another one so around the 4th of July we found the field we wanted.  We went home to eat lunch, change clothes, I might have even taken a nap and then later that afternoon when we went to the field it had already been harvested.  What were the chances.  So we found another field and took our picture there instead.  I think it turned out great and who knows you just may see it used on our Christmas Card this year. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fresh Tomato Pasta

As my garden continues to ripen recipes like this are ideal to fix in the summer time.  Not to heavy, not to hot and allows me to pick fresh vegetables out of my garden and eat right away.  Today I share with you a recipe for Fresh Tomato Pasta.
1 package dried linguine
4 Large Tomatoes chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 leaves of fresh basil
3 T. of Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (2 1/4 oz.) can of black olives, drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh how my garden does grow

This weekend had perfect weather to be out working in the yard and garden.  We spent all of Saturday outside mowing the yard, working on the landscape, grillin', chillin' and gardenin'! We harvest our potatoes, (not just any potatoes, blue Adirondack Potatoes which are purple on the inside and out.) What we discovered about this variety of potato was that they are not heavy producers compared to the red and white potatoes we had grown in the past. Each plant just produced a couple of potatoes. But they are still a conversation piece.  After we cleared out all the potatoes we planted a second crop of lettuce and kohlrabi in their place.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July's Iron Chef Challenge will feature King Arthur Flour

PhotobucketBut not just any flour.....King Arthur Flour.  Whether you baking up breads, cakes, cookies or muffins there's a good chance you are baking with flour, so why not use King Arthur Flour?!?! 

King Arthur Flour is a national company known for a wide selection of top-quality flours and grains - for home and professional bakers alike.  King Arthur is also the nations oldest flour company founded in 1790.

You can learn more about King Arthur Flour and the line of products they offer on their website, or follow them on facebook and twitter (@KingArthurFlour).

In order to participate in this month's challenge simply blog about a recipe that uses King Arthur Flour.  Be sure to include what specific variety of King Arthur Flour you used and then include a link to the company's website for that specific variety of flour in your blog post.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My turn In the Kitchen with Gooseberry Patch

I am super excited to announce that my time has finally come to get a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch.  You see The Real Farmwives of America & Friends are cooking their way through random Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks and then giving them away to our readers.  It's a project called "In the Kitchen with Gooseberry Patch."  But here's the deal.... I need your help in deciding which cookbook I'm going to cook from.  There are three cookbooks to choose from so please head over to The Real Farmwives Blog and vote for which Cookbook you like best or think I should cook out of by leaving a comment on their blog.

Once you decide I will hand the cookbook over to my husband, Ott, E and let him pick 10 recipes out of that book.  I will cook those 10 recipes for him and share those with you here on this blog.  So you, my dear readers, will get a man's take on what sounds good, what looks good and what taste good.  With each recipe I will report exactly what he thought of it and then you will know if your husbands and kids will like it as well.  And the best part is that after all 10 recipes have been fixed, we will be giving away a copy of that cookbook to one of you.  So you too can fix tasty Gooseberry Patch recipes for your own families and add one of their great cookbooks to your collection.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stuffed Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi.... a lot of people probably aren't familiar with the vegetable.  From time to time you see it at a farmers' market, but very rarely at the grocery store.  And, then finding a recipe for it other than eating it raw on a salad or heating it up in a pan with some oil and salt are pepper can be challenging as well.  That's where I come in.  You see Ott, E and I grow this in our garden, so I am always on the hunt for creative ways to fix it.  Last year around this time I shared my recipe for Kohlrabi Casserole and this year I'm sharing my recipe for Stuffed Kohlrabi. 
Kohlrabi is a bulb that grows above ground with some green leaves.  Simply pull it out of the ground, break off the leaves and stems, wash and peel with a vegetable peeler.
Next put the Kohlrabi in a saucepan covered with water and boil for 20 minutes.  (You can add a dash of salt to the water if you like.)  You will need 4 medium to large size kohlrabi for this recipe.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Have you ever thought about how Rice grows?

One of the many things I love about Agriculture is how diverse it is.  Agriculture affects every aspect of our lives, and while sometimes here in the midwest when you are surrounded by corn and soybeans, wheat and alfalfa you sometimes forget that in our areas of this country they grown things like rice.  Ott, E spent last week down in the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta and toured some rice fields.  He shared these pictures and some information about what he learned. 

Rice is the second largest worldwide produced crop, behind corn.  While Rice can grow anywhere it does require lots of water so that's why it is best grown in water logged areas as you can see in these pictures. 

My new bird and flower garden

I have been trying to attract birds to our yard for awhile now.  I'd hang feeders and birdhouses at various places around the yard with no luck.  At the same time Ott, E was getting tired of mowing around these two large bushes in our back yard.  So I convinced him that if we put down some mulch and plant some flowers he would only have to mow around an oval shape and the birds would have a nice place to hang out.  I think it sounded like a win, win and although the garden is still a work in progress I couldn't wait any longer to share it all with you.

The bird bath is a trash to treasure project I worked on as the previous owner left behind a stand for a gazing ball (that's the base) and the bath is actually the bottom rim of a flower pot they left behind as well.  I spray painted them both a nutmeg color and super glued them together and wa-la instant bird bath.