Monday, December 30, 2013

Link Up: 2013 in Review

2013 in Review

I hope each of you had a great Christmas. I was blessed as always to get time with my family. It's on to the new year, so here are a few reflections on what the last year has brought. I found this link-up via Jenessa over at And Thats Beautiful To Me, she jumped on board with Nicole at Three 31. I was hesitant at first and then I thought, "why not, years from now it will be good to look back on!"



What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
1) Took a big girl serious job
2) Moved to a house of my own
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions?
Nope, not really
Will you make more for next year?
Yes, and hopefully I can keep them
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! some of my best friends had little ones.
Did anyone close to you die?
Not family, but some very close friends.
What countries did you visit?
Canada, "eh!"
What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
To be content. 
What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
June 2, start date of new job and the day my MS diploma arrived in the mail. 
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The job
What was your biggest failure?
Not sure, I have a few friendships or relationships that I wish I had saved, worked harder on, or do a better job keeping in touch with them
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully no!
What was the best thing you bought?
No major purchases, pricewise probably repair on my car :(
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My understanding and loving family!  
Where did most of your money go?
FUEL! My car in general
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My puppy (yes, I know, I still haven't blogged about that)
What song will always remind you of 2013?
None
Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder?
Tie
Thinner or fatter?
Unfortunately the latter
Richer or poorer?
Breakeven
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Worked-out, enjoyed life
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Cried
How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas with my amazing family. 
Did you fall in love in 2013?
No
How many one-night stands?
NONE!
Who were your best friends?
Abby and Anna
What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
I don't think anything, correct me if I am wrong
What were your favorite TV programs?
Probably watched less TV this year than in the past.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate people, and thankfully there isn't anyone that I am more annoyed with.
What was the best book you read in 2013?
Did I read a book?!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
....
What did you want and get?
puppy
What did you want but did NOT get?
New vehicle
What were your favorite films this year?
Madea movies
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had a huge Dirty 30 Party! That means I turned 3-0, ugh
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can't really say, I do think that I am realizing more every day, and year what I truly want out of life. 
What kept you sane?
My family!
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not to into that 
What political issue stirred you the most?
Don't have time to even go here. 
Who do you miss?
My friends, both guys and girls that I have made years of memories with, but as we "grow up" it seems we grow apart or don't make time for each other. 

Who are the best new persons you met this year?
My co-workers 
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Life it too short to not do, say or act on how you feel. 
Quote that sums up your year:
I have a few, ok to many to list but here are a few that jumped out at me 
 

I invite you to join up and do this year end review! Link up at: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=302807 and check out how other blogger’s year end reviews went!
How was your 2013?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Cowboy Christmas!

Being a graduate of Oklahoma State University made me like this even a little more. This is wonderful, its perfect, couldn't do it better myself,  reminds me of home!

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you!!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Eggnog Pound Cake

I made this tasty little cake this past Friday for a Christmas party.Quote from my best friend, " O my gosh,Its really good, it tastes just like eggnog!"


Recipe & Picture from Southern Living.


 I made a few tweaks here and there!

Ingredients

  • (16-oz.) package pound cake mix 
  • 1 1/4 cups eggnog
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp vanilla

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat all ingredients together at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes. Pour into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.***(This wasn't big enough, so one 9x5, and then 2 mini loaves)
  2. 2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Jalapeño Corn Dip

This is the time of year for Christmas parties, and parties mean food! 


Photo from: The Sunny Side of Life

I found this tasty looking Hot Jalapeño Corn Dip over at The Sunny Side of Life and decided to give it a try. Personally, I would add more Jalapeños make it a little more spicy. Also, it isn't too shabby cold before baked.

Ingredients
  1. 2 cans sweet corn, drained
  2. 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced (Or equivalent of canned or jar version. More or less to your personal taste)
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  6. 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  7. 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  9. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  11. dash of hot sauce
  12. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚.
  2. In medium bowl, mix together mayo, sour cream, spices, and hot sauce.
  3. Fold in corn, jalapeño peppers, onions, and 3/4 cups of blended cheese.
  4. Place in greased 2 qt. baking dish, and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for approx. 20 min. or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. You can substitute fresh or frozen corn for the canned corn. I simply used what I had on hand.
  2. You can also substitute 1 cup of mexican blend cheese for the monterey jack and cheddar.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Does the Farmer Say?

I am not sure how many of you have seen, "What Does the Fox Say?" I first saw it over at Crystal Cattle. Honesty, it was kinda annoying, yet I laughed. I found a much better version.

What Does the FARMER Say? As I watched it, I kept saying over and over, "Oh thats so true!"  My favorite part might be the, "your arms are tan, your legs are white" or "Wave, Wave, Wave,"

Do you have a favorite part?

Watch Here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyMv4kkSCvk&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hooded Bath Towels & Tutorial


I was recently invited to a baby shower for TWINS! The mom-to-be is a long time friend, and fellow crafter, so I wanted to make something myself ...Oh wait, whats new :)
I remember how my hooded towel was my favorite so I thought this would be a great gift, and probably useful to have when bathing twins.  Nursery theme is Carebears, so when I found this cute fabric I was pretty happy. 

I think they turned out well, one boy one girl so they are similar but not exact. 
Each set is a hooded bath towel, matching wash cloth, and burp rag. 

I really like the tutorial I found at This & That. Simple with easy to follow instructions. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"THE" South Dakota Snow Storm

I am sure that many of you have seen the heartbreaking pictures of the snow storm that hit South Dakota last week. They keep rolling in on my Facebook newsfeed. Part of my Dad's ranch is in SD (not affected) so this makes me sit up and pay attention. Not only is this devastating to ranchers for the obvious reason but to make matters worse we are at a time when cattle prices are higher than they have been in years. The effects of this storm will last more than a few days, or months...it will be years to fully recover this great loss. It is estimated that the loss could tall up to 275,000 head, with ranches loosing 5-20% of their herd.  So keep those farmers and ranchers whose lifestyle and living rely on agriculture in your prayers.


Just to add more to the story, due to the government shut down there is zero aid for these farmers and ranchers. The national media is barely talking about this, so to get the issue the attention and help it needs we need to share the story.

I have compiled a list of some, only SOME of the articles/blogs/etc that have been published about "THE" storm.It encouraging to look over the posts and see how many people, businesses and organizations are spreading the word and helping with recovery.

The South Dakota Cowgirl

Tri-State Livestock News

MT Stockgrowers Blog

Opened Door

NBC News

Ranch Radio KBHB

Big Balls in Cowtown

Rapid City Journal

Just a Ranch Wife

The Bismark Tribune

KOTA News

MSN.com 

Dawn Winks:Dewdrops

KOTATV.com

Farmer Bloggers

BEEF Magazine

Pretty Work

Argus Leader

Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Harry Whitney Photography Show

Just trying to catch up on posts from months and months ago. My Uncle is kinda amazing. Not only is a talented horse trainer but also an fantastic photographer.( You can like his page on Facebook here) This summer while he was visiting home, we decided to host a photography show.  I think it turned out really well. My mom was the genius behind the food and decor as seen here:
WINE & CHEESE
The set up, before the crowd arrived.>>>>
 Then they started showing up >>>>
 AND PACKED the place>>>>


Monday, September 30, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers

I adapted this from several recipes.Pretty bummed my picture doesn't look as good as all those others, but it tasted AWESOME, and that's what matters!

Ingredients
1      packages mini  sausage-Lil smokies
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1T finely chopped onions
10 jalapeno peppers
1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half

Directions
1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 
2.    Mix shredded cheese, garlic, and chopped onions with the cream cheese.
3.    Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Stuff each jalapeno half with equal portions of the cream cheese mixture, lay a lil smokie on top. Wrap with half slices of bacon. Secure bacon with toothpicks.
4.    Arrange wrapped jalapenos in a large, shallow baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until the bacon is evenly brown.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Green Beans Galore: Freezing Tutorial

Last week I posted about the 5 gallons worth of green beans we picked (90% was my mom's doings).
We decided to freeze our share. Freezing is a simple and quick way to preserve them, plus our family likes frozen better than canned.

 Step 1. Cut/Snap the ends off & into bite sizes.
Step  2.Blanch them ( place in boiling water, then into ice cold water) The beautiful bright green color is preserved. Drain
Step 3. Let dry on towel.
Step 4. When dried place in ziplock baggies and label.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Avocado basil pasta

I had pinned this recipe months ago, and was excited when the basil came up in the garden so I could finally make this! 

Ingredients:

8 ounces bow tie pasta
2 medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Cook bow tie pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. In a large bowl combine the avocados, chopped tomatoes, crumbled bacon, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Add the pasta and combine, then sprinkle with cheese.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sweet Corn Potato Chips~ Fun Find

I don't know if I have mentioned before or not (insert sarcasm) that I really like unique foods, flavors, things.... 
I ran on to Herr's Potato Chips and kinda have a personal mission to try all their weird flavors. I have had hot dog, ribs, steak, and the ketchup ones. But I hadn't even seen or heard of these little gems < SWEET CORN>  How great were these, that perfect treat when you don't have any sweet corn or its too messy to eat (especially when driving)


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Theme Thursday: THE Theme Tree

There is a tree in my "new" county. I noticed it one time as I drove by and then when I went by again it was different, I don't travel this road too often so call me slow....but I realize they change it every month with a coordinating theme. This was August. Gotta take a drive soon and check out this months.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life's Blessings- A Bountiful Garden

A friend of mine asked me to house sit for her a couple weeks back. She has a lovely garden and was happy to share her produce with me and my family. My mom got really excited and decided to pick green beans. These pictures don't do it justice.

Check out this haul........
                                          
She called it quits after an overflowing 5 gallon bucket full.  I will be posting next week what we did with our share of green beans.

These are some of the biggest bell peppers I have seen. I wear a size 8.5 to give you a little perspective.
And finally, some of the cutest little eggplant looking peppers! Her husband calls them "Loco Peppers" I venture to say they might be a little warm :)

 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Caesar BLT Pasta Salad

Caesar BLT Pasta Salad (adapted from original at Food Network)

This was a huge hit at a BBQ a few weeks ago. 


16 oz. mini farfalle (bowties) I didn't have any so I used egg noodles
1 lb. bacon
1 pint sugar plum tomatoes, sliced
1 c.  Caesar dressing
1 c. sliced black olives
1/2 c. parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
Juice of one lemon
4 c. chopped romaine lettuce
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water to al dente, then drain. (I cooked mine the night before and tossed it with the olive oil and lemon juice and marinated it in the refrigerator overnight.) This keeps the pasta from sticking together.
Cut the bacon into bite size pieces and cook in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard the bacon grease; leaving just a tablespoon or so in the skillet. Add the sliced tomatoes and minced garlic and toss in the skillet for just a couple of minutes to cook the garlic and soften the tomatoes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool.
Since the pasta is nice and cold from being refrigerated overnight; just mix in the Caesar dressing, bacon, tomato mixture, olives and Parmesan, then toss in the chopped lettuce at the end and it’s ready to go! Serve at room temperature.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dirty 30th Birthday Party-Food

Well, believe it or not I am 3-0. Yep there I said it, I'm 30. Going to let the whole world know. Really didn't want to see this day come, but I know life could be worse, its only a number.

I had a Dirty 30 party so since today is Menu Monday I will focus on the food and then later show all the AMAZING decorations my mom did.

"DIRTY DOGS"- hot dog bar

 "MUDDY BUDDIES"- Puppy Chow as most of us call it!

"MUDDY WATER" - Root Beer & Cream Soda
 "CANDY ROCKS"- a chocolate cereal mix that was covered in chocolate ( a huge hit)
 The food corner
 "DIRTY MARTINI"- Dirt Dessert in martini glasses. Green sour drops were skewered on chocolate stick
 "MUD PIES" - Little Debbie cakes


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Baby Shower Gifts-Changing pad

One of my best friends Abby is expecting a baby October 23rd. I co-hosted a shower with her aunt this past Saturday. I had seen a few changing pad tutorials on Pinterest, was at a baby shower over a month ago and a lady had made on, which everyone commented how handy they were so..... I decided that's what I was going to make her.

First I picked the fabric, paisleys are Abby's favorite and since they didn't find out the gender I needed something neutral.....Turquoise is always a hit with a country gal.

Then I bought a towel (yep that's my secret, not the terry cloth material by the yard.) and the Velcro.

Finally, I combined a few tutorials such as this one and this one.

I am really happy how it turned out.

TA-DA!


 There are 2 pockets at the bottom, one larger to hold wipes and then a small that would fit lotions, creams and other items.
 I had left over fabric so I made a matching burp cloth.

Here are the favors. Shower colors were yellow and green. Those are also the nursery colors.
 Microwave popcorn with a wrap saying " Ready to POP! Thanks for welcoming a baby to the ranch"


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Articles for Ag Women

Since my Masters research was done on the topic of women in agriculture I get kinda nerdy when it comes to articles about this subject. My colleagues now email me when they come across an article that might interest me.  I am by no means a feminist or a "women can do it just as good as guys" although there are quite a few things we can do as good as them :) But I appreciate people realizing that women are a vital part of agriculture.
 Here are a few links to articles that I wanted to share.

Empowering Women Landowners to Become Conservation Leaders


Old McDonald Might Be A Lady: More Women Take Up Farming


West Texas woman shows TCU students ladies can ranch as well as cowboys

Monday, July 29, 2013

Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream

And for our last Ice Cream recipe celebrating this month, is Buttered Popcorn!
Yep you heard it, just like the Jelly Belly's Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bean, but in ice cream form.

Its really good, again that sweet 'n salty mix.


Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream
Recipe Adapted from Almost Bourdain

2.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream (aka whipping cream)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
*for added flavor, use butter flavoring such as Watkins
2 heaping cups of buttered popcorn (your choice! Either microwave or air/stove popped tossed with butter and salt)

1. Combine milk, cream,  sugar , vanilla and the popcorn in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat until almost boiling and then remove from heat. Let rest for 30 minutes to infuse the popcorn flavor

2. Using a cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer strain out the popcorn and discard.

3. Chill in refrigerator, then place in ice cream maker and proceed as directed. 




Monday, July 22, 2013

Avocado earrings, sweaters, cars, kids.... AND Avocado Coconut Ice Cream

Since Subway made avocados all the rage right now, I thought this fit in perfectly. 
 I know this sounds a little funky, but it ended up being one of my families favorite. Super rich and creamy. Had a banana-ish flavor to it. Definitely worth trying!
This is the recipe I used and modified to our liking

Ingredients
1 ½ c. milk
1 c. coconut milk
½ c. sugar
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
¾ tsp lemon juice (I used lime, because I was out of lemon)

Directions:

Puree milk, coconut cream, sugar, avocados, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for several hours until cold. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Coffee Ice Cream

Another Homemade Ice Cream Recipe to Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

This is not a recipe I found, this is developed by yours truly.

2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup ice coffee ( I used the already made International House Iced Coffee)
1 T vanilla
2 T instant coffee grounds.(you can add more for a stronger coffee flavor)

Combine all,  place in mixer and you are ready to go!

Simple and tasty!