Monday, January 28, 2013

Pinterest Tested~Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac N Cheese!

WOW this stuff is good...and not too bad for you surprisingly! Another plus is this is really quick to prepare and people love it. My grandma even asked for a copy of the recipe :)

16 oz. dried pasta, I prefer used Penne because its all I had.
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 package of bacon
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 c. milk, any fat content
1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese; divided
1 c. Monterey Jack shredded cheese or Colby-Jack blend, divided
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, leaving some drippings in the pan. Drain bacon on a paper towel. Add chicken to drippings, increase heat to medium-high and saute until no longer pink. Set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot you made the pasta in. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add milk to saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in most of the cheese. (Reserve a handful of each cheese blend to sprinkle on top of casserole.) Add pasta, spices, and chicken and stir to combine.
Spray 9×13″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer pasta to baking pan. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and reserved cheeses. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Farm Baby Lotion~Fun Find

I love themes, I love when I find something that combines the two...I get pretty excited.
 I was shopping in a fun store in Iola, KS called The Classy Attic and stumbled upon this:
How stinkin cute is this?! Farm Baby lotion! The company is Sweet Grass Farm. I think for the next Farm Themed Baby Shower this might be a necessity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Laurel, IA~ Traveling Tuesday

I am really working on my 101 in 1001 and on that list was to visit another "Laurel" Town. I did so back in October and am now just getting around to posting. Posting more often is also on my list :)

This LAUREL like the others I have visited....small, but cute and unique.

Then there was this interesting little place on the outskirts of little buildings.

Monday, January 21, 2013

French Toast Dumplings~ Pinterest Tested

 I tried this recipe out last week. It important that you use the flaky biscuits. It might seem like they won't cook by being simmered in syrup...but they do!

Verdict: They are rich and good, but not sure I will make them again.
Original recipe here.

My recipe with adaptions:

1 can of Flaky Layers Biscuits

1.5 cups Maple Syrup

1/3 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup cinnamon Sugar (1 part Sugar to 1/2 part Cinnamon)


In a medium sauce pot add the Maple Syrup and the Brown Sugar..bring up to a simmer

Cut each raw biscuit into fourths and roll each section into a ball

Gently add them into the simmering syrup..leaving room for them to puff up..they get puffy!

Cover them and let them simmer until they’ve doubled in size..turning them once, to coat each side of the dumplings evenly in the thick and amazing reduced syrup sauce!

Let them cool

While they’re cooling, mix up the cinnamon, sugar, ..set aside. 

Gently toss each dumpling in the Cinnamon/Sugar mix..for that French Toast crunch!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lazy E Ranch & Arena

A few months back we had to go pick up a horse at the Lazy E Ranch in OK. I had heard about it, my parents had been there, and I have wanted to go check out this "famous" large facility.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lazy E, it is located in Guthrie, OK and hosts approx 25 large western events a year, ropings, sales, clinics, and more. Check out their website for more info.

I hope this gives you an idea of how large the arena is.
There are more facilites/barns/corrals/etc
This is the main office where we had to check in before picking up the horse. Lazy E is quite often a great 1/2 way mark to meet to exchange horses. They will board horses for people and handle the paperwork.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Thread of Blue Denim

I am not sure if you are familiar with the book, "A Thread of Blue Denim" if not I suggest you order a copy on ebay or amazon! I loved it and have the other books in the series in my collection and hope to get them read soon. I was sad to hear that the author pasted away last week. I meet the author Pat Leimbach  over 5 years ago at an American Agri-Women convention in Miami. She and her sister drove down themselves from Ohio. At that time Pat was in her 70s and what a hoot she and her sister were, telling about their adventures on the trip and then the "situation" they got themselves into in a not so safe part of Miami!

I was lucky enough to see her a a few other conventions, what a unique and awesome country woman she was! Read this article I found about her passing and the legacy she left behind.....AND then go order her book!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Penzey Spices~Fun Find

I was sitting in the hospital urgent care room a month ago-ish waiting for the Dr. to look at CP's finger he tried to cut off, and there was a lady who was looking at what seemed to be a cookbook, I asked her if it was Taste of Home. To my surprise it was Penzey Spices catalog. She requested a catalog and said when it arrived it had tons of great recipes and tips, "almost as good as a cookbook". I have done the same and can't wait to receive it in the mail shortly!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Traveling Tuesday~ Women In Blue Jeans

Tomorrow I leave for Mitchell, SD for the conference Women In Blue Jeans. I attended last year(did 2 posts, herehere) to get some tips, ideas, and knowledge for hosting my conference Dirt, Denim & Diamonds. It was such a great time last year that I just had to go back for their 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!
 They still have room, I know they would love to have you. If you can't go, but know someone who lives nearby or can, just go to their website for all the info!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pinterest Tested~ Baked Tacos

Its funny that I post this recipe today for Menu Monday, since Crystal posted the same thing on her blog.

This is a quick, easy, and super tasty recipe. One thing I have always disliked about hard shelled tacos is they break so easily when trying to eat them....problem solved! Made these Saturday night for supper, huge hit!

I followed the  original recipe and used my own taco seasoning and used ground pork.

Oven Baked Tacos

2 lbs ground beef (I used pork)
1 small onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies
1 recipe for Homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can low sodium tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
2 cups shredded reduced fat Colby-jack cheese (I used the Fiesta Blend)
18-20 hard taco shells

Optional Condiments-
Lettuce (shredded)
Tomato (diced)
Sour Cream
Olives, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Return to pan, add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes if mixture seems runny.

Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and top with any optional condiments for serving.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all together. Store in an airtight container.
I used all of this on 2 lbs of ground meat with a little water mixed in.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pinterest Tested~ Bacon Double Cheese Burger Dip

Made this for my Christmas Party this year, One of the guys said. "all this needs is the bun"
 So I guess it tastes just like a Bacon Double Cheese Burger!

Easy and I liked it.

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  1. Cook the ground beef in a pan over medium heat, set it aside and drain the grease from the pan.
  2. Cook the bacon in the pan until crispy, about 6-10 minutes, set aside and drain all but a tablespoon of the grease.
  3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Mix the ground beef, bacon, onions and garlic, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mozzarella, cheddar, worcestershire sauce and ketchup and pour it into a baking dish.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top starts turning a light golden brown and then sides are bubbling, about 20-30 minutes.
Original recipe here.