Monday, August 26, 2013

What's Cooking- Bacon Alfredo Potatoes

Cooking is one of my passions, but I don't seem to ever find the time to try new recipes or have time to make some of the homemade items that I would like to make. I am a huge fan of  The Pioneer Woman and I am always looking at recipes that she has done that my family might enjoy. Several weeks ago, I copied down a recipe for individual key lime pies that I was wanting to try.

Being that yesterday was a little slower day than most, I decided that I would try to make the pies. I also decided that I would attempt to make homemade yeast rolls and I would also make venison steaks in the crock pot. So I put the steaks in and let them cook with brown gravy and beef bouillon on them. I started making the rolls and the pies. The dough for the rolls had to rise and the curd for the pies had to set for a couple of hours, but I managed to make the crust and whipped cream for the pies while I was waiting.

The pies were easy to make but required several steps, but I enjoyed them and the family liked them. They are certainly going to be on a list of desserts for us. I regret to say that the rolls were not as fortunate. They looked like biscuits instead of rolls and I discovered the you must set them in the pan close together for them to raise right.

The steaks were delicious as were the potatoes and the pies.I had also made a new type of potatoes and the family loved them too. I will put the recipe for them at the end of this page.I would encourage each of my readers to try new recipes and to find the time to cook.

Bacon Alfredo Potatoes

6-8 medium potatoes, sliced
1 jar Prego Bacon Alfredo sauce
8 oz. shredded cheese, any flavor

Grease a medium baking dish with the butter. Slice potatoes and place into baking dish. Pour sauce over the potatoes and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove  from oven and add cheese to the top of it. Cover with foil and finish baking for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Good Sunday morning! As I sit here with my coconut coffee thinking about what the week has been like, I must say that God has blessed, even through some trials. My daughter and I went to a southern gospel sing last night and I must say that it was a true blessing! We heard three groups- The Naile Family, The Parsons, and The Talley's.

Anyone who has ever seen the Talley's perform know what a blessing they are. However, I must say that last night they totally were the blessing that Columbus, Indiana needed. The entire church seemed touched by their music and I was brought to tears when Mrs. Talley told a story about being in a Walmart parking lot and seeing a young lady holding a sign asking for money. She started to ignore her but the Lord would not let her. As she spoke to the young woman she found out that the lady was without a job and had two small children at home, she was embarrassed to be there but her rent was due and she didn't know what else to do. ( In the area we live in there are many people standing near Walmart with these types of signs) Mrs. Talley prayed with her and when she asked her name she simply replied, "Angel" and and Mrs. Talley said "Of course it was". Isn't God amazing?  Of course, she prayed with her and handed her some money, but said as she started in the store, God's voice said "you know what you need to do". How many times do we hear that little voice and know that He is telling us that we know what we need to do, but we don't do?

I have a story similar to share and never thought to share it until last night. Last year at Christmas time, I was shopping (for groceries) and wondering how I was going to buy a nice gift for my husband. While I was working two jobs, I still was struggling to make the extra money for gifts. I had both girls covered, but really wanted to get him something nice. As I was leaving, I noticed a young man standing near the road with one of those signs "family in need". Not an unusual sight, but something about this sign made me take an extra look. It was raining (or possibly a wet snow, can't remember) and he was freezing. As I pulled up to the stop light where he was standing, I felt a sudden need to help him. ( There God was telling me that I knew what I needed to do). I told my daughter to look in my purse, I had two dollars. Wrestling on obeying, I thought Lord, I need that two dollars, I don't have much in the bank and I need that. Well, I heard that voice again, I knew what I needed to do, but didn't want to obey. Well, I gave in and handed the man the two dollars and told him that I was sorry it was not much, but it might help. He cried and thanked me and said, " God Bless".

 As I started to drive away, I felt a sense of peace. The very next day, a young man came into the store where I worked and paid for his purchase in coins.Two of them were older coins so after he left, I bought those coins with some change that I had from my purse. When I got home that evening, I looked these coins up and found that they were peace dollars and were worth some money. The next day I took them to the local coin shop and sold them for enough to purchase my husband a nice gift. I was so thrilled and thanked God all the way home. I was so thankful that I had followed that little voice! I knew what I needed to do and I am glad that I obeyed. God provides and blesses, if we just allow Him to.

Also, another blessing last night I have to share. A young man in our community is fighting for his life after suffering from a hear stroke during soccer practice last week. I don't personally know him, but I have friends whose son is best friend's with this boy. As I was sitting in that church last night, I was thinking of him and his family and praying for this young man, the next song that The Talley's sang was " The Broken Ones" and it speaks of how God loves and cares for the broken ones and how if we all were to trust Him  there would be fewer broken ones. I thought about this young man and suddenly felt a calm, peace come over me. I am sure this is a sign to me that he will pull through this. Once again, isn't God amazing?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Country Kitchen Cooking

Summer is winding down with each weekend that we see go by and that is sad, but here it means that we are beginning to see harvesting done and that plants are ready to be picked and fresh vegetables are in abundance. My husband planted tomatoes, cucumbers,green onions, and green peppers. We have enjoyed several peppers and onions, but the tomatoes are not doing so well. It seems that the chickens like them as much as we do.

A neighbor has given us more cucumbers and banana peppers that we could probably ever consume, but I am always looking for ways to use them. I greatly enjoy cucumbers sliced and dipped in ranch dressing. Friends are always nice to have when you are speaking of sharing the garden abundance. Yesterday, I purchased some corn from another friend and so tonight that is what is cooking in the kitchen.

We prefer to freeze our corn for winter and I usually leave some on the cob and some off the cob and that is what I am doing at the moment. To prepare it to freeze either on or off the cob, I prefer to blanch it and then freeze it. I boil a large pan of water and place the ears in and let boil about 7 minutes. I then remove from the boiling water and place into one side of my kitchen sink filled with cold water.

Once in the cold water for approximately 5 minutes, I remove from the water and place it onto a cookie sheet to set for 10-15 minutes. Then if it is corn that is to be removed from the cob, I simply cut it off and place into freezer bags. If  it is to remain on the cob, I simply place the ears into the freezer bag, date the bags and place in the freezer to enjoy for a later time or in the middle of the winter.

I recommend that anytime you are freezing corn that you blanch it first. I feel that it adds to the flavor of the corn. I am going to buy some more tomorrow because after looking at the corn, I do not feel that it is enough for us for winter.

Well, the timer is going off, so I better get back to my ears of corn. Until  tomorrow- corn is cooking in the country kitchen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Powerball Winners

As in many other states in the United States, Indiana does participate in the Powerball lottery game. I usually don't buy tickets as I see it as a waste of money, but at times when the jackpot is extremely large, I will buy. Luckily, last nights' game, I did not buy a ticket for and I am thankful that I didn't . As I watch television this morning, I learn that the 448 million dollars was won by three different tickets in New Jersey and Minnesota. The winning numbers are 5,25,30,58,59 and Powerball number of 32.If you bought a ticket in either of those states, go check your numbers now.

The chances of winning were one in over 700 million and I knew that my chances were very slim and I knew that I might as well spend the money on ice cream than on a ticket. Yes, it would be nice to win that type of money, but I am thankful for what I have and although we all dream what we could do with that type of money, I am also aware of the troubles that can come with this type of money.

Many winners have ended up broke and in debt. Many have spoke of eventually wishing they had not have won the money. I am very aware of the family that you would suddenly have coming out of the woodwork , so to speak. I am also very aware that many do not think ahead when they get the money and do not plan to put it to use.

If I would win, I know I would want some put into trust funds for my kids and I also know I would buy a horse ranch that would make myself some money as well. I also know that I would continue to work a small part time job as I know I don't want to lose touch with my roots and who I truly am. Of course, I could work when I want and I could spend many more hours on horseback and that would be fine with me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Public School vs. Home School

Many people debate for hours on whether children should attend public school or be home schooled and there could be pros to each side of it, but I have not debated it any year since I started home schooling my daughters. This year as public schools are starting earlier than ever before, I am thankful that this debate is over for us.

Our neighbors' kids all go to school today and while they are sitting in a classroom, my daughter and I will be able to do fun stuff together. Her dad is taking her fishing while I work and then we will possibly ride our horses after I return home. The temps are supposed to increase along with the humidity tomorrow and that will mean that we are not as active outside during the day, but it also means that once the sun starts going down ( usually after 8:30 p.m.) that she will be able to be outside while the other kids are going to be in order to attend school tomorrow.

I have been working on school plans and I am excited to begin our new school year. We usually start the Monday after Labor Day ( yes, school should start after Labor Day and end in May - it is still possible) and we usually take the month of December off other than baking , art creations, and music appreciation, and we still usually finish in May. It is amazing that public schools have to start so early and are still usually attending until the last of May or the first of June.

Our school year is going to begin with learning Spanish, Oceanography, and math on a wonderful website called allinonehomeschool . After reading the Easy Peasy Home School site, I have decided that I want to go down a new path this year and see if my daughter can learn more by doing more work online.

I will be posting pictures soon and I will keep you up to date on what is going on. I am thinking of starting a new blog too, so just keep watching for my site.

Mar 16 - Sick Again

 Hello! It  is Thursday and I am sick again. I have some kind of infection that seems to be attacking multiple places at once. I have a UTI,...