Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mint Brownies

MINT BROWNIES:

Brownies:
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp creme de menthe (or green food coloring and a dash of peppermint extract)

Icing:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In double boiler, melt making chocolate and 1 cup butter over simmering water. (You can do this in the microwave if you are careful and stir every 30 seconds). Let cool. 
Beat eggs and sugar with a whisk until fluffy. 
Add cooled chocolate, vanilla, salt and flour. Whisk until blended. 
Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-15 minutes. 
Let brownies cool. 

To make filling, beat the butter and powdered sugar with a mixer until well blended. Stir in the creme de menthe and blend. Spread mixture over cooled brownies. 
Refrigerate until filling is firm. 
To make icing, melt the chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler until smooth. (You can do this in the microwave as well). Spread over filling. Refrigerate until firm. (You might want to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting to avoid cracking.) 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fun things to do with refrigerator biscuits...

Dad is at work, so I just had the boys and myself to feed. My mother-in-law was cleaning out the fridge and gave us a bunch of stuff (I know, right?) Including a can of buscuits. Since I make my buscuits from scratch I wasn't sure what to do with this gem, but waste not want not right? So I came up with a few random things to do with my can of buscuits... and guess what? Yum!
First, I made a couple of pigs in a blanket for the boys. Then I sprayed a muffin pan with cooking spray and pushed the buscuits into the cups. I filled half of them with ham and cheese and closed them up. I sprinkled some salt, pepper and a little more cheese on top. The other half I seasoned with garlic salt and oregano, added a little bit of tomato sauce, some pepperoni and cheese and made little pizzas. I cooked them however long the package said and they were all so good!
If i hadnt just made chocolate cake i was considering making little apple pies with apple, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Maybe next time... Ill let you know how that goes. ;)

Most Amazing Chocolate Cake!!


I was running out of ingredients and needing to do some shopping, but still wanted to bake. This is what I came up with, and it was the best chocolate cake I have ever had!

Stacey's Chocolate Cake: 
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350. Grease two round baking pans. Mix together dry ingredients in bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Stir in boiling water and mix. Pour batter into pans. (It will be a little thin.) Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting!! 


A boy and his dog... and calf...









MONSTER COOKIES!!

They boys and I were looking for a new recipe and I had never tried these... they were amazing!!

MONSTER COOKIES:

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup sugar


1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 


1 12 -ounce jar peanut butter


1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature


1/2 cup M & Ms 


1/2 cup chocolate chips


1/4 cup raisins *optional


2 teaspoons baking soda


4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and 

butter. Mix well. Stir in the M & Ms, chocolate chips, raisins,( if using), baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by 

rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes (DO NOT OVERBAKE!) Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 





Pinewood Derby

Kemper had so much fun at the CubScouts Pinewood Derby and lock-in this year! 


Anabel - our bottle calf

After spending an entire night out in a snow storm helping the heifers have babies, we have a new friend at home - meet Anabel our bottle calf. 





Chicks!!!

New friends on the farm... 





Farm Sunset

Went out to the barn to feed Anabel her bottle and saw this beautiful sunset... couldn't resist sharing. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

LOVE


Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch

These were seriously the most amazing cinnamon rolls I have ever had! 


HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS:

1 cake or package of yeast
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted shortening
3 tbsp melted butter
1 c luke warm milk
3 c flour
2 beaten eggs
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c raisins

Soften yeast in milk, add sugar and 1/2 c flour and stir. When bubbly add salt, eggs shortening and 1 1/2 c flour. Knead, adding flour as necessary. Let rise until double in size (40 min to 1 hour). Roll to 1/4 inch thick, spread with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and raisins. (I sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and did not add raisins). Roll like a jelly roll on the long side and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices. (TIP: use dental floss or string to cut. Wrap around log and pull together at the top.) Spray or butter a 9x13 pan (I covered the bottom with melted butter and sprinkled it with sugar), place rolls in pan, and let rise until double (again about 40 min to 1 hour). For the topping you can make a caramel with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp melted butter, and 1/4 cup milk or cream and pour it over the rolls before baking, OR you can make a glaze to add after they have been baked. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done. 
GLAZE RECIPE: 
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk or cream to desired consistency
Mix until desired consistency and spread over slightly cooled rolls. 


Home Sweet Home

Here is the main part of our farm from the sky... So in love. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

*Snow Ice Cream*



SNOW ICE CREAM:
4 cups snow
1 cup cream or milk (I used heavy whipping cream)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

So easy and so yummy! 

Snow Fun!!


Homemade Hot Chocolate!

We love hot chocolate at our house. I am not a huge fan of the boxed stuff (the kids like it), and we don't always have it around. I always make homemade for myself just because I like it better. Warning: once you go homemade, you will never go back!

HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE:

1 cup milk or water (I use almond milk)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon to taste
small marshmallows (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat milk or water on  medium heat. In another saucepan, heat sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and cinnamon on medium heat. Stir until melted. (It won't take long). When mixture has melted, pour into saucepan with milk or water and mix. When it has come to your desired heat, pour into a cup, add marshmallows and enjoy! 
So simple and so good. Also, if you are a coffee drinker, the cocoa mixture is amazing as an addition to coffee, or even for homemade chocolate milk. You can refrigerate it and it will keep just like store bought chocolate syrup! 


Baby Bunnies!

We have six baby bunnies living in my living room. I have grown attached and I know I will be so sad when they go to their new homes next week. Love watching them jump around and play. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cleaning a Microsuede Couch!

I honestly did not realize how dirty my couch was until I cleaned it! I was a little skeptical about this, but had to try something, and am sooo happy to say IT WORKED! If it makes you feel more comfortable, I would encourage you to try a test area somewhere on your couch and let it dry. You will need: Rubbing Alcohol, Soft Sponges, a Spray Bottle, and a cleaning brush. You can get all of these things at the dollar store for about a dollar each!! 
First, add the alcohol to the bottle (DO NOT ADD WATER AT ANY TIME WHEN DOING THIS! Water can ruin your couch and doesn't dry very quickly.)Spray the area you are cleaning liberally. (I did it a cushion at a time, and then let it dry- it gets a little stinky. Don't worry, when it dries you won't smell a thing!) Then, rub wet area around in a circular motion (or however you want really) with the sponge. When your sponge gets dirty, toss it and grab a new one. I went through 3 or 4 sponges, and 2 bottles of alcohol. After the area dries, use the dry and clean brush to fluff it up and make it look nice. (This is step is optional). 
Some areas of my couch like the edges and seams needed a second going-over. Also, if you do a part of the cushion, you will have to do the whole thing. Once you clean it, the dirty parts are very noticeable! Good luck! 

Bread from Scratch


This is a super easy bread recipe! If I don't want to make two whole loaves, I just cut the recipe in half and it works fine! 

BREAD: 

2/3 c granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp shortening
2 1/2 c lukewarm water
2 tsp yeast
flour to thicken

Combine sugar, salt, lard and water. Mix in yeast. Set in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add flour to make a soft dough. Let rise 30 minutes. Punch down and then let rise another 45 minutes. Punch down again. Let rise 1 hour and for into 2 loaves. Let rise to almost double in volume. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, then finish at 350 for another 40 minutes or so. 

Our Backyard
















Our first taste of nice weather!

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