Author: Crazy on the Farm (Page 1 of 10)

Goodbye to the Camry I Drove like a Tundra

Saying goodbye is never easy. Especially when it is someone who has been with you through thick and thin, helped you raise your kids, been with you on every trip you have ever taken. This gal has carried around more empty food wrappers, cups, backpacks, animal feed, and whatever else we loaded up in her.

Wrecked Car

I loved my Toyota Camry. This was my second one. Her life in my custody ended at  216,000 miles.  My plan was to make it to 400,000… because I hear Toyotas will go that far.  I was actually hoping to drive it one more year and give it to my daughter who will be driving soon.

But, my plans were shattered! Literally.

A month ago, my daughter and I were headed to my son’s last basketball game. It was 5:00 p.m. and broad daylight. Suddenly, we had a large doe in front of us trying to get across the highway. She wasn’t getting good traction on the highway. Her legs were moving in slow motion. I was slowing down to miss her, all the while watching her legs slip and slide.

wrecked car 2

I’m the girl who knows there are always more than one deer. They never travel alone. I always look out for number 2! Always…except that day.

The one in front of me had my full attention because she had darted out so suddenly. Then, BAM! We were hit by number 2. We never saw him coming…we only heard the loud, shattering crash. My car never lost footing or budged off the road, but we knew instantly the damage was bad.

I slowly pulled over to try and figure out how bad the damage was. I tried to get out, but the driver’s side door would not open. I had to crawl over to the passengers side to get out.

We were close to the town where the basketball game was being played. We were trying to figure out if we should leave the car and catch a ride, drive it home, or press on and go to the game. After several phone calls and some time evaluating, we decided it would be okay to drive it on to the game. I actually continued to drive it for a few weeks after this happened.

Long story short, my car needed a lot of repairs. And, since it was 6 years old and had so many miles on it, my insurance company wanted to total it out, buy it back from me, etc. They paid me the value of the car, but it defeated my goal of making it to 400,000 miles. And, now I had to shop for a new vehicle…a process I never enjoy.

I’m not an easy customer when it comes to buying a new vehicle.  Here is a list of my must-haves:

  • must be bigger than a car
  • must have bigger tires than previous car (I had chronic flat tires.)
  • must sit off the ground
  • must have enough room in the back seat to fit my long-legged boy child
  • must hold up to dirt roads and high miles
  • must meet my middle-of-the-road budget
  • must hold its value even with high, rough miles

Those requirements are as hard to meet as you would expect. I’m so in love with Toyota that it gave me hives to think about driving anything else. I drive SO MUCH and live on such a rough road, I don’t trust anything else to hold up to my driving demands. I average 40-45,000 miles per year.

Normally, my car looks like this. This gives you some indication of why I might need something different this go around.

dirty car

The reason I’ve driven a car for so long and not a pickup is because fuel has been really expensive until recently. And, for someone who drives as much as I do, good gas mileage is important.

On occasion I did wash the beast…but, it never lasted long. Proof here.

clean car

So, goodbye wonderful Ms. Camry. I’m certain your manufacturer never intended for you to be in the places that I took you. But, you were always up for the challenge.

I drove you more like a Tundra, and you never gave me grief. You drove down any road I put you on, even through deep muddy ruts and NEVER once got stuck.

You always kept us safe. The deer (there were others!) were no match to your strong frame. You look innocent and prissy, but the truth is …you were a beast. And, you never cost me a cent in maintenance. For that, I’m forever grateful.

May someone purchase you at a salvage yard, fix you up and keep on pushing you to that 400,000 mark. Goodbye good and faithful one. You will be missed.

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Chicken Puns

If you have follow me on facebook, you have seen my chicken puns. But, I thought I would share them here on the blog. They aren’t all about chickens, there is one with a rabbit and one with a dog. It’s all in good fun.

Do you  have any good puns? If so, leave them in the comments and you just might see them in a photo.

Enjoy.

People Will Stare

Merry Chickmas

Half Past Hen

Eggcellent

I suspect fowl play

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Pork Tenderloin Big Salad

After a weekend of livestock showing and eating out of the concession stand, it was imperative that I get some veggies in my system. I needed greens! A girl can only live on meat for so long.

PT Salad

I went to my local grocery store and got everything they sold that I could possibly put into a  salad. Pickings are slim in a small grocery store.

I even made my own ranch dressing because we all know that stuff is the bomb.com. And, this needed to be the ultimate salad…after all, I had waited long enough!

IMG_0814

You can add whatever meat you have on hand. Grilled chicken or steak works great.  As a matter of fact, I ate this for lunch the next two days and topped it with chicken. I can never get too much salad. Yum!

The pork was smoked in the smoker and then finished off in the oven. It was delicious. My husband thought I was crazy for putting on a salad. He prefers his meat in a tortilla.

Pork Tenderloin Salad
Print Recipe
A big salad for a big appetite when you want salad as your main meal. 🙂
Servings Prep Time
1 person 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 15 minutes
Pork Tenderloin Salad
Print Recipe
A big salad for a big appetite when you want salad as your main meal. 🙂
Servings Prep Time
1 person 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Cut up your veggies and assemble the salad with all ingredients.
  2. Top with the pork tenderloin.
  3. Drizzle with ranch dressing.
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Chipotle Chicken Chili

Have I mentioned lately that I got the new Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas? Have I mentioned lately that I heart it very much?

IMG_0583I’ve been cooking my way through it at an above average speed, lol.  Recently I made the Chipotle Chicken Chili and it was goooood. And, it was something totally different than anything else I make.

Tried something new: Check!

IMG_0582It was easy to make so don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. I was all out of Mexican beer so I substituted with chicken broth and it was fine.

This dish is filling and not too spicy. Even the kids enjoyed it.

Chipotle Chicken Chili
Print Recipe
This is more like a robust chicken stew with a Mexican zing.
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Chipotle Chicken Chili
Print Recipe
This is more like a robust chicken stew with a Mexican zing.
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-12 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. 1. Start with your favorite dutch oven or large pot.
  2. 2. Heat the olive oil and cook onions until they start to soften
  3. 3. Throw the chicken in.
  4. 4. Cook 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. 5. Pour in all but 1/4 cup of the beer.
  6. 6. Then add the tomatoes, the chipotles, and all the beans.
  7. 7. Stir to combine, then add the chili powder, cumin, and salt.
  8. 8. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  9. 9. Next, combine the masa marina and the remaining beer. Whisk it with a fork until smooth.
  10. 10. Pour it into the chili. This will thicken it up more and give it a nice corn flavor. (I actually used the wet masa and it worked well too.)
  11. 11. Next, squeeze in the lime juice.
  12. 12. Then, stir it around and let the chili simmer for another 10 minutes.
  13. 13. Serve it with sour cream, cheese and cilantro.
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Humble & Gentle

Chalkboard Sign

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The Stock Show Life

Each year somewhere around January 15th we attend an event.

stock show 2

This event is made up of a slew of animals, kids, anxious parents (mainly dads) and controlled chaos.

Stock show dad

This event is full of crazy emotions like, “Did we do enough, pick the right animal, feed it properly, will it stress out or just act a fool? Will it pee or poop on one of the kids this year? Who will have the first melt down…the kids, the animals…the parents?”

For mom, it usually goes like this, “Do the kids have decent clothes to wear? Do they have boots or a belt?  Pants that are long enough because they grew a foot from last year? Oops, I forgot new clothes.”

Yep, it’s stock show season.

stock show pig

And it arrives each year with a bang! Even though we have had animals since summer time, this event seems to sneak up on us right after the holidays and I never feel prepared.

Why do we put ourselves through this craziness? It truly is an exhausting weekend full of roller coaster emotions for kids and parents.

I can’t give you an exact answer of why we do it. It’s just what we do. We live in rural Texas. We are 4-H people. It’s what we did as kids. We enjoy animals. We joined the club and drank the kool-aid! ha

stock show chickens

But, that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something rare that I saw this weekend at the show barn.

Friday there were about two dozen kids at the barn getting animals settled, weighed in, etc.  Many of the kids had not arrived, some had school and there were just a few there. That afternoon it had finally warmed up enough to be outside. The set-up crew (the dads) had brought in round bales of hay and placed them against the tarp on the open end of the barn to hold it down and keep the wind out. The hay bales were in a line down the side of the barn about 5  yards apart. Do you get the picture?

On one of my many trips to the car, I see a young man jumping from bale to bale. Sometimes he makes it with no problem, sometimes he doesn’t and slides down the side of the bale.  It was a picture perfect moment, but my camera wasn’t handy at the time. (I kept telling myself I would come back and snap a picture,  but I never did.) It truly was something you would see in a magazine depicting a country setting.

A little later, I saw the entire group of kids outside playing catch with some kind of a ball… I don’t even know what kind of ball it was because that is not what caught my attention.

This small group of kids was made up of all different ages, from different schools, boys and girls, playing catch…together. They were scattered all over the parking lot throwing the ball from end to end. In the background was a new kid jumping from bale to bale.

No one was on their phone.

No one was snapping a picture.

I didn’t even see anyone sitting on the side lines. They were all engaged in the game.

They were laughing, running, playing and acting like kids…even the teenagers! All different ages, playing in unison and having a blast while they were doing it.

All the hard work is really not about the animals. For me, it’s about that exact moment. Seeing your kids put down their device and interact with others and have old-fashion genuine fun and making awesome memories…that’s what it’s all about.

Everyone survived the weekend and came home fully exhausted. Some came home with ribbons and others with buckles.  But, we all came home with new stories, new friends and new family memories.

stock show life

That is the stock show life.

 

 

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Peanut & Pretzel Candy

This simple, sweet treat has long been a family favorite. My mom used to make it when I was a teenager and I couldn’t resist it! It’s very addictive.


This year I needed something quick for stockings at work. I whipped this up in no time. It took longer to cool than to actually make.

It only takes 3 ingredients and it’s made in the microwave!

  • 1/2 bag of pretzels
  • 1 package of white almond bark
  • 1 bag of plain salted peanuts
  1. In a large bowl, microwave white almond bark for 1 minute, then in 15 second intervals, mixing each time with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add pretzels and peanuts.
  3. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Spread out on Parafin or wax paper and let cool.
  5. Once it’s cool, use a knife to cut into pieces or break it up.
  6. Seal in airtight container or baggies.


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Cheesy Potato Soup

Winter made a very rude appearance the weekend after Christmas.  Sunday the temps were hovering around 30 degrees with wind and sleet making it feel about 10 degrees.

It was 80 degrees on Christmas day. Everyone complained that it didn’t feel like Christmas, and they were right. That week, people were out Christmas shopping in shorts and flip flops.

By this time of year, we are usually already experiencing winter temperatures.

IMG_7091

Much of our region was without power…some for over 24 hours with blizzard-like conditions outside. Wind and sleet made it impossible to do anything outside.

We were blessed to not lose our electricity. And, since I had some potatoes that were going bad…I decided to make some soup. (My husband actually accused me of being addicted to cooking … he said something about there being plenty to eat in the fridge! I couldn’t understand him. lol)

I’ve had this recipe pinned for a while. You can find it over at the Wicked Noodle. Her version is loaded down with lots of goodies. I scaled mine back to just cheese and potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the other stuff, but I didn’t have it in stock.

This soup was excellent and filled that need for warm, comfort food during the cold spell. It’s a great base and you could add anything to it.

[recipe=title”Cheesy Potato Soup”]

Ingredients

  • 2-4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1  32-ounce container chicken broth (4 cups)
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  •  optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, crumbled bacon, minced fresh jalapeno, a drizzle of adobo sauce

Directions

  1. Salute the onions in the butter in a stock pot. (I used a big one to allow plenty of room for boiling and mashing.)
  2. Once the onions are translucent, mix in the flour.
  3. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and mix well. Make sure all the flour is well dissolved.
  4. Add potato chunks. Broth should cover or come close to covering the potatoes. This will allow them to cook evenly. If you have too many potatoes you can add a little bit of water.
  5. Cook until the potatoes are almost done. You will want to have some texture in your soup so they don’t need to be over cooked.
  6. Begin mashing them in the pot with a potato masher. They should be chunky.
  7. Add cheese and stir it around until melted.
  8. Add milk and stir together to mix soup. Allow it to cook until heated all the way through. Your heat should be kept low so it doesn’t scorch.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Top with additional topping if you like. [/recipe]

Potato Soup 1

Potato Soup 2

Potato Soup 31

Potato Soup 3

Potato Soup 32

Potato Soup 4Potato Soup 5

Potato soup 11

 

 

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing

Nothing says Christmas like pipping hot made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls..right?

cinnamon rolls 22

I started these before everyone woke up on Christmas morning. But, as Christmas goes, the kids soon followed. As the dough was rising, we started opening gifts. I’m not sure exactly when I got back to finishing them, but I know it was noon before we ate them. 🙂

These came straight out of the Pioneer Woman cookbook. I have made them many times before, but never with this frosting. I normally do the maple frosting…which I love…but wanted to try something different.

For those of you with a love/hate relationship with yeast, I promise this is not hard. Make sure your yeast is not out of date. You can’t take chances when you have this much time invested. (Mine actually expired in November but sometimes I live on the edge.)

I am linking you back to the Pioneer Woman website where you can get a play-by-play, but please note it will be a slightly different version than the one I’m giving you below. Her new cookbook shows it slightly different with a smaller recipe.

cinnamon rolls 41

The dough rises once (for an hour), then you do a little more mixing, then you get to roll it out. It works best if it’s long and skinny, but mine is usually round and fat. (Kinda like the cook!)

cinnamon roll 51

Fill this bad boy with whatever you like, but if we are keeping it traditional, cinnamon and sugar is all you need. I tried a little brown sugar, but it’s not needed because of the icing.

cinnamon roll 61

Slice them in the desired thickness that you prefer. This size made exactly 2 dozen rolls. You will need to let them rest another 2o minutes before you cook them.

cinnamon roll 91

Ahhhhhh…can you hear the angels singing? Your house smells amazing right about now and kids will keep popping in the kitchen asking, “Are they ready to eat yet?”

cinnamon roll 71

Don’t forget the frosting. This is pretty simple..butter, brown sugar, milk and powdered sugar. Whisk it up with pure joy.

 

cinnamon roll 81

This will appear to be way to much icing, but just go with it. You only live once.

cinnamon roll 101

Pour the icing over the cinnamon rolls. Did I mention you needed to put these in a pan that is deep enough to hold icing? Oops, sorry! Picture number 2 shows you how deep it is..at first!

cinnamon roll 11

Have a little more patience and let that icing sink in. I warn you, these are really good and could cause a sugar comma.

[recipe title=”Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing”]

Dough

  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt

Inside Goodies

  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • Cinnamon and sugar to taste (generously cover the dough)

Icing

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the milk and canola oil in a large pot.
  2. Add the sugar and stir it around. Scald it (heat it to almost a boil), then turn if off and remove from heat. Let it cool until it’s warm but not hot. (I wait about 5-10 minutes)
  3. Add 4 cups (save the 1/2 cup for later) of flour and yeast to the mixture. Stir it until it is all combined. It will be sticky but that is okay.
  4. Cover the mixture and let it site for an hour or so until it has risen.
  5. After it has risen, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. You can use your hands to get it into the shape you want it. Then, begin rolling it out with a rolling pin.
  7. Melt the butter and pour it over the dough. Brush it around to completely cover the dough.
  8. Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon to cover all the dough. Then, sprinkle with sugar to cover the cinnamon. The amount is personal preference.
  9. Start on the long side and roll the dough towards you. If the dough sticks, gently use your fingers to unstick it as you go. Use a little flour to help you along.
  10. When you have a beautiful roll, pinch the dough closed all the way down the side.
  11. Cut the dough about 1/2-3/4 inch apart.
  12. Lay the rolls in a lightly greased pan with sides. You can use disposable tins if you like. This makes for easy traveling if you are taking them to-go!
  13. COVER AND LET THEM RISE FOR 20 MINUTES. Patience is a virtue.
  14. Bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  15. While the rolls are baking, make the caramel icing. Melt a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  16. Add the brown sugar
  17. Let it melt, then whisk in the cream. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  18. Sift in the powdered sugar and salt and stir until you have it smooth.
  19. Remove the rolls from the oven and pour the icing over the top. If the icing has cooled, it will be thick. You can spread it. If it’s hot, you can simply pour it.
  20. Icing will slowly seep into the rolls. Enjoy! [/recipe]
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Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies

Most of my cooking starts with this thought…”What ingredients do I have in the house?” I live 10 miles from a grocery store and their hours are limited, so I have to go with what I got! Truth be known, it is more of a grocery dessert out here.

oatmeal coconut cookie 3

Oatmeal and brown sugar are normal staples at my house and I just happened to have some coconut so this was the cookie I decided on.

It was all going fine until I got to this part…”refrigerate for 3 hours”. Gulp. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, I did you all a favor and took a chance on cooking them immediately!  My conclusion…it’s somewhat of a different cookie all together…but yummy none-the-less. I made it like a regular cookie and rolled them into balls. The original author made hers really thin.

You can read both recipes and do what you like, but all you need to know is this cookie has a yum factor that is both unique and delicious! someday soon I might try the thin version, but for now, all you need to know is give this cookie a try!

Here is the original recipe. The author does a great job walking you through the steps of what she calls an Anzac Biscuit. I don’t know what Anzac is but if they call a cookie a biscuit, I want to be their friend. 🙂

[recipe title = “Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies”]

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons honey (golden syrup may be substituted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned whole oats (I actually used quick oats because it was all I had. It worked okay, but I recommend sticking with old fashion if you have them.)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Directions.

  1. Melt the butter
  2. Add the brown sugar, honey, maple and stir to combine. (You do not need to use a mixer.)
  3. Add the flour, oats, coconut and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, add the water and heat for 1 minute. Slowly and very carefully add the baking soda to the water. Make sure your bowl is big enough or it will bubble over. Stir and dissolve.
  5. Pour baking soda mixture over dough and stir to combine.
  6. Dough will look like a streusel topping. Fluffy and loose, but when squeezed together, it compacts to forma  dough.
  7. Scoop mixture into mounds. Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds about halfway with your palm, **cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 5 days before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter, and these cookies are already prone to spreading and baking flat. ** (Mine were baked immediately and did not flatten too much.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (this helps them not flatten). The original recipe calls for lightly spraying your pan, I did not do that.
  9. Bake for 9-12 minutes. They will firm up as they cool. Cool on baking racks. (If you refrigerate your dough, let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking. [/recipe]

oatmeal cookie dough

You can see the crumbly dough. This will cling together when you make them into balls.

oatmeal balls

I did not flatten mine as the recipe called for. I was afraid they might run and be too thin. This made the cookies really dense. You only needed to eat one!

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