Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Farmer's Daughter

There was a man who owned a farm.
He had a daughter blessed with charm.
She was a sweet and loving child,
Her spirit kind. Her manner mild.
Though some would say that she was spoiled,
On the farm she daily toiled.
Without complaint, she'd feed and care
for every critter quartered there.
She mowed the yard, lugged bales of hay.
She gave the shots on cattle day.
Her father beamed with pride to see
how helpful she would try to be.
But watching how she loved her pets,
made him the proudest daddy yet.
And just because he loved her so,
he never could quite tell her no.
Whenever she'd say, "Daddy please?"
He'd shake his head, though just to tease.
Then he would listen to her plea,
and grant her fancy hastily. 
He's bought her puppies, kittens, goats
"Santa" brought a donkey colt.
He's bought her ponies, ducks and hens.
Her lambs and ewes are in their pens.
A show hog for the county fair.
Alpacas came here in a pair.
Her latest gift from Dad, do tell,
A Jersey milk calf she named Belle.

Monday, September 22, 2014

To Look into His Eyes......

     I remember looking into the eyes of my babies, not as newborns, but as they got older and started participating in our relationship. I'd hold them and rock them and we'd just stare at each other so passionately. It was deep, intentional eye contact born out of the closest of relationships. Through it, we shared our deepest feelings with each other. Long before they could speak, they told me clearly with their eyes, "I love you, Mama. You make me feel safe. You are all I need" And I believe that on a very real and emotional level, they knew what I was saying to them. "You are the most perfect thing I have ever seen. I love you with every fiber of my being. I am here to take care of you and protect you. I will ALWAYS be here for you. I will give up my very life for you. I would die for you." It is these quiet moments, staring deep into each other’s eyes and sharing our desperate feelings for each other, that I miss the most about the greatest love I have ever known here on earth, the love between my babies and I.

     So on Sunday, Pastor Jeff encouraged us to focus on Heaven and what it is going to be like. "What are you looking forward to in Heaven?" He asked. My answer is this: to look into the eyes of Jesus and feel His love for me and share my love for Him. Just to look into His eyes will be enough. No words will be needed. We'll both know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Simple Seasoning Mix for Pork Burgers

6 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 dash cayenne pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together and store in a shaker bottle.

2. Sprinkle over ground pork burgers before cooking.

Note: There is sugar and corn starch in Lawry's seasoning salt and MSG in other brands.  A simple mock version can be made by combining the ingredients below and using this as your seasoning salt base if you prefer not to use store bought. 

Mock Lawry's Seasoned Salt 

2 T salt
2 t sugar (optional)
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder

Quinoa Bell Pepper Casserole

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons bacon grease, or coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained
12 ounces frozen corn, thawed, or 1 can drained
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or 2 T dried
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into large chunks about 1"
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped into large chunks about 1"
12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 scallions, diced

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  (I use stock instead of water and cook it in my rice cooker.)

2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet and drain.  Remove beef from pan and set aside.  Add 2 T of fat.  

3. Saute onions about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for a few more minutes till onion is translucent.  

4. Add chunks of peppers and saute 4 more minutes.  Turn off heat. 

5. Add ground beef, quinoa, seasonings, and lime juice and stir to combine well. 

6. Pour mixture into a greased 9X13" pan. 

7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, making sure peppers are tender and cheese is melted and bubbly.  

8. Serve with diced green onions and sour cream. 

This is very mild.  If you like spicy, add another jalapeno or something else to kick it up! 
You can use any kind of bell pepper, but I don't think green would have the same taste profile. 
You can use any kind of cheese you like on Mexican flavored dishes. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

I just threw this simple dish into the slow cooker in the morning since we had a very busy day planned and I knew I wouldn't have time to cook later.  I intended for it to be like my one pot variation on Stuffed Green Peppers, more like a casserole, but because I used home canned and frozen tomato products, it was very runny.  Turns out, runny, in this case, is delicious! Ted loved it! I've discovered another soup to add to my freezer stockpile of soups!

2 lbs Ground beef, browned
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2-3 large green peppers, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 quart canned or frozen tomatoes
1 quart tomato sauce (I used home made.)
Black Pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1. Brown seasoned beef (I sprinkled it with seasoned salt and black pepper). Drain.

2. Throw Beef, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and sauce into the slow cooker on high for several hours until the peppers are tender.

3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.  I used my rice cooker and cooked it in chicken stock actually.

4. When the peppers are tender, add quinoa and stir.  It's done!


I dish this up into my bowl and plop a pad of butter right on top.  Really makes it special!

I'm sure you could add additional liquid to the slow cooker at some point and cook the quinoa right in the soup, but I didn't do it that way so can not report on that.

If you use store bought canned products and it's too thick, use some beef stock to make it thin enough to call it soup.