Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash

What a great harvest!  The family farm in Northeast Nebraska always has a successful garden.  The vegetables are always large and abundant!  

I have not had the opportunity to be part of the planting, but I have helped pruned and harvest a variety of vegetables.  From acorn squash to zucchini, and everything in between.  The last few years this garden has encouraged me to have my own garden (on a much smaller scale).  I wanted to have access to fresh vegetables right outside my back door.  The farm is about 3 1/2 hours away, so we can only visit every so often.  When we do, though, we stock up and freeze, can, and store what we can.  

Wine Bottle...of Dreams

My husband bought this bottle of wine in 1998 or 1999.  He loves Beaujolais wine, so I'm sure he intended on us enjoying this bottle of wine, but for some reason we didn't. Something made him want to save this one for a special occasion.

That special occasion has changed a few times.  If I recall correctly, the original special occasion was to be when we had our next child, which happened in 2001.  Then it was, when/if my brother got married.  And then it was our 10 year anniversary.  Well, all these occasions have passed us by, yet the bottle remains unopened.  We even had another child, a boy!  You would think he would have opened it then, but no.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Crescent Rolls

Cream Cheese!  I do love cream cheese, but I do not buy it very often.  It's one of those things I do not consider a necessity, and I don't think my family is as fond of it as I am.  Well, I guess if I had bagels in the kitchen regularly then, yes, they would want me to keep cream cheese on hand.  Bagels...another item I do not consider a necessity.  Both of these items are high in calories and fat, of which I do not need!  

I had these cute little jalapeno's left over from my garden that I needed to use soon.  The first thing that came to mind was that I better make something my husband would enjoy, and the second thing that came to mind was - Jalapeno Poppers!  He loves them, but my jalapenos were too small to stuff.  Well a jalapeno tastes the same whole or chopped right?  So, I decided to chop them up and add them to a simple cream cheese mixture.  I also had some refrigerated crescent rolls on hand, so I whipped up this simple recipe.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Crafts for the Little Ones

I have a small in-home daycare that I decided to open a few years ago after having my son. He's considerably younger than my two girls, so I couldn't miss the opportunity to be home with him.  I also wanted him to have some friends and to interact with other children.  Our little buddies are all under 3 years old.  Two boys and two girls, one of the girls is only with us a couple days a week.  We have a small group and we like it that way.

Although the kids are young, we do crafts around the holidays.  What parent doesn't love having keepsakes of their little ones?  Little handprints and footprints are always nice reminders of how small and innocent our children once were.  

Pinterest is my go to site when looking for crafts.  There's lots of good ideas out there and other people have done the legwork.  Just do a quick search and there you have it, all kinds of ideas at your fingertips!

Pink Apple Jelly

Now this is the thing dreams are made of!  Who would have thought that making jelly out of apples could be so good.  Well, whoever you were, thank you!

I usually make jam, because I don't want to "waste" the fruit.  When you use beautiful organic strawberries, blueberries, or peaches, who would want to?  

My husbands uncle has a farm in northeast Nebraska that we are lucky enough to reap the benefits from.  He is an older bachelor, who only lives and works there during the summer, but he has a huge garden that he plants each year.  A select few of us get to work in the garden and harvest our share.  I'll post more about the garden when the season returns to us.  In the meantime, I want to discuss these apples with you.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Delicious Dutch Oven Bread

Think cold weather, hot soup, and fresh baked bread.  Gorgeous, crispy and delicious bread. This recipe was my first attempt at making bread, and it was a success!  It has become my go-to bread recipe.  I have baked two loaves, frozen one for later, and they thaw beautifully.  In addition, I have also experimented with wheat flour.  It turns out great each time!  My family loves it, especially my two year old who always asks for "mommy's bread".  You can enjoy this bread with one of my homemade jam or jelly recipes or with butter and local honey.  

Baking the dough in a cast iron dutch oven makes this beautiful round loaf.  You can also bake it in a classic loaf or round pan made from cast iron, enamel, or ceramic.


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