Category Archives: Fantastic Food Finds

Haying…work and reward

When the kids were home on Saturday, our friends called and asked if I had beans in the garden.  Yes-I did….well they had all t he fixings except for beans so how about a shrimp boil at their house??  YES-YES!!  They host a shrimp boil every year and lets just say, it’s one of the highlights of my summer.

Hubby was the only farmer here to tend the farm as his boss was away.  Some of the water way and ditch hay had to be bailed and it looked like Hubby wasn’t going to be able to go to the shrimp boil.  The kids pitched in and helped so he could get there on time.

Haying-1

I only got pictures of Buck and Kelli helping, but Jen joined in and Kalissa’s boyfriend Craig even helped.

Haying-2

Of all the bailing to do, the kids like water way hay bailing best.  It’s light and dry so it’s easy to work with.  Alfalfa hay is much heavier.  Typically the guys use this hay mixed in the ration the cattle eat.

All the work was well worth the reward…SHRIMP BOIL!!

shrimpboil

YUM..YUM..and everyone made it on time!!

Homemade Fried Rice

Early last week, I made fajitas for supper.  I was using leftover steak so there wasn’t a lot of meat.  I got busy making rice and refried beans to stretch the meal a bit.

Not thinking, I shut the rice off earlier than I should have and at supper time, the rice wasn’t cooked.  UGH.  The next day I heated it up and cooked it the rest of the way…Even though he’s not a rice fan (unless it’s in rice pudding) I hoped Hubby might eat it..Nope.

Well I am on a kick that I am determined not to let food go to waste so I thought I would make it into rice pudding.  That’s when I remembered the homemade fried rice recipe I have.

FriedRice

It’s so good…Here’s the recipe.

8 slices of bacon diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can sliced drained mushrooms
3 c. cooked rice (mine was brown rice)
1 egg beaten
2 T. soy sauce

Saute the bacon until brown.  Add onions and mushrooms cooking until tender. (I added some chopped peppers too.)  Drain off all but two teaspoons drippings.  Add rice.  Combine egg and soy sauce.  Stir into rice mixture.  Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes until heated and egg is cooked.

This can be made a half hour in advance and sit in a warm oven.  The recipe is great for using up leftover rice….yet it doesn’t taste like a leftover at all.

Hubby really like this (even though he doesn’t like rice) as he says…”the bacon gives the rice flavor”.

Today I am hooking up with Patchwork Times.

The Cheese Lady…

I love to shop local and small business when I can but sometimes the quality or service just isn’t there so I don’t.   Today, I going to tell you about a small business my family is completely in love with…Prairie Dairy run by the Otto family in Owatonna, Minnesota.  They make the most AMAZING cheeses, flavored butter and flavored cream cheese.


In September Kelli and I were teaching at a childcare conference in Owatonna, Minnesota.  While there, we went to the Farmer’s Market.  We had been there the year before and there was a lady there selling cheese.  We were hoping she was there again and luckily she was. As you can see, her prices are very reasonable.

We bought lots of cheese.  Let’s just say the Bacon Cheese Curds and Garlic Pepper Cheese Curds are to die for.   I asked for an email address so I could order from her. I got home and my family gobbled up the cheese.  I went to order more but the email address didn’t work.  UGH.  I sent a facebook message out to my family who lives in the area.  My cousin Deb ended up going to the Farmer’s Market and talking to the cheese lady about “her crazy cheese loving cousin in Iowa” (me) and got a different email address from her.  She contacted me and I ordered more cheese.  She put a cold pack in the box and it shipped just fine.  Cheese is a product that doesn’t need to be kept cold so shipping wasn’t a problem. It so amazing that her family makes it all the cheese themselves.

Here’s all the varieties.  I put a star by all ones we have tried and liked.  The others might be fine.  We just haven’t tried them. *3 Alarm, Habanero, *Pepper Jack, *Buffalo Chipotle, *Morel and Leek, *Bruschetta, *Onion Garlic, *Spinach Artichoke, *Horse Radish, Provolone, *Veggie,Extra Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, Co jack, Havarti, *Havarti Dill, Cheddar Dill ,Gouda, *Pram, Baby Swiss, Tuscan, *Salsa, *Fontina, Muenster , and Asiago.

*String cheese
Cheese curds (plain) PLUS Flavored curds: *Bruschetta, chipotle, *buffalo,* bacon, *garlic & pepper…. Oh my, there is not a one that I don’t like.

The Buffalo, Bruchcetta, Leek and Morel and Spinach Artichoke are my favorites right now. Pam sent along a pack of Roasted Garlic Butter with my order and some strawberry flavored cream cheese. Both are WONDERFUL!!  I put some of the roasted garlic butter in a pan and then fried some leftover cubed potatoes in the butter. AMAZING!!  They were perfectly seasoned.  The butter amazing on fresh buns too.  We tried a cinnamon butter too and that’s amazing on toast.

I put in Christmas order with gift boxes to give to a few of our friends….


If you are looking for a small business to support, think about ordering some cheese from the Otto family.  They are just starting to expand their business so that they can ship cheese.  They don’t have a website or brochure but you can still order from them.  Here is Pam’s email.  prairiedairy55060@yahoo.com   The cheese is about $5.00 a pound and definitely worth it…if you order, tell Pam that “Crazy Cheese Lover from Iowa” sent you.

Farmer Food: “Funeral” Meat aka Ham Salad

 I have a new series called Feeding a Farmer. It’s food that can be prepared in a few minutes to make a meal for those last minute meal times.  To find out how this all originated, check out this link.  Keep in mind, none of these foods are glamorous…they are fast…and not too bad tasting.

When Hubby and I were first married we were broke….all the way broke…no money at all.  No one could ever accuse me of marrying him for his money but we were in love and that’s what counted.  We ate all sorts of really cheap cuts of meat….liver, braunschweiger, turkey legs, jack mackerel….anything cheap.  One of our other cheap favorites was “funeral” meat (or at least that’s what hubby called it)…actually Ham Salad.


Hubby calls ham salad “Funeral” Meat because growing up every time there was a funeral, ham salad sandwiches were severed for the meal.  My boys love ham salad too so when I was at a thrift store and saw a meat grinder, I immediately purchased it.  For $5, it was a good buy.

Before purchasing the grinder I always bought the ham salad in town pre-made…now, I make it myself.

This is one of those recipes that is completely to taste and how you like your ham salad seasoned.  I grind the an appropriate amount of ham for how many I am feeding.  After the meat is ground, I add mayo, pickle relish, wet minced garlic and pepper.   I’ll make some guesses and say 3 pounds of ham, 1/2 c mayo, 1 heaping Tablespoon of pickle relish and wet minced garlic and 1/4 t pepper.  You may want to add more mayo..whatever is your liking.  Stir that all up and YUM.  Ham salad sandwiches make great summer meal with some baked beans, watermelon and cucumber salad.

In the summer hubby prefers lunch to be a light meal and this is a perfect summer meal…or a perfect fall meal when he’s in the combine.