Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Leftover Makeover Blog Party

It's the day after Easter, family and friends have left, and I've got a fridge full of food.  Well, for me the three items I have the most of in my fridge are hard-boiled eggs, ham and mashed potatoes, so what should I do?

Hard-Boiled Eggs - Breakfast - Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza from Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Easter Hard-Boiled Eggs Leftover Makeovers including Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza

On Saturday our kids dyed 48 hard-boiled eggs with their second-cousin, so to say I have a few hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator would be an understatement.  So what can I do?  One option is Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats's Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza.

I love breakfast pizza and Ally's version is sure to hit the spot with chopped hard-boiled egg, smoky and spicy chorizo, layered with a cheese sauce!  Oh yeah!  I can't wait to transform some of my hard-boiled egg leftovers into this breakfast makeover.

Ham - Dinner - Funeral Sandwiches from Jeni Eats

Easter Ham Leftover Makeovers including Funeral Sandwiches

Next up is ham!  We double-smoked two hams for Easter yesterday and I have a couple gallon bags with leftover ham in it.  With spring planting on the horizon this week the first thing I thought about making was Jeni Eats's Funeral Sandwiches.

These quick, glazed, baked ham and cheese sandwiches are delicious!  Between everything being melty, ooey and gooey, along with the delicious glaze on top - these have become a family favorite and are perfect for feeding a crowd, or a hungry tractor and planting crew.

Mashed Potatoes - Supper - Shepherd's Pie from Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Mashed Potato Leftover Makeovers including Shepherd's Pie

Last up is mashed potatoes!  I made 10 pounds of mashed potatoes for yesterday and while people did a really good job of trying to finish them, I still have some leftovers.  So what better way to makeover mashed potatoes other than Shepherd's Pie.

This recipe is a great way to turn your mashed potatoes into another great comfort food.  Add in some of your leftover vegetables and some hamburger, and you've got a classic supper ready for your family.

So now it is your turn!  I've teamed up with my Country Fair Blog Party friends, Jan of The Tip Garden and Nicole of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom to bring all of you an Easter Leftover Makeover Blog Party.  Feel free to link up as many of your posts that would work as a leftover makeover!  I can't wait to get inspired by all of your ideas.

What leftover are you excited to have in your refrigerator?  What's your favorite leftover makeover?  Remember to Comment for a Cause.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll #EasterRecipes

It's probably no secret that I love to entertain and have people over at our house - from having friends over to watch the big game, to hosting Easter this Sunday for 21 people - I love to celebrate with family and friends.  Today I'm sharing a great dish to make when hosting a group for breakfast or brunch.  In fact, this use to be a favorite of our church's youth group when My Farmer and I were youth group leaders.  We would have the high schoolers over for breakfast on Graduation Sunday as a way to relax and focus for the big day and have a little final hoorah for the seniors.  Anyways, the kids would gobble this up, so much that I would have to make two.  I hope you enjoy my Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll as much as a group of hungry teenagers! 😉

Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll

8 Eggs
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Onion Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup Ham, diced
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Beat eggs, milk, flour, salts, pepper and ham with whisk until well blended.

Line a 15"x10"x1" pan with parchment paper and spray heavy with cooking spray.

Pour egg mixture into prepared pan.  Bake 15 minutes or until edges are set at 350°F.  Top with cheese.  Bake an additional 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Roll up omelette immediately, starting at one short end, peeling off the parchment paper as it's rolled.  Place on platter & cut into slices to serve.

Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll #EasterRecipes

Are you celebrating Easter this year with a special Easter Breakfast, Brunch or Dinner?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

13 bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!

Be sure to check out all of the recipes and tips posted today as part of this week's #EasterRecipes:







Monday, April 10, 2017

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns #EasterRecipes

It's Holy Week and one way I'm celebrating is by sharing different Easter Recipes with some of my blogging friends!

Did you see the article circling around on Facebook last week about how a study from Japan determined eating ice cream for breakfast may improve mental performance and alertness?  Well, this recipe for Easy Pecan Sticky Buns is here to help you out!  That's right, these breakfast sweets are just a little bit sweeter by using ice cream as the "cream" in the caramel sauce!  I know all of my ice cream fans are excited and everyone else is probably intrigued, so I won't wait any longer and I'll share this easy and simple recipe!

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns #EasterRecipes

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns

2 cups Pecans, chopped
1 - 8 count Jumbo Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
1/4 cup Cinnamon Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking oil spray and spread pecans on the bottom of the pan.  Roll the biscuits in cinnamon sugar and place on top of the nuts.  (I like to sprinkle a little extra cinnamon sugar on top of each biscuit too 😉.)  Do not crowd the biscuits, but they can be touching.

In a small sauce pan, mix the butter, brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute.  Pour the caramel over the biscuits.  Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.  Let the rolls cool for 5 minutes and then flip over to enjoy!

I hope you like these Easy Pecan Sticky Buns as much as my family and I do.  My favorite part of this recipe is probably that it is so simple to pull together and it uses ingredients I usually always have in my kitchen.

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns #EasterRecipes

Having some crowd-pleasing, simple breakfast ideas is important for Easter Week when you have extra company staying over at your house.  On Thursday, I'm going to share another breakfast or brunch idea that is great for entertaining.  Check out my blogging friends' posts this week and follow along to see the 46 recipes and tips shared throughout the week by following #EasterRecipes on social media.

13 bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!






What recipe are you excited to try from today's #EasterRecipes shares?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns #EasterRecipes

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Clear Lake's Yurts - A Family Bucket List Must!

The sunshine yesterday had me thinking summertime!  Now I realize we haven't even started corn and soybean planting, but it had me thinking about what might be on our family's annual summer bucket list for 2017.

Planning a summer bucket list is a fun family tradition that our whole family likes to get involved in creating.  This year we would like to encourage everyone to make their own, and include camping in one of Clear Lake, Iowa's Yurts!

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - a family summer bucket list must!

Clear Lake's McIntosh Woods State Park is home to boat access to Clear Lake, fishing docks, trails, parks, camping spots, and two yurts!  The yurts are a fusion of a cabin and a tent and are located in a private, oak shaded area with its own dock.

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - a family summer bucket list must!
A look inside the yurt!
Each yurt comes with a double futon, twin bunk beds, table and chairs, electricity, ceiling fan, picnic tables, grills and firepits.  The yurts also have a nice bathhouse with hot showers and toilets.  You are responsible for bringing your own bedding, bath supplies and camping supplies.

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - complete with private dock
My family enjoying time on the yurts' private dock.
Perfect for watching wildlife, water activity and fishing.
To say our family had fun staying in a yurt would be an understatement.  The kids loved how we were camping, and Mom and Dad loved how we were camping, but above the ground, and on mattresses.  We don't own a camper, so this was a nice alternative for our family.  You can rent a yurt for $35 a night.  Reservations can be made up to a year in advance and the yurts are available for rent May 1 - September 30.

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - a family summer bucket list must!
Hobo packets on the grill
Roasting marshmallows over the fire
Besides sleeping in the yurts, our family loved relaxing around our fire pit and making hobo packets and s'mores over the fire for supper.  We even made cinnamon rolls over the fire for breakfast in the morning.

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - a family summer bucket list must!
Gotta have s'mores!
Staying in a yurt is a perfect way to enjoy Clear Lake.  Our family loves how Clear Lake has events and festivals all summer (and really all year long).  To check out all the possibilities when visiting Clear Lake be sure to visit and order their visitor guide or view the digital edition.  Some of our favorite family activities in the Clear Lake Area are going to City Beach and swimming in the lake and jumping around in the splash pad, and participating in the childrens' programs at the Surf Ballroom.  We also love to grab a bite to eat at PM Park and go to the Viking Drive-Inn for ice cream!

So with all of this contagious sunlight, start planning a summer getaway for your family to Clear Lake!  Have you been to Clear Lake before?  What are some of your favorite summer or family activities?  Remember to Comment for a Cause.

A look at Clear Lake, Iowa's yurts - a family summer bucket list must!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Comments for a Cause - Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund

Comments for a Cause - Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund
It's the first of the month and no foolin' I have a report on Comments for a Cause.  Since the beginning of the year things have been busy and after some refocusing the last couple of weeks I'm excited to get back on track with monthly Comments for a Cause.

To get started let's talk about the Ronald McDonald House.  Since January, I have had a total of 83 comments, creating a donation of $41.50 to help out families with hospitalized children staying at one of the 362 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide.  Thank you for all of your support.

Now for the month of April I'm looking forward to helping farmers and ranchers affected by the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado by donating $0.50 for every comment made on my blog to the Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund.

In March a wildfire spread across the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado.  More than two million acres have burned.  Tens of thousands of cattle and other livestock have died and tragically seven people also lost their lives.  Farmers across the country are stepping up to help their fellow farmers and ranchers by donating supplies, time and money to get these communities the support they need, and this month I'm doing my part by donating to the Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund, an area hit severely by the wildfire.

My heart goes out to all of those affected by the wildfires.  My heart also goes to everyone that is lending a helping hand.  In fact, just today, some friends of ours were part of a hay convoy down to Kansas to help ranchers whose grasslands and hay resources that were burned.

Comments for a Cause - Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund - Hay Convoy from Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Our friend's son standing in front of the Hay Convoy
from Mount Pleasant, Iowa to Meade, Kansas
This group of farmers from the Henry County, Iowa area not only donated hay, but time, fuel and semi-trailers to make the long distance haul to south of Dodge City, Kansas.  One of our friends said that he was happy and honored to help and knew that "if something happened to us (Iowa farmers), they (Kansas ranchers) would come help us."

Comments for a Cause - Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund - Hay Convoy from Mount Pleasant, Iowa
The crew left at 4 a.m. this morning to make the 11 hour drive to Kansas
So help support farmers, ranchers, families and communities impacted by the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado by commenting all month long.  Check out my Farmers Helping Neighbors on National Ag Day post to find out other ways you can help too.  Do you know of other ways people are helping the wildfire victims?  Please share in the comment section and remember to Comment for a Cause all month long!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

6 Truths About Being a Mom of 4 Kids

Being a Mom is something that I absolutely love and it is something I am very proud of.  I've wanted to be a Mom ever since I was a little girl.  And to tell you the truth, I've wanted to be a Mom of four ever since I was a little girl.  Sure I thought I was going to have a household of boys when I was growing up, but now I wouldn't trade in my one son and three daughters for anything.

6 Truths About Being a Mom of 4 Kids
My Kids and I from L to R: Miss R, Mr. K, Miss A and Miss L
Since I became a Mom six years ago a lot has changed.  First, obviously, is now I have a house full of kids.  Second, is my parenting style has slightly changed.  Now while I feel like I've always been a pretty laid back parent that is guided by structure and guidelines, I feel like with each year that passes and with each kid added to our family I've learned a few things:

Be Prepared to Share Your Food (And Really Everything...)
I'm not sure the last time I was able to eat an entire meal without someone asking me if they could finish or eat something from my plate...  From part of my salad, to finishing my grapes, to just one bite of my pork chop.  It seems like I'm always being asked to share...  But, I guess we're teaching our kids to share...  So, I guess I need to do a better job of telling them Mom's food is off limits 😉

Teach Responsibility
We are teaching our kids responsibility by having them take care of not only the house, but help on the farm and in our community.  When it comes to teaching responsibility at home, make sure you get your kids involved in taking care of your house.  I actually had a blog post drafted a couple years ago that I never published about chore charts, because by the time I was ready to publish it, I realized I didn't use chore charts anymore.  We have a rule in our house that everybody pitches in.  If something needs picked up, then whoever is close by is going to pick it up.  Everyone helps with setting and clearing the kitchen table, everyone helps with diaper duty, etc.  There is a way for everyone to get involved no matter how old they may be.

You Will Never Have Enough Hands
Think about it, you have two hands but have four kids... the math doesn't quite add up for being able to hold everyone's hands to help them out.  But that is the glorious part of maybe instead thinking how you have lots of hands.  I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "it takes a village to raise a child."  I guess in a way My Farmer and I have created our own village and it is amazing to see how the older children naturally step up and their nurturing abilities take over, even as young as 18 months!  All of our kids do a great job of playing and working together.  They care deeply for one another and are willing and able to help each other out.

Now while going grocery shopping or crossing through a parking lot I still may wish My Farmer's extra hands were always there, we can and do make it work.  It's all apart of taking care of our village.

Have a Daily Routine
I understand with kids you need to have some flexibility, but I believe with any number of kids - one or ten, you need to have a daily routine.  We have a morning routine, a "quiet time" routine, a bedtime routine, and even a routine for leaving the house.  This helps your children to know what to expect during their day, which leads them to simply functioning better, and resulting in being happy.  And like I said, sometimes things get moved slightly and we might not have "quiet time" (aka naps for the younger kids and individual quiet play/activities for the older kids and Mom 😉) start as early as we want, but we do work it in everyday.

One is an Accessory, Two is a Lifestyle, so Four is...
My Farmer always says the saying that "One is an Accessory, Two is a Lifestyle."  It's true, when you have just one kid it's simple to bring them wherever you go, traveling (with or without your child) isn't a huge deal, and while yes you have some toys, you have toys for one developmental stage and for one child.  Add in baby number two and you realize that your children become part of your lifestyle.  Now while we still bring our kids to most places with us, there are times and situations that we realize that we either need to find a sitter or stay at home.  Traveling with a van full of kids takes a bit more patience and a bit more strategy than just one, and getting away and traveling without your kids also takes more organization and commitment.  And toys - we have toys for four different developmental stages.  My advice with that is try to get activities that work for more than one kid.  I will also add that we have a rule in our house that no matter who received the toy, game, etc. anyone can play with it.  It's not "just mine"; everyone can use it.

Lots of Love
In the end, the best part or truth of having four kids is that there is lots of love in your home.  Love from parent to child, child to child, and parent to parent.  I never have to worry about going a day without kisses and hugs from everyone.  Build up your family's love by making your own traditions - from Friday Night Pizza & Movie Night, to Birthday Waffles, to Family Date Nights.  Always be building on your foundation of love.

6 Truths About Being a Mom of 4 Kids

What truths of parenting would you add?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farmers Helping Neighbors on National Ag Day

Living in the country, the term "neighbor" has a pretty broad meaning.  Factually saying, my nearest neighbor is one mile away.  But if we limit neighbors to just one mile, then I only have three neighbors.  So like many rural residents, I stretch the boundaries of neighbors more than Wikipedia probably accepts.

One thing I love about the farming community is that we stretch our community boundaries, and are always willing and wanting to help out a neighbor.  Several years ago we partnered with many other neighbors to help out some neighbors (they live 5 miles away) harvest their husband/father's fields after he unexpectedly passed away.  We were there for Therron's family not expecting anything in return.  We were there because it is what a neighbor does.  We help each other out.  We are a friendly face giving the farmer wave driving down the road.  We care for the well being of our entire community.

Farmers Helping Neighbors on National Ag Day - Help with Wildfire Relief
The harvest crew for the Therron Miller family, October 2011
Right now is a time that the farming community is coming together to help our neighbors in Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas that have been impacted by wildfires.  Through these wildfires, more than 2,300 square miles have been burned and tragically seven people have died and thousands of cattle have been killed.

Last Friday, Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversize and overweight loads of forage on Iowa's roads for the next two months.  This is allowing people to drive large bales of hay and other forages to the ranchers in need.

Another way Iowa's farmers are lending a hand is by an online auction happening on Friday, April 7th at 10 a.m. to raise funds for victims of the recent wildfires.  This is being hosted by the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation, Iowa Cattlemen's Association and Dream Dirt.  You can learn more about the auction by checking out my friend, and neighbor, Cristen of Food & Swine's recent post.

You can also find a list of other aid efforts on AgWeb.

Do you know of any other ways to help our neighbors affected by the wildfires?  Be sure to share in the comment section below and always remember to Comment for a Cause!