Sunday, June 25, 2017

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats + Celebrate 365 Patriotic Blog Party

Can you believe that 4th of July celebrations will be starting in just a week?!  No matter if you're hosting a big barbecue, or if you're keeping it simple with just watching the local fireworks with your family, you need to make something special and fun for Independence Day.  Here are 3 kid-friendly treats that my family loves to help you celebrate:

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Kid Friendly Trail Mix

My family loves a good trail mix and we created this recipe by combining some of our favorite sweet and salty snacks.  Add some patriotic M&Ms to make it not only kid-friendly but festive too.

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Caramel Crispix Mix

Here's another great snack mix to use patriotic M&Ms in.  You can never have too many snacks on hand when you have kids, are going camping, or if you are hosting a party.

3 Kid-Friendly 4th of July Treats - Red, White & Blueberry Yogurt Pops

There's nothing like cooling down with a popsicle on a hot, summer, 4th of July day.  My kids love these red, white and blueberry yogurt pops.  They're creamy, cool and sweet!

Now it is time for me to find out some of your favorite recipes, decor, crafts and activities to celebrate the 4th of July with.  I've joined up with my other Celebrate 365 co-hosts (Carlee from Cooking with Carlee, Jan from Tip Garden, and Nicole from Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom) to throw a Patriotic Party!  Feel free to link up any of your favorite red, white and blue posts!
Celebrate 365 Patriotic Blog Party - link up your 4th of July recipes, decor, crafts and activities
Also be sure to check out our Celebrate 365 Pinterest Board to pin any and all of our past blog party linked posts!

What's your favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July? Remember to link-up your posts and Comment for a Cause!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops #dairymonth

Celebrate National Dairy Month with this juicy, flavorful, Buttermilk marinated pork chop that is an quick supper fix any day of the year.

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

I've enjoyed sharing dairy recipes this week with several of my blogging friends and it got me thinking about my favorite dairy products.  My family and I love all dairy products from ice cream, to cottage cheese, to milk.  But one, maybe surprising, dairy product that I love to cook and bake with is - Buttermilk.

Buttermilk brings a richness to any food you add it to.  In baking, it adds a creamy taste and texture.  In cooking, it can give a tangy flavor while making your meat juicy.  It is a versatile dairy product that my family is always excited to see in our refrigerator because they know I have plans to make something extra special and delicious!

Now onto my Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops.  Being pig farmers we obviously eat a lot of pork in our house.  And yes, even though I love the most popular pork product - bacon - just like the rest of the world, my favorite is the pork chop.  Pork chops are easy to make and we probably make them a couple of times a month.  These Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops are simple, yet with lots of flavor.  My favorite part is that you marinate them in buttermilk overnight to make them nice and juicy!

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops

4 boneless Pork Chops
1/2 pint Buttermilk
1/2 cup Bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp Seasoning salt (being an Iowan my favorite is Cookies 😉)
Salt and pepper

Place all four pork chops in a resealable plastic bag with the buttermilk.  Lay flat in refrigerator overnight so each pork chop is covered evenly in buttermilk.

After marinating, take the pork chops out of the buttermilk, keeping a nice coating of buttermilk on each one and discard the remaining buttermilk and bag.  Season each pork chop with salt and pepper.  In a pie plate, mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and seasoning salt.  Dip each pork chop evenly on both sides in bread crumb mixture.

Heat skillet to medium/medium high.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan and cook coated pork chops 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Place pork chops in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until pork reaches 145°F.  Let rest and enjoy!


Be sure to check out my other #dairymonth recipes from earlier this week (Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins and Chili Cheese Corn Salad) and check out the other great recipes shared by some of my other blogger friends too!  Thank you to all the dairy farmers that work hard everyday to take care of their animals and take pride in making quality milk and fresh dairy products.  What is your favorite dairy product?  Are you a buttermilk fan like me?  Remember to Comment for a Cause.

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

Caramel Apple Empanadas {With Cajeta or Dulche de Leche} by Cooking With Carlee
Summer Fruit Smoothie by Palatable Pastime
Berry Cream Muffins by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Black Currant and Rosemary Tea Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Chocolate Oreo Fudscicles by Family Around The Table
Yogurt Banana Pudding Pops by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
No Bake Oreo Cream Pie by Tip Garden
Creme Anglaise ('Real Custard') by Caroline's Cooking
Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
Earl Grey Panna Cotta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Best No Bake Cheesecake with by Feeding Big
Grandma’s Cheesy Ranch Party Potatoes by Mommie Isn’t Made of Money

Buttermilk Parmesan Pork Chops - a juicy, flavorful recipe for anytime of the year #dairymonth

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jen's Chili Cheese Corn Salad #dairymonth

This creamy, cheesy, savory corn salad is the perfect side dish to bring to your next picnic or potluck this summer!

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Happy First Day of Summer and Happy National Dairy Month everyone!  One of my favorite things to eat during the summer is salads - side salads, pasta salads, egg salads, taco salads, and meat salads.  And after I made this salad for a family gathering over Memorial Day weekend I knew I needed to share the recipe on the blog.  So you can thank several of my family members for requesting the recipe. 😉

This Chili Cheese Corn Salad was a recipe that my friend Jen always brought to potlucks and gatherings.  Whenever I make it, it always makes me think of her and brings a smile to my face.  Jen always had a big smile and an infectious laugh.  She is actually the person that encouraged My Farmer and I to get more involved with the Young Farmer Program around ten years ago.  We have gained so many experiences, knowledge and friendships from the program, and that is in part thanks to her support. 😊

I know you'll love this corn salad as much as Jen did and we do!  It is quick - which is always a plus during busy summers, and it is delicious!  The corn and cheese make the perfect savory combination, and the red onion and crunched up corn chips on top give the salad that little added bite and crunch.

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Jen's Chili Cheese Corn Salad

2 cans corn, drained
1 cup mayo
2 cups cheddar cheese, finally shredded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups chili cheese corn chips, crushed

Mix the corn, mayo, cheese and onion together and chill in refrigerator for 2+ hours.

Just before serving, stir around salad and add crushed corn chips.

*Chef's note - if you don't plan on eating the entire salad in one setting, you can add the chips to individual servings rather than the entire bowl.

What are some of your favorite salads to make and eat during the summer?  Remember to Comment for a Cause and check out the other #dairymonth posts!

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

A Visit to Ol' McGrandpa's Farm by Cooking With Carlee  
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese from Feeding Big
Chili Cheese Corn Salad by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Chipotle Cheddar Patty Melt by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Breakfast Egg Bites by Family Around the Table
Gluten Free Rotini with Cabot Cheddar, Chorizo and Saffron by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Homemade Fudgesicles by From Gate to Plate
How to Make Labneh from Caroline's Cooking
Skillet Jalapeno Popper Dip from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Southern Style Pimento with Bacon Mac and Cheese by Tip Garden
Zucchini Tots with Jalapeno, Cheddar and Bacon by Palatable Pastime

Chili Cheese Corn Salad - the perfect creamy, cheesy, savory side dish for the summer

Monday, June 19, 2017

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth

* This post has been compensated through the AE Dairy Blog Ambassador program.  All views and opinions shared are my own. *

Wake up this morning with a warm, soft Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffin - the perfect way to celebrate National Dairy Month!

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

AE Dairy came out with a new Whole Milk Yogurt product line in May and I was so excited to find several flavors out on the grocery store shelf in time for June Dairy Month.  AE has always been known for their yogurts and it is one way they differentiated themselves from other dairy businesses in the 1960s.  Just like they responded to changing consumer needs back then, they have recognized changing consumer trends today for whole milk products.  

I have enjoyed each of the seven flavors of AE Dairy's Whole Milk Yogurt - Almond Sweet Cream, Banana Custard, Boysenberry, Cocoa Hazelnut, Raspberry, Strawberry and Sweet Cream.  The yogurts are thick and creamy.  Each serving provides 12 grams of protein, calcium and 5 probiotics - and all under 200 calories.  The whole milk yogurts are both delicious and satisfying.

One of my favorite flavors is the Banana Custard variety, and after the first bite I started thinking of different ways to use the whole milk yogurt.  I've used yogurt in smoothies and frozen yogurt pops in the past, but I thought the Banana Custard whole milk yogurt would be perfect in some banana muffins!  I hope you enjoy these pillowy-soft muffins as much as my family and I do.

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla

Cream butter, sugar and whole milk yogurt.  Mix in bananas.  Add dry ingredients and vanilla.

Add two tablespoons of muffin mixture into each muffin cup and bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen muffins.

I'm going to be celebrating National Dairy Month all week by sharing about some of our ice cream travels as part of our Iowa Ice Cream Roadtrip, as well as sharing two more delicious recipes featuring dairy products!  I've also joined up with several other bloggers this week to celebrate #dairymonth.  So be sure to check out all of their great recipes all week long!

Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes for food bloggers across the United States #dairymonth #dairymonth2017

Welcome to our week long celebration of June being #DairyMonth hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee.  We are putting together our best recipes using cow milk, goat milk, butter, cream and cheeses.  We can't wait to share them with you.

Avocado Ranch Dressing by Tip Garden
Frosty Chocolate Pie by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Gluten Free Penne with Brie, Fig and Rosemary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Rhubarb Sauce by Grumpy's Honeybunch
Orange Creamsicle Martini by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Orange Creamsicle No Bake Cheesecake by Cooking With Carlee
Peaches and Cream Smoothie from Feeding Big
Strawberry Crisp Milkshake by From Gate to Plate
White Cheddar and Bacon Pasta Salad by Palatable Pastime
Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Cream Muffins by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Milk Braised Chicken Thighs from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

Have you tried AE Dairy's new Whole Milk Yogurts yet?  What is your favorite flavor, or which one are you excited to try?  If you can't find it at your local grocery store be sure to ask for it!  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Custard Muffins #AEdairy #dairymonth #sponsored

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Father's Day Favorites Blog Party

Father's Day is in one week and to celebrate I am partnering with my Celebrate 365 friends to throw a Father's Day Favorites Blog Party.

When I think of my Dad's favorite, the first thing that comes to mind is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Ever have a food that is always tied to a memory?  Well, whenever I make these cookies I always think of my Dad.  Both my Dad and I have a love of farming and the combination of peanut butter and chocolate 😊 My Dad is the one that gave me the interest and love of farming, and who makes me proud to be carrying on our family's farming tradition.  So it only seems appropriate then that these cookies are a staple for us out in the field and have become a family favorite for anytime of the year.

I hope you enjoy my Dad's Favorite and I can't wait to see all of your Father's Day Favorites.  Feel free to link up as many recipe, gift and activity posts as you would like, and be sure to check out my fellow Celebrate 365 friend's pages to check out their Father's Day Favorites:
Celebrate 365 Father's Day Favorites Blog Party - link up your recipe, gifts and activities

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Father's Day Favorites Blog Party

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 3/4 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 - 12oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, butter and peanut butter.  Add sugars and cream together.  Then add eggs, mixing well after each one.  Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake cookies at 375°F for 10 minutes.  Take them out of the oven just before they look done to get a soft cookie.  Let rest on cookie sheet one to two minutes before letting cool on cookie sheets.

Dad's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Father's Day Favorites Blog Party

So what are your Dad's favorites or your favorite things to eat and do for Father's Day?  Be sure to link up to our blog party and always remember to Comment for a Cause!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Freedom Rock Tour

It's the first of June and this is usually when I announce my new Comments for a Cause program.  But this month, I'm going to change things up and instead of choosing a new cause, I'm going to keep with donating $0.50 for every comment made on my blog to the Franklin County Freedom Rock.

Our family has gotten so excited about the Freedom Rock coming to our local county, that we have started going on our own Freedom Rock Tour in our local area so far, but are looking forward to checking out different county Freedom Rocks around the state of Iowa throughout the summer.

We've taken car rides twice in the last month to check out neighboring county Freedom Rocks.  One Sunday after church we took a Sunday drive over to Dows, Iowa, where the Wright County Freedom Rock is located.

Freedom Rock Tour - Wright County, Dows, Iowa

Then on Memorial Day we went on a road-trip to Ackley, Iowa to see the Hardin County Freedom Rock

Freedom Rock Tour - Hardin County, Ackley, Iowa

and over to Greene, Iowa to check out Butler County Freedom Rock.

Freedom Rock Tour - Butler County, Greene, Iowa

I love how each Freedom Rock is unique, yet there is the same sense of pride and honor in each rock's artwork.  We also noticed that each rock has had an American flag "draped" over it.  We can't wait to continue our Freedom Rock Tour this summer!

Now that you have seen some of the completed county Freedom Rocks in Iowa, what do you first notice about each?  What do you like about these three county Freedom Rocks?  Remember to Comment for a Cause all month long to help us support our local Franklin County Freedom Rock!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

National Hamburger Day Blog Party

It's not only National Beef Month and National BBQ Month, but today is National Hamburger Day!  Add the Memorial Day Weekend to it and you should definitely fire up the grill today.

National Hamburger Day Blog Party Recipe Link Up
Who is the grill master in your household?  For our family, it is me.  I love to grill and do it often throughout the summer - anything to keep the heat out of the house!  I usually keep things pretty simple, but at the same time like to experiment.

Cardinal & Gold Cream Cheese Burger - National Hamburger Day

Here is my Cardinal & Gold Cream Cheese Burger.  This recipe is where I take my tried and true burger base and kick it up a notch by adding a great topping to the burger!  Plus this recipe is a great way for me to share my Cyclone Pride!

Iowa Bacon Burger - National Hamburger Day

Here is another favorite burger recipe of mine, my Iowa Bacon Burger.  This is a pork burger with bacon ground up into the patty.  Add your favorite BBQ sauce and pickles and you've got a burger that will make everyone's mouth-water!

To celebrate National Burger Day I am teaming 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 the National Hamburger Day Blog Party.  Feel free to link up as many of your burger posts as you'd like!  I can't wait to try all of your recipes.

What's your favorite burger topping?  What's the most unusual or unique topping you've ever had on a burger?  I sometimes feel like toppings are just as important as the patty base.  Don't forget to link up your recipes and well as Comment for a Cause.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 Family Summer Bucket List

Yesterday was the last day of school for our oldest son.  Mr. K was both excited and a little sad.  He said he was going to miss his teacher and friends but was looking forward to summer and eventually becoming a 1st grader!  To get him, and the rest of the family excited for summer, we did our annual tradition of filling out our Summer Bucket List!

I'm a list person, so creating a Family Summer Bucket List the last few years (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) has not only been fun to create with our kids, but also fun to cross off.  Our past Summer Bucket List items have not only created a lot of great memories, but several have even become family traditions.

Family Summer Bucket List with idea - plus Free printable to customize your own list

Create your own Summer Bucket List with my FREE Printable
Every list person's fantasy - bullet notes and calendar space to put annul events and activities so you can think how to schedule everything 😉

We're excited to try some new things this summer, first of which, is visiting Omaha this summer, including going to the Henry Doorly Zoo.  Our family loves going to zoos every year and we're especially looking forward to going to the "World's Greatest Zoo".  We've been told to be sure to check out the Rainforest and the Gorilla Valley.  Have you ever been?  Where do you recommend we make sure check out?

Next on our list is to make crafts at Kelly Gau Studio in Albert Lea.  Our kids love making crafts and building things, so we're excited to get inspired with Kelly.  I have personally been up to the Kelly Gau Studio a couple times for a Girls Night Out but the kids have never been.  Kelly is offering a special Summer Kids Club that we're looking forward to participating in.

Our list wouldn't be complete without including reading.  Each year we enroll in our local library's Summer Reading Program.  The kids made a special request to do include some "fun reading" on our Summer Bucket List, and what is more fun then going on a Story Walk.  Throughout the month of June, the Hampton, Iowa Public Library is partnering with local business to create a Story Walk.  Participants will get a map at the library and then walk to the different businesses around downtown where they will read page by page of a story.

With the Franklin County Freedom Rock in place in Coulter, Iowa, our family has been excited to check out other county Freedom Rocks throughout the state of Iowa.  We hope to see the "original" Freedom Rock in Adair County on our car ride to Omaha for our family summer vacation too.

We didn't complete this item off our 2014 Summer Bucket List, so we've added checking out RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) back to this year's list.  Each summer thousands of bicyclist ride across Iowa, Missouri River to Mississippi River, through this event.  The ride rotates every three years of going through Northern, Central and Southern Iowa, and this year RAGBRAI travels across North Iowa again.  Our family would love to check out all the bicyclists and festivities as they bike through our area.

Next on the list is exploring one of our favorite places for summer fun in our area: Clear Lake, Iowa.  We love camping in the yurts, participating in the youth programs at the Surf Ballroom, swimming at City Beach and eating ice cream at the Viking Drive-Inn, but one thing we have never done is take a cruise on the Lady of the Lake boat.  Well, that is going to change this year!  We are excited to experience this Clear Lake icon.

We're excited to take a new spin on a family tradition this summer and take our Friday Night Movie and Pizza outside!  With our personal projector and a computer set up with Netflix, nothing is stopping us from watching a movie outside.  We've taken different spins on this family favorite by going on Pizza and Park Dates and participating in a Pizza Taste Off, but have never taken a new spin on the movie aspect of our tradition.  The kids are especially looking forward to this bucket list item!

Last on the list is to go to a Baseball Game.  We've been to I-Cub and Minnesota Twins games in the past, but it has never been an "official" bucket list item.  And this year, with Mr. K in T-Ball, we really want to make a trip to watch a baseball game.

Whew!  Good thing the "unofficial" start of summer begins this weekend!  We're excited to do some new things this year and make a lot of memories along the way.  What is on your Summer Bucket List?  Don't forget to download my Summer Bucket List Free Printable and start planning today.  I would love to hear your bucket list plans so be sure to Comment for a Cause!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

How to plan Mother's Day Brunch

Mother's Day is in one week and I don't know what it is about the holiday, but it makes me hungry for brunch!  Maybe it's memories of my sisters and I making breakfast in bed for my Mom, or the fact that Mother's Day is on a Sunday.  But it just feels like the perfect fit to indulge in some eggs, pastries and something a little extra to celebrate.  Check out some of my favorite brunch recipes to help you plan and host your Mother's Day Brunch!

How to plan Mother's Day Brunch - 14 Delicious Recipes

Eggs - A brunch isn't complete without an egg dish or two!

Mother's Day Brunch - Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll

Ham & Cheese Omelette Roll - Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids

If you're entertaining for Mother's Day Brunch then this egg dish should be on the top of your list.  It's creative, eye catching and delicious!

Mother's Day Brunch - Biscuits & Gravy Casserole
(photo courtesy of The Pork Diaries)
Biscuits & Gravy Casserole - The Pork Diaries

This egg casserole has everything you'd ever want in one bite - biscuit, sausage, egg, and cheese!  Top that with gravy and you'll be scooting your fork all across your plate to make sure you get every bite of this "liquid gold" as my friend Alicia calls it.

Mother's Day Brunch - Farmers Market Quiche

Farmers Market Quiche - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

How about another eye appealing egg dish that will be sure to impress at brunch?  I love the creamy and rich flavor of this quiche and the bacon lattice brings it up a notch!

Mother's Day Brunch - Pepper Jack Egg Bake
(photo courtesy of Learning As I Go)
Pepper Jack Egg Bake - Learning As I Go

Are you a hashbrown or bread egg bake person?  Well, if you are a hashbrown egg bake person like me you're going to love my friend Katy's Pepper Jack Egg Bake filled with hashbrowns, eggs, ham, bacon and pepper jack cheese!

Mother's Day Brunch - Green Chili Egg Bake

Green Chili Egg Bake - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

This cheesy, buttery egg bake is a family favorite of ours.  And I love the unique flavor it has from the green chilies and cottage cheese!

Pastries - Pastries are the perfect appetizer and dessert for brunch so you better make more than one!

Mother's Day Brunch - Easy Pecan Sticky Buns

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

I love how simply these sticky buns come together.  And these will be sure to cover your sweet tooth for brunch, especially with ice cream as one of the ingredients!

Mother's Day Brunch - Champion Cinnamon Rolls
(photo courtesy of Food & Swine)
Champion Cinnamon Rolls - Food & Swine

There is something special about cinnamon rolls.  Maybe it's the knowledge of how much time goes into making them, or the memories tied to cinnamon rolls.  No matter the case, my friend Cristen's is sure to be a treat.  Afterall, they are award winning, so have a blue ribbon brunch with these on your table!

Mother's Day Brunch - Six Week Muffins

Six Week Muffins - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

These bran muffins are a tried and true favorite of our family.  They are a hearty muffin with a slightly sweet flavor.  For brunch they would be perfect to make as mini-muffins.

Mother's Day Brunch - Strawberries & Cream Skillet Roll
(photo courtesy of Cooking with Carlee)
Strawberries and Cream Skillet Roll - Cooking with Carlee

This sweet treat would be perfect if you're hosting brunch for Mother's Day.  My friend Carlee says this is a combination of a sweet roll and strawberry cheesecake.

Mother's Day Brunch - Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
(photo courtesy of Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats)
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins - Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Mom deserves a little chocolate, right?  Then you better add my friend Ally's Double Chocolate Banana Muffins to your Mother's Day Brunch Menu!  I love the flavor combination of chocolate and banana, and what makes these even better - they are simple to make!  This would be a great opportunity to get in the kids in the kitchen to help make brunch for their favorite lady.

Something a Little Extra - Every Mother's Day Brunch needs that little something extra - afterall, we're celebrating Mom!

Mother's Day Brunch - 4 Ingredient Sunrise Smoothie

4 Ingredient Sunrise Smoothie - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Brunch is a great time to make something a little extra special to drink.  This Sunrise Smoothie is a hit for all ages and only has 4 ingredients so it is super simple to make!

Mother's Day Brunch - Hash Brown Potato Pie
(photo courtesy of Family Around the Table)
Hash Brown Potato Pie - Family Around the Table

This hash brown potato pie has simple flavors and ingredients, but yet is everything you want to go along with your brunch.  I also love how this recipe has a special connection to my friend Ellen and her Mom!

Mother's Day Brunch - Onion Tart
(photo courtesy of Prairie Californian)
Onion Tart - Prairie Californian

This onion tart is pretty much a french onion soup in a pie crust - sounds perfect to me!  I love how my friend Jenny got inspired to create this unique recipe after meeting an onion farmer.  This post not only gives you a delicious recipe, but an inside look at an onion farm!  How cool is that! 

Mother's Day Brunch - Baked French Toast
(photo courtesy of Cooking Up Cottage)
Baked French Toast - Cooking Up Cottage

Mother's Day Brunch is a great excuse to indulge and have that something a little extra and my friend Lisa's Baked French Toast fits the bill!  It is simple to make and you can throw it in the oven while you're working on getting other things ready for your company.

Mother's Day Brunch - Cherry Breakfast Cobbler
(photo courtesy of The Tip Garden)
Cherry Breakfast Cobbler - The Tip Garden

I love how this cobbler uses simple ingredients, yet looks like something that you slaved over.  My friend Jan always comes up with great recipes and I love her story that goes along with it!

So what are you going to choose for your Mother's Day Brunch?  It is going to be a hard choice but I hope I helped you come up with some ideas.  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

How to plan Mother's Day Brunch - 14 Delicious Recipes

Friday, May 5, 2017

Comments for a Cause - Franklin County Freedom Rock

Comments for a Cause - Franklin County Freedom Rock
We have had a beautiful start to the month of May here in Iowa and I'm excited to share with you about this month's Comments for a Cause program.  To start though, let's talk about last month's cause, the Ashland Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund.  In the month of April I had a total of 53 comments, creating a $26.50 donation to help ranchers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado that lost livestock and their homesteads due to the wildfires.  Before I go on, I have to let you know that this part of the country has been given another brutal hit by Mother Nature.  Last week a devastating and unimaginable April snowstorm hit Kansas and Colorado, leaving over 20" of snow in many parts.  Ranchers were unprepared and the snow has killed cattle and damaged the area's wheat crop.  To learn more, please read my friend Nicole of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom's latest post.

Now moving onto May, I'm excited to be helping a local cause, the Franklin County Freedom Rock.  During the month of May I'll be donating $0.50 for every comment made on my blog to assist with the cost of having my county's Freedom Rock painted.

Comments for a Cause - Franklin County Freedom Rock

The Franklin County, Iowa Freedom Rock is a part of a the Freedom Rock Tour, where artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, is painting Freedom Rocks in all of Iowa's 99 counties.  Back in 1999 Sorensen painted the very first and original Freedom Rock in rural Adair Conty as a way to honor America's veterans.  It became so popular, and so many people were moved by it that in 2013 he started the Freedom Rock Tour.  As of today, 59 county Freedom Rocks have been painted, and many more, like Franklin County's are ready and on the list to be painted next.  Sorensen is able to paint 10-12 Freedom Rocks a year and estimates the program will take 10 years to complete.

The Franklin County Freedom Rock was moved to its final resting spot at the end of February 2017 in Coulter, Iowa, at the trailhead of the Rolling Prairie Trail that goes from Coulter to Waverly, Iowa.  The 20 ton rock was donated by Martin Marietta of Mason City and moved courtesy of Dave's Crane Service of Union.  The rock will be painted in the future by Bubba Ray Sorensen in its own unique way that honors America's veterans.  So far the rock has had all donated costs and services, but a fund has been set up to pay for the painting of the rock.  I'm excited to help support my county's rock!

What I love about the Freedom Rock Tour is that it not only pays respect to Veterans, but many rocks have local ties to them and shares the faces of real, local veterans.  The original Freedom Rock even has ashes of veterans in the paint.  I also love the tourism aspect of the tour.  My family and I have checked out a few county Freedom Rocks and I hope to visit the original sometime soon.

And for those of you who aren't from Iowa, the Freedom Rock Tour is now going national!  Bubba Ray Sorensen is now setting out to paint Freedom Rocks in all 50 states.  He has rocks in Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin so far, and plans in place for the state of Washington's next.

Have you ever seen one of the Freedom Rocks before?  Have you ever been to the original Freedom Rock?  Remember to Comment for a Cause all month long!

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: