Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Is Mud a Sign of Spring?

We have enjoyed a couple of days filled with sunshine and mild temperatures.
Well mid 40's is mild for February in our area.

The snow is almost all melted except for a few spots left in the ditches.

The landscape is covered in that dull, dead brown.

With a mix of black mud!

The farm truck is surrounded by it!

Lots of muddy tracks in the drive way.

Even the path to the chicken coop is a challenge.
I am running out of spots to tip toe on trying to stay out of the muck.

Now I know why the room coming in the back door is called the

A never ending job of scrubbing puppy prints!

I did manage to scrub some of the boots off today.

But as I took a walk around the yard yesterday, 
I did find a little happiness mixed in with the mud.

The first signs of spring!

As a girl that has grown up in the mid west I have learned to just deal with the mud.

It comes every year!
And right before spring.
So maybe just maybe it could be a sign of spring.

That is what I am choosing to believe!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pinterest in my pantry

With winter still lingering on, 
and most days looking like this

I am trying to find things around the house that need my attention.
Because lets face it once it gets nice outside things inside tend to get a bit neglected.

One such spot is the cabinet above my fridge.

I open it up quite frequently to grab a cookbook out.
You know, the one or two books that holds that recipe we tend to use quite frequently.

Lately though I have become quite disgusted with myself for not grabbing more recipes out of that cupboard to try.

After all I have binders and notebooks full of recipes I had copied to try out at a later date.

Oh I am sure some did get prepared for the dinner table at one time or another.

But really how many unmade recipes sit in that spot just waiting to be rediscovered?

These little recipe card boxes are full too!

A couple of boxes were purchased at auctions 
already full of recipes from seasoned cooks!

The others have been filled up with recipes shared by friends, family members or from somewhere I had been. 
You know, that recipe you just had to have!

Then there are all of my church cookbooks.
These are just a few!

How many tried a true recipes from church potlucks fill these treasured books?

This must have been a good recipe!

I am still hanging onto it since 1999!
(It is actually a recipe I use at about every holiday dinner)

I posted this back in 2012 about the recipe scraps I had inherited from my grandmothers recipe files
The ones she just scribbled down on any handy pieces of paper or napkins!

Sadly since the invention of pinterest most of these recipes have just sat up in the cupboard tucked away.

It is so easy just to sit down at your computer and scroll through picture upon picture of scrumptious looking dishes.

Pin them onto your pinterest board and bam you have your own
virtual on-line cookbook!

Don't get me wrong I love my pinterest recipes.
They have saved me on many of those whats for supper nights.

But what to do with my cabinet FULL of delicious recipes waiting to be made?

I have decided to start the process of going through all of my loose paper recipes.
(It will probably take me until summer!)

And look

I already have a meal plan for the rest of the week!

And the next week!
and the next 
and the next......!

What did I get myself into!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ready for Spring

I know I am!

This morning its brutal out!
Wind chills in the -10 to -20 range.

4- 6 inches of snow expected for tomorrow!


But one of the biggest reasons I am ready for spring?

The seeds are here!

I know you have to order your vegetable and flower seeds early.

The new varieties and top sellers tend to sell out quickly.

But it sure is hard to open that box, look over each seed packet thoroughly and then imagine every plant growing gloriously in the garden,
only to look out my window to this

At least the sun is shining!

I know spring is right around the corner!

At least that's what Puxatony Phil said!

Until then I will wait patiently (or at least try) visualizing my field filled with summer flowers!

Stay warm!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pork Carnitas for the Game

Today is the last big football game of the season!

Superbowl Sunday!

Even though none of our favorites made it to the last game,
I am a Packer backer
and the pipeliner roots for the Bears,
we will watch the big game.

We both would like to see Peyton Manning go out on top.
He has kind of been a favorite of ours since the pipeliner worked on a job at Lucas Oil Stadium while it was being built.

The old home of Peyton Manning actually dubbed the house that Peyton built while he played for the Indianapolis Colts.

Onto the food!

Of course most people associate Superbowl with food!

Today I am going to make one of our favorites,
Pork Carnitas.

It is such an easy recipe to make.
Mix it all together,
then throw it in the oven!

I mix all of my spices up first.

Then juice a lime and orange.

We had a pig butchered this fall.
I had them cut some pork roasts just the size for recipes like this.

Everything plus a peeled and quartered onion gets thrown into my favorite pot.

One of the best Christmas gifts ever!

Into the oven set at 300 F. for 4 hours.

The house smells so good after about the second hour of cooking!

This is what it looks like after its all cooked down.

The pork is so tender!

Next shred the pork onto a large jelly roll pan.

It is so hard to keep from taste testing!

Strain the left over juices then put back in your pot.

Simmer until it begins to thicken.

Pour the thickened juice over your pulled pork.

Place under the broiler in your oven for a couple of minutes.

This makes a few crispy pieces of pork that just add to the yumminess of it all!

I like to serve my pork carnitas on grilled flour tortillas 
with salsa verde spooned over the top,
a few raw onions and a chopped avocado.

You can add anything you like as your toppings.

We also enjoy the pork as the meat topping on nachos.

What will be your favorite food to eat on Superbowl Sunday?

Pork Carnitas

4 pound pork butt roast cut into chunks

1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper 
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chiplote chili pepper

1 large orange juiced
1 lime juiced 
1 med onion peeled & quartered
2 cups of water

Mix the seasoning, except bay leaves, and sprinkle over the chunks of pork.

Juice the orange & lime.
Quarter the juiced orange and lime rinds.

Pour juice over seasoned pork chunks.

Pour 2 cups water over pork chunks.

Add the quartered onion, orange and lime rinds.

Give everything a quick stir.

Put the lid on the pot, then put on bottom rack of a preheated
300 F. oven for 4 hours.

Shred after the pork has cooled.

Drain reserved juice.
Cook reserved juice on the stove until thickened.
Pour over shredded pork.
Broil mixture for 2 minutes.

At this point you can serve how ever your taste desires!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It Doesn't Get Any Fresher Than This

One of the great things about having our own chickens!

The boy loves his eggs!