Friday, August 28, 2015

A Farmers Road Trip... Moline, Il

When you have the opportunity to buy a little bit more land - you jump on it. That's the thing about land - they don't make any more of it. What is here on God's green earth is it. You never turn down this opportunity. BUT that comes with sacrifice, you don't jump off to Florida beach vacations when you are married to a farmer. Although I caught myself dreaming of getting packed up for another trip to Seaside, Fl (see our 2014 trip here), when your life revolves around the weather and the grain market those vacations are not always a yearly thing.

We hadn't planned on any vacation or get away at all. We moved in mid summer and hosted a couple of get together - so our time has been spent on our home - which I love. BUT we made a last minute trip to Moline, IL to the John Deere Pavilion. Typical farmers vacation, took back roads and talked about crops and barns and farms the whole 5.5 hour drive. It was a blast, and after a busy summer with my farmer it was nice to be "stuck" in a car with him..

Take a look at some of my favorite pictures. I was a "typical" tourist and had my big camera around my neck the whole time.

These were the tired.... so cool...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

B.L.T.A.O.C (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomatoe, Avacado, Onions and Cheese)

I am not going to dare call this a "recipe" post. Its a BLT sandwich with a little extras I always add. I am sure this is a staple lunch or dinner for most families in the summertime. With garden fresh tomatoes at your fingertips there is no reason not to have this at least once.... a week...

I add a little extras to the original sandwich... Avocados, onions and cheese are a great addition.

I actually really like turkey bacon. It's yummy but my former pig farmer of a husband does not allow it on these sandwiches - so I fried up a whole pan of thick sliced bacon.
(We had extras that I heated up for breakfast...yummy)


I am a bread girl.... To me, the bread makes the sandwich. I always buy it from the bakery and this time I happened to get sliced ciabatta bread.

 All piled high. It's almost too big to eat sandwich style. It seems I always end up using a fork.

So next time you make  BLT for dinner think outside the box and add a few goodies from your fridge or fresh produce from your garden.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spicy Roasted Chicken and Potatoes...Farmer Approved

I am not a food photographer, I got butter on my camera while taking these photos - I am not a recipe maker by ANY means... But I love to cook. (and eat). I don't think I ever really follow a recipe - maybe for the very first time but it seems like I always adjust it. Maybe to something I liked more of or simply adjusted from something missing from my pantry. This roasted chicken is a version of the Pioneer Woman's. She did Chicken legs but my farmer prefers thighs over legs-while I prefer the opposite... Oh the sacrifice of marriage.

I know this looks like ALOT for 2 people but it's a great leftover so anytime I am roasting any kind of chicken I make extra and use it in Chicken salads or lunch the next day until it's gone.

Preheat your oven to 450° then pat dry your chicken.

Melt 1 stick of butter....

Coat each piece of chicken with butter. Butter terrifies a lot of people while cooking. I am a bit more old fashioned. I would much rather cook something with butter than feed my family with something that says "add contents of packet to boiling water"... But to each their own.  

Add whatever seasonings you like (or have).... We like things spicy around here so my go-to is Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper (I'm a pepper girl) and Salt. Depending on how spicy you like it and how much Chicken you are roasting I usually do a teaspoon of each pepper and a half teaspoon of salt.

Roast them for 30-35 minutes while basting with butter about every ten minutes. If you want them to be a little more golden brown I always put on the broiler for couple of minutes. Watch them -that broiler works FAST.

Just about done....

 While the chicken was cooking I roasted some potatoes in another oven. Not regular potatoes but garden fresh baby red potatoes from my parents garden. I am missing my big garden this year....

Start by dicing them up. I do smaller pieces since my chicken only had to cook for a half hour.

Put in a pan and coat with some olive oil then mix all around.

I have a five spice seasoning that I usually put on EVERYTHING. It's a great combination of salts and peppers so that's all I use.

To pile over the top of the potatoes once they are out of the oven I have a special little mixture that my farmer loves. This mix came from a salmon recipe that is delicious - I will have to share sometime soon.

I use Fage' Greek yogurt as a substitute for Sour Cream (I hope my farmer isn't reading this-not sure he knows my secret) with a little bit of fresh lemon juice, Dill Weed and a pinch of salt. It's so yummy.

Of coarse Fresh Dill is better.... but I don't have any fresh herbs this year either... I am going to have to start planning my garden for next year.


I love salad and usually make one with every meal. Especially this time of year with fresh veggies usually my salads consist of 50% lettuce 50% veggies.... This salad had some fresh mushrooms, lettuce, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and cucumbers.

I'm a ranch girl... I want it on everything. BUT with a dinner of roasted chicken and potatoes I wanted something much lighter. Most of the time I make up my own dressing just by what I have.
This is my favorite mixture.

A mason jar is a perfect shaker for homemade dressing. I have a laundry room cabinet stocked full of mason jars. Add a little bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, and mix all together. 

1 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a tsp of Dijon mustard and a tad bit of horseradish. 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic. Shake well...

Here is my finished product of our delicious dinner, with a good glass of wine and great company of my sweet farmer watching our beans grow out back.

Have a great day....

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