Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Bake Energy Bites~ By Lydia

1c. Oatmeal 
1/2 c. Peanut Butter
1/3 c. Honey 
1 c.Sweetened Coconut Flakes
1/2 c. Dried Cranberries 
1/2 c. Ground Flax seed
1tsp. Vanilla

Mix all ingredients and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll into balls and store in the fridge. 

Variations:  I used an extra cup of oatmeal instead of the coconut flakes and 1/4 c whole flaxseeds instead of ground because I love the "crunch!"  The original recipe uses chocolate chips instead of dried cranberries, but I didn't have any chocolate chips on hand and the cranberries are delicious!

These are a perfect sweet snack before or after a run.  I also like to grab one early in the morning before milking to help me wake up!
Adapted from:

Glazed Meat Loaf ~ by Caroline

Our family is very thankful to have fresh-off-the-farm ground beef.  And since it is relatively inexpensive to feed to our large family and easy to use, we seem to use it quite a bit! We like this meatloaf recipe, as it is very tasty and has a vegetable hidden in it!  It is also handy on busy days to make it early, refrigerate, and then cook just before dinner.  Then, if there are any leftovers, it makes for great meatloaf sandwiches the next day!

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. milk
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. crushed saltines (about 30 crackers)
1 c. finely shredded carrots (we use our mini food processor)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp, salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
2 TB Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cheese, saltines, carrots, onion, salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.  Shape into a loaf.  Place in greased 13 X 9 in. baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

For glaze, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.  Spoon over meat loaf.  Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Drain; let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.  Makes approximately 12 servings. 

Source:  Taste of Home magazine

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Banana Bars ~ By Victoria

These moist and flavorful banana bars are certainly a favorite around here, even for Daddy who won’t eat bananas plain! J They are super easy to make and this is a great way to use over-ripe bananas!

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 bananas, mashed
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Cream shortening and sugar, then add milk, vanilla and bananas.   Mix flour, baking soda and salt together.   Add to wet mixture and stir just until moistened.

Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan.   Bake for approx. 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Glaze (We double this)

2 TB. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
2 TB. milk.

Source:  This recipe was handed down from our beloved Gma Jerke, who went to be with the Lord Dec. 7, 2013.  We took the photo on a table runner she gave us a few years ago.  : -)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ranch Crispy Chicken

This one's a keeper!  Richie says it may be his new favorite way to eat chicken.  It is delicious served with mashed potatoes and gravy!

Ranch Crispy Chicken
 4 TB Coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
2 eggs, beaten
2 (1 ounce) packages ranch dressing mix (2 TB mix)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Heat oil in a large skillet.
Combine dressing mix and bread crumbs in a plastic bag, beat eggs in a bowl. Dip chicken breasts in eggs and then shake in plastic bag, one at a time until coated with breadcrumbs.
Drop immediately into skillet, cook over medium heat until done.  
OR, try this Oven Version:
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 (1 ounce) packages ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Combine dressing mix and bread crumbs in a plastic bag. Add chicken and shake until coated.
Place coated chicken pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
Adapted from 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

To Die For Blueberry Muffins ~ by Valerie

These are truly delicious, prize-winning muffins!
It has been our family's favorite muffin recipe for a while now!
Daddy and our pastor especially love them as they love blueberries,
and we are blessed to live in a land flowing with this sweet little fruit.
HOWEVER, I'm not sure I would go so far as to agree that they are worth dying for!
So, no need to take their title literally! : -)  

For Brielle's birthday party, we substituted raspberries for the blueberries,
and some folks thought they were even more delicious that way!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (we use frozen, and roll in flour)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2.Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3.To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Whole Wheat Ravioli

 These were really good!  The recipe was adapted from Taste Of Home, but I actually use completely different cheeses for my own sheep milk ricotta and soft sheep cheese!  Since most people don't have sheep cheese on hand, the recipe below is the original.  



3 1/2 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour (3 to 3 1/2 all-purpose)

3 eggs

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoons olive oil


1lb ground beef

3 cans tomato sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

3 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

3 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


2 1/2 c Ricotta cheese

2 c Mozzarella cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons minced fresh basil

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1.       Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, water and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2.       Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook ground beef until no longer pink.  Add all sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3.       In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4.       Divide pasta dough into fourths; roll one portion to 1/16-in. thickness. (Keep pasta covered until ready to use.) Place rounded teaspoonfuls of filling 1 in. apart over half of pasta sheet. Fold sheet over; press down to seal. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

5.       Bring a soup kettle of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain. Toss cooked ravioli into pot of sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

 Note:  You can make really big ravioli rather than filling a bunch of littler squares, that will make it go much faster!

Also, I use this sauce recipe (minus the beef) for everything from pizza to spaghetti!  If you like, you can add a can of crushed tomatoes or stewed tomatoes for more texture, my husband just doesn't love tomato chunks ;-)

 Adapted from Taste Of Home Recipes