Friday, December 25, 2015

Foodie Friends Friday

We are taking a week off from the Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!!

Please stop by and visit Our Co-Hosts!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party #178

Welcome to the Foodie Friends Friday
Linky Party!!

Meet Our Co-Hosts!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Giveaway - An Invitation for Two to the Iowa Taste of Elegance from the Iowa Pork Producers

This year marks the 30th year of the Taste of Elegance competition.  It is hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association to celebrate pork and find Iowa’s Best Pork Entrée in fine dining.

What is the Taste of Elegance?  It is a fun competition between 12 chefs. They cook their best pork dishes to compete for awards starting at $1,000 and yearly bragging rights to being the best pork chef in Iowa. The top winner also wins a trip to the National Pork Summit in California.   

Saturday, December 12, 2015

20+ Awesome Cookie Swap Recipes from Iowa Bloggers

Mixers are mixing and ovens are heating up this holiday season.  If you are looking for some great recipes for your cookie swap or to keep for yourself, you've come to the right place. 

I am showcasing recipes from my fellow Iowa bloggers.  There is certainly something here for everyone!

Visit their pages for more yummies and crafts!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

If you saw my Unstuffed Green Peppers recipe you learned that I prefer my green peppers chopped up rather than used as cups.  One day here recently I thought that I would try it with a bit more liquid and made it in a soup.  It's a nice change up from the casserole style meal.

The canned tomatoes and sauce can be salty it was good to use my homemade broth where I can control the salt.  You can use water (which I have done in a pinch and it is still delicious) or use a lower sodium broth.

After eating it as a meal and making lunch portions with what was left there weren't any for the freezer.  Next time I will double the recipe and put some away for quick meals. Another afterthought I had was to use the crock pot next time.  I'll work on that and update this when I do!

Unstuffed Pepper Soup                                                                          Printable Recipe

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
2/3 chopped green peppers
2/3 cup chopped onion
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1-1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
1-2 cups beef broth (or water)
1/2 cup instant brown rice (I used Uncle Ben's)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Guide - 15 Must-Have Items for Your Kitchen

Don't know what to put on your wish list?  I'll show you 15 items I have in my kitchen that I just couldn't live without.  Not everything here is exactly what I own but if I couldn't find it I found you something comparable. 

Show your friends and family these items or buy them for yourself.  No one said you couldn't buy your own gifts!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Chili with Rice

In October I met up with 9 other bloggers to learn about corn.  I am familiar with sweet corn and use it in many of our dishes.  I love the crunch and sweetness it adds.  It is also a good source of fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin Bs.

 I prefer it fresh but when I can't have it fresh I use what I have that I froze during the summer months. You can read all about how I preserve it here.  Want to know more about our Iowa Corn Quest?  This link will show you more! #iacornquest

Crock Pot Chicken Chili with Rice                                                       Printable Recipe

1-1/2 pounds chicken tenders*
1/2 small onion, diced
15 ounce can black beans, drained (not rinsed)
14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 cup whole corn, drained if needed (thawed if frozen)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2-4 dashes cayenne pepper
salt (to taste)
2 cups cooked brown rice
sour cream
shredded Mexican blend cheese

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party #175

Welcome to the Foodie Friends Friday
Linky Party!!

Meet Our Co-Hosts!

Monday, November 23, 2015

20+ Leftover Turkey Recipes

If your family is anything like my family there is always leftover turkey after the big Thanksgiving meal.   Every year it seems that it is the same ol' sandwiches or heated up leftovers. This year let's change up the sandwiches and meals!

I called out to the food blogging community and found many fantastic tasty ideas to use up  your turkey.  Some of them are chicken recipes but leftover turkey will do just fine.  Same goes for the turkey ones,  you can absolutely use leftover chicken.  

Bon appétit!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars

One day I had a craving for brownies but then I had a thought that chocolate chips cookies sounded good too.  Then I wondered if I could combine them both in one recipe.  I took my great grandma's Congo Squares recipe and my Coffee Cream Brownie recipe and got to stirring.  The end result was better than I imagined it would be so I had to take my few pieces out of the pan and send the rest with my husband to work. He said they didn't last long before they were all gone and the plate was empty. 

Soft and chewy with a little bit of crunch from the nuts and the cookie bar dough on top makes this a taste for the senses! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars                                                    Printable Recipe

Cookie Layer:
2-3/4 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
2-1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup nuts, coconut and/or chocolate chips

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, cut up
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken into pieces.
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour 
3 Tablespoons finely chopped nuts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party #173

Welcome to the Foodie Friends Friday
Linky Party!!

Meet Our Co-Hosts!

Iowa Corn Quest 2015 #Iacornquest

In October,  I met up with 9 other bloggers in Davenport, Iowa to get a little “corny.”  We attended Iowa Corn Quest 2015, a blogger tour put on by Iowa Corn.  We learned about corn, its development,  its uses and talked with farmers who grow it.

First, a little bit about me and my connection to the farm.  My family lives on a farm but my husband and I do not do the day to day farming of the land, tend to the pigs or cows.  My father in law and nephew do that.  I do, however, tend to our goats and ”farm” our garden and preserve our harvest.  My husband helps out as needed during hay baling time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicken Parmesan

An Italian classic with a little twist. I start with a light pan fry and finish cooking it in the oven.  This lessens the need for all of that oil that gets absorbed when you fry. Baking the breaded chicken alone as opposed to smothering it in the sauce let's the crunch of the bread crumbs come through. I love that it's creamy and crunchy all in one dish. 

You can purchase your marinara sauce but make your own garlic cream sauce.  It's easy - if you can make a white sauce or gravy you can make it - and it's delicious with just a few ingredients.  Use the extra to dip breadsticks in!

Chicken Parmesan                                                                                      Printable Recipe

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 beaten egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
olive oil
6 ounces of spaghetti
Jar of your favorite pasta sauce ( I used my own Roasted Marinara)
One recipe Garlic Cream Sauce
Chopped basil for garnish

Monday, October 5, 2015


Quark?  That's that character from Star Trek, right?  Sure, that's his name but today I am talking dairy!

I first discovered quark in Munich, Germany.  Although at the time I didn't really know what it was.  I just knew that I had been seeing the runnier, semi sour European yogurts up until that point in my trip.  This one was drizzled with walnuts and honey and looked thicker. I took a small scoop to try.  It was so delicious!  Super creamy and just a little sweet.  I was pleasantly surprised.  

I belong to a German page on Facebook and one day she was discussing this treat called "quark."  I was pretty sure then that it was what I had in Munich.  I set out to see if I could make it from my goat milk.  I found a few recipes for using cultures and this is what I came up with.  Every milk is a little different so you may have to play with the draining times to get what you want but it is easy to make so give it a go!  

We'll still make our runnier type of goat yogurt for smoothies but this is my new go to thick yogurt type of recipe!  I also found that if I don't sweeten it that it works similar to sour cream.  I plan to try it with a baked potato soon.  I read that the un-thinned version can be used like cream cheese for käsekuchen (cheesecake.)  Maybe we'll have a go at that too!

Quark                                                                                                  Printable Recipe

1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)*
Buttermilk culture  - USE 1 packet from New England Cheesemaking Culture or 1/8 teaspoon bulk from GetCulture
3 drops liquid rennet
Extra whole milk (amount needed depends on amount of quark making at serving time)
pure maple syrup or honey
pecans or walnuts