Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Fool's Day Treat

Although I didn't prepare Easter lunch, we enjoyed a feast at my Mother's table today. Ham is the traditional meat that we enjoy for this holiday meal and  fortunately
for us, we were sent home with the tasty leftovers to enjoy this week.

 There will be plenty of ham sandwiches but for variety, I plan to use part of the left-over ham  for a Hash Brown Quiche that we can enjoy for breakfast,lunch or supper. It might even be a good April Fool's Day treat!

Hash Brown Quiche

3 cups frozen loose-pack shredded hash browns,thawed
1/3 cup butter,melted
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1 cup (4 ounces)shredded cheddar cheese
1/4  pepper-jack cheese,grated (optional)
1/4 cup diced green pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Press hash browns between paper towel to remove excess moisture. Press into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
Combine ham,cheese and green pepper; spoon over crust. In a small bowl, beat eggs,milk,salt and pepper. Pour over all. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.
Happy April Fool's Day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

As I walked down the driveway to the mailbox just before dark, our curious pregnant cows stopped grazing just long enough to make sure I wasn't going to get close enough to interrupt their grass snacking time.  It almost looked like they were hunting for Easter eggs in the grass! 
 After a half inch of rain, a partial day of sunshine and the  temperature above 60 degrees for a couple of days, you can almost  see the grass growing. After experiencing last year's drought and continuing to deal with the shortage of hay and feed for our cows, it's truly a blessing to see the new grass and the contentedness of our cows. 
Easter, the annual church celebration commemorating Christ's resurrrection, coincides with the beginning evidence of spring in northwest Arkansas. The beauty of our world is a vivid reminder of God's perfect plan for each of us.
 From down on the dairy farm...
Happy Easter! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Spring is full of surprises and celebrations on the dairy farm.  We were surprised with  frigid temperatures frosted  with snow  and the birth of this snowy white calf this first week of spring. Isn't she cute?
I'm calling her Snowflake.
I'm thankful for new life on the farm and for the opportunity to celebrate my Mother's 82nd birthday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dairy Style Spring Break

I haven't been on spring break like most of the families in our area, but I did attend the Dairy Farmers of America Annual Meeting in Kansas City at the beginning of the week. It was great to see friends from across the country, receive updated information about our dairy cooperative and sample a variety of delicious  dairy products--especially Elsie's Borden cheese!

  You can probably guess that one of my favorite activities is to go say hello to Elsie. It's hard to decide which one of us has the best smile!

Even though Elsie stays busy making visits around the country, you can find a great selection of recipes on Friends of Elsie. Saturday night I'm planning  to celebrate the end of spring break (that I didn't have), by baking Elsie's  Easy Cheesy Honky Tonk Chicken.
Easy Cheesy Honky Tonk Chicken
 4 slices Borden Applewood Bacon Cheddar Singles Sensations
 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
 1 cup Barbecue sauce
 2/3 cup French Fried Onions (150mL can)
 4 slices of crispy fried bacon
 4 tablespoons sour cream
 9 jalapeno slices (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place chicken in a glass baking dish.
Pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce over the chicken.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until liquid runs clear.
While chicken is baking, pan fry bacon until extra crisp. Drain grease and set bacon to the side.
When chicken is donem place one slice of Applewood Bacon Cheddar Single on each chicken breast. Then top with a slice of bacon. Sprinkle with French fried onion.
Place chicken back into the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese melts.
After you take the chicken out of the oven, put a 1 tablespoon dollop of sour cream on to each chicken breast and then 2 slices of jalapenos on to each dollop of sour cream.
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

    Although it's a chilly first day of spring, there are signs on the dairy farm to verify it's  the season of new life. Spring brings a fresh breath of  hope  and I'm thankful for the simple enjoyment of experiencing this season on the dairy farm with my family.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


On my way to attend a meeting this morning  at  the Arkansas Association of Counties building in Little Rock , I drove by the Capitol. It was a beautiful morning full of sunshine and the promise of spring.  While enjoying the view, I thought about the state song we learned when in elementary school.  The song  "Arkansas" was written by Eva Ware Barnett in 1916.

Arkansas Song
I am thinking tonight of the Southland,
Of the home of my childhood days,
where I roamed through the woods and the meadows
By the mill and the brook that plays;
Where the roses are in bloom
And the sweet magnolia too,
Where the jasmine is white
And the fields are violet blue,
There a welcome awaits all her children
Who have wandered afar from home.
Arkansas,Arkansas, tis a name dear,
'Tis the place I call "home,sweet home";
Arkansas,Arkansas, I salute thee,
From thy shelter no more I'll roam.
'Tis a land full of joy and of sunshine,
Rich in pearls and in diamonds rare,
Full of hope,faith,and love for the stranger,
Who may pass 'neath her portals fair;
There the rice fields are full,
 And the cotton,corn and hay,
There the fruits of the field
Bloom in the winter months and May,
'Tis the land that I love,first of all,dear,
And to her let us all give cheer.

'Tis the place I call "home,sweet,home"!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

We've spent alot of time fixing fence during  this past year's drought  due to dairy and beef cattle pushing through to reach any blade of green grass on the other side. It's the perfect example of that old saying,"the grass is always greener on the other side."  I'm thankful for the concerned  telephone calls letting us know we have a cow out of the pasture and for the son who quickly repairs  the fence in a moment's notice!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hope Rains

For the first time in two years, Sunday morning  we saw water standing in the pastures, running down the road and bringing ponds to overflowing levels after receiving just a little more than two inches of rain during the night. It seemed like magic--I wondered if it happened in that magical  Daylight Savings Time hour when the clock springs forward.

After this year's drought, we are looking forward to spring and the hope that our pastures and ponds will be revived by adequate moisture and good growing conditions. We have alot of work ahead of us in restoring drought damaged fields and pastures but....

the rain does give us hope for the possibility for our farm's sustainability.
 After losing my hour of sleep to meet the Daylight Savings Time schedule, receiving rain was the perfect attitude adjuster for me. I didn't even mind putting on my rain suit and rubber boots to face the wind and rain to feed calves!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mother-Daughter Arkansas Adventure

After attending the Arkansas Farm Bureau Women's Conference in Little Rock this weekend, Mother and I headed west for a little mother-daughter Arkansas  adventure. For the past couple of years, we had talked about going to see the daffodils at Wye Mountain. It  seemed the perfect opportunity for this pre-spring adventure   to see the daffodils in bloom.
Although Wye Mountain is only twenty-six miles from Little Rock, you quickly enjoy the rural flavor of this Arkansas  community when driving up to the small  Wye United Methodist Church surrounded by the seven acres of yellow daffodils.
We were astounded by the number of people that had come to enjoy these yellow beauties.
People were everywhere--blankets spread on the ground,children in their Easter outfits having pictures made, and couples just strolling around enjoying the day.
 Although there is no charge to visit the field, you can make a donation or spend a little money at the craft barn full of Arkansas handmade items  or purchase your favorite  food at the  concession stand. I made a contribution by purchasing a 'What's Cooking at Wye'  cookbook sold by the women of the Wye United Methodist Church.
From the cookbook I learned that the Wye Mountain Daffodil Field was created in 1948 by the generosity of  Austin and Bessie Harmon from a half bushel of leftover daffodil bulbs that were given to them by the owner of Hackett Feed Store in Little Rock in 1927. Sixty five bushels of bulbs were seperated and transplanted on the seven acres surrounding the Wye United Methodist Church  from that half bushel of bulbs planted in 1927.
Our visit to Wye Mountain was a memorable experience and
it was definintely  a perfect mother-daughter Arkansas adventure!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Today was "test"day on our dairy farm.
Once a month, Greg comes to "test" our milk. Actually,  he takes  a sample of milk from every cow that is in the milking herd and sends it to the MidSouth Dairy Record's  lab to be analyzed. The information from this test helps us to monitor and manage the production and health of  our dairy herd.  I'm thankful for people ,like Greg, who are part of our dairy farm family helping us to produce high-quality milk from healthy cows.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Type Recipe

Long before it was common to see men helping with housework or child care, my Daddy was  self sufficient in the kitchen. As I was trying to figure out what to fix for lunch, I found the full page   collection of family recipes that my Dad typed on his old Remington typewriter and  gave me soon after I married. These were recipes that he and his favorite wife (#3) loved to prepare for family dinners.

This typed sheet is my Dad's signature--his handwriting was so eligible, he always typed letters or notes if he wanted me to get the message. Those typed letters were always special because I knew  he was sending love with each tap of the keys.    Hamburger Casserole is just one of those typed  recipes that will always bring alot of sweet memories for me  and smiles from my family!

Hamburger Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion,diced (or none)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 package potato tots
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Lightly grease 13 x 9 in. baking dish; press hamburger loosely in bottom of dish. Spread onions over hamburger. Cover with potato tots. In a small bowl, blend soups together.  Pour blended soup over mixture in dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees fifty minutes. Uncover,sprinkle with shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese and bake for another 10 minutes to brown.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'm Just the Marrying Kind!

I was asking myself if I was  really the marrying kind and why in the world would I perform a marriage ceremony as I left the farm and drove to the beautiful Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville to perform my first  ceremony that had been quickly arranged by telephone last week.

Arkansas law allows an elected Justice of the Peace the right to perform a marriage ceremony. Although I can decline this privilege of the office, I decided that when possible, I will perform the ceremony as a service to citizens in my county.

Larry and Vanessa were ready and waiting when I arrived and had found a great spot outside in the sunshine on the Museum grounds. The ceremony was short and sweet, all the proper papers were signed and I departed almost as quickly as I arrived. I think I was more nervous than the bride and groom--no--I'm sure I was!

After this first wedding ceremony adventure, I can easily say, "I'm just the marrying kind"!