❤️❤️ Cast Iron❤️❤️

My grandmother and mother always cooked cornbread in their cast iron skillets.  For years that is all I fixed in mine as well but in the last few years I have a newfound love for everything cast iron.  Now every time I can, I find a reason to cook in cast iron.  This fall on our way to Stone mountain, we made a pit stop in South Pittsburgh TN and visited the Lodge Factory Outlet!  Cast iron heaven!  I picked up many useful accessories, cleaners and pan or three😉. For more cast iron tips, watch my video below!

https://youtu.be/qy0GiKD2Veg

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Strawberry Popsicles: A Summer Treat

I love trying new recipes and am really happy when they turn out as good as or better than I expected.  I had four gallons of strawberries knew I had to make Jam but wanted to try something different.  With it getting hot outside the kids are craving popsicles! At the end of last summer, I bought some popsicle molds and the kids have wanted to try them ever since.  These pops did not last long!

Strawberry Cream Popsicles

2 cups strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp of vanilla

1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt

Wash and hull strawberries.  Mix strawberries, sugar, and vanilla.  Let it set for 20 minutes in refrigerator.  (If you cannot wait, we made a batch right away, and they were good just not as intense flavor).  Puree strawberry mixture and yogurt.  Pour into popsicle mold.  Freeze for 3 hours.  Makes 6 popsicles.

Strawberry Popsicles

Yummy summer treat!

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2015 Goal Setting!

In my job, I teach farmers about the importance of goal setting and how critical it can be for their farm operation. My husband and I have always set goals for the farm and our financials. But for the first time we set personal goals and family goals and included the kids in the goal setting process.

As I expected, my organized, list loving daughter loved the activity and asked if she could set more than 5 personal goals😀. She like her mother feels great accomplishment when getting her to do list completed! My son was a little more hesitant, did not want to share his aloud, but did enjoy the one on one interaction that he and I shared during the goal setting process. Just like any other life skill, practice makes proficient and hopefully permanent and I pray that goal setting will become second nature to my kids. At 9 and 6 they have more realistic goals than I during my first goal setting exercise in college which included owning half of the farmland in my home county and meeting George Strait! Definitely did not comply with SMART goal setting: S-specific, M-measurable, A-attainable, R-realistic, T-timed!

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and we look forward to sharing ours with you!

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Bountiful Harvest

This is the first weekend my family has not spent the entire weekend in our commercial kitchen canning away into the wee hours.  We have been like little squirrels gathering food for the winter.  We were blessed with a great harvest, but after canning all day for the entire weekend and my tubs of tomatoes were whittled down, my husband brought in another 30 gallons of tomatoes, I almost cried.  I think sometimes in the exhaustion of harvest, things like “Why am I doing this again?” or “How much does tomato juice cost in the store?” certainly cross your mind. But as I look at my filled pantry, laugh about the family time spent together singing while working, and pray that my children learned valuable life skills……It is so worth it! 

Some of our canned treasures

Some of our canned treasures

 

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Squash Lasagna

Okay after my last post a friend sent me a recipe for a squash lasagna so I had to try it.  I had my reservations as it was stacked full with vegetables and herbs, but no meat.  For me, a meal just isn’t quite a meal with at least a little meat.  So I added 1.5 lbs of ground beef and some fresh oregano to my homemade sauce.  I didn’t have cottage cheese so I used sour cream instead and added another 1-1.5 cups of cheese ( I love cheese)!  I couldn’t get all mine in a 9×13 dish so I had to make another small pan with my leftover ingredients.  I’m going to try to freeze it and see how that goes!

IMG_8143

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the original recipe from Paula Deen and the Food Network

Ingredients
2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cups small cottage cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
8 oven-ready, “no cook,” lasagna noodles
12 slices provolone cheese, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions
Combine zucchini, squash, carrot, mushrooms, onion and peppers with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain well, and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs. Stir together.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over noodles. Cover cheese mixture with 1/2 the vegetable mixture, more sauce, and top evenly with 6 slices provolone cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with 4 noodles, rest of the cream cheese mixture, vegetables, sauce, and remaining cheeses. Place in oven for 35 minutes or until lasagna is hot and bubbling

Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/garden-full-of-goodness-lasagna-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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12 Ways to Cook Summer Squash

If you have ever raised summer squash, you understand the abundance of this delicious vegetable, can sometimes be overwhelming! Here at Wiggleton Creek, we are experiencing squash and zucchini overload. We have one or the other for supper every night! It is challenging to prepare new and exciting dishes with squash but over the years we have compiled several good options. So here is my top 12 ways to prepare squash and zucchini! And if you need some for your recipe, I know where you can get squash and zucchini!

Top 12 Squash and Zucchini Ideas
1. Grilled Squash, Zucchini and Onions
2. Squash Casserole
3. Zucchini Bread
4. Batter Dipped Fried Squash and Zucchini
5. Baked Zucchini Crisps or Fries
6. Skillet Fried Squash
7. Sausage Stuffed Squash and Zucchini
8. Squash Pickles
9. Zucchini Relish
10. Zucchini Appetizer Squares
11. Chocolate Zucchini Cake
12. Zucchini Creole

What is your favorite way to prepare summer squash or zucchini?

Cubed squash pickles

Cubed squash pickles

Squash sandwich stackers

Squash sandwich stackers

Sausage Stuffed Squash

Sausage Stuffed Squash

Zucchini Squares

Zucchini Squares

Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Cheddar Zucchini Bread

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Blueberry Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Blueberry Bread

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Fish Fry: Spring 2015

When we moved to the farm, we had a couple ponds that we had used for watering cattle over the years.  Yet, the one closest to the house we wanted to redo, fence the cattle out and use it for a recreational pond.  Lots of work went into fixing pond, but we were happy with the outcome!  We had the deck built, the gazebo moved closer, and just needed to stock the pond with fish!  Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has a program to stock farm ponds that do not currently have a fish population.  By completing a short application and paying $75, our pond was scheduled to be filled with bluegill, catfish and bass!  We received our bluegill and catfish last fall and we recently received the bass!  They are only 11 days old but you can already tell they are bass.  Before releasing them into the pond, 2 died in transport, and I was going to take a picture so I could share what my little bass looked like.  However, I was multitasking: talking on the phone, releasing my live fish in the pond and photographing the moment and before I knew it Dixie (our family farm dog) ate my 2 dead photo fish in one lick!  But the good news is that by next spring, our fish should be big enough to catch and eat!

Bass!

Bass!

11 day old bass

11 day old bass

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Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies

When I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it!  I love strawberries, cheesecake and brownies so how could this go wrong?  It does take a couple steps but it will be worth it!  Here is where I found the recipe http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/05/strawberry-coconut-cheesecake-brownies/ .  I left out the rum and coconut and they were delicious!  Definitely, will be added to the recipe book for strawberries.

Yum!  Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies

Yum! Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies

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Hay Season

It’s hard to think about winter during this hot weather and summer celebrations!  But this time of year, hay is certainly a priority.  This year the weather cooperated and we got most of our first cutting of hay up well before Memorial Day.  However, like any other year there were challenges.  We bought a new mower last year, so no mower trouble this year right?  Wrong.  Then the tractor’s turbo went out and we were thankful for that news because the turbo is a much cheaper fix than a new motor!  But that’s just the way things work, yet it does make you think about purchasing your hay supply instead of putting it up yourself!  In spite of all that, we are really happy that most of the hay is nicely in rolls and waiting to be put in the barn until we need them this winter.

 

Hay curing

Hay curing


All rolled up!

All rolled up!

Finished until next time!

Finished until next time!

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Asparagus Time!

I look forward to springtime for many reasons but one in particular is asparagus!  When we moved to the farm, I had to leave my established asparagus bed…sad. So I had to start over and dig those darn trenches and wait at least another year before I harvested a single spear. But the time has come and I have asparagus to enjoy right now! Asparagus is packed with nutrition and flavor but it’s one of my favorite side dishes because it is so quick and easy to prepare. From the garden to the plate in less than 10 minutes! So this time of year I rarely have a meal without it! I have tried some different recipes this year to add some variety, but my kids like the simple oven roasted asparagus with olive oil, sea salt, a little garlic powder, and pepper the best!  Establishing the asparagus bed was work but I will be enjoying asparagus for the next 10-15 years off this planting!

It's time for asparagus!

It’s time for asparagus!

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