Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Banana Bread

I feel like I've been going "bananas" the last few days (I'll post more about that later this week) and the bananas on my counter have been going bad. So this morning (yes, I'm a day late again with my recipe) I decided to make a bunch of banana bread and muffins. I got this recipe from my mom and I doubled it twice to use all my rotten bananas.

Banana Bread
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 cup mashed banana
1/3 c. margarine
2 T milk
2 eggs
nuts (optional)

Cream together banana, margarine, milk, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add nuts if you want. Makes one loaf pan or 12 reg. muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins. or until knife comes out clean. Let bread cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling.

2 loaves of bread and large muffins. There is one more loaf in the oven.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Farm Tiling

We did some tiling this spring on our farm.  The tiling machine below is what puts the tile in the ground.  This is a 350 horsepower Cummins powered machine with four wheel drive and a 7 foot wheel trencher on the back.  It has a 20,000 lb 5/8 cable winch on the front and we used it extensively because of the muddy conditions.
This shows the rear of the machine well.  The wheel moves counter clockwise and as it rotates the dirt falls from the wheel getting expelled by the belt to the side of trench.
 This is view of the cab.  It is GPS guided and is auto steer.  Technology at work.  The driver drives the machine in reverse where he would like the tile to go.  Then when the machine is in the ground and going forward the computer places the tile with appropriate drop/slope.
 This shows how wet one spot was.  Norm, the owner, was driving the machine on the reverse course to get a new string strung and wanted to go right through the heart of this wet spot.  After getting unstuck we decided to go above it a little.  The 20,000 lb winch was used to the maximum to get him out.  The tires are about 6 feet tall when not stuck.
This video shows smooth running of the tiling machine.  The wheel hauls the dirt up the front of the trench dropping it on the belt for expelling out the side.  Then the tile boot, the attachment on the back of the wheel, cleans the trench for placement of the tile in the bottom.  You can see the black tile being pulled into the tile boot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Check Out Our New Ticker! ---------->

That's right, Rebecca is going to be a BIG SISTER in January and she is pretty excited about it! We are thrilled too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sarah, Plain and Tall

This title (the "plain" part) is so true when it comes to how I like to eat. I know that I set the goal of posting a new recipe every Tuesday and I still plan on trying to do that. But today while thinking of what we have eaten lately trying to think of a recipe to post, I realized that very few meals that I make regularly actually use a recipe.

I like my food pretty plain. I know that I am the black sheep of my family when it comes to my passion for food and being in the kitchen making it, but it works for me and thankfully Dan doesn't mind too much. Although, I have had to remind him a few times that he did not marry my mom.

One of my favorite "plain" meals, no recipe needed.

Marinated (in Zesty Italian dressing) chicken breast - grilled, pasta with butter, peas, sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

These are my favorite oatmeal cookies and Rebecca and I are planning on making them later today.

Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups quick oats

Additions: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 cup craisins (this is what makes the cookies SO GOOD)

Mix together and drop about table spoon balls on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for about 10-11 minutes. Do not over bake, you want them to be chewy, not crunchy. Enjoy!

What is your favorite thing to add to a basic oatmeal cookie recipe?

(I know that I am a day late on this recipe, but I'm on summer schedules!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bam Bam Ball

Here are some pictures of Rebecca in action at Bam Bam Ball from Saturday.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I've been finding it hard to keep up with the strawberries in our garden this last week! I guess that's not a bad problem to have, but with so many strawberries I've been looking for good ways to use them all. So I attempted for the first time to make freezer jam.

I cleaned about 6 or 7 cups of strawberries and let Rebecca smash them with the potato smasher - she had fun! I had to do a little math to figure out exactly how many cups of sugar and pectin I should use with the amount of berries I had. After I mixed the berries, sugar, and pectin, I let it set for 30 minutes like the directions said. I didn't think the jam was setting up very well (my berries were VERY juicy) so I added an extra table spoon of pectin to each jar. Then after another 30 minutes the jam seemed to be a little more set.

The taste of the jam is great! It tastes like strawberry puree, which is fine by me. I'm not going to post the recipe because I really didn't follow one very closely. I just followed (roughly) the directions on the fruit pectin container, which called for berries, sugar, and pectin - easy!. Here are the containers I froze.

What is your favorite thing to do with fresh strawberries? I'm going to have a lot more in the next few days!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was filled with lots activity. On Friday my sister Grace, her husband Doug, and 5 of their 6 kids can to our house. A few hours later, Grace and I abandoned our husbands (with all the kids) and drove to St. Louis to spend a few days with our younger sister Rachel. I don't have any pictures from St. Louis, so I will save the details of that for another time when I got a few pictures from Rachel.

Back at our house the kids had a great time hanging out on the farm. One of the highlights of the weekend was Jake finding a salamander in the window well of our house. It was their "pet" for a few days and everyone had fun watching it. I've gotten accustom to all the frogs around our house and pond, but I had no idea there was also salamanders around - a little unsettling, but I guess they are rather harmless.
Jake with the salamander.

Rebecca, Joanna, and Jake with the salamander and two frogs.