A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘Food’

Whole Poached Chicken

chickenRachel Ray taught me how to poach whole chickens.  I have poached chicken breasts many times, but after trying this method, I will always poach the whole chicken.  It’s a big time saver, and the bonus is all of the home made chicken stock you get from doing it this way.
Here is the recipe for Rachel Ray’s poached chickens.

I modified it for our tastes (no lemon) and you should add or subtract ingredients for your own taste.  I love that I’m poaching 2 chickens at once, which yields lots of cooked meat and stock. I have a pot that’s large enough for 2 chickens.
I bought 2 approximately 4 pound chickens.  Using Rachel’s method I ended up with about 8 cups of meat, and 3 1/2 quarts of stock.  I portioned the meat into 2 cups per freezer bag, and froze the stock in quart jars.  I make soup about once a week, so I buy chicken stock every week.  From poaching my chickens I saved about $7.00 or so on purchased chicken stock.
There are so many things you can do with your cooked chicken.
Chicken Salad
Tacos and burritos
Here are 2 of our favorite casseroles using precooked chicken:

king ranch
King Ranch Chicken Casserole






Pasta Cordon Bleu




You’ll love the convenience of having packages of cooked chicken and chicken stock in the freezer.  Don’t be put off by the thought of having to get all that chicken off the bones.  It took no time at all.  The chicken skin peeled right off, and the meat was falling off the bones.


Hearty Comfort Foods

I’m thinking that some hearty, rib sticking recipes are appropriate for this terrible weather we’ve been having.
I make lots of soups and casseroles when winter gets the best of us.  Here are some recipes that I’ve been using for many years.  They’re always a welcome and appreciated tummy warmer.

No Fuss Lasagna

No Fuss Lasagna









1 pound Italian sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce, 28 oz
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style, undrained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 package frozen spinach, chopped, thawed and squeezed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
10 lasagna noodle, raw
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1.    Brown the meat.

2.    Add sauce, tomatoes, and pepper.

3.    Combine spinach, ricotta, egg, and parmesan.

4.    Spread 2 cups sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan.  Cover with 5 noodles and press them firmly into the sauce.  Spread the entire cheese mixture over the noodles.

5.    Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and top with 1 1/2 cup sauce.

6.    Cover with remaining noodles, and press them into the sauce.  Top with the last of the sauce.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

7.    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle with the last of the cheese.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Makes 12 servings, 338 calories each










2 pounds beef stew meat
2 onions, coarsley chopped
5 carrot, chunks
4 potatoes, chunks
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons tapioca
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
The tomato juice gives this stew a wonderful flavor, as well as being another vegetable, but you can sub beef broth if you prefer.
1.    Mix the seasonings and tapioca into the tomato juice.

2.    Pour over meat and vegetables in a 9×13 pan.

3.    Cover.

4.    Bake at 250 for 5 hours.  Or can do in slow cooker.
Makes 12 servings, 198 calories each.








These are huge.  If you want smaller cookies,  cut down on the baking time.


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts.
Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until creamy.
Mix dry ingredients.  Combine with creamed mixture.  Add raisins and nuts.
Drop very large spoonfuls on sprayed cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly. You’ll get 12 cookies from this dough.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

S’Mores Cookies


I’ve been pinning, saving, and printing so many recipes that catch my eye.  I want you to know that I do try many of those recipes.  I really enjoy trying new foods so I think I should share more of my adventures in cooking and eating.  I probably try a new recipe at least once a week.
This cookie recipe is one that has been flying around the internet via Pinterest and Facebook.  If it’s possible, I like to track down the originator of any recipe that I blog about, just so I can give credit.  This is no easy task.  I blog hopped to no fewer than 6 blogs looking for the person who came up with this recipe.  I think I’ve found  the originator.  Here is the recipe on her blog http://www.cookiemadness.net/2006/02/smores-cookies/
We think these cookies are pretty darn good.  A little putzy, what with having to pull them out of the oven to add the marshmallows and milk chocolate, but not terribly time consuming.  The recipe said I’d get 3 dozen, but I got 2 dozen large cookies.


S’mores Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars. broken into 48 pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoon onto sprayed or parchment covered cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and push 2 chocolate pieces and 3 marshmallows into each cookie.
Return to oven for another 3-4 minutes.

Cool on racks.  Enjoy 🙂


Crash Hot Potatoes

crash hot2 

This potato recipe has been making the rounds!  They’re called Crash Hot Potatoes, and it seems the recipe/cooking method originated in Australia.  I found that information on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and the recipe I’m giving you is the one from her blog.  These are delicious and so easy to make.  I boiled the potatoes earlier in the day and that helped me out a lot when it came time to put dinner together.  Make extras because they’re that good.

Crash Hot Potatoes

12 whole new potatoes (2 or 3 potatoes per serving)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Rosemary, or other herbs of choice, to taste


Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender
Grease a sheet pan with olive oil.
Place the boiled potatoes on the pan, leaving space between them.
Use a potato masher to gently press each potato, then rotate and press again.
Brush potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt , pepper, and herbs.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Stop Giving Me Cucumbers!

Just kidding, Tammy!  Love those pickles!

I’m trying to play catch up.  I have cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes to deal with.  Our neighbors put in a nice garden this year, and they’re overloaded with produce.  The zucchini are from my little plot.  I got so bogged down because I spent nearly the whole month of August fighting a virus that really kicked my butt.  It was mostly in my chest and throat and I lost my voice for a couple of weeks.  I’m feeling better now and facing all the produce that’s piling up in my kitchen.

photo from Taste of Home

photo from Taste of Home

I started by making dill refrigerator pickles.  I use a recipe I got from the June/July 2009 issue of Taste of Home magazine.  I just looked it up online, and they have changed the recipe slightly. My original recipe does not call for sugar. This recipe makes about 4 quarts of pickles. You can find the recipe here:

Today I made tomato soup for lunch.  I’ve been using this recipe for decades.  I love it because I don’t have to peel or seed the tomatoes, and the soup is delicious.
2 1/2 cups tomato, cubed
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash garlic powder
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1.    Place cubed tomatos in blender or food processor.  No need to peel or core.

2.    Add the flour, sugar and seasonings.

3.    Process until smooth.

4.    Put through a sieve (removes the skins and seeds) Foley food mill works great

5.    Cook on  low about one hour.  For more than 4 quarts, cook longer.  Soup should be smooth, thickened, and rich in color.

6.    To serve: add milk and butter.

Makes about 1 pint.

So, that’s what I’ve gotten done so far.  I shredded a large zuke and will deal with it tomorrow, along with several cucumbers I plan to make into freezer sweet pickles.

Honey Baked Chicken

Photo from Healthy Recipes Blog

Photo from Healthy Recipes Blog

You have to make this chicken. The recipe uses chicken legs, but any chicken will do. I used legs and thighs. This was very easy to make, and I had everything on hand. It is seasoned with honey, dijon mustard, and curry powder. Make this. You’ll find the recipe here

May I Help You?

my plate meal

Younger generations prefer to learn their own lessons in life.  It’s always been that way.  They don’t often take the advice of their elders.  Do I, as an elder, have a responsibility to share the wisdom of my experience with my children and grandchildren if I know it can make their lives better?  Yes, of course.
I started on this train of thought this morning.  The TV was on, and there was a cooking and lifestyle program on.  The host of the show is a popular local personality.  I admire her and enjoy her program, and some of her recipes.  This morning she made a chicken dish that contained several processed foods….Velveeta, Nacho Cheese Doritos, and a can of some kind of cream soup.  This is wrong, wrong, wrong!  I feel that this much loved and admired local celebrity has a perfect platform for educating the public on clean eating, whole foods, the evils of processed foods.  I’d love to see her advocating for home cooked real food, and teaching young moms how to feed their children healthy and nutritional meals.  I feel so strongly about this that I wrote to her this morning.
Back in the day, when I was a young mom , I cooked and prepared nearly everything that my little ones ate.  Over the years, as times changed, more processed and prepared foods found their way into my kitchen.  We ate out often.  Healthy eating was a thing of the past.  Along with the convenience came health problems including obesity and diabetes.  I’d love to spare my younger family members the consequences of poor nutrition choices.  I’d love to help them learn how to shop wisely and cook good meals even when they’re busy and working.  I’d love to clean all the junk food out of their lives.  I have a lot of experience to share and I hope that my grands will remember that I am a resource for them and always happy to help them.
If you want to get started on feeding your family real food, please visit this website.  It was an eye opener for me, and will also point you to other good resources.  http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

The graphic on this page is from the government’s My Plate webpage.  You can enlarge it by clicking on the picture.   If you’re a fan of Pinterest there are many My Plate boards with lots of good recipes.

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