Saturday, January 30, 2016

Aprons Optional- Starts With Bread

I don't know why it's taken me so long to share this with you... 
Our daughter Sara has a cooking show on our local TV station. It's called Aprons Optional, and it's filmed monthly, right her in our kitchen on our farm. 
Like Sara always says, "Remember, the apron is optional, but the flavor isn't". 

This is last month's episode where she makes 
3B Mac and Cheese 
and also 
Bread Pudding. 

I hope you enjoy watching. 
 I know you'll enjoy eating if you try the recipes! 

Sara from Aprons Optional

We are proud to say we produce the healthy dairy foods that go into these recipes.
 
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Christmas In The Country Reveal

Drum roll please...Today's the day I share with you about my Christmas In The Country Secret Santa gift exchange. I explained Christmas In The Country last year, and I shared the link again to refresh your memory. I send a gift to my new blogger friend, and likewise, another blogger sends to me. Our mission is to explore new blogs, to learn about the bloggers interests and likes, and then mail her a surprise Christmas gift that not only "fit" her, but shared a bit about me.

Well now, isn't she tricky? My surprise gift came from the great state of Nebraska, and Tracy of Nebraska Wheatie.  I followed Tracy's instructions, and opened all the gifts before reading the card. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning!


The first gift I opened gave me a flashback to my college days!

 I recall attending a Cornhuskers football game in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was in marching band at Iowa State University. I don't remember the outcome of the game (alright, we lost) but I sure remember the sea of red in the stadium. Cornhusker pride!



The next surprise was fun for my whole family, as it was a movie about the "wheaties." Tracy and her family are a custom harvesting family, that travel the United States from south to north, harvesting wheat crops for farmers and ranchers. She and her family were featured in this movie! And Tracy thought of everything, as she also included a box of locally made chocolates that we enjoyed (okay...devoured) while we watched the film.


Of course a gift from Nebraska has to include corn. It's not the edible kind, but the kind I can enjoy year after year. It looks sweet hanging in between all my cow ornaments on our Christmas tree.

 
Finally, Tracy included a framed photo that she took on their harvesting travels in Colorado. Her note said, "I thought the clouds were amazing." So right Tracy, so right! I also saw this photo on her blog. Check it out- Nebraska Wheatie.

Dear Tracy,  I love the package you sent. I appreciate the thought you put into all the gifts. If your travels ever lead you to Minnesota, I hope you'll stop by. I'll probably be wearing my Nebraska socks, and you can see where I hung the beautiful cloud photo!
Your new blogger friend, Janet

My gift was sent to Kerry over at I Married A Milk Man. Take a peek...

Want to see what others received? Check out this link-

Also a special thank you to the organizers of the exchange!

 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Win, Or Freeze Trying

Tomorrow Minnesota will be setting a record. According to the weather forecast, when the Minnesota Vikings meet the Seattle Seahawks, the temperature will be -2 degrees with a wind chill making it feel like -15 degrees. This is the coldest temperature EVER for an outdoor NFL game. Quite a way to get in the record books, right? 
 Fans attending the game are going to be treated to free coffee and hand warmers, and the players are reported to be getting chicken noodle soup on the sidelines. How's that for Minnesota-nice?

Frigid cold temps aside, we are so proud of our Minnesota Vikings earning the title of NFC North Division Champs! I am hoping this winning streak continues, especially since I informed my family that our Vikings-themed Christmas tree was not coming down until our Vikes win the Super Bowl. Gulp! 
My Christmas wish - My Barnyard View
While the Vikings will be playing hard to stay warm (and win) my family and I will be planted in front of our big screen, snuggled under blankets, cheering like the crazed fans we are, and chowing down on one of daughter Sara's yummy creations-

Third Down Dip

Ingredients for the Football Bread

3 tubes refrigerated/tube biscuit French loaf

1 egg mixed with a splash of water

Ingredients for the Dip

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups corn (fresh, thawed frozen or drained canned)

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Unroll one tube of bread dough onto a non-stick tin foil lined or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

3. Set another roll of bread, on top of the unrolled dough, forming one side of a football.

4.Set the other roll of dough opposite the first. Press the seems together.

5.Brush egg wash over the football shaped bread bowl.

6.Trim around the edge of the football removing the extra dough.

7.Use that extra dough to make the stripes and the laces for the football.

8.Bake for 28-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

While bread is baking

9. Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, add the corn, saute until the corn starts to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes, and set aside.

10.Melt the butter in the pan over medium-high heat add pepper and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

11. Add the jalapeƱo and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

12. Mix the corn, peppers, mayonnaise, cheeses and cayenne together in the sauce pan until the cheese has melted and all the ingredients are combined.

13. Pour the mixture into a Football Bread ring and top with lace crust.
14. Serve with Football bread and/or chips. 
This dip recipe was featured on Sara's show, Aprons Optional. You can see the entire episode Tailgating Treats here.


Made with dairy goodness, of course!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Gone, But Not Forgotten 2015

2015 Top Ten Most Viewed Blog Posts
My Barnyard View

10. 100 Reasons To Love Dairy - 2015 marks National Dairy Council's 100th year! Here are my top 10 reasons I am in love with any, and all things dairy...


9. Earth Day Is Everyday -
My family and I live by the motto, “Leave this world a little better than you found it”. We became farmers because...


8. It's About Time - Tator Tot hotdish -
For some reason Minnesotans are associated with hotdish, or to those of you non-Minnesotans...casseroles. I had never made Tater Tot Hotdish before. It's about time!


7. "Never A Dull Moment" Dinner - "Never a dull moment." If our family had a motto, this would be it! Fortunately, my family and I thrive on being busy...


6. #FarmLikeAGirl - Of course when you are farmers it is impossible to call your boss and declare a sick day, and you certainly can't just roll over and  pull the blankets over your head pretending this day is not happening...


5. Coming Soon...Princess Kay Of The Milky Way! - This is a fun, exciting and nail-biting weekend for dozens of young ladies from Minnesota...


4. A Day In The Life Of Princess Kay - One of my duties as Minnesota Dairy Princess Coordinator is to chaperone Princess Kay and the eleven princess finalists at the Minnesota State Fair, so from August 26th to September 8th, I packed my bags and moved from the farm to a hotel near the state fair to spend morning, noon, and night with 12 of the best Minnesota farm girls I know!


3. 12 Good Reasons - On July 1st I was contracted by Midwest Dairy Association to be the new Minnesota Dairy Princess Coordinator. So what does this mean?


2. Christmas Cookies And Holiday Hearts - Of course, being dairy farmers, butter made its way into nearly every cookie recipe! Dairy farmer, or not- there is nothing better than the flavor of butter in baked goods. I'm sure Santa would agree, and who knows Christmas cookies better than Santa?


1. G Is For Giveaway - It’s more than a cookbook. It’s a way for each of us to learn where our food comes from and the dairy farm families around the nation that make milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and all our other favorite dairy foods possible.


When I began writing My Barnyard View I thought, "I'll try blogging and see how it goes." Nearly four years later I have you to thank. Without your encouragement, support, comments, and blog topic suggestions, I wouldn't be sharing our story about the farm life we love. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
Image result for thanks

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's Better With Butter


Anyone for a game of Jenga? 
Alright, I'm kidding. We use butter for almost everything, but Jenga is carrying it a bit too far, even for us dairy farmers! 

Butter is made from two ingredients- cream and salt. It's just that simple (no ingredients that can't be pronounced). First, the cream is separated from fresh whole milk. The cream is then churned by shaking it vigorously until it thickens. The remaining liquid (buttermilk) is removed. The butter is washed and formed into its solid shape.
Ta-da! Butter is made.


Butter can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 months, and in the freezer for up to 9 months. It can be stored longer, but the flavor might be sacrificed a bit. Besides, if your family is like mine, butter doesn't stay around very long anyway. It's always on our grocery list!

Melting on your toast... a sliver on your steamed vegetables...drizzled on your popcorn... you get the picture.
 
And then there's flavored butter...OMG!
 
 
 
Cranberry Orange Butter

Recipe by: Midwest Dairy Association
Brighten up breakfast by serving this flavorful spread at home or giving as a gift to your foodie friends.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
  • 6 tablespoons whole berry cranberry sauce (we used Ocean Spray for testing)
  • 4 teaspoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine ingredients in a small food processor; process until well blended. Spoon into an airtight container; store in refrigerator.
Recipe Variations: Cranberry Orange Butter is a sweet and flavorful spread for breakfast or tea. Give as a gift in an airtight decorative container with lid along with bagels or freshly baked bread.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Blessings

At this beautiful time of the year, 
I am reminded of the wonderful family and friends that surround us. 

Whether I have met you in person, or just through the words on these pages,  
I am blessed to be able to call you friend.

Thanks for following my barnyard journey.
Thank you to God for making all this possible.
Thanks to God for the gift of His Son.
 
Merry Christmas!
 
 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

White Christmas?

In Winter, Minnesota is lovingly referred to as Minne-snow-ta...but not this year.
Minnesota traditionally has a white Christmas...but not this year.
This is not your typical December.

Thanks for the photo Face Book friends.
I have been patient up until this point. After all, the official first day of Winter was just yesterday. Now don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the warm weather. Average temperature this time of year is 26 to 32 degrees and that's snow-making temps, but we have been riding 14-18 degrees warmer this month. And that means rain, not snow. It's been dark and wet in our part of Minnesota.


According to Cody and Keith, my two favorite meteorologists from Fox 9, we have had .8" of snow and 1.46" of liquid, rather than the 11.5 average snowfall for this time of year. Minnesota (at least our area of Minnesota) will not be living up to its Minne-snow-ta nickname this year. But isn't this rain good for the farmers?


If the ground is not frozen, and the rain water can soak into the soil, this is helping the farmer, and recharging the groundwater supply. If the ground is frozen, most of the rain will run off, or dry up when (and if) we see the sun again. 
Until then we will just have to slip on our waterproof boots, run through the puddles, and perhaps even build a mud snowman.

Warm greetings from Minne-snow-ta!