Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Game Day Food: Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.


 Mexican 7-Layer Dip

Ok Peeps! It's that time of year: time for everyone to “Get ready to RUMBLE!”  The Big Ten Men's Basketball season opens tonight, and college football Bowl Games are already going.  I look forward to this time of year because it is just about the only time activities and farm jobs are at their lowest peek. We are awaiting the new year and the births of our second round of calves.  Tall Guy has had the planter out and made sure that it is ready to go once April 1st rolls around. He always puts machines away in a "ready to roll" condition.  Most farmers do to prevent rusting and make the spring rush to the field go as smoothly as possible. Maintenance of equipment is crucial on the farm because to have to replace a part or entire piece of equipment costs both time and money; those are two things any farmer hates to waste!   Nothing needs to be planted, picked, hoed, or raked. 

Yep! Big Ten Basketball is upon us, and we bleed Gold and Black in this house.  GO PURDUE!!! Greatest Ag University in our country by my way of thinking! This is probably why I fell in love with Gooseberry Patch’s little recipe book, Game Day Recipes.  It is filled with easy and very popular recipes to make anyone’s Game Day or Family Day or Friends' Day a winner, and this recipe features many farm-raised ingredients!

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.


Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.


Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.


Once I bring this dip to a gathering, I am usually asked to bring it back!   It can make a little or a lot, but there is rarely any left in the pan after you set it on the counter.  After shopping for the ingredients, it is a breeze to put together.

Alrighty..... First, beans go on the bottom, and to fill this 9 X 13 dish, I increased my portions, doubling the original recipe.  Peeps, always use the recipe as a base, and from it add all the yummies you like (and leave out the ones you don't).

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

Next mix up the sour cream with your taco seasoning mix, and spread that over the bean layer.

Now it's time to prepare the most labor-intensive part of the dip, peeling the avocados!  No matter how many times I have wished for it, the Good Lord still believes I can make do with only two arms and hands, so I do not have a picture of me peeling these guys, but the end result is represented.

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

Add lemon juice and garlic to the avocados, and then mash it all together with a fork.  Spread over the last layer.  (Yes, you can save time and buy the guacamole, but this is a much healthier and tastier way to serve your avocados!)

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

I seem to have reversed a step here according to directions, but you can have some creative license with the layering as long as everything ends up in the dish.  I sprinkled olives on top of the avocado mix.....

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

...then added the cheese, diced tomatoes, onions and green chilies  Dishes filled with color are always eye-catching!  That sentence is straight from my Grandma Phyllis!

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.

And here is our finished product all ready for the first chip!   My mother-in-law took it to card club and had rave reviews, and you all know those card club people know what good food is!  Here's the recipe I started with because, remember, I also started with a 9 x 13 pan.

Awesome party dips are always in demand, and this Fan Favorite 7 Layer Mexican Dip is a proven winner! The ingredients are easy to find; most of them are pantry or fridge staples. With just a bit of effort, making this dip will put you on everybody's guest list.


 7 Layer Mexican Dip



Mexican 7-Layer Dip
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 2 Cups sour cream
  • 1 1/4 package taco seasoning
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted and mashed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Spread beans in the bottom of an ungreased, 10 " round/square pan or clear glass dish.
  2. Combine sour cream and seasoning mix, and spread on bean layer.
  3. Mix avocados, lemon juice, and garlic. Layer over the sour cream mix.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with olives, tomatoes, and onions.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

Go grab your favorite chips, and find your favorite chair.  Big Ten Basketball and College Football Bowl games are about to begin!!!!

GO BOILERS!!!!! 

or as we say in Boilermaker Country, 

"BOILER UP!"

Until the next time Peeps, have a great day,
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life.




Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bucket List: Wrigley Field !!! Chicago Trip Part 2

In Part 1 of this Chicago Road Trip, I shared with you all the great places Ms. Wanda, Ms. Kathy, Ms Kim, and I saw just within walking distant of our wonderful room at the Waldorf Astoria, but the BIG BUCKET LIST check off came later that evening.  Ms. Kim was the one who requested me to make this trip happen because she had NEVER been to a professional ballpark to watch a professional baseball game!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat ????????  

I know!

It sounds crazy, especially when we can go west, east, and north and be in one of three MLB parks within three hours!

Come to find out, Ms Wanda was just like Ms. Kim: no professional baseball experience to claim! 

HOLY COW!!!


Now Ms. Kathy and I have seen our fair share of games at Wrigley, but this would be our first NIGHT game, so our Bucket List was going to become one item shorter too!  

When planning for this trip, I was able to find tickets on a site called VividSeats.  I found four seats in Box 11, Row 6, and the total price was $168.00 per ticket.  You cannot imagine how excited I was to score those tickets!  I've never sat that close to the field, just 6 rows from third base and very close to the Cubs' dugout!  Wooo to the Hooo!  I was a bit anxious that I would not receive my downloadable tickets until just  few days before the game, but they showed up right on time and printed off without a hitch.  Want to know something?  Tickets for those same seats for today's game are running around $1,700.00 per seat before all the taxes, AND for World Series Game # 3, they are running $10,000.00!!!! I'm thinking we can all gather at my house, eat well, drink well, and have a most excellent time for that kind of Moola! But there is still a rather big bit of Cubby Nation Wild and Crazy Fan in me to want to be there!

Now we had our tickets, our place to stay......next challenge was to find a way to get to the game. My nephew Josh, who has been to sooooo many Cub games told me all the down-low, what-to-know stuff, and suggested we try Uber, and that's what we were going to do when our very competent concierge said we would be fine to take the "L" to Wrigley.  This was another new experience for the girls.  I've been on London's Tube and Paris' Metro, so I knew how to read all the stop maps, but there was a bit of a learning curve.  Best rule as we got closer to the field and picked up more Cub fans, obvious with all their Cubby bling and swag, was to get off when the rest of the fans got off the train. We only had to go four stops, but that was still a ways up to the northside.  We did great going up, but it was an entirely different experience coming home.  Thousands of people trying to all get on the same train.....For this claustrophobic, there were many deep breaths, and what I breathed in wasn't always the "best" air.  We made it with a bit of humor and patience safe and sound to our room, but ACK!  We haven't talked about the game yet!


First, we arrived early enough to see some of the sights around the park before we went inside. I, being the big fan and not ever seeing the statues of some of my childhood heroes, of course hd to get a picture of the Big Three:

Sweet-Swinging  #26 Billy Williams!




The ever so loyal, funny, honest #14, Ron Santo


And of course, Mr. Cub himself, "Let's Play Two!"  #14 Ernie Banks!!!!!


I listened to them all play on WGN as a little girl, and on rare occasions watched them on WGN too. Here we are in our seats and hanging out by the field.



And you all know what Cub plays third base right?  Kris Bryant!  Google him to get a great shot at those baby blues he has.  Oo la la!


We had a great time watching the game, watching the people around us, getting to know the young men sitting in front of us who were quite friendly and good Cub fans.  By the end of the game, we were high-fiving with them and whooping it up!  We played Cincinnati, and were down two runs until the 7th inning when all sorts of magic started to happen with the Cubs' bats. Final score:


We won!  So it was a perfect night for all Cubbie fans!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bucket List: Chicago Trip Part 1

Around the beginning of August, I received a text from a friend asking for my help in crossing off one item from her Bucket List: She wanted to see a Cubs game in Wrigley Field.  Boy did she pick the right friend for this task!  I'm a Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Let's Play Two, Hey Hey! Holy Cow! Ryne Sandburg, Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa, Andre Dawson, Kerry Woods, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Fly the W, life-long Cubs fan!  By the end of the day I received the text, I had four tickets 6 rows from third base and a fabulous room that would sleep four in style all for about $210.00 per person!  On September 19 we piled in to Ms. Kathy's car and headed north to watch the Cubs play the Reds at Wrigley Field.

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Have you ever gone into a hotel room and tried every light switch trying to figure out which one you want?  We oohed and ahhhed over this light panel!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Speaking of fun electronics....Yep there is a TV in the mirror!  How cool is that?  Our husbands are in for it because we all started taking notes on stuff like this!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Our fridge was well stocked, but we were of the BYOB mindset and left the goodies untouched. Check out the real freezer underneath!  WOW!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

All of these awesome amenities were down this hallway!  Outside our room, we even had a door bell!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Here we have our two heavenly beds with a choice of feather or foam pillows! We each requested an extra pillow.  No not for pillow fights, but it's nice to have a pillow to curl up to when the husbands are away.

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Ok, want to know a secret?

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

With the points I used while making our reservation at Chicago's Waldorf Astoria, we were able to book a Deluxe Room with Two Queen Beds for $38.00 a piece!  This room usually runs around $500.00! Hilton Reward points, AARP, Senior, AAA, Military and package deals are just a few ways you can also receive a discount on your room.

Once we were settled, we had some time to see a few sights before our game.  Where do four ladies go when in Chicago without the rest of their families???  Shopping of course, but a funny thing happened on the way to the stores..... We found this place!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Oh yes indeedy, we went right on in and sat down where the Coach surrounded us with his pictures on the wall.  You see, I was also a HUGE Chicago Bear's fan from the age of 1 on through the golden years of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" team.  I sobbed when Walter Peyton died, and I still love to watch footage of him playing.   It was just a tad bit before noon, so Ms. Wanda and I thought we should have Bloody Marys while Ms. Kim and Ms Kathy went with more tropical drinks.

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

We were right in the "Gold Coast" of Chi-town, so we walked in or window shopped at many stores just a wee bit out of our budgets, but we did score on some great sales at Water Tower Place!  On Level 7, the girls introduced me to a treat I had never experienced: popcorn from Garrett's Popcorn Shops!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

WOW!  Where has this wonderful place been all my life?

Guess what business is also located on the 7th floor???  Here's a hint.  It shouldn't be too hard for all you Cub Fans out there!

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

Holy Cow!  It's Harry's.  We dodged in there for another sample of beverages and light eating.  I even had my picture taken with the man himself, or at least part of him.

There is so much for a person to see and do in Chicago.  We went up on a Monday and came home on a Tuesday so we had to select one main goal and then see what else we could fit in to our schedule. With watching a game at Wrigley Field as our primary purpose, we needed to squeeze in any other stops as best we could, and it helped to have an awesome home base.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and Peeps, I have to tell you it was a pretty darned near perfect place to stay!

 Bucket List:  Road Trip to Chicago to See a Cubs Game


After saying good-bye to Harry, we walked back to our hotel to get ready for the big game!  

Part 2 will be coming shortly, so tune back in!

In the meantime. I would love to hear about your favorite places in Chicago...


         
   

     What is you favorite place to eat in Chicago?


     What is your favorite place to visit while in Chicago?


     What is your best hidden treasure in Chicago?


Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day,
and go out there and make a positive
difference in someone's life!





Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Review: The Waiting Place by Sharron Arksey

I did receive a free copy of this book, but all ides and thoughts are my own.

She had me on page 5 with words that echo the unofficial 11th Commandment at our house:

      "Never come to town without a list of things to pick up.  If you have to take the time and use the money up on gas, you have to make it worth your while."

Those words told me that Susan Davidson, the main character in Sharron Arksey's new novel, The Waiting Place, spoke with an understanding of the rural life I and many of you, my dear Peeps, know all too well.  Sharron's characters speak our language, ladies and gents.  She knows about rural living, about the highs and lows of raising livestock.   The voices of Susan, Susan's mom, Sandra, and her mother-in-law, Joan, tell of experiences, loneliness, and love of their men and echo many of the same scenes that we women play out in our own lives out here in the country.

I don't know if we all have similar lives or the world is full of coincidence, but I found myself in so many of the characters' words.  Set in Manitoba Canada, this story is about Susan as she awaits the impending arrival of her first child. There are ten chapters, and each chapter starting with her dilating 1 cm.  As she goes through the changes in her body toward birth, she introduces us to her husband Glen, her parents Sandra and Dave, her in-laws, Joan and Joe, and siblings along the way.  The perspective is predominately feminine, and it revolves around this lovely circle of life we lead and how we often find ourselves in The Waiting Place.  s

Let's dig into this story a bit.  The first similarity I found is that Susan lives in the house her in-laws lived in.  BINGO!!!  I live in the house that Steve has never left!  His parents lived here before us, and both sets of his grandparents lived in this house, at different times.  It is a natural progression that many established farm families pass down a home.  The "farm house" is usually central to our operations, and it makes good sense for the farm family to live there.

Susan's mom likes to go for walks in the country for the same reasons I do......

     "I like to go for walks in the early evening.  Not necessarily for the exercise....More for the solitude.  Thinking time, I call it.  Although I don't spend much time thinking.  I just walk, senses soaking in the sky and the ground and the space between.  The silence is a comfort, rather than a void that needs filling."  (p.51)

Love the walks I used to take here.   I haven't been able too lately due to crazy schedules and crazy knees that are headed out of their warranty period.  We all could do with a bit more silence and less noise right?

Another part of this family story that hits home is the frank discussion of life on the farm.  From death and taxes to trying to make a living at the mercy of weather and stock markets and global economics, readers unfamiliar with farming will learn some very hard truths:

About the control we have in our livelihood:

     "The weather is the predominant factor in the quality and quantity of our product and we have no control of the price of the product we do have for sale.  Those prices fluctuate from week to week and are influence by everything from politics to the price of rice in China." (p.81)


About raising cattle in a fluctuating market:

     " The last decade has been hard on cattle producers and many have sold their herd.  They've given up....On the other hand, if we keep our herd or add to it, we get called everything from methane gas production to e-coli contamination.  Damned if we do and damned if we don't." (p.103)

We have down-sized our herd these last few years from about 150 head of feeder cattle to no more than 40-50.  Prices have fluctuated from $1.62 a pound to $1.20 a pound for our beef while feed costs have been steady or slightly raised.

One of the most profound statements I found in the middle of a conversation between Susan and her mother, Sandra.  Sandra has decided to go back to University to enroll in Women's Studies, and Susan asks her how it is going being back on campus.  In the midst of her answer about living on campus among the city people , Sandra says,

     " 'I'd forgotten how city people think of us,' she added.
     [Susan replies] 'They don't think of at all.'
     [Sandra replies] 'You'r right Susan. They don't.' "  (p.108)

This is the main reason I and many of my friends started our blogging group so many years ago.  We want to bridge this disconnect between farmers and those who have moved away from the farm. Through sharing recipes, photography tips, storied from the farm, and Q & A posts we try to connect with our customers, our neighbors, our friends who are 3-4 generations removed from the farm.  It's very important that you think of us on the farm.  I know we think of those who don't quite a bit.

From the snippets I have shared, I hope you understand why Sharron Arksey's story strikes such a deep cord within me.  I promise I haven't revealed too much.  There are other arcs in the story, and by the end there is a baby and another new life to share the family farm experiences.  Will this child grow to love the farm and stay to care on the family business, or will this child find life off the farm more inviting.  It's a question all farming couples wonder about as a new life arrives.

If you are intrigued about this novel, you can by clicking on the book's picture below.  If you are feeling lucky, please leave a comment at the end of the post and enter a giveaway for a copy of The Waiting Place.  I will announce the winner on Friday.  Tell me if you farm or have a family farm and if you have any questions about our farm operation.


 A Waiting Place by Sharron Arkeey

Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day
and try to make a positive difference
in someone else's life!







Friday, September 30, 2016

Farmer Q & A: Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or often even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer, or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........


Yep, it's my father-in-law, a.k.a. Grandpa.  A true farmer with a little bit of farm dirt to prove it! If he reads this post, I'm going to have to deal with a bit of smugness from his end, but he has really helped me learn how to be a good farm wife.  This post came to me when two of my friends, sisters-in-law, lost their father-in-law last week.  Hugs and love to Miss Liz at The Farmwife Cooks and her sister-in-law Miss Amy.  Father-in-laws, at least in my case, are great teachers (probably a bit more patient than their sons) when it comes to learning how to run equipment and understanding animals and fields. Yes, they taught their sons the exact same lessons, but with age comes that innate knowledge that the artificial intelligence in our monitors and phones just don't have.  That knowledge is priceless.

My FIL has farmed some of this ground more than 50 years.  He knows where the washes are and where the danged field tile posts are hidden.  He knows just where to park his tractor with the auger wagon so that he is ready to pick me up just when my combine is full (That amazes me!).  He pretty much understands the weather; although we do quibble about his "feelings" and the actual radar activity.  Sometimes those dang storms do fall apart right before they get to us, and a few times, I have actually been right.....and wet!

We are the ones picking/cutting corn and beans while Tall Guy mans the semis and deals with the unloading end of the harvest.  I feel badly for TG because he would love to be in the "Captain's Seat." He did get to run the combine a bit while we were in beans.....

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

but he understands the drier best, and between the three of us can best get in and out of the trucks to do the unloading.  Grandpa and I take turns with who is in the combine/tractor, but when we are in corn, it works best if he unloads the auger wagon because he does it more quickly than I do, and there may be a slight issue with my depth perception, but I'm not ready to own that one quite yet.

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Grandpa is in the tractor with the auger cart unloading on the go, and I am in the combine sneaking a photo op without him seeing me do it......hopefully.

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........


There is one thing that Grandpa and I do out in the field that drives poor TG nuts:  We talk on the radio.  A. Lot. (At least according to TG)  Sometimes it's a directional thing like him giving me directions, and other times we just like to banter back and forth.  Then there are times when one of us forgets to do something like put the combine auger away or "Someone" needs to slow his tractor down during an unload on the go because his 3.8 mph in his tractor is 4.2 miles in my combine.  You would think .4 mph wouldn't be a big deal, but I would invite you to sit in the buddy seat by mine when it happens..... A lot of corn comes out of the combine auger at a deceptively high rate, and there aren't enough buckets or time to go pick a mess on "Row" 5!  We also use hand  gestures too, but not the ones I use with TG!  (hee hee!)

Translation:  "Put your head here."

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

I think I have the most enjoyment sitting back in my seat listening to Grandpa and TG discuss farm strategies back and forth.  I learn a lot from them......Maybe silence is golden......but let's not tell Tall Guy! They talk about where tile lines need to go, how a waterway might be better fixed, what vehicles and equipment need maintenance, and what I should be doing next.  Yep, with "she" listening right along with them on the same radio!

So yes,  Technology is grand, and so many answers to questions are right at our finger tips, but when I want to know something about the farm I am working on, my best resource is still on the other end of my FM radio.  Thanks Grandpa for being my life line and teaching me just a tenth of what you know.  Keep on teaching!

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........






Is there a favorite job or task you and your father-in-law are better doing than you and your husband?

Do you work with your father-in-law or mother-in-law?  If so, what is it like to work closely with them?




Time for me to get back out there and put some more corn in the bins!

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Technology in the Agriculture word has increased immeasurably in the last 10-15 years, and don't get me wrong; I greatly appreciate all of it.  From auto-steer to field mapping, technology has made the life of a farmer much less stressful and has given us even more tools in our toolboxes to fine tune our operations.  That is awesome, but I have an even better tool that is just as good as or even better sometimes than my weather app, auto-steer or field monitor. Agriculture's Technology Doesn't Always Know Everything. Want to know what this irreplaceable tool is???? Well, actually it's not a what, rather it is a WHO........

Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day, 
and try to make a positive difference 
in someone else's life !


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Harvest Time! Please Be Careful Out There!

Looks like things are gearing up around here, and tomorrow might be our first day of #harvest16 Please keep your eye out for slow moving farm equipment, tractors, combines, trucks, and farmers out and about.  We start early, we stay late, and we move around a lot from field to farm, from field to the grain elevator, and from field to field.  We are your neighbors, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, grandpas, and grandmas to our family and your children's friends.


Looks like things are gearing up around here, and tomorrow might be our first day of #harvest16
Please keep your eye out for slow moving farm equipment, tractors, combines, trucks, and farmers out and about.  We start early, we stay late, and we move around a lot from field to farm, from field to the grain elevator, and from field to field.  We are your neighbors, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, grandpas, and grandmas to our family and your children's friends.


Have you ever taken a ride in a combine?

Have you ever offer a friend or family member to take a ride with you in the combine?

Do you have fond memories of past harvests?

Do you have a question about harvest you would like me to answer?

When you think of fall, what comes to mind?



Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day, 
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life!





Sunday, September 18, 2016

Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers: A Super Easy Snack for Any Occasion

This is a sponsored post. The Indiana Soybean Alliance provided me with the crock pot, and Indiana Soybean Association gave me the idea, but my words and thoughts are my own. Affiliated links only go on products I use and enjoy.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


Because it is fall, apples seem to be on everyone's mind.  True, we can find them at the store pretty much whenever we want them; however, there is still something traditional, nostalgic, and just plain fun about going to an orchard and picking your own.  Maybe you are like me, and there is an apple tree or two in your own back yard.  With all the festivals and fairs popping up across smalltown America this time of year, you are bound to find a variety of ways to serve apples with caramels.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

I personally, have always found eating a big apple covered in caramel and nuts and stuff quite challenging,  It all seems to somehow make on to many places other than landing in my mouth.  I love this idea of dipping wedges into the sauce and then dredging it through toppings of my choice. This way of eating caramel apples gives people at least a fighting chance of eating one without a huge mess........

See?

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Ok, so about now I bet you are wondering where the crock pot comes in to play, right?  Great question!  I actually used TWO crock pots for this recipe, and I promise this is another easy-peasy recipe!

First, you need caramel.  There are several ways to go about this.  You can buy sauce already made and then heat it up in a small crock pot.  You can also grab a bag of caramels at the store, bring them home, and melt them down in a pan or in the microwave.  I chose a different route.  I sent Tall Guy a message to pick up three cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk from our local IGA.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Place these cans in a large crock pot, and fill the pot full of water.  Make sure the water completely covers the cans with some to spare.  I started the pot up at 10:30 last night on low, went to bed, and 8 hours later grabbed a set of tongs and removed the cans from the crock pot to cool to room temperature.  After that time, you can pop open the lids and *POOF* caramel sauce is made in a can! (The water was boiling when I turned it off so, as you can imagine, the paper peeled right off the cans.)

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

When it is time to eat the dippers, scoop out the caramel from one or all cans, and warm it up in a small crock pot.  While that is heating back up to a warm creamy consistency, time to work on your apples and toppings.  I have to admit that I cheated a little and used the good ol' apple corer/slicer *on my apple.   *I like the tool I linked to because it has a rubber cover that goes over the blades, and it has bigger handles so pushing down will not crunch fingers at the end.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

This is the perfect tool to core and quarter the perfect apple.  Just remember that the Good Lord doesn't make all apples perfect, and for those you just have to grab a knife, and do it the old fashioned way.

Next, I put one cool little bamboo fork into each slice.  If your apples are going to set out a while, dip the apples in some 7-Up, Sprite, or other clear pop to prevent browning.  Lemon juice also works, but I don't like the taste of lemon on my apples.  Just sayin'

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Ok, for the toppings, the sky is the limit, but tonight I just chose four: chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows cut in half with blue sprinkles.....GO COLTS!!!... and Heath bar nuggets.  You can also try marshmallow cream, peanut butter, crushed graham cracker crumbs, mini M&Ms, coconut or any other chopped nut of your choosing.

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


Dip the apple slice in the caramel, and then dredge it through one, two, three, or even all four of the topping choices, and enjoy!

Do you have a great tailgate recipe?  The Indianapolis Colts are sponsoring The Colts Best Tailgate Contest.  Click HERE for more information.  Good Luck!

Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.

Printable Recipe




Caramel Sauce in a Can


Ingredients
  • 2-4 cans Sweetened condensed milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Place cans inside a crock post.
  2. Cover cans completely with water, submerged about one inch.
  3. Place a lid on the crock pot, turn on LOW, and let cook for 8 hours.
  4. Remove from water and let cool, unopened.
  5. Open at room temperature.
Looking for a great after school snack?  A crisp treat to serve at tailgate gatherings, after ballgames, or at parties around the campfire?  Whether apples are in season or on display at your grocery store, these Crock Pot Caramel Apple Dippers are sure to be a star food on your table.


See this recipe and more at the link below

 CROCK POT PARTY- WEEK 11


Until the next time Peeps, have a great day,
and make a positive difference
in someone else's life.