Monday, March 13, 2017

Special Ingredient Pancakes!

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

Special Ingredient Pancakes

This post contains referral links to products I love.

This is a post from last year, but I wanted to add it to this new blog, and with all the snow falling outside, it seems to be the perfect time to share it again with you all.

Oh. My Stars!  If you all think that the end of harvest signals official downtime for farmers, then you need to get to know a farmer better.  We have been going non-stop it seems since the last kernel of corn and soybean went into the bins.  Fall ground work, cleaning up equipment, putting said equipment away in "ready-to-go" condition, working on books and numbers to see just how much grain we have to market, adding a few more calves to our herd of feeders cows, checking on the pregnant mommas out in the pasture, getting two calves and two kids ready for Hoosier Beef Congress in three weeks (gasping for air!), and then there are the girls, basketball practice fall musical, AND I am leaving tomorrow for three days in Indy for the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention! Whew~!  Oh!  Did I mention Bear has a birthday on Monday that I am going to miss? Tink's falls on the 30th, and we just celebrated my great-nephew's Big FOUR-year-old birthday earlier today!  Fun times at the Wallpe Farm!

That part about me leaving for three days had me busy in the kitchen this morning making everyone pancakes and bacon, enough to last them a few more breakfasts while I'm gone.  Cereal is ok for breakfast, but as the mornings get colder, I like for everyone to have a hot breakfast option.

A bit further in the post, I am going to share with you my mom's delicious homemade pancake recipe. I love them, and my best friend from school can only make these for her crew, or they protest.  They are that good.  BUT........ Sometimes a mom just has to grab the mix off the shelf and get down to business.  We used to be Bisquick mix pancake eaters until I felt the pull of an old familiar face from the mix shelves.  Aunt Jemima called my name, and she is back on my shelf to stay for pancakes.

To make pancakes with this lovely lady taste like you whipped it all up from scratch, all you have to do is add my two secret ingredients......

Ta Da!!!!

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

It is that easy!  Just follow the directions on the box, and once you have mixed the egg, oil, and mix together, add a bit of Watkin's Double Strength Vanilla and Pure Almond Extract.  I know some of you out there are waiting with baited breath for me to tell exactly how much to add of each, but honestly, I just pour in a small bit, taste, and add more if needed.

Results?  My girls say it's like eating toasty angel food cake!

Here are the other ingredients I use, minus the eggs and oil.

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

I use Fairlife whole milk because it makes Tink's tummy feel better, and the Nestle mini chocolate chips also go in her pancakes because......well because she loves them, and that's what mommas do for their favorite oldest daughters.

What to know another secret?  When I add the mini chips to her pancakes, I spread a bit more batter over them so when I flip them, the chips don't burn from the hot skillet.

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!


Now, if you have the time, and you want to make heavenly pancakes from scratch, here is my mom's To. Die. For. Pancake. Recipe.  

And...Don't forget to add those two secret ingredients to make them even better!  

ENJOY!


Becky Lyons' Griddle Cakes

Ingredients
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 Cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together, and beat with a mixer until smooth. Go ahead and add the vanilla and almond extracts!
  2. Pour into a hot griddle, and flip when edges look firm and bubbles form through the pancake. Check the second side, and remove when golden brown.
  3. Makes 10 small or 5 large pancakes.
I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

 Secret Ingredient Pancakes

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



Thursday, March 9, 2017

No-Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats ~ The perfect snack for everything!




This post contains referral links to products I love.

We are just ending up our 8th grade basketball season, and let me tell you these girls have been practicing and playing together since the first part of November.


The last few games have been a bit rough on our girls with all the flu and cold ickies running around, so I thought I would change up my routine and makes some goodies for them before our last two games.  I wanted something sweet and at least somewhat healthy to boost their energy, and I found a recipe I have always wanted to make: Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats.  (A big shout out to Miss L for these team pictures!)

Have you ever had these delights?  The Rice Krispies Cereal has all of its vitamins and good minerals in it, the peanut butter brings in the protein they need, and the sugar you add to it all gives them a good boost of energy before their game.  They also make great after school or after practice snacks. Heck, these treats are good for just about any time you want them!  I'm totally making these to take to the field this spring.  It will be a great energy boost for the guys! You can't miss with these delicious treats (unless you have peanut allergies of course!  Then try almond butter if that is better for you.)


The treats are so easy to make, but quite difficult to photograph as you are making them. I found the recipe on Pinterest, and it originates from none other than Martha Stewart!  After reading her recipe and also reading the comments from those who had made them, my takeaway was that the original recipe has too much sugar for most people's tastes.  Here is my version of her recipe.



Printable Recipe


Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Choose a shallow 9 X 13 pan or cookie sheet pan/stone *needs to have at least 1-inch sides on it, and line this pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add your 4-5 cups of cereal. If you want gooey bars use 4 cups, but if you want a crunchy treat, add more cereal.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the corn syrup and sugars, stir to mix, and let come to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Remove pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, then the vanilla.
  5. Pour out onto the lined pan, and spread it out evenly from corner to corner.
  6. Let the pan sit until the treats have firmed up, then cut into pieces.
  7. Wrap treats in Saran wrap, and store in an air-tight container.
  8. Makes 24 bars
After I cut them, I wrapped each treat in Saran Wrap so the girls would have a chance at not getting their hands too sticky while they ate them.  Looks like this recipe is a keeper!






Until next time, Peeps! Have a great day,
and make a positive difference
in someone's life!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lana's Life: A Look at My Rural Childhood.

I showed you in a previous post how I grew up around our family farm, but we actually lived two counties south of Newton County in Tippecanoe County, the southern part.  I thought I would show you some pictures of what "back in the day" looks like.  We were always country folk!  (and I wasn't always this old!) ha ha!

Ah...... This is where I spent years 3-10.
Loved this place!
Oops!  Not IN the cemetery,
but on the porch where this picture was taken.


Up here.
Can you see the house in all the trees?
Sheep grazed in the front pasture, cattle roamed the woods
to the right,  and I swear that lane was a mile long.
You try to walk down it with your short little legs in the winter! 
Poor Dad had to dig it out by hand when the snow got deep, and it did!




 But it was beautiful in the spring.
Love red bud trees!


 Now, what country girl hasn't been mushroom hunting! 
Love those Morels too!
YUMMY!
Pass the butter!


And fishing...(Those are BIG crappies)


and climbing trees.


A new home where years 11-the college years were spent!
Only house on the road!  
HELLOOOOO???????
This is where we lived during the three MAJOR blizzards of the late '70's.
During the worst one in '78, we were snowed in for TWO WEEKS!



Lordy! 
Me with braces?!?! 
I must really feel comfortable with you all!  
Get ready for some animal pictures!


 Learning to ice skate ON the garden!
Seriously!
Only out in the country do we do these things!


 YIKES!
A tube top?!?!
Thank goodness I have the cat!


Farrah hair,
friend,
kitties,
and pumpkins!
We grew some bodaciously big ones that year!


So hopefully you see that I came into my marriage to a farmer with a strong rural background and familiarity with what it means to farm and live out here on this great farm Tall Guy has always called home.  More on Tall Guy's farming youth and family stories in a post to come.

Until next time, Peeps!  Have a great day,
and go make a positive difference
in someone's day!



Monday, March 6, 2017

Beer Battered Shrimp: a Lyons Family Tradition


Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!


This post contains affiliate links.

Today was the first Friday of Lent, and we usually head out to our church's annual Fish Fry, but Miss Bear felt under the weather this morning, and with no school for her today, we decided to stay home and have our own meatless meal.  Fortunately, fish is something we can eat, and I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer.  When the rest of the family heard that, it was three votes for Beer Battered Shrimp, and my vote made it unanimous!


This recipe has been in my family for years.  Grandma Lyons served it to guests at the Brook Hotel, and she probably first served it to Mr. George Ade during the time she worked for him at his home, Hazelton, which is now a golf course just outside of Brook, Indiana.  George Ade was a talented writer and playwright in the early 1900's.  Those who follow Purdue football might know his name as it is part of our stadiums' name: Ross Ade Stadium.

Here she is in the middle of her five daughters.


My "Grandma" Phyllis is on the far right. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Phyllis married Bill, but they had no children.  When Dad, her youngest brother, was born, Phyllis and Bill helped raise him while Grandma Lyons worked.  She was like a second mom to Dad, so when I was born, I was blessed with an extra set of grandparents.  I adored them both.  They had the farm that Dad inherited, and someday it will go to me.  Tall Guy and I are farming it now, and it feels like coming home when we head up that way to work the ground.


I suppose I should give equal time to the guys, so here they are. Grandpa Lyons in the center, Dad is in the back row on the left, and Grandma Lyons is photobombing in the far left.  All of these gentlemen, except for my dad, were farmers.  Dad spent his growing up years helping Phyllis and Bill out on their farm.


This meal was a must-have for our Christmas Eve meals back when I was a wee one, and it was always my request for my birthday meal!   I've tried to bring it back to our meals for special occasions or even "just because" moments.

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

*Editor's Note:  This recipe also makes awesome onion rings, fried mushrooms, and just about anything else you like to batter fry!

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

It really doesn't matter what the beer is; we always use a can of whatever is in the fridge.  I've not made it with bottled dark beer, ale, or other such fancy beverages.  We usually have Coors Lite somewhere around here.  Way back in the day, I remember Grandma saying that the beer should be warm.  As the years passed, we have gone to using cold beer because if there is some left in the can, the cook prefers to drink her beer cold......Sometimes you might need two cans of beer, one for the shrimp and one for the cook ;-)

On the other hand, I DO think the pancake batter brand is important.  We have always used Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix.  When something is this darned good, I don't mess with this one specific ingredient in the recipe.

Once your batter is the right consistency (think Goldilocks...Not too thin, but not too think), coat your shrimp, and place it in the hot oil.  I usually drop just a bit of batter in the oil and watch it.  When it starts to sizzle, then I know the oil is hot enough for the shrimp.

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

Let brown on one side for about 2-3 minutes, or until you see the sides browning up, and then turn the shrimp over.

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

This should take just a couple minutes. When this first group is finished, removed to a paper towel-lined plate and place in a warm over until all shrimp are cooked.  If the batter starts to thicken up on you, add more beer, and whisk together.  If you drank all the remaining beer, this is where having a second can comes in handy.

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

When they are all done, serve up your shrimp with some rice and veggies, and enjoy!

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

Oh, Wait!!!!  Do you like hot sauce or cocktail sauce on your shrimp?  Grab some ketchup and horseradish and mix them together.  Mom adds some lime juice, sugar, and spices to hers.  Stir it up and drizzle over your shrimp!  It's the Best!

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!




Beer Batter Shrimp and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Add Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour in beer slowly, whisking it into the mix, and continue adding until the batter is thick but will drip from the whisk. The batter may thicken up as you use it, so more beer may be needed.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow skillet or you can also use a deep fat fryer.
  4. Drop a small bit of batter into the oil. When it starts to bubble around the batter, the oils is ready.
  5. Place shrimp in the skillet evenly, and do not let them touch or they will cook together.
  6. Let brown, about 2-3 minutes, then turn, and cook until brown on that side.
  7. Take out and let drain on paper towels, then place in a warm oven until all shrimp are cooked.
  8. Serve plain or make the Horseradish Cocktail sauce and serve that over the shrimp.
  9. To make the sauce, mix ketchup and horseradish together in a small bowl. Add more horseradish for hotter sauce or more ketchup to calm the heat.

Beer Batter Shrimp is so crazy easy to make, but people will fall in love with it and beg you for the recipe.  Be warned, though, this recipe is NOT an exact science.  You need just three ingredients: beer, pancake flour, and shrimp.  That's it!

 Beer Battered Shrimp

Until next time, Peeps!  Have a great day,
and make a positive difference
in someone's day!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Lana's Life Growing Up on My Family Farm


The Family Farm.....Do you have one in your family?  Probably most of us have a family farm somewhere in our family tree because about 100 years ago there were MANY farmers making their livelihood from the ground.   I don't have to look too far to find mine because Tall Guy and I are farming them, both his family's and mine.  Let me share with you the story of my family's farm.

I come from farming families.  My mom spent most of her childhood on a farm, and so, for a good part of his childhood, did my dad.  My grandfather on my mom's side was a Jack of all Trades and pretty much mastered them all.  After returning from WWII, they began farming in Jasper County and Newton County.  Over on Dad's side in Newton County, his father also had many jobs, and farming was one of them, but my dad spent a lot of time with his oldest sister and her husband on their farm.  There were 24 years between Phyllis, the oldest, and my dad, the youngest.  Phyllis and Bill did not have any children of their own, so they kind of help raise Dad while my grandparents worked for Mr. George Ade running Hazelden Country Club, and later they ran the Brook Hotel. When I came along, and then my brother, Phyllis and Bill became Grandma Phyllis and Grandpa Bill. Here are some pics:

Awwww!
My daddy on Grandpa Bill's tractor probably around 1944?


The next one is of Grandma Phyllis coming back from either feeding the cows or chickens or throwing out the garbage or heading to the garden. She did it all, even ran our trap line during the weekdays the year my brother and I decided to trap muskrats for Christmas money!

Really!  She did!        Honestly! We did!

No, I didn't skin them, but I held the flashlight in the water when we checked them and helped set my dad's old traps.  We caught mostly muskrats, but we also caught a mink, and my brother still has the tanned fur.


Phyllis and Bill's place was known as "The Farm."  My Grandpa Lyons is sitting on the bench, and my three of my uncles are sitting lower.  With such a large family, the farm was the perfect place to come out and visit under the cool breeze of the many shade trees.


 My Uncle Bob, also a lifetime farmer, my dad, and Grandpa Bill


Here we have my three Great Aunts sitting with my Grandma Lyons and Aunt Betty and many of my aunts and uncles plus one cousin standing in front of Grandma Phyllis' cherry tree.   Her mother, my grandma, is the wonderful lady sitting second from your right.  Grandma and Grandpa Lyons had nine children, 15 grandchildren and now the family extends out at least three generations more!


This is my Grandpa Todd, my mom's dad, with his dog around 1920.


My mom and dad are getting ready to leave her folk's farm, off to start their married life together 1961.  I just recently learned that one summer Mom worked with three Herford calves getting ready to show them at the county fair.  She became ill before the fair and was not able to complete her project,  but she sure did put in the work.  Dad also worked with cattle and was on his school's judging team!


And after the honeymoon, they settled down on the farm to raise a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy right?  NOPE!  Dad had been at Ball State the last four years and was ready to start his first year of teaching at a little school called Wea, in southern Tippecanoe County.  Mom was going to stay home and raise two wonderful children and haul them all over the place to watch basketball and baseball games so we could see Dad!  Their connection to the farm, however, never broke.  We were what some called "weekend farmers" because Dad would go up on the weekends to help Grandpa Bill plant or pick, and we went too!

See?  Can't you tell I adored my Grandma? 


She even took us out to help feed the baby calves.  I joke that Tall Guy always tells me I was not a farm girl, but this picture proves that I've been around cattle longer that he has.  It was taken around 1964, and he wasn't born until 1965!


My brother and I after we scaled a mountain!  Loved those rocks!


Checking out Dad's contribution to the Thanksgiving meal.  The "crick" was, and still is a great place to hunt.

Yes, I can shoot a gun.

No, I don't go hunting much these days unless I am shooting with my camera, but I love to fish, and I can STILL shoot a gun!


Me, Dad, and my bro in the crick on a hot day. We did that a lot. It probably wasn't the healthiest water for you if it got in your mouth, but it was fun to splash around in and fish.  Legend has it that after serving as Flower Girl in one of my cousin's weddings, I was seen fleeing to the crick to cool off in nothing but my frilly little pants!


The best ending to this story is that there is no end!  Stay tuned to see how this family farm is still working for our family today!

Until next time, Peeps, have a great day,
and go make a positive difference
in someone's day!