Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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.

Ok Peeps! It's that time of year: time for everyone to “Get ready to RUMBLE!”  Indiana is a prime place to gather and celebrate basketball games.  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.  All of our calves have been born, Tall Guy has had the planter out and made sure that it is ready to go once April 1 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 o f 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! March Madness 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!

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 gathering 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, about doubling most.

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.

Add lemon juice and garlic 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!)

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.....

Then added the cheese, diced tomatoes, onions and green chilies  Dishes filled with color are always eye-catching!

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 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.

Go grab your favorite chips, and find your favorite chair.  March Madness is about to begin!!!!


or as we say in Boilermaker Country, 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ask A Farmer: "What's its Name?"

Whenever there is a birth in the family, second only to "What is it?  Girl or Boy?" is the question, "What is the _____'s name?"  It's so exciting in the people world to select a name for our newest addition.  This name must contain all the qualities we wish for this new life:  strength, warmth, longevity and so many more. With this in mind, I am asking you, my dear readers, my creative Peeps, to help us pick names for our last two calves.

Here is our last bull calf born.  What I can see of his personality so far is that he is a bit aloof and likes to be off by himself or with his momma.  He is, however, starting to show signs of friendliness,  He let me scratch his neck this morning!  That's Tall Guy's hand in the pic, so he is open-minded about who scratches his head.

And this little heifer was our last calf to be born.  She was a breech birth, so Ms. Teal, our vet, came out to help her into the world.  She took a bit of extra care, but today she is one week old and is as sweet as can be.

Honestly, naming animals is like taking the proverbial walk down a slippery slope on the farm, especially for the males of the species.  Most animals that fall under the livestock heading are going to be on the farm for set number of months, and then they go off to market to fulfill their purpose.  Now you are probably asking yourself, "then why the heck does she want us to name this heifer and steer?"

That's a valid question.  These two and the rest of our calves are potential 4-H calves, and the heifers will most likely become part of our breeding heifers as we continue to expand our cow-calf herd.  It's much easier to work with these animals on down the line if they are used to us, and with that comes the names. Four of our calves have names.  In birth order, they are

Smoke or Smokey:  He was the firs calf born and is now about 6 weeks old and was named primarily for the color of his coat. He is a friendly little cuss and loves to play.  That translates into butting his head into whomever is scratching his neck, and while that is just adorable right now, when he gets to be 1200 lbs., that will not be quite as cute.

Next we had Faith.  What a cutie she is here sleeping on her feet in the warm sun.  She would be the perfect poster calf for cow tipping shenanigans!

Our third calf, Jazzy, was another heifer.  She is obviously a black calf, and loves to have her picture taken. She also loves to chase cats and drink milk!

Fourth on the scene was Jasper.  He kind of blends in with the others and is right behind whoever is leading the pack that day.  He and Sadie like to chat and exchange words of wisdom.

These pictures also serve to show you how livestock farmers spend much of the winter.  Besides tweaking and going over machinery so it will be ready to go when planting season starts, we are taking care of expectant mommas and making sure each newborn gets off to a great start.  It doesn't always work that way.  We did lose one bull calf.  He was also born breech, but it was a hard birth, and he never quite got his strength...  His loss made it extra important to take care of our last little girl so that she would be able to stand on her own and go back to her momma.

Ok, now is the audience participation part of the story.  We need to name these last two calves! There have been some options already suggested for the heifer (girl), so I will share them with an option for you to add your own:

A.)  Kathryn (for our niece who shares a birthday with this heifer).
B.)  Minnie Moo
C.)  Sasafrass
D.) ______________

For the last bull calf, Mickey Moo is our only suggestion, so you can choose that one or comeup with one on your own

So Peeps..... Leave your answers in the comment section and let's get these last two calves named!
I need to be calling them something other than Squirt and Poop.

To learn more about our cows and calves, you can check out these posts: