Family Cookbook

We have a cookbook that my Oma started a very long time ago. She gathered recipes from family members and put them in a box. My mom completed the project when I was 4? ish. She made copies for all the people in the family that wanted one. I remember it being used all the time and using it all the time. Most of the recipes are great and some of them I use all the time.

But alas, my generation didn’t/doesn’t have any. The only reason I have one is because I took the copy that was going to be my uncles.

So we decided to redo it. So far I’ve done almost 19,000 words and 77 two columned pages of recipes. It has a lot of work yet to go but it’s going to be awesome!! It will be available to buy, so I thought I’d post some teaser recipes of my favorites!

Homemade Hot Chocolate

12 quarts powered milk

1 cup powdered sugar

1 pound Nestlé’s Quick Chocolate

1 small jar Coffee-Mate

  • Mix all together and use ½ cup to every 1 cup of hot water

The worlds best hot chocolate!!! Mom (Oma/Carolyn) used to keep a 6 quart container of it by the stove in the winter. YUM

This is the best!! No need to buy store bought mix, this is sooooo much better. And so good for the coming fall months, it’s my favorite to mix in some peppermint schnapps.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs

1 cup oil

1 ¾ cups sugar

2 cup peeled and grated zucchini

2 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp soda

1-3 tsp cinnamon

½ cup raisins (I skip this)

½ cup chopped nuts (I also skip this)

2 tsp grated orange rind (I skip this, too)

  • Beat eggs well and add next 4 ingredients
  • Stir in the rest and pour into 2 greased loaf pans
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Mom

I’m posting this one because it’s still zucchini season and I know a lot of you need a new recipe to try and use some up! I made this the other day and Matt called it zucchini crack. We ate a whole loaf in one sitting. I make sure to under-bake it just a little so it’s nice and gooey.

Hope you enjoy!

 

My Pregnant Life

I guess I’ll start at the beginning. The day we found out. August 16th to be exact.

I always had a very different idea of how I was going to tell Matt that he was going to be a dad. I thought I would plan it out, make it super special, a surprise; and it was sure a surprise but that’s about the only way my vision worked out :]

I was able to take the test without him knowing about it but as soon as that second line turned pink I couldn’t imagine being alone with that knowledge for one more minute.  I stared at it for a few minutes just to process and then basically ran upstairs where he was getting ready for a shower… and I’m pretty sure what I said went something like this; “So, I think we’re pregnant.” and his response was the appropriate “huh?” “well, I took a test and it’s positive.” I will always remember watching his face turn 500 shades of red and then sitting on the bed just talking and being shocked together.

The rest of the week I went in twice to the clinic to get a positive test there so we could just be sure, since Matt was leaving for 1-2 weeks to a state fire and we weren’t sure if he would have cell service or if he would even be able to charge his phone. We got a positive test on Thursday and Friday he left for a week.

The next fun part of figuring out how and when to tell our families and friends! It was great because no one was expecting it… since we weren’t even expecting it ourselves.

My sister, I told her I had an engagement present for her, and she opened up a present with a onsie with something about being an aunt on it.

My brother we told he had a back to school present, and then he said “Oh I hope I can eat it.” He decided not to eat the onsie.

We took over movies to Matt’s aunt’s house; Knocked Up, Life as We Know It, Due Date, and of course What to Expect!

We had the rest of Matt’s family over for dinner and Matt took treats to his Station Meeting to tell his fire department!

For my mom we took a picture of the ultrasound and put it on the counter when she was out of the room and she was stunned when she walked back in! It was fun to see her reaction!

I can’t believe this was all over a year ago. Now I have an almost 5 month old… guess I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.

My pregnancy was over all very easy, no real morning sickness, no real problems until very late in the pregnancy. I enjoyed being pregnant so much. I felt the baby move at about 14 weeks for the first time, and then not again until 19 weeks. The ultrasound was great and we didn’t find out the gender because we didn’t want to.

I don’t think I’ll share my delivery story on here in whole… I’ll just say that it was traumatic and one of the worst ones I’ve ever been a part of.

But we have recovered and are doing great!!

 

 

Life Lately

A low down on our life…

Recently we had computer issues, wherein out laptop (only 2 years old) decided it was too much work to show a picture on the screen. So we have had to get our desktops up and running, one I’ve had since I was 15 and the other new (to us) that I won at work! Thank goodness for that. My mom’s cousin was able to salvage our data, including all my school papers and our pictures, so we are very grateful for that!

The chickens and goats are forever getting out of the places we intended to use to keep them contained. At least they don’t go too far, but someday here we will need to fix that. We have a very long list of “to-do’s”.

Our dogs are collecting ticks like it is a competition, also the hubs and I have had the unfortunate event of having one on us each already this year… ewwww. Disgusting little varmints.

School for me is almost over!! So I’m trying really hard to get all my papers written and assignments turned in as fast as I can. (Blogging is my distraction for today) :] I am so ready for a break from school and to take a year or so off. I am not sure what I will do with all the time I spend on school… but I’m ready to find out.

Work is going great! I love my job and being a nurse. Night shifts are not so great, causing fights, hard days, and a bunch of harsh words that need never be repeated. I keep going by knowing that this is where God put me, and boy did he know what he was doing. My co-workers are amazing, I could not have asked for a better group of women to work with and to learn from. I can’t wait to see what my future holds for my nursing career… I’m still looking into Master programs and do plan to continue someday.

A wonderful vacation is in the works!! October 23-November 2 we will be going to Ireland!! I have a Rick Steve’s book that I have been devouring and page marking and planning. We are so excited! It will be our first real trip since our honeymoon and we are both looking forward to learning more about Matt’s family’s heritage, and of course drinking Guinness and Jameson. Oh and staying in a castle, because how cool would that be??

We have been attempting to smoke meat lately, I made a smoked chicken and some jerky this week. It is really good. Also I made a bot of chili with farm grown beans, the steer we butchered, and home canned tomatoes, I felt pretty accomplished. It was also perfect timing, God must have known that I would need to be able to feed a bunch of people. The way He provides is pretty miraculous.

We are still slowly working towards becoming foster parents, there is a class the last Monday of the month that we plan on going to, it will be the start of all the paperwork. I’m still very excited to be heading down this road. It does add to the “to-do’s” that seem to be ever growing, but will be worth it.

Other things: I have a cousin on the way (due on my birthday!!), another cousin is probably moving in with us, Matt is staying busy with work and officer development academy, oh and a endurance motorcycle race this Sunday (prayers for all the riders, it’s a race that has lifeflight hovering over the starting line), our house is never clean, the beer is always cold, and I wish writing papers was as easy as rambling on here.

Egg Theives

My chickens, randomly just stopped producing as many eggs as normal this last week. Eh, maybe two weeks? We had a bit of a cold stretch so I just thought they were finally realizing they didn’t have to lay eggs all winter. But then it started to be really nice out again, and my egg production was still slow!   I went and walked  around the coop and found some egg shells outside one of the windows. Aha! Raccoons!! Dirty Devils were stealing my eggs. Wednesday, we bought a live trap, baited it, and waited. The next day my tater dog was working down the road at the farm shop and treed (tree’d?) a raccoon in an old parts combine!! Guns blazing, the guys killed it (probably Andrew)! Alright one down! An hour or so later, our newly discovered hound dog had tree’d another one!  

Thursday’s count: two fat happy raccoons dead. I thought my eggs would be safe again! 

Friday morning, 0645, I remember because I started to get really mad at the dogs and my husband for causing such a ruckious when I was not in any way shape or form ready to be woken up, the dogs were barking like crazy, Matt was running in and out of the house, slamming doors. My thought was “shit, they tree’d the cougar.” Especially when the gun starts going off, one, two, three, four, five times…. I hear him reloading… What on earth? How many shots does it take? And the. I get even more mad, dude just finish off the poor creature, don’t torture it!!

I drag myself from bed and into the bathroom, where I see one raccoon on a branch and my hubs blasts it off. Well, that was a lot of shots for one measly raccoon. Come to find out, the dogs had tree’d FOURS raccoons…. Four of them! In one tree!! 

Friday’s count: Three dead raccoons, the live trap had been sprung but none caught, and one that got away. 

Total raccoons eating my eggs: at least 6 that we know of so far. 

In one day my egg production has already doubled again!! One good thing that has come from all this is our dog has discovered his love for treeing coons! But guys, these coons were as big as he is!! They seriously could have injured him! Look at this little  guy: 

 

When he gets to stay with any of our family, he gets to sleep in the house on someone’s bed! He is the most perfect dog we have ever had! So smart, he is a cow dog, and now a hound dog 😉 Ace dog is also a great dog, but he is a one owner dog, he will NOT listen to Matt. Ever. And he took a very long time to become a good dog. And it took him almost dying for him to become a good dog. 

I digress. Egg problem solved! Thanks to my dogs and Matt and Andrew!

Red Letter Day!!

I am so excited!!!

We just paid off my student loans!!!! All of them!!!! :}}}}}

WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It feels like a celebration day! I want to dance and sing and shout it to the world!!! WE DID IT!!!!!!!

YAY!!! I am so happy! It will be so nice to not have to think about those hanging over our heads anymore. I tried to make it through school without taking any loans out, but it just wasn’t possible. But now, they are gone!!! GONE GONE GONE.

Inspired and Terrified

I’ve been a little worried about writing this post. It feels like once I let it (this idea) out in the universe if it doesn’t end up going anywhere then it will just be a reminder of a goal, a dream, a desire, that never came to be. This has been an idea that has been with me for a long time, but now it plagues me and I cannot let go of it.

Matt and I have prayed and prayed about it, and prayed about it. We talk about it, we plan, we dream….

We are trying to become foster parents. Right now, all I’ve done is request information and printed out the requirements for the house. But we are going to do it.

At first, I was hesitant. I knew the need and I was the one who brought it up as an idea for our future. But I was scared, I thought “how could I love a kid and watch them leave?”. I prayed hard about that one. What if I couldn’t handle it? What if it was too hard for me?

Here’s the blog post that said what I needed to hear: http://justbethlawrence.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-new-direction-again-some-more.html

I was making it about me, not about who I was thinking about coming a “mom” to. I thought about how I would feel… I didn’t think about the kids who would get taken from their mom’s and sent to a home to live with strangers. Sent away because their parents don’t know how to care for them, which means the kids won’t know how parents should act, what they should do, how family’s behave, or how they should behave.

I’ve been reading blog upon blog about foster care and adoption.

Well, wish us luck as we start this journey and if you have any words of wisdom I would love to hear them.

Balsamic Roast Beef

Erica, over on http://proverbsnineteen21.wordpress.com/ asked me to post this recipe that I talked about on Facebook! So here it is!

I love this recipe, it was easy, fast, and the only forethought was to thaw the beef. It was tangy and melt in your mouth. My husband has already asked for it again.

Iphone 2014-2015 213

Iphone 2014-2015 212

Iphone 2014-2015 214

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

Rating: 5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: serves 8

Ingredients
4-5lb beef chuck roast
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, pressed

Instructions
1.Whisk together all the ingredients and add to the bottom of a slow cooker. Add roast. Covere and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast and shred with a fork, return to juices.
2.Serve and enjoy. The gravy is delicious with mashed potatoes too!

Notes: I don’t think my roast was as big as called for, but I used the same amount of sauce and would do it that way every time. The sauce was sooooo good!! I could have had just that and been happy. I didn’t have any beef so I just used vegetable broth, tasted just as good. Also, I didn’t use a slow cooker, I was a little short on time, so I stuck it in the oven at 300 for about 30-40 minutes: note again that my roast was smaller.

December Overview

Wow, my thing recently has been not posting on this blog… and I’ve decided that is just okay for now. I’ve been busy busy busy and this is going to be a down and dirty list of things that happened in December :]

1. Switched to all night shift working.
2. Finished my semester with a 3.79 GPA.
3. Attended two ugly sweater parties, one Grinch party, and one Fiesta Bowl party.
4. Worked Christmas Eve.
5. Did Christmas with the family.
6. Butchered T-Bone our steer

Well, I think that covers things nicely. I know that things have slowed down on the blog, but it will pick up here once school is done with. May cannot come soon enough!
Matt and I had a great year 2014 and have already had a great start to 2015, we are so thankful to be married and employed in jobs we love. We have such great friends and family surrounding us and the love and support we get is outstanding. As we continue to set goals for ourselves and our marriage in 2015, we pray

that God will continue to look on each and everyone of you with favor as well.

Some events of 2015 that we are looking forward to:
1. Ali’s graduation from NNU in May.
2. My graduation from WSU in May.
3. A vacation in October (hopefully)
4. Our 2nd anniversary in July
5. Matt’s 27th and my 24th Birthday
6. The birth of our niece or nephew in June or maybe May
7. Will and Ryanne’s Wedding!!!

Looks like it will be a year full of events and love!
I am so excited for this year!!

OPTIMUS Grilled Cheese

Thus named because these beauty’s were made after watching Transformers.

Mostly this is a brag blog post, because these pictures are totally magazine worthy and the food is too.

Best grilled cheese sandwich ever.


Bread, Onions, Bacon, Cheese, Butter, and Fried Eggs. YUM.

Midnight food tastes great. Especially when shared with people you love.

I’ve been watching different food movies lately, they have come out with a good deal of good ones. It’s inspired me to try to cook more and try to cook new things. Stay tuned.

Fall Party

We had a Harvest/Fall party a while back and I’ve been dying to share it with you all!! But have just been too busy to do so. Something about working full time,school full time, and being a full time wife has just taken the energy right out of me 🙂 Rightly so, this is the place that gets time taken away from it.

But enough about me, more about the party!! I had been seeing lovely pintrest boards and posts, and made a board myself for ideas!

We decided on a date, I made some invitations, and the real work started. I made my lists. Yes, long lists with everything that was going to happen at the party and every single thing that needed to be there for it to happen right down to the water for Apple bobbing.


We had a chili bar, a caramel apple bar, bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, a bonfire, and hot apple cider.

A couple that we love spending time with, the Cool’s, came and helped set up the night before and she helped me make an awesome wreath for the door! I love it, it used some of the flowers that were at both of our weddings.

We had a blast and will be doing a repeat next year, soup bar anyone?