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


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!!



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!

Balsamic Roast Beef

Erica, over on 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

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

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.

Soccer, Sleep, and Siblings

Yesterday my sister, brother, and a few “adopted” siblings were in town for a quick visit. It was so much fun!! I LOVE my family.

So I got off work at 7am, went home and Matt made me Snickerdoodle waffles and a mimosa! yummy! Then we decided it would be a good morning for a four wheeler ride up in the mountains. It was gorgeous!

After that we went into town to get chicken food, jeans, and boots.
From there we went to watch my cousin Helen play soccer! She did really well!

After the game we went to IceBurg for lunch!! We had gurshburgers, fries, and scotch and soda’s. A gurshburger is heaven between two slices of bread. It is a cross between a grilled cheese and a cheeseburger. mmmm, I think I want another one :] Iceburg

Then we went to Oma’s house to help Mom and Scott move more of their stuff into storage.. well, everyone else helped and I took a nap. It was a good few hours for me, everyone else filled and unfilled a U-Haul.

Then we came home, played games, joked, laughed, listened to good music, smoked cigars and drank a few beers and gin and tonics! Max made some delicious Chili dogs with peppers and onions. This morning the stove quit working so he made hash on the grill. It was so nice to have someone else cooking for a while!

Now I’ve been cleaning… and cleaning. Because 4 college aged boys make a big mess!! I wouldn’t trade them for the world though!! Love having them over! Can’t wait until next time!!

New Camera and the Owl

I got a new camera this last week and have been busy taking a lot of pictures. Let me just say that it has been the most awesome thing to have!!

The wildlife around here must be telling each other to come pose for me. I swear they know that they look beautiful. Matt says I should enter some pictures in the fair next year, do any look fair worthy to you?

New Camer 006

New Camer 020

New Camer 023

New Camer 018

New Camer 041

owl 013

owl 017

owl 020

owl 022

owl 002

New Camer 017

I was shocked when I saw the owl just chilling on the fence post and delighted when he stood still long enough for me to get a few good pictures of him!!
Which picture is your favorite?


I’m multi-tasking right now, taking advantage of my last few hours of internet for a few days and enjoying a break from life, swinging in the hammock.

But I’ve also been swinging in other ways lately. As I was sitting here I started to think back to the last week or two of life and realized that I’ve been swinging back and forth so fast between school, work, and housework, that I haven’t been able to jump off and stop the spinning in my head.

Remember when you were a kid and you would pump your legs as hard as you could? You would make the swing go as high as you could? As fast as you could? Then you would wait till you were at the top and jump off?

Well, that’s been life for me. Higher and higher, faster and faster, my head has been spinning with to-do lists, work days, school lists, school work, quizes, discussion boards, dinners, cleaning. But when I’ve tried to jump off I’ve been unable. Stuck in the fast paced-ness and doing-things-ness of life.

This weekend Hubs and I are going camping for four days! Four days of no internet, no tv, no jobs, no work, no(t much) school, and no distractions.

Days of getting to focus on our marriage, focus on each other, focus on God’s beauty, and making memories with some great friends!

The busy-ness is necessary for now in our day to day life. We need to work to eat, to buy Matt a pickup that will start in the cold, to fix up our house, to pay for my school. But it will be so nice to get away from it all for a few days.

So now I’m off, to pack clothes and food. But it’s been a good moment here in the hammock. Writing and watching the birds, mainly the male pheasant strutting around the yard 🙂

How do you jump off?

Panda Orange Chicken

So Matt and I love Chinese food! But he hates Panda because of a bad night after eating there, and really I can’t blame him. But since it’s the only fast food Chinese in town, we are sunk. Until I got brave and decided to try to make it at home. Yes folks, this was my first Chinese recipe attempt at home… How it waited for 22 years is beyond me. Now that I have started, however, this will be a new usual!

So I found a recipe for orange chicken, and since we’ve made it twice in the last week I can verify that it is amazing.
Here’s where I got the recipe:

And here’s my adapted recipe:
Cook chicken in a skillet and then remove.
Deglaze pan with 2 tbs red wine vinegar.
Add the 1tsp garlic, minced.
After 2 minutes add the orange sauce recipe: adapted version below.
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
1 orange, zest of and juice (I used a cutie)

Mix the sauce together and then pour into pan.
Add 1 Tbs cornstarch and cook until thickened.

Serve over rice.



Bedroom Re-Do

Yesterday and today we worked on, and finished re-doing the bedroom. It was functional before but wasn’t the greatest, as I had to either climb over Matt or basically crawl under the slanted roof to get out of bed.

So we rearranged, hung pictures, and made the bed with bedding we got for Christmas! The room is now amazing!
So here’s a few pictures!



My new panorama app helped take these pictures, but I obviously need a little more practice 🙂

Off to the Super Bowl party! Where a year-ago today we were telling everyone we were engaged! How fun!

2014 Resolutions!

There are many things on my to-do list this year! So I’m going to put them here to hold myself a little more accountable, and just to be able to look back next year and see what I did accomplish :]

1. Get Healthy. For me this means completing the Jillian Michaels 30 days video I got at Costco. Making more healthy meals. And just being more active in general. Matt really wants to start doing volleyball with a church group he used to be involved with.

2. Graduate Nursing School. June 2014!!!! Graduation is on the 14th or 15th… and I will be there and be pinned as a nurse!

3. Pass my Nursing Boards, the first time preferably.

4. Get a Job. I’m not aiming high on this one, a nursing home will do.

5. Start my BSN program through WSU in the fall.

6. Make progress with the house, keep it semi-clean, organize it, decorate it… etc. as I have time and money to do the things that need done to it.

7. Finish the Bible in a Year that I started with this Facebook group, run by a friend of mine.

And a few resolutions that aren’t a new year thing:
1. Work on my relationship with my husband, make sure that while I do all these things on my list he still feels like he is number one.

2. Be happy with what I have.

3. Be a happier person in general, less rule and list oriented and keep calm when things deviate from my daily task list.

I will check back on this list periodically and re-orient myself to the goals and plans I have for this year. Hopefully next year I can make new goals as I should have completed this list :]