Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vegan Caramel Apples


I know. I am on a caramel kick. I can't help it. It's Halloween time and it just sounds sooo good. I went looking for a great caramel apple recipe that did not include dairy. Hard to find my friends. This one sounds really excellent though. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!


Here is the link: Vegan Caramel Apples

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chunky Chicken Chili

Kim here...Now I know you are thinking, yuck! What are you thinking putting chicken in chili! I know, I thought the same thing until I tried it. My mom isn't a ground beef fan and so she usually substitutes different meat for beef. Tonight, she made this for our family and I really liked it. The hubby complained because it wasn't his typical red meat fare, but I enjoyed it because it was lighter in calories and better for you...plus it was good! So give this a try and you will be surprised that chicken really can go in chili!

Congratulations to our winner as well for this month's giveaway. Thanks Deb for organizing that!

Chunky Chicken Chili

1 lb. ground chicken
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. McCormick chili packet
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, don't drain

1. Brown and crumble chicken in a deep skillet. Season with salt and pepper while cooking it. After it is cooked through (no pink left) add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil and then lower heat so it can simmer about 30 minutes. Thanks mom for the good idea! Gotta love those moms!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Microwave Caramel Corn

And the winner is........... Amy!!!!!! Thank you Amy and to all of you who entered the Cowgirls and Cupcakes second big giveaway. Amy will receive a bounty of Halloween crafties plus an awesome apron made by Kim. Amy, please send us your address and we will get your prize out to you! Kim and I will be having another giveaway next month as we gear up for the big turkey day so be sure to keep reading.

I was so excited to receive this recipe from my good friend Tammy. She always has such fantastic ideas for cooking and crafts. I know that this will be a good one. And caramel corn always reminds me of Halloween!

Microwave Caramel Corn (Yippeee!)

Pop approximately 1 cup corn in brown paper grocery bag in microwave for approximately 2.5 minutes. Be sure to remove any unpopped kernels.

Then in a 2 qt. microwave safe dish put:

1/4 c. white corn syrup

1 c. brown sugar

1 stick butter or dairy-free margarine (great for dairy allergies or vegans)

1/2 tsp salt

Bring to boil in microwave on high. Boil for 2 min. then add 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir well. Pour over popped corn in bag and shake well.Return bag of corn mixture to microwave and cook on high 1 1/2 min. Shake well & turn bag over. Microwave another 1 1/2 min.Shake well again May microwave a 3rd time for 1 1/2 min. if needed. I usually do only 30-60 sec. the 3rd time. Pour on wax paper & let cool . Store in airtight container.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baked Three Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce

Kim here...We are back from Disneyland! It was so much fun, but feels oh so good to be out of the mouse house! Both the kiddos had a blast!

We are very excited around here because Bubbas actually touched his food tonight on his own free will and put it to his mouth to eat! This is the first time that has happened in his 25 months of life! Woo hoo! Way to go Bubbas! In celebration of this huge milestone for him, here is a dish he likes quite a bit.

Baked Three Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce

1 (13 oz) bag Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini (dried)
1 jar marinara sauce (I like Golden Grain)
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil water for tortellini's and follow cooking times on package. Drain and set aside.
3. Bring marinara sauce to a light boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add tortellini and toss to coat.
4. Grease a 13x9 pan with butter. Pour tortellini mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and dot with 2 Tbls. butter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

***Good with adding ground beef or sausage to sauce as well.**

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gilded Pumpkins


So it's our last day of Halloween crafting here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes and I wanted to send you off with a bang. Yes, it's gilded pumpkins! I opened up my Country Living magazine a month back and was in awe when I saw these. I almost hurdled the couch to run down to Michaels and buy some gold leaf. Their is a technique to this, and unfortunately, I can't say that I have tried it yet, but plan too very soon. Look at how beautiful these pumpkins came out. The article featured Carol Kemery who is a decorative painter and developed this fantastic kit along with Country Living, to make these beautiful gilded pieces. So this is not really a tutorial by me today, but I thought that if you saw these that the kit might be worth a look see.
Here is her tutorial: Gilding Pumpkins

Here is the link to her website with the kit: Beautiful Gilded Pumpkins

Here is the wonderful article about guilding in Country Living: Fall Guilding

It has been fun crafting with you this week! Let's do it again soon. Our buddy Kim will be returning from LA on Sunday and I can't wait to hear about Disneyland's decor for the Halloween season. Our recipes will be returning next week as well. Be sure to get your comment or email in to join our giveaway. The giveaway winner will be chosen on October 27th at midnight, so get those entries in.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stamped Halloween Cards


And the crafting just keeps rolling on here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. Today I made a few Halloween cards. I love giving these out to my friends and family. These also make great little teacher gifts. I saw cards very similar to these in a store that cost $15.00. That is insane! You can make these at home for little to nothing. I bet a lot of you crafters out there already have a few items already on hand.
Here is what you need:

Black and white card stock with envelopes - I buy the pre-cut cards and envelopes in a large pack at Michaels. They have both black and white.

Any of your spooky Halloween stamps. For these I used the new clear stamps. I found them in a store for .99 cents and thought they were so cute and very vintagy looking. If you use the clear stamps like I did, you will also need an acrylic block. They sell these at any craft store. I actually picked mine up at my local Wal-Mart.

Black stamp pad and white stamp pad - Again, found mine at Michaels.

Here is what I did:

Just line up your stamps on your acrylic block and ink them up. I found that the clear stamps don't use as much ink as the rubber stamps do. Use it sparingly and do a few test runs first.

Finally, you just stamp away.

I always like to keep it simple and I think that these are sooooo easy for anyone to do. I will wrap these in a cute Halloween ribbon and add these to the giveaway stash.

Just a reminder, our Cowgirls and Cupcakes Halloween Giveaway has already started. If you would like to be entered into the giveaway, please send us a comment or an email or a great recipe and you will be entered. The giveaway winner will be chosen on October 27th at midnight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Pumpkin Head


Hey guys, it's me again. We just received our first two entries into the giveaway. Remember the giveaway ends on October 27th at midnight so get your comment or email to us to get you qualified.

So it's on to our second day of craftiness here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. The next project was inspired by a wonderful crafty gal named Missy Balance who is founder of Mohair Circus and Glitter and Grunge. She posted her little spool dolls on her blog and etsy shop and I was intrigued. They were so cute I had to buy a little cell phone charm spool doll. It makes for an awesome conversation piece. I knew that I wanted to make some of these little dolls for the holidays to give to my family as gifts. I had this idea to make one into a pumpkin for my Mom who's birthday is at the beginning of October. I always try to get her something related to Halloween and I thought that this would be the ticket.

These little spool dolls are easy to make and the possibilities are endless. Here is how I made my little pumpkin head.

Supplies:

Vintage wooden spool or new wooden spool from the craft store. I like the small squatty ones.

Round wooden knobs that are flat on one end. I don't know the official name of these guys, but you can find them in the wood aisle at your local craft store.

Acrylic paint - orange - like a pumpkin

Sharpie marker - black

Round, small green bead for the stem

Clear matte or gloss varnish

Glue gun

About 12 inches of coordinating ribbon of your liking

A cute pin of your choice


So here is what I did:

First paint the round knob in pumpkin orange and let dry thoroughly - I think I did about two coats on this piece.

Next you are going to draw your face on the pumpkin head with a Sharpie marker. You can use pencil first if you are unsure of your art skills and need a little practice.

Next apply one coat of the varnish and let it dry thoroughly.

Then you are going to heat up that old glue gun and get ready to glue the knob onto the spool.

Then glue the little bead on top of the pumpkin head for his stem

You are almost done....

Finally, you are going to wrap your super coordinated ribbon around your spool a few times and secure with your pin.

Super cute and a great little gift for Halloween. Let me know how yours turn out!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Black Apple Dolls




Here it is, our first ever crafty project at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. This calls for an applause......

A couple of weekends ago my littlest of mites was at home sick with a bad cold and my oldest was with my husband at our family cabin in Lassen. There wasn't much for the two of us to do at home except sit in front of the T.V. and hang out, so the Scout and I got my sewing machine out and some Halloween fabric scraps that I had laying around and whipped up a couple of these darling dolls from one of my favorite crafty girls, Emily Martin of The Black Apple. I had watched Martha Stewart one afternoon when they had on a tutorial with Emily and her dolls. I ran, not walked, back to my computer and promptly hit the print button to get the free download.

These dolls came out so cute and are really pretty easy to put together. I did have one "ooops moment" while I was cutting out the pattern and realized that you had to cut the legs and arms as a front and a back otherwise they won't line up when you try to face them. (A typical Deb moment as I started cutting before I started thinking.) I did fudge a bit on their faces as I didn't have any canvas available, but I did have some old muslin curtains of my mom's that worked nicely. I used a Sharpee marker for the faces which I would not recommend. They bleed into the fabric too much. Be smart and get a fabric pen. They both came out really cute (as you can see from the pic above) and the Scout had a great time helping me pick out the buttons and which color scarves they were going to wear.

So here is the link to the tutorial on Martha's wonderful website: Black Apple Doll Tutorial

You might want to check out Emily's fantastic etsy shop. I love all of her whimsical prints and paper goods that she sells. Not to mention that she is the number one seller on etsy. You go girl!

Hope you guys enjoy the pattern and send us a pic of your finished dolls so we can post them on the blog and a flickr group. And don't forget to leave us a comment or an email to be entered into our Cowgirls and Cupcakes 2nd Giveaway!!!! There might be one of these cute dollies stuck in the package for your Halloween enjoyment!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Cool Giveaway!


Hey, hey. Deb here. It's time for another Cowgirls and Cupcakes giveaway!

Our second giveaway will work just like the first one. In case you didn't tune in for the first one, here is the deal: The giveaway will begin today and run until October 27th at midnight when a winner will be randomly chosen. You can either leave us a comment or send us a recipe via email and you will be entered into the giveaway. Only one entry per person please. This giveaway will of course have something to do with that spooky holiday that is swiftly approaching and may contain another fantastic apron of Kim's design along with several other fun holiday related items.

My best buddy Kim and her family are visiting the big mouse in L.A. this week, which means you have little ol' me left here to post. This week is going to be a little different as far as posting goes. We will be venturing out of the cooking realm this week and heading into the holiday crafting zone. With the big Halloween holiday swiftly approaching we are going to be crafting it up all week long here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. So starting tomorrow, I will be posting a craft or a tutorial of sorts for everyone to try. You may need to get your sewing machines and glue guns geared up for this.

So stop reading and send us your comments and/or recipes to get you qualified for the giveaway. I will see you tomorrow for some crafting fun.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slightly Lower Fat Mashed Potato Bake

Kim here...Tonight I whipped up this dish because I didn't have all the ingredients to make the original dish I posted (see side dishes), but I think I liked this better and it had way less calories. I am off tomorrow for a week's vacation! Yeah! The fam and I are off to LA to go to Disneyland and other nefarious places :). Deb will be taking over the posting for the next week, thanks Deb! I hopefully will have some dishes that I will want to recreate and post for our blog in the coming weeks!

Slightly Lower Fat Mashed Potato Bake

1 Box Betty Crocker Herb and Butter Instant Mashed Potatoes (use both packets)
(Milk, butter, water for the potatoes...read the back of the box for measurements)

1 small brick cream cheese (not sure the exact ounces, but the one for under $2 in a brick shape)

sour cream (smallest size container)

1 cup cheddar, jack or combination of cheeses

salt and pepper

1. Follow directions on potato box. After the potatoes are cooked, add rest of ingredients (except french fried onions) and stir. Put in a 13x9 baking dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

2. Add french fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ratatouille - Like the Movie


Bet you didn't think that this was a real dish....but it is, and I am going to share it with you. Now, if you haven't seen the movie yet, it is a definite must-see. It's one that the whole family will enjoy. This wonderful recipe was also out of my slow cooker recipe book from Southern Living. They have such great dishes. Get our your slow cooker (don't roll your eyes, I love these things) because here it is:

Ratatouille - Like the Movie

1 (1 pound) eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 medium zucchini, sliced (about 4 cups)

2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup capers

Place eggplant in a colander over a sink. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over eggplant; toss well. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Layer half each of onion, eggplant, bell pepper strips, zucchini, and tomatoes in a 6 quart electric slow cooker. Combine remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, tomato paste, olive oil, black pepper and garlic in a small bowl; stir well. Spoon half of oil mixture over vegetable mixture. Repeat layering of vegetables, ending with oil mixture.
Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting six hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chopped basil and capers. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fajita Chicken

Kim here...The other night I made some fajitas and I experimented with some grilled chicken. It turned out great! Use it for fajitas or even just some chicken with Mexican rice, etc. Very versatile and easy to make.

Fajita Chicken

4 Chicken breasts
3 Tbls. lime juice
3 Tbls. olive oil
1 Tbls. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper

1. Put chicken and other ingredients into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake until all is well mixed and chicken is well coated. Let marinate 30 minutes.
2. Grill chicken on charcoal grill or on stove top.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Old Fashioned Apple Butter

Deb here. I love this time a year for so many different reasons and one of them is that I can get out my slow cooker. I know, small things make me happy. I have this great slow cooker cookbook that I purchased from Southern Living and I love it! Here is an easy recipe that takes quite a while to cook, but yields some yummy results and is perfect for Fall time get togethers.

Old-Fashioned Apple Butter

5 Gala apples or other baking apples (about two pounds), peeled and sliced

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a 4 1/2 quart electric slow cooker; stir well. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 8 to 9 hours (yep, a super long, long time - but trust me, it's worth it) until apples are very tender. Stir with a whisk to break up any large pieces. Store apple butter in refrigerator for up to one week. I like to serve these with any delicious bread or dinner rolls.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Kim here...Here is something I made up the other night that came out very well. Hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Parmesan

For Chicken:
· 4 chicken breasts
· 2 eggs
· 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
· 1 Tbls. garlic powder
· Salt/pepper
· 4 Tbls. olive oil
For Spaghetti:
· ¾ box spaghetti noodles, cooked
· 1 24oz. can crushed tomatoes
· 1 fresh tomato, chopped
· ½ onion, chopped
· Garlic powder
· 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
For Chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Preheat pan with oil in it, vegetable oil works well for this dish.
3. Put eggs in a pie pan and beat. Put breadcrumbs in another pie pan and stir in seasonings.
4. Dip chicken into egg, then into breadcrumbs. Put chicken into hot oil and pan fry. Flip one time.
5. After both sides are brown, place in a 375 degree oven and bake 20 minutes. Chicken is done when juices run clear.

6. Top with a little spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put under the broiler for a few minutes until nice and melty.
For Spaghetti:
1. Cook noodles, set aside.
2. Sauté onion for a few minutes until soft. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add noodles and stir together.


**Put spaghetti on bottom of plate and top with a chicken breast**

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chessman's Banana Pudding

Hey, it's Deb here. This recipe was submitted by my favorite cousin Kerri. She always brings the best pudding pies to all of our family gatherings so I know that you will enjoy her recipe. Kerri also has a resume business called Resume Renovation. If you are looking for your resume to be revamped and need some assistance please check out her website: http://ResumeRenovation.homestead.com/

Chessman's Banana Pudding

The original recipe, which I stole from my fave southern cook Paula Deen, called for Vanilla and Banana pudding, I naturally experimented with Chocolate pudding one day and now its the way I make it every time! Kids love to help with this dessert because depending on the age they can be a part of pretty much every step! Kids love the different designs on the cookies, and designing the top.

1 pkg Jello pudding - Banana flavor (prepare as package directs) and set aside in refrigerator
1 pkg Jello pudding - Chocolate flavor (prepare as package directs) and set aside in refrigerator
3 semi-ripe bananas (slice just before use, to avoid brown mushy slices)
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies ( 1 bag is usually enough but you'll need extra for breakage and/or cookie stealers!)
1 Tub Cool Whip non-dairy topping

In a glass 13x9 inch dish arrange a layer of chessmen cookies on the bottom of the dish.
Next spread chilled banana pudding over the top of the cookies spreading evenly.
Layer sliced bananas on top of the pudding
Now it's time to spread the chocolate pudding over the top of the banana slices...we're almost done!
Finally use the chessmen cookies to decorate the top. You can arrange them neatly next to each other in rows, alternating the designs, they are just the right amount of "royalty" to make this dessert stand out!

Remember to start and end with a layer of cookies, to provide a base that will stand up to serving!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zucchini Casserole

Kim here...My new neighbor brought over delicious delights yesterday from his garden! Homegrown tomatoes, pears, apples and zucchini! The zucchini and tomatoes looked so delicious that I wanted to make them for dinner tonight and so I came up with this recipe on the fly. It came out really good! Hope you enjoy it too.

While I was cleaning up dinner tonight, I looked out my window and saw a family of deer. Pretty cool to observe the critters while washing dishes!

Zucchini Casserole

2 medium zucchinis or 1 very large one
½ onion, chopped

1/2 tomato, chopped
1 egg
1 cup cheese (cheddar and jack is a good mix)
½ cup Parmesan, grated
Salt/pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 Tbls. butter

1. Chop zucchini and onions. Sauté onions in 2 Tbls. olive oil until soft, add zucchini and sauté until it is soft.
2. Put mixture into an 8x8 pan and add cheeses, egg, tomato and seasonings. Mix together well.
3. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with butter.
4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spotted Pup

This recipe was submitted to us from Heidi who is a fantastic writer. I have visited her blog many times now, and am so impressed. She not only is a great writer, but she also is a journalist, editor and teacher and she has some fantastic articles on cowgirls. I have been reading them and would love it if you took a peek at them to find out some of the history behind these extraordinary women. It is so hard to find information on cowgirls throughout history, and I think Heidi was able to capture the "true cowgirl" in her wonderful articles. Thank you so much Heidi for submitting this recipe especially with the special family history behind it!

Spotted Pup

My dad told me about a dessert the cook would prepare when he and his parents were trailing their horses from Cut Bank, Montana to Salmon, Idaho, looking for grass during the “dirty thirties.” It was called “Spotted Pup,” and made with rice, condensed milk and raisins. The name comes from the resemblance to cowboys’ dogs.

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups white rice

3 quarts milk or canned milk equivalent

1 pound raisins or other dried fruit

1 tablespoon nutmeg

This was a treat, as it required no eggs, and since there was little opportunity for baked items when traveling with a Chuckwagon. The cook would mix the rice, sugar and milk in a cast-iron Dutch Oven, then hang it over the campfire to simmer for about an hour or so until it started to get thick. Then he’d stir in the nutmeg (or cinnamon) and slowly stir in the raisins, allowing the fruit to plump up and the rice to thicken further. The dessert was ready when the spoon stood upright.

Submitted by: Heidi Thomas
http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/ www.heidi@heidimthomas.com

Monday, October 6, 2008

Turkey Cheddar Burgers

Kim here...Our neighbor down the way introduced himself to us yesterday afternoon. His name is Bud and he has lived in this area for 70 years! Let's just say he told me almost the entire history of the area yesterday :). Well, he brought us some homegrown tomatoes that are delicious! He also informed us that his cow, Babe, likes to get out now and then and instructions on how to get her home :). We are just to say, "Babe, go home", and supposedly this cow will go home. Now, I find this hard to believe since I have never seen this cow get up! Oh well, that is my country note for the day!

These are pretty tasty and thought it would be good with my homegrown tomato I just got!

Turkey Cheddar Burgers

1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
4 cheddar slices (1 oz. each)
4 Hamburger rolls
1 cup Black Pepper aoili (see recipe under condiments section)

1. Saute shallot in olive oil in a small saucepan for about 2 minutes. Put into the bowl you are going to mix the meat in.
2. Put turkey in with the shallots and add salt and pepper, mix together well.
3. Form into 8 small, thin patties. Take one of the patties put a slice of cheddar cheese on top, then cover with another small patty. Seal the edges together (this is important so the cheese stays inside while grilling). Repeat for the other 3 burgers.
4. Grill burgers on charcoal grill for about 15 minutes, flipping once.
5. Toast buns on grill for a few seconds. Spread with the aoili and put burgers on the buns.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hey Guys, It's Deb. Still mustering around with my yucky illness. Tomorrow we have a 9am soccer game rain or shine. The forecast says rain, but I am really hoping that Mr. Sunshine peaks his head out for at least an hour for the game. Although for the most part, I am completely ready to welcome in this Fall weather. Just wait till I get inside, will ya?

So here is a pretty easy dish to fix. I believe I found this one in one of my favorite magazines, REAL SIMPLE. They have some fantastic recipes. This dish can be made quickly and I keep most of these ingredients on hand. With holiday bashes right around the corner this dish will be sure to be the hit of the party!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1-10 oz. box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed

1 -12 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped ( I use the ones that are in water, not oil)

1/2 cup of whipped cream cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup grated Cheddar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Pita chips, tortilla chips or sliced French bread

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze spinach between two paper towels to make sure all the excess moisture is out. In medium bowl, combine spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, sour cream and Cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Put into a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until golden brown on top. About 15 minutes. Serve warm with the chips or bread.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blueberry Banana Yogurt

Kim here...I came up with this recipe when trying to find exciting pureed foods for my son to eat. He loves this stuff, not my favorite...but those of you with little ones out there this is a good one that is very healthy as well. Get the kiddos blueberries and wheat germ all in the same bowl!

My exciting country house note today is that I saw a deer eating the peaches off the tree that is planted on my back porch. Pretty cool! Also, finding that country folk like to chat (which I love). They will sit and shoot the breeze with you and tell you all sorts of interesting stories!

Blueberry Banana Yogurt

1 Brown Cow Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 cup blueberry puree (see recipe below)
1/2 banana , mashed
1 Tbls. or more wheat germ

Mix all together and serve. Can be adjusted to various solid food levels. For example, chunk banana instead of mashing.

Blueberry Puree
Take about 1/4 cup frozen blueberries and put them in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 15 seconds until unthawed. Put them in your food mill and grind away (food mill really is the way to go here folks, unless you have a ricer). You now have a blueberry puree.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Aunt Jan's Bran Muffins

So I have finally caught it..... that yucky flu that has been going around. I am achey and congested and just feeling like a truck ran me over. Kim just had the creeping crud too so I know that she can commiserate with me. I will try not to cough on the computer screen, sorry folks.

I am so excited to visit Kim's new country house. Our girls can't wait to get out to the chicken coops and see the chickens and roosters. I think moving to the country is the way to go. I asked Kim the other night if it was quiet out there and she said, "Not really, now we have all those crickets and roosters that make a lot of noise," but she did say the stars were fantastic out there. How cool is that. I am so excited for their new adventure to begin out in the country. I was so inspired by their move that I thought I would share a little country style recipe with you.

This recipe comes from a very special lady that has known Kim and I since birth. She is a great family friend who Kim and I refer to as "Aunt Jan." She always had the most spotless house and the best food when we would come to visit. Kim and I have fond memories of her garlic bread with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and her backyard that was not grass, but instead, all clover. It was fascinating trying to find a four leaf clover in that place.

This recipe is so good, I am excited for you to give it a try. I can no longer do the Crisco due to my soy allergy, but am going to experiment a little with applesauce and see how they come out. Try this one and let us know what you think.

Aunt Jan's Bran Muffins

6 cups of Bran Buds

2 cups boiling water

1 tsp salt

4 cups buttermilk

5 tsp soda

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup Crisco

4 eggs well beaten

5 cups flour

Use a large bowl. Mix bran, sugar and boiling water. Let stand for one hour, then add remaining ingredients. Add raisins if desired. Bake @400 degrees for 10-12 min. The dough keeps up to two weeks in the frig -- so bake as many muffins as you wish and then bake more on another day.

P.S. Happy October 1st to y'all. We will be having our Cowgirls and Cupcakes 2nd Giveaway within the next couple of weeks so be watching for it. Our fabulous Miss Kim has whipped us up another cute apron to include. I bet you can't guess the theme?!