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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! Did that say SQUASH PUPPY? Oh yes it did!

Hello folks!

Yep, it's that time of year again, when squash starts to take over like an alien invasion! Repel the invaders with these yummy ideas, and SMASH that stash of squash...then see below to pick your favorite "SQUASH PUPPY" pic!



2-3 sm yellow squash (sliced)
1 med onion (diced)
1 roll buttery round crackers (crushed)
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
½ cup Butter (melted, divided)
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 large eggs (beaten)
¾ cup milk


STEAM squash and onion in pan with a little water, about 5 minutes, then drain.
CRUSH crackers in a gallon zip top bag, then add cheese.
MELT butter in the microwave.
STIR salt and pepper into the butter thoroughly.
POUR into bag and blend it into the cracker mixture.
BEAT egg in a bowl, then mix in the milk.
ADD 2/3 of the cracker mixture to the the egg mixture.
MIX the egg mixture into the squash and onions.
TOP with the remaining cracker mixture.
BAKE for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

**TIP** If the squash is large, be sure to peel it or the skin will be too tough.




1/4 cup salt
2 1/2 pounds young yellow squash (or zucchini) sliced into rounds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seed


In a large non-aluminum pot, combine the squash, bell pepper, and onions. Cover with salt, and let stand for 2 hours to release the liquids. Stir occasionally.
Just before the 2 hours are up, combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drain the salty liquid from the vegetables. Pour the spice brine over the vegetables, and let stand for 2 more hours.
Bring to a boil once again, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Ladle into 1 pint sterile jars, filling with the liquid to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims with a clean towel, and run a thin spatula around the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Seal with lids and rings. Process for 10 minutes in a simmering water bath to seal completely.

**TIP** For safety when canning and preserving foods, contact your local extension for processing times in your area that will be specific to your altitude.

TRY THESE WITH FISH OR GRILLED MEATS AS A SUPER SIDE DISH! (HINT: not really for dogs...but they're Grrrr-eat!)



1 egg, beaten
1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
1 large yellow summer squash, shredded
1 small onion, shredded
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup peanut oil, or as needed


In a bowl, mix the egg, cornmeal mix, squash, onion, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until thoroughly combined (mixture may seem a little dry).
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and drop the squash mixture by large spoonfuls into the hot oil to form patties. Cook until brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

**Optional** SPICY add-ins: garlic powder, minced or grated jalapeno (pickled or fresh), red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.

"Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans and peas." ~Horace Gray

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You KNOW you're a Farmgirl When...

LOL...Post a comment if you can relate!!!


You Know You're a Farmgirl When...

• your alarm clock is the rooster crowing at 5 a.m.

• the family vacation is planned around the garden schedule and when you plan to butcher the next batch of chickens.

• your husband asks what you want for your birthday and you get a dreamy look in your eyes as you tell him, "An addition to the chicken coop would be divine!"

• your definition of "laying out in the sun" is a reference to solar dehydrating.

• the conversations with your girlfriends center around the latest fashions in aprons, the newest composting article in Mother Earth News, and what's going on with your kids (the four legged variety)!

• it's 9 o'clock in the morning and you're still in your pajamas weeding in the garden.

• your recipe box includes feed mixes for your animals.

• the family regularly opens the refrigerator to find leftover seed packets next to the homemade goat cheese.

• finding good canning jars at a garage sale is a huge score!

• "discretionary spending" means you had a little extra money at the end of the month for additional fencing material.

• somethings always fermenting in the kitchen.

• the children pray for one of the animals at every meal.

• the energy saving dryer in your home is a clothesline.

• you plan your wardrobe to match your muck boots.

• at least 5 pair of work gloves can be found stuffed in various locations around the homestead

• your other vehicle is a pick up truck (or it's used like one!).

• staying up late is anything after 9 o'clock.

• a hot date in town is dinner at 5 and then heading over to the hardware store to walk the isles together.

• your idea of a romantic evening is sitting on the front porch, looking out over your homestead, staring up at the stars, while holding your sweetheart's hand.

• evening prayers are always filled grateful thanks because you know for certain the Lord provided it all.

• at night, you dream of tractors, baby goats, and bumper crops!

***So, how did YOU know when you were a farm girl?***


SHE has beautiful homemade goat milk soaps, too...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! I "MINT" to post these GREEK recipes...

Hello blog friends!
Please forgive my lapse in posting, and consider it my vacation! (Which it was, if crazy-busy counts as vacation!) My favorite herb this week...MINT!!!! Mint grows around streams like crazy here, just look for it near a wet area. These recipes use mint in a different way...try it and see!

Full of Mediterranean flavor, this open-face sandwich is great for lunch or dinner, with hearty meatballs made of ground beef, veggies and spices, and served with a cool and tangy mint yogurt sauce.



Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp each ground cumin, garlic powder and salt
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp each garlic powder, salt and pepper
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-in. rounds
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-in.-thick wedges
2 tsp olive oil
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges
Warmed pocketless pitas, lettuce (optional)


1. Position racks to divide oven in thirds. Heat oven to 500ºF. You’ll need 2 rimmed baking pans lined with nonstick foil.

2. Yogurt Sauce: Mix all sauce ingredients in medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with meatballs.

3. Meatballs: Stir bread crumbs, egg, water, minced onion, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper until blended. Add beef; stir with fork until thoroughly blended. Roll rounded Tbsps into balls; place on a lined baking pan.

4. Put zucchini and red onion on other lined baking pan ; toss with oil. Place vegetables on top rack, meatballs on bottom. Roast 20 minutes.

5. Remove pans from oven, turn browned vegetables over, then push to one side and add tomatoes; turn meatballs. Roast meatballs and vegetables 5 minutes more or until zucchini is tender; toss together.

6. Serve on pitas with lettuce if desired. Top with yogurt sauce.

Note: To cut down on prep time, buy prepared turkey meatballs. Just roast for the last 10 minutes.



1½ tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1½ tsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. red-wine vinegar
~ Juice of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts or 6 to 8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped finely
~ Salt to taste
1 green bell pepper, veins and seeds removed, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
4 slices pita bread


In a large bowl, mix together the oregano, thyme, black pepper, minced garlic, 1 tsp. vinegar, and lemon juice, then whisk in olive oil until the vinaigrette comes together. Take half and toss with the chicken in another dish; set aside the remaining vinaigrette. Grill the chicken on both sides until it is cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt with the remaining vinegar, diced cucumber, and chopped mint. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, and olives, then toss with the remaining vinaigrette.
Heat the pita bread either by wrapping it in foil and keeping it warm in a 200-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or by toasting it on the grill to warm it through.
To serve: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. On each pita bread, distribute evenly the chicken, yogurt-cucumber salad, and the bell pepper-tomato salad.




2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
⅓ cup chopped Kalamata or Greek black olives
½ cup Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese
2 - 3 Tbsp. fresh mint, shredded
4 cups arugula, rinsed (if desired)


2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
~ Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Toss the watermelon, olives, cheese, and mint together in a medium mixing bowl. Divide and arrange on beds of arugula, if desired, or directly on plates.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or a lidded jar; whisk or shake. Drizzle salads with the balsamic vinaigrette and serve. Serves four!

"As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat."