Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's Harvest Time ...

Yes it is!  We are about 2 or 3 weeks earlier than normal and are already in the field cutting wheat.  That means I'm back in the kitchen trying to come up with good meals that are easy to pack up and take to the field.  I have a couple of recipes I thought I would share along with a few snapshots of the farm.  Sorry no crafting in this post, BUT remember the onesie album I was working on additional pages for???  I know it's been a while ago, but I am very close to being done.  I hope to squeeze in some crafting time very soon to finish it up and I will have lots of pictures to post.

Harvest 2012

On our farm ... getting equipment ready to go

I  snapped this peaceful picture this morning from our back deck.  Right now we have a mamma  duck and her babies as well as a mamma and daddy goose with their little ones on the pond.  I love to sit and watch the geese fly in (they put on quite a show and are quite noisy). :) 

 I will get some pictures of actual wheat cutting and post soon.  This has been a good year for us to grow wheat and the fields are just beautiful. 

On today's menu ... Cheerios treat bars ... from my collection of recipes and the ultimate meatloaf sandwich ... an original creation. :)  Let me start by saying ... I'm not one to create recipes.  I am good at following them, but don't create too many that I care to pass on, LOL.  However, today I am going to step out on a limb and share a recipe that took many tries to get to my liking.  It is now a family favorite and I hope you like it too.

Cheerios Treat Bars
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine 
1 pkg. mini marshmallows
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
5 C. Cheerios
1 C. M&M's candies

Place Cheerio's and candies in a large bowl and set aside.  In a sauce pan over low to med. heat melt butter, marshmallows and peanut butter until smooth, stirring continually.  Pour over Cheerio's and M&M's and mix well.  Mixture is thick so you just have to keep stirring until cereal and candy is coated.  Press mixture into a greased jelly roll pan and cut into bars.  I find it easiest to coat my hands with butter and press mixture into pan rather than using a spoon to press down.

Before I share my meatloaf recipe I have to admit ... my family has not always been crazy about meatloaf.  With other recipes I tried they didn't like the texture and always thought it lacked flavor as well as having too much tomato sauce.  Could  they find anything else wrong? ;)  That started me on my search for a better meatloaf and I think I finally have it. :)  The secret to more flavor and better texture ... stuffing mix!  That's right stuffing mix rather than crackers or bread crumbs.  This little change makes an amazingly delicious loaf.  Sooo Yummy! ... at least we think so. :)

Ultimate Meatloaf or Meatloaf Sandwich

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 box stuffing mix (we find the chicken stuffing adds excellent flavor, but can use flavor of choice).
1 can tomato soup - undiluted
ketchup - a good squirt or approx. a 1/4 C.
minced onion - optional
dash salt - the stuffing and soup add a good amount of salt so go easy.

pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese - approx. 1 to 1 1/2 C.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl mix ground beef, eggs, dry stuffing mix, undiluted soup, ketchup, salt and onion if adding.  Mix well and place in a 9x13 casserole dish.  For topping add a good squirt of ketchup and spread to a thin layer.  Add a sprinkling of pepper and cheddar cheese.  I press the cheese down into the ketchup so it bakes up around it, but it's not a necessity.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until done, then uncover and bake an additional 10 min. or so ... or place under the broiler on high for 5 or 10 minutes to brown the topping. 

To make a really good sandwich with the leftovers or the first time around ... slice warm meatloaf into thin slices and place on butter toasted buns.  Then mix Miracle whip with horseradish to taste and spread on buns.  The horseradish gives it a nice kick.  Hope you enjoy!

More crafting soon!