30 November 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes

This is a fun recipe that's also healthy.  It incorporates veggies and melted cheese with a little kick and is presented in a way that it's not intimating to kid who don't LOVE vegetables.


1/2 head cauliflower, washed and chopped into large chunks
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs, optional (if you don't have Panko, substitute regular breadcrumbs)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking

Boil the cauliflower for ten minutes or until tender (if you'd like cauliflower cakes with chunks of veggies, boil slightly less.  If you'd like them to be smoother--like pancake batter--boil a few minutes longer).  Add remaining ingredients except olive oil.  Mash or puree all ingredients until desired consistency is reached.
Over medium-high heat, warm up a griddle or frying pan and brush with olive oil.  Place a large spoonful of cauliflower mixture and pat into a pancake shape.
Flip when bottom is golden brown and pancake stays together (the smoother the cauliflower, the better it will stick together).  Cook until opposite side is also golden.  Serve hot.

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29 November 2012

Desperate Times

Desperate times call for stupid.
When you've got three crying kids and angry, hungry horses, you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

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28 November 2012


Katherine's personality has really started to shine.  She squeals and gives big grins when she sees her sisters, Jack or I.  Well, really, she'll smile at just about anybody.  Except the camera.
It's not a real smile unless she shows her lone dimple.
Then she'll only smirk.

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Nutella Swirl Cookies

Remember when I had to sell my goats?  This is the recipe I used to comfort myself in my grief.  I wanted to try something new, seeing as I'd been self-medicating with cookies for several previous occasions, like selling our sheep and having seven home showings over a few weeks, early in the morning and with small children and house guests in tow.

They did the trick.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together butter, sugars, egg, vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.
Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.  Combine slowly into butter mixture and beat until a soft dough forms.  Add Nutella and cut in until evenly distributed in dough.  Roll into small balls and press down gently with a fork.  Sprinkle with course sugar if desired.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (be wary of over baking or your cookies will be crumbly and dry).  Cool on a cookie rack.
Thank you Delightful Bitefuls for the recipe inspiration!

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27 November 2012

Blueberry French Toast Sandwich

This was a hit with the girls.  It's a simple, less sticky way to enjoy french toast!  Serve along with a bacon breakfast cup, a glass of orange juice and you've got an entire meal ready in no time.

2 eggs
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 slices bread

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed (or substitute fresh)

Mix eggs, milk and cinnamon together until well combined.  Dip both sides of the bread in egg and place on hot griddle.
Cook about two minutes per side (egg should be cooked but not browned).
For the filling, whip together cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.
Fold in or blend in blueberries (blending them thoroughly makes the cream cheese mixture purple).
Spread between two slices of french toast, cut, top with blueberries or whipped topping.  Serve hot!

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26 November 2012

The Old Barn

The big red barn is no more.

The barn was built the same year as the house--1900--but hadn't weathered the years as gracefully.  There were little repairs done here and there but by the time it came into our hands, the roof was in desperate need of replacement.  Unfortunately, the house sucked up our money and time so the old structure continued to age.  Once the roof is gone, the innards of any structure go exponentially fast.
Though we were unable to rescue the barn, it wasn't a complete loss.  We personally used barn wood in everything from our kitchen floor, to nursery shelves, stairwell support beams and crafts.  Once it was listed for sale online, the wood disappeared in a flash.  We asked each person what was to become of the weathered wood and were intrigued by the results: it was to be used in crafts, replace wood in other barns fortunate enough to be saved, put up in homes as accent walls, used in high school musical productions and made into backdrops for amateur music videos.  It was oddly comforting that all the wood taken went to a good home.
It was sort of strange watching the edifice continue to disintegrate.  It wasn't the same feeling as selling a living, breathing, sentient beast but there was certainly a measure of sadness.  The barn had once been essential to the owners but slowly became obsolete.
One of our favorite summer pastimes was to watch the barn swallows swoop after in-flight insects.
There was evidence that children once played in the rafters but it became entirely unsafe.  Still, it was used by everything from bats, barn swallows, racoons, feral cats, foxes to mice, rats, skunks, possums and groundhogs.  Not all of those creatures were welcome, especially when they munched on our poultry or dug holes in the middle of the yard.  So, at the request of the buyers, the barn was to be removed.
Hanging a screen for a Friday night drive-in movie theater.
In ten minutes, the tired old barn was plowed down . . .
 . . . and the dry wood light aflame.
You can bet the fire department showed up with a blaze like that!  The guy knocking down the barn apparently forgot to call and let them know there would be a fire.  Oops.
Then it was just a matter of burying the wreckage in a deep grave.
(Deep enough to give Evelyn and I a bit of vertigo when we stepped too close!)
Our property certainly feels emptier without the barn but it's given way to some space for a paddock or perhaps another barn.
All that's left of the poor old shelter is a dirty wound in the earth where there was once a proud, useful red barn surrounded by lush green grass for hogs, horses and cows to graze.  It certainly is not forgotten, however, in many more ways than one.
Our growing family with the barn as the backdrop.

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25 November 2012


One last ride for the year before the weather turned.
With the year coming to a close, we are constantly talking of the future--Jack's upcoming graduation, a pending cross-country move, inspectors, appraisers, electricians, last minute veterinarian and dental and doctor check-ups to squeeze in, and endless moving arrangements to be made . . .
. . . but we're trying our best to vigilantly enjoy the here and now.

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22 November 2012

SWHop 6 {co-host}

Untitled Document
Follow Who?  Social Weekend Hop
Happy Thanksgiving!! And here we are again ready for another social Hop.

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"I'm a stay at home mother of three beautiful daughters and wife to a brainy aerospace engineer who, ironically, barely has enough common sense to keep himself alive day to day. I've got an incurable genetic disorder causing me to love all creatures of the animal kingdom and I’ have a 'To Do Before I Die' list that could easily circle the globe several times. Follow our adventures restoring a century-old farmstead, tending to a swarm of animals and whipping up delicious food in central Iowa at The Rehomesteaders”
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For the Beauty of the Earth
By: Folliott S. Pierpoint
For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the Beauty of the Earth
Performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  

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21 November 2012

The Living Room

The living room is one of my favorite rooms of the house.  Not only does it have one of my preferred windows, it's also undergone a major transformation.
I gave a peak of it during our before and after reveal but here are a few more photos to give you an idea just how much work it was...
This is what awaited us when we toured the home: cheap faux wood paneling, a dark, dusty and wavy wood floor, a cracked ceiling and a gap where an obsolete window to the front porch still hung.
Not impressive.

It was a lot like the rest of the house--the potential was there but it was going to take a lot of work.  So that's what we did--got to work.

Putting the heating ducts in and hiding them behind some recessed lighting...
... then drywalling the recessed lighting/heat ducts.
Pulling out the old windows....
...and putting in the new ($25!) window.
Prepared to tear up the wood floor...
...and then finally removing the wood floor and trim.
Then it was just a matter of painting, laying carpet, installing a new ceiling fan, putting up crown molding...
...and the finishing trim.
Jack built that handsome trim himself!
Now the living room can be checked off our list!  What a much-appreciated, impressive improvement.
All done.  Thank goodness.

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