Sunday, December 30, 2012

WWII Shepherd’s Pie

Here is my version of a WWII recipe for shepherd’s pie… I was a bit skeptical because of the condensed soup, but I splurged for Campbell’s vegetable beef soup and it turned out swell! :o)

I also altered the recipe to serve more people…

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green and/or red peppers

2 cans condensed vegetable beef soup

2 cups mashed potatoes

Brown hamburger, onion and pepper until beef is thoroughly cooked and veggies are tender. Stir in soup.

Spoon into a greased casserole dish. Scoop potatoes into mounds on the edge of the casserole.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.

WWII shepherd's pie - The Backyard Farmwife

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cheesy Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

We usually end up having this every holiday because we usually end up with leftover ham… It’s pretty easy and for me, one of those comfort foods I just love!

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

First I really thinly slice about 6-8 medium potatoes with my PC slicer. I just slice them right into my greased 9x13 baking pan.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

Toss in some cut up ham.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

Then mix in about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese with the potatoes and ham.

Then you need to make your white sauce.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook 1/4 cup finely chopped onion in the butter for about 1 minute.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

Add 1 heaping Tablespoon of flour and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk together and quickly stir in 2 cups of milk. Whisk until smooth.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

Heat until thick and bubbly and then continue to cook for 1 minute.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife Pour over potatoes.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard FarmwifeCover with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard FarmwifeWhile potatoes are baking, make breadcrumbs for the top. (You can also use store bought breadcrumbs.)

I just take a cooled piece of toast and run them in my food processor until fine crumbs.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwifeham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwifeham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife     Mix 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar in with the bread crumbs.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard FarmwifeAfter potatoes have cooked for 1 hour, remove the foil and top with breadcrumbs and sprinkle with paprika.

Place back in oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

ham & potatoes - The Backyard Farmwife

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hobbit Food

Last week we went to the midnight premier of The Hobbit… and since we are such total Tolkien geeks (and foodies) we went to Denny’s for their new Hobbit inspired menu.

I know you’re probably thinking that if we were really foodies we wouldn’t stoop to eating at Denny’s, but they had HOBBIT food!!!

I don’t know if it was the we’re-on-our-way-to-see-The Hobbit adrenaline rush or if the cooks were really good, but the food was DELICIOUS!!! :o) No, seriously! And I have become uber picky about restaurant food lately…

If you love The Hobbit, you gotta go try it!!!

The Shire Sausage Skillet:

hobbit food - The Backyard Farmwife

The Ring Burger:

hobbit food - The Backyard Farmwife

Hobbit Hole Breakfast (this is what I had):

hobbit food - The Backyard Farmwife

Lonely Mountain Treasure:

hobbit food - The Backyard Farmwife

Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet:

hobbit food - The Backyard Farmwife

They won’t offer these items forever, so I’d better see what I can do about making them at home. We’ll see if I can do it as well as they did???

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Waffles

This is an easy recipe for a chocolate-y dessert that is best served with ice cream and your choice of toppings. Our favorites are bananas/Nutella/whipped cream, strawberries/ bananas/chocolate syrup, candy cane/whipped cream! But you can choose your favorites…

chocolate waffle - The Backyard Farmwife Make your cake mix according to the directions on the box.

chocolate waffle- The Backyard FarmwifePour batter into a preheated waffle iron…

chocolate waffle - The Backyard FarmwifeYou have to do a bit of experimenting to see how much batter works in your waffle iron. It may be a sort of messy experiment…

chocolate waffle - The Backyard FarmwifeFor my benefit, it use 1/2 cup of batter. Although if you have a Black & Decker Belgian waffle maker, then it’s for your benefit, too. ;o)

chocolate waffle - The Backyard Farmwife    Serve waffles warm or at room temp…

chocolate waffle - The Backyard Farmwife

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple Cider Muffins

These muffins are moist and sweet with the perfect light texture, but are also filling and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea for a quick and easy breakfast. We like ours tossed in sugar but they’d also be good plain…

cider muffins - The Backyard Farmwife

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 egg

2/3 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark)

1/2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup apple cider

1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

2 Tablespoons oil

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix remaining ingredients (including sugar) in a small bowl until well combined. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Don’t worry about lumps!

Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Let cool on rack for 10 minutes. Remove and toss in a bag of white sugar.

cider muffins - The Backyard Farmwife

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bacon N Eggs Griddle Cakes

These are actually the brain-child of my youngest son… These were just one of the many things he attempted to make while we were away in Hawaii. After all, they say “necessity is the mother of invention”.

They were already a pretty good idea but then I added bacon and they are now PERFECT! :o)

bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard Farmwife Mix up a batch of your favorite pancake batter and toss in some bacon bits.

Pour your cakes onto a well-greased pre-heated griddle.

bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard Farmwife Flip them as soon as they are set on one side. They will be very light brown.

bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard FarmwifeUse a biscuit cutter to cut the center from each pancake. Set the centers next to the pancakes on the griddle to continue cooking,

Quickly crack an egg into the center of each pancake. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard FarmwifeFlip often until the eggs are cooked.

 bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard Farmwifebacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard FarmwifeServe the way they are or with butter and syrup…

bacon n eggs griddle cakes  - The Backyard Farmwife

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sausage & Applesauce Bake

This is a recipe that I altered a bit from a WWII cookbook I bought while we were at Pearl Harbor. I decided to try a recipe from it every time I plan a new menu. This was my first one. I was a bit nervous about it, but it turned out just fine!

I liked the introduction in the cookbook, “Cooking on the Home Front” by Hugh and Judy Gowan.

We all had a goal; to win the war as soon as possible and put the world, our country and our lives back into order. There was only one way to do it and that was pulling together with limited resources. From our brave armed forces all over the world, to the defense plant worker and the home maker, we all had a job to do and we did just that.

1 pound sausage links

1 pound egg noodles, cooked

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2-3 Tablespoons butter (more than you need but you want some extra to toss with the noodles)

1 cup applesauce

1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup grated cheddar

Preheat oven to 425. Bake sausages on a shallow baking pan for 25-30 minutes or until browned and thoroughly cooked. Drain and slice. Turn oven down to 350.

Sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir into cooked egg noodles.

Mix applesauce, mustard, lemon juice and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Place half the noodles into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Pour applesauce mixture over noodles. Cover with remaining noodles. Top with sliced sausage links. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

sausage applesauce bake - The Backyard Farmwife

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Veggies & Sausage

This isn’t really as recipe as much as it is a suggestion…

It’s a quick and easy supper and the perfect way to use up those veggies from your garden or the farmer’s market!

pesto pasta with veggies & sausage - The Backyard Farmwife

Wash and cut up and fresh veggies you have and/or like. (green beans, mushrooms, squash, peppers, onions, garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, peas…)

Cook up some pasta (any shape will do). I threw my green beans in with the pasta to cook together.

Slice your favorite Italian sausage links. Brown them in a skillet until heated through. Throw in your veggies to sauté with the sausage links.

Drain your pasta, mix in sausage and veggies. Toss with your favorite pesto (store-bought or homemade).

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Garlic Parmesan Butter

This savory butter is good on steaks, sautéed veggies or bread. Make it as garlic-y as you like…

1 stick butter, softened

3-5 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 Tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese

cracked black pepper, to taste

Mix together well and store in fridge.

garlic parmesan butter - The Backyard Farmwife

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Canning Applesauce

I think I have perfected my method of making applesauce! It is so quick and easy to make LOADS of it with hardly any effort! All you need is a roaster oven and a food mill. If only canning it were as simple… :o)

First get apples!

super easy applesauce - The Backyard Farmwife This has been a very good year for apples for the first time in a couple of years!

Then wash, quarter and core them. That’s all… you don’t have to peel them.

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifePlace them into a roaster oven pan that you have filled halfway with cold water and added lemon juice (like 1/4 cup maybe??? I didn’t measure).

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifeWhen the pan is full, pour off the water into the sink. Be very careful! Well,  you’re probably gonna get wet… ;o)

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifePut the pan back in the roaster oven and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (give or take). Give them a stir occasionally to keep the edges from burning.

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifeWhen the apples are soft, turn off the oven and remove lid.

super easy applesauce - The Backyard Farmwife   They don’t look very appetizing at this point.

Place your food mill over a large bowl and fill only about halfway with the apples. Run them through the food mill until you only have peels left in the mill. You don’t want to run more than two batches through before you clean it out.

super easy applesauce - The Backyard Farmwife Fill as many bowls as necessary.  My three boxes did 3 ovens full and lots of bowls of applesauce!

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifeAt this point you can freeze or can your applesauce.

If you are going to can it, you have to heat the applesauce to 212!

The easiest way to do it is to pour it back into your roaster oven, turn it to 400 and cook until 212 and ready to can. Be sure to stir it often to make sure it is all hot!

Add sugar to hot applesauce and stir well before canning. You can add as little or as much as you want.

super easy applesauce - The Backyard FarmwifePour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2'” headspace. Top with a prepared canning lid and put on the rings to only finger tight. Place in boiling water, return to a boil and process for 20 minutes for both pints and quarts. Turn off heat, remove lid and let rest for 5 minutes before removing jars to cool.

Check jars after 12 to 24 hours to see if they have sealed. If not, place in fridge or freeze. Place the rest on the shelf and enjoy them all year long!

super easy applesauce - The Backyard Farmwife

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oven Baked Chili Dogs

These chili dogs were pretty darn tasty! I think they’d be even better with my homemade chili, but I was in a hurry…

I took some extra steps that added some time to this speedy easy recipe, but I think they were totally worth it!

Preheat oven to 375.

First grill your hot dogs.

Heat chili.

Butter the hot dog buns and then broil or grill them until toasted.

Place buns with hot dogs in them in a 9x13 (or larger) pan.

oven baked chili dogs - The Backyard Farmwife Top dogs with chili.

Then sprinkle with shredded cheese and chopped onions.

Bake until cheese is melted and chili is bubbly.

oven baked chili dogs - The Backyard FarmwifeFor some reason they just taste better after baking! ;o)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Buttery Blueberry Nectarine Cobbler

This is a variation on my blackberry cobbler and it’s possible I like it even more than the original! The blueberries and nectarines make for a very lovely combination in this buttery cobbler!

Eat it warm and store the leftovers in the fridge.

1/2 cup butter

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

4 cups (total) of  fresh sliced nectarines and blueberries (blueberries may be frozen)

buttery blueberry nectarine cobbler - The Backyard Farmwife

Preheat oven to 350. Once oven temp is reached, melt butter in 9x13 pan.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, vanilla and cardamom; batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour half of batter on top of melted butter in pan. Spread fruit over lubatter and pour remaining batter over the fruit.

buttery blueberry nectarine cobbler - The Backyard Farmwifebuttery blueberry nectarine cobbler - The Backyard Farmwifebuttery blueberry nectarine cobbler - The Backyard Farmwife

Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until golden brown.

buttery blueberry nectarine cobbler - The Backyard Farmwife