Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hot Tamale....on a cold winter's night

Choir was canceled tonight so we are home in our nice cozy house, sipping on Frank's Fantastic Margaritas and eating our Tamales and Refried Beans doctored up with my homemade salsa.

These tamales are probably not traditional.  I used chicken thighs instead of pork and I didn't really have a recipe, or rather I had about 5 recipes that I read over and then I did what I wanted LOL.  Here is what I ended up with when all was said and done.  I have amended my recipe to lower the amount of sugar you should add because while ours were very tasty they were a little on the sweet side for me. Frank, however, thought they were perfect so adjust yours to your taste.

Once you make the filling and soak the corn husks, place a dollop in the middle and fold it into a neat little package.

Place a couple of open corn husks on the bottom of the steamer.
Then add a single layer of your packages, seam side down.
You will add another layer of corn husks and top with a second layer of packages. 
Cover and Steam for an hour.

Remove to a platter and serve.

Open the packages and remove the tamale to your plate, discarding the husk.

Chicken Tamales

2 c shredded cooked chicken ( I boiled up 4 thighs until tender and shredded them)
1/2 c. diced onions
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh Oregano or 1 t. dried
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes
juice from 1/2 small lime
Salt and pepper to taste
20 Dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for half an hour
3/4 c. butter at room temperature
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
large pinch of salt
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. Masa Harina (Corn Flour)

In a large saute pan, cook onions in oil until tender.  Add garlic, oregano and jalapeno.  Cook over med heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, stir an bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice.  Place into a food processor and puree until smooth.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale yellow.  Add egg, salt and baking powder and mix to incorporate.  Add the Masa Harina and the tomato puree and mix until well blended and smooth.  Stir in chicken.

Place a dollop of filling inside each corn husk and fold over each side lengthwise and then each side width wise making a little package. Place the packages in a steamer lined with corn husks in a single layer.  Once the steamer is filled, place additional corn husks on top of the packages and layer the remaining packages.  You can repeat this as many times as necessary depending on the size of your steamer.

Place steamer over 2" of boiling water, cover and steam for 1 hour, adding water as needed.  Print Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers

Welcome to November's edition of #BundtBakers.  Our host this month is Lauren of From Gate to Plate.  I am extremely pleased to be a part of Lauren's group for several reasons....first of all, Lauren, is a farm girl so you know that get's me excited, and she loves to cook so we have that in common too.  But the main reason I am excited that Lauren is hosting this month is that the ingredient she chose for this month's challenge is....

Are you ready?


So now you know that Lauren and I are really kindred spirits...animals, sustainable living, cooking, baking and booze....we are destined to blog together!!!

During #PumpkinWeek last month the last recipe I made was Pumpkin Pie Martini's.  They were delicious and I had gone out and purchased 2 different liqueurs with which to make it.  So this month, when Lauren announced the secret ingredient, my mind immediately went back to those Martinis and the liqueur that was still in the bar.

This cake is perfect for those holiday gatherings.  It can be made ahead of time and as long as it is kept in an airtight container tastes better a couple of days after it was baked than it does on day one. This frees you up on the day of your gathering to concentrate on dinner, knowing that dessert is ready and waiting.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

3/4 c. butter, softened
2 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each, ginger, cloves and nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
3/4 c. Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs

3 T. Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Spray Bundt Cake Pan liberally with baking spray.  Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a med bowl.   Whisk together the pumpkin, Cream Liqueur and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add eggs beating well after each.  Reduce speed to low and alternate adding the flour and pumpkin mixtures until all is incorporated and batter is smooth.

Spoon into pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on rack for 15 minutes before inverting onto the rack and cooling for another 10 minutes.

While cake is cooling, whisk together the Cream Liqueur and powdered sugar, creating a glaze.  If glaze is too thick add more liqueur, 1 t. at a time until it reaches desired consistency.  Drizzle glaze over cake.  Print Recipe

Here is what the rest of the gang brought to the table today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside....

Remember yesterday when I told you that our pigs water source is frozen and we had to water them by hand?  Well, I have a confession to make....When I say "we", and it involves work or something distasteful, you should read Frank.  Of course, if it is something fun or that I enjoy then "we" reads we LOL.

Well, this morning Frank had an early meeting so I had to water the "we" there you notice. Frank does not get any credit around this house, poor guy.

Let me tell you, it is C O L D, cold outside and to make it worse, there is no sun!  Well, I mean there is sun because it is daytime but there is no sunshine.  I don't mind the cold or the snow but I hate gray days. Sigh......

This warmed me up with some early morning laughter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winner, Winner.....A Greek Chicken Dinner!!!

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting Heather at Join Us, Pull up a Chair which is a wonderful blog full of great recipes.  On this particular day, Heather was also having a give away for Debbie Matenopoulos' cookbook, It's All Greek To Me.  I entered and I am happy to say I won!!!

I cannot wait to curl up with it. At first glance it appears to be filled with Greek Cooking History, Family Stories and Traditions and, of course, tons of great recipes.  I am going to have a lot of fun for the next few weeks trying all these new recipes.  Thanks again Heather and Debbie for this wonderful opportunity.

Try it Tuesday is canceled this week....

I was going to make a new Osso Bucco recipe today but then I discovered that I was going to be at my daughter's taking care of the baby this afternoon when it would need to be prepared and put into the oven for a slow braise so that meal will be tried next Tuesday.  Please join me then.

Tonight we will be having Swedish Meatballs over Egg Noodles and buttered corn because I think that is the only vegetable my son in law likes.  I am going to make the Meatballs before I go over there so that I only need to reheat them, boil the noodles and heat the corn so we can have dinner when they get home.

It is a freezing cold, blustery day here in Michigan today so a comfort meal is going to be a very welcome addition to the day.  I know it is freezing cold because we spent all morning catching chickens to take to the processor.  65 of them!!!  Then we came home and our pigs watering system was frozen so we had to hand carry water out to them and bring the chicken's watering bucket inside to fill because the hose is frozen as well.  That's how it goes in A Day in the Life on the Farm.  Now we are inside where it is warm and Frank is making me breakfast, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, yum.

We enjoyed our breakfast and then we got our most gargantuan turkey (27 #) and cut it in half before putting it in the freezer.  We had another 27# turkey that the processor had removed a wing from because he didn't like the way it looked.  When we got home last night I cut that one up and ground all the meat.  We ended up getting 15 # of ground turkey but I have to admit that I got tired and did not clean the carcass as well as I could have.  I probably could have gotten another 3# .  Oh well, the pigs were very happy with their meaty turkey carcass this morning.

He was a huge Tom but not as large as some years.

Frank makes quick work of sawing him in half.
Each half will provide turkey dinner for 6-8 with leftovers for additional meals.

Give each half a good bath, dry it off and into the freezer it goes.

For Thanksgiving we will be roasting a 19# bird for our feast.  We still have a 26# bird that has not been taken.  We will give it a day or two and if it doesn't sell we will divide him up and he will provide us with 1 turkey breast that we will smoke, 1 turkey breast that we will save for roasting, turkey tenderloins to use for stir fries and legs, wings and thighs for the stock pot.

Life is very good here on the farm...thanks for sharing our morning with us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book, November 17th Edition

I am once again joining Peggy, The Simple Woman, in today's Day Book Entries.  Please join us.

Outside my window is the remnants of the first snowfall for us this year.

I am thinking that I need to get down to the basement and clean up from yesterday's Christening party.

I am Thankful for all the family and friends that joined in our celebration.

I am wearing jeans and a long sleeved t shirt.

I am creating my Thanksgiving Menu.

I am going to the store to return my fitbit that quit working for some reason.

I am wondering if it is appropriate to attend the funeral of a niece by marriage, when she and my nephew have been divorced for several years.

I am reading Apologize, is making me laugh out loud.

I am hoping that we can figure out a way to go see our daughter, Nicole, in January.

I arm learning that the best things in life are not things.

Around the house farm, the turkeys went to be processed yesterday.  Tomorrow we will pick them up and drop off the chickens to be processed.  Then we will deliver all of our turkeys to their new homes for the Holidays.

In the Kitchen I am going to share my 13 Bean Soup with Ham recipe that we had for dinner on Soup Saturday.  I hope you enjoy it.  I enjoy making soup, especially hearty soups on a cold winter's day.  I also love making soups from ingredients that I have left over from other meals, such as this one.  I had a package of 13 Bean Soup Mix left from my 13 Bean Chili I made for 10 Days of Tailgate in the cupboard and I had a partial package of diced ham in the fridge left from my Three Cheese Pizza that needed to be used.  I also love soups that are made in the slow cooker because easy makes me smile.

13 Bean Soup with Ham
adapted from Marie Morucci as submitted to Fix it and Forget it Cookbook.

3 c. dried beans ( I used Bob's Red Mill, 13 bean mix)
6 c. water
2 c. boiling water
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1/2 t, dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 envelope dried onion soup mix
1 c. diced ham

Rinse beans, place in a large saucepan and cover with 6 c. of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand overnight.

In the morning, place beans and soaking water into the crock of a slow cooker.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Print Recipe

I am also going to share this recipe at Simple Supper Tuesday and Thrifty Thursday.  Check them out.

I am pondering if I will make my Try it Tuesday recipe tomorrow.  I have to go down and take care of the baby while Ting and Tony go to visit Tony's mom who had hip replacement surgery today.

A Favorite Quote for Today is, once again, the same as what I am learning.....

One of my favorite things is raising healthy, sustainable, humanely grown food.

A Few Plans for this Week are taking the chickens in tomorrow, delivering turkeys, watching the baby, working the food pantry and, of course, visiting Mom.  I am also going to make up my flyers for the Lunch with Santa we host each year and get them ready to be mailed.

A Peek into one of my Days from Last Week...take a look at this great video of our granddaughter's baptismal ceremony.

Melody Elizabeth's Baptism

It was a very busy day yesterday and even though the company left early, I was exhausted.  We put on a movie, Monument's Men, and I watched the first few moments and promptly fell asleep. I awoke in time to see the ending.  Then we watched Once Upon a Time and I went to bed.

All of this synopsis to explain why I did not share this video with you yesterday instead of this morning.

Unfortunately, Frank was sitting right next to me as he took the video so you are stuck with my chatter throughout.  Sorry about that.  It was a very joyful occasion and we all came back to the house afterwards for a great celebration.  I will post more about that and additional still photos when we get them from our friend, Lainie, who was our photographer for the day.