What’s For Dinner????

What are you cooking? Mom! What’s for Dinner?!!

Those are constant sentences in my house and I am sure the same is heard in homes all around the world.  I have become obsessed with meal planning. Well I am obsessed with anything I can plan and write and create. (Can you tell that since I quit teaching I need a certain amount of time to create plans, calendars, anything!!!)

At the beginning of each month I sit with my dry erase calendar and begin planning my month of meals. It really helps me to cut grocery costs, plan meals, and stop the what’s for dinner questions.  I leave room for leftovers and when I know we will be in town due to activities.

However I am tired of my same old, same old meals.  What I need is your help with something new. So help me out. Here is my calendar help me fill it up. Now be prepared I may ask for your recipe. Also we are ranchers, so meat must be in every meal. LOL

April

  1.  Meatloaf cupcakes (disguised with mashed potatoes for icing)
  2.  Chicken Pot Pies
  3. Hamburgers, deviled eggs, salsa, chips
  4.  Fried Chicken bites, honey mustard, and BBQ dipping sauce
  5.  Salisbury Steaks, mashed potaotes, peas
  6. Chili, cheddar cheese, frito chips
  7. Smoked pork chops – lunch  Spaghetti, garlic bread-Supper
  8.  Chicken Gnocchi Soup
  9. Tacos
  10. Teriyaki Kbobs
  11. Steak, Baked Potatoes, Asparagus
  12. Spinach Salad, deviled eggs are my contributions to Easter Dinner
  13. Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed potatoes, corn
  14. Hamburgers, Baked Beans, Onion Rings
  15. Steaks, garlic mashed potatoes, Green Beans
  16. Pulled pork Sandwiches (from the freezer)

So please help me out. I am open to just about anything. Kid friendly is a must.

 

 

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Sausage Pinwheels! A breakfast Must

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I am from the south and one thing that you find everywhere around the holidays is sausage balls. These are made with sausage, cheese, and Bisquick. Then rolled into balls and baked. They can be stored in the fridge and popped in the microwave whenever you need a little snack or a quick breakfast.

My mother always detested these creations. She mentioned more than once that they tasted like flour. I however adore them. Mom changed things to her liking.  I don’t remember when she started making these pinwheels, but they are really delicious. When I make either this recipe or the sausage ball recipe I make a double or triple batch so that I can freeze them. If you have to make a mess it might as well be a big mess!

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Sausage Pinwheels

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 tube crescent roll dough
  • 6-8 Swaggerty’s sausage patties
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll the package of crescent rolls. Pinch all seams to create a large rectangle.Place and flatten the sausage onto the dough

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Sprinkle the cheese all over the sausage. Beginning at the long side roll it up. Go slowly and pinch any seams that are ripping open as you roll. Pinch the last seam to the roll securing it.

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Slice it using a serrated knife about 1/2 inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown about 10-15 minutes.

 

Jipsey X Joe Litter

The puppies are now 10 days old and are growing well.  Jipsey is doing a wonderful job keeping them all fed and happy.

She was very anxious to get back to cow work and went out moving cows 24 hours after giving birth. I kept it short, but she was so happy. Since then it is a daily break to go out feeding after breakfast and then out in the evening to move the cows off the flat and back down to the meadow.

Joe our male border.
Joe our male border.

This is the sire. He is a very attentive and aggressive border collie. He is 9 years old and has slowed down since he broke his leg in the fall of 2012.  However he likes to trail cows from the back of the four wheeler, where he has the option to work a little and ride a little.

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This is the Dam – Jipsey. She is 19 months old and is getting better everyday. She has been working on cattle since 10 weeks. She has a lot of go and is learning the commands easily. We have been to a clinic to help train me, and she did well.  As soon as the pups are bigger, I hope to begin more avid training. She is aggressive and will work all day.

1. Female- Aaron

2. Female- Moriah

3. Female- Sharon

4. Male- Natasha and Keith

5. Male- Nick and Gloria

6. Male-Kaitlyn

7. Male – Pat

8.Female – Pat

9. JMooney-Male

10.

11.

Female-Sold Clausen
Female-Sold Clausen

 

Red-Male
Red-Male

 

Duke-Male
Duke-Male
Jynx-Female
Jynx-Female
Nell-Female
Nell-Female
Hank-Male
Hank-Male
Zak-Male
Zak-Male
Tip-Male
Tip-Male
Zeke-Male
Zeke-Male

 

 

Zip-Female
Zip-Female
Dru- Male
Dru – Male

 

They are Here!

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Starting at 3 am Jipsey began having her puppies. We discussed quite throughly a limit of 5, but she showed me who is boss with 11. That’s right 11 glorious red/white border collies.   So far everyone is doing well. This is the only pic on my phone and it only shows 6 or 7.

I will be putting up my reservation list and picking order tomorrow along with individual pics. So check back for their intro to the world!

A Travesty!!!

What has occurred in my house is almost unforgivable. It is an unjust that can not be undone. It is just so…..well hard to talk about.  What my children have done to me is almost to much for me to carry.

You see I am a very odd type person. I hoard weird things. For example when we go out to eat. I never drink very much of my drink. I just don’t. I hoard it. I have it for later.  My husband and my children never! They guzzle it all away and then in 15 minutes have nothing.  Then there is Mom’s drink! I have mine because I don’t want to be thirsty later. I always come home with almost and entire drink left. Unless we are on a road trip and then I give it up to those who have nothing.  It’s weird and it drives my family crazy.

Well at Christmas last year I asked my mother to make and send me two things. These two things remind me of home and remind me of her.  Being 1500 miles away I wanted those memories at Christmas.  Well she sent them. That’s right I got to large tins filled with coconut balls and peanut butter balls. I was never so happy. I opened my tins, took a look, smelled the aroma of chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut. I then took one small ball out and slowly enjoyed the taste. It lingered in my mouth. Each bite was pure heaven.

As I pictured my mother making these especially for me. Well I decided to hoard them. I put them straight into the freezer. I never mentioned to the family what was in the tins or that it was there.

Here comes the moment of pure double crossing. My children come upstairs this past Sunday, smiling and grinning! They laughed and laughed. When I finally asked they told me that they had been into my stash.  What! You have been eating my candy.  Yes, they had been slowly sneaking candy since Christmas.  I opened my tin and I only had Five. Count them 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 left.  I almost cried.

These are my balls. My candy! My candy made for me by my MOMMY!! Well what to do. I couldn’t yell at them. It was sent to us. As it was pointed out by my children it didn’t say to you only and you don’t eat it. It is true. I hadn’t eaten it since that one taste at Christmas. It is true that they need to be eaten because like all southern women, my mom will be wanting her tins back come June.

I learned something very important. Next year I will hide them at the hunting house!

Mandy’s Shepard’s Pie!

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have this great friend Mandy who can do everything. I swear if it amazes me sometimes. I am beginning to wonder if she is human. No normal person can know or have knowledge of that much criteria. I mean really. What is up with that!

Anyway I was never a fan of the Shepard’s Pie meal until I tried her recipe. Actually I was not even aware of her recipe until my husband wanted to it made for dinner one night and remembered when Mandy cooked for hunters one year and made her version. So I texted her right away and got the recipe.

Yes, it is good. Okay it’s not good it is amazing. The can of tomato soup adds a sweetness to it and it is just fabulous. I would love to take credit for it, but alas I can not. It’s hers. But I make it often and the kids insist on taking it in their lunches to school and then all the other kids tell my kids how they have the best mom who makes all the best meals and I feel awesome.

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Here is the recipe. The picture above was right before I put it in the oven to do its magic and heat up wonderfully. I was going to take a picture afterwards, but after everyone dug in, it wasn’t as pretty, plus i didn’t get it sealed on one side with the mashed potatoes and it kind of sprang a leak which wasn’t as pretty anymore. So you only get the pretty half cooked picture!

I also doubled the meat because our packages come in 2 pounds or 2.5 pounds. So I just cooked it all, added 2 bags of frozen mixed veggies, and 3 cans of tomato soup. Maybe 2 would have been plenty, but I love to just make things bigger and bigger. It is what I do. Not sure how or why, but I always end up with my pans filled to the top with whatever I am making. They just always seem to grow.

Mandy's Amazing Shepard's Pie

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 5-8 potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • milk or cream
  • butter
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef and onion.  Season with salt and pepper. Add the mixed vegetables and the can of tomato soup.  Pour into a casserole dish.

Mash the potatoes. Add milk, cream, or butter to taste. Season with salt and butter.  Drop by large spoonfuls across the top of the casserole. Then spread to cover completely. Make sure edges are sealed with mashed potatoes. Top with the cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Chores? Why yes my dear child, you do chores!

Chores. That word alone will send every kid in any house across the world running for their room. Amazingly my kids find homework, they eat longer, they need baths, anything to get out of chores.

I don’t have small children. I have a ten year old and a fourteen year old. Yes, plenty old enough to start pulling some weight. Especially since it is their own messes that I am having to clean up. Moms, you know what I mean. There is a process to our cleaning.

  •  You have to day and you clean till your house is shiny. (well mine is kind of a sparkle in places.)
  •  Children come home. They remark “Oh, Mom it’s clean.”
  •  They sit and I swear decide how to destroy it the fastest.  The eat in front of the tv. Which means dishes and wrappers gather themselves right on the floor. Backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, gloves, hats and shoes clutter the mudroom. Dropped right as they walked through the door.  The floor being clean means it’s time to drag out toys that I swear have not seen the light of day in months, but now must be played with and because we will play tomorrow must linger on the floor scattered in a battlefield position for the remainder of the week.
  • Mom goes into complete psycho mode, cleaning and ranting about being a slave to her family and no one appreciating or helping.  (Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone? I know your out there!)

Well this past week I met my end of the line. I was done. I am either going to get the kids to help or I am going to move to the hunting house and live in a very quiet, very clean, very peaceful home that only sees my mess. Yes, it will be lonely, but I can walk over to visit the pigsty they will be living in.

Okay I can’t move. It will be too hard to walk back and forth to do laundry and to make meals.  But it is a thought. I decided to get serious and I created a wonderful chore chart. It is not overwhelming, but it is a list of what they must each accomplish everyday when they get home from school or after breakfast on the weekends.  I decided that I would make the list easy to get done and easy to finish.

Here is the bargaining point!! They get no electronics, no wi-fi, NO NOTHING!! (I know very improper english and a double negative which I hate, but I had to use it here. Don’t tell my English teachers!)  That’s right, they either do what is on their list or they can go get ready for bed and get a book.  Well the book thing doesn’t bother my kids, they will read for hours, but I can’t take books away. They would die and so would I. We have that connection to our books. Plus if they do get the entire week finished, they get their allowance of $5.00.  I think that is pretty fair.

Well So far it is working. I am holding my ground. I am making them clean up after themselves. I mean what kind of husband is my son going to be if he makes messes and expects his wife to pick up everything and wait on him hand and foot! Oh, dear. I should have started this long ago.

Loganne’s Weekly and Weekend Chores

John’s Weekly and Weekend Chores

The Best Breakfast Casserole! Did I mention the BEST!!

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Okay here is the deal. I am a very picky eater. I know comes as a surprise huh?  I would never guess that as much as I like to cook that I am actually very picky. I like things just right and I like things to cook just right. Well when it comes to breakfast casseroles I have a great dislike for them.

I have had my fair share of having to cook them for different reasons. One is that it is an easy dish for serving to lots of people at once. It is a one dish meal, which means less mess and less clean up.  However I hate some of the ingredients when they cook together in a 13×9 inch pan. I know, I’m weird.

My first big pet peeve is that with the usual casserole it is eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage, and shredded potatoes or hash browns. Well I can never get it right. They eggs are either still runny and the edges are brown, or the eggs are done and the potatoes are not finished. You get my drift it is just such a variance in cooking.  Plus here is the biggie, I hate eggs! I know it is almost un-country of me. I grew up raising chickens and gathering eggs. However after my son was born. I can’t stand them. So runny eggs in a casserole almost makes me loose last nights ice cream and cookies.

One of my dear friends gave me this recipe and I must say it is my FAVORITE!! Not only is it good, but it comes out perfect every time. It also tastes awesome heated up for leftovers. You simply, No you MUST try this ASAP. You will be amazed at how easy and how good it is.

For the record I use Swaggerty’s Sausage because: 1. it is amazing, and 2. it is made near my home town. So I have to use it and I enjoy using it. Ever since they brought it to Sam’s Club in Casper, Oh my I buy like 8 boxes when I go up. Love this stuff.

I have also made this with bacon. I added cheddar and Monterey cheese  it was divine.

So hurry. Start cooking it. Make it for lunch, or supper, Just make it!

Flawless Breakfast Casserole

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 container of Grands biscuits, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can of chilled or jalapeños
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1/4 cup milk

Cook and crumble the sausage until no longer pink.  Spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange the biscuit pieces over the bottom. Mix up the eggs and milk.  Add the salt and pepper to the eggs and stir.

Layer the sausage and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese over the biscuits. Sprinkle the chilled or jalapeños next. (These can be left out.)  Pour the egg mixture over the casserole.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Cook for casserole at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Enjoy! You will trust me!

We Wait!!

As I have shared many times, my dog Jipsey is amazing!! Well it depends on who you ask, but I think she is amazing.  She strives to work and then is a great people dog. Being a people dog is one of the qualities I really like in a dog and some border collies, just don’t really care for people. They have the let me work and then leave me alone mentality. This is what my husband looks for in his dogs.

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Since Jipsey started working cows, I have had a few people interested in pups out of her and our male Joe. I feel that they will balance each other so well. After attending a working dog clinic in Kearney, Nebraska in February, I feel that I have a better understanding of these amazing dogs and I am ready to get her working harder. So with that I decided that with her next heat I would breed her and Joe. Then I could begin working her and my friends would have their pups. 

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January 19, Jipsey came into heat.  Not long afterwards we found out we are having puppies!! We are totally crazy!! Today is approximately day 56 and we are on pins and needles. I think it is worse than when I was pregnant. I wake up all hours checking on her. She is so miserable and I know ready to be done.

I will keep you informed. . . .

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Joe

Isn’t he just the prettiest red/white border you have ever seen. Well maybe not the prettiest, but he is pretty awesome.