The Farmer’s B-Day Celebration and Recipes from the Weekend

The farmer turns 36 on Tuesday (gasp!), but since Tuesdays are crazy days in this household, I decided we would celebrate this weekend. So, I cooked and I ate and I cooked and I ate some more.

Not only was it a birthday celebration, but I also wanted to try some new pie recipes. I don’t make a habit of making pies because I kind of….

like to…

oh, maybe eat them. But, the Fall Festival at Taegan’s school is coming up next Friday and there’s a pie contest. Naturally, I must try and win.

One: Because it’s for a good cause. They’re going to sell the pieces that the judges don’t try.

Two: I’m not one to shirk my civic duties and if civic duties mean I have to bake and taste test pies all weekend, then, as much as I hate it, I will do it. Somebody has to. You never know…a pie might make a difference in the world.

Now, before I go on anymore, if there’s any possibility that someone reading this might be a judge at this community pie contest, STOP READING NOW because I’m going to share the pie recipes I think I will be taking in this post.

So, anyway, Friday night I made dinner for the farmer. I like to pilfer through my cook books every once in a while and pick out something I haven’t tried yet. My husband loves pork chops, so I found a recipe in one of my Pioneer Woman cookbooks titled: Pork Chops with Apples and Grits. I told my dear, sweet husband this is what I was making for him and he said…

“I think it might take me a little longer in the barn tonight.”

I wasn’t discouraged, though. The grits were cooked with bacon, onion, and loads of cheese and I had a good feeling, even though he’d never had gree-its before.

Here’s the link to Pioneer Woman’s recipe if you’re curious:
Porkchops With Apples & Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

When the meal was prepared and set before him, one bite of grits and he was in love.

With the grits, I mean. That’s all I’ve continued to hear about this weekend. How much he loves grits. Grits is his new favorite thing and where have they been all his life?

“Grits are so much better than mashed potatoes.”

“How do they make grits?” (Curiosity demanded that he Google it.)

“Of all the meals you’ve made this weekend, I’m pretty sure nothing topped the grits.”

“Pork chops and grits…nothing better.”

All of that being said, I’d say my celebratory birthday meal was a success. Happy Birthday, my love! I’m glad I could bestow upon you the sensory gift of some ground up corn.

However, before I started the farmer’s birthday dinner, I had baked a pie. I don’t advise baking this pie before dinner because you still won’t be able to enjoy it after dinner. It’s a Pecan Cheesecake Pie by Jocelyn Brubaker of Inside BruCrew Life.



Letting this chill and waiting until the next day was pure torture. I took a picture of it for you before I devoured it. Upon the first bite, it was, of course, delicious. But, I looked at that piece of pie and thought, “I’m’a take you to the nex’….


This is the point at which I got the sea salt out and I gave that baby a good dusting.

Oh. Mama.

Took it right over the top.

I dusted the rest of the pie with sea salt and took it up to the neighbors because I have absolutely no self-control. It got rave reviews. It’s deliriously delicious.

After I made this pie and dinner, I had to make another pie because I had already baked the crust earlier. It was getting late and I was tired, so the farmer and Taegan pitched in. This is a family-made pie.


It’s just called Chocolate Pie and it’s a recipe from one my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman. Everything she makes is amazing, so I knew I probably wouldn’t be disappointed.

And, let me just say, there’s chocolate pie and then there’s Chocolate Pie. This is CHOCOLATE PIE.

The chocolate part of the pie is a homemade pudding that uses bittersweet chocolate. I took this pie up to the neighbors, as well, and was asked, “Ok, what is in that??” I knew exactly what she was asking…it’s the bittersweet chocolate.

It’s decadant and dark and divine.


And Taegan-approved, to boot.


That is no small feat, folks. This child is picky in the extreme.


Even if her hair is slightly hobo-ish in these pictures.


I have never seen my child this desperate.


So, let that be a testament to how good this pie is.

The last meal I treated the farmer to was Sausage & Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole from Penny Pinchin’ Mom.


Don’t judge the recipe by my food photography skills. I tried. However, this picture would have been remiss without the farmer’s Tabasco in it. Did he saturate my casserole in this?

Yes. Yes, he did. (If you are not familiar with my husband’s love for this condiment and how it comes between us, click here Tabasco.

This recipe is so simple and so wonderful. Of the two meals I made this weekend, this one was my favorite. I made some very small modifications to it because I know what we like.

1. I used hot breakfast sausage. In my opinion, there is nothing better than hot breakfast sausage in any recipe calling for sausage.

2. I healthified it. I used the 97% fat free versions of the soup.

3. I used 2% cheddar.

It’s also a recipe you can make the night before and just put in the oven the next morning, but by the time I made supper and two pies, I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Rave reviews for this recipe from the farmer and I. I didn’t even have to salt it and when I don’t have to do that, I know it’s a flawless recipe.

The farmer knew it when I looked at him with wild, maniacal eyes and just bobbed my head up and down. That’s my tell. It’s very subtle.

That evening, we went to a fish fry fundraiser for the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Goodness gracious, did they know how to cook some fish! Might have been the best I’ve ever had. It was fun! They had a live auction for a lot of really great donations. Gift cards to restaurants, local stores, gift baskets, pies, veterinary supplies, trips to Silver Dollar City and other Branson attractions, quilts. All kinds of things. The fundraiser was for repairs to the barns on the fairgrounds. I read this morning that they raised $4,800 in the three hours it lasted. Not bad! Not bad at all! Especially for a cold, rainy night!

We gave the farmer our gifts this weekend, too. I always try to write him a letter on birthdays and anniversaries. Something really sappy and gushy. This letter was wrapped in a gift, though.

He lost his wedding band quite a while back. The poor guy searched the entire farm for it, but finally gave up. So, I decided that it was time to put a ring on my husband…again. This time, I chose something that is very “him.” Rugged, masculine, outdoorsy, and shiny.



It’s tungsten with a wooden inlay. He loves it. He gazes at it adoringly.

Taegan and I also got him this.

hoodie pic

He loves hoodies. Who doesn’t?

I also got him something very practical, because my husband is nothing if not practical. Two pairs of work jeans. Now, the farmer isn’t particular about work jeans.

But his wife is.

If I have to see my husband covered in manure every day, I don’t want to see him in anything other than Levi”s. 527’s to be exact.

He still gets splattered with manure, but he looks oh-so-very-good during it while wearing those jeans.

It’s really the least he can do.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend!

We’re gearing up for spirit week and fall festival now. Stay tuned for photos of Taegan. Tomorrow is pajama day and Tuesday she has to dress up like a storybook character. It’s going to be fun!






My Favorite Pot Roast

I don’t talk much about it on the blog, but I love to cook. Especially when the recipe requires no effort. Today, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite pot roast recipe.

I found this recipe shortly after the farmer and I got married. I had no earthly idea how to cook anything, so I wanted to start with something I couldn’t mess up.

This is that recipe.

First, we’ll start with the ingredients:

1 2-5 lb. roast

15 small, golden potatoes, quartered

1 16 oz. bag baby carrots

1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix

1 envelope of dry Ranch dressing mix

1 envelope of dry brown gravy mix

1-1 1/2 cups water

Now, just bear with me for these photos. I am in no way a food photographer.

1. Get your crockpot out and cut the potatoes into fourths. I use honey gold because they’re small, pretty, and they taste good, but you can use whatever small variety of potato you want. Honey golds are just my personal preference.



2. Throw them all in the crockpot and know that you are officially done having to do anything else but dump ingredients in.


Oh, and the recipe called for 15 potatoes. That left me with 5 in the bag. What in the world am I going to do with 5 little potatoes? I threw caution to the wind and threw those in the pot, too.

3. Next, get your bag of carrots and throw ’em on top of the potatoes. The original recipe called for 3/4 of the bag. I took a deep breath and dumped them all in there. Livin’ on the edge.


4. Stir that all around a little until you are absolutely convinced that the proportion of carrot to potato is perfect. PLEASE don’t mess that part up.


5. Unwrap your roast and gag at how gross and slimy it is. I cut the netting off, but you don’t have to. Place it on top of everything. This is a 3 1/2 lb. pork shoulder roast.  I’ve used a beef roast and I just really didn’t think the flavors complemented each other as well. Therefore, I say go with a pork roast.


6. Here’s the lineup of our powdered ingredients.


7. Dump each of those babies all over the roast and the vegetables. This is what gives it the divine flavor you will later wonder what you ever did without. Where you have been all my life, Italian Ranch Gravy?


Dusting all that seasoning over everything makes me feel alive.

8. Next, you pour your water all over the top of everything. I used 1 1/2 cups because I threw those extra veggies in there.


9. Now, you’re ready to turn the heat on low, put the lid on (or smash it on, in my case), and go about the rest of your day feeling like you have conquered life. Crockpot meals make me feel so free and successful.  Continue to cook on low for 6-10 hours.


10. Finished product! I might have taken some time to slather some gravy on that roast for your viewing pleasure, but I wanted to devour it, so I didn’t. My picky, PICKY daughter loves this and if you have a new husband who might be concerned about his new bride’s culinary skills, this will knock his socks off and restore his faith that there might still be hope for you yet.


You’re welcome. I do what I can.