Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Freezer cooking crock pot stuffed peppers

Are you looking for a great crock-pot freezer cooking recipe? Or better yet a recipe to use up those peppers sitting in your fridge? Look no further! This Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffed Peppers recipe is a keeper!

Freezer cooking crock pot stuffed peppers

This recipe is super easy and great because you can freeze the peppers and then pull them out and throw them in the crock pot when you need a quick meal! I LOVE being able to grab a bag out of the freezer throw it in the crock-pot and come home to dinner ready to eat!

Summer is right around the corner and I can’t wait to make these again with fresh peppers from the garden! If I am lucky we will have some peppers, that is if the critters eating my garden find a new hangout!

The multicolored peppers look great but you can use whatever bell peppers you have or are your families favorite! If you like heat use a spicier pepper.

The recipe calls for sausage but you could use hamburger if you want. I love recipes like this, easy to adapt for everyone’s likes and dislikes!

This is a great recipe to use a slow cooker liner in, less mess equals a quicker, easier clean up! I love the slow cook lines, they don’t work in every recipe but even my husband notices when I forget to use one!

Freezer Friendly Slow-Cooker Sausage-Stuffed Peppers

Freezer Friendly Slow-Cooker Sausage-Stuffed Peppers


  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1-1/2 cup salsa, divided
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 red,yellow and/or green peppers


  1. Mix together sausage, rice, one cup salsa, one cup cheese and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Remove tops from peppers; remove seeds and discard tops.
  3. Stuff peppers evenly with sausage mixture.
  4. Individually wrap peppers in plastic wrap; place stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container. Refrigerate overnight, or freeze until ready to use.
  5. To cook:
  6. Thaw peppers overnight in refrigerator if frozen.
  7. Spoon remaining 1/2 cup salsa into a lightly greased slow cooker.
  8. Unwrap peppers and stand up in slow cooker.
  9. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours, until peppers are tender.
  10. Sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese.
  11. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

This recipe comes from the Gooseberry Patch 101 Super Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes Cookbook.

Affiliate links were used in this post. 

The hardest thing I ever had to do – Part 1


The hardest thing I ever had to do didn’t involve anything physical. I remember vividly sitting on my couch.

It only took a minute but it took me months to get the courage to do it, in fact I basically ran out of time.

It all started at a work meeting. I was introduced to a girl about my age at a meeting. I didn’t think much about it. I went to a lot of meetings and I met a lot of people. This sounds bad but I didn’t need/want a new friend. I had plenty of friends and I didn’t have nearly enough time to spend with them.

Besides, I didn’t really think we had that much in common.  She had moved to Indiana recently from another country. Her family had a large dairy farm. Their way of dairying was a lot different than what I was raised around and what I was used to. I found out she lived two hours away from me. I was told she had been sick and was just now starting to get out and about and really wanted to be involved.

I didn’t think much about it until a month later when I saw her at another meeting. There were probably 40 people at the meeting but only three of us were women. That was pretty common at that time, in fact we joked that those meetings were the only time there wasn’t a line for the women’s restroom! In the last few years it has gotten better, more women are taking on leadership positions in agriculture and on farms. Which I believe is an awesome thing and will only continue to increase!

We made small talk and then she caught me off guard, she was always really good at that! She told me she lived close and invited me to come and tour her farm. I was totally not expecting her to do so but I love a good adventure, love touring dairy farms and thought “why not”, and besides at that time I could count it as work.

I remember pulling in and thinking, “holy cow!” Their farm was new and the barns were really big. They were milking about 2000 cows, I was dating my soon to be husband then and his family was milking around 500 cows which at that time I thought was a lot. It wasn’t at all like the farms I was used to, the ones that had been around for generations with old red barns and silos. I remember walking in to the office and being greeted by her family; her dad, mom, brother and husband all worked on the farm with her. They were SO nice and made me feel right at home. We toured the farm and I couldn’t believe how clean it was. I mean eat off the barn floor clean. It was obvious they took a lot of pride in their family farm and this girl knew what she was doing!





That’s all I remember from our first visit because I was totally wrong, we had a lot in common and from that point on it seemed like we had known each other for years!

I could tell you the story of why she and her family decided to come to America but it sounds so much better coming from her!

Living my American Dream –

To be continued:

This post is part 1 of a 3-part series sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers. 

Aztec Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Don’t you just love a recipe where you throw everything together, pop it in the oven and in an hour dinner is on the table? This lady does! And it includes veggies! Doesn’t get much better than this Aztec Chicken Casserole!

Mexican Chicken Casserole

We love Mexican food and this is a great upgrade to taco night.

This recipe comes from the Gooseberry Patch Everyday Comfort Food cookbook.

I love these kinds of recipes because you can adapt them according to your taste. My hubby requested that the next time I make it to try it with hamburger, he isn’t the biggest chicken fan. You can also adjust the heat or spice in this recipe with the enchilada sauce and salsa, from mild to hot. I would recommend using a chunky salsa to help add some color and different textures to the casserole unless you have a picky eater who doesn’t like onions or tomatoes and then use more of a pureed version and trick them! You can also lighten the recipe up by using fat free sour cream and low fat cheese. It would also be good with black beans!

To make this recipe even easier I used canned chicken, 2 of the cans you can pick up at Sam’s club, to be exact.

I ended up with some extra enchilada sauce and didn’t want to add it to the casserole for fear it would get soggy so I would say you could get away with just using 1 can of enchilada sauce.  I also only used 1 1/2 cups sour cream.

When making the recipe it reminded me of a Mexican lasagna, layering the filling and corn tortillas, but the enchilada sauce helps to soften the tortillas and you don’t notice the layers once the casserole cooks.


Aztec Chicken Casserole

Serving Size: 6 to 8

Aztec Chicken Casserole


  • 2 10-oz. cans enchilada sauce
  • 9 6-inch corn tortillas, halved
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. sour cream
  • 2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1 c. canned corn
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed


  1. Place enchilada sauce in a bowl.
  2. Dip 9 tortilla halves in enchilada sauce; arrange in bottom of lightly greased 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.
  3. Combine sour cream, one cup cheese, salsa, corn and chicken in a large bowl; mix well
  4. Spread half of chicken mixture over tortilla halves.
  5. Dip remaining tortilla halves in enchilada sauce; repeat layers with remaining tortilla halves and chicken mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


Easy Italian Stew

Easy Italian Stew

This recipe is a great one-pot meal that you can throw together in 30 minutes! Perfect for a busy day! It is minestrone like and hearty enough to fill you up!

Easy Italian Stew

The recipe is great as is but I also love it because you can change it based on what your family likes or doesn’t like. You can substitute ground beef or ground turkey for the Italian sausage in this recipe or if you like some heat you can use some spicy Italian sausage. If you don’t have cannellini beans you could use kidney beans.  I also love that the recipe calls for a frozen veggie mix which you can change up as well, and no chopping veggies!

Serve this Easy Italian Stew with Ritz crackers or your favorite crusty bread.

I don’t know about where you live but in central Indiana it has been down right cold this winter. The perfect weather for soups and stews.

Here are a couple other soup recipes you might like! Just click the name!

Mommy’s Pasta Fagioli

Gramma’s Beef Barley Soup

Fiesta Chicken Chowder


Easy Italian Stew

Easy Italian Stew


  • 2 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Heat dressing in large saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add sausage; cook 8 to 10 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally to break sausage into small pieces.
  3. Add broth, vegetables, beans and tomatoes; bring to boil.
  4. Stir in macaroni.
  5. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 to 10 min. or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top evenly with cheese.
  7. Serve with Ritz crackers

Gramma’s Beef Barley Soup

Crock Pot Beef Barley Soup

It is down right cold here now and there is nothing better to warm you than a big bowl of hearty soup!

Crock Pot Beef Barley Soup

I found this recipe in the Hometown Harvest Gooseberry Patch cookbook. I just love this cookbook!

I also love finding slow cooker recipes that take 10-12 hours to cook! It is great getting off work, picking up the little one at the sitter and coming home to a dinner that has cooked itself! I have made a couple recipes in the crock pot that were for 6-8 hours only to get home after 9 hours to a meal that was a little over done!

The next time I make this I am going to assemble everything the night before and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning I will pull it out, add water and turn on the slow cooker, believe it or not there has been more than one occasion I forgot to turn the silly thing on. Not good!

This soup is hearty enough to serve alone or would be great with a salad and some crusty bread! In fact this French Bread would be wonderful with it.

I chopped the meat up so everything was about the same size, you can do that or leave them as they are.

This soup would also freeze well, when you warm it back up you may have to add more water and bouillon for taste.

Gramma’s Beef Barley Soup

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 10 to 12

Gramma’s Beef Barley Soup


  • 2 C. carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 c. frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 2 lbs. stew beef cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 T. oil
  • 16-oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 2/3 c. pearled barley, uncooked
  • 1 T. beef bouillon granules
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 3/4 t. dried basil
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 5 c. water


  1. Add carrots, celery, green pepper, green beans and corn to a large slow cooker; set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef and onion in oil; drain and add to slow cooker.
  3. In a bowl, combine tomatoes with liquid, barley, bouillon and seasonings; pour over beef.
  4. Add water, filling the slow cooker 2/3 full; do not stir.
  5. Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

Slow Cooker Holiday Brown Sugar Ham

Crock Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

I had never made a ham in the  crock pot until a couple months ago! I didn’t realize what I was missing out on!

Crock Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

It is so easy and perfect for a holiday or when you are making a big meal and need the extra space in your oven for sides.

I have used two different recipes and it came out great both times! The first time I put the ham in the crockpot with a coke and let it cook for 5 hours on low and then I added the seasoning packet that came with the ham and let it cook for another hour. The second time I used this recipe!

It comes from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Hometown Christmas.

This recipe reminds me of how my mom would make ham growing up. She always put pineapple rings on the top and when she was feeling extra fancy she would add a maraschino cherry to the centers which totally impressed my sister and I, flowers!

You do need a pretty large slow cooker if you are going to use a 7 pound ham, I used a 6 quart and it just did fit.

My favorite part of making a ham is all the possibilities for leftovers! Here are a couple recipes, just click the title below to get to the recipe!

Gretta’s Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche

Ham and Broccoli Bake

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Holiday Brown Sugar Ham

Slow Cooker Holiday Brown Sugar Ham


  • 7 lb. fully cooked bone-in ham
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 c. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup


  1. Place ham in a large slow cooker, flat-side down.
  2. Rub brown sugar over all sides of ham.
  3. Drizzle with juice and syrup.
  4. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. One hour before serving, baste ham with drippings.
  6. Transfer ham to a platter; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.



Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes

Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes

I love pumpkin. The more the better! I will eat it any time of the day or year!

I also love pancakes!

Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes

As soon as I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes in the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Hometown Harvest. I knew I had to make them!

My little guy isn’t picky so I knew he would also be a fan!

This recipes comes together in just a couple minutes.

The recipe said the pancakes were very thick and to make sure the centers were done. I decided to add a little extra milk to make the batter a little thinner. It allowed the pancakes to cook quicker.

This recipe said it made 8 to 10 pancakes but I found with the extra liquid the recipe made a lot more. I tossed them in the freezer and have been pulling them out every time I need a pumpkin fix!

The recipe would be perfect for any fall morning and would make the prefect treat for Thanksgiving morning!

I am such a fan of pumpkin that I decided to add pumpkin butter to the top of the pancakes! One of the best ideas I have had!

So yummy!

Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes

Rating: 51

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 large pancakes

Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 3 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 2 T. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten


  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  3. Let stand for several minutes to allow batter to rise.
  4. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot buttered griddle over medium heat.
  5. When edges are golden, turn and cook other side.
  6. Pancakes will be very thick and may need to be turned a third time to make sure the centers are done. (I added extra milk to thin the batter down, worked great and the recipe then made more pancakes)
  7. Makes 8 to 10 large pancakes

Hometown Harvest Cookbook Giveaway and Review

Hometown Harvest Cookbook

Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love harvest, watching the leaves turn and the start of sweatshirt weather!

I had the best of intentions on posting this sooner but this time of year is super busy for farmers. We are getting really close to being done with harvest! Can I get a woot, woot!

For those of you that may not live on a farm harvest means 18+ hour days for my hubby, running meals back and forth to the field and lots of rides in the combine!

There’s something about the fall that makes me long to spend hours in the kitchen cooking and baking up lots of fabulous things!

I love fall theme cookbooks!

Hometown Harvest Cookbook

This one is no exception!

This Gooseberry Patch Hometown Harvestcookbook is broken into seven different chapters.

Hometown Pancake Breakfast:

Good morning sunshine! This chapter is packed full of awesome breakfast recipes. It includes recipes I had to make like Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes, I can’t wait to try the Banana Stuffed French Toast and also includes other great sweet and savory recipes.

Perfectly Pumpkin Pancakes

Church Social Soup Supper:

This chapter is full of soup, salad, sandwich and even some sweet treat recipes. These recipes will be a  hit at your next get-together!

Thanksgiving Dinner to Remember:

All of your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes are included in this chapter with recipes for turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green bean bake and more! There are also some non-traditional (well at least for us) that would be fun to make and mix things up a little bit!

Game Day Get-Together:

Snack mixes, dips, sliders and everything else you would need for a game day party is included in this chapter! Go team!

Pumpkin Patch Sweets:

I love Gooseberry Patch recipes because they are submitted by people like you and me and often contain small stories. The story is what drew me to the Triple Layer Mud Pie and the recipe didn’t disappoint! There are lots of fall flavor desserts in this chapter that all sound wonderful!

Triple Layer Mud Pie

Slow-Cooker Potluck:

I love slow-cooker recipes! There is a good mix of recipes that would fit in to all the above categories. The Apple Pie Oatmeal caught my attention!

Over the River & Through the Woods:

This section is filled with stories and memories about fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving.


Giveaway: The awesome people at Gooseberry Patch sent a copy of this cookbook for me to giveaway!

To Enter:

Leave a comment letting us know your favorite harvest recipe! You must leave an email address you can be reached at.

The Rules:

One entry per person. Giveaway ends at midnight, on November 26nd. Winner will be picked by random and announced November 27rd. Winner will be announced by email and must respond with 48 hours. Cookbooks will only be shipped within the continental US


Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cake cake recipe

Carrot cake has always been one of my favorite cakes.

Cake cake recipe

I am not however a fan of boxed carrot cake mix. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of cake mixes they can make life a lot simpler but I like to be able to see the carrot in my cake! Otherwise, it is spice cake!

I like cream cheese frosting on my carrot cake but if you aren’t a fan here is my recipe for homemade buttercream frosting, delish!

I made this recipe as a cake for a friend’s daughter’s birthday, you can find the step-by-step directions here.

This recipe is a little time consuming but worth every minute! You start by grating the carrots. I know sounds like a lot of work but it is worth it! Use a food processor to grate the carrots it will make it go a lot quicker!

I love making this recipe in cupcake form, portion control! They also freeze well and you can pop them out of the freezer as you need them.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


  • 3 cups oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 4 cups flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add grated carrots.
  4. In a separate bowl mix baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until blended.
  6. Pout into prepared pan or cupcake tin.
  7. For cupcakes bake 15-20 minutes for 8 inch cake bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn into a wire wrack and cool completely.
  9. Frost the cooled cake or cupcakes.

Triple Layer Mud Pie

Triple Layer Mud Pie

Normally when I flip through a cookbook the title is what grabs my attention, but not this time.

I love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks because the recipes are submitted by people like you and me and a lot of the time they have stories that go along with them. This story caught my attention.

“I will always remember this pie because I made it for my mother the last time I saw her…”

What a wonderful memory! Food is often attached to memories and there’s nothing better than having a recipe or food trigger a memory of a lost loved one.

This pie is totally for the chocolate lover at heart! I even went one step further and substituted chocolate milk for the milk! I mean if you are going to go this far you might as well go all the way!

Chocolate milk has the same nutrition as white milk, including bone-building calcium and protein.

Oh and did you know? Halloween is coming up and Chocolate milk is the Official Drink of Halloween, nutrition in disguise!

Whether you drink a glass, pour it on your cereal for a treat or enjoy it in this pie, be sure to grab some chocolate milk the next time you are at the grocery store.

Oh and no chocolate milk doesn’t come from chocolate cows!

Now on to the recipe!

Triple Layer Mud Pie


Triple Layer Mud Pie

Triple Layer Mud Pie


  • 3 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 9-inch chocolate cookie crust
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 2 cups milk (I used chocolate milk)
  • 2 3.9-oz packages instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided


  1. In a bowl, stir together melted chocolate and condensed milk; pour into crust
  2. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Combine milk and dry pudding mixes in a bowl; whisk together for 2 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1-1/2 cups of pudding over pecans; set aside.
  5. Stir half of whipped topping into remaining pudding; spread over layer in crust
  6. Top with remaining topping.
  7. Cover and chill until serving time.
  8. Makes 6 servings

Indiana Dairy asked that I blog a recipe using chocolate milk. The opinions expressed are all mine.

Indiana Dairy Ambassador

All-American Meatloaf Sandwich

All-American Meatloaf Sandwich

I have a love hate relationship with this time of year!


The weather, crisp mornings and evenings and hot sun during the day.

The food, I could eat pumpkin and apple anything, anytime, any place.

The smell, the sweet, musty smell of falling leaves mixed with the aroma of a bonfire.

Harvest, the completion of the growing season for us farmers.


The long days away from the hubby.

Harvest means long days and nights for farmers, a typical harvest day could include spending 15-18 hours in the combine. And that’s if everything goes okay.

We try to keep life as normal as possible and that includes many trips to the field for combine rides and meal deliveries. It is normal for me to pack the hubs a cooler with all the food and drink he would need for a whole day. Breakfast is easy, juice, granola bar, fruit and the occasional pop tart. Yes, I just said pop tart. It’s better than not eating at all! Lunch usually consists of a sandwich of some kind, lunch meat, PB & J, or if I am home something hot, a hamburger, sloppy joe’s, etc. Every now and then I like to get a little fancy and come up with something special.

All-American Meatloaf Sandwich


The recent something special included a meatloaf sandwich! It took me forever to make the hubs meatloaf. He always talked about how great his grandma’s was and I knew better than to try and compete! Turns out our recipes are very similar!

Meatloaf Sandwich

Use this recipe or your favorite recipe. Have meatloaf one day and make a sandwich the next. Yay for leftovers!


Meatloaf Sandwich

Meatloaf Sandwich


  • Meatloaf:
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 sleeve of crackers (I use Nabisco Saltine's)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Catsup
  • 2 - 3 T onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 - 2 T Worcestershire sauce or AI
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • Sandwich Build:
  • Buns
  • Sliced provolone cheese


  1. For the meatloaf:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Stir all ingredients together leaving the ketchup for last. Add 1/2 cup ketchup to start and as more as needed to reach desired moisture.
  4. Make a loaf or put meatloaf or place in bread pan.
  5. For the glaze:
  6. Mix together and divide evenly between two bowls.
  7. Use one bowl and slather glaze over meatloaf.
  8. Bake for about an hour or until done.
  9. For the sandwich build:
  10. Place slice of warm meatloaf on bun.
  11. Add slice of cheese.
  12. Spoon extra glaze over meatloaf slice.
  13. Repeat for other sandwiches.

Mug of beer on a pub table

I am participating in Indiana’s Family of Farmers Table Talk Series and received a gift in exchange for my participation.  All photos and opinions are my own.

Too-Much-Zucchini Stovetop Dinner

Too Much Zucchini Stovetop Dinner Recipe

I don’t know what the weather is like your way but my garden is still in overdrive. I love finding new recipes that use up some of the yummy produce this time of year.

Soon we will be longing for the fresh fruits and veggies that are so abundant during harvest.

My 1 year old loves zucchini and squash and hasn’t met a type of pasta he doesn’t like so I knew he would love this recipe. His dad, my hubby, on the other hand is a little more picky. But, to my surprise he ate it all!


Too Much Zucchini Stovetop Dinner Recipe


I loved that this recipe could be tossed together in a flash and didn’t involve too many dishes.

This recipe came from Gooseberry Patch’s cookbook 101 Stovetop Suppers.


Too-Much-Zucchini Stovetop Dinner

Too-Much-Zucchini Stovetop Dinner


  • 2 T. Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground Italian pork sausage
  • 3 to 4 zucchini, quartered and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 14-1/2 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 c. elbow macaroni, cooked


  1. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute garlic and onion until tender about 5 minutes.
  3. Add beef and sausage; cook until browned.
  4. Drain; add zucchini, sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and water.
  5. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
  6. Add seasonings; top with cheese.
  7. Serve over macaroni.
  8. Serves 6 to 8.



Peaches and Cream French Toast

Peaches and Cream French Toast

I am usually a savory breakfast food fan, you know the breakfast casseroles that are loaded with sausage or bacon, those are my favorite!

Well cinnamon rolls are an exception, they are in a category of their own, I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, well you get the point!

This recipe caught my attention because of the cream. We are dairy farmers and I love making recipes that feature dairy products! My mom was also staying with us and I happen to know she is partial to cream cheese, so I knew this would be a hit! And boy was it!

Peaches and Cream French Toast

This recipe is really easy and uses ingredients you most likely have on the shelf. You also make it the night before which is nice especially if you have company over! You hardly even notice the eggs and the sweet portion of is on the bottom so you can drizzle as much or little as you would like.

Peach Overnight French Toast Casserole

I added a few more peaches than the recipe originally called for because I had them on hand and wanted every bite to have yummy peachy goodness!

Now for the recipe, enjoy!

Peaches and Cream French Toast

Peaches and Cream French Toast


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches, drained
  • 1 loaf (1 lb.) day-old French bread, cubed
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 12 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan, combing brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; pour into a greased 9x13-in pan.
  2. Arrange peaches in dish. (I added extra). Place half of the bread cubes over peaches. Layer with cream cheese and remaining bread. Place the eggs, cream and vanilla in a mixer bowl; blend until smooth. Pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Mug of beer on a pub table

 I am participating in Indiana’s Family of Farmers Table Talk series and received a gift in exchange for my participation. As always opinions are all mine!



Grilled Sausage and Veggie Packs

Foil Packets for Grill

I love quick and easy dinner recipes that are different from the normal tacos, spaghetti, etc. Don’t get me wrong, those are staples around here but it is nice to mix it up every now and then!

Foil Packets for Grill

This recipe is perfect for camping or tossing together for the grill. The flavors mix really well together and even my picky eater ate everything in the packet, including the squash and zucchini.

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Start making your grilled sausage and veggie packs by arranging the veggies and sausage, I used smoked sausage because we had it on hand, on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Dot or drizzle with butter or oil, I used both because I love the flavor combination. Season as little of as heavy as you would like. I went pretty heavy.

IMG_7514 (600x400)

Seal edges of foil tightly to create a packet. Place on grill over medium heat; cook for about one hour, until vegetables are tender.

I love that this recipe creates a whole meal with no need for side dishes and my favorite part, very few dishes to clean up!

This recipe came from Gooseberry Patch’s cookbook 101 Stovetop Suppers.

Grilled Sausage and Veggie Packs

Grilled Sausage and Veggie Packs


  • 1 lb. Kielbasa sausage (I used smoked sausage), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 to 5 redskin potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 16-oz. pkg. baby carrots
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • butter or olive oil to taste (I used both)
  • salt, pepper, minced garlic, dried parsley and Italian seasoning to taste


  1. Arrange sausage and vegetables on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil coated with non-stick vegetable spray.
  2. Dot with butter or drizzle with oil.
  3. Season as desired.
  4. Seal edges of foil tightly to create a packet.
  5. Place on a grill pan over medium heat; cook for about one hour, until vegetables are tender.
  6. Serves 6.


Cheesy Chicken Chalupas

Cheesy Chicken Chalupas

This past weekend a group of friends and I got together for a freezer cooking day! We had done this once before so we knew we would have lots of fun and who doesn’t love having a freezer full of meals for busy nights!

Gooseberry Patch sent us all a copy of their Freezer-Friendly Recipes cookbook!


We all decided on what recipe we wanted to make knowing that we would make 10 batches and then swap! I choose to make the Cheesy Chicken Chalupas! This recipe reminded me of our favorite enchilada recipe and I knew my hubby would love them!

Cheesy Chicken Chalupas

I got a head start at home and chopped all the onions and cooked the chicken.


Mix together soup, sour cream, vegetables and Cheddar cheese. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping. Add chicken and spoon into tortillas. Spoon reserved soup and sprinkle cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for one hour.


My favorite way to do freezer cooking is to double a recipe and make one to eat and pop in the other in the freezer. This recipe would be great for that!


Cheesy Chicken Chalupas


Cheesy Chicken Chalupas:

2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup

16-oz. container sour cream

4-oz. can diced green chilies

2-1/4 oz. can chopped black olives, drained

3 green onions, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

4 to 5 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

10 to 12 10-inch flour tortillas

2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Mix together soup, sour cream, vegetables and Cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of soup mixture for topping; add chicken to remaining mixture. Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas; roll up and place into a 9×13 baking pan coated with non-stick spray. Spoon reserved soup mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with Monterey Jack Cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for one hour.

Freeze & Serve Instructions: prepare as directed; do not add cheese. (Although I did..). Cover unbaked casserole tightly with aluminum foil; freeze. To serve, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese and bake as directed.


Affiliate links are used in this post and Gooseberry Patch provided me the cookbook. But like always, all opinions and photographs in this post are mine.

Stitching for the Kitchen Review and Giveaway

Gooseberry Kitchen Giveaway

This Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner #32!


Check out the latest book from Gooseberry Patch!

This book is full of 30 easy projects for the heart of your home! It even has some recipes sprinkled through out!

Not only does it have projects it also has tips, techniques and the full size patterns you need to complete the projects!

Three projects jumped out to me!

The Cupcakes Oven Mitt
Mug Cozy with Pocket
The Casserole Carrier

Check back later this week to see which one I made!

You can buy the book Here.

I have one copy of this cookbook to giveaway!

To Enter:
Leave a comment!
Leave an email address you can be reached at.
The Rules:
One entry per person.
Giveaway ends at noon on August 9th.
Winner will be picked by random and announced August 10th.
Winner will be announced by email and must respond with 48 hours.
Cookbooks will only be shipped within the continental US.

Checkout other bloggers who have reviewed this book:
Gooseberry Patch


Strawberry Marshmallow Pie


It is strawberry season around here and that means plenty of fresh strawberries waiting to be made it to something delicious!

This pie is sure to please!

Start by cooking your crust. I used pie weights to get an even crust, you can use beans, push foil down, or don’t worry about it! You are going to fill it with yummy filling and no one will ever see the bottom! I used store bought crust (gasp!). I was making the pie during the little ones nap time and I didn’t want to press my luck! If you want to make your own crust, here is my go to recipe.
Remove weights halfway during cooking.
Cut up your strawberries and add the glaze. I would use less glaze next time, just enough to coat the strawberries.
Whip up your marshmallow creme and cream cheese.
Start layering your filling and strawberry mixture.
Decorate with pie dough shapes and chill.

This pie was super yummy but it was a little runny. I didn’t chill it for as long as mentioned (ran out of time) so that could have been part of the problem and when I make it again I will use less glaze. It might also help to chill the strawberry and marshmallow mixtures before you make the pie. My pie eaters didn’t even notice it didn’t serve the perfect slice, they gobbled it up right away!

Strawberry Marshmallow Pie

Strawberry Marshmallow Pie


  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (13 oz.) marshmallow creme
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 container (12 to 14 oz.) strawberry pie glaze


  1. Heat oven to 450°.
  2. Bake bottom 9-inch pie crust for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Cool completely.
  4. Unroll remaining pie crust on work surface.
  5. Cut shapes from crust.
  6. Bake on cookie sheet for 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown.
  7. Cool.
  8. In bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
  9. Stir in marshmallow creme.
  10. In large bowl, mix strawberries and pie glaze.
  11. Reserve 1 cup strawberry mixture; set aside.
  12. Spoon about 1/3 of the marshmallow mixture into pie crust; top with remaining strawberry mixture, and the remaining 2/3 marshmallow mixture.
  13. Top with 1 cup reserved strawberry mixture.
  14. Arrange cut outs over filling.
  15. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours or until set but not firm.
  16. Store covered in refrigerator.


Whiskey Barrel Herb Garden How To

How to Make Herb Garden with Whiskey Barrel

We had an old whiskey barrel laying around so I decided to make it my herb garden! It was super easy and we will have fresh herbs all summer long!

Start by drilling a couple holes in the bottom of the barrel for draining purposes.

Pour a small layer of rock on the bottom. This will also help drain your container.

You could also use mulch if you wanted too.

Next add your soil.

Fill the barrel almost full with soil.

Pick out and plant the herbs of your liking. We choose rosemary, basil, cilantro, chives and parsley.

Water every couple days.

There you have it! Simple as that! Did i mention they smell so good?


Vintage Indiana Ticket Giveaway

I have been to Vintage Indiana, Indiana’s largest wine festival, multiple times and every year has been a blast, even in the rain!

The day is spent trying new wines from various Indiana wineries, munching on fruit and cheese, listening to music and hanging out with friends and family. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it!

This year’s festival is on June 1, 2013 in Military Park, downtown Indianapolis from 11 am – 7 pm.

Nearly 30 Indiana wineries will offer samples of over 300 wines. Glasses and bottles of wine can also be purchased. 

The music will begin at noon with Cari Ray (12-2), crowd favorite Jennie DeVoe (2:30-4:30) and round the night off with Josh Gracin past American Idol contestant (5-6:45)!

Adult tickets are $22 in advance at Marsh Supermarkets or online at  $25 at the gate.

If wine isn’t your thing Designated Driver tickets are $10 and include unlimited soft drinks and water. 
Kids ages 6-20 are $5.  Under 5 years old are free.
Feel free to bring your picnic blanket or favorite lawn chair!

Indiana Wine Facts:
Indiana has 69 wineries. 
They produce over 1.25 million gallons of wine a year and attract over 2 million visitors

Traminette is Indiana’s signature wine!

Ticket Giveaway:

Now for the fun part! We have a set (2) of tickets to giveaway!

To Enter:
Leave a comment with your favorite type of wine!
Leave an email address you can be reached at.

The Rules:
One entry per person
Giveaway ends at 5 pm on May 24th.
Winner will be picked at random and announced on the 24th.
Winner will be announced by email and must respond within 48 hours.


This post is a sponsored post, but my love for wine and opinions expressed are all mine! 


Gretta’s Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche

Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche
My mom was staying with us for a couple days and we were both drawn to the quiche recipes in the Kick-Off Brunches section of the new Gooseberry Patch cookbook Game-Day Fan Fare. When I saw Gretta’s Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche I knew my meat and potato loving husband would approve!
Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche
Start by piercing the sides and bottom of a pie crust with a fork. You can use a store bought crust or here is my recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust. Bake the crust for 5 minutes.
Cook your potatoes and ham in a skillet until brown.
Whisk together your eggs and half-and-half.
Add your seasonings.
Toss the potatoes and ham in your cooked pie shell.
Add your egg mixture.
Top with cheese and bake!
Serve warm with your favorite salad and a cup of fresh fruit!

Gretta’s Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 8


  • 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 cup potato, boiled, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 - 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pierce the sides and bottom of pie crust with a fork.
  3. Bake crust for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook potato and ham in oil for 5 to 10 minutes, until golden.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Transfer potato mixture to pie crust.
  8. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half and seasonings.
  9. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in crust.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese.
  11. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  12. If edges of crust brown too quickly, cover with strips of aluminum foil.
  13. Cut into wedges.


Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie
This recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge Pie caught my attention as soon as I saw it in the latest Gooseberry Patch cookbook Game-Day Fan Fare! I took it took a friends house and it was a hit! Best part is the recipe makes two pies, so I had one waiting on me when I got home!
Peanut Butter Fudge Pie
Start with a store bought graham cracker crust or make your own with crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter.
Press into pie plate and bake.
Start on the filling by creaming your cream cheese, butter and peanut butter.
Add the sugar and vanilla and set aside.
Beat your whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipping cream into the peanut butter mixture, divide evenly between crusts and chill.
Combine remaining whipping cream and chocolate chips in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir until chocolate chips are melted.
Pour over pies and chill.

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie


  • 1-1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 2 9-inch graham cracker crustd
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


  1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Stir in the sugar and vanilla; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold whipping cream into cream cheese mixture.
  5. Crust: Mix ingredients.
  6. Press into a pie plate.
  7. Chill for 20 minutes or bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  8. Filling: Evenly divide filling between crusts; chill for two hours.
  9. Combine remaining whipped cream and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat.
  10. Cook, stirring constantly, until chips melt.
  11. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
  12. Pour evenly over pies.
  13. Refrigerate again until set, about one hour.
  14. Makes 2 pies, each serves 8.

Affiliate links were used in this post


Gooseberry Patch Game Day Fan Fare Cookbook Giveaway

Congratulations Tara! You are the winner of the Game Day Fan Fare Cookbook!

#13 Tara
7 Layer Dip!

Check out the latest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook to hit the shelves! Game-Day Fan Fare is packed full of crowd pleasing recipes and tips perfect for any tailgating or game day celebrations! But don’t let the title fool you there are tons of recipes that are perfect for every day cooking, a chapter dedicated to cooking for a crowd and tons of recipes to make any gathering a home run!

The cookbook is broken down in to six different chapters
Kick-Off Brunches:
My mom was staying with us for a couple days and we were both drawn to the quiche recipes in this section. When I saw Gretta’s Ham, Potato & Cheddar Quiche I knew my meat and potato loving husband would approve! Recipe coming soon!

Major League Munchies:
I can’t wait to try the Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Nachos! The Pizza Muffins would make the perfect afternoon snack, the kids could even make their own!

Souper-Bowl Soups, Salads & Sandwiches:
This section is packed full soups, stews, sandwiches and salads. A couple that stood out to me were the White Cheddar Ale Soup, Italian Beef Dip Sandwiches and the Caprese Pasta Salad.

Slam Dunk Mains & Sides:
Fajitas, Enchilada Lasagna and Junkyard Joes all on my list of recipes to make soon!

Touchdown Treats:
This section is where I found the Peanut Butter Fudge Pie, oh my! There is a reason this recipe makes two pies. One to take to your party and one to eat at home! Click HERE for the recipe!

Stadium Size Recipes for a Crowd:
Every now and then I make lunch and take it to the farm for the guys. To say they have a big appetite would be an under statement! I can’t wait to try some of these stadium sized recipes!

The awesome people at Gooseberry Patch sent a copy of this cookbook for me to giveaway!

To Enter:

Leave a comment letting us know your favorite game day recipe!
Leave an email address you can be reached at.

The Rules:

One entry per person.
Giveaway ends at noon on April 23th.
Winner will be picked by random and announced April 24th.
Winner will be announced by email and must respond with 48 hours.
Cookbooks will only be shipped within the continental US.


For more recipes and chances to win visit:

A Well Seasoned Life
Girl With Blog
Affilate links were used in this post.


Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
This recipe is perfect for a busy mom! It makes two different casseroles, one to eat and one to freeze for a quick meal on a busy night. Oh, and it is yummy!
Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe

Start by sauteing your onions, garlic and mushrooms.
Stir in the broth.
Add the turkey, soup and sherry.
Add the Italian seasoning, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
Fold in the cooked spaghetti.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
And on the one to freeze.
 Bake and enjoy!

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini


  • 1 lb. uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cans (10-3/4 oz. each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sherry or additional chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic in oil until tender.
  3. Stir in the soup, turkey, broth, sherry, Italian seasoning, pepper and 1 cup of cheese.
  4. Drain spaghetti; stir into turkey mixture.
  5. Transfer to two greased 8 in square baking dishes or one 9×13.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Cover and freeze one casserole up to 3 months.
  8. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
  9. To use frozen casserole:
  10. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  11. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
  12. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  13. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly:

Corn Dog Casserole

Corn Dog Casserole
I don’t know about you but I am craving a good fair corn dog! I can spot a good corn dog from a mile away! I even have a favorite food stand where I buy them at during our state fair!
Of course I had to try this casserole and I can tell you I will be making it again!

Start by sauteing your celery.
Add onions and then set aside.
Saute your dogs add to veggies and set aside 1 cup.
Whip up your batter.
Add your seasonings. If you don’t have sage use poultry seasoning.
Stir in your cornbread mixes.
Add your veggies, remaining hot dogs and cheese.
Spread into a shallow dish. Mine took forever to get done in the middle, so be sure to use a shallow dish or a 9×13 pan.
Add your remaining hot dog mixture and cheese.
Bake and enjoy!

Corn Dog Casserole:
2 cups thinly sliced celery
2 Tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups sliced green onions
1-1/2 pounds hot dogs
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups 2% milk
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 packages (8-1/2 ounces each) corn bread/muffin mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar chesse

In a small skillet, saute celery in butter for 5 minutes. Add onions; saute for 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Cut hot dogs lengthwise into quarters, then cut into thirds. In same skillet, saute hot dogs for 5 minutes or until lightly browned; add to vegetables. Set aside 1 cup.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sage and pepper. Add remaining hot dog mixture. Stir in the corn bread mixes. Add 1-1/2 cups of cheese. Spread into a shallow 3 qt. baking dish. Top with the reserved hot dog mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Easter Traditions

I normally bring the cake or cupcakes to most family gatherings including Easter. Last year I decided to be a little sneaky! We had just found out we were having a little boy and I decided to reveal the gender via a cupcake!

I whipped up some blue buttercream frosting and filled some cupcakes.
I then finished icing the cupcakes and added some sprinkles in multiple colors to throw everyone off!

The best part was I didn’t tell anyone what was going on! For those of you that personally know me you know I am not good at keeping a secret. So, the whole dinner I was giggling to myself waiting for the first person to grab dessert! I am pretty sure Amy (my sis-in-law and blogging partner) even asked me what was up and I tried to play it cool, so unsuccessful that my husband kept giving me the eye! I even had my camera on my lap so I could catch reactions! Needless to say everyone was really confused until they saw blue!

While I can assure you we don’t have anything nearly as exciting planned for this year we have a lot of fun things and traditions to look forward to including, Easter crafts, Easter story cookies and egg hunts!

What is your favorite Easter tradition?

A big thanks to Hershey’s for the basket filled with all of my favorite Hershey Easter Candy!


Peeps Sunflower Cake

Peeps Sunflower Cake for Easter
I saw this picture in a cookbook and knew I had to make this cake! It is so cute! It is perfect for Easter, a birthday party or a beginning of spring celebration!
Peeps Sunflower Cake for Easter
The recipe calls for a yellow cake mix, I grabbed one out of the pantry and followed according to the directions on the package. I made a double layer cake but a single layer would look just as great!
Prep your pans, I love baking spray!
Level and frost your cakes. I like to add a border to the bottom but you wouldn’t have to (I always use a #1 tip for borders). Add the peeps around the edge for the petals. I forgot to take picture so if you would like to see how to frost and stack the cake, check out this post.
Place the chocolate chips in circles for the sunflower seeds. If you want to be an over achiever use the mini chocolate chips in the center and then the regular for the rest.
 Best part is that when you cut the cake everyone gets a Peep!

Peeps Sunflower Cake:
Recipe from:Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
2 cans (16 ounces each) chocolate frosting
19 yellow chick Peeps candies
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and waxed paper-lined 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire wracks. Gently peel off waxed paper; cool completely.

Level tops of cakes. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake.

Place Peeps on cake curving slightly to fit, arrange chicks around edge of cake for sunflower petals. For sunflower seeds, arrange chocolate chips in center of cake.


Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot cocoa and hot cocoa cookies, the perfect way to warm up after being out in the cold! I found this recipe on the back of the Mallow Bits package and it is originally from Christi at Love from the Oven.

I randomly came across the mallow bits during a trip to Target. So, I know you can find them there! I also used the hot cocoa with the mini marshmallows because that was what I had!

Hot Cocoa Cookies
Start by beating the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla, mix.
Mix the dry ingredients.
Gradually beat into butter mixture.
Stir in mallow bits and chocolate chips.
Scoop and bake.

Hot Cocoa Cookies
1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla
3-1/4 cups flour
4 packets instant hot cocoa mix (Do not use sugar-free mix)
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup vanilla mallow bits

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with standing mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine next 4 ingredients. Gradually beat into butter mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and mallow bits. Drop 2 tablespoons dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 min; remove to wire racks and cool.


Giveaway: Tickets to the National Maple Syrup Festival

UPDATE: The winner of the tickets is Jamie!

#4 I love french toast casserole served with syrup!

This giveaway has ended and comments are now closed.

It’s that time of year again!

Maple syrup time!

Some of you may remember that Amy and her family attended the festival last year.

We are excited to be giving away two tickets to this year’s festival!

Just leave a comment stating what your favorite thing to cook or bake is using maple syrup.

There are a number of things to do at the festival including learning about maple syrup, tasting syrup, eating pancakes, many demonstrations including candle and soap making, did I mention pancakes and the Sweet Victory Challenge sponsored by King Arthur Flour!

Do you have an awesome original recipe that includes flour and maple syrup? Then you need to sign up!

More details on the contest can be found here.

There is an adult division and youth division and the prices are cash and King Arthur gift cards! There are three categories: savory (main dish), dessert and breakfast.

Here are more details on the Festival!

The 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival will take place during the first two weekends in March:

  • Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd
  • Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th

The festival is located at:
Burton’s Maplewood Farm
8121 W. County Rd. 75 South
Medora, IN 47260

Donate (1) canned good for a $2.00 discount off of (1) shuttle bracelet. All donated food will be given to area food pantries. Thank you for your donation!

To Enter:
Leave a comment letting us know your favorite recipe to make with maple syrup. 
Be sure to leave your name and or email so we can get a hold of you if you win!
The Rules:
One entry per person.
Giveaway ends at 5 p.m. on February 23

Winner will be picked by random and announced February 24


The Blizzard of 1978

If you have watched the weather in the last week or so you know the east coast has been pounded with snow and blizzard like conditions. About a month ago we were in the midst of a “blizzard.” We got around 9 inches of snow but the wind ended up being the problem and drifted our road shut. At one point 4 trucks were stuck! Men, they all kept thinking their trucks were bigger and tougher and they could pull the other one out and ended up getting themselves stuck! Our county was on emergency travel only…but you know boys and their toys!

I loved snow days as a child, making snowmen or playing cards with the family made the perfect winter day. But, believe it or not, cows don’t take snow days! They still need to be fed and milked.

My hubby was getting really nervous that he wouldn’t be able to get around the trucks to the farm. So, he  called one of the guys that works for us and he brought one of our bigger tractors and cleared the road. He also ended up having a slumber party with us a.k.a. he couldn’t get home. To top it off, it was his birthday!

My husband also wanted to get a picture of our little guy with the snow.

It was important for him to get a picture because his whole life he has heard stories about the blizzard of 1978. I am dating my husband here but he was only three weeks old during that blizzard. Of course during our recent blizzard we got to hear the story from my Father-in-law all over again! 
My Father-in-law lived just shy of a 1/2 mile from the farm and needed to make his way to the farm to check on everything. He had a new 78 Chevy 4 wheel drive (he could have just said a new pickup, remember boys and their toys!). He made it about half way to the farm when he hit a drift and was stuck. He walked the remainder of the way in snow drifts up to his rump, those of you who personally know him know he didn’t say rump, I had to clean it up! He isn’t the tallest man on the planet either! 
There were 60 mile per hour winds and it was all he could do to get to the farm. He said his eyebrows were frozen from the snow! He ended up staying at the farm for 2 full days. My Mother-in-law was snowed in at the house by herself with a newborn, a 15-month old and two older kids. Could you imagine…? 
So, do you have any good blizzard stories?


Streusel-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes

Streusel Topped Strawberry Cupcakes

These are unlike any other cupcakes I have ever had!

This recipe takes a little time but it is so worth it!

Streusel Topped Strawberry Cupcakes
Start by blending the milk and strawberries.
Mixture should equal 1 1/4 cups.
Cream the shortening and sugar.
Add egg whites, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients.
On low speed, alternately add flour mixture.
And strawberry mixture.
Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full.
Make the streusel mixture.
Gently press into batter.
Bake, cool and top with fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Streusel-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes:
14 to 15 fresh strawberries (9 oz)
1/4 cup milk
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup whipping cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups in muffin pan.

In small bowl, mix streusel ingredients with fork until crumbly, set aside.

In blender, place strawberries and milk. Cover; puree about 30 seconds or until almost smooth. Measure mixture; should equal 1 1/4 cups. If not, puree additional berries. Set aside.

In medium bowl, mix flour, the baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and mix. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about a third at a time, and add strawberry mixture about half at a time, beating just until blended.

Divide batter evenly among muffins cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons streusel topping; press lightly into batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In a chilled small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon cream into decorating bag and pipe cream onto each cupcake.

Makes 24 cupcakes.