Monday, February 27, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Peanut Butter Cookies

March 1, 2012 is "National Peanut Butter Lovers Day".  To celebrate, I'm posting this cookie recipe.  It's fairly simple, so even a novice could make these without too much trouble!  I used to make these to sell at the Farmers Market & they were a BIG hit!

  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (any brand - smooth style)
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: (I use my heavy-duty Kitchen Aid stand mixer & that makes it really easy!  But if you don't have one of those,  just mix with a hand mixer or by hand, using a large spoon. (It may take a lot longer!) Anyway, I've included the speeds and times I use on my mixer.)  Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix together the peanut butter and the butter.  (One minute, on speed #6)  Add the sugars, egg, and vanilla & mix.  (Stir speed for 30 seconds, then #4 speed for one minute)  Next, add the flour, soda, powder, and salt & mix.  (Stir speed for 30 seconds, then #2 speed for 30 seconds)

Take out about a teaspoon full of the dough at a time.  With floured hands, roll the dough into a ball - about an inch in diameter.   Place each ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly and flatten again, with a fork, making a cross.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.  Take them out of the oven and leave them on the sheet to cool a bit before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 3 dozen.

I think this would be a great project to do with children!  Of course, even if the cookies didn't turn out perfect, they'd still eat them all!  :)

"We have so many machines and so many helps, in one way or another, to save time; and yet I wonder what we do with the time we save.  Nobody seems to have any!" Laura Ingalls Wilder

If you make these cookies, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here.  And be sure to tell others about this blog site!  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, February 24, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - National Pancake Week!

The last week in February has been designated as, "National Pancake Week".  There are so many great pancake recipes, that I had a difficult time narrowing it down to one to post here.  I finally decided to celebrate with this recipe:
Farmer Boy Pumpkin Pancakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Cup of Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of canned Pumpkin
  • 1/4 Cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spices
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, pumpkin, butter, and water.  Bring up to room temperature.  Sift and stir in the flour, powder, soda, salt, and spices.  Add the brown sugar and stir, mixing well.  (Don't worry about lumps!)
Drop by 1/3 cup onto a medium hot griddle and cook till bubbles appear.  Then flip and cook the other side till golden brown.  Serve hot, topped with a pad of butter and your favorite syrup or honey.  Makes 6 - 8 pancakes.

I hope you'll like this recipe.  It may be just about perfect, but if you want to - you could add 1/3 cup of chopped Pecans or Walnuts!  Enjoy "National Pancake Week"!  And I hope you'll enjoy this recipe anytime!

If you make these, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here.  And be sure to sign up as a follower of my blog & tell other too!  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Country Meat Loaf

What could be more comforting than a warm, juicy slice of meat loaf on your plate?  There are probably more recipes out there for meat loaf than any other dish.  This one comes from my family - it's one that was handed down to me from my Great Aunt.  I hope you like it.  Of course, you could change it to fit your tastes.  But this is a pretty basic recipe, which is made for tweaking - so suit yourself :)

  • 1 lb. ground beef (any cut will do)
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 Cup of milk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 Cup onions, minced
  • 1/3 Cup green peppers, minced
  • 3/4 Cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons of celery, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of "What's this here sauce" (Worcestershire sauce :)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup of tomato catsup
Directions: In a large bowl, add all the ingredients (except the catsup) and mix them up with your hands. (Make sure your hands are clean!)  Shape into a loaf.  Brush on the catsup.  Place loaf into a baking dish.  Cook in oven, set at 350 degrees F. for about an hour.  That's it - simple!  But the results are terrific!

While we're at it, let me say: a cold sandwich made with leftover meat loaf is great too!

Some folks smother the loaf with catsup, but I reserve that for the meat loaf sandwich!
Some folks like to add a gravy to the meat loaf, others like to use the addition of veal to the mix, (I'd do that too - if I could find veal - but in my neck of the woods, they don't know what veal is!)  Anyway, you just have fun adding or substracting any ingredients that you like to this recipe!  You might even enjoy making it different every time you make it!

If you make a meat loaf based on this recipe, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here.  And if you haven't signed up as a follower of my blog, by all means - do it now!  And tell someone else about my blog too.  I love hearing from folks.  And I hope you'll take a look at the web site for my shop too!  And then I hope you'll stop by my shop in person some time!  If you've been leaving comments here, maybe by the time you come into my shop, we'll feel like old friends :)

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Presidents Day?

You may not be old enough to remember, but "Presidents Day" didn't always exist!  When I was a young boy in school, we celebrated Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays in February.  I had always wondered why they had picked only those two Presidents to celebrate.  I mean, there were a lot of Presidents, but why single out only two?  And I thought it was wrong to not honor the sitting President's birthday.  I understood that Washington should be singled out, with special accolades, because he was the first nationally elected President of the United States.  And I knew that Lincoln was credited with saving our country during a terrible Civil War.  But I couldn't help but think maybe too much was made of that - afterall, we had other terrible wars since that time and surely the Presidents who served during those should be honored as well. 

So someone else got to thinking about the matter as well.  They passed a bill in Congress to change the celebration days and then they changed the dates and well, then things really got out of hand!  Just take a look at the explanation given here:

Now the significance of the day has eroded into just another day off from work!  It's just another extended weekend in which to be self-indulgant.  At least, when I was in school, as the days approached in February, we would take time to study some of the history about Lincoln and Washington!  Now - the school children would be hard-pressed to tell you anything about any President!  And then it becomes all too easy to rewrite history!  If we lose track of what made our country strong, we shall not be able to keep it strong!  The "Beacon of Freedom" will be snuffed out!  There's an old saying, "If you don't know what you stand for, you'll fall for anything!"  It makes me wonder if the inmates aren't in charge of the asylum!

Your comments are welcomed.
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Fresh Bratwurst Chili

Here's a great meal you can make with some of that homemade bratwurst from the recipe I posted in 2011.  If you are about to make some of that fresh bratwurst, you could leave some of the mix aside, instead of stuffing it - otherwise, you'll have to take the meat back out of the casings.  Either way, you'll be treating the meat as if it were merely pre-seasoned ground beef.  So if you haven't made fresh bratwurst from my recipe, you can go back now and see how to season the ground beef and use that instead.  (or, you could even use "store bought" brats - not my first choice!)  Either way, I think you'll really enjoy this chili recipe!
Farmer Boy Bratwurst Chili
Ingredients: (makes about 4 quarts, 14 - 16 servings)
  • 1 lb. Fresh Bratwurst meat (without the casings)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Cups onion, chopped
  • 1 large Green Pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) Tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (16 oz.) Kindney Beans (rinse & drain) or use dried, soaked & cooked
  • 1 can (16 oz.) whole kernel Corn (drain) or Fresh corn off the cob
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans (or dried, soaked & cooked)
  • 2 Tablespoons - chili powder (or more, if you like it hot!)
  • 1 small can (4 oz.) Green Chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon - ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon - ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon - salt & pepper
  • 2 Bay leaves
Directions: In a skillet, stirring over medium heat: brown the meats, onions and green peppers. Drain off the fat and place into a large pot.  Add all the remaining ingredients, cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

You may wish to top it with grated sharp cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream. You could also add crackers or tortilla chips, or serve it over cornbread - just do what pleases you - you could dip a banana in it, if that's what you like!

When I make this during the gardening season, I use chilies from the garden that I've dried.  I always remove the seeds and the membrane walls, which is where all that heat comes from - but if you like heat, leave them intact.  The closer you can come to "Fresh-from-the garden", the more flavor you'll have in your dish. (Remember this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo celebration!)

If you make this, please let us all know, by leaving a comment here.  Thanks.
And be sure to sign up as a follower of my blog & tell others too!
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Monday, February 13, 2012

Special Day - February 13th!

Q. What does Almanzo James Wilder have in common with these people?
  • Bess Truman, wife of U.S. President
  • Grant Wood, American artist
  • "Tennessee" Ernie Ford, American singer
  • Eileen Farrell, American opera soprano
  • Chuck Yeager, American test pilot
  • Dorothy McGuire, American singer
  • Jerry Springer, American TV host

A. February 13th birthday!  "Farmer Boy", in 1857. 
Happy 155th Birthday, Manly!

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, February 10, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Special Valentine Cookies

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  This is traditionally a day to lavish some sort of extra show of love on your sweetheart.  The day was originally established to honor St. Valentine, a martyred Christian.  It originally didn't have anything to do with love or cards, or candy & sweets, or flowers.  But, somehow that became the main focus.  It wasn't till the early 19th century that paper Valentines became the rage.  I guess today the young people would send text messages; like: "I luv U" or something!  I can't get used to that!  I'm too traditional.  Of course, not having a sweety to tweety to, I don't have to be concerned about it :)
But I encourage you, if you have someone, by all means - do something special for them.  Now, you should be doing something special for them all the time - but if you want, help the economy by sending them something.  And if you want to help your relationship, do it more than just one day a year!

Here's a recipe that you could make for your sweetheart.  It is made with anise, which is supposed to be an aphrodisiac (if they need that type of thing).  Anyway, they're easy to make and they taste delicious!

Farmer Boy Love Cookies
  • 1/2 Cup of shortening (I prefer butter flavored)
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of anise seed (crushed or ground)
Directions: In a bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and add it to the mixture.  Stir in the anise seed.  Cover the bowl and place it into the refrigerator for a couple hours.   On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch.  Cut with a cookie cutter (any shape will do - I like to use the 2 1/2 inch heart).  Place onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes (till only light golden).  Remove and cool on the sheet pan for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire rack.  This recipe makes about 3 dozen.

I assume no responsibilities for unexpected expectancies :)
If this works for you, let us know, by leaving a comment here.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7th - a special day in history!

February 7th is the 38th day of the year, according to the Gregorian Calendar.  Special happenings on this date include:
  •  1301 - Edward of Caernarvon became the 1st English Prince of Wales
  • 1783 - French & Spanish forces at the Siege of Gibraltar
  • 1795 - 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified
  • 1812 - Great earthquake hit New Madrid, Missouri
  • 1935 - "Monopoly", board game, invented
  • 1940 - "Pinocchio", the animated film, premieres
  • 1962 - Garth Brooks, country singer, is born
  • 1964 - The "Beatles", English musicians, arrive in U.S.
  • 1978 - Ashton Kutcher, actor, is born
Wait, I missed one - 1867 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, reknowned author, is born!  (That may be the most important of all the list!) 

So, on February 7, 2012 - we say Happy 145th Birthday to Laura!

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Farmer Boy Recipe - Matzah Ball Soup

Here's something that is good tasting and good for you!  This is known as, "A Jewish Mother's Penicillin".  But, plain and simple - it is a soup that satisfies!  You don't have to be Jewish to eat this great soup!

  • 1/2 Cup of Matzah Meal *
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of oil (or chicken fat)
  • 2 Tablespoons of chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • 2 qts. of chicken broth
  • Few large chunks of celery or carrots (about 1/2 a rib or carrot per serving)
Directions: In a bowl, beat the eggs with the broth and oil.  Add the Matzah meal, parsley, salt & pepper.   Form into balls, about the size fo a ping pong ball.  Let sit, while you heat the broth with the carrots or celery (I prefer both veggies!).  When the veggies are soft (about 15 - 20 minutes), remove them and set aside, to add later.
While the broth is still boiling, drop in the balls.  (They will float to the top.) Place a lid on the pot and cook for 35 - 40 minutes.

To serve: place the veggies in a soup bowl, cover them with balls, and then the broth.

*Note: If you can't find Matzah Meal, you could use finely ground cracker crumbs - but that's not Kosher!

This is a very comforting meal.  My confession: I usually eat more than one bowl! (Maybe that means I need a lot of comforting :)

If this recipe works for you - how about leaving a comment here?  I'd appreciate it :)
And if you haven't signed on to become a follower of my blog - how about doing that right now? And maybe even mention it to others to do the same.  Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Charles & Caroline Ingalls - February 1, 1860

Charles Ingalls was born in New York state, 1836.  In the 1840's he moved with his family, west to Wisconsin.
Caroline's family had moved to Wisconsin from Massachusetts in the 1830's.  Caroline was born in Wisconsin in 1839.  After Caroline's father died in 1844, her mother remarried.  The children of each of the families attended the same school.  Romance between the two families blossomed, Aunt Polly married Uncle Henry in 1859.  Then, Charles and Caroline tied the knot in 1860.

As the Civil War began, the new couples both moved to Pepin, Wisconsin.  Charles and Caroline built a cabin in the woods.  Charles farmed and hunted as they began their life together.

The Lord blessed their marriage with four daughers and a son, who died less than a year old.  It was a great loss to Caroline.  But, being of strong character, she went on.

Charles and his family moved around the new frontier, pioneering as they went.  They were happily married for 42 years, till Charles died.  Most of what we know of their family life comes from what their daughter, Laura, wrote in her "Little House" book series.  After Laura's death, the books were made into the TV series, "Little House on the Prairie".  Millions of viewers and readers of the books have come to think of the Ingalls family as part of their own family.
Charles and Caroline have served as role models for countless generations now.  Thanks, Charles & Caroline!  Happy 151st Anniversary!
The Old Man in the Bib Overalls