Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

My blogging friend MamaTea over at A Farmish Kind Of Life posted a recipe for Amish Cinnamon Flop Bread a few days ago. You can find her post here: Cinnamon Not-A-Flop. It sounded so easy and yummy that I just HAD to give it a try! Thanks MamaTea!! :)

When I made this, I used my Baking Mix and added some chopped pecans. I also only made half a recipe, good thing because Jerry and his mom couldn't stop eating it! Jerry's mom actually thought it should be called "Pick Cake" because every time she walked past it, she kept picking at it! LOL!! I decided it should be called Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

To see all the recipes using my Baking Mix, just click on the Baking Mix label at the end of this post. The recipes range from biscuits to cookies to muffins to beer breads!

1 cup Baking Mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter

Brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch cake pan. Combine all cake ingredients and mix well. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Sprinkle top with a little flour, then brown sugar, then cinnamon and then the chopped pecans. Pat the topping into the dough lightly with your fingers. Don't be stingy with the cinnamon, it really makes the cake extra good and besides, it's good for you! Push the chunks of butter randomly into the dough.

Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee. Repeat as necessary! ;)

Linking to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop over at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kale and Potato Side Dish

The kale is growing like crazy in the garden right now, seems to be enjoying the cooler weather. I picked some the other day intending to use it in a stir fry but I FORGOT to add it in! LOL!! Yesterday, I was perusing the web looking for recipes using kale and came across a couple of side dishes using kale and potatoes. This is what I did.

Cut two slices of bacon into pieces and brown well in a skillet. Remove bacon pieces to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Cut three red potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices and cook in salted, boiling water until done but not mushy.

Cut one small onion into thin slices and brown in the bacon grease.

Wash and slice one large bunch of kale into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to skillet with onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until kale is tender. If necessary, add water to the pan to prevent sticking.

When kale is done, add potatoes and heat through. Sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces. This would also work well with Swiss chard or spinach. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bath Basket Giveaway

To celebrate my 100th post and 50th follower, I have put together a basket of handcrafted bath items!! I figured since the weather is cooling off, it's time to treat ourselves to a little pampering! The basket contains two Farmgirl Bath Scrubbies to help fight dry skin containing oatmeal, lavender flowers and rose petals; three soothing Farmgirl Milk Bath tea bags containing powdered milk, cornstarch, oatmeal, lavender flowers and lavender essential oil; one 3-ounce tube of Farmgirl Hand Lotion for those hardworking hands; and one lovely embossed bar of lavender soap. Everything but the soap was made by me. :) I have also included one of the little Chicken Pinkeeps that I make. To enter, simply leave a comment below and I will draw the winner next Tuesday morning!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Early Fall/Winter Garden

I got the seeds in the ground a couple of weeks ago for the beginning of the fall/winter garden. I use the square foot gardening approach and I'm going to do better about succession planting this year. Some things have come up and are doing great, others haven't come up yet. I SWEAR I saw sprouts where I planted the broccoli and cauliflower the other day but there's nothing there now!!

Snow Peas







I also planted seeds for parsnips, turnips and beets but they haven't come up yet. Maybe I will replant them this week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas and Eggs

Living here in southeastern Arizona, we are pretty partial to Mexican food, probably a lot more than other parts of the country! ;) When Jerry and I were first dating, he took me to a little Mexican restaurant in South Tucson called Prieta Linda. One of their specialties is cheese enchiladas and eggs with homemade refried beans and homemade flour tortillas. I was skeptical at first but one taste and this gringa was hooked! I used to make this with frozen enchiladas in the pan but when we moved to the "country," the grocery store here didn't carry those handy-dandy frozen enchiladas so I had to make them myself. I learned just how easy cheese enchiladas are to make, especially when you cheat and make up a cheese enchilada casserole! I just layer enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, grated cheese and finely chopped onions in a greased 2-quart round casserole dish. I make three layers alltogether ending with cheese. Then I bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until it is bubbly and the cheese has browned a bit. I fry up some eggs over easy and they get served on TOP of the cheese enchiladas. To me, that is what makes this SOOO yummy, all that yolky goodness mixing with the cheesy enchiladas! We had this the other night for supper, we rarely eat much for breakfast so supper is the only time I get most breakfast foods. I served it with pinto beans and a simple cabbage salad dressed with homemade salsa. Jerry added a flour tortilla or two. Jerry's mom, who had never even heard of this before, cleaned her plate! The cabbage salad is another thing we see a lot here in the Mexican restaurants. Dang, looking at the picture makes me want this again tonight! LOL!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Farmer's Market 9/24/2011

Yesterday was my first day at the Sierra Vista Saturday Farmer's Market. It is in a very nice setting at a church with grass and trees. There was a lady there playing guitar and singing blues for tips and she was GREAT!! This was the same weekend as the Cochise County Fair and a couple of other events so there were a few vendors missing. Some of the regulars told me that the customers were pretty light compared to normal too. I took 46 bread items, a couple of quart jars of 9-bean mix and a fair amount of summer squash (can't believe it's still producing!). I sold all my bread (YAY!!) one of the jars of beans and most of the squash!! I felt it was a very good first day indeed! I had a couple of customers tell me how much they have missed me in Sierra Vista, I used to sell at the Thursday market a couple of years ago, so that was pretty cool! I'm looking forward to next Saturday already! Now, if I can just remember to take my stinkin' banner!! LOL!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Tomato Salsa

My tomatoes seem to have stopped ripening. I have made green tomato mincemeat in the past with the raisins and the sugar and the cinnamon (which is very good but we never seem to eat it), and green tomato pickles, but I wanted to do something different this year, something we would readily eat. I have been following Farmgirl Susan at Farmgirl Fare for awhile now and I saw her recipe for green tomato salsa this week and decided to give it a try. All I can say is....YUM!! The recipe can be found here: Green Tomato Relish. Even though the recipe title says it's a relish, it is salsa all the way with sweet red peppers, onions, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. It reminds me very much of salsa verde, which is usually made with tomatillos. This will be SOOO good on chicken tacos or enchiladas or even as a dip on some tortilla chips. Jerry and his mom used some last night to dress their cabbage salad. Hope you get a chance to visit Farmgirl Susan, her sheep, donkeys and dogs, and check out this recipe and all the other wonderful recipes she has on her site! :)

Linking to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House and the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop and the Green Tomato Recipe Blog Party hosted by Heidi at My Simple Country Living. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Artisan Queso Blanco

Awhile back, I posted the recipe for the queso blanco cheese that I make using the goat's milk, we use this cheese a lot around here. You can find the recipe here: Goat Cheese. It seems everything dairy is getting more expensive at the grocery store and it seemed silly to buy sliced cheese for sandwiches when I already make cheese! I have recently started to "flavor" the queso blanco into some of our favorite varieties. I have flavored the chevre before but spreadable cheese just doesn't cut it for me on a sandwich, well...except for a sandwich with homegrown sprouts! :)

One of my favorite artisan type cheeses is Havarti dill so, yesterday, I added dill weed along with the salt before putting the cheese into the press.

I used two teaspoons of dill weed. It looks like a lot but it is pretty tasty!

 I have also made a pepper-jack style for a couple of months by adding chopped, canned jalapenos and crushed red pepper flakes. Just add however much you want to control how hot it is. Looks just like the pepper-jack cheese from the store, huh? :)

When we want cheese for a sandwich, I just slice it pretty thin. Of course, a slice on a cracker is really good too! I hope you are inspired to try making your own flavors of artisan goat cheese!! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farmgirl Helper

I have a confession to make. I haven't always been a Farmgirl. I used to live in a gated community in a suburb of Los Angeles, drove a two-seater red sports car and had my nails done. My idea of a home-cooked meal oftentimes involved Hamburger Helper. Nowdays, there is virtually no processed food in our house! :) I love to cook from scratch and use produce from the garden! But ya' know what, I LIKED Hamburger Helper and the convenience of a one-skillet meal so sometimes I just have to make it the Farmgirl way!

I used one of the Tatume Mexican squash in this particular batch and I just can't say enough good things about these babies! The flesh is nice and firm, they aren't watery, the skin is very tender and they taste amazing! If you have room in your garden next year, you might check into them. I got my seeds from Baker Creek year before last and they were still viable this spring. The plants started producing in May and they are still going, and going, and going!

One nice thing about making your own Farmgirl Helper is that you can add anything that is fresh from the garden and whatever spices you want. I didn't *really* follow a recipe but just started chopping and cooking! I used some of my Mexican Seasoning Blend in this dish. I use this stuff in everything, it is especially good in pinto beans! The recipe is from MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook and will be listed below.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound hamburger (I used half lean hamburger and half hot Italian sausage)
2 cups chopped summer squash
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning of your choice (I used some chili powder, cumin and some of my Mexican Seasoning Blend)
1 1/2 cups penne pasta
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar and Queso Blanco made from the goat's milk)

Cook the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, add garlic and hamburger and cook over medium heat until meat is done. Add squash, tomatoes, salt and pepper and seasonings of your choice. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add pasta and some water if there isn't enough liquid in the pan to cook the pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is done, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until the sauce is the desired thickness.

Remove from heat, sprinkle cheese over, cover and let sit a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Jerry said this was the best Farmgirl Helper yet! :)

Mexican Seasoning Blend
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika 
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chickens' Tomatoes

I guess the chickens don't think they get enough tomatoes from the garden. I usually give them the ones with bug holes in them, the ones that don't sell at the Farmer's Market and the ones that sit in the refrigerator a little too long. It seems they have decided that isn't enough and have started growing their own! This big plant is on the south side of their yard.

There are blossoms....

 and tomatoes!!

They even have a couple of plants started on the east side of their yard.

Maybe I should just put the chickens in charge of the garden next year!! :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatloaf Enchilada Casserole

I found this recipe on a couple of years ago while looking for ways to use up leftover meatloaf. This is my second favorite way to eat leftover meatloaf. What's the first you ask? Why meatloaf sandwiches of course but sometimes even those get tiring! :)

1/2 of a large cooked meatloaf
3 cups roughly crushed tortilla chips (don't make them too fine)
1 15-oz can chili beans (I used 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans and added some chili powder)
1 tablespoon dried chopped onion or 1/4 cup freshly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese (I used goat cheese)
1 10-oz can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Break the cooked meatloaf into bite-size pieces. Crush the tortilla chips and line the bottom of a lightly-greased, high-sided casserole dish with half of the chips. Place the meatloaf on top of the chips, sprinkle with onion, cumin and cayenne, top with half of the cheeses. Spread the chili beans over the top. Top with the remaining chips and then evenly pour the enchilada sacuce over all and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
Bake for 20 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is browned to your liking.
Serve with sour cream and guacamole. We also serve this with a shredded cabbage salad dressed simply with homemade salsa.

Sorry about the picture of the half-eaten casserole but we were almost done eating when I remembered that I wanted to share this! LOL!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

San Pedro Valley Fair

Yesterday was the 79th annual San Pedro Valley Fair sponsored by the St. David area FFA and FCCLA members. This is kinda like a wam-up for the Cochise County Fair next weekend. The kids work hard putting this fair on but it almost died out from a lack of participation a couple of years ago. With the resurgence of interest in homemaking/homesteading skills there has been increased participation. The Farmer's Market vendors have also started supporting the fair by submitting entries the past couple of years. I entered three breads, five canned goods and three types of summer squash. I think I did all right with my entries!

I don't enter the Cochise County Fair because it is an hour and a half drive one way to Douglas and would require two trips, one to drop off entries and one to pick them back up. Our little fair is enough for me! :)

This was my last week attending the St. David Farmer's Market. Next week, I will start going to a bigger market in Sierra Vista. I used to sell there on Thursdays and did quite well. The St. David market is only open until the end of October and the Sierra Vista market is year round. If this is going to be my business, I need to have a fulltime outlet to sell bread. I'm looking forward to going next Saturday and seeing how things go!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dill Chive Beer Bread

This yummy beer bread is made using my Baking Mix. The dill and chives are not overpowering but add a subtle herby taste. I like to use a mild-tasting beer when I make this so that it doesn't overpower the bread but if you don't want to use beer, you could use unflavored seltzer water. Also be sure to check out the recipe for Onion Caraway Rye Beer Bread. One of the nice things about beer bread is that you can put a loaf of homemade bread on the table in less than an hour! :)

Dill Chive Beer Bread
3 1/2 cups Baking Mix
2 tablespoons dried chives
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon dill seeds
1 egg
12 ounces beer (1 1/2 cups)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add beer and egg and beat vigorously. The batter will be "shaggy." Turn dough into prepared pan.

 Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.

I realize it's only September 16th but this would also make a nice gift for the holidays, either baked or as a mix! Just put the dry ingredients into a ziploc bag, place it in a cute fabric bag, tie with a ribbon and include the directions.

You could also include a soup mix in a jar and a wooden spoon and package it all in a bread pan!

I have found the greatest soup mix in a jar recipes in this book, including the Rainbow Bean Soup shown above.

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe and that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this piece! :)

Linking to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Southwest Salsa

I've FINALLY gotten enough tomatoes from the garden to can a couple of batches of salsa this year! The tomatoes were late to ripen and now the evenings are getting down into the mid-60s and I'm not sure if the rest will ripen or not. I was hoping to be able to can some plain tomatoes and some tomato sauce. Ah, the perils of gardening! :) This recipe is from "The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving" and is salsa just the way we like it! I usually double the ingredients to make a little over 5 pints. I leave my veggies kinda chunky too!

4 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes (about 2 lbs)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (depending upon how hot you like it)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1/4 cup tomato paste (I use more because I like my salsa thicker)

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, vinegar, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, sugar and salt in a large non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove hot jars from water-bath canner and ladle salsa into jars to within 1/2 inch of rim. Process 20 minutes for half-pint and pint jars. Don't forget to adjust processing time depending upon your altitude.

Makes 4 cups.

The cookbook has an interesting little note about cilantro.

"Coriander (also called cilantro) is perhaps the world's most popular herb. It really makes salsa sing. Store fresh coriander with its root ends in water and covered with a plastic bag. Change the water every few days. Wash the coriander and remove the root ends just before using."

The storage tip works like a charm for a lot of fresh herbs with stems.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Liebster Award Received And Given

MamaTea over at A Farmish Kind of Life honored me with this award the other day! I was totally blown away, thanks MamaTea!! :)

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Liebster is awarded to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

How fun!! Now for the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. And most of all - have fun!

So, without further ado, here are my five picks to receive this special honor:

1.  paulaayn over at At Home With Us.

2.  dr momi at Homesteading At Redtail Ridge.

3.  nancypo at Little Homestead in Boise.

4.  homegrown countrygirl at her blog Homegrown Countrygirl Food Blogspot.

5.  TASO at the The Y-Not Homestead.

I hope you all get a chance to check out their blogs, they all have great information, recipes, tips, photos and show what being a Farmgirl is all about! I really enjoy reading about what they all are up to! :)

Windmill Picture Giveaway!

The winner for the painting of the windmill is....Grace from Larkspur Funny Farm! Thanks to all who entered and watch for more giveaways in the coming months! Grace, please send me your address at and I will get the picture out to you next week! :)

Jerry graciously agreed to let me have one of his paintings to use as a giveaway prize on my blog! :) He says it is a mixed media painting of a windmill at sunset. The framed size is 11 x 14-inches.

If you would like to have this lovely picture for your very own simply leave a comment here on my blog before Friday morning. I will announce the winner Friday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Country Hearth Bread

This is one of my favorite artisan type breads to take to the Farmer's Market. The sprinkling of oats over the top makes it look really appetizing and people like the fact that it is 100% whole wheat. The molasses makes it darker and gives it a heartier flavor than the 100% Whole Wheat Bread that I posted previously. The basic recipe (before my meddling LOL!) is from my favorite bread book "Great Whole Grain Breads" by Beatrice Ojakangas. This makes a great ham and swiss sandwich but my favorite way to eat it is with just some butter! :)

1 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup raw wheat germ
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast (If using active dry yeast, dissolve it in the warm milk before combining with the remaining ingredients.)
Milk to brush over top
Rolled oats to sprinkle over top

Mix, knead and let your dough rise until doubled using your favorite method; bread machine, manual or stand mixer. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a round ball. Flatten each into a 5 to 6-inch circle and place on a baking sheet. Let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled. Brush the top of each loaf with milk and sprinkle with rolled oats, pat slightly to get the oats to stick.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cover loosely with foil after about 10 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Linking to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House, check out all the cool posts! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tombstone - The Town Too Tough To Die

It was a rainy day on Labor Day and we wanted to actually take a day off so we took a drive over to Tombstone. There weren't as many tourists as normal because of the weather but there were still quite a few people wandering about.

 There are at least three different outfits offering wagon/stagecoach tours.

These guys said their stagecoach was actually from the late 1800s.

I love the historic old buildings! :)

A lot of the original buildings on Allen Street were lost to fires over the years and have been rebuilt.

The interior of the Crystal Palace is really neat! They have a reproduction of the original bar that they brought in that is very ornate and probably 30 feet long!

The Bird Cage Theatre is down on the east end of Allen Street and is one of the few original buildings remaining.

Can't forget the O.K. Corral! They have it all walled in and you have to pay to go inside!!

This is my favorite place to go in Tombstone! They have the CUTEST clothes, I got a pair of overalls with embroidery on the bib and the pant cuffs this time! :)

We had to get a couple of Sarsparillas for the ride home. The guy told us "Now ya'll drink responsibly, ya' hear!"

They were REALLY good and are now a "must have" whenever we take a drive over to Tombstone!

Check out the cute picture on the bottle cap! :)