Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Party Favorites - CFBP

Harvest, cool temps, amazing sunsets, everything pumpkin......that is what fall is to me!  We have had some amazing entries for our blog party this month and I can't wait to share with you my favorites! Our theme this month is fall (naturally) so you can imagine that some of the posts contained my favorite things that were mentioned above.

Without further ado......My Favorites!



I love this post because as harvest picks up finding easy meals to take to the field to not only my farmer but to customers that we are taking a plot off or side by side is so helpful!  I love quick, easy, and tasty!

Spicy Stuffed Acorn Squash- The Tip Garden


I love acorn squash and I love spicy, so you can imagine this was an easy pick for me!  I can't wait to give it a try this week.  I actually just picked up an acorn squash at the store yesterday so it was practically meant to be.



This post hits home for sure as i have been up in my deer stand for the past couple weeks since bow season has opened here.  We use the meat as a source of food and don't let anyone tell you different, deer is delicious!

Great post!!  I love how fall is explained in numbers and the long seasons.  My favorite quote from the post: "It takes optimism to begin, persistence to make it past the obstacles and through the inevitable mid season slump and grit to make the necessary adjustments and finish strong. "



I love anything DIY and especially made out of pallets. I seem to have a ton of pallets laying around all the time.  If I can put them to good use it is a win for me!!

So their you have it!  Those are my 5 favorites from our fall party thus far.  Be sure to stop by and check out any new posts and be sure to link up any of your favorites that remind you of fall!

Enjoy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New and Improved Blog Party!

Am i normally late to the party?  Yes.  However, you know the saying....be fashionably late to make an entrance.  I feel that applies perfectly here!  If you didn't notice yesterday many of my fellow party hosts shared the new and improved Country Fair Blog Party!  If you didn't notice then perfect, you are about to find out now!

Here's the lowdown:

New and Improved: We are now only partying once a month.  We used to host a new party once a week but as life gets busy we feel this is a much better fit!  I think you will agree.

How it Works: The beginning of every month we will start a new party (or in my case maybe the second day).  All ya'll will share your amazing recipes, or DIY ideas, or just some great informational posts.  The hosts will then pick their favorites and must sees say around the middle of the month.

Best Part...: We are now themed!  Everyone loves a theme right?  This month naturally we will be doing fall!  I love fall and everything about it.  Deer hunting season opens, everything pumpkin flavored hits the shelves, amazing colors of nature, the cooler temps, and of course Halloween!  Don't forget the month of October is also National Pork Month!  That in itself deserves a party because who doesn't love bacon?!

How to Party Along: Be sure to join in the fun and link up one of your posts that has anything or everything to do with this amazing season of Fall!  Just click on the link at the bottom of the page and it will have you put in the URL of your post then you can add a picture if you like.  Bodda Bing, Bodda Boom, you are in!

Hosts: Currently their are 4 of us hosting this, NicoleDanielleLaurie, and myself.  We do love a good party so the more the merrier right?  We would love to have some of you also co-host with us!  If you are interested in hosting a party with us just shoot one of us a message and we will get you all set up!

Enjoy and happy linking!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Farm to Plate with no guilt!

Last week I finally made it to the new(ish) Red Haven Restaurant that has been taunting me on social media with its amazing food pics for months!  What I found unique about this restaurant is that it advertised as farm to plate and is considered a small plates restaurant.  If you have never eaten at one of these the idea is small portions to share so you try multiple dishes among your couple or group.

You all know by now that I love anything that supports the farm and even local for that matter.  I was hesitant to what I would see when I went inside. I just imagined that since it sets right in the heart of East Lansing/Okemos, which for those of you that don't already know it is the epicenter of the one and only Michigan State University, their would be some agenda being pushed.  I assumed since local was their forte I would walk in to a menu that screamed organic, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free, natural.....etc.   You get my point.  Having me sit there feeling guilty that I would rather have grain finished over grass fed and not caring if it was given hormones or antibiotics because I understand animal agriculture and trust those that raise my food and know they are doing what is best for the animal.

Once I walked in and looked around and got a good glance at the menu I was nothing but relieved, excited, and thankful!  None of my initial thoughts were validated.  I was able to try some amazing food and enjoy an atmosphere that didn't consist of fear marketing or pitting one industry against the other......Just good local food and for that Red Haven I THANK YOU!!!!!!

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against organic, natural, hormone/antibiotic free etc.  They all have a place in this wonderful food system we have.  I just get annoyed when people use fear marketing to sell a product.  It was refreshing to go somewhere of that caliber and the only agenda being pushed was Local (first).

Now onto the important stuff..........the FOOD!!
My taste buds haven't been on this type of overload in quite some time.  Everything I tasted was out of this world delicious and just to help you understand I took pics of everything I consumed so you can drool and instantly want to make a reservation.

Disclaimer: I was so excited to try the food many of these pics may not be the best quality because all I cared about was getting the food into my mouth.

We started out with these 2; the ravioli stuffed with chevre with a butternut squash sauce.  I hate goat cheese because it legit tastes like a goats udder smells, but this was phenomenal.  The cheese was mild and the sauce was pretty much amazing.  We also tried the truffle fries with a poached egg on top.  Sounds crazy but dipping the fries into the yolk was delish and lets be honest......truffle makes everything better.

This was by far my favorite dish of the night! Mini fajitas however the sauce they used is what made this dish.  The steak was perfect and the peppers were the perfect pair. You must try this!!!

We then had what you might call the "main" dish.  We chose the salmon and chicken.  Here is the salmon with roasted brussel sprouts over mashed parsnips.  I don't know if any of you have had mashed parsnips but they were delish and could seriously give potatoes a run for their money.

This was the chicken......and if I had to choose this one beats the salmon.  Don't get me wrong the salmon was great but this stuffed chicken made my taste buds dance!!  Not only was the chicken phenomenal but the green beans and roasted cauliflower were just as amazing.

Dessert........what everyone waits for. Why don't we start with dessert?  For real.......

We ended the delicious meal with dessert and french pressed coffee.  Nothing beats french pressed coffee friends.  Trust me.  The top one I have no idea what it was called but just imagine a huge lucky charms marshmallow with whipped topping and fruit and a lemon drizzle on the bottom.....fancify it by 1000 and that is what we had.  It was bangin!  The bottom was called candy bar and it was chocolate with a mint creme and raspberry drizzle.....omg friends....omg.

All I can say is if you are up in Michigan near MSU campus you must try this place out!  I can't rave enough about it and will now make it a staple when I am in the area!  Thanks again Red Haven for such a great experience!!

Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

September Madness!

Is anyone out there?........  I apologize for my absence but the last couple of weeks have been crazy busy!  A couple of the days I literally have forgotten what day it was.  The saddest news I have to share is that it is currently 54 degrees and I don't think it will be getting much warmer.  Is summer really gone?  While my fat really enjoys this cool weather because I don't particularly like to sweat I do miss the warm 70 degree days.....is it really over already?

In other news.....
Our fair was last week and while the bad part about that is I had way too many sausage sandwiches and milkshakes along with the staple fair fries and 50 thousand other delicious delicacy's that you can only get during the fair.  The good part is that my nephew won Reserve Champion Market Steer!!

Preparing to make his debut in the ring


 Once fair was over I had a little more down time and in honor of finally getting to sleep in I had extra ambition to try out a new breakfast recipe.  I love pizza so having it for breakfast is pretty much a genius idea!  I had a left over thin crust pizza crust from one of those Little Caesars pizza kits (i'm sure you all have some as they are the only fundraiser kids do anymore i swear!)  I basted it with olive oil and baked it for 10 min.  Meanwhile i scrambled up 8 eggs and cooked some bacon and ground beef so when the crust was done I loaded it up with egg and meat and topped with cheese and put back in oven for 5 minutes.....viola!

Pretty much amazing!

Last but not least....
I don't know why I have spent my last 10-12 years of my life using tweezers from walmart that cost approx $1.99 and wondering why they don't work?  It never dawned on me that perhaps all tweezers were not made equal?  Well my life was changed last night.  On a random trip to town with my sister I quickly realized at checkout that I forgot tweezers as mine have disappeared somewhere (I bet they are out in shop as hubs used them for god knows what).  My sister in all her glory was like "revlon slanted fine tip, get those"......what does that even mean?  I sprint to the makeup isle, grab what seemed to be closest to her description and run back to checkout...... $10.99 LATER!!!!!  Who buys tweezers for $11? Well friends, one I got home I decided to try them out on my eyebrows which seem to be growing a winter mane and have I never been so impressed with an $11 purchase in my life!!  Ladies stop wasting your time like myself using the $1.99 walmart tweezers and using both hands to try to pinch them together tight enough it may just pull something out and go get yourself some worthy tweezers......you can thank me later.  :)



Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Growing our family by +1

I am so excited to share the news with all of you!!  Yes, the rumors are true......our family is growing!!  I can already see the look of shock and disbelief on your faces!  Many thought we would never start a family but the timing just seemed right!

So without further ado.....I'd like you all to meet our newest family member.......

DAISY!

Oh my goodness is she not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  She is a pembroke welsh corgi.  She has definitely stolen our hearts!!


You secretly thought I was pregnant didn't you?  Not quite, but she is like having a child.....I think.  I mean I don't have kids but I imagine this is what it is like.  You have to entertain them, make sure they are fed, make sure they don't go to the bathroom all over the place, and you worry about them and wonder what they are doing all the time!   I got this parenting thing down :)  

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Toledo Water Crisis....Who's to Blame?

The glorious thing about the internet is that it gives many of those uninformed yet very vocal citizens a way to voice their opinion (insert sarcastic eye roll.)  This past week the city of Toledo was placed on a water ban that also included not being able to boil your water for drinking purposes.  This ban affected 3 counties including abut half a million people.  Yes this is a serious issue.  My problem arises with where the blame is being pointed to.

Lake Erie has a very large algae bloom that has been created from excess nutrients that comes from MULTIPLE sources....do you see that word multiple?  This didn't happen overnight or by just one cause.  When the lakes get lack of rain and warm temps the algae can create a dangerous toxin.  A toxin which reached levels in the city water that became dangerous to consume.

Photo Credit: NOAA/NASA

The past couple days all I have read in headlines is that this algae bloom is because of farmers......its always the farmers fault.  Then reports go on to say that nothing has been done over the years to try to stop this bloom or reverse it.  Well I am calling bullshit.  Excuse my language.  This is what is irritating to me.  The agriculture community especially in NW Ohio has made multiple strides to do our part to decrease and ultimately eliminate excess nutrients getting into rivers and streams that connect to the Lake.

With the help of Ohio Farm Bureau, farmers have made multiple strides over the past years including:

  •   Farmers are using soil tests to avoid applying excessive amounts of fertilizer. One survey showed 82 percent compliance with Ohio State University-approved testing practices.  
  • A pollution reduction project in the Lake Erie Basin reduced phosphorus application by more than 180,000 pounds across 8,653 acres
  • 4,421 farmers attended 163 nutrient and water quality training sessions put on by Ohio State University Extension. 
  • The state’s agribusiness community, working with non-government organizations, universities and government agencies, has developed a third-party certification program for commercial nutrient applicators that will encourage adoption of nutrient stewardship practices. 
  •   Farm organizations and agribusinesses contributed $1 million to match a federal grant that is funding a three-year study to measure nutrient runoff and identify preventative practices.
  •  Farmers are volunteering the use of their crop fields for the installation and evaluation of management practices to help reduce the off-site transport of nutrients.
  • Farmers supported state legislation that will help lead to improved water quality
  • In addition, Ohio Farm Bureau has launched the Healthy Water Ohio initiative to develop a long-range plan that will  sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans.
Also, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD), with the support of the Ohio Soybean Council, created the 4R Tomorrow program to educate and promote wise nutrient management to conserve water quality and soil health using the 4R nutrient stewardship principles and conservation practices.*  The 4R's include: 
      • The Right Source
      • At the Right Rate
      • At the Right Time
      • In the Right Place
And they say nothing has been done?.........

So now that we have debunked that statement that farmers are doing nothing and are horrible stewards of the land lets look at some other sources of nutrient excess that are causing this bloom.
  • Residential septic systems- old and deteriorated systems are dumping nutrients into rivers
  • Detroit River- this flows right into Lake Erie including industrial waste and sewage from Detroit....they don't call it the Dirty D for no reason
  • Lawn chemical-the glorious thing about urban city living is that we claim residential hierarchy on who has the best lawn.  With that comes copious amounts of fertilization to keep those lawns nice and green.  Once a rain comes in or over watering all of those nutrients wash right into the storm drains and directly head to the lake.....
  • Heavy Rain-when their is heavy rains the city is allowed a certain percentage of raw sewage to enter the river (that is enticing isn't it)
So instead of pointing your finger one direction lets look at the big picture.

As you can see the Agriculture community has recognized a problem long before this situation occurred and have taken steps to do their part to fix it......what can the rest of you say?

Good Day!




*Information from www.4rtomorrow.org






Friday, June 13, 2014

Country Fair Blog Party...Happy Fathers Day and Dairy Month!

Good morning from Nashville!  After a great night down on East Broadway and listening to live music all night long at the legendary Tootsies I could think of nothing better to do this lovely morning than to bring you this great link up :)   With fathers day in just a couple days and June being Dairy month what better way than to find great recipes to celebrate with or a wonderful gift for dad than this great link up full of just those things!

Here are last weeks winners:
AG


Food


DIY


So go on and share your great ideas that could make the best fathers day gift or that recipe that would make a great addition to fathers day dinner.....and remember to use a ton of butter, cheese, and milk to support those dairy farmers!!
Enjoy!