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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weighted Sensory Blanket for Autism


     My youngest son is autistic and loves being covered up.  At night, when he goes to sleep, he wears a heavy robe and then has us layer about 10 blankets on top of him.  This is true of winter AND summer.   It is comforting to him.  The weight gives him a sense of calm and that is true to a lot of autistic children or people with sensory issues.

https://countrifiedhicks.blogspot.com/2017/09/weighted-sensory-blanket-for-autism.html


     
       I wanted to get him a weighted blanket to see if it could help him.  I purchased one and we used it for Ronny for about 2 weeks and noticed a difference.

    When Ronny is having a meltdown, I drape the blanket across his lap or over his shoulder and it helps him.  It is said to help his brain produce serotonin, via the deep pressure and touch stimulation the blanket provides, and then the serotonin helps calm the mind and body.

       At night, the same pressure releases serotonin and in turn has the body produce melatonin which helps induce sleep.  Regardless of the reasons why it works, I just can say it does work for Ronny.

       If you know someone with sensory issues or difficulty in handling situations or sleep issues, I recommend trying a weighted blanket.  It is a good alternative.

https://countrifiedhicks.blogspot.com/2017/09/weighted-sensory-blanket-for-autism.html


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Homemade Cherry Limeade!!!



      During the summer, whether I go to a Mom & Pop establishment or a popular drive-in restaurant, I ALWAYS order a Cherry Limeade!  Nothing is more refreshing to me than a Cherry Limeade!  I experimented until I found the perfect combination that was satisfying as a purchased one and believe me, you'll love it so be sure to PIN it and SHARE it.  My oldest son tasted it and said I could put them all out of business because mine tasted that good.  :-) 

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Homemade Cherry Limeade

12 oz. Sprite (I used Sprite Zero because I am diabetic)
1 bottle maraschino cherries
1 lime

         
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       Cut the lime into wedges (I cut mine into 4).  Take one wedge and squeeze it into a glass.  Be sure to squeeze most of the juice out of it.  

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Lime juice in the cup.


      Once it is squeezed drop the wedge into the glass.  Now put in 2 of the Maraschino cherries.  Pour in the Sprite until it is almost full.  Now pour in 3 T. of the red liquid that is in the Maraschino Cherry jar.  Take another lime wedge and squeeze some more juice into the glass.  Place that lime wedge on the edge of the glass.  Gently swirl the contents of the glass (just a little, not much).  Now enjoy!!!!


summer drink, refreshing drink, Cherry Limeade recipe,


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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pumpkin Recipes

 
Pumpkin supreme pie, Pumpkin recipes, fall recipe roundup, pumpkin snickerdoodles, mac & cheese, muffins, coffee cake,
Pumpkin Supreme Pie

      It is now September and the weather is getting cooler and Fall is close by.  When it becomes this time of year, it makes me want to bake and cook and smell everything Pumpkin!  Today, I will be sharing some of my favorite Pumpkin recipes.  I hope you find at least one you want to try out.

     First up, my Pumpkin Flavored Coffee Cake.  Super yummy and goes great with a cup of coffee!


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Pumpkin Flavored Coffee Cake



     Want something even better?  How about my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake?  Man, oh, man.  It is good!  So good you could eat it every day and never tire of it!

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The batter for my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.  Doesn't it look good?

     Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl makes for a very filling and yummy breakfast.  Perfect for cold days.

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Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl...

      Pumpkin Muffins are another good Pumpkin recipe for breakfast or makes a nice after school snack.


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Pumpkin Muffins

      If you crave something savory, try out Pumpkin Flavored Macaroni & Cheese.  I know it sounds odd but it really tastes nice and is a good change from the norm. 

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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

      Snickerdoodles is one of my hubbies favorite kinds of cookies and he is obsessed with pumpkin so I combined the two to make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

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     I know when most people think of Pumpkin Pie they think of Thanksgiving  but I believe Pumpkin Pie is yummy enough to have any time of the year.  

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Traditional Pumpkin Pie

     I saved the best for last.  This elevates the traditional Pumpkin Pie to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.  Decadent, beautiful and delicious is the only way to describe my Pumpkin Supreme Pie!


Pumpkin supreme pie, Pumpkin recipes, fall recipe roundup, pumpkin snickerdoodles, mac & cheese, muffins, coffee cake,
Pumpkin Supreme Pie
       I hope you enjoyed having all these recipes in one place.  

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kendall's Restaurant


Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,
The sign on the side of the building!

     Oh, my goodness!  I had the GREAT pleasure in reviewing Kendall's Restaurant.  Kendall's is located in lovely Noble, Oklahoma and is known far and wide for the Chicken Fried Steak Challenge. 


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The boys sitting on a bench out front enjoying the view.

 To give you an idea of the size of chicken fried steak you get for the challenge, check out the photo below. 

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,
Don't worry, you only have to eat one of the platters.  lol

       We did not do the challenge but we did eat a "regular" chicken fried steak and believe me, it is the largest CFS I have ever attempted to eat.  Their regular sized steak is about twice as big as most peoples.  Not only is the steak big but it is so good.  No fat or gristle in any of it.  The coating is crisp and the steak is tender.  Even under all the gravy, the coating stayed crisp.  

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,

       This is Bub's meal.  I know it may not look huge here but keep in mind that they serve your food on dinner PLATTERS.  The chicken fried steak can be compared to a 9" pie plate.  Look at the fork in the upper left hand side.  That is a normal sized fork so that will give you an idea on how big they are.

       The mashed potatoes are creamy and smooth and their gravy is seasoned perfect.  I could almost drink the gravy it is so good.  All the food is good ole southern comfort food at its finest.  Their rolls are nice and fluffy.  Everything we ate was delicious!!!

        Before we ate, I had a chance to sit down with the co-owners Kim & D and ask them some questions about the food, the history and about anything I could think of.  They are such nice people, it was a true pleasure to visit with them.  That interview is found below:



         I have watched it a few times because I find it all so interesting.  The Chicken Fried Steak Challenge includes the massive steak but also veggies, etc.  As you heard in the video they have about 100 people a MONTH try the challenge and only 35 people have EVER completed it.  Out of probably 10,000 people who have tried it...only 35 but if you are one of the ones who complete it, you go up on the "Wall of Fame".


     Also if you fail to complete the Chicken Fried Steak Challenge you take home the leftovers in the "Quitter Box".



        We live about 3 1/2 hours away from Noble, OK but the food was worth the drive.  The restaurant has a World Map on the wall with a push pin marking the location of people who have come to taste their food.  As you can see, it is an impressive array.


        I can see why people would visit from far and wide.  The atmosphere is nice and the walls are decorated with nostalgia.  The people are down home and friendly.  While we were there, we even seen Kim (the co-owner) bussing the tables.  They are just generally good people with no airs about them at all.

      About everything they make there is done by hand.  No fancy machinery.  Just people doing the real work.  They make cinnamon rolls from scratch and about any time you drop by there will be an employee rolling out the dough and making them.  They had just prepared a batch right before we left.  Don't they look yummy?


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Some of the cinnamon rolls they make each day by hand.


      Before you go, you can even buy some cinnamon rolls to take home with you.  They have Pumpkin flavor, regular, Maple Bacon, or Chocolate.  You can buy a package of 4 for just $5.00.

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,

      We bought a few a package of chocolate and had them the next morning for breakfast.  We took them from the freezer, threw them in the microwave for 2 minutes and they tasted as fresh as if they had just been made!

      They also have their own signature coffee.  We got a pound of it and Ron says it is the best and smoothest coffee he has EVER had in his life.  He said we'll have to drive back sometime just to purchase some more.


Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,


     I have no problem going back but for me, I would go back to get a burger.  I went on and on about their Chicken Fried Steak and yes, it was DELICIOUS but we ordered a "Widowmaker" burger to take home with us and late that night, I had a bite of it before going to bed and almost died right there.  Oh wow!  By far, that is the BEST burger I have EVER tasted in my life.  Not sure what they do different or if it's the meat they purchase but it was glorious.  It is also huge and I let Ron and the boys and my Mother-in Law all have some of it and they all agreed with me.  That burger ALONE is worth a 3 1/2 hour car ride.

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,
The Widow Maker meal. 

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,
The "buns" are grilled cheese sandwiches and a LOT of great meat and some ham and cheese too!  Yum!

Kendall's Restaurant, Noble OK, Big eats challenge, Chicken fried steak, Best restaurant in Oklahoma, Ginormous food,
Look how thick this beauty is!

      Please, if you are EVER in the area, drop by you will NOT be disappointed.  Drop by and tell Kim "hi" and let her know you heard about her from us here at "Countrified Hicks".  They are great people with GREAT food!

     Be sure to check them out on Facebook or their website.


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Homestead Blog Hop

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chunky Chocolate Chip Bars

    Sometimes I just don't have the time to make chocolate chips cookies but the family wants them so the solution to both our dilemmas is to make these Chunk Chocolate Chip Bars.  Just mix them up, spread them in the pan and no need to make individual cookies!

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     Chunky Chocolate Chip Bars

2 c. flour
1 1/2 brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. applesauce
2 sticks butter, softened
12 oz. pkg. sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chocolate chips for top
2 lg. eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt


            Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.


            In a large bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, sugars, salt and vanilla until well blended.  Add in the flour and applesauce.  Once it is mixed well, fold in the chocolate chips.  


          Spread the mixture into the cake pan. Take the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top of the batter. 

Chocolate chip bars, chunky bars, cookie bars

     Bake for 35 minutes, until it is just lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  

Chocolate chip bars, chunky bars, cookie bars


       Allow it to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Chocolate chip bars, chunky bars, cookie bars

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Creamy Potato Casserole

      As I mentioned before, I live on a farm with my husband and our 2 sons.  They are hard working males and are big eaters.  They believe all meals need "meat and taters" so I love finding new potato recipes.  This potato recipe has been around forever and tweaked here and there by about everyone.  Some people call these "Funeral Potatoes", some call it "Party Potatoes", and I just call it my Creamy Potato Casserole.  no matter what you want to name these, they are always delicious!!!

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Creamy Potato Casserole

2 c. frosted corn flakes, crushed
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 (32 oz) bag frozen shredded hash browns 
16 oz. tub of sour cream
3 strips crispy bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 T. chopped dehydrated onion
1 tsp. pepper


      Preheat your oven to 375.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
      Mix together all the ingredients, except for the corn flakes and butter.  Pour this mixture into your pan.

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       Stir together the corn flakes and the melted butter and then cover the top of the casserole with it.  

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    Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

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       This casserole freezes really well.  If I plan on using it for just one meal or to give to someone then I make these up in 3 small (8"x8") foil square pans and freeze them.  I first cover the dish with cling wrap and then cover with foil.  They last a long while in the freezer this way and do not get frost bitten.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Pizza Tater Tot Casserole

      If you spend just a few minutes looking around my blog, it will not take long to notice that I love casseroles.  Something about them, I just love.  I guess because it is an "all in one dish" meal or that casseroles are usually delicious and filling.  Regardless, I make a lot of casseroles.  For example, I make a Mexican Tater Tot Casserole, a Chicken Taco Casserole, and a Cheesy Ham & Potato Casserole.  Anyway, this is my newest "creation" and by far, it is my family's favorite.  In fact, we made it two nights in a row this week!

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Pizza Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 lb. frozen tater tots
2 c. shredded cheese (we used a cheddar/colby jack blend)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
40 pepperonis
2 c. homemade pasta sauce (or 1 jar spaghetti sauce)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

      Brown the hamburger meat, garlic powder and onions together.  When it is completely browned, do not drain.  

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       Stir in the pasta sauce and Italian seasoning.  Turn to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes to give the flavors some time to "meld" together.  

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       As the meat sauce is heating up, turn on your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray.  Once the meat sauce has heated, spread the meat sauce into the cake pan. 

Pizza tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole, easy casserole recipe, Best casserole on earth,

     Cover the meat sauce with the pepperonis.  Form a nice layer. The photo below is not complete.  We added a LOT of pepperonis...the top of the sauce was absolutely covered but add more or less per your own tastes.

Pizza tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole, easy casserole recipe, Best casserole on earth,


      Now, pour on the tater tots and spread them out over the top.  

Pizza tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole, easy casserole recipe, Best casserole on earth,

       Place in the oven and allow it to bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and spread some more pepperonis over the top and then top with the shredded cheese and Parmesan.  Bake for 5 more minutes and then serve.

Pizza tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole, easy casserole recipe, Best casserole on earth,


Pizza tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole, easy casserole recipe, Best casserole on earth,


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