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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cheesy Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole

   It is really hard to beat the combination of cheesy, crispy tater tots and chili dogs.  It is pure and delicious comfort food.  It's an easy meal to make and is sure to become a family favorite.

   
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Cheesy Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole

2 1/2 c. shredded cheese, divided
3/4 c. ketchup
1 (28 oz.) bag of frozen tater tots
8 hot dogs, cut into small slices
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9"x13" cake pan and set aside.  

    In a large bowl, stir together the chili, ketchup, hot dog slices, Worcestershire sauce, onions, and red pepper flakes.  Mix the mixture well. 

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     Spread the mixture into the cake pan.   Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of your shredded cheese on top.  I used a mix of montery jack and cheddar cheese but you can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer.

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    Now, spread the tater tots over the top and place into your oven and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove and sprinkle a cup of cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove and enjoy.

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    I used homemade chili for this casserole but you could use canned.  If you use canned, use 2 (15 oz) cans.  You could use either with or without beans or one of each.  

A serving is 1 1/2 cups and has has 42 grams of carbs.  My husband is diabetic and on an insulin pump and has to know the carbs in the food he eats to enter it into his meter so sharing that here just in case anyone else needs to know also. 

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Chili Mac Recipe

     Chili mac is a mash up of two great foods...chili and macaroni and cheese.  Yum.  It is the ultimate casserole in my opinion.  It has so much flavor because it pairs two comfort foods together.  Your whole family will go crazy for it.

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     Chili Mac

 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream


    The first thing you need to do is prepare your chili.  My recipe is at this link and is easy to make and tastes so good.   

    After the meat is cooked for your chili, start your water boiling for the pasta and then finish making your chili.  

    Drain your pasta once it is done.  I like mine aldente.  Once drained, stir the cheese then stir the mixture into the chili.  Stir well and then stir in the sour cream.  Allow to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and then serve.

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    It makes a great meal on its own or serve it with a slice of homemade bread.

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    A nice sized bowl has 41 grams of carbs.  My husband is diabetic and on an insulin pump and has to know the carbs in the food he eats to enter it into his meter so sharing that here just in case anyone else needs to know also. 


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Sunday, April 14, 2019

6 Must Make Side Dishes for Your Easter Meal

    Easter is a week from today and I thought I would share my 6 must make side dishes for your Easter Meal.  These are all tried and tested recipes that are my family's favorites.  I am just trying to help you take the guess work out of your meal planning.  I hope you find a few to try.

1.  Zucchini, Squash & Corn Casserole:
     This is a simple but super delicious casserole that surely will be a huge hit at your dinner table.





2.  Creamy Potato Casserole: 
      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

3.  Oven Roasted Asparagus:
     So yummy and a perfect side dish.

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Oven Roasted Asparagus

     This corn casserole is such a comforting side dish that is perfect for a holiday meal or any meal for that fact.  It truly is one of my personal favorite side dishes of ALL TIME!  It is very easy to make and tastes so delicious and creamy.

 
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The Best Creamy Corn Casserole

5.  Honey Glazed Carrots in the Crockpot:
     I made 2 pounds of these for our family of 4 and we ate them all...they are that good!

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Honey Glazed Carrots

6.  Creamy Corn Salad:
     It is super easy to make and takes just 6 ingredients which you probably already have on hand.

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Creamy Corn Salad
If you make any of these recipes, snap a pic and hashtag it #countrifiedhicks — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!
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Saturday, April 13, 2019

7 Easter Brunch Recipes

We love brunch at our house.  There are no real rules to brunch and you can just eat your favorite foods!  Here are 7 of my favorite Easter brunch recipes.  Enjoy!

1.  French Toast Casserole
     My french toast casserole is a quick and easy way to make french toast for a crowd or just for your family.  It tastes as good as it looks.

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French Toast Casserole





2.  Homemade Waffles.
     These waffles come out light and delicious.  The aroma of these will awaken your taste buds for sure.

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Homemade Waffles


3.  Homemade BIG Biscuits and CHOCOLATE GRAVY!
     If you are from the South, more than likely, you know EXACTLY what chocolate gravy is and have found memories of your mama or your grandma making this for you as a child.  If you're not from the South, you may be wondering what it is.  Well, it's exactly what it sounds like...chocolate in gravy form.

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Homemade Big biscuits and Chocolate Gravy


4.  Homemade Doughnuts:
     These doughnuts are truly homemade and not just made from a can of biscuits.  They taste so darned good and are so light.  They melt in your mouth!

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Homemade Doughnuts

5.  Homemade Bread Pudding:
      I love bread pudding.  It is one of those "old time" recipes that your grandma used to make.  It is simple and delicious.

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Homemade Bread Pudding

6.  Homemade Blueberry Pancakes:
     Homemade pancakes are so good but homemade BLUEBERRY pancakes are even better.  Yum!

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Homemade Blueberry Pancakes

7.   Blueberry Biscuits:
      I saved the best recipe for last:  light and fluffy biscuits loaded with fresh blueberries with a delicous glaze over the top.  Nothing could be better!

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Blueberry Biscuits


     If you are looking for ideas for you Easter meal, check out this link.


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Friday, April 5, 2019

The Best No-Bean Chili Recipe

    I love chili.  I like to eat "regular" chili (with beans) on its own but for a topping for baked potatoes, chili cheese fries or to make chili dogs, I prefer a "no-bean" chili.  I hate buying it canned because it has so many preservatives and added ingredients that I wanted to come up with my own.  I came up with this recipe and it is FANTASTIC!  It is so delicious and just what I needed for the french fries we air fried for supper.

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    I used ground venison for this recipe but you can use ground beef or ground turkey, or any ground meat you prefer.   Also, this is a quick recipe.  I make mine in under 30 minutes.  My traditional chili I like to cook low and slow and allow it to simmer for a few hours but this recipe is fast.  There is no need to "nurse" it to make it taste good.  It turns out perfectly every time and it is delicious.

The Best No-Bean Chili Recipe

1 (16 oz.) can beef broth (2 cups)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can tomato paste
3 T. olive oil
2 T. chili powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
shredded cheese

    In a large pot, add in the ground meat, olive oil and the onions.  I used ground venison and it is really lean meat.  If you are using ground beef that is fattier, you can cut down the olive oil to just 1 tablespoon if you prefer.

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    Brown the meat until it is browned.

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    I did not drain the fat.  I left it because it adds a lot of flavor to the chili.  Now, add in the rest of the ingredients, except the shredded cheese, and stir well.  I allowed the chili to cook for about 15 minutes.

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     Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  Now the chili can be eaten on its own or serve over a plate of fries, on a baked potato, in chili mac, or even on my Cheesy Chili Dog Tater Tot Casserole.  It is so good!

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Plants, Herbs & Trees on our Homestead

    Our homestead is in SE Oklahoma.  It sets on 40 acres whereas, only 5 acres are actually ours.  The other 10 acres belong to my hubby's brothers (5 acres each) but neither plans on ever living out on their properties so we kind of utilize it all for now.

     We live in a very rural area and that is exactly how we like it.  The nearest town has a population of only 1500 people and we sit in a valley surrounded by "mountains".  The nearest Walmart is 45 minutes away and the nearest mall is in the next state (Arkansas) and is 1 1/2 hours away. 

    Our property consists of a combination of meadows and woods.  

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A meadow that is on our property.


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Sunset on our property

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Big cedar tree on our property.

    Among the meadows and woods we have many wild medicinal plants and herbs growing.  I went to practical nursing school (and graduated) but never went and took my license.  I worked in the medical field for over 10 years and know quite a bit when it comes to medical care.  Now that I have a family and we live so far out in nowhere, getting to a doctor is not always the easiest thing to do.  I started learning all about homeopathic remedies and finding out what plants that we have access here can do for us and was so pleased to learn how much we can do with the plants and herbs we have on the property.

      One of the medicinal plants we have on the property is Yarrow.  All of the ground parts of Yarrow medicinal.



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Yarrow in the early budding stage.

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Yarrow flowers.

     We have learned to look to the woods to see what God designed and how it works without our interference.  We watched “Back to Eden” and were inspired.  Think about it:  we do not go out into our woods and fertilize the trees or plants.  We do not go out and rake up the leaves and groom it all to encourage it to grow.  But you know what?  Out in our woods, where man really has no hand in it, the woods are thriving.  There are wild fruit trees, nut bearing trees, mushrooms, super tall trees, shrubs, and vines and they are all growing wonderfully and thrive together.  We are trying to mimic what is going on out in our woods in our gardens and land.  We want it all to be productive and yield us everything we need for medicine and for a lot of our food.  We want it to grow and flourish without a whole lot of work on our part.  That is our goal. 

    
     Fruit trees and bushes and nut trees we have growing on our land include:   peach trees, an apple tree, a lemon tree, crab apple trees, sand plum bushes (tons of them), blackberry bushes, a lime tree, an apricot tree, an orange tree, a giant raspberry bush, beauty berries, 2 mulberry trees, persimmon trees, walnut trees, hickory trees, and oak trees, and all kinds of flowers.  We are striving to have a sustainable landscape and to increase biodiversity on our plot of land.

   Other things we have growing out here are:  honeysuckles, catalpa trees, birch trees, honey locust trees, willow, sycamores, sweet gum, prickly pear cactus, pine, cedar, elm, Bradford pear, and elm trees.

     We have seen all kinds of wildlife that include:  squirrels, skunks, rabbits, fox, opossums, armadillos, moles, bobcat, mountain lion, black bears, raccoon, coyotes, deer, wild turkeys, wild ducks, geese, otters, beavers, turtles (box and snapping), many kinds of snakes (copperheads, water moccasins, coach whips, etc.) and all manner of birds.

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    We have a small pond and a branch running through the property and we have a free running creek that runs right behind our home and a watershed lake is about a mile away, definitely within walking distance.  We do what we can to conserve our precious water resources.  We do not use chemical herbicides or pesticides.

    We also have 3 wells and a large sustainable garden with permeable soil and grow beds.  We are all about going back to the basics and to our natural roots.  We try to forage our land and grow what we can so we don't depend on the supermarkets for our needs.  We also raise dairy and meat goats, chickens, turkeys and ducks.  Life is good in the country and I am so glad we live here!

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Bambi, a pygmy goat, shortly after being born. 

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Ellie Mae, 3 days old, pygmy fainting goat. 

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Sugar, a pygmy goat, 5 days old.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Another Baby Girl

   Last night at about 6:30 p.m. our Pygmy Fainting Goat "Daisy Mae" gave birth to a blue eyed little girl that we have named "Ellie Mae".  She is such a cutie.  "Little Moo" is the daddy and he is such a good buck for us.  He throws out girls mainly and often times they have blue eyes.  That makes u 4 girls and 1 boy born so far and we still have 4 more goats due in the next week.  I love this time of year!

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Daisy Mae

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Little Moo


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Ellie Mae & Daisy Mae

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Ellie Mae

    Isn't she a cutie????

You can find the posts about the other babies born here recently here and here

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Elsa's New Babies--Twins Again! (Goats on the Farm)

     On March 6, a day after Gracie had her twin girls, Elsa had twins too.  Elsa had a solid white little boy named "CJ: and a solid black little girl named "Midnight".   They are exact opposites in color and personality.  CJ is pretty calm and laid back and Midnight is super rambunctious.  Also, CJ has light blue eyes and Midnight's are a pretty brown.

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An hour after CJ was born.

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Midnight is just an hour old here.



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They are 2 days old here.

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3 days old.



    The video is a short little video of Midnight running around and having fun.


Hope you enjoyed seeing these new babies.


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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Baby Goats are Here! (Gracie's Twins)

    We woke up on March 5th to twin baby girl goats.  They were born to Gracie (pygmy nubian cross) and Little Moo (pygmy). 

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Gracie

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Little Moo

    We have named the twins "Jessie" (dark one) and "Sugar" (the white one).  Ronny came up with the names and we fit the names fit.


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Jessie, Gracie, and Sugar, a few hours after the twins were born.


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Sugar, 2 days old.

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Jessie, 2 days old.


    Hope you enjoyed seeing these new babies.


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Friday, March 8, 2019

Hewing--Part 2

    My oldest son, Bub, loves to work outside and enjoys making things.  He is all about doing things the "old fashioned" way and hates using power tools.  He enjoys it and is quite good at it.  We recently shared Part One of a video that he made on "hewing lumber".   Here is part 2 of the video.
 I think you will find it quite enjoyable and learn a lot from him.



    Enjoy it!

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

How to Cook Ground Deer Meat



   Deer meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than other red meats.  It also has a higher amount of Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and the Omega 3 fatty acids.  

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      I know a lot of people who refuse to eat deer meat because they say it tastes too “gamey” and it’s true it can taste that way but if you prepare it correctly, you can keep the majority of the gamey taste away. 

     The first thing you need to keep in mind is that venison (deer meat) is very lean and does not have the “marbling” of fat that beef does.  I fix this problem by adding a really decent amount of olive oil to the meat.  

    I have found the best way to cook ground venison is low and slow.  I just place 2 pounds of the ground venison into a pot on low heat.   I then add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil per pound of deer meat and a teaspoon of lemon juice per pound also.   Citrus tends to help mask the strong flavor of the deer meat. 

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   To also help with the taste, I add in a tablespoon of dehydrated onions and a ½ teaspoon of garlic powder per pound of meat.   
 
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Cook the meat on low heat, stirring as you brown the meat.  

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     Once it is done, I divide up the meat into baggies and freeze it until you are ready to use it as I would ground beef.   I love using venison in my delicious No-Bean Chili Recipe


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easy recipes