Almond, Baker, baking, Blogger, Cherries, Cook, cooking, farm, Glaze, Kitchen, Loaf, Maraschino Cherries, Muffins, North Dakota, Rain, recipe, Recipes, Snow, Spring, Spring Snow, Sunday Dinner, Sweet Loaf, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Weekend

Sunday Dinner: Maraschino Cherry Muffins with Almond Glaze

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! Hope all you mommies, momma’s-to-be, and grandma’s had a wonderful weekend!

What a weekend it was here in North Dakota! Saturday was a cool, spring day and Sunday, the ground was white with snow! Granted, we live in North Dakota and we expect the unexpected and plan for the unplanned, but this was a surprise! We lost a few little calves yesterday in the snow-storm, and it is still snowing and sleeting today.

This was Saturday, Crabapple Tree blooming!
This was Saturday, Crabapple Tree blooming!
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And this was on Sunday morning! Mother’s Day Blizzard!

While it was icky outside, I stayed toasty and warm inside my kitchen and cooked and baked! I meal prepped for a few hours on Saturday evening and baked treats to take to work on Monday. I made spaghetti squash with turkey and veggies for lunches this week, and I baked a banana cream poke cake, grape salad, and maraschino cherry muffins with a sweet, almond glaze, which I am sharing with you today!

I got the original recipe, which is a loaf instead of muffins, from Averie Cooks. I tweaked the recipe a little to make it my own…

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Cherry Muffins/Bread

  • 2 jars (10 oz.) Maraschino Cherries, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt, optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • cherry juice reserved, 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Cherry Almond Glaze

  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of reserved cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray; set aside. Recipe may be also baked in one 9×5 pan or cake pan or in mini loaf pans; adjust baking time accordingly.

Remove cherries from jar and chop. Reserve the juice and set aside. (I used about 1 and a half jars of cherries and all the juice from both jars.) Toss cherries with about 2 or more tablespoons of flour (prevents cherries from sinking in dough).

In large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and whisk to combine; set aside.

In a smaller mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, and all the cherry juice from jars, except 1/2 cup reserved for the glaze, almond extract, vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.

Pour wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine; do not over mix. Batter will be thick.

Lightly fold in chopped cherries.

Put batter into prepared muffin tins or pan and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until done (time again depends on what you are baking).

Cherry Almond Glaze

In a medium bowl combine juice, almond extract, and powdered sugar. Whisk to combine and add sugar until it reaches the desired consistentcy is reached. Glaze the bread prior to serving. Will keep airtight for about 5 days or in the freezer for 6 months. Do not glaze bread until ready to serve, if you plan on storing long term.

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Sweet cherry, almond goodness.

Have a Happy Monday!

21 Day Fix, Blog, Blogger, Cilantro, Cook, cooking, Fish, Fish Tacos, Food, Foodie, Kitchen, recipe, Slaw, Southern California, Sunday Dinner, Tacos, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Tilapia, Tortillas, Wordpress

Sunday Dinner: Southern California Fish Tacos

This weekend was too short by my standards, but so fun! We got to spend all of Saturday with our four nieces and nephews! We spent the afternoon, which was a gorgeous March day in North Dakota, playing baseball, football, doing sidewalk chalk, and visiting. Plus, eating lots of yummy food made by my sister-in-law! After a full day of playing, this uncle and auntie needed a nap! Thank goodness the next day was Sunday!

Last week Monday, we were invited to our Pastor, John’s home for a night of food and visiting! He made us the famous Southern California Fish Tacos! Neither Taylor nor I had ever tried fish tacos! To me, they sounded gross! Fish should never be in a taco, only ground 100% Angus beef (I am being partial since that is what we raise)!

Turns out, we were greatly surprised! They were excellent! Even my very food-fussy husband loved them and suggested that I make them for a Sunday Dinner! So, guess what I made yesterday?!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 package of the small, white corn tortillas, you won’t use all of them
  • Pam or non-stick cooking spray
  • Filets of Tilapia (I used the frozen), Typically one piece of fish can be divided and used for two fish tacos
  • Red Cabbage (1/2 head), Chopped
  • White Cabbage (1 bag)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (1/2 large container)
  • Honey or Sweetener to taste (I used honey and a few packets of Truvia)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Black Ground Pepper
  • Cilantro, Chopped
  • 2 Limes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Power
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin

To Make The Slaw:

You’ll want to make the slaw first so it can marinate overnight. Mix together the white and red cabbage, about a half container of Greek Yogurt, and about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. I like my slaw pretty vinegar-y tasting, so adjust accordingly. Mix well, so there are no clumps. Then add in the sweetener of your choice. I used about 3-4 packets of Truvia and about 1/4 cup of honey. Add in the juice of one lime. Mix well and sprinkle in some ground black pepper. Put in fridge and let sit overnight.

For the fish, season lightly with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic and onion powder. Squeeze the juice of one lime over fish. Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until done. Meanwhile, on an electric skillet, sprayed will with non-stick spray, spray each tortilla with spray and heat tortillas for a few minutes on each side until soft and pliable.

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How to assemble:

Grab a warm, soft tortilla, place one half of a seasoned and baked tilapia on the tortilla. Next, place some slaw and a little chopped cilantro on top! I also served mine with some sliced avocado!

For those of you doing the 21 Day Fix program, one fish taco would equal one red, one yellow, and one green container, and one blue if avocado is served.

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Enjoy! And Happy Monday! Xo

farm, Farming, Lessons, Life, North Dakota, The Farmer's Daughter, The Farmer's Wife, Working

What I Learned Growing Up As The Farmer’s Daughter

If you were privileged enough to have grown up in the country on a farm, you know exactly what this post is about. However, if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you missed out on a lot of good life lessons. Growing up on a farm is something that is probably taken for granted as a child, but when you are older, and look back, there are so many great things that you learned along the way. Whether is was watching grandpa in the combine, harvesting wheat, or the prayers and patience of waiting for a summer rain, that comes too late. There are some things in life that are un-teachable; some things you just have to experience for yourself to know how truly important they are. And one of those things is growing up on a farm.

1. Have Faith Even in the Driest Drought. Every year, farming is like gambling with God. Some years, you are really blessed, and have your head above the sea of debt you are currently swimming in. Other years, you pray, and pray, and pray for that summer rain that never comes. Other years, right before harvest with the best crop you’ve ever had, a large hail storm wipes out everything you have. Seasons in life can be just as devastating. Have faith and don’t be too proud to fall on your knees.

2. Hard Work is Not an Option. Being the farmer’s daughter and now the farmer’s wife, I have seen generations of hard working men (and women) in my life. Now and days, it seems working or getting a job is a persons’ choice. In farming, that is not the case. Now, as a wife, there are nights and weeks, when I don’t see my husband at all. He is merely the man that comes to sleep with me in our bed at 3 am and is up at 5 am. With cattle it is even worse. There is a rain coming tomorrow, and the harvest is almost done, an all nighter is the only option. From this, even though I help support our families needs with a full time job in the city, working is not an option. It is something you must do, and it’s a steady income if there isn’t an income on the farm that year.

3. Nothing in Life is Handed to You. With the exceptions of hand-me-downs, and your neighbor bringing a fresh apple pie over during harvest. Everything in life is not free. It is either worked for or worked very hard for. Even in my city job, my supervisor recognizes that I am not afraid to give the toilets a good scrubbing when things slow down. (I credit this to the hard work that goes down on the farm). Nothing in life is ever handed to you, you are only given chances to prove yourself and with a little (okay, maybe a lot) hard work, you will succeed in anything.

4. Be Thankful. In every season, whether your crop got rained out this spring, or 20 cows died from the horrible winter, be thankful for what you have. Even if you are living on a month to month pay check or less, you have a roof over your head and clothes on your back. Always say thank you and don’t be afraid to thank the good Lord for what you have. And don’t take anything for granted.

5. Take the Time. Everyone in these days is running and probably hanging on by a cow’s tail, but take time to spend with your family. My grandpa, one of the hardest working men I know (followed by my dad and husband), always took the time in the warm summer evenings, to swing with me when I was growing up. Sometimes, it was only a couple of minutes on my swingset, others it was an hour. This meant the world to me and still does. Even now, on the weekends, my husband will try to come in early so we can spend time together, even if early means at 10:00 pm. I will still have a nice supper waiting (or Tastee Freeze in the summer) and just spend the evening together. Bottom line, make time for you family.

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This sums up farm life pretty well. Of course there are so many things that I have learned or gained from growing up on a farm, but now appreciate them even more that I am married to a farmer. The lessons you learn while growing up affect you more than you know when you are old.

I will be taking a short hiatius from blogging, but I’ll be back and at ’em in a couple of weeks! XoXo

autumn, baking, canning, cooking, decor, DIY, fall, farm, jam, mason jars, pie, recipe, wreath

It’s Fall Ya’ll (and Jam & Pumpkin Butter Recipe)

Well, it is officially fall here in the Dakotas. The leaves are in full splendor of changing from grass green to only the most beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges you have ever seen. The air is crisp and you can almost smell the soy beans and corn that are being harvested. The mornings are cool and the days are shorter. The days of cozy sweaters, boots, boot socks and leggings are back….

And thank goodness!!

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Don’t get me wrong, I love every bit of summer and hot weather, probably more than the days of autumn, but there is just something about sweaters, changing leaves, boots and jackets, and of course pumpkin everything that just makes my soul sing. Just a few years ago, I used to absolutely hate fall and everything about it. You could say a part of me died whenever fall rolled around. Now, maybe because I am older, I appreciate the seasons more. I just couldn’t imagine living somewhere, where there was not four seasons. It’s so nice to be able to shop for summer, fall, winter, and spring outfits, and my personal favorite, seasonal décor!

I did a little seasonal diy sign. My dad made the sign for me from pallets (he runs a seed business, so he has a good supply of pallets to supply my craft addictions).. I painted it and hand lettered it. I also used a vintage cream can found here on Zenker Angus and used some corn and pumpkins from my garden to finish the look.

Fall Decor

Our dining room table…

table decor

A mesh and burlap wreath I made for our front door… I will post a tutorial later!

wreath

Lately, fall has really inspired me to make pie! I used freshly picked apples and made two pies and froze some apple mixture to make more fresh pies this winter. One pie was traditional apple and the other was apple, peach, strawberry pie, which was wonderful!

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I also made a batch of my Grandma’s homemade hot cocoa mix, which will last us all fall and winter. It is so yummy and so much better and cheaper than the brands you buy in the stores! I will post that family recipe soon! BUT, my biggest accomplishment of autumn was…

Making homemade jams! I made strawberry, peach, apple, and pumpkin butter! Today, I am sharing with you two recipes, which are our personal favorites, strawberry and pumpkin butter! They are both super easy and don’t take much time at all!

Strawberry Jam

4 lbs of strawberries * 1 1/2 cups water * 5-7 cups of sugar (I used about 6 1/2) * pectin (I got the bottle size from Walmart) * Mason jars (I used pint sized)

Wash jars in dishwasher or by hand. Wash and slice strawberries. Then combine strawberries, water, and pulse just a couple of times in the blender, so mixture is still chunky, but in smaller pieces. Add sugar and combine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add pectin (I used quite a bit, I feel, but add enough so you can see it starting to gel up). Stir constantly until everything looks dissolved. Immediately, spoon into jars and seal up. You will hear the lids pop. Store in a dark place (I store mine in those small kitchen cabinets above your fridge or stove = good place for jam!) Refrigerate after opening jar!

Jams

Pumpkin Butter (in Crock Pot)

2 big cans of Libby’s Pumpkin Puree * 3 cups sugar * 1 1/2 cups brown sugar * 1 tablespoon cinnamon * 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg * 3/4 teaspoon ginger *  1/4 teaspoon ground cloves * Washed mason jars and lids

Combine everything in slow cooker and let cook on high for 3 hours, stirring about every hour. Taste occasionally to make sure the spice combination and sugar is right for your taste. Immediately, put into jars and seal up. You’ll hear the lids pop. Refrigerate after opening.

Trust me, those jams and butters go fast! My hubby eats some on toast just about every morning and I gave some away, but that only means I get to make more!!! Next time I want to try pumpkin apple butter, to use up some fresh picked apples! Enjoy the jam, chilly air, pumpkin spice lattes, and cozy sweaters!