I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday, Live & Love Outloud, A Beautiful Mess, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Wednesday, May 26, 2010

With the royal strawberry patch being in full swing for 11 hours a day for 6 days of each of the last 4 weeks, the doors to the palace have been opened a lot more than usual. With the palace located on a farm with a lot of "organic matter" upon which insects thrive, said insects tend to venture into the palace. It did not help that I left the door open while we installed the new royal clothes dryer!  So, the common housefly has been a very unwelcome guest in the palace.

With my fly swatter in hand, I declared war on the little buggers. I thought I was fighting a losing battle. I knew that with the in-and-out traffic pattern, I would never win. Then I remembered a simple little trick:

A Bag of Water!!!! Just plain 'ole straight-from-the-tap water. Nothing fancy. I taped a bag to each of our storm doors ... high enough that the prince and princess can't play with it.

I remembered that the ladies at church did this when they were having a "doin's" that involved outside cooking. I thought it was peculiar, so I asked. They said it kept the flies out.

I've heard two schools of thought on how it works: 1) the refracted sunlight confuses the fly's sense of direction, and 2) it weights the door so it closes more quickly. I don't know which, if either, is accurate, but it works for me. For more things that work for folks check out the listings at Works for Me Wednesday.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My goal was to have this post up yesterday, but that didn't happen.

On Sunday, I picked Prince Charming up at the airport at 11 a.m. We had lunch at our house with his father and aunt as part of a ruse to get the father to his surprise 80th birthday party. Then, we had the party. After a week of 11 hour days in the strawberry patch, we were too exhausted to do much else.

Yesterday, we received more than two inches of much-needed rain. That means the patch was all-but closed. We gave our wonderful helpers the day off and remained open for pick-your-own customers. We had two! That gave me a chance to run errands (which I planned to do anyway), make a batch of jam, and catch up on a few things on the "need to do now" list.

So, here is today's yesterday's post...

This is a strawberry cobbler based on my mom's peach cobbler recipe. It is still kind of a work-in-progress. The pictures are for a double-batch in a 9x13 dish. The recipe below is for a single batch in an 8x8 pan.

What you'll need: flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, butter, and STRAWBERRIES that have been lightly sweetened to taste.

Place the butter in a baking dish and melt it in the oven as the oven heats to 375 degrees.

Mix together the sugar, flour, and baking powder. Isn't that a great photo ... the use of color and shadow? It's not? Well, let's add something else...

Stir in the milk.  Did that help the color and shadows?

Pour it all over the top of the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!

Top the batter with the strawberries. There's the color for which I was looking. DO NOT STIR! Mama said so!

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the batter rises and turns a lovely, delicious brown. Let cool slightly before the next step.

Grab one (or two) of these and add it to the top of each serving.


Now, this recipe came out with more of a crust to fruit ratio than I usually like. It was still good. Next time, I would add more (perhaps double) fruit. Four hungry teenagers later, it didn't matter

Here is the recipe for this time:

Mom's Strawberry Cobbler

1/2 cup butter (don't even think about using margarine!)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries mixed with a small amount of sugar (to taste)
               --I would double the fruit next time

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in an 8X8 pan. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and milk. Pour batter over melted butter. Pour berries over batter. DO NOT STIR! Bake for about 30 minutes until batter floats to the top and is brown. This is great plain or even better served warm with ice cream.

I'm linking to
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, and Tuesday Tastes.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now, I told you that the strawberries are in full swing here at the palace farm. I feel more like the Strawberry Queen than the Cow Queen lately. Between the strawberry patch, our 100% Grass-fed Beef sales, the royal children, and housework the Queen keeps very busy. Much too busy to blog ... in case you haven't noticed.

I just love it when someone takes care of some of my "to do" list. Nikki at Coupon Cookin' took care of today's blog for me. She came on a visit with her delightful father and daughter. They were able to chat and pick some strawberries to make some wonderful desserts. (I'm hoping to post a strawberry dessert on Monday.)

Jump over to check out what she had to say about us.  I'm also linking to I'm Lovin' It.

The grass is green. It is good to be The Cow Queen.

date Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm linking up to Wordless Wednesdays at: Wordless Wednesday, Live and Love Outloud, and Five Minutes for Mom

The grass is green. It's good to be The Cow Queen.

date Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday and Live and Love Outloud. Jump over to see more photography.

The grass is green. It's good to be The Cow Queen.

date Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I've been a little bit "missing in action" lately. Rest assured ... it has definitely been more "action" than "missing." On Thursday, April 29, we opened the royal U-pick strawberry patch. I have been outside more than inside, and when I have been inside, it has been focused on royal laundry (with a dryer that doesn't work), cleaning, and catching up on desk work. There has been no time to blog. I tried, though. I made a batch of royal jam. As I just sat down to blog about it, I can't find the pictures. I thought they were still on the camera, but not there. I checked several files on the computer, but no go. So, I'm jumping back to one that I saved a couple of weeks ago.

We are making M&M cookies. I made these as a snack to take to the 4-H Livestock Show, so that is why there are only green and white M&Ms ... the official colors of 4-H. Now, for these, I picked out green ones from a bag of regular M&Ms and white ones from Valentine's Day M&Ms. Christy over at Southern Plate had a great idea ... buy Christmas M&Ms after the holiday when they are on sale. Sort out the red ones to use for Valentine's Day and green ones for St. Patrick's Day. I thought that was  a great idea, but they just don't stick around in our house that long!

Now, let's get on with the baking...

You'll need: flour, salt, baking soda, butter, brown sugar, sugar, no calorie sweetener (think Splenda), eggs, vanilla, M&Ms

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda until well-blended.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is well-blended.

Now, this is where the princess realized what I was doing and came to help. Therefore, there are no pictures for the next part. Work with me here. I really wanted to bring you a post today. This is all I've got and I'm just trying to get through it before the royal offspring wake up.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy.

Mix in flour mixture until blended. If this is too much for your mixer, just use a wooden spoon.

Stir in 2 cups of M&Ms. (Now the original recipe said to stir in 1 1/2 cups and use the other as decoration on the top before baking. Make yourself the happiest.)

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake one cookie sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and just set in the center.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


M&M Cookie Recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup no calorie sweetener
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups M&Ms

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium high until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl.
Beat in eggs and vanilla until creamy
Stir in flour mixture.
Stir in M&Ms
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 9 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and just set in the center.
Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: about 5 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.

I'm linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

The grass is green. It's good to be The Cow Queen.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Splenda or the folks at the M&M factory. They have no idea who I am. I just use the products on occasion (and sometimes not) and get no compensation from them ... but wouldn't it be nice if I did? :)

date Tuesday, May 4, 2010