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Cornbread Mama Posts

Smothered Hamburger Steak

cornbread-mamas-iron-skilletI found this recipe and modified it years ago. I have been using it ever since. It does work for low-carb-folk, even though there are some carbs, I’d say as long as you’re not eating it with real mashed potatoes, you should be just fine. We’re enjoying this for supper tonight! Give it a try some time.

Smothered Hamburger Steak

1 packet of dry onion soup mix

2 eggs

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 slices white bread

2-3# lean ground beef/chuck

1 large can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 large soup can of water

1-2 dash worcestershire sauce

Whisk together eggs, onion soup mix, and pepper in large bowl. Tear bread into pieces, add to egg mix, and let soak for a few minutes (stir). Mix ground beef into mixture with hands & form into patties when thoroughly mixed.

Heat heavy skillet or electric skillet over meat-hi heat. Fry patties until no longer pink. About 8 mins each side. Remove from skillet.

Remove excess grease (I don’t usually) & whisk mushroom soup, water, & worcestershire sauce in skillet until smooth. Place patties back in & spoon sauce to cover. Bring to boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until sauce is thickened and patties are done. Usually about 30 minutes.

Great with mashed potatoes or for us low-carb-folk, maybe some faux cauli-potatoes. Even these garlic “mashed potatoes”. I mean, what’s not better with garlic?

Smothered Hamburger Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 2-3# lean ground beef/chuck
  • 1 large can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 large soup can of water
  • 1-2 dash worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Whisk together eggs, onion soup mix, and pepper in large bowl. Tear bread into pieces, add to egg mix, and let soak for a few minutes (stir). Mix ground beef into mixture with hands & form into patties when thoroughly mixed.
  2. Heat heavy skillet or electric skillet over meat-hi heat. Fry patties until no longer pink. About 8 mins each side. Remove from skillet.
  3. Remove excess grease (I don't usually) & whisk mushroom soup, water, & worcestershire sauce in skillet until smooth. Place patties back in & spoon sauce to cover. Bring to boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until sauce is thickened and patties are done. Usually about 30 minutes.
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Baked Ham, Egg, & Cheese Cups

BREAKFAST … DAH-DAH-DAAAAAAAHHHH!

The word that strikes fear into Mom-hearts everywhere. What to make, when to make it, and how to get the kids to eat before time to rush out the door? That truly is the question.

It’s also hard to find low carb & easy things (that I like, because I’m picky). Most of my favorite breakfast foods are full of starchy-carby-goodness, something I’ve been avoiding for the past 8-plus months. The obvious answer to that – EGGS! Sadly, I’ve never been a huge fan of eggs (unless they are in cheesecake, wink-wink). Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, they’re all just sort of MEH to me.

As a child my mother once made me eat scrambled eggs with cheese … I’ll save you the play-by-play … suffice to say, I don’t like cheese eggs. She never asked me to eat them again. Sorry Mom.

However, my pal Diana recently changed my mind with these hand-held, on-the-go, low-carb, & easy baked egg breakfast cups. Another plus – you can freeze them once cooked and reheat for those crazy mornings when you’re rushing to get out of the door. Just wrap each baked cup in freezer paper and place in a plastic freezer bag to freeze. Either thaw overnight for morning and reheat or try it directly from the freezer. You may need to play with thawing/heating times to get it just right.

While you can add any “fixin’s” you’d like, it would be hard to top Diana’s combination of egg, cheese, ham, onion, bell pepper, and mushroom.

Baked Ham, Egg, & Cheese Cups

Ingredients for a 12-cup muffin tin

1 dozen eggs

12 slices of ham (Land-o-Frost is our favorite brand)

Shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild)

Chopped onion, bell pepper, and mushroom (as much or little as you’d like)

Directions

Spray the muffin tin well with cooking spray. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham. Sprinkle cheese in each cup. Add your other ingredients, like onion, bell pepper, and mushroom to the cups.

cornbread_mama_egg_cups_2With a whisk or fork beat 12 eggs with a little milk, salt, & pepper. Pour egg mixture into each cup.

cornbread_mama_egg_cups_3
I forgot to add the salt & pepper to my eggs while beating, it also works to sprinkle atop the cups before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees until done (about 20-25 minutes). Remove with a fork and you have a hand-held easy-peasy low-carb breakfast.

Baked Ham, Egg, & Cheese Cups (12 cups)

Baked Ham, Egg, & Cheese Cups (12 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 12 slices of ham (Land-o-Frost is our favorite brand)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild)
  • Chopped onion, bell pepper, and mushroom (as much or little as you’d like)

Instructions

  1. Spray the muffin tin well with cooking spray.
  2. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham.
  3. Sprinkle cheese in each cup.
  4. Add your other ingredients, like onion, bell pepper, and mushroom to the cups.
  5. With a whisk or fork beat 12 eggs with a little milk, salt, & pepper.
  6. Pour egg mixture into each cup.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until done (about 20-25 minutes).
  8. Remove with a fork and you have a hand-held easy-peasy low-carb breakfast.
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Big Mama’s Roast Recipe

big mama big daddyAs far back as I can remember we spent most Sunday afternoons eating lunch with my grandparents, Big Mama & Big Daddy. Neither of which were big. It’s only been in the last 10 or so years that we stopped. Big Daddy has since passed away, but Big Mama is still going strong at 78. I have such good memories of spending that time with my grandparents and eating Big Mama’s roast.

Each Sunday she would make roast & gravy (sometimes ham roast), rice, rolls, green beans, and some sort of salad – either pear salad, or a jello salad – nicknamed either Pink Stuff or Green Stuff – and oftentimes a dessert. Pink Stuff is A.MA.ZING. It’s a strawberry jello bottom with pineapple and a topping that would make anyone slap their mama (I’ll share that recipe later)! I don’t believe Pink Stuff has a real name but Green Stuff is technically called Watergate Salad. I was not a fan of Green Stuff, I’m still not. Leave out the marshmallows … and maybe. It was my sister’s favorite thing.

Her gravy may have been my very favorite thing. I would add gravy to a couple of rolls with some sliced roast in between (& real butter). Yeah, that was probably the beginning of the whole weight problem. It was soooooo good.

At Big Mama’s the Sunday closest to your birthday was your birthday lunch. You would get to pick everything we ate that day. Mine was roast-roast (not ham roast), rice, rolls, pink stuff, and cheesecake (no cherries). I’ve always liked her roast because it had none of those silly vegetables people put in with roast. However, you can add them to this recipe if you like silly vegetables. This recipe is easy & tasty. I hope your family enjoys it as we always have.

Big Mama’s Sunday Roast

Big Mama’s Roast

Ingredients

  • Sirloin Tip Roast
  • Onion Soup Mix - dry - 1 or 2 packs (I like 2)
  • 2 Cups water (water should reach right below top of roast)
  • Cornstarch & water for making gravy.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Place roast in a roaster pan, add water around it. Top with dry onion soup mix (it will moisten as the roast cooks and makes the best topping). Bake covered for 3-3.5 hours. (If it begins to smell too strongly, check and make sure the water has not cooked out, if it has, add more). After it is finished cooking remove roast carefully from pan and place on a platter.
  2. Gravy: Pour juices left from the roast into a skillet on med/hi. Add salt. Bring to a boil. In a separate cup mix 1 cup cold water with 2 T cornstarch, stir with fork until dissolved. Add cornstarch/water to the skillet. Stir constantly (if it looks too thick, add water). Takes maybe 5-10 mins.
  3. **I have cooked this in a crock-pot as well if you'd like to try that way.
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Gerti the Goat (a.k.a. Gertrude)

Gerti profile pic
Gerti profile pic

Did I tell you I’ve been begging my hubby for a baby goat? He came through with this little beauty, she is my early Christmas gift. I’m so in love!

She has beautiful blue eyes & weighs about 8 pounds. Meet Gertrude, or Gerti for short. She’s a pygmy-nigerian dwarf mix. Right now she’s staying inside until we have her play-yard ready. She will likely only reach 15 inches tall. Her parents are 15 & 16 inches respectively. And if you don’t breed them, they stay smaller. Also, according to several old goat farmers the blue-eyed goats make the best pets.

She’s a wonderful new addition to our family and the farm!

Follow Gerti on Facebook!

Things I’ve learned from Gerti in only a few days:

  • Goats go “MAAAAAH”! Very loudly. Even little goats.
  • Goats are messy eaters.
  • Goats cannot control when they poo. They need diapers.
  • Goats like to snuggle.
  • Goats make good friends.
  • Goats make people happy. Especially this Mama.
  • Goats can have lice. Goat lice is not the same thing as people lice and nothing to run away from. Lavender helps get rid of them.
  • Goats don’t smell nice. Unless you put lavender on them.
  • Red bows look so nice on goats.
  • Goats eat leaves, grass, hay, plastic, clothes … but corn & clover are not good for them.
  • Goats don’t like to be alone.
  • Those little hangy things on their necks are called wattles.
  • Wattles serve no purpose.
  • Of course, goats like to climb. On furniture and/or dads.
  • Some goats have rectangular irises, and they have panoramic vision.

Follow Gerti on Facebook for more interesting facts and adventures! Gerti thanks you!

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Calf Birth Caught on Camera

Calf birth caught on camera! What more could a blogger and farm mama want?
*FYI Graphic Picture Warning*

After much anticipation our second expectant mother Tallulah had her baby. It’s another bull calf, jet black and healthy, praise the Lord. Every black calf born on this farm this season, every one whose dad is Randy the Bull is a bull calf. Except for one, Chocolate Sunday. Four out of five. How’s that for consistency? Whether that’s a good thing or not we shall see. Last season bull calves were selling higher and we had only heifers. I figure this is the Good Lord’s way of making it easier for Cornbread Daddy to sell them. If we had more heifers, he’d want to keep them, but we’re not at that point right now. Later, for sure!

Now Cornbread Boy didn’t disappoint in deciding on a name, it’s a very uhhhhh … unique name. Nunchuck. The calf’s name is NUNCHUCK. I don’t believe I need to add to that at’all. I may just call him Chuck. (A friend introduced him to this video and that must be where the name came from.)

During the photo shoot Flossie didn’t understand why she couldn’t be the center of attention. See photo below.

flossie-close-up-tongue
“I’m ready for my close-up Mama,” said Flossie the cow. “Wait let me clean my nose.”

You may be wondering how we know when it’s time for a cow to give birth. What clues do cows give that they are in labor?

  • Firstly we notice they are sometimes off alone. Although that was not the case with Tallulah.
  • Secondly, she gets up and down, up and down, over and over. This is a very big clue.
  • She’ll sniff the ground a lot.
  • She can look uncomfortable, kicking at her belly, straining like she needs to poop, and holding her tail off/out to the side.
  • She may grunt more than usual.
  • Finally you’ll see what we call a water-ball. Which is exactly as the name implies. A ball of water that comes out of her rear end. It can be clear to dark color liquid.
  • After this is the calf. It should come out front hooves first, they should be facing as you would imagine. You’ll probably see both at the same time, one on top of the other. If the hooves are facing the wrong way, the baby is coming backward, breech. OR you may have twins. If the cow has twins, most times the first one comes out breech (this happened to us last season).
  • After the amniotic sac bursts there’s a limited amount of time before the calf drowns. This we try to watch closely. I believe this is the first time we saw the sac fully intact as the hooves protruded. For a minute we thought there were two water-balls.

tallulah-waterball-drawing

There are two cows in this photo, don’t be confused by the one in the background. In the front we have the rear end of the cow in question.

In the picture above you can see the hooves at the top of the amniotic sac. They look like white hooves with black legs attached.

tallulah-calf-head-drawing

Calf’s head is now out and she continues to push.

Calf now almost completely out.
Calf now almost completely out.

Now at this point you’d think it would only be seconds until the calf hit the ground, but you’d be wrong in this instance. We were a little worried as she walked around in a circle with the calf like this for what may have been 5-10 minutes. Normally it doesn’t take this long. Finally she pushed him all the way out and then cleaned him up.

Meet Nuchuck the calf
Meet Nuchuck the calf

It did take him a little longer than normal to stand up and get around, but Cornbread Daddy said it was probably rough on him hanging upside down like that for so long. Today, he’s healthy and happy, running around with his brothers and sisters.

I hope this helps anyone who is curious about calving and what to expect. It’s a very scary and exciting time around here. We know so many things could go wrong, but thankfully this season is going well.

One thing that helped us is having this book. We it bought last season, it has really helped us understand so many things about raising cattle. Nothing can substitute for the hands-on experience that Cornbread Daddy has, but this book helps even him with some things he had forgotten about over the years. I HIGHLY recommend this book! {Yes, this is one of those affiliate links & if you purchase from this link I will make a little commission. I will never recommend something I have not tried or would not try.}

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A New Calf and His Name Shall Be …

A new calf and his name shall be JamesA new calf and his name shall be [drumroll] ………………………………….. JAMES.

Anticlimactic isn’t it? I agree.

It was Cornbread Girl’s turn to name the calf. Flossie #39 is the cow whose baby/babies she gets to name each season – last season she had twins Lucy & Briana. Tallulah #158 is the boy’s. I think I shall try to make his name a little more interesting. Maybe King James, because we’re studying about Colonial America in history and there is an interesting correlation between cows and the King.

The son of Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, James had more brains than his parents put together, but none of their startlingly good looks. … He could not help having a too-large tongue that made him slobber when he ate or drank …

Excerpt from Virginia’s Father: King James I, by Bruce P. Lenman.
Didn’t know you were getting a history lesson here, did’ya?

King James and FlossieWhen we woke Friday morning to see this little fella we were all overjoyed! He is the first black calf that’s truly ours, a part of the Cornbread Family.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever let you all in on how this farm works. We have 3 cows that are ours (Flossie, Tallulah, and Elvira – full-blooded Angus), my dad has 3 and the bull-calf is his (also Angus), our neighbor has 3 cows (including the one Charolais), and Cornbread Boy has 1 of last years calves that is his named Lily (Charolais/Brangus mix). We also have the three bottle calves that are the kids’ (Gus, Copper, & Buck). So we all split expenses and help out on the farm. Cornbread Daddy is the only one who has experience in this area so we all just do as he tells us. Previous posts regarding calves born recently were none of our very own. However, James is the first of our calves born this season. Yay for James!

Two more cows that did not breed the first go-round so they are going to be later at calving, probably March/April 2016, Elvira is one of those. So we still await the birth of Tallulah’s baby and later Elvira’s and the neighbor’s cow. Most all of the cows on the farm have had their calves now, we are so thankful the Lord above for healthy babies and mamas. May he continue to bless this farm as we strive to put him first in everything.

To God be the glory, great things he has done.

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Photography Mama – Beginner Tips

November Sunshine

I confess, I am a photography cheater. I cannot remember anything well so I have some photography tips to help us newbies take better pictures.

Ain’t no sunshine here today at all. Nothing but rain and dreariness. Then I found this picture I took last week with the sun and all it’s glory shining through. It warmed my soul just to look at it. I’ve been happy learning more and more about photography. I’ll take this opportunity to let you in on a few photography tips that I’ve been working on lately.

First and foremost know that my sister is the professional photographer in this family. I am a true newbie! However, I love good pictures and I want to be able to take them and share them. I’m learning. Turning that dial on the camera to “M” is scary, and I must say I have been cheating a bit by putting it on “Auto” first to get a good idea of what settings to use before I turn it on over the the big scary “M”.

Photography tips
Photography cheat tags

Now I don’t need to do that with these handy cheat tags. Seasoned photographers may be rolling their eyes at me right now, but really it takes something like this for me to learn. Hopefully it can help other newbie photographers as well.

I had these brown tags in my crafty cabinet so i thought why not include the things I can’t remember on them and attach to the camera for easy reference? I included info on the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. I may add more info later, but for now this helps. I found the basics at the link below as well as other cheat sheets. Just google ‘beginner photography cheat sheet’.

This cheat sheet helps with settings and is where I found my numbers for these tags.

Tip No. 1 – Get down on their level. 

When taking photos of kids, people, animals, whatever – get down on their level to take the photo. Taking pictures from your height is one sure way to make your photos un-spectacular. Squat down and take those photos from the level of your subject and notice the difference right away!

Photography tips
Photography cheat tags

Tip No. 2 – LIGHT is soooo important!

I haven’t explored all the ways I can adjust my camera lens and settings to get the most of natural lighting, but I am working on this. This is something we really need to work with and not against. Being an art major I know that light can – and usually is – the most important concept in pieces of art. The way you handle the light can stop people in their tracks. Light really matters. I’ll be learning more about this and I’ll share what I learn.

Tip No. 3 – Flashes should be used but not seen.

You may have to use a flash but no one should be able to tell by your photos that you used a flash. “Bouncing” the flash off of walls and other structures is the best way to  do this. Again, I’m not an expert on this, but am including it so that we can all research this more.

This is only the first three things I’ve been working on. I hope this can help you and I’ll try to share some more info when I can.

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Disclosure

Dear Friends,

In the interest of full disclosure … I really like that phrase. I feel like a lawyer when I say that. However, in the interest of full disclosure I am letting you know, like you I need a job. Well, I have a job. A part time job. Two part time jobs actually. And I blog. And I homeschool my kids.

I blog because I love it. I blog because I find it fascinating that there are people out there who might like to read about our life here on this small family farm. It makes me happy when people like my recipes. Stupid happy.

While I enjoy all the afore mentioned (again, lawyer speak-y phrase that makes me feel like all professional – except that I am sitting here in my yoga pants and Bazinga t-shirt) things my family still likes to eat. I mean daily. Every stinkin’ morning through the night. Especially the boy and his dad. In light of this discovery, I’ve been researching ways to help my family with my hobby and I have found that I can advertise on my blog and earn a little income or free stuff. So be aware, I may earn money or free stuff when I include a link. If you click that link and purchase from it, I earn stuff. And I am thankful to you my friends who purchase from those links.

This is a new thing to me so I am learning. I will not be hocking stuff I would not recommend to my friends. Because YOU are my friends. My invisible bloggy circle of friends. So click away but in the interest of full disclosure know I may make a little money off of your click.

Here’s an example of that –

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Give Thanks In Everything

give thanksI am thankful for YOU! God has blessed us all no matter how much or how little we physically have. No. 1 WE HAVE HIM and HIS SON. No. 2 We have family and/or friends who love us. What more do we need?

Enjoy this day!

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