Puff Pastry – 2 easy recipes

You know that Daryl’s been in the field lately and I’ve been trying to come up with new ideas on what to have in the house that’s easy to grab and is also good. So with the apples in the back yard, the idea of using them for at least one of the desserts makes sense to me. I looked through some of the recipes that I have and finally came across one that I liked. It was a recipe that’s fast and also easy. Below are the directions on how to make it. ** Advice, when you add the apples to the puff pastry, don’t add the extra brown sugar that’s left in the bowl. Even though it sounds like it might be a good idea – it spreads all over your pan while it’s cooking and your kitchen might end up like mine. A whole lot of smoke!

1 whole sheet puffed pastry, cut in half
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon  (Because I didn’t have any lemons, I gave it a good shot of lemon juice instead) 
2 whole apples, cored, halved and sliced thin, but not peeled
Store-bought caramel sauce, for serving
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper. DSCN9051Add the sugar, salt and lemon juice to the apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.

My apples were too thick, next time they need to be thinner!

My apples were too thick, next time they need to be thinner!

Arrange the apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Here is where you should not do what I did. I added the extra juice from the bowl.

Here is where you should not do what I did. I added the extra juice from the bowl and ended up with the sugar burning

Remove from the pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve with caramel sauce and chopped pecans. I would also recommend a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!!DSCN9056
Now I had another problem. The puff pastry come with two sheets in a box and what should I do with the other one? Now this was easy to figure out. I have this recipe that I have used and they turned out really good. And once again it’s fast and easy.

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of lemon juice
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!DSCN9058
Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares.DSCN9059 Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. DSCN9060Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Refrigerate the filled pastries for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. I add powdered sugar to the tops of them or you can drizzle frosting over each one. DSCN9062



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Have you ever thought ‘Yea, I’m going to get ___ done’ and then you try to convince yourself that you really mean it? Well that’s how I feel about painting this fall. I’ve been telling everyone that I was going to get some more painting done and it shouldn’t be a problem to get it done yet this fall. I even put it on my calendar – so you would think that I was serious or something. Well, I have been procrastinating and putting off buying the paint or scraping the buildings. See I painted the white buildings before all the red and the white is needing some love. And I thought if I actually started the work, well I’d have to also finish it. But the other day I actually went to the farm store and started to look at paint. I didn’t see at first the paint that I wanted and well that was enough to have me start for the door and call it quits. But then I thought that I’d better just stick it out and found someone to help me. OK, I found this really nice young kid who said he would help. Who would have known that he was actually this over achieving kid who must have been going for the Employee of the Month or something! But he eventually found the right paint so I didn’t have any more excuses and said that I’d take the 5 gallons of white. Then I thought that I’d better buy a paint scraper and paint brush while I’m at it. With my bill around $100 my thoughts have gone from ‘I sure hope I get painting done this October’ … to holy crap I just spent a lot of money and I sure hope that this paint goes far when I’m painting. I guess in order for me to actually get something done, I make myself have commitments. I just wish my commitment for October was to go kayaking more :) So here is the beginning photo of the old milk house. There’s been some debate in our house if it should be painted white or live on the edge a little bit and paint it red? Today I think it’ll be white – but until the paint actually is going on it, it’s anyone’s guess.

Our old milkhouse that needs to be painted

Our old milkhouse that needs to be painted


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Mystery Photo Challenge 10-22-14

What could this be? DSCN9072a

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Mystery Photo 10-15-14

And the answer to last weeks challenge is….. No Ears eating corn. It is her nose!!

Bruce you are a Rock Star! Great Job!!

Here is the clueDSC_0249a

And here is the whole pictureDSC_0246a

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Combining corn

Daryl and I got home from work about the same time tonight, and like last night we both went our separate ways. He headed out to the corn field to combine and I’m still working on getting the lawn mowed. This is the second night that I’m working on the lawn and if it wouldn’t get so dark so soon at night, I could actually have it done by now. But even with headlights on the mower, it’s not the easiest to see in the dark! I had a little later start tonight because before I started  I had to pile up all the apples that fell from the trees. They were all picked up once before, but we’ve been having a lot of wind lately and well wind and apples don’t usually mix well. I had quite a pile once I started to throw them all together. I think I’m going to pick off the tree one more time and probably freeze them this time instead of canning them. Well anyway that’s my plan and we’ll see if I can get it done. I did take a break from mowing tonight and headed out to the field to take a quick picture of Daryl combining. I even rode around a little bit with him in the cab. I wasn’t sure if I could still fit in the cab with him, but no worries. I still fit. Whoo Hoo!! See we don’t have the newer style combine, so I have to sit kind of behind his seat on his coat. I was kind of proud that I was still able to squeeze back in behind the seat because I used to do this about 30 years ago and let’s just say things have shifted a little bit (if you know what I mean). I love the story that Daryl used to tell about when he would combine his brother’s fields quite a few years ago, his nephew would crawl behind the seat in the combine and lay down. He wouldn’t last two rounds and would be fast asleep. Well I’m just saying that there is no way that I’m going to fit behind any seat and lay down in our combine! But taking a nap does sound pretty good about now!

So my photos today are of the field work that continues to go on out in the fields. The bin dryer is going and the fields tonight are lit up around the whole county with farmers working on getting their crops out. The weather has been beautiful, so everyone is taking advantage of it!

Heading out for the night with the empty wagons

Heading out for the night with the empty wagons

Combining corn

Combining corn

Unloading the corn in the wagons from the combine

Unloading the corn in the wagons from the combine

And my photo of the day is that of an old cemetery that is right beside our corn field. The cemetery is the Saint Johns German Lutheran Cemetery. Now I don’t know much about it or why there aren’t more people buried here, but it’s still kind of cool. According to the records, there are 57 people buried here from 1889 to 1978. I don’t really know who takes care of this little cemetery, but it’s always nice and mowed. Here’s the photo that I took while I was waiting for Daryl tonight in the field. DSC_0263

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2 Weddings

We were lucky enough to be invited to two weddings today, so I’m thinking that this is going to be a really fun and busy Saturday! The first ceremony was going to start at 2:00 in the afternoon, so Daryl went out in the field this morning to get some more of the corn out. As for me? First thing that I had to do was to get a couple of wedding cards made and the gifts wrapped. My plan was to make two cards but with the same design. The thought is that it will save me some time. Well guess what? I messed up on the second card and had to change the whole thing. They turned out completely different from each other. Neither one if better than the other, just different. Check them out.DSCN9047DSCN9046 Now to get the gifts wrapped. I knew that I had some wedding gift wrapping paper in the craft room, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out that it wasn’t enough to wrap one gift much less two gifts! So I got my brown paper that I have a huge amount of and wrapped them in that. If you think that this roll looks big – well you’re right! DSCN9049Then I took some glitzy ribbon and stamped some dots all over the paper and just like that they were all wrapped. We grabbed something for dinner, got dressed and we were off for the day. The first wedding like I said was starting at two and in our church near the farm so we didn’t have far to go at all. Just as we walked into the church we saw our friends who were the parents of the groom. They looked a little nervous and excited at the same time. We found our seats and when the music changed you could see the parents of the groom and the groom walking up the aisle together. After they got to their seats, their son gave them a kiss and headed back to the entry of the church. There has been some medical issues in the family, and I know that I wasn’t the only one that had to wipe a tear away from my eyes. And before the ceremony even started none the less! But the wedding was beautiful and it seemed like everything went perfect! We congratulated them and told them that we’d be back later. Into the car we went and on to the next wedding.

Now the first wedding that we went to was really traditional. Big Catholic Church wedding. This next wedding was a wedding that the bride was getting married on their farm under the willow tree. As we drove down our friends long farm lane, the sun was shining and there was little or no wind at all. What a perfect day for an outside wedding. Now normally in October we can have rain or even snow, so they sure were blessed to have this weather! After we parked our car, we found our way around the big red barn (yea, pretty cool right?) and saw 250 chairs all set out in rows. And right in front of all of the chairs was this huge Willow Tree and alter table with roses on it. I guess the story goes that when this bride was little she would say that she wanted to get married under that tree sometime. Well, today was the day and the setting couldn’t have been more perfect. What little clouds there was in the sky, were the wispy ones that just kind of float. You could just catch the scent of the candles that were hung all along the aisle, and when we were waiting for the ceremony to start I could hear birds in the field nearby. The ceremony was really personal to the couple and just when you couldn’t think it could be any more awesome, her Dad and brother sang the most beautiful song. Both of them sing in different musical groups and even though I was sitting in the sunshine, I couldn’t help but shiver a little when they were singing. This wasn’t a cold shiver, but more of an overwhelming shiver. It was just perfect!

The Wedding under the Willow Tree

The Wedding under the Willow Tree

We went to this wedding’s reception and then headed back to the first wedding’s reception/dance.  A lot of our friends were still there and it was fun to see the parents of the groom just really enjoying themselves. The dance floor was packed pretty much all night and by the time we got home, we were bushed. But like I said earlier, how lucky we were to be invited to both these weddings and what a great day we all had!!

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Family Traditions

I had a chance today to snap a couple of pictures of our trees that we had planted on our farm tonight after work. I know that they won’t stay this way too long with the wind that we’re having, so I was glad that I had the chance tonight to get the pictures.  I’m not sure why all the trees are so beautiful this year, but who cares right? Now the old saying about looking in your own back yard really applies to how gorgeous these trees are. When I was taking the pictures, I started to think what they really represent to our family. See we planted these trees in memory of my Dad and of Daryl’s parents. It seems just like yesterday that they were planted and honestly it’s been years now since we actually did it. It’s a nice tradition that we have for our family and when we talk about the trees we call them by the name who they were planted for. Normally every year I ask William to stand by the trees and I take a picture of them. But this year that wasn’t going to work out, but I took the pictures anyway. Hopefully next year it’ll work that he’ll be home.

My dad's tree

My dad’s tree

Daryl's parents tree

Daryl’s parents tree

So after I thought about these memory trees, I started to look around our farm at the other trees that we’ve got planted. We have two evergreen trees that are named for each of the kids that are growing in our backyard. In the past we would take turns putting lights on either one or the other tree for Christmas, and I’m thinking that both trees just might be too tall this year.Last year I stood on the very top of the step ladder holding the broom and trying to get the lights up to the top. Come to think of it, that last strand still might be on the tree. oops! 

We’ve got apple trees planted the summer that Kyle started to run around the farm, and we planted a whole grove of trees that my brothers & Mom/Dad helped us plant.

When I was young, I used to hear the older folks talk about I remember when this or that tree was planted and I would think to myself, ‘how in the world do they remember that’? Seriously sometimes it’s hard to remember what I had for supper the night before. But this is different isn’t it? Just ask me about any tree on OUR farm and I can tell you when we planted it and why it was planted. And guess what? I think it’s a pretty cool family tradition.

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Chickens and their moods

We ran out of dog food again, which I just can’t believe. Now I know that our dogs are eating quite a bit of it, and the barn cats get their bellies full, but I’m wondering if the chickens are sneaking in the barn in the afternoon when the dogs are out and also getting their bellies full? I guess it really doesn’t matter who’s eating it, all I know is that we need more. So after work I went to my favorite farm store and found a very nice clerk and asked him if he would help me with some dog food. Daryl always makes fun of me that I just don’t load it up on a cart – but hey if this works I say go for it right? So after this guy got the biggest dog food that they sell on this roll cart, I thought let’s treat the chickens. I usually don’t buy chicken feed very often because honestly the whole farm is kind of like a buffet to them. But I was feeling kind of nice tonight and also if they are eating the dogs food, this might also make them stop. So onto my cart goes two bags of chicken feed. Now I’m set and off I go back home. Well the chickens knew something was up when I came into the coop with my bags, and once I opened the first bag they were pretty happy! But then I went and started to check out the chicken storage that William made me a couple of years ago. I wanted to put the feed in there so nothing would get into the feed or the chickens wasted it. This is when the trouble began. I moved the wooden part of the storage container and the chickens just started to scream. Now granted they’ve really never had anything change in their lives, but really? I moved the storage to the other side of the room and they wouldn’t eat anymore while I was in there and it sounded like someone just literally was getting their head cut off. (If they didn’t settle down soon – I was going to help them with that!)  But they’re just going to have to get used to it because that’s where it’s going to stay. Here’s a picture of what William made for the chicken coopDSC_0256

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Mystery Challenge 10-15-14

Are you ready for this weeks challenge?

Here’s the photo clueDSC_0249a

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Mystery Photo 10-8-14

And the answer is…

OK, below is the picture clue from last week. I also gave another clue to say that we find them in our farm buildings in the fall.

Clue pictureDSC_0211c

And this is the answer. It’s a barn spider! Now I’ve never known that this is actually it’s name, but if you believe what you read on the web :) that’s what they’re called. I just know them as spiders that we used to catch up in the granary as kids and put in jars. Then we’d sneak up on my one sister and scare the daylight out of her! Man those were the good ole days!  DSC_0211

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