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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Country Girl's Hack on Iced Mocha Lattes

Coffee is very much a mainstay on most farms.  You might have seen pictures of a farmer warming his hands around a steaming hot cup of Joe.  Sometimes they just hold the cup to warm up their cold fingers from milking cows or feeding livestock With farmers answering that internal early alarm going off in their head, it's nice to give the rest of the body a bit of a boost to catch up with its top part.  See what happens when farmers drink coffee???? 

Sigh...... Well maybe it doesn't quite happen that way, but most farmers are a bit more easy going AFTER they have had their coffee!

One of my favorite stories to tell is about a trip to the Big Town, Indianapolis, and talking to a salesperson as I check out of one of the fun stores in Indy's Circle Center Mall.  She was all bummed, so I asked her what was wrong.  She proceeded to lament the fact that because of construction, she had to an extra mile to find Starbucks for her daily fun coffee drink.  I chuckled and told her, "Honey, I have to drive about 30 miles to get to a Starbucks store."  I think it took her a while to process that horrific bit of information...... Ah,.... the list of differences between the country mouse and the city mouse just got bigger.

When I do get to visit an urban coffee shop, I have the dangedest time trying to figure out how to order what I want.  I just can't pop in or go through the drive through and say, " Hi! I would like a mochalattedoubleespressoandrealcreamtwosquirtsofmochaplease!" I'm not even sure of what I said. It's more like, "Hi, I'm not sure what the name is, but I want coffee with cream, espresso, sugar-free chocolate and hazelnut syrups......on ice please." Gah!

Now that we ladies are taking to the field, many of us are also fond of our morning java, but some of us out here like a bit more in our coffee besides, well, coffee.  We are hard pressed out here in the country to find a java roasting oasis within five miles of home. Here's my solution to this dilemma.

I have survived this most horrid gap between myself and "civilized coffee" by making my own. During six months of the year, I drink it hot, and thanks to our fickle Indiana weather, I'm just now transitioning over to the other side with iced coffee.  Want to know my secret? 

Here is what you will need, kind of.  Base your drink on what you like.  I usually use decaf instant coffee unless I really need a kick in the pants.  The flavorings are all subject to the creator's tastes. Have fun with this Peeps!

I have to remind you that I am not a measuring kind of cook by nature, but let the record state I really tried to measure this all out for you who like numbers.

For this tumbler, I went with three spoonfuls of instant coffee.  Tall Guy used to drink coffee, especially when he went out to milk at 4:00 in the morning during those cold months, but now the caffeine kind of messes with his sleep.  I use instant because I don't need to drink a whole pot full myself.   

To start putting the yummy in this drink, I add 2 spoonfuls of chocolate creamer and ......

2 spoonfuls of hazelnut creamer.

I like to shake this stuff up before pouring in the liquids.

While I'm mixing the dry parts of this potion, I'm boiling some water in the microwave. Pour about a cup over the dry ingredients, and stir.

Like this!

Next, I add some ice and three secret ingredients that make this iced mocha The. Bomb.

The first ingredient will make any dairy farmer tickled pink!  Yep, I put REAL CREAM in my coffee, about a 1/4 of a cup for a drink this big.  It's MOOOOOrvalous!

Next, add some Skinny Syrup, English toffee flavor! YUM!  Seriously Peeps!  Use Amazon Prime and order what you want.  Why?  You will get what you want in just 2 days or less, AND more flavors are available online.  I've also found that grocery stores usually do not carry the brands I like in the flavors I like.  Again, gotta keep it easy-peasy!

And on those very cold or long or special mornings, I just might add a wee bit of Kahlua. Hey, it tastes better than the flavored syrup.  No judging!

Fill the cup up with ice, and maybe leave a little room to pour some of your hot water left over the ice to help along the melting process.  Ah..... Now I can sit back, drink my yummy iced mocha latte and watch the dark blobs out in our foggy pasture turn in to cows as they come closer to the fence.

There you have it!  Easy-peasy, and I'm pretty sure it comes out cheaper than a venti or grande at you-know-where!  Take this recipe below and turn it in to your favorite flavored iced coffee drink!

Homemade Iced Mocha Lattes 24 oz. glass/tumbler

  • 3 spoonfuls Instant coffee
  • 2 spoonfuls Sugar-free chocolate creamer
  • 2 spoonfuls Sugar-free Hazelnut creamer
  • 1-1 1/2 Cups boiling water
  • 1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz. Sugar-free flavored coffee syrup
  • 1 oz. (more or less) Kahlua liquor
  • ice cubes
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix dry ingredients into the glass/tumble. Shake around or stir together so they are mixed.
  2. Add boiling water, and stir together until dry ingredients are dissolved. Add a few ice cubes.
  3. Add cream and flavored liquids, stir, and then fill glass/tumbler with ice. You might want to pour a bit of the hot water over the ice to start the melting process.  Enjoy! Substitute coffees, creamers, and liquids to suit your taste.
Printable recipe

Monday, May 9, 2016

Man Crush Monday! I'm Married to a Rock Star!

I don't know why I'm surprised.  It happens just about every time I post a picture of him.  I can be places with him, and people will go right by me to him and say, "You're Tall Guy aren't you?!?!"

He doesn't have a Facebook page, he doesn't tweet, and he still pays bills with a check, an envelope, and a stamp.  I'm Married to a Rock Star! *The picture was taken on the road, allegedly at a stop light while he was hauling grain to Lafayette.  See ??  People just roll down their windows to take a picture of him, and he gives them that smile that made me fall in love with him.

These are his groupies!  He has them in several different towns, but these girls know him well and let me hang out with them.

Ah.... our "Gator Dates"  out checking fields...... Love those!

Of course he has his true girls closest to his heart, and they love him to the moon and back.

MELT. MY. HEART.  !!!!!!

He manages to get so many different jobs crossed off his list every day!

April was quite the eventful month is this house.  I've never been in the ER in my life as a patient, but I managed to end up there THREE times last month.  We finally figured out that kidney stones were freaking out my blood pressure, but he was there right by my side every visit, and just like babies, none of these trips were made with the sun high in the sky.  I think we got home for the last one around 5:30 a.m.!  Of course besides these trips there were several doctor visits made.  I'm happy to say my ship seems to have righted itself, but I'm so glad he was my anchor through it all.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Mother's Day!

With Mother's Day just a few days away, here are a few pics from our year so far.  Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there doing their best every day to make this world a better place for their kids, be that they walk on two or four legs.  Either way, ours days are filled with adventure and love!!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Farmer Q & A: Did you know Cover Crops and Poke Cake have a lot in common?

If you have been past our house in the last week, or a lot of other farms out here in the good ol' Corn Belt, you might see a field that looks something like this....

Just a few weeks ago, the field was looking like this, and we were getting compliments on well our winter wheat looked!

You might be wondering, "What the heck happened to your wheat crop??"  The wheat isn't actually a crop for us.  Well it is, but we grew it as a cover crop to help maintain our topsoil through the winter.  The growth helped hold the top soil to the ground and not blow away in the gale force winds we have on the ridge during the winter months. The root system of the wheat plants burrow down, and these little burrows allow water or melting snow to travel in to the ground instead of pooling and rushing to the low spots in our fields.  The root systems also help keep the ground porous.   It's sort of like making a poke cake.......

What?  You aren't quite sure what a Poke Cake is?


You all are in for a real treat because my friend, Miss Brandie, over at The Country Cook knows all there is to know about Poke Cakes, especially Pudding Poke Carrot Cake.   The baked cake looks like this.

Our ground looks like this. The roots of the cover crop make openings in the ground so that the water can go into the ground.....   or pudding if you like......

If you could cut away a chunk of ground, it might look like the inside of this cake, very moist from all the pudding that was able to come through the holes.

And, that's a simple way to look at cover crops.  Delicious right? ;-)  Thanks to Miss Brandie for allowing me to use her recipe in a way I'm sure she never thought it would be used! Make sure you click HERE or on the other links to grab this yummy recipe and many more!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transformation Tuesday! Our Living and Dining Room Makeovers!

Oh Peeps!  Have I got EXCITING news to share with you today.  This has been coming for a long long time, but we finally did it!  After gracing the floors of this farm house for over 35 years, the carpet came up from our living room and dining room to reveal a beautiful treasure!  Hardwood floors!!!!!

As a bit of a backstory, some of you might not know that we live in the house that Tall Guy has always lived in, like came home from the hospital to here.  Generations of his family have lived here: both sets of grandparents and his parents.  Our house has gone through a lot of changes since it was first built in the early 1900's.  We've done our fair share too by adding the sun room/attached garage and our first floor bedroom.  This last change wasn't nearly as involved; it only took a week to do, but this might one of the major changes for us.

The family knows I have been wanting to change out the carpet for oh..., officially about 15 years (how long we have been married), but I have to say, it has had its purpose.  When the girls were very young, it hid a lot of messes and honestly about everything you could throw at it except maybe green Pladoh!

And then there was my Pumpkin who was kind of a darker version of this rug.....

Oh WOW!  Sniff  Sniff!  Where have my babies gone?  And since we are talking about the girls, you know I have always referred to them as Tink, the oldest, and Bear, the youngest...Well Miss Tink is now 13, and from now on, I will be referring to her as Miss K.... ok now back to our current story.

We finally got around to taking up the carpet and see if the hardwood floors had survived years of being covered.  We first got the idea when we added the bedroom and took up the carpet in what is now Tall Guy's office.  The hardwood floor was in great condition, and that really restarted the itch to pull up all the carpet downstairs.

As we plotted and planned this big move, we also decided to flip the living and dining rooms.  I'd only seen the house with the rooms as we had had them.  Hey, Go big or go home right?  Yeah, I know we are already home, but we were feeling adventurous so.....

First, we moved around a lot of the furniture.  Some of it went upstairs, some went in other rooms, and some went out the door.  Both of us like uncluttered living space, but after surviving the child years when everything from changing tables and pack and plays were downstairs to the mass of toys involved with keeping two little girls entertained, we had some purging to do.

Miss K was having a hard time saying good bye. Like the "holes" in our floor?  These are old fashion cold air ducts.  They now have the grates back on them.

I was holding my breath, as TG pulled back the carpet and started to tug at the padding below it.

I'm sure it doesn't look like much, but I was thrilled to see that there were no major stains or marks on these beautiful floors!  I was even more thrilled once we pulled all the staples out of the boards. I think there might have been over a thousand between both rooms! WE includes the girl, Nick Wallpe, and Jason Kintner.  Those last two guys were huge life or rather back savers !!!!!!  At this point, we also seamed all the cracks in the lovely plaster walls and repainted the walls!  Big thanks to Ben, Chris, and Laura of LB Designs for doing all that wall work in four days!

Now I bet you all are wondering how we went from the floor pictured above to the floor in the pictures below.

We didn't sand it down, we didn't refinish it, and we didn't put a drop of polyurethane on it.  This transformation was soo stinkin' simple I wish we had done it years ago!  We consulted our painter, Ben, who advised us to try mopping on this wonderful product:

And as you can see, sigh......, I need or one of the girls needs to run the dust mop over the floors! This lovely product, Rejuvenate, worked miracles on our floors!  I did have to mop it on the floors about 5 times because the wood was so dry that it soaked up the product as quickly as I could apply it, but the last application really made the wood shine.  It's not, however, slick, and that is what I was going for because I'm too dang old to run around here wearing gripper socks!

Holy Smokes!  I went back in my archives to link to a post about our new bedroom, and apparently I never wrote one!!!!  What. The. Heck. Happened?!?!?!?  I guess I now have my motivation to clean up that room and share it with you as well,  We've kind of been living in our room, all four of us, while the living room and dining room were in transition.

I will continue to update you as we decorate the walls with pictures and farmy things.   Hope you enjoyed the big reveal like we did!   Until next time,



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