Christ is Risen!

It has been a busy week and weekend with Holy Week and Easter, and preparing for Easter at our home.

Our church shared the following video at the end of the Good Friday service and I thought it was a good reminder of the events leading up to the crucifiction of Christ. If you put yourself in the place of Mary or one of the Disciples, you would have felt pretty hopeless.

It’s Friday…but they didn’t know Sunday’s a coming.

Today, Sunday is here and we rejoice in the gift Jesus has given us! He has paid our debts; He took our place on the cross, so that we might have eternal life!

I will leave you with one of my favorite songs:

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Vacation Destination: Arizona

I LOVE to travel! My husband finds it a lot of work to prepare for vacation and a lot of work once he gets back since the pigs don’t go on vacation, but I convinced him to go on a 5 day vacation to Strawberry, Arizona. Strawberry is located between Flagstaff and Phoenix in the mountains at the base of the Mogollon Rim. Rim country is beautiful!

The trip was eventful and we were able to see so many different sites. Our highlights:

Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma’s Castle

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Sedona

Sedona

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

And one last photo that I love:

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Notice the pollen it is collecting on its legs!!

We are  hoping the warmer weather will follow us back to Minnesota, the forecast isn’t looking too promising…

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Leave me a comment about where and why and maybe it will be a future vacation spot!

Grandma’s Beef Stew with Dumplings

Winter is almost over which means soup and stew season is almost over but I have to share this recipe, because it’s that good.

I love my family and love spending time with them; and by family not only do I mean my parents and siblings but also my extended family: in-laws, aunts & uncles, cousins and of course my friends.

Growing up my maternal grandparents lived 4+ hours away but my mom would load my brother, sister, and I up in the van on a Friday after school to spend a weekend with them. My grandma would always ask Mom what she would like to have for supper that evening when we arrived, and more often than not the request was for Grandma’s Beef Stew with DUMPLINGS. (Dumplings are delicious, if you didn’t know.)

I don’t know what it is about grandmas but they make some of the BEST food, period.

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Delicious!

Now, as you read the recipe don’t get scared of parsnips and rutabagas, they make this stew. If you don’t use them, it just won’t be the same.

Grandma’s Beef Stew with Dumplings

Roast:

  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Beef roast 2 -2½ lbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 300°

Season the roast with salt and pepper. Place the onions on top of the roast and  put in the oven until the beef is tender and falls apart easily with a fork, about 2 ½ hours.

(You can also put your roast in the crock pot on high in the morning and finish the stew in the afternoon or use leftover beef roast for this as well)

Saving the juices and onion, pull apart the beef roast into chunks of a desired size.

Stew:

  • 12 cups of water
  • Beef soup base, follow package instructions for 10 cups of water
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3″ pieces
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3″ pieces
  • 2/3 cup barley

Notes:

  • The juices from the roast will provide additional flavor for the soup so I use less base then the soup base package indicates
  • The vegetables will cook at the same speed if you cut them all the same size; I like mine cut in bigger chunks

In an 8 quart or larger stock pot over medium heat:

Bring 12 cups of water and beef soup base to a boil. Add all the vegetables

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Add beef  and juices, along with the onion to the stew.

(Make sure to taste this, does the water/soup base ratio taste right? Add more soup base if needed.)

Bring the stew to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are fork tender. (approx 1-1 1/2 hours)

Before the next step of adding barley, make up the dumpling dough:

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(I follow the Bisquick recipe which can also be found on the side of the box)

  • 2 cups of Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk

Mix until a soft dough forms

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About 25 minutes before serving stir in 2/3 cup barley. I used the 10 minute barley, if you use regular barley you will need to allow more time for cooking.

Approximately 20 minutes before serving, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough onto the simmering soup. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes longer, until no longer doughy.

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Making stew requires some patience, it’s called stew for a reason…but the end results are amazing!

Enjoy!

Holy cow. What did I do?

I started toying with the idea of a blog during #agchat one night, we must have been talking about blogs and I don’t know where I got the idea that should start a blog but I tweeted about it and BAM I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Now a lot of time has passed since then, so why did I finally go through with the creation of a blog? Well…I made the mistake of telling people that I was interested in blogging, which turned into the only New Year resolution that I can ever remember making. Holy cow. What did I do?! 

I’ve learned if you want to get something on your to-do list done, just tell multiple people about your goal. They keep asking you about it and eventually too many people know and you have to get it done!

Let me introduce myself: I’m Ahnna (pronounced: awe-nah or on a) and I hope you will follow along with my ramblings in the months and hopefully years to come! Who knows what I might all blog about but I do love to cook and bake, I’m a farm girl who is married to a farm boy, and love photography. I’m not an expert in any of these areas but I have something to share.

As I sit, listening to the wind howl through the trees and the snow blow across the fields I leave you with a picture of what I hope the weather will be in just a few more weeks.

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