Friday, August 30, 2013

A Couple of Months of Quick Up-Dates

So I know it's been a while since I have done any kind of post about the farm, our family, or what we have been doing, so here is a quick up-date of what all we have done since June.

 We spent a lot of time in the field this spring. The wheat did really well this year, which means we have some happy farmers...

that is as long as they think about wheat and not corn or beans. ;)

Caleb actually got to spend a lot of time in the combine this year since Pop was still out recovering from heart surgery and no one else really knew how to run the new machine.

Chester got to ride a lot and usually wasn't happy if we went to the field and he didn't ride. We would often spend a lot of time riding close to his nap time and some times he didn't make it through a ride without falling asleep.

We had lots of picnics while we were in the field. I was so very happy when we were finally done with field work and I didn't have to pack up everything and take it to the field, but it won't be long till I will be doing it again for corn a bean harvest.

We got to play with a few fireworks too.

Finally when everything calmed down we were able to make a trip to Northeast Missouri to visit my family and play with a few chickens.

WARNING: If you leave your sonic cup setting around at my folks house it is fair game for anyone to snatch it up and drink it, so be careful.

Chester got to spend a lot of time playing with his cousin...

He also got to take a late night bobcat ride with them and Grandma.

And nothing beats cuddling up with grandpa and watching some videos of tractor pulls. 

I helped the youngin's catch a snake. I was then told by my mother that it must was just a little garter snake....but I did what I was told and we took it up to the chickens to feed them. After they let us down and didn't attach it my niece there decided to stomp the crap out of it till it was dead....your welcome mom! 

We also go to do my favorite pass time and we played in the creek.  I use to spend hours upon hours in the creeks on my folks farm.

After all that we had one tired little boy.

We also got to spend one weekend celibrating the marriage of this wonderful couple. Wendy is my first cousin and we were the best of buds growing up. Fact: In high school Wendy and I could kick the butt of about anyone in 2-on-2 basketball! I am so very happy for her!!!

Actually my sister and I did all the photography at the was a long day! I got to do a lot of the bossing and staging of the groups.

Here was my partner in crime for the day. We sure did have a lot of fun working together on these pictures!

We also celebrated 66 years of marriage with these two. 

Chester loves Grandma and Pop....probably because every time he goes over there Grandma loads him up with chocolate. Not a bad deal if you ask me. ;)

And Me, well I have spent a lot of time here, at my sink putting up lots of produce....I think at this point I have put up over 70 quarts of produce and I hope I will still get a little more! 

Oh and I have an ever growing belly! :)  

Fact: at 20 weeks I had only gained 3 lbs and in the past 8 weeks I have gained another 14....I am on the same track that I was on with Chester, so we could be looking at another big I would probably help if I stayed away from cheetos, but really who wants to do that ;)

Well there ya go, that's what we've been up to. I am tired just from thinking about all that, so I'm gonna scoot.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Walnut Cream Cheese Icing - Gluten Free Style

So a few years ago I posted about these cupcakes, but since then our house has become gluten free. I was in the mood for these again the other day so I thought I would try making them gluten free and....

It was a success!!! 

All I did to make them Gluten Free was used a gluten free all purpose flour.  I use Better Batter Gluten Free Flour for my cooking and it worked great. You couldn't tell the difference between the GF and the non-GF ones. I even took a couple down to our neighbors who had just gotten home from the hospital and the husband could believe how good they were....especially since they were gluten free! 

So here it is again...

Pumpkin Cupcakes

The Line-up: Flour (Gluten free flour Mix like Better Batter Flour - if you flour doesn't contain xanthan gum then add a teaspoon of it to the recipe), Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Coarse Salt, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Ground Allspice, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled), Eggs (it says to use 4 large eggs, but I two large one small and one XL cause that's what I had in my fridge), and 15 Ounce Can Pumpkin Puree

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Put 2 cups of all purpose flour, now add in a tsp of xanthan gum,  tsp of baking soda, a tsp of baking power, a tsp of salt, a tsp of ground cinnamon and a tsp of ground ginger.

You will also add in a 1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg, but if you are like me and don't have any nutmeg cloves to grate, then you can use the already ground stuff.

You also need to add a 1/4 tsp of ground allspice.

I don't have any of the ground allspice, so here's what I do instead...

I take about a dozen of the little allspice balls and...

...I place them in a ziploc bag. Then I take my meat pounder and start smashing them.

I probably don't get them ground as small as I should, but its a whole lot easier than driving to the store to get a bottle of ground allspice, cause I live out in the middle of nowhere and it takes a while to get to the store. One of these days I will remember to put it on my shopping list. Until then this works for me.

Now in a large bowl break in all four eggs and whisk them together.

You need two sticks of unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

Now to the eggs add 1 cup of white sugar, 1 packed cup of brown sugar and the melted butter.

Now whisk them all together, and then...

...add in the dry ingredients.

Whisk them until smooth.

Now add in the pumpkin puree and...

...whisk it in.

Now spoon the batter evenly into the cupcake tin liners. Fill them 1/2 to 3/4 the way full.

Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, so for about 20 to 25 minutes. You might need to rotate pans depending on your oven. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely before adding the frosting.

Ok now lets make the icing or frosting (whichever you call it)

Maple - Walnut Cream Cheese Icing

Icing Line-up: Cream Cheese, Unsalted Butter, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Maple Flavoring (I must have lost my maple flavoring cause I couldn't find it this time but it was just as good without it!), and Chopped Walnuts

Your butter should be at room temperature. As you can see mine was a little melted, but it still worked.

Now using an eclectic mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until blended.

Now beat in two packages of cream cheese.

Add in 1/4 tsp maple flavoring and...
I couldn't find my maple  flavoring this time so I didn't add any and they tasted just as good without it. cup of maple syrup and beat them in.

Now you need about one cup of chopped walnuts.

Now using a spatula fold in the chopped walnuts.

Chill for about 20 minutes so it can firm up.

Once the icing is ready and the cupcakes have cooled, ice them and enjoy. 

I hope your cupcakes turn out as good as mine did!  if you have any questions give me a shout!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Makes 18 – 24 cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose Gluten Free flour ( I use Better Batter)
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour already contains this)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed.

Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Maple-Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring (Optional)
2 cups walnuts, toasted, chopped


Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in cream cheese, then maple syrup and flavoring. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Chill until beginning to firm, about 20 minutes.

They are so yummy, I just know ya'll will love them!