October 7, 2011

First, I want to say thanks to everyone here on WordPress who has been with me since I first started this crazy blog endeavor.

Second, I would like to tell you that I am moving.

Well, I am not moving, but my blog is.

For about a year, I have been double-posting things here on WordPress and on my Blogger site. It’s all been the same content, just on two different platforms.

And that has started to get a little more complicated than I want to manage. So, as of today, I will no longer be posting here on WordPress.

All the same fun (albeit sort of sporadic) content will still be posted on Alarm Clock Wars at Blogger, but you won’t be able to follow it through WordPress subscriptions anymore.

You can come find me at, and either follow me through Google Friend Connect, or subscribe to email updates from that site.

Look for this subscription box on the right side:

subscribe by email

Simply type your email address into the box, fill in the captcha code in the window that opens, and – ta da – you’ll get my posts through email again, just through a different service.

Sorry for the confusion, and I hope no one has trouble with this. If you do have an issue, just email me at and I’ll help you get it figured out.

Thanks for sticking with me, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Alarm Clock Wars on Blogger!

Taste of Indiana Farms

October 6, 2011

One of the fun things I got to do at the Indiana State Fair in August was to run the Farm Bureau Taste of Indiana Farms booth for the southwest part of Indiana.

Each part of the state (“districts,” in Farm Bureau talk) had a commodity to feature. We had pork. Yum!volunteers sm

I worked with Dewig’s Meats so we had some great barbecued pulled pork to give away to everyone who came through the three-day event. We had some great volunteers from our district, including my husband. Hubby Doc had a blast talking to almost 5000 people over three days!!john sm

There was free popcorn in the front of the building, and lots more free food in the back of the building.popcorn sm

Everybody had a blast, even the kids!strollers in line sm

This is not just a Farm Bureau event! The Indiana Watermelon queen was there, giving out watermelon slices.watermelon queen sm

And the Indiana Honey Queen was there, passing out honey samples.honey queen sm

(We tried to get them to have a Queen showdown, to see who was the “Top Queen,” but they wouldn’t go for it. Such well-behaved young ladies!)

Did I mention that Indiana Pork gave us temporary pig tattoos to give out? Everybody wanted a pig tattoo, even me! (I may have put on more than one…)pig tattoo sm

Yes, you could say I got into the spirit of things and collected some flair over the couple of days…flair sm

Mark your calendars – we’ve already got the dates scheduled for next year! Come visit us in the Farm Bureau building at the Indiana State Fair on August 14-16, 2012. I’ll be organizing fruit for next year, so come on by and learn what kind of fruit Indiana grows. I bet you’ll be surprised! There will be free popcorn, free food, and more flair than you can shake a stick at! What else is there?

Oh, and the whole rest of the fair. You’ll probably want to see that also.

Oatmeal Bread

September 22, 2011

I just love baking bread. I used to use my bread machine about once a week, but it’s been put away for over two years now. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to pull it out of hiding!

PhotobucketI found this oatmeal bread recipe in Better Homes and Gardens’ “Bread Machine Recipes,” and I thought it sounded like just the perfect thing for the fall weather we are having here!

I made a 1-1/2 pound loaf. (Though I am wishing I had made a 2 pound loaf!) The instructions here are for the 1-1/2 pound loaf; the printable recipe card below has both sizes.

First, toast 1 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until they are brown (stir occasionally). This brings out a really great nutty smell and flavor.

oats sm

Then fill up your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For my Toastmaster, I added 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup milk, warmed to around 80 degrees, and 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into pieces.

milk and butter sm

Next I added 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. I layered 2-1/2 cups of bread flour and the toasted oats on top of the liquids.

The cookbook instructions are to add the oats with the flour. I added half the flour, then the oats, then the rest of the flour.

flour and oatmeal sm

{It is important to use bread flour in bread recipes, not just all-purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten (a kind of protein) content than AP flour. The gluten traps the carbon dioxide that is formed by the yeast, which helps the dough to rise. AP flour just doesn’t have the same gluten content, and may not hold up to all the kneading that goes on in bread-making. Save yourself some headaches, and make an extra trip to the grocery store for bread flour.}

Finally, I added 1 teaspoon of Red Star Quick Rise Yeast in a little pile right in the middle.

yeast sm

I loaded everything right into the bread machine, and set it for the whole wheat cycle, and a medium crust color. I love just a hint of crunch on the crust, while the inside of the bread is nice and soft – the medium crust color setting hits this perfectly for me! (If you don’t have a whole wheat or whole grain setting on your machine, just use the basic white bread option.)

bread machine sm

Four hours later, and ta da – it seems like no work at all! (And isn’t that the best thing about bread machines?!)

finished loaf sm

This bread was so good warm with butter right out of the bread machine…

slices sm

But it was also great lightly toasted with egg salad, fresh garden tomatoes, and homemade pickles! (The good thing about putting in a garden late, is that we still have fresh off the vine tomatoes in September!)

egg salad sm

This will be a huge favorite of mine coming into the fall and winter. Something about the oats just gives this bread a great texture. We will be eating this with soups and stews, with big hearty sandwiches, and just warm with a bunch of butter. Can’t beat that. 🙂

The printable recipe card…oatmeal bread recipe card

(Thank you to Red Star Yeast for a coupon for the yeast.)

Love on Leontein

September 19, 2011

One of our Real Farmwives is having some trouble. Leontein, from Four Leaf Clover Tales, has been through the cancer battle before, and won. She just found out that she has to fight it all over again.

I met Leontein through the Real Farmwives, and am really just getting to know her. I do know that she has a great sense of humor, and is one seriously strong chickie. It’s not just everyone that comes to the US from the Netherlands to start up a dairy farm from scratch!

One of the things I love about Leontein is that she is not afraid to talk about her underwear. She has these skull panties that she wears to every doctor’s appointment – they are her “Power Panties.” Everyone needs a little good luck charm, and these are Leontein’s!

It looks like she is going to need some extra pairs for the coming months, so if anyone knows where she can find them, please let her know!

Please stop by the Facebook page we set up for her, Love for Leontein, and leave an encouraging message. Or stop by her blog and leave some love there, too.

We’re all behind you, Leontein. Kick cancer’s butt!!

NOW I feel like a farmwife!

September 16, 2011

I’ve been a farmwife for two years. But I’ve been driving this…altima sm

…and it’s just hard to feel like a farmwife when you’re driving an Altima named “Chip.” Don’t get me wrong. That car has surely done it’s duty. I bought it in 2002 with 18,0000 miles, and now it has 165,000 miles. It has gone the distance, and been very loyal.

But it was time for an upgrade.

So we did.

And now I drive this…expedition sm

Yippie! This week we bought a Ford Expedition! This is quite a bit different than the Altima, and I love it so much!

It has a sunroof (which I open every chance I get).sunroof sm

There’s a rear entertainment center. Which won’t do me much good when I’m driving by myself. But someone has already asked if they could watch dirty movies in the back. My answer was NO.dvd player sm

Not only does it have heated leather seats, it has air-conditioned leather seats! Who knew that you needed air-conditioned seats? I never knew it, but I totally need them!air conditioned seats sm

The third row seat is actually quite roomy, and there is plenty of room for storage with the seats up.rear seats sm

And the third row seats fold flat (with just the push of a button!) for a ton of storage! The second row also folds flat, just in case you need to haul a boat. Or a house.rear storage sm

It has a trailer hitch, too, so that might be the better way to haul the boat. But it would fit inside!

Good bye, Chip… I will miss you. You have done well, and I will always remember you.

It will make me a little sad to sell you, but just a little.

Gooseberry Patch winner!

September 10, 2011

I am so pleased to announce the winner of Gooseberry Patch’s Autumn with Family & Friends!


There were 89 comments on the giveaway post on Blogger, and 2 comments on the giveaway post on WordPress. So I added the two WP comments, and did a random drawing of 91 entries.

(Part of the problem of maintaining two sites… but I had some die-hards who started with me on WordPress, and it has been hard to convince them to move over to Blogger. Cause I love you, I stick with both!)

The winner is…

random winnerNumber 28 from the Blogger site… hondagal!

Please email me to claim your prize – alarmclockwars-at-gmail-dot-com, or use the “Talk to the Clock” link on the sidebar.


Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. If you would like to see other great recipes, check out

Gooseberry Patch cookbook giveaway!

August 30, 2011

I have had a blast cooking through Autumn with Family & Friends with the Real Farmwives of America & Friends and Gooseberry Patch.

InTheKitchen badge

I hope you have found a recipe or two that you have wanted to try!autumnfamilyfriends And now, it’s time for a giveaway, so you can try the recipes I’ve shown you, and all the others you want!

I did not have any trouble picking out recipes to try from this book… The trick was narrowing it down to ten!

We tried some great main dishes like

Perfect Cheesy Pasta Bakemelty goodness sm 

Sweet Autumn Pork Chopsafter oven sm

Connie’s Meatloaf Rollfinished-1

Pumpkin-Sausage Pennepasta

Party Ham Casserolefinished sm

I checked out a new comfort food recipe – Dad’s Best Mac & Cheesebaked

There were the kid- and adult-friendly Crunchy Chicken “Toes”chicken dinner

Some fantastic side dishes…

Cinnamon Pineapplenaked pineapple sm

Grandma’s Buttery Mashed Potatoesmashed sm

and a new favorite, Garlic Bubble Bread (I am so making this to go with lasagna tonight!)garlic heaven sm

And I managed to stick to only one dessert (but, oh, was it good!) – Pumpkin Custard Crunchpiece of custard sm

Are you hungry yet?

I have a copy of Autumn with Family & Friends to give away!! Try all these recipes, and tons more! How about New England Cider Doughnuts… Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes… Bacon Bread (Hubby Doc has been after me to make this one)… Pumpkin Bread Pudding! They all sound so good… who can choose? (I think I’ve held off on the desserts long enough!)

You can earn entries in this giveaway for a copy of this wonderful cookbook by…

Be sure to leave me a separate comment for each entry.

The giveaway will close at midnight (Central time) on Friday, September 9. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday, September 10!

Good luck! I know you will love each and every recipe!

Bonus side dishes, recipe #10+

August 27, 2011

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m giving you two side dishes in this post. And you’ll love them both, I promise!autumnfamilyfriends

First… Warm Cinnamon Pineapple.

Start with a whole pineapple. Cut off the top and bottom, and then slice off the skin.

pineapple skin sm

Mix together 2 cups of sugar (I used Splenda) and 1/4 cup cinnamon.cinnamon sugar sm

Roll the naked pineapple around in the cinnamon sugar until he is nice and sticky. (I had a bunch of leftover cinnamon sugar. Next time I would only make up half the amount.)

naked pineapple sm

Wrap the pineapple in aluminum foil, put it on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

When it is warmed through, take him out of the aluminum foil, stand him upright, and slice vertically around the core. Throw out the core, slice the pineapple thinly, and serve warm.cooked pineapple sm

Trust me, you will love this!!

Second, Grandma’s Buttery Mashed Potatoes. Because no Autumn meal is complete without mashed potatoes!

Peel, cube, cook, and drain 6-8 potatoes. cooked potatoes sm

Add 1/2 cup butter, and 1 cup evaporated milk.

Beat everything to a pulp.butter and milk sm

I didn’t pay attention, and added a whole can of evaporated milk, instead of just 1 cup. So things got a little runny. Lucky for me, I had some instant mashed potato flakes in the pantry. I added some of these, and things perked right up.mashed sm

Of course, I could have boiled some more potatoes to correct the runny problem. But I wasn’t feeling that patient.

Seriously? Some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted!

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. If you would like to see other great recipes, check out

Printable recipe cards:cinnamon pineapple recipe card mashed potatoes recipe card

Next up? A giveaway! I have a copy of Autumn with Family & Friends to giveaway to one lucky reader! Get ready…  It’s coming next week!

Party Ham Casserole, recipe #9

August 26, 2011

We’re getting closer to Autumn (well, some days it feels more like it than others), and I’m wrapping up my cooking from Autumn with Family & Friends from Gooseberry Patch!


I’m always looking for something new to do with ham, so this recipe was calling to me!

I started with one of our ham steaks, cut it into cubes, and gave it a quick cook in some olive oil. I may have also used some of Shoup’s Seasoning. It’s a possibility. ham sm

You can start with a pre-cooked piece of ham. We didn’t have any of that “fancy” food. 🙂

This recipe calls for medium egg noodles. I am a big fan of the Amish-style noodles, and used those instead.noodles sm

I cooked and drained half the package of noodles, and set them aside foe a few minutes. In the same saucepan I cooked the noodles, I combined 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup milk, and stirred over low heat until smooth. Then add 1 teaspoon of minced onion, 2 teaspoons of mustard, and 1 cup of sour cream. Heat, stir. Beautiful.sauce sm

The recipe calls for layers here. Noodles, ham, soup, repeat. My casserole dish was clearly the wrong size, so I just dumped it all in at the same time.casserole dish sm

Mix together 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1-1/2 tablespoon melted butter for the top, and then top with grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!toppings sm

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, and it is ready to go!finished sm

I will advise you to stick to the medium egg noodles. The noodles I used were so long, it was hard to serve this casserole without everything pulling apart.

Other than that, this dish was a hit!   

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. If you would like to see other great recipes, check out

Printable recipe card:party ham casserole recipe card

Next time… a two-fer! I made two quick and easy sides, and I’m going to give them both to you in the next post!

Week of travel

August 24, 2011

At least this time, Hubby Doc and I were together on our travels!

Last week was a pretty busy week for us. We left Monday evening to head up to Indianapolis so we could be at the Indiana State Fair first thing Tuesday morning. We arrived after the tragedy of the stage collapsing before the concert on Saturday night, but the mood was still a little subdued on the grounds.

We were working in the Farm Bureau building at the Taste of Indiana Farms event for three days on the state fairgrounds.

Hubby Doc got to talk to new people for three straight days. He hated it.john Or maybe he loved it. Is he smiling?

Friday morning, after our fair responsibilities were done, we packed up and headed to Grand Rivers, Kentucky for the weekend. Monday was our two-year wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a weekend away that wasn’t tied to work in some way or another.

Grand Rivers is this really tiny village in Western Kentucky, nestled between Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake. Just south of Grand Rivers is the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

We had a very low-key, relaxing weekend. We had no schedule, and no itinerary. It was awesome. We saw a show at the Badgett Playhouse, and spent a bunch of time in the LBL Park.

We slept in on Sunday, drove over to Paducah, KY and spent some more time in the LBL Park before we started a lazy drive back home.

More details to come on all of this later this week. I’m still trying to catch up from the week of being gone! My computer also liked the vacation, and he is whining about having to go back to work this week, too.

Of course, Hubby Doc left this morning for Chicago, and I’m headed to Indianapolis again on Friday… so back on the merry-go-round!