Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I love when my garden starts producing.  There is nothing better than making delicious, wholesome recipes from food that you have grown yourself.  The next best thing is making those recipes from food that I have received as gifts from friends and family.

I was lucky enough to get some wonderful cabbage from my aunt and uncle the other day.  I did not grow any cabbage this year, so it was a treat! I decided to make some coleslaw and thought I would share with you my easy creamy coleslaw recipe. It is delicious!

Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com

Growing up, our family had a slight disagreement on the best way to make coleslaw.  It seems that when it comes down to it, there are two camps.  One is that the best slaw is made with mayonnaise, and the other is that the best slaw is made with vinegar.  My grandmother and mom almost always made the vinegar slaw, in fact that is the recipe that is in our family cookbook.  But my sister and I both like the mayonnaise version which is the recipe that I am sharing with you today.

Speaking of my sister, I remember when she was still living at home and she used to make slaw for a snack.  It was one of her favorite foods.  She wasn't much of a sweet eater.  She always did prefer homemade pickles, tomato juice, and slaw to any cakes or pies we had.  To this day, she still makes great slaw. 

So here is my version based on how my sister used to make it.

Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com
Ingredients, well almost all the ingredients
You can see from above that the ingredients are few, and include your basic staples. Okay, I know what you are thinking, there is vinegar in that picture. Well, there is a little vinegar in this dressing, but not as much as you would put in the vinegar-based slaw. 

While we are on the subject of vinegar, let's have a little chat about what kind of vinegar to use for your slaw. You can see above that I used my Brag's ACV. I absolutely love the flavor and love how good it is for you. If it was any other brand of ACV, I probably wouldn't use it in this recipe. You really do want a good tasting vinegar. What also would be good in this recipe would be a white wine vinegar. It is light and tangy and great in recipes such as these.

Also missing from this picture is a carrot. I like to shred a carrot up to put in my slaw. You don't have to, but if I have it on had, why not? And it seems that the dry mustard is also missing. Oh well.

The first thing you want to do is make your dressing and let it sit while you are shredding your cabbage. It lets the flavors come together. In a medium bowl, mix together:
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of celery seed (not salt!)
  • 1 teaspoon of season salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com
Coleslaw Dressing, so much better than store bought!
Once you mix the dressing ingredients together, put in the fridge.  Next, shred your cabbage. You can do this the old-fashioned way which is what I did, or you can use a food processor. For me, if I am just cutting up one head of cabbage, it isn't worth getting my food processor out. 

Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com
Long shreds, this is how I like it!
You can see above that I like to cut my cabbage in long pieces. I love it when it has been sitting in the dressing and you get a big fork-full and it is hanging off the fork. There is nothing better! I also like those long shreds because it stays on my sandwiches better. That's right, I love to use this slaw as a condiment! Feel free to slice or shred the cabbage the way you like it.

If you are using a carrot and/or onion this is the time to shred and dice those as well and put them in with the cabbage.

Next pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss so it is all coated, and put it back in the fridge to let the cabbage get a little wilted, from the dressing and soak up all the flavor. Don't worry, it will still have a little crunch to it!

Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com
This slaw is just screaming summertime!
You can see the yummy goodness. It truly is the right mix of sweet and tangy.  I love to eat this as a side, and as I mentioned above, I also love to put it on my hamburgers, my BBQ pork sandwiches, and of course brats!

Homemade (Easy!) Creamy Coleslaw  www.HensleFarmAdventures.com
This is what I call a slaw dog, with a side of grilled corn!

That's all there is to this delicious slaw recipe.  Looking for a printable version of the this recipe? Click HERE.

Let me know in the comments below what team you are on when it comes to slaw, Team Mayo or Team Vinegar.

Freezing Corn for Winter

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
I absolutely love summer! And boy is it in full swing! I could do without the blazing temperatures and the humidity, which turns my naturally wavy hair into a frizzy mess (think 80's perm).  But I am loving time with my family, swimming in the pool, and one of my all time favorite summer time activities, putting up vegetables!

Yes, you read that right. I love preserving the food that we grow, whether that means freezing it or canning it. For me it brings back memories of getting together with my grandparents and sometimes my aunt and uncle, and sharing in the work. It was always so much fun, and after the day was done, we would split the food that was preserved between the families. All winter long we would enjoy the good food that we grew. It was almost like having a little taste of summer during the bleak cold winter days. I thought I would share with you how to preserve sweet corn on the cob so that you too can enjoy it all winter long!

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com

First, I have something that I must confess. I didn't actually grow this corn. We have tried growing sweet corn for several years and we have just not had any luck. In fact the best year we had for corn was one where we were able to harvest 6 ears!

While I was excited about the 6 ears, I felt like a failure that I could not carry on our family tradition of freezing corn for winter. I grew up thinking that you could only preserve the food that came from your own garden. Somehow in my mind if you tried to preserve someone else's food it would rot, or magically disappear. I know, it sounds weird. But I have since learned that you CAN preserve any food! Imagine that! ;-)

I have to give a shout-out to the wonderful lady that grows the corn that I froze.  Her name is Sherri and she has a corn farm.  It is called Farm House Corn. It is absolutely wonderful corn, and she is the sweetest lady! What I love is that she only raises non-GMO corn and she uses no pesticides! I love it when you find a farmer that has the same ideals as you. Check-out her website, she is just starting her business (I am NOT getting paid to say any of this).

Now, back to freezing corn. I used to think that you could just wash your veggies and put them in a freezer bag and you are done.  With some veggies you can do this, but with others, corn being one of them, you have to blanch it first.

Blanching is where you partially cook vegetables, then dip them immediately into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. Once the vegetables are blanched and dry, you can prepare them for the freezer.

The first step is to shuck the corn and remove the silks.  To remove the silks, scrub (not hard) with a vegetable brush while the corn is in cold water.

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Beautiful corn, with slight blemishes. I love it! To me it means no pesticides.
Once the silks have been removed, cut off any bad places.  I thought I would share this picture with you.  The majority of the corn I got was pretty much perfect, however there were some that looked like the picture above. To me, that shows that pesticides are not being used. I just cut off the tops and we were good to go!

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
A treat for my chickens!
Next, bring a pot of water to boil and put in as many ears that will fit and boil for 6 minutes. Unfortunately, I do not have that big of a pot, so I had to boil my corn in batches of four.

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Boiling corn.
As soon as the 6 minutes are up, you need to immediately immerse the boiled corn in a bowl of ice water.

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Ice water bath.
The ice water will stop the cooking process.  Isn't the corn a beautiful yellow?  And yes, that is two colors that you are seeing. This corn happens to be a bi-color corn.

Lay the corn out on clean kitchen towels to dry.

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Beautiful corn! I believe that is a peach photo bombing this picture!
Once the corn is dry, you can roll it up in foil, and put it in freezer bags. After that all that is left to do is put it in the freezer!

Freezing Corn for Winter  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Ready to freeze to eat this winter.
There really isn't much to getting corn ready to freeze. My kids love corn on the cob, and this winter, we will enjoy this corn. We can also thaw it and cut it off the cob and use it for stews and soups. It will give them a fresh from the garden taste! Trust me, after trying this, you won't want to buy canned corn again!

Be sure and let me know in the comments below what vegetables you preserve for winter.

Mulberry Cobbler

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I'm back! Wow, I can't believe how long I have gone without a post.  This farmers' market gig is wonderful, but it has taken up more of my time than I initially thought it would. But to be completely honest, I have loved it, and so has Mr. HFA! We have met the best people, customers and other vendors. It really has been a great experience and one that we are going to continue for the rest of this summer.

Speaking of meeting great people, we were fortunate enough to become friends with another vendor. She does wonderful woodworking and makes some great homemade noodles that she sells. They invited us over this past weekend to pick cherries and mulberries. We were excited at the thought of getting both as we do not have either on our farm.

We were able to pick a bucket of cherries and a bucket of mulberries. This weekend, I made a mulberry cobbler using my mother-in-law's blackberry cobbler recipe. I thought it would be perfect to share with you.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com

This recipe is so easy!  It is not your regular cobbler.  Growing up I had one grandmother that would make cobbler that had a cake-like crust which was yummy. The other grandmother would make her cobbler using pie crust, which was equally good!  I have found that there are several different ways to make cobbler, and I have not met a cobbler yet that I do not get a long with! For this recipe, it uses a crumb-like topping which makes it very easy and very fast to put together.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Beautiful berries. These were so sweet and juicy!

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Next you need to wash your mulberries. Aren't these beautiful? They look a lot like a blackberry. I have to say that I had a hard time not eating them as I was picking them!

After they are washed, put them in an 8x8 dish and put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over them, then set them aside.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Ingredients. I am missing the butter.

Then mix together 1 large egg, 1 cup of flour, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix until it resembles crumbs, like below.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Make sure that you mix it up until it resembles crumbs.

Take this mixture and pour over the berries, making sure that it is even and they are covered. Next, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and pour over the flour mixture that you just put on your berries. (Sorry I forgot to include butter in the ingredients picture above).

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Flour mixture is on berries, and then butter is poured on top of that.

Put this into your preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
A beautiful golden brown. This looks delicious!

Doesn't this look amazing? It was hard to keep from diving right into this dessert, but we somehow managed to show some restraint and were able to wait until after supper for this special treat.

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
This looks so good, but it really needs a friend.

I spooned some out into a bowl, but then I decided that while it looked good, it looked lonely. So what makes cobbler better? Well...

Mulberry Cobbler  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Now my cobbler is happy! Cobbler and ice cream, what a treat!

Vanilla ice cream! The only thing that could make this any better is if that ice cream were home made. But alas, we can't have everything!

As you can see the recipe is super simple, and super quick. The perfect dessert for when you are having company and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. This dessert would also work well with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Would you like a printed version of the recipe? Click here.

Let me know what think about the recipe in the comments below! Also how do you use your mulberries?

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
My days have been spent baking savory breads and making jams and jellies (a post is coming soon on the jams and jellies). We have been so busy that we have almost let the garden go. But this past weekend we decided it was time. We had talked about putting in a big enough garden that we could sell our produce, in fact we already have requests for produce from friends and family.

But that was not to be. Our tiller decided to not start. Mr. HFA is pretty handy and mechanically inclined so he can fix almost anything. When he couldn't fix it, I knew we were in trouble. Of course his first comment (out of frustration) was we might as well forget about a garden this year. But for me, that is not even an option.

Last year our garden was a total flop. We had so much rain within a 30 day period that not only did our garden flood, killing everything in it, but our roof on our house leaked sending a steady stream of water into our living room floor. With that amount of rain, we did not have a garden last year, and I did not want to repeat the same fate this year.

In the fall of last year, Mr. HFA built me some raised garden beds with wood we already had on hand. You can read about it here. We decided to add on to our raised beds and make a bigger area.

When Life Gives You Lemons  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Blackberry blossoms, our hillside is covered with them!

We have seen signs this spring of a good harvest. I hope that it continues. Our blackberries are filled with blooms. In fact I have never seen so many in the 4 years that we have been on our land. The last time we picked blackberries, we were able to get a bucket full and that's it. This year, I already have dreams of blackberry cobbler, blackberry jelly, and selling blackberries at the farmer's market.

When Life Gives You Lemons  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Our wild gooseberries! The berries are getting so big!

Our gooseberries are also doing really well. In fact it won't be much longer before they are ready to pick. The gooseberries are wild, and usually the wild ones are small. However when we went walking this past weekend checking out our berries, I noticed that they are huge for being wild.

So our garden has started. Since I didn't take the time to start my own plants this winter, I do need to buy some more tomato plants. Of course I will get those at the farmer's market. They are better quality and less expensive than getting them at a big box store. And we need to finish up the addition on to our raised garden bed.

When Life Gives You Lemons  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Our pepper plants. Since our chickens are free range, we have to have covers for our garden.

Currently we have a tomato plant, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, and okra. I will be adding more as we get more space.

When Life Gives You Lemons  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Our loan tomato plant, but it won't be for long.

I think we will try and fix a spot in our "normal" garden area for some pumpkins, gourds, and watermelon. They need lots of space to vine.

When Life Gives You Lemons  www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Our raised garden. You can see our original garden area right behind it.

So while normally we would feel defeated, I'm not going to let set-backs ruin my garden this year. Is the raised garden pretty? No, not by a long shot, but it will be beautiful when all those vegetables start growing. And if we only get enough to feed our family, then I will be more than happy with that. Of course I'm hoping to have enough cucumbers to make some of my yummy sweet and spicy pickles and our family's favorite lime pickles.

So I guess the moral of this post (there is always a moral, isn't there?), is that no matter what life throws at you, find a way to keep on. You may need to reinvent your original idea, but don't let anything stop you!

Let me know in the comments below how your garden is doing!

Pickled Radishes

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind where nothing goes right? Well that is how I have been feeling for the past couple of weeks! It is almost the end of the school year and my ability to multitask as a full-time mother, librarian, and blogger just isn't working. I've missed out on field trips, have forgotten to return paperwork and missed some blog posts. All I can say is thank goodness for my husband,  Mr. HFA (that's short for Henslee Farm Adventures in case you're wondering ;-) ). If it wasn't for him I would have lost my mind a long time ago!

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com

My new venture, since I don't have enough on my plate, is of course selling goods at our local farmer's market (Read about why you should support your local farmer's market). Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into, but to tell you the truth I absolutely love it! The best part is that I have made some new friends.

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Drew enjoying one of Rema's purple radishes at the farmer's market.

One of my new friends is Rema from Ford Family Farms. She grows heirloom vegetables, is very knowledgeable about her veggies, and has a great sense of humor! Talking to her has been a great learning experience for me. Whether she realizes it or not, I am learning more about seed germination and what works and doesn't work. I have had bad luck with heirloom seeds in the past because let's face it, they are finicky. However after hearing how she does it, I am willing to try it again! But gardening tips is not all she has given me, last week she gave me a beautiful bunch of heirloom radishes.

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Aren't they gorgeous? Ah, produce love.

While I love getting produce, any kind of produce, I wasn't sure what to do with them. Growing up, my parents always grew radishes and they were one of the first items to come out of our garden along with green onions and leaf lettuce. But we never did anything with them except eat them raw and put them in salads. Rema suggested making pickles out of them. Pickling them sounded wonderful! I love pickled anything. Now to find a recipe.

I found several recipes out there, but what I found interesting is that no two are alike. Some used honey, some used maple syrup, some used sugar.  Some had pepper flakes, some had fennel.  Still others used white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, or even just plain white distilled vinegar. It seemed like this was a recipe that truly could be tailored to fit whatever a person liked. 

I want to say a little something on the sugar that I use. I do not typically use refined white sugar. You hardly ever get to see the sugar I do use, because I pour my sugar into a glass container which I have at my "baking station" in my kitchen. The sugar I do use is a pure cane sugar which has gone through very little processing. It is not bleached white, although in certain pictures it does look white. It is also non-GMO, AND I can get it at our local Aldi store!

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Non-GMO sugar, nothing wrong with that!

After much debate on which way I should go, I thought I would base the recipe on my sweet and spicy pickles, which are ah-maz-ing I might add.  I might share that recipe with you later this summer when the cukes are ready. With the amount of radishes I had, I was able to make 3 pint jars. I did process them in a water bath canner to preserve them. 

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Ingredients minus the salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Oops!

So here is my recipe:
  • 2 big bunches of radishes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar would be great too)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper (I used white pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (I used kosher)
  • Garlic cloves (one per jar), optional
Slice radishes thin. This is where I used my mandolin slicer and it did a lovely job! They were sliced thin and it took no time to do it. If you don't have one, I would suggest getting one, it makes life easier! Once your radishes are sliced, put them in clean and sterilized jars. If you are using garlic, then add in the cloves of garlic too. I used garlic as we love it!

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Thinly sliced in the jar, just waiting for the brine.

Put the rest of your ingredients into a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Poor liquid over the radishes, wipe off the rim of the jar and place a flat and ring on the jar, fingertip tight. Process in a water bath canner, 20 minutes for pint jars.

Pickled Radishes www.hensleefarmadventures.com
Pickled and ready to eat!

That's it! If you don't want to can it, you can simply place it in the fridge and let set for 24 hours for the flavors to meld. *NOTE: If you do can this, keep in mind that when you process these it will intensify the heat of the red pepper flakes. If you do not like it that spicy, then decrease the amount of pepper flakes that you use.

These radishes are a hot, tangy, slightly sweet, wonder! I can't believe that I have never had these until now! And I can't wait to grill some burgers and put these bad boys on top instead of my regular pickles. Talk about kicking it up a notch!

So try these out and let me know what you think. And comment below if you have ever made pickled radishes before.

Food, Family, & Traditions

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
For the past couple of weeks, I have been baking and canning jellies and jams to take to our local farmer's market. Believe it or not, it has been a dream of mine to be able to bake and make items to sell. While I would really love to own a little restaurant, similar to what my dad owned, at this time the farmer's market is about all we can handle.

Food, Family, & Traditions www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Baked goods for the farmer's market

As I stood last night at my kitchen sink, looking out the window and stemming strawberries to make strawberry jalapeno preserves, I got a strong sense of déjà vu. I realized that the food itself was bringing back memories. Memories of my childhood, of when my mom and dad would can jams and jellies. When we would get together with my grandparents and make pies to go into the freezer for winter. The food connected me to my childhood. In fact if I stood there long enough I could imagine standing at my parents' kitchen sink, looking out their window, helping to get whatever produce was ready to either can or go into the freezer.

Food, Family, & Traditions www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Strawberry Jalapeno Preserves and Pepper Jelly

Tradition in our family and in many families can be found in the food that we eat and make. There are certain things that we always make on holidays. For Easter it is ham, deviled eggs, and my grandmother would always make angel food cake with strawberries. For the Fourth of July, growing up we always had watermelon and homemade ice cream. Thanksgiving of course means turkey, our family's special dressing (stuffing), and pumpkin pie. And of course on Christmas we would have homemade candies that was only made during that season.

Food, Family, & Traditions www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Homemade deviled eggs, a tradition at many of our family gatherings.

I try to carry on some of these traditions for my children, but I also try to start new traditions for them. They will grow up eating strawberries and pie crust for Easter, and for the Fourth of July, since my daughter is allergic to dairy, there is no homemade ice cream. Instead we stick to fruit kabobs and of course grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.  Thanksgiving we still have our traditional family meal, and for Christmas, I make several of the candies that I grew up with.

Food, Family, & Traditions www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Homemade buns using my dad's recipe that he used when he owned the Pastry Shop

One of the best gifts I have received was from my cousin Jim. To most people it would have no value, in fact it really has little monetary value, but to me it is worth everything. It is our grandmother's rolling pin. It still has the dough on it from the last time that she used it. She passed away in February of 1988, I was only 14 years old. When I look at that rolling pin, I think about her and her raisin pie and her stacked applesauce cake. I also think about how much she loved all of her grandchildren and how kind she was to us. I know that when Jim looked at the rolling pin, he had different memories of her, but still loving memories. He is older than me and while we didn't grow up together, we share what matters most, a grandmother, a rolling pin, and sweet memories.

Food, Family, & Traditions www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
My grandmother's rolling pin.

So as I make the jams and jellies, as I bake my dad's famous hamburger buns that he served at his restaurant, I am making new memories and traditions, while still carrying forward the old. These memories are ones that my children can look back on and remember, fondly I hope. Memories that I hope they will carry on as they raise their children. Memories that are all founded in food.

What food traditions does your family have? Let me know in the comments below.

7 Reasons to Go to Your Local Farmer's Market

Thursday, April 21, 2016
I know that on Thursday I usually post a recipe. Well this week, I didn't have the time to get a recipe ready to share with you all. That doesn't mean that I wasn't cooking or baking, in fact I have done quite a bit this week. All my cooking and baking have been in preparation for our local farmer's market.

Our local farmer's market.

I have been an avid fan/shopper of our local farmer's market for over five years. In that time you get to know the vendors, you know the quality of their food and produce. I absolutely love when the farmer's market opens and I try to go every week. At the very least I try to get there every other week.

Well this year, I have decided to take a leap and become a vendor myself. I am excited and scared all at the same time. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. I have wanted to make things and sell them, but I have always thought up excuses as to why I couldn't.

Jams and Jellies I will be selling at my local farmer's market.

I was talking to a friend of mine who is great at motivating me and giving me pep talks. She talked about how to first have faith. No matter what God will take care of us if only we will believe. She also told me that if I never try, I will never know if I can succeed. She is absolutely right!

I thought I would share with you the reasons why you should go to your local farmer's market. Some of you probably have, but maybe there are a few who never have.
Eggs are a popular item at the farmer's market.

So here are my 7 reasons why you should go to your local farmer's market.

1.  Great Food!

The food that you buy at the farmer's market is fresh!  It hasn't been picked before it's ripe, to sit on a truck as it travels across country, only to sit (again!) on the shelf for who knows how long!  If it is baked goods, you know it has been baked within the last 24 hours.  You also get to try new things that you might not even see at a regular grocery store.  In fact I can't wait to get some more of the apple wood smoked salt one of the vendors sell. It is amazing!

2.  Great Price!

When I first started going to the market, I noticed that a lot of times the cost of food was higher than at the grocery store.  Not by much, just a few cents. At first my budget-trained mind kicked in and thought, I'm not going to pay that! But then I realized, I'm getting locally raised, organic, top quality food.  That few extra cents?  Worth it! And it is much cheaper than buying organic in a grocery store.  Plus you cut out the middleman. There is nothing better than buying straight from the grower, because...

3.  You Know Where Your Food Comes From

I love knowing where my food comes from. I love knowing that my food comes from a farm that is only a few miles down the road. I love knowing that the produce was picked less than 24 hours from the time that I purchase it. What to know where the food comes from? Ask questions, ask about the farm and their farming practices. They love to share that information with you, and then you will see the value in the items you buy.

4.  Reduces Carbon Foot Print

I touched on this in reason number one. My veggies and baked goods are not coming from across the country, or even from another country. They did not have to travel thousands of miles in a pollution emitting vehicle. There is also less packaging and less waste. This is a great and easy way to start your trek on becoming environmentally friendly! :-)

5.  Vendors Are Very Knowledgeable

Vendors are very knowledgeable about their product, they have to be. I got in on a conversation one year about pest control. One shopper was asking the grower what kind of insecticide he used. The answer? He doesn't! At least not a chemically based insecticide. That was music to my ears. But then he went on to give the buyer some options of how to take care of pests naturally. So have if you have a question, ask it! They are more than happy to answer.

6.  Your Money Goes Back Into Your Local Economy

This is so important! I am supporting local farmers. This money is going straight into my local economy, right back into my home town. I want my town to flurish and I want those small (read non-corporate) farms to prosper.

7.  You Get to Meet Some Great People

The vendors at the farmer's market are some of the most wonderful people that I have met! I love talking to them and getting to know them. The best part, is that they all seem like a big happy family. I have not heard one vendor say anything negative about another vendor. I love that! If someone runs out of an item, then they know where to send you so you can get it from someone else. Unlike the corporate world, they are not out to compete with each other, but to help each other.

I hope that I have convinced you to go to your local farmer's market. In fact I hope that you come and visit me and the other vendors at the first farmer's market of our season.

Do you already frequent your farmer's market?  Tell me in the comments below your favorite item to buy


DIY Burp Rags

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
My niece is expecting her second child, a boy, in May. For her first son, I was able to crochet a beautiful blanket. And I was thrilled when she used the blanket for her son's first professional pictures.

This time around however, I have not had time to crochet anything! In fact I wasn't even going to make her anything, I was just going to buy a present, but I started thinking that there must be something that I could make that was easy, cute, and practical.

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com

Searching through pins on Pinterest, I found a couple of ideas and decided on both. One was an idea for a burp rag, and the other was a swaddling blanket. They both looked easy enough, and I thought I would share what my version of the burp rags with you.

For my version of this project, I really wanted to use items that I already had on hand, so I decided that a white terry cloth towel would make a great burp cloth. The thing that I love about the towel is that it is absorbent, but not bulky and it fits perfectly over your shoulder.

Since my niece is having a boy, I love the idea of appliqueing a tie on one side of the towel. I could have also tried my hand at a teddy bear, but decided that the tie would be easier. For a little girl, a butterfly would be adorable.

So here is my towel that I cut into thirds. You can cut yours into however many you want, based on the size of the towel and how big you want your burp rags. I used my mother-in-law's serger on the sides that were raw. You could also zigzag stitch them, or you could hem them as well. For me I'm all about ease and I love using a serger!

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
My towel, cut apart and serged.

Next you want to make your template for your tie or what you plan on appliqueing. Here is mine. I just grabbed a sheet of construction paper and free-handed it. The first one I made was too small. So I made a larger one and it worked better with the size of my burp rags.

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
My free-hand template...not too bad from someone who is not artistic!

Then pick out your contrasting fabric. I was planning on using some that I already had, but I didn't have a lot of what would be considered "boys fabric." While I was at Wal-Mart, I found these cute fat quarters and since they were less than a $1.00 each, I decided to get them. I could have bought just one fat quarter and made the towels the same, but I couldn't decide between the fabrics. So I decided to get both. If I had bought just one, it would have yielded me three ties. So that means I have leftover material to make more in the future!

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
My ties, ready to be adhered to the towel.

Use the template to cut out your ties on your fabric and then use HeatnBond Lite to adhere it to the towel. Iron on the HeatnBond first to your ties. Make sure that you use the lite version, because you want to sew over it. All this does is stick it to the towel so it doesn't move, and it gives it a little substance as well.

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Make sure you use the "lite" version.

Once you have ironed the HeatnBond to your tie and you have it positioned onto the towel, then peel off the backing and iron the tie to the towel. If you are unsure about this, just follow the directions on the package, they are really easy. I positioned my tie, 2" from the bottom of the towel, and then left a 1" space between the bottom part of the tie and the top part. That gave me plenty of room for sewing around it.

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Ready to sew around.

Once you have it ironed on, then you need to sew around the fabric using a zigzag stitch. The stitch was adjusted so that it is close together. The first one I did, which was the baseball one, was easy. In fact I should have known that it was too easy. My next one was of course the tie with the words on it, and I had some trouble with the thread catching. So while the second one isn't perfect, I finally finished it.

DIY Burp Rags  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Finished project...not too shabby!

I thought they turned out pretty good. And they were easy enough a beginning sewer could definitely make these.

The best compliment that I got was from my sister-in-law. She said that they looked like they came from a specialty shop. That is really something coming from her, she is the craftiest person I know! She makes me some of the most amazing Christmas gifts!

So there you have it. A quick, easy, cute, and practical baby gift. I really wish I had found these before. Everyone would have been getting these great burp rags from me! :-)

Let me know in the comments below what you think about these.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies

Thursday, April 14, 2016
You may be wondering why I am writing about brownies, thinking "didn't she say they were eating healthy?" Well yes I did say that, but every once in awhile it is good to have a treat. And when they are homemade instead of from a box, then they have the ability to be healthier depending on the ingredients you use.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com

These brownies are ah-ma-zing! I got the recipe from my mother-in-law. They are the easiest, yummiest brownie I have ever made. Did I mention how scrumptious they are?

If you like fudgey brownies, then this is the recipe for you. The ease of the recipe and they way you start out reminds me of my Lazy Woman's Cobbler recipe. But my favorite part about this recipe, besides the chocolaty goodness, is that it is made with staples that most people already have in their kitchen!

The other thing that I like about this recipe is that it makes a full 9x13 pan full of brownies. You can't get that size from a box mix!

So I won't keep you waiting any longer, here is the fabulous recipe for brownies.


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Simple pantry staple ingredients. I love recipes like this!

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  As your oven is preheating, put your two sticks of butter in your pan and put it in the oven to melt.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Butter ready to be melted.

As you are waiting on the butter to melt, mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Dry ingredients. Be sure and mix well before adding melted butter.

Put your eggs in a separate bowl.  As you can see, I only have 3 eggs.  That is because those are duck eggs I am using.  They are huge so I only need 3 instead of 4 and the reason I love using duck eggs in baking is because they make your baked goods, lighter.  If you only have chicken eggs then use 4. I also added in the vanilla with the eggs after I beat them.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
The duck eggs. Great for baking!

Once the butter is melted, add it to the dry ingredients and mix.  The mixture may be a little hot, so instead of adding the eggs, take a little of the butter/dry ingredients mixture and add it to the eggs to temper them. Then add the eggs into the mixture. If you don't do this, you will end up with scrambled eggs.

Put the mixture back into the 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Ready for the oven,.

This next part is the hardest part of this recipe. Do your best to let cool, before cutting and eating. It was almost impossible for me to follow this step. In fact I went ahead and cut them while they were still warm, which means they fell apart a little. Really, I don't care, they were still delish!

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Why yes, I did take a big bite out of that piece. Yum yum!

The only thing better that I could think of would be to add a scoop of ice cream right on top!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can have add-ins to this mix. Like nuts? Add a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts in. Want it to be extra chocolaty? Add in some chocolate chips. I have added in the Andes mint chips before for mint chocolate brownies. So good!

The other thing that you can do (to keep you from buying the box mix) is to mix up the dry ingredients and put them in a sealed bag ready to add the wet ingredients and bake. You've just made your own box mix! And it is so much better than the store bought stuff!

Ooey, Gooey, Fudge Brownies  www.HensleeFarmAdventures.com
Now I'm ready to make another batch.

Try out this recipe and let me know what you think! Cooking from scratch has never been so easy or so good!

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