Sunday, March 31, 2013

What's cooking on the farm this Easter?

I love holidays. There's good food, spending time with family and loved ones, and most importantly there's usually a good reason behind them. On this Easter Sunday, I feel especially grateful for my savior! My spiritual place is being outside on the farm with these animals and the land. God is easy to find and be close to on the farm (especially around springtime). With each new life, sunrise/sunset, bloom on a flower-I feel his presence.

 I wanted to share the recipe for what I'm cooking up this Easter Sunday. It's my family dinner specialty- baked macaroni and cheese. Every person in my family has certain dishes that they just know they will be responsible when it comes to family dinners because they just make them so well. Mine is this mac&cheese. Macaroni is definitely a staple here in the south when it comes to family dinners, so being trusted with this dish is a pretty big honor! Before I took over this dish, it was my mom's. She did (and still does) make the best homemade mac&cheese I've ever put in my mouth! I had been making mac&cheese with my mom since I was old enough to hold a spoon..and now I've added a few things and made it my own, and was handed over this big cheesy responsibility! :) 

Southern Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

What you'll need:
1 (8 oz.) box of elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter ('s southern..use REAL butter for the best taste)
3 eggs (farm fresh are the best!)
3/4 can evaporated milk
2 c. milk
4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups will be the topping)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepper to taste

1. Cook and drain your macaroni noodles per package directions. 
2. Melt and add the stick of butter in with the still warm macaroni noodles. 
3. Add 2 cups of sharp cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir. 
4. Mix in both milks and beaten eggs, and add in pepper to your taste (very important to put eggs with the cold milk because you don't want them to start cooking too early from the warm noodles)  
5. Once everything is well incorporated, pour into a 9x13in. casserole dish. 
6. Use the remaining 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar to cover the top of the macaroni mixture, and sprinkle the top with parsley. It should look like this before going into the oven:

7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (this will obviously vary on your oven). You want the top to be slightly browned, but still bubbly and wiggly in the middle. 
8. Enjoy a little bite of heaven! 
Final product:

Other things I'm cooking this Easter:

 Southern Pecan Praline Cake Click the link for the recipe. This was a Pinterest find..a hit the first time I made it, and now is back by popular demand! 

Pigs-in-a-blanket. One of my personal favorites..and the kids love them :) 

Cupcakes with Easter sprinkles!

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For two years now my new year's resolution has been to start a blog. Here it is almost the end of March on the second year and I'm just now getting around to figuring out how to go about starting one! To let you know how that resolution came to be I must first let you know that I am a blog junkie. There are several people I blog-stalk almost daily and could tell you their whole life story because I've read about, followed, and grown to love their families from afar (creepy I know). I love reading new posts and seeing what they're up to, as well as going back to the archives to see where they've come from. We only get to go through this little journey called life once-what better way to document it and all its ups and downs than through awesome photos and blog posts? (I guess I could scrapbook but as a wise lady once said "ain't nobody got time for that.") So...that's how the Jolly Farm Journal was born. I want to use this blog so that one day I can look back and reminisce about all the things that happened on the Farm. I'll be posting pictures and updates of all the animals that call the farm home and their shenanigans, probably some recipes and food since I love to cook, and anything else I feel is blog-worthy.