Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Helping Hand

Growing up in a small rural community I've always been taught, and have seen first hand, how to help a neighbor in need. If anyone needed something you dropped what you were doing to help make time for them. Then when you needed something you always knew who to call for help. It's just the way things are. Not only do we help out with our time but even our money and support. In our community we have had several people in need. Weather it be due to a medical illness, someone loosing their house, or a building in our town in disrepair our community comes together to raise the funds needed. I've been amazed at how much money our little town collects to help someone or something in need.

2 weeks ago this Sunday one of our Mennonite neighbors lost both their house and business in a fire. Luckily the family was out of town during the fire and nobody was hurt but they lost absolutely everything. It was very devastating to our community because they are not only very nice people but their business was very successful. It seems like the worst possible things happen to the best people.

Photo Credit Maryville Daily Forum

Now some people after a fire tend to move away and find a new place to make a life but not our neighbors. They began to rebuild immediately. It was actually such a wonderful and amazing thing that happened. So many of their neighbors and friends and family joined together and within 2 weeks they have rebuilt the structure. Now they have decided just to have their woodworking shop and showroom there and build a house else where.

Photo Credit Maryville Daily Fourm

Each day that I drove by and saw their progress it really inspired me and gave me somewhat hope that even in this crazy messed up world there are still people who care to help out their fellow neighbor. Also more importantly God will take care of you in our times of need.

Here is a great article that our local newspaper wrote about them. LINK

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Spring Meeting of the Missouri State Beekeepers Association

This weekend I had the opportunity of attending the 2014 spring meeting of the Missouri State Beekeepers association or MSBA. This time it was held at the Lake of the Ozarks at a country club which was pretty fancy. Each year the MSBA holds a meeting in both the spring and the fall so that members from all over the state can get together. They bring in top notch speakers who talk about everything beekeeping related. They also have vendors and display booths. On the first night they have a banquet dinner where in the spring they honor the beekeeper of the year and in the fall they crown the new queen/princess. It's a great event and each year I come away with so much new knowledge and ideas.

Lauren the Queen and I at one of the vendors booths. He dose designs on panels of hive bodies. They were really beautiful.

Us with Dr. Leonid Sharashkin. He was one of the speakers and vendors. He was from Russia and has a very interesting view on beekeeping. Instead of using conventional vertical hives he uses horizontal hives. 

Meeting and greeting :)

The Horizontal hive. 

A book I bought about the horizontal hive. It was edited and translated to English by Dr. Leonid Sharashkin. 

One thing that the Queen and I had to do was on Saturday do a short Patriotic presentation. She read a poem and I made a simple Power Point that reflected what she was saying. I also made these favors to give to all the veterans we recognized. 

I also made some vanilla cupcakes with honey butter cream and honey vanilla Lemonade for the hospitality room. 

The water :) We were on the lake but spent most of the weekend indoors. 

Yes our bathroom in our hotel room had a phone by the toilet!! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

7 Layer Chocolate Peanut Butter Heaven

Oh boy! This stuff is pure heaven that is if you like peanut butter and chocolate!! It's super easy to make and all the stuff is really easy to find! I hope you try it out. Original Recipe HERE.

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, melted
8 ounce bag Reese’s Minis
1 heaping cup pretzel twists
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Reese’s Pieces

First mix together 2 cups of chocolate graham cracker crumbs and the 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Press down to make a crust.

Next add mini Reese's peanut butter cups.

Now the pretzles. Add as many or few as you would like. Our family isn't big on pretzles so that's why there aren't that many. 

Then sprinkle on the chocolate chips.

Now the peanut butter chips.

Now evenly pour the 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk over the goodies.

Finally add the Reese's Pieces.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool for 2 hours before cutting. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

Semi Homemade Peach Pie

Since I have Fridays off I've been baking and cooking on those days. I spend my time watching the food network and trying to study them to better my cooking abilities. My idols right now are Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa and Giada De Laurentiis. They cook amazing food. Anyway.... For moths we've had a can of Peach pie filling taunting me to make something with it. So today I finally decided to make a good old peach pie. It actually was very easy to make and I kind of just winged it but it turned out great!! I even tried a lattice top which turned out gorgeous (I think lol). Here's my recipe. 

Semi Homemade Peach Pie

Crust- I made mine in a food processor but you can sure do it by hand if you'd like. This is a double recipe which means it makes a bottom crust and a crust for the top. Cut in half if you just want crust on bottom.

1 cup butter
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tspn salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup COLD water

Add flour, sugar, and salt to food processor. Pulse a couple of times. Add in diced up butter. Pulse until butter is broken up. Slowly add in water while pulsing food processor. Blend until forms a ball. Take out and divide in 2 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 30 minutes and chill.

1 can of peach pie filling
1 can of sliced peaches drained
1 tspn cinnamon

Mix together in bowl. (pretty hard I know)

Assembly of pie:

Take crust out of fridge. Take one of the dough balls and roll out big enough to fill a 9 inch pie pan. Drape in pan and cut off scraps to the edge of the pie pan. Take filling mixture and pour into pie pan. Take other crust and roll out. Here's where you can do what ever you want If you just want it to be completely cover make sure it's big enough and drape over mixture. Make sure you cut slits in top so that it doesn't explode. Or you can make a lattice top like I did. Take rolled out dough and cut 1/2 inch strips with a pizza cutter. About 10 strips. Then do the lattice pattern on top and cut out so that it doesn't drape over your pan. Sprinkle sugar on top for a little sweeter finish. Bake at 425-450 degrees for 45 minutes. Watch carefully for burning and bubbling over. I placed a cookie sheet in the bottom of the oven just in case to catch the over flow if any. I was lucky it didn't bubble over.

Before I baked it. If you can notice at the top I made an error in my pattern. It took me 5 minutes to think it through to fix it!! LOL But the picture above shows I worked out my errors. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kansas City Farm Show and PBR

Last Sunday was a CRAZY day. Since it was FFA week my old FFA chapter had a breakfast at our local cafe. Since I had helped out quite a bit in high school I wanted to go help again since they were going to be short of help. So I was there from 7-9. The day before I had got to decorate a cake for my Ag advisor. He is going to be retiring this year and so this was his last FFA week. He was very surprised I think!!

Around 9 2 friends of mine and I ran down to Kansas City to spend the rest of the day. We first hit the Western Farm Show. It's basically 4 large rooms full of anything farm related could ever think of. Machinery, fencing supplies, seed companies, vehicles, and about everything else farm. The best part about the Farm Show was running into Laurie from COUNTRY LINKed. Her husband was working the Burrus Seed booth and so she and her family were there too! I wanted to get a pic of us together and so I had my friend take a picture of us. While we were posing all the people walking by were looking at us like we were famous or something. But heck we're internet sensations :) Ha!

Laurie and I 

This guy and his family painted a tractor Pink to honor his wife who died from breast cancer. 

I'd take one of these please :)

After the Farm show we went over to the Sprint Center and watched the PBR. It was great as always!! This was my 3rd year going to Kansas City. I didn't get any autographs this year but had an amazing time!!