Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Dip

Nothing like having dessert first!

This dip is truly a treat in itself and a fun appetizer. It is a great for a big crowd as you can mix and match your dipping foods.

Peanut Butter Cup Dip

8 ounce cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2.5 ounces bag of Reese's Minis (the already unwrapped bites)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add in the brown sugar. Add cocoa powder, flour, vanilla, salt and milk. Mix until smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly. Mix until smooth again.
Mix in the Reese's Minis and the chocolate chips.

Serve with Nilla wafers and / or pretzels.

Refrigerate any leftovers (if there are any)!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tater Tot Casserole

My husband is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of a guy. So this recipe is right up his alley. And my kids loved it too (even the picky one)!

Tater Tot Casserole

2 pounds ground beef or venison
1 large onion, chopped
2 10.5 ounce cans of cream of onion or mushroom soup (or see my recipe for Cream Soup)
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen vegetables of your choice (used peas and corn)
30 ounce bag frozen tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until beef is well browned, stirring to separate meat. Drain any fat. Spoon the beef mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with frozen vegetables. Stir the soup, ketchup and Worcestershire together in skillet over medium heat.
Pour sauce over casserole and mix to combine. Layer the top with shredded cheese. Arrange and layer the potatoes on top of the cheese. (I only used about 2/3 of the bag and used the potato rounds). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 ° F for 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Footprints is one of my favorite poems. When life just seems to be too much to handle, I often think about God "carrying me" through whatever problem is heavy on my heart. With each of us safely in the arms of Christ, he will always deliver us on safe side of our problems.

One night I dreamed a dream...

As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord. 
After the last scene of my life flashed before me, 
I looked back at the footprints in the sand. 

I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints. 
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.

"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and 
most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed you the most, 
You would leave me." 

He whispered, 
"My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,

It was then that I carried you."

- Author Unknown

Below is a link to Josh Wilson's song "Carry Me". He did not write this song based on the poem but my mind always leads me to the chorus of the song when I am in need of being carried.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Need a easy comfort soup for that really cold winter day? Try chicken dumpling soup that you can make in your crock pot! Don't let the dumplings intimate you, they are very simple to make.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

1 1/2 pounds chicken, diced, boneless and skinless (any cut will do)
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon parsley, dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Combine chicken, broth, carrots, onion and celery in your crock pot. Stir in garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Turn crock pot on to the high setting for 6 hours.

About 30 minutes before the crock pot is done, start mixing up the dumplings. Combine eggs and water in a mixer on the low setting. Start adding flour in small amounts until combined. Add in salt and baking powder. Mix well. Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot soup. Allow soup to cook for another 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip

With football season in full swing (my Packers made the playoffs this year!), snacks are a must with watching the big game. This dip is a great crowd pleaser and makes a good amount.

Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip:

2 - 8 ounce blocks cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 package of dry ranch seasoning packet
4 ounces of beer (personal preference is a blonde beer)
2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (prefer sharp cheddar)
Pretzels or any other food you want to pair the dip with

Mix cream cheese and ranch packet in stand mixer at low setting. Slowly pour in beer until mix. Add shredded cheese and continue mixing until combined.

Serve after chilled with pretzel twists.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year In Review

First of all THANK YOU! I am beyond excited that you have chosen to read our blog.
2013 brought a dream into reality, with the birth of Sustainable Blessings.

Thought it would be fun to look back on all that has happened both on the website and in our yard this year.

Here is a listing of the most popular posts in 2013:

 1. Taco Sauce

2. Amish Friendship Starter
3. Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
4. Homemade Ketchup
5. Dandelion Jelly

Here is a recap of what we grew in 2013:

This year I started weighing the harvests from our garden and yard. Unfortuately, I have not weighted the years prior but I do think we did great!

Basil: 0.9 ounces, plus harvests that I didn't weight. Only had 2 small plants this year.
Beans - Green: 6 pounds 0.75 ounces
Cilantro: Grew great!
Corn - Sweet: 16 pounds 12 ounces. Finally the racoons did not get our crop!
Cucumber: 11 pounds 5.35 ounces
Dandelion Petals: 3.1 ounces. Picked for Dandelion Jelly.
Garlic Mustard: 2.5 ounces. Picked for pesto.
Mulberry: 17 pounds 10.5 ounces. What a suprise to find 2 trees in our yard this year!
Mushroom - Morel: 1.5 ounces. Granted I only found 2 mushrooms... but I was so excited that they grew in our yard! What a treat!
Onion - White: 1 pound 2.5 ounces
Oregano: 0.2 ounces, plus 2 huge bunches that we dried.
Parsley: Grew great but never weighed any.
Pear: 118 pounds 6 ounces
Pea - Sugar Snap: 4.3 ounces. This was a sad little crop. Too bad, since I love Sugar Snap Peas.
Pepper - Green: 1 pound 14.25 ounces. We got lots of peppers but they were very small.
Pepper - Jalapeño: 2 pounds 6 ounces. Grew great! Loved the Pickled Jalapeños we made.
Potato - Red: 3 pounds 1.5 ounces
Potato - Yukon Gold: 2 pounds 8.75 ounces
Pumpkin: 81 pounds 9.2 ounces. Wow! All this from 2 plants.
Raspberry: 1 pound 1.25 ounces
Rhubarb: 1 pound 9.5 ounces
Rosemary: Grew well. I this plant comes back in 2014!
Sage - Pineapple: Delicous but did not weigh. Made the garden smell great!
Strawberry: 3 ounces
Stevia: This was a new plant to our garden. Was a great addition to our sun tea.
Tomato: 39 pounds 8.4 ounces. Frost hit us in mid October, which left us with lots of green tomatoes.
Watermelon: 125 pounds 12.4 ounces. The heaviest harvest of the year!

Total Weight Harvested in 2013...... 433 pounds 3.5 ounces!