Sugar Cookies

IMG_5973 (2)The recipe for sugar cookies that I am sharing today is the one my mom has always used. We never did anything fancy with frosting. In fact, the first time I ever used an icing bag was when Jacob was in kindergarten at Sully Christian School (18 years ago) and mothers helped decorate cookies for a cookie walk. That was the year we began our family tradition of frosting Christmas cookies. Each year we add a few more cookies.

Jacob began his baking experience at an early age with Grandma B.  (I think they tried to do the majority when Emily was napping!)

Jacob cookies

Jacob and Kate baked the cookies this year.

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Emily and friend Kelly decorating trees and stockings.

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Jacob’s special friend Kate was assigned the penguins this year.

We make sugar cookies throughout the year; however not as many as we make at Christmas time!

Cookies 2015 (2)

Christmas Cookies 2015  – 300+

pig and valentines 2

Valentine’s Day


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This year Emily made cookies for Karl’s going away party in July.


National Candy Corn Day – Oct. 30

Turkey Cookies2 (2)

Turkey Cookies look nice on a tray with pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving.



1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter or margarine (I usually use a stick of each or all butter.)

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

Mix sugar and butter. Add egg and flavorings; mix thoroughly. Stir dry ingredients together and blend in. Refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough in half and roll out on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters.

Place on baking sheet. Bake 7 to 8 minutes depending on thickness.

Cool on wire racks.

(This recipe is from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. It is the one my mom has always used.)

Betty Crockers Cook Book

Our frosting recipe comes from Kevin’s mom.


Beat one stick of butter (room temp.), one cup of solid Crisco, ½ bag of powdered sugar and ½ cup of hot water. Then add remaining bag of powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. almond, and 1 tsp. butter flavorings.

We usually make our Christmas cookies at the beginning of December and freeze them in a large container after letting them dry overnight.  I layer them with a variety in each layer; then we just remove a layer at time to put on a cookie tray and we are ready for Christmas gatherings!


I could not add a post without one farm picture!  It is another rainy miserable day!  Just plain gross outside!  So thankful that our calves are inside!  It makes chores much more pleasant!


Snick calf shed

True love!

Hope you are all ready for Christmas!  I need to complete a few more tasks so I better keep moving!

Do you have any favorite Christmas recipes?

Take care,


Farm to Table: Fall Highlights and Bugle Mix

It is hard to believe that a week from today will be the day after Christmas !  I have so much to share since it has been two months since I have shared the happenings on the farm.  We had a little snow in November followed by some very mild days the first part of December.  However, it does feel like winter now!  (I guess the calendar does say winter begins next week.  That’s why I thought I could still talk about fall yet this week!) Here are a few pictures that highlight some things that have taken place the last couple of months….

Pig Buildings snow

The first snow fell in November.  See the pig barns in the background.


It is great to be inside on a cold snowy day!

Snickers Queen

Snickers – Queen of the Calf Shed

Snow Panels

Finished powerwashing calf panels just in time!

Wall hoop

Placing a north wall in the hoop and the curtains are up on the sides as the snowflakes begin to fall.

Emily our house

Emily putting Christmas lights on our house.


Emily’s supervisors as she is in the lift.


Emily pig building

Emily and Snickers hanging Christmas lights on the pig barn.

GG House distance

My view on the way to the calf shed one afternoon. See Emily on the lift above trees!

Emily GG Trees

Decorating Grandpa and Grandma Van’s trees.

Baling small bales tractor seat

A beautiful view on an October Friday night while baling oats.

Baling small bales Kevin

Baling some more square bales for bedding.

Bales on rack

A load of small square corn stalk bales for the calf shed.

Corn stalk bales 3

Bale wall

Putting some bales in place for a wind break.


Combine at Rich's 2015

Combining corn on another beautiful fall day.

Jacob chisel 3

Jacob taking a lunch break from fall field work.

Grinding Feeed

Unloading a load of feed.


We enjoyed some outstanding sunsets this fall.


Hay rack sunsetsunsetSunset 2Pig Building sun set

We did have a couple of not so pleasant days as well this fall!

Truck Repairs

Jacob semi

Jacob is helping fix air tanks on the semi.

Grain Cart upset

The dirt road gave way to the loaded grain cart!  Thankfully Kevin was the tractor driver on this one!


Calf hoop sunny a.m.

The calves are enjoying a sunny fall day!

Calf Balnket

New calves have arrived.


Peanut M&M’s are a must for end of the year bookwork!

Ear of Corn

On our farm the majority of our corn is fed to our cattle; however corn is a popular ingredient in many products in the grocery store.  Most of the products included in the recipe that I am sharing today contain corn or soybeans!   This is a good snack to have on hand to provide an option to all of the sweets!

I actually created this recipe from a couple of different recipes.


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix the following ingredients in a large roaster pan:

2 bags of Bugles

1 sack of Gold Fish crackers (I have started using the colored ones.)

1 bag of Roasted Garlic Rye Chips

½ bag of Butter Spindle Pretzels

1 box of Cheez Its

1 bag of Soup and Oyster Crackers (premium)

In a small bowl combine the following:

12 oz. popcorn oil            1 tsp. dill weed

¼ tsp. garlic salt                ¼ tsp. lemon pepper

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

Pour over ingredients in roaster pan. Stir and place in oven for 45 minutes; stir every 15 minutes! Cool and store in plastic bags or containers.

Enjoy the next few days as you make last minute preparations for Christmas!  (As I write this, Emily is in the middle of a baking marathon.)  Look for cookies recipes in the next post!

Take care,