Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
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I See the Light

Walking outside this evening was so beautiful. It is a wonderful night with clear skies. The stars are incredible and the moon, the moon is amazing! Everything is lit up by the luminous glow of the bright yellow moon. Awesome! After a long day of seeding, cleaning and repairing things, I took my wife out for dinner with my uncle and aunt. We had a lovely dinner in Lee, IL. The food was great and we enjoyed Raven and Samuel, my little cousins as well. Tomorrow my nephew, Andy will be helping me with a few projects. My sister called and told me he has baseball practice in the morning, but later in the day he will be coming out to help me. As I have mentioned several times before, He is great help. I have more seeding to do tomorrow and I want to work on another cold frame. That should keep me fairly busy until Andy gets here to help. On Sunday, after church, Kim, my daughter and I are attending a play. My niece and nephew, Grant and Taylor are in "The Wizard of Oz". Taylor is a munchkin and Grant is the mayor of Munchkin land. I am excited to see the play.

The seedlings are looking great in the seed room and I still have some room for more. I am working on another seed rack to accommodate more flats. The temperature in the seed room has been remaining steady, which is good. The humidity level is good and there is good air circulation. The only thing I would like to improve is the lighting. I think it could be better, but I think it will be alright for this year. I might want to improve on that next year. Well, its about time for me to hit the hay. You know what they say, "Early to bed..."


Potluck Recipes from Our Cookbook

This time of year is pot luck season. Many churches and organizations in our area hold potlucks. I thought I would post a couple of recipes that would be great at potlucks.  By the way, these recipes are from the Bountiful Blessings Cookbook, soon to be available on our website.



Crock Pot Beans

1 can pork’n beans

1 can green beans, rinsed

1 can wax beans, rinsed

1 can butter beans, rinsed

1 can red beans, rinsed

Brown ½ lb. bacon & dice


Add 1 med. onion to bacon & cook until tender

Add bacon, onion & grease to the beans in crock pot



1 c. ketchup

1 c. brown sugar

1 T. vinegar


Cook on low in crock pot for 3 hours



Cauliflower and Brown Rice Casserole

1lb. sliced mushrooms

1 large chopped onion

2 TBSP butter

Juice from 1 lemon

1 large head cauliflower (washed and broken into small pieces)

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. pepper

3 cups cooked brown rice (cooked according to package directions)

2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp. salt


In a saucepan over medium heat--add the butter and melt. Add the mushrooms, chopped onions, and crushed garlic--sauté until tender. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the mushroom mixture. Add basil and pepper--stir. In a separate saucepan add the cauliflower pieces--cover with water and add 1 tsp. salt--bring to a boil over medium heat, then boil for 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower to the mushroom mixture--stir. Add cooked brown rice to the mushroom mixture—stir. Grease a casserole dish. Pour entire mixture into the casserole dish. Cover the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top of the casserole--bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.



Green Beans and Meatballs

12 frozen meatballs

2 tsp. butter

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 chopped garlic clove

2 cups fresh cut green beans

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 - 10.75oz. can cream of chicken soup


Prepare meatballs as directed on package. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic--stir and cook until tender. Add green beans, sour cream, milk, Worcestershire sauce and cream of chicken soup--stir and cook until green beans are tender. Add meatballs--stir and cook until hot. Serve over rice or noodles.


Soup du jour!

Another running gear is painted. My buddy, Rick Wilkening and I got the running gear ready to go. So today we got it painted. It didn't take too long, but of course we had to wait for the paint to dry before we could put the wheels back on. While we were waiting, I got the tires changed and ready to go back on. So planning ahead, I think I am going to make soup for tomorrow. Thought I might share the recipe:

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
cup green lentils
¼ cup red lentils
½ cup yellow split peas
½ cup green split peas
3 medium tomatoes (fresh or canned, peeled)
3 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
A few grindings black pepper
4½ cups water (+ more as needed)
1 can tomato sauce (11 oz size)
3 Tbsp tomato paste

1. Add olive oil to a large saucepan.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring, 3 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients & simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Taste & season as needed.
5. If soup needs thinning, add more water & bring to a boil.



Another Day at the Farm

Well yesterday was a long and busy day. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I picked up a load of cement blocks and wood from a friend's place. That took most of the morning. I hauled the load home and my buddy, Rick convinced me to bring another running gear over to his shop to repair. What a job!!! After getting it into the shop, we had to cut the old top off of it and then jack it up. Once we had it on the jack stands we were able to pull the wheels. Two of the four tires were junk. I had some other tires at the farm to replace them. Using the tire machine, we slow repaired the tires. It was now time to pull the hubs and look at the bearings. Needless to say, they needed a little work! I ended up ordering two grease seals from NAPA and four axle hub covers from John Deere. I was amazed that the parts are still available for this old running gear. It was built sometime between 1955 and 1961. I was also surprised at how heavily they built things back in the day. The axles are one inch in diameter. I am guessing this is about a 6 ton gear. we plan to use it for a semi-permanent stand in town this year. When my dad gets back, he will be building the rack and the top of the wagon. He always does such a nice job. I'm sure it will look great.

Today, I am off to get the parts I ordered and then back to the shop to finish the project. My computer should be back this afternoon, so I will be able to finish the seed orders and get them in tomorrow. The time is flying by and I have a lot to get finished. By the twentieth, I want to be seeding my early tomatoes for the high tunnel. 


Tonight, I teach a Bible class at the church so it will be a quick snack before we go. When we get home supper will be ready. I'm sure you all think that the only thing I am interested in is eating... Well not really but I love good food.

This is what we are thinking about cooking for tonight in the crock pot.


Chicken Tagine
Tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish of vegetables, meat, and often fruit. It is actually named after the conical clay pot it is traditionally cooked in a "tagine pot". It is a nice fairly light dish with a unique flavor. Moroccan cooking evolved as a sort of fusion of African, Asian, and European flavors.

2-3 pounds skinned chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sliced large onions
4-6 chopped garlic cloves
2 sliced carrots
2 sliced celery ribs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
salt to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
2 sliced small zucchini
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
black pepper & cayenne to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh cilantro to taste



1. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil in a stockpot, stirring until onions are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and saute another couple of minutes.

2. Add chicken, cumin, ginger, turmeric, bay leaf, white wine, chicken stock and salt; stir together and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender.

3. Take chicken out and cut into cubes/chunks if necessary. Add paprika, chickpeas, sa ron, zucchini and lemon juice; simmer another 15 minutes, until zucchini is tender but still bright green.

4. Taste and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Stir in cilantro and parsley, just before serving with couscous.


As mentioned above, we will put this in the crock pot, but it is much better if prepared as shown above.


Getting Ready for the Day - Anticipating Supper!

This morning I am heading out to pick up a load of wood and some cement blocks. A friend of mine is cleaning up some of his property and has to get rid of some things. I should be able to use the wood around the farm for upcoming projects. The cement blocks will be used for the cold frame and the hotbed. My wife and I discussed our plans for this evening and what we are going to fix for supper. Several ideas came up. Anyhow, here is what we decided to have for supper tonight. Now I have something to look forward to the rest of the day! These are a couple of great recipes. Give them a try, I think you will enjoy them!


Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 t. parsley flakes
1 small onion (chopped)
1 soup can evaporated milk
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
Frozen tater tots

Brown hamburger & onion in skillet. Add salt & pepper. Remove from burner & drain. In separate bowl, combine soup, milk & parsley. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Place hamburger mixture in a greased 2 quart baking dish. Pour soup mixture over hamburger. Top with tatter tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

2 c. potatoes, cooked, fingerling variety
1 garlic clove minced
½ c. fat free chicken broth
1½ t. rosemary
¼ t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine potatoes, garlic & ¼ c. chicken broth in metal pie pan. Sprinkle with rosemary. Roast for 15 minutes until the broth evaporates. Add remaining broth. Flip potatoes & roast for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven & sprinkle with pepper.

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