Archive for February, 2015


This recipe was created because I had a package of Canadian bacon and some rather tasteless Swiss cheese in the fridge that needed to be used up. Oh, and an insatiable appetite for pizza! When melted, the Swiss is firm and surprisingly, this combination gives you the texture of “real” pizza in your mouth. This is an original Minnesota Farm Woman copyrighted recipe. You may share it with credit, but do not steal and claim as your own, or you will have to clean the chicken coop for a month!

1 6 oz. package thin sliced Canadian bacon
5-6 slices Swiss cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
10 or more slices turkey pepperoni
2 tbs. chopped green olives
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional toppings will add carbs, but you may add 1 tbs. pizza sauce, 1 tbs. chopped green pepper, onion, and/or mushrooms. You could change it up and add pesto, grilled chicken, and artichoke hearts, too!

In a non-stick skillet saute the Canadian bacon in olive oil until browned. (I used an orGreenic pan for this recipe, and nothing ever sticks.) Remove, cool, and wipe pan. Line pan with the cooled bacon, top with Swiss cheese. Broil on low until golden brown, cool. This should form a fairly solid disc. Lift, wipe pan, and flip over. Top with seasonings, pepperoni, and chopped olives, cover with mozzarella. Broil on low until golden brown.
Makes 4 generous slices. Each slice yields 3 carbs, depending on brands used and with no optional ingredients added.

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Fly Away Home

10959391_10205437575566096_1012712571256029305_nEven though she had more chickens than I did, my friend always called me “Chicken Lady.” She had a silly nickname for everyone she liked, and a probably a few that were not-so-silly for those she didn’t. She started my flock nearly seven years ago with a gift of four small banty chickens. I faithfully promised her that they would not be dinner and that I would return them to her if I changed my mind about raising chickens. (We all know how that turned out.) I also promised to sing to them every once in a while, because she told me that singing to chickens makes them happy. Only one chicken remains of that original flock, a nice little hen named Old Mum, widowed many times over. One by one, her rooster husbands have died of old age or disease. Chickens are not known for living long lives. Unfortunately, sometimes people aren’t, either. My beautiful friend, so young and healthy, got sick. The type of cancer that chose her should have never happened, but there it was. She fought it, and fought hard. It might seem strange, but we didn’t talk much about the cancer. Instead, we talked about chickens. Chickens and life and our grandchildren to be. Old Mum lost her last husband last week. Although he was old and nearly blind, he was a loving little rooster who stayed close by and always made sure that she got to eat first. Last week, I found him in a corner of the coop, nearly lifeless. I laid him out in a bed of straw and said my goodbyes, knowing that he would be dead by morning. I was surprised to see him walking around the coop the next day. Old Mum had taken her favorite seat on the windowsill, where she loves to peck at the frost that covers the window when the temperature drops outside. He was looking for her, I could tell. It took him several tries to fly up to the window to join her. They moved together against the frosted window, almost appearing to snuggle like the comfortable old couple they were. For once, I was at the right place and the right time with my camera. I found him the next day in the nesting box, wings spread as if he were flying away. They got what so many of us wish for: Another minute…another hour…another day with someone we love. Although I think of my friend often, I don’t know just why this particular moment brought her to my thoughts. For a moment, I couldn’t even remember how long she had been gone. I felt guilty about that, but then realized that she would more want it to be remembered that she lived rather than that she died. And live she did, before earning her wings. She lived and she cried and she laughed and she held those grandbabies close to her heart. I don’t think Old Mum has that much time left. Not only due to her age, but she is developing a malformation of her beak, making it hard for her to eat and requiring that she be hand-fed more often than not. Somewhere in heaven, my friend is caring for a bevy of colorful roosters, waiting for Old Mum to join them. Here on earth, I mix her food with warm water and sing to her softly as she eats.

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No More Monkeys

Kids these days are technological geniuses, and our grandson Max is no exception. Like the rest of you doting grandparents out there, we are certain that Max is not only the cutest kid ever, but exceptionally bright. He’s not quite two, and although he understands many words, his vocabulary consists of about ten. He must take after his grandfather in that respect, because that’s about one evening’s conversation at our house. After I purchased a new smart phone, I think that perhaps little Max looks all the brighter because I am so dim. The cost of this fancy phone, by the way, is more than my parents paid for my first car. (That sporty 1967 Mustang was bought used and was really theirs but to this day I say it was mine, and to this day I wish I still had it.) I am not so technically challenged that I can’t add my favorite apps, take pictures, and text or call people, but it took me a little while to figure it all out. I managed to take a new video of little Max jumping in his crib while I chanted his favorite nursery rhyme of “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”, which I have repeated so many times that the lilting cadence even disturbs my dreams. If you have never heard that rhyme, let me just say that it is the toddler version of “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Max usually commandeers my tablet computer the minute he sees it and plays several games and puzzles, which I have installed just for him. Last week, he noticed the new phone and quickly figured out how to play the monkey video, and he laughed and laughed every time. Mind you, it takes at least four buttons to push to even get to the video application, and it even takes me a little while to find it, but he figured it out within seconds. I was happy, because watching the video over and over kept Max sitting quietly on my lap, allowing me to watch reruns of Dr. Phil. When babysitting a very active toddler, only another grandparent will understand that it is not so much the watching of the Dr. Phil show but the sitting and the resting that’s important. When I tried to make a call later that day, I realized that my entire phone list was gone. More than a hundred names and numbers were missing. Deleted. In place of the phone list were names and numbers of people, many of them from Pennsylvania, who were not known to me. I brought the phone in to that very expensive phone store, and the phone wizard who helped me couldn’t figure out how to get the numbers back, either. Apparently, The Boy Wonder not only deleted my list, but he synced my phone with someone else’s. Whatever “sync” means. I’m sure many of you are as dependent on your phone list as I am mine. I can’t even tell you my husband’s cell phone number. I just point to the word HIM on the list and click. With my usual luck, my old phone was 30 miles away, so we couldn’t reprogram the numbers from the old to the new. It was one long night of homework for me, entering each number by hand. It’s kind of crazy, but something totally amazing happens when you have grandchildren. You don’t get mad at them. Instead, your heart fills with pride and joy and love. In this case, there was a tiny bit of insanity thrown in, too. I say that because although my heart was filled with pride and joy and love, inside my head that night the words kept repeating themselves over and over, “Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, ‘no more monkeys jumping on the bed!'” Now that you’ve read this, I’ll bet you’ll be hearing it over and over in your head, too. You’re welcome.

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