Baked Eggs Southwestern Style


We love southwestern food! Anytime we can add some jalapenos, black beans and tomatoes to a recipe we are happy campers!

This weekend for brunch we made baked eggs and they were fantastic.

Note: I love using dried beans rather than canned beans so I had cooked those in the crockpot the day before to have them ready. When I prep beans this way, I do not add any seasonings since they will be in a recipe. I simply do 1 C dried beans to 3 C water and let them go for several hours in the crockpot. You can also use 1 can of black beans, rinsed for this recipe.

Start with a diced onion and a couple jalapenos. Add some diced garlic (some is a relative term; I used 6, but others may just use a couple).  Add 1 tsp of paprika (I used 1/2 smoked and 1/2 sweet) and 1/2 tsp of cumin. Let all the veggies sweat and the seasonings get fragrant–about 15 minutes.


peppers and onions

Oh did it smell good. Next add your black beans (16 oz) and tomatoes. For the tomatoes you need about 28 oz.

black beans and tomatoes

I used tomatoes that I had frozen. I grabbed a bag of  frozen crockpot sauce (recipe from Food Renegade)I made ALOT of this last summer and froze 2 cup portions into ziplocks.  I grab it all the time for recipes or to throw on pasta. Since it is seasoned up nicely these tomatoes worked great in this recipe.  I also quartered and froze roma tomatoes last summer and grabbed several of these. Frozen tomatoes are not good for salads, but they work great in recipes or for roasting. If you have tomatoes you preserved that are favorites, use those; otherwise grab 28 oz can and that will work nicely too.

Stir it up and add a little honey (about Tbl).


I added a bit of tomato paste to thicken it up and then let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.

One at a time, break eggs into a cup and pour them into the sauce.


Add a lid and check them after about 6 minutes. Mine cooked for 8 and the yolks were still runny.

Serve in a bowl with pitas or tortilla shells- you could use corn or flour, hard or soft– whatever you like best.

Add some chopped green onion and some feta (queso fresco would be great, but I did not have any). Chop some cilantro if you have it around and toss it on.


Baked Eggs

Do you like spicy food?  What are some of your favorites?

Happy Unleashing those taste buds!






Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #185

apronHowdy and welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! I look forward to this every week! How about you?

Many of you have snow and are making the best of it! Like Lori at LL Farm who is making Snow Ice Cream and shared how last week on the hop!

Reading and imagining the yumminess has me wishing for snow!

So let’s get hopping! Brag a bit on yourself and your doings over at your home. It is such a fun way to share!

Be sure to stop by Deb’s at Dandelion House and say hi! We are planning some nifty giveaways for 2015!! So keep checking in.

Have a great week and thanks for joining us today!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart – MaryJaneButters

Sometimes There are Disappointments

IMG_20141011_190339283_HDRI have said a number of times that our life here at Big Sky Acres is a living experiment. Everything we try is new and we have no experience to draw upon when it comes to bees or this land we are growing veggies in. We learn continually and sometimes those learnings coming with high fives and laughter. Sometimes they come with sorrow.

After a wonderful weekend away at the wood show and Lake Monroe we decided to take a walk around our property and check out the low tunnels, cold frames and bees. It was a beautiful day- 50 degrees and sunny.  We knew however that this 50 degree day had come after a string of frigid temperatures. We had wondered if things had survived and with hopeful hearts we wandered on back.

As we approached the one end of one of the tunnels was collapsed; not always a bad sign as sometimes the wind that runs across here will do that, but it felt like a red flag. As we peeked in we saw that all of our beautiful green babies had frozen and died. The cabbages and brocolini that looked so beautiful a month ago just could not handle the below 0 temps.

I ask myself, should I have added plastic or another layer of frost cloth? Probably one of those should have been done. More reading on year around gardening will give me the answer I suppose.  Since we are doing things before we read all the books sometimes the chapter you need is the next one and you make a mistake or miss something. You try again with some tweaks and hope for different results.

I also think that I planted too late. I was really close to the Persephone (less than 10 hours of light) when I planted. I have had a nagging feeling that would have an effect, but still wanted to try. That is how it is when you are a living experiment! Reading and tweaking is a constant here so I am in hopes that our wonderful low tunnels will supply us with produce in the spring when we try it again. So we say farewell to these for a few weeks…


On a positive note, the cold frames seem to be doing well.  The arugula and lettuce are growing. They have a ways to go before harvesting and eating, but they are hanging in there. I am in hopes that the garlic that is under the straw is also preparing for it’s growth spurt in several weeks.


We headed to the bees.  We have been concerned about our one hive, Green but we felt that Trudeau was well.  (yes we name our hives after airports).

On this 50 degree day we did not see any bees making their cleansing flights and only saw one bee in the sugar candy. We heard no buzzing in either hive. We feel they are lost too. We will get more bees and do it all again, but losing both hives is sad. We can’t really point a finger at anything here. When we last saw them there was buzzing and activity in both. We made sugar candy and put that and a pollen patty in there. They were used hives… could something have been lurking there? I have since read to NOT purchase used hives, so when we get our bees in the spring, I think we will trash these and get new hives. “Once burned, shame on you, twice burned shame on me.” I just feel to do the same exact thing again is not the right way to go. So sadly we say goodbye to our little bees and feel sorrow that they did not make it this winter.



Life if full of experiences, isnt’ it? Some happy and some sad. I am blessed because the happy far outweigh the sad. I can be sad about these losses while at the same time look forward to the successes that will occur. Regardless of success or failure they are just that… learnings.

What about you? What are some tough lessons you have learned on your homestead? Do you have any tips for me, our bees or tunnels?

Happy Unleashing in your successes and failures!

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #183

apronWelcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop — Monday edition. Deb and I were both out this weekend so we are a little behind on posting! But all for a good cause.  :-)

Deb was at The Northeastern Poultry Conference. She had a blast. Be sure to stop by and read all about it! It sounds like a dream weekend for a farmgirl! And she has a giveway going, so that is always fun!

I was taking in beautiful views and sunrises while hubby was at the Woodworking Show this weekend.





This is hubby’s first woodworking show.  He is in IT so normally it is technology conferences for him. Last year he really started getting into woodworking in his workshop and he has put out a few lovely pieces of furniture.  Look at this table he make for my daughter and husband from barnwood that he reclaimed.


I am so excited that he took the time and to go to the show. He LOVED it and I don’t think he was sorry that it was not a tech show!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? We are happy you are here. Join in and tell us what you are up to. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed

And the rules…. simple, but here they are:

1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
2). Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
4.) Enter up to three entries per hop!
Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop!
See you on the hop!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters 

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #182


Welcome to Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! I love January and the hope and excitement of a new year. I have been decluttering not only stuff but things that clutter my mind as well.  If I really want to pursue more homesteading adventures, I need to decouple myself from old ways and old things that I am just not interested in anymore. I am having a wonderful time doing that and am excited for what 2015 holds.

Speaking of homesteading…did you catch the blog on our hop last week about Homesteading Without a Homestead? I thought it was fantastic and so inspiring. There is no set amount of land or animals that you must have to be a homesteader. Since I am new at this and constantly evolving in homesteading I loved this blog. I can call myself a homesteader without goats or chickens and simply be dreaming of owning them someday. I can grow vegetables for my family in whatever space I choose dependent upon my resource. Her blog expands on the state of mind and commitment a homesteader has rather than the actual stuff the homesteader has. If you did not catch it, take a moment to read it.

I also loved reading and seeing Deb’s gorgeous pictures of flowers last week. The hope of flowers and spring ever lingers! And this week she shares her dreams of expansion on her homestead.

So I am READY to blog hop. Let’s get it going! Be sure to stop Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo) and me, Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed

So, do a little bragging on yourself, your homestead and your doin’s!  We are so excited you are here.

Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
Stay tune for fun giveaways in 2015!
You don’t have to live on a farm to join this hop!

 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters


Happy New Year!

10906521_10203509467041540_4797943210317936694_nWe had a wonderful holiday with family. We celebrated with my parents over Christmas and New Year’s Day. Then this past weekend we headed south to do Christmas and New Years with our daughters and their families. That would include our adorable grandson. It was so much fun to see him and his excitement. It is amazing at only 6 months old he quickly got that the presents were for him.

I love New Years and the thought of a new year and new experiences. I love to reflect on what I have done that is new in the year just ended and what is in store in the new year. I thought I would share some of these things that I hope to do in 2015…

  • Make more cheese. I have only dabbled in this; I want to make more and more cheese and buy less and less cheese.
  • Make candles. My daughter got me candle making stuff for Christmas. I cannot wait to dive into this; on my radar are some very special candles that I will be putting on Etsy… more to come on that as the year progresses.
  • Garden year around. I have a good start on this, but I have MUCH to learn and do here.
  • Understand my bees better; we got bees in 2014 and I continually felt like I did not know what I was doing. By the end of 2015, I want to feel like I do know what I am doing with them.
  • Visit family more.
  • Take down time with hubby-whether it be at home or elsewhere we need to relax and do nothing together more.

So there are some of my hopes for 2015. What about you? New things you want to try? Things you want to learn?

Happy Unleashing in 2015!



Farmgirl Friday Christmas Blog Hop #181


Merry Christmas farmgirl friends! Deb and I are running a little late this week, but not without a good cause! All the Christmas preparations and fun have us in a whirl. Check out Deb’s check list and all that she has been into!

We went to a lovely brass Christmas concert last night and today we are baking cookies and bread. The house smells incredible and out the windows we see sunshine and frost.  I hope that you are mixing in fun and the season spirit into your to do’s.

Blessing to you all this week and into the New Year. We will see you here on the hop in 2015!

DEB AND (ME)- DEBBIE  ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)  

Remodel Survival Through Christmas

DSCN0329For those of your that have lived through a remodel you know that being in the middle of one at the holidays can be a bit challenging.  If you are doing it yourself, another layer of challenge is added.

A few years back, we were remodeling our dining room at our former home. It had been going on for months. As a matter of fact, the wallpaper alone was approaching 6 months in the removal process. It was a grass textured wall paper with other layers underneath. It had me in check mate and the holiday was fast on its way.

I think more than the fact that it wouldn’t be complete was the fact that I was hating this room a lot at this point since the wallpaper and I could not come to an understanding.

So what’s a girl to do?

Go with it. I decided that if I couldn’t beat it then I would join it and make the room the tackiest room ever! So out came every roll of wrapping paper I could find and the decorating began.




As I started covering the wallpaper with wrapping paper my spirits lifted. I felt like I was in control for just a bit.  I added garland and then decided to not remove my ladder and tools, but include them into the decor!



A friend of mine popped in as I was doing this and she did question my mental health for a bit, but then understood (I think)…


We all loved the new look for Christmas, and it made me forget about the remodel that was seemingly taking over my life. The cheery look also brought a lot of laughs from all who visited.

We even took a holiday picture of Jasmine here.


Have you ever done something a little extreme to regain your sanity in a seemingly impossible situation?

Happy Unleashing your creative side!






Tradition: Holiday Throwdown

We have lots of traditions at the holidays.  One of those is our family cooking throwdown over New Years. We get together with our girls and their significant others each year right after Christmas and through the New Year. We often go somewhere “beachy” although this year we will be at one of their houses due to scheduling challenges for travel. During our trip we select a night and a theme and each of the 4 couples compete for the coveted Throwdown Champ award. The prizes vary between puzzles (we always do a puzzle together on this trip), a game or something that someone has donated as a prize.

There are 8 of us so we crowd into a small kitchen where eight of us cook simultaneously







And some of us have made an escape for a task…DSC_0363

We have competed with pasta, pizza, sliders and appetizers. We have eaten well during these competitions!






We have had awesome foods like the year our Italian competitor made a KILLER vodka sauce for their pasta. We have had the not so good beer cheese dip that ended up a weird consistency.

We have had fun more than anything though...





We cast ballots in the voting booth (the bathroom) and we vote on taste, visual appeal and originality.

So we like to eat so we have incorporated that hobby into a fun, holiday tradition. Let another Holiday Throwdown begin!!!


What are some of your holiday traditions?

Happy Unleashing during the Holidays!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #180 and A Little Giveaway from Santa Claus!


Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

I found the cutest little cowgirl boot ornament in Santa Claus, Indiana last weekend and have been running a little giveaway this week for it.


It’s not too late to enter; as a matter of fact I want all of our farmgirl sisters to have a chance to have this cutie pie on your tree! So read here about Santa Claus Indiana and how to enter to win! 

Deb has spent her morning catching up on all the postings from last week. Be sure to stop by and give her a big ol’ howdy today!

And as Deb said on her post, we are both so grateful for all of the sharing each of you do each week here.  We love seeing all that you do and all the incredible talent you have.

And I quote Deb here, “FARMGIRLS ROCK!

Have a wonderful day and week!