Friday, October 4, 2013

Buttercrunch Cookies


I had these cookies several years back and fell in love with them.  I looked high and low for a recipe to duplicate them.  I came across this one, but never took the time to actually make it!  Boy howdy!!! am I glad I tried it yesterday!!!  This just might be my new favorite.

2 CUPS (that's 4 sticks!) of butter , softened ~ I used 2 sticks of 80% margarine and 2 sticks of unsalted sweet cream butter
2 cups sugar
3 Cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
4 cups Rice Krispies
1 c finely chopped pecans (optional)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients. and add gradually to creamed butter mixture.
Gently stir in rice krispies and pecans.
Roll into 1" balls (I used the small or medium scoop). Place 1" apart. Bake at 350* for 10 mins. Cool 2 mins on pan then transfer to wire rack.

This makes a HUGE batch, so be prepared to freeze or share some with friends!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lori's Powercat Cake

From Celebrations by Lori in Pittsburg, Ks.  I'm sure it's as YUMMY as it is PRETTY!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dad's Pietenpol Dream - A Reality

The following article was written by my Dad's wife, Gloria.

Dream of building, flying own airplane comes true for Ionia man

By Gloria Garman-Schlaefli
Dick Schlaefli, Ionia, has achieved his dream of building and flying his own airplane. It took 15 years to complete, but for Dick being able to now fly his Pietenpol Air Camper was well worth the long wait.
Dick developed his love of flying during high school when his three uncles, Ray and Dan Richardson and Jim VanSickle, each had his own airplane and Dick would take frequent rides with them. His interest in flying continued into college and while attending Fort Hays State University, he took lessons and earned his pilot's license. He built model airplanes and did control line flying with them, but hoped some day to be able to fly in his own airplane.
It was in a magazine article that he first learned about the Pietenpol airplane. He learned that Bernard Pietenpol designed and built the first Air Camper, in 1929 in Cherry Grove, Minn., using a Ford Model A engine to power the plane. Pietenpol reproduced his airplane and also sold the building plans to others seeking to build the aircraft. Pietenpol's legend and his airplane have continued through the years and many have been built and are now flying in the United States and Europe. There is a Pietenpol newsletter, a website and the Pietenpol is a featured airplane in many personal aviation publications.
Dick began to think the Pietenpol would be his choice to build because it is a "simple, open air, inexpensive airplane to build and operate. While visiting a relative in Salina, he was introduced to a friend of the relative who had built his own bi-wing airplane and a trip was made to see it in a hangar at the Salina airport. Dick said he noticed a wing skeleton in the back of the hangar and inquired. He was told a man named Maurice "Buzz" Baer had started building a Pietenpol in 1979 but had died recently, leaving the project uncompleted and soon for sale. Using spruce wood, Baer had completed the wooden frame of the body and wing for the Pietenpol. Dick said he thought the project would be a perfect one for him to finish, and his first wife, the late Peg Schlaefli, encouraged him to make an offer on the airplane.
The Pietenpol frame and wing were purchased and brought to the Schlaefli farm in December 1997. The project took center stage in the farm's machinery shed, with Dick spending day and night, between his farming and livestock duties, building his airplane. He did hours of reading, researching, and visiting with others building or flying Pietenpols, to see about the continuing steps in the construction process.
In July 1997, he attended a Pietenpol fly-in at the airport in Brodhead, Wisc., where current and hopeful Pietenpol owners come together for workshops and input about the airplane.
Work on the Schlaefli Pietenpol steadily advanced. Materials used in the project beside the spruce frame were polyester fabric and metal. Gluing was done to attach the fabric to the fuselage. Dick purchased a mold in Minnesota to create the cowling for the airplane and ended up making two more cowlings for other builders. A handmade wooden prop was purchased in Iowa, but a second prop from Missouri would later have to be ordered because the first one was damaged in a test. Photos were taken of the construction progress and a log book of the hours on the project was kept.
While they were dating, his current wife, Gloria, helped with the rib stitching on the wing. The process was done with a special needle and heavy thread sent back and forth through the fabric to tie the fabric to the wooden ribs. The wing was on its side, with one person on each side of the wing, passing the needle back and forth, with Dick making the tie. He also had to decide on the color and design for the exterior of his airplane.
"This is not a kit airplane," Dick said. "Construction was all done using a set of blue prints, taking more hours to complete the project."
During the construction process, Dick worked on the flight time required to renew his pilot's license, renting a Cessna 172. Currently he is taking aerobatic flying lessons, another thing he has wanted to do.
During a family gathering at the farm, the engine of the airplane was first started, with a cousin, uncle and brother-in-law helping with the test. The prop was hand turned to start the engine. The test was successful.
The Pietenpol was completed in March 2009, with 750 hours devoted to construction and a total of 6,800 hours, included Baer's original hours. About a month later, with the help of several neighbors, the airplane was moved on two trailers ­­ the wing on one trailer and the fuselage on another. It was transported to a hangar at the airport in Beloit, causing a stir along Highway 24.
The airplane was reassembled and awaiting a maiden flight. Before the maiden flight could be made, in May 2009, the Pietenpol underwent a complete inspection by FAA inspectors. It passed and was issued an "air worthiness" certificate. Dick was given a limited flight area to stay in, and 40 hours of flight time must be completed with the Pietenpol. During those 40 hours, different air speeds must be determined and engine reliability must be checked out. A pilot operating handbook must be developed and it must remain in the airplane. When these requirements are met, Dick will not be restricted to a certain flight area and will be allowed to take on passengers.
The maiden flight was delayed while problems with the engine were addressed. He installed an electric starter, to replace hand starting using the prop. That installation required the rebuilding of the cowling, taking more time than planned.
In May 2011, Dick took his Pietenpol up for the first time. The airplane went up 1,000 feet and started to lose and gain RPM, so a quick landing was made. The problem turned out to be overheating of the coil. Dick restationed the coil and on the next flight there was overheating of the engine oil that sent Dick back to research. He found the problem would be solved by changing the engine baffling to get the right air flow over the engine.
Earlier this month a successful and complete flight was taken by Dick in his Pietenpol. His long time dream has been accomplished.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A day in the life......................

of me......during planting season. Most days go something like this:

Up and at 'em after the "birthday's" on the morning show. (Ok, so 6:47 isn't really that early in the whole scheme of things!)

Check email, facebook, newspapers. Off to a shower. Wake up Plowbaby and Plowboy, and get both moving. (not necessarily an easy feat!)

Change the channel to "toonies" for Plowbaby, and try to get her to eat some breakfast and change her clothes and get ready for work/school.

The goal is for her and I to be out the door BY 9. Again, I know....not real early.....but YOU haven't tried to get Miss Pokey around in the morning! Also in the mean time, get some laundry going, and dishes cleaned up from the night before.

Drive up to the farm (or the last field from last night) to find the empty NH3 tanks from the night before. Hook up and head toward AgChoice. This is if I haven't already been sent on 3 other missions, before even hooking up the first tank! Weigh in empty tank, unhook, and go hook up a full one and head back to the farm or whatever field it's needed in.

Swing by home if possible to grab some lunch and switch the laundry around.

If it's a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, by this time we are headed for pre-school. Drop her off at school. Since I'm in town, I pick up parts and do a little grocery shopping. Then head back out for more tanks.

Since the planter is running now, BIL needed help filling it today. I ended up looking like Aunt Jemima by the time we were done! Darned graphite anyway. (Oh, how i hope i get a shower before my meeting tonight!!!).

Back to pulling tanks.

2:45 ....time to get to town to pick Plowbaby up from school.....if I can't make it HOPE that sister-in-law can!

Stop in at home so Plowbaby can change clothes, and I can start some supper.

Back to more tanks or running the guys from field to field.

At 5 pm, I start making supper arrangements. Who is here, and what field are they in? Will everyone be here by the time I'm ready to bring supper to the field?

Home to cook hamburgers (or some sort of food!). Hot food in one cooler, cold stuff in another. Don't forget the chips and cookies!!! Load all into my work van and off we go again. Oh yeah, and don't forget to switch that laundry around while I"m home.

Make my rounds to each field, or the shop, find each of the guys and make sure they get a hot meal for supper.

Back to pulling tanks.

{Tonight, I had supper ready early and started my rounds. I needed to be in town for a meeting by 7:15. Plowbaby was going to stay with her aunt and cousin while i was at the meeting. Ok, so I get 2 of the guys fed at the shop, went over to the nearest field, and fed the 3rd guy....headed to the south field to feed the last 2. I'm doing good on time here.....might even be on time to the meeting! I can leave each meal in their vehicle at their location and still make it!!! Or NOT.... 6:45 and the van dies as I'm driving down the road. UGH!. Won't start. Call for help. Thank goodness for cell phones! "Is it out of gas???" was the question. Nope gauge read half tank. Help arrives with an extra vehicle and I'm on my way again, leaving my rescuers with the broken down van to pull home. Diagnosis.....fuel pump. I arrive at the south field, pick up BIL, and head over to Plowboy's location. They enjoy their supper with the company of Plowbaby and me. We leave Plowboy to his work and take BIL back to his tractor. By the time I got back to my car, it was 8pm. I was an hour late to the meeting.....walk in late and take my fair share of ribbing. Meeting was over about 9:30. I pick up Plowbaby at 9:45, and a few minutes later, Plowboy calls and asks if I can swing by Sonic on my way home. Get fuel in the car, Sonic for the hubby and head for home. Now, it's 10:30 and we're just getting home for the day. and I still have laundry and dishes to do and a kiddo to get into bed!}

Just a typical day around here.

and yes, I got a quick shower before i went to the meeting!!!

Hope everyone has a safe planting season.

Happy trails,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crash, boom, bang...........ugh (and a few recipe anecdotes)

Well, I had great intentions of blogging a new recipe each week until we got back into the field for corn planting. Yeah, right! laptop CRASHED a week and a half ago. I miss it. I miss it dearly. My friend the computer guru says it's either a power issue or the motherboard is bad. I did her recommended steps, and have determined that the motherboard is the culprit. I'm hoping that we can resurrect it by making one working computer out of 2 non-working ones. Here's to hoping the spare one has a good motherboard!

Meanwhile, I'm using plowbaby's eMac that Santa brought her for Christmas. It's almost like learning all over again. I have a very STRONG dislike for the one button mouse, and thinking backward about how to do execute an operation is about more than my feeble brain can handle!

But our recipes are done and the pictures are taken. I just have yet to figure out how to download pictures onto the mac.

Easy Chocolate Eclair "cake" :

The dessert can be found here : This is courtesy of Mommy's Kitchen. Thanks for the super yummy recipe Tina. She has the recipe and step-by-step directions on her site. (Just picture my little cutie putting it together in the pictures). This is a recipe that kids can do by themselves. Plowbaby did most of this dessert all by herself. And it was a HUGE hit at Thursday Lunch!

Yesterday morning, Plowbaby wanted green eggs and ham for breakfast. (It is Dr. Suess week at school this week). I asked her how she thought green eggs were made. Her reply was "Just put eggs in the bowl, use my stirrer and then add green coloring" {Smart kid I have!!!} So we added 2 eggs, some milk to her batter bowl and then some green coloring until we had her desired "green-ness". I scrambled them up in a skillet, then placed them on a white plate with 2 slices of ham. She was in heaven with her creation! Sure wish I could figure out how to post pics with this mac......they are priceless!

In "outside"'s finally starting to warm and dry up. The boys are been spreading chicken litter for the last few days. I'm sure we are real popular with the neighbors about now. (NOT!) I just hope it stays warm and dry so we can start working down the knee deep ruts that we left from fall harvest.

Have a good week everyone!

Happy trails,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Italian Love Cake .... oooooo la la

It has come to my attention that there has been too much time lapse between my blogs.....well, here is a foodie blog. I came across this recipe on It looked just too good, so I had to try it out. It is easy and decadent. But give yourself at least a day before you want to serve this dessert, it needs time in the fridge.

The cast of characters and step by step directions:
Preheat oven to 350*.

One box of cake mix.....chocolate. I used chocolate fudge, but I read that German chocolate is good also. Make cake batter according to package directions.

cake batter

Next step:

4 eggs, 2 pints ricotta cheese, 1 tsp. vanilla and 3/4 c. white sugar (I'm thinking marscapone would be HEAVENLY!!!)

second layer

Put the cake batter in a greased 9x13 pan. Carefully pour and spread the cheese mixture over the cake batter. It will look something like this:

It looks something like this after cooking for 75 minutes. Depending upon your oven, it might need just a little longer. Use the "clean toothpick" method to see if it is done.

For the last layer you will need:

One 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding, 1 cup milk, and 12 oz. tub cool-whip. (I only had a 8 oz tub, and it worked fine). Mix those ingredients together and spread over FULLY COOLED cake. Refrigerate cake for at least 12 hours before serving. The pudding needs time to set, and the cake will be so moist.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did today at Thursday Lunch!

Friday, January 29, 2010

SNOW! and an update

Well, it finally decided to really, honest-to-goodness snow! For almost a week, the weathermen have been predicting a strong winter storm for yesterday and today. It was going to be as bad as the one we had over Christmas.

This morning we awoke to about an inch of the white stuff, and NO SCHOOL? What the heck were they inch? Kids go out and play in this stuff, surely they can go to school!! About 30 minutes ago, the flakes got HUGE, and thick. I just wish the picture reflected how big the flakes actually are! It really is a pretty snow, and afterall, I don't have to get out in it, so it really doesn't affect me!!!

There is a pot of chili on to cook, and there would be cinny rolls too if'n I had a mixer! :)

Enjoy your snow day,

This is what the yard looks like now that the snow has ceased falling!