Recipe: Pure Heart Farms Delicious "Pot Pies"

posted Mar 27, 2013, 7:37 PM by Aileen Hamilton

This is a fantastic way to encourage the kiddos to eat their veggies - mine didn't even ask for seconds, they asked for thirds and fourths! I have a family of five, and since my beloveds can't have 'Just One', I had to make a big batch. The ingredient measurements can be cut in half if need be. 

*1 lb Ground Beef
*2 Sweet Italian Sausage Links, casings removed
*2-2.5 tsp fresh, minced garlic (to taste)
*1-1.5 tsp minced onion flakes (to taste)
*Salt & Pepper (to taste)
*OPTIONAL: 1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes - My hubby likes these included, my kiddos are quite happy without it! It's your call!
*12 oz frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
*1 can golden sweet corn kernels, drained
*2 cups of Italian Blend cheese, shredded (In my grocer I found a 6-cheese blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Asiago, Romano & Fontina cheese!) If you can'at find the Italian Blend, try shredded Mozzarella or a Pizza Blend
*1 cup Sour Cream
*3 8 oz cans Pillsbury Butter Flake Croissant Rolls
*1 egg, beaten
*Sesame Seeds

Heat a nice sized, deep Pan over Medium heat, brown Ground Beef and Sweet Italian Sausages together until no longer pink, adding the minced garlic, minced onion, salt and pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes if you decided to use them. then drain.  

Return the meat mixture to the pan, and add broccoli, corn, cheese and sour cream; blend together well with your favorite cooking spoon, until warmed. Oh gosh, yummy, can't you just smell the aroma??

Divide the Croissant Rolls into Four equal rectangles. With a rolling pin, roll the rectangles out making them a little bigger each direction.
Take about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture and place it in each rectangle. 

Here there are two ways to seal your "Pot Pies" - the first way is to fold one edge over the meat mixture and seal all sides using fork tines. (Pictured)  Not even placed in the oven yet, and they already look so good!

The 2nd way (and more elegant in appearance, in my opinion!) is to put about 1/2 cup mixture in the center of each rectangle, bringing each corner of the rectangle up toward the middle and twisting them sealed. (Pictured below) Even though both "Pot Pies" tasted exactly the same, my family wanted this particular one on their plate because it was fancier. :)

Dip a pastry brush into the beaten egg and give each pastry an egg wash, and sprinkle Sesame Seeds on top. Put them in the oven for about 22 minutes, or until golden brown!

The result is a very pleasing, Mouth-watering "Pot-Pie" with a delicious buttery, flaky crust - and it smells so delicious coming out of the oven!  Ta-daaaaaah!

Enjoy!! :)

Much Love and Blessings to You and Yours,

Little moment in the spotlight~

posted Mar 27, 2013, 6:15 PM by Aileen Hamilton

Look, everyone! The photo I took yesterday while we were out enjoying the new snow made it in the Newspaper! The Wilmington News Journal has published it in the 7th of March publication! :) 

How about a Valentine's Day Potluck? (Recipes included)

posted Feb 10, 2013, 6:53 PM by Aileen Hamilton

I couldn't help but laugh when I learned that our tween's parent teacher conferences were scheduled on the 14th of February. Since it's a weekday, I was forced to pick the latest slot available so Craig would be able to make the conference, also. So while everyone else might be sitting at a nice candle-lit dinner making googly eyes at their sweetheart sitting across from them, (Or next to them, if you're like me and Craig and you like to request a booth table so you could sit next to each other and hold hands), we will be sitting across from my daughter and her teachers talking about her performance in class.

BUT!!! Knowing that our Home Group from the church we attend will be meeting a few days apart from Valentine's Day, I came up with an idea. (Me and my Big Ideas!)  Clearly I won't be having a traditional Valentine's Day dinner with my sweetheart, so why not do something non-traditional and have a Valentine's Dinner with our church family in our Home Group? Geeeeenious!  So I went online to see if this might have been something that has been 'pulled off' before, and when I googled 'Valentine's Day Pitch-In', for some reason my search results returned a bunch of pick-up lines. (Pitch-In/Pick-Up lines) I don't see how they're the same, do you? So then I googled 'Valentine's Day Potluck' and wouldn't you know that Valentine's Day Potlucks among friends is more common than I thought!

So what do we bring to a Valentine's Day Potluck? Well, that could be something YOU love (something you make often because you enjoy it that much) , or something that'd show how much you love Everyone Else (Liver and Onions wouldn't work here), Something red or Pink tinted, and of course, anything HEARTY.  I googled the definition of a 'Hearty Meal' - I got results  such as something full, heavy, and even 'man-sized', comforting.  (I had to give myself a pat-on-the-back for thinking of a way to describe food with the word HEART in it - HEARTY- that's pretty clever if you ask me!)  'Spread the Love' with what savory snack, dip, casserole, salad, sweet, or treat you come up with!

Tonight our Home Group came together. Hearts dangled from the ceiling, and I was quite impressed with the many delicious dishes that came waltzing through the kitchen, I grabbed my camera! (Many of us even showed up wearing RED for the occasion!) From a heart-shaped meatloaf, to a HEARTY Cheesy Potatoes and a Macaroni and Cheese Dish and everything else down to fabulous sides and desserts that were so delightful, I was almost tempted to blare out into singing, "Caaaaaaaan you feel the looooooove tonight?" Everyone was so delighted! I heard a comment from one us saying, "I'll take five helpings of everything!" Lots of wonderful aromas filled the entire house, and our bellies were very very happy!


~~~Crock pot PINK Peppermint Hot Chocolate~~~
Who wouldn't love being able to make hot chocolate in a crock pot???  And PINK hot chocolate, how cool is that??
I was even more excited when I went to the store and found heart-shaped marshmallows to top our mugs with, ohhhh, yeah!
This recipe makes about 16 cups, perfect for a crowd!! 

You'll need:
-2 cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
-2 cups of half and half
-8 cups of whole milk
-1 1/2 cups of Peppermint Baking Chips (I used Andes)
-2 cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
-6 Tablespoons of Baking Cocoa Powder
-4 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar
-Suggested Toppings: Whipped Cream, Mini Marshmallows, Mini Chocolate Chips, Shaved Chocolate, Chocolate Sprinkles 

Directions: Combine all the ingredients together in a 5 quart crock pot. (If you have a smaller crock pot, you can easily half the recipe, and have half the serving size). Stir all the ingredients well. Set your crock pot on low for four hours, stirring once halfway through cooking time. After 4 hours of cooking time, put on 'Warm Setting' to prevent gelling. (As it gets cold it becomes too thick) Serve WARM!  Garnish with suggested toppings!  

~~~Slow Roasted New RED Potato Salad~~~
This gives a slight different texture than the normal potato salad we're used to, because the potatoes are slow roasted in the oven.
You'll need:
-One Dozen New Red Potatoes, Chopped and Diced 
-Olive Oil for drizzling before Oven Roasting
-3 chopped, hard-cooked eggs
- about half of a chopped celery
- 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
- 6 slices of cooked-crispy bacon bits
-1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is pre-heating, prepare potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder. Drizzle potatoes with Olive Oil, and slow roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Add cooled potatoes to the rest of the ingredients. Chill for at least a couple of hours to allow the flavors to blend, Serves 8-10

~~~Glorious PINK Fruit Salad~~~
Craig's Grandma made what she called a 5-cup Fruit Salad. Adding Cherry-Pie filling to her recipe turned it PINK, for a delicious Valentine's Day treat!

You'll need:
-1 21oz can of Cherry Pie Fillng
-1 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
-1 11oz can of Mandarin Oranges
-1 15oz can of Crushed Pineapple
-1 Cup of Shredded Coconut
-2 Cups of Miniature Marshmallows
-1 16oz tub of Frozen Whipped Topping
-1/4 cup Chopped Pecans to garnish Fruit Salad
Directions: Thaw the tub of frozen whipped topping, and then combine all ingredients. Chill for several hours or overnight. Top with chopped Pecans, Serve chilled.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
Happy Valentine's Day from Pure Heart Farms to You and Yours!

If You Want to Hear God Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans...

posted Jan 30, 2013, 8:09 PM by Aileen Hamilton   [ updated Jan 30, 2013, 8:40 PM ]

I remember getting up with my husband every morning, even though I never had to be anywhere for a few hours. I'd make his lunch in his tin Superman lunchbox, and give him a big squeeze and lots of kisses as he walked out the door to head for work.

Lately I haven't been getting up with him. I hear his alarm go off, and I hear him shuffling around to get washed up and dressed, and I'll feel him plant a kiss on my face as he heads out on his own. I'll finally get up about an hour later, just to get the kids dressed and drop my preschooler off to school. I'm sure this has confused Craig because for the last 6 years that we've been married, I've always gotten up with him and did my morning routine to see him off to work lovingly. But he's only asked twice if I was coming downstairs with him, and each time I replied, "No," he'd kiss my face and head on out.  Those that are really close to me and know me well would be SHOCKED. This isn't like me in the least bit. I've always been a morning person, and always been the cheerful, perky, early bird who'd be up before my husband even got up and would make sure he remembered his cellphone, keys, his wallet (which he almost always forgets), and anything else I knew he'd need to take with him. So what was going on?

"How was your day, honey?" Craig asked when he got home from work earlier last week. "Fine, I suppose."  "What did you do today?" Usually my answer would be twenty minutes long. I'd have made the bed, organized one of the closets, dusted everything in a room, polished windows, and I always vacummed and mopped. Sometimes multiple times a day, even. (I promise I'm not exaggerating!) Many of my friends have sworn I have slight OCD. Well, I like to use the word 'slight', but they'll probably argue that it's more like 'overkill.'  "Well...I took our son to school."  "...and?"  "...And..." I glanced around the room hoping something would trigger my memory as to what I have done that I couldn't recall at the moment.  He knew I wasn't myself.  I wasn't exactly sure what has changed in me, either. I just knew I wasn't...ME.  I have thought about it, and wonder if it's weather-related.

This Island Girl is not made for Winter. As much as I love the way a light snowfall looks outside the windows, I do not enjoy being in it. I'll enjoy it from the inside of the house. But when I get out in the cold, my face starts to tingle in a stinging way, my fingers feel like they can break off, and something odd happens with my hair, -it fills with static and starts to rise like Medusa's snakes. Everything I touch sends a sort of shock though my fingers (OUCH!), and I can feel my bones stiffen. I literally become frozen. Let alone driving in it - I was more confident when I had my 4WD option with my SUV, but now that we've traded that in for a minivan, I've become a little bit of a scaredy cat on the road. Yes, I'm the one everyone else complains about, and I won't deny it. I remember a time I was driving to work on the icy roads, and someone drove right into me. I stopped, and while trembling, I rolled my windows down, getting ready to exchange information, and the gentleman said, "I'm so sorry! The ice was too slick and I didn't stop in time!" He threw cash on my lap, and said, "That should be enough to cover any damages I've done!" and drove off as quickly as he approached my car.  I didn't even get a word out. I do remember his cash only being a fraction of the damages I had to pay to get the damages fixed. Aside from that incident as well as falling flat on my behind and also on my knees with a bag of groceries flying through the air, it's safe to assume that I simply do not enjoy the season of winter. When the outside looks gray, and the trees are bare, and the air pricks at my skin like a dozen little needles, I rightfully choose to stay curled up indoors in my PJs and hibernate like a grumpy 'ol bear.

Craig looked over what I was wearing. "Have you been in your PJs all day, sweetheart?"  "No, I knew I wasn't going to be going anywhere else today so I changed into my PJs to get comfortable." He looked at me questionably. "I promise!" I reassured.  Although I was being honest, there have been at least a couple of days where I hadn't. Though that might be acceptable for some, it wasn't 'me'. 

Aside from having Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I also noticed that I started feeling a little down since I've returned from Greenwood. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Greenwood again, and it was wonderful! As soon as I turned off the interstate and into the Greenwood streets, I started to feel such pleasure in being in such a familiar place. I knew where to find all the places I so many times frequented like the Christmas Tree Shoppe, Famous Dave's, Von Maur, and Culver's where they have the best butter burgers and concrete shakes! Blue Bell Icecream, and the best Sushi that's just melt-in-your-mouth delicious! I knew every street, every turn, every corner, and could almost drive the streets blindfolded! I have MISSED Greenwood so much it was almost unreal being there again!  I attended a Women's Conference at the church Craig and I attended, "Turning your Mess into your Message", and it was fantastic! I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed worship and prayer, and I had such a marvelous time!

We were all asked to stand. And then we were asked to sit if we had anything troubling our hearts. Those that remained standing were asked to pray over and with anyone sitting near them. I was sitting. I was sitting because my heart was troubled. I was sitting because my heart had missed Greenwood. I know that sounds silly, doesn't it? Asking someone to pray for you because you 'Miss Greenwood.' But it had been bringing me down for a long time now, and I never admitted it (or really realized it) until that evening. It's kind of like a little culture-shock, I realize my feelings about it are real and valid.

Some time after I have returned home, I have gotten into this funk where I didn't want to get up in the morning, where I didn't want to get dressed unless I had to, and didn't see my husband off to work after six years straight of doing so.  I've become more prayerful about this, and know that I have friends praying for me. I wouldn't be surprised if my husband was praying for me, too. He had noticed a change, and knowing him he was probably praying for guidance on how to figure out what might have been triggering my recent lows.

"Honey..." He started. I looked into his understanding eyes as he continued, "I think you should have an agenda."  


"I sense that lately you've been feeling out of sorts, and I have a suggestion for you to pull out of it."

I wondered how long he has noticed, and tried not to become insulted. As he tried to put his thoughts into words, I can read his mind and I just knew that he was trying really hard not to insult me. I know Craig loves me, so I know he would never intentionally hurt me even if what he says doesn't sound anything like he meant to say. and I trusted that he really wanted to help, so I listened to his heart.

"I think you need a planner, like mine. And treat 'staying-at-home' like a job. Have goals to look forward to every day. You always said you wanted to learn how to make your own soap bars, and learn how to can. You've given me a whole list of things you've wanted to learn to do.  You have plans for our Ministry, and ways you'd like to contribute to the community. I think you should take all these wonderful ideas and plan your days accordingly. Even on days when you don't have to be anywhere, get up like you always have, get dressed to the shoes, and go outside and start your car. Even if you're just sitting in the driveway running the car for five to ten minutes, it'll put a thought in your mind that you've arrived 'At Work', and you've got purpose, and that 'today you'll accomplish something new' that you've always wanted to do!

"Get dressed to the shoes..." I remember a time when I had started my day late and therefore started a late shower. 'Course everyone else in the world has been up for hours now, so it was no surprise when I heard the doorbell ring. I had just undressed to hop into a hot shower, when I realized that my son knows how to open doors. He had let this person in. Panicked, I grabbed whatever I could put my hands on without even thinking about it. Mismatched, and worn inside out, my clothes made no sense that day, and I was practically red-cheeked hiding areas that might've been a little revealing. This would've never happened if I got up as early as I usually do, dressed down to the shoes! I'm able to laugh about it now, but admit I was pretty mortified!
"Run the car, even if you're sitting in the driveway... it'll put a thought in your mind that you've arrived 'At Work'. I LOVED that idea! It would prepare my mind for what I have planned to accomplish that day, and get my body moving around so I'm not buried in my sheets with no desire to move except to adjust my pillows.

"Stay-at-Home"... what a BLESSING it is to be able to spend every day with the children. Daily we make the best memories, and they fill my life with laughter and lots of hugs and kisses and so much joy! These children alone give me purpose! Whether it's baking cookies, or reading stories, or exploring the woods, playing board games, waltzing in the living room, having tea parties and working in the garden, there never is a dull moment when the kids are around! Such curious little beings who think I'm the smartest person in the world have so many questions and want to know why everything IS. How absolutely wonderful that I get to stay-at-home and love on my babies while they're babies.  And what a great opportunity to learn new things myself! Pick up some hobbies and learn how to make and do things I've always been interested in and curious about.  Being able to have a warm, home-cooked meal waiting on my husband who's had a long, hard day at work when he'd probably would've rather been at home loving on his family, having dinner around the family table. I am so thankful to be married to a man who lets me be a blessing to the family by allowing me to stay home.

"You've got purpose."  I do have purpose. I may have loved Greenwood for a very long time, but this is where God has planted me. This is where He plans for me (for now) to grow. Even though I may not understand yet, I can trust that He is faithful, and loving, and even though I may not be aware of what exactly is in store, He sees the BIG picture. He's got it all figured out, He knows my heart, and He is full of promise. Who am I to disagree with the Almighty Father who is All Powerful, All Knowing? I mean, Really?? I asked Him to forgive me for my whining. I asked Him to show me the way. I asked him to allow me to fulfill the purpose He has made for me. And I trust that in time, it will be revealed to me, in His perfect timing. 

I think I might've surprised Craig when at the end of the evening as we were lying in bed, I had thanked him for his loving suggestions. He was so worried that he had upset me, but he had no idea that what he had to say had helped me gain a new perspective.

Through much prayer and leaning on His word, I've discovered that I AM HOME. This is my home. There isn't anything wrong about where I live. It might be far from many things I have enjoyed, but that doesn't make this place wrong. The only thing that needed changed was ME. It's time for me to seek and discover the many things I love about my new home, and find new things about this area to fall in love with! And now that I've come to realize it, I'm so excited to discover what His purpose is for bringing me...Home. Thank you, Lord, for helping me see that You are fully aware of what's been heavy on my heart and that You are at work, guiding me along to fulfill the very purpose You have lovingly made for me. For You make beautiful things out of dust, You make beautiful things out of us. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

With Blessings, 

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

posted Jan 21, 2013, 10:26 AM by Aileen Hamilton   [ updated Jan 21, 2013, 4:57 PM ]

I counted over twenty-four totes of Christmas stuff plus the things that didn't fit in totes like the Holy Family Outdoor Nativity, a three foot wreath, etc.

After handing each one up the ladder where Craig was standing, pushing them over the barn loft, I said, "Look what we accomplished working together!" "We're not done," He said, "We still have to stack them all in that designated corner."

I climbed up the ladder and started lifting more totes and carrying them to a corner to stack neatly. As a 'complaint' tried to sneak into my thoughts, I quickly dismissed it by remembering Philippians 2:14, 'Do everything without grumbling or complaining.' Then asked, "Anything else you'd like to add to that, Lord?" And I remembered 1 Corinthians 10:31, 'So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.'

"Okay, Lord, so you've placed that scripture on my heart, how is my stacking totes bringing glory to You?" I quipped. Then I remembered that God commands us to love our husbands. And I know mine loved me the day he put ALL my Christmas decor out and beautifully decorated the entire home while I was on a long drive to Indy. Knowing that my husband *tries* to keep his barn neatly organized, and how much joy he gets out of working in his 'Man Cave', I knew that helping stack these gazillion totes in that corner, was only a *tiny* thing compared to his satisfaction and appreciation.  I thanked God for showing me a small way to love and honor my husband today. In return, my husband surprised me with another box he found, a small heart-printed box with all my Valentines Decor in it  :) Just a small little box, but how appropriate the gesture was! It's that time of year to 'Spread some Love' around our li'l farmhouse! :)  

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action." ~Mother Teresa

With Blessings,

Raised Bed Garden Construction

posted Jan 15, 2013, 9:57 AM by Craig Hamilton   [ updated Jan 15, 2013, 10:00 AM ]

Last weekend, Craig constructed several raised garden bed frames. Last year we got a late start on planting (end of May) because we had just moved in. It was our first time planting a garden and to say the least, it was a mixed bag of success. Most things didn't come up, but we had a lot of zucchini, squash, tomatos, cucumbers, and a few green beens. This year, we are hoping for big gains.
All of our smaller frames, 13 of them, were constructed today for our raised beds this spring. The 40-foot beds that we have to build in place had to be put off because the ground was too wet. The depth of our frames is 7 1/2" (we used 2x8 lumber), except for 1 which is 11 1/2" (2x12 lumber), which will be used as root crops for potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.
Because of the cost of pressure treated lumber and the risk of chemicals leaching into the soil, we used untreated dimensional lumber. We have not yet figured out how we're going to prolong the lives of these frames - most likely a combination of moisture barriers (plastic), and some sort of water sealant for the surfaces that do not touch the soil. We also have to figure out where to get our soil.

Visit our new Facebook page!

posted Jan 15, 2013, 8:28 AM by Craig Hamilton   [ updated Jan 15, 2013, 8:32 AM ]

Pure Heart Farms now has a new Facebook page. Please check it out, like it, and share it with your friends! Click here to go to the site! As of this post, we already have 42 likes and the citizens of Blanchester are finding out about our Men's Bible Study which just started!

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