Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Pumpkin Carving

I love having chickens.  They provide eggs and amusement.  The all have personalities and are great to have around.  That being said, chickens are also a pest.  They love your flowers to death, they eat anything left out and will even contemplate jumping on the grill when you are cooking.

I went apple picking today.  The wind was starting to blow when I left.  When I returned my white pumpkin was on the ground and the chickens were happily "carving".


Friday, September 30, 2011

Beginning of Fall

I am so glad that the weather is cooling down.   I am so not a fan of heat and humidity.  When the weather cools down, my thoughts go to the kitchen.  I love to cook and bake.  None of which do I love in the heat.  Of course, the last few months have been time to "put up the harvest".  I have finally gotten to canning my garlic.  I finally found a way to preserve the garlic that didn't involve drying or roasting.  I have pickled garlic!  I hope it is as good as advertised in the Ball Book of Canning!

I have also become a fan of the doughnut pan.  I have made both chocolate and apple cider doughnuts.  Wonderful!  These are not as heavy as a dunkin' doughnuts and not at all like a fried doughnut.  They have a light airy texture.  The batter is almost like a pudding.  I have all sorts of ideas for this doughnut pan.  Plus, most recipes are for 6-12 doughnuts.  Perfect for experimenting and they never last long enough to become stale.
I am looking forward to the cooler evenings and warming up the house with lots of meals!  Happy Fall!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

Jeff always wants a crisp pickle.  He is not fond of the pickles I can.  We both really like a pickle that is dill, but has a garlic flavor.  Recently I found a recipe for Refrigerator Dill Pickles that had both a lot of garlic and dill in it.  Perfect combination!!!

I tried the recipe a few weeks ago and we began eating them this week.  YUMMM!  Nice and crisp with a garlicky dill flavor.  If you like pickles and have extra cucumbers, you should try some!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles 

Adapted from Whole Eats & Whole Treats

1/2 gallon small cucumbers, halved or quartered lengthwise
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
1 handful of dill fronds or dried dill
1/4 cup coarse Kosher salt
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

Stuff the cucumbers, garlic, and dill in a 1/2 gallon jar or a crock with a lid.  Boil the salt, water, and vinegar.  Pour over the cucumbers.  Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.  Eat after a week or two in the fridge.  They should keep for several months!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilt for Gwen

I wanted to make something special for Gwen on her 19th birthday.  This is the first birthday she has spent away from home and to top it off, she is in far away Afghanistan. I wanted to give her a quilt that I had made.  I wanted to fill each stitch with love.  I have a crazy notion that it will help protect her and cover her with love while she is far away.

I found the perfect pattern in a magazine and set out with the help of a friend (who knows a lot more about quilts...thanks Kim Roberts!!) to buy fabric.  It was quite and adventure.  Several hours of driving and two fabric shops later I had my fabric!  Unfortunately, the are not any good quilt shops closer than 45 minutes to me!

It took a little longer to put together than I anticipated and I decided to alter the pattern.  Once I had it together, I passed it to Kim to quilt.  Kim is a fabulous long arm quilter.  Then I had to put the binding on the quilt to finish it up.  So, needless to say, Gwen got the quilt TODAY.  Her birthday was June 9th!  It is the thought that counts, right???? 

I am thrilled that she likes the quilt.  She sent me a text to let me know she had received it and love it.  I didn't know they could send texts.  Of course, she also had to add that they had been mortared at their base.  Info that I am not real sure I wanted to know.  I am glad to know that she is ok!!

Hopefully she feels loved every time she looks at the quilt.  I am quite sure it is WAY too hot to sleep under it at the moment.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

Now that it is hot in the mornings, I get up at 5:30 or so and go milk. I can milk without pesky flies and gnats. It takes about two hours depending on the number of helpers and when I am finished I am STARVING!!!! I want something quick, which doesn't always equate to good for me. My solution has been to search for a breakfast "cookie". I have finally found one that I like. A little sweet, filled with nuts and dried fruit. Yummm!

I adapted the recipe from my.hearthealthyonline.

Breakfast Cookie

1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used creamy and add a generous handful of peanuts or whatever nut I have on hand)
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (really whatever you have on hand works, except self-rising)
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried fruit of your choosing
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat two cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Stir together all ingredients starting with the banana and working down the list. For the dried fruit I have used: raisins and craisans, dried blueberries and raisins, use what you like.

I use a stand mixer, if doing by hand, mix the oats, flour, milk powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl and then add to the wet.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and drop mounds of dough onto your baking sheet. Then gently mash them down to about 2-3 inches round and 1/2 inch thick.

Bake, one sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool. Store in the fridge or an airtight container for a few days. These freeze well.

I think these are a great quick breakfast! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tourteau de Chevre

I recently ordered Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around My French Table. I want to improve my skills. I have seen several food blogs about this cookbook and several good reviews. What hooked me was the review that expressed the opinion that Dorie Greenspan is very much like a modern Julia Child. Well, I grew up around Julia Child. My Dad used her cookbooks and I remember seeing her cooking shows. My Dad taught me the love of good food. Cook from scratch and don't be afraid to try something.

I finally received my cookbook and I began to peruse. I happened upon a recipe for Tourteau de Chevre. I had some Chevre (goat cheese) in the fridge that I had made the week before that needed to be eaten. So I jumped right in a started the recipe. The directions are easy to follow and well thought out.

Oh my!!!! What a wonderful pie like creation!!!! I have always liked cheesecake, but find it almost too sweet. This tourteau is not too sweet and very light. Heavenly. It is great warm and cold. It really doesn't need anything else to accompany.

I think I am really going to enjoy this cookbook!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goats for Sale

I have successfully gotten through kidding. Now I have lots of goat milk and kid goats. We have three boys. Two are pure Alpine and one is a recorded grade Alpine/Nubian. They were born the first week of March. If you know anyone who is interested in them, please let me know.

I am also ready to make soap. Well, ready is a relative term. I am getting the supplies together to make soap. We shall see how it goes. I can't wait to start!!!