Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Roast Duck

A while back I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a nice muscovy duck all butchered and ready to roast. I couple weeks ago I finally roasted it. I'm always a bit nervous while cooking something completely new. Not only had I never cooked a muscovy duck before, I'd never eaten one either.

I had duck breast in a restraunt once, but that wasn't muscovy and I didn't care for it. Muscovy is all dark meat. So I stuffed the cavity with quartered apples and onions like I would for chicken or turkey. (That's my secret for keeping poultry moist.) Then I made a glaze with orange juice, brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder and salt and pepper. I poured the glaze over the top of the duck, which was sitting nicely in a roasting pan, and put it in the oven set at 400 degrees. Then waited and waited and waited some more. The duck took longer than expected to cook, about 2 1/2 hours total. Maybe closer to 3, I don't remember exactly now.

When it came out of the oven, it looked like this:

And it tasted as good as it looked. The flavor is hard to describe, but it was amazing. Imagine crossing a cow and a chicken. Then you'd be close. And the texture was very similar to beef as well. If you ever have the chance to try it, I would highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food Networkers: November Edition

This month I got to pick the recipes again. I choose four recipes from Paula Deen. I love Paula Deen. She always looks like she is having so much fun. And I also love it when she has her husband on any of her shows. He always looks all jolly like Santa Clause. But most of all, I love the way he looks at her. He looks at her like his life would end if she weren't in it. It makes me happy to see that kind of love show in a simple look. I'm rambling now. We are suppose to be talking food here. I have to confess that I only got three of the four recipes made this month. Due to the holiday and a very sick dog (see my previous post) I just didn't have the time or the heart to make the pie this week like I had originally planned.

Appetizer: Brie en Croute #2This was a great recipe. So easy to make and so full of flavor. The kids enjoyed helping me with it. Even Braden was able to help, it was that simple. Unfortunately the flavors are very grown up. The kids didn't care for this at all. I, on the other hand, LOVED it. It was sweet and creamy. The nuts gave it just the right amount of texture. I would make this again if I were having a party with adults. It would be great for a wine and cheese themed event.

Side Dish: Cottage PotatoesThis was one of the easiest things I had ever made. Really, it was almost as easy as straight up mashed potatoes. And it was so good. This is a recipe I will make over and over again. It's going into our families regular rotation. After feeding me and the kids, I had to fight to make sure there were enough left to send Rob for his work. I can see this being a "dish to pass" at potluck dinners.

Main Course: Cheeseburger Meatloaf

This was a bit of a disapointment. The green pepper was a bit much for this. I don't know about you, but I don't put green pepper in my cheeseburgers. I would love to tweak this recipe though using the flavors our family is use to in our cheeseburgers. It was an OK recipe, but not great in my opinion. More of a starting point for my own future creation.

Dessert: Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
As I said before, I didn't get to making this recipe. I do still plan to make it though. It seemed a fitting recipe for November. I've never had Sweet Potato Pie, but I'm told it tastes just like pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie, so if it tastes anything like it I'm sure to love it. I'll be sure to post about it once I've made it.

Due to live and time constraints Steena and Clorie have taken November off. I do believe Laurie was still in though, so check out her blog and see what she had to say. We are all taking the month of December off to concentrate on Christmas and family. Watch for us to be back in January with some more recipe reviews from your favorite Food Network stars.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Picture Of Beauty

Originally uploaded by Heidi533
This is Kim. Isn't she beautiful? I love this picture of her. The spark in her eyes makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I don't recall what exactly was happening when I took this picture.

I met Kim via the internet, along with several other ladies I hold dear to my heart. They are all special, but I think they would all agree that there is something about Kim that makes her extra special.

It's not just that she is a breast cancer survivor, although that is part of it I'm sure. I had the privilege of finally meeting her face to face this summer. What an experience. She has a presence that at once leaves you in awe of her and makes you feel like you've sat talking to her a million times before.

She exudes strength and confidence even when you know she's probably crying on the inside. In the face of cancer she has remained full of life.

When my life seems hard to handle and I feel like I'm just so weighed down I think of her. I remember how strong she is and how she faces everything head on knowing that somehow she will make it through. I let her inspire me.

I can truly say my life has been improved through knowing her.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who Has The Best Husband?

That would be me. This man right here deserves the title of "Worlds Greatest Husband". In the past week he has had to deal with taking care of me, two sick kids, one healthy kid, all the farm animals and getting our well pump replaced.

Meg and Braden have both been sick with either bad colds or a mild flu. Braden was waking in the middle of the night burning with fever and unable to get back to sleep. While this was going on, I developed a sever skin infection in my right ear. I'm very sensitive to medication, so the Tylenol 3 that the Dr. gave me left me rather groggy and didn't really take care of the pain as well as I needed it to.

Then over the weekend, the pump went out on the well and I developed a bad case of swimmers ear in BOTH ears. Obviously the antibiotics the Dr. had given me previously weren't doing much good. I spent a good part of Sunday and most of Monday literally writhing in pain. Pain to the point that this full grown woman was at times whimpering and at others crying and occasionally screaming. Pain to the point I was unable to care for my children or my animals.

What did my husband do through all of this? He went to the store to get frozen pizza because of course, the well went out when we had no clean dishes to cook in. He then went to the neighbors to fill buckets with water. Once the animals all had water to drink, he heated water for washing dishes. Not just once, but three times over the weekend. Not only that, he heated water and fill the bath tub by hand and bathed children. All with never losing his temper, never raising his voice, never losing patience with us.

Monday once the well pump was replaced, he discovered there was a leak in a pipe under the house that needed fixing. While he fixed that, which took three tires (It was a Monday after all), He called my Dr.'s office repeatedly because I was in too much pain to talk on the phone.

He got me in to see my Dr. and took me to get my new, stronger medications. And then called off work because I was worried about weather or not I would be able to take care of kids in the middle of the night while taking Vicodin. I'd never taken it before, and as I stated earlier I am VERY sensitive to medications.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Any girl can get a guy who brings them flowers and candy. But not every girl can find a guy who handles all of this with the tenderness and dedication that shows his love in the ways that really count.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Suppose I Just Have to Accept It

Summer is gone. Today is Halloween. I can no longer pretend that winter is isn't on it's way. Most of the leaves have left the trees and the possibility of 60 degree weather is behind us. Coming are the days of blowing snow, icy roads and frigid temps.

I'm mourning summer today. I've been in denial long enough.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finding Focus

I love music. I think everyone loves music, so that is no profound thing to say. Since I was in seventh or eight grade, my favorite band has been a-ha. Yes, the group who sang "Take On Me". Did you know that is not the only thing they have done? They have had a long career with several hits in Europe and other parts of the world. If you happen to read my blog and you aren't from the USA, you might even know that already.

They have put out 13 CDs/Albums over their career. On top of that they have done other things. Morten Harket has put out several great solo recordings along with doing humanitarian work. Magne F has a great solo career as well as being an amazing artist. Paul Waakaatar-Savoy and his wife Lauren have their own band, Savoy. They have done a lot over the last 30 years.

Remember what they looked like in the mid 1980's?

And here they are now:
Still look like they are enjoying themselves, don't they? I know I have enjoyed their music over the years.

So what does this have to do with finding focus you ask? I'll tell you. It has to do with the announcement that they are planning a farewell tour and that at the end of 2010 they will no longer be a-ha collectively. I'm over my sadness for the moment and am just hoping that they will continue to do things as individuals.

Recently it was announced that they plan to take their tour to North America for two weeks in May. Since they have only come to the USA once in my adult life, I've never had the chance to see them in concert. My loving husband, who has seen his favorite band (Rush) in concert numerous times, has promised that he will take me to see them next spring.

Still wondering what has to do with finding focus? I'm almost there. I told my husband that I plan to act like a drooling teenage girl at the concert. He's fine with that. About two days after I told him that, I realized that I'm not a teenage girl. I haven't been for a very long time. Not only am I not a teenage girl, I'm a good 100 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenage girl. While I don't see me loosing 100 pounds, I do see myself loosing the vast majority of that 100 pounds before May. I don't want to act like a teenage girl AND be this fat.

I've been trying to find my motivation for a long time now. Being a mom of three with a growing hobby farm wears a person out and makes it really hard to focus on myself at all. I'm just plain TIRED all the time. However, just the idea of seeing a-ha live has me excited and I'm keeping that as my focus. I want to feel thin and pretty again when I go to this concert. For the foreseeable future, I will have my iPod loaded with nothing but a-ha songs. I will be subjecting my children to a-ha whenever they ride in the car, and I will be watching many You Tube videos.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hello readers! Here it is, the fourth Saturday of October. Yes, it's two weeks later than we had originally planned to post our Food Networkers recipes. As it turns out, four new recipes in two weeks was a bit too much for us and we have changed it to a once a month thing. The fourth Saturday of every month is when we will be posting our recipes.

Clorie chose our recipes this month. The recipes were from Rachel Ray. I always have mixed results with Rachel Ray recipes. But I always love them because they are never exact. I love to experiment in the kitchen and change around the flavors. That makes her recipes perfect for trying again and again.

Appetizer: Monster Snack: Open-Faced Calzone with Spinach and ArtichokeThis recipe was very easy to make and is a great starting point for future meals in our family. I didn't care for the combination of ingredients. I would have liked more sauce and different toppings. That being said, I did enjoy it. The rest of the family hated it. It's not the most kid friendly of flavors. I will let this be the inspiration for the future. I'm thinking it would be really good with an alfredo sauce, replace the spinach and artichokes with caramelized onions and add chopped leftover beef roast. Also, less ricotta cheese.

Main Course: Stretch a Buck Turkey and Bean Burrito Burgers
This was a great burger. The only problem I had was the beans not wanting to stay in the mix while forming the patties. I think I would slightly mash the beans in the future. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing. And the Guac. Mayo is TO-DIE-FOR. I could have eaten that with a spoon. If you tell anyone that I licked the bowl, I'll deny it.

Side Dish: Crispy Mashed Potato CakesI have never had much luck with potato cakes. They just don't like to stay together for me. I was expecting the same with these. I was pleasantly surprised when they not only stayed together, but came out somewhat crispy for me. They were very good. However, in the future I don't think I would go through the trouble of making the potato cakes with them. I will just serve them as mashed potatoes. In fact, I will probably do that for Thanksgiving.

Dessert: Super Stuffed Baked Apples a la Mode
My husband works third shift. He asked me if I had a plan for "those mackintosh apples over there". I told him yes, that I was going to be making something with them that day. His response was "Cool!" and off to bed he went. When he woke up I told him that I made stuffed apples. This was met with a responsive "Oh, really? I was hoping for apple crisp." I refrained form beating him and told him to make sure to heat it before he ate it. I couldn't send the ice cream to work with him, so he had to eat it without. When he came home he said "That apple was amazing! Forget whatever I said when I woke up." He was also very sweet and extra loving to me. I guess the old saying is true, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. The kids and I loved this too and we did have the ice cream and redi whip on top. I did substitute cookies and cream ice cream because I didn't have the right kind on hand. But I don't think that mattered at all. It was the best apple dessert I have ever had. And I don't care for baked apples at all. This would work good with the apples cut up and the filling put on top as well. I might try that for Thanksgiving as well.

Steena is taking a break right now. But be sure to check out Laurie's blog and Clorie's blog for Their take on the recipes. And remember to come back in November to see what we make. All I'm saying is Paula Deen.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More POM Goodness

So I played around with the POM Wonderful some more. What fun! I just love it when I get to experiment in the kitchen with new flavors. (I have no idea why all my text is underlined. How odd.)

First up was the Pork Chops. I bought thin cut boneless center cut chops. They were seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I fried them in just a bit of oil. Since they are so lean, I find I need that to keep them from sticking too much. When the chops were done, I added a pat of butter and some finely minced garlic to the pan. When the garlic was soft, I put about 6oz of the POM Wonderful in and let it reduce. It turned very dark, almost black, in color. The flavor was amazing. It had a slight tartness that added a new dimension to the pork chops. This is something I would make again and again.

Secondly are the cupcakes. I was really looking forward to this one. I love paring fruity flavors with chocolate. The cupcakes are just from a boxed devils food cake mix. (Eeek! How could I when I have such great from scratch recipes at my fingertips.) All I did for the frosting is use powdered sugar, salt vanilla and POM Wonderful. I just added the juice in until it was the consistency that I wanted. Again, the juice made it tart. But not unpleasantly so. It was actually very good. When paired with the rich chocolate of devils food cake, it was wonderful. Jade has even asked to have this frosting on her birthday cake in December.
So there you have it. Two more recipes with POM Wonderful. Next up will be the roast. I'm really looking forward to that.

Friday, October 9, 2009

POM is Wonderful

A couple weeks a go I got an email from someone named Kristen at POM Wonderful. The email said she had come across my blog and wondered if I might be interested in trying some of their product. Once I was pretty sure it wasn't a scam, I emailed back and said I would love to try it. I mean really, who doesn't want FREE stuff. And I know I love pomegranates, so I was pretty sure I would like the juice.

Well, it got here and I was sooo excited. Unfortunately, life got super busy and I didn't have time to do anything with it. I have wanted to use it in some recipes. Sure, I drank a couple bottles of it. It tastes great. It's sort of like a rich red wine, without the alcohol.

The other night, I decided a cocktail was in order. So I got out a champagne glass (because they look pretty) and put some POM Wonderful and vodka in it. It was good, but since the POM is rather tart, it was not as palatable as I had hoped. Add in a little sure and BAM it was GREAT. It was a simple, tasty cocktail that was perfect for sipping. One was plenty and it lasted me a good hour without feeling like I had too much or too little.

Once a gain I have misplaced my camera, so I had to use my phone. But here is a picture of the drink in question.

I have a few other things I am hoping to try with this juice. As I said, it has a flavor that reminds me of a rich red wine. I will be trying in the crock pot with a beef roast. After that, I plan to fry pork chops and use the POM to deglaze the pan making a sauce to put over the chops. The last plan I have (which I will really probably do first) is to make some rich chocolate cup cakes, then use the juice to make a powdered sugar frosting.

Oh, and I also am about 1/2 a cup short on the juice I need to make wild grape and autumn olive jelly. I think I may add some POM juice for that too. Who knows what else I may think up.

Anyone else have ideas? Maybe you'll suggest something that I'll try and blog about.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Food Networkers Ride Again

Here we are again. It's the third installment of the Food Networkers. It was my turn to choose this time. I haven't read what Laurie, Steena and Clorie thought of the recipes yet, so you'll need to check them out for yourself.

Appetizer: Prosciutto-Roasted Figs
The recipe called for fresh figs. Apparently I missed the end of fresh fig season by like two weeks or something. Whoops! So I used dried figs instead. You can soak the dried figs in hot water if you wish, but I didn't feel like going through that trouble. I just used them dried. I loved this recipe. I would make it again just for me. Braden at a couple and seemed to like them ok, Rob hated them, Jade and Megan wouldn't even try them.

Main Course: Roast Chicken with Herbed Mushrooms
This was a fairly easy recipe to make. Roasted chicken is always a big hit around here and this was no exception. It was simple, flavorful and juicy. It wasn't profound in comparison to any other chicken I've made. Everyone loves mushrooms though, so I will probably make it again. My chicken didn't come out very pretty, so no picture this time.

Side Dish: Honey Roasted Cipollini Onions
I couldn't find Cipollini onions. So what I used were broiler onions. I'm not sure what kind of difference the right onions would have made. If I do ever see them in the store, I will most likely buy them and try this recipe again. I may even try it with pearl onions. This was full of flavor and even once they had gone cold were still delicious. The only problem was that the outer layer became a tough skin. But we just tossed that to the chickens and all was well. None of the kids liked this recipe, but I didn't expect them to. Bottom line is it's more of a "grown up" flavor. My mother-in-law tried them and thought they were delicious.
Dessert: Chocolate Pudding
Now this is what it's all about. Rich, thick, creamy and delicious. I have thought several time about learning to make pudding from scratch. It was just one of those things I never really got around to. The recipe was easy to follow and came together perfectly. A big hit all around.
Next up it's Clorie's chance to choose our recipes. Tune in two weeks from today to find out what deliciousness she has in store for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What are your kitchen essentials?

After talking to a friend about my cooking style today, I started to think about what I need to have in my kitchen to know that I can serve my family a "good" meal. So here are the bare minimums that I need to have on hand.

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning

  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Salsa

  • Chicken
  • Canned Tuna
  • Ground Beef

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Misc. Veggies

Now I do keep much more than this in my kitchen. But if I had to choose what I just could not run out of, this would be the list. With this, I can make many things. Creamed Tuna on rice, bread, soups, casseroles, pasta, the list goes on and on.

What are your kitchen essentials?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mr. Swayze, you will be missed.

Sometimes you don't realize that someone meant anything in your life until you hear they have died. In a way, that's how I am feeling about Patrick Swayze. I didn't know him personally, most of us didn't. But most of us knew his work, and knew it well.

There are a lot of things out there I could mention, but two stand out. North and South is the first, and Dirty Dancing is the other.

North and South was and still is a favorite of my mom. She has a love of the south and the Civil War era. I remember her excitement when she was finally able to get the series on VHS so she could watch it anytime she wanted. My mom and North and South will always be connected in my mind. I may have just been to young to realize sooner, but I really don't remember my mom talking about the south or Civil War era things before she saw North and South. I'm sure she loved them before then, but I think maybe it brought it to the surface for her.

As for Dirty Dancing, I was a teen when I first saw this movie. I was at an age where it was exciting and appealed to me because I could see myself as Baby. And I wanted to be Baby, LOL. It was very much a coming of age film for many of my generation. It represented the freedom I was craving as a teen who was too young to be without rules, but too old to feel like a kid.

I woke up this morning feeling like a part of my youth had died along with Patrick Swayze. And I know I will miss him in a different way than I have other public figures. My heart goes out to his family, especially his wife. May they find comfort in knowing that he really did touch the lives of his fans in some way.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Food Networkers Round Two

I can't believe two weeks have passed already. So much for my vow to keep up with blogging better for once. Maybe things will get better now that Jade is back to school. At any rate, today we are talking about one of my favorite subjects, FOOD!

This time the recipes were chosen by Laurie. And along with her and Steena, we have a new participant, Clorie, joining us. Be sure to checkout their blogs to see what they though of the recipe.

And now without further ado, here are the four recipes that were chosen for this round.

Appetizer: Pizza Pockets. These were OK. They weren't hard to make, and the kids loved them. I couldn't find arugula, so I substituted with chopped swiss chard. I think Spinach would have been a better choice, but the chard worked. Would I make them again? Probably not. Or at least I would make a homemade dough. I think that would have been easier to work with. Still, it was good enough to make all three of my kids happy, and that says a lot.
Side Dish: Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes With Parmesan Crust. I would totally do this again with the potatoes. Maybe even the zucchini. But probably not together. I think that maybe my potatoes were under boiled and the zucchini was really mushy on the top. I don't like mushy zucchini at all. But the cheese was good. The kids wouldn't try the zucchini, but loved the potatoes.

Main Course: Roast Beef With Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce. This was delicious. They sauce was great. The kids didn't care for the sauce unfortunately, but there was no meat left. Megan even chose to have the roast as a snack later in the evening. I would make this recipe for company.
Dessert: Lemon Thyme Bars. This the recipe I was least looking forward to. I am not a big fan of thyme, and it just did not sound right that it should be in a dessert. I was surprised to find I liked the bars. They weren't the best dessert I've ever had, but not the worst either. Megan liked the glaze because it was really sour. Jade took one bite and hated it. Braden ate two and then finished Megan's. Would I make this again? Probably not. But it was worth trying just to find that the combination of thyme and lemon actually works well.
Next round I get to choose the recipes. I'm so excited. I'd love to give you a preview of what we'll be making. No, that's not true. I totally want to make you wait and have to come back in two weeks to see the awesomness that I chose. :o)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Introducing Somthing Fun

At least it's something I think is fun. It's Food Networkers. Two friends of mine went to see the movie Julie and Julia. After, they thought it would be fun to cook their way through a cook book together. When they had trouble finding a cook book, it was decided they would do recipes from Food Network. Laurie invited me to join in. Since I love to cook, I had to say yes.

I find that with three kids and all these animals, I don't take the time with cooking the way I would like to. Doing this made me slow down a little and enjoy the process and give my family something new for a change.

Steena chose our recipes the time around. We have decided we will do a total of four recipes: An appetizer, a side dish, a main course and a desert. We don't have to make them all for one meal, just over a two week period. So without further ado, here are the stars of our first Food Networkers challenge:

The Appetizer: Mexican Potato Skins. This was not only easy to make, but it made a lot. We had it as a meal. But it would be great for a party appetizer. Everyone loved it. It will be going into our regular rotation.

The Side Dish: Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto. This one was OK. Braden loved it. He had FOUR helpings. The girls and I didn't care for the chunks of squash. I would leave those out if I make it again. Although I'm not sure I would make it again. It's a lot of work for a side dish. If it had been a bigger hit with the family, I might. The risotto had a great flavor, aside from the chunks of squash. And it is a good way to get some pumpkin in a savory dish.
The Main Course: Braised Paprika Chicken. This was a huge hit with my family, and very easy to make. I doubled the recipe hoping for plenty of leftovers. All that was left after it was all said ans done was the two smallest thighs. This is one I would love to make for company.

The Dessert: Dessert Pizza. I did not have high hopes for this recipe. I'm not a big fan of baked apple desserts. It may seem unamerican, but I don't even care for apple pie. I was pleasantly surprised. This was delicious. I discovered after I had already started the recipe that I didn't have any vanilla. I substituted a bit of rum extract in it's place. If you only try one of these for recipes, make it this one.
Happy cooking and look for our next round of recipes to be posted two weeks from today.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Check Out The Giveaway

Gotta love free stuff. When this was posted on a message board I belong to, I just had to jump on it. Once you register for this, it takes you to a page with about seven other great giveaway contests you can register for. Just CLICK HERE.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ducks

These silly ducks want nothing to do with me in the daylight. However, every night when I go out to close the chicken coop and give one last look around the farm, they follow me everywhere.

Goose is the Pekin, Lucky is the Khaki Campbell, and the brown muscovy is named Coco.

Sometimes I think those Muscovies are just being watch dogs to make sure I don't do anything they don't approve of. Here we have Coco, Chocolate and Duck-Duck.

And here is a much better picture of Goose and Lucky. They came to us in June needing a good home. We love our ducks and they have been a fun addition to the farm.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


This summer has kept me so busy. I'm amazed at how fast the time can go by. I can't believe it's been this long since I blogged. So much for keeping up better with this.

In case anyone out there still reads and might just possibly be wondering what's been happening, here's a quick summary of our summer so far.

I finished a big work project in early July, then flew to Florida. I had never flown, and was very worried. Thankfully my good friend Chris went with me. It was a girls weekend and we had a blast. Worth all of the anxiety over flying for sure.

When I got back, I had one week and then it was Fair time. As in the county fair and my daughters exhibiting and showing animals. We camped there for the week and it really was pretty fun. Jade showed the goats and Teresa, our doe, took Grand Champion Dairy Goat. Megan and Jade also both took second place in their class for chicken showmanship.

Jade sold a pen of three market chickens and also a pen of three market rabbits. She also exhibited three of our bantam chickens and one of her pet rabbits. We came home with two new rabbits. One New Zealand / California buck to breed with our meat does and a Mini Rex buck that Jade wants to use as her showmanship rabbit. He's adorable and as soon as I figure out where I left my camera, I will post some pictures for you.

This past week I thought would be slow and easy. Then I ended up with three appointments, a friend I haven't seen in 20 years stopping by, a trip to see my in-laws at their cottage, another friend to visit, a banquet to attend, and a trip to my moms. I'm really hoping this week will be better.

What has everyone else been up to this summer?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's A Wrap

A grilled wrap actually. This was one of the simplest dinners I've made in a long time. Even better, was that all three kids raved about it. Jade even asked that it be put in regular rotation.

I started with 1 pound of ground turkey. After I browned that, I added one cup of ricotta cheese, fresh chopped chives, chopped fresh garlic, about 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper.

Once the filling was cooked, I put 1 slice of swiss cheese on a large tortilla. I don't remember the brand I used, but it was the kind sold to use for making wraps and it was garden veggie flavor. Then put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle and roll up burrito style.

After I had them all filled and rolled, I just grilled them on my George Foreman Grill.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tag, you're it....

I was tagged by my friend Laurie at Livin' La Vida LuLu.

The game was to post the sixth picture in the sixth folder from my picture file and tell the story behind it.

So here is the picture. Megan and I had gone on a little road trip. On the way home we stopped at McDonald's. Megan was being so expressive that I just had to get the camera out. Perhaps soon I will post the whole series of pictures of her eating french fries. There is just something about them that will make you smile.

So now I am supose to tag five other bloggers. The problem is that Laurie already tagged several of the people I would tag. So I am sure that it will be less than five. :o( Please forgive me. I tag:

My Country Blog of This and That

Our Family Treasures
The Ramblings At Chippewa Creek
The Year Of Living Obsessively

The Rules:

1) Go to your photo files…Select the 6th photo folder

2) Select the 6th photo in that folder

3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.

4) Then challenge 5 blog friends to do the same!

Friday Giggle

I told them to "go clean something". This is what I found them doing.
At least they used the old tooth brushes. I think I need to find child sized rubber gloves.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blackberry Dreams

And I am NOT talking about a phone. Just look what I saw in the woods the other day.
That's just a small sampling of the many blackberry blooms I saw. And not only that, I saw my honey bees busy working in there too. I'm thinking blackberry jam and blackberry honey this year.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cooking 101 With A Twist

A few years ago my friend Julie started holding Cooking Class at her house. We almost always meet on a Tuesday. Class is once or twice a month. It's not so much about learning how to cook as it is about trying new recipes and sharing our favorite food with each other. Of course the best part is getting to spend time with other women.

I hadn't been able to go for the last 9 months or so. Today I got to go and I knew I was missing it, but I didn't realize just how much I had missed it until I pulled in to Julie's driveway and the rush of excitement went through me. I think a big ol' grin broke out on my face and stayed there the whole time.

So you may be wondering what we ate. Well I'll tell you we had this:


That is Seafood Lasagna made from a recipe found in Taste Of Home Magazine. The recipe can be found HERE.

We also got to try some delicious Farm House Cheddar cheese that Julie and the ladies made at the last class. The recipe for that came from the book Home Cheese Making. It had aged five weeks and was so yummy and sharp.


The food was wonderful and the fellowship even better. I can't wait for the next time we meet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's Finally Happened (Almost)

I've nearly gotten my "ducks in a row". There always has to be one that won't cooperate with the group. *sigh*

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Rooster, Broody Hens, Goat Names and More

Sadly, our large cochin rooster turned mean and had to go. He was attacking both me and my eight year old daughter at every opportunity. Even drawing blood at times. I had to have Jade stop doing any chicken chores because of him.

We still want chicks though, so we needed a standard rooster. I put out that I was looking for a nice full grown rooster with good manners. Breed was not important, he just had to be friendly and non aggressive.

So meet Chicklet. We really don't know what breed he is. His coloring is very much like Cheif, but he's smaller and clean legged. He also has a much larger comb and waddle and his tail will be longer when it grows back in. The hens love him. (He's not in the crate anymore, that picture was taken when we brought him home last weekend.)

I have a few hen, seven to be exact, that haven't paid much attention at all to the goings on in the chicken yard. They are too busy wanting to be moms. Seven broody hens. I finally gave some eggs to each of them in hopes that hatching and rearing chicks will bring them out of it. We'll see though. They are due to hatch on Wednesday. And see that turken (the one with no neck feathers)? She is normally the nicest and calmest of the standard sized hens. Now that she's broody, she is nasty! I hope that means that she's going to be a good mother as well and protect her brood well.

In goat news, we have a name for the baby. Jade thought we should name her Pixie. So meet Pixie. I'm not so sure she cares what we call her so long as we leave her alone. But that's not going to happen.

Jade and I went to the 4H Goat Clinic yesterday and Jade got to get hands on with a goat and learn now to wash, shave and show it. Now she is excited to start working with Pixie. I think once she learns that we can be trusted everything will be fine. Associating us with food will help too.

Tody I get to add one more thing to the farm. Ducks! The same lady who supplied our wonderful new rooster has Muscovy ducks that need a new home. She actually has several animals looking for new homes as they are downsizing their farm. See these Llamas? Think Rob would notice if I brought them home with me too?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It feels like a farm

Less than one year ago I made a post entitled I Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up. That was on my 35th birthday. I've always had a little trouble with decision making, but once my mind is made up, nothing can stop me.

Last summer all I had was the garden and some new chickens. By fall I had a pair of rabbits. This year things have really taken off. We have five more rabbits, lots of chicks hatching, our first two goats, and now we are going to get some ducks!

Yep, we are a farm now. Who knew it would take me less than a year to go from wanting to having.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stake out a spot like this:

Add some of this:
And This:
Plus A Loving Husband:
And you just might end up with one of these:
And one of these:
Theresa and her baby got here on Friday. They are adjusting to their new goat house nicely. We still need a name for the baby. We were considering Molly, but after spending a few days with her, we don't think she is a Molly at all.
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