Officially with the Big Girls

The baby’s are officially out with the big girls all the time. They are still in their own area of the coop and protected by a fence. baby babys

If I didn’t the adolescents and some of the white ones try to beat them up and they are still pretty small compared to the bigger girls.

adolescent n babies

Hopefully by September they will be fully incorporated. So far they love the extra space and experiencing the fresh hay.

babies

Speaking of the adolescents… this lovely black and white girl in the middle started to lay this week…

adolescents

She is laying these tiny eggs…

adolescent egg2

I love the chickens first eggs. They are so cute.

adolescent egg

One of the many joys of chicken keeping 🙂

Chase’s Country Quiche

So I have been working to clean out the old freezer so things don’t get freezer burn and I can actually tell what’s in there. Does that ever happen to you? You just get caught up in specials at the grocery store and life gets away from you and you forget what’s in the old freezer?

Anyways, I got some things out of the freezer, standbys from the garden and fridge, and bam DINNER…

Tonight the line up from the freezer include beef chunks, green peppers, pre-made savory pie crust with thyme (I made a few months ago and froze it- it’s gluten and dairy free), and whole roma tomatoes…  And from the garden peppers (red and light green), thyme, onions (regular and green). From the chickens eggs of course (6-8 depending on the size of the pie dish or quiche your using). Spices include salt/pepper, onion powder, and ground turmeric. Lastly from the fridge cheese and about 4 tbsp. of your milk of choice (not pictured because I forgot to get it out but I used a Colby-jack mix and lactose free milk).

Recipe 1

So first I chopped up all the peppers, onion, and tomatoes. Then I chopped the beef up into little bite size pieces so they distributed easier, cooked quicker, and were easier to eat in the quiche. I then beat the 6 eggs with the milk and salt/pepper. (If your pie dish is bigger add an egg or two if it’s smaller use an egg or two less.)

I added about 3 tbsp. coconut oil to a pan (or any oil of your choice that heats well).

Recipe 2

Place pan on medium heat and add the chunk beef that you seasoned the salt/pepper/onion powder, and turmeric before you place it in the plan. (I like to put the beef in a bowel and toss it with the spices and let it set for a few minutes.)

Recipe meat

When beef is almost done and browning nicely add in the peppers and onions (you can add chopped garlic too) and stir. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir again.

Recipe peppers onions

When the peppers are getting a little soft and the onions translucent stir in the tomatoes.

Recipe tomatoes

Once the tomatoes are warm and the liquid in the pan has gone down by 1/2 or more; add in the chopped thyme, stir, and turn off the heat on the pan.

Recipe thyme

While your veggies cook, roll out the pie crust.

Recipe pie crust

Place the crust into you pan of choice. (I had greased the pie dish with butter previously).

Recipe pie

I always add a pie ring on the pie dish as it helps keep the crust edges from getting too brown.

Recipe pie before

Bake the pie crust in a 375* oven for 8-10 minutes until the crust starts to firm and it doesn’t feel doughy. (It usually starts to get a little brown too).

Remove the crust from the oven it should look similar to this in color.

Recipe pie crust after

Add in the veggie/meat mixture to the pie crust.

Recipe filling

Pour over the egg mixture and distribute things evenly.

Recipe egg

Put quiche in the oven and bake at 375* for 30 minutes until the crust is browning and the quiche is set.

Recipe finsihed 2

Take quiche out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Recipe finished

Cut slices and top as you would like.

Recipe sliced

Ideas for toppings: sour cream, cheese, green onions, red onions, bacon (can’t go wrong with bacon) or anything you like

Other idea: Add in cheese to the egg mixture before poring on the veggies/meat mixture.

Use other veggies like zucchini, squash, spinach, or kale which you can add in with the peppers and cook at the same time.

Use other meats like sausage, bacon, or ham.

You can also omit the meat and just do a veggie one if you like.

Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Full recipe below:

 

Chases Country Quiche

By Seasonsgirl

Ingredients:

Pre-made savory pie crust (I make mine with thyme in it)

Beef chunks (cut into bite size pieces)

6-8 eggs (Depending on the size of the pie pan your using- I used 6 for my standard glass pie dish)

4tbsp. milk (regular, lactose free, soy, or almond)

1 cup grated cheese of your choice ( I used Colby jack, but you can use whatever you like, dairy free kind, or no cheese at all)

2-3 kinds of peppers chopped (I used one medium green pepper, two smaller light green, and one medium red pepper)

1 medium onion chopped (white, Vidalia, or red)

3 roma tomatoes chopped

1 tbsp. Thyme chopped

Salt/Pepper

1 tbsp. onion powder

1tsp. Ground turmeric

2-3 tbsp. Coconut oil (or any oil or oil blend you like)

Butter for pie dish or cooking spray

To Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 375* and butter your pie dish or spray with cooking oil.

  2. Chop up all the peppers, onion, and tomatoes.

  3. Chop the beef up into little bite size pieces so they distributed easier, cooked quicker, and are easier to eat in the quiche. Season meat with salt/pepper/onion powder/ground turmeric.

  4. Beat the eggs with the milk and salt/pepper. (If your pie dish is bigger add an egg or two if it’s smaller use an egg or two less.)

  5. Add about 3 tbsp. coconut oil to a pan and placed it over medium heat. Add in your meat and stir only every 4 or 5 minutes so each side browns
  6. Once the meat is almost cooked add in your peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper and stir as needed.

  7. Once your peppers start to soften and onions become translucent, add in the tomatoes. Stir.

  8. Once the tomatoes are warm and the liquid in the pan has gone down by 1/2 or more; add in the chopped thyme, stir, and turn off the heat on the pan.

  9. Roll out the pie crust and place in your pie dish of choice.

  10. Bake the pie crust in a 375* oven for 8-10 minutes until the crust starts to firm and it doesn’t feel doughy. (It usually starts to get a little brown too).

  11. Remove the pie crust from the oven and fill with veggie/meat mixture.

  12. Pour over egg mixture and distribute all parts in the crust evenly.

  13. Put quiche in the oven and bake at 375* for 30 minutes until the crust is browning and the quiche is set.

  14. Take quiche out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then cut slices and serve with toppings of your choice.

Dinner and a Lot of Work

Between thunder and lightening storms with lots of wind and torrential rain I tried to get a lot done inside. I got a lot more of the house organized, cleaned, etc. and then made a FREE dinner (well almost). I had a bunch of stuff from my garden and my mom and step-father’s garden. I was trying to figure out what to do with them for dinner and it came to me… a frittata 🙂

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This one I made by sautéing onions from my garden with peppers from mom’s garden in a large cast iron skillet. Then I added in some garlic (free still because my mom shared some she had excess of). Then I added in squash and zucchini from mom’s garden and kale from my garden. Sautéed this till it was all tender. Then I added 18 scrambled eggs from our chickens and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I put goat cheese I had left over from another meal on top and it went into a 375* oven for 20 minutes until the eggs were set. I served it with a few spring onions and tomatoes from the garden on top. Delicious 🙂

This is before I added the spring onions or tomatoes I kind of forgot to get a picture of that... silly me ;)

This is before I added the spring onions or tomatoes I kind of forgot to get a picture of that… silly me 😉

In the mean time I put some peanut oil in a deep cast iron skillet and cut up two green tomatoes I had fairly thin. Then I coated them in a rice flour/ corn meal mixture I seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder (these things I always have on hand, but yes the only other things I had that were store “bought”) I let them sit while the oil got hot (about 350*) and then fried them till they started to brown about 2-3 at a time so the oil will stay hot enough. I turned them a couple times so they would brown evenly. Once fried I put them on a plate lined with a paper towel and then sprinkled them with a little extra sea salt.

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This meal came out great and hubby was surprised he enjoyed it so very much. He is usually a meat and potatoes guy 😉 You can make the frittata with any garden vegetables you have on hand and can add meat like ham or bacon (those would be delicious). You can also use a variety of cheeses. I hope you can make your own summer frittata and enjoy a little taste of summer in your home 🙂

 

 

It’s Snowing… Again…

I have officially lost count of how many times it has snowed this winter. I’m not complaining, I am grateful for the pretty snow and the peace it can bring to a day 🙂 Shed snow

The dogs have enjoyed watching the snow from the front porch…

Feb 2014 005

I wanted to show you the yummy gluten-free pizza I made the other night. I made the crust from scratch and added some herbs and garlic to the crust and it smelled so good. Then I made pizza sauce to use on top, then added some goat cheese, sautéed kale, artichokes, and black olives.Pizza

It was a yummy pizza 🙂 Even hubby had to admit it was a home run 😉 Hope you are staying warm where you are 🙂

Chip Chocolate Spice Cookies

So I made up a gluten-free and dairy- free cookie (at least from the recipes I have ever seen I have made up a recipe) and I am pretty proud of it as it has won over every person who has tried it. No one could tell it was dairy and gluten-free. Now don’t get scared of the spice in the cookies, it is just noticeable enough for you to say… “what is in that cookie?” So here it is my debut of my…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate Chip Spice Cookie

You will need:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/2 cup Shortening

3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/4 cup Truvia/Stevia sweetener (or any of your choice)

2 tbsp. almond milk

2 tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tbsp. baking soda

3/4 tbsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3/4  bag dairy free chocolate chips

I used my food processor to mix all the ingredients with the bread blade and used a small bowel to mix the dry ingredients before adding them (see below). But mix with what you have 🙂 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To make:

Preheat oven to 375* and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your food processor (or you can combine in a bowel and use a hand or other mixer) combine shortening, brown sugar, truvia, almond milk, and vanilla. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Blend until well mixed scraping sides if needed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add egg and cream into mixture.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add in the pumpkin pie spice and combine scraping sides.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a small bowel combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add this dry mixture slowly into the food processor ( I add it in three sections) until combined. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scrap sides before adding the dry mixture each time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once dry mixture is combined add in the chocolate chipsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And combine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using a small ice cream scoop drop round scoops onto the baking sheets with a little space to spread out in between. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly brown. Don’t overbake. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

I keep my cookies in one of two cookie jars. This rooster one (below) or my chicken one…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It reminds hubby of his grandmother always having cookies in her cookie jar when he was growing up 🙂 Look inside…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnjoy with someone you love 🙂

Baby chick cookies

 

Every major holiday I make my great-grandmother’s secret recipe iced sugar cookies. My co-workers expect them and if I don’t make them I get asked for them. My co-workers like them they say due to the soft centers and sweet, but not too sweet icing. Each year I want to try to decorate them a little different. This year I wanted to do baby chicks in honor of our new hens. I was unsure how to easily make the cookie cutter I had into a chick… so I did some trials and asked my husband his opinion…

 

Options for decorating I didn't like as much...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I tried some more… I know they are not the most amazing of decorated cookies, but I wanted a simple way to make a baby chick…

All the little chicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had two ways my husband liked them so I did both and took them to work to see which one got the most votes with my coworker… It was almost a tie so I thought I would ask you…

My favorite two options
I call this the kissing chicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which one do you think looks most like a baby chick? The one where the beak is highlighted or the one with just an eye?

 

Easter Supper and Deviled Eggs

We had quite a meal today…

It included… ham, deviled eggs, brussels sprouts with bacon, stuffing, green bean casserole, pop overs, and that in the back is sparkling apple cider 🙂

Cheddar onion pop overs

As you can see I had a pretty good plate…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also liked our mums centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I would share my recipe for my deviled eggs and see if any of you had other ways you make them.

Ingredients: 12 egg yolks, 2 big spoon full of your favorite mayo, 4 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 4-6 tablespoons sweet relish, 2 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and paprika to top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix the egg yolks, mayo, mustard, sweet relish, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Fill it into the egg shells (I use a piping bag with a big tip as the relish usually gets stuck in the smaller ones)

The empty piping bag and tip I used and 2 that were too small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top with paprika and serve 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any other ingredaents you use?

Easter Preperation… including chickens, eggs, therapy dog work, and at the center Jesus

The day before Easter… over 2,000 years ago a dark day, Jesus was thought to be dead, today most people go on as usual. Today Baxter and I will be doing some more therapy dog work. Yesterday we went to a nursing home to visit people for the holiday and today is his therapy dog day at the library.

This week we started getting our first speckled eggs from the chickens. All the new girls are laying now so we are getting lots of eggs 🙂 Due to this, the request from the family for Easter is lots of deviled eggs (my family loves them).

This week I also tried a new Easter treat to share with the people I work with (my husband and Dad got one too)… edible Birds Nests 🙂

I was told they are yummy and delicious as I gave them all away and forgot to try one myself.

Recipe:

They are easy to make just melt one bag of peanut butter chips (or white chocolate, or whatever you like, or want the nests the color of). I used peanut butter as I wanted that color and taste.

Melt them in a pan, over medium/low heat, stir it the whole time as it will melt quickly. When it is melted stir gently in one can or 1/2 a bag of chinese noodles till coated.

Then I took a muffin tin, sprayed it generously with cooking spray (spray it a lot as these will stick) and then used it to form the baskets to set up. It takes about 15-20 minute to set (if you want to set them faster put it in the fridge for 10 minutes).

Then use a butter knife to pop each nest out of the tin (be careful to pop each side first before popping the whole nest out).

Then I let them set for a minute and then added in malt ball eggs I found at the local store (you could also use jelly beans or other types of candy that would represent the eggs). I liked the malt balls (especially the blue ones) as they look just like little eggs. Then you can keep them at room temperature in an air tight container or I think they would freeze well.

This whole process took me under 30 minutes and my coworkers LOVED them. I also think you could use them as place setting just add a little slip of paper with the person’s name behind the eggs.

I also already started the Easter Baskets for fun. The dog’s is done…

Yes, they are spoiled...

 

When Baxter and I get home I hope to work in the garden and get started on supper for tomorrow and begin my Easter sugar cookies (more on these later). I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Saturday.

 

 

Baxter’s Potato Kale Chowder

My whole house smells delightful and warm tonight. It’s been snowing off and on all day and my husband is sick, so I decided to make a warm and wholesome meal for dinner… So I made a chowder that would fill him up with good nutrition.

So What you will need:

1/2 cup Olive Oil  (divided into two 1/4th cups) and extra for the garlic.

2 whole Yellow Onions, diced

1 bulb Garlic, roasted

1 tbsp dried Thyme (you can use fresh but use 2-3 tbsp)

16 ounces Sausage, crumbled

4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth  (I use homemade chicken or turkey stock)

6 Potatoes, chopped (I used white potatoes, but if you use russets you need to peel them)

1 small bunch Kale, chopped

2 cups Half and Half

1/4 cups White Rice Flour (or gluten-free all-purpose)

Salt and Pepper (Black or White Pepper)

1 tbsp Garlic Powder

What you will need…

What to Do:

1.) Heat oven to 350*. Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic and place in alumium foil. Cover with olive oil and close up in the foil. Place on a baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes untill bulb is soft. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb or use a spoon to scoop them out.

Garlic in the foil with olive oil.

Garlic after roasting

2.) Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat, then add onions and garlic. Saute until onions begin to soften. This takes about 5-7 minutes.

3.) Add in the sausage and break it apart into small crumbles until it is brown.

4.) Add in kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

5.) Add in potatoes and Thyme. Stir together with kale, sausage, garlic, and onion mixture.

Onions, garlic, sausage, Thyme, kale, and potatoes

6.) Add in stock or broth and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. (The cooking time with vary according to how thick you cut the potatoes, smaller chunks more like 15 minutes and larger more like 25 minutes).

7.) Slowly add in half and half, stirring, and bring chowder back to boil, simmer while you do the next step.

After adding the half and half

8.) To thicken soup… In a small pan/skillet put the remainder of the oil and the flour. Cook the roux mixture string with a wire whisk until it is smooth and starting to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook or burn.

9.) Add to chowder and stir until the chowder thickens about 3 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

10.) Serve and enjoy!

The Chowder plated

Serving Ideas:

1.) I like to serve this with some shredded cheese on top. Other options would be bacon crisped and crumbled, chopped green onions, or chopped pieces of ham.

2.) You can use hot sausage for a hotter taste or any variety you might like.

3.) If you don’t like kale you can leave it out or use collard greens. If you want to use spinach wait till after you add the half and half or milk.

4.) You can also use milk instead of half and half.

Other Tips:

1.) Make sure to only cook the roux mixture until smooth and only slightly brown. If it burns it will not be good to use.

2.) If you want to re-warm the chowder do so on low heat and make sure to stir it often. If it is too thick add milk or half and half.

3.) Store in the fridge once it gets cool enough to put in, to keep it from spoiling.

4.) If you can not roast the garlic, finely chop 2-3 cloves and add when it says to add the roasted.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: With the garlic prep 30 – 50 minutes, without roasting the garlic 30-40

Serves: 8-10

Serving Size: 1 – 1 1/2 cup

Grandmas Pot Roast Updated

You will need:

  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3-5 lb chuck roast
  • Garlic powder, Salt, and Pepper to season roast
  • 2 large or 4-5 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 stem fresh oregano or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 small bag baby carrots
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water

What you need…

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 300*

2. Chop onions and potatoes into quarters or smaller if desired.

The onions and Potatoes quartered

3. Generously salt and pepper pot roast adding garlic powder.

The roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder…

4. Heat over medium heat 2 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil in a large dutch oven or large pot that can go in the oven.

5. Place cut onions in the pot and cook 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until onions are evenly browned on most sides.

The onions browning…

6. Remove onions from the pot and put aside.

7. You may want to add more oil at this point. Put potatoes and carrots in the pot and brown like the onions. This usually takes about 10-12 minutes. Make sure you stir every couple of minutes so the potatoes don’t stick. The carrots and potatoes wont brown as much as the onions.

Carrots and Potatoes browning…

8. Add garlic till it starts to soften with the potatoes and carrots.

9. Remove all the vegetables and put them with the onions on a plate.

10. Add a couple more tablespoons of oil to a hot-pot over medium high heat and then sear the pot roast on each side. About 2 minutes a side.

Roast side 1

Roast side 3

11.When all the sides are seared remove the roast from the pot and de-glaze it with 1 cup of the beef broth, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon or wisk.

12. Place the roast back in the pot and add the vegetables on top.

It all goes back in

13. Sprinkle in the thyme and oregeno, and add the remaining 3 cups of beef brother and 2 cups water.

Broth in the pot

14. Cover and place in the oven. Cook about 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound. For my 3.29 lb roast I cooked it for 4 1/2 hours or until the roast falls apart when you try to get it out of the pot. * cooking times can vary depending on your oven*

In the oven

15. Check the roast about every 1 1/2 hours to make sure you do not need to add any more water or broth as you want everything to stay covered.

After cooking it can look like this

16. Remove from the oven when your kitchen smells like your grandmother’s did on pot roast night 😉 Serve and enjoy!

The plated final product

Serving Ideas:  

  • You can also cook the potatoes separately and use them to make mashed potatoes (with cream cheese and chives very good) or roast the quarters with a little bit of EVOO and italian seasoning.
  • Other vegetables you can use with the roast in place of potatoes is parsnips and instead of onions you can use leeks. It will change the flavor, but can still be good.
  • You can also use cooking wine or red wine to de-glaze the pot instead of beef brother and just use the broth for cooking it in the oven. You will need less wine than broth if you choose to do this, only about 1/2 cup.
  • I used a boneless chuck roast (cut specifically for pot roast), but you can use other cuts of meat  including: boneless shoulder roast (cut also for pot roast, but is a little more tough), brisket (would be a good choice as it is very tender and soft),and sirloin tip roast or top round roast (but this tends to be a tougher pot roast and will not fall apart as much).

Other Tips:

  • Make sure you do not skip the browning and searing parts of the recipe as they are important to the flavor and moisture of the ingredients.
  • You can do two roasts and more vegetables at a time if you have a pot big enough, just make sure to cook it till the roast(s) falls apart.
  • Cook the roast about  to 1 1/2 hours per pound so for a 4-5 lb roast cook it 4-5 hours.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes  depending on how fast you chop and season

Cook Time: Depending on your roast and oven 4-5 hours.

Serves: 6

Serving Size: About 4-6 oz of meat and a good scoop or so of vegetables.