Shaping up…

It’s shaping up to be the first HOT day of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chickens are getting ready by keeping hydrated…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dogs are enjoying what is left of the cool grass…

Baxter in the grass, my dad in the background behind one of the new (well old) tractors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband and I are off to run errands. I thought I would leave you today with a couple of pictures of the tractors my husband bought over the weekend (see yesterdays post https://seasonsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/look-what-my-h…d-brought-home/).

Scrapping adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband has a hobby to earn us a little extra money, scrapping. He gets things from people who need to get rid of them and we take it to the local scrapyard to be melted down. We don’t get a full load often and so these trips have been few and far between, but we can use the extra money for those unexpected house, car, gas expenses, etc. I road along yesterday as I still was not feeling well and the ride usually helps. On the way home we got a bite to eat and stopped by the park to eat and let the dogs run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chase (in front) and Baxter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wind was blowing all around and had some flags at attention…

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a little town I saw this blue bike next to a local post office. I thought it was such a cool use of art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also liked this painting on a wall near the post office. It reminded me of Italy when  was there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then traveled a back road home… over the bridge and through the woods…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a nice day, but cool with the wind blowing. I know the dogs had a good day as they slept all night and were not as hyper this morning. It was such a blessing to have two nice days to take rides. I hope today my migraine will stay away 😉

Price is right…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is another barn we saw on our little drive yesterday. I love the old silo. I remember as a child when you could drive down the road and see these old silos being filled with grain for storage until the price was right to sell. Silo storage has changed and grain can be stored longer until… the price is right to sell. On our trip out to Nebraska my Uncle taught us more about this. I hope you have a Happy Monday!

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

Monday…

What a day… I am ready for bed. Work was long. When I got home and after I put on the pot roast (see recipes section), my husband and I took the dogs on a long walk. For the first day in a long time it was nice weather, sunny, and NO WIND. The chickens who had been let out in the back yard, were playing and pecking around. We went walking and just enjoyed the beauty of the country. It’s so funny to watch the dogs on a walk as they seem to live for long walks and nice weather.

Baxter and Chase having a ball on their walk...

The appear to smile and glow. It’s so nice to watch and hard not to smile when you see them. I love having my pups and think I am getting a little glimpse into the future for when God blesses us with kids. It’s not always easy, but it is rewarding at the end of most days.  We saw our neighbor on the way back from our walk and stopped to talk. It’s always nice to catch up with the neighbors.

I hope you all have a blessed week.