Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I think Mojito started laying. I found a soft shelled egg the other day and now there is a slightly different/new colored egg.
Still waiting on Stella and Cocoa to start laying. They have at least a month before they start. I can't wait to see what color eggs Cocoa lays. She's an Easter Egger so they can be any shade of pale blue or green and sometimes pinkish.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bread Pudding...for Dinner???

I found this recipe on the FreshEggsDaily Blog for Monte Cristo bread pudding and thought I'd give it a try.
                                                 5 medium chicken eggs

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Deli-Style Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Loaf French Bread, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb. Turkey, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb. Ham, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb. Swiss Cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
1/2 Stick Butter
Whisk eggs, cream, milk, and mustard, salt and pepper in a 2 Cup measuring cup and set aside. Butter two 8" square casserole dishes (or one 13"x9" dish) and arrange half of the bread cubes in each dish, dividing evenly. Layer half of the meats and cheese in each dish on top of the bread. Sprinkle thyme over top, then cover with the remaining bread. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top, making sure to moisten all the bread.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to soak the filling and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, remove from oven, brush top with melted butter and return to oven for another 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and top is golden brown.

It was very good. I think my loaf of French bread was a little too big for the recipe and I should have made some more of the egg and milk mixture.
I hate cutting up stuff when cooking. I never have a sharp enough knife, and I lack the patience for it, but in this case with the bread it was just getting smashed. And yes I was using a serrated bread knife. I just tore up the bread instead.
I'm going to try this with another favorite sandwich if ours, "The Cuban"  Mike wants me to make a "Philly Cheese Steak" too

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cucumber Sub

Cucumber Sub

First I scrapped out the seeds (and saved them for the chickens) then I spread some cream cheese on and added some fresh chives from the garden.

Added some Turkey, if I had any tomatoes left I would have added some too.

What a Great Lunch!  I can't wait. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Egg Custard

I thought I would give it a shot and make egg custard. 
Here's the recipe I found and used from The Healthy Home Economist

Egg Custard Pudding

6 free range or pastured eggs
3 cups grassfed milk (goat milk works well too. You may also substitute whole coconut milk if desired)
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Organic ground nutmeg (optional)
Crack eggs into a medium sized glass bowl and whip. Add salt and vanilla and mix well. Blend in maple syrup and milk with a whisk.
Bake in the same bowl at 400F for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly on top and a knife inserted at the center of the bowl comes out clean. Delicious served warm or cold with a bit if nutmeg sprinkled on top!

I guess I'm really not sure what egg custard is, I was expecting something with the consistency of pudding, very creamy.  This was not, although my cooking skills surely played a part in this.  I baked it longer than recommended because when I inserted the knife in the center id did come out clean but there was clear liquid in there.  This clear liquid never cooked off.  When I took it out of the oven it was so light and fluffy almost 4 inches high, like a souflee I think, I've never made one of those either.  Then it flattened out to maybe 1 1/2 inches high.  I did make some modification to the recipe but I don't think that was the issue.  I used Grade A Maple Syrup and used a vanilla bean instead of extract.  It did taste ok, just not what we though it was going to be, the maple syrup was very good but a bit overpowering.  I may give this another try....

Homemade Orange & Vinegar Cleaner

I found a recipe at the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog for Homemade Orange Peel White Vinegar Coop Cleaner and thought I would give it a try.

I got a little nutty and made a few different varieties.  All varieties have the basic recipe of orange peels & vinegar.
I made two batches for a chicken coop cleaner with cinnamon sticks to repel mosquitoes & vanilla beans to repel flies.  I made one for my Mom (to clean the parrot cage) with lemon peels & one with lemon peels and cinnamon sticks to use around the house.  After it cures for a month I will strain it and put into spray bottles. I can't wait to try it.
It is supposed to work great on the coops, you can just spray and leave it or let it set and wipe it off.  I think I know what I'll be giving my chicken loving friends for Christmas :-)

update 8/11/12  I've been using this cleaner around the house and it works great.  I use it more in the house than out in the coop.  I've also made some homemade laundry soap that is working well with our well water and lack of water softener.  It cuts the price of laundry soap in half.  More soon on the homemade laundry soap.....

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Look out Jimmy Dean....

Mike eats his breakfast on the go. It's usually a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich on his way to work. So I thought I would give it a try and make some for him. Am I going to get up early and cook him breakfast everyday before he goes to work? Nope, but I will make several at a time and freeze them.

I got some tips off Facebook.  I think the best one was to weave the bacon, it stayed flat. Another tip was too bake the eggs in a muffin pan so they areround and all the same shape and make a nice looking breakfast sandwich.

Here's how I did it

4 Eggs
4 English muffins
4 slices of bacon
2 sausage patties
4 slices of cheese
pan spray

I sprayed ramekins with pan spray. I decided not to use the muffin pans because I thought the egg would be too thick. Cracked the egg and put it in the ramekin. I then broke the yolk and slightly scrambled it. I baked them in the toaster oven @350 for 13 minutes.

(I didn't want to heat up the kitchen with the oven in this heat)

I cut the slices of bacon in half and did a "basket weave" with 4 of the slices (so 2 full slices) and then fried them. They stayed flat and perfect for the sandwiches.  Cooled bacon on a paper towel

Fried the sausage patties then cooled on a paper towel.

Let the eggs cool for a few minutes then removed them from the ramekins to continue cooling.

Toasted the English muffins and let them cool.
When everything was cool enough not to melt butter & cheese I assembled the sandwiches,

Buttered the muffins, added the bacon or sausage, added the egg and topped with cheese. They were individually wrapped in Glad press & seal and then frozen.To reheat, remove the plastic wrap, wrap in paper towel, microwave on 30% or defrost for 2 minutes then cook on 100% for 45 seconds.

I'm not that great or creative with my cooking. I only cook because I have to, but I must say these came out pretty good.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cute finds at Hobby Lobby

I found some cute stuff for the garden at Hobby Lobby.  All the spring and summer stuff is on clearance,  up to 90% off!  They are making room for their Christmas stuff. A little early in my opinion,  but hey look at the cute stuff I found.
The eggs are not from Hobby Lobby, they are from my chickas ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Can I have some privacy please...

I'm taking a bath, do you mind.

It just cracks me up when the chickens do their dust bathing

I have been using Sweet PDZ in my coop for about a month now and I am very pleased with this product.  It is actually for horse stalls but it can be used with other animals also.  It gets rid of the ammonia smell and dries up the poop.  I was inside the hen house today and the temperature was in the 90's and no poop smell!  I'm going to start adding it to the run as well. I use the granules, I have not tried the powder.

Inspectors Rose & Daisy, making sure my cleaning meets their standards

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fun in the yard

I have wasted a lot of time building roosts for the chickas, they like to hang out on the deck, or the fire pit.
Every night I have a mess of mulch to sweep off the sidewalk,  they love to scratch & dust bath in it
We just got a Bullfrog tadpole for the pond. Hopefully he stays around. Frogs kind of gross me out, but I guess it's cool to have one in your pond.  It might take awhile to get a picture of him, he's sneaky.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Strawberry & Mint Popsicles

Even Chickens like Popsicles.

  I have learned that mint naturally helps cool down your body temperature.

The ingredients for the popsicle are pretty simple, fresh mint, whole strawberries(including tops), water & a string. I put the mint & strawberries in the food processor and turned it into puree, added string, put about a teaspoon in each ice cube mold, filled with water and froze for a few hours.
I might have to make some for us ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A boy and his Chicken

Jack & Mojito
Jack loves holding the chickens, I guess that's his reward for catching one of them.  They really are not that hard to catch.  I have started letting them roam around the yard when I'm out with them.  They really enjoy scratching around in the flower/weed beds.  They all stay pretty close together, I think they are afraid one of them will find a big juicy bug so they have to be right there to try and steel it.  The dog is not a problem, the poor thing is afraid of the chickens.  He will turn and go the other way when he sees them.  I only put them in their play-pen when I am cleaning the coop since I can't keep an eye on them. 
I have planted to vegetables in containers this year (for us, not the chickens) Tomato, Green Pepper, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Chives, Cucumber, Jalapeno & Cilantro, now I just need some onion and I'll be set.  The chickens do think it is for them so I have to shoo them away from the containers.  But they will have a nice surprise in a few weeks.  I planted "Chicken Salad" from  It is a seed mix of some different kinds of greens that chickens like.

The Stand Off of Stella & Cookie

We also started working on a pond for the back yard. It's a small one, about 55 gallons, with a little water fall, fountain and squirting turtle. I love to listen to it, I can hear it at night through my bedroom window.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Supervised free range

I purchased some scratch grains for the chickies, they seemed to enjoy them. I also let them check out the yard a bit, they were very interested in the deck. My freshly cleaned deck.... What do chickens do? Eat and POOP! lots of poop. Had to hose of the deck. That's OK they had fun.

heading back to their coop after checking out the yard
"Did you Say BBQ Chicken??"
Chicken Scratch
"make sure you poop on the clean deck before you leave"
enjoying the chicken scratch
Must have more

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spy Chickens

 Tried the night vision tonight.  Not too bad considering I really didn't know what I was doing, and was leaning over aiming the lens through the window. 
I really suck at trying to get these pictures lined up....urrr

 Finished up the new and improved chicken play-pen tonight and let the girls out in it for about a half hour while I cleaned up their coop.  They really liked it but I could tell they wanted to get back to their hen house because it was starting to get dark.  I have learned that chickens are night blind so they really want to be in the safety of their hen house before it gets dark.  I'll have to get them out earlier tomorrow so they can get to bed earlier.  It was close to 8pm, that's latest they have been up since moving out of the brooder to outside.   

I bought some mustard greens to give the the girls.  I will put it in the suet feeder tomorrow so they can peck at it and keep themselves entertained.  I forgot I bought them a "chicken toy"  It's a ball that you put treats in and they roll it and peck at it to get the goodies.
I also bought a product to try in the run and in their hen house called "Sweet PDZ"  It is made for horse stalls but I've read of some people using it with chickens.  It is supposed to control order and moisture.  So far I haven't had any issues with orders but with the coop so close to the house and the lovely humid weather we get here I thought it couldn't hurt

Chicken Butt

Not too good with the chickens, but you can see the drops of rain on the Day Lilly leaves

Baby Chick Time

Stella 2 Weeks 5 Days
 The chicks are doing well and growing so fast.  They are practicing to fly, with a long running start they almost get off the ground.  Stella is the flight instructor, she's a good teacher Cocoa is kind of getting it.  Cookie not so much, her wings are not as big as Cocoa's are so maybe that has something to do with it.  I think Cocoa's wings are bigger that Stella's.
Stella 2 Weeks 5 Days

Cocoa 1 Week 4 Days

Cocoa 1 Week 4 Days

Cocoa 1 Week 4 Days

Cookie 1 Week 4 Days

Cookie 1 Week 4 Days

Cookie 1 Week 4 Days

Cookie 1 Week 4 Days