Chickens Getting Bigger

Well, here’s our chickens 2 weeks later. They have more than doubled in size… I’d almost say they have tripled in size! It’ll still be a while til they actually go out to their hen house in our barn, but I sure can’t wait to see them in there. I’m really looking forward to our first eggs. We’ve already thought of a couple of people to give some fresh eggs away for free to when they start coming in abundance. We’ve been told they start backing up quicker than you think. I think I will use a lot in my baking.

Hannah Sick, Mommy Sick!

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Hannah’s been sick for a week. She’s fine now but she had diarrhea and vomitting for nearly a week. It was a tough time for all of us. She was hungry all the time so she started waking again in the night, more so than when she was born. I had to change her whole outfit 2-3 times a day and she had many baths. She didn’t become dehydrated though surpisingly. I was worried about that.
Now why am I feeling sick? Morning sickness! Now why do they call it morning sickness when I feel it all day? Sounds silly to me! I still feel pretty sick as I speak but I am actually happy about it. Apparently many women who don’t experience nausea end up having a miscarriage. So, my body is doing what it needs to do. Why do women feel sick? Because the placenta is not fully supporting the baby yet and mommy’s hormones need to be in overdrive producing abundant amounts of estrogen. Once the placenta kicks in at about 12 weeks, my body won’t be having to produce it all, making me feel ill.

Baby Chicks!!!

A couple of weeks ago we bought some baby chicks. Since we already have a hen house established in our barn, we thought, “Why not”? We bought two each of the following:

Rhode Island Red

Black Austalorp

Ancona

Barred Plymouth Rock

I’ve heard that once you eat your own eggs you cannot go back to the store bought. Apparently the yolks stand straight up and are a rich orange color. I’m excited to go get my eggs from my chickens every day. In another 4-6 months they should be producing.
The chicks are already a bit bigger as we’ve moved them into a big crate (they were flying out of their home here) and now my husband is building them a much larger temporary home out of some pallets and wood til we move them to the barn in a few weeks.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken pot pie – before going into the oven and after.

No, the baby chicks are not in the chicken pot pie!

Last week I made my first homemade chicken pot pie. It was delicious! The only problem was I wish I had made just another cup or so of the delicious filling as it wasn’t the nice, round dome look that a pie should be. We loved it so much though, I think I will make another one next month. I can’t wait now to make a good, apple pie with the crust. I made Matthew a pie like dish with phyllo dough layered on top. He loved it. It had apples, currants, raisins and cranberries. Added was sugar, cinnamon, cardoman, cloves and some other spices I believe, mixed with a little butter. It was delicious. He’s been asking me for it again. I think I will try my hand at making my own pastry type phyllo dough since the regular pie dough turned out so beautifully. Our camera doesn’t do justice to the pictures though as it’s an old camera (10 years or so for digital). Hopefully sometime this year we’ll get a new one and we can take some really beautiful pictures of our kids, food and farming!

Hannah’s Cute Face




Here’s some pictures of Hannah’s cute face! She’s nearly 7 months old now. Though she’s still super sweet, she’s coming into a screaming mode like Elisabeth did at around this age. I’m not sure what it is that makes them want to scream and arch their back so much, but I think it’s kind of funny. She is so dramatic when she does it. You’de never know looking at that sweet, innocent face of hers!

Cooking, Cooking, Cooking!

I am discovering how much I love to cook! So, I will be putting more of my love for cooking on this blog in the future. Last night we had homemade shredded beef tacos. Beef cooked in tons of cumin, salt, dried jalepeno and that’s it! The tortillas we’ve been making for a couple of years now and we decided to make corn ones last night. They were fabulous. My favorite now! Filled with shredded beef, onion, tomato, guacamole, cheese, salsa and sour cream. My mouth is watering thinking about it now.

Okay, here’s what I was going to originally post. I went in the cupboard yesterday to get Elisabeth some Gold Fish crackers to snack on and I thought, what am I doing? I could make some homemade cheese crackers and they would be better for her. I would get to enjoy making them also. So, though I don’t have a picture of her cheese crackers (the first half of the batch), here’s the other half of the batch with the cheese base, rosemary and parmesan. They turned out wonderful. And Elisabeth loved her little crackers. I made hers much smaller and softer. I feel safe now about her not choking on them.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I made these wonderful homemade cinnamon rolls the other day. They rose so well that they crowded each other out a little bit. And though I made a tray of them as well, I thought they looked prettier in the pie pan.

This is a special recipe from Matthew’s mother who has gone through culinary school. The gooey, cinnamon spread (cinnamon smear) was given to Matthew’s mom by her instructor Steve Mione who developed it for one of the airlines. He was paid $2500 for it. So, sorry I can’t share the cinnamon smear recipe out of respect for Matthew’s mother.

Dutch Baby

What is a dutch baby? It is a German Pancake to die for! I do a lot of reading on baking and came across a recipe for a dutch baby. They looked so delicious I had to try for myself. It makes our American pancakes look and taste pathetic! And anybody can make this! Here is a picture I found on the internet. We devoured ours before I could even think about taking a picture. I think I will make the next one with some very thin sliced apples. Here’s the simple recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Melt butter in glass pan or casserole dish in the oven.

3. Blend eggs in mixer for a couple minutes

4. Add milk to eggs and blend another minute.

5. Add flour to egg mixture and blend another minute.

6. Pour batter into pan with melted butter.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until batter has puffed up and turned golden brown. (It puffs up in the oven but flattens when you take it to serve it).

8. Serve with syrup (or butter, light sprinkling of powdered sugar and homemade raspberry jam). Delicious!

Use these quantities depending on how many people you intend to serve:

Pan Size Butter Eggs Milk & Flour

2-3 quart 1/4 cup 3 3/4 cup each

3-4 quart 1/3 cup 4 1 cup each

4-4 1/2 quart 1/2 cup 5 1 1/4 cup each

4 1/2-5 quart 1/2 cup 6 1 1/2 cup each

Homemade Yogurt – So Easy

This is actually an old picture. I’ll take a new one when I make some new yogurt tomorrow.

Recipe:

4 cups milk

1/3 cup powdered milk (for thicker yogurt)

2 Tablespoon yogurt

2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (I like the flavor rather than sugar. You could use a pinch of sugar or honey or another sweetener. The sugar will help the good bacteria form but isn’t necessary).

Prepare – turn oven light on and take yogurt out so it gets close to room temperature.

Heat milk to 185 degrees, stir often. If you don’t have a candy or meat thermometer it is almost boiling. Cool in fridge to 100 degrees (feels about your body temperature). Stir in yogurt, syrup and powdered milk. Pour into container(s). I use 2 canning jars. Place on flat surface (pan or plate) in oven and cover with a cloth. Check in 4 hours and it should be done.

It is so easy and makes delicious yogurt. I have been doing this for over a year now and love it! I like using Brown Cow. It makes for an interesting texture and I get to eat the cream off the top. Yum! But, any yogurt will do as long as it has cultures. You can freeze a couple of tablespoons of your new batch in the freezer to use for starter yogurt the next time.