Is it stuffing or dressing in your house? I was always taught its stuffing if it was cooked inside the turkey, but it was dressing if it was cooked in a separate dish. (although we just called it stuffing) So technically I suppose its dressing muffins… but that just sounds lame!
Last year I had seen this tip about cooking your stuffing in muffin tins. I thought it was kind of interesting so last year I cooked it for my family, and we tried it. We loved it. like… LOVED it! so much so that there were no leftovers by the next day at lunch! (my brother in law was pretty mad when he came home from snowmobiling and they were all gone! haha) I have since made them twice- just because!
3 Tbs Butter or olive oil- or more if it starts to look dry.
2 large yellow onions (about 1 pound), diced
4 large stalks celery, diced (or more if desired
3 medium carrots, grated or chunked
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt and pepper
A few shakes of some chili powder (not much- just a little flavor)
Optional herbs- I don’t like them but thats just a personal preference!
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves
Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
a few spoonfuls of sour cream (optional)
Saute these ingredients together- you can even do this ahead of time and store in the fridge- (less stress on thanksgiving!)
Mix sautéed veggies, cream of chicken, and sour cream together. Then stir in bread crumbs until mixed fairly well.
Pour broth over top of mixture, while stirring often.
Place mixture in greased muffin tins and cook for 30-45 minutes depending on size of muffin tins. (They shouldn’t be mushy and soggy.)
Enjoy smothered in gravy! or just plain… they are that good!
Ps. This recipe is very easily changed depending on amounts of stuff you want. Adding more or less of anything won’t hurt it. And sometimes I have had to add more cream of chicken or chicken broth depending on the time I made it.
Have you guys ever heard of this? Well quite a few years ago we were canning pears and we had some really really ripe ones and so my mom looked up a recipe using pears and found this recipe. She isn’t for sure where she got it anymore… but probably someplace like food network or all recipes. You know, the sites before we had Pinterest! haha 🙂 Well she left my sister home to make it and said “don’t put cloves in… I don’t like them!” Well… my sister forgot and put it in! (I love you! haha) Well my mom came home and she felt sooo bad but we tried it and absolutely loved it! It is one of the very few recipes we add it to.
This makes a fabulous dessert, party cake, or even breakfast! (If people can have coffee cake for breakfast surely this is ok! I mean it has fruit, eggs, flour… better than most breakfast cereals!
Well. You aren’t here to hear me ramble so here is the recipe! It isn’t a super complicated one.
Fresh Pear Cake 4 Cups diced, peeled pears (We freeze some with the sugar so we can make this anytime) 2 Cup Sugar 3 Cups flour 1 tsp salt 1-1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves 4 egg whites 2/3 cup canola oil 1 cup chopped pecans
1. Combine pears and sugar and let stand for one hour. 2. 2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees; Spray a 10 inch bundt pan 3. 3. Slightly beat the egg whites and combine them with the oil, chopped pecans and pear mixture 4. Stir the flour, salt baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in the pear mixture.Pour batter into the bundt pan. 5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hr. 10 min. Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
And thats it! pretty simple. When we cook it we like to spray the pan, then coat it with a little sugar. (Put a tablespoon or so of sugar in pan and roll it around till it coats all the edges. Dump the excess out.
This colorful holiday is the perfect time to show off your cooking skills. and when I say show them off… I mean impress everyone by making them think you did crazy hard cooking…. when you really didn’t…. Cause you know me 😛
Putting on a festive display of food isn’t quite as hard as it looks. And if you have family or kids you can make an assembly line with it!
First of all, its not a bad thing to have some pre-made candy and food. So go shopping and find some red, white, and blue food.
Red licorice, blue M&M’s, blue Kisses, marshmallows, cinnamon candies, kitkats, almond joys…. you get the idea.
This spring meant it was time for some new chicks! But this year I wanted to try something a bit different. Instead of the regular chicks, and regular brown eggs, I wanted to have some fun! So this year I chose some different types of chicks! I wouldn’t exactly call them exotic, but definitely not the complete norm. Why would I want that? Well. Have you seen those amazing pictures with the eggs that are all sorts of different colors?
ps. Rachel Mercer is amazing. if you like farm style accounts. she is definitely one to follow!
Anyway I decided instead of just focusing on egg production I wanted cool eggs. I wanted to have pictures like this! So I varied the types of chickens I got so that they would lay different colored eggs.
I got seven different breeds, in order to add variety. Now I still got some good solid layers, but I also got some Americaunas, which lay anywhere from turqoise to olive green eggs, Welsummers that lay a dark chocolate brown egg, and wyandottes that lay tan to light brown (Plus those are just gorgeous chickens!). So there will be a variety of browns, a few creams, and hopefully some blues and greens!
Well it was quite the interesting story getting them here. I had to special order them, but then they have to wait for a big enough order to ship them. By the time someone else ordered them the company was out of chicks—- ha. ha. So I ended up waiting an extra few weeks for them to actually “make” the chicks. Then I got a call saying they would be here Thursday! Yay! Well Thursday came around… no chicks… The store finally called the post office and they said there was a delay and that they would arrive Friday or Saturday.
These are live chicks people!!! They need food, water, and heat!!!
Well they finally got there Friday afternoon so Royden and I set out to get them!
Well we got there and an employee had given the whole package to the other lady that ordered! :0
So. we waited. and waited. while they tried to sort it all out. Eventually we left and were able to get them later that night. But long story short, the chicks had travelled way too long and were not in very good health.
So we finally get home and get them in their little chick coop. We had a little hick-up with our old one falling apart, so we borrowed a old box my in-laws use for chicks. Which was nice of them but a little small for sixteen growing chicks!
Aren’t they just so cute though? Those fluffy little balls!
They finally made it home to our little farm and now I have sixteen little chicks that are growing way too fast! But it will be awesome to get all these fun eggs!
Come back soon to find out the best tips to keep baby chicks healthy!
Thanks for following along on our little farming Journey!
I absolutely love Christmas time! it is my favorite. And one of the best things about it? The decorating! I know some people view it as kind of a chore… which is completely understandable in your busy lives, but I love it! it is my favorite! I literally decorate up to… and possibly past Christmas day! Just cause I think of more things I can do, or I decide to change something up, haha but I know I’m crazy. It is just so fun to change up your home decor for a while and make your home a winter wonderland!
I also understand that Christmas decorations can add up super fast… and my pocket book doesn’t allow for that yet. So I find myself looking through my decorations and figuring out what I can turn into Christmas decorations or add stuff to to make it Christmasy! (and duh that is totally a word!) well here are some basic things I’ve come up with, that you probably already own!
Baskets are amazing versatile accents to decor. Now there are several forms baskets come in, and any work, but you just might have to change where you use them depending on what kind. This year I had purchased some chicken wire baskets like this so that was my choice. I don’t know about you, but we have tons of extra ornaments…. granted we used them for wedding decorations so we have them coming out of our ears! We could easily decorate 4-5 trees… but usually there’s at least a few extra lying around. Well this is just about the simplest thing you can do… fill that basket up with ornaments and pop it on a shelf or the table and vwala! You’ve got a beautiful simple decoration! If you want to use wicker just make sure you place it where the top shows! You can also add pinecones to add some texture. More on this later with bowls though.
Pinecones from your back yard
Go out back and gather those free pine cones! They are sooo useful anywhere in your home! Just make sure to clean them to make sure you kill all those buggers before they come in your house! This lady has some great instructions on how to do that here………….. Once your pinecones are cured you can put them in baskets, bowls, vases, or even make pine cone garland out of them! They add such a natural feel to your home, and give you some dark neutral colors in your bright décor. I use them on my tree
Trays are becoming more and more popular, on tables, coffee tables, counters, and even beds! If you have one of these laying around, or even something similar, than use it! It is great to put anything from mini trees, candles, nativities, cookie cutters, ornaments, lanterns, or Christmas books. It just depends on the size! The possibilities are endless, but it makes it so easy and “clean” looking while adding an extra dimension.
Well, since these are all the rage I gave in and bought one! It has been a blast to decorate! And Christmas is the perfect time to put this baby to use! Everything looks great on them, from mini trees, to dishes! Mugs are perfect for these! Signs, candy canes, stockings, elf on the shelf, reindeer, red pick-up trucks and nativities.
If you are anything like me you will have at least one candle laying around. I use them all the time! They are the perfect accent… they can be neutral or bold. It makes them amazing for any season, setting, and display. Well grab some of those candles and use them. You can put them in pretty Christmas candleholders, or plain. I took some this year and wrapped them up with some twine (sooo simple you guys! And it added so much depth!) and I added a little sprig of red berries to one of them for a pop of color! You can use twine, ribbon, or burlap. Add some ornaments or a pinecone to the bow and you have what looks like a fancy expensive candle! (Plus you can take it back off and use the candle for other seasons without buying more!)
This one is fun because I know you have a bowl you can use, fancy or not, and you can do so much with it! This year I used a bowl to hold a mixture of pinecones and ornaments! I also use bowls of fruit for decorations! Pomegranates and oranges are great holiday fruits and such a colorful centerpiece for counter tops! (Plus you can eat them after! Haha pomegranates are my favorite… I may be too excited about that!)
This is an old classic so you’ve probably seen it… if not done it. Wrapping boxes and displaying “gifts” on shelves, tables, and of course under the tree is classic! If you don’t have actual gifts you want to store on shelves as decorations just wrap empty boxes! Or…. If you are trying to hide gifts from your children, display the gift boxes in your décor and tell them they are just your decorations! Most kids will leave them alone! I will also tell you a secret… If your budget is really tight… old fashioned Christmas gifts were often wrapped in newspaper or comics! Opt for an old fashioned Christmas and your gifts will look so quaint! I know I loved getting gifts wrapped in comic pages! It was like two gifts in one! Haha
My dear friends, vases in my house are rarely for flowers. As much as I love flowers… I prefer plants so they don’t die! That always makes me sad… but nonetheless I have quite the supply of vases! These are awesome to fill with ornaments… I know I know. I have ornaments everywhere… what else am I supposed to do with them?! I have like two totes of strait ornaments! You can put pine cones- I love pinecones in the winter. They are so natural and earthy. They just add such a down to earth feel in your decorations.
If you have one of those hollow lanterns or an apothecary jar, they makes a great holiday scenes… little Christmas village, snow men, Christmas trees, or even stuffed with…. You guessed it! Ornaments! haha
Yes I know… who uses cake plates for cake anyway right??? Haha well… lets be realistic… it’s easier to not eat the cake when you don’t always have some on a cake plate. So we will fill it with other decorations instead! Candles are beautiful on them, put them in a three some with some ribbons, or one with a wreath around it! You can also do, snowmen, red pick up trucks and trees, village houses and nutcrackers. Really any Christmas decoration will do! Make it wintery with some fake snow.
Tired of that leftover Thanksgiving Turkey? Don’t know what to do with that last little bit? Don’t worry! I’ve been there! My family didn’t even particularly love the turkey in the first place…. till this year when we brined it, slow roasted it, upside down, in a dutch oven…. then it was hard to get leftovers! But that is a different story!
There are always some scraps on the bones, and that last little bit that isn’t enough for a meal and all those little chunks that are hard to serve. So my family started making a soup with it! It is a delicious turkey and cilantro soup.
Start with the turkey bones- Stick that whole thing in a good stock pot, cover at least half way (6-8 cups at least), add about 1/2 tsp of salt, and let it simmer for a few hours. I would suggest 2-3 hours on low with a lid. (Check it once in a awhile to make sure it still has plenty of water. This will be the base of your soup. The turkey broth. When that is done, run it through a strainer to get all the bones out. Pick out any chunks of meat you see that you want to save.
Then you get to choose this next step. You can either saute an onion, or just stick it into your boiling broth. The onions are sweeter when sauteed, but they taste just fine boiled… and it is great when you are in a hurry. Use 1/2-1 onion, depending on size and amount of soup your wanting to make.
Then some grated carrot. I do 1-2 depending on the size. You don’t want too much carrot, but it adds some flavor, nutrition (sneak those veggies in;) and some great color! Add that and the onion to your broth.
1 can of stewed chopped tomatoes. (or fresh if you have them)
1-2 cloves of garlic- or about 1 tsp. if you are like me and like the Costco minced garlic 😉 1/2 tsp chili powder, a few shakes of red chili pepper flakes (more or less depending on your taste) and I like to add about 1/4 tsp garlic salt because I feel like it adds different flavor than strictly just the garlic. Now you may want to taste the broth because it might need salt. You added salt as you made the broth so be careful- every batch is different.
This soup is really customizable. You can add celery if you would like and also black or pinto beans. (I opted out of the beans this time around because I am nursing and I happen to like a happy baby 🙂 But they do make it very tasty! And you can add more or less of anything depending on how much you want to make or how much you like or dislike an ingredient!
Then add your bits and pieces of leftover turkey. Use those small scraps and pieces that fell apart while cutting it. Then if you have any bigger pieces, cut them into bite size pieces. you will probably want about 1 1/2 cups of turkey. But you can use what you have!
Then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Then serve topped with cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, and tortilla chips- or Fritos- our favorite!
Turkey Cilantro Soup
6-8 cups Turkey Broth
1 medium Onion
1 can of Stewed Chopped Tomatoes.
1-2 cloves or 1 tsp garlic- minced
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
A sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
1 1/2 cup Chopped Turkey
For the toppings-
1/2 bunch Cilantro chopped
1-2 Avocados cubed
Tortilla chips or Fritos.
Enjoy this souper simple and delicious soup! (and clean out your fridge ;))
There are enough ideas and ways of having a clean chicken coop on Pinterest to fill an encyclopedia. And I have tried so many of them. Chicken poop is just not my thing. But I do love my feathery ladies! And eggs…. yes my eggs. Fresh eggs make me the very best cake! Scrambled, poached, sunny side…. yeah they are all over rated. Cake is where it’s at!
But that still leaves us with the poop problem. First year that I had chickens I tried the “litter” method. Sounds weird right? Well, I ran to Home Depot and bought six bags of sand. Supposedly the chickens would poop, the sand would dry out and you could use a giant litter scoop to sieve through the sand and clean it all out real easy.
Looks so pretty and clean right?
Fail. And sorta expensive. 😛
Definitely could have been my fault though. I had ducks as well that year. And ducks like water. Sand and water don’t work well when your trying to dry poop out. Instead I ended up with green mushy sand.
FYI ducks poop lots of green liquify stuff that sand can’t handle even if it is dry!
So eventually I just ended up putting straw in on top of the sand!
After cleaning all the sand and straw out later, I ended up just washing the whole thing out… which the ducks loved. I would put fresh straw in then after a week give them some more fresh, then after about 2 weeks I would empty all the straw and wash it out again.
This year we moved the coop off the cement block and to the other side of some bushes and added on. This time there is only dirt for the ground. It has made it quite convenient because we just rotertille it under every few weeks and put some fresh straw out in between. Gives us fresh dirt and less work. It’s been awesome!
So long story short, the sand might be a great idea if you have a better set up , or only do it under the roost. And no ducks. But ducks are just so adorable!
If you guys have any suggestions or ideas for keeping your coop clean let me know! I’d love some more ideas!
Well it was my mums birthday and none of my sisters could come celebrate with her except me. She thought we would probably do some kind of party since it was her “elderly” birthday party. (There is a definite story behind that. When my Grammie turned seventy she wrote in her journal that it was the worst birthday ever because once you turned seventy you were considered “elderly” and she didn’t want to be “elderly”. —But of course I did not tell you guys my mums age! ;))
My sisters said it wasn’t super convenient to come up from Utah, but they would if we did something big. The closest sister couldn’t Friday night, her actual birthday, but maybe Saturday. It just sounded super difficult that weekend. So I decided I would invite some of my mums friends and have a family party later when it was easier to get everyone here.
Well I was planning on it being a surprise, but I couldn’t make that happen! I didn’t know who to invite and how to even find most of them! Finally I decided it would be easier to ask her and let her help. So I did and she loved the idea! It was really fun and they all want to do it again!! I was so glad that she had a good day to celebrate.
The funniest part of the day was the night before we had made a chocolate zucchini cake. After baking it, I flipped it out onto my pretty cake plate. But the bottom stuck to the pan and only the top fell out! I called mum the next morning and said we needed to make a new one! And Pronto! She said it was fine and just dump the rest on top and put the frosting on. It looked awful! I was sooo embarrassed. I was trying to refuse to take it, but we didn’t have time to make another one…. and it sure tasted delicious anyway! So finally she persuaded me that her friends didn’t mind anyway. Mum also made the joke that the cake fell apart just like her 🙂 Hopefully you have more luck pulling the cake out than I did, but regardless it is one of the best cakes I have ever had!… plus it’s healthy! I sure hope you enjoy!
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, buttermilk, or yogurt
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa (I prefer dutch as it gives it a deeper rich flavor. But that could also be because I add extra ;))
2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional but tasty
3 cups shredded zucchini (about one 10″ zucchini)*
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees f. For about 30 minutes (if in a bundt pan like mine. Less time for square pans or sheet cakes. But just test with a toothpick or your finger.)
1- 1 1/3cup chocolate chips tips from our bakers.
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) half & half or cream for thicker creamier icing
In the microwave or on the stove top, combine 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chips and 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) half & half, heating until the chocolate softens. Stir to melt the chocolate, and spread over the completely cooled cake. Fat-free half & half is fine; as is liquid coffee creamer — try different flavors for a tasty twist.
Don’t worry about espresso powder giving this cake any coffee flavor; it’s there strictly to enhance the cake’s deep-dark chocolate taste, which it does admirably.
Now y’all want some pie huh? Well my mum is famous for her apple pie. She has a thin flakey crust, soft cinnamon apples, and smooth cool vanilla ice cream on the side. Pretty much to die for. So first off your pie crust. At our house it’s illegal to even think of buying a crust. No offense to all those lovely ladies that use them and love them. But they just aren’t homemade or thin enough for us.
Fill 9 inch pie shell with cut apple slices
Sprinkle 1 Cup of Sugar over apples in our shell (1-1/4 Cup sugar if apples are less sweet), Reserve part of sugar to sprinkle over the flour.
Sprinkle 1/4 Cup Flour over apples
Put pats of butter on top of apple slices–about 3 tsp. in equal portions across top
Sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon.
Finish with reserved sugar, so flour and cinnamon are equally distributed
2 Cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup of good quality oil–Canola oil is my preference
Mix with a pastry blender or in a mixer with a whip
Ice water as needed to roll out dough– add to the flour mixture just until dough sticks together but is flakey.
Mix 1/2 of dough into a ball and place between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll into a circle. Do not knead or over work. It will create a tough dough. Roll the dough as thin as you can and get it large enough to cover the pan and go over the edges a bit. Thin crust makes the best pie!
Put the first circle of pie dough into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, allowing some dough to hang over the edge. Hint, remove top plastic wrap, lift with bottom plastic wrap, flip into the pie pan, center it and press it down then remove plastic. (If it cracks or breaks just repair by pressing down with your fingers or adding a bit of dough from the side.
Fill the bottom with apples and filling.
Roll out second ball of dough in the same manner.
Cut vent holes before placing the 2nd circle over top of the apples. (Remove top plastic and make design using a press, or knife.) Vent holes may be decorative–or there may be some patterns for apple pies, another for cherry and yet another for berry pies. This is the pattern of vent holes done by my grandmother and mother.
/ / / / /
\ \ \ \ \ \
/ / / / /
Easy, but effective and still beautiful.
After placing top shell on, seal the edges by pressing the two shells together. You can do any cool or simple design you wish.
Cut the extra edges off the pie.
For extra fancy sparkles sprinkle sugar on the top of the crust.
Tip- For a quick easy way to peel and slice an apple. This is an awesome and fairly cheap tool.
Cook for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then turn the temperature down and continue cooking for 60 minutes at 350. This helps get a crispy crust but not mushy apples. You can cover the edges with foil or use those pie pans that go under and around the edges too keep them from burning or going too brown. When juice bubbles (over) it is done😊
Enjoy hot with cold vanilla ice cream or cold for breakfast the next day!
So here’s our secret. Hand peeling, coring, mashing just won’t cut it at this volume. And it’s an investment well worth it if you do very many at all… but it’s called a Victorio strainer. It mushed the apples and separates skin and seed. Amazing you Say??? Pretty much. But that’s not all there is too it.
First we wash the apples. Gotta make em all shiny 😉 then we put on a good tv show and cut them all in half! Put them in a large pot with just a bit of water… to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/2 inch. And cook at a medium heat until soft and mushy.
Then let them cool a bit… you don’t want it too hot to burn or cause damage to the strainer. But you don’t want them cold either. They juice better this way. We use a small pan or large ladle and scoop the apples into the strainer, crank the handle, and out comes delicious applesauce! Okay well… it’s still a bit sour. But does taste good!
We then scoop that back into a pan, add some sugar to taste. Depends on the size of your pot, and the sweetness of your apples. (but 1-2 cups for medium big pots with sweeter apples usually.)
We then let that cook for a while, so the sugar dissolves, then we put them into jars. (Pro tip- if you want to put it in bottles right after it has been boiling, place your jars in a couple inches of boiling water. While filling them. This makes the jars warm and when you add hot sauce they won’t shatter.) We prefer Ball canning jars and lids. We do small mouth so we can save our wide mouth for peaches and pears.
Then we use a pressure cooker to cook the jars. You can do seven quarts or ten pints at a time. It’s quick, easy, and safely stores your food for years! 🙂