This whole blog thing…

So I’ve been wanting to try my hand at this blogging thing for quite a while, but have never known quite what to blog. I thought about food, but I’m really no spectacular chef. I thought about DYI projects, but I am usually stealing someone else’s idea for a project and haven’t come up with my own. And I thought about a gardening blog… but considering that four and a half of my eleven house plants are dead… and my three quarters of my garden didn’t even come up this year… I decided I must not be a gardening guru.

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(and yes… this is a picture of my poor dying succulent… one of many of my attempts. I do believe I am the only one that can successfully kill a succulent every. single. time. 🙂 with love of course!)

Thus leading me to the decision that I have nothing to offer the blogging world. That is until I tried yet another Pinterest recipe…. that inevitably…. failed. Like most of the things I try from Pinterest. I then realized I can use my Pinterest fails to make my blog! Because there is one thing I do love…. and that is trying new things out! Even when in my heart I know it will probably fail. So I might as well share with the world what does and doesn’t work! (at least for me) It is my husband’s favorite thing to tell everyone how I cannot seem to make a Pinterest recipe actually work. If I follow the recipe… it usually turns out quite awful. But, if I look up a recipe, say “oh that looks good, but I don’t have or like this ingredient… eh I’ll just make something similar” and then proceed to make up my own concoction, it turns out to be our new favorite meal! In fact one of them has become our new go to meal, and we are even going to take it as our meal at the family reunion this year! It’s our Andrus Cilantro Lime Chicken… and eventually I’ll get the recipe on here 🙂 So I hope you enjoy discovering what works and doesn’t work for me on Pinterest! And if you have any ideas for me… please feel free to share!

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4th of July Decor

The Fourth of July is a holiday of family, food, fireworks, and of course fun! I used to really struggle decorating for this holiday so I usually put a couple flags in a vase of flowers and called it good. Maybe some red or white candles. Well this year inspiration came flooding to me… thank you instagram and my growing collection of decor.

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P.S. Yes… red trucks are perfect for this holiday!!! And Walmart has some awesome throw pillows!

 

Well I stuck some red, white, and blue around the house. Then Saturday I went to a yard sale next door to my in-laws house. This is a friend who is really into décor and was cleaning out. I was in HEAVEN!!! I definitely spent more than I planned on… don’t tell my husband… : ) …. But I did get a dang good steal of a deal on so much! But that’s a story for another day! Haha well one the treasures I found was an old window frame. I debated it at first, but then my mother in law said she wanted to buy one to put a quilt in and all the sudden my brain almost exploded!

 

I have a beautiful little quilt my husband actually made when he was about seven. He made it all by himself- cut- to piece- to quilt. All him. (Back up a bit…. His mother is a huge quilter. She is amazing and does so many fun things! And she has made us and Royden some quilts. I’ll share some pics of those sometime soon! So he had helped her sew and quilt) So he made this adorable thing for fun during the summer. I’ve had it in a little chest wishing I could do something with it but not knowing what. I had literally pulled it out Thursday night to try and use in fourth decorations. Then she made this comment. And I knew I had to have this window frame!

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How perfect is this! I am so in love it might never come down! It’s right over Kyrel’s desk too so its just a little perfect.

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And to make the story even sappier…. The window frame is from my husbands great, great, great grandfathers house. Original frame to the house holding the yard sale. So its from the family too! Isn’t that just so perfect!

If you want to shop these photos click here!

Anyway these are some of my favorite 4th of July decorating Ideas.

 

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If you are looking for banners here are some awesome ones!

Flag Banner 

USA Banner

 

 

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Throw Pillows

 

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Candles

Shelf Decor

Flag Containers

 

 

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Boxes for the Red White and Blue! 

 

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I hope you all have a wonderful bright and sunny Fourth of July with lots of fireworks, food, and family!

 

Love, Audra

Fourth of July Food

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 😛

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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.

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Second. Chocolate dipped anything!

 

This is the part that is fun for family and kids!

Things to dip:

Pretzel rods

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Strawberries

&

Pretzels

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Blueberries

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Rice Krispies

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When you dip get white almond bark. Its the dippable white chocolate.

now if you want to drizzle or dip other colors you just need to dye the white chocolate, or buy colored chips.

 

 

Third. If you want to go a healthier route…. or just cause its delicious! haha Fruit makes a great family food and these are definitely so cute for the Stars and Sparkler themes!

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Fruit Cubes 

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Taco Salad Flag

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And Check out my Summer Holidays Pinterest Board for even more Ideas!

 

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Displays make the difference. Cute bowls, vases, or containers make it look much cuter. The problem is sometimes you are picnicking or traveling. These are some great options to help with this.

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Fourth of July Dishes

If you want some other decorating ideas for the holiday check out my decorating post!

Thanks y’all for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing fourth!

Meet Our New Chicks!

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?

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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!

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Someone was excited to go for a drive!

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!

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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!

 

 

Dunn It Yourself- Rae Dunn

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Isn’t it amazing how one set of dishes has taken the Internet by a storm! Who knew a simple dish with a word on it would be so popular. Rae Dunn has dunn it…. hehe ok so maybe I’m not that funny! 😛 but if you look around or Instagram or Pinterest it is amazing how many people post pictures with their Rae Dunn. But you know me, I can’t afford that. Have you seen the prices on the stuff? It’s unreal especially when you see people that have like hundreds of pieces.

I will be honest at first I kinda looked it and I was like it’s a mug… What’s so great but I have grown to like it more. I especially like the Christmas or holiday collections. That’s when I really decided I need some of that stuff. But no way am I going to pay for it so off I went to the dollar store and the thrift store. I found myself some white dishes and a permanent marker. Now this may seem like a cheap unrealistic method that will wash off every time you use it right? Guess what… if you put permanent marker in the oven it turns truly permanent. So here’s how I did it. PS this is a lot cheaper.

And p.p.s. I did not find this on pinterest… so it’s not really a Pinterest nail. It was my discovery! But I did find the permanent marker in the oven tip on Pinterest!

White dishes.

I had to go shop and find my dishes. I used the dollar store, the local thrift store, or you could use Walmart or another store. Rae Dunn‘s stuff tends to be blockish and squarish. So like this mug is sort of square handled, maybe not as much but enough to be OK. I chose plain bowls, and a square plate that I liked. Now since they are your dishes you can choose whatever shape you like, I saw this soup mug and I fell in love.

Then you have two options. There is Rae Dunn vinyl letters you can purchase here.

Or you can write them yourself.

Practice

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The great thing about Rae Dunn is that it is print and print is much easier to copy. Before I wrote on any dishes I practiced on paper. There are examples of Rae Dunn on the internet you can practice the whole alphabet or certain words. I looked up pictures with dishes in it so I could see the words I wanted. I practiced writing them with permanent marker on scratch paper. Now all you smart alecky people out there that are ready to tell me “writing on dishes is way different than paper” just chill. I’m getting there. 🙂

Practice on dishes. Another great thing about this is permanent marker comes off great with some rubbing alcohol. So practice on your dishes, if you don’t like it, wipe it off with some alcohol, then try again! When you like it leave it, and go on to the next piece. When you have as many pieces you want to do, stick it in the oven to permanentize them!

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Oven

Place dishes in a cold oven. (1. Make sure they are oven safe. 2. Starting cold helps eliminate shattering.) heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the dishes cool in the oven.

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P.S. If you do this with colored markers beware the longer they cook the colors can change a bit.

P. S. S. I would recommend hand washing, if you want them to last better.

P. S. S. S. Did ya even realize the first picture was homemade Rae Dunn? 😉

There ya go! Rae Dunn on a budget!

(Also… if you do like the holiday series, and don’t want a whole cupboard full of dishes…. you don’t have to put them in the oven. Write on them, take your pics, sip your cocoa, then touch it up or erase it after washing!

Simple Christmas Decorations You Probably Already Own!

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!

  1. Baskets

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.

  1. 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

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  1. Trays

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.

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  1. Tiered Trays

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.

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  1. Candles

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!)

  1. Bowls

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!)

  1. Boxes

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

Christmas gifts in vintage style
Shot on cartons decorated with string and label on a wooden table under Christmas tree with cones
  1. Vases

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.

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  1. Lanterns or Apothecary Jars

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

  1. Cake Plates

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.

Leftover Turkey and Cilantro Soup

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Turkey Cilantro Soup

6-8 cups Turkey Broth

1 medium Onion

1-2 carrots

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-

Shredded Cheese

Sour Cream

1/2  bunch Cilantro chopped

1-2 Avocados cubed

Tortilla chips or Fritos.

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Enjoy this souper simple and delicious soup! (and clean out your fridge ;))

(This post contains affiliate links)

 

 

Thanksgiving Stress… Less!

Thanksgiving…. Does that word bring you stress? Anxiety? Panic? Or joyful, peaceful, happy feelings? Unfortunately, too many of us feel the first feelings. The holidays are a time of stressful meal planning, decorating, cleaning for company, and stress of being in a crowded shopping center! …. Ok maybe that last one is mostly just my problem…. But anyway.

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The holidays are supposed to be a fun time with family. So how do we take the stress out? Here are some simple tips and tricks to smooth it over and help you have an enjoyable time!

Pre Thanksgiving-

Chop veggies in advance- one or two days ahead.

 

chopped vegSautee stuffing ingredients in advance

and store in the fridge,then rewarm when ready to use.

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-Thaw turkey enough in advance.

-Freeze pie filling in a pie pan with plastic wrap.

Line a pie pan with plastic wrap, fill it, and freeze it. Then pull it out, let it warm up for a few minutes; the plastic wrap should slide out easily, and you can put it back in the freezer! Thanksgiving morning, all you only need to do is make pie shells, insert the pre shaped filling, and cook. 🙂 looooots of time saved!

-Split your shopping into two trips.

The first trip should be done a week in advance for non-perishable items- canned items, flour, spices, napkins, and utensils. Then a smaller trip on Tuesday for fresh vegetables, fruit, and dairy.

-Store extra-unneeded condiments in a cooler– you’ll need the space!

-Brine your turkey in a cooler– free up space.

Set table in advance.

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Day Of –

-Make stuffing in muffin tins- everyone gets a nice crispy edge. Absolutely amazing!!!

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Muffin Tin

-After you mash your potatoes, store them in a crock pot to keep them warm.

Also, mash your potatoes with a few tablespoons of cream cheese for some extra creaminess, and for fluffier potatoes when you re-warm them.

-Use a thermos to keep gravy warm.

Grate frozen butter for biscuits.

-Make your pie crust fancy by using tongs, pearls, forks, cooking utensils.

Bakepedia has this fun idea!

-If your pie crust is cooking too fast, cover the edges in foil or use a pie shield.

-Same with your turkey!

-Don’t over cook your turkey!

The red button is too late…. Use an instant read thermometer. 155-170 degrees is perfect!

Enjoy the holiday! Don’t stress out about so much 🙂

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

Chicken Coop- Litter Method

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.

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Looks so pretty and clean right?

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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!

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They love their water!

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.

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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!

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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!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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! 

Cake

  • 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.)

Icing

  • 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.

Place on a Cake Plate for a fancy presentation!

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

pann
Nordic Ware Fleur-de-Lis Nonstick Bundt Pan

 

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Nordicware Nordic Ware Bavaria Bundt Pan
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Nordic Ware Copper Heritage Bundt® Pan

 

 

Apple Pie

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

Filler:

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

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Pie Shell

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.

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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.

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Buy an apple peeler

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!

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