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