Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eggnog Pancakes

Eggs, eggnog pancakes, cook, breakfast, syrup, butter, Homemade, DIY,


This morning when the kids woke up and begged me for pancakes I sleepily agreed, got out of bed and went to the fridge only to realize we were out of milk. Thankfully my husband loves eggnog and bought an abundance for Christmas. Who wants some eggnog pancakes?!

Ingredients:

Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In another bowl combine:
1 1/2 cup of eggnog
3 tablespoons butter melted
2 eggs

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and cook!





Monday, October 15, 2012

Growing Microgreens Grow Along - Part 3


Finally we plant!  It was hard to choose which seeds to start with,  but cilantro is by far the most used herb in my house and I never have luck with it in my garden during the summer.  I later found out that it is also one of the hardest microgreens to grow so here's to hoping it does! ;)


Measure Seeds for Soaking
Most microgreen seeds that grow in soil need to be pre-soaked before planting.  For cilantro we will need one cup of seeds for our tray. 




Pre-Soak Seeds
Fill a large jar or container with with cold water and submerge your seeds. Make sure that there is plenty of water in the  jar/container as some seeds absorb a large amount of water during this step.  Keep your seeds in a cool place while soaking them.  The cilantro seeds that we used were pre-soaked for two hours. 




Prepare Trays with Water
Pour 4 cups of pH balanced water in your growing tray.




Prepare Trays with Soil
Add about an inch to an inch and a half of soil in the growing tray.  




Flatten Soil
Using a spatula, pat the soil flat spread evenly.  Do not compact the soil.
 




Mist Soil
Spray your soil so it is damp but not soggy. 




Spread Your Seeds
Spread your seeds evenly 




Tamp Seeds
Gently push seeds flat into the soil making sure that the seeds have made contact with the soil.  Do not smash the seeds.  




Mist Tray
Mist the inside of one of the growing trays.  Because microgreens need humidity and darkness to thrive, you will use this tray to black out and keep in humidity on your seeded tray.  




Water and Cover
Cover your seeded tray and place it in a place where it will stay between 65 and 75 degrees.  Do not place the tray in the sun.  Mist your seeds every 12 hours and re-cover.  Our cilantro will not be ready to uncover until day 7.  





Sunday, October 14, 2012

Growing Microgreens Grow Along - Part 2

Balance the pH of Your Water
This first step is VERY IMPORTANT! 
Micgrogreens are very sensitive to the pH of water and will grow best in a water pH of 6.  Although a water pH of 6 is ideal,  the microgreens will do fine in a water pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.  In order to test and adjust the pH of your water, you will need to start by finding what the pH of your water.  You can do this by dipping a pH test strip into the water which you will be using.  In our case, we used the pH test kit that was provided with the Deluxe Microgreens Growing Kit.  You can purchase pH test strips from any health food store or you can order them directly from: www.growingmicrogreens.com 



Our water was as close to a pH of 6 as we could get so we didn't have to adjust our pH levels at all.  If you test your water and find that it does need some adjusting, here are some helpful hints to get your pH levels where you need them to be.

How to Adjust the pH of Your Water


  1. Fill a gallon container with water 
  2. Dip one of the test strips in the water, wait 30 seconds and compare the key on the container to the strip to determine what the pH of your water is.  
  3. Remember you are aiming for a pH of 6, but 5.5 to 6.5 will do just fine.  
If your pH is higher than a 6:

  • You can use a household acid, such as lemon juice to bring down the pH balance of the water.  
  • Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to your gallon of water, mix, and retest.  
  • If your pH is still higher than a 6.5, add more lemon juice and retest until you reach a pH of 6.5 or below 
If your pH is lower than a 6:
  • You can use a household base, such as baking soda or an antacid tablet, to bring up the pH balance of your water.
  • Start by adding small amounts of base to your gallon of water, mix and retest.  Make sure you measure how much base you use for future reference.  
  • Because it is rare for a pH to be lower than 6 your best option may be to purchase a commercial pH adjuster which you can find at a local garden supply store.  

      4.  The amount of household acid or base to adjust the pH levels of your water should be noted.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Growing Microgreens Grow Along - Part 1

Summer is officially over and we are in the process of pulling our last vegetables out of our raised beds and cleaning them out for next spring.  Sadly, spring is a LONG way away and as much as I enjoy the fall and winter months,  I miss the life that comes along with the warmer weather.  So this year, to curb the gardening itch and keep some green in our lives this winter, I have decided to try my hand at microgreening, something I have watched my Mom love doing for years.  We have never grown microgreens, but promise to do our best to walk you through step by step so you can grow along with us at home!  Let the microgreening begin!

What are microgreens?
Microgreens are small edible greens produced from the seeds of herbs, vegetables and other plants and harvested shortly after germination when they are still young and micro tiny! Microgreens are easy to grow, can be grown in very small spaces and a recent study from the University of Maryland found that microgreens contained nutrients 4 to 6 times higher than their full grown plant!  

How to get started?  
First, I would recommend checking out the website www.growingmicrogreens.com 
Here you will find everything you need to grow microgreens. I would also like to add that all of the seeds sold are non GMO which is a huge bonus!   

During our first growing, we will be using:
The Deluxe Microgreen Growing Kit. You can purchase this kit by clicking here:  
This kit includes everything you need to get started growing microgreens both hydroponically and in soil and includes:
  • (10) 21" x 10" Growing Trays
  • (10) 21" x 10" Hydroponic Grow Pads
  • (2) 5 Quart Bags of Soil
  • Spray Bottle 
  • pH Test Strip Kit 
  • Laminated Growing Instructions
  • Hydroponic Microgreens Seeds:
    • Basil (4oz)
    • Basic Salad Mix (8oz)
    • Purple Vienna Kohirabi (4oz)
    • Red Acre Cabbage (4oz)
    • Sango Radish (4oz)
    • Spicy Sprouting Mix (4oz)
    • TatSoi (4oz)
  • Soil Based Microgreens Seeds:
    • Buckwheat (12oz)
    • Cilantro (4oz)
    • Detroit Red Beet (4oz)
    • Dun Pea (9oz)
    • Sunflower (36oz)
Check back tomorrow when we begin growing cilantro microgreens! 






Friday, October 5, 2012

Coop Hop #3



“Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others.”

Join The Coop Hop!
Calling all bloggers, farmers, homesteaders, preppers, do-it-yourselfers and friends. We love sharing our journey with you and would love to invite you to share your journey with us. On Friday mornings we will be opening our blog for you to link your favorite blog post of the week to ours.  All of the blog links will be posted below and will allow for easy hopping from one "coop" to another!  Every week we will pick our favorite post and feature it on the following Coop Hop! 

RULES: There aren't any!
The post you choose to share can be about anything your heart desires so long as it is respectful and helpful to your fellow readers.  

How to Enter:
Below find "You are next…click here to enter." Click the link and fill out the form.  You're done! Now tell your friends and grab a button here to add to your blog so everyone can share and join in!


Our Neck of the Woods - I Love Chicken Butts!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Creamy Autumn Pumpkin Crock Pot Soup

Happy first day of October!  Around here, October marks the beginning of hay rides, corn mazes. pumpkin patches, cold weather, bon fires, s'mores, Halloween and of course....EVERYTHING pumpkin.  So what better way to start of the month than with an amazing pumpkin soup?  This one is so easy and will wrap you up in all of the wonderful flavors of Autumn!




INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (29 ounce) can plain pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker EXCEPT heavy cream and stir
  2. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours 
  3. Before serving, pour heavy cream into soup, stir well and ladle soup into bowls.  Garnish with shredded carrot and celery.  
  4. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Coop Hop #2




“Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others.”

Join The Coop Hop!
Calling all bloggers, farmers, homesteaders, preppers, do-it-yourselfers and friends. We love sharing our journey with you and would love to invite you to share your journey with us. On Friday mornings we will be opening our blog for you to link your favorite blog post of the week to ours.  All of the blog links will be posted below and will allow for easy hopping from one "coop" to another!  Every week we will pick our favorite post and feature it on the following Coop Hop! 

RULES: There aren't any!
The post you choose to share can be about anything your heart desires so long as it is respectful and helpful to your fellow readers.  

How to Enter:
Below find "You are next…click here to enter." Click the link and fill out the form.  You're done! Now tell your friends and grab a button here to add to your blog so everyone can share and join in!

Fresh Eggs Daily - DIY Wine Barrel Nesting Boxes 




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Emily's Apple Pie

Ok, so I have to admit this is the first time I have ever made an apple pie.  I've been wanting to make one for years and have researched dozens of recipes but it wasn't until we decided to have a bake off this month on Farm Chick Chit Chat that I finally was motivated enough to make one! Despite it looking a little crispy in the picture it tasted divine and will be a recipe I keep very close by for the future.  

Ingredients:
  • Your favorite recipe for a deep dish double pie crust (I store bought mine to save time)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup lite packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly.  

Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup of unsalted butter.  Whisk in the flour and corn starch to form a paste.  Add white and brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer while whisking.  
  3. Place your apple slices in a large bowl and carefully pour 2/3 of the sugar and butter mixture over the top of the apples.  Mix well to coat. 
  4. Fill your bottom pie crust with the coated apples, slightly mounded in the middle. Place your second crust on top (I chose to use a lattice design but I would imagine you can chose any design you would like) and pour the remaining 1/3 pie filling over the top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Place your pie on a baking sheet and bake for one hour.  
  6. Enjoy!
Scraps for the chickens



Friday, September 14, 2012

Just an update from Kevin

Hi all! Just wanted to give you an update since Ive been "missing in action". I have been taking some much needed time off to catch up on some personal time and other work. The 5 Serama chicks are doing great as are the new button quail. Since the weather was a little cold and very wet yesterday, I brought our two little silkie chickens into the shop where they will be kept warm and dry during the upcoming seasons.

Fall means transition time for me at work. I have to switch gears from air conditioning repairs over to heating repairs. This means, inventorying both parts and tools, contacting my regular clients for furnace cleanings, and mentally preparing myself for the cold months ahead.

Recently I have been also doing a little fishing on a local lake. As some may already know, this is my favorite past time aside from spending time with my family. I am going out tomorrow with my brother Frank and on Sunday will be doing a little Musky fishing with an old family friend.

Health wise everyone is doing ok. Devin currently has a cold but this hasn't slowed him down one bit. He, Emily, Autumn and the dogs spent the night on the couch so Devin could sleep sitting up. The challenge has been getting him to blow his nose.

Alright. Short and sweet and I hope to talk with you all very soon!

Cheers ~ Kevin

Saturday, September 8, 2012

For the Love of Chickens & Children

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets
Our son with one of our backyard chickens.

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets
                                                               Our son with one of our backyard chickens.


Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets
Backyard chickens are great fun

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets

Ameraucana, Chicken, backyard, urban, farm, poultry, Eggs, Chickens, Americana chicken, chicks, kids, best, children, pets


Tailgate Treats


The temps are dropping, days are getting shorter, kids are back in school,  leaves are starting to change and for some these changes mark the beginning of Fall but to others it means only one thing......FOOTBALL TIME is here!!  To help kick off the season, we have complied some of our favorite football snacks and will be sharing them with you!  To see the recipes, click the links below the pictures. Each week we will be adding more recipes and sharing them on Pinterest so make sure you follow our Tailgate Treat board!  


Fried Risotto Balls 






JalapeƱo Popper Dip 



Baked Brown Sugar Chicken Wings with Roasted Red Pepper 
Cream Sauce 



5 Layer Greek Dip 



Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch



Homemade Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Cheese Beer Sauce 



Fried Pickles with Cilantro Garlic Ranch Dipping Sauce 



Buffalo Chicken Cups



Saucy Asian Meatballs



Buffalo Chicken Bites



Texas Trash Dip 



Deviled Egg Spread



Pan-Fried Onion Dip 



Chili Bites



Cheesy Crab Spinach Dip



Loaded Potato Buffalo Casserole



Mini Cheeseburger Bites



Individual Seven Layer Dip Cups 



Loaded Baked Potato Dip 

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