Monday, April 13, 2015

Vanilla Frozen Custard

We had our foray into ducks last year. I did not like it to say the least. They were dirty and smelly. The only perk to having ducks was cooking them for dinner! Thankfully, there are many people who enjoy having ducks on their farms and (even better) sometimes they share their excess eggs with me. Yay! That was exactly what happened to me recently. To get an idea of how big these are, they are sitting in a "jumbo" egg carton and it wouldn't close.

Friday, April 10, 2015

After the Hatch

Our chicks are nearly three weeks old now and they are growing so fast! They started out so very tiny. These guys are less than 4 days old.

Here they are about a week into life.

We ended up with a couple chicks with scissor beak. One of them is fairly pronounced, the other is relatively minor. Here's Skizzers. Amazingly, she eats and drinks just fine, even though her beak is crossed.

And we have one who's legs didn't develop quite right.

We had her separated from the others in their tank, but she got too big for the box, so now she's in her own chicken mansion. And now I have a spare bedroom that looks like this:

Now at nearly three weeks old, they are over half way feathered out and just about ready to go outside to their grow out pen. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Spring Chicks

Things sure have been busy in our house lately! It all started about 7 weeks ago when our favorite rooster, Deuce, was attacked and had to be put down. We were planning on incubating some eggs this spring because we wanted to have some of his offspring, but that cold, snowy day in February was much sooner than we anticipated. But if we wanted eggs he had fertilized, we knew we had to act then, so we collected eggs for about a week. With the super cold temperatures, we didn't know how many of those eggs would develop and hatch, but we decided to give it a try anyway.

We started out with 42 eggs. After candling on day 7, we were down to 36. On day 18, we had 35.

On day 21, they started hatching. Hatching continued all the way thru day 24.

This was our first time incubating chicks, so I was just a little obsessed with watching them!

We ended up with 26 chicks. Two more of them died during the hatching process, But considering the temperatures when we collected the eggs, we had about a 75% hatch rate and I was very happy with that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lemon Garlic Rainbow Chard

Last week I bought some rainbow chard from the food hub. It was absolutely beautiful! I love the bright colors and so desperately needed it after this cold rainy weather we've been having. I had some salmon patties ready to cook for dinner the other night and I knew that was the perfect time to pull out the chard. I love the flavor of chard and it's soooo easy to make!

Start out by sauteing the chopped stems with some olive oil, a tablespoon or two of garlic, a few dashes of red pepper flakes and some salt.

After about three minutes, add in the roughly chopped leaves and toss around with tongs until the leaves wilt. There's nothing dainty and pretty about my pan of chard, but if I had company over, I'd make it a little more pretty and fork friendly! Splash on some lemon juice (maybe a tablespoon) and you're ready to go!

The lemon and garlic flavors were perfect with the salmon patties and some steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Omelet in a Mug

For the last few weeks, some of the ladies at work and I have been having our breakfast at work together. We have all been focusing on eating more whole foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, so we decided to pool our resources and make breakfast easier on all of us. Each of us brings in specific foods-I bring eggs of course-which helps with grocery shopping and weekly planning for all of us. When it's time for breakfast, we meet up in the breakroom and assemble our food.

We chop up our ingredients for the day, which include bacon, ham, salsa, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach, various cheeses, and avocado.

Then we put them into our mugs, adding 2 eggs at the end and giving it all a good stir.

Next, into the microwave for about 45 seconds on medium power-that's the trick to prevent rubbery eggs which are completely disgusting! Another quick stir and back into the microwave for 2 minutes on medium, or until eggs are set. Depending on your ingredients, it may take up to 3 minutes, just be careful not to overcook it. We usually watch the microwave for the eggs to puff up and fall twice.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I've been craving some broccoli cheddar soup for a couple of weeks. Serious cravings here. I picked up some Campbell's Broccoli Cheese soup, but that didn't hit the spot. As it turns out, I don't like Campbell's soup very much at all. So anyway, we woke up Saturday morning to a fresh coating of snow, and I knew that was the perfect day for this soup! 


2 heads of broccoli, steamed 
1 quart chicken stock
1 pint half and half
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded
2 stalks celery, diced
16 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on low heat. Whisk in flour and continue cooking on low until it's browned slightly. Whisk in stock. While all that's going on, in another pan saute the onion, then add in carrots and celery until tender, then add to roux. Add in half and half and continue cooking on low until it starts to thicken slightly. Add in about half the steamed broccoli. Use and immersion blender to break down the veggies. The soup should be fairly smooth at this point. Add in the cheese and the rest of the broccoli. Keep stirring to melt all the cheese. I used 8 oz of some fancy pants sharp cheddar cheese and 8 oz of Kraft sharp cheddar. It was a good combination. I don't think there's any need to use all expensive cheeses, but I did like having something with a little more bite than just Kraft shreds. 

This kind of soup really begs for a bread bowl, but I didn't plan that far in advance. I did have a loaf of sourdough though, and that worked quite well too! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#fabFortville Tour

Last night, I got to check explore the great town of Fortville. Fortville is a small town just outside of Indianapolis. Even though I'm only about 20 minutes away, I can honestly say before last night I had never stopped in any of the shops in Fortville. I had driven through main street many times so the area was familiar, but I had never really explored.


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