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Showing posts from October, 2009

Paige's Highlights

Ok, again with the themes. Here are grouping of selected resources for raising Poultry.

1. Ducks for the Garden. This article by Mother Earth News talks about having a little "herd" of ducks available to keep your yard, garden, and farm free of snails that carry liver flukes, grasshoppers, Japanese beetles, and mosquito larvae. Definitely a good idea for any garden/farm and they're more hardy and tend to be a little less feather-brained that chickens.

2. Wintering your Flocks. A rather in-depth article by Mother Earth News about keeping chickens and poultry over the winter. A lot of good pointers and things to remember--as well as shopping list ideas for your coops. To be honest, I was a little annoyed by the anti-biotics and bought feed ideas, but all in all it's pretty sound. I'm wanting to provide my flocks with all home-grown food--comfrey, mangle beets, etc. But, a good resource, none-the-less.

3. Homestead-Raised Chicken Feed. One thing that has alway…

Chrimas Breaks--little Africa?

Well, as Dan and I are going to be apart for the three months that I'm in Ohio for rotations, we've decided to carve out some time for ourselves for Christmas break around the family visitations. We looked around for some nice places to stay with whirlpools, fireplaces, etc., but nothing was really getting our attention--just fancy hotels with big price tags and nothing else to do. Having the free time off in Ohio in the middle of winter really limits things--no parks, no outdoors, sight-seeing isn't nearly as fun, and a lot of the attractions are closed down for the winter. Finally though, one of my good friends reminded me of Kalahari resorts. (The link is a video of the park.) It's a bit pricey, but once you take into account that the reservation includes admission to their indoor water park with wave pool, surfing pool, and water slides, it actually didn't seem too bad. And surprisingly, the resort dinners aren't really overpriced. :)

So, a little vaca…

Chicken Parmesan

Again, I'm on my kick of recipes from The other day I made their Chicken Parmesan Recipe. As with everything, I did a bit of alteration of the recipe to fit what I wanted and sort of combined a few versions of Chicken Parm that I had eaten over the years.

Basically, just follow their recipe, then when they have about 10 minutes to go and the topping has already become nice and crispy I add some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese to top. Serve with pasta and additional sauce. It was certainly a hit!

Sunday Thoughts

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

Paige's Highlights

1. Nut Wizards. Well, I don't have personal experience with this one, but my dad sent me an e-mail about these little contraptions. Every year we had the fall ritual of picking up all the black walnuts in the yard--and it was a pain! He says that he loaded a wheelbarrow in 5 minutes and was able to avoid the back aches! Definitely something worth a try, if you're ever going to try nut trees! I'm not so sure that I'd use it on apples and fruits, as you really should pick them off the tree if they're going to be for human consumption.

2. Harvesting Black Walnuts. So, I tend to go in themes and find things that interest me...which takes me down rabbit trails, but here's an interesting company--Hammonds Products--I found from the Nut Wizard website. They have services to hull the black walnuts that you may harvest, as well as instruction on how to handle hulling at home. Still a bunch of work, and I'm thinking I might stick with English Walnuts, but if …

Spice-Rubbed Chicken

I made this over the weekend and it was a hit! No pictures from my end--again because it got eaten too quickly! I used much less onions than the recipe called for, and could've easily tossed some potatoes in to roast when there was an hour left. The roasted chicken from turned out very tender and juicy and I'll have the carcass leftover for broth/

However, I also made ThreeFoldCord's Yeast rolls and I figured that was enough starch for one day! Mmmm, mmm, good!

The timing works out so well for both--make the dough as you're preheating the oven, then when the chicken is prepped and roasted for that first hour, you'll be right on track with shaping the rolls and letting them rise. I baked them after I took the chicken out of the oven and everything was perfect!

Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Soup

Since Dan spent some time on the missions field with him family in Indonesia, he's always been a big fan of Asian foods. As a result, we become more of Asian food eaters during our marriage and I was excited to see this recipe on And, from what I've had in oriental restaurants, this is actually pretty close to "authentic" as compared to some of the mexican foods on there (I have been SORELY disappointed with the Latino food recipes I've found thus far!).

You'll have to look specifically for the bok choy (Chinese cabbage), five-spice mix (a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc.), and the somen noodles. Somen is a simple wheat noodle from Japan, so a bit of a mix of Asian country heritage. The bok choy was surprisingly yummy...the stalky part kept a bit of it's crunch and reminded me of a cross between spinach and water chestnuts. Very nice.

This was a SUPER easy recipe, easy clean-up, and was definitely a hit. It's going on our "mast…

Sunday Thoughts

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted....
~ Ephesians 4:32 (NAS) ~

Paige's Highlights

1. Spiced Butters. With fall upon us, I've been noticing some recipes for spiced butters, similar to apple butter--however, I've been most intrigued by vegetable butters. Mou, ye, and other thilly sings had a post on making spiced pumpkin butter and I decided to try to find a recipe (she has some BEAUTIFUL photography, too!) I'm thinking I have a new project to try this week! Also, I found a blogger who was talking about making a spiced carrot butter that tasted like carrot cake. They said the recipe was in their Ball Blue Book, but I just bought one and didn't find it. Maybe the recipe's in an older edition. Here's what I found for pumpkin butter, no luck with the carrot butter. :( Maybe I'll experiment one day. It was really easy to make and smelled soooo yummy all day long.

2. Pumpkin Seeds. Well, along with that pumpkin butter came some leftover seeds. My most recent Redbook magazine had a variety of spiced seeds recipes (free subscription, f…

Apple Sausage Rigatoni

Ok, I'll admit, this recipe seemed a little out there when I saw it on; however, after I realized that it had 5 ingredients, one pot, and only took about 30 minutes to make, I had to try it!

End Result: Not bad!

To be honest, the apple was a little of a taste-bud surprise, but the golden delicious apples are really mild. Here's the link to Better Homes and Gardens recipe, but as with everything with cooking, substitute with what you have! Here are my modifications... And as a side note, I think in the future I'll skip out on the apples and toss in some veggie of some sort instead. My (and Dan's!) traditional taste buds aren't used to fruit with our meat. :)

Apple Sausage Rigatoni

1 16-oz. box of penne pasta (cooked, drained)
4-5 sweet Italian sausage links (the big ones for hot dog buns) (sliced)
2-3 golden delicious apples
3/4 c. gorgonzola cheese
3/4 c. whipping cream.

1. Cook, drain, and set aside your pasta. In the same big pot, brown the sausage slices.
2. A…

Autumn Colors

"Autumn is a Second Spring, When Every Leaf is a Flower” – Albert Camus

This weekend, Dan and I decided to finally get around to seeing Acadia National Park--while we are still in the area. It was a beautiful weekend and we were totally amazing. Rather than risk a tent, we just took the seats out of our van and slept on our air mattress. A back-pack each for us, a coleman stove, a few cooking supplies and food and we were set!

The first day, we decided to try Precipice trail that takes us up to the top of Mountain Champlain. It was a hairy hike/climb. Iron rungs and ladders were often the only "guarantee" to prevent you from slipping off the edge of the cliff. And there was a cliffside that we climbed--I felt like I was climbing up a huge-scale version of one of those asian water gardens that you put on your coffee table. The ladder was right over where a stream came trickling all over down the cliff face and trail. Fun, but definitely a bit unnerving to climb!

Sunday Thoughts

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven..
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Paige's Highlights

1. Waste not, want not. In preparation for all the home-steading and canning and such that I'm wanting to be doing in a year or two, I've decided to start saving canning jars from the store. When I was out shopping yesterday, I found plastic Ball lids--not the kind to can, but good caps for the jars I already have, dry storage of beans and such, and good to test the jars that I'm hoping to accumulate. I'm curious to see how many I can save from the recycle bin--and spare my wallet from the cost of buying! So far, I haven't saved any of the regular jars, but I found some really yummy spaghetti sauce--without HFCS--in Ball jars! Makes for cheaper sauce than the "cheap" stuff when you take into consideration the value of the jars (~$1 each).
2. Self-repairs. Here's a great website to help with all those little things that might break. It's a parts shop for appliances and gives advice and tips on how to fix things yourself. I HATE it when thing…

Stuffed Summer Squash

At work the other day, there was a large bag overflowing with mammoth-sized, yellow summer squash--and a note labeled "free." I took a few home, determined to make something decent out of them. As a kid, we always just ate squash as is, and I was never a fan. I googled the squash and picked a picture that looked yummy.

We settled on a Stuffed Summer Squash recipe from As with everything, I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand and needed to finish off. Dan has browned some ground beef the day before and seasoned it with some cumin and garlic. So, I tossed that in instead of the ground turkey. Also, I had a bit extra stuffing mix (left-over), so I tossed all but the 1/3 c. in the skillet with the sauces. And I kept the juices with the canned tomatoes, so it effectively moistend the extra stuffing. It turned out lovely and Dan and I had two meals from it.

Easy, one dish dinner, complete with starch, veggie, and meat. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi from 100 Best Italian Recipes

2. Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 c. onion (diced)
1 large garlic clove (minced)
1 small green bell pepper (sliced)
1 small yellow bell pepper (sliced)
8 oz. medium shrimp (pelled, deveined)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Orzo pasta, cooked and drained.

1. Heat oil and saute onions and garlic one minute.
2. Add peppers and saute 2 minutes more. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes.
3. Add undrained tomatoes, spices, lemon juice. Cook 2-3 minutes or until heated. Serve over orzo pasta.

Sunday Thoughts

Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don't last forever, and the crown might not be secure for the next generation. After the hay is harvested, the new crop appears, and the mountain grasses are gathered in, your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will be sold for the price of a field. And you will have enough goat's milk for you, your family, and your servants.

~ Proverbs 27.23-27

Paige's Highlights

1. Preserving Herbs. My parents tell me how they used this same technique to prep baby food for me. Take your veggies, pasta, meat, etc. blend in a food processor then freeze in ice cube trays. "What's Paige having for dinner?" "Well, a green cube, and orange cube, and a tan cube. " (peas, carrots, and chicken) Also, popping them out frozen made them keep well if you had to carry them around in a diaper bag all day. Here's the technique for preserving herbs--try it with basil and oregano then pop in a cube to your tomato sauces.
Fresh basil is another herb we preserve for our soups and casseroles in the winter When it is abundant, we puree it with enough oil to make a paste, then freeze it in ice cube trays. One cube will season a sauce, more will make a lovely pesto.2. Top-Bar Bee-keeping. Another option for the homesteaders who don't use too much honey and/or want bees more for the pollination effects. It's less expen…

Carrot Cake

Well, like Dan's favorites, they tend to get away from me before I have a chance to snap a picture--saved by Google. This is actually pretty close to what ours looks like. Here's our recipe for Carrot Cake along with my little tweaks!

Carrot Cake from the Betty Crocker Cookbook

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. shredded carrots (about 5 medium)
1/2 c. coarsely chopped nuts (I use walnut. Also optional for those with allergies)
1/2 c. shredded coconut (I will usually shred it again to make it a bit finer) (my addition)

1. Preheat oven to 350, grease and flour a 13x9 or two 8"/9" round pans.
2. Beat sugar, oil, and eggs until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Beat about one minute more. By hand, stir in the carrots, nuts, and coconut. Pour into pans.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes (13x9) or 30-35 (8"/9" rounds) or until toothpick comes ou…