Friday, January 31, 2014

Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken

Oh, Yum.  And Oh, So. Easy.
All you need is:

2 TB Honey
1/2 TB Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Seasoned Salt
1/2tsp red pepper flakes (or more, if you feel so inclined)
5 Chicken thighs (substitute breasts, legs, wings, whatever you'd like!)
And a BBQ, of course.  

Mix together all ingredients, except chicken and BBQ.

Brush or drizzle mixture on chicken, or poor into a Ziploc with chicken and marinate for a few hours in the fridge. 


If you have sauce left over, drizzle on the meat as it cooks.  Cook until no longer pink.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Home-Made Nutrient-Rich Fruit Jello

What a perfect way to use the surplus of blackberries and raspberries that we're blessed with each summer!  Raspberries, Blackberries, and Blueberries are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Gelatin is known to support skin, hair and nail growth, is good for your joints, can help improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track, it is a great source of dietary collagen, and although minimal, it is also a source of protein and it's specific amino acids can help build muscle.
Whew.  Now that we know this, let's make jello!!!

Delish local honey!
 Cooking down the berries.
  Strained skins and seeds and the pulpy juice.
Dissolved gelatin.
2 TB Gelatin, grass-fed is advised
1c. Cold water
4c. Fresh or frozen berries
3/4c Water (may vary)
2/3 Cup honey (Or sugar or other sweetener)
  1. Place 2 tbsp of gelatin in a bowl with a 1 cup of cold water. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes, and allow the gelatin to soften.
  2. Over medium heat, place the berries in a small saucepan. Heat slowly and press the fruit down with a potato masher as it is cooking down. Bring to a slight simmer (but not a boil) and remove from heat.
  3. Strain fruit through a sieve or fine mesh sifter. Cheese cloth could also be used. You should have 1 1/2 cups of puree left once you are through. You want to have a total liquid of 3 cups including your sweetener. Add sweetener, and then enough water to this mixture up to 3 c.
  4. Return back to stove and bring back to slight simmer.
  5. Stir in the softened gelatin and stir until dissolved and combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Pour into your favorite jello mold or a glass pyrex dish.
  7. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  8.  By no means throw away the seeds and skins you have strained out, if you don't mind seeds!  I added some honey to mine, and it turned out as a perfect jam type of thing for bread or yogurt.   
  9. P.S.  Bigger families may want to double this recipe, as it only makes about 3c.  It is much more dense than store-bought jello, so serving sizes will inevitably be smaller. 

 Above is my strained raspberry and blueberry skins.  On the right is the jar of homemade raspberry/strawberry jam in comparison to the raw jam.  The fresh jam tastes much more "fruity," less cooked, and less sugary. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

God is good!

I do wish that farming always looked like this picture of Richie having a nice nap on a haylage bale in the sunshine.  Quite frankly...right now it looks more like using every ounce of your strength to stuff the insides of a prolapsed ewe back where they belong multiple times a day.  (You're so glad I mentioned this grueling detail, aye?) 
But every time things get difficult around here, I just remember that this is the "normal" life we so longed for last year during 500 hrs of chemo, surgery, and recovery in Seattle!
God is good, all the time!  

 Gotta love the mud ;-)

Cow feedin' time!

 Richie visiting with the cows

Coconut Fudge Truffles

This recipe is somewhat healthy and definitely delicious!  It's a good way to treat your sweet tooth and get a bit of coconut oil in your diet! 

Bulk shredded coconut from Azure Standard.

Recipe for Coconut Fudge Truffles

1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coco powder
4 tbsp powdered sugar (or honey, or regular sugar)
Raw Almonds (Optional)
Dash sea salt
Toasted Shredded coconut oil (toast coconut in a small fry pan over high heat until golden brown)
This will make about 20 small truffles, or 10 larger truffles.   

1. Soften the coconut oil by heating slightly, you don’t have to melt it all the way, but it helps if it’s soft and pliable. It’s ok if you melt the coconut oil, it will just have to be in the fridge longer. Pour the softened coconut oil into a bowl.
2. Add coco, powdered sugar and salt to the bowl and mix well. Once it is mixed it will be almost like thick chocolate frosting.
3. Put the mixture in the fridge for 5-15 minutes depending on the texture. If it is very liquidy, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge for a little longer. You want the mixture to harden just to the point that it is still pliable, sort of like cookie dough, because you will be rolling it into balls. Make sure you don’t leave it in the fridge for too long because coconut oil will harden quickly and you don’t want it to get too hard.

4. Once it has reached the right consistency, take the mixture out of the fridge and take small spoonfuls out and roll an almond into each ball. Warning: your hands will get a little chocolatey! You can coat your hands in cacao powder to keep it form getting sticky.

5. Once you’ve rolled all the balls, freeze them until quite hard. 

6.  Melt 2 oz chocolate in a small container.  Drop frozen truffles into chocolate, let as much chocolate drip off as possible before dropping the chocolate-coated truffle into a bowl of toasted coconut to coat.  Keep in the fridge or low room temperature. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


It was such a lovely day for pruning fruit trees today!

 This apple tree grew several weird loopy branches!

As painful as it was to cut off so many branches from each tree, it will make the tree much stronger and healthier in the long run.  Just like in our spiritual life...pruning out the unproductive branches of our lives in order to grow and produce good fruit.   

Friday, January 24, 2014

Life on the Farm

It was such a LOVELY day today!!!  It's always much appreciated when the Lord blesses us with such a  warm sunny day in the middle of winter.      

Yes, we still have Christmas lights up.  In fact, they actually went up last week...way after Christmas.  It's cheaper to buy them now, and I just love the way they look in the kitchen! 

Thanks to old medicine cabinet with a broken-out mirror finds a new home as a functional spice cabinet! 

Notice the tomatoes in the candy candy in the house or I will eat IT ALL!!!

Barn crate gets re-purposed as a cookbook shelf.  Yay for cute organization!  Oh, and the antique cow tin milk bucket  is thanks to Uncle Darrell!  

 Elsie's looking lighter without all that wool!  Still, she probably has about a month to go before lambing.  Poor thing is probably carrying quads again. 
 My little farming buddy after being a pain...chasing the cows around for me.  Very helpful, Hank.    

The salad greens have made it (so far) in the unheated greenhouse!  I harvest enough for a small salad every few days.
 The lemon tree!

 Started lettuce and spinach in these tubs a few days ago.  What do you I jumping the gun?  It's spring, right? lol

 Petunias my sweet mommy brought me yesterday :-)

 Love this doggy!!!
 And little Eva too!

 Nice Lilly, really nice.

 I still haven't named these rabbits...I do call this one "friendly rabbit" because she's a lot more friendly than the other two.
Well, that's it for now folks!  Have a very blessed weekend!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sheared Sheepies

Elsie, Petunia, and Lilly are relieved of about 7lb of wool each.  That counts for something when you're already carrying around a belly-full of lambs!  I was pleased to see how good they're looking underneath that wool...I think they've really benefited from the haylage and the long growing season last year.  They're pretty big already and not due for another month!  Way to go ladies!
 Lovely wool!  Petunia's is pretty much garbage, but Elsie and Lilly have such soft beautiful wool. 
 Here are a few pics of the dogs during their morning romp ;-)
 Nice Lucy, really nice.  Great way to ruin a cute picture. lol
 "Hey wait a minute, this isn't fair!"  Hank says.
 Taking a rest on higher ground.

Monday, January 13, 2014's been a long time!

I have finally managed to scrape together a whole precious 30 minutes (actually more, including picture editing) for a blog post.  Given the busy last few days working on (angrily, grudgingly, sadly, tearfully,) filing my tax report on top of regular life I consider this quite an accomplishment. Now that I've finally written a post, I'll probably get on a kick and post every day. 

On second thought.....maybe not. :-)

  But in any-case, I do have a few pictures of  new (and not so new) critters who's care take up several hours of my day. I do feel incredibly blessed to have them!     

I'm excited to start adding some Finnish Landrace blood to my little flock.  This here is a tiny Finn ewe that I bought last week.  She's rather shy, but I just love her markings!


 Romulus showing off his nose

Lilly is due mid February.  Maybe twins from her this year?

 Poor Elsie...she's so ready to be done with this whole having lambs thing!  I'm guessing she's due mid/late February, but don't know for sure.  Maybe quads again???

 These are our new registered Dexters.  They're curious little critters that love alfalfa cubes! 
The cow with the halter is Clara.  She's 2 1/2 and due in June.  The other cow is Lola, and she's due somewhere between the end of January and mid February.  

Pedigreed New Zealand Rabbits that we picked up in December :-)  
They're adorably cute!  We'll start breeding them for meat and show/pets next month.
This is the buck...
 And the two females...who look exactly alike but have VERY distinct personalities!  One is very friendly and the other is very shy.

This here is a strange, rare breed of sheep called Reign-sh....
...just kidding :-)

 Petunia's wardrobe malfunction
 "What are you lookin' at?"

 I must say...very majestic looking with the white antlers, Roms.

 "Oh my goodness, you have something weird on your head!"
 Asking their shepherdess..."Why are you laughing?!"