Monday, May 28, 2012

Grandma's Chocolate Syrup

My middle child's favorite food is chocolate, followed by blueberries. He has quite the little sweet tooth for a 3-year-old. He's also my hyper child so we like to watch what he's getting in his food (i.e. high fructose corn syrup and sugar and 482 other ingredients in something as simple as chocolate syrup). When the chocolate syrup ran out, I called grandma to get a recipe.

Grandma's Chocolate Syrup

1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar (I used Splenda)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combined cocoa, Splenda, and salt. Gradually add boiling water. Stir over medium heat until smooth (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Store in fridge.

Ta-da! Something I no longer feel horrible about feeding my chocolate loving three-year-old!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rhubarb Kiwi Jam

Let me start by saying to look past the picture and make this jam! It is good and surprisingly, for jam, not at all that unhealthy. This is so good that the evening shift girl at work tried some and then got mad when I put it in my bag to take home until I explained there was another jar in the fridge.

I manage an group home so I spend a lot of time cooking and baking. I had brought in rhubarb to make rhubarb dessert and had some left over. We also had some leftover kiwi that were bordering on going bad and this is what I came up with.

Rhubarb Kiwi Jam

3 cups chopped rhubarb
4 cups chopped kiwi
1/4 cup sugar (Splenda is what I used)
1/4 cup vinegar
Oh about a teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice

I added all ingredients but the kiwi and cooked until the rhubarb broke down. Stirred in the kiwi and cooked for about 10-12 minutes.

The result...a sweet, tart jam that I definately want to make more of!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On chasing cattle

When having farm animals, cattle in particular, there are certain things that are bound to happen. The biggest is that cattle will go through the fence when the Farmer is not home to chase them.

Cattle also have a horrible timing. If it's raining, storming, snowing, you're late for work, it's the middle of the night, you and the kids are all dressed for church, and nobody is around to come help you chase them, they WILL go through the fence.

I've chased cattle pregnant, I've chased cattle with babies and toddlers strapped to my back. I've chased cattle pregnant, in the pouring rain, at 2 in the morning. I've chased cattle barefoot, in flip flops and in Nikes. I've chased cattle in freshly plowed fields and through corn that's 8 feet high. I've tried bribing them with corn, sweet talking, swearing, and down right running. I've tried evasive maneveurs and last second whims but have found that dumb luck is usually how you get them back into the pasture.  

Also, if you get a pedicure, the cattle are bound to go through the fence.

Oh, can you tell what I did tonight?


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rhubarb Dessert

This is probably one of my favorite desserts. It has an almost sour taste that I love. My chickens have been digging through freshly plowed fields and garden which accounts for the bright yellow, almost orange filling.

3/4 cup butter
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar

Crumble, put in 9" x 13" pan and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

5 cups rhubarb
5 eggs yolks
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk

Mix and pour onto crust. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

5 egg whites
12 tsbp. sugar

Beat egg whites, add sugar and spread on top of baked mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until gold brown. (My topping should be higher but I only have a hand mixer so get bored standing there beating my egg whites...still tastes good.)  :)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Farm Animals

It's always nice to know that your farm animals can co-exist! This is what I found when I walked into the barn this morning...a hen nesting in the calves hay bin!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Baby Chicks

It never fails. I order chicks and it completely leaves my mind when they are supposed to arrive. Until usually the day before when I open my email and find a shipping notification. Then we're scrambling in the barn at 10 pm after the kiddlings are in bed cleaning and setting up brooder boxes.

It also never fails that I get to the post office for my one box and think, "Oh they didn't ship all my birds, no way they are all in there!"

And they always are!

Ducks and geese in one compartment.

Turkeys in another.

Jumbo Cornish Cross take up the other two compartments.

Stretching and running, exploring their "temporary" home.

These are the two that were born a couple weeks ago. The flash scared the creepers outta this one and he/she went straight up into the air. I laughed at the chicken and I'm pretty sure I hurt its feelings.

Let the summer fun begin!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fish Tacos

When I read food blogs, I often wonder how they take pictures of the food. One blogger recently mentioned that she typically does her photo shoots outside. Huh!?! I like food, I like to cook and experiment. But I don't have the patience to set up a photo shoot, I just want to taste! Maybe if I did set up a photo shoot when I took pictures of my food, I wouldn't have had the need to join Weight Watchers? :)

Since joining Weight Watchers, I've taken a renewed interest in cooking healthier. Know what I've learned? Eating whole foods and Weight Watchers is hard! WW promotes the use of low-fat, low-calorie food. Sauteing using cooking spray instead of butter or oil. Me, I like homemade bread slauthered in butter and jam and real food.

So it's been quite a journey. One good thing is that it has upped my intake of vegetables. The other nite, the farmer and I had Fish Tacos. YUMMY!

Fish Tacos - My Way

Flour Tortillas
Grilled Ahi Tuna
Thinly Sliced red and green cabbage
Fresh salsa made with cilantro, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno, salt and pepper.
Spicy cajun sauce made with plain yogurt and cayenne seasoning.
Fresh lime.

I think the only difference is that next time I'll ever so lightly pickle the cabbages. Just slightly to give it a little tang and soften is slightly.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Do

I love long least in my head. But really I like it better on other people. I was growing my hair out but gave in and cut it the other day.