Category Archives: chickens

May 21, 2012 with 2 recipes

Today was the last day officially in the old house. It was nice to be done yet sad that we are back to the renting stage of life rather than owning. We have given away the chickens that I have enjoyed for the past few years and that too has ups and downs. I loved the fresh eggs and sitting on the deck watching them in the morning. I do NOT miss the smell and clean up. I am fortunate though in the home they have gone to emailed today about my being able to buy eggs from them in the future. YAY!!! I am still working out the kinks of the move and working on filling daycare spots as I am down to one family at this point. I NEED more work. I WANT more work. It will come together and I know that. Anyway, we have most of the house un-packed and we are settling in and with that my schedule is starting to feel like it might slide into place soon. We did our first batch of real baking this week and have planned for more. We did cook our way through the move and stayed really on the paleo track I am pleased to say. As you know if you read the weeks menu you know what we had planned for the days eats and here is what we really did:

Breakfast: Cinnamon chips scones (almost paleo), fresh raspberries, and that morning cup. Alexandria made the scones the night before and then we covered them with a tea towel to keep moist over night. These had amazing taste and the perfect crumb while being supper simple. We forgot to take pictures till the very end so this image is the LAST bite that I quickly grabbed from the toddlers bowl.

How to make these oh so joyful bits of perfection: (with a note on how to keep it more Paleo)

Makes about a dozen scones

2-1/2 Cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)

1/2 teaspoon salt (I like celtic sea salt but any will work)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (increase to 1/2 tablespoon if leaving out cinnamon chips)

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup (or less) honey

2 large eggs (yes, size matters)

1/2 cup cinnamon chips (leave these out if you are avoiding sugar such as living Paleo)

* Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray) and pre-heat your over to 350 degrees F.

* in a mixing bowl toss all ingredients in except the chips and mix till thoroughly combined.

* fold in the cinnamon chips

* scoop about 1/4 cup amounts onto sheet and slightly smoosh (bakes more evenly and looks better to me than big lumps)

* bake for 12 to 15 minutes or till golden brown.

Lunch: Fried Eggs (the caveman of the house and the older daughters took leftovers for lunch from last nights supper)

I was pretty full still after the scones and coffee so I just fried eggs up for lunch for myself and added paleo toast and a banana for the little one.

Afternoon snack: The children all had pears and cheese while I nibbled on some fresh cracked hazelnuts

Supper: Herbal Roast Beef with Brussels Sprouts braised in bacon. I made a lot more than I am going to give directions for because I feed a small army and I like to have enough left for the crew to pack for the next days lunch.

I mixed in a small bowl for each roast; (about) 1/2 tablespoon sea salt (I used Himalayan pink), 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence by Penzeys spices, a good smattering of fresh ground pepper, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 a sweet onion diced, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and a splash of olive oil. I took 4 roasts averaging about 3 pounds each and rubbed the herb mixture all over then placed in a foil lined pan (I hate clean up). Once the roasts were prepped, I slid into the oven and baked uncovered for about 2 hours (I would do 1 hour for 1 roast) at 350 degrees F. After the inside reached 140 degrees, I pulled out of the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving up.

For the brussels sprouts (sorry no picture this round) I sliced a pound of bacon into bite size pieces and lined a dutch oven with these and turned the burner on medium low. As the stove was heating I cut my brussels in half (probably about 3 pounds for my crew) and tossed onto of the bacon. Once I was done cutting the brussels, I covered the pot and let simmer and braise for about an hour till the bacon was starting to carmelize and the brussels were getting tender at which point I tossed and stirred for the final 5 minutes or so till it was time to serve up.

It is almost spring and life is good

I started the day off with a nice slow start as my body is still getting used to the crazy “spring forward” of the clock that we do here. Once I got going though the day was so good. Spent quality time this weekend with friends and family, got taxes done, weeded in the yard till my daily goal was met, enjoyed my sill chickens (I am down to 7 hens for now), did my workout, and had great food.

 

This weekend was full of friends and family having birthdays and so at first it seemed a daunting task to see everyone one that we felt we should. In the long run, we pulled off what we could and had a long but amazing time of it. We savored simple breakfasts of eggs and meat like bacon and sausages depending on who was doing the eating late into the morning where we elected to bypass lunch and just had early suppers that were beyond amazing. Saturday we savored osso bocco that was served with a side of curry cali-rice or green beans with bacon. Osso Bocco translates to “hole in the bone” and it really is a simple dish to make while being packed with flavor and nutrients. “It’s made of osteoblasts (which form bone cells using minerals), adipocytes (fat  cells), fibroblasts (which form connective tissue), and osteoclasts (which are  responsible for bone resorption). I was unable to obtain detailed info regarding  the mineral/vitamin content of bone marrow, but if it’s involved in bone and  connective tissue formation/resorption, there are probably some choice  components that make consumption particularly advantageous.”

Osso Bocco:

So I took my leg shank meat (I had beef on hand(one per person)) and seared in a pan till both sides were browned then I added an onion, lots of garlic (we really like garlic), carrot slices, bell peppers slices, celery slices, a splash of lemon juice, a splash of white wine, a handful of herbs (I like a simple no salt multi purpose seasoning for this), and then I poured fire roasted tomatoes over till it looked like a mix that would be tasty (this varies for everyone and therefore I do not put actual measurements here). Once everything was in the pan spread out, I covered the whole ball of wax, slid it into the oven (anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees F depending on how much time you have) and let it cook for about 2 hours or till the meat is just about fallin’ off the bones and that marrow is just bubbling to the top beggin’ to be smeared on the meat and eaten.

After a spectacular meal, we played dominoes and talked and opened gifts for the two birthday types at the table that evening. Wow it was so nice and I really want to have more evenings like that one!

Today started about the same as far as the breakfast and lunch. Then I went and pulled weeds which in the past I have hated but now I do not hurt as bad and although I still hat how cold and dirty my hands got, it was kind of fun. The hens were out and one of the girls got smart and started following me around so when I would pull up a weed if she saw a bug or worm or whatever she would grab it right up… easy pickin’s lol. Anyway, the sun was nice as I was lucky and made it out during one of this short breaks in our weather (we have had rain so much and heck we even had snow this week!). after working outside soaking in a little bit of vitamin D, I came in and did the last little touches on our taxes and have them ready to ship out Monday morning. Once I sat so long I realized it was time to go get in that workout and wow it went by fast and good although I still can not shoulder press very much (this frustrates me as I know how weak I still am) I do see some progress from the last 1 rep max I did even if it is only 5 pound increase, it is headed in the right direction yay me! I put on a pair of Capri pants that have a tie for the first time this season to find that I have had my waist go down by 8-1/2 inches since the last time I wore them (I had tied the string to mark when I packed them for the winter)!!! I was famished after the workout but feeling sooooo good! I ended up making one of the most simple meals for supper; I browned mild italian sausage (pork) and ground beef with onions and slivered garlic. Once this was all nice and brown and aromatic, I added slice; sweet bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini squash, asparagus, and Kohlrabi till the vegetables were heated through yet still crisp and popping with flavor. I then scooped this mix over kelp noodles and topped with a smidge of homemade sauce that was just mayo, lime juice, ground cumin, garlic powder, and minced chili peppers. AMAZING!!!! Now I am off to spend a short time with the family and then to get back to work on Entwined Vines Jewelry work for the evening.

 

The joys of my life and minor intro into me

This is the first post of this new blog. I have never had a personal blog and fought hard avoiding running a business blog for most of a year before I caved and told my Entwined Vines partner that I would take on 1 of our 2 blogs. I avidly avoid writing as I am a horrid at spelling and grammar must have just skipped right past me even though I recal my instructors trying desperately to in grain it into my hard skull. So if I avoid writing so much, why am I writing this? I stumbled across WordPress through a different blog (gluten free girl and the chef ) and just felt the pull to play in this amazingly simple medium. I am like that though. I will be doing something and WOW I see this amazing thing that I want to try. I believe life is about living, and doing, and trying, and the simple joy of being alive is so remarkable that I have a hard time finding reasons not to just take the plunge and try something new; a new flavor, a new program, a new workout regime, a new craft. I have a full yet to me simple life that I love and find joy in pretty much every day.

I have:

    a husband that I have known and loved since the mid 1980’s

    4 incredible daughters that make me wonder why so many people cringe about the teenage years

   an in-home-childcare that reminds me how new and amazing everything really is and how to keep exploring life with gusto

   an ex-husband that I treasure and get along with that brought a whole nother family into my life

   10 crazy and whimsical chickens that try their hardest to keep my house supplied with the best darned eggs

   an extended family that helps push meal times to a minimum of 12 people 5 times a day

   a love of gardening, cooking, crafting, exploring, hiking, oh heck really I love so much this list would go on for longer than any sane person would want to read

  I also have my health which may be choppy and mixed up but it is mine and I value it.

I felt the need to share this joy with anyone that wants to read it, share it, comment on it because really life is ment to be shared.

 Take for instance, today my chickens for the first time all gave an egg. This is amazing! It is the tail end of winter here in the maritime north-west with short days, a wonderful smattering of drizzling rain to moisten the thawing soils and the temperatures are still in the 40’s (I know much of the USA is recovering from storms, snow, ice and the like) yet all ten of my girls gifted my family with an egg. This is abundance and is a treasured gift that had my husband and daughters all singing their praises. I tried to resist sharing a picture of them but failed dismally and that is alright because they are wonderful and gorgeous in their simple yard.  I have 6 red sex links, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Black Austrolorps (1 is more silver but she is sweet). This year we are planning to make them a much nicer house and yard but the seem happy and again life is all about the joy.

Another aspect that makes this day so full of warmth and joy is my ex-husband. Why is this? I am so over whelming grateful that he is alright. He was driving back Oregon from Montana when he hit black ice and glided into the cement meridian at 55 mph. He already has a blown back from his time in the military and barely can walk because of his back. It took the ambulance over an hour to make the drive from the accident to the hospital. His wife was terrified and well so was I. She had received a cryptic call from my ex’s mother saying he was in an accident but we had no clue what State he was in at the time; Montana, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon. They could not find his cell phone at first and the person who had call the mother did not have any information either. We spent almost 2 hours calling trying to find out what was going on. When we did find him it was a nice wait to see how he came through. We are grateful and filled with joy that he is hard to harm and he ended up with nothing more than bruises, stiff body, another thing to attack his PTSD and a totaled jeep. All in all he is no worse for wear and that fills myself, my household, his household and a plethora of others with pure joy that brings tears to the eyes.

It is getting late and I am going to spend the remainder of this day with those I love with joy in the heart.