Monday, December 31, 2012

Brrr... How Soon is Spring?

Spice.  She is a new addition to our flock.

Crystal.  She is our "puppy" because she follows us everywhere.

Ginger and Yoda.  Ginger is the new addition to the flock.

Ginger and Yoda.  All of our flock are bottom of the pecking order.  So they all get along.

Ginger.  She always stays still for the pictures.

Yoda.  She is the top hen, but is never a bully.
We are in south central Montana.  For almost two weeks, the temperatures have been in the twenties during the day and single digits at night.  It snowed right before Christmas and the ladies didn't come out of their enclosure for three days.  They do not like snow on their feet.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dairy Free Ice Cream Using Almond Milk

I have been searching for dairy free ice cream for Jakob.  I love ice cream and sorbet, as do the boys.  So, the search began for dairy-free, easy to make ice cream or sorbet for the child that doesn't tolerate dairy.

I found an ever so delightful book full of raw recipes! With slight variations to these recipes, I have discovered wonderful cream desserts for the boys and me to enjoy! Each recipe only takes 5 minutes to make as well.

The recipe:
1 cup almond milk
5 dried apricots (soak if hard)
2 cups frozen cherries
1 medium frozen banana
1 Tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar
1 Tablespoon raw, unrefined coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium for 30 seconds.  Then blend on high for 30 more seconds.  Serve immediately.  Yield 2 servings.

From Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles

Pasta Sauce Made From Almond Milk

Since Jakob cannot have dairy products, we have been experimenting with new recipes using the Soyajoy milk making machine.  Tonight, rather than use a cheese based  pasta sauce, we made a basic white sauce using almond milk. 

It has a great flavor and perfect thickness for the pasta.  Jakob had three bowls of pasta!

The recipe:
4 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil
4 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. each of salt, pepper, nutritional yeast
2 cu. almond milk

In saucepan melt butter(or oil as we did). Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Make basic white sauce; you may add other ingredients or spices (oregano, Spike, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.) to the sauce. 

The sauce took 15-20 minutes to make.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pumpkin Chili!

A delicious, fall dish that is easy to make on those nights you are too tired to stand at the stove.
This dish is great for pumpkin lovers and those who don't!  As one of my favorite dishes, I love when pumpkins go on sale, I just got these for .25 each!! Yay!

What you will need: (for each person)

1 pumpkin 5-6 inches in diameter
1 can of chili
(Cheese or other toppings if wanted)

Take out seeds, pour in chili. Place on cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
(It helps to take off the pumpkin lid with 25-30 minutes remaining)

Then stir and enjoy! Scrape the pumpkin out as you are eating.  Yum...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Using the pulp!

I have been searching for recipes to use with different pulps, I haven't finalized any to my standard of perfection yet but some are pretty good. I have found jakob prefers rice milk over all the others for drinking but almond is really the one to use for day to day cereal, baking, and smoothies! However I agree with jakob and say that the rice milk tastes the best for drinking!

Here is a recipe that is good and continually getting good reviews in other blogs as being good not just ok. I am drying out my almond pulp now to make some for us tonight! I am going to use my Stampin Up cookie presses as those are so delightful to see, and the kids enjoy the designs!

Somebody posted a receipe a while back for banana bread. It is delish!!!

1 cup almond pulp
1 cup coconut
6-12 dates, not soaked
1 banana
1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)

It works best for me if I mix coconut and dates in food processor, then add banana, oil, and lastly the almond pulp. Sometimes I have to mix the last in by hand, as I have a very small food processor.

Spread on telflex sheets 1/4" thick or use cookie dropper and make individual cookies, smashing down to 1/4" or so. Dehydrate, flipping when desired.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Egg Muffins

I found this egg muffin recipe today on Pinterest. 

Egg Muffins Revisited
(Makes 12 muffins, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from The South Beach Diet book.

15 eggs (for silicone muffin pans, use 12 eggs for metal muffin tins or individual silicone cups. You can use less egg yolks and more egg white if you prefer.)
1-2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, if you have food allergies or don't have Spike, use any type of seasoning blend that's good with eggs.)
1-2 cups grated low fat cheese (I like sharp cheddar or a blend of cheddar/Jack cheese, use less cheese if using meat)
Optional, but highly recommended, 3 green onions diced small.
Optional: chopped veggies such as blanched broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. (Using veggies will reduce the fat content)
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, if using, vegetables, if using, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl with pour spout, add Spike, and beat well. (I used to add a bit of half and half or milk, but lately I like the way they turn out without it.) Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full. I like to stir slightly with a fork. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

The original post came from   She has lots of great pictures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cashew nut milk

Today was our first trial at making milk! As my youngest is unable to have cow's milk, we are enjoying the new found joys of making milk! So not only do we get fresh eggs we get fresh milk too! Looking forward to the fantastic recipes to come from the pulp as well, first on the agenda cashew cheese!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Second Annual Hug A Chicken Day

Aaron and Ruby, our best layer.

Aaron, Jakob, Ruby, and Crystal.

Jakob loves his chickens.  The black is Yoda; she started laying last.

Jakob is trying to get Yoda in the picture.

Patrick petting Crystal.

Raising chickens is a family affair.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Must be Autumn!

New flag and flag pole for the chickens! Thanks to Jean Rollwitz!


The new flag and pumpkins.  Must be fall.

Speaking of fall, notice that we have our very own Jack-o-Lantern!  

They are slowly eating the pumpkins.

The girls ate the seeds first and now are pecking away at the meat.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Knock Knock...

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Chickens who?
Chickens who want your attention!

Yesterday, the chickens were pecking at the door.  We would go out and see them -- just as happy as can be to see us.

They pecked at the door four different times.  Yes, we answered the door each time.  Just like Pavlov's dogs.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Water Heater Tin

In Montana it gets cold occasionally.  To keep the water from icing up, I found a tin for twenty-five cents and a lamp for fifty cents at garage sales this summer.

In the tin, I drilled a 3/8" hole.  I took the lamp assembly apart.  Then I reassembled the lamp assembly inside the tin.  The screw-on fastener on the bottom of the lamp assembly is on the outside of the tin, which keeps the 40-watt bulb stationary in the center of the tin.

I have both plastic and metal waterers.  I have read that the tin works for both plastic and metal, so I don't know which I will do.  Or, I may make a second water heater tin.  Did I mention that I garage sale...  I have enough parts to make one more heater.  

Finishing Touches to Keep the Ladies Warm

The front of their new house.  It is not perfect, but it is done!

The nesting boxes work great.  The girls began using their new boxes even before the front was attached. 

The ramp and roost.  They didn't like this roost, so we added a second, lower roost, which they seem to like.

This certainly has been a slow process, but I think we finally have the coop that we want!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Winterizing The Coop

The roost, ramp and nesting boxes. The front needs to be attached.
The ramp is on hinges.  It can be brought up for closure.
Right now, there is a chicken wire front for air and viewing...
The new coop takes up none of their floor space.  Raised up 30", it is 4' by 8'. The girls should be cozy this winter!

Adam taking a break to ride Patrick's new birthday bike.  The seat might be a bit too low...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finally! The Roof is On!

Jason is the roofer.

We had to build the roof before we could shingle.

Aaron looking at the roof.

Attaching the plywood.

Wow!  What a difference!

The ladies will be dry this winter.

Putting the plywood on.

Adam looking on.

Getting the design just right!

Thank goodness for the electric nail gun!

Love the brown shingles.

Cutting the shingles takes a while.

Painting the wafer board panels that will be used for wind breaks.

The panels will be attached in the winter, but stored during the summer.

Aaron's hands were tired by the end of the day!

Admiring his handiwork.

Wind panels and decorations are up!

Painting the back to match the wind panels.

Job well done, Jason!

How pretty!  It rained the next day -- and all is good!

With the rafters, we can now hang the food and water.

Happy girls.  There is still a bit of work left, but we have time before the Montana winter sets in.