Monday, February 24, 2014
February 13,2014 my older brother was killed instantly in a head on collision. I am heading to Oregon this week to bury him and I am going alone. I always knew I would go home again, I just didn't think it would be to bury my only sibling. I've been gone almost 7 years and stepping back into that old life,even if for a short amount of time, is a jarring thought.
Be back soon....
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I apologize up front for the photo..it's incredibly hard to get a decent photo of a pure white mixture. I am in the process of getting a better set up for my photo taking and can't wait for it to happen!
With that aside..I finally found a decent no fail recipe for condensed chicken soup! they don't have that here,nor do they have condensed mushroom soup. I know there are those who are anti condensed soups and for the most part,I am too..only because I've had to be and where I can, I make do with certain products here that can take the part of a condensed soup when needed. I was kinda skeptical about this but wow does it work without any problems what so ever. It firms up as it cools and totally turns into that jiggly condensed soup deal..only this stuff is less creepy,cheap to make and tastes loads better.
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
2-1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1-1/2 cups Evaporated Milk ** see below
3/4 cups Flour
1 TBS Seasoning Mix; 1/2 tsp onion powder,1/2 tsp garlic powder,1/2 tsp. black pepper,1 tsp salt,parsley,poultry seasoning..you can change the seasonings to whatever you like!
Combine the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
While bringing to a low boil,mix the remaining 1 cup of milk with the flour and seasonings...whisk the poo out of it to make sure the flour has no lumps in it and it forms a nice thick smooth mixture. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan with the chicken broth mixture and whisk like a bad woman/man. Keep the temp at low and continuously whisk while it simmers away and becomes thick and smooth. This will take anywhere between 5-10 minutes. You need to just keep whisking it until that magical moment happens.
Take it off the heat and allow to cool down. It will thicken a lot more as it cools and will turn into condensed chicken soup right before your eyes.
** The original recipe says to use milk, and you can but I also know that evaporated milk doesn't curdle and when frozen won't separate**
This makes enough for two cans so use one and store the other in the fridge or freezer until you need it!
Yield: Makes the equivalent of about 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
Source: Pinch of Yum
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
It's been a busy Wednesday over here in tulip central. The weather has been mild..despite a brief storm and rain here and there,we can't complain to much. The hens are able to stay outside until 5:30 on most days and that does them wonders. They always head inside right around dusk or just before and thankfully it's been happening later and later. It does wonders for the egg laying aswell..extra sunlight means more eggs.
Yesterday was a baking day for me..breads and buns respectfully.
Look at that beautiful bowl full of free range eggs..It makes me so happy every time I walk into the kitchen and see it. I'm so thankful for those eating and pooing machines outback.
Speaking of those machines..Hello from Daisy,Mabel,Belle,Astrid,Annie,Lily,and Eliza! Are you as tired of winter as I am? I just snapped this photo a few minutes ago and it made me wish for the lush summer days. I can't wait for everything to come into bloom!
Monday, February 10, 2014
When I tell people that I bake on average,20 plus buns a week,3 loaves of bread, and various other bread based items they look at me like I have two heads. Well I sometimes image that's how they look at me since most of my conversations take place online. The usual response is something like, I can't imagine baking like that all the time,or how do you do it?, or I suck at bread baking. The truth of the matter is, it hardly takes any time at all to bake your own breads,buns, and rolls. If I'm at home then there is some kind of yeast product rising in my oven at any given time. I realize I don't have a normal 9-5 job, but even if I did you better believe I would be doing it all on my days off. You can get the dough rising while you do other things around the house or even run a few errands. You come back,shape it,do a second rise, and then bake. It doesn't matter if your bread comes out wonky looking or has cracks or some of your buns didn't come out perfectly round. Do you think anyone cares about that? What people care about is the taste and you know homemade bread tastes so much better than anything else you can buy in the store. You control what goes in and what stays out..like hair. I know that sounds funny, but did you know they use certain products in bread that contains hair from a salon in china? yum,yum. I like fluffy bread, but not that kind of fluff thank you very much!
So bake some bread. Bake this bread! it has both all-purpose and whole wheat flour. It has yummy things like oats and honey, and even nuts if you want to put them in there. There are no funky ingredients like hair or feathers (yep they add those too), and you will just love how soft this bread is and how delicious it tastes when toasted and slathered in peanut butter.
Bread baking isn't hard and doesn't need to be a scary thing. It just takes practice. So get to practicing!!!!
Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Boiling Water
1 cup (3-1/2 ounces) Old-fashioned rolled oats
2 TBS (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter,cut into 3 pieces
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup (3 ounces) Honey
1 cup (4 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1-2/3 cups ( 7 ounces) All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Nonfat Dry Milk
1/2 cup (1-7/8 ounces) finely chopped Pecans or Walnuts;optional
2 tsp. Instant Yeast
In a medium bowl,place the boiling water,oats,butter,salt, and honey,stir, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Mix the remaining dough ingredients with the oat mixture, and knead,by hand, or mixer until you've made a soft,smooth dough. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl,turning once to coat,cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and set aside. Gently deflate the dough, and because it will be slightly sticky,make sure you oil your hands a bit. Place the dough out onto a counter top and shape into a 9 inch log. Place into prepared loaf pan. Cover it gently with either a tea towel,lightly greased plastic wrap or shower cap, and allow to rise until it's crowned 1-1/2 inches over the rim of the pan,about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time preheat your oven.
Preheat to 350 or 180 celsius. Uncover the bread and bake for around 45 minutes,tenting with foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from over-browning. Bake until golden brown,sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom or when a thermometer inserted in the center registers 190F. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Gently remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. If you want an extra soft crust,brush the top with melted butter. I didn't do this step and found the crust to be very soft on its own.
Yield: 1 Loaf about 12-16 slices
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Good morning from Enschede,The Netherlands! I ran upstairs and snapped a photo from my bedroom window when I spotted the beautiful sunrise pouring through my downstairs window.
I hope where ever you may be today that your morning is as beautiful as the one I experienced.
P.S. My bare bottom hens are getting their feathers back :) the foul spray seems to be working!
What is on your agenda for the day? mine has been filled with laundry and baking bread. I really miss my American washer and dryer. We have small washer and dryers over here and it takes me hours and hours and to dry one load. It drives me crazy!!! I could have had all of this done in two loads back home. I guess I should be thankful I even have those and I am grateful. I just sorta wish I had my old set from home.
Labels: Life in the Netherlands
Monday, February 3, 2014
It should come as no surprise that we are bagel freaks in this house. We love them slathered in peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, and even sandwiched between an egg.
This is a super easy recipe to try if you are new to bagel making. The hardest part is creating the hole in the middle and then dunking them into the boiling water...easy peasy
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 cups Warm Water
1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar,divided
3 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Raisins
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups Flour; All-purpose,Spelt,you pick!
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment ( you can do this all by hand if you want),add the yeast,warm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, and raisins.
Slowly add in enough flour to form a dough that is not sticky and pulls away from the dough. If using the stand mixer continue to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. If kneading by hand, it will take you around 8 minutes or so. You want the dough to be smooth and elastic no matter which method you use.
Shape the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl and turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Gently deflate the dough and on a floured surface,divide the dough into 10-12 balls ( I went with 10 to get a slightly larger bagel). Push your thumb into the center of the ball to form a 1-1/2 inch hole. Gently stretch the dough to form an even ring. Place on a floured surface,cover and allow to rise 25-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 05 190 celsius. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Fill a dutch oven or large pan with water two-thirds full with water and remaining brown sugar;bring to a boil. Gently drop bagels,two at a time,into the boiling water. Allow to boil for 30 seconds,flip, and allow to boil on the other side for another 30 seconds. Scoop bagels out with a slotted spoon or spatula and place onto prepared pan 2 inches apart.
Bake 18-20 minutes,or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 10-12 Bagels
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home and Ambitious Kitchen
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
In the hen world: A fluffy bum is a healthy bum. You can tell alot about a hen and whats going on with her by how fluffy and clean it is. I suppose that works in both the human and animal world: if your bum isn't right then you better get it checked out..ha!
So this was Lily not that long ago..fluffy and doing just fine.
This is Eliza and she was fine just a few short weeks ago. This is what her poor back side looks like now.
The poor thing is bald..Lily is the worst of the bunch though. I couldn't believe I had missed this. This has been going on for awhile and I honestly had no clue. I first thought we had mites in the coop..Oh how I wished it was mites! that is an easy fix..Feather pecking? not so much. I stood there in shock as each hen bent over and exposed their bare bums..all except for 3 of them..So I watched and waited..and then I saw it over and over again.
Annie Oakley,my pretty brownish hen was walking along and pecking the feathers out of everyone's bum. She left the other brownish hen,Astrid alone as well as my all white hen,Belle. Everyone else is missing feathers. I quickly looked it up online and after we knew for sure it was this and not mites,we headed to the farm store. I walked in,told them the problem and they handed me a can. They said it was an all natural spray that smelled awful and tasted equally awful and was said to help stop the pecking..which by the way is very hard to get them out of once they have started. I went over their diet and determined that it wasn't from lack of protein which is sometimes the reason behind it. They get plenty of that and more extras on the side to make sure they aren't bored and get what they need. They told me it was also a behavioural thing and she may never work herself out of it.
So..picture this: I've got a mask on and gloves. My husband has the can. We walk out into the chicken run and herd them inside the indoor chicken run. We close the little gate and they know something is up. I walk forward and it's on after that. They are running,and screaming,and taking flight..and this isn't a big area. They are hiding in every corner and inside the chicken coop. I pick one up,secure the wings and flip her over to get sprayed. I can not believe how calm they go once you pick them up. They never bite and just sit there as calm as can be. We sprayed the first one and thought we were going to die. It has such a foul odor..there is a weird vague familiarity to it. It almost reminds you of a massive cigar smoker who decided to neither wash themselves nor their clothes for the passed 10 years. There are scents in this spray that leave me confused because I can't place anything but the cigar part of it. Hen after hen after hen got sprayed..even the ones who hadn't been touched and even Annie was sprayed..I'm hoping she gets the picture and stops this awful habit before I have to get rid of her.
So after you chase them down and spray them,they hate you. They won't come near you and they decide that the best way to get back at me is to muster up diarrhea and to stop the egg laying for one whole day. I really appreciated the diarrhea bit. We've sprayed 3 times now and it has gotten a ton better. We can herd,catch,spray, and release all within 10 minutes now. They have amped up their egg laying and get over the ordeal almost instantly. I'm sure it helps that I toss in live meal worms and have been giving them extra protein to help with the growing of the feathers. Annie has stopped the pecking..but you would too if you went in for a bite and tasted this spray. I feel awful for them though. It's really cold here and I dumped a bunch of straw all over the place to make sure they have a soft warm spot for those bare bums.
I wonder what next week will bring?
Monday, January 27, 2014
I am forever looking for new vegetarian recipes to try out on my family. We are working on eating meatless meals around 4 days a week and on the days we do eat meat, I am trying to make those more of a side dish and not the main meal. We are big meat eaters in the family and always will be..but wow has the price of beef and poultry gone up! I don't see them going down any time soon either!
This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook called,Save with Jamie. He has a show to go along with it and as soon as I saw him make this,I went straight online to find the recipe. It's amazing. There is no cream of anything in here and what you end up doing is making a wonderful broccoli soup to go on top of the cauliflower that is then baked in the oven with an amazing topping of homemade breadcrumbs,almonds and thyme. It's cheap to make,healthy,tastes fantastic,and can be made either as a side dish or as a main meal. We had it like that with fresh bread to go along the side. This will be showing up again and again in our house. If you want to add in some meat,go ahead. I think it would be great with some diced up ham or shredded chicken..but trust me on this. It's fantastic on its own.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese
2 Cloves of Garlic,minced or sliced thin
50g ( 4 TBS) Unsalted Butter
50g (4 TBS) All-purpose Flour
500ml ( 2 cups) Low-fat Milk
500g ( 1 lb.) Frozen Broccoli Florets
75g ( 3 oz) Shredded Sharp Cheddar or cheese of choice
1 Kilo ( 2 pounds) Frozen Cauliflower Florets..or cut into florets
2 Slices of Stale Bread
2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme or 1 tsp. of dried
25 g ( 2 TBS) Flaked Almonds
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a medium pan over medium heat,add the butter and garlic. Once the butter has melted,whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for one minute. Slowly add in the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth. Add the broccoli and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and begins to break down. At this point you need to make the mixture smooth,so either use a heat proof blender or a stick blender and process until smooth. Add in half of the shredded cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange the cauliflower florets in prepared dish and pour the broccoli sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
In a food processor,blitz the bread into breadcrumbs,then pulse in the thyme and almonds. Add in around 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt,pulse until everything is covered ( you don't need a bunch of oil,just enough to coat the crumbs so that they get nice and crispy while baking.) Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the broccoli sauce.
Bake for 1 hour or until the cauliflower is soft and cooked through.
** To make things easier when baking this,I suggest you allow the frozen cauliflower to semi defrost while you get everything else made. I cut everything up evenly to insure it would all bake up in one hour**
Yield: 8 as a side dish or 4 with leftover as a main meal
Source: Jamie Oliver
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sometimes it's the little things that make you happy..like finally being able to fill up a carton full of free range eggs. I was able to do this awhile ago..but we kept eating them before I could fill it up. Now with 5 hens laying it happens more quickly now.
It's the little things sometimes that bring the most amount of joy to ones life.
Monday, January 20, 2014
So here we are again..it's the 20th and that means I need to share the latest cake we at, The Cake Slice Bakers,have whipped up. We are baking from,Great Cakes by Carole Walter. I had high hopes for this one..way high.
I am frustrated with this cookbook in a sense. I have yet to create something from this book that I have enjoyed. This is the third cake from this book that I found to be tasteless and rather,dare I say? boring. I am hoping as we go along that we are able to sink out teeth into an actual cake recipe that blows us all away because I am really due for such an occasion.
This was the first pound cake recipe I have ever made and decided to go with a nut version. I also added in lemon to make it a lemon walnut pound cake but the end result was dry and underwhelming. I made sure to tent the top and didn't over bake it. Perhaps I need to try another recipe that uses cream cheese. I have heard those are very moist or maybe even a sour cream pound cake.
So here's hoping that next month I am blown away enough to share the recipe :)
Friday, January 17, 2014
Are you a morning or a night person? I am a total morning person. It's just a little after 11 am and I have already cleaned the chicken coop and run,mopped and cleaned the entire house,I've got crock pot pulled pork cooking,the buns have already been baked up for later on,and I've prepped the rest of tonight's meal.The down side to being a morning person is that I am totally ready for bed by 8 pm. I am up every morning at 6 and I am pretty much unable to sleep in on weekends and I never nap during the day. I suppose it pays off in various ways because I am able to bake bread in the morning and have the rest of the day free for whatever needs doing..And there is always something that needs doing.
If you've got a few hours to kill while you get things done around the house then I encourage you to bake this bread. It's soft,flavorful, and goes well with soup and makes a great sandwich.It's super easy to make and requires very little hands on time. The dough does require a bit of kneading,but it's done in a mixer for about 3 to 4 minutes and that is all that's required!
No-knead Semolina Bread
1 cup Lukewarm Water
2 tsp. Pizza Dough Flavor,or dried herbs of choice
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Instant Yeast
1-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Semolina
Additional seasonings for the topping;optional
Olive Oil for drizzling
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes ( I also used the dough hook).
Place dough ball in a greased bowl,cover, and allow to rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours,until dough is very puffy.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with nonstick spray or olive oil and place dough ball into the prepared pan. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour,until it becomes puffy.
While the dough rises,preheat the oven to 375 or 190 celsius.
Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger. Drizzle lightly with olive oil or even garlic oil. You can either sprinkle the dough with additional seasoning before you bake it or wait until after it has come out of the oven.
Bake the bread till it's golden brown,35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with herbs or seasoning of choice if you didn't do it before it went into the oven. Allow it to rest in the pan for 5 minutes,then turn it out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temp.
Yield: 1 round Loaf
Source: King Arthur Flour
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I'm afraid this post is yet another hen update. I'm also not sorry about that. I've been busy with the ladies over the course of the week and I'm excited to share a few things with you.
When it comes to the weather here, I can count on two things: Wind and rain. We may not get them together but you can pretty much count on those two during the winter months (who am I kidding? we get this kind of weather all year long!). I have wanted some kind of cover for the hens for awhile now. I wanted to give them some shelter inside the run area where they eat,drink,hang out and take a dust bath. When it rains the whole area inside there becomes crazy wet and muddy and I was just over it. So we found fine mesh that they use on construction sites. It's durable,breathable, and gives them shelter from the rain and wind and will hopefully also work during the warm summer days. It's not the prettiest thing to look at but it's worked wonders!
Last week I posted about the two eggs that were laid. I was so happy about that! Well..the next day this is what I found
THREE whole eggs!! you can tell the newer one by the lighter color. I was so happy to see that egg.
The newest egg layer,is Mabel Ann. She is the pushiest,most in your face hen,ever! she is the first one to wait at the door for me,to actually jump up towards me like a dog when she notices I have brought food, and follows me all over the chicken run. A few days later,I start noticing that all but one is heading inside the coop to sit in a box. They go in,sit down, and then come back out. This goes on and on for hours. A few nights later I head out to lock them in for the night and by then I had collected three eggs..I start to leave and something catches my eye inside the chicken run..
Egg number four!!!! She laid it outside in the chicken run. I guess she feels safe with that option. She's done it twice now..and I know who it belongs to. Here is what she first looked like when we brought her home..
I fell in love with her from the get go. It's Miss Eliza Doolittle. She won't come near me to this day but she chats with me often now. Here is what she looks like now..
Isn't she beautiful? She's a double laced Barnevelder and I will hopefully be getting dark brown large eggs from her. So that's four down: Daisy,Annie,Mabel, and Eliza. I'm still waiting on Belle,Astrid and Lily to start. Exciting times I tell you..
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cookies are something I don't make often enough and I have no clue as to why. I will pick up the odd pack at the store here and there and I'm just never happy with my purchase. For the most part,Dutch cookies are crispy and only come in a few flavors. I can vividly remember all of the cookie choices from home and I miss those. If it wasn't for the pure embarrassment factor I would do a post about looking for someone who will send me a box filled with nutter butters, fig newtons, iced animal cookies,a variety of Mother's brand cookies, and every other soft cakey cookie you can find. I suppose it's a good thing that I have the embarrassment factor going on or I would be one sick girl from eating all of those. Happy,but sick.
I know that making cookies yourself is always the safest bet when it comes to knowing exactly whats going in there and being able to skip on the additives and what not so here is a great cookie recipe that we recently inhaled.
They are thick and chewy and loaded with good things like, oatmeal,coconut, and chocolate chips. Large amounts of butter and brown sugar never hurt so whip these babies up and enjoy!
Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
2-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter,softened
1-1/4 cups Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs..from your own hens if possible :)
1 TBS Vanilla
1 cup Shredded Coconut
12 oz Semi sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the oats,flour,baking soda, and salt into a food processor or blender and blend for 30 seconds, or until coarse. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light in color,about 1 minute. Add the sugars,eggs, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients and coconut and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
Shape cookies into balls and place prepared pan. I used a 2 inch cookie scoop for my size and could have gone larger. Basically make whatever size you want and adjust the cooking time based on that.
Bake 12-13 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire rack.
Yield:2-3 dozen..depending on size
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Friday, January 10, 2014
I sometimes think moving a bazillion miles from everything I have ever known was the best decision besides marrying my husband I have ever made. In the time I have been away from the U.S. I have lost over 140 pounds, taught myself to bake bread, gotten off the prepackaged food wagon, grown my own food, am now raising my own hens for their eggs, and have learned to cook and bake from scratch. I can sometimes lose sight of everything I have done to change myself for the better. I honestly don't know if I would have done this had I not moved. I now realize that I was mentally and physically trapped before I came here. And now I'm not.
I'm pretty sure it's funny to read these words when you find out it all came about with this recipe. These sausage-cheddar balls won't solve any major crisis,but it's just one more thing I can now make from scratch for my family. All of the recipes I have found for these include Bisquick. I never realized how much I relied on that dang box until I moved here and discovered they didn't have it. So I just stupidly assumed I would never have those cheddar balls. Right before christmas I decided to finally hunt down a recipe for these once and for all so that I could make them christmas morning. I found it,made it,and it was epic. For us anyway.
Our favorite way to eat these are when they are cold and not warm. The outside becomes crispy and they are perfect for dunking in your favorite sauce or eat them plain as they are fantastic either way. A word of warning: I caught my oven on fire when I baked these up on christmas morning! I didn't realize they would be so greasy, and it spilled over because I used a cookie sheet with no sides. Now I don't know if this will happen to anyone who uses breakfast sausage but I can't get that here so I used regular sausage that I took out of the casing. To be on the safe side, use a rimed baking pan with foil on the bottom and then place a wrack inside,coat it with nonstick spray and place the cheddar balls on that to cook ( I did this the second time I made these and it worked a treat). The fat drips down and you'll have non-greasy balls ( oh man, the jokes we can make with that sentence..reminds me of the SNL skit about sweaty balls!!)
1-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 cups (8 ounces) Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 lb. Breakfast Sausage or sausage of choice
1/2 Large Onion,Grated
3 TBS Butter, Melted
Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celsius. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack inside the pan and coat with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,salt,pepper,cayenne pepper, and baking powder. Add cheese and toss to coat.
Crumble the sausage over the flour mixture and add in the onion and butter. Get your hands in there and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1/2 inch apart onto prepared rack.
Bake until balls are golden brown and cooked through,about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm,room temp,or cold
Yield: 45 Balls
Source: Martha Stewart
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
We're having a crazy winter over here..a few days ago it was 54 degrees! We've had sun,blue skies and warmish temps. It's crazy. I'm not complaining mind you,especially since next week there will be a severe dip and possibly even some snow. The hens have been equally wacky. All of their instincts have kicked in..That means,digging..and a hell of alot of it.
Oh they like to pretend like nothing is going on..but I'm convinced they are organized. They know exactly what's going on and I'm pretty sure it includes digging up every last worm known to man,getting to the extra bit of grass that is right out of their reach,and then reaching my back door where they know I keep all the treats. I was warned that they like to dig..but wow, even this surprised me. I covered up the large trench they dug this morning and they are already busy undoing what I just did.
I've been putting in a variety of cabbages to keep them busy. Chickens get all weirded out when you put something new into their run..they actually inspect the entire thing before running around it 500 times before making the small step to finally touch it and then peck it to death in record time after that. They are like sharks.
They are all growing up like crazy now though..and they are all finally showing signs of wanting to lay eggs.
They are all bowing and squatting down right in front of me now and that is the classic sign of getting ready to lay. It's cute and annoying all at the same time. I am trying to feed,water, and clean up after them and they are all bowing in front of me and it can take 5 minutes to reach the run when this is going on.
Another new thing is,they have all found their voices.All 7 of them. All 7 hens have a different voice and they range from soft and sweet to a sound that resembles a goose being smacked around. It's loud and they are proud. If they spot me walking outside they all run to the to end of the chicken run and call me in 7 different voices. I'm surprised no one has complained yet.
Since I keep a close eye on things, I am able to tell you who decided to grace me with a brand new egg..and that would be the one right above me..Annie. She laid her first egg a few days ago and I was able to snap a pic of the one she and Daisy left for me.
Here they are! they are both in the medium egg sized range and that makes me happy. The first few eggs are really teenie tiny, but as time goes on, they get bigger. It only took Annie two days to reach the medium sized point which leads me to believe she may be a large egg layer at some point. It took Daisy a whole month to reach the medium size and I think that is her final size.
All the hens are wanting to lay, they are all acting funny with their running it and out of the coop,making nests in the boxes, and then sitting there. Hopefully by next week I will have all 7 of them laying!