Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hot Nest Box

         This must be the hot nest box.  I built six, but this one gets used most.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Bar Browines

Yummy chocolate goodness
     Some days all you want to do is indulge.  You need to get a sinful fix.  For me that fix is chocolate.  Not just any chocolate, but something gooey and rich.  When you take a bite out of it the first words you say is, "Oh My God!"  That is definitely how these candy bar brownies make you feel.
     Like everything else I start by finding a recipe online and then I tweak it.  This recipe came from Oxmoor House June 2007.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                              4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa                                 1/4 cup brewed espresso
1/2 tsp baking powder                                      2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda                                 1/2 cup snickers, chopped
1/4 tsp salt                                                      1/2 cup peanut butter cups, chopped
1 1/2 cups butter, melted                                 1/4 twix, chopped
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar                               1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar         1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
Coat a 13" X 9" pan with cooking spray. Line pan with aluminum foil, allowing ends to hang over short sides of pan.  Tuck overlapping ends under rim on short sides.  Coat foil with cooking spray; set pan aside.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; add eggs, coffee, and vanilla, beating just until blended.  Add flour mixture; beat at medium speed  until blended. Stir in candy, white chocolate, and nuts.

Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 58 minutes.  Cool completely in  pan on wire rack. 

Carefully invert brownies from pan using overlapping foil as handles; remove foil and cut
brownies into squares.

*note*  check the brownies around 50 minutes into baking.  Remember oven temperatures vary and nothing is worse than burnt brownies.
Also, you can use any candy you want.  Next time I might try peppermint patties or even almond joys.  It's entirely up to you.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Cracked Corn

chicks eating their cracked corn
        It's going to be a chilly night.  We put the girls to bed with some cracked corn in their crop.  The cracked corn keeps them warm during the night.  It raises their body temperature.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

Hot peppers hanging from the kitchen window
     Several years back our neighbor gave us hot pepper seeds he got from Italy.    We have been growing them every summer since then.  At the end of the growing season, we hang them in our kitchen window to dry out.  Once dried, we crush them and store it in a mason jar.  We use them on pizza and in cooking some of our favorite spicy foods.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

      There is a chill in the air.  Finally some nice fall weather.  And what could be better than a hot steaming bowl soup.  You know, the kind of soup that sticks to your ribs and warms your soul.  We had a great year for leeks in our garden so I thought I would make some potato leek soup.  I found this recipe online.  Its very simple and makes great use of  the leeks and potatoes we grew this year.
 Ingredients:      3 Large leeks cut lengthwise, separated, cleaned.  
                          Use white and light green parts only, chopped                                                                                                                                            
                          2 tbs of butter
                          2 cups of water
                          2 cups of chicken broth
                          2 lbs of potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
                          marjoram - dash
                          1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
                          2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
                          Tabasco sauce
                          salt & pepper
 Directions: 1. Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sized sauce pan.  Cover pan, cook on low heat for 10 minutes.  Check often.  Do not brown leeks!  Browning will give leeks a burnt taste.
2.  Add water, broth, and potatoes.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Scoop about half of the soup mixture into a blender, puree and return to pan.  Add marjoram, parsley, and thyme.  add a few dashes of tabasco sauce.  Add some freshly ground pepper, 1-2 tsp salt or more to taste.

serves 4-6
Hot steaming bowl of soup.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Harvest

The fall garden
     It is that time of year again.  The garden is winding down.  Gone are the cucumbers, tomatoes, stringbeans, and peppers.  All that's left are our fall vegetables.  We have carrots, parsnips, leeks cabbage, spinach, and beets.  Lots of beets.  And for some reason we still have eggplants. 
      Today I decided to pick some beets for a salad.  As soon as we get a frost the beets will become sweeter.  The frost turns the starch in the beets into sugar. Can't wait for that.

The beets I picked today

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Miss October

Matilda looking all pretty
          October's hen of the month is our one year old australorp, Matilda.  She's the larger of our two australorps.  Matilda struts her stuff all over the coop as if she is a queen.  She has a regal look and always holds her head high.  When it' s time to eat, the other hens get out of her way.  But when it comes to our family, she is as sweet as can be.  Here she is striking a pose.