Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Short but Sweet...

Hubby's folks came out for a quick long weekend visit.  We hadn't seen them beginning of Dec, so it was HIGH TIME!

Starting off with a waffle brunch

Eating "strawbabies"

My Dad in law usually needs some catchin' up time!
Like Father, like son
Giggle fest I imagine

Grandpa being entertained as he fishes

Look how happy she is!  What do I do with it?

While Mom kisses the fishes?

She caught a FISH!  

We went paddle boating, and this was the booty!

"Soooo cute"  Mei caught 3 fish!  She is "hooked"

The fisher people!

Looks like the people that left the bag of LuLu Lemon clothes are back.
Here Kate is modelling the perfect "horse brushing" shirt.
PJ pants...oh wait, they are brown???  WOW!

New jeans

Lots of playing games!
Fluff ball with Dad...not knowing how blessed she is!

"Ernie"  Note the mustache???

View from my kitchen to check chickens once again.

The men grilling up some good beef steaks!

So much fun, so little time!

The 1st tooth is out!

My baby Mei has lost her 1st tooth...she's nearly 8 years old and is very excited.  It was finally starting to be wiggly, so she was working on it.  We had already tucked them into bed when Ruth came downstairs with Mei saying "Mei's tooth is coming out and it's bleeding!"  So Mei showed it to Daddy (he thought it had away's to go yet) and he said "well, pull it out".  So we put the plug in the sink and she bent over and yanked and yanked.  Out it came!  What a little trooper!  Our 1st and 3rd girls are making pulling teeth fun!  The 2nd let it hang there until it fell out!

She pulled it out with us all watching!

Can you see how happy she is?

She's joined the "toothless wonder" club!

Had to run over to Nanas to show off!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cooking a moose roast

Warning: This post contains pictures of raw meat.  hee hee

I've had some ask me how I cook all this moose meat God blessed us with this fall.  Basically, I just cook it!  This is hands down the best meat we have ever had...beef is now a poor 3rd to the moose and mule deer.  Our girls love the "wild" meat rather than basic beef.

There are some important things to know:  the moose and mule deer were fed in natural meadows, as organic as it comes.  They were "harvested" with very little stress (if they run, the adrenaline gets into their meat and you will taste it).  We cleaned them immediately and took them to hang in a cooler, they were not just chucked around and bruised, they bled out nicely.  They were free from a bunch of dirt, etc.  All these things make your meat very natural tasting and almost "sweet".

A good facility that is cool and clean is so important.
We learned that using water to wash it can also make it tough, so having little dirt/hair from the start is a real bonus.  Little tricks from others that have been doing this for their livelihood!
A happy constitution is also important

Can't say enough about good packaging.  Good wrapping keeps air out.
No freezer burnt meat.  Use a paper based tape/masking tape or the plastic taste
may get into your meat.
When we were doing up the meat, we would take a few trays of meat to the freezer at one time...lie it out as flat as possible, let it freeze, then add more.  Make sure the blood is drained out, as blood leaking out of your wrapping is never appealing . We let our meat hang in a cooler for a few days, so blood was not an issue for us....I don't think I could have stomached that when we were cutting it up. It also makes it easier to remove one package at a time, and your freezer doesn't have to work so hard to freeze it all at once.
Take your time cutting meat.  The nicer it is going into the freezer,
the better it will be coming out.  We tried to trim everything off, but this
 little bit of white was not noticeable once cooked.
This roast I added French Onion Soup mix, some seasoning salt, onions and
some rosemary.  I put a little water in the roaster as I was adding potatoes later.
I cooked it at 350F for about 1 hour (from frozen) and then added the potatoes, onions, carrots.

All finished, it was so tender!  

I used an electric knife to slice.  Our company is always amazed that it doesn't
taste "wild" and they all go for second helpings.
 I cook moose and deer the same way I do beef.  Onion soup mix is a wonderful addition.  Don't undercook wild meat, but don't cook it to death either...then it is jerky!  It took us a few days (and some help from some Alberta cousins) to cut up all the moose...we were getting better at it in the end.  It's all about learning!

 THRIFTY NOTE:  The moose/deer all said and done, hunting license, 2 bullets,gas, packing paper and tape, cost about $75 for 400 lbs of meat. There is still tape and packing left over.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh these are so chocolately and good!  I usually like to put some white chocolate chunks and nuts in them.  If I don't have them...oh well.  They still are so so so good!  The key is not to over cook them or put too much flour in...they get too hard and too much like trying to eat a rock.

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies  without nuts

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies WITH nuts.
You can add some nuts to the batter after you've cooked a few dozen plain.

Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1 1/2- 2 cups sugar (yikes! I have used 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 white)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa (if your cocoa is really dark, use a little less)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips... try different varieties
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Add vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and blend into the creamed mixture. (If you have a mixer, just blop everything on top of creamed mixture and let 'er fly!)
Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
BAKE 350F for 8-9 minutes.  If you over cook your cookies, they are hard and don't live up to their name.  They will look slightly puffy and start cracking and are done.
Cool on racks and eat.  Great with ice cream, etc too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken with Black Swollen Spot on Comb

Poor little chicken.  We thought it had been pecked on its comb, so we cleaned it with peroxide.  A few days later, it is really swollen. Some say frost bite, but our temperatures haven't been that low.
Any recommendations?

Small black spots on the wattle as well.  Don't know if this is normal or not.
UPDATE: The black piece on the comb fell off, no harm, no foul...fowl...ha ha.  It seemed to dry up and just fell off.  Rooster is happy as anything.  Look at the pictures below, taken a few months later.  This is now October.
He turned out to be a Leghorn Rooster

Look at how beautiful his comb is now!

Another "Name this Chicken"...bantam ??

I think this is the little one?

Very fun feather patterns

Isn't she pretty?  Feathered feet.

Any thoughts on this one?  Is she like the black Cochin?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Muffins with a little twist

Banana Oatmeal Muffins with a Surprise filling!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup White Sugar ( I use a little less, or brown sugar)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

2 Eggs
1/4 cup Cooking Oil
1/4 cup Milk
1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas

Stir dry ingredients together, make a well in the middle.

Beat wet ingredients together.

Pour wet into dry and mix loosely, no dry parts.  

I put 1 small scoop of batter into my greased muffin tins.  Then added 1 tsp of Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam.  Then added more batter on top.

Bake 375 for 20 minutes until brown on top and cooked through.  

THRIFTY NOTE:  Banana's are the cheapest fruit around here, this uses them up.  Oats makes the muffins pack more nutrition and fill you up more.  Putting jam in the middle is a great way to use up little bits left over in jars in the fridge.  Also gives more sweetness, so you can use less sugar.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another "Name this Chicken"...bantam or heritage??

These guys we Nicknamed the "owls"...they have always had a bit of puffy cheek syndrome!  haha.

They are now one of the largest in the flock.  They let you pick them up, etc and are turning a little bit lighter.

They were always camera shy...

Left is the Black Cohin, Right is the "owl"

Look at the beak and coloring

Look at my puffy cheeks!  Non-feathered feet, just regular.