Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday Fun

This past Saturday most of my family, some extended family and Dave went up to Logan to go visit graves, go to a Thain family reunion and fish. Every year the Saturday before Memorial Day my Grandma goes up to decorate those relatives that have passed on and that are buried up there. She promised her mother she would and I don't think she has missed a year. The whole extended Family use to go but it has dwindled over the years to just a few of us. We visit graves in Wellsville, Hyrum, Logan, and Smithfield.
 After we decorated all the graves we met back at the Logan cemetery for the beginning of the Thain reunion. The Thains is on my Grandma's Mother's side, she was a Thain. We then met at a church in Benson for lunch.

This is my Mom, my Grandma and my Aunt Julie from the luncheon.
We left those 3 there while the rest of us went back to Paradise and went fishing. I was unsuccessful as was my brother Blake, but my Dad and little brother Nick weren't.

Nick with just one of his catches of the day

My Dad caught this one just as I was walking up to see him

He caught another one and the biggest one of the day just shortly after the first picture was taken

Its a very nice Brown Trout
This is Blake wading through the deep water

 Dave couldn't find his license to fish, but he enjoy being outside and watching us.

After the fishing we headed home so Mom and I could make Caden's birthday cake.

Caden requested a soccer ball. We aren't too crafty with cakes but I think it turned out pretty good, it has a soccer ball pattern at least.

Overall we had a very busy Saturday but it was an enjoyable one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look At My Garden Grow

Here are some photos of the vegetables in the garden starting to break through the ground.


Swiss Chard 
Funny story about chard, my parents and my older Blake are about the only people in our family who eat chard. The rest of us don't touch it. A few years ago my Mom prepared chard for dinner. My parents and Blake were enjoying it until Blake when to go take a bite of his chard and found a big old snail nestled right in between to pieces. Mom was confused as to how it got there since she said she rinsed the chard off. Needless to say every time Blake eats chard we ask him if he would like some snail with his. :)

Golden potatoes

Blue Potatoes
I am not too sure about these blue potatoes. I don't know how I feel about a blue mound of mashed potatoes on my plate with brown gravy. Just doesn't seem right.

Our garden seems like it survived the snow storm yesterday and the cold temperatures last night so hopefully we start to see a lot more progress soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

The recipe I use to make these stuffed peppers with is one I found off of the Food Network. It's one of Paula Dean's recipes, I took it and adapted it to my liking. I enjoy these peppers because the filling isn't dry, it is nice and juicy. I like to use green peppers more than the red, I think they have a nicer flavor, but that is just my opinion.

Stuffed Peppers
4 to 6 large bell peppers
1 lb. ground meat (for 6 peppers I suggest doing a pound and a half)
1 medium onion, chopped ( I always use less)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
2 tsp. Paula Dean house seasoning ( 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup black pepper, and 1/4 cup garlic powder. Keep in airtight container for 6 months.)
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup jarred or canned cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350. Start by cutting tops off peppers, clean out the inside. Using a hot skillet, saute the ground meat, onion, garlic, 1 tsp. of bouillon granules, and house seasoning together. Saute until onions become translucent. Drain the fat off. Add the rice, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and soy sauce. Mix well and stuff the mixture into the peppers. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and the remaining bouillon granules. Pour this mixture into a shallow casserole dish large enough to hold all the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the dish, cover withe foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove foil and spoon the juice from the bottom of the casserole dish over top of peppers. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Chicken Feed

Normally I will feed my chickens this chicken starter feed,

It's just little round pellets, it has vitamins, protein, calcium and fiber in it. There is also feed that comes in mash, and crumbles. Around July I will move them off the chicken starter feed and on to layer feed to give them the nutrients they need to lay eggs. I found this chart off of IFA's website Poultry Feeding Chart it shows you how long your are suppose to keep the birds on a certain type of feed and when to change to a different type depending on what type of bird you are raising. I found some useful information at the IFA website, it also talks about how to take care of the birds you should check it out if you are interested to learn more.

In addition to the chicken feed I have also fed my chickens worms (they weren't to sure what to do with them at first, my Dad has fed them carrots, and yesterday we fed them watermelon and leftover corn on the cob. They didn't show much interest in the corn but they loved the watermelon.

Once again, sorry about the chicken wire and my not so amazing photography skills, one day I will take a class and buy a new camera and post much nicer photos.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Banana Nut Bread (Minus the nuts)

Since my Mom had a lot of these very ripe bananas she asked me to make them into this:

 Banana Bread!
This is a recipe my Mom said that came from her Grandma Noble, it calls for walnuts but I don't like nuts in bread, brownies, or even cookies. I know I know I am missing out so I am told. :)

Banana Nut Bread

1/4 cup melted shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour milk (to make sour milk add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to the 1/4 cup of milk)
3 mashed ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 heaping teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Mix together shortening, egg, and sugar. Add sour milk and mashed bananas. Sift together flour, soda and salt, stir into mixture. Add the cup of walnuts.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour in a greased and floured loaf pan. (I just greased mine.) My Mom said to make sure to cook the full hour or it will be doughy, but I think I could have pulled it out at 50 to 55 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mexican Lime Bars

I get the Western Horseman Magazine, and in every issue there is a recipe. For June the recipe is Mexican Lime Bars. Now this recipe is different because it said to cook the crust but not to cook the filling when you add it, but it has 4 eggs in the filling. Very odd. But I decided to try it any way, it says to chill it until set.  I made it last night and let it sit in the fridge for a night and a day. When I came home tonight the filling still wasn't set, I decided I needed to bake it. I baked it for 35 minutes! I don't know if that was too long, but the center didn't seem like it was setting up. They turned out delicious though! Here is the recipe:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs 
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 drop of green food coloring(optional)
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine crust ingredients and blend with a fork. Press mixture into a greased, 9 by 13 inch baking dish, and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Beat eggs and lime juice. Stir in flour, sugar, zest, and baking powder. Add food coloring if desired. Mix well, pour over baked crust and allow dessert to chill until set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting into bars. 

Note: I don't think the chilling technique works well, so I baked mine at 350 for and additional 35 minutes, that may have been to long so keep and eye on it since it could take less time.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fleece Blanket

I have had material to make a John Deere fleece blanket for me for almost a year. I still have stuff to make a quilt too that I have had for 3 years. :) I just haven't been in the mood or have had time to make them. I am so glad I finally finished it though, I can check it off my list of things to do.

 My Aunt Jane told me when she does blankets she tapes how far in she is going to cut for the strips, this has been a very helpful tip. Whoever cut my fabric at Hancock Fabric didn't cut too straight.

 Almost done! By this point my back and legs are extremely stiff.

 Finished! I love John Deere stuff!

Chipped Tooth

For lunch today I decided to have some cereal since I never had breakfast this morning. I picked Honey Bunches of Oats since I haven't had them in a long and I enjoy the little clusters of oats. After I finished I was trying to get out the pieces that were stuck in my teeth. I felt something sharp brush my cheek, I just thought it was a corn flake piece. It wasn't going away though. As I was trying to get it unstuck with my finger I realized I had sheared off the cusp tips to one of my molars. I must have swallowed the chipped part, I never felt it break off. I have always been nervous about my teeth breaking, I never thought I would break one eating cereal.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Garden!!

Today we finally planted the garden. We planted just a little later than usual cause of the project of the chicken coop, the rainy cold weather, and because the new tiller my parents got decided to be a lemon of a tiller and not work. So we had to wait another week for another tiller to come. I have come to really enjoy having a garden. My parents have had a garden for years but I haven't appreciated it like I have over the past couple years. It gives me great satisfaction to be able to grow our own fruit and vegetables.

Dad tilling up the garden

 Mom planting our herbs

 We planted sage, cilantro, Italian leaf parsley, and basil

 Cosmo thought the water hose was fun

Here we planted tomatillos, jalapenos, red and green bell peppers, pablanos, and anaheim peppers

We planted a lot of tomatoes, beef, jet star and cherry tomatoes
We planted 3 different types of cucumbers, I am excited about the one that we can make pickles with

 Mom fixing the cherry tomatoes

Here we have 2 zucchini plants
And one yellow squash

 Two banana squashes 

Nick pulling the line so we can have a straight row
Dad hoeing the row

Me planting some green beans. Don't laugh at my mud boots :)
Mom trying to decide where to plant things

 We planted BLUE potatoes! I have never seen one before and I have no idea where my Dad got these from. We also planted golden potatoes.

 Nick hard at work

He really does work :)

Dad cutting the potatoes up to plant

The row of golden potatoes

Cleaning up to make the garden look nice

All done. The sunlight in this picture is a nice touch

We also planted, yellow beans, carrots, beets, chard, lettuce, onions, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. And there is also a peach tree that is starting to come up in the garden too, it is no bigger than one of the cucumber plants. It will be nice to get fresh peaches one day. I am grateful my parents are able to have a large garden. It has been a blessing and a joy to have in our lives.

Orange Chicken

Last night I tried out my friend Sam's recipe to make the breading for orange chicken or sweet and sour chicken. You can pretty much use the batter for whatever you would like; pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, deep fried candy bars, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, whatever you would like to try.

My Mom helped me finish the frying while I did the fried rice.

Finished product! Turned out pretty good. A little different than Sam's but close. I will have to ask her about her frying technique. 

I didn't make any orange sauce, my Mom buys these bottles of Panda Express Orange Sauce from Costco so we just used that and poured it over the chicken.

This is what I used to make fried rice. The picture is blurry sorry. It was a pretty good seasoning though, a little spicy for me. But I am a sissy when it comes to spice.

When I put the rice in I had let the oil sit too long so it was way hot when I started pouring the rice in the pan, it started popping like popcorn all over the place. It is always an adventure when I cook. I got grease all over the place.

This is the whole meal. My Dad added the strawberries cause he said I need some color in my picture. It was pretty good.

Here is the recipe for the batter:
1 cup flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup water

Blend it well, than dip whatever you are frying in batter than in oil. 

I also have a recipe for homemade sweet and sour sauce, I haven't tried it but Sam says it is delicious. 

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
Boil 4 cups water
Add: 1 orange, peel and cut into quaters
1/2 lemon peeled and cut in half
2 Tbsp. onion
1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled
1/2 Tbsp. veg. oil

Turn to low and simmer for 45 mins. Strain mixture keeping all the juice. Return to pot.
Add to juices:
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
1/2 Tbsp. yellow food coloring

In separate bowl combine 1/2 cup cornstarch with 1/4 Tbsp. water.
Take about 1 cup of the boiling sauce and add to the cornstarch mixture to thin it out. If you add the cornstarch all at once it gets clumpy. Pour everything into the pot. It will thicken up very fast.