Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Prize Behind Door #8

What is door #8 you ask?

 This is door #8, it is the door to the chicken coop. It is rarely closed though.

We keep it propped open like this so the chickens inside don't get too hot. 

The injured bird has made a home behind this door, look what I found behind the door when I went out to feed this morning.

An egg!! I didn't think she would ever lay cause of her injury, she sure proved me wrong! 

I gathered a total of 8 eggs today! That is the most I have ever gotten in one day so far. It is pretty neat to go out and see all the different colors and sizes of eggs the chickens have laid. Don't stick your hand in while they are nesting to gather the eggs, they'll peck ya! I learned that the hard way :).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly/Pickles

For Christmas last year our neighbors across the street the Whalls gave us some jalapeno jelly. It was amazing with a little bit of cream cheese on a cracker! Probably one of my favorite unhealthy snacks. 
This year since I planted jalapenos I decided to make some. I had to buy some extra jalapenos since mine were so tiny and there wasn't too many on the plant. I opened a jar already and ate some and it is good! 
Dad put some on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and said it was too hot, but if you just stick to the cream cheese and Ritz crackers its just right. I think maybe next time I might not add the food coloring, it is a pretty color of dark green though when you do.

Jalapeno Jelly
10 jalapenos, seeded and stemed (wear gloves)
2 large green bell peppers
1 1/2 cups distilled vinegar
6 cups of sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 oz. liquid pectin
10 drops food coloring (optional)

Place peppers in blender and puree until finely chopped. Combine puree and vinegar, bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and sugar, return to heat and bring to a boil and stir in pectin and food coloring. Bring to a boil again. Stir 1 minute. Skim foam off and bottle in clean jars, process 10 minutes.

For 1 batch I got 6 8oz jars. Beware when you boil the peppers with vinegar the fumes or vapors or whatever is coming off the peppers is going to be strong, open some windows to ventilate.

I also bottled some pickles!!

  This was fairly easy to do since I did it the easy way and just bought a ready mix packet. It was called Mrs. Wages, I got the dill flavor since that is the only kind of pickles I like. All I had to do was boil the packet in some distilled vinegar and water and than pour the juice into the jars and process for 10 minutes.

I used some of the pickling cucumbers that I grew in my garden and than bought ten pounds of them from a local farmers market. 

The bigger ones that I grew I sliced so I could use them on burgers and sandwiches. The little ones I got from the market I just left whole and try to fit as many as I could into a bottle. I got 21 pints in all. I had to go back to the store to get another packet, it didn't make 7 quarts like it said. I got about 10 pints per a packet. 

I am looking forward to seeing how they taste, I wonder if they will taste like the ones from the store.

Friday, August 27, 2010

One Bad Flock Of Birds

These chickens are brutal to each other!!

 Look how they have made a bald spot on the back of this Rhode Island Red. All but the Golden Sexlinks have some feathers missing back here. They must be the more dominate birds in this flock. 

 And this one, another Rhode Island Red, (you can't see too well she wasn't cooperating with me) she is bald all underneath her wing. 

They have plucked a good part of her feathers away.

I have tried a couple things to see if they would stop trying to peck each other to death. I read on the internet to put a bale of hay in their coop. I am giving that a try. I think maybe they need some more greens in their diet. I was hoping my birds would all be nice and pretty, not mangy looking. Their battle scars just gives them more character.

This is the first injured bird, a Black Sexlink. She is such a pretty bird. She loves to run up the gate when I come down into the garden. I have hit her with the door a couple times cause I didn't know she was there. :( 
 She is doing much better though, her wound heals well as long as I don't put her back in the coop too long or the other birds will open it up again. Chickens are social animals though so she wants to be in the coop with her friends but I think she has come to realize that she gets hurt when she is in there. She misses her roosting area though, so whenever I let them all out she runs in there to roost for a bit.
These are some crazy chickens, hopefully we make it through this pecking disorder.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies

These cookies are delicious!! A lady that use to work with me would make them every year around Christmas. I finally found the recipe on a Brer Rabbit Mild Molasses bottle.
I love how chewy they are, and they have just the right amount of spice.

Molasses Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup margarine (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Brer Rabbit Mild of Full Molasses
1 egg
2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
granulated sugar

In a large bowl, with mixer at a low speed, beat together margarine and 1 cup sugar until creamy. Add molasses and egg, beating until well blended. In medium bowl, sifting flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger. Add to molasses mixture, mix well, cover and chill. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each in sugar, place on a non-stick cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 375 for 6 to 8 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fresh Vegetables

Here's a look at some of the great vegetables our garden is producing.

Roma tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Star Tomaotes

Green bell peppers, which I have already used some for stuffed peppers, they were great! I am also getting some red bell peppers in, they are still green right now.

Jalapeno peppers, can't wait to make jalapeno poppers!

Pablano peppers

 Anaheim peppers

Red potatoes

Cucumbers, I am going to try and pickle some of these.

We finally got some zucchini! But there are only two vegetables on the entire plant.

The yellow zucchini was the same, we went all summer without any and now there are two growing also.

The tops of the carrots, not as many as we hoped but at least there are some.

We also have grapes growing on the grape vine.



Parsley I didn't plant, I did plant some Italian parsley in the planter box, this parsley just popped up in the flowers and is overtaking everything next to it.

Not all my herbs made it. :( This is my cilantro, I am going to have to take better care of these next year. I kind of forgot about them this year.

Banana squash

Green beans

Tomatillos, this plant needs to be planted with nothing around it. They get huge, and it is smothering my other peppers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who would have thought!

Remember the very first egg that was laid?
This extremely large one!
Well I finally cracked it, and look what was inside....
 3 egg yolks and another egg!!! 

There was a smaller egg inside this egg! How crazy is that? It also had a yolk in it as well. 

Look at that egg! Who would have thought that this was even possible.
I don't know if the chicken that laid this egg has laid an egg since. I wouldn't blame her if she hasn't. This was one amazing egg to be laid!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Carrot Spice Muffins

I recently bought the cookbook "Baking From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. I've seen a lot of recipes on food blogs that came from this book that looked delicious and decided I would buy it. These muffins are the first thing I have tried from the book. I made them for my Dad for his birthday breakfast, he loves carrot cake and nuts and raisins so these muffins were a treat for him. I am not a fan of raisins in things but the part I had without a raisin was good! The flavor of the muffins have the right amount of spice to them.

Carrot Spice Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola, sunflower or corn
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3, peeled and trimmed)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (I didn't add this)
1/3 cup moist, plump currants or raisins (I used raisins)
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped (I used pecans)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet. (I didn't put mine on a baking sheet) 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough - a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the carrots, coconut, currants and nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a think knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. ( About 17 minutes was good for me.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

 Here is a picture of the raspberry jam I made a few weeks ago. I have yet to try it, but it looks yummy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Elk Hunting

This year I drew out for the cow elk hunt in the Central Milburn area, which is up Fairview Canyon. My hunt covered to the west of Skyline drive on the northern end. The hunt started the 2nd of August and ends tomorrow on the 15th. My Dad, Dave and I were only able to go this weekend. We drove down Thursday morning and stopped at my cousin Mindy's house, she lives in that area so we set up camp in her yard. It worked out great, we would camp there and than just drive up the canyon to go hunt. Thursday we went to some places my brother Blake had suggested to try, we went to Oak Creek and Dry Creek. We have all been hunting in the Fairview before but we only stayed on one side last time I went over by Cottonwood Ridge, but Blake hunts all over. Sadly we were unsuccessful, we didn't see one track or any droppings. 

My Dad glassing the hillside.

Me in my styling orange vest.

Dry Creek area

Oak Creek area
Dave was sick so he had stayed in the car all day and we were having a dutch oven dinner with Mindy so we left the mountain early. Mindy was kind enough to have a neighbor that had lived there all his life come over and show us on our map where we would find some elk. So Friday we headed out for the Oak Creek area again, we were off to an ok start but than the mountain just drops off and becomes almost impossible to get down, and there was no way I was carrying meat up a steep incline like that, almost like rock climbing. So we headed over to Cottonwood Ridge and took the road all the way to end. We ended up at the very top, which was too high to see any elk, they were most likely down very very low, and once again it was just a drop off down the mountain, so we opted to go try another spot later that evening. 

Cottonwood Ridge area

We stopped to visit some neighbors that moved down there, Greg and Sheila Parker. She took us on a horse ride and showed us around her new home. It was great to visit with them and see how they are doing. After that it was off to Mindy's for dinner, grilled hot dogs. After dinner we went out to another spot the neighbor had suggested to try. It was behind a farmers field, we were able to get to where to hunt by walking through an easement between his fields. We saw a lot of deer! They were hopping the fences and bedding down in the farmers fields. We saw two 4 point bucks, but still no elk. It was starting to get dark so we had to head back. 5 came way too early the next morning, I hit snooze until 6, yes, yes I am a slacker. Once we got on our way we headed out to the spot we had gone to last night. We trekked up almost to the top of the mountain. It wasn't too bad of hike, it could of been much worse to say the least. 

Dave, he started to feel a little better and came out for a while with us.

We took a different route than we had the night before, we started to see a lot more tracks and droppings. The only problem was that they were at least a week or two old, at least the majority was. We kept trudging along hoping to come up on something. We had gotten pretty far up the hill when my Dad and me came up on two 6 point bull elk! One was in velvet and one had just shed his velvet. They were staring right at us. 

It's not the greatest picture, as I have mention before I need a new camera. If you look closely though you can make out the elk that dropped his velvet.

It would have been a great shot, if only I had a bull tag! But alas I had a cow tag. Murphy's law gets me every time! It was so neat to watch them easily climb up the mountain. We headed up as far as we could to see if we would come across some cow elk. We never did. Today was the last day I was able to hunt too. What took about 3 and a half hours to climb up took about 45 minutes to climb down. 

 The view from where we were up the mountain looking over the towns below.

So that was the end, I was unsuccessful in my hunt. I sure did have a lot of fun though. I may not have gotten my elk, but here is what I did get:
  • A blister on my left pinky toe, I popped it and acquired another one the next day.
  • A wicked sunburn! Yes I know about sunscreen, I'm just to lazy to put some on.
  • Wonderful dinners!
  • A hot shower Friday night.
  • Sore muscles all over my body.
  • 1 scratched knee.
  • 2 bruises on the same leg.
  • To enjoy great company! Thank you Mindy and her family for letting us stay at your house. 
  • To visit some old friends.
  • A sprained wrist, from slipping while coming down the mountain.
  • A horse ride
  • A bloody lip, a tree branch smacked me right in my mouth.
  • Extremely chapped lips.
  • Some good quality time with my Dad, and Dave when he was feeling good.
  • The chance to enjoy some beautiful scenery!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spicy Shrimp and Cherry Pie

First off let me just say that I love shrimp, and I love cherry pie. They are both pretty high in the food categories for me. So when I saw this spicy shrimp recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website I was pretty excited to try it. My Aunt made a cherry pie the other day and I loved the pie crust so I decided I would make a pie for my friend Lindsey for her birthday.

 I don't know if this pile of shrimp looks appetizing to any one else but they sure were delicious.

 Spicy Shrimp

 3 pounds (more or less) Unpeeled Shrimp (21-26 count or larger)
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 whole lemons, just the juice
1/4 to 1/2 cups Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce (I don't ever put that in)
1 stick of butter

Thoroughly rinse raw shrimp with shells still on. The Pioneer Woman uses 21-26 count (that means 21-26 per a pound.) I use bigger than that. Any smaller than this and it's difficult to get the peel the shrimp. So stick with 21-26 or bigger. Place the shrimp in a large baking pan in a single layer. Over the top of the shrimp pour the olive oil.
Generously sprinkle black pepper over the top of the shrimp. Be very generous! Now sprinkle generously the salt (I use kosher salt).
Squeeze the juice of the 3 lemons over the top of all the shrimp. Now generously drizzle Worcestershire sauce all over the shrimp, about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. Drizzle Tabasco sauce over the shrimp to your desired temperature.
Now grab your stick of butter and cut into pats. Place the pats of butter on top of the shrimp as evenly placed as possible. 
Place the pan of shrimp under the broiler in your oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the shrimp are no longer translucent. Serve with crusty French bread. Use the bread to dip into the juice that is in the pan. 

 Cherry Pie! I only made the crust, I don't know how to make cherry pie filling yet.

Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 to 1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp. salt

Cut shortening into flour and salt with a fork or a pastry blender until you get crumbles the size of a pea.
6 Tbsp. cold water

Add the cold water to the dough and work together with hands. Do not over work dough! It will become too tough. 
Roll out for pie pans. Use pie filling of choice. 
This recipe will make enough to do one double crusted pie or two single pie shells.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stalder Family Reunion

Last Saturday we had the Stalder family reunion. We went to a nice park over in Taylorsville down the street from my Grandma Stalder. Here are some photos of the family.
 My cousin Tiffany and her adorable daughter Sawyer.

My Dad :)

Nick and Nathan playing Lasso Golf

 Robin and Aleisha were at the other end.

Uncle Brett and my Mom

Sawyer is one of my Aunt Kathy's grandkids, she is meeting Bella, Tyler's dog.

Robin and Nick showing off his juggling skills. Silly you!

We played couple games of Croquet.

My Uncle Phil is the master of Croquet. He was pretty darn good at it.

This is me, and my extremely white legs! They only see the sun about twice a year. :)

This is the second game. Uncle Brett joined in, he is also pretty darn good at Croquet.

We played a game of Family Feud.

This is Shantai with her son Corver who is also adorable. This is Aunt Kathy's other grandkid.

My wonderful and cute Grandma Stalder.

The rest that were playing Family Feud. 

After we played some games it started to get really windy and dark clouds were over us, so we went to Grandma's house to avoid the rain. We played some more games, ate dinner and sat and visited with each other. It was a very nice family reunion.