Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chicken Coop

The chicken coop is done!! Hooray!! Our garage was starting to smell very, very unpleasant. I was so ready to move the chicks outside.

We spent a total of $45 bucks on this. We were able to get all the wood, latches, hinges and wiring from a co-worker, the only thing we have paid for so far is for the railroad ties that we are using for our base.

I think the Dude was very creative with what he had to work with.

We have got the nesting boxes block off right now, so the birds don't go in them and poop all over them.

The inside of the coop is the only spot that has a roosting stick for right now. 

That bucket holds the water, with two water nipples at the bottom. We still need to make a better feeder, they go through that little bottle daily.

I think it turned out great!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies...the right way!

Thank you to Mel at Mel's Kitchen Cafe for making the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe!!
These cookies are super, super soft! 
Just how I think all peanut butter cookies should be, soft and chewy. 
I have avoided making peanut butter cookies because they always turn out way to crispy and crunchy. Now I am not saying those crispy and crunchy cookies aren't good, this recipe is just BETTER.
When I bake cookies I try to limit myself to one when they come out of the oven, just to make sure they taste right. 
I ate FOUR!! 
You have to give these cookies a try!!

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter (see note)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Scoop the dough and roll into 1- or 2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or silpat-lined (or lightly greased) large, rimmed baking sheets, placing them a couple inches apart.
Bake for 10-11 minutes until puffed. Don't overbake.
Remove from the oven and immediately press each cookie to flatten slightly with the bottom of a flat drinking glass. Don't flatten the cookies to smithereens, just press the puffed part down until the cookies are an even thickness.
Scoop onto a cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies freeze great (and actually taste amazing straight from the freezer).

Note from Mel: I haven't tested the recipe using natural peanut butter - I've only used traditional creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy). The trick to this recipe is instead of pressing the cookies flat before baking, give them a light press after they are done baking. It makes all the difference in the world for soft, dense peanut butter cookies.

Recipe from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

She's Getting Married!!

The Dude's niece is getting married!!
The Dude's family threw her a shower a couple weekends ago (yes, I am just now posting about it....)
She is getting married at the end of May. We are so happy and excited for you!!
Her fiance is one lucky guy!!

I made her a cookbook with the family recipes in it, I thought it turned out pretty darn cute!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

He Graduated!!

My little brother graduated from Paramedic School this past weekend!!!

Way to go to him and his classmates! 
They are going to do awesome! 
I am so grateful for people like these, who are willing to do what it takes to save another person's life. Thank you for your hard work, dedication and willingness to become a paramedic.

It couldn't of been done without the love and support my sister-in-law shows to my brother. 
Thank you for supporting his goals and dreams!!

Way to go you!! We are so PROUD of you!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


My plants are popping up!!
Isn't it amazing?! If you look to the left behind that first stick, you will see the carton I wasn't sure if I had dropped a seed in there or not, apparently it made it! Now I am not sure if I need to pull one out or just continue to let it grow.
You can also tell the plants are straining for the light, I should have gotten another shop light to run parallel along the one I have. Then the plants wouldn't have to stretch as far and would be nice and I straight. At least I think it would help. 

You can also see that some of my seeds have yet to germinate. Does this make me apprehensive? Heck yes!
I just have to remind myself that they all grow at different rates and it is okay....for right now at least.
I realized I never told you guys what I am planting.

Here is my list:

Early Girl Tomatoes (4)
Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes (2) (only one is popped up though!)
Jelly Bean Tomatoes (2)
San Marzano Tomatoes (3, but might get 4!)
Basil (3)
Rosemary (1)
Cilantro (1)
Italian Parsley (1)
Lemon Cucumbers (1)
Pickling Cucumbers (2)
Scallop Squash (1)
Zucchini (1)
Spaghetti Squash (1)
Broccoli (3)
Cabbage (3)
Cherry Bomb Peppers (1)
Jalapenos (3)
Hot Pepper Mix (2)
Bell Peppers (3)

I will be starting in the ground:

Tendersweet Carrots
Bush Beans
Sugar Snap Peas

That is once we get the garden patch removed of the dead grass we killed and tilled with some manure. 
Any one want to come help?? Dad?? :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Starting from Seed

This year I am attempting to start my garden from seed. This is a first for me!
I started the seeds on March 30th.
The Dude is putting in my garden soil into the little plant containers, my neighbor loaned me hers, though you can find some at the store I believe. I found the plastic garden tray at Cal Ranch for a $1 each. I put one seed of each of the plants we are growing in each container, well expect for the one that I couldn't tell if the seed made it in or not, some of those seeds were tiny!!

I got a shop light, with one cool light and one warm one to hang over the starts.  Technically it should be an inch about the plants, but my sticks got in the way, I  didn't want to pull them out. You will keep the light an inch above the plants, and as they grow move it up an inch at a time. 
I also got a seedling heat mat from Gurney's.
It didn't get great reviews online, but my neighbor who start's from seed every year, loves hers! 
I have been pouring water just in between the cartons of dirt, so they can soak up as much water as they need from the bottom.
I will show you how my plants are fairing tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It is finally finished!

After 8 plus years of hanging on to this material to make a quilt for the Dude, it is finally complete!!! The patches have been sewn together for years, I just needed to tie it and bind the end (thanks to my wonderful Mother for taking the time to pin it all up for me).

This thing was a bear to tie!! It is a huge blanket! My squares are off, but that just makes it more meaningful, right??

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wishing a (late) Happy Birthday to the Dude

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
This guys is one in a million! 
He is the best guy I know!
 He was blessed with a huge heart, the patience of Job, love without measure, words just cannot express how wonderful he is. 
I am so grateful he was born, and that the Lord placed him on this earth to be my eternal companion. I look forward to waking up with him by my side each morning and a day full of his smile and sparkling blue eyes. 
"Honey, you are all the sugar I will ever need..."
Happy Birthday!!!
Love you forever!