♥ Chickens · ♥ Recipes from Last Night

Benedict Cuperbatch – a new egg

benedict

Benedict Cuperbatch – A hungry girl homemade microwave nosh

2 Ramkin (sauce cups) coffee cups if ya got em!
2 Farm Fresh Eggs (yes grocery store is fine.. but really?)
2 Slices vegan or real Canadian Bacon slices
2 Slices Gouda
2 tbl white wine (really more)
2 tsp dijon spicy mustard
1 Kings or Yeast roll – split and toasted

1- Mix your wine and dijon
2- Place equal amounts in each cup
3- Lay in your faux or real bacon
4- Lay in your gouda. I usually crack it half and half
5- Crack one egg in each ramkin
6- Micro on high 2-3 mins.
7- Watch your micro. Cause all food cooks faster when you do. Plus some are more powerful than others – and the goal here is to bring your eggs up to temp but not undercook or over cook them. I don’t like soft poached gooey middles of traditional benedict so I did mine to a soft solid yolk.
8- Put that roll in the toaster, after of course you have sliced it in half.
9- Plop out on to toast and enjoy – saucy juices and all.

Addins – as you can see from my pictures I added in some slices of red and yellow pepper I had in the fridge from a relish tray. Those went in and cooked with everything else to a nice soft but still snappy fresh addition.

 

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♥ Chickens

The Messy Egg

My least favorite thing in the world to do is reach in to a nest box and palm a poopy egg. Why do some eggs come out perfectly smooth, and free of mud or poop, but others are a hot mess? We feed the ladies all natural organic everything. They have a beautiful coop, run and newly added barn. Their treats as well as environment are at the highest standards for good animal husbandry. I  love to leave my eggs out on the counter to remind me every day how wonderful it is to have backyard chicks! You can’t do this once you rinse them however. Messy eggs are cleaned immediately and put in the fridge, and that makes my egg bowl very sad…

Reasons vary; from my own experience our eggs get most messy when:

  • Seasonal Rains get the coop stinky and wet
  • Parasites start to bloom and begin impacting the girls
  • Health and nutrition are impacted by stress or circumstance

Weather – Wet and Stinky

When the weather is yucky your coop will be too, no matter what you do! Cautions such as raising watering stations, hanging food and getting roosts to get your ladies up off the ground all support their better health.
1- Install a walk strip right at the roost door. Walking over the jute will help brush off yuck before they hit the nest boxes.
2- Raise nest boxes so that waste has a chance to knock off when chooks jump up.
3- Install better drainage. Having to fix this now sucks but it is worth it.

The Attack of the Parasite

Even with the best intentions and care, little bugs will get to your girls. It is a very natural thing given what chooks live in. It can however be very moderated. Keeping the coop dry is step one. Step two – prevent and treat.
1- Pumpkin chunks have shown to help prevent worms. Everyone has a different opinion on pumpkin power. I love to watch the girls gobble them up.
2- Space/Clean bedding = most important. Some herbs even help and of course lots of options for dust baths, which are a chickens way of ridding lice and mites. Yes I use a little splash of DE in the coop. But it is UNDER the nest boxes, in the cracks and crevices and around the edges. I don’t apply it directly to my hens or their bedding.

3- Every Month In Spring – Green Goddess:
Eggs – Sage – Garlic – Rooster Booster DeWormer
This scramble of course if full of amazing protein so its great around stressful times like molting and brooding season. The wormer is something I have seen my girls pick out of their food.  I will grind it, in of course its own dedicated grinder. Last I checked we didn’t need a deworming, and then sprinkle on a favorite snack like scrambled eggs.

Helpful things for Eggs free of gross –

Clean nest boxes once a week and place soft absorbent bedding inside
Probiotics are your best defense for Happy Hens and Poopers
Clean diets full of vitamins variation and minimal treats keep birds and their back ends healthy!
Prevention like Rooster booster and Pumpkin go a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

♥ Chickens · ♥ Garden

How Far We Have Come

Babies

We started off little and afraid. I was certain that I would kill half of them the first week, not sure if I was providing the right amount of heat or bedding.

I wanted them to have the best food, most sunshine and of course the best coop when old enough to move outdoors.

Blueberries a dirt bath and good night smooches.

My crazy little Dinos have feathered, gotten taller, and this last week, started making us beautiful eggs.

A home grown egg doesn’t taste like a store egg. It is more dense, creamier, and of course sweet with the flavor of accomplishment.

Officially have first eggs from each of our ladies now

My birds sit on my lap for snacks, cuddle when I need some tenderness and are starting to get attached to me. They know my “chookie chook” call and the “go home for snacks” box rattle.

They know their names, as a dog or cat would.  Nugget has even gotten fond of prancing about when we drop a few “Whiskey Tangos” on her. She is proud of her southern lineage that way.

This part of my little farm journey has been amazing. I can’t wait to plant and grow beautiful food in the spring, for my family and my birds!

 

 

Uncategorized

Ok.. Ladies

backyard chickens

It is 21 (+)weeks if Chicken Breeder lady was telling the truth about when my babies hatched.
There should be egg behavior now. There should be running to boxes, egg songs and creamy chicken butt treats for me everyday.
There should be feather fruit, loin droppings, straw treasure.
Nada zilch zip.
This is going to drive me nuts.
How do you wait for this?
I have been preening loving snuggling cooing – all summer.
Organic food, kitchen scraps, healthy supplements like sea kelp and garlic powder.

My girls ONLY eat Breakfast of Champion Layers.

Why…. Have there been no eggs?

I was convinced I would be one of “those” chicklet mommies who at 17 weeks could flaunt her feathers and proclaim
“Yes my girls laid early because they’re awesome”

Eat Crow Chicken Lady… Eat Crow.

Moral of this story : Don’t count your eggs before your Chickens lay them.

Uncategorized

EggWatch 2014

bakyard chickens

The Ladies have been eating a mix of Grower Feed (Breakfast of Champions) / Free Range / Kitchen Scraps and Treats for over a week now.
Healthy organic treats and supplements were started when they were babies, but the grower feed and oyster shell were recent additions.
Over the weekend VanGogh (our Rhode Island Red) started squatting and squawking. In fact she started calling so loud on Sunday we all rushed to the coop to see what was going on.
No dangers. No Roost Wars.

She was calling to her people to set the eggs free.

Egg Watch is fully underway.

♥ Recipes from Last Night

Sweetly Devilish Eggs

We were inspired this Easter holiday season to create some fun food. JC invited us to the family gathering and I knew those southern women were  going to whip up a batch of amazing. My skills are not up to par with women that have cooked homegrown goodness for 40 years for such a large family, but I surely could tantalize their taste buds with sweets and snacks !

Found on Pinterest:

Here’s what we did to combine the two:

18 Large Eggs
McCormicks Food Coloring in Basic and New NEON colors
Vinegar
Hot Water
Ceramic Cups
Wax Paper

Following my recipe on the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg, we made two pots dividing about nine eggs between each. I wanted them to have room to breath and move and most certainly not crack. Not every egg (nature) is created the same and while they cook the yolks settle much differently depending on the freshness of the egg. This is why you will get some that have perfectly centered yolks after cooking and others that get so close to the edge you get a thin egg white after. Make plenty of extra eggs for boo-boos and egg fails!

After cooking and rinsing in a cold water bath, the eggs were peeled. What I found is that keeping them in the ice water is a very bad idea. The shells after cooling quickly become difficult to peel and take off much more than they should, leaving you with Franken-eggs.
NOTE: Rinse set in bowl DO NOT KEEP IN ICE BATH! Room temp eggs peel like butter.

1. Put down that wax paper, paper towels, or newspaper to save your working surface from looking like a clown circus.
2. 2 Tsp of Vinegar go in your coffee cups. Heat your kettle, boil that water and fill your cups about halfway – leaving room for multiple eggs to be covered and water to not run over lip.
3. Let your water cool off while you remove yolks.
4. Holding eggs in your palm gently slide knife through center as even as your eyes can guess. Flip yolk into bowl. It should remove easily, if not coax it with a spoon tip.
5. Place egg whites in colander gently.  After all of your yolks are out gently rinse any residue from whites.
6. Place in your dye cups. Water should not be super hot (fresh from kettle) at this point as removing your yolks probably took about 5-10 minutes.

Now the fun part – Mixing your colors.

If you want solid colored eggs: Vinegar Color Water – Stir let sit 2 more mins add your egg whites. Process for 5 minutes remove to colander, rinse, set on paper towels.

To create the tie-dye jewel variances put the eggs in the water and slowly add food coloring a drop at a time, let it spill over your whites. You can get about 4 whites per normal sized coffee cup. After about 3 mins stir gently so any dark dye that is on bottom now circulates and the eggs get a deeper over all color, let eggs sit for 3-5 minutes more.  The tie-dye look will remain and the eggs get a color splash that is brilliant. Rinse with cool water, set on paper towels.

Egg Filling:

Yolks (buttery and creamy because you have NOT over cooked them)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Spicy Mustard (tarragon infused)
Relish (if you prefer)
Olives
Julianne Carrot slices

Taking a fork crumble and mash those yolks you set out. They should be creamy and crumble easily. Add your mayo, and spicy mustard. Southern egg salads tend to use things like rosemary, tarragon and mustard. Regional recipes vary on salad dressings and herbs. In the south its mustard all the way baby. I found a spicy mustard at the Farmers Market with JC,  Grey Poupon or any that have a little splash of horseradish would be equally just as awesome. Pixie being the main chef for this dish, not only dying and creating, used chopped olives for the eyes. She said next time cut olives would be better as all the little pieces made it impossible to make one eyeball and not a bunch fo black dots. Carrot slices were cut smaller to make the peep beaks.

TIP: Plastic baggy with tip cut was used to pipe in the egg mixture, and kept Pixie’s fingers from having to hold the yolks and risk egg disaster.

They were a hit and only about 6 came home with us, which were eaten promptly this morning for breakfast.

This really is a super easy kid craft by the way. I would suggest age ranges 6 on up. There are plenty of tasks kids can do in this process and it’s a new way to create colored things for Easter. Why just dye those boring shells !!!
Eggs once made can be stored in an air tight container for up to 2-3 days. They are best made the night before. If you are serving outside or at a picnic use care with the mayo and eggs.

Best Practice: do the two pot tote. I got the little foil 9×9 tins to carry these in. They come three to a pack. Place your eggs on top in one, stack on another that has ice in the bottom. They have dome plastic lids. If you can, place extras in a cooler or in the fridge after serving.

♥ Recipes from Last Night

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

how to make eggs, boiling eggs, over cooked eggs, eggs, hard-boiled, learning to cook, cooking for kids, the perfect hardboiled egg

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. 
  2. Cover them with cool water by 1 inch. 
  3. Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the water
  4. Slowly bring water to a boil over medium heat; when the water has reached a boil (less than 3 minutes).
  5. Cover and remove from heat. 
  6. Let sit 8-12 minutes.
  7. Transfer eggs to a colander 
  8. Place under cool running water to stop the cooking. 
  9. Eggs can be peeled and served immediately. 
  10. Remaining eggs, with shells on, may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Did you know (I am guessing reading this you did not), that when you crack open a hard-boiled egg and there is a gray-green line around the yolk, the egg is over cooked? This was my egg this morning. I decided for my post today to look up the perfect way to cook eggs and practice. 

Once I opted to try something new, being in Vegas it seemed the proper time to be experimental. I had this belief growing up that my parents were the best cooks ever and sadly in adulthood I have learned otherwise. My mom made favorites and tried to gather a group of recipes that were inexpensive wholesome and would stretch a family dollar. As I have said in other posts, she wasn’t really the cook in our lineage. New experiences will teach you that. I have never really certain foods for these reasons. Meat was always terribly overcooked (come to find out I adore a rare porterhouse), Eggs as indicated also never had the right consistency so I ALWAYS requested scrambled.

This breakfast in my hotel room served up a surprise. The hardboiled eggs instead of gray-green middles had a soft creamy texture. They were not at all rubbery and sliced smoothly with my fork. No crumbling. Guess what? That’s what their SUPPOSED to do ! The taste was rich, buttery and very soft. It absolutely did not taste like a hardboiled egg. The rubbery very egg apparent thing I had come to expect. 

They served a mixture of seasoned salt (sea salt pepper tsp of vinegar and some rosemary – all ground to a fine dust), in a finger bowl you could roll your peeled egg in. The shell didn’t stick it crumbled although taking a little more time to remove each little piece. Come to find out baking soda will do that for you! Fresh Eggs are harder to peel due to PH and other fun chemistry stuff. Add the Baking Soda it will completely reinvent your desire for eggs. 

At the time I was convinced it took sheer artistry and culinary mastery to make such delicious eggs. The Google Machine proved me wrong in a fantastic manner today! Cook some eggs the right way for yourself. Do yourself a favor. Do not believe your parents always had it right !