Author Archive

postheadericon Scottish or Scotch Eggs Recipe – A Family Favorite

One of our ultimate favorite recipes around here is for Scottish or Scotch Eggs. Although I’ve always loved hard boiled eggs, I never knew about this lovely treat until I met the hubby. He was a big fan and taught me how to make them. I’ve tweaked the original recipe he used, mostly in order to make it a bit healthier, but the taste is still amazing.  We like to make them ahead and take them on picnics or trips as they keep and travel well. Plus they are quite filling. I’m sure they will become a favorite in your household as well.

 

Scottish or Scotch Eggs at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Scotch Eggs

12 hardboiled eggs

2# ground sausage

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup flour

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel the hard boiled eggs and set aside.

Mix the sausage and onions together well. Divide into twelve equal portions.

Roll each egg in the flour and then wrap with sausage mixture.

Dip the wrapped eggs into the beaten eggs and then roll in bread crumbs.

Place each egg on the baking sheet and place in oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned and the sausage is cooked thoroughly.

 

The traditional method of cooking these is to fry them. I decided to bake them in order to cut down on the grease as the sausage provides enough on its own. You can also further spice them up with sage, garlic or other add-ins to make it your own. Enjoy!

 

Scottish or Scotch eggs at Red Barn Blue Skies

postheadericon Meet Fanta & Igor – The Beginning of Our Love Affair with Dexter Cattle

If you’ve never been introduced to the Dexter cattle breed, you’re in for a treat. They are considered a miniature breed and are about half the size of most large breed cattle. Along with being a multi-purpose breed, they pack a very big punch of personality into their small frames! We’ve begun a love affair with these little bovines that I’m sure is going to be a lifelong relationship.

 

Dexter Cattle in the field at Red Barn Blue Skies

Fanta & Igor eating grass in the lane

 

Between their friendly personalities and their darling appearance, these little Dexter cattle have quickly charmed everyone who’s met them. My hubby and father (the dyed-in-the wool, old-time crotchety lifelong cowboy/cattleman) are both completely wrapped around the little bovine hooves. The little mooches beg for backscratches and treats on a daily basis. And yes, they do seem to always get them. They seem to know how to play us all against each other as one afternoon they managed to trick all three of us into giving them treats within a two hour period. We really are a bunch of suckers when it comes to our animals.

 

Fanta - Dexter Cattle Heifer at Red Barn Blue Skies

Miss Fanta

 

Fanta is a lovely, polled red heifer of the Dexter cattle breed. She was raised with much love and affection by Andrew and his family at Long Dream Farm before she came to live here with us last fall. She is one of the sweetest cows I’ve ever been around and you can’t help yourself from stopping to talk to her and give her some attention. I just adore her as she will come running when she hears one of our voices.  She is quite pregnant at this time and will be having a calf in the next few months. We’re really excited to meet her little mini-moo when the time comes.

 

Being raised on a working ranch, I grew up around thousands of cattle over the years and became fond of many of them. The bulls were usually my favorites and I actually dreamed at one time of being a stock contractor for the rodeos with my own string of bucking bulls.  Of course, at that time, it wasn’t all that common for a woman to be a herd boss! Plus I didn’t like the idea of someone actually taking a spur to one of my pets – no one would take as good of care of my animals as I would. So I moved to other pursuits.

 

Igor, Dexter Cattle Bull at Red Barn Blue Skies

Igor (Son of Thor)

 

Jump to now. I’ve become enamoured all over again with another bull. A pint-size bull – with a big 10-gallon personality and sometimes a little attitude. Igor is our little big man now at the ranch. He is becoming almost as big of a pet as his pal Fanta, but not quite.  As is usual with a bull, especially a youngster, the testosterone kicks in and he thinks he has to be the boss – and it IS almost Spring! I think his feelings get hurt when I remind him who really does rule the roost – and who feeds and brushes him. He is a charmer though as he belts out a bellow when he sees me walking to the pasture. He just doesn’t come waddling up to the gate as fast as Fanta. He has to show his independence before he kicks up in the air and comes bucking up the lane with his tail up. He’s being trained to lead well at halter and I’m hoping to add a few other skills to his repertoire. He’s a smart little cookie and we’re working towards a gentlemanly demeanor to go with his rugged good looks. I’m in love.

 

I will be writing A LOT more about the Dexter cattle breed and my two little ambassadors as well as adding many more photos.  They are a real joy to be around and have really added another layer of fun to our days. I’m looking forward to sharing their antics and escapades with all of you.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Dexter cattle breed and finding out what is available, please visit the website of  Long Dream Farm. It is an absolutely beautiful place where the animals are all treated with much care and respect by a truly lovely family. We are grateful to them for allowing Fanta and Igor to become a part of our own family and our daily lives.

 

postheadericon The Winds of Change – From MoonCat Farms to Red Barn Blue Skies

Hello fellow meanderers who have blown in on the winds of change… welcome to our old friends from MoonCat Farms and to those of you new to us!

 

horses & mules on bridge for winds of change post

 

I’ve really missed all of you at our MoonCat Farms Meanderings blog. It hasn’t been the same talking about our daily lives as well as sharing the things I find in my own wanderings, it’s been a bit lonely. Because of this I’ve decided to rekindle the fire and start up yet again, but in a new place. I’m looking forward to adding many new friends as well as we move forward with this new venture.

Our new home is here at Red Barn Blue Skies. It will be more of an overall lifestyle and family site instead of just about the farm, although all of the previous posts and conversations are now here as well. The farm has its own actual website now for the heritage animals we’re raising at Forty Five Farm. It got to be a bit confusing for our livestock customers with the two farm names so we went with the legal one and are dropping the Mooncat Farms name.

There will still be quite a bit of crossover with the animals here as they do comprise a major part of our lives, but for the most part this site will be – a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about the little things that make our life wonderful.  I’m continuing to contribute in several other places as well:  book reviews at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf and tidbits about saving money at Centsable Couponing as well as my newest Halloweenistic. You can see I like to dabble and divulge in several areas and enjoy sharing them with others.

 

So, with a little change to the name and format, MoonCat Farms Meanderings will now be Red Barn Blue Skies. Bear with us as we make the change and we’ll be up and running right away.

 

cropped-Red-BarnBlue-Skies.png

 

 

Welcome to the next chapter as the winds of change blow through. I hope you’ll enjoy your time with us and join in the conversations.

postheadericon The Defense Rests

In the case of MrMoonCat vs.THE CHICKENS, the defense offers this photographic evidence:

 

MrsMoonCat states:  “My husband is very supportive of my chicken obsession.  He helps me out and encourages me in growing our endeavour.  But, he tells the guys that he is just indulging his crazy wife.  He says that he puts up with the feathered fiends to appease me and doesn’t have anything to do with any of the birds.  I don’t understand why he doesn’t want anyone to know that he enjoys being out with them almost as much as I do and has his favorites in the flock.”
MrMoonCat replies:  “Uh, no comment.  I need to go feed my chickens.”
 
The defense rests..

postheadericon test test test

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postheadericon Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day
to all of the Dads out there including
my own dear Daddy!

 

Pops and Pete

postheadericon While I’ve Been Away..

As usual, I can’t make any excuses for the severe neglect that this dear little blog of mine has been suffering.  My only excuse is that I’ve been super busy in the great outdoors.  Mr. MoonCat and I have been working on expanding the chicken runs and temporary coops.  I have great things planned and my hardworking, ever-suffering hubby usually is the one to make them into reality.  Good thing he loves me…

A few pics to show why I’ve been preoccupied elsewhere:

My two-day old babies

 

Are YOU talking to ME?

 

My baby blue roo

 

Voracious appetites

When I am inside the house I spend a lot of time:

Saying “Aren’t they cute?”:

Then acting as referee:

 

She’s MY mommy & I want to lay in her lap
~Notice my normally rotten Porkchop just
ignores them & continues with his nap

And, trying to convince a large hound that I can still see him behind a tiny pillow:

“Maybe she’ll think I’m part of the sofa..”

So that’s just a tiny peek at what we’re doing around here.  I won’t make any promises as to when I’ll see ya next ~ I’m not very reliable that way lately….

postheadericon Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all,
whether your kids have skin, fur or feathers.
I miss you Mama

postheadericon Cowboy Up!

We had a fun time out at the ranch today.  After having a lively breakfast, horseback riding was the scheduled event.  The star of course was Rowan!

Our favorite little nephew dude dragged his parents and his Grandma up to visit Aunty Julie, Uncle Mike and Papa Bill.  He was sporting his brand new cowboy boots and told them he just had to go on the long drive to see us.  We weren’t fooled though, he really came to see the horses, the chickens and Adolph the dog!  We’re all aware of our place in line 🙂  I think the tractor we call “Greenie” has also moved ahead of us..

Rowan was all dressed up for the occasion
-Uncle Mike, not so much

 

Rowan on Hailey, Uncle Mike on Ace

 

“Tickle, tickle Hailey!”

 

Rowan showing Papa Bill how to drive “Greenie”

 

He’s a natural farmer!

It was a fun way to spend a sunny morning with loved ones who don’t live close enough to see as much as we’d like.  We’re already looking forward to Ro’s next foray into cowboying.  Look out Hailey!

postheadericon Recipe – Basil Beer Bread

While I do grow most of my basil from seed, I sometimes can’t help myself and MUST buy a beautiful plant when I see it.  I recently snagged two gorgeous basil plants while out shopping.  I was pleasantly surprised when one of them had the following recipe included on the plant marker.  Because I had all of the ingredients on hand and just reading the recipe made my mouth water, I tried it.  And I loved it….So here it is…

Basil Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
12 oz warm beer
1/2 cup chopped basil

In large bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Pour mixture into a well-greased loaf pan or dish.  Put loaf pan into an unheated oven.  Turn the oven on and set at 350 degrees.  Bake for 50 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

***I think I would leave it in the oven for a few minutes longer and just keep a close eye on it.  This first loaf didn’t get quite as brown as I would have liked.

The basil smell alone was enough to get the hubby wandering into the kitchen to find out what I was up to.  I  sliced it up while still warm and used some of this overly delicious herbal butter that I had made up the day before.  I followed the recipe I found at my idol Nancy aka The Lemon Verbena Lady‘s blog.  (Be sure to visit her site for great recipes and herbal wisdom.)

It was a huge success as we skipped dessert and opted for another piece of bread instead.  Needless to say, this will be a recipe that we’ll use quite a bit in the coming months.  Many thanks to the lovely Nancy for the awesome herb butter recipe 🙂