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|
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….
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..
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!
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 🙂
Wedgie had a lot of firsts this week – he was FINALLY weaned from his mama, he got his first big boo boo, his first haircut AND he had his first hoof trimming. All pretty much within 48 hours. Little guy’s world was turned upside down.
We had planned on weaning him a couple months ago, but the unbelievably wet weather the last two months made it difficult. We didn’t have any spare stalls or inside pens that were dry, so the pasture was the best place for him and his mama.
|Walking the Wedge|
|Boo Boo wrapped in blue|
|Wedgie’s 1st trim|
|Wedgie’s 1st haircut|
So that’s pretty much Wedgie’s traumatic week. He’s doing fine and starting to enjoy being in the middle of everything at the barn. He has already learned to pull the lid off of the grain bin as he goes by and tries to snag a mouthful of hay when passing the bales. One thing is for certain, Wedgie will be in the middle of things on a regular basis.
Pippi, aka Peepers, Rodent, Rat Dog, *&#@(&^, etc. recently shared her opinion of Mr. MoonCat while occupying the couch with him. I told him that it is unclear if she was commenting on his breath or his attempt at whistling. Could be a combination of both…
|What ARE you doing Daddy?|
|Ewwww, what IS that?|
|Make it STOP!!!|
Just a note, Mr. MoonCat CAN NOT whistle. It is a major cause for amusement around here as Pippi is demonstrating above. I have to call/whistle for the dogs (or he has to yell for them) because when he tries to whistle, the dogs all just look at him with their heads cocked to the side as if asking “Why is the air escaping from Daddy’s face while he turns blue? Why doesn’t he just have Mom whistle for us?”
I haven’t posted a recipe in just about forever. So I thought I’d share a super-yummy one that I made last week for the hubby and Dad. It got rave reviews and I apologize for no photos, they ate it rather quickly!
This is based loosely upon a recipe I found in a book I’m reviewing this week over at One Book Shy.
The book is a cozy mystery by Anne Canadeo called “A Stitch Before Dying“.
It’s a part of her Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series. Since many of you are avid knitters and readers, you may be familiar with it ~ if not, check it out. (I’m not getting anything by telling you about this, I just enjoyed the book.) Like I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this:
- 6 cups thinly sliced apples (I used Fuji, Macintosh, and Delicious varieties)
- 2 TBsp lemon juice
- 1 TBsp orange juice
- 2 TBsp lemon zest
- 1 TBsp orange zest
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces – keep cold
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 TBsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl toss the sliced apples with the lemon & orange juices and zests. Add 3 TBsp white sugar, 5 TBsp brown sugar, 2 TBsp flour, 2 TBsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg. If the mixture is still too juicy, add a bit more flour. Set this bowl aside.
Lightly butter the inside of a 9×12 baking dish or pan. Be sure it’s deep enough to hold the mixture or you can go with a slightly larger size. Pour the apples into the pan.
In a large mixing bowl put the chopped up butter, the rest of the flour and both sugars, plus the oatmeal, granola, walnuts. Add 1 TBsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg.
I then used my clean, damp hands to knead this mixture until it was completely combined and had started to form into crumbles. (Since my beloved sister-in-law Cindy gifted me with a stand mixer for Christmas – I can now use that with the paddle attachment instead of my hands!) Sprinkle over the top of the apples and then bake for about 30 minutes. The crumbs should crisp up and the apple mixture will start to bubble.
It is wonderful served warm with vanilla ice cream or whip cream. YUMMMMMMM – I’m making myself hungry 🙂
*You can substitute other fruits for the apples – I’m thinking raspberries or peaches – or maybe combined!! yummmm again..
Let me know if you try this and tell me what you think!
Yummy treat for the upcoming holidays..
This is a recipe from the ultra-amazing Emeril Lagasse for Food Network. I’ve had it for several years and it is always a big hit. Check it out..
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
- 1 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts
In large bowl, sift 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and allspice. Stir in rum and corn syrup. Stir in vanilla wafers and walnuts, mix well. Place in refrigerator to firm up slightly, about 30 minutes. (The mixture may appear crumbly and dry; this is O.K.)
Place remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture and press into 1-inch balls. Using your hands, roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar, coating evenly.
Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, placing waxed paper between the layers to prevent sticking.
What happens when you combine a Renaissance Faire, four crazy talented guys with too much time on their hands, and a hot sultry day? You get:
|Dusty, Bogus, & RJ|
|Dusty with “Sara”|
|“Sara” and the Boys|
|Bogus, Tommy, RJ, and Dusty in the Finale.|