Author Archive

postheadericon Celebrate Nature and Nation with FREE National Park Admission

This Saturday, September 26th is National Public Lands Day and is the day to visit your local National Park – for FREE! Go HERE to see which parks are participating with free National Park admission and then go out on Saturday and celebrate our great Nation and Nature.

*The next date (and final one for 2015) is November 11th, Veterans Day.

 

 

Yosemite photos
courtesy of http://www.pachd.com/


**article on free National Park admission was first posted  at Centsable Couponing

postheadericon Extra Eggs Recipes – Chile Rellano Casserole

Today’s offering for my Extra Eggs Recipes feature is a new favorite – Chile Rellano Casserole.
As many of you know, I have chickens. LOTS of chickens. One of the bonuses and sometimes headaches, that goes along with this is LOTS and LOTS of eggs! I have been developing quite the collection of egg-heavy recipes to help use up these lovely little presents I’m gifted with daily. This is one of my (and Mr MoonCat’s) favorites. We pretty much eat this once a week when the girls are laying in abundance. Enjoy.
Chile Rellano Casserole at Red Barn Blue Skies
Chile
Rellano Casserole
1/2
pound hamburger
1/2
pound ground sausage
1
cup chopped onion
3
cloves garlic, minced
2
cans (40z) whole green chiles, drained, seeded and divided
3
cups shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 large eggs
1/4
cup all-purpose flour
1
cup milk
½
tsp Salt
½
tsp Pepper
½
tsp Cumin
Preheat
oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet cook the sausage &
hamburger together. Once browned, add the onion and garlic in with
the meat. Once onion is soft, drain the fat from the skillet and mix
in salt, pepper and cumin.
Line a deep 13″x9″ baking dish with
chilies split in half, save the remaining chiles for later; top with
2 cups cheese. Layer in the meat and top with remaining chiles,
chopped up; set aside.
Beat eggs with flour until smooth. Blend in
milk. Pour mixture over meat in the casserole dish.
Bake uncovered
for about 45 minutes until center is done. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup
cheese on top.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes
6-8 servings.
A side note about the Chile Rellano Casserole – it freezes very well. I now make two at a time so I have some to use for freezer dinners.

postheadericon Sunday Selection

Image courtesy of Keattikorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Nothing Gold Can Stay 
by Robert Frost 

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

postheadericon 9-11 Never Forget

Our lives will never be the same after this fateful day. Please take a moment to remember the victims and their families, the heroes and the unity felt across our great nation in the aftermath.  We need to find that unity again before it is too late.

postheadericon Longmire is Back! Season 4 is Available on Netflix NOW!

Longmire Season 1 at Red Barn Blue SkiesLongmire Season 2 at Red Barn Blue Skies Longmire Season 3 at Red Barn Blue Skies

There is a lot of happy dancing going on around this place tonight. One of our all-time favorite TV series is back! Longmire’s long awaited Season 4 is available TODAY on Netflix.

Hubby and I did a marathon viewing of the first 3 episodes last year when we finally got internet service that would stream Netflix. We were hooked on the series after the very first episode, only to find that it had been cancelled.  What the heck is wrong with the idiots at A & E? (This isn’t the only series we love that they have cancelled..)


Anyways, Netflix to the rescue! They were smart enough to see the absolute obsessed cult following this show has and did some negotiating to order the 4th season. Whoo hoo, yay Netflix! So today is the day, we are finally getting to have another fix of one our favorite cowboy lawmen and his trusty sidekicks. We are re-watching the last episode of season 3 first to reacquaint ourselves with the happenings and then we’re good to go. It’s going to be a late night here. Pop that popcorn hubby.

postheadericon Leisurely Day with No Labor

I hope everyone enjoyed this Labor Day weekend. We had a busy Saturday and Sunday, but today was all about the relaxation. 

Mr. MoonCat and I both belong to a fantasy football league. I’ve been a team owner since 2005 and this will be the hubby’s third year. The league is mostly made up of some of my dearest friends from kindergarten to now! We’ve always stayed close and connected and look forward to our annual draft party on Labor Day weekend and the Super Bowl party in the winter. It’s a fun and very competitive way to keep our lifelong relationships strong. 

The party is usually a weekend long event with a “pre-party” on Friday night, a golf tournament on Saturday and the actual draft/party on Sunday. It is always an extremely fun weekend, but the older I get, the more tired I am come Monday.

I love these guys, but it’s probably a good thing we DO only plan these things twice a year!
(That’s Mr MoonCat 3rd from the left)

So today, I rested! I spent a large part of my day reading and catching up on my pile of “To Be Read” books. I’m still doing reviews over at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf as well as doing some sensible saving at Centsable Couponing. I’m busy, but it’s stuff I love.
How was your weekend? 
~~~~~

postheadericon Landmines and Hairballs Oh My! The Benefits of Proper Nutrition from Pet Food

I’m sitting here tonight going over our monthly and annual budgets. We’ve been doing pretty good at saving some money wherever we can in our goal to move to Idaho next year. I’ve slashed our spending in most areas and am surprised at the savings in one – pet food.

That one area is our pet food expenses. By pets, I’m not including the poultry, horses or cattle. Strictly dogs and cats – 3 pooches and 7 purrers. We are feeding a higher priced feed to both cats and dogs and have actually been saving quite a bit of money. It all comes down to a better quality feed and the animals eating/needing less while being healthier.

Even though I am fairly well versed in animal nutrition, I used to be bad about watching sales and using coupons for my cat and dog food. Whatever seemed to be decent pet food for a decent price AND had coupons, I went for to save a buck. Unfortunately my critters paid for it with poor coats and up/down weight issues. So I went to the other extreme and bought really pricey, overly hyped feeds. I think probably more to assuage my guilt than anything else. This also didn’t really benefit my animals or my pocketbook.

Flash forward to last winter when I went to work part-time for our new Tractor Supply. I chatted with a few of the nutritionists and feed reps to see what they were feeding their own animals. I found it very interesting that most of them were using the TSC brand “4 Health” pet food. It’s priced pretty much in the middle of the scale and the ingredients seem to be very good. So I gradually switched my crews over to the appropriate formulas and I am thrilled!

 

4Health Mature Dog Food at Red Barn Blue Skies

Both cats and dogs have all done very well with these feeds. Their coats are thick and glossy, they all maintain steady, healthy weights, fewer hairballs and a large bonus overall is less poop. That may seem funny or trivial to some, but when you have a 125 pound hound, you want smaller landmines and fewer of them. Since there are so many less fillers and more of the good nutrients, the animals utilize the feed better and need less to be happily full.

So I’m curious what kind of pet food do you feed your furballs? Anyone else use 4 Health?

postheadericon Guacamole – It’s What’s For Dinner

This time of year Mr. Mooncat and I don’t really like to eat a heavy dinner. (This also translates to “I” don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when we’re dealing with temperatures in the high 90s, low 100s!) We tend to either snack or just have an appetizer instead of an actual main course. This makes healthy avocados turned into guacamole the perfect fit.

Guacamole at Red Barn Blue Skies

My favorite guacamole recipe is a bit of a hodgepodge of several I’ve come across over the years. I play around with it quite a bit, but this one seems to be the hubby’s favorite, so we stick to it – the fact that it’s easy helps.

 

Knorr guacamole at Red Barn Blue Skies
image courtesy of Knorr, Inc. 
Makes 4-6 servings.
4 Large Avocados
3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 Red Onion, medium – diced
1 Fresh Lime, juiced (lemon can be substituted if desired)
2 TBsp chopped Cilantro, fresh preferred
2-3 large cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
1 pinch sea salt (optional)
1 pinch coarse black pepper (optional)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
In a large bowl, mash avocados and lime juice (& optional salt). Add in the tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro. Finally stir in the pepper and (optional olive oil.)


I like to cover the guacamole and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving. But it can be served right away if desired. I think the flavors tend to be better blended if you wait though.

postheadericon Still Kicking and Clucking

It’s Alive….

After a way too long hiatus, I’m back. In a way, a lot has changed and nothing has changed – if that makes sense. It will take me some time and many posts to bring you up to snuff. I appreciate you all still being here.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing our little world again with you lovely people. I’ve missed you!

Here’s a clue on what I’m still doing….

postheadericon Spring is Sprung in the Coop

Nature’s Incubator
I initially started raising Giant Cochins with the thought they would be broodies for my Blue Andalusian chicks.  Andalusians just have no interest in taking care of their own kids.  They produce a bajillion of them, then they are just “dead-beat” parents and don’t want to take the time to hatch or raise them!  Spring fever has hit hard and they are popping out eggs like crazy in that pen. I was in need of some help to get the blue babies hatched.
So Cochins to the rescue…or NOT.  I waited and waited for one of my beautiful blue Cochin gals to go broody.  You would think out of 9 hens, one would cooperate?  Nope. Nada.  So I took the plunge and ordered an incubator off of eBay.  Guess what?  The pretty little lady pictured above and below decided she wants to raise some chicks!  The very day after I spent a small fortune on an “alternative” way to get those babies hatched.
Goofy bird…
“We are NOT amused”