Muffins, 3 ways

I’m not a big breakfast eater. It takes too long to make things for my personal patience level, which is ummm zero. Plus, if I eat too much I feel cruddy and just want to go back to bed. Not a great way to start the day. But, I love muffins, and yogurt. So, I made a bunch of muffins and threw them in the freezer. Now I can just grab one, throw it in the microwave and eat it with my yogurt for breakfast. It gives me enough energy to get my day started and I’m not so full I feel like I want to hibernate.

My banana bread recipe  is great for muffins. I was out of bananas and really wanted some muffins so I experimented. I still had some Banana Jam left over, so I thought why not. I reduced the sugar in the banana bread recipe and added the banana jam. The muffins came out super moist, and so good. They were so successful, I had to make more. 🙂

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I also made some peanut butter and jelly muffins. If you like peanut butter, those are for you! The same day I also made Pineapple breeze and a pumpkin muffin. Once again, I just used the banana bread recipe but made some modifications. So in reality I can get 4 different muffins from one recipe!

Muffins for breakfast
Muffins for breakfast
Base recipe

(modified banana bread), notice that there is less sugar in this recipe than in the original! Also,for the banana jam, reduce sugar to 1/4 cup.

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

1/4 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 1/2 c flour

1 t vanilla extract

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Sift together dry ingredients (soda, powder, flour). Blend sugar, eggs and butter together, then add dry ingredients. Add vanilla, wet ingredients and any optional stuff you are going to add. Spoon into muffin tins, bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For Peanut butter and jelly

Wet ingredients: 2 tablespoons of Peanut butter, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of apple butter. Can sub and type of jelly for the apple butter. I added 1/2 cup strawberries in addition to the jelly.

For Banana Jam

wet: 1/3 cup of banana jam. Reduce sugar to 1/4 cup! Can also add rum extract for a banana fosters taste.

For Pineapple Breeze 

Wet: 1 can pineapple, crushed, 1 Tablespoon coconut extract, 1 teaspoon rum extract.

As always, come join us on Facebook! I seem to post more there! 😉

Catching up

Well, I had a couple of weeks worth of posts ready to be typed up, but once again, I am lagging behind.

Mom had a few procedures done that were not planned, and her leg surgery got pushed back. By at least 8 months. So, to get everyone caught up:

We now have 2 bottle calves, both bulls right now. It started out as one, but D told dad that Titan was too pretty to eat and now we have Ulysses, who is just as cute and we are on the hunt for a heifer.  😉


I was given 2 roosters, one a barred rock (Doug) and the other a polish crest (Roadrunner). Roadrunner has his own flock out at my sister’s house where he can be happy as a well, a rooster in the hen house. Doug has taken over Bub’s spot here at the farm for my flock of girls. Bub is now in the outdoor run, waiting on either a split in the flock (and a finished coop) or the stockpot. Not sure which, yet. He’s a good rooster but he’s over 2, as are half of the hens. Plus, I think I am out of chickens in the freezer, so it’s about time to restock it.

 

I had a doe have a miscarriage. We didn’t even know she was pregnant, or when it could have happened. Well, maybe when Sandman got in with the girls that one time. And, of course, both of the lost babies were girls. Sigh. Momma is doing fine, but she was not a goat that I wanted bred, so I will have to move those girls out away from the rest of the herd a little more.

I have managed to make a whole months worth of meals out on a calendar, so let’s see how that goes. I am hoping that it will help me get things ready easier. And it takes away from the “what’s for dinner” question everyday.

We have to really buckle down and eat better. Which for us means both a diabetic and heart healthy way of eating. I started that with a weeks worth of fruit and veggies in the fridge. Well, what I thought would be a weeks worth. We ate a lot of it over the weekend! 🙂

We did have a few new recipes I have to type up and get posted. And a few new soaps and soap related items done, so I have that going for me. The store is coming along.

 Mostly, I am trying to stock some items before I post anything. I’m trying to decide between Square and Etsy. Do any of you use either of those? Which do you recommend?

 

 

 

 

Goat Pen Plans for Fall

Wow, has time kind of slipped away. I’d like to say I’ve been really busy, but mostly, I’ve been lazy. I’ve been trying to think of a way to expand the goat pen, without losing any space or having to move things around a whole lot. HA! Man, I hate doing pens.

Like I said, I’m lazy, but it’s been so hot and humid here that I just can’t get going outside. I go do the chores in the morning and evening when it’s not 98 degrees (that is about 105-110 with the heat index), but in between, I’m in the house trying to get caught up on house work. I haven’t even worked on the blog (as you can tell!).

I have a small 10′ x 10′ goat shed that I call the barn. It is facing South to keep the North winds out, since it is only 3 sided. The doe pen is open to the barn so they have shelter. The buck pen comes off the barn, but is closed off to access as they have a separate shelter.

The Plan

So here’s what I see for the pens. My plan is to extend the buck pen to the North, to allow access to more field, and then to divide that into smaller pens. I am hoping to end up with four pens inside this one field. Three small pens (with a smaller one inside for weaning and kids) and one large open one (there are currently cows in there, but when they are moved, I hope to have it fenced off with field fence).

Each of the fields will be used for different groups of goats. The first will be for the registered Nigerians. This includes Annie, Indy and Bandit (and of course Jane, but she will be separated soon for weaning). The second will be for the unregistered Nigerians and Pygmies which are Scrappy, Charlie, Ladybug and Nutter Butter. The third pen will be for the Alpines; Hermes, Mocha and Izzy. (We do have 2 goats not mentioned for pens, but they are headed for butcher, so they won’t be included.)

I still have to finish fencing off the area that was the dry lot. They planted seed in it so that it could be used for the goats and cows if needed and that is almost half an acre (maybe, I’m a terrible judge on that) to use as well. I’m planning on a couple of movable temp fences for this fall.

Why a Separate Pen?

This separation makes it easier for breeding season. Everyone will be where they need to be. Afterwards, I will put the boys back in one pen and the does in one. I will be left with an open field that will allow it to rest and one to use as a kidding pen. When the girls have babies, they will be put in the larger field to rotate the other out for rest. So, essentially the plan is to have two areas resting while the other 2 are in use. We will see how this works.

Another reason we separate is to prevent unwanted breeding. While I really don’t mind if Scrappy was to breed the two registered does, I couldn’t register the offspring. I really wish that there was a way to reach his breeder (or figure out who it was!) because he is a really nice looking goat and he has the best temperament! But, since I have no idea, and I’m really going for registered stock, I have to keep him with the other girls. I may eventually breed him to one of these girls but, just for shits and giggles really and to hopefully get a damn nice goat.

I keep some unregistered stock for the milk. Most people who want just milkers don’t care about papers, but just how the goat is towards people. Most of my goats are really friendly, some of them not so much, so having a friendly buck is a great thing! He can pass that down to his babies and I can handle him easily.

What do we Use for our Pen Fence?

We’ve been using field fence for the perimeter of the fields and then I put cattle panels where I want the pens. It makes it easier on me if I want to change things around. Most of the time it is just me doing the fence and I can move panels easier than I could a whole fence.

We buy most of our supplies at Tractor Supply (Danny works there and we get a discount). Fencing that we buy is the RedBrand and it comes in 330′ rolls. We get regular 16′ cattle panels for the pens.

So, while it’s a work in process, I hope to get it done before fall. That way I won’t have to do it this winter while waiting for kids to be born. One of these days I will be ahead of things!

What do you use for fencing and do you rotate your fields?

 

Banana Bread Recipe

I love banana bread. I love bananas, I mean, who doesn’t? This recipe is super moist, and I love that there are small pockets of bananas that are just waiting for you to bite into. The top is slightly crunchy, which is probably my favorite part.

This recipe makes one regular size loaf, but you can make mini ones, or even use it for muffins….mmmm, muffins.

Where did Banana Bread come from?

I always thought banana bread was one of those things that has been around forever. Turns out, I was wrong (Did you read that, Danny? Better bookmark this post.). It was actually a widely circulated recipe only after baking powder and soda were invented around 1843. Banana bread is a quick bread, one that is made without yeast. It gets it’s leavening power from baking powder and soda. Once the recipe was published in Pillsbury in the 1930’s banana bread popularity started to “rise”. There is some controversy over whether the recipe first came about by housewives that, during the great depression, were reluctant to throw out the leftover bananas; or by commercial kitchens to push the use of flour and baking powder.

Which ever it is, and however it got here, I am certainly glad that someone once shared a recipe for this delicious bread!

Banana bread
Banana bread. See the line there? It’s because I couldn’t wait to get a bite, then remembered a photo.

Banana Bread

1 1/2 c sugar

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

1/4 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 1/2 c flour

3 very ripe, mashed bananas

1 t vanilla extract

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients (soda, powder, flour). Blend sugar, eggs and butter together, then add dry ingredients. Add bananas, vanilla and any optional stuff you are going to add. Stir lightly, then pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick (or butter knife) inserted into middle comes out clean.

Enjoy this bread with a nice cup of coffee or hot tea. It’s a favorite around my house and doesn’t stay long!

banana bread slice, with melting butter.
Banana bread slice.

Bean and Cheese Burritos

You know those frozen burritos that you can get in the grocery store? My family loves those. We can eat a full package of them just for lunch. We are big eaters, and really there are 12 in a package. There are 4 of us, sometimes as many as 7 for lunch.

I knew I could make them cheaper, but I hadn’t tried it until now. It’s so easy, and takes about 5 minutes to make one. So for ours, since I made about 30 of them, it took about half an hour. In addition to the bean and cheese, I also made some chicken and rice burritos. They make it great to throw in the freezer and since I wrapped them individually, you can grab one to warm up just for you. 🙂

Bean and Cheese Burritos

2 cans of refried beans (we used to cheap cans from the dollar store)

1-2 cups of shredded mexican cheese

1 cup of salsa

2-3 packages of 10″ (or large) tortillas (the amount depends on how tight you wrap them)

Bean and Cheese Burrito ingredients
Bean and Cheese Burrito ingredients

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Warm in the microwave about 1 minute until the cheese is melted. Give it one last stir to make sure everything is mixed up.

Bean and Cheese Mixture
Bean and Cheese Mixture
Bean and cheese burritos
Everyone in the pool!

 

Down the center of a tortilla, spread a 1/4 cup of mixture, leaving room around the edges of the tortilla.  You can add more cheese and/or salsa to taste.

Wrap tortilla by folding the short ends in first. Fold the closest end of the tortilla over the middle and drag it back toward you (not lifting it off the tortilla) until it is tucked firmly against the filling. Roll the tortilla.

When you are done rolling all tortillas, wrap them individually in saran wrap.

Bean and Cheese Burrito in saran wrap
Bean and Cheese Burrito in saran wrap

Place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze. Place them in large freezer bags, writing the name and date of the tortilla on the outside.

To warm them up, unwrap and place on a plate. Put frozen burrito in the microwave for 1 minute bursts, until warmed through.

I always place them seam up, so in case the filling starts coming out, it doesn’t get stuck to the plate.

However, My favorite way to fix these is to fry them in a little bit of oil…This is a “get in my mouth!” moment. So good.

I think I need to go eat a burrito.

Updated site coming soon!

I’m still working on the updated site! I’m adding some stuff, taking some away, but this is hard work for someone who has no experience doing it! I want to do it myself though, so I can fix it if something happens.

I’ve been working on my SEO. Let me tell you, about 2 years of posts and having to go back through things to update keywords and such…yeah, not my favorite thing to do. I mean, it’s not hard, but it’s time consuming, and right now I have little time to do it.

It’s coming though. I also have some new recipes to put up, and hopefully a new theme as well. I’m trying to streamline the site to make it easier to find things, while working on our brand and getting ready to add soap here as well. We decided that since we use items from the farm to make the soap, we would consolidate the two sites into just the farm “business”.

So, just hang in there! I promise to be back soon. I will also post a little more as I have time.

Upgrades!

I just wanted to send out a quick note. We are upgrading our website, and switching over to a self hosted site! Yay us! So please bear with us if something looks strange or if I mess something up.
If you do see something weird, holler at me, and I will try to get it fixed asap!
Thanks for your patience!

Hawaiian Rolls Recipe

I love homemade rolls and bread. I love it’s texture, it’s smell, everything about it. It doesn’t matter what kind of bread…my mouth waters every time I think of it. I don’t use bread machines, I would rather touch it, weave my magic into it as I make it (I do mix in a kitchen aid mixer, however I knead by hand) and knead it out. I honestly don’t think there is any better bread than the one you make for your family.

Hawaiian rolls are kind of like bread and sweets all rolled into one. They usually have pineapple in them. These don’t, but you won’t even miss it. They aren’t super sweet, but there’s just a touch of sugar in them.   They are fast, super easy and totally delicious! I’m planning on making them to freeze (since I just cleaned the freezer out and it’s a little bare now), but I’m going to have to make a bunch! The first batch I made, it came out to 24 rolls and there wasn’t any left. I don’t think they even had time to cool down!

Hawaiin Rolls
Home made rolls, fresh from the oven.
Rolls
Hawaiian Rolls while baking

I got the recipe from a Facebook group I’m in. You should head over there and join. I love looking through all the recipes and figuring out which ones to try. And the people are fantastically friendly. Like super so. I wish they were all my friends in the real world. 😉

Hawaiian Rolls by Robin Jarvi Crouse

2 cups warm water

1 1/2 Tbsp yeast

3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c oil

6 c flour (Robin calls for bread flour, But I used regular and they turned out great)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour water and sugar into bowl of mixer (or large bowl), stir until dissolved. Sprinkle yeast and allow to sit 5 minutes or until yeast has proofed. Mix in salt and oil. Add flour a little at a time. Grease a large bowl and place dough inside. Let rise until doubled, mine took about an hour. Punch down dough and twist off prices to make rolls. You can measure them out to about 2 oz or just eyeball it to about golf ball size. Place in greased pans or on a cookie sheet. Let rise again.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Robin was so nice, and I’m very appreciative that she posted her recipe in our group and allowed me to write up this post. These have definitely become a thing in our house and I won’t use another recipe for rolls again. Why mess with a great thing?! They would go perfect with this broccoli cheddar soup!

Try them, check out and join the Facebook page. Then you can tell Robin how much you love them!

Rolls, ready for the butter
Fresh rolls, on the cooling rack.

Losing a pet

It’s been so hot. I really dislike this time of year. I told Danny the other day, that summer can leave now. 96 degrees is too hot for this country girl. Things tend to not get done outside until the evening, or I get up earlier trying to beat the heat.

My cat was sick. She was a part of my family for 14 years, and at the beginning of the month, we had to make the decision to have her put down. Sometimes, when it’s a farm animal, something you’ve raised to be eaten, if you have to make that decision, it can be a little easier. But, when it’s a pet, it seems to be the hardest decision you will ever make.

I’m not saying that either decision is easy by any means. I’m prepared though for it when it comes to butchering animals. It’s expected of that animal. I raise them for that. They live a good life being loved and cared for. This is a working farm, that is how we feed ourselves.

It kind of put me in a funk. I didn’t really want to do much of anything. I mean, it was hard for me to let her go, and the guilt. Holy shit. I’m still feeling it. If I had just spent more time over with her and the other animals, maybe I could have caught it earlier. I don’t know. But, it’s something that I have to deal with.

We had her cremated. I have to pick up her ashes on Monday. I know that some people think that’s weird, but I really don’t give a shit. My animals are my family. My favorite, oldest dog, my protector and best friend, is buried here on the farm. She spent most of her life here and it seemed fitting.

Dandi was willing to go wherever we took her, she loved riding in the car, sleeping in the back window. She was my cuddle cat, always in your lap and loved to lay with you while you were reading, or playing video games. It wasn’t a matter of what you were doing as long as she could be with you.

Dandi and Danny
Cat cuddles!

I’m going to miss her. I do miss her. But, it’s time to get stuff done. I don’t have pretty words to give her or you, or even myself. She deserved them though. It’s hard losing a pet, it’s even harder to lose a friend. We take them for granted, thinking they will always be there, and when they aren’t, it’s a hard loss to deal with.

Dandi

I love you, Dandi girl.

Zucchini Bread Muffins

Today, I get the pleasure of watching my great niece…only a month old, so it’s rough going as I remember how to do this baby stuff. How do they lay, when do they eat, holy crap, how do you get her to stop crying?!

Actually, she’s a very good baby. Right now, she’s sound asleep with a pacifier as I finally get to the post I was going to write 3 days ago.

zucchini bread muffins
zucchini bread muffins

We had quite a few zucchini left over and we normally freeze it for later, but I wanted something sweet.

So I grated it in the blender and then put it in the fridge for later. We have a recipe for zucchini bread, but we couldn’t find it, so I went online and found this recipe.

Honestly, I didn’t change much, except using pumpkin pie spice instead of nutmeg and adding raisins. And in the mini loaf I had, I added chocolate chips.

Zucchini Bread Muffins

3 cups of flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp salt

2 cups zucchini grated (I threw it in the blender)

1 3/4 c sugar

1 cup butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

2 small boxes of raisins (I used what we give the kids for snacks), 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1 tsp orange zest, all optional.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease your pans. The original recipe says 2 8×4″ pans. I used a muffin pan (12 count), a mini bread pan and an 8×4″ bread pan.

zucchini bread
Zucchini bread muffins

In one large bowl, I mixed the eggs, the sugar, the melted butter and the vanilla. Then I mixed all the dry ingredients in another medium sized bowl. Add the dry to the wet, stir just until moistened. Add in raisins, chocolate chips, etc. Pour into pans and bake. For the bread pans, I baked for 1 hour. The muffins baked for 30 minutes. Check with a clean knife or tooth pick stuck in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

I set out the large bread loaf to eat and froze the rest. I just wrapped them in the saran wrap and then into freezer bags. Be sure to label and date.