Friday, August 28, 2015

The Chickens That Flew the Coop

 Soooo.... my chickens are a bit spoiled in that they get to free range in the evening before bed time. Because of that they think they should be able to roam whenever and wherever they want. Add to that the fact that at least two of them are starting to lay eggs and you have a chicken revolt going on as they look for places to drop their eggs. They are always looking for ways to escape and or hoping I'm coming out to let them out. Yes, they have nesting boxes but that doesn't stop them from wanting to try and lay an egg behind the chest freezer in the garage, or the stack of bricks against the fence. My kind and helpful cousin brought us this much larger coop for the girls as I was plotting a bigger abode for them. The story behind the giveaway of this coop is best saved for another day.

I was getting things put away and happened to walk into the laundry room and spied Penny and Betsy on top of the coop. This is the second time I've caught them up there and I wanted to get a photo so I stepped out on the back porch only to have Penny fly straight toward me and land outside the pen. Betsy, who is still on the coop in the photo, followed suit immediately and they both came running up to me to see if I had a treat for them. Yes, these girls are spoiled. I was contemplating going to buy some sharp shears to clip their wings when it dawned on me that the ramp on the back of the coop is their launch pad to getting on top of the coop. What you don't see is that the other side of the coop roof is a lift top with corrigated tinted sun room plastic which they would never be able to get up on. So I've removed the ramp you see to prevent another escape. You have to give them credit, they are smart enough to plot an escape for sure.
Two of the three eggs I found this morning. The one on the right is called a jello egg as the shell is super soft. The other one was dropped by the feeder and was another jello egg, so this tells me they are starting to lay and trying to get it right. I might need to boost their calcium intake a bit, although Penny has been laying eggs for a month now and they are getting larger all the time.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer's Fresh Bounty Enjoyed - Smoked Chicken & Tomato with Basil Openface Sandwich

 My first full summer here in beautiful Wallowa Valley and the garden gods have been pretty good to me.
Our tomatoes are doing better than I had hoped, as the weather here can be rather unpredictable, but in spite of that I've been able to put up a batch of delicious pickled beets and roasted tomato salsa. I have a nice crop of Basil of different varieties, so pesto will be in the near future here. We are lucky to have a local grocery store that does smoked meats which is nice for those days when you want something simple and easy. The other day I had a craving for Italian something, anything, but I'm in the middle of a sculpting and painting frenzy in order to get ready for Hallowbaloo in Seattle. So I rummaged around my kitchen and fridge and this is the result. Nice nutty, whole grain bread topped with a smear of mayo and thin slices of fresh picked tomato, topped with shredded smoked chicken, topped with minced fresh Basil and a sprinkle of course ground pepper. Mmmm! Heaven!

Smoked Chicken & Tomato with Basil Openface Sandwich

Sliced whole grain bread of your choice
fresh, thinly sliced tomato
smoked chicken
fresh minced Basil
course ground pepper.

spread mayo on bread, top with a single layer of sliced tomato, top with shredded smoked chicken, sprinkle with fresh minced basil and pepper. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meatless Monday - Italian Quinoa Patties

Alrighty then! I've been gone so long from my blog that I took Google by surprise. I will have to start posting more often. Anyhew, I'm baaaack! From moving and getting a big garden in to baby chicks and tearing out flooring to chasing stuff from room to room so the new flooring could be installed..... to tearing out cabinets and having to find a place for everything that was in the old cabinets to painting and more, I've been way too busy to even think about blogging. We are almost at normal now, and am so happy with the results. Will post pictures when all is done.
For now I want to share a recipe I found on Pinterest and tweaked of course, that filled the bill for our meatless Monday plan. Quinoa is a super food grain that is also very versatile. We had these delicious patties, accompanied by fresh from the garden salad and baked potatoes. I made a creamy spicy mayo to top the patties with and even Nature Guy went back for seconds. We will do this again, perhaps as little meatballs for marinara. So yummy and easy as well!

Italian Quinoa Patties
1/3 c. quinoa cooked in 2/3 cup water according to package directions.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon each fresh minced parsley and basil
3 tablespoons each fresh minced chives or green onion, and yellow onion
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Rinse your quinoa and add to small pan with the water. Bring to boil and turn the burner to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. After cool beat eggs and add those along with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let sit 5 minutes. Using wet hands form 4 patties about 1 inch tall. In a frying pan place 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and turn burner to medium low. Once hot add patties and cook covered for 5 minutes on each side. They should be golden. Serve with spicy mayo, recipe below.
6 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon spicy chile sauce, and teaspoon sweet chile sauce.Whisk together and serve with patties.