Thursday, October 29, 2015

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Soup



Ingredients

1 package of boneless skinless chicken thighs. Four to six thighs

1lb or more of chopped mushrooms. We used Button, Shiitake, and Oyster mushrooms

                                                         2 large Onions    4 cups of water
                                                     4 stalks of celery    4 carrots 
                                        4-6 cups of fresh spinach    1 package of Orzo Pasta
                                             32oz of chicken broth     olive oil (for the pan)
                                                         4 cups of milk     1 cup of heavy cream

Directions


1.Chop chicken into bite-size pieces and brown in a skillet with olive oil. While chicken is browning, stir in ¾ of a cup of white wine.
2. Coarsely chop mushrooms and when the chicken in almost brown stir them in. Lightly brown the mushrooms in the pan with the chicken to give them flavor and take out the chicken and mushrooms and pour them in a soup pot.
3. Finely chop the four carrots and the four stalks of celery and saute them in a pan (same pan from chicken) with olive oil. Finely chop the two large onions and brown them with the carrots and celery. Pour the onions, carrots, celery, and spinach into the soup pot with the chicken.
4. Pour broth into the pot and add the four cups of water. Bring to a boil.
5. Pour the package of pasta in the pot and cook until tender. You can brown the pasta in a skillet with olive oil if desired.
6. Add the four cups of milk and the cup of heavy cream. Bring the soup back to a boil.
7. Now let's talk Seasonings. It's whatever you like for taste, We used McCormick Poultry Seasoning and Grand's favorite seasoning, Morton's Nature's Seasons Seasoning Blend. Salt & Pepper of course and also maybe some fresh herbs likeThyme or Sage. It's all up to you.
8. Now, when you serve the soup remember to top it with fresh ground black pepper and enjoy!

A hot pot of delicious soup, ready to eat!

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Soup is fabulos with a loaf of bread.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our Beautiful Creek

             We have a farm and on our farm we have an amazing creek. The creek is my favorite part about the farm. If you can't find me look down at the creek. You can just kick off your shoes and jump in the creek like there is no care in the world. I just love how when you get in the creek  the cool water, it makes your feet tingle and all you hear is birds singing lullaby's and the water rushing over your bare feet. The creek gurgles and gushes while the trees sway and groan. It's the perfect place to read a good book and watch the water run and dance across the rocks like ballerinas graceful but fun. You can splash and play. All of the little crystal clear water droplets from a splash all come raining down and land back on the surface of the water and then they all mysteriously disappear following the rest of the water in the creek downstream. All they leave behind is what looks like little ripple flowers, but they disappear just as fast as the water droplets did. But all in all, I think the creek is the best place on the farm, it'as filled with water, sound and beautiful vision.
                                                                     
                                                                                                 -Summer P.
There are islands in the creek where the water splits and goes around them.

The creek comes back together at the tip of the island and continues down its path.

In the woods, small springs come up and feed the creek

video
Please take two minutes to enjoy the creek with us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

        We have enjoyed this recipe for a number of years and it came from a good friend of Grands, Mrs. Betty Hutchinson. Miss Betty is a wonderful cook and has shared many of her recipes with us and we enjoy them all. This is a delicious recipe for a main dish and we like it served with broccoli or English Peas.

Ingredients

Pie

1 cooked and deboned chicken
6 eggs boiled and chopped
3 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of corn starch
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Crust

1½ cups of Self Rising Flour
1½ cups of Buttermilk
1 stick of melted butter

Directions

  1. Cover chicken with water and simmer chicken for several hours with salt, pepper, and seasonings of your choice. This step could be done in a Crock-Pot and the chicken will be done in time for supper. Make sure to cover chicken with enough water so you have 3 cups of chicken broth when you get done.
  2. In a saucepan combine 1 cup of chicken broth, corn starch, salt, pepper, and the garlic powder and cook to make a thickened broth and set aside.
  3. Make crust by combining the self-rising flour and the buttermilk and slowly whisk in the melted butter. Don't panic, this crust is thin so that you can pour it.
  4. De-bone chicken and put meat in a 9 by 13 pan and top with boiled eggs. Then cover the boiled eggs and chicken with your thickened broth.
  5. Pour crust over chicken, eggs, and thickened broth. Spread until crust covers the top. Now, I know this sounds strange but, you're going to pour 2 cups of chicken broth over the entire top of the casserole. Yes, on top of the crust that you smoothed nicely over the top you are now going to pour 2 cups of chicken broth. Just pour back and forth, over the entire pan. I know, I know it sounds strange and looks even stranger. You'll probably think "I've ruined this" but you haven't.
  6. Put it in the oven at 350° for 1 hour till bubbly and golden brown on top
The broth that you put on at the end will sink through the crust and make a delicious sauce over the chicken and eggs and the crust will rise to the top and become golden brown. It's just magic! We hope you enjoy it, please let us know.


Chicken & Dumpling Casserole in the pan
A plate full of delicious casserole.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

New electric fencing for chicken coop.

We have now finished some electric fencing around our chicken coop. We are using a solar fence energizer to power the wire. We have one electric wire low to the ground to keep out small animals and then another wire, higher up, to keep out large animals. We want to protect the chickens from as many predators as possible, unfortunately, everything enjoys a chicken dinner.
Unrolling the first line of wire.

Rounding the corner

Don't let the wire touch the inner fence...
...or the wood.

Ending point beside the door to the chicken yard.

Solar fence energizer

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Harvest Mix

Fall Harvest Mix is a delicious fun recipe to make in the fall season. Recipe below.

Fall Harvest Mix


Ingredients

  • 1lb bag of pretzel sticks
  • 2 boxes of peanut butter Ritz Bitz.
  • 2 12oz boxes cheese crackers 
  • 1½ cups of butter
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 16oz bags of Reece's Pieces
  • 1 11oz bag of Kraft Caramel Bits
  • 2 12oz bags of candy corn (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°
  2. In a large bowl stir together the pretzel sticks, the Ritz Bitz, and the box of cheese crackers.
  3. In a saucepan combine the butter, the brown sugar, and the corn syrup and bring it to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and pour over pretzel mixture. Stir gently to coat
  5. Place mixture on a well-greased pan and place in the oven for 1 hour- 1 1/2 hours and stir every 15 minutes.
  6. Take the mixture out of the oven and transfer to large sheets of wax paper, stirring occasionally to avoid clumping. 
  7. Once cooled add the bag of Reece's Pieces, caramel bits, and/or candy corn. 
  8. Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Finally, a driveway.

Yesterday we were finally able to pull onto a real driveway at the farm. You don't think much about a driveway until you don't have one, we have been pulling off on a grassy spot right off the narrow dirt road that the farm is located. We had to wait weeks for our turn and then the rain started pouring. After a couple of weeks of showers the driveway company was finally able to finish. There is still a lot of work to do, lots of egg sized rocks that need to be removed, a garden to be planted, and a sign that needs to be put up. We will continue to give updates as progress is made. You can see pictures of the new driveway below.

Pulling into our new driveway for the first time.

We added a "tail" to the driveway to get to the barn.
 
Now we can pull right up to the house on our new driveway

A spot for our sign and flowerbed with the driveway being lined with rocks to make it look better.