Nervous Mother Hen

See how big the little ladies are getting?

They will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. My how time flies! They are slowly losing their little downy feathers for regular “big girl” feathers.

Some are trying fly…YIKES!

Sunshine, is the sweetest thing. She was the first chick to be let out of the brooder to explore around the back yard. Oldest grandgirl, Oldeset Daughter and I got real nervous.

This little chick can run fast!

We put three of the chicks out first. Their little excursion lasted, maybe 5 minutes. We took them out into a secluded place in the yard so they could not just run off. I positioned Oldest Daughter on one side, Oldest Grandgirl on the other. The fence was on one side and the house on the other. I guarded a spot where the chicks could get through the fence. On a warm day, like 70 degrees, you can take the chicks out for a bit to get them used to outside noises and smells.

5 minutes was long enough.

Back in the brooder they went and back into the garage, where they are safe.

Now, that the little ladies are trying to fly, I drape chicken wire over the top of the brooder so they cannot fly out.

They are all tucked in for the night.

They have fresh bedding.

They have fresh food.

They have fresh water.

Lastly, they are all snuggled and warm with their heat lamp going.

I feel like the hotel commercial that says, “we will leave the light on for you.”

Chicks are fun!

Becky

                             

Setting up a Brooder                             Baby Chicks Day One                    Checking Poopy Bottoms

 

Strawberry Jam

A few weeks ago, there was a sale on strawberries at my local organic grocery store. They had reduced the price of their strawberries down to .99 cents for 16 ounces.

Woo…hoo!

It was a great time  to offer a preserving cooking lab for my advanced foods class using fresh strawberries. So, I showed my classes how to make freezer jam. I try not to get on my soap box too often here on the webpage. In saying that, I promise I won’t stand on it for too long. but, I feel that preserving food is an essential lesson for students.

The preserving foods lab lesson offers the students the opportunity to; cut, chop, follow a recipe, measure, and participating in, start to finish, the techniques in taking a fresh food item and turning it into preserved food, such as jam. Last semester, we took pie pumpkins and made; pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree and lastly pumpkin pies (with home made crust). You can read about the pie pumpkins here.

This semester, my beginning foods class took the remaining pumpkin puree and made these astonishing delicious pumpkin pancakes with home made caramel sauce. (I promise I will post those recipes soon.) It was refreshing to see how many different food items we could make from the pumpkin puree. Now, my classes were making freezer jam.

Here is one box of freezer jam, about to go into the fridge. You can refrigerate freezer jam for up to 3 weeks if you want to use it right away. Since the students were going to make Southern 7 UP biscuits to eat the jam on, we just put the jam in the refrigerator. Students brought their own containers from home to put their jam in. When we were done with the biscuit lab, the students were able to take their left over jam home….that is if there was any left over to take home.

Well anywho, since I was out of freezer room at home, I decided to take my strawberries and make cooked strawberry jam.  I could process the jam in jars and then be able to store the jam in my pantry. In the three weeks or so since I made the jam, I am not sure how many I have left. It is funny how many pieces of toast you can eat when you have fresh jam to slather on top. Not that I know anything about that. : )

Don’t feel you have to wait until it is strawberry season in your area to make some jam. If you are able to find some strawberries that are on sale during the off season, give this basic, simple and delicious strawberry jam recipe a try. Here is what you need.

You will need strawberries (of course), sugar, and sure jell fruit pectin

.          

The first thing you do is, cut the green stem off the top of the strawberries and slice up. Take a potato masher and mash the strawberries. Put the strawberries in a large sauce pan.

         

Add in the contents of the box of pectin and cook the strawberries and pectin together until the mixture comes to a FULL boil.

         

When it comes to a full boil,  quickly add in the sugar and stir. Return the mixture to a full boil.

         

When the mixture comes to a full boil, boil for ONE minute, stirring constantly.

         

Ladle the jam into sterilized jars to within 1/8 inch from the top. (you want less air in the jar as possible). Wipe the jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. (screw bands and the flat lids that have the little rubber circle edge).

         

Screw the bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner.

         

Lower rack into the canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover, and bring water to gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes.

          

I did not process this jar, as I did not have enough jam to go to the top, so I put it in the refrigerator for us to enjoy now. Let the processed jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store processed jam for up to one year. Be fure to lable the jam with what kind of jam and the date you made it. Refrigerated jam for up to 3 weeks. Note: that jar of jam that went into the refrigerator did not last one week ; )

See, that is all there is to making strawberry jam.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe Adapted from the Sure Jell directions located inside the box of pectin.

Ingredients:

5 cups crushed strawberries

7 cups sugar

1 –1.75 ounce box of Sure Jell

Directions:

1 Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water to a simmer.

2. Sterilize  and wash jars and screw bands with soapy water and rinse with warm water.

3. Pour boiling water over the lids and let stand until you are ready to use them.

4. Measure exact amount of crushed strawberries into a 6 to 8 quart sauce pan.

5. PRE MEASURE the sugar into a seperate bowl, so you will have it ready to add to the strawberries when the time comes.

6. Add the contents of the box of pectin into the crushed strawberries and stir.

7. Bring the strawberry and pectin mixture to a FULL rolling boil, stirring constantly.

8. Quickly add in the premeasured sugar.

9. Return the strawberry, pectin and sugar mixture to a FULL roiling boil. Boil for exactly ONE minute.

10. Ladle the hot jam into the jars. Fill the jars, 1/8 inch from the top. Wipe the rim and threads of jar clean of any spilled jam.

11.  Put a lid on the top of the jar and then screw on the band, tightly.

12.  Put the jars of jam in a elevated rack in the canner. Lower the jars into the canner.

13.  Boil,the jars (making sure there is 1 to 2 inches of water over the top of the jars) for 10 minutes.

14. Take the jars out of the canner and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. You should start hearing the lids pop as the jam cools, forming a airtight seal.

Now all you have to do is find an excuse to try some.

Enjoy!

Becky

Other post you may enjoy:

                              

Brown Sugar Meatloaf                               Molasses Cookies                       Poppy Seed Bread with Glaze

Cheesy Chicken with Fritos

I do not know exactly why this concoction taste so good.

It may be the chickeny, cheesy, creamy sauce, full of chunks of chicken.

It could be the salty, crunchy, corny taste of the fritos.

Maybe, it is when you mix the two together, that makes you want to keep scooping this fun (weird) combination into your mouth until your plate is clean.

Who knows? My sister Niener Wiener, invented this recipe years ago…way back…when I was in college (dust the cobwebs off my diploma). Or, at least that is when I first remember eating it.

Of course, I made the mistake in making this for the Oldest Daughter years ago. Now, she was not only was craving Apple Crisp, but was also craving this easy to make and easy to eat chicken recipe. Oldest Daughter even stopped at the store and the bought fritos.

What was a mom to do, especially after a rather long day chasing kids at school, when I was given the option of making such a simple meal for dinner?

Well, I did what other tired  (overworked) moms would do and made it.

Anywho, I thought I would share the recipe with you!

I know it does not contain all the food groups. You will notice, you do not see any green veggie on my plate, though I did make a salad full of cherry tomatoes with fat free dressing to go with it. Does that help?

Just don’t look at the back of the frito bag (32 original chips for 160 calories), just eat it and enjoy it.

You just have to like chickeny, cheesy, creamy, full of chunks of chicken poured over crunchy, corny, tasty fritos.

Seriously, who doesn’t.

Here is what you need.

You will need two cans of white chicken, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of either  shredded cheddar cheese (my favorite) or a combination of cheese (that is what I used cause it was in the fridge), milk and of course, fritos.

         

Drain the water off the chicken, and put the chicken in a medium sauce pan. Add in the cream of chicken soup.

         

Pour in the milk, and the sprinkle the cheese on top.

Slowly heat on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts and the mixture starts to bubble. I break my big pieces of chicken apart with my spoon as I stir it.

Now, all you have to do get a get a handful of fritos, put them on a plate and pour some Cheesy Chicken over them.

Oh…and don’t forget to grab your fork. : )

Here is your recipe:

Cheesy Chicken with Fritos

Recipe from Sister Neiner Wiener

Ingredients:

2–13 ounce cans of white chunk chicken breast

2–10 ounce cans of cream of chicken soup

1 1/4 cup of milk

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Bag of Fritos

Directions:

Drain the water off of the chicken. Put the chicken, soup, milk and cheese into a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium, stirring continuously, until the cheese melts and the mixture is bubbly.

Serve over fritos or another chip of your choice.

Enjoy!

Becky

Other Post you may enjoy reading.

                     

Broccoli Rice Casserole                     Messy Marvins                               Chicken Pot Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Crisp

It took me a while to get the hint.

Over the course of the last several weeks, Oldest daughter who does not cook, suggested that apple crisp sure sounded good.

She said in once.

Then twice.

Then suggested that, when I had time, she’d love to have some homemade apple crisp.

Is that a hint?

Anywho, last summer I tried my hand at canning some apple pie filling. I used a special thickening agent called. clear jell, that I purchased at a Amish Store. The clear jell does not break down when you process the apple pie filling, like corn starch or flour. The pie filling turned out wonderful, except that I used a variety of apples that were a little soft, and the apples broke down when they were processed in the canner. What I ended up was this delightful tasty, chunky apple pie filling that would be perfect for apple crisp.

Here is a picture of my first try at making canned apple pie filling.

I decided to surprise the girl who hates to step into a kitchen (but some how dirty a ton of dishes) with warm apple crisp for dessert.

This recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together. You can use store bought apple pie filling or you can use fresh apples for this apple crisp. I will give you recipes for both, no worries.

If someone in you family gives you a HINT, try making this simple delicious and tummy pleasing apple crisp that has lots of crunchy crisp goodness on top.

Here is what  you need:

I am showing the picture of how to make this recipe with apple pie filling. (I will put the recipe for a fresh apple filling in the recipe section at the bottom. You will need one quart of apple pie filling, butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

The first thing I did was pour my apple pie filling in the bottom of a 9 by 9 baking dish.

         

In a medium size bowl, melt one stick of butter or margarine.

         

Add one cup of oats and one cup of flour to the melted butter.

         

Now add one cup of brown sugar and 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder.

         

Now add the baking soda. With a large spoon, mix the topping all together, making sure all the ingredients are moisten with the melted butter.

Sprinkle the top evenly on top of the pie filling and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Here is the recipe.

Apple Crisp adapted from Alrecipes

Ingredients:

1 quart of apple pie filling (or you could use another fruit pie filling)

1 cup quick oats

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick (1/2) cup butter

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

If you are using fresh apples for the filling:

5 cups thinly sliced apples

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoon flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Pour the pie filling in the bottom of a 9 by 9 baking dish. If you are using fresh apples, mix the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and water in a medium bowl and pour into the bottom of a 9 by 9 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar, flour, brown sugar, oats, baking soda and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

Spread the topping on top of the filling.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Warm apple crisp.

I am so glad, that I finally figured out what Oldest daughter was hinting at.

Enjoy,

Becky

Other post you may enjoy:

                             

Mint Layered Brownies                      Coconut Cream Cake                          Farmers Oatmeal Cake 

 

Corn Beef and Irish Soda Bread

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

This is a repost of my favorite Corn Beef recipe. Right now, they have corn beef on sale every where for Saint Patrick’s Day.

You will have two choices of corn beef cuts to choose from.

You can choose a Point Cut Corn Beef.

You can also choose a flat cut.

Are you confused?

Basically a Corn Beef is a beef brisket cut in two. The point cut has less fat than the flat cut. Some say the flat cut is more tender because it has more fat. And, truthfully, I thought the flat cut was tastier too.

The final choice is up to you : )

The point cut Corn Beef was so tender it sliced like butter.

Here is the link to my Corn Beef Recipe Post:  http://asmalltownkitchen.com/?p=2204

If you want to make a hearty bread to eat with your corn beef, you may want to try my Irish Soda Bread.

This is a simple, slightly sweet bread. You form the dough in a circle, score the top with a knife and sprinkle a few oats on top, then bake.

I loved it with honey, or better yet sorghum molasses.

Here is the link to my step by step instructions on how to make this yummy and hearty bread:   http://asmalltownkitchen.com/?p=2237

Have a great day and be sure to wear green….not unless you enjoy getting pinched : )

Becky

Other post  you may enjoy:

                          

Honey Cornbread                             Brown Sugar Meatloaf                       Italian Wedding Soup 

 

Southern 7 up Biscuits

Have you ever noticed how many recipes have 7 up in them?

Biscuits are no exceptions.

I first got a glimpse of this recipe from Miss Kay’s Cookbook from Duck Dynasty. My sister Niener Wiener, recieved the cookbook for Christmas and I took a gander through the cookbook looking for any recipes that caught my eye. When I read about Miss Kay’s famous biscuits and that 7 up was one of the ingredients, I knew I had to try it. I did not have time to write the recipe down and I was too cheap to buy the cookbook, (cause I own more cookbooks than I want to count), but I did want to try this recipe. So, I called Niener up and got the recipe from her. Niener also mentioned she had her own recipe for 7 up biscuits. I got Niener’s recipe also, cause sometimes I am smart like that. It was a good thing I got the recipe from Niener too, cause I think that Miss Kay’s recipe has a typo in the amount of sour cream or 7 up because the dough was more of a batter. I retried the recipe using Niener’s recipe and they turn out  perfect.

These biscuits are light and airy and very moist. I love the crisp buttery crust from dipping the biscuits in melted butter before baking. They went perfect with the homemade strawberry jam I had made just a few days earlier. (I will post that recipe in the next couple of days).

I will be adding this recipe to my collection of biscuit recipes. I hope you will too ; ).

Here is what you need to make these biscuit.

You will need Pioneer Baking Mix. It is different from Bisquick. Pioneer Baking Mix has a lighter texture. I bought my Pioneer Baking Mix from Walmart. You will also need sour cream, butter and of course 7 up.

         

The first thing  you do is measure out the baking mix in a large bowl. Add in the sour cream.

         

Pour in the 7 up. Now, you gently stir to combine all the ingredients. The dough will be slightly sticky.

         

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Do not add too much extra flour to the dough when you roll them out.

         

Cut out the biscuits with a biscuit cutter or the top of a glass. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour the butter into the bottom of a cookie sheet.

         

Dip the top and bottom of each biscuit in the melted butter and fill the buttered pan up with biscuits.

Bake the biscuits in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the biscuits are a nice golden brown.

Now here is the hardest part.

Trying not to eat them all at once!

Here is the recipe:

Southern 7 up Biscuits

Adapted from Neiner Weiner’s recipe

Ingredients:

4 cups Pioneer Baking Mix

1 cup sour cream

1 cup 7 up

For the pan:

1/2 cup butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl stir together the baking mix, 7 up and the sour cream. You made need to add a tad more 7 up if the dough seems a little dry. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. On a lightly floured counter or pastry board, roll out the dough to 1/2 thickness. Cut the dough out in circles with a biscuit cutter.

Place 1/2 cup butter into a large baking pans or jelly roll pan (make sure the pan has sides). Place the pan in the oven to melt the butter.

Dip both sides of each biscuit into the melted butter in the baking sheet. Place the biscuits into the baking sheet and bake approximately 17 minutes or until the biscuits start to brown.

These are a crisp butter, moist and airy biscuits that I hope you will give a try.

Enjoy!

Becky

Other post you may enjoy:

                          

Baking Powder Biscuits                  Garlic Cheddar Biscuits                     Crusty White Bread

 

Pistachio Bread

Top of the morning to  you!

Your eyes are not deceiving you….you are seeing green bread!

When I spied this recipe from an old newspaper clipping, I thought it would be a great bread to make to get ready for Saint Patrick’s Day.  It is simple to make, taste great, and it is GREEN. How cool is that? My foods class at school even made some on Friday. The students (picky eaters) loved this bread so much, they packed all their bread off and scooted out of the Foods Lab as soon as the bell rang. I think they must have seen an leprechaun who wanted a piece.

Anywho, if you are looking for something fun, easy to make, moist and tasty and most importantly GREEN to make on St. Patty’s Day, I hope you give this recipe a try.

Who knows, you might be able to bribe a leprechaun into telling you where the end of the rainbow is with a large slice of this bread.

You can make this bread with just a few ingredients:

You will need a yellow or white cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, cinnamon and sugar mixture and a box of pistachio pudding.

 

         

The first thing you need to do is crack the four eggs and beat them in a small bowl.

         

In a large bowl, put in the cake mix and pudding mix.

         

Add in the sour cream and the water. (see the pudding mix turn green)

         

Add the oil and the beaten eggs.

         

With an electric mixture, mix the bread batter together till smooth and fluffy.

         

In prepared pans (I spray lightly with vegetable oil and line the bottom with parchment paper) Put in 1/4 of the batter into the bottom of each of the pans.

         

Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the batter in each pan. Save the other half of the cinnamon sugar mixture for the top. Spoon the remaining batter, in equal amounts on top of the cinnamon sugar layer.

         

Spread the batter evenly over the cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar on the top layer of the bread.

Bale in a preheat 350 degree oven for around 40 minutes.

I just love that cinnamon sugary crusty top!

Here is the recipe

Pistachio Bread

Adapted from old newspaper clipping

Ingredients:

1 white or yellow box cake mix

1 box (3 1/2 ounce size) instant pistachio pudding

4 eggs beaten

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup oil

Topping Ingredients:

6 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your loaf pans (you will need two) by lightly spraying with vegetable spray and covering the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and inside layer of bread.

In a small bowl, beat the four eggs.

In a large bowl, add the cake mix, pistachio pudding, sour cream, beaten eggs, water and oil. With an electric mixture, mix together until the batter is light and fluffy.

Put 1/4 of the batter into each of the loaf pans and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cinnamon sugar on evenly on top of the batter layer in both pans. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon sugar layer, in both pans. Spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top of batter, in both pans.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove, and leave in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and take the bread out of the pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Makes two loafs.

You will be glad it makes two loafs.

One for you and one for your little leprechauns.

Enjoy!

Becky

Other St. Pat’s Day recipes you may enjoy making:

                             

Corn Beef                                                         Irish Soda Bread 

Cleaning Poopy Bottoms

Did I think I would be cleaning poop off of the baby chicks bottoms?

I think not : )

But, if a baby chicks has dried poop on their bottoms they can get clogged up and it could cause big problems.

So, Oldest Daughter (who was home sick today) checked all the baby chicks bottoms for poopy feathers.

All the chicks got a clean bill (butt) of health. Relief.

What she did not know is that I  already had to clean one bottom this morning before I left for work. The easter egger chick had some poopy droppings on her behind. A little warm water on some toilet paper and some soft rubbing took it right off.

All the babies are doing fine.

I have been told a couple of the chicks names. Oldest grandgirl named the Easter Egger, “Bunny,” and the yellow Buff Orpinton, “Sunshine.”

They sound like perfect names for me!

I have been a Mother Hen for officially 30 hours.

Whew, I am tired. : )

Becky

 

Call Me Mother Hen

Here is the newest additions to the family!

I was so excited to get off work today and go pick up the baby chicks. They came in this morning around 11am from a nursery in Lebanon MO. I had my list of what kind of chickens I wanted to buy. I was afraid that they would be out of the ones I wanted. The feed store told me last week that they would have a 100 of each one coming in and they still would have what I wanted by the time I got off.

The feed store I went to, to buy my chicks had a different brooder set up than the other feed stores. Their brooder was like a apartment complex for little chicks. They had feed stalls set up in the front and the little chicks would poke their heads through the opening to get the feed.

It was so comical to watch them with all their little heads out. There were two other families there buying chicks. It was certainly a family affair! They brought their children and as soon as the little chicks were placed in a box, the children and the chicks started getting acquainted.

I would have loved to stay and enjoy the moment, but Oldest daughter who does not cook, was sick and having car trouble. So I just told the lady at the feed store what kinds of chicks I wanted to buy.

The lady at the feed store, found a nice size box for me and filled the bottom with wood shavings. She sure was fast grabbing those little chicks up and putting them in the box.

Another lady from the feed store carried my little cargo to my car and I buckled them in the front seat. Since Oldest Daughter was having car trouble, I went to school to pick up Oldest Grandgirl.

She could not wait to hold one! She even has names for some of them already.

These are the kinds of chicks I purchased:

2–Rhode Island Reds

2–Barrel Plymouth Rocks

1–Buff Orpington

1– Easter Egger

The first thing we did when we got the chickens in the brooder was put their heads in the water so they could get a drink of water.

I also put paper towels down over the pine shavings to help keep the dust down, from the pine shavings, for a couple of days.

Then we put the little chicks in the brooder. They went right for the water.

I put a little floor thermometer on the floor of the brooder. I need to keep the temperatures around 95 degrees for the first week.

It is suppose to get cold tonight and snow.

My garage can get a little nippy when it is cold.

Maybe I should bring them into the house for the night….

I have room in my bathroom.

Then I can peek at them all night.

See….I really am a Mother Hen.

Becky

 

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