I called dinner southwest chili but I’m not sure if the title fits. Pinto beans, rice, corn and hot Italian brats, a little tomato paste and spicy brown mustard and of course onions, jalapenos and garlic. Whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty dang good. And the next day it made an even tastier breakfast wrapped in tortillas and baked in bite size pieces.
Did I tell you I was dating? Probably not because it’s been pretty annoying. The consensus is that growing food is a cool idea but actually doing it is not. I blame it on the convenience era. Everything is so convenient it doesn’t take a second thought and certainly doesn’t take picking up a pitchfork or water bucket. It’s okay. Really.
After my last soul crushing relationship of 8 years I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to get back into a craptastic relationship. Adult communication would be nice though. The sitcom feeling of dating is really best left to those with mad writing skills. I’m the only audience to my sitcom. Well and the girls. They get a giggle out of it sometimes.
Last week I was off my game. Thankfully school is out in another week and then I’ll have a full-time extra hand (the teenager) to help whip this place into shape.
Tuesday my tween asked if we could try making sushi. I’ve made spring rolls, Chinese style BBQ pork, ramen and other Asian inspired dishes. I even had seaweed wraps laying around but I hadn’t actually tried my hand at rolling sushi.
Of course I couldn’t say no so a grocery shopping trip yesterday morning and we had everything we needed for California rolls.
A California roll consists of imitation crab, cucumber, avocado and cream cheese rolled up in sticky rice and seaweed.
If you’re not a fan of fish tar tar this is a fun way to still enjoy sushi. It’s basically a crab salad with rice but the crab isn’t shellfish it’s made of a white fish, haddock is common.
For the breakfast bites I made sticky rice and put a small layer in each tin, added bite size bits of imitation crab, cucumber, avocado and cream cheese then topped it with egg.
The egg ends up holding everything together which is handy. If I had a little extra time I would’ve tried adding the seaweed wrapper to each tin but… You know how time can get crunched before you know it.
On the farm front we’ve been teaching the mini horses to ground tie. What that means is if you drop the rope on their halter they’ll stand still.
It’s a good idea for any horse, not just minis. Having a horse that will stand while you’re working around it without being tied to anything is useful in ways you don’t think about until it happens.
The younger of the two has started picking up the habit of going back to her pasture when she sees the halter/rope because that’s where we take her but we’re going to have to break that because the pasture won’t always be the final destination.
First a picture of breakfast. This is thinly sliced brisket from last nights leftovers (brisket, butternut squash and cream cheese stuffed Anaheims and mushrooms all on the smoker – can you say yummy?!), wrapped in my mini muffin pan with whipped eggs in the middle. Nothing special but pretty dang good. The brisket wasn’t fork tender but not tough either which made for bacon like slices this morning and with that layer of fat on them these bites came out tasting like bacon and eggs.
Another week of in my head. Here’s a short list of what I’ve been doing in my head the last couple of weeks.
A.) If you like to play silly games on your cellphone but are not real particular about what games you play than you can make a little cash. When I say little I mean the first week I dedicated myself to it and made $20 the second week was a little less dedicated and I’m almost to $10. It’s not exactly going to pay the bills but it’ll buy a 12 pack of my favorite beer.
B.) With the $20 that I earned playing games I decided I needed to learn something new. What did I decide to learn? The Stock Market! Yes. Me. It’s weirdly intriguing. I found this app. After careful research it’s true any one. I’m definitely in the category of anyone. Can play with stocks. No fees unless you want the premium account. They give you one free stock and there isn’t a minimum deposit. Or if there is it’s under $20. Because that’s what I earned playing games so that’s what I put into it.
I gravitate towards research. I really get off on learning new things so the market thing really dragged me in. 3 days of a run through and by Sunday I was talking shop like I knew what I was talking about. And I could identify at least 3 or 4 of the forms that are information filled for the common wannabe stock holder.
I ran into some good ones too. If you haven’t noticed I’m a woman who doesn’t really go with the flow. I’m a single mom who choose to grow food and farm animals even though I wasn’t raised this way. It’s peculiar to say the least.
Ok so if you like playing silly smartphone games like I do. I don’t know if this app is in apple form or just android. I use an android. Here’s a link to play for real money. They give you the option of Amazon gift cards, visa prepaid card which you can use virtually anywhere. I actually mean it’s a virtual card you can use anywhere. See what I did there?
And if you like stocks, want to learn about it or just want to see what stock they’ll give you try your luck/fun here.
Just a note I’m not an expert at anything but I will earn a free stock if you sign up and I will get points for the gaming for money app. It’s been an interesting experience on both accounts. Yeah not punny at all.
Remember play and trade responsibly but have fun too. Seek your sense of curiosity and you really can’t lose.
I’ve been a little in my head so I haven’t been posting as regularly as usual but I haven’t forgotten about my readers so I’ve made a point of taking pictures when possible to reconstruct a moment and hopefully pass on something new.
This past weekend thanks to the deep summer heat the girls and I were locked out of our favorite backwoods spot so camping was cancelled. We also spent a good amount of time indoors out of the sun. This always leads to interesting things.
Saturday I got a craving for food on a stick. Yep that’s a real food category. I’m pretty sure it’s part of the food pyramid like vegetables and bacon.
I usually keep a cheap pack of wood skewers in a drawer because they come in handy for all sorts of things. Unfortunately I let my pack run empty. No big deal.
If you’re anything like me you have a handful of cheap whisks around. You can get them at the Dollar tree for a helluva cheap price… $1
Any wire clippers work I just happen to have my best friend in my back pocket most of the time. This tool is a memory box full of stories. I’m pretty sure my girls roll their eyes now when I describe how it helped me build my farm. :-/
The tines can be easily straightened. Or mostly straight.
Slid on your favorite foods.
Bend the ends just a little to keep things from sliding off.
The bent ends help with rotating the skewers on the BBQ.
For this particular case I used thinly sliced brisket marinated in soy sauce, ketchup, brown mustard and molasses. Because brisket needs a little help I put the veggie/pineapple skewers on top then closed the BBQ lid. The extra juice and flavor of the onions, peppers and jalapeno really did the job.
When I was satisfied with the meat I put it in off the direct heat and gave the veggie skewers a chance to caramelize.
A little awesome dip later and dinner was served. The MacGyver’d skewers are easy to wash and hold on to for another time. They stand up to the heat much better than wood skewers and can be reused all summer.
I’m intently watching my oven again from the floor watching a new concoction to perfection. Perfection = Cooked I’ve been debating on switching breakfast vehicles as I’ve been using a mini muffin pan a lot lately. It’s been fun though and I had at least one more idea to try before changing creative channels.
This morning I rolled bacon into each cup, filled each with tiny diced and seasoned potatoes and topped it off with whisked eggs.
I’ve been rolling it over in my head for the last three days to make sure all of the components would cook accurately together without diminishing any. Which is also why I’m sitting down here on the floor with the oven light on watching them cook.
Turned out ok. 20 minutes at 400°.
I use a convection oven which really is nice for crisping food. I think what would’ve made it better would be a cast iron muffin pan. Cast iron is great for adding crisp where the convection heat doesn’t reach.
The girls loved them though so I suppose that’s what matters.
My tween and I are sitting in front of the oven watching Dutch Baby Bites grow. 5 minutes to go.
It was 50° this morning at 5:45. Yeah I’m going to start going out earlier. I’ve neglected to push my alarm back. It’s at 5:09 now but I’m pretty sure the sun rises before 5:45 nowadays. Or pretty close. This morning I didn’t even worry about a shirt. Tank top season is here!
Besides I had to haul a bag of grain to the garage/upper barn and a bale of hay down to the ewe and her lambs. Who needs clothes to stay warm when you have work?
No I’m not working in shorts yet. I have a couple of roosters I need to put in the freezer first. They’re mean to bare legs.
This is me making charcoal because buying it is just silly. lol I’m kidding. Kinda. When you’re short every month buying something like charcoal feels luxurious.
My solution free wood, make sure it’s green wood. Not treated. Start a roaring fire with big chunks in a pit, barrel or whatever has a lid you can close. The close the lid and weight. The fire slowly dies as it consumes the oxygen and the leftover is awesome charcoal that burns slowly.
Why charcoal? Because the majority of my summer cooking is done outside. And today I have to make some more bacon. Yep.
For breakfast I made Dutch Baby Bites again. I said that already. But this time look! They’re extra fluffy.
Note to self and whoever’s reading. Let the oven get to temp before putting pan in. The way something bakes has a lot of influence on how it comes out.
This is actually the second time I’ve had this conversation.
No pun intended but it does have a catchy ring to it! 😉
This morning it was already 45° at 5:45am. Second morning working in short sleeves. My sun touched shoulders actually help a little but I’ve learned once I get chores started I don’t need much help to stay warm.
And now on to breakfast. Don’t be overly impressed, the meat and peppers were leftovers from a couple of nights ago when I made taco salad.
I cut tortillas into 2-3″ strips and put them rolled up into the tins before adding the leftover beef and peppers. Of course a burrito just isn’t done until you add cheese so these have a little square of pepper jack cheese on each.
Baked at 400° for about 12 minutes and they were perfect.
I don’t have a nutrition label today because I can’t remember everything I put in the beef and peppers but I can’t imagine the calories would be very high.
You could call it a refurbished leftover burrito bite but that’s quite a mouthful. 😀
7:45am it’s going to be another hot day so the tween and I are headed outside to get a couple things done before it gets too warm.
We skipped spring straight into summer. This kind of weather calls for rearranging my schedule. With sunburn probabilities up I have to plan outside chores/projects very early or very late.
Feeding/watering of the animals gets done first thing and then water is topped off half way through the day (when it’s really hot the buckets get refreshed in the evening too) and a couple of other outside projects get attention too.
From breakfast until afternoon I have been doing the majority of my studies/business while my brain is fresh. After noon chores I get dinner prepped and started in time for a 5:30 dinner.
With these high temps and sunny days outside I’ll readjust my studies and farm projects to maximize cool mornings outside.
Hopefully this weather is a temporary look at our usual summer. We can’t skip spring!