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TGIF!?

In my quest to get fit and lose weight I wear a Fitbit Charge 2. It watches my heart rate and movement and is pretty dang smart in knowing if I’m asleep or not.

The above is a peek at last night’s sleep which makes me happy it’s Friday. I haven’t been playing with the horses all week because I’ve had to come straight in from farm chores to get breakfast ready before my teen leaves for school.

I won’t be sleeping in just because it’s the weekend but I think more exercise in the morning playing with the horses will help me sleep better.

You ask, why not play with the horses later in the day? Unfortunately the rest of life happens after breakfast and a quick blog post. Homeschooling the tween, my own education, house work, business stuff and then it’s time to make dinner, go to bed and start again.

The weekend is my downtime from all things school, besides farm/outdoors education. It’s amazing what you learn when you get busy with animals or in the mountains.

This morning was a bit of a drag due to craptastic sleep, luckily there were Omelette Bites left from yesterday although I had planned on making burrito bites this morning. I had some left over burrito makings from last night. I might make them in the morning.

Ok back to trying to wake up. Or give in and take a nap. Hmmm…

Happy Friday!

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Omelette Bites!

Last night while concocting this mornings mini muffin experiment idea I decided I needed to get back to using more eggs as they’re starting to pile up.

I scramble a couple every day to supplement the quails protein as they’re not free-range like the chickens and buying high protein feed is expensive and just silly when I get free protein from the hens everyday.

I still have a lot of homegrown ham from Christmas in the freezer which I like to get into occasionally. It was a 36lb ham that I raised for about 18 months and then cured country style for 12 months before smoking it for 48hrs. I’m very proud of my ham, his name was Frank.

Ok back to breakfast.

This recipe is just enough to fill my 48 mini muffin tin.

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup diced pepper jack cheese
  • 10-12 spinach leaves chopped

Mix the egg, flour and milk and pour into tins. Add spinach, a couple cubes of ham and cheese to each tin.

400° oven for 10 minutes

When they are done they almost pop out of their tins. I’ve never seen such a thing.

The flour makes these a muffin-ish quality which the girls and I loved. No need to add salt as the ham and cheese take care of the saltiness and flavor.


On another note the horses are starting to show resentment about me rushing back inside to make breakfast after chores instead of playing with them. I’ll get back to it on the weekend.

Enjoy your day!

Below is an affiliated link to quality non-stick mini muffin tins.

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More Mini Muffin Mayhem!

Last night I came up with a brilliant plan for breakfast muffins this morning. I concocted the plan in my mind and this morning after farm chores I rushed in to execute it.

PB&J Mini Muffins!

I was going to make some cashew butter with my juicer (yes my juicer makes nut butters and pasta too) but decided to cheat just a little because time was getting on and I didn’t have a good oil for the nut butter. Vegetable oil just isn’t suitable for nut butters, you really should use a coconut or peanut oil. Grape seed oil is good too.

I cheated on the Jelly too. However this isn’t so bad, only 10g of sugar per 1/3 cup. It took about 2/3 of the can to stuff 36 mini muffins.

Since the muffins are tiny I only used a dab of peanut butter, less than a tsp each. The strawberries had partial chunks so I dab one in each muffin.

Overall I think I used about 1/4-1/3 cup of peanut butter.

After making extra crispy muffins yesterday I watched these like a hawk. The mini muffins were done perfectly in 15 minutes in a 350° oven.

The muffin base is a basic yellow cake but because some of my farm eggs are from pullets (a young hen whose just started laying eggs will lay smaller eggs) and I have mass amounts of eggs coming in every day I put 5 eggs in the batter instead of the 2 it calls for. The 5 eggs probably were the equivalent of 3 1/2 large store bought eggs.

The below nutrition label is an approx of the muffins with peanut butter and strawberry filling. One batch of the yellow cake filled 36 muffins.

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Playing with Mini Muffins

Last week I got the bright idea to make mini biscuits to go with gravy, I deemed them biscuit bites. They were a hit.

Yesterday was the first day back to a normal school week for us so instead of playing with the horses I came in to make breakfast.

I started with the thought of more biscuit bites but couldn’t commit. An extra egg, milk and a little oil later I had muffins instead of biscuits.

I used my juicer to make a yummy sauce of apples, lime, ginger, carrots and a tiny bit of jalapeno for extra excitement. The juice was heated and a little cornstarch added to thicken it to syrup consistency and that was breakfast. Of course it was polished off before I remembered I needed a picture. Oops!

Last night while working on dinner I was already contemplating what I would make in the mini muffin pan next and what kind of sauce would complement it.

Corndog bites and spicy tomato sauce.

I used my juicer again for the sauce, 4 tomatoes for the base, 2 celery stalks to add a little saltiness, a carrot for a bit of natural sweetness, 2 garlic cloves because it’s awesome and half of a jalapeno for a bit of excitement. Heated in a pan with a little cornstarch and we had homemade ketchup for our corndog bites.

I failed to remember that smaller muffins require a shorter bake time but they were pretty good with an extra crispy crust.

These are not homemade hotdogs, they are jalapeno cheddar dogs from Walmart. I put the dogs in the oven as it was preheating so they were warm when I put them in the batter.

Cut into 4 pieces left them just big enough to still see. I imagine 5 pieces might leave them a surprise. I might try that next time.

We have made dogs in the past and will again. I’m always a little surprised to find out what the kids consider fun.

The following pic is from a few years ago but they’re as eager to help now as they were then. Makes a momma proud.

A single batch of cornbread and five dogs create 20 mini muffins. A note on the nutrition facts. I use whole milk for cooking and ad an extra egg to almost everything baked.

The sauce.

Now to contemplate tomorrow’s mini muffin experiment.

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Smokin’ Good times…

Smoked beef burgers for dinner last night.

Yesterday was our first smoke of the year. I ended last year spending a week out on the smoker with two homegrown hams, bacon and summer sausage for Christmas dinner.

It’s felt like summer all week with no one being rushed out the door for school so we’re wishing tomorrow would stay tomorrow until September at least.

We spent yesterday walking around the local Ag Fest tempting ourselves not to bring home anything living.

Good thing I only have a small car at the moment or we would’ve had another dairy goat, pig and a couple more rabbits. We even saw a miniature horse we all fell in love with.

However hard we tried we couldn’t get back to the car without bringing home something breathing.

Some new trees for our small forest. Hey they were free!

Yesterday morning working with the horses I finally got them both comfortable following me up the wooden ramp to the front porch. Without grain, halter or lead rope.

I got the older of the two to follow me up the stairs as well with grain as a treat at the top.

This morning they both followed me up with only a little hesitation.

When they get confident with these simple tasks I’ll start working on it getting them used to a harness and light pack.

The end goal is to be able to drive them and pack with them.

Why am I asking them to go up the stairs and on the ramp? When we’re out hiking I want them to be confident in new/weird situations so they won’t panic and get hurt.

Why am I not using a halter/lead? I want them to gain the confidence at their own pace and trust themselves to follow me through anything calmly.

I’m running behind this weekend. I haven’t needed an alarm all week, waking up 15-30 minutes before it would go off. This weekend, I’m not sure if all the extra exercise is getting to me or if my body is rebelling but I slept 15 minutes past the usual time I would get up.

I have my alarm set for 45 minutes before sunrise. Why get up early when you don’t have to? I was asked recently. I can’t waste a beautiful peaceful morning sleeping!

Hope you have been enjoying your weekend!

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First campfire cooking of the year…

The teenager is back. An hour’s drive up into the mountains and we packed her up and brought her back.

Not before planning a stop at the grocery store for some BBQ worthy meat. Yep hotdogs and smores were on our list.

It’s not too often we eat store bought dogs but in the spirit of sunny weather we have to go old school. Dogs and smores over a campfire.

I managed to eat two dogs without taking a picture. Oops!

The marshmallows this year are smore ready.

Very square.

But I like eating marshmallows one burnt layer at a time and the new square marshmallows don’t come apart in layers. So annoying. But still yummy.

Well it’s almost 9pm and sunrise comes early nowadays so I have to crash.

Hope you had a great Friday and have a fun weekend!

Good night!

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Off the Farm Fun

Yesterday after taking my aunt breakfast we all loaded up in my car for a scenic country drive to a Tulip Festival. We spent the better part of the morning walking around huge fields of tulips before stopping for lunch and letting the tween have some special fun too.


The only disappointment was being teased by a brewery truck parked in the lot when we showed up, turned out it wasn’t there to deliver brew.

I love trying new brews as much as I love trying new food.

This morning I got more exercise than usual doing chores. I decided it was a good day to start training the miniature horses.

I want to get them comfortable in any situation so with a bucket of grain (no halter or rope) I teased them up the wooden ramp to the front porch. We’ll work on that until they’ll follow without coaxing then I’ll do the same with the stairs.

The end goal is to get them driving and backpacking. The girls and I love the outdoors and playing with the horses. What could be more fun than taking the horses camping?

My first round of college (20 years ago) I did some backpacking with mules on horseback but honestly think this would be a lot of fun.

This pic is from last summer when we were practicing campfire cooking on our farm. Even the animals couldn’t resist the curiosity of seeing what we were up to.

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Biscuit Bites and Gravy

This is the cook book (1963) that got me started here on the farm 14yrs ago. It’s my go-to when I need a quick reminder. It’s also where I send my kids when they need a basic recipe.

I confess I have created a few adjustments to the favorites. For my biscuits I use this basic recipe but instead of using shortening I dice up cold butter and leave it lumpy in the batter. This creates an amazing buttery biscuit. I also add an egg.

This morning we’re driving breakfast an hour north to share with my elderly aunt. She’s been a godsend my entire life. It’s the least I can do. Because we’re sharing I thought it would be fun to make miniature biscuits. Easy for dipping into the gravy.

The gravy is the easiest way to make any breakfast, lunch or dinner so much more.

Ingredients:

  • 3 bratwurst, casings removed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3-4tbsp flour
  • ~1.5 cups of milk

Brown the sausage, add the butter, mix the flour into about 1/4 of cold water and then add it to the sausage.

If you add the flour straight to the sausage it will stick. Mixing the flour in the water first makes a smooth consistent gravy.

Then add milk and mix until the gravy is at the consistency that you want. If you like a thicker gravy add less milk, if you want it thinner add more.

Remember all measurements are approximates as I tend to eye-ball everything in the kitchen.

8 o’clock I better get this gravy in a dish and hit the road.

Enjoy your breakfast and your day!

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Leftovers refurbished

Although the girls and I are not real big on leftovers I’ve gotten pretty good at refurbishing them to make it appetizing the second time around.

Last night we had baked chicken thighs and a Southwest style side of black beans, corn, red Bell pepper, purple onion, tomato and jalapeno.

I had 4 thighs which I diced up (skin also) and added to the 3-4 cups of leftover side.

Tonight I wrapped up the leftovers with a little pepper jack cheese and some fun flavored tortillas and baked em until crispy on the outside and hot in the middle. 400° convection for 20 minutes. A little sour cream to cool the heat and it’s a perfect dinner or stick em in the freezer for another day.

The nutrition label is only an approx because I’m not in the habit of using measuring cups. I also didn’t include the tortillas because while I used some fun spinach and tomato flavored tortillas (210 calories a wrap) you might use a different variety.

Ingredients:

  • 4 baked chicken thighs and skin
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large purple onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • ~2tbsp butter
  • Salt n pepper
  • 6-7 slices pepper jack cheese

Everything but the chicken was diced and sauteed in a pan with a little butter.

The flavors really improve after sitting in the fridge overnight.

Wrap and bake 400° ~20 minutes.

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Back in the saddle again…

I started this blog with the intention of treating it like a farm diary. Since then my 17yo begged for a way to make extra money so I let her take up the feeding/watering chores. It literally takes only about 30 minutes if you do the chores with a purpose.

The teen is away this week she’s volunteering as a camp counselor for the 6th graders Outdoor School. Sunday the tween and I drove her an hour into the mountains for camp.

Monday morning I let my insomnia do it’s thing. I rarely sleep past 3:30 or for more than 5hrs. Not by choice.

Last night I actually got 7hrs of sleep but I was ready to do chores 15 minutes before sunrise.

I’ve always been one to get chores done at daybreak. It’s such a peaceful time of the morning being awake before the chickens are off their rafters.

Oh and the tween is an awesome teammate. She mostly just walks along but she does it enthusiastically without complaint. Pretty cool for an 11yo.

Now we’re talking about keeping the farm chores and find a new way for the teen to make money. 😁

On the downside the newly installed bees disappeared. That was sad and $160 tossed into the wind but maybe it was a mistake getting bees that weren’t in an established 5 frame nuc. I thought I would save money just getting 3lbs of bees. I knew better. It’s never worked for me in the past.

I made the tween biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Of course I forgot to take a picture. I’ll probably make her more tomorrow so I’ll give you a recipe and picture then. Promise! I had some V8. I’ve never been much of a breakfast person.

It’s almost 7:30. I better get back to it. I need to build a couple of rabbit yards. The 5 baby buns are almost as big as the adults.

I need to work on the meat shed too. My garden is depending on it.

Have a great day!