Category Archives: favorite things

Baby Birds

After much debate with 2 people who don’t care, we got 4 new baby chicks

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The feed store is now an ace hardware so who know if they will stop doing chick in the future.  I wanted a couple different breeds, Madigan said she would like to get the birds that lay the blue and green eggs.

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Two arcanas or Amerucanas, it will be neat to watch how they change color and how the feathers come in. Since they look a little different now, maybe they will give us two different colored eggs.

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Two leghorns, I liked having a white bird in the yard.

IMG_0429I am debating naming this one Alice or Maryln after Alice Cooper or Maryln Manson with the over use of eyeliner.

IMG_0434SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FLUUUUUUUUUUUUFFFFFFFFYYYYYYY!

Not one market, but TWO!

I saw on facebook that Betty and Clyde were at the Catawba Farmers Market.  I have missed seeing them so I asked Madigan if she was up for a two market day, she said yes.  Had to get our yearly picture with Betty.

IMG_9114 IMG_9116We got a little bit of everything, including some flowers to put in the vase at home.

IMG_9120Clyde said the honey from one of the other vendors was the best, so I has to get it, bonus they offered jars with the comb still in it.

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My new CSA Thornfield Farms

IMG_9108We always get a picture of Madigan and our favorite vendor at the beginning of the season.  So we can watch her grow.  Susanna from Thornfield Farm has become the person I most want to see at the market.  She grows the best tasting lettuces and greens.  I know you are thinking, how great can lettuce really be, go grab some and you will see, the best EVER.

IMG_9109I picked the farmers choice for my first CSA bagIMG_9122 IMG_9124HUGE head of green lettuce, smaller head of red leaf lettuce, bok choy, kale, spicey greens and some spinach.  Great thing about getting a mixed bag, we get to wing it on what dinner is.  Fresh salad tonight, tomorrow, greens with either fried chicken or pork chops.

The Professor’s poppers

Again, with talking about the farmer’s at the market.  Yes!  Every year we get as many peppers from the Professors Garden as we can.  The peppers in the pepper and onion relish I make is almost all peppers from the professor.  Everything they grow is wonderful.  One year Madigan and I did a fancy tomato tasting at our house with the wide variety of tomatoes they have.  This post is about peppers.  I like to get to the market early and get as many, if not all of the jalapenos I can find.  Sometimes it is just a few, one year, when it was a good crop I was able to get like 5 pounds.  I love making poppers.

Here’s how I do it.  First I put on gloves, cause you never know how hot they are going to be.  I slice them in half, pull out the seeds and remove the veins (If you like it hot and playing popper Russian roulette skip this step).  In a bowl mix softened cream cheese, finely chopped onions and cheddar cheese.  I like my mix closer to the cheddar color vs the cream cheese color.  I then scoop the mix into the peppers.  Use non stick foil or spray  the pan.  I top with more shredded cheddar.  Sometimes I do bread crumbs, but didn’t want to run to the basement to get the GF breadcrumbs out of the freezer.

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I bake them in a 385-ish oven for about 20 min.  (I say 385 ish because I sometime cook stuff before and after so I mostly set the oven for what the main dish will be–it’s hard to mess these poppers up)  When they start looking like this they are done.IMG_1655

Some of the cheese burns a bit, but who doesn’t love a little crispy cheese!  I will eat these until that last pepper is picked!

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I love finding items at the market and making meal plans around what is available.  We can’t always to that, and in January I am sick to death of winter squash, but the seasons change quick enough to never really get tired of eating with the seasons.

Patchwork Potato Leek Soup

I love going to the Grandin Farmers Market on Saturdays buying what is in season and really enjoying the flavors of the season.  I also like when one vendor has all the key ingredients.  For the second week in a row, Patchwork Farm had potatoes and leeks.  It is a favorite here at our house and super easy to make. Melt some butter on medium, add a little salt and cut up the leeks. Cook those for about 10 minutes till they are soft.  I was making something else at the same time and had some extra onions so added those as well. IMG_1645

Once those are cooked down, add  1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Let that cook down a bit. I peel and cut up a pound of potatoes. I then add 3 cups of chicken broth,

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Add a cup of milk or cream.  Simmer until the potatoes are “fork tender”.  I then take half of the mix and put in the blender (make sure you leave the top vented so you don’t pop the container) and blend till smooth.  I pour it back to the pan.  Then mix up the second half.

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Pour the second batch back in pan, stir and let it cook for another minute or two.  Serve it up with a little parm or any other cheese you have on hand.

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I make this once a week while the leeks and potatoes are available at the market!  Thanks again Patchwork for what you do!

New addition to the kitchen

I have wanted a dutch oven for a while but haven’t felt like it was a NEED.  When my mom started making homemade bread in one, the want moved up a little higher on the list.  So for an early birthday present this arrived on our doorstep!

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Thanks mom, it’s perfect, not to big, not too small.  Pretty and useful.  I can’t wait to figure out all the the things I can make in it.

Could become my favorite cooking vessel.