What came first?

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner so you want to make sure your girls have everything they need to make this transition into “henhood” go smoothly.  The first thing you want to do is make sure your birds are healthy and happy. You want to pay close attention to their nutrition and overall health.  Right now I’m feeding my girls a grower diet that has between 12-16 percent protein.  Laying hens need good quality protein to produce good quality eggs. When they start laying, or at about 22 weeks, whichever comes first, I will switch them to a layer feed that contains more calcium and minerals.  If you feed your hens a diet high in calcium before they are ready it can damage their kidneys. I will also offer them things like ground oyster shells or ground egg shells that are rich in calcium.  This…

Zucchini Squares

When the zucchini starts to take over my garden I look for ways to use it in everything. One of our favorites is Zucchini Squares. They are made with fresh parmesan cheese, lots of eggs, and pepperoni. In our house anything with pepperoni is always a hit. Zucchini Squares 3 Cups shredded zucchini 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 1/2 cups Bisquick 3/4 cup parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp. salt, dash of pepper 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 2 Tbsp. dried parsley 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 6 eggs, slightly beaten 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sliced pepperoni cut into halves Mix all ingredients together, pour into greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins or until golden brown. Whatever you do, and this is really important here folks….Do NOT go outside to eat lunch and then take a quick dip in the pool. And then Do NOT take a walk…

It’s just Betta with Butta!

This time of the year I find myself with an over abundance of fresh herbs.  I’ve been filling our house and The Hippie Chick-Inn with them.  Drying them, freezing them and tossing them into everything I cook or bake.  Today I decided to pull out the old food processor and make up some Herb Butter also called Compound Butter.  They are really easy to do and they add such a great flavor to just about anything you cook.  I use Herb Butter on everything!  Vegetables, fish, meat, bread, eggs.  They just all taste better with homemade herb butter! All you will need is about 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, whatever you want to use, finely grated lemon rind (optional) and 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature. Throw it all into your food processor and give it a spin.  Or you can forget the machinery and just mash it together with…

Blueberry Snack Bars

I think blueberry season is my favorite.  I love blueberries.  I remember enjoying them as a little girl in an ice cold cup of milk with some sugar sprinkled in.  I would eat all those yummy berries first and then drink all that delicious sugary, blueberry milk.  I’d eat them in my cereal, in blueberry pancakes, in blueberry muffins hot from the oven drenched in butter, blueberry cakes, blueberry pies and the all time yummiest, blueberry snack bars. So when blueberry season rolls around you can bet the first thing I make for my family will be those bars.  They have a shortbread cookie base that is topped with coconut and blueberries (of course) making them ooey and gooey and oh so delicious. Blueberry Snack Bars Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1 cup of all purpose flour 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp. 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar Cream…

Cleaning out the coop

Today is Monday.  On Mondays I like to give The Hippie Chick-Inn an extra good cleaning.  That usually consists of a thorough raking, an application of Food Grade DE sprinkled about and of course the addition of fresh herbs and flowers. First things first.  Sand is what I use for litter on the floor of the coop.  I have found that it stays 10x cleaner then pine shavings and it is so easy to maintain.  It is like a giant kitty litter box. It doesn’t retain moisture, it doesn’t decay, it’s inexpensive, stays cool longer in the summer and it provides the chicks with a giant dust-bath.  Just make sure you use contractors grade and not the sand for a child’s sandbox as that contains too much silica.  Every morning I just go in and scoop the poop! Takes me 2 mins at most.  I add it to my compost…

There’s Gold In them thar…..Barrels!

I have two compost bins.  My hub made them for me.  They work great, they hold a ton and they are easy to use.  You just load them up on the top and then give them a couple of spins and all that kitchen and garden waste gets mixed up and starts to work its magic. My Compost Bins Within two weeks I already had what looked like some good old fashioned “Black Gold”.  Perfect!!!!! There is one slight problem…. If you haven’t noticed they are Blue.  Big, Bright and Blue.  Now I love the color blue.  Yes  I do.  It has always been one of my favorites.  I have four boys remember, so I’ve lived with blue, everywhere. I just don’t like it in my gardens. At least not this Much of it!  I can’t hide my compost.  It sticks out like a sore thumb for all to see,…

Good Clean Fun!

Today my daughter and my grandson came over to help me make soap.  O.K. They came over to swim in the pool, but when they heard I was making soap they reluctantly willingly were forced volunteered to help me. My willing volunteers If you’ve never made soap before let me tell you, it’s a very rewarding experience.  It is a way to let those creative juices flow.  You can make all kinds off different soap, different colors, different textures, different scents.  Today we are making Rosemary-Lavender Soap.  My herb garden is overflowing right now with both of those ingredients so I thought it would be the perfect way to use them.  Just keep in mind that when you make soap you are working with Lye.  Lye is a very dangerous substance so you need to take all the necessary precautions. Wear gloves  Tie back long hair keep pets and small children out…

Dutch

    Shortly after we moved into our new home IT started.  The boxes were all unpacked, my baskets lined the shelves, the curtains were hung, the dust was starting to settle.  I knew IT was coming.  I could feel IT.  I started to see signs of IT everywhere.  Literature and images of IT left out on the table.  Books about IT appeared on my nightstand.  Pictures of IT taped to my bathroom mirror and strategically placed in my underwear drawer.  Mumblings of IT at the dinner table.  I tried to fight IT.  I wasn’t ready for IT.  IT is to hard I said.  IT is to messy I complained.  IT is to much of a commitment I argued.  But I was outnumbered.  And before long IT happened. IT Meet Dutch.  Otherwise known as Double Dutch, Dutch Master, Dutchie Dog, No Dutch, Stop Dutch, Damn Dutch or my personal favorite…

When life gives you Basil…

Make Pesto!!! My garden is overflowing with basil these days.  So I grab the opportunity to make up a few batches of pesto to toss into my freezer and enjoy throughout the winter. It’s super easy and you can whip up a batch in no time.  All you need is 4 Cups of fresh basil leaves 2 large cloves of garlic 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese 2/3 cups of pine nuts, you may substitute walnuts or even almonds 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil I like to chopped the garlic and the nuts together first until they are the same consistency as fine bread crumbs.  Then I add the basil, cheese, salt and pepper.  I give this a whirl around the food processor and then I slowly drizzle in the olive oil until its completely combined and its made a nice paste. Thats…

Our House, Our Home

Recently my husband and I purchased a new home that has changed our lives.  We retired a few years ago, sold our “dream home” in CT. bought a small Condo, packed our bags and moved to  Naples, FL. We were having the time of our lives! Beach, boat, jet skis, dinner in fancy restaurants, shopping at the finest stores, going to The Naples Philharmonic to broaden our horizons, eating right, excersing daily and missing everyone back home. Something just didn’t feel right.  So after many trips back to CT. we decided our retirement was just too soon.  Packed up some stuff, and came home. Unfortunately “home” was now a condo.  It just wasn’t going to work with our ever growing family!! So after much soul searching and sleepless nights, we decided we once again needed to get a place to spread our roots and provide our family with “home central”.  Problem…