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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oatmeal Treat Balls


As I was getting out the ingredients to make my favorite oatmeal cookies the other day in preparation for my father-in-law's weekend visit, I thought - the chickens really would like these.  Oats, walnuts, raisins...some of their favorite treats.  But of course some of the other ingredients aren't so good for them, so after baking up a batch of my signature Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, I set about creating a  healthy version for the chickens.

I substituted honey (which has great health benefits) for the sugars, omitted the salt, and substituted a combination of wheat flour, wheat germ and cornmeal for the white flour.


The result baked up nicely and actually tasted pretty good ! But the real test came when I served up the girls a batch.  However, as usual, they are forgiving critics and as you can see, they loved them !

So next time you bake oatmeal cookies, why not whip up a batch for your chickens !

Oatmeal Treat Balls
(makes 14 generously-sized balls)

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup suet, olive oil or coconut oil
1/4 Cup honey
2 Eggs 
1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Cup wheat germ
1/2 Cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 Cups old-fashioned oats
1 Cup raisins
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and honey until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time.  Combine flour, wheat germ, cornmeal, baking soda and cinnamon and add slowly on low speed until incorporated.
Add oats, raisins and walnuts, mix until blended.

Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Serve immediately as an occasional treat.

These will freeze wonderfully also, so put any extras in the freezer for later.



Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


My variation on the Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie recipe.  These bake up quickly and are SO good ! (And if you feel like treating your chickens while you have the oven on and the ingredients out, here's a healthy  Oatmeal Treat Ball recipe for the chickens)

Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
(makes two dozen)

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
2 Eggs (fresh if you have them !)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-1/2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 Cup dried blueberries
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add slowly on low speed until incorporated.  Add oats, blueberries, chips and walnuts, mix until blended.

Drop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

These cookies also freeze beautifully so make a double batch and freeze half for later.

If you don't have your own chickens, why not check the brand new website Local Hens for a farm near you where you could buy some local fresh eggs ?


This recipe is shared at Foodie Friends Friday. 

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marans + Ameraucana = Olive Egger


If you have been following the blog you know that I recently hatched my very first chicks. It was such an amazing experience. To think that an egg hatches into a living, breathing chick in just 21 days and then that golf-ball sized chick grows to be a robin-sized pullet over the next 30 days or so is just amazing.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicken Piccata Recipe


I'll just preface this by saying we don't eat much chicken in our home. Ever since raising our own hens for the eggs, chicken just doesn't appeal to me as a food anymore. But my husband is still a big fan. His favorite is beer can chicken, but I had to draw the line there. Opening the oven to see a whole chicken roasting, perched on top of a beer can,  was just too much for me to handle.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

If you are trying to find the perfect Mother's Day gift for your Mom, why not check out the cute items some of our sponsors offer.  And if you ARE a Mom, why not forward this link along to your loved ones to give them a little nudge in the right direction !

River Duck Gifts sells a wide array of unique gifts with a country appeal including home decor items, specialty foods, watering cans, jewelry, metal signs, thermometers and gift baskets.  
Use the coupon code FRESH for 10% off your order.


Eggs & Chickens offers a wide variety of baking, gardening, chicken collectibles, gourmet food, books, magazines  and other merchandise, as well as a quick link to your amazon.com wish list.


Bluebird Pottery, owned by FED co-admin Suzanne, sells pie plates, butter bells, bowls, coffee mugs, soap dishes and dispensers and lots of other beautifully handmade and glazed items.


Wooden Hive sells hand hammered vintage spoons, forks and knives magically transformed into garden markers, as well as baby, shower and wedding gifts. 
Use the coupon code SUNNYSIDE10 for 10% off your purchase.


Louise's Country Closet sells a wide variety of t-shirts, keychains, tea towels and pot holders, as well as chicken saddles and diapers, dog and cat collars and bandannas, all with free US shipping.  
Use the coupon code FRESH to get 15%  off your order.


Cuffs & Ruffles sells beautiful little girls' pinafores, dresses and aprons. Perfect for a Mother's Day outing !



Why not give your Mom a subscription to Mary Janes Farm magazine ?


Or visit the Fresh Eggs Daily etsy shop where we sell feed bag totes, handpainted wooden signs, vintage farm decor items, window decals and more. 
Use the coupon code FRESHEGGSDAILY for 10% off your order.

Happy Shopping !

Monday, April 23, 2012

Painted Mason Jar Flower Vases


If you're already dreaming of spring, and had enough of cold, snow and ice, you don't have to wait until Mother Nature decides it's time...instead bring a bit of spring indoors with these easy repurposed mason jar vases.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Scones


This is the perfect spring time brunch recipe.  Quick and easy, these scones highlight fresh, sweet berries....


Ingredients:

2-1/2 Cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream 
Turbinado sugar
Whole fresh berries for garnish

To prepare: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate butter.  Gently fold in strawberries. Whisk eggs and 1/2 Cup heavy cream to combine and then mix into batter until just moistened.

Transfer dough to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Pat in a 3/4-inch thick circle.  Score into 8 wedges.  Brush wedges with the 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and sprinkle with turbindao sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes or until golden.  Plate and garnish with whole berries.  Serve with honey butter or strawberry jam.


This recipe is shared with Iron Chef Mom.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fans' Chicken FAQ


FREQUENTLY ASKED FAN QUESTIONS

-all answers are based on my personal experience, and there may be more than one 'right answer, but I always prefer to just tell you what I do that I find works-

Chick Questions

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adding to an Established Flock - Integrating New Pullets or Introducing Adult Chickens


Care needs to be taken when introducing new pullets (or grown hens) to your flock.  Chickens take their pecking order very seriously and any new addition is seen as a threat to their place in the order. Even your sweet, affectionate hens might literally peck chicks, pullets or even full-sized hens to death if they are added suddenly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Abigail's First Photo Shoot

Meet Abigail our three and a half week old Olive Egger.  She's an active, curious peep who will grow up to lay us gorgeous olive green eggs.  You're welcome to join us on her very first photo shoot.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicken Run Landscaping


Although it may seem like an exercise in futility, it actually IS possible to landscape your chicken run.  A nicely landscaped run serves many purposes both for you, your flock and your neighbors. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blackberry White Chocolate Tiered Cheesecake


I was asked to bring a cheesecake to a friend's house this year for Easter.  My friend even texted me a raspberry cheese cake recipe she found on epicurious.com for 'inspiration'.  But I couldn't find any fresh raspberries, so I needed to make some substitutions. The recipe I am sharing here is the result of a bit of tweaking of that original recipe.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pumpkin Soup, Garlic & Nasturtium - Natural Wormers


I have never wormed my chickens with any kind of commercial wormer.  Many experts recommend 'proactive' worming with a wormer twice a year, but I don't believe in administering any medications unless absolutely necessary. Instead I rely on holistic preventatives. I have never had any trouble with worms in my flock, and have had our vet take fecal samples and no sign of worms have ever been found.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pastel Easter Eggs - Dyeing Eggs Naturally

I have dyed eggs using natural ingredients  and also tried marbling eggs using olive oil and vinegar.  I loved both results. But when I saw a slightly different technique of dying eggs in pastel colors for Easter using natural ingredients in the latest issue of Backyard Poultry Magazine (April/May 2012), I just had to try it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Natural Pest Control - Safe for Chickens, Other Pets and People


'Tis the season of bugs and other pests. While chickens will eat many of the bugs that they come in contact with, others they won't.  Bad bugs and parasites can not only carry disease to your flock through contaminating their feed but some also transmit harmful diseases through direct contact.  Others can damage wood in coops and barns, so you do want to control them, but do it naturally.

Stop! Put down the Raid or Ortho. Don't use Frontline or Sevin Dust on your chickens! Commercial bug sprays and pesticides aren't good for your family, your pets or the environment. Before you start spraying chemicals near your run and coop area that could be harmful to your chickens (or in your home that are harmful to your family and indoor pets), you might want to consider some of these homemade natural remedies to repel pests. 

I have not personally tried all of these remedies, but as with most natural, holistic preventives, they are easy, inexpensive and have no side effects, so there's no downside to giving them a try.  And you probably have everything you need to battle summer pests right in your kitchen cabinets and pantry.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Martha's Marbled Easter Eggs


Being crafty and loving to bake and cook, I have been a huge Martha Stewart fan for years.  So I am not surprised that she came up with this utterly amazing way to dye eggs more than ten years ago.  I have seen it shared and passed around Facebook more than a few times this week and just had to try it for myself....and once I tried it, I just had to share !

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Homemade Mayo with Dill


I think one of the best things about raising our own chickens is being able to safely enjoy homemade recipes such as eggnog, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise which use uncooked or partially cooked eggs.  The risk of salmonella in eggs from a backyard flock is far lower than in those from a commercial egg farm, so I have been indulging and making some of my favorite recipes again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spraddle Leg - Preventing and Treating Splayed Leg in Baby Chicks


Hopefully you will never have to worry about a chick with spraddle leg ( also called splayed leg), but as is the case with everything else chicken-related, it's always best to be prepared ...just in case.