Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Fresh Tomato Pie


It seems that the tomatoes from our garden always all ripen at once and I'm scrambling to use them in a variety of different ways. This dinner pie is a quick, easy summertime meal that highlights your fresh tomatoes and also basil from your garden.


Friday, July 27, 2012

A to Z with The Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow & a Giveaway!

Enjoy these interesting facts compiled by Yvette from the pages of The Chicken Encyclopedia ...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Backyard Biosecurity: Keep your Chickens Healthy and Safe



It happens time and time again, but it is heartbreaking to me every time I hear it. Readers too often tell me that they brought home a new chicken from a swap or got a few pullets from a friend or neighbor to add to their existing flock and now all their chickens are sick and/or dying. They always say 'but the new ones LOOKED so healthy.'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pasta Carbonara with Farm Fresh Eggs


When it's hot outside the last thing I feel like doing it turning on the oven...or even the stove honestly. But we get tired of sandwiches and salads for dinner every night in the summer, so I often make this quick, easy stove top pasta dinner that really showcases our fresh eggs.

It only uses a few ingredients that I always have on hand anyway, so it has become our go-to 'I can't eat another piece of lettuce or I'll turn into a rabbit' meal. Vegetarians can easily leave out the bacon and still end up with a yummy dinner.

PASTA CARBONARA

Ingredients:
1 pound box of spaghetti
8 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large fresh eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

(*note: the eggs are not technically 'cooked' except for tossing them in the hot pasta, so I would recommend using only your own eggs in this recipe to reduce the chance of contracting salmonella)

Cook spaghetti according to box instructions. Meanwhile, saute bacon in a frying pan until crisp.  Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the frying pan.  Add garlic and saute until it just starts to brown, maybe a minute or so. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk eggs, cream and cheese until combined.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Pour sauce over the pasta and toss quickly.  Add the bacon and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top and warm garlic bread.


Buon Appetito!



Monday, July 23, 2012

New and Improved Breakfast of Champion Layers


We have never had such beautifully-colored eggs with nice strong shells or healthy-looking hens as we do now. All our chickens are beautiful and glossy with shiny feathers, bright eyes, and rosy combs and wattles.  I know it's due to the custom feed mix I have developed for them. I call it the 'Breakfast of Champion Layers'.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

DIY Homemade All Natural Laundry Products


In an effort to reduce the chemicals we are exposed to, as well as save a bit of money and help the environment, I decided to stop using commercial laundry products and instead start making my own. I tried a variety of 'recipes' and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they all were to make and how well they worked.

Friday, July 20, 2012

French Laundry Room Makeover Part One


When I worked in Manhattan I made a lot of trip to the dry cleaners. Wool skirt and pants, silk blouses, cashmere sweaters...all needed to be dry cleaned.  I also bought a lot of pantyhose that needed to be handwashed.  

But doing actual laundry, in a washing machine, not so much.  I got home so late from work each night, I often just changed out of my work clothes right into my pajamas.  So the hamper didn't fill up very quickly.

Fast forward a few years to life on our farm. Now, the only pantyhose I use are to store onion garlic bulbs in the pantry.
http://pinterest.com/fresheggsdaily/homesteading/
But I seems that every time I go outside, I end up covered in mud, dirt, grass or berry stains, or chicken poop.  If there's mud the ducks will find it - and if there is none, they will be sure and make some.

I find myself going out to cut some mint for tea and before I know it, I am kneeling in the soft warm dirt doing some weeding. Or I go down to collect eggs and end up with a few chickens in my lap.  I dig worms for the ducks and cut weeds for the chickens. Of course when it rains everything is muddy... 

Farming is dirty work!

We also live in the South now so even just sitting outside in the evening in the summer ensures that whatever my husband is wearing ends up as a sweaty, bug-spray covered ball in the hamper.
Now that laundry has become a larger part of my life, I decided that our laundry room needed a makeover. If I have to spend more time in there, I want it to be welcoming and cheerful.

Our laundry room was painted a pistachio green that sort of reminded me of a hospital.  I chose instead a pretty lavender paint and decided to go with black & white toile accents.  I found everything except the paint secondhand on ebay or etsy.

This was just a mini makeover...new paint, cafe curtains on the window, a coordinating throw rug, a new ironing board cover and matching switch plates, a few accessories to match the lavender and black & white toile motif and I was done.  The new brushed steel front-load washer and dryer will have to wait - at least for now.
             

    
  


In an effort to reduce the chemicals we use on a daily basis, I have decided as part of the 'makeover' to also stop using commercial laundry products and instead start making my own (also cheaper and better for the environment). 

In my next blog post I will share some easy homemade DIY recipes for laundry detergent (powder and gel), stain remover, fabric softener and bleach alternative using common household products.  There are loads of these recipes on Pinterest and elsewhere online, so I sorted through them to come up with easy recipes that really do work.

Now that I have a serene, inviting laundry room, I am ready to start filling up these vintage canisters with some homemade cleaning products.
~instead of flour, sugar and tea...I'm thinking detergent powder, Borax and baking soda~

Stay tuned for Laundry Room Makeover Part Two for the recipes, how-to and also an exciting giveaway sponsored by 



Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c



Everyone is welcome at Fresh Eggs Daily!  To make sure you don't miss any of the tips and tricks, fan questions, giveaways or unending stream of cute photos join us on facebook at Fresh Eggs Daily and Ducks Too  and be sure to sign up to follow our blog via email, Networked Blogs or Google Connect. 

This blog post is featured at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House Blog Hop #67 , DIY Showoff, DIY Home Sweet Home, All About Color and Funky Junk Interiors




Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Comb to Toe Chicken Checkup


It is generally good practice to spend time with your flock on a regular basis (as if you don't already!), apart from the regular feeding and cleaning, but really observing them, so that you know what is 'normal' and immediately notice any changes in appearance or behavior. The faster you can identify a health issue and treat it, the better. Chickens, being the ultimate prey animal, are masters at hiding symptoms and often by the time you notice something is wrong its too late.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Classic Tiramisu Recipe


My husband's birthday was this past Friday and I decided to make him Tiramisu instead of a birthday cake. It's one of his all-time favorites, so I knew he wouldn't miss a traditional cake.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Molt Meatloaf: Much-Needed Protein for Feather Regrowth in Chickens


Molting is the process that chickens (and other birds) go through to replace old, broken and dirty feathers with new healthy ones. This is not only for aesthetic reasons but also for health reasons. Healthy new feathers help trap warm air through the winter better than old feathers.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Caramel Drizzled Shortbread Barnyard S'More Recipe


I don't think I've actually eaten a S'More since I was in Girl Scouts like a million years ago. But for some reason, the summer heat and cool nights lately made me crave them.

I decided to bake a batch for dessert tonight but I am not a huge fan of graham crackers, so I decided to use a classic shortbread cookie as the base instead.   I also decided to add some warm caramel sauce drizzle on top of the S'Mores.

I upped the ante a bit by baking the cookies in farm animal shapes, using my Norpro Farm Cookie Pan.  I love this pan. You can bake shortbread or sugar cookies in it, make chocolates or even mold soaps, salt dough or play-doh.
~photo courtesy amazon.com (link to purchase below)~

I used a classic shortbread cookie recipe, but you can substitute any favorite cookie recipe.

Classic Shortbread Recipe

A Stick and a Half Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
A Cup and a Half Flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream the butter in a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Slowly add the flour at low speed until incorporated, then mix on medium until smooth.



Press balls of dough into each section of the shortbread pan.  Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove to cooking rack using the tip of a knife to loosen each cookie.
Once you have the cookies done, it's time for the fun part.

You Will Need:
6 Squares of Good Quality Milk or Dark Chocolate at room temperature
6 Marshmallows
Skewer or Stick
Caramel Sauce

Assembly:
A square of chocolate went on top of six of the cookies.

Since I didn't feel like building a fire, I toasted the marshmallows over the flame on our gas stove.

  A perfectly gooey marshmallow went on top of each chocolate square.

A drizzle of warmed caramel sauce, the second cookie on top and my Shortbread Caramel S'Mores were ready to eat!

I also decided to make Bruleed Strawberries as a sort of plate garnish. My inspiration came from this pin I found on pinterest: 


I opted be lazy and use marshmallow fluff instead of making my own marshmallow creme but the results were still pretty good as you can see for yourself!  I torched them with a kitchen torch instead of using the gas burner on the stove, which I think was a lot neater.

This made for an easy, fun summer treat....and you gotta love any dessert shaped like a chicken!



You can purchase the Farm Animal Cookie Sheet here:



Everyone is welcome at Fresh Eggs Daily!  To make sure you don't miss any of the tips and tricks, fan questions, giveaways or unending stream of cute photos join us on facebook at Fresh Eggs Daily and Ducks Too  and be sure to sign up to follow our blog via email, Networked Blogs or Google Connect.





Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

This recipe is featured at Crafty Moms Share and French Cuisine Friday. Foodie Friends Friday




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rainbow Frozen Fruit and Veggie Chicken Treat Block


Chicken keeping can be serious business: worrying if your new chicks are warm enough, if your coop is going to be big enough, if your hen is egg bound, how to break a broody hen, if your pullet is actually a rooster, how to get your chickens to like the new additions to your flock,  if there is a predator lurking...the list goes on and on.

So sometimes it's fun to just kick back and relax and really enjoy chicken keeping while doing something special for them. This Rainbow Fruit and Veggie Ice Block did it for me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Brinsea Mini Advance Review

I don't generally write blog posts purely to promote a sponsor's product. It's just not my style.

But I HAVE to tell you about the Brinsea Mini Advance Incubator.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot Weather, Acidosis and a Homemade Electrolyte Recipe


Did you know that the effects of heat on chickens is cumulative and that a sudden increase in temperature is more dangerous than a gradual climb? Temperatures between 65-75F are optimal, anything higher starts to cause stress to their bodies. The added blood flow to their combs, wattles and skin reduces the flow to their vital organs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Health Benefits of Herbs


Almost every culinary herb (plus spices and many common flowers such as roses, nasturtium, bee balm, etc.) has amazing health benefits for both humans and animals. I grow a wide assortment of herbs to use in cooking and also in conjunction with raising our chickens and ducks. Many are perennials, such as lavender, mint, thyme and pineapple sage, or reseed themselves like dill, parsley and cilantro, so I just add a few more annuals, such as basil, marjoram and sage each spring to achieve a varied selection of herbs.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Patriotic Chicken Coop Makeover


I was feeling patriotic and decided to decorate our chicken coop for the Fourth of July..

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Egg Eating - Possible Causes and Ways to Break This Bad Habit in Backyard Chickens


Egg eating by your chickens is a bad habit that gets harder to break the longer you let it go on. Many say that culling the offender(s) is the only way to stop it but I offer that there are a few less drastic solutions.