Friday, September 30, 2011

My Sister - The Beak Whisperer

Happy Friday to you all. Where did the week go, I don't know about you but the days are flying by and it will be Christmas tomorrow! Speaking of that, just the other day my sister was saying how she has been picking up presents for her 'boys', those boys being of the feathered kind. I know, I have never mentioned these nephews, but I really know nothing about birds that live in the house, and so I leave all of that knowledge to my little sis, who has such a way with the birds that she has been named by some as 'The Beak Whisperer' as her blog is so named.

Here is Zeek, the Nanday Conure, a rascal for sure and one that I never get my fingers near his lopper like beak!

This is Timothy, bless his heart, a Timneh African Grey who was adopted by Sis. When she got Timmy, he looked horrid from picking most all of his body feathers off, I couldn't even look at him for a long time when I would go was very sad. Look at him now, with her knowledge and patients, he has come a long way. She has developed special toys that birds need to occupy their minds and beaks.

Here is their Condo unit, Timothy's is on the left, Zeek is on the top right and Gabe the Cockatiel, who is painfully camera shy, is on the bottom right. They have a wonderful view of the chicken compound where they can boss those silly birds around through the window.

Her love of the feathered friends have even spilled over into her art work..Love this sweet owl!

Do you think they all might be spoiled? Our brother always says "When I die, I want to come back as one of Michelle's animals". How funny!
Like I said, my knowledge of birds end with the chickens so I will invite you to go over to her blog where you can see more.
I hope you all have a fun packed weekend in store. xo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


In my many years of of gardening and my eagerness to plant just a few more zucchini hills, 'just in case' something doesn't come up, I have made my share of The Bread. Many recipes have been stirred up by these hands and many a high hope have been dashed. - Not this time, finally, I do believe, a tasty, above average loaf of zucchini bread has come out of my oven. It is moist but solid, with a hint of spice and a crust with a tiny bit of caramelized chew.

This recipe has been on my list (almost forgotten) of things to bake. It is from this book by Maida Heatter and was published in the early 80's. She made a point of baking up recipes until they reached perfection and sharing others that she found noteworthy. This one came from a restaurant she had visited in Seattle named E.A.T. , I tried to find it but was unsuccessful in my search. Anyway, here is a link if you would like to know more about this fascinating woman.

Zucchini Loaf from Seattle
3 Cups sifted flour
Scant 1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3 t. cinnamon
2 Packed cups zucchini, shredded into julienne-shaped slivers
2 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. oil
1 t. vanilla
4 oz. of walnuts, cut or broken into medium size pieces. - I used about 1/2 C. pecans. (toasted).
Oven 350 degrees. oven middle rack. Makes, one - Loaf/Bread Pan
Maida suggests buttering the loaf pan and using fine bread crumbs instead of the usual flour for dusting the pan...I did do this and will do it for all cakes and other baked items in the future. I was very impressed with the crust and I'm sure you will be too.
This can all be done easily by hand and so no need to get out your mixer but you can use it if you prefer.
In a large bowl beat eggs just to mix.
Mix in sugar, oil and vanilla.
Add sifted dry ingredients and beat/stir to mix - it will be thick, I used a wooden spoon.
Add zucchini along with any juice and mix thoroughly, the zucchini will thin the batter. Stir in the nuts.
Put into pan and smooth the top and bake for 1 hr. and 45 min. check with a cake tester and make sure it comes out dry. The loaf will rise high and have a crack on the top.
Have a good Wednesday.
Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn out and let cool completely...Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

That's What I Get For Trying

Good Monday morning to you all. Hope you all had a nice first weekend of Fall. We were busy on Saturday getting things done outside, as our first fall storm came in on Sunday with wind and sideways rain. Today we have a stronger one coming in a few hours and the Wind Advisory warns of potential power outages as "The trees have their sails on"...sometimes the NOAA forecast discussion authors fancy themselves novelist and get a bit fancy in their wording.

I'm sure you notice the new look. I got all happy and brave this morning and took the dreaded plunge...wanting to be like all of you 'normal' bloggers that actually have a photo on your header, I said to myself..."You can do it"! So here we are, a photo and everything else rearranged on the page....and yes, I already went to layout and chose the one I had, several times, even restarting my computer and trying new templates, some didn't even show my blog at all.....Can you hear me weeping? This is why I am afraid to try anything new. Well this is just to warn you that every time you come to visit it will be time you will probably see me standing on my head, flipping my blog with my feet !!

Any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated. xo
Update!! - Now the placement is fixed...making me out to be a liar now, hahaha!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall and A Winner

Happy first day of Fall! I had to laugh this morning, when at 4:30 am, I checked the thermometer and found that is was...66 degrees, really!? The other morning it was 43, go figure.

That's fine though, because I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will hold out and the rest of the berries will ripen and not succomb to the dreaded mold. The freezer is filling up with bags of shredded zucchini and frozen berries and I am happy to keep adding to it as long as possible.

One of the projects for the next few days will be to put up this nice sturdy fence along the hedgerow where sadly, we have lost some chickens to intruders. I will rest much better after that is done.

Another project will be to follow the advice of Miss E. across the road and save my geraniums over the winter in the garage. Hopefully mine will look as lovely as hers do every spring when they are brought out.

This morning the dogs flipped a coin to see who would be the one to pick the name out of the hat. Maggie won the toss and Jack held the hat (he is a much better sport about losing than she ever is). The winner is . . . .

Sherry from the blog The Farm House. Congratulations Sherry! Send me your mailing info and the cookbook will be on it's way.
Hope you all have a nice weekend, do you have any produce left in the garden to tend to or just planning on some fun for the beginning of Autumn? xo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recipe from The Farm House

This Plum Sauce recipe was sent in by Sherry from The Farm House blog. There is a lot of activity over at her blog with fur, feathers and a snake! Take a minute and check out the fun.

Since I am an 'Auntie' of two Airedales, I can say with certainty that the plum sauce in not safe!
Remember today is the last day to send in a recipe and have a chance to win the just released, Cooks Illustrated Cookbook.
Thanks Sherry for your entry!

Asian-Style Plum Sauce


1 oz. fresh ginger or more to taste
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 onion
1 c. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or juice of one fresh lemon
1 c. cider vinegar
1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 lbs. any variety of red plums or a combination of Italian plums and red pluots


Mince the first three ingredients finely in a food processor. Stir with all liquids into a large pot. Pit and cut up the plums before running through the food processor. As the photo shows, I processed everything to get a smooth sauce with some texture but no lumps. Add the plums to the pot.

Bring everything to a boil, turn down heat to a high simmer and cook for about an hour until the liquid is reduced by 1/3 or 1/2, depending on the consistency that you like. Give it a stir every few minutes and check consistency. Because of the low amount of sugar, this sauce will not firm up like jelly when cooled. Meanwhile, wash and keep in hot water 7 half-pint canning jars and lids. You may only need 6 but it's best to have an extra.

After an hour or when the sauce reaches the consistency and taste that you like, ladle into hot jars, seal and process 10-min in a boiling water bath, according to usual jam-making directions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Today's entry for the giveaway puts us in the fall mood for sure. It was sent in by Lynn. She has the lovely, food and fun packed blog - Happier Than A Pig In Mud, where you will find the recipe for this festive cake. Thanks Lynn, and good luck!

I have listed the other entries below in case you missed them.

Fresh Tomato-Cilantro Salsa - Diana

Rosemary Popovers - Maureen

Remember that Friday is the drawing for the winner. Don't lose out on the chance to get this great cookbook...You can't go wrong with a recipe from "Cooks Illustrated"! See 'Simple' details to enter on my sidebar.

Have a sweet day! xo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Movie Night at The Coop

The beginning of another week is here, actually the last week of summer. I hope you all had a fun weekend and maybe were able to squeeze a bit more into the final bit of the season. Our garden is still in production mode so I have been busy with that. Speaking of gardens and producing, we have another giveaway entry over at the other blog, The Kitchen Calls. Please head over there and take a look. Remember, the drawing for the cookbook is Friday and the details are on the sidebar.
The chickens had an end of summer Shindig last night so I grabbed the camera to share some shots of the event.
"Ladies, ladies,....listen up...Tonight, we will be enjoying a special movie that I have chosen myself for your enjoyment. We will be serving popcorn too so come and get it!
"Yummie, I love popcorn soooo very much!"
"So do we, but there never seems to be quite enough for us all to get our fill!"
"Better hurry and get your spot if you want a good seat, the perches are filling up fast...the movie is one of our very favorites. . . . . ." The Cornfields !"

And off they ran like a blurrrr, because it truly is their favorite movie and a good time was had by all.
Have a good Monday my friends. xo

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rosemary Popovers

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you all are enjoying this last weekend of summer, where has the time gone? Here is the first of our giveaway recipes, sent in by Maureen, don't these Popovers look perfectly light. Let's get right to her email.
This is a recipe that I make every fall for my husband. It is so so good.
I usually have a few left over too and I bring them into my parents and they love them as well.
This recipe was in one of their catalogs about 10 yrs ago.

Rosemary Popovers - Williams Sonoma

2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs. very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 Tbs. very finely chopped fresh flat-leaf


Butter a popover pan or the wells of a 12-well muffin pan.

In a bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and salt. Stir in the milk and butter. In another bowl, stir together the flour, rosemary and parsley. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until just blended. Do not overbeat.

Fill each cup about half full and place the pan in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 425ºF and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375ºF and bake until the popovers are golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. They should be crisp on the outside. Quicklypierce each popover with the tip of a small knife to release the steam. Return the popovers to the oven for 2 minutes for further crisping, then remove and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo source here.
Maureen also sent in a recipe for Pumpkin Crisp that she enjoys making, you can find it here.
Thank you Maureen for sending your recipes in, I'm thinking that the popovers would go great with a pork roast and some homemade applesauce, yum!
Have a great weekend! xo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Cookbook Giveaway

I have an itching for a giveaway, it has been awhile since we have all joined together for some fun. This is going to be a short post as I had a nice one almost ready to publish but blogger had another idea...I ended up having to delete and start over. So, here we go. This is the soon to be released Cooks Cookbook, with 2,000 foolproof recipes from the their first 20 yrs.
Send in a favorite recipe that you enjoy fixing at this time of year or one you have on your 'to try' list. It would be great to send a photo too, if you don't have one then I will try to find one online that is close. If you do send in something that is not original to you, please credit/source the info.
We will start today and draw the winner on the first day of Autumn, September 23.
Send all entries and any questions you may have to my Little House email that you will find on my sidebar.
Have fun and good luck. xo

Monday, September 12, 2011

Better Homes Mag. $4. YR.

Here is another great magazine deal! Better Homes and Gardens for $4.00 a year from Go here and enter code # 7223 and at the end of check you should see the savings. Remember that they usually only offer for a day or so.
Have a great day! xo

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shanksville, PA

Flight 93 - Shanksville, Pennsylvania
I remain in prayer for our country, The United States of America.

Source of photo

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A New Day

What a beautiful morning! I am drinking it in and sharing with you. It is cool right now but promises to get down right hot today. The Pacific NW is just now getting hot summer weather, Seattle and our area up here will be in the 80's. The Mr. just hit the road for the City House and Portland....forecast there is near 100! Grandpa will be making the rounds to see grand babies and meet our new little bundle, Abe, for the first time!

Here is Miss E's sweet house across the road, with her gorgeous geraniums on her porch. She keeps them over the winter every year. They live in her garage and she waters them once a month...they get better every summer!

The coop is still in the shade and the chickens will have to get all of their 'scratching' done before it gets too hot, when they get too warm they walk around with their beaks open...not a pretty sight.

There's the Little Shed, it will be too warm to do much work up there today but soon it will have a nice coat of white paint inside and newly stitched curtains and all the treasures it can hold....just in time for the crisp fall weather and another 'new day'.

I have beans to pick and tend to today and a much needed trip to the market. What is on your list for the rest of the week?
Have a great day! xo

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Abe at Home and Healthy

Baby Abe is 3 weeks old today! He is at home and thriving, eating every two hours through the night and gaining weight like mad, Dr. is very pleased right along with the rest of us. For more pics and Kami's brief update you can go to her blog here.
I hope you all have a fun filled Labor Day weekend! See you on the other side. xo