Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gift Ideas For Lisa

(This post is for my family, those who occasionally buy me gifts.) 
I don't need anything.  I have more stuff than I ever thought I would ever have and most of it, I don't use.  I don't really even want anything, materially.  I will shed no tear if I never acquire a single thing on this list.  However....if someone actually wants to buy me a gift, here are some ideas.  

Okay, I'm going to be very specific for this one!  I wouldn't mind if I eventually collected ten to fifteen place settings of Fiestaware as well as various serving dishes to match.  Five or so of the Bistro three piece sets and five or so of the Fiesta four piece sets.  I don't want any of the five piece sets; cups and saucers are useless to me.  So, my color choices are cobalt , turquoise , and lemongrass.  Kohls often has them for 50% off. 

So pretty! 

I love trees.  For many years, probably more than 25, I've thought about a coffee table type book with beautiful photographs of beautiful trees.   Here are two ideas. 

Weston Pro 2300
Or a cheaper one if that's too much!

I LOVE this jacket.  

This is gorgeous! 

Western styled denim shirts fit me to a tee. 

My color! 

This purse just makes me smile.
This Tote bag is pretty!

And this one!

This one is made out of alpaca wool.

Blue is pretty too!

 I love rust, barn wood and fat birds! 

I need one of these for my horse helmet! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole

The topping of this casserole tastes like caramel.  The filling has a surprising, but yummy bite.  This dish is not too sweet, using only natural sugars, but still gives that old fashioned sweet potato casserole feeling.  This is the sweet potato recipe I'll be using for holidays from now on.  It's delicious.


2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 T butter
1/2 Cup coconut milk
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-3 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 T butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
14 cup coconut sugar
1 T orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans

1 Preheat oven to 350

2.  Peal, chop and boil sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. For the topping, melt butter in a large skillet and add everything but the pecans.  Heat until the mixtures starts to bubble and let cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the pecans and stir to combine.

4.  Beat the cooked drained potatoes with the other filling ingredients until very smooth.  You can use an immersion blender, a stand mixer or just a potatoes masher and your husband's arm.  (hehe)

5.  Pour the filling into a 2 quart casserole dish, add the pecan mixure and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Notes:  No one who ate this could taste the orange flavor but Ted, and he did not like it.  The rest of us loved it.  The orange juice is totally optional and barely noticeable unless you are just really sensitive to orange flavor.  I'd say to try it the first time.  You can omit it after that if you don't like it, but you might be surprised.  I was.

Classic Deviled Eggs

I like my deviled eggs plain and tangy.  These are simple.  You can dress them up with chopped pickles or bacon if you like.

6 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I make my own)
black pepper to taste

1.  Hard boil the eggs and peel when cooled.

2. Slice eggs in half and put yolks in a large bowl and whites on a serving plate.

3. Add remaining ingredients to yolks (not paprika) and mash or blend till very smooth.  (I use my immersion blender or food processor.)

4.  Taste yolk mixture and adjust for salt, tang and creaminess.

5.  Spoon yolk mixture into a resealable plastic bag and pipe filling into egg whites.

6.  Sprinkle very slightly with paprika.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

This zucchini bread is really delicious!  It's moist and fluffy without being too dense as some gluten free baked goods are.  It's also not too sweet.  It is not "low carb" but it is gluten free and refined sugar free and filled with healthy ingredients.  I think it would be a perfect breakfast, especially if you added chopped nuts for protein.  We all agree, no one would ever know that this bread is gluten free or made with only natural sugar.  It is good enough for company. 

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup oat flour
(You can use 1 1/4 cup Bob's and omit the quinoa and oat flours if you don't have them.)
1/4 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar

Wet Ingredients:
1 medium to large smashed banana
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, but not hot)
2 extra large eggs (or 3 smaller)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup zucchini, shredded and packed
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well.

2. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.  (I used my immersion blender to make sure the banana was completely broken up, or you can smash it with a fork.)

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk well just to combine.

4. Fold in the zucchini and nuts if you are using them.

5. Oil or butter an 8X8 glass baking dish and pour the batter in, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.


This tasted delicious warm or cold.
You could certainly bake it in a loaf pan and increase the baking time or make muffins out of it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What is WRONG With Some People???

This is what our beautiful farm road looked like this summer.  July, to be exact.  We spend a lot of time enjoying this pretty road with our dogs and horses.  

And this is what XTo Energy did to it.  

 I am speechless.  Most of the trees that were destroyed were not even any where near the road or encroaching over head at all!  You can see in the first picture that that side of the road was CLEAR!!  One young ponderosa pine was simply cut in half for NO REASON, as were many cedars.  All the branches and debris were left along the road. This was done, supposedly in order to maintain a clear path for the ordinary pick-up truck that drives it once a day to check the gas well.  There was NO notification or communication with us what so ever.  We simply came home to this destruction.  I'm glad the people who did this were not on the property when I discovered it.  I can not even describe how infuriated I was.  What is wrong with communicating with the land owners?  Who ON EARTH thinks they have the right to destroy someone else's property with out so much as a phone call?  Or a knock on the door?  They have my phone number!  I've contacted the man in charge, the one who ordered this attack on my woods.  He says he'll look into it and get back to me on Monday.  I can't even imagine what his explanation is going to be.  There is no excuse for this kind of outrageous and arrogant rudeness.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cattle Working Day

Now that we only have 9 mama cows, the bull, two yearling steers and three younger calves, (15 all together) our cattle working days are not so difficult.  It used to be a really big deal to get over 30 animals through the chute, vaccinated, de-wormed, and other wise health checked in one day.  Today, it only took Ted, ClaireAnna and I a couple of hours and all went smoothly.  Well... except for a particular red bull calf that went nuts and thrashed himself silly in the squeeze chute.  I should have taken a video.  (He was completely unharmed.)  He's going straight to the sale barn at our earliest convenience!   Calving 2014 will start in late February and go through March or April.  We hope to have 9 healthy calves this year.  Our plan for the next two years is to keep all the heifers out of our current bull and raise them as our replacement heifers.  Our mama cows are all over age 6 and some are already 10 years old.  It's time to get some young blood in the herd and since we LOVE our bull and the heartiness and worm resistance he passes to his calves, his heifers should be perfect for us.

All ready to start. Two vaccinations and a de-wormer, 
three injections for each animal.
Claire did the vaccination, I did the Ivermectin Dewormer.

Ted is the cow whisperer.
 He goes into the catch pen and does his thing all by himself.
Magically, cows start walking into the chute one by one.
  If he encounters a stubborn cow,
sometimes Claire or I will go in with him,
 but today, he managed all by himself. 

Once we've got two or three in the chute,
Ted climbs out and helps us get them into the head gate, one at at time. 

Lacy, about to get squoze.  

Claire's an expert by now.  We couldn't do it without her! 
Samantha did not want to move down the chute so
 Claire took advantage of the situation to steal a ride.  

All done.  That wasn't so bad!