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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



Enjoy these interesting facts compiled 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. 

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.

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.
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