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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Gluten Free / Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies!

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Gluten allergies are hereditary in my family, so we are always trying new things — gluten free recipes, nut crackers, coconut flour, potato flour, etc. Not only that, but we all love peanut butter cookies. Hands down, they are the best.

So when I came across this recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies, I was thrilled! And it’s the simplest recipe in the world. (Unfortunately I have no idea where I found it… I was so excited I paid no attention at all. It is tweaked a bit from the one on the website, though, so it can kind of be call mine.)

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 white and 1/2 brown, or all of one or the other)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Mix up the ingredients and drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Easy peasy.

(Note: We double the recipe to get more cookies out of it. Doubled it makes around 2 doz…. I think…. I never counted, just ate.)

They’re good enough to eat for breakfast… or for a quick supper when you’re not really hungry but should eat something so you don’t wake up at 3 AM to a growling, gurgling belly. That’s what we’re doing tonight. Only we’re not just having them plain with a glass of milk… we’re going to break ’em up into bite sized pieces and put them IN the milk. Like cereal. Like the most awesome cereal ever.

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Got leftovers?

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If anyone made the dried bananas (or just the honey dip) I posted a few days ago… There’s a tasty way to use the leftover honey stuff.

Put it in iced tea.

Oh golly…. It was like a taste of heaven! If you haven’t done it yet, give it a try. You 100% won’t regret it. Whip it up, brew some black tea and chill it (no sweetener, just straight black tea steeped for 5 minutes). Pour half a glass of tea, and fill it up the rest of the way with the honey dip.

Divine.

Floral Fantasies

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I found this amazing flower yesterday on our walk and was determined to find out what it was. My first thought was buttercup but it had multiple layers of petals, like peonies, and different leaves.

On an impulse I Googled “double buttercup” and lo and behold! There it was! The Double Creeping Buttercup!

Gorgeous, is it not? I am dead set that I am going to dig some up and bring it home. A place to put it would be good though….

Photo Friday

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Dried Bananas, What, What?

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So…. I made dried bananas. :D They’re in the dehydrator at the moment, but that doesn’t prevent me from sharing them here!

I did 8 bananas this time around. (I know there are only 5 in the photo… :P)

Then I made a “Honey Dip.” This stuff smells so delish I could eat it straight!

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups boiling water

Stir it up until the sugar and honey are dissolved.

Mmmm….. Then you enjoy the smell for a couple minutes before starting to cut the bananas. Ohhhh…. so good.

Anyway, then you grab your first banana and peel it halfway. Take up your sharp little knife (or whatever you like to use to cut bananas) and slice it in 1/8-1/4″ sections, right into the honey dip. (Peel it farther as needed, by the way. ;) ) I did 2 bananas at a time. Not simultaneously of course, but just … 2 bananas.

Let the banana slices soak in the honey dip for 5-10 minutes. It has 2 purposes: first, it makes them sweeter; second, it keeps them from turning brown.

After they’ve sat for a while, use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the honey dip into a colander (which should be sitting in a bowl) to drain.

While those bananas are draining, slice the next 2 into the honey dip. The time it takes for you to slice them should be long enough for the ones in the colander to drain, so when you’re done slicing, arrange the drained slices on a drying rack. Repeat this step until all the bananas are sliced and drained and put on the racks.

Then put the racks into the dehydrator and turn it on 135*. According to the cookbook, they should be done in 6-10 hours, or until leathery.

And of course, all the peels go in the trash or compost. ;)

I’m pretty sure they’ll be super tasty, but I won’t know until sometime tomorrow. Meanwhile, try it yourself if you like! :)

Forever in my heart.

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buzzy

Buzzy was my favorite Barred Rock hen. She got her name from the buzzing noise she made as a teenager — voice changes and all that. I randomly had said to her one day, “Why, you’re buzzing!” And it stuck. She would be “Buzzy” forever.

One day she and her buddies were roosting in a tree, and I went over to visit them. All their feet were at eye level, so I checked them. When I got to Buzzy I noticed the scales on her feet looked odd. For a long time I thought perhaps she had leg mites, but she didn’t. I loved her feet. They matched her entire personality: special.

When I got Buzzy, I got 4 other Barred Rocks too. They all were killed by a hawk. Buzzy was the only BR I had left. Then one evening, my family and I went to a graduation party. One of my friends there asked me how many chickens I had. Confidently I replied, “I’ve got 8.” When the party was over I went home. And there were only 7 hens in the coop. The one missing was Buzzy.

I was heartbroken. She was my sweetest girl. How could I lose her? I tried being optimistic… Maybe she got stuck somewhere and didn’t get loose before dark and found a safe place to spend the night… Morning would bring the answer.

I got up next morning, and through the open window I heard….. Chicken noises! At first I thought maybe someone had decided to let my girls out, but I looked and the coop door was still closed. So I ran out and there was Buzzy, walking towards me! I was so incredibly happy!

Through the years Buzzy became even sweeter. She was always the first one to come when I called them for treats, and I had trained her to jump up on my lap. She laid an egg every day for 3 years straight, and in her 4th and 5th years it was every other day. Her eggs were distinct: Big. And when I say big, I mean so big they rarely fit in  the egg cartons! Hers usually had to go in a bowl instead.

buzzy

She loved to visit us in the barn while we were milking the cow. We’d let the girls clean out the little bits of grain Daisy left. Once the cat didn’t come for his breakfast, so Buzzy came in and I gave it to her. It was a styrofoam bowl, so she kind of ruined it. But she had a grand time, and would come back every morning after that for more.

henny buzzy

She would help me weed the flower beds. I’d be pulling out those invaders, and then Buzzy would be there, finding her own little tasties in the loosened dirt.

July 23. The day half of my heart was torn away. Buzzy had something wrong with her — I really don’t know what — but I will not write it because it will bring back nightmares. Let us suffice it to say that there were maggots eating away her skin. That’s bad enough.

There was no way I could do anything to fix her up. So my grandpa had to come and put her down. She was so brave. I wasn’t there (I was in my room sobbing), but my mom said that she tied Buzzy’s wings and legs so she wouldn’t bruise herself and there would be no flapping.

Buzzy is now buried under the cherry tree behind the old barn, in  the shade where the girls would take dust baths. One of these days I’m going to engrave her name on the  stone.

She was my best girl. I could talk to her and feel like she understood. So many times… She was so much more than just a chicken. She was one of my best friends. And she put up with a lot. I’d kiss her right on the beak (until we got the cow); I’d hold her on my head; I’d take her sledding with me — all the way down the hill; and she put up with me taking pictures of her while she was molting. She was very embarrassed. But she was the best girl I’ve ever had.

buzzy-me.JPG

buzzy  buzzy

buzzy

Love how she made the same face for the two photos on the right… She made that one a lot.

I still have flashbacks every now and then… Especially in the fall when we open up the garden for the chickens to clean up, and here during tilling time. She loved to help, and she loved all the good stuff there was to find in the fall.  Sometimes when I see one of my other Barred Rocks walk by I’ll think  to myself, “Buzzy’s so cute, isn’t she!” And then I’ll  realize it was only Violet. Funny how things get you like that…

I love you, Buzzy. And I always will. You are deeply missed and will be forever. No other chicken I have will ever take your place in my heart, or ever be just the same.

The Iron Feathered Queen

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Henny is my oldest chicken, a Black Australorp, going on 7 years old. She is the top hen, dominant biddy, coop queen, et al, and rules with an iron feather. She has survived multiple hawk attacks, fox raids, illnesses, frostbite, heat waves, etc. and still going strong.

LL

Henny is from my original flock, started back in 2004. We took a big leap and got 17 birds our very first time! Quite adventurous, if you ask me, especially when I read of so many other newbies who only get 3 or 4. But anywho, out of 17, two were cockerels. They didn’t last very long. So. From 17 to 15. I have no idea who was the dominant hen in that flock, but it wasn’t Henny. I know that much.

LL

So, through the years, the girls got old and unproductive; others were killed by predators, and still others contracted illnesses of sorts and ceased to exist. New birds were introduced to keep eggs coming to our table (not that we eat them very often, but oh well). Eventually Henny was the only original bird. Everyone else was “new” and unschooled in the ways of genteel poultry living. It was up to her to teach them how to survive and be neat and clean at the same time.

She warns of danger with her chirring sound, and if it’s a real threat and someone could get hurt, she hollers. I always know something’s up when it’s Henny hollering. She doesn’t do so for any other reason. I can count on her to take care of her flock.

Henny never was the type of girl to go ga-ga over boys. I’ve had 4 roosters in her lifetime, and none of them could tempt her. In fact, the last boy I had annoyed her so much that every time he got “fresh” with one of her girls, she ran over and pecked him until he stopped. Needless to say, henny4.JPGshe was quite happy when he left the scene.

Australorps are one of the best brown egg layers out there, according to some folks. I tend to agree. Henny laid eggs right up to last year, 6 years old, an egg daily. It was super easy to tell which egg was hers. It always had a little extra calcium deposit on the pointy end. Every time. Without fail. They were quite large too, and a nice light brown color with strong shells.

Henny1.JPG

henny6.JPGLL

The Mesh Warrior ℠

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SCALPEL. ©

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