Friday on the Farm {LGD getting comfortable}

LGD on the Farm

After losing Huck, we decided to bring Bear out of the goat pen and into the yard with the family and chickens. At first he just hung around the gate to the goats, and slept under the chicken coop.

But after about 2 weeks he really started feeling at home. And by week 3, Bear is a pro at protecting all things chicken and child. His bark at night is so reassuring, and he loves the kids. He follows along on my walks each day, and is such a sweet boy.

We are thankful for having kept 2 of Huck’s puppies, and it sure has me wanting to have some more!

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Imminent labor Signs in Cows {and Huey the Hereford}

We are excited to introduce: Huey the Hereford! (Huey, as in Huey’s restaurants in memphis)Huey the Hereford

Huey was born on Monday, March 1, 2021.

We got to watch Dolly at the beginning of her labor because the kids were playing outside and she chose to lay in the barn yard. She did move to the barn, where she was more comfortable. It’s amazing how different cows and goats are-she didn’t make a sound, not a grunt or a moo. Goats are so dramatic.

When we began watching Dolly for labor, I searched the internet high and low for all the signs we needed to look for. She had them all!

  • tail hanging to the side, due to loss of ligaments
  • tail head looked flat, almost as flat as her back
  • vulva swollen (springing)
  • that morning she lost a lot of mucus plus, but was having discharge about 2-3 days prior
  • her udder was *swollen*
  • teats were full and sticking out (strutting)
  • belly looked low/less wide
  • right before pushing she was laying on her side, letting the calf get into position, within 30 minutes she was pushing

We had a few bumps getting Huey to nurse, because mama was so full, and she became frustrated after his first failed attempts. Our friends helped us get everything started, and there’s been no problems since.

We are still waiting on Jolene to calve, she has zero signs of calving anytime soon.

Signs of Calving Huey the Hereford

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Perfect Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

I have scavenged the internet and cookbooks alike for a perfect gluten free sourdough bread loaf.

Gluten Free Sourdough Bread

Needless to say, it wasn’t easy … and NO ONE seemed to have what I was looking for. Lots of recipes called for added yeast, no sourdough starter at all, lots of different flours, gums, and additives. There were many that used gluten free flours that I don’t keep on hand, or recipes that weren’t for a bread loaf.

But alas, I have done it! After at least a year of messing with recipes, I’ve mixed, matched, and played with it until we finally have a perfect gluten free bread loaf recipe!

For best results, use a gluten free starter like this one, and an all purpose gluten free baking mix

You will need to start feeding your starter the day before you plan to bake bread. For example, if I want to make bread on Wednesday, I will feed my starter on Tuesday, and make the dough that night. It will ferment overnight, and then I will do the short second rise Wednesday morning, then bake.

If you want to make it for an evening meal, just do the fermentation during the day, short second rise, then bake.

**Tip- I feed my starter and put it in the oven, with the light on, to keep it warm. I keep our house pretty cool, so it would take a while for it to really ferment on my counter.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe! The steps are short and I promise they are simple- much easier than it looks at first. After you make this the first time, you will have no problem making it again and again!

Perfect Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free sourdough starter FED
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 TB melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 TB honey
  • 2.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour mix/baking mix
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, eggs, butter, milk, and honey.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined
  4. Then beat the mixture on medium/high for 3 minutes
  5. With damp fingers or wet spatula, smooth the surface of the dough flat.
  6. Spray the top with oil/Pam (we use coconut oil Pam)
  7. Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap, and let ferment for at least 4 hours, up to over night (I do overnight)
  8. Oil a 9x5 loaf pan, sprinkle with flour, and with a damp spatula pour the dough into the pan. It will be less of a dough and more like a pancake batter consistency.
  9. Smooth out the top of the bread and, spray the top with Pam again, cover loosely and let rise for about an hour, up to 90 minutes. It should reach the top of the pan.
  10. Preheat oven to 400degrees
  11. Remove plastic wrap and place pan in the oven- turn down temperature to 350 degrees, and bake about 50-55 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.
  12. I tried removing the bread at 40 and 45 minutes but it was not done all the way. I took it out at 50 minutes and let it cool. It was just about done. Another minute or 2 and it would have been perfect.
  13. The middle of the bread should be 200 degrees if you have a meat thermometer handy.

 

When you are done using the 1 cup of starter, you can feed your “mother” starter, and place it back in the fridge to live happily until the next baking day. I often go ahead and feed mine again for sourdough pancakes, while I have it out.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Technology Free Ideas for Family Night

Family Night Ideas

Image credit Pixabay CC0 License

Fall is here! That means that it is time to start getting cozy and enjoying the anticipation that the changing season brings. This is the time of year that is perfectly suited for snuggly family nights in, enjoying quality time spent together.

We decided a long time ago, that our family would limit screen time, for everyone. But often parents find it a struggle to get the family in one room without having the kids playing computer games, on a cell phone, or engrossed in a tablet. The kids will soon forget all about their devices when they are having fun with the rest of the family, building relationships and encouraging one another. After all, it is the times that are spent together as a family that make future treasured memories … not the time spent completing the next level of a video game.

Just as kids are easily distracted by technology, adults often find themselves staring at a phone or working on emails during precious time with their kids. Social media, in particular, is especially distracting for adults, and a real drain on time, could be spent with the family, laughing with our kids, and listening to our partners.

Once you have decided to spend a technology-free evening together, you may as well go the whole hog, and say no to watching the TV too! That way, everyone can focus on interacting with each other and being fully present. The trick now is thinking of activities to keep everyone engaged, and having a fun evening without the fuss and bickering that can come with denying children the technology they’re used to.

Here is a little inspiration to get you started:

Get Cooking

Sharing a meal is something you do each day, but in the busy-ness of family life, it may be rushed. To make your family time special, why not get the whole family involved in creating a delicious meal together? You don’t need to make a complicated dinner, just make sure that it includes ingredients that everyone likes so that it is an enjoyable experience. Littles can slice fruit, older kids can slice vegetables, any age child can mash potatoes, stir meat, mix pancakes, the list goes on! Someone can set the table, another pour the drinks, etc.

Most kids love to help with cooking, and it is a perfect way to combine learning with a fun activity. Baking, in particular, is excellent as children get to put their weighing and measuring skills into action, and see how different ingredients combine to create something wholly different. Teaching them how to make banana cream pie and other delicious desserts is a sure-fire way of encouraging an interest in cooking. It is also a great way to spend quality time together.

Once you have all worked together to whip up your tasty feast, it is time to sit down and enjoy it together. Try to make the meal a leisurely one, where everyone is able to chat and get involved in the conversation. Ask open ended questions about everyone’s day- I like to ask what everyone’s favorite part of the day was. Talk about the meal you made as a family, and what other meals you’d like to attempt in the future.

Be Creative

Craft activities are a lovely way to spend family time and are just perfect for cozy fall evenings. When it comes to crafting, the only limit is your imagination. You could create a family collage or scrapbook detailing your best times together, such as special occasions and days out, birthdays and trips. Putting your memories onto paper like this, not only creates something very special to treasure over the years, but also provides a real talking point and the chance to reminisce over favorite times. We love keeping our family journal!

Other examples of excellent family crafts include making greetings cards to send to loved ones. Or, how about decorating pine cones, maybe make a nature picture from fallen leaves (a favorite for littles in our home); the possibilities really are endless.

If you are feeling exceptionally creative, you could make up your own book or comic. Each person could do some drawing and take it in turns to write the next line of text. Kids love to do this, as they like to see their grown-ups having fun and being a little silly. Who knows, this could be a story that becomes a bedtime favorite for many years to come!

 

Family Night Ideas

Image credit Pexels CC0 License

Play Time

If crafting isn’t your thing, why not get yourselves comfortable with a hot chocolate and enjoy a family games night? Lots of people have board games languishing unplayed in cupboards, so why not set up a little tournament and put your skills to the test? Be sure to keep the competition friendly though!

Some of favorite games include: Cobra Paw, Left Right Center, Baggo, Jenga, moose in the House, Rubik’s Race, Rat a tat Cat, and UNO.

As well as being heaps of fun, playing games is an excellent way to teach kids about taking turns. They also help teach valuable life lessons, such as being gracious in defeat, and that you can’t win every single time.

Above all, this is an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and spend a fun-filled evening together.

What’s your family’s favorite way to spend family night?

  

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

{Instant Pot} Quick and Easy Potato Salad Recipe

Summer is quickly approaching- and oldie but a goodie

—-originally posted May 2018—-

Today, for the Menu Monday Linky, I want to share a wonderful recipe for potato salad.  I just sorta threw it together one day.  I know, it’s hard to mess up potato salad, but this really good.  It also makes a lot.  So you can have it for one meal, and probably have enough for a lunch or two during the week, depending on how many people you are feeding.

homemade potato salad

I don’t have a picture of the final product!  I know.  But trust me, it is beautiful and creamy.

 

For an Instant Pot version of cooking the potatoes:

  • peel and chop poctatoes into quarter or halves
  • place 1 cup water in instant pot
  • insert steamer basket/rack
  • add potatoes and salt
  • close lid, adjust valve to closed and press Manual, high pressure, 4 minutes
  • **NOTE- you can add eggs to the instant pot and cook with the potatoes if you like eggs in your potato salad. They will cook perfectly!

Potato Salad

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs of red potatoes
  • 1/3 c mayonaise (homemade or store bought) more to taste
  • 2-4 tbsp mustard, more to taste
  • 1/2 c sweet pickle relish, more to taste
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional-we prefer it without these days)
  • 1 clove of garlic (trust me!), minced
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped (I can no longer eat raw onion, thank you last pregnancy ... but most enjoy it!)
  • 1-2 tssp paprika, sprinkled in
  • real (pink) salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and halve red potatoes (if you like them peeled, peel here)
  2. Cover potatoes with water, covering with about 1" of water
  3. bring potatoes to a boil for about 10 minutes
  4. *the secret to perfect potato salad is the potatoes! You do not want mushy 'taters! when you can stick a fork in and they are still firm but no longer solid, take them off the heat
  5. Drain potatoes
  6. Spread potatoes out on a cookie sheet to cool
  7. After they have cooled, dice
  8. Place in large mixing bowl
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste
  10. Then add remaining ingredients

Notes

This is a super easy recipe, and our absolute favorite side item for stuff like the Super Bowl. We had it last night, and it was wonderful!


Enjoy!

Flash Freezing and Storing Bell and Jalapeño  Peppers

Freezing Bell & Jalapeno Peppers from the Garden

We love bell peppers at our house; I use them in everything from goulash to salsa, and of course stuffed peppers!

Sadly, bell peppers are not only on the dirty dozen list, but can be upwards of $1.00 EACH!

What you may not know is they are one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden, or even a pot on the patio. One bell pepper plant in our garden puts out 20+ peppers!  The jalapeno plants put out even more!

So it is important for our family to be able to put those peppers to good use all year, without having to buy expensive, chemical laden grocery store versions.

How do you store peppers long term?  Easy!

  1. Clean and cut into strip (I even keep the tops, just pop out the center core, pull out the ribs and seeds and you’re done)
  2. Spread out on a cookie sheet
  3. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours
  4. After the peppers are frozen, toss them into ziplock bags for use in recipes later!

I just pull out what I need, when I need it and chop according to my recipe.

Enjoy!

Menu Monday {July 19, 2015}

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

The past few weeks have been HOT!  So for a while we are cooling it down in the kitchen with sandwiches and light sides.  My mom is here this week visiting, and we are taking it easy.  =)

  • Sunday: steaks, sauteed squash, roasted potatoes
  • Monday: taco salad, guacamole
  • Tuesday: grilled hot dogs, homemade kraut, salad
  • Wednesday: dinner out, mom’s last night with us
  • Thursday: Italian sausage, peppers and onion, salad, potatoes
  • Friday: Homemade pizzas
  • Saturday: BLTs, salad, green beans

It is going to be a super simple week!  Next week will probably look just like this, with tuna fish sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches on the menu.  =)

What’s for dinner at your house?

Menu Plan Monday

Weekly Wrap Up: November 2014 {and Notebooking American Girl Books}

This month has flown by!  Thanksgiving is already over and everyone is prepping for Christmas.

We haven’t had any real weekly updates the last few weeks, because well … we haven’t done a lot of formal schooling.  Most everything has been relaxed and theme based.  And of course, we spend a lot of time just snuggling Ila.  =)  I mean, I spend 6 hours a day nursing her, and after every feeding Lexie and Max both request a turn to hold her.  So, we school when we can. 😉

Fall Indoor activities {quietinthechaos.com}

Lexie and “Jane Kirsten” having a picnic, building forts, happy baby ila

We worked on some pumpkin activities, which involved Max making his own pumpkin description book. (you can find it at www.ThisReadingMama.com) He really enjoyed it!  We are still working on NOT eating the markers … =)

Handwriting Practice and Fine Motor {quietinthechaos.com}

practicing handwriting, coloring with markers, gluing pumpkins in book

We also had our first big snow: (Lexie doesn’t mind the cold if she can play in the snow.  Mister refuses to keep his clothes on, so of course he gets “too cold” and needs to come in.  haha)

DSCN2822

Lexie is still notebooking her way through the Kirsten of American Girl series.  She loves doing this and I am so glad she does.  I am going to introduce her to a timeline soon.  We have been talking about so many things in history lately, and I know it will help her understand something so contrast if she can see a visual.  We have two chapters left to notebook, and then we will move on to the next book.  I got our blank notebooking pages from notebookingfairy.com.  I chose the biography pages, whole punched them, and put in a folder with prongs.  We will add to it as we go.

notebooking American Girl Books

Notebooking “Meet Kirsten”

Last Saturday I was working on some knitting, and Lexie asked if I could show her how to knit.  Of course I said yes!  I love that my girl wants to sew and knit!  So, this is the little progress we made.  You may be wondering how I helped a four year old knit- I sat on the edge of my chair, and had her stand between my legs, so I could get my arms around hers.  I place my hands over hers, and we just went through the motions.  By the end, she knew exactly what to do, although she struggled with the dexterity needed.  I have no doubt she will be able to do it herself before long!

knitting with a four year old

We did do lots of reading about Thanksgiving.  You can see my post of supplemental books for Thanksgiving HERE (link coming soon).  Lexie really enjoyed this and learned lots of new vocabulary from these readings.  She has been using the new words every chance she gets!

And then, of course, we had Thanksgiving dinner.  Usually we spend Thanksgiving traveling to see family, but this year with Ila being so little we just decided to stay home.  It was my first year to cook a real Thanksgiving dinner for my family- we had turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (from scratch, might I add…) and pecan pie.  And of course I am using my turkey bones to make bone broth!  As my sweet Lexie said, it was a “real Thanksgiving feast!”  She was so funny, she was kinda wiggling around on her seat during dinner, and she says, “I am just wiggling my belly so I can make room for more!”  haha  She definitely belongs to us!

Thanksgiving "feast" www.quietinthechaos.com

Between all this I have slowly started back running on the treadmill, and decorating for Christmas.  I hope to get you a recipe for that DELICIOUS green bean casserole soon, and an update on our Advent activities.  =)

Happy Holidays, and stay warm!

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Easy Oven Roast Vegetables {Quiet In The Chaos}

Since we had Baby Ila, my husband has done all the shopping (except for one quick trip I made with Mister and Miss during Lady’s gymnastics)- every time he goes he grabs some veggies.  Because just about every day, I have been making us oven roasted vegetables for at least one meal!

These are SO easy, even more delicious, and are loved by everyone in the house.  You can seriously use any variety of veggies- I like a few red potatoes, fresh green beans, a whole head of garlic (because I could eat 10 heads of roasted garlic … that’s right, not cloves.  heads), a few peeled carrots, zucchini, and my latest addition- peeled beets!  Mmmm

Now, the zucchini get a tiny bit over
cooked, because all the other veggies take so long to become tender.  However, for me that isn’t a problem.  The zucchini is like …. buttery.  It is so delicious when roasted!

We have all decided we like our veggies roasted better than sauteed, which is saying a lot!

Oven Roasted Vegetables

50 minutes

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • You can use any combo of veggies, or any single vegetable (like potatoes or carrots)
  • 4 red potatoes, chopped in medium to small cubes
  • a handful or two of fresh green beans (I just chop off the ends)
  • 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise then chopped in half circles
  • 2-4 beets, peeled and chopped into cubes or wedges
  • 2-3 peeled organic carrots (I say organic because have you ever tasted an organic carrot?! Oh my they're SO much better than regular carrots)
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled- don't chop the garlic, just throw each clove in there whole
  • 2+ TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • large bowl for tossing
  • roasting dish for roasting (or any long baking dish will do)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450*
  2. As you chop your veggies, throw them in a large mixing bowl
  3. After everything is chopped, drizzle bowl of veggies with olive oil
  4. Sprinkle generously with real salt, and pepper
  5. Pour into baking dish
  6. Pope the UNcovered dish into the oven for 40-50 minutes
  7. *I set my timer for 25 minutes, then toss the vegetables and place them back in the oven for 25 more minutes. This lets all of the veggies get roasted more evenly and they crunch up a little better. Mmmm I can taste them now!

You can get real salt here (remember real salt is NEVER white, even “sea salt.”  It should be gray, brown, pink, etc).  Plus, real salt isn’t “salty” it has flavor, and is delicious.  We love it in our home.

Easy Oven Roast Vegetables {Quiet In The Chaos}

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

For the Foodie In Your Life {a holiday gift guide}

I have always had a love for all things home, kitchen, and cooking. In the last five years, I have fallen in love with real food and all things made from scratch. To help me save a bit of money with this, my friend told me about something called Makro specials which can help save people a bit of money when it comes to buying food. I know I will certainly give it a try and maybe I might use it to help when it comes to giving gifts to my friends.I love giving gifts that are just right. How good would it be if you can personalize all of your kitchen utensils to you or your loved? Your cooking experience would be so much more exciting. These cutting board designs would be a great place to start if you are looking to find a custom gift for someone who loves cooking. If you have a foodie in your life, check out the gift guide I have compiled for this holiday season!

1. A custom made, ruffle, zebra print apron

2. 1 Gallon Compost Bucket for the kitchen– I *love* this bucket! It is not only country-chic so it will look great in the kitchen, but it is a 2-in-1! You can easily lift the inside bucket out and take your compost scraps to the compost outside. Can you use a kitchen bowl? Yes- but this keeps your foodie friend from needing to use one of their handy mixing bowls. This is so easy, and so awesome.

3. Fermenting Crock The real food lover inn your life will also *love* a fermenting crock. I don’t own this one personally, but have had my eye on it for quite some time. It comes with the stones and lid, which is what most crocks are missing. And, it is the perfect size- not too big, not too small. Perfect for making kraut, pickles, and salsas!

4. Heirloom, Organic Vegetable Seeds I think the titles speaks for themselves! =)

5. NutriMill Classic Grain Mill I love, love, love my grain mill. Love it. We use it all the time, and every time we use it I know we are saving money. How? Because we buy organic wheat berries in bulk from Azure, I mill them myself using my grain mill, and bake everything from scratch. It saves a *ton* of money- everything from whole wheat biscuits and tortillas, to sourdough bread and pizza crusts- we essentially pay pennies by making them from scratch with our own milled wheat. This has been one of the best gifts I have ever received.

6. Bench Knife In the kitchen, this can be used for so many things, but is mainly used when working with dough. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

7. Dough Rising Bucket and lidThese food containers are perfect for someone who makes a lot of yeast breads. but don’t forget the lids!

8. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French (Dutch) OvenThis is the mother of all foodie gifts. Really. Everyone who works in their kitchen needs a good stock pot, and this is it! If I could put any one thing in my kitchen, it would be this pot! It comes is many beautiful colors that match an decor, or not if you like a pop of off the wall color. Need a big gift idea? This is it!

9. KitchenAid 5 Qt. Stand MixerIf you want to make your foodie’s heart skip a beat, and make their life easier let them open one of these puppies for Christmas. I use mine all the time, for so many different recipes. It was a wedding gift, and I love it!

10. Ball® Collapsible (wide mouth) Funnel Another great stocking stuffer! I love mine; it fits in any drawer because it collapses down and it is adjustable for regular or wide mouth jars!

11. Classic Cast Iron Skillet Think bacon, and eggs … and pancakes. Enough said!

12. Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt Real salt has so much flavor, isn’t over salty, is healthy, and a foodie’s best friend!

13. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats You know I love this cook book. It is so much more than a cook book and anyone that enjoys cooking and learning about health, nutrition, and food will love this book!

14. The Pampered Chef Deep Covered BakerI love mine! Actually, mine doesn’t have the pretty enamel exterior, and I don’t have a cover (man …) but I use it for everything! From roasting chickens and pork loins, to baking rolls and roasted veggies. I use it for so many meals!

15. Double Stove Top Gill/Griddle We got rid of our electric skillet a few years back. Honestly, I just hated the clean up, the bulkiness, and the fact that I had to plug it in near an outlet (obviously… hence the name “electric” skillet). I have been meaning to replace it with a double stove top grill, because A) it is easier to store, B) it is easier to clean, and C) it is NOT a non-stick surface. Win-Win-Win!

16. Jars Yep. Jars. Chances are if you’re buying gifts for someone who loves their kitchen, then they probably already have regular ole canning jars. So grab something cute- small jelly jars, the short fat jars, or blue canning jars will be different and have lots of uses in a foodie kitchen!

Seriously, if you need a gift for someone who loves to be in the kitchen, look no further than this list! And Happy Holiday shopping!

For more gift giving ideas, check out more lists from the Crew!

Holiday Gift Guides
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this site!

error: Content is protected !!
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed