Monday, October 28, 2013

It's FALL! ... Crockpot Lentil & Ham Soup

So they {the weather people} were talking frost; so we spent an afternoon harvesting all of the produce left in the garden!  Above is the trailer full of our harvest.
Little Miss J helped me separate the red tomatoes from the green, turning tomatoes the following morning; she's a fantastic helper!
These are the red tomatoes, which became ketchup

An update on the chicks...
The chicks we got last month sure are growing...
We have also had a very broody hen, Ombre!  She has been sitting on one of her eggs and about 10 eggs she has stolen from Toothless!  Luckily she isn't too mean of a broody, I can look under her to see whats happening without getting bitten.
Here you can just see one of the hatched chicks under her.
There's the pile shes been sitting on!  And the tiny fluffy butt just under her.
Look at those two little cuties {she hatched 3, but one didn't survive}.
They are SO CUTE!
Big Mr. J and I found a salamander in the grass one rainy morning, we kept it in a tank for a couple of weeks and now its time to let it go so it can find its safe place for winter.
Well, I think its about time I get to the recipe that I intended to share with you today!  Its a keeper...
Lentil & Ham Soup is super easy to do in your crockpot!  Plus its very tasty, similar to split pea soup, but yet different.  I found this recipe from BHG.  Enjoy, its the perfect time of year for it!
-3 cups chicken broth {or 3 cups water plus 3 chicken bouillon cubes}
-3 cups water
-1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
-1 1/2 cups celery, chopped {about 3 stalks; I only had the "heart" of the celery left so I used the whole thing}
-1 1/2 cups carrots, thinly sliced {about 3 carrots}
-1 1/2 cups lentils {I used 3/4 cup red split lentils and 3/4 cup small green lentils from Trader Joe's}
-about 6 oz. cooked ham {I used about 2 cups chopped}
-1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp garlic salt, my addition, optional
-about 3 cups fresh spinach, about 1/2 a 9 oz. bag {you could use the whole bag if you wanted, it does add a tasty freshness}
-Parmesan cheese, for serving, optional
1. Combine broth, water, onion, celery and carrot in crockpot.
2. Rinse and drain lentils, add to the crockpot.
3. Add in the ham and thyme.
I also added 1 tsp garlic salt.
4. Stir and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Stir occasionally if you are home.
5. Just before serving chop spinach and stir into soup.
6. Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy!
 7. Top with parmesan, if desired.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Tiny Pom Pom Turkeys

These are super fun; about 2 years ago my son and I made these for all of our extended family for Thanksgiving.
The materials are simple and easy to find.
-multiple sizes of pom poms {we liked the larger ones the most, they're easier to work with}
-assorted colors of feathers
-orange tag board or cardstock   {you could probably also use orange construction paper}
-hot glue and hot glue gun {or other glue}
-googly eyes

1. Cut a small triangle out of the orange cardstock for each "turkey's beak".
2. Cut a small "V" shape out of the cardstock for each "turkey's feet".  We also cut small slits into the "V" shape, for the toes.
3. Glue the beak, feet and googly eyes to each pom pom turkey.
4. Glue any amount, color and size of feathers you want to the back of your turkeys.
Tip if giving to others:  To remember which turkey we made for which person, we wrote their names on the bottom.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fresh Creamed Corn

Fantastic homemade creamed corn!  This recipe is very easy to make, the "toughest" part is cutting the corn from the cobs.  If you want to skip that part entirely; I'm sure you could substitute a 1 lb. bag of frozen sweet corn already trimmed from the cob.

4-6 Servings
-6 ears of fresh corn, shucked {or substitute a 1 lb. bag of frozen corn}
-1/4 cup butter
-3 tbsp water
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tbsp flour blended with 1 tbsp water
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper {I think I might reduce this to 1/4 tsp next time}
-3/4 cup milk
Flour and water mixture.
1. Cut corn from cobs, then scrape each cob with a sharp knife to get all of the milk and pulp.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet; I used my Dutch oven.
3. Stir in corn and juices.  Add the 3 tbsp water and sugar.  Cook until corn is tender.
4. Stir in flour-water, salt and pepper; blend well.
5. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.
6. Cook for about 2 minutes longer, but do not allow to boil.
7. Enjoy!

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