Menu Monday-Fresh Gratin Squash

Don’t let the title fool you, that is just a fancy way of saying cheese squash!

First grow 2 lbs of yellow squash in your very own raised bed garden in your very own compost.

Barring that you can always buy it at the store, although I don’t recommend it.  Next butter a 10 inch pie plate.  Slice the squash in rounds into a medium sauce pot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cook about 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Layer the squash in the pie plate using an overlapping pattern.  Season with salt and pepper between layers.  Grate fresh Parmesan cheese in between layers as well.  Top with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Use convect if you have it on your oven because it makes the cheese that much yummier!

Once again, even picky veggie haters love this dish!


Farming Friday-Coop Redo!

Since the fiasco of the broken level, we have been planning another coop.  The Geek has been bringing home scrap 2×4’s from work for the past year.  Each time the Man Who Knows Everything is here, we sketch ideas and discuss shed-roof versus a hip-roof.  Finally the time was upon us to work on it!  Naturally the heat index went through the roof but since TMWKE had just spent 2 weeks with Red, this seemed easy in comparison!

As you can see there is quite a size difference here.  Right now the girls are just 8 weeks old and are managing in the old coop, but I think they are really going to appreciate the extra room!

Red is inspecting the progress.  We point out exciting things like the awesome linoleum that is way nicer than what is in our kitchen and the chicken wire across the top for ventilation.

Red points out the nifty design features to Buddy, and apparently asks him to imagine opening the door.

As you can see there is a ever so slight difference between the “Coop Redo” and our first attempt.  My suggestion?  Never attempt a chicken coop without at least one Man Who Knows Everything.

You can’t see the beautiful shingles that the Geek got for 1/2 off and nailed down in the 90+ heat, but they are there!  Man that is a sexy chicken coop!  Just needs a door!

Dog, have you seen my new house?  Yes, yes I have.  I hate you.

Menu Monday-Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

This is a simple and scrumptious way to get the entire family to eat their veggies.  Low-carb style naturally.

Break the woody stems from your asparagus.  Wrap 1 or 2 pieces of bacon around a serving of asparagus.  Sprinkle minced garlic and add several pats of butter.  Place in the oven and bake on 350 for 15 minutes.  Broil for 4 additional minutes to finish cooking the bacon.

Serve to rounds of applause.

Farming Friday–Do a Lot with a Little

This is what we started with when we moved in last June.  We decided with just two horses we would put off building a barn until such time as it became absolutely necessary and economically feasible.  Instead we took the little carport off the garage and turned it into this:

Please click for a larger version

Sometimes my perfectionism stops me.  Often I think if I can’t have exactly what I want, I should wait until I can.  This time we took the little that we had and improved it to the point where it serves our needs to perfection.  Is it that perfect barn of my dreams?  Nope, it is simple and minimalist, but it’ll do and the mares are happy.

Wordless Wednesday

Menu Monday-Moraccan Kebabs

If you are looking for a “different” way to cook chicken to spice up your weekdays; here it is!

Combine 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 table spoon of ground pepper into a large ziplock bag.  Add 4 chickens breasts cut into chucks and approx 30 deveined shrimp.  Squeeze out the air, seal and shake until all meat is fully coated.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Thread the chicken and shrimp on to skewer with chunks of onion and squash, alternating each.  Sprinkle each kebabs thoroughly with sea salt.  Grill the kebabs for about 15 minutes, turning every 2 minutes.

This is a great low-carb meal.  However, if you are not interested in low-carb, this would be really tasty served over some rice!

Farming Friday

Today is a very exciting day around the farm.  After enduring many fractuosities (which is a big word for the whole lotta crazy stuff that happened) our big red mare was bred today!  I noted over the weekend an increase in Sparrow’s “friendly” feelings, we had the vet out on Wednesday.  Dr Brian took care of several things, like Halo’s 2nd  Pneumabort shot (getting close now!) and then he “probed” Sparrow.  She was less than thrilled with this turn of events.  However, we were thrilled to see this:

So we ordered the semen from her future baby daddy and sent her to the vet to spend the weekend.  She was inseminated for the first time today with a lovely 4.5 cm follicle.  The vet said the semen was beautiful (only an equine vet would say such a thing….lol) 65% motility.  She will be inseminated again tomorrow and then the wait will begin.
Here is our girl 2006 Chestnut Thoroughbred Dixie Dash (truly horrible name so we call her Sparrow)

Here is the prospective sire 1999 15.3 hh Bay Leopard Spotted Knabstrupper Colorado Skrødstrup

Colorado is the very first Knabstrupper to complete the 70 day testing process!   Where he placed 3rd in Dressage and 5th overall (and that was after his 5% age deduction!), with 9.5 for temperament, 9’s on character constitution, rideability, and trainability, and 8s and 8.5s for his gaits.

Colorado is owned by Avalon Equines.  I cannot say enough about how truly helpful, knowledgeable and kind his owner Kathy St. Martin is!  If you are looking for a stallion I would recommend checking out hers!