Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chickie Update!

Cuz you all care so much, lol :)

The chickies went outside for their first day this Friday - yay! I didn't want them outside while I wasn't home to keep an eye on them, and Allen was going to take them out and chickie-sit while I was at work, but kept getting waylaid by various projects.Tthis Friday was warm and sunny, so he pulled out the old doggie crate we keep around for such times as this, and the chickies got to spent their first day in the grass and sunshine (don't worry, they have water and shade at all times). In short, they loved it. I was nervous about Anna's cat prowling about, but luckily the cat slept most of the day, so we had no problems.

I cannot believe how big these little guys have gotten in one week. One week! Crazy how fast they grow. They're covered in pinfeathers now, and all but Unami have gone almost completely brown - even more so than in this picture, which was taken Friday morning. I'm not sure I can tell Isiri and Lystra apart anymore - it used to be that Lystra had a little brown "vee" down her back, while Isiri was more brown all over, but not that Lystra's brown has started to spread down her back, too, I'm gonna need a new way to tell them apart. It looks like Unami might stay a little paler than her sisters, at least for awhile.

I'm looking forward to them being able to move outside, at least during the day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Growing Big!

I cannot believe how big my chickies are getting! They're starting to hop/fly short distances and they perch amazingly well. The website I read said that Golden Coments are especially friendly and personable, and these little guys truly are - they were hopping up into our hands while we were crouching around their pen and snuggling with us. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Apparently just the thing I needed to snap myself out of this "why is winter taking so long" funk was a project.

Granted, I'd been thinking about getting a few hens for laying/pet purposes.

I just didn't set out to to it this week.

But no matter.

Cuz they're pretty cute.

In about 20 weeks, I'll have these:

Right now, I have these:

Meet Lystra, Isiri, and Unami!

Cute and fluffy! (and not HALF so loud as the ducks were last year, nor half as stinky as Allen's 50 chickies are... *whew*)

But very, very hungry!

Allen has agreed to help me (which really translates to "make while I stand nearby observing") make a chicken coop, and I already have a pen that Maggie inherited for Oliver (but it was too small).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eat This.

One of my goals is to cook more. While I'm pretty proficient in the kitchen, I haven't had a whole lot of experience in meal planning, and so this year I'm trying to get better at cooking meals, instead of just foods. :)

To help myself with this goal - and, ok, because I love it so much and got an AMAZING deal on a subscription - I got a subscription to
Everyday with Rachael Ray. Every month when my issue comes, I dog-ear recipes and ideas that I want to try. When I saw the recipe for Groovy Garbanzo Burgers in the latest issue, I knew I HAD to try it (we all know about my love affair with garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas). :)

If you want to make them too, the recipe is
right here: the changes I made were to substitute cilantro for parsley, a flaxseed egg for the egg (for my allergy peeps), a little water (about 1/2-3/4 of a cup) during the pureeing stage,, and in the way I served them (no hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, and mayo here lol!). (For the record, the following pictures and amounts show a doubled recipe, as there are eight people to feed at my table).

Don't they look yummy?

I started with four cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed them, and then *ahem*shelledthem*ahem*... This isn't really necessary, but having their skins on bugs me somehow.

I had an idea of how I wanted to serve them... with a fire-roasted pepper salsa of sorts, and a zesty pesto.

First thing to do was to blacken my peppers - one red, one orange, one green, and one yellow (had to use two burners). This is the easiest thing to do - just throw them on a gas burner and let them roast. It's pretty impossible to burn them - trust me, they'll be fine - you want them BLACK!

When they're COMPLETELY black...

... throw them in a plastic bag and let them get good and steamy. (Maggie claims you can save the plastic bag and just throw a towel over them, but Maggie is magic and I am moral and I stick with the plastic bag, to be safe).

After they've sat in there for awhile, the blackened skins will slip right off. :) Pull out the seeds, flatten them out, and scrape away any white bits of remaining seeds, and you're done! I gave everything a good chopping, along with some tomatoes I oven-roasted a bit, and the result was a lovely charred salsa.

I also whipped up the easiest-ever mock pesto (Maggie's recipe): 2 cups (I think I used a bit more) cilantro, and 1 cup walnuts in the food processor; pulse til chopped, add 2 TBS lime juice, then turn the processor on and slowly drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil in a steady stream. When it's smooth, you're done!

The burgers shaped up sooo nicely and held together amazingly well during the cooking process. They browned up and smelled so. amazing.

When they came off the stove, I placed each burger on a pita bread sliced in half, and topped it with my roasted salsa and a dollop of pesto and served them with balsamic vinegar on the side.

Verdict: Even my family, who isn't really in love with chickpeas the same way I am, loved this! Happy people all around, and this goes into my "definitely make again" file. As we were eating, we were also thinking of different ways to serve them - with cucumbers, a little feta, and a bit of sour cream, the way the recipes says with hamburger rolls, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, etc. I'm looking forward to making them again soon!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crafty Memory Game

Did you know that March is National Craft Month? I haven't been very crafty lately... this long winter has eaten my inspiration (sigh). However, last week I set up a last-minute playdate with Abby's cousin Lilly and knew we'd need a fun craft to get things rolling. After a little bit of mental scrambling, this is what I came up with!

Supplies (for one game):

2 8.5 X 11" sheets of cardstock in you childs favorite color
2 8.5 X 11" sheets of white cardstock
Craft glue or gluestick
Markers, crayons, paint, etc (optional)

To start, you need to print 2 sets of 6 images (12 images total, or 6 pairs), sized 2.5" x 2.5" (or bigger or smaller depending on how you want the cards to look). These can be as simple as shapes, clipart from the web, or - if you're really artsy - you can create your own images. I googled "flowers" and found these cool flower clip art pictures.

Print one set of images on each sheet of white cardstock, then cut the paper into 2.5" x 2.5" squares. Cut the cardstock into 3" x 3" squares.

If you want, you can make a matching cardstock envelope to store your game in (do yourself a favor and google "envelope template" and make it easy).

Your child can help glue each image to a cardstock square; when dry, they can decorate each image with paint, crayons, markers, etc.

We used a paintbrush to spread the paint instead of gluesticks, and this worked great! Happy cousins! :)