Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet the boys!

      We made a two hour drive to below Birmingham to a place called Brookwood, and got a wether and a buck Nigerian Dwarf goat! They are big boys compared to our little girls, and they are not as old! The girl who kept them fed them, a LOT! They have a larger place to roam and something to climb on so I think they will loose some of the extra weight. They are so cute! To me, anyway! I would probably say that even about a pig! I just love farm animals! After reading about breeding them, I've decided to wait until the girls are at least 40 pounds, and maybe up to a year and a half. I want them to birth the babies without hardship and I want there to be plenty of milk! It is so interesting finding new information on these animals! We even traced their lineage and found out that the boys and girls are distantly related! Can you believe that? Drive two hours just so that wouldn't happen! Oh well, I think it won't matter, do you? I haven't read where the genealogy matters about breeding, when it's like great-great-great or something. 

      We are having another fantastic weather day! The sun is shining in between clouds, the wind is blowing, and it's 62 degrees outside! I love it! The hubs is supposed to get me a new lawnmower battery so I can drive it down the back side of the hill and get some dirt. Hopefully I can do this before it rains again.
I have some kale and beet seeds I can plant soon! Ya'll have a good week! Blessings from Bama!

Java and Samson. Java is on the left, he's the buck. The wether is pretty too!

Java has blue eyes like Daisey and Delilah.

The hubs rolled in some logs that they love to climb on. The board will have shingles placed on it later for them to climb on.

Java's face is so black! His eyes show up nicely on it.

They are big compared to the girls.

The girls.

Did I show you this already? The beets, beet greens, and sweet potato. The beet greens are my favorite above kale and Swiss chard.

Winterlynn and her 'water falls' as she called it.

Winterlynn's third birthday cake.

She sang along with everyone when we sang happy birthday to her!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Recipe for No Knead Bread!

      I checked online and found a recipe for the very one I made, by Jim Lahey! Here is the link: For some reason, the recipe here calls for more water than the one in the book. Use 1 1/3 cup, instead of 1 1/2 cup of water. Sometimes it pays to have the book! I really like this bread and enjoy making it as much as eating it! It doesn't keep as long as some of the other breads I make, but the leftovers can be turned into bread crumbs, croutons, bread pudding, or a delicious strata!

      I've been enjoying this beautiful, windy day from inside! I needed some more vinaigrette for my salads, so I made several, while I was at it. Once I get this posted, I'm on my way outside! It's 51 out there, but breezy! Hope your weather is pleasant this week!  Blessings from Bama!

I like my bread lighter in color, but you can cook it longer and it will get darker.
My salad with  roasted beets and homemade vinaigrette. The eggs are store bought and not as tasty as my home grown eggs. I added some roasted Hazelnuts after I took this shot. A nice piece of that bread, toasted would be good with this salad!

Vinaigrette on left has no Dijon mustard, but the one on the right does. I juiced some tangerines for this one. In the middle, freshly chopped green onions and cucumbers with some older vinaigrette.

I made this Red-Wine vinaigrette using my homemade red wine vinegar!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Trip to Whole Foods!

      We went to Whole Foods in Birmingham this past weekend and man, was it busy! I should have known by how full the parking lot was, that the store would be elbow to elbow! The prices have really gone up since we were there last! I went ahead and bought organic Swiss chard, kale, beets, and strawberries. I have cooked the chard and been very pleased, but the strawberries were sour! I hate sour strawberries! I guess they'll go in my smoothies so I won't taste it. My smoothies always taste sweet, even when I use less sweet ingredients! 

      Even though Trader Joe's is a much smaller market, I find their prices to be somewhat less than Whole Foods. I was surprised, since Trader Joe's is in a much larger city. I guess Whole Foods has the monopoly in Alabama since they are the only one with no competition. Still, I'm glad we have Whole Foods, and I hope one day we'll have a Trader Joe's! I also wished we had an Azure Standard pick up in this state, especially close to me! Maybe one day! At least I've found out about a somewhat local food co-op that goes to the bulk food store I visited when we went to the Amish country. It would take about four hours to drive there, but I only have to travel about an hour to pick up from the co-op. Can you tell I'm trying to feed my family better?

      I am reading a book by Tamar Adler: An Everlasting Meal Cooking with Economy and Grace. At first I was disappointed that it wasn't a regular cookbook and didn't read much of it. I decided to try it again, and I am so glad! It has changed my perspective of cooking! She explains about cooking in a way I never thought about, with simplicity; and using what you have, not wasting anything! She even uses the stems, leaves and core of cauliflower, and stems of the Swiss chard, beets, turnips, etc., in a pesto! I haven't tried that recipe, but I bet it's delicious!  I found another recipe, that cooks the beet greens pretty much the way I did the Swiss chard. I like greens, even though the Swiss chard was a little strong. The next day after I sauteed the Swiss chard, I turned it into a gratin! Thanks to the above mentioned book! It wasn't a recipe I followed, just a method, I guess you'd say. I am about to roast the beets and some sweet potatoes, and I will cook the beet greens tomorrow. Would you eat Swiss chard or beet greens?

      With all of these vegetables, I hardly eat meat! Last night I did make a meat dish using local ground pork that I made into Italian sausage. I then cooked it and added a jar of home-canned tomatoes and Italian seasonings, that I had pureed in the Vita-Mix. I cooked some Ziti noodles, and mixed everything together in a casserole dish, sprinkled mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top and baked for about twenty-five minutes in the oven. It turned out delicious! It will taste even better tonight, plus we'll have some home-made bread to go with it. I also made some more of the delicious cinnamon-raisin bread. I like it toasted. This is what I do. I love cooking and being in the kitchen! I love shopping for healthier foods! I also love keeping my great-nieces! They were here this past weekend, too. I will let you know more about my cooking escapades soon! Blessings from Bama!

I don't know what they were watching, but they sure were into it!

The last of the Vidalia onions that I caramelized in the crock-pot.

I actually like brown rice!

Whole Foods, Birmingham, is a very large market!

Sauteing the Swiss chard.

I also cooked some Fava beans. They have a very unique flavor.

Rising dough.

Sauteed chard on brown rice, delicious! The Swiss chard had some of the caramelized onions mixed in with it.

My new favorite book!

The dough is just about ready!

Swiss chard and brown rice with bechamel sauce.

Baked Ziti.

Gratin idea from the book.

Another book I love!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have you been to Trader Joe's?

      I keep reading on different blogs about items purchased from Trader Joe's. I finally did some research and found a Trader Joe's about two hours from here. That would be like driving to Atlanta, not a bad trip, so we went this past weekend. It is a much smaller store than the Whole Foods store I've been to. I don't know if all the Trader Joe's is that small, but this one was. They probably are, since there were several within a few miles. I like the items that I've tried, the Trader Joe's brand. They are good quality, and reasonably priced, maybe even cheaper than Whole Foods. I'm hoping we can make a Whole Foods run this coming weekend while the experience is still fresh. Would I make that drive again, just to go to Trader Joe's? Probably not. Unless we want to eat at Johnny's New York style Pizza! And go to Best Buy and Michaels. We don't have any of those stores here. They are in Birmingham; except for the pizza place, so it would be much closer for us to drive there. But, it was a very nice trip!

      I had no comments on the recipe I posted in the previous post, so recipes may not be my thing. If I post one again, I'll just type it in. I was really bummed out about not being able to use Ziplist! That is such an easy way to save or print out recipes! I don't plan on ever changing from Blogger, but if I do, Ziplist will be the first thing I add!

      I had Layla this past week for a few days while her sister had her tonsils removed. Then, her Momma was so sick, she had to go to the doctor and found out she had bronchitis! So I kept Layla and Yasmine Friday night! They were both good, and even though Yasmine was in a sickly state, she acted well. After their Momma got a shot and some medicine, she felt a lot better and they went home Saturday evening. I also got to see Riley, the now two month old! They grow up too fast! She's still little, though. 

      We have received a lot of rain over the past few days, which has helped to get us out of the drought. The temps have gone from the seventies to the forties! That's a big change! Just when I would love to get in the dirt! I know better than to plant anything now! Maybe Valentine's Day! Hope ya'll have a nice week! Blessings from Bama!

Sausage gravy, but where's the biscuits?

I have to cook enough sausage every week so Skylar can eat a sausage biscuit every morning for breakfast. I now know how to make a decent biscuit.

Layla pushing her baby in the swing. Love that little smirk! Can you keep a house clean with children around?

First cinnamon-raisin bread. Very thick and crusty.

Look Aunt FeFe, I'm wearing your blogs! The dog dug up that little brown bottle.

We had tuna salad. I put apples in it and it was good!

The new cinnamon-raisin bread is light and not so crusty. It tastes delicious!

Don't let Rubi get us!

Daisey and Delilah are growing!

She smiled at the camera! She was trying to take it away from me!

Yasmine riding the Jeep.

Riley about to smile.

You can see the effects of the medicine on Yasmine.

I want my passy!

This is the actual size of the store.

A beautiful church in Marietta, Georgia.

Some of the items we purchased at Trader Joe's. They gave us that bag since it was our first time there.

I love this lentil soup!

Oatmeal bread to go with the soup.

Got to have some chocolate chip cookies to go with everything!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Recipe for Cinnamon-Apple Cake

      I didn't realize that Ziplist was a wordpress only tool. I was so excited to use it on my blog! So, I'm going to see if I can copy and paste here. Bear with me! Looks like it worked! The only changes I made was I used what I had on hand, and that was regular cream cheese and Honey Crisp apples. I can't wait to share more recipes! I hope this is not illegal! If it is, please someone let me know! Blessings from Bama! Roll Tide!!!!

                                           Cinnamon-Apple CakePhoto by: BECKY LUIGART-STAYNER

Cinnamon-Apple Cake

This 5-star cinnamon apple cake is one of our best-ever recipes and can be served as dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. The cream cheese in the batter gives the cake lots of moisture.
Cooking Light OCTOBER 1997
  • Yield: 12 servings


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup stick margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Rome apple (about 2 large)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, margarine, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.
Note: You can also make this cake in a 9-inch square cake pan or a 9-inch springform pan; just reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The days are getting longer!

      My hens are still scratching in the yard as I write this! They are only laying one or two eggs daily. The weather has been quite mild this past week and is supposed to gradually warm to seventy by Saturday! Then, next week we are supposed to experience arctic blasts they say! Whatever! I'm just glad the days are getting longer which means Spring is not too far away! I'm still going through seed catalogs, trying to determine what to grow this year. I also need some dirt brought in for the two empty raised beds. A lot of work to be done in a relatively short period of time.

      I've been cooking more lately and hope to continue making different recipes than before. Sometimes they work and sometimes not. I want to start posting a ziplist recipe as soon as I figure out how it works, so hopefully future posts will contain a recipe. 

      Yasmine had a tonsillectomy today and hopefully she is not in much pain. She came out of the anesthesia very well. The third day is when we'll have to make sure she drinks a lot and doesn't become dehydrated. That day is when they scab over and swallowing becomes really painful.  

      Hope ya'll are having a good week and staying warm, or cool, whatever state you are in! I am really enjoying this new year and hope you are too! Blessings from Bama!

This is the yummiest apple cake ever! I hope to put up a recipe soon!

This turned out to be very delicious garlic cheese bread sticks!

These are actually hamburger steaks that tasted delicious!

Yummy rye bread from the bread machine! I love using that thing!

Mom and Dad celebrating their fifty-third anniversary at Canyons in Georgia.

I wished I had gotten the shot when they were looking at me! We bought this Barbie Jeep from someone on Craigslist for fifty dollars! They are $250 new!

Sorry for the shadow but the photo wouldn't show up otherwise.

Uncle Ran reading a Bible story.