Monday, February 27, 2012


I just got done candling the second set of eggs in the incubator.  We got a more powerful light and


It looks like 1 definitely, possibly two of the turkey eggs are viable, and 3-5 of the chicken eggs as well.  The shells on the chicken eggs are really dark so it's hard to see them "dancing."

My camera has this crazy red flashing light that next time I'll cover up.  I tried to make it so the flashing wasn't on the egg.  The picture is a bit pixel-ated (sp?), but the black movement on the egg is not because of the camera, pixels, or me moving....that's actually the turkey.  I tried to zoom in and it wouldn't focus.  I'll try to get a better video next time I candle.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars--YUM!

For the month of February, I am going to be cooking up treats for the guys that I love!  I want to shower them with love for the love month. 

Last year, in February, I was diagnosised with Trigeminal Neuralgia and the month quickly went down hill from that...MRIs, Blood work, numerous trips to new doctors, having to leave my job, pain, exhaustion and then add a yahoo running into my car and having to also deal with insurance, repairs and rental cars for 2 weeks, then turning 40 in the middle of it...yes, last February....frankly...sucked...bit...was not the best month of my life. 

So I am taking control of this February, and with God's grace am trying to be the opposite of last.  As my DH said yesterday, "Merry, Merry February!!"  INDEED!  So, I had him pick out one of the sweets recipes I have pinned over on Pinterest for me to make.  He actually said "um....all of them?"  But we settled on this one first.

This picture is from the website, not mine.  Let's see how close I can get!

But for you ReynBFF, because of your snarky comment, there is a collage just for you ;)
You can skip the rest of the post >grin<

This recipe came from a Pin that I followed to the King Arthur Flour website. However, I used my milled white wheat flour. It is definitely delicious, however the cookie is terribly crumbly. IF I were to make it again, I would not use as much flour in the cookie.

Shortbread layer
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used the homemade stuff from Christmas!)
2 cups Flour

Caramel layer
2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate layer
3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)


1) FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.

2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

3) Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.

4) Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

5) Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.  I left it to the next day.....

6) FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up. Or for two hours while you read a new blog!

During this step I lamented that it would be nice to have an on-staff photographer like some bloggers have, and my darling hubby stepped up and took a bunch of pictures...he didn't listen when I said that I didn't want to be in them....only take pictures of the food!  I love that he took pictures from way different angles than I do!  And I love him....this was actually on our 19th anniversary.

After the carmel has been in the refrigerator, it becomes very glassy and pretty!

7) FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel.  Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. 

TIP: Buy twice as much chocolate than you need because there will be snacking...I'm just saying.

8) Cut into 2X2 squares, or long narrow strips, or whatever shape you like.  I found the cookie crumbled WAY too much so for the most part were 1 inch by 2 inches.  Best to use a BIG kitchen knife that is cold.

 8) These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into "fingers". Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

But really, after almost 3 days of working on this project....this is as good as it gets!

Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins. to 30 mins.

Baking time:
35 mins. to 45 mins.

Total time:
2 hrs 5 mins. to 2 hrs 25 mins.
For me: Three Days!!!
One 9" x 13" x 2" pan

AND then take a swig of Diet Citrus Drop and take a diabetes pill!

Oh, and find a cool site and airbrush a picture that your DH insisted on taking so you look like you have on make-up, no wrinkles, extra white teeth, and the background mess all faded!  I'm just like the "Big Bloggers!"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Goodbye Mohawk

It was a sad day today. We recently learned that Gus-gus was a roo. In the last week I've seen Mohawk, our other roo, going after him every time he would get close to one of the girls. I didn't let Gus-gus into the coop as I was afraid of a cock-fight and I figured Gus-gus would not fair well.

Well, I'm not sure what happened, and I'm sure it was NOT Gus, but I found Mohawk under the roosts this morning. Sigh. I have no idea how old he was when we got him, so I'm assuming that he just died of old age. And now I can't get Gus-gus into the coop to guard the girls.

Hopefully, there won't be some rogue racoon or something coming in tonight.

Goodbye, Mohawk! You were a good rooster!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Off to our first Speech Meet

Yes...I, who flunked speech, has a boy that has joined the homeschool speech and debate group. It's mostly because he wants to wear a tie! Chuckle!

Today is our first meet. My boy looked so handsome...but being a bad mom...I took the camera and didn't take a single picture. I even thought of it on the way home, but we had to get right to chores when we got home, so straight into the work clothes. UG! I can't believe I missed it.

I didn't hear his speech as I was judging in another room. (Parents are not allowed to judge their own kids.) But he got at 28/40 and a 30/40. One thing that I LOVE is that someone else's mom is telling him essentially what I told him he should do to improve his speech. So, maybe by the next meet (3 weeks.) we'll be ready to go. It's not the same kind of speech that you would think of, he's not in front of a bunch of people. Just 2 judges and about 6 kids.

Auditions for the spring play are coming up in 2 weeks, and that's what he really wants to do. We're still debating it as school is going a bit slow. (But even though he is slow-ish at it, I think I've discovered that he is a perfectionist like his mom and if it isn't right he gets stuck into thinking it's not worth doing.) Why I think that is...he's getting mostly all A's. So....

Monday, February 20, 2012

End to the Dry spell?

Here's hoping so! It's not that I don't have anything to say. I'm of the camp if you don't have fun things to report on, it's just better to stay silent. But I'm hearing from some of you...that no...there is a distinct dislike of blogs that paint only a rosy glow.

I mentioned that I've not been feeling well....I had a great run of a few months of feeling pretty good with a minimum of seizures. Then to make up for lost time...bam! Which means increased anti-seizure stuff that truly makes my moods pretty black and full of despair. Vicious circle later....

I went to my doctor this morning. (Love my PCP!) and we had a good chat. They worked up my blood again. Had a frank discussion about the whole mood altering stuff I take, and the fact that I don't think my blood sugar is much in the great range as chocolate seems to be the only anti-depressant that seems to work. Came home feeling fairly worn out, but hopeful. Only one seizure that is an improvement.

I fixed a neat chicken dish this evening. I saw a picture on...say it together now...Pinterest. And just fixed it how I thought it looked. Then as I popped it in the oven to cook...went to the blog where the recipe was. UM....let's just say I had all the same ingredients, but the whole execution was off. Still, as my boy said, it was the best "horrible mistake" I've made.

I also ordered seeds, trees and bushes for the homestead today. I said this year I wouldn't go nuts with a ba-zillion different types of tomatoes like last year. (Final count was 9 types...56 plants...I think) I started laying out the plan for the garden and figuring out what plant likes others and who can't stand one another (Sound like Junior High much??) and discovered that I currently have 10 different types of tomato seeds, and ordered 2 more today. Gulp.

Anyhoo...I'm excited to start some new things this year (besides tomatoes) including:
Jerusalem Artichokes
Cherry Trees
Pecan Trees
Black Radishes (not hot!)
Easter Egg Radishes
Green Popcorn
Blue Popcorn
Purple Asparagus
Black Krim Tomatoes
Fooled you Hybrid Jalapenos (Not hot)
...and more....

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've been having trouble with seizures and pain the past few days and have been doing the minimum....want to tell you all about the ducklings and everything else, but just not feeling well. Sorry! Be back very soon!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We Have Chicks.....

The incubator was locked down on Saturday.  That means that I took out the egg turner that keeps the eggs moving slightly for 21 days (so the chick doesn't malform. The mama turns the eggs a few times everyday)  Then increased the humidity...and said a prayer....OK lots of them.

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when in the morning I found 2 eggs pipped.  (Little holes that they start breaking out of the shell)

Boy and I had to do a delivery 2.5 hours away.  By the time we got home last night at about 7:30 pm, we had a chick!  In the next 45 minutes, two more hatched.

I didn't see any more eggs pipped, so figured, 3 that's pretty good. Went to bed at 10.  Woke up again at 1 am to let the dogs out....checked on my 3 babies to see that we had 5!!!  Man woke me up this morning to tell me that another was hatching and it was NUMBER EIGHT!!!  WOOHOO.'s going to take YouTube almost 5 hours to upload my little 3 minute video.  Check back for the video!!

I am going to try to post a video from last night, be sure to let me know in the comments if you can't get it to load.  It's about 3-4 minutes sure to watch to at least minute 2!  If you have the sound on, you can hear the peeping from both the new chick and from inside the shells.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Homemade Pita Bread

As of lunch today, I have made these successfully twice, so it is time to share.

Now, I am a bad blogger in that I forgot to take pictures of the first few steps.  So let's pretend that there is a picture of the ingredients

1 tablespoon yeast

1 ¼ cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt

3- 3 ½ cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

And as it is mixing up, what "shaggy dough" looks like

HERE: Shaggy

Run it in the mixer for 8 minutes to knead it.  (or knead it by hand for 8 minutes-your choice)

Turn out on a floured (clean) counter.  And pull into 6-10 balls. 

Roll out to circles about 1/4 inch thick and let sit for 30 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes of the dough resting, it will get a bit puffy.  Heat your oven to 425*

Flip your round pita upside down on cookie sheets or pizza pans, whatever you can find.  Put them in the oven and watch for the first 5 minutes.  OK, you don't HAVE to watch them, but it's a kick to watch them puff up like balloons!!

Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Take out and make pita pocket sandwiches (I filled ours with chicken salad with grapes), or use with dip.  If you have any that make it to a day old, you can use them to make awesome little pita pizzas!
This picture taken by Boy