May 17, 2016

Banana Muffins

My friend, Melissa makes delicious banana muffins and I decided to make them during meal prep the other day.  Melissa told me how she made them using stevia and I couldn't even tell.  Her husband is a diabetic so he has to watch his sugar intake.

I've never used stevia before but I picked some up from the store the other day to give it a try baking with it.

They turned out great.

I didn't make them with the crumb topping.  It's not needed because they are very tasty.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas mashed
1/3 cup stevia
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp homemade vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter

Now that I'm typing this out....I accidentally left out the melted butter.  OOPS.  Didn't even notice the butter was missing.  hahahaha  I didn't make the crumb topping either.  It's on the original recipe.

In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix up the wet ingredients.  Mix in the wet to the dry until everything is combined.  Add to a pam sprayed muffin pan.  You will get 10 muffins.  Bake on 375 for 18 to 20 minutes.  Mine were done at 18 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

***UPDATE***- I made these again but in a bread form and remembered to add the melted butter and it was so yummy.  Love these!!!

CSA Box- Week 3

First thing, I did this morning was check my e-mail.  Every Tuesday I get a CSA e-mail on what would be in my box.  I picked up my CSA box this morning at the market.  There was lots of yummy items included.  The farmer spoke with me a bit asking how things were going with my box.  She said someone complained that there foods didn't last a day.  I told her that I always prep my items that need to be prepped the evening I picked up my box.  I said maybe the complainer is leaving everything out and not storing properly.  I mentioned that I'm happy with everything.  I also told her my husband and I have really been enjoying the items we are getting.  I said we've been trying new things like the swiss chard because of the CSA box.  I also said to her that I've made two different soups with it and they both turned out tasty and delicious.  I thanked her for sending out the CSA 
e-mails with recipes included too.  It was a nice chat.  I love knowing where my food is coming from.

Sneak Peek of the farm fresh produce.

The box was jam packed.

Here's the big picture of what's in the box.

-2 lettuces
-2 big turnips
2 large carrots
-bag of spinach
-2 greenhouse tomatoes
-4 small onions
-half dozen farm fresh eggs
-cilantro bunch (e-mail said basil but I def got cilantro)

I made a big salad for dinner using items from the CSA box.

CSA box-
-shredded carrot
-1 greenhouse tomato

Window Garden-

From fridge-
-shredded cheese
-bacon bits
-ranch dressing
-pork loin
-2 hard boiled eggs

This salad was fantastic.  I'm thinking about doing this again tomorrow night for dinner too.  My husband said yes.  haha  :)

Backyard Chickens Update #10

I saw my chickens this past weekend.

This is their temporary coop they are living in for now.  Melissa has a heat lamp for them for the chilly nights/rainy cold days to keep them warm.

This is the little playpen to keep them in when Melissa doesn't want them wandering around alone.

We opened up the coop.

Inside the coop....

They came right out to explore.

Some came out faster than others.

They immediately went to this big weed flower bush and started eating bugs and flower petals.  They loved it.

This one is one of my favorites.  If I bring her home I think I might name her Buttercup since she's here with some buttercup flowers.  :)  This is an Ameraucana chicken.

This is another favorite of mine.  I think it's a girl....she's soooo little.  She was the last chick to hatch in the batch of eggs.  She's adorable and she's an Australorp.


Here's the littles just wandering around.

Chicken butts

Melissa grabbed one of the chicks that she's pretty certain is a roo.  She was showing me the roo characteristics.  Looks like there might be 5 roos and 5 hens.

Melissa has more eggs in the incubator.  They will be hatching any day now.  She said I can choose some eggs from there if I want.  I might grab 3 (one of each breed) from the first batch and grab 2 later from the second batch.  We will see.  I want to make sure I don't grab any roosters since I'm not allowed to have them.

I did decide that I will be bringing home chickens Memorial Day Weekend.  :)  
Let the countdown begin.

My dining room has all my chicken stuff....

There's a lot of things in the big container that you can't see.  I need to get DE for the dust baths.  I still need to get a rubbermaid container for the flakes too.

Memorial Day weekend will be here soon enough and I can't wait.  :)

Melissa's Farm Trip 3

I went to my friend, Melissa's farm this past weekend.  It's always so fun going out to see the chickens.  Melissa and her son gave the chickens some treats.  The sounds the chickens make for treats is so funny. 

Here's Memphis.  He's the main Roo on the farm.  He's also the favorite Rooster and he's very nice.  Here he is jumping for his treat which he completely missed. haha

Girls running to fence to see what's going on.  They were watching and chatting while Memphis was jumping for treats.

Once we got in the gate all of the hens and the roos started doing tricks for treats.  Here's Memphis again jumping up.

This is Roo the Rooster.  His comb looks like a mohawk.  haha

We went into the coop to see if there were any fresh eggs.  There were two hens.  We didn't disturb them but we're pretty sure they just laid an egg and were just sitting there.  We did grab one egg that was in another nesting box.

Before I left, Melissa gave me a dozen farm fresh eggs.

I also gave Melissa the car decal I got for her.  She loved it and couldn't stop laughing about it.

2016 Garden Update #12

Well it's still been raining here in Virginia.  Looks like more rain for the next few days too.

The grass is too high.  The one day the sun did come out the grass was just way too wet to cut it.

It's even seeded and has these beautiful purple flowers.

I had some waterlogged pots.  I figured the best thing to do was to carefully take the plants out and repot them with some fresh soil and then dump the wet soil.

Here's after I took the plants out of the one pot.

I put all the marigolds which I had in two pots and put them in one.  I plucked off the dead flowers and put them with my in ground tomato plants.

My snapdragons were pretty waterlogged too so I decided to repot them with fresh soil as well.

Just so much water there's no way this would dry out.

Plants are tucked in some fresh soil.  There's even some buds.  :)

Here's the wet soil.  I found an empty area in the yard near my greenhouse so I put it there and used my shovel to pat down.

My gladiolas were pretty waterlogged too.  I took them out.  Only two of the bulbs had sprouted.  I left them outside on the ground near my in ground tomatoes and the next was gone.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  Something took the bulb.  If I had to guess, I would say it was a squirrel.

I was talking to a coworker the other day and he was telling me that coffee grounds help tomato plants.  I had heard about this.  My in ground tomatoes seem to be growing slow so I figured maybe I would try to put some coffee grounds around them to put some nitrogen in the soil.  My husband got some Hawaiian coffee from a neighbor who had recently been there so I asked him to save the grounds for me and he did.  I hate the taste but I love the smell of coffee.

Farm fresh eggshells I crushed up for the tomatoes.  The egg shells provide calcium to the soil.

Here's the in ground tomatoes.  One plant has some tiny yellow blossoms.

You can see the egg shells sprinkled around.  I also put some coffee grounds on all my tomato plants.  Do you see the little lady walking around?

There she is on the rim of the pot.  :)

My peppers are doing well.

I did manage to pick up some more rocks from the dollar tree.  I got big ones to put in the bottom of 2 really big pots I have and I got small ones for my succulents.

I finally planted the last succulents I still had left to plant.  I put rocks around one of them.

I brought my potato plants out from my window garden in the house.  They were getting so big.

I pulled them out and took them to the greenhouse to repot them.

I put rocks in bottom of pot.  I then filled it up with soil.  And guess what?  I'm out of soil again.  haha 

The roots from these seeded potatoes were beautiful.

Look at them...

I planted them and broke one and in a fit of rage I threw it out of the greenhouse.  I hate how fragile the stalks are.  I staked all of them so they stay upright.  I have a really tiny one that I still have in the pot and it's now sitting in the middle of the pot.

My lavender is sprouting new flowers.  I need to see how to propagate it so I get more plants.

My small marigold plant.

My in ground sunflowers are so happy.  They love the rain.

My in ground green bean plant seems to be doing good.