Main pic

Main pic

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Shrimp and Chicken LoMein....

A little of this, a little of that, and add some red pepper, scallions, sprouts and seasoning, you get one tasty Lo Mein for supper last night. It's as good as Take Out.....

Cooking is one activity that I and the Hubby enjoy doing together. He is a awesome cook and loves trying new things. This recipe is one we fix quite regularly.

It's even better if you open a nice bottle of wine to enjoy while prepping the recipe. ;)

The chicken looks fantastic in the wok after marinating in the Hoisin sauce 30 minutes.

This delicious meal is simple to make and a nice change up from the usual meal planner.... We will add what ever we have in the fridge. This had red bell pepper, scallions,sprouts, shrimp and chicken breast. Enjoy.... Please feel free to share and comment.

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 8 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 4 scallions, chopped & divided
  • 1 16oz package spagetti
  • ½ cup Hoisin sauce
  • 14 shrimp
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth 
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  1. Cut chicken breasts into bite sized chunks. Marinate in Hoisin sauce 30 minutes.
  2. Chop scallions and set the green part aside.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok (or large pan). Cook shrimp until they are a nice pink color and set aside. Cook chicken over medium heat about 5 to 6 minutes until cooked through, set aside.  Cook noodles according to package directions. 
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add scallions, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add red pepper slices and cook 1 minute.
  5. Add cooked noodles, bean sprouts, shrimp sliced chicken and sauce. Stir over medium heat until sauce is thickened (4 to 5 minutes). Top with scallion greens.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lessons learned.... Tips for growing healthy beautiful Tomatos


Nothing tastes better or looks more delicious then big juicy tomatoes. That is unless they look like this. This post offers a few tips on helping prevent splitting tomatoes in your garden.

Why do Tomato Plants Split?

Spitting is usually caused by the tomato plant absorbing water too quickly.  The inside expands from the water absorption but skin can’t stretch to accommodate the extra fluid.  So, the skin splits and heals up.
This can be caused by several scenarios...

You forget to water regularly and the soil gets to dry. When you do water, the plant absorbs the water quickly and the skins split. Or....

You  water regularly but on the hot dog days of summer the heat is taking its toll.  The heat sucks the moister out during the day and the plants dry out.  When you have time to water, the plants absorb the water to fast and you get splitting. Or....
Your garden is lacking in good organic matter to help hold the moisture during the day, the soil drys out and when you water the plants they absorb the water to fast and you get splitting. 

Your Tomatoes are fine to eat...

They should be picked sooner then later. Try putting them in a sunny window if they are still green.

Ways to help prevent splitting....

  Try to maintain soil moisture by watering frequently and deeply
  Use a good mulch to cover soil around tomatoes to retain moisture 
  Plant varieties that grow well in hotter climates

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Potato Clam Chowder

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new, easy and affordable meals for my family. This recipes fall into all three categories. This recipe is great for using up veggies in the fridge. If you aren't a clam fan, forget the clams and add leftover chicken, or more veggies. It's up to you....

Here's what I did....

1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 10oz can Clams and liquid.
1 6.5oz can Clams and liquid
Carrots to your taste
Broccoli to your taste
Green Onions to your taste
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese to your liking)
salt and pepper to taste

Empty hash browns in crock-pot. Add chicken broth, cream of chicken soup. Add salt and pepper to taste....

Cook on high for 4 hours. Add clams with juice, carrots, broccoli (or whatever veggies you like) to crock-pot. Continue to cook on high setting until veggies are tender. 

An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes. Place the cubes in the crock pot. Mix throughout the hour before serving. 

Once the cream cheese is completely blended and right before serving, top with cheddar cheese and green onions to taste.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bidding Adieu to January..... The month in review.

January 2016 blew in with a vengeance here on the Farm... But that never stop Half Pint from accompanying me on morning chores...

The walk from the house to the chicken coop every morning was an adventure... With average snow depth of four feet, you went out prepared for anything...

The Ducks didn't seem to mind the snow at all... They love to snuggle in...

I think their only complaint could be is that their run and house was buried in 4-5 feet snow most of the month... Many a morning was spent digging them out...

Watering the animals is always fun when the weather gets so cold that the "Frost Free" faucets freeze,,, Carting five gallon buckets from the house became the norm...

Lots of beautiful sunrises were to be had in January... The sun seemed to dance off the blanket of snow...

Tempers did flare when barn doors became frozen shut, (I won't be naming names)

Or when somebody dare challenge the hierarchy in the barn....

But the girls seemed to work their issues out.

The "Hubby" spent quite a bit of time maintaining our drive and road... The wind and snow  always leaves large drifts right in front of the garage, and our road/driveway could easily be used in an episode of "Ice Road Truckers".

He is so happy with the new snowblower for the tractor... With amount we get there comes a point when you just can't push or stack it anymore...

There she sits until she's needed again...

Well I thought I'd end this post with one of the many beautiful sunsets I captured,

                                                                                                                               and an evening walk....  ~Lori~

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Life on the Prairie's Edge....: Choices.... A letter to a friend.

Life on the Prairie's Edge....: Choices.... A letter to a friend.: , Chores complete.... Wood brought in and I am back inside enjoying the warm fire and a cup of coffee while catching up on emails.... I&...

Choices.... A letter to a friend.

Chores complete.... Wood brought in and I am back inside enjoying the warm fire and a cup of coffee while catching up on emails.... I've been emailing back and forth with a old friend who I grew up with. Catching up on her family and our lives on the farm since our "big move" (as its become to be known as), to Oregon from California back in 2005.... She and her husband have been talking about making a life change, but haven't taken the final step.  

I remember her joking with me in 2004 about us moving out to the boonies and becoming hermits... Now, they are looking at their hurried and stressful lives and are asking the same question that we asked ourselves in 2004, "Do we want to spend the rest of our lives living this kind of life".  She confided how much they admire us... How they have been considering moving to the country and buying a place.   
                                                                           She summed up her email with, "You seem so happy and content".  "Do you have any regrets"?

I've decided to share "Part" of the my response to her. She knows I am sharing it with you... I often get questions on what life is like on our farm. So here you go.... The not so glamorous, sometimes heart breaking but always rewarding life....  

So let me digress.... 
I spent this rainy morning shoveling icy poopy snow out of our Duck Run and replacing old bedding with fresh inside the Duck House while enjoying the quacking chatter of our crazy ducks. I also raked the Hen House out, did the morning egg collecting and freshened up the nesting boxes... From there, since our "Frost Free water valves" are frozen... (they certainly don't live up to their names), I hauled 5 gallon buckets of water from the house out to the Coop and Duck Run to replenish their heated drinking water... Next I headed to the barn to feed the horses and for a little stall mucking... The mares spend most of the time inside in the cold weather, so lots of mucking to do... Nothing smells or looks better than dirty jeans, poopy Muck boots on a sweaty woman ;). Wow I was a "Hot Mess" and  beat...

So much of life on the farm is about doing what is necessary... It's doing the feedings and watering of animals... Providing the animals a clean, warm and safe place to live... It's doctoring the leg of a horse who seems to have a love affair with fences.:( It's knowing when a animal you have loved and cared for is suffering and has reached the end of its life here on earth... Grieving for that animal who will always have a place in your heart... Hard and sometimes painful decisions.... 

But farm life has so many rewards...

The excitement of adding a new member to our menagerie of animals.... The beauty of a pasture full of green grass and the enjoyment of watching the mares grazing... Going out to the Hen House and enjoying the sounds of happy Hens and collecting eggs. The success of heirlooms growing in the vegetable garden... Picking and preserving the food we grow... The feeling of success when one more of the many farm projects are finished and crossed off the list.... The enjoyment of watching the sunset from our front deck... I could go on and on....

I must say though, living way out of town life can be a little lonely at times... Especially in the winter months... But I wouldn't change a thing about our lives now... Would I not love to have our kids living closer to us? Definitely!! But we all have our own lives and make the most of the times when we are together.

Decisions that can affect the rest of ones life can be scary and shouldn't be done on a whim... I know for us we didn't want to look back with regret on adventures we didn't take.... 

You asked if we had any regrets, I am happy to say, No.....  

What is right for us, might not be right for you.... Think hard and long, my friend... Consider all aspects of your lives now and as you grow older. We are here if you need a sounding board.

Miss you, keep in touch,  ~Lori~


Saturday, January 16, 2016

I can see the light, or maybe just the desk....

 I spent today finishing up cleaning and organizing my/our office. Well now I guess I can say my office again... This room is headquarters for all business for farm, which over the years has been my responsibility.

The hubster has just finished up dealing with all the responsibilities and paperwork as the Executor of his parents estate. I had decided to just give him the office, it was better to have it all in one room and not all over the house. Needless to say, my once neat and tidy office has had documents, receipts and files strewn from one side to the other. Needless to say, he has a total different idea of organization then I do. But I guess there is a method to his madness. he always seemed to know where everything he needed was.

I find there's nothing better then sitting at a organized desk. I love this room. I have my desk strategically placed facing the door and by the window so I can enjoy the views of chickens, gardens and farm. Right now the snow is falling and it is so peaceful.

I've decided I need to add some new recipes to our dinner menu.... The Hubster is watching a game and I'm looking through my cookbooks for something tasty while enjoying a cup of tea with my sidekick Half Pint laying at my feet. What a relaxing  way to end the day.... ~Lori~