Friday, November 12, 2010

But We Only Have 15 Hens

I put this on Facebook earlier this week, but could not help posting it here, too. We have 15 hens, but on Monday, they were quite busy. Between sundown on Sunday and 5:00 pm on Monday, our 15 girls laid 17 eggs :) Do you think they were motivated by the pumpkin we gave them?

Or do you think it was "chicken eye" from the dominant rooster?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (Nov 8, 2010)

This week, we are going to continue our doubling of recipes to get more cooked meals in the freezer for when the baby comes. The boys were a great help last week, with Nick, our oldest making the lasagna with minimal help from me. WTG Nick!! This week is going to be COLD, so we will focus on soups and other warming meals, most of which freeze beautifully. As usual, we include all locally grown or homegrown items in bold. Here is our menu:

Monday - White Bean Chicken Chili (making a double batch - will freeze extra), green salad

Tuesday - Caramelized Onion and veggie omelettes (gotta use up those eggs!! The hens are laying an average of a dozen a day now) and sliced oranges

Wednesday - French Onion Soup (local beef was used to make the stock - making extra to freeze), grilled veggie and cheese panini

Thursday - Chicken Noodle Soup (hoping to try our hand at homemade noodles - making extra to freeze), green salad

Friday - Cheese Burgers (will make and freeze extra burgers), mashed sweet potatoes, apple slices

Saturday - Chipotle & Beef Chili (will freeze extra), cornbread, green salad

Sunday - Leftovers

I am also hoping to do some baking and get some of that into the freezer. My boys are big snackers and it will be nice not to have to think about snacks for a few weeks with a newborn. Do you have any favorite snack recipes that freeze well?

Menu Plan Monday

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winterizing the Chicken Run

We are expecting below freezing weather this weekend and that coupled with the rain we are getting and will continue to get has prompted us to winterize the coop. Cold, wet chickens are not what we want.

Here is the coop/ run as seen from our kitchen door. It really is in the woods :)

A close up shows that we added a painting tarp over part of the run and then stacked some hay bales on two sides to create a snug corner to keep out rain and wind.

In this picture, you can see some of the hay bales and in the background, the laying boxes and a few chickens :)

Another close up from the side. We only covered the top and two sides with plastic so that we would still have ventilation. They have a warm coop, but all of them prefer to be outside of the coop in the run. This will hopefully help them stay dry and warm when the weather gets cold and wet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Menu Plan (Nov 1)

This baby will be here before we know it. If I'm going to accomplish getting a freezer full of meals and teaching the boys to handle more in the kitchen, I've got to start doing this now. So this week, I had the boys help to plan the menu (they chose main dishes and I filled in side dishes) and they are going to help make the meals, including doubling of recipes for the freezer. I am only posting our dinner menu this week. As usual, I am putting locally grown items in bold. Here is what the boys planned:

1. Lassagna (making one for the freezer) with sauteed squash (we found locally grown summer squash at the farmer's market on Saturday :), a green salad and breadsticks (if there are any left,we will freeze those,too)

2. White Chicken Enchilladas (with some for the freezer), sliced sweet potatoes in butter and sea salt, green salad.

3. Turkey Meat Loaf (doubled for the freezer), green salad, mashed potatoes, green peas

4. Sloppy Joes (local beef), caramelized veggie blend, cut up apples (sloppy joes freeze really well, so we are doubling that recipe and freezing extra)

5. Burgers (local beef - we will make double what we will need, so that we can freeze some for later), caramelized onions, potatoes (probably using the recipe for breakfast potatoes from The Pioneer Woman's cookbook), steamed broccoli with butter and sea salt (so yummy!!)

6. Chicken Salad sandwiches, chicken corn chowder, green salad (if there is any extra chicken, we plan to freeze it in meal sized portions for later use)

7. This will either be "You are on Your Own" or leftover day.

I am submitting this post to Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie.