Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

May 30, 2012

Chicken Rosemary Burgers, Muffuletta Sandwich, Thrifting

Chicken Rosemary Burgers- I haven't broken out the outdoor grill yet, so I made these inside tonite, they're awesome! Chicken Burgers  I skipped the salt in the ground chicken mix, doubled the pepper and garlic. Added some sliced purple onion, lettuce, chips and veggies. Yummers!

I made this last weekend- Muffuletta Sandwich- a New Orleans speciality from what I've read. Really flavorful and healthy the way I make it. Recipe below, which can be modified-

1 round loaf of Italian bread, crusty outside, about 10 inches in diameter
4 slices of Genoa salami and provolone cheese
           Olive salad-
           1 cup black olives, chopped
           1 cup of green olives with pimentos, chopped
           1 tbl. tiny capers (also good without)
           1/3 roasted red bell pepper, diced
           2 tsp. garlic, minced
           1/4 cup diced celery with leaves
           2 tbl. red wine vinegar
           6 pepperoncini peppers, stems removed, chopped
           2 tbl. chopped flat leaf parsley
           pepper to taste
           2 tbl. olive oil
Begin by making your olive salad first. Chop and mix everything in a bowl, then store in sealed container in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Slice the Italian round loaf horizontally, then remove some of the interior of the bread to make a nice scooped out area. My chickens love the soft bread! Place a generous amount of the olive salad on the base of the bread. Then layer the the slices of salami, then the provolone cheese, then add a layer of olive salad on top, placing the top of the bread on top. Push down slightly, then wrap tightly in foil or plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. Don't skip this step! When ready, cut into half and serve! Makes about 4 serving, depending on how hungry you are. I serve with chips and veggies. I served it recently to guests and they RAVED, because it's not heavy, but very bright and filling. Perfect for a hot day!

Thrifting- I'm fixing up my garden star wall item above. Some of the moss had fallen off, and the dried flowers were pretty old. I bought some new dried flowers, cream colored, dyed them with tea, and will post "after" pictures soon. I got it on eBay!

I also got this, at a local thrift store, for $1.50. A little lighthouse light, to go on my "sea table" I put out in the summer. I'll add some paint on the white, tall tube, and a silicone bulb, and nestle it inside something.

I got these for a buck each at a craft store. The one on the left is unfinished, the right is painted. The other one will be navy blue for 4th of July, and summer in general. I also got a wonderful, like-new Eddie Bauer stone colored denim vest for next fall/winter, $3.00. :)  Summer's coming, only 2 more days of school for me!!!

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Recipes

Cute tablescape from- 
I wish I could find a mini-table like hers, sigh...

I found this recipe in an issue I bought of Grit (fun magazine!), then online here- KFC Style Coleslaw Recipe I decided to try it since I like their coleslaw. I modified it- used only buttermilk, doubled the vinegar, cut the sugar in 1/2, added some celery seed. It was great with my barbecued ribs, cornbread and Citrus Angel Food Cake made with all my own eggs. I didn't have any frozen OJ, so I subbed 2 TBL. honey and 1 TBL. fresh lemon juice. Came out perfect!

We Lost Samantha

Rest in peace my sweet girl. We miss you so much, my heart is broken...

May 21, 2012

World War II History Cookbook Website, Great Ideas!


I stumbled onto this fascinating website, with food and cooking information on all kinds of time periods. There's even recipes!  I also found some great shots of the WW11 era kitchens! Food for thought :)

May 19, 2012

Cute Recycled Book Cart With Wheels!

I saw this somewhere and thought- what a great idea! Love the old fan on top too!!!

Independence Days Challenge and My First Carhartts!

Independence Days Challenge-

1. Plant Something- Getting ready to plant next weekend with 3 days off. I have the main veggie bed and the new raised bed is full of dirt. So much more room now to plant! Keeping my cold frame, perennials and evergreens going. 
2. Harvest Something- Eggs, chives, grass clippings going into the compost.
3. Preserve Something- Same, freezing more food.
4. Store Something- I keep stocking up on more basics every week. I LOVE having a freezer!!!
5. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Looking for a good deal on more used deck chairs.
6. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- Working on more old recipes.
7. Build Community Food Systems- Still need to get to the spring farmers market.
8. Recycle/Re-Use- We're building a recycled, temporary chicken area to transition the girls outside during the daytime. They're too big to be inside all day. Will be altering a LOT of summer clothes in the next couple of weeks.
9. Skill Up- Reading The City Homesteader by Scott Meyer, pretty good! Doing better on my photography, and camera settings I think.
10. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Moved a rhubarb and it's doing well, ditto my scruffy lavender!

My First Carhartts-  I got my first Carhartts, now I feel like a real homesteader, clothing-wise! $17.00 at - and nice, comfortable and heavy duty. These should be great for heavy gardening. And I'm a "regular size" now, whoop whoop!

                  Carhartt Cargo Shorts - Canvas (For Women)

Solar Eclipse Sunday, Busy Busy, Busy, Thrifting

Annual Solar Eclipse- I hope to see something tomorrow late in the afternoon or night! Here's information on where you might be able to see it: You might need to check with your local news stations about the time.

Busy, Busy, Busy- My garden, and chickens, have been growing fast! Weather finally moderated, thankfully. With the 3 day weekend coming I plan on planting most of the veggie gardens then. I envy people who can stay home full time and take care of their gardens, sigh. I'm so far behind them. I bought rosemary last night to plant and some perennial dill. My cold frame lettuce babies have grown quite a bit since I took this photo earlier this week-

 I saw this great display on another blog from a farmers market, wow! Talk about a great tomato display!

Samantha checking out the new raised bed, before the dirt was added-

A slight case of gardener's feet- dirt and water :)

Thrifting- I got this on eBay this week, for $8.00 and I love it! It's like a shadow box, and about 13" wide. I'm going to do a minor repair, then it's up on the wall! It has a tin star with Rosemaling (Norwegian folk painting), a little straw hat on the upper right, dried flowers in the middle, tools on the left. It looks handmade-

I saw this on Craigslist at a local antique/junk store, how cute! Great use of distressed white paint and chicken wire. I need to go out there to see if they have some fun, smaller items for sale. Didn't have the price listed for this-

May 8, 2012

Independence Days Challenge, Dark Days Challenge For Next Winter, Fun Blog!

Rose and Molly
Independence Days Challenge-

1. Plant Something- Moved one of our rhubarbs to a sunnier spot, does that count? :) Will start planting the new cold frame this weekend, if I'm not too yucky (cold). Read the 10 Veggies You Can Grow in Shade, to get ideas.
2. Harvest Something- Eggs, grass clippings, food scraps to chickens.
3. Preserve Something- Dave bought a used bike and sold his old one. Easier on his shoulders and made a good profit!
4. Store Something- I keep stocking up on more basics every week, working on the freezer now. 
5. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Getting ingredients to make homemade laundry soap.
6. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- Made some Jambalaya with leftover hot sausages and chicken, yummy!
7. Build Community Food Systems- Still need to get to the spring farmers market, again.
8. Recycle/Re-Use- We built a new raised bed from recycled, free lumber, finally! Will move some soil from the main bed soon to plant. Used recycled cardboard boxes taped together for our chicken condo til the little girls can go outside full time.
9. Skill Up- Still reading Little House In The Suburbs by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin, good book! Reading up on what to plant soon.
10. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Re-habbing thrift store clothes with repairs, hemming, etc.

 Dark Days Challenge For Next Winter- I had never heard of this before, what a great idea! Dark Days Challenge I will try that next winter.

Fun Blog- I like this one, cute ideas! Thriftathome

Chicken Update- Rosie getting acquainted with her new sisters-

Neighbors gorgeous tree...

May 6, 2012

30+ Vegetables You Can Grow in Shade, New Backyard Garden Raised Bed

Ten Vegetables You Can Grow in Shade- I found this today, great timing since we've been building our new raised bed, which is part shade- 30 Veggies for Shade  Good to know! It's amazing how much you can grow in what you might thinks of as unusable space.

Full and lush with veggies!

New Backyard Garden Raised Bed- 
Dave and I finally got the pile I was beginning to hate built into the new backyard garden raised bed. The only cost was some screws. The wood had previously been untreated 2 x 4s from long pallets. Would have gone to the dump :) You could buy 10' fir 2 x 4s if you start with new wood. "Mr. Stumpy", leftover from taking down a sick tree, will be all covered with soil. After building I planted herbs and veggies, the weather cooperated! I will plant some more grasses and/or perennials in front of the wood frame to soften it. First we laid out the wood (see stump in middle) and as we wanted to utilize the space, it's wedge shaped, but you can build square-

Screwing the boards together, some re-cutting involved-

See junk 2 x 4s for braces inside and stump-

We filled with extra garden soil and our own compost. Veggies and herbs planted-

Flowers peeking out

Flowers planted, will add bark dust, next weekend we'll help out the sod with more seeds-

hen exploring, supervised!

May 5, 2012

Oat Flour Crisp Topping Recipe, Garden, Chicks In A Room With a View, Good Deals

Oat Flour Crisp Topping Recipe- I've been starting to convert some wheat flour recipes over to oat flour, and here was my first try, a mixed berry cobbler-
 before baking-
Sorry we grabbed a couple of desserts first before I took the photo. Here's the classic crumb topping recipe I used and modified, and the flavor was good!

Oat Crumb Topping-
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teas. cinnamon (I use more) cut into small pieces
1 stick cold butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
Just cut the mixture together and put on your favorite cobbler.

Garden- The garden is growing fast! Berries are getting tall, the rhubarb should be turning red soon. All the new sun in the garden is really helping, since we had our massive tree trimmed-

New perennials are looking good that we planted last week-

Lettuce is coming up in the cold frame, woo hoo!
Tomorrow we'll start setting up our new cold frame. Next weekend I'll start moving some wheelbarrows of dirt from the main garden bed, that will be fun :(  I'm getting good workouts in the yard! 

Chicks In A Room With a View- The girls are getting bigger every day, BUT it's been cold and rainy, so I haven't gotten them outside at all. Tonite it supposed to be in the low 30's. We set up our old $2.00 playpen designed for kids for outside (no floor). It works great upside down for a chick playpen inside too. Here they are in the kitchen, getting more room and a change of scenery-

They also like to hang out in the living room, by the big window, with the coop outside, towel for easy cleanup:) They are really feathering out. They were really relaxed sitting in the sun and they love this spot. The lighting was really nice late today for these photos, and I LOVE my camera!

Aren't they cute? I swear, I have washed my windows twice in the last month or so, and every time a storm blows thru my windows are dirty again! Er... 

Good Deals- I found these nice, thick wooden spoons at out local grocery outlet. They are Paula Deen brand, I love them! A buck each!

I went to the local Eddie Bauer outlet today. I found 2 great polo shirts for work and a fleece top for 75% off, good deals. I also got a fleece jacket, ditto 50% off. A lot of my work clothes that fit are pretty worn, and that's something I'm working on fixing over the summer. It's easier to buy a little new clothes at a time and not take such a big hit. Next week or so I'm going to make some homemade liquid laundry soap. We'll see how that goes!

I loved these ideas for a Recycled Backyard Lots of cute ways to save money and have some creative things to play with! I loved this one, reminded me of school! 1/2 a kickball!

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