Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tweet Tweet!

I've been wanting to get some new chicks, but knew that it wouldn't be as easy this spring since the weather isn't acting like spring yet.  I am not the only one who wasn't ready to bring them home yet, our local supplier is having a hard time getting them out of the store. But, last weekend we went to town and I saw these adorable little fluffy chicks. I brought 6 of them home.

First day home, somewhere around a week old.

This chicken is a few days older than the one above.

 One Week Later....  Look how fast they grow!

This little girl didn't want to play nice with the camera, but she enjoyed sitting on my shoulder!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Bean Salad

Who's ready for spring?? I am, and I am ready for some spring flavors. I love meatloaf and mashed potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, but I am just ready for some lighter flavors, textures and so very ready for some in season produce!

It's a little to early for fresh local produce here, but it will soon arrive. In the meantime, I threw together a light, refreshing, tasty bean salad. You can really tweek this to whatever is in season, and how much time you have on hand. Have time to make your own beans, go for it! I typically don't have the patience. The recipe that inspired this salad called for watercress, but that is not yet in season here, so I used baby spinach. But go ahead, use whatever "green" sounds good to you!

Spring Bean Salad (Adapted from Happyolks)

3 15 oz can beans (kidney, garbanzo, butter, great northern - any combination)**
1 red onion, sliced thinly
3 c. baby spinach, rinsed and drained
2 lemons
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. celery flake***

Drain and rinse beans. Add to medium bowl. Add red onion and baby spinach to beans. Juice lemons; add juice and extra virgin olive oil to beans and veggies. Toss lightly.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper. Let rest in fridge overnight for best flavor. Toss lightly before serving. 

**The firmer the bean, the better it will hold up. The great northern beans, somewhat melted into the salad.

***If you like celery, slice up a stalk or two and use in place of the celery flake. I am not a celery girl, so always use "celery flake" as a substitution.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Onion Bacon Jam

As much as I love bacon, I really don't share much bacon with you on the blog. Guess I am a little selfish that way! I want to share a new food with you today. Onion Bacon Jam. It is delicious above, and beyond, what I have words for at this moment.  When I took this to work, to share it's awesomeness, I was getting a little scared they were going to eat it all up, and I wouldn't have any for our burgers that night. See, I am selfish with my bacon!

Besides sharing a new recipe with you, I want to share a new blog with you. Kristine has been getting settled into her new home at Real Food Girl: Unmodified. She's pretty cool, kinda quirky, and really smart! She's showing us ways to make recipe's a little bit healthier. Not by cutting out the foods you like, but by making 'em with better ingredients. And, to top it all off, she is a trained chef!

I love to bake and cook, but I have lots of room to improve on the quality of my ingredients . . . . .  LOTS o' room, I know this. But, this gal has you think about things you didn't before. I shop at my co-op regularly, but I have never bought these ingredients. My big reason for shopping at the co-op has been that I love to shop local. I would rather have the food that was grown/made in my own state instead of in Timbuktu. In respect of this recipe, I bought the ingredients her way . . . . . . . Let me tell you that the bacon I bought there was the best I have ever eaten . . . .  And the onions were amazing. I bought some extra onions while I was there, and the they sat on my shelf for a while before I got back to them, and you know what? They weren't spoiled like the ones you get at the big stores, that sit on your shelf for a week and then go bad. Score! That's some money saved right there!

Please go check out this amazing blogger. Something else about this crazy lady who I share a name with, we went to high school 2 miles away from each other! I am sure our paths have crossed before, but didn't meet each other until blogging.

Recipe found here:  Onion Bacon "Jam"

I could have put the recipe here for you, but I think it's better for you to go to the original so you can learn how to make your onions up all GBD. ( You have to go to her site to see what "GBD" means.  :) )

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Please!!!

Today is a photo update for you of what is going on outside of the kitchen!

The ladies are anxiously awaiting spring, however they have finally learned to tolerate the snow. 
Some fresh green grass would make them so happy, but until then produce from the grocery store will do.

This snow pile is a reminder to save until July when I am tempted to complain about the heat!

 To help break up the winter blahs, we went on a road trip yesterday. We normally stay pretty local, and a road trip means crossing the border and going into Minnesota. This time we went to Wisconsin Dells and Madison. Question from Truckin' Man: Does everyone else share dorky pictures?

We shopped at Tanger Outlet Mall where I found these adorable rooster measuring spoons!

 One of the awesome things about Wisconsin is cheese stores! Coming home, I found a Carr Valley store, was in one of the towns we were traveling through. Yeay!!!

Have a great week everyone! I'll be back with a new recipe soon!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mexican Meatball Soup

I have been craving Mexican - Tex Mex - Southwest flavors so much the last couple of weeks.  I am sure it has something to do with the never ending winter, and tasting flavors from warmer places are a form of therapy.  What is better than enjoying these flavors?  Enjoying them in a soup!  I had pinned this Mexican soup a while ago.  Soup, plus the therapy of my favorite flavors.  Win, win!

It was a bit challenging getting a few of the ingredients in my local town, so I had to finish up my shopping when we went to the "big" town over the weekend.  Who knew it was so hard to find ground turkey in the middle of farm country. And, Queso Fresco, not an option either. 

This was a lovely soup with amazing flavor.  Truckin' Man was not able to enjoy this one with me, a little to much heat for him.  So, I took some into work to share, and my love of spice and flavor was appreciated!  These meatballs may make another appearance in other dishes, they were just so packed with flavor, and perfect texture.

Mexican Meatball Soup  (Slightly adapted from:  Bev Cooks)

1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin

2 Tbsp chili powder
1/3 c. finely crushed tortilla chips

1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce (adjust for less heat if needed!)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups salsa  (fresh is best!)

32 ounces chicken stock

Optional For Garnish:
Queso Fresco or Pepper Jack 


In medium bowl combine turkey, scallions, cumin, chili powder, tortilla chips, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until combined, but do not over work the mixture.  Roll mixture into balls, about 1 inch diameter (I made 2 dozen).  Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to skillet and brown all over.  Set aside.

In blender, combine the salsa and the chipotle peppers. Pulse until liquified.

Heat large pot over medium heat.  Add the tomato paste, and stir for one minute.  Add salsa and chicken stock to pot. Bring to a boil, add the meatballs, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.  

Garnish as desired and enjoy :)

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