Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Lunch

Dessert first? No, but we were very tempted to eat The Bunny Cake! I have been making this cake for years. The molded halves had to be coaxed back together this year. The cake is coconut rum pound cake with an almond flavored glaze. The kids had many ideas on how to cut the cake. Anna had the tail pinched off, Ryan chopped the ears, Tyler had a slice of the belly, and Aiden was happy with any part of the bunny!

The table was set and just waiting for family. We had a simple meal at about 1:00 pm. We ate inside as the weather decided to settle for blustery rainshowers. Every once in awhile the sunshine would tease us all. Can you see Marial one of the Farm Dogs looking through the window? I think she can smell the ham!

Shrimp was just the right shade of pink and red to get things started for the Easter lunch. The sauce was made with ketchup and creamy horseradish and a few slices of green garlic chopped up fine. Shrimp always make a meal feel like a party to me!

Here is the famous O'Brien's Pasture Raised Pork. It is slow smoked ham with a hint of maple syrup and brown sugar. We are savoring the left overs in sandwiches and for dinner.

Home grown applesauce went very well with the ham. We will need to triple the amount of applesauce made last year. There are many applesauce fans around here and once a jar is open and the taste of the apples are in the air, it is hard to slow down!

Next, there was brie cheese slices with radish chunks. It was light, refreshing, and the Easter Eggs radishes have such pretty pink, red, and purple colors they are very hard to resist.

Pasta salad with purple broccoli which turns green when it is cooked, radishes, peas, cheese, and gluten free pasta. Tuscan Italian Dressing makes all the difference with this salad.

One of the favorite dishes at lunch was the mixed greens and new potatoes. This dish had green garlic, leeks, and new potatoes all tossed together and roasted in a cast iron skillet. There was also pink raspberry lemonade for everyone.

We were so thankful to have The Brownies over for an Easter Celebration! Luckily we don't have to wait for a holiday to celebrate...Each new day offers so many blessings in large and small ways ~

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Dress

Here is Anna, 4 years old, in her pretty, pretty Easter dress. She has just finished a game of freeze tag, blowing bubbles for her brothers, and now she is leading the chickens around. The apple tree is nearly blooming and Anna's smile is in full bloom!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bonnets

Many years ago, Jolene and Karyn running to the beach! Happy Easter ~

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pear Blossoms

How pretty the perfectly formed pear blossoms! They reveal themselves now and at the end of the summer, when the ripe and juicy sweet fruit is cut in half, the beautifully bursting little star will shine again!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

The first batch of hot cross buns is complete. I remember as a child our hot cross buns had bits of dried fruit and currants, but this batch has only golden raisins or sultans as the Irish call them. They also have cinnamon, nutmeg and a shake of allspice. The frosting was touched with a bit of orange oil to bring back the childhood memory of citron! Are you ready for Good Friday?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Farmer

Here is my dear farmer! Tim and Marial are waiting (on me!) to get the rest of the fencing project finished. Although this spring the weather has been so wet, Tim has managed to begin and complete many projects in a short period of time. The recent fencing project was just to move an existing fence over about 3 feet to allow more room for parking, access for our small tractor to another portion of the farm, and cleaner lines for the garden. Little did we know, as in all 'simple' projects the length of time it would really take to complete. Tim is such a patient person and enjoys the work outside no matter what the weather decides to do. It is one of many pleasures to work with this wonderful farmer!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

Here is Tyler! He helped with the fresh produce shopping at the Grower's Market. He counted 6 carrots, 6 potatoes, 6 onions, 6 Baby Bok Choy, bunches of leeks and purple broccoli. Can you guess how old Tyler is on April 14?! He is such a happy, sweet boy, and Tyler has an infectious laugh! We had a lot of fun getting ready for a birthday dinner on the farm!

Saturdays are a busy day for the Browns. They have a cupcake stand at the Grants Pass Grower's Market every Saturday. Ryan and Tyler help their Mama and supervise all of the fresh baked tasty treats.

The trio, Ryan, Tyler, and Anna are ready to eat. They made the center piece place mats for my birthday one year: Anna's hands, Tyler's vegies, Ryan's fruits! They are so sweet and a real keepsake.

The dinner of choice by the birthday boy: pork ribs and pork chops with BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and carrots, purple broccoli (that turns green when it is cooking) black olives, and orange cottage cheese. That was the contraband! (A tub of cottage cheese, mandarin orange slices, whipped cream...the real stuff, and orange Jello powder mixed all together!) The orange Jello was a bigger hit than the orange potatoes!

Most of the partiers before dinner! The kids were ready to stick olives on the ends of their fingers and dig in!

Finally, the cake and candles! This is chocolate picnic cake that was a recipe handed down from my Nana. It is also called a Texas Sheet Cake and many other names, but it is chocolately, moist and very delicious! Tyler blew out six candles after a birthday song and some cha-cha-cha!

Giggling, laughing and so much fun as Daddy pulls and Ryan pushes the wagon around the farm!

Happy Family of Brownies!! Aiden, Anna, Tyler, and Ryan, what a wonderful day! Happy, Happy Birthday, Dear Tyler, Happy Birthday to you~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nesting Boxes

The hens are busy laying eggs and we are busy hunting for eggs! While there are beautifully built, easily accessible, fresh filled boxes, the hens insist on laying their eggs in obscure and random places. One or two eggs are actually laid in this box right now. It used to be the favorite. Now, an empty water trough, under the tractor, on a back shelf of the barn, and in an old manger have replaced the nesting boxes. We still find this box handy though!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ada Belle!

Happy First Birthday, Ada!! You are such a happy person with your twinkling and singing and dancing. We can't wait for you to be back on the farm so we can speak more French! Enjoy your party in Alaska! We love you, Ada Belle! Bisous, bisous! xoxo

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicken Tacos

As promised...or is the end of the roasted chicken turned to tacos! Everyone has a favorite way to make tacos and the truth is: anything goes well into a taco!

Chicken, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeños,corn, sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, and corn tortillas.

Corn, jalapeños, and tomatoes were from the garden last summer. I wish there was a fresh bunch of cilantro to go with these vegetables, but the green onions will give a a garden fresh flavor too.

Onion, garlic, jalapeño without the seeds, and butter were combined first, then the chicken was added. Next, tomatoes and the water they were packed in were put into the pan and set to simmer.

Finally, corn and green onions were stirred into the filling mixture. This pan was set aside to rest.

Then the corn tortillas were fried in canola oil. It doesn't take much oil. I started with about 2 tablespoons and added 1 more tablespoon after frying 9 tortillas. These were drained on a paper towel and folded in half while still warm.

The fun of stuffing the tacos was next. Meat, cheese, cabbage, green onion, repeat! We had a few extra sides like avocado, sour cream, more jalapenos, more cabbage and hot sauce.

Of course, there were leftovers, so the roasted chicken will live on for at least one more dinner! How do you make your tacos?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Here is the chicken pot pie made with the leftovers from the roasted chicken and vegies. There was so much meat on that bird, but no it wasn't one of our meat birds, Rina. Anyway, one of the drumsticks was big enough for a meal for each of us! So half of the breast meat from this hefty clucker went into the pie along with the leftover turnips, parsnips, and carrots. I made a white sauce with butter, flour, leftover drippings, milk, and water from the home canned corn. I also added sauted onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Once the sauce was thickened everything was mixed together and corn and peas were added. Finally a few sprigs of fresh oregano, a handful of chives and two green onions were chopped and added to the mix.

Here is the pie fresh out of the oven. Pot pies are always piping hot! It was a complete meal and there are once again plenty of leftovers.

For dessert, there was enough pie dough left for a little inside-out-peach-pie! The dough was rolled out and I cut it with a cookie cutter. The little chicks were sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked. The peach pie filling was made from a jar of canned peaches from our tree last summer. A little sugar, flour, and a splash of almond extract and then it was thickened and cooled. We dipped the chicks into the pie for a late evening treat!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Roasted Chicken

For dinner last night we roasted a chicken. Here it is ready to pop in the oven with root vegetables. The chicken was rinsed with cool water, salted, peppered, and saluted with the 21 Seasonings from Trader Joe's. Along with the chicken are golden turnips, parsnips, carrots, garlic, onion, and leeks. A tiny drizzle of olive oil was used over the vegies. In the second pan is a whole beet, cut in half and drizzled with a tad of olive oil. They were all set to roast at 375 degrees for about 2 hours.

After 2 hours of roasting this is what it looked like. There was plenty of moist delicious meat for our dinner with the roasted vegetables. The leftovers will be made into chicken pot pie and I think there will be enough for chicken tacos one night this week too. That is a lot meals from one bird! What do you do with your chicken?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peach Blossoms

The sky was dark and full of energy as we headed out to the Grower's Market. It rained, hailed, blew, and shined all day long. The pretty pink blossoms against the dark sky were so pretty to see this morning.