Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tomato Pie


What do you do when it's October and you're still harvesting tomatoes?  You make tomato pie.  I used a combination of yellow and red tomatoes for this beauty.



This is a great recipe to use up those last few tomatoes of the season, or any time of year.  I used monterrey jack cheese because that's what I had in the fridge, but feel free to use your favorite cheese for this.  The parsley flakes add great color and flavor to this dish, and is a favorite seasoning I use often in my kitchen.


Easy Tomato Pie

Ingredients:
Single pie crust
4 tomatoes
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup monterrey jack cheese, shredded
salt, pepper, dried parsley flakes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie crust in a pie dish and bake for 5 minutes.
Thinly slice the tomatoes.
Mix together mayonnaise and cheese.

After baking the crust, spread a thin layer of the mayo/cheese mixture.
Place tomato slices on, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and parsley.
Spread another thin layer of mayo/cheese mixture on top.
Place another layer of sliced tomatoes with seasoning.
End with spreading the rest of the mayo/cheese mixture on top.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Moving chicks from brooder to outside


With our weather being unseasonably warm, I was able to move the chicks out of the brooder sooner than anticipated.


They are growing strong and changing daily.  Read more about the transition here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Farm Photo Friday (September 15, 2017)


Welcome to LL Farm's Photo Friday!


There is lots happening around our little farm this time of year.  Grab something warm to drink on this cool morning and join Pumpkin, the cat, and me as we walk around.


The zinnias are still blooming beautifully.
The bees and butterflies have enjoyed them, almost as much as me.


I love the vibrant colors along the fence.


And in a mason jar on the deck.


I also love bringing them inside.  I've already bought zinnia seeds for next year!

And on a side note...see that blue and white tea towel?  I got it this summer when we went to London, England.  I purchased it from a quaint little shop in the Cotswolds, England's beautiful country side.


I picked a whole basket of apples this year from our tree.
I made applesauce and almond apple crisp with these babies...yummy!


The peppers were a flop this summer...hardly any harvest.
I'm glad I left them in the garden though, because they have finally decided to join the garden party.


Yes!  Strawberries in September.
I planted 8 strawberry plants in the Spring, and although not much of a harvest, they are still providing some good snacks.


Because we did raised bed gardening this year, I am able to have a fall garden.  This has me quite excited!
The radishes have already been thinned.


Another round of sugar snap peas are a welcome sight.
I love them raw or lightly sauteed.


Lettuce, kale, and spinach have popped through.
I saved a few onion starts, hoping they would grow.  Yes!! They are.
A fresh garden salad in the fall, yes please!


The weather has been unseasonably cool, but I'm not complaining.  Fall is my absolute favorite season!
When mums and firewood adorn our front porch, it means fall is knocking at the door.


This gas fire table is awesome on our DIY deck.  It's so convenient to have on for just a little while, without the work of having a wood fire.


The ladies have also been enjoying the cool weather.
It's the perfect temperature for a day at the chicken spa!


And, we can't forget the baby chicks, that are now 3 weeks old.
They are growing healthy inside our garage.
This little white crested polish is a hoot to take pictures of...just look at that hair-do!

* In case you missed it - The text that is in bold red throughout this post will take you to other posts about that subject. *

** This weekend is the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio.  I'll be there with my Mom! **

Monday, September 11, 2017

Homemade Tomato Sauce (No Peeling Required)


Preserving tomatoes.  It's something I've been doing for a few years now.  And, although I enjoy the final project, let me be honest...prepping the tomatoes is a messy, time consuming chore that I don't enjoy.  Marking the tomatoes with an X, blanching them, plunging them into an ice bath, then peeling the skin away...it's a lot of work!  I even tried the food mill strainer/sauce maker.  Let's just say that I made a bit of a mess and move away from the subject.


The garden has been generous with tomatoes this year, but I was dreading the preserving process.  I thought, why go through that mess...there has to be an easier way.  By cooking (or oven roasting) the cut tomatoes and using an immersion blender, this homemade tomato sauce is now my go-to way of preserving the harvest - no peeling necessary!  I currently have some stored in the freezer and in jars on my pantry shelves.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Oven Roasted Tomatoes


The garden is still producing beautiful tomatoes!
Along with eating them fresh, I have canned some and I have froze some.
One of my favorite ways to prepare garden fresh tomatoes is oven roasted.  


This summer, I did this for the first time, and I quickly asked myself, "why did you wait so long to do this?"

Monday, August 28, 2017

Raising Baby Chicks In A Brooder


Eight baby chicks have arrived at LL Farm!  

No momma chicken, no rooster, no fertile eggs...

I not only ordered them on line and picked them up at the post office, but I ordered all females!


I am sharing some tips at Community Chickens about raising baby chicks in a brooder.

Click here to read more.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Feeding Egg Shells To Your Chickens


If you read my article about egg eating chickens, you probably think I'm crazy because now I'm writing about feeding egg shells to your chickens.

If you're hesitant, I completely understand.  I was too...until recently.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article at Community Chickens.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pepper Jelly (Home Canning)


I have enjoyed pepper jelly for years, but this is my first year making my own.  And, wow is it good!

I used these adorable little jelly jars, and hope to give some of these cuties as gifts.

For this pepper jelly, I used one red pepper, one yellow pepper, one orange pepper, two green peppers, and one jalapeno pepper.

If you like spice, add more hot peppers.
If you don't like spice, then only use sweet peppers.

Start by getting the water set to boil in your water bath canner.

Always follow safe canning guidelines.

The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is a great reference to have on hand.

Now let's make some beautiful, colorful, delicious pepper jelly.


Pepper Jelly
makes 10 jelly jars

Ingredients
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
2 green peppers
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter (to help reduce foaming)
5 cups sugar

Directions
Cut off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds.
Finely dice up all the peppers (using a knife or food processor).
Place diced peppers into a large pot.
Add vinegar.
Stir in pectin.
Add butter.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in sugar.
Return to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute while stirring.  

Ladle into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Wipe jar rims.
Cover with lid and band.
Put on rack inside canner
Continue filling other jars.
Lower rack of prepared jars into the water bath canner.
Put lid on the canner.
Process for 10 minutes.


A favorite way to enjoy this colorful pepper jelly is to pour some over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The New Pioneer Magazine Fall 2017


Summer is flying by!

Like many of you, our summer has been packed full of adventures.
Long days of fun (and work) in the sun, can make for a sore body and tired mind.

How about a little pampering with some home made bath salts made with dried herbs and essential oil?


The Fall issue of The New Pioneer magazine is on news stands now.  In it you will find my easy DIY article with steps on how to dry herbs and make bath salts that will help calm your mind and pamper your body...something we all need every now and again.

With Fall knocking on our door, Christmas is right around the corner.
Add a pretty tag and bow, and this will make a great gift for someone.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Country Garden


Our little country garden received a face lift this year.


We added raised beds and gravel pathways.

I'm working on an article with details, but I wanted to give you a little peek at how well it is working out.




The tomatoes are growing up cattle panels.


The first couple of ripe ones may not have made it into the house.
Instead, they went straight into my mouth.  ;-)


I have some new farm helpers this summer.  I've caught them napping on the job a few times...good thing they are adorable!


The kohlrabi has already been harvested.


Strawberry plants were planted, and I am so looking forward to next year's harvest.


Radishes were a first for me this year.


As were sugar snap peas. 
We have been eating them plain and sauteed in olive oil with some s&p.


If you are thinking about raised beds, I say go for it!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Breakfast Casserole With Cottage Cheese


Who says 'breakfast' casseroles are for breakfast only?! 

I enjoy a good breakfast casserole for dinner.
(I'm curious...Do you say dinner or supper for the evening meal?)

The addition of cottage cheese had me wondering about this one, but oh my, it was good.

I've actually made this two different ways...

one with bacon
and
one with ham

both were yum-a-licious!

Click over to Community Chickens to get the recipe.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Farm Photo Friday (June 2, 2017)


Welcome to Farm Photo Friday at LL Farm.


These pictures show  the 'real life' stuff that is going on during this busy season on our homestead.
All of these pictures were taken on my cell phone and have not been edited.
Warning!  I didn't even crop out the weeds.  ;-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Deck With Corner Pergola


Finally, I give to you...the deck with corner pergola!

I know, I know, it's about time I finished the finale of this 4 part series.
If you missed them, or you forget, you can read about the process here:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

7 Tips To Stop An Egg Eating Chicken


After dealing with an egg eater in our coop, I decided to do some research and implement some of the findings.  I discuss 7 tips in my recent article for Community Chickens.  If you have dealt with breaking an egg eater, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Graduation Cap Card Holder


It's almost graduation time!

One of the most popular gifts to give at graduation parties are cards.

As the proud parent of a graduate this year, I wanted to create something unique for people to place those special cards in.

I decided to make a graduation cap card holder.

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