Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Creamed Turkey

Do you have some left over turkey from your holiday meal?

If you read my post about raising a turkey for Christmas dinner, you know that we do - he was 26 pounds!

Try this easy 'recipe' for creamed turkey.

Start with some extra virgin olive oil and a little butter.
Using those two ingredients, you know it's off to a good start.

Using your handy dandy fingers, shred some chicken into the pan.
Warm it up a little.

Toss in some diced celery for a little added flavor.

Stir in a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.

Add some milk and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
While you're at it, if you have any buttermilk in the fridge add a little - yum!

Heat everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it's thick and bubbly.

Creamed turkey is delicious by itself or served over your favorite biscuit, bun, or toast.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Home Grown Turkey For Christmas Dinner (and the hard way we got there)

A home grown turkey for Christmas dinner was part of our vision when we started on the turkey raising journey.

I was so excited to raise two turkeys - one for Thanksgiving dinner and one for Christmas dinner.  It all seemed nostalgic to me.  I envisioned a male and female, happily living at LL Farm.  In the end, they would be my bragging rights at the holiday table.  

The idyllic vision that I had in my head, slowly turned into one trial after another.
Ahem...Did someone say homesteading was easy?  

To read about our journey of raising turkeys, click HERE.

The day came, and I think it is safe to say that we were all ready for it.  My parents came over to help and we ended up with a 26 pound turkey that I put in the freezer.  

On Christmas eve, we put that humongous turkey in the oven to bake 'low and slow'.
The taste was definitely different from the store bought turkeys that we are accustomed to.  After all, it was pasture raised, compared to some poultry farms where the poor things don't see sunlight or get to roam in the grass.

So to sum up our turkey raising experience:

Would I consider it a failure?  No - we did raise a turkey and it did make it to our Christmas dinner table.  We'll call this a learn as you go lesson.

Do I think it was financially the way to go?  No - Wow, those turkeys ate a lot!

Will I do it again?  I'm not going to shout NO, but I can say that I don't plan on raising turkeys any time soon.

Well, like I said, he was 26 pounds!  I need to create some leftover meals using turkey for the next couple days.

This post (with more details) was posted on  Click HERE to read it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with love, joy and hope as we celebrate Jesus' birth!

And, THANK YOU for reading my blog and for the awesome comments that you leave!

~ Lori

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Looking for that perfect Christmas cookie to make?

The one that looks festive dressed in a red and white stripe...

The one that tastes delicious...

And of course, the one that is easy to make...

This Candy Cane Kiss Cookie fits the bill!

The cookie dough with a dusting of powdered sugar snuggles around the candy cane kiss, making a beautiful presentation!

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended.
Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add flour mixture alternately with milk to butter mixture, until well blended.
Using your hand, roll dough to make one inch balls.
Roll the dough balls into the powdered sugar.
Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
While baking, unwrap enough candy cane kisses for the amount of cookies made.
Transfer cookies from cookie sheet to wire racks.
Gently push a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie.
(You don't want it to protrude through the bottom, but you do want it secured in the dough.)
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Using Nature To Decorate The Porch For Christmas

I had a vision for our front porch...
a simple country style, using nature for the Christmas decor.

So, I went for a walk in the woods to gather some cedar branches.
(Note to self:  remember to wear gloves so you don't have to wash in bleach from the itchies.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Using Home Made Puree

I froze it so I could make a pie later...

Well, today I thought I'd share with you that...

Yes, it was a success!  (yeah baby)

I made the pumpkin puree into a pumpkin pie that we enjoyed with our Thanksgiving meal.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

DIY Glittery Snow Covered Branches

I've been playing with sticks again ;-)
and spray paint!

I love using natural elements in my decorating whenever possible.

Of course in the summer, there is always fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

The fall season offers colorful leaves, pumpkins, and pine cones.

Recently as the beautiful fall colored leaves disappeared leaving bare branches, I used those in my home decor adding some texture.

As the winter season approaches I am still using those beautiful sticks, but kicking them up a notch...

with glitter spray paint.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Farm Photo Friday (December 11, 2015)

We interrupt your regular viewing of Christmas decor to take you around the farm ;-)

Turquoise the chicken welcomes you  to Farm Photo Friday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crock Pot Chocolate and Peanut Candy

Tis the season...for making cookies and candies!

When my girls were little we used to make decorated sugar cookies every year.

We used all kinds of holiday cookie cutters.

We would use food coloring to make different colored icing.

We had all kinds of sprinkles.

Wow, sometimes we made a mess, but...

It was our tradition and I loved every minute of it!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Mantel 2015

I've said it before, but I'll say it again...

I love having a mantel to decorate.
For the seasons.
For the holidays.
For the 'just because'.

For this years Christmas mantel I decided to go with a simple look.

The deer is from my Mom.  She got it from Home Interiors years ago.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Eating Nook All Decked Out For Christmas

The eating nook is all decked out and ready for Christmas!

We don't have a formal dining room in our home.  Actually when we were building, we changed what was suppose to be the formal dining room into an office.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

In The Meadow We Can Build A Snowman

In the meadow Coke crate we can build a snowman...vignette.

As I take down the Fall decorations and move toward Christmas decorating, I also incorporate Winter decor...things that can stay up all season long...even when the holiday decor is put away.

This vignette is one of those dual purpose decorating items.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Seasoned Crackers

Soup has been on the menu around here a lot lately.

It's the time of year when I am drawn to that section of my recipe repertoire.

A good crunchy bruschetta is always a welcome addition, but the other night I didn't have any crusty bread to make the easy recipe.

So, I improvised...

Saltines are something I usually keep stocked in the pantry, so I thought I'd give them a try.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Chicken Full Of Spunk

Betty is full of spunk
Betty the chicken…full of spunk…she’s a flier!
She’s one of the new girls in our colorful flock of chickens; a barred rock beauty full of spunk.
She frequently flies the coop (well she actually flies the chicken yard)…
                     …is she trying to impress the others
                                       …does she think she’s full of super powers
                                                       …does she think she’s better than the others
                                                                       …or…does she do it just to perturb me?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

May all our hearts be filled with thanks and giving as we spend time with our loved ones today, and always.

~ Lori Leigh

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fresh Cranberry Orange Salad

Today I want to share a fresh cranberry and orange salad recipe with you.
It's easy to make and comes together in just a few minutes.

To me, cranberries are associated with this time of year and with holiday meals.
When cranberries are plentiful at the grocery store, I buy a few bags and freeze them.  This way I can enjoy them throughout the upcoming months in different recipes as well.

Another fruit that signifies this time of year for me is oranges.
We always buy a box of navels from our school's FFA organization (Future Farmers of America).

The simple combination of cranberries and oranges (along with some sugar) offers a welcome sweet/tart contrast to all the cookies and pies coming my way.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Blogger Award

I am the winner of a blog award

One of the best things about blogging is the people that I have met!

I have 'met' some amazing bloggers and readers of blogs.

I would not have had the opportunity to meet you if it were not for my little blog that I started a little over a year ago.  Reading comments and emails from you truly brighten my day!

I was recently nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award from Susan at the blog Of Every Moment.  Susan writes on a variety of topics while making the most of every moment!  What a statement, huh?  I have learned a lot from her and hope you visit her, if you've not had the pleasure to do so yet.

The goal of this award is to learn a little more about our fellow bloggers.  I enjoyed reading Susan's answers and learning more tid bits about her. The nominator asks ten question to which the nominee responds.  The award is then passed on to other bloggers with ten questions.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shredded Italian Chicken (Very Easy Crock Pot Meal)

Don't you just love a good crock pot meal?

The only thing better is...
a no prep crock pot meal.

Meaning there is no prep work to get it ready for the crock pot...
No browning the meat.
No dicing the vegetables.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Introducing New Chickens To An Existing Flock

new flock protected inside crate
When adding pullets (or grown hens) to an existing flock, care must be given.
Have you heard the term pecking order?  The term, even used with humans, derives from hens.  Chickens physically peck at other chickens, showing dominance and ranking order.  Even a mild-tempered chicken can peck at a new one coming into her territory.  It's all a natural order.  When I say the term is also used with humans, think about middle school - a teen (or set of teens) showing their dominance to others by being mean, not allowing them to hang out with them, not wanting outsiders to sit at their lunch table, etc.  Pecking order!
A flock of existing chickens are accustomed to their surroundings and have established 'friends' to hang out with.  They also have a leader in place.  Adding newbies can offset the balance in place.
This was our first experience with adding new chickens to an existing flock, so I thought I would share with you how we did it and how it is working out.
To read more, click HERE to read my latest post at
A website from Grit and Mother Earth News magazines.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Grape Salad

Grape Salad is decadent enough for your holiday table,

yet simple enough for a summer cook-out.

The crisp bite of the grape

combined with the crunch of the walnuts

all creamed together with sweetness

equals delicious!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Easy Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie)

It's that time of year when my cooking turns from garden fresh to comfort food.
When possible, I try to make comfort foods using the frozen vegetables from my summer garden.
But, lets keep it real...sometimes I buy a package of frozen mixed vegetables.

As the weather turns cooler, one of the things that I like to make is a delicious casserole.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One Pumpkin, Four Uses

WOW!  Did I get my money's worth when I purchased this pumpkin.

With one pumpkin, I  got four uses out of it.

First, I used it as seasonal decor - practicle!

Second, I  roasted the pumpkin seeds - yum!

Third, I made pumpkin puree - I froze it to make a pie for Thanksgiving!

And fourth...

the chickens loved what was left over!

If you missed the posts on how I decorated with the pumpkin, made roasted pumpkin seeds, or made pumpkin puree to use later, just click on the orange highlighted words above ;-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fall Party (using things from around the home)

We recently hosted our annual fall party.

Although it is mainly geared toward our daughters, their friends, and our church youth, I will be the first to admit that we adults have plenty of fun too.

Kids and adults alike love a good s'mores!
Just look at these ginormous marshmallows!

My little s'mores station consisted of graham crackers and marshmallows in glass containers.
They stayed fresh inside the containers and made for easy access when ready to grab.
Small candy bars were the perfect size to sandwich between two graham crackers.
The humongous marshmallow melted the chocolate to perfection.

These large containers usually hold flour and sugar and are displayed on my kitchen counters.
 I borrowed them for the night, storing my flour and sugar in plastic containers (and out of sight).

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prepping The Homestead For Winter

This is our first year having cows at LL Farm so we had to do some extra prepping for the winter...

Handy Hubby built a lean-to off the barn for the cows.  I will use an outdoor stain to help protect it from the weather and Hubby will shingle the roof.  Although the work is not completed on it yet, the cows are already enjoying it.  They took cover one morning during a cold rain.

Friday, October 30, 2015

How To Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Have you ever made Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

OH!       MY!       They are delicious!

The crunch...
                The salt...
                             The perfect little healthy snack...

Roasted pumpkin seeds are truly easy to need to buy them.
Here's how to do it:

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