Back2Nurture

Mom of many trying to nurture herself, family and environment naturally

Where does the time go?

 

Here is a time lapse video of our most recent hatch in April 2016.  Six of the seven eggs we incubated, hatched successfully.  Much like our hatch last year.  And it appears, much like last year, we might have an even split of boys and girls.

Here is a picture of the gang now, at about 4 weeks old!  The days are flying by!IMG_2327.JPGFrom Left to Right we have: Pepper, Derpy, April, DOS 2.0, Tigger, and Glory.

We are pretty sure that Pepper, DOS, and Tigger are boys (boohiss).  Figures!  They have the coolest feather patterns, oh well.  Haven’t decided yet whether we will try to rehome them, or make them dinner when they get more meat on their bones.  Either way its kind of a bummer. 😦

Thankfully, Derpy appears to be a female, so all that hard work the first week to keep her alive and her legs adjusted (see previous blog Derpy’s Success Story) will pay off with future yummy eggs!  🙂

The little ones are no longer segregated from the rest of the flock, but still small enough to squeeze through our “pasture” perimeter fence, which has made for some interesting hide and seek adventures lately, but they are thriving and always come running when they see me (mealworm treats for the win!)

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Derpy’s Success Story

hatchedchick

Here is link to a short video made about one of our chicks from our recent hatch:

Derpy’s Success Story

It’s been a long time since I have blogged, a lot has been happening, which I will try and share soon.  However, I couldn’t wait to share with you this story about our precious little chick.

After hatching, it was soon apparent that the chick was in need of some help.  It appeared that it was suffering from splayed leg and possibly curled toes.  Upon further investigation and research, we came to realize it was worse than that. This chick had a slipped tendon.

Utilizing the amazing resource BackyardChickens.com, we were able to make the diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.  After about a week of constant care and treatment, the chick is thriving!

Yay!

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First Day of School

Back2School (Copy)Today was the first day of school for our family, as it was for many, it seems.  Facebook was full of first day pics of family and friends.  We have 3 starting high school this year, and believe it or not their bus comes to get them at 6:10am!  We practically needed flashlights to see our way to the bus stop it was sooooo dark!  I am not a morning person to begin with, so this morning was very interesting.

Everyone managed to get up and out in plenty of time, though we did have a last minute oops. (There had to be at least one, right!?!)  Someone forgot their schedule and had to run in and find it.  Figures it was right when the bus showed up.  Thankfully our bus stop is really close to the house, we made it just in time, whew!!!

Of course, when the kids came home we celebrated the conclusion of their first day by reading and filling out the gazillion pages of paperwork required for every student, every year.  Some of the information you are able to fill out online, but wouldn’t ya know it, the entire school system is down at the moment, go fig!!  I much preferred being the student on the first day of school, that paperwork is tedious, and the amount of paper it uses, yikes!

I gotta give a shout out to my parents, especially Mom, for dealing with all of the back to school stuff my brothers and I brought home, because WOW! 🙂

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Rooster Ruckus – DOS vs Stitch

Managed to capture a moment when Stitch and DOS were both crowing.  It is interesting to hear the difference.  Stitch started out much the same as you can see/hear in this footage taken over a year ago.

It is a rather long clip (sorry). Here are the time stamps for the various crows:
0:26 Aussie
0:42 Aussie
1:00 Aussie
1:15 Aussie
1:33 Aussie
1:59 Stitch
2:19 Stitch
2:35 Stitch
3:16 Stitch

I think DOS’s crow is going to sound much like Stitch’s after some more practice, lord help us (and our ears!) 🙂

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Meatloaf Makeover

Place Setting (Copy)Meatloaf is a comfort food for me.  Growing up we had it quite often.  My mom’s recipe was simple, but it always hit the spot, and nobody else’s quite tasted the same, ya know?

My husband, on the other hand, didn’t often have meatloaf, but rather had something his family called BBQ Burgers, one of his top comfort foods.  The problem with BBQ burgers is that they are rather messy, and as much as I enjoyed eating them, I wasn’t so keen on making them and/or cleaning up after them.  So, I found a compromise.  I started making, in essence,  BBQ Burger Meatloaf.  My hubby and kids loved it, and got excited every time I made it.

Now, if you have been following this blog, you know I have been trying to implement more veggies into our diet.  I especially like trying to find ways to “sneak” in some added veggie goodness without anybody suspecting.  I have found some success by giving my tried and true meatloaf a makeover.  The sneaky secret ingredient?  Eggplant!

I substitute a portion of the meat with roasted, seasoned, and ground up eggplant, and the family can’t taste the difference!  It’s magical how quickly it disappears.  Huzaah!  🙂

Mommerz Magic Meatloaf

(This recipe uses large quantities, making multiple loaves (about 6) so I can freeze some for later)

3 Tblsp Olive Oil

3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

5 Baby Eggplants (cubed, with peel) 

2 Tblsp Water

2 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

2 cups Milk

1/4 cup dried Chopped Onion

1 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tblsp White Vinegar

1/4 cup Sugar

dash salt & pepper

5lbs Ground Beef

1 cup or more Plain Panko Style Bread Crumbs

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Pour in oil and saute garlic until lightly browned
  • Mix in cubed eggplant and water
  • Reduce heat to low and cover skillet
  • Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes, stir occasionally (may have to add more water)
  • In a bowl mix together the oats, milk, onion, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Let sit
  • When eggplant is done, allow to cool slightly
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Using a food grinder, grind the cooked eggplant into a large bowl
  • Add ground beef to ground eggplant
  • Add liquid mixture to meat mixture
  • Mix well (I have found using gloved hands works best)
  • Add bread crumbs until well mixed and can retain shape
  • Form into equal sized rectangular loaves and place in baking dish (I fit 3 equally spaced loaves in a 9×11 glass baking dish)
  • Bake for about an hour
  • Enjoy!

This meatloaf is incredibly moist and may fall apart easily when sliced, but it is oh so good!  🙂  We like to serve it up with homemade mashed taters (or mashed cauliflower, if I’m feeling extra sneaky), and sauted green beans with almonds.

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Going Bananas!!

bananas (Copy)

We love bananas, and have a tendency to stock up.  The problem, however, is that the kids refuse to eat them if they get too many brown spots.  Now I, too, am a fan of the bright yellow, with slightly green edged banana, but they won’t go anywhere near a truly ripe banana.  Funny, since the browner they are the sweeter they are.  I have gotten the kids to use them for smoothies, but its usually a pretty tough sell.

The one surefire way I have of getting them to eat those brown bad boy bananas is to use them in a recipe my mom-in-law introduced me to.  Grandma made some “healthy” cookies one day, and the kids just gobbled them up.  When I asked for the recipe, I couldn’t believe how simple they were, plus a lot better for you than store bought cookies.  I have tweaked and played with the recipe quite a bit, feel free to do the same, its incredibly forgiving and almost always comes out yummy.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

“Healthy” Banana Cookies

3 Ripe Bananas

2 cups rolled oats*

1 cup chopped dates

1/3 cup vegetable oil +

1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In large bowl mash bananas
  3. Stir in oats, dates, oil, and vanilla
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (I prefer using parchment paper)
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly brown
  6. Enjoy!

*For a gluten free treat, try using 2 cups of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

+You can substitute 1/3 cup coconut oil

NOTE:  Adding some nuts and/or chocolate chips makes for a very yummy cookie too!  Make it your own! 🙂

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Shhh! Don’t Tell the Children!

Shhh veggies (Copy)It’s readily accepted by most parents that kids have a thing against vegetables.  (Not all kids, mind you, and not all vegetables, either.)  Odds are pretty good, however, that you have, or at least know of, a child who doesn’t like to eat their vegetables.  Heck, I still don’t like some vegetables.  Lima beans and brussell sprouts I still avoid like the plague!

As a child, the only way I would eat vegetables was mixed with a healthy dose of applesauce, or to put them on a buttered piece of bread to make a sandwich.  Yeah, I was THAT kid.  🙂

Recently, I have been trying to work towards a more veggie based diet, and have come up with a few sneaky meals that the kids absolutely love, and they had NO IDEA they were eating good for you vegetables, Muahahaha!!  (evil laugh)

Cauliflower, a vegetable I used to avoid, unless swimming in cheese or ranch dressing, is now one of my favorite vegetables, simply because it is so versatile and can easily be used to substitute for other foods.  Rice, couscous, potatoes, the list goes on.  My favorite recipe, and one my kids and hubby can not get enough of, is my Baked “Potato” Soup.

This soup uses little to no potatoes at all, and tastes amazing.  My kids thought it was regular potato soup and said it was “better than Outback’s!”  High praise to say the least!  It may not be the healthiest soup, but it certainly is tasty, and using cauliflower instead is a step in the right direction me thinks.  Enjoy!

Baked “Potato” Soup

1 head of cauliflower

3-4 stalks celery (chopped)

1/2 onion (chopped) or 2 Tblsp dried chopped onions

Approx. 6 cups water

Chicken bouillon cubes or powder (enough for water used)

salt and white pepper to taste

1/4 cup of cream

1 Tblsp butter

1/2 -1 Tblsp bacon fat (optional)

1/2 cup potato flakes (if needed to adjust consistency)

  1. Roast cauliflower florets in oven at 450 degrees F for about 35 minutes
  2. Combine water, celery, onion, bouillon and bacon fat together in large saucepan
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Boil until vegetables are softened.
  5. Add cauliflower to saucepan and continue boiling for a few minutes
  6. Take saucepan off heat.
  7. Use hand blender to mix directly in saucepan, or pour into blender and puree in batches
  8. Return soup to saucepan, if necessary, and add salt, pepper, cream, butter, and tater flakes
  9. Stir over med heat until thoroughly mixed and heated through (add water or potato flakes to adjust soup to desired consistency)
  10. Serve with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, chives and sour cream
  11. Enjoy!

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Sewing Like Silly

SewingCartoon

Over the course of the last week, I have been busy sewing up a storm.  (Something I haven’t done in quite awhile.)  The reason?  Wanted to make some cute gifts for a dear friend for her baby shower.  Had a coupon for Jo’Ann’s and found some great deals on fabric and other things for some DIY gift ideas for baby.

I got out my mother’s sewing machine which she has let me “borrow” unreservedly.  Plugged it in, threaded it, went to thread the bobbin thread, and then nothing.  The bobbin wouldn’t spin and catch, darn it!  After tinkering with it, I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.  Ugh!  Ended up going back to the store, which thankfully was having a sale on sewing machines, whew!!  Bought myself a new Singer Talent, which I love, by the way.  Just a simple machine that suits my meager talents.

singertalent (Copy)

All in all, I think the projects came out pretty well.  I managed to produce a quilted fleece blanket/throw with ribbon tabs, a cute stuffed bunny(made out of gloves), a hooded towel, shark washcloth hand puppet, and clothes hanger organizers.IMG_1382 (Copy) IMG_1392 (Copy) IMG_1396 (Copy)

Unfortunately, forgot to take a pic of the shark and hooded towel, but they came out pretty awesome.  The hooded towel I made was based off one a friend made for my own kiddos when they were really little.  They still use them!  Since then, I have been making them for friends, knowing they could potentially last over ten years, just like ours.

The bunny was a project I have made before as well.  I found a video by Martha Stewart, and decided to give it a try.  Have made a few of these adorable animals.  Here is the link if you’re interested:

http://www.marthastewart.com/267502/glove-animals

The clothes hanger organizers were just made out of foam door hangers, foam stickers and markers.  If necessary, a notch can be cut out of one of the sides so they can easily be hooked onto the closet pole, I made them two-sided.

She seemed to like them, and hopefully the little one will like them too!  I certainly enjoyed making them!  🙂

Have you made any of your own baby gifts?   Would love to hear about other fun baby gift projects/ideas!

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It’s a Boy! Darn It!

Well, it appears we have a 50/50 split with our chicks.  Half girls, and half boys.  We were holding out hope that the chick we named DOS, our white rock’s chick, was a girl.  “Her” comb and waddles, however, were SIGNIFICANTLY larger and redder than her siblings, which didn’t bode well.  Oh well….  Caught this interesting noise when I was out checking on the flock, and found out it was our little chick proving to us exactly what “HE” was and that he is indeed growing up.  Enjoy!

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Off On An Adventure

Green MtSummer is here, and its time for the family vacation.  Unfortunately, the entire family will be unable to take part, due to unforeseen circumstances (life is kinda funny that way), however, the rest of us are off to visit family then venture to head to one of our favorite spots in the world, Averill, VT.

I have been going there virtually every summer since I was a kid, and now my kids are just as enamored as myself. Its just not summer without a visit to the Great North Woods!  🙂

Will be sure to come back with much to share.  Cya soon!

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