Monday, January 19, 2015

She's Not Going to Fall for That!


One of the many great things about homeschooling is the opportunity to teach your kids the subjects you feel are important.  ClaireAnna and I just finished this text on argument.  She is now very capable of identifying twenty-eight different fallacies and understanding how they invalidate an argument.  She's learned how to recognize these fallacies in our culture, discussions and media and she's not going to fall for them! This is a great study of informal logic that sets the stage for learning more advanced deductive reasoning skills. We enjoyed it and learned a lot


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Microwave Chocolate Cake For Two (Or One!)

There are two versions of this cake.  Both are delicious and nutritious, grain free and therefore gluten free, and refined sugar free.  One is sweetened with coconut sugar and raw honey and is a perfect treat for kids that you will not feel bad about giving them.  (I'd even let Claire eat this for breakfast since it is more nutritious and has less sugar than a bowl of cereal and is definitely healthier than waffles or pancakes!) The second version uses Truvia for a truly low carb, low glycemic cake that will satisfy ANY sweet craving you may have!  Every single ingredient in this cake has some nutritional value and on the whole, it is actually GOOD for you! Honest! We LOVE this cake!!

1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 tablespoon almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce, optional
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, or almond butter
1/2 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon almond milk, or coconut milk, milk, or half & half
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted but not hot, or butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconut, optional
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts, or any other nuts, optional
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips, optional

1. Beat egg in a small, microwave safe bowl (I use a 3 cup Pyrex glass bowl) or large mug. 

2. Add all other ingredients except nuts, coconut and chocolate chips if you are using them, and whisk till smooth.  Stir in your choice of optional ingredients. 

3. Microwave for 1 minute, 30 seconds.  If the bottom is still very moist, then microwave 10 more seconds. 

4. Turn our onto a plate or eat from the bowl.  The cake will come out easily.  

Notes:
In order to make this a low glycemic, low carb cake, omit the coconut sugar and honey and use 1 tablespoon of Truvia instead.  You will barely notice the difference.  It is delicious! 

The apple sauce is also optional.  It moistens the cake a bit, but the recipe works well without it too. 

You can make up baggies of the dry ingredients and store them in the freezer.  When it comes time to make your cake, you'll have half the measuring already done!

This recipe is plenty for two people, but I'm not saying I never eat the whole thing myself!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gift Ideas For Lisa

(This post is for my family, those who occasionally buy me gifts.) 

I don't need anything.  I have more stuff than I ever thought I would ever have and most of it, I don't use.  I don't really even want anything, materially.  I will shed no tear if I never acquire a single thing on this list.  However....if someone actually wants to buy me a gift, here are some ideas.  


I love trees.  For many years, probably more than 25, I've thought about a coffee table type book with beautiful photographs of beautiful trees.   Here are two ideas. 







Weston Pro 2300
Or a cheaper one if that's too much!
 


I LOVE this jacket.  

This is gorgeous! 

Western styled denim shirts fit me to a tee. 





My color! 


This purse just makes me smile.



You can find this purse HERE

I need one of these for my horse helmet! 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole

The topping of this casserole tastes like caramel.  The filling has a surprising, but yummy bite.  This dish is not too sweet, using only natural sugars, but still gives that old fashioned sweet potato casserole feeling.  This is the sweet potato recipe I'll be using for holidays from now on.  It's delicious.

Filling:

2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 T butter
1/2 Cup coconut milk
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-3 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

2 T butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
14 cup coconut sugar
1 T orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans

1 Preheat oven to 350

2.  Peal, chop and boil sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. For the topping, melt butter in a large skillet and add everything but the pecans.  Heat until the mixtures starts to bubble and let cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the pecans and stir to combine.

4.  Beat the cooked drained potatoes with the other filling ingredients until very smooth.  You can use an immersion blender, a stand mixer or just a potatoes masher and your husband's arm.  (hehe)

5.  Pour the filling into a 2 quart casserole dish, add the pecan mixure and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Notes:  No one who ate this could taste the orange flavor but Ted, and he did not like it.  The rest of us loved it.  The orange juice is totally optional and barely noticeable unless you are just really sensitive to orange flavor.  I'd say to try it the first time.  You can omit it after that if you don't like it, but you might be surprised.  I was.

Classic Deviled Eggs

I like my deviled eggs plain and tangy.  These are simple.  You can dress them up with chopped pickles or bacon if you like.

6 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I make my own)
black pepper to taste
paprika

1.  Hard boil the eggs and peel when cooled.

2. Slice eggs in half and put yolks in a large bowl and whites on a serving plate.

3. Add remaining ingredients to yolks (not paprika) and mash or blend till very smooth.  (I use my immersion blender or food processor.)

4.  Taste yolk mixture and adjust for salt, tang and creaminess.

5.  Spoon yolk mixture into a resealable plastic bag and pipe filling into egg whites.

6.  Sprinkle very slightly with paprika.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

This zucchini bread is really delicious!  It's moist and fluffy without being too dense as some gluten free baked goods are.  It's also not too sweet.  It is not "low carb" but it is gluten free and refined sugar free and filled with healthy ingredients.  I think it would be a perfect breakfast, especially if you added chopped nuts for protein.  We all agree, no one would ever know that this bread is gluten free or made with only natural sugar.  It is good enough for company. 




Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup oat flour
(You can use 1 1/4 cup Bob's and omit the quinoa and oat flours if you don't have them.)
1/4 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar

Wet Ingredients:
1 medium to large smashed banana
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, but not hot)
2 extra large eggs (or 3 smaller)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup zucchini, shredded and packed
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well.

2. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.  (I used my immersion blender to make sure the banana was completely broken up, or you can smash it with a fork.)

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk well just to combine.

4. Fold in the zucchini and nuts if you are using them.

5. Oil or butter an 8X8 glass baking dish and pour the batter in, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes:

This tasted delicious warm or cold.
You could certainly bake it in a loaf pan and increase the baking time or make muffins out of it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What is WRONG With Some People???

This is what our beautiful farm road looked like this summer.  July, to be exact.  We spend a lot of time enjoying this pretty road with our dogs and horses.  



And this is what XTo Energy did to it.  


























 I am speechless.  Most of the trees that were destroyed were not even any where near the road or encroaching over head at all!  You can see in the first picture that that side of the road was CLEAR!!  One young ponderosa pine was simply cut in half for NO REASON, as were many cedars.  All the branches and debris were left along the road. This was done, supposedly in order to maintain a clear path for the ordinary pick-up truck that drives it once a day to check the gas well.  There was NO notification or communication with us what so ever.  We simply came home to this destruction.  I'm glad the people who did this were not on the property when I discovered it.  I can not even describe how infuriated I was.  What is wrong with communicating with the land owners?  Who ON EARTH thinks they have the right to destroy someone else's property with out so much as a phone call?  Or a knock on the door?  They have my phone number!  I've contacted the man in charge, the one who ordered this attack on my woods.  He says he'll look into it and get back to me on Monday.  I can't even imagine what his explanation is going to be.  There is no excuse for this kind of outrageous and arrogant rudeness.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cattle Working Day

Now that we only have 9 mama cows, the bull, two yearling steers and three younger calves, (15 all together) our cattle working days are not so difficult.  It used to be a really big deal to get over 30 animals through the chute, vaccinated, de-wormed, and other wise health checked in one day.  Today, it only took Ted, ClaireAnna and I a couple of hours and all went smoothly.  Well... except for a particular red bull calf that went nuts and thrashed himself silly in the squeeze chute.  I should have taken a video.  (He was completely unharmed.)  He's going straight to the sale barn at our earliest convenience!   Calving 2014 will start in late February and go through March or April.  We hope to have 9 healthy calves this year.  Our plan for the next two years is to keep all the heifers out of our current bull and raise them as our replacement heifers.  Our mama cows are all over age 6 and some are already 10 years old.  It's time to get some young blood in the herd and since we LOVE our bull and the heartiness and worm resistance he passes to his calves, his heifers should be perfect for us.


All ready to start. Two vaccinations and a de-wormer, 
three injections for each animal.
Claire did the vaccination, I did the Ivermectin Dewormer.

Ted is the cow whisperer.
 He goes into the catch pen and does his thing all by himself.
Magically, cows start walking into the chute one by one.
  If he encounters a stubborn cow,
sometimes Claire or I will go in with him,
 but today, he managed all by himself. 








Once we've got two or three in the chute,
Ted climbs out and helps us get them into the head gate, one at at time. 

Lacy, about to get squoze.  


Claire's an expert by now.  We couldn't do it without her! 
Samantha did not want to move down the chute so
 Claire took advantage of the situation to steal a ride.  

All done.  That wasn't so bad!  


Sheep, Sheep and More Sheep!

We've got 16 sheep now, all ewes but one young wether.  Fourteen are purebred Katahdins and two are purebred Dorpers.  All but 4 should be bred to a registered Dorper ram (since sold).  We've also got an extra ewe and wether that belong to a friend in our herd, so there are 18 sheep altogether.  Lambing will begin in late February and continue through March.  We should have about 24 lambs when it's all over! We sell breeding quality ewe lambs at 3 months old and 100 pound, 100% grass-fed, butcher lambs in the fall.  Call us to get on our waiting list; we sell out fast!  Here they are today, in the loafing shed, on a dreary, drizzly evening.
Hello, Annie Lee

In the loafing shed.

Nom nom nom nom nom. 

What pretty ladies! 

Got grain? 

And this is Annie Lee's daughter, Lily