Friday, April 27, 2012

Fabulous Strawberry Pie

This is by far one of my favorite recipes of ALL time. Years ago I took a family trip to northern Indiana and was introduced to the world of Strawberry pies. My mother has made attempts to replicate the unique fabulous pie we had in Indiana and I have tried multiple pies but up until now we haven't come CLOSE.

I had a new friend give me this recipe casually as a fruit pie and as I thought about the tastes this would provide I got my hope sounded like it might be close.

I think the final piece I'm missing is the homemade crust....don't worry I'll be working on that and post as soon as I have the perfect combination.

I have adjusted the recipe after the first one I made. Because of the speed in which this is cooked I was unable to get any cooking pictures. Hopefully the next one I make I'll have someone there to take pictures for me.

-1 Cup of Sugar
-1/3 Cup of Cornstarch
-1 PACKET of Knox plain/flavorless gelatin
-1 Cup of water
-4 Cups of Small pieces of fruit or 3 1/2 Cups of Large pieces of fruit
-1 Deep dish pie crust

- Cook pie crust to instructions on the back. I didn't want mine super crispy so I cooked it for 1 minute LESS than what the package recommended and it was perfect.
- Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin in a large sauce pan.
- Turn the heat on medium and SLOWLY add the water making sure everything dissolves
- Bring to a boil stirring QUICKLY. It heats up FAST and you'll need to stir fast to get it thick and it will go from a white color to a opaque/clear color.
- Take off the heat and fold in the fruit.
- Place pie into the fridge to cool for a few hours. It will set up fast.

Enjoy! Please let me know how yours turn out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Next Chapter in Life - Foster Care

I've fostered in my life. I've always thought that it was something I could offer a dog or horse. A stable environment until they were passed on to a permanent family. I have had countless over the years and most weren't from an organization. The times they spent with me ranged from days to years.

I've never had the mother gene. I don't look at babies and think "Awwww I can't wait to get married and have some of my own" thought process has always been "Awwww cute....don't want one"

That being said I do like children but prefer older children. I am at a point in life where I'm happy, stable, have a good job, when I finish school I will have more time, and I have space.

I filled out my application to become a foster parent in my county a few weeks ago. Today I talked to my contact who stated that everything looks good and I will be added to the licensing class in the fall. Its 30 hours and afterwards they will do home checks and I'll be added to the foster parent list.

I have 1 spare bedroom with 2 twin beds so I will be able to have 2 girls or 2 boys. I plan on starting with ONE though. I have support from my family and think that with the horses, cat, dog, chickens, garden, yard, lack of TV, and microwave it will be quite a shock to stay with goal be to provide a stable environment until they are placed back with their family or adopted.

I'm really looking forward to it!!

Ugh Frost

My garden is growing leaps and bounds even with the 2 nights of frost warnings we had last week. I tried to cover what I had with straw but I had too many plants and not enough straw. The good news is that I planted early enough that the plants were strong enough and were unaffected.

We haven't been getting much rain here lately so I've been watering twice a day if I can. This was the last time it rained:

The lack of rain means I've been doing tons of planting and when I went to Dad's this past weekend he loaded me down with volunteers from his house. I'm going back this coming weekend and hope to snag some more.

He gave me a hydrangea that wasn't happy at his house....I'm not sure why his other one is over 9' tall. The lambs ear beside it came from him too. He is sick of it and says you can't kill it with roundup...I was all over it. It will cover up all the rocks and stumps I'm growing in my yard!

This is an oak leaf hydrangea he gave me. Its having a rough transition but hopefully it will spring back.
I got some volunteer Wax Myrtles from him too. I potted them to baby them some but 2 of the pots aren't doing well. I plan on snagging more of these this weekend. They get huge and are beautiful.

A friend of mine swapped plants with me and brought me this HUGE hydrangea that is doing great! She brought me some astilbe, coneflower, and peonie? I suck at remembering the names but I'll get pics of those too.
I think at least one of my broom bushes will go out front with the hydrangeas.

The grapes in the back yard are REALLY taking off and I'm thinking next year I might need to move my garden to that part of the yard. In the mean time I think I'm going to start planting some other plants in front of that area to create what my dad calls a "natural area". Basically blanket with weed cloth, plant what you want, cover with mulch. LOL

On to the veggies.....

My first maters are growing FAST:

This is on my Abe Lincoln plant:


Cukes, I know they are bunched together but I prefer to plant them that way....I train them to climb up a mater cage instead of running on the ground.


Taters will be given another tire this weekend:

Finally got all my chicks outside to brood so no more peeping in my house. YAY.

Rascal says he is tired of hearing about gardening!

Frito Pie

This recipe is from my awesome Aunt Kathy. We were comparing pictures of food on their short visit and she shared this recipe with me.

- 1lb of ground beef and 1 chopped onion browned in a pan. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Brown and drain. Mix in the Taco seasoning. 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of tomatoes with green chilies(do not drain) 14oz can.

Stir well until heated, do not boil.

In a 9x13 dish layer the bottom with a bag of Frito corn chips. I didn't have a 9x13 so I used a pie pan and another pan that was small enough to take to work.

Layer meat mixture on top of the chips and top with 2 cups of shredded cheese.(btw I used the mexican shredded cheese and I NEVER measure cheese)

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes:

My Aunt serves hers with shredded lettuce and sour cream on the table. I decided to use some of my left over flour tortillas to wrap it in. It was delish!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cookout and Chicken Day

This past Saturday was a GREAT day. A friend of mine came over and brought her 5 kids. She also brought me TONS of chickens.

The boys of course had tons of energy and I bough hotdogs and marshmallows to roast over a we needed a fire pit. I gave them a shovel, hoe, and post-hole digger....I had this in about 15 minutes:

Then they gathered TONS of wood and piled it up, twigs, and rocks to line the fire pit.

Sadly I can't post pictures of the kids but we had a BLAST. I can't wait for them to come back for a visit in another 2 weeks or so.

Now its chicken time:

Adorable babies first. These are by Blue Sex-Links and other chicks.

Then she graciously loaned me 2 Barred Rock hens to hang out with Mr. Tank:

Tank was my only rooster with a name so I had the kids help me name the rest of the roosters.

This is Lance and his girls:

I also got some Serama mommas. These 3 girls love to go broody and raise babies, once they get all settled in I'll be giving them eggs to hatch. Their pretty boy's name is Humperdink:

The kids named this young rooster Prince Charming and brought me 2 young girls for him. They will be a STUNNING trio when they are all grown:

Finally we named Wesley...he is the father of all my Blue Sex-Links.

So after all the excitement of new friends left promising to come back soon.

When I was out feeding the coops Lance decided to slip out between my legs. Pepper LOVES her chickens and is very sweet with them. She was wagging her tail and giving him a sniff when Lance decided that was NOT ok.....

I laughed and laughed and laughed. Lance was gently put back in his coop with his girls. I was very proud of my girl for not retaliating.

I'm REALLY looking forward to having these friends over again soon.