Food & Drink

Recipe: Cinnamon Coffee Cake Chocolate Chip Muffins


It's been a busy time at the homestead, with preparations for Christmas, ongoing volunteer work, kids' activities and much much more (including my full-time job), but I always love an excuse to bake. This time, it was for my eldest son's school holiday party, taking place today. My son requested something cinnamon-y, while my husband [...]

Embarking on a Goat-Raising Adventure


The fight for legalizing chickens continues, though I've taken a bit of a campaign hiatus while summer activities caught me up in their clutches. I have to say I'm thrilled that -- here in Central Texas anyway -- school started this week. And as we get into the new school year routine, we're introducing another [...]

Progress in the Garden


Between the voluminous rain and weather warm-up, the garden is going gangbusters. Flowers abound, promising future fruit. And tomatoes and blackberries are coming along nicely. These are normal-sized tomatoes, but we also have cherries.

The Swedish Pancakes Of My Childhood [Recipe]


The best recipes often come with a story behind them. This week, looking for a nice basic red sauce, I came across the much-lauded recipe by Marcella Hazan that's incredibly simple -- so simple it's surprised countless food bloggers with its deliciousness and depth. Food bloggers being who they are, this prompted them to tell their [...]

Summer’s Tomatoes, In October


I had nearly given up on having tomatoes at all this year -- they kept getting munched -- but the fall cool-down is making for tomato heaven. It's cool enough for flowering and pollination, but not cold enough to freeze them. Long may it last! Those purple blossoms are eggplant blooms. So far nothing has [...]

Our First Livestock Loss


It was bound to happen, of course. We prepared ourselves by buying eight chicks, when we only wanted and expected six full-grown hens. Either they would die in chick-hood, we thought, or one of them would turn out to be a cockerel -- as sexing chickens at one day old is an inexact science. Or [...]

Ode To The Egg


I wandered out to the chicken coop yesterday afternoon to make a cursory inspection of the shelter and its environs, and, when I opened up the top, I wasn't too surprised to see two eggs -- one in each of the top two nest boxes. We had put the pretend eggs into the nest boxes [...]

The Edge Of Autumn


Yesterday, temps were in the 90s, but all afternoon, we heard the howling of the wind. It's probably the way our house is situated, or maybe the metal roof, but when the wind comes through, it sounds super intense and can be a little frightening. Considering how hot it's been lately, though, we welcomed the [...]

First Look Review: New Age Living Commercial Blender BL1500


My old blender has developed something of an inferiority complex since our latest kitchen gadget arrived. The old one (which cost something like $20) began fading into the background starting a few weeks ago, when I tried to make my son what seemed to be a simple smoothie with milk, frozen berries and a frozen [...]

Crusty, Delicious Artisan Bread At Home


I went to a get-together for neighborhood women this week and, within a few minutes of my walking in the door, someone shoved a piece of paper into my hand, insisting I use the email address she'd written there to send her the recipe for the pot-luck item I'd brought: No-Knead Bread. I'd thought I [...]

Six Weeks With Chicks


Our baby chicks are growing up. Once little fuzzballs, they are now looking like real hens... or roosters. Though we asked for pullets (females under a year old), it's hard to tell boys from girls when they're fresh out of the egg, so, more than occasionally a male slips through when people order females. So [...]

Summertime Means Watermelons


This year, we must have done something right, watermelon-wise, because they are sprawling everywhere, snatching onto every available hold with their super-strong tendrils. A good portion of the plants have overgrown the raised beds, which means I have to watch my step, lest I step on something like that pictured above. And below. It's like [...]

The Days Of Flourishing


Things are looking very promising in the garden, though I keep feeling like I'm behind, somehow. Perhaps it's because my tomato plants sat in containers growing root-bound for a seemingly interminable amount of time, while we got things (somewhat) together for raised bed #2. But, as soon as the tomatoes, and everything else, went into [...]