Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chewy Sugar Cookies

If I had to pick my favorite cookie it would be, well, hard to say. There are a lot of good cookies out there, but right at the top of my list would definitely be sugar cookies. And while I love perfectly thin, rolled sugar cookies cut into adorable shapes (essentially my mom's sugar cookies, which are the best ever), sometimes that feels like just a little too much work. Especially when I have two little sets of hands wanting to help. Which, don't get me wrong, I LOVE, but it does add a little bit more of a challenge.

That's where this recipe for chewy sugar cookies comes into play. They are quick, easy, and ridiculously delicious. I'm all about the texture when it comes to a cookie and these don't disappoint, they are perfectly chewy. We topped half with sprinkles and half with raw cane sugar and the crunch that either adds is a great addition.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1.2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp whole milk
Sprinkles or cane sugar for tops

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

3. In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In small batches blend in the dry ingredients until incorporated. Blend in milk until just incorporated.

4. Scoop small balls (about a rounded teaspoon) of dough onto cookie sheet. Slightly flatten top of each cookie and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles.

5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until very slightly golden. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. And enjoy!

RECIPE SOURCE: slightly adapted from Food Network, recipe by Linda McClure

Monday, October 27, 2014

Newest Additions

The farm is continuing to grow. Things were going well with the sheep and chickens so we decided we could handle a couple more animals in the mix. 

Say hello to Elsie and Stripey. 

That is Stripey looking up there. Wondering about the name? Audrey was in charge, which should explain it. And she does have a very small patch of white on her belly.

And down below is Elsie.

The only way I can tell them apart is that Stripey is slightly lighter black than Elsie, otherwise they look pretty similar.

It took a few days for everyone to get acquainted, but now they seem friendly enough with each other. The chickens free range, so they are in the mix too. The chickens don't seem intimidated by any of them and their size, but sometimes the cows get spooked by the chickens and go running which always makes me laugh.

I love looking out the windows and seeing all of the animals grazing. They all seem to be pretty happy in there new home and we are pretty happy with the experience we are getting by having them here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beautiful Eggs

Each day when we collect the eggs from our chickens I am amazed at the incredible variety in the shells. Not having had chickens before I had wrongly assumed that the eggs would look the same day in and day out. And I'm so glad they don't, I think they are just beautiful. 

It still feels a bit like Christmas every time we go out and open the nesting boxes to find them full of eggs. The surprise of what each egg will look like only adds to the fun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

18 Months

This cute little man is 18 months old today. A year and a half. My, oh, my, it is hard to believe how big he is. Sometimes I find myself trying to compare him with Audrey at this age, and the hardest part is that  I don't remember all of the little things about Audrey at 18 months. The things that while you are dealing with them you think you'll never forget, but eventually you do. So I'm trying to savor each moment with Owen. I'm sure I'll end up forgetting the little things, but at least I'm enjoying them now.

P.S. Check out those arms. This kid tans instantly. Seriously, no amount of sunscreen I use would keep him from tanning. I'm kind of ridiculously jealous. 

P.P.S. Feel fortunate that I cropped that photo where I did! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meet the Sheep

Meet the latest additions to the farm, our own flock of sheep. 

There are actually six in total, but far be it for me to get a picture with all of them at the same time. A livestock photographer I am not.

We have five ewes (girls) and one ram (boy). And we think all of the ewes are pregnant so in a couple of months we should have a whole bunch of little baby lambs running around. Which I am pretty sure is going to be ridiculously adorable to watch.

Only two came to us with names, that one up there is Blackie, she is the youngest and most friendly. The ram is named Gentle Ben, and he is definitely the easiest to pick out of the group. Otherwise I can't really tell the other girls apart. Audrey has named and renamed them several times already which isn't making it much easier.

I'll be the first to admit that I really don't know much about sheep, luckily Bryce makes up for my lack of knowledge and knows just how to take care of them. Slowly I'll learn, but for now I just enjoy looking out the window and seeing them in the pasture. They seem pretty happy too, wandering around and munching on grass.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pickled Peppers

It is no secret that Bryce and I love spicy food. Off the top of my head I can name at least seven different hot sauces that we keep in our refrigerator on a regular basis. Knowing our love of spice one of Bryce's coworkers was kind enough to give us a bag of fresh peppers from her garden. 

There wasn't any way we would be able to use all of them fresh before they went bad and because pickled peppers are absolutely delicious, it was a bit of a no brainer what we were going to do with all of them. The bag included a mix of jalapeƱos, habaneros, and some sort of long skinny pepper that I'm guessing are serranos and we added our own cherry peppers to the mix.

I used a very simple pickling recipe that was new to me, mostly vinegar with a little garlic and salt.

I just love how the jars look with the bright peppers inside, they're so cheery. My fingers are crossed that they will taste as good as they look.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


The spring we moved into our house some of our very good friends came from Montana to visit. My friend's parents happen to own a very large seed potato farm so when they came they brought us a few potatoes. We happily ate most of them, but decided to try our hand at planting a few with great success. 

Late last summer we harvested our first small crop of potatoes. We had great plans of saving a few, replanting them and continuing our crop, but life happens, we never got around to it and just chalked it up to a fun experiment but figured our potato days, at least from those potatoes, were over. 

Much to our surprise this spring we noticed three potato starts coming up where the potatoes had been the year before. We carefully transplanted two to a better spot in the garden and waited. 

A couple of weeks ago we dug up our second even smaller crop of potatoes.

We didn't mess around this time and cut them right up and replanted them. With any luck next spring we will see a whole bed of potato starts begin to sprout.