Monthly Archives: January 2016

Eating Quinoa – Avocado Quinoa Salad

ABM_14538606185 years ago we really took a jump on changing how we eat. We had already taken all of the dye filled foods out of our lives and then we started with all of the processed. No more boxed rice or pasta sides for us!!

We discovered that it is a ton easier to make it from scratch than to make the processed mixes. When we make quinoa, we normally make a double batch so that we have leftovers for the next day. 

What is quinoa? 

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) is a seed from the quinoa plant. It has been a staple food in Peru and Bolivia. 

To cook it, the ratio is 2 liquid to 1 quinoa – We normally make 3 cups for our family of 10… so 3 cups of quinoa to 6 cups of water or broth.  Before you cook it, rinse it. If you don’t it could have a bitter flavor. 

You can also add other things into the quinoa. We have added cheese, chopped veggies, even ranch dip mix, butter or soy sauce. 

Here is a favorite that we make with left over quinoa in our house. 

Avocado Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado cut in cubes
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 Tablespoon diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and serve! Easy-Peasy

Coturnix Quail at our homestead

KrisAndLarry.com - Quail Eggs
Berlyn, my 10 year old, holding a quail egg from this morning.

Coturnix quail are extremely easy to raise for both meat and eggs. They are full grown between 6-8 weeks. And begin laying at that time too.  Their eggs are AWESOME in both flavor and in nutrients.  

Here are the coturnix quail sub breeds that we are currently offering. We have been hatching quail for several years and bring in new lines several times a year to keep our bird lines fresh. We began raising them as meat and eggs for ourselves. We hatch 600+ eggs a month (and take advance orders). This is a kid-run 4H business. Our prices are always $3 each or more than 10 are $2.50 each. Our facebook page is www.facebook.com/krisandlarry (We have a new sub breed of eggs on the way too)
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Here is a list of different sub breeds of Coturnix that I have come across in all my research. 

  • Pharoah Coturnix- Wild color (We have these!)
  • A & M-  pure white feathers- can also have brown spots on back of head and or on the back. (We have these!)
  • Golden aka Manchurian, Golden Speckled
  • Tibetan aka British Range dark coloring (We have these!)
  • Tuxedo– this bird is produced by breeding an A&M to a British range(We have these!)
  • Silver / Lavender
  • Cinnamon / Red(We have a line of these on their way.)
  • Fawn / Rossetta

 

Feeding your quail 

Quail need a higher protein than chickens to produce eggs.

We give our quail a 25%+ game bird food everyday along with a scrambled egg in the pens ever few days or so. We also grow our own wheat fodder and give them meal worms as treats. 

Egg Production

Breeding season for quail is March – September… You can keep up egg production with them as long as you  keep them both “warm” in the winter and 14 hours of light. 

Housing

Quail are simple to keep. We have our in an old converted chicken coop with a cattle panel hoop house run.  They can be kept in rabbit hutches, or even specific made quail cages. We give ours a bit of room, but know that they don’t need a ton of space. 

Amateur Radio and NATO Alphabet

ABM_1453696541Griffen has been very excited to get involved with the communications team with our local Oath Keeper’s group. He just picked up a handheld radio and was able to sit and listen to the check in for all of the local members for the Sunday night check-in. 

If you are not familiar with OathKeepers, check out their website at www.arizonaoathkeepers.org

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders,  who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Our local group has some pretty AWESOME teams, including preparedness (which I am a part of), communication, security, engineering, etc, all in case of an emergency in our community.

So Griffen’s newest goal is to get hie Ham Radio License.  I wonder if he can get my Grandfather’s old call number… And I think that I should get mine license as well.

His first step is to learn the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.  And to start going to local meetings for Radio Operators… Our Yavapai County group is www.w7yrc.org.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

A – Alpha
K – Kilo
U – Uniform
 0 – Zero
B – Bravo
L – Lima
V – Victor
1 – Wun (One)
C – Charlie
M – Mike
W – Whiskey
2 – Two
D – Delta
N – November
X – X-ray
3 – Tree (Three)
E – Echo
O – Oscar
Y – Yankee
4 – Fower (Four)
F – Foxtrot
P – Papa
Z – Zulu
5 – Fife (Five)
G – Golf
Q – Quebec
 
6 – Six
H – Hotel
R – Romeo
. – decimal (point)
 7 – Seven
I – India
S – Sierra
. – (full) stop
8 – Ait (Eight)
J – Juliet
T – Tango
 
9 – Niner (Nine)

Easy Boule Bread – A Family Favorite.

eaBoule Artisan Bread - www.krisandlarry.com

This is a GREAT recipe to make bread bowls as well!!! Divide the dough into 4 or 5 smaller rounds, shape and bake!

Ingredients:

  • 6-1/2 cups of wheat (We grind our own, so we add 2T of wheat gluten too) – plus a small amount of flour to dust bread board)
  • 2 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 cups warm water (not boiling, but warm to touch) plus 4 more cups of water for the bottom of the oven in a metal pan to “steam while cooking
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I only use pink Himalayan in my house)
  • Optional toppings: see belowBoule Artisan Bread - www.krisandlarry.com

Directions

    1. In a glass bowl, add water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. (OR instead, use 1 cup sour dough starter instead of the yeast mixture plus 1-1/2 cup of water – Sourdough starter recipe here)
    2. In a larger bowl, stir together wheat (and wheat gluten if you are adding extra) and salt.
    3. Slowly stir in yeast mixture(or sour dough starter plus water) into flour with wooden spoon.
    4. Blend well until dough forms.
    5. Place dough ball in clean bowl.
    6. Cover with cloth and let rise on counter for 1 hour.
    7. Divide the dough in half and roll out to form either a boule shape (round) or a baguette  (long and skinny) and let rise again for 1 hour.
    8. Using your bread knife, make slices into the tops of the dough about 1/2 inch deep. (I have always done this… I think that it is just decorative.)
    9. (OPTIONAL – you can sprinkle with cheese or garlic, fresh or dried herbs before baking… (I have 3 kids who LOVE cheese and fresh jalapenos on their bread)
    10. Place dough in oven and pour 4 cups of water in a pan in the bottom of heated oven… this gives a crunchy outside layer.
    11. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

I make the dough ahead of time and put in a super large container in my fridge.  I actually triple this recipe and take out enough over the week to make bread daily.

Roasted Butternut Squash

ABM_1453345765Growing our own fruits and veggies is extremely important to our family. We always plant extra and a variety of plants in our garden.

Butternut squash is a favorite in this house. Once cooked, it has a “creamy” texture. It can be used as a stand alone dish, a side or even a soup. My kids LOVE butternut squash. 

Butternut squash can be grown and stored for several months after you harvest. It is a fantastic winter squash. 

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place butternut squash in oven safe pan. 
  3. Add butter to top and sprinkle with rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper. 
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Homemade Laundry Sauce

We love making our own cleaning products. I save so much in this size household. We do have a 5 gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap that I have been making every 3 months for the last 5 years… Several months ago, I made a “Laundry Sauce” that I adapted a bit from this recipe. … Laundry Sauce On Budget101

We do double this recipe and make 4 jars instead of 2 (which often fluffs into 5 jars every 3 months)

  • 1 bar DOVE soap, grated –  Some people use Fels Naptha, (we don’t because I don’t like using anything with color)
  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • Essential oil of choice
  • You will also need 2 quart size mason jars and either a blender or a hand mixer. I picked up a blender at a yard sale for $1 that I use for soap only.
  1. ABM_1453162686Put 4 cups of water in a large heavy saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Mix together the Borax and the washing soda in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Grate your bar of soap and add to the boiling water. Stir until melted down (about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the soap is dissolved, turn to low heat and add the washing soda and the borax. Stir until COMPLETELY dissolved.  (DOES NOT FEEL GRAINY!)
  5. Pour the liquid equally into two quart size Mason jars.
  6. Add water to fill the jars to the “shoulder” 
  7. Add 10 drops of essential oil of choice to each mason jar. 
  8. Put the lid on the jars, shake a few times and turn them upside down Let them sit upside down for a few hours.
  9. After a few hours, you will notice that the soap has separated into several layers. YEA! 
  10. Once this happens, pour the contents into a blender and BLEND AWAY! Until Fluffy! (If you are lucky enough to find a blender that the blades unscrew and the mason jar screws right onto it. … I am not that lucky! YET!)
  11. Add the “soap fluff back into your jars (you may need a 3rd jar depending how “fluffy” it blended. 🙂

    Add 1 Tablespoon to a load of laundry in any type of machine, conventional, Front Loader, High Capacity & High Efficiency (HE), etc. Add the spoonful directly with the dirty clothes and not into the detergent tray.

 

Weighing a pig with no scale

krisandlarry.com
Our BIG Mama, HAMMY and the 3 little meat pigs

We have been using the following technique to  weigh our meat pigs. 

krisandlarry.com
Griffen Measuring Pig Heart Girth

Measure around their heart girth… Easiest way to measure pig is during feeding time. 

Remember that number. For our smaller 4-1/2 month old pigs they measured about 39 inches around the heart girth (They are all about the same size.)

Next, measure from ears to tail along their spine. 

For our 4-1/2 month old meat pigs, the was 44 inches length.

Next multiply girth x girth x length.

That number came out to 39 x 39 x 44 = 66,924

Pig Length - krisandlarry.com
Griffen Measuring Pig Length

(Shelby says) DON’T PANIC! This is not what your pig weighs!

Now, take that answer and divide by 400. 

66,924 / 400 = 167.31

So this is the approximate current weigh of our meat pigs 167 pounds – We are right on track to them being of a good weigh for the end of March.

Our big Mama, HAMMY measured 58 heart girth by 58-1/2 length (We told you she is a big mama!!!) That comes out to 58 x 58 x 58.5 = 196,794 /400 = 491.99 pounds!!! She is due for babies in March!

This is the best info that we have found online about weighing pigs: 

http://www.thepigsite.com/articles/541/weighing-a-pig-without-a-scale/ 

The most accurate way to measure the weight of a pig is to use a specialist pig weigh. However, these can be expensive and if you only have a few pigs to weigh and a high degree of accuracy is not necessarily needed, we explain how to obtain a good estimate of a pigs weight using only a measuring tape and a calculator.

IMPERIAL – Weight of your pig in POUNDS

  1. Obtain a fabric measuring tape or a piece of string to use as a measure. If using string mark the dimensions on the string and then measure the dimensions using a steel tape measure.
  2. Place the tape/string under the pig just behind the front legs and measure the circumference of the pigs girth in inches. This measurement is known as theHeart Girth (see graphic)
  3. Then measure the Length of the pig along its back from the base of its ears to the base of its tail, again in inches. (see graphic)
  4. To calculate the pigs weight, first square the Heart Girth to get the Girth Result.
  5. Now Multiply the Girth Result by the Length and DIVIDE by 400.
  6. You now have the weight of your pig in Pounds.
Girth Measurement Length Measurement

Example:

  • Porky Pig has a Heart Girth of 50 inches and a Length of 40 inches.

  • Squaring the Heart Girth (50 x 50) = 2500 = Girth Result

  • Multiply the Girth Result (2500) by the Length (40) and divide by 400 = 250 Pounds.

Our Family GO-TO Buttery Biscuit Recipe

Buttery biscuits from scratch - krisandlarry.comNo Refrigerator Biscuits Here!!! Too many weird unpronounceable ingredients in those… and not to mention RED DYE! 🙁

*These biscuits take a little time…. remember that you can flash freeze the cut dough for later use too. 

 When we have extra eggs, we tend to make breakfast for dinner too. These work for all occasions.  Mix some fresh chopped herbs into the batter for an entirely different flavor dinner biscuit.

Here is our family’s GO-TO  biscuit recipe. This was given to me by another homeschooling mom about 7 years ago as her favorite recipe… and guess what? It is ours too. We always tend to go back to this one too… LOVE IT! (We use fresh goats milk and fresh goat’s butter in it as well as fresh ground flour.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1  tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter (Yes, goats milk butter works GREAT!!)
  • 1 cup whole milk (We use raw whole goats milk) 

We always double our recipe above for our family.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. We use our old KitchenAid bowl.
  3. Using a dough hook, cut butter into pats and add to flour, mix until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Add up to 1 Tablespoon of chopped herbs here if you want a dinner biscuits with a new flavor or 1/2 cup of shredded cheese for a cheesy biscuit)
  4. Slowly, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll into a large rectangle, about one inch thick  and 12 inches by 6 inches. Fold it over in half and gently roll  in into a rectangle again. Repeat 2 more times. Cover the dough loosely with a  damp kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Press straight down. (it lets the biscuits rise better in the oven if you don’t twist the cutter)
  7. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet  or baking clay.
  8. Bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. 

*To freeze your dough make a double batch and cut out all of your dough. Instead of baking the dough, place the cut biscuits on a lined baking tray and place in the freezer for 60 minutes. (Make sure none are touching!!) After that 60 minutes, remove from tray and place in freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. (Mine don’t last a week with all of these kids!) When you are ready to eat them, take as many as needed out of the freezer and let thaw completely on a baking pan. Once thawed, bake as above. 

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