Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

I love big, soft, chewy cookies - so I came up with these!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add to batter.  Refrigerate for 1 hour (makes the dough easier to handle and bakes more even).
Roll in to large balls and roll in sugar.  Flatten with fork, making the fun criss-cross pattern.  Or, if you have them, use a cookie press.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until edges are light brown.  Cool for 10 minutes on cookie sheet, then move to wire rack.
Trust me, these are NUMMY!

I like to double my recipes, then freeze half the dough to use later.  When you do this, you can bake up just one batch at a time, so you don't have too many cookies in the house tempting you to eat them all.  And trust me, you'll be tempted! ;)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The First Hatching

Our first batch of incubator chicks have started to hatch.  These are Ringneck Pheasants from the ones we either purchased as chicks or incubated last year.    I'm trying to upload the video of one hatching out of the egg (a process that takes up to a day) but blogger is being a pain.  So, you'll have to head over to my facebook fan page to get a peek at the video itself.

This is what the Roosters will look like when they're mature.

And, in true Circle of Life, Farm fashion - the above rooster is now all cleaned and packed up and in the freezer to be a tasty meal one night. I've only eaten wild pheasant up until this point, so it'll be interesting to see the taste difference in the wild vs hand raised. 

Who wants to come over for dinner?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lemon Caramel Cookies

Yes, I love lemon. Yes, I love caramel. And using Caramel Hershey Kisses is so fun in so many recipes! This is now my new favorite cookie. It’s a shortbread type, so it’s not overly sweet. I may just wrap these around a big chunk of caramel the next time I make them. Enjoy!

1 ½ cups butter, softened
¾ cups sugar
1T lemon extract
3 cups flour
2 cups chopped pecans
30 caramel kisses


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon extract until fluffy. Add the flour and pecans; beating at a low speed until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour (it makes the dough easier to handle)

Take a spoonful of dough and wrap around the unwrapped kisses and roll into a ball. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes until set and bottom edges are light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

  • Drizzle with melted chocolate after cooled
  • Use another kind of nut: almonds, peanuts, etc
  • Use another type of extract or flavor of kiss.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

What is Autism?

Autism is what is known as an umbrella, or spectrum disorder. It covers a wide variety of symptoms and challenges. It is a neurological (brain) developmental disorder. Basically, it means that the individual’s brain is hardwired differently. I have often compared it to the old-fashioned telephone switchboards, where all the information comes in, but if the plugs aren’t in the right spot it’s not going to get where it needs to go.

Autism cannot be cured. However, therapies, treatments and nutritional diets can help with the way our mind processes and improve behavior.

Every child with autism is different. If anything, autistic individuals shatter the concept of ‘typical’ anything and break the mold of life. They view the world through a lens few can even fathom. In addition to seeing the world differently, autistic individuals can struggle with communication as they struggle with relating to others.

Symptoms often fall within the following categories (to be discussed in future posts)

• Social Situations
• Communication
• Repetitive Behaviors
• Sensory Processing
• Physical and Medical

There is so much that we don’t know about Autism. What we do know is that it’s far more prevelant than we ever knew. Whether it’s actually happening more, or we are simply recognizing and diagnosing it more is unknown.

Either way, with 1 in 110 children being diagnosed chances are that you know someone with Autism. How has Autism affected you?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Farmwife's Easter Egg Hunt

One of the most fun traditions of Easter is the Egg Hunt.  However, they don't have very many for adults (unless you happen to be brave enough and close enough to take on the crazy moms at Alpenrose Dairy in hunting for diamonds in their eggs - I am not).

On the farm, we get a daily egg hunt!  Here is what it is like for me.

Go outside, and get a big bucket of scratch (cracked corn, sunflower seeds and whatever other treat we mix in there this time)

Head out to the aviary / coop area.

Toss scratch out to the Lovely Ladies.

Some get too impatient and just come and get it from me.

Gotta give treats to the pheseants too!

Look!  Pheseant eggs!

Found one!  Lazy bird didn't want to go lay it in the nest.

Found some in the coop!

Today's Bounty

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Name the treat Contest, Part 2

Well, I had some amazing name suggestions, and I just couldn't do it on my own.  SO, I've picked my top 4 and will let YOU decide. 

This sweet confection (recipe found here) really needs a name!  See the contest on the sidebar and vote!  Winner will get a wonderful surprise in the mail (and yes, that will most likely include some of the newly named treat as well).

Contest ends on Friday, April 7th at 10:30p Pacific.