Friday, April 29, 2011

Farm Life {Update}

Things are moving along at the YouTube farm.  The in-laws have nicknamed it that because most of our farming education has come from YouTube or Google.  Hilarious! 

We have been enjoying lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach & mustard greens from the garden.  I have never liked radishes until now.  They taste amazing & have such a kick to them.

The baby chicks are growing fast.  Soon they will be laying eggs.  I cannot wait!  Farm fresh eggs are amazing & will make you never want to buy eggs from the grocery store again.  They even make cake, pancakes, waffles, etc. better.  I swear by them.  We let the kids play with these chicks and get attached to them because their purpose is to stick around & lay eggs.

These poor chickens, however, served another purpose.

I was surprised at how fast they grew and were ready to be butchered.  Here's where YouTube came in handy.  My in-laws did grow up farming so it's not like they were completely clueless.  I chose not to participate in the really gruesome part because I know myself & I would've become vegetarian if I had seen the entire process.  So I waited until they were clean and ready to be cut up & then I headed over.  It would've been nice to stay in my bubble and not experience any of it, but it was important to me to participate in some of the process.  I have cooked the chicken twice now & Allen swears it's the best chicken he's ever had.  It is good & it's getting easier for me to eat it.  I know it's no different than what I was buying from the farmer's market, but there's just something about seeing the process that has messed with my head a little.

Nearly everything in this salad came from our farm.  That's a dinner to be proud of!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Interpol Date Night

We headed to Tulsa Wednesday to see Interpol at Cain's Ballroom.  I think it's becoming tradition to take the same picture on the turnpike to Tulsa every time!  It's also tradition for Allen to wear the same shirt. ;)

We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Tulsa & I decided to unwind a little with this.  I swear it was the best margarita I've ever had.

Cain's is the best place to hear live music.  I absolutely love coming here.  My top three favorite concerts have been at Cain's.  Kings of Leon in 2007, Band of Horses in 2010 & Interpol this week. 

I've been a fan of Interpol since Sydney was a baby.  In fact, I listened to them so much that Sydney frequently requested "Evil" in the car.  Only she called it Rosemary.  I can't hear that song without picturing Sydney at 2 years old saying "Mommy, play Rosemary!"  Even though I've been a fan for a while, hearing them live made me a serious Interpol fan!  They sounded perfect & looked like a class act.  It was a great night. 

Here's some good footage someone posted on YouTube from that night. 

Happy Earth Day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fancy Mac & Cheese

For lack of a better name or more imagination, I'm calling this fancy mac & cheese.  I'm not sure why ground beef would make mac & cheese fancy, but in my world it does.   My family loves this dinner!  As always, I don't measure.  But here's a guide to making this dish:

Cook 1 lb ground beef.
Boil 1 pkg elbow macaroni.
Combine & add:
a splash of milk (about 1/2 cup, depending on how thick you prefer it)
cream cheese (about 1/3 pkg) {Did you know cream cheese is the key to great homemade mac & cheese?}
colby jack cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
salt & pepper

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Did Ya Know...

...that the 80's are back?  I'm not real up to date on trends, which you could clearly tell by taking one look at my wardrobe.  But I have noticed a trend amongst the Kindergarten girls.  Side pony tails.  Inevitably, Sydney requested a side pony tail for school recently.  She has also requested I buy her a pair of denim overall shorts.  I'm sure lots of neon will be next.  Lord help us if they start tight rolling their jeans.  Some trends should never be repeated. 

This guy could care less about trends.  His life revolves around trucks, tractors, dirt, food, sleep & home.  Oh yeah, and his Momma.  He is quite the homebody & begs me to bring him home after we've been out "having fun" for a while. 

We've reached the one year anniversary of our bread making!  I cannot believe I have not bought a loaf of bread in a year.  Seriously, not one loaf.  I love making our bread & will continue to do it as long as I can.  The kids love helping out too. 

Sydney likes to make Garrett's bed for him in the mornings.  However, she has no interest in making her own.  I really need a quilt for Garrett's bed, but haven't found exactly what I want in my price range.  That seems to happen to me a lot. I call it Pottery Barn taste on a Target budget. ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kings of Leon ~ "Molly's Hangover"

And speaking of rare Kings of Leon songs, this has always been one of my absolute favorites.  B sides are always the best.

Kings of Leon {Dressing Room}

Thanks to Ben Kweller, I found this little gem on YouTube.  I LOVE this song.  Sure wish they would record it.  And how fun would it be hanging out in that room back in the day???

The Love Language ~ "Heart To Tell"

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm getting so pumped to see Interpol next week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Scott Avett ~ "November Blue"

I love this slowed down version of "November Blue".

Mama Bertha's Banana Cake

This has always been one of my favorite things my Mama Bertha makes for me.  Sydney likes to help me make it too.  Her job is to mash the bananas.

Banana Cake
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vinegar
3 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c chopped nuts {I leave these out}

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream sugar & butter.  Add eggs & beat until creamy.  Combine flour, baking soda & baking powder.  Add alternately with milk that has the vinegar added.  Beat until batter is very smooth.  Stir in bananas, vanilla & nuts {optional}.  Spoon batter into greased 9x14 pan.  Bake 30 minutes.

I don't put frosting on it because I prefer it without.  But, here's the recipe for the frosting to go on top.

1/2 c butter
1 lb powder sugar
1 c chopped nuts
2 mashed bananas

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar.  Mash bananas & add to mixture.  Mix well & spread on cooled cake. 

P.S. ~ Chocolate chips in the cake makes it pretty tasty too. ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Avett Brothers ~ "Pretty Girl From Matthews"

I listen to this song daily.  I hope you have a song that makes you this happy.

Super Moon

Okay, so the super moon was a while ago.  But I like this picture, so better late than never.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baked Potato Potato Soup

I made this up as I went, loosely basing it on a recipe I had. 

Bake about 5 potatoes the day before.  When done baking, wrap up and put in refrigerator.
The next night, chop up 6 slices bacon & cook in large pot. 
Chop up baked potatoes & add to the cooked bacon.  Add a few pats of butter, salt, pepper & green onions or chives.  Mix well & let cook a few minutes. 
Add 5 cups milk & bring to a boil, stirring often. 
Mash up some of the potatoes in the pot, using a masher or large spoon/spatula.
Reduce heat & simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
When it's done simmering, add about 1 cup sour cream & 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.  Mix well.
If your soup seems too thick, you can add in a little more milk or a little chicken broth.

This makes a lot of soup, which means leftovers!  Cook once, eat two or three times!

The Love Language ~ "Lalita"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12th

I love the smile on my face in this picture.  I don't know if I'm hugging or tickling him, but you can clearly see how happy he made me.

My Dad would have been 66 today.  The person he was 4 years ago stands still in time.  However, I have moved on, so much further.  I've changed so much since he died.  I often wonder what he would think of the woman I have become.  I can only hope, some  how, some way, he knows me now.

Happy Birthday Dad!  Wherever you are, I hope you are racing cars & listening to good music.  If so, I picture you listening to one of your favorites & the perfect cruisin song...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hooked On Instagram

I love the FREE app, Instagram.  It has the coolest effects for your pics.

Loney Dear ~ "Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Generationals ~ "Victim of Trap"

Date Night In Tulsa

Last night Allen & I drove to Tulsa for the Kings of Leon/Band of Horses concert.  Considering these are two of our favorite bands, getting tickets to see them together was a no brainer.  It was fun, however, I'm not a fan of arena concerts.  They played at the huge BOK center.  I enjoy concerts much more in a small venue like Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.  But, this is the down side to bands you've loved for years getting popular.

The other down side is you have to listen to totebags behind you saying stupid things like "that opening band {Band of Horses} was good, but they need a major label and to write a "Use Somebody".  Ugh.  To me, Band of Horses is no opening band.  They are as good as Kings of Leon, just a different style.  They sounded great, but only played for 40 minutes.  Compare this to the awesome two hour performance they gave at Cain's Ballroom last fall & you understand my disappointment.  One thing I love about their performances is they always have a back drop of cool pictures & videos of them. 

I have loved Kings of Leon since 2005 and I will always pay to see them when they come to Oklahoma.  But last night was the first time I felt disappointed.  There were way too many flashing lights & cheesy fireworks.  And they didn't seem to bring the energy they have always impressed me with.  And what is with the extra guy doing back up?  I was happy, however, that they played a good variety of songs, old and new.  Including some great classics like "Molly's Chambers", "Four Kicks", "Taper Jean Girl" & "Fans". 

Here's some of my favorite KOL:

And some favorite BOH:

Friday, April 8, 2011

How To Stretch A Chicken

Ok, well, I'm not literally stretching a chicken.  But I am sharing how I can stretch 1 1/2 lbs of chicken into 6 meals for a family of 4.  One key for us to afford local & organic meat was learning how to eat less meat & make it stretch.  Leftovers get eaten & no longer wasted by going in the trash can. 

The chicken I buy from the farmer's market comes frozen in 1 1/2 lb packages.  When I'm ready to cook it, I cook it ALL and make a couple meals to freeze.  Here's my favorite way to stretch 1 1/2 lbs of chicken:

To Make 2 Pans of Chicken Enchiladas & 1 Batch of Chicken Noodle Soup
Boil all the chicken until cooked through.  This usually takes about 30 minutes.  Now take 2/3 of the chicken and shred to be used in the chicken enchiladas. 

Chop the rest of the chicken up some and put back in the boiling water.  Add 16 oz Reams noodles & one can cream of chicken soup.  Add some salt, pepper & parsley.  Cook according to Reams package.  Once finished, put chicken noodle soup in freezer bag & freeze.  This will be a perfect meal for when no one has time to cook.  Simply put soup in refrigerator the night before to thaw some.  Then put in a pan and heat up on the stove.  This meal feeds my family two nights in a row.  So there's two nights I don't have to cook & two meals from my 1 1/2 lbs of chicken.

Now, back to the shredded chicken for enchiladas.  Mix with two 8 oz packages of cream cheese & two cans chopped green chiles.  Mix well & spoon into flour tortillas.  This will make two casserole dishes of chicken enchiladas.  I get about 11 enchiladas per casserole dish.  {Make sure one dish will freeze well.  I use the aluminum pans from the store.}  Cover both pans with shredded pepper jack cheese & top with fresh cilantro.  Freeze the aluminum pan & re-heat at 350 when you're ready to serve.  Cook the other pan at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly and enjoy for dinner.  One pan of enchiladas feeds my family two nights in a row.  So again, when no one feels like cooking, pop the frozen enchiladas in the oven & you've got two nights worth of meals. 

Soooo, 1 1/2 lbs local, free range chicken yields:
1 batch chicken noodle soup = 2 dinners
2 batches chicken enchiladas = 4 dinners

And that's how a 1 income, self employed family affords organic!  And cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out.

Note: I serve steamed broccoli with chicken noodle soup and black beans or refried beans with chicken enchiladas.  And I like to use my frozen meals within one month of freezing, to ensure they taste great.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How Is It Possible...

that my sweet baby boy will be 3 years old this month?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bibio ~ "Lovers Carvings"

I loved a song on a Kindle commercial a while back.  Then I watched a movie that had the same song in it.  So I finally looked it up.  It's by Bibio and the song is called "Lovers Carvings".  You'll know what I'm talking about at 1:28.  Such a catchy tune.

Atlas Sound ~ "Walkabout"

Tame Impala ~ "Solitude Is Bliss"