Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Miss Bertha

Miss Bertha is a Light Brahma pullet. She is my husband's favorite chick (besides me!).

Light Brahma's are a heavy breed chicken. They are very hardy and are brown egg layers. Miss Bertha isn't laying yet but come Spring she should be quite productive. I can't wait!

I'm so sad that we lost her twin sister. I'd love to have more Brahma's because they are so sweet and pretty but even the hatcheries are sold out right now. Miss Bertha is not a show chicken, she comes from hatchery stock but I think she's a beauty anyway. I can't wait to see her when she's full grown. She's only 8 weeks old right now.

Now, I have a thing about bird feet. They look kinda freaky. But, look at her neat feathered feet.

Miss Bertha takes lots of naps with her sisters. Here she is with Miss Rhoda.

And lastly, here are the new babies. I had to order these to replace the ones killed by the evil rat terrier Sassy.

There are 27!!! of them. They are still just little girls, only 3 weeks old. I tried to brood them but it seems the rules are a bit different here in South Louisiana. These girls do not like being under lights. They like being outside! lol They will chirp and holler and have a fit until I put them out there. I guess our normal weather feels like a brooder. It does to me!

We sectioned off a little area for them inside the big girls fence. We had to seperate them because the big girls were pecking them. They are starting to get used to each other now though. Once they get big enough to defend themselves we'll start easing them into the same space.

I never expected to have 37 chickens. Heck, I didn't WANT 37 chickens but I was so sad when we lost half the other batch I just had to order more and they won't send less than 25 at a time for the safety of the chicks. This last time they threw in 2 extra. Now I love them all. It's a horrible addiction, I tell ya.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

This set of dishes is the whole inspiration behind my kitchen decor. I LOVE these dishes and all the colors in them. This picture does not do them justice. The downside is that my little kitchen is running out of room for all my rooster and chicken paraphernalia.

Tomorrow I will be featuring Miss Bertha. She is my one surviving Light Brahma pullet of the Chicken Massacre of 2008. She had a twin sister but she fell to the evil rat terrier Sassy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kiss your cafeteria lady

Well, maybe not kiss her, unless you want to. lol But really, they should have Cafeteria Lady Appreciation Day. Those ladies work hard. And tell your kids to not be so messy!!! ;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh how I wish

I had something to post about. I'm so sorry I'm such a boring blogger.

Not a whole lot going on in my life to write about.

We're in kinda sorta negotiations on a house. Yeah, kinda sorta. It's complicated. IF we get the house, I'll post all about this mess. lol

I get to go to work in the cafeteria tomorrow. YAY! It's only for tomorrow but whatever, I get to get out of the house!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crawfish (or Shrimp) Etouffee......

Today we're using shrimp. My grocery store was completely out of crawfish and I didn't have any in the freezer so I had to settle for shrimp. Poor me. ;-)

I've been meaning to post this for a while but as I've come to find, I'm a really lazy blogger. lol

Etouffee is a South Louisiana classic. You will find as many recipes as you will families. Everybodys got their own little touches. The recipe I'm posting today is pretty basic.

I wish I would have taken more detailed pictures but I hate my camera. It takes really crappy pictures.

You start with a light roux or as I call it the "peanut butter" stage.
This is 1 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of flour. Be careful with your roux. Please don't burn it. If you burn it, you have to start all over. I won't even admit to how many times I did that when I was learning to cook. It's a pain and it makes you want to throw the whole pot out the door and go to Burger King. Don't get discouraged. Practice makes perfect. OR, you could always use this:

Whatever works for you. This saves alot of time but I personally can't justify paying several dollars for something I can make for pennies. That being said, I have used it in the past. No big deal.

Now, I add water to my roux. About a pint. Mix it until it is all smooth. NO LUMPS. Then add the chopped veggies. It will be thick but there's a method to my madness. I promise.
Let this cook, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes. If you decide that your roux mixture just doesn't have enough color for you, you can add about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. It enhances both color and flavor.

Next, I add the shrimp. With all the hurricane stuff going on down there, I haven't been able to get to Holly Beach for fresh shrimp *my shrimp guys home was washed away, again ;-( * so I had to settle for frozen from the store. Louisiana shrimp is best. Check the package. ;-)
I use the shrimp directly from the freezer. I just run it under water to make it seperate from the plastic cut it across the top and squeeze it into the pot. All the juices are frozen and I don't loose any of them.

This is going to melt down right into my roux. This is why I don't add all the water at first. It would get too runny. You don't want a runny etouffee. It's has to be thick and creamy. The shrimp and vegetables all make their own water as they cook down so don't be tempted to add too much water at first. You can always add more later but it's hard to take away.

Once it's all cooked and melded together, taste it and season it. I use Tony's of course but you can use whatever you like.

I forgot to get a picture of it finished in the pot but you can get an idea of how it's supposed to be from the plated picture.

Serve over white rice with a side of potato salad, green salad and/or crusty bread for dipping.

You can't get more Louisiana than this. Give it a try.

Crawfish Etouffee
1/2 cup flour
1 cup oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1/2 stalk of celery, chopped
1 1/2 pints of water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 pounds crawfish or shrimp
1/2 cup green onion tops
1 tbps. dried parsley
Seasoning to taste

Make a light roux. Add water and tomato sauce and mix until smooth. Add chopped vegetables and cook about 30 minutes. Stirring frequently to prevent sticking or scorching. Add seafood and cook another 20 minutes or until seafood is done. (If you use frozen like I did, it will take a bit longer) Don't overcook. Add seasonings to taste. If it's too thick add a little water. If it's too thin you can add a bit of cornstarch to thicken.

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