Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dinner on the Farm - Chicken Caesar Parmesan

My favorite salad dressing is Ken's. It is always made from an olive oil base and the nutritional data is excellent. It has a bolder taste and it good for creating heart healthy dishes as well.

Chicken Caesar Parmesan has become one of our favorites because it is tasty and very quick.

This is how we do it

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. Ken's Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
8 tablespoons Kraft Parmesan Cheese
Pepper and garlic powder.

Cut the chicken breasts in two to make appx. 4 oz serving pieces. Season the chicken breasts with the pepper and the garlic powder. Coat the chicken breasts with the the Ken's salad dressing and lay them on a broiler pan that has been sprayed with an olive oil non-stick spray. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and place in the oven (not under the broiler) at 350 degrees for 30-40 min or until the thickest part of the breast is done.

That is IT!

I usually serve this with steamed vegetables and a steamed whole grain pilaf. If there is any left, you can slice the chicken for a wrap with plenty of fresh vegetables and the left over Ken's Caesar Salad Dressing.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dinner on the Farm

Oh my these fried potatoes are So good!

What? Fried potatoes? French fries??

Yes, you can have your fried potato's and eat them too.... and this is how you make them heart healthy:

I cubed up 2 large russet potatoes and "fried" them in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Don't use salt, instead use plenty of garlic and onion powder.

Regular french fries that have been deep fried...are more than double the calorie and fat grams...these you can eat guilt free....once in a while. They are rich in carbs but a pretty good source of fiber. The olive oil is the deal maker.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recycled Useful

It's that time of the year again where we recycle t-paper cores and make seed holders. These rock! They biodegrade very quickly....and cheap!

1. Collect toilet paper cores. Lots of them We cut the bottoms 1/3 up the sides in 4 places then fold them in to make a bottom. We take a tot stapler and place 2 staples in the top fold to secure them. When we get 6 of them we staple those 6 together to make a "6 pack".

2. We place these into a large, clear storage container. The top does not have to be clear, just the sides.

3. Then we make the labels using old mini-blinds. You can cut them any length you want and write on them with a sharpie.

Close up of mini blind label

4. Time to add good quality potting soil. Fill up the seed holders. If you get some between those it doesn't matter!

5. I pre-label each of the seed holders before I plant the seeds. I do this because if I have to stop my project I won't forget what I planted and where I planted it. It also helps me plan my garden. 


 Once everything is planted, water gently. You want to make your soil damp, not wet. Then snap the lid on and wait. It may take a couple of weeks before you see your seeds appear. Meantime you will notice condensation in the container especially on the walls. Don't worry! That is the greenhouse effect.

One tip tho, if the seedlings are becoming leggy (tall and pointing to a sun source) simply take them outside during the day in the sun. I keep old window glass on-hand to cover the tops while they are outside.

This is what my plants looked like after 8 weeks. I almost let them mature too long. Look at the plant on the right. It's growing a root system along the stem. This is OK. Just plant the tomato sideways and almost up to the first mature leaves. The smaller leaves part of the way up (there are 2) are NOT mature leaves. This insures you have a super strong root system. Tomatoes are very unforgiving. We also plant with a slow release Miracle Grow in the soil and water a lot the first week or so.

A heartwarming rescue!

John asked me Saturday morning if I had seen Silky. Silky is our most gentle rooster. We just inherited him about two months ago from some friends down the road who were thinning down their rooster population.

Silky will come to you when called and will allow you to pick him up and hold him without a fuss. In fact he is so tame that if you don't watch he will jump up into your lap and nestle down for a nap.  From the minute we got him we fell in love with this little fuzzy rooster who never crows and looks like he wearing his pajamas.

I had not seen him, which isn't unusual with my work hours. John mentioned he wasn't in his usual roosting spot for the night. We feared the worse.

On Saturday morning John drove the perimeter of the property by the road and looked but never saw him. He didn't come when you called him, and wasn't within eye-shot of us while we were working on the new garden spot. Quite unusual for our Silky. We just knew.....

While trying to adjust a part on the Green Machine John walked back to the patio to find the tool he needed and in a few minutes he hollered for me to come up there. "I need some help" he shouted. As I got closer he said "I found Silky".

"Oh no!" I replied, hoping that we wouldn't find Silky if something dire had happened to him, which has been the case with other "favorite" roosters we have had and lost in the past.

"He's alive and looks good!" John said with excitement. My heart jumped for joy!

Apparently he had wrapped a string around one of his leg. Perhaps as he did the scratch dance the string  wrapped around a stick which lodged between the swimming pool pump out-take hose and something else. He was simply stuck and settled himself down until someone discovered his predicament.

I brought out a pair of scissors and clipped him free then set him down and clipped off the string. We brought him some scratch and he ate it out of our hand, obviously quite hungry, which attracted the other roosters looking for a hand out as well. After eating and getting a good drink of water he was, once again, on his merry way in the pasture looking for bugs and seed.

Last night John checked to make sure Silky was in his usual roost. He was.

Today he looks just fine. He has a minor issue with an eye but it's nothing to worry about. Otherwise you would never know of his predicament the night before.  

John just happened to walk over to the spot where Silky was, looking for something. We had passed close to that spot several times but because Silky just "coos" and the view is somewhat blocked by a patio table and b-b-q serving cart we never heard or saw him.

Perhaps there was some Divine intervention in the necessity to adjust a part on the Green Machine....