Sunday, January 17, 2016

Silly Faces of Miss Montana

I tell ya - this girl makes some goofy faces!
Here are a few!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Welcome To My Little Herd Montana!

So... I was CASUALLY thinking about looking for another horse... or donkey or mule.

There was a potential donkey... but that fell through due to some very sketchy circumstances.

Then I spied a mule on a Facebook group. The list before me was a mile long. I threw my hat into the ring. Alas... he was snapped up.

A few days later I was messaged by a gal who runs a rescue/rehab for horses suggesting that a mare that she had might be a good fit for me after a friend of mine mentioned it to her. We chatted some about her and then decided to go see her.

So on Saturday - that same friend of mine dragged her trailer down to Alix Alberta with me to see this mare.

Montana is a 10 year old Percheron cross. Crossed with what - I have no clue. She is green broke but has the fundamentals and the right attitude and a willingness to please. She is friendly and well mannered... except when we went to load her. Haha. Had a little bareback ride on her in the round pen. She was a bit hesitant and I was a bit clueless... and nervous having 2 riding instructors watching me. But in all fairness - we were new to each other and the trust will take time.

SO.... needless to say the trailer didn't come back empty! Meet Montana! Looking forward to learning and growing with this girl!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bird Nerd

I love birds. It's always a treat when I can photograph them!
Here are some adorable chickadees from the farm last weekend!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Growing Like Weeds

These little guys are getting so big!
The runt is still tiny. I didn't see her when I got there yesterday and was afraid she may have died. But then I spotted her little butt poking out of the hay.
Sadly - 2 more have been lost and there are only 19 left.
The hazards are obvious when you have mamas weighing hundreds of pounds versus little ones weight only a handful. :( Such is farm life.

The runt. She is so cute.

Above is the dad of all these babies. He is so patient. He goes for a nap and almost all of the  babies swarm him and cuddle up to get warm.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Twist on Sherpherd's Pie

As per my Saturday usual, I found myself playing min the kitchen again.
This week: Shepherd's Pie.
I don't do a traditional shepherd's pie by any stretch.
Here is show I make mine!
What you need:
2 or so carrots, halved and sliced
Handful of garlic cloves - minced
A shallot or an onion - finely chopped
Celery (I use the tender center part of the celery, leaves and all), roughly chopped
Mushrooms - I used a half pound - roughly chopped.
Frozen peas and corn. Fresh if you can!
Olive Oil
6-8 good sized potatoes. I used up some reds from last weekend and added yellows.
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Can of mushroom soup
Packet of gravy power
Smoked paprika
1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
In a large pot, heat up some butter and olive oil.... or just oil. Start to cook down the carrots as they will take the longest.
Add the shallot/onion and garlic, mushrooms, celery and some salt and pepper. I cracked the pepper myself with the mortar & pestle. Add some basil if you'd like.
In a bowl, mix the coup and the powdered gravy and ass a little paprika. I just love the smoky taste - it's not necessary though.
Get the potatoes boiling.
Once the veggies are cooked down, add the frozen peas and corn - I did about 3/4 cup each.
Mix the veggies with the soup and set aside.
Brown the meat in the same pot. I use a pot that can also go in the oven to save on mess.
Once the meat is cooked, dump the veggie/soup mix into the pot - or mix all together on a casserole dish.
When the potatoes are ready, drain them.
melt a quarter to a third of a cup of butter in the pot and get some minced garlic cooking.
put the potatoes back in the pot, mash and add about a cup of sour cream.
Spread over top of the meat mixture. Top potatoes with grated cheese and bake in a 350* oven for about a half hour.
If the gravy bubbles up over the cheese - skim it off, add some more. toss a little bit of bread crumbs on there and broil if you want that crispy cheese crusty top. That's the best.
Let sit for a bit and then enjoy!
For days....

Thursday, November 26, 2015

More Piglet Photos

A little dose of cuteness for you!!
I took about a thousand photos on Sunday...These little guys are just so ridiculous to watch!!

Here is the runt. She is so adorable. And doing very well!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

So I made a meatloaf.
I have done this one before and it is a popular one with the male population.
It's a miracle if you eat it without having chest pains. So if you are a health nut, this is NOT a meat for you!
Wanna know how I make mine? Keep reading!
Here is what you'll need: 
Approximately 1lb lean or regular ground beef
 Approximately 1lb lean ground pork
1 package of bacon
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
A few handfuls of grated cheese of your choice - I use marble
6-8 good sized mushrooms - I prefer crimini - coarsely chopped
1 shallot - or you can use onion - finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
1 package of powdered grave - I used a mushroom one
Salt and pepper to your liking
Sprinkle of basil
Smoked paprika - if you smoky flavor
Water or milk. I used water
Line a casserole dish with bacon. I use a round one because that's what I have.
Use whatever is big enough to hold everything, but I wouldn't go too shallow. 
Heat up  some olive oil on the stove in a pan. Sautee the garlic, shallots and mushrooms and season with a little S&P, until they look done. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix the meat, eggs, bread crumbs, basil, sprinkle of the paprika, handful of cheese, powdered gravy, a bit of salt and pepper and your sautéed mushrooms and whatnots.
Mix together either with your hands or a wooden spoon. I use a wooden spoon because it's cleaner.
Dump meat mixture into the bacon lined casserole dish and sprinkle the top of the meatloaf with some more grated cheese if you'd like and then fold the bacon over top.
Bake on 350*F for about an hour and a half. If you are using a thermometer, it should read 155*F when done. As you can see - I had to cut into mine - BEFORE I took the picture - as I don't have a meat thermometer. I am going to buy one. Haha!
Now - for sides - one thing I like to do is make mashed potatoes.
So make your favorite mashed potatoes. Mine are usually with white or Yukon golds - but last night I used red... Because I am cheap. Haha!
I boil the potatoes to the point of being ready to mash.
Drain them and leave them in the colander in the sink.
Take a good heap of butter - as much as you and melt it in the potato pot.
Add a ton of minced garlic and cook it down.
One thing I like to do sometimes is get the butter to the brown point. That one you have to watch like a hawk. The second that butter turns brown you have to remove it from the heat.
I didn't do I that way last night though.
When the garlic is cooked - add your potatoes back in and mash them.
I like to add sour cream, but I forgot to get some yesterday.
Because why should the potatoes be any less unhealthy than the meatloaf? 
NOW - the gravy.... At some point during cooking - maybe more than once, pull the meatloaf out of the oven. As it is cooking, it is releasing juices and fat and shrinking in the dish. Use a turkey baster to suck out all of those juices.
Put them in a pot.... add some water if you'd like - and a package of powdered gravy. Yes - I cheat.
Gravy - again - make it to your liking. Add some pepper or herbs. I added a bit of starch to thicken it because I wanted more gravy than what the package would allow. Buy two packages if you want. You can use flour... I added more of the meatloaf juice as I went along. Really - just make your gravy. There's no right and wrong way!
Finally - pick your favorite veggie to serve with it as well so you don't feel too guilty about all that bacon and meat and cheese and butter... and VOILA! Bacon wrapped meatloaf just happened.  
The beauty of meatloaf is that is - just like my pasta sauce - is a blank canvas. Don't be afraid to tweak it... don't be worried if you aren't accurate with measurement... I rarely am unless I am baking.
Cooking is like art. You can express your creativity through food.