Sunday, April 29, 2012

Devils River Bliss

The place that started my love for water was the Devils River.  I was very fortunate to grow up going to this river for weeks at a time during the summer.  My mom and her sisters would drag all of us kids out into the middle of nowhere and we would all camp out on the rocks under the big Texas sky.

The crystal clear water is one of my favorite things about the river but another thing that I love about the river is the camp food! There is something about cooking outside over an open camp fire that adds a whole new level of delicious to any food.

This past weekend the awesome Kerbow's took me to their piece of paradise on the lower Devils River.  It was everything I remembered from my childhood; the water, the food, the fireflies and of course the worry free lifestyle were all the same.

We had a great weekend filled with a fun kayak trip and delicious camp food.  I took Dot and Gertie and they did great on the water.  Dot has never been a fan of the water but she jumped right in and was a trooper the whole trip down the river.  Gertie shares the same love of water that I have, she would bale off the kayak and swim a minute and then jump back in.  

I want to highlight some of the delicious dished we whipped up.  I was given three Bantam Chickens a few weeks ago and their cute little eggs made the most perfect amuse-bouche "deviled" eggs no pun intended :)

Georgia is an amazing cook!! She made us the best sandwich I have ever eaten for our kayaking lunch on the water. She put jalapeno poppers on our sandwich, it added the most perfect kick!

After a great day out on the water we made the best camp fire dinner ever.   Brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes out on the camp fire made a perfect side to a steak.  Of course bacon and a stick of butter well you know the saying, make everything better!

It was a much needed relaxing weekend! THANK YOU Kerbow's for the check out from reality it was  just what the doctor ordered.


Deviled Eggs


1 dozen peeled hard boiled eggs

1 t course mustard
1 t Dijon mustard
2 T mayonnaise
1 T relish

Slice eggs in half long ways and remove yolks.  Place yolks and all other ingredients into zip-lock bag and mash until mixed together.  Cut one end of the bag at a small diagonal and you now have a great piping bag to fill the egg white halves.   Sprinkle with paprika, chill and devour!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts


1 bag Brussel Sprouts
5 slices of bacon
3 garlic cloves
1 stick butter
Salt & Pepper


Rinse and trim brussel sprouts.  Then make foil pouch and add sprouts, bacon, garlic, butter, salt and pepper.  Let roast for 30 minutes stirring occasionally, once fork tender, Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Diatomaceous Earth

So my garden is flourishing, it is really looking good.  My tomato plants are loaded with little tomatoes and blooms.  I can't wait to eat the first fresh tomato of the season, you just can't beat that homegrown taste.

Anyway, I want to tell y'all about diatomaceous earth.  

We have lots of stray cats that roam around our house unfortunately leaving pesky fleas to jump on my dogs.  We have tried several different things to get rid of these nasty fleas but they keep finding my pups.  

While doing a little organic pesticide research I came across diatomaceous earth.   

DE is an off white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.  When you dust your yard or plants with it the bugs exoskeleton begins to be cut up by the small particles and that dries the insect out eventually killing it.

This miracle dust has several different benefits to pest control however it will also kill beneficial bugs.

There are several different types of DE the best to use is FOOD GRADE.

However, it will not hurt humans or mammals as a matter of fact some naturopathic doctors prescribe DE to control internal parasites, colon cleansing and detox.

Pool supply stores sell DE but it is not food grade and contains more crystalline silica than food grade.

For the DE to work it must stay dry so any watering or even morning dew will render this ineffective.

If you have insect issues I highly recommend DIATOMACEOUS EARTH it stores easily so having a few pounds on hand should last you a while.

If you are a 7 dust-aholic I think you will really like DE not only for its health benefits but it will also do a great job controlling your garden pests without any harmful chemicals.

Happy Bug Killing.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homemade and Homegrown Breakfast

So I can finally say that we had an entire meal of homemade and homegrown goodness!!!

Fresh Eggs:

Can't beat free range fresh eggs!

New Potatoes:

Yesterday when I got home from my trip to College Station I made my usual rounds to water plants and chickens.  

Something had gotten a hold of my potato plants, they were wilted and not healthy looking at all.  

So I started pulling the dying plants up and found these beauties.  

Luckily there are still plenty of plants to produce more of these delicious spuds!

I saw this recipe on my favorite blogger's website. The Pioneer Woman, if you haven't been here you must!

They were YUMMY!

Biscuits from scratch: 

I may have a slight addiction to the Food Network but it produces such good food and info.  

These are my sourdough biscuits but I added a stick of shredded frozen butter to the flour before I added my wet ingredients.  

Then I only mixed everything together for a split second until it started to form a ball of dough. 

Then I plopped the dough out on my floured cutting board and started rolling and folding.  

I saw this butter,  roll and fold technique on an episode of Diners, Drive In's and Dives Friday so I had to give them a try.  

Man were they ever flaky and tasty! We all know butter makes everything better!

Venison Breakfast Sausage:

During Christmas my parents, Sam and myself butchered and processed 3 Axis Deer and 2 Whitetail into to hamburger, chili meat, roast, steaks, and breakfast sausage.

The sausage I fixed today is one of my father's recipes.  It is brown sugar sweet with a good kick of red pepper flakes.

We made several different batches of breakfast sausage, we would mix one batch cook a little and add another ingredient.

It was a lot of fun and the end results are finger licking good.

After I cooked all this I was so excited to eat it that I totally forgot to take a picture of my plate.  But let me just say it was pretty and delicious!!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Old Door turned TV Stand

I didn't get a picture taken of this door before I painted it turquiose but it was just an old white solid door.  

First I cut the inside panes out and then added 4 legs from Lowes. 

I sanded it to give that worn look and added old ceiling tin's, that my friend Georgia gave me, into the panes. 


I think it turned out pretty cute! It is going to be a TV stand.   

Monday, April 9, 2012

Homemade Greek Yogurt

So during the Christmas break my dad and I bought some yogurmet starter and rennet at a health foods store in Lubbock.  I had been wanting to make yogurt and cheese from my friend Katy's goat's milk.

After several failed attempts I finally gave up on Goat's Milk Yogurt. However, I did make some successful Chevre with the rennet, I even made a batch using lemon juice instead of rennet that was milder and creamier.  Anyway back to the topic at hand.

Over this past Easter weekend Sam and I went to my parents.

In January my dad bought a yogurt maker online so he has been making lots of tasty yogurt.

Since I don't have this fancy machine I decided there had to be a way to improvise.

So Saturday Dad and I gathered up a heating pad and glass dome lid from one of mom's cake stands.

Dad wanted to test this method first with water instead of wasting a batch of milk to see if it would heat to 110 degrees.  Thats the magic temperature for making yogurt set up properly.  We let two water filled 1/2 pint jars set in the homemade yogurt machine for several hours and then used a candy thermometer to test the temperature.  We had the heating pad set on low and the water was around 104 degrees.

Since the water was heated I figured the milk would get warm enough to make yogurt so I went ahead and mixed a 1/4 cup of greek style plain yogurt in 1 quart of whole milk.

At this point in the afternoon Dad and Sam had gone to the "fishing hole" to do a little male bonding and fishing.  Supposedly they caught fish, I only believe them because they took pictures to prove it.

Anyway I poured the milk/yogurt mixture into several small jars and set them under the dome and went ahead and turned the heating pad up to high.  One of those Texas mentality things "everything's bigger" so why not go ahead and turn it up as high as it will go.

Dad has been experimenting with how long to leave the yogurt in the machine.  Standard time is 12 hours but through his trails he found that the longer you leave them in the thicker the yogurt becomes.  So we left this batch in for 18 hours.

It turned out really mild flavored with a great smooth and creamy texture.

Dad makes fruit smoothies and mom uses it in place of mayo.  There are lots of great healthy recipes to use yogurt in as an alternative.   When your making it yourself all you need is milk and at least 1/4 of a cup of your most recent batch of yogurt.  

We ran out of cream cheese making jalapeno poppers Sunday afternoon so I mixed some of this homemade yogurt and feta cheese with crumbled bacon and stuffed into the peppers.  They were pretty delicious if you ask me.

Hope everyone had a great Easter! Yeah for SPRING!


Monday, April 2, 2012


Last summer my garden was organically fertilized and I only used organic pesticide soap. However, the pesky insects did a number or several of my plants.

So this year I am seeking vengeance.

In an attempt to be more green and use no pesticides again this year I ordered 1500 lady bugs and 7 million live beneficial nematodes off of Amazon last week.

They came in the mail today and much to my surprise all the lady bugs were alive! I put them in the refrigerator until early evening (the directions told me to do this) and then I released them into my garden and around my potted plants.

As soon as I started shaking them out of the bag in my garden the chickens knew it was food so they flocked to the perimeter fence and of course my rooster flew right on over and started pecking up my precious lady bugs.  I had to get him and the rest of my hens penned up before they ate all of my precious aphid killers.

I hope there are still a few alive in the morning.

The other box of beneficial nematodes were a little hard to see or even tell if they are alive.  I followed the instructions and soaked them in cold water for 30 minutes and then combined them with wet compost material.

Here is to hoping that this green and more economical method of pest control works!