July 31, 2011

Farm Food: Kansas City Steak

This is a Kansas City Steak from one of our grass-fed black angus cows. The steak is the same cut as a New York Strip, but this guy was huge and thick. 



I marinated it for about 30 minutes in a little bit of Dales marinade and a sprinkling of a Grill Seasoning on both sides. Then I handed it off to this guy:


And, it came back like this!


Yummy grill marks.


Placed on a bed a Gruyere cheese grits and alongside roasted asparagus, this was certainly a fine dining meal in!

July 29, 2011

Cookies and cream health cake

Yes, this is actually a cookies and cream cake with Heath candy bar icing. Here's the inspiration.




It's a basic cake batter, I used this one, with Oreo cookies mixed in the batter. A lot of Oreo cookies. Then, I used this icing recipe and added broken up Heath bars to part of it. That part I placed in between the cake layers. The rest of the regular icing was used on the outside of the cake. 

It was delicious. Just eat it and enjoy. 

It's Friday: Tear something up!

video

July 26, 2011

My art box

When I was much younger, I was given this: 


Inside is this:


My mom gave this art box back to me several weeks ago. Do your parents and/or grandparents do this to you? They've been holding on to all your old stuff, and they plot to reunite you with things you had long since forgotten about? So re-entered my art box into my life.

As I'm working on my new wall in the dining room, I determined I would attempt to make a piece of art. I'm really no painter at all, or sketcher, drawer, sculpture or the like, but I figured worse case would be just throwing my art away. I already had the supplies!

For my project, I focused on the watercolors. I have no idea why. They just spoke to me. 


A few days ago, Google's homepage was pea pods that spelled Google. Pea pods are special in my family, relating to a baby counting book I would always want to read involving a pea pod with one falling out. 

So I saved the Google homepage. 


I enlarged the image and focused on one pea pod. Then I outlined the edges so I could trace them. 


I played with the watercolors on a scrap of the same paper I was painting. 


And then I painted a pea pod. 



It dried a little brighter than I planed on, but for my first water coloring attempt, I find it to be a keeper. 


I've added it to my dining room wall; however, I'm waiting on a few more prints before I unveil the completed wall. For now, I'm just focusing on the fact that I painted a pea pod with water colors from approximately 1987. 

July 18, 2011

Saturday project

After my anniversary gift of  a new table and chairs, I knew the next step in our dining room was the walls. They were blank and boring



and the large mirror didn't make as much sense in its place anymore since the table was moved. 


So I contemplated ideas. And, I contemplated some more. And, then I decided I wanted it done. 

I used this as inspiration, from House Full of Pretty: 


I checked Hobby Lobby's web site, and they had all their frames half off this weekend! I ran to the store and purchased a ton of different sizes and styles of frames. Then I came home and hung them on my wall. Some of the frames I already knew what I would put in them, but others I still don't. I wanted them all hung on the wall so I could then live with them and decide what should go in each frame.

You may ask if I drew out the design I wanted before hanging them. No.

You may ask if I arranged them on a table or the floor to find the perfect shape. Nope. 

I hung them on the wall. And I got this:


I'm very happy with the way it turned out, and I have room to build on it over time. 


The mirror got a new home on the opposing wall, and it fits the space much better. 


The view from the front door. I think the dining space looks much more open and spacious. 


You can see that several of the frames still have their pretend image inside them. And, I got a few items that weren't and won't be framed artwork to mix it up a bit. You can see a C tile here. 


The green photo is a photo I took at an olive orchard in Austin with my BFFs Kathy and Anna. The sunset is a photo Chris took in Taos last year, and the wooden saint piece is a work of art from my mom from Santa Fe, and it depicts the saint for writers, journalists and editors, Saint Frances de Sales.


I'm leaving this wooden frame empty to help break up the textures. 


And, some of the frames are actually boxes. 


This is a piece of scrapbook paper that I found; really liked the print and colors; and covered the photo box filler with it. 



I'm really happy with how this project turned out, and I'm excited to fill in my frames. Stay tuned!

July 14, 2011

Chicken pot pie ice cream

This is not a joke. 

I made chicken pot pie ice cream. 

Through Blogher, I entered a recipe contest using a new product from Knoll: chicken stock concentrate. It's like chicken stock jelly, in a good way. The contest was to create an original recipe with the concentrate. Now, I must have been watching too many Iron Chefs or something because I thought, "That jelly-o-chicken would melt perfectly into an ice cream custard." 

So off I went to make chicken ice cream.

I make plenty of ice cream in my KitchenAid attachment ice cream maker, so I knew the basics. I figured I'd wing the rest. 

Here are the ingredients. Half & Half, a little butter and the tub-o-chicken-jelly. 



I used four eggs. 


I heated the half & half, butter, chicken jelly and some fresh thyme from our garden in a pot. 


Then, I tempered the eggs and cooked the now-custard mixture until thick. Next, I strained it and  completely chilled it in the refrigerator. Then it could be processed through the ice cream machine. Then it stayed in the freezer overnight. 

To make this chicken ice cream, chicken pot pie ice cream, I baked off a square of puff pastry. 


And topped it with a scoop of the chicken ice cream. 


Chris and I each took a bit of this one. It definitely tasted like chicken, and you really needed the puff pastry to cut the chicken-y flavor. I'm not sure I'll ever make this again; however, it was a fun process to create something so unique. 

I'll let you know if I win the recipe contest. Who knows? Maybe they are looking for the perfect chicken pot pie ice cream recipe!

July 12, 2011

Veggie night

We have been lucky enough to attend several parties the past few days. A wedding and a surprise birthday party. They were both amazing and had delicious food. But, you know the thing with party food? Even with a fruit tray, party food usually isn't the healthiest. So, Chris and I wanted a veggie night. 

Here you'll see my finished product. 


A veggie-infused, organic pasta with pesto that I made from our fresh basil. I added asparagus, green bell peppers and onions and yellow squash from the farm. 


So delicious, and we felt revived with our veggies! 

July 10, 2011

Farm food: Rump roast

In my continued series on our farm food, the next on my list was a rump roast. 

Say hello to our grass-fed rump roast.


I made a dry spice rub of a chili con carne spice mix, red pepper and ground mustard. I combined them to make probably 2 tablespoons of rub. I could probably have used a little more. 


I rubbed the roast with the spices, and put it in our slow cooker.


I set it on low for 10 hours. Because our meat is so lean, it actually didn't need all this time. I took it out around 9 hours, and it probably only needed 7-8. Also, next time, I'll put a little beef stock in the bottom of the cooker to get the juices started. Again, since our meat is lean, it didn't produce a ton of au jus. I could always use more!


I threw together a salad with lettuce and cucumbers from the farm. I made a red wine vinegar dressing that my grandfather recommended, and it was delicious!


The meat was tender and delicious. 


Underneath the roast was a bed of red new potatoes that I boiled and smashed. They were perfect with the au jus drizzled over them. Another healthy and delicious meal from the farm!


July 7, 2011

Migas my way

I forgot to mention in my farm food post that we also got eggs from our pretty chickens!


Usually I make frittatas, but I got us a little burned out on them. Instead of frittatas, I made migas my way. Traditional migas contain scrambled eggs into which you crumble tortilla chips into. Yum. But, I wanted to kick it up a notch. 

Here, you see a bell pepper from the farm sauteing, a bag of already-cooked sausage, tortilla chips and eggs. 


Looks how pretty our eggs are. You won't see that kind of color in a store-bought, corn-fed chicken egg.


The next step is to throw it all together and cook through. Top with salsa, and you're good to go!


Farm Food

We spent the Fourth of July weekend at the farm. And, instead of showing you more photos of alpacas, llamas and dogs, I'm going to show you food!


Right after I show you one photo of a dog. 


And a photo of a sad, trapped down. 


A dog who chooses to trap himself by the fan by squeezing through the fence. 


Now, back to the food. 

This is the bounty of food we brought back from the farm. 

Lots of lettuces, onions and cherry tomatoes.


Yellow squash, green bell peppers and cucumbers. 


And meat! The best part about having an all grass-fed black angus cattle ranch is the beef. Let's just be honest. Pretty cuts of beef. 


Ground beef too!



So, what am I to do with all of this fresh food? Here's what I did Monday night when we got home.  I had two chicken breasts that were already grilled. I chose these veggies and chopped them up. 


Then I threw them in a skillet with some cumin, chili powder and cayenne for fajitas!


Stay tuned for my next dish with my farm food!

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