Monday, June 29, 2015

Farm Sale!


To kick off the holiday we are holding our 1st Annual Fourth of July Farm Sale! All of my rustic flags and patriotic wall hangings are 20%off today through July 4th, 2015! Each piece pictured has been made from a fallen cedar fence that I took apart, cut and pieced back together before painting, sanding and sealing. I also make them from found pallets it just depends on what piece of material I can get my hands on. Each piece is sealed with an outdoor UV protected sealer making them appropriate to be hung outside during the spring, summer and fall.... winter use is up to you I can't guarantee how they will hold up to the snow. They look just as great indoors as they do hanging on a shed, barn or deck!


I've added a new flag to my collection a single pallet patriotic wall hanging on sale this week for $12.


And since I like deals and groups if you purchase more than one single they are on sale for $10 each.


My smallest flag measures about 13 x 18 inches on sale today for $28.


The next size up measures approximately 20 x 30 inches on sale for $52.


And my largest and most popular size is 35 x 28 inches on sale this week for $72.

All of these are available for purchase either in person, at this weeks Farmer's market or in my Etsy shop HERE. Please contact me with any questions... custom sizes are available made to order for a bit more.


Friday, June 19, 2015

A $1.39 Upgrade for your Office


I love to find ways to decorate the house for cheap. We have 3 kids 6 and under so right now my decorating budget isn't exactly overflowing which means if I want an update I need to get creative. Although it isn't as easy as buying new it is a lot more fun, and a lot more unique. Our decorating style is rustic, artsy cottage-like...eclectic I guess so my crafty decorating ideas often fit right in. 

To update the look of my office are and give it a bit more space I only needed to spend $1.39! All I had to buy were two inexpensive brackets from a home improvement store and I was able to change the whole look. 


Aside from the computer everything pictured here was either thrifted, found or given to us. Even the table I turned into a desk was someone else's garbage that I was able to get my hands on! With a new coat of paint and stain the piece looks brand new. All I did to get everything thrown together was to add 2 of my cheap brackets to a old board I found in the basement to make a shelf that displays our treasures. We like he rustic look so metal brackets on a worn out board is right up our alley! It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it works great for us and in my opinion it accents the found antlers and turkey feathers perfectly.





Money should never be a reason not to update. All you need is a little creativity and imagination to turn any area of your house into the perfect spot for you!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Cast Iron Cooking Southwest Style




I am learning how great cast iron cooking is. Until recently I never really thought about cast iron, but my husband bought a skillet so I guess I should know how to use it right? What is so nice about cast Iron is cooking and baking in the same dish...perfect for melting cheese on this southwestern skillet.... my first cast iron experience.

I just winged it but the dish turned out pretty good so I thought I would share....


Ingredients:

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon peel
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 2 cups rotini
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • diced green onion for garnish

What I did:
  • I heated up my skillet and added the coconut oil. Once the oil was warmed and covered the cast iron I added my garlic and onion heating until they both became transparent. 
  • Next  I added the ground beef and cooked it thoroughly seasoning as I went.
  • After the beef was browned I added my pepper, diced tomato, corn, pasta and water and brought the mixture to a boil.
  • When the pasta was ready and much of the water was reduced I covered the dish with my cheese and put it in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Easy enough hey? I let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving then garnished it with the green onion, and served it with a dollop of sour cream.

The best part of the dish aside from being easy was I thought it was tasty too, and so did my 4 and 6 year old boys who gobbled it up with no fuss. My 11 month old baby even loved it...success in my book!

Enjoy! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sweet Chocolate Covered




I love homemade gifts and party favors. Whenever I have people at the homestead or am invited out I like to offer something simple and thoughtful to share. Since every tooth I have is a sweet one I especially love it when this something simple and thoughtful is something sweet as well. So these chocolate covered berries are the perfect balance in my opinion. 

I have noticed when giving homemade gifts people always seem to feel special and cared about. I feel that taking the time to make gifts rather than buy them is worth the extra effort just for that reason alone. When I don't have a lot of time to make a gift but still want to make something special I'll make chocolate covered things... in this case berries.

Making them was a fairly easy process...

First I chose a variety of berries washed and thoroughly dried them, next I melted on package of chocolate chips in the microwave following the instructions on the bag. Once the chocolate was creamy and smooth I dipped my berries in and let them harden on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. For the smaller berries I used a toothpick to pick them up and dip them. After all the berries were dipped I chilled them for about an hour before I packaged them up.

I thought it would be a cute idea to serve these in their own personal dishes so I found little white bowls. I wanted to find something lightly colored and  simple so the design wouldn't clash with the colorful berries.  Using a white bowl with the red and blue berries also makes this a fun patriotic party favor for fourth of July cook outs this summer. 




Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Grandma's Rhubarb Custard Pie



I mentioned in my last post that I lost a lot of the content on our blog unfortunately I lost a lot of the recipes with that. I was able to salvage a few of the posts but for the most part I will have to start new again. What better way to start new recipe sharing than with a recipe that has been passed down through generations. I think there is a lot of nostalgia that goes along with sharing recipes... thinking about the loved ones who prepared the meal, sitting down with people you love passing the dish around the table and of course remembering the dishes themselves that help serve these wonderful meals. Memories and recipes fit together like a scrapbook. 

The recipe I want to share was passed down from my husband's great grandmother. It was a favorite of his and now that she is gone it is a wonderful way to remember her. Every time I make this pie for him it takes him back to different points in his childhood spending time with his grandmother in northern Wisconsin. 

This is a good one now that it is rhubarb season and it's really easy to make.


Grandma's Rhubarb Custard Pie 

Ingredients:
  • 1 deep dish crust...either homemade or store bought depending on what works for you
  • 3 cups cut rhubarb (cut in 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp butter
Directions:
  • Combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and mix it with the rhubarb
  • pour the mixture in your pie crust
  • dot with butter
  • place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 50-60 min.



Enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Updates From the Homestead

 
For those of you who have been following Crooked Coop Farm's blog you may have noticed it has not only been a bit neglected the past few months but has also lost some of it's content. Well.... sorry my fault.....For those of you who are new to the blog welcome and  I will try not to let it happen again. :)
 
Being the ultra tech wavy person I am not I somehow managed to delete all of the photos on the blog my misunderstanding the "cloud" that held all of our pictures. Doing so left a large amount of our posts useless without the images they needed. I was able to find a few images from our Pinterest account rescuing a small amount of posts but pretty much we are starting over and moving on. Mistakes will happen right? Now let's move forward...
 
So here we go updates from the homestead from the past few months!
 
This summer is a big one for us pretty much the biggest we have has so far. We are tending to the largest garden we have ever had in hopes what we have planted will grow and we will have plenty of USDA certified organic produce to take to the farmer's markets. The image above is our youngest son playing in the garden before we began planting. It is a tad intimidating to stand in a garden that big prepared only with an idea and notes from gardening books we have read, but we are giving it a go and growing out first market garden. We will keep you posted as to where you can find our farm at markets (God willing), what produce we will have in season and also recipes that use our product. After all if you buy one of our delicious rutabaga this season it would be nice to know what to do with it.
 
 
 
There have been some more firsts on the farm this spring. We delivered our first lamb to our ewe Banana and successfully sheared our ram Wooly. We have sheared Wooly in the past but it wasn't as smooth of a process as it was this year. This time were able to get his coat off in one piece rather than in random chunks flying everywhere and causing a mess. We sheared him right on pasture which I think made things easier, and less of a job to clean up. After he was sheared we trimmed his hooves and gave him his shots. Wooly was a lot happier once he was cooled off.

 
 
Here is little lamb (yes that is his name not just a title) following his mother Banana (named by a 5 year old) It was a scary delivery for us because a few weeks prior our other ewe Cabbage (also named by a 5 year old) lost her twins during delivery. I will skip from sharing the details of her delivery but the tragic loss was a first for us causing a bit of anxiety when it came to delivering the second time. I couldn't believe how intense delivering an animal is. I have delivered three children of my own and I don't know which was more nerve wracking hers or mine... ok mine were but Banana's came as a close second.
  
 
Looking to find a bright side to loosing the lamb twins we were able to learn how to milk our sheep. It wasn't something that we continued but we did save some of her colostrum in the event of a farm emergency and we needed it for a different lamb. Thank goodness we didn't!
 
 
That wasn't our only loss this year... I am terribly sad to say we lost our alpaca chestnut. He was a weird animal to have I must admit. He didn't like a lot of attention or to be touched, he kinda minded his own business and kept to himself, but I think that is why I liked him to much. He was mellow I liked that, and will miss watching his weird self wander around the pasture. We had him separated from our ram Wooly but while we were away Wooly managed to break through Chestnut's fencing and rammed him. He was alive when we got home and I was able to get Wooly away but Chestnut died shortly after. We are learning that life and death are just nature on the farm.
 
 
But let us end on a positive note shall we? In the meantime while we are waiting for our crops to grow you can still find Crooked Coop Farm at the Oconomowoc Wisconsin Farmer's market every Saturday. I am set up there every week with my  pallet art and wood signs from 7 till noon and I love visitors so feel free to stop by and keep me company under my big white market tent. I will be at other events later this fall so if Saturday mornings don't work for you don't worry we will find something that does ;)

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