Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brownie Mix and Brownies

This recipe for Brownie Mix comes from the Make-A-Mix cookbook by Eliason, Harward & Westover. I only make half a recipe at a time because we don't need to eat that many brownies! :)

Brownie Mix
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
1 8-ounce can unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well using a wire whisk. Store in an airtight container and use within 10 to 12 weeks. Makes about 15 cups of mix.

I have made a couple of changes to the brownie recipe included in the book. I add 1/4 cup of milk because we like a more cakelike brownie but try it both ways to see which you like better. I also add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter and omit any topping or frosting.

2-1/4 cups Brownie Mix
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Combine Brownie Mix, walnuts and chocolate chips in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine butter, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan.

 Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until edges separate from pan. Makes 16 brownies.

These brownies are so moist and rich with the addition of the chocolate chips that they don't need any frosting!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Arizona Sunset

We get some pretty spectacular sunsets here in the high desert! These pictures were taken out the front door a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maple Granola

This recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. I have been making it for several years but only started adding the dried fruit recently. I sent a batch to my MaryJanesFarm Farmgirl Friend Cathy and figured I should "do it up right" so I added the dried fruit and I like it even better now! The maple syrup and the coconut really make this granola special!

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use extra light olive oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil and vanilla.

Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola out in the pan.

Bake for 2 hours, stirring the mixture after 1 hour or so.

After 2 hours, remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Transfer the cooled granola to a large bowl and mix in the dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have been making this banana bread for many, many years. I actually received a third place ribbon for it at the 1992 Los Angeles County Fair! (Yeah, I'm getting old!) LOL!! The only change I have made recently is to use my Baking Mix in place of the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. The whole wheat flour adds a full-bodied flavor to this moist, cakelike banana bread. I'm sure I'm prejudiced but it is the best banana bread I have ever eaten! LOL!!
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1 cup Baking Mix
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (300 degrees for a glass pan). In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar, then mix in beaten eggs and banana, blending until smooth. Add Baking Mix, whole wheat flour and water, mix well. Stir in walnuts. Spoon batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until bread begins to pull away from sides of pan and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
I made jumbo muffins this time, the recipe makes 7 jumbo muffins. You can also make 3 small loaves of bread using 5-3/4 x 3-inch pans.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mule Deer

We are in the midst of a drought here in southeastern Arizona, that's why the fires have been so bad this year. The poor mule deer have virtually nothing to eat and have been coming around a lot more than usual. These girls are part of a group of about 15. You can't really tell from the pictures but the poor things ribs are showing! Jerry tried putting some hay out for them but we don't think they "get" the fact that it is food! These pictures were taken out the front door the other day, you can see how dry everything is.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese, Bacon and Chives

We had some leftover bacon from egg salad club sandwiches and I had some goat cheese to use up so this is what I came up with! These biscuits are made using my Baking Mix.

2 1/2 cups Baking Mix
1/4 cup cold butter cut into little pieces
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried chives
1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 pieces crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place Baking Mix mix in a bowl; cut butter into baking mix. I use my fingers, one less thing to wash! Stir in black pepper, dried chives, goat cheese and bacon. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk all at once. Stir together until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Dust the top with additional flour. Knead gently 8-10 times.

Pat dough to 3/4 to 1-inch thickness and cut out biscuits.

Gently push the dough back together and keep cutting out biscuits until all the dough has been used. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot with butter. Jerry's mom and I split this one! :)

Goat Girls

I love my goat girls! :) I always wanted chickens and dairy goats but I started with Boer goats because the lady at the feed store had a couple of baby girls for sale and Jerry bought them for me. What a guy! :) Next, one of Jerry's friends gave us 2 registered Alpine does (Nike and Tundra) and a young, unregistered Alpine buck (Pancho Villa). He had bought them to breed and sell to the 4-H kids but "stuff" came up and he could no longer keep them. He had the young buck in with the does but didn't think he had done his job! Well....the girls kept getting fatter and fatter and pretty soon there were baby goats on the ground! I didn't know how to milk a goat! Luckily, there was a nice lady down the road who let me come over to see her milking shed set up and showed me how to milk Nike. Also luckily, Nike was 8 and knew more about milking a goat than I did! LOL!!

Nike had 2 does that first year, Madeline and Sissy. I kept Nike and Madeline and sold all the other goats. It was just TOO MANY goats all at once! LOL!! The next year, Nike had 3 does and they all did well. I ended up selling all 3 of them to another of Jerry's friends for pets. The next year, I bred Madeline to a Toggenburg buck and she had 2 bucklings. Nike was actually still in milk from her set of triplets when I started milking Madeline. I always told Madeline "If you are half as good a milker as your mom I will be happy." Well, she is twice as good! LOL!!
Nike got to retire. The next year, I bred Madeline to a Nubian buck and she had a doe, Abigail, and a buckling, Brodie. I was SOOO happy to get a doe! I had been regretting getting rid of all 3 of Nike's little does.

 This past year, I bred Madeline to a different Nubian buck and she had 3 little bucklings. I just sold them last week. Abigail was SOOO jealous of the little boys, she was no longer Mama's baby! So, in 3 years, Madeline has had 7 babies and 6 have been bucks! I told her the other day "No more triplets and only little girls!" She just looked at me! LOL!! I am going to breed Abigail this fall (gotta try to find an Alpine, I like them better) and hopefully keep milking Madeline until Abby kids and I can start milking her. My plan is to alternate breeding and milking them because I hate to have to buy milk at the store! I sure hope Abigail is half as good a milker as her mom! :) It's kinda cool to have 3 generations!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zucchini Muffins

These muffins are made with my Baking Mix and help to use up even MORE zucchini! :) You can also use shredded, peeled apple in place of the zucchini. The Apple Pie spice really makes a difference, I put allspice and cardamom in mine. The dried lemon peel also takes these muffins from ho-hum to yum-yum! :)

Zucchini Muffins
2 cups Baking Mix
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie spice mix (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine Baking Mix, sugar, Apple Pie spice, dried lemon peel and walnuts; mix well. Stir in zucchini. In a separate bowl, combine milk, butter and egg; add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
Divide batter between 18 greased muffin tins or use paper liners.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes or until done. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely on a rack. Makes 18 muffins.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Calabacitas Casserole

Calabacitas means little squash, yet ANOTHER way to use up all that summer squash! I took two different recipes and combined them for this casserole. Sorry I don't have any pictures, we ate it all!

2 tablespoons oil, divided
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium yellow squash, diced
2 medium onions, chopped,
1 cup chopped roasted green chile
2 cups corn
1 cup shredded Montery Jack cheese (I used goat cheese) :)
Dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil, add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook over medium low heat until soft, about 15 minutes; transfer squash to a large bowl. In same skillet, heat remaining oil and cook onions until soft, 5 to 10 minutes; transfer onions to bowl with squash. Add green chile, corn and cheese to squash and onions and mix well. Transfer to greased casserole dish; sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly and top has browned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jerry and Paco

Jerry loves his horse Paco! He's had him since he was a yearling.
What a fella won't do for his favorite horse!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spreadable Butter

I used to buy a "buttery spread" but as I got more into reading labels, I figured the fewer ingredients the better and I switched to Land O' Lakes spreadable butter but it was kinda pricey! I got to thinking about it one day and figured I ought to be able to make my own so I started researching on the internet. The recipes I found all called for equal amounts of butter and oil and I used that ratio on my first batch but I wasn't real happy with the texture. Now, I use 2/3 to 3/4 the amount of oil to butter and I like it a lot better! I use extra light olive oil for the oil because that is what I have on hand for all my baking needs, I use the extra virgin for cooking. You can use any kind of oil you like. It is just too durn hot here in beautiful southeastern Arizona in the summertime to keep a stick of butter in the butter dish on the counter! Ha!

Spreadable Butter
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 to 3/4 cup oil
That's it! :)

Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. You could also use the blender but I HATE cleaning my blender and it only takes about one to two minutes to get it all combined with a whisk.

 Just keep whisking until it gets really smooth.

Pour into a bowl and store in the fridge! How easy was that! No longer any need to remember to take the butter out to soften before you want some toast AND we know exactly what we are eating!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Grow Your Own Sprouts

With all the recent news about the safety of store-bought sprouts, it's time we just grow them ourselves! It couldn't be easier and only takes a few days!

You will need a one-quart jar, a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band or a screw ring to hold the cheesecloth on. I use a combination of Mung bean, lentil, alfalfa, broccoli and radish seeds, enough to cover the bottom of the jar. There is no need to remove the cheesecloth to add water or drain, just run the water right through the cheesecloth. It is important to rinse and drain the seeds twice a day!

Day 1 PM:  Place seeds in jar, affix cheesecloth, rinse and drain the seeds, cover with water and let sit overnight.

Day 2 AM:  In the morning, drain water, rinse and drain seeds, roll jar around to distribute seeds evenly, cover and set aside.

Day 2 PM:  Rinse and drain seeds, roll jar around to distribute seeds evenly, cover and set aside. There will already be sproutage! :)
Day 3:  Rinse and drain the seeds in the morning and in the evening rolling the jar around to distribute the seeds evenly, cover and set aside. Watch them babies grow!

Day 4:  Rinse and drain the seeds in the morning and in the evening rolling the jar around to distribute the seeds evenly, cover and set aside. I'm always amazed at how fast they grow!
 Day 5:  Rinse and drain the seeds in the morning and in the evening rolling the jar around to distribute the seeds evenly, cover and set aside. Almost done!
Day 6:  Rinse and drain the seeds in the morning, looks like they are done to me! Expose sprouts to light for a few hours to green them up. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. If you don't use them all up in two to three days, rinse and drain well to keep them fresh and crisp.
Enjoy your homegrown sprouts on a salad or my favorite is a sandwich made with homemade multi-grain bread, homemade spreadable goat cheese, sprouts and a little salt and pepper! YUM!