Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Monday, March 25, 2013

Taking A Week Off

I'm going to be taking a week off from blogging and the computer. I have a couple of baby showers coming up and I need to get busy and get gifts finished! ;) I also want to work on some new signs for the Farmer's Market.
I will post pictures of completed baby gifts and catch up with everyone next week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 03/22/2013

1.  I love perennials and enjoy seeing them return every year. I picked up a six-pack of calendula plants last weekend and put them in my new flower bed interspersed with some gladiolus bulbs.
2.  The hollyhocks I planted last year are making a return.
3.  I planted one echinacea in this barrel almost seven years ago, it has multiplied and comes back every spring.
4.  I have two barrels of irises, these have been here for about five years now. I really, really need to thin them out, huh? ;)
5.  I gave my big wormwood plant to one of my friends a couple of weeks ago but found this little volunteer and decided to plant it in my new herb bed. They can get pretty big but are very pretty with their silvery foilage.
Linking up with Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pie*ography Thursday III

"Pie, pie, me oh my!" Who remembers the Pie Song sung by Andie MacDowell in the movie Michael? ;)

These portable pies were inspired by the lovely cookbook "The Homemade Pantry - 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making" by Alana Chernila. If you are interested in making more things from scratch, this book has a lot of good recipes.

I sell these yummy little pies at the Farmer's Market where people appreciate goodies that can be eaten without the use of utensils.

Toaster Tarts               **Click here to print this recipe**

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons cold water
Filling(s) of choice (I used homemade apple butter this time)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter. The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps. Sprinkle the apple cider vinegar and cold water over the dough and with your hands, mix it in until the dough holds together adding more water if necessary.
Divide dough in half. Roll one half of dough out to a 9 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut into six equal rectangles, 4 1/2 x 4 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet leaving at least two inches in between. Spoon at least a tablespoon of filling down the center of each rectangle. Roll out other half of dough and cut into six rectangles as above. Put the "tops" on and crimp all edges with a fork. Prick holes down the center of each tart. If desired, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
You could also drizzle with a powdered sugar icing when cool or simply dust with powdered sugar.

I really want to thank everyone for the tip about adding the apple cider vinegar, what a difference! You can see how incredibly flaky it makes the pastry!

Pie*ography isn't just a fun linky party, it is also a beautifully written and photographed book with
"42 Fabulous Recipes Inspired by 39 Extraordinary Women" by Jo Packham. I just had to have it and received my copy last week. What a treat!! Our hostess for Pie*ography Thursday, Anne Marie Klaske, did the food styling for the book and it is awesome, as is the stunning photography by Traci Thorson.

Linking up with Anne Marie for Pie*ography Thursday, as well as The Country Homemaker Hop, Rurality Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday, and What I Am Eating.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Muse - 03/19/2013

For me, today, it is some volunteer violas in the back yard. :)
What makes you smile today?
Joining Nancy for Tuesday Muse. (Edited with Nancy's Quiet texture Soft Light @ 80%, duplicate layer Soft Light @ 25%.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 03/15/2013

1.  I used to live in a gated townhouse community in a suburb of Los Angeles.

2.   I had a real good job as a first-line Manufacturing Engineering manager for a defense industry contractor.

3.  I had my nails done every two weeks.

4. I drove a little, red, two-seater MR2 sports car which I LOVED!

5.  I could never give up my life here on our little four-acre farm with it's views of the mountains, or the horses, goats, chickens, dog, cats and garden to go back to city living. :)

Linking up with Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Making Cheese - Fromage Blanc

This is my favorite cheese that I make with the goat's milk and it is just SO stinkin' easy and provides a pretty good yield! :)

I use a culture to make this Fromage Blanc. I used to make a goat milk Chevre using buttermilk and liquid vegetable rennet but using the Fromage Blanc culture gives a more consistent result. This cheese is also a little drier than the Chevre, which I like, it makes it easier to crumble. It can be used in any recipe calling for cream cheese or goat cheese.

All you have to do is heat one gallon of milk to 86 degrees F, stir in the packet of culture and let it sit overnight on the counter. In the morning, pour the curds into a piece of real cheesecloth (not the stuff from the grocery store) and hang to drain for 6 to 8 hours.

I then mix in 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and put it into a container in the fridge. If desired, you can also mix in some dill, garlic and chives, diced jalapenos, sun dried tomatoes, or anything else that would be found in "flavored" cream cheese. This cheese also freezes exceptionally well but freeze it without the extra add-ins and mix them in after thawing.

I buy my cheesemaking supplies from Caprine Supply but they are also available from New England Cheesemaking Supply.

This Fromage Blanc is really good stirred into pasta sauce to make it creamy, stuffed in celery, crumbled over a salad, spread on a cracker, or combined with some shredded cheddar to make a substitute for "processed cheese spread." More on that later! ;)

Linking up with The Country Homemaker Hop, Rurality Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

At least according to my Santa Rosa plum tree and the bees! :)

We are expecting temps in the mid 80s by the end of the week but there is still a chance of getting a freeze here through the end of April. Jerry went to the thrift store the other day and bought several old sheets that we can use to cover the fruit trees if a freeze is forecast. We haven't had any fruit the past two years because of late freezes and I really would like to get some this year, especially the plums and peaches! YUM!!

Linking up with Tuesday Muse and Texture Tuesday.

Edited with Nancy's Asian Influence texture @ Overlay 50%, Kim's kk_1612 texture @ Soft Light 50% and kk_1612 duplicate @ Multiply 50%. Border added in Pixlr.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 03/08/2013

1.  I like when Jerry buys me flowers to photograph. They had a bunch of 10 daffodils on sale for $1.99 at Safeway the other day. :)

2.  We are expecting a winter storm this afternoon and tomorrow.'s a winter storm for this area but nothing like what ya'll get back east!!

3.  Because of the forecast for cold, wind, rain and snow, I've decided not to go to the Farmer's Market tomorrow.

4.  I feel guilty when I don't go to the Farmer's Market, it's like calling in sick to work since this is my "job" and I feel like I'm letting my customers down.

5.  But, since I'm not going to the Farmer's Market tomorrow, I'll be meeting Marie in Tucson for lunch and some girl time. There, now I feel better! ;)

Joining Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pie*ography Thursday II

Anne Marie at Na-Da Farm Life has started Pie*ography Thursday, what a neat idea! :)

If I could be a pie, I would want to be a quiche. Making quiche defines my current philosophy towards cooking and baking...use what you have on hand and use as many homegrown or locally grown ingredients as possible. For this basic quiche, I used our farm fresh eggs, some spicy, pepper-jack style cheese made with our goat milk and some of the milk itself. The bacon is local and came from one of the vendors at the Farmer's Market. During the late fall and early winter, I can even get locally grown onions at the Farmer's Market. The beauty of quiche is that pretty much anything goes for the filling, meat or no meat, any type of cheese or even no cheese, and any vegetables you want to include.

I have always been more of a cookie and cake person and only recently started making pies. It's only been in the last year that I even started making my own pie crust! This pie crust recipe is my absolute favorite and comes from Ree Drummond's "The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Food From My Frontier." For a two-crust pie, double the ingredients.

Crust               **Click here to print this recipe**

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter. The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps. Sprinkle the cold water over the dough and with your hands, mix it in until the dough holds together. Roll out the dough two inches larger than your pie pan. Place dough in pie pan, crimp the edges and put it in the refrigerator while making the filling.


6 to 8 slices bacon, depending on size
1 1/2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups half & half (I use half goat milk and half heavy cream)
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Chop up the bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook in a heavy skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet, add the onions and cook over medium low heat until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Mix the eggs, half & half and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the bacon, onions and cheese, stir to combine. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell, cover lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. I put a pie shield on towards the end so the crust doesn't burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Serve warm or cold, either way is delicious!

So, what kind of pie are you?

Linking up with The Country Homemaker Hop, Farmgirl Friday, What I Am Eating and P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Windowsill Gardening

Our local Wally World has some beautiful, locally grown potted herbs available in the produce department. I resisted buying any for several months but I just couldn't take it anymore and picked up an oregano plant and a lovely basil plant. The basil was three times bigger than this when I bought it! I pruned it back and froze some using this method.

Since I spend so much time in the kitchen, I really enjoy having fresh herbs in the window over the sink. :)

Linking up with Nancy for Tuesday Muse.

Edited in PSE11 using Nancy's Candy texture (can't help it, love the name!) at Soft Light 75% and Multiply 50%. Border added in Pixlr.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Photo Art Friday - 03/01/2013

For Photo Art Friday this week, the optional prompt is Vintage. I took a picture of one of the girls out in the cow pasture and tried to give it a vintage photo look by using Bonnie's Vintage Vellum texture. Then, I couldn't decide if I liked the sepia or the B&W better so you get to see both. ;)
Below is the original, it's Jerry's favorite.

Also sharing with P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday and Weekly Top Shot.