Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

This past month we have had so much sickness at our house.  It keeps passing from one person to the next and rarely overlaps so at any given moment someone has been sick.  This chicken noodle soup is really quick and easy to throw together and it has a lot of flavor and none of the "yucky stuff" that my kids find appalling and saves me time.

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large pot then add 3 minced garlic cloves and saute for about a minute.

Add six cups of chicken broth or six cups of water with six teaspoons of chicken bouillon.
Add all the spices and the chicken.

Can you see the Oregano hiding behind the bay leaves?
My favorite tip for shredding chicken is to throw it in my mixer and turn it on with the paddle attachment.

Add the elbow noodles and the bay leaf, then bring it to a boil on high heat and then reduce heat. Simmer for twenty minutes.  Then sit down and enjoy!

 Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

3 TBSP butter
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp  dried basil
1/2 tsp  dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground marjoram
2 cups cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow noodles
1 bay leaf

In a large pot melt the butter then add the garlic and saute.  Add the chicken, the broth, the spices and the noodles.  Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 min.

Daisy Cottage Designs

Monday, April 29, 2013

Building the coop

There are so many options out there for chicken coops.  Many places sell plans that give you a cut list and tell you everything you need to know.  You can even buy coop kits or ones that are completely prefabricated and done.  I found a few coops that I liked and while they were quite beautiful they certainly came with crazy price tags.

I found this coop and thought that it would be something I could work with.  I have never built anything myself, or used power tools besides a drill.  I am always willing to learn new things so I decided to jump right into this project.  I have an uncle who makes beautiful cabinets and he loaned us all the tools and I have a brother who is great at figuring things out.

We headed to the hardware store and tried to determine everything that we needed.  Our plan was to follow the framing from the inspiration coop but to make it a little shorter.  Here is a list of some of the things we picked up:

A pre-cut board that was 4 feet by 4 feet for the base
A few 2 by 4's for the framing
Some 1 by 2's for framing the chicken run
A roll of 4 foot tall chicken wire
Hinges for the doors
Locks with combination for the doors
Two siding panels
Two metal roofing panels
Two plexi glass panels

We also had some wood lying around that we used for the legs under the base and to frame most of the chicken run.
The 4" by 4" posts were cut to the length of 2 feet and then the 2" by 4" boards were also cut to a length of 2 feet.  The roof was made with a small slope out of more 2" by 4"s and the middle is a 2" by 6".  We used 3" deck screws to screw it all together.

Now our girls have a cozy home with space to roam and I can reclaim our bathroom for the humans.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Chickens

This year I have decided to tackle a few of the projects that my husband and I have been talking about doing for years.  One of these goals has been to get chickens and raise them for their eggs.  We ordered our chicks from our local feed store as soon as we were able to.

Before we ordered our chickens I did a lot of research on which breed would fit our family.  I have four children that are still quite young and I wanted the chickens that we raised to be nice birds and not ones who might peck their toes or run from “a little gentle” holding.  I checked out about half a dozen books from the library, checked a few websites and we found our chicks.  We decided to go with a mixed flock with breeds that were gentle and ones that can handle cold winters.
These are the girls at about two weeks old.

We got:

Two black Silkie Bantams- we named Blackie and Sally- they lay peewee sized cream eggs
A Black Australorp-  named Aussie- she lays large brown eggs
A Dark Brahma- named Holly-she lays medium to large brown eggs
A Buff Orpington- named Kylie- she lays large to extra-large brown eggs
An Easter-Egger- named Bunny- she lays medium to large blue eggs

Baby Chicks under red light
Here are the chicks on the day we got them all snug under a red heat lamp.

We set up a brooder box in our bathroom in the bathtub because our garage was being used as a wood shop to tackle a few other projects.  We used peat moss for bedding and had a chick water fount and feeder that attached to mason jars.  We have enjoyed watching them grow, they are really funny girls.