Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Passing of a Legend

Big Daddy Roo, the famous morning show crooner who was said to have been enjoying his recent retirement, was found late last week lying outside his garden home, too weak to walk.  Sources say he was immediately transported to a critical care unit on the east coast where caretakers tirelessly worked around the clock for three days treating  him.  Causes for his swift decline are unknown at this point, though heat stroke seems to be a likely culprit.  Big Daddy Roo was surrounded by family when he passed away this morning.  He will be missed.  A small private funeral service is to be held for family and friends later today.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Bird in the Hand is Worth...

*Where is the Rooster Report, you ask? 
*What happened to  Big  Daddy Roo?
* Why aren't there new pictures of the baby chicks!?  
* What is going on with ( insert name of favorite chicken here)?

My schedule has been a bit hectic of late.  Who knew that returning to college would cause other projects to suddenly appear and take up previously plentiful amounts of time?   Below you will find one of the more enjoyable projects, although it does indeed, take up quite a bit of time.  :o)

 This Mille Fleur bantam chick has been named Calypso.   A Greek name meaning, 
" hidden or covered with a veil", it fits her well  as she is rarely happy, quiet, or sleeping unless being held in my hand while covered with a towel, shirt or my other hand.  I had thought at first that she may not like the bright light of the lightbulb being used for heat, but in this family of chicken stars, she might as well get used to it.  Though she will tolerate being placed back into the brooder to eat and drink and hang out with the other chick, if she catches a glimpse of me walking by she will began to loudly, and I do mean LOUDLY, demand that she be picked up and appropriately snuggled.

Hatched less than 24 hours apart, as a bantam, Calypso is only half the size of the other chick, a standard size Cochin cross.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Perfect, Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time

I love summer cook outs and picnics!   Every other weekend we participate in a cookout that features hot dogs as the main event.  I always bring deviled eggs and they are one of the first things gone.  I thought I would share the secret of easily peeled hard boiled eggs, every time.  I can not guarantee you will never again have a hard to peel egg, but I can promise they will be few and far in between.

           Let's get boiling!  When do you put your eggs in the water?    I wait until right before the water begins to boil and then set the eggs in gently, using a large spoon.  I set the  timer for 17 minutes to keep from over cooking, causing the yolks to get that greenish color on the outside. 

When I get down to the last 5 minutes of boiling, I fill a large bowl half way with ice, then add water until it is three-fourths of the way full.  Once the timer goes off, I spoon the eggs out of the boiling water and immediately submerge them in the bowl of ice water.  This does a couple of important things: 1- It stops the cooking process instantly.  And 2- it causes steam on the inside of the egg, making the membrane separate from the egg.   This is what makes them easy to peel!  I generally let them sit in the ice bath for 5-10 minutes before I start cracking and peeling.  I have even put them in the fridge and peeled them the next day and they were just as easy to peel.  This has been the easiest method I have found regardless of how fresh or not so fresh the eggs are.

Mmm Mmm Good!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Life

There it is!  The first sign of life!!  After 3 weeks of  carefully calibrating  temperature and humidity,  gently turning each egg  3 times a day, and a lot of patient watching,  we had a pip!  A pip is when the baby chick makes it's first hole in the egg as it prepares to break out.   Here, on the left side of the egg you can see where it started.   

 It was hard to stop pressing my face against the tiny window of the incubator so I could watch nature's drama unfold and enjoy the beginning of a new little life, but  my breath kept fogging up the plastic and I decided I should get a picture or two anyway.  This picture is the next phase called the "zip".  The chick makes a crack all the way around the egg so that it can emerge and hatch.  Between each stage the chick takes a break and rests.  It's hard work being born!

                                                                                     Success!!!  Happy Birthday Chick #1!!!!

                                                                                     And then, Almost 24 hours later............................ .Happy Birthday Chick #2!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are waiting to see if the other two eggs will hatch in the next 24 hours.  We will keep you updated!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Chicken Recipe

I experimented with a new chicken dish tonight and it was a huge hit!  So I thought I would share and hopefully your family will enjoy it as much as mine did. 

Chicken breast butterflied and pounded flat

First,  preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I started with a package of chicken breast, though you could use thighs too.  With a sharp knife I butterflied each breast and wrapped it in plastic wrap.   Then, I pounded them flat with a mallet, my favorite part!

Seasoned and covered!

  Once flattened, I seasoned with garlic, spicy cajun seasoning, and pepper.   Then, using  our favorite spaghetti sauce,  I spooned 3 tablespoons over each piece and broke up some Swiss cheese to scatter over the top.

Begin tightly rolling

Starting from smallest side, I tightly rolled it towards the bigger side.  The plastic wrap really helps keep it from coming apart. 

All rolled up and only one place to go!

Keep rolling until you get to the end.  If it tries to unroll on you, secure the ends with a couple of toothpicks.  You will take them out in a few minutes , but it's a great trick to use if you need to.

Just quickly browning, not cooking,

 In a hot pan, brown the sides.  This happens pretty quick, so be prepared to roll it  to keep the browning even.  If you used the toothpicks, they will help hold it together during this step.

Nice and browned, waiting for some sauce!

Once the breast are browned, place them in a casserole dish and  remove the toothpicks.  Then spoon some of your favorite spaghetti sauce over the top of each and place uncovered into a 350 degree  oven for an hour.

So Good, your tongue will slap you in the face trying to get to it!

Once I pulled the chicken out of the oven, I let it sit and rest while boiling my noodles and warming up the rest of the jar of spaghetti sauce. 

I hope you get a chance to try it, and if you do, drop me a line and let me know how it turned out!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July!!!!

           As one of the most looked forward to  high points
           of summer,  4th of July celebrations kicked off     
           everywhere this weekend. 
           Here was no different as dozens of friends 'flocked'
           together to enjoy good company and good food!  

Big Daddy Roo entertained the crowd with his humorous impression of " Running around like a chicken with it's head cut off" before joining in with the Orpington Twins singing The Egg Song.

Here are a few more pictures from the feasting....