Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Glamour Goes Green: Vegan Dinner Los Angeles

Here's a link to a post I wrote about a fab Vegan "Pop Up" dinner we recently attend in Hollywood:

Glamour Goes Green: Vegan Dinner Los Angeles

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bel Air Chickens

Just seen on TMZ!

Jennifer Aniston is keeping chickens! Never thought I'd see something on TMZ that would be appropriate for my chicken blog, haha. :)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Cow

I recently discovered the Happy Cow website, which is an excellent resource for vegan and vegetarian recipes and restaurants. They posted a great vegan laksa recipe on their Facebook page, which I made tonight for dinner. I tried to stay as faithful to the recipe as possible, but did substitute broccoli for green beans since they are out of season and I already had broccoli in the fridge. I also couldn't find curry leaves at Whole Foods. They may have them, but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like hunting them down. I also used Fresno peppers as my "red" chili pepper.
The broth was really good - sort of a spicy curry that really complemented the tofu and rice noodles quite well. I think green beans are definitely the better choice for a vegetable, because they will give a little bit of crunch to dish, which felt a little mushy with the predominance of rice noodles and tofu. I loved the flavor of the broth and I think next time I will buy some pre-made garlic naan to go with it. 
Overall this is one of the better vegan recipes I've come across recently, and will definitely be making it again. To save time you could make the chili paste beforehand, but it really didn't take up too much extra time as you just throw all the ingredients into the blender. It is pretty spicy, so I recommend trying it out on yourself before subjecting dinner guests to it! The photo below is from the recipe page - my version wasn't quite so artfully arranged!
This dish will do backflips in your mouth!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Composted Horse Manure

Composted Horse Manure Pile on Side of House
Of all the things I imagined myself learning as a child, the nuances of horse manure wasn't on the list. While I LOVED horses and never minded their manure, I didn't picture myself taking it home with me one day. Life is funny like that....I actually wrote an article about the subject for eHow a few years ago.

This whole horse manure expertise began when we decided to start our garden. My husband did a ton of research and realized there was FINALLY something useful my horse could provide - manure. In exchange for the thousands of hours of time and countless dollars spent on said horse, I agreed to transport horse manure IN MY CAR from the barn in plastic tubs to our house to use for the garden.  (See a picture of said bounty in my previous post on this topic, Easter Poop.)

Well, it is now 2013 and I have a different car and a different horse boarding situation, making the acquisition of poop much more difficult than it was a few years ago. Enter Rototiller Guy. We used him to rip out our sod prior to turning our backyard into Chicken Paradise and he also provides manure delivery by the truckload to your house.

So we now have a lovely pile of composted horse manure on the side of our house. My husband is working to fill all of our beds with it, but it is a HUGE project. It took him several days to dig our trash barrels out. :) He is getting a great workout, though. Hopefully our garden will be extra verdant due to all his hard work!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homestead Revival: Urban Chicks

I thought my Eglu was something special, but I've discovered people out there who are much more creative and industrious than myself when it comes to the dwelling they provide their feathered friends!

Exhibit A is this Pinterest Board showcasing the many amazing coops Austin, Texas. At left is one of the unbelievably luxurious coops I discovered perusing this board.

A friend also forwarded me the link to an excellent blog called "Homestead Revival," which had an entry on urban chickens. Read on for more some amazing urban coops - Homestead Revival: Urban Chicks.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mother Cluckers

It has been a busy few weeks here at the urban farm. Luckily with more daylight hours the chickens have finally ramped up the egg production. Up until the end of this week we've only been getting one egg a day from our Leghorn chicken Marge. Imagine my surprise when I went to put the chickens away at the end of the day and discovered 4 eggs in the laying box! I guess Spring has officially arrived.

The better weather unfortunately ignited a wanderlust in the chickens, as they have been escaping their pen on a daily basis this week. Since wing clipping is a two person job, we had to wait until today to give everyone a little snip. The photo at top left is of our decimated kale plant! (Mother cluckers!)

The hardest part about wing clipping is the catching of the chickens. Luckily Mr. Mills volunteered to crawl in the cage and face off with the ladies, who started screeching and flapping their wings at the sight of him invading their home. Fortunately for us, once they are caught and turned upside down they are putty in our hands! 

Now that wing clipping is complete we have to start thinking about seedlings. We had good luck with squash, cucumbers, kale and chard last year, but completely failed at growing heirloom tomatoes. Hopefully we can fix that this year, and add to our kale bed since that is a popular juice and dinner vegetable.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Truly Evil Rooster - Craigslist Gem

Someone posted the link to this Craigslist ad on the Chronicle of the Horse and I thought it was hilarious! Love the closing line, "...Love does not always triumph over evil." (Please note...spelling is in context of the ad, not my errors.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Urban Chickens and Hawks

Just because your chickens live in a metropolis doesn't mean they are safe from predators! I knew we had possums and raccoons on our street, but I had no idea hawks would be swooping in, too.

I was reminded of this by my friends who live a few miles away from me, who recently had a hawk go INTO their chicken coop and attack and kill two of their chickens. (Photo at left is of this killer hawk sitting on their roof.)

I had a close call a few months back, when a hawk came down and tried to grab Marge, our White Leghorn. Luckily my husband was in the backyard and able to scare the hawk away, but Marge was still left was some horrible scratches on her neck from the hawk's talons.

I feel terrible for my friends, but I still am letting my chickens out to roam during the day. I think they would be way too unhappy confined in their coop, so I'm willing to take the risk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Engine 2 Diet

Happy New Year!

I've been going back and forth about this whole blogging thing. (Obviously I decided to stop for a while since I haven't posted anything since last April!)

On the one hand, I enjoy sharing my interests and passions and writing about them in an entertaining (I hope!) fashion. On the other hand, sometimes it seems weird to put out so much "personal" information on the internet. However, I think I may give it a go again. :)

You might remember last year my husband and I attempted to go vegetarian -  Simply Starving Everyday. I'm glad to report this has been moderately successful. Throughout the year we only cooked vegan/vegetarian at home during the week, but did occasionally get meaty on weekends. Since I'm the one that does all the cooking during the week, I actually appreciated the simplicity of cooking mainly vegan meals. I ditched the "Super Natural Every Day" recipes as they weren't all the great, and instead branched out on my own via finding recipes online.

My biggest revelation has been Quorn. As someone who actually likes the taste of meat, but doesn't want the fat and calories, these products have been a lifesaver. I'm particularly fond of their meatless meatballs. I swear I could serve these to dinner guests and they'd never know they weren't eating real meat! I just tried the "chicken" product they make and it is also delicious.

Another great tool is the Engine 2 Diet Cookbook. (More info on the website.)The recipes are easy, healthy and delicious. So far my two favorites have been Shepherd's Pie and Sloppy Joes, both of which I used Quorn "meat" crumbles in.

My husband has been extremely disciplined about this whole diet. We do still eat sushi once a week, but haven't had any meat since New Year's Eve. I'm a little bit more lax. I actually don't miss the meat, but I can't resist a little cheese, sour cream, chocolate or ice cream once in a while. :)