Friday, April 8, 2011

They're here!

At 7 o'clock this morning, we got a phone call from our post office...Allen's chicks are here. Please come get them! The postmistress was good about posing for our photo. Even though this is Allen's third year raising chickens, this year he plans to document every inch of his chicken journey. Should be interesting!
We couldn't wait to open the box and see the new arrival. Fifty-one chicks...the last one is a tri-color experiment.
Here's the tricolor. The rest are regular broilers. No layers since most of us are allergic to chicken eggs.
We had to keep the chicks's temp is 46 that feels like 40 degrees. Too cold! It's been overcast, rainy and dreary. Right now it's pouring down rain.
Aren't they sweet? I just love them. Never get tired of them. The day we take them to the butcher is terrible for me.
Allen tried out his new, handmade, customized brooder in the garage.
He was hoping the two red heatlamps would keep them warm enough with the cover on.
The chicks need 90-95 degrees...impossible to do in the garage. But easy in the living room!
This past Thursday when I took Maggie to the chiropractor, I saw this sign next door. Maggie said there is a story behind this...evidently Sarah was anxious to try out the new restaurant she'd heard about called the Green Egg Grill. So she asked Maggie to run in and get a copy of the menu. The fact that the Green Egg is located in an office building was a clue to Maggie...but Sarah insisted it to be a restaurant. When Maggie walked in, it was indeed an office. Fortunately the secretary was on the phone. Maggie pointed to the brochure and said, "I just want one of these" and ran out. So, for you locals, the Green Egg Grill is NOT a restaurant!

I read a funny joke in the Reader's Digest magazine this month that we have been repeating: The daughter asked the mother for advice on how to tell if a plant is a weed or plant. The mother said, "Pull it out. If it comes back, it's a weed. If not, it was a plant." So funny!

If you like Sarah Lee's Coconut Layer Cake...then you will love this recipe. Sorry I am late in posting this. I sat down to type it last night...and saw how long it is...and I just didn't have the time to stay awake. But now I do.
Dairyfree Eggfree Coconut Layer Cake

3/4 cup cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
4 tbsp worth of ener-g egg replacer
1/4 cup water
4 tbsp yogurt (soy, coconut, goat, or ricemilk)
1 tsp coconut extract
2-1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted nondairy margarine(or goat butter) cut into 12 pieces and softened

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Line with parchment. Whisk cream of coconut, egg replacer, water, yogurt, and extract together.

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients with a whisk just until combined. Turn mixer to medium setting, and beat in softened butter, one tbsp at a time. Beat until mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute.

With the mixer still beating, slowly pour the cream of coconut milk into mixture. Beat until the batter is lighter and fluffy...about 1-1/2 minutes.

Scrape batter into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached...about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time.

Cook cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges of the cakes. Flip onto wire rack. Peel off parchment then flip cakes right side up. Cool completely before frosting, about 2 hours.

Coconut Frosting

Toast 2 cups shredded coconut (we used unsulphured unsweetened) in a 350 degree oven, stirring often until golden...about 10 minutes. Toasting the coconut is optional but adds a nutty flavor.

2 tbsp goat milk or other nondairy milk (rice, soy, oat, hemp)
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch table salt
16 tbsp unsalted margarine(or goat butter)cut into chunks and softened
1/4 cup cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups shredded coconut

In a small bowl, stir milk, extracts, and salt.

With mixer on medium high, beat the softened margarine (or goat butter) with the cream of coconut until smooth, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioner's sugar beating until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the cream mixture and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy...about 4 minutes.

Frost cake. Press the shredded coconut into the sides of the cake. Sprinkle some over top.

Enjoy! Serves 10-12.

Note: If you can find natural coconut extract, it does make a difference. Much better than artificially flavored extract...and not that much more expensive.

To make this cake with dairy...just substitute regular milk for the milk, and butter for the margarine. To make this cake with eggs...substitute 5 large egg whites plus one large egg for the egg replacer. (Be sure to use eggs that are room temp.)

Hope you enjoy making and eating this delicious cake. I had no idea how much butter was in this recipe. No wonder it is delicious!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

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