Winner, Winner, Roast Chicken Dinner.

I’ve always loved this chicken recipe. I think I saw the idea in a Readers Digest and made my own off of that. It takes everything up a notch. It’s going to take a wee bit more effort because of mixing the glaze and stuffing but it’ll be worth it. I’d call this an important company worth dinner! Or in my case? A midweek mind blowingly delicious impress your husband dinner.

“Oh hey Honey, yeah I know I took care of the kids all day and did loads of things around the house and milked the cow when you got home from work, but yes, yes that amazing aroma is the chicken I prepped ahead of time and popped in the oven before having some one on one time with my main gal, Will. You can bow anytime you want. Kiss my feet even if you’d like”

Okay. So I would never say anything quite like that to Marius, mainly because he would just be like yuhuh okay. BUT. I did make the glaze and stuffing after lunch, then right before I went to milk, I pulled the chicken out of the fridge, dumped it in the dutch oven, poured the stuffing in, rubbed some glaze on and put ‘er in the oven. I felt pretty proud of myself, because when I am on it enough to prep dinner well ahead of time so at actual making dinner time there is very little to do? I get all chest puffed out proud of myself. Like yeah, I’m really that good. (Just don’t come over and see tomorrow’s dinner time, kk?)

There’s a problem with the photos though, and thats that at 6:30 pm in November, there is not ONE speck of daylight left. So I worked with what I had and you’ll just have to imagine I took much better photos.

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It looks pretty unassuming fresh out of the pot. Kinda like any regular ol’ chicken. It’s once you scoop out the sauce that’s made itself in the bottom of the pot that makes it soar.

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By scooping the date, rosemary and lemon out of the chicken, whisking it in the liquid at the bottom pot, you’ve just made your self the most amazing pan sauce for drizzling. Chives optional.

I used a small chicken for this, we usually have 5-8 pound chickens, (check out this post on what a large chicken breaks down into) but we tried a different breed and the hens were only 3 1/2-4 1/2 pound butchered. Still just as tasty, but not as big. Oh well! If I was using a larger chicken, I wouldn’t increase the amounts of stuffing or glaze, just cooking time.

Date and Rosemary Roast Chicken

3-4 lb whole chicken, thawed

Glaze:

1/4 c honey

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

3 tbsp dijon mustard

Stuffing:

1 c finely chopped dates (I used baking dates that come in a brick you have to chop up)

2 tbsp dry or 4 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Zest+Juice of 2 small lemons (I prefer organic especially when using zest!)

3 tbsp of the glaze

Whisk together glaze. Stir together stuffing. Put your chicken in a dutch oven or pan you can cover well with tinfoil. Pour/Stuff the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken. Rub 1/3 of the glaze over the chicken. Cover with oven safe lid or tented tinfoil. Bake at 375F for 20 min a pound. Glaze halfway through. Glaze when it reaches 170F, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Scoop the stuffing out of the cavity, take the chicken out and put it on a carving block. Whisk together the dates into the juices in the bottom of the pot, then pour into a dish. I use my 1 c pyrex glass measuring cup for easy pouring! Slice the roast chicken, and put the dish of sauce on the table for pouring! Enjoy!

Immune Boosting Spiced London Fog

I’m not a coffee person, never have been, never will.(Okay never say never, my biggest “I’ll never…” when pregnant with Mac was that we’ll never co-sleep. Cough, two babies/toddlers who co-slept later…) It’s just not my kryptonite. Yes, every now and again I’ll have a mocha if there is a bit left in the pot, but only if I’m desperate. Like after camping in a field (in a tent) with good friends. They don’t have kids, and lets just say getting the kids to bed, the baby crying in the night and how the 4 yr old acted the next day? Thats good birth control for y’all. To top it off, we got home and needed to seriously get things done. Thats when I asked Marius to whip me up a pot of coffee. He had a bit of as stunned bunny look, but I needed a serious kick in the pants to get going.

What’s always been my pleasure is Chai. MAN I love some chai. I even posted my chai syrup recipe here. I still enjoy chai, but when I can make myself a tasty spiced drink without having to go about all that mixing, boiling and yada yada yada? I’m in. Enter the Spiced London Fog. (Okay…it’s not the most authentic London Fog, but I had to give it a name and it’s similar…)

Spiced London Fog

I’m in love with essential oils. For a good reason, they’ve allowed us to replace many storebought items with cheaper, healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives. Some of my favourites that I’ve posted include oinkment, raw chocolate and lotion bars. After a while, my essential oil habit, while beneficial to our family, did cost a bit of money, because, well, quality costs. They’ve easily paid for themselves in lack of sick days for Marius, as well as speedier healing for Hand Foot and Mouth in my brother in law,but I had another option to make them cost little to free. I decided to sign up to be an IPC (Independant Product Consultant) with DoTERRA essential oils because I love them and I get crazy good bonus’ for being an IPC. (Free oils anyone?) I resisted on the blends to start off with because “I can make my own dang blends”. Then I discovered the On Guard blend and fell in love. It’s sweet, a bit spicy and so flavourful.

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All these oils are immensely immune boosting as well as having fall and winter written all over them.

*I am not a health care professional, please do your own research before taking essential oils internally*

So now all I do is make a London Fog, add in some honey and On Guard. Success! A tasty drink with little effort. Right up this busy Mama’s alley.

Spiced London Fog

1/2 c boiling water

1 black tea bag

1 c warm milk

1 tbsp raw honey

2-3 drops DoTERRA On Guard Essential oil Blend (find my webpage here.)

Pour boiling water over the tea bag in a mug. Top up with warm milk. Stir in raw honey, and On Guard essential oil blend. Drink and Enjoy!

I would love everyone to discover how Essential Oils can help their family because of how much they’ve helped us. I don’t care which brand you use, as long as it’s a high quality pure one, and if you have any questions, PLEASE feel free to ask me! I chose DoTERRA because I liked their quality as well as their compensation and bonus plan.

Saturday Q&A Post- Loin Cookery and Crockpotin’

I recently got asked a couple questions by readers and I asked if I could share here in case others have questions as well!

And since I think a post needs a photo…here are some neat ones I took of Mare one night before he skinned out the head to boil it (He boils and keeps ever rack. Like the one in the banner at the top of the page)

 

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I’d like to ask you what is your favorite way to cook a venison loin? My boyfriend and hid dad like it breaded and fried in oil. I don’t like it that way. -Kasey J. 

Hi Kasey!
Check out this post here,http://venisonfordinner.com/2013/09/07/hunters-wife-i-got-yo-back/ I’m not quite sure what the loin is…maybe thats what we call the backstrap? From the back, along the spine? I just googled it and I think thats it.

I don’t like to cut it into steaks, I like to leave it in a long ‘roast like’ cut. BBQ’ing or broiling is terrific! I find it’s best rare as well.

Here’s how I do it: Marinate your backstrap a few hours to overnight in one of the marinades listed in the link above, or any other yummy marinade/spice rub you like! For BBQ, preheat your BBQ, then take your backstrap out of the marinade, shaking off any excess and put it on the BBQ. On medium high heat I cook about 8 minutes on either side, then let it rest for 10 minutes. For Broiling, heat up your broiler on high, with a rack in the middle of the oven. When it’s good and hot, put a pan with your backstrap, in the oven for 8 minutes on either side. Let rest ten minutes. This will give you a backstrap that looks like the one in this Thyme for Wine Marinade. Still rare, but definitely not blue rare by any means. If thats really too much red for you, try cooking 9 or 10 minutes on either side.

Then it’s just a matter of how you want it sliced, I like it paper thin melt in my mouth whereas Marius like thick steak like slices. You also can’t go wrong with Montreal Steak Spice and a bit of oil rubbed on the meat, then cooking it as mentioned above. My personal favourite? A Teriyaki marinade, cooked rare, sliced paperthin, cold the next day YUM IN MY TUM.

You can also check out the archives for everything under venison with this link. http://venisonfordinner.com/category/venison/

Do you have any venison crock pot recipes?  -Roxanne M.

Hi Roxanne!
I don’t have any specifically crock pot recipes on the blog, but any chili, stew, pulled beef or drip beef can be swapped out for venison and put in the crockpot. Rarely do I find recipes actually for venison, I just end up finding beef ones and using venison instead.
Here are some I like!
You could skip the browning and just chuck everything in the crockpot for this Lucky Venison Stew. (sorry for the bad photo!)

Again, this is an old post back when I took horrible photos! But this Cornmeal Cocoa Chili is delicious despite the horrific photos…

Here is an amazing Pulled Beef that I just use venison for from The Elliott Homestead. When I made it for the first time, I made a 5 qt crock FULL and brought it to a big family dinner. Most people didn’t know who made it and kept asking who brought the pulled pork! It wasn’t gamey tasting at all which converted the ‘game haters’ and impressed the hunters that were there! We then ate it on Stecca Buns (Instead of making baguettes, just cut chunks and stretch them into ciabatta style buns) with a ginger coleslaw my sister made. That blew everyones minds as well. It’s a make again, well worth the long ingredient list.

And this Drip Beef from the Pioneer Woman has been made many times in our house with venison! It was the first time we’d ever had Drip Beef that wasn’t cooked roast beef style it’s way more serving friendly, but just as drippy tasty juicy. I suggest napkins be on hand, or outdoor eating!

 

 

So! Can you help these Ladies? Do you have anything else to add?

 

4 Reasons Why Playing Music Helps You and the Cow

farm fresh friday

I know, I know, I’m out to lunch, aren’t I? I started playing music while I milked the cow a couple months ago. I’ll admit, I’m a music junkie, I listen to music all day long. It’s the first thing I do when I get up, is turn on music! So it seemed like a natural progression. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were more benefits to this. 

1) It’s said that cows will produce more milk when you play music.

This Farm says that their cows produce upto a pint and a half of milk more when they play classical or love music. So I’m guessing that playing Quiet Riot’s C’mon Feel the Noise isn’t going to increase their yield, but Elvis’ Burning Love will. (Both of those are on the playlist I run through) True Story; our recessional song at our wedding was C’mon Feel the Noise. We’re cool like that. 

2) I believe that background noise makes them less sensitive to other noises.

No joke, the other day when I was milking, Hamish was in the bumbo 10 feet behind the cow, and 10 feet in front of the cow there was 3 tom turkeys in a pen. Hamish was screaming, and the turkeys thought they were being attacked and everytime he screamed they GOBBLEGOBBLEGOBBLE’d as loud as they could. The cow didn’t flinch. It’s not uncommon for Mac to come running up to where I milk and say “Hey MOM!”. When the cow is used to noise happening all the time, things like that don’t bother her. This is my personal experience, but I believe it has merit!

3) You have a beat to milk to. 

It’s nice to get in a rhythm with your squirt squirt squirt’n, and having a tune to go along to makes it kinda fun. Getting a rhythm going is part of what makes milking medatative for me, because your hands do the work and your brain disconnects from your hands a little bit. Don’t ask me to explain that further…you’d have to be a milker to know that one.

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4) You can practice your wicked singing voice. 

I know, I know, you all want to hear me sing (I’ll break windows…) but unfortunately my only audience is my family and the cow. She gets my best efforts too. They liked to be talked to but I don’t always know what to say. Which is quite a feat if you know me personally. So instead I sing 🙂

So there you go, 4 reasons, why I think playing music will help you and your cow. Maybe it’ll help your goat too!

Miscellany- November 6th

Popping in quick to ask you a couple questions as well as tell you a few things!

1) First and foremost,

The Miracle Baby is One year old today! Hurray for Hamish, we are so happy he’s happy, healthy and ONE! Everyone is always commenting on how much he smiles, because he is a cheerful baby. We had a fun little Halloween get together last weekend and celebrated his birthday then.

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2) What do you want to see on Venison for Dinner?

I asked it over on Facebook, but I’ll ask it here too. I’m working on a list of things to post about and I want your input! Do you have questions you want me to answer in a Q&A Post? Is there recipes of a genre you want more of? DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE PICTURES OF MY CUTE KIDS AND COW!? I thought so. I genuinely do want to know, so whether on Facebook, Instagram or in the comments here, tell me what you want to see.

3) Applesauce!

The apples I shared a picture of in the Bounty within the Homestead are currently being made into sauce. I don’t seem to have the oomph for applesauce making this year, but if I don’t, I’ll regret it as I really enjoy applesauce! Do you make applesauce?

4) I’ve felt so content…

I can’t explain it beyond feeling very content in my life. This is a wonderful feeling that I’ve never felt in this way before. I’ve always been happy, but we recently made some decisions that give an overall sense of peace and happiness in our life. Amidst a life that is crazy busy with two kids, a milking cow and many other projects on the go, this is a pretty neat thing to have. I encourage you to cut back, or try new things if you don’t feel you’re very content at this point. I know that could be a whole post on it’s own, but I guess I’m simply saying, I wasn’t happy with certain aspects in my life, we made some tough decisions, changed a couple things, and now I’m reaping the hard earned benefits of that.

5) Hunting season is in full swing!

Is there hunting going on where you are? Are you or your spouse hunting? A friend came by today to pick up a couple deer hides for tanning as well as the liver, kidneys and heart from the last deer (We don’t prefer them and were happy to share!) and when she looked in my freezer she said “Wow, you’re rich!” I knew she didn’t mean it in a ‘You’re very monetarily wealthy’ way, but in a WOW, look at this bounty you’ve socked away this season. And I realize we’re very blessed to have access to the produce and meat we do, but it also takes a lot of darn work. It’s worth it, but her saying that made me think that yes, that work is worth it, we may not be monetarily wealthy but we have a bounty of nourishing foods to eat!

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So tell me whats going on around your place?

3 recipes for Game Sausage Meat

I’ve been trying to post this forever. I even got out a package specifically for it…thawed it in the fridge, then got mastitis and Marius ended up cooking it. Since then, I haven’t cooked it in patties, if we’ve eaten it it’s been cooked crumbled up.

*Note, these recipes have not been tested stuffed in sausage casings, just frozen in 1 pound hunks for sausage patties or crumbled up sausage meat.*

I can’t tell you how many ways I like to use sausage meat. It’s like having really well seasoned ground venison around at all times! This is the first year I’ve made it, and no recipe sounded appealing enough for me. So I winged it. On 20-25 pound batches of meat. Boy was I brave and boy did they turn out well! You can make this with ground beef as well! Or any other game meat! I personally used a very lean venison.

Now lets talk fat, you need to have fat in sausage. No fat=Dry Sausage. Dry sausage=why bother. I got the idea from my sister to buy smoked pork jowls and grind them up (I have a meat grinder, I think you could do this in a food processor is small batches, partially frozen) into the meat. The flavour. OH THE FLAVOUR. If you can’t find smoked pork jowl, ask the butcher counter. If they can’t get it, try to get plain pork fat. It won’t have the smoked flavour, but it will still be wicked awesome.

A note about spices, we buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs. We love their quality, their price and that they’re organic! Can’t be beat.

All the ingredients have their place, so don’t omit willy nilly here! The wine/lemon/lime juice is the ‘acid’, it’s what makes the flavour pop. If you don’t like wine? Well, you wont taste it. If you’re family doesn’t use wine? You could use lemon juice, different flavour but will be equally tasty. I would add 1/2 the amount though. It also may seem like a lot of salt, but spread out it’s not much, and I guarentee you there is more salt in the packaged stuff! I used fresh lemons and limes, because you need the zest anyways. I prefer organic fruit when I’m using the peels, but I actually couldn’t get any this time. Oh well!

In lieu of a picture of the sausage, you’re getting one with me with a deer! I mean really, just picture some ground meat with flecks in it…you got it!

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Maple Fennel Game Sausage

This sausage has a hint of sweet and a hint of spice. If you reeeeally don’t like any spice at all (it’s subtle, but the 4 yr old doesn’t like it), lower amount to 1/2 or 1/3. I originally dubbed this the dinner sausage, then realized that a sweet sausage is nice with breakfast. It has flavour notes similar to a mild italian sausage. 

On the left is amounts for a 25 pound batch, the right is numbers for a 5 pound batch.

20 pounds lean venison~ 4 lb
 5 lb smoked jowl~ 1 lb (If using pork fat, use 2/3 this amount)
12 large garlic cloves~3
4 large onions~ 1 med
2/3 c (smoked) chile flakes~ 2 1/2 tbsp
1 c fine sea salt~ 3 tbsp+1 tsp
1 c whole fennel seeds~ 3 tbsp+1 tsp
60 turns fresh ground black pepper~ 12 turns
1 c red wine~3 tbsp+1 tsp
1/2 c maple syrup~ 1 tbsp+2 tsp
 
Cumin Lime Game Sausage
This one is ZESTY. Man it’s tasty. A little mexican tasting and perfect for tacos! We’ve also enjoyed it in rice and bean casseroles.
On the left is amounts for a 20 pound batch, the right is numbers for a 5 pound batch.
16 lbs lean venison~4 lbs
4 lbs smoked pork jowl~ 1 lb (if using pork fat, use 2/3 this amount)

4 tbsp zest lime~ 1 tbsp
1 c lime juice~ 1/4 c
4 large onions~ 1 onion
15 garlic cloves~ 4 clove
30 turns fresh ground black pepper~ 8 turns
1/2 c (smoked) chile flakes~ 2 tbsp
3/4 c find sea salt~ 3 tbsp
1 c whole cumin seeds~ 1/4 c
 
Lemon Rosemary Game Sausage
FRESH, is the biggest thing I have to say about this one. The really herby, slightly lemony taste is perfect for bright light flavours. 
3/4 c fresh lemon juice~ 3 tbsp
3 tbsp fresh lemon zest~ 2 tsp
16 lbs lean venison~ 4 lb
4 lbs smoked pork jowl~ 1 lb (if using pork fat, use 2/3 this amount)
3/4 c sea salt~ 3 tbsp
60 turns fresh ground black pepper~ 15 turns
1/4 c (smoked) chile flakes~ 1 tbsp
4 large onions~ 1 large onion
12 garlic cloves~ 3 cloves
4 c fresh rosemary leaves (1 1/3 c dry)~ 1 c fresh 1/3 c dry
 
The method is the same for all of them;
If you have a meat grinder: Run meat, then fat, then onions, garlic and dry spices (including fresh rosemary) through the grinder. Mix well, add in liquids. Let sit 30 minutes, taste test by frying a small patty, adjust as needed. Package in butcher paper, freezer bags or vacuum pack.
 
If you don’t have a meat grinder: Use pre ground meat. Use a food processor to finely chop partially frozen jowl to small uniform pieces. Then run onions and garlic through with dry spices(including fresh rosemary). Do in batches as needed for size of machine and batch. Stir in liquids. Let sit 30 minutes, taste test by frying a small patty, adjust as needed. Package in butcher paper, freezer bags or vacuum pack.
 
Now go forth and make sausage meat! It’s not just for the professional!

Farm Fresh Fridays- Bounty within the Homestead

farm fresh friday

The other day I was walking around outside at my Moms house. The boys were playing, My sister was there with her girls and I couldn’t help but take pictures and soak in the beauty of the day. I’m drawn to food, it’s who I am. Looking at the photos as I uploaded them, I couldn’t help but notice this huge bounty that could be had right at my Moms house.

Garlic grown in the garden. Mom was taking off excess paper to put it in the turkey brine. My Stepdad raised turkeys this year for the second time. We were blessed with a close to 35 pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner!

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I take it for granted that herbs grow outside year round, but it’s another blessing to have fresh rosemary available for my roast potatoes!

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Molly and I were learning about growing calendula, as we enjoy using it in salves. How silly of us that it was actually growing right under our noses at my Moms house! Must pick and dry that to infuse in olive oil!

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I have sentimental attachment to these flowers…they were planted for my wedding! I wanted Dahlias EVERYWHERE. Then it was a cold spring and they didn’t grow in time. Instead, when they come up every year we have a laugh about us trying to grow flowers for my wedding.

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My Mom saved her own pepper seeds last year and grew them from seeds! (Tomatoes too!) So fun to see the full circle that way.

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Ahhh…yes….GMO free eggs. I feel like a rogue egg eater having these in my possesion. I feel wealthy with a dozen of these.

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More of the lovely wedding Dinner Plate Dahlias.

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Here is an example of Curse becomes blessing. Triplets were born to a sheep this spring and Mom left them all on. Well, one just became a stunted runt, so we cooked it over a fire for a fun evening of fellowship with friends and family. We’ve since discussed taking off a triplet should it happen next year and raising it on cows milk since we have abundance of that!

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Apples! Waiting for sauce! I don’t know what I’d do if I had to buy applesauce…just doesn’t compare.

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This whole farming thing…we may never be rich…we may not sleep in due to cows…but we sure eat like Kings!

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Writing a post like this is therapeutic. How can I not look back on these photos, and feel uplifted?

What blessings do you see within your home or homestead?