Total Pageviews

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Fun

This weekend my dad & Hobby (my stepmom) came to visit and it was fabulous!  We had a wonderful weekend full of bargain shopping, thrift store browsing, and family bonding.  We hit some major deals and it was great some quality time with my parents.  The HB even got to sneak away from work Friday afternoon and Saturday and was able to smoke a chicken and a fresh pork shoulder that dad brought up!  My favorite store Hobby and I hit up was a little antique store and we scored some awesome items.

We got this adorable relish tray and  1/4" Pyrex plate at Goodwille for super cheap.  The HB isn't a big pie eater so the small pie plate is perfect for a personal pie dish!  

Just a forewarning when you're deal shopping at stores like Goodwill:  Home good items are not always a great deal...canning jars in particular.  They were selling them at $.99 a piece which is not a deal because you can get a case of 12 brand new ones for under $10. 

A blue bird of happiness.  Hobby says every kitchen should have one.  I think it gives my kitchen a cute touch.  We got this at the cute little antique store.

This little gem was one of my favorites.  I've been obsessing over cast iron for a while and thought was absolutely adorable.  It's heavy duty and Hobby suggested it would be a perfect toothpick holder.  

"Watkins 1868"
 I'm assuming this was made on the printed date but if anyone has any information on this I would love to know more about it!

Earlier in the day we went to Target just to browse and picked up a flemsy plastic pastry blender.  Then we went to the antique store and came across this beauty!  It's pretty much one of the greatest inventions ever and I'm in love with it.  I love that it's old, it has history, and it was made in the USA!  Watch out pies, here I come!

Anybody know anything about these?  Year it was made maybe?

Hidden in the corner of this same antique store lay 4 unopened boxes.  Me being the nosey little gal I am opened the top one up and almost squealed in excitement.  There were 4 dozen quart size canning jars just waiting for a home to love them and I snagged them up! I paid a quarter a jar and I can't stop admiring them.  The front of the jars have MASON JAR stamped on the front with a star.  Any idea on what year these babies are?  I'm not thinking they are super old.

Hobby & Daddy brought me some canned goods that I was just ecstatic about!  To add to my stocked pantry she brought me a jar of blackbery jam, 2 jars of zipper cream peas, 1 jar of pinto beans, 3 jars of purple hull peas, a jar of venison spaghetti sauce, and a jar of vegetable beef soup.  

I am so lucky to have the family I have and love that I have grown so close with them.  Never take family for granted because they won't always be there and always cherish the moments you have with them.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Over 1000 Views!

Well y'all...

We've hit over 1000 likes!!!!!

As a thank you to all my readers I am going to do a giveaway with a variety of the items I've canned this year!

If you would like to enter this giveaway, leave a comment with your name and e-mail address and I'll have the HB randomly pick someone!

Thanks again y'all for visiting my blog!!

Photo Credit

Fried Chicken, Southern Style

I remember the very first time I cooked on a cast iron skillet it was nothing short of the most disastrous thing I'd ever done.  I had no clue how to cook and decided I would surprise my boyfriend at the time with Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper.  I should have stopped when the majority of the hamburger meat stuck to the skillet but I kept on going.  I don't remember it being edible and looking back now I see that the reason it probably didn't turn out was because the pan wasn't seasoned.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it)

My mom gave me my only cast iron skillet about 4 years ago and I've finally decided I'd really learn how to cook (more than cornbread) in my cast iron skillet.  After a chat with my step mom on how to cut up a chicken I thought, now I bet I could fry this up good in my cast iron skillet!

Let's get started on this chicken.

Start with soaking your pieces (skin on) in buttermilk overnight.  This will make the pieces tender and juicy.  
 2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon chili powder

Mix your coating together very well and roll chicken pieces in it.  Make sure to pat the coating into the chicken to ensure that it sticks well.

Heat enough oil (use whatever you like...I used my lard that I rendered) in the pan til it bubbles when you drop your flour in.  I only put about 1/2 an inch of oil in my skillet, some people like to put more, some less so just use your judgement as far as how you like to fry meat.  You'll also want to put a lid on your skillet when you fry your chicken.

I cooked each piece for abour 6 minutes on each side but I'll increase it to around 8 minutes on each side next time because it wasn't quite ready with 6 minutes.  Fried chicken is not something that you are going to perfect the first time you do it so don't feel bad if it doesn't turn out perfect.  It'll still be darn good tho! :)

I found this recipe on pinterest but adjusted it a little bit on here per our tastes.  Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cuttin' Up Whole Chickens

Today I bought 4 whole chickens for $.99/lb at Costco, bound and determined to get them cut up tonight.  After going to the store and paying $6.00 for 3 chicken breasts the other day I decided that was absurd when I can get an entire chicken for $.99/lb at Costco.  That $6 cut into my budget tremendously.  Between youtube videos and my stepmom walking through how to cut up a chicken, I think I've got it...sort of.  It may not be pretty but dangit it's done!

What you'll need:
whole chicken
sharp, sharp knife
cutting board

First thing you want to do is pull out all those gizzards and whatever else is in the cavity.  Lay the chicken on your cutting thigh side down.  

You'll see where the skin is loose all around the thigh and leg and you'll want to take your sharp knife and cut that skin away from the chicken. Once you've got your skin cut you'll find the joint on the thigh. Stab that sucker and jimmy the thigh off.  (I'm sorry that these aren't clearer, but directions aren't my strong suit)  Repeat and cut the other thigh off.  At this point you can find the joint that connects the thigh and leg and you can cut through there to make 2 seperate pieces.  (I left mine be.)

The next part I like to cut off is the wing.  The easiest part to do this is find the joint on the wing, cut through it and cut the wing off.  I like to cut the skin arounnd the wing like I did with thigh because it makes detaching easier. 

Wings, thighs, and legs off

Next you want to pull the back off.  Lift the back apart from the breasts and cut through as far as you can.  Once that's done, it's pretty simple to pull it off.  

This is what you should be left with once the back is off (2 breasts).  I toss the back in my bag of chicken parts to make broth with.  

Now, I don't have a picture of cutting the breasts because I really wasn't sure how to go about it.  I wanted boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I'll admit, it wasn't easy to pull those babies off without butchering them.  By golly I got it though! Practice makes perfect...Right?

Opposite side of what it should be BUT, breast side up jam your knife down the center and split those breasts.  You can either stop here or take it a step further...

by skinning them and making boneless & skinless chicken breasts.  

Pretty simple, huh?

How many of you will start buying whole chickens instead of forking out the big bucks for pre-cut boneless chicken breasts?

Note: It only took me 45 minutes to cut up all 4 chickens.  Now I'm no professional chicken cutter upper but I'd say that's pretty dang good!