Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Earlier this year, I found a great website with a lot of delicious homemade recipes at I made homemade pepperoni a couple of times and I made these granola bars for the second time in a week last night. All of us love them, and they are a healthy snack and/or "on the go" breakfast for Pete and Allison on the way to work/school. The original recipe comes from I will be checking her blog later today for more nutritious recipes.

As we sell local honey at our Farmers' Market stand, I will be making recipe cards later today to distribute with this recipe - in my own little way to help promote better food locally versus the commercially bought preservative-filled crap that fills our grocery aisles. If you make these, please leave me a comment. My first batch was made with a combination peanut butter/chocolate chips, and this most recent batch with just regular chocolate chips. Both are delicious!

(Photo courtesy of Tammy's recipes site)

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
4-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, and oats. Stir until well mixed (I use a mixer on low). Mixture will be soft, fluffy, and somewhat crumbly. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press mixture into a lightly-greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-22 minutes until edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and place dish on a wire rack to cool.

After bars have cooled for 10 minutes, use a smooth-bottomed measuring cup or glass to press the bars flat (I use an 8-oz jelly jar and roll it over the top in a criss-cross pattern). This will smoosh the bars down. Allow to finish cooling and then cut into the desired size (usually 12 to 18 bars) with a pizza cutter or thin sharp knife.

Store in a sealed container or bag at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for later use.


Sorry I have been so sluggish about blogging...

It has been a busy summer here at the farm! Pete and I have learned how to process our own poultry (we have done chickens and ducks thus far, and will be doing turkeys in a couple of weeks). In fact, we have a few we need to do tonight to take to the Farmers' Market on Saturday. We have really enjoyed it, and for those of you who do the same, I don't need to tell you the difference when you are enjoying a dinner of something you have grown/raised yourself - both taste and pride-wise. We have sold some chickens from the batch we did last weekend, and we already have Thanksgiving turkey orders. We will be trying our hands at making some homemade turkey sausages when we do our first batch of turkeys in a couple of weeks.

All in all, life is grand here on Nowacki Farms. Pete and I often sit out in our rocking chairs on the deck (which makes us sound like senior citizens!) and enjoy our time together taking in the splendor that surrounds us and being thankful for how fortunate we are to be living the lifestyle we have.

I hope you have a delightful day!
:o) jenn

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mama Duck

For the past three and a half to four weeks, we have been patiently waiting to see what happens with the clutch of eggs that one of our female Khaki Campbell ducks has decided to brood upon. Based on rough dates, I expected (or hoped) to have some hatches this weekend; the same time that our second incubator group is due to hatch.

We have never hatched eggs "naturally" before (in fact, Nemo was our first ever hatch three weeks ago) and we have been really excited to see nature takes its course. Mama duck has been very attentive to her eggs, coming out only briefly in the evening to eat, drink, swim, and socialize (boy, is she ever vocal when she comes out!).

Here's Mama Duck sitting on her brood

Yesterday, when Mama Duck went out for her break, I couldn't help but get a closer look at what was in the nest. There were 14 eggs in total. I decided to candle some to check progress. Many seemed to show good growth and progression, a few were dark-shelled and I couldn't really tell. I covered her nest up nicely and as I did, I heard a cheep from one of the eggs. I told Pete that we were probably see something in a day or two.

Returning from work this afternoon, I immediately opened the gates for all to free range and went to check on Mama Duck. She hissed at me (like she should!) and was very protective of her nest. I continued to hear cheeping and saw some movement behind her. Could it be? I decided to grab the camera with the telephoto lens so I could get a closer look without disturbing her too much and agitating her.

I think I see something under there!

Out emerges a little fuzzy butt

Rut roh, Mama Duck, I think Solo (our Campbell Drake) is going to need an explanation! Call the Maury Povich show!

Motherly love knows no species barriers.

Have a delightful evening!
:o) jenn

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Ducks and Daffodils (and a couple of chicks, too!)

We moved the four oldest chicks and the six ducklings out to the Taj Mah Coop over the weekend. I let them out for a little "exploration free ranging" yesterday afternoon. The older chickens and ducks really aren't at all interested in them, other than to raid the feeder. We have a small tub for them to bathe in, and one chick jumped right in with the ducks (identity crisis?). Here's some photos from their adventures.

Taking a drink out of the tub (this is after they jumped in it, of course!)

Exploring and checking out the area

Trying to get organized for their photo shoot

Leaving the shoot...

Being so cute makes us thirsty again!

Have a ducky day!
:o) jenn

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Photos of the Farm

Adam took awesome photos at our homestead while "farm sitting" last year when we were in Montreal. He keeps telling us that we need to go out of town so he can come stay again.

Photos of the Farm


Spring Fresh Sheets

One of my absolutely favourite indulgences is freshly line-dried sheets. I love the cool crispness that you feel when you crawl into bed. This morning I hung my first sheets of the season out on the clothes line. I am giddy with excitement for going to bed tomorrow night (sheets are changed on Mondays and Fridays here).

Sometimes it really is the little things that can give us the most pleasure!

Have a delightful day!
:o) jenn