A Long Story Short.....



Our product website address has changed.  
Not by choice.  

When the CobbleHillFarmHandcrafted.com domain came up for renewal, Go Daddy upped the price by an enormous amount.  They are refusing to release the domain unless we pay their price.  I'm not willing to do so.  

Partly because it's outrageous and partly to show them the bullying tactic is not going to work.

So, our product website has changed to www.CobbleHillFarmHandcraftedSoap.com.
Additionally, I purchased www.CobbleHillFarmApothecary.com which will eventually be our online store.

It stinks because our original website address is on every single one of our products, our brand new flyers and the new order of business cards.

But, it will all work out - I'm sure of that.  :-)




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Easy Beef, Rice and Bean Burritos


These burritos are simple to make and absolutely full of flavor.  The meat is easily substituted with ground turkey, shredded cooked chicken or even tofu or meat substitute.

I think this makes more than 6, although I've left it at what the recipe states for servings.  If you don't need that many burritos, you can choose to half the recipe or, as I do, freeze the leftover for the next time.

It's an easy recipe to adjust - if you don't like cilantro, omit it.  If you don't want it so spicy, cut down {or out} the chipotle powder.  Easy peasy!


Easy Beef, Rice and Bean Burritos
Makes 6 large Burritos
Source:  Cooks Country

Rice:
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Beef and Bean Mix:
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed  {or 15 ounces cooked dried beans}
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
10 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
1 Tablespoon lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 {10-inch} flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 Tablespoons sour cream

To cook the rice:
If you have a rice cooker, add all to the cooker except cilantro and cook.  Stir in cilantro once rice is finished.
If you don't have a rice cooker, bring broth, rice and salt to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 10 minutes.  Add cilantro and fluff rice with fork.  Set aside.

For the beef and bean mixture:
Meanwhile, combine broth and half of the beans in a medium bowl.  Using a potato masher, coarsely mash the beans and broth.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook until just beginning to brown about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chile poder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add ground beef, breaking up pieces as it cooks, until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in mashed bean mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until nearly all liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Stir in reserved whole beans, lime juice and salt.  Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Putting it all together:
Lay tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel or dish towel.  Microwave until soft and pliable, 20-30 seconds.

Arrange tortillas on counter.  Divide rice, beef and bean mixture, and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese evenly among tortillas.  Dollop each with sour cream.  Fold sides over filling, fold bottom of tortilla over sides and filling and roll tightly.

Adjust oven rack 3 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Set each filled/wrapped tortilla on prepared sheet, seam side down.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over burritos and broil until cheese is melted and starting to brown - a couple of minutes.  Watch it closely to prevent burning.

Serve.




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend

Oliver
Cobble Hill Farm Handcrafted Soap

purple coneflower

blueberry-zucchini bread

corn and cukes growing together

happy cukes!

grilled steak dinner
freezer meals for dogs
Emerson not feeling well....

Well, if you've read my previous few weekend posts you'll know they have one thing in common.  Pretty nice weather for the weekend.  This weekend is no different!  It's been beautiful!!  With all the rain we received during the week, we were able to dry out nicely over the weekend.

If you follow us on Facebook you know it was mine and J's anniversary on Saturday.  17 years!  We spent it working at the farmer's market and then making soap.  :-)  Such is the life of a couple starting their own business!!  I did make a lovely dinner of grilled steak and pan-seared scallops with fresh veggies from the garden.

Today we are freezing corn and broccoli, mowing the lawn, making more soap, catching up the laundry and cleaning the house.  Other than that, it will be a relaxing day.

The garden continues to give us a plethora of fresh veggies.  This week we're harvesting beets, green beans, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, scallions, herbs, loads of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash, radish, and broccoli.  I'm planting more carrots this week that should get a good enough start to be fine during the winter and be ready in Spring around the time we harvest asparagus.  You may recall, I found out by accident that this works marvelously for us!  There's nothing like fresh sweet carrots in Spring!!

Emerson continues to struggle with Pancreatitis.  He typically has one episode per year.  That coupled with Oliver's stomach issues which also, thankfully, aren't too frequent, mean I have to make rice and chicken from time-to-time for them.  Emerson had an episode earlier in the week and then Oliver had tummy issues last night which meant the rice cooker was going and the chicken was boiling.  I make up enough for 5 or 6 servings and put it all together with some chicken broth, spoon it into a cupcake pan, pat it down and freeze it.  The frozen chicken/rice/broth discs then get put into a freezer-safe container and stored in the freezer until needed.  When I need to serve it I usually mix it with a bit of pumpkin puree, which we always have on hand either canned or frozen.  We are now stocked back up for the next few months!

I continue to receive numerous questions via email about our coop.  I had meant to get a new post up about a month ago, detailing our coop to help answer some of the questions.  That didn't happen, but, I'll try to get it up this week or next week.  In the meantime, if you have questions I am happy to answer them - it may take me a day or two to get to your email but I most certainly will.

On the menu this week:  Grilled Steak, Pan-Seared Scallops with Homefries and Steamed Fresh Veggies; Chicken Parm with Pasta and Roasted Summer Squash; Grilled Ham Steak with Scalloped Potatoes and Green Beans; Grilled Burgers with Potato Salad and Quick Marinated Cukes; Homemade Pizza and Grilled Wings with Salad; Grilled Sea Bass with Steamed Baby Red Potatoes and Fresh Veggie Stir Fry; Dirty Rice and Baked Zucchini.

Hoping you're having a wonderful weekend!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Amish Oatmeal


This has been a popular recipe for pinning so I thought I would bring it over from my previous cooking blog.

This is a favorite of ours from time-to-time, particularly on cool Fall mornings.  {not to mention the Coop Girls get extremely excited about receiving the leftovers!}  It smells incredible while it bakes - just like oatmeal cookies and is so easy to make!  


Amish Oatmeal 

3 c. quick-cooking oats
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar, not packed
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 13"x9" baking pan.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
Immediately scoop into bowls and top with warm milk and/or desired toppings.



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend + How Do You Juggle It All?

Amish Oatmeal
morning coffee

tomatoes

phlox

s'mores on a stick

scarlet runner green beans

cucumbers

basil
I hate to brag, but it was yet another beautiful weekend!  The temp's are more like the end of summer/beginning of fall and we are loving it!

The garden is blessing us with bounty despite the fact that it desperately needs to be weeded.  We are currently picking cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, lettuce, scallions, green beans, kohlrabi, and broccoli.  Corn is just about ready, eggplant will be another few weeks, and I have yet to see even a hint of the second set of green beans I planted.  My loofah plants {this is the first year planting them - thank you Daisy for the seeds!} are huge but missing loofah......I have no idea if they will make it in time or not.

Friday night I had a couple of desserts to make for my niece's wedding shower.  By the time we got home from running errands it was 8:30 so J kindly offered to help.  I put him in charge of making the S'mores On A Stick while I made Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes.  Everything was going great until he was just about finished.  We wanted to get the S'mores packed in their individual wraps that night and not save it for morning, so we decided to refrigerate the cookies.  I put the first tray in, walked to the counter to grab the second and CRASH!  The first tray was laying on the ground, cookie sheet side up, and there was chocolate everywhere.  I couldn't believe it.

We laughed and J said "so.....we make another batch?"  Yes indeed!  After a whole lot of cleaning {with 2 dogs watching and drooling just thinking about how yummy the floor and cupboards must taste} we got another batch done.  This time without crisis.

Saturday we spent traveling to and from Massachusetts for the shower.  It was a Jack-and-Jill shower so there was double the people but my sister-in-law and brother-in-law have a very large yard which allowed everyone to spread out.  It really was a wonderful day.

Today we ran errands, made soap, and got some things done around the house.  That being said, the garden has yet to be weeded, same with the flower beds, the house needs a good cleaning, the kitchen needs to be finished, the bathroom needs to be started, I have a file that is exploding with receipts that need to be entered into a spreadsheet....which brings me to my question.

How in the world do you juggle it all?

Some of you may recall I left my job last year.  Not because I was ready to, but because circumstances were such that it wasn't a place I could work any longer.  When I left my job I had also started our business - Cobble Hill Farm Handcrafted Soap {now Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary}.  In theory, we were going to start the business while I was still working and, a year or so later, the business would hopefully be up and running and I could leave.

Of course, things don't always work out as planned.

A very long story short, I have since returned to work.  Full time.  This is in addition to running a business.  Full time.  Why?  Because we want to grow the business, quicker than would allow if we were to rely simply on the money generated from the business, and we don't want to incur any debt to do it.  None.  Not even a penny.  So, we had one choice - I would return to work.  For how long?  I have no idea.  When our business picks up we'll have to re-evaluate.

It's very much like working 2 full-time jobs.  Some days I have no idea how I get it all done.  Other days, I wish I could get more done.  This is why things are a bit out of sorts for now.  I'm trying to get caught up on the product line while developing new products, write for the blog, create an online store, make everything from scratch, keep up with orders, etc. in my few hours each evening and during the weekends.  Here's what I do know:  those of you who are working moms and dads - I have no idea how you do it.  My goodness it's a lot to juggle!

I live by lists.  I have daily and weekly "to-do" lists plus goals for the week and month.  I visit them often and re-prioritize as needed.  It's exhausting but completely worth it.  I meal plan weekly or for 2 weeks now as opposed to monthly - it's easier to complete.  We currently have a farmer's market we sell at on Saturday's {until October} and are hoping to apply to a larger winter Sunday farmer's market.  Craft shows are about to kick into gear in the next month so we'll be doing Saturday's at craft shows and Sunday's {fingers crossed} at a farmer's market.

Most days things seem to work out.  Others, well, not so much.  Such was the day a week or so ago when J looked at me and asked me where I was hiding his socks.  Huh?  He had no socks.  Not even a single missing it's pair.  None.  One trip to the laundry basket and I discovered where they were "hiding".  How could it be that I hadn't washed white clothing all week???  Sigh......

So, I would love to hear tips from any of you.  How in the world do you juggle it all?

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend!!




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Homemade Dill Pickles For Your Pantry - No Canning Required!!


There are days when I really want to put up the plethora of veggies exploding in my garden but hauling out the canning supplies and heating up the house with the process of canning makes me decide otherwise.  Well, when I discovered this dill pickle recipe from Alana Chernila in her AWESOME book The Homemade Pantry, I was in love.  Dill pickles that needed no processing!

According to Alana, the heat from the vinegar mixture seals the jars and the high vinegar content is what preserves the pickles for up to 6 months.  That being said, you do need to use sterilized jars so, if you don't have a dishwasher {like me} then you'll need to boil your jars but they will not require processing after they are filled.


If you've never made pickles before, here's a few tips:

  • Soak Your Cukes.  Unless you picked your cucumbers right before processing them, they will improve with a little re-hydrating.  Soak them in ice water for an hour or more before processing.

  • Sterilize Your Jars.  If you have a dishwasher, you can wash them right before you make your pickles, leaving them in the heat of the dishwasher until you fill them.  If you don't have a dishwasher or prefer not to run it, gently boil your jars for 10 minutes, leaving them in the hot water until you fill them.
  • Sterilize Your Lids.  Bring water to boil in a small pan {or use the one your jars are in} and add your lids.  Keep them in the hot water right up until it's time to seal the jars.
  • Trim Your Cukes.  Cut off the blossom end of your cucumbers.  It is said to have an enzyme in it that will negatively effect your pickles - it causes them to soften.
  • Don't Use Hard Water.  If you happen to have hard water, no problem, just boil it for 15 minutes in a stainless steel pan.  Skim off the scum {pleasant, right?} and use.
  • Use Kirby Cucumbers.  Other types of cucumbers may turn very soft.

Quick Dill Pickles
Source:  The Homemade Pantry
(recipe is easily halved)
makes approximately 14 Quarts of pickles

Ingredients:
approx. 8 pounds small cucumbers
4 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar {or you can use all Distilled White Vinegar}
4 cups Distilled White Vinegar
10 1/2 cups Water {see note above}
1 cup Pickling Salt {found by canning supplies or in the spice aisle}
Fresh Dill {a sprig or flowering top for each jar}
14 cloves peeled garlic {one for each jar}
7 teaspoons {1/2 teaspoon per jar} peppercorns
If you would like to add mustard seeds, chilies, etc. you can do so

Sterilize your jars, lids and bands as noted above.

Wash the cukes under cold water.  If you'll be cutting your cucumbers, although they can be left whole, cut into spears or slices.


In a large enamel or stainless steel pot, bring the vinegar's, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.

As the vinegar mixture is heating up, pack the jars - putting 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns, and 1 sprig of dill or dill flower into each jar and then stuffing it full of cucumbers.  Pack them tight.

Once the vinegar mixture has come to a boil, carefully ladle it into each jar, leaving 1/2 headroom at the top of the jar.  Wipe of the rims and add the lids and bands.

Set aside, undisturbed, for 24 hours.  Check after 2 hours for any that did not seal and store in the refrigerator.  Allow 2 weeks curing time before using.

Store the pickles in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

**If you would like the pickles to last longer, or, you feel more comfortable processing them, process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes after packing and sealing them.**



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Sponsor Spotlight: Meet Caitlin From Belong With Wildflowers

Caitlin is the owner of the blog "Belong With Wildflowers".  Her blog is an amazing combination of stunning photos and soul-touching posts.  She has such an eloquent way with words.  I've never met her but I imagine she is a kind, positive, life-loving soul.  Caitlin takes her readers not only on a journey of the beautiful life she is making but also reflects on the life she has lived and lessons learned.

Here's a little more about Caitlin, in her own words.
*All photos are taken by Caitlin.*


How did you make the decision to start blogging?  Describe the type of blog you write.
Once I started graduate school, I was desperate for a creative outlet to help balance out all the academic pursuits. I started a blog about being an early 20-something chasing a career. My blog has slowly transformed over the past two years + I now run a simple living / green living blog as I pursue dreams of being an organic farmer. Belong With Wildflowers is a lifestyle blog that aims to inspire anyone in search of a simpler life; a free-spirited life that connects with nature, animals, and the beauty around us.


How do you come up with ideas for your posts?
I’m usually inspired by nature for all of my posts. Whether I’m creating a photography post of nature’s beauty, or I’m creating a living green post on how to garden + grow your own food, all of my posts relate back to wanting a simple life that’s connected to nature.



 Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Dwell in possibility” by Emily Dickinson. I adore this inspirational quote because in life, the sky’s the limit. Even if today you can only dream about something, tomorrow you can take steps forward to pursue it. This quote always reminds me to dwell in all the beautiful possibilities in life.


What inspires you?
My main sources of inspiration are nature and farmers. I have such a respect for people who work with their hands, make a positive difference in our environment daily, and show love for all things living – animals and plants included!


How do you keep yourself motivated to write blog posts and avoid burnout?
I try to not pressure myself with my blog. It’s all too easy to fall into the cycle of fixating on followers / page views, and feeling stressed about the content of your blog. When I start feeling burnt out from blogging, I take a step back and remind myself that it’s all for enjoyment. I also make sure to take weekends off from blogging and most social media – that “unplugged” time is so crucial to keep pumping out new inspiration for slow living.




What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a blog?
My number one piece of advice would be to follow your heart. Blogging can sometimes feel competitive because it can become number-focused. And when you blog and become part of a blogging community, comparison can sneak into your life. Always remember to follow your heart: share words and photography about topics that inspire you, don’t worry about so-and-so’s blog layout / number of followers / popularity, and make sure that you’re having fun along the way!


What are your visions for the future of your blog?
My vision for the future of my blog is to continue offering inspiration to anyone in search of a simpler, more deeply connected life. I also envision sharing more information and photography of day-to-day life once I have my farm started, along with sharing recipes and ideas of how to live off the land. Down the line, I would love for my blog to become the main writing space for my farm, to share stories and photography with all community members… local or online!


Thank you Caitlin!




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.