Thursday, June 19, 2014

RECIPE: Egg Drop Soup

This simple soup makes a great side dish or quick lunch.

2 c. Chicken Broth
2 eggs
1 small green onion,  chopped
1/8 tsp Corn Starch
Dash Ginger
Dash Black Pepper

Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth in a small sauce pan,  reserving 1/2 cup aside. Add green onion,  ginger and pepper to the pan. Bring broth to a boil. Whisk eggs together,  and using a fork,  drip eggs off fork into boiling broth. Eggs should cook almost immediately. Whisk the corn starch into the reserved broth and add to boiling soup. Stir frequently til soup returns to a boil and has thickened. Serve hot. Makes 2 servings,  can be doubled.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


This extremely simple and inexpensive dish was served many a lunchtime during summer vacation when I was a kid. It is sort of a "faux goulash".


2 c. Elbow Macaroni
3 c. V8 or Tomato Juice
2 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil noodles according to package. Drain and put noodles back in pan. Add butter and juice,  bring just to a boil or until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
*For added zing, you may add a splash of Worcestershire Sauce.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Saga of Specker...

When we purchased 3 little yellow chicks at Tractor Supply this past spring,  we were assured they were all "Amber Sex Link" pullets (young females) . After all, "sex link" chicks are always born one color or the other depending on gender, right? Well...

Specker is much larger than other hens of the same age and has a different color pattern.

For the first month, all 3 little fuzzy yellow chicks began to grow in white feathers and all looked identical, although one did have a noticeably more developed comb and a few more spots than the others. As one month turned into two, "Specker" (who was originally named "Cinnamon for the reddish spots) began to outgrow the other two and had much larger leg circumference than all the others! Her tail feathers were coming in completely different as well.

Specker's tail is downward curved and much fuller than the others'.

Well, we just figured she was maturing a little faster and thought nothing of it 'til... We heard crowing... Not a completely developed, wake the dead type typical crow, but a lower pitched scratchy sounding racket unlike any other song or call we've heard from our other adult hens. We thought "This is PROOF that Specker is a Rooster!". Well, after some researching, I discovered it IS possible for hens to crow, too! 

So, it was back to the drawing board. "Spurs!", it hit me. Surely Specker has to be a hen, there are no spurs! I lied. Upon closer inspection, there were 2 tiny, barely visable nubs on it's legs. MUST be a rooster! Right? Nope. There are cases of hens having developed tiny spurs, too... 

Specker is now about 14 weeks old. Back to square one again... We're more confused than ever concerning this chicken. Hen? Rooster? Who are you? Is it possible that sex linked chicks can be born the color of the opposite gender? I'll be sharing this around hoping for an answer from someone more experienced with this breed. If you happen to have any advice, or know of someone who can give us an answer, please share!

RECIPE: Carrie's Slammin' Salmon

This quick and easy recipe is a combination of several others from across the internet that I've tweaked to fit our own tastes. I recommend Wild Caught Salmon. It also worked out well with Flounder in the past.

*As always, seasonings are approximated. Start with a pinch and taste test 'til you're satisfied!


4 Wild Caught Salmon Fillets
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (Margarine NOT recommended)
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
Several Sprigs Fresh Dill and Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all ingredients except salmon in a baking dish. Bake the oil/butter mixture for appx. 7 minutes, or until the butter has melted. Place salmon fillets in baking dish, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until fish flakes with a fork. Serves 4.

*May also be grilled by sealing all ingredients together in a foil packet

Recommended Compliment: Grilled Potatoes

BONUS RECIPE: Simple Tartar Sauce

3 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Small Dill Pickle, Chopped
Thyme and Black Pepper to taste.

Simply combine ingredients in a small bowl and serve with your favorite fish. Bon appetite!

Monday, June 16, 2014

RECIPE: Grilled Potatoes

Potatoes are easy to grow,  and inexpensive to buy. They compliment practically any type of meat. Here's a quick and easy,  tried and true recipe we use often,  especially during the summer months as it's easily prepared on a grill as well as in the oven!


5-6 Potatoes, cubed (We use Red, but any will do!)
2-3 Green Onions, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced (or 1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder)
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Herbs to Taste: Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley (Fresh or Dried)
Chopped Veggies: Mushrooms, Celery, Carrots


Preheat oven to 400, or set grill to Med-Low heat.
Lay one end of an appx. 2' length of Aluminum Foil on a cookie sheet. Place potatoes and veggies in the middle of the foil. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and season with herbs, salt and pepper. Toss lightly.

Cover the potatoes with the loose end of the foil, and gently roll up the edges, forming a sealed packet around them. Place foil packet directly on grill grates, or on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for appx. 45 minutes or until tender, OR Grill for about 20 minutes and flip the packet over. Grill an additional 25 minutes or until tender. The steam escaping the packet will be HOT! Use caution when opening it!

Serve with Sour Cream, Ketchup, or BBQ Sauce. Serves 4 as a side dish. ENJOY!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brown or White Eggs? What's the Difference?

I've received a few questions lately regarding the difference between white eggs and brown eggs. Are brown more nutritious? Do white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs? What causes the difference in shell pigmentation? 

Firstly, there is absolutely no difference in the nutritional value of a brown egg vs. a white egg. The difference is nutritional value depends upon the hen's diet. Free-ranged birds eating bugs, seeds, and weeds will offer up the best eggs, followed by a hen only fed organic chicken feed, and lastly commercial hens who are kept in cages and only eat GMO by product-feed.

As to determining what color egg a hen will lay, look no further than.... her earlobe! Feather color has absolutely nothing to do with egg color, although breed does. A hen with a white earlobe will lay white eggs, and a chicken with red skinned earlobes will lay brown eggs. There are white hens who will lay brown eggs (such as a White Wyandotte)  and brown or red hens that will lay white eggs (such as a Red Leghorn).

Pigmentation is deposited on the egg while forming. Brown pigmentation is called ooporphyrin. In some cases, such as with our Ameraucana hens, there may even be a bluish to green to olive brown coloration. That pigmentation is known as oocyanin. There is no pigmentation deposited on white eggs.

As to why Americans generally associate brown eggs with small local farms and white eggs with factory outfits, I can only guess. In general, commercial outfits choose White Leghorns because they are compact, eat less, and are consistent producers of large white eggs. On the other hand, heritage breeds like Rhode Island Reds are hardy, cool weather tolerant, do not require much feed, and fairly steadily lay large to extra large brown eggs.

So, the next time you get that token white egg in your carton, don't feel slighted. There is absolutely no difference between them!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Welcome to our new Lil Raisin Acres Blog! Thanks for stopping by! We will be discussing a variety of "homesteading type" subjects like gardening, cooking from scratch, canning, dehydrating, animal husbandry, sewing, crafting, building, DIY, and lots more!

To learn more about us:

You can view archived articles I've written in the past at