This is my blog- I guess, my "Zoo". It's about animals, food, photography, art and my own life.

Friday, 30 September 2011

The Great Pumpkin Transformation part 1

ok, ok. The title is really cheesey, like a kid's book. It's the first non-monochromatic thing that came into my head! But pumpkins ARE cheesey (um...) !

Pumpkins are so magical. They can go from a big, pretty, bland, grainy fruit (vegetable??) to a luscious, rustic, rich and tasteful pie, not to mention their other 10000 uses- soup bowls, muffins, pumpkin leather, seeds, pancakes... shall I go on?
So, finally we got a pie-pumkin today for a bit over $1. YAY PUMPKIN! finally!

so picturesque. so fall. so pumpkiny.

So, first things' first: you hack that baby in half!



"No! Don't stab a knife thru me and scoop out my guts and then bake my flesh into a pie! I beg you!"
Not gonna work, Mr. Pumpkin! You're too delicious.
Once you chop him into half, you scoop his guts out (Save them for pumpkin seeds!!) 

Ever notice how a pumpkin has skin, meat, and guts?

Next, you chop it into 16th's, wrap them in tinfoil and bake for 2 hours at 350F.
Then you take it out, peel the pieces and puree them!

"Why are we making babyfood?"

Then, you do whatever you want with it! Pie, soup, muffins, cookies, squares, butters, babyfood, cupcakes petfood, whoopie pies and more- just stir it into your fave recipe!

Some Pumpkin Recipes:
soup: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/pumpkin-soup/detail.aspx
muffins: http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/10/promise-keeper-pumpkin-eater/
butters: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/fruits/r/pumpkinbutter.htm
whoopie pies: http://www.marthastewart.com/search/apachesolr_search/pumpkin%20whoopie
cookies: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chocolate-chip-pumpkin-cookies/detail.aspx
squares: http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2009/10/crunchy-pumpkin-squares.html
cupcakes: http://www.joyofbaking.com/cupcakes/PumpkinCupcakes.html
*best for last:* PIE: http://www.marthastewart.com/338540/pumpkin-pie

Now, go get 'yerself a punkin an' make 'yerself sumpin yummay!





Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chickens shows and apple cookies. A great combo.

Last weekend I went to a poultry show. From meters away, you could hear roosters and geese and smell dung. It was awesome!
Here are some of my favourite poultry from the show.


modern game, such loong legs!



pretty roo! 

 Archangel pigeon. Lovely colors, nice crest!
Another pigeon. Egyptian something, I think...

Everybody's favorite, the silkie! Nice afro. 

Check out this guy's wattle!  

This pretty orange roo was nearly as big as my dog. I'd guess 20 pounds and very loud! 

Nice, clean looking boy. The breed name is on the tip of my tongue!

This duck was incredible! Black with a wonderful sheen.

My mom was fascinated by the indian runner's upright body! 

This goose looked so bored. 

This duck had wonderful speckles. 

Looks very debonair, doesn't he?

Hissing! 

A cute lil canada goose. Looked kinda scared. 

Wattle! Looks like a beard, no? 

The only turkey. Right beside his cage were BBQ's... -.- 

Button Quail! So puny! 

Another pigeon. 

Archangel pigeon, once more.


^Dream barn!!^


Now, the apple cookies I made to use up the extra caramel sauce from the Cupcakes. They had the texture of a molasses cookie, and had nice apple chunks. Not bad! (recipe below.)

First Egg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, My little brother's friend was over looking at the chickens. He was asking, "when will they lay?" when he looked into the coop and said, "There's an egg in there right now!!" and I, assuming that it was just an extra-large gob of poop, double-checked. Sure enough, there was a large-sized egg in there! Holy Chicken Wings! There was actually an egg! So, this morning I cracked her open. Double yolker!! Good job, Frederica[?]! I wasn't expecting much of a difference, because we get free-range organic eggs from a local farm. This egg had a harder shell, a stiffer white and an incredibly rich yolk! So delicious!
So, without further a due, *da-da-dumm* the very first egg!


 I came out of a chicken's rear end. How appetizing.


Yes, VERY appetizing!!!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

I love Fall! +caramel apple cupcakes with toasted coconut

Autumn, Fall, September, Back-to school.... Whatever you call it, Fall is such an absolutely wonderful time of the year. The temperature is perfect, School just started so you aren't utterly bored, my birthday is in fall *ahem ahem*,  and it's just plain old beautiful! 

 A gawjus tree!


I love the misty mornings and crisp afternoons.

I love the rain, too.

So there you have it. It took me ages to figure it out, but fall is surely my favourite season!


Now, what you were really reading for: Caramel apple cupcakes with toasted coconut! My new favourite cupcake ever, and I have had some pretty freaking good cupcakes!

Apple cupcakes
~recipe by yours truly~
1/2c honey
1/2c brown sugar
1/4c butter
1 peeled & grated apple (or 1/2c apple sauce)
Mix above ingredients together until smooth.
Add:
1tbsp baking powder.
pinch salt
2c flour
1c milk
Mix until smooth, spoon into muffin tin (1dozen), bake 350 for 19 minutes. Let cool slightly.
During the baking process, the cupcakes will magically coordinate with your walls!

Incredible Caramel Glaze
~zoe newell~
Microwave on high for 33 seconds:
1/2c brown sugar
2TBSP butter
pinch salt, pinch instant coffee
3TBSP milk
wisk until smooth. Repeat until all ingredients are combined.
Add to this mixture:
1/2c icing sugar
enough milk for desired consistency.
Let cool. Eat copious amounts while nobody is looking because It is soooooooooooooooo delicious!

a gift from the heavens above.

While both of these are cooling, toast your coconut. 

The variation in the colors of the coconut reminded me of fall leaves!

Once all three components are ready, the magic happens. 
When you dip that cupcake in the caramel glaze, trumpets sound.
When you sprinkle that toasted coconut on top, Fireworks go off.
When you bite into that cupcake, the angels are singing in heaven.
Yes, It is THAT good.

 Stop your life and eat this cupcake! Nothing else truly matters. If you continue on your silly life, your taste-buds will be screaming our for this cupcake, waiting, begging for this culinary miracle. Eat it. NOW.


The moist, dense cupcake. The glossy, sweet caramel. The delicate, exotic coconut...
Why isn't this cupcake in your mouth yet?





Monday, 26 September 2011

Welcome to my blog!

I've been meaning to start a blog for a while. Here goes♥

I am me. I'm not going to go into a long descriptive description, because thru this blog you will get to know me.


I have an Aussie-dog who is crazy, brilliant and I love very dearly. Piper, who I am forever training.


I have four dorky chickens.(in order of appearance) "Edwina", the clever white Leghorn. "Stitch" the brown commercial mix dope with a big wattle and her sister, "Clover", who is like all the chickens combined in some ways. Then Frederica, the Motherly grump who is almost a Rhode Island Red.

Next is my very charming male Syrian hamster, Snoopy. Such a sweetheart.


Last, but not least are my fishy friends. I have a 16g paludarium with betta imbellis and a 20g community with tetras, harlequin rasboras a clown pleco and livebearers! I need more recent pics.