A Hunting We Will Go

DSCN8059aSpring has sprung, which means more time outside – yippee! I’m lovin’ it and my kids are too! And although there’s more than enough for them to get into outside, I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before I hear those dreaded words….Mom I’m bored!

No worries – because this time I’ve already got a lil’ something up my sleeve: A barnyard scavenger hunt – this is an easy way to add a little fun to an ordinary day. To change it up a bit, make it a photo scavenger hunt.

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Nowadays it seems like everything we own has some kind of camera on it, so you can have your kids use a digital camera or if you don’t have a digital camera handy, those disposable cameras would work too.

DSCN8062aI came up with 20 items you might find around the farm:

boots barn/shed

farm animal

bucket/pail flower pot

leaves

a muddy something rotten wood or log

stall/coop

tractor or other equipment

wind chimes

hay/straw

cowboy or trucker hat

animal poo (highly likely this will be their favorite find)

fence/gate

mossy rock

flag/banner

barn dog/ cat

shovel/rake/hoe

a farmer

Give each child a list of items and a camera to take a picture of each item they find during the hunt. If you want to make it a little more challenging set a time limit, the person with the most pics of items when the time is up wins. This can be a fun family activity, one you invite the neighbors over and divide up into teams or maybe even a birthday party idea. Just don’t forget PRIZES ! And remember you can come up with your own theme; Camping,  A-Z,  or the Mall (yikes did I just say that) I just picked barnyard because…. well, it involves a farm.🙂

When you’re plotting and planning your adventure make sure you keep in mind the ages of your group, some kiddos may need a little parental help. I hope this proves to be a great boredom buster for your family.

 

Have fun- stay safe & happy hunting.🙂 Amy


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Old Man Winter

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I’m not a fan of Winter, to put it mildly. I usually spend it grumbling and groaning about how cold I am, but today was different. Today, due to the cold and icy weather, I gained a new respect for the blustery, biting temps we’ve been experiencing. I realized because of this nasty weather I got to stay home and make biscuits & bacon with my boys, wander in the woods, and snuggle up in one of my grandmother’s quilts with a good read (One Thousand White Women). Cozy moments that would never had happened had it been warm and sunny.

Winter slows me down, which I don’t like, but need to embrace more. By being still and hunkering down at home, I remembered how much I enjoyed blogging and photography and how much I miss my partner in crime. Even though we are hundreds of miles apart we can still cut-up and connect through this blog and all things farmy.

So as I sit here in my pj’s with a cup of hot chocolate in-hand, I want to offer Old Man Winter a sincere apology.
– Amy

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Cookin’ with Rural Revolution…S’mores Cupcakes

My oldest daughter is a big fan of www.Bakerella.com and decided to use one of her recipes for a cupcake baking contest at her school.  She was excited to be a judge for the other 2 grade levels and got try over 40 different kinds of cupcakes! Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t win for her grade level, but happy to say that a recipe with BACON did, lol. Anyway, this is a really delicious recipe that she got here:

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I didn’t get pictures before this point, as I was at work and forgot to ask for pictures.  Memory’s shot.

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I can. not. believe. that I didn’t get a picture of the ganache (this may or may not have been because I was too busy trying it) !!  But at this point, you spoon over the ganache and add marshmallows and torch with a (kitchen) torch. Bakerella used 1 large marshmallow and didn’t torch it.

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S’more Cupcakes (straight from www.Bakerella.com)

Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil
6 jumbo marshmallows cut in half, plus more for decorating

(we used mini marshmallows on top)

Graham Cracker Crumb topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

Ganache
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together with a wire whisk.
Separate the mixture in half into two bowls.

Stir cocoa into one bowl and the graham cracker crumbs into the other.
Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup oil to the cocoa mixture and beat on medium until combined.
Repeat adding the same ingredients to the graham cracker crumb flour mixture.

Prepare the graham cracker crumb topping.
Add the brown sugar and crumbs in a small bowl and pour on the melted butter. Stir until combined.

Pour a little graham cracker cake batter into the bottom of your baking cups and then sprinkle the topping mixture lightly on the surface.
Place a marshmallow half on top and then cover the marshmallow with the chocolate cake batter until it is about 3/4 full.
Sprinkle with more topping mixture.

Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes. Place a cookie sheet underneath when you bake just in case. I had a little bit ooze over into the oven. Oops.

This recipe will make at least 12 cupcakes. I had a some batter from each left over so you can probably get more like 14-16.

Let cool and top with ganache.

Heat the butter and cream on the stove. Heat until just before it boils. Remove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Pour over cupcakes and add more marshmallows if you desire.

Enjoy!

Yum!

Carmen

No April Fools Joke – When Hogs Meet Bacon Scented Hog Wash Soap


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So I thought it would be an awesome idea to take pictures of our What’s Shakin’ Bacon scented Hog Wash Soap with what else…but some hogs.  My youngest was taking her horseback riding lesson across the road at the farm that just so happens to have hogs.  I decided to take some pictures (nonchalantly because for some reason I figured others would think I was crazy for taking pics of hogs and soap) of the soap by setting up a sweet lil’ vignette with basket, gingham, and soap. I just figured I’d take a pic as I called the pigs up to me to give them a treat (totally making it look like they are super interested in the soap (which they wouldn’t be, of course).

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So I set up the soap, grabbed the camera, called the pigs while shaking the treats, and what happened next is all a blur…

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All I remember is that they went all cray cray on that bacon scented soap and I jumped back and went running around the other side of the pen (of course with camera ready) and snapped a pic just as they were finishing up the last two of the 3 bars (total of 30 seconds).  I got outta the area as quickly (and nonchalantly) as possible and everyone there was none-the-wiser.

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But I figured those pigs were burpin’ and fartin’ bubbles for the next 24 hours🙂

Who’da thought hogs would have a taste for BACON SCENTED Hog Wash Soaps?! Not this girl!

True Story.

Carmen

The Chicken Chick

Gettin’ My Goat On

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It’s no secret that Carmen and I have been jonesin’ for goats for a while, so when I was at a friends house last fall and they showed me their goats, Chantal and Lucy (Nubians), needless to say I was smitten!
These two girls were sweet, smart and adorable to watch with the kids. You can tell they just want to be apart of things, they love attention! And I must admit I would have put Lucy in the back of my truck if I thought I could get away with it!
Just look at this face –
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I was told that Chantal was preggers and was due sometime at the end of January –yippee ! Now how to weasel my way in on this event – tee hee! Luckily I didn’t have to try too hard because the Goat Cam went up about a week before Chantal was due.
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Hooray for me! I could sit in the comfort of my own home and wait for the big event…and wait, and wait and wait! The suspense was killing me!  I would watch the Goat Cam and Chantal for any little sign that , that day was going to be THE DAY. In fact, I think my family started to get a little worried about me ( I don’t know maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Goat Cam joined us at the dinner table) oh, just kidding , kinda!
But the big day did finally arrive on a Sunday and when it did I set there in front of my computer, with coffee in hand for 2 1/2 hrs.
I loved being able to watch the faces of our friends as the time drew nearer- so exciting! Chantal finally gave birth to two kids, a buck and a doe. They were adorable from the get go.
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Lucky for me I didn’t have to wait long before I could get my hands on them. That very afternoon my sons and I got to pay them a visit. It was truly a very special experience for me and so thankful that my guys got to be a part of it, as well.
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The best part – I can run down the road  and play with them anytime, well as long as I don’t become too obsessed (past that point) and our friends don’t have to do some kind of intervention with me : )
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Next up : Llama and Donkey Cam-whoop whoop!
~ Amy

The Chicken Chick

{Bacon} Sweets for your Sweet – Cookin’ with Rural Revolution – Bacon Toffee Bark

BACON TOFFEE BARK

1 package of bacon

1.5 sticks real butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1.5 packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips

sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment or foil.  Add an even layer of pre-cooked bacon (you can cook it or buy pre-cooked) that’s been torn into bite sized pieces (the crispier, the better).

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Melt butter and then add brown sugar in a pan. Let boil for about 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Be careful not to let it burn.

When it’s “fluffy-ish”, it’s done.

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Pour toffee mixture over pan of bacon.

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Pop in the oven for 5 minutes.  Take out of the oven and add a bag and a half of chocolate chips.

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Pop in the oven for 5 more minutes.

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Take out of the oven and spread chocolate chips over entire pan.

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Add a generous amount of sea salt.

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Place in freezer for 30 minutes, take out and  break into small pieces with a butter knife.

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Perfect for gift-giving for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday because, who doesn’t love sweet and salty…and bacon?!

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 Enjoy!

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YUMMMMMMMM!

~Carmen

 

The Chicken Chick

Cookin’ with Rural Revolution – Chicken Enchilada Soup

The weather here in Virginia goes from 15 to 75 to 30 all within a few days…a lil’ crazy.  Here’s a good soup recipe for one of those chilly, sit by the fireplace with a blanket and a good book kind of nights:Image

Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 cans of chicken broth

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 cup picante sauce

1 can Rotel

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp chopped garlic

3 cups cooked shredded chicken

2 cans northern beans with juice

Mix together and cook (it’s especially easy in a crockpot).

Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese, and guacamole flavored tortilla chips

Back Road Ramblin’ – Two Frogs on a Bike

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I’m a lover of unique, quaint, different places. Places that have a personality and have a story to tell. So when I first moved to this area from Tennessee one of the first places I ran up on was a shop called Two Frogs on a Bike. I don’t know about you but the first thing that came to my mind was the Frog & Toad books of my childhood. My curiosity was peaked, I wanted to learn more !

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What I found was a small antique store located in a 112 year old building, which once was home to a general store. The owner, Bob Hollins is one of the nicest & most personable people you’ll ever meet. He’d be the first to tell you he enjoys shooting the breeze with his customers as much as he does selling the antiques. Before opening the shop, Bob worked at the telephone company for 29 yrs., but for the last 20 yrs. He’s been running Two Frogs on a Bike.

Bob said he would describe his store as a mix of primitives, country and handmade. The shop doesn’t have a huge inventory but what it does have is some unique pieces.  1930-1960 Glassware, early clocks, Fenton, vintage toys and much more !

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Of Course, I couldn’t leave without learning more about the name – Intially, Bob said the store was called Grandaddy’s Antiques but the two ladies that ran the store with him decided it needed a name change. One loved frogs the other loved bikes, and as they say, the rest is history !

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So the next time you’re in Hanover, Virginia stop by and say “hi” to Bob and if you have time, head across the street to the Houndstooth Café for a hot fudge brownie you won’t soon forget !

Two Frogs on a Bike is located at  13262 Hanover Courthouse Rd. Hanover Va  – I would recommend you call first, Bob does not keep to a 9-5 schedule

: )

(804) 537-5213

’til our next adventure,

~Amy