Image to Oooh and Ahhhh Over

The first eggs from Crazy Chicken Lady, Carmen’s chickens! (left egg is from our Rhode Island Red and the right is from our Buff Rock)

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Cookin’ with Rural Revolution – Lemon Cream Cupcakes (that look like fried eggs)

Our 4-H spokesgirl made these for a cupcake bake-off competition at a chicken show and won 3rd place…these are the moistest cupcakes ever!

Lemon Cream Cupcakes

Makes 20

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 Tbs. lemon juice from 1 lemon

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. coarse salt

1 3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

4 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Lemon Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature. To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a medium round tip with pie filling.  Insert tip into top of each cupcake, and squeeze some filling below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more filling in a pool on top.  Filled cupcakes should be refrigerated.

We blog hopped this post on over to:

The Chicken Chick

The Cluckin’ Cottage – Carmen’s Chicken Story

My chicken story is a little more full of chicken drama than I’d like to have had. After wanting chickens for a couple of years, my youngest munchkin decided to raise chickens (hens), show them, and sell their eggs for her 4-H project.  So, we went to our first chicken sale at Gilmanor Farm.  We had no idea what we were doing and were overwhelmed with the many, many chickens for sale.  We came home with the 4 chickens above (all 4-5 weeks old).  After a few weeks, we lost beautiful little Lucy (she was smothered), which was devastating being our first chicken loss. At about 12 weeks, Maddie was up on our fence and went to snack on a bug…which actually ended up being a fishing hook attached to a fishing pole…nothing like going outside to the sound of a screaming chicken with a fishing line hanging out of it’s mouth.  We got it out without much of a problem, thankfully, although it was in the roof of her mouth.  At about 17 weeks, we heard the first cock-a-doodle doo which actually didn’t sound at all like what I thought it would…more like a pubescent boy/rusty hinges sound. This is when Matilda was changed to Matt.  Not long after, we found that Maddi was a boy, as well.  We kinda got used to the crowing (the neighbors did too) and decided we would keep them for a bit longer.  Well, then my youngest munchkin decided to get some 2 week old baby chicks.  We ended up with 7 Wyandottes…5 silverlaced (1 having a deformed beak) and 1 white.  Within 2 weeks, we had lost another chicken (white)…we think she was smothered, as well. So…we eventually found that 5 of the 6 Wyandottes were boys…yay.  For those of you bad at math, this leaves us with 2 hens and 7 roosters…and that just doesn’t work.  We decided to get rid of 5 roosters which was horrible…we sold them at the chicken show in September, to a farmer…and I can’t even go there because it makes me sad. And btw, I am not one that could eat my own chickens, just in case you haven’t gotten that yet. I understand the whole farming thing…just found it’s not for me.  I’m not a chicken farmer…just a lover of pet chickens. After we sold the 5 roosters, we were able to go into the sale and buy 3 more chickens (but this time they were full grown laying hens)! I SO love this sale…too bad it’s only twice a year!  Ok, so we are left with Darla the Rhode Island Red from the first batch, Fluffermuffin the white Wyandotte rooster, Mamie the silver laced Wyandotte, Ostrey (b/c he looks like an ostrich) the silverlaced Wyandotte rooster with the deformed beak, Lillian the Dominique, Opal the Buff Plymouth Rock, and Baby the Bantam Bearded Silkie/Barnyard Mix.

Whew…call me Chicken Crazy!

Here is my previous story about The Cluckin’ Cottage.

Here are more places that we’ve found good information on all things “chicken”,  in addition to the ones we posted here

The Chicken Fountain

JR’s Chicks & Stuff

Farm Chick Chit Chat

Keeping Chickens

Hamilton County Chickens

ChickenJunkie

Our Little Coop

~Crazy Chicken Lady, Carmen~

Matt- hated to get rid of this fella

Maddi- sad to get rid of this fella too

Darla

The baby Wyandottes at 2 weeks

The cute Wyandottes before we found out 5 were roosters and got rid of 3

Fluffermuffin and Mamie (with our 4-H spokesgirl 😉

Ostrey

Lillian

Baby

Opal

The Funky Chicken Coop – Amy’s Chicken Story

In the spring of this year our family decided to embark on the adventure known as raising chickens. So, in April we got started on our coop, The Funky Chicken, and we completed it just in time for the big local chicken sale, in May. A good friend had suggested that we start off with 3, and that’s exactly what we did ! First , a Buff Orpington, which soon came to be known as , Large Marge ; she does like to EAT. Next is Ruby Jane, a mild mannered Barred Rock who’s super sweet and very sassy! Even though she is the smallest of the 3, she definitely rules the roost! And last but certainly not least, is our Ameraucana, Roosie, who started off as Rosie until we found out she was a he, four months into it! Although we had our suspicions, it wasn’t affirmative until we heard that rebel rousing crow! Now we are knee deep in chicken poop and lovin’ every minute of it 🙂

Here are some of our go-to resources for all things “chicken”:

www.facebook.com/TheLazyChickenCoop

www.backyardchickens.com

www.facebook.com/Egg.Carton.Labels.by.ADozenGirlz

www.facebook.com/pages/Chelles-Fattoria/172494356194130

www.facebook.com/TalkingChickenScratch

www.facebook.com/thechickenwhisperer

~Crazy Chicken Lady, Amy~

Large MargeRoosieRuby Jane

Meet George

George is a 1966 Chevrolet that we discovered while roamin’ around one of our favorite farms. We love takin’ pictures here…cool barns, tons of old tools, and old farm equipment. This ol’ farm is where we’ve had many of our photos taken. So after we had made quite a few trips there and thought we had scoured the farm top to bottom, we spotted George.  He was just hangin’ out in the weeds behind the barns…just beggin’ for pics. We were told that George was bought specifically to be the farm truck and was a hard-worker until he finally gave out and parking him out back was cheaper than fixin’ him up.  Now wouldn’t he just make the perfect Hog Wash Soap truck?!  He’d be so much fun to deliver soap in!  A girl can dream…

{sigh}

Carmen

Cookin’ with Rural Revolution – End of Summer Watermelon Gazpacho

We don’t know about where you are, but we know that here in Virginia it’s still as hot as a firecracker on the Fourth of July! We were given this recipe by a friend recently and Carmen tried it and thought it was definitely blog-worthy, especially since it still feels like summer and this is the perfect hot weather soup!

            WATERMELON GAZPACHO

                                                                            2 cups chopped ripe red tomatoes

                                                                            1 small jalapeno, ribbed and seeds removed, coarsely chopped

                                                                            5 cups cubed fresh watermelon, divided

                                                                            1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar

                                                                            1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

                                                                             2 tablespoons minced red onion

                                                                             1 small cucumber peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

                                                                             2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus more for garnish

                                                                              kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

                                                                              1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

                                                                              Puree tomatoes, jalapeno, and 4 cups watermelon.

                                                                              Pour in sherry wine vinegar and olive oil; pulse.

                                                                              Add onion, cucumber, cilantro, salt, and pepper; puree.

                                                                              Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with feta, cilantro,

                                                                              and remaining watermelon cubes.

                                                                              Enjoy with a spoon or with tortilla chips!