Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Ok, they aren't ducklings anymore but they are still adorable!  My husband finally agreed to let me get ducks about a month ago and I am finally getting around to posting a blog about it.  It has been a crazy busy month to say the least.  

Anywho, I now have 6 Khaki Campbell ducks living in my kitchen.  They are about done getting their feathers in so they will be moving outside as soon as I get their pen built.  

This particular breed of duck is especially useful for the happy homesteader.  The Khaki Campbell will lay upwards of 300 eggs a year, better than some breeds of chicken.  Duck eggs are a bit thicker and bigger than chicken eggs but taste just as delicious.  You can use duck eggs in all the same ways you would use a chicken egg but duck eggs make baked goods even fluffier!  The nutritional value is a bit different as well. 

Duck Eggs: 185 calories, 13g protein, 14g fat
Chicken Eggs: 147 calories, 12.5g protein, 10g fat

My ducks are not quite old enough to determine whether or not I have males or females but I am hoping for mostly females.  The easiest way to determine your ducks sex is by simply looking at them.  Many duck breeds have distinctly different coloring between males and females.  Another tell tale sign is their tail feathers.  Males will have a *sex feather* that curls up.  

Housing a small duck flock is rather simple.  I am using pallets and some cage fence to build my duck pen.  As often as possible they will be able to roam free so they can stretch their feathers, swim, and search for grubs/bugs.  For now they will have a small covered area to get out of the sun/rain when they want to but eventually I want to move the small shelter from my mini's pasture and use it for the ducks, but that is a future adventure that must follow a few other projects.  

My hope with these new additions to my little homestead is to introduce my little to the joys of duck eggs.  I have nothing against chicken eggs but I feel the duck is being unfairly pushed into the shadows.  I will use my duck eggs for personal consumption and offer the rest for sale along with my fruits, veggies, and various canned foods.  

If any of you would like more information on starting your own duck flock, or chickens, there is a great website that has kept me from too much anxiety in these early days.  Storey Publishing offers plenty of books on the subject as well and I have turned to them for ideas and assistance many times.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Honey Roasted Pork Loin

My local grocery store often has great deals where you buy a certain amount of meat and get so many items for free.  A while ago I purchased a 2.6 lb pork loin in one of these deals and was having a heck of a time deciding on how to prepare it.  I came across this recipe and absolutely loved it!

2lb pork loin
salt and pepper to season
1/4 cup honey
2tbs orange juice
2tbs olive oil
1/2tsp thyme
1/2cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375
Season pork loin and place in baking dish
In a small bowl combine honey, juice, oil, and thyme
Pour honey mixture over pork
Add broth to pan
Bake for approximately 60 minutes basting frequently.  Until internal temp of pork reaches at least 150 degrees.
Strain juices from baking dish into a sauce pan.
Reduce over medium/low heat to a syrup.  
Serve syrup over sliced pork.

My son is a crazy picky eater and he loved this pork.  It is perfect for a weekday dinner with some steamed veggies and mashed potatoes!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Creamy Meatball Bake

One can of your favorite red pasta sauce

One can of your favorite alfredo sauce

2 dozen meatballs

One pound of spaghetti

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine sauces and meatballs in a baking 
dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake until warm and bubbly.

While that is baking, prepare pasta according to the box.

Serve pasta, top with sauce mix, and enjoy!

A friend of mine made this for dinner while she was visiting and it was delicious!!  She made it with whole wheat pasta, which I was skeptical of, and everyone loved it.  Everyone except my son who rarely eats what is prepared for dinner.  I will definitely be trying it again and hopefully I can try with homemade sauces and meatballs. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Post Op

As some of y'all may remember, I had surgery on Monday.  Nothing major, fairly routine to be honest, but surgery none the less.  This was my first surgery EVER so I was extremely nervous.  Everything went fine and I am recovering nicely.

Now for the rough part... having/recovering from surgery with no help at home.  My mother was able to come down to take me to and from the hospital, but she had to get home as soon as I was back to my house.  My baby sister was supposed to come down to take my son to school but she canceled last minute so he got to miss school, for the first time, and hang out at the hospital with my mother.  So, after my surgery, I had to go back to my daily routine all by myself.  Let me tell you something, I survived.

I realize that it sounds like I am complaining but that is not the case.  I am merely trying to state that people can do more than they realize they are capable of.  When things need to get done, we will get them done.  We may move slower and utilize a few extra tools/equipment, but we can do it.

Either today or tomorrow, I have to mow the lawn.  How happy my incision will be after sitting through my entire lawn on the mower, I have no idea.  But I will tough it out because the lawn needs to get cut.  And many others would do the same, because the lawn needs to get cut even if we are not the most comfortable.