I have officially reached that point of winter where I am over braised meats, gravies, and heavy meals. I am craving simple, fresh, and delicious food, not to mention the quicker meals. Even though it is winter, with the help of produce I froze in the fall and what I can get from the grocery store I can get a little taste of summer in the dead of winter! One thing I love about stir fry is the versatility. There is no right or wrong way to make it. Use what you have on hand, or is in season. It's the perfect opportunity to change up the flavors while having the same dish. And the fact that you get to make it all in one pan is definitely an added bonus.
I love, love, love, LOVE this vinaigrette!!! It is super easy to make, holds up well in the fridge, and is versatile for a variety of dishes. I try to keep some on hand but it usually doesn't last long. Dressings are one of those things that are so easy to make, but people just don't seem to think to do. Store bought ones are packed full of unnecessary preservatives that you can avoid by making it yourself at a fraction of the price. I came across a variation of this recipe and have tweaked the quantities to my personal taste, and made some substitutions. I am a huge ginger fan, so I prefer it to be very gingery. You can always start with less and add more to your taste, but I think more is definitely the way to go in this particular recipe! Store it in a half pint mason jar in the fridge and make sure you give it a thorough shake before using it. Give it a try on salad, in a stir fry, or rice bowl. It has officially become my go-to!
Here we are beginning of January and I'm already dreaming about spring while planning the garden, fencing, and spring animals. This will be our first spring here at the new house, and true to form I have about a zillion plans that I'm itching to execute. It isn't as easy as rototilling some ground for a garden, or throwing up fencing for animals, as we have a lot of overgrowth. The previous owners of our 200+ year old house as well as the owners before them (dating back to 1967) did not maintain the property in terms of any kind of a lawn, or the fields, and who knows how long before that. What used to be pasture, lined with stone walls, is now new growth forest. Luckily for us, it is newer growth and although there are a lot of trees, they are smaller making them easier to clear. We don't even have much in terms of a "yard" as brush was allowed to grow and creep in, then take over. The area that I had pegged for my garden (as it was the only area that was clear-ish) ended up being partly used for the leech field for the new septic put in before closing. After moving in, we spent a lot of time pushing brush back away from the house, and started to reclaim some of the land. We also dropped trees close to the house for firewood for next winter. When you have that much overgrown and neglected land, every little spot that you open up makes a huge difference. With that being said, big plans are still underway and I look forward to the challenge ahead!
In mine and my husband's continuing effort to be more self-sufficient, less dependent on grocery stores, and have more control over what we eat, we started raising meat chickens this past spring. A free ranging meat bird would not have worked in our situation at the time; we were living in a rental house with limited land and close neighbors. Because of these constraints, I was led to the Cornish Cross for our choice to raise. They are a meat chicken that is bred to grow very quickly (8 weeks to slaughter) and do well in confinement. They will not even forage for food themselves even if given the opportunity over a commercial feed source, and are bred to have limited feathering on their chest which makes them easier to pluck. I received them as day old chicks at the end of May, and had them processed at the end of July right at the 8 week mark. There are some things that I learned about this breed in my very short time with them.
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