Sunday, January 30, 2011


This morning Travis & I made his family's take on the classic glazed donut.  These donuts are so delicious and sweet and fluffy and crispy and simple and addicting and delicious....oh wait, I said that already...did I mention that these donuts are delicious?!?!?!  We usually make 20 donuts and they are gone before we even have the chance to clean up the mess.  They are the perfect addition to a lazy Sunday morning and remind me of down-home country cookin'! 

I thought we'd share our secrets, so your family can be tempted to add a delectable donut or two to your waistline...

What you'll need:
Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (Pack of 10)- We suggest 2 packs...1 just isn't enough.
Oil to fry them in, my dear (We use peanut oil, but vegetable oil works too).

Glaze Ingredients
Powdered Sugar
Start out with some powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.  Whisk in milk until the consistency is that of a glaze (it'll be pretty runny).  Add a splash of vanilla...whisk it in...and SHABAM!  Who needs measurements?!?!?

*Travis wanted me to remind you to make your glaze and set up your dunking station before you begin frying the donuts.  Dunking while the donuts are still warm means you get to eat them while they are still warm and that's the only way to do it...period.  You won't want to make more than you'll eat that day, they aren't good keepers.

Open your biscuits and pop holes in the center with your finger.  No need to discard any dough, just press and shape it into the donut shape.

Drop them in the fryer (we use our dutch oven)...flip 'em around until they are golden brown.  We had our stove set at medium heat.  You know your oil (1/2-3/4" deep) is ready when bubbles form around a toothpick when you poke it in the center of the oil.  The oil should NOT be smoking.

Scoop 'em out and lay them on paper towel for a few seconds...

  Pick 'em up with a stick (I use a shish-ka-bob skewer) and dunk them in the sugary sweet glaze!

Set them on end while the glaze sets...

At this point, your donuts will start to disappear rapidly. 

Be sure to wash them down with some milk! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

How many times throughout your life have you heard/made reference to this question?  I came across an article at that offers an answer from scientists in England who claim to have solved the mystery. 

The Answer?  Drum roll please... THE CHICKEN! 
Researchers wrote in a recently published report that it all comes down to one protein - ovocledidin-17 - which helps in the formation of the egg's hard shell.  This essential ingredient in the formation of the egg can only be produced inside a chicken, scientists from universities in Sheffield and Warwick concluded.
I am so relieved.  I've always suspected it was the chicken, but I was just getting my information from God.
Genesis 1:21-22 
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth
And, if The Bible doesn't offer a good enough explanation for ya' ...maybe Sesame Street's Here Is Your Life (Carton of Eggs) will.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hello Pretty!

This is Pretty, one of our Australorps.  I love her temperament and her big beautiful eyes!  She's a great layer (large brown eggs) and she's not too feisty. Her sister, who we call Pretty's Sister (pathetic, I know), is shy and sweet.  Our Australorps have proven to be great picks for our backyard flock!

One of my favorite things about Pretty... The feathers atop her head flow together at the peak, kinda' like the greaser styles of the 50's.  Maybe I should have named her Sandra Dee or Rizzo?! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

How do they do that?!?!

Ever seen a hen lay an egg?  Here's a video that takes you up close and personal.  Kinda' resembles child birth...don't ya' think?!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eggs: To Wash or Not to Wash?

Most eggs that are purchased at the local grocery store come from large producers who wash & sanitize eggs before they go to market. Unfortunately, this process removes the natural protective bloom (a.k.a. cuticle) or covering that coats the egg just before it is laid. The bloom seals the pores of the eggshell and protects the inside from bacteria while reducing moisture loss from the egg. Some producers lightly coat the eggs with an edible mineral oil to mimic the natural bloom after the sanitization process, often giving the eggs a shiny appearance.

It's not possible for large production facilities to monitor the health and wellness of each and every hen, so they have to wash & sanitize the eggs. Buying eggs from a local producer often ensures that the natural bloom is still intact when the eggs go home with you.

Since I've always been one to trust God's ingenuity & I know the health of our hens, we only lightly rinse soiled Happy Hen eggs with warm water before packaging them. Oftentimes, the eggs are perfect straight out of the hen and require little to no rinsing which guards the integrity of the natural bloom. To support safe handling practices, you should rinse your farm fresh eggs just before use.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fresh Eggs: From Farm to Table

I'm often asked, How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator before they should be tossed?

Here's the official USDA guidelines for packaging eggs (click the link for additional USDA Egg Facts including a very helpful Egg Storage Chart).

Dating of Cartons
Egg processors typically print dates commonly called "Code Dates" on cartons for purposes of rotating stock or controlling inventory. "EXP," "Sell By," and "Best if Used Before" are examples of terminology used for code dating. Use of code dates on USDA graded eggs is optional; however, if they are used, certain rules must be followed.

If an expiration date is used, it must be printed in month/day format and preceded by the appropriate prefix. "EXP," "Sell By," and "Not to be sold after the date at the end of the carton" are examples of expiration dates. Expiration dates can be no more than 30 days from the day the eggs were packed into the carton.

Another type of code dating used indicates the recommended maximum length of time that the consumer can expect eggs to maintain their quality when stored under ideal conditions. Terminology such as "Use by", "Use before", "Best before" indicates a period that the eggs should be consumed before overall quality diminishes. Code dating using these terms may not exceed 45 days including the day the eggs were packed into the carton.

So, long story short, the eggs you buy at the grocery can be kept until they are 30-45 days passed the date they were packed into the carton. Farm fresh eggs that you purchase from local producers could be kept just as long; however, I recommend eating your Happy Hen eggs within two weeks from the date you pick them up. Keeping them longer would take the fresh out of Farm Fresh and it would just be plain silly (unless of course you plan to hard-boil them...then, the older the better if you'd like to be able to peel them)!

When you pick up eggs from us, the eggs will have been packed within 1-4 days of you scooping them up. We collect our eggs 2x/day and package them the same day. We also write the date the eggs were laid/packed on the carton.