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More Better Eggs

4 Mar

Living off the land was always my dream. I wanted to move to Colorado and live off the land. Hunt, fish, and gather. My ideal vacation would be a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail or in Colorado stalking bull Elk. Now I am not going to pass up a weekend at The Palms in Vegas or hanging with Sammy in Cabo.  Those vacations are just not high on my list.

What does this have to do with eggs? Eggs are a simple food you can produce right in your backyard. They are inexpensive and relativity low maintenance. Eggs can be your first step to living off the land. Go all natural go organic!!

My chicken coup is perfect for my family and I should have enough extra eggs to give away. Maybe I can barter eggs for some cane syrup or a bunch of collards. That would be cool!

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Four chickens can have a party in this coup. I like my chickens to be able to move around a little, stretch their wings. The back side has a large swing door I use to gather my eggs.  A little hay is all it takes to make a nice laying bin.

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My four chicks produce four eggs every day, well most days.  If a dozen eggs cost $2.50 at the store, then my four eggs pay me .84 cents a day.   Bam! Take that Jay-Z.  Who’s the biggest baller now!!

This is my main chick, Queen Latifah.  All my chicks are named after 80’s female rappers.  I have one pair I call Salt N Pepper.

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The best part is eating these delicious home grown eggs.   They look good too!

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We eat eggs on a regular basis, at least four days a week.  I generally cook eggs and a meat for breakfast.  Most of the time I cook a lean deer sausage with my eggs.  It’s healthy and fun to know I produced the eggs and make my own deer sausage.   The first thing you notice about fresh eggs is they have more yolk and less whites.  Store bought eggs have more whites and less yolk.  Or maybe the whites just seam more runny, almost water like.

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Do a little scramble action and add eggs to a pan on low-medium heat with a little PAM.  Still trying to keep it healthy.  Butter tastes better.

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Here is the low down on how to make really good scrambled eggs.  Before you scramble add pepper, a little salt, and dry minced onion.  I really like the added flavor of the dry minced onion.  Don’t over heat the pan!!  You don’t want the eggs to sound like you put a hot pan under cold water.  If you like dry over cooked eggs, go outside and punch yourself in the face!!

My Big Mama made the best eggs.  Actually she made the best breakfast.  She scrambled her eggs in the pan, best I can recall.  Her eggs were not all yellow but a mix of yellow and white.  She also moved her eggs from a the pan to a bowl to prevent over cooking.  Most of us just leave our eggs in the pan so they eventually over cook.

My favorite eggs are over easy.  But they are harder to make and I am not a good over easy  egg cook.  My wife’s dad makes a good over easy but the best over easy egg cook is Lee Level from Eutaw, AL.  He has mad over easy skills.

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I just realized this pic sucks.  You know what goes good with eggs?  Some left over ham.  This ham is a Knight family recipe.  My mother makes a great ham.  This is her recipe.  It will get it’s own blog post one day.

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So here is just a simple easy morning breakfast.  It may take me only 15 minutes to produce this master piece.  Who wants to send their kids off to school with a stomach full of Little Debbie cakes and Pop-Tarts.  That’s what’s wrong with kids today, they don’t get a good healthy start.

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So make the jump and start your own mini-eggs farm!

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Ed’s Shed – Mobile, AL

15 Feb

One thing I enjoy is mini-vacations. Just take a quick trip and recharge the batteries. Two days max is about my standard for a good vacation. No need to plan, get in the car and go!!

This past weekend my wife and I headed south to Mobile for Mardi Gras. Mobile is about 2.5 hours south of my house, so it’s perfect for a weekend trip. We left Saturday morning and came home Sunday. Extensive research went into where we would eat. My good friend Wes Cash went to school in Mobile so I gave him a call. He recommended Ed’s Shed for the best fried seafood in Mobile. You can’t go to the coast without getting your seafood fix!!

We woke early on Sat., headed south and made it to Ed’s Shed in time for lunch.
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The article I read while in the resturant said that Ed had learned to fry seafood from his mother. His mother was famous around the Mobile area for her fried seafood. Well after a successful business career, Ed fulfilled a life long dream of opening up a restaurant. He opened Ed’s Shed on the Causeway in Mobile, Al. Today he is sipping Mai Tai’s in Hawaii!! Well he may still be working his butt off, I did not see Ed on my trip. Either way he build on successful restaurant on great food and good service.

At Ed’s you can sit inside or out back on the deck.
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Inside was nice and warm, but we decided to sit outside. You can’t beat the view!!
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Remember we are up in the bay of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t expect white beaches. Our waiter promptly came and brought us some complementary cole-slaw and took our drink order. My rule on drinks, get water or get booze. We ordered water.
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Now I love cole-slaw, I like the mayo and vinegar based versions. This was a mayo version that was outstanding. Really great cole-slaw. We finished it off before we left. After scanning the menu my wife wanted to order the crab bisque. We ordered the crab bisque on a hunch, just that gut feeling. It tuned out to be the best dish of the weekend. Super creamy with tons of crab flavor! So far this is my favorite dish in Mobile.
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With it being lunch, you can get a good deal at a discounted rate. Gotta love a deal. I went with the fried combo of oysters and shrimp. My wife chose the fish tacos. You had the option to get your oysters soft fried or hard fried. I went soft because who wants their oysters overcooked? I chose hush-puppies and rice for my sides. You could chose fries but generally I hate fries. There is nothing more bland than fries. Nothing more greasy, salty, kick over dead than potato fries. Check out this combo meal!!
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The great thing about this meal was the shrimp was not overly battered. You could actually see the shrimp. Ed’s knows how to fry shrimp! Here is a little food porn for you.
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My wife chose the fish tacos. Why I do not know. I was doubting the fish tacos would be very good. Fish tacos were not a house specialty, no way Ed’s opened his doors with fish tacos on the menu. However, you can put mud in a taco and it’s good! According to my wife, the fish tacos were a hit! They could upgrade the Pace salsa but other than that, tacos were spot on. Beans were good too, and then did not give my wife the walkin farts.
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Overall I give Ed’s Shed an A. The food was great and the service was equally as good. My waiter even helped me with my Mardi Gras plans. A waitress/waiter’s job is more than just bringing you food and refilling drinks. Here is the kicker, total bill was $28 bucks. Bam!! That’s a deal! You can eat at the best restaurants on the cheap if you just go at lunch. Ed’s Shed is on my list of Mobile hotspots!!

http://www.edsshed.com/

Just 3 Miles Past the Battleship on the right
3382 Battleship Parkway
Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

(251) 625-1947

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Mini-Vacation Mobile, AL

8 Feb

One thing I enjoy is mini-vacations. Just take a quick trip and recharge the batteries. Two days max is about my standard for a good vacation. We left Sat. at 8am and made it back home Sun. at 2pm. Get in the car and go!!

This past weekend my wife and I headed south to Mobile for Mardi Gras. Mobile is about 2.5 hours south of my house, so it’s perfect for a weekend trip. We left Saturday morning and came home Sunday. Extensive research went into where we would eat. Here’s a quick overview of our trip. Check back later for more detailed reviews on these hot spots.

I need to give props to my favorite hotel. The Wingate by Wyndham is tops for value, cleanliness, and breakfast. We have stayed at a Wingate at least five times and we have always been impressed. Everyone we stayed at has been fairly new. Our total bill was $65 with tax. I get a discount with my Cattlemen’s membership. That’s with a full continental breakfast, not just Little Debbie cakes and coffee.

Give them a chance on your next mini-vacation. http://www.wingatehotels.com/

My good friend Wes went to school in Mobile so I gave him a call. He recommended Ed’s Shed for the best fried seafood in Mobile. You can’t go to the coast without getting your seafood fix!!

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On the way back to the hotel we drove threw some old Mobile neighborhoods. Most of the homes in these neighborhoods were built in the early 20th century. Good thing we took the scenic tour because we found this great ice cream shoppe.Then back to the hotel for a nap!

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We meet up with some friends and caught a cab and headed downtown. Mobile has Mardi Gras parades from January 12 until February 12th(FAT TUESDAY). We saw two parades back to back, Butterfly Maidens and Krewe of Marry Mates. Mobile has police everywhere, police cars, police on motorcycle, police on horses, police on Segways. The streets were clean and the parade was family friendly.

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Our next stop was Wintzell’s Oyster House. Wintzell’s is a historic eatery in Mobile, been there since 1938. They have started to franchisee in the past several years and they have a couple spots throughout Alabama.

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We hit a couple night spots before catching a cab back to the hotel. Cabbies are always cool to talk too. Our driver had been driving for the same cab company in Mobile for 18 years.

Now the Wingate has a great continental breakfast, you just have to get up early enough to make it. What I really wanted to do was hit Bates House of Turkey in Greenville. Bates actually raises their own turkeys!

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This was a great trip and it was a budget trip. The hotel was $65 and the most expensive ticket was at Ed’s Shed $28 bucks with an appetizer!

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Sushi Cafe

30 Jan

Yeah, deer season was over for me this past Saturday! It’s officially suck up time for me. My wife has been a supportive wife while I have been gone most weekends for the past three months. Sometimes I have no idea how any woman could be married to me.

This is what I told my wife right before we were married:

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.”

Then Ryan Gosling, aka Noah, goes off and uses my quote in the blockbuster hit “The Notebook”. I wold call Johnie Cochran but he’s dead. You can’t use my words Noah.

Here is my number one rule for date night with my wife, let her pick the restaurant. I am so thankful my wife picked Sushi Cafe, it was great!!

Sushi Cafe is owned by Daniel, last name unknown, but I expect him to be famous in Montgomery and only need one name. Hey, the Ninja Turtles all had one name. We first meet Daniel at Miyako’s where he was a sushi chef there for some time. It caught my eye that he had his own creations on the menu, named the Daniel Roll. He always seemed focused and took great pride in his art.
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The whole thumbs up really bothers me in this picture and the quality is just not good. I have way more hair that you can’t see because of the bad lighting.

When you walk in the place is clean, fresh, and welcoming. It really makes you want to throw a couple “Chinese Stars”, or shoot someone with some poisons blow darts. Which means the decor is spot on, a real Japanese feel to it.

A couple months ago we ate here and I ordered a quail egg. I thought it was going to be scrambled or something. It’s just not my favorite. Pretty but not to my liking. Now I don’t like carrot raisin salad either but that’s another story.
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As usual we sat at the Sushi bar and as usual we were alone. It was late but still a good crowd. This is an open invitation to invite more folks to sit at the sushi bar, have conversation with the chefs. They enjoy the one-on-one and I feel like I get better service. We know who is setting in the back ordering California rolls and telling everyone on Facebook you ate sushi last night. We see you. haha
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Our waiter was fantastic, very polite and helpful. I generally ask a lot of questions so I can get intel for my blog but mainly because I am just curious. Miller Lite for me and some white wine for my wife. Our appetizer was Miso soup for me and a side salad with ginger dressing for my wife.
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I have a bottle of Japanese ginger dressing in my fridge, always. TONTON Ginger is a great dressing, you can get it at CostCo.
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Now my wife is on this CrossFit Paleo kick so her menu options are limited. We scanned the menu looking for options we thought we would like. One option we did not get but it’s really good is Daniel’s signature roll. If you like the big fancy roles you should give it a try.
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Another roll that’s great is the Black Pepper Tuna Roll.
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My wife chose the Avocado Sunrise. Now my wife is Mexican/Hispanic so she knows her Avocado, we both grew up eating a ton of avocados. These avocados must have been flown in over night because they were perfectly ripe. Which is hard to do with avocados. The tuna was firm and flavorful. A nice surprise was the bed of shaved Daikon radish under each avocado. It was crisp and juicy, slightly peppery.
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Nigiri sushi is what I prefer. Nigiri sushi is a type of Japanese dish made with sushi rice and fresh fish. The sushi rice is hand formed into a small clump, and the fish is sliced and pressed on top of it. But I do order a roll of some type from time to time. Right now I am a big yellow-tail fan. The yellow-tail from Sushi Cafe was firm, clean, fresh, and slightly sweet. Some of the best yellow-tail I have eaten. You know it’s good when you take that first bit and look at the Sushi chef with a smile.
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My next favorite is the Eel. This is actually mostly cooked, the chef fires up the blow touch and sears it. Which gives it a warm smoky flavor. It’s almost BBQ like. Really really good. My wife and I split this dish.
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Two happy customers!
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Now due to a bad case of mono when I was in the 6th grade, I was unable to travel with the Bad News Bears to Japan. So technically I am not the authority on top grade quality sushi. But I do know what’s good and what I like, I think you will like it too. So give Sushi Cafe a try and order something outside the box.

https://www.facebook.com/MontgomerySushiCafe

Address: 3004 Zelda Rd, Montgomery, AL 36106
Phone:(334) 819-7060

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Deer Summer Sausage

2 Jan

Deer Summer Sausage

Summer Sausage is always a stable around the holiday season at my house. We purchase meat and cheese boxes from Auburn University every year. Glad to help out the enemy (Roll Tide!). Summer sausage is basically fatty meat smoked or cooked at low temperatures so the fat does not render. It’s my favorite type of sausage. My wife’s dad mixes it with peppers and salsa in the morning for breakfast. Sloop that oily goo up with a homemade tortilla and you are in heaven.

Since Santa Clause brought me a new smoker for Christmas, I knew the first thing I would make would be Deer Summer Sausage!

Add a comment if you want the how-to. 🙂

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CostCo Ice Cream Bar

21 Dec

CostCo Ice Cream Bar

CostCo is giving us members a heart attack with this 870 calorie ice cream bar. But it’s oh so good!  After gorging myself with free samples of spinach ravioli and mango salsa, I decided to top it off with an ice cream bar.  My goal was to get a quick 1000 calories  before supper and this ice cream bar was going to put me over the top.  I bet Kristy Alley was downing these babies before she joined weight watchers.

So I thought these bad boys were pre-made, package by a convent of CostCo hippies in Seattle but I was wrong.  I ordered the bar and the snack bar lady goes back and hand dips the ice cream to order and smothers it with about 3 bucks worth of nuts.  I was scrapping nuts and chocolate off the plate.

Right now this is my number one dessert for the money.  It’s a buck fifty!  Straight deal of the day!!

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My Dope Deer Roast

18 Dec

Deer roast is a family favorite, it’s especially a favorite of my oldest Nathan who is home for the holidays.  Isn’t it weird how the child comes home from college and changes the whole vibe of the house?  You get in your routine and they want to know, “what’s for dinner”.  They complain about everything under the sun.  When does the spring semester start!!!  Here is my take on deer roast.  I need to clear one thing up, maybe there is such thing as “Venison” but I have never seen it.  Why does deer have a different name when we refer to the meat?  It’s a deer and the meat is called deer meat.  That a whole new topic I need to speak on some other time.

Deer Roast

1 – 3lb deer roast

1 – can beef consommune

1 – package onion soup mix

2 – cubes beef bouillon cubes

2 – onions

bunch of carrots

water

1/2 cup flour

1T – Oil (does not matter what kind)

Look at this sweet deer roast.  This one is from a young doe I harvested in November.  I process all my own deer meat so I know it’s done right.

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To build a good gravy you need to brown the roast.  Powder the roast with flour and sear roast in pan at med-high heat.

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Add roast to crock pot and add the following: Onion Soup Mix Packet, Beef Consommoe, Beef Bouillon, Medium Onions, Medium Potatoes, Carrots

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Here I added the carrots and filed the pot with water, just enough to cover. I am using baby carrots because my wife bought enough baby carrots from CostCo to start a rabbit kennel, so I used them. The regular carrots are better.

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Set the Crock Pot to low and “forget about it”. A good 8hr cook is what I like. Put it on around 10pm and refrigerate before you go to work he next morning.  It’s better if it sits all day, make a rich broth.  Serve with buttered dinner rolls to soak up the broth.

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Enjoy!

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