Saturday, December 29, 2012

Visiting Kanab? Check this out.

We live in one of the coolest areas in the United States.  During your visit to Best Friends it would be worth it to take an afternoon to one of the national parks.  Click here to get great information about things to see and do in and around Kanab, Utah.  There were many movies filmed here in Kanab and you can visit the old Gunsmoke movie set. If you are flying into Las Vegas you can take a shuttle to St. George, rent a car and drive the hour and a half to Kanab or just rent a car in Las Vegas and drive the 3.5 hours to Kanab.  I've taken the shuttle many times but I have not rented a car in St. George.  I have also flown from Houston, Texas to Page, Arizona and had someone pick me up in Page.  It is only an hour and fifteen minutes from Kanab and there is a car rental right at the airport.  The code for Page airport is PGA.  There is no bus service or taxi service in Kanab but there is a car rental.  If you are coming for a workshop at Best Friends it might be possible to car pool to Kanab and rent additional cars when you arrive.
If you are like me and need to workout every day to be...nice...we have a great fitness center called Adobe Fitness.

Zion National Park is one of my favorite parks and it is 30 miles from Kanab.  It is beautiful and has many hikes.
Toroweap/Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon is about 79 miles from Kanab. It is amazing and has crazy rock formations.  It is usually a bit cooler than Kanab so it is a nice summer day trip.

Hiking in Kanab at Best Friends.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is also 79 miles from Kanab.  It is spectacular and has a nice lodge to eat at.  Toroweap is also a great way to see the Grand Canyon.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes are really close to Best Friends and are worth a visit. There is also the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument as well as the following nearby. 

Lake Powell is in Page Arizona which is 75 miles from Kanab and it is beautiful.  The blue water against the red rocks is stunning.  You can swim at Lone Rock or take a half or full day river ride.  Antelope Point is also a really neat slot canyon tour.

Hiking the Narrows at Zion National Park.

Kannaraville hike

Kannaraville Falls is a bit off the beaten path but is AMAZING!

Me with Georgia a Vicktory Dog

Bryce Canyon


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fried Zucchini & Squash Blossoms

Can I just say that fried squash flowers filled with goat cheese are so incredibly good that I crave them all the time!  Next year we are planting a ton of squash and zucchini just so I can harvest the flowers.  You can see that one of the flowers is getting the zucchini starting to grow.  Now don't kid yourself - fried squash flowers do not have the same nutritional value as raw squash.  However you might find yourself running out to the garden every morning  to pick the blossoms when they first begin to open.  That running should account for something right? 

Preparing the flower for frying was a bit more labor intensive than I expected.  I watch many videos on pulling out the stamen after confirming which part was the stamen.  This was particularly embarrassing because I taught tenth grade biology.  Luckily, I was right in that the part that I thought was the stamen was the stamen! Whoo hooo. Just recently I read that a zucchini plant produces both male and female flowers. The female flowers will eventually grow into a zucchini, while the male flowers will die off. I don't know if the squash plants are the same.  So if you are growing plants for the zucchinis, make sure to pick only the male flowers to make this recipe. Now I have to Google how to tell the difference between a male and female flower.  I bet my four year old daughter could tell me...

Making Mozzarella or Ricotta...

Addy finishing up her mozzarella

My first attempt to make mozzarella turned out a bit more like a mozzarella ricotta hybrid. My second attempt I threw out.  My third attempt was AWESOME.  The key for me was using distilled water. Here are the directions if you would like to give it a try. It is not difficult to do you just have to watch the temperature and make sure you use distilled water!  The other ingredients include whole milk (the less pasteurized the better), rennet and citric acid.  I have used the mozzarella I made on sandwiches, homemade pizza's and lasagna.  Here in Kanab a small ball of mozzarella cheese is a little over six dollars.  I can make double that for the cost of a gallon of milk (about four bucks).  Two years ago a friend was milking one of the local doctors cows and I am thinking that milk would have been perfect for making cheese.  If only I had started making cheese two years ago!
My first attempt

The Girls

Well I believe that our hens have officially stopped laying eggs.  It has been a couple of months since we have gotten an egg. Bummer.  We will still keep them as pets but we have been missing fresh eggs.  We just built an additional coop (I should say my talented husband built an additional coop).  It is smaller and on the side of the house where the girls really like to hang out.  We figured in the winter we might let the neighbors dog use the big chicken coop and heat lamp when it is really cold. When our dog Zeena was still alive she would go in the coop until we got home and let her in the house. What can I say we are worriers.  So now the girls have their huge chicken coop plus a little mini coop! 

We have talked about getting some new chicks but we are afraid we will get a rooster.  I do not want a rooster.  I know our neighbors do not want us to have a rooster either!  I am not sure if you can even have a rooster in the city.   A friend of ours has offered us one month old chicks (which are fairly big) but we won't know the sex til they hit 5 or 6 months. Daron said he would re-home them if they are roosters. I would rather not get them than try to re-home them! 

We also had a Cooper's Hawk (we think) checking out the hens the other day.  Addyson yelled "Those chickens are our family not your dinner" and the hawk flew away.  The girls just finished molting. Molting is a process chickens go through once a year to shed their feathers and replace them with new ones. Their new feathers are coming in and they look so pretty! 

Powder sports her new WHITE feathers

The mini coop

Friday, August 17, 2012

Caprese Sandwich - Summer Magic!

Fresh heirloom tomatoes

I used Himalayan salt and sea salt

Best Lunch Ever~
Coat the bread with olive oil and salt and grill it.
Load grilled bread with
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • heirloom tomatoes or a garden tomato
  • mozzarella
  • ciabatta bread
  • fresh basil

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Affordable Curtain Rods

Curtain rods are expensive. Curtain rods never seem to be the right size. The last curtain rod I bought was from the lumber store. It was 8ft long and 20 bucks. It was nice but heavy and thick. I found an idea on Pinterest for a 10 ft rod that cost less than 2.99. It is light weight, it is thin, it can be easily spray painted and it is cheap. It is electrical conduit.  In big box stores you can probably get the rod for 1.89 but in my small town things are marked up a bit. 

Curtain rod holders found at the thrift store and painted black.
Spray painting the rod.

Apricots are in Season!

Thanks to many generous neighbors with apricot trees we have been able to dehydrate a bunch of apricots. They are my favorite. I am going to try and make some fruit roll ups out of some of the softer apricots.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

DIY Floor - cheap, clean and fairly earth friendly

If I knew I was going to be doing this project ahead of time then I would have saved paper bags so I could have a "recycled" floor. I am more of a "I am going to do it right now kinda gal" so I had to buy brown paper. Luckily, I was able to buy brown paper rolls (I found them in the paint isle I guess they were used for protecting borders and carpet while you paint). They were less than five bucks a roll and I needed one and a half rolls. I will use the rest for gift wrap. I also bought a huge bottle of Elmer's glue and figured whatever I don't use I can use for arts and crafts.

The best part of this floor is the fact that you don't need a saw. When we laid laminate wood floors in our old house we were constantly cutting pieces to fit around the corners and it was very time consuming.  Another benefit was the fact that I didn't have to prep the concrete. I basically swept it.  No mopping or anything.  The spots that had paint on them (because I let my four year old daughter play Pollock while I was finishing the ceiling and walls) were easily covered up by putting extra paper down.

So far it has cost me 26 bucks.  The biggest cost will be buying the polyurethane to seal it.  I like the light color so I decided not to experiment with stain. I might however put a few notes that my husband and I have written to one another and a few pieces of art down before I polyurethane.  I figured it would make it kinda quirky and cool. 
Step one bucket with 1/2 glue and 1/2 water.  I did all the edges first.

the paper made edges easy since it had a straight edge to begin with

 Place torn pieces on top of one another to add texture
Some area's are still wet making a drastic color difference. It blends better once dried.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thrift Store Stools

For three dollars I bought two stools from the local thrift store.
They are similar to these that I found online for 70 dollars each.
Spray paint and polyurethane
sanding and stencil

a high gloss finish

Come, sit and stay awhile

Monday, June 18, 2012

Carpet, Flooring, Dye - Oh My!

We need new flooring in one of our rooms which is currently just concrete. I cannot decide what to do. I have painted a concrete floor before which turned out great but I was in Houston and could easily rent a floor sander (buffer). Daron and I have laid laminate flooring before and I have considered carpet tiles - the cheap ones not the pricey ones. I would like to try the vinyl "wood planks" and have found them at a good price. I know eco friendly is bamboo and sometimes vinyl but cha ching, cha ching, cha ching!!! What to do?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting back to it

Well once winter came I quit writing for Sage What.  We moved and are now settled. I am planning to start up again with the blog.  I will have plenty to write about with the new house, new yard and new garden.