Sunday, January 14, 2018

Scratch Recipe Project: Chocolate Cake




The chicken timer on top of my oven ticked as though it was a bomb. Tick, Tick, Tick. I eagerly awaited the cake in the oven to be ready. It was a Sunday morning and I was craving chocolate cake. I could've easily driven to the dollar store and bought a chocolate cake mix with chocolate icing but I am Adrian Walker and sometimes I like the challenge, especially when it involves baking. 

I kept checking the time, I had to have it done before church at 11:00. 
The chicken timer rung out that my cake was ready, I ran to the oven and slipped on my mitts and slowly pulled them out. They were perfect! Smelled good too! 

I let them cool and tried getting them out of the pans, one of them slid out perfectly, the other... well, let's just say the middle hit the plate before the outside of the cake. It was rough so I used my homemade icing to try to piece it together and cover the lumps and bumps as best as I could. In the end, it tasted incredible even though it wasn't the prettiest cake. 

After tasting this fully "from scratch" cake, I've decided to start making as many cakes from scratch as I can! Plus, after hearing me brag about how good this was my mom has already put in her request for a cake!  


Want the recipe? Check it out below & let me know what you think! 



print recipe

Homemade Chocolate Cake
This cake will bring back memories of a time when grandma made cakes every occasion. It'll take you back with every bite to a time when things were more simple and child-like.
Ingredients

Cake:
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
Frosting:
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 3 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
2. Line two 8-inch pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper and sides of the pan with butter.
3. In a large mixing bowl stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
5. Add the boiling water and beat in until well combined. The batter will be thin. Divide evenly into the two baking pans.
6. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove and place onto cooling racks for 10 minutes, leaving the cakes in the pans.
8.After 10 minutes, transfer the cakes directly onto the cooling racks and let cool completely before frosting.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
1. Place the butter into a small saucepan and melt over low heat.
2. Pour the butter into a mixing bowl and stir in the cocoa.Use an electric mixer on medium speed to add the confectioners' sugar and the milk, alternately until incorporated and you have a creamy frosting.
3. Beat in the vanilla, If the frosting is too stiff add a very small amount of additional milk. You will get about 2 cups of frosting.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Baked Garlic Mushrooms



Hen of the Wood, Cloud Ear, & Wood Ear are not your average fantasy characters. In fact, they're not fantasy characters at all! They're mushrooms!

One of our favorite side dishes here on the farm is mushrooms. I love the earthy, natural taste of them. When they're cooked right they will be juicy & flavorful!

Tonight, we had these delicious mushrooms along with steak and steamed broccoli, wow! It was incredibly good. The farmer liked it so much that he described it as one of my best meals I have ever cooked.

I do most of my cooking by sight, smell, and taste. Most of the time I will stray from the recipe and start taste testing, my own bad habit. 😉

Also, you'll probably wonder why there are only a few mushrooms on my plate, yes well, they didn't make it off of the actual tray to be honest. 
Continue reading for the recipe to these amazing shrooms! 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Wandering Around the Farm


Wandering Around the Farm

It began as chicken feeding time. I sat on my bucket after feeding them when I heard one of my hens fussing in the old cornfield behind the house. The stalks are still there and even though they're broken they still serve as a fun playground for my chickens. I walked over there to see what was going on and when I got there my hens were all just playing around. They're always doing that cawing and screeching like something is after them then when I run to them they're usually quiet and staring at me as if to say, "What're you doing here?"

Anyway, when I saw that they were okay I continued walking for some reason. I walked all the way to the pond here in the middle of the farm and I sat looking out over the pond, snapping photos and praying. It's so nice to just sit in silence and hear nothing but the sound of birds singing and the sound of the wind rustling through the corn stalk leaves. I had never really noticed the sound of the wind rustling the leaves of the corn stalks but it is in a category all on its own. It reminds me of the ocean. Here are a few photos I took on my walk:


My hens all sitting on the fence. I told the farmer it almost reminds me of the Golden Girls, you know, the tv show with the four older women. Here we have from L-R: Sofia, Rose, Dorothy, & Blanche 
😂😂😂


I saw this little bird on the power line above the chicken pen, how cute is it? I don't know what kind of bird it is, I've never been much of a bird person. I'd love to know though.


I began walking down the path, here's the corn stalks that seem to make the sound of the ocean as the wind rustles through them. 


This is the ryegrass field behind our home, the cows chomp on this during the winter. It's like a never-ending ocean of grass. 


While on my way to the pond I spotted another bird in the tree above me, with my amazing zoom on my camera I caught this photo. Like I said before, I am no bird person so if you know what kind this is, let me know! 


I finally got to the pond and I sat beside it on the pathway and closed my eyes. I listened to the sound of the birds, the grass, the wind etc. I talked to God a little bit and then the sweetest thing joined me. I was in the middle of praying when I heard something behind me. I turned around and there sitting at the bottom of the cotton stalks was a baby bird watching me. 


The farmer called and asked where I was and I jumped up and told him I was on the way home. I turned to the sunset and took one last photo of it. How beautiful is that? When I arrived home my farmer asked why I had gone all the way to the pond. I just shrugged and told him I had wandered off. I feel like when I get older I will be the little old lady who wanders off and forgets where she is.. I've always had this weird desire to just be in my own world and wander off. It's fun for me. People call me weird but hey, I enjoy myself when I am exploring and wandering around the farm. 😉



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top 8 Posts of 2017

Top 8 Posts of 2017

2017 was a year of fun! It's been a busy year for Lady of the Farm & I am so happy to say I have doubled my views on my actual Lady of the Farm website! 
Here are my top 8 posts from 2017! Let's go into 2018 with new goals, more stories, yummy recipes, and lots of chickens! 

Dumpling Recipe: "...The entire time I was engaged I joked with people about my inability to cook good. Well, what people failed to realize was that I can cook, I just hate to clean up after I cook. I am one of the messiest cooks EVER. I had fun cleaning up the kitchen after this recipe. I had flour EVERYWHERE but I have to admit, making dumplings was pretty fun..."


Fried Green Tomatoes: "...Fried Green Tomatoes are one of the best Summertime treats. I can seriously eat a fried green tomato anytime of the day! It's one of those special "porch foods" that Southerners crave during those hot Summer evenings. 🍅
What's a porch food? You ever saw a southerner sitting on the front porch in the evening without having something to snack on? My point exactly. We will always have some sort of goodie beside us whether it be sweet tea, boiled peanuts or fried green "maters". 🍅"

Romanticizing Life: "...One night the farmer and I were riding backroads up to one of his farms. We came up to the railroad tracks. The train was coming through.
"Wanna know something?"
He looked over at me. "What?"
"I love trains. They're so romantic..." 

Ewww, snake!: "...There in the grass was the nastiest, ickiest snake. I stepped back about 5 million steps and watched him. I don't do snakes. It didn't look poisonous (the poisonous ones look mean). 
Then I notice someone else is watching him too..."

Our Wedding: "... I thought I may go through some of our wedding photos & it seems that the more I go through the photos, the more I find that I don't remember from the first eighty million times I went through them..."

Introducing: The Lady of the Farm: "...Many of you have been with me since the beginning. You've seen me grow from a strawberry blond, curly-haired little girl to a rock-loving rebellious teen all the way to the woman I am now. You've been here when I began Lady of the Farm, you've watched it grow from three or four views a month to almost 2,000 views a month..."

A Vow to be the Proverbs 31 Woman: "...At our wedding after the ceremony, I had a few people come up to me and tell me how they had loved my vows and had never heard someone talk about the Proverbs 31 woman in the way that I put it. Maybe they were just wanting me to feel good about myself, who knows..."

An Interview with the Farmer: "...I saw an article in the Farmer's Almanac that interviewed farmers both men and women of all races & backgrounds. It made me wonder, 'WHat would my husband say if he was asked some of these questions?..."

Thursday, December 21, 2017

DIY: Christmas Ornaments

With Christmas in plain view ahead of us, I seriously got to thinking about what I could get everyone. I was talking with my friend Laura, (You know, my sweet tea guru) and I told her that I loved Christmas but the joy of it seemed to be sucked out of Christmas when I am forced to buy something material. Okay, I go to Walmart, shop around for twenty minutes, say "That's cute. I'll get that.", I throw it in the buggy and head to the register. I literally just thought about you & your gift for literally two seconds. Call me mean, but I'm so serious.

This year, I wanted to truly think about some gifts. I decided to make some gifts for some of my family members. I meant to do more but I lost track of time and Christmas snuck up on me.
Okay so, I sat at my kitchen table staring at my laptop for some kind of idea to come to me, then it finally hit me. I wanted to make rustic looking homemade ornaments. I had so much fun making these and they ended up so adorable that everyone that has seen them thus far has wanted one! I'm thinking about making a few more just for the fun of it.

So, what is it exactly? It's called "cinnamon salt dough", it lasts for years if stored in a dry place.


As soon as I began making the dough, the farmer knew it was the perfect chance for some Lady of the Farm photos so he grabbed my camera and began snapping away! 


I LOVE these little gingerbread men! They're so perfect, have just the right amount of rustic-ness to them and have this overall satisfying appearance.


The whole kitchen smelled like cinnamon & cloves! Speaking of cloves, if you want your gingerbread men to have buttons or eyes you can use cloves! I just broke off the back piece of the cloves and stuck them in there.  You can also add some ribbon to add a scarf!


After the first batch of gingerbread men was in the oven, I still had a good bit of dough left over so I began cutting out all sorts of shapes and designs. I tried a chicken but it kind of looks like a duck. I also did a cat for my cat loving boss lady! 


I got a little brave and made a tractor! 


I love this old truck that I made, I plan on painting it as soon as I get a chance! Can't wait!





print recipe

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments
Rustic, Sentimental & Easy are three of my favorite things and when combined you can't help but enjoy it! I love these adorable little ornaments and they'll last for years if stored in a dry place!
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Cinnamon Powder
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 Cups Water
Instructions
1. Mix together Flour, Cinnamon, and Salt.
2. Stir well and until completely blended.
3. Add the desired amount of Essential oils to water and stir well.
4. Pour water into flour and salt mixture, stirring as you pour. Mix until well blended, using just enough water to make a workable dough.
5. Roll out on a floured surface & form, shape or cut out ornaments. Use a toothpick to make a hole big enough for a ribbon or jute. Place on greased cookie sheet (you can also use parchment paper).
6. Bake at 300 degrees 30 minutes to an hour, until the ornaments are hard.