Writing on three hours of sleep today, Tiny Tornado has decided it would be a funny joke to tease me with two weeks of sleeping through the night, only to revert back to his old ways... back to 2-4 wakings a night we are.
(insert a loving sigh here)
Busy days are upon us (okay, let's be real, with a family of 6, there aren't many "slow" days), but in the midst of volleyball practices, games, ortho appointments, running to and from three different schools for three different kidlets who consistently need something.... the oldest two offspring and I were able to call in the reserves to babysit the younger two (thank you, Mamaw!) and we found our way to the woods for a family hunt last night.
**I promise to get to the food part of this soon....**
This is the first time we have been out this year, for bow season anyway. Chandler hunted the youth gun season during the last weekend of September and shot a nice 8 point as well as a doe. His first two deer ever, two hunts, two deer.... I, for one, was impressed. And of course, he just had to go and shoot a bigger buck than any I have ever shot... Hmpf.
(Actually, I am really proud of the little guy)
I hope none of my readers are offended by dead animals, and if you are, this probably isn't the blog for you.
As I mentioned in my very first post, we are hunters, all of us.... and you will likely often see pictures of our harvest here. We hunt something all year round for the most part, and we don't let anything go to waste, it is used in one way or another, the way God intended it to be. We are not out there for the sport, although there is enjoyment in the beauty of nature and the Great Outdoors, but more so for the comradery and filling the freezer. It is great family bonding time, and I look forward to those times in the woods with the greatest loves of my life! And I also believe there is a lot of truth to the quote, "Take your kids hunting so you don't have to hunt for your kids!"
Here are some pics from last night's hunt
And now... for the part you've all been waiting for...
Yesterday's Breakfast was biscuits and gravy... oh how my family love this meal! I know there are many of you out there who are either afraid to make their sausage gravy from scratch or just don't know the best way to do so... I was one of you not too long ago! I happened across a very simple and very tasty recipe for homemade gravy, it's to die for! And if you want to save yourself some time and energy, Pillsbury Grand's biscuits (Homestyle) make for the best biscuits and gravy. Again, if you watch Meijer for their 10 for $10 sales, you can stock up on these cans of biscuits for $1 a piece (and really $.90 if you factor in the 11th item for free!). I use two cans of biscuits, one pound of breakfast mild sausage (Meijer brand again takes the cake... er, uh. biscuit... unless Jimmy Dean or another brand is on sale), and about 1/3 gallon of milk. So, this meal breaks down to be $4.68, and it makes about 16 servings for my large family. We eat the heck out of B & G leftovers, so it actually breaks down even cheaper when you consider it is covers a couple of packed lunches too!
Here is how I make mine... start out with cooking your sasuage up into crumbles, then sprinkle with flour, I start out with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of flour over the sausage, mix the flour into the sausage, begin to add milk gradually. I probably add a cup at a time, stir it up to make sure the flour is blending well, and keep adding until I am satisfied. I have to make quite a bit, so this is a process for me, I add milk 4 or 5 times until I have enough. I then season with black AND red pepper, and continue cooking on medium-high hat, stirring often until you start to see the beginnings of the gravy rolling in the middle of the pan, then reduce the heat to medium-low and stir frequently (it will stick to pan if your heat is too high or if you don't stir frequently enough). Once it is simmering, it can be ready anytime. You can drop the burner down to low heat and let it simmer for a while, or start spooning it out over your biscuits. Like I said, this makes some of the better biscuits and gravy I've had, and you can tweak it to accommodate your gravy preference (thin or thick).
The night before was volleyball night... needed to do quick and easy, not to mention the cool temps tempting us with the thought of....
CHILI! First pot of fall!
Of course ours is venison chili, which we all very much prefer over beef chili. I think we all have our own unique ways of making chili, it seems each family has it's own individual chili taste, or so I've found to be the case. Mine is easy-peasy! Cook up my venison, season it with chili powder and crushed red pepper, and a little bit of black pepper. Meanwhile, in a stockpot, I've got two cans each of chili beans, dark red kidney beans, and light red kidney beans, along with a can of diced tomatoes (sometimes chili-ready, sometimes not), and quite often there is enough "juice" from the chili beans and tomatoes that I don't need to add anything extra, but this particular time I had to break into the jug of tomato juice and add a few cups. Dump my venison into the already simmering stockpot, and season with more chili powder, red and black pepper, and add a bit of paprika. At times, if it's on hand at home, I'll add some hot sauce, but usually will allow family members to spice it up as they desire.
In the past, I have always stocked up on Jiffy cornbread mixes, so I had them on hand as needed, but this time I decided to take my first shot at homemade cornbread.... I love Jiffy, and I'll still use it for corn casseroles and such, but from now on, it's "from scratch" for me on the cornbread front. Mmmmmmm.... delicious, and the most perfect texture. At times, I've found Jiffy to be rather grainy in it's texture, which can get on my nerves, but this is the way to go... perfect cornbread!
If you like coffee and if you like cinnamon, you must try this in your next pot!
Just add two teaspoons per pot for an amazing hint of cinnamon in your coffee cup! I'm sure you could add cinnamon to your actual coffee, but I doubt it would be as evenly distributed and unsure on how it would behave in hot coffee (dissolve, not dissolve, etc...). I saw this on Pinterest and tried it my very next pot. Very pleased with that Pinterest find!
I will post later with breakfast from this morning and I will have an awesome egg tip for you, if you like eggs, you definitely want to check back in.... I promise, you'll thank me later!