Keeping Chickens in the Winter

In southwestern Pennsylvania, our winters can range anywhere from mild to blizzard conditions, dipping into the 'teens at times. Keeping chickens during the winter months is really not any more difficult than the rest of the year.  You just need to be attentive, observant, committed, and provide what they need--the same as the rest of the year, right?  Except that, the needs are a little different in the winter.

Cleaning the Hen House


Keeping backyard chickens does not have to be complicated or difficult.  If you're able to let your chickens out in a run or to free-range, it's even easier.  An important part of having chickens is to provide them with a shelter that is safe, draft-free and clean in order to keep them healthy and productive. 

Katie's Old Fashioned Mac 'n Cheese topped with Roast Beef and Stewed Tomatoes


When I think of comfort foods, a few leap to my mind immediately:  Mac 'n Cheese, Roast Beef, and Stewed Tomatoes.  Have you ever combined them into one dish? Mmmmmmm!  One of my very favorite places to visit is Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  There I can count on being soothed by the idyllic farmland pastures and the reverent pace and values of the Amish people. And there I find a few of my favorite diners and dishes.


The Potting Shed

Dreams do come true.  For years and years I dreamed of having a picturesque Kitchen Garden and Potting Shed—the dreamy, romantic kind traditionally known as a potager in France or a kailyard in Scotland. When Danny and I moved to retire in the country, I was sure my dream was about to become reality. 

Planning and Building The Potting Shed

This is the image of a dream coming true. After many years of saving pictures from magazines and jotting down notes, my dream of having a charming Potting Shed was becoming a reality, thanks to God who has given us more than we need or deserve, and thanks to my dear husband who always lovingly and cheerfully grants my wishes.

Time to Plan the Garden

The winter months can sometimes seem to drag on forever, especially when the temps stay below freezing and the snow is flying.  What really makes winter fun for me is planning my Kitchen Garden.

Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers! Amazing!

Peppers are easy to grow and plentiful at the end of summer. In my garden, I planted sweet bell peppers, bull horn peppers, and jalapeno peppers. There are plenty of recipes for using peppers. One of my favorites is Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers.

Tomato Pie Fresh from the Garden

I still have lots of tomatoes in my Kitchen Garden.  I've canned them diced, in sauces and salsas, we've had slices in salads and soups and on sandwiches, and we've still got tomatoes coming. So for a change of pace, today I made a tomato pie.

Hanging Mason Jar Candleholders and Dangling Bead Strands

It started out as a summer project, but it was the winter that surprised and gripped me!  Mason jar candleholders and shiny beads to hang in our beloved Maple tree!  Summer evenings bring grilling outdoors and sitting around the fire ring.  How lovely it is to linger under the canopy of maple leaves and see the candles glowing in the jars and the strings of beads dangling in the breeze.

Gourmet Cupcakes

For delicious gourmet cupcakes, through and through, try these easy steps to delight your family and guests!