Use That Old Spice Rack: Display Your Collection

I love spice racks. I cannot NOT buy old spice racks when i find them at the thrift store. And yet: i keep my spices in a cabinet and have no real need for a spice rack….. for spices. In lieu of quitting my addiction, i simply found an alternative use for all those vintage, retro and elegant spice racks that have accumulated in my home. Enter my other addiction: tiny, vintage figurines!

Up-cycle your old spice rack

Spice racks are the PERFECT size for displaying small figurines and even more perfect for displaying Fiber Friends Nubbins. Perhaps you’re a little obsessed with these adorable felt critters and want to amass your own collection (please, do!) but aren’t sure how to display them. Head to your favorite thrift store or grandma’s closet and you’re sure to find some unused spice racks looking for homes. Give them a little cleaning, hang on a wall you enjoy looking at and voila: display shelves!

Display your Fiber Friends collection

Check out the Fiber Friends holiday shop to find corgis, beagles, labs and more garbed in seasonal finery from shamrocks or bunny ears to scarves and Santa hats or order custom Nubbins to match your favorite fur-babies and make your collection complete!

 

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Filed under Felting, Fiber Fridays, Fiber Friends, Fibers

Stuffed Rabbit Roast without The Bacon (Or the Butcher’s Twine)

My Wisconsin German family may have popularized the term “The only thing better than bacon, is more bacon” but sometimes you just don’t need it to make an epic meal. I posted my ‘bacon wrapped, stuffed rabbit roast’ recipe after Christmas 2014 when we enjoyed our first stuffed rabbit roast for the holiday meal. We had PLANNED on dining on roast goose this past holiday, but Mr. Coyote (or was it Mrs. Bobcat) had other plans for us while we were away for Thanksgiving….. so it was rabbit on our holiday table again. Oh, woe is me, we had to suffer with another deliciously stuffed rabbit roast ;)

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I won’t reiterate all the details of de-boning the rabbit as all that info and helpful links can be found in my earlier post, but i will break down the major ingredients and offer some tips on the stuffing and wrapping, temps and times. The major key to this dish is to choose a slightly older rabbit. You don’t want a young fryer as it won’t have enough meat, but you don’t want a rabbit much older than 4 months either or it may be tough. I chose a 16 week old doe who weighed about 5+ pounds dressed. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 larger rabbit, deboned
  • Sausage or cured meat, either ground or diced
  • Several cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful kale, spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 cup or so sheep or goat’s cheese
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, favorite herbs
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

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To be honest, i’m totally guessing at those quantities. It is February, after all and i cooked this in December- cut me some slack. The gist is that you want to saute your sausage or cured meat with the herbs and greens until the greens are just wilted. Mix that with the breadcrumbs to make a crumbly texture. Lay the rabbit out flat and coat with the breadcrumb mixture, top with some cheese and roll! Don’t overfill or rolling will be difficult and don’t choose any cured meats with super strong flavors as they’ll take over the meal. (More photos on the stuffing process in my older recipe post)

I tried something else different with this roast: i didn’t tie it! Many of us may lack butcher’s twine or the skill to tie with it so this technique is a cinch. Place some chopped onion in a casserole just bigger than your roast and wedge that rolled up rabbit into the pan on the onions. I swear: it won’t open and once it’s cooked it will stay together in an easily sliced log. I drizzled the top of the rabbit with some olive oil and salted to keep it from drying out. Halfway through cooking i added some fresh green beans and garlic cloves above the onions and cooked until they were soft. Delish!!

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Roast at 350 degrees for about an hour adding the greenbeans about halfway through. Internal temp should reach 160.

What’s your favorite meat to use in a stuffed roast recipe?

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Filed under Birdsong Farm, Cooking, Dinner, Eating, Rabbit

Baked Rabbit – Simple and Fast

Folks are always asking me what my ‘favorite’ recipe for rabbit is. Many Americans have never eaten rabbit (and many others are appalled at the idea of eating rabbit) and i usually have a hard time picking out a favorite ‘recipe’ as i don’t really cook via recipes. Rabbit finds its way onto our table weekly and it’s a truly versatile meat, similar to chicken. In the summer i prefer to marinate and grill whole rabbits, cutting up after eating for a bowl full of meaty yum to be enjoyed by family and friends. In the cooler months i’m more inclined to use my oven or stove. Tired of the same old ‘braised’ variations, i tried something similar to grilling but with a more basic sauce. It was good enough to write down! *No photos, sorry -but a solid recipe!

This recipe really brings out the flavor of the rabbit, vs slathering it with delicious mustard sauce and i just used what herbs i had on hand. You could substitute your favorite herbs for the ones i used. The great thing about this recipe is that you cook the rabbit whole and baking time is under an hour. Be prepared for some smoke if you’re as poor an oven cleaner as i am, though. 475 is a bit on the hot side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole domestic rabbit (2-3.5 pounds)
  • 3 medium red potatoes

Marinade:

  • Olive oil (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  • Splash red wine vinegar
  • Rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil – about 2 T of the oil and 3 or 5 little tomato halves

Split the ribcage of the rabbit and lay it out flat on its back in a roasting pan (on parchment paper). Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor until the garlic is mostly chopped up. Salt the rabbit well and drizzle some marinade on all 4 legs and the saddles. Flip rabbit over onto it’s belly. Be sure the belly flaps are out flat to either side of the carcass. Salt and pepper the carcass then drizzle marinade evenly over entire rabbit. Set aside in the fridge for a few hours, minimum 1 hour.

Chop potatoes somewhat small (1/2 inch pieces give or take) and toss in the food processor to pick up the rest of that lovely marinade. Add a bit more olive or grapeseed oil if necessary. Salt and then arrange to either side of the rabbit.

Preheat oven to 475. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, taking out to stir potatoes 2 or 3 times. Cook until the rabbit is tender, juice runs clear if poked and the potatoes are crisped to your liking. Place rabbit on a large cookie sheet and let cool 5 minutes or so. Cut apart with a cleaver into: 2 back legs, two front legs and 2-3 saddles. The saddles are the gourmet cut in this meal! Serve with potatoes and a sauteed green.

This is a great first recipe for trying rabbit! Easy, quick and delicious. Rabbit is more filling than chicken, so you’ll most likely have leftovers if you’re only feeding a family of two. The leftovers make great lunches as is, or can be cut up into ‘chicken salad’ style lunch meat.  Enjoy!

Have you ever eaten rabbit? What’s YOUR favorite recipe?

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Filed under Baked, Cooking, Easy, Rabbit

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

You know you live in Oregon when your commute home includes driving past 3 Christmas tree farms and one large depot loading up hundreds of trees into semi trucks. You know you live just shy of an Oregon forest when you walk through your gate with this over your arm, freshly sawn from a back corner of your own property:

When we lived in Austin, TX we decorated my Meyer Lemon with ornaments and lights and deemed it our “Christmas Citrus” and oh, how i miss that tree. BUT, there is something classic about the fragrant evergreen, stately standing in your living room that taps into the inner child. With our new ductless heat pumps, we can actually hang out upstairs without freezing our buns off (our house is huge and was previously unheated upstairs) so we decided to celebrate and put the tree in a place of honor in front of the sliding glass door (to nowhere) upstairs. We’ve really been enjoying the excuse to sit in our upstairs living space, enjoying the seasonal beauty.

All that’s missing now is some tinsel! I just love the sparse and graceful boughs but they could use some light and shiny tinsel or icicles. Oh, and if you’re hoping to add so eFiber Friends ornaments to YOUR tree, never fear: more will be uploaded to the online shop soon!

 

Have you put your tree up yet? Did you cut it, buy it from a lot, or pick it out at a tree farm? Chances are, if you bought it from a lot – it came from near my neighborhood!

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Filed under Birdsong Farm, Pocket Pause, The Homestead