Archive for May, 2009

Apologies to One and All

May 30, 2009

I owe y’all one huge “SORRY”.  This has been a crazy 2 weeks.  Between trying to get the garden in, assembly of swing-set, erection of swimming pool, end of the school year, wedding cake, preschool graduation………need I say more.

The weather has been great for the most part.

IMG_1430For the most part, the storms have gone around us.  We did end up getting over a half an inch on Memorial Day Sunday.  Of course that was the original garden planting date. 

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Gardening news:

Asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb have poked their heads through and are thriving.  Strawberries are starting to bloom.  I did loose a few, but who knows why. 

All the flower beds are weeded and I’m working at replacing all the mulch.  I’m still liking the rubber mulch and it doesn’t smell like a tire store here anymore.

I have all the seeds in the garden except for the seeds that go in hills.  That is on the agenda for today.  Got 16 pepper plants in the ground yesterday and still have 3 more to go in.  They were in need of a little extra TLC.  they look great this morning so it’s time.  And the tomatoes….planted 19 of the little darlings.  So…when I am overloaded with tomatoes later in the summer.  I got this….IMG_1449

Kid news:

School is over for the summer.  I don’t know why I’m excited.  It just means I will have all three of them more often, but oh well….it is summer.  And I am sure I will be wishing for school to start in two weeks.  Girlie got promoted to the third grade and Rado had her preschool graduation last night.  They go all out at Tykes Time for the kids.

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The pool is up and waiting for the water to warm up.  Takes a long time to warm that much water.  And the swing-set….. it came in three 100 lb boxes and nothing..absolutely nothing was put together.  It has been a slow process, but hopefuly by tomorrow it will be finished.

Wedding Cake:

Our niece Laramie is getting married today in Eureka Nevada.  Originally I was only going to make a grooms cake, but it kinda escalated.  MIL and all headed that way yesterday with the cake in the trunk of her car.  Hope it made it.

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Her topper is two running horses and she wanted a plain cake.  Her colors are brown and maroon, so hope this all works for her.

Cooking:

Not a whole lot of new recipes going on around here lately.  I will try to get better this week.  Been alot of repeats of favorites and dawgs on a stick.  Did make Chicken Tenders and Sour Cream Macaroni Salad.  Don’t think I’ve shared the salad recipe.  My family loves it.

SOUR CREAM DILL MACARONI SALAD

Dressing:

1 cup sour cream

3 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp Worcestershire

1/2 tsp sweet basil

3/4 cup mayo

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp dill weed

1/4 tsp pepper

Salad:

1 12oz box macaroni cooked

1 cup sliced celery

3/4 c sliced green onion

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup sliced radishes

Combine and enjoy.

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Bread Stick Flop and Beautiful Day

May 20, 2009

I tried a bread stick recipe from the King Arthur Flour site.  They smelled wonderful as they cooked, but just didn’t rise.  I am hoping that my yeast was old.  I bought some new today and will try in the AM and let you know.  I didn’t even take a pic….that’s how bad they were.

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The apple trees are now in full bloom.  I have got to find out what and when to spray so I can keep the worms out.

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And here are clearer (is there such a word??) pics of my little feathered friends.  I hope I can get them to stay around.

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Aren’t they pretty.  One of these days I will introduce you to my big feathered friend or should I say brat.

Started soaking up the ditch today.  The Tribe never got here to burn it, so I will just fight the garbage and weeds in the bottom.  Of course MIL didn’t come right out and say it, but she made it known that I opened the valve too many turns.  It has been almost 5 hours and the water isn’t even to her house yet.  I think it is going to be one of those “never can do it right” things.

More Chicken, Garden Tilled and Cupcakes

May 19, 2009

Decided on more chicken today.  They have had a few specials and we like it. 

SESAME CHICKEN

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Got the salad dressing at COSTCO and marinated the chicken in it overnite.  It was okay.  I think next time I will doctor it up a bit with soy sauce.

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Baked at 350 and brushed twice with the marinade then flipped over and repeated.  They sure look pretty.

They guy from Idaho Falls came and tilled the garden for me tonite.  I almost didn’t have him do it, but glad I did now.  It will make nice planting this weekend.  100X60  Ought to feed us and half the Rez.

Made Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes today.  I have been wanting to do that and just got around to it.  And sooooo glad I did.

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RED VELVET CUPCAKES

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans

The only change I made was to use 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese instead of 2.  Thats all I had.  But still was yummmy

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If ya get a chance to make these do it.  They are well worth it.

One…Two…Three…Summer

May 18, 2009

Well…for a few days anyway.  Another day of the 90’s and then back down to the mid 70’s.  No freezing in the foreseeable future anyway, so babies are still outside and going to stay there…for a few more anyway.

Baked chicken and broccoli slaw for dinner tonite.  Tried something a little differnt with the chicken.  Covered it with bacon.  Then when about done, removed the bacon and cranked the heat.

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And now there will be chicken for something else this week.

BROCCOLI SLAW

2 heads of broccoli, stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Buttermilk Dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

Toss the sliced broccoli with the almonds, cranberries and red onion in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a smaller one, with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss it well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

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BrazenBites fixes a similar one with dried blueberries, I believe and poppy seed dressing???  Been awhile since I’ve had it.  This one is great and so is hers.

First Cookout 2009

May 16, 2009

What an absolutely beautiful day we had.  I promised the kids if the weather was good, we would have a cookout.  Damn, either the wood is  hard as hell or I can’t chop wood any more.  But got enough of it done to get the fire going on the first try.  Don’t expect that again.

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Of course the menu consists of hot dogs.

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And it takes such concentration.  But then we get s’mores.

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And everyone has their own way to cook marshmallows.

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Bubba’s favorite.

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Of course I lost track of how many marshmallows were consumed.  But we had a great time.  I did get to the Farmers Market this morning and I was surprisingly impressed.  Got heirloom tomatoes.  More on them later, but here is a pic.  I think they are really pretty plants and very healthy looking.

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Last ten laps of the All Star Race.  Grabbin a beer.  It’s fixin to get serious.  A million bucks……DUH.

Ugly Muffins

May 15, 2009

BrazenBites gave me this recipe and she called them her ugly muffins.  Yeah…they are ugly, but are damned good.

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UGLY MUFFINS

3 mashed over ripe bananas

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 beaten eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 stick melted butter

dash of cinnamon, pumkin pie spice or Penzey baking spice

Combine bananas and soda.  Then combine remaining ingredients and then combine.  Bake at 350.  I spray silicone baking cups and have no problems with sticking.

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Like I said,  they are ugly but yummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy.

Chocolate Day

May 14, 2009

I must admit that I am rather surprised at myself.  I only got two chocolate goodies done today.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

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CHOCOLATE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup Penzey’s dutch-process cocoa
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1/2  pckg white chocolate chips

Cream together sugars and butter.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add milk and dry ingredients alternately then vanilla.  Stir in chips.  Bake at 350 for 12 or so minutes on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Let cook on rack and enjoy this very chewy cookie.  I did.

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My Honey asked if I would come up with a triple chocolate cheesecake.  I guess they have one at the DFAC that is good.  So here is my version.  Hope he likes it when he gets home.  Girlie and I did.

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Triple Chocolate Chessecake

Crust

1 pckg chocolate graham crackers

1 stick melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

Grind crackers to crumbs in food processor.  Add sugar and butter and mix until combined.  Press crumbs in bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and  bring up sides and inch or so.  Bake for 10 min at 350 and cool before adding filling.

Filling

3 8 oz bricks of softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp instant coffee crystals
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 cup  heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream sugar and cream cheese together. Then add coffee crystals and melted chocolate.  Add eggs one at a time until completely combined.  Add cream and vanilla.  Pour into crust and bake at 350 for 60 min or until knife placed in center pulls out clean.  Cool and then cover with ganache.

Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 t instant coffee crystals

Place in top of double boiler over hot water and stir until melted and combined.  Let cool and then pour over filling.  Cool.  Remove springform and enjoy.

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I will probably tweek on this a bit more before my Honey get home.  Guess I’d better hurry only 2 1/2 months left.  Is this close, Honey??

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Blossoms and a Childhood Treat

May 13, 2009

The blossoms on the fruit trees are pretty.  These are the first that we have and the other trees aren’t far behind.

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The bees are busy buzzing, so spring must be here.  Just a light frost this morning, so am hoping that is the last of it.  For goodness sake…its been warmer in Alaska than here.

In using up some of my bananas, I made Banana Pudding.  Now how long has it been since you thought of that.  You know the one…..vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, instant pudding and whipped cream.  I only remember having it once or twice as a kid.  Maybe the vanilla wafers were too spendy???  And I only think I made it a time or two for my kids.  Well, will try to remember to make it more for the grandkids.

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And the Pioppino mushrooms are starting to look like shrooms.

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I am enjoying the prospect of spring being here to stay. 

 

 

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Back to some more baking tomorrow I hope.  I think I’m having a chocolate attack.  Oh, damn the bad lock.

New Family Members

May 11, 2009

DeeJaye and I drove up to Roberts this morning and picked out two new family members.  Announcing the arrival of………..Zeke and Zoe.

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Zeke came with his name.  He is a yearling LaMancha buck.  Very talkative.

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Zoe is a Tennessee Fainter.  She has had a set of twins, but they took them away from her.  She may be pregnant again.  We shall see.  So far she has not fainted.  We shall see with this zoo around here.  And her name….the only “z” female name I could come up with.

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I am going to let them stay in the goat pen for a couple of days before staking them out on the ditch bank to eat weeds.  They should have a wonderful diet.

Had a great Mothers Day.  Nice and easy with not a whole lot of work.  We had strawberry shortcake for dessert and Laredo enjoyed it the most.

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MIL came home from town today with presents for me.  10 pounds of butter, 5 pounds of bananas, 5 pounds of apples and we had just made a trip to COSTCO.  The apples will wait for a while, but….HELP… I need ideas to use up the bananas.  I had no idea just how many bananas are in 5 pounds.  And I have 4 over ripe bananas waiting for BrazenBites ugly muffins.

And Just Who Needs Pasta

May 9, 2009

Got some of the yard work done today.  With and without the help of the grandkids.  I got the flowerbed under the willow tree in front cleaned out and remulched.  Of course I was about 1/2 a bag short.  Never fails does it???  The more I work with this rubber recycled mulch the more I like it.  Hope it continues to impress me.

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And I got started at the front.  I trimmed back the clematis.  Poor things have been badly neglected the last couple of years.  I hope they survive the pruning they got.  Had to give the bed a good soak and will get to the weeds tomorrow.  Thinking real seriously about changing the ground cover.  I really like the stuff we planted on the east side.  It takes over and chokes out the weeds.  It would make a great cover the the clematis’ feet. 

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Wow…I have 5 again, huh.

MIL brought me a spaghetti squash the other day.  I decided that I would make a mushroom sauce and try it that way.  Of course my shrooms are not quite mature yet.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MUSHROOM SAUCE

1 spaghetti squash

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can mushroom soup….yes I used it

1 cup sour cream

2 cans sliced mushrooms

Bake or nuke squash until done.  Heat oil in large fry or Chefs pan.  Cook onion and garlic then add soup, sour cream and mushrooms until hot.  Add squash insides.  Sprinkle with Parmesan when ready to serve

 

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I fixed the old standby French Dip Beef for the meat dish.  I never did eat any.  Just a bowl of squash.  Weird for me.

Well, 60 laps to go in Darlington on a short track Saturday night.  And actually it is a full moon Saturday night.  Go Tony

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ONE AND ALL.