Archive for December, 2009

MOLLY

December 28, 2009

Two days before Christmas we lost our beloved dog, Molly.  She had been sick and after almost 10 years of love and friendship, it was time.  She was actually my Honey’s dog…she loved and tolerated me, but her person was my Honey.  It is still awfully quiet and empty around here.  I know at some point there will be another dog, but there will never be another Molly.

A card arrived from the Vet on Saturday.  I knew what was in it, but couldn’t make myself open it until yesterday.  I have read this poem before.  It’s comforting but boy, the tears do run.

By the edge of a wood, at the foot of a hill, is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run, when their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, the wait and they play, till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or sadness for here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed, their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care, until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back, then all of a sudden, one darts from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met; Together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other these friends from long past, the time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart, has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever, and then, side-by-side, they cross over…together.


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Beer Cheese Soup

December 28, 2009

Or Cheesy Beer Soup…which ever you prefer.  It’s been down right arctic here.  In fact it has been warmer on the Kenai Peninsula at some of our favorite places than it has here in Idaho.  Whats up with that????  Sooooo…with the temps low and the leftovers as well….here goes.

BEER CHEESE SOUP

1 stick butter

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2  cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp mustard powder

1/2 cup flour

1/2 box of chicken stock

2 12oz bottles of beer

1 cup milk

1/2 lb shredded monterey jack cheese

1/2 lb shredded sharp cheddar

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Saute veggies til tender in butter.  Add mustard and flour to coat.  Add chicken stock and cook till thick.  Add cheese and beer alternately until melted and then salt and pepper to taste.   Serve with crusty bread or rolls.

Okay….all these amounts are approximate.  I just kept adding until I got the consistency and the taste I wanted.  As far as beer goes, once again I used whatever leftovers were in the beer fridge.

I served with left over rolls I had made for Christmas from the oatmeal bread recipe.  The were just heavy enough to stand up to some heavy dipping.  I have enough leftover to serve with my last package of German sausages.  Tonite…maybe??

Gulhwein

December 23, 2009

WyoNella has requested the recipe for Gulhwein, I sent a jug home with her and apparently it disappeared over Thanksgiving.  Here it is.  Enjoy,kiddo.

GULHWEIN

750 ml wine

2/3 C sugar

1 lemon, sliced thinly

2 cardamom pods

2 star anise

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

Throw it all a pan and warm.  If you use a crock pot you will want to double the recipe.  Mostly because the crock pot is too big for that little amount and besides, the more….the more better.  You can use any drinkable red wine, but I use the Blackberry because when we were in Germany, my Honey liked the blueberry gulhwein and I can’t find that around here.
Well, think  we are about ready for Christmas (round 1) here.  The only one still put out of joint about the whole thing is my blogging buddy Kylie.

She got moved from in front of the french door to in front of the kitchen window, so we could put up the Christmas tree.  We have a bird feeder outside the window and there are still some some of my little yellow friends around that like to come and eat.  Here she is trying to scare them away….not that she would eat their food anyway…people food is her thing.

Big Bully!!!


Cookie Exchange Part 2

December 22, 2009

And look what was in the mail.  Pretty wrapping, isn’t it.  Almost camouflaged  by the table cloth. And inside were the cookies from my cookie exchange partner.

Aren’t they adorable little guys and so very yummy.  Heather said the are a Norwegian cookie called peparkakar.  They are thin crispy little guys with just the right amount of cinnamon for me.  We will enjoy every single one of them.  Thanks so much, Heather.

Thought you might enjoy this.  It was taken at sunrise yesterday.

Cookie Exchange

December 21, 2009

We took a Christmastime cruise down the Danube 2 years ago and these came home in the luggage with me.  The Christmas markets were lots of fun and many many Gulhwein stands.  My Honey is not much of a shopper or a wine drinker either, but the warm wine soothed him while I shopped.

I kinda cheated on the cookie exchange sponsored by Molly of BlatterSpattered.  I was suppose to send a dozen cookies.  Well, I sent a half dozen each of lebkuchen, spiced nuts, snickerdoodles, toffee squares and bourbon balls.  Since you have the recipes for the first two, I shall give you the rest.

SNICKERDOODLES

1 cup soft butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Chill overnight.  Roll into balls about the size of walnuts then roll balls into cinnamon sugar.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes.

I like mine on the crispy side…ya know..dunkable.  Not the bend in the middle store bought ones.  If you like them soft, bake them at 350 and watch them close.

TOFFEE SQUARES

1 cup soft butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp rum or brandy extract

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and then add egg and flavoring.  Add dry ingredients.  Spread on 1/4 sheet cake pan or 9X13 pan.  Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.  Spread chocolate chips on surface of cookies when you take them out of the oven.  Let them melt and then spread evenly.  Sprinkle with nuts and cut into squares while still warm.

BOURBON BALLS

or better known as JACK BALLS here

1 cup finely chopped nuts

1 large box of vanilla wafers

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup bourbon

Put nuts in food processor and pulse till fine.  Add vanilla wafers and pulse till fine.  Ass sweetened condensed milk till combined.  It’s pretty thick.  Then add bourbon.  Roll into balls and then in powdered sugar, place on cookie sheet covered with saran wrap and let dry overnight.  Keep tightly covered and enjoy.  If you want them more, well, boozey tasting add more cookie crumbs and booze

And they are Jack Balls around here because there is no such thing as bourbon around here.  Only Quality Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey distilled and bottled by Jack Daniels Distillery.  Yeeeee Haaawwww.

Thanks so much to Molly for putting all this together.  I know its alot of work for you, but lots of fun for us.

Oatmeal Coming Out My Ears

December 21, 2009

I scored on some oatmeal…15 lbs of it to be exact.  Now I don’t eat it per say as cereal…gag me with a spoon…so I had to find something to do with it.  I have an oatmeal/chocolate chip cake thats really good and there is always the oatmeal cookie, but needed something else.  In my quest to find interesting things to put in my honey’s lunch, I stumbled across his recipe from Artic Garden Studio.  She adapted it from Nigela Express and I adapted it from her.

GRANOLA BARS

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup soft dried apples, rough chopped

1 cup mixed nuts, rough chopped

1/3 cup sesame seeds, no shell..duh

Heat the milk until warm and runny.  Pour into the other ingredients and mix to coat everything.  Spread in a sprayed 9X13  pan and bake at 250 for an hour.  Remove from pan and let cool, then cut to the shape you want.

My Honey likes them and I have since found some others made with honey that I will give a try later.  Healthier and whatnot.  But some chocolate chips are bound to find their way into this recipe at some time or another.

I also found a bread recipe (with oatmeal) that sounded interesting.  I think its great, but the final verdict will be how well it worked as sammich bread.

OATMEAL BREAD

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2  packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour

Bring water, salt and oatmeal to a boil and add brown sugar and butter.  Let cool so you don’t kill the yeast.  Combine yeast and white sugar in warm water.  Combine yeast mixture and oatmeal mixture along with 2 cups of flour in mixer with dough hook.  Combine and keep adding flour 1/2 cup or so at a time until elastic then kneed for a couple more minutes.  Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover and let rest for about and hour or until double.  Punch down and let rest for a few then shape into two leaves and put in sprayed pans.  Let rise until double again and bake at 350 till brown and loaves sound hollow when thunked.

I only used about 5 1/2 cups of flour total and this makes huge loaves.  Not sure I could get 3 out of it though.

Beer Bread

December 19, 2009

Look at my new ornaments!!!  Gdaughter #2 was so excited when she got home from school.  We had to hang them right on the tree.  Gdaughter #1 forgot hers…of course she remembered the candy from the party….doesn’t surprise me in the least.  Maybe thats what we ought to start doing.  Kids make an ornament for Grams and Gramps tree every year.  Hhhhmmmmmmm

Came to a horrible place last night just before suppertime.  My Honey goes back to work and I have no bread for his lunch.  He doesn’t eat the mamby pamby sliced white bread.  Hates it as a matter of fact.  I hadn’t made this in a long time.  I have no idea where the recipe came from…one of those written down on a scrap of paper and put in the cookbook to get yellow ones.

BEER BREAD

3 cups of self rising flour

1/2 cup sugar

12 oz of beer

Mix together and place in sprayed loaf pan.  Bake at 375 for 55-60 minutes or thumps done.

Now how easy is that????  I use whatever beer is leftover in the beer fridge in the garage.  This time I added a Tbsp or so of Italian seasoning….Penzeys of course.  I have added grated cheese…garlic…sliced olives.  You could add just about anything you want.  My Honey went off to work this morning happy as a clam with his beer bread/ left over traegered steak sammiches.

Chinese Turkey

December 17, 2009

Well, not really, but MIL brought chinese food home and it sure did taste good.  She stopped at Blackfoot at a place called Hong’s…I think that’s what she said.  She brought the mystery meal and the lunch special home.  Damned good for a change.  However, not near as good as in Humboldt County….. BrazenBites, you will have to help me with the name.  I can see the building and could drive to it, but the name is gone.  Old age strikes again.

As you can see, I got the tree decorated…poor ole naked thing.  And I have no theme or rhyme or reason to it.  It’s full of ornaments as old and odler than me…there’s that “o” word again.  Ones we have picked up on our trips.  Ones the kids and gkids have made and of course, candy canes.

It’s fun to watch the little ones and big ones pick out the ornaments they remember and the new ones.  Even my Honey was doing that last night.  Well, he hasn’t been here for a Christmas in 5 years.  In fact, alot of these ornaments haven’t been on the tree in 5 years.

No recipes today, but I will make up for it.  But there is a lebkucken update.  Don’t blog where you are going to hide cookies…especially if your Honey reads your blog.  You will be making another bunch.  Instead of rolling them out and cutting them, I baked them in a parchment line 1/4 sheet pan.  A 9X12 pan or larger would work too.  They are a little thicker, but just as yummy.

School Treats

December 16, 2009

With the temps being as warm as they have been, its a wonder we have snow at all.  Just the right snow for the girls to make a snowman yesterday after school.  I showed them once last year how to make the big snowballs for snowman bodies and they remembered.  Now if I could just get math and reading to stick like that.

If you remember at Halloween time, we had a tad bit of a catastrophe with the treats for school.  I promised to make treats for Gdaughter #1 for her Christmas party.  Well, thank you once again Paula Deen.  And yes, I will keep them out of reach of my Honey.

PEPPERMINT PINWHEELS

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • Special equipment: 24 lollipop sticks

Directions

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in another large bowl. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating until combined. Remove half of the mixture from the bowl. Add food coloring, beating until fully combined. In waxed paper, roll out dough to form a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat this step with the other half of uncolored dough with no food coloring. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Tear out 1 sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Sprinkle the surface of the paper with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Very carefully, slide the red dough on top of the white dough. Trim edges if uneven and patch if necessary. Roll dough into a log, creating a swirl effect. Place the dough back in the refrigerator and let chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices and place on a parchment lined sheet tray about 1-inch apart. Place lollipop stick about 1-inch through the flat side of the dough. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

They look cute before baking, but don’t think that you are going to get size large cookies like were shown on the show.  Buy the short sticks because if you buy the large ones, you will be cutting them in half like it did.  I also had to cut the slices about 3/4 of an inch because I was having trouble getting the sticks in without tearing the cookie.  I also didn’t chill the dough as much.  After coloring the dough, I rolled one color out between 2 pieces of wax paper and then put the other color on top, covered with wax paper as rolled it out on top of the other dough.  I removed the wax paper and rolled them together and then chilled for probably about 4 hours.

They looked cute right out of the oven and smelled soooo…well, pepperminty. And they looked great all wrapped up and ready for the party on Friday….and hey, it was only Tuesday nite.  What’s up with that.  Sooooo unlike me.

Hot Sweet Nuts

December 14, 2009

I have no idea where this weekend went, but it sure is gone.  My Honey has switched shifts and is now working 6AM to 6PM….much better on my humor.  He ended up with 3 days off because of slick roads and wrecked trucks, but all is back to something you could call normal.

Once again this recipe is from BrazenBites.  She used to make them for cocktail time in Humboldt County and I really enjoyed them.  Aaahhhh…Humboldt County…but I digress.  Anyway… think these are just the right combination of hot and sweet.  I made a bunch last year and sent them to my Honey in the sand and he loves em.  And of course….they are perfect with a cocktail.

HOT SWEET NUTS

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp water

2 cups mixed nuts…deshelled naturally

Combine first 4 ingredients and boil 2 minutes.  Add nuts and toss to cover.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on baking sheet covered, sprayed or however you do it.  Let cool and enjoy.

I wrapped up a handful to stick in the cookie exchange box for a little extra.  The weather had warmed up and of course we got snow, but they way the stars were shinning so bright at 5AM and it was still and beautiful, the day promises to be a pretty one.  However, as the girls got on the bus, the wind came up and the temperature dropped (always does about sunup), so we shall see what the day brings.