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Welcome March

March 9, 2011

OK… March is almost half over.  But I am soooooo very glad that February is over!!!  Between internet meltdowns, computer meltdowns…then having to learn a new one with a new operating system…remembering passwords and trying to remember favorite sites, family meltdowns, sickness or just generally not feeling good, and the gray skys leading to the infamous “winter funk”.  One good did thing happen in February….WyoNella came for a visit.  We did have a good time.  We had plans of going to Twin Falls to a Stained Glass/Ceramic Shop, but the weather stopped us.  So we stayed home and colored her hair.  I left her eyebrows and trim to someone alot more talented in that field than I am.  I didn’t even make anything ahead for Christmas.  But I am so thankful that the whole damn month is done!!!!!

So whats been so much better about March??  Lets see….

These came in the mail.  Ought to be fun to try to make these.  They came from the Extension Office in Fairbanks.

Pocatello Old Town had their first annual Beerfest this Saturday.  My Honey and I had a great time.  A dozen or so microbreweries brought their wares for all to sample at some of the pubs in town.  It was a walking tour, but one needed a DD to get home.  One of the brews was 7.8…WOW.  We have a little brewery here in town…Portnef Valley Brewery.  I must admit that I enjoyed their brew the most.

On Sunday we finally bottled our own beer.  A batch of Gopher Pale Ale…which is WyoNella’s favorite and a batch of Dunkelweisen.  Both of them were both yummy.  It will be about 2 more weeks now before the carbonation does it’s thing and they are ready to drink.  Can’t wait….but will have to.

DeeJaye finally got my hair done.  I am back to being a redhead and I feel so much better.  She also got my brows done and I can now hold my eyes open, now that I don’t have double eyebrows to hold up.

We did have 3.6 inches of snow the other night.  Made for some nasty driving for a few hours, but the sun came out and things melted off the next day.

Plans for the garden are now under way.  Ordered my heirloom tomato plants from a local grower.  I ordered Amish Paste and San Marzano..both romas, Matt’s Wild Cherry, a tiny cherry that is sweeter than candy, Omars Lebanese and Siberian Russian…early varieties and new to our garden, and Wonder Light…a yellow variety.  Cutting down on the garden this year…or so we say.  Onion sets on sale, so will pick some up tomorrow.

This came in the mail today.  I saw it in Mother Earth News.  Wyonella gave me her bread machine…alas…no directions.  I will muddle through with the help of my new cookbook.  Like I need another one.  If al else fails, I will use the recipes by changing them to old fashion kneaded bread.  Whatever works.

And the Iditarod started. 

Thanks to the Anchorage Daily News for the pics.  Most of the mushers and teams are in Takotna just about ready to leave from their 24 hour layover. 

Good luck Martin Buser!!!!!!  Speed and safety be with you and your dogs.


What a Wonderful Surprise!!!

February 16, 2011

What a day this has been. Woke up to the wind blowing a gale…not only do I have a headache from it, but the hay stack blew down.   Didn’t get the garbage to the road in time.  I tried, but couldn’t get traction on the ice and the driver didn’t see me in time or he would have stopped.  Then I had to go to work.  Change Valentines Day to Easter for Hallmark.  Thought it would only take a couple of hours, but no…it took twice that long.  I stopped in the middle to come home and make a hot meal for my Honey and build his lunch…then back to town and finish up.  I was in a hurry to get home, so forgot to stop and get gas….hope I have enough to get back.  Well, when I got home there was a wonderful surprise on the table.  A package from BrazenBite……made me very happy.  And what was inside??????

Lots of fun stuff………Along knit scarf…denim blue…fades from light to dark and is soft as butter.  A woven shawl, so light and airy…perfect for cool summer evenings.

Trader Joe’s French Roast Coffee….dark and rich….just the best ever.

Tom Yum Paste…hot and sour….never used it before, but says to cook shrimp and mushrooms in it…can’t be bad then…I will let ya know.

A cute red heart shaped candle…I have red scattered throughout my house, so it will easily find a special home.

More Trader Joe’s…candy this time…Dark chocolate covered caramels…my favorite and milk chocolate English toffee…my Honey’s favorite.

Rice Candy…must admit that I don’t think I have ever tried this….it says it has a childrens sticker inside….so I may share with the gkids…or not

Trader Joe’s PeanutButter Filled Pretzels…they are simply the best…no box or grocery store variety can compare.  If you live near a Trader Joe’s…you don’t know how lucky you are.

What can I say but, THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU.  I am getting a box together for you and was going to bring it when we come in May, but I may just hurry things along.

School Birthday Treats

February 4, 2011

It sure is hard to believe Girlie is as old as she is.  Time sure does go by fast anymore!!!  But at any rate…aren’t they cute???   Don’t they look like an ice cream sundae? Got the idea from bakerella.  She does some really cute things, but most are too complicated for me…but they are fun to look at.

You start with the cupcake part.  Any flavor.  I was going to use strawberry, but none at the store.  I got a white cake mix and added strawberry flavoring and a bit of red food coloring.  Fill the cups about half full instead of the usual 2/3.  You gotta have room to hold the rest.

Then you make ganache ….chocolate of course while you are wating for the cakes to cool a bit.  I am getting really lazy any more.  I heat up the cream in my 8 cup glass measuring cup in the microwave.  Stir in the chocolate chips and there ya go.  It also makes it easy to fill the cupcakes.  The more the better.  After all it is chocolate.

Then make basic buttercream frosting.  Pipe it on so it looks like whipped cream.  I used a 2C tip, but any flower tip will do.  Sprinkle the sprinkles on after you frost each one, or they won’t stick!!

Then plunk a round red candy on top.  They didn’t have any jawbreakers or fire balls at the store, so I used some kind of sour something or other.  That ought to pucker them kids up….LOL

You do end up with a ton, so be prepared for that.  Of course I had tooooo much frosting and ganache.  Oh well, I am sure I can find a use for it.

They all got delivered to the Mrs. Hess’ fourth grade class this morning in one piece.  Along with the gob of frosting on my shoe that I didn’t notice I slopped.  Big Sigh………..

Yes…..It’s Been Cold Here

February 3, 2011

Boy, the way the weather has been this winter I was beginning to think that we might have just missed the below zero weather, but alas, it found us.

How cold has it been???

The hens have all but quit laying.  Two eggs a day is all the ole girls will give up and I can’t say as I blame them.  The cats refuse to go out.  It’s much nicer to lounge on the back of the couch in the sunshine.  Everytime the door opens, the dogs have their noses in the door wanting in, or they are curled up on the patio chair pads.  The kids and I have added insulated coveralls to our wardrobe for doing chores.  And my Explorer, which has to sit outside because there is no room in the garage, will start, but doesn’t really want to.  When it does there is the loudest screeching noise as the belt slips around until it warms up.  In other words…………

So we need a good hot breakfast.  How about home made chorizo, potatoes, eggs a bit of cheese??  Works for me.

Fry up some spuds, add chorizo and fry till done, throw in some scrambled eggs and when they are about done, add cheese.  Simple enough.


5 lbs ground pork

3 medium yellow onions

1 poblano pepper

8 cloves garlic chopped

3 Tbsp paprika

5 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp oregano

2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp dried crushed red peppers

1/2 tsp cinnamon

I ran the onions and pepper through the grating blade on the food processor.  I had plenty of juice from that mixture and the pre-chopped garlic, but if you think you need a little more liquid use a tad bit of dry red wine.   I put it all in Layla with the dough hook and let it mix away.  Every once in awhile I brought up any unmixed sausage from the bottom with a spatula.  No raw meat under my fingernails or in my rings!!!!

My tablespoons measurements are heaping and all of them are to taste.  To try yours out and make sure you are happy with it, fry a little patty and taste test.  This recipe is NOT that greasy red stuff that you buy in the casings at the grocery store that turns everything red.


The 4BT is here!!!!!!!



February 1, 2011


The beers has been moved to the carboys for secondary fermentation.  It will be 2 to 4 weeks before bottling.

And yes, that’s the bathtub in my back bathroom.  My Honey moved them before I got a pic.  And believe me, those glass jugs are heavy!!!

This is the gopher pale ale.  It’s really cloudy now, but will clear up as time goes along.


It’s starting to get some color.  Still smells rather vodka-ey, but with an essence of vanilla.

Also had a wreck the other day while mixing pies.

Made me laugh…funny stuff.

Gotta clean out pantry…gotta…gotta…gotta.  Maybe I will find something fun…and useful.

Black Bean Veggie Soup

January 18, 2011

I am always looking for new soup recipes.  My Honey loves soup.  And now that he working at a place that has a microwave in the break room, now I can send it in his lunch.  This is similar to my chicken chili, but no chicken and not quite so spicy….yet anyway.  This recipe is from the Allrecipes website.



  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes


  1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, and carrots, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, 1 can of the beans, corn, and pepper; bring to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree together tomatoes and remaining can of beans; add to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

I followed the recipe except that I added some celery and used V-8 instead of vegetable stock.

Well, it passed my Honey’s approval and is on its way to work as I speak, or blog or whatever.


January 13, 2011

Snurr …..its Norwegian for twist…among other things.  So hence the name Cinnamon Snurrs.  This recipe is from The Transplanted Baker, Siri in Norway.



7 cups flour

2 cups milk…I took the chill off

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cardamon…she used half cinnamon

1 large room temp egg

2 1/2 Tbsp dry active yeast

10 Tbsp butter cut very small  or grated

Throw everything but the butter in your kitchen aid mixer with dough hook and mix and knead for 10 min, add a little more flour if dough is sticky.  Slowly add the chilled butter and knead for 10 to 15 more minutes.  Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hrs.  Roll dough on a floured surface to a 15″X20″ rectangle


1 stick softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cinnamon

Smear butter evenly on dough then cover with sugar and cinnamon.  Fold 1/3 of dough towards center, then other 1/3 over it.  Roll to a 12″X20″ rectangle and then cut about 18 – 24 strips.  Twist the strips, then hold one end between thumb and first finger, wrap around your two fingers and tuck ends underneath.  Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise another hour.  Brush with eggs wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 for about 15 – 20 minutes, until brown.

They are pretty, aren’t they??  I do have a couple of tips.   DO NOT attempt this if you have to mix the dough by hand.  I just don’t think one would survive trying to mix and knead this by hand.  And if you don’t have powdered  cardamon, don’t bother to try to “powder” the pods unless you have a spare coffee grinder.  I tried and didn’t work.

and although these look very pretty, I don’t know that they are worth the trouble.  I have made much better cinnamon rolls and I think next time I will add a bit of cinnamon to my favorite dough. I found them doughy and heavy…of course…it might have been me.

Well, I am going to post this before my internet goes down again.  Snowing here and it’s sticking and getting slick.  And of course, I have to go to town in the morning

Trying This Again with Muffins

January 12, 2011

I really can’t say why I stopped this.  Just did and now hopefully I can get back to it.  The last few days I have been checking back with some of my favorite blogs….some of them have survived and some have gone by the wayside…kinda like this one.  At any rate, My Honey started a new job with the Kenworth dealer this afternoon, so I am going to try this again.

I was checking out Arctic Garden Studio by Nichole in Fairbanks AK.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love Alaska and would move there in a heart beat, but now is not the right time.  At any rate, I found her Maple Walnut Muffins.  She adapted them from the cookbook Sarabeths Bakery by Sarabeth Levine.  I didn’t change a thing.  They are wonderful and I still wouldn’t change a thing.



2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

1/4 tsp maple flavoring

1 1/2 sticks melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 room temp large whole egg and 1 yolk

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Whisk together the dry ingredients on one bowl, minus the nuts and the wets in another.  Mix the wet in the dry and stir together until just combined.  Add nuts and let set until the dry ingredients have absorbed the liquid.   Place in greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 and bake until tops are brown and the toothpick test is right.

These came out wonderful.  Moist and mapley, but with a crunchy top.  I think next time I make muffins I will try the “let it set and absorb” trick.  I be thinking that is the key.  These are geat for breakfast…a mid morning or afternoon snack and of course to throw in a lunch box.

Well,  grandkids are home from school,  so on to homework.   Tomorrow Cinnamon Snurrs….intrigued??

Winter Funk….be gone!!!!!!

March 11, 2010

I have no idea what has been wrong with me this winter.  But boy, do I ever have the winter blues.  I don’t know if its been the weather, employment/unemployment, sick/healthy or what, and my 57th birthday yesterday sure didn’t help.  But whatever it has been….I promise to do better.

This winter has just been gray.  We haven’t had alot of snow and what we have gotten has been melting fast and making ice and more ice.   At one point the front lawn as totally bare and the driveway had 8 inches of ice.  It has been treacherous to say the least.  We had a pool going for awhile on who would bust their butt first, but no one claimed they did it.  The last week has been warm enough to melt things off and we now have a driveway and not an ice skating rink.  Of course melting ice means mud and there is plenty of that around.  And of course mud makes for oops.

We got it out early the next morning while the ground was still frozen, but there were a few choice words said and the UPS man parks on the road and walks down to the house.

We do have a new addition to our family.  We got her about mid January.  Her name is Lola.

She started out this darling little ball of fur and is now into the terrible twos.

She is a wonderful friend.  We have been taking her to puppy school for the last 6 weeks.  She was too young when we started so we are going to start again at the end of the month.  The last 2 weeks she has been finally getting what was suppose to happen.

We decided this fall that we were going to get chicks.  For my birthday my Honey built me a chicken coop.

I just love it.  I’m still pouting that I have to wait until May to get fuzzy butts though.  But it is just too cold yet to try to keep them alive even in the coop with the brooder.  We have it moved out to area where we want it to set, but haven’t got the run built yet.  We do have some time for that.

Another new addition to the menagerie we had about 10 days ago.

Mama goat had twins, but we lost the little buck.  I will try to get a better picture of her tomorrow.  She is out of the shed and running or should I say hopping around.  Any ideas for a name would be greatly appreciated.

And now for the best new addition to our family.  Meet Lucas James Wells.

Welcome to the world little guy.  We went down to see Lucas and Logan and Mommie and Daddy last weekend.

And Gramps sure is proud.

And Logan sure is growing.  Hard to believe he will be 2 in June.

Well, that’s enough babbling for tonite.  I have lots of new recipes to share and odds and ends.  All for another day.


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.