Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Another Beautiful Morning

April 17, 2010

Well, spring was definitely in the air this morning.  The wonderful perfume of a skunk.  Not too close because it didn’t stay around long, but close enough.  And it was 78 here yesterday!!!!!!!  Doesn’t get much better than that.

Got house cleaned yesterday and started on spring cleaning.  Started with the room the girls sleep in when they spend the night….affectionately called the blue room.  Got all the bedding washed and I took it over to MIL’s and hung it on her line.  They smell so fresh and clean.  Nothing like it in a bottle or cloth sheet.  Reminds me of the days when I hung out WyoNella’s cloth diapers on the line.  Anybody remember those??  We worked on a ranch at the time and the only time her little bottom was in disposables was when we went to town once a month to get groceries.

Also got the asparagus taken care of too.  All blanched, sealed and in the freezer.  I really like it best grilled on the traeger, but way too much for that. Remembered I had some broccoli that I had gotten just before my Honey left that needed some attention too, so its in the freezer too.

I was digging for a cupcake recipe that my Mom had used and couldn’t find it.  Did find a Telephone Pioneer cookbook that I had forgotten I had.  Tried these pastries.  I cooked them to long because everybody came at once and I got sidetracked, but they are good dunkers.

GERMAN TWISTS

1 tbsp dry yeast

1 cup heated sour cream

1 cup shortening

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 beaten eggs

sugar, sugar and sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm sour cream.  Cut shortening into four and salt (i used my food processor…..cutting in is not my forte).  Combine with yeast and eggs.  Knead on floured board until smooth and elastic.  Chill dough.  This is a pretty soft dough…even when its chilled.  Roll out dough on sugared surface, fold, sugar again and roll out.  Cut into 1X5 inch strips.  Roll in sugar and twist.  Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise until double.  Bake at 325 for 10 to 15 minutes or until brown.

This makes about 18.  Like I said the dough is sticky and I used a bunch of sugar so things didn’t stick.  I also used some turbinado sugar for rolling and twisting.  I think next time I will use butter instead of shortening and may add some cinnamon to the sugar at the end.  But they are yummy the way they are….over cooked and all.

Well, I mixed up the bear claw dough and filling yesterday and I had better get at those.  And with no gkids today, I am going to be a gown up and go to a Mary Kay party this afternoon.  Hope your weather is as beautiful as mine.

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.

Sure Signs of Spring

April 25, 2009

Look what I found outside the kitchen/dining room window……

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I don’t remember planting these.   It might have been the lady who took care of my yard last summer while we were gone that did the planting.  I never had good luck with bulbs….most of them never see the light of day again after being planted.  I know there is no Garden Fairy, but however they got there, it was a very beautiful surprise.

And more sure signs of spring….

Had company last night.  The neighbors from across the road came out of hybernation.  They brought me some of their stew.  It was yummy.  We sat and had a few beers and got caught up on each others lives.  And that is why this blog is about 12 hours late.

Ran into BB at the grocery store yesterday.  Haven’t seen him in forever.  He used to work with my Honey in American Falls at the Case dealer.  He has been laid off since early December, but hopes to go back the first of the month.  He had been working in Utah, but now has to go to Missouri.  I know winter layoffs are common in construction…lived through plenty myself…but this one seemed a little long. 

MIL came home from Idaho Falls yesterday bearing gifts.

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And

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DeeJaye and crew have already been into them as you can see.  So I traded MIL goodies for dinner and she went away a happy as a clam.

PULLED PORK

RUB:

    2 Tbsp Deen House Seasoning

    2 Tbsp Penzey’s Smoked Spanish Paprika

    1 Tbsp Penzey’s Crushed Brown Mustard Seed

    1 tsp Dried Mustard Powder

Rub a pork sholder/butt roast with dry rub.  I used the latex glove trick that Alton Brown suggested and yes, more of the seasoning stuck to the meat instead of my hands.

Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker and add any seasonings that didn’t stick the the roast and then the roast itself.  I cooked mine for about 6 hrs on high, but I was home and could watch the water level.  You can adjust the temp to suit yourself.  Cook until fall apart tender then remove, let cool a bit and then shred.  If I was going to use all the meat for BBQ Pork Sammiches, I would put some brown sugar in the rub.  But I only used half the meat.  The other half reserved for……..

BBQ SAUCE

Sweet Baby Rays Award Winning BBQ Sauce

shot of Tequila..use the cheap stuff and save the Patron

chapped garlic

Combine in sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add meat.

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I found a pretty loaf of bread in the day old bin and cut it up for buns.  Add a little coleslaw and you have dinner.  Enjoy!!!!

Taxes Done

March 31, 2009

Got the taxes done today.  Our tax guy got things so it wasn’t quite as painful as it might have been.  So I decided to treat myself to a little taste of spring.  When my Honey is overseas…..the flowers “just cuz” are in short supply.  So….

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They kinda match the sweatshirt that WyoNella got me in Ferndale.

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Along with the cool socks……….img_1162

I took it extra easy today with dinner.  Fixed Swiss Steak.  We all have our own recipes for that.  I just mentioned it in hope it might ring a bell with someone who is thinking…”What the hell do I fix for dinner??”

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And here is one more touch of spring.  Enjoy

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NASCAR, Baking and multitasking

March 29, 2009

Woke up this morning to the wind howling and a mix of rain and snow….a light wintry mix…I believe is the term.  It was sure a good day for soup, so that was the first thing I started with.

Beef and Bean Soup

1.5 lbs stew meat

2 tbsp olive oil

2 handsful of small carrots chopped

3 stalks celery chopped

1 small onion chopped

6 cloves garlic chopped

1 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

2  32oz cartons of beef broth

1  28 oz can chopped tomatoes

2 15 oz can white beans

Brown meat in olive oil and then remove from pan.  Add chopped veggies to pan and cook until soft.  Return meat and add remaining ingredients.  Let simmer until everything is tender and enjoy.

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Then caught a ride to town with MIL.  Had to get the truck from the Ford dealer.  It quit us twice coming back from CA, but started and got us home.  Can the dealer figure out what is wrong??  Oh, hell, no.  So I’ll drive it and hope whatever gremlin was there is gone.  Yeah right.   IM with my honey till noon and then to baking.  The weather hasn’t improved, but at least the wintry mix has quit.  Oh well, its almost time for green, green green.  First project is pie.  I found key limes on sale, so that was a project.

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KEY LIME PIE

1 pre made graham cracker crust

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup lime juice

zest of however many limes it took to get the 1/2 cup juice

2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)

1 egg

Combine condensed milk, juice, zest, egg yolks and egg.  Pour into pie shell and refrigerate for and hour.  Beat egg whites and 4 tbsp of sugar to make meringue.  Spread meringue to edges of crust and bake at 350 for 15 min or until meringue is brown.

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I have to give most of this away.  It’s toooooo good.  And while I was IMing with my Honey, I watched Paula.  Orange brownies????  Hmmmmm….I have and orange or two in the fruit bowl.

ORANGE BROWNIES

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Orange Brownies:

Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

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Another batch to share.  Of course about that time the cake pans I have been watching on ebay were coming up for the end of auction.  While I was watching that, my honey is emailing me.  He had gotten pieces parts for his new scooter…better known as the “Geezer Glide”.  He was excited about the good deal and then had insomnia.  I IMed with him and watched my pans.  Got my pans and then sent him to bed.  After all, it was 1130PM his time and he gets up about 5AM.  Well, now something for the kids.

It was a box mix for cupcakes and 7 minute frosting.  I watched Sandra Lee this morning and decided to give it a try.img_1152

Don’t they look fun??  Kids ought to enjoy them.  Of course by this time the snow has started and is coming down sideways.  The 2 pair of Robins that have come to the front yard and willow tree are sorry they came back so early.img_1148

The whole day I have been smelling ripe bananas.  One look at the fruit bowl told me I had 4 too-brown-for-the-kids-to-eat bananas.  I knew BrazenBites had sent me a recipe for banana muffins.  She claimed they were ugly.  Just the thing to try today.  I looked all through my emails.  I had lost the recipe …..again.  I emailed her for it.  By the time I got a return email, I had found the recipe for Chocolate Banana muffins and had the batter whipped up.  Next time.

CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA MUFFINS

1 1/2 cups mashed over ripe banana

2/3 cup oil.. I used canola

1 egg beaten

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine sugar, oil, bananas and vanilla.  Combine remaining dry ingredients and then add to banana mixture until just combined.  Fold in chips.  Fill muffn cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 425 for 15-20 min.  I used on regular muffin tin and then a mini tin and almost filled it.

 

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I had a fun day…a busy day and did survive the wind and snow.  BTW…my driver ended up 3rd at Martinsville…my favorite track.  Go #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet.  Go Tony!!!!!!!!!  And yes…it’s still snowing.  It’s spring time in Ideeho.

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My Back Hurts Tonite

March 25, 2009

No snow yet today.  The weatherman lied…again.  We shall see what happens after dark.  The are still saying 2-3 inches, but we shall see.  In the mean time, I thought I had to do three days projects in one…truth be told..didn’t want to clean the rest of the house. 

So….got meat in the crockpot to use in tamales.  I don’t like them….its the cornmeal, but my Honey loves them.  So I told him I would give it a go.  The meat smells wonderful.  Hope I can get the rest of the tamales together right.

Then I’ve been thinking about fried chicken, mashed taters and gravy for about a week now.  So….got the chicken soaking in buttermilk, hot sauce and spices.  I have a houseful of  grandkids tonite and they love chicken legs.

Then I made lemon cookies.  They had to sit in the fridge.

LEMON COOKIES

3/4 C soft butter

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1 1/4 C  four

1/2 C corn starch

1 tsp lemon zest

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in lemon juice.  Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to cream mixture and mix well.  Shape dough into a 1 1/2 inch roll and refridgerate for an hour.  Unwrap an cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 min. Cool completely on racks.

LEMON FROSTING

1/4 c soft butter

1 c powdered sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tp lemon zest

Combine and spread on cooled cookies.  Let stand until set and then store in airtight container.  If they last that long.  The cookies are dainty little shortbread type cookies.  If you don’t intend on frosting them, double the zest, as they are not very lemony.

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On to the pepper jelly.  The original recipe that I got from Randy and BrazenBites called for Pamonas Pectin.  Find that in Pocatello Idaho…yeah right.  So had to do a bit of adapting.  I don’t really like messing with recipes made with pectin, but I got lucky and it worked.  Jelled.  I’m amazed.  The only thing that I would do different is use two jalapenos instead of one.  It wasn’t quite hot enough for me, but it might get hotter as it sits.

PEPPER JELLY

1 each yellow, orange, red, jalapeno pepper seeded

2 cups vinegar (recipe called for apple cider, I used white wine)

6 cups sugar

2  3oz pouches liquid pectin

Puree peppers in 1 cup vinegar in blender.  Do not strain puree.  Combine puree, remaining vinegar and sugar in large pan.  Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Add pectin, bring back to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Jar and process as per instructions on pectin package.  I got 7 -8oz jars.

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Then on to brownies.  One of the grandkids very favorites.  This is a box mix with chocolate butter cream frosting and a little bit of pretties.  Thought I had better get a pic before they all disappeared.  Like I said…kids love em.

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Now on to dinner.  Chicken, taters and gravy.  We all have our favorite recipes.  I double dip my chicken in buttermilk and hot sauce then in flour.  We all enjoyed…..even the in laws enjoyed.

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I also made sourdough biscuits.  The recipe another day.  I’m pooped.  Just let the dog in.  It’s snowing.  Aaaaaaaahh…spring in Idaho.