Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blustery Weekend

 It's been a cold, wet weekend. Perfect for snuggling up and lighting a fire. You know... a chicken and fat noodle soup kind of weekend !!! A get outside chores done fast, light all the candles and cook yummy stuff kind of weekend!!!
I found this fleece blanket a few days ago on clearence for a can't  pass it up price. It is a creamy, lucious, burrow into, baby blanket soft fleece, with golden beige autumn leaves. Just my kind of blanket. It just needed a bit of embellishment and it it now PERFECT !!!                 
 Charlie was quite content to keep me company while I finished it up. Notice her new pink and polka dot collar. She is just so cute.
 And of course I had to make some chicken and fat noodles. I wait all summer for a weekend just like this so I can spend the day inside making yummy things to feed everyone. It's my hearts content.
 If you have been reading long you have seen my process in detail before, but I was having so much fun Seth took pictures for me to share with you today.
 Mmmmmmmmm  mmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 Jennifer and Angel brought the salad and a bottle of wine.
 Oh and just for the heck of it, I made a carrot cake. You are NEVER, NEVER, NEVER too old to lick this moms beaters, spatula and bowl. You just can't come to blows over who gets which!!! hahaha
 Cream cheese frosting..... DUH...... and lots of it!
 This is an old family recipe that I have tweeked through the years. If you like carrot cake.... you will LOVE this one. If you want the recipe let me know and Ill get it to you.
Now it's Sunday and its been another blustery day. I have however spent this one alone. Don't in anyway be sad for me. I had leftovers for lunch, another fire and it's been a very fruitful making Christmas presents day.
I hope your weekend has been a wonderful and filled with love as mine is.
I do want to thank each and every one of you who take the time to stop by my little blog. I enjoy sharing with you and am very grateful for you.
Blessings, Sue
Oh and no I didn't eat the yogurt. It was just a bit creepy that I put in a whole cup of yogurt from a container and only got back a dollop the size of a quarter. Where the heck did it go?? weird...... :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adventures in Yogurt Making.

Ok.. I'll admit it.  I like some of the finer things in life. Take yogurt for instance. I like the new Greek yogurts on the market now. Yes they are full of protein and blah blah blah but I like the texture, the thickness. It's like eating a piece of cheesecake to me. Now the particular brand I'm infatuated with right now costs $1.27 for a tiny "serving". Thats just too much for me. Sooooooo I thought I would try my hand at the "EASY" crock-pot method. It was easy. Even with the thermometer. More time consuming than anything.
 I started with 1/2 gallon of whole milk. I put it in the crock and brought it to the correct temperature.Then I cooled it down to the correct temperature, using the candy thermometer and added the container of plain yogurt with live active cultures. Wrapped it lovingly in a towel and let it sit for 10 hours. Then because it wasn't the least bit thickened up like yogurt should be I put it in the fridge for ...overnight.
 I then strained it through cheese cloth....
 This is what I got. Not even the amount of the ''real" yogurt I put in to start with. hahahahahaahahhaahhahah
 And a whole bowl of sour milk. I only know of a few recipes that use sour milk and I can't possibly use this much sour milk for anything else. Bummer of a waste, but this will not deter me. I WILL try again hahhaah
 I put sprinkles on Emmaline's cupcake hat. Just need to get it in the mail so it will keep her sweet little baby head nice and warm.
 This is a picture of my purple shamrocks. I forget their name. They are now blooming and the flowers are a light lavender.
 My old faithful keeps giving me tiny little white flowers and lots of big green clovers.
 I started another sweet potato. Not really on purpose. I waited to long to eat it and it started to get soft-ish and a few sprouts started popping out so I put her in a pot of water and she has taken right off.
 Oh and this is the Iron Cross Shamrock. Notice the leaves are sparse and rather spindly but it continues to bloom these amazingly bright coral flowers.I'm hoping that new leaves will sprout so it will fill out but it seems happy to continue making flowers!!
 And I finally got my "three white candles" that I have been obsessing over. hahahahahah I like them.
Gotta go... cleaning my bedroom and I don't want to loose momentum. More later than....
Blessings, Sue

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Best gadget ever...

 Or at least until I find the next one. hahahaha  I use A LOT of garlic. I like it fresh. I've used pre-minced in the jar for convenience when the girls were little but couldn't get past that sulphur taste and smell. Powder is the next best thing to fresh. Lately it seems like I have been chopping bits of my finger every time I chop garlic. Hmmmmmmm Seth said this won't do and went online to find this little gem.
 You still need to peel the garlic, but that's ok. I cut off the root end of each little bulb and smash it with my knife. It pops right off.
 Put the peeled bulb into 1/2 of the little doohickey. Put on the lid and give it a couple of twists.
 And waaaaaa laaaaaaaa. Perfectly minced garlic.
 You can even do more than 1 bulb at a time and for me that's real nice.
 I still had to get my fingers in there. I just love the smell! I used this in crock pot pea soup. mmmm mmmm mmmmmmm!!!
 I think one of my  young ladies may have laid an egg for us. The one on the right is from my Rhode island red. The one on the left is about 2/3 its size. The same size that Bethany, my little Spanish princess lays but hers are white. My hens are doing better with Artemus gone. They are much more calm and relaxed. I have started buying them meal worms to get them to tame up a bit. It doesn't take long for them to come a runnnin' for those!!!
 And there is something to be said for persistence, but that's another story. I want to talk a bit about living in the moment. Since my darling daughter pointed out in her last comment, that she has made the same recipe in the humidity and therefore it can't be the surgeon who removed my "swagga"
 I decided today to make my Gramas sugar cookies. These babies have never let me down. While in the midst of putting all the ingredients together I was thinking about multi-tasking. While I used to be REALLY good at this, it seems as though I get so many things on my mind lately that I'm not really living in the moment. I'm usually somewhere else in my mind, picking up Allison from school, going to the feed store, did I give the rabbit water?, what will I make for dinner tonight?, I have to wash a load of towels, yet again. You see what I mean. Yesterday I made banana bread and forgot to add the soda. It's good but heavy. hahaha
 I have made an entire batch of cookies and not even enjoyed the actual process because of all this. Soooooooo... deep breath....... I've decided I'm going to slow down and enjoy the present. Even though I have probably done this several times already in my life, I'm going to do it again. We all need gentle reminders now and then. To stop and smell the gravy, give it a taste before you put it on the table, just to make sure it's not too salty. Know what I mean?
So take the time today to BE in the present. It's all for a reason. And things seem alot nicer.
Blessings, Sue 

P.S. If I were an ant, I would love to walk around in the creases of these cookies!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rain it did !!!

 The rain finally came, just a bit after my last post actually. It was a good first winter storm for here. It rained through the night and by the next day it was bright and sunny. Not warm, however, but chilly. We are actually waiting for another one this weekend. Some of the trees are turning and the rain freshened up the air nicely.
 I did stay nice and warm and dry inside and true to my word, hahahaha, I baked the yummy soft gingerbread cookies.
 Paula Deen has some really nice candles, by the way. I get mine a Wal-mart. They lean towards more expensive for me, but they smell great all the way through and the jars are really cool.
 I think I may be on to something. Bear with me for the story and you will see why I am just a bit excited about this recent AHHH HAAA moment.
 While my cookie dough seemed right and in fact tasted perfect heehee I decided to sprinkle the sugar on them this time as apposed to rolling them in it  like I usually do.
 They puffed up great in the oven.....
 But when i got them out , they were just to soft to take off the pan. See the folded one in the top left corner. So I scooted the parchment paper off the pan onto the counter for them to cool This worked great. I then transferred them to the cooling rack to let them finish up cooling. You may be thinking "no big deal" they tasted great and they look ok.... but this is NOT the way the recipe is supposed to turn out. I have made these in the past and they come out puffy and thick and chewy in the middle. Ok so my ahhhh haaa moment.
It was raining.... That means humidity..... Same as in Georgia....where every single time I try to bake my cookies, they turn out looking like something the cat dragged in. I have been so discouraged by this. I thought for sure that when the surgeon removed my knee joints he took my baking skills with him. He set them aside and forgot to put them back in when he put in my new knee joints. I was convinced. Try to tell me otherwise and I will argue with you till sundown. But..... I was thinking... Just maybe it has something to do with the humidity... DUHHHHHHHH.... Maybe I need to add a touch more flour..... This I shall try and I will let you know the results.. Wish me luck...
 All the while Miss Charlotte ( Charlie) snoozed the afternoon away, on my unmade bed. She loves the new afghan as much as I do !! Notice by her tail is a whiffle golf ball. Seth hits them up on the hill and Charlie goes hunting them. She will carry one around for 1/2 the day after she finds it. Isn't that adorable? hahahaha
 I finished up some yarn I have been spinning for quite awhile now. I decided to Navajo ply it so the colors would stay more true. I have about 4 more ounces to do up and then I will be ready to start yet another project I have up my sleeve. (Navajo plying is a three ply yarn, it keeps the colors more seperate by plying sections onto themselves, the end result is a more rounded yarn that  I like to use for crochet.)
 And my baby Emmaline's hats are are clean and getting their finishing touches. My goal is to send a package by Wednesday. Wish me luck on that one too. I'm so bad at actually mailing the package. I'm not sure why, some weird psychological reason I'm sure... Or given enough time to think about it, I could come up with one. hahahahahahahahahaahaahhaha
 Oh yeah I almost forgot... I found this cookbook at the swap meet the other day. It's an older edition but I still love reading it. I haven't found any recipes that jump out at me yet, but I'm sure I will. Are you bored out of your mind yet? hahahah. I will close for now, but I have a new kitchen gadget to share with you that is the coolest thing EVER!!!! See you in a couple of days.
Blessings, Sue
Edited to add: I never use shortening in my baking, it grosses me out. I use real salted BUTTER!!! and if you click on the pictures they will get bigger and you can see the recipe very clearly. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rain Already Willya...

Waiting for rain in San Diego is like waiting for a pot of water to boil. You know the saying," A watched pot never boils". The weather lady reassured us last night that the " first big winter storm of the season" was on it's way. hahahahahahaahhaahahhahahahahahah. Well it is colder outside, and the sun is hiding behind a rather bleak, dull gray sky. But so drops.... 
I decided that I would share some pictures of a rainstorm in Georgia with you. 
 Even though it was a summer storm, and it was really warm,
 The thunder and lightening was spectacular.
 It actually rained more in a few minutes then I could believe.
 Big, Fat, Luscious drops.
 Even though, it hasn't begun to come down here.
I'm ready.
 I have the candles lit,
The cats are snuggled up on the couch,
 The weens and lily are snoozing peacefully,
 And I'm baking a batch of chewy gingerbread cookies for the jar.
Come on..... rain will'ya....
Blessings, Sue