Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Blustery Saturday

I told myself last night that I could sleep in this morning. Ha that was the first mistake. It never happens for me like that. As soon as I have "permission" I'm suddenly wide awake at the first hint of light. WIDE AWAKE. Stumble out..... make coffee and stand in the bay window, trying to make sense of it all.
 I LOVE the rain. Always have, always will.
 While checking over my mint, which is doing great by the way. No aphids and lots of tiny new leaves budding out. Did I tell you about my mint. I don't think so. I was looking for spearmint which I found and also picked up some apple mint and chocolate mint. mmmmmmmmmm they smell delightful. I'm keeping them inside for now and will probably send them out as spring arrives........ Anyway while standing there sipping coffee I decided to try a new recipe I found on pinterest. Baked Doughnuts.
I lit a log and whipped up the dough....
 Tucked it in and went to do my Bible study. I let it rise for about an hour or so...( until I was done)
 Rolled out the dough on lightly floured parchment paper. I don't have a donut cutter.
 So I used a glass
And for the hole I used a lid to.... of all things..... fish tank water neutralizer.. hahahhaahahahahah
 Worked like a charm. Perfect size. My daughter says it's "redneck" I say it"s inventive. hahaha
 I again let them rise for about 1/2 hour and baked them for 8, maybe 9 minutes.
 I made up some maple glaze by using about 3 Tablespoons of butter softened and around 1 to 11/2 cups sifted powdered sugar. I mixed it with 1 teaspoon maple extract in the food processor then put it into a bowl and started adding milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it was still rather thick. Frosting consistency. While still hot, I took the doughnuts right off the pan with tongs and dipped them into the frosting. It thins out quite a bit, the butter making it melty.
 And just as soon as the first one was on the cooling rack it was snatched up and eaten by my taste tester.... Who gave it  so many thumbs up I had to hurry and get the camera so I could take pictures before they disappeared.
 Aren't they BEEEEYUUUUTEEEEFULLLLLLL. Some of the holes sorta closed up while baking making it look as though they have bellybuttons.
But this one turned out perfect.. When I turned it over, sure enough, there was MY NAME written right on the bottom.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I definitely recommend this recipe. Baking them makes a big difference in taste as well as the yucky mess of frying them. Plus you can eat 2 or 3 and not feel bloated and grumpy the way doughnuts usually make me feel.
Baked Doughnuts

11/3 cup warm milk
1 TBS yeast
2TBS butter melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups flour
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

Mix up dough. Let rise til double. Roll out about 1/2 thick and cut into 2 to 3 inch circles. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and remove center hole. Let rise again until oven heats to 375* Bake for 8 to 10 minutes,j ust until slightly brown on bottom. DO NOT over cook.
Either dip in 1/2 c melted butter and roll into sugar cinnamon mixture or make up some glaze like I did above. This makes about 11/2 to 2 dozen plus the holes.
Eat warm right from oven if you can. SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
If you have questions just comment and I can write back.
Snugly blessings, Sue

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things that make me smile....

 Carlye sent me a few more pictures of my beloved granddaughter. This is her at 5 months, Bath time. I put this picture as my desktop and it makes me smile, literally, every single time I see it. I think I will have it framed and hang it somewhere that my eye lands on often.
 I have been a bit dis com bobble at ted of late. Can't put my finger on anything exactly. But just feeling a bit mentally out of sorts. We are going through changes here with Seth retiring in just a few more shifts and then we'll be fixing up our home of almost 30 years to make the big move to
Georgia. I am excited, happy, apprehensive, and other feelings I can't put words to.

This morning I decided to try a recipe I found on pinterest. Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf. We were NOT disappointed. They are delicious. You can find the recipe by going to my pinterest board and clicking on the recipe board  or.... I will just post it here in a few days. It made me feel REALLY good to use my own homemade yogurt and fresh eggs from my hens. The yolks are so yellow they are almost orange and this is exactly the color the muffins came out!!!
 As a little girl I always loved to color and draw. As a big girl I paint, dye yarn and fibers , embroider, knit and crochet and sew to get my color fixes.It relaxes me. It sooths my soul. I have been stitching up a storm while waiting for Allison. It's kinda like big girl coloring . hahahah I am going to do a series of little girls. This is the first one.
 Took a trip to Koby's this last weekend while Daddy stayed home and watched football. Just us girls. I had so much fun!!! It was cloudy and cool and I loved it. It felt  like it would begin raining any minute. I found some of the most amazing books. I took my little cart on wheels to carry them all this time. I used to use it all the time when Allison and I home schooled and we would hit up the curriculum fairs. It makes life and your arms lot better!!! hahahahaha I have made it a goal to pay only a dollar a book and sometimes it works. I got all my books for just $1 each. YES!!!!
 One of the books I got is a facsimile of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady 1906. It was printed in 1977, the year I graduated high school. It is beautiful. She began each month with a bit of a lesson in what the month is named for and the days that stand out. She continues on with beautiful watercolor and
 hand written desciptions of all sorts of birds, plants, etc.
 She includes poetry appropriate for the month and writes a brief statement of the weather and where she walked and things she saw each day.  LOVE.....
 Another treasure is Garden Flowers. This too was published in the 70"s. 1973 to be exact. It begins with a story called The Hundred Flowers (a Chinese Tale), translated by Grace Jackman. I haven't gotten the opportunity to read it yet but its high on my list.
 It is filled with prints of Engravings by several artists. Each picture has a description and where the plant originated from. About a page long.
 These are definitely frame worthy.
 I am thinking that when I get into and begin decorating my new home I just may do that. They are so pretty. I have a really hard time thinking about tearing a page out of a book but when I looked this book up I found that someone was actually selling each page for $14. hmmmmm got me to thinking is all.
 I am forever infatuated with readers. When I was a little girl I was so excited to be able to read. I remember my readers from grade school and if I am ever fortunate enough to actually find one, I'm going to grab it up so fast.....
 This one is really cool. It's from Rand McNally and company. Of course. It is printed in 1935.
 This little page just touches my heart.  It's kinda how I imagine my little hens and I. hahahahahahaha
 The illustrations are priceless.
I am smitten.
 I finished off my afternoon by giving  two of my shamrocks a hair cut. I was very UN pleasantly surprised when, while having my coffee in the in the bay window this morning I found APHIDS inhabiting them. WHAT THE HECK???? How did they get in here.
I checked all the others but these were the only two that had them.  Hopefully this takes care of the issue. I'll keep a close eye on them. The other two are looking rather shabby as the cats decided to havew a fight right over the top of them. I'm babying them as well for awhile.
I also decided to transplant and give fresh soil to my poor little African violets. They have been so neglected lately I feel guilty showing you their picture. The poor dears. Hopefully they will get healthy and happy again and give me a few blooms. I moved things around so they are in their favorite spot again.
This ended up being a pretty wordy post for one that has just popped its way into being as I typed.  Thank you for stopping by.
Many Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Around my place this morning

This is what I was blessed with this morning. While waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew I stood in my bay window and was completely and totally blown away.
I had to grab my camera so I could share this with you. I am reminded why, on mornings like this,  The Jerusalem Temple is built with "The Beautiful Gate" or Eastern Gate always facing the East. The LORD just doesn't mess around.
And this is from my couch. AMAZING!!!!
I wanted to show you that, true to my word, I am working on my Jacobean Sampler. I actually worked on this very cow while sitting in my car, at the ranch. Allison was riding and I was just soaking in the peace when all of a sudden a cow started telling me the longest story. She mooed to me the entire time I worked on this. Funny huh!!!!
I'm getting quite a bit done. It is really slow going but oh so enjoyable.
I LOVE hydrangeas. I have wanted to make a wreath like this for a really long time. The other day while strolling and dreaming in Michael's I notice that the hydrangeas, along with alot of other beautiful silk flowers were on sale. 50% off. It didn't take but about one trip through the store to decide...I wasn't passing that up.
I am REALLY happy with the results.
I decided since I have so many beautiful rocks sitting around that I might try my hand at this. Whatdaya think? I like it.
I saw this idea on pinterest and it wouldn't leave me alone. I have a devotional that I thought I could use to bless a few people with. It was fun and gave me time to ponder the scripture.
I have had a bit of a creative bug lately and I am just wise enough to know that when she bites... I better act on it. Seems I can get quite a few things out of my head and into the world if I work quickly and stop thinking. hahaha
I popped these photos in because I was just thinking how cool these old bottles are.
(Well the green ones on top aren't so old, but the little one was given to me by my son in law who knows I love green bottles!!)
I like to think about where they have been and who used them. I like the way the light bounces around them. I like the way they remind me that treasures don't always cost alot of money. All things have value. It even reminds me to slow down and appreciate the beauty around me. It's really amazing the things that can take our breath away.
Blessings, Sue

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


 This was our New Years Day Feast. It was delicious!!!

I have wanted to make Tamales for just about ever. When I was a little girl my family went to Arroyo Grande and helped another family make tamales. when I say another family I mean there were people coming out of the wood work. Men and women and kids everywhere.  I remember lot's of laughing, loud music,  lots of women with big butts, and yummy smells and happy, happy happy. ( The bug butt thing was probably because I was eye level with that part of the ladies.) There were big silver steaming pots and
 tables filled with bowls of spicy yummy meat and corn husks piled to the ceiling. Anyway I had a really good time and have wanted to make them myself but was to intimidated to try....UNTIL NOW........
 It was really easy. I soaked the husks for a few hours,while I prepared the meat. I used my pressure cooker so it was a bit faster. And I bought the masa pre made at a local tortilla/ grocery store here. They were making tortillas when I got there so it was warm and fresh.
 It isn't hard at all, just time consuming.
 Tradition is to put an olive inside each tamale for good luck for the coming year. Allison's teacher told her about putting two in. One for yourself and one for someone you love that's not there to enjoy the tamales. We put in two.

You roll the meat into the masa lined corn husk, fold it over, tie it up and ta dahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
 Jennifer, Allison and I made about 30 or so. We just kept making them until we ran out of masa.
 Aren't they lovely????
 Little bundles of mmmmm mmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm You place them open side up in a steamer and then cover with a wet towel and steam away for about 1 and 1/2 hours. We actually did these on New Years Eve and had "street tacos" for dinner that night, using the left over meat. Then on New Years Day we re -heated them and I made chili and we pigged out. I will definitely make them again. It's fun to be with people you love while making them and I can understand more now why my Mexican friends love getting together with their families to make them. Only they usually make a TON of them. Enough for the feast and enough for every family to take some home to freeze.
This may even become something I do every year. Tamale blessings, Sue