Monday, December 9, 2013

Trees, Food, Grandsons

 I was sitting in the Tahoe between lab/doctor appointments reading my Kindle when I looked out the window. LOOK at the coloration of this tree trunk! Trees are not just brown!!

In preparation of going to stay with the grandsons while there mother was out of the country with her job... (Poor thing went to Naples, Italy!) (Poor thing, this was the first time she was away from her sons for that length of time!) ...I bought some sausage made at the local locker plant. Their seasoning mix has no nitrates which is something the grands' parents are trying to stay away from with their food. I kept telling them that you could find something that tasted better and had a better texture that the chicken weinie sausages that they are feeding my grandsons.
This is the proof.

While we were keeping the grands, Sam and I ate a hamburger at a local place. This apron is so me! :D

Of course, little boys will be little boys. LOUD. So I took them outside to blow off some steam. (Sam watched television almost the whole time we were there.)


The first night I made the mistake of feeding the boys early. 
John had his arms full trying to eat dinner.

Later, at home...Sam made beef stew. He started it in the slow cooker, but the electricity popped off. After about 30 minutes, he put it in the Dutch oven.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

 Grand niece Addi
Grand niece Bri
Grandson Cain
Grandson Colt

Granddaughter Isabel 

Grand nephew Ty
Grand niece Rilee
Niece Lacee
Grand nephew Tanner
The Judge knew I was dressing in Harley gear, but she was out most of the day. When she walked in and saw me, she just shook her head. She said that in one of her meetings she saw one of the district judges. He told her a tattooed biker chick was running her office. :D 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sprained Ankle Revisited

Back on March 4 I sprained my ankle while in College Station TX. I am approaching nine months since the incident. The ankle is still a bit stiff. However, I am in heels again! YAY!!!

I went from flats to low heels to mid heels. (FYI - I do not wear hooker heels so we're not talking much over 2 1/2 inches...maybe 3 inches but I really doubt that any heel I have is that tall.)

Every so often I would put on my taller heels and walk down the hall. Ummm...nope...not yet. About six weeks ago I started wearing heels around the house. Really. I looked real cute wearing my heels with shorts. And jeans. Not to mention sweats. ;) But it has worked. I've worn heels to church for three weeks now. And tomorrow...TOMORROW...I am wearing a pair of my most comfortable heels to work. :D  I am so proud of myself.

Friday, October 18, 2013


 Winter is coming on and the days are shorter. Where just a few weeks ago, it was daylight when I woke, now it is dark. It is still dark after I am dressed and ready for work. I walked into the kitchen this morning for breakfast. As I passed through, I saw the red glow of the rising sun through the trees on the east side of the house.

I grabbed my camera and headed outside. As I walked the fence row looking for a clear shot, I snapped a few pictures.

Getting better!

FINALLY! Isn't it beautiful?

I asked Sam if he could cut the trees to the east of the house on the neighbor's property so that I could see the sun rise. :D he said no. :(

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"New" Cast Iron

 On our Colorado trip I did some thrift store shopping. I purchased three pieces. Get this...a square skillet and the round one below were marked $4. When I paid out...they were HALF PRICE! These are American made cast iron. The third purchase at another store was a Dutch oven for $18. I am really excited about the Dutch oven. It is THE name in old collectible cast iron - Griswold. :D Price in an antique store would have been $50 - $80 even without a lid.

Photo before cleaning and seasoning. Doris (friend in Colorado) could not believe I bought these as rusty as they were. Her husband told her, Oh yeah. They will clean up and look like new.

I did not need the skillets but look at every piece I see in junk/resale stores for American made at a good price for the kids. At our stop-off at John and Erin's on the way home I offered them one of the skillets - they picked the square skillet that did not need seasoning.

That left this skillet for Brook.

Since he is living in a camper right now, Jonathan just has a piece or two there and the rest is packed away.

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to set my oven on the cleaning cycle. GREAT time to burn off cast iron if you don't have a brush pile to burn. I grabbed the lid that fits my chicken fryer - which also fits my new Dutch oven - and tossed it in the oven too.

After burning, scouring with steel wool, greasing with lard, and baking in the oven...

I cooked with Brook's "new" skillet until her visit this weekend. It now has a new home.

My one piece of Griswold...

My first loaf of bread in my new Dutch oven...

Doris also took me to the Apple Shed. In the pottery area, I purchased a sugar shaker to replace my boring white sugar bowl.

See the dimple in the side? There's a mate on the other side for your finger and thumb to fit when you pick it up. If you look for it, you can see the hole on the upper right side of the slope...looks to be rimmed in red.

The Apple Festival was last Saturday and the shop had their seconds for sale...I told Doris if she saw anything she thought I'd like... ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Easy Bread Recipe

I was informed by Tisme that I had not posted the recipe for the bread mentioned in a couple of my previous posts. Here it is:

Easy Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast (I use more like 3/4 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup water

Mix all. Dough will be shaggy. Spray or wipe some oil on a piece of plastic wrap. Press on top of dough and leave on countertop 12 - 18 hours.

When you are ready to bake it, flour your hands and scoop it out on a floured surface. Very lightly knead the dough. Leave it on the floured surface and cover with a towel. After 30 minutes turn your oven to 450 degrees and put your cast iron pot and lid in the oven for 30 minutes. After the cast iron has heated, remove from oven and gently dump dough into the pot; cover with a lid and return to oven. Bake with lid on for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes or until browned enough.

Somewhere I have photos of my newest cast iron purchases. When I find the photos, I will post them.

Tomato Soup

Sam was out-of-town a couple of weekends ago attending a three-class lunch reunion in Bay City Texas. I cleaned house for two straight days. I got a few other things accomplished as well as watched a couple of movies.

I watched the latest Star Trek movie. I laughed all the way through Grease. I think it was because I subbed at high school for five years. The kids are THE SAME!

I wanted to cook something light. Earlier I ran across a recipe for roasted tomato that's what I cooked. DELICIOUS!

The only tomato soup I knew anything about was Campbell's tomato. That's enough to turn anyone off of tomato soup! On vacation one year, Sam and I ate at Crystal Lodge in Lake City Colorado. The French-trained chef prepared tomato bisque soup for the first course.  First bite sold me on tomato soup!

This recipe is simple:

4 tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, sliced thick
3-4 garlic cloves, halved

Roast at 350-400 degrees for 30 or so minutes.

While that is in the oven, slice some good bread - I used a couple of slices of the bread I cooked in my "new" Dutch will follow. Spray/sprinkle with olive oil and toast almost to crouton stage in your cast iron skillet.

Remove from oven, add 1 cup vegetable broth. You can blend in a food processor in batches or with a stick blender...I did the stick blender. Add salt, pepper, basil, any other Italian seasoning to taste.

Ladle into serving bowl, top with toasted bread. Sprinkle with bleu cheese and a spoonful of olive bruschetta.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

October to-date

The photos did not load in I will be hopping around.

Cody, Brook, Isabel, and Jonathan all came to the family reunion. I had to be careful at the reunion and watch what I ate because Brook had notified me that if it was okay she wanted to cook supper for us. Well YES! She pounded chicken breasts and rolled up around basil and mozzarella and seasonings...popped in the freezer to firm for a few minutes...then the flour, egg, bread crumb process and baked it then topped with a red wine mushroom sauce. I had the salad fixings: mixed greens, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, feta cheese, and a homemade vinaigrette. My homemade bread was sliced, buttered, seasoned and toasted. For dessert we had cannoli pie (cannoli filling in a baked pastry shell. MERCY!

Isabel and Jonathan played. He said that her idea of taking turns stacking dominoes and knocking them down was for him to stack them and she would knock them down. Then he would tell her that it was her turn. She would lay down one domino then tell him that it was his turn! ;-)

I made a couple of things for Isabel...a jumper...

...and a corduroy jacket. When Isabel saw the jumper, her eyes rounded. When she saw the jacket, she immediately hugged her arms and said, "I cold." She needed it Saturday evening and definitely Sunday morning! Isn't she such a cute model?! Yes. I think so too.

Sunday morning breakfast with a bacon grease face.

Sunset one evening...

We never had more than four hummingbirds. Then we got down to only two. The other night we had FIVE! They must have made a pit stop on their migratory trip. There's one on the other side of the bottle...the fifth was too busy flying in and out.

At the reunion, Isabel was the youngest...Bill Ray the oldest at 97...he will be 98 next month.

She did not know him so was not too happy to be that close. I was holding her, but it was still too close to him to suit her.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This could have been the best part of the trip! I could not find a spoon, but found this fork in the console. However, Sam would not hijack...I mean...ask the driver to pull over. Pfffft!

We drove across the northern part of the great state of Texas to Raton New Mexico for the first night...twelve hours on the road. The next day we headed out for Lake City Colorado. The following are in and around Lake City.

 We rented a jeep for the Alpine Loop:
Last cabin left at Capital City...

Engineer Pass...

After Engineer and Cinnamon Passes...we ate lunch beside this stream.

These were at an outlook for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison:

On to Cedaredge...with friends Doris and Urel at Land's End on Grand Mesa.