February 28, 2009
I had to buy them , because they matched the spoon rest my daughter gave me for Christmas, and they were only $5 for the five pieces: one 10 " pie plate and four 6" individuals. I love them and will be looking for pieces. Can't you picture a nice Quiche served with individual salads in these? or individual apple pies or chicken pies? I could think of lots uses for these and I can't wait to use them. They are oven, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe.
I also found another prize cook book, a Springy tin tulip with two adorable chickies, a small floral porcelin pitcher & planter dish for my bathroom. I think I did well , all for under $20
Maybe today, I will go searching for more.
February 27, 2009
February 26, 2009
I do know how to use the remote feature to Mute the volume. I wish there was ONE simple remote that had big numbers to push (my eyesight is not 20/20) and I already have a problem sometimes remembering where I laid my readers... How can I remember all those instructions for how to operate the remote for changing channels, reverse, pause, resume..... it is just too frustrating for me...and easier for him to just do it..
I think its a Man Thing, that they can pick up any remote, slip in a couple batteries, program it and know immediately which channel is Sports, Documentaries, News & Action Drama. All I want is to know how to switch it to the programs I want to see.
I should be allowed to at least know what program is being rejected by the remote controller.
February 25, 2009
February 24, 2009
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.
February 23, 2009
Well this farmgirl is over 50, over weight (a bit) over spent on skin care products.
February 22, 2009
I made these delicious cookies earlier this week and in my opinion probably
The best oatmeal cookies. I have altered the recipe from “The Essential Baker cookbook.”
These are classic American cookies loaded with raisins, craisins, pecans, cashews & coconut. They are best eaten warm from the oven or dunked in a cold glass of milk.
Store the cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Mine never last that long…they are just too good.
Adjust the oven racks to upper and lower thirds and preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick liners
1 ½ cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter softened
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 extra large egg (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ cup coarsely chopped cashews
½ cup flaked coconut
Mixing the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt, toss gently to blend together.
Place butter, in an electric stand mixer, using flat beater attachment. Beat butter until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar to the butter & cream well. Stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula
Use a fork to lightly beat the egg with the vanilla in a small bowl. Add to mixture again stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. At first the mixture will look curdled as the egg is added, but it will smooth out as you continue to mix.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 stages, mix between each, Add the raisins, nuts & coconut until well blended.
Use an ice cream scoop 1 ½ in. diameter to drop small amounts of dough onto 2 baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 5 minutes and then switch pans bake another 6-7 minutes until set & golden brown.
Remove from oven cool remove with a spatula.
February 21, 2009
So I will begin with one of my favorite dishes that I made this earlier this week for dinner.
Lemon Chicken with capers served with fresh steamed broccoli and sweet red pepper rice.
I make this dish often. It is easy to make and it is tender, juicy lemony. I pair this dish with my favorite white wine.
A Pinot Greggio. With a hint of citrus and apple. I am learning to really taste the suttle flavors of different wine. This particular pinot greccio from Barefoot Winery is reasonably priced and is good with fish or just as refreshing by itself.
2 chicken skinless breast pounded lightly to tenderize
1 can chicken stock
2 T capers
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 T minced garlic
2 Tablespoons corn starch diluted with white wine for thickening.
Be sure to clean any surface thoroughly with soap & water after cutting & pounding chicken.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze ½ over chicken slice & reserve the remainder set aside.
Place chicken in a hot skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil & minced garlic & salt & pepper ( brown on both
Cooking chicken until done. )
Pour chicken stock and 1 cup of white wine over cooked chicken and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the stock.
The cornstarch will thicken slightly but you do not want it as thick as gravy. If too thick add more wine.
Sprinkle capers over both pieces of chicken with the reserved sliced lemons
Cover & simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove from stove and serve with rice or pasta
February 20, 2009
Shopping for these fresh vegetables & fruit yesterday makes me really anxious for Spring and planting my own vegetables. It is way too early here to even consider trying to scratch a dent in the frozen soil that I will call my garden, come May or even June here in the Klamath basin. An awful lot of amending needs to be done to the soil . We will be hauling in sand and compost and top soil to the area I have claimed for my vegetables. To say nothing of the sweat and sore muscles that will be sacrificed. Noticed I said we, I of course wouldn't want to not include my husband in this process. Last year I got a late start and this year I vow to be ahead of the game, weather permitting.
I have been ordering seed catalogues, Reading for hours and learning a ton about heirloom & organic seeds and really want to eat healthy food untouched with chemicals and pesticides. My chickens will provide us with good free range eggs and the good earth will grow really nutritious vegetables. I know I may have to make frequent trips to the Local Farmers market for those things I cannot grow but just wait until fall when my pantry is again full of all these good things to eat.
I am collecting more cookbooks and recipes than I probably ever will use but I do like to try different foods & flavors. I am also learning what wines to pair with what dishes I serve so I will also be sampling a few throughout the spring and summer and that will mean dinner parties too that I can plan. Cookbooks are one of my favorite farm girl things to collect, not counting the eggs from the chicken coop…but, right now as I look at these fresh healthy ingredients I am just wondering what’s for dinner tonight and I think I can decide over a glass of Pinot Grissio.
February 19, 2009
Aparently these lovelies saw that I had returned to the house and followed me in hopes of a few more treats. They often see me coming to the door and they come a bustling as fast as their little legs will carry them, to be first to gobble up the treats *which I carry in my apron pocket whenever I go out the back door. ( yes, they are spoiled, aren't they) and It is not the first time they have come up the 6 steps to the patio deck to greet me. One day they were there pecking at the door...wanting me to come out loaded with the treats, or maybe they were looking for Buster...Crazy chickens!
They are really such sweet gentle girls. They have been laying each an egg a day even throughout the coldest days of our winter. "Dottie" (the barred Rock) lays an egg every couple days for us and the RhodeIsland Red "Rosie" has not produced her share yet....
Of course I have to shoo them off the deck because as you can see on my rug a couple fresh droppings, Great for the yard & garden, but have no fear "Buster " will find it and roll in it before I get it swept off the step, so I better go do just that.
He is such an "nasty animal at times.." a real farm dog... who is now definately in need of a bath!
February 18, 2009
February 17, 2009
found in artichokes was able to prevent skin cancer in mice.
Silymarin works because of its powerful antioxidants.
One medium cooked artichoke contains more than 6 grams of roughage. Artichokes are a good source of magnesium. They are also a good source of Vitamin C. Folate and Vitamin B.
Getting to the best part....
Preparing a fresh artichoke before eating it:
- Dirt can get lodged beneath their scaly leaves, so it is important to thoroughly wash them before cooking:
- Pull off the tough outer, lower petals. With a sharp knife slice off the stem so it is level with the bottom of the artichoke.
- Stand the artichoke in a large saucepan. Sprinkle salt over the artichoke and toss in a couple garlic cloves, Cover it halfway with water and simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes. Or place on a steaming rack and steam for the same amount of time.
- To test for doneness, pull on the center petal. If it comes out easily the artichoke is done.
- To eat the leaves, hold it down by the tip, curved side down, and draw it between your teeth removing the tender flesh. Dipping the petal in melted butter or mayonaise is good too.
- When the leaves are gone, use a fork or spoon to scoop out the hairy layer, called the "choke." Discard the hairy choke, then eat the best part the heart.
Hot Artichoke Cheese Dip
1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Sour Cream
1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked artichokes (canned or fresh)
1 (8 ounce) package Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and salad dressing mix with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add artichokes and 1-1/2 cups of the Cheddar cheese; mix well.
Spoon into 9-inch pie plate.
Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve as a dip with Crackers. Or pour dip into a hollowed round loaf of french bread and serve with the bread bits you took out of the loaf.
Yield: 32 servings
February 16, 2009
I know it is the dead of winter, but this really made me laugh, my sister in law emailed me this funny article before she departed for a "girls trip"to Bali.... She has a great figure and would never have a problem shopping for a suit. (I did find it quite humorous but sadly, I can relate to this).
THE BATHING SUIT
Not so many years ago, the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a good job.
Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip. The mature woman has a choice-she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney's Fantasia or she can wander around every run of the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of florescent rubber bands. What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.
The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks as any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash. I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror - my boobs had disappeared!
Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.
The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.
The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap.
As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, 'Oh, there you are,' she said, admiring the bathing suit.
I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an over sized napkin in a serving ring. I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.
I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.
I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.
Finally, I found a suit that fit -- a two-piece affair with a shorts style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured. When I got home, I found a label which read: 'Material might become transparent in water.'
So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too -- I'll be the one in cut off jeans and a T-shirt!
February 15, 2009
Pj is my second daughter and third child. She is 38 years old and has gone back to college to become a teacher. She calls me almost every day (from her car usually, I think that's her second home.) She fortunately has more energy than the "energizer bunny" and really needs it to juggle her mommy life, home life, student life and her now her student teaching life.
Pj has always been my wonder child, I wondered many times just what was she thinking. Her given name is Paula Jean but she prefers to be called PJ, somehow that nickname stuck. She actually joined the Marines when she was younger, and I am thankful that she was discharged with a knee problem. Seriously she turned out pretty darn good, in spite of her being the "spoiled one" (according to her older brother & sister.) She certainly excels in organizing playtime and her children do not lack for her creative talents. She is not afraid to tackle any problem or the many other surprises her busy life throws her way. She can change her own car oil, remove & replace a battery from a car, (she did mine), fix a broken headlights, keep her cool when she makes emergency trips to the ER when her children are sick, paints faces, makes balloon characters and she can even cook. She certainly can think quickly and has a terrific yet wicked sense of humor. Pj is married and has a step-daughter Taylor and she is also 15. (Yikes!two teens at once.) I don't know how she manages to wear all the hats she does. Her plate is always full. Pj has been an emergency substitute teaching since September and will graduate from college in June. She hopes to teach in the district where her children currently attend public school. I could not be more proud of her, and I am sure she is going to be one awesome teacher.
February 14, 2009
For us this year my loving husband and I decided we really did not need candy, flowers or cards this year as symbols of our love. We decided this on the way to the grocery store, afterall we know we love each other. But then while at the grocery store we bought a pretty little flowering plant, three mountain bars, and then went and rented three movies at Blockbusters for Valentines weekend's entertainment. I did look at the Valentines cards at the Grange Co-op almost bought him one then decided No because we already said we were not going to do that. It was sweet that he told me he loved me in the grocery store and kissed me while waiting for our turn through the checkstand. These were great symbol of the Valentines that we were not going to celebrate. You see, I know I have the greatest husband everyday, not just on February 14th and these tokens and happenings were just because our subconsious minds took over our pocketbook and I was pushing the shopping cart. Somethings just cannot be forgottten...or explained.
Anyway, here are some of the other valentine symbols and their origins:
Red Roses were said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Also, red is a color that signifies strong feelings.
Lace has long been used to make women's handkerchiefs. Hundreds of years ago, if a woman dropped her handkerchief, a man might pick it up for her. Sometimes, if she had her eye on the right man, a woman might intentionally drop her handkerchief to encourage him. So, people began to think of romance when they thought of lace.
Love Knots have series of winding and interlacing loops with no beginning and no end. A symbol of everlasting love, love knots were made from ribbon or drawn on paper.
Lovebirds, colorful birds found in Africa, are so named because they sit closely together in pairs -- like sweethearts do.
February 13, 2009
The 30th Annual Klamath Wingfest
February 13, 14, 15th
Over 350 species call this major Pacific flyway layover home…
From November through February over 500 bald Eagles-the largest concentration in the lower 48 states winter in the Klamath basin.
February 12, 2009
I feel I know many of you, because you have left me comments that show we are kindred spirits, with encouraging words of support.
Even though we farm girls are sometimes miles apart
We share a friendship deep in our heart”
The spirit and power of women together, comforting and caring for each other.
I want to thank the women who joined the Valentine Swap, I enjoyed taking the time
to make a card for each of you. Each day I looked forward to going to may mailbox and knowing inside would be a special card for me. I am happy to have special friendships with you, we share many ideas, thoughts and dreams. We are not strangers, only friends we have not met.
I hope many days are good for you and hard times are few
Forget me not, and I won't forget you!
February 11, 2009
Mother Nature is not being serious is she? This is the other side of my back fence... it is no better there...
February 10, 2009
Fennel is truly a vegetable and should not be confused with the herb, sweet anise. Even though they share a similar mild sweet licorice flavor, fennel comes from an entirely different plant. Fennel has a rounded creamy white bulb, short green stalks and feathery green leaves. Its appearance resembles an extra plump bunch of celery, and it has a unique licorice taste that becomes milder when cooked. It can also be eaten raw and is used as a bad breath neutralizer
Fennel is very popular in Europe and until recently was found primarily in Italian and specialty markets in the United States. It is now found in mainstream supermarkets, however, it is frequently sold incorrectly as sweet anise. Fennel is grown primarily in Italy, France, Greece, and the United States. In the United States, fennel is grown almost exclusively in California
Sprinkle chopped fennel leaves on hot baked oysters or clams.
Add cooked fennel to omelets, quiches, stuffing or sauces.
Add stalks to stocks for their flavor.
Add sliced sautéed fennel to fish chowders.
Cook fennel in your favorite tomato sauce.
Place stalks and leaves on barbeque coals as they do in France. The fennel scent permeates the grilled food.
Slice steamed or blanched fennel, cover with a vinaigrette and serve chilled.
Chop raw fennel and add to tuna fish sandwiches.
Slice fennel thin and layer with raw potatoes, cream and cheese to make a potato au gratin
February 9, 2009
Raggedy Ann is a fictional character created by writer Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938) in a series of books he wrote and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn for hair. The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. A doll was also marketed along with the book to great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.
The creation of the first Raggedy Ann doll was inspired by his daughter Marcella. She had found a tattered rag doll in her Grandmother's attic.
Her father used his cartooning pen and applied a new, whimsical face to the doll. The name for the doll came from two poems by James Whitcomb Riley - "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphan Annie."
Marcella Gruelle died at age 13, from an infected small pox vaccination. In the same month as Marcella's death, Johnny Gruelle had been granted final approval by the U.S. Patent office for his rag doll.
As Johnny Gruelle worked on finishing the stories, he often glanced up at one of the few keepsakes of his daughter -- Marcella's own tattered doll.
Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. Raggedy Andy joined her in 2007.
February 8, 2009
February 7, 2009
February 6, 2009
Bath Time Ritual
First Unplug the phone.
Lock the door to prevent intruders like kids and spouses.
Stop the drain in the tub.
Light aromatherapy candles. Choose lavender to relieve stress and sandalwood to relax.
Turn on the water and adjust the temperature to your liking.
Pour a small amount of bubble bath or oil into the running water.
Allow the bathtub to fill with water and suds. If you are not satisfied with the amount of suds in the water, add more bubble bath into the running water.
Turn off the water when the tub has filled. Replenish hot water as needed.
Slowly enter the bath
Breathe deeply and relax.
February 5, 2009
See them on my pretty Springy tablecloth.
You can even force paper whites in gravel and water in a container without drainage holes. Allow for 1-2" of gravel under the bulbs. Place the bulbs on the gravel and add enough gravel to hold the bulbs in place. Then add water until it reaches the base of the bulbs only. Maintain the water at this level throughout the growing process.
February 4, 2009
The left over sourdough was cut into cubes seasoned with herbs and butter. I put them in the oven for about 30 minutes and toasted them. They are great on salads, in soups or crushed for casserole toppings.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut leftover bread into cubes and place on baking sheet
Drizzle with butter to coat and sprinkle choice of herbs and spices
place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes until cubes are toasted goledn brown
Remove and cool, store in container or package as gift.
February 3, 2009
Garlic (allium sativum) has been dubbed "The Stinking Rose", yet it is actually a member of the Lily (Liliaceae) family and a cousin to onions, leeks, chives, and shallots.
Garlic is one of the most versatile flavors to ever grace a kitchen. It not only tastes wonderful, it's very good for your body. It is one of Mother Nature's most precious gift to cooks of all levels of expertise.
There are over 300 varieties of garlic grown worldwide. American garlic, with its white, papery skin and strong flavor is one of the most common varieties. Italian and Mexican garlic, both of which have pink- to purple-colored skins, are slightly milder-flavored varieties. The edible bulb or head of garlic is composed of smaller cloves. It is a root crop, with the bulb growing underground. Garlic crops are harvested in mid-July and hung in sheds to dry before reaching their prime in late-July/early-August.
6 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup packed tender fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup packed fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Mince together garlic, thyme sprigs, and rosemary with salt and mash to a coarse paste. In a bowl whisk together garlic paste and remaining ingredients until emulsified. Marinade may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
February 2, 2009
February 1, 2009
I took my own advice from Saturday’s entry “Comforting Sense.”
I wasn’t feeling really good, yesterday so we cancelled our trip to Portland, thinking my throbbing headache and general yucky feeling was more than perhaps a cold coming on, but needed some fresh air. . Sometimes I feel that is my best medicine…
So I bundled up after ingesting some sinus tablets, put the dog in the car and Clay & I drove to this frozen Reservoir near where we live. Hoping to find a place to maybe go fishing & camping in the summer. It was a perfect spot to breathe in fresh air and relax. We were only gone for a couple hours but I felt much better getting out and actually managed to clean out the Chicken Studio for the “ girls” when we came home. I filled the bath tub full of bubbles & soaked awhile.
I am feeling recharged and ready take on whatever this First day of February has to offer.