Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

For all of you celebrating today, have a very happy 4th!

I will try to sleep through these tonight!  Stay safe out there!

Friday, July 3, 2015

This is What I've Been Doing

Seriously, I have an excuse for why my Fall signs are out already.                                                                                                
 I just spent the last week cleaning my garage.  I am thrilled that I can finally see from front to back and I actually have empty shelves.  Lots got tossed, lots donated and all the rest went into plastic containers which I labeled.

 This might not look like a big deal to you but it was a huge job.  I couldn't even walk through here until yesterday.  Someone, I am not mentioning who, likes to just drop things when he is done with them.  This nameless person also likes to stuff the shelves full of anything and everything. I removed carloads full of things to donate.  If I see a mess in here in the future, someone is in big trouble.  Husbands sure can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

 The reason the car is still in the garage is that it won't start.  I am calling AAA today.  They couldn't have gotten to it a couple days ago.  Time to trade the Camaro in. I never drive it and it just sits and takes up room so it is time for it to go.

 I put together these growing shelves four years ago and only used them once.  I really like starting my plants from seed and was very disappointed that I couldn't use them this past winter.  I will be using them next year! These are easy to build.  You just buy metal shelves and fluorescent shop lights.  You attach the lights on chains so they can be moved up as the plants grow.  The system works very well.

The whole project made Teddy very tired.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Arroz Blanco: Mexican Garlic Rice

This is a bit different than the Mexican rice you are used to.  It is creamy, garlicky and delectable. It makes a great side for many dishes.
 Dice up lots of garlic.  Use as much as you like. You can see that I used 6 cloves.

 Dice 1 medium onion.

 Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy pot and add the onion and 1-1/2 cups of rice.  Cook this for about 4-5 minutes stirring often.

 Add the garlic.

 Add 1 diced jalapeno pepper.

 Add 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth and some S&P.

 Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.

 Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

 Toss it with some diced cilantro before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Black Raspberry Cobbler and a Gift

It's Black Raspberry season.                            
 My black raspberries are producing like they never have before and somehow I am getting them before the birds.  I planted these behind our other house two doors away 9 years ago. They disappeared for a year or two and then showed up in my neighbors yard where they grew and grew.  No one lives there so I can just go over and pick away. Yesterday I got about 4 cups.

 They have such a short shelf life that I needed to use them right away and nothing is simpler than making a cobbler.

Mix 2-1/2 cups of berries with 3/4 cup of sugar and the zest and juice of 1 lemon.  Toss them gently and let them sit until they start to give off their juice.

 In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt.  Whisk this together and add 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of melted butter.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

 Pour the batter into a small pan.  I doubled this recipe which is why you see two.  If making a single recipe, use an 8X8 inch pan.

 Top with the berry mixture.

 Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until the middle is set and the crust is golden.

 Is there anything better than receiving an unexpected gift in the mail?  My friend Bev from Bee Haven Acres sent this to me.  What a surprise! Thoughtful gifts are the best and she sure put a lot of thought and work into this.  Look closely and you will see owls all lined up with eyes made with black beads  on my favorite Fall colors.

A gorgeous shawl which she took the time to knit on her vacation in St. Lucia. 
 A closeup of the owls.  I will cherish this forever!  Thanks so much Bev!!!  Not to mention that she made this in the middle of planning the wedding of the year!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting Ready for Fall

 Hey Teddy, do you want to do some crafts?

 I am cleaning my garage, what a chore.  I keep getting distracted by things I am finding in there. I found this old pumpkin tea light holder which I had used outside years ago and it was very weathered.  So Teddy and I took it apart and spray painted it.

 I also made a fariy crown for one of my little friends.

 I came across my metal witches and stuck them in my planters.

So shoot me!  I know, I am rushing Summer.  I went to the craft store the other day and they had all of their Fall stuff out so I figured it's okay to start. When my friend Kary was alive, we moved the start date up earlier each year.
Good as new and ready for some candles.
 Here is a tip for working outside.  Light some incense.  Bugs hate incense and will stay far away.

 I've covered my dying tree with these Black Eyed Susan vines.  If you want a a wonderful climber with lots of blooms, try these vines.  I have them in white, orange and yellow.

 My house is going to be painted in the next few weeks.  I removed this Wisteria that was growing on the back corner of the house.  If you look closely you can see the vine grew around and choked the training pole I originally put up for it.

It pulled the brace right out of the wall.  I seriously think I would never plant Wisteria again; at least not against the house.  It's pretty for a short period when it blooms and then it is a pain the rest if the time.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Aloha Rolls

Do you like those sweet Hawaiian rolls which are sold in your local grocery?  Now you can make your own by following this simple recipe.
 Mix 1/2 cup of water, 2 egg, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1/3 cup of sugar,1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of melted butter and 2-1/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast.  Mix in 4 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp. of salt until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Cover and let them rise until doubled.

 Form them into 16 balls and place them in a buttered pan.

 Cover and let rise again until doubled.

 Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

 Brush them with melted butter.

 Remove them from the pan and let them cool on a rack.

These are delicious and are great for making ham sliders.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Wizard's Wand

My router is working at the moment so I am putting up a quick post.  I have some little friends that love everything magical.  I am making them wizard's wands.  They are really fun to make and very easy.
I forgot to take picks of the first few steps but basically you start out with a chopstick and glue and wrap it with a piece of art paper.  Just a sheet of colored art paper. Cut one end off and leave the other end with a tapered point.  After it dries, drizzle hot glue all over it.
 I glued a few 'gems' to the flat end.  Paint the entire wand with acrylic paint.

 Glue additional gems or stones to the wand.

 I put hot glue all around the gems so they would not fall off easily.

 Let your imagination run wild.  I painted part of the handle end a redish color and added gold accents and more tiny crystals.

I used my jewelry findings and made a fancy chain to attach to the side. A good wizard should always have a very fancy wand.
 This is a chain I made for another wand which I will show you when it is finished.

Click for a closer look.  It's ready for small hands and big spells.