Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Pioneer Festival

 We went to a pioneer festival last Saturday.

 The Red Hat Society ladies jumped the line but no one complained.  They can be a gnarly group, ha ha! You can read about them here:
 Most participants were dressed in period attire.

 There they are again!

 Even pioneers need their morning cup.

 Cutting boards.

 A blacksmith.

 Wreaths made from custom dried flowers.

 Oils and vinegar.

 This woman will cut your silhouette for you.

Pan for gems.
I'll show more tomorrow but this was a very nice fair in a very nice setting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Stuffed Pepper Soup and Pumpkins

 We stopped at a farm market on Saturday and this is what we saw.....Pumpkins!!!

 I'm not a big fan of these warty ones.

 I stocked up on gourds.

 I baked a bunch of French bread.

 And then I picked more peppers and made stuffed pepper soup.  Dice 1 large onion, 4 garlic cloves and about 8 peppers.  Saute' them in about 3 T. of oil or you can use bacon grease to add a smokey flavor.  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme.

 Add 1-1/2 # of ground beef.  Stir and break up until it browns.

 Add 4 cups of tomato sauce.  I used some which I made with my tomatoes.  Add 2 cups of beef bouillon.  I added a few beef bouillon cubes for added flavor.  Taste it and adjust seasoning if it needs it.

Add 3 cups of cooked rice.  Voila...deconstructed stuffed peppers.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Salted Caramel Sauce

Honey crisp apples are in season.  They are our absolute favorite apples and we eat as many of them as we can while they are available. I made this caramel sauce for The Blog Tech and his dad to dip them in. I also serve this on homemade yogurt with diced sauteed apples.
 Put 2 cups of sugar in a heavy pot.

Add 1/4 cup of water.
Cook this over medium/high heat until it turns amber.  Don't walk away from this, keep and eye on it. I couldn't show you the color because it happens fast.
 Immediately add 12 tablespoons of butter and whisk it in.  Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and whisk in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.

 Let it cool and pour it into jars and refrigerate it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fall 2015, The Front Porch

 Except for the addition of a few more pumpkins, the front porch is done. Click on any pics for a closer look.

 Since I assembled the bases for the garlands inside this year, it was much easier to pull this together.

 The moment I brought the first pumpkin out, Teddy came up and laid down right next to it.

 These mums are called 'candy corn' mums.

 Each year Teddy lays in the same spot with the pumpkins.

 Maybe she thinks they are her minions.

She felt so comfortable that she fell asleep.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Witch Hats

 It is rather unsettling to me to find myself so far behind with my holiday preparations this year.  I usually have so much done by now.  I need to make some witch hats and haven't even bought the materials yet.  These are hats I made last year.

 I never have trouble finding homes for these hats.

 One of my friends wears hers each time she has a UPS delivery.  I wonder what the UPS guy thinks about that?

There is a little witch in all of us.

Friday, September 25, 2015

End of the Season Salad and Fall decorating

 I had one last lonely tomato and a handful of cherry tomatoes.  And I still have more peppers than I know what to do with.  This salad is a good way to use them up. Boil 1 pound of the pasta of your choice.

Add 1 diced cucumber, some diced tomato, thinly sliced peppers, a small thinly sliced sweet onion, 1 can of black olives sliced and some cubes of fresh mozzarella.
Add some cubed cheddar and a handful of fresh basil.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of celery seeds.  I tossed this with an Italian salad dressing:  Mix 1/3 C. of red wine vinegar, 1/2 C. olive oil, 1 T. honey, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 T. grated Parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Shake it in a jar to mix.  Taste and add more honey if needed. 

Considering all that is going on around here this year, I was thinking I might skip decorating for Fall.  It is at least a month later than usual for me. When I mentioned this to some friends and family, they were insistent that I decorate anyway.  So, yesterday I started making the bases for the decorations.  I am trying something different this year and using mesh as a base for the garlands. A lot more will be added to all of this but I thought I would show you the base structure.  The wreath is formed by making loops with the mesh and ribbon and attaching them to a wire wreath frame using pipe cleaners.
 For the garland base, I had to work on my dining room table.  I was using a hot glue gun so I put an old oil cloth tablecloth down to catch the inevitable glue drops. They can easily be scraped off of the oil cloth.

 I used a long piece of coated wire and hot glued pipe cleaners every 6 inches.  Then you can just loop the mesh down the wire attaching it as you go.  I used 3 different colors of mesh and then added a plaid ribbon.  I bought some decorative branches and added them too.

 The 2 sides of the garlands are 117 inches long.

 Then I made the swag for the top.  It is 70 inches wide.  Once these are hung, I will start to add all sorts of Fall adornments.  I'll post them as I go.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Study of Painter's Shoes

 I've been contemplating painters footwear a lot recently.

 It's hard not to when they are hanging in your face all day.

 I've also realized that the painters and I don't have the same taste in music.  I have country tunes stuck in my head.

 Not much cooking has been going on around here.  If I can't get it done before the dangling feet arrive, it doesn't get done at all.

Maybe it's just me but staring at painters shoes doesn't make my cooking juices flow.
This went on while the top of the kitchen windows were being painted.  Shortly after, I had their faces in the windows for the rest of the day. This will continue for at least a week.