Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Village Photos

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When we lived in Michigan, Will and I ice skated, ice-fished, snowmobiled, made snowmen, snow angels, went sledding, rode our horse bareback . . . In other words, we thoroughly enjoyed and took full advantage of our cold, snowy weather!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kick-n-It Zucchini Relish

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Yeah, I know most of you are sitting with some wicked-cold weather right now, (don't hate me) but here in central Arizona the weather has been kind to us . . . So kind that I was able to grow enough Black Beauty Zucchini to make our Grand's favorite hot dog relish!

DIY Old Fashioned Soap on a Rope

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Was planning on making more cold processed soap, for soap on a rope, but being sick put me behind schedule . . . So, I dug through my "unmentionable" drawers and came up with some lovely scented handcrafted soaps to use in place of my own homemade soap!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Cutest Reindeer Cupcakes

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I'm so-ooo excited to be sharing this cute idea I found in our local newspaper, ad section!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Soft & Wheaty ~ Slightly Sweety Buns

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Remember last week? I was on a mission that got hijacked, by me! While making some Soft & Wheaty Buns, I ran across a recipe for pepperoni bread and my bun dough ended up becoming a totally unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed, Pepperoni Pesto Bread Rollup!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pepperoni Bread ~ Over at Julie's Style!

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This morning, as I was kicking back reading my emails, I found a fun, how-to video on for making pepperoni bread! Since I already had honey wheat roll dough rising in the bread machine . . .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Incredible Homemade Applesauce

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I grew up in the Midwest where apples were plentiful! I remember, back in the good old days, paying $2.00 a bushel to "top" the apple trees (that means picking the apples in the top of the tree). While the price of apples has certainly gone up, my love for a tart, crunchy apple with a little salt, fresh squeezed apple cider, homemade apple pie, and last but not least, Incredible Applesauce, has not diminished!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Redo of Yesterday's Post . . . Corn Bread Recipe

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WARNING: My first send-out of this post had the ingredients all messed up! Guess My brain doesn't work well when sick! SORRY!!!!

Corn Bread Recipe

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WARNING: My first send-out of this post had the ingredients all messed up! Guess My brain doesn't work well when sick! SORRY!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Preparing for a Homemade Thanksgiving

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Let's face it homemade takes time, and filling your Thanksgiving table with bounty can be costly . . . So, let's examine how to save money, and what can be prepared ahead of time, to put on a fabulous Homemade Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mom and Sisters

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This week my Momma was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer's disease. This is scary to me and, of course, to the rest of the family.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade Clam and Veggie Chowder

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Cool weather is the perfect time for a steamy bowl of rich clam chowder! But, the truth is, I love chowders even if it is hot outside!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DIY ~ Lemon Pepper Dry Rub

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Award winning grillers know, if you want spicy depth of flavor when you barbecue ~ Rub it in! Rub it in!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Small Batch ~ Pear Butter

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I purchased a couple pears to make a pear tart, but the pears over-ripened before I had a chance to make my tart. In the past, they would have been tossed out, but I peeled one and the inside was still perfect. I chopped them up, added a little of this, a little of that . . . simmered awhile, and I have, not quite a cup, of very tasty Pear Butter!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pretzel Rolls ~ for the Ultimate Burger

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There has never been a bun created that can handle a juicy burger, even my homemade ones fall apart . . . that is until I discovered this incredible recipe . . . soft, delicate crumb on the inside . . . golden, chewy and salty on the outside!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Puddin' Cake

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Who doesn't love a pudding cake? Walk through the bakery section of your local grocery store, and you'll see whole pudding cakes in assorted flavors and for those watching their weight . . . they'll even sell you one-half of a pudding cake! They do look tempting! But, as we all know, nothing beats a homemade pudding cake! I have a moist, sweetly spiced, Pumpkin Pudding Cake recipe you're gonna love, and come back to, over and over again!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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We are finally in the low 90's an have had the central air conditioning off for 3 whole days! Finally time to decorate for Fall and bake up some Pumpkin Spice Muffins!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder

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I used to cook all my larger roasts in the pressure cooker until I read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It appears the jury is still out about what heat under pressure actually does to foods. So, I've decided when I have the time, I will use the Crock Pot, in lieu of my pressure cooker.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Making a Feast out of Nothing . . . Turkey a la King!

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This week I bought a fresh turkey breast at Sprouts on a manager's special. This particular turkey had a piece of the backbone still attached. Such an innocuous bit of turkey, most would have thrown it out!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Easy Greek Crock Pot Yogurt Cheese (Quark)!!!

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Last week I was making up a batch of my Easy Greek Crock Pot Yogurt and thought . . . why not only make 6 yogurt cups with fruit in the bottom, and turn the rest into Yogurt Cheese?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Skyscape Saturday

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Sky Writers!


It's still pretty warm here during the day but once the sun sinks behind the White Tanks Mountain. The cool air rises up from the green grasses in our back yard and it is delightful sitting out there enjoying the beautiful scenery and watching our "Girls"!
Our sweet bantam, Cricket.


Will is feeling much better, but still only able to eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, yogurt, Keifer, and bananas. He tires very easily and takes lots of naps.

Hope your weekend is great!

I've got some fun things to share next week from . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What to Feed a Sick Tummy . . . Egg Custard

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Will has had the intestinal flu since Saturday evening . . . Chills, sweats, fever, etc. etc! My poor Baby has it bad! His temp ranges from 102F to 97F!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Breakfast Porridge or Eatmeal!

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Who knew that soaking rolled/flaked oats overnight will offer your body the highest benefits and allows the body to better absorb those beneficial nutrients?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Libby's Sweet 16

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Libby came to live with us when she was 6 months old. She was separated from her brother and her caretaker and needed a lot of babying when we first brought her home. I was afraid of her large, flesh crushing beak and she was afraid of me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Skirt Steak Quesadillas a la Lime with a side of Lime Brown Rice

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I love quesadillas! They taste great! They're fun to eat! And, there are so many possibilities for fillings! My new favorite is Skirt Steak Quesadilla!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Humble Pantry

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In every home (upper flat/trailer/house) we have lived in . . . I have always found a way to fashion a pantry. The need to have a stockpile is flowing through this Midwestern girl's blood! It makes sense to have a supply of canned foods on hand for so many reasons!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coconut Loaf Cake

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Today is my daughter Annie's birthday! She loves coconut! So, what better cake to make her than one loaded with coconut, lemon peel, and a delicious lemon syrup poured over the cake to seal in flavor and moistness?!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Starting Flowers and Veggies Indoors

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It's still hovering in the low to mid-100's where I live! Preparing the garden for fall and winter crops is hard work with the high temperatures and humidity.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY ~ Homemade Deodorant/Antiperspirant

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I'd known for a long time that using a store bought antiperspirant was a bad decision. Every time I'd put it on there was the nagging thought about the aluminum I was putting in my body. Did I want cancer or Alzheimer's disease? No! But after trying Tom's chrysanthemum scented deodorant, which didn't work and smelled horrid, I went back to my Dove unscented.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pecan Sandies ~ Get an Upgrade!

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Will loves a full cookie jar . . . and one of his favorite "jar fillers" is the buttery, nutty, crunchy, perfect-for-milk-dunking ~ Pecan Sandie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

100 Posts and Most Viewed . . . Easy Crock Pot Greek Yogurt!

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Today I celebrate the writing of my 100th post! Woo hoo!!! Before I began, I worried about writer's block and wondered if I would run out of things to share. The program I was using crashed all the time, which meant sometimes I had to totally rewrite my posts from scratch! In spite of all the obstacles . . . Surprise! I have found I have so much I want to share and it thrills my heart that you stop by to visit!

Monday, August 20, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things!

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There are lots of ways to bring beauty to our lives; I try to surround myself with beautiful things. Some of my most treasured things of beauty are my children, their wives (our daughters) and our precious grand children! Nothing compares with being surrounded by my incredible family!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

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About 2 years ago, give or take a week or two, I decided to start making my own laundry soap. I was looking for a healthier product without all the harsh chemicals. It needed to be gentle on skin, kind to our septic tank ecosystem, easy on our wallets and . . . It had to clean our clothes!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Making Parrot Veggies

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We live with 4 parrots and 2 cats. Our two large parrots Libby and Evergreen have mixed vegetables for breakfast, organic pellets are available all the time and they eat warm baked sweet potato every night for supper.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rye Burger Buns ~ easy bread machine style

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Will could eat a hamburger twice a day, every day of the week, and not bat an eye! He LOVES a great burger! He especially loves his burgers inside one of my lightly toasted, homemade burger buns! I know these will be a big hit!

Big juicy burger on rye!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Amazing Ribs

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Who doesn't love ribs? . . . spicy-sweet, with a little crunch on the outside . . . tender and succulent on the inside!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

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I remember the first time I saw Bobby Flay top pulled pork with crispy coleslaw! It was ingenious and after trying it for myself, I was sold! Not only do I love pulled pork sandwiches topped with slaw, but my children, who never eat coleslaw, absolutely love it on theirs!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Special Request ~ Apron for Ronda

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My sister-in-law and good friend, Ronda, fell off a ladder, landing on their ceramic tile floor. She broke her ankle and leg bone 8 weeks before school began . . . Did I mention, she's a 1st grade teacher?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Photographic Weirdness!

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Funny, I decided to share these beautiful photos before I did research on the name of this particular moth. Turns out she puts fear into the hearts of the superstitious!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins

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It's blueberry season here in the U.S. and that means great prices for a wonderful berry full of color and antioxidants, and blueberry muffins!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Welsh Griddle Cakes

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A.J. and Hannah will be be staying with us this week while their parents are out of town.

Their favorite meal is breakfast so, I have been on the prowl for fun, make ahead recipes. I found these Welsh Cakes while doing a search for "breakfast" on the King Arthur's Flour website. Their rating . . . 5-star! These definitely fit my criteria for a perfect kid-friendly breakfast! " The cross between a pancake and biscuit, with elements of both a cookie and muffin, sturdy enough to be eaten plain, in hand or topped with jam". As an added bonus, they're excellent the next day, reheated in the toaster! Who am I kidding? I believe I've found the perfect breakfast food for me!

A.J. And Hannah exploring our 3 acres in their electric car.

So, I made my first Welsh Griddle Cakes . . . The first batch I cooked on 325F and they were a bit pale. The second batch I set the temperature at 350F. and they cooked up nicely. I served the girls a dipping sauce of organic sour cream with my homemade pomegranate syrup pour over the top. They loved them!


My review: These are tasty biscuit/cookies with an incredible texture! They are a bit of work, but make a nice, in-hand, take it with you, breakfast or snack. I like the idea of making these as a treat for special occasions, like the feast day for Wale's patron saint, St. David, celebrated on March 1st! These cakes reminded me of my recipe for Paul Bunyon Sugar Cookies, which are incredibly tasty! Next time I will definitely make them with the currents or maybe cut up bits of cranberries! Yum!

WELSH GRIDDLE CAKES ~ makes 24 dozen 2 3/4-inch cakes

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or combo of nutmeg and cinnamon

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (use lesser amount if using salted butter)

1 cup of butter

3/4 to 1 cup currents or chopped raisins (sultans), optional

2 large eggs beaten with enough milk added to yield 3/4-cup liquid



In a large mixing bowl add dry ingredients and whisk to thoroughly mix

Cut butter into small pieces using a large food processor or mixer until mixture is crumbly.

Mix in currants.

Mix in egg/milk until everything is moistened.

Turn sticky dough out onto a well floured surface, divide in half.
Work with half the dough at a time, keep the other half refrigerated in plastic wrap.
Add more flour to surface and gently pat dough into a 9 1/2-inch disc, 1/4-inch thick.
Using a floured biscuit cutter or glass, cut dough into circles. Gather scraps, gently form into a ball and pat to 1/4-inch and continue cutting out cakes, adding flour as needed.
Use an offset spatula knife or cookie spatula to lift cakes (I placed cakes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet right next to my electric griddle).

Heat ungreased frying pan, or electric griddle to 325-350F. cooking 2 1/2-minutes on each side or until nicely browned.

Hint: Try cooking 1 cake at 325F. adjusting heat as needed.

Serve plain, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, or with pom or berry syrup poured over sour cream, or split with butter and jam.

Left overs may be warmed in the toaster.


We all really enjoyed eating Welsh Griddle Cakes . . . Over at Julie's!!!


P.S. Can't seem to get these out of my head! Love the fact that they need no butter or honey . . . Just perfect as is!



Sunflowers . . . a weekend photo gallery

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Gotta love their sunshiny faces!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

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Every time I make herb roasted turkey breast I am amazed at how a simple turkey breast can be taken from good to WOW with the addition of fresh herbs!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Christmas in July

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Our youngest, Matt decided he wanted a big birthday party this year with the theme ~ Christmas in July! So, we loaded up our car with presents, a small cooler with drinks, an extra gallon of drinking water . . . just in case we had car trouble, and we were off!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

As Great as Haagen Daz Ice Cream

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This morning I woke up with Will puttering in the kitchen. He decided to make the most incredible recipe, an outstanding, super premium ice cream with a butterfat content of 18%. You will not find a better recipe anywhere! Believe me, we have had years to experiment with more than a few recipes.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hot Pot Bread

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Homemade bread has a flavor and texture that's hard to beat, however, every now and then, I crave a really crusty artisan bread. This recipe satisfies that need, at a fraction of the cost, and you don't have to run to a fancy bakery!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DIY ~ Spicy Honey Mustard

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Making your own gourmet mustard at home is fun! This recipe is so tasty on meat sandwiches, and the texture is delightful, as the individual mustard seeds pop in your mouth! It's not only easy to make, but would make a lovely a gift along with a loaf of your homemade bread! My choice would be a loaf of dark rye bread for that perfect ham on rye slathered with Spicy Honey Mustard!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Been a bit under the weather . . .

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We all have those times when we overdo and get taken out. That's what happened to me first with the flu and then a relapse because I kept pushing myself and didn't get the much rest I needed.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Declare Independence Day!

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On the 4th of July we celebrated our birth as a nation, independence from our motherland, England. Happy Birthday to all citizens of the United States!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

100 year record low temperature broken!

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This 4th of July broke the record low temperature of 90 degrees F. set back in 1912! Today, we not only had our first rainfall for the Monsoon Season, which by the way, was absolutely delightful, but our temperature hit 76 degrees F. at 2:00 PM!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freezing Sweet Corn/Roasted Sweet Corn

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When I was a little kid, my Daddy would put in a huge garden every spring. He had an old Farmall tractor he hand cranked to get the engine started (once the crank flew off and plastering his nose flat on his face). We had to make a quick trip to the doctor's office to set his nose.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Asian Fusion Apricot BBQ Sauce

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With the last of my apricots I wanted to make a final batch of BBQ Sauce but with an Asian Fusion! Our whole family loves Asian food so this should be a win-win BBQ sauce!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Savory Summer Squash Pancakes

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I know, . . . It's hard to resist planting lots of those yellow squash(es) and zucchini(es). You think you have everything under control and then, somehow, they get the upper hand and you're inundated with . . . Summer Squash, ahh! All kidding aside, summer squash is one of the easiest veggies to grow. It's very prolific and the most versatile of all veggies!

Julie's Apricot Chipotle BBQ Sauce

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I had several readers tell me the post for Apricot Chipotle BBQ Sauce only showed the title. I have republished below. By the way, Will has already finished one jar and is starting on the next with today's grilled chicken. I might have to get another tree . . . Over at Julie's! I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Homemade Almond Joys/Almond Mounds Bars

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Do you recall the little jingle, "Some times you feel like a nut, some times you don't. Peter Paul Almond Joys got nuts, Peter Paul Mounds don't . . . because . . . Some times you feel like a nut, some times you don't!"? I have always wanted a dark chocolate almond mounds bar, and now it's possible! Woo Hoo!!!

As you can see from this photo, I always feel like a NUT!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Baking Staples

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How many times have you started a recipe only to find you don't have brown sugar, baking soda, sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, egg noodles etc?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Apricot Chipotle BBQ Sauce

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Apricots are very easy to work with because you don't have to remove their skins. And, what's not to love about their intense flavor? This is a twist on my Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce that I think you will really enjoy! This recipe has a little more heat, a little more tang, and it still has the sweet!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fresh Apricot Scones

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I love scones and I love apricots so it only makes sense to combine the two, for a scrumptious snack or breakfast, to go along with coffee, tea or an ice cold glass of milk!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fresh Apricot Cake ~ Aprikosenkuchen

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My favorite breakfast is 3 or 4 apricots picked fresh off our tree. Apricots are the perfect fruit! They are sweet and tangy and their skin is so thin, you don't have to peel it! Some of my favorite recipes involve apricots! Germany is known for their delicious cakes and this Fresh Apricot Cake is a summer staple in most German homes. 1 bite and it will become a family favorite in your home!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Remembering . . . Will and Julie's 40th Anniversary!

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Young Love! High School Sweethearts!

This has been an emotional year! I turned 60 . . . AND . . . Will and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage!

Engaged fall of 1971.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Wait Cinnamon Rolls

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Have you ever thought how nice it would be to whip up a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls, but then didn't becaue it just plain took too long? After a little research I found a recipe for "real" cinnamon rolls without the two or more hours needed for rising time. This recipe uses a combination of yeast, baking powder and baking soda. That means lovely, yeasty, homemade cinnamon rolls in 45 minutes, from start to finish!

Can I get a big Woo-hoo?!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Easy Pie Crust Recipe ~ Plus, Making Turnovers with Leftover Crust

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Last week I broke down and made 2 pies for the freezer ~ One 9-inch and one 6-inch pie with a combo of cinnamoned peaches and a few berries tossed in for color. When the fruit is ripe, it's now or never! Will manned the boiling water bath to slip peach skins, while I tackled making pie crusts. We make a great team in the kitchen! He's always joking about being my sous chef.

Blackberry Turnover with Cream Cheese Glaze is Berry Yummy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blackberry Sherbet ~ Berry-licious!

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When I was in high school I worked as a maid on the weekends during the school year and full-time during summer break cleaning rooms at a motel. It was hard work but, I made a whole $2.20 an hour! It was great having money to buy clothes and shoes. Lunches were free, all the soda you could drink, a 1 ton ice machine pumped out limitless cute little square cubes (I love ice!) and all the sherbet I could eat. Let me tell you, I ate a lot of sherbet as a skinny teenager, but nothing can compare with homemade sherbet using sweet plump fruit straight from the garden!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Birthday Jammies and Lala Littles

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This year I'm making Jammies for our granddaughters' birthdays and a matching outfit for their Lala Littles! The beginning of this month was Matty's 6th birthday and today we celebrated Hannah's 6th birthday! They grow up way too fast!

I loved it when I was little and my Gram made me and my sisters floor length flannel nighties or clothes for our dollies! And now my Grands look forward to what their Gram will make for them! Tonight at Hannah's birthday party one of her cousins asked me if I was a designer. I guess I am, at least for their dollies! Aren't the doll jumpers cute? I hand stitch these because they are so tiny. It makes a nice project to work on while sitting in my recliner in the evening.

Matty's Jammies and Lala Little in seersucker jumper.

Hannah and Lala Little's LadyBug.

I found the youth T-shirts at Joann Fabrics on sale at 4/$10. I waited to purchase the iron on flowers and this ladybug at a reduced price with my 40% and 50% off coupons. I embellished the iron-ons with added embroidery stitches.

3 granddaughters' birthdays down . . . 1 more to go . . . Over at Julie's!!! What sewing or craft projects are you working on?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fruit Crisp

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I absolutely LOVE pie! I love fruit pies, cream pies, pumpkin pies, nut pies and yes, meat pies! I love a flaky buttery crust! I love pie! However, even though I can make a killer crust, my secret is . . . I don't like to make pie crusts! My answer to this dilemma . . . is making healthier Fruit Crisps. They are quick, easy, and delicious, fresh from the oven, maybe swimming in cream or topped with a dollop of sweet whipped cream!


I ordered a little cookbook years ago from Oregon, when I was going through one of those moments of desperation. It was hot (118F. that's 47.7C.) and humid with no break in sight, and I was looking for a new state to live in. The two places I looked at moving to? Portland, Oregon on the west coast and Portland, Maine on the east coast! In a weak moment I ordered real estate brochures and a charming cookbook called- Oregon Sampler: Resorts & Recipes featuring a sampling of recipes from the resorts & people of Oregon, put together by the Assistance League of Corvallis. It's loaded with top notch regional recipes and this is my rendition of blackberry crisp with a three fruit combo ~ blackberries, peaches and boysenberries and a little thickener to hold the juice and fruit together.

Fresh, home-grown blackberries, peaches and boysenberries.

Serves 8
5 cups fresh fruit
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Crisp Ingredients
1/3 cup flour
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Place washed, prepared fruit in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice
  • Whisk sugar and cornstarch together; sprinkle evenly over fruit.
  • Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter; sprinkle evenly over fruit.
  • Bake at 375F for 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Serve warm. Top with cream for an old-fashioned dessert or with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
Fruit sprinkled with sugar/cornstarch combination.

Fruit Crisp with crunchy butter-oat crumble satisfies the most ardent fruit pie lover.

Or course this crisp can be made with any combination of fruits or a single fruit. It would be wonderful with just peaches, blackberries, boysenberries, plums, apricots, strawberries, rhubarb or pears. With so many fresh fruits available and those I freeze for the times seasonal, local fruit is not available . . . I can see a lot of Fruit Crsips in our future . . . Over at Julie's!!!



Grilled Lamb Kabobs

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Grilled Lamb Kabobs

I have never been very fond of lamb.  As a kid I maybe tried it twice with yucky mint jelly.  It tasted gamey, musky and, until a couple years ago I would have told you I hated lamb!  Funny thing is there are a lot of folk out there who still don't like lamb because of that one time they "tried" it with the dreaded bright green "mint" jelly!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recent Harvests

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Just thought I'd send a quick post to show you what we have harvested so far this week.


Rhubarb, peaches, boysenberries, sweet mini red peppers, tomatoes and a sweet onion oh, and a lemon!

We harvested 4 potato plants so far, and some of our garlic, tomatoes and more peaches and a quart and a half more boysenberries!

This was our first year growing potatoes (Yukon golds) and our first crop of boysenberries. The blackberries are abundant but small and hard this year. Not sure what went wrong.

Harvest sure makes a pretty photo . . . Over at Julie's!!!


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It's peach season in Arizona . . . time to create the best peach ice cream~ ever!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce

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Last year I made this peach barbecue sauce for the first time. To test my sauce we made two slabs of baby backed ribs, one was slathered with Sweet Baby Rays, the other with Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce. The homemade, home canned sauce won hands down in our family taste test!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Little Bouquet for You!

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I picked this little bouquet just for you to say Thank You, dear friend, for taking time to visit . . . Over at Julie's!!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

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A very warm wish for every Mom on this Mother's Day! You are beautifully and wonderfully made and I celebrate your uniqueness and, the commonality you share with all mothers everywhere! May this year be a time of deeper discovery of the importance of your calling as Mom! And, may you be inspired and strengthened!

Friday, May 11, 2012

6 Serving Cheesecake

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Sometimes I crave a piece of cheesecake but, don't want a huge 12 servings cake. I came up with a recipe that still has all the flavor and texture of a full size cheesecake and takes half the time to bake.

Raspberry Rhubarb Cheesecake.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Garden Pretties

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Fragrant Veitchii Gardenia blossom and bud . . . first of the season. This plant will soon be covered hundreds of blossoms! I love to pick little bouquets to keep by our bed, in the kitchen, and living room so we can enjoy their heavenly smell!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dehydrating Roasted Scallions

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I let a bunch of scallions, a.k.a. green onions, go full cycle . . . They grew huge, like mature leeks. Our little Pollinators enjoyed their flowers, and I harvested their seeds for my next planting. Finally, I pulled, cleaned and trimmed them. After laying onions out on a sheet pan, they were drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt. I baked them in the oven at 325F. for 45 minutes giving them a light roast and added sweetness.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chuck and the Pressure Cooker

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I received my first pressure canner/cooker as a wedding gift from Gramma Helen almost 40 years ago. I used it to cook roasts and later for canning low acid foods like green beans. My first pressure cooker is aluminum, not the safest metal to cook food in, but still fine for canning. I blew the nickel safety plug once, during my first year of marriage. When the pressure cooker ran out of liquid, the plug hit the ceiling! I screwed in the extra plug that came with the pot, scrubbed out the burned on roast and my extra plug remains intact to this day! N.B.D. . . .NO BIG DEAL!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Radish . . . any one?

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Even before the Pollinators, a.k.a. the Ladies, arrived 3 weeks ago I've been allowing broccoli, green onion, mustard, dill, bok choy, parsley, Swiss chard, and last but certainly not least, 1 radish plant go through their complete growing cycle giving honey bees extra flowers to gather nectar and pollen. They pollinate the veggie's flowers so I can gather seeds for the next planting season.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rich Dark Cake with Super Easy Pudding Frosting

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34 years ago I met a woman who made 4 loaves of bread each week and never made cake from a box! All her food was made from scratch. We were both nursing moms with baby boys about the same age, served in the same church and we became friends!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Quick Peek Inside the Hive

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The Ladies have been with us a little less than 3 weeks. We've been supplementing them with organic cane syrup until they become more established, i.e. new bees are born providing more foragers and a stronger, sustainable hive. We should begin to see the "newbees" taking their first orientation flight in the next week or two. In preparation for the expected growth, we added a new box to their hive and took a quick peek to see how they are doing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Photographic Tour of the Garden

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Yesterday I fertilized all my garden plants in the front yard with Alaskan Fish Fertilizer. That stuff is very stinky, draws flies and my hands and feet always get a soaking while I'm applying it! The things we do to have an organic garden! ;^ } While passing by my blue and gold macaw, Libby, with my smelly self, I stopped to say hi. She literally turned her head and body away from me because I smelled so horrid!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Life with the Pollinators.

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I've always loved having my rose garden and flowering plants because they are so beautiful and fragrant. Our garden, orchard and herbs provide us with fresh, vitamin rich fruits, veggies and seasonings. Since the Bees came to live with us I am looking at everything quite differently now!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lovely Quiche

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What's not to love about quiche? Flaky crust, filled with limitless combinations of cheesy yumminess!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Bees Arrived!

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A whole lot of buzzing this morning as I installed our bees in their new, homemade Warre' Hive!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Bread

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Some people eat the same breakfast every day of their lives, I am not one of those people! So many choices, so little time! I dug through my bread cookbooks looking for an exciting change of pace and found this recipe filled with refreshing grapefruit zest and juice, wheat germ, fiber and poppy seeds. I believe that I've found a winner!

Monday, April 2, 2012

St. Louis-Style No Yeast Pizza

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I was watching America's Test Kitchen Public TV Series last week, they were making foods from St. Louis, Missouri i.e. St. Louis Ribs, and St. Louis Pizza! So, I thought I'd give this pizza a try and let you know what Will and I thought.

Bake in a 475 degree F. oven on parchment paper.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Soft Gingerbread

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Who doesn't love that moist, spicy cake called, Gingerbread? Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or top with Microwave Lemon Curd or Tangerine Curd and you have a delightfully refreshing snack. Serve for dessert or, my favorite . . . breakfast with a yummy cuppa tea, coffee or ice cold milk!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Microwave Lemon Curd

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When lemons are plentiful it's time to make Lemon Curd, and maybe Mini Lemon Curd Tarts!

Who doesn't love lemon curd? It's one of those pricey gourmet items few can afford to buy on a regular basis. I have an easy and fool proof recipe to share with you that's so much better than store bought!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Company's Come and Gone ; 0 (

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I don't know what happened to the previous blog post I wrote, but I spoke about all the excitement of preparing a cozy bedroom complete with a fresh picked bouquet of sweet peas, a welcome basket full of Homemade Granola Bars, chocolates, fresh fruits, and an iced down cooler with fresh squeezed orange juice, Baked Rice Pudding and bottled water.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Harvesting Garden Seeds

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Being able to save your own garden seeds year after year has many advantages. You save lots of money. You are not dependent on retailers for your seeds. You're getting pure seeds and not ones genetically engineered or covered in poisons and you can trade seeds with others. Make sure the seed packet has "heirloom" printed on the front. Hybrid seeds will not work!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Steps . . . No-Knead Cottage Cheese Rolls

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My present lifestyle has been evolving through most of my lifetime. I remember back in 5th grade having to give an oral presentation. My little 4x5 cards had my speech and the recipe for "Soft Molasses Cookies". I brought in a plate of cookies for the class to sample. Another girl brought in a bowl of cold oatmeal and shared on how to make oatmeal. I remember feeling so sorry for her!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Busy Times Over at Julie's

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I love living in Arizona! It's springtime for us in the desert. Our citrus trees are just beginning to blossom, so a delicate perfume hangs lightly in the air.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Potato Salad

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I love potatoes . . . fried, boiled, roasted, au gratin, mashed, French fries (baked), scalloped, garlic mashed, potato chips, and of course Potato Salad!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


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Will flew to Florida today for a business meeting. Two days of flying sandwiched between one actual day of meetings.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What to do with all those ripe Bananas.

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How many times have you bought a big bunch of bananas on sale and it seemed like they turned brown overnight? You have two choices, throw them out or try one of these yummy recipes!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Gramma

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There is always something fun to do around here! I have three grandkids with Spring birthdays, they all have Lalaloopsy dolls and they all would like me to sew them more doll clothes! So today I focused on designing and creating a new outfit for AJ's Little Sister, Spec Reads a Lot.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Messy Janes and 40 Minute Burger Buns

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My idea of fast food is something I can whip up in less than an hour and it's healthy.  Fast food doesn't have to be junk food.  With a little planning you can make delicious, healthy foods your  family will love . . . especially your kids and/or grandkids!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Baked Rice Pudding

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When I think about comfort food, rice pudding rates right up there in my top 5 picks.  That being said, there are certain elements I look for in a great rice pudding.  It must have a golden-brown, blistered surface, sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg, next a thick creamy layer of custard, preferably made from farm fresh eggs, and finally tender brown Jasmine rice with plump sweet raisins.  It doesn't get any better than that!  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Signs of Spring

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Spring comes early to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona where I live.  By the middle of May our temperatures rise to over 100 degrees F. or 37.7+ C. so I thoroughly enjoy every Spring day and make it count.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Cookies . . . Happy Monday!

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This Happy Monday you need to hit the floor running if you're going get these cookies baked and decorated for all the special Valentines in your life! 

I have been using this Vanilla Butter Cookie recipe for 40+ years because it makes THE MOST A-MAZ-ING cut-out cookies for any special holiday!  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Grilled Chicken Breasts w/dipping sauce and Roasted Veggies

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Normally Will does the grilling in our family but he was busy, I was hungry and the 4 chicken breasts were begging to be cooked!  So-ooo this is what I did. . .

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

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We were given some beautiful, fresh-picked dates, so I began perusing the internet looking for a date bar recipe. I found a couple recipes that looked promising but this recipe for homemade granola bars caught my eye. It was by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, had rave reviews and used dates! What more could I ask for?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Challenge . . . Learn a New Skill! Happy Monday!!!

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This weekend I got to thinking about how blessed I am.  In this day and age of modern technology so much information is literally right at my fingertips!  If I want to know about something, anytime, day or night, I can Google it, find a You Tube video about it, or download an e-book about pretty much any subject.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Perfect Muffin

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I was originally looking for a muffin recipe to use some of my frozen blackberries. What I found was a recipe that can stand on its own and also become the perfect base for many variations.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

John Isaac and the Banana Breakfast Cookies

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Grampa had to work on Saturday so John and I had the whole day to ourselves . . . we did a puzzle, played with our Lalaloopsy dolls.  Yes, even Gramma has one!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boxed vs. Homemade

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As a young bride spaghetti started with a box called Kraft Spaghetti Classics.  The .595 lb. box contains dried spaghetti, a seasoning packet with "specially-blended, tangy herbs and spices" and a dried parmesan cheese packet for $2.00.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Monday!!!

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 Hope your weekend was fabulous! 
Today Will is flying to cold, icey Michigan.  He has business meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, but after the meetings he's driving to my hometown, Mason, for a visit with my family.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alive and Still Thriving

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I know most folk in the US of A have freezing weather this time of year and the only comfort they find is curling up in a cozy chair with an afghan and their favorite seed catalogue, dreaming of warmer days.  If that's you, you have my sincere sympathy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5 Minute Healthy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread

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Hope your week is going well!

One of my readers requested this recipe,  so here it is Melody!  So far I've made two batches of this artisan bread.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Will and the Pocket Gophers . . .Happy Monday!!!

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Gardening in Arizona can be challenging.  Our growing seasons are short.  Our summers, beyond hot!  When we hit Monsoon Season, around July, pretty much everything dies.  Winter garden challenges are heavy frost days, little green worms and . . . YIKES!!!   POCKET GOPHERS!!!  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fabulous Burger (or hot dog) Buns for Bread Machine

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A great burger should be made with ground chuck, topped with homegrown tomato, onion, pickles and lettuce sitting on a fabulous, homemade, toasted burger bun.

This recipe will meet all your expectations for the perfect burger bun . . . Soft, and yeasty, and perfect to whip up in your bread machine!

A word about bread machines:

I use my bread machine to mix and first rise all my breads and rolls except when I make "5 minute artisan bread", I'll share more about that another time. Using a bread machine cuts down on messy bowls, kneading time with more mess, and keeps your dough the perfect temperature for the first rise. If you can find a cheap one at a yard sale or thrift store, and it works, pick it up or purchase a used one on

Fabulous Burger Buns for the Bread Machine

To your bread machine container, add ingredients in this order:

1 cup warm water

3/4 cup warm, whole milk or buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter, equals 1/2 stick

1/4 cup cane sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Note: Warm is 110 to 115F, the temperature of a warm baby bottle.

It should feel warm on the inside of your wrist, not hot.

3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, or unbleached flour

Note: Make a well, in the flour and add your gluten and dry yeast.

1 tablespoon dry yeast

  • Set bread machine to dough cycle and push start. Dough cycle is 1:30 min.
  • Punch down dough. Dough will be sticky, so as you pull dough from your bread machine, sprinkle a little flour along the sides to keep it from sticking.
  • On a floured board or countertop, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to 3/8-inch.
  • Cut out buns and place on large cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
  • Cover buns with a light tea towel and put in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to rise.
  • Preheat oven to 375F. 170C.
  • In a small bowl whisk egg white and 1 teaspoon water, mix well.
  • Sprinkle with poppy, sesame, or flaxseeds.
  • Bake at 375F. for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Cool on wire cooling rack.
  • Split buns, spread with butter and toast in broiler, keep a watchful eye, so they don't burn.

Note: To freeze, place buns in a dated, gallon freezer bag. Top buns with wax paper, this keep buns from collecting frost and becoming soggy.

This is an exceptional recipe, the best of the best!!! Well worth the effort!!!

Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I hope you are inspired to try something new.

Baking your own breads saves you big money and you know what is going into your food. Homemade guarantees great taste, freshness, and an aroma that's hard to beat.

Have a great weekend! I'll see you on Monday . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's All the Buzz About?

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I've been hanging out in my garden fascinated by some bok choy that is past it's prime.   What you ask is my fascination?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Italian Street Food and Baked Ziti

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I so enjoy using our veggies and herbs when preparing a meal. Because we grow organic, all is free of pesticides, radiation, wax, and genetically engineered manipulation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Monday! Recipe for Momma's Olive Dip

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Monday is one of my most favorite days; probably because it comes after Sunday, my day of rest and reflexion.  It's my refueling day, if you will, spiritually, emotionally and physically preparing me to hit the floor running on Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


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Recently I've been pondering about the generations of women in my family as I sit down to sew or work in my garden or pull out my Great Gram's food grinder to make green tomato relish.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sweet Citrus

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I am so excited to finally be typing my very first post!  I am brimming over with things I want to share.