From our house to yours . . . Have the merriest of Christmases!A treasured homemade gift from son and daughter, Matt & Jess!
Will and I have both been craving our special ham . . . an incredible ham at a reasonable price . . . Kentucky Legend Ham. There is no store brand that can hold a candle to this ham! The meat is lean, perfectly seasoned and smoked. Because the meat is drier than most hams, it will last in the fridge for up to a month. Of course, a ham sandwich is only as good as the bread it sits on . . .
I've been messing around with the idea of making washable seat covers for my padded stools for quite some time now. I'd pulled out my 18-inch pizza pan to use as a pattern, but it was too small . . . I needed a 23-inch round for hemming and putting in elastic for a snug fit and easy removal for washing.
I worked outside weeding our 2 acre pasture for 3 hours this morning! The rain brought up all kinds of weeds, including the treacherous puncture vine (we call them steer heads around here). They're a type of sand burr, very painful to step on, and our pasture is filled with them, in varying sizes, from babies, to huge burr-filled plants! The burrs are so sharp they can puncture a bike tire, and the bottom of your feet! With all that hoeing and sweating, I worked up quite an appetite!
When Will goes out of town on business trips . . . I always make myself a special loaf of bread, one he never gets to eat! I also chill 2 cans of tuna because I love tuna and Will doesn't! I work so hard outside, doing Will's chores and mine when he's gone . . . I need to baby myself a bit!
I love scones! They taste like a biscuit, only fancier . . . and with a bit of mystery and sophistication for those of us in the US. The truth is . . . Scones only "appear" more difficult to make than a baking powder, buttermilk, biscuit (not talking about a cookie here)! Scones are actually easier and quicker to make, and Sweet Pumpkin Scones are no exception to that rule! By adding pumpkin, brown sugar, and warm fragrant spices, you'll have a moist cake-like version of the beloved scone!
Most of the day was spent working in my kitchen processing our last 6 pumpkins. They needed to be baked, and puréed. Some were measured out in 1/2-cup increments, frozen in muffin tins, bagged and dated for the freezer to be used later. The rest ended up in moist, lightly spiced Pumpkin Scones (I'll share that recipe tomorrow), Pumpkin Nut Muffins and Pumpkin Drop Cookies!
Around 4 years ago I purchased Curious George monkeys for all the Grands . . . For the girl monkeys I added blush, earrings, ribbons, pretty dresses, ballet skirts and Maggie, Katherine, Molly and Abby were born! For our Grandson, John Isaac, I made a safari outfit for his George. A year later, Jude Michael was born and we gave him a smaller Georgie in flannel PJs!
I used to buy Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning, but it had too much garlic powder to suit my taste. Then I tried making Emeril Lagasse's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning about 5 years ago, and I've been making my own Essense ever since!
Will and I made a decision this year that we would do without prepared foods that use margarine and hydrolyzed oils, particularly those with soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup. That basically means no store bought salad dressings, bread, hot dog or hamburger buns, no crackers, desserts (pies, cookies, sweet rolls) or flour tortillas . . .
Bacon wrapped hot dogs stuffed with relish, melted cheese, wrapped with crispy bacon, and a hefty squirt of yellow mustard, was one of my favorites meals as a little kid, and I still love them!
I got a phone call from my granddaughter yesterday . . . She was following my recipe for making Creamsicles and was having trouble "waiting" for the ice cream to harden around the sticks so they could eat them!
I have been enjoying all the beautiful summer fruits available this time of year! They are the perfect addition to healthy summer salads, and the perfect enticement to get your kids to enjoy eating salads!
It doesn't get better than this! For this "pizza" . . . I start with a crunchy sugar cookie crust . . . next a sweet layer of vanilla sugar cream cheese . . . add an artistic array of beautiful seasonal fruit, ripened to perfection . . . and finally, a sweet, tart orange glaze . . . and you've got Fruit Pizza!
I absolutely love my bread machine! And while I don't actually bake my breads in it, it saves me a ton of time mixing, kneading, rising without having to attend to it, and without a ton of messy cleanup! I can put my ingredients in the bread machine pan, turn it on Dough Cycle, and I have 1 1/2 hours to shop, garden, nap, whatever!
This weekend we enjoyed the company of A.J. and Hannah, two of our Grands! Breakfast is A.J's favorite meal of the day, so I decided to make pancakes using some of our late peaches . . . We all loved them!
Our family loves getting together to for the 4th of July, America's Independence Day celebration! Our children, their children (the Grands) and of course, Will and I gather at Jason and Annie's for food, fun, swimming and end our evening by watching local fireworks! This year our friends Tino and Elsa joined us!
Hummus is one of those pricey dips found in the deli section. Health foodies have a deep appreciation for chick peas, aka garbanzo beans.
I like to know the rules, and follow them, except when it comes to cooking and baking . . . Then I always leave room for my creative juices to flow! While there is probably a wee mite of Irish in me, I believe it's the Dutchy side that's the creative cook and baker! That said, "Let's talk Soda Bread"!
I was looking for a creative way to use my first batch of homegrown San Marzano and Early Girl tomatoes and decided . . . KETCHUP!!!
We've been doing well with our low-carb lifestyle, eating berries by the handful, no fruit crisps, no pies, or tarts . . . for 2 whole weeks! . . . until we needed a "welcome home" pie!
I know we're supposed to be low carbing it, but sometimes (especially after 4 weeks without pizza) you just have a craving for a homemade pizza!
This spring Will and I both planted a special heirloom garden . . . Mine was planted in very fertile raised beds . . . Will's garden? . . . In our old horse pasture with a bit of mulch added.
Growing up, once in a great while, Momma would make a leg of lamb. It was disgusting . . . With a strong musky flavor, and that mint jelly? . . . Don't even get me started! Momma was a good cook, but not when it came to lamb!
Will began reading a kindle book through bookbub.com called Kick Your Fat in the Nuts. He found the title intriguing . . . guess it's a guy thing . . . Smirk ; ^ }
I've been enjoying rhubarb for almost 3 months, but this week we're supposed to hit 101F! My beloved rhubarb patch does not like hot weather and will probably begin to wilt and die.
How many times have you been outside . . . just minding your own business, and ouch! . . . You're being eaten alive by ants!!!
Will came out of his office today around 10:30 AM to ask, "What's for lunch? I'm starving!" I guess all those conference calls can give one an appetite!
This was a tough day for me . . . I've been maintaining my overall health by see my chiropractor/accupuncterist twice a month. It seems I've hit a plateau (wall) and I'm not able to do all the things I want to do without pain. Grrr! Very frustrating!
The perfume of Banana Bread floats on the air throughout the house as it bakes in my toaster oven. It smells so crazy-good, I could almost swoon!
Here are the garden photos I promised you! I hope you get a sense of how excited I am to wake up each morning surrounded by such beauty! Hope you enjoy the tour!
Will has decided to garden like the Native American Indians this year, so he is breaking new ground, and has purchased heirloom seeds from Seeds Trust.
I found time got away from me while out gardening. We were both tired, dirty, and ravenous . . . It's in vulnerable moments like that, you need a back-up plan!
We live in a climate where the sun shines most of the time and our humidity is usually 13%. That means our skin dries out real easily, especially in the wintertime. My sister lives in a climate that's cold and dreary in the winter, and her hands crack and bleed! We need an INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH MOISTURIZER with STAYING, HEALING POWER!!!
Remember those seeds I planted back in October, the ones I thought were too old to germinate . . . Well, they have turned into the most beautiful spikes of multicolored wild flowers!
I bought a new juicer last week. My rational was to find a juicer I could use daily to offer my family the freshest, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, cold and flu fighting, anti aging, citrus juice possible!
This is a recipe I'll be making over and over again! Yes . . . It's that good . . . And super easy to make!
Being in such a big hurry to get a hair conditioner made to go with my cured shampoo soap, I put a hair conditioner recipe on the blog before testing it . . . BIG MISTAKE!!! SO SORRY!!!
Who doesn't love shortbread . . . add chocolate . . . a wee bit of expresso . . . and a smidgen of cinnamon and you have a great cut-out cookie to make bears, dinosaurs, Christmas trees and beautiful Valentine cookies!
Lemon in cooking, brings a wonderful depth of flavor, add fresh chopped oregano, a bit of fresh garlic, a pinch of pepper flakes, salt,and pepper and we're talkin' "Good Eats"!
We've been blessed with a bumper crop of lemons this year, which is a absolutely wonderful because lemons can be used for cooking, baking, in salad dressings, cleaning supplies, lotions, candles, lip balms, soaps, potpourri, cold remedies and so much more!