Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Read Or Flunk!

Remember me saying I purchased the Vampire Academy series from eBay?  I received that shipment last Tuesday, all six books plus a bonus book, Bloodlines.  But it was Tuesday, and therefore M and I had an appointment with an auction.  No bloodsucker book reading for me, I had junk to search through treasures to search for.

One week later I have yet to actually pick up a book and start to read.  L, however, is now on the forth book in the series.  Yes, I know!  He's smokin' me!  He and the Girls are now discussing plots and characters and cliff hangers and possible alternate endings...and now they stop talking when I enter the room.

The Girls are taking this very seriously.  Apparently there's going to be a Vampire Academy pre-movie test; and since I'm not allowed to hear the Vampire Academy verbal study guide forum, it would seem that the only way I'm going to pass that test is to open read the book...s. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Weekend: On The Go Until It Was Gone!

Isn't he cute?!?!  Want to take a guess on how much he cost?

We were busy this weekend.  So take a deep breath and I'll give a quick recap.

I started the weekend by making one of our favorites, Apple Oven Pancake, for breakfast, you can click here to get that recipe.

GG and I made a quick trip into town to do some baby shower prepping. 

We started with ordering the cake...

then went to pick out a children's book for Baby W...

and finally we made a quick stop to pick up some shower decorations, and lime green shirts for L and the Girls to wear later that evening.

Alright, take another deep breath.  Ya' ready?  I let GG drive part of the way home, since she's legal now.

I made another trial run recipe for the baby shower.  They were originally called Cottage Cheese Delights, but had to be renamed.  So now they're Twirly Burlies, you can click here to get that recipe, and an explanation as to why they were renamed.

We went to a community pie auction/ benefit that night for our neighbors.  That's what the lime green shirts were for.  Several people in our community have been wearing these shirts in support of B and her journey to hear.  Since L and the Girls didn't have B's Journey shirts I grabbed them a lime green shirt each so they would blend.

Did you happen to catch the part about an auction? with pie? and people?  I was happy as a pig in slop, or in this case in pie.  You can click here to get the official definition of that southernism.  What's not to be happy about?!?!  You know how much I love auctions, and eating and talking!

Pink is a good color for him.

So how much did you guess this little chicken cake sold for?

Did you guess $105.00?  No?!?  Then you guessed wrong!  The way the bids kept going up I was beginning to think he was going to poop an engagement ring or something.

Sunday afternoon was way too pretty to spend inside. 

So the Girls and I went to Van Winkle Hollow Trail and had a picnic...

did some hiking and exploring...

tried to make new friends...

The sign said "all pets must be on a leash", and so he was.  He didn't seem to be any more impressed with his owner's desire to follow the rules than he was with NG's friendly overture.

had an impromptu photo session...

did a lot of goofing off...

and a little geocaching.

All this pretty weather has made us anxious for spring!  What adventure did you have this weekend?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh Boy! That's Not An Opossum!

Meet Lacey, our outside (fat) cat, otherwise known at our house as the old lady.

We have an opossum that keeps stealing her food and threatening to beat her up, and a stray tomcat that keeps beating her up and then stealing her food.  Yes she's a little bit of a victim, and yes we realize missing a meal wouldn't exactly hurt her; but she's lived here for almost 13 years, that gives her seniority, and beating up the old lady and/or leaving her hungry is not acceptable.

So last week L borrowed a live trap, and baited it guessed it!  Cat food.  A couple hours later we caught an opossum.  Unfortunately, since it was dark, L grabbed the wrong handle, opened the cage to soon, and he got away.  Apparently that particular opossum is a quick study though, because he hasn't been back.

Today when the Girls and I got home the trap had been thrown and we had captured a new critter.

We don't really mind the squirrels (or the birds) eating the cat food since they pack it off one piece at a time, and they seem to be able to live in harmony with the old lady

So we decided to let him go before he worked himself into a heart attack.  Now you can tell from the pictures that Rocky obviously isn't a flying squirrel.  However...

when he left the porch he was most definitely airborne!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Twirly Burlies: Formerly Known As Cottage Cheese Delights

One of the foods I'm planning to make for J's upcoming baby shower is was Cottage Cheese Delights.  They're a very simple pastry snack topped with a powdered sugar icing.  I originally planned on using a "rainbow theme" for the baby shower, but that gave J ideas of unwelcome unicorns.  So now the theme is more along the lines of "a splash of color", and none of those pesky unicorns will be allowed entrance.

In an attempt to add "a splash of color" to the cottage cheese delights I decided to try coloring the powdered sugar icing.  I divided it out into 5 separate bowls and added food coloring to make yellow, green, pink, green, and blue.

After I completed the first batch I texted J a picture so she could see the finished product.  This is the conversation that took place...

And so I give you...

Twirly Burlies: Formerly Known as Cottage Cheese Delights

**all ingredients need to be room temperature**
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
2 cups all purpose flour **do NOT substitute self- rising flour in this recipe**

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 tbs milk
1 tbs butter, melted

Mix pastry ingredients together, chill overnight.  Divide into 4 equal parts.  Roll into a circle on floured surface.  Cut into pie wedges, roll each wedge into a crescent roll.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mix icing ingredients together, and frost while warm.

I find it's easiest to clean off the kitchen table and roll them out there.

You can determine how many this recipe yields and how big the crescents will be by how many wedges you cut.  I have found that a pizza cutter works best for cutting the dough into wedges.

Place the crescents on wax paper to apply the icing.  This makes clean up so simple.

Icing will need to be thin enough to drizzle from a spoon.  If you're doing the colored icing, I recommend doing one color at a time and drizzling from different directions with each one.

A Great Way To Start The Day: Apple Oven Pancake

One of my family's favorite breakfast is Apple Oven Pancake.  I found the recipe in my good friend Betty Crocker's New Cookbook.  Yep, Betty and I go waaay back!  We were introduced by a mutual friend, Bisquick, almost twenty years ago and have been great friends ever since. 

The original recipe is for Puffy Oven Pancake with a variation listed for Apple Oven Pancake.  I have only ever made the apple variation and over the years have made my own variations to it as well.

Apple Oven Pancake

4 tbs butter
4 large eggs
1 cup all- purpose flour *do NOT substitute self- rising flour in this recipe*
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter in 11 x14 1/2 inch baking dish, brush butter on sides of dish.  Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over butter in baking dish.  Arrange apples over sugar mixture.  Beat eggs in bowl, add flour, milk, salt, and vanilla and mix well.  Pour batter over apples and place in oven.  Bake 30- 35 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown.  Immediately turn pancake upside down onto heatproof surface and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I prefer to use Gala Apples for cooking.

I turn the pancake into a cookie sheet.

I use a pizza cutter to cut the pancake into serving sizes.

This is a great Saturday morning breakfast recipe.  If you time it just right you can squeeze in a rerun of The Nanny, and you know how I love reruns!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Giggle: Martha vs. Maxine

So here's another funny little e-mail from the file. 

But first, has anyone seen the music video for Taylor Swift's song Ours?   The section of that video where she's trying to use the copier is absolutely hilarious to me.  I mean the kind of hilarious that makes me laugh out loud at the most inopportune time when most of the people around me expect my mind to be on more serious and appropriate subject matter. 

With that having been said it's back to the giggle.

Maxine vs. Martha       

Martha's Way: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
Maxine's Way: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake!  You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway!

Martha's Way: To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Maxine's Way: Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix and keep it in the pantry for up to a year.

Martha's Way: When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
Maxine's Way: Go to the bakery!  They'll even decorate it for you.

Martha's Way: If you accidentally over salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix-me-up." 
Maxine's Way: If you over salt a dish while it's cooking, that's too bad.  Please recite with me the real woman's motto: "I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it taste!"

Martha's Way: Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting it in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
Maxine's Way: Celery?  Never heard of it!

Martha's Way: Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
Maxine's Way: The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust so I don't.

Martha's Way: Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead.  The throbbing will go away.
Maxine's Way: Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink!

Martha's Way: If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dish washing gloves.  They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
Maxine's Way: Go ask that very cute neighbor if he can open it for you.

Martha's Way: Don't throw out all that leftover wine.  Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Maxine's Way: Leftover wine?!?!?!  HEL-LO????