Saturday, August 31, 2013

THE PROCESS


Posted by PicasaSo from left to right, top to bottom. Tomatoes ready to go in oven, drizzled with olive oil and scattered with garlic cloves fresh thyme and oregano. Next the roasted and charred tomatoes. I let them cool, slip the skins off and put the skins into the food processor with a little of the juice. After they are processed I add the rest of the tomatoes and juice and pulse until all is blended. Then I pour into a container and freeze for a wonderful winter pasta sauce. That's it.
It takes about 12-15 tomatoes to make a qt jar of sauce. That is why the flavors are so intense. When using the sauce you can thin it with a little chicken broth or water if desired. 
I am going to make a qt a day until I am caught up with the tomatoes but at this point I have a couple dozen tomatoes sitting on counter and dozens more ready to pick so it will be a while before I am caught up. Every afternoon I have been having a half of tomato sammie on old fashioned white bread with mayo and salt and pepper. That is just how I had them when I was a youngster all I can say is yum, yum!!!!

I need to send a couple of payments off to suppliers so I had better make haste before the mailman comes.
Then into to the shower and into my OREGON gear.

Have a nice Saturday and GO DUCKS!


Friday, August 30, 2013

GETAWAY TO ODELL LAKE


Posted by PicasaWe have returned from our little adventure to the mountains and Odell Lake. The cabin we rented was at Shelter Cove one of the resorts at the lake.
Our weather was "ify" the first day but no matter we were happy to be there in our cabin in the woods with the lake just steps away from our porch. 
I kept myself entertained that first morning as my husband took off in the little boat fishing.
We spent the afternoon sitting on our own private dock in our camp chairs. We feed the ducks, and listened to eagles screech. There are many eagles now at Odell Lake and nearby Crescent Lake. We also saw many gulls and other water birds as nature abounds in that area.
We grilled juicy ribeye steaks the first evening and then it was campfire time.
Hubby brought corkscrew willow wood from the tree we cropped down last fall. The wood burned so clean no smoke and our clothing did not smell like campfire. That is such a plus. We retired early to our snug little log bed and slept like babies.

Out the cabin door early was my hubby's agenda the next day. I stayed in bed for another couple of hours, well he left as soon as he could see the path to the boat dock. You know the early bird thing with fishing. He did catch us some beautiful fish for dinner. That made me happy as we planned on fish for a meal.
After he returned a little before noon I made us big fat beef hot dogs with our diced garden tomatoes and onions with spicy mustard and zucchini relish stuffed into toasted outdoor rolls. yumo!
We went for a hike that afternoon and then back down to the dock to soak up the mountain sun and sat mesmerized by the sparkling sun splashed lake. Time slowed down,we sipped our drinks and lazed the afternoon away.
My husband fried the fish that evening he does such a perfect job of that. He fillets the fish and removes all the little pin bones. He has his special mix of crumbs that he breads them in. I served side dishes of corn on the cob from the farm and sliced tomatoes from our garden. Later we had chocolate covered donuts by the fire, then off to slumber.

So the days unfolded and I will say it was very relaxing we could just feel ourselves unwinding by the moment. The mountain air was crisp and fresh it was easy just to sit in front of our cabin staring at the lake in a state of bliss. I read and worked at some word puzzles, hubby and I played games and the time passed by unhurried.

The drive home was nice following the middle fork of the Willamette river as the sunlight filtered through the trees and danced on the water. So we will go again next year it is always something to look forward to.

I was out the door early this morning as it is the start of Labor Day weekend and I needed a few things at the grocery store. 
I picked up a chubby natural chicken for dinner. I will salt and pepper the cavity and place fresh rosemary and lemon wedges inside, tie the legs and place breast down after rubbing with olive oil and seasoning with herbs. I will roast it uncovered and turn over half way through the roasting time so the skin will get crispy all over. Tonight I will serve with boiled baby red potatoes and chicken gravy and a chopped iceberg, garden tomato and sweet onion salad with honey mustard dressing.
For tomorrow nights dinner I will morph whatever is left of the chicken and make ching-a-linga's. They are small size flour tortilla's stuffed with diced chicken and diced green chili's and green taco sauce. They are deep fried until golden and crispy and served topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes,chopped sweet onion, mexican cheese,sliced avocado's and finished off with sour cream green taco sauce. THEY ARE GOOD!

I made a gravenstein apple pie yesterday it is amazing and you probably remember I make that pie every year at this time when the farms have the gravenstein apples.
This afternoon will be spent in the kitchen at least for a couple of hours. I am making my first but believe me not my last pan of roasted tomato sauce. I have over two dozen tomatoes sitting on the counter and another dozen or so in the garden ready to be picked. We are eating them fresh daily in and on everything imaginable. Love them, that is a fact.
So I will leave you and start the process of roasting tomatoes.

Have a fun but safe Labor Day weekend whatever it is you are doing. I will be here in my home and my husband is working all weekend. He will DVR the OREGON game tomorrow so we will watch it tomorrow evening. We do not expect it will be much a game but it is always fun to watch their first game and see what is going on with the players and this year the new coach.

Well as you can see I have very large font again in the middle of this post. To change it would eat to much of my time up as I need to get at those tomatoes, so please just endure.
Later.





Saturday, August 24, 2013

PORK SCHNITZEL

It is another gray day here in Eugene. Yesterday the sun finally made an appearance about two p.m. So I darted to the back deck to enjoy the afternoon. It was really a perfect day as cotton ball clouds drifted peacefully through a blinding blue sky. There was not a breath of breeze and it was a comfortable 74 degree's. Today perhaps will be a repeat, I surely hope so.

I just had a fat juicy tomato sandwich for lunch. We are falling behind on tomato consumption at this point. I have two full bowls sitting on the counter and more are ready to be plucked from the garden. We are eating them in every form now. Our plates will be loaded with slices this evening to go along with pork schnitzel, corn on the cob and red potatoes. This is a tasty schnitzel recipe and I have posted it on my blog before. I really need to keep a date log of the recipes I post.

My hubby is washing his truck. I had it detailed inside and out but it has sat outside as it is not garaged and the exterior is now filthy.  We are so close to the surrounding farms we get a lot of dust from the fields. I am happy my SUV can be nested inside the garage.

I was up early, I was going to say bright and early but as it was not bright........
Anyhow I decided to go pick up a few groceries this morning and grab some more books as I soon will be finishing another one. My current book is a really wonderful. It is set in Pennsylvania on a Amish Farm. I will be sorry when this exciting page turner ends. Yes it is exciting as a young Amish woman has given birth to a baby and does not remember the event, the baby is found dead. The young woman is not married nor confesses to even having sexual relations. She has been charged with first degree murder. You can imagine all of this taking place within the Amish community. Riveting!

I am off to water my plants and back yard.
Hmm, do I spy with my little eye, the sun winking at the edge of a cloud? I think yes!

Friday, August 23, 2013

SAMMIES FOR DINNER TONIGHT!

I am going to be lazy and have grilled cheese garden tomato sandwiches for dinner tonight with home fries. Tired of making dinner....and this is "Zo's Kitchen Tonight"?  
Last nights meal was easy and simple and we had the remains for lunch today. The cobbler sure was a hit last night. Blackberries are so yummy when made up into a cobbler with a crispy crust. These little wild blackberries sure give a punch for their size. My hubby will still have some coming on to eat by hand but then they will be pretty well depleted.

The clouds have not left the sky yet and it is early afternoon. I walked early this morning in the gray and all looked quite bleak. Everyone's lawns are now yellowed and weeds lurk about. All just appears dry and dusty. Even Beacon Rd. lacked luster. It will not be long and all will start turning into the warm rich colors of autumn. I am so not ready for that scene yet.

Well even my blog lacks luster today so I may as well give it up.
I have chores to attend to at any rate. A load of wash is still hanging out in the washer, paperwork has piled up on the file cabinet, another bomb has gone off my desk, need I say more.
Maybe by the time I finish my duties the sun will be smiling on us.
See ya tomorrow.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

COBBLER AGAIN TODAY


Posted by PicasaCobbler again today. Yes!
Hubby picked berries from our patch and the 'Best in the West' berry cobbler now sits on the counter. As I mentioned before this is the best berry cobbler ever!

I had posted yesterday that we were going to a new brew house and deli. Well we drove there and no where to park and the place was a big mess. Packing cartons in the windows also on the deck out back where folks were gathered. So we switched gears. We will go back when they have had some time to get themselves in order.
So we drove over to our fave area and went to the Steelhead Brewery right on fifth street, grabbed the last available table on the street. We shared a very delicious burger with perfect fries and a huge dill pickle. It was just the right amount for the two of us. I enjoyed a very nice glass of pinot noir from one our local vineyards and my hubby had a microbrew of course. We lingered for about an hour and then strolled down 5th street, reading menu's posted outside other eateries. We then came home and plopped in our comfy chairs on our own deck. Hubby listened to his I-pod while I read. It was a nice quiet relaxed afternoon. 

For dinner my husband cooked. He fixed the sausage he loves from our local meat market and sliced tomatoes and corn on the cob. It was a small dinner but suited us just fine.

We woke to a thunder storm about four A.M. It was rumbling about right overhead. It did not last long but it did generate a small amount of rain, just enough really to clean things quite nicely. 

Tonight for dinner I making pasta with fresh tomatoes.
I will brown some sirloin burger and onions add 2 cloves garlic minced, fresh thyme, basil and Mrs. Dash and ground pepper. I will start the pasta and right before the pasta is el dente I will add a couple cups of chopped fresh tomatoes to the burger mixture and let simmer until the tomatoes are just warmed and have released their juices. Then spoon the mixture over spaghetti noodles and mix gently, serve with plenty of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
I am once again serving a bread boule, a small very crusty sourdough bread. I am making a herb and garlic spread for the hot bread. 
It will be nice light spaghetti dinner with cobbler and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
I wish I had a bottle of that pinot noir I had yesterday for lunch it would have been great with the light sauced pasta.

I had better get on with my house chores. My husband is on a bid at the moment. When he gets home he is making us breakfast and lunch combined. He will scramble some eggs, add some seasonings and small diced sausage. We will load the mixture into hot chewy corn shells and top with diced fresh tomatoes and sour cream. 
As you can surmise we are starting to get overloaded with tomatoes we were are picking about six a day now. Oh this is a wonderful time of year.

See you later.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

AUGUST EVENING

August Evening.

Star jasmine overloads my senses, clouds lazily drift above, wind chimes play magical tunes and the breeze that plays their songs is sultry on my face.

SUMMER MEAL

Is there anything better than summer meals?
They are easy, delicious and so good for you.

Here is what I made last night. As you know I made my weekly trip yesterday to the farm for produce. So our humble little chicken strips last night were surrounded by natures bounty.

I made early in the day a container layered with sliced thick walla walla onions, cukes in short spears and juicy sliced tomatoes both from our garden. I mixed together in a 2 cup measuring cup, 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar, a splash of cold water, three tablespoons of granulated sugar, salt and a healthy grinding of black pepper. Mixed until the sugar dissolved and poured over the layers of veggies. Plopped them in the fridge so they would be icy cold when served.

While watching the news I snapped the ends off the green beans I purchased at the farm and cleaned a couple ears of corn also just picked at the farm that morning.
I put two pots to boil, dropped the beans in one and the corn in the other and started my skillet for my panko chicken strips.
When the green beans were cooked to the bite, I plunged them into a ice water bath to stop them from cooking and to hold their color. I grabbed a saute pan, added some olive oil, and thyme from my herb barrel and a clove of smashed garlic, added the drained beans, a healthy dose of salt and ground black pepper. Then added dollop of butter to smooth out the sauce and bring it all together.
The corn was cooked perfectly requiring no honey butter as it is the sweetest corn this time of year.

As I plated our dishes I thought this is a grand summer meal. Crispy chicken strips in the center of the plate surrounded by golden glistening corn on the cob and bright green beans with the scent of garlic and thyme.
A small dish to the side held the bright red tomato,cucumber and onion mix.
A dab of blue cheese dressing for the chicken dunk and our meal was complete.

Today we are going out for lunch. A new deli combined with a brew pub opened a few weeks ago in our Whitiker dist. here in Eugene. This area is a crazy mix of funky eateries, brew pubs, wine tasting rooms and people. We are looking forward to splitting their signature sandwich, a pastrami on marble rye. Both the meat and the bread are made in house. Hubby will wash his half down with a micro brew and I will have a glass of Oregon wine tapped from the barrel.There is a patio that seats 35 so we will eat outdoors if an umbrella adorns our table as it is to get very hot today.

I must now get on with my day. I have a few things that must be attended to.
Have a nice hump day.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

WILD BLACKBERRIES


Posted by PicasaMy husband loves these little blackberries, especially just eating them by hand or sprinkled over vanilla ice cream. Fortunately they have set up residence in our service yard where we store the little fishing boat. He cuts a few vines back every year but keeps enough for berry nibbling. Last year actually there was enough for a good size deep dish pie and a cobbler. However this year he is grazing more than ever so I doubt there will be enough for a small pie.

Cloudy here this morning but we are told the sun will make an appearance later. That would make me happy. My hubby will be home today about two so we can spend a little time on the deck this afternoon. We are grilling burgers tonight with the works. The fresh tomatoes on them will be so juicy,yum!
So I will clean the deck again, it is almost a daily chore in summer as it gets dusty just in a day or so. I was looking at our sad chairs surrounding the patio table yesterday. This will be the last year for them. We bought that thrifty little set in 2002. They have served their purpose for eleven summer seasons. Time to go. We will probably keep the table it is just the right size as our deck is so small it is hard to find round tables that fit the space and the table is still in good shape. But new chairs will be in order.

I was looking around our guest room yesterday and have decided to change things up a bit in there and get rid of some items that are old and just taking up space. I have a chair,small nondescript chest and dated decor items that I am taking to St. Vinney's. I am going to rearrange the room and get a new large throw rug and put up another window treatment. I do not like clutter and it seems that room has taken on a life of it's own. So time for a change and new look. It will be a good project this fall.

It is time for my walk now so best get those walking shoes on and go on my little stroll.
Hope you all have a nice Sunday. I love Sunday's. I have spent the past hour with the paper and my coffee. 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

CHICKEN POMODORO AND ORZO

As I have all the ingredients on hand so I am making chicken pomodoro this evening. The recipe calls for fresh tomatoes and those we have straight from the garden. I will serve orzo along side with cucumber spears. 
Here is the recipe for this really simple gourmet tasting dish.
Chicken Pomordo

2 boneless chicken breasts sliced lengthwise through the middle and pounded into cutlets.
salt and pepper
flour
non-stick spary
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 fresh tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1/3 cup sliced scallions(or 2 tbsp. minced flat leaf parsley.

Season cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Coat a fry pan (if not non stick) with cooking spray and then add oil and heat over medium heat.
Saute cutlets on both sides till golden. Transfer to a plate, pour off fat from pan.
Deglaze with the vodka away from the heat, return to heat and cook until nearly evaporated.
Add broth and lemon juice. Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for one minute. Transfer cutlets to warm plate and cover with foil.
Stir tomatoes and cream into the sauce. Heat through and serve over cutlets. Garnish with either scallions or parsley.

Note. I have used white wine when I did not have vodka on hand. It is just as good but with a different twist. This dish is so good served with rice or orzo for a side dish.
Enjoy!

Today is a lovely day. Deep blue skies and warm sun and getting warmer by the minute. That is why I was out the door early to clean the sidewalks and driveway approach. I cut back the hydrangea that were choking the garden hose on it's reel.  I pulled weeds along the sidewalks and washed the outside of the living room and office windows. By the time I finished I was really hot and it was enough!

I have laundry spinning away in the washer and have watered the vegetables and my flowers. So now when this blog post is finished I will make a little snack and plop in my comfy chair and read for an hour or so. It is such a gift for me, like a reward I suppose to get my chores out of the way and indulge myself in whatever I consider my personal pleasures.
Of course reading is probably number one, but also I love playing piano some afternoons, or baking something special, catching up on emails, making small changes in the decor in my home, personal care like doing my nails or giving myself a facial.
These are all things I indulge myself with after the days work is done.

So I will go now and see what there is for a little protein snack and a ice tea with lemon sounds refreshing.
I will be back again in a day or two have a great weekend and do try that recipe it is a keeper.






Friday, August 16, 2013

NEW ADDITION TO THE FAMILY


Posted by PicasaIntroducing Steven Carter Peterson.
A new addition to our family. I posted all the information regarding this little one on yesterday's blog.
I just wanted to post this photo and say welcome to family baby Steven!


LIZ FOR LUNCH

I am having a guest for lunch today. My sis-in-law Liz will be here this afternoon. We had been planning to go out to lunch and I thought neither of us want to drive after having a glass of wine, so I will fix us a nice lunch here and we can share a bottle of champagne! Now that sounds much better to me.
I am hoping to eat outdoors at the patio table and I am quite confident we will however now gray clouds threaten and we could have little shower. We have already had heavy mist this morning. I have the oversize umbrella so if it is misting we can be out as it is very warm and muggy once again.

For my little luncheon I am preparing a bay shrimp louie. I just made a batch my mom's thousand island dressing. I will make a butter spread with minced Italian parsley, garlic and fresh grated parmesan cheese to spread on a crisp hot boule of sourdough bread.  For dessert it is apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.
So it is a light simple but tasty little lunch and no one needs to drive as Liz lives four houses away!

My house is in good shape now. I had a lot to catch up on when hubby started his working marathon this past week. It seems when he is home I do not do much and I do not really know why. It just seems I am not in the mood for deep cleaning and the extra things I do to keep my home the way I like it. What would I do if he were retired, would I live in a house of disarray and dust?

I have started a new book. Now this book is not a light read. I am intrigued with the first chapter though it is set in the 1800's in Spain so it takes a little concentration as I am not familiar with the surroundings. The reviews are wonderful, it is suppose to be suspenseful a thriller where the sub-plots even have sub-plots. I surely hope I can follow it but it has certainly snagged my interest.

I am short of time this morning so I will be on my way now. I must go pick tomatoes and cucumbers for my salad, take a shower and clean the patio table as well as a few other small chores.

I would adore it if the sun came out......pretty please.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

JUST FINISHED DETAILING THE TRUCK


Posted by PicasaAll I can say is what a difference. My fingernails are dirty with grease and grime and some are broken, but no worries they will clean and grow again. I am so happy I put forth the effort on this truck. Now with a new paint job at a later date it will be like new on the exterior.
I am in love with ArmorAll. That product is amazing all the rubber, vinyl and plastic parts of the truck were restored to their original state.
Next I will do my rig, though it is in good shape a little ArmorAll surely will not hurt.

Well it is another busy day or has been so far. I was out of the house at nine A.M. to the bank first, then several stops one at the meat market and one at Office Max to order more biz cards then to the Dollar Tree for cleaning products, then to pick up some ice cream to go with apple crisp and the apple galette I am making tomorrow.
After returning home I put my things away and went back to the truck to give it a final coat of..... you guessed it, ArmorAll!
Now I will clean the main bath and do the wood floors in there, followed by watering my plants and then I figure I have done enough for the day except for making dinner tonight.

We are going to have a meatloaf for our meal tonight that way hubby can it have it for his sandwiches. He does get bored with his lunches so a little variety is always good. To go with our meat loaf this evening I have added more tomatoes, onions and cukes to the vinegar mixture I made yesterday. There are not enough scalloped potatoes left over from last nights meal so tonight I will pop a couple bakers in with the meat loaf.

I am a great great auntie once more. My great niece Diana had a baby boy yesterday morning. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and his name is Steven Carter Peterson.
Diana is just a little thing, five feet tall and weighs no more than about a hundred or so pounds. So the baby had a little problem he got caught in the birth canal and the doctor needed to use forceps. He looks perfect except for a little bruising. Mother and baby will be released tomorrow. So little Audrey Christine will be a big sister now and she is such a petite little girl. So congratulations to the Peterson family!

I am going to call my brother this afternoon after I am through with my chores. He is after all great grandpa once more so we will need to discuss this new little person in our family.

I will now sign off, see you tomorrow.





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BABY CAKES


Posted by PicasaHere is my granddaughter Kali Brooke with the Baby Cakes mini cupcake maker I gave her. such a cute photo and I received the sweetest thank you from her. Now she can make these little treats whenever she likes. I told her to send photo's and I would post them here.

I have accomplished much today as I did yesterday. I am sitting in a nice clean orderly office....yes! This morning I changed a few things around in my living room and cleaned good in there. I like to switch out accessories and small pieces of furniture sometimes. All looks so cozy and fresh now. I have the deck clean and love my new colorful plants. I just picked two nice size cukes, and a couple tomatoes. It is so nice to go out to our garden patch and pick a sun warmed tomato for dinner or a snack, sandwich or whatever.

The stroganoff was a hit last night and I made sure I made enough for two evenings as it takes effort. My husband just kept saying how much he was loving every bite. I will say we liked the chuck steak better than when I made it with sirloin steak. I sliced the chuck steak across the grain in very thin slices. The recipe calls for 1/4 inch slices but because it was a tougher cut of meat I made them as thin as possible and they just melted in your mouth. So tonight I will make glazed carrots to go with as we ate all the broccoli last night.

Tomorrow I will get at the truck again. I needed to spend a couple of days in the house to get caught up on cleaning. So tomorrow I will wash the exterior and then start the detailing of the horizontal lines. I will use a tooth brush as there is mold and embedded dirt in some of the area's. 

It has been a lovely day here in Eugene. We woke to dark skies of course as we rise so early this week. So I did not know what the day held looking at the black windows. But as soon as daylight lit the sky I could tell it was going to be a sunny day.
I am going to get hubby's lunch ready tonight as he is getting up at four in the morning. I will crawl out of bed and try to stay half asleep and make him a quick breakfast as there will not be anywhere open for him to stop for a bite. I think if I do not talk and keep my eyes half closed I should be able to slip back into bed again and it will all seem like a dream.

I about through with the boring as dust book. I am finding it has some redeeming elements but over all.....good grief. Speaking of sleep I about go to sleep every time I start to read. But I shall persevere and my reward is three new books just posing on my black trunk. I glance at them every once in a while as they are teasing me but I must have patience.

I am thinking of going to the kitchen now to bake something. I was thinking that apple fritters would be yummy. Hubby brought home a few of my favorite gravenstein apples from the job site out in the country where he is working. He is going to ask his clients if he can pick a couple of bags full. He knows I would love to make a deep dish apple pie and a few quarts of applesauce. Of course when they come on at the farm I usually buy them there, but to get them free is better. I am sure the folks will not mind as they are falling to the ground from a couple of trees.
Oh I love the valley it is like a huge outdoor market place in summer.

So off I go to make something or other for a little treat tonight. Hmm what should I make?

  




Monday, August 12, 2013

BEEF STROGANOFF


Posted by PicasaThis is the best stroganoff bar none! It is made entirely from scratch. This is a photo I took in 2011, the was the last time I made it. So I am making it tonight, my mouth is salivating already. I found the recipe in a cookbook my daughter gave me several years ago, called the "Vinter's Cookbook" all the recipes in the book are very gourmet and each one I have tried has been amazing. The recipe in on a my January blog 2011.
Once again I going to serve broccoli for a side and rigatoni noodles as they have little spirals which catch all that deep rich sauce.
It is another long day for hubby so another late dinner.

I have been out and about this morning. I needed to do some banking so I popped into Fred's for a couple of items, and then St. Vinney's to drop off some clothing and books and to purchase more books. I found three books I cannot wait to read. I also noticed a brown leather picture frame just the right size I needed for a photo of my brother Jim, so I snatched it up. The shot was taken while he was in Vietnam and he is in camouflage clothing with his rifle and all. He looks very thin, but he is giving a thumbs up. It is a very handsome frame and it cost me $1.80. Bargains are so much fun!

Now what to do this afternoon?  I have something in mind. It is a dull gray outdoors today. So far not one glimpse of Mr. Sun. I sure hope he makes an appearance today. 

I purchased a really lovely perennial plant another good deal but at Freddie's. It has delicate red and orange flowers and beautiful foliage  So I want to get it into a decent size pot today. I did get some things accomplished yesterday but the office was not one. So it awaits me today and that will be my afternoon project. I can clean away while listening to Pandora on the computer.

I have not taken my walk yet. Now my back is aching. So maybe after getting off my feet now for a bit it will relax and I can go on my daily stroll. I like there to be sun when I walk, do you hear me Sunny boy?

We had a lovely dinner last night. As I had no thoughts in my mind as what to make I apprecaited it even more.
I decided as I said to use those chicken thighs, so I made Coq au vin. It was very good with a light sauce flavored with garlic, lemon,thyme,capers, chicken broth and wine. I browned the floured and salt and peppered thigh's stove top in a little olive oil and butter, removed them to a plate and made the sauce with the fore mentioned ingredients and then put the chicken back in the skillet skin side up and braised them for almost an hour uncovered in a 350 degree oven. I served a side of brown rice to ladle that sauce over and we had fresh green beans and a sliced tomato from our garden. A wonderful meal.

I made my granddaughter Kali happy yesterday. As I have mentioned each time I see her she has clothes for me. So I wanted to do a little something for her. When we got together last time she had this photo on her cell phone of a mini cupcake maker. She said she thought it would be so fun to have that appliance and make those.  So I ordered her "Baby Cakes" a mini cupcake maker. It is pink and very cute with recipes and a 150 cupcake liners and frosting tips. Well it arrived yesterday via Amazon and she opened it not knowing I was even sending her anything. I love surprises!!!! Her mommy Gina took a photo of her with her new gadget a big smile and thumbs up!

On that sweet note I am going now for a walk then into the office to clean, vacuum, organize make forms and do filing.
I am going for my walking shoes...........










Sunday, August 11, 2013

FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLOUDS


Posted by PicasaThis is a true untouched photo of the clouds that moved in Friday afternoon. It is very similar to the photo I downloaded online and posted a few days ago. Strange I think as they look so similar.

I think it is going to be a long Sunday for me. My husband was on his way to the job site this morning well before seven. We slipped out of bed a little after five. He will be putting in twelve hour plus days this week as the drive to the job site takes almost an hour each way. So I need to fill my hours today and unfortunately I feel tired. For two nights in a row now I have not slept well. So truthfully I do not have a lot of energy for much today. Also the new book I started is as boring as dust and I do not have another to read. So here I am as the day spreads before me like a desert with nothing in sight.

I cannot even seem to settle on what to make for dinner this evening as it will be quite a late meal. I was thinking of a casserole of some sort but I went through my casserole recipes this morning and nothing appeals to me. I just made soup a few days ago so I do not want to repeat that.
I purchased some bone-in chicken thighs so I could use them as a starting point for a meal. So after I finish here I will search through my chicken recipes I surely will find something from the hundreds I have. Maybe my mood is just as gray as those clouds I just posted. If so that would be rare as I normally have sunshine in my mood.

I was thinking yesterday I need to buy a photo scanner. I have so many old photographs that I would like to put into my photo computer program and I would also like to share a few on FB and this blog. I will be going to Office Max tomorrow to order more business cards for our business so I am going to check some out. I would just hope once I get one home it is not hard to hook up to the computer etc as I am not a technical person in any respect.

All I know right now is I need to move this body or I am going to fall asleep in this chair. I must force myself to do something. One thing is very clear this office needs a good cleaning. So perhaps I will start with that and see what the rest of the days holds. Maybe it will be the spark I need to get my energy level up.

Tomorrow is another day! See you then.  








Saturday, August 10, 2013

SUNSET LAST NIGHT


Posted by PicasaThis is a untouched photo. I took it last night after a thunder storm rattled through. It was an entertaining afternoon and evening and we spent it outdoors sitting at our small patio table with the big nine foot umbrella protecting us from the elements.
Our first event was curious clouds that moved in late afternoon. They were many shades of gray all churning like little puffs and soft ice cream cones(I will post that photo tomorrow.) We heard rumbling and grumbling as the clouds darkened and then sprinkles splattered lightly on the deck. The air was tinted with wet rocks and damp earth. 
We continued to sit under our umbrella at the patio table and play games. Later after the light rain stopped we grilled our steak and had our dinner outdoors.
As the in-between time came in the sky turned light pink and apricot and then fuchsia clouds lit the sky. We poured a glass of red wine and stayed to watch the show. As the light faded, the solar globes and lamps came on. It was a very enjoyable time and we reluctantly went into the house.

Today has been a very laid back day for me. Hubby went off to work for a few hours and is home now. I went for a short walk, potted some mums,cleaned our bathroom and did my normal chores for the day and that is it so far.
I will not do much more. Time to enjoy the roses as they say, or in my case mums.

It is cooler today with clouds and sun. A day we need not run the air conditioner. I like that. Occasionally you can hear a rumble or two coming from the south. I surely hope there will not be more fires.

Tonight for dinner I am fixing pecan crusted baked pork loins, fresh sauteed spinach with butter and garlic, fresh picked sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with honey dijon dressing and vanilla bean ice cream cups with blackberries from our own patch. I just love summer!

From our home to yours have a nice summer weekend.

Friday, August 9, 2013

DONE WITH THE TRUCK CAB

The truck cab is done. I probably have about six hours of work inside that cab. It is much improved. I used up two cans of carpet cleaner and one bottle of stain remover on the carpet. I just used the stain remover on the seats and that worked well. Now to see what I can do about the cigarette burns in the side door upholstery and seats. I am going to Joanne Fabric's today to look for a beige fabric pen, I think that will hide them the best. 
I know my hubby probably does not care as much as I do about the interior of the truck as in his mind it is just his "fishing truck", but that truck is also going to tow our travel trailer when we get one and I have to ride inside it also and I do care.
At this point it is much improved so I have to be satisfied.
Now the work will start on the outside. What a trouper I am.I am off today to grocery shop at three different stores. I make these rounds once every couple of months as there are staples at each store that I use.
I was happy in my kitchen last night. I had the doors open to the screen doors, jays were chattering,the wind chimes tinkling,the tele in the background and it had just started sprinkling. The house smelled of soup and biscuits and my heart was content.

We are having leftover soup tonight as you know it is always better the second day. Tonight we will not have biscuits as we polished those off for breakfast this morning. Instead I will make us a grilled cheese to split with one of our fresh sliced tomatoes on it for a side. So easy dinner fare tonight.

I must be on my way now for my marathon shopping.
See you tomorrow.




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CLOUDY SKIES WITH SOUP AND BISCUITS


Posted by PicasaSo today we have clouds.I did not take this photo I downloaded it. Pretty awesome swirly clouds don't you think? Our's are not quite this dark but still it is a dreary dull morning. We actually woke to a warm brunt looking sky. That was because of the south complex fires burning down near Roseburg. But it soon turned from orange to gray. The air smells fresh though there is not a hint of smoke.

I am waiting a while before starting on the truck again. Today I am cleaning the seats and carpeting. This is not going to be an easy chore. The carpet is deeply stained and I am sure never cleaned once in all the years it has been out of our possession.

I just returned from my walk and I am a bit chilled. I suppose I am accustomed to all that ninety degree weather. I am sure my husband will like this cooler weather today. He has just baked the past two days in the heat. 

I am making pot of chicken veggie soup this evening with biscuits. Soup just sounds good to me and of course I adore biscuits.
I grocery shop tomorrow so my pantry and fridge will be filled with more choices. I will go through recipes today and see what it is I wanting to make. I am in the mood to make some foods I have not tried.

I had a good conversation yesterday with my brother. However I was alarmed when he told me had been on his garage roof making some repairs and installing a new chimney for his wood stove in his garage. Hello.......this man is in his mid-eighties. I do not think he needs to be crawling around on rooftops. He assured me was very careful. Please be brother.

I am going to share my favortie biscuit recipe. I always use this recipe when I am not making my cheesy biscuits.
FEATHERWEIGHT BUTTERMILK BISCUITS:
Makes 12 biscuits.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk(remember if you do not have buttermilk just add a little white vinegar to your milk and let sit for a few minutes.)

Preheat oven to 450 degree's
Sift together first 6 ingredients into large bowl.
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured surface;knead until smooth about 8 turns.
Roll out the dough to 1 inch thickness.
Using a 2 inch diameter biscuit cutter cut out biscuits.
Gather scraps and roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut additional biscuits.
Transfer biscuits to a large ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until golden about 12 minutes.
Serve warm.
*Note. If not handled too much these are very tender featherweight biscuits.

I am off to work now, have a good one!


















Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TOMATOES AND MORE TOMATOES


Posted by PicasaYes we are going to be in tomato world before long. I promise I will not be posting to many photo's but I love to see them grow and grow.
We ate our first big tomato last night served it sliced along side our pot roast dinner. Well we drooled, there is nothing more to say.

Another day of heat. So I must get out early to work away at detailing hubby's truck. I got a lot of icky things cleaned yesterday. So this morning I can concentrate on the dashboard. I will clean everything immaculate using q-tips where needed, then give it a coat of ArmorAll. That is my chore today. Tomorrow I will shampoo the carpet and seats. Then I can start on the exterior. There is mold growing between the canopy and truck bed, the car wash has not removed it as it is just a tiny strip that will need to be removed with a firm toothbrush. I think this will be the best way. Believe me this truck needs all the loving care it can get.
I need to call around to upholstery shops as we need to get the headliner fabric reattached. It is not ripped but has come loose.
Hubby is going to buy a step to mount on the passenger side for me. I am short and the truck is tall. So a step will certainly make it easier for me.
The the very last thing we will do when money allows is a paint job. Gradually it will be close to becoming the truck it once was.

Well actually it is later now mid-afternoon. I really needed to get on with the detailing before the heat of the day.
It is nice to be in a cool house now. However I thought it was getting too chilly in here and I went to look at the thermostat and I must have not have had my glasses on when I turned on the air, almost a ice berg! Makes me irritated to waste energy and to also waste money.

The blackberry cobbler will come to it's demise this evening. Oh how we have enjoyed that cobbler. I have the recipe on a previous blog and believe me if you try it you will never use another cobbler recipe again! To reiterate it is called "The Best in the West cobbler". You can find it online also.

Has anyone been watching "Next Food Network Star?" That is one of our favorite shows. We look forward to it every year. We always have our winner picked about halfway through and we usually pick right. Next Sunday is the season finale.

Tonight we are having shredded beef taco's. That roast in the slow cooker last night was so tender and juicy we truly enjoyed it. I may actually have a soft shell taco as I want to use the new corn shells I bought last time. They are a little larger than a regular size shell and so tender and soft. They are wonderful if you just spray them with a olive oil and heat them. We have been using them and making breakfast burritos out of them. There is something about a soft corn shell and potatoes, eggs,onions and cheese that just meld so perfectly together. Sometimes we add a little ground sausage or chorizo. The shells are Mission brand called Super Soft if you care to try them.
Next time we have overnight guests we are going to make a platter full of these taco's and serve them up with pinto beans and Bloody Mary's for breakfast.

I still need to spiff up our bathrooms and then my to-do's for the day are finished. I do want to scrub our hot tub cover this afternoon also it is hot out there on the deck but I will be using water so of course if I choose I can get wet. That is one thing I love about summer, it makes me feel like a child again. I wear no makeup when I stay home as my face is tan, a dab of chap stick on my lips for moisture, I let my hair dry after showering and let it have it's way which is curly and flyaway. I wear comfy well worn shirts and jean shorts or crops and flip flops. Life is simple and I am a home girl just doing my thing.

So off I go. Happy summer days!








Monday, August 5, 2013

TOMATOES COMING ON


Posted by PicasaYesiree here they come, red big and juicy. Picked one last night two more ready today.Of course they have been slower coming on this year as we did not get the plants into the ground until the first week of June. The plants were not of a generous size which also slowed their progress. But now all is looking good. We put in nine plants. Four Early girls and five Celebrities which do so well here in this end of the valley.

My husband is back to work today for a few weeks. It is either feast or famine with his business. He was swamped in May and June, hardly worked in July and now August is booked. It is to be really hot today and tomorrow so that will take a toll on him into the nineties we go.

I have accomplished much this morning so far. I watered the garden, deadheaded plants, and now must give them some miracle grow. I walked early morning enjoying the cool air. Ah, so nice along that country road I walk. Lots of chickens doing their thing and the rooster crowing away to the top of his lungs. As you know they do not only crow at daylight.The organic strawberry field is still going strong, yesterday there were pickers in the small fields. I could see from the road the over loaded berry vines, juicy red berries just waiting to be picked. I should go picking as they have u-pick only. But oh my back I do not know if it would like that. The road is covered with fallen cherries and apples still green are hanging from roadside trees. It smells like country! It is country, only steps from my house. That alone makes me a happy woman. I also spent a hour in the office this morning getting out bids, filing,and making forms. I have just now put a beef pot roast in the slow cooker for dinner. Tonight traditional pot roast, red potatoes, roasted carrots and onions. Tomorrow taco's. So that has been my day so far. The house is tidy but I do have more to do in the house today. I also am going to vacuum out my hubby's truck for him today and I will be detailing the interior of the truck as the week goes along.

I will be off now as there is much to be scratched off my list of to-do's for the week.
Later.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

SUMMER


Posted by PicasaOh the sweet sunny days of summer. Who can resist them.
I so love to wake in the morning with the sun slipping in around the blinds. It makes me anxious to start my day.
This morning was no exception. It is to be 89 degree's today so anything I want to accomplish outdoors I must do early today.

Hubby has made his breakfast. He loves to make fried red potatoes, with onions and peppers. I opted to have a half piece of sourdough toast with the blackberry jam I made yesterday. Oh that sweet black jam was such a treat truly like summer in my mouth. So I sipped coffee and munched on my tasty toast and read the big Sunday paper and here I am now.
The kitchen needs to be cleaned,there are games on the nook table from last evening's yahtzee and Gin rummy games, the living room is messy. After our dinner last night of grilled bbq'd ribs and corn on the cob, beans and veggies we were wiped out. We did manage to clean up the dinner mess but that was it. With full tummies it was sofa time to fight sleep and watch a movie. It was a fun summer day.

As today is Sunday I do not have much on my agenda. I will tidy the house, go for my walk, clean the deck and make a potato salad. I have too many potatoes in the pantry and need to use some before they sprout. We are having leftover ribs tonight so the addition of a potato salad will compliment the meal. I also like having potato salad hanging out in my fridge as it is one of my favorite lunches. Just a small bowl with black pepper and a drizzle of Tabasco. Anything else I do today will be spontaneous. 

So to all lovers of summer enjoy this grand August day!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

BEST IN THE WEST BLACKBERRY COBBLER AND SIX JARS OF JAM

So it was a morning in the kitchen for me. First of all I made the "Best in the West" blackberry cobbler, this is a winner. After making this cobbler a couple of years ago I threw out all the rest of my cobbler recipes. That is how good this one is.
Then I made six jars of blackberry freezer jam. Also had a small bowl left for eating.
All this is what we harvested yesterday. I am so happy we did that and can now reap the rewards.

I just finished making my bbq mop sauce for the St. Louis style ribs. Funny I put Carolina bbq style sauce on St. Louis ribs. But it is our favorite sauce, sweet and tangy. Tonight we dine on ribs, corn on the cob, and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. There are a lot of ribs so it will be the right amount of sides.

We started our day off with small tender pancakes from scratch, and golden fried little pigs, real creamery butter and pure maple syrup on the cakes. A nice breakfast that has lasted me all day.

I was surprised it has stayed cool today,well out in the sun it is hot, but I was on deck in the shade earlier with my nose in a new book and it was just perfect. The new book I am reading is a little heavy in the regard I must pay attention to what I read and remember certain developments and characters as it is a thriller. A best seller called "Rose" by the author who wrote "Gorky Park." Anyhow I believe it will be a wonderful read.

I am going to sign off now as I need to get my spareribs prepped for the oven.

Good food is always a blessing!