Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Friday, July 26, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 07/26/2013

1.  I won this lovely apron from my blogging buddy Michelle recently. I wore it for our Fourth of July cookout and have been wearing it quite a bit since. Isn't it cute?!? I like the little bees. Thanks Michelle!! :)

2.  I have decided I need a personalized ball cap that says "Candace Jean - The Cookie Queen." Whadda ya' think?

3.  We made a 3-hour round trip to Naco, Mexico yesterday so that I could get a couple of broken teeth pulled. One of them suddenly started hurting Wednesday morning (abscess) so I finally overcame my 'chicken-ness' about dentists and agreed to go. They did a great job and only charged a fraction of the price that our local dentist charges!

4.  One of my pet peeves about dentists around here is that they want to sell you lots of other stuff before they will take care of the problem. Stuff like X-rays, cleaning, etc., and then they don't want to just pull the silly thing, they want to 'save' it with root canals and/or fillings. Yep, I have been to see them. We don't have dental insurance and, honestly, we just can't afford all that stuff.

5.  So, now, I look like a typical resident of Cochise County, Arizona in that I have missing teeth. (sigh) Seeing as how I didn't have my first cavity until I was 18, this is kind of a bummer for me but, luckily, they were both far enough back in my mouth that you can't see the gaps when I smile! ;)

Joining Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Freezing Potatoes

Have you ever had a potato go bad in the cupboard? A rotten potato smells worse than just about anything I know. Blech!!

I had one go bad in a bag of red-skinned potatoes this week, which is why I usually don't buy bags of potatoes this time of year. They just don't keep well during our rainy season. However, there was a really good sale on 5-pound bags of red-skinned potatoes and I just couldn't resist!

Luckily, I found a way to salvage the rest of the bag. I know lots of folks can or dehydrate extra potatoes but I didn't have that many and I wanted a quick and easy way to preserve these. I looked online and found lots of info on freezing mashed potatoes. Most recommended using red-skinned or Yukons in this instance because the Idaho (baking) potatoes get mushy/mealy when frozen as mashed potatoes. The next time I have extra Idaho potatoes, I'm going to try Grace from Queen Of The Red Doublewide's suggestion for homemade frozen hashbrowns. :)

For frozen mashed potatoes, just make your favorite mashed potato recipe and let cool a bit. Then, use an ice-cream scoop to portion out servings onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. This could also help with portion control. I don't know about you, but I tend to overeat when it comes to mashed potatoes, my ultimate comfort food. Yum!!

Put them in the freezer until they are frozen solid and then pop them off of the cookie sheet and put them into a freezer bag. To serve, remove however many portions needed and reheat them from frozen in the microwave. You could also thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and heat them in the oven.

Not only did I save the rest of the bag of potatoes but I now have a ready made side dish in the freezer for busy nights when time is short for cooking supper. My only problem with this was having to eat the extra potatoes that didn't fit on the cookie sheet. Yep, comfort food at it's finest. ;)

Linking up with Rurality Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Muse - 07/23/2013

I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen and figured I might as well enjoy the tools of my trade. Stainless steel, plastic and glass just don't speak to my soul so I have been slowly replacing my utilitarian bowls, casserole dishes, utensils, etc. with pieces that I find to be beautiful. I have splurged on some heavy wooden spoons and have been picking up crockery/pottery mixing bowls and casserole dishes at thrift stores and yard sales. I love finding pieces from the 60s and 70s and I use them almost daily. My sister-in-law gave me this cute set of measuring spoons for Christmas a few years ago and I have started using them too. It makes me happy to use an everyday item that I find to be beautiful as well as functional. :)

Do you prefer function or beauty in your household items, or do you try to find items that fulfill both criteria?

Linking up with Nancy for Tuesday Muse.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

German Chocolate Cookies

The inspiration for this recipe came courtesy of my blogging buddy Carolyn at Krazo Acres. You can find her original recipe here. Thanks Carolyn, these cookies are awesome and I know they will be a big hit with my Farmer's Market customers!!

German Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter, softened               **Click here to print this recipe**
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups Baking Mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in cocoa powder and Baking Mix; mix thoroughly. Stir in pecans and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. I like them just a little on the softer side for more of a German Chocolate cake taste and texture.
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes and then remove to racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Yum!! All I need now is a big glass of ice-cold milk! :)

Linking up with The Country Homemaker Hop, Rurality Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Muse - 07/16/2013

Which is a GOOD thing when it's a bowl of yummy Rainier cherries!

I envy those of you in the Northwest where they are plentiful. Here, they are $5 per pound at the cheapest...but I buy them anyway. :)

Linking up with Nancy for Tuesday Muse.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Meeting the Granddaughter

Little JayCee Bella with her mom and dad, Jerry's son.

Here she is with Grandpa Jerry.

What a sweetie she is! :)

The baby was delivered about three weeks early at the end of May because mom was having problems with high blood pressure. She was only 5.5 pounds when she was born but has been gaining weight nicely and is healthy. One of the nice things about the internet is that we get new pictures a couple of times a week and I can't believe the changes! Here is the latest cell phone picture from July 12th.

I swear she is twice as big as she was when we were there at the end of June! It's about a 4.5 to 5 hour drive up to Flagstaff from here and I wish we lived closer so that we could see them more often. It's hard to get away with the animals, especially when you have a goat that needs to be milked every day. (sigh)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 07/12/2013

1.  Only one of my gladioluses (gladioli?) bloomed this year. It may have been because we dug them up and transplanted them too late. This one was missed when we were digging the others up.

2.  We have finally started getting some of our summer monsoon rains and it has sure helped with the record-breaking heat.

3.  All the rain has brought humidity though. I just don't know how ya'll back east deal with it! I'll take our typical Arizona 'dry heat' any time!

4.  We lost Barn Kitty this past week. We found him half under the rosemary bushes that run along the front porch. We suspect he ate a Sonoran Desert toad as there weren't any obvious signs of trauma. The toads are out in force with the rain and we hear their songs all night long. Barn Kitty was such a feral cat that we didn't realize just how big he was until we pulled him out of there.

5.  I have been really, really busy with my baking for the Farmer's Market these past few weeks and haven't had much time for blogging. I sure appreciate the emails and comments checking in on me, thanks! :)
I need to make more of an effort to keep up with my blogging as it is my only social outlet Monday through Friday and I have missed you all!

Linking up with Nancy for Random 5 Friday.