Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Pictures

I have really been enjoying everyone's year end posts so I thought I would share a favorite photo from each month of 2012.

January - I made this appliqued wall hanging for a friend.

February - We really enjoyed the Tucson Rodeo and I got some great pictures! :)

March - Do you see the coyote at the water tank on the right?

April - Jerry's birthday cake!! :)

May - Check out the ears on this jackrabbit!

June - The echinacea in the back yard.

July - The color guard in the July 4th parade.

August - A blanket flower beside the road.

September - Jerry and Paco. :)

October - A working Chuck Wagon in Ruidoso, NM.

November - My favorite Cowgirl Cookies!

December - One of "our" ravens in the rain.

It was fun going back through my blog for the year and seeing how my "style" has changed and reminiscing. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Hi, my name is Candy.
I have a problem.
A problem with socks.
You see, I have enough socks for six people.
Two big drawers full of socks.
Cotton socks, wool socks.
Knee-high socks, anklet socks, no-show socks.
Store bought socks, hand knit socks.
Plain socks, colorful socks.
Christmas socks, Halloween socks, Valentine's Day socks.
I even have a pair of socks with toes.
These are my favorite socks.
I love that they are different but yet the same.
How about you?
Do you have a problem with socks?
Whew, I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest! ;)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cranberry Jam

So, ya'll did buy extra cranberries and stash them in the freezer for later use during the year, right? Well, if not, there should still be some available in the supermarket. I always buy extras and freeze them because I really like making cranberry sauce throughout the year to go with my homemade cottage cheese.

I found this recipe for Cranberry Jam in a Taste of Home Canning magazine I bought earlier this year and decided to give it a try. This is the second batch I've made, it is sooo good and isn't overly sweet like a lot of jams and jellies. Several people commented that their jam didn't set up but mine has set up really nicely both times I've made it. I have been using it as one of the fillings for the Rugelach I've been selling at the Farmer's Market too, yum!! I just can't bring myself to buy jam from the store anymore because of the price and the fact that I'm not overly fond of some of the ingredients used, even in the more expensive ones.

I know THE Holidays are over but what a nice gift this would make for Valentine's Day tucked in a basket with some homemade Buttermilk Biscuits. :)

Linking up with Deb, Dolly and Heidi for Farmgirl Friday and the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Fresh Eggs Daily.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a lovely day filled with family, friends and lots of joy! :)
Sharing with Macro Monday and Christmas Cheer #1 with Madge.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yule Cookies

How are you celebrating The End of The World the Mayan Calendar? Carolyn at Krazo Acres and Lamb at Frippery Farm had a great idea, let's all make cookies! As Lamb said, "If the Apocalypse comes, you have cookies. If the Apocalypse doesn't come, you have cookies. Either way, WIN!" :)
I made up a batch of my Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies and to celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule, I cut out moons and stars to represent the shortest night of the year and a sun to celebrate the return of the light. I also just had to make some Yule Goats to go under the tree!
I'll see you all tomorrow! ;)
Linking up with Farmgirl Friday and the Farm Girl Blog Fest.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

African Violets

I love my African Violets, they thrive despite my lackadaisical care! ;)
My grandmother always had a lot of African Violets in all different colors and I always thought they were so pretty. I have tried growing them through the years but never had any luck until we moved here.

It has been two years since I pinched them back and divided them and it looks as though the time has come to do it again.

I like the white edges of the foilage on this one.

I started about 10 plants by leaf cuttings a couple of years ago and they all grew, some better than others. I took six or so to the Farmer's Market when they started blooming and they sold well. This was the only one left and, as you can see, he's still in the plastic container. Ooops!!

I have my African Violets in a north facing window that never gets any direct sunlight because of the 10-foot porch roof overhang. I don't feed them special fertilizer, um, as a matter of fact, I don't fertilize them at all, and I water them from the top but underneath the leaves. I know I'm probably doing everything wrong but, seriously, they bloom almost constantly! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


"There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric; no two are ever alike - unless of course you get your soup in a can."
Laurie Colwin

I love making soup, it's such a satisfying process to take a few simple ingredients and end up with a hearty bowl full of warmth. I like using what I have on hand, this is why no two are ever alike! ;)
I made this Roasted Tomato Soup the other day using fresh tomatoes from my friend's greenhouse, frozen tomatoes from our garden, shallots and garlic from the Farmer's Market and served it with homemade Parmesan Thyme scones. This is my Dark Days Challenge meal for this week.
Then, a few days later, I had some spicy breakfast sausage to use up and some more shallots and garlic along with some kale from the Farmer's Market, so it became Sausage Potato soup with Kale. Yum!!
Finally, was a lovely vegetable soup with meatballs and pasta. This is one of those soups where you can use up whatever leftover vegetables you have in the fridge or, like I did, use some frozen mixed vegetables. I always keep good quality stock-in-a-box in the pantry this time of year for soup making. It has so much more flavor than canned broth and less sodium too. I also like to have my homemade meatballs in the freezer for quick and easy meals. I'll have to post the recipe for them, they are very versatile and can be used for everything from spaghetti to soup. As you can probably tell, the weather has finally cooled off here! LOL!!
I hope you get the chance to make some soup this week to warm someone's tummy and their heart, especially your own! :)
“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.”
Laurie Colwin

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Fences - 12/14/2012

Our fence out front, taken this morning in the rain. I very seldom get good pictures of the ravens and didn't want to miss an opportunity! :)
Linking with Friday's Fences.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rosemary Wreath

I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I think it's the 70-degree, no moisture weather we have been having. (sigh) Although, we do have a wintery storm heading our way for tomorrow.
I saw this idea on A Healthy Life For Me last week and since we have an entire rosemary hedge all along the front of the porch, I figured I could manage it!
I used an 8-inch grapevine wreath and cut sprigs of rosemary and just stuck them in between the vines of the wreath overlapping them slightly as I went along, no wire required. I added a red bow and called it good! It would also make a nice candle ring for a pillar candle. Quick, easy, festive, cheap and, as an added bonus, it smells really good! Making this and the Preserved Snowman did help lift my spirits a bit! :)
Linking to the Country Homemaker Hop, Farmgirl Friday and the Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How To Preserve A Snowman

Is this not the cutest use for an old canning jar?!? I saw this idea awhile back on Maple Grove's blog and just had to make one of my own!!  I probably could have used a bigger jar but found this old "Hormel" jar at the thrift store recently for $4 and that included the zinc lid. I had the snowman and the little tree was $1 down to the WalMart. Make sure you hop over to Katie's blog to see the ones she put together, they are waaayy cuter than mine! :)
Linking up with the Country Homemaker Hop, Farmgirl Friday and the Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chopped Winter Salad

Marigold at Goat Philosophy 101 requested the recipe for the chopped Winter Salad that I mentioned in my recent Dark Days Challenge post. Well, it was probably actually the Goatmother; although, if you swapped out the pecans for peanuts, I'll bet Marigold would eat this up! ;)

This is one of those recipes where there really aren't any hard and fast measurements or rules. It all depends on how many you are serving and what you have on hand.

This is my own dressing recipe. I had some extra lemons to use up and didn't like the sound of the rather sweet, lemon poppy seed dressing included with the recipe. I don't usually make vinaigrettes, opting instead for mayo type dressings, but this is wonderful and I will definitely be making it again...and again...and again!!
Here is the original salad recipe, from, with my changes in red.

Winter Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped (I used half iceberg lettuce and half red cabbage)
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, cut up
1 pear, cut up (I used all apple because I didn't have a pear)
1 cup slivered almonds (I used toasted pecans, chopped)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I used crumbled goat cheese)

Combine all ingredients.

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon diced shallot
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well. Add to salad to taste and toss all together.

I have been trying to eat more in-season foods recently and was tickled to find a salad recipe that fit the bill. After eating garden fresh, homegrown tomatoes for the past several years, I just can't bring myself to buy the tasteless, overpriced, hot-house grown tomatoes in the grocery store anymore. I feel fortunate to live where I do with our longer growing season AND to have a friend with an awesome garden and a greenhouse! We haven't had any real hard freezes yet so her lettuce and cabbage is still growing beautifully.
Linking up with Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dark Days Challenge - Week One

I'm joining Nancy at Little Homestead in Boise for the Dark Days Challenge.

What’s the Challenge?The dates are between December 1 and April 15th. The goal is to try to cook four meals each month (1 per week) focused on sustainable, organic, and local ingredients (SOL). Whatever you can find is fine!

What does local mean?
Traditionally local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius, but winter is more difficult in many climates. If you’re new to eating locally try 150 miles. Typical exceptions are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. If you’re making fewer, or more exceptions, please note that on your first post or comment.

What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
If you can’t find every ingredient, or even most ingredients, please still write about your attempts. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find and the decisions we make as it is about cooking with SOL ingredients. Do what you can, where you can.

What if I don’t have good photos?
Take photos of what you’ve got, just do your best. No worries, keep it simple, or just tell the story and we’ll use our imaginations.

I'm glad good photos aren't a requirement because this certainly isn't one of my best! ;)
The beef and noodles included local grass-fed beef. The green beans were from my girlfriend's garden. The chopped Winter Salad included lettuce and red cabbage from the same friend's garden, carrots from the neighbors' garden, local organic apples from the Farmer's Market and my Fromage Blanc goat cheese. The yummy Lemon Vinaigrette dressing included locally grown shallots picked up at the Farmer's Market. Not everything was local or organic but I felt pretty proud serving it up!

I hope some of you think about joining Nancy and the rest of us as we try to live up to this challenge! Check out Nancy's blog for more info. :)

Linking up with Farmgirl Friday at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gingersnap Cookies

I have been selling these cookies for awhile now at the Farmer's Market and they always sell out. It took a bit of fiddling around with my recipe to get it to where I was really happy with it and wanted to share it with all of you! :)

Gingersnap Cookies               **Click here to print this recipe**

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 3/4 cups Baking Mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Sugar for rolling the dough in (I use Turbinado, or raw, sugar)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the egg and molasses and beat well. Stir in the Baking Mix, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, mix well.
Shape the dough into balls and roll in the sugar to coat.

Place the balls of dough onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crinkly on top. Let cool slightly before removing to a rack to cool completely.

These are a lovely, spicy, softer cookie. The Turbinado sugar adds a special touch and a little crunch. I hope you get a chance to try these for the upcoming Christmas cookie baking season! :)

Linking to The Country Homemaker Hop, Farmgirl Friday and the Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Barn Charm - 12/04/2012

This is the barn at Sleeping Frog Farm. I'm not sure how charming it is but it is painted red with white trim.

It does have a charming Dutch door and...

how many barns have you seen with a chandelier?!? :)

Linking up with Tricia for Barn Charm.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Art Friday - 11/30/2012

For Photo Art Friday this week, Bonnie asked us to showcase one of our favorite or best pieces of photo art. I featured these spurs on my blog back in March but decided to re-do the picture for today's post and use some of the techniques that I have learned since then. This is one of my favorite pieces of photo art mostly because of the subject matter and I also like the vintage photo look with the sepia tone. I used Bonnie's new Golden Chaff texture for this edit. Also linking up with Weekly Top Shot and Tones on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bread Making Tips

For something a little different today, I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I've learned baking bread for the last several years for the Farmer's Market. If my loyal, repeat customers are any indication, I must be doing something right! :)
I do have to admit to another reason for doing this. Last week, I was checking some settings on my blog for a fellow blogger and happened to look at my blog's stats. It isn't something I normally do but it is sometimes interesting to see where people are "coming from" when they visit my blog. One of the traffic sources was Pinterest. I don't do Pinterest because I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the blogs I follow and, yeah, I know there is a LOT of really good "stuff" on there that I'm probably missing out on! Anyway, someone made a comment on a "Pin" of my Buttermilk Wheat Dinner Rolls that the dry/wet ratio seemed a little off. That got me to thinking of all the variables encountered when making bread: quality of ingredients, moisture content in butter, type of liquid used, humidity, altitude, temperature in the house, etc., so I thought I would do a post.

I use King Arthur Flour for all my baking. I have found it to be high quality and it produces consistent results. I also believe it helps make my baked goods just a little better than the competition so it's worth the extra money to me. If I was baking just for Jerry and I, I would use organic King Arthur flour or grind my own but that is cost/time prohibitive for my little business. The brand, and consequently the protein content, of the flour used can make a huge difference in how your bread turns out. Even something as simple as the moisture content in the brand of butter used or whole milk versus skim milk will make a difference. One thing that a bread baker has to learn is what the dough should look and feel like. I personally like my dough a little on the soft side, especially for rolls.

Sweet Potato Rolls

You can see in the above picture that the dough is very soft. I find that this makes for lighter, fluffier rolls. I also check the consistency of my dough a few minutes into the mixing/kneading cycle Every. Single. Time. I don't care if I just made a batch of Oatmeal Wheat Bread an hour ago and am starting another, I still check the consistency of the dough. If it seems a little dry, I add a tablespoon or so of water. If it is too wet and sticky, I add a little flour, one tablespoon at a time. I have found that I will need to adjust the amount of liquid (usually whole milk) in my recipes by almost 1/4 cup from summer to winter. The dough below is a little dry.

Black Pepper Parmesan Rolls

After adding about a tablespoon of water, it comes together and is nice and soft.
Black Pepper Parmesan Rolls
I have also learned that the recipes that use water instead of milk are stickier. When I go to shape a dough that is a little on the sticky side into rolls or bread, rather than adding more flour, I grease my hands and the counter just a tiny bit to prevent sticking and that way, the rolls or bread is still nice and light. My Pumpernickel Rye Bread dough always comes out sticky.

Another thing I have learned is to not let the dough overproof after shaping. It should only rise about one inch above the top of the pan.

Honey Wheat Bread

If it rises too much, it will collapse as it cools after baking and you will be left with a "wrinkly" top, like the one below. ;) It doesn't affect the taste and it usually doesn't affect how it sells but it just isn't as pretty. (sigh)

Onion Dill Rye Bread

Almost all of my bread recipes I have developed myself by taking other recipes and tweaking them to suit my needs, the ingredients I use and my altitude and humidity (mostly lack thereof!). So, the next time you are making bread, I hope you can use some of these tips to make the recipe your own and don't hesitate to adjust the amount of liquid and/or flour to make it work for you! Oh, and don't forget to take notes on any changes you make, they will come in handy later; you should see all the scribbles on some of my recipe cards! LOL!! Okay, gotta run, it's time to get back to the Onion Cheddar Rolls. It's cheese bread day here at The Home Bakery.
Linking up with The Country Homemaker Hop, Rural Thursday and Farmgirl Friday. I'm also featured on Dolly Is Cooking, thanks Dolly!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Texture Tuesday - 11/27/2012

Another lovely scene from the Holy Trinity Monastery. Linking up with Texture Tuesday and Watery Wednesday.
Kim Klassen paperandpaste texture Soft Light 100%, duplicate layer Multiply 80%, remove texture from statue.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Photo - 11/25/2012

We got a new horse last week so that Paco would have some company. Her name is Mysti and she is kind of a flea-bit gray, kind of a dapple gray, kind of a paint...

Shoot, she's just purty!! :) That isn't dirt, honest, just her paint "spots" showing through.
Jerry has been working with her and riding her almost every day and he really likes her. She is really sweet and her and Paco are getting along famously!
I call her my little freckle faced girl.

Linking up with Weekly Top Shot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Barn Charm - 11/20/2012

This very much "lived in" barn was right beside the highway in Lincoln county, New Mexico.
I suspect the folks who live there (and were outside working) were wondering what the crazy lady with the camera was up to! :)
Here is the picture before editing with Pixlr and adding Kim Klassen's Kristin texture.

Linking up with Barn CharmTexture Tuesday and Tones On Tuesday.