Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch - 11/26/2013


1.     If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, what are looking most forward to on Thursday?

Spending a quiet day with Jerry. Oh, and the FOOD!! ;)

2.  My favorite Thanksgiving dish is _________________.

The pumpkin pie. I usually only make one or two a year so I really enjoy it while I can.

3.     Do you ever go through periods of time when you get hooked on a specific food?

Yep. A couple of years ago it was cottage cheese with whole-berry cranberry sauce. I had it for lunch almost every day for several months.

4.     What's the best stuffing for a turkey?

I like just putting in some onions, carrots and celery. I like my dressing cooked separately.

5.     When you were a child, were you ever in a Thanksgiving play, pageant, mock pilgrim dinner, or anything different to celebrate?

No, but it sounds like it would be fun!

Thanks Patrice for these fun questions!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pecan Spice Waffles with Molasses Cinnamon Syrup

Heaven...I'm in heaven... :)

I have been making these Pecan Spice Waffles/Pancakes using my Baking Mix for a couple of years now but teaming them up with this Molasses Cinnamon Syrup sends them right over the top! I found the recipe for the syrup here. The combination of flavors is perfect for the Holidays!

The pancake/waffle mix also makes a nice gift. Just put the dry ingredients into a baggie and then put that down into a fabric bag or gift bag and include a tag with the directions for making the pancakes or waffles. Pair it up with a jar of this homemade syrup for an extra special, homemade gift anytime of year.

Pecan Spice Pancakes/Waffles

1 1/2 cups Baking Mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (find the recipe at the end of this post)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil (for waffles only)

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients; stir into the dry ingredients just until blended. Ladle onto a lightly greased, hot griddle for pancakes or a preheated waffle iron for waffles. Feel free to add a little more milk if the batter seems too thick.

Makes five 6-inch round waffles.

Molasses Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup demerara sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup molasses
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon salted butter

In a small saucepan, heat together the sugar, molasses, water and cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and continue stirring until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Cool slightly. Transfer to a pitcher for serving or a glass jar for storing. Keep refrigerated and use within two weeks.

Makes a little over 3/4 cup of syrup.

Linking up with Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oatmeal Honey Wheat Bread

This is my absolute favorite sandwich bread! It's just a little bit sweet from the honey and the oats add a nice texture. Because it's half whole wheat flour and half bread flour, it's not real heavy either.

What really made it extra special this week was my new cast iron Camp Chef bread pan that I found at the C-A-L Ranch Store in Flagstaff this past weekend. I love cooking and baking in cast iron and I have been wanting a cast iron bread pan. Now that I'm baking just for us, I figured why not! It's even pretty with the decorative handles. :)

This one came pre-seasoned but I washed it before using it and seasoned it again. The way I care for all of my cast iron pans is to rinse with hot water and scrub with a nylon scrubbie as needed after using. I then apply a thin coating of olive oil on the inside of the pan and put it in the oven preheated to 350 degrees. Then, I turn off the oven and leave the pan in until cool, usually overnight. All of my cast iron pans now have an awesome "nonstick" finish! I thought the bread might stick just a bit because the pan was new but the loaf fell right out.

Oatmeal Honey Wheat Bread          **Click here to print this recipe**

1 cup lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast (If using active dry yeast, dissolve it in the warm milk before combining with the remaining ingredients.)

Mix, knead and let your dough rise until doubled using your favorite method; bread machine, manual or stand mixer. Shape dough into a loaf, put it in a greased pan, cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, cover loosely with foil after 10 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove from pan immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Jerry commented that he thought this loaf even tasted better than usual...hmmm, must be the cast iron bread pan!

Disclaimer: I did NOT receive anything from anyone for this post, I just wanted to show off my new pan. ;)

Joining Farmgirl FridayWhat I Am Eating, the From The Farm Blog Hop and Food On Friday the Bread Edition.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tails - 11/12/2013

I just loved this little brindle calf used in the cattle handling demonstration at the Empire Ranch Roundup and Open House recently. :)

Joining Madge for the Rurality Blog Hop.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Baby Sweater... finished!! :)

I really liked working on this pattern, it worked up quickly and went together easily. I used the 12-month-old size instructions because JayCee's dad said she is quite a bit bigger than a normal 6-month-old but it looks really big! Oh well, like Jerry said "Better too big than too small. She can always grow into it."

We are making a quick trip up to Flagstaff this weekend to see everyone (this retirement thing is GREAT!) and Jerry wants to give them the sweater now so I guess I will have to come up with something else for JayCee for Christmas. ;)

P.S. I just noticed this is my 500th post! Woo-hoo!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday - 11/06/2013

B Troop - 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) from Fort Huachuca, AZ presented the colors to kick off the 13th Annual Empire Ranch Roundup and Open House this past weekend.

Linking with Madge for the Rurality Blog Hop.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Random 5 Sunday

Joining Nancy for Random 5 Friday Saturday Sunday. Okay, okay, I know I'm two days behind but I got busy! ;)

1.  I wanted to share with ya'll how cute the neighbor boys were for Halloween! They are the only Trick or Treaters we ever get and I always enjoy seeing the creative costumes their mom comes up with. Landon was a rodeo clown/bull fighter and Caden was a tourist. The detail of their costumes was amazing!

2.  We had a GREAT time in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago! We really enjoyed visiting with our friends and the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium was a lot of fun! We got to see a Craig Cameron horse training seminar and performances by Red Steagall and The Texas Playboys.

3.  Unfortunately, Jerry ended up catching the flu while we were there and passed it along to me! He started feeling bad on the drive home and I was two days behind him. It took us a little over two weeks to get completely over it but we are both feeling better now.

4. We had a skunk hanging around last week eating all of the barn kitties food every night. It sprayed Red Dog twice. Thankfully, not too badly and we were able to get rid of most of the smell with a couple of home remedies. We put out a trap and "got" it on the second night.

5.  Last Saturday was my last day at the Farmer's Market. I can start receiving early retirement payments from my old aerospace industry job so I retired! I almost feel guilty about it...I only worked for the company for 11 years and I left in 1991. You will notice I said I almost feel guilty, mostly because I will be getting about the same amount of money each month as I was earning baking full-time for the Farmer's Market. :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sharing Recipes for Extras

I really enjoy cooking from scratch and that includes making my own seasonings, sauces and such. It is comforting to know exactly what we are eating, right down to the extras, so I thought it might be nice to share links to some of my recent favorite finds.

Grace at Queen of the Red Doublewide has a great recipe for homemade Seasoned Salt that I use all the time. She also has a recipe for Homemade Seasoning for Breakfast Sausage that even works well with ground beef.

Since I shared a recipe for Seasoned Salt, how about the one I use for Seasoned Pepper? I have been using this recipe for so long that I don't even remember where I got it, I think from a magazine years ago.

We really like this recipe for Ragu Style Pizza/Pasta Sauce from Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth. I took her suggestion and made extra for the freezer. :)

I recently went searching online for a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce and found a truly wonderful recipe for Red Enchilada Sauce at gimme some OVEN. I can't believe how expensive canned enchilada sauce is, especially after learning how easy it is to make! Make sure to use chile powder and not chili powder in this recipe. Also, I used a milder chile powder (Tampico brand ground California chile pepper found at Walmart) for my second batch, the first was so hot we could hardly eat it.

Speaking of Chili Powder, I found a really nice recipe at The Kitchn awhile back. I left out the cayenne and coriander and reduced the chipotle powder to one teaspoon.

I have even tried a couple of homemade syrup recipes recently. This Molasses-Cinnamon Syrup from Simple Bites is heavenly and there are a couple of more yummy sounding recipes included in the link.

Two of my favorites that I have shared before are Homemade Flavored Coffee Creamer and Spreadable Butter. They are indispensable around here!

Do you like to make your own "extras" for cooking and baking?

Sharing with Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Le Cafe des Chats

Bert and Ernie and the neighbors' cat enjoying supper together. :)

Sharing with the Rurality Blog Hop.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday's Tails - 10/29/2013

Well, Red Dog is a Kelpie after all and they were bred to be sheep dogs but I don't know why he had to steal my Serta Counting Sheep from off the bed!

He seems to be a bit of a klepto. So far, he pilfered my sheep, he came home with somedog's bone, he procured a little stuffed animal dog somewhere and brought it home ("But, Mom, he followed me home, can't I keep him? Please, please!"), and last night, he wanted to bring in a dead bird that more than likely belonged to the barn kitties...I drew the line at that one!! ;)

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Sorry I haven't been around much the past couple of weeks. I have been feeling the need to 'unplug' and work on some crafty things. The baby sweater is coming along nicely, I have both the front pieces finished and the back is started. There is actually hope of being finished in time for Christmas! Woo-hoo! ;)

The weather has cooled off here and we are really enjoying it. Jerry actually needed a blanket early this morning and we even got to dig out some long-sleeved shirts this weekend.

I am on vacation from my baking this week as we are headed to Ruidoso, NM this coming weekend to visit our friends and attend the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium. We are really looking forward to it and I plan on taking lots of pictures to share with ya'll. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Random 5 Friday - 09/20/2013

1.  I never tire of the view from our front porch. The mountains always look different depending on the time of day, clouds, etc.

2.  Two weeks ago, Nancy posted a 'recipe' for a DIY shower cleaner. I tried it and must is by far THE BEST shower cleaner I have used in years, homemade or commercial! It is easily made and, because of the lemon juice, it isn't stinky like some I've tried. Thanks Nancy!! Here is the recipe from Nancy:

Simple: Fill a spray bottle half-full with white vinegar; add 1/4 cup lemon juice, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with dish detergent. Shake well then spray on and leave for about 30 minutes, then wipe off.

3.  I found a cute pattern online for a knit Baby Kimono that I'm going to make for grand-daughter Jaycee for Christmas. I probably should get started, huh?!

4.  Here in the next few weeks, we are going to get electricity installed down at the barn. It will be nice to have real lights and an outlet in my milking shed for a heater and/or a fan.

5.  Jerry took Red Dog with him to the horse auction last Saturday and met Red's former owner. I kind of figured that might happen living in a small town and all. Come to find out, the fella raises pretty high-dollar stock dogs and Red was one of his 'breeders.' Initially, he offered to buy him back but when he found out that we had to get him neutered to adopt him from the animal shelter, he changed his mind. He was glad the dog is okay and has a good home and had Jerry out to his ranch this past week. He also gave Jerry some literature on the commands to use. So, you really, really never know just who you are getting when you adopt a dog from the pound! ;)

Joining Nancy for Random 5 Friday and Jan and Jer for Friday's Fences.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pear Ginger Crisp

We harvested the fruit from our Kieffer Pear tree last week. We ended up with 20 pounds of pears from our little, 8-foot-tall dwarf tree! :)

I used some to make spiced pear jam in the slow cooker (works GREAT for the PB&J cookies), we have been eating them fresh, I gave some away and I used some to make this crisp last Sunday. What a lovely recipe! Between the maple syrup, fresh pears, dried cherries and oatmeal topping this is a fabulous dessert for fall!

The original recipe, from Simply Recipes, is for a pie but I didn't have time to properly chill the dough for the crust that afternoon so I decided to just go with a crisp. The only other change I made was to add about a cup of dried cherries, dried cranberries would be nice too.

The Bisbee Farmer's Market has a pie baking contest every fall and I put some of the pears in the refrigerator to keep so that I can enter this pie in the contest. Actually, I never told ya'll, but I WON the pie baking contest last year for a Peach Blueberry pie. It was my first week attending that market and, honestly, I was a little embarrassed about winning. LOL!!

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Tails - 09/17/2013

I love watching the hawks soaring overhead. :)
I believe this is a Swainson's Hawk, also called a Locust Hawk or Grasshopper Hawk. This morning, one was swooping down to the ground behind the house, probably after the hordes of grasshoppers we have this year. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to the camera quick enough for a close-up picture.

I took these yesterday as the hawk was riding the thermals. We used to see mostly Red-Tailed Hawks around here but the Swainson's Hawks seem to be taking over. What types of hawks do you have where you live?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Pimped My Mixer!

So, I was watching the Food Network the other day (surprise, surprise!) and I was noticing all the specially painted/decorated mixers that these celebrity chefs have, like Ree Drummond, Alton Brown, Guy Fieri, etc. I was wishing I had one when I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you just add some stickers to your perfectly good, 20-year-old KitchenAid mixer to dress it up? That would make more sense than buying a new one!"

I have never claimed to be on the cutting edge of style or trends. After I got home from Wal-Mart, where I bought these cute, vinyl sunflower stickers, I looked online and found some really nice pimped out mixers and some cool tutorials, especially this one where the girl painted her mixer first. So, even though I'm behind the times, I thought I would show ya'll how cute my Farmgirl Mixer turned out and all it took was a $1 package of stickers! :)

Linking up with the Rurality Blog Hop and Farmgirl Friday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday's Tails - 09/10/2013

Well, we got a couple of new barn cats after losing Barn Kitty awhile back. We have had them for about a month and a half now. We got them from one of our friends at the Farmer's Market, two little males. This is Ernie, he has already survived a rattlesnake bite since coming to live here.

This is Bert, he is hunting a grasshopper. They are a couple of little characters (as are most kittens), very friendly and always wanting to be petted.

For the first month, they stayed at the barn, like good barn cats, and hung out in the hay. They have since decided it's LOTS more fun to hang out up here at the house. When we go down to the barn to feed, we have quite the parade...Jerry, me, Buddy, Red Dog, Bert and Ernie. Yep, they follow us!

Bert got that grasshopper, yum! ;)

Monday, September 9, 2013

We are starting to develop webbed feet...

...because of all the rain we have been getting! Quack-quack.

It has been raining almost constantly here at the Lazy J Bar C for three days now. The forecast is for rain pretty much all day today and tomorrow too. This is the remnants of a tropical storm off the Baja California peninsula from the end of last week. Living in the desert, we always welcome any rain we can get but Jerry and poor Red Dog are starting to get cabin fever. ;)

I sure wish I could send some of this rain to my blogging friends in the central U.S. and central California where they are experiencing drought conditions...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Meatballs For The Freezer

This recipe came from my grandmother many years ago and I love having a batch of these babies tucked away in the freezer for those nights when I have absolutely no idea what we are going to have for supper. My grandmother always made them as baked Barbecued Meatballs but the possibilities are truly endless! I have used them for spaghetti and meatballs, meatball sandwiches and have even baked them plain and dropped them into a big pot of vegetable soup.
3 pounds ground chuck
2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1 cup chopped onion
13-oz can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix well. Shape into balls (I use a cookie scoop). Place on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Package airtight in freezer bags or containers.

I used a combination of locally grown ground lamb and ground beef for this batch, adding some ground pork would be nice too. I also used my goat milk instead of canned milk.

Just take out however many meatballs you need for your meal, let them thaw, place in a baking dish and then top with your favorite sauce, or no sauce at all in the case of the meatballs for soup. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until done. I also like the fact that there is no browning on the stovetop and all the mess that comes with it but you could use them that way too.

I like them the way Grandma used to make them the best, smothered in some slightly sweet homemade barbecue sauce and served with some macaroni and cheese and a nice salad or green vegetable. Yum!! :)

Linking up with Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rural Beauty

When we were taking our walk this morning, out in the cow pasture, I noticed how beautiful the seed heads were on all the different types of grasses. I think it makes a lovely 'floral' arrangement, don't you?  :)

Joining Nancy for Tuesday Muse and Madge for the Rurality Blog Hop.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Muse - 08/27/2013

How could anyone not love these cheerful faces?! I love these roadside 'weeds' so much that I had Jerry stop the car the other day so I could cut some to enjoy in the house. :)

Joining Nancy for Tuesday Muse.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Random 5 Friday - Red Edition

1.  When you adopt a pet from the Animal Shelter, you never really know just who you are getting, especially when they were brought in as a stray.

2.  Red is a 4-year-old Kelpie, a hardworking Australian stock dog breed with lots of energy. You would think, then, that he would have spent his prior life on a farm or ranch outside. Imagine our surprise when he wanted to follow us into the house Wednesday! We let him in to see what would happen...

3.  Outside, he is always on the move. He loves to go with Jerry when he takes the horse out. He loves to go for walks. He loves to accompany us down to the pasture to feed and take care of chores. He loves to go with Jerry in the truck. If we try to leave him in the pasture with Buddy, he paces back and forth at the gate and, eventually, escapes.

4.  He is an entirely different dog in the house. Inside, he is calm and quiet. He is housebroken. He lies on the floor with us while watching TV. The first night inside, he was a little restless and did a fair amount of pacing. None of us got much sleep that night. Last night, he settled right down.

5.  So, you adopt a dog thinking he is an outside ranch dog and will be a pasture mate for Buddy and end up with a good, good house dog that loves being outside with us too! ;)

P.S. Buddy is really okay out in the pasture by himself so don't feel bad for him.

Joining Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fruit & Nut Cookies

These cookies were inspired by a bar cookie recipe I used to make years ago. That recipe called for the addition of fresh banana and orange juice, which wasn't the way I wanted to go with these. I use a combination of dried blueberries, dried cherries and chopped dried apricots but any combination of dried fruit would be nice. The Apple Pie spice really adds a nice flavor and the dried blueberries are heavenly! A few of my die-hard Cowboy Cookie and Cowgirl Cookie customers at the Farmer's Market have actually switched and now buy these every week. ;)

Fruit & Nut Cookies

1 cup butter                         **Click here to print this recipe**
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Baking Mix
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie spice
2 cups diced mixed dried fruit
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the Baking Mix, oats and Apple Pie spice; mix thoroughly. Stir in the dried fruit and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes and then remove to racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Apple Pie Spice

4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg

I use this Apple Pie spice in all kinds of baked goods, not just apple pie! Besides these cookies, I use it in fresh apple muffins and zucchini muffins for the Farmer's Market. It is also really nice in pancake or waffle batter with some pecans.

Sharing with the Rurality Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday and What I Am Eating.

Update on Red:
He is still here and doing well. Jerry took him along this morning when he rode his horse out in the pasture and he did fine. We had to put him in the horse trailer last night since it was the only place we could think of that he couldn't escape from. Right now, he is actually sitting in the livingroom watching Gunsmoke with Jerry...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday's Tails - 08/20/2013

We picked up Red from the Animal Shelter this afternoon. He seems to be none the worse for wear from his surgery yesterday. Well, except for the nasty doggie farts in the car on the way home! (Gag!)

The introductions to Buddy, the barn kittens, the horses, the chickens and the goats went well for the first time. The kittens just hissed at him and hid under the hay and the goats were 'on point' the whole time they could see him, which is to be expected when introducing a new "Wolf" to the barnyard. Red and Buddy will get along just fine.

I do hope this works out though. It is a stormy afternoon here in Beautiful Southeastern Arizona and Buddy is a big scardey-dog about thunder. His safe zone is under the front porch during storms and he AIN'T coming out for NOTHIN'. We did manage to keep Buddy in the pasture when we brought Red home and I went down to sit with the dogs in the barn to get them settled. Red left and ran up to the gate but came back when I called him, the first time anyway. The second time he ran to the gate, he just scooted his butt right under and headed towards the house. I think he was looking for Jerry, who seems to be his designated human. Since he was already out, I went ahead and let Buddy out so he could go under the porch and not be so neurotic. Red went in the shop with Jerry and promptly settled down under the work bench.

I don't know what is going to happen tonight. I think Red would climb the fence to get up to the house even if we blocked the space under the gate. I sure hope he is still here in the morning. At least he has a collar and tag on in case he wanders off. Wish us luck...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blueberry Bars

A couple of weeks ago, Farmgirl Susan, one of my favorite bloggers, did a post on freezing blueberries and included a recipe for her Blueberry Bonanza Breakfast Bars. Jerry and I both really like blueberries so I printed out the recipe and filed it away. This past weekend, our local grocery store had a pretty good price on blueberries so I picked some up with this recipe in mind. Can you say yum, yum, yummy, yum, yum?! These bars are bursting with blueberries and we both love the oatmeal crust and streusel topping! Thanks Susan for another winning recipe! :)

If you have never visited Farmgirl Susan's blog, hop on over and check it out. She writes about her life on a remote 240-acre farm in Missouri where they raise sheep, keep chickens, donkeys, cute farmdogs and farmcats, and Susan has the most beautiful kitchen garden. Oh, and there are always lots of lovely photographs to enjoy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Puppy Update

Well, it seems the little guy decided to move on down the road, he was gone Friday morning. We did not hear anything during the night (we sleep with the windows open) so we don't think anything got him. My guess is that he went back to where he came from. We tried to get him to stay in the pasture with Buddy and hang out at the barn but he was so small that he could get through the fence. We did let Buddy out with him and they would sleep under the porch at night. The puppy had really bonded with Buddy too.

We reported him missing to the County Animal Control Officer and we filled out a missing dog report at the Animal Shelter in town. We also checked with all the neighbors. The County Officer called me this morning and no-one has turned him in, no surprise there! As cute and friendly as he is, if someone 'found' him they would keep him.

While we were at the Benson Animal Shelter Friday, we took a look at the dogs they had and one in particular caught our eye...Red, an Australian Kelpie. Red came to the shelter as a stray. After thinking and talking about it over the weekend, we went back today and adopted him. Unfortunately, we can't pick him up until next week. He can't get in to get neutered and get his shots until next Monday. If the puppy shows up or is found and returned, then we'll just have to have THREE dogs! :)


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 08/07/2013

You just never know who is going to come wandering down the road looking for a place to live...

Joining Madge for the Rurality Blog Hop.

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)