Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Or in this case...cupcakes! :)

I first made this cake and posted about it here a couple of years ago. It is just as good now as it was then so I thought I would share it again for St. Patrick's Day. The recipe was originally posted at Simply Recipes in March of 2012 and is an adaption of a recipe by Nigella Lawson.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

1 cup stout or porter beer                    **Click here to print this recipe**   
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper and then lightly grease the paper. If making cupcakes, line the pan(s) with paper liners AND lightly spray them with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, heat the beer and butter over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugars and whisk together. Take off the heat and allow to come to room temperature. (Only takes a few minutes)
In another bowl, beat together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla until very, very well combined. Add to the butter-beer mixture and whisk together.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the beer-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together. Pour into the prepared pan and give the pan a few short drops onto the counter to remove any air bubbles. If making cupcakes, fill each well three-quarters full with batter.
Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pan, if necessary, and remove the ring from the springform pan.
Frost as desired.

This recipe makes a LOT of batter and would easily make 30 to 36 cupcakes.

I frosted the cupcakes with a classic cream cheese frosting but a chocolate buttercream frosting would also be very good. Here is a photo of the cake I made in 2012.

Sharing with the Down Home Blog Hop, Rurality Blog Hop, From The Farm Blog Hop and Farmgirl Friday.

Friday, March 7, 2014

What I Have Been Up To... between working on my Chicken Applique quilt, getting seeds started in my little greenhouse for this summer, volunteering at the Tombstone Art Gallery, participating in a Farmgirl Craft Swap and regular day-to-day cookin', cleanin' and clothes washin'.

These are 100% Mohair cinches hand woven by little ol' me and available for purchase on my new Lazy J Bar C Facebook page here. Mohair is the lustrous and strong hair of the Angora goat and is a traditional fiber for cinches. It's strong, it breathes and it wicks moisture away from the horse; whereas wool is a natural fiber but holds the moisture in rather than absorbing it and acrylic fibers don't breathe. Plus, it's a beautiful and functional piece of handmade 'wearable art' for the horse.

If you are in the market for a new cinch or know a horse lover who might be interested, I hope you will check out my handmade Mohair cinches. They also make nice gifts.  :)

P.S. I will post an update on my Chicken Applique quilt soon. The back is finished and part of the quilting is done. YAY!!

Sharing with Farmgirl Friday.

Monday, March 3, 2014



I know we are supposed to be humble and not toot our own horn but I just can't help it! ;)

Jerry and I were really busy all last week with the Tombstone Art Gallery, serving as docents, helping take down the quilt show and helping to set up for the Art Show. Saturday was the judging and open house for the Art Show and I was absolutely FLOORED to discover I had WON the photography class! My other two entries each received an Honorable Mention ribbon. I shared this picture of the old shoes on my blog here.

Here is my favorite cowboy with his Colored Pencil entry which won the Mayor's Award! :)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday's Tails - 02/25/2014

Hmmmm...I guess we know how Missy Mare feels about getting her picture taken! ;)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Random 5 Friday - 2/14/2014

1.  I finished the chicken applique quilt top this week. Now, I'm all caught up with the Quilt-A-Long and looking forward to the next step! :)

2.  Jerry has been a member of the Tombstone Art Association for about a year now. His watercolor paintings and colored pencil drawings have been doing very well at the Art Gallery, he sells two to four pieces each month! The Tombstone Art Association is having their annual juried art show next month. I decided to enter some of my photography. I also joined the Art Association so that I can offer my photos for sale at the Gallery.

3. My goat, Daphne, is definitely bred so we will be having baby goats on the ground in June. They are always so cute!

4.  The mare, Missy, got out of the pasture yesterday while Jerry was gone riding his gelding, Paco. He had looped the chain over the gate but hadn't latched it. We think the dog got the gate open trying to squeeze through. Anyway, when Jerry got back, Missy was out in the front yard! He thought (ha-ha) that she would just follow him and Paco back into the pasture but noooo. She ended up across the road at the neighbors' place so Jerry latched their gate and then we proceeded to try and catch her. Every time Jerry would get within 10 feet of her she would take off. By the way, the neighbors have eight acres. They also have a very nice roping arena and they have a couple of their horses 'stabled' in it. After about an hour, Missy went down the alley that is used to bring the steers up to the chute. When she finally realized there was nowhere to go, she stood quietly and let Jerry put the halter on her.

5. Today, when I got back from town, I went out to hang the sheets and there was a smell kind of like a skunk but not really. I checked Red Dog and he was okay, so I brought him in the house with me. Within half an hour, he wanted to go back out (just like having a 4-year-old!). When I went to let him back in, he had gotten into whatever that awful smell was! Blech! There were several javelina in the back yard a week or so ago drinking out of the dog dish so I looked up javelina smell on the internet and lo and behold, another name for them is "skunk pig!" A couple of months ago he got into what we thought was skunk but now I think it was javelina. Here is some info I found: And that smell! Strolling through the Arizona high desert, you'll often smell a Javelina before you see one. They have a gland at the base of their tails that they use to mark trees, rocks and even each other with a sharp, musky scent something like that of a skunk, though just a touch less eye-watering. I tell ya' there's never a dull moment around here! ;)

I hope you all have a very happy Valentine's Day!! :)

Linking up with Nancy for Random 5 Friday

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

What is your favorite cookie? Chocolate chip? Peanut butter? Oatmeal? Why not just combine them all in one cookie! :)

We were out of cookies the other day (gasp!) and I was bored with the same old, same old. I remembered a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips that I had years ago and decided to peruse the internet to see if I could recreate it. Well, DUH, you can find ANYTHING on the internet! LOL!! This recipe is a compilation of several that I looked at and uses my Baking Mix and basic cookie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter               **Click here to print this recipe**
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Baking Mix
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the Baking Mix and oats; mix thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded 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 wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Linking up with the Down Home Blog Hop, the Rurality Blog Hop and Farmgirl Friday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Tails - 02/11/2014

Sunday, we tore down the old pieced together with chicken wire, T-posts, pallets and cattle panels chicken run and put up this new one. When I removed the wire holding the old gate to the T-post, it actually fell over because the termites had eaten the bottom! Jerry likes this MUCH better, the old one was a real eyesore. Here is a picture from 2011, the coop is out of the picture to the left. Quite an improvement I'd say!

The new run is a 10 x 10 x 6-foot chain link dog kennel that we purchased from Tractor Supply. We also purchased two extra 10 x 6-foot chain link panels to make it 10 x 20 x 6-foot and purchased the shade/roof kit. We covered the open top area with 2 x 4-inch wire. The chickens wouldn't come out of their coop when we opened their little door so Jerry went in and chased them out. Once they got out, they seemed to really like it. They have extra room too as the old run was only 8 x 16. What Jerry and I really like though is the 6-foot height, the old height was only 4 1/2 feet. I still catch myself stooping over when I go in to give them feed and water. ;)

By the way, I LOVE Tractor Supply and am really glad they finally made it to Arizona and to our little town!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quilt Progress

Whew, I have been working diligently on my chicken applique quilt! So far, I have all the blocks and chickens cut out, the chickens fused on and just finished up sewing them all onto the blocks. I used the blanket stitch on my sewing machine for the applique.

Now, I have to cut the strips that will go in between the blocks and rows, cut the border strips and get everything pieced together. That will finish the quilt top and get me caught up with the Quilt-A-Long. :)
Linking up with The Rurality Blog Hop and Farmgirl Friday.

Monday, February 3, 2014


I'm excited to be joining Melissa at Tilly's Nest in my first ever Quilt-A-Long! Here are the fabrics I picked up today for my quilt top. We are making a chicken applique lap quilt. This is good for me because it won't be so big that I get intimidated about getting it finished. The first five fabrics are for my blocks and chicken appliques, the fabric on the right is for the borders.

I have pieced quilt tops before but have never actually quilted, I have always finished my projects by tying, so this is new for me.

I'm a little late to the party but figure I can catch up easily enough. You can join in too here! My fabrics are in the washing machine and I hope to get everything cut out tomorrow. I hope ya'll don't get too sick of seeing my updates! ;)  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Random 5 Friday - 01/31/2014

1.  YAY!! I did it! I made bagels and they turned out great! :) I used this recipe with the brown sugar option.

2.  The weather has been unseasonably warm here for the past few weeks while most of you have been dealing with Polar Vortexes.

3.  As a result, my fruit trees are trying to bud out. This does not bode well for the fruit harvest this summer.

4.  On the other hand though, my winter garden is doing great! Spinach, radishes, carrots, kale, beets, turnips, rutabagas and snow peas are all coming along nicely.

5.  It's time to get the outdoor cats, Bert and Ernie, "fixed." Somekitty sprayed in Jerry's shop yesterday.

Hmmm...pretty random ramblings today. Linking up with Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pretzel Rolls

I was looking at the King Arthur Flour website the other day and came across this recipe. I know pretzel buns and rolls are all the rage right now but I haven't had one. I have looked at different recipes for making them but they all seemed a bit fussy, until I found this one! These babies are fabulous; crusty on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside! Jerry told me that this may be the best bread I have ever made! ;)

Pretzel Rolls               **Click here to print this recipe**

     1 3/4 cups warm water
     2 tablespoons unsalted butter
     3/4 teaspoon salt
     4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
     1/4 cut nonfat dry milk
     2 teaspoons instant yeast

     coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

Water Bath
     2 quarts water
     1 tablespoon salt
     1/4 cup baking soda

     Mix and knead the dough ingredients - by hand, mixer or bread machine - to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Allow the dough to rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for about one hour, until doubled. Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. With lightly greased hands, divide the dough into 8 pieces for sandwich rolls or 12 pieces for dinner rolls and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a lightly greased piece of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Prepare the water bath: Bring the water, salt and baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Drop 3 dough balls at a time into the water bath. (I should have used a deeper pot) Cook for 30 seconds, flip over and cook for 30 seconds longer.

Using a slotted spoon, return the rolls to the baking sheet. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut 1/2" deep crosses into the center of each roll. Sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until the rolls are a deep, dark brown. Cover loosely with foil after 10 minutes if necessary so they don't get too brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

The only problem I have is that after being in a bag overnight, the salt on the tops kind of melted away. Jerry dearly loves bagels and now that I have gotten past the whole fear of boiling bread dough thingy, I think I'll have to give them a try! :)

Linking up with the Rurality Blog Hop and Farmgirl Friday.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pink Sock Monkey

I made a pink sock monkey for granddaughter JayCee yesterday. My plan is to send it to her for Valentine's Day.

Jerry says the monkey is kind of "creepy" looking and he hopes it doesn't scare her! Ya' know, I think he may be right! ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Bathroom Curtains

So, a couple of years ago, I started crocheting this panel to go in our bathroom window. I've never figured out why they would put an eye-level bathroom window in a house without some type of privacy glass and I realize we could just close the blinds but I don't like keeping the blinds down, it makes it too dark.

Anyway, since I'm 'retired' now, I have been finishing up some craft projects. I used cotton crochet thread that I already had on hand and this used up all of it. I knew I wanted a valance for the top but felt that it needed a little something more; especially since my crocheted panel isn't quite wide enough to go all the way across! (blush)

I thought the addition of the side curtains looked rather nice and hid my oops. We both really like the way the curtains have changed the whole feel of the bathroom. :)

Linking up with Farmgirl Friday.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch - 01/21/2014

I love sitting on the porch chatting with Patrice! :)

1.  How many seed catalogs have arrived at your home?

I have received five or six but have only kept one. The rest have been passed on to others. I do have sproutage in my winter garden. Living in Arizona has its perks!

2.  Will you be learning to do something new this year?

I'm hoping to learn to quilt this year.

3.  How many pairs of boots do you own? (This can include casual, dressy, hiking, farm, riding, snow, or any other kind of boot.)

Wait a minute, I have to go count...NINE!?! And, of course, that doesn't count my shoes!

4.  Valentine's Day is just around the corner. There are decorations in the stores. Do you have anything planned for Valentine's Day?

I usually just make Jerry a nice dinner and some kind of special dessert, chocolate of course.

5.  Please tell me your favorite breeds of dogs. If you don't like dogs, tell me something about a favorite animal. (Please. :)

My favorite breeds of dogs are Yorkshire Terriers and Irish Wolfhounds, what an extreme, eh? ;)

To see what others are chatting about, stop by and see Patrice!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Farmgirl Quilt

Is this not the cutest Farmgirl quilt?!? I wish I could say I made it but...NOT! LOL!!

I met Marie at the Tucson Quilters Guild annual quilt show yesterday afternoon. Marie is a member of the guild and a very good quilter. It was fun to see all the beautiful quilts and have some insight from a real quilter on design and fabric selelction. I have pieced quilt tops before but have never done any actual 'quilting'. It is something I would like to try now that I'm 'retired'. It was also fun to visit all the vendors! I bought some pink socks to make the granddaughter a pink Sock Monkey, a pattern for quilted, stuffed bears and a pattern for a wool applique wall hanging.

I really liked the 3-D details of the clothes on the line. :)

P.S. Marie was kind enough to take these pictures for me since I neglected to bring my camera. Thanks Marie!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Trouble With These Tribbles... that I can't quit making them! :)

Awhile back, Jaime at Ngo Family Farm did a post about knitting these cute little dishcloths/sponges. I had been crocheting my dishcloths using two strands of crochet thread and really liked them but they did take awhile to complete. Since most of my dishcloths were finally falling apart from use, I decided to try this pattern. These little cuties work up quickly and really last a long time. When I'm bored and feel the need to do something constructive, I usually start another Tribble.

You can find the pattern for making them here and a tutorial that is helpful in explaining how to finish them here. The only thing I did differently was to knit one more row at the end of the directions so that I would have a tail for gathering on each side after sewing together. Also, I ran my tail through the center a couple of times to tack everything in place.

These can certainly be used for other purposes too, one girl commented that she liked to use them to wash her face. I hope you give this quick and easy pattern a try but be warned, these Tribbles have a tendency to multiply like crazy! ;)

Sharing with Farmgirl Friday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Garlic Chive Soda Bread

I posted my favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread a couple of years ago and I have seen many recipes that go for a sweeter version by adding raisins or currants but that doesn't always work well for serving with supper. In the December MaryJanesFarm Sister Issue, MaryJane talked about adding rosemary to her Irish Soda Bread which got me to thinking...

I have made savory beer bread before using garlic and chives and we really enjoy it but, today, I wasn't in the mood for a beer-y bread. I figured why not try jazzing up the Irish Soda Bread? I also thought it would be fun to bake it in a bread pan instead of making the traditional round loaf for a change. I love the extra crispy crust that the cast-iron bread pan gives it!

Garlic Chive Soda Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour *(see note below)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried chives
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the flours, salt, garlic powder, chives and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk all at once. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. (Do not overmix.) Scrape the dough into a well-greased bread pan leveling out the top. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake until the bread is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil after 25 to 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack.

I really like the texture that the whole wheat and oat flours give to this bread! :)

*To make oat flour, I just grind some regular or quick-cooking oats in my mini food processor until very fine.

Have you made soda bread before and if so, what are your favorite additions?

Monday, January 13, 2014


...I've missed you guys! :)

As you can see, Bert and Ernie aren't kittens anymore but they are still mama's boys and quite lovable. We have been experiencing above normal temperatures here in Beautiful Southeastern Arizona the past few weeks while most of you were caught up in the Polar Vortex. I even planted some winter vegetables in the garden and most have sprouted. Everyone is doing well and I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule now that the Holidays are over. I did manage to get granddaughter JayCee a stocking hat made just in time for her to help cheer on Daddy's favorite football team, the Denver Broncos!