Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

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!