Thursday, August 11, 2011

CSA box

Yeah, its been a while, sorry.  Summer came up on me, and I kind of have been blogging somewhere else while I have been talking about things I don't talk about here, like trying to have a baby.  Not pregnant yet, but I will mention it when it happens.

So, we started getting CSA boxes lately.  It's neat having a share in a community farm.  We get to go to their harvest festival in October for the kids to get pumpkins, we get an interesting selection of fresh fruits and veggies that change with the weeks and what is ready for harvest.

So, I took some pictures of this weeks box.

The kids, Bart and I ate the strawberries on the way home, so they didn't make the pictures.  The kids ate most of the carrots, and the guinea pigs loved the tops.  I had no clue what to do with the eggplant and it also went to the guinea pigs.  If we get more next week, I plan on trying something with it, but I was afraid of it this week.  The squash I sauteed with butter and the fresh garlic.  With two of the tomatoes.  We ate that tonight.  The blueberries we ate as is, all today.  The basil I made into pesto that went into a pasta dish last night and into the freezer. 

My favorite part of the box was the lettuce, cucumber and tomato.  I cut them all up, and then tossed them with the left over crab from Tuesday (more on that in a minute) and then I made a crab louie salad.  I wish I measured the dressing ingredients so I could share them, but I just kind of tossed them in a bowl in amounts that looked right.  I used mayo, cocktail sauce, ketchup, and sweet relish.  The salad was wonderful, but eggs would have made it a bit better.

So, the crabs.  We live in Oregon.  We live an hour and a half from the coast.  This makes going for a day trip crabbing easy.  The beginning of August is a great time for crabbing.  We caught 26 dungeness crabs.  All over 6 inches.  That is a great haul.  To be able to catch crabs out here, you have to have a shellfish license, which costs 7 dollars.  Then you have to buy a few pots and some bait.  We did all this last year, so our crabs only cost gas money.  YAY.

Here are a few crabby pictures.

After cooking


Too busy to BLOG!!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Due to things I expected that didn't happen, I have a house with too many baking supplies.  And not nearly enough actual food.  Which sounds bad, but isn't, as for me, not enough food normally means that there isn't enough meat.  Which means I still have plenty to make food with and play, but I did really let my pantry get shorted this month. 

We used up the last of our hamburger last night with a BBQ.  Funny thing though, I started the BBQ, and mixed up the hamburger for the burgers, when I realized I had no buns.  And no money to buy more buns.  This is what I mean when I talk about not having enough food.  Normally I would run to the store and buy a package of buns.  But, once again, no money.  Then I realized, this is me, the person who bakes bread all the time.  I can make rolls.  I can make buns.  I can make buns while the BBQ heats up.  So I did.

My bun recipe:

1.5 cups of warm milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast  (I buy yeast in bulk at costco, and use just regular yeast, not rapid rise or anything like that.)
.5 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups of flour

I take the first 5 ingredients, put them in a large bowl, mix them together, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes.  This lets the yeast wake up and get all bubbly.  Then stir in the first 3 cups of flour with a wooden spoon.  Add flour slowly at this point until you have a ball of dough, then knead for 5 minutes.  I use a large bowl and actually knead in the bowl and not on the table.  Do whatever feels right.  Oil another bowl and put the dough into it and let it rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.  Then pull out softball sized portions and shape into balls.  Place on greased cookie sheet with plenty of room around them.  Let them rise again, about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Then flatten with your hands to the size of your hamburgers, gently.  Put in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Move to cooling rack for 5-10 minutes, then slice and place your burger on it.

You can shape this into regular rolls, sub rolls, hot dog rolls, anything you want.  Or, you can make bread out of it.  This is awesome dough for anything you want to make with it.  Play with it.  Add stuff to it, like cheese, or onion soup mix, or chopped herbs.

Anyhow, the boy thought it was awesome, and while he doesn't think it beats a Mc.donalds hamburger, he thought that hamburgers at home with fresh buns are the only way to go.

So, now I will share pictures.

The buns look nice and rustic.  If you want sesame seeds or anything on top, brush with an egg wash right before putting in the oven and sprinkle the top.

I love putting provolone on top of all my burgers.  Normally I make a burger sauce which is 3 parts mayo to 1 part mustard with sugar, salt and pepper added to taste.  I didn't do that last night, so I actually put mayo on my bun, then mustard, sprinkled it with sugar and pepper.  It was good.  Not as good as the sauce, but good.

Yum.  This was so filling that I wasn't able to finish my burger.  Actually, none of us were able to finish a full burger.  They were extremely filling.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Non-reacting cinnamon rolls

Well.  The cinnamon rolls didn't get made.  Luckily the dough wasn't all that expensive to make, and when it ended up in the garbage, I didn't feel too bad.  I put it in the fridge, but apparently I hadn't covered it enough, it had all kinds of dry edges.

So, why didn't I make the rolls?  Well, because we went traveling today.  One of our favorite hobbies is going on long drives to nowhere and somewhere.  We never really have a plan for where we are going, we fill up the gas tank and pick a road and drive.  Today was awesome and we got some really cool photos, and I caught a 14 inch rainbow trout.  Which I gave my dad for Father's Day.  I did not want to gut and clean that thing.

We started with a picnic at Fish Lake.  By late August, early September there won't be a lake there.  It was an interesting fact.

Happy Fathers Day, By the way.

I have one child who eats bread, and one who doesn't.  Oh well, they both ate good.

Here we are at Clear Lake.  Ciera promptly fell in the water.  Of course we brought no dry clothes.

We found several great waterfalls.

They were gorgeous.

We were so close we got damp here.

This is a second set of falls on the same path.  There is a third one that we didn't see.  They were created by three different lava flows.

It was a great hike, they were very close to the road.

I love waterfalls, so this was perfect for me.

Then we found a beaver dam.  Didn't see any beavers though.

My fish.  I had to take a bath once I got home to get rid of the fish stink.  He was 14 inches.  And I did it all by myself.

Tired dirty girl.  At least the t-shirt stayed dry.

Super tired boy.  He kept moving, so all I got was a blurry shot.

All in all it was a wonderful day and totally worth the ruination of the dough.  I wouldn't trade it for the world, and we can't wait to do it again.  We spend most of the summer on trips like these, and this was a great one to start off the season.  Next trip we're taking the tent.

Cinnamon Rolls and updates

I'm making cinnamon rolls for Father's Day for Bart.  I usually use my everyday bread recipe, but this time I am going to use my sweet roll recipe.  I think it will make a better cinnamon roll.  It means that it will take a bit longer for the cinnamon rolls to be done, but if it works the way it's supposed to, then I'll be happy.

Well, for anyone who is waiting to see how the wedding or anything else goes, I'm out.  I'm not going to explain, nor am I going to make excuses.  There were problems on both sides, and it ended with me just bowing out.  I can't deal with the stress right now, and it was getting bad.  I think I lost a friendship out of it, which makes me a bit miserable, but since I have pretty much been told that I'm not to speak to the bride, I'm not sure where my place is anymore.

So, other news.  It's summer.  YAY.  Yeah right.  Tomorrow I start school again.  YAY.  HAHA.  Ok, enough of that. 

Ok, so more.  I am detoxing from the morphine right now.  It was a rough choice to make, since in order to detox you have to start your withdrawals, and in order to start withdrawals you have to go a while without taking the pain pills.  I didn't wait until I was out of pain pills to decide that I didn't want to take them anymore, so I had to force myself to go through withdrawals, while knowing that I had pain pills I could take that would take the pain and miserableness away.  It was a bit rough.  I am now on a medication to help with the withdrawals, and that should make me clean sometime in the next two weeks.  I can't wait to stop feeling sick from it.

They still haven't figured out what is causing the abdominal pain.  We have had every test possible, with no answer.  This is one of the main reasons I wanted to get off the morphine.  I don't know what's causing the pain, and I don't want to live on pain pills for the rest of my life.

Went to see a urologist on Friday, because I get a UTI every month, no fail.  They think my bladder has collapsed onto my uterus.  This will need a surgical fix before I even think about having another baby.  Which is the main reason I am trying to get my health back together.  I had my 4th iron transfusion yesterday.  Oh, I'll find out about the bladder thing on July 19th.

I think that's it.  And I think my milk has probably cooled enough to add the yeast for the cinnamon rolls.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Change in plans

Well, there have been some changes in plans.  My financial aid, it turns out, does not cover the classes for the bakery certificate program.  So, I am going for my associate of science, and I think the specialty I'm going with will be administrative officer.  I do really good office work, and I have most of what is needed for the degree.  There are a lot of business classes involved, and accounting, so I will be able to get a decent job until I get the cupcake thing off the ground.  There are other financial aid issues as well, such as losing my spring grants, but I don't want to deal with that now.

Speaking of the cupcake thing, I have the application for the growers market in town, and they let me know they would be happy to have me there.  All I have to do is have a certified kitchen, no business license, and I'm probably going to use a local church here for the kitchen.  The one I am hoping to use, I have a few problems with, mostly that they won't let me know if I can use it until I go to church, and they want me to go to church on Sunday's there.  Which I will do, kind of, but it's hard for me, since it's not my faith.  I don't mind my kids learning about Christianity, so I guess it could be a win win situation, my kids learn about other religions, and I get a certified kitchen.

So.  That's where I am.  Oh, and I need a new car, and I plan on buying a better car, no more of these $600 hope they last a year cars.  They cost too much in the end.  So, new car, pay bills, get cupcake business going, have my stepkids, at least 2 of them for 2 weeks, go camping at least 4-5 times, and take 14 credits.  Summer is going to be busy.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I can't figure out how to take a picture and keep it of another website, but the random number picked was #2. 

So, Leesah won with her entry of Taco Soup.

Taco Soup

-1 can of kidney beans
-1 can of pinto beans
-1 can of corn
-1 large can of diced tomatoes
-1 packet taco seasoning
-1 packet ranch dressing mix
-1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger
-shredded cheese and sour cream for embelishment

--brown meat
--drain fat and add meat to crockpot (or big soup pot)
--sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
--drain and rinse the beans and add
--add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans

cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5, if using crockpot. If using soup pot, cover and cook on low for at least an hour (the longer, the better). Stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

I actually have a recipe close to this that I call 5 ingredient soup, or can dumping soup, lol, though I use a can of refried beans in it and no taco meat.  This recipe sounds wonderful and I can't wait to try it this way.

Leesah, your email should already have my email in it.  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011


Hey, time to see if I have any readers, lol.  I am giving away a $5 gift card to  What you need to do to enter is comment with your favorite recipe.  Not the title, I want actual recipes to try.

So, I will take the comments over the weekend, and on Monday at noon, I will use to put in the number of comments received and it will pick the winning comment.

So, make sure I have your email, so that I can email you the electronic card information.

Now, to see those recipes.  Yippee, I am excited to be able to do this.

*I forgot to mention, only one entry or recipe per person.  I had 2 great recipes from Joy, but I had to remove one of them, so that she was only entered once.  I realized I forgot to mention that, so if you end up posting twice, I will take the recipe I like the best and leave it in the comments.*

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camouflage Cupcakes

My friends son had a birthday on Saturday, and he is really into hunting, and the themes of his birthday parties as long as I can remember have been camouflage. So, for fun, I made camouflage cupcakes for him.

This is my basic white cake recipe.  You can see how the bowl has green in it already, I had to make a double batch, which I found out after I made the first batch, and put it in the cupcake tins.  So, my colors were different from the first dozen to the second dozen.

This was the first green.  I used green alone for this, since I wanted it to be a brighter, lighter green.

This is the second green.  By this time I was out of green food coloring, so I had to improvise.  The first batch I had plenty of green food coloring, so I didn't have to work as hard.  The first time I used green, a little bit of red, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder, to get a darker deeper green.  This batch was blue and red and yellow and cocoa powder.  It worked, but I like the first batch a little better.
The first time I made the brown in the kitchenaid.  I would suggest that for any other time this is made.  Mixing the cocoa powder in by hand isn't as easy as I would have thought.  So, brown was made by adding 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the white cake and a little bit of yellow, just to lighten it up.
I put a tablespoon of each color into the cupcake liners and then swirled them.  I used the sliver liners, which have a double liner, so no one could see that they were special, and I swear it made them tough.  I will never use these liners again.  I made a few bite sized ones with the leftover batter with no liner, and they weren't  tough.
You can see how I have two different looking cupcakes.  The first batch the chocolate layer was on top, the second batch the chocolate layer was on the bottom, simply because I had more chocolate the first time, and so I just filled the liners until I ran out.  I had enough chocolate from the first batch to fill all but 2 of the liners.
This is a cut open of the first batch.  You can see the dark green a little bit but not much.  They look kinda neat though.
You can see all three colors here, but they still aren't swirled like I would like.  I need to work on that bit if I do this again.
I made my fluffy cream cheese frosting for these, it's got whipping cream in it, so it is fluffier and lighter than a regular cream cheese frosting.  I colored it blue and yellow, as, like I mentioned earlier, I ran out of green.  It made it a nice color though.
So, that is my cupcakes.  They didn't go over as well as I would have hoped.  Once everyone at the party they went to got used to the strange way it looked inside, they thought they tasted great, but I forgot how visual the family I made them for were.  They liked the way they looked, they were neat, but not appetizing looking.  Oh well.  They were tasty, and I earned money for them, which was cool.

I also made a german chocolate cake for this same party, and that flew off of plates and they had pretty much none of that left, so that could also be a good reason why the cupcakes weren't received as well.  This family loves german chocolate cake.  What I loved was my friends grandma was there, and this is a woman in her 80's, who loved my german chocolate cake, and when you get a woman who makes everything from scratch and grew up doing it thinks your cake is awesome, that is one of the greatest compliments you can get, in my opinion.

So, anyhow, I had fun, and I plan on getting some more food colorings and making a double batch of my white cake mix and turning into rainbow layered cupcakes.  No swirls.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Person of Faith

I am a blogger, but not a blogger of faith.  I like my blog, I like talking about cooking, my family, my life.  I don't talk about politics if I can avoid it, I rarely talk religion, and well, I try to avoid anything controversial.  At least here.  On my private personal blog where I am able to be slightly anonymous, though not very well, as I've been out here a long time, and have been followed from blog to blog happily, I do sometimes say things that could be controversial.  And I have no problem doing it.  neither here nor there has enough readers anymore that I have to worry, and I haven't had a troll since I left the blog I created after Aiden was born.

Anyhow, after that strange little blurb, I do have to say that while I don't blog about my faith, I am not ashamed of it, I do not hide it, I am a very happy out of the broom closet witch.  If you know me, you know my beliefs.  I do not hide them.  I also do not throw them in anyone's face.  Faith is a discussion that only comes up if someone asks me about it, you will not find me bringing my own faith up unless something like what happened yesterday happens.

What happened yesterday?  A blogger got extremely upset that Circle of Mom's contest for the best 25 faith based blogs included pagan moms.  Here is the link.  Read it, and then come back.  That way I don't have to quote her here.  You back?  Was that as disturbing to you as it was to me?  I would think, as a mom of faith, any faith, you would be disturbed.  Isn't this kind of hate mongering supposed to be done and over with? 

Anyhow, this blogger went from being #2 on the list to being removed from the contest.  Some people say she removed herself because she didn't want to be part of a list that allowed such evil things, and some people say she was removed by Circle of Moms, because she violated the TOS with her hate filled post.  I don't really care, I'm just glad she's not on the list anymore.

What gets me now is that this incident, this hate filled post, this spewing of some of the nastiest prejudice against my faith I have seen in a long time has had the opposite effect than I think she was looking for.  If you look now at the list of moms, you notice that the pagan mom she attacked the most is now in the #1 spot.  With more than a 300 point lead.  What she did, with her hate, was get the pagan community to rally up and support their own.  It got those of us who usually don't involve ourselves in these contests, who don't make our faith a big part of our online persona, stand up and say, hey, I am a mom, I am a faith based mom, I am pagan, I am proud, and I am for sure NOT EVIL.  And then we vote for the pagans on the list, and if you are like me, vote for the muslim and jewish moms on the list as well, since the main point of this mom's post was that the Christian Faith was the only faith, the only right faith, and well, even though she only attacked pagan blogs, muslim and jewish moms aren't christian moms and are probably lumped in with her idea of those who don't deserve to be on the list.

I may be in a religion that is thought of as a minority, but we have proven ourselves to not be less, and to be more, than anyone expected.  And I am proud to stand up and be a mom of faith, a pagan mom of faith, and know that those in my faith are standing up and shouting WE ARE HERE and WE WILL BE HEARD but not in a nasty hate filled way, and my heart, it is full of happiness that one of ours is in the #1 space.

Anyhow, this got a bit out of control, but if you want to vote, for whomever floats your boat, here is the link to the contest.  One of the things I liked the most about this whole thing:  I found new blogs to read.  And one of them was even of the Christian variety.  She had some awesome looking recipes.  :)

Taco Rice

I don't have any pictures of this meal, but it was amazing, tasty, and cheap.  We are at the end of the month where we don't have any money and the food is starting to need to be creative.  So, I had some hamburger in the fridge that I defrosted, but I had no clue what I was going to do with it.  I took out enough to make meatloaf for tonight, and then for whatever I was going to do with the little package.

My first thought was I was going to make an easy bisquick taco pie with it.  You know, take some hamburger, fry it with taco seasoning, and then mix bisquick, eggs, and milk, pour it over the drained hamburger in a pie dish, sprinkle with cheese, bake, and presto, dinner.  But alas, we had no eggs.

So, I fried the hamburger up with taco seasoning, lots of it, double the normal amount.  Then once it was drained I added a can of tomato paste, just the small can, and a cup of water.  Then I added another half cup of water, and a half cup of sugar.  I like my tomato based things sweet, from my spaghetti sauce to this.  Leave out the sugar, cut it down if you like, it's ok.

So, while I was doing this with the hamburger, I was still thinking.  Ok, this needed a starch to make it work.  I put a big big sauce pan on to boil, you know, they type with two handles, the big ones, filled it with hot water and once it came to a boil I faced another dilemma.  I had no pasta I wanted to make with the sauce I had made.  None.  I had lots of pasta, but nothing that was working for me.  So, I took 2-3 cups of rice, I didn't measure, I just poured it in from my rice container, into the boiling liquid.  And I just let it boil away, full rolling boil, until the rice was cooked.  I loved the texture of this rice, the way it was when it was done.  I liked it better than when I made rice with the two to one ratio and cooked it on a very low simmer.  This rice, I didn't have to worry about it burning to the bottom of the pan, or being underdone, or any of the other things I worry about with rice.  I want a rice cooker, I love rice so much, and I will get one this summer, but for this recipe, this worked.  I drained it once it was done, like I would a pasta, and put it back int he pan.  Then I added the meat and sauce mixture, stirred it all together.  It looked yummy, smelled yummy, but was missing something.  I had a little over a half of a bag of cheese, the two pound bag variety, with 8 cups of cheese, so I put about 4 cups of cheese into this mixture.  This made it cheesy and wonderful, with strings of cheese coming up off of the fork as you made it to your mouth.  I did have to reheat it a bit because the cold cheese coled it down a little too much, but it was wonderful.

I served it in bowls with a dollop of sour cream on the top and the kids and the husband and I all loved it.  My kids had seconds.  I took a bowl to my neighbors house, she ate it right up and her son asked if he could take a bowl to my house and fill it.  I let him.  We had nothing left by the time dinner was over.  I can't wait to make this again.

I think I would work with variations on this next time, if I had the right things in my pantry.  Like adding some beans, that would have done really good things to it, and I wanted to add corn, because I love corn in all things taco and chili like, but my kids don't, and I wanted them to eat it, but next time, I would make it, take out their portions, and then add corn, because it would be awesome.

So, that was a pantry meal I tossed together, and it worked and was awesome.  It was something I am now going to add to my recipes, and not leave it for the days when I can't find anything else to make.

Oh, and thought I complain about my pantry being bare, it's more that it's limited.  I have lots of stuff to make meals, I just don't have as many options as I do at the beginning of the  month.  The night before last we had a pork roast I put in the crock pot all day with a package of onion soup mix and some garlic paste and some water.  It was wonderful, juicy and full of flavor, and we served it with extra wide egg noodles simply boiled and tossed with butter salt and pepper.  Tonight is meatloaf.  I just hate when I have things like no chicken, or less varieties of pasta, no beans, etc.  Now to stop whining, lol.

So, taco rice.  Make it.  You will love it.  You will thank me for it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


SO, I find that i am not posting as much as I would like, trying to keep this to a food blog.  I'm thinking about a redesign to make it a life blog.  Especially with all that is going on, and will be going on.  I'm thinking that it will stay a positive blog, with anything that is really bad or negative or whatnot, it will go back to my other blog, my private one where I vent, and deal with the things that don't need to be here, which is my public face now.

So, I guess what I am trying to get to here is, is everyone ok with me changing this to a food/life/family blog?  Because I don't want to do a new one, I like this place, and I have so much I want to say.

Well, I don't get a lot of comments, but I know that people do read, so that's why I am putting this out there.  I will change it if I hear nothing, since that will be a big hint that no one really cares, haha.

Ok, so oft to do homework.  I hate the end of the term.