Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Recessed sewing table


Not my idea, nor my plans, but I couldn't be any more thrilled with the result! The table will be finished in the spring with a multi-layer stain/paint/distressing effect, when things warm up. A little too cold for stains/paints right now. In the meantime, I'll use it as is, and love it all the while!



The hole drill got a little warm!



The jigsaw took care of the straight edges.




A router to add a rounded edge to the opening, and give it a more polished look.


Now for the supports on the underside.



The supports viewed from the top.


And in place...sewing machine now recessed!


The plans can be found here. There were no measurements, as every table is different, as is every sewing machine. What tips can I offer? Make sure you leave plenty of room for your plug ins to the right of your machine. And measure, measure, measure. It was very straight forward, and something anyone could do with the right tools. I have lost quick access to the front storage box on the machine base, but it was an easy sacrifice to make for the benefit of a recessed machine.

Have I said how much I love my new table?

I would suggest scouring Craigslist for used craft/dining tables. That's what I did, and I found my table for $70, and it's good size at 36" x 52". It came with a full length bench, as well. Just make sure you get one that's solid wood.

With my fabric shelf in place, my craft room is really taking shape. Much more to come, but to say I'm thrilled so far, would be an understatement. A pink chandelier is calling my name for the room, too.  Hum...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fabric storage for Christmas!

If you're like me, there is little that makes you happier than organization, and even more so, an organization project for Christmas!! Yep, I would rather do something like this on Christmas, than open a bunch of presents, and eat myself into a food coma. Well, the food coma is still quite delightful, but to me, this is the best Christmas present of all...something that organizes a special part of my life: my projects.


The idea was inspired by a set-up I saw with curtain rods, and curtain clips, but I wanted a shelf, not just a fabric hanger. I also wanted it to be easy to remove/replace fabric, so I came up with the wire shelf, and spring clamp idea. I think it works!


I had the shelf and the clamps. I only needed the shelf brackets, which cost $5.96 for the two I needed. I will paint an inspiring quote on the wall above the shelf at some point, but as I'm just getting my craft/sewing room organized and put together, it will be a work in progress.



The sewing table project will commence next week, when my husband cuts the hole in the top of the table to recess my machine. I have a refinishing idea in mind for it that I think will be fun and visually interesting. Next up: the hunt for a large table for my paper projects. More on that later. For today, I get to smile and enjoy the new fabric storage shelf. I love it!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The gift is in the wrapping, too

I like handmade things. The older I get, the more I like them. I have always loved a well wrapped gift, too, with coordinating ribbon, wrap, cards, etc.

This year I made gifts for Christmas, as I often do, and, as is always the case, I needed a nifty way to wrap them up. I decided to put all that beautiful craft paper to good use, and make my own. I've made paper boxes before, but this year I wanted something a little different. I stumbled upon a blogger who made pyramid boxes. Perfect! I re-sized the dimensions to fit my needs, and made my own out of 12" x 12" patterned card stock.


More on what I put inside after Christmas...don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients.  =)


Interested in this little box? You can find the original template and instructions here, and it fits 8-1/2" x 11" card stock. For a larger box, just upscale your dimensions, and use larger card stock. This was a very easy project that produced a lovely result.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cauliflower and chicken potato pancakes

This is one of those days I'm having a love affair with leftovers.  Sometimes you look in your refrigerator and see leftovers that just seems to call out to you to do something with them other than just re-heat and eat. That was the story for me this morning, so I made something special.

I'd made mashed potatoes last night with potatoes, leftover roasted cauliflower and brown butter, but I made so much, I needed to do something with them, so I thought, "hum, potato pancakes." I also had some pineapple slices leftover from the portobello mushroom burgers from the other night, as well as a little teriyaki mayonaise, and some of my teriyaki sauce, too.  There was also some leftover roasted chicken in the fridge that really needed to find a place in a recipe today, or face being tossed into the garbage tomorrow.

The pancakes were hearty, and the teriyaki was sweet.  It was a great breakfast.  I will make them again.


Ingredients:

Teriyaki mayonaise
1/4 cup mayonaise
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce

Brown butter bread crumbs (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Pancakes
1 cup leftover roasted chicken, finely chopped
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pineapple slices

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine mayonaise and teriyaki sauce, and stir well. Transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use.


In a medium sized skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Stirring constantly, simmer butter until the milk solids begin to brown. Quickly add shallots and garlic, and saute for about a minute. Add panko bread crumbs, and continue cooking until they begin to brown, about a minute. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Add olive oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium high heat.

In a medium sized bowl, combine mashed potatoes, chicken and the beaten egg. Stir until well combined. Using a 1/3 cup scoop, shape into thick pancakes, coat well in the panko bread crumbs, and transfer to the skillet.


Cook until well browned on the first side, about 2 minutes.  Flip the pancakes, and add the pineapple slices to the skillet to brown, as well.


When pancakes and pineapple slices are nicely browned, plate, top with teriyaki mayonaise, the pineapple slice, and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce.  Serve warm.


Cauliflower and potato mashed potatoes

This is one of those times I feel like I just made the right combinations, for the best possible result. These mashed potatoes are superb. Creamy, fluffy and packed full of flavor.  They have the added benefit of being a little more healthy than your run of the mill mashed potatoes, thanks to the addition of the cauliflower.

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 head cauliflower
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Whipping cream (or half and half)

Directions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Break cauliflower into small florets, and toss with olive oil to coat well. Spread onto a large baking sheet, season with salt/pepper, and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast until well charred, about 20 minutes.

Place prepared potatoes into a large kettle, and cover with water. Set to boiling. Cook potatoes until fork tender, 20-25 minutes.

Into the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cream cheese.

Into a small skillet, add the butter, and melt. Cook butter until milk solids begin to brown. Quickly add garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer.

Add roasted cauliflower to your food processor, and pulse until well pureed. Transfer pureed cauliflower to the bowl of your stand mixer.

When potatoes are done, drain, and add to the bowl of your stand mixer, along with the cream cheese, brown butter and pureed cauliflower. Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed until combined. Slowly add whipping cream, while the mixer is running, and beat until you reach the desired consistency. Serve warm.

Note: if you need to keep mashed potatoes warm while waiting for other dishes to finish, place them into a slow cooker, and set heat to low.  The potatoes will stay warm, without drying out, for up to an hour.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Portobello mushroom burgers

This was a treat I didn't expect. I had a feeling there was potential, but I really had no idea it would be as good as it was. It wasn't difficult, either. A lot of things to pull together, but most could be done in advance, which made things easy.


I think this would be easier on the grill, simply because the pineapple, buns and 'shrooms could be all done together, with the rest prepped, and ready for final assembly, but in the middle of winter, and extremely cold temperatures, we had to do it inside. It worked just fine.

Ingredients:


Teriyaki mayonaise
1/4 cup mayonaise
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce

Brown butter bread crumbs (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs

The sandwich
2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 onion, kaiser or sourdough burger buns, split
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 fresh pineapple slices (canned works, too)

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine mayonaise and teriyaki sauce, and stir well. Transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. With a clean, damp cloth, clean mushroom caps, by gently rubbing them.

Generously oil a baking sheet. Place mushrooms on the baking sheet, gills up. Generously drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt/pepper. Transfer mushrooms to the heated oven, and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip mushrooms, and continue baking another 15 minutes, or until deeply browned with a light char.

In a skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Stirring constantly, simmer butter until the milk solids begin to brown. Quickly add shallots and garlic, and saute for about a minute. Add panko bread crumbs, and continue cooking until they begin to brown, about a minute. Remove from heat, and set aside. Note: I made mine the night before, and refrigerated them.  I microwaved them for about 30 seconds before I wanted to serve them, and it worked just fine.

Generously spread teriyaki mayonaise onto the split sides of the buns. In a skillet set over medium high heat, with mayonaise sides down, brown buns. When golden brown, remove from skillet and set aside. Add pineapple slices to the hot skillet, and sear until a nice char forms on each side of the pineapple.  Remove from heat.

When mushrooms are done, slice them about 1/4" thick, and begin layering your sandwiches - one large mushroom is enough for two sandwiches.  Layer mushrooms first, then bread crumbs, pineapple, a small dollop of teriyaki mayonaise, and an thin onion slice.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Panko bread crumbs

I sort of put homemade bread crumbs and croutons in the same category: so easy, so flavorful, so fresh and so cheap, it's a crime to spend money on the over processed, under flavored, preservative laden versions you can buy in the grocery store.

I often have need for Panko bread crumbs, and will avoid a recipe that calls for them, simply because I do not want to pay money for the aforementioned versions available to me in the local market. I decided to try making my own. The good news is it was so easy, I can't believe I didn't try it sooner.

Any day old bread will work. If you make your own bread, this is a great use for any that goes into day two and remains unconsumed. Even cheap, store bought bread will work, but I recommend you buy the bread baked in the market bakery vs. the commercially baked bread sitting on the shelves. If you look for the day old bread, it's even better (read cheaper). One loaf of bread will make a lot of bread crumbs.

I used whole wheat hoagie rolls for my bread crumbs, but you can use anything you like. I did not season mine prior to baking, either. If you like seasoned bread crumbs, season away.


Simply cut your bread into pieces that will easily feed through the hopper of your food processor. Soft bread tends to struggle a bit going through the shredding disk, so if your bread is soft, let it sit out for a few hours, so it dries a bit. Fit your food processor with the large shredding disk and feed the bread pieces through the hopper.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread bread crumbs onto a baking sheet, in a thin, even layer. Bake until dry, 10-15 minutes. You may need to go a little longer, depending upon how many bread crumbs you are baking at one time.


When sufficiently dry, remove from oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for an hour or more. This will allow the crumbs to dry further. When fully dry, transfer to an air tight storage container, and keep up to six months.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin spice latte

It's that 'pumpkin' time of year again, and one of my favorite fall things is a pumpkin spice latte. Not long ago I swore off of Starbuck's because I was tired of paying nearly $5/cup for the occasional latte, and I'd found myself disappointed in the quality and consistency of their product one time too many.

We have been making our own lattes for a long time, and rarely buy them now, but on occasion we do, either because we are out of coffee, out of town, or some other random occurrence that doesn't allow us to make them at home. With our choice to cease patronizing Starbuck's, where would I get my pumpkin spice latte when fall rolled around? A little experimentation in the kitchen would answer that question.


I played around with spices, and other ingredients, and came up with a pumpkin spice latte recipe that I think is very good. The right amount of sweet, spice, and that coveted pumpkin punch...just right for my taste. Perhaps it will satisfy your taste, as well. This one is creamy and and full of seasonal spices.


This recipe is written for a single serving espresso machine (one 16 ounce latte, or two 8 ounce lattes - your choice), but you can make adjustments for a regular coffee maker, so long as you use strong coffee, and warm your milk to finish off the beverage. Steamed milk is not required, unless you want foam atop your latte vs. whipped cream.

Ingredients:

Syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla

The drink
3 tablespoons prepared syrup (depending upon your taste)
2 shots espresso
8 ounces steamed milk
Whipped cream

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine all syrup ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, transfer to an air tight container, and store in the refrigerator up to a week. Use daily, or as desired.

To make your latte, in the bottom of a 16 ounce coffee mug, add syrup and freshly poured espresso shots. Stir well to combine. Add the steamed milk, and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg or cinnamon.  If you prefer foam, and have steamed your milk, use that instead.

Note: if your syrup separates in the refrigerator, make sure you stir it well prior to use.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The traveled road, page five

A few nights ago the moon was full, and it was a 'harvest moon'. With no moon shooting skills to lean upon, and only a fundamental knowledge of my gear (though the knowledge is growing, it's far from complete), we headed out. What did I learn? The moon is hard to shoot! What makes it hard is the light from the moon relative to anything surrounding it.  The contrast is hard to manage within a single image, but I'm still proud of these two shots, from the same location, but with different lenses, apertures, exposures and focal lengths...

This, right as the moon came up from behind the rocks. A bit of 'peek-a-boo'. I like the detail on the rocks here, and the tree to the left of the moon.  I shot this with my 70-210mm lens.  I love that lens.  Older, but cheap, and it's pretty dang sharp, even further out.


This one was fun because I was playing with my newly acquired 'starburst' skills. I used the 12-24mm lens here, f/22 for 30 seconds.


Not far from home we have been able to find some pretty places from which to shoot. We live in a very beautiful place. I often forget. These evening treks remind me that we have incredible beauty just a few minutes from home.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The traveled road, page four

We set out for some camera practice for Cliff last night, and had a destination in mind. What we intended to focus on was different from what eventually caught our eye: a pump pump house in Terrebonne, in a rather affluent area, just sitting off the side of the road. The gnarled tree added so much visual interest to the setting, we just had to see about capturing it. As we were setting up, the moon made an appearance, which turned out to be the icing on the cake.


To be honest, I think this is a pump house and setting made to look old, rather than an old one blended into a new landscape. No matter, the visual interest was so compelling, we couldn't resist.

I'm always amazed at what you can stumble upon, in your own hometown, if you just get out and about. Sometimes it's about finding new things, and sometimes it's about seeing old things with a new eye, a more appreciative eye, an eye filled with gratitude.

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful;
readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18, 1993...


(photo by Baron Spafford, 1993)

It was, in every way, a perfect day. I don't remember a lot, because it was such a whirlwind, but I remember some things perfectly clear - seeing your face when my father gave me away.  I remember your eyes as we were reciting our vows, and I remember hugging you, knowing I was where I was supposed to be.  20 years later, I feel the same way...I am where I am supposed to be, with the most wonderful, caring, kind and giving soul I have ever known.

I love you...with all my heart.  I hope there are 20 more years, and then another 20...life is sweeter because I have the incredible honor of sharing it with you.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The traveled road, page three

We live in a grand landscape. Not as grand as some, but the sights that can be found within an hour of our home are quite impressive. Hard to accomplish when you live in a desert, and nowhere near the beach. I can't count tropical paradise, nor the ocean, in locations close to home.


Smith Rock State Park is a favorite location of mine, and we are, literally, 10 minutes away from this stunning place. A favorite of rock climbers from all over the world, the chalk they use can be seen on rock faces nearly everywhere you look. I have yet to capture a climber on the rocks, but I will some day. I have only been here as the sun is going down, so my arrival times haven't coincided with the climbers, who tend to climb in the light of day.

Anyone visiting central Oregon should plan a stop here.  There are ample trails, and breathtaking views everywhere you look.

Roasted spaghetti squash

About as easy as cooking can be, this dish will delight those who want simple, delicious and healthy. And if that weren't enough, it's beautiful to look at, with its char marks, and bright, vibrant colors.

Feel free to experiment with this one.  Add anything you please.  This squash is a superb partner to a host of flavors.


Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash, stem end removed, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed
olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (or more, as you please)
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

With cut ends up, drizzle each half of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Lay cut sides down onto a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven.

Plate each squash, cut side up, loosen flesh with a fork, top with the Parmesan cheese, tomato slices and basil. Serve. Each half will feed one person a light dinner.

(Tip: If you don't have a very sharp knife at home, ask someone in the produce department to cut your squash in half before you leave the store).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quote corner, "don't tell me..."

This was sent to me after we lost Ty.  I'm reminded of it with the losses so many are going through right now...perhaps it will help others, as it once helped me.

Don't Tell Me

Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive, how I will surely grow.

Don't tell me this is just a test, that I am truly blessed,
that I am chosen for this task, apart from all the rest.

Don't come at me with answers, that can only come from me.
Don't tell me how my grief will pass, that I will soon be free.

Don't stand in pious judgment, of the bounds I must untie.
Don't tell me how to suffer, and don't tell me how to cry.

My life is filled with selfishness, my pain is all I see.
I need you, I need your love, unconditionally.

Accept me in my ups and down, I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry, and say, "my friend, I care."

-- Anonymous

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The traveled road, page two

A great weekend...

350 miles driven, several sights seen, and a truly enjoyable time with friends. Started out meeting up with a friend Friday night at the Prineville reservoir. Early Saturday morning we took off for the Painted Hills. Didn't quite make it for sunrise color, but it didn't diminish our enjoyment. I learned from my friend how to make a 'starburst' without any kind of trickery or fancy editing, a skill I will be excited to take to Sequoia National Park, and the Grand Canyon this fall. Simple, easy and really effective. No special equipment needed!


We took a swing through the Sheep Rock area. I'm not sure why it's called 'Sheep Rock', because I didn't see any sheep shaped rocks, and I sure didn't see any signs explaining how it came to be named as such.  It was lovely, regardless.


New this trip was a visit to Fort Rock, Oregon, where another friend joined up with us for some night shooting. Last night was the anniversary of Ty's passing, so shooting the stars and the Milky Way was fitting. I am so excited to have a wonderful image to remember the night with...a night to celebrate my Ty's precious, and all too short life.


Hoping to go back to Fort Rock in the late fall for some closer up shooting of the Fort Rock homestead buildings, which are pretty nifty. I did manage one shot of the rock, off in the distance. It's a fascinating place.


Until we meet again on 'The Traveled Road'...


Saturday, August 31, 2013

The traveled road, page one

There are so many places I would like to see and visit, to capture memories into a single moment in time with my camera. This is not a time in my life when I can access the places that many others can. If I can't get there by car, and a short walk, I don't get there at all. In time this will change, but not now.

'The traveled road' is dedicated to my heart and soul dog, Jet, who at 14, is unable to walk long distances, or traverse uneven ground any longer. We travel as far as we, as a family, are able, and if one can only walk a few hundred yards safely, then that's what we do...together.

My first entry into 'the traveled road' is from last week, and our visit to Tumalo Falls in the Deschutes National Forest. It was so quiet there, with the peace only interrupted by the hypnotic sound of the falling water. We had the area nearly to ourselves, with just one other couple on the trail leading up to the upper overlook. We chose to stay close to the car for Jet's sake, and shoot from the lower viewpoint...it was anything but disappointing. It was just a short walk from the parking lot.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The world around us...

In the last few months our lives, and our recreation, have taken a bit of a turn. Once dog show enthusiasts (me, never Cliff) and fledgling breeders, we spent our free time at dog shows, or preparing to attend them. We have made some changes that, for us, are more fulfilling, and far more enjoyable. Not just enjoyable for us, but for our dogs, too.  Instead of spending their weekends in crates, inside dog show buildings, our dogs are exploring the world with us, taking in the sights with their eyes, *and* their noses.  They seem to really love it!

A couple years ago I discovered photography, and with that discovery, an enjoyment in life I had not previously known. Photography gets me out into nature, taking in sights I'd only thought about, but never experienced first hand. Life all of a sudden seems deeper, and more meaningful.

It was just a few weeks ago we made a drive to Johnston Ridge, which overlooks the Mt. St. Helens' debris field.  It's where geologist David Johnston was perched when Mt. St. Helens erupted.  His last message over the two way radio, as the mountain began to erupt, was "Vancouver, this is it!  This is it!"  He lost his life that day.

Traveling to Johnston Ridge was something we had always wanted to do, but never made the time for.  For once, we made the time, and it was truly a magnificent experience.


In these travels, I find myself almost fearful of the grand scale of nature's power. I was never part of an outdoorsy family, and I never really spent a lot of time pursuing outdoor adventures as I grew into adulthood. As such, I would say I'm not entirely comfortable with my relative size in the grander scheme of our world, and all it encompasses.  That just sounds so weird, even to my own ears, but it's true. Our trip to the Mt. St. Helens' debris field really brought that home.

This past weekend we traveled through the Ochoco National Forest, climbing over 4900' at pass level, down into the fossil beds area, through the Sheep Rock Unit, and Picture Gorge, into Dayville.  On our way, we spied an old barn off the highway.


Old barns always start me wondering about times gone by - the people who built them, and when they were built. This one was no different. I often wish old buildings could talk. Imagine the stories they could tell.

We spent the night at a very small campground in Dayville, run by an inebriated but jolly proprietor. The grounds were beautiful, even if the overall experience was a little different. It was safe and quiet...that's all we were really looking for - mission accomplished. A good night's sleep was had by all, especially Jet, who didn't move from his spot on the bed, all night long.

The next morning we made our way to the Painted Hills Unit.  So beautiful, so quiet, so peaceful.  We only saw a few people as we made our way around the hills.  A truly magical place.


The hills rise from the landscape like the land time forgot.  I was so captivated.  It was so special, so mystical in many ways. I often look at the results of nature's paint brush and think to myself, "there is no greater artist."  Truly magnificent.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

True love

It's been an up and down few weeks, filled with things I welcome, and things I dread.

My beloved Jet, my first Sheltie, and the four legged love of my life, has been experiencing a few health issues.  Without going into a great deal of detail, I can say that his age has slowly been catching up with him.  Always a very young looking older dog, he is now looking like an older old dog.  At 14, I'm realistic and understand that he won't be here with me forever, but the thought of losing him is extremely difficult to bear.  I'm not sure I know how to breathe without this dog, and while that may sound like a dramatic proclamation, in many ways, it's how I feel.


For now, he's here.  He's comfortable, and he isn't experiencing any pain.  He's a little wobbly, and can't hop up on the deck like he could not long ago.  It's hard to watch him age before my eyes.  It's hard to look into those brown eyes that are wise and full of understanding, knowing I can't change the course he and I will travel.  There are times I think he seeks my gaze to connect with me, and tell me it's okay, that somehow he knows more about what's coming than I do. And, knowing him as I do, I'm sure that's true.

People say dogs come into our lives to teach us things.  I believe that.  Ty did.  I know Jet has, as well.  My heart knows what Jet came to teach me.  For now, I will keep that knowledge to myself.  Unlike Ty, who came to change me in ways that affected others, Jet came for something more personal...

There will never be a good time to say good-bye to my furry true love.  I keep saying "not now", and even if he lived to 20, it would never be enough.  I just hope we have more time together, to ease into the changes I know are coming.  To somehow prepare for something there is really no way to prepare for.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Stuffed pork chops

I found this recipe a couple of years ago, and I've made it several times.  I have come to really love it, as it's such a great combination of flavors, it's low carb, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm giving up anything I love.


This is also a very easy recipe to put together.  I make the stuffing, stuff the chops, then wrap them up and refrigerate them until I'm ready to cook them.  The stuffing is a side dish, all its own, so there really is nothing else one need prepare for this meal.

Satisfying and delicious.  I highly recommend this one.  You can find it here, along with a preparation video, which is extremely helpful, especially for the novice chef.

I hope you will try it...it's a 'plate cleaner'...


Monday, June 24, 2013

Your lake...

Saturday, as we were driving home from the show, we stopped at your lake, Bun.  I feel you so strongly there.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because it was a place you loved, and when you were sick, it was the place I most wanted to take you, you just never got well enough to leave home those last few days.


I sat in the car, thinking of you, as I looked over the shore where you used to have a conversation with the waves, letting them know their disorderly splashing needed organization, which only you were capable of providing.  The waves always won, even though you gave it your best.  Your wet fur, and big smile were really your only goals...we all knew that much.

Sitting there, listening to those waves lap up on the shore, I could almost hear your voice.  I could see you, 'talking' to those waves, and the tears just came.

It seems like only yesterday you left us.  Every day I try to live to the fullest, in your honor, but my heart still hurts with an ache that never leaves.  I don't think it ever will.

I miss you, baby boy, so very much.  I hope you know...I hope you know.

Scones...again!


I love this recipe.  I make these at least once/week, and sometimes more often than that, depending upon what I have on hand.  I start with the basic recipe for Hilppa's scones.


For this variation, instead of the raisins, I used some raspberries I dehydrated over the weekend, and my second, almost staple add, the zest and juice from one lemon.


With my ice cream scoop to portion out the batter, this makes 8 scones.  I have since stopped adding the butter on top of the 'ready to bake' scones, as it's just a little too much for my taste, with all the butter already inside, but if you like that add, by all means, go forth and conquer.

I've been asked what the batter consistency of this recipe should be.  It's hard to describe.  It should come together, and hold it's shape, but you don't want it too dry, nor too wet.  Too dry, and the scones will be crumbly.  Too wet, and they will flatten out too much on the cookie sheet, and you'll have scone pancakes.


It's a superb recipe, that makes a beautiful scone, with a crispy outside crust that adds the right amount of texture.  I encourage you to try it.