Friday, August 26, 2011

Too Good not to share

I have been hearing about these rolls on various blogs and pages that I follow, and so I had to try them...I did not use the cinnamon butter that I guess is what makes them a big deal, and after trying them, I will do that next time, but we had a savory meal of chicken fried steak, mashers and country gravy so I didn't want sweet rolls.  These are easy, and they are quite impressive once baked  I think cutting the sugar back by half and adding some garlic or onion powder and these would make on hellova burger bun...I will do them again for a brunch with the cinnamon butter.   Anyway I wanted to share the link to the recipe that I used...I have fallen in love with a roll!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

say AHHhhhhh

So my 11 year old started complaining of a scratchy throat the other night, I figured he may have some allergy issues as the entire desert around is has been on fire and it is rather smoky...when his fever spiked at 103 last night I figured I better get him in to see the doc.   And so its official 2 weeks till school, and we have our first round of Strep!..  We are no stranger to it, both my husband and I were once or twice a year streppers through our childhood, my daughter battled with strep and tonsillitis so much last year that she had her tonsils removed, and now its Gage's turn.  Boy I never wish for my kids to be sick, but it has been rather nice to have him be so quiet for the last few days... he isn't even talking in his sleep!  He opted for the shot in the rear instead of pills or syrup so he will be back to normal in a few days, and able to enjoy what little is left of summer.
Fingers crossed that no one else gets any type of sick!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where did Summer go?

Despite my best efforts for a slow easy summer, it seems that it is coming to a swift end.  We have only a 3 weeks until school begins, which means supply shipping, the clothes thing is an easy one thanks to the dress code.   The kiddos are doing their level best to enjoy the pool, and the new trampoline, however they have found out that it is exercise as much as it is fun,  both have sore back muscles, and tummy muscles from jumping as much as laughing.  They are ready to head back, and I am ready to have a quite house again.
Still busy with baking and cheese making, however I recently made a 2 gallon batch of cream cheese, and didn't realize till it was set and drained that I did not add my culture to it!  so that was a flop.  I used the last of my mozzarella stash tonight so its time again.  I managed 4 loaves of bread this morning, 2 plain janes and one braided, one split top.  Will give the no knead sourdough a try this weekend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love this time of year

Our poor over fertilized garden is trying so hard to produce, and the watermelon are looking great, but the thing about living out in the middle of nowhere is most folks around here grow a garden, and everyone has too much of something and so it's passed around, I bake bread and make cheese to trade for this and that, a few days ago the hubbs brought home a few pounds of apricots and some onions.  The local grocery store always has good bulk deals, and chicken breasts are always a steal, I get a 20 pound box of frozen skinless boneless breasts for around 30 bucks.  So tonight Its Apricot Chicken for supper...gotta love that Google recipe search!

Apricot Chicken Recipe

If you don't have fresh apricots, you can use a combo of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them, with a half cup of apricot jam, to the stock in step 4 (skipping steps 1 and 5).


  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (can sub olive oil)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (use gluten-free stock if you are cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (you can add more if you like)
  • Black pepper


1 Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.
2 In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.
3 Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan.
4 Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.
5 Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions.
6 Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-20 minutes.
7 When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with rice.
Yield: Serves 6.
* courtesy of 

Monday, August 8, 2011

One step forward...

Well I am more than pleased to say that I have made major progress on my pantry organization...not all the way done, but I did get the food shelves cleared, and my wonderful kids packed all the food stores back and my daughter organized it beautifully.  Today we all worked on laundry, and cleared out the bottom cupboards of the kitchen, and we will work on the uppers next weekend.  The kids' clothes are gone through and they both organized closets, shelves and drawers.  We managed to get some play time in together, and I made a cheesecake, and macaroni salad.  I am so glad to have my dear friend A. here with us for a day or 2 on her way to start a new job in a new town, and thrilled that she will be an hour closer now.  When you live in the middle of nowhere, it is always a pleasant treat to have another grown up to visit with.
So the sale of the week was bulk bacon, it ended up being $1.29 per pound in a large package, the one we chose was 16 pounds, and the Hubbs sectioned it out for us.  That said I am finding creative ways to use some bacon, and today I used it in a mac salad, it was to die for...Give it a whirl!
1 package of pasta, any shape..(I used Penne) cooked to package directions and then drained and rinsed in cold water.
4-5 slices of bacon chopped and rendered of all fat (about 10 minutes on a moderately high heat and drained) This takes about the same amount of time as your multi-task away
1 small onion chopped
1/2cup(or more if you like) of frozen veggies I used peas and corn.
1 1/2 cups Mayo with a dash of milk (more if needed or desired)
1 package dry Italian or Ranch dressing package.
Mix together and chill well.  Season with pepper and salt as needed.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Not sure about that, today will be busy.  Kids to swimming lessons, off to find another hummingbird feeder or two ( they are fighting out there ) then its home to make cream cheese and mozzarella, and bake a few loaves of bread.  Cheese and bread are a thank you to my husbands wonderful boss who send him home with jewels from her garden quite frequently, and she is the supplier of all the fresh milk I use for my cheese making.  When that is said and done, and cleaned up after then its time to sort out supper for tonight and tomorrow.  A ceiling to floor, wall to wall cleaning is in order for Saturday and through Sunday, need to get that back storage room sorted out, things we haven't used in a year tossed out and get the shelves in proper order for pantry storage.  My couponing ventures are starting to really pay off and I LOVE when we are shopping and I see a great sale AND have a coupon for that, but it means that I am starting to really accumulate a stock pile, a good thing with grocery prices what they are today, and only rising, but it's tough to share space with a r/c plane collection and the tools that go with it, the dryer, the chest freezer and the space heaters/ air conditioner and tool space.  But I will sort it out.  This is my I am not sure if I thank God it's Friday, because it is more of a Monday for this gal!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Feast in 15!

Love love love love this blog and NOW a book to go along.  The one thing in life no one has enough of is time, and here is one way to make the most of meal prep, shopping, and menu planning time.  Can't say enough so go take a look!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wow it's been a while

Well, what can I say, being a mom and wife and zookeeper keeps me busy and I just have not made this a priority.  5 weeks until school begins again so until then my posts will be sporadic.
Right now I am busy taking the kids to swimming lessons, and sorting through closets to move out everything that no longer fits, I think I may end up with 2 kids with empty closets...But we did hit a bonus with our last years grown out of in a week clothes!  Our school has a dress code, which I am a bog fan of, it makes life easier on me in the mornings, there is not too much time wasted deciding what to wear, and I never hear " and so has this kind of such and such".  To the point, our registration was on Monday, and they had set up a little "store" selling pants and tops to dress code for $2.00 a piece, and if you brought in you could trade 1:1!  How awesome is this?  We brought in the 6 pair of almost new pants and 2 like new tops in exchange for 1 pant, 1, skirt, 4 tops and 1 sweater, and now only need to get a few pants and shoes for the kids!  And what we left there will do the same for another family!
On the kitchen/garden front..things are slow going,  this is the first year we have attempted a garden, and so things are growing slowly, or not at all.  The hubbs has a few watermelon starting to develop, my cucumber plants are growing well (second planting) and everything we put in the ground on the first go round was burned from too much compost....It will be a good plot next year, and so we tinker and learn as we go.  I am still making cheese, keeping my eyes out for a cheap dorm sized frig to turn into a cheese cave, so I can attempt some blue cheese, sour cream and some cheddar if the hubbs will work out a press for us.  I have come up with some creative ways to use the left over whey.  I always throw it in the bread maker instead of water, the dogs like it on their dry food, and I have just used some to make, and feed a new sourdough starter, which I am making my first loaf out of as I type.  I found a new "slow-rise" and additional yeast free recipe and I am excited for the results, it will take a long rest in machine after its done churning, for 3 hours and then will sleep well in the fridge tonight and be baked fresh in the morning, should make for a nice treat of some fresh toast with breakfast tomorrow since it's the hubb's day off.   Besides what smells better than fresh bread baking, bacon frying and fresh coffee brewing?  He works so hard for us, and it's the least I can do!

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