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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Do Bread, Peanut Butter, Salsa and Ice Cream have in common?

They are all home made. At least in our house they are. And they are all easy to make with very little time and effort involved. Bread takes five minutes of my time to put the ingredients in the bread machine and turn it on. Peanut Butter takes about 10 seconds to put the nuts in the food processor, and requires just one or two scrapes of the bowl and scooping it into a container. Salsa involves just a few minutes of cutting and dumping into a food processor.  Ice Cream, again, just a few minutes to put the ingredients into the ice cream maker and turn it on.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

The last two times I made ice cream or sorbet, it was runny, but firmed up nicely after leaving it in the freezer overnight. This time I made sure to leave the freezer container (that you make the ice cream in) in the freezer for two days, packed with lots of ice to make sure it was really cold. Also, I wasn't sure how much effect using the low-fat milk and 1/2 and 1/2 cream had to do with how the first batch turned out. So this time I used 2% milk and heavy cream. Mixed in some Ghirardelli Baking chocolate broken into little pieces and some peppermint extract. Just five ingredients, 25 minutes in the ice cream maker, two hours in the fridge and I must say, it turned out nice!

I let my daughter have some right away, but it was more like soft serve. I put it in the fridge for two hours and it was much firmer.

We all give this two thumbs up!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunny and 75°

After months of below normal temps, the mercury hit a beautiful 75° today so The Princess and I spent the afternoon with a friend and her daughter and granddaughter. So much fun to watch the two of them play.  Weather folks are predicting that we stay warm until Thurs/Fri where it will cool off again but hopefully back up into the high 60's for the weekend.  Woot!

My husband was supposed to be home around 4pm but texted me to say he would be late. Good, because I had nothing planned for dinner. Decided on taco salad, but made a bit healthier with organic 94% lean ground turkey, organic corn chips, homemade organic salsa and homemade organic taco seasoning, fat-free sour cream, 75% reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese, and lettuce. Easy and quick to make:

Now I need some ice cream to cool off my mouth from that five-alarm salsa!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

Happy 13th Birthday Jake and Luke!

I have two yellow Labrador Retrievers who captured my heart 13 years ago.  Their owners lived next to my sister. Luke was a birthday present for my oldest son and was the puppy he picked out. I saw Jake, though, and couldn't resist his cute face and his playfulness.  So, both boys came home with me at just five weeks old when their mother started attacking them and the owners were moving and said they would just take the dogs to the pound. I have been "Mom" to them ever since. We've been through a lot together.  Happy Happy Birthday Boys! I love you and hope to have more years with you!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look what I got yesterday...

My desktop is on it's last we used the Employee Discount my husband get's from his employer to purchase this Inspiron 1545.  So far, I'm pretty happy with it.  Last night, my husband and I were up till early this morning playing around on the new laptops we got!  Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Got Milk?

... and some cream, sugar and vanilla?  If so, you have the makings for some homemade vanilla ice-cream.  In my continued quest to eat more organic, natural, chemical-free, non-modified, healthier foods, I ordered the Cuisinart ICE-20 Series Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker (FYICSM **my acronym*)  It arrived on Monday.  :o)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Made Bread: Part III

Today, I made a loaf of Italian Herb Bread.  I think I've died and gone to heaven. After it baked, I put a few slices under the broiler with some parmesan cheese and some more italian seasoning.  It was soooo good.  By the time we each tasted a piece, 1/3 of the loaf was gone! I'm making spaghetti for dinner, so more of the bread (with more cheese, garlic and italian herbs) will be going under the broiler. 

The only thing I've noticed about this bread maker is that the left side of the loaf is usually deformed in some way.  In the herb bread today, it didn't rise as high as the right side.  In the wheat loaves, the left side isn't's lumpy.  The bread won't be getting any awards for aesthetics, but it doesn't affect the taste and that is all I really care about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My First Time.........

No, not my first time doing THAT!  My first time getting a blog award.  Erica, over at Joyous Jabberings gave me THIS award:


I actually got this award for my other blog, Our Life With The Princess, but since that blog is just about my daughter, I'm posting my award over here on my personal blog!  Hope that is ok Erica.

As part of receiving this award, there are a few rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.  So, thanks again, Erica for giving me my first award!

  2. Post this award to 15 other bloggers that you follow and think are great!

  3. Leave a message on each blog, letting them know you are giving them this award.

  4. Post seven things about yourself.

The blogs I'm passing this award along to are:   Kristen, Raechel, Erica, Linny, Meeghan, Susan, Mae, Marsha, Julia, Michelle, Tracey, Gwenn, Kim, Cheryl, and Lisa.

So, here goes:
  • I grew up in Michigan, but moved to Florida in 2000 and can't imagine living anywhere else (well, that is if you don't count that eight month "vacation" in Seattle back in 2006...but hey, we came back)...ever!!

  • I have two yellow labrador retrievers that are almost 13 years old.
  • I had my first child when I was 24 and my youngest when I was 43!

  • I was a computer geek for many years, but now are more interested in making our house a home.

  • I love cooking and baking, but I also enjoy sewing (still a novice) and will be giving gardening a try this year (starting out small...just a few tomato plants, and some onions, peppers and some herbs).

  • I love the ocean.  We used to live just two blocks from the ocean but am now a bit further but close enough we could ride our bikes.  I hope to move back to the beach one day.

  • I met my husband online.  He moved here to Florida from Washington State to marry me. :o)
Thanks for stopping by and celebrating my getting this blogger award!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Made Bread: Part II

I am loving the bread machine I talked about in this post.  It is so very easy to use and I am making a new loaf of bread every other day.  I have tried out a few other types of bread as well with pretty good success.

We have been big eaters of organic Honey Whole Wheat bread from the store.  I used the whole wheat recipe that came with my bread maker and just substituted some organic honey for some of the molasses called for in the recipe.  I have to say that this bread turned out just as good, if not better, than the stuff from the store. 

I also made a loaf of what is called Trail Mix bread.  This loaf was moderately successful.  I think the dough was just a bit too wet.  Next time I need to check it better and add some more flour if necessary.  Plus, with this recipe, you only get to add 1/2 cup of "trail mix" which just did not seem like enough.  The bread maker allows you to make 1.5lb and 2lb loaves.  I have been making 2lb loaves but for this one, just made the 1.5lb loaf.  With the 2lb. loaves, you get to add 3/4 cup of trail mix.  I may just add 3/4 cup to my 1.5lb loaf next time and see how it turns out.

I think tomorrow I may make either focaccia dough or cheese/onion bread.  They both sound so yummy.

Can you tell I'm having fun?  Did I mention I love to bake?  I think I need to get serious about my walking program if I'm going to keep making all this delicious bread, otherwise Pillsbury may be contacting me to be the next Pillsbury Dough Person! LOL

Rainy Day

We're getting the tail end of the big storm that is heading to the northeast. We are going to have a cool rest of the week with temps only into the 50's. This has been a cold (I know it is a relative term considering what the rest of the country is getting) winter for us. I was hoping we were done with winter and moving into our spring. But, Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on us sun/warmth worshipers. At least it is rain, not snow!

It's been a lazy day due to the rain. I went for a walk with a friend this morning before the rain started. Had a late breakfast and went back to sleep for 3 HOURS! *yawn* I'm still tired! LOL

After E's nap, we mixed up a batch of chocolate mint brownies. They are baking in the oven now and smell soooo good! This recipe is different than the one I used before. It has a layer of mint icing on top. Can't wait to taste them later.

That's all from Boringville! Things will liven up around here pretty soon as we have some home improvement projects coming up in the next month or so. Oh, and I'm going to plant a small garden. Fresh veggies for our meals...can't wait!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Six Word Saturday

It's Saturday, so that means it's time for Six Word Saturday. Visit Cate's Blog to play along.

It Is All About The Laundry

I usually try to do laundry a few times a week but this week we have been busy with other things, so I can't put it off any more. My W/D will be getting a workout!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you like to cook/bake?

I really love to do both.  Over the years, I've tried so many different things:  woodworking, sewing, web design, to name a few but have never found anything that I enjoyed as much as I enjoy cooking and baking.  I enjoy everything about it: finding recipes, buying the ingredients, making the food, cleaning up the mess, except for cleaning up the mess. 

I'm lucky to have a husband who will eat anything. Anything.  He is like Mikey, for those of you who might remember the popular Life Cereal commercials.  I jokingly tell him that he WOULD eat anything because before we got married, his meals consisted mostly of frozen dinners, so the bar is not set very high. LOL

I Made Bread!

In an effort to eat as much fresh, healthy food as possible, I recently bought a Breadman TR875 Breadmaker from Amazon.  After researching online, I found this one had good reviews, and the price was right.  Since I had never made bread before, I didn't want to invest a lot into a bread maker until I was sure this was something I would want to keep doing.  This machine also makes pasta dough, pie crust dough, cookie dough, gluten free bread AND jam!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Survived The Great Power Outage of 2010.....

OK, it wasn't that great an was just in our neighborhood. But, it was for FIVE hours. Oh, the internet withdrawal pains were starting. I was getting twitchy, feeling the pressure build up inside me. I NEEDED to GET ONLINE!!

On top of it, I had dropped my cell phone and broke it today. We have a digital phone (cable service) so since that was out, I had no phone, and since I don' wear a watch, with no electricity meant I had no idea what time it was!! At least we had several lanterns so we had plenty of light.

Turns out that at the construction site at the end of our street, someone in the construction crew knocked over the pole with a transformer on it...snapped it right in half! I'm so thankful that they were able to fix it tonight. If I had to go without internet access much longer, I'm not sure what I would have done and I don't think I could have been held accountable for my actions!! LOL

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