Food, Short

Starbucks

Last Thursday Claire had to go to Petsmart for filters for her fish tank. While we were there she got another gold-fish. After we were done at Petsmart we went to Starbucks. Seriously, if you ever want to get me a gift, a Starbucks gift card is always going t o be a winner (Thank you ever so muchly Aunt D!).

When we got there, there was this guy sitting at a table talking to someone about politics quite animatedly so it was not hard at all to hear him. All I heard at first was “…really, either way, I was going to be voting Republican…” but after we ordered and sat down to wait a while I could hear more of the seemingly one-sided conversation. I think it was just that the one guy was louder, but I can’t really remember a thing the other guy said. They started talking about guns and gun control. I was thinking “oh great, here we go.” I figured that since we were in Starbucks, a notoriously liberal store, he would be of the “more control” mindset. It didn’t seem so. I was shocked, but he seemed to be fairly Conservative, at least on that point.

While I was trying to listen (ok, I admit it, I was trying, I was more than a bit intrigued) Claire was telling me that they were accepting applications for Baristas. At fist I didn’t really hear her, but then realized what she was saying. It didn’t say anything about requirements. I figured you had to be graduated, but I was still excited. While we were there they were training a new guy how to make my drink. Evidently 😉 the Caramel Macchiato is not one of the most common drinks.

When we got home I sent in an application and started researching about the interview (Hoping and praying they call me for one). Since I’ve never had a job before I was really curious what the interview questions would be like. I”m really glad I did the research! I wouldn’t have been ready otherwise and probably would have just not said much. I’m pretty sure that if they’d just give me an interview I’d have the job. I love coffee and I really think I could do the work.  I haven’t heard anything back from them yet, but I plan to go in person soon to let them know I’m very interested. 🙂

Kind of a short post, but here’s a video for you. 🙂 Enjoy. It reminds me of myself in the morning. Mary’s cup is IDENTICAL to Claire’s!

Farm and Family, Food, Pictures

Produce Part 2: Apples and Grapes

A couple weeks ago my friends that I went to the auction with came out to our house to pick apples and grapes. It was amazing how fast we got one tree done with 9 people! I had no idea how many apples were on one tree. After we cleaned off about two trees we started working on the grapes. A lot of them were shriveled up like raisins, but some were still plump.

Once we had picked all we dared, we went in and started processing. We used the juicier our friends brought and juiced grapes. It was really funny to listen to the shrieks and giggles as the juicer spewed seeds all over the place while BMW and I sat in the living room taking care of the babies and watching Phineas and Ferb. They juiced until about 11 o’clock, when everyone decided it was time for bed.

The next morning we finished up the grapes and by the time the MWs got here we were ready to start on the apples. by the end of the day we had apple juice, canned apple pie filling, and just plain apple slices!  A few days later, Meg and Claire made apple cake. It was awesome! Meg’s was like cookie topped pudding and Claire’s was like banana bread, except with apples. Both were delicious and wonderful for breakfast the next day.

Food, Pictures

Italian Swirl Bread

Hello!

Yes, part 2 is coming, but I thought I’d let you know what’s going on first! 🙂

I have decided to start trying to post once a week. This should get rid of the long gaps between rapid fire machine gun posting.

A few days ago I got the baking bug, so I decided to make cinnamon swirl bread. I saw a recipe in one of Mom’s “Cooks Illustrated.” They take a recipe and work on it until it is “perfect,” so I thought this would be a good one to try. The article began by talking about how the author had been looking for the “perfect” cinnamon raisin swirl bread. None of them turned out how he wanted, until one day he found it.  In an airport in Japan, of all places! He later talked to a Japanese chef who taught him how to make it with the Japanese techniques that made the bread just right. As you can imagine, this kind of overwhelmed me. I had no Japanese flour or equipment, and although his actual recipe called for more common ingredients, it was still more than I was willing to do (have I mentioned it was 9pm?). I liked his method of incorporating the swirl. He used a style of rolling and twisting called a Russian braid.

I decided I didn’t want to make cinnamon bread, but Italian! I didn’t want to stay up all night waiting for my dough to rise though, so I decided to use Mama’s pizza  dough recipe.  The cinnamon bread recipe said it would be a very sticky dough, so the pizza dough worked great. It was so sticky in fact, that I couldn’t really work with it once I dumped it out of the KitchenAid. After some trial and error (and wrestling) I got the dough flattened out and cut in two. I put one half back in the bowl and spread my butter concoction on the other.  I rolled it up, cut it down the middle and twisted it up. After repeating the process with the other half, I put my bread in the oven.

And this is the deliciousness that ensued.Would you care to try for yourself?

2T yeast

2 C warm water

2 t honey

2t salt

1t oregano

2Toil

filling

1 stick butter, softened

2t oregano

2t garlic salt

5 cups flour (I have used all white and a mixture of whole wheat and white, I’m going to try it with all whole wheat but I haven’t yet)

Pour water in mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water, let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in honey, salt, 1 t oregano and oil. Add 2 cups flour and mix. Change to dough hook and mix in the rest of the flour.

While dough is mixing, combine butter, garlic salt and oregano.

Split dough in half. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface such as a cookie sheet, cutting board or clean counter top, and flatten dough (might help to sprinkle flour over top of this too). Spread half of the filling on the dough and roll up. Using a sharp knife (I used a chef’s knife) cut in half long ways. Twist strands cut side up, fold in half and put in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with other half.

Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 35 minutes.

Hope this works for you! It’s one of our new favorites.

Farm and Family, Food, Pictures

Produce Part 1:Tomatoes

Hello folkses!

Sorry I haven’t written much, I wasn’t very sure of what to write about, but our last few days activities have inspired me!

A few weeks ago a friend invited me to go with her a produce auction. I had NO clue what to expect, I had never been to an auction, let alone a produce auction. Oh well, I went anyway. This is one of my best friends and it would get me out of cleaning the house for the lady from the homeschool group who was coming that evening.  

The night before when I was getting ready I thought about bringing a sweater because it had been surprisingly cold. We headed out in their awesome, huge truck. We went into town and got on the highway. It was a twistier, turnier road than I had ever thought was around here. o.O Once we got there it was neat to see all the buggies. It reminded me of when we lived in Kentucky.  I was talking about it later with mom trying to figure if they were Amish or Old Order Mennonite. I’m still not sure, it’s so had to tell. There was a little girl holding her daddies hand, I told mom “It would have made a great picture, but I wouldn’t want to, you know, steal their souls or anything.” She got a big kick out of that, but you might not get it.

Anyway, we got to the auction and got out of the truck, then walked to the pole barn/pavilion thing where they had everything set up. We walked around and waited for the auction to start. There were a lot of smells. Pungent produce and even people.

The auction started and quickly got boring. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, I might have caught on if the speaker hadn’t been so loud. It’s really amazing that people can talk that fast (I think Claire could do it). BMW and I went back to the truck to play cards. Once we exhausted the supply games we knew (I won one :P) we went back to the pavilion. After a while we started loading tomatoes, and boy, were there tomatoes. I lost count of how many boxes there were, but it was somewhere around 20 of those 25lb boxes. There were onions and melons too, but nothing in mass like the tomatoes.

We went back to the house and began canning. I hadn’t ever processed tomatoes, let alone canned them! I learned quickly, to process tomatoes. I’m still not sure how to can, but we skinned and cut tomatoes until my eyes were truly crossing (I’m not exaggerating! I would look up and not be able to see right!). I believe the count I heard last was 40 quarts of tomatoes. I would certainly believe it. I’m pretty sure my hands have never been wrinkly for as long as they were that afternoon.

I’m sure there’s a good lesson in there somewhere. Perhaps not to try to get out of work, it will just get you more work. Or maybe, beware the unknown. All I know is my previous dislike for tomatoes was greatly reinforced.

After we got done for the day I got sent home with some tomatoes, onions, squash and watermelon sized cantaloupe (and not just a small watermelon, a large one). Since we don’t really eat tomatoes much I didn’t take many, and they sat in the box for a few days. But then I thought of something to do with them! Salsa! I hadn’t ever made it before so I looked up some recipes. We didn’t have all the things for any of them, so I decided to just wing it. My first attempt was ok, after some tweaking. We decided to leave out the onion and try again. This time it was muy delicioso! :9  The only problem was the overpowering “raw” smell, next time I think we will roast the tomatoes and jalapeno.

1 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and as much water squeezed out as possible

1 capped jalapeno

1T lemon juice

approx 1-2 t garlic salt

Mix everything in food processor. (try either oven roasting or just cooking on stovetop)

Annie out.

Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Food, Musings, Pictures

Unfinished business

Hello!

I have returned from my writing hole! Actually, I haven’t, as it  is also known as the basement, and that is where the computer is. Plus, I’m… writing… now… Hmm… Oh well. 🙂

What I mean to say is, I’m done with NANOWRIMO (yay?). 🙂 Actually, that’s not true either. My story is FAR from done, it still has some gaps where I couldn’t think of anything, so I just moved on with another story point. But I did reach my goal! I made it to 15,000 on Tuesday.  I’m still working on it, just not as fervently as before.  I learned many things during the month. I learned some new words, or rather, instead of using, say, enthusiastically, or excitedly, I just used the word fervently (I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that word before). 🙂 I learned just how many 1,000 is (and 10,000 is huge). I learned that, even though it may take an hour to write, it may only take a few minutes to read, and it won’t neccicarally be good. I learned about the adventure of everyday life.  I learned I can write 1,000 words in a day, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Not all of this was because of NANO, but maybe became manifest in my story.

Now, I will have you know, I did not spend my whole month writing. On the contrary, I finished (Yes! Me!*gasp*) a lot of crafty project things I started months, maybe even years ago!

I finished my scrapbook! BA BA DA DUM! You may see pictures of it HERE (Maybe, first person to read this has to click the link and tell me if it worked 😉 Thank you Rae)

I made TWO (count ’em!) pairs of fingerless gloves! These are the ones I made for Hannah’s Birthday. I came up with the pattern with this pair.  So, see? Not only did I finish an old project, I started two new ones (Or you could count it as 5, four for the gloves and one for the rope on Hannah’s), and finished them too!

(Annie leaves to get a “Buttersquashy”) Mmh. Warm cookies are THE BEST! OOH! (runs upstairs to get milk) Ok, now it’s the best. Yum. Mmh. See? I finished that cookie too! Sigh, yep those are pretty much the best cookies. What’s that? You want a “best cookie ever” too? Ok then. 🙂

Buttersquashies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/4 cups AP flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick oats

1-3/4 cups (or more) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375°

Beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine dry ingredents. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch, mix well.

Bake on parchment paper for 8-10 minutes.

As I said, pretty much the best cookies ever.

Ok, what was I saying again? Ah yes.

I also memorized my quiz stuff (Still working on it, but it’s a whole lot better than last month, or the month before that). I am much more ready for the quiz Saturday (OMGOODNESS the quiz is Saturday) *faints* *recovers* Ok, maybe I should go study… Nah, I’ll finish this, I have abandoned my friends (I’m sure they have been struggling all month, not knowing what I’VE been doing lol). 

I worked on a few short poems (as part of my story, but I wrote them alone, they just happened to fit.)

The trail rolls ever on and on

Connecting hill and dale

And I too must now march along

On this lonesome trail

The sigh of trees the only sound

As I march to the trails end

The crunch of leaves upon the ground

The call of birds my only friend

I stuffed the turkey! Dad did the dance, Meg and Claire cut the oranges and onions and I stuffed it! 😀 It was gross. I had butter up past my wrists :P. We put a stick of butter under the skin on each side and one on the inside. Gross, but very moist and good after it’s cooked. 🙂

On a different note,

Bunny has started jumping her fence. It is just one wire of electric fence that we move every few days to give her new grass (We don’t have any permanent fence up yet). It’s just about knee high, so she can’t duck under it, but still not just walk out.  I have seen her do this twice. The first time, I was out with Adam and Hannah and she was trying to follow us. The second time, Dad and I were bringing her water in the back of the lawn tractor, and she freaked out and bolted. Now, she doesn’t just walk over the fence like you would think of a cow doing. She high jumps. Like a show horse. At first Mama and Daddy didn’t believe me, thought I was kidding. But then Adam and Hannah said the same thing. Yeah. 😐 We have the weirdest animals…  Must be the names.

I think I’m going to change my template. I want my sidebar back. :

Wow, that is a long post. I guess I should stop now.

Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Food, Pictures

Visit one, Check

One visit down, two more to go! 😀

WE SURVIVED!  No, I’m not referring to our friends visit (it was AWESOME fun!).  Well, in a way I am.   Our friends who were spending the night were still here, and hung around ’till later in the afternoon. 🙂  You may have heard about all the bad weather in Kansas City.  We had a tornado warning, so we hid out in the basement from about 11 to about 2.  Supposedly there were a few touchdowns around us, but it didn’t really even rain that much!  We didn’t have any damage at all, so, don’t worry! 🙂

OOH! I did something really cool! 😀  In the latest edition of Backwoods Home (A magazine), they have an article about making your own firestarters… Well, yeah… I had to… 🙂 Here’s how I did it:

Firestarters

1 paper egg carton

2 bricks gulf wax

Fuel, aka, assorted flammable goodness: any part of a pine tree, (though needles and cones are traditional 🙂 ), dryer lint, dog fur (from brushing), cotton balls.  I used pine cones (breaking the lobes off) and needles.

Get your cartons and everything ready, fuel in the egg cartons.  Put it on a cookie sheet (mine had oil on it from baking something the night before).  Melt wax (I melted it in a glass jar in a pot of water because we don’t have a double boiler).  Pour melted wax (be very very careful!) into the carton, just enough to hold the fuel.  Put them in the fridge to harden.  When it’s solid, cut cups a part and light wisely. Don’t play with matches or fire 😉 .

It is a little hard to light (at least I had a hard time, I’m wondering if it’s the matches though), but once the carton is lit, your good.  Mine burned about 1/2 an hour (I think lol).  

Would you believe that our library doesn’t have Kidnaped?  I had to order it from another one!  It came in a few days ago and I picked it up yesterday. I”m already to chapter 6 🙂 even with company over lol!  I’m really liking it!

Ok, I must go to bed now. G’Night!

Food, Short

Amy’s Dutch Apple Pie

2 C ap flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/2 t salt
3/4 C (stick and a half) butter, melted
4 C peeled, sliced apples (I like Granny Smiths)
1 T cornstarch
3/4 C white sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 C water
1/2 t vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients and stir until blended. Measure 1 1/2 C of this mixture and set aside for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom and up sides of 9 in. pie plate. Arrange apple slices in plate and set aside.
Combine white sugar, cornstarch and salt (1/2 t) in saucepan. Whisk in water. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour hot mixture over apples. Crumble reserved topping over pie. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Then, cover with foil and bake 15 more minutes.

Note: I’m soooo glad I can wear my boots again! 🙂 lol
Food, Pictures

Welcome Home Kitty!!!!

Hi friends!

Well we’ve got some big news!  Saturday we moved out to our little farm south of Kansas City.  We have 10 acres, with a little pond.  Sunday we went to go get the puppy we looked at last weekend.

Kitty is a German shepherd, Australian shepherd, Border Collie, Lab mix.  Basicly a mutt. She’s about 8 or 9 weeks old. I think she must be nocturnal. Because it seems like she’s never awake during the day, but at night, when she’s in her crate, she will not go to sleep! Last night she was barking and whining all night long!  Even when we put her downstairs (She had been in my brother’s bedroom across from ours) we could hear her carrying on.  She’s too cute to be mad at for long. 🙂

Yesterday the people came to mow the hay (They mow it for free for their horses).  Earlier we went out to the wild black berry bushes to see if any where ready to pick (they weren’t).  The fields look very different! 

Hm… let’s see… What could I write about… Well, today we picked berries.  There weren’t many. From what we got yesterday and today, we have 2 cups. -_- Hm, let’s see. At this rate, by Thursday I should have enough for a cobbler! lol   Would you like the recipe? I thought so!

Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

Filling,

  • Cuppa Sugar
  • Quarta Berries or Chopped Fruit
  • Splasha Water

Put sugar and fruit in sauce pan.  If very dry, put in a splash of water. Boil until thick.  Set aside to cool.

Topping,

  • Cuppa Flour (Self-rising)
  • Cuppa Sugar
  • Cuppa Milk
  • Sticka Butter (Melted)

Mix sugar and flour ingreadients in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and milk. It will look very thin.

Pour filling into square baking pan.  Pour topping over top (gasp).  You can stir it up, or leave it like this. Bake at 450 for 20-30 minutes or until it has pulled back from the sides a little.

Note: you can use a quart and a half of fruit and double the topping to fill a 9x13x2 pan.

Hope this works for you! We love this and eat it many ways. Hot from the oven topped with Ice Cream (I like to mix them up in my bowl :D), cold from the fridge for breakfast (don’t frown! most pancakes are as bad or worse for you than this!).

Yum. Lasagna for dinner. 😆

Adios!

Food

Hummus

Have you ever tried hummus? If you haven’t, it’s a dip made from garbanzo beans or chick peas (same thing). One dips either tortila chips, tortilas or pita bread. It’s pretty salty/sour. I made hummus for my very first time yesterday. here’s my recipe:

Hummus

15 oz can chick peas( garbanzo beans), drained

¾ t. garlic, minced

1 ½ – 2 T. lemon juice

1 T. peanut butter

paprika to taste

soy sauce to taste

salt to taste

water

1 T. olive oil or vegetable

Blend in food processor until creamy (will be grainy), thinning with water as necessary.

Lioness

Food

More Brownies

Lovable’s Brownies:


Peanut Butter Chip Brownies
three 1oz squares baker’s chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line 8X8 pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
In heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter on low, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cool.
Stir sugar into melted chocolate mixture until sugar is dissolved. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating with wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in vanilla.
In bowl, stir together flour and baking soda.
Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake 33 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.