cooking, food review, grateful

cookies and bacon bits

One of the reasons that I started a dog cookie business back in 2005 was because our boys moved to college and beyond (those rascals).  I loved baking for them.  I knew right away that I could not bake as much for Mr. Right and I.  We tried to share often, just wasn’t enough.  So I bake cookies for dogs.  No calories for me and I still get to feed that baking addiction I can’t seem to quit.

Fall is in the air, YIPPY!  I love back to school time.  We love to donate school supplies & take little extra supplies to kiddos we know.  A little (soon to be) first grader said, Miss Daleen can you please bake some chocolate chip cookies with NO nuts for my lunch box?  I can’t imagine under what circumstances that I would not bake an entire batch of goodness for her and her (soon to be) fourth grade brother!  My oven has been going full steam ahead.  While the cookies baked and cooled I decorated little boxes for each of them.  I wrapped up the cookies two at a time , for easy freezing and filled the boxes to the brim.  I tied one box with a pink ribbon and one with purple and gold ribbon (Go Huskies!).  ps.  I made two of those beauties with no chocolate chips.  Being the chef does indeed have privileges.

While cookies baked, I continued my interest obsession with cooking/baking/trying almost every single thing in Lindsay Nixon’s ( I love Lindsay, sounds like a great tv show!) “The Happy Herbivore” cookbook. http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Happy-Herbivore-Quick—Easy/dp/1936661381/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346356818&sr=1-1&keywords=lindsay+nixon%27s+happy+herbivore Today’s success was found on page 137. Bacon Bits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this makes me.    So happy, I want to bake a potato right now and toss on some of these orbs of goodness!!!  I want to make baked potato soup “like all the other mothers” …name that movie……I can’t remember how many years, probably over 20 since I have enjoyed a good Bacon Bit.  These puppies have no MSG and no pork………..she had me with the picture.  I would have to say two thumbs up and 5 gold stars!  Only two thumbs up because Mr. Right hasn’t had the honor of trying these yet.   Do yourself and your family a favor, check out her book, better yet, buy it.

grateful, product review

soap bubbles and a movie

With some limited abilities, I am not able to get on my  knees and scrub the devil out of my shower floor.  Oh the scrubbing reminds me, I do love that scene in the 2000 movie “Chocolat” where the housewife is scrubbing the shower…………..sorry I digress.  I love the shoes the main character wears.  I love that they embarrass her little girl.  I love the pretend world the little girls sees as so very real. I love that the curtain is pulled back to see the rawness behind the scenes of the church leader.   So worth watching again.  Actually, for some silly reason, it is one of the 6 DVD’s that we actually own.  weird.

Don’t you love it when friends share great tips and recipes?  (you are a gem CJ), she shared a wonderful little honey of a recipe.  Because of some shoulder difficulties, she can not scrub the devil out of her shower either.

My new shower cleaner is:

1 part warmed white vinegar (warm the vinegar for the initial mixing, mixes easier)
1 part blue Dawn Dish liquid

Mix in a spray bottle.  Spray.  Let sit a bit.  Rinse.
Not too bad on the environment.  Pretty darn cheap and already uses the white vinegar I buy by the gallon for cleaning anyway. I would have to say two thumbs up.

Now, sure I am going to have to sweet talk Mr. Right into really giving it a good “Army scrub” once a week or so, but for every day upkeep, I am loving this blue magic. Love to hear what you think.

Today, I am grateful for:  540.  watching paratroopers slip out of a C130 and the parachutes open one by one  541.  coffee, you know I am grateful for that  542.  cool animal print band aids  543.  Mr. Right leaves a letter for me each morning  544.   his stick figure drawings  545.  the extra sticky notes he leaves by the computer each day  546.  I love the yellow colored paper  547.  having 14 days of food for the dog made and in the freezer  548.  a companion to walk every day  549. yesterday, wearing my pretty sparkle earrings that my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas  550.  really nice silverware  551.  high quality baking cocoa  552.  having money to buy school supplies for kiddos that don’t have enough  553.  cherry tomatoes ripe and waiting for me to pick  554.   colorful art that inspires me  555.  found a sweet girlie purse to use for the wedding  556.  pale pink t-shirt under a grey sweater  557.  postcards ready to send  558.  manners  559.  good listening skills  560.  phone manners  561.  supplies to make bubble bath  562.  Grace given to me freely, it’s Amazing

good behavior, grace, grateful

a charming birthday girl

Today, is my friend’s 50th birthday. Today, the things I do and the actions I take are all to honor her.  We have been friends since we were four years old.  She is a stunning, tall drink of water with gorgeous long blond hair.  She has young kiddos still at home.  She is a “horse girl”.  She has this amazing spirit of pure goodness. This quote always reminds me of her………”Charm is a glow within a woman that casts a most becoming light on others.” In photographs you can see the strength that emanates from her.  She is a smart cookie.  She collects heart shaped rocks.  She is continually learning to be a better person.  If you met this woman, you would say, she has Grace.  Her actions are of kindness.  She has high morals and values.   Talk about a giver?  Wow, the amount of young people that she inspires, helps, lifts up, puts above herself, takes under her wing…………just takes your breath away.  Oh and one more thing  she is married to a dentist……………..urgh…………..yeah, yeah, nice guy…………blah, blah, blah………….this typed by the girl who failed one year of “dental fears” therapy!  sigh………………Okay, so you are asking yourself…..how on earth can a curly, dark, haired, empty nester, kayak loving, short (next to her), quilter, baker, piano practicing, museum loving, seamstress, that is a teeny bit nervous around (read that as intimidated by) horses and collects rolling pins and sea glass………….remain friends all these years?

Our hearts are somehow connected.  We are connected by the memory of making little flowers out of kleenex and bobby pinning them to our hair.  We are connected because we went to the same elementary school and university.  We are connected because we played dress up in the font yard in our mother’s dresses.  We are connected because we made “chive” soup in the back yard for our siblings.  We made them eat it, haha.  The recipe you ask?  Pick fresh chives from the garden, then add water from the hose.  TA DA!……..

How on earth could I start the day with a Poptart and coffee to bring honor to my friend or for that matter honor myself?  Today, I started the day with amazing glass of  juice. Oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries topped off with some sunflower seeds filled my bowl.  As my oatmeal cooked, the deep, red, strawberries were thawing.  I love that we froze some from earlier in the summer.  The  jaunty blueberries were tossed in and thawing as well.  (this year we picked 7 quarts of berries plus more here and there off of our two, yep TWO Blueberry bushes).  I made myself a glass of juice as I waited for my oatmeal to finish.  I grabbed a bowl and headed outside.  I picked some cherry tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, basil & mint.  Then back inside, I gathered up a fresh carrot, a couple leaves of beet greens, fresh garlic and a big chunk of ginger.  I included celery, cucumber, a slice of juicy red pepper, a pear, an apple and a handful of watermelon.  Stuffed it through the juicer and drank deeply.  How easy is that?  Love, love that I bathe myself in the Grace of a fresh glass of goodness in the morning. 

Today, Mr. Right and I will deliver school supplies we are donating for the new school year. Every kiddo needs new supplies, brand name supplies!  I will gather a few more goodies for a care package that will fly its way to a medical student.  I have a couple of bags of Goodwill items to drop off. I will ride my bike four miles and walk the dog two.   I will honor my friend by my actions.  I am a better person because she is part of who I am.  I somehow feel held to a higher standard because she is in my heart.  No, she doesn’t know or hear about every single “good” action or deed that I do.  My actions are my own.  I am proud to call her my friend of 46 years.  I want to behave in a way that would make her say the exact same thing of me.

A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can.  ~ emerson

Today, I am grateful for:  524. a long time friend  525.  the woodpecker knocking on my bird feeder  526. juicer and juice  527.  chive soup  528.  memories of playing dress up  529.  my dryer  530.  a chicken cooking on the stove for my dog  531.  books  532.  fresh herbs  533.  Mr. Right  534.  a sleeping Golden Retriever near my feet  535.  a huge basket of green apples  536.  chimes on our clock  537.  dinner planned out for tonight  538.  two working headlights  539.  the promise of rain in the forecast

cooking, grateful

Grab 40 bananas, Say GRACE and dig in!

Sometimes, every once in a while, you hit the jack pot.  Yeah, the sweet discovery of a great find!  The rush.  The excitement.  The sweaty palms.   You KNOW what I am talking about.  Once you put your “treasure” in your shopping cart…………that special spring in your step.    I came across these beauties…………………

40 of them………..just waiting for ME to pay $2.00 and take them home!!!!!!!!!!!  Be still my heart!  Yes, you read that correctly, I struck gold.  I found two bags of 20 each and each bag was only $1.00.  WOOT WOOT!!!!

I rolled up my sleeves, put on my adorable April Cornell apron and magically turned those beauties into these beauties:  The recipe is a snap and turns out wonderful.  Take 3 large bananas, mashed.  3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 stick of butter (or earth balance).  Mix together.  Add: 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.  Here you can add chopped up walnuts if that is to your liking.  Place that into two loaf pans.  Bake at 350* for 45 to 50 minutes.  Done and done.  Come up with great people in your life that you want to share with.  Who among us doesn’t enjoy a freshly baked loaf of goodness?

Grab a napkin, cut into one of these beauties for you and your family, Say GRACE, and for the love of pure banana goodness, Dig In.

Today, I am grateful for:  511.  brand new cooling racks  512.  tried and true recipes  513.  digital cameras  514.  printed pictures  515.  looking back over our travel pictures  516.  band aids  517.  shopping on-line  518.  9 bottles of homemade laundry soap filled and lined up  519.  great cookbooks  520.  great lip balm  521.  the smell of bread baking  522.  beans cooking in the slow cooker for dinner  523.  a hot steamy shower

grateful

10 things you didn’t know about me

1.  I don’t care for chocolate desserts.

2.  I iron our sheets and pillow cases.

3.  I listen to Susan Powter every single day.  Yes, she has a potty mouth.  Some how she inspires me, teaches me, and makes me accountable like no one else.  I think she is a gem.

4.  I dislike eating salad.

5.  I went for therapy for a year at the University of Washington.  It was for “dental fears”.  Cost a ton, did not help one bit.

6. I vacuum daily.  I love to vacuum.  Since my knee replacement, it is the most difficult task for me to accomplish daily.

7. When I wake up grumpy and out of sorts, I put on an unusual amount of jewelry that day and it somehow makes me happier.

8. I wish I had grown up to be a pilot.

9. I have zero tolerance for laziness.

10.  I sent my first Tweet today.

Today, I am grateful for: 500.  Having 500 things to be grateful about since June 1st!!!!!!!!  501.  the “bold” feature for font  502.  Having two really great sister in-laws in my life 503.  Tazo Giant Peach iced tea  504.  lots of ice in my glass 505.  the children’s book, James and the Giant Peach  506.  a really good husband  507.  cushion pads for the backs of my vintage clip on earrings  508.  a washer and dryer  509.  a dishwasher  510.  Mr. Right who empties the dishwasher every morning before he goes to work.

food review, grateful

“when the dog bites and the bee stings”

“…when I am feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel soooooooooooo bad.”

Thought I would share a few of my new favorite things today.   Here we go:

 We tried this and found out we like it.  We really like it.  We have used it to top soups.  Mr. Right used it to whip up his wonderful Waffles on Sunday morning.  We have used it to make a herb dip.  I would have to say four thumbs up.  Great replacement for the dairy stuff.  In our neck of the woods, we purchased it at Whole Foods.  I did see it for sale at Fred Meyer.  Both were priced under $4.00.

Next up, we come to coffee.  On a recent trip to Whole Foods, Mr. Right found this in an end cap display.  It was under $6.00 and sounded like something we would enjoy.  I must say  we both were pleasantly surprised.  Since we grind our own beans at home, this fit the bill.  Going to say another four thumbs up.  Really smooth and enjoyable.

 Okay, this makes me swoon.  LOVE this, if I had more thumbs I would give it three thumbs up!  So between the two of us, I will say a hearty four thumbs up.  I first sampled it on a bagel with some lox and capers.  Oh YUM.  So dog gone happy we found a good replacement for the dairy cream cheese.  woohoo.   We have found it at Whole Foods, Marlene’s and Fred Meyer in our neck of the woods and it was around $3.00.

  One of my most favorite finds lately.  I have been on a quest.  It has been about 7 or 8 months now.  I have been trying to find a really good quality, great smelling, NATURAL lotion with NO chemicals that I am will to use on my girlish figure.  Here is the honest truth, I have paid WAY TOO much for little bottles and tubes of lotion, well over the $25.00 price point.  I know, I know………..crazy.  So, when I stumbled upon this new Bert’s Bee’s line…………….gud ………..I gingerly took off the “try me” lid………..I inhaled………….I turned over the tube to read………..I started smiling.    Two thumbs up and two big toes up!  Made in the USA! This is a really great product and the cost you ask………………….$6.99   SCORE!

This is the time of year I finish up reading books for pure pleasure and turn back to “gettin some learnin” books.  This book fell into my lap.  The Orchard, by Jeffrey Stepakoff.  It is a well written love story.  Easy & quick to read.  It takes you away from your life and plops you right down smack into an apple orchard where love blossoms.  It will tug at your heart strings.  I give this book two big thumbs up.  I found this book at my local library, so the cost was  (except for my overdue fine of 40 cents from last time)  FREE!

Today, I am grateful for:  484. the invention of the heating pad  485.  aspirin  486.  envelope system  487.  stickers  488.  well crafted sewing patterns  489.  my vacuum  490.  the juicer  491.  cool morning breeze  492.  morning mist  493.  the “smell” of fall in the air  494.  loafers  495.  text messages from Mr. Right  496.  faithful Retriever companion  497.  friends still in my life from junior high  498.  toast  499.  burnt orange with red stripes dahlias from Mr. Right