Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

This weather is really messing with me:( I have no energy, direction or creativity at all...gone! I meant to make it back last night for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat but didn't then this morning I saw that Carla didn't make it either. 

However, today I made it for Sandra's Happy Homemaker Monday (seems I missed it last week). Be sure to check out Sandra's list at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Welcome and I hope you enjoy your visit.

The weather outside is::::
The temperature this morning when I got up was 9 degrees (F)...brrr! However, we do have beautiful blue sky and sunshine:) Only the slightest breeze.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I had 2 cups of Yerba Mate', a bowl of Cheerios with no milk and a Fuyu Persimmon--yumm!

As I look outside my window:::
The ground is white but the snow is hard and crunchy...not very pretty. I am enjoying the sunshine although we aren't getting much heat from it. 

Right now I am::::
Sitting on the couch typing this post because the corner of the living room where my chair sets is a "dead zone" for our wifi. I can use my iPad in that corner but not the laptop.   

As I look around the house::::
The kitchen really needs some attention as does my desk. The dogs snuggle up to the wood stove as close as they can get without getting burned. Even the cats are staying in more with this nasty cold.   
On today's to do list::::
Laundry....One load of towels in the washer, ready for the dryer and one load that needs to be folded.

I need to do the dishes, make the bed, pick up dog toys, clean my desk (disaster) and tidy up a bit.
Stampin' Up!....I am preparing for this week's Happy Stampers Club plus need to make a swap card for Margarita's Swap; also birthday cards...all for women so they'll be girly:) Oh, and I want to make place cards for Thanksgiving and have seen some great ideas...just have to pick ONE!
Crocheting....Almost finished with the little girl's scarf and headband I have been working on sporadically...hoping to mail it on Wednesday; working on something special for my SIL for her birthday but I can't tell what because she occasionally checks my blog; chomping at the bit to start the beautiful scarf I showed on Friday; still working on the yellow baby afghan; I bought yarn to make potholders and dishcloths as Christmas gifts.

Currently reading::::
Still reading If I Stay but have been doing more crocheting than reading lately.

On the TV today::::
I watched the season finale of The Paradise last night.
On the menu this week::::
No menu but lots of yummy looking recipes I want to try.
What I am creating at the moment::::
Lots of cards today plus the crocheted items I mentioned above.

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
My starter is finally ready and I am going to make a loaf of Artisan bread this week (finally)!

Favorite photo from the camera::::

View from my Livingroom window

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Well, that's it for this Happy Homemaker Monday! Thank you for visiting and I will be back tomorrow with a recipe for Tasty Tuesday! See you then!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Five Things Friday

Thanks for stopping in for a little Five Things Friday! This week has been one of my least productive EVER! It must be the change in weather coupled with the time change this month with a touch of laziness thrown in for good measure.

So, my Five Things on this Friday are...

  • Last Sunday I picked all the bell peppers left in the garden, chopped them and put them in freezer bags--14 bags with 2 cups of chopped bell pepper in each bag! That should last me for a little while:)

Aren't they pretty?!!!

  • I usually order Stampin' Up! products with the thought of how my stamping club ladies will like the products and resultant projects. Today I bought a stamp set I have been wanting and am so anxious to get it! I have no plans to use it for stamping club although I might. I got it just for me:) What do you think? Was it a good purchase??? The projects on Pinterest using this stamp set (Ornamental Pine) are AMAZING!
Sorry about the fuzzy picture...I took it from the Stampin' Up! website
  • My darling son has a birthday on Saturday and will be 42 years old! WOW! Where have the years gone?!!! For at least the last 30 years, I have made him a Carrot Cake every year...his favorite! However, this year he asked for something different but didn't tell me what:( So, I am going to make a totally new-to-me recipe for Chocolate Cake and see how it turns out! Wish me luck! I am not a cake person so I would like anything but a cake! 
  • I bought the yarn this week to make a beautiful scarf...

Isn't it beautiful?!!! I am so anxious to get started on it; just have two little projects ahead of it to finish. To purchase this pattern download for $5 go to Ravelry. You might need an account (free) but Ravelry is a great source for knit and crochet patterns, many of which are free. I thought this one was well worth paying a little bit for:) I am making it in Vanna's Glamour by Lion Brand in Topaz which has a gold thread running through it. So pretty for Christmas!
  • I love a couple cups of Yerba Mate` every morning with a bit of raw honey. I purchase my Yerba Mate` from Oregon Yerba Mate in a 5 pound package although you can purchase much smaller packages. They also have several blends. I purchase the House Blend.

Well, with those tidbits, I am off to get my house cleaned, a birthday cake baked and a big pot of Bean and Bulgar Chili made for tomorrow!

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by and I will be back Sunday night for Carla's Sunday Night Chit-Chat!


Cold Blustery Day in Eastern Oregon

The temperature today stayed in the 20s (F) with snow starting about 8:30 this morning. It started out slow but then gained some momentum netting us 3 inches of the white stuff by evening.

The view from our front door...

And this is the area that just a week ago was covered with beautiful red, white and yellow flowers...

And then there is the poor, pathetic, butchered tree...

Yes, it may still be Fall but Winter visited us today!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tasty Tuesday...on Wednesday...AGAIN!

This week is just slip-sliding away:( I had so much planned but I don't seem to be getting much done. The weather just makes me want to curl up with a book and read...or nap:) Speaking of the weather, Monday the temperature was in the 50s but Tuesday the temperature never got over 32 degrees (F). This morning when we got up the temperature was 12 degrees (F) and the high today was 26! Snow has been predicted for Thursday and Friday. With the wind blowing, it is really cold!

My recipe for today is one I just found on the internet and it was a real winner. As a vegetarian and now a vegan, I have learned to season food with herbs, spices and some interesting concoctions! For years I used a product called McKay's Chicken-style Seasoning and then switched to another product called Bill's Best Chik'nish Seasoning because the McKay's product had MSG in it. I believe they have since removed the MSG. Anyway, I was out of both and the recipe I was making called for McKay's Chicken-style Seasoning. What to do? I am over an hour away from any store that would carry such products. (Light bulb moment here) GOOGLE!!! I Googled using "substitute for McKay's Chicken-style seasoning" and found a recipe that is even better than any chicken-style seasoning I had ever used before. Even if you aren't vegetarian, you might want to try this seasoning as it is GREAT!!!

My Golden Seasoning is minus the parsley as I only had fresh
but it would look really pretty with the dried parsley in it.

Golden Seasoning - Chicken Flavor Substitute
A Great Chicken Seasoning Substitute, naturally gluten free.
1/2 cup soy flour (I used unbleached white flour)
1 1/4 cups nutritional yeast flakes

1/4 cup each onion powder and sea salt

2 Tbsp Italian Herbs
1 Tbsp each paprika and garlic powder

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp each celery seed, sage, and thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

3 to 4 Tbsp parsley
Combine all ingredients, except parsley,  in a food processor and blend until powdery smooth.  Stir in parsley.
Yields: 2 to 2 1/2 cups 
Serving Size: 1 tsp

Preparation time: 5 minutes 
Ready in: 5 minutes
I am interested to explore their website to see what other gems they have!
Thanks for stopping in today. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Welcome to the Sunday Night Chit-Chat hosted by Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily! My photo tonight is of our Butternut Squash patch just before hubby and DS harvested! We are supposed to get our first frost Tuesday or Wednesday so it was time for everything we wanted to keep to come in. More about that later this week:)

So, let's get started with the Chit-Chat!

  • Reading: Still reading If I Stay and loving it!
  • Watching: Just watched Philomena. Oh my! It was an amazing but emotional movie. Judi Dench never disappoints!
  • Listening to: The TV in the background while I am writing this post. I think it might be 60 Minutes.
  • Wishing for: A new Janome HD 3000 sewing machine:) Looks like it will be my Christmas present this year. 
  • Looking forward to: A day out with hubby tomorrow. 
  • Happy you accomplished this week: I got 14 bags of bell peppers chopped up and put in the freezer (2 cups in each bag). 
  • Grateful for: A hardworking and loving husband! 
  • Thinking about: Thanksgiving...guest list, menu, decorations.
Well, that's it for me tonight! Thanks for stopping by! Since I will be out all day tomorrow, I'm not sure I will be able to do Happy Homemaker Monday. If not, I will be back for Tasty Tuesday!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Five Things Friday

It is time once again for Five Things Friday! Today I can throw an eclectic bunch of thoughts at you at once:) So, what do I have to share today???

  • We are still eating (and yes, I'm bragging) tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, butternut squash and kohlrabi from the garden! We haven't had a frost yet though I know it's coming. We generally get the frost before November 15. Today I will be making my All You Can Eat Soup  with goodies from the garden for lunch...yummers!
  • We will definitely be purchasing the Janome HD3000 sewing machine sometime before Christmas:) Yay and Woo Hoo! I decided I want a travel bag for it so I can take it to my daughter's and to crafting get-togethers. This is the one I am looking at although there is a nice rolling bag at Joann's that is tempting...
  • My starter for the Artisan bread I have been itching to make died:( Or I think it died anyway. I am going to give it till Monday and if it doesn't really get going I will start over again. I might need to put a propagation mat under it (slightly heated for starting seeds) to keep the temperature consistent. Our house gets chilly at night because we let the fire go out so I'm thinking we need to try to keep the starter environment closer to 70 degrees (F).
  • I am making a pair of boot toppers and they are so easy and fun! This will be a great gift idea for the ladies on my gift-giving list:) I am currently lusting over this beautiful Pink Elephant "Resilient" Superwash Merino Sock yarn from Expression Fiber Arts only I want to use it to use it for a beautiful lacy scarf. The drawback right now is the yarn is $24 and I am trying to only spend on Christmas gifts right now.
  • I just started If I Stay last night and it is sooo good! The writing is incredible; the kind of book you don't want to put down! I checked it out from the online library so need to finish it soon. Speaking of books, I LOVE paper books that I can hold in my hand and turn the pages however, I have come to appreciate the Kindle App on my iPad. My brother-in-law introduced me to Book Bub. You set up your account and your preferences then you get an email every day with suggestions for you in your chosen categories! There are e-books on the list from FREE to $2.99; I don't think I have ever seen one for more than $2.99. If you have a Kindle, Nook or other reader, check out Book Bub!
Well, that's it for this week's Five Things Friday! I hope you have a great weekend and I will be back on Sunday for Carla's Sunday Night Chit-Chat over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily.

Thanks for stopping by:)


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tasty Tuesday...on Thursday:)

I tried searching my blog for this recipe but couldn't find it so decided it must be time for a repeat. I can't imagine that I wouldn't have shared this recipe as it is a staple at our house.

I have been making this bread since 1999 when I found the recipe on a bag of Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour. The original recipe is for use in a bread machine but I bake mine in Pampered Chef Stoneware Loaf Pans. I think the stoneware gives an extra inch or two of rise to the bread, making it light and fluffy which is hard to achieve in a 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I have changed up the recipe a little from the original but I think you'll like it:) 

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes one 1 ½ pound loaf

1 ½ cups warm water                         2 Tbsp brown sugar (I use Sucanat)
3 ¾ cups whole wheat flour                 1 ½ Tbsp gluten flour
½ cup ground flax seed (opt)               1 Tbsp lecithin granules
1 ½ tsp salt                                       1 Tbsp molasses (omit if using Sucanat)
2 Tbsp oil (olive, coconut, avocado)      3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp Vitamin C powder (opt)

This recipe was originally designed for a bread machine so directions say to “add all ingredients in order suggested by your bread machine manual an process on the basic bread cycle according to the manufacturer's directions.” I have made several changes to the original recipe (surprise!) but it will still work GREAT in a bread machine. If you grind your own wheat to make flour, don't use the bread machine as the bread will raise too much and fall before it starts baking.

I mix my ingredients in a Bosche bread mixer for 10 minutes. Then place in bowl, cover and let rise till double. Punch down and let rise a second time. Punch down, them make into loaf, put in loaf pan (I use Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan) and let rise till double (approximately 30 minutes). Place in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack covered with a cloth or towel. For a softer crust, run loaf under cold water after removing from oven and loaf pan.

NOTE: In place of sugar, I have used applesauce, honey, mashed potatoes and squash. You will need to adjust the water to flour ration if using wet items. With my bread mixer, I just add flour till dough pulls away from the bowl so it's easy.

I hope you get a chance to try this bread as it is delish! In the summer when I take a break from baking bread because I don't want to heat up the house with oven, my family starts yammering for homemade bread in less than a month! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

Well, the best laid plans...:( I was planning to post a recipe for Tasty Tuesday but had a Ladies Craft Day at our church so hustled off to do that. Took a break mid-day to visit my Chiropractor; I hadn't visited him since my fall the end of September. So he got me all fixed up and I went back to the craft thing for a couple more hours. By the time I got home I was really feeling the effects of my Chiropractor!

Something is wrong with my 15 year old but rarely used Viking sewing machine as it likes to blow fuses. I was plugged into a surge strip but blew a secondary fuse anyway so that was the end of my sewing. I didn't even finish one Thanksgiving napkin:( I had to call the sewing machine store in Portland to have them send me some more fuses to the tune of $27! I am thinking I might be ready for a new sewing machine but because I don't sew a lot I don't really need a fancy, expensive machine. I have my eye on the Janome 3000...

This machine is not digital; it's manual so I won't have the issues with the fuses.  I also like this machine because it has a one-step buttonhole just in case I ever need one:) I also like the fact that you can sew through several layers of thick fabric. Since I do craft projects that could come in handy! This machine is $349 at Amazon with free shipping and is on my Christmas list so if you have  any experience with this machine, be sure to let me know before Hubby buys it! 

By the time I got home I was done in so postponed Tasty Tuesday till Thursday!  I will see you tomorrow with a tasty recipe!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

Welcome to Happy Homemaker Monday hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather outside is::::
It's 56 degrees (F) and looks like it might rain today. It's kinda dark and dreary outside.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Okay, I breaking my fast a little today as I am eating a slice of delicious Cranberry Walnut bread with my Yerba Mate this morning:) However, I don't plan to eat anything else the rest of the day.

As I look outside my window:::
Just thought I would show another picture of the tree just outside my dining room window:(

Behind the tree is the building with the solar array that hubby wanted to prevent shading issues on by cutting the tree waaayyy back!

Right now I am::::
Finishing up my toast and Yerba Mate`, writing this post and thinking about what needs to be done today while hubby is away.

As I look around the house::::
Have I mentioned dog toys in the living room?!!! Well, it is a forever thing at this house! Wilson ran around the house sqeaking a toy for about 15 minutes this morning before switching to another toy! I still need to make the bed and declutter the dining room table from the weekend.  

On today's to do list::::
Laundry...Only one load of laundry today but I have a couple loads that were hanging in the Casita that need folded and put away.
Cleaning...I need to clean out the dishwasher, make the bed and declutter the dining room table.

Stampin' Up!...Nothing today but I need to send the Tuesday Update email tomorrow, prepare an order for Thursday, choose projects for Happy Stampers Club on the 19th and make sure I have everything for this month's swap card. Hmmm...that reminds me, I haven't received my swap card for October yet!Crocheting/Crafting...

  • Still working on the yellow and white baby afghan but I am have at least 2/3 finished.
  • Hemming napkins for Thanksgiving and a pocket square for hubby
  • Doll clothes for Granddaughter's American Girl Doll.
  • Swap card for Margarita's monthly swap
Cooking...No lunch or dinner today but tomorrow I am wanting to try a Vegan Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheeze recipe. It looks sooo good and we have lots of Butternut Squash growing in the garden. We bring it in after the first light frost.

Currently reading::::
Just started If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

On the TV today::::
Nothing today unless I get started with some HGTV via Netflix:)

On the menu this week::::
No menu again this week! I have so many new recipes I want to try so hopefully can fit a few new ones in this week.

What I am creating at the moment::::
**See my "to do" list above

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
I mentioned the Butternut Mac 'n Cheeze above but also want to try Homemade Vegan ButterVegan Cheez-its and Tofu Popcorn Chik'n. Yes, the cooler weather brings out the cook in me and I love experimenting with new recipes!
Favorite photo from the camera::::

The Mandevilla is still absolutely gorgeous! It is beautiful growing on the trellis. Hubby will soon cut it back and bring it into the greenhouse where it will bloom all winter long. Then next spring we will bring it back outside where it can grow and bloom all summer and fall.

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Well, that's it for this week's Happy Homemaker Monday! Please come back tomorrow for Tasty Tuesday and I will share another one of my favorite recipes with you.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

So happy that Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily is back from her blogging vacation in time for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat! 
Today the weather cooperated so we could mow the lawn plus hubby and DS cut our tree back...again:(

They actually cut the branches on the other side as well. When they did this last year I thought the tree was a goner but it was beautiful this summer. Hopefully the same thing will happen this time. Hubby said it was shading the solar array we put on the roof last summer and he wants as much solar input as possible this winter.
What are you...
  • Reading? I just checked out If I Stay from the library so will be starting it tonight.
  • Watching? We have been watching several of the HGTV shows that are on fun! Today we watched the movie New Year's Eve...again! I have a habit of forgetting what we have watched and tend to rent movies a second or even a third time.
  • Listening to? The wind blowing outside. All else is quiet:)
  • Eating? We had Curried French Green Lentil Soup with sandwiches.
  • Looking forward to next week? Ladies Craft Day at my church on Tuesday. I am hoping to get some projects finished.
  • Saving $$ for? Christmas gifts. I have some bought but need some gift cards and need to make a few gifts as well. I spent more than I should have when I went to my daughter's last so I am a little short in the Christmas fund.
  • Thinking about? How many to have on the guest list for Thanksgiving. We have invited 7 so far but I am really thinking about adding another family of 4 which would bring our total (including us) to 14. Hmmm...
  • Wishing had went differently over the last week? Everything went pretty well. Of course, I always wish I had been able to accomplish more but that's a given.
Thanks for stopping by! I will be back tomorrow for Happy Homemaker Monday.