Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday 02/07/2015

This will be a short post. I'm trying to keep them short but blog daily.  This isn't a pretty post either...more practical. You probably already know this but if you were raised by a career woman and you were a career woman and you never had home economics you might find this enlightening like I did! LOL!
I used to throw meat from the grocery store into the freezer "as is" but I would get freezer burn if it stayed in there for any length of time.  I "googled" how to prevent freezer burn and here's what I learned. 
1.  You need freezer paper...duh, this has been sitting in my sewing room for years as I use it for my wool appliques....who knew it was called Freezer Paper for a reason? LOL!
2.  You also need freezer "tape" which I did not have but in watching a video it looked a lot like masking tape and I had that so I used masking tape.  I went to the store later and looked for freezer tape and they had some and guess what?  It looked just like masking tape, imagine that?!?!
3.  As usual I left out a few pictures in the process (I need a camera person) as my hands were all bloody from handling the meat.  But the next step is to take the meat out of the original packaging and throw it all away....the packaging not the meat!  The packaging it comes in is not meant to be permanent (although THEY, the stores, freeze it that way sometimes....I guess if THEY do it it's okay?).  You lay a sheet of freezer paper with the plastic side on top and lay your meat on that.  Wrap it up by overlapping the paper and taping it tightly with  no pockets of air.
 4.  Then you put it inside an appropriately sized plastic freezer bag and remove as much air as possible from that too.
5.  You can either label the freezer paper or the plastic bag.  I labeled the plastic but next time I will label the freezer paper as I will wash and reuse the bags.  When you label be sure and put the amount, the type and the date you froze it.  Yes, I have actually not labeled things and then wonder why I can't figure out what it is without defrosting it....kind of like "mystery meat".....not great for meal planning either.
 You all are probably way ahead of me on this stuff but this is the sad story of what happens when a career gal retires.  Some days I feel like I'm back in kindergarten! LOL!  But I'm still able to retain knowledge so I guess that's a good sign!
Happy Trails!

Friday, February 6, 2015


 Here's a collage of last year...February 2014................
I mailed a birthday present (long overdue) to my SIL and I forgot to take a picture but I decorated the outside of the box with flags and cupcakes and Happy Birthday banners.  It was really festive!  It includes some Italian bread sticks, a Grit bread magazine (he bakes bread), homemade Spanish Olive Oil Tortas (he spent year in Spain during college) , and an Arkansas Razorback pen (he's an Iowa Hawkeye fan but you can't find any of that down here! LOL).  I hope he likes it.  Who doesn't love to get a package in the mail?

Here are the tortas I made.  I buy 4 for $5.00 of Inez Rosales Spanish Olive Oil Orange/Anise Tortas (imported from Spain) when I go to Mountain Home about once or twice a year.  It's a real treat so I researched how I could make them from scratch myself.  They're not that difficult and they're good but not as good as Inez's.  I'll keep experimenting.  These particular ones are baked and actually it's a healthy dessert with little sugar or fat.  They are great with a cup of tea or coffee.
The weather has been nice (in the 50's) so I've been out in the  I bought a big package of dry wall hooks that accommodate 3 different weights and started hanging things on the garage walls.  The dry wall hooks are curved and you just turn them until they pierce the drywall and they curve up into the wall and you're left with a strong hook.  I got mine at Wal-Mart....where else?

It's amazing how organized you can get when you get things off the floor.  I also filled a garbage can with "trash".  It felt good to get out there and organize things but I still have more to's a big garage!  I'll probably get rid of that big old coal shovel too as it is heavy and I cannot see myself ever using it for anything.  I'll be having a garage sale this Spring for sure!
After the warm weather we got a dusting of snow and it turned colder but now it's supposed to be in the 60's tomorrow and near 70 on Sunday...more outside work!
Notice the green among the snow?  There are dandelions out there too.  Nothing ever really dies here.
The birds are really enjoying the seed and today I bought plain black sunflower seeds and a suet package.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of variety in birds though.  Mostly cardinals, a bluejay occasionally, sparrows and that brown bird ...a thrush?
I hope you are enjoying the weekend which just began!  Happy Trails!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Modem problems....

Yesterday and the day before and probably today, I've been having modem problems.  I will probably have to get a new one but for now I have a "get around" but it takes time.  I also tried (unsuccessfully) to make a collage using Picnik but had to go back to Picasa.  So there is a collage from January 2014.  A little crafting, a little cooking and a little cozy but not nearly the collages I've seen with dozens of finished projects.
Before I had my modem problems and needed to post my YOPs on Sunday  I had mentioned a trip to Wal-mart.  Not exciting except to me as they are carrying more and more organic and non-GMO and naturally raised foods.
The prices are also getting more reasonable.  That bag of carrots was only .92 cents.  I was doing my Happy Dance!

Eggs were one of the first organic products they carried.
This is the closest I can get on antibiotics or hormones which also means that they are not raised in crowded unsanitary conditions which was the reason they were using antibiotics in the first place.  So, that is progress.
 I asked the butcher that was out there and he said this was the closest to organic they had at the moment.  He also told me about this great sale and that if I froze it gently and then took it out and sliced it before it was too frozen; I could get 7 or 8  center cut pork chops out of it!  Deal!
The day before I go to the store I usually clean out my frig and use up whatever leftovers are in there.  The 3 best meals to use up leftovers (depending on the type) are scrambled eggs, pizza and soup.  I had leftover green onions and radishes and some cooked bacon so scrambled eggs seemed appropriate.  I make my scrambled eggs in a buttered pie dish in the microwave.  They turn out fluffy and moist that way.  I have also found that using cream or half and half makes them even yummier!
I also (finally) made some natural dog treats for the girls.  These are blueberry and so far they've never complained or turned up their noses at them! LOL!

The circles are for Nitty and the little hearts are for Annie.
Here's the recipe if you're interested.  I got all my flours from Amazon.  This was from Martha Stewart's employee's Mother, lest we give Martha any more credit than she deserves.  Most dogs have a problem with wheat and my Nitty tends to be very allergic getting a monthly shot and no beef or wheat in her diet.  Thus, the search for natural treat recipes. 

·         ieldMakes about 30


·         1 1/2 cups oat flour
·         2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
·         3/4 cup flax meal
·         1/2 cup frozen, organic, unsweetened blueberries
·         1/4 cup olive oil
·         1 large egg


1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
2.      In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients with 1 cup water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
3.      Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
4.      Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Happy Trails!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

YOP Week #31

The end of the week got a little crazy but here I am...fighting off a cold in my eyes and my head but it hasn't gotten me down yet just slowed me up a bit.
I finished the wash cloth and it went to it's recipient, Carol, at the bank, who was retiring.  I wrapped it up with a little bar of handmade soap.  I think she liked it.  It was knitted and she doesn't knit so I thought she might appreciate it.  I also finished another cowl.  I wove in the ends on this one.....
and then started and finished this one.........
I like these  much better than turtlenecks for keeping my neck warm and they don't "choke" me like some turtlenecks which are too tight.  I'll be making a wardrobe of these! LOL!
I'll be trying some other patterns too but this one is so easy!
This is how it looks on the ends though as it is a circle.........but it's not noticeable when you have it wrapped around your neck.
I finished this book too and it was great! Funny and entertaining and great Vermont cheese recipes in the back.  I'll be trying some of those! It was her first book but I hope it wasn't her last.
  She and her family left the mid west and moved to their dream state of Vermont and bought a country store...non-fiction for one could make that stuff up! LOL!
I also got my favorite seed catalog in the mail.....Baker Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri...I'll be dreaming and then ordering............
I'm off to go curl up and knit and watch the  Superbowl........GO SEAHAWKS!
I'll catch up with everyone this week....promise! LOL!
Happy Trails!