Saturday, March 31, 2018


He is a Paint. The first photo he is age 5 and the next is age 11. He belongs to a friend's daughter who lives in Colorado. She rides him well and she has always loved horses. The pictures struck me and so I did what I do with subject material like this.
My first move was to change and distort the backgrounds and flip him horizontally so he can look at himself kicking up his heels and enjoying the day. Then I blended the two images together putting young Gunner in the background for perspective. 
I just couldn't stop, could I? SO MANY OPTIONS! FREE APP!
Don't forget to click on image for details!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Bouquet for Me

"Alstroemeria commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are all native to South America although some have become naturalized in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands." From Wikipedia

I have just received a lovely Spring/Easter bouquet from my daughter who lives nearby. I really care not for cut flowers EXCEPT Daffodils and Alstroemeria. The Alstroemeria last almost a month in the water that has been treated with a packet that came with the bouquet.

This year's are exceptionally beautiful and make me feel happy.

These are last year's blooms...

This is one from two years ago!

please click on image to view larger

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Challenge For YOU!

I DARE you to make these!

Salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread cookies from chef and author Alison Roman. Shown on Inside Edition Show 2018. ENTERTAINMENT - 12:51 PM PDT, March 20, 2018 - 

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) salted butter       (see Note), cut into½-inch pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
6 ounces semi- or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
1 large egg, beaten
*Demerara sugar, for rolling
Flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen, for sprinkling
NOTE: If you find it tragically annoying to buy salted butter just for this recipe, you can use unsalted butter and add  ¾ teaspoon kosher salt to the flour.
DO AHEAD: The cookie dough can be made ahead and stored, tightly wrapped in plastic, up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 1 month in the freezer. Cookies can be baked and stored in plastic wrap or an airtight container for 5 days.
Made with lots of salted butter (it has a slightly different flavor and a deeper saltiness than using just salt—I prefer unsalted butter everywhere else but here), the dough has just enough flour to hold it together and the right amount of light brown sugar to suggest a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate is cut into chunks to prevent chip congregation, and once the dough is formed into a cylindrical log, the whole thing gets rolled in Demerara sugar for the crispiest-ever edges. Less chocolate chip cookie, more brown sugar shortbread with chocolate chunks— they just might be the cookie you’ve been looking for. 
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (two, if you’ve got ’em) with parchment paper. 
2. Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars, and vanilla on medium-high till it’s super light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend. 
3. Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form the dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. You can also do this using parchment paper, if you prefer, but I find using plastic wrap easier when it comes to shaping the log. *Each half should form two logs 2 to 2¼ inches in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
5. Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the *Demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).
6. Slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds, place them on the prepared baking sheet(s) about 1 inch apart (they won’t spread much), and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.
*Demerara sugar is raw, light brown sugar. It’s a large grain sugar that has a golden brown color and a subtle molasses flavor. Substitute with light brown sugar. 

* I made only 2 logs but maybe it meant to make 4???? Well my two were long and 2 inches in diameter!

I also substituted GHIRARDELLI semi-sweet premium baking chips as my store was out of semi-sweet baking chocolate bars and I do not like bittersweet chocolate at all. (No chunk chopping) There is a nice recipe for "regular" chocolate chip cookies on the back of the bag.

One of the most difficult parts for me was dividing and rolling the dough.
The next difficult procedure for me was to cut through the hard dough.
They baked very well for 17 minutes; lovely brown bottoms.
All in all they are absolutely the most delicious cookies I have made in a long while, BUT...I'll never do this recipe again. They are the devil's cookies for being labor intensive. I don't need to work so hard.
please click on image to view larger
...and now I DOUBLE DARE YOU to make these!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Eighty Two

It started out to be a day with new snow on the ground and still coming down. Our plan was to go grocery shopping as usual, every two weeks. We don't travel during bad weather as we can always go a day or two later, but wouldn't you know it suddenly cleared up and we left for the 29 mile one-way trip. After arrival home and putting it all away I checked the phone, and sure enough phone message greetings were left with promises to call later. The calls did come later in the day. Earlier nice cards had arrived via snail mail. I received a couple of e-mail messages saying the card was in the mail, sorry to be late, and quite a few greetings in private messages on Facebook. I really appreciate these cards and greetings no matter what methods were used to convey them to me. Thank you all friends and family!

Today I purchased a container of large cinnamon buns that looked soooo good! The checker put the package sideways instead of flat in my cloth shopping bag. Of course, it was one of the last ones I opened when we were home putting things away. The container had leaked out gooey sticky stuff all over the bottom of the bag. I washed it and put it by the propane heater to dry when only the fan was blowing and the fire was out. I forgot about it until I smelled something burning - well melting not actually burning. Yikes! What a mess then! Apparently it had sucked up to the front and stuck. Guess we'll have to wait until June when we have the heater serviced and see if the technician can get the stuff off.
We split one for lunch and they sure were tasty! 
Now I must tell you about a special card that was hand-delivered! My brother-in-law and I have exchanged birthday cards for many years. He bought one, mailed it and two days later it was returned to him for postage due; $3.00 postage due!
It seems that it is a surcharge for non-bendable cards according to his postmaster.

How are “rigid” letter-size greeting cards priced?
Greeting cards can be classified as “rigid” if it cannot bend and is less than:
  • 11-1/2" x 6-1/8" x 1/4" thick 
  • 3.5 ounces
If they meet these conditions, they will be charged the standard postage rate, plus a non-machinable surcharge.
Did you know that? The card was great and I really appreciate his efforts to get it to me!
This card actually measured 81/4" x 53/4" I don't know what it weighed.

 When I pressed on the spot, "press here" it played  "Feels Good" as the dog scratches his neck and his ear swings when bumped by his paw.  Funny!
Well, I wagged my tail very hard today!

To view the buns and heater larger please click on an image

Saturday, March 24, 2018


I posted the recipe for the way I make this just recently — in fact on January 14, 2018! Well here we go again! REALLY GOOD STUFF! The link with the recipe is at the bottom of this page. The pictures below are from last night. Yes, we do love our mac cheese dinners. Left overs are stored in three one-meal-for-two containers and frozen for another time.
please click on image to view larger

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Missed Out

I watched a TV program Bizzare Foods With Arthur Zimmern last evening that I haven't often stuck with previously, due to not enjoying views of the stuff he tastes and eats. This broadcast was about food from the areas of Louisiana and Maine and Florida.  Now I have been called a "foodie" but now I know I'm not true to the name. I also now know that after watching this show, I've missed out eating both delicacies and plain fare from these places. The saddest part for me is that I absolutely love seafood - any kind, mostly shellfish - but haven't even begun to taste 1/10th of what is out there. First of all most of what I've enjoyed was not even fresh! FRESH is the word that kept popping up when Zimmer was describing his experience eating the lobster, crab, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels and snails. I have tasted all of those. The only really fresh I have eaten right from the sea is a lobster. We went through Maine when traveling on a motorcycle trip to Canada. We stopped and ate fresh lobster at a shack on a bay. Once.
I would love to try octopus, squid, whelk, eel, abalone and more. FRESH lobster, crab, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels and snails would send me to heaven. Fish other than shellfish is favored but usually isn't fresh except the fluke and red drum the Mister caught in SC when surf-fishing. Crappies, bluegill, sunfish, catfish and bass from our lake were tasty too. We once even ate snapping turtle that my brother's wife caught, the fellows killed, and my mom cooked.

Soooooo I think I've decided to be happy that there are eating places fairly nearby that still have some sea dishes I have access to without real freshness.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Bread in a Bag

I must tell you that I have never made bread from scratch. Breadmaker bread from a mix, yes. But from scratch! Never until today. I remember my mother making and baking it often. She did it all by hand. As it was rising in the pans under a damp kitchen towel on top of the steam radiator which had a metal cover, she peeked at it often and knew just when it was ready to put into the oven to bake. My grandmother made it as well, of course, and she also made rusk and cinnamon rolls. That was for Eastertime. The dough for the rolls was rolled out, covered with brown sugar and cinnamon and raisins and then rolled and cut to bake as coiled discs and then when cool, topped with icing.

What inspired me was a recipe I saw on the internet many months ago that was for kids. It sounded easy so I screen shot it and today was the day to give it a try. I just had to try.  I would do a couple of things differently the next time but it was a success! Wonders will never cease. Now I will venture to different kinds. I may even try one in the Big Red mixer soon.

First the recipe for you to see and then the pictures of MY BREAD!
You might like to know more about how I made this. First of all I had a package of four little foil baking pans sized 5 1/2" x 3" x2" and sprayed Pam on three (not two as directed) because there are many different sizes of "mini pans." None was specified.  When it said warm water it didn't say how warm! I remember from the breadmaker it said around 75°—85° and then another on the internet said 110° or less. Well my water temperature when I added it was 100° and I held my breath hoping I hadn't made a serious mistake. Because it said just to cover it with a towel to rise, I remembered how Mother did it with a damp towel on the radiator, so that is what I did on top of our propane gas heater.
  Please click on image to view larger


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Nature's Curtains

Weeping snow climbing down from the roof to cover our bathroom window. How can you not look out? 

March Views

Today the end of the icicles event happened. The Mister took a hand hammer and after tapping lightly several times, they fell. Before he did this I took final photos. This is an annual March occurrence. 
 Last night the regional TV station published a photo that I submitted for consideration in their usual Friday night slide show. The video is entitled "Hope on the Horizon." Screen shots below. (not video)

And yes, James is awaiting spring without his scarf.
please click on image to view larger