Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Party Till The Cows Come Home...

Whats for dinner on this last day of 2008?
At our house we are having...
Spaghetti with meat balls
Garlic Bread
Green Salad
For Dessert...

Peanut Butter Balls(-:
I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years Eve!!!!
Please, Remember to call a sober friend to come pick you up from your party!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frostina is Finished

Due to having a cold and getting ready for Christmas I didn't have time to finish up my snowgirl doll. I just finished her up today. Here she is...

She has a Paper Mache face and charcoal for eyes/mouth. She also has a muslin needle sculpted and painted carrot nose. The hat matches the gloves with the same warm and natural material with fleece trim. I added a glittery Christmas tree pin on the hat.

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and are looking forward to a exciting New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Egg Extraordinare

I gathered eggs yesterday and this was in with the others. I thought it looked extra interesting so I thought I would share it with you. I wonder what happens inside the hen that causes such trauma to the egg shell? Looks painful to me...(-: I will say that in the 18 years I have raised chickens I have never had an egg look like this one. So I guess it doesn't happen to often. I have had eggs with no shell before. Another rare occurrence though. I will blame it on the weather. Its been in the high 20's here so the girls are probably cold. I guess I need to make little jackets for them to wear during this colder weather(-: Seriously though I think I will run to the feed store this morning and get them some straw to sleep in. They liked that last winter. My girls would rather sit on the floor then roost. They are strange birds. Some of them will roost but the others prefer sitting on the floor. Maybe the straw will help warm them up a bit. It is suppose to rain in the next few days. Winter has finally arrived I guess.
Is everyone done with their Christmas shopping yet? I still have a bit more to do. Hopefully that gets finished up today.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Holidays

Nothing new going on but just wanted to share Jacks latest picture. Of course he hates it but doesn't he just look adorable(-: My daughter bought him the t-shirt and it combined with his Christmas blanket is just I posted this picture on Gardenweb too for my "junkin" friends(-:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Something To Make You Smile

I found the perfect Friday cheer up for everyone in the Holiday downers...
Click Here to Watch

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tinsel Garland Wreath

I am working on a tinsel garland wreath. I saw this done on another blog. Click here to see how Nicole made hers! I still need more garland to finish it. Oh..and some vintage Christmas balls! (I am still looking for)It is pretty fun to do. I thought I would share some of my beginning pictures.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Frosty Barbed Wire

As you can see Jack visited us last night. I thought the barbed wire looked especially interesting this morning. I hope you do too(-: Happy Thursday!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Extreme Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe for Rick

Rick your request has been granted...Bon Appetit!
Extreme Vanilla Cheesecake

3 Tahitian vanilla beans. Open the pods and carefully scrape the vanilla seed pulp out. Trying to avoid scraping to hard to avoid getting a lot of the pod lining as it is fibrous. (A little bit is o.k. and unavoidable) put the empty pod of each vanilla bean back into its original bottle and fill up with sugar. Screw on the lids tightly. Next time you make this cheesecake you will have vanilla sugar to use!

32 oz cream cheese, thoroughly softened.
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (if possible use Vanilla Sugar)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
1 ½ cups of Sour Cream
2 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract (Tahitian vanilla extract if possible)

Line the bottom of a 9 ½ inch spring form pan with foil. Butter the foil and the sides of the pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.

Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the softened cream cheese to the vanilla seed pulp in the large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer at low speed until the cream cheese is creamy and the vanilla is thoroughly distributed. Add the sugar and beat at medium low speed until everything is thoroughly creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice. If you like your cheesecake especially fluffy, you could beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes at this step, until the mixture just begins to stiffen a little.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well at low speed and scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract, scraping again and beating well until uniform. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan and pour very, very hot water into the pan around it. (Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps to keep the edges from drying out a d the top from cracking)

Bake the cheesecake for about one hour. To check it, tap gently on the top at the center; it should jiggle considerably, but not seem liquid.

When this stage is reached, turn off the oven, leave the door just slightly ajar, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 45 mins.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven, remove it from the water bath, remove the outer layers of foil, and cool on a wire rack until tepid. About one hour. Then refrigerate over night.
The next day remove cheesecake from the pan…
Run a thin knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake. Remove the side of the spring form pan, and put a layer of plastic wrap and a cookie sheet (or something similar that is flat on top of the cheesecake.) Invert the cheesecake. Remove the bottom of the pan and peel off the foil. Place your serving plate on the bottom of the cheesecake and invert again. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate. For best flavor and texture, you may set the cheesecake out for one hour prior to serving.

If you would like a chocolate top on your cheesecake you may add this next step after it has been refrigerated over night…

Chocolate Cheesecake Ganache

1 cup of heavy cream
2 tbsps butter
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2tsp vanilla
2/3 cup of sugar

Place cream, chocolate and butter in a small saucepan; heat till almost boiling.
Stir as it cooks,with a wire whisk to combine the chocolate into the cream.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and sugar, mix well.
Cool for 10 mins then beat lightly with a whisk until it starts to thicken, but is still pourable.
Pour the Ganache over the cheesecake smoothing as you go so you cover the entire cheesecake evenly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gingerbread House

My daughter and her friend made a Gingerbread House from a Wiltons Kit. She wanted me to share the pictures with you. She said it was pretty fun and not to hard except the pieces didn't fit together that well. She had to improvise with frosting to cover the cracks up(-: Here are the photos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thought I would share pictures of some of the food we fixed!
Here are homemade yams cooking on the stove. They were very tastey(-:

Here is the turkey ready to carve...Our bird was 24 pounds this year!

Here is the cheesecake cooking in the oven...

Cheesecake finished and ready for the Chocolate...

All ready to eat...

My Granddog Gus, bored out of his mind...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Enough Pumpkin for 6 Pies!

I cooked the two pumpkins I had left from Halloween. I have 12 cups of cooked pumpkin! I decided to make a couple pies today and give them to friends that I won't be spending Tday with. I will make 2 tomorrow, keep one and share one with another friend. I froze enough to make two more pies later this Holiday season! I didn't want to let the pumpkin go to waste! They smell yummy. I need to deliver them asap so I don't dig into them. I hope everyone is having fun preparing for their guests!!! Have a good day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Preparing for the Dinner

I have the turkey in the fridge. All the ingredients are bought and ready to be used. So far we have 9 coming to our feast. I plan on making another homemade pumpkin pie. I have another pumpkin to cook and puree. I think I will work on that part tomorrow so it is ready to use. Does everyone decorate their tables or just use paper? I plan to bring out the Thanksgiving dishes. At first I was not sure how many people were coming but now that I know I will have plenty of dishes to use. I did buy Thanksgiving paper plates and napkins for the desserts. I can't wait to get started. I have the whole week off to relax so this should be a fun week!!! I hope everyone is doing well and having a great time with friends and family!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Violet Progress

Here is what they looked like when I got them:

As you can see the violets have all pretty much done good. Except there are two that have not grown any new leaves at all. I started these leaf cuttings on April 3rd of this year. It has been an interesting experience to see them grow or in some cases not grow. Now I can't wait to see them bloom! Stay tuned for the continuing Violet Drama(-:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Violet Revisited

It looked so pretty last night I had to take a picture. It sure has grown since I bought it last spring! It was a scrawny little thing and the leaves were almost white. It has really done well since I repotted it and gave it some fertilizer! Its my favorite plant of the bunch. By the way the leaves I bought last spring are also growing and doing well. Only two leaves have not produced babies yet. It seems like a long time to me but I am still watering the leaves and waiting. I think today I will take a group shot of the differences in the plants. Funny to see them that way when they all started at the same time and were just leaf cuttings! I will post a picture tomorrow(-:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

HaPpY 24th BiRtHdAy To My SoN

Today marks the 24th birthday for my son. I can't believe how fast the years have gone. Its been amazing. We had a bbq here with the family. We all ate to much. It was so hot I had to turn on the air-con. Not sure what the high was for the day but it was 80+. Very unusual for this time of the year. The year my son was born it was a freezing, rainy day. Usually every year since he was born it has been very cold out and we have had frost by now. It sure was nice though to have a warm sunny day today so we could bbq and enjoy the weather(-:
Things are calming down around here and getting back to normal. Or what we can call as normal as we can for what has all transpired over the last week. One day at at time right?(-: Well its time to go lock up the chickens before the varmits get them. I hope you all have a great evening!

Jack gets cake too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall...A Time for Falling

Falling Leaves,
Falling out of love.
My daughter and her newlywed husband have called it quits. We spent the last few days moving her home. It has been time filled with many tears and many unpleasant feelings. Bottom line is her husband of 11 months decided he didn't want to be married. He wants to be free as a bird to do whatever his heart desires. I am glad. I never wanted my daughter to marry him in the first place. She told us on Christmas Day last year that they were getting married on New Years Day. It was a shock to say the least and the way it was handled totally devastated me. Instead of a happy day I was completely depressed, although I did try. No one in the family approved of her husband or thought they should marry in the first place, so its not a surprise to us that its over. It is just hard to deal with and we are all very sad for her.
I spent the months that followed her marriage re doing her bedroom into a guest room. I did enjoy that and it kept me busy and thinking positive. But all that stuff was moved out so we could move her back in!
Of course now I have a whole new load of emotions. One thing for sure is I am thrilled that she is back. But on the other hand I am stressed with having her back. Does anyone understand that one? Of course her coming home means my granddog is also moving back home. So that is fun too.
She has finals coming up for college so is waiting until after that to file for a dissolution of marriage. I hope it all goes smoothly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Frost is Near

I have begun moving my tender plants that I want to save, into a safe location. I brought my beautiful begonia inside to stay for the winter. I hope it will survive. It did not start blooming until a couple weeks ago. It never grew at all this summer. How weird is that? Now it is showing off on my kitchen table(-:
I have an elephant ear plant I moved up against the house. It survived last winter just fine so hopefully it makes it through again. It is so pretty. It was very late to get started growing this year though. Our low temperature here is usually in the 20's if its a clear night. It has gone into the teens before though.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Party Last night...
Me and DH

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

I bought an organically grown pie pumpkin and cut it in half, removed the seeds/strings and cooked it. After it was cooked I cut it up, minus the skin, and put it in the blender. I blended it until it was a nice smooth texture. It made 4 cups of cooked pureed pumpkin. Enough for two pies. (-:
The pumpkin pie recipe for one pie was...
2 cups of pumpkin,
2 eggs,
2/3 packed brown sugar,
three teaspoons of cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg,
1/2 teaspoon of salt,
1 cup of cream.
I mixed everything in the mixer and poured it into the crust.

I make my own crust from 2/3 cup of shortening. I like Crisco Butter flavor. 2 cups of flower and 1/3 cup of cold water.

This is the pie baking in the oven. I baked it at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 mins. It was time to leave for our Halloween party after it came out of the oven so I did not get another picture. It sure was yummy though(-: