Tuesday, November 26, 2013

holiday treats-more or less!

We grew pumpkins again this year. They didn't grow as well as we'd hoped. We had a few white ones which were too small for much of anything and their rinds were THICK. So, I hacked them in pieces, cooked them down, and stuck them in the blender. They made a lovely pumpkin puree, which I then packaged in baggies. I had done this before, but it is always nice to find someone else who has done it as a reference. 
This gal writes a GREAT blog. And her directions are very simple.

I used one of the baggies of pumpkin to make cute little pumpkin pie bites. Jon thought they were named wrong, since they were really just tiny pumpkin muffins with cool whip. (Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites)
I wanted to make cake pops. I did make some gingerbread bombs for Halloween (basically a cake pop using left over gingerbread, rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate) and made those again. However, I wanted to try this pan I got from a friend. It was for 'bake pops' (as seen on TV....). At any rate, I also didn't have a cake mix, so made a homemade chocolate cake. I'll try these one more time with a cake mix, but I was NOT impressed. I used the last of the batter to make mini cupcakes and put white chocolate chips in them. They sort of didn't rise, so I flipped them over and drizzled them with frosting. Jon calls them Krakatoa Kakes.
The few 'balls' that I did, I used a pretzel instead of the plastic stick because I detest waste! The pretzels, however, are nasty after sitting in the cake ball...so they get tossed out anyway! At least, I know they are totally biodegradable!

The last balls stuck to the pans and were a mess. So, after salvaging the things, I ground them up for the kind of cake balls you make with frosting. I didn't have any canned frosting, except purple, (which I will use on my birthday) so I made some chocolate. I learned you CAN use  home made frosting in these and the best kind is butter cream. I used a recipe I found on Wilton's website, only halved it. Some cooks even use flavored coffee creamer as the sticking agent! But, I used the frosting. I made balls, til I realised they didn't' move if I left the bottom flat. (amazing, huh?) Which was really apparent when I pulled them out of the freezer and half of them rolled around on the cookie sheet and the rest stayed in place.
Since I didn't have handles in them, I skewered the frozen delights with a fondue stick from my chocolate fountain. The empty spot on top I drizzled with more chocolate and then added sprinkles. If you want a more professional treat, score around the bottom of the wet chocolate with a toothpick. After it dries, the excess will break off easily and you can pop it back in the melting pot. (I use a small fondue melting pot I got with my crock pot to melt my chocolate)
I also made Kit Kat Blondies, this week.  They were fun to make, just not exactly what I'd hoped for. My next projects will be a yummy Nestle's chocolate candy pizza for my friend Noelle's Thanksgiving birthday and I might use pumpkin for something or other!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cheeseburger Bombs or Another Way to Cook Burger

This was a recipe I found via FB. Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs and since they looked like fun, I thought I would try it! I didn't have some of the ingredients the recipe called for (note: does anyone EVER have the exact ingredients called for in recipes and doesn't everyone change things?) and so I adapted. I used beef that is the yummiest stuff ever ground (the family adds bacon!) and it is remarkably lean. Then, added a Ragu garlic cheese sauce for the cream cheese and a whole egg. I didn't have biscuits..but that is normal. So, I made some and rolled them out thin. I didn't quite get 10, but the tiny one in the middle counts, right?

 Once again blogger has taken my sideways pic and made it vertical again-I really need to figure out how to fix that!
 I was wondering if the bottoms would leak-and there was a tiny bit of juices that escaped, but for the most part, they stayed whole and turned out rather nice.
However, as the kid said as he was eating them, "These are just those Wellington's in a biscuit!" And, he is right. I used different ingredients than I did for the Wellingtons (am sure I did a blog for that in spring 2012....), but they are very similar. And just as filling! The Wellingtons use croissant rolls, so they make a flakier and fancier burger dinner. However, the biscuits are nice and we decided next time I should put cheese on both the top of the meat mixture AND the bottom. They will also make very tasty rounds for a fast breakfast if I use sausage burger.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rivers and Trees, OH MY! (On the Wilson River!)

I believe this is Dorman Pond. An 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 
8 and Hwy. 6. It always has fisherpeople there (although, this particular Friday all I saw were geese). 

 I believe this falls is called Bridge Creek Falls. One of the prettier spots to visit-if you don't forget to stop! It is easy to miss this place, but there is a good parking area.
 I took several photos of trees, roots, rocks, moss, and mud. These are the things I miss about the Oregon Coast!
 This irritates me-I can't move it the right way. So, you don't get the proper view of these incredible trees near the falls.
 Further down the Wilson River is another pull out. I loved the views I got from this spot! Tumbling water, pools, currents, and even some falls.

I kept waiting for a deer or other critter to pop out and sun themselves (am pretty sure people use this spot for sunning!). I was going to stop at the Forestry Center, but it closed JUST as I drove past it. Next time I'll stop!

Rivers and Trees, OH MY! (Trask River Rd)

I got a chance to drive up the Trask and only went to mile 6 before I realised I still needed to get to Bay City before dark! 
 I was impressed my car still knew how to drive on the road~it wasn't in very bad shape, but it was odd. I think it was because the trees have all gotten taller!!! I miss these curving turns and squishy roads. On one side is the river and the other side is often an embankment.
 One of the fishing spots on the river. This one, I believe, is called The Dam Hole. It was fairly overgrown since fishing season hasn't started yet.

 It was strange having to go down to the river to get a picture of Daniel's Rock. This is the rock we used to keep an eye on during floods-if it was covered up, we knew it was gonna be pretty bad in town. We used to see it fairly well from the road, but as I mentioned earlier, the trees are much taller than they used to be.
This is Daniel's Creek, which used to flood down the hill and cause slides. It seems to be a much more manageable creek today. There was sign of high water since the week before these photos Tillamook was blessed with a downpouring of 9 or so inches all at once!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August On The Ranch!

Sometimes this really drives me nuts-the layout of this blog. But, I am going to let it be. Jon went up the ranch this last week and took some really neat pictures of the wildlife. 

 This is one of my favorite pairs. In this one, there is something hidden!

                                                    And here she is!

 I liked this one, too-This buck is lopsided and is just LOOKING at Jon! Made me laugh!
This is  just foliage, but the stuff is stunning. Fall is on the way~
  Another just trees and stuff, but I really liked how this one came out.
 Jon actually DID see some wild horses up there, but we call this one, "Bronco, in repose."
Hawk over thistle..which isn't as cool as it appears....
These little specks are birds. Jon said they are tree swallows. I'm not so sure, the tails don't look right.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

rediscovering a porch

   I had wanted to change a few things on our porch-move the bear, add a bench, and get the floor boards more even. I had no idea how much work this was going to be!

As you can see from these two pictures, the siding was added AFTER the porch. It was not moved over so the siding would be put on properly, but the siding was put on AROUND the porch. You also see the side of the porch (the cats use the pillars as scratching posts, which is not as stressful as it may seem!) in the left hand photo is actually IN the window. The cats appreciate being able to look directly in, but it is odd since the symmetry is off.

You may have also noticed the bottom rail on the right is on the floor of the porch. Steve had 'fixed' this on the other side and the pieces facing the front. It was too hard to get the leaves and snow off thru the stairwell.

 Here it is with the boards evenly spaced and sanded. We desperately need a new door (it was the door which got me grumpy about needing to get this thing fixed.) and hope to find one this next weekend. One of the ways to clean out between the boards on a deck or porch is with a butter knife. You run the knife along the space and the debris usually comes out. Since the spaces were so strange, it was not as easy as it might sound. Some spaces were as wide as a pencil, some were too slim for the butter knife blade. When I cleaned out under the threshold, the knife sunk into the area about halfway up  the handle! Now, it might be dry rot or it might be a space in the door frame which was not filled in properly. Or, knowing this  house, it is probably both. In the bottom photo (which for some stupid reason is not turned properly), you see things used to make boards spaced evenly. The carpenter pencils have a screw attached with tape (this is so the boards are spaced the width of a pencil and the pencils don't fall down the cracks) and you see part of a pry bar. Old boards warp and need help moving.

 I was able to apply one of the many forms of Thompson's water sealer stuff to the sanded boards. It worked wonderfully and although the boards look dark and dirty, they are now water proof!

The final (mostly) product. Of course, it was dark-Jon's been taking the camera out for harvest! The door is still needing replaced and I had some sealer left, so I water sealed Wilson.
  He looks so much better! It appears the stain is to last for 10 years, but he had been scoured by the ravages of dust and sunshine. I figured it was time to preserve him again. And he has so many cracks, it couldn't hurt. Could it?  The bench isn't done yet, either. I was able to get some brown tile this last weekend and will finish off the edges. Moses and Maxwell appear to like having the bench on the front porch. They like sleeping on it! 
So, there is the saga of the just moving a couple of things!  Next time I'll know better. Maybe! 
(also, the blog itself is being odd. On the creating part, it looks nice and has things lined up very well. On the preview part, it has the photos in a line, none are next to each other. I can't fix it.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dayton, WA.-All Wheels Weekend part 1

 I was interested in things beyond the awesome chrome and shiny cars (some were dirty!). I liked how the Cooper above (the Mouse that Roars) had tires I could easily change and then this giant jeep had tires which were incredibly tall!
I also loved all the fun things you find on people's rigs. I don't rightly know what the car with the great airplane hood ornament was, but I loved it and the REO Speedwagon was a super cool rig! 

 Of course, we saw very few (2 in fact) Mercuries, but no car show would be complete without a DeLorean.  Minus the flux capacitor......

 And a car from another movie! OK, not exactly, but it reminded me a little bit of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
An advertisement on one of the cars we saw. It fit a GREAT many of them! I'll post just cars later-