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No Candy Making Skills Needed February 3, 2018

Posted by liajo in chocolate, comfort food, good things, granddaughters, How to tips, life.
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dark-brown-milk-candy.jpgMy granddaughters don’t always agree on everything, but chocolate is usually something they can agree on.  So yesterday making chocolate bark was the project of the day.

I love baking, but candy making is not my thing.  I’ve never been good at it.  However, anyone, even preschoolers, can make a good chocolate bark.  There is no candy thermometer, no soft ball stage, just some fun.

Here are the very easy instructions.  Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  You know how, 30 seconds, stir, repeat until melted.  I did put about a teaspoon of Crisco in because it makes the melted chips easier to work with.

Pour into a parchment lined baking sheet and spread to the thickness you want.

Top with whatever.  We did dried cranberries and shaved almonds.  Press these into the chocolate just a little.

Put in either the freezer or refrigerator until hard, about an hour.

Break into pieces and eat.  It is pretty yummy and way simple.

The chocolate bark project was a success!

 

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Garden Crops March 25, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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0000597029008_51motherearthnewsmagazineMy latest issue of Mother Earth News arrived yesterday and I’m still making my way through it, literally page by page. 

One of the feature articles this issue is about picking the best garden crops for your region. Since I have already ordered all my seed I was interested to see how my picks stacked with others from my area.

The first thing that I discovered is that my region is kind of shady, sitting right on the line between North Central and Rockies and Central Midwest.  So I’ll look at both areas.

Top picks for the North Central & Rockies are bulb onions, cherry tomato’s, carrots, spinach, snow/snap peas, lettuce, bush beans, slicing tomato’s, potato’s and radishes.  All but the radishes are on my list.

Top picks for the Central Midwest are slicing tomato’s, sweet peppers, cherry tomato’s, onion, bush beans, carrots, garlic, paste tomato’s, snow/snap peas and lettuce.  All but the garlic are on my list and you’ll notice quite a bit of over lap. 

Also on my list are black eyed peas and zucchini which are both highly rated in both areas. 

So, I guess I selected seed pretty well.  And yes the garden is going to be really big and packed this year.

Like New Dogs February 24, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie.
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anatomy-anotated_jack_russellIt’s been 2 weeks since Bubba was diagnosed with diabetes and we are all doing very well. 

The new eating schedule is getting to be routine.  Most of the time Bubba doesn’t even mind the shots, which we are feeling more comfortable giving.

It made me feel so bad the first week when I would eat in front of Bubba and Allie.  For almost nine years we had always let them lick the dinner plates.  Instead, now what we do is maybe give them a piece of their food.

Both dogs are losing a little weight, but it’s controlled and because we are measuring their food we know they are getting enough to eat.

The energy levels they have is almost like having puppies again.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing when they are Jack Russell’s, but it’s much better than having Bubba sick.

Bubba’s Health Update February 17, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, good things.
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jack_russell_artMonday Bubba had his first diabetes check up.  He is doing well.  The vets  made no change in his care, his food and insulin will stay the same for now.

We thought that he was doing much better this week, but it was great news for the vet to confirm it.  I can actually breath a little easier now.

While Bubba is doing well, Allie is not to pleased with us.  Since Bubba had to go on a diet and very specific feeding times Allie has had to do the same.  She is having a harder time adjusting than Bubba has.

As always I’ve done a little web research myself this week.  I have read pieces of several dog diabetes sites.  I’m glad they are out there and plan to keep doing more research.  I hope in the future to recommend some of these sites.

Dried Tomatoes December 3, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food.
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sun-dried-tomatoesI had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  More than anyone could eat fresh, so I dried a lot of them to use this winter.  Last Sunday was the first time I used any.  We just finished eating fresh tomatoes mid November.

Along with drying them I also froze them in single serve baggies, just an added step to ensure the don’t go bad before we can use them.  While the rest of the casserole was coming together I added warm water right in baggie and let the tomatoes sit for a few minutes.  When the time came to add them I added the water and all.

Now this is the cool part, my 23 year daughter doesn’t like tomatoes.  She never has.  She has always picked them out of everything.  But not this time.  As she was eating she said if these are tomatoes they aren’t to bad.  I told her they were tomatoes that been dried.  Again she said, not bad and kept eating.

I don’t know if the drying process changed the flavor just enough or maybe the texture.  I really don’t care.  I’m just really happy she’ll eat a tomato.

Bubba’s Day November 27, 2008

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, comfort food.
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You may call it Thanksgiving, but in our house, it’s Bubba Day.  There is a toss up as to Bubba’s favorite activity.  It’s either eating or sleeping, it’s hard to tell which, so this is a perfect day for him.

He is in fact a Jack Russell, but I know that somewhere in him there has to be a recessive hound gene.  His sister Allie is a true Jack Russell.  She can jump in place, she plays with her toy’s and us all the time, and her tail and tongue are always wagging.  Bubba lays on the couch and watches her.

Bubba is laying on the couch right now, on his back with all four legs straight out.  His nose twitches every now and then so I know he is alive and smelling the food.  He’ll time it just right and not wake up until the food is ready. 

Yeah, it might be Thanksgiving everywhere else in America today, but at our house, it is most definitely Bubba’s Day.  Have a good one boy.

Turkey or Not Turkey November 22, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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It is no secret that I am not a fan of turkey.  I never have been.  I remember being in the forth grade and eating hot dogs for Thanksgiving because I didn’t like turkey.  I also don’t like pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes or that gross cranberry jelly glob. 

Before you start screaming that I am un-American I am not.  The pilgrims did not have any of things either, it all came along later.

This year however we are having turkey.  Not because my taste buds changed but because I bought a 16.5 pound turkey for a total of 38 cents (yes I got change from 2 quarters.)  So for that price I will eat some turkey, some turkey salad, turkey soup and green chili turkey enchiladas (the only real reason to cook turkey.)

We will also have my great grandmothers dressing, not stuffing, we never stuff a bird it is an excellent way to give everybody food poisoning.  We’re  having peach cobbler instead of pumpkin pie (no one in our family likes pumpkin pie.)  I found a really good recipefor mango cranberry sauce so we won’t be having the glob of cranberry jelly.  And we’re ditching the sweet potatoes altogether in favor of regular mashed.

So for the first time in many years there will be Thanksgiving at our house, just with a little twist.  I think the pilgrims would have liked it.

Holiday Crafts and Food November 17, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, crafts, good things.
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wild-turkeyWe don’t always celebrate the holiday’s.  Not for any other reason than we just don’t feel like it.  It’s like taking a break from all the madness.  It actually makes the next time you celebrate the holidays even better.

This year there will be holiday celebrations and I’m really looking forward to it. 

My daughter and some of her girl friends are coming over next weekend and we’re all going to do crafts together.  I have lots of craft stuff so we won’t have to buy much.  These crafts will make great present for them to give to each other or their moms or grandmas.  It will be like when they were younger and in Brownies, only better because we can all have some spiked egg nog if we want to.

I’m also cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year from scratch.  I haven’t done that in years.  We usually order one of those dinners all ready done from the store.  I’ve been looking at some new recipes and have found some really great ones like cranberry mango sauce with a jalapeno in it.  I’ll be making some of the old favorites also, like my great grandmother’s stuffing.  I’m not going to try cramming all the cooking into one though, all start this weekend so I can actually sit down on Thanksgiving and enjoy eating.

Yeah, taking a break from the holidays can be a good thing.  It makes the next holiday celebration bigger and better.

Defined by a blog November 11, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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When I started this blog it was the end of summer and I was full swing into gardening.  Just like I am every year.  That’s why it started out as a gardening blog.

I added Bubba and Allie, our two Jack Russell’s to the blog becasuse well, they spend so much time outside with me in the summer.

Then I added comfort food because well I like to cook the vegetables I grow and just eat in general.

Then it started turning colder.  I’m not gardening much now except for house plants.  Me Bubba and Allie still spend a lot of time together, but its curled up on the couch together.  I’m still cooking my vegetables because I froze so many of them.

Anyway, where is this going?  What I’m trying to say is I want playing n the dirt to be so much more than just gardening and Bubba and Allie and food because well I’m so much more.

Don’t look for “big” huge changes.  Just look for more.  I think I’ll be adding more catorgies and pages soon.

Soup and Sandwich November 10, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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soup-tips-1Is there any two more foods in the world that scream comfort more and a bowl of soup with a sandwich?

I started craving tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich the other day.  It just sounded soooo good.  Especially with the weather turning a little colder.

So for lunch yesterday that is what we had.  I added a twist by putting sliced roast beef on my sandwich.  And we didn’t use the thin sandwich cheese.  No, my husband got out two blocks of cheese and sliced them pretty thick.  I also like to put a little grated cheese in the soup.

And then when your eating, dip the sandwich in the soup.  Oh yeah, sooo good.