Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween






    Catch Up on my Doings in Ozarks



      I have been slow moving in the mornings lately cause it is just plain cold inside our house-lol We are getting down to the mid to low 20s at night so the house is definately cold now.
       Only running a fire in the bedroom for now in the evenings, I make do with a heating pad and a blanket in the evening by my computer or watching tv.
       We got our log splitter fixed works good-but it is soooooo difficult to pull to start now. was like that when we bought it new, Last week it snapped back and really bruised Larrys hand big time, today he can't get it started. Sooo I am just not using wood in the main house til I just really really need to,  cause we only got in half of what we need right now.
        Been putting on more hand dyed pieces, leather, etc in my fibers etsy shop. I have two more items I want to make this week for my soap shop, a goat milk moisturizer and a peppermint bark soap. Today I just couldn't get myself focused.
       I did however, get the dried fruits chopped and sliced ready for my healhier gluten free version fruitcake. Recipe and photo here in my celicac group here on blogster.  Last year I found a recipe that I adapted from whole foods market for my fruitcake and turned out really well. This year I added a few different dried fruits that I picked up on my trip to Indiana-star fruit, goji berries, and low sugar dried pineapple, also used dates, figs, raisins, currents, yellow raisins, apricots, and my own dried pears and apples. I also added a cup of the diced mixed fruitcake mix. Instead of apple juice to moisten all these fruits I used brandy instead.  Will bake this cake up tomorrow morning, I am making a double batch of the recipe-so I can get 2 cakes in the pans I use for this. Their original recipe only gave me 1 cake.
       Saw a little of the devastation from the storm Sandy on this mornings news-all so sad, and all that snow-oh my, this one will go down in the history books. I even heard that lake shore drive in chicago will be getting flooding as well, as lake michigan will be rolling in huge waves-such a far reaching storm-its unreal really. Missouri is totally safe-out of harms way.
       Last night we went to a meeting about our Post Office, they had done a survey last month about different options for us. Many rural post offices will be restructured or will be closed to save them operating money. Good thing, for now we will be keeping ours with hours of just 4 hours a day and a few hours on saturday. With our online business's this would have been devastating for us, if it closed. The closest post office from us is 20 miles or more away-so we would not be able to ship every day like Larry is doing now with his scope repair business.  We even asked if they could pick up our packages like it says online, and he said no we are too rural for that service.  so we are very greatful to still have our post office.
       That's it for now-I am cooking simple tonight; hamburgers with sweet potatoe fries and a fresh salad. oh and I made 3 pies the other day-one from Mr. L one for Larry and I made me a small gluten free version-I think I could go for a slice of apple pie about now-stay safe, warm and dry everyone.

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Art Sunday Paper Mache


      I was not sure what I wanted to post for today as the holiday and the storm are covered. Then I remembered that one of my artist friends here is working on a paper mache project-so decided-yes I think I will see what I can find.


    this is a cool site with more paper mache and an article here

     from here  this piece is not showing up for some reason-it is a mermaid face-just click on the link

    from here  a music bowl here too



    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Holiday Gift Exchange


    Those of us that are older, retired, and no longer have alot of family near by, or any age really-would you be interested in a holiday gift exchange with me?
       This needs to be ONLY handmade items with a retail value limit of around $10.00   I am thinking this could be a fun way of sharing our crafts, art, even homemades-like a little bag of your dehydrated mushrooms, veggies from the garden etc. if you make homemade jams or jellies etc.  A little craft or art item you enjoy making and creating. If you love to take photos-a pretty photo in a frame-I am thinking back to enjoying the spirit of the Christmas holiday and its simplicity in sharing with one another.
       I don't like strict deadlines, but I know we need one, so I am thinking anytime now til Christmas week.
    If there should be a really large response, I may set up swap partners amongst us. any thoughts-please put in comments International friends always welcome. first class international postage is really low priced now a days, I think it needs to be around 13 ounces or so.
      Only thing I ask, if you commit to wanting to paticipate in the exchange, please follow thru. It is so dissappointing to be let down. I went thru that on the Mary Jane farmgirls forum where I seldom got my swaps.

    My New Favorite Soap--Warning Commercial lol


     I am trying out new things for my soap selling business-and just made the most awesome scrub soap. It is whipped soap with aloe vera, glycerin, and pumice. It makes your skin soooo smooth and soft-was amazed. This is a soap designed to scrub mechanics and gardeners hands-
      end of commercial-lol but needed to share with someone I was so impressed with the results.

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    One Small Improvement Turns Into Major Re Do


    You know when you have an idea to improve your life a bit-in this case re organizing better-and one thing leads to another??-and oh my I now have a major task to get finished.
      For one thing we ae in the 80s here with alot of wind. I love it better than cold, but the humidity is high, its hot like the beginning of summer time, and this sets off my asthma and allergies again.
       Nikita did not even want to take a walk today-which is really not like her at all-we always take a walk every day-so I just didn't push her.
       I made up more bath teas-this time a soothing tea with ground oatmeal, calendula petals and lavender. I got my supplies out to make a new soap- pumice soap for gardeners, and this reminded me that all my supplies are in boxes stacked up-so I have to go thru all the boxes to find what I need. Then I remembered that Larry had brought home some nice plastic shelving that someone threw away in the trash. So I scrubbed that up-emptied alot of stuff out of my craft room to fit this in. 
       Then I got the bright idea to turn my large trunk full of leathers around for better use of space. Of course this meant emptying the trunk as it is full to the top and way too heavy to turn otherwise. I am thinking wow what a mess this is-piles of leather every where now lol  So I get down to almost the bottom and I see the walls of the trunk have a little mold starting on them. So I set up some water with tea tree oil added wash that down-and now need to wait til the wood dries before putting the leathers back in.
       So Larry helps me get the shelving in-that was fun-walking over the piles of leather-lol but we get that in place. Now I am tired-sigh. taking a break-this needs to get put back together cause I will be gone tesday wednes. and thursday this week-this is a rarity for me-as I don't go anyweres most weeks. but tomorrow I am taggin along with neighbor Sandy so I can get what I need in town, wednesday I meet my online friend and we trade samples to give away to our customers in our etsy shops, and thursday is our 6 month trip to the doctor. 
       The Voice is on tonight, as is the debate, so I can work on stuff then too.
    Here are a few photos I took:

    The above two photos are the living room leading into my craft room. The last photo is my little computer spot-totally agrinomicly (no idea how to spell that) correct I know-lol- which then had a big picture that needs redone. and some of the boxes that came out of my craft room

    above photo-to the left is my vintage leather sewing maching, to the right is my rug loom, and in the middle is one pile of leather scraps
    More leather, there are more piles of hides etc. geez-what don't I have in my craft room-lol I need to make me a pair of moccasins for the house-maybe I will do that this winter, and perhaps sell some of this in my etsy shop. we had gone to a mouintain man fur trader event that was held at a very old tannery-which since has closed. we got offered a huge box of scraps for purchase that we couldn't refuse. lots of leather here to make pouches, bags etc.
    My trunk now empty. boxes to the right are materials for weaving rugs, to the left of that is a very old metal filing cabinet with lot and lots of weaving and quilting etc informa.
    trunk washed and turned around, shelving in place. the batik piece by the window I bought back in the 70s when I lived in Colorado, and you can see some of my green bay packer stuff. to the left of the shelving is my vintage wooden desk which I use as my sewing area. 

    The shelving I am going to put my soap making things and also hoping to be able to get alot of my shipping materials on this too-this room needs to be twice this big-lol This room of mine is just crammed full-on the opposite wall are more trunks filled with wools and you name it-shelving around the room above windows with more stuff. I have too many interests I guess-but I love it all-I am never ever bored-how could I be-{#rofl.gif}{#popc1.gif}

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    My New Favorite Gluten Free Choc. Chip Cookie

      
    This recipe is from Karina-the Gluten Free Goddess,(find her blog to the left in my blog list)  a new recipe of hers for chocolate chip cookies. recipe here  I made a batch yesterday and had to freeze most of them so I would not eat them all-lol these are that good.
        She described them as similiar to "real ones" soft and chewy in the inside, and a bit crispy on the outside-these are so perfect. Mine do not look like hers but they taste as she described.
       I decided to bake up another batch this afternoon, and use coconut oil instead of canola oil, which I like better, and I also threw in a handful of gluten free oatmeal in this batter. I also needed to cut the sugar for Larry so I used 1/2 splenda and stevia and the other half pure cane sugar.
      I like the flours in this too, very high nutrition-sorgham flour, almond flour-meal, and this one uses potato starch instead of tapioca starch--good eats.

    I Just Had to Share This Fiber Art

    A few weeks ago I sold a package of my hand dyed fabrics over in my Etsy fiber shop. The buyer just contacted me that she had designed this piece from them-how cool is that?? can view her listing here

    The Great Smokey Mountains Art Quilt Wall Hanging 24 In X 24 In Handmade with Tie Dye Cotton, Free Motion Quilting, Dyed Bird Feathers

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    I Have Been Getting Hit with Major Spam

      As much as I really really did not want to add that word verification setup on comments-that is so aggravating to me-I am sorry I just needed to add it. 
        
         This month I am getting hit with daily spam.In fact several a day all of a sudden  I would like to be able to keep my blog open to read for everyone, so will see if this eliminates that problem. If  it does not, then I may be forced to set up my blog for google members only.  Just so you know why that's there now in comments.

    Remember That Banana Whoopie Pie Recipe???




    I just finished putting these together. I changed the flour to gluten free, adjusted the sugar a bit in the dough, but not the filling. wow these are awesome but extremely sweet.
    The filling was butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar-I just don't bake like that anymore-so half of these went into the freezer right away.
    If you baked these up with regular flour the cake part would have risen higher, but these are still very tasty and the gluten free cake part is not heavy tasting-a nice treat.


    Recipe post here

    I Have Been Busy Busy This Week




      I have been busy every day making new items for my soap shop. Today I am going to make more bath teas, and then take a break and do some baking.
       We had a big storm and a cold front that moved in, so will be much cooler today and tomorrow, but by the weekend back in the 70s. Hoping we can get more wood split and stacked once things dry out and its warmer again. 
       The 16th was Larrys birthday, so I made his favorite food; bbq ribs, we ate the left overs yesterday-those are always a treat.
         Next week on the 24th is my birthday and I will be meeting a new online friend for lunch. She has a shop on etsy too, sells many hand knitted items and other handmades, and is helping me to promote my soap. So I am looking forward to that. Hoping she can give me some tips on being found-I noticed her shop opened in 09 and she has sold over 500 items. My fiber shop was opened in 08 and i have only been able to sell under 50 items there-so hoping to learn some ideas from her.
       I have been soaking in all the fall beauty this week-it is just so gorgeous here that I am taking it all in, with extra walks in the woods, and just taking the time out in my day to enjoy it all. Our deer and turkey visitors still visit us every day. Larry and Mr. l went out turkey hunting for a bit yesterday-they were not able to call any in-but I think the turkeys knew a storm was brewing.
       I have been really wanting to make those banana whoopie pies, so I think that's on for this morning. I need to convert the recipe to gluten free, and cut down the sugar for Larry, so will see how these bake up-i think they just sound fun to eat.
        by the end of next week, I need to start doing some serious cleaning, as our friends will be arriving from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois for deer camp on Nov, 10th. I use them as an excuse to do a thorough cleaning before winter approaches. a good several days filled with friends, laughter, and good eats-and hopefully venison in the freezer as well.


    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    Promoting my Etsy Handmade Soap Shop and a Song for Saturday


      I have been busy busy all week, making up several new items for my soap shop on etsy. Today I finished up my Relax Time Bath Teas, and I made a small batch of the Whipped Pumpkin Salt Scrub. These made up into 4 ounce jars.
      I am really happy with both items, especially the pumpkin scrub. I have been wanting to make that for awhile now, it includes many ingredients to leave your skin feeling silky smooth. I had just enough left over for me to use-and I Love it. It has just the right amount of pumpkin fragrance and not too sweet smelling.
      I also made up guest soaps, these would make fun stocking stuffers-hint hint  lol  As always I can make soap in your choice of mold, natural soap choice, and colors and essential oils and fragrance oils. I enjoy making up custom orders.
      I just set up a coupon code for my blogger readers. when checking out please use coupon code blogger for 10% off your order.

    ok end of my advertisement--I hear lots of booms in the background so I guess we have another storm blowing in. I am off to catch up on blog post reading. Happy Saturday

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Chicken on a Tuesday dry fried with video



    20101230-127355-dinner-tonight-dry-fried-chicken.jpg
    Don't look for perfectly moist hunks of chicken here. They dry out a bit, but that's the point. They'll caramelize and slowly take on the flavors of the chiles. Oddly, the nuggets I forked up the fastest were the slices of celery. These certainly have to be the tastiest bits of celery I've ever encountered.
    Though relatively straightforward, this recipe probably looks a little intimidating to the uninitiated. Things like Sichuan peppercorns and chile bean paste are hard to find in regular grocery stores. But there are no real substitutes. Search them out! They cost little, and keep for a long time. Plus you'll be able to whip up something utterly stunning like this in less than 30 minutes.

    Ingredients

    • 2 celery stalks, outer stems peeled
    • 1 pound boneless chicken, chopped into 1-inch chunks
    • 3 scallions, ends trimmed
    • ¼ cup peanut oil
    • 8 dried hot red chiles (preferably Sichuan chiles)
    • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
    • 1 ½ tablespoons chili bean paste
    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
    • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
    • Salt
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • Procedures
    1. 1

      Slice celery at steep angle into ½-inch slices. Set aside and toss with pinch of salt. Slice scallions at steep angle into ½-inch slices. Transfer to same bowl as celery.

    2. 2

      Pour oil into large wok set over high heat. When smoking, add chicken. Stir-fry until chicken has lost much of its water, about 5 minutes.

    3. 3

      Reduce heat to medium, and add chiles and Sichuan pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chili bean paste, and stir well. Cook until it stains the oil red, about 10 seconds. Add rice wine, dark soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, until chicken looks dry and is very fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes.

    4. 4

      Add celery and scallions, and stir-fry until just tender, one to two minutes. Turn off heat, pour in sesame oil, and season with salt to taste. Stir well, and serve with white rice.      from here

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Pumpkin Seeds



    (brought over from my blogster blog)
     One of the fun things about choosing a pumpkin for the holidays is all those seeds. There are so many delicious looking recipes for them now too.

    Picture of Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

    Carmalized Pumpkin Seeds here

    Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

    Simply Toasted here

    and I found a long list of uses for Pumpkin Seeds by Food Netowrk Here Recipes include Bobbys spicy seeds to popcorn balls to rice pudding

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Making Deep Dish Apple Pies This Morning




       I have an assortment of apples in the frig, it's cold and rainy now-so pie making this morning is in order.

     The little one in the front is my gluten free version for the pie crust. I used my baking mix and used coconut oil and lard.  The back pie is a "normal" pie for hubby. I just popped these in the oven and remembered I wanted to take a photo too.  I learned to make pies from my Mom and mostly my Grandma who was a farm girl-so country baking is what I do. I do improve the nutrition now though, but for the pie crust lard is the only way to go.  I follow the recipe in the older Betty Crocker  cookbooks for the crust.  

       For the filling I just cut up lots of apples so it will over fill the pan, sprinkle with apple pie spice-or just cinnamon and nutmeg, for these I stirred in agave and Dominos light sugar which is pure cane sugar and pure stevia, and I use instant tapioca for the thickening-for these two pies I used 5 tbsp. and just under the top crust I put in a couple pats of butter. Oh, and we like raisins in our apple pie too, so I soak some in hot water, and then drain and stir in with the apples. dried cranberries or yellow raisins are nice too with the apples.

       I will probably be making another one after these come out of the oven. Our friend Mr. L said he had a taste for apple pie and would bring over the apples-I told him to bring me a pie pan too. His wife has been ill and no longer cooks or bakes.

      Starting to smell good in here already-good eats!!

    Banana Whoopie Pies

      I still have lots of bananas in the freezer-over ripe ones that are perfect for baking-so I am always on the look out for new recipes to use them in.
        Over on Pinterest I found a recipe for whoopie pies, recipe here  I think they look and sound delicious, and something different  too.



     I will change the recipe a bit to gluten free and a little less sugar too, so will post how they come out.  I need to wait now til my vanilla extract comes in from Penzeys. (I purchase all of my herbs and spices from Penzeys-excellent business, I have been buying from them since they were only one store-now they are nationwide)

      This blogger also offers a recipe for Sticky toffee banana cake that looks delicious too recipe here

    Sticky Toffee Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

      I have been making my own vanilla extract for many years now, it turns out double strength and saves allot of money too. I am usually a year ahead, but when I opened up my last bottle it tasted more like spirits than vanilla. I think what happened;  I had run out of  fresh beans to add to this bottle and just used the older beans that were in the bottle-so not enough vanilla there any longer. Instead of discarding the beans, I just add to the bottles. I ordered some more vanilla beans too so I can get my 3 bottles going again. It takes 6 months to a year for it to be really good.

      It just now (5am) started hearing thunder off in the distance. so the storms are coming in now. We really need the rain, as we are still in drought conditions, so won't complain. The guys had planned to go out in the woods for turkey hunting-but don't think that will work this morning.

    Happy Friday!

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Big Temperature Change Coming to the Ozarks

      We will have a high in the 80's today with a high tomorrow in the low 50's if that. I have come to learn though, that this is normal here in the ozarks. So tomorrow thru monday perhaps tuesday we will know that autumn is here, with possible frost.
        
       I have been slowly getting my clay pots emptied and put away, and need to get out some covers if a frost should arrive as I planted a few salad type seeds and radishes and also mini bok choy so would be nice to save these as we will warm up again thru out the month I am sure.

       So today is doing more of that, cleaning house, and finishing up the laundry. Big thing is scrubbing floors and my big 10 burner wolf  stove so I can get back to making soap for my shop. I am excited about some new products I am going to make-and need to get them made and up for sale.

       We are really behind this year in getting our wood supply in-we only heat with wood-I love the process of it all-but as we get older need to pace ourselves on this task of cutting, splitting, loading, stacking. 

      I rarely talk politics here, but I am sooooo thrilled over Romney's debate performance last night-perhaps there is still a chance he can over throw the power that's in.

      I am off to get some things done today-enjoy your day!

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    Good Morning Wednesday and Witches Brooms and Lavender Ice Cream

    (brought over from my blogster blog)

     Hump Day is here already, to me the time is just flying by now-ever since we got away from those hot 100s over the summer months. We may even get an early frost here this weekend.
       Yesterday was another full day running around in town. I am so blessed to have a good friend and neighbor that drives me all over the place when I need to. This time we went to our local town about 20 miles away-our closest town to where we live here in the woods. It is not much of a town either-but it does have the basics which I appreciate.
       We did lots of stuff from hair cuts, to routine tests at the hospital, to finding me a couple tools I needed for my soap business, to Lowes, to Wal mart. So definately a full day.
       Monday I painted the primer over the tissue papered walls I have been working on-wow this is going to be awesome when completed. I touched up a few spots I didn't like with more tissue paper yesterday morning, and I need to do a few more touch ups today. Then the next long wall that I will do-will be a process to clear out stuff that sits in front of it-paint cans, a big machine that does that texture stuff on walls, bags of mortar and other stuff. So I may just work on that while I do some laundry today, after my walk with Nikita. 
      I now have all the ingredients I need for lots of holiday baking and candy making, and mostly for fruitcake making. I know I know-most of you hate fruitcakes-but you probably never had a homemade version-which is too awesome. I have been making these cakes since I was a little girl helping Mom bake in the kitchen. Mom always made a cake we found by Martha Washiington but it has alot of white cake with the fruits and nuts-which is really pretty when sliced but even after being wrapped in spirit soaked cheesecloth,  tends to be on the dry side. I have made since I left home in the late 60s an English dark fruitcake instead-which is mostly fruits and nuts with just enough cake to hold it all together-
       I now make me a gluten free version fruitcake that I make with mostly dried fruits-my own apples and pears, and add prunes, apricots, dates, figs, and nuts, also add the candied pineapple too, got the recipe from whole foods market and with  my changes to the recipes-is very good.
      Over on Pinterest I have seen so many delicious fall recipes using pumpkin and squash. This morning I spotted broomstick cookies which are too cute-so for all you witches out there here is the recipe      
       
      I would change the milk chocolate to a dark chocolate-but aren't these cute? would be fun at a fall party.
      and I also spotted lavender ice cream-now this sounds really delicious. recipe here

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Chicken on a Tuesday Clay Pot Baked Chicken

      Back on 360 days and then on Multiply allot of us would post anything about chickens on Tuesdays. I loved reading all the recipe ideas for chickens, and all the funny jokes about chickens too. So, I still like to post once in awhile recipes with chicken.

      I love my clay pots. I picked them up at garage sales over the years, some of them vintage, and some of them newer with the pottery glaze inside which makes clean up nice. Either way whatever you bake in them-roasts to chickens is always very moist, tender-and just awesome

    Clay Pot Baked Chicken Recipe





    Recipes here from Recipe Tips and I liked this recipe too from Food

    I also found recipes from baking bread in clay pots-now that would be cool, hadn't thought of that.
    recipe here 
    How to Bake Bread in Romertopf Clay Pots
               

    If you have resale shops available to you, I have been seeing these again in shops near me for very little money-so go have some fun baking in clay covered pots.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    I had just about given up on the fall mushrooms----




    We found the coral mushrooms today-yeah! Hope to find more to can up and dry, and will be on the lookout now for the chanterels and hen in the woods.

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