Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lake Havasu City -- My New Home Town

Technically I'm not a newbie in the town anymore. I think we've now been here for 5 years now. We've finally finished remodeling the house--well almost. The Hubster has two ceilings to paint, one in the master closet and the other in the guest bedroom. There had been water damage before we moved in and they had tried to repair it by simply repainting. It needed to be done properly and The Hubster is a "do-it properly" kind of person. The previous owners would probably drive right by their house. It's completely different. The outside was white with a horrible turquoise trim and they had even painted the windows of the garage that color. Can you believe it? It was pretty hideous. It's now a pretty light tan color with a little bit darker tan for the accents. It looks SO much better. I hated this house when we moved in -- primarily because before we were higher up and could see a bit of the lake and a lot of the beautiful mountains. I felt like we moved into a rabbit hole. AND I knew there would have to be substantial remodeling. Everything was really dated and the flooring was terrible. But, you know when you start something it consumes your life and one thing leads to another. It's been two years since we moved in here and we are finally able to actually LIVE in all of our house!!!!! It's simply amazing.


You can see a bit of what it looked like in the following photo. This is yours truly with The Hubster in his prized possession: 1968 GTO convertible sitting in front of the house about two weeks ago.


It's been a long time since we had our photo taken together. Now you've seen us you know why, right? :-)

On the crochet front I've been busy making baby receiving blankets and bibs. I still have one to do but here's my progress to date:


The ones in the lower right-hand corner are just burp clothes that
 will be wrapped around baby wipes and donated to the hospital. 
Except the little sweater that is. It will be donated to the 
Humanitarian branch of our Church.

My youngest son, Rob, will be 40 this month. He retired last year and decided to take up painting. He's gotten really good at it (next time I'll try and remember to photograph some and add them here). He recently went to Santa Fe to do some painting and this is him in a gift shop. Check out that long hair. I wish it were mine. Personally, I'm not crazy about it but I'd rather he have long hair than one of those awful scraggly beards that so many are sporting these days. 


It's hard to believe my baby will be 40!!!!!

The last thing I want to share with you is last night's sunset. It's warming up here in Lake Havasu (107 yesterday) but the sunsets are still amazing.


Bye for now -- have a FANTABULOUS weekend!!!




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Like Mother Like Daughter

Who'd a thunk it? I never dreamed I'd look so much like my mom.


I miss my mom. A lot! I had a dream about her last night and it was all because of a Look-a-Like contest at the newspaper. I didn't enter us but was asked to vote for another mother/daughter duo. I dreamed that we won the contest and the prize was an all expense paid trip to -- wait for it --

BOISE, IDAHO!!!!

Yup, I dreamed we had hit the big time. LOL! I wish I could bring her and my dad back so I could be a kinder and more considerate daughter. I loved them but I'm not sure they knew it. Life is always so full of regrets. I wish I had been a better daughter, wife and mother. I would also be a better friend. I tried to be all those things but never felt like I succeeded.

The neighbors are both getting new swimming pools. Oh, to live among the rich. Hahaha! No pool for us. Nope. Can't swim. Never learned. Neither did The Hubster. The kids would like us to have one but . . . oh well. ;-)



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Just a Pinch -- yummo to the tummo!

I recently purchased a Gourmia Air Fryer and I have to tell ya -- I LOVE IT! I cooks chicken like you would not believe it. It just cooks with air so there's no added fat. It grills, steams, saute, pan fries, stews, stir fries, slow cooks, roasts and makes sauces. Completely programmable. It's a fantastic little machine to introduce you to air frying.

I use Allrecipes and Just a Pinch a lot for my recipes. They always have a Recipe of the Day. Sometimes they're really good and other times they are not. Today's on Just a Pinch is Chicken Chilaquiles. It calls for cooking it in a cast iron pan but I don't have one anymore so I used my my new air fryer. Here's the recipe:

8 oz. plain salted tortilla chips
1-1/2 c. salsa verde (or green salsa)
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature and cubed
1/3 c. sour cream
2 c. chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c. shredded cheese, your choice of flavors
2 large scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal (why, I don't know)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1-1/2 quart baking dish or 8" cast iron pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, heat salsa verde for 60 seconds. Add cream cheese and stir until mostly melted. Add sour cream and stir well.

Layer half of tortilla chips in the bottom of prepared baking dish or pan, pressing down slightly to make an even layer. Spoon half the salsa verde mixture over chips. Spread half of the shredded chicken over the salsa verde mix. Evenly sprinkle half the shredded cheese over the chicken. Repeat layers. Press down gently into the dish.

Place in the oven for 35 minutes until heated through. Serve garnished with additional salsa verde, sour cream and scallions (which I didn't do cuz I wanted to get at it!!!).

Serves 4.

Now to cook this in the air fryer I layered it in the pan just like it said. The pan is big so I doubled the recipe. (I could have put it in my silicone dish but instead I doubled it.) I turned the air fryer on to bake and set the timer. It automatically cooks at 350 unless you program it otherwise. These were done in 20 minutes. This is a fantastic dish. We have enough for dinner tomorrow night.


Delicious!

(Not my picture -- it's the one from the recipe site. My camera just steamed up when I first tried and then I forgot to make it after it cooled a bit.)

On the crochet front I have been working on receiving blankets and birth cloths to donate. When I get another set done I'll take a photo and put on what I've made. Whatcha up to? Anything fun or creative?


Friday, April 13, 2018

Pink Pink -- It's Going to Be A Girl!!!!

My son's best friend, Jason, and his wife, Celina, are having a baby. It wasn't long ago I found out it was a girl and so I got busy and along with a flannel receiving blanket and some burp clothes I have crocheted around, I made this pretty blanket, vest and sun hat. No pattern. Just winged it. Comes from making a lot of baby clothes, I think. I love making them but haven't had anyone to make them for a while now. Oh, I also made a little white dress. I nearly forgot that! It was similar to this one only all white with little pink roses on the bodice. I know I took pictures of it but cannot find them. UGH! Don't you hate it when that happens?





I want to find a cute pair of pants/shorts and a little white t-shirt to go underneath. Maybe some little frilly socks and cute tennis shoes too? Oh, I could go nuts! I really could but I'd better not. This young man is like a son to us and I feel like I'm going to be a grandmother again. I told him that and he said that I could be Nana if I wanted to. Does that give me spoiling rights? I'm saying "Yes, why yes, it does!" The yarn I used to from Michael's. It's their Impeccable line and Is really nice yarn. It should launder well. I made the blanket a bit larger than usual as I like them to be big enough a toddler can use it for nap time.

I'm determined to get back on the genealogy wagon. It seems there's a lot of it to do. I just received a book I ordered on the Judd family. I'm hoping it will uncover a few mysteries for us. I really like doing genealogical research but kind of lost my steam for it when I got so I couldn't sit for very long. I have a few office chair though so I'm hoping that will help.

The Hubster is nearly finished with the remodeling (I hope). He's been working on the outside and is finishing up the detail work on the house painting today. He still has a bit to do inside but put it aside so he could get the outside work done before it gets too warm. It seems like spring in Arizona is a sum total of 15 minutes. It goes from 65 to 95 practically overnight. It will be 115 before we know it.

Until next time: I hope sunshine and lollipops are in your future.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Recipes Absolutely Worth Making

This past week my son had a friend visiting him from Denmark. They were going on a "painting excursion" out of San Diego. When Rob picked Henrik up from the airport, he was ill so they stayed in San Diego for a few days and then headed out. Henrik was still not feeling well so Rob said, "Let's go on to Havasu and stay with the folks. My mom will get you all better." They called on Monday and said, "Can we come?" I said, "Of Course!" and they were here a few hours later. Boy, did I have to scramble. I made Cheesy Corn Chowder and Bacon and Cheddar bread for dinner. My son says its guaranteed to make you feel better. I fed them. I put them all to bed and ran to the store for eggs!!!!

Want a delicious homemade wheat bread that even kids will love? I have made this bread a lot of times and every time I do I hear the same comments, "OMG, this is the best bread I've ever eaten."


Ingredients:


1-1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 (.25 oz. packages of yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk, room temperature (important!)
Directions:

Measure the water into a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and set aside for about 10 minutes (until foamy).
Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and 3 cups of whole wheat flour to the bowl, along with the brown sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and milk. Mix on low speed to blend ingredients. Continue to mix on medium speed, adding the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough clings to the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all of the flour. Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Oil the bowl and turn the dough to coat. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and place on a floured surface. Divide into two equal portions and use a rolling pin to roll each one into a rectangle that is about 16x8 inches. Be sure to press out all of the air bubbles. Roll the rectangles into loaves and pinch the seam together.
Place loaves seam side down into greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Set aside to rise until your finger leaves a dimple when you press into the loaf, 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.
Bake the loaves for 15 minutes in the 400-degree oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep brown. Remove from pans to cool on a wire rack.
It's a soft and lovely bread. Really good with toasted cheese. Oh man, must be time for lunch!!!
(Crochet report TBA.)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Baby Sleep Sack, etc., etc. and so forth . . .

I've been gone for a long time and I apologize to you for my absence. No real excuse other than lazy and it's very painful to sit here in the office chair for very long. I could use my Kindle or phone to post but that's a real torture for me. I type so much faster than I henpeck on those stupid little keyboards. In any event, I do have a few things to report:

My niece, Sasha, just had a baby boy. It is her first. She and her husband are what I call "environmentalists" and work for the forest service, etc. I really admire them for their commitment. Their little boy, Oliver, was born not too long ago and so I worked up a little sleep back (and hat) for him. I forgot to take a final photo of it but you get the idea:

It really did turn out cute. I got the pattern off Ravelry. It's called Suzie's Ripple Sleep Sack and Cap

I also made a LOT of hats for the homeless this year. Our local Goodwill was collecting them. This is just a few. I think I made 30 at last count, plus at least 15 scarves. When I turned them in they were overjoyed and said they needed them here but even more so in Phoenix and Flagstaff. It's really sad to think of others being cold and hungry.



We drove to Kingman, Arizona on Saturday to view a different property. I don't think we will move but haven't really felt like this was "home" to us. I really miss my kids but Kingman doesn't put me any closer to them it just means a larger house for the money and I can't keep this one clean. Right? LOL. Anyway -- coming back from Kingman we stopped at Popeye's Chicken and sitting outside was a man who really looked down on his luck. As I came out he asked if I'd share my meal with him as he was really hungry. I gave him our entire lunch sack and went in and got another one. Then, as we were pulling off the freeway on the last leg home there was a man with a sign saying "Old Fart down on his luck." Out came The Hubster's wallet and handed him the little bit of money he had with him. Only a few dollars but hopefully it will help them. We've actually seen this guy there before and his wife (I assume) was on the other side holding up a sign as well. You never know what is really the story but it makes you feel good to help out a bit -- regardless of what they ultimately use the money for -- I know my intent was good.

I got a new gadget. Yes, I am the "queen of gadgets" or so The Hubster says. I bought an air-fryer (which I'm always inadvertently calling a "hair dryer"). The words "air-fryer" just do not roll off the tongue very easily. The beauty is that it cooks with hot air and no oil!!! (It's kinda like a hair dryer, right? Hot air blowing. Cooks your hair. :-)

The first thing I made with it was stir-fry. It was awesome! The second thing was fried dill picks served with chicken salad. We LOVE fried pickles so to make them without oil is so much easier and healthier. 

I'll really try to be better at blogging. Not necessarily for anyone else but for me. I've missed having a diary of my life and projects. I like to be able to look back and see what I've accomplished or done.

We are going to have visitors the end of the month. My son and his wife are coming down for a few days. It will be good for them to get away and good for us to have company.

Have a fantastic week -- stay healthy and crochet on!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pecan Pie ! ! !


Okay, so I used to make pies all the time but since the kids have all moved away I don't even remember the last time I baked a pie. SO, since we will have 20 people here for Thanksgiving I decided I'd better practice. The first one I made wouldn't set up. I followed the recipe exactly. I baked it nearly 20 minutes longer than it said and it still didn't set up. Into the trash (but I saved the pecans cuz they are DANG expensive). Just about decided not to make another one but was determined to overcome FAILURE. ;-)

I didn't make a homemade crust this time because if the filling doesn't work out then I have wasted my time so I used a Marie Callendar deep dish pie crust from the local market's frozen foods section. The crust I use that always works for me is:

FOOL PROOF PIE CRUST


4 c flour
1 3/4 c shortening
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg
1/2 c water
Directions
1. Mix first four ingredients.
2. In separate dish, beat remaining ingredients.
3. Combine the mixtures, stirring with a fork.
4. Chill 15 minutes before rolling out. Dough can be left in the refrigerator up to 3 days or it can be frozen until ready to use.
It comes out perfectly every time. This crust needs to be baked before you put the filling in; otherwise, it cooks up into the filling and you end up without a bottom crust. Bake it at 350 degrees with a sheet of tin foil over the top (so it won't brown too much) for 11-12 minutes. Take it out and set it aside.

SUPER SIMPLE PECAN PIE.....FEW INGREDIENTS!!!

1 c sugar
1 1/2 c corn syrup( i use 1/2 dark and 1/2 light)
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c pecans coarsely broken and whole ones
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell
1/4 c butter softened
Directions
1. In a sauce pan boil sugar and corn syrups together for 2-3 minutes, set aside to cool slightly...
2. In a large bowl beat the eggs lightly, and very slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly!
3. Make sure its smooth..
4. Stir in the room temp. butter( if you need nuke it not to the melted point just so its soft.) and the Vanilla stir it in as well.
5. Pour into the pie crust
6. Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes or until set!!


I think the success really was in the boiling the sugar and corn syrups together. This pie was easy and set up perfectly. Using regular sugar and half dark and half light corn syrup made it not so sweet. Much better Pecan Pie recipe in my opinion.

Things have been kind of slow in the crochet world. I've made a lot of dishcloths for friends and for myself and a couple of shawls for the local nursing home. Our crochet/knitting group is doing a special project for a program called Forgotten Seniors. Getting old is the pits all on its own without having to do it all alone.

Have a fantastic rest of your week!