Monday, January 31, 2022

T Stands for Busy Weekend

   It's the very first T of February and on the 1st as well, can you believe we are into February already??  In ways January for me seemed like a long month-which does have 31 days, but it also seemed to go by too quickly as well.

  You are welcome to join us for T at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog-link in my side bar-just need to share a drink  related photo.

  I am sorry I didn't get many photos, I am not one to take allot of photos but rather just enjoy the moments. Our friends from Wisconsin drove down to tour some wineries and distilleries in Hermann Missouri and then cross over and visit us at the Lake in the Ozarks. They were watching the weather forecast and this was the perfect weekend to drive down without winter roads. Uh that's changing starting late tomorrow (Tuesday) through Friday I think the weather people said rain turning to ice or snow and ending up towards 15 inches of snow in different areas in Missouri. Not sure if we are included in all that-hoping not.

  Marie and I both love to cook and bake, so each evening was filled with good eats and good company. Saturday I went with them to go back to one of the wineries we visited last summer in Stover, Mo. It was a fun time, got me out of the house, enjoy tasting wines and visiting with the family that owns this winery. We had started a warm up on Saturday but by late afternoon it was a bit cool, so the owners started up a fire in the fire pit and we visited with a few others that were doing what we were.

  I never get out anymore with people, so I really enjoyed that. Saturday evening Marie made us steak, a buttery garlic-spicy shrimp, browned potatoes in the oven and I added the broccoli. Marie always bakes Larry a cheesecake every time they visit, so we enjoyed that too all weekend. I had baked up two loaves of the pumpkin bread (I shared the recipe awhile back) added yellow raisins this time, and Rob loved it. There are only 2 slices left from the two loaves-so that recipe is a keeper for sure.

   Of course we drank wine with our meals but I forgot to take photos. You can see my cup with tea in the back.

  Sunday evening I cooked and prepared fajitas (from scratch), made a cast iron skillet of black beans with green chilis and peeled tomatoes. I also made us mango margaritas. We had the KC Chiefs game on-we were all stunned they didn't win, as I think most of the fans are and especially after the amazing game last week.  We are all Green Bay Packer fans and the Pak were a major disappointment the week before-so I have no reason to watch the super bowl now.

   Before a big storm hits I always catch up with all the laundry, and get in any supplies we may need so we will be good til the weather and roads clear. I did that early afternoon today.

   My drink share this week is a cup of tea. My allergies and asthma have been rough this season still,  So I have been taking a few herbal supplements and healing teas.

 We have had to deal with the little grey squirrels wanting to eat all of the bird seed-it was just a matter of time before they became a problem. I had to take down my two bird feeders so they wouldn't destroy them, and now we just throw out seed on the little table and on the floor of the deck a couple times a day.

  With the warmer weekend we enjoyed seeing ducks and geese again on the lake. The young female eagle has been visiting too This bird is much larger than the much smaller juvenile that visits also. In these type of birds the female is always the largest

This morning's sunrise was a bright one

 Since my house is clean (I had done a deep clean in December and another just before our friends visit), and supplies are in, I think I can put my feet up and relax for a few days with reading and working with my crafts-and watch out our "wall of windows" to see what this winter storm will bring.

   Happy T Everyone 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Cast Iron Saturdays-No Knead Breads

 Hi Everyone and welcome to my Cast Iron Saturdays post.

   This post I am typing up early and will schedule it's posting. Our long time friends from Wisconsin have decided to drive down to visit us over a long weekend for them. They have been able to cut their work days down to 3 days a week, getting ready for full retirement. They will be her Friday afternoon.

  They decided to come down this weekend as they have been watching our weather for a warm up-and it's happening this weekend-we don't watch local news or weather any more so unless I think about it to check online the weather is a surprise for us. I am thinking our forefathers didn't live by a weather forecast back in the 1700-early 1800's  smiles   Well I needed to look this up and the very first weather forecast was shared on August 1, 1861.

  So, since my comments are set up for approval I may be approving your comments a bit late-so don't worry that your comment was not seen. Thank you ahead of time.

  I really wish we both could still eat breads on occasion. I gave up on my own gluten free bread baking and also we both eat very few carbs these days. Years ago when we first got married (we celebrate our 40th this year) I made all of our breads. I really enjoyed doing that allot- There are soooo many different kinds and different ways to bake up breads too.

  So this week I thought I would look for and share no knead breads baked in cast iron-what could be easier? and these turn out sooo delicious too. In your oven, or over and under coals in a Dutch oven with legs.

Garlic Rosemary No Knead Bread  this link has gorgeous photos too

Sunflower and Flax Seeds Whole Wheat Cast Iron Bread  This one also has lots of beautiful photos of the process

Easy No Knead Sourdough Bread  again lots of beautiful photos 

No Knead Artisan Bread

Well I did find a gluten free no knead bread here  I may just give this one a try as it looks good  If any of you should bake this one up-let me know how it turns out

If you are interested in more no knead bread recipes-I found many on Pinterest-they all looked really good too.

Happy Cast Iron Saturdays and Happy weekend 

      and if interested I started a link up food blog post titled Food Wednesdays-you are most welcome to share a food related post and join in sharing foods

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Food Wednesdays

 Welcome to the launch of Food Wednesdays.

    As mentioned in a past post this will be all about the Food-no limits on subject as long as it is Food related.

  So you can post about low carb, low sugar, vegetarian, gluten free, keto, paleo, history of foods, a favorite cookbook, a new cookbook, photos of foods-yours or at a restaurant you want to share. It can be all in full fats, carbs, sugars, it's up to you what you would to share. 

   Do you like to make homemade soup? Probably after I left home and college in the early '70s I started really reading labels on the food packages and cans. I watched for low salt or no salt, and low sugars. Years later I  needed to watch for gluten free for me and healthier for my husband's heart health and diabetes health. So I am a food label reader for sure, and I want to know what country my food is from as well.

   I bring this up because most canned soups and dried mixes are soooo high in salt. In many cases over the daily limit of salt. Bouillon cubes and similiar items are very high also in salt and additives too.

  So for years I have made my own stocks from whole chicken and turkey bones and left overs. Beef stock can be made from scratch as well from soup bones, beef shanks etc. For beef soups I do usually purchase beef bone broth-no salt or beef soup stock with no salt. If you need to be concerned with salt content regular stocks are just loaded with salt. One can also purchase or make veggie stocks too.

  Last week I made a beef soup I started with a no salt beef stock One of these is enough for two people but I usually add two of these, especially during a cold week

    I didn't think about taking photos at the time, but I had fresh green beans that I cleaned and snapped in small pieces, added to the simmering stock, I also added handfuls of dried onions and dried soup veggies that I pick up at the Amish store. Add dried chives, black pepper, a couple hot pepper flakes, and I have soup blend herbs that I buy from the Spice House and throw in a small handful of that. Grabbed a pint of home canned peeled tomatoes and smashed them up with my hands and added to the soup. I also peeled and cut into small pieces a zucchini.  I rarely add potatoes any more do to the carbs but this time I added a few and cut them in very small pieces. Let this all simmer for an hour. I keep turnips around now (no carbs) so sometimes I add small chunks of turnips instead of the potatoes

   I found this brand of canned beef and they also have canned turkey. This is an all usa product. When you open up the can it looks like a home canned product. I add this in last and heat til warmed up. At this point I also added a can of low salt black beans that I had rinsed well first.

To thicken I now like to use these all natural potato flakes, I know it adds carbs to the dish, but to a big pot I add a couple small handfuls and it really thickens the soup nicely I ended up adding this to the soup the next day, so the photo below of the bowl of soup does not reflect the addition of these flakes.

    It was soooo cold here at the lake last week, it did warm up over the weekend and today (Monday) as well, but Tuesday the cold returns.

   Time to make up my hot cocoa dry mix. I used to make a big jar full that would last all winter. I haven't made it since moving to the lake. I looked around online for different recipes-keto and others and ended up adapting ideas to make up the mixes. I made two mixes one using a dried coconut milk and the other a dried skim milk. The newest addition to the mix for me was a chopped up chocolate bar, and one of the keto recipes added collagen.

The ingredients

All blended up-going into the jar

The recipe I came up with

   2 cups sugar free sweetener-I used Splenda, can also use a keto white sweetener

   3/4 cup cocoa-I used Hershey's special dark cocoa-richer flavor

   1 cup dry milk or dry coconut milk powder

  unsweetened chocolate bar-I had on hand 95% cocoa bar I used half of this 2.8 ounce bar for each jar (This really added a richness to the hot cocoa)

 1/3 cup collagen-this was added to a keto recipe so I added this one to the coconut milk cocoa mix

Add all ingredients to your food processer and whirl til blended well-add to jar and label.  Use 2-3 tablespoons of mix per 12 ounces of water or milk for richer flavors I like unsweetened nut milks. bring to a simmer til all mixed pour in mugs and enjoy I splurge on a bit of sugar by adding marshmallows-smiles

Now it's your turn if you would like to add your Food Wednesdays post here-please link up with your actual post and not your blog.

Monday, January 24, 2022

T Stands for Tuesday & More Out of Boxes

   Hi Everyone, Tuesdays brings us to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T where we share a drink related photo and gather with friends.

   Thought I would share more items that are out of boxes and out to enjoy. One box had several plates-Native American and also gnomes-my Mom loved plate collections and decided for Christmas and Birthdays to surprise me with gnome plates. I do love them, and this is the first I have ever hung them up to enjoy. 

  These Native American plates are hung above the two Native American pieces in frames. Our old bedroom was full of these and mountain man era items.


Next up in the computer room/weaving/spinning, library of cookbooks, herbs, etc I hung and set out allot of items. I am in this room allot so will enjoy seeing these pieces

   I had made a video but decided I liked the photos better. This wall I hung the gnome plates, there is a little painting from a blog friend-my Harley Bear, and little Ty black bear (more later about the goose painting)

Moving further down this wall-More gnome plates, I moved Barbara's painting to this wall, also my sister had started this wool embroidery piece, when she passed in an auto. accident (back in the early 80's) I asked my Mom to finish this piece for me. The frame with plaque is our first world bird breeding award from the American  Federation of Aviculture

The painting from Debra also moved to this wall. The tiger plate was a gift from friends that were tiger and lion trainers in Holland. They moved to the states for several years because in his country he was "too old" to continue that work. They didn't want us to forget them when they moved back home.
    The painting framed in lower right corner is from Agnes-a long time blog friend before Facebook came along. She lived in Paris and we swapped several art pieces over the years

   The painting to the left was also a piece from Agnes. Those of you that know Paris may recognize this spot.  The other piece is a cross stitch piece that I fell in love with-I don't do this form of needlework so my neighbor at the time stitched it for me-I really love it

Same room-we added drapes to this sliding door, my warping board now hung

Larry had a better idea for the trunk's placements in this room. Gave me better access around the room, and more floor space. This is the last of my cookbooks, herbs, preservation, essential oil aromatherapy and more books. Of course I could not leave behind all of my vintage farm pieces-allot of these pieces were my farm girl Grandmas
  I always loved that old copper piece, the bottom is split but it still works for storing weaving items That old rusty sign Larry salvaged from his Grandfather's farm

a better view of this trunk The mini trunk and basket hold spinning items

Lastly the double vintage dressers, my loom and bench. a friend gave me that spinning wheel light-he saved it from the trash. The mini trunk holds family bibles The big box is saved recipes from years old magazines. I had my Mom's clippings too and got rid of over half of it that I know I wouldn't use. Now I can easily get to it.-under my sun printed pillows and bison toy I picked up in Yellowstone Park

      Did any of you know blog friend Shroo?  I bought one of her handmade books and then we spent a year swapping and sharing things over that year. She lived in England. I knew she was ill, and that she needed to move from where she was living after her mother passed-but I never heard from her again. I still miss her. I learned a new to me technique on how to turn a book into a journal-I had  allot of fun with that project.  From one of my photos she surprised me with this painting

Remember when I had a returning Canada goose pair that nested in our ponds? One year they were successful with hatching babies and keeping them alive from predators. This pair migrated for several years.  Shroo sent me this painting as well. I just bought this frame so I could put this out to enjoy

Shroo had also sent me several different line drawings and told me to go ahead and have fun coloring them. This one is perfect just the way it is so I got a frame for this piece too

  I hope I haven't bored you too much with the look into this room.

  My drink share this week is a mug of hot cocoa. I will be sharing the recipe on my launch tomorrow for Food Wednesdays. Which will be all about the Food-you are most welcome to stop by and/or participate.

  The moon has been a joy to see every evening this past week. This one was really special with the reflection in the water.

Happy T and new week ahead

Friday, January 21, 2022

Cast Iron Saturdays -Upside Down Cakes

   Welcome to our Cast Iron Saturdays

       I thought I would search for upside down cakes this week. I have not made one of these in awhile but we do always enjoy them.

A favorite is pineapple upside down cake-I am sharing this recipe because I prefer to use drained crushed pineapple too-it is nicer for serving

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake for gluten free I would use Bobs Red Mill 1-1 gluten free flour blend Other changes to the recipe I would use coconut oil instead of shortening, the cup of sugar I would change to Splenda or a keto white sweetener, the brown sugar I would change to coconut sugar or a keto brown sweetener and the milk can be changed to an unsweetened almond milk or other nut milk

Apple Upside Down Cake  For us I would go through the ingredients and change over to a gluten free flour, white sugar replaced with Splenda or a keto sweetener, the brown sugar replaced with coconut sugar or a keto brown sweetener, the milk can be changed to a nut milk The recipe is served with a purchased caramel sauce and there are sugar free and keto versions as well

Plum and Lemon Upside Down Cake with Lavender Whipped Cream

    This is a really delicious sounding recipe. again can change to gluten free with a gluten free flour blend, and for us I would change the sugars to splenda or a keto sweetener The lavender whipped cream sounds amazing

Cast Iron Cranberry Brown Sugar Upside Down Cake

   I really like baking with cranberries and this one sounds delicious. For us I would do the same changes as mentioned before with the flour to gluten free flour and changing the sugars to Splenda, Keto, or coconut sugar

Once you find a cake recipe that you really like, just go ahead and experiment with different fruits and/or nuts for the bottom that you really like. I have made upside down cakes with blueberries, wild picked blackberries, fresh pears, peaches etc are good choices too. Use your imagination of what you like and have fun with it.

Serve with fresh cups of percolated coffee-a little more rustic and homey, especially if you have a woodstove going right now that you can brew it on. I loved doing that at the woods home.

Photos found online

or a wood cook stove

Outdoors over the fire

Happy Saturday and Weekend We are finally going to warm up a bit-we have been in the single digits most of this week-so ready for warmer temps

This Morning's Early Photos

 Brrrrr  it is still soooooo cold here. We have been in the lower single digits for several days now. Looks like tomorrow we will be warming up. A little icy with these cold temps but we have had no snow here as of yet. This is when I really really miss not having a working woodstove. The house was always so much warmer with a fire burning.

  These photos were all taken through windows-the eagle and the moon photo is looking out the front door up the steps and the hill. This wolf moon has been appearing early mornings in this area for several days now

I will be launching Food Wednesdays next week. See previous post for details if interested

Stay warm Everyone

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Food Wednesdays-About & The Wolf Moon

 Hello everyone,

     I thought I would pop in and write up a little about my newest weekly food post I want to launch next week.

    If you are not familiar, I have been posting for about a year now for Cast Iron Saturdays. I love using my cast iron and reading about cast iron, so once a week I search online for recipes to share using cast iron pieces.

  Years before Facebook came along on the scene, I enjoyed reading food posts. I am someone that loves to read cookbooks too, I have always made everything we eat from scratch-well until recently I started using good quality gluten free mixes for breads mostly. I just never grasped making an edible gluten free bread. I wasted money on books and ingredients on this. I do feel guilty about using a mix too, but I don't eat that much bread anyways and if I want a little for a treat I want it to bake up right.  Other than that most everything is made from scratch in my kitchen with now mostly purchased ingredients (instead of all farm raised) and we don't eat out-haven't for at least 5 years now. I have always enjoyed working in my kitchen. Before really downsizing and moving to the lake I always put in a huge garden and froze, canned, and dried lots of fruits and veggies. Hoping this year to use the Amish farmer's market more to do that again. 

  I decided to post for Food Wednesdays. I know there are many link ups for art during the week, so hoping this day will work out for visiting or sharing a food post as well.

  I did figure out Mr Linky so you will be able to add your post if you would like to join in.

                  DETAILS:     Name of the event will be Food Wednesdays

                 TOPIC-anything you would like to share about Food. 

                         I don't want to narrow down the topic about foods either. 

   So this can be recipes for gluten free, or vegetarian, or low fat or low carbs, or keto, or paleo, and can also be full of sugars and carbs and fats, Anything about food that you would like to share. A new cookbook you just bought, or a favorite cookbook. Even history of foods can be shared if you wish. I love 17th and 18th century cooking, so I may share some James Townsend's videos  This can also be a favorite recipe, a new recipe that looks and sounds delicious, or can just be photos of a meal you shared at a restaurant or in your home.

   Hoping we can share and learn from each other. So not much in rules here-it's all about the food. 

                    (and being kind to one another)

I welcome any thoughts or suggestions before we get started next week as well.

Tuesday evening the moon was gorgeous over the lake

and this morning early in front of the house