Sunday, December 21, 2008

Luscious Lemon Bars

I love these lemon bars. They are a perfect addition to that tray of goodies for the neighbor.

3/4 cup butter, @ room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 lemons
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Mix shortbread ingredients until it holds together. Place in an ungreased 9x13 inch pan and press. Bake 20 minutes or until edges are brown.
2. Make lemon filling. Wash and dry lemons, then grate the rinds using small holes on the grater for 2 tbs. of zest. Squeeze the juice until you get 1/3 cup.
3. Whisk together eggs and sugar. Whisk in the flour, stir in the lemon zest and juice. Pour filling over shortbread and bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.

* 350 Degrees
You can substitute lemon juice concentrate if you don't have a fresh lemon. Approximately 2 1/2 tablespoons equals the juice of one medium size fresh-squeezed lemon.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This is what my backyard looks like today. Frothy, thick, whip cream like wonderland. This is how our family enjoyed the delicacy...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweets for the sweet!

Making our gingerbread houses is always a treat. This year I found a wonderful recipe for the icing. I have never before been able to get the icing to hold up the house. For a couple of years we hot glued the walls together, but that doesn't go over very well when you want to eat it. I went searching on-line for a good, "Glue", that would hold up under the weight of ten pounds of candy. I found that the trick to making a gingerbread house is to have a strong frosting. I found two recipes on-line, but didn't have all the ingredients for them both. Here is the recipe I concocted for the icing.

Stiff Icing:
2 egg whites
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp water

Beat egg whites until frothy, add the sugar one cup at a time until thick, add water to get desired consistency.
Frost house and let set one hour before adding any deliciousness, this way the walls don't cave in.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

We hit a....

Now, I know what you are thinking... "not a home run, it's not baseball season, and they do live in the mountains."
Yes, my friends it was Bambi's mother. I could tell by that look in her eyes. We were driving on
bluecreek road around 7pm when she darted toward our car. It was pitch black and had been that way since 4:30pm. The sun sets at an unreasonable hour when you live up north.
"Why is she coming toward our headlights? She should be running away from them." And then the impact of her torso and the side of our car.
Z wanted us to turn around and find her to see if she was o.k. But, we were waiting for our airbags to deploy and hoping they wouldn't. We saw two more deer after that, but since we had already had one impact, were driving cautiously and slow. Again the second deer ran across the road in front of us!
We didn't inspect our car until we reached the ferry. My dad had purchased a small flashlight to put in our glove box on one of his trips to town. (Thanks) We whipped it out and walked along the driver's side looking for blood, dents, deer hair. We saw nothing, and thankfully our airbags are still where they should be. So I guess you could say we hit a home run!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Old barn

On our drive to Spokane we pass this old wooden barn. Recently a star has been lit in the loft.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

My New Running Partner

When we first got our puppy I tried to take her running with me. I feel really bad that I did. She was so little that she couldn't keep up and she thought I would leave her if she couldn't see me. I took her to the track and made it one lap. The poor puppy was breathless and thirsty and I had to take her home. After that if she saw me running she would sit on the porch and wait for me to finish. Now that she is older and bigger she enjoys going with me and loves to tag along. I feel safe with a canine companion. There is something comforting about a dog at my side. She has been known to chase the coyotes away as well as the wild turkeys. But, I really wish she wouldn't chase the wild turkeys. I need them to eat those rotten apples from under the trees. Even though I make her go outside most of the day, I really do like having a dog for a pet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still Busy...

Here I am, workin' on my muscles. No time to blog when you have a pile of wood to chop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Menacing Threat

It was time for dinner and the table was enclosed in a fort of blankets. Towers of books held the walls in place and pillows spilled out from the sides. I set the timer for seven minutes, as long as it took to steam the broccoli, and told the girls to pick it up before the timer went off. They thought they should challenge my request. "Or what will happen if we don't pick it up before the timer goes off?"
... me, scrambling for a threat, what would make them hurry?

... "I'll, .... I'll eat your broccoli and you won't get any!"
What ensued was amazing.
"Hurry, fast or we won't get any broccoli." Mad scrambling, blanket folding, book shuffling, orders barked at younger sister, and with exactly a minute to spare the table was clean.
You have to be quick around here if you want any broccoli!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gainfully Employed

You may have noticed the sparcity of my posts lately. I blame that on my new job. I have been working for about a month now, using my Bachelors degree. (It sure is nice to have that hard work pay off!) It makes me want to get my Masters Degree. It does take up my time and keeps me busy, but it is worth it. I jumped in with both feet and I'm not looking back.

September Title Picture

Cousins! There is nothing so grand as time spent with a cousin. I remember driving hours in the car to visit my cousins. One year we drove to Wyoming for Thanksgiving, where my aunt had made 16 pies! (I can't remember the exact number, anyone know?) To me, the stack was miraculous. This was the same aunt who made my Christmas stockings! Did I mention she is amazing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't throw it away!

Warning: Don't read this if your hungry.
My sister and I have this running joke that we can't throw food away unless it has some kind of mold on it. If there are any leftovers, but not enough to feed more than one person, you still have to put them in a container and place them into the fridge. You can't immediately throw them out. That would be wasteful. What if someone wanted to eat them later? (Only that never happens.) We seem to agree that we are not allowed to throw them away until they have been in the fridge for a week or two and they have become completely inedible and lost all nutritional value.
Last night I pulled off the mother lode of wasteful. My spinach was getting a little wilted and I knew I had to cook it or throw it away. So I pulled out a pan, added water, and boiled it for several minutes. Then I turned the pan off, left it on the stove overnight, and threw it away in the morning.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

September Title Picture

The picture for September was a flower we planted. (cheers and clapping)
The girls had so much fun picking out packets of seeds in the local hardware store. Lulu kept insisting I let her buy a package of pumpkin seeds. We have several green ones growing on the hill next to the house. By the time we were ready to plant seeds it was late in the season and they were all 40% off. It turns out my daughters have pretty green thumbs. They must have inherited it from their dad. I have been know to kill several plants, namely the first bonsai DH bought. I cursed it. Now I am trying to change my ways and become a better person. I feel really bad about that first bonsai.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Silly Sayings...

  • While reading a bed time story where the main character's name was Lucy, Lulu asked, "Does she loose things because her name is Lucy?"

  • When playing dolls Z asked Lulu if her doll had a boyfriend. To which she replied, "No, they would chase us, or kid us."

  • Last night while showing me a scratch Lulu remarked, "My owwee needs frosting and cake. That would make it better."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Helmet Cam Video!

DH rigged up a helmet cam and we made this video today. Pretty sweet, eh?

Kettle Crest Trail

On the way to Republic, WA over the Sherman Pass is the Kettle Crest trail.

The elevation is 4,000 feet higher than at our home and a bit cooler too! One should wear hats and jackets when hiking this trail as the air cools off substantially, especially in September. On our first attempt at this trail we went in shorts and t-shirts and nearly froze.

Here is the view from the top!

We came to the home of giant boulders, who slumber peacefully along the hillside. It was fun climbing over them to discover their hidden treasures.

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Vibrant orange berries

Ripe, wild raspberries, sweet and juicy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mosaic of Me

This idea came from Em.
It was fun to search for pictures that caught my eye and reminded me of things I love about life.
If you decide to create one I would love to see it. Please leave a link to your post in my comments.
Here is how you make your own Mosaic:
Type your answers to each of the questions into Flickr search. Using only the first page of results, pick your favorite image, then copy and paste each of the URL's into the Mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).
The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name?
Here is the credit to the original photographers in my mosaic:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hot Cakes

This is my favorite pancake recipe. It is my maternal Grandma's recipe. My mom would make them for us, sometimes for dinner.

Hot Cakes
2 cups of flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 cups of milk
2 1/2 Tbs oil

Combine Dry Ingredients then add the wet and stir at once. Mix good and then cook on a hot pan, flipping them after you see the bubbles appear in batter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome to the newest member of our family...

She's very cute and cuddly with a side of fun.
LuLu has wanted a kitty for a while now. The secretary at our elementary school told us she had some kittens born in July. She brought some over for us to look at. This one was the littlest. Her name is "Sprinkles." Very fitting for a baby kitty who doesn't know how to use the litter box yet. Early in the morning she "meows" for her breakfast. I didn't know I was getting an alarm clock.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Crystal Falls, Douglas Falls

Crystal Falls is located just off Highway20. There is no parking lot, just a turn off. It is too steep to get to the base of the falls. We took a pic-nik lunch thinking we could sit at a table and enjoy the view. There are no tables. We settled for a boulder. When traveling with small children they seem to think boulders make much better eating accommodations than a table. There was a trail down the hill that we explored and were able to get this view....

The second falls of the day: Douglas Falls. This one had a campground facility and pic-nik tables. Just our luck! We were unable to do any hiking because all the trail signs were covered with warning signs, scrawled in a black maker, that trees were blown down and blocking the path.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

August Title Picture

This is Z and LuLu on a walk in the woods, except that Z fell in the creek and got her shoes and socks wet. Then she had to sit down and take them off! Only to be disappointed that I made her put them back on.
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What happens when your sister tells you to "Lay down and close your eyes!"

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Got any spare Zucchini?

Here is a fabulous recipe! I give it four stars and just in case your neighbors keep giving you zucchini you will have something yummy to make with them.
Zucchini Bars
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups grated raw zucchini
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar

Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add sugar, butter, zucchini and vanilla and mix lightly but well. Combine flours, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon and add to egg/zucchini mixture. Stir until well blended; add nuts. Pour into 12x17 inch jelly roll pan. Combine ingredients for topping. Sprinkle topping mixture over batter. Bake; cool on rack. Cut into squares.

Temperature: 350
Time: 15-20 minutes

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Library

I mentioned that I was going to have to make a separate post about our library. Well here it is. We live in such a small community that the library is very tiny. There is not even a librarian. You just go in and check out your books and file away the cards in the drawer behind the counter.
This morning Lulu asked if we could go to the "egg chairs". It took me a while to figure out what she was talking about.
This was our old library...

It was gigantic. It was brand new and it was simply breathtakingly beautiful.

In the children's section they had these chairs. The "egg chairs." So we are all missing our Indianapolis Central Library.

But our new library has some excellent literary choices. Like these...

Two brothers want to go to the circus but don't have enough money. Find out what they do to earn some.

"Unlike many books on death for the little ones, this one doesn't tell a story. Instead, it addresses children's fears and curiosity head-on." Booklist

The section titled "Ways to Remember Someone" was my favorite. It says, "Even when someone you love dies, you don't lose him completely- you still have your memories. That person can always be a part of you."

  • Make a scrapbook about her.

  • Play the game "I remember when..." with your family and friends.

  • Look at his photograph.

  • Keep practicing something he taught you.

  • Write a poem about her.

  • Keep something of hers in a special place.

  • Visit her grave.

  • Make a new friend who reminds you of her.

  • Have a picnic to celebrate his birthday.

There are more ideas in the book, I just posted my favorite here.

I really enjoyed the artwork in this rendition. It is a classic tale that my mom use to read to me and I enjoyed sharing it with my own daughters.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What is that?

Here are a few fun pictures, take a gander at what they might be.
Photo #1
Photo #2
Photo #3
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Travel the West

Just to prove that I can whip up a mean meal!
Lake Coeurd' Alene is amazing. On the left of the picture is Tubbs Hill. If you hike along it you can find your own secluded beach. It makes for a great pic-nik spot and lots of swimming.

This is Hayden Lake in North Idaho. I would love to own one of the houses on the edge of this lake. Just think of the years you could add to your life looking out your window at this everyday.
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