Monday, September 17, 2012

Tuna Casserole, Still A Favorite!

Autumn is the best time of year to break out those old favorite recipes.  One of my old favorites is a creamy tuna casserole.With the cost of food going up, nothing beats an economical meal that satisfies everyone.  The tuna casserole is still a great family meal that works out to be economical as well as filling.  One thing I always have on hand is a few cans of tuna, so when I need a quick and easy meal for us on the run, this casserole tops my list.

  • 1 box linguine (cooked tender)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese, peas, tuna, soup and mushrooms. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and top with potato chip crumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.

I am still addicted to Pinterest, and I love trying the recipes I find on my favorite website.  I made the crock pot french toast this weekend for a church event and it was a real hit!  I have added the link to the recipe, so that you can also peruse this blog, it's a great place to spend a cup of coffee's time! Just click on the crock pot french toast to get there!

A blessing occurred the other day!  My little Chloe, whom is mommy to our puppies, worries me with small animals, rabbits, chickens etc.  I have spent a lot of time trying to acclimate her around the chickens and ducks.  I take her out on a leash and walk her around them all and let her spend time with them.  She is very well behaved with me.  However, I don't trust her alone with them and I never will.  I heard a puppy squeak the other day and I went outside to see what was going on with them, all out in the back playing.  I see Chloe with my sweet white hen.  She is pulling her by the back of her head as the hen is pulling back trying to resist.  The puppies are all bouncing around thinking it is just typical play time.  Why that chicken flew into the backyard is beyond me, but I don't think she will do it again!  I was so proud of Chloe though, not a feather was pulled out and the chicken was unharmed, except for her ego I imagine.  I yelled Chloes name and she let go and the hen ran off to the other side of the yard, where I quickly scooped her up and gave her a good look to make sure she was alright.  I think that Chloe was trying to play and had no intention of hurting her.  I still won't trust her alone with the birds, but I'm so happy to know that she didn't hurt this chicken when she could have, I have no idea how long that tug of war had been going on outside.  I feel blessed that my work with Chloe and the chickens is paying off.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall IS coming!

 The weather is changing and I get that excitement inside me that fall is fast approaching!  I know better than to give way to the thought that the wonderful weather will remain and fall is here for it's duration.  But, how can I help but love the weather lately and how it makes me feel so excited about apples, pumpkins, cool nights by a fire and all the soup and stew we can eat!  Fall IS coming and I am ready to jump on the bandwagon!
 This will be the first winter for our beautiful hens, and I am anticipating getting their house ready for the cold.  There is a lot of work ahead for us to prepare their house and get them ready to keep warm.  We had some really hot summer days here and I worried so much about my birds getting over heated.  Now, I get to worry for months about them being too cold.
Shown here, as pullets, our sweet chickens have now grown up and are giving us plenty of eggs.  I just love all of our chickens and they are adequately spoiled and come running just to the sound of my voice!
 Our baby turkeys are all grown up now, and are so big and fat!  They are so ugly they are cute!

 All of our Indian Runner ducks are growing up and have yet to start laying, but they keep the yard lively with all their laughs and conversations and they certainly are not afraid of a turkey, chicken or puppy!  They are so entertaining!

Now with the addition of the baby goats and all of our little puppies, we have quite the farm beginning.  It amazes me to see how far we have come in a year and a half since moving here.  I almost can't imagine not living on this land with all of our creatures instead of creature comforts, we have a rich life wrapped warmly in love and the basics of life.  It's been frustrating adjusting, but I think I am getting there as well as the kids.  We all had to learn how to live like this instead of  jumping in the car and being at the nearest fast food restaurant or shopping mall in a matter of minutes.  I have to admit, this life is much better for us all!

So, I am happy to say bring on Autumn, let the leaves fall and the cool nights turn into cool days too and the softness of the sun just warms your face as the cooler breezes bring chills to your skin.  Let the nights come earlier and the warmth of a glowing fire warm our hearts and our home.  Bring on apple peeling and pumpkin pie making, big pots of soups and hearty stews to feed our family night after night.  Let the greens turn to grays and browns and bring us those stunning leaves of reds and golds and yellows that brighten the dull sky landscape.  Let the pine cones drop to offer amazing garlands and fireplace mantel decorations.  I will once again drag out the jackets and sweaters and boots and another season will be upon us leading us into winter.  I am ready for fall and I am excited that it's almost here!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We have new baby goats! Yay!

 We woke up Sunday morning to quite a surprise.  I was expecting the girls to have their babies soon, but I did not expect them both to kid at the very same time over night!  Dixie, our white goat and Mama the brown goat were acquired in June and they said that one might be bred.  Well they both were bred and Mama was huge so I knew she was having at least twins.  Mama is the mother of the white goat Dixie.  They were already named when we got them.  So, not only is Mama a new mommy again she's also a grandma to Dixies first kid.  They are adorable little goats.
 Mama had a set of twins, two tan and black and white goats, one boy and one girl.
 The chickens are not quite sure of what to think of the new goats taking over the house, but they will all get along just fine!

 This is Dixies first time to have a baby, she's quite a good mommy and I love how she and Mama work together taking care of all three of the goats.

We are very excited to have our new babies.  They will be very spoiled in no time and we will be able to start working on milking the goats to start making our own cheese.  I am very excited about that!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Puppies Everywhere!

We have some adorable puppies that have finally hit 8 weeks today and are ready to look for their forever homes.  However, I am so attached to these little puppies I'm finding it hard to let them go.  Never before have I had trouble with finding puppies homes after breeding dachshunds for years.  These little babies really stole my heart!  These little puppies are a gorgeous mix from a full blood chihuahua and a Westie, they are the cutest puppies I've ever seen.  Apparently, they are considered a "designer breed" called Chesties!  I thought I would share how cute they are with everyone.  I am going to miss them terribly when I finally give in to letting them go! :(


The Babies

 They love to play outdoors and will play until they pass out!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Painted Sofa!

Well, it took me longer than I wanted to, but I finished my painted sofa project.  I am very happy with the results.  I took an old faded upholstered sofa and painted it and now it looks like a brand new sofa.  It's pet smell proof and will wipe clean easily.  I can't stop staring at it, I just am amazed how different it looks.

 I am really excited and proud of how the sofa turned out!  The photo doesn't give the color its true depth, it is a very soothing sage green!

You can see close up the texture of the fabric is still there under the paint!

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Project

I came across a great vintage sofa this weekend that is going to be my new project.  Its got great "bones" but the fabric is faded from the sun, so I'm going to paint it sage green.  I plan on starting it today and will take some photos as I go.  I just did a chair not so long ago and it turned out wonderful!

This is the chair that I painted, it still needed another coat, you can see some of the old blue peeking out from the new brown.  I love how it turned out and can't wait to start my new sofa.

As you can see the cat and dog fell in love with it straight away!  They have good taste!  The next time I show a photo it will be a lovely shade of sage green.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ole' it's a Mexican Theme!

Something smells good in my kitchen today!  I've got a chicken on, so I can de-bone it and make sour cream chicken enchiladas.  I am making apple enchiladas and a flan for dessert.  We are having a Mexican food themed lunch-in at church tomorrow to help make some money for our wonderful people going to Buenos Aries next month.  It should be fun and tasty!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb chicken breast, diced 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 flour tortillas, softened (8 inches each)
1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese or 1 1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese, divided 
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
 1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
 1 cup sour cream
 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies 


1. In frypan, cook chicken and onion together in oil over medium-high heat until chicken is just done.

2 Divide cooked chicken evenly between 8 tortillas; add 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese to each tortilla. 

3 Roll enchiladas and place seam-side down in 9x13" baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.

 4 Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux; stir and cook until bubbly; gradually whisk in chicken broth then bring to boiling, stirring frequently.

 5 Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and green chiles; pour sauce evenly over enchiladas.

 6 Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese (baking dish may be double-wrapped and frozen at this point) and bake at 400F for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce near edges of baking dish is bubbly.

Apple Enchiladas

  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking pan.
  3. Bring margarine, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Makes 6 large tortillas; may be cut in half to serve 12.

Easy Flan:

  • 1 cup and 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 13 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
I use a round spring form pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Or, you can use 6 small ramekins.
Pour 1 cup sugar in warm pan over medium heat. Constantly stir sugar until is browns and becomes caramel. Quickly pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of caramel in each ramekin, tilting it to swirl the caramel around the sides.  Or into the spring form pan and tilt to spread all around.  Reheat caramel if it starts to harden.
In a mixer or with a whisk, blend the eggs together. Mix in the milks then slowly mix in the 1/2 cup of sugar, then the vanilla. Blend smooth after each ingredient is added.
Pour custard into caramel greased ramekins or spring form pan.  Place ramekins or spring form pan in a large glass or ceramic baking dish and fill with about 1-2 inches of hot water. Bake for 45 minutes in the water bath and check with a knife just to the side of the center. If knife comes out clean, it's ready.
Remove and let cool. Let cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. Invert each ramekin onto a small plate,  or the spring form pan onto a large plate, the caramel sauce will flow over the custard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Senior Pictures

Today we went to have my son's tuxedo photos taken at school for his Senior year and we went out to do his senior pictures, the casual ones.  We had such a great time taking photos of him doing what he loves most, playing guitar.  School starts Friday here and I have to say I have that same feeling inside as I did when they all started kindergarten.  My middle son will be a senior and my baby, my daughter will be a freshman.  It's exciting and scary and sad all at the same time.  I hope they both have a great year!  My oldest is out of school and working, so I survived all of that I know I will survive two more growing up as well.

After school starts Friday, I will have a new routine and will be very happy to get things organized.  This last school year and summer has left me running around in chaos.  I have so many projects I want to dive into and I'm looking forward to having a lot of time to myself to get them completed.  I think the next few months will be fun and productive.

I am very excited that my chickens are laying eggs now.  We have over a dozen so far, well mostly chicken eggs a couple of duck eggs too!  I am so proud of my little chickens, growing up so fast and laying so quickly.  Now I will have to find some new recipes for eggs.  I know there must be a million of them I don't know of yet.  I'm open to any recipes anyone has that isn't an omelet or a fritatta, I know those already! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Time Flies

Time flies, seasons change and life goes on no matter how much we want to stop and smell the roses.  I haven't updated my blog in several months.  Mostly because I have been keeping busy with so many irons in the fire that I just didn't make the time.  After the loss of my chickens, we got rid of some dogs.  I got new baby chicks and just started getting eggs this week again, it's been really exciting watching my baby chicks grow up to beautiful hens.  We also started getting goats.  We got two goats in May, a 3 month old dwarf Nigerian billy and a pygmy that is whethered.  They are the sweetest things.  We then got a female dwarf in June and then two pygmy females as well.  We have 5 goats and all are happy and enjoying their new home. The two pygmy females were thought to have been bred, he wasn't sure when we bought them.  But, I'm sure now!  I am expecting them both to kid in the next few weeks.  Without a true breeding date, it's hard to know the true due date, but I'm seeing signs like the udders filling.  I'm excited to have babies soon.  We also have 2 gorgeous turkeys and 13 new ducks.  Our two mallards are giving us eggs and the ten Indian Runner ducks are just starting to grow up and run around.  We have one lone Muscovy male that seems to hang out with one or the other but no one really takes him in fully.  He doesn't give up, so I'm convinced he is going to make friends with all the ducks.

Our garden was a mess this year and the lack of rain and the extreme heat just fought us all season so we didn't get much out of it.  I was frustrated to a point then I just gave up hope and decided to worry about it next year.  We did get quite a few tomatoes though, they do seem to like that dry heat more than any other vegetable.

The best addition since my last update was my new camera.  My son got me a wonderful new Nikon camera for mothers day and I have taken so many beautiful photos with it.  I just love being able to take pictures again.  I will fill my blog up with photos now!  I have also done quite a few DIY projects in recent months.  One being a painted swivel chair that turned out amazing and we added beadboard wallpaper on the bottom portion of the walls in the living room and painted it barn red.  I will be finishing up the upper walls soon, making them look like weathered wood.  I've still kept up my addiction with Pinterest and found some great recipes and DIY projects I have tried out.  I love that site!

We just had a nice trip to Florida to visit my parents and enjoyed ourselves even though we had some minor gaffes like car trouble and a trip and fall for myself.  Not to mention it was all done in 3 days haha.  But, still nice to get away and do something fun.

School starts this Friday and life will be back to normal again soon for me, having them all out of the house will allow me to get a schedule and my life organized again.  Today we are getting senior pictures done for my son.  I'm very excited, I will be taking most of them just having the cap and gown and tuxedo shots done at the school.  My son's senior year, and my daughters freshman year.  Time certainly flies!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I cannot find the words to describe how I feel today.  Sad is all I can muster.  Two of our dogs got into our chicken pen and killed several of our adult, egg laying hens. I feel so many emotions over this and not one of them good.  I want to get rid of these dogs, they are the sweetest pets a person can have, but they are killers and I cannot look at them the same way ever again. All of our other dogs were traumatized from the situation and the entire household is just quiet and depressed.  I have 3 hens left and one rooster and the hens have some minor injuries that I am treating.  I pray that they make it through this, right now they are inside and in my bathtub where I can watch them and keep them warm.  I feel so guilty, as a chicken mom, that this happened.  We really tried to create their pen as safe as possible, but obviously we did not do a good job.  I look at my new baby 2 1/2 week old chicks and I do not want anything to ever happen to them.  I don't want them to live in such a scary, dangerous world with other animals finding them to hurt them or kill them.  I want to keep them in the house and never let them outdoors.  I know that isn't feasible, but right now I just feel like locking them away somewhere safe.  We didn't have many hens, and just started getting our eggs from them, and now we will not have anymore eggs until the new babies grow up.  There just aren't words to describe how my heart aches today, thinking of my chickens and missing them so much already.  I am at a loss, all I can do is put my feelings into one word, Sad.  My prayers and faith in God will help me to understand and learn from this experience in time, but right now I just feel horrible!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The List Grows, yet there doesn't seem to be enough time...

Each day around here, the list grows longer yet, there is not enough time in a day to get it all completed.  Is it because I'm getting older or the tasks require more work?  The garden needs to be weeded, the day I have the time to work in the garden, it rains!  The roses need to be planted, the day I set aside for that something else comes up.  It is one thing after another and what I am praying for is more time.

The weekend was really unused because everyone had something going on, and when I had free time it was pouring down rain.  Yesterday, it was absolutely gorgeous, but most of the day was spent at church, so that time was quality time.  We got home and I was sitting outside deciding how to create a new pen for the chicks and the ducks when it is time, and I had wanted to do this and that but I was exhausted from all the running around I have been doing lately.  I threw my hands in the air I told my husband to finish up what he was doing and I directed the kids to get dressed we were going out to dinner and to a meat sale in another town.  We left quickly and got on the road.  The little restaurant was all country cooking and was fabulous.  We all enjoyed it and that is a rarity, when everyone likes the place.  We went to the meat sale at this little grocery store I didn't know existed in Blue Ridge.  They had can foods 2 for $1.00 and I was able to stock up on my "prepping" shelves with can foods as well as the amazing meat sale they were having.  It is unheard of lately to get steak at $3.98 a pound, so I was doing a little dance.  I got ground beef for $2.28 a pound and I haven't bought any ground beef lately for under $2.98 a pound.  I left the store with my great finds, my belly full of wonderful food and a relaxed, content smile on my face for the ride home.  We haven't had a nice family outing like that in a long time.  We all came home and the family seemed at peace.  There was no bickering or arguing and the night was very pleasant.

Now today, I am back to the daily outlook of look at this list and where has the time gone.  I have so much to do and I need to find a way to get it all done soon!  I hope that I will find enough time in the day every day this week.  Then, maybe, I might feel like I have gotten something accomplished!

Have a Miraculous Monday everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...or is it thoughts go wilder?

I have been absent from my blog for a couple of days.  My apologies, but I have been deeply diverted into other activities and my mind was focused on getting things done.  I am almost finished with my chair, I'm working on the seat cushion and then I will have it completed.  I am very proud of how it is turning out.  I still haven't touched my shelf that I was unhappy with, but I have been looking at colors and trying to decide what I want to do with it.  I found old windows and lumber on craigslist for free and we went and picked that up yesterday.  My son was grumpy loading the wood, mumbling about it being crap wood and not worth using, however, I was very happy; each piece sending my mind into a whirlwind of what can I do with THIS!  I really just wanted the windows, but the wood was a nice bonus.  I am going to make one of those greenhouses out of old windows when I get enough of them together.  Have you seen them on Pinterest? They are amazing and I get so fascinated with peoples creativity, and wonder "why didn't I think of that?"

I have a very busy day ahead of me today, there is so many things to get done and it seems there isn't ever enough time in the day!  I wish there were 2 or 3 of me sometimes so that everything gets completed on the lists.  Having this little farm we are building seems to increase my things to do list by miles.  Most days I don't mind it, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed and think WHY are we doing this again? haha I have been trying to get that finished, completed look out of my mind and just accept the reality that nothing ever really is completed on a farm.  The baby chicks are growing like weeds and flying out of their wading pool all over my bathroom.  Today is their 2 week birthday and the next 4 weeks are going to be a wild ride if this is how they are at two weeks.  I still think they are cute and adorable but they are very messy little critters.  My last chicks weren't flying all over, I am not sure why these are doing it. Maybe because my last batch I had in the bathroom, were small in number and this is a big crowd so chicky see, chicky do!  I need to get the hay out of the big chicken pen and take it to the garden to get tilled into the soil.  I do the deep litter method and I love it, I'm all about multi-tasking and this system works great for me with the chickens.  I need to get up into the garden to do some weeding with the winter vegetables we planted and I still haven't planted anything in my new log beds we built.  I will get there, it's not like anything is going anywhere!  It's so hard when one person does most of the work, I definitely need to check into cloning!

My older son is having a St. Patricks day party tonight along with his friends 25th birthday party in combination.  They should have a great time, I am going to make a few snacks for them including Rachel Ray's Hot Reuben dip.  I'm sharing her link and recipe in case you want to make it. It's quite tasty.  I couldn't find rye bread squares, believe it or not, at Walmart so I just got a couple loaves of french bread I'm going to slice them up nice and thin and put out.  I am going to make a spinach dip and some cream cheese tortilla rollups too, I'm going to color the cream cheeses and sour creams green for St. Paddy's Day affect.  I got a couple of cute green baskets at the Dollar Tree to put the bread and chips into and I got a couple of oval plastic tubs there as well to put something in, I'm not sure yet what I will put in them.  I think they will have a good time and if the weather holds and remains nice they can be outside with the big fire pit going so that I might get some sleep.  I am an early to bed girl, and when they get together in the winter inside the house, well sometimes I might go to bed but there is no guarantee I'm going to sleep!

Have a Fantabulous Friday Everyone!

Hot Reuben Dip


  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded or chopped, divided
  • 1/2 pound corned beef, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 package of rye cocktail bread squares
Yields: 6-8 servings


Preheat oven 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, mix half of the Swiss cheese with all the ingredients except the bread squares.
Place the mixture into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Heat in the oven until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and brown the top.
Serve the dip with the bread squares alongside.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I worked on my shelves yesterday, and as I continued on I felt total disappointment.  I don't like the way the colors are coming together, and I have realized that the real trouble is in the base coat.  So, now I'm very unhappy that I have all this paint and I am not going to use it.  I am going to start over and try a different color pallet.  I knew it was a smart idea for me to start this project practicing on the shelves before taking it to the wall.  I'm happy that I didn't get impatient and jump right onto the walls, then my disappointment would be total meltdown.  I have loads of yellow paint now interior satin, I am not sure what I am going to do with it because I'm not a yellow sort of person.  I can maybe paint some old tires that were left in the woods by the previous owners and make a flower pot out of them, I'm thinking if I used the interior satin then polyurethane on them they might hold up to weather or I can donate the barely used cans to our church yard sale in May, to be sold if someone needs almost a gallon of yellow paint.  If you have any suggestions as to what I could use it with, I am very open to them, I hate to waste anything!

My son has a job interview today, all prayers are welcome!  He was laid off from his job in November and has been searching hard for a new job and finally a call came in yesterday.  I am so excited for him, I'm praying hard that he gets this, he needs it badly.  More because he gets very down when hes not working.  He likes to be busy, earning his keep and working hard.  He's been on unemployment and he's bored and just plain unhappy with nothing to do.  His interview is at 9:00 a.m. today and I am going to be eagerly waiting to hear how it went.

This weekend is the church lunch-in again and the theme is Mexican food.  I am so excited about this because it gives me a chance to make tamales.  I love making them but it is so time consuming that I don't do it very often, but since I am going to do it up big, I will have some to freeze for us and plenty for church.  Does anyone make tamales? I love trying different recipes for them. I'd love to know of others if you have them.  I saw one once for chocolate tamales, that might be something tasty to try!  My most often used recipe is:

Required Time: 2 days
Ingredients (using 6 pounds of meat makes about 10 dozen tamales)
3 pounds beef roast
3 pounds pork roast
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chili powder 
8 cups masa harina
2 cups shortening or lard
Corn husks 2-3 packages
Day 1:
Cook meat in separate pots of seasoned water (or in a crockpot filled with seasoned water) with an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook 4 hours minimum. Save the broth. Place the broth in the refrigerator over night and skim the fat off the top before using.
After the meat is cooked and falling apart, remove from pot, set aside to cool, and use a blender or food processor to puree the onion and garlic with the broth. Season broth mixture to taste with chili powder and salt.
Shred meat finely and store covered in refrigerator, not with the broth!
Soak corn husks in water overnight.
Day 2:
Drain the corn husks well and pat dry.
Season shredded meat with chili powder, salt, and cumin to taste. As you season the meat, add a small amounts of broth to moisten meat, but don't let it get soupy or runny.
For every 2 cups of masa, add ½ cup of shortening or lard, 1 tsp. of salt, and chili powder to taste.  Add broth mixture a little at a time to masa and mix with your hands to get a smooth, spreadable consistency. If you run out of broth, you can use hot water. 6 pounds of meat should yield about 8 cups of broth.
Assemble the tamales: spread masa about 1/8 inch thick on corn husk with fingers, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2 inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Use about 2 Tbsp. of shredded meat to fill the tamal (like a cigar). Fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under, and place tamale folded side down.
To cook, steam fresh tamales for 15 minutes or until masa is no longer sticky and looks firm.
Eat fresh or store in freezer. 

I hope that if you make these your family loves them as much as mine does.  It is a long process but it's not that hard to do, the first day is mostly just cooking the meat, the next day is just putting them all together and steaming them.  I'm excited to make them for next weekend!  I'm off to start getting things done today, and go out to get new paint!  You all have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Misfit Monday

Normally I am excited about Monday!  A day to get the house in order from the troops taking over all weekend and time for me to take that big sigh of relief that I have some time to do what I want to do.  But, today I'm not that excited about Monday.  I had a big mess in the kitchen that hadn't been cleaned up like I was told it would be, and I have a pounding headache.  That hasn't stopped me so far, but it may slow me down!  I watered all my seedlings and they are doing well. I am excited about my tomato seedlings, they are getting that next set of leaves on them now.  I cleaned up that mess in the kitchen my son didn't do, and I got things sorted and organized for today.  I found the best rustic shelf at a thrift store Saturday.  I got the paint I need to do a faux pine finish on my bead board wallpaper we put up, and I thought I will practice on this, if it turns out YAY and if not well I can just do it another color.  Its turning out pretty good so far.  I primed it, put on the base coat a colonial yellow and then started with a dark brown putting the wood grain on using a small artists brush and dry brush.  So far its looking good!  I'm almost finished with my yard sale chair I just have to finish around one arm and do the seat cushion.  I bought some jute to trim it all out with the fake leather fabric I think it will look really cute and rustic.  Once I get my shelf finished and my chair I am starting my walls to get all that wallpaper to match the other half of my room that has real bead board in pine.  I hope it all matches when I'm finished.  It seems there is never enough time in the day or week for that matter to get all the things done that I need to do around here, its a living project, always evolving!

I need to get up into the garden and hoe a bit and do some weeding, I noticed I had the weeds starting already the other day.  It's cloudy outside with showers threatening but I'm not sure if it is going to rain or not, you stand out there and say make up your mind please.  The chickens will be happy if it doesn't rain, they want up to run around and I was holding off this morning.  Speaking of running around, the baby chicks are scurrying all over everywhere.  I took them out of their cage and just let them loose in the kiddy swimming pool in my bathroom.  They seem to love that but they sometimes fly out and we have to capture them and put them back into the pool.  At least if they get out they chirp like crazy so I know what they need and can go right to their aid!  They sure are growing fast, one week old and have most of their wing feathers in really well and have gotten so tall with their legs growing long.  They are going to be very pretty ladies when they get all their feathers grown.

Normally I would have some sort of yummy tidbit to toss out, but I don't today.  I'm doing a standard pot roast for dinner tonight, nothing spectacular and well, to be honest I haven't thought past the meat at this point.  My headache seems to blur my thought process!  I will be a better blogger tomorrow!  Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Busy Bees...

(This is the yard sale chair, it's a terrible photo from a phone, but that's all I have to work with right now)

I didn't get a chance to post an entry yesterday, I was a busy bee.  I got that chair from the yard sale on Facebook and I was determined to get started on it.  I went to Walmart Wednesday night after church to get the fabric I wanted, and started working on my chair yesterday.  The day was flying by with me busy working on it all day.  I think its turning out quite nice and I'm excited to get it finished.  I posted a photo of it before, a terrible photo, but at least it shows the idea of what I'm working with.  I bought a fabric that feels like suede and looks like it with a paisley pattern in black on the chocolate brown fabric.  It's really turning out pretty, sort of western looking.

My orange trifle was a hit at church and I didn't bring much home but a few tuna sandwiches that we had left over.  I only took those in case we needed them, and we had plenty but most of them still got eaten! I really enjoy the solemnity of the Wednesday night Lenten services.  They really put me in a reflective and thankful mood. I will miss them when it's over after Easter.

The baby chicks are doing well, they have doubled in size it seems, and all their wing feathers growing fast.  I love to hear them chirping happily, I think they are content, they have warmth, food and water and seem to be very active and healthy.  I just love those little birds, the ones I think are Ameraucanas are so much more friendly and curious they don't seem to be afraid of my hands in the cage and will hop onto my palm.  Today is there one week birthday!  Happy Birthday Baby Chicks!

My son bought a new bed, and he gave his sister his other bed.  So, now I have a twin bed and trundle in my dining room.  I'm going to put it in my office and make a daybed out of it.  It will give us some extra space if we should have a guest.  I am thinking I might paint it and spruce it up eventually.  But not right now I have enough on my plate.  Some of my seeds I planted last weekend are sprouting, they are mixed flowers and herbs.  I have them all planted in cute bowls, and a sugar and creamer set, and I can't wait to see them grow up and bloom.  I put all my roses I bought out on the back porch last night.  It started raining and I wanted them to get some of that before I plant them. The weather is warmer but its wet and rainy.  I hope it clears up after today, I have a lot to get done outdoors.

I have been reading a lot of blogs and I love them all, it is so nice to get other peoples ideas, opinions and thoughts on things.  I love all of them that I read and gain something from them every time.  I am seeing my followers growing and I'm so pleased and excited.  I have had my blog for sometime, and have been on and off about posting on it.  But, to see people wanting to share in my thoughts and opinions, that just makes me feel happy!  Welcome to all my new friends, I look forward to sharing and learning from each of your blogs too!

I should be off and getting busy with things, I want to work on my chair more this morning before I have to get busy with other things around the house.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time Flies...

(Wednesday Reminds Me Of A Long And Windy Road)

Here we are again, yet another Wednesday!  Another long day for me and I am running on little sleep today, I didn't sleep well last night.  I don't know about other people, but if I get something in my mind it plays on and on and I cannot go to sleep.  I get excited when I get something I like and then want to think about it nonstop.  I got an old school, I wouldn't say vintage because I don't think it's old enough, swivel rocker from my facebook yard sale page.  I love the barrel shape of it and the height of the back is perfect for me.  But, it is blue, and blue, although a lovely color, is not my color. So, at Walmart last night, I found some fabric that I can cover the chair with that is my style.  A faux, older worn looking leather fabric that would be very rustic and perfect and only $4.97 a yard.  However, if you have a Walmart like I do, then you know that it was virtually impossible to get anyone to assist you and I had the chair in the back of the truck and didn't want anyone to take it so I had to leave.  I will go back this week and see if I can't rustle up someone that will help me.  I will need a lot of patience and a lot of time when I go back.  They have all these departments, sporting goods, paint, fabric but never anyone around to help you with what you need.  It gets so frustrating.  Anyway, enough about my Walmart rant, I got the chair and a bunch of rose bushes yesterday.  I couldn't stop thinking of any of it and daydreaming my flower beds planted and my chair recovered and of course there are my chicks in my bathroom.  Every time they peep, it's like a newborn baby crying, I wake up to listen to see if they need help or if they are just peeping to peep.  I know I will sleep well tonight after last nights lack of sleep and my long day and evening.

I have our church supper and service tonight.  I didn't sign up to take food this week, although I'm helping to set it up and clean it up after.  I am going to take a tub of tuna salad that I will make this morning and a couple loaves of bread and I'm going to put together a trifle that is a family favorite. Just in case, because last week more people than I signed up to bring sandwiches, and I was the only one that did, so had I not, we would not have had any.  I think someone that signed up ended up ill and didn't come.  So, just to be on the safe side, I'm going to take a couple of things.  It's not like they won't get eaten either at church or at home! haha

My husband is bringing home pallets from work and I am so excited with all the things we can do with them! First we want to do our ceilings, I love this look, it's so rustic and warm. There are a million and one things to do with pallets.  I can't wait to start making things around here with them.  Doing a floor in them is another amazing idea! I just want everything made out of pallets these days! haha

I'm off to trudge through this Wallowing Wednesday, but I shall leave you with one sweet reminder of happiness, my trifle recipe!

Orange Trifle

One vanilla or yellow cake mix, prepared according to the directions on the package
2 tubs of cool whip or one large super size tub
2 cans mandarin oranges

Bake the cake according to the package directions in a 9 x 13 pan.  Let cool.  Mix all the oranges with the juice into the cool whip.  Break up the cake and crumble a layer on the bottom of a large bowl.  I use a clear bowl so the layers show through.   Add a light layer of the fruit mixed cool whip over the cake, repeat until all the cool whip is used.  I like to spread cool whip or use spray whip topping over the top and then with a reserved hand full of cake crumbles just lightly dust the top.  You can add an additional can of mandarin orange slices over the top for garnish as well.  This is a family favorite.  It is light and tasty and just the right amount of sweetness after a meal. Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How I Love Thee, Baby Chicks, Let Me Count the Ways!

The baby chicks are doing well so far and I just adore them!  I could sit all day long just watching them play and scurry around.  I love peeking into the bathroom early in the morning and seeing them all quiet, and sleeping.  Just like newborn babies they just melt my heart!  I can't wait to start seeing them growing into chickens, watching their colors evolve and finding out who is the "top dog" in the group!  I think I'm already finding my little favorites, the ones that love to see me as much as I do them.  Of course, I will love each and every one of them, you can't help yourself.  I love to go out and sit and watch my adult chickens every day.  They are so entertaining watching them interact with each other like chickens do in their little world.  A lot of people think chickens are dumb, but when you really watch them, they are really smart and crafty.  They have their own set personalities and you can get a good laugh every time!  I'm just in love with my chickens, and I suppose there are worst things to be than a crazy chicken lady that lives on a mountain, haha!

I had all these things I wanted to do yesterday, but it was so windy and the cold just cut threw me, there was no way I was spending time outdoors unless I had to, which was to feed the animals and run right back inside. I did clean out all my saved two liter bottles.  Today, I will fill them with fresh water and store them in my darkened pantry that I have for water storage.  I am shooting for 6 months of water for the family, it might be a stretch to find places for all of those bottles, but I'm working on it.  My daughter asked me what do you do with it in 6 months, when she saw me writing the fill date on the bottle.  I said "use it in the gardens and start over".  She nodded like she was showing interest for my sake, because she had lost interest  before I finished my sentence.  I just love teenagers, they do keep us in constant wonderment.  I am obsessed with my  sprouted seedlings and hoping for seedlings to sprout that I'm watching often waiting to see them pop out of the soil.  My tomatoes are starting to get tiny little sets of second leaves on them and finally, after talking, demanding, praying over them, my eggplants are starting to sprout. I'm excited to see how they grow, I've never grown eggplant before.  My peppers are sprouting too, and my tomatoes and broccoli are growing big and tall.  I cannot wait to get them into the dirt in a few weeks.  I'm leery of the weather it has been so strange this winter so I'm not going to let it fool me and plant too early, but I certainly want to right now.

I have been on facebook for ages, and other than checking the birthdays to wish someone a happy birthday or sharing photos with family, back when my camera wasn't my enemy, I really had no use for it.  But, as of late, I have joined some yard sale groups, and livestock groups and gardening groups, and now I honestly could sit here all day reading this and that.  It could be a real time eater if I allowed myself that privilege.  I found a swivel rocker yesterday and am going to pick it up today.  I can't wait, I have been searching for an old school swivel rocker for my living room for a long time now.  They are hard to come by, and when I saw the post on the local yard sale page, I was like a girl invited to the prom, I was so excited!  I can't wait to go and get it this evening.  I plan to recover it, it's the old traditional blue and that is not my favorite color, but I will have something pretty that goes with my decor when I get it all finished.

I am making a pork loin for dinner tonight, and there is a recipe for Napa Cabbage salad that shows up at church from time to time that I adore.  I broke out my church cookbook and found the recipe and I am making that today to go with dinner.  I just love all the flavors and the crunchiness and I'm already wanting to eat it, I could eat it for breakfast!  I am sharing my new found favorite salad recipe with you, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Napa Cabbage Salad

1 head Nappa Cabbage
1 bunch green onions chopped

5 T butter
4 T sesame seeds
2 packages of ramen noodles, the seasoning packets removed
1 oz sliced almonds
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup oil
2 T soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar

In a skillet brown crunchy noodles in the butter add sesame seeds and almonds and finish off browning. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil for one minute. Cool and stir well.  Fifteen minutes before serving, toss cabbage mixture, noodles, nuts and seeds mixture and vinegar, oil sugar, soy sauce dressing. Toss well.  This serves 12 but can be altered depending on the amount of Nappy Cabbage you use.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!