Sunday, July 28, 2013

Raspberry Ice Cream

When awesome friends give you beautiful, glorious raspberries, you make homemade raspberry ice cream. 
Raspberry Ice Cream - 4 quart recipe
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups half and half
1 T. vanilla
4 cups whipping cream
Scald milk until bubbles form around the edges.  Remove from heat and add sugar and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Stir in half and half, vanilla and whipping cream.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Add raspberries to chilled mixture before starting the freezing process.  Process according to your ice cream makers instructions.
Spark smashed the ice to put in the ice cream maker and before he opened the ice bag he said, "It sounds like a winter wonderland in there!"

Oh, yummy goodness.  You can put it in the freezer to get harder before eating it but, if you sat around the ice cream maker like vultures waiting for it to shut off, you skip that part and dig in with your spoon. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Veggie Scrapple

The base of this recipe came from The Ethnic Vegetarian cookbook by Angela Shelf Medearis.  Dad made this an had a few adaptations for what we had on hand and our personal tastes.  The only problem we found with this recipe is that Dad didn't make enough of it!

 3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 can white kidney beans
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup corn meal
1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
2 cups chicken broth (make this veg. broth if you want true vegetarian)

Butter a loaf bread pan.

Heat 1 tbsp. butter and the olive oil in a pan.  Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add celery, onion and green pepper.  Sauté until vegetables are tender.

Stir in beans, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add corn meal, oatmeal and broth.  Stir until well combined.  Put in loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove and let it cool to room temperature.   Cover and put in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

After cold, cut into inch slices.  Put remaining 2 tbsp. butter in pan and fry the pieces about 3 or 4 minutes, until both sides are nicely brown. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Duct Tape and Ice Cream

That was the theme of co-op this week and it was a complete hit.  Usually the kids are begging for lunch to be served and this week we had to pull them over to eat they were so into their projects.   Lots and lots of roses were made. 

Dancer made seven roses and has plans for more when she gets more tape.
The boys each made two projects.

Ninja stars - the directions are on the Duct Tape web site along with a ton of other cool projects.

Covered boxes, this one is Dancers with One Direction duct tape!  She was excited about that.
The girls tutus.  Dancer made hers for an example and then with the rush of getting out the door on time it got left at home.  Another girl made hers for her dog.  They had a lot of fun wearing these and prancing around.  Dancer said she is wearing hers next time even if no one else has theirs.
Lunch was completed by celebrating National Sundae Day with homemade ice cream and tons of toppings.  National Sundae Day wasn't on our co-op meeting day but it was close enough for us!  The girls were watching the new One Direction song so I don't know if their smiles were for the ice cream or for the video/song.

Duct Tape Tutu

We needed a duct tape project and Dancer wanted to make a tutu so we put the two ideas together and this is what we came up with. 
Depending on the size of your waist, and how puffy you want your tutu, you need about three yards of tulle.  I found it for $1.09 a yard so the whole project costs, with the duct tape, about $3.50 a tutu. 
To make it a good length, cut the tulle into one yard pieces.  Open the pieces and refold them the long way, this makes the tulle when folded about 30 inches wide.  Lay this out on your cutting board and cut it into about three inch strips.  They only need to be about three inches and it isn't important that they are cut straight, unless you are a perfectionist, which I am so not.

Cut a piece of duct tape for the waist band the size of your waist plus at least another three feet for the ties.  Lay out the duct tape and mark where your waist would be in the middle so you know where to put the tulle strips.  Take each strip and on the folded side, scrunch up the end and lay it on half of one side of the duct tape. 

When it is as full as you like it, fold the other half of the tape over the top and press it together with you fingers to make good contact with both sides of the tape. 

 Put it on and get ready to dance!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Llama Parade

The llamas were in their first parade last Saturday.  They spent the morning getting beautiful with a little shearing to even out their hair cuts and lots of brushing. 
They even got their faces and heads brushed.  Nora loves to be groomed and will stand, or lay down, for as long as someone will brush her.
After all that pampering they get their hair blown out with the air compressor.  They actually enjoy this and it removes most of the dust and small pieces of hay.  It is amazing how much stuff gets stuck in their hair.  After their grooming session they go right into the newly cleaned trailer so they can't roll in the dirt and undo all our hard work.  I never knew this before we had llamas but, they love to roll in the dirt like a chicken taking a dust bath.  It is crazy to see them flopping around.
We are off to the parade.  When the gas gauge in your truck doesn't work it is important to have a few gallons with you when you are not sure how close you are to empty. 
The local library ran a summer reading program with a llama theme, which was what our girls were there to help promote, so they did a meet and greet before and after the parade.  Marceline met lots of new friends.  I was worried how the llamas would do with so many people coming up to them but they did great.
Spark spent some crazy time with a friend.
Dancer was much more refined with her friend that was surprised to see Dancer as an attraction at her town's local festival.  She kept Dancer company the rest of the time we were there, even helping to pick up everything afterwards.  Now that is a nice friend.  I have no pictures of the parade because I was so busy throwing candy that I didn't have time to take any pictures.  The next day Nora got her picture in the local paper. I didn't know the paper was there taking pictures either so it was a pleasant surprise to know that we now have a famous llama.
This is the church across from where we were stationed.  I did have time to notice how surreal it was against the sky.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kitty Soccer

Spark had some balloons out and Fluffles found them fascinating.

He has been running around the house with them playing kitty soccer.

He is so fast that I couldn't even catch him with the sport setting on the camera.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Everything But The Bathroom Sink

That is what I have in the bathroom and a sink is sort of a pivotal part of the room. 

How did this happen? 

Our pump has been going off and going off and going off to the point where even Dad was tired of hearing it and he called some guys to come out and check it out.  While they were here they had to turn off the water.  When our water is turned back on we often get a bit of sand that comes out of the lines from it starting up again. 

When no water came out of the bathroom faucet, we just assumed that the screen in it was clogged with a few too many grains of sand.  Dad got out the wrench to take the end off the faucet and it broke, not the wrench, the faucet, and there was still no water coming out. 

While he was fiddling with it, it was clear that we would need a new faucet.  It looks like the old one was original with the house with makes it over 40 years old.  The sink is also that old and the back of it is broken so I said that we should just get a new sink too.  Just a comment, and then I left.

The next time I walk by the bathroom, Dad is putting everything from the counter into a box and there is a big, gaping hole in it where the sink use to be.  I stopped him just short of ripping the counter off the vanity. 

Now, normally I would be all for Dad eagerly making all my home improvement dreams come true but, there were a few snafus standing the way of this one.  First, Dad was about an hour away from laying down for a nap because he works the next three nights.  Second, since our house is 40 plus years old we probably aren't going to waltz into Home Depot and find the right size vanity top on the showroom floor.  Thirdly, don't leave me with out at least a counter for the next who knows how long.  And lastly, a sink without water is still useful, you can at least brush your teeth there with a glass of water in hand.

So, now we have a board over the hole where the sink use to be and we are brushing our teeth in the kitchen.  Where are those bath crasher guys when you need them?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cheesy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms

There are lots of recipes out there for this dish - this is our tasty rendition of it.
Cheesy Polenta
1 cup corn meal
3 cups water
Boil together until it looks like hot breakfast cereal and add a handful of your favorite cheese or a few slices of American.
Sautéed Mushrooms
1 pound of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 cups beef broth
Sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil until they have released their fluid and are starting to get soft.  Add garlic and cook another few minutes.  Add beef broth and cook down until liquid is almost gone.  Serve over the polenta and enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lake Yoga

 When we pulled up to the beach tonight this is what we saw.  Upon getting closer, we realized that they were out there doing yoga on paddle boards.  Not that any of us are limber enough to do yoga but, even if we were, we wouldn't be bending all over in the middle of the lake for the whole world to watch.  This is one of their more modest poses.  They were even entertaining us with the "happy baby" Willie did on an episode of Duck Dynasty (which he did while wearing leggings thankfully).  Crazy, I may now have seen it all, and with these ladies we almost did.

This is more my beach style, floating around lazily with a noodle.

Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Bites

When eaten frozen, these seem like ice cream treats. 
Slice a banana and make cute little banana peanut butter sandwiches.  Lay them on wax paper and freeze. 

We dipped these in almond bark but chocolate chips or other chocolate melting discs would work.  The first few we dipped like candy in the chocolate and the hot to cold on the bark made it get hard in the pan like it was tempered.  To solve that problem, we left them on the pan we froze them on and put a dollop of chocolate on each one then flipped them over and put a dollop on the other side so the chocolate met in the middle of the sides of  the bananas. If each side of the chocolate didn't touch the chocolate popped off like a button because as soon as the chocolate hit the banana it was hard almost instantly.  Doing it this way actually made it less work to coat them. 
Keep these in the freezer for a little pick me up snack during the day.  Careful though, they will call to you through the closed door! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lentil and Brown Rice Stuffed Cabbage

Dad had to work this holiday so we had our 4th of July dinner of potato salad, baked beans and grilled cheese burgers on Monday night.  Tonight we had stuffed cabbage, not really summer holiday meal but it was when I had time to try these.
3 cups chicken broth
1 diced onion
2 diced carrots
1 stalk diced celery
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup uncooked brown rice - cook this before starting the rest of the recipe since it takes a long time for brown rice to get done
1 large head of cabbage
1 jar spaghetti sauce
In a pan combine chicken broth, onion, carrots, celery and lentils.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the cooked rice and season with salt and pepper. 
In a large pot bring salted water to boil.  Take the core out of the cabbage and place in the water whole.  Turn it occasionally so that it cooks evenly.  When the leaves start to peel away from the cabbage, about 12 minutes, remove them from the water and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.
Pat the cabbage leaves dry and on one end of each leaf put about a half of a cup of the lentil/rice mixture.  Make enough of these to fill a 9X13 pan.  Pour a jar of spaghetti sauce over the top and pop them a preheat 425 degree oven.  Bake until the rolls are hot all the way through, about 20 minutes. 
We had these with a dollop of plain yogurt seasoned with spinach/herb dip but, sour cream would also be good.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Llama Portraits

The kids make posters of themselves and their llamas to hang in the stalls at the fair so passerbyers know who the llamas are and who owns them.  These are the portraits they will put on their posters. 
Spark and Marceline
Dancer and Nora