Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garden report: All done

We took advantage of a recent weekend's mild weather to clean out the garden. It's sad to see the empty beds out there now.

Overall, it was a pretty good year. Couple of gallons of green beans (since the pole beans came in late, I was picking beans into the first week or two of November.)

The last of the green tomatoes are ripening now ... neat to have fresh tomatoes with salad after Thanksgiving.

It was a very good year for peppers. The cayenne produced enough that I won't be needing to plant any next year!!

We also dispatched one of our two pumpkins. This was a smaller one, so it only made about 6 cups of puree. The other Mr. Pumpkin was roasted and produced 10 cups of fruit.

I'm looking forward to some pumpkin soup!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Monday: Cranberry applesauce

A good way to use your stocks of cranberries and apples. We had this at Thanksgiving this year instead of traditional cranberry sauce.

5 apples (we like Jonathan for the tartness) peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (don't worry about cutting them up)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Combine apples, cranberries and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer about a half hour, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft.
Stir in sugar and orange peel. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher. Should be slightly chunky. If a bit tart, add another tablespoon of sugar.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Talk about sugar shock

In the "Oh, my gosh!" category ...

You've heard of turducken, which is a duck and a chicken stuffed inside a turkey. Here's the dessert version: a "Cherpumple."

Bascially, this is a 3-layer cake -- spice, yellow and white -- with A PIE baked into each layer. (Cherry, pumpkin and apple)

I don't particuarly want one of these ... but if you're feeling adventurous ... and have cake pans big enough ... here are links to the story, and to a recipe.

And if you do make one, please send me a photo!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for all of you who have dropped by to read and to comment this year!

However you celebrate the holiday this year, I wish you a happy day.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today's tip

I found another use for the plastic coffee canisters!

My mini rose bush needed protection from below-freezing temps, so I turned one of those canisters over it. So far, so good!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

That didn't work out

I mentioned that the heating/cooling company offered me a special rate to clean my furnace ....

They haven't gotten here to do the job, it seems. They've canceled on me -- twice.

OK ... I get the message. Too bad, because we were a long-time customer.

I called another company that's running a special for new customers. They're supposed to come out next week. Wish me luck ...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Thanks to all who have served. And a special thanks to the families of those who have served!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

October freebies

Was a bit light this month ... but I'm always grateful ....

Chex Mix (FAC)
Bumblebee tuna (FAC)
1 bag Fritos
1 cup Hardee's coffee
1 beer
Post-it labels, tabs
1 pkg microwave popcorn

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Monday: Chicken Paprikas

OK, BB, this one's for you:

1 onion chopped
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon paprkia
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2-3 lbs chicken pieces (to lighten things up, I use 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces)
1 1/2 cups water
8 oz of sour cream (Note: fat free sour cream works fine. Greek yogurt does not)

Brown onion in oil, add seasonings and chicken; brown. Add water, cover and let simmer until chicken is tender (45 minutes to an hour, depending on what kind of chicken you use). If the juices seems to be running low, it's OK to add a bit of water, but don't turn it into soup.
Remove chicken, add sour cream to drippings in pan and mix well. Return chicken to pan, add dumplings (see below) and heat through.

3 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients together until you get a soft dough. (add more water if needed) Drop by half-teaspoonfuls into boiling salted water and cook about 10 minutes (or until dumpings are cooked through). Drain, then add to chicken/sauce mixture.

Note: This makes a lot of dumplings ... I tend to cut the recipe by a third ...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time to fall back

Daylight savings time ends this morning. So remember to set your clocks (and everything else in the house) back an hour.

PS: Don't forget to check the batteries in your smoke detectors!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pardon me while I bang my head against the wall

The insurance company my employer uses has been sending me emails all summer. I needed to fill out a health risk assessment, it said, or face A BIG HONKING INCREASE IN MY PREMIUMS!!!!

I'd done my best to ignore them, but finally, the deadline approached. So I made a trip to my doc's office to get the results of my last physical. Then I spent a good hour registering on their Web site and filling out the survey.

Today, my company sends out a notice: It's changing health insurers next year!

And, oh, yeah, I could see a BIG HONKING INCREASE in my premiums ....

Gee, thanks ....

(Ya know, these decisions aren't made on a whim. Would have been nice to be warned .... )

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Craft alert!

Have a bunch of those plastic coffee containers around the house?

Wondering what to do with them?

Seems the folks that make them have a Web site that allows you to print out decorative labels. (They suggest using actual label sheets, but I suppose glue would work nicely, too). You can gussie up the containers for just about any holiday.

It even has a couple of flowery prints that I'd like to try -- methinks those containers would make dandy flower pots. I also think that covering it with clear contact paper would be a good idea ... just so the ink wouldn't be ruined by water dribbles.

Anyway, here's the link: