Thursday, March 28, 2013

End of Winter?

Well, still a lot of snow here in Wisconsin.  Since I can't do anything to speed up Spring's arrival...I decided to enjoy a beautiful March day with a walk in the woods.  Still pretty deep and slushy - as some steps were up to my knee.  Just made for a better "work out" - this type of exercise I enjoy.  ;) 

I like the shadows cast on the snow.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  

Interesting knots ...

I hope you enjoyed the walk ... Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ratty Little Buck

We have had several deer under our bird feeder.  This has been a long Winter for them too.  I named this one "little ratty buck" as he looks so bad.  You can see where he must have been hit by a car.  I feel sorry for him.  I know I will regret it in the Summer when he is in my garden, but I have been putting out extra feed.  Here are some pictures of him.

He is so skinny - today, he was back to the feeder 3 times.

These 2 little love birds - Morning Doves - have been hanging around too.  I love their call...

The pictures were taken through storm door.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Week 13 - Chunky Monkey Cookies

Chunky Monkey Cookies:

1 stick soft butter
1 C granulated sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 mashed banana
1 C peanut butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

Cream the butter and sugars, add the mashed banana, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.

1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 C flour

Blend into the creamed mix and stir in:

1 C chopped banana chips
1 C chocolate chips

Roll into balls, bake 350 for 13-14 min.   Makes 4 doz.

These were really good.  I made this recipe up too...with help of the Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie recipe.  :)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Motivation Monday - Spending Precious Time with Children

Motivation Monday - Spending Precious Time with Children

I hope my children look back on today,
And see a mother who had time to play.
There will be years for cleaning and cooking,
for children grow up while we are not looking.

When my girls were young, I did this.  I am happy and have no regrets.  I remember one day, it was the last day the pool was open for the summer.  We went in the morning, we saw many come and go that "friend" dropped her boys off and came back after work to pick them up...she said:  "are you still here?  Wow, what did you do today?"  She laughed at me...I actually felt sorry for her.  She could have taken a day of vacation, called in sick to spend this time with her boys....I saw what they did all day...she doesn't have that memory, I do.  Did I get what I "needed" done that day? You bet!  

Now that my nest will soon be empty, I cherish these days even more - they are precious to me.  Yesterday, Monday, was one of them.  Justine is on Spring break from college this week.  We had made plans to watch Downton Abbey while on her break.  I actually didn't know this show, but saw so many pins on pinterest that I had to check it out.  Netflicks....anyone?  We spent most of the day watching episode after episode...I know, I "wasted" a day....or did I?  

Oh boy, I LOVE this series!  We are on season 2 - no spoilers please...  

Later this week, we look for Justine's wedding me mamas - children grow up too fast!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Decorations

These are some of my favorite things.  Some of these items I made over years, some were mine when I was little and others I have collected.  I don't mind if something isn't perfect - like a few of the paper mache' rabbit's...broken arms etc.  I just like them because they are old and have history.

One of my favorite things - that I own - is this rabbit.  

There is a neat story behind it.  Many years ago, like over 18, I helped a client from the law office I was working at, go through her items before she moved to an assisted living facility.  Apparently I was very helpful and honest with her as she told many of her friends about me.  One such friend was Elva.  I received a call from a gentleman who said he wanted me to come over to his mother's house and give him an estimate on a buy out.  When I met him, I asked him how he heard about me - who referred me.  He showed me this piece of paper...I was so said "if anything should happen to me, give this girl a call and she will help you clean out my house."  His mother was a friend of the original client.   He lived in a different state and didn't have the time needed to do this for his mother.  So, he gave me the key to the house - and I bought out everything.  My friend, Lisa, and I both just quit our jobs and were trying to make money so we could be "stay at home moms."  This estate was a blessing to both Lisa and I.  I can still see our "babies" Becca, 4 and my Anna 5.  We worked on this for weeks, during the day when our older girls were in school.  We have so many wonderful memories of this time - and "mom, was this Elva's?"  

This rabbit has a picture of the son when he received it.  He is sitting on a porch with it, an Easter basket and some of the paper mache' rabbits in this picture too.  I LOVE it!  

Thank you Elva for all the wonderful memories - you not only live on in the memories of your family, but mine and Lisa's as well.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potato and Gravy

I started with our home grown beef...can't beat it!

A round steak should give you 4 servings.  Take it out of the package, look at the cut of meat - it should show you where to make the portion sizes...look at fat line, trim around that.

Take out your meat "hammer" and pound to tenderize.

Make two dishes, one with milk and egg and one with seasoned flour.  I seasoned my flour with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder.  Reserve 2 - 4 tbs. for the gravy.

Dip steak in egg then flour and repeat.  Lay on a flour covered pan until ready to fry.  Let this rest a bit anyway, so that the coating sticks to the meat.

Put enough oil in pan to cover the sides of the meat.  Fry them - but don't crowd the pan.  

Keep these in warm oven till ready to serve.

Then, when you are done frying the meat, drain off the excess oil.  Leave the drippings and crumbs in the pan.  I put in 1 Tbs. of butter and the reserved flour.  Stir this up and add enough milk to make a gravy - as thick or thin as you like.

 (this is a little dark....but, I like dark and "brown" tastes good)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vegetable Cabbage Rolls - Weight Watcher Friendly - 0/1 pt.

Vegetable Cabbage Rolls - 0/1 WW pt.

I was thinking about cabbage rolls....yep, cabbage rolls.  I actually LOVE these - Al - not so much.  I never make them because of that.  Well, being on Weight Watchers has made me rethink my food values.  So, I decided to make a 0, well maybe 1 pt. to be safe, cabbage roll.

This is how I did it.  Now, you can put whatever type of veggie you like - I used what I had.

Take your head of cabbage, gently peel off the outer leaves that are the largest.  Place them in salted water and heat them up till "floppy" but not "mushy."

While this is cooking,  shred up the rest of the cabbage.  Do the whole head.  The extra larger pieces - keep for the bottom of the dish that you put the rolls in.

I used my home canned tomatoes for this.  Drain some of the liquid in a bowl, put 1/2 C uncooked white rice to soak while you add the rest of the veggies.

I did chopped broccoli and celery and shredded:  carrots, fennel, onion add to the rice mix.  Take your cabbage leaves and put a scoop in the middle and roll up.

Put in a pan and pour the rest of your jar of tomatoes over the top.  Cover this with more cabbage leaves and it will keep the ones under from burning.  Bake for 1 1/2 hrs. @ 350.

I think the fennel added an extra flavor to this.  These were really good - guilt free - filling.  Another tip:  while you are working with these veggies anyway....shred enough of them to make coleslaw.  I shredded the broccoli stems in the slaw - don't be wasteful.

I put in some celery salt, salt, pepper, small amount of sugar and light mayo (only 2 Tb. for whole batch - will be dry).  This also is 0/1 pt. a serving.  

I enjoyed both.  Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.