Monday, February 25, 2019

The Cutest Visitors

Our neighbors have a farm that uses horses to help heal veterans.  It is called New Freedom Farm. Many of the horses are rescued from slaughter or the BLM Mustangs.

They use the horses to help veterans deal with their invisible wounds.  Please consider visiting their site and donating to this worthy cause.


We had 72 inches of rain last year and some of their pastures are wetter than wet.  Our pastures are higher on a hill and have a slope, which helps with drainage.  They are also currently unused.


So we offered to take a few of the horses from New Freedom Farm to allow their pastures to dry up and give the horses a new place to graze and run around.


Who wants to see the same thing all the time?


In the meantime, we have super cute visitors.  There are mini horses, mini donkeys, a mini hinny (!), a mule and four horses.

I bet you don't have this many cute visitors at your house!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Baked Orange Donuts

I got up early Valentine's Day to make my husband some baked donuts for breakfast.  I had just bought some oranges and decided that was a good change from baked lemon donuts I have made before.  Besides, I didn't have any lemons!

Baking makes them a little less decadent, but they are still a special treat.


Baked Orange Donuts

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
zest from one orange
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
zest from one orange


Spray donut baking pans with Pam and preheat the oven to 425°.


Zest and squeeze two oranges.


Place the sugar and zest of one orange in a medium bowl, stir and let it sit to combine flavors.


In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.


Stir the melted butter into the sugar mixture.


Add the beaten eggs, orange juice and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.


Add half the sugar mixture and half the milk to the flour and stir.  Then add the rest of the liquids to the batter and mix, just until combined.

You can try to spoon the batter into the donut shapes on the pans, but it can get messy. The easiest way is to fill a quart sized Ziploc bag with the batter and pipe it into the donut pan.


Roll the top of the bag down and scoop the batter into it.  Grab the bag above the batter and snip of fa small bit of one corner. Then you can easily pipe the batter into the donut shapes without dripping all over the place.  Then just toss the Ziploc bag.


Bake for 8-9 minutes. I needed 9 minutes.


Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a plastic knife to remove them to the cooling rack.

While the donuts bake,  prepare the glaze.  Whisk the zest and juice into the powdered sugar until smooth.


Place some waxed paper under the cooling rack to catch the drips from the glaze.  Grab the donuts from the bottom and twist the tops in the glaze.  Return them top side up to the rack.  I had enough glaze to dip the donuts twice.



I served the donuts with scrambled eggs. It seemed like a (mostly) healthy meal to me!


Lee liked it, at least.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Tea Party

I had a friend over recently.  It was a good excuse to have a tea party!  But then, I like any excuse to have a tea party.


I made cucumber sandwiches and baked maple pecan snickerdoodles, chocolate croissants, chocolate dipped strawberries, and strawberry puff pastry diamonds.  And tea and coffee, of course!


There are recipes for these tidbits on this site if you want to search for them.  I recommend trying them. These are all very nice.

And the company was lovely, too!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lemon Sour Cream Pancakes

Not too long ago I made some Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  They were really good.  I have also made pancakes using The Pioneer Woman's recipe for sour cream pancakes.  So when I found myself with some extra sour cream and lemons, I thought I would try a Lemon Sour Cream Pancake.  (Notice a theme?  It seems I like an occasional pancake.)

Here is the end result of my experimentation.  They were REALLY good.  Good enough to go out and buy more lemons and sour cream to make them again as I didn't take pictures the first time.   I wasn't sure they would be a blog worthy experiment, but they were!!


Lemon Sour Cream Pancakes

1 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

oil for cooking


I use an electric griddle.  They work great, cook a lot of food evenly and are cheap.  So get one and set it up to preheat. I use about 350°.


Rather than measuring the zest and juice, I just used all that came from one medium sized lemon.  Put the juice and zest in a medium bowl with the sour cream and mix.  Allow the flavors to combine while you get out the rest of the ingredients.


Mix in the eggs.  Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.


Let it sit while you set the table.  It will get bubbly and poof up!


Heat some vegetable oil on the griddle and use about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until the edges of the pancake are done and the top is covered in bubbles.


Gently turn the pancakes over to finish cooking.  If you want to check to make sure they are done, use the corner of the spatula to stab the top of one pancake and peer inside.


Serve immediately with butter and syrup.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Wooden Bowls

I have taken two classes at Woodcraft in Roanoke.  For the most recent class, I used a bloodwood bowl blank my son gave to me.  I was in no way good enough to use this wood.


The instructor explained it was super hard and very brittle and not for a novice.  But I decided it was better to try it with them than to take it home and do it by myself.  This was a mistake.


I got a decent rough shape, but when I tried to remove the screwed on chuck, one of the screws broke off.  We weren't able to dig it out and the instructor had to turn it out for me.


The I was trying to clean up the rim and I cracked the collar off the back.  I had to cut a new one and this made the blank shorter than I wanted and wasted some of the beautiful bloodwood.


With a LOT of help, I came home with a very nice bowl.


I now have three bowls that I have made out of three different woods.  The flatter, lighter one I made by myself on my Shopsmith lathe, with no help and a LOT of sanding.

I used a mineral oil and beeswax blend to finish the bowls.  That way they are food safe.  Although my son tells me I am to fill the bloodwood bowl with blood.  He said it isn't called potpourri wood.


I am not good yet, but I feel that I can start making more bowls at home and see if I can get good. Or competent.  I'll settle for that.  If I can make some decent bowls,  I have been invited to place them for sale at Explore Park. That will be fun.

The weather will have to warm up considerably before I make any more bowls.  At least above freezing.  Or 50°....

Sunday, February 10, 2019

St. Joseph

Our house is for sale.  Again.  We listed it last year and it didn't sell.  We listed it with a new agent and are trying again.  You can see the listing here.

I have heard that people having similar problems selling their house use a statue of St Joseph to speed things along.  I found an inexpensive one on Amazon and thought I would give it a try.


It comes with a prayer and instructions.  All for less than $10!  It's worth a shot, right?


I waited for the ground to thaw and dug a hole by the front steps.  I buried the statue upside down, as instructed.  I said the prayer and then one more specific to me as I really want this house to go to a family that will love it.


When, yes, I said it, WHEN the house sells, I am to dig up Joe and take him with me to the new house.  Not a problem.  He can come with us. I  just hope it is soon.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Maple Pecan Snickerdoodles

I love finding new things to bake.  While shopping for chocolate chips I discovered that Nestles makes Maple flavored chips. That's new!  It had a maple pecan snickerdoodle recipe on the package.  I made a few adjustments to it to suit me and it is a delightful cookie!

Snickerdoodles are basically balls of sugar cookie dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked.  You can find my recipe here.


Maple Pecan Snickerdoodles

3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package Maple morsels (chips)
1 cup chopped pecans

3 Tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350°.  Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat to avoid sticking.

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and mix for several minutes.  I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  I can let the butter mix while assembling the other ingredients.  It will turn pale and be super soft.


Add the sugar and beat until combined. You may have to scrape down the bowl a few times.  You WILL have to scrape down the bowl a few times.

Add the eggs and the vanilla.  Mix some more.


Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt to the mixture.  Mix gently to avoid flour flying about the room.


When the dry ingredients are full combined, add the chopped nuts and maple chips.


Place the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir to mix.


Use a one inch cookie scoop to make a small ball of dough.  Place about three balls of dough in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Gently roll the balls with a fork and place the covered balls on a cookie sheet.


Bake for 11 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes before removing them to a cooking rack.

I liked the crunchy nuts and creamy maple chips in the snickerdoodle cookie.  They added an interesting texture and flavor.