Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog Vacation

Well, Wookie and I decided that it was better to go on a blog vacation until some of the busier parts of life are worked out.  Otherwise, we feel guilty about not having enough time for the blog.  So we are going on a vacation from now until November 5th, when we come back from visiting family in Washington State.  We thank you all for reading our tiny little blog and hope to see you when we return all bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Inspirations

These Dresser Planters are so nifty and a wonderful way to get more plants into the house or even outside.

Along a similar line these Mason Jar Wall Planters are very rustic looking and nifty!

I haven’t been doing much sewing lately, but these blocks at the top of this post make me want to get the Living Large 2 booklet and make some of them.

Love the illusion this scarf creates!

Thesefelt broaches are very nifty looking!

Recipes I’d like to try:

I love the thought of making Homemade Ketchup, one it takes the worry out of the whole gluten free aspect, but also you could so tweak it to fit your own style.

As I am trying to figure out other things to make with veggies, this Zucchini Gratin sounds yummy!

Pickled Green Tomatoes sound super interesting to try, as does Green Tomato Salsa!

These Tuna Patties could easily be made gluten free and sound yummy.

Since barbeque sauce that is tasty and gluten free can be hard to find, I am interested in trying to home-make some and this Spicy Barbeque Sauce sounds like it would be good to try.

Along the same vein, this Raspberry-Chipotle Barbeque Sauce sounds interesting and yummy!!

You can never have too many recipes for Enchiladas!!

Chili is another thing that is often not gluten free because people use normal broth, but it wouldn’t be very hard to substitute gluten free broth and make this yummy sounding Black Bean and Beef Chili.

I am not a fan of regular tomato soup especially the canned kind, but I have had more gourmet types of roasted tomato soup and like them, so this Roasted Tomato Soup sounds simple and yummy! I even have a gluten free roll I could use in place of the bread.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wading through it

I am still here.  The Wook is still here.  Life is taking some different paths emotionally, physically, and psychologically.  We will still be around.

I started my new job this week.  I was hoping for a challenge, new things to learn . . . this job is mind-numbingly boring and there is no challenge except the one I set for myself each day.  Which is simply a numbers goal of getting through a certain number of files a day.

I will still be working overtime for my old department, I will be there tomorrow morning for about 4 or 5 hours.  This will only be until the new department I work for goes into our special project around December and we all have mandatory overtime of about 12-ish hours a week.  So, unfortunately things aren't going to slow down any time soon.

The husband will be busier too as he trains for a new position.  Yet things will also be odd as his employers chose to shut down the plant on Sundays as production has slowed down some.  So a little concern as economic issues effect his employers and the stability of them continuing. 

Crafting is going slow as I work on getting healthier in all aspects.  I finished my proto-type for my baby sweater design and will share it will you shortly.

Part of this journey is over on my other blog, but in warning I speak very openly about things and if you do not like that, then do not read it.  I will be posting there every Saturday.  I have decided to delete this blog as I don't know that I am personally ready to put that much information out there yet.

Wookie is still making progress health wise.  He is now up to lunch and dinner as dog food with a couple dog treats throughout the day.  He still eats breakfast as low-fat human food I make him.  We are letting his hair grow out now.  He is doing even better at the dog park and it makes me sad that we do not have an indoor dog park around here for during the Winter.

Side note, on our walk today after I got home from work, the skies opened up and completely poured.  We were about two blocks from home.  I had to take my coat off and pick Wookie up, who in a matter of seconds looked like a drenched rat and put my coat over him to shelter him.  By the time we got home I was completely soaked and couldn't see anything through my glasses and the Wook was not happy.  In a way, it was hilarious though, I mean what can you do but laugh!  He enjoyed a good nap after that stressful experience.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Inspirations

So in all the busy of the overtime and Wookie being sick, I haven’t done much updating on my actually knitting, but I will, not all is still going to be knit, some ideas have changed, etc . . .

I saw the Paraphernalia on Pink Lemon Twist’s post September Knit Something of the Month and I will definitely be casting on for these in the near future as I am drawn to them for some reason. Maybe as a Christmas present for someone?

Recipes I’d like to try:

I was never a pickle fan as a child, in fact, I was the only person in my family who didn’t like them. The only time I ate pickles was when they were in potato salad, mostly because their flavor was masked by all the other ingredients. As an adult, I am not in love with pickles, but I definitely like them. I blame my husband for this as he introduced me to relish, which I had never had and I love me some sweet relish. I think this encourage my new pickle enthusiasm. So the thought of making my own pickles like in Fridge Garlic Dill Pickles sounds very nifty!

It’s amazing that in a way, eating Gluten Free can open your eyes up to more healthy food with so much of the junk food that consumes America now being off your list of things you can eat. But as food lovers in general, we find ways to create Gluten Free junk food, like these Donut Holes which unfortunately sound and look yummy!

Gluten Free Pita Bread sounds good. Hmm, I use to love a good Pita sandwich.

As a huge fan of cheese and Mexican food, this Restaurant Style Queso Dip sounds delicious.

All of this overtime means no real dinners, I just don’t have time, so man am I missing food at home. There is just so much more I can do at home than I can at a restaurant or fast food chain. This Honey Garlic Chicken sounds so good!

Caramel has always been one of my favorite candies. So Juniper Moon Farm’s post on Making Cajeta and the links she provided to Lavender Caramels and Milk Liqueur sound very interesting. I have this weekend to myself, since my overtime will be done for a little while . . . maybe that means some experimentation in the kitchen?

In my quest for good peanut butter cookies, Erica sent me a link to a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe which seems super easy and from the picture, they look yummy, so I will have to try these soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

I was excited to try another cookie mix that was gluten-free as I still hold out hope that I will like one of them enough to use it consistently.

I found this Hodgson Mill Mix and decided it was worth a try.
I thought it was nifty that on the back it had different ideas for what to add to the cookie mix and how much to put in there.
I decided to do the peanut butter variation, for which they say to add 1/2 cup peanut butter.  The dough was actually tasty.
I made little balls and flattened them with a for.
They look lovely.
I also tried little cookie balls.

The only problem with these cookies is that they taste like nothing, not bad, not good, just nothing.  The peanut butter is only tasted VERY faintly.  It would definitely need more peanut butter, how much I am not sure, but at least twice as much as they recommend.  My concern would be, how well would the cookie hold together if it had to have a LOT of peanut butter in it?  So disappointment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Inspirations

I love the look of this Thimble. I don't use thimbles, but I would love to make one as they could make lovely rings too!

These simple Baby Doll Diapers look cute and would be so quick and easy to make!
Recipes I’d like to try:

As I am sure you all know by now, I love lemon, cannot eat them raw or anything, but things like these Lemony Potatoes are just too much for me to resist trying!

Now this Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts sounds so delicious, I will definitely be finding time to make this during the week. Hmm, maybe with the Lemony Potatoes above!

I love salsa and I love homemade salsa even more, so this Canned Tomato Salsa sounds definitely worth making.

This Baked Eggplant Parmesan definitely sound yummy and would be easily made Gluten Free.

Since I have found a bread/roll that I like, I am more interested in things like jelly and jams again and this Peach Butter falls into this category.

Zucchini is one of the things I have found that I really like. However, eating it the same way all the time gets old, real quick, and these Zucchini Fritters don’t sound like they would be too hard to make as Gluten-Free.

My husband loves pie and I use to experiment on how to make him a good pie that was homemade, but since I have to eat Gluten Free, I haven’t really experimented any more, but Lauren’s post on Pie has made me want to experiment more, so hopefully I will have some time soon.

Some more Lemon Cookies!

I think even more since I have to be Gluten Free, I love a good soup. Since it’s so hard to eat out and have soup, since everyone uses wheat in their broth, I am looking around even more for good soups to make at home and this Corn Chowder definitely sounds like a good soup to try.

I always love a good Potato Salad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Explanation of Disappearance

So, I know I haven't been around much.  Work has been very busy and before Saturday, I had worked the last 12 days straight, going in early and all that jazz too.  It just tires a person out and unfortunately doesn't leave much energy for blogging.  I took off Saturday, went in yesterday (Sunday) and am taking of today.  Plus, since I am home less, I am trying to spend more quality time with Wookie, so he doesn't feel left out and we go to the dog park when I get home, after we get home, we are both fairly exhausted and crash, to start everything all over the next day.  There are a few reasons why I am going in for so much overtime. 

First, the department I currently work in is VERY busy right now and everyone is working overtime, it just varies by person how much overtime is being worked.

Second, I was accepted for a different position in the bank and I start on the 19th.  I am training a temp to replace me so I am doing everything in my power to get everything caught up so she doesn't feel like she is buried under a mudslide since we are so busy right now.  It's hard to learn so much stuff and not be overwhelmed, much less have to learn all of it and be behind because we are so busy.

Third, the new department I am going to avoids overtime at all costs from what I hear, so it's not like I'll have the opportunity to work any once I go over there.

And last, but not least, Fourth, the husband and I have decided to start saving up to purchase a home in hopefully 2013.  So all the money we can save the better.

I will do my best to keep blogging but starting tomorrow I will be working the next 11-13 days straight, right up until I start my new position.  So it's going to be a busy household here.  If I cannot keep up and I disappear, at least you will all know where I am.  :)

Jodi and the Peach Bars

So I tried making the Peach Bars . . . you can already tell somewhat of how it went, just by that introduction. I made the recipe exactly as listed except I used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour. It was a mixed bag of outcomes though. On the one hand about 2/3rds of it didn’t actually cook all the way through, even though I cooked it a bit longer than she suggested. On the other hand, the part that did cook all the way through was fairly yummy, but a little grainy, even the husband liked it.  Unfortunately, only the outsides cooked through.

The bottom crust.
Completely baked.
From the side.

So today I tried to do a variant of it and see what I could get. First goal was to go more by instinct, which I don’t do very often when cooking because I don’t view cooking as a very strong skill of mine and do not trust my instincts with cooking well.

First thing I changed, was I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix to see if a different gluten free flour would make any effect. The other change was to use up the crust and the filling as things “looked” correct.

The bottom crust
From the side, I put in just enough to fill about 1/3rd of the pan, which was only about 1/4 before it was baked.
I pitted and chopped up a bunch of cherries.
I put a layer of cherries over the crust, this deviates from the recipe, but I didn't want to use all of the filling mix, because only wanted enough to make it work.
I poured just enough of the filling to come to the height of the cherry layer.
I crumbled some of the crust, like she says to do, over the top, but I didn't use much more than a handful.
All done, it is a little dark . . . completely my fault, I got knitting and forgot about it a bit and it cooked about 15 minutes too long.
Except for being a smidge burnt on the bottom it turned out wonderfully!  I will definitely make this again, using my approach to her recipe.  Also, as much as I love King Arthur Flour, the Arrowhead Mills did not have the grainy texture.
A lovely slice.

With the leftover crust and filling mix, I made little tins with different fruit to try:

From right to left, there is strawberry, plum, and orange.
After they have been cooked, they are the other direction here.

The strawberry was surprisingly good, although next time I would chop the strawberry pieces smaller. The plum was good, but the plum flavor was not very strong at all. The orange was good, I used canned mandarin orange, because that is what I had to experiment with and I would use them again, I would chop those into smaller pieces too though. Overall, the experimenting turned out well! I might try next time to cut down the sugar in the recipe some though, because 3 cups of sugar overall is just too much, plus with ripe fruit, it really doesn't need it.