Sunday, May 29, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

I had been wanting to make this recipe for a while. Finally, I made it today to take to work. I must say that I tasted the filling and whipped cream topping as I made it. It's amazingly good. I just had this special toasted coconut delivered via mail that I ordered from Nutsonline in New Jersey. I have just discovered them. I thnk they have a really extensive list of some rather hard to find products. They are good quality. I was looking for brazil nuts for to go along with my theme for our book club later this month. Where else would you order roasted and salted brazil nuts?
I'm looking forward to having a slice later tonight!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pine Craft Show

Today, Penny and I went to Pine to the craft show they had going. It was bustling. They were decked out for the holiday. It was a pretty homey type of craft show. Jewelry, pottery,etc.

Penny matched the displays with her patriotic attire.

We each got a little bit of jewelry.

Colorful displays.

We had a nice lunch at the Randall House.

These baby goats were there to advertise the goat milk cheese that their owners make. They walked some of them around on a leash to help publicize. It was kind of funny to see.

The traffic was busy. There was a craft show in Payson too and we enjoyed both of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coleen's Birthday Cake

So I was supposed to make this cake for Coleen's birthday at work. Then I got pulled to go on a two day trip to Yuma, unexpectedly. So Today is actually Coleen's birthday and she is off. I was partway done with the cake so I finished it today. It lists to the side a little and the icing isn't all smooth, but, oh my, does it taste good! I took it in to work so I would only have one piece and then leave the rest there. It's a recipe from Chez Panisse. A little fussy, but worth it. Moist, lots of cream and butter. One piece was enough. Hopefully, those who are at work will enjoy it. Sorry Coleen!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jerome Home Tour 2011

Today, I went with my friend Penny and Uncle Ron and Aunt Rejeana to Jerome for their home tour. It was a beautiful day. The first home was unrestored and dated from 1917. IT was interesting and sobering to see how bad of shape it was in. What a lot of work the people have ahead of them who plan to renovate it.

Here is the outside of the house. Colorful, yes? There is a fabulous view out of that back porch.

I don't have photos of everything on this post, but just some I really liked. I thought this was a really cool thing. These folks had taken the window from the old barbershop and put it in as their main picture window with the lettering on it. Cool and fun and funky. Look at that view from the porch.

A fun old enamaled toilette set.

Is this not a cool light fixture or what? It looks like Aladdin's lamp.

The inside of the church we toured. They had cookies and lemonade downstairs and their oldest parishoner. He was 96. Delightful gentleman.

Look at this "street" and these stairs. If yo drive a sedan down this stretch, when you get to the end you drag it really badly. Just like the police car we watched do it.

There was one new home on the tour. I liked the guitar theme in this room. They also had a guitar lamp.

And they had some of the fabulous kalidoscopes from the Nelly Bly store.

Front and key of an awesome carved cabinet.

Uncle Ron, Aunt Rejeana and Penny.

An "unrestored" home. As I remember them from coming when I was a kid.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Garden Harvest 5/17

Today I pulled out the last of the Chard, Spinach and carrots. I have a few different kinds of tomatoes too. I planted a few seeds to fill in "holes". 

I had quite a lot of spinach. I didn't take a picture of it all before I put it in the fridge. Here is a pot of it I cooked. I eat some fresh, steam some and some I boil like this batch. It all tastes good!

Umm...didn't quite work out

So, I like to post pictures of my craft projects. So this one didn't work out as planned. I thought maybe that would be good for people to know too. This was supposed to be a very simple cowl neck sweater/tank. First, It's way too big for me. And I'm not sure if it would fit right even on somebody bigger. Not quite sure what to do with it......See, not everything I make quite turns out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden May 2011

My garden is still doing well. Not everything works out as planned. Between surprizes in the weather (freeze), marauding pets and so on.
This is a photo of my quick harvest before church this morning. My tomatoes are just starting to come on. I have LOTS of green tomatoes. I hope they all live to ripen. I seem to have some competition for harvesting them from my dog, Winston. I have caught him in the middle of my bed eating green tomatoes, three times now. Sigh. Not much I can do about it.
I have also gotten my first zucchini as you can see. I seem to have a "failure in pollinators" for anything in the squash and melon families. I have been trying to do as I was told at the nursery and take a male flower and use it to pollinate the female flowers. The only problem is that I don't always have male and female flowers open at the same time. But I ate my first zucchini today and it was great!
I love the flowers. They stay beautiful for more than a week after I cut them and bring them in.

Here is a view of most of the garden. It's mostly tomatoe jungle. I also have some garden out of view behind this area and some in front that you can't see. The spinach has just finished. I have one chard left. The beets are done. I still have some carrots. I was too agressive in using my cilantro and killed it off. Need to plant some more. My dill and parsley are quite healthy. My basil is coming on, I hope. My very healthy basil got killed off in the freeze this last January. I have several other things developing. I have my own little intensive gardening method. Little space lots of plants. Seems to mostly work.

My little japanese eggplants are setting fruit. They don't get much bigger than about 4 inches.

Bell Peppers starting. All very yummy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cupcake Camp

One of my friends from work wanted to learn how to decorate fancy cupcakes. I am certainly not well versed in this area, but am learning. We decided to learn together. I picked out a couple of cupcake designs from Hello, Cupcake! I tried to find some that were cute, but easy enough for us to get started with and have a successfull experience.
So the first one was a sunflower cupcake, complete with a ladybug. I started getting things ready a couple of days ahead. I made the frosting and colored it in all the appropriate colors. I figured out how to make the leaves. See the fruit gels next to the plate? Well you take the green ones and smash them with a rolling pin. You add sugar to keep them from sticking. Then you use a leaf cookie cutter to cut out the leaf shapes.

Here are some more of our raw materials. We used regular and mini oreos. Red M&M's became our ladybugs.

The book has you pipe the black areas of the lady bugs. We tried it on a couple and it was quite fussy and tedious. Seriously, on an M&M?  Much easier to use an edible black marker.

Cupcakes ready to go.2 sizes. The smaller ones are for the second project.

Here is Katherine, getting ready to start making the petals. You can see the cupcakes are already frosted in green, the leaves and oreos are in place. The directions said to add the leaves after you put the petals on. We didn't think that would work as well, so we added them first.


Petal making.

Finished project! We were quite pleased with the results. And I learned several new techniques in the process.

The spread. I didn't eat a single one. We delivered some to work and I also delivered some to the folks I visit for church.

The second batch were mini cup cakes. We were supposed to heat the icing for 4-5 seconds in the microwave. Supposedly then you can dip the cupcake and it would be somewhat liquid and develop a smooth, shiny surface. Didn't happen that way. We ended up frosting them pretty traditionally. Then we were piping white decorations on them so they were supposed to look similiar to petit fours.

Not really but it was fun anyway. These went to the office too.
We had a great time and think we'll have to do it again!

Friday, May 13, 2011

2nd Anniversary of weight loss goal

I put a little bit of a post on facebook about this, but I am very excited and pleased. I was looking at my before and after photos the other day and realized that it had been two years since I met my goal weight. Time flies!
I am up and down a little, but I now am able to manage my weight and keep within some pretty decent parameters. I am so glad for the self knowledge of knowing that I CAN be sucessful about this. I am so grateful for the tools to keep it going. What a blessing this has been in my life.

This is maybe not the best photo in the world, but I am ok with me! Life is so much better without the extra weight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roadside Beauty

I love these. The larger flower with the chocolate center is a chocolate echinacea that I am growing in my garden. The other two are flowers I found on the roadside on the way back from Kingman today. I think they are beautiful. I have never seen them as wildflowers in Arizona. I think maybe someone threw the seeds out there along with the desert marigolds. They are gorgeous! And aren't they fun together?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jewelry Shadowbox Project

Ok, I have been busy the last few days.  This is my next Martha Stewart inspired project. I made these as gifts. You buy a shadow box and remove the glass. Easy right? Well, unlike a regular frame, the glass is held in place with glued and screwed in molding strips. Tiny screws. Any way, I got it out. They were darker wood and I wanted white to go with the paper on the back, so then I spray painted them white.
Then she said to cover the back with wall paper scrap. I don't even know where to get wall paper these days. Home Depot only had contact paper, so that is what I used. Probably easier anyway. Then you put in cup hooks to hold jewelry that you would like to display and there you go! It will hang on the wall and not be in the way.

I made two different sizes. Kind of fun, I think.

Curios Cluster Necklace

So I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living. Some of her projects are just too much work or too fussy for me. But sometimes, I think they are just really inspired and they "speak" to me. I saw this necklace in this month's issue and fell in love. I have all sorts of bits and pieces of jewelry that I hadn't been able to throw away, single earrings, pendants, old costume jewelry from my Great Aunt. Plus I have plenty of buttons and beads, etc. So I thought here is a perfect project to use them and plus I love the way it looks.
So I have been up to 1 AM the last two nights, working on it. I finished last night. I don't know. The instructions warn to make sure that everything you put on is "lightweight" but even so, when you put that much on, it starts to get heavy.  And mine doesn't seem to lay as flat as the one the girl had on in the magazine.

And here they show you can also wear it sideways and let the ribbon be part of the decoration. I don't know, mine didn't seem to want to do that. I'm going to try and wear it a little and see. I hope it wasn't wasted effort!

My sister says Martha has a whole staff of people around to make sure everything turns out great. The frayed linen is supposed to be a part of the whole "look". You purposely fray the edge. FYI!