Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Something cool for those dog days of summer:

Asian Peanut Noodles

  • 8 oz. linguine, cooked (don’t rinse)
  • ½ cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water (to thin out sauce)
  • 1-2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP soy sauce
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon sambal oelek (hot chili paste)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced (or substitute ½ tsp ground ginger)
  • ½ cup shredded carrots or broccoli slaw
  • ½ red or green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, white & tender green parts only
  • 3 TBSP minced cilantro

Make sauce:

Whisk the peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and ginger. Taste to adjust seasonings if necessary.

*Note: I used low salt soy, and found I had to add salt. Use regular soy as desired. I found the sambal oelek at my local grocery for under $2 for a decent size jar. It has a slow after burn, so use suggested amount and add more to taste. I used ground ginger in my recipe, and highly recommend getting a knob of fresh. I think the flavor would have been much brighter.

Add the water a little at a time until sauce reached desired consistency (ie. loose, but not watery).

Dump noodles into large bowl, pour sauce over and toss to coat. Add the veggies and toss again. Garnish with cilantro.

*Note: I’m one of those genetically inferior people who doesn’t like cilantro; I used a mix of mostly flat-leaf parsley with some cilantro- like ¾ parsley to ¼ cilantro.

Makes enough for 4-6 people as a side dish. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Asian Peanut Noodles

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Simple Explanation...

Here's a schematic (fancy architectural term) of my progress on Garden Grew:

Garden Grew schematic

Each box represents a page of the chart; the shaded areas are the pages or parts of pages I've completed. The approximate overall stitched design (on the fabric I've chosen- 32 ct,  I think?) is about 24" square.

And I'll have you know it took about 45 minutes to create this little "drawing". Just think how much stitching I could have done!

This is more fun:

swimming axe

The child unit swimming with the equine unit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

As Promised...



And After:



And Now, Back to Our Program...

Sorry- I've been barn sitting all weekend, well since Thursday. Lots of running back and forth from barn to home (and Chickie) and home to barn. But the silver lining was lots of stitching time!

I got a lot done on Garden Grew, except my camera batteries died, and I kept forgetting to get new ones when I stopped at home.

Anyway's, not enough time to make a proper post, and then the tropical humidity kicked in, making the prospect of turning on a hot, fire-breathing computer very unlikely for a tired poop shoveler.

I will try to do so tonight, although I should warn you my grass needs mowing (yet again! It really should be done every 6 days, but I'm lazy) and I know it's going to wipe me out. I'm already looking forward to the cool shower after.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

So my brain is a sweaty, humid mash of "I don't want to sit here and type in front of a steaming computer". So I am going to recycle a previous post, from over 2 years ago. And I'm banking on the fact that you weren't reading my blog that along ago, or you've forgotten all about it, and since it involves grilling, and it's summertime, you might even enjoy reliving the experience. Without further ado and more sweat popping out on my brow:

Grilled Pizza

  • 1 lb ball of pizza dough at your local grocery (maybe near the deli dept or fresh cheese case)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups Pizza sauce
  • 8-oz package shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup each shredded parmesan & cheddar cheeses
  • toppings- I pre-saute’d my green peppers & onions on the stove because these pizzas don’t cook long enough to really cook toppings completely on the grill. I would suggest the same for mushrooms, unless you like crispy veggies on your pizzas. Pepperonis are good, but since these are thin crusted, DON’T OVER LOAD with toppings or it may all fall into the grill! Remember:LESS IS MORE.

I use my gas grill, and preheat on high while I work with the dough.
Divide ball of dough into quarters to make a nice single serving size pizza, and for ease of handling.
Cover a large baking sheet (or 2) with parchment and dribble about a teaspoon of olive oil over. Drop each blob of dough in the oil, smear a little on your fingertips, and stretch each piece of dough out as thin as you like. I hold it in the air and “steer” it in a circle, pulling at the thicker edges to thin it out and letting gravity do a lot of the stretching. Try to not let it tear or get so thin you get a hole. Lay it out flat on the oiled parchment, and repeat with each piece. You may have to let each piece rest while you move on to another because the dough likes to fight back and it needs to rest a minute for more stretching. Lay out more parchment on trays if necessary. The pizzas should be about 8” to 10” ovoids (sorry- these pizza are rather “rustic”!)
You’ll need about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of pizza sauce for 4 pizzas- this time I used Cento brand San Marzano “Arrabbiata” pasta sauce. It has a very homemade flavor. The label says it has hot peppers, but I can’t taste them. Pastene makes a canned “California Pizza Sauce” which is good. I don’t like a sweet, thick sauce- which is what Ragu Pizza Quick tastes like to me, but by all means, use what YOU like! I think Ragu makes a pizza sauce in a green labeled jar called just “Pizza Sauce”, and I like THAT too.
Place all your “fixings” on a tray, and bring that and your tray(s) of dough and some tongs, a spatula and a spoon for the sauce to the hot grill.

Turn the grill down to medium. Place each stretched piece of dough on the grill, using the tongs to pull out all the wrinkles & folds.
Don’t walk away! After a couple of minutes, pull up an edge to see how fast you’re cooking- you don’t want it to burn! When it’s starts to brown lightly, and get some bubbling on top, use the tongs and spatula to flip it over.

Watch this side as well,; you want to get a light brown crust going on both sides before you put on any toppings.

Flip back & forth a couple more times, placing the smooth side up. It should be a light golden brown both sides.
Spread about 1/3 to ½ cup of sauce over each pizza, then divide the cheese (I mix them together in a bowl first) and sprinkle over each pie, then finally your toppings.

Use the tongs so you don’t burn your hand reaching into the grill. At this point, peek underneath again, and rotate the pizzas to avoid charred spots.

Turn down the temp as necessary, even to low if your grill runs hot. The key at this point is cooking the bread thru, while not burning the bottom surface, and getting the cheese to melt. Drop the lid down to retain the heat if the temp seems Ok.
Let it bake for 3-4 minutes, lift the lid & check your progress. If the bottom is getting too brown, cover your upper grill surface with foil, and move the pies up there, and re-close the lid. This should cause the cheese to melt nicely, but not burn the bottom.

When it looks like a done-pizza, remove the pies with the tongs and the assistance of the spatula for support.Cut into servings, and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Quote from Frosty the Snowman:

"Happy Birthday!"

Got this:

Bday present

I'm a huge fan of LOST & this is the best possible present from Em & Adam! The 2 cards are from them as well. The one in front is from Em- inside it says "Ever get that tingly feeling? Like your eyes are going to bulge out of your head? Happy Birthday" It's an inside joke- Chicken's got bulgy eyes...

So then I mowed the lawn (almost 2 hours- damn rain keeps making the grass grow) and went to the supermarket for this:

bday cake

And I ate it right out of the box. Why wash even more dishes on my birthday!!??

Tonight Em & I are going to see Harry Potter & grab some Mexican at QDoba. Hopefully, he won't be too offended and file harassment charges against us.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

And Common Sense Prevailed:

Question 1A, for a $1,000,000 override was 874 Yes to 2,089 No or 29.5% to 70.5%
Question 1B, for a $1,700,000 override was 634 Yes to 2,414 No or 20.8% to 79.2%


Makes that screaming red sunburn on my shoulder feel SOOOOO much better (and worth it)!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer's Here!

Not staying long- I've spent 4-1/2 hours standing in the hot sweaty sun holding political signs. But I owe some pictures:

Garden Grew:


A close up:

GG23 macro

I was going to call it a night after stitching the bluebird, then I looked at the chart, saw the ladybug and had to continue.

Snapper Sleigh Ride:

sleigh ride 2

This would be about done if I just stitched on it. ;^(

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Today's recipe is a summer staple at every get-together. It's simple, and you've probably even made this version before. But sometimes simple is the best! I've been buying red potatoes lately- after washing, you don't have to peel! What a time saver!

Classic Potato Salad

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp pepper
potato salad1

  • 4 cups cooked & cubed potatoes (5-6 medium- mine were particularly small)
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion

In a large bowl, whisk first 5 ingredients.

potato salad2

Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat well.

potato salad3

Cover & refrigerate until serving.

potato salad4

Yummy and easy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And she stitched!

Garden Grew just a little:


I'm going to try to do a little more tonight. I've started Page 7, but have to adjust the scrolls to finish the bottom of Page 6.

In other news, one of the roomies is moving out: Em's BF is taking a carriage driving job in Portland Maine. I'm sure she's heartbroken, and actually I had a lump in my throat for her as they drove off. So far it's been working out well, them as roommates, not any real problems at all. We've been having tons of rain, so I haven't had to worry about well water. He's just been having problems getting a Massachusetts driver's license, which is a requirement for a carriage license, and most other job opportunities. Apparently, this isn't an issue in Maine, at least for carriage driving and this company is offering more money than he can make, license-less, at Em's company.

adam blackjack2

Adam on a recycled Boston Police horse named Black Jack. He was labeled "vicious" , and thus was one of the first to go.

love blackjack2

Vicious indeed! He & Adam became the best of friends. He was training him to drive carriage.

Em driving:

emily driving1

I think this is Big Charlie. (Yes, there's a Little Charlie, too!)


Here's she's conversing with Jake about sharing her lunch.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Calgon Take Me Away!

I've been chopping & pruning & sawing & mowing for the last 3 days and I'm about toast.
But I figured it would be a shame to waste what are probably the last 3 days this summer that are sunny, and not 75% humidity.
I've got my "No Override" sign out front, and we'll see how long those tax and spend liberals leave it alone. "It's aaaaaall for the children!" my ass. It's all about their pensions and 100% paid lifetime health care- at the local, state AND federal level. Where's my frikkin' bailout???!!!
Sorry those aches & pains are coming out....
And tomorrow I'll have the pleasure of renewing my driver's license. When I've checked the wait times online, the best I've seen is 46 minutes. Yahoo. Taxachusetts at its best.

Friday, July 10, 2009


A good friend sent one of those  mass e-mailings to me- you know the kind I mean! But it made a lot of sense:

What a profound short little paragraph that says it all:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other
half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
.....Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little.. The second test average was a D!
No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Damn Stockings!

I'm refusing to go back to the BBD stocking- don't even remember which one it was nor where I left off on it. I made myself 5 minutes late for work this morning by grabbing fabric (and cutting!) & floss for this:

sleigh ride 1

I started it at S & B tonight. I was late for that because Em took Axe on a 3 hour galloping trail ride yesterday and the poor horse was ouchy sore today. So I had to go up after work to poultice her front legs. Hopefully that will help. Poor girl!

Jeanne made this for our snack:  PW Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

If you haven't tried this, you're totally missing out: it was so smooth & creamy & peanut-buttery & cool & summery! Best cream pie I've ever had! And Jeanne said it was easy (as pie!)(I'm so funny!) to make. Can't beat it with a stick.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Quick & easy today:

Fruit Kebabs with Honey Lime Vanilla Yogurt Sauce

  • Assorted fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, cultured blueberries, etc.
  • bamboo skewers

Cut fruits in ¾” pieces and assemble on skewers

fruit kebabs

Refrigerate until serving time

Honey Lime Vanilla Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 cups vanilla yogurt (low fat or fat free as desired)
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • zest & juice from one lime

vanilla honey lime sauce

Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours to combine flavors. Serve with fruit kebabs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

And In Not-So-Disturbing News...

A finish! So remarkable they even held fireworks to celebrate!

ChristmasSpot Sampler

Christmas Spot Sampler by Ewe & Eye & Friends

on 28ct Jobelan "Watercress" with recommended GAST threads

Mother Nature At Work

A new franchise of I*Hop has opened:


Mr. Hawk attended the grand opening of the All-You-Can-Eat Bunny Breakfast Buffet. Two days in a row.



Friday, July 3, 2009

So Close!

Quaker Christmas Spot Sampler:


Almost done!

Garden Grew:


Not so much.

I rode the Axester today for the first time since May (!)

She was good for me, thankfully. It was nice to be able to give her a bath when we were done.

Then I mowed the lawn and almost had a baby bunny massacre. As I was mowing, all of a sudden I saw brown blobs scampering away from almost under the mower and realized it was 2 baby bunnies. I shooed them further away, and 2 or 3 more poured out of a hole in the ground, right where I had just mowed. Then I had to keep a lookout for them as they had bounced off into the grass that was yet to be done. I caught up to 2 of them next to the bushes in front of the house, and shooed them further in. Hopefully their parents taught them where the emergency hatch is!

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


That sombrero would have come in handy today! Here's what tomorrow looks like:

74° 63°

This was what today's weather was like, too. Not much fun driving home in, what with all the yahoos heading to the Cape for the long weekend. (Yes- holiday weekend migrations start on Wednesday!)

Wonderful Wednesday Recipes

I remembered this week! So away we go:

Just in time for getting cozy with your grill this weekend:

Marinated Steak Tips

  • 2-3 lbs. Steak tips
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup oil, either olive or canola or a combination
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar (I’ve also used rice vinegar or dry white vermouth)
  • 2 TBSP ketchup
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • hot sauce

Measure oil into 2 cup measuring cup. Add vinegar (or vermouth).

steak tip1

Add salt, pepper, garlic, ketchup and molasses. Add a couple of dashes of hot sauce.

steak tip2

Whisk everything together with a fork.

steak tip3

Place steak tips in a gallon size Ziploc bag.

steak tip4

Place bag inside a baking dish (in case bag leaks). Re-whisk marinade once more & pour on top of steak.

steak tip5

Smoosh everything together to make sure all meat is covered, close bag tight and arrange so that meat lays in a single layer within bag, inside dish.

Marinade for at least 8 hours, turning over every so often. I’ve let it go for as long as 2 days and it wasn’t too strong.

Preheat grill according to manufacturer’s directions (how’s that for a legal disclaimer!) Remove meat from marinade & discard (the marinade, that is). Grill meat to desired doneness, and serve.

steak tip6

I ended up marinating these ones from Friday night until Monday night. They were extremely flavorful, and the meat was very tender. This last picture, however, was taken of cold leftovers on Tuesday morning because I forgot to take that last plated picture before I sat down to eat - oops! So these may appear to be a little dry looking, but they were actually cold. If I knew how to stage a food a photo (and had the equipment) I could have sprayed them with some oil or water to make them look moist. Oh well.