Saturday, July 31, 2010

Today's wikiHow of the Day

How to Plait a Horse's Tail - wikiHow

Just in case you were wondering...........

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

I came across this recipe in my weekly King Arthur newsletter, and then The Pioneer Woman also featured a similar recipe on her blog the same week. I don’t know how hers came out, but these were great! They were moist, dense, and indeed, tasted like a plain donut! Don’t skimp on the nutmeg- that’s the source of the secret flavor crystals! Also, more than a few of the reviews on the K.A. recipe indicated that by baking these in mini-muffin tins resulted in spot-on donut-hole replicas. I baked mine in a traditional size muffin tin. If you decide on the minis, you’ll have to adjust your baking time/temperature.

Donut MuffinsMakes 14 muffins

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons super fine (or granulated) sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin(s). Or line with paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
  3. In another bowl, stir the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and flour with a whisk. In a measuring cup, add milk and vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full. donut muffin1
  5. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them.
  6. While they're cooling, melt the butter for the topping (this is easily done in the microwave). Mix the 3 TBSP sugar with the cinnamon. Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Or simply dip the tops of muffins into the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature. donut muffin2

The ones on the left were coated with real sugar; on the right with Splenda substitute.

donut muffin3

Yum! Perfect for a Sunday breakfast with coffee!

This’ll be me & my grandkid someday….

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty from Darragh O'Connell on Vimeo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I did on my 4-Day Weekend…

besides shovel horse poop and sweat my brains out:

Here’s the start of my July ornament:

swirly snow

“Swirly Snow” by Whispering Winds Designs. And yes, I have to get this done by the end of the week. I’ve already admitted to being a charter member of Procrastinators Anonymous.

Quaker Halloween:

CS Quaker Halloween19

I didn’t work on it all week, just at S & B. Speaking of which: here’s what Joanne cooked up for snacks last week:

banana pudding cake

Paula Deen’s “Not Your Momma’s Banana Pudding”. It was very tasty!

Last but not least, Garden Grew:


Halfway done! Here’s another shot:


Close up of where I left off on at the start of the second half:


Here’s my floss storage system for this project. A large Darice box to hold all the colors (80-ish I think?), and a small box to hold all the bobbins for each individual page. I swap out the colors I need for each page from the bigger box to the smaller. Some colors stay in the box from page to page. It takes a bit of time, but this system has been working just swimmingly because it cuts down on the rummaging for each particular bobbin.

GG floss system

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back Again....almost...

I;ve been barnsitting for the past 4 days; I have Garden Grew photos and Quaker Halloween and my July ornament and a sweaty Tshirt. I was going to say sweaty armpits, but thought Tshirt sounded more lady-like. 'Cause I'm all about the etiquette.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

Still no real cooking for WWW; here’s a link to the next thing I want to try from King Arthur flour:

KA Donut Muffins. The reviews suggest making them in mini-muffin cups so that they really do taste like donut holes.

Back to my post title:

Yesterday I heard a rough scratching noise coming from my kitchen. I went to check it out, because Em’s cat has been doing a lot of scratching lately, and I wanted to deter her from causing damage.  I ended up not catching her in the act, but noticed an empty box, and thought, “well maybe she was scratching that or pulling the tape.” This afternoon, around the same time, from the living room, I heard a noise in the kitchen so I snuck out to see what the cat was up to again. I looked about and saw her lying peacefully in one of my kitchen windows. I heard the noise to her left and saw this little bastard squirrel  clinging to the screen on the outside, having ripped a 1" x 2" hole and a quarter-sized hole below that. I gasped a WTF  and he jumped to the roof. I followed outside, and he was up at the ridge, looking down at me  and laughing. (Didn’t Brendan Fraser & Brooke Shields just do a movie about this???)

I knew from other squirrel-in-the-house-horror stories that I needed to repair the screen ASAP, so I ran right out to the hardware store for some screen patches and rodent deterrent, and in the less than 15 minutes it took to get back home, he has made an "L"-shaped 6" x 2" rip out of the first hole, and made an additional attempt in the second window screen with a 1-1/2" x 3" hole (I have a double window over the sink). Luckily, I had the foresight to close down the sashes before I left, other wise I would have a new roommate. And now my little patch kit is nowhere big enough to fix the holes. I’m going to have to re-screen both panels.  Mother-F-*&%^X*(*!!!-er!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right side (from outside):

right screen

Left side:

left screen

In 13 years here, I've NEVER had this problem!!!! With all the cooking I do, and we don’t leave  food out on the counters; I have NO idea what has attracted this vermin!

On top of it all, Emily's cat was lying in the second window watching the squirrel's break-in attempt. Useless piece of shit.

Plus I now can’t open my kitchen windows- my largest source of air circulation in the whole downstairs.

I swear I must have tortured babies and kittens in a prior life to have this kind of luck! I really don’t have time for this!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Living Large

I finally broke down & installed the window A/C in my bedroom- aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! I was even able to dry my hair with a dryer before work yesterday because I was cool and dry, instead of pinning it up wet.

Today’s project was getting the A/C fixed in my car. It was a hole in the condenser, just as I thought. The local garage was able to fix it, parts & installation, for about half of the evil mega-corporation, Toyota. Unfortunately, the shield Toyota designed for the next model year up from mine, will not fit and cannot be altered to fit my car. And thanks to our illustrious, stimulus big spender of a president, EVERY free kin’ highway I have to travel to get to work has been ground up in prep for re-paving (can we say for the 3rd and 4th times respectively for Rt.24 and Rt.495, since I moved down here 20 + years ago????) whether they need it or not. Which is probably where the rock that caused the hole came from, and will probably come from again. *SIGH*

So I’m air conditioned all over the place.

The guacamoles left me a birthday present:

bday presents

That’s a doggie bed duvet, and a photo book of historical photos from the area. (shout out to Liv ‘N Laf- I think there are some relatives of yours in there! Sue’s been M.I.A. while she moves into a new home). Here’s the card:

 bday card1 bday card2







Here’s last week’s progress on Quaker Halloween:

CS Quaker Halloween18

Not much to show- it’s too hot to stitch, or it was until I got my A/C.

I think it’ll be a DQ ice cream instead of birthday cake after the dishes tonight. I best get crackin’!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010


Carole brought us two outstanding dessert selections last night:

Lemon meringue pie:

lemon meringue

and Baklava:


Both were extraordinarily delicious! Thank you Carole!

(I apologize about the photo size-these were cell phone shots).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Too too hot to cook! How about I recycle a post from last year? It’s a grilling recipe, so you won’t have to heat your kitchen:

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-sautéed 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!

Contest Alerts!

Check out these two fabulous give-aways: - Jan is giving away a Vera Bradley bag filled with an awesome array of stitching stuff.
Then there's this one: - Deb is having a drawing for a flower frog- perfect for displaying your stitching scissors!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Hot….

to stitch, to cook, to sleep, to think…

Poor Chickie- her medicine seems to be working. I’ve started the oral medication; she’s only tolerating the oil on her food. It’s a good thing the steroids make her ravenous! Here she is soaking up some fan-age:

cool chickie

She’ll actually have her nose right up to the fan. I tried to get a picture but she moved.

Here’s Quaker Halloween, from last week’s efforts:

CS Quaker Halloween17

I lucked out tonight—I had just put 4 pieces of chicken (poultry, not dog) in the oven as the rainstorms started going overhead. And the lights went out, but only for a minute. Phew! That was a close one!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crazy Kid…

Look at all the fun she’s been having at the Myopia Hunt in Hamilton:





“I wanna be an eventer!”

Her friend:


This horse recovered from extensive colic surgery about 4 years ago.  I’m glad the two girls have become such good friends and have so much fun on their horses!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is our hobby making the big time?

Ellen Page, the Oscar nominated actress from Juno, has signed with HBO to write & produce a comedy called “Stitch ‘N Bitch”. See story here and here and here. Seems kind of vague at the moment.

Hmmm. I’m sorry, but haven’t WE been using that concept for our weekly group stitches for years? Could it be a copyright infringement???  Except for the “painfully cool hipsters” part. I don’t think too many of us fit that category.

Friday, July 9, 2010

By the Way...

Paulette at Plum Street Samplers is having a give-away for a gift certificate to CSN Stores. Head over to her blog to enter!

I want Winter back!!!!!

There’s not enough fan-age in my house to keep things cool. I have 2 going in the living room- one on a stand that rotates back & forth, and a box fan sitting on the floor that I point entirely in my direction. That makes things almost tolerable. My downstairs windows face the wrong direction to catch any breezes. I can get my upstairs cooler than my down, just because my windows are situated such that I can get some cross ventilation.

We had some delicious cupcakes at stitching last night, courtesy of our fearless leader, Deborah. Check out her pictures on her new blog, Cranberry Samplings. I must confess that I was the ONLY one who ate my 2 selections. (Hangs head in sheepish embarrassment). What can I say, I had my tiny ham sandwich way back at 11:30, and I was HUNGRY! I also did not have any supper once I was home. So there!

So Chicken was diagnosed with an acute allergic reaction to flea bites- it only takes one nibble and it sets off this huge chain reaction of itching, biting, irritation. So while I’ve never seen the evidence of fleas, nor did my previous vet, during this episode that has lasted since last August, the new vet’s opinion is that “This is SO.” He gave her a steroid injection, which I’m to follow up with 3 week’s worth of tablets, plus an oil to squirt on her food, plus a flea control spray for my house. I’m not sure about this vet, he didn’t really allow me any questions- he kept talking over me like a parent talking over a protesting child (even though I wasn’t protesting anything- EEERRRGGG!) I will defer my opinion of him when I see poor Chicken’s skin clear up and the itching subsides ENTIRELY. I was pleasantly surprised when the bill only came to $92, especially since I was provided with 3 take-home products, and she had an injection. This was a LOT less than the previous vet. I had to run home, drop Chickie off, and then run back up town to attend a Planning Board meeting, so I didn’t really even look at my bill until the following morning, which is when I realized they hadn’t charged me for the oil or the fogger. So maybe I’m too honest, but I respect vets, and all they do, and I wanted to maintain a good relationship with this one, in case he actually cures my dog’s problem, so I called & informed the secretary of her mistake, and offered her my credit card over the phone or I could stop in after work. “You can stop in this afternoon- no problem. Bye now”, she more or less says, but no thank you. ???? You’d think she’d be a little appreciative that I’d ‘fess up that she’d undercharged me by what ends up being $31 worth of products. Even after I go in, and pay, and she even explains to a co-worker that she “forgot to add this to her bill yesterday”, she still NEVER says thank you. Call me crazy, but I’d be so grateful that someone had the decency to correct my error in the customer’s favor, if I was in her shoes. Oh well. It must be that guilty catholic upbringing that I had, that she apparently didn’t.

Maybe I’ll post pix of Quaker Halloween later- I’m smoking along this week. My boss has instituted a “Fridays off” policy for the months of July & August. This is actually kind of tough for me- work-a-holic that I am. Plus it’s air conditioned there!hot dog

Happier days!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wilted Wednesday Wrecipes…

Too hot to cook this week, although I DID make that pasta salad I showed you last week. Here are my pictures: (feel free to LOL):

pesto mac1

I used this store-brand pesto. Maybe another brand, or certainly, homemade would be tastier. I’ve never “used” pesto before, so is it supposed to be thick – spread-ably thick?

pesto mac2

Toss the drained pasta with a splash of EVOO. God I hate that acronym! Olive oil!

pesto mac3

Pretty colors!

pesto mac4

I mixed the “sauce” ingredients together first, then stirred this into veggies & pasta.

pesto mac5

And here’s my messy result. Maybe I should have photo’d the final product in a nice bowl, or at least scraped down the little green bits.

The salad was quite yummy; it was delish warm. I had to re-salt the next day- it had lost flavor, and gotten dryer. The shallot was also more pronounced, and that flavor seemed to dominate when cold. Also- MOST IMPORTANT- I halved the recipe!!! It makes a bucket load. I would make this again, but I think it needs some tweaking. Definitely halve the recipe until you try it.

I never mentioned that I made a batch of The Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Salsa a few weeks ago. It was excellent! The best salsa I’ve ever had! But it makes a wheelbarrow load! Definitely halve that recipe unless you’re making it for a party.

Stay cool!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hotter ‘N Hell..

How about a little Halloween in July?

CS Quaker Halloween16

I have to bring Chickie to the vet for her itchy skin. Lucky we’re about 3 minutes (literally) down the road by car, so hopefully she won’t be too heat-stroked. (No A/C in the car…)(I knew that would come back to bite me in the ass…)

Cripes it’s HOT!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

A finish:

Hedge hog

Prairie Schooler HedgeHog pin cushion, DMC flosses, 32 ct. “Lambswool”

Friday, July 2, 2010

Birthday Girl….

Someone requested my “(in)famous” cupcakes for her birthday. So what’s a mother to do?

Why, make personalized cupcakes, of course:


I’m a sap.