Monday, August 27, 2012

What We Have Growing in the Flower Beds

 We didn't have time this year for a garden but I wanted to plant at least a few favorites. Fresh pumpkin was on the top of my list so I could make pumpkin bread.
I was very late planting our few pumpkin plants so I am hoping there is enough time for them to ripen.
 We love fresh cucumbers as much as fresh tomatoes.
 Thankfully our cucumber plants didn't die like the tomato plants did.
I sure missed my garden this year, hopefully next year we will have a nice one.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh Happy Day

We have been without a clothesline since our move; but today all that changed.
I was so happy to finally have a clothesline once again that I promptly washed sheets so I could test it out!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Before...During...and After

Recently we made time to focus on two large dead trees that needed to be cut down before a branch fell on someone.
I was both relieved and sad to see the trees go. 
 We now have a very big empty space where the trees once stood.
And two nice stacks of logs to be used in the future.
I'm dreaming of roasting marshmallows in the fireplace.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Learning Something New

After visiting El Paso this summer, and eating the best tasting Mexican foods ever, I began wondering if it was possible to make my own authentic tasting foods. 
 First on my mind was homemade Chalupa shells. I simply cooked corn tortillas in hot oil, turning often, until crisp;
 And drained on a paper towel. It was very easy.
 Next on my mind was taco shells. I placed a corn tortilla in the hot oil and turned it over before it started getting crisp. While still soft I folded the corn tortilla in half, using tongs, and held it in place trying to form a space in the middle for filling with meat. Once one side was crisp I turned the shell over to let the other side crisp up too. 
Making the taco shells was easier than I expected and it didn't take very long; hot oil cooks very quickly.
 Once all my shells were ready it was time to make chalupas. I placed beans on the shell and seasoned taco meat; this was then topped with cheese and placed in the toaster oven until the cheese melted.
My taco shells were then filled with seasoned taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. 
Both tasted so authentic and every bit as good as the tacos and chalupas we had in El Paso!
 As I end here is a tip I learned years ago. Add enchilada sauce to your refried beans; it adds flavor as well as moisture. You can use store sauce or homemade sauce; but of course homemade sauce is the best.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Apple Sauce

 I love making apple sauce.
It's so very easy.
 It isn't necessary to peel or core if a food mill is used; the mill does all the work of separating for you.
 Elizabeth was my taste tester.
 Here is my sauce waiting to be canned.
 I really enjoy looking at newly canned foods.
Canning is so fun!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yummy Sweet Apples

Have you noticed how expensive apples are getting?
My friend and neighbor Ginger has an apple tree full of apples that are just starting to ripen; so Elizabeth and I picked some today.
We ate some of the apples right away and then I peeled and diced some of them for an apple cake. 
The last time I made this cake I made a few notes next to the recipe so I would remember to make adjustments when I made the cake again; such as the batter is very thick so I need to add milk to thin it somewhat.
This is the best apple cake I have ever made. The recipe is found in a cookbook my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas one year.
Fresh Apple Cake
Cooking at Richardson East
A taste of Heaven

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup salad oil
1 cup broken pecans
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (I leave this out)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups diced apples

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Cream eggs, oil and sugar; add vanilla. Mix dry into wet ingredients adding milk as needed to thin the batter some; add pecans and apples.
Bake at 350-degrees for 1 hr. 15 min. or until cake is done in the center.

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