Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From the garden to the table

My first salad from the garden started out as mild, green leaves-slightly covered with sand because we have finally gotten a little rain.
Ten minutes later, the leaves were double washed and ready for our supper salad!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nature's First Green Really Is Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower,

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

so dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

I think of this poem every year when things begin to bud out, and new tiny leaves emerge. They have a special brightness, not quite green. And as the poem points out, nothing stays new and untouched forever.

I've been tagged

I've never been tagged before! Thank you Cat. I 'm glad that this is an easy one-a photo blog post. I am supposed to post the 6th picture from my 6th photo folder. It's King, my nephew's dog. Remember him? He was the one who almost died after getting the Parvo virus even after his first vaccination. He is doing well, as you can see. Here he is, noising around the remnants of the tree we cut down.
I want to tag 6 of you to join in the fun.
1. From the Desk of Bee Drunken
3. Little House In The Desert
If you've been tagged before, I'm sorry, I picked you because I love your blogs. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another version of Rachael Ray

I saw the Rachael Ray show on Monday and she made "All American Mac N Cheese Cheeseburgers" I changed it up a bit so I could use my Bobby Flay tapas dishes again. I also figured that if the meat has the macaroni already in it, we didn't need a huge bun as well. I turned the meat into :MAC N CHEESE CHEESEBURGER MEATLOAVES!
Here's my version:
cook 1 box of macaroni and cheese (I doubled the recipe)
drain the noodles and add the powdered cheese. Cool the mixture.
Add the cooled noodles to 2 lbs. hamburger, 2 eggs, 3 tbl. Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup chopped onion, and a sprinkle of garlic, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
I formed mine into mini meat loaves. Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with more cheddar cheese and return to oven for 1 minute until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Cheeseburger sauce for the topping:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbl. mustard
2 tbl. sweet relish
Her recipe is a little different and her topping has some ketchup in it as well, but my family was really happy with my version. I doubled Rachael Ray's recipe but it made a huge amount and I probably didn't need to in order to feed 6 people.

Comment publishing trouble

Something happened to my comments when I read them-and I want them back! Jennifer and Hot Belly Mama left me a comment and each one disappeared when I wanted to publish them. Hot Belly Mama said something about an Easter gift idea and I'm dying of curiosity. Want to write me back?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crazy Dirty Dog

I guess Amos got hot on our short little walk today. He waded into the tank, then came out and dug up a soft, powdery spot of red clay. He rolled and dug and rolled again until he was caked.
He looks quite dignified, don't you think?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

White Bean Dip-with Saturday supper

Sometimes I just don't want a salad to go with supper. I have occasionally made hummus-you know, garbanzo beans and garlic, but tonight I tried the same recipe with Great Northern White Beans.

In a food processor, put one can of Great Northern White beans-undrained, 2 tablespoons olive oil and one clove garlic. Sprinkle with black pepper and process until the dip is smooth and creamy. The Ranch dressing in my fridge has 140 calories for 2 tablespoons. That's 840 calories for 1 1/2 cups! Then I added up the calories for the 1 and 1/2 cups of dip with olive oil and the count is 480 calories. The Ranch bean dip has 1/2 the calories. And look at all the nutrients in the beans-very healthy.
Make that super smooth and creamy. It almost looks like cream gravy.

Tonight, I'm pairing the dip with raw baby carrots, celery sticks, and chunks of red bell pepper.
These will go very nicely with my oven fried chicken.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The ONLY way to celebrate a birthday

Mike picked out a new chainsaw for his birthday. To celebrate, he got to take down a hollow tree that stood about 6 feet from our sunroom. Part of it had broken off during a storm a few years ago and had crashed through one of the big sunroom windows. The rest of it was really needing to come down. I was reluctant for Mike to do it himself.

He gathered his crew: 1 brother, 1 brother-in-law, 3 nephews, one son, and 5 dogs. My daughter, sister-in-law, niece, and I waited inside as long as we could. I tried to document some of the action through the sunroom room window.

CONTEMPLATION: How is the best way to take down a hollow tree that is about 40 feet tall, is within 6 feet of the house, and within 15 feet of a power line? Oh, and what about the thick mud, slow drizzle of rain, and a slippery roof?
OPERATION: The answer, of course, is to chop smaller limbs away piece by piece and pull them quickly with the attached rope before they crash through the window.

PREPARATION: Get the ladder, climb on the roof with a long limb saw. Attach a hammer to the rope so that it can be thrown to the guys on the roof. (Scare all of us inside with each bang and thump.) Tie the rope to the limb and have the guys on the ground get ready to pull violently. Saw off the limb.

COMPLETION: When most of the limbs are gone, Mike takes the chainsaw and notches the tree so that it will fall beside the deck-missing the house and the powerline. My son pulls the tree with a rope attached to his truck so that he can help guide it to fall in the right place. We all come outside and hold our breath until the tree is on the ground. RELIEF! Mike and I look at the fallen tree.

CELEBRATION: The adults view the remains of the tree, and the men enjoy a beer while they sit on the fallen tree's trunk. We ended the day with a BBQ supper and I think Mike really enjoyed the day.
It was stressful for me to watch this whole process but the tree fell exactly where Mike planned it, no one was injured, and I am proud that they accomplished this dangerous task.
Thanks for your help everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moving on, Moving dirt

One positive thing about the drought we're having, it lets you enlarge and deepen the tank. We are down to a 3 ft. square area of water on the deep end. The shallow end of the tank is dry enough for our neighbor to use his bulldozer. Mike is watching the process, wishing he were the one running the dozer.

By the next day, what used to be the shallow part is now twice as deep and twice as wide-which means it will hold a lot more water. Maybe that means it will take it twice as long to dry up next time if, Heaven forbid, there is another long drought.

One more layered recipe

I love my new dishes so much, I used them again last night. I took frozen leftover chili (Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili), some green chili taco sauce, and some canned refried beans. I heated each corn tortilla in a skillet with a little oil.
Cut up some bacon and let it get crispy to add to the refried beans. Browned 1 lb of ground turkey breast and added it to the leftover chili, then added about 8 oz. of the green chili sauce.

I cut each tortilla in half. The layers went like this: chili, tortilla, beans with bacon, tortilla, grated cheese, tortilla, chili, tortilla, cheese. For 4 servings, I used 4 tortilla halves and about 1 cup of chili. I did manage to only eat 1/2 of mine this time. I ate the rest for lunch today and it was great!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

When you are tired and uninspired, do this..

Last week, it was cold, I was tired, and I avoided all housework until this happened...There were no clean dishes and I drank coffee out of a Pyrex measuring cup because it was clean and microwaveable. I just felt very blah. Oh, and we were out of groceries, too. So...
I went shopping. Went to Home Depot and bought many pretty bright red geraniums. Then I stopped by Kohl's and checked on the set of Bobby Flay dishes that I covet. These 4 Tapas dishes were marked 70 % off! I love his line of dishes because they are not made in China (Portugal instead), and they are beautiful. They can go in the microwave, and oven and then to the table. I knew I had to use them that night. I bought groceries at HEB and got supplies for this...

Individual lasagnas. make the sauce :
I used 1 lb. of bulk Italian sausage sauteed with a medium chopped onion, two cloves garlic and black pepper. I added one can of crushed tomatoes, 12 oz. ketchup and 1/2 cup of dry red wine.
Place a thin layer in each dish.

I used won ton wrappers for the pasta. Add a layer inbetween each of the fillings. I had 3 fillings and 3 layers of pasta.

2nd layer: 8 oz. of baby portabella mushrooms sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3rd layer: 1 c. cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 grated Parmesan.

Top with the last layer of pasta, cover with the remaining sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Add a generous amount of fresh mozzarella and put back into the oven until melted. This were delicious. I was only going to eat 1/2 of mine but after I waited a few minutes, I finished the whole thing. My groceries were all put up and the dishes were all clean. Much better!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It is the little things that are important right now

Baby Garden...
Garden Baby
It is nice to be at home, with things getting back to a normal routine. Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers. It is good to be back.