I made Homemade Pretzels… Coronavirus Day 18

I really think I should start calling it social distancing or homebound or something other than coronavirus. Ugh!

Earlier this year I went on the Keto Diet. Right now, I say screw that. We’re really supposed to stay home and out of stores, etc. So buying all the extra, special items to make Keto meals seems silly, plus I just want a little comfort. I love to bake and cook. And truthfully, while I tend to be a homebody, I’m sick of this staying home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Frozen 2. Not as many as Frozen (the original), but pretty darn close. Although I have to say I think I like the original Frozen better. My little thinks that they are going to do a Frozen 3. I’m not sure. It’ll sure be interesting, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I think I totally digressed. That’s where my brain is these days. Half the time I really have to think about what day it is. The little’s dance classes have moved to online. Last week, we missed 2 of the 3. I just plum forgot. So my goal for this week is to make all 3. I made yesterday’s and today’s, so that’s 2 of 3. Now just 1 more to go. I’ll let you know how I do. It’s the little things in life. (more…)

Landscaping My House… Coronavirus Day 14 & 15

This spring has been quite interesting, to say the least. Between school being postponed and doing some work at home for school (challenges)… and the fact that the oldest daughter’s school was canceled while the youngest was on Spring Break. And all the reports of the coronavirus… aka COVID-19. So much uncertainty. 

But one thing that has happened I think for a lot of individuals is we’ve been given the gift of time. Something we all beg for. Everything is canceled. Can’t do anything. So why not work on that “honey-do” list.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do is landscape our house. There have been a million reasons why I haven’t. Actually, if you look at that picture above… there to the left side of the picture, that left side of the porch… last year I planted perennial flowers. What is a perennial flower?

A Perennial Flower/Plant is a flower or plant that live more than 2 years.

While we’re at it… what’s an annual flower?

An Annual Flower lives for just one season/year.

The flowers I planted there by the porch DID NOT come back. Bummer. Here is where I tell you that I have a degree in Agriculture and I’m pretty sure I have a black thumb. My background is animal agriculture. Although when I was in college I loved the agronomy side of agriculture (plants, soils, horticulture) to the point I almost switched majors to be an agronomy major. But still… growing things is not my strong suit. I struggle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try.

So why not give landscaping a try? I actually had to take a landscaping class in college so I got the basic gist of how to landscape. The rest comes from trial and error and the internet.

First things first

Decide on the area where you are landscaping. It is a good idea to use something such as spray paint to outline your area. Another good tip is to pay attention to your sun. Study for a few days, weeks, whatever your time frame you can so that you plant flowers that are based on the lighting.

So I outlined my area. We planned on making a walkway as well as having flowers/shrubs. Next came brainstorming on how I was going to make a retainer for my material and then what kind of material I was going to try and retain.

So many questions have to be answered before you can start. (more…)

Starting the Garden… Coronavirus Day 8 & 9

A year ago I really wanted to start a garden. It just wasn’t in the cards. We were trying to finish up our house and there was no time for a garden. Gardens are actually a lot of work. I had one a few years ago that was a small raised bed. I tended it every day. They are work. 

But then this year… coronavirus hit and BAM, we all had time on our hands. haha. Back in January, we had a fire that burned up my little tiller. It wasn’t really the size to start a big garden anyway, but it was what I had… but the fire consumed it as well as that original raised bed I had. haha. Ironic… kind of.

I started probing hubby trying to question if we could get a tiller, etc. Why? Because I want to start a garden. Why? Why not? Why? Why not? Okay, you get the picture.

So hubby went on the hunt to find me a tiller. He finally landed on the Powermate 18 in. 196cc Gas 4-Cycle Rear-Tine Tiller. It’s a workhorse (pronounced haus). (more…)

I Baked an Angel Food Cake (The Kitchen)

Woohooo… go me, right? Oh… but… here’s where I mention that I baked an Angel Food Cake IN. MY. OWN. KITCHEN. WHAT!!??!!??

Yes! You read that correctly. I baked a cake in my kitchen. In my oven. So super exciting if you ask me!! Today I think I’ll focus on said kitchen. Then the next post will be about said Angel Food Cake. Deal?

The Original Kitchen

(more…)

Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Smoke on the Border

The big shindig… also known as… Smoke on the Border in Gravette, Arkansas. So, we made it. The boys signed up, we hauled everything down, and bam, we were entered. I say we loosely. I helped when they said they needed it or by washing their dishes, but this was all them!

Saturday was the People’s Choice event. Basically, people were allowed to come and walk through the 2 streets blocked off for the event. If people had samples, obviously they could sample it. Samples were cut off around like 2 maybe. Then, the People’s Choice meat was dropped off to the church around the corner at 5 pm. People could buy wrist bands for $10 and they basically got all you can eat meat plus possible sides. Sunday was the main event. So they had the option of entering in 4 categories… pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and/or chicken. The awards were held at the Methodist Church as were all things turned in. And bam, it was all over but the cleanup. (more…)

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Over the weekend I found myself in Gravette, Arkansas. We were at a BBQ Smoking contest called Smoke on the Border. I’ll delve into that more in another post, but… as Hubby and Jared were moving stuff down on Friday afternoon, I found myself in the kitchen. I had it in my head I wanted to make something on the sweeter side, simply because of all that savory food I knew we were going to be eating over the weekend. That’s when I decided on Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites. Still a little savory from the dough, but that sweet side from the sugar and the heat from the cinnamon. Just seemed like the perfect combination.

Handheld little bites of yumminess. Although as you can see on my hand above, being in a zip lock bag, I brought some of that topping out on my hand for a nice dose of stickiness too. Hey… you win some… you lose some… and in this case, I’m pretty sure I won because hello YUM! (more…)

Just Retired Tiered Cake (Vanilla)

Just Retired Tiered Vanilla Cake

I sure hope you didn’t try to come to my blog last week. I woke up on Wednesday and would have sworn it was April Fool’s Day (by the way, I hate that day). When I came to the blog, it redirected me to some weird website.

It was trying to get me to click on a button to back up my Window’s machine. Well joke’s on them because I don’t have a window’s machine. But whatever. Anyway…

Over the weekend, I was able to knock 2 things off my Baking/Cooking Bucket List. I made a tiered cake which I haven’t done since I took cake decorating classes. And 2, I made a mirror glaze cake.

(more…)

Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

(more…)

Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

(more…)