Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fingerless Gloves, Wristlets or gauntlets - Take Your Pick

These are my latest knitting addiction. I can usually make a pair in about 3 hours - depending on what's on the tube. They are a lot of fun to make and just as much fun to wear. The three styles I have pictured I used a chunky weight yarn. I also like to make the thumb hole horizontal, not vertical - don't ask me why - I think it's just a personal prefernce thing. The one disadvantage to the thumb hole being horizontal is that you will have a slight gap next to the bound offf stitches - I still haven't figured out how to alleviate that, but from all the directions I've read, neither has anyone else. Below are my directions - as basic as they are. If you see a mistake, please let me know so I can change them as needed. Thanks and enjoy making these.

Basic Beginner Fingerless Gloves
Size 10.5 DPN's
1 skein Bulky (#5) yarn - I used Yarn Bee Mosiac twist in the first picture; Lion's Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in the 2nd picture and Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky in the last picture.
Tapestry needle to hide ends

On your needles cast on 25 stitches (8,8,9). Join the stitches being careful that you do not twist your yarn before the joining. The best method I've found for joining on is the cross over method. For directions how to do the cross over go here: http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/closeup/e-twocircular.html
Knit in the round for 30 rows. On the next row, k1, bind off 5 stitches (you should have 3 stitches left on your needle). Continue knitting that row. *** (See errata below for additional directions) On the next row, k1, cast on 5 stitches, continue knitting that row. Knit 10 rows, bind off. If you have a hard time getting a flexible binding, try using the suspended cast/bind-off. It's pretty flexible.

These will fit a small to med. size hand - If you need to go bigger, try moving up 5 stitches at a time. Good luck and enjoy!

*** Errata - To alleviate the problem with the thumb hole knit as follows: After you have bound off your 5 stitches and finished that row, on the next row, k1, cast on 5 stitches, continue knitting until you get to the last stitch. Knit the last stitch of this row and the first stitch of the next, together (k2tog), finish the row. On the next row, at the last two stitches, the second to last stitch k1fb and then knit the last stitch. You should then have 8,8, and 9 stitches again on your needles.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yes, I know it's past Christmas and Thanksgiving and I know I'm late in posting this, but what else is new - bookmark my page for next year's celebrations.

This recipe came from a dear friend and everyone that tries it loves it and wants the recipe, so I'm sharing with you. Hope you like it. BTW, if you're counting your calories or carbs or fats, then don't bother making this recipe -it's not for the weight conscious.

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 c. cooked-mashed sweet potatoes
1 c. sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. evaporated milk

Mix all ingredients well. Stir until creamy. Put into a buttered casserole dish. On top add:

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. flour
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 c. pecans, chopped

Mix all and spread or sprinkle over the top of the sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 350 deg. for 45 minutes.

You can also add little marshmallows after done baking and let melt before serving.


Happy New Year!

Hard to believe 2009 is almost over. Lots of changes happened this year - some good and some not so good. I pray for each of you that 2010 is a prosperous and happy year. I pray for your goodhealth as well.

I was late this year when it came to my Christmas cards - in fact, they may end up being New Year's cards. I can't remember the last time I was late in getting my cards out. I also ran out of time for baking - that's a first also. But, I was busy with other things and I know that life can get in the way - the most important thing to remember throughout the Christmas season is that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday - not a secular holiday.

One of the things I did this year was make Christmas trees for an annual event at our church. The trees are really neat as you can see and SUPER easy! As you can see from the picture, they are small enough to fit on a table and make a great decoration in your home. Can you tell what it's made of??? Let's get a closer look:
Did you figure it out yet? OK, I'll tell you what it's made out of - it's a tomato cage! The cage is inverted and covered with "fancy" garland.
So, if you want to make one of these, here is the "rough" directions. Tomato cages come in two sizes - the one shown is the larger cage. You will need one "package" of garland. I got mine at Hobby Lobby. The garland is kind of wavy and on one side it's green and the other side is red. I also used green organza ribbon (also bought at HL) and the red star also come from HL. Yes, I support them - a lot. Anyway, before you cut your garland, measure it around each "level" and then cut it with an extra couple of inches to be on the safe side. Now you have two options of attaching it. The picture shown has the garland attached by twist ties. It works just fine, and is quick, however, you need to tie every few inches. A better way is to use a low-temp glue gun. If that is your choice, start AT THE TOP LEVEL and glue the garland. Then work your way down to the bottom level. Next, measure the ribbon from the point (where the star will go) down along the edge wires to the bottom. Overlap the ribbon at the point by just an inch or so. Put glue on the point and fold the ribbon over. At the bottom, place some hotglue up agains the wire and "in" the garland. Press your ribbon down into the glue and hold. I used a cheap bamboo skewer to do this so I would avoid burning my fingers. When everything is cooled off, cut ribbon to whatever length you desire and tie on the edge wires, right above each level. Slide down and arrange. Then gather up your points and slide the star on top and your done! It's really beautiful. I also did one in red and gold and hung large candy canes from each level. Another idea, as a centerpiece, is to place matching ball ornaments on the table top (within the tree). I placed 5 and that works as well. I also did a candy dish in the middle at my door entrance. I hope you enjoy this and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me

Friday, October 30, 2009

Green Chile Stew

Cold weather makes me want to make warm stuff, so here is one of our favorites!

1.5 lbs. ground beef OR cubed beef
28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 cans of Rotel)
1 large onion, chunked
6 green chile, chunked
5 buillion cubes
1 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 c. rice
4 med. to large potatoes, peeled and chunked
3 med. carrots, sliced
salt and pepper to taste (add this at the beginning)

In deep pot brown meat. Add next six ingredients. Add enough water to cover the ingredients with at least one inch above ingredients. Cook on low to medium for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add rice and potatoes about 30 minutes before serving. Keep on eye on your water level. You may need to continue to add water throughout the cooking because it will evaporate and the beans and rice take up some of the water.

Serve with warmed tortillas.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall is in the air (actually more like winter - I think we've kinda skipped fall after last night). When the weather gets cold one of the things I look forward to is making soups and other items in the oven. I try not to use my oven in the summer - it's just too hot. So, here is my recipe (with a picture - can you believe it?) for meatloaf. Ok, so you're not a meatloaf fan. I wasn't either. My moms meatloaf had a lot to be desired - it was VERY dry and lacked any flavor, but I really like this recipe. I got it from my friend Tiffany who laughed when I told her I couldn't cook a good meatloaf. Well, she gave me this recipe and it's good and fairly easy to make and it's one of those recipes that is not a "perfect" recipe. What I mean by that is this - you can add as little or as much as you want depending on taste. I'll give you my amounts, but you can play with it and see if you can make it better. Good luck and good eating!


The first picture is what it looks like before baking and the second is after baking. I know it looks dark, but that is the bacon and the bbq sauce. Don't panic!

3 lbs. ground beef (I use extra lean)
4 eggs
1 c. bread crumbs (I use plain)
1/2 c. bbq sauce or ketchup
1/3 c. A-1
minced onion to taste
garlic, salt and pepper to taste
6-8 Bacon slices

Prepeat oven to 400 deg, Mix all ingredients well. If it is too dry you can add more bbq sauce. When well mixed, turn into a greased 9x13 pan. Shape into a loaf. Pour extra bbq sauce on top (again to taste). Layer bacon on the top. Here's a hint I learned - if you lay the bacon short ways (as shown), you can slice the meatloaf after each slice. Surround meat loaf with carrots - baby, sliced, or chunked - whatever your preference is. You can also put in potatoes, but because there isn't much liquid they will be slightly dry.

Cook for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you go over, even as much as 1/2 hour, you're still good. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conservative vs. Liberal

Someone in a group I'm in posted this and I couldn't agree more. I don't know who wrote it, otherwise I would give credit where credit is due.

Conservative vs Liberal

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn`t buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he feels that no one should have one.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is, he wants to ban all meat products for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he loudly demands legislated respect.

If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God or religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Whelk Stitch Coffee Mug Coaster

In addition to the coffee mug cozy, I decided to make a matching coaster.

Size 6 needles (straight or circular)
Sportweight yarn (50 yds or less)
CO 23 stitches (if you need to make it bigger, add stitches in multiples of 4)
Knit 5 rows
Row 1: (right side): K3, *sl1 purlwise, k3; repeat from * to end
Row 2: K3, *yf, sl1 purlwise, yb, k3; repeat from * to end
Row 3: K1, *sl1 purlwise, k3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, sl1 purlwise, k1
Row 4: P1, sl1 purlwise, *p3, sl1 purlwise; repeat from * to last stitch, p1
Repeat until coaster is desired length (can be a square or rectangle – personal preference)
Knit 5 rows
Bind off

*Stitch pattern is from “The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches”

Coffee Mug Cozy Pattern

I recently joined a swap for a coaster but we could also make a mug cozy if we wanted. Not knowing what I was doing, I searched the net like crazy trying to find one that I could do in a fairly short amount of time (I'm not the fastest knitter). I came across one I liked but I struggled with understanding the directions, soooooo, I decided to make up my own pattern. I like it and it's pretty easy and quick! I hope you enjoy it as well.

Size 6 circular needles
Sportweight yarn (app. 70 yds)
Darning needle
2 buttons
CO 11 stitches
Knit 3 rows
Row 4: K4, bind off 3, knit to end (this will make your buttonhole)
Row 5: P4, cast on 3, P4
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Purl
Repeat rows 6 and 7 three more times
Begin Increases:
Row 1: K1, K1fb twice, k5, k1fb twice, k1
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, K1fb twice, knit to last three stitches, K1fb twice, K1
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have 23 stitches on your needles
Purl one last row
Body of Cozy:
Row 1: (right side): K3, *sl1 purlwise, k3; repeat from * to end
Row 2: K3, *yf, sl1 purlwise, yb, k3; repeat from * to end
Row 3: K1, *sl1 purlwise, k3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, sl1 purlwise, k1
Row 4: P1, sl1 purlwise, *p3, sl1 purlwise; repeat from * to last stitch, p1
Repeat rows 1-4 until you have 7 inches from the beginning of the decorative stitch. At this point, test it on your mug to make sure it will go around your mug, (but not overlap your buttonhole flap). You may have to adjust slightly for your mug, depending on the size.

Begin Decreases:
Row 1: (right side) : k1, ssk twice, knit to the last 5 stitches, k2tog twice, k1
Row 2: purl
Continue with this pattern until you have 11 stitches left.
Knit even in stockinette for 6 rows.
Knit 3 rows (garter stitch)
Bind off

Button Placement:
Wrap your cozy around your mug and see where you need to place your button. Mark area with a stitch marker if need be. Take your button and place it on top of the cozy and run your yarn thru to the backside. Take your yarn and thread your hidden button with it. Tie off the buttons well. Clip your threads and you’re done! (The button on the back helps keep your button on the front tight and helps keep your buttonhole from pulling on the outside button.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Days

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over. School starts for us on the 13th of August. I love summer because I get to have my daughter at home. It is such a pleasure to be able to just hang out together and talk. She complains when there are weeds to pull, but she's a trooper and she helps out. I know that there will come a day when she will graduate from high school and then off to college and then who knows what the world will hold for her. What ever it holds, she will excel in it.
I've been busy playing with yarn these past two weeks. I'm knitting a stole and I'm also knitting something called a reticule. I'll have to post the directions later, but it's a very interesting change purse.
My parents anniversary is coming up on the 4th, along with my brother's birthday. It's a hard day for many reasons. My mom will have been gone for two years on the 21st of August. I think I"ll go and celebrate her life on that day. Maybe go out and eat at one of her favorite restaurants. Order raspberry iced tea and toast her.

The garden has gone nuts on me. I'm actually keeping up on the weeds this year, but I have been picking about 100 lbs. of tomatoes each Friday and just as many pounds of cucumbers. I love summer. One of my favorite dishes to prepare is cucumber and tomato salad. It's so easy, but it is something we look forward to each year. I also have been playing around with cooking zucchini. We grow two different types - regular green and gold! The two together make such a pretty dish.

Finally got my daughter to try eating beets. At first she said they were gross but after she tried the dish I made, she decided it was pretty good stuff. Then she had the nerve (just kidding) to ask me if beets were good for you. Of course they are! So, she's eating more of them. Guess I better get geared up to make more beet and pineapple salad!
So, I guess maybe I should post the recipes. I'll have to find a picture of one of our cucumbers. You'll be amazed by the size of them. They are armenian cucs and they are delicious. Burpless, don't have to peel them and they don't get bitter. Just be prepared - they can get big!
1-2 lbs of cucumbers (yes, pounds)
1 large tomato or 2-3 roma tomatoes
salt, pepper and vinegar to taste (I use wine vinegar)
3 T. Wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
Toss, chill and serve. YUMMY!!!!


6 c. gold and green zucchini, cut up in bit size pieces
1 large onion, chopped up in pieces
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. savory
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cumin
salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Toss zucchini and onions in olive oil. Sprinkle seasonings over mixture and toss again. Place in 9x13 pan. Cover with foil. Put in preheated 400 deg. oven. Cook for about 25 min. Stir every 7-10 minutes. Serve hot. Squash should not be mush. It should be firm almost crispy. You may have to add a little bit of salt to enhance the flavor. Test for flavor. Don't overdo it.


1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. flour
1 can pineapple tidbits (15 oz)
7-8 beets (tennis ball size)

To cook beets - cut off roots and cut of most of top. Wash, boil until tender. Drain. Slip off skins and cut into bite size pieces.

Boil pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar and flour until thick. Pour over diced beets and pineapple. Chill and serve. Soooo good the next day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Rainy Day Scarf

This scarf is a combination of a scarf and a shoulder shawl. It has the shape of a triangle, but the ends are rectangular, perfect for tying. Because of the open weave and size of needles, this is a quick knit project. Perfect for a last minute gift! It uses only one skein of yarn, so you can dig through your stash and use what you have readily available. A worsted weight yarn will be a "laceier" scarf and the bulky will be thicker and the detail will not be as visible. It is strictly preference.


Needles: Size 13 – 24”-30” circular needles
Yarn: One Skein (250 yds.) worsted weight or bulky yarn
2 stitch markers
Knitter’s needle for finishing off the ends

Gauge: There is no gauge

CO- Cast on S1 – Slip one
K – Knit P1 – Purl 1
Kfb – Knit front and back YO – Yarn over
K2tog – Knit two together
NOTE: The numbers in () is basically a guide for you to know how many stitches you should have at the end of each row. I left them there as a helper, that is all.
Also, if you want to make the scarf bigger, just add another set of rows before starting the ties.

Set Up Rows:

Cast on 1
Row 1: kfb (2 stitches)
Row 2: kfb, kfb (4 stitches)
Row 3 and 4: kfb, knit to the end of the row (6 stitches)
Row 5: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat * to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (8 stitches)

Begin Stitch Pattern:

Rows 1-4: kfb, knit to end (12, 24, 36, 48, 60)
Row 5: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat* to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (14, 26, 38, 50, 62)
Row 6-9: kfb, knit to end (18, 30, 42, 54, 66)
Row 10: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat* to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (20, 32, 44, 56, 68)
Repeat rows 1-10 until you have 68 stitches on your needle.

Setting up Tie ends:

Row 1: Turn, kfb, knit to end (69 stitches), place marker, cast on 40 stitches
Row 2: Turn, knit across to end, place marker, cast on 41 stitches (150 total stitches)

Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 2: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 3: Sl1, *[yo, k2tog], repeat*to last stitch, K1
Row 4: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 5: Sl1, knit across to end
Repeat rows 1-5 until your tie ends measure 3”-4” wide. (Each set of 5 rows is approximately 1” wide).
Bind off loosely after Row 5

Musings From a Busy Mom

I've been sitting here watching the "news" the past few days and came to a conclusion that I'm sure many of you have reached. Our country is nuts.

I have watched our so called "news stations and news updates and news reports" and all they want to talk about is Michael Jackson. What about the real news in this world, country, state, or town? What about the 13 soldiers that died in Afghanistan this past week? Where is the news on them? What about the respect they deserved for standing up for something they believed in - freedom????

Don't get me wrong. I grew up watching the Jackson 5 and later Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and Janet Jackson, independently. I liked their music, but I never considered any of them a god. I grew up in the 70's and 80's. I remember when Thriller debuted and all my friends were so excited. I remember the white glove and the moon walk. None could do it better than Michael. But at some point, the Michael I liked and listened to changed. So, as I grew up I quit listening to most of his music, but every once in a while one of the "golden oldies" would play somewhere and I'd be bopping my head to the beat. It was fun music. So, when I heard that he had passed away, I knew that like Elvis, there was going to be a media circus. There was, to the detriment of our country.

During this past week, I've learned that Michael bleached his skin, had numerous nose jobs, didn't want to look like his dad, had needle marks all over his body, on and on and on.

What I didn't see was discussion of the 13 soldiers that died, the cap and trade bill, the health care bill, California's financial spiral, or any other actual issue concerning our country. The media sold out.

I got my news from the internet. Don't get me wrong, I get a lot of my news from the internet, but not everyone does. So, how can 6 plus hours of coverage be explained away by all the main stream media as news worthy? Why didn't they do a lottery to see which ONE station would carry the event of Michal's memorial?

I see teenagers who are devoting their life to Michael (including kids that I know). They think that he walked on water and that he changed the world for everyone. Well, he did in a way, but not always for the better. I don't think it's a wise choice to make any singer a role model. For that matter, no sports figure either. Find someone in your life to use as a role model. At the very least they will listen to you when you have concerns, issues or dreams for your future. My role model growing up was my Nona. I loved her dearly and she faced a lot of issues that none of us could even dream of, including immigrating to a foreign country and not speaking the language.

So, when will the media really start to cover what is going on in our country and world without commentary? When will they report the news without bias from either direction? I would like to wake up one morning and see that for once our country, even tho divided by party, has come together for the betterment of our country without worrying about who got the bigger or better piece of the pie.

I want a country that is run by a government that is for the people and by the people, not for themselves and by themselves.

So, my rambling is done........think I'll go knit something..........

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Townhall Meeting with Harry Teague

Friday night while driving home I heard Mark Levin say that Harry Teague was on the fence on voting for the cap and trade and asked his consituents to contact him. As soon as I got home, I tried. I tried the main switchboard, I tried his direct office line in Washington and I finally had to resort to e-mailing him my opposition to this terrible bill. Welllllllllllllll...............

We sat in front of our TV Friday and watched our representatives vote this country into poverty (more so than they already had). Seven Republicans - SEVEN! Shame on all of you and I will work diligently to help you find the door come 2010. I told my husband that I knew our Rep, Harry Teague voted yes on the bill. He asked me if I was sure. I got on line and found the roll call. Not only did he vote "yes" in the final bill, he voted "yes" in the test vote. The best part about the internet is that yes, you can find things pretty darn fast, much to the chagrin of our representatives in Washington, I'm sure.

It just so happened that Saturday morning we ran into someone who is actively involved in the tea parties and he informed us that Harry would be in town for a "townhall meeting" at 2 pm at a local restaurant. We decided to go to hear what he said and to see if we could voice our opposition to his vote.

So, we pulled into the parking lot and commented on all the pick-up trucks in the parking lot - the FULL parking log. I was very nervous about this. How do I confront a man about a vote and would I even be able to. I had been to John McCain's town hall meeting when he came to town and he stood in the middle of a room with all of us around him. He took questions from anyone who raised their hands. That is what we expected - boy were we wrong.

We walked in to a restaurant. Nothing was out of the ordinary. There were empty tables in places, but pretty much all tables had at least one person. So, we sat down with a friend and we decided that there was no way he would show his face, not that day. But about 15 minutes later, one of his staffers came in and told us that if we wanted to talk to Mr. Teague we would need to sign up. WHAT????? You heard me. He didn't want to talk to us as a group, he wanted to talk to us individually. He didn't want to let others hear what he was saying. He didn't want to be held accountable to the whole group. He showed up shortly beaming from ear to ear, eager to meet his happy constituents. Boy was he wrong. I would say there was approximately 60 people in that restaurant - maybe 6 were there to pat him on the back. The restaurant quickly filled up, with lots of people standing up because there were no more seats. The staffer called people up by name and put them all in a row. My husband got called so he stood up and got in line. Two other people at our table got called up. While they were standing in line, someone who had run in our local elections walked in holding a sign that said "Cap and Trade = Big taxes". The crowd started cheering and yelling. Teague totally ignored the man.

My friend from the tea party then stood up right in front of Teague and asked him in a loud voice to account for his vote. She requested he stand up and give us all an answer, not hide behind a quiet little one on one meeting. We were all there for the same thing. WHY???? This was his response. He told us that he was an oil man, would always be an oil man and that he had put an amendment in the bill to protect the people of NM by exempting the small refineries from the cap and trade tax. He said it would save everyone who drove a vehicle in NM app. 20-45 cents a gallon on taxes. When he was questioned on the actual cost to individuals or house holds he said it would be the cost of a postage stamp. We all know how well the government runs the post office - it's in the red constantly, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.

He voted yes because he was protecting his oil buddies in the eastern part of the state, plain and simple.

He voted ye because they were going to pass the bill anyway, so what did it matter if he voted yes? (Yes, that was one of his responses) and finally.........

Did he read the darn bill? The answer Yes...................well, sort of but not really. See, he has staffers that read the ENTIRE bill for him and then gave him a synopsis. He told the crowd that yes, he had read the bill, but he told my husband that no he had not. His. staffers. did.

What's wrong with this picture??

There were many angry people there. There were people telling us to get out because the townhall wasn't for us, but for them, his supporters. REALLY?? REALLY???? I may not have voted for the man, but I did vote. Therefore, I have the RIGHT to be at the meeting and hold my representative or representatives in Washington accountable for their actions, especially when it affects me. It doesn't just affect his happy followers, it affects all of us. We were told that the few that supported him wanted us out because we didn't vote for him. Now, if I hadn't voted, I might be able to see their point, but when you vote, regardless of who you vote for, it is up to you to make sure that your voice is heard.

I learned that it really doesn't matter what we want. That the parties have already decided for us what is best for us. I have learned that our voices are lost. The people we put in office don't represent us - they represent themselves and their own best interests.

I have learned that I need to become more active in politics - I may not be able to run, but I can support those whose beliefs I agree with. I learned that Washington changes people and not for the better, unfortunately.

I learned that our freedom is precious and we better stand up and speak up, or we will lose what little freedome we have left.

Are you listening Mr. Teague???

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Salsa - a couple of different ones

Living in the southwest, this is a staple in pretty much every meal. There are tons of recipes out there to choose from. These are just two that I like and that I use the most. They are very different in flavor, but both are equally good.

Tomatillo Salsa

20-25 jalapenos
4-5 Roma tomatoes
4-5 tomatillos
garlic to taste
salt to taste

1) Wash all produce. Remove the husk from the tomatillos. Wash the tomatillos well and wash the husk.
2) Boil the jalapenos, tomatoes, tomatillos and husks. After the water has boiled for a few minutes, remove the leaves and drain the water.
3) Blend the jalapenos, tomatoes and tomatillo in a blender. Add garlic and salt. Chill before serving.

Optional: For some reason, lime tastes really good in this recipe, but add it after the salsa has cooled.

Jalapeno Tomato Salsa

3 jalapenos
1 large can of diced tomatoes (or you can use 2 to 3 fresh tomatoes, diced)
several sprigs of cilantro (I like fresh, but dried will work - 1 tsp.)
1/2 onion, chopped
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste

Blend all in a blender to the consistency you like - I don't like chunks, so I really blend mine. Serve cold with tortilla chips.

Buttermilk Pie

Recipe via Serena Holder - another old family friend

1 unbaked pie shell (see my mom's pie crust recipe for this)
scant 2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients. Melt butter and add to slightly beaten eggs. Add buttermilk. Blend dry ingredients. Add vanilla. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then 350 deg. for about 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Tortillas ala Mom and Nettie Dodson

This recipe comes from my mom and her dear friend Nettie. I can remember as a child sitting at Nettie's home watching her and my mom make these tortillas. She used to cook on an old wood stove and she would roll out her tortillas and toss them onto a cast iron stove lid to cook. My mom also had a stove lid specifically for making tortillas and when I got married - guess what I got as a wedding gift! Yep, a stove lid. Sounds crazy, but they make great tortilla "cookers". If you don't have a cast iron stove lid, then a flat skillet or large skillet will work just as well. Just make sure it's good and hot!

Here we go:

4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt.
1 1/2 c. water
About 2 T. lard (or shortening)

Mix the dry ingredients together, blend with the lard and then add the water. Mix well and break up into golf ball size pieces of dough. Roll out thin and in a circle (yeah, good luck on that one - I still can't do it - mine are more.........oblong!). Anyway, throw one on the lid or skillet and brown on one side, then flip over and do the other side. The cooking is the best part because the tortilla will get all sorts of bubbles on it. As a child, that's the best part.

This recipe says it makes 24, but those are very small tortillas, so you might want to double this recipe. Or, you don't need to double it, but make fewer and bigger tortillas.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Another Day

Well, it's Monday and like most Mondays, I get up and get ready for the day. I usually start by reading the news on the internet. I don't really watch news on TV anymore. It seems to be more half-truths than not.

Being a Christian and a Conservative are both bad today. I read where the Miss USA participant didn't get the crown and they think it's because of her answer to a question. She answered the question, just not the way they wanted it. To her I say "I salute you!". I'm proud to see a young person stand up for their beliefs, even at the cost of your own goal. I pray that my daughter will one day grow up to be unashamed about her beliefs as you are.

Trying to keep away from soft drinks today. Love the stuff tho. But I live mostly on iced tea anyway, but sometimes don't you just crave a good soft drink? Just like a good chocolate chip cookie? Or a good bowl of posole?

So, tried to figure out what to write today and the only things I could come up with was random stuff.

I used to belong to Ravelry, a knitting website. I joined not too longer after my mom died. I took a couple of classes and decided to knit hats for chemo patients. So, I heard about this wonderful site and signed up for an invitation. True, it does have a wealth of information, but....I woke up a few weeks ago and found out I had been banned, along with about 160 others (We all belonged to a group called "the bunker"). Don't really know why. I, and the others from "the bunker" like the young lady who lost the crown, stood our ground for our beliefs. Were some controversial? yes. Were some anti-"whatever", yep. That's ok. I wrote the owner back (and I wasn't exactly sweet, but I wasn't nasty either) and told him that I was fine with it and I could do just as well without him. I honestly don't miss the trolls that came into the conservative groups I belonged to (and I belonged to a lot of them) and cause trouble. The bad thing was, it was the conservatives that got railroaded, not the trolls. Oh, well, life goes on. I hear they are happier without the voices of reason. That's fine, I think most of us are happier without them, too. I think this just makes me realize that this country is turning a different direction. I would never have thought to spew filth at someone for voicing their opinions in like-minded groups. I would never have thought to post disgusting responses to people who ask honest questions or who are seeking advise. Oh well, life is too short for places like that. Actually, I've been doing more knitting than when I was on Ravelry, so that's a good thing.

I see spring is in the air - or in our case - summer. I really hate the heat. With the heat comes weeds. Did I tell you I hate the heat? But, I love having fresh produce! I can hardly wait for homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers. They make such a great salad.
Well, that's about it. Guess I'll post a few pics for you.

This is the sunset as seen from my front porch. Isn't it beautiful. God truly creates wonderful things. This was taken on a trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago.

Did anyone see Marley and Me?? Well, I've got one very similiar. She's a total goof.

This is a picture of a flower from a plant that was given to me after my mom died. Love the flowers and it usually has 2 blossoms at the same time. I'm surprised I've kept it alive this long.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Local Tea Party

Says it all, doesn't it.

Everyone was gathering in the park after walking to the park from another location.

Well, April 15 has come and gone and what a day it was. I never thought I would get out and walk in a rally against big government and rising taxes. I also never thought that my child would participate in such an event. It is truly amazing when you realize that your freedoms, that most all of us take for granted, are being threatened. There are so many issues that the government is working on that is not being talked about in the mainstream media. Yesterday made me realize that I needed to get more involved in politics and start raising awareness of what our children will be facing if something isn't done.

The tea party, I would say was a smashing success! The flags, the Pledge of Allegience, the friendliness of the participants. Everyone was happy to be able to speak. Many thanks to the people who showed their support by honking their horns, waving, giving us thumbs up. Isn't it great to be an American? Below are some more pictures of the rally.

Now onto another concern of mine. There are two bills currently in Congress that will greatly affect anyone who grows their own garden or has their own livestock. The two bills are HR875 and SB425. They are bills that are intended to protect us from food borne illnesses (food safety bills). The bills are too broad and as an individual, if these bills pass, I will not be able to grown my own produce or have my own livestock! What is wrong with this picture? HR875 has 40 sponsors! It is backed by four large food producers that I will not name. So, please people, if you care about what you eat or don't eat, please call your Congress men and women and Senators and voice your opposition to these bills.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Well, I've basically been teaching myself how to knit and I really enjoy it. One of the things that I have been scared to death to try is lace knitting. So, anywho, some very nice people suggested I try knitting the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence. I went down and bought my yarn (Merino 5 Superwashed wool by Crystal Palace) and got to work. Well, it took me right at a week, knitting at night only and voila! it is done!

I can't wait to make this again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is it just me??

I didn't grow up in an angry household. I didn't grow up in a place where people treated each other poorly. However, I look at my country today and I see so many things that I never saw before.

First off, I am a Christian, before anything else in my life, Jesus comes first. Granted, I am not perfect and there are days that I put myself first, but I always try to put Him first. I am also a Conservative. I don't believe in abortion, I don't believe in gay marriage, I don't believe in women in the clergy, I don't believe in entitlement programs. That being said, I have just gained a lot more "enemies" than friends. I live in a country where freedom is no longer a right, but a luxury. I live in a country that is traveling down a path that I fear we will not be able to change. We're coming to a fork in the road and I'm not sure there will be any turning back.

Since the election, I have become more aware of the people around me. I am a happy person, or try to be most of the time. I volunteer to help when I can. I give food to people just because I worry about them. I donate clothing to people. I help in any way I can and my husband and I try and instill this value in our daughter. But in this country today I see many people that are not asking for help, they are DEMANDING it. They are demanding I pay for their mortgage, they are demanding I pay for their health insurance, they are demanding I pay for their life style, whether I agree or not (think Prop. 8 in California and the stem-cell research issue). I didn't grow up demanding anything from my parents - they instilled in us the knowledge that we had to WORK for what we wanted. As an example, as a teenager, my parents bought their first home (we had always lived in govt. housing due to my dad's job). The house was on 1/2 an acre. My dad decided we needed a fence around the property. We did not have a lot of money, but there were two teens that needed to earn some money, so the deal was done. All summer long by brother and I dug post holes in rock hard ground. There were days we could only dig half an inch and we'd then put water on the hole to soften it up for the next day. Well, we finally got the holes dug with much fighting amongst ourselves (hey, we're were teens!). My parents took us to the bank and gave us the money we had worked so hard for. Twenty five dollars. We each got $25 for all those post holes. Price per hole? .25 each. Slave labor???? Maybe, but we earned every dime and we were excited to get that money. By today's standards, that's not much. But by today's standards, you don't see kids digging post holes for money either. We have become a society of entitlement. It's been caused and encouraged by many parents and our government. No one thinks they need to work for anything anymore. What ever happened to being proud of what you've accomplished? Can you honestly say that you can go to your friends and say you are proud that the government is taking care of your every want? Not needs, but wants?

I also see a country that is full of angry people. I don't think they just showed up, I think they just came out of hiding. I think this President has made many realize that it's ok to demand things from their neighbors, even if they don't deserve it. I see people demanding many things, but at the same time, they have things I don't have (think 60 inch plasma tv, multiple cell phones, new vehicle, etc.). They made the choice for those items. I didn't. I work hard for what I have. I don't live on credit, I may not have a big savings account, but I do have some. I have always tried to live "right". Why am I being punished for other people's poor choices? Now, I understand that things happen and sometimes people do need help because they lost their job or they got behind on their mortage payment because of the lost job, but that is different than someone who decided to roll the dice and play to see how long they can get by on what they don't make.

I see people who want to take away my rights because it makes them uncomfortable. Do I really care? Not really. I know where my home will be at some point and it's not here. But, I also know that I have to live with my neighbors. Just because I don't like your lifestyle or choices, doesn't mean I will treat you poorly because of it. That being said, why do you treat me poorly?

We are no longer governed according to the Constitution, but rather by emotions and desires. What happens when our voices are taken away? Our rights to protect ourselves? Our rights to grow our own food? Think it won't happen? It's happening now. Do you really want your children to live in a country where they are not free? Do you really want to live in a country that has no moral compass? That makes it ok to kill someone because of their belief system? That makes it ok to silence them because of their belief system?

I pray that our country wakes up and take the "right" fork in the road and not the other. I have faith in people and I pray their eyes will be opened to what is happening and take a stand against the anger and intimidation and not be fearful for being Christian, or Conservatives.

That being said, I also see angry people who don't like what is going on in their country and for the first time in their lives they are realizing what they could lose if they don't stand up and fight for it. These people are the silent majority. They don't normally voice their concerns because they figure that as conservatives, we are supposed to sit on our hands and play nice, but I think the days of playing nice are over and we are going to have to stand up for our country and the future of our children and grand children. Also, we as parents and grandparents need to make sure that the values our children have and are being taught are the types of values that make this country great. Hard work, honestly, truth, love, life isn't always fair - deal with it.

I don't envy the people that make 5 million a year. I don't envy anyone what they earned. They earned it. Would it be nice to have that kind of money? Sure, but I DIDN'T EARN IT. I'm ok with that. I pray that there are others like me that feel the same way.

Again life isn't fair, but deal, people.

Mom's Pie Crust

Everyone has special memories of their mom. One of mine is her pies. She made the most beautiful pie crusts. They were truly amazing. Unfortunately, she did not pass that skill onto her daughter, but I do try. That being said, here's my Mom's recipe.

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. shortening
6 Tblsp. water

In bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry cutter (or do like me and use a fork). Sprinkle water a little at a time and mix with a fork. Gather dough into a ball and divide in half and roll each into a circle about 1.5" larger than pie plate. Lay into plate and flute edges.

Makes 2 crusts.

Green Chile Quiche

Another favorite quiche recipe of mine, and living in the chile capitol of the world, I have a lot of chile floating around.

Preheat oven to 300 deg.

3 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. mayo
1/3 c. green chile
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. onions, sauteed
1/2 c. swiss cheese (can add more if you want)

Mix all and dump into a prepared crust. Bake at 300 deg. for 30 minutes. If you use a deep dish pie crust (double the recipe), cook for 50-60 minutes at 350 deg.

LaDonna's Favorite Quiche Recipe

Throughout the past couple of years, I have become a lover of quiche. I didn't grow up eating it, it is something I developed a taste for. I like this recipe because it is pretty adaptable to what I have in my freezer or my garden at any given time. I hope you enjoy it.

Preheat oven to 350 Deg.

1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. ground sausage, browned
1/2 c. green chile
1 c +/- broccoli (steamed)
sauteed onion, to taste
8 oz. grated swiss cheese

Mix altogether and pour into a pre-made pie crust or make your own crust (I will post my mom's recipe that I use, next).

Variations: I have used the following in lieu of broccoli: 1 c. drained, steamed spinach or you can mix it up by dividing the 1 c. measurement with various other veggies. I like mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, swiss chard, yellow squash, to name a few. You can also substitute bacon for the sausage. If you don't like meat, just replace it with more veggies.

This makes a deep-dish quiche.


Bake for 1 hour

Friday, January 2, 2009

Navajo Tacos or Indian Fry Bread w/toppings

Isn't it funny how you forget about recipes and when you rediscover them it's like finding an old friend. Such is the case with this recipe. It's actually a mixture of two different recipes and they come together in a pleasing local flavor.

Fry bread recipe:

4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 T. lard (or Crisco shortening)
1 1/2 c. water

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening/lard. Add enough water to make a soft dough, but not sticky. Knead well. Let stand at least 30 minutes. Roll a piece of dough out into a circle (slightly smaller than the plate each person will be using). Roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Fry in hot oil. Turn and fry other side. Place on papertowel to drain some oil off. Top with meat/bean mixture, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream (if desired) or guacamole (if desired).

Meat/Bean topping:

This recipe is for a small crockpot. Double if you're using a larger crockpot:

2 c. beans, uncooked and cleaned
1 chopped onion
pepper, salt, garlic and cilantro - to taste
1 lb. ground beef
1 small can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes and Chile
1 large container of frozen red chile (mild or hot)

Dump cleaned beans into the crockpot. Add water to about 1 inch above the beans. Fry up your ground beef. Drain. Add to the beans. All all other ingredients to crockpot and cover. Let it cook all day. Stir occasionally.

That's it and so very good it is!