Tuesday, October 28, 2008


About a year ago I worked with a lady that grew orchids. Her house must have been a like a green house. She would go to lunch and several times a week she would bring back a plant of some kind. I asked her one day how many plants she had and said probably over a 100. I can't imagine taking care of all them or having the time. She was a single woman with not much family. I think they were her children because she was always pampering them. Well she talked me into getting an orchid. I have never grown an orchid but I do pretty well with other plants so I gave in. She went with me to help me pick one out and I ended up getting two. I wouldn't want one to get lonely now would I? They were of course blooming and doing so well that I eventually bought two more. Well of course the flowers dried up and went away and all I had were these plants that just sat there and did NOTHING!!! All winter they just sat around and expected me to water and love them with no repayment. One finally died and I was wishing the other three would too. This summer I put them on the patio thinking they might get sun stroke or something. No such luck....they continued to sit around and expect water, food and love with no repayment. When it threatened to freeze I decided I better bring them in. I put them in my kitchen window and I think they are actually happy with me now. Look at the little green thing sprouting. Do you suppose it is going to bloom? I am so excited!!! I'll keep you posted. The other two are actually growing now too but just new leaves. I guess they heard me thinking that if they didn't do something soon, the trash they were going!! So I guess I will keep them for awhile. Do you grow orchids? Have you ever grown one? Would you like to adopt one of mine?

I wish I could remember what color this one was, but I really don't care I just want a pretty flower.

Pork Roast in the Crock Pot

This wasn't a recipe for the crock pot, but I made it one because I had a busy day and wanted something for dinner I didn't have to mess with or watch. It turned out fantastic and leftovers were scrumptious.
My wonderful Crock Pot. I love it. I don't use it nearly enough though. Here is the recipe.
Pork Roast
In crock pot layer on the bottom, 3 garlic cloves
1 or 2 shallots
3 carrots
Rub pork roast with salt/pepper and Herbes de Provence
Put a little olive oil in a skillet and brown on all sides and put in crock pot on top of the veggies
Add 1/2 cup white wine or water or broth. I used the wine.
Cover and let cook on low for about 6 hours or so.
The last hour add 1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms. Or you could use the white button mushrooms.
I made roasted potatoes and fennel to go with the roast. I used a 400 degree oven. Chop the unpeeled potatoes in pieces, quarter the fennel, season everything with salt/pepper and olive oil. Toss and put in the oven. Cooking time varies on how big your veggie is and I usually start checking it after about 30 minutes or so.
All in all it was a very good meal with leftovers and with little or no help from me. Which on a busy day is a good thing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Grand Finale!!

Yesterday was the last Farmers Market. Now I have to start buying my produce from the grocery store again. And yes, I'm whining!! I stalked up on everything that would keep for awhile. I bought extra winter squash, onions, etc. I also put some roasted chili's in the freezer for Green Chili this winter. I usually do that earlier but for some reason I just didn't get around to it. I think I have enough to last though.
You have been very patient with me in posting the last leg of our drive. With not being able to connect to the Internet last week slowed me down. I did get a lot done around here though.
This is Long's Peak again. If you look closely you can see the clouds at the top. As we drove into Estes Park we saw Elk along the side of the road. Of course we had to stop and take pictures and watch them.
These two were locking horns and making lots of noise.

Doesn't he look proud standing there?
They kept going behind the trees so it was hard to take a picture. As angry as they seemed I sure wasn't going to get any closer.

I hope you enjoyed watching the Elk as much as we did. I wish you could all have been there with us.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Wonderful Gift From Dianne

My gift from Dianne came today and I was so excited. I won her giveaway for her 100th post. I started to rip it open and remembered I had to share!! And it was very fragile too. Dianne decorated the can so pretty and wrote a special note for me.
It is so sweet. Thank you so much Dianne.
This is my starter kit. I can hardly wait to try it.
I have my very own starter kit now so I can try making my own Pysanky. She said she was going to do a tutorial on her blog or I can look one up on Google.

And this is my so very pretty Pysanky that Dianne made. It took her 6 hours. I'm not sure I have that much patience but I'm sure going to try it. Wish me luck. I haven't decided where I am going to put it yet. I have it under my cloche now just to keep it safe. I am so happy with my pretty. Thank you so much Dianne.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Second Part of The Drive.

Before we start today I want to tell you about a new blogger Mamma Lalla. She lives in Africa so you can imagine the pictures you can see on her blog. I can't imagine looking out my window and seeing Zebra!! Can you? She is the Linen Cupboards Mother and I'm so glad she started her own blog.

Also that I'm sorry I've been absent the last few days. I've had computer problems but they seem to be fixed...hopefully for good. I couldn't connect to the Internet. Do you suppose my computer was trying to tell me something? I will try to catch up with you as soon as I can and see what you have been up to. In the meantime sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

More of Longs Peak. It is so beautiful. If you'd like to learn more about Longs Peak click here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Beautiful Aspen and Mountains Part One

I hope you are ready for some more sightseeing. I've been saving these for awhile. We started in Denver of course and drove through Golden up to Black Hawk over to Nederlands and finished our trip in Estes Park with a wonderful finale for you too look forward to.

Can you see that little black dot in the white cloud to the left? That was a hang glider. He was so far away but they were fun watching.

These were taken as we drove by Black Hawk. It is a gambling town with lots and lots of casinos. Central City is a little further up the the mountain. Central City was the first to become a gambling town and Black Hawk joined in very soon after. There is a famous Opera House in Central City. There is the face on the barroom floor and many tourists come to see her. If you click on Central City and then at the link at the bottom of that page for more information you will be able to see the face. I liked the town better before all the casinos moved in.

As you can see it was trying to rain and we did have a few sprinkles. It was pretty cool up there too. I'm glad I had my sweatshirt.

The mountain peak you can see in the background is Longs Peak. You'll see more of it later in the drive as we get closer.

That's all for today I hope you enjoyed the beginning of our afternoon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I've been doing a lot of baby artichoke lately and I think I'm getting it!! Finally!! I've used this recipe several times now and they are getting better, just not perfect yet.
I wasn't taking off enough of the outer leaves at first and now I boil and roast them longer than the recipe calls for.

Roasted Baby Artichokes
16-24 baby artichokes
1 lemon sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
After cleaning, taking off all the outer leaves cut them in half and drop in boiling salted water for 5 minutes along with the lemon slices. Drain well and toss artichokes and lemon slices with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast in 450 oven until tender 8-10 minutes.
Today I am using this recipe from Molly. She posted her recipe on October 6. I think I like the addition of garlic but I like roasting them the best so after they simmer I am putting them in the oven for a few minutes. Do you ever cook baby artichokes? If so how? I'm still looking for that perfect recipe.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ABC's of Homemaking

I just visited Diane at Crafty Passions and thought this was a really fun thing to do so here I go. I hope you all join in and please let me know so I can visit.

A ~Aprons--Do you have some? I have loads of vintage aprons. Some that my Grandmother wore. I don't usually wear one but I should because I'm always wiping my hands on my butt.
B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake? I love baking, it is my way of relaxing. If I had to pick my favorite it would be cakes or cookies especially a new recipe.
C ~ Clothes line? I don't have one but I keep thinking I should get one because of the utility bill. That dryer uses lots of electricity.
D ~ Donuts--Have you ever made them? I made some when my kids were young.
E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday? I make my bed and clean the bathroom every day.
F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes, I have a chest freezer and it is usually very full.
G ~ Garbage Disposer? I have one but don't use it very often.
H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource? I have scads of cookbooks, watch the food network and have lots and lots of saved recipes from bloggers and friends in notebooks and recipe box.
I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results? I hate it!!!
J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?The proverbial junk drawer...... Yes I have one in the kitchen and it is full of whatever I have in my hand and don't know where to put it or just too lazy to put it where it belongs.
K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme. My kitchen is white walls with natural cabinets. My curtains are white/green/tan. My appliances are all black.
L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking? I love keeping my home clean and comfortable.
M ~ Mop--y/n? I do my floors on my hands and knees. No mops for me.
N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash? I just throw them in a nylon bag and wash them on the gentle cycle with other things. I don't wear them much anymore.
O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check? I don't have a window so I open it.
P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours? Pepperoni is my favorite with maybe mushrooms and/or black olives. Most anything except anchovies.
Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Usually play with Anna and Bailey (and yes they are spoiled) or visit my favorite blogs.
R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? A mess. Not really pretty organized with tabs for different recipes. My binders are so full it is ridiculous.
S ~ Style of house--What style is your house? I live in a condo.
T ~Tablecloths or Place mats? I usually use place mats but sometimes tablecloths for a change.
U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland? Pretty organized.
V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week? Once a week but I really don't do any because my daughter does the vacuum for me because of my back.
W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week? I usually do a couple of loads 2-3 times a week.
X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? I don't keep a daily list but a weekly list or weekend list.
Y ~ Yard--y/n? Who does what? I don't have one.
ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Make sure the doors are locked. Anna and Bailey are usually waiting for me which makes me smile.
I saw this at, That British Woman ,who saw it at Niki's Rural Writings, who saw it at Pieces from Me, who saw it at Coffee Time At Home. Please play along on your blog!!! Let me know if you do, so I can visit.I saw this at, Diane at Crafty Passions

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Fall Decorations

Yesterday was David's memorial and it was very nice but so very sad. They showed a video of his life. He was so cute as a baby and very very handsome as an adult. We all miss you David.

I added a couple more fall decorations this past week and thought I would post those since I really don't have anything else ready. And no the picture above is not a fall decoration, he is a permanent fixture around here. This is the way he normally sleeps. How he sleeps in those weird positions is beyond me. I'd be so stiff I wouldn't be able to move when I woke up.

I love my ghost tea light burner. This is one of my favorite Halloween things.
I added some fake fruit to my floor stand and centered the candle on top of everything. It looks so pretty when the candle is lit. I was pleased!! I think I will redo it with holly and berries for Christmas.
I put some fake pumpkins and leaves on my other cake plate for this one. Since I've got both plates filled with fall decorations I guess I won't be making much cake this month. I love decorations I can leave until after Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hot Chocolate and Tagged and Winner

I'm editing this post because I just received an email from Diane at Crafty Passions to let me know I have won her giveaway. I am so happy!! I'll be posting more when I receive the package and show it off!! Thank you thank you!!
I also forgot to tag anyone for my tag below. I try to pick different bloggers each time and I'm so excited I can't think so I'll leave it up to you. Please tell us 7 things that make you happy or sad or laugh.
We didn't get up to snow this morning and I guess that was a good thing. I was a little disappointed though. It's been so warm it would have just stayed on the grassy areas. It has been cool and rainy all weekend. Definitely sweatshirt weather. I had a lot of errands to run yesterday and I had on my sweats and down vest and was quite comfortable. It is definitely hot chocolate weather. I used to make this a lot when my kids were young. They remember coming home from school and having hot chocolate. When I decided to make some for this winter I didn't remember how so I searched and found these two recipes. I'm not sure which I used though..maybe both!!

As you can see it makes a bunch and lasts for a long time...well maybe!!
All you do is put some mix in a cup, add hot water and stir. A few marshmallows don't hurt either.

I also decided that is was down comforter time so when I was changing my bedding I put it on. I slept warm and cozy last night. As you can see Bailey likes it too!!

Hot Chocolate #1
10 2/3 cups instant nonfat powdered milk
6 oz jar powdered nondairy creamer
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Makes 17 cups of mix.

For one serving, stir 3 T Mix with 1 cup of hot water until dissolved. Or for a richer hot chocolate use hot milk.

Hot Chocolate #2
1 8 quart box of dry powdered milk
2 lb box of Nestle' Quick
6 oz jar of coffee mate powder
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients together in a large container. Use 1/3 cup of mix to 1 cup of boiling water. Makes about 28 cups of hot chocolate.

I've also been tagged by Deb at Garage Sale Gal. I'm supposed to list 7 things about me that are funny or unusual or whatever. I think that since I've had kind of a sad week I'll do happy things.
1. My kids, grandson and friends
2. When I come home from work and Anna and Bailey run to meet me at the door.
3. Spending time in my kitchen (I bet that's a surprise)
4. Going for a walk
5. I cry while reading a book, watching a movie or even a commercial on TV and not necessarily sad...could just be something sappy
6. A physical therapist who told me that I was doing all the wrong exercises and showed me new ones that are actually helping my back.
7. And last but certainly not least all of you out there

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

This is a really fun easy and delicious recipe and I hope you all try it. I got it from the new Fine Cooking magazine. I haven't finished reading it yet but this recipe jumped out at me so I had to make it right away.
I forgot to take a picture and this is the one from the magazine.
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
8 1/2 inch thick boneless pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 T flour
1 T unsalted butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup stoneground or county style mustard
Season the chops w/salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess.
Put the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot add pork chops and cook turning once until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through. You might have to do this in 2 batches so as not to crowd them adding more oil if necessary.
Transfer chops to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour off fat and add wine and scrape up the browned bits with wooden spoon. Boil until the wine is reduced to about 2 T. Stir in cream and chicken broth and mustard, boil until reduced to a saucy consistency. Season with salt/pepper. Return the chops and any juices to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce and transfer back to serving platter. Drizzle sauce over chops and serve. Bon Appetit!!
I had a few comments as to what the surprise gift in my giveaway was so here it is!!
And other silly picture that wants to go beserek. It is a box of Enstrom's Toffee. Wonderful wonderful toffee. If you would like to try it go to www.enstroms.com. I hope you and your family enjoy Amy.