Monday, March 29, 2010

The garden has been started!!

Those who know me well, know that I love to read and follow directions.  The seed packets for onions, carrots, peas and radishes all say to plant as soon as the ground has been worked.  So yesterday, about 2 weeks AFTER the ground was able to be worked, we planted all of those goodies.  Some of the locals here have warned us not to plant yet...we're taking our chances, knowing that we may have a late frost and risk losing everything we just planted.  But the seed packet said we should plant as soon as the ground can be worked!!! 
We have also followed the directions for starting our tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage inside 4-6 weeks before planting. We got a little Jiffy starter kit from Walmart ($6).  We almost ordered a nice $25 one from Gurney's.  I'm so glad I happened upon that one in Wally world.  So here's what we have so far...

We're paying close attention to companion planting this year.  As soon as I figure out how to add a table to my posting, I'll put the companion planting chart up. Smile.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bread recipe for beginners

This is a great recipe for beginning bread makers like myself.  It's from an old cook book from my grandmother called Sesqui-Samplings, 150 Years of Cooking in Indianapolis.  Once you've mastered this, you can start to add whole wheat a little at a time until you get a feel for how the whole wheat changes the dough.  I am just a beginner myself.
1 1/4 cups water (110-115 degrees) ( I just let my tap water (well water) get really hot.  I have no idea what the temperature is)
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups flour (I use organic unbleached all purpose)
2 Tbs. sugar (organic cane juice)
2 tsp. salt (kosher)
2 Tbs. shortening (I use Crisco)

Dissolve the yeast in water in mixer bowl with a little bit of sugar (feeds the yeast) until the yeast is dissolved and bubbly. Add salt, sugar and half of flour. Blend. Add shortening and beat 2 minutes at medium speed or 300 strokes by hand.  Scrape sides of bowl frequently.  Add remaining flour and blend with spoon until smooth (that's the original recipe...I just used the paddle on my mixer). The dough should be REALLY soft, not even close to stiff. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 30 minutes).  Beat bater about 25 strokes (again, I use my paddle attachment).  Place in greased loaf pan and cover.  Let rise until dough reaches top of pan.  Bake in a 375-degree preheated ovwen for about 35 minutes or until brown.  When done, loaf should sound hollow when tapped with finger.  Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.  Brush top of loaf with butter if you desire a soft crust.  Cool before slicing.
When you've mastered this with white flour, start substituting whole wheat 1/2 cup at a time.  I still am only up to about 1/2 and 1/2.
Happy bread making!!

My favorite slow cooker corn chowder

This is my favorite slow cooker soup recipe.  Super easy!  Just be careful to not over cook as the milk will start to separate.
2 1/2 cups milk
1 can cream style corn
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups frozen corn (canned will work as well)
1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (that's the easy way, fresh work just as well)
1 cup cubed cooked ham
1 chopped onion
2 TBS butter
Herbs such as parsley or chives for garnish (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste.  Add pepper only at the end as it can get bitter when cooked for a long time.
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hrs.  I've tried this on high, but it turns out better if you use low and again, do not over cook.  When the onions are tender, the soup is done.

Casing Shelli scrapbook page

This is a photo of my parents at my wedding.  It was REALLY hot that day!!  I think the tall tales have the temperature up to 304 that day.
Anyway, I didn't get to go to leadership this year, but got to see the photos that my friend took of one of Shelli Gardner's scrapbook pages and this is my take on it...
I love the vintage distressed look and of cours, all the pink!!  It actually went together quicker than I expected.  The flowers were made out of blush blossom and pretty in pink cardstock and the Flower Layers with Leaf die for the Big Shot (a must have), and circle punches.  each pieces was crumpled and sponged with the same color of ink.  The punched circles were distressed around the edges using the distressing tool.  The background paper was made by rolling the Very Vintage wheel in chocolate chip on very vanilla cardstock (8 1/2 x 8 1/2), then sponging on pretty in pink and blush blossom ink all over the page.  The photo is 4 x4 and the photo mat is 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches. 
Thanks for taking a peek and if I didn't add enough details here for you, please let me know if you have any questions!
Happy Stamping,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Extreme Skateboard Birthday Card

I'm so sad to see Sale-A-Bration come to an end.  It's been so much FUN!!  I've so enjoyed all the workshops I've done and the wonderful people I've met.  AND of course, all the free stamps that even I have gotten.  But I'm looking forward to April's sweet special on two step stamping and to May, National Scrapbooking month!
So here's a birthday card I intend to send to my brother who owns a skate shop in Idaho.
I'm so proud of him and what he's doing with the local youth in his area. 
I used a couple of my free sale a bration sets on his card:  Four Square and Extreme Skateboard.  It's not too late!! Sale-A-Bration lasts till March 31st!! Click here to shop now.  Get a free stamp set from the Sale A Bration catalog for every $50 you spend!! Yipee!!  Who doesn't LOVE FREE STUFF!!
The paper used is the Write Stuff patterned paper pack which comes with really cool die cuts.  I distressed all the parts by sanding and inked the edges of the happy birthday stamped image.  I also used the Itty Bitty Background stamp on the die cut.  Colors used are: soft suede, and real red.  Paper used:  Whisper White, Real Red, The Write Stuff. Embellishments:  silver brads. Tools:  paper piercer, sanding block, scallop sqare punch, 1 1/4" square punch, stampin sponges


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