Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Outdoor Wednesday

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday”.
 Learn more about “Outdoor Wednesday” here.

The Handyman and I went fishing on Father's Day.
(well, I went reading, he went fishing)

Before I show you the pictures,  a Nevada tribute from a friend of mine..
(she was writing to me.  I asked her if she loved Nevada. I do.)

Things I love about Nevada:  I love the smell of the sage brush after it rains.  I love the "Nevada Blue" sky, and the wonderful sunsets.  I love the stark beauty of the high desert-which you appreciate also.  I love that I feel comfortable in the "wildness" that is Nevada.  I also love the people that live in Nevada.  I think there is a certain "Attitude" that a lot of us have that isn't found other places.   What that attitude is I can't quite put my finger on, but you know it when you see it. (And I don't mean the wacky rebellion attitude)  I love that my family roots are here.

Now that you've heard that/read that--I will show you our fishing pictures of  OUTDOOR. (for Outdoor Wednesday)
and if you want to,  you can comment to me about how you also LOVE where you live, where home is.  We all do and I like to hear about it.

Here we go! 
We are off. Traveling down a freeway... have to get to the dirt road that leads to a Nevada fishing hole.

Found it!
The dirt road.

After a while, we spot something GREEN in the desert!
Must mean water!

It does!
Our pond from a hill top:

Fishing...  my type of fishing
and his type of fishing

Green ponds and  if you look behind you,  the start beauty of the high Nevada desert!

You can see the Handyman if you look closely

A bigger fishing hole just a ways down the dirt road

 It was a good out door day.
even the dog thought so.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Evening thoughts (stuff I can say late at night when no one is looking/listening)

I just have to share this... a conversation between me and my granddaughter, Emerson.

She had her tonsils and adenoids out on Monday (last week).
I watched her on Thursday.
We were watching a movie and I dozed off.
When I awoke she asked me why I did this (then she made a snoring noise)
I said:  oh man, did I snore?  (it's true---I do---a bit)
She got a very sad look on her face and whispered,  Gram, they took my snore away!

It was strangely heartbreaking.  As if someone had taken her soul.

Emmy in the hospital before they ripped the snore from her!!

Friday Friend Recipe #13--Chili Rellenos (casserole?) and Append #1

I have a problem! 

Here I am, in the swing of things again (when it comes to counting down my Friday Friend Cookbook recipes) making  Chili Relleno Casserole,  when I open my cookbook and lo and behold---there is no, NO Chili Relleno Casserole in the  FF Cookbook.  

There is a recipe for Chili Rellenos and mini chili rellenos, but not for a casserole of any kind.  (sigh)  I thought there was.
Oh man!  Is this going to count as one of the recipes?  Cuz---I  meant for it too. But I've already browned my ground beef and onion for the casserole, bought the cheese and the chilies.  What to do, what to do?

Luckily, both the casserole recipe and the Chili Relleno recipe were turned in by the same person---Barbara Brown---who also typed up and published our FF Cookbook.  Perhaps she will give me credit.

Different cookbooks/notebooks, but still.... maybe?   ( I am adding/updating this note on October 5th, 2014, to say I am adding this to the FF appendix set of recipes.  Those that weren't in the FF cookbook, but should have been   )

I love the smell of chilies!  And I love the taste of chilies in things.
I did not know this until last night, that the Handyman doesn't love them like I do.  Even after 36 years of wedded bliss, he'll surprise me sometimes!
We always buy the Hatch Chilies out of New Mexico when they are in the markets---he has always pretended to love those!  And when we go out for Mexican food,  he'll always order the Green Chili Burrito, or  Chili Verde.
I think he's crazy!  He does too like  chilies!!

This Chili Relleno Casserole, or "Bake" as the recipe title says, is really good.  I think I might have overloaded it with cheese.  I used Jack and Cheddar, because  that's what I bought.    There is some browned ground beef in the bake, which made the Handyman happy---and to be truthful, it--the meat-- is really good in there. I might have had too many chilies, too much cheese and not enough egg batter poured in, because you can  hardly see it.  Nevertheless, it is a really good casserole.  Mexican inspired!  

Chili Rellenos Bake
by FF Barbara Brown of Buckeye,  Arizona

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef and onion, drain fat.  Season with salt and pepper

4oz can whole chilies
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

Place chilies in a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and top with hamburger mixture.

3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt

Combine and pour over chili and meat mixture.

(I sprinkled with additional cheese.)

Bake for 45 mins at  350.
Let cook for 5 minutes.

Wait, wait WAIT!!
You don't think that will count?  (sigh)  FINE.   Here is a chili relleno I made while the 'bake' baked.
I made the Handyman eat both times!!
I really need to take chili relleno battering lessons from my cousin Linda.  She is an expert!  (she didn't turn in that recipe tho)
These from Barb tasted great---just couldn't keep the batter on.

Chili Relleno
Barbara Brown--Buckeye.

6 green chilies
3 egg whites--beaten stiff
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
cheddar and jack cheese

add the dry ingredients to the beaten egg whites.  Meanwhile add 2 T. milk to the egg yolks and cut the cheeses into long strips.
Fold the egg yolks into the whites.
Stuff each chili with a cheese strip or 2.
Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and dip each chili into the batter and fry lightly on both sides.  OR--as Barb says,  put the batter onto the pan, and lay your chili down, then spoon some more batter on top.  Brown and turn.
(I had trouble keeping the batter on---probably should have patted my chilies dry)

And now for a new Barb story?
Hmmmmm.....   I mean one that I could tell!

You know they are great game (board gamer) players and we have marathon board game weekends when we are together....  Her husband Doug is MY partner.
One time when we went to their house for the weekend, we were each supposed to  'make  up' a new drink/cocktail,  and then we'd have a contest and vote on which one we liked best.
Barb made a drink called "Frog Grog" which included lemonade and vodka and something else---melon liquor?  To make it green like a frog.  It was a good drink.  I think she was the grand prize winner!!   Hooray for FROG GROG.
The Handyman and I make 'Bullfrogs' in the summer, which is what we call lemonade and vodka, so  Frog Grog is just a variation of that (although completely made up  by Barb)---I want one now.

Barb and her husband, my game playing partner, Doug!  
Psssst..... I wouldn't trade him for anything, BUT,  I think if Barb and I could be partners, WE would ALWAYS be the grand prize winners!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's Monday! (and other thoughts)

It's Monday,  What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  A fun place to pop into every Monday to see what is on everyone's reading list.
I find my best books from these people who participate!

I am hurrying like nothing (or everything)  to finish up these two books for book-club this week, on Wednesday and Thursday:

Kingbird Highway by Kenn Kaufman.
Goodreads says:
Now revered as one of North America's top birders, Kenn Kaufman hit the road at age sixteen and spent a year crisscrossing the country to see as many birds as he could, in a birding competition known as a "big year." In what has become a classic among birders, this memoir chronicles the subculture of birding in the 1970s and a teenager's search for his place in the world. In a new afterword, Kaufman looks at the evolution of bird-listing since his own big year.

All the Dancing Birds by Auburn McCantra
Goodreads says:
Lillie Claire Glidden is unraveling. She knows she’s in trouble when she finds her wallet and keys deep in the refrigerator, smelling of lettuce and forgetfulness. And not even her favorite California red wine can dull the pain of the dreaded diagnosis: Alzheimer’s.

As language starts to fail her and words disappear, Lillie Claire is determined to find a way to pass on the lessons she learned as a child on a Southern porch. Surrounded by family and caregivers, she fights to hold on to the details of her life, and to recognize the woman in the mirror for as long as possible.

Told from Lillie Claire’s perspective, All the Dancing Birds offers beautiful and terrifying insight into the secret mind of those touched—and ultimately changed—by the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease.

I am enjoying both!  The Dancing Birds, I am enjoying and finding interesting, but with a heavy heart, because of my mom.

I just got back from a conference in the Bay Area of California.
But a  few days before that, my friend  Tomi sent me a link to  Bookstores that will change your life!

I was very excited to look at the list.  Tomi said:
Holy moly- we need to go on a world bookstore tour.  I NEED to go to these places.

and I said:  ME TOO!!
(I didn't tell her that I have already been to Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon--MY FAVE!!   I felt disloyal to her idea of a world wide book tour---which we will take one day. Maybe.  In the future. When we win the gazillionarie lottery.  Or next month.  Whichever comes first)

Anyway... YES, I have been to Powells.
And this week on Tuesday, I was walking the streets of San Francisco when all of the sudden.... (be sure and have clicked on the link to the 17 bookstores that will change your life!!  Especially #1)

all of the sudden---- MY LIFE WAS CHANGED YET AGAIN!!
As I came upon   City Lights Bookstore!

My pics are horrible--   I was trying not to look like a geeky tourist---and one who doesn't own an iphone either, so using a big clunky camera--- BUT there it is. (and I love my big clunky camera)

I, of course, bought a few books.

In other booking news....
I received a manila envelope in the mail today from my good friend Barbara Brown--in it she sent news of another book store--The Singing Winds Bookstore in Benson, AZ.
I want to go!
They don't have a webpage, they don't do Facebook or Twitter, they don't take debit or credit cards, only cash and only by word of mouth (they have no marketing department).
I found a couple of pics on Yelp.  It's in the middle of nowhere Arizona and they specialize in books on the Southwest...but I want to go.

This is it:

I am going to set up a road trip!!  Next spring (during the bird migration, because AZ is famous for birding too) I am going to go see birds and buy books at the Singing Winds Bookstore!  And go to the botanical gardens again!  And  hold my granddaughter's hand the whole time!

I am so easily entertained.  It does not take much to make me happy.  
Have a great day my book reading friends!!

Road Trip anyone?  Oh...and what are YOU reading?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jalapeno Jelly Plate, Friday Friend Recipe #12

I have so much I want to talk about, so much I want to share:

The Handyman and I went fishing
A walk thru my old stomping grounds
About a dozen recipes and that many books too
My trip to San Francisco area to attend the Methodist Church's CA-NV annual conference as a delegate.

I just never seem to have enough time.  Am I lazy?  I would like to think not BUT,   I did find this funny picture/joke today on Facebook, that describes me to a tea this afternoon:

(sigh),  yep that was me this afternoon.    I was so tired after being gone all week.  (more about this later on in the week)

I guess I better get back on this Friday Friend Cookbook goal.   (my friend Barb thinks I've given up---little does she know!)
There are over 50 friends who I consider "Friday Friends"  (see this post), but all of them didn't turn in a recipe in every category, nor did they turn in but one for the whole cookbook.  Some of them turned in many recipes for many categories.    My plan was to introduce you to them one at a time, but I have to give that up and just  make recipes as I need them and then introduce you to them that way----sometimes over and over again, as is the case with  my great friend Debbie Engstrom.   (coffee every Tuesday morning at  6am, come rain or shine)  
She loves to cook and has sent many recipes in.

Here is the deal tho....the name of the recipe in the appetizer section is  Jalapeno Jelly Plate.  And it was turned in by me!

It goes like this:

1 brick cream cheese, 1 jar jalapeno jelly, asst. crackers.

Place cream cheese on a nice serving dish...score every inch with knife...about half-way thru the brick.  Pour jelly over the top and serve with crackers.  Cracked pepper crackers are the best.

Hmmmm ---- I don't remember putting that last line in there.  I don't know that I've ever had cracked pepper crackers.  (I think that might have been added in by the editor/publisher, Barbara Brown )

I know I meander --sorry.   
This past Christmas Debbie gave me some of her  HOT PEPPER JELLY.   And earlier this year, I used her pepper jelly to make this appetizer and thought WOW, it is so good.   So, I lately stole another jar of the pepper jelly from her, when I was in her house all alone and made this appetizer for the Handyman after our fishing trip on Father's day.

Notice he is laying around reading on Father's Day afternoon.  As it should be!

Here is the recipe for 

Debbie E's Hot Pepper Jelly:
for the sake of disclosure, I know she got it from's really, really good!!

Original recipe makes 6 (8 ounce) jars

  1. Sterilize 6 (8 ounce) canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat water in a hot water canner.
  2. Place red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers in a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in vinegar and fruit pectin. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Quickly stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil, and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.
  3. Quickly ladle jelly into sterile jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Cover with flat lids, and screw on bands tightly.
  4. Place jars in rack, and slowly lower jars into canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.

My story on her?  (man, this could be hard to say something different about her each time--she sent in a ton of recipes)  She and her husband are runners and hikers.  I so admire that they spend their days off hiking.  And their evenings during the week, running.   And in between this all, she cooks. And she cooks good stuff!!  Besides the pepper jelly for the holidays, she also made homemade saltines! 

This photo was from today!  I just stole if off Facebook. 
It's the beautiful high Nevada Desert--- Granite Peak in the Santa Rosa Mountains---the highest point in our county, 9,732 feet in elevation.  That's high!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Snapshot

Two Graduation photos of people I love!
Since it's that time of year.

One from this year  ( a couple of days ago) and one from 5 years ago.

I've always loved this photo of my nephew at his graduation 5 years ago.
He's looking at my mom  (who is probably wiping tears away)
I just love the way he is looking at her.

And this  is a graduation --from jr.high/middle school-- from this year.  Another nephew--getting a fist-bump from his dad.
My brother-in-law is a proud dad!

Time passages.

They make me smile and cry and laugh.

I love these two guys!!
They are growing into fine young men.

I am linking up with Saturday Snapshot.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chicken Spaghetti and a salad

Chicken spaghetti AND  24-hour salad -- aka  7-layer salad.

It was a great summer time Sunday evening meal.
A cool drink, a good book, and SUMMER!
(I won't be saying this come August when it is 100+ degrees, but for now--it is almost perfection)
As you can see in the photo below, I am still making my way thru the Game of Thrones--I love it.   I don't know why I have waited so long to read the 1st in the series because now I have 4 more long books to go thru before I can watch the series on Netflix!

I was just glancing thru a few reading questions  on the internet and one of them asked  "if you had all the time in the world, what would you read?"
My answer?
All the unread books on my bookshelf.
What's your's?

This 24-hour or  7-layer salad  was a big fad when I was first married in the early  to mid 80's (I was married in 1978, but made this in my early years a lot).

It's really simple, but I hadn't made it in  years until I had to take something to a church gathering last year.
It was gone in a matter of minutes!  
My mom called it a  7-layer salad, because it had seven things in it.
You also let it set in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight, before eating it, hence the name--24-hour salad.
I did neither of those things--I think I only had 6 layers and it was only a 7-hour salad.
But the Handyman loved it, as did my son and his wife.
The Handyman said "this could be a meal on a summer night"
That's one thing I like about the Handyman--he kind of eats with the seasons--lighter things in the spring/summer,  heavier things in the fall/winter.

The thing that's funny about the Handyman?  He'll think this salad is diet food and he is being good.   All that bacon and cheese and mayonnaise won't count in his mind.  
It's a salad.

7-layer Salad
24-Hour Salad
Overnight Salad
(it comes by different names)

1 head of lettuce torn
frozen peas
hard boiled eggs
1 lb. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
red onion, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayo mixed with 1 T sugar

layer in order given and put in fridge over night.
It looks  pretty in a glass bowl, so you can see the layers.
Then toss before serving.

The Chicken Spaghetti that I make is from the Pioneer Woman.
It's really good, and everywhere I take it, everyone loves it.
I say it's mine---I never give her credit.
I say I made it up and I never watch her show on the Food Network-- nope.
When people say 'oh this is soo goood!!
I say  "why thank you"

Chicken Spaghetti
via the Pioneer Woman.


  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

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