Friday, February 13, 2015

A New Direction


        Well, I've done it! Good or bad, I've done it! I've been blogging for 10 years now, wow! But, I'm not getting any younger, so I'm taking my know how ( if you can call it that) to another direction and am working on a food bloggers website! I may feel like the Julia Child of the food bloggers, getting a late start, but I've learned that it is truly never too late, so I'm listening to the nudges and turning my newspaper gig into a website!
    It's still a work in progress, I'm self taught, I don't don't know a thing about html or web design either but I'm paid up for the first year with WordPress and will try to do it alone, next year, I may have to hire a designer, but until then, I'll work at creating the best little food blog my knowledge will allow! I'd love your input, ideas and support, so please check me out at Dining on Delicious! And just in time for Valentines Day is my favorite chocolate cake recipe,  it's taking chocolate to the extreme and why not, it's all about love and who doesn't love a good chocolate cake?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Growth and Graditude



                   Yes, I'm still here, been working on my website, I'm going dot com with my newspaper articles/own recipes and chasing that dream of becoming a food blogger! I've secured a name and domain and I'm using the word press format to post, I'm learning as I go and finding it harder than I thought but I'm not giving up!! I've had several people tell me I should write a cookbook, so hopefully this way will be a bit easier to start with, since I'm self taught here! Your never too old to learn something new, with that said, I do feel like the Julia Child of the food bloggers, getting a late start but it is what it is! Wish me luck!
     2015 is already proving to be a busy year, we have our 7th grand baby due in August plus son #2 is getting married sometime this year, so we will be adding 3 to our family this year alone, I think we will need a bigger house, that will make us at 20 now! It might be time to find that big ole farmhouse of my dreams too!
     My sweet hubby got me a new camera for Christmas, he called it a investment so I've been learning how to use it so I can take better shots of food for my website, and make my sweet husband proud! Sometimes you just got to go for it, so keep a eye out for the reveal soon! Busy is the new sexy!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY all the WAY!

Christmas is the day 
that holds all time together.
-Alexander Smith





From my home, blog, garden and heart, may your Christmas be bright and the new year be even brighter!! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

His & Her Jams

            Here we are, less than 2 weeks till Christmas, are you still needing some gift ideas? I've come up with his and her jams. The perfect gift for those really hard to buy for people on your list. My annual Christmas jam is sweet and festive and easy to make and can be dressed up for the occasion.


Christmas Jam

2 c. cranberries
1 orange, peeled & quartered
16 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed
3 c. sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin
5 half pint jars (ready to fill)
Coarsely grind cranberries and orange sections in a food processor. Spoon into a heavy saucepan, add strawberries and sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil, stirring for one min. Remove from heat and stir in pectin, skim off foam. Pour into prepared jars and process for 10 min. Makes 5- 1/2 pints



       And for the man who LOVES bacon, this bacon jam will make him squeal with delight! I must admit, when I seen this on Pinterest my first thought was "not another bacon recipe", I love bacon but this whole bacon craze is getting out of control ( bacon toothpaste, really!) but I may even try this, might be good hamburgers!


Bacon Jam


Yields 1 pint
1 pound smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon  hot sauce
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper to taste
extra water
In a dutch oven, fry the bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Remove to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease out of the pan.
Fry the onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat on medium heat until translucent.
Add the bacon to the onions and garlic, and add the rest of the ingredients except for the water. Simmer for 2 hours adding 1/4 of a cup of water every 25-30 minutes or so, and stir regularly.
Jam is done when you can’t tell the onions from the bacon. Cool for about 15-20 minutes and then place in a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 seconds so that you leave some texture to the “jam”. Refrigerate up to two weeks.


         There you have it, the perfect gifts for when you run out of ideas or money! I'm curious and will be trying this recipe, may even surprise the boys with a jar! Have fun in the kitchen, baking up some love this afternoon too! 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tis the Season....

     
          Here we are, the final few weeks of the year and my blog is messed up! Ever since connecting it to Google Plus, there's no way for comments to be left here or even a setting for me to correct that? So, after the holidays, I'll be re-vamping this blog into something new and hopefully exciting for 2015! On the bright side, my Google Plus page has over 4 million hits since I started it over 6 months ago! Got to love stats!!
     I've had one amazing year!! We gained a grand daughter and son in law, making our family a grand total of 19, 20 if you count Ruger, and we do!  My personal life has exploded in creative ways to express myself, and after decades of wishing, my writing gig came true! I'm enjoying writing about cooking and gardening in my local newspaper, I've got so many ideas to run with! My photography still keeps my eye on everything, it really has changed the way I see the world, insight is 20/20!
    Family and friends continue to bless our life, good health is something you must work at, in this age bracket and chasing those dreams can be reachable! I hope everyone has a memorable year to share, even the small things can turn into big blessings! Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Apple Peel Jelly


   I'm cooking up apples this morning, for pies and jelly, not to waste a thing! When it's all said and done, the cows will get a treat as well! Try this recipe next time you make a apple pie, add some cinnamon red hots and your jelly will have a sweet kick to it! Happy harvest!!!

Apple Peel Jelly

4 c firmly packed apple peels
5 c water
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
In covered stainless steel saucepan, bring peels and water to boil. Reduce heat: uncover; simmer 20 minutes. Strain through jelly bag of cheesecloth.(Do not squeeze or you'll have cloudy jelly). Measure juice (you should have about 2 cups); return to same saucepan. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook rapidly, uncovered, stirring, remove saucepan from heat. Pour immediately into 2 sterilized 6 oz jelly jars. skim off foam; cover; cool;store in refrigerator. Makes 2 6 oz. jars.

       If you'd like a pretty red jelly, just add some red food coloring to the jelly when you return the juice to the saucepan, but either way, it's a good, cheap and a extra treat from  your apple harvest.  It's good to be thrifty!  Enjoy!

We Survived the Wedding!


          I'm still tired, but she's wed and we've gained another son! It really is true, how a woman is at her most finest glory on her wedding day, and our Heather was just that! The whole family gathered and worked to make this day just perfect! We are truly blessed!!
    Families grow, adding outsiders that seem to fit right in, when you think about it, it's amazing isn't it! Time is more than a moment, it's a universe! All the fuss, projects and labor aided this new union to start off a lifetime of happiness! Aren't weddings special!
    Now, onto the holidays, a new web project and the winter season, which I do believe was meant for resting and planning! We may of survived the wedding, but I'm not ready to let up on life just yet! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Boiled Cider


                 Now that you've made your vanilla for the upcoming baking season, have you ever made boiled cider? This stuff will change your life! Also known as apple molasses, boiled cider has become a autumn tradition at my house, we love it on biscuits, pancakes, warm bread from the oven and it's a must drizzled over apple pie! Super easy to make too, start off with a small batch and once you get a feel for the process, you will be boiling a whole gallon down, like I did over the weekend. Patience is key, it does take a couple of hours to cook down and be sure to stir it now and then so it won't stick. Just put 8 cups apple cider in a stock pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it's boiled down to a thick sauce, once cooled store in the fridge where it will thicken up some more. A gallon of cider makes one quart of apple molasses, and a little does go a long way. It's the best thing since butter, I promise!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Time to Restock!

Homemade Vanilla

        
                    I'm cheating today and repeating a annual post because it's that time, time to make your own vanilla extract for the upcoming baking seasons! So, if your one of my loyal followers, this is just a gentle reminder for you, and for the rest of you, welcome to the "make your own" club, I promise once you make your own vanilla and bake with it, you won't go back to the imitation or store bought stuff! 

             This is super easy too, so don't stress but do have patience because the longer you allow this to steep, the richer your vanilla will be, that's why I like to start now or earlier so I have it ready, it's my secret ingredient in all my baked goods, but don't tell anyone, pinkie swear!

Homemade Vanilla Extract


There really are no recipes for this, ok, there are if you do a search but once you figure out your favorite ratio it's a piece of cake. The budget comes to mind here too, because your source for the vanilla beans might change your mind, but shop around. I get mine from a local health food store that sells them by the pound, but  since I only use 4, it only costs me $3.50. And I know, to some, that is alot for vanilla beans, but believe me when I tell you, it makes a HUGE difference in your baked goods. And if your like me who bakes for other's and gift giving, it all adds into it. And if you price the real vanilla, you will see this way is much cheaper and you'll have a big bottle that usually lasts me till the next fall, depending on how much I bake.

Ok, this part isn't my favorite so I usually have my hubby do it or I'll add to my groceries one week. You will need a big bottle of vodka (750 ml) or brandy, both work well, but I think the vodka is cheaper, here anyways. Now, just slice your beans down the middle length wise and you can either scrap out the seeds or leave them in. I leave them in adding to the flavor and if some gets included in a recipe, they will never know. Just place the split beans into the bottle of vodka or you can put both into a pretty decanter like I do.  Then, just shake it up daily for the next 2 months, keep in a dark place while the vanilla beans mix with the vodka to become vanilla extract.


       This makes a lovely gift for those bakers on your Christmas list too, wrapped in a pretty bottle or jar with a vintage printed label, tied off in a festive ribbon or bow!  This is one of those finer things in life, so spoil your taste buds and make your own in time for the best baking season ever!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Seasonal Shift


              It's finally October, but time won't be slowing down for me until the new year, but I'm not complaining! Our youngest is getting married Nov.1 so there is alot to do yet, plus our annual fall fun nite here at the homestead is next weekend, complete with pony rides this year! Personally, I'm growing and I've taken the advice of a few and I'm working on going  dot com with a website that will combine my newspaper articles, so that is exciting, frustrating too, I'm doing all by myself! I've always said I like a good challenge and this may be it! But, you know, if you don't take a risk, you may never know and I don't want to wonder or miss a opportunity to go global. I'll keep this blog and will try to get more posts up, I do have some re-runs coming soon, those seasonal posts that are always a good reminder, for me too! The shift has begun, in more ways than one but it's all, life is good and needs to be celebrated, every chance we get!!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Free to Fab!

          Blogging has been slow, taking a back seat to life and a new project, so sit back and check out my new prop for my photo shoots! Found on a freebie site on Facebook, I was first to snag this free chair, it's sturdy, somewhat clean and would look great in a field of flowers for a photo shoot, or in front of a barn. The ideas ran through my head as I headed to town to pick it up! After inspecting it closer, the bottom seat was iffy, so my handyman hubby made me a new one. I had 4 different fabrics in mind for the seat cover but went with the heaviest one, to hold up longer. Then the fun began finding the perfect trim, I had it all along in my stash, along with the fabric. All I had to buy was a small can of paint and stuffing, I spent less than $10 on it.
   And I love how it turned out! But then, another idea ran through my already crowded mind, have my handyman make another seat so I can change them out, he's in the process and probably hopes I don't find anymore freebies/projects for awhile! He's a good sport though and I couldn't do it all without him! By the way, yes I spray painted the back cushion, it was much easier and worked out great! I love a good freebie!!

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