Monday, August 30, 2010


I'm not quite ready yet to say goodbye to summer, end my summer glow, summer days at the pool, and summer nights in the hammock, but lets face it.....there are signs that the next season is lurking around the corner.

You see all these black cats come out about this time a year scouting the houses they want to spook, or live under for the fall/winter.

It's a sure sign when the clouds are more frequent, and the leaves change color.

And a sign that I need new paint cause we haven't used it since the last part of spring.

A dog standing in the window will surely give it away, because all he wants to do is be warm and snug in his bed.
I would have to say though, that apple crumble over the fire this past weekend while camping was a clear sign I was glad to see. My best friend had a secret up her sleeve with this one. I had no idea that crumble could be so easy, and so good.  Here's what I did at home.

Apple crumble

6 sweet dessert apples(pink lady is what I used)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tb buttershots(butterscotch schnapps) optional
2 packages of the Pepperidge Farm soft baked sugar cookies

Peel apples, and remove the ends and core. Slice about 1/4 inch thick and place in bowl.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy deep skillet on medium heat, add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until dissolved.
Add buttershots if you desire. It just makes it a little richer that's all. But careful it will spatter a little.
Pour apples carefully in pan and toss to coat. Keep the heat at medium and you should notice the jucies starting to come through. Stirring often for about 20 minutes or until nice and tender.

If you have a helper, now is a good time while your stirring to have them work on the really hard crumble.
Take the two bags of cookies, and put them in a bowl.
Crumble away!
Of course make sure there hands are washed, and don't let them lick there fingers.
When it looks like this, your good.
When your sauce looks thick,
and apples are tender, pour the crumble over the top. Press down slightly and cover with a lid. Pull off the heat and let set for 10 minutes.
Oh man, I'm telling you, this was so good. I know I'm cheating by not making my own crumble, but you know, sometimes we just need a little ease, a little sign that were doing the right thing.
I think I am!
I think I did!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Letting go & Holding on

I have a lot of childhood memories to ponder on, but camping has to be my number one favorite. My mom and dad put so much work and effort into making the experience memorable for us kids, (and kids meaning all four of us plus friends) giving a grand total of 8. My mom would cook great meals and clean everything up all with her makeup and hair looking just so. Dad always made sure coffee was brewing and the fire was started in the morning. All of us were taken care of, and nothing would ever change.

 Lots would change though as this weekend approached I anticipated all the new memories we would be making and trying to recreate old ones. Letting go and holding on became a whole new meaning. The're both really hard to do, but satisfying all in itself.

I woke up early to start the fire, make coffee, and remember in the quiet what it was like when my dad was here.

That lasted two seconds.
I guess I'm not the only early riser. These little munchkins were building there memories with hot coco in PJ's. My time was no longer mine. I gladly let go and held on to the silly stories and several potty trips later.

Remember my mom, and all the cooking she would do, makeup done, and hair just so. I'm guessing I looked closer to this as I clearly neglected the beauty department this weekend.
And fed my family mystery meat. Ugh!

 But who cares, I could still see through crusty eyes, let go of some nutritious habits, and hold on to what's so dear to my heart.

My family,

My friends,

Camping has changed, and letting go, well...... I just have to, its part of life, but holding onto to things unfolding in front of me, are treasures that can't be destroyed, or bought with any amount of money. Family, friendships, and sharing my faith is why i'm here.

Let go....hold on.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The waiting game

I was prepared to have my garden in by may, but with all the rain, it was to hard to plant in dirt clods. My husband tilled and tilled..... finally, by early July I was waiting no longer and planted.

Not to bad for a late start!

Still waiting though.
I love living out here. Sometimes I feel like little house on the prairie
Laura is that you?

Oh Charles! I think your tractors sexy!
Thankfully though I don't have to walk for miles to get fresh berries. Thorny little boogers these were, but delicious.

And the kids always seem to find something they enjoy.

As I wait for the harvest of my garden, I can enjoy every little thing my eyes can see, and appreciate what's been given to me now. Not looking far ahead, but living right now, right here.

I am blessed to have so many people share there garden treats with me, it's my privilege to share this with you.
(this is perfect for those of you with huge zucchini you don't know what to do with)

Harvest bread

3 eggs
1 3/4 sugar
1 cup mashed peaches(after mashing strain liquid)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup toasted almonds(or whatever nut or no nut you like)
1 cup crushed pineapple

Heat oven to 350

Beat eggs in a large bowl until light and foamy. Add mashed peaches, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. Gently mix, but well. In medium bowl add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nuts. Slowly mix dry ingredients with wet. (don't over mix) Add the crushed pineapple and fold in.

Pour equally into 2 1.5 qt loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 45 min or until golden and toothpick insert comes out clean. Let cool, no more waiting, and enjoy

Looks like he's waiting for water:|

Friday, August 20, 2010

Atza Pizza

As most of you know I love to cook. Especially when I get to do it for a panel of food critics I know will judge fairly.

They seem pretty pleased. You ask.....What are they eating? I say.....Atza Pizza!
I was inspired by this veggie pizza when my best friend and I had lunch at a Mexican grill. We ordered the roasted veggie pizza, and it was just Ok. I knew I could do better, so I tested my own, and it was more than Ok. Here's the recipe!

Grilled veggie Pizza

1 ball of wheat dough bought fresh( I got mine at LifeSource natural foods & its the best Iv'e had)
1 cup zucchini/yellow squash mixed
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup crimini mushrooms sliced
1 cup sliced yellow or red pepper
2 cups or 9 oz Fontina cheese(this is a great melting and very creamy cheese)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup of your favorite cherry tomatoes halved
For the sauce:
2 15 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato puree
1 cup onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tb fresh oregano chopped
handful of fresh parsley chopped
handful of fresh basil chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare your veggies.
Put them in a zip lock bag and drizzle with olive oil, dried oregano, and salt & pepper.

Shred cheese

Make sauce: Soften garlic and onion in large pan in a little olive oil, salt & pepper.

Add fresh, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper, petite tomatoes, tomato puree, and salt & pepper to taste

Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat, and let simmer about 20 min until thick. Add fresh basil.

While that's simmering, get grill going at a med/low heat, and add your veggies.

While those cook cut dough in half and roll out on a floured surface.

Place one of the rolled out pizza's drizzled with olive oil on grill. Note: make sure you watch the heat level so you don't burn the pizza.
When bubbly flip over and put your topping on starting with the sauce, then add cheese and veggies.

Top with the halved tomatoes. Remove from grill, slice, and serve. This was so fantastic that I had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day.

Hope you enjoy.