Trixie Belle At One

How it began:

How it’s going:

The incredible shrinking panda!

When You Know She Means Business

I was on the phone with a client, and what happens often, one of the dogs decides that’s the time to crunch or squeak. This time it was Trixie. I asked her to stop, which remarkably, she did. When I hung up, I found her waiting patiently.
“Can I squeak now?”
May be an image of dog and ball
I must have had the don’t mess with me face when I asked her to stop, LOL

Apple Week: Apple Cider Donut Holes

It’s the time of year when folks go out to orchards; spend the day filling bags with apples, going on hay rides, running through corn and bale mazes, before finishing up with cider and cider donuts. In honor of that, I decided to try and make my own. Baked, not fried.

I haven’t purchased cider in a while and was a little shocked at the cost – but I bought from a local orchard, so it was worth it. Excellent flavor.

These turned out pretty good – unless you’ve got donut tins, these are going to be a little lopsided, not perfectly round as the dough is more like muffin dough. They are much lighter than muffins, more like a good cake donut, and once you coat them in cinnamon and sugar, no one will notice their little flat bottoms.

This recipe made about 3 ½ dozen holes or 2 ½ dozen mini muffins.

Apple Cider Donut Holes

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups of apple cider (reduced to ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk (or 2 tbsp buttermilk powder and ½ cup water)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 small apple, shredded or 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

Topping:

  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Saucepan, large mixing bowl, Mini-muffin pan or donut pan (these usually make mini-donuts), two small bowls Continue reading

Soup Time! Instant Pot* Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is one of my favorites.  Quick, easy and full of goodness.  And using the electric pressure cooker makes an easy recipe even easier.

I was being overrun with tomatoes, and then our heatwave broke with a nice cold, rainy weekend. Perfect time to start some soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed**
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp orange  juice
  • 1 tbsp limejuice
  • ½ tsp ea. – Mexican oregano, basil, rosemary
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 large chopped green, yellow, or red pepper
  • 1 to 4 jalapenos chopped (depending on the heat you like)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 12 oz frozen sliced carrots
  • 8 oz frozen green beans
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 16 oz frozen sweet corn
  • 14 oz canned or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 flour small flour tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instant pot, Multi-Pot or *any electric pressure cooker

Continue reading

Summer Harvest Continues

How do I manage, every year, to grow jalapenos that break the Scoville scale? 🌶️🔥

Once again, I roasted the first batch to try and bring down the heat before I canned them. It wasn’t all that successful, but they do taste good.  Simple recipe of pureed jalapenos, apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), dash of salt. Great on burgers, in soups, or anywhere you’d use fresh or pickled jalapenos.

Again, I don’t do traditional canning. I do freezer canning.  I sterilize the freezer-safe canning jars, fill with the jalapeno relish, cover, but don’t tighten until cooled. Leave room in the jar for expansion and freeze for up to a year.

I was hoping the hail hadn’t damaged my tomatoes, but as they ripen, I’m seeing they all have bruising. Shouldn’t affect the ones I puree, but makes the sliced ones a little mushy.

I was on a kick to use up excess seeds I had lying around the pantry and decided I’d plant the corn I had stored in a plastic bag. Only about half germinated, and they grew little mini-stalks, which in turn produced mini-ears. They look edible, and I’ll cook one up and see. Otherwise, I’ll see if the ducks will eat them.

They are cute, I’ll say that.

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

After a very slow and late start, the tomatoes are coming in quickly. It looks like last night’s hail storm didn’t do as much damage I was worried it had and the tomato harvest will continue.

I have quite a few bags of frozen pureed tomatoes already put up and haven’t really made a dent.  My process is pretty simple, I wash the tomatoes, halve them to make sure there are no surprises inside, puree them, add to a zip bag, and freeze. They are good for up to a year, although I’ve never been lucky enough to get enough to last season to season. Maybe this will be the year. 🤞

And last night, I diced up a couple of the Park Whoppers and added them to pasta, with some parmesan, dried oregano, and basil. There would have been fresh basil, but between the downpour, the hail, and the wind, I did without. LOL

It was yummy. Nothing beats fresh tomatoes.


 

Meet Jasper McGee

I’ve been keeping a bit of a secret..

This is Jasper, he is six years old. At the time he was relinquished, he was only around 100 lbs.

When I picked him up, his foster mom had him on his way up to 107 lbs.  There is a lot to tell you about this sweet boy, but understand, he was not expected. We just seemed to be a perfect fit for him, even if I was very reluctant. He needs a pack, he clearly couldn’t be an only dog, a ranch house seems best and someone who has handled a big, strong Dane before were all needed, and well, that’s us. I took a couple of weeks to give it serious thought while his foster mom evaluated him and made sure he was gaining weight and didn’t have any serious health or behavior problems.

We had a vet visit today, and he’s a chubby 120 lbs after just 10 days here and is getting quite the booty.

Continue reading

Summer of the Tall Flowers

I, too, have an unexpectedly tall flower. Friends gave me a seedling, and I watched it grow taller and taller all summer. It finally bloomed about a week ago and then promptly grew another 2 feet.  And bloomed again.

 

I cannot remember what it is called, but the bees and hummers sure like it.