This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.
If you wish to leave comments on my blog you can do that by joining google if you do not have a blog yourself, please comment if you can I appreciate that.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cooking treats for today..........................

I didn't get a whole lot done but decided to make more treats for Tristen. He is very bad with his eating habits so I wanted to make some things I knew he would eat. I made the peanut butter treats the other day and they have almost gone already. Not that its Tristen eating them because I do ration them. Gerry is the one who won't stay out of them.
Today I made some granola bars.
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I asked Tristen if he liked them.
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These are a little more healthy than the peanut butter ones. I used oatmeal (instant) and Special K. To that I threw in golden raisins (sultana's)and walnuts, mini chocolate chips and held together with honey and brown sugar and butter melted. It's very easy to do. Better than the Karo syrup I used for the peanut butter ones.
4 cups of quick cook oats (instant)
2 cups of crispy rice (or special K) cereal
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of honey
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of choc chips.

To that basic recipe you can add anything you want. I like nuts and dried fruits for Tristen but mini choc chips or even marshmallows would be good. I am trying to get away from the sweets though. Still, in order to get him to eat the fruit and nuts we need a little enticement.
Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and in a sausepan melt the butter, sugar and honey let it bubble and boil 2 mins but keep stiring. When its done pour over cereal and stir to cover it all. Then turn it out onto the baking sheet that has foil or wax paper, spray it with Pam so that its easy release
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While the mix is hot sprinkle with chocolate chips and spread. When cool, cut into squares.
Then for our snacks I made the Oyster crackers. They are so good with soup or just as a snack with cheese.
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1/4 cup of Canola or vegetable oil.
1 pkg of Dry ranch dressing (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon of dry dill weed
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
salt to taste
one bag of oyster crackers
Mix all of those ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the crackers and cover them completely before turning onto a baking sheet. Bake 10 mins at 250
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Next I made the Fire crackers we all love.
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Before when I have made them I didn't bake them. I had them in a large bowl with a lid and turned them for several days. Well by toasting them like the Oyster crackers it makes it quicker. They are ready to eat right away.
Two sleeves of Saltines.
1 package of dry ranch dressing (3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes
2 dried teaspoons of parsley.
Mix everything together in a large bowl then put the crackers in and coat with the mix. Turn onto a baking sheet and toast for 10mins. Just till dried. 250 degrees. These are so good with cheese or chilli.
Tomorrow I am hoping to make bread and some of the bread sticks Tristen likes. Beats sitting around and is productive. I should get some sewing done but I don't want to waste the baking stuff I have so I want to use up as much as possible. It can always go in the freezer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Orange Chicken...................

I am trying new dishes using chicken. I am not fond of chicken so I am trying what I do like, Chinese chicken.
I looked for several on Pinterest. I love the flavours of the Chinese dishes. Mild spices and even hot dishes like curry, one of my all time favourites. I am wondering if turkey burger can be made as tasty as beef. We shall see. I have found that I can use my processor to mince turkey bacon and have it taste reasonable. So I have some high hopes. I do know at this point its not feasible to go meatless just yet.
Tonight I tried "Orange Chicken"
It is very easy and not a lot of products. Here is what you need.

Chicken breast(s)
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.
Orange marmalade
Soy sauce.
Two eggs
Cooking oil (use good vegetable oil it helps the flavour)
The rest will depend on how much you want to make. For two of us I used one large breast of chicken. Cut that into bite size pieces.
When that is done dip each piece in egg and cover in the seasoned flour. (it did not call for salt but I added it) set that aside.

In a large sause pan add One cup of BBQ sauce. 1 Cup of Marmalade. 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce. Put that on a low heat and simmer for 20 mins while preparing the chicken.

Set a pan on with a shallow amount of oil and heat the oil. When that is hot put in the coated chicken and cook until brown and the chicken is done.
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I did a little at a time, moved the almost done to one side and added more. I was able to do it all in the same oil. As they cooked I set aside on a plate with paper towels.
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Meanwhile make sure to stir the sauce and put on some white rice to cook.
When all the chicken is done the sauce will be ready.
Put the rice on your plates and throw the cooked chicken in the sauce to coat and serve.
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You can serve veggies with this, we didn't it was more than enough for two of us and I had chicken nuggets left over for snacks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Potato Soup..........

I have been looking through Pinterest for recipes. Remember no beef or pork for us now. So what to do with chicken and veggies. Well. I did find some great looking ideas for Chinese dishes to use with chicken. Today I decided I would try a Potato soup recipe that looked good.
The recipe can be found here
I printed that out and followed the instructions. I did not have any celary. I didn't have Cajun seasoning so used "Blackened" seasoning because it had the same ingredients in it. I was about to make my own but it would have made a jar full and I don't use it usually so.........went with the blackened seasoning.
These are the ingredients
6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice
Well as I can not have pork, I for the first time tried turkey bacon. It sounds horrible but was not that bad. I put it in the food processor and it now looks like Bacon bits that you buy in a jar. I froze what I didn't use. Now if it were regular bacon I would have cut it in chunks and loved that but, this gave it a good taste.
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It really did not taste as bad as I thought it would. I would not want to eat it for bacon/breakfast but that will go good in scrambled eggs in the mornings.
So having cut up (diced) the veggies and followed instructions it came out looking like this.
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Pretty good so far. I added a little more salt and seasoning and I think it tasted rather good. So I then let it simmer and made my Tortilla chips.
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Those are very easy. You cut up a bunch of wraps (I didn't have corn) and brush them lightly with olive oil and dust with sea salt. Bake at 350 till golden, about 10 to 12 minutes or more. My friend Donna does this with Pita pockets and I love those. I think next time I will use regular salt. Otherwise they are really good.
They went well with the soup.
I topped the soup with the bacon bits and grated cheese with the Tortillas on the side.
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It was very good and I will make that one again.
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I do love a good soup or stew in the winter months.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Here we go again..................

Yes, I took the poodles in for grooming. I have to find a cheaper way. I sent for some shears. I am hoping I can do a half way decent job myself at least once in awhile. I need to keep faces and bums clear. I will try on Bodi first as she has more flat surface (read plump) The shears were over 60 dollars but with tip I spend 100 for two poodles and I have 4. So maybe, just maybe I can cut back a bit on that expense. Time will tell. They just look so cute when they are done, but really, I like them fluffy.
Here is Bella looking fluffy. I just love their faces when they are fluffy and they are just sooooo soft
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Then the after shots. This is all of them, the two older ones were done last month so are a bit longer but they are all still quite tidy
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As you know by now, my favourite thrift store is next to Brenda's pet parlour so one might even say I would save a great deal more by cutting back on my grooming costs.
Yes, I could not resist even though I went the other day with Edna. I was glad I did because I found some cups and saucers.
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I also found teapots. I really do not have room for either any more but the plan is come Spring some will go into the garden.
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You wont believe it but I found another glass jar with a lid.
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And a crystal bowl. I do not need any more of those either. I just can't help it.
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So you see by grooming my own dogs I might save quite a bit of money. I will be sorting stuff out as soon as I can drum up some enthusiam for a yard sale in the Spring. I must let go of some of the stuff in storage. Seems like that's the best way of making a bit without having an Etsy shop. I do want to start that sometime soon. Sigh if only I could get stuff done.
This little gem is a candle holder but it will go out to stay with Alex, on the grave for the summer. Not sure what I will do with her exactly but I think she will look nice among the flowers
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Then the last thing is a little candle holder but I got it for the little crystals around the exterior.
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After a good wash they all came up sparkely.