Saturday, September 30, 2006

Salty Oats

Early this afternoon I was watching FoodTV's, Recipe for Success and there was a program about a lady who started a cookie business in Washington, DC selling oatmeal cookies topped with salt. She called her cookies "Salty Oats".

I love the salty/sweet combo and thought I would google and see if there was a similar recipe out there that I could try. I hit paydirt on the first site and found this recipe. It's not her recipe, but the recipe of someone attempting to recreate the cookie.

They were very easy to make. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of rice flour, but I just used all-purpose and it worked just fine.

I've never had the real "Salty Oats", so I can't say if these taste the same. All I can say is that these are very good.

If you make them, don't skimp on the salt on the top. I did not lightly sprinkle. I dumped some Kosher salt on a plate and pressed the cookie top into the salt. Then I pressed it down with the bottom of a measuring cup. Like this

After a little more searching, I found the website where you can purchase the real thing. The cost? $14.95 + shipping for 6 cookies. WOW! One batch made 18 large cookies for me. If you want to buy them you can find the site from FoodTV.

It's Scarecrow Season

so I had to bring out a few for my dining room.

I usually put scarecrows outside, but this year I'm not in the mood to drag them out. It's such a pain when I have to bring them back in after it's cold and they are snow covered.

I do love scarecrows. They are such charming little fellows.

For my place settings, I added some leaves under a glass apple plate to tie in with the leaves on the chandlier.
I was going to go out and get real leaves, but it's raining so these will have to do.

It's a good thing I started dumping plants yesterday as the weather is not cooperating today.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Big Dump Has Begun

I spent about a half an hour after work dumping pots of flowers. I dumped three wheelbarrow loads and that was all I felt like doing. No need to knock myself out, I can finish this weekend.

I noticed a little color in the wooded area and grabbed my camera and went for a walk. I love taking pics of the old barn in the fall and winter.

Same barn, but taken from this side there is not much color. I took the picture through the chain of this old rusted swing set.

What's everyone doing this weekend?

I am planning to stay home the whole weekend and finish cleaning up the deck and doing a few household chores. I might putter around with a new quilt block or maybe read one of the new books I brought home from the library Tuesday. No real plans. I intend to do whatever I feel like at the moment. I hope I feel like getting a lot of work done, but if not..........oh will wait for me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ever Hear of Boiled Meatballs?

I must admit I was pretty skeptical when I first started reading about them on the once-a-month cooking boards way back in my beginning 'puter days.

One day while cooking meatloaf I had a lot of extra burger and decided to give them a try.
I've been making them ever since because they are so handy to have in the freezer.

All you do is season your burger any way you like it (I like a lot of onion in mine also), toss in a couple of eggs and add a few bread crumbs to help hold the meat spheres together, then make any size meatball you like.

Drop them one by one into boiling water. Just like this.

Boil lightly for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
You can see that most of the fat boils right on out.
Remove to a baking pan that will fit in your freezer.
Freeze a couple of hours (until firm) then remove to a plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer. The nice thing about freezing them singly is that you can remove just a few at a time.

You can just drop them as is into spaghetti sauce, or you can brown them first in a little oil. I like to brown them a bit if I have the time because they do look and taste better. Sometimes I put them in a sweet/sour sauce over rice or a mushroom soup sauce over noodles.

If you are home all day and have a lot of time to make dinner, then you probably would not be too interested in this. But if, like me, you have very little time to cook, but still enjoy homemade meals, this might be a handy timesaver that you've never thought of.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Almost Bedtime for the Gardens

I haven't taken a garden walk for at least 5 days. So as energyless as I am tonight, I forced myself to grab the camera and go for a stroll.
Boy, what a difference since last week! Almost all of the black-eyed Susans are gone now.

There is little left to the coleus in the old milk can.

The globe thistle has turned completely brown.

As has the .....the......the......
I hate when this happens.....I can't remember the name....coarse foliage....rudbeckia........purple flower.............well, honestly, it's a common flower......

Whew, it was tought gettting the old brain to pull that one out.

The deck looks even worse.

I'd say the wall planters are finished.

I have SO MUCH work ahead of me getting all this cleaned up and put away.
I hope I get some energy by this weekend.

Fall Decorating

I've been trying to get inspired to do some fall decorating and have been surfing for ideas.

I don't have a window box, but if I did, this is what I would like it to look like for fall:,22116,845348,00.html

Isn't that a simple beautiful arrangement?

I thought this was a cute centerpiece
directions to make it are here.

And how cute is this one with the pinecones, pumpkins and a bird’s nest?
I found it here.

Here are a couple of cute wreaths that I found here.

So, what was I inspired to make?
I just can't summon the energy to do anything but look.

Has anyone else done any fall crafting this year?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tony & Tina's Wedding

I am sorry I disappeared without saying anything. I just got caught up in real life and had no time to post before I left town immediately after work on Friday.

DH and I spent the weekend at a hotel/casino where we attended an event, called, "Tony & Tina's Wedding."

Hailing from a small rural town, I was not even aware that this production is well known. I took this from their website:


Since opening February 14th, 1988 in New York City this unique theatrical experience has won over the hearts of thousands of people, in over 100 cities worldwide, including Japan, Australia and many European cities.

At Tony n' Tina's Wedding, audience members actually play the roles of Tony n' Tina's family and/or friends. These are roles we have all been practicing, every time we go to a real wedding. This universal familiarity with the union of two individuals from 2 distinct families, regardless as to where you are from, will take you back and forth between fantasy and reality throughout the entire evening. For the ultimate experience... eat, drink, dance, converse and allow yourself to be caught up in the activities. This all inclusive evening of entertainment will be something you and your friends will be talking about for many years to come.

The wedding party included a very pregnant gum-cracking bridesmaid (you may have to enlarge to see)

We all attended the wedding ceremony and then the reception. They had a DJ and dance.
It was just like a real wedding reception. Among the cast of characters there was a gay brother, the bride's ex-boyfriend (who was just released from prison ), a young buxom girlfriend of the father (and, as it turned out, of the preacher, too), and a dimwitted groomsman. All of their interactions made for a lot of laughs during the evening.

The only disappointment was the meal. Maybe I should say lack of a meal.

The servers came along with trays of what we all thought were the appetizers, like this quiche.

After we ate the quiche (which didn't take long. As you can see it's a mini quiche), they came with some little ham sandwiches. After that deviled eggs. Then pigs-in-the-blanket. Then little meatballs (which I did not eat because they were not very good).

And then......................nothing. That was it.

I actually roared with laughter throughout the whole meal as the big burly men at my table kept waiting for the main entree. I had pretty much figured out that the appetizers were the meal, but they were hopeful right to the end that real food was still coming.

It was funnier than the play itself.

The only part of the meal I actually found palatable was this champagne.

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend getaway.

We both won a nice hunk of cash at the slot machines, too.

We left early this morning (to make sure we held on to the aforementioned cash) for the three hour trip home. We stopped at our favorite rest stop with the Mackinac Bridge view. It was a cold miserable rainy morning, but their flowers still made for a nice shot.

Now I am going to plop down on the sofa and finish reading the book I started Friday on the drive up . It's a Diane Mott Davidson light murder mystery novel.

She has written eleven of these mysteries and I've read them all. This one is called Double Shot. All of her novel names are a play on catering/food terms, as the main character, Goldy, is a caterer who is always finding dead bodies.

I have about two hours of reading to do before I finish.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Yesterday I saw my First

Snake in the Garden.

You would think with the rocks I have, that I would see these little garden helpers all the time. I am glad I don't because I don't like them very much.

Here's another look at the Sedum 'Frosty Morn' which is doing-------nothing-------still nothing. You see what I meant when I said it's only real attraction is its foliage? The flower is just too blah to do anything. Just look how it compares to the Autumn Joy.

Maybe it's just my 'Frosty Morns'. Perhaps they know that I favor AJ and, as the least loved child, they don't put out much effort for me.
Does anyone have one that has beautiful blooms?

I have three different colored asters. You can see two of them here.

The hot pink in the front will be moved. I was waiting to see the color.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Barbie Dolls

Yesterday Pea has an interesting post about her childhood Barbie doll. She was asking others to post pictures of their childhood doll.

Well, I can't find any pics of my childhood doll, but I have some on file of the many dolls I created.

Yes, I was once a Babs collector. I have many stashed away in boxes.

But these are the cheap Barbie dolls I would buy to recreate. I redid the hair by using straws cut into tiny little rollers and giving Babs a home "perm". It was brutal. You rolled her hair on these little straws and used straight pins to hold them on. Then you dipped dear old Babs' head into boiling water to set the curls. You let her sit over night to dry, removed the straws and redid her hair style. I loved to do the upsweeps.

I also made all of the clothing, including the jewelry, except for the Ken groom. My MIL made that one. Both my mother and my MIL collected the dolls at the same time I did.

It was a fun hobby. I even did internet "swaps". The Easter set below was made for someone on the internet. The little doll inside the blue bunny was one I received from my swap partner. The blue bunny is made from a washcloth.

Thanks, Pea, for causing me to remember all of these and spend the time to find the pictures to post.

It's Amazing

that inside this

is this.

I'm really enjoying these 'Red Sun' sunflowers.

The Sedum Autumn Joy is really beginning to darken

Monday, September 18, 2006

How Does such a Scruffy Plant Look So Good in Pictures?

I've written before (last fall) about asters and how scruffy their foliage is. I have removed tons of asters because of this major defect.

And yet, look how photogentic they are!

I really must stop removing them. They are indispensible this time of the year when there is not much color in the garden.

I must remember that next summer when I get the itch to pitch. Posted by Picasa

Removing More Sedum Album ‘Coral Carpet’.

Will I ever be finished removing this stuff? If you remember I removed wheelbarrow loads from the front yard this spring. Now I am attacking the rockwall area. The sedum has embedded itself amongst the ajuga and creeping phlox and is tough to remove without getting rid of the latter. There is so much of it here that you cannot even see the rocks around the perimeter.

I dug it all out all the way back to the shovel standing up in back. I painstakingly removed the ajuga and threw it in a bucket so I could replant it.

I LOVE ajuga. It and Sedum Autumn Joy are the two easiest and yet most colorful flowers in my garden. If you are not familiar with ajuga blooms, here it is in its full glory.

I added top soil where I needed it and went to grab my bucket of ajuga to plant it.

What in the world????

How did all those green pinecones get mixed in with my ajuga?

That is why DH does not help me in the garden. He thought my bucket of ajuga was garbage and proceeded to dump all of his waste in it.

It's a good thing he has so many other fine qualities.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

For City Slickers Who Have Never Seen a Skunk Hole

If you live in the country like me, you've probably seen plenty of these. My back yard is full of them today.

Skunks dig for grubs and leave these little holes all over the place.

DH gets very upset over these. He has already fixed them all.

I, on the other hand, am glad the skunk got the grub before it could eat my other plants.

It's all relative............isn't it?

As long as I'm posting again today, I may as well show you the same view as below, but with the asters opened....just 'cause they look so pretty.

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here today. It must be in the 80's. I have just showered after working about 3 hours in the rock garden (I'll show you what I did another time).

Right now I am pulling the 'Green Acres' gown out of storage and going out to the deck to enjoy the beautiful afternoon.

Sunday morning Garden Views

I went outside at just the right time for taking photos. The lighting was great. I took 116 pictures and almost all of them turned out nice. How rare is that?
Here's one taken through the driftwood in the woodland area. It's a new angle for me and I like it enough to show all of you.

Here I am standing about 10 feet to the left front of the above picture. The New England asters are closed because there is no sun out yet. They make a nice frame for the rockwall garden.
More asters on the other side almost ready to open.

This big pine tree provides much needed shade during the summer months. The glider is placed right under it.

Through the dead lilies

I've planted a few burning bushes in the rock garden for fall color. This one seems to be doing the job quite nicely.

Oh, and DH just informed me a skunk has taken up residence directly under my deck. No wonder the yard was full of skunk holes this morning.
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