Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

Here’s two more that I will keep.

Dutch Oven Cooking is one I use with the Lodge.

I’ve made the Dutch oven potatoes , yumm. Also the Stuffed peppers but not with ham just rice.

I haven’t made any desserts yet simply because we don’t eat dessert as such.

So this one is a keeper.

Next is Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. This is also a keeper as I’ve made numerous things from it like the lentil soup and also the split pea soup. I don’t usually make any salads from cookbooks because we eat simple salads. but soup I like to make and casseroles. She has a good selection of soups and lots of southwestern dishes as she is in Santa Fe( well, or used to be).

This one makes the mark.

Picture perfect weather

It is so idyllic out this week. Mid-eighties to low and just beautiful. We even had our first little fire outside in the firepit last night. You know the season has changed when we do that. Plus I made the first Lodge dinner too. I made a vegetarian chili with the Jiffy cornbread on top. Quite yummy.

Today was a gym day and it was so-so. I didn’t feel too inspired to try too hard. We are also walking 4 xs a week now. But yesterday in the garden my foot went wrong and I felt the stress fracture tweak. I sure hope it’s nothing and only a pull on the area. I’m sick of this foot thing.

My son is back at Sac State this week. It’s a long commute in heavy traffic but he’s sticking it out. I’m proud of him. His internship is hoping to bring him on permanent at some point. What a thrill for me. I just want him to have a secure job.

Not much happening this week although my highlight will be meeting my friend Sara for a coffee. We go way back and she is just a wonderful person.:)

We had a bobcat come into the yard and get one of our chickens yesterday. I was sad. But the fact is they are around and we do let the girls out during the day to roam. But this was right below one of our gardens so close. Then on the community facebook, I read, there were 3 other bobcat/chicken encounters. Quite unusual.

Other than that, Friday will be a Costco trip as I think there are only a few more days of this sale catalog and I was hoping to get a new electric toothbrush. If not they do go on sale regularly. Plus I need organic flour and some other things.

This coming weekend we (meaning my husband) are going to be pulling off the deck on the studio (where Z lives) and replacing the whole thing. It’s falling apart so needs to get done. With a 3 day weekend that sounds good.

Dinner is something taco or Mexican like. I don’t have it figured out yet.




Ending 2017

Goodbye 2017.

It has been a great year for me. I know some people have not had a good year including my sister who has had some serious health issues. I guess it’s all about how you experience the year with health, finances, family, work,  and just life.

I’m so grateful my health has been good and I think that’s the main reason this has been such a good year. I think that makes all the difference. Even money or finances take a back seat to health issues. If you’re in relatively good health, I think you can handle whatever comes your way.

We had some great camping trips and work trips too. I always love going to Santa Barbara with B when he has to see the co-ops. It’s such a treat. This year I went up to the North Coast for the first time with him too. Eureka is a bit of a depressed area but the co-ops are amazing. so that was fun. Plus we camped at new Brighton twice and that was lovely especially going to Gayles Bakery. It’s the best!! Camping at Lake Tahoe always tops my list of the best things that have happened. This coming year we may do things a little different in regards to Tahoe. And I still haven’t booked any camping trips yet.

Learning how to Lodge cook was lots of fun and I ended up with 2 Lodge camping pots. It was such fun to cook a pizza in camp and other great recipes like chili topped with corn bread and breakfast casseroles.  Such fun!!

Our finances were good and we were frugal yet got quite a bit done around the house. We even bought a wood splitter on sale for B to use. It was bought with one of his bonuses so that made it even better. We still have some big chunks of tree to deal with and I’m hoping this coming year we can take 2 more Ponderosa pines down so there will be more to split. Food and groceries in general still seem to be our biggest variable expense so I’m working on looking at working on that. I do menu plan and plan my Costco trips but food is just so expensive. I’m tracking food, non-food and pet food and this may give me a better idea of where it’s going. We ended December with just under $1000 for food, nonfood, Christmas food, alcohol, and pet stuff. Most months I run @ 600- 700 so that’s high. Although the Costco trip had gifts in it so I could reduce the amount by that and then it’s maybe $800.

I continued to declutter right up to Christmas and as a matter of fact, have a small load in the back of my VW to go into the thrift store.  I would guess this year I’ve gotten rid of 2000 things. many just small but others not so small.  For next year, I’m going to look at each room with a critical eye and see what can be improved. That should be a fun project.

Well, I’m making a whole wheat bread in the Zojirushi on the dough cycle and then I’ll bake in a pan. It’s a king Arthur WW bread recipe and so far looks good. Then I just finished baking the butternut squash for soup tonight and made a batch of mashed potatoes to freeze for when I make a shepherds pie on Monday.

So I’m off to read a bit and decide if I’m going to town.

May Day

Our weather has been glorious. Yesterday was 80 and just somewhat breezy in the afternoon. Our house is on top of a hill so we usually always have a breeze of some sort. Today is much the same although I think I saw the temperature around 84. Very nice.

Last evening I used my new 10 ” Lodge( early mothers day gift), to make Taco meat. I adore Lodge camp cooking. All I did really is cook the organic ground beef in the Lodge and then had the condiments on the side. Organic pintos for the nonmeat eaters. I really like this size as it’s a little easier to handle and we don’t need 6 servings of something. So it’s perfect.

Other news…Friday I was laying down @ 2 pm and my daughter comes in and says I need to call 911 for our neighbor . Well, I jump off the bed and run out without shoes( not recommended) and there’s our neighbor covered in blood. His head is bleeding profusely and he has flaps of skin on his face. He walked over to our house( a miracle really). So he says he fell thru his plate glass door. Non-safety glass.  Not good. I’m running around trying to get a patio chair for him (remember to put shoes on in an emergency).  I get him settled and am yelling for my daughter to get towels. Finally, she does. WE live on a hill and at the bottom of the hill across the road is the fire station. So within 4 minutes the paramedics are there and took over. He’s okay. Lots of stitches. This situation makes me very upset not because of the blood etc but because this 92-year-old man who has 4 children, lives alone with no help. His house is disgustingly dirty and finally, after us prodding, he’s getting meals on wheels. But he should be in assisted living and his kids should be doing that for him. So the update is yesterday, I didn’t see him come out to walk his little dog. So not good. But I didn’t go over. Last night @ 8:30 I walked out our yard and looked in his and the house is pitch black. Not good. I sure hope he’s not dead over there. Then today which is Wednesday, B and I are leaving for the coast.  He’s working and I’m going along for the ride. So no one will be here to see if he comes out. My daughter works today so she won’t be home till 7pm. I don’t want to go over there this morning because of what I might find. Dilemma.

Well, B is headed to Eureka / Arcata to work and I’m going to go. It’s a long drive but should be nice. Of course, I hope we don’t come home to find our neighbors dead.