Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grey days of autumn...

I think I am a rarity. I actually love cloudy grey days. The many grey hues of the sky and the fantastic cloud-scapes. Today I have enjoyed the wind, rain and cloudy skies. But I confess, I'm all ready for the first snowfall. Being a Seattle kid by birth, I still see snow as a rare and magical occurrence, even though I've been trapped in waist high drifts =P

I'm thinking that since this is an El Nina year, it will be a wet year no matter what. I'm hoping for enough snow for a white Christmas, but not so much snow that we are over our heads in it.

We drive a bug most of the year, but have an old beater Subaru to handle the white stuff when things get REAL snowy...the bug is not a serious winter car when you live out of town on a dirt and gravel inroad and have to often plough your way out to get out in the morning...but we love our bug! so we keep the old Sube for winter.

OOOOOO!!!!!!!! I WANT a snowy Christmas darnnit! I'm crossing my fingers and hope, hope, hoping!!!

Okay...enough winter dreamin'
Have a good Halloween and be safe out there!
Have fun and light a jack o' lantern for me!

Til next time

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A new recipe for the holidays

Some how or other, this boozy, festive trifle came to be called a Tipsy Hedgehog . I hope that it is some thing that some one here will enjoy!
I am one of those odd birds that cooks by feel and not recipes, so I cobbled together recipes from books and on line sources to give you proper recipes to work with... Enjoy after the kids are in bed ;)

Tipsy Hedgehog

Pound Cake
2 cups butter
2 cups  sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time while beating. After the third egg has been beaten in well, add 1 cup flour and stir well. Add  another 2 eggs and the last cups of flour and mix well. Add remaining eggs, vanilla and other spices as desired.
3. Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Tipsy Pudding

2 cups hot milk
1/2 cup  sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
2 or 3 tablespoons of Sherry or Bourbon
8 ounces container heavy cream, whipped

Heat milk in top of double boiler. Do not allow to boil or it will taste scorched. Add sugar with salt to beaten eggs. Stir well. Stir flour with small amount of hot milk until smooth. Add egg mixture to hot milk. Place over gently boiling water. Stir in flour mixture. Stir often until mixture begins to thicken. It is done when the custard coats a spoon. Cool.

Add Sherry/Bourbon and stir well. Whip cream until it holds peaks. Gently stir cream into custard. Alternate with layers of pound cake in bite-size pieces, beginning with cake and ending with custard. Chill at least before serving. Decorate with sliced almonds and serve.

If you really want to get festive, you can add sherry or bourbon to the pound cake too as you alternate layers! LOL! don't do this if you plan on driving please =)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Old age and decreptitude are catching up on me

I was going to post a lot more recipes, but my back or more particularly, my sciatic is killing me and it's been hard to sit at the computer...more recipes and some crafty things coming up soon...I hope =)

So once I hit 50 , my back decided to chicken out on me and hurt all the time. I'm not amused...trying to walk and tone up, get in shape and lose some of this pudge!

Hey, all have a good Monday and thanks for the comments!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our favorite potato cakes

Drew's Potato cakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 3 cups drained grated raw potatoes 

In a large bowl, grate potatoes and onion.
In another bowl mix eggs, flour and spices, add to potatoes and mix well
Heat skillet to medium high with plenty of oil/shortening. Make potatoes cakes about the size of an apple in diameter. Flatten with spatula and cook until golden brown. Drain on a plate covered with paper towels.  Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt if you like. We have also enjoyed them with hot pepper jelly. Anyway tater recipe #1

P.S. This is the best I can come up with from memory...I'll ask him when he gets home if this is right...I know he doesn't add the flour, but I do  =) hope I remembered it all right. Happy cookin'!

Happy Halloween from me and my kitty

An early Happy Halloween from me and my kitty Kiki! Don't her eyes look spooky? =)

Too many bills - too little income this month, so, I'm cleaning out the fridge and pantry making soup and bread to freeze this coming weekend. How are you all getting by in this economy?
Potatoes! That is going to be my main stay until payday. Good thing I love them!

I'll post some "tater" recipes once I feel like writing them all up =P

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Well, I'm back!

I have had the worst health problems and they are making it hard to craft and blog.But I'm a tough ol' bird and will keep trying.

I had a long summer and am more than glad for autumn! Thinking of moving, but that is still sometime in the future. Today was and still is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
I love watching the landlord's horses grazing the pastures, tails swishing lazily and utterly content. I could learn a lot from the horses =)

I will be organizing my home and life and starting my MaryJane's Farm , chapter, Palouse Prairie Girls again. I believe in the power of this dear lady's ways and wisdom and hope to have a lovely group of farmgirls to chat and craft with soon!

Much joy to all of you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fields by full moon light

I love to take photos of nature in all of its beauty. While I can't claim any great skill at photography, I think this one came out rather well.

My little manufactured home lies in a bend of the Paradise Creek and on spring and summer nights I love to go out and sit on the porch and listen to the creek bubble and chuckle its way along and the frog song in the nearby springs.

I'm in a poetic mood, happy, a bit wistful and full of life.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Dream Chickens LOL!

I love the Wyandotte breed, they are such good layers and so good in the cold. My last hens were killed by a very sneaky raccoon. As soon as I have my new RACCOON PROOF coop done, I'm buying a bunch of these sweet little ladies again. I love my rooster, but I miss my hens.

I borrowed the photo from Wiki, I hope that they don't mind 0-O

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My dream coop!

This is the coop that I'm going to build for my chickens. 'coon proof, cozy and cute!

I'm hoping to get chickens and maybe ducks soon!

I love this song =)

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

Listen to the bass it's the one at the bottom
Where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus
Moans and groans in the big tattoo
And the old cow just goes "moo"
The dogs and the cats they take up the middle
Where the honey bee hums and the cricket fiddles
The donkey brays and the pony neighs
And the old grey badger sighs oh

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

Listen to the top with the little birds singing
And the melodies and the high notes ringing
And the hoot-owls cries over everything
And the blackbird disagrees
Singing in the night-time, singing in the day
And the little duck quacks and he's on his way
And the otter hasn't got much to say
And the porcupine talks to himself

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

It's a simple song, a little one sung everywhere
By the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear
The dopey alligator and the hawk above
The sly old weasel and the turtle-dove

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

All god's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sunshine carrot cake and cream cheese pinapple frosting

Sunshine carrot cake

6 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
2 cup golden raisins
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour   
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon powdered ginger

In a large bowl, combine golden raisins,grated carrots and brown sugar. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease and dust with flour two 10 inch cake pans.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light . Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Mix well.
Add the egg mixture and and mix until all of the dry ingredients are combined.
Finally stir in the carrot mixture
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Serve with whipped cream or pineapple-cream cheese frosting.

Pineapple-Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz.  cream cheese, warmed slightly
12 tbsp. butter, warmed slightly
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple, very well drained
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until creamy. Blend in pineapple and vanilla.  Ice cake lavishly with frosting and enjoy!

You'll come out with frosting left, unless you really get baroque with it ;) but the frosting is yummy on cookies, apple slices and many other love laugh and eat cake!

Carrot cakes and crazy cat ladies =)

First off I was awakened this morning at an ungodly hour by a cat fight under my bedroom window...must be a new stray. *BIG SIGH* Its springtime here in Moscow and time for students to dump their pets that they got last autumn or winter when they find out that they can't take the poor animal home for the summer... I'm a crazy cat lady and don't get me started on animal abuse and abandonment!

So I'm going to end up tracking down the new cat(s), getting them fixed and releasing them =( But it's better then being awash in litter after litter of unwanted wild kittens.

The dogs that show up all end up at the shelter if I can't find them a home.

Ok, better get me off this topic ;)

Sunday afternoon we Palouse Prairie Girls are meeting to discuss projects, laugh, eat a bunch of goodies and get on a caffeine jag!

I'm baking lemon shortbread and my semi famous Sunshine carrot cake, which is an ordinary carrot cake recipe with the addition of pineapple and golden raisins. It is very yummy and fattening!

This evening I'm making Chicken-Penne primavera for dinner, which is also fattening.... Mayhaps I should spend Saturday walking off all of this good eatin' =P

I'm nearly done with my red gingham apron that I'm hand sewing, it's turning out really nice and will be my next photo subject I think.
I'll be finishing it up this evening =)

Friends are like stars, they make your life sparkle!

"til next time 

Love and light

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crazy farmgirl garden ideas

Hello, I'm going through bouts of insomnia lately, hence some of my odd ideas =P
On a rather tight budget this year so far, so I've been thinking that maybe I could use a truck load of straw bales to make raised beds with instead of more spendy wood...yeah, I know that they'll compost, but maybe it's worth a try.
Here in north Idaho on the Palouse, we go through a serious dry spell from Late June through to September sometimes, so I'm also thinking of mulches to keep the soil from drying out.

I've got gardening on the brain right now and I'm supposed to be spring cleaning!
I  picked up a couple of Adirondack chairs last autumn, I'm going to have to re-paint them as right now they are an eye shocking blue lol!

 So my garden and sitting area beneath the aspens is coming along in my head. I just need to get enough sleep to have some energy...losing 50 pounds wouldn't hurt either...

It's going to be a wonderful summer for projects!

I need a nap ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The cat who owns me =)

This is my beautiful rescue cat Tia, she and I sit at the computer  and sometimes she helps me type lol!

I rescue animals that get dumped off out here on my country road. I found her and her mama and siblings living in an old culvert...some of the kittens didn't make it, it was the biggest litter I've ever seen and mama cat was just about a skeleton.

It took me days and a lot of tuna fish to catch all of them, Tia was the fiercest and I had to go get a couple of shots due to all of the claw and bite holes in my hands. We carried he into the bedroom and shut the door to give her time to cool down...I must have been  meant to have this kitten, because when we opened the door to check on her a little later, she was all purrs and curiosity LOL! and she has been that way ever since 

Well I got homes for the rest and kept mama cat Kiki and little bronze Tia, who is my constant companion. I have never met a more well adjusted and loving cat. she is there no matter what and I am daily glad that I found her. The white fur behind her head belongs to another one of my rescues, Bandit, but he has his own story =)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A rooster and his farmgirl

I was out weeding the very early but persistent weeds , being followed around by Rexie until it started to hail on me...I admit, I'm not for being bonked on the head while I'm gardening. Rex dashed under the plum tree and continued to forage while I went and got a hat.

I Hope, hope, hope that I can get taters and peas in soon. It's still getting down in the 20s at night, so I am thinking I should wait. Still a novice gardener here. But I'm determined to fight the weeds, and get a good garden out of the year.

Even with the unpredictable weather I enjoy starting to plan out the garden, with Rexes help of course! I'm doing mound beds and going to mulch heavily between the mounds to keep the weeds down ( HAH!)

We are planting about 50% heirloom seeds this year!
If this posts seems a bit disjointed, I'm typing around a cat who insists that she needs to be in my lap =)


My rescue grape vine survived!!!!

I rescue everything. I am the softest hearted little crazy Irish woman in north Idaho...sometimes its cats, dogs and other critters. In this case it was an unwanted pair of grape vines. They came out of the ground so mangled last year that I was sure we were rescuing in vain.

But lookie here!!!! it's impossible to get a great photo because of the wind, but the danged thing survived and is putting out leaves. I couldn't be more pleased!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When in doubt, cook!

I've been aimless all day, I don't like being aimless and restless, so I made up this recipe and yum! It turned out real well!
I love to cook, but am still learning to write up recipes =)
Someday I'm going to write a cook book!

Chicken-Eggplant Parmesan

1 good sized egg plant
2 large chicken breasts, diced
1 onion diced
1 large garlic crushed
Butter enough to saute with
A generous handfull of sliced mushrooms
1/2 a sweet pepper, diced
I can of diced Italian style tomatos
1'4cup olive oil
Seasoning to taste
1 cup shreaded parmesan cheese

Place chicken breasts, diced onion, and garlic in a skillet with enough butter to saute with. Saute on medium heat until tender.
Wash and dry eggplant , slice in half length wise, scoop out the  eggplant and dice the filling. place in large bowl, dice the pepper and add to eggplant filling. Add the can of tomatos and  olive oil andstir. season as plaease you. mix in the chicken mixture with 2/3 of  the cheese. Preheat oven to 350. Fill eggplant shells with the mixture. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and bake for 45 minutes.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Willows. Early Spring. Idaho. My Back yard

This is my yard and beyond is my landlord's farm. I just rent my tiny piece of farm and dream of one day owning my own. Anyway...THIS year, I'm tilling up the weedy meadow grass and planting what will hopefully be a very productive garden. My seeds have been ordered and plants will be picked up from the farmers market this spring...Now I just need to buy enough cattle fencing to keep the neighbour's goats and sheep out when they inevitably get loose 0-O
They thrashed through the fence last year and ate all of my rugosa roses! wicked beasties! The farm has year round springs, so even if the well runs low, I can still haul water to my plants.  I'm starting on the Palouse Prairie Girls Garden journal project and will post updates as we go =)

 Still having frost and even a tiny bit of wet snow...looking forward to the scent of newly tilled earth and the rich scents of spring! It's almost garden time!

Tell me about your garden and where you live =)


Plans and projects, Oh my!

Do you ever have that burst of crazy energy , when you find a cachet of new project and links to even MORE projects that you are suddenly into? The I've-never-tried-this-before kind of excitement? I'm there! Not only am I having to adapt to the often too dry inner northwest way of waterwise gardening (This coming from a former Seattle girl!) I'm trying to get into crochet, tatting, sewing and quilting, backyard farming, candle making, and soooooo much more! I want to try EVERYTHING...
Perhaps its because I'm on the cusp on a half century of living and I realise how much there still is to learn...late mid-life crisis? Maybe I'm just going dotty =)

Hee-hee, I've started a farmgirl chapter, I'm craft mad and want to totally redecorate the house and have a world class garden.

...And I want chickens, turkeys and a horse too =)

So to all of you who are wondering where to go in your dream! Live out loud, be true to yourself and regret nothing.

Love and light

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some times I need focus

I have a farmgirls chapter meeting coming up and I'm trying to focus on that, and all I want to do is stitch and work in the yard! sometimes I'm just not in focus  *sigh* , How do you all keep on track? I'm dazzled and
 amazed at the talent that you all share. KEEP IT UP GIRLS!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Roo Rex

Yes I have a pet yard rooster...he eats the cat food and follows me around like a dog! I rescued him from being chicken and dumplins'

And yes those are my dandelions LOL! I had a busted ankle and couldn't mow and pull the darned things I wonder if anyone else has a pet rooster?

Wanted to share...I think he is real purty!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dreaming garden dreams

As the days grow longer and the birds herald springs arrival, my mind turns to the earth and garden. We are often having heavy frosts still, but my seed orders are in and I'm going through my seeds from the previous year and mentally turning the soil, smelling the good earthy smell of it and seeing my garden in full bloom.

This year I'll be buying plants from the farmer's market because I don't have a great way to grow seedlings in the house.
The meddlesome cats are into everything and chomp up my seedlings, lay in the sun on top of the poor seedlings and generally wreak havoc with my attempts at growing anything in the house GGGGRRRRRR!


Anyway for all of you that love the earth and enjoy the art of the garden, spring is almost here! Soon we will be tilling and planting and weeding and watering!

Is it too obvious that I love gardening? lol!

Love and light to all of you

Friday, March 12, 2010

Protecting the beautiful hills of the Palouse

support for our beautiful Prairie

While I support small farms and love to buy local produce, I am also concerned about our beautiful native prairie and am a native plant lover at heart. So I'm thinking of joining the Palouse Prairie Foundation. they seem to be one of the good guys and are concerned and knowledgeable about what the Palouse needs.  I hope to plant a lot of native plants in my gardens. Becoming more aware myself of what grows here makes me both environmentally and and hopefully, a better gardener.

After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I am more and more convinced to protect our local land..keeping a balance between cultivation and native wild lands. People are becoming more and more aware of the need to live a simpler life, to eat locally and support local farmers and CSA's. there is the now famous slow food movement and a lot of people trying to keep alive and working, the family owned farms vs the big Agro Corp farms and that makes me happy...Know your food. Support your local farms. Love your land

Ok...maybe I'm a granola, but it works for me to take both better care of my local environment and my body.....AGGG but I still love McDonalds french fries. lol! I'm learning...Step by step to do the right thing for me.

Chat with ya'll later =)

At first...I was homesick

My name is Annika, and I'm a country girl that didn't know it =)
Coming from Seattle to Moscow Idaho, was a big change! I was lonely and homesick for all of the trees. It took me a while to appreciate the beauty of the Palouse. Now, though I miss my Seattle green, I love the open rolling hills of my home. The beauty that each season brings. I live on a friends farm and have about an acre to play around with to myself, There are three wild plum trees and I've planted catmint, rugosa roses and several has taken me a while to understand the micro climate. Last year we even had a brief snow in June! But, I'm confident that once I get the hang of low water gardening, I will have a fantastic garden!
I had some lovely chickens until the raccoons found them and figured out how to get to them. THIS year, I'm building a new coop and making it 'coon proof! Then I'll be getting some more laying hens. I loved my wyandottes and will be getting more of them. I have a rooster that I rescued, don't know which breed he is, but his name is T-rex, or Rexie roo, and he is something of a character and more of a pet than a farm animal. I take in rescue cats and right now need to find homes for the tamer ones.
Now, I'm embarking on a learn-to-craft-you-dummy! movement and want to learn crochet,sewing, candle making, hand spinning, tatting, quilting, more on self-sufficiency and living a simpler life.

Welcome to my Blog!