Saturday, May 31, 2008

saturday peek 05/25-31 . .2008

The week is ending with a sunny day.
All of these flowers except the lupins are from my own garden.
At times summer seems short here in Canada. . .
but during the summer season,
the grass is lush and the flowers are vibrant.
The sheets are in the wash, the floors will get a bit of a scrubbing and then. . .
it will be outdoors for me.
Have a wonderful weekend my friends,
see you Monday.
Next week I'll show you how to make pizza dough.

Friday, May 30, 2008

the annual count

Our yard has nearly peaked in its natural beauty for the year.
The grass is lush. .
the trees have all leafed out. .
the clematis is twisting up the pole and being quite purposeful about it.
The roses are fully in bud. .
Sometimes it's the anticipation of what's coming that is nearly as wonderful as the present.
Every year. . .I promise that I'll divide my pink peony.
Every year it stays intact. . .
I did the stem count this year. . .
stems. . .not buds .. .
I remember the year that they were opening too quickly.
Our eldest son was marrying mid June.
The bride invisioned a garland of peonies down the aisle.
I cut my peony stems still golf ball sized buds .. .
and put them in the cooler in the barn.
That year the anticipation for mid June was the most delightful ever.

Since that year. . .

after the marriage occured. . .
I have never doubted our daughter by love's

giftedness to see and envision beauty.

The peony bush in full bloom doesn't begin to compare
with the garland it was coaxed to become.

Oh .. .do be sure to celebrate that day with me. .
mid June.

So, how many stems do you think I have this year?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

looking up

I never have enough pictures of the objects against the sky.
Through my lens . . .everything is beautiful. . .
even the weeds.
Ah, such hope. . .
There are the cultivated flowers . . .
splendid blossoms extravagant and exquisite to be sure. . .
and then there are the weeds who faithfully show up each season. .
right on time.


Every blossom. . .for a reason
When I'm on the ground looking up. . .
they are all perfect.
If you are driving through the countryside. .
and you see a woman .. .
scooting across the field. .
on her tummy. .
Wave. . .it'll be me.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

sticky buns .. .with pecans

I have several different sweet dough recipes.

This is a good starter. . .
it is small and therefore the dough is easily manageable.
It makes one 9X13 pan.
It can be baked the same day .. .
or refrigerated in the pan ready to bake the next morning.
Run to the kitchen. . .
I'll wait.
In a cereal bowl .. .
put 1 level tablespoon of regular yeast.
Add 1/2 cup of warm water ..
and
1 teaspoon of sugar.


In a small measuring cup.. .
put 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup of real butter

Put it in the microwave for one minute.
(the butter may not be completely melted .. .that is fine)

Separate 3 farm fresh eggs.
Set the whites aside for a low fat omelet. . . (for tomorrow's breakfast. . . for obvious reasons)

Put the egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

in a large bowl.



Stir together until blended.
Add the yeast.

Add 2 cups of flour.
Stir together.
Add one more cup of flour and continue to stir with a wooden spoon.

You will need one more cup of flour adding it slowly.

Use your hands if you don't have a dough machine.

Knead the dough on a well floured surface adding a bit of flour at a time.

Don't use more than 4 cups of flour.
The dough will still be a bit sticky.
That is okay.


The dough will still look sticky like this. . .
but it should hold its shape softly.

Let it sit a few minutes if it is very sticky. .

Put a wee bit more flour onto the board and give it a few more turns.


Put it into a greased bowl.

Cover it with plastic wrap.

Let it sit in a warm place until doubled.


Make the filling.
Melt. . 1/4 cup of butter
Add .. .1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar
Combine. . set aside until the dough is rolled out.

In a small saucepan. . .
put the ingredients that will form the topping.
1 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of butter
4 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
Heat and stir until melted.
Pour mixture into a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Cover with about 2 cups of chopped pecans.



Roll out the dough into a rectangle. .
The dough should not be more than 1/4 inch deep.
The rectangle should measure about 12" X 18".
Spread the filling on the dough.

Roll the dough up jelly roll style.
Roll up the long side.
Cut the dough into 15 slices.


Place the rolls on top of the topping.
(why on earth are my rolls standing up now?)




Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Don't make it stick to the sides, or the rolls will run out of rising room.
Now. . at this point. .
you could refrigerate it for up to 8 hours. . .
I just allowed mine to double . .
about 1 hour.
They should look like this.
Preheat your oven to 350.



Bake until golden brown. .
About 30 - 35 minutes.
Now. . if you don't want the sticky topping . . . simply eliminate it. .
they taste awesome either way. .
still a nice small recipe.

As soon as they come out of the oven,
carefully flip the pan over on some parchment paper.
Lift the pan off the rolls.

Voila. .
call over your friends for a treat. . .
or. .
call in your sweetheart from the barn .. .
( if he hasn't already shown up)
woo hoo


Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a penny for your thoughts

Good morning. . .
Yesterday it was mentioned to me that since I had changed my blog to the sidebar with the updates of all your blogs. ..
well. . . . .
the upload of my blog was sluggish .. .
I removed them all and resorted back to my old ways.
Is it quicker?
I really liked having the glance at the side of what was new at your place. . .
One possibility is to do the updates on blogs that well .. .
actually update .. . .
daily ..
the rest. . . well.....
let me know when you do.
Have a great day,
I'm doing some baking today .. .
my beloved has a hankering for cinnamon buns. . .
maybe I'll take some pictures for a tutorial coming soon to you.

Monday, May 26, 2008

high tea at the B&B

Yesterday afternoon my beloved and I ran up to the B&B to help with high tea. . . .
for seventy three. .
(I'm not sure of the exact number but the poet in me comes out)
Ladies from a local church were having their annual bridal/baby shower for all the gals in their church who are getting married and also for those having babies.
Dorothy, her two sisters and I put on a spread completely made from scratch. .
(no commercial boxes were opened for the event)
Remember Corinne's decadent brownies from last week?
The brownies bake up wonderfully in tiny muffin tins. .
just a bite or two.
We set the treats up buffet style.


Tiny little scones with fresh strawberry jam and devonshire cream.

Meanwhile the menfolk. . .(our little friend Ethan. . his dad Todd and my beloved)
were on car parking patrol .. .



My beloved suggested that we go home later and make use of the warm weather.
He thought we might run past the grocer and pick up a few things for the grill.

Worst case scenario .. .. turn on the heat a bit. . .
with the new patio furnace.

The sun was looking to set wonderfully in the west .. .


As I was putting a few yummy things together in the kitchen I heard some
groaning. . .

He said. . "come look outside"
I said .. . "oh no. . . .is the wind picking up? .. .it looks so beautiful out."
He said. . "come look out east"

The storm was coming in quickly.


The heater was turned on. .. .


The grilling commenced. . .


. .. and consumed indoors. .

70's music channel blarring in the background. .
us playing . . . .who sang that?. . .
. . "brown eyed girl" .. . my song. . .

~~~~~~~~


And that my friends. . .was our Sunday afternoon/evening.

Have a wonderful day my friends. .
first thing on the agenda. . is a walk .. .
those high tea treats . . . .shoot.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

saturday peek 05/18-24 . .2008

Saturdays are my day to clean and tidy the bungalow.
I wash the sheets .. . change the linens. .
and bake up some tasty morsel.
I've decided to add one more thing to my saturdays.
This is the first of a peek into my week collage.
Have a wonderful day my friends .. .
see you Monday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

the red and green show

After seeing that Judy and Marg were hosting a JD green theme, I couldn't resist

posting one of my favorite JD pictures too.

The lil' farm hand had been very busy helping.


He cleaned the steering wheel .. . .

I was quite happy to learn yesterday on the news that children that have "healthy" amounts of dirt and germs in their system young have fewer allergy issues.


We are delighted to help in this way.

Any reason to bring the babies over works for me.


The yard is vibrant with color.

Red is currently one of my favorite colors. .
Green goes so well with red.. .

Yesterday we enjoyed some chocolate covered strawberries up at the B&B.

It was quite fun for me to note that I had literally dozens of pictures to post for my red and green show today....
all taken within the last few weeks.

I've posted just three. . . .



Whatever you do today. .

wherever you go ..

be a blessing. .

to some

one.



Have a wonderful day my friends.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

bloggy tutorial .. collage header


So, from time to time I think to myself. . I wonder if anyone would like a collage header.

Sometimes I like a simple picture but even then I prefer to crop it so that it is not as deep.
So. . just in case you didn't know here is how I do it.

(I'm sure there is another way .. . .)

First of all I'm using Picasso for this.

Take a variety of pictures or use any pictures from any folder you have.


At the bottom of the screen....see where it says collage?

Don't press that yet. .

just see where it is.

Go through all your pictures and select about 10 ..

if you don't select enough your collage may end up being a 3 across instead of 4.

As you select each picture press hold ..

it will keep it in a separate folder.

If you want to deselect a picture just highlight that one and press clear.

Now press Collage.

It will ask you which collage you want.

you want the picture grid.



Um. . . create. . .

See? Isn't that pretty?



Now you will need to crop it ..
on the left hand side is a toolbar. .
Look for Crop. .
and press it.



Now, with your cursor you will outline the section you most prefer. .
sometimes this drives me nuts and I select and reselect a dozen times.



It should look something like this, with the rest of the collage slightly shaded.




Apply.



Now you need to save it.

So right click on the collage.



Select Save.




Not done yet. .

now you need to press Locate ..

and you need to


Click on File on Disk.




On the screen it will tell you which collage number it is. .

This is important if you are me. .

I have made several collages.

Pay attention where it is saved.

Mine end up at the very end of all my pictures in Picasso.


Next ..

Go into your dashboard and into Page elements

and go to the header box and click on edit.



Remove the current image..
If your template is narrow like mine make sure that you have the option shrink to size selected,
otherwise it will be too wide for your template.
If your template is the stretch version. Do make sure you have unselected the shrink to size button.
I'll be retrieving this one later. . I've put up a collage today for your amusement.


Click Browse to find the collage.



Hah .. there it is ..

always gives me a wee bit of satisfaction if it is where I think it is. .


Highlight the collage you want by clicking on it.




It will automatically save it to your header.

If you don't want a collage . . .just a narrower picture. . . .

You can also use this same crop, save and file under disk if you want your regular picture cropped as I had done with the tulip picture that Iwas replacing in the above photos.


Ah. . not quite done.

Now you just need to spiff up the color of your blog title.

With the collage it may be tricky since the colors may not show. .

So, just pop into Fonts and Colors to change it.
Voila. . .
Now. . if you do make a nice new collage header. . please leave a comment on this post so that I can have a peek at it. .
I'll bring a packet of gold star stickers along.
Have a wonderful day my friends.