Shamrock Update

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My shamrock plant has gone to town in the growing department!
The only other trials Shammy has had is my cat. Isabella was enjoying chewing on Shammy’s leaves. I think he prefers his home further away from the cat.
I also repotted my plant and he looks dashing in a light green pot.

Remember when my plant just barely survived? From the Ashes.

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Chicken Rosemary Pizza

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So the other night me and the hubbster tried making chicken and rosemary pizza. It was pretty good which means that next time it will be awesome.

First, we made the dough using our bread maker. We followed the recipe except for our addition of 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

The dough came put great and it rolled out like a dream. Only a tiny bit of flour dusting was kneaded. I also allowed the dried rosemary to soak in some olive oil for 20 minutes because I didn’t have fresh.
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I generously brushed the dough with the rosemary and olive oil. Then layered my cooked, shredded chicken and sliced fresh mushrooms. Lately, I added the Italian blend shredded cheese and popped it into the oven on 350° for 20 minutes.
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The final product speaks for itself.
However, we did decide on future changes:
1) Sauté mushrooms and onions for toppings.
2) Back off the Italian seasoning in the dough just a touch.
3) Use fresh rosemary and crush before putting on pizza.
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Shortcut Pumpkin Cheesecake {Recipe Revealed!!}

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I found plenty of from scratch pumpkin cheesecake recipes. I knew I could figure out a way to do this in a quick and dirty fashion. I left out the dirt in the recipe below.

Enter Kat’s Shortcut Pumpkin Cheesecake!

Supplies needed
• One box of no-bake instant cheesecake
• Butter & sugar as directed by box for crust
• One can of pure pumpkin (15 oz)
• Pumpkin pie spice to taste or cinnamon/nutmeg, ground cloves, and ginger to taste
• 2 TBSP brown sugar
• Dash or two of water to aid with smooth consistancy
• Pie plate or other container you want to be filled with amazing flavors

Method

Combine sugar, butter and graham cracker crust packet. Mold to pie plate.

In a medium sized bowl combine, cheesecake mix, pure pumpkin, brown sugar and spices. Add water a little bit at a time until you have a smooth mixture, about 1/4 cup.

Dump into prepared crust/pan and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Serve awesome.

Embroidery Project: Chef’s Apron

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My newest embroidery project will be rather involved and with have several steps.

For Xmas, my hubbster got me a plain white apron and I have been holding off because I haven’t had time to decorate as I wished. I am trying to make time now.

Step one:
Embroider Chef Clark on the left breast of the apron. It is a satin stitch which takes forever…or at least it feels that way.

Step two:
Tie dye the whole apron. I haven’t fully decided what colors. My current thoughts are to dye one apron string yellow and the other red. The body of the apron will be red and yellow with some splashes together to make some orange spots.
I kinda want to do the tiny star burst pattern. To create this effect I will need to put a rubber band around the cloth with a small stone on the underside of the cloth.

Step three:
Once the tie dyeing is done I will make the final decision about whether or not I want more things embroidered on my apron.

At this point in time, I want to add some vegetables and at least a whisk. Perhaps on the pockets. I am doing this as a last step because I may be so excited to wear my apron in the kitchen that I save further embellishments for later.

Cooking oil Spray DIY

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Call me a dweeb, I love some of the money/life saving tips that I keep finding on Pinterest. I use cooking spray like Pam in my kitchen all the time. It is more convenient that pouring oil in a pan and playing the tipping game until it is fully covered.

However, I don’t like paying the money for the cooking oil products. I also realize I am grtting more than just oil in my food from those pressurized cans.

Pinterest saves the day!
Okay, it was actually this blogger that had the great idea.
I found the idea on one of my favorite blogger’s site Jillee’s One Good Thing who was reblogging Natures Nuture‘s idea.

I have to admit that I did not do the recommended 1:5 parts of oil to water ratio. Rather, I did 1:2 or half and half. I was lazy, but it works just fine.

What is your favorite kitchen shortcut?

Spain Series: Cityscapes and Countrysides

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One of the great peaks we climbed in two weeks. The Alto de Perdon can be seen in the movie about the Camino. The view and cool breeze from the top was fantastic.

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Many of the large cities took pride in creating their own spin on the shell way marker. These in Estella were quite fun to walk beside, if a little overkill in frequency.
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When we began hiking we would look ahead and pick a hill we thought we would be climbing soon. Of course, there were a few hills I let out a sigh as we passed because I enjoyed the scenes and didn’t have to climb each one.

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There was a large recreational park we hiked through at the edge of Logroño and it was a breath of fresh air after so much city slogging. We passed many families fishing off the bridge, hiking, biking together, and having a good ole barbeque.
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I almost forgot to take a picture of these super freaky trees. Near as I can tell, they are sycamores, but they have been cut and trained so many ways they look a little sad and sparse. In some cities, they trained them to grow across the sidewalk into an arbor. Eerie considering how towering and majestic these big water loving trees can grow.
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This town square was packed the night before with children and adults. Only hikers and those who had to work were up before 9AM. Strangely quiet in the city, but it made breakfast at the cafe quite nice.
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There were several areas with a big shade tree and wide open, super green field. Every once in a while my friend and I would stop at a place of beauty like this and say “Holy cow! We’re in Spain!”
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Looking down at the little French border town of St Jean Pied de Port. From this perspective it looked like someone’s dollhouse collection.

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When we hiked through wine country we saw grapes as often as you’d see tobacco, corn and beans here in Kentucky.
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France had funny little streets. Old, old towns that were used more bt horses and walkers than the cars that zoom down them today. You had to jump on someone’s front stoop if two cars tried to pass each other.

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Wine country was fun. I was thankful for the wide open fields and the promise of good local wine at dinner each night.
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I must say we didn’t didn’t pass nearly so many of these olive trees nor almond trees (not pictured) but when we did they were always interesting. Olive trees are fairly squat and wide–likely trained that way as well. Almond trees looked similar to peach trees.