Winter Goal Results

As you may recall, I posted about my winter goals last fall/winter.
Then I posted an update to show how well I was doing and also to make myself get that butt in gear.
I did fairly well in most of the categories.

Read 10 books—Results

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (meh)

A Gift for a Rogue by Parks (ok)

Gypsy Rizka by Lloyd Alexander (TGR=Thumping Good Read)

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich (Jolly for the season)

Partial read: Drinking Water: A History by Salzman (Strong start of lore. Non-fiction fails to keep me after the first bits)

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (Awesome! History WELL written)
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Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (Death by Newberry)

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (If I read this as a child I would squeal)

Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (Reread. Awww, fiction :-)

The End of the Party: Three short stories and a poem by Lily White (E-book on Amazon. Pseudonym for author Winston Emerson—dark short stories, REALLY pulls reader in emotionally)

Bean Trees by Margaret Kingsolver (Most shocked by this that a popular novel is not only good, but damn good)

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle (Reread in progress. Such a lovely writer)

Five Embroidery Project—Results

Headband embroidered with flower/starbursts (Christmas gift).
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Headband embellished with puffy sheep (Christmas gift).

Bookmark with a music quote (SiL studying Music)

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Borderland Farms logo (for the business of the same name)

Kitsch Witch pattern

Five New Recipes—Results

Tapioca pudding (utter failure, I had the wrong type of pearls)

-Sausage and potato breakfast bake (amazing yet greasy–Keeps ya regular)

Golden brownies from scratch/blondies (good if you like that type of thing)

Nutella cookies

-Greek Lemon Chicken

Hasselback potatoes

Ginger Lemon shrimp

Nutella hot chocolate

Slow cooker baked apples

Spinach lasagna roll ups

-Strawberry jam icing (original recipe)

Orange Chicken (blah)

Garlic & balsamic vinegar crusted pork

Pineapple angel food cake

Crock Pot Ribs (twice now)

Boba Tea

Onigiri (twice now)

Belly dancing and Writing—Results
I didn’t make any progress with the belly dancing, but I will get to it. Maybe over the summer.
Although I didn’t finish my short story, I did do some writing over the early spring time. I wrote some listening guides to accompany some old radio show homeschool business.

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Day 337: Treats for Tybs {Recipe revealed!!}

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Checking on the dog treats baking away in the oven. This is a great recipe that I’ve been using for my dogs for about a year now.

They are fairly simple and all the ingredients are doggie safe. [I’m not a vet or pet nutritionist].

Doggie Treats (makes ~2 dozen)
1 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 TBSP oil
1/4 cup low sodium chicken/beef broth
1 egg
1/8 cup low or fat free milk

1 egg, beaten for egg wash
Oil for cookie sheet

Method
Whisk together flour and cornmeal then add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Roll out into floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes.
Grease cookie sheet and brush each cookie with egg wash.
Bake 350 for 20-30 minutes.
Allow to cool and freeze extra.

Day 336: Amish Starter

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Got some Amish Friendship Bread starter rolling and made a batch of muffins and an small loaf last night. I was pretty impressed with the flavor but I think I want to add cushaw (I have tons) or some other type of mix-ins.

I love kneading the starter in a bag every day. I think I like that better than actually eating the resulting bread/cakes. The gasses it builds up puffs out the bag each day. One day my bag rolled off the counter!

I understand that sourdough bread is made using basically the same process. I love, love, love sourdough so maybe I need to make a starter. It will definitely be worth the wait.

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Have you ever made friendship sweet bread or sourdough?

Day 297: Lasagna Roll Ups {Recipe Revealed!!}

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Another popular one on pinterest I have seen rolling around. Somehow I felt I exerted less effort with these than with a pan of spinach lasagna. Here’s the Pinterest link: Lasagna spinach roll ups.

Ingredients
1 lb. Lasagna noodles (big box)
15 oz. Ricotta (small tub)
1 cup Shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup Grated parmesan
1 large egg
10 oz. Frozen spinach (one block)
2.5 cups marinara sauce
To tastesalt and pepper
as needed non-stick spray

Kat’s additional ingredients:
Another 1/4 cup parm
1 quart of homemade sauce–I always like a lot of sauce and ours has mushrooms, onions and other tasty flavors.

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I’m have added and slimmed down the instructions on here. They are different than the website linked.

Step one: Bring to a boil water, dash of salt and dash of oil.
I boiled my noodles for 7-10 minutes instead of 12 minutes. As soon as they go limp and you can kinda roll them in the pot with a spoon, they’re ready.
Drain. I rinsed them with cold water and left them in the pot in cold/room temp water.

Step two: While the noodles are boiling, prepare the filling.
Thaw the package of frozen spinach and squeeze drain.
Combine well the spinach in a bowl with the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, freshly grated pepper and about 1/4 tsp of salt.

Step three: Spray casserole dish with non-stick. I didn’t turn on my oven but if you think you go really fast go ahead and preheat your oven to 400° F. I turned my oven about halfway through once I got the hang of portions and rolling.

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Step four: On a clean surface, lay out a few noodles at a time. Original recipe says a couple of tablespoons of filling per noodle. I put a little less than that. Don’t worry about measurments. Be concerned with the filling covering all of the noodle but being a very thin layer. Roll them up and place in the casserole dish.
Repeat until all of your filling is gone.
There will be some noodles left over, these are “back ups” for broken noodles and they made decent chicken food if they don’t make it in the casserole dish.

Step five: Pour the sauce over the rolled noodles making sure to cover everything.

Step six: Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Original recipe said the filling would do 14 noodles, I made 15. If you want to cut down on extra noodle waste then make 20 noodles instead of the whole box.
Much like lasagna, these are wonderful reheated.

Day 296: Strawberry Nutella Cookies

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Here are the nutella cookies I mad eon Nutella Day.
Cup of flour, cup of nutella, an egg and a dash of water.
Drop on greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

I made baby sandwiches out of mine using homemade strawberry jam. Kind of coma inducing but delicious nonetheless.

These cookies are kind of expensive but I have found off brand nutella in grocery stores. Saves a little cash.

Day 295: Slow Cooker Apples

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I made baked apples last week and even though they were good the recipe does need some fudging. This is the recipe that I more or less followed.

I added quick oats, tons more cinnamon, craisins and some chopped pecans I had on hand. As you can see in the photo, I forgot to add the cinnamon to the mixture, so I had to throw it on top of the apples.

The hubster and I felt that the quick oats (although tasty) sucked up the brown sugar and the sweetness from the apples. I tried to follow the quantities listed plus adding the extras and it barely filled four apples. Maybe I bored the centers too deep, but if you try the recipe I will advise you to make a little extra.

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We served our baked apples warm with some vanilla ice cream that we found in our deep freezer. It was a pretty good dessert, but I feel like our apples from last fall would have been much tastier. Maybe if we get more sweet apples from our trees I will try this recipe again.

Do you have a favorite baked apple recipe?
I have had them when they were baked with red hots candy. If you like cinnamon and sweetness then it would be a good choice for you.

Kat’s V-Day 2013

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This Valentine’s Day went pretty well. I was very pleased that Kit and I decided to stay at home. I hate the stress of going out for a fancy dinner only to find every restaurant over-packed with other noisy people. Besides our food was better. First, we got semi-dressed up and were witnesses at a friend’s wedding. We had lunch with the happy couple and then went trudging to do the V-day shopping we should have done days before.
I was surprised how many men were snatching flowers with a desperate look in their eyes and how many folk there were in the grocery store.

Samplecards

This is a hugely popular DIY gift on Pinterest. The project is called 52 Things I Love About You. On each card I wrote something that I love about Kit. I copied some from another crafter, but I found that the ones that meant more were the personal ones. My Kit rarely wears pants. He is a shorts-man. Because of that fact I wanted him to wear shorts for our wedding. The phrase “Two Wild Banshees” is one of those things I catch him saying all the time.

cardsWhen Kit looked through the cards on Vday, he was chuckling and smiling all the way through. Because I wrote on the face of the cards, they can still be played with normally.

wineSupper started the only way it could; with wine. I bought a bottle of the same wine we had for our wedding (a peach chardonnay) and threw some frozen peaches into it. Perfecto.

kabobsHonestly, the first thing I did was begin marinating the shrimp and steak. The shrimp was medium, fully-cooked and frozen. I used a lemon ginger marinade that I should have started the night before, but the hours run away from me. The marinade for 1 pound of shrimp is:

  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/8 onion, chopped
  • 5/8 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (I used cubed bouillon style cilantro)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (dash)

I cubed up a steak and threw it into a gallon bag and tried to follow this steak marinade recipe: (I didn’t have W-sauce, oops!)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • dash of pepper

As you can see in the photo above, I skewered quartered small sweet onions, whole mushrooms (baby portabellas were on sale), whole grape tomatoes, and fat slices of red and green bell peppers. I baked these kabobs on a cookie sheet (I recommend putting aluminum foil on the trays to help with cleanup). Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 450F, flip them over and bake an additional 7-8 minutes. Thanks for the oven kabobs recipe, Sarra!

cccakeI made coca-cola cake for dessert. I failed to check my stock of butter and only had enough to make the cake and not the glaze that went on top. What makes coca-cola cake special or different from a regular chocolate cake? I honestly have no clue. Google is not helping a sister out either. It was a good recipe that I have to try again when I can do the glaze as well. I honestly love my mom’s recipe for crazy cake. This was more moist…almost like a light brownie.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying our present that we gave to each other. Our Roku is so much better than jewelry I may never wear. Tons of Netflix TV shows at our fingertips. In one month, the Roku has already paid for itself several times over because we were frequent users of Redbox.