Thursday, February 26, 2009

Visiting The Amish

I live about 30 minutes from an Amish community, so this morning my son and I picked up my mother and drove out to the Amish store. We had a great time looking at all the fine woodworking, but my main goal was to find powdered cheddar cheese. I have been looking for it at a couple of grocery stores, but I am either too dumb to find it or they don't sell it. So I figured the Amish might have some, and I wasn't disappointed. I bought two containers. I plan on making homemade goldfish crackers with it. I have a great recipe that calls for shredded cheddar, but you need to put it through a food processor. I don't have a food processor so I tried using my blender and I wound up blowing up my blender. So hopefully powdered cheese will make life easier. Well I just couldn't leave with only cheese powder, so I stocked up on bread flour and yeast. Their pricing on these items was very good. I am trying my hand at bread making and hope to make some bagels soon too. I got some cornmeal for homemade English muffins. My goal is to not have to by these things at the store because they are loaded with preservatives, but to make my own and make them healthier. We'll see how it goes since time is always a precious commodity at my house. Well I also left with some specialty cheeses (habenaro/jalapeno, and sharp white cheddar). I also picked up a small package of homemade butter. I know not healthy but a little on warm homemade bread, heavenly. I picked up some fire balls and root beer barrels for my hubby since he has a bit of a cold. I thought they would soothe his throat. I also bought a special candy sprinkle that I had never been able to find before. It is like the ones on little Debbie cosmic brownies. My son loves those little Debbie brownies so I was hoping to recreate my own version of them. Hopefully he will eat them. Just another small step in trying to rid my house of high fructose corn syrup. Then on a whim I picked up a wasabi trail mix. Very good and spicy. These weren't things I really needed, but I am so excited about baking with all of them. I'll let you know how it goes.

Check It Out

Def Leppard has released their tour dates!!!! They will be on tour with Poison and Cheap Trick. What a line up!!!!! Check out their tour page for a list of dates and venues they are playing. I can't wait they are playing a venue near me a week before my birthday. What a present.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday

Heart Healthy Pancakes
On weekends I try to give the family a break from cereal for breakfast. This is one of my favorites to make. I use 2 cups of bisquick heartsmart baking mix, 1 and a 1/4 cups of fat free milk and the recipe calls for one egg giving these pancakes only 200 per 3 pancakes. I usually substitute 2 egg whites for the egg bringing the calorie count down to 190. We never eat a whole batch so I go ahead and cook up the extra pancakes and place them in freezer bags for a special quick breakfast for the kids mid week. I just pop them in the microwave for a little bit and they are good to go. I used my special heart pancake mold to make this batch, but normally I just make traditional round pancakes. We top them with a small amount of butter and a light pancake syrup. I love cooking good stuff for my family.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Abs Of Steel Labrador Style

I swear to goodness that no other dog in the world could do this except a labrador. They have stomachs that are made

of iron. They can eat the grossest greasiest nastiest foods and objects and come back feeling great and wanting more. If you remember back to January 9th the day my purse was stolen my day started with a missing dog leash, all that was left was a small piece and the clasp, see the bottom photo. Well my puppy pooped out a few small pieces but certainly not a lot. I watched her like a hawk for the next week for signs of a intestinal obstruction (Vomiting, not eating, painful belly) She was fine and I put the idea out of my head. Then on February 9th one full month later my other dog Styrker vomited up this oblong brown object. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be 14 inches of curled up leash, See the top photo. He then proceeded to eat dinner 15 minutes later like it was no big deal.Then about a week later he pooped out another 12 inch section of leash. and the next day pooped out a few small shredded pieces of leash. I still am not sure we have the entire leash yet. I hope so, but I'm on the look out. I can't believe he isn't dead or have some sore of peritonitis from rotting bowel loops. Who ever heard of keeping a leash in your intestinal tract for over a month. And who ever heard of swallowing such long pieces, I can't imagine how that felt going down. The whole time he never missed a meal, acted ill, or missed producing normal stool. Any other dog would be sick or dead. I am so lucky I have Mr. iron stomach. I can't imagine what I would have done if this had killed him, and it easily could have. So folks keep an eye on those mischievous labs you never know what they might eat.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Basketball and Cheerleading Week One

Well my hubby is out of town again. He was supposed to be gone for a week, but his trip got cut down to just 3 days Yeah! So today I was the single mom taking her 2 little ones to school functions. I was really nervous, because this year was our son's first year to play a sport. That meant he not only had to sit through an hour of his sister cheer leading, but he had to listen to a coach and follow directions for another hour. I know he really needs to do this, cause he starts school in the fall and he never goes anywhere but grandma's house. He recently started library school. My mom takes him, but he has had two really good days there and one not so good. So I was worried cause you really never know what you are going to get with him. Today was a great day!!!! We got there a little before 9am.We picked up his team shirt and got changed. He is number 9. He comment was wow now I'm part of the team. I sent him out on the floor with the other kids and my daughter and I perched on the bleachers to watch. My daughter was bored and mad that I wouldn't let her run the halls of the school with the other boys her age. Oh well mean mom strikes again. My son at first had a little trouble learning to go to the back of the line (this was his first time ever lining up), but he soon caught on. They practiced dribbling and shooting. He needs some work, but he is probably the youngest kid out there. His team range goes from age 5 to 1st grade. our son is 5 but not yet in kindergarten. So anyway they then had to sit down and listen the the head coach talk. Our son looked bored but at least he stayed seated. Then they got to play a mock game. At first he didn't get the running back and forth on the court thing, but again he picked it up pretty quickly. They also gave each kid a different colored armband. You were supposed to guard the child on the other team with the same colored armband as you. Our son never quite picked up on that. He did get frustrated because the same kid kept getting the ball. I saw him sulk his way down the court and he wound up sitting in the middle of the court next to the coach. The coach talked to him and next time down the court he had the ball. He was so happy. Then it was time to switch players and he had to sit on the sidelines. I figured this would go badly since he was having such a good time playing. But he sat quietly with the other kids. I was pleasantly surprised. He finished up with boy I wish I could do that again mom. He beamed when I told him he could come back next week.We spent the hour between his game and my daughters cheerleading in the car. They had food inside the gym, but it was expensive and was junk like chips and hotdogs. We went to the car and ate apples and goldfish. We called dad to update him. Then we headed back in. We picked up the cheerlaeading t-shirt and changed. We headed off to the hallway to watch the girls practice. They practiced for about 30 minutes then they went in and cheered for the halftime of the current basketball game. They were so cute. My little girl was front and center I was so proud. I know they are no were near being toghether on these cheers, but that isn't the point at this age it is just good fun. This is her second year cheering and she loves it. After the floor show they cheered on the sidelines for another 30 minutes. my son enjoyed watching the basketball game and was very good. I sure was proud of my two kids today. I can't wait till I am cheering them on at the high school level. Actually I can't wait till next week!!!! Now I just need to find a way to get my son to take off his basketball shirt so I can wash it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday

This was a food my husband or I had never tried before. So we got brave and guess what we really liked it. This is whole wheat couscous made by near east. It is great cause it cooks up so fast. Just boil it in water for 5 minutes fluff with a fork and you are ready to go. You can add anything your heart desires to this dish. This time I added a little olive oil and tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese. Yum! You can also buy couscous that is already flavored for you if you don't want to go to all the trouble of adding your own stuff. It's a great source of fiber and very good for you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Aquarium Pics

saying hi to the diver in the shark tank

petting the starfish
sponge bob's jellyfish

what's in there dad



climb on frog statues

sponge bob's jellyfish again

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Busy Week

Sorry I have been gone soooo long. MY week has been so crazy and hectic. I don't know what happened to Tuesday I was was busy mending rabbit cages and it took way longer than I expected., and the wire made my hands hurt. Wednesday I worked and was just plain tired when I got home, so I fixed dinner and visited with the kids a bit. I had just put them to bed when the electric went out. It stayed out till Thursday around 11 am. That put a major dent in my day. You see I had signed up to take popcorn to my little girls school for her valentines party the next day, and since I had to work the next day I needed to take it to the school today. So after the electric came back on my first priority was to make popcorn and fill the treat bags with it. I planned on taking it over later in the afternoon and picking her up from school. I then went out to assess the damage from the previous nights wind storm. We lost a couple shingles, it blew over one of my rabbit cages, and left the inside of my shelter logic barn in shambles. So I spent some time cleaning up, but I still have more to do. By the way I forgot to mention that my fridge was not working correctly either. So my husband called to say the repairman would be there between 2 and 5 pm. So there went my plans to pick up my little girl. So I packed up my son and dog and headed to the school with popcorn in tow. I then ran over to the next town to get some cash for the repairman. We still haven't received our new checks in the mail from when I lost my purse. So I got back home and saw my answering machine blinking. It was the school, my daughter had gone down the slide when it was wet and needed a change of pants. So I loaded my son and dog back up and took clothes over to her. I got back home just in time to meet the repairman. I am happy to report that $150 later my fridge works again. By this time it was time to fix dinner do baths feed etc. So I didn't make it to the computer. Friday I worked and just came home and crashed on the couch after dinner after being double booked all afternoon at the office. My hubby brought me home roses and my favorite candy bar. I hadn't had a candy bar since November and it was sooooo good! He practiced his guitar and I fell asleep on the couch while he played. Our valentine's day plans for today had to be cancelled due to sitter issues, so we decided that instead of buying the kids something we would go do something as a family. We headed out to the Newport Aquarium. But first I made heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. After the Aquarium we stopped at Bob Evans for lunch (I had coupons for the kids to eat free there). Then we went over to pet smart. We got out of buying over priced stuffed animals at the aquarium gift shop by telling the kids they could each pick out a fish to add to our aquarium at home. They were so excited to get their own fish. Our little girl got dalmatian mollies and our son got an algae eater. We also picked up a couple platys since our tank is a little low on fish right now. We came home and chilled out. Soon the kids will be off to bed and we are planning to grill some steak and crab stuffed clams, and we have chocolate and strawberries for dessert. I think it has been a perfect valentine's day. Tomorrow it is back to farm work I have a lot left to clean up outside after the wind storm. Hopefully next week I'll be able to get to the computer more often.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two nights all for me

It starts tonight at 8pm on USA Channel, The Westminster Kennel Club dog show. I have watched it religiously for the last 12 years. So for the next two nights I am parked in front of the T.V. and no one had better try to speak to me, especially Tuesday during the sporting group and best in show. I can't wait to see which Labrador will have his spot in the sporting group ring. I know enough to know who ever it is they don't even remotely have a shot at best in show. A lab has never been chosen, there are just too many other more flashy breeds. Labs are more wash and wear. But you can bet which ever lab makes it to the group ring will have a long line of people wanting puppies from them. If it is a male maybe even bumpers might want to meet him in a couple of years.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Labrador Girls

Kirkland's Quack Attack CGC


(Idlebrook Treasure Gem Cutter x Treasuresite Gemstome Emerald)

D.O.B. October 12, 2004

OFA Hips good/ elbows normal/ CERF annually

Quackers is currently our main breeding female. She has had two wonderful litters for us. We have kept one of her sons who will enter the breed ring in spring 2009. We purchased Quackers as an older puppy. She had been raised as a kennel only dog outside. It took her sometime to really bond with us, but now she is a huge part of the family. Sometimes her timidness will creep back up on her especially when there are lots of new people around, but we work hard to keep that in check. Earning her Canine Good Citizen title helped her immensely overcome a lot of her shyness. She is a wonderful breed specimen, and has a gentle loving temperament. She is very laid back and not at all hyper. We only breed her once every year and a half or so( every other heat season). She only has maybe one or two litters to go before she is retired to the couch. Quackers also has a few class placements, but didn't really enjoy the ring. We retired her from that to be at home where she loves to be. Quackers carries genes to produce all three colors of Labradors black, yellow, and chocolate. Her dreams for retirement are to enter the Therapy Dog International reading program. She is currently certified through TDI, but I currently do not have the time yet to travel to the schools with her. Another goal may also to be to earn her companion dog title, again we are waiting on more time in which to train. This girl has a very bright future in our kennel.

Quackers' Pedigree

Keepsake Beau Webster (c) (greatgrandsire)
Epoch's Edward of Bonaventure (c) (grandsire)
Banner's Apple Butter (greatgranddam)
Idlebrook Treasure Gem Cutter (b) (sire)
CH Glenray's Knight Of Bonaventure (b) (greatgrandsire)
Idlebrook Steal Magnolia (b) (granddam)
Idlebrook's Footloose WC (b) (greatgranddam)
Can CH Lakeview's Rushing River (c) (greatgrandsire)
Apple Blossom TS Gem Stone CGC TDI WC (b) (grandsire)
Apple Blossom Petal's In The Wind (greatgranddam)
Treasuresite Gemstone Emerald (c) (dam)
Can CH Stonedale's Panama Jack CGC TDI (greatgrandsire)
Treasuresite Masters Jewel (granddam)
Treasuresite Golden Nugget (greatgranddam)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday

Mushroom and Tortellini Soup
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium carrots diced
1 rib of celery diced
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tsp tomato paste
8 oz mixed wild mushrooms
4 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp thyme
3 cups tortellini
in pot combine oil carrots celery and garlic cook over medium heat till veggies are tender. Add tomato paste mushrooms broth thyme and 2 cups of water. bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook till tender about 4 minutes.
Makes 8 cups 120 calories per cup

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Healthier Superbowl

I know it's not Wednesday, but it is Superbowl Sunday, and the only thing as important as the big game is the food. This year I opted to find healthier ways to make some of the more common Superbowl foods. The first is my buffalo hot wing bites with a little blue cheese dressing and celery, and next my famous oven fries with malt vinegar. It tastes just like something from applebee's Anyway for the hot wing bites I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. I trimmed off any remaining fat from them used a meat tenderizer on them and then cut them into bite sized pieces. It put them in an airtight container and poured Frank's red hot sauce on them and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Then I placed them on a cookie sheet added a few bread crumbs on top for crunch factor and baked them for about 10 to 12 minutes at 450 degrees. I served them with real blue cheese dressing. I know not the healthiest form, but I have to let my husband splurge a little.
For the oven fries I cut up some Idaho potatoes and tossed them in some olive oil. I placed them on a cookie sheet and sprinkled them with a little sea salt. I baked them at 425 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. Then we poured malt vinegar over them. Yum!

This is a little different take on my husbands favorite party snack. They are called pickle snacks. I usually use large sandwich sized slices of pepperoni, cream cheese and pickle spears. However I have switched to using turkey pepperoni it is much healthier as far as pepperoni goes. I could only find them in the pizza sized pepperoni. So I spread a little low fat cream cheese on them and then used pickle slices on top. My hubby said they met his approval. Trust me he would let me know if they didn't.By the way my pickles are homemade from our garden , but I like valasic zesty pickles if using store bought ones.

Hopefully you had a good Superbowl Sunday and enjoyed rooting for your favorite team.