Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles - Little Pillows of Heavenly Yumminess!

Soft on the inside, and crispy spicy sweet on the outside, these cookies are a delightful Autumn treat. I found the recipe by accident, online. I did make a couple of slight changes because I wanted to and like a bit different spice combination. I would love to take credit for these, but it goes to The Recipe Girl, okay, except for my changes. Mine turned out a little fluffier than hers did, but hey, these look like the old fashioned fluffy Snickerdoodles I'm used to so I love them. She says her yield is 3 dozen, but I got 6. I hope you give them a try!

 Yield 6 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg

1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice

1. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time just until incorporated.
3. Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix rolling sugar ingredients in a small bowl.
5. When ready roll about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll the balls in the spice sugar and make sure they're coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. If desired, flatten slightly with two fingers.
6. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chipotle Cranberry Marmalade

I created some delicious pepper jelly a couple of years ago, no, I was inspired by a recipe I found in Matthew Mead's new holiday publication, well, okay I had some cranberries I needed out of the freezer, and I was craving pepper jelly, and I really wanted to make something delicious with the mandarins we had but couldn't eat before they went bad. So it was all those reasons that I created this new recipe, but couldn't settle on how to start this. There you have it, I have all the reasons in the opening sentence. Lol. This is great on turkey sandwiches, or cream cheese and crackers, there are a lot of ways you could use this.
Here's the recipe:

Chipotle Cranberry Marmalade

10 mandarins  - peel all but three and thinly slice. About 3 cups
2 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. canning salt
4 T. instant pectin
3 whole cloves
2 allspice berries
5 cups sugar
7-8 half pint canning jars, sterilized

In a large pot combine fruit, onion, salt and vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes and then crush with potato masher. You should have about 4 cups pulp and juice combined. Sprinkle the pectin over the pulp in the pan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil hard stirring constantly, for one minute. Take off of the heat and pour into sterilized jars. Water bath process for 15 minutes. Yield 7-8 half pints

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chipotle Cream Cheese & Spinach Tortilla Appetizers

The other night I had a Stansbury Art & Literary Society Open House. We had been gone all weekend, so after work I had to scramble to find something to create an appetizer with. This is while I was trying to finish projects for the open house as I had a commission piece to finish. I poked around the fridge, and spied some orange marmalade and Dijon mustard. Hmmm I thought, that would be a good combo in something, but what? Easy is what I needed, and something quick. I ran to the store and picked up tortillas and cream cheese. Back home I found a couple of cooked slices of bacon from breakfast, so I had my sweet, salty, savory bases covered, which is my favorite combo for just about any food. These were a big hit with everyone. The topper was that I got another commission for a sunflower painting!

Chipotle Cream Cheese & Spinach Tortilla Appetizers 

1  package green spinach and herb appetizers
1  8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
3 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade (peach or apricot would work nicely as well)
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 green onions, minced finely
1/4 t. Chipotle chili powder
2-3 slices bacon, cooked til crisp, crumbled

In a mixing bowl whip all ingredients except tortillas together. Divide mixture between 3 tortillas, spread to the edges. Roll up each rather tightly, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. You should get about 8 to 10 slices, with end pieces to snack on. Yield 24 - 30 appetizers


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Autumn In Wallowa County

It was hard to leave, but we will be back!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chasing Rainbows ... a Fun Photo Shoot

 We went to a ward picnic the other day. Rain had been drizzling or pelting down most of the morning and when we got back from Costco there were rivers of water rushing down our street. Hubby and the bishop said a prayer that things would clear for the party and sure enough, we had sunshine over the area behind this chapel until the party was over. I took my mother-in-law home early as she was cold and is a tiny frail thing, but not before I chased some rainbow shots. The above one was taken as we were leaving the parking lot.
 We ventured down a country road. Do you see a pot of gold out there in the field?
 A little closer view.
 The mountains that watch over our valley on the east side.....
somewhere in this glorious shot are the mountains to the west. This is God stuff.... I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Maple Apple Spinach Salad

This is a spectacular salad for dinner or potlucks.

I've taken it many times, and each time I get multiple requests for the recipe. It has all the flavors of Autumn, crisp juicy apples, sweet maple syrup, pecans or walnuts and savory bacon.

Not to take full credit for this, I found a version of this recipe on a tag on a bottle of Maple syrup. I changed the amount of syrup from 1 cup to 1/3, which is much more to everyone's liking. The dressing has just enough sweet, sour, salty to make the salad a real winner.

Maple Glazed Apple Salad        Serves 6

1/3 c. pure maple syrup
4 small apples cored and chunked
8 c. washed spinach or mix with some romaine
3 T. Cider vinegar
1 T. Dijon or hot and sweet mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T bacon grease
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. cubed sharp cheddar cheese
½ c. chopped pecans or walnuts
½ t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Broil or fry bacon until crisp. Whisk vinegar, remaining syrup, mustard, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Combine greens, nuts and cheese in large bowl. Add apple slices and then pour over salad . Toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Acorns and Maple Leaves

I don't know about you, but I am so ready for the cooler weather! I've had Fall colors and clothing on my mind, anticipating pulling out my favorite Autumn tops and sweaters. I've been stealing time between work and church duties to create some Autumn themed folk art and jewelry. I've created a  pair of lovely earrings and a one of a kind necklace, all designed to dress up your Autumn wardrobe. You can find more pieces like these in my Simply Sheryl's etsy shop

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Autumn Leaves and Owl Pendant Necklace

I am getting excited for Autumn! I love the glass leaves I found, they are a perfect match for this owl pendant. Will be listing this soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bathroom Remodel- Mixing the Old With the New For a Refreshing Update

 Not sure what is going on with blogger this morning, but after almost an hour I've gotten the photos up, whew! So, this is what our bathroom looked like initially, although there was trim around the window and the bath cabinet had a door. You can see we had no shower, just a hand held. Believe it or not, the tub is a claw foot, minus the feet, that someone surrounded with plywood. Gross looking, I know.
Here is the rest of the bathroom, minus the corner cabinet. Tiny, with a small vanity and no real storage space. 
 Here is the bathroom partly stripped. No sheet rock, it originally had Masonite paneling.

Here is the new bathroom, my view from the living room. 

 I didn't really plan the bird theme over the toilet, it just happened.... lol. Our new toilet has a much smaller tank than the old one, but it has great flush power and is a true water saver. The towel rack is a vintage glass rod one with chrome brackets that I painted metallic bronze.

 A vintage Avon bird dish is perfect for matches, and the White Shoulders powder box is a q-tip holder.
 Due to lack of towel rack space I put vintage style hooks on the back of the door.
 Okay, I wondered where this photo went. This is a painting I did, seemed to fit, and completes the bird theme. Swans are perfect for a bathroom. Reminds me of the pink and white swan tile grandma had in her bathroom.
 Another view of the corner. The plate I've had for years. It turned out to be a nice compliment to the gold towels and bronze fixtures.
 I am loving the bronze faucet with the two lever handles! Much easier to manipulate than the twist on style, or the pull out style. The color is perfect, and we don't have to worry about water spots. See my pedestal soap dish? One of my re-dos that works great for keeping the soap mess off the counter top. So nice to have a counter top to get messy if I want to. ;-)
 The blue and white tin is my makeup holder, and the vintage light globe is my cotton ball dispenser.

 Cottonwood harvested in Imnaha, gorgeous canyon country here in Wallowa County. I was one of the lucky ones that my contractor shared this gorgeous wood with.
 A nice deep tub, with a pretty and functional fiberglass surround replaced the old claw foot. As much as I wanted to use the old tub, I have to admit, this is very nice! Anyone want to buy an old cast iron tub?  You can't really see it, but we got a very nice shower head that has a pull out center for spraying those hard to reach places. I'm so loving that! It will also be a life saver as we get older.

That little cabinet door is a toilet paper/magazine cubby. Works for me as we don't have much elbow room and it makes great storage. Here and there you may have caught a glimpse of the Hickory wood flooring. Gorgeous!
I wondered where the light photo went, sheesh blogger is giving me fits today! My vanity light with milk glass covers, it matches all the vintage pieces so wonderfully! I think I have the only one left in the state.... lol. All in all we are so thrilled with the way this remodel turned out. It's better than I had envisioned, thanks to the touches that my contractor added, such as the nice crown molding, and the Cottonwood on the vanity and storage cubby. Not bad for my first bath design, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coming Home.....

The air cooled my face as my hand out my car window directed the breeze my way. As soon as I get through the Minam canyon into the valley I have to catch the scent of home. It was a perfect night for a corn feed at the Enterprise city park, reconnecting with friends. I love the clean and cooler air here. It's time to go mow the jungle out front, evidence that the timers on the hose set up worked to keep things watered while I was away. Have a great day!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Greek Hoagies - Game Meat Recipe

Nature Guy is sharing a photo of the innards of an Elk Greek Hoagie sandwich we created the other night. You could use burger, but we had elk, thanks to a dear friend, and decided to try something different. I browned the burger in a tad bit of olive oil because the meat was so lean, but just enough to keep the meat from sticking. I added a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and a bit of salt and pepper while it was cooking.
As toppings we used julienned cucumber and carrot mixed with a splash of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper. We also thinly sliced purple onion and red bell pepper.
To build the sandwich we used stadium style hot dog buns which we slathered with mayonnaise. cover one side with some of the ground meat. Top that with Feta cheese, the veggies and close. That's it! Easy and delicious!
What you will need

Greek Hoagies
1 lb. ground burger cooked and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning
1 pkg. stadium style hot dog buns
1/2 cucumber and carrot julienne sliced, marinated in a splash of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt and pepper
thinly sliced purple onion and red bell pepper
Feta cheese

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rewiring an Antique Lamp

 I picked up this gorgeous lamp at a yard sale years ago, minus the shade. I found the shade at another sale and am loving the two together. The lamp had old wiring that was crumbling and in much need of replacement.
I finally decided to tackle this job so we could actually use the lamp, instead of just looking at it. It's really not that hard to do if you know some basics. Here are some things I learned in doing this project.
1. You can buy lamp cord at a hardware or home improvement store. Make sure you get the right cord for the job, as in the right size. I had to get a smaller cord as I found out quickly that the other I had purchased was just a tad too big.
2. light sockets come apart so you can rewire if necessary. There are two screws that will hold the wire in place. Lamp cords are made of two bundles of copper wire. You can cut down the center to the right length needed and strip each end only enough to be able to wrap each side around the little bracket that holds the screw to tighten down and hold the wire in place. I found out the hard way that you should only strip the wire about 5/8 of an inch, otherwise you will have exposed wire that can touch each other and blow a fuse as well as ruin a plug. My hubby kept saying that I should take the lamp to a local electrician, but that would have cost a pretty penny I bet so my stubborn, do-it-yourselfness came out in full
3. You can also buy the pronged plug  and wire them the same way. I knew this as I fixed my old sewing machine by replacing the pronged plug because the wire had been tweaked so long the plug no longer worked right.
4. Fixing a lamp or appliance this way saves not only money but landfill.

Next time you are out and about a spy an old something that needs new wiring, something you could put to good use, take it home and see what you can do. You may find it as easy as pie, and gain a new skill in the process. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

What Independence Day Means to Me

Not just a day to picnic or play at the beach, today is the day to remember the great men and women who made it possible for us to live in a free country. Were they perfect? No, but they were far better than we credit them for today. That's a different topic for a different day though. It's also a day to remember the blessings we all have the opportunity to enjoy.

There are many countries in the world today where people live in fear of bombing attacks, famine, or natural disasters, all while struggling to make a living for them and their families. Their lives are in constant turmoil due to political unrest, the greed of their countrie's leaders, and restrictions placed upon them by their government. We in America have the privilege to go to school, succeed or fail, speak freely, and live in relative ease compared to most people in the world. Before you start throwing numbers at me telling me how awful this country is to our poor, let me remind you that our "poor" are far richer than even our neighbors to the south of us who live in cardboard and tin shacks with no plumbing. Plus, if you did some research you would find that the number of truly poor people in the US are by far fewer than the government tells us.

Let's think about this on a daily routine basis. You get up, head toward the kitchen and perhaps plug in your coffee maker. You open the cupboard and have a choice on what you might want for breakfast. Or you head to the fridge and do the same. After breakfast you might put your dishes in the dishwasher before heading off to a shower with hot and cold running water. In the bedroom you open the closet where there are multiple articles of clothing to choose from and since today is your day off you pick out something casual and comfy. Today you are going to a movie with friends, or to that intriguing antique mall you drove by the other day. Right now though, your favorite radio station is offering a hundred dollars if you can call in with the answer to their quiz question.

Now lets look at someone who is truly in poverty, someone in a tin shack on the outskirts of a town say in Mexico. They get up and the first thing they have to do is take the bucket to the town well and get some water for drinking and washing. A fire has to be built to cook with, if they are lucky enough to have food. After a meager breakfast he has to decide where to go to find work so he can have money to buy food. His wife stays with the little ones, sweeping her dirt floor and sewing patches on the holes in their one set of clothing to make them last a little bit longer. He is gone for 16 hours and comes home with a handful of masa and a bone that can be simmered to get some broth and perhaps a tiny bit of meat.

In thinking about what we have, it occurred to me that even in the worst of disasters most people in our country can bounce back because we have insurance, and a government willing to step in and help, among some great church and civic organizations. Other countries aren't so lucky.

I believe that our country has been blessed by God, and will continue to be so if we do our part in showing gratitude for the blessings we truly have here. Gratitude is shown by how we treat others, by the way we care for what we have, and share what we have. Gratitude is shown in our willingness to get down on our knees and thank Him for what we do have, and then getting off our knees and making life better for someone else. We show our gratitude by working hard, and teaching, yes expecting others to work if they can. That we have the freedom to work and play is such a gift! So today, would you please take a moment and talk to your children, grandchildren and loved ones about what the US means to you?

May we all have a safe and Happy Independence Day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sometimes Running Is For the Birds....

This happens to me quite often as I'm out for an early morning run or bike ride. I will be trudging along, minding my own business, enjoying the cool morning air and quiet when all of a sudden little black birds are flying over head, dipping towards me in an effort to send me on my way quickly. ( Little do they know that I am practically disabled this morning after yesterdays bike ride)They make the same bird noises the black birds in the movie do, although they haven't actually attacked me yet, they get pretty darn close sometimes. I suspect their nests are tucked away in the tall grasses or shrubs in the ditches and they are afraid I'm going to raid them. I thought they had gone away after I made my way up to the lake and headed back down the hill. I got pretty close to the area they first started squawking at me and thought, hmmmm maybe they have gone hunting for food, when they swarmed out of nowhere to hover over my head again. A bit unnerving in light of having seen the Hitchcock movie more than once. I imagine this will not be the case when the fledglings are out of the nest, but for now I get to wonder when and where the birds will be waiting for me.... I wonder if running up the other side of the road would work......

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cottage Chic for Wedding Gifts

It's that time of year again, when unique and meaningful wedding gifts can be somewhat hard to find. With re-purposing and up-cycling such a popular trend, why not give a gift with purpose, style and charm. These pedestal style dishes are very useful for soaps in the bathroom. They keep the muck off the counter, eliminate plastic bottles on the counter, and look stylish. Or, you can use these for jewelry and rings, even candy. There are many possibilities! Visit Simply Sheryl's for more gift ideas.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Happens When You Drop a Dish..... Whaalaa! Artisan Jewelry!

True story...... I found a lovely little saucer at a yard sale in Wallowa, Oregon along with some other treasures I can't even remember. I had tucked the saucer up against my chest, so it was hidden from view after I found more lovelies to take home. I get up to the sales table and start taking things out of my bundle one by one. I moved the arm that had the saucer tucked in it and eeek! it crashed to the porch, shattering in several pieces. The nice lady wasn't going to charge me, but it was my mistake so I paid her anyway. I had planned on using the saucer for a pedestal dish, so that wasn't going to work. Thank goodness I had started using broken china to make pendants and dangles for jewelry.
I found gorgeous midnight blue glass rondell beads so a necklace idea was born!

You can find this at Simply Sheryl's etsy

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday and Lilacs ....

A lilac scented breeze tickled my cheeks as I meandered up the road this morning. The promise of a hot day was felt in the cool, then warm wisps of air brushing my arms. The sun hadn't quite come up yet, although an azure tinge sent shadows over Deseret peak, stroking the last of the snow dotting the mountain range in purple and blue hues. I marvel at the goodness of God in the beauty He sends us each day.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Running with the quail.....

Yes, it's a lousy photo, one that was taken as I was trying to wog up the street. Two quail were leading me up the hill this morning. I had passed a flock of chickens grazing in a neighbors yard when I looked up to see these two little California quail skittering up the sidewalk in front of me. We almost made it to the end of the block together before they decided enough was enough and flew into a tree. I smiled all the way up the road though, as it's always a treat to go running. See what you miss when you sleep in on a Saturday?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Utah in Spring....

Well.... I was going to post a recipe, but my camera is in the back of the car, which is in a repair bay at the dealership, and the matching photos for the recipe are still on the camera, so.... I will share some springtime photos instead. We took my MIL for a drive the other night and here is what we were treated to...

I am looking for painting subject matter. I love the colors in the bottom photo. Oh, it looks as if the care may be ready.... hold on.... in the mean time I will see if I have time to download some flower photos before I have to go...
Oh looky, I think I will be here until Memorial Day , but hey, I have photos to share right?
So...springtime in Utah is quite lovely, even if it did snow today. Tomorrow promises to be warmer, but I better go check night time temps so I know whether to shelter the tender seedlings in my mini green house.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars - Best In the West!

My grand daughters made a special request to make cookies together, sooooo we looked around the house to see what was available. Hmmm, time to run to the store for supplies! I was making chicken enchiladas anyway so we needed supplies for that as well. Off Mommy and I go to Walmart, which is different in every community I've visited so far. It took us a bit longer than expected to gather what we needed, so when we got home I plopped two cubes of butter in a bowl and tackled the enchiladas. We didn't get to eat until after 6:30 and grandma was running out of steam here, thus a bit of a compromise. Instead of cookies we made bars. I doubled a peanut butter cookie recipe from one of my daughters cookbooks and threw in some chocolate chips,  so we could have enough to keep everyone happy. I warn you that right out of the pan, these are so good you might not be able to stop eating them!

Best In the West Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
 preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 c. each butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar 
1 t. each baking soda, salt
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 10 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream butter and sugars, add peanut butter and mix in well. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together and with vanilla, mix in well. Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread in large cookie sheet and be sure and spread the dough evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until just turning golden brown. Let cool slightly as they will fall apart a bit when still warm, but hey, they are soooo yummy you probably won't care. Yield 4 dozen.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Family Time- Enjoying it in spite of challenges.

We are on our way back from a Spring Break run to the Midwest to visit my daughter and family. I took this photo of Jinxy Cat, who was skulking under the dining room table. I'm really loving the things my new camera can do. She was in the dark, but this looks as if she was out in the light. Amazing!

I would love to share some great family photos of our trip, but everyone was sick! Strep throat got my daughter and oldest grand daughter, and the two younger kidlets were suffering fevers and such off and on as well. We enjoyed our time in spite of it and I can't wait to see them again. I was glad Nature Guy got to meet everyone, plus we have a commitment of them coming out our way. Yay!

I tried a new recipe twist that I hope to share when I get a photo before we munch the last of the treats sometime today. Best in the West Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars I've dubbed them.

My daughter has done a great job decorating her home! Funny, she called me in a panic when they first moved, not knowing where to put everything, but she's done a very nice job. Sick bodies all over the furniture didn't give me an opportunity to share

For now we are making our way to Cheyenne for the night. The weather is pleasant, signs of spring are cropping up, migrating birds are gleaning last Fall's leavings as they stop on their way up north, and we are rested believe it or not. Time is running out on the lap top battery so taa taa for now!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Updated my etsy shops

Added some pieces of jewelry to my Simply Sheryl's etsy shop. Stop on by and see all the new pieces available.