About Me

My photo


Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Maple Ginger Broccoli Slaw



A little tart, a lot refreshing. 

Maple Ginger Broccoli Slaw

I package of broccoli slaw. (I used Trader Joe's organic. It was probably 4 cups unleashed.)
1 good sized Granny Smith apple matchstick sliced (I left the skin on) 
2 TBSP maple syrup 
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or shredded fresh would be great if you've got some and love ginger)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
salt to taste

Toss all items together. 

Add dried cranberries to make it extra festive. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ That's Why it's so Satisfying to Read a Good Book...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Crack Me Up

Seriously. The girls were crashed on the couch until we decided to watch Dogs with Jobs on Netflix.  Ha ha! The episode was the Cheetah parent surrogate Jack Russell Terrier and Rookie the Canadian Beagle who sniffs out food and agricultural items that people bring into the country. At the first sign of the Jack Russell Terrier the girls were focused in rapt attention. Too cute! And yes, we are still in the 20th century with our television. I think it's about the size of my computer screen. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Miscellaneous and A Beagle Shaming Moment


I took the day off work today. I had no x-rays and I have a serious MOP on my head. 

That said. My snip and tame girl had an opening and it was just tempting to take the day. And my house needs me. Real bad. I don't know how my house can get in the shape it does. Well, I do. But I don't want to park there, ya know? 

So before 9:00 a.m. I had swept, tidied, unloaded, loaded, loaded and washed, dried and folded. And painted. The pups always need to be right up in my bizness. But while they are in my bizness I know exactly what they are doing. 
It's when they are quiet and speedy in the opposite direction that concerns me. I had to wrestle an unmentionable from jaws, fortunately, the item had come from the dryer. But I missed this one. I got distracted hating on some clothes (and folding them up for the glorious drop off to a thrift store later today. Yay!) and one of the sneaks took a shoe from my closet floor. 
I am so glad it's a shoe I hated. Super uncomfortable, and they may have already been clamped in jaws and rescued once. But I still needed to shame those Beagles. Gladys finally accepted the shame. She's the one that gutted the shoe. However, if you notice in the lower picture that Gertrude doesn't seem the least bit sorry. Nope. I'm pretty sure she's the sneaky grabber, too. 

Do you wonder how I got them to kinda sit still long enough for the shaming? I was carrying a food item in my non-picture snapping hand. I didn't think I could pull off one of those awesome dog shaming signs. I think they'd eat it. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ I'm Sure You Want to See This...


 Yeah, or not. These were part of my in-my-pajamas until 4:00 P.M. Saturday frenzy of cooking, cleaning, purging. I needed to update my chalk art signs for the season. Yeah. Here's a peek into my crazy. The whole house around these signs is a huge mess because I'm pre-organizing so I can clean properly. Recycle bins here, bags for charity there, puppy chewings everywhere. But I took out time to play with chalk. When it's put back together, my house is going to look great... for 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Adventure Times Two


 So. It was an interesting Monday on top of an interesting weekend. I'll not focus on the computer issues aka crisis of monumental significance for the office (or sure seemed like it to a few folks). Nor will I focus on the furniture moving, the cleaning frenzy, the donating items I no longer want, the wearing of pajamas until 4:00 p.m, the wipe out on the back patio on Saturday. No, those are a story for another day. 
Let's talk about puppy digestion. I have just heard, twice, that pumpkin is a lovely binder and hence it will become a regular pantry staple item for the pups. Gertrude has a little tummy bug, she tossed her treats Friday afternoon and took a few extra visits outdoors for emergency style gotta-goes. I was a little concerned that she'd have overnight issues. I want to set them up for success. So I kept one ear open and sure enough a whining commenced at midnight. Because getting them in and out of the kennel, in and out of harnesses and wrangling them for leash attachment can be harrowing in normal circumstances, when a puppy has to go NOW that adds a bit of drama, so I decided to keep them in their harnesses and let them sleep with me on the couch. Every two hours we visited the frozen way-too-early-winter-wonderland to make a deposit.  

Night number one was a huge success. No accidents and lots of brisk fresh air. Saturday night the visits were even fewer to the great outdoors. And Sunday. Well. I think the fun factor kicked in. Maybe the tummy isn't feeling quite as punk. Maybe they are loving the freedom. But the picture of the back and front was pretty much a constant blur. One pup picked my hip, the other chose to sleep in the crook of my knee. But, wait, there needed to be circling. Lots of circling. And inching. And itching. And licking and then the growling because a sister crept a bit too close to a territory. 

Swimming with the dolphins, sleeping with the puppies, swimming with the sharks, sleeping with the fishes. Pick your adventure. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Banana Pecan Bundt Cake

I told you'd I'd have a bundt recipe for you today. Saturday was national Bundt Cake Day, and I needed to take a dessert to church for a missions conference. 

Let me tell on myself. I had two desserts to toss together and both were going to be bundt cakes but DANG IT I couldn't find my bundt pan. I gave up and put the Peanut Butter Mocha cake in a 9 x 13. 

Then I found the pan. Duh. Right where I put it. 

I'll share the Peanut Butter Mocha cake when I have a chance to tweak it and put it into the bundt cake scenario. 

But until then, here's a lovely, dense, moist Banana Pecan Bundt Cake. 

The cinnamon frosting glaze and crunchy pecan topping is pretty tasty. The texture is a nice mix of banana bread and cake. 

1 Cup non-dairy milk
2 TBSP ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 Cup sugar (add more sugar if you want a sweeter cake. This is not a super sweet cake, but the topping and frosting are.)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 Cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup shortening, coconut oil or Earth Balance
2 ripe bananas 
1/2 Cup chopped pecans 

In a small bowl mix the milk, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with the flax seed and stir. Let sit while you cream the shortening and sugar. Add the bananas and mix well. Add the baking powder, salt and cinnamon and blend well. Poor the milk mixture and vanilla in the bowl and blend. Add the flour and pecans and stir until incorporated. 

Let mixture sit while you mix the following. Preheat the oven to 350.

Cinnamon Pecan Crunch 

1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sugar 
(Double if you want more crunch and sweetness.)

Mix and pour into a greased bundt pan. 

Pour the cake batter over the crunch. 

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Remove and let sit for 20  minutes. 

Pop the bundt cake out onto a plate. 

Mix the frosting and pour over the cooled cake. 

Cinnamon Frosting

2 TBSP non dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Cup powdered sugar

Mix. Add either powder sugar or additional milk until the consistency is right. 

Sprinkle with additional chopped pecans if you desire. 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ National Bundt Cake Day

 is coming Saturday. And I have a potluck this weekend so guess what I'll be making? I'll share the recipe on the 17th. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Baffle Me


  Recently I've noticed a few things that cause me ask why.  Why? 10X mirror? I mean, without it, I'd never be able to do my eyebrows again. So I appreciate this little product. But when I occasionally look up, down, left of right of my eyebrows I get a little start. Let's just say 10X mirrors magnify the good, the bad and the saggy to way bigger than life.

And then I am totally baffled by the object in the picture. I have three climate knobs and they each have the identical raised pattern. So I'm wondering. It can't be braille for a few reasons. 1) a person who reads braille should probably not be driving. 2) If all three knobs have the identical markings it can't be for identification purposes. 3) You push the entire knob and so anywhere you hit is going to get results. So, why?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ First Snow for Pups


For some reason the snow and arrival of winter weather threw me. I mean, I live in an area that certainly gives huge clues of climate changes. And winter comes every stinkin year. There are degrees of winter, but, it isn't a "hmmmm, did we have winter this year?" kind of a place. Ya know. 

I spose I shoulda prepared the pups. But I just didn't think I needed to. Yet. 

Here are the degrees of winter awareness and acceptance. In this instance there are four degrees. 

The first response was porch statuing. That is where they refused to move and turned to stone. Once I stepped out into the white foreign substance they followed. (They'd probably make me test their food and drink if they could speak and owned scepters. No, wait. I think they do consider me a food tester. Except I'm eating people food that they legitimately think is theirs.)

Second was the discovery phase where they basked in the newness of it all. Many minutes in the still silence of the gray blanket of cold were punctuated with deep sniffing and snoodling. 

Thirdly was the discovery of this amazing, miraculous substance's perks. It's edible. Thin layers of it could be broken off and consumed. Greedy snow grazing commenced.

Finally, the marking of the snow. This is their snow. Nobody but nobody needs to doubt that. 

At least they didn't stand and bark at it. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Okay, Not Pretty, But EASY and Pretty Tasty ~ Vegan Chili Cheese Dogs


This is one of those almost embarrassing recipes. You know, open a bag, toss in a canned item, apply heat, Bammo!
Vegan Chili Cheese Dogs
1 Package LightLife Smart Dogs (Or other of choice) (8 dogs)
1 16 ounce can of chili spiced beans (I used chili sauced pinto beans)
Approx 1/2 Cup shredded Vegan cheese (I used Daiya's Pepperjack) 
Hot dog buns
Toppings: 
Ketchup
Mustard
chopped onions
dill or sweet pickle relish

Preheat oven to 350. Semi-slice the hot dogs longwise down the middle. Slice only half way through the dog. Open the dog and lay sliced side down and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes. I'd line the pan with parchment paper or grease the pan, as my hot dogs stuck a bit. 

This will heat the hot dog through a bit and give a nice warm surface for the beans and cheese. 

Flip the hot dogs over and spoon beans over the dogs. Sprinkle cheese over them. With vegan cheese, in my opinion, less is better. 

Place the pan back in the oven for 14 minutes. If desired, turn oven to broil until cheese is fully melted. 

Open hot dog buns, slide a chili dog onto each bun and top as desired.






Monday, November 10, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Chocolate Fudge Cake Two Ways.


 This is the chocolate fudge decadent cake I made for my brother and sister-in-laws' wedding in October. It was dense, fudge, moist and delicious. All that was left on the plate was a few smears. 
A week or so later the little kids and I whipped up a batch as cupcakes. Delicious. Even after the near misses that happen when 7, 5 and 3 year olds are involved in a baking process. And even though the batch made enough cupcakes we had some several days out. 
Chocolate Fudge Cake and Cupcakes 
27-32 cupcakes (60ish mini cupcakes) or 3 round or 8 x 8 layers

2 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup and 2 TBSP of Earth Balance or coconut oil or mix
3 teaspoons baking powder
1+ teaspoon salt
1 Cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 Cups strong hot coffee
1 1/2 Cups milk of choice (chocolate soy or almond adds a nice punch)
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

In small bowl place milk and vinegar, set aside. In an additional small bowl pour the hot coffee over the chocolate chips and stir on and off until they are melted, add vanilla and set aside. Cream butter substitute and sugar together. Add salt and baking powder and mix well. Add the milk and vinegar mixture and incorporate. Pour in chocolate mixture and mix and finally mix in the flour and stir until the flour is fully mixed in. 

Grease and flour pans or line cupcake pans. 

Preheat oven to 350. Pour the batter into the pans equally or fill the cupcake liners almost 2/3rds full. 

Bake 20-25 minutes testing the cake/cupcakes with a knife that should come out clean for cakes. Cupcakes bake for 15-18 minutes (mini cupcakes 12-14 minutes) 

Remove and let cool

Frosting. 

Ratios because I do something different every stinking time: 
Approximately 1 cup vegan butter, vegan cream cheese or shortening to 3 cups powdered sugar (for fudge frosting use 2/3 or to taste cup of cocoa for powdered sugar). A splash of vanilla (about 1 teaspoon) (if you want wedding frosting taste use a half splash of almond extract, too)  Mix well. Add more powdered sugar or cocoa if wet or if too stiff add a TBSP or so of non-dairy milk (or coffee if you are making fudge and want mocha frosting) until you get the consistency you want. 

When the cake or cupcakes are cooled, frost. For the raspberry wedding cake I had washed and dried 2 cups of raspberries and placed them on the frosted cake. I then melted 1 cup of chocolate chips in a heated 2/3 Cup of non-dairy milk. Then drizzle over the raspberries and cake layers. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ NaNOWriMO Will I or Won't I?

So. I have two major reasons I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. 

Can you guess what they might be? 

Scraps and Snippets ~ Garlic Rosemary Pumpkin Biscuits


Garlic Rosemary Pumpkin Biscuits

2 Cups flour (with additional for rolling dough - I used whole wheat pastry flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder (if you use garlic salt skip the salt)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chopped dried rosemary (or try sage)
⅓ Cup butter, margarine or shortening
¾ Cup pumpkin (don’t get pumpkin pie filling because that has sweet seasonings)
¼ Cup water or milk

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, garlic and rosemary together. With a fork cut in the fat until the mixture resembles coarse uniform meal. Mix pumpkin with milk/water in a small bowl. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until mixed and the dough pulls away from the bowl. (This doesn’t take long, basically once the dry disappears it’s ready) Pat the dough into a circle about a ½ inch thick on a flour dusted surface. Use a glass rim or biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out circles. Scoop up the remaining dough and flatten and repeat. You’ll get approx 10 biscuits. Bake at 450 for 12 minutes.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ And We Helped


I said helped, not yelped. Though there was a wee bit of vocalizing. 

I took the girls to go vote yesterday. 

Can I just RAVE about dog seat belts? Amazing invention. One end clicks into the seatbelt buckle. The other attaches to the collar or harness rings. They can stand on their hind legs and stick their heads out the window, get down on the floor, wrestle, etc, but they are restrained. LOVE. 

So I seat belted them in and they sucked wind (ha, ha) for the five mile trip. Then I left them with a window rolled down for fresh air. The temperature was perfect, very low 60s. I came out five whole minutes later wondering what they did while I was inside. They were perfect angels. (I think) No one came stumbling into the building looking like they had gotten a sneak-bark attack. 
They both needed a nap after the adventure though. And a treat, of course. 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Weekend Fun With Pups...


The pups got to go trick or treating with the kids Friday night. Amazingly, they didn't rip their costumes to shreds (Nor anyone else's, whew). I didn't see them even nibbling at each other. It probably helped that they were focused on the kids candy filled pumpkins and a little shell-shocked with all the sights and sounds of Halloween. The temperature was a brisk 40 something.  There were a few costume tilts and leans. But they looked pretty stylin, 

 Saturday we had a little incident. Rob and I had a huge Aloe Vera plant that we separated into about 30 different plants. We had a few we hadn't given away. And since it had gotten cold we pulled them inside and put them on the mud room floor. 

So the pups were running free indoors while I was doing some cooking. And it got really, really quiet. I tiptoed and peeked around the corner. And spied a dirt party in progress. Oh yeah, they were having lots of fun. The blurry pictures stink but the dirt coated noses were too funny. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Crazy Cycle



Gladys and Gertrude have a favorite game. I finally got enough footage to merge it all together so I can share it with you. 

We have two couches forming an L shape and they love to chase each other from one couch to the other. They really love to use me as a spring board to help them on their crazy journey.