Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fall Decorating and Old Photos

We started our fall decorating and I sure like this pumpkin I bought from Brenda at her Rusty Thimble etsy shop.   
I poked a skewer in the bottom so it would sit up in the box that Alan attached to this washboard. I just love how it turned out. The crow I got from Michaels and I'm thinking of getting another one, They only sell these around Halloween.

I like easy crafts..I'm thinking of doing this one as it would only take a few minutes. The photos are self explanatory.

Alan's been posting old photos on Facebook. Here are two of them..the first is me looking out the train window in England back in the 80s when we visited my brother who was stationed there.

and the second is the one that got the most comments, even though its not in good focus. My brother and I sitting waiting for the underground to take us to London.

     It was a wonderful trip and one we'll always remember.   Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zucchini Pancakes and an Opinion on Water

Our garden, sadly, didn't do well this year. I don't know if it was the heat or something else but that's the way it goes. Today I pulled out all the spent tomato plants (we got so few!) and getting the beds ready for future planting.
I  discovered a wonderful way to prepare zucchini and we have a few plants started for the fall so hopefully will have some to use in this recipe. Zucchini was on sale at the grocery store so I bought several and have been enjoying these.

Zucchini Pancakes
2 cups (or so) grated zucchini
1/2 c.grated carrot
2 T. chopped green onion
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 c.grated cheese, use whatever you have
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
 a pinch of salt
whatever seasoning you prefer. I like original Mrs. Dash
1/4 c. or so vegetable oil
Mix the zucchini, carrot and onion together, and blot on paper towels to get rid of the moisture. Stir zucchini mixture, eggs in a large bowl. Mix together the cheese, flour, baking powder, and seasonings and then add to the wet mixture. Stir until its moistened well. Don't over beat.
Heat oil in a  large skillet until hot and add rounded spoonfuls of the batter. Fry until golden, and then drain on paper towels. It usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Now I've seen corn added to this mixture so I'd suggest adding a handful if you have some left over from another meal. These pancakes are delicious and a good side dish for grilled meat or a great lunch by themselves with a green salad and some fruit.

 My Opinion

You've probably heard of the drought we're having in California and our area is no exception. We try to limit our water use as much as possible. But we do water the raised beds by drip irrigation and  water the lawn as the grandchildren love it so. What angers me is the city allowing more and more houses to be built. I'll believe the city and county are serious when they stop granting building permits. Right behind us is a huge housing tract with giant big box homes (over 3,000 sq. ft.)  being built. Can you even imagine how much water will be needed? Plus they built a large sport park with landscaping. Sigh

Friday, August 22, 2014

Banana Date Coffee Cake, Yum!

 I thought it was time to post a recipe and think this is a winner. I had some older bananas that needed to be used, and some chopped dates so came up with this. Its kinda of my own creation. I took a banana muffin recipe, tweeked it a bit and added a streusel topping. Low sugar too!

Banana Date Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 c. sugar  or splenda
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. (or so) mashed ripe bananas
1/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 cup or so chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9" sq. pan by spraying it with cooking spray (I use Pam but any kind will do) In a large bowl, put in the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together well. In another bowl, put the butter and sugar, mix until fluffy, then add the two eggs, beat  well, then add the mashed bananas, vanilla and milk. I used a stick blender to mix the wet things really well.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Stir until mixed well. Finally, stir in the chopped dates until mixed throughout.  Spread in the prepared pan. Add the following streusel topping.
1/4 c. softened butter
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. flour
2 T. brown sugar.
Mix the 4 together and then drizzle it over the cake. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. It smells fantastic as it cooks. It was very tender and had lots of flavor. A nice thing for a weekend breakfast or a coffee break plus a good way to use up those bananas. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Birthday to our Grandson

It was Jayden's birthday this past week and we celebrated it with a Octonaut birthday party of sorts. Alan and I found this cake at the local bakery and thought it was close enough. He turned 3 and is a Octonaut fan. We've watched hours of the cartoon show and he's learned alot about undersea life as have we. My brother when he was here, bought him the Octopod itself and we got some accessories that go with it.

                  Here he is enjoying and imagining the adventures of Capt. Barnacles, Peso and the rest.


I also managed to finish another card. This one has alot of detail and took me awhile to do what with the birthday. More strawberry thieves!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday, A Vistor, Notecards and a Trip!

 Today I listed these 3 note cards I stitched and also relisted a few other goodies, redwork flour sack towels, some kitty kitchen towels, etc. You can find them in my Etsy shop, Sweet Home Stitchery

Its been difficult for me to stitch as we've been taking care of our grandson more heavily now that his parents are working so much. Our son has decided to quit the second job though to spend more time with his son and be able to rest a bit more. Some of his job assignments take him on long long road trips that are very tiring and he hasn't had a day off in several months working  two jobs.

I haven't posted in a few days because my younger brother came to visit. He lives in Hawaii with his wife and daughter. He came out to attend his 40th high school reunion and also to visit us, of course.

Here he is enjoying the island. He posted this photo on Facebook so I thought it would be ok to share it here. We had a wonderful visit, drove up to Oak Glen and got a few apples, and some apple cider. Hardly anyone was around so it was nice quiet ride. We walked along the trails, enjoyed the brown eyed susans and loaded apple trees.

It's starting to feel a little fall- like if that is possible. The evenings are getting cooler, and it stays cool most of the morning, warming up in the afternoon.  We had a good rain storm this last week too which is unusual. Maybe a short summer and a wet winter? I certainly hope so!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tomato and Fig time + a Strawberry Thief

Its tomato time here at the garden and we're enjoying a good crop of  the flavorful fruit. We're harvesting not only regular tomatoes but also cherry tomatoes. Today, Jayden (who will be 3 in August) picked all these cherry tomatoes. He really is turning into a good gardener!

The fig tree is in full production too and I've been making a fig puree for the most part. Cooking the fruit down and adding sweetener plus some cinnamon. I then puree it well with my stick blender and cook it down to a thick sauce (like applesauce) and put it in freezer bags for the winter. This will make nice jams, and breads for later. 

I also took a break from Christmas cards and stitched this little bird getting into the strawberries. The pattern is called Strawberry Thief..

I plan on making three of these to sell as a set of note cards. I have the larger pattern too which features 4 birds and many strawberries.
That's about all the news in our neck of the woods. Its hot here most days, in the high 90s or low 100s. Cools off nicely at night though. Both the kids are working hard. Our oldest son who got the new job is still working part time at his old one, Del Taco. So he works most days, his better half works many hours too so we're left to watch the little guy. Its exhausting at times. and we both hope they can get situated to get their own place soon. At our ages its difficult to keep up with a soon to be 3 year old. He's very intelligent for his age and already has his own little tablet which he plays games and does art work on. Even has set of head phones. He knows most of his colors and is learning his numbers  too. Our youngest son thinks he's "scary" smart. All the more reason to lay down a good foundation for his future.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I don't know about you, but I get really tired of the TV programing today. There are a few shows we both like but all the reality TV is getting worse and worse. I think the programmers are finding less and less good material. Where are all the good writers? Reality shows are cheap to produce and they seem to keep churning out more and more ridiculous shows.

Alan and I have turned to some of the old shows that are still playing. MeTV has many of them and we're enjoying Rockford alot as well as some of the old favorites like Dragnet, Perry Mason,etc. One thing I like about the Rockford series is all the scenes of Southern California way back when California made sense.  One episode even had scenic views of the old Las Vegas which was fascinating.  If you don't get MeTV, you can also find episodes on Hulu for free. I've always liked James Garner and am a fan of his on Facebook.

Of the shows on today, we both like Longmire and I'm partial to Major Crimes but that's about it.
Question, what shows do you like? Do you enjoy the reality shows?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Christmas Cards

As I promised, here is the fourth in the series, 4 Calling Birds. I like the way the musical notes turned out, more bead work on this one.
Here are two more Christmas cards I completed also.

sorry my photos aren't that good, I'm having trouble with the focus on my camera. It got dropped too many times to count!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone has a good 4th of July. We're staying at home, grilling ribs, with coleslaw, Texas toast and a tomato pie..I got up early and made a cherry pie also. The grandchildren are here and it will be a fun day, I think.
The weather is hot, hot, hot. In the triple digits. We're having to run the AC from early in the morning until bed time and beyond. The solar helps but we're using more than it generates right now which is a problem.  Having not be on the computer as often, trying to conserve energy in other ways. Keeping the lights off, etc. and not washing as much. Still we were $13 over yesterday. Sigh.

Below is a vintage photo of the hotel that used to be in my hometown of Oceanside, Ca. I remember it when my parents first moved there, back in the 60s. At that time, it was an abandoned wreck and soon after burned down but in its heyday, it was a lovely Victorian  building.

The Oceanside historical society has been posting many old vintage images of the area and I just love them.
Here's one of the early piers, called the Small Iron Pier about 120 years ago.There has been about 4 piers as several were destroyed by hurricanes, etc. Its much longer now and its the longest on the Californian coast.

Here is a recent photo of it.

There is a nice restaurant on the end of it and its a wonderful walk. I kinda wish sometimes we could move back there but its very expensive now. Still we're close enough to visit and enjoy the ocean. My brother has a home there and will be here at the end of the month for his 40th high school reunion. It will be wonderful to see him again as its been a number of years. He lives in Hawaii now.

I finished the next in the series of cards, the 12 Days of Christmas. I will post a photo of it in my next post. It turned out the best so far, I think. Its 4 Calling Birds.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

The other day, I got a hankering for some chocolate. As I had a few chocolate chips, decided to make these delectable 

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups regular flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 orange flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t. grated orange rind
1 t. vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tin. I use Pam. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder and soda, salt. Mix well. In another bowl, stir together the wet ingredients, the oil, orange juice, egg, vanilla and liqueur, If you haven't got  liqueur, you can use orange flavoring or go without and add a bit more orange juice. Make a well, in the dry ingredient bowl and add the wet, stirring until just mixed well and then stir your chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. These are delicious and best the first day. I'd freeze them if kept  longer. They have a nice orange flavor and the chocolate is just right.