Category Archives: Favorite things

New Venture Coming Soon!

I started canning jalapeños for myself and family a couple of years ago. With pushing from my family I am on my way to being able to sell them. I know, I need another venture right?

Well they are the best jalapeños ever! I swear! They are sweet with a little kick. They are so addicting. I have made a few runs in the past few months and have perfected the recipe. So I hopefully am ready. They love are amazing on Nachos!

  

In case your wondering, those are not my nachos. I hate guacamole. My husband however would inhale it. 

I am heading to an acidified processing class in Jackson Hole in a couple of weeks. (I know it was either Jackson or Powell and I went with Jackson. Wouldn’t you?). Then they will send in my jalapeños with my instructions and testing results and hopefully I will be approved. 

I made up some sample jars for selling. These will be my first ones. I can’t wait. 

  

I finally settled on some labels and a name. I think it will work.  

 

Well Hello!

I have neglected my blog and basically everything else in my life for the last month or so. Sorry about that. Sometimes you just have to let everything slide and remember where you are in life. 

In early February I took a much needed road trip back to Tennessee to visit mom and dad. I had the privilege of picking up my cousin from Tennessee at the Denver airport and she road back to with me.

 We both needed that 3 day girls trip. We ended up swinging down into Oklahoma City. I know it’s not exactly on the way, but if you make a little curve and come across Arkansas it is technically right smack dab in the path.

 We were coming across Kansas and how could I deny her the chance to see some of her family who lives in Oklahoma. My family is really not big on road trips and traveling. They really like to stay in their little area of East Tennessee. 

We had lots of fun and enjoyed 3 days of girl talk, food, and driving. Plus lots of Starbucks. 

I have also set down my knitting. After finishing my alpaca snowflake hat, that  John laid claim to immediately, I haven’t knitted anything. My goal for April is to finish up all my projects and get ready for all that May brings. (Lots of cow work! That’s what it brings. Lots and lots of cow work). 

Two things I’m in love with right now are my new mixer and my puppy. 

 

 I got a new KA professional 600. I was a little worried from reviews that it was going to be too big and too noisy. So far I have made one single batch of cookies and one cake. I love it. JJ is dying for me to get some cream so that he can time how long it takes to turn it into whipped cream.  The old KA mixer I am taking to the hunting house for use during hunting season. Then I will decide to keep it or sell it. I’m in between on what to do. 

Aboo is fast becoming my doll. She is still living in the house since she is only 5 months, but she is proving to be an all around good dog. She is one heck of a guard dog and alerts me to anyone driving up or other creatures around the house. Totally loving that. I have not had a true barking dog since my Aussie died about 5 years ago.   

Isn’t she a doll. We were laying down for a little 10 minute nap yesterday. 

I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Words to Think on

I was reading today and came across a simple sentence. The plain simplicity of the words urged me to read it again and again. If only to be pulled in deeper with each reading. The very meaning puts so many things at the front of my mind. I will elaborate more later. But see if this makes you ponder life’s relationships deeper and deeper.

“There is nothing stronger than a bond that has been repeatedly tested, but has never broken.”

The best Gift Ever

As you well know, I love to cook. I especially love to cook soups and stews. This Christmas I was shopping for my father at Dillards near my parents house. Actually I was shopping for my mother for my father. He sent me to find her the perfect gift. And like me I knew a pan would be perfect.

I found myself in the kitchen section looking for a pan for my mom when I happened upon the most glorious sight I have ever seen. I am pretty sure a light was shining down on this pot. You know like the light on the Christmas tree in the movie Christmas Vacation.

This pot was made by Biltmore and it is fabulous. To be quite honest I’m not even sure how big it is, at some point I am going to fill it up just to see how much it holds. I know it looks like a small witches cauldron. But more beautiful. Oh yeah, much more beautiful.

I bought that baby and quickly told my husband that he had just purchased me the best present ever. He was thrilled with his purchase. I mean some women like jewelry or other type gifts. Give me a cooking item and I will love you forever. I know I am weird. I like those girly things, but I cook every day. The cows could care less if I have a diamond bracket on.

I used it to make ham and potato soup and it worked fabulous. Washed up so easily. The best part, I put 5 pounds of potatoes and close to 8 cups of water and it was maybe 3-4 inches in the pot. Not even close to the half way mark! I am dying to cook a large pot of stew soon. Now that I back in Wyoming and it is like -6 outside. I think it will happen soon.

The smaller pot is my usual soup pot. It holds about 4.5 quarts. We are going to eat soup for like a year if I fill that new pot to the top.

 

Don’t you just love pictures that you can see the photographer and all the background in.  Well there I am.

 

 

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Another Morning of Candy Making

I finished up the peanut butter balls. I love peanut butter balls with rice krispies in them.  I just do.  My family not so much.  Which left more than plenty for me to eat.

I will tell you that for the dipping chocolate I used the leftover chocolate from the coconut balls. I made so much that I had more than plenty do handle both the coconut balls and the PB balls and still have to throw out a little.

Enjoy!!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

  • Servings: 20-40 depending on size
  • Print

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • favorite chocolate dipping recipe
  1. Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan, over low heat. In large bowl, mix crispy rice cereal and confectioners’ sugar well. Pour melted peanut butter and butter over cereal and sugar and blend together thoroughly.
  2. Put into the fridge overnight.
  3. Scoop with a small cookie scoop and roll into balls. Using a toothpick dip them into your favorite chocolate dipping recipe.
  4. Place in mini muffin wrappers and top with sprinkles to hide the hole the toothpick leaves.
  5. These can be frozen.

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Peanut Butter Balls These turned out so good. I can’t wait to make them again.

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We are Artists! Well maybe.

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I have been envious of so many people that have been going to Casper to the Artisian Alley and doing a paint class. I signed the kids and I up and away we went. It was such fun. They walked us through step by step the entire time listening to great music. You could even enjoy a glass of wine while you’re painting.

We are already signed up again for next months family painting. If you have one of these studios in your area I Highly recommend that you go.

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Lemonade $1.00

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Isn’t this the best drink dispenser ever. I found it at Sams club when I drove up to Casper a while back.

I finally got it out of the trunk of my car today. So in the middle of a snowstorm, I made a huge vat of lemonade. The kids decided they would charge us $1.00 per glass. Well at least they have a sense of humor about them.

A Travesty!!!

What has occurred in my house is almost unforgivable. It is an unjust that can not be undone. It is just so…..well hard to talk about.  What my children have done to me is almost to much for me to carry.

You see I am a very odd type person. I hoard weird things. For example when we go out to eat. I never drink very much of my drink. I just don’t. I hoard it. I have it for later.  My husband and my children never! They guzzle it all away and then in 15 minutes have nothing.  Then there is Mom’s drink! I have mine because I don’t want to be thirsty later. I always come home with almost and entire drink left. Unless we are on a road trip and then I give it up to those who have nothing.  It’s weird and it drives my family crazy.

Well at Christmas last year I asked my mother to make and send me two things. These two things remind me of home and remind me of her.  Being 1500 miles away I wanted those memories at Christmas.  Well she sent them. That’s right I got to large tins filled with coconut balls and peanut butter balls. I was never so happy. I opened my tins, took a look, smelled the aroma of chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut. I then took one small ball out and slowly enjoyed the taste. It lingered in my mouth. Each bite was pure heaven.

As I pictured my mother making these especially for me. Well I decided to hoard them. I put them straight into the freezer. I never mentioned to the family what was in the tins or that it was there.

Here comes the moment of pure double crossing. My children come upstairs this past Sunday, smiling and grinning! They laughed and laughed. When I finally asked they told me that they had been into my stash.  What! You have been eating my candy.  Yes, they had been slowly sneaking candy since Christmas.  I opened my tin and I only had Five. Count them 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 left.  I almost cried.

These are my balls. My candy! My candy made for me by my MOMMY!! Well what to do. I couldn’t yell at them. It was sent to us. As it was pointed out by my children it didn’t say to you only and you don’t eat it. It is true. I hadn’t eaten it since that one taste at Christmas. It is true that they need to be eaten because like all southern women, my mom will be wanting her tins back come June.

I learned something very important. Next year I will hide them at the hunting house!

Two of My Favorite Must Haves!!

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Around 2005 I was introduced to this amazing company. It is Thrive foods out of Utah. Let me just say it has changed my life. Well it changed my fridge and grocery bill. It also changed my cooking. I guess that does encompass my entire life.  I am not sure what else I do someday besides cook, clean, cook again, clean, and repeat.  Do you see a pattern? I think most wives experience this pattern. It’s awful, but it’s wonderful at the same time. I mean would I rather have my husband in the kitchen all the time? Ummm.  No, probably not. I enjoy cooking too much.

I am not a one of those disaster nuts and I think that some see these foods as disaster planning. However I do have quite the stock of Thrive foods and I keep replacing what I use. Does that make me a stock nut? Maybe? There is quite a bit I have downstairs in storage for emergency use. But others I use on an almost daily basis.

I was skeptical at first. However after the party. (There is a sales rep, and you can do a home party just like Pamered Chef, tupperware, Mary Kay, etc. ) I wanted some things for when the power was out and when I was in desperate need. My Rep. Susan Pillen out of Newcastle, Wyoming, showed us so many recipes and ways to use the items. I was amazed at how good.  Plus here is the BIG WINNER – NO PRESERVATIVES.   If it says carrots, it is just carrots.  DING DING Winner!! I love this. LOVE it!!!! Basically they freeze dry the 

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foods and they are amazing. It is so easy to throw them in recipes to plump back up and cook or you can put them in a little water and they plump back up to use as you wish! What is better than that? I’m not really sure. 

 

Once my shipment arrived I began to use a few more items more than others. However I have used about everything. My kids love the yogurt in their lunches. Little dried yogurt bites.  Why didn’t I know of this stuff when they were little. Ugh. It would have been my best friend. What am I saying, it still is my best friend.

My husband has always been a stickler for using the fresh veggies in our fridge. Let me say I was one that always bought carrots. Constanlty for use in soups and stews, etc. Other than that I didn’t really use them very much and guess what? Yep, they rot. I wish they didn’t, but they would.  That is money thrown away. It was depressing because I like them in things and need occasionally. Now, with the thrive carrots. I use them when I need them. I rarely buy carrots unless I need whole baby carrots, which is maybe 1-2 times a year.  These carrots are perfectly cut little pieces perfect for soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, etc. The list goes on.  I don’t have to chop anything. I just throw them in.

My other is finely diced onions. What a life saver. My son hates onions and these are chopped so finely that you don’t notice them, but the flavor is outstanding.  When he is cooking, he can get a little handful and throw them in. I don’t have to worry about him cutting onions or not putting them in because he doesn’t like them. He just opens the lid and Wham there they are perfect every time.

Check out their website! Host a party, do what you must, but Buy some of their food. You will never be the same. You don’t have to thank me. You will want to, but you don’t have to. Well you can. Just send me an email or better yet send me the recipe that becomes your favorite after you start using these products.

Check it out: http://www.thrivelife.com