Friday, July 31, 2009

Cook, Eat, Be Merry

Since the weather has not been fit for man nor beast, I have been exploring the cooking sites on the internet. I accidentally fell across and have been enjoying their videos. This week, they have been visiting the foods of Portugal and Spain with a look into dim sum. There is also a look at a full bodied squid to be cleaned. That's enough to turn you off of calamari for years to come. Yuk!

There are tons of videos for about every food you would like to prepare, and some that you wouldn't. A lot of the videos are done by amateurs, but most are professional. I have learned something from all that I have watched.

It's a fun way to spend a rainy morning. Enjoy!

Ruth Ann

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Peaceful Day On The Farm

A Bodacious Big-Eyed Beetle Bug

Our neighbor's horse is paying a visit.

Our one magnolia bloom for the year.
The tree has been here for about 9 years.
Maybe next year, we'll have two!

A short, but hard rain brought the temperature down to 78.
About an hour later, we're back up to 85 degrees with flood warnings.
Glad I'm sitting on the air conditioning vent!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day By Day

I found the link to this beautiful song today on my friend's website

I hope you will stop by and read her blog each day. Her family radiates peace and the joy of living - as does this song.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Strawberry Dip


1 container strawberry cream cheese
1 container marshmallow cream

Mix and Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Makes 4 loaves

Starter dough (the day before)

What you’ll need

  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. yeast (dry)

What to do

  • In a large bowl or plastic container, combine flour and yeast, then add water.
  • Mix with spoon or hands until all dry ingredients are hydrated, it should have no dry spots and be somewhere between a dough and a batter.
  • Leave overnight, covered

Final dough

What you’ll need

  • 5 1/8 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast (dry)
  • Starter dough

What to do

(in same container)

  • put flour, salt, yeast on top of starter dough (which will now be nice and bubbly and fragrant)
  • combine these dry ingredients together so salt and yeast are distributed evenly throughout flour
  • add water, hottest you can get it out of the tap
  • mix everything together with your hands until there is no dry flour

big sticky mess

  • rest for 20 minutes covered
  • knead the dough - I left mine in the container and folded it on itself over and over again
  • rest for one hour, covered
  • fold dough - fold each of the 4 sides into the middle and flip the whole thing over so it is smaller and tighter
  • rest for one hour, covered
  • cut out rough pieces (you can use a bread knife - wetting it first helps, but I just used my hands- wet- to make pieces)
  • put pieces on baking sheet with tiny amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • let rise for 15-20 minutes
  • bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes
  • check that top and bottom are evenly baking. after 10 minutes, I switched my baking sheets and moved the top sheet to the bottom and bottom sheet to the top. Watch the bottom of the breads so they don’t burn.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Fairy

Your fairy is called Fire Saturnwand
She is a trouble maker.
She lives where fireflies mate and breed.
She is only seen when the seer holds a four-leafed clover.
Her dresses glow with fiery colours. She has delicate pale pink wings like a cicada.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kazuri Beads

Kazuri ceramic beads are from Nairobi, Kenya. Each bead is shaped individually by hand without the aide of molds, forms, or any modern machinery. The beads are painted with high gloss paint, then glazed & fired to produce a smooth, shiny decorated product that is very durable. Kazuri is Swahili for "small and beautiful".

Kazuri Ltd. is a member of the Fair Trade Federation. Kazuri pays it employees three and a half times the national wage in Kenya plus providing free health care and day care. With staggering unemployment rates, one job holder often supports up to 20 members of their extended families.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Walk in the Woods

A walk in the silent woods is not silent at all. Stand still and
listen. The thump of a downy woodpecker on a hollow log, the tiny
hooves of a deer scooting through last season's leaves, and best of
all, the soft rumble of thunder and the spatter of drops on the broad
leaf of the hickory. These are remedies for a weary soul and tranquil
moments for a tired body. Who knows, if we stand still and listen - we
may hear an angel's wings.

~ Today I send a voice for the people in despair. ~


Monday, July 13, 2009

Outrageous Macaroons

For Outrageous Macaroons:

1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups coconut flakes, preferably unsweetened
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Garnish (optional):

3/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped shelled pistachios


Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Whisk condensed milk and almond extract in a large bowl until combined. Pulse almonds in a food processor (about 10 quick pulses) until broken unto small pieces. Stir the almonds, coconut, 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup pistachios into the condensed milk mixture.

Beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Fold 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Add the remaining egg whites, gently folding into the mixture until just combined. Drop 1 teaspoon of dough onto a prepared baking sheet and top with another teaspoon of dough, making a double-tall macaroon. Repeat with the remaining batter, spacing the macaroons 1 inch apart.

Bake the macaroons, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until the coconut is lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes (sweetened coconut will brown faster than unsweetened) . Let cool on the pans on a wire rack until cool to the touch, 30 minutes.

Optional garnish: Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave on Medium in 30-second bursts, stirring after each burst to ensure even melting, until completely melted. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly). Stir the remaining 1/4 cup chips into the melted chocolate until smooth. Drizzle or spoon the melted chocolate over the top of each cooled macaroon; sprinkle with cranberries and pistachios. Let the chocolate dry completely before storing or packing.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.

Yep! That's Me!

I didn't think I looked quite that bad, but I happened past a mirror this morning - argh!

I've been working deadlines the past 2 weeks. I hate that! I'd rather just put things on my Etsy site - . In these days of unemployment, one must take orders as they come along.

My mind seems to have left me, as well. I have more than $2,000 worth of beads sitting in front of me that I've ordered in the last couple of weeks. Dummy forgot to order needles and toggle clasps.

I'm putting together new kits that will be on my website - as soon as I have enough to make a decent presentation. I have ideas coming like mad, but, because I can't draw, they leave my brain before I can get even a little piece made.

I'm preparing jewelry for a wedding this weekend. The bride's coordinator specifically asked for me!!!!! It's a great honor, but a huge responsibility. I'm also embroidering purses for the wedding party.

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day. I was recovering from the flu and spent the last few days lazing around eating chicken pot pies. They aren't bad when you don't have anything else~

Happy Days!
Ruth Ann

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Swarovski Crystal Jewelry

After three years of wearing my Swarovski crystal jewelry non-stop, I began to notice a slightly milky appearance to the crystals. After much research, I ordered the above kit directly from Swarovski.

All things considered, my Swarovski jewelry has held up very well. I wear it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I sleep in it, swim in it, garden in it,etc.

Using PowerCord or FireLine, I have never had a piece to break. I'm finding more and more that people prefer the streatchiness of PowerCord so that bracelets are easy to put on and remove.

Somewhere along the way, I acquired some 3mm cubic zirconia bicones. Much too small for PowerCord. I strung the beads with curly letters and knotted it. The letters hang in everything and the cord stretches to many times its size, but has yet to break. Got to find out what that stuff is!

Ruth Ann

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands
One nation under God
Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Corn Bread Salad


1 quart baked cornbread
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups mayonnaise
2 large tomatoes, diced
8 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed (optional)

Crumble cornbread and combine with celery, pepper, onion, and
Stir in diced tomatoes and poultry seasoning. Just before
serving add bacon
and adjust seasonings to taste w/salt & pepper.