Tag Archives: Food

A day in the kitchen….

So, after spending all day yesterday in my p.j’s, and doing absolutely nothing all day, I had to get busy today.

Friday, I borrowed the Farmer’s Kitchen Aide Mixer, with all the attachments.  I had plans to make some cookies, and some home-made bread.   Seeing as how I did not get around to it yesterday, I got busy today. I got up and drank some coffee and chatted with the Electrician, then disappeared into my kitchen.

First thing on the agenda was to make some chocolate/butterscotch cookies.  I got all my ingredients out and had to do a face palm to the forehead.  So, I went back downstairs and asked the Electrician if he would do me a really big favor.  After getting “the look”, he asked me what the favor was.  “Uhm…could you run to the store for me?”   The Electrician said he would go after he had taken his shower. “Whew” is what I was thinking.  After he had his shower, he asked me what I needed.  Apparently this is where the mix-up came into play.  He thought I meant run up the street to our local IGA, when in fact, I meant run into Town, to our local Aldi‘s.  I told him I needed eggs, flour, and butter, oh yea some Diet coke too.    I’m not sure if he ended up going, simply because he loves me or my cookies more, but he went for me.

Now I could get busy.  Seriously though, who plans to make 6 loaves of bread and a couple batches of cookies, and does not realize they have no butter, not enough eggs, and definitely not enough flour?  Yea, you guessed it, me.

With the cookies all made and sitting on the cookie sheets,( I am lucky I have about 8 of the Industrial size cookie sheets), waiting to take their turn in the oven, I washed all the dishes, and then shredded the Zucchini, and the apples for the flavored breads I was making.

First up was the zucchini/apple bread.  It might sound like a crazy combination, but it is actually really good.   After getting it all made and sticking it in line with the last of the cookies, I washed dishes again, and got busy with the pumpkin bread.  I almost had a disaster with that one, because I forgot to mix the oil into the dough, and then looked in my lazy Susan (where all my canned stuff is, along with my cooking oils), I only found a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil.  Uhm, nope that was not going to work, then I opened up the cabinet under my sink and remembered I had bought 2 great big bottles of canola oil, so I could change the oil in my fryer (uhm, yes, I am a procrastinater and have not done that either).  Problem solved.  Mixed it all together and then put it into the loaf pans.

With all the cookies being done, I stuck the bread in the oven.  Then realized something.  ANOTHER face palm to the forehead……I had planned to make Beer butt chicken, with roasted broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms, and roasted potato’s, uhm…in my oven.  It was going on about 12:00 when I stuck the bread in the oven, and that would take about an hour.  Now on Sunday’s around here, we usually have dinner about 1:30 or 2.  Not going to happen today.

So, I warmed up the Electrician a leftover green chili cheeseburger from last night, and brought it down to him.  I don’t think he minded, as he was in pretty good humor, something about THE BEARS blowing up the Tennessee Titans.

Meanwhile, I got everything ready to stick in the oven when the bread was done.    I still had 2 more loaves of bread that I wanted to make, and these were the one’s that were going to take some time.  It’s called Amish Country Bread, and it uses yeast.

I have only just started working with yeast, because I used to be scared of it.    But the recipe I found is easy.  The mixer does most of the work, and I like that. There is the punching down of the dough, and letting it rise, but there is not much kneading, and no rolling.  I really like that.  The loaves are rustic looking, and I did something different this time.  Last time I made it, I topped the loaf with sea salt, fresh rosemary(from my plant) and Parmesan cheese.   One batch makes 2 loaves, this time, I did the rosemary one, but the second one I did with fresh Thyme (from my plant), kosher salt, and pecorino romano cheese.

Well….it is now about 5:30pm, dinner has been eaten, my kitchen is back to being squeaky clean.  I do have confess, the Electrician asked how come I made such a mess.  My kitchen kind of looked like a “flour zone”.  That’s when I told him, the Best cooks, make the biggest mess, and the food is yummy.

My breads have all been cooled, wrapped, and placed in the freezer, although I did send 1/2 a loaf of pumpkin bread to my neighbor.  I did have a bunch of fun cooking most of the day, and folks, my house smells amazing.

I did call the Farmer though and we did some negotiations over the phone, I still have 2-4 more breads I want to make, so I asked if I could keep his mixer one more day.  The price we negotiated was a small bag of cookies, and the mixer could inhabit my kitchen one more day.

So, tomorrow afternoon when I return from the Farmer’s house, I will finish up my bread making, and also some pie crusts.  Now some of you are probably asking yourself, why am I making so much bread and other stuff.  Hey call me Mrs. Ready, holidays are coming up and I am NOT waiting till the last-minute.

It was a Cowboy Halloween…

Well ..the last piece of candy has been given out and the last trick or treat’er has left to go home.

Before the spookiness started though, I had a semi-rough day, and was rewarded, by my Electrician cooking me dinner.   Now, I don’t know about y’all, but to me a man in the kitchen is kinda sexy.  Not to mention I got to take a nice relaxing shower and not have to worry about anything.

I arrived at the dinner table, squeaky clean, and refreshed.  I was served chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet corn.    Now to be honest, I have tried to make white gravy, and chicken fried steak, and I seriously suck at it.  Since this is one of the main dinners he makes that is “slap yo Momma good”.  I just let him make it, and I do the dishes.

With dinner over, and dishes done, we got ready for all the little trick or treats to arrive at our door.  We had a few, and then a little Cowboy arrived with his posse.  He even had a gun and horse.  We have determined that this little stinker is just to cute for words, so, here’s some pictures to explain….


Little Man came into our house, giggling the whole way.  He sat down so Papa could take his picture.  He had to show me, he could ride his horse…

He kind of just bounced on it but we all laughed and he laughed too.  Little Cowboy wanted some of his candy, so I opened up his smarties, and he went for it.


This is Cam-man with his Momma and other Grandma. they were his “posse”.   But when his Momma grabbed him, he just giggled!


Here he wanted to share his candy, and then rode his horse, who made noises like a horse and had us all giggling!!!!


He was so totally different this year trick or treating from last year…. last year, he had no concept.  This year he actually knocked on the doors, said Trick or Treat, and then when he got treats, he said “Thank You” plain as day.  What a kid….


He truly loved the horse though, it made noises like a horse and he bounced on that thing.  We all said it should be a kangaroo, simply for the fact how he bounced on it.

I stuffed his pockets in his shirt with candy and told him that was his “secret stash”.  I had to laugh when he left though.  He was walking out the front door, screaming “BYE, BYE”   “YOU TOO”.  Papa chased him out the door and he got rattled and dropped his horse and ran screaming in the night.  His Mama found him and loaded him up into the car, and I stood at the door, waving and said “Bye Cam-man, LOVE YOU”  he got into the car and screamed out “BYE, YOU TOO”.  That’s lil dude’s way of saying Love you too.  Hope y’all had a good one and Happy Halloween.





Cookies….dunk or not….

When I was a kid, my favorite thing that I remember was going to Grandma’s house and fresh-baked cookies.    Chocolate chip were my favorite.

As I have grown older, I’ve made cookies.  I made cookies for my kids, and I actually have never bought cookies at the store. To me, it was always cheaper to buy the sugar and flour and other ingredients, and put my time and love into them.

When the Electrician was on the road, I made a double batch of cookies every Sunday afternoon, and he took them to his crew on Mondays.    They all loved the cookies, because it was like a little piece of home for guys that did not get to go home on the weekends.

Since he’s been home, I still make the cookies, whenever we run out, I make more.  It’s funny because the Electrician is kinda hordish with his cookies.  If the kids are coming over, he hides them.  But, unfortunately for him, they know where he hides them and they find them and eat their share.

I know this simply for the fact, the other day I got a call at the Farmer’s and the kids had been by the house, and the Electrician  told me, Cam-man had 2 cookies, the Nursing Student had 3 and the Fisher dude had 5.

It’s a heartwarming feeling to me to know that my cookies, make my family happy.  The Farmer has me make him cookies usually at the first of the month, that’s when he goes to get his hair trimmed, and his Barber Kenny (BFF of the Farmer’s) get’s the 1/2 batch of the Oatmeal raisin cookies that I make.

Seeing as how we are now in the fall season though, cookies will still be made, but now I am being pestered to make my Grandma’s Apple pie.  The Farmer and I can attest to how good in the tummy this pie makes you feel.

It’s funny isn’t it?  Some of the best feelings in the world are associated with the foods that your parents/grandparents made that make you feel oh so special and a warm feeling inside?  I am so blessed that my Grandma spent time in the kitchen with me, and taught me how to make a decent pie crust, and how to put that little bit of love into everything I make.

So, I guess my question is do you dunk your cookies in milk?  The Electrician likes to crumble them up into his ice cream, the Farmer just eats them, the kids will sometimes dunk them.

Forgive me for being silly tonite…K?

Macaroni and Cheese…Epic fail…


Today, as  usual was a cooking Sunday, I was ready.  I had a rack of baby back ribs, that I smothered in a dry rub, let them sit in said rub for about an hour and  slapped those puppies in the oven.  Low and slow.

The question was, what to make with them?  I googled some idea’s, I asked a friend.  My mind was made up, I was going to make Baked Beans, and Macaroni and cheese.

Let me just state for the record,  I have attempted to make Mac and cheese (from scratch) so many times, to come up extremely short.  While I appreciate the fact, the Electrician attempts to swallow my offerings, today’s was bad.

While I can make Boef a la Bougnoin, and other french dishes, and cook like a fiend any type of Mexican cooking, and may I say, I can cook Chicken and Dumplings with the best of them.  This Macaroni and cheese thing, well….  let’s just say, I’ve made dog food that tasted better.

So, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make the traditional all American meal of Macaroni and Cheese.

The Electrician has gotten to the point where he has asked me ever so gently, to forget about it.

I guess there are some things I was never meant to cook.  Macaroni and cheese, must be one of them.




Ok, so far this morning,

I have managed to trip on the stairs over the cat.

Spill coffee all over the wall in the above mentioned trip.

Cleaned up spilled coffee.

Tripped over the above mentioned cat, while refilling her water bowl.

Cleaned up the water, at the above mentioned trip.

Grabbed lotion instead of soap, while washing my face this morning.

And the topper……

How the heck do you get toothpaste in your eye?

With all of that being said, I am heading down the road to the Farmer’s with a very “fresh and minty” eye.

Maybe I should crawl back into bed, and start over?



Shopping on a Sunday for Chili.

I’ve been shopping today.  Ok, maybe not physically in the store, but on my computer.  However, unlike most females, I am not shopping for clothes (although I seriously need to).  I was responding to an e-mail that I received from Berridge Farms regarding Hatch Chili season 2012.

While I have lived in Illinois for about 18 years now (WOW, has time flew).  I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 13 years.  I fell in love with Albuquerque, the culture, the FOOD, and the scenery.   I loved living in the city, and being able to drive to the mountains in about 20 minutes.  I spent a lot of time in the Sandia Mountains, and can actually say I did climb from the top to the bottom.  I had a run in with some rattlesnakes (both boys remember that one), But, I did not get bit, and I learned just how fast I can jump from one rock to another.

I fell in love with the various types of “chili’s”.  By far my favorite is “Hatch New Mexico green chili. If you’ve never tasted it, well, I’m sorry.  I learned how to make all kinds of special New Mexican dishes.  Carnita’s, Green chili stew, huevos rancheros, green chili chicken enchilada’s.

The smell of roasted chili, makes me feel warm all over.  Oh….uhm.. I digress.

The e-mail was sent to me because a year ago, I found their website, and with the Electrician’s approval, I ordered some.  The day when it arrived you would have thought it was Christmas.  I fired up the grill the next day (of course, it was the hottest friggin day of the year, but well, I suffered through it, although the electrician had to finish for me, because I got over heated and had to sit in the baby pool for a few minutes).  I roasted all 10 lbs, and then wrapped it up in a plastic bag and let it steam for a couple of hours.  I was in heaven, my garage smelt like green chili…  I bagged it all up, and placed it in my freezer.  I put about 6 chili’s in a bag and ended up with about 15 bags.

Unfortunately, me, with having fresh roasted green chili in the house, I used it rather quickly, so, I begged asked the Electrician if we could order another 10 lbs.  It was close to the end of the season, and I got a good deal, and so, again when it arrived I had my own “roasting party”.

When I opened up the e-mail today, it was for pre-orders for the season.  Mind you, the green chili season is usually harvested in August and ends about  the middle of September or first of October.    With our finances being a little different this year versus last year, he gave me a look.

The Chili price isn’t bad, it’s the shipping that is killing us.  So, after a lively discussion filled with laughter AND looks.  Especially when the Electrician asked me about those cans of “diced green chili” that they sell in the store and He got a straight up LOOK from me.  That’s when I asked him “YOU want those can’s versus the FRESH stuff?”  He just laughed at me.  (He knows how to rile me up).

I think we have reached a compromise though, while I ordered 20 lbs last year, and folks I still have 2 bags in the freezer, to last me until August.  This IS April right?  I think 25lbs should do it this year.

So with all that being said I did send an e-mail to Berridge Farms, asking some questions.  BUT,  I think I will place my pre-order for 25lbs.  When I receive it in late August, I will have another chili roasting session, and enjoy the smell of fresh roasted green chili.

Then I think I will make some Green chili stew, and some enchilada’s, and some tamales, and uhm…the possibilities are endless.

Don’t let the Electrician fool you though, while he may kick up a bit of a fuss, I won him over with my green chili chicken enchilada’s when we were dating.  In fact, while we were sitting at the dinner table with both of my boys and the Electrician was there, he broke into a sweat after the third bite, while me and the boys kept eating.    He’s manned up since then and can eat the “hot” stuff with the best of them.

Besides, it’s the best cure for the winter.  If you feel a cold coming on, or any kind of sickness, eat a bowl of green chili stew, you’ll be fine, trust me.


A day in the life of camsgranny,

Whew…today was a good day, and bad day, and good day.  Is that an oxymoron?  Ok, today started out great, The Outlaws, breakfast and some shopping (by the way Meijer‘s was fun).  That was in it in a nutshell.  I love my Outlaws, we have a lot of fun together, drinking coffee and talking about the world’s problems and then getting ready to go out to breakfast.

Getting to the restaurant and chowing down because I guess we are all starving at that point.  Driving 45 minutes ( My Father-in law is a maniac….their speed limit is 75 and our’s is 65, and the Electrician pointed out…uhm..several times that 70 was fast enough for anyone to drive).  ( Momma and I are giggling in the back seat)(glad I let the Electrician ride shotgun).  We do some fun shopping and spend a lot of hours in the Grocery Store (of course anyone who reads my posts know that I am not ALLOWED in the Grocery Store).  The Electrician is now cringing because I went into the Grocery Store and uhm…well…I spent some $$ cuz I JUST had to have this and that….but Hey, he got a free cookie..:) 

We got home and it seemed all the Men  (:)) had to have a nap and then all the kiddo’s showed up complete with Granbabies too…, I believed I described it last night as Chaotic Chaos….uhm…x12….uhm…Lil” man is teething and while all of his other teeth have come in with no problem his last 5 are providing a problem and he is not the happy lil’ man that he has been.  So he was a bit cranky.  Plus the Nursing student decided she wanted the kids to take a nap so she could enjoy dinner un-interrupted with us “Adults” and no kid time…uhm..huh????  It worked to a certain extinct.  We had the full on dinner with everyone around the table (remind me tomorrow to take a picture so you can see, what my beyond 72 inch table looks like before we get to it…..)  hehehe  we have decided they don’t make tablecloths long enough but that is another post…..

Dinner was Fantastic, due to my M-I-L , my Daughter #1 and well…uhm…me…we all chowed down,  (kids sleeping..hehehe).  And Then I got the phone call from the Farmer….”Joanne”  “uhm yup”  “I need you to come help me with your Mom”  “Uhm, Ill be there in a minute k?”    So, I went flying over to the Farmer’s house and my Mom, was the worst I have seen her in awhile.   (That makes me Sad)  I left a house full of family to run to my Mother’s aide, and ya know what, I’m not sorry and I’m not making excuses, because a Daughter does what a daughter does…

My Mother had a Bad day… I’m sorry the Farmer had to deal with that without me there…But he called and I came (like I always will) , because I Love My Mama…  She’s had a REALLY bad day, I’m not sure why but she did.    I got there and she  got normal for a minute or 2 but that was it, and ya know what I did?  I put her butt to bed with the Philharmonic playing in the background and gave her roasary and said some ‘Hail Mary‘s” with her and Prayed by her side….I climbed up on her bed and she asked me if I was a cat…(hehehe) and then she told me “I was a Gas”…uhmmm I’m not sure what that means but she was smiling when I left.

I got home and had fun with my “other parents”…They are fun too but ya know what?   I am blessed to be loved by all of them, between all of them they are part of MY history, and I cherish that.    My “other parents” gave me the Electrician and ya know what?  At this point I would not trade NUTHIN in the world to be with him….i Have the life I would not trade nothin for…this is MY LIFE and I Love it and am GRATEFULL for it…..  I’ve left a lot out but ya know what fill in the blanks…you still won’t get it right….I LOVE MY LIFE…sometimes it sucks and other times it still sucks Twinkies, But ya know what…. I LOVE IT…:)  Have a GREAT day ya’ll….cuz I will…:):) Love,Camsgranny!!!!!

Falls, cookies, and tuna.

Some people wake up to Alarm clocks, and other stuff, this morning I was woken up by the phone. It was still dark outside so I knew it was early.  I answered it and this is what the conversation was “Hello”  “Joanne, it’s your Dad”, “Hi”  “I need you to get over here as soon as possible and help, your Mom’s on the floor”.  “Okay, let me get dressed and I’ll be right there”.

So, I did what every good daughter does, fly outta the house in my p.j’s with my tennis shoes and get outside and realize damn, it’s cold.  I make the trip over and arrive and sure enough my Mom is on the floor.  “Uh…Mom what are you doing on the floor and how long have you been here?”  “The  squirrel in the window was bothering me, and I don’t know how long I’ve been here.”  Between the Farmer  and I, we got her back onto the bed and then assessed the damage.  Well, she is going to have a Shiner on her eye, and she has rug burns on her cheek, and while it looks bad, it’s really not as bad as it could have been.

We are not really sure why she got up in the middle of the night, it has been about 3 months since the last time she attempted to get up.  But…we did some research and found this  Ez adjust bed rail. EZ Adjust Bed Rail by Standers

Which will be delivered on Thursday.  This outta keep her butt in bed. 

After the ordeal of everything, my Mom was in pretty good spirits and drank some coffee, I got her cleaned up and dressed and made it out to her power lift chair with only a couple of warbles.  Although, she did try to do some negotiating with me.  As in, “you know, that was kind of hard to spend the night on the floor, so I think you should make me some chocolate chip cookies to make me feel better.”  uh…ok….  So, I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and then the Farmer got in on the act….. “uh, Joanne I really liked the tuna casserole thingy that you made and I could sure eat one for dinner to make ME feel better after being stressed and upset over your Mom”…uh ok…..

So, I fixed both of them up good, I made a double batch of cookies and froze half the dough and there are 4 tuna casserole thingy’s in the freezer, right along side those cookies.

And me?  Yes, I was stressed, yes I was upset.  But I actually surprised myself today, because I am ok!  I spent the afternoon getting the skunk stripe out of my hair and am now a nice new shade of  auburn, the Electrician and I had leftover green chili chicken enchilada’s for dinner and I am in my “comfy” clothes getting ready to watch the Walton’s. 

Today, while it may not have started out the way any of us wanted it to, has been a really good day.  My Mom survived and has promised not to get out of bed tonite, she got chocolate chip cookies, the Farmer got a tuna casserole thingy for dinner and I…well,  I have the satisfaction of knowing today I made a difference.

Not Crying today!

Today has been a strange day.  I don’t quite know how to describe it, but  I guess I’ll tell you about it starting with this morning.  I had to stop at Wal-Mart and pick up some things for the folks (only because the Farmer didn’t go shopping yesterday but decided to ride on the Combine, AGAIN without me I might add)  I’m not bitter about it really, I was in the midst of my own “crisis”,  Yes, the Queen of the back roads got a flat tire….but that is another story.

I got to the folks house and put away the groceries and had a cup of coffee with the Farmer and made a list for “Sams” grocery store (he wasn’t getting out of it today).    We talked for a bit and he told me he had read my “post”, but didn’t realise that my Mom or I could speak french.  When I asked him why he didn’t know that, he stated that when we had been in Paris, neither one of us said a word.  I promptly told him that we didn’t speak “that” french.  hehehe

He left to go to Sams, and I proceeded to get my Mom up.  It was not a good day for her.  I am wondering if sometimes the weather plays a role or not.  Today was a dreary, rainy, cold kind of day.  Mom did her exercises without her usual humor, and then (for lack of a better word) freaked out on me while walking to the living room.  Her limbs do not always cooperate with what she wants them to do, and then she panics and gets even more agitated, and then becomes frantic.  I’m starting to see the signs before they become totally out of control.  I did the only thing I knew and just grabbed her in a bear hug and held on until she calmed down. I kept telling her over and over “I am here and I won’t let anything happen to you”.

We finally made it to her chair and she sat down and drank a cup of coffee, and then she dozed for a bit.  I made her breakfast and I swear this poor woman does not know what a “hot” meal is because she kinda takes her time eating (hours).  I did all the normal stuff us homemaking “goddesses” do laundry, cooking, and cleaning (with a couple of self-imposed time outs because I was worried) (picked the wrong week to quit smoking….that’s not gonna happen this week).

By the time the Farmer arrived home from his shopping trip, Mom was almost back to normal (well as normal as she gets these days).    We brought all the groceries in and put them away.  Both the Farmer and Mom said “hi”  and Mom was reading the paper when (I was in the kitchen fiddling with something) Mom asked the Farmer….”Are we married?”  Both the Farmer and I replied “yes” at the same time and then the Farmer informed her “Yes, dear we got married TWICE! Once in a Civil suit and also in the Church”.    She seemed satisfied with that answer.  Then she told both of us her picture was in the paper…uh..what?  So the Farmer looked and said “um, honey that’s not you” so Mom asked my opinion,  “Uhm, nope Mom that’s not you, you’re prettier!”

This was the first half of my day, and I’m with the Farmer….who told me a couple of days ago, you either laugh or you cry, because the disease that has taken over my Mom, to put it in plain English….seriously SUCKS.

I’m not crying tho and I’m not having a pity party either…I am remembering all those times when my Mom was pre-parkinson’s and was full of life laughter and giggles, and ya know what, she is still there, but sometimes she has bad days too, but it’s up to me and the Farmer to make sure she is happy and comfortable, because I know inside she is scared.  That makes me sad.  But the joy she has brought to me makes me happy.  So, I’m not crying tonite, I am thanking God for another day, and tomorrow will be better and we will fill it with some giggles and stuff…..