Long ago trip

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Its been a while, yes I know. But, I just thought I would share about my trip a couple weeks ago to see Lucas….. and all the pretty flowers. It has been a weird spring and turning into a scorcher for a summer. All of the penstemon has long since gone and all that was blooming was cactus and prickly poppy.

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  I did find some interesting sedge that could be used for cuts but never got a picture.

We did see some lizards, who were being friendly with one another.

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But to end this post here are some other pictures. Hope you have a wonderful day flower friends.

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weekending

Well this past weekend was spent in Lincoln, due to the snow that blew through. Boring as it was, I actually got something done. Amazingly. Tiff and I watched movies, did some baking, watched some more movies, watched it snow. While it was all fun I’m glad that it is finally over and I can leave the apt. This next weekend I’m doing an event with some awesome Uncles of mine. Stay tuned for pics.

A Hunting We Will Go….

It happened. Yes, the inevitable. I went on a hunt. Not those hunts you pretend to have when you are a child, looking for those shiny rocks and ancient artifacts (out in the wind break). This was for real. Lucas has been asking me ever since we started dating, which seems like forever ago…OK only 3 1/2 years but who is counting ;). But, he has been asking me every winter or so to come up to his place to go and shoot a deer. Have I said that hunting is not my thing? Well it really isn’t. With not much pleading and persuading I went.

All I was thinking was that it would be super boring (which it was most of the time). Lots…. I mean alot of sleeping happened. So much that I dreamed I fell out of the chair, which made me physically jump out of my chair and startled Lucas. Sorry about that.

There was actually alittle bit of excitement that happened. We put up the new blind and disguised it some more.

Can’t even tell it is there.

A friendly little squirrel decided to chatter all day long. Providing bits of entertainment throughout the afternoon.

The next day Lucas put out this deer attractant (I don’t remember what it was exactly). All I know is pictures through the mesh of the deer blind do not turn out very good. Remember that for next time.

We did however see some deer, if you look close you can see her in the middle. No shooters though (as Lucas calls them). I am hoping however that he does get his deer soon. Maybe next year I will go with him again……only to watch and take pictures though.

Peppermint Bark

I am hooked on Soule Mama, she is just amazing. Great ideas, great handmade goodies, and great recipes. When I found her recipe for Peppermint Bark I knew that it had to be made.

It’s almost like a steaming cup of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (but without the schnapps)! Mmmmmm. So good.

This is sure to become a family favorite. Yum 🙂

Three-Layer Peppermint Bark (from Orangette)
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1998

When you’re shopping for white chocolate, make sure that the words “cocoa butter” appear in the list of ingredients. When I went to buy mine, I was shocked by how many brands contain absolutely no cocoa butter. (Instead, you get only sugar, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavorings, and the like.) I wound up using Callebaut, which isn’t cheap, but it was a worthy splurge.

Also, to crush the peppermints coarsely, Bon Appétit advises tapping the wrapped candies firmly with the bottom edge of an unopened 15- to 16-ounce can. I used a heavy glass jar, and that worked fine too.

17 oz. white chocolate, such as Callebaut, finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, such as Ghirardelli 60%, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
¾ tsp. peppermint extract

Turn a large baking sheet upside down, and cover it securely with aluminum foil. Measure out and mark a 9- by 12-inch rectangle on the foil.

Put the white chocolate in a metal (or other heatproof) bowl, and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth; if you take its temperature with a candy thermometer, it should register 110°F. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Pour 2/3 cup of it onto the rectangle on the foil. Using an icing spatula, spread the chocolate to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, and pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle. Using an icing spatula – make sure you cleaned it after using it for the white chocolate, above! – spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water to 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm bittersweet layer, using your (again, clean) icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the foil from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. (These are yours to nibble at, a little prize for your efforts.) Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slip the bark off of the foil and onto the cutting board. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or, alternatively, just cut each strip into smaller pieces of whatever size you like. That’s what I did.

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or, to emphasize the slight softness of the bittersweet layer, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: This bark will keep for up to 2 weeks, if not more. If you plan to pack it in a tin or baggie with other holiday sweets, be sure to wrap it separately in plastic wrap. Or maybe wax paper and then plastic wrap, so that it doesn’t sweat. If you left it naked, so to speak, to mix and mingle with other cookies or candies, everything might wind up tasting and smelling like peppermint.

Yield: about 36 pieces, or more, if you cut them smaller

A Winter Wonderland

Wow… this weekend turned into a blustery white, Christmas filled couple of days. Full of happiness and reminiscing on old memories. We brought in our tree, no setting up an artificial one this year. A real one! Yes siree bob! More pictures of the tree to come. It seemed as if this snow wanted to stay around for a while. Over half a foot of soft, wet, fluffy snow on Saturday soon turned into hard icy snow by Sunday morning. It will be hanging around here for a while since the forecast calls for no temperatures above 30 until next Saturday. We are all hoping for everyone to be safe on the roads this winter season. Have a wonderful Monday!!

Thanksgiving weekend

The time flew by as family got together for a weekend filled of laughter, Turkey eating, fits (of joy!), more laughter, Christmas lights, left overs, and many goodbyes. It always seems to go by to fast. But, sometimes time went slow. For the past few years my mom has been trying to find the perfect date for our now growing family’s Thanksgiving day. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This year it was Thanksgiving Day. For the first year, she let my sister and I help her. 23 years old and I finally got to help. YAY!!! It’s not like I have never helped before, setting the table, veggies for relish plate, drinks, and making pies. But, I guess making oreo fluff and apple snicker salad is added to the list. Boy I can’t wait to make turkey and ham. Mmmmmm…..so good. Maybe next year (wishful thinking).

 

With that said Thanksgiving break was a time well spent. Even though we now all have to get back to work and school, the memories and times spent with family will be cherished. The good thing that break is over means only one thing….. Christmas is almost here.