Sunday, December 27, 2020

Yule log...

 Kelly and I have always wanted to make a yule log.  This was the year. We took the plunge and made the traditional Christmas cake.

Yule Log Cake

3/4 c. Flour

1/3 c. Cocoa

1 t. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Salt

4 Eggs divided

3/4 c. Sugar

5 T. Sour Cream

1/4 c. Butter melted

1 t. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 17x12 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

 Whisk together dry ingredients.  Then separate egg yolks from whites. Mix yolks with sugar and whip.  Add sour cream, butter, and vanilla.  Whip whites until soft peaks form then fold into cake mix.  Spread into jelly roll pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Slowly roll up.

Allow to cool.  Meanwhile, make the filling.  Whip 1 c. Cream, 1/4 c. Powdered Sugar, 1 t. Vanilla.  Whip until peaks form.  Unroll the cake, spread the filling, then reroll without parchment paper.
1/2 stick of butter melted
1 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
5 T. Cocoa
1 t. Vanilla
3 T. Cream
Pinch of salt
Beat And spread over Yule log.
It turned out perfectly, but was one heck of a sugar rush   Ella was tired just watching us.  
We had a very Merry Christmas.  I hope everyone also enjoyed the holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas...

 My present is done.  My husband built the last shelf for my sewing nook.  Needless to say, I'm thrilled.  Now back to quilting.  Here are a few photos.

The shelf fits perfectly under the Murphy desk.  A great place for storing the printer and laptop.

I was able to iron and fold most of my material.  Now I can just look up and see what I have.  It feels good to have all of my sewing and crafting supplies all in one spot.
I found a new recipe, but had to tweak it some. 

No-knead Cranberry Walnut Artisan Bread
3 c. Flour
1/2 t. Instant Yeast
2 t. Sea Salt
1/2 c. Walnuts (I used sliced Almonds)
1 c. Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 c Warm Water
1/4 c. Honey

Mix dry ingredients and dry yeast.  Mix warm water and honey.  Mix water and honey with dry ingredients.  Cover and let rise.  The recipe says for 12 hours.  Ha, that didn't happen.  After two,  I somewhat punched it down.  You are supposed to put it in a Dutch oven.  I don't have one.  I covered my cast iron skillet with olive oil, put a lid on top, and baked it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I took the lid off and baked it another 15 minutes.  If you want the real and much more complicated version it can be found at: The Busy Baker.

We will stay put for Christmas.  I hope you all find peace.  I am looking forward to a new year.

Sunday, December 13, 2020


 This weekend's addition to the sewing nook was a Murphy desk.  I love it.  

Here it is.  There is a chalkboard in front. This will be great when I'm figuring measurements.

It folds down and provides a wonderful work space.  The tabletop is the perfect size for cutting material. It was also easier to iron larger pieces of fabric.  

Inside there are lots of nooks and crannies to store things.  I know things still look a little cluttered. I'm working on it.  I spent several days ironing and folding my fabric stash.  I am almost done.  Now it will be where I can see it for inspiration.  

Things are looking up at work.  We finally get to reopen our campus.  This week we get some of my students that had nowhere to go for Christmas 🎄.  We are overjoyed.  It has been the longest nine months of my life.  

It was a beautiful sunset tonight.  As Ella and I went for our Sunday walk, a flock of geese flew over our cabin with it's Chrismas light blinking.  The sky was fuscia and a brilliant blue.  I wasn't fast enough with my camera.  Guess I'll have to hold that picture in my mind.

Is there a picture you hold in your memory?  Hope everyone is making progress with their Christmas lists.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Christmas present...

 My husband has been giving me a Christmas present every weekend.  You may ask yourself how do I rate?  My Christmas wish this year was to get my sewing nook the way I want it.  My husband rose to the challenge.  

My first present came last weekend.  It was the shelf under the window.  This is for my crafting supplies.  On top is my little ironing board.  If you are wondering why it is so short, it is so the desk drawer opens.
This weekend he made a shelf for above my sewing machine. It will hold sewing supplies and books.  My favorite part is we put an LED light under the shelves.  It makes all the difference.  Other than the window, a tiny lamp, and sewing machine light, there was no light in the nook.  When the sun went down, I had to stop what I was doing.

We have two more storage shelves to go.  Here is where we are.  I am waiting for a Murphy desk that folds down.  This will be for drawing, material cutting, and bills.  Then once that is up one more shelf.  The final step will be to alter the desk so the sewing machine is flush with the desk top.

The weather has been amazing.  We took Ella for a run today and hardly needed our coats.  We had two feet of snow this time last year.

I am thankful for a warmer than normal winter.  That brings my week to a close.  Have you done any renovations lately?  What does your project workspace look like?  Hope everyone has a fabulous week.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Bow hunting...

 I'm still bow hunting.  It takes an enormous amount of patience and luck.  I have had the patience, but not the luck.  We have a lot of nice big bucks hanging around.  I've missed twice. One was a monster and I shot right over his back.  I misjudged the distance.  Three feet makes all the difference.  I've seen some crazy stuff.  Fights between bucks.  Does teaching their fawns the ropes.  I truly enjoy sitting in the woods, until I get cold.  Thank goodness for hand warmers.  I can't complain too much, as it is November and we only have a skiff of snow.  Besides hunting, we did get the Christmas lights up today.

I find it very difficult to capture the essence of Christmas lights.  They are always more spectacular in person.  The sunset is from my tree stand.  Also not as breathtaking as in person.  Are your lights up?  What do you do that teaches patience?  I had a reader wonder where we a located.  The beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.  Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

I hope you enjoy our little outdoor Christmas tree as much as we do.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


 The cookbook is done, not printed, but done.  My husband is taking it to the printer this week.

I also bottled some rhubarb wine.  

I made some banana muffins.

Ella and I went for a run.  She loves to put on her orange bling during hunting season.  She prances around like she is a queen.

I am still deer hunting.  I filled my rifle tag, but still have a bow tag.  The weather has been pretty warm, so it has been rather enjoyable.  It doesn't hurt that my amazing husband has hot cocoa or hot coffee waiting to warm me up when I come in chilled.  I sure picked a winner with him.  

I'm always curious as to what the rest of you are up to.  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  I hope you are able to enjoy the holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 15, 2020


 I'm afraid I am too tired to post much.  Both my husband and I got a deer yesterday.  I was determined to have them both butchered by the end of the day.  Ten pounds of summer sausage, ten pounds of jerky, 7 pints of stew meat, and twenty one pounds of roasts later I'm done.  All that is left is to dehydrate the jerky and roast the summer sausage.  I almost forgot, while I was butchering I also rendered the bear fat Kelly's friend brought me.  I just put it in a pot on the stove and cooked it on low until I had 2 quarts.  If you are wondering about my hunt it was cold and relatively fast.  I was just focused on meat and breaking my 3 year curse.  It has been three years since I got a deer.  I'm always waiting for something better and end up with tag soup.  With the unreliability of 2020, I decided stocking our reserves was of utmost importance.

Rendered bear fat also known as baking gold in my book.
Summer sausage and jerky are curing until tomorrow.  

Now a long hot bath, otherwise I don't think I will be able to move tomorrow.  Have you ever butchered anything?  I would love to try butchering a pig sometime.  What do you do with the meat?  Hope you have a fabulous week.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Learning new things...

The family cookbook is never going to be done.  Just when I think I'm close I find more pictures or more recipes.  Between that and hunting I didn't get much else done.  This is my first time making my grandma's sour cream chocolate cake.  Sorry you have to look at my cheesy smile.  I'm thought the recipe deserved a picture.   I also made my mother's chocolate frosting.  I keep trying recipes to make sure I got them right in the cookbook.  

I did go to a friend's house.  We try to have a girls weekend every 3-4 months.  We've picked grapes, gone to yoga class, gone snowshoeing, had Sunday dinner, and this time she taught me how to throw a pot.
As you can see from the look on my face it is intense.  At least you can tell it's a pot.  Problem is it was supposed to be a bird feeder.  Ha, ha, ha and I'm not joking.  Sometimes you just need to know your limitations.

When was the last time you learned something new?

Thank you to all of our veterans out there.  I learned the hard way that freedom isn't free.  Happy Veteran's day and thank you for your service.

Sunday, November 1, 2020


We had company last week, thus I didn't have time to post.  A friend came out to deer hunt. I did manage to get a few projects done.

I completed the top of my quilt.  Of course I made a mistake that had to be fixed.  Can you see it?  I'm pretty happy that all of my measurements came out correctly.  The design is my own and I learned after last year's quilt that make it up as you go isn't the best mantra.
My husband made a phenomenal meal for our anniversary.  We enjoyed it with some homemade Dandelion Wine.
I'm still trying recipes from the family cookbook.  A neighbor submitted her popcorn ball recipe.  Of course, I had to make sure it is good and it is excellent.
My loofa was ready to be peeked and bleached.  It has taken four years to get a loofa.  It turned out pretty nice.
Our guest shot a nice buck out at our prairie property.  He was pretty happy with the number of deer he saw.  
I'm almost done with the family cookbook.  I have really enjoyed looking at pictures and trying recipes. I've also learned where some family recipes originated.  I'm a believer that nothing brings people together like food, wether it is cooking it or eating it.

It is amazing how many things there are to do.  Do you have family recipes that have been passed down? Have you ever grown a loofa?  I hope you are keeping busy.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

I'm on a roll...

 I actually got quite a few projects knocked off of my list this week.

I used last year's compost to top off my butterfly bed...

Seeds were scattered and the soil turned.  Emptying the compost bin cleared up room for my next project.

I raked the leaves...

There were a lot of leaves.  All that work made me hungry.  I am still working on the family cookbook and Julia Child inspired me to check my recipes.  It was a great time to try my mom's amazing pumpkin bars and frosting.

Pumpkin Bars

2 c. Flour

2 t. Baking Powder

1 t. Salt

1 t. Cinnamon

1/2 t. Ginger

1/4 t. Cloves

1 t. Baking Soda

4 Eggs

2 c. Sugar

1 can of Pumpkin (16 oz.)

1 c. Oil

1 c. Walnuts chopped (optional)

Beat eggs, then add sugar, pumpkin, and oil.  Fold in flour, salt, and spices.  Beat well and add walnuts.  Bake in 12x16 jelly roll pan. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

 1 pkg. Cream Cheese (8 oz.)

1/2 c. Butter (soft)

3 1/2 c. Powered Sugar

1 t. Vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  If too stiff add a tablespoon of milk or cream.

Yummy!  I'm liking this cookbook project more and more.  My goal is to have all the recipes in by the end of the October.  I find we are a family of bakers, as our dessert and bread sections are quite heavy compared to the rest of the sections.

The snow came and that started a whole new plethora of new projects.  Snow means quilting...

I needed to do a lot of figuring to plan this quilt.  I learned from the last quilt the quilt as you go method isn't a good way to work.  After the planning, I tried making a few paper pieces leaves.  I'm really happy with how it is turning out.

I had to try a few more recipes.  My Roadhouse Rolls and Wild Rice Soup.  Two more cookbook recipes successfully created.

I don't have any pretty sunset photos.  Hopefully, my hibiscus will do.  I wanted it to bloom all summer.  Instead it waits until winter.  Oh well, it does cheer up the house some.

What projects and cooking are you doing?  Did you have a lot of leaves to take?  Have a fabulous week.