Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Tree Love

My thanks to Alana at RamblinwithAM for alerting me to the Thursday Tree Love blog hop.  I love the trees in my yard.  I am not overly fond (read as HATE) of the cottonwoods and messy corkscrew willows next door.  And then another neighbor has box elders and there are nasty bugs all over the place in the summer.

Anyway, we had some snow recently and I stood in the doorway and took pictures of snow in the trees.  Here is my River Birch in the foreground with its lovely peeling bark being the only color.  It was still snowing when the photo was taken.

Hop on over to the blogs I mentioned to see other trees.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

All Prepped for A to Z

My understanding of the A to Z Challenge is that you are supposed to blog every day except Sunday as you travel through the alphabet.  Last night I wrote the last of my A to Z posts and wondered if doing it all in advance is somehow cheating.  And then I decided I was just like the kid in high school who works on their homework while in class on Friday so that it doesn't mess up the week-end.  I was never the person doing it on Sunday night.

And so it is with A to Z.  They are written and scheduled for publication.  With that done I will be able to spend time responding to comments, assuming I get them, and reading what others are posting.

The truth is I really don't have time to sit here and write everyday.  If I did you would have heard all about the first three months of my year, including:

1.  The invasion of stink bugs in the family room.  They do no damage and are only looking for shelter from the cold, but ewwww.
2.  The shower door that was damaged when installed in 2010 and just now had problems closing.
3.  The fact that all three toilets needed to be repaired at the same time.  I guess I should be glad it was only one service call.
4.  The mirror that just fell off the closet door and miraculously did not break when it hit the ceramic tile on the floor.  I now have a nice new door.
5.  The two upper respiratory infections, yeast infection on my skin, three mammograms, two ultrasounds, one biopsy - all with negative results in the end, which is just what I said when it started.

And while I am at it, let me comment again on something I blogged about some time ago.  If you read the news online you may have seen a story about the controversy with United Airlines refusing to let some 'pass' customers (those with free passes) board because they were wearing leggings.  I say 'YAY'.

Every Friday I take Charlie to a Mom and Tot class.  The majority of these women wear leggings and frankly I am sick of looking at butt crack.  Why does anyone think this is appropriate??? So, I say 'Thank you' to United.  If that is your policy for employees and their free-loading friends and family, Thanks!

So is writing everything in advance like the Boy Scout motto 'Be Prepared' or is it somehow defeating the purpose of writing everyday?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cookie Monster in My House

My grandson is a chocolate chip cookie monster and that means that Grandma needs to bake cookies. Here is my recipe for chocolate chip cookies, adapted from King Arthur flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies

Ingredients:

2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, butter flavored
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
1.       In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, vinegar, and baking soda, beating until smooth and creamy.
2.       Beat in the egg, again beating till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
3.      Mix in the flour, then the chips.
4.      Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight in refrigerator.

5.      Next day:  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.   Remove dough from refrigerator and prepare cookies while oven preheats.
6.      Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop 1 1/4" balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between them on all sides; they'll spread.
7.      Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, till their edges are chestnut brown and their tops are light golden brown, almost blonde. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan till they've set enough to move without breaking. Repeat with the remaining dough.