Sunday, November 19, 2017

First Blizzard! I've Been Baking!


It's such a nice quiet Sunday, NO tourists around! How about that huh? :) I woke up to our first little blizzard this morning, it's so beautiful.


For those who have snowy winters...do you take down your laundry line in the winter? I never even think of doing that. The dogs are having a blast in the snow, they just love it!

Charlie

Well, except for grumpy old Jack...I don't blame him though lol!

Jack 

Marlene

Pavlov

Stella
The dog walking had to stop, sigh. Since Alex and I are on different schedules, we're finding it hard to find a time to walk them all together. I tried to do two walks each morning, three dogs, then two dogs. Morning is when I have my energy...but I'm finding that my leg and knee ache a little too much these days. Five dogs is a lot of work. So, now I take the "day shift" and try to play with them in the yard. Alex takes the "night shift" with some before dinner playtime. We're committed to caring for Pavlov and Stella until the summer...but if their owner doesn't come back, we will find them new homes. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ


I'm sad about it, but we have to be realistic. And I accept that my walks in the woods are just on hold for the next 6-8 months. Some comfort food always helps! It's really nice having two slow cookers! Last night I made myself a Harvest Time Chicken and Apple Stew; and for Alex, I made a Cottage Beef Stew. Just a reminder, on my sidebar, I have a link to all of my recipes and I always try to remember to add the links in my posts as well! These stews were perfect with some bread and butter for dipping! And we have meals for a few more days.


This week's Christmas cookies are Gingerbread Cookies. Hmmm...they look a little naked don't they??? Well, as I took them out of the oven, I said to Alex "I really wish I had a cake decorating set so I can decorate my cookies!". He disappeared upstairs and came down with something hidden under his shirt. He said "come hug me" and I felt some kind of box there...this is what it was:


A cake decorating set!!! Talk about being on the same wave length...that's why we are soul mates! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š This is an early Christmas gift. He figured I'd get more use of it before Christmas so he wanted me to have it. Now I just have to figure out how to use each of these tips...this is my first set, how fun!!


The baking didn't stop there...I've often said that baking can be therapeutic for me and when I start, sometimes I can't stop!!! In an effort to clean out the fridge and freezer a little, I made a variety of chips. Pita, Tortilla and Potato. The potato chips, we could take them or leave them, they just never cook evenly in the oven, but they were okay. Alex loves the pita chips and I love the tortilla chips. How much do you pay for a mediocre bag of chips at the store? Here a bag of Ruffles is $3.50 plus taxes ON SALE, and that's the standard bag. The "family size" (which is what the standard size USED to be) is $7.50. The pitas cost me $1.25 for the same amount. The tortillas are a little more and came to double that, but still much cheaper than the crap at the grocery store that's filled with mysterious ingredients! They're a snap to make too.


Can't make chips without a dip though! ๐Ÿ˜‹ This is my homemade Nacho Cheese Dip. Everything is from scratch...I love how far I've come with my kitchen skills! And again, this is so much more delicious than any store bought dip out there! It's such a simple recipe and I added some of my Homemade Salsa to it as well. Again...affordable and delicious...and I know what's in it.


What on earth am I doing now? The Great Cream Cheese Experiment of 2017...stay tuned for that! Are you in suspense???  :)

The snow is falling, the pets are all snoring, the fragrance of homemade bread should wake Alex up very shortly :), and I'm spending the day budgeting to ease my mind; and then knitting some more Christmas stockings for the dogs! How is your Sunday going?

56 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Look at the snow! No more grass for 8 months. Good weather for stew and soups along with the occasional fondue.

Christine said...

Wow, a blizzard..your slow cooking dishes look so comforting and yummy! Baking is therapeutic you're right, as is blogging. Your home is definitely a place to rush back to (Alex in mind).

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i want a blizzard! i've been so busy prepping for thanksgiving that i made a pot roast in my slow cooker yesterday....soooo good! i might be using it a lot more when winnie comes home! 5 dogs is really a bit much! enjoy your snow!

laurie said...

this post is making me hungry!! A beautiful gift for sure,, that fella is a keeper for sure lol,,very romantic too lol,,

We have a blizzard here in Ontario too,,,,, oh well,, winter is here.

Sandi said...

“What on earth am I doing now? The Great Cream Cheese Experiment of 2017...stay tuned for that! Are you in suspense??? :)”

Yes! Does this involve cheesecake?

“The snow is falling, the pets are all snoring, the fragrance of homemade bread should wake Alex up very shortly :), and I'm spending the day budgeting to ease my mind; and then knitting some more Christmas stockings for the dogs!”

This sounds like Heaven! I am on the couch under blankets trying not to sneeze. :) sniffle.

Marsha said...

The snowy trees and grounds are beautiful. Too bad it has to be so cold for it to look that lovely. I really hope Stella and Pavlov's owner comes home. I would hate to see the two of them rehomed again. I can understand though................5 large dogs is a lot to have around and try and exercise everyday.

I am in suspense about the cream cheese experiment.

I need to get back to making all our stuff again too. I was so good about it when we first went to the nutritionist. But I seem to have gotten a bit lazy. I still bake our desserts from scratch, but snacks.....not so much. And yes............it is much cheaper to make your own and then you do know what is in it.

How nice that you now have decorating tools. Alex is not stupid..........if he gives you the tools, you will keep baking and experimenting. That way he gets goodies too. Smart man.

Have a great day, Rain.

Michael said...

Rain, I love your little details of the day here...and that you have links to your recipe as I definitely lack culinary imagination.

Oh wow, I so hope Pavlov and Stella can stay together if they need to go to a new owner. You have big heart to take car of so many of these adorable pups.

Yes! I'm in suspense about "The Great Cream Cheese Experiment of 2017." How could we not? :)

You asked how our Sundays are going. Well, for me, we went down to a coffee shop and met some old (literally) friends and since then....all I have done, between making meals for Alex who is working on client projects, is read your blog and write MASSIVE comments which, btw, take me ages as I am a poor keyboarder and have to go back and fix almost every word, line by line! I have to say though, I feel I've come to know you more and am so glad for that. Feeling quite cosy now, thank you.

Michael said...

I should note too that most of those looong comments are on your "Rain's thoughts" blog working from the most recent one backwards. ") I didn't occur to me that they were different blogs so no wonder I couldn't find them here to see if you had replied. lol. Got it now though.

Pam Jackson said...

Loving that blanket of white....love, love, love.....and the food looks great!

John M said...

I remember how my Mom's laundry hung out to dry would freeze in the winter. One time as a kid I bent some of the clothes to hear them snap. My Mom was not too happy about that!

I usually don't cook but maybe I can surprise my wife with the slow cooker apple chicken stew or beef stew or both.

When I was kid I loved the snow. But when I got older school or work would make it a burden to shovel it away, so I could get out. Now that I'm retired it can be fun again!

Thanks for a another great post.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Have fun with that decorating set!

Becki said...

I love your snow pictures, Rain! I'm glad we're not having any (yet), but I do enjoy seeing how beautiful your surroundings are. And your stews looks so delicious! I need to check out those recipes. I'm always inspired to get myself into the kitchen when I visit your blog. :^)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

It looks amazing where you are, although I imagine it is quite cold. Poor Jack does look a little upset out there. That's the look I have when I'm outdoors and feeling really cold. LOL. The other dogs have wonderfully thick coats and I'm sure winter is a breeze for them. Do they struggle in the summer with the heat?

Oh that decorating set! How sweet is that!!! And kind and thoughtful. It's those little things that define love. You are two peas in a pod.

There is no laundry line on our property but I will choose a location for it in the spring. We need to do our landscaping first (add hedges, trees and fix the flower beds) before we can determine the best place for one.

"The Great Cream Cheese Experiment of 2017" LOL That is too funny. Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Wow! Snow! How long will it last?

Our "Cold Front" Blew in last night and we are down to a chilly 4 C at night. Still near 15 C during the day.

hobo said...

Bah humbug! to the snow! I'm sorry for your snow. ;^) I don't want snow just yet but I know it is only a matter of time before it comes down to lower elevations.

But you sure know how to brighten up the day with the cooking and baking! Looks wonderful. And I look forward to your cheese experiment. :-)
~hobo

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

The snow scenes are lovely (even though I hate snow), and the cookies look yummy (love cookies).

Dawn McHugh said...

I love the snow and your snow scenes are right up my street, what a wonderful early christmas pressie I look forward to seeing what you decorate

baili said...

Brrrrr
sounds freezy dear Rain!
yet beautiful.
i think you are so right while deciding about both pets as being realistic and taking only bearable burden on shoulders is wise to me .
i am so sorry that due to cold you are facing much leg pain these days my friend ,i really think you should take it serious and go for checkup i am sure doctor's advise and medicines will help lot to make it less .

How sweet of Alex to surprise you with early Christmas gift dear Rain ,i can tell you both are so lucky to have each other as "soul mates" sweet friend!
hope you will find time for your proper walking soon so can feel at ease and compose your energies more.
agreed that when outdoor weather is harsh cooking and baking can bring lots of positive energy and sense of achievement to one's spirit .
food looks so delicious and inviting !!!

baili said...

Loved the naughty poses of your darling pets my friend!

Ruth said...

I don't take down my laundry line, but I also don't use it as a laundry line....

I found a recipe a while back for a home-made Doritos Ranch chip, using home made tortilla chips (from store bought tortillas). One of these days I'll actually try it!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Ah the snow has found you! :) Love snowy days.

Its heartbreaking to know that you will have to give up the dogs if the owner doesn't come back. What a shame that you had to be tossed into it eyes wide shut. Even if playing in the yard brings them joy then that is good exercise. Toss a ball for them and that's perfect!! They love it just as much as a walk I am sure.

How nice of Alex to get you that early Christmas prezzie!! :) Happy decorating!

Those homemade chips look really good! I have made in the past, but again, its my lack of free time that brings everything I really want to do to an almost full stop. Except cheese. There will always be time for cheese!

Rain said...

Hi Gill :) 8 months...that might be pushing it very slightly lol...but definitely until May. I would say winter is the best comfort food weather!

Rain said...

Thanks Christine :) That's sweet of you to say! We are definitely doing well and cozy here despite the obstacles. I really am trying to do more slow cooking. It gives me time for Christmas cookies!! :

Rain said...

Hi Joyce :) You will be busy as heck with your new puppy! Slow cooking is the way to go that's for sure. I'm so happy for you! I hope you get your blizzard too. :)

Rain said...

Hi Laurie :) Thanks for your comment! Alex is definitely a keeper!! We are both very romantic, so for me, that is perfect! Winter is unavoidable in our country...it's so beautiful though. Stay warm! :)

Rain said...

Hi Sandi :) Ha! Cheesecake! I wish...but it is a definite possibility! ;) Oh, I hope you feel better soon, I hate being sick. But warm and cozy blankets do help, have a hot buttered rum, that'll kill the germs and make you feel nice and warm! :)

Rain said...

Hi Marsha :) Alex is a smart guy, we always joke that the monthly cookbooks aren't just for me lol! :) We both benefit so it works very well. That cake decorating set is so nice...last year I made a Yule Log cake and I used a rolled up piece of parchment with the tip cut off...it was a MESS...I can't wait to use this set! My next endeavor will be making my own tortillas and pitas so I can avoid buying those again. It's fun, but you have a good point, it takes up a lot of time. Sometimes I feel very lazy and just want to order a pizza...then I remember I can't order a pizza in this area lol...but also, homemade is much better!

Rain said...

Hi Michael :) The whole dog situation is at the forefront of everything it seems. Five is a lot of work and I do hope it doesn't come down to us finding them new homes. But there is a side of me that doesn't trust that their owner will be stable enough for them again...and that side that wants to keep them lol...I'm all over the map! But for now, they are in great care and very sweet, so all is good! Thank you for all of your comments, and I'm glad we are getting to know one another! I love reading about people's days and what they're up to, so naturally that's what I write about. Ah, the cream cheese experiment...came to a successful end last night...stay tuned lol! Feel free to check out the recipes, if you have a crockpot, those slow cooker stews are easy and delicious!

Rain said...

Thanks Pam :) The snow is wonderful, we went out in the yard after dinner with all the dogs last night, it was snowing and so quiet you could hear a pin drop! So peaceful! :)

Rain said...

Hi John :) That's funny about bending the clothes! I would be tempted to do that as an adult lol. I hope you try the stews, they really are comforting and delicious and easy to make. They make the house smell wonderful too! I did my first bit of shoveling this morning...that's what I really don't look forward too. At the moment, we can't afford a snow removal service or a snowblower...so it's all manual and boy do we get snow here...good exercise though!

Rain said...

Thanks Debra! :) Everything will be decorated lol...I have so many ideas!

Rain said...

Hi Becki :) Thank you, I'm glad I'm inspiring you to get into the kitchen! I think besides my sleeping time in the bedroom, I spend most of my time in the kitchen, I love it. The snow is really nice this time of year. In 2014, we had our first "green" Christmas and it was miserable, so I can't complain (too much? ;)) if we have snow in November!

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) It's pretty darn cold this morning...we had a few just below zero days, but today with that wind, it's back to the minus 20's...too cold for me! You and me and Jack...lol...even with that big coat he had on, he was not happy with me, but he's smart, he does his "bidness" and runs back to the porch as quickly as he can and under the blankets on the couch!

Oh I like that! Two peas in a pod :) Yeah, he's definitely very sweet and knows me very well too!

Charlie is the winter gal...her coat is SO THICK. When we got her in 2014, she was a tiny little gal, weighed 40 pounds, now she's grown up more and weighs 80 pounds at least. We now can confirm she was likely only a year old when we got her. She LOVES the winter. She never wants to come inside. We put her, Marlene and Pavlov out on ropes and they are happy to just sleep in the snow for hours. Those three have the thicker coats. Marlene seems okay in the summer as long as she's in the shade, but Charlie can only handle being outside for a short while, then she hides in the basement to cool off.

Rain said...

Hi TB :) Oh the snow...well, our last snow fall was mid MAY last year...usually we have full-on winter until April, some teases of spring then another big snowfall in May, then full-on summer. Wacky climate here. But it's too long for me. When we move, it'll likely be to the Maritimes where it's just a little milder, depending on the area.

Rain said...

Hi Hobo :) Thanks for you comment :) Bah humbug indeed...if it could remain just around zero with the snow, I'd have no second thought! I can't stand the arctic winds though...they go right through me, even in my snow suit! Thanks, I love to cook and bake, it makes everything really cozy! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Starting Over :) My relationship with snow is love/hate! :) The cookies are gone. :) I need to figure out some rationing method before we pop all of our buttons lol!

Rain said...

Hi Dawn :) Nice to see your comment! You must be busy these days! :) Right now, I have a shopping day planned this week so I can get some icing supplies and start decorating every thing I bake! :)

Rain said...

Hi Baili :) It's sad to me about the pets, but it's just too much. They are a sweet and wonderful burden though :) My leg needs some recovery time, so this could be a blessing in disguise. I feel that it's muscular because there were a few days when I wasn't feeling well and didn't do my yoga and the pain came right back. Cutting out the long dog walks might help me heal quicker, but worse case, I'll go get medical help for sure. I need my leg to be healthy!

I'm really enjoying all the home cooking these days, I feel so good about it! And I know Alex appreciates it! That decorating set is so lovely, and it's very encouraging for me to make some fun designs! I have to try out each of those 30 tips to see what they can do! That's a LOT of cookies, oh well, ;) I'm glad you like the dog photos, they are so silly and fun to photograph! :)

Rain said...

Hi Ruth :) I use the laundry line in the summer to "start" the drying process...then most of the stuff has to go back into the dryer for at least 20 minutes to get all the pet hair out. I hate using the dryer, but otherwise, things get too itchy for us! I think you should try that ranch dip! That's another dip I want to try to make at home because I LOVE Ranch everything...salad dressing too. So many things I want to try!

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) Cheese!!! CHEESE!!! You have the cheese bug ha ha ha...no turning back now! I bet your Mozza is all gone by now! :) I'm so glad you tried it out...onwards and upwards, is a Cheddar next? I know what you mean about the homemade food...it IS time consuming and if I wasn't a full-time housewife (I'm so proud of saying that!!), I wouldn't have the time or energy to make all this stuff at home. When I worked, I only ate frozen dinners (gasp)...I just didn't have time for even cooking back then.

Eyes wide shut is a good phrase to describe things. I don't even want to think about the idea of giving them away, it makes me too sad. Those "what if's" start happening...I have trust issues. I've seen a lot of animal abuse over my life and it just scares me that people who seem like good people on the outside will hurt, neglect and abuse their pets secretly...sickening...so it makes my heart want badly to figure out a way to keep them if that's the situation...anyway, we live one day at a time right? They're very happy right now so I'm concentrating on that!

Guillaume said...

I envy you for the snow. And this all looks delicious.

Rain said...

Thanks Guillaume :) The snow really is pretty, but taking out the dogs one by one tonight when the windchill was -25 wasn't very envy-making!! :)

Fundy Blue said...

Hi. Rain! I enjoyed your post. The snow was lovely, and your dogs are cute. I'm sorry that it is difficult for you to get all the walks in, but, then, five dogs is a lot! I like to cook from scratch, too, but I'm not as far out along the continuum as you. I'll have to try your dip recipes. I have an easy guacamole dip that my family loves and might go well with your chips: 1 avocado, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 jalapeรฑo, 1 slice crosswise slice of a large sweet onion, juice from half a lime, and 2-3 drops of tobasco sauce. I finely dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeรฑo, add the lime juice, and tobasco, then mash the avocado into the mixture. I like to use an old-fashioned pastry cutter to mash the avocado because it works beautifully. I mix it up just before I serve it. The recipe doubles well, but the single recipe works fine for two people. Delicious.

Thanks for your well wishes regarding today's cataract surgery. It went very well, a very cool experience. No pain, some good laughs, and a psychedelic show (lots of wild colored lights during the procedure) ~ Laughs because they never had a married couple come in for cataract surgery back to back. I typed this with one eye closed, so I hope I've caught all the errors. Now to get supper. We were very bad, scoffing on homemade chocolate chip cookies to break our long fast,

You positive, comforting post was just what I needed. Take care!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

You have an abundance of energy. I don't blame you for realizing you cannot keep up to five dogs. The snow is pretty but I hope we don't get too much for awhile yet. All your yummy food that you make and how do you keep from gaining weight? That was sure a nice surprise to receive the decorating kit. Nancy

Rain said...

Hi Fundy Blue :) Thank you! And thanks for your guacamole recipe!! I'm trying really hard to get some good recipes down that we love, but also go for variety so we don't get tired of the same things and we LOVE dips! :) I'm happy to hear your surgery went well, that scares me...anything near my eyes that is. I laughed at your psychedelic show lol...you have a good sense of humour, I would have freaked out lol. I would call your back-to-back couple surgery a very romantic thing ;) You DESERVED the cookies!!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :) Thanks, when I find the energy I sometimes overdo it. The day after that big cooking day, all I could do was sit and look through recipe books, I had to recover! Honestly Alex and I only really eat one meal a day. We snack a bit during the day and have fruit shakes, but our big meal kind of takes up all the daily calories. That plus a few (short) dog walks, and I do some cardio each day for my mental health...so I guess it all comes together :) But every winter I do gain weight and it comes off naturally in the summer. So far it's a good balance!

RO said...

I sure love the beauty of snow, but it can be rough to walk through when it's a lot. Add the cold weather when suffering from pain, can make it even harder. Glad you guys worked out a good schedule. I don't know how you found each other, but every time I read about you and Alex, I'm reminded of why I fell in love with romance stories, proving that there is a happy ever after! I'm so happy for you guys! Hugs...RO

Rain said...

That's very sweet RO!!! Thank you :)) We actually found each other when we both put up a profile on an online dating site as a last resort lol...We met online on the 12th of March 2013, texted all day and night the 13th, and had our first date the 14th...I moved in a week later and we haven't looked back since! Whirlwind romance. I am very lucky, thank you again. :)

Little Homestead In Boise said...

sounds like a great way to be busy! Nancy

Rain said...

Thanks Nancy :) There are definite rewards! :)

Nicole Thomas said...

Beautiful snow .. I am slowely getting used to it. My little girl had her birthday party on Sunday and we also welcomed a new little person into our family. It was a happy busy sunday

Sam I Am...... said...

Oh, how I miss blizzards! It's been years and I used to love them on the farm...driving to work and back not so much! LOL! Your cookies look delicious and I love the decorating set...that Alex is truly so thoughtful! He's like a mind reader! I was hoping to see some decorated cookies but I guess we will have to wait in suspense for that and the cream cheese experiment. I have been cleaning and organizing more than baking but you are tempting me as Christmas cookies are the best!
I know what a difficult time it has been for you with he extra animals and the cold is not a help to those with joint problems for sure. You will make the right decision when the time comes. Take care and stay warm. Thank you for all your recipes...I haven't tried them yet but I plan on it!!!

Rain said...

Congrats on the little person Nik :) I'm sure you're very busy, more than usual! I'm pretty much used to the snow now. It's always a bit of a shocker when we get the first deep freeze though!

Rain said...

Hi Sam :) I love the blizzards too, but you're right...I remember those days of commuting during winter and that was scary for me. People forget how to drive safely during rain and snow, and it's dangerous! Yeah, Alex is wonderful. We are so much in sync with each other it's mind boggling at times! That's why I'm sure we were meant to be :) I'll be decorating cookies today though! At least that's in the plan!! The dogs are all getting used to the routines again, but the worst part was our own 3 started misbehaving when the other 2 got here...it was like re-training FIVE dogs all over again...things are getting peaceful again! Except the two alpha females (our Charlie and Stella) are ALWAYS in competition, ack. One won't pee unless it's on top of the other's pee and so on...it's a little annoying in freezing weather lol...

Nicole Thomas said...

Super busy but super happy busy ;)
Our new little person is only 8 weeks old. Its a whole kinda new busy...lol very grounding ;)
Sorry i dont come around as much ... i am sure life will slowdown again. I am thinking of u lots tho :) xx

Rain said...

Hey Sis :) Super happy busy is right! Life never seems to slow down lol...I hope all is well, don't even worry about not visiting the blog as often. We all have lives that keep us very busy, mine has somehow gotten crazy lately. But we're happy right? :)