Monday, November 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Beer dinner 10-22-11 (10)-edit We don't drink much in our house.  I'm not against it or anything, we just don't do it often.  If I do have a drink, it's probably got rum in it - or maybe a glass of wine.  We would never drink beer.  Again, nothing against it, just don't like it. 

However, I happen to have a lot of beer currently in my house left over from several parties, so I've been looking for beer recipes to use up this beer.

I found this recipe and it's great!  It's very easy and uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand. 

Here's how you make it:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I add a bit more, about 1/2 cup- I know, your shocked)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed. It may be necessary to mix dough with your hands. Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.               
Just mix everything up and put it in a bread pan. It really couldn't be easier.

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Be sure to give this a try - your gonna love it!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

State Fair of Texas - Trip 2

10-15-11 fair (5) We made two trips to the State Fair of Texas this year. We always have so much fun there.

My brother, David, and his wife, Lauren, were visiting with us for the weekend.  They timed their trip to Texas so that they could go to the fair with us.
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Rominal is once again getting coupons for food and rides - he did that a lot that day. He was using a credit card with my name on it and the woman actually read the name on the card and said he didn't look like a Wendy. He had to point me out to them. 10-15-11 fair (6)

If only they had some fried food at the fair.
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Seriously though, what is fried watermelon? We should have gotten some just to try it, but there was so much food and so little time.

Bailey was pleased to have a ride partner with my sister-in-law Lauren. 10-15-11 fair (54)

Bailey talked Rominal, Lauren, and David into riding with her on a roller coaster. 10-15-11 fair (57)

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I took this picture as they passed above me on the ride.
10-15-11 fair (68) I think they had a good time.

We also talked my mom into coming with us on this trip.  We took her to the fair a couple of years ago and luckily she had forgotten how much walking we did on that visit and decided to come back with us again this year.
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The fair has packed up for this year, and David and Lauren have gone back home.  We had a great time both at the fair and with them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

State Fair of Texas - Trip 1

State fair 10-10-11 (200) Yes folks, it's that time of year again.  Time for all kinds of fried foods and fun at the Texas State Fair. 

On this trip, Bailey took a friend with her, Taylor. State fair 10-10-11 (172)

We arrived at the fair early, to try to avoid the crowds.   That only worked for a little while.

I love walking through the Midway, seeing all of the sights and sounds. 
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Bailey and Taylor loved the rides.

Here they are on the Love Bug. State fair 10-10-11 (47)

They clearly hate it.

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This ride blows a really loud horn during the ride. Darn thing scares me every time. You'd think I'd be used to it now - Bailey rides this ride each year.

Were's Rominal?  Oh, he's getting more coupons (the rides and food vendors only take coupons).

He made several trips for coupons throughout the day. State fair 10-10-11 (130)

The haunted house had some fun characters this year.   Eeeewwww, what is that?  Is it house broken?

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This thing was funny. People would go up and stand in front of it to have their picture taken, and then the guy inside would move and scare them.

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This was our first trip to the fair this year. I'll show pictures from our next trip on my next post.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Budding Artist

I just had to share these with you. 

Bailey is taking a painting class in school this year and she is loving it. 

I also think she is doing quite well.

Here's a picture (that she took) of our cat, Twister.  I think this is a fantastic picture too.
Twister - picture

And here's a painting that she made of that same picture.  It was done in water colors.
Twister - painted

Isn't that great?

You can tell I'm pretty proud of her.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork, I mean Chicken

9-3-11 (21) When I'm looking for a new recipe, I always tend to go for ones that only use a few ingredients. It keeps things simple, and I like that.

Even better if the ingredients are ones that I already have on hand.

I'm also trying to find recipies that work in a crock pot, but don't come out tasting like rubber.

This recipe fits both of my requirements.

Here's what you need. The original recipe came from here.

6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I did not use frozen chicken and it worked just fine.)
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low. (I had mine in the crock pot for about 5 hours, then I "pulled" it and returned it back to the crock pot for another hour)
3. Remove chicken and "pull" it apart, return chicken to crock pot for about an hour.

Here's the chicken cooking in the crock pot. 9-4-11 (22)

After your chicken has cooked, remove one piece at a time and "pull" the chicken using two forks. 9-3-11 (4)

Return the pulled chicken back to the crock pot. 9-3-11 (5)

After about an hour, serve the chicken on toasted buns. We served ours with cole slaw on top. It was a nice addition. 9-3-11 (21)

I have made this twice now - it really is quite good!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bailey and Pat the horse

9-7-11 (16)-edit Bailey loves horses. But then what young girl doesn't love horses?

Ever since she found out about a therapeutic riding facility nearby, she has been wanting to volunteer there so that she could spend more time around horses. About two weeks ago, she was trained and she is now volunteering there twice a week.

Last Wednesday was her first day. 9-7-11 (29)-edit
Her job is to get the horse for the class ready by grooming the horse, getting the saddle and riding gear on the horse, and then warming the horse up by walking it around for a bit.  Then during the lesson she either walks next to the rider to ensure that the rider is comfortable, or she is in the lead guiding the horse.  After the lesson she has to take the saddle off and put the horse back in his/her pen.

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The weather got a bit cooler this week, so it was actually plesant to be outside watching Bailey.

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As she and the horse, Pat, were walking around, I started to notice something.

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Do you see it? 9-7-11 (57)-edit

Look at their feet.

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They matched foot steps each time. I thought that was pretty neat.

Also please notice Bailey's new boots. She insisted that she have them for this.

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I'd say she's pretty happy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Honey Bun Cake

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The other day I was looking at all of the cake mixes I have in my pantry and decided I needed to make something.

I should explain. Yes, the show Extreme Couponing has been seen in my house, and yes I may have the couponing bug. I am not going to the extremes that the people on the show go to, but I still have about 30 boxes of cake mixed in my pantry at the moment. What? I got those for about $0.25 each, so it was a good deal.

Anyway, back to the recipe.
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This is the Honey Bun Cake. Bailey used to request it for her birthday each year, but back then I made it in a 9x13 pan. I wanted something easier so I made it in a bunt pan today. The original recipe came from here and of course I tweaked it a bit.

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
I added 1 box of vanilla pudding because I also have a lot of those too it makes cakes very moist.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat your over to 325 degrees.  Spray your bunt pan with cooking spray. 

Let me just say here that I love, Love, LOVE the smell of Pam Baking spray. 

Mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream and pudding together.  Pour half of the mix into the pan.  Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture over the cake.  Pour the rest of the cake into the pan. 

Bake for about 50 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. 

Mix together the icing and after the cake has cooled a bit, drizzle the icing over the cake.
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

More home construction

School started here this week. Bailey was most excited about it. She's a sophmore this year.

I always take a picture of her on the first day of school, so here's this year's picture.

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Isn't she adorable!

But, this post is about floors.

This is our old dining room.
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In the picture above you can see Bailey and our nephew, Raylon. Raylon is living with us while he attends the University of North Texas. His older brother lived with us a couple of years ago, so it was his turn now. Bailey is enjoying having a brother around.

This is my office, which is officially supposed to be a formal living area, I guess.
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Let's see how many pictures Twister can get into.

And here's our family room. Please ignore the mess.
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One more picture looking from the family room, back towards the dining room and my office.
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This week we replaced the carpet in our downstairs areas and put in wood floors.

Here's my new dining room.
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This is from my office, looking through the dining room and into the family room.
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Here's the family room. Yes, there's football on the tv.
There's ALWAYS football on the tv.
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This is looking into my office from my dining room.
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You can see two computer monitors on my desk because I'm working this weekend. Hurricane Irene has me hopping.
There's still a fine layer of dust on everything in my house from the construction. I'll get it all up eventually. Yeah, right!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Home Improvements? And a little help please . . .

This summer will go down as the summer that was almost as hot as the record summer in 1980. It's been miserably hot here. I can't wait for cooler weather. I'm really 100% OVER summer.

This summer will also be memorable to us as the summer we did some home repairs.

One of the storms that hit us back in early June caused us some roof damage, caused some of our windows leaked, and caused some ceiling damage in our bedroom where the roof leaked.

Since we had to have our bedroom ceiling repaired, we decided to take this opportunity to have our bedroom painted.

I should explain how everything happened though. We knew who our contractor was going to be, we just weren't sure when he was going to be available. So, one day during lunch I was running through Wal-Mart with my coworker and we stopped by the paint section and I picked out four paint swatches that I liked. Then I put them in my purse and didn't really think about them again for a while.

Then one Tuesday I get a call from my contractor saying that he will come out the next day to do the work.

Did I go out and get more paint swatches? Did I go out and look at paint selections any more? Did I even spend more than five minutes reviewing the choices I had in my purse? The answer to all of these questions would be a big NO.

So, now that you have the background story, let me show you some pictures.

This is our bedroom.
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When we moved into this house this was the first room I painted (thus the bad edging job).

Here's the other half of our bedroom, and Twister of course.
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I should point out that these pictures were taken early in the morning. Our bedroom gets the morning sun and therefore the color looks much brighter than it would have at night.

I should also point out that I don't think my room is ever this clean.

One more picture - Twister was upset that he wasn't in the first picture so he had me take this one.
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Ok - so now you know how our bedroom used to look. Now, keep in mind that I spent about five minutes reviewing paint color choices. And I never even read the paint names on the paint chips. This would prove to be a critical mistake.

Here's our room now. And these pictures were taken at night, so the room is a bit more subdued than it might be in the morning sun.

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I've changed out the coverlet, and the pillows to try to blend with the new room color.

We are not thrilled with the paint color (the paint job was great, just my bad color choice). However, we are not about to have the room repainted, nor am I going to repaint the room myself. It's too hot here and I'm too old.

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And I should have known better than to stick with this paint when our contractor started laughing at the name of the paint, "Sweet baby boy."

So here's where you come in. I love the iron piece we have on the wall. It was from my Grandmother. I like how it stands out more with the blue paint than it did with the brown. I thought I would play off of the blue and black theme when I chose the black throw blanket and pillows.

However, when Rominal came home one night and saw the new bedding, he just laughed. He is not a fan of the new look. Luckily for me he is an incredibly good sport and is not fussing at all. Apparently he never liked the brown paint either. His comment was that he lived in the brown room for 8 years, he can live in the baby blue room for 8 years too.

He is thinking we need dark blue bedding. I guess I'm stuck on the white bedding because fist of all, I just bought it, and second because my initial plan was to have the faintest of blue color on the walls. I wanted the color to be so soft that it almost looked white, and then have nice peaceful white bedding to go with it.

Well, you can se what happened.

So, any suggestions on how to make this work?