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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Sep 30, 2014

Doggie Meat Loaf

Sometimes, to give my dogs a break from canned food, I make this meat loaf.

1 Lb Ground Turkey
16 Ounce Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 Large Eggs

Heat oven to 350 Degrees.  Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil.  Set aside.

Cook the vegetables 1/2 the time indicated on the package.  Drain well.  Mix with turkey and eggs, press into pan.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Sep 29, 2014

Apple Sausage with Apple Slaw

Homemade apple sausage cooked in apple juice goes excellent with an apple slaw.

2 Apple Sausage Links
1 Tsp Cooking Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
1 Tbl Non Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 Tbl Horseradish Mustard
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Honey
1 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Julienned Pepper
3/4 Cup Matchstick Apples

 Put oil in a lidded pan large enough to hold your sausage links.  Heat over medium, add sausage and cook until all sides are brown.  Add apple juice, cover immediately, reduce heat to medium low.  Let cook until the slaw is made.

Combine Yogurt, Mustard, Salt, Honey and vinegar.  Set aside.  Julienne the peppers, matchstick the apples.  Put into a medium lidded bowl.  Pour dressing over the pepper/apple mixture, put on lid and shake.

Serve sausage on a steak roll topped with slaw.

Sep 28, 2014

Help Your Favorite Shelter - Just Take a Walk

Do you like to support animal shelters but don't have the time to volunteer or the money to donate?  How about taking a walk?  Check out Wooftrax.  This is a wonderful app.  Add it to your smart phone.  Click settings to set up - you add your name, e-mail address, add dogs, select your rescue by state.  You can even set an auto save for when motion stops.

Then, the next time you walks, select the app.

You can select any combination of the dogs you are walking with.

Click start walking.  It tracks your distance and time.  It can even be used in conjunction with other trackers (I also use Runkeeper).  Stop the app when you are done, and it records for you.  You can use the History button to see the walks you have done.

Want more information about how you are helping, click about.

Yes, there are ads in the app but you don't have to click on them.  SOOO, start walking to benefit your favorite shelter.  They will appreciate it, it will be good for you and those that walk with you (two or four legged).

Sep 27, 2014

Maize Maze - well worth the time

We used to do at least one Maize Maze each year, but we have skipped them for awhile.  This year, thanks to a silent auction purchase, we ended up with a gift certificate to a farm stand.  That farm stand also offered a family fun event at the farm, so we went there first.  Welcome to Butcher's Family Fun Farm, Newport PA  (more info here).

We started in the maize maze - 22.41 minutes, thank you very much.  Without looking at the map.  That we found on the way out....

We were accused of cheating when we took this picture.  The young man was impressed that we completed the maze, without a map, in under 25 minutes.

There were hamster wheels for adults and kids, a food vendor, hay rides, slide, corn bin, hay maze, adult pedal tractors...


See that tree in the distance, The one just to the left of a straight line drawn up from the barrel of the gun?  Hubby shot a potato OVER that tree.  How cool is that? 

All of these things are included in the VERY reasonable price of admission.  More potatoes are available at a price of three for $1.  Don't live near Newport?  There are LOTS of maize mazes available, find one near you.  Even if you don't have kids, they are great fun.  When you are done, go to the farm stand - pie pumpkins, carving pumpkins, apples, honey....and lots more.

Sep 26, 2014

Plum Pie

I purchased plums to make jam.  Then we received more plums with our CSA.  Plums everywhere - more than we could eat with all of the other fruit in the house.  I didn't want them to go bad and I didn't want to make more jam, so I made a pie.  Please note, I did not peel the plums.

1/2 Cup AP Flour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Chopped Almonds
3 Tbl Butter
5 Cups Plums, Pitted and Sliced
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cake Flour
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place crust in 9 inch, deep dish pan.  Brush with butter, sprinkle with sugar and place in refrigerator.

Make streusel topping by combining (in a medium bowl) 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt and almonds.  Work in butter with fingers until well combined and crumbly.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Stir to combine thoroughly and pour into a prepared pan.  Top with streusel and bake for about 50 minutes until pie is bubbly.

Sep 25, 2014

Guitar Heaven

While at Crystal Cave, hubby found a brochure for Martin Guitars.  It was only about an hour from where we were, so off we went.  When you arrive, you are given a tour sticker and a time.  While waiting, you can go to the gift shop or to the museum (I highly recommend the museum).

When it is time for your tour, you are given a headset so you can clearly hear the tour guide, no matter where you are in line.  You start in the custom shop and see people finishing guitars and putting them in a case where they sit for 4 days before being played again to ensure they are holding the tune.

One of the next things you see is a HUGE guitar - a float from a parade.

As you continue the tour, you see all of the hand made steps taken to build a guitar along with a few machines (a laser cutter and laser wood engraver).    We were even fortunate enough to see an inlaid guitar being worked one - one of only 50 being made.  Selling price?  Over 100 K.  We also learned that they no longer use elephant ivory as of about a year ago - they use bleached cow bone.

Sep 24, 2014

Diamonds abound - or do they?

In 1871, farmer's blasting for limestone found a cave full of crystal instead of limestone.  Excited that they had found diamonds, they took a sample to the local jeweler.  Unfortunately for them, they were not diamonds.  Fortunately for us, the sold the property for five thousand dollars to an individual who wanted to share the cave with the public.  So, we found ourselves touring Crystal Cave.  Well worth the walk.  After touring the cave, you can explore a nature trail and play mini golf.

Some highlights:

Sep 22, 2014

Tour Day

We live in Central Pennsylvania.  Lots of things to do here if you are a 'tourist' - but if you live here, you just never seem to get there.  Hubby and I decided to end that today and found a link between two of them with AMF.

Stop 1 - Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations Center, York, PA.

Hubby and I ride.  Even if we didn't, this is a long standing company with a great history. It is also the only American Motorcycle Manufacturer.  The tour starts with a 10 minute video followed by a walking tour inside the factory that takes about 45 minutes.  You are given a pin (that you keep), safety goggles and a headset so you can hear the tour guide no matter where you are in line.  It is amazing to see the fabrication.  I'll admit, I geeked out a little when I heard lean manufacturing, saw flow charts and even continuous improvements team meeting boards.  Ah, well to each his own :)

Next stop, Sturgis Pretzel Factory, Lititz, PA (Thanks, Tom and Mary Ann).

You get a history of the house (1 small house, FOURTEEN kids), the additions for the ovens, the tools used and an idea of the salaries.  Who knew a pretzel twister would be considered skilled labor?  Then, you get to twist your own pretzel while you learn what each step means.  Complete with a pretzel twisting certificate.

After twisting, it is off to the ovens.

Final stop, Wilbur Chocolate.  Hershey's is not the only chocolatier in Pennsylvania!  This is a nice self guided tour to look through the history of Wilton - and select chocolates.  I even found a large bag of Dutch Process Cocoa!

What is the AMF connection?  For a period of time AMF (you know, the company that makes bowling pin setters?) owned Harley Davidson.  They also made the first pretzel machines used by Sturgis.

Sep 21, 2014

Pecan Pumpkin Pancakes - Oatmeal is Optional

We went to a diner for breakfast recently and they had pumpkin pancakes.  Optional pecans were added to mine.  Hubby thought they looked so good he asked me to make them today.  I made the following recipe and, after cooking the first half, stirred in some oatmeal, too (hubby didn't want oatmeal).  Don't like pecans?  Use the oatmeal instead (or walnuts, or coconut, or...)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin, cooked and mashed (may use canned)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup broken pecans

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin, water and oil.  Add to dry ingredients along with pumpkin, whisk.  Whisk in pecans.

Using an ice cream scoop, put onto a hot griddle.

I cooked 4 then added 1 cup oatmeal.

Sep 14, 2014

I've Been Chopped

Our local library has wonderful programs for adults, teens and kids.  When I saw a sign advertising that they were doing a Chopped! competition for adults, I was in! For those of you who have never seen it, Chopped! is a show on the Food Network.  The contestants are given a basket of ingredients, at least one of which is unusual or challenging.  They are then given a set amount of time to make a dish.  First round - 20 minutes to make an appetizer.  They are judged and one contestant is chopped. I always thought it would be fun to try.  Even though there are 4 contestants on the show and 11 at the  library so there were multiple chops in the first round, of which I was one, it was a great time.  I met a lot of great people and got to use my imagination.  Want to learn more about my experience?  Read below.

Before I get to my experience, let me encourage you to check out and support your local library.  Not much is free anymore, but a library membership still is.  Books, audio books, dvd's, events - they have it all.  Some have nominal fees, but who cares?  It lets you meet your neighbors, it keeps you entertained and it supports your community.

The library provided the boxes with four mystery ingredients and a pantry.  They also had told us ahead of time that this would be done without heat.  NO COOKING????

I took my kitchen supplies and set up before we started.

The contents of the first box?  Canned Artichoke hearts, cooked quinoa, tomato paste and a child's apple juice box.  From the pantry:  Crostini, mozzarella cheese, rice vinegar, fresh rosemary, turmeric and oregano.

I made a crostini with a nest of italian quinoa filled with an artichoke/mozzarella salad. Not wanting to waste ingredients, I included a mozzarella flower on the plate.

I thought it tasted good, hubby's mom thought it tasted good, now I just had to go before the judges.  When it was my turn, I presented to the three judges.

I was complimented on the fact that they could taste the apple juice and that it had a good flavor.  However, after deliberation, I was chopped.  While we were not told why, I would have to say that it was because of presentation (I KNOW it is a weak point) and the fact that there were several crostinis.

I stuck around to see the next boxes - the entree box had canned chicken, a lime, black beans and chocolate pudding mix.  The dessert box?  An apple, cream cheese, dark chocolate chips and another ingredient that escapes me.