Monday, October 24, 2011


Last week Bill drove Anna and I to Mesquite, NV to meet my mom.  My mother's high school class (Montebello, CA class of '57) reunion committee was having a meeting and get together there.  We had a great time meeting everyone and had a blast dining, antique shopping and hearing stories of the good old days with them.  After the week was over Mom, Anna and I headed to Las Vegas.  Anna was catching a flight to California to spend a couple of weeks with friends.

The next day Mom and I drove back to Utah.  This is the first time my mom has seen my home.  We have spent the last few days relaxing and driving around showing her the sights.  Since the drive through town takes about 5 minutes I took her up the mountain to see Cedar Breaks which is just stunning. 

Here's mom and photos at Cedar Breaks.

Yesterday we took her up the mountain behind our house.  It was a beautiful drive.  All the Aspen trees have lost all their leaves at the top of the mountain.  I did get some photos of the Aspens with their leaves changing colors.  We saw about 17 deer some were when it was getting dark and you could barely make them out but you couldn't miss those big ears.  

As you can see from the photo with my mom we still have a little snow from our snow storm a couple weeks ago.  

Sending a Big Hello out to our Cousin Cathy in Iowa.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let's Go Apple Picking

I'm giving a big shout out for Apples!  I picked just a few of my favorite apple recipes from some Great Bloggers.

Chicken, Apple and Smoked Gouda Salad

Cinnamon Apple Banana Bread

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Apple Fritters

Toasted Apple and Brie Sandwich

Do you want more information on apples? Visit  US Apple Association it's a great website.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Simplicity - What a wonderful calming word.  With all the hectic things going on in our life with our job, family, household all the things that sometimes pull us one way or another it's nice to have Simplicity in our lives.  I would like to share a simple fast recipe with you and some calming photos I look around the house.

Cajun Chicken and Cilantro Lime Rice


2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
zest of one lime
juice from one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring water and butter to a boil.  Add rice, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and salt and stir.  Cover and lower heat to medium low.  Simmer for 20 minutes. (no peaking)


3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons cajun seasonings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white wine

Heat olive oil and butter.  Coat chicken breasts with cajun seasonings.  Cook chicken in a hot skillet about 3 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove chicken from skillet and add the white wine, deglaze skillet.  Add chicken back in skillet and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove chicken.  Take all those yummy juices in the skillet and add to your cooked rice stirring once.  Replace the lid and remove from heat and let steam for another 3 to 5 minutes and serve with chicken.  Serves 4

The simple things in life can recharge our batteries take a walk and enjoy the beauty around you

Taking the dog for a walk

A hitching post

A sprig of pine and pine cones

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall's Charm

I am very lucky to live in a town where people take pride in their yards.  I love to drive around and look at them.  Many times I will stop and take photos of how they decorated their yards or of the beautiful flowers.

I fell in love with this house the first time I saw it in the spring.  They have a beautiful garden in their front yard.  It looks absolutely beautiful decorated for fall.

Anna noticed the big grasshopper on this arbor

I see so much beauty in the lines of a fence

Even the dead flowers hold so much charm

Then this lovely arrangement of pumpkins and flowers finished it off nicely

I can't wait to see what they do for winter.

Until Next Time,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

I hope you all are having a lovely day.  I wanted to share a couple of simple recipes while I am away.

Sauteed Spinach

4 slices bacon, cut up
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onions
olive oil (if needed)
3 bags of spinach
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook bacon until done but not crunchy.  Add onions and garlic cook on medium meat for approx 5 to 7 minutes. (add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil if needed).  Add the 3 bags of spinach and cook until wilted (do not over cook)  Add salt and pepper to taste.  This is my husbands favorite dish.

Here are some fall leaves I took a photo of at the Post Office

Until Next Time,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going on a Road Trip

Anna and I are going to Nevada for 4 days today.  My mother is meeting some of her classmates there for a get together and we will be joining her at the hotel.  After that Anna will go on to California for a visit and my mom will be coming back to our house for a visit.  This will be her first visit here.  I am working on a few blogs to post while I'm gone.  

I am going to share come photos that I have taken around our property and in town.  I will be on Twitter while I'm gone.  I've decided not to take my computer the hotel charges $10 a day for Internet so instead I will be hitting the slot machines. 

Everyday the mountain changes color.  Today the colors were stunning.

This was a Juniper tree that the BLM cut down.  The stumps have beautiful shape.

This squirrel came out to see what I was up to and posed long enough for me to snap a photo.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Talking TV

It's been a few days since I last looked at my blog.  We have been doing family stuff together which includes doing some fall cleaning.  Everything is pretty much done except for some really dirty windows and they will have to wait until a later date.  

I have also been trying to catch up on some TV.  I tape everything and then watch it later.  I have not even begun to watch this season of Fringe.  So far I'm thinking about just waiting until Bones is back on and have Fringe/Bones Night.

One of my favorite new shows this fall is Pan Am.  I grew up in the 60's and just love the fashion.  What girl didn't want to be a Stewardess it was the dream career.

I am so disappointed that we are coming to the end of this Season of Project Runway.  

Just putting it out there I am all about.....

Team Viktor (get it right this time Mr. Kors)

I'll save some of my other new favorite shows and old favorites for another post.

Until Next Time,

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Best Kind Of Avalanche

When Anna got back from California she complained that she checked out my blog and wanted to know why I did all that baking when she was gone.  Well for one I seem to have a lot more time on my hands she is away.  She will be heading to California again in a week so I wanted to make her something she really loves.  I started checking out recipes for the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's Avalanche Bark.  I was surprised to see how many recipes were out there and they were all very close.  Here is the recipe I went with.  This will make great gifts for Christmas.

Avalanche Bark - KatyMamma

1 12oz bag White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Melt white chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Mix together with rice cereal in a separate bowl.  Wait until the mixture has come to room temperature (do not refrigerate at this point).  Once it has cooled add the marshmallows and mini chocolate chips and mix together.  Place in a 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish.  Lightly press down (pressing down to much will cause it to get too hard).  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Cut into squares makes approx 20.


Yesterday Anna made some mini cupcakes.  She was very unhappy with the recipe and that the cupcakes came out very dense.  It could be our high altitude and we will need to work on adjusting the recipe in order for them to come out moist.  Anyone out there have any suggestions for high altitude baking?  The cupcakes came out pretty and I thought I would share them with ya'll.

Bill said he is burned out on sweets (gasp) so I better start fixing something he will enjoy.


Not too much going on today here at Rancho Delux.  We have already been to town we needed a new battery for "The Beast" (snow plow).  Now to start doing some laundry and housework.  At least Olive knows how to relax.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

Today was suppose to be sunny skies.  We have cloud cover then it started to snow.  We would get wet snow and then fluffy snow and back to wet snow and a high of 41 degrees.  Sounds like it's time to fix something warm and comforting.  

Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze
Emeril Lagasse


1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.  

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each egg.  In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.  Fold in the apples.  Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.  sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth.  Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly.  Serve warm.

I ate the model and this coffee cake is to die for.  You could add cranberries or make it with pears.  You don't even need to add fruit it is that good.

"October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter."-   Nova Bair

Until Next Time,

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Drive Up The Mountain and Shopping Trip

Last night Bill and Anna took me out to dinner for my birthday and for cupcakes on the way home.  We got to the restaurant too early so we went for a short drive.  With the snow we had and the Aspen trees changing colors it was stunning.

We were only able to drive 5 miles up the road they had closed the road while they were plowing.

I took some photos of Anna

This morning on the news we found out that our town was the coldest in Utah.  Our low was 25 degrees last night.  We will be warming up to the low 70's next week however, our nights will still be quite chilly.  Since we are still learning about the winters here we are wondering if this cold front is a sign of a early winter?  I am hoping for a White Christmas for our first Christmas here.

Anna and I drove down to St. George today to do some shopping.  I wanted to get new sheets for the bedrooms.  Anna wanted the jersey sheets and I wanted flannel for our bedroom and the guest room.  I picked up some Christmas lights for our Christmas Tree I forgot to measure our deck I wanted to get lights for that too.  We also stocked up on products from Costco to get us through the winter.  Olive was not left out of our shopping trip.  We stopped at Petco to get her a new collar and some toys.  I would like to get in one more trip to St. George before we start getting weather.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Birthday Surprise

Mother Nature sent me a wonderful Birthday present this morning.


Our first snow of the season.  The photo right below is what I see out my bedroom window.  Takes my breath away. 

I am 53 today (saying 53 like they do in Hot Fuzz, I love Simon Peg) which my daughter has been saying for the last year.  Bill and Anna couldn't have given me a more perfect gift with the snow.
Slip on snow boots.  I have been tired of lacing my boots up when all I'm going to do is take the dog out.  I love the color of these boots.

Anna fixed breakfast this morning.  Bacon, red potatoes with onions and red peppers and I had a english muffin with Nutella and coffee.  

When Anna came back from California last week we brought me a early Birthday present.  These beautiful roses and the sweetest card I have ever received.  I am blessed.

I have to share some Olive puppy photos with you.  Anna put on Whitey's (our beloved Jack Russell who passed away this year) T-shirt on Olive.  It looks more like a muscle shirt on Olive.  She didn't like it one bit and kept pawing the floor and biting at the shirt.  Here she is letting Anna know how much she doesn't like it.
This next photo is a little X-rated but it is so darn cute.  Olive knows how to get comfy in Bill's lap.

Not sure what the plan for dinner is.  I did make enchilada's yesterday and I have a big roast to put in the slow cooker for taco's and another roast for a pot roast dinner.  But heck! It's my birthday I don't want to cook (or should I say "clean up") I guess I will just wait and see what happens.

Until Next Time,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Planting and Cooking

Saturday's mail brought my tulip bulbs.  Right now the ground is pretty hard and I am thankful we have a storm coming in.  I hope we get enough rain to soften the ground so I can plant my bulbs.  I am excited to see the tulips come up this spring.  Here are a couple of photos of the tulips I ordered from Breck's


Kaleidoscope Mix


 I am loving this fall weather we have had beautiful days and nice crisp cool nights.  It gets me thinking about comfort food.  Soups, stews, casseroles and pot pies.  I started my fall cooking with this pot pie.

Chicken Alfredo Pot Pie

1 pre-cooked roasted chicken (store bought), cut up bite sized pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
5 carrots, diced
5 celery stocks with leaves, diced 
1 onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp dried thyme
1 jar 15oz jarred Classico Alfredo Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat oil and butter in large skillet add carrots, celery and onions cook over medium heat until tender.  Add chicken, alfredo sauce, salt, pepper and thyme cook for 10 minutes. Stir in peas and place in round casserole dish. Top with pie crust (use a small cookie cutter to cut out dough for venting).  Brush crust with milk and sprinkle a little thyme on crust.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Serves 6


Things are coming right along with our basement.  The double doors, getting Bill's equipment in the basement and the electrical are all completed.  The final step is the brick work around the door.  I am so pleased we were able to get this completed before winter.  Bill only needs one more piece of equipment and that is a compressor.   For our first year in this house I feel we have accomplished a lot.  My next step is to make a list of things I want to do to the house and purchase for the house.  This list is not for the upcoming year but a guide to help us decide what we want to tackle and a check off list.  I hope I don't scare Bill with my list.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta and Morning Walk

Last night I fixed the The Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta and it was a big hit with Bill and Anna.  While it was cooking all Anna kept saying was how incredible it smelled.  My only changes to the recipe was substituting a orange bell pepper for the green and I added red pepper flakes.

This is definitely a keeper and will be a family favorite for years to come.


This morning Bill, Anna, Olive and I went for a walk.  The temps out are perfect and the cloud cover made for a comfortable walk.  I snapped a lot of photos I didn't realize how yellow everything is getting until I uploaded the photos.  The fall colors will even be more apparent as our temps are going to drop 30 degrees next week.  A storm will be passing through and could bring some snow.

Until Next Time,

Blogging tips