Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Recipe - Tropical Bread

I am on a roll...I have one more recipe to share with you today.  Get ready for your house to smell amazing.

Tropical Bread

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 8oz package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
3 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Prehead over to 350 degrees and grease two bread pans.  Mix together butter and cream cheese, add sugar, vanilla and eggs (one at a time).  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to wet ingredients a little bit at a time until well incorprated.  Add banana, coconut and pineapple to mix.  Spoon batter into bread pans.  While spooning the batter in add cherries (do not add them in while mixing batter it will turn your batter pink).  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Until Next Time, 

Winter's End and Chicken Pot Pie Filling

As we get towards the end of March here in Utah we are also at the end of Winter.  What I will miss about winter. Warm comfy clothing, watching the snow gently fall, the wood stove, no bugs.  

What I'm looking forward to. Lighter nights, opening up the windows to summer breeze, brunch, summer drinks and beautiful sunsets.

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those dishes that you think of Fall or Winter a comfy dish.  Make the filling and put it in a Puff Pastry Shell and serve it with a summer salad and it becomes a summer dish with that same comfy feeling you enjoyed in the winter.  

Chicken Pot Pie Filling

Puff Pastry Shells, baked according to directions (figure 2 shells per person)
6 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1 container Philadelphia Cooking Creme Savory Garlic
1/2 tsp fresh Thyme, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/4 cup white wine
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas

In a stock pot melt 1 Tbsp butter and olive oil over medium high heat add carrots, celery and onions, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper cook until tender, approx 10 minutes.  In a saute pan add the remaining olive oil, butter, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of white wine saute mushrooms for approx 10 minutes.

Remove all vegetables from pan and set aside.  In the stock pot add the container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme Savory Garlic, thyme, chicken stock, remaining wine, jack and parmesan cheese, cook and stir until cheese is melted.  Add chicken, vegetables and frozen peas.   Heat filling completely and pour into shells and serve.

*Note:  When I make the filling for the puff pastry shells, I freeze the remaining filling in individual freezer ziploc bags for future use.  Filling can also be used with pie crust.

Until Next Time,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mexican Feast

It has been awhile since I fixed Chicken Enchilada's and thought it was about time we had a Mexican Feast.  To go with my enchilada's I wanted to try something new not the same old mexican rice.  I decided to make a Salsa Verde Rice and Guacamole.  Oh my gosh this rice dish was so good and I changed up my guacamole recipe. My husband kept saying all night this was the best meal. 

Layered Chicken Enchilada, Salsa Verde Rice and Guacamole

Salsa Verde Rice

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt (I used kosher)
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup your favorite jarred green salsa
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
1/2 of a large fresh jalapeno, minced

In a saucepan heat oil on med-high heat, add garlic, onion and salt.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until onion is tender.  Stir in chicken stock and salsa bring to a boil.  Stir in rice and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.  Remove lid and place a clean kitchen towel over saucepan and replace lid.  Let steam for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and jalapeno with a fork fluff rice.


3 large ripe avocados, cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a onion, finely minced
1/2 of a jalapeno, finely minced
zest from one lime
juice from half of the lime
salt and pepper to taste

Using a fork mash up avocado chunks add remaining ingredients mix well. Serve with chips.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Signs of Spring

I do think Spring is right around the corner for us.  I'm sure we will be snow a few more times but nothing that will be sticking around a long time.  I was having my coffee the other morning and could hear a loud pitch barking.  Our squirrel is up from her long winter's nap.  I grabbed the bag of peanuts and shook it and she came peaking out from the rocks.
 I threw down about 5 handfuls of peanuts
Within 20 minutes she had all of them picked up and taken back to her den.  I wonder how many babies are going to be running around here soon.  Time to stock up on more peanuts.

My daffodils are starting to push up now.  I wish I would have gotten my tulips bulbs planted but I will have to wait until next year to enjoy them. 

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Picnic Macaroni Salad

After a month our driveway has dried out and we finally have been able to drive up to the house.  So what happened on Sunday?  Snow all day Sunday and Monday we got over a foot of snow.  Sunday Bill and Anna drove to town Anna still wanted to go running at the track even in the snow.  Anna said it wasn't too bad until the wind kicked in and to make matters worse they were unable to make it up the drive.  Our temps in a few days will be in the high 60's and the snow is already melting fast.  I'm hoping it also dries out fast.  Now that we are officially into Spring I got the craving for "Picnic" food.  Something I have not had in years is Macaroni Salad.  It is not one of my families favorite.  I decided to change things up and add flavors that they like it worked a new family favorite.

1 box Barilla Ditalini - Cooked according to box
3/4 cup green olives with pimentos - sliced in half
1 bunch of cilantro - rough chopped
1 onion - minced
5 slices bacon - cooked crisp and crushed
4 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasonings
1 tablespoon sugar

Add olives, cilantro, onion, bacon, pickle relish and peas to cooked pasta.  In separate small bowl add sour cream, mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, Slap Ya Mama and sugar mix thoroughly and add to pasta.  Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Until Next Time,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Olive Made It To YouTube

Yesterday Olive was in the chair and started to Hucklebutt I grabbed my phone and started taping her.  She is a funny little English Bull Terrier

Note:  She was not hurt in this video just very embarrassed.  She went to her bed and wouldn't even look at us.  I guess she didn't appreciate that we were laughing so hard.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winner of the $50.00 Gift Certificate

The winner of the $50.00 Gift Certificate to Classic Hardware is #3 Jessica. (Winner chosen using Random.Org.

Congratulations Jessica

Please contact me with your email address so I may contact you.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fire on the Mountain

Last year I did a blog post on Utah's BLM and Forestry.  They were here cutting down trees making a fire block since our home was in harms way "if" there was a fire (they like to say "When" there is a fire).  There are hundreds of piles around us that need to be burned.  The conditions have to be right for the Forestry to give the okay to burn the piles.  BLM was here one day last week a burned some piles and they were here yesterday afternoon burning.  Since the days are getting warmer they figure this will be the last time this season they will be able to burn the piles so they are hitting it very aggressive.

We were going to go into town and pick up our mail and go to the market however, the burning is getting very close to the house so we figured it would be better to stay home.

Here is how the burning is progressing

I wonder how many people in town have seen the smoke and called the fire department. 

We love our Utah BLM and Forestry Departments.  They are the best bunch of guys and gals.  We thank them so much for helping to keep our home and property safe.

Reminder of a couple of giveaways ending soon:

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine ending March 10th, 2012

$50.00 Gift Certificate to Classic Hardware Jewelry and Accessories Giveaway ending March 12th, 2012

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm Laying It Out There....Yikes!

About six weeks ago I had a hard time sleeping and just was not feeling good.  I have been totally out of shape for 23 years.  I have also been sitting on my butt more than usual.  I knew it was time to get my butt off my chair and start exercising.  

My daughter's boyfriend came for a visit and brought his BeachBody DVD P90X and I watched Josh and Anna workout.  What an insane workout!  Anna suggested that I buy the TurboFire it is for losing weight and toning your body instead of building up muscle like a bodybuilder.  Sounds good to me so I ordered the DVD set. 

Faithfully at 10am every morning I do my workout. I am currently on week 4 of the 20 week workout.  This workout is not a walk in the park.  In fact, there are times when I don't know how I'm going to even lift my leg up for the next set. But the best part I am seeing results.  I don't care about how many pounds I lose because if I'm going down in dress sizes I'm loosing weight and building muscle.  This Sunday I get to remeasure myself and see the results of my first 4 weeks. I already know it's working my brand new Not Your Daughters Jeans are loose.  Whoo Hoo!

My daughter is my workout buddy and is now a Coach for BeachBody. I am so proud of her.  I have not seen her this happy since she was on Cheer in high school. (she was working out and doing gymnastics 6 days a week)  Anna is so dedicated and loves working out so this is the perfect venue for her.  

If you would like to check out Anna's BeachBody website you can click HERE

There is no excuse I have put this out for the world to see so I must stick with it.  I will be posting about my journey to get fit along with photos.  I hope you join me on my adventure into fitness as I find old Pam,  I miss that Pam and I know Bill does too.

Until Next Time,

Monday, March 5, 2012

One-Year Blogiversary and a Giveaway

I started my Blog one year ago today.  I decided to start my blog after we moved to Utah to keep in contact with family and friends and let them know what we were up to.  We have no neighbors were we are at so the only contact I have with the outside world is online or when I drive to town to pick up the mail or to do my shopping.  

It's all worth it with beautiful views like this and the wonderful friends I have made out in the cyber world.

What's an Anniversary without a Gift, right!  There was the cutest boutique in California that my daughter and I would shop at called Sky Blue Pink in Burbank.  We discovered a fun jewelry line call Classic Hardware and purchased many pieces. 

Here are just a few items that they carry

I am giving away a $50.00 Gift Certificate to Classic Hardware.

How to Win:

Visit Classic Hardware and let me know what is your favorite. 

One entry per person

You have until March 12, 2012 to enter.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walking Around Rancho Delux

I decided to grab my camera and go for a walk around our property it is such a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky.  Since the Forestry advised us that a mountain lion has been spotted close to our house I don't go too far away without taking my gun.  Part of the fun living out in the boonies.  This little .38 isn't going to do much damage against a mountain lion but it does make a lot of noise.

This is my gun, there are many like it but this one is mine.  You know how I know this is my gun my initials are engraved on it. (loosely taken from Full Metal Jacket)

The snow was a lot deeper than I thought.  After walking about 30 feet from the house I took a step and sunk down to my knees.  Boy, talk about a workout walking in that deep snow.

Here are some photos I took walking around our property

This fenced area will one day hold my garden and it's deer proof

It just a couple months the cactus will be in bloom

I love taking taking photos of old pieces of trees and stumps

Here are the piles that the Forestry needs to burn.  They have not been back so I guess the conditions are not right for burning

Here are some more piles and our house in the background

This is the front of our house and then it goes straight up

A little love from Living Rancho Delux

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's Still Winter in Utah

We had a little snow a couple of days ago our property seems to be the line on where the snow starts on the mountain.  The wind was blowing so our decks were covered with snow.  

This photo was taken on Anna's deck right outside her bedroom

Thursday the Forestry Department was burning the piles of wood that they had cut this past summer.

I should get some really good photos when they start burning the piles closer to the house.  There are hundreds of piles and they are hoping to get them all burned in a couple days. Otherwise they will have to wait until next summer to finish.

We started putting a harness on Olive when she goes not her walks.  She does not like the harness one bit and runs out to the garage or down to the basement to avoid being saddled up. We are trying to get her use to the harness so we are leaving it on her for at least half the day.  It is so funny to watch her walk around the house dragging her body against the leather chair, the yoga mats hanging on the railing. She is also dropping down rubbing her back on the wood floors.  She is a hoot to watch.

I must say I am looking forward to Spring and having everything dried out.  The mud we have this summer makes it hard to even leave the house.  I would much rather have the ground frozen so we could drive up to the house.  It is really getting to be a pain to walk the groceries up to the house. I hope that groundhog is wrong and Spring is just around the corner.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cookbook Giveaway

The Cookbook Junkies are giving away a fantastic cookbook

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine

Amazon Book Description:
Customers have given this book 4.5 Stars out of 5

Mastering the art of baking, presented step-by-step through recipes from the legendary New York City baker. In the heart of Manhattan’s vibrant Highline District is a destination that is beloved by discriminating dessert lovers—Sarabeth’s Bakery. Sarabeth Levine offers an irresistible array of scones, muffins, croissants, cookies, and other classic desserts. This important addition to the baking book canon has been anxiously awaited by the extraordinary baker’s countless fans. It features more than one hundred inspiring recipes for her signature baked goods, ranging from unique English muffins and luscious banana cream pie with vanilla bean pastry to creamy chocolate pudding. Recipes for the perfect accompaniment to her buttery pastries—her legendary spreadable fruits—are also included. Step-by-step instructional photographs teach the baking techniques that make Sarabeth stand apart. Tips on such topics as making a decorative piecrust edge are also discussed in this user-friendly primer. The exquisite photography shows the home baker creative ways for sharing these wonders with friends and family.

Become a Facebook Member of The Cookbook Junkies and leave a comment.

Until Next Time,

Blogging tips