musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snickerdoodle - y Delicious!

I adore Snickerdoodles and have (what I consider) a pretty awesome recipe in an old recipe book my Mom gave me.  It is a 'Cooking for Two' cookbook she received as a wedding gift in 1966 and one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. . . once I learned how to double the recipes (ha!)

My daughter is always on the hunt for new recipes and came across a new twist on my all-time favorite cookie - Eggnog Snickerdoodles. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Frost on the First Day of Winter

My friend, the Dearest Miss Kris, has a most lovely tradition.  Each December 21st she sends this Robert Frost poem to her friends and family.  In this same spirit,  I'm sharing it with all of you - my friends and family.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Trimmings. . .

I LOVE decorating. . . I'm constantly acquiring and tweaking and moving around and trading out and getting rid of and, well. . . Decorating:-)

Christmas is always a fun time to decorate.  It's more than just trimming the tree to me.  Pulling out those decorations from years past - with all their memories attached is very special.  The metal presents that reside on the front porch were found one year when the children and I were out shopping for their annual Christmas ornaments.  The little birdies on my studio TV base are my most recent acquisition and came the from the beautiful store where my daughter works.  We arrived for a visit just right as the store was closing so we had a 'private' shopping spree. . . so special!

So, don't just stand there on the sidewalk waving. . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eggnog Cheesecake - Birthday Style

We have a Birthday tradition in my house.  Each child gets to pick their cake for their special day (you did notice I said 'kid', right.  Yes, this leaves Hubster and myself out. . . well. . . sort of  - ha!). 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shrimply Delicious!

We went out to eat the Saturday night before Thanksgiving and ordered some very tasty shrimp.  I couldn't eat all of mine so brought them home with no real plans in place. . . I just knew I couldn't leave them behind.  Until I was thumbing through a magazine and caught sight of a Shrimp Louis Slider recipe.  "Hmmmm. . . "  I thought, "what a great concept."

Not being much of  a 'slider' (that's a little sandwich with special sauce) fan, I took it a little different direction and modified the recipe to be Shrimp Cakes - as in Crab Cakes.  And, manomanoman, were they ever delicious! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This Ain't Your Mama's Potato Soup. . .

Hubster can come up with the most intriguing of recipes, and, thank goodness (!) most of them are amazingly delicious!

I mean, think about potato soup, for instance.  When Hubster said he had a potato soup recipe he wanted to try, I just mentally shrugged. . . thinking of a thin, kind of grainy, bland, salty soup in my bowl.   Yes.  I was less than enthusiastic about taking photos for the blog. . .Especially when he tried to further convince me by telling me that spinach was one of the ingredients.  Really?!?

Well. . . that was BEFORE I tasted the soup.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All Spiced Up & Mulling It Over

When we talk about The Holiday Season around here - we automatically think of food. . . Eating it. . . making it. . . sharing it. . . Food!  Food!  Food!

But, even more basic than the food are the ingredients and, namely, the spices.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Brussels Sprout Tree?

Send Hubster to the store and he can come home with some of the greatest stuff ever.  Just check out this Brussels Sprout Tree. . .

who knew that's how they grow. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Adobo - Hubster-Style!

Mmmmm. . . .yum!  I had my doubts when Hubster initially showed me his latest recipe idea, but this Phillipino-style Adobo turned out Very Yummy!

Exactly what is an 'adobo'?  More popularly, it's known as a South American sauce or marinade and (chipotle) peppers are typically thought of as one of the primary ingredients.  In Hubster's recipe we're going back to the traditional Phillipino-style adobo.  I just know you're going to love it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Kind of Cat is That???

You've wondered. . . and assumed. . . . and guessed. . . and asked:  Exactly what kind of kitty does Robin Z have, anyway?  Is it sick?  Shaved?


Nope.  They're called 'Russian Peterbald'.  A male Don Sphynx and a female Oriental Shorthair were bred in Russia in 1994 and Ta Da!  We got the Russian Peterbald Cat!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Delicious Sweet Potato Fries

I LOVE sweet potatoes - though not the way your Grandma used to make them with brown sugar and marshmallows.  Icky.  My Granny used to make them that way too. . . .

At Thanksgiving each year, it became the challenge to get 'Lil Robi' (that would be yours truly) to eat the sweet potato stuff. . . I LOVE carrots - but even though these looked similar they are most definitely N-O-T.  Let's just say - no one ever won that particular contest.  And who would want to be so mean to such a Cutie Pie? Just look at that face - seriously!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Rainbows

Well, it's Friday and I know you've been feeling rather neglected.  For that, I am sorry. 
I am starting to recover from the 'Kamikaze cold' that has put its grip upon me for the past eight days (yes.  I've been counting).  I've gone through at least two boxes of tissues, gallons of water, orange juice, and tea, not to mention hand-santizer. . . that's enough, isn't it?

The sun has been shining just as bright as can be here this week - for that I am grateful!

But to show you that sometimes you have to deal with the rain in order to get to the rainbow. . . 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Suffering from The Worst Head Cold Ever

Things I've learned while suffering from a stuffy nose. . . coughs. . . headache. . . chills. . . . laryngitis. . . sneezes. . . basically The Worst Head Cold Ever.

Your juice glass is *always* empty - until you spill it. . . .

Friday, October 29, 2010

Boo! That's right. I said Boo!

I know. . . the title's not very original, but. . . well. . . BOO!

So while we're on the subject of Halloween - how do you decorate?  Do you set pumpkins out on the front porch?  Take cardboard bats in your window? Wear a scary costume to hand out candy? Or really decorate your house in the 'haunted' style?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mums in the Pumpkins

I saw this idea of using a pumpkin as a fall garden pot a few years ago and every year since, I would buy chrysanthemums and pumpkins with the intent of trying it for myself. . . but every Autumn would go by with the mums doing their thing and the pumpkins doing theirs - and not together. I simply wanted to use the pumpkins as 'pots' for the mums. Nothing terribly difficult. . .

Well. . . this year I brought Hubster on board and check it out!

Simply Squashed. . .

So, more obviously than apparently, rain and my Mums in Pumpkins do *NOT* work together. Note to self - move pumpkins out of way of incoming rain.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ooo La La ~ Flightless Bird Goes Fast

On Friday,  I shared my Savory Cheesecake Recipe and there was that lovely chicken breast that we served on the side. 

A total 'winging-it' concepted recipe that completely won over all of our taste buds!  No hen-pecking (or leftovers) here. . .

Friday, October 15, 2010

Savoring the Cheesecake

Looking for something just a little different on your plate?  Have company coming for dinner and want to impress them. . . without being a slave to your stove?  Have I got the cheesecake recipe for you!  That's right, I said cheesecake. . . and I'm not talking dessert, darling.  I'm talking as a side dish:-)

I used to make this recipe fairly frequently - many years ago. It's not a difficult recipe, reheats grandly (IF there are any leftovers) and I absolutely adore it! Have no idea why we haven't made it in so long.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet as Sugar Arts & Crafts

What a grand Saturday it was!  A perfect dayfor being outside enjoying an Arts and Crafts Festival.

Friend Carrie and I traveled an hour northeast for the wonderful Sugar Mound Arts and Crafts Festival - and did we have some kind of fun!

It was a gorgeous Autumn day - a little cool when we left at 8 a.m. - but warmed up to 'upper-lip-glistening' by lunchtime, and 'give-me-extra-ice-in-my-soda' hot by the time we left at 3 p.m.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finally Friday & Fun!

What did I do today?

Well. . . worked on the ksyardbird website.  Take a look and tell me what you think. . . Seriously.

Took some wonderful pics on my adventure to central Kansas Wednesday.  Here's just a few. . .

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday SURPRISE Blog - Mojitos :-)


Nephew B. first introduced us to the deliciously refreshing limey-minty Mojito.  In honor of, what's sure to be, a great weekend for cocktails, here's our fave Mojito recipe - as demonstrated by Hubster.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foodie Friday - Simple Salmon Pie

With the gorgeous Autumn upon us (and it is beautiful this year!) who wants to spend a bunch of time closed up in the kitchen making supper?  How about something quick to toss together that cooks for a bit in the oven - giving you some time to sit on the porch and watch the leaves turn colors. . .

Salmon Pie

1 can salmon, drained
4 eggs, yolks broken
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup diced sweet pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.   Mince the onions and dice the peppers.  We used sweet purple peppers from my patio-pepper plant - tasty!

Beat the eggs. . .

Drain the salmon and crumble into a bowl - chopping with a fork if necessary.

Mix all ingredients. . .

Pour into a buttered 8 x 8, 9 x 9, or deep dish pie dish

 and bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes up clean.  Let rest for few minutes before serving with white sauce.

White Sauce

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (black pepper is a perfect substitute)
1-1/2 cups milk

Melt butter over low heat in heavy saucepan.  Blend in flour and seasonings. 

Cook and stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. 

Stir in milk.  Bring to boil stirring constantly.  Boil to desired consistency - about one minute for 'thick cream'

and perfect for topping salmon pie.

Pair Salmon Pie with steamed green beans or snap peas and some tomatoes and it's supper fit for company, baby!  YUM!  Dish it up and have supper outside tonight:-)

Have a Simply Tasty kind of day ~

Robin Z

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Whew! WOW! Wonderful!

What a wild past several days - and it's been AWESOME!

I spent all of last week totally focused on my first ksyardbird Art Show - Artist Alley.   I shared a booth with my favorite Celebrating Home person, Missy, (remember her Taco Soup in the Celebrating Home Bean Pot recipe?)and we had a lot of traffic!

There's J-girl behind the mirror, with Yours Truly 'in' the mirror. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flurry of Jewelry. . . and Details

I've been so focused on getting ready for Artist Alley, that it's like I have blinders on.  Tunnel vision.  Obsessed.  Focused.

The Art show is this Saturday and the Grand Revealing of  ~* ksyardbird *~  to an actual, live, audience. Every free moment for the past few weeks has been spent on making more jewelry and preparing for the show - and there's just so many more things I want to make and do. . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Foodie Friday - Strip-Chips

Looking for something a little extra, a little special, to go with your Chicken-Veg Soup,  Taco Soup,   Cha-Cha Queso BlancoGuacamole, Tex-Mex Corn Dip, and Margaritas?  Well, I got it!

How about Tortilla Strip-Chips? 

Oh sure, you can buy something like that already bagged up at the store - but once you try it my way, you'll never go back to those.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Falling in Love with Fall

Well. . . not me.  Not really.  And not quite.  BUT - Fall *is* better than winter:-)  There is no doubt about it!  Especially when we have a gorgeous evening like this one ~

Hubster and I loaded up Wonder-Vizsla #1 (Zayda)

and Wonder-Vizsla #2 (Jaz)

and spent an evening at our local Elks Lodge Lake just north of town. 

The Wonder-Vizslas were excited to do some fetching. . . and getting wet!  The anticipation was dog-gone nearly unbearable

 And the dog-paddle was employed

Yes.  That's Zayda in the lead.  She'll get to that dummy first. . . I don't mean Hubster.  And no, not talking about Jaz - that's the thing-y floating out there in the water.  I don't know why it's called a dummy (can get confusing) . . . but who's that coming back with the dummy?  Is that Jaz?!?!?  How'd that happen?

It certainly has nothing to do with the splash of the dive into the water

What a gorgeous evening

Beautiful, darling - simply beautiful. 

Yes Jaz, we'll be back.

I wish you had been there with us.  Maybe next time?  The dogs will be ready!

Have a Dog-gone kind of day ~

Robin Z

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Perfectly Pronto Pizza

Oh yes!  Pizza was on the menu last night for Son-o and I.  Instead of ordering in or going out, we opted to doctor up our own.

We had custom, piping hot, tasty-delicious pizza in about 30 minutes.  To keep it all pronto, and still stick with fresh-baked, we opted to use a yeast-free dough recipe.  Check it out!

Yeast-Free Pizza Dough

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil

Friday, September 10, 2010

Treasure Trove of Creations!

I am participating in Artist Alley in exactly 15 days.  This will be my first time of actually taking my 'Creative Muddle' public.  Oh sure, I have my ksyardbird on Etsy and friends and family loving digging through my 'treasure chest' of creations to make one or two (or three or four) their own - but I've never actually gone public with my treasures.

The upside is that my creativity is evidently fed by this nervousness.  Quartz and prehnite and pearls and turquoise and aragonite and garnets . . . and sparkle and shine and BLING! Check these pretties out!

Three colors of quartz.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

C- is for Cookies - Not Eggs. . .

I have a special mini-friend who is allergic to eggs. . . It seemed every time he came to my house for supper I had a dessert he couldn't eat.   I simply couldn't bear to have this little guy, at my house, not eating dessert.  So that set me a'hunting.

Guess what I found out?  It's really-really hard to find tasty sweets that don't take eggs.  It also set me to thinking, during the recent salmonella-egg scare, that this would be great for those who just can't keep from tasting the cookie dough.. . .