Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Morning Donuts at Gibson Ranch

Saturday mornings usually mean 
powdered sugar doughnuts and coffee with my daughter.

We decided to do something extra special
and get the fabulously scrumptious cinnamon rolls
at Marie's Donuts
and eat them here at Gibson Ranch.
 Although it may look as though we are sharing one doughnut,
we actually splurged on two. [That's mine :) ]

 This is Gibson Ranch.
Cabin Rentals
A place for horse lovers as well as picnickers.
 We used to take our children here often when they were little.
My sisters and I used to ride our bikes to Gibson Ranch
 when I was 18 years old.
It was a beautiful morning for
a walk down memory lane.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Turkey on the Grill

I love that my darling husband enjoys cooking on the grill.
He has always wanted to grill a turkey, 
but I have always like it roasted in the oven because I wanted the gravy.
What do you know, 
He got his grilled turkey, and I still got my gravy. (I saved it for another meal.)
And boy oh boy did this grilled turkey taste delicious!

That darling man always cuts the whole turkey and cleans the carcass.
That is not an easy job.

~ Menu ~
Grilled turkey
baked beans
Potato salad
Tossed salad
Fresh salsa
Banana cream pie

Griddle Cakes

~ Father's Day Breakfast ~
Recipe from:
~ Joy of Cooking ~
Sift before measuring:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Resift with:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 to 2 beaten whole eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk
Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients. 

Test griddle: let a few drops of cold water fall on griddle. If the water bounces and sputters, the griddle is ready. If the water just sits and boils, the griddle is not hot enough. If the water vanishes, the griddle is too hot.

Cook about 2-3 minutes before turning. When bubbles appear on surface, but before they break, lift the cakes to check brownness. Turn and cook until done.
Makes about fourteen 4-inch Cakes
Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lazy Summer Dinner

 My husband put together these lovely pepper and onion shish kabobs...
They looked so pretty I just had to take a photo.
Oh my, don't they look even prettier on the grill!
Can you tell that I was VERY hungrily waiting to eat these?
We were planning on having corn on the cob with this meal,
but we forgot all about it until we were already eating.
It was delicious even with out it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Bouquet of Roses

My husband bought me a little rose plant in a pink pail some years ago.
It was the perfect "bouquet" because it did not soon die, as cut flowers do. 
I always prefer potted plants to flower bouquets.
And here it is, years later, still blooming and bringing me joy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homemade Pizza

Our neighbor gave us a gallon sized bag of pepperoni 
and load of mozzarella cheese. 
So, we decided to make pizza

You want quick and easy no-kneading artisan bread crust?  

We use this recipe when making pizza.
It's a breeze!

Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread 

This recipe makes 4 1-pound loaves. You can double or half it. You can use a KitchenAid mixer. I mix mine by hand in a large bowl.

  • 3 cups warm water 
  • 1 1/2 T. yeast 
  • 1 1/2 T. salt 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached flour 
  • whole wheat flour to sprinkle on peel 

Mixing and storing the dough:
1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the yeast and salt with the water in a 5 quart bowl.
2. Mix in remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, or kitchenAid with dough hook.
3. Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (about 2 hours) unlike traditional artisan bread, it will not hurt the dough to sit longer than this.
4. The dough can be used immediately but it will be easier to handle if you refrigerate three hours first. It can now be put in the fridge for up to 14 days.

When you are ready to bake
5. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (about the size of a grapefruit) piece. If making pizza - Place your ball of dough on to a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Dust with flour as needed (cooking spray is also handy) to roll-out or press-out with hands.  (After rolling, let the dough rest for just a few minutes before adding toppings.) If making bread - Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pan for 40 minutes.
6. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place an empty broiler pan on the bottom rack and adjust shelves so that they will not interfere with the dough as it rises during baking (Broiler pan is not necessary for pizza.)
7. For bread, sprinkle loaf liberally with flour and slash a cross, scallop or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top, using serrated bread knife. Leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before slicing.
8. Put bread in oven. Pour 1 cup HOT tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until deeply brown and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time. For pizza, I skip the hot water and I bake my pizza for 18 minutes at 450 degrees.
9. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.
Double this recipe using The “6-3-3-13” rule: 6 cups water, 3 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons yeast, and then add 13 cups of flour. 

Your family is sure to love it!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cottage Garden

~ Garden Lettuce ~

It has been such a treat to cut lettuce from the garden.
It has no bugs, and because my husband planted it in a raised planter box, 
no snails have attacked it.

~ Pink Poppy ~
Flowers and vegetables grown in his greenhouse nursery

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Morning Waffles with Blueberries and Donuts and Coffee

 Saturday is family day...
~ The happiest day of the week ~
On Saturday mornings, after my walk with my husband, 
My daughter and I go to the park
with our powdered sugar donuts and coffee.
However, I promised my husband that I would make him
waffles with blueberries...
So, home I went and made these wonderful waffles
Joy of Cooking.
Here is the recipe.
Sift before measuring: 
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (I use all-purpose flour)
Resift with:
  • 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
Beat well:
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 2 to 7 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil (I use 7)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
Make a hole in the center of the sifted ingredients. Pour in the liquid ingredients. Combine them with a few swift strokes (do not over beat of over mix). The batter should have a pebbled look, similar to a muffin batter. At this time, you might want to include one of the following:
  • (1/2 cup fresh berries)
  • (1/4 cup raisins)
  • (1/4 cup finely chopped nuts or coconut)
  • (1 cup finely diced cooked ham)
Beat until stiff, but not dry:
  • 3 egg whites
Fold them into the batter until they are barely blended. 
To cook, heat waffle iron until the indicator shows it is ready to use. cover the grid surface about two-thirds. Close the lid and wait for 4 minutes. When the waffle is ready, all steam will have stopped emerging from the crack of the iron. (I have a Belgian waffle maker - my waffles take 5 minutes before all the steam stops emerging.) The richer the dough, the crisper the waffle becomes. With the butter flavor baked into the waffle, there is then no reason for adding butter - unless you like lots, as do I.
Makes 6 waffles with a traditional waffle maker
I have to double this recipe to get 7 - 8  using my Belgian waffle maker.

If you make these waffles, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Morning Walks for Coffee

~ Sunrise on the American River ~
On our way to get our morning coffee - 2.5 miles each way.
We usually arrive at Starbucks at about 6:00.
It is so peaceful and quiet at this time.
We always feel as though we are on vacation.
~ Sharing a coffee ~
I always have a burst of energy for the walk home.
Often we see dear along the way.
One of our favorite sights is from this bridge over the American River.

The old village is famous for its many chickens.
They crow all morning long, as if they are competing with each other.
There is nothing nicer than starting my day with a morning walk.

Morning Walk Along the American River

I  L-O-V-E  mornings!
My husband and I walk 5 miles to and from Starbucks every morning.
Our route takes us along this American River bike path.
 We share one cup of coffee -
The dark house blend with 3 raw sugars and about 4 Tsp. half and half.
(I figure that is about 140 calories - 70 calories a for each of us.)
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
It is so energizing!
This does not even feel like exercise!
 I thank God for this lovely time I get to spend with my darling husband.

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