to a T

This weekend got off to a great start with Triple-berry pancakes on Friday...and then just kept right on Tempting the Tastebuds with Toffee and Tortillas! While Ryan and his dad were moving TONS of dirt outside to get the water drainage/snow meltage figured out, I was busy in the kitchen with his mom and brother. The Stover's always make english toffee at Christmas time to give to family and friends. I've had the recipe for awhile now, but had never made it. Until now. OK, I didn't really make it...I just stirred, stirred, stirred, and poured. Teri and Lee did the rest. But I'm pretty sure I can handle it on my own now after watching the professionals:) It sure is delicious! I've been helping myself to a little peice for dessert after dinner (ok, after lunch and breakfast too!).

While the toffee was cooling, Teri got out a recipe for homemade tortillas that we've been talking about trying for some time. I thought making your own tortillas would be difficult and time-consuming, but it was so simple. My favorite part is WHACKing them down (I'm pretty sure that's the technical term) while they're bubbling up in the skillet! We all had to take a turn.

Ok, I didn't get a picture of these golden beauties because we gobbled them up at lunch. But, don't worry, I will be making these again. They are so much tastier than store-bought ones. Go ahead, give them a try...


3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

about 1 cup warm water

Sift dry ingredients and mix together; gradually add water until crumbly dough forms. Knead until smooth. Divide into 12 rounds. Cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Flatten each ball and roll into a 9 inch round. As you shape each tortilla, place on a pre-heated (med-high), dry skillet. Blisters should appear. Turn tortilla immediately and press blisters down with spatula. Turn again and press until blisters turn golden brown. Stack tortillas as cooked inside a folded cloth towel within a plastic bag; close bag and let tortillas steam and soften until all are cooked.

recipe from sunset mexican


counter space...

...or lack thereof:) You see, I've been sort of busy these days. I haven't been able to do much in the kitchen because every flat surface is covered with either fruit, canning supplies, veggies, cutting boards, dehydrator trays, or dishes drying waiting to start all over again. Even the kitchen table was looking a little overwhelming, which is a bit of an inconvience since the kitchen table also serves as my craft table (since my old one was replaced with a changing table and is waiting patiently in the garage while we finish the addition), our paying bills station, laundry folding/sorting station, oh, and every once in a while I actually shove everything to the side clean off the table so we can sit and eat.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for helping me get started and snapping a few pictures of the process!

It all started when I got 100 lbs of pears and 15 pounds of cheeries. What was I thinking? Oh, right, I was thinking I was ordering 25 lb boxes, not 50 lb boxes.

Then it continued with the first frost (and a week of snow!) in the forecast. That meant we had to pull a bunch of stuff out of the garden.

All this led to:
~quarts and quarts of canned pears
~canned cheeries
~canned pearsauce (think applesauce with pears instead:)
~cinnamon pear jam
~cranberry pear jam
~dehydrated pear chips
~dehydrated veggie chips
~lots of new recipes with fresh pears (I'll share later)
Mason was a big help!
And my counters now? Well, Ryan built me an awesome shelf out of scrap wood to hold all those jars. The kitcken is starting to get back to normal...just in time to get that box of apples:)


The Dog That Plants Potatoes

Once upon a time there was a dog named Java.

She loved to dig. A few months ago, Java kept bringing potato chunks to her owners doorstep and leaving them there. At first her owners thought they were the potatoes they just recently planted. But, they weren't purple, they were red. Soon, her owners realized that she was getting them from the compost pile and so they let her be. Java, being the smart dog that she is, decided to help plant the potatoes. So she selected a good chunk of potato and put it right by the downspout of the gutters. She figured since her owners wouldn't know it was there, at least it would get water. A few weeks ago, her owners noticed a potato plant that was very far away from all the potatoes they had planted. And the potato plant was thriving! After pondering the situation, the only conclusion they could form was that Java planted it there. A few days ago they harvested those potatoes. They were pretty small, perfect for a stew. Of course they shared the stew with Java, who actually did all the work. The End.

PS...now the owners are trying to get Java to pull the weeds in the garden.


out of state

This weekend we took a little trip. We drove about 17 miles past the Colorado border to visit uncle Lee in Cheyenne. It was Mason's first trip out of state and he did great! It was about a 5 hour drive, but he slept most of the way there and back. Except for a little stop and go traffic in Denver, (a crying baby and rush hour are not a good combo) he was out. As long as the car was moving, he was good to go. On Saturday we put Mason in the sling and headed out for a walk around town.
Mission: Starbucks, the church where Lee works, and checking out a little bakery. The church was really neat, I think he said it was built in the 1930's. He even showed us part of the underground tunnels. The sanctuary was beautiful with lots of stained glass windows. Mason slept through the whole thing:)

After that we walked to Starbucks where Lee helped me create and order the perfect drink: A pumpkin spice chai cream frappuccino. Pure deliciousness. It's a really good thing there isn't a Starbucks here in town:) Then we headed to the bakery and got some rolls and cookies for lunch. We packed a picnic lunch and headed to the botanical gardens and greenhouse. It was beautiful weather to walk around and check out all the flowers and plants. Ryan and I got a few ideas for our greenhouse and garden. Then it was back to Lee's house where Mason decided to have a major blowout and we had to scrub and scrub throw away his clothes:) Good times.

Thanks, Uncle Lee for a great visit. We can't wait to come back and see you again.


stamps and such

Hello. If you're looking for my cards, check out my new blog: stamps and such. Thanks!

3 months

Happy 3 months, Mason. What a sweetheart you are! You love to smile and make happy faces, but you can turn fussy in a split second:)

You also have a very serious side. You furrow your little eyebrows and just stare. I don't know how many people look at you and then say, "he's so serious." We love it. What are you thinking about??At 3 months, you:

~have outgrown your cradle (you're too long!) and have moved into your crib

~can see yourself in the mirror on the headrest in the car and smile at yourself

~can hold your head up

~can roll over from your tummy to back and almost from your back to tummy

~love to smile

~take two good naps a day

~love your pacifier, but will suck on your fist and arm when you find them

~have become quite the drooler!You add so much joy to our daily lives. You are such a good baby and we love you more and more each day.




good morning, blueberries

I wish there was a place nearby to pick fresh blueberries. I've seen wild strawberries and raspberries, but no blueberries. This morning I decided to make a blueberry coffee cake (with frozen blueberries). It was delicious.

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. reduced-fat sour cream
1 egg
1/4 c. applesauce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 c. quick-cooking oats
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cold butter
Combine all the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Pour into a 9 in. square pan coated with cooking spray. Combine the oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Ever have one of those mornings where nothing really falls into place? It seemed like every ingredient I reached for was empty. The flour canister, the wheat flour canister, and the sugar canister all needed to be filled. Then when I went to make the topping, the brown sugar canister only had a little bit in the bottom. Well, at least now all my canisters are full and ready for the next baking adventure. Too bad the dishes aren't done...



Early this morning the dogs started barking like crazy. When I opened the front door, this is what I saw. There's a group of about 17 bucks that have been hanging around the past few weeks. This morning the dogs decided to say hello. The deer didn't seem to mind. Then just continued doing what they were doing.

They are pretty cool to look at, but I would appreciate it if they would leave my plants alone:)
Well, I just made some chai and got a phone call from a good friend who moved away in May. It's shaping up to be a pretty good day.