Tuesday, July 29, 2008

what about those 6 eggs whites?

I added coconut, chopped walnuts, candied cherries I made, and chocolate bits. Drop by spoonful on parchement covered cookie sheet.
Because of the heavy ingredients I added these don't stand up, the less you add the higher the peak you can pull up with your spoon. I know the cherries and coconut added a lot of weight!

You made the Truffles/jam tart and now have 6 or 4 egg whites? When I was a teen in high school we were taught to make two cakes. One cake was a white and used the egg whites and one was a golden and used the egg yolks. They were called lady and Lord cakes. I like to make overnight cookies with egg whites and here is my recipe. No photos yet, my egg whites are still sitting in a glass in the fridge. To make this recipe you must not get any egg yolk in the egg whites. If you do wait for the cake recipe!

Cookies while you sleep

2 egg whites

1/8 teas salt

1/4 Tsp cream of tarter

2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup chocolate chips, the mini ones are great in these

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans, Opt.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a very clean bowl with clean beaters beat egg whites until frothy, Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff Add sugar gradually until creamy and and peaks form. Add vanilla Fold in chocolate chips and pecans if using. Drop by teaspoon full on cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. These can be placed very close together. Put sheets in oven and TURN OFF the heat DO NOT OPEN until morning or for 9 to 10 hours These can be tinted a color and are nice with mint chocolate chips. Makes about 3 dozen.
4 eggs whites makes 2 cookies sheets full

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

Have one?

These are price winning truffles. Back to my wine country days. A local would make these yummies. I've adjusted the recipe a little bit after years of making these. I'll never forget Girls night. When bleach boy and our son went on father son camp outs the girls and I would do fun things, like painting every one's nails, watching chick flicks and one of our favorites was rolling these yummy chocolate truffles in cocoa.


1/2 pound of Semisweet chocolate chips (I used some of my bar chocolate and my remaining chocolate chips this time)

6 egg yolks carefully separated with all little white bits removed

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar

1 Teas raspberry flavoring or just vanilla if you can't find the other.

6 tablespoons of cocoa

30 perfect raspberries. These are also wonderful with blue berries or any little berry you might pick.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Avoid getting any steam into the bowl

Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. It's best to separate an egg one at a time so you don't mistakenly get shell or white in the whole batch. So crack, separate, add. I just used a spoon to beat in the yolks. You are still working over the heat so your eggs yolks will get cooked in the mixture.

Stir in the butter and remove from the heat, once again avoid the steam!

add in the powdered sugar and vanilla or raspberry flavoring. Chill until you can form the mixture into a small ball. This can take a while to thicken.

Form into small balls. I drop the dough into the cocoa and use the cocoa to keep the sticky from my hands as I roll a ball. Make a little dent in the center and add what ever berry you collected!

The Truffles will need to stay in the fridge to stay firm. Remove them before serving. Can you believe this makes about 30!

Birthday packages reminds me of making bows

I am looking for the directions for these cute hair braids. I have them somewhere

There are two ways to make ribbon roses this is my easiest

This is my sisters directions for putting tiny roses on pre-made or handmade bows loops.

This is the Cinderella style bows!

With the birthday over my mind goes to the pretty little hair things you can make for children's hair. All over the Internet are fun things to buy or make for hair. I'm wondering if my pages on bow making will help you come up with your own creative ideas? I kept a wooden box of supplies so I could make a hair "pretty", for any of the four girls, on a moments notice. I could make a cute bow and then sew a fancy button or a shaped button in the center. I kept hair clips, ribbon, buttons, beads and such in my box. So look over these drawings and see if you can figure out how to use them for something fun. I will work on better directions when the visiting grandkids have headed home. Right now I'm hugging the baby and tossing balls up and down the stairs with the 2 year old!

I went to a bridal shower today and we made toilet tissue wedding dresses and I'd say two of the three dresses had a bow on it!

My bow directions come by way of a year of floral design in college, and other classes I've taken.

Enjoy and pass along your ideas.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Cheryl

Our 4th child has a summer birthday.

It seemed like we celebrated while camping, or on the way to visit one of the grandparent families. Later it was Girl Scout camp or some other camp that occurred during her birthday.

Cheryl was one of the "late" arrival girls. She was over due and bleach boy was wearing down from the mid-night false alarms. Her claim to fame is that I took something to start labor and it worked! That or the long walk, which never worked before.

Baby Cheryl was always know for her big smile and happy out look, and Frogs.

I hope she is having a happy day seems once again Summer events are getting in the way of her special day. But we won't forget it! Happy Birthday, born in the 1980's, Cheryl

What happened in 1981.

Oh it wasn't a very interesting year really. Ronald Reagan became the 40th president.

Raiders of the lost Arch with Harrison Ford was released.

MTV was first released on TV.

Luke and Laura marry on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital; it is the highest-rated hour in daytime television history.

Not much more to report!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go to the Movies!

Want to do something really fun? Take the kids to see the 3D movie 'Journey to the Center of the earth'. Here in the Seattle area it is only playing in Monroe and Seattle. The Monroe theater is behind the Fred Myer. Just one block East of the 522 hwy. When you get off 522 get in the far left lane coming off the fwy as you will need to get into the left hand turn lane right away as it has a cement runner blocking you from getting over if you are too late.

We went today to Monroe and had a wonderful, laughter filled time. The movie was Kid Safe in that every problem had a safe (albeit not possible) fairly quick solution. All danger passed quickly and the 3D effects were really fun all the way through the credits even.

The movie was a bit pricey. Nine dollars at the 4:45 pm time slot but maybe it's because of those sturdy 3-D glasses we all received and were told to keep for the next 3D movie. Even one of the movie pre-views was in 3-D so we got to run a bit of a test before the movie.

Now don't be confused like we were. Seems TWO movie were released by the same name. The 3D run of Journey to the Center of the Earth has Brandon Frasier the other movie does not.

So take the kids to a really fun adventure, some great laughs, some dazzling "BIG" things and hopefully it won't make your head spin like it did me! he he

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Enduring little things so we can handle Big things

On our way home from Canada last Friday we were stopped for nearly two hours in really hot direct sun. It was the border and it was Friday and it was at a stand still in our lane. Bleach boy had this same problem getting out of the U.S and going into Canada. He choose a lane and it never moved. Turned out a bus had blocked it. The reader boards said 5 minutes to cross and it took over 45 minutes. However the trip home was a test of even my Patience. No air conditioning, past lunch time, sun right on my leg and arm and our lane wasn't moving and the other three lanes were. I could see bleach boy start to really seem unhappy. My mind was processing the following points.

1) bleach boy couldn't know his lane was not a good one

2) No one was going to care if I was getting a nasty sunburn

3) If I got cranky and bleach boy got cranky it would make the wait even longer

4) The only thing I did have control over was my mood.

Now I skip to my favorite little book "Don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff" Once I got home from my vacation I got my book out and looked for the following advice. This book came out in 1997 and I still remember many of it's lessons.


Become more Patient

The quality of patience goes along way toward your goal of creating a more peaceful and loving self.The more patient you are, the more accepting you will be of what is, rather than insisting that life be exactly as you would like it to be. Without patience, life is extremely frustrating, you are easily annoyed, bothered, and irritated. Patience adds a dimension of ease and acceptance to your life. It's essential for inner peace.

Becoming more patient involves opening your heart to the present moment, even if you don't like it. If you are stuck in a traffic jam , late for an appointment, opening to the moment would mean catching yourself building a mental snowball before your thinking got out of hand and gently reminding yourself to relax. It might also be a good time to breathe as well as an opportunity to remind yourself that, in the bigger scheme of things, being late is "small Stuff".
Patience also involves seeing the innocence in others. My wife, kris, and I have two Young children ages four and seven. On many occasions while writing this book , our four-year old daughter has walked into my office and interrupted my work, which can be disruptive to a writer. what I have learned to do (most of the time) is to see the innocence in her behavior rather than to focus on the potential implications of her interruption. (I won't get my work done, I'll lose my train of thought, this was my only opportunity to write today." and so forth).......I have found that , if you look deeply enough, you can almost always see the innocence in other people as well as in potentially frustrating situations. when you do, you will become a more patient and peaceful person and , in some strange way, you begin to enjoy many of the moments that used to frustrate you.

He now reminds us to take our irritations out of things and allow patience to take over, you can practice in little 5 minutes sessions. When something is not going your way allow yourself 5 minutes of not being bothered by it. OK so I did that very thing at the U.S. border

First in the peace of my practice of patience I remembered I had poured lemonade in our water bottles and put them in an ice box on the seat. I fetched those out and bleach boy and I had a moment of relief. Just enough to change the mood. So I suggested I read aloud the book we have been sharing for nearly a year. That helped tons to get our minds off our long wait. The longer the wait went the more I practiced this patience and I remembered some Caramel's in my back pack and found a way to dig those out. Then some music that I'm sure truly bugged bleach boy as it was all in French but it was better to turn his attention to the African lady singing in French and it was calming to me. So we survived the 2 hour, no lie, wait at the border in the line that didn't move. We finished our book, a long time goal we have had, and we survived in style, and sometimes that's the best thing of all!

Our lives are jam packed with things we can't control. More and more each day things are happening that makes it harder for us to control things. Isn't now a good time to start the Patience practice periods? Say that 10 times! You will save your perspective if you can develop patience. In light of showing patience you will find amazing ways to cope to survive!

Good luck and I'm sure you will get an opportunity to practice most any moment in your life as a mommy and wife and women and neighbor and student and on and on. Lots and lots of practice.

OH a new addition to the play house

Wish I'd taken a photo before dark. When the kids were all little bleach boy built an amazing play area, bridges, multi-platforms, all kinds of fun things to play on. When we moved all we took was the drinking fountain and the fireman's pole. This evening bleach boy installed the old fireman's' pole in the play area. He'd like some kids to test it. Yes I know Shannon you tested the trip line swing and hit a tree but your dad seems to think this has less risk! So who will test the fireman's pole first? I do need a photo of a kid going down it after all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

devils club, pretty berries don't eat

As you can see by the BIG thorns this plant is called Devils club for a reason. Right now the berries are turning ripe and a very pretty red and no longer green as they were last week. Don't eat them!
Though the berries are poisonous they have been used by natives groups to kill lice (mashed up and put on body) and other parts of the plant has other medical uses.

how about skunk cabbage

"Skunk cabbage like many other members of the arum family contain sharp crystals of calcium Oxalate. If any part of a Skunk cabbage is put in your mouth the crystals can become embedded in our mucous membranes and provoke intense irritation and burning." SO DO WE WANT TO EAT ANY PART OF THESE?
The Native peoples of Canada seemed to think if the birds didn't want to eat something they didn't either. So skunk cabbage seems to be left alone and so shall we leave it be!

blue berry pie

My friend Marie McKell, long ago and far away used to make this pie. Wow is it good. Wish I had some blue berries to show you how. But you go a head and try this recipe and maybe you will have some photos to pass along to me. It's a cool summer treat.

Blue Berry pie

3 cups fresh blue berries

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teas salt

1/8 to 1/4 teas of nutmeg

1 9" pre-baked pie shell (the recipe with my raspberry pie works well)

whipping cream for topping

Rinse and drain the blueberries. Place 1 cup of blueberries in a 3 quart saucepan. Crush with a potato masher.

Stir corn starch into the water and stir until smooth. Add to the blueberry mixture in the saucepan, also add sugar, honey, lemon juice, salt and nutmeg. Stir until well blended.

Now add in the remaining berries and leave them un-mashed. Stir over medium high heat until you bring the mixture to a boil. (yes you can do this in your microwave!) Just stir often.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until berries are cooked.

Cool before pouring into pre-cooked pie shell. Cover and chill for at least 1 hours.

Serve with whipped cream. Serve the same day as making.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chicken and Raspberry sandwich

The berry recipe of the day is a long time favorite of mine. It goes back to my days in wine country, California. I've had a lot of years of enjoying this sandwich. Try it like it is and then change it as you wish. Something about just that combination is really good. Enjoy!

Chicken and Raspberry Sandwich

1 french roll or 2 slices of french sandwich bread

Raspberry mayonnaise (below)

1 small red onion, cut into slices for rounds

half a chicken breast or 4 to 5 ounces of roasted or Sauteed chicken meat

Shredded red cabbage

Fresh raspberries (or try another type of berry)

Split the rolls. Spread them liberally with Raspberry Mayonnaise. Place some rounds of onion on the bread and top with the chicken of your choose. Top the chicken with some shredded cabbage. Top with fresh raspberries. Place on a serving plates and and top with a big scoop of raspberry mayonnaise. Garnish the plate with more fresh berries.

Oh this is good!

Raspberry mayonnaise (in a pinch I just mash up berries and add to commerical mayo)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cloves garlic peeled

2 teaspoons mustard if you wish OPT

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup of olive oil

4 tablespoons of raspberry vinegar (or what ever vinegar you have)

dash of salt

This is blender work.

Place eggs, garlic, mustard and extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blend at top speed for 15 seconds. Turn blender to low and slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the other olive oil. Slowly add the raspberry vinegar. Add the Sugar and salt. Continue to blend at high speed and slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil.

Recipe from 'A cooks tour of Sonoma' by Michele Anna Jordan

Friday, July 18, 2008

Berry recipe time

It was a brooding day for our drive home.
Vacation coming to an end. I always savor every moment. This is lunch on the Howe sound. A beautiful place even with a stormy sky.
After a nearly 2 hour wait at the U.S. border and with no air conditioning and direct sun I have decided not to ever do the border again on a Friday. NO U.S licence plates in any of the lines we could see during the 2 hours. The cars were being searched one after the other. We got to the booth and in about a minute we were welcomed home and sent on our way!

So now that I have shown you a bunch of tasty wild berries (we all know how many black berries we have in the area) I am going to give you a bunch of really good recipes to use these or any berries. All loved and tested by my family. So be ready to try them while the berries are in season.

my best berry pie recipe

I just returned from my vacation and my daughter left a bowl of fresh picked Raspberries from my bushes.

Everyone loves this recipe. I made this pie from Raspberries I picked on my way out the door for our vacation last week. I didn't even take a photo so you have to trust me this is a great pie recipe! Everyone that eats it wants more. You can use any berry, or even peaches. I mixed strawberries and Raspberries this time. I am a spinner. That means I have spinning wheels and Cashgora goats and once a lot of angora rabbits. As a spinner I like to get together with others and spin. One summer day as a big bunch of us were enjoying spinning under the maple trees the hostess brought out a pie. I loved it and this is her recipe I jotted on a tiny sticky note!

Berry or Peach Pie

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar

2 cups boiling water

3 ozs of strawberry, or raspberry or peach jello

Combine cornstarch and sugar, stir well

Add the boiling water, bring to a boil on med.

Remove from stove and add Jello, Stir well

Chill until syrupy.

Pre-make a baked 9 inch pie shell.

(here is the recipe I learned in high school, easy and it works)

1 cup flour

1/2 teas. salt

1/3 cup shortening plus 1 Tablespoon

3 tablespoons cold water

mix flour and salt, Cut in shortening, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time

Stir until holds into a ball

On a piece of plastic wrap pat into a flat circle Lay another piece of plastic wrap over the top. Do not let it seal on the bottom sheet of plastic. Keep lifting it up if it does

With rolling pin roll until about 3 inches larger than your pie pan. Remove top plastic and lay into pie pan dough side down. Remove bottom plastic and gently coax pastry into pan. Make a nice rolled edge. (do we need a lesson on this?)

This is a must. Lay a piece of foil shiny side toward pie and form it within the pie shell. Trim it so it doesn't cover up your rolled edge. Now fill it with dry beans or rice.

Bake at 475 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes until rolled edge is brown. I take the crust out of the oven and lift the foil and beans out and let it cook long enough to brown in the oven. By this point the crust is not going to bubble or drop to the bottom of the pan.

cool completely

Finish the pie by arranging the berries or peaches any pretty way you wish in the cooked pie shell. fill it full! Carefully pour in the syrupy jello mixture. Be sure to cover all the areas and do not over fill or you will have it slip under your crust and make it soggy.

Chill for several hours or until set and firm.

Top with whipped cream and serve cold!

wild red raspberry, small

This is a vine
Many berry plants are not.
This is the only raspberry I saw all week and I was up high on a ridge.

Red Huckle berries, yum yum

The leaves are the hint here. Oval, smooth sided. All the raspberries have teeth on the leave edges. Not all red berries are bad for you. Huckleberries are very good! I didn't eat any this year so few were ripe.

Black Cap raspberries

This is my first black cap. I'm pretty sure that is what this is. They are tasty I ate a good handful. You can see the leaves are in groups of three to five. Very dark green also. I didn't find very many bushes of any of the Raspberries. It just may be the time of year. They are common up here.

thimble berry unripe

As you can see the Thimble berries are in different stages of being ripe. Some are still in flower. As you can see the leaves look like maple leaves. One big one. Where as the raspberries and salmon berries have three to five leaflet per stem. Knowing the leaves and seeing the flowers helps a lot.
You can eat these berries when ripe.

Bunch Berry none are ripe yet

The berries are bright orange red when ripe. They are juicy and good. These are dusty from the heavy trail traffic. Remember you don't want to collect berries from the road sides, or too close to the trail! Leave some for the animals too! We always share.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

salmon berries, Always a suprise

Salmon berries grow all over the Pacific Northwest. My neighborhood is full of them if you want to see them. The surprise is that each bush can produce a different colored berry. Some bushes are salmon colored, some red, some even darker red, some are orange. They are all still the same berry. Maybe it has to do with the soil they grow in. You can eat these. Some find them too dry. In Alaska they make a good jam from them.

Twin Berries Not tasty, don't eat

Grammie changes her mind

One of the great pleasures in being a girl is that everyone expects us and allows us to change our mind. So I did that very thing, I changed my mind and didn't bike today. I chose to walk and am I glad I did. All the smells of the forest are better when walking. You see the dragonflys, you hear the little sounds the birds make as they warn each other you are walking there. It is also easier to eat the berries you find when not zooming by on a bike!

Bleach Boy took his bike and came and went as he pleased. Mostly he stayed very close. I stopped and took my last photos up here in Coastal British Columbia. Lots and lots of photos.

I want to give you a useful idea of berries you can eat. If you have some space even small bits of space you can plant your favorites. I got mine from Raintree. It is good to have a bit of Vitamin C growing near by. After all here in the Northwest we are above the citrus line so you can't grow oranges really.

If you want to go on a hike to find some yourself go up to the mountain loop just out of Granite falls. You will need a hiking pass and can pick them up in town at set locations. I'll put the website below so you can see ahead where to go. My favorite trail for berries and for the shear pleasure is Lake Twenty-two, but there are many nice trails and if you have the kids and don't mind the 15 mile drive the big four hike to the ice-caves (a 1 mile hike with lots of wooden walkways perfect for kids, ice-cave or not) will give you some berries to look at if it's this time of year.

This is the icy water I'm standing in. It helped very much to take my ankle swelling down. I tried to get my feet all dry but guess one foot bottom was still damp and the next 4 miles gave me a nasty blister on the bottom of my foot. I carry a day pack full of stuff to fix such mistakes! As I was standing in the river people passing by began to warn us of a baby bear near by on the trail eating berries. Yes today many more berries were ripe and appearing. A very late year indeed!
Today my nose keeps finding cones, pine cones, fur cones. All kinds, the air was full of the smell. I kept seeing the little chipmunks running all over and figured out it was time to collect the nuts of the cones. I found miles of cones along the trail. They give off a pitch sort of smell mixed with a wooden smell. A nice rich smell This is one of the busiest bends in the river. Bleach boy and I sat at a table in the shade and read our books and passed a couple of nice hours. The wind began to blow some not so friendly looking clouds over head and we began the hike back. A perfectly lovely day.

Now I will give you the berry photos and a touch of information. I can add more information when I get home and have more time, yes this vacation thing is very busy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another amazingly beautiful day in BC Canada

Today was another day of blue skies and sunshine. Bleach Boy and I made our journey on Bicycles. He has a nice gold Kikapu dirt bike, it has shocks and front and rear suspension.
I have my original 18 speed dirt bike I bought in the early 1980's. Heavy, loose slow shifting but I love this bike, it is perfect for me, blue and small. We found a nice over hang around the other side of the lake and spent the day there reading and munching cheesy bread. The local grocery bakery is famous for this chewy bread.
You may think that sitting each day at a different lake and reading all day would be a lazy life. I earn every bit of it on the ride over. This trail was full of big deep long hills. A pleasure one direction a hard job the other!

Bleach Boy isn't really into his book this time around. He was enjoying watching the different little boats going up and down the lake.

What will tomorrow bring? It is our last day here, I'm sad. I think I'll bike every trail I can in one day. My ankle is not taking the hiking this year, maybe a soak in the blue gray glacier creek would bring the swelling down. But until then I'm good for a bunch of biking! Maybe this time I can stop less for photos and spare bleach boy all that delay!