Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ice Ice Baby

What a week of busy it has been!

The ice storm did much damage around the panhandle.
Our trees lost limbs, but thankfully, I don't think we lost
any whole trees. We'll see this spring how things go.
We are supposed to get more moisture this weekend.
We need it, so I am continually thankful for anything we get. 

The ice and snow were pretty, especially in the mornings 
when the sun came up and reflected off the ice. 
It lasted a couple of full days before finally melting off.

I've been designing a new scarf this week for dia de los muertos.
It has skulls and roses motifs stitched on the ends. The scarf itself is
comprised of double crochet stitches.
I'll be gifting it to my daughter when finished.

Work is in full swing now on the living room.
The walls are going fast - the ceiling never does.
I wind up with more paint on me than anywhere else when painting the ceiling.
I'm ripping out ancient carpet and sweeping out
fine dust sifted down through the years.

We are thinking we will probably go back in with carpet for this
front living area. I'm going to keep a basket full of socks and house slippers
by the front door for taking off outdoor shoes and leaving the outside
outside where it belongs.

We had Nikita on Purina puppy chow and it was not sitting well on her little tummy.
It got so bad, she was getting sick every time she ate just a little bit.
She lost her playfulness and looked so sad and sick all the time.

We took her completely off the commercial puppy chow and started her on ground beef
and rice - cooked by me every afternoon. Her playfulness has returned and her coat
is shiny again.

She is thriving and no longer sickly. She likes scrambled eggs in the morning, too.
Some of the commercially made dog foods worry me. There's no telling what is added
and what is cooked out.

As happens every winter, we cook - everything.
Comfort foods, breads, soups, you name it -

Going to be making some sour dough starter this morning.

Yesterday I made homemade pizza.
Instead of kneading the dough with my kitchen aid, I did it by hand.
I thought about yesteryear and how bread was made every day by the homemaker.
Bet they had some good upper arm strength back then!


Read any good books lately?
I've got my new book stack ready to go. I'm just waiting for the urge to hit and
I'll be settling in with a good read or two.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ice, Quiche and a New Winter Scarf

I did a little research a couple of weeks back because I had a hankering for quiche.

It all started one morning while I browsed some of the cooking blogs I follow and I read about a lovely French lady who sells her homemade quiches at an open air market in Paris.

 In my mind I could taste the rich, short pastry melting in my mouth as the savory custard imparted its creamy rich flavor. 

Before embarking on my smallish baking adventure I could not recall how long it had been since I'd made a quiche. The only thing I remembered was the large amount of eggs I used.

I found Julia Child's recipe (one of her signature dishes) for quiche, but it was not quite what I was looking for.

I wanted one with gobs of cheese and savory flavors.

For the pastry I used Ree Drummond's recipe (Pioneer Woman) and it turned out perfect.
It is the one that has shortening and vinegar - here is the link address to this specific crust:

Also, I wanted to use Gruyere cheese because - well, just because.

Now for some custard tips...
I found these on Saveur's website.

Cook the quiche low and slow - 300 - after blind baking the crust - for a full hour.
Add a little flour to the custard. It stabilizes the dairy and makes it creamier.
Load up the cheese across the baked pie crust.

For my custard I used eggs and heavy cream, sauteed onions, bacon and the Gruyere.

It was perfect. 

Up next in the kitchen - 
the perfect pizza pie.

We are iced in this weekend and hoping the ice doesn't do too much damage. There is a pot of chili on the stovetop, husband and pup are napping to background noise of TV, I am watching NCIS and 
designing myself a new scarf. 

Stay warm! 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Going Home

We left New Mexico early on a crisp winter morning.
As is always the case, we were torn two ways.
Neither of us wanted to leave the mountains and yet...

we both wanted to be home with our sweet pup.

Nikita spent Christmas in the kennel and we missed her.

Red River was starting to fill up for New Year's with skiers and revelers.
We both prefer to see the New Year in quietly - at home.

As we left the foothills and emerged onto the vast plains, each direction held
magnificent sights.

We stopped and watched a huge herd of pronghorn antelope quite a distance away
from the highway shoulder. Even at a great distance they became alert at
our truck stopping and two or three kept a watchful eye on me (with camera) as the others
continued to graze.

Pronghorn are fleet footed and can run more than 53 mph when necessary.
I think they are beautiful with their white stomachs and 
the broad white stripes on their throats.

The pronghorn's preferred diet are grasses, sagebrush and other vegetation.

We observed a herd of pronghorns on the trip up to the mountains grazing
on cholla cacti. I almost could not believe my eyes. Cholla are large and have
painful sharp spines that are difficult to remove. 

I noticed one chewing on a cactus blossom, so perhaps they were eating those.

There is a point where we always stop to stretch and take one last look before 
heading home for good.

In the photo below you can just make out the snowy tops of the mountains.

Both of us are always a little bit introspective after a trip.

We quietly discuss when my husband will eventually retire.

The topic always turns to the possibility of a mountain home.

Then reality steps in.

Home to the flurry of laundry and a new work week.
Home to prepping the living room for a face lift this winter.

Home to diets and bills and routines - the stuff of  everyday life.

Home to our sweet baby girl!

She was as happy to see us as we were her. 


And there are always the plans for future mountain getaways.