Man I miss my blog! I hate that I haven't posted anything since last Tuesday. And, that post I actually typed up on Monday night. I get to the computer during the week...checking emails, popping in on Facebook, reading some of my friends blogs. But, to take the time to post, write something and put up pictures? It hasn't seemed like there has been enough time to do that. And, it makes me sad. :( Not can't get off the couch, box of tissue on my lap, still in my jammies sad, but gee I wish I had a few more minutes here and there to spend catching up with my friends sad. But, tonight? I am happy because I am going to take the time and post a few pictures and comments and at least touch base with anyone who might still be checking in to see what I am up to. I'm still here! Don't give up on me yet!!
I have been baking and cooking. And, I have been outside enjoying our wonderful spring weather. And, taking lots of pictures. In addition to working and keeping up with the house and laundry and other everyday chores. I'm not complaining mind you. I am grateful to have work. To have a home. To have clothes that need to be washed and dishes that need to be washed. I give thanks each morning for the things I have. I kept a gratitude journal several years ago. Each night I would try and write down three things that I was grateful for. Some were major, like having a home to live in. Some were simpler. Like laughing with my daughter over something silly one of us said. Or seeing a rainbow after a storm. It was good to reflect each day on the things I had to be grateful for. I don't write down things anymore (though I should) but I do try and remember to be grateful for my blessings.
I bought a new cookbook. I need another cookbook like I need a hole in my head, or like a fish needs a bicycle. :} But, I can justify this one (actually three) I am in the Literary Guild and they emailed me that my fulfillment deadline was coming up and I still needed to purchase three books. They were going to charge me the average price of three books so I figured I should at least pick out three I would want. And, I got all three for less than the "average" price was going to be. One of them is "baking unplugged" by nicole rees. It's about baking without a lot of fancy equipment. Mostly a bowl and a whisk. Kind of like grandma used to bake. :) I have baked two recipes from it...Chewy-Crisp Chocolate chip cookies and Chocolate Biscotti.
I baked the other recipe, the Chocolate Biscotti tonight after dinner. I love biscotti. Dorie Greenspan's recipe for almond biscotti in her "Baking..." cookbook is my all time favorite. I make it once every other month or so and usually eat it all myself. (Over the course of several days) The hubby isn't a biscotti fan. He doesn't understand the concept behind the hard, chewy, biscuit-like cookies. Which is fine with me. I make a lot of desserts that I don't usually get more than a piece or two of because he eats the majority of them. So, occasionally, if I have something around that he doesn't eat, oh well. :) So, this chocolate biscott recipe from "baking unplugged" looked interesting and I thought I would try it. Another winner from the cookbook! It's made with chopped almonds and ground almonds. Chocolate chips, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, oil, and both almond and vanilla extract. Oh and mini chocolate chips. It's really, really good. Chocolate-y, crunchy, nutty. Delicious! I made it to send to my Secret Baker this month. I hope she likes it. :)
I also made (but don't have pictures of) some Spiced Nuts and some Sugar Glazed nuts. I am sending those to my Secret Baker too. This month's theme was Snack Foods and I thought the nuts and the biscotti filled that bill.
Another thing I baked recently were some good ole Seven Layer Bars. I haven't made them in quite a while and had a craving for them last week. So, I dug out my butter, chocolate graham crackers, sweetened condensed milk, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, pecans and coconut, layered them all in a baking dish and popped it into the oven. 25 minutes later I had my bars and they were exactly what I had been craving. The hubby came home and scarfed up about three of them the first night and has been eating one or two a day for the last several days. I had a couple the first two days and haven't touched them since. That's kind of how it is with me. I will really crave something and then once I have a piece, slice, whatever, I don't want anymore of it. I guess that's a good thing. :)
I have also made some "real" food. :) We do actually eat things healthy (or somewhat healthy) each night. I just don't always blog about those things. I made a beef brisket for the first time, using a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. I also made some chicken tenders using one of her recipes. I made some delicious sweet cream biscuits that I will post more about on Tuesday as they are next week's TWD recipe. And I made my Pot Roast dinner, which the hubby gets to enjoy, not just once, but twice. Once the night we eat it and then as cold roast beef sandwiches in his lunch box for the next day or two.
I have been playing around with a Macro lens on my camera. I love taking close-up photos of things and wandered around here the other day taking some pictures. I took a few of my dog's eye, one that you can see me taking the picture in. I also got some close ups of a dandelion and some other plant life in the field. Thought I would leave you with a few of those....