Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh My!

Yes, yes, yes, this post is once again, about WORK! Good things first: I was asked today, to become the kitchen manager. I of course, said yes, then had all kinds of angst. The new job, does come with a raise, just a tiny one. Bad things: I believe that at least two people will quit, when I take over. No one is really in charge now, the owners anyway, but that isn't enough. The owners will have an employee meeting, and tell everyone there, that I am now the kitchen manager, and what I say goes. Wahoo! No, really! Now I am going to really have to work on my people skills, and there are a few things in the kitchen that I will change of course. Where to start is really going to be the problem. There are already so many things that need to change...Gosh, what an undertaking. I am excited, and very, very, nervous all at once.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


So, this being my second day at work, you would think that I couldn't possibly find anything to complain about.....WRONG! VERY WRONG! Sometimes, I can't even conceive what some people are thinking. I mean really! Every time I go to work at a new place I realize that I have a VERY GREAT work ethic, and can't see how some people don't, and that they still have a job. What's that all about? I am not wired to do just a half-assed job, so working with people who do, drives me crazy. So then the question becomes, why do the employers accept that type of person to keep working for them, and allow good, hard working employees to leave? Doesn't make any sense to me! So hopefully, this is just a wrinkle, that will be ironed out. Otherwise, here I am, once again, leaving another job, because I WON'T do the work of two people, and get paid for less than one. Other than that, I had a great day at work, and really am looking forward to the next week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Straw Maze

Yesterday was my very first day of work. I am only going to be working about 5 hours a day 5 days a week, which is just fine by me. I busted out dinner rolls, buttermilk biscuits, coconut cream pie, lemon cream pie (no meringue), and an apple pie. Now the cream pies were the real custard cream pies, um yummy! I had, however, forgotten, what a tragedy the kitchen setup at the Horseshoe is. It is barely set up to be a cook kitchen, but is not, in anyway, set up to be a bakery. What a train wreck. I was running all over that place. The end result, was beautiful dinner rolls, wonderfully flakey and yummy biscuits, an ugly apple pie (the ugliest one I've ever made), and two very yummy cream pies. The deal was that I would cook and bake on my shift, but am not sure now, if that is going to be a possibility. Right now, the place just isn't set up for that kind of action. But, we'll see.
Last night we went to the Straw Maze in Salem. We took another couple with us, and they were KER-SWANKED, and couldn't find their way to the end, either time. Came back out of the start, twice! HA HA! Jade and I made it through twice. We had never been through any kind of maze, and the whole time we were in it, I was like, this is how the mice must feel. LOL! it rained the whole time, but we were properly dressed for it GORE-TEX! It really didn't look as big as it turned out being, and it took us about half hour to get through. We did have fun though, and Jade actually got a "spook" from one of the spooks they have running around the maze. Maybe next friday we will goto the Haunted Forest in Tetonia.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What a mess

I was geared up yesterday to spend the day in the kitchen baking and canning. First things first though, I had been dying to make the ginger tea cake that I found on the bake it pretty website, go visit them, they have some way cool stuff. It looked sooo good, and I love all things ginger. In the directions it says not to over fill pans, whatever type of pan you are using, but gives no heads up to how much is actually to much. Of course, I over filled my pans, and made the biggest freakin mess in my brand new very clean oven. UGH! REALLY! I hate to clean, and especially an oven. So, next time I will fill my pans just under half full, and put a pan under it while it's cooking, for those just in case moments. But the Ginger Tea Cake........YUMMY! So I high jacked the recipe, and their picture of it, cuz thats how I do it, and because my cake wasn't pretty enough to actually take pictures of...LOL!

Ginger Tea Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees


2 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. ground ginger (don’t skimp)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cloves
1 C. softened butter
1 C. sugar (white or brown)
2 eggs
1 C. molasses
1 C. boiling water

Sift together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves.) In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix well. Dump in the boiling water and molasses and stir just until the batter is smooth and even. Pour batter into well greased loaf or mini-loaf pans, or use disposable loaf liners for easy gifting. Do not over-fill! Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes for full-sized loaves, less for mini loaves. Let cool completely before slicing.

*The loaves puff up then deflate quite a bit, but don’t let that scare you. Also, the outer top will be crusty at first. After the loaves cools, put into a zip lock bag for a few hours (or overnight) and it will all become soft and gooey. I think it’s even better the next day after the spices really mellow together!

Also, last night I baked my very first batch of cinnamon rolls for the Horseshoe. They were so very pretty, each and everyone was uniform in size and shape, just like a professional had done them. HA HA! But boy oh boy is it really a process from start to finish. I'm not so sure that I will be able to bake and cook on the same shift. We'll see. Officially I start work next week. I did however get to canning my salsa, and man oh man did it just look wonderful. It was a little on the HOT side for me, but, it always is.
Today I am grateful for my STONE HOUSE that I live in. YES, I said it. It stays cool in the summer, and holds the heat in when it's cold out. Despite it's way too small size, and NO closets, someday, it will be all ours (MINE), and hopefully won't make me depressed any longer.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have been putting off making a pie for Irvin, that I promised I'd make for his birthday way back when, and his birthday was October 8th? Anyways I was sick with the swine flu LOL! Sick with something anyways, and didn't want to bake. So now, here it is, almost a month later and finally, I have gotten around to his pie. PEACH! He loves them peaches. So I made a great gob of filling, and made 2 pies, and some tarts for myself. Irvin will get one pie, and one for my friend Cindy and her husband, who always invite us over for dinner (yummy baby back ribs). The pies look so good, and Jade just doesn't like peach, thats why I made myself some little tarts. My house smells so tantalizingly wonderful, and I don't want to leave to deliver pies to anyone. I just wanna bask in the aroma that is freshly baked peach pie. HE HE HE HE! While I am on the subject of baking, I came across this recipe for CROCKPOT cake.....yes you heard me, crockpot cake. I need to run to the store....same issue as above, don't wanna leave my house, to get some eggs before I can actually try the cake, but it promises to be decadent, as it is a triple chocolate cake....I am gonna work on making it a quadruple chocolate cake, cuz ya'll know how much I love that ganache......recipe for the cake maybe tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Haunts

I am grateful for friends and family that don't have any qualms about attending Halloween Haunted Houses. We are very lucky in our area to have a few to choose from. Friday night, a bunch of us gathered together and hopped in Cindys way swank suburban and drove the 5 miles out to the Haunted mill, in Teton.

It opened way back in '97 and has been going strong every Halloween there after. It was originally a flour mill. The time it takes to go through, is about 45 minutes. This year they have added the surrounding grainery and field to the whole scare factor. These are all pictures of the actual buildings and stuff, and you do have to cross that bridge, and the falls are right underneath.

I got spooked, but it wasn't really scary. However, my friend Deb, and her 12 year old daughter, got the crap scared out of them. It was a fun time, and we all plan to goto the haunted Forest in Tetonia next week, then maybe off to Idaho Falls for Dr. Slaughters House of Terror, which promises to be the most scary ever. Happy Haunting!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

triple chocolate crockpot cake

Triple Chocolate Mess Cake in a Crock-Pot
Chocolate Cake Mix - 1 package
Sour Cream - 16 oz.
Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix - 1 package
Chocolate Chips - 1 8 oz. bag
Canola Oil - 3/4 cup
Water - 1 cup
Eggs - 4
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend thoroughly with a large wooden spoon.
Spray or rub the Crock-Pot with oil.
Pour the chocolate mixture into t he Crock-Pot and turn on to Low.
Vent the top a bit (an inch at most) by placing something between the top and the pot (I didn’t do this, but I think it would help.)
Cook for 4 hours and check for done-ness with a knife in the center, which should come out fairly dry. Also, the sides of the cake should be separating from the sides of the pot. If not, let it cook for another half and check again. The first Crock-Pot cake you make will require a bit of checking but once you have determined the timing on one cake, future cakes will be more predictable and easier (see below for more information on how to tell if your cake is done.)
Cool for at least a half an hour or more. The cake stays warm for a long time.
When you can’t wait anymore, slide a dinner knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pot.
Center a serving plate on top of the pot and flip it over so that the cake falls onto the plate. You may need to jiggle it a bit, and when it has come out, slowly lift up the Crock-Pot.
Your wonderful cake is ready!
Goes great with vanilla ice cream - or on its own.
About determining if your cake is done: Crock-Pots are inherently moist cookers and so the top will always be much moister that a typical oven-baked cake. But, the top will be the bottom once you flip it, so it doesn’t have to look perfect. And, the knife will probably never come out bone-dry, because Crock-Pot cakes are very moist. It’s important to make sure the sides don’t overcook, so doneness will be a combination of the middle being fairly dry and the side being well done but not over-cooked. Even if your cake is a little messy in the middle, it will still be delicious.

I haven't tried this yet, and when I do maybe today, I'm actually gonna use lemon cake mix and lemon pudding, cuz thats what I have in my pantry. Try this and tell me how it goes.
Today I am grateful that I have a job.
Todays blog post is all about Jade, and his insatiable quest for the snow! Last year, after years of nagging, really seriously nagging, Jade indulged himself in a new Yamaha Phazer Mountain snowmobile.

After riding it for a season, he decided that the running boards, or whatever they're called, allowed for way too much snow build up. So, in all his glory Jade did the only thing he could. He called up Uncle Roy, borrowed his plasma cutter. This is the before picture with the design drawn on it. Yep, he just took that plasma cutter, and cut holes in his brand new sled.

Now, I think, because after you take that much metal, out of something, it is left maybe, not as structurally sound as if was to begin with, so, Jade took another piece of metal, and yes, cut the same design in it.

After it was all said and done, he put the one piece on top of the other, and made it very sturdy.

The end result is that. Very exciting for him, but I was like.....WHAT? YOUR DOING WHAT? IT'S A BRAND NEW SNOWMOBILE...
He said the snow build up was terrible, and he didn't have anywhere to put his feet, and was always digging the spot out. The changes to the running board/foot board he has made, HE SAYS, will "hopefully" eliminate this problem. It will only take about 3 feet of snow for him to test it out, and that can't happen soon enough. One of the upsides to this whole "project" was that he did it himself. If he would have taken it to a shop, it would have cost hundreds of dollars, and he did it for free. Even the piece of metal was free, as it was an old metal sign his buddy found for him. I'm still on the fence about the whole thing. If the changes he made, actually work, then I will be okay with the fact that he cut holes in a $7000 dollar snowmobile. However, if the changes he made, doesn't work, well I don't even have to finish that statement................HA HA HA!
Today I am grateful for the talents I was given, to be able to cook!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tip of the day

I just totally high jacked Chars (The Pickled Pepper Patch) Thursday Tip of the Day, but it is such a good one, that I couldn't resist. When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you 'squeeze' for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie.
They are:
Monday = Blue
Tuesday = Green
Thursday = Red
Friday = White
Saturday = Yellow.
So if today was Thursday, you would want a red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)!
The colors go alphabetically by color: Blue- Green - Red - White - Yellow....Monday through Saturday, Very easy to remember.

I made cinnamon rolls a couple days ago, um yummy. They were really good. I am testing out recipes to use when I become a baker/cook at my new job. I'd give the recipe, but, hopefully it will make me FAMOUS, at least in my own town? MAYBE? HA HA HA! Lets keep our fingers crossed.
I am grateful for my husband and his erratic bursts of energy. He said he was going to trim trees, and ended up cutting two almost completely down. He did trim the others though.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall is here

So in hopes of the coming seasons, I am trying to "simplify" my household. Throwing away collected crafty stuff I may or may not do something with in the future. That was the really hard part. Actually it was easy considering I was manic when I did all the throwing away. Jade had to go back through the trash to make sure I hadn't thrown anything important away, which I had. He never used to care about a clean and tidy house, and that had us fighting crazy when we were first married, but in the following years, I laxed on my house cleaning, and I think he got more neurotic about having a clean house. Oh well, live and learn. So we have the FSS (flat surface syndrome) at our house, and the hutch is the first thing you have to lay anything on when you walk in the door. It has been loaded up for months, and couldn't even see what a cool piece of furniture it really is, and all for only $20 (love the garage sells). So now it is clean, and looking especially, I think, NEAT. I hope we can keep it that way! Happy Fall to ya'll!