Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I can't buy canned pumpkin here but I can cook something that looks like pumpkin.  I put the chunks in the crock pot until soft, scrape the meat off the skin and let it sit in a colander to get most of the water off or stir in a pot to evaporate the water.  I use my immersion blender to get it smooth.  I can do this at home but I am too lazy.  Then I made one cup pumpkin packages for the freezer.  I saw a Pumpkin Foccacia this week and decided that I could adapt my Crusty Foccacia Bread and make it with pumpkin for my missionaries.  It is awesome and they loved it.

Mix Together:
1 1/2 C. water to a large bowl. (I like to use glass)
1 generous tsp. instant yeast
1/4 C. lt. brown sugar

Stir in:
1 C. pumpkin
2 C. Flour

2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. Veg. oil
A generous 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (Just the nutmeg is nice for a change)
Stir in: 3 more cups of flour and mix well
Put a plate on the top and let it sit on the counter overnight.  Bake any time the next day

If you want it today use warm water and set in an oven that you have warmed for 1 minute and leave for 4-6 hours.

When ready to bake pour into a well sprayed small sided cookie sheet or use release foil.  You want to get it out of the pan easily when it is done.   Warm the oven for 1 minute again and let it raise for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and poke holes in the top with a small handled wooden spoon dipped in your melted butter (next step).

Mix together 2 T. white sugar and 2 T. brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg.  Melt 1/4 C butter  and stir in 3 T. honey until mixed well and spread on the top, Sprinkle the nuts and press into the butter with a spatula (you want the nuts to stick while baking.  I used sliced almonds.)  Sprinkle with the  sugar mixture.  If you are not using nuts just double the sugar and skip the honey)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Don't turn upside down out of the pan because the nuts will fall off.   This will make 20 generous pieces.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I have spent the year in the Canary Islands cooking a lot for Young Adults and Missionaries.  In spite of the many cooking problems I have here I  have discovered a few recipes, that I will continue to make on a regular basis, in my cooking life.

Crusty Foccacia Bread
 Sometimes I make this bread 3 times a week.  It is amazingly easy, makes 16 big pieces, is great for sandwiches and adored by young adults and missionaries.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake
 Missionaries love anything peanut butter and this is always a big hit.

Parmesan Semolina Dumplings
I don't make  this for missionaries or my husband, but for favorite lunch

Cornbread Taco Salad
This is a little different taco salad  for a summer picnic, which can be made ahead easily.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Tacos
This Recipe  is so easy and delicious for a taco salad, tacos, burritos or a taco casserole.  I have also used bar-b-Que sauce to cook the chicken for making sandwiches .

The Best Chocolate Cake
This Cake is as easy as a box cake and everyone loves it.  I make a cake for all the
missionary birthdays and this is the favorite (The Valor Cocoa here is awesome)

Peanut Butter Poke Cake

 This cake is  Peanut butter  creamy and delicious made using The Best Chocolate Cake recipe. 

Jewel Roasted Potatoes
 I actually made this potato dish before coming on the mission.  Beets are hard to find here and I don't have a good roasting oven so I haven't made them, but can't wait to return home and make them again.  They are pretty and delicious.