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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


This is my new go to Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I like this recipe because you stir it up quickly in one pan and the brown butter makes a great flavor to the cookie.  
1.  Put 3/4 cup real butter in a medium saucepan, stir and cook on a medium heat until it browns to a deep caramel color.  This will happen quickly after it starts to foam so watch carefully.
2.   Stir into the butter:
      1/2 cup white sugar 
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1 tsp. vanilla
       1/4 tsp. salt
       3 T. instant vanilla pudding (I have made them without   
        this and they have turned out fine)
3.  If it is still very hot let it cool to luke warm and stir in:
      1 egg
      1/2 tsp. soda
      1 1/4 cups flour
      1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips and nuts (I like more)
        toasted almonds are good, pecans or walnuts
4.  Roll into balls and flatten just a little.  Bake 350 for 9 minutes if you like a softer cookie or 10 for a crisper.  Makes 2 dozen

I like to roll these into balls and place in a plastic bag and freeze them so I can get a few out at a time for a little treat here and there.  If  I bake the entire batch we will eat them all.

Also - I bought a bag of Kraft Cramels recently that are in little droplets about the size of a pea.  They are perfect to put in a cookie and I added some to this batch and they were very good.  
This is the original recipe

Saturday, October 17, 2015


I saw this idea on Pinterest recently and couldn't wait to try it out.  We traveled to Nauvoo in late September and I collected some leaves from the trees in old Nauvoo.  We were staying in the Willard Richards guest house and the landlord gave me a thick magazine to stick them in.  The process is fairly simple but the designing takes a lot of adjusting.  Basically you watercolor a base of just colors on the paper and then you paint the leaves with gesso and print them one by one according to your design.  When dry you paint them with watercolors and then I sprayed them with touch up varnish to keep the colors from running when you put on the gloss gel paint at the end (not in the instructions).  If you don't like what you did or want to change colors you can repaint your leaves with gesso and try again.  And you need to do some repainting around the leaves to get the look you want.  I had a mat that was in a frame I bought that was damaged so I used it letting the leaves spill out onto it after I painted it with acrylic paint.  The finished size is 24X32 inches.  I have never done anything in watercolor before and it was a fun project with sentiment in that the leaves were taken from a special place.  I will definitely do it again sometime

Monday, October 12, 2015


Baked Chicken Meatballs – no ground chicken necessary
 1-  Ground chicken is not always available in the grocery stores but this method is quick and easy to make with boneless skinless chicken breasts.  If you are thawing the chicken keep it half frozen but still possible to cut into,  or freeze it to a half frozen state.  3 chicken breasts will make 20 golf ball size meatballs.  Cut the chicken into thin slices first and then working in batches using a large sharp chefs knife start chopping.  It is not necessary to get everything evenly small.  Some bigger chunks work fine.  You need about 3 cups of chopped chicken.

2.  Mix with
            1/3 C. whipping cream
            1 tsp. salt
            ½ tsp pepper
            2 tsp. dried basil leaves
            1 C. crushed croutons or panko bread crumbs
             1/2 C. Parmesan cheese 
             1 tsp. garlic powder
            You can add an egg if you want but I like them better without

3.  Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet and broil until brown and turn them over and broil until the other side is brown if you want but one side is good enough.

4.  These are great in spaghetti sauce, in a mushroom cream sauce,  barbecue sauce or in soup.   Simmer for 20-30 minutes or so in your sauce.

I like to make a large batch and  place them in the freezer to have on hand for an easy quick meal.