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S'more Ideas

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

First- I did set out to find new "camping Food ideas- now I'm just kind of hooked on over the campfire "desserts" or fun food. Like the cinnamon rolls hooked over the fire above- in orange skins. The poster said that getting the orange out of the skins was a bit sticky but gave her kids something to do while she was cooking the main dishes. Covered in tin foil- they were "stream cooked" to an inviting size. Orange with cinnamon- yum! I wondered when seeing these about how well my Aunt Harriet's orange (Bisquick) biscuits would do. She would add a bit of sugar to them and then cook them in a pan that was bottom coated with a layer of orange juice and powdered sugar- like a thin syrup-that soaked up into them. It was what we looked forward to when we visited our great Aunt in Orange County. Charades too!

So then, I was pulled into the S'more idea- Googling photos of combos for over the campfire. These are just a few-

Bananas- this would be so yummy with the warm chocolate

and my hubby doesn't take to marshmallows so this is a great answer!

Strawberries-very glampy!

French Toast- this could be done over the fire too or inside the trailer. REALLY sweet I'm sure but worth a taste!

This was a baked before idea, -  PB cookies with chips and tiny marshmallows. Good idea and peanut butter as an additive to over the campfire is too.Also blonde brownies with Chocolate (Fudge?) and marshmallows.

Cupcakes in graham cracker and chocolate with marshmallow frosting-


Berries! What an excellent idea- same as the strawberries- they could be added at the fire. How decadent,

and of course, what to do with all those Peeps and Chocolate Bunnies....


It's St Patrick's and I'm Baking

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Irish Cream Swirl Brownie Recipe-add a bit of sweetness to this weekend and St Patrick's


Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:1 package (18 to 20 ounces) fudge brownie mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color

Directions:Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Reserve one cup batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9-inch square baking pan.Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add Irish cream liqueur, egg and food color; beat until well blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. Drop reserved one cup batter by the spoonful over cream cheese layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.Bake as directed on package for 9-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan.

Just fun photos to get your mind cookin' too.

 This week has been full of doctor appt and an actual photo shoot! New portfolio shots (me) for my website by a wonderful young photographer, Chris Goode. He is local and home from college this week. A friend of my daughter's and has a great artistic eye. I did request the "loose 15 pounds lens" but he forgot it at home. LOL. Guess I'll have to make due with his skills and a beautiful day yesterday. The fields are green and lush with the last rains and we found some new places for shoots in the future for him also.


Pepper Trees

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)


It's foggy outside and as I backed down the driveway to go to the store, I noticed the little droplets of mist that had collected on the edge of the pepper tree leaves. Dangling like glass ornaments, glistening in the early morning. Everything is cool and has an edge of mystery. A morning where you want to snuggle, to hunker down by a fire with a good read, or a good "watch".

It's Spring. Things are slowly starting to seem like a new year. That it isn't clean up after the holidays or getting used to writing 2013 time. I am 53 this year and feel like I know nothing- or am just dicovering so much. Life happens. All around you and sometimes you feel like a child in the center of a highway. People, like cars, speeding past, honking (like they know where they are going) Hell bent on SOMETHING. I bet they don't know what. Then that moment hits. That clear and transforming moment, that, no matter how small or how strange, hits you and everything is clear. As if all the moments in your life. all those crystal bright and transforming "notices" from God- are right in front of you.

 The morning sight of the water droplets hit me like that. Chandelier glass, hanging from a bright green leaf, reflecting the sunlight. Reflecting tiny sequences of landscape as I backed past. I saw all the huge pepper trees on my childhood street and city. The feel of the dropped seeds as they lay underneath with tiny branches and leaves. The lacey shade they produce. My bare feet in the summers as I ran down Victoria Ave to where ever I was going. Each summer being so determined to toughen my bare soles to a hard leather and be able to stand the hot cement and roads. To prove I was a wild southern Cali child. To be on vacation from school.. Why this (my feet) was so important, I am not quite sure at this point in my life. I think it was the Tom Sawyer in me. The reader of Tarzan books and the inner adventurer. Sometimes, it was just because I needed to be a kid. (and a Tom Boy).

In tiny moments, we find the perfection of the universe- if we just notice. A child hugging their parent. A hand in another's. The way the setting sun slips through the colors of sunset as it falls down the horizon. How very clear those moments become when we notice. How permanent in our memories. Building blocks to base opinions and reactions. I am so lucky to have so many good memories. So many happy moments to overlap the sad. There are so many with clear, horrible and ever replaying. memories in their lives. Those who are frightened and just surviving and those who are running from things they cannot get out of their hearts and minds. One wishes they could help with that. My heart, in the darkness before I sleep on some nights, prays for that. To help, to understand, to mend. At least those whom I know about. To protect, those who cannot do so themselves. Wouldn't it be nice if we all acted on this huge and amazing feeling? That we all took the time to help the feelings  for others flourish?

 Sometimes the news is just a barrage of hate and reaction of one broken soul against another. I guess that's what we are here to learn. To recognize the growthtoward self betterment and act on it. To see the need to do so and be more- inside and out.

 I know a vision of a perfect pepper leaf and a droplet shouldn't move me into such deep ponderings- but then again- who am I to fight the need to be better? Or the little clear messages that are sent. So expertly, by things so much bigger and better than our selves?

 (and the droplets still looked really cool)

California's COLD!

Posted on January 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)
 

We are riding out a cold spot and the western states are so much colder than usual. Frost on the ground. Ice on the windows. Fear for the oranges and other crops. Growers are picking them early rather than let them get frozen and lose monies. Summer's trip skiing in Big Bear was a cold frozen 2 days, where she had fun but was stopped by accidents both coming and going up the 2 lane hwy to the mountains. Just glad it wasn't her.

I remember the airplane engines, on posts high above the orange groves across the street as a child. You knew to bundle up if the engines roared through the night, moving the air. It was a lonely sound. out there in the darkness if you woke up. Like the regular train in the distance. To keep the crop from freezing, Smuge pots  full of kerosene would be lit and the growers would spend a long night keeping things going. In the mornings, early at the bus stop, we would pull them over, still warm from the night before. Using them for a "camp fire" till the bus came. A group of about 5 or 6 kids. Grumbling about homework and teachers. Wishing we were home in bed. Or having pancakes at least! Ah! To be in Mom's house safe and warm.

 My own, Summer, rolled up early yesterday morning, after a first week of Winter Qtr. in college. Sleepy, coffee in hand. She set it down, put on a fire and curled up under the blanket on the sofa. I din't hear from her for a couple of hours. It made me think of doing the same when I was younger. Even when I was pregnant with my first child, Corey, I used to take naps on my Mom's big Cal King bed. There's a security with home. A place to dream and get started again. People to hug you. Mom to cook you food. I miss that as I miss my own Mom. Seeing in myself, so much of her and hoping I have given my own children an upbringing and memories to last them as mine did.

  It's about 5 AM and the neighbor next door has a new puppy or small dog which she lets out to potty about 4:30 AM. Her baby talk to it is loud enough to disturb Cookie, who sleeps under our bed. She grumbles a low bark. I am awake and resentful. Not of her, but of the oogie,woogie sweetie surypy talk going on in the courtyard beneath my bedroom window.  I'm up! Coffee in hand. The dark kitchen getting started for the day...

International Motorcycle Show- Long Beach

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (1)

On the first weekend in December, Rob, and I drove up to Long Beach Convention Center in Southern CA and walked the International Motorcycle show. Rob's interest of course was for photos and information for his co-owned  parts and accessories website; www.twocycleguys.com/


Amazing cycles from custom builders, fanatical owners and businesses related to the industry. New protective clothing and helmets as well as other gear and new bikes from Harley Davison, BMW, Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and more were on display. Leather- lots of leather!

Some of the detailing on the bikes was so intricate. Rideable expressions of the individuals.


The one above( and below) with it's chrome etched (?) patterns was my favorite.


This orange cycle had a rad shrunken head hanging on it- felt very "Rat Fink" Voodoo.



The Physical World and Our Hearts

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)


 I write on Christmas Day while thinking of all those I have come to know over the years through my art and my travels. Internet friends, trailering friends. Family, extended family. Most of us are good loving people. Oriented toward hard work, getting ahead. Love of each other. Moralistic and responsible. Even as we have fires in our lives that burn certain aspects to the ground, we rise, phoenix like to start again. We must, we have no choice. It's what we do for ourselves, for family for friends. We try again.

With all the amazing and wonderous things and people this earth produces, it is so sad, so wrenching to my heart to even read the the titles of articles of the school shootings in Newton, or the loses in the wake of Sandy. To see we are still getting debris from Japan after the Tsunami has been gone these many months and years. What creatures we humans are. Reaching beyond our earth to try to capture the stars and then spending so much energy and hate and hurt to try to kill each other. Why is not obvious to everyone how stupid that is? How much better we are working together for the higher good? Freedom of choice. Two roads- always. I guess that is part of our gift and our learning as we grow and survive here in this physical life. Always a choice to grow or to burn our bridges and stagnate our souls.

I don't have the answers, and I am sure that I am swayed by the fact thaty I was born in a free country. To complain, to rejoice as I wish, to learn and educate myself. Both as a person, and a woman. To react with the response of one raised by conservative parents in a wilder and healthier and a bit more "hippie" California of the 60's. I do think that everyone, everyone deserves this. To be able to have that quest for a better life for themselves and their families. To believe in a future for their children and to believe in the hope and the basis of their country- even if it's not doing so well right now. Because we have changed history for the better in the past, I believe we can do it in the future. I believe that there are simply more of us that are nice, and tough and inwardly strong, than those who are hollow and hateful. We just have to gain our voice and respond in a bigger way. We need to be the crusaders for our next generation, to be examples of giving and work and heart to guide them out of a materialistic and hateful time in our history. To bear the burden in a public way and make sure the truths of what we need to say- sticks.

With everyone fighting on so many levels across our globe, we forget the obvious. That the wonder of science and discovery (at least for myself) only reinstates my belief in a higher being and a higher cause for our place here on this earth. That our capacity to be those amazing creatures that God has given us the tools to be are right here inside of each of us and that we need to stop our whinning and our fears long enough to hear the still strong voice of our spirit. To catch our breathe at the wonder of our universe and to stop a moment to remember that the good does outweigh the bad and that we, as a race, can make it so.

 I think about the New Year ahead and pray for harmony and strength and blessings for my family. For my children to continue to have the chance to better their lives and their futures. For my husband to find health after so many hard years recoving from his accident that almost took him away from me. I close my eyes and wish for doors of opportunity. For windows of love and revelation and for love, just love. Happy New year 2013.

BACON

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)


I have been recipe searching for camping recipe ideas. Anything that is make before hand and enjoy. Especially for breakfast or to take in a backpack hiking.

Of course that usually leads me to connecting with my brother, Micah, who is a bacon lover. At least in the funny wierd way. Photos, recipes and jokes. His camping is from the back of a pick up truck or in a mining cabin up in the hills. Photography of mines and shafts and wildflowers. Landscap[es and more. Just getting out with friends and sleeping under the stars. Not quite glampy like my little trailer but just as fun and much easier to pack for.

In any case, through him, and just my own "appreciation", and sometimes laughter at many of them, I always note "bacon" recipes like the ones below;

Maple Bacon Cheddar Scones from Yummly.com- note the additional great recipes there too.

Tomato-Bacon Quiche

Here's the recipe; (yum!)

1 Pillsbury® Pet-Ritz® frozen deep dish pie crust

6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

3 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 oz)

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

DIRECTIONS

1. Place cookie sheet on oven rack. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove crustfrom freezer; let stand 1 minute. Prick crust with fork. Bake oncookie sheet 9 to 11 minutes or until very light golden brown.

2. Sprinkle bacon, green onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper in crust.In medium bowl, stir together half-and-half, flour and eggs. Stir incheeses. Pour over tomato mixture.

3. Bake on cookie sheet 25 to 30 minutes longer or until knifeinserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes beforeserving.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase bake time in step 3 to 33 to 38 minutes.


Zucchini Boats with bacon & cheese- I bet these would be great over the fire & wrapped in tin foil. From Be Foodled on Blogspot.


Bacon chocolate chip cookies with maple cinnamon glaze

Wowsa!

That was one that I would actually consider making, along with the zucchini. Those would be great with potato skins. Finger food for the campfire. Of course the good old standby of bacon wrapped steaks or hotdogs would certainly apply here too.

Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes from the Food Network


Bacon wrapped Idaho Potatoes recipe in skewers from Average Betty

Just as a last photo to feed the craze;

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Pastries ( take along!) from BBC Good Food.

Well, as Forrest Gump would say- that's just about all I have to say about that. Just bacon-lots of bacon.

Firestarters- Camp fires an easier way

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (1)

I've enjoyed homemade firestarters in the past such as used dryer lint put into paper egg carton pieces as seen below. These examples are from a blog called Chica and Jo and work great. I've actually used the lint alone too-within the egg carton sections but with no petroleum or wax. AS suggested, they make a great addition to your camping or as a gift

(imagine- dryer lint as a gift! Something you would give your Mom as a child, all the while looking up at her to see her response of "Oh! Thank you!" just as I did when I "cooked" for her as a child- poor Mom!)

Finished! A dab of petroleum down in each one.

 The one I found the other day really intrigued me- all in a mason jar. There is something to be said for it, just looks wise but I must also admit- carrying a glass jar while hiking or camping might not be the best.

Corks soaked in rubbing alcohol- I suppose if you get lost or desperate you could drink the left overs! I'm sure they'd light up really quick though- maybe too quick!

Another idea was found in another blog called Pattern of Life in Wordpress and it was really cute. Rolled paper firestarters filled with aromatic herbs and orange peel. That's glamping!

Her photos are below.

How cool is that?

And- I know, I know! It's about roughing it when you camp. To be Daniel Boone and rub two sticks together but ingenuity never hurt anyone. I'd rather enjoy the S'mores and hot dogs than spend time on my knees blowing at embers or sparks to get something started.  I'm all for natural but it can still be easier. Besides, what a good way to use trash.

"Kindle Cones" from the Glam Camping Company are

" natural pine cones. Their base has been set into a bed of wax infused with bark, spices and cinnamon oil. Light the wick and set amoungst the kindling and your fire will be blazing in minutes."

another version on their site are herb BBQ lighters. Nice!


Rain

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

 The clouds roll across the edge of the Menifee Valley and I am happy to see them come. It's been months of sweltering heat and temps so high you suck in your breathe like you've been hit as you exit a door into the outside air. I must admit it is still humid to a fault but so much better. Just to get that wet break in the heavens, even if it's rolling thunder and a brief hard downpour, well, it's something.

The studio is cool and dark. It seems almost sinful to turn on the can lights or disturb the quiet calm of the darkened room. I won't. Typing in a low lit studio is so much better with rainy afternoons and Autumn finally coming on. I don't want to disturb anything about it with harsh lights or too much movement.

 I will have to soon enough as I need to cut stencils for my Art Alliance Orange AID orange sculpture. I've painted it finished in my head a dozen times, now it's ready for actuality.

What started as a white fiberglass orange is now sliced and trimmed. Ready for the final touches, floral and more. Bondo and sanding, color and gloss yummy juicy orange slice attached and I'm ready for the final art to finish it. It will be auctioned off in November's Gala for the Arts at Riverside Art Museum.

I wanted to convey that wet and bright color of the slice, that vintage bright look to the florals, like the enamelware I collect.

It's raining again, I am so content with this afternoon. Life isn't half bad.

Addendum; Repainted the orange and delivered for Art Alliance. I am quite happy with it now and feel like it's more what I was invisioning. Called it ,"Slice of Cali"


Halloween Paintings and Christmas

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

On year, about 5 or 6 ago, I played happily with a new air brush gun and produced some foggy , spooky graveyard paintings on a whim. They sold so quick on Ebay I was over whelmed. Tried some more. Same thing happened. I think I sold over 20 in the month before Halloween.

Now it's becaome a tradition to paint them. My Christmas money is gained. I get this fun, unique opportunity to delve into the lives of not only those with kids or with the hearts of one, (at least about holidays) but to cross paths with a real honest Halloween buff now and then. I even sold one to go to a paranormal investigator and his wife. The story also goes that they were the investigators for the actual Amityville horror house. Kind of neat. Kind of creepy!

 They are not "deep" but fun. Colorful and not really scary. I am happy making them, silently supplying the story I see in each one as I paint. Putting in little hidden things like sleeping bats and spider webs. Sometimes a gargoyle on a roof or a "demon" in the grass. With the kids grown and college age, it's an outlet for that fun we had when they were young. The time as an adult, when you get to be silly again and enjoy being scared and liking candy. With them, and through them you get to enter that Neverland called childhood. I miss that.


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