October 26, 2016

Quick Bacon Cooking Tip

Here's a quick tip for bacon on the go.  Bake it!

Whether it's standard bacon, turkey bacon, veggie bacon, or other varieties, you can get a nice crispy bacon by oven cooking.

If you like you may crisp it even further in a pan or microwave before serving, or cook to perfection in the oven alone.

Line baking sheets/pan with aluminum foil, arrange bacon slices, and put the pan in a COLD OVEN.

Turn oven to 400 or slightly higher.  Cook for about 17 minutes, may be a bit longer, just keep an eye on it.

Carefully remove pan and put strips on paper towels to pat dry.  After a minute or so, the bacon is cool enough to put in the storage container with paper towels to cover/between- your choice.

Wrap the foil in on itself or pour off bacon grease (not in your drain) and dispose.

Keep cooked bacon in the fridge.  

Oven cooked bacon has a good flavor and is convenient too.   That's my quick cooking tip, enjoy.

October 19, 2016

Mid Year Review and After the Clear Out the Freedom Room

See that date over on the bottom of the collage?  Yep, I am seriously late in posting that one.  Only by eight months, but who's counting?

Sometimes there are 3 things going at once!

After a major clear out from when the house move was supposed to happen, I have less "stuff" in the craft room. From paints, to glues, to things for upcycling, they've all gone to the charity shop or the trash.  That made me consider just what to do with what is left.

Embroidery hoops on a tension rod in the closet.

Do I want to focus on making Art?  Jewelry?  Crafty things?  Needlework?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  See, how easy that was?

Seriously, supplies multiply like rabbits and yet, there is usually one special piece missing or needed, so shopping commences!

Here and there I toss something that I know is not to my liking.  When I shop for supplies, I really do try to write down what I am looking for and be more discerning as to the quality and value of the items for purchase.

I shop in person.  Online shopping may have a better range, but I would be like a "kid in the candystore." One day I will try it, with a budget and a list.

It's tough being a tightwad, but it feels good to not hoard.  Freeing.

I started a little collection of interesting feathers from my travels or wherever I find them when out walking. They don't take up much room!

Pretty feather illustrated tin.

I even have a feather tin, bought for tea, but I put rubber/acrylic ink stamps inside.

Rearranged room, nice and tidy.

The furniture, craft carts, and bookcases have been rearranged.

At first I did not think it would be comfortable sitting in the middle of the room, with no window or wall at the front of the desk- you know, to hold up all the things crowding the desk.

This arrangement makes me keep less stuff on the desk and to move projects to the shelves and racks as needed.  It also helps to focus on one project without the others asking for atttention.

I took the curtains down to let in all the light, which is wonderful. This is the only room in the house with good sunlight for most of the day.   That light is very good for seeing what I am painting.

My smaller liquid paint collection after the clearout.

Watercolors, paint pens, and more.

The last thing I will show you is this newspaper clipping which I taped to one of the closet doors. I try to follow this advice, but do fall away from it with all things going on.

October 12, 2016

Sweeties Marks and Almost Time to Paint the Trim

I have two spots on the wood trim in the kitchen where my #1 Sweetie who passed in 2007 left his mark. He would lean in and peek around the corner.

I refused to wash and repaint the trim.  But, now that I am getting closer to moving I have decided I will paint over it.  It is his mark and he is my dog and no one else will paint over that reminder of him.

Lucy left her mark, too.  Hers is a bit higher up on the wood frame.  She would have towered over #1 Sweetie. He, mostly Beagle and she, mostly Yellow Lab.

I noticed a smudge on the mirror, where she got up close to see what she looked like.  That memory makes me smile.

Well, if any one is thinking I am a terrible housekeeper, that is not the case.  I leave their marks the same as others carve initials.  Small and precious reminders of two whom I love and miss.

Do you keep reminders?

October 5, 2016

Challenge Won! Orange Marmalade Yum.

Truth.  Since the good old days weren't really good old days, I decided to challenge myself to make orange marmalade.

Why?  Ever since I was a young girl, I did not like the stuff.  Too many hard bits.  Too sweet.  Too thick.

Some years ago a national brand sold an orange fruit spread.  Lovely stuff. That company disappeared.

Another company sold a similar orange spread.  The product went through lots of mutations and it got to a point that the spread/jam was pretty much not recognizable as an orange marmalade type of spread.  This happened with a couple of companies.  Yuck.  

Now that a national brand stopped selling their version of orange marmalade, I had to find a replacement.

Don't these look pretty?  I was over the moon that I could make orange marmalade and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Pun intended!

What I give you here is not a detailed recipe. Oh, no.

I read several recipes online and found that their versions reminded me of the stuff from my childhood; hard, dark and thick.  Sorry, not my preference.

I took the basic ideas and morphed them into these golden, glorious jars, filled with orange goodness.   It was a several hours long process, but so worth the effort.

Two large seedless (not Naval) oranges.  Zest and tiny bits of lemon along with some lemon juice.  Water and not a lot of sugar.  Boil away until the peel and orange is soft and lovely.  Pour into jars. Leave to cool with the lids off.  Then put the lids on and store in the fridge.

This is an image of the jars and lids in a big stainless steel bowl with boiled water.

See that I cut away the white pith, which makes the marmalade less bitter tasting.

I put on a couple of cds and got to work.  Patsy Cline didn't think I was crazy! lol  You know the song?

Dive right in!  If you have a personal challenge decide to go for it too!