Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin-Chocolate Waffles

1 1/2 cups flour (You can substitute some whole wheat)
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mashed squash or pumpkin (I always keep mashed squash in the freezer)
1 large egg
2 tbsp oil
1/3 -1/2 cup chocolate chips

First mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Then add all of the wet and stir just until incorporated.

Cook in a preheated waffle iron until brown.  This makes around 6 waffles.  Serve with your favorite syrup and a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

RIP Sharon and Dean

RIP Sharon Wagner... Doomed to recline in cemeteries casting spells on migrating geese and the occasional mischievous squirrel.  Thank goodness she got to wear her favorite chunky spider heels and nylons.  The only thing that truly scares her now is whether she will get a run in her stocking.  Her shadow minions eternally lurk in the back ground.  If her worst fear materializes, maybe they could make a pits of Hell stop at Walgreens. 

RIP Dean Wagner... Doomed to roam Minnesota cemeteries looking for his wife.  Unfortunately the grounds keeper put her chair inside a mausoleum with some other rich dude.  A gold digger in life, now she is doomed to live through eternity above ground.  Maybe Dean could mix a strong Manhattan to coax her out. Just maybe... 

P.S.  I'm back from the grave to tell you to check out my new photo sidebar widget.  Twin Cities Public Television is sponsoring an amazing collection of photographers in their Capture Minnesota photography contest.  I have 14 humble photos entered so far.  To vote click on my new widget. And be sure to stick around to view more of the amazing photography! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Eat Me!

My haunted apple is evil to the core.

P.S.  One of my illustrated recipes is being featured Oct. 22nd-Oct. 29th over at  Check it out if you dare...or care.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beer Butt Chicken!

I apologize in advance to my vegetarian blog followers.  But I love beer butt chicken.  It not only tastes great but my husband always does all the work.  We always do two at a time so we have extra chicken we can shred and freeze. And then there is broth to make with those bones.  Nothing makes a house smell better.  Here the hubbs is rubbing the chicken with butter.  Here's what I made.  But you can spread on any amount of herbs, seasonings and butter that you desire.

2 tbsp salted butter, softened
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

The butt of the chicken sits on the can (not shown)  But it is there.  You need to drink about a 1/4 of the beer.  And it doesn't even need to be beer.  I used coke last time. 

Dean put foil under the chickens to catch the grease.  But you could use a foil pan.  Use lots of coals and then cover those babies up.

They are done!  It takes about an hour.  These were smart chickens.  I don't know how many pounds they are but most smart chickens are about the same size.

 Let's eat.  I get the crispy wing!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leaves For Leontien

I planned on posting the continuation of my Duluth, MN post.  I'll post the birds from Hawk Ridge in a couple weeks. I'm waiting because it came to my attention that Leontien needed help from her blog followers and from anyone who has been touched by cancer.  Basically everyone has had a loved one stricken at some point in their lives.  I know I have.  A blog hop at A Rural Journal has been set up for Leontien to visit and hopefully feel surrounded by good will.  Healing leaves will be fluttering across the screen for some time to come.  Here are mine...  

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Super Easy Mojitos

1 big glass
2 shots tequila
mint leaves
1/2 can of 7-up

Tear a handful of fresh mint into the bottom of a glass.  Add the tequila and squeeze the juice from one lime segment.  Throw in the peel and mash the liquid mixture with the bottom of a wooden spoon.  Add a 1/2 can of 7-up and top with ice.  Serve!  

P.S. What do you do with the other 1/2 of the can?  Make another drink!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Duluth From Top to Bottom

 My husband raced in the Duluth Inline Marathon for the 13th time this year. He finished in 1 hour and 20 minutes.  So that left us plenty of time to take in the sights from top to bottom!  But since this is a bottom photo I should say from bottom to top.

We visited Park Point for the first time.  A 5 mile sand bar (the world's largest freshwater sandbar) with beautiful dunes.  It is a great birding spot.  But on this day it was so darn windy that we didn't see a thing.  Except a cool perspective of the city.

And feathers.

Now we ventured to the top.  And visited Enger Park.  Also for the first time.  Geez.  What were we doing all those other years.  Enger Park is the home of the iconic Enger tower.  And part of Duluth's scenic Skyline Drive.   You can see the long sand spit from the previous photos on the far left of this photo.

The famous Aerial lift bridge is on the left of this photo.

Skyline Drive continues to Hawk Ridge.  A place we have visited several times over the years.  They always have a hawk festival on the weekend that we are there.  Migrating birds and hawks are banded and released.  For a small fee people are able to hold and release a bird of their own.  More on that next week.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Red Hot Art!

Red Hot Art is my favorite Summer Art Fair.  It is rough around the edges, far from normal and uniquely weird.  There is something to be said for a polished art fair with beautiful objects.  But after awhile they all look the same.  You can't say that about Red Hot Art!  Back in the day I sold my art work at fairs.  And this was the first one I did.  And really the only one I enjoyed doing.  My husband stayed busy people watching.  We still laugh at the weird beer can puppet guy.  And if you consider the low attendance, I sold more than any other art fair!

The band.  Actually they have two stages that alternate with 28 bands that play on Saturday and Sunday.

Asase Yaa is Asase Yum!

Burger Alert!!!! This new comer called Burger Night grilled a simply drool worthy burger.

Meat juices dripping down your arm and crispy buttery edges.  This one was called a chili burger because of their secret chili seasoning.  

I bought a pill case from Molly.  She even had one with the Witch from the Wizard of Oz with Medusa hair.  

I loved these!

Monster purses.

Monster pillows.

And I bought these unique wooden crates and compressed wood (cement) blocks from WAAM.  So cool!  And....they are great for climbing.  If you're a cat...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the wall. You are reflecting six cats. But I'd prefer none at all.

click to enlarge

I almost posted one of my Snow White self portraits for the mirror theme.  Mirror, mirror on the wall.  Who is fairest of them all?  Not me.  So I decided to post my Bedroom Buddies.  This is one of my favorite cat illustrations.  I have it hanging in my bedroom.  But when I look in the mirror I do see a mistake.  I forgot to put the molding along the floor boards.   Cat crap!  Other than that it is almost exactly the way my bedroom used to look.  The dresser we inherited from my husband's side of the family.  And the cherished antique headboard dates back to the Civil war.  And it has been on my Mom's side of the family the ever since. 

The cats on the other hand are fiction.  But the real life shenanigans of my two cats are not.  If we didn't keep our cat-astrophes locked out at night they would give us a new definition for night terrors.  Trust me. 

P.S.  Have you clawed your way over to see my latest illustrated recipe?  Click for cat treats!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a fabulous and super yummy recipe.  I love tomatillos.  My favorite meal with tomatillos used to be found at the now defunct Sidney's.  Fiesta Chicken.  Sniff.  The good old days.  But today I started by removing the husks and rinsing a farmer's market basket full of the tart fruit/veggie.  But the recipe calls for 2 lbs.

You'll also need:

1 white onion, quartered
1-3 jalapeno peppers (or other), halved and seeded

Lay these veggies out on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for 7-10 minutes.  (Turning the veggies over midway through)

Drop the broiled veggies into a blender.  Add...

A handful of cilantro
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 sliced garlic clove
1 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (I used more)

Blend until combined.  Then add 1/2 cup sour cream and blend until combined.

For filling:

2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1-2 cups Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup of tomatillo sauce from the blender...mix

Heat 12 flour tortillas (or soft corn, but they will be smaller) in a frying pan or on a baking sheet in the oven until soft and pliable.  Fill and place in an oiled baking dish with a 1/3 cup of the tomatillo sauce on the bottom.   

Pour the remaining sauce over the top.

And bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Cook's note:  I only made 6 enchiladas.  And froze 1/2 the sauce for later.  So I divided and froze my sauce before I added the sour cream.  And only used 1/4 cup.  I halved the filling mixture.

I sprinkled some fresh Mexican cheese over the top.  And of course added some Marie Sharpe's!  So good.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A weekend on the river...

What a bonus!  It was 80 degrees this weekend.  The Sun was shining, the Honeycrisps and pumpkins were ripe and the leaves were brilliantly colored.  We weren't even planning one more trip to our favorite pizza place. The Nelson Stone Barn.  But we were lucky enough to get a bonus weekend on the river.  Our first stop was for apples.  A whopping $50 for a big bag of Honeycrisps.  Holy Cow.  I guess you have to be a Millionaire to eat apples these days.  Then we hiked on over to Maiden Rock bluff.

Enjoy the view.  Then read this interesting tale about Maiden Rock...

Princess Winona (Princess We-Noh-Nah) is the central Native American character in a "Lover's Leap" romantic legend set at Maiden Rock on the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin in the United States. Princess Winona leaps to her death from Maiden Rock rather than marry a suitor she does not love.[1]There are several variations of the story. Winona's father is sometimes said to be Chief Red Wing of what is now Red Wing, Minnesota or Chief Wabasha (Wapasha) of a village identified as Keoxa, now known as Winona, Minnesota. Rather than marry a suitor she does not love, Winona chooses to leap from the cliff of Maiden Rock to her death. Who the suitor is depends on the version of the tale. Some versions featured him as a French trapper; others say he is an Indian of another tribe.
In the traditional Dakota language, "Winona" is not a personal name, but a general term for a first-born child of any class distinction who happens to be female.
The concept of the central figure as a "princess" is in keeping with a European-American stereotype about Native American "princesses." In fact, the Sioux do not have an equivalent title for "princess" in any of the major dialects.[2]
Today "Winona" has become regularly used as a personal and place name throughout the United States.

A train chugs down the tracks.

A yellow explosion.

No Fall trip is complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch.

Who is this goofball?

A feather in Pepin.

Look at the sunset creeping down through the window of the old barn pilings.  A bottle of vino, a romantic setting and a fantastic pizza just pulled from a burning hearth.  Life is good.