Category: General (page 1 of 9)

Cold is in again

Today I have been fighting with this non-seasoned wood to get something burning for tonight. It’s getting chillier in the house, and it’s nice to be warmer in the evening, the fireplace’s job.

Top down works well, but not when the wood is so, well, I have to use a lot of junk to get it going and fight, fight, fight chants to the embery pieces. But usually they just sizzle and eventually die, no wood will take their cheeky heat and start really burning. I have a few precious sort of seasoned things I can put on a sort of actually burning fire to get more embers to make the unseasoned partially burning guys to actually, burn up sooner than later.

Poking and prodding and washing my hands and recycled around and around is how it feels.

EW30EF65GSA Oven Door Glass Replaced

I had ordered 1 inner glass, thankfully I only needed 1. There aren’t only 2, there are 3 bleeping pieces of glass in that oven door. Not counting the front glass even.

The new piece of glass is where the old one broke. The one that faces the oven directly. It looked cracked, but taking the door apart the middle piece of glass between the cracks was floating free.

It was torture, but mostly because we couldn’t get the door off, then worked on it while on, but then couldn’t close it and couldn’t remember how the hinges worked, took it out to figure out but didn’t until I found and finally watched some video about putting a pipe on the hinge to move it, oh goodness priceless. I felt so powerful at that point, floop, floop, each side down and push lock up, slide door in, push down lock thingie on both sides. Door closes right. Wow. So much trouble could have been avoided but “now we know” exactly how the dumb hinge works on the oven door.

Also, no more self-clean cycles. No thanks.

Blueberry Corn Muffins

1 1/4 cups corn meal (a Masa variety)
3/4 cup Sprouted flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 1/4 cups milk

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the blueberries, stirring to distribute them fairly evenly.

In another bowl stir the egg well, then drizzle in the melted butter while stirring well, then add in a little of the milk, stirring well, then stir the rest of the milk in very quickly.

Add the milk/egg/butter mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Using a spatula carefully combine only until the dry mixture is wet (do not over stir!)

Drop the batter via a spoon or scoop into a 12 muffin pan, buttered, or paper liner cups, filling with a rounded mountain above each muffin.

Bake at 350 to 400 degrees, however fast or slow your oven is (also taking into account convection or conventional ovens) for 15 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and a testing stick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

I prefer to bake for 15 minutes, asses and turn the pan around as needed.

Corn-Bread Taco Casserole

This recipe is made in a 9×13 glass pan, serves a large family or small group easily. (Really delicious first time, or as leftovers!)

Make a double recipe of cornbread batter, layer cornbread batter and taco meat and cheese, bake in the oven until the cornbread is done, lightly browned on top.

Taco filling:

2 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped, smashed to paste consistency
1 tablespoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoons Oregano
1 small cans diced tomatoes

Cornbread Batter:

2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons (non aluminum) baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter

——————

2 Cups of Monterey Jack Cheese shredded fine

Put half corn bread batter on the bottom of the pan. Taco filling goes next, then cheese, then the last half of corn bread batter.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F., or until the cornbread on top is set and lightly browned.

Serve and enjoy piping hot!

Fireplace Update – New Back Installed

The fireplace back piece was installed two days ago. Unfortunately I have a bad cold and wasn’t in the room to see it happening, and it’s not what I was told was going to happen.

It’s totally different from the original sidepanels. They were going to paint the new piece black so that it would blend into the back of the fireplace, not be so noticeable.

Oh well.

Fireplace after one long day of initiating it into the famly.

Fireplace after one long day of initiating it into the famly.

Smothered Chicken (in Creamy Sauce)

Smothered Chicken (in Creamy Sauce) – Stovetop version

Chicken Breasts, brown on each side, set aside. (One for each person)

In large pot put onion, diced, lots of garlic, smashed, into olive oil, and cook until onion is translucent. (One onion, less or more, and several garlic cloves)

Put the browned chicken breasts on top of the onions and garlic. Add a couple cups of chicken stock (or water), plus a tablespoon of Soy Sauce, a tablespoon of chicken base.

Cook until chicken is done, no more pink remaining, tender, but not falling apart.

While the chicken is cooking make a sauce base which you’ll add to the chicken later.

Several cloves of garlic, smashed, cooked in olive oil a few minutes. Add butter and olive oil and flour (3T of butter, 3T oil, 6T flour) … stir together well and cook until bubbly, add 2 C milk, stir well until the mixture heats up and gets thick.

When the chicken is ready, add the sauce into the pot with the chicken, stock, onions, etc. Stir it in some, it’ll seem clumpy and not mixed well. It will integrate into a thick, rich sauce.

Cook for another 20 minutes or so. (Carefully remove chicken from sauce, put on platter and put sauce into a bowl with a serving spoon.)

Serve over rice or noodles. Adjust amounts up or down for your family needs.

Dinner Rolls

Dinner Rolls (Any shape you want!)

Heat the oven to 350°F

First thing is to warm the milk and melt the butter, etc.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Heat on low until butter mostly melts.
Take off of the stove.

  • 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp. active yeast

Sprinkle the active yeast onto the milk mixture, let it sit until softened, then stir.

  • Flour – 3 1/2 to 4 cups

Stir in as must flour as you can by hand, then put out on a kneading surface and continue kneading until smooth, or use a stand mixer to need, adding flour by the 1/4 cup or 1 Tablespoon until it doesn’t need anymore and knead until smooth.

Form into a ball and put oil in the bowl, then turn the ball of dough upside-down there and swirl it around to
distribute the oil. Turn the dough right-side-up. Allow to rise until doubled, then make into shapes and bake when desired.

This can be put into a bag to slow rise in the fridge. Make it on day 1 and on day 2 use it. Bring the bag out and put the dough into an oiled bowl to come to room temperature, then punch down and shape and bake until golden brown.

This recipe makes about 12 large rolls.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!



Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Originally uploaded by CrazyMaisy.


Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Onion Chives – March 2012



Onion Chives – March 2012

Originally uploaded by CrazyMaisy.


Onion Chives – March 2012

Same chives as planted about 2004, perennial good friends.

Thyme – March 2012



Thyme – March 2012

Originally uploaded by CrazyMaisy.


Thyme – March 2012

Greek Oregano – March 2012



Greek Oregano – March 2012

Originally uploaded by CrazyMaisy.


Greek Oregano – March 2012

Whiskey Barrel – March 2012



Whiskey Barrel – March 2012

Originally uploaded by CrazyMaisy.


Whiskey Barrel – March 2012

Thanksgiving Meal 2011 Prep

I don’t feel like doing this, but I am.

Thanksgiving Day is less than 3 weeks away now.

I have a chicken I could make, and told my husband that’s all I’ll make (no turkey) to save money. I can make stuffing with what I have now too. I have potatoes and frozen brocolli and enough cheese to make a sauce. I can make rolls. Gravy. What more is needed? Nothing really.

That should do it.

Anyhow, I have a daughter turning 13 the next day.

Thanksgiving is hardly ever about Thanksgiving Meal to me since 1998. Not really, but really. I might talk the talk, but don’t feel it.

Tweaked A/C AGAIN!

Had to call A/C guy back the next day and tweak the thing, we were frozen first thing that morning. Since then it’s been a day, and I haven’t looked THIS morning yet, but no freezing yesterday. So that’s plus 1.

A/C Guy fixed things

A/C Guy finally came back today with the new sensor module, installed it, made sure it was working and also added a manual damper in between master bedroom and the other bedrooms (’cause of the heat load we have in the master bedroom from the East/South facing the Sun.) He tweaked things as well, to allow the right cooling without freezing. So far today, better than ever. He was done around 11am-ish. It’s been really warm today and all areas staying right on target and that feels great, I can actually turn the thermostats to 69 happily (sometimes), only have to bump them down if I’m “excercising” or moving around so much that I’m started to overheat.

So finally it’s working. I’m not so happy about it though, anticipating the sensor mucking it all up by dying on us. I have the same feeling about other things that have gone bad, like the motherboard in my Nutrimill Grain Grinder, it went totally dead all of the sudden. I had to send it in and have that replaced, and I’ve been waiting ever since for it to happen again, but it hasn’t, but I KNOW it CAN happen, since it DID already, when it wasn’t that much used. So this A/C is like that, brand new install and … somewhere along the way this part died and we’ve had nothing but trouble but didn’t do enough about it as soon as we should have (not knowing exactly what we should have expected, would it work to cool the house or not … and it didn’t and it wasn’t clear to us that it wasn’t right, not just something needing tweaked, or added, when in fact it was yes, tweak, PLUS something needed REPLACED.) So how long will it be before I trust this magical fix from today. Don’t know, but hope I can get my superstitious self to stop thinking about it and just accept it as it is day to day, not waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Summer giving way to Autumn

August has come and gone. I’m not wishing time away, but I sure won’t miss the Fall Allergy season when that has come and gone. It’s here, has been, and will be for a longer stay than I want (like I ever really want it!)

Weather has been nicer atimes the past couple of weeks. The hold that Summer has is slipping, Autumn is in the air just a bit, length of days, feel of the Sun, how the plants are getting ready for the change, good old crisp, clean air is coming. Eventually.

July is nearly over!

Wow this month has gone fast! Now the Dog Days of Summer are beginning. Hot more often than not. Sun strong, not quite as light as late as it was in July, but this side of the sun’s courses through the cosmos are the hot-dog ones, whereas May and June are just wanna-be’s.

I’m so glad our A/C was changed, it makes all the difference, but it does struggle. The “zones” (digital) are finicky and I have to go check each thermostat, and sometimes (a few times a week) turn every one off, then turn on the upstairs one for awhile alone, then turn on the main floor one later, and leave the downstairs one off until the next day or longer, if it is possible to feel comfortable with that (sometimes yes, sometimes no.)

Why does this have to happen? I’m not sure what it’s doing, but the main thing is, the SUN. It comes up in the East and blasts away at the back of our house all morning and into the afternoon. Our bedrooms are on the top floor. No tree cooling up there. Master bedroom is at the back of that whole area. It gets so hot in there. Without A/C it’s 100 in there in the middle of the night.

With A/C the thermostats are set to 68/69 everywhere. When the system has been restarted with my methodology, which is turning everything off, then turning ONLY the Master Bedroom thermostat on, then the bedroom starts cooling down ever so slightly, then more. Overnight it returns to it’s “schedule”. The Main Floor thermostat does well then, turn that on and it quickly brings things to right.

The basement area is then the question, the “office” (my craft/computer area) is decent, the hallway is where the thermostat is. The big area at the back of the basement, behind interior french doors, is much warmer always. When the thermostat for the basement is turned off, that big space gets too warm (for my tastes) while the other rooms are OK for the most part.

When I turn that thermostat back on the air in the big space gets better, but still, it’s ALWAYS much warmer in there compared to my office, or the hallway.

After 1 or 2 days like this then, the Master Bedroom thermostat really starts struggling. Lets put it this way, the first day after resetting it all, it starts out with the thermostat keeping things OK until somewhere around 2pm it’s behind 1, 2, 3, 4 or more degrees. As the day wears thin it gets closer to the scheduled temperature, overnight rights itself. Next day or the day after that is when it gets too thick, warm not good in my bedroom early in the day and never recoups, so if I haven’t been up there, I go to bed and oh, bleh, blah, no!!!!!

We are talking it is supposed to be 68 and the thermostat registers the temp at 78 or more when it gets to the place where I HAVE to turn it all off, then slow on.

It’s not like 68 is too heavy of a load. It’s not that it has to be “68” but that is what the thermostat has to attempt or else this entire process is TOO MUCH for me to live with. To get rid of humidity, must run A/C, A/C only runs when it needs to cool based on it’s goal temperature. If the temperature is set to 72 that’s too warm. It’s like letting it all get it’s toes in the doorway, you think the door is closed, but it’s not, and the thing you mean to keep out is coming in.

This all means so much to me since I get so miserable easily when the temperature climbs about 70 degrees much. The further it goes in that higher direction the larger the impact it has on me. So, 68 is my primo position of a trade-off, I’ll let it go that high for you others. I’d much prefer to live in the North Pole.

My Baby is Four Years Old now!

Quentin turned 4 yesterday. He had a nice time, really liked his presents. He’s getting so big. He’s still the youngest though. He has more “baby traits” than the previous three did at this point, which isn’t precisely birth order, more personality. His older brother, Asa, was the baby at that age, has a different personality than Quentin for sure. He was “the baby” for nearly 7 years.

Quentin is demonstrative with love, thanks, etc. Yesterday was filled with hugs, kisses, and all that goes with that, for presents, the day, and how it ended … some little fireworks I got him at Target for last surprise presents. He’s just like that, was from the start. He’s very comfort oriented, when he’s comfortable, he’s happy, and overflowing with love, joy, enthusiasm. (which means there is more to him, what happens when he’s not comfortable … eek!)

The other three children are all different, but one thing in common, not demonstrative like Q. Not at all. That’s more like me. Q is the first one to be a hugger, wanting hugs, giving hugs, forcing me to “like” it with him. I am not a hugger.

I snuggle all my babies, that I can do. I’m not a hugger past that.

Any how, one thing we got for Q is a Cars 2 branded Leapster Explorer — we got him a Leapster 2 last year, but never bought any thing but 1 cartridge, and that cartridge lost a piece of it’s stuff, it’s stuck in the slot of the machine. And it was limited and who cares. So we got the Explorer, which was out just as or just after we got the Leapster 2 last year. Now this year, we got the Explorer, and they are releasing a new thing in the next month, a tablet sort of thing, LeapPad.

Q querying Cars 2 Explorer game box, Asa looking on with weird face

Now it seems that the Leapster Explorer and that tablet can use the same cartridges, since one of the games we bought for this birthday had such verbage on the box (works with both.) Which was my heads-up to a new device launching. He likes the Explorer though. It’s better than the Leapster 2, by far. Easier to hold, red and white, nice screen, more than just a couple things to do with it.

I love the newer cartridges. If I’d known what they were like before … Oh well.

Red Pepper Sausage Skillet Meal

1 Red Pepper, sliced into 1/4″ strips (or more, as desired)

1/2 Vidalia Onion, sliced thin into 1 1/2″-long strips (or more, as desired)

2 Tablespoons Butter, plus enough Olive Oil to fry the onions & red peppers

2 Tablespoons Tamari Sauce (or Soy Sauce)

Tabasco Sauce, to taste

1 small can diced tomatoes (like Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes)

Fully Cooked Sausage, bias cut (angle) into rounds or diced, if desired (beef, pork, chicken)

Partially cooked noodles (your choice of noodle style) – about halfway cooked.

In a hot fry pan melt the butter and add enough olive oil for the onions and peppers, stir frequently until onions begin to carmelize.

Add the partially cooked noodles, Tabasco Sauce, mixing well.

Add sausage, tamari sauce and tomatoes, stirring through.

If you prefer more moisture or sauce, add some of the pasta water as well.

Heat and serve.

If you want a thicker sauce, use arrowroot powder mixed with water (same power as flour thickening, or corn starch, works like that, but isn’t wheat, nor corn. Has a clear thickening like corn starch, full power when comes to boil.)

Recipe created by Maisy 2005

I wrote about the HVAC here on my other blog yesterday.

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