Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April's Reading List

April Book List
These are the books I read in April:

Collusion by Stuart Neville - Jack Lennon Series
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman
Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman
Skin and Bone by Kathryn Fox - Dr Anya Crichton
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauch
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White - Tradd Street Series
Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel
The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren - Deep Haven
Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford
Duchess in Love by Eloisa James - Duchess Quartet Series
Killing Floor by Lee Child - Jack Reacher Series
What are you reading?


Friday, April 26, 2013

Easy Refried Beans (Quick Mashed Beans)

Easy Refried Beans (Quick Mashed Beans)

1 -15 ounce can of beans. (I used Fresh Market's Kidney Beans because I like the low sodium count it has - you can use pinto, black beans or any kind you have. Not so sure about baked beans.)

I didn't have any fresh so I used dried:
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cilantro
1 teaspoon of minced onions
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/4 cup of salsa (I used Herdez Salsa Medium)
Optional - a small pinch of cayenne pepper

Drain and wash the beans.
Put in a large microwave proof bowl. (I used an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup)
Add all the spices and salsa. Stir.
Take a potato masher and mash the mixture really well.
Put the mixture in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stir after a minute and a half.

Too thick for you - add more salsa.

As an alternative: 

Use fresh onion, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro. But don't add the cilantro till the end. Add fresh chopped tomato. But don't forget the cumin. It adds a salty taste without using salt.

Drain and mash the beans in a large micro proof bowl. Add the cumin.
Mix in the chopped onion and fresh garlic. Stir
Microwave for a total of three minutes, stirring after a minute and a half.
Add the chopped fresh cilantro and fresh chopped tomato. Stir.

Another way:

Mince up 2 slices of bacon, fry them in a pan with the fresh onion, until the bacon is done and the onion is a bit caramelized. Add the fresh garlic near the end.
Add the mashed beans and heat thru.
Add fresh tomato, cilantro, some grated cheese would be yummy.
A squeeze of Lime would be nice, too.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teddy Bear Bumble Bee Ballet

Say that 10 times real fast!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Let's Play!

Throw the ball!  Throw the ball!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Is In the Air

Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


    It's raining and I can't go out and play.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Those pretzels were good!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baked some Bran Pretzels today!

I have been wanting to try this recipe since I saw it on Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast package. I had to change it a bit because I didn't want to use all purpose flour..... so mine is made entirely with Whole Wheat Flour. Also - no sugar - I used honey. It's full of fiber!
Here is what I made:

Bran Pretzels

1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 envelope of Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 cups of Wheat Bran
1 teaspoon of Buckwheat Honey
1 teaspoon of salt is optional - I didn't think you needed it as I was adding the Sea Salt to the top.
2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour (plus about 1/2 cup extra to kneed and to flour your board)
Olive Oil
1 Egg beaten
Course Sea Salt
(Mustard - I like Coney Island Brown Mustard)

Pour your water into your mixer's bowl.
Sprinkle your yeast over the water. Stir by hand until dissolved.
Stir in the Buckwheat Honey.
Add the Wheat Bran and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the Whole Wheat Flour.
Attach your mixer's bowl and add your bread attachment.
Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. I actually used #4 setting.
Slowly add another cup of the Whole Wheat Flour and continue mixing/kneeding for another 5 minutes.
Turn off your mixer and remove your dough; placing it on a floured board. I use a cutting board.
Kneed your dough by hand for another 3 minutes.
Make into a ball.
Grease a bowl - I used an eight cup measuring cup with some Olive Oil - wipe it with a paper towel until your bowl is covered.
Put your dough ball into the bowl and cover it. I like to use a smooth cotton dish towel.
Let rise for about 45 minutes.
After your dough has doubled in size, punch down and place it on a floured surface.
Cut into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece on at a time in to a long rope about 15 inches.
Shape your rope into a pretzel shape.
Place on a greased baking sheet. (I used Olive Oil to grease my baking sheet)
Brush lightly with the beaten egg.
Sprinkle with some course sea salt.

Here is my before:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Bake 14 to 18 minutes. Expect these pretzels to be nice and dark.
This is how they looked after baking:

 Remove from sheet and place on a wire rack.
Allow to cool a little - don't want any burnt fingers!
Add some Coney Island Brown Mustard and enjoy!

Do you prefer Brown or Yellow Mustard?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Is In The Air

Time to go buzzing around.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What do you do with your very ripe bananas?

I made Banana Bread!

My Simple Whole Wheat Banana Nut Raisin Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
I sliced and mashed the 4 small very ripe bananas in a big bowl.
I used a potato masher.
Added to the mashed bananas:
1 cup Yellow Raisins.
1 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Organic Maple Syrup
1 Egg
1/4 cup Butter
1 teaspoon Simply Organic Lemon Extract
Blend it all together.
In another bowl - Mix together:
 2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
Stir Flour/baking power mixture into Banana mixture.
Spoon into a greased loaf pan. (I used olive oil and paper towel to grease the loaf pan.)
It's really a thick heavy "batter".
So you will need to even it out a bit.
My loaf pan is the CorningWare kind, I put it on a cookie sheet.
I first checked it at 45 minutes.
Baked it for a total of 60 minutes. 
That's how long it took for a tooth inserted in the center to come out clean.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Who's Ready For Some....