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Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Best Part about Easter...

Is using up left over ham. Of course, I guess the same can be said about Christmas. Ever wonder why those darn Christians have a thing for pig?

Anyway, I used up a chunk of ours making homemade Potato's Au Gratin. Nope, nothing came out of a box in these bad boys. Don't worry, we did have some salad.

For desert I might have some  more of my remaining "Nutella Heaven FuckYeah!" I know, I really need to find a better name for it, but that's the name the person who posted it to Ravelry gave it! I will think upon a new name though. But these are so good they almost deserve a name like this. It's a layer of Nutella sandwiched between delicious buttery short bread. Recipe? Sure...

4 Cups flour
1 1/3 Cup sugar
2 Cups butter

Seriously, for the shortbread that's it. Of course I threw in a splash of vanilla, some cinnamon and perhaps some pumpkin pie spice, but just a couple pinches to add a hint of other flavor. Whir it up in the food processor then let it sit for a few minutes. Grease a 9x13 pan and divide your shortbread "dough" though it's half way between a dough and cookie batter and press the first half out across the bottom of the pan. I took a bunch, probably a full cup and a half of Nutella, popped it in the microwave to get nice and thin for about 15 seconds and smeared it all over the top of the first layer. Then place it in the fridge to firm back up. Taking a piece of parchment paper and the other half of the dough, roll out the second half to approximately 9x13" and transfer from the parchment paper to the top of the Nutella. For the beginners here to using a rolling pin, place your pin on the short edge of the dough and gently roll the pin up the body of the dough allowing it to stay on the pin, slowly removing the parchment paper as you go. You should end up with a rolling pin surrounded by dough that you can then unroll across the top of your other two layers. Kind of push it out and about to the edges of the pan to cover all the Nutella, then bake at 300 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes or until turning gold. If your oven sucks like mine, it may be closer to 45 mins. Just saying.

Now, for those experienced shortbread fiends like myself (and why do I love shortbread but despise sugar cookies?), you know shortbread has to be cut while warm and fresh because if you try to cut it later it will just crumble and break. Take a sharp knife and cut small squares out and continue letting to cool. Later it will still stick to itself but the cuts you placed now will act like score marks and allow it to break at those lines.

Now, go eat it! Wasn't quite the brownies I wanted, but DDDDdddddaaaaaaauuuuuuuummm. To boot, the guy doesn't care for it. More for me!

Also, I think this is a new easter tradition for us. Yep, that's Cinnamon bread. I was trying it out to make for when my brother and his Scrotum Rats are here this summer. I wanted to see how it did.

As french toast. Since we had to make this again this week with the second loaf, I think it's a win.

Speaking of Easter, I had a day off last week and had the boys all to myself so we went on a walk at the new park I found.

It's the Cascade Peace Park and has a nice three mile loop to walk that includes some nice hills and lots of woods.

I first went there a couple weeks back and took the big camera with me, but about half way through the walk I finally looked at the text the LCD display kept flashing at me and saw that I forgot to put the memory card back in the camera after pulling photos from it. Lovely...

I have since found in settings where the camera won't let the shutter operate without a memory card so I can't manage to screw up quite that bad again. I really shouldn't say that, i'm just putting a challenge out there for myself, and I love a challenge.

However, last weekend I didn't even take the camera with me and just had my phone so I snapped these as the moss started to green up as spring had started to creep in.

Here's some mushrooms on these old logs just for you Betsy.

It's really a nice park though somewhat devoid of wold life, and I can't wait to see what it looks like as Spring continues to green it up. This weekend we didn't go simply because we got hammered by rain storms on Wednesday night all the way through Friday morning and all the local trails are pretty sloppy.

But all seasons have opportunities to see neat things. This trees surface was so neat, I just had to take a shot. How it's aged makes me think of how a log starts to crack in a fire place.

And this one that looks like it's collapsing on itself.

It kind of amazes me how many local species of trees hold onto their leaves through most of the winter. The oaks do it as well, but I always love how delicate these ones look.

When I first saw this I thought it was possibly an old blackberry bramble that had leaves fall on it in a way it caused it to become almost circular. Then as I got closer I realized it's an old section of the fencing they had removed from around the area when they made it a park and it was rusting barbed wire. Don't worry, I've had my tetanus shots...

I'm assuming since the birds have left these alone too, that they must be fairly poisonous. Anyone want to try them out?

When I was getting a closer look at the fence I glanced down and saw this little log and I loved the little tendrils of creeping moss, Made me think of some of that organic framework I've seen done. So next week, I hope to return to the park to get pictures to compare what some rain and warmer weather does.

As it is, around the house we can tell that spring is in the process of springing out everywhere!

This is always a good sign. Ahh, how I've missed the smell of it too. Se those little flowers on the maple branches hanging down?!? Whirligigs are coming!

And the sounds! You can see the remnant of our front yard pond form our storms the other night. Had I not been listening for a change in the wind that might urge me to gather the guy androids to go downstairs I might have thought to grab a camera and get video of the amazing rain and lightening show we were being given. The rain hitting the house is actually what woke me up and the light show was spectacular.

If it's not the birds calling, it's these guys already out and singing. You might have to turn up your volume a bit to hear them though. They're a bit more subtle than the birds. Until the sun goes down around here anyway.

As far as life around here, it goes on. The boys are slowly learning to deal with the chickens. Tucker is getting braver about them and actually investigates them now.

Emmitt... Well, you still have to keep an eye on them as he thinks they are chicken nuggets on the wing as it may be. However, One of them ran right up to him today and he stayed put and left her alone. Those dang girls. We need new pictures as they are much more feathered than when these were taken earlier in the week, It's a bit amazing how fast they grow up! I'll snap one tonight to share later.

Sullivan made a return appearance at the yarn shop this last week. I decided it was time for him to go back after the bus loads of little old lady asian tourists traumatized him last fall. Who can blame him? I would be traumatized to if some lady who was barely taller than I, grabbed me by the cheeks, stuck her face in mine and screeched like a maniac. I'm just glad he didn't bite her in the face. As you can see, he got the gist of things quickly and acted appropriately.

Better watch out Emmitt, you job as shop dog might be taken away.

And while we're on that subject, is there a reason you feel you must lay on my pillow? Especially after laying around on grubby floors and eating chicken poo? Wee Heathen.

That't allright, because is there a better way to wake up on ones birthday? Well, maybe with the less stinky side facing my way perhaps. Chicken poo does little for gassy bums, just let me tell you.

Today we went to Horrocks. Holy crap, I'm in love. A grocery store, nursery/garden shop that I can go in, get a pint pulled off the tap, then wonder around and do my shopping while sipping said tap! I am not kidding people. It's like a garden of eden in Grand Rapids. I picked up a spider plant to replace the one that died... I know, how does someone kill a spider plant? Shortly after coming home and being put into a new pot a friend and her dog came over. I have no idea what the dog dod while were in the next room but we came back in to find both new plants on the floor, the tv cabinet completely tossed around and the dog flipping out (This is why herding dogs need regularly exercise. If you keep them in a crate all day and not get them out, all that energy drives them f'n nuts!). The plant took a couple weeks to whither and die so my best guess is that when it got knocked flying it broke the main connection to it's roots and couldn't pull up enough water. Just a guess. See the vine (I forget these things real names, sorry) behind that spider plant? It was bought the same day and repotted and is now all the way to the floor and thriving as it should. We also got the neat Bio-Bamboo pots. They will slowly decompose but I liked them.

This one has the acorns I finally pulled out of the fridge as they were sprouting and planted them. With any luck I'll have four oak seedlings, a chestnut seedling that you can see, still looks a bit too much like a pot plant there but is slowly growing, and our dogwoods from the arbor day foundation planted among the yard this year. Slowly, we'll get less grass to mow...

And I saw this neat little guy while perusing plants and pots. He didn't want to stick around for photos though. I also saw a monarch caterpillar while we had the girls out for some yard time today. Don't worry, he got away from the little beasties.

Now, off to enjoy a Sunday the way it should be. A pot of tea, a good book, and yarn.

1 comment:

  1. OH MY LAWD!! I must have one of those Nutella Fuck Yeahs RIGHT NOW IN MY MOUF!!!! Those look incredible. I will definitely have to try them. As always, love to see what's going on in your life.