Friday, February 24, 2017

Best Salsa Ever Recipe (Mr. C's Famous Salsa Recipe)

 Mr. C's Famous Salsa

Mr. C. keeps us supplied in salsa. Delicious salsa. Way better than any other that I've ever tasted. When the family is coming home, he makes a huge batch. When we are going to a potluck dinner, he makes a huge batch. But for just him and me, he's finally (as of a few days ago) managed to cut the recipe to a quart. He doesn't use a written recipe and says it varies from time to time, but last night I stood at his side and wrote down exactly what he used to make that smaller quart batch of salsa so I could share it with you.

Mr. C's Famous Salsa Recipe:

Makes 1 quart. After making, store it in a glass container in the refrigerator.
Serves 8 (or maybe 2)

2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, drained
(You can use fresh tomatoes, but they greatly change the taste of the salsa and we like this much better.)
1 large Jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 Anaheim pepper, diced
1/2 Poblano pepper, diced
1 Serrano pepper, diced
1/3 large white onion, diced
1 t. dried cilantro or 1/4 c. (to taste) of fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

Put diced ingredients and cilantro into the food processor. Pulse three times. Salt to taste and store in a glass container in the refrigerator (if there's any left after you've taste tested it.)
If you want it a little hotter, which we tend to do, break up and stir in about half a dried cayenne pepper into the mix.

You can also add sweet peppers for color if you like.

The peppers and onions must be diced before you put them into the food processor. Otherwise, you'll end up with a pureed salsa before you're done, and will lose any of the chunkiness.

My favorite chips with this are the small white corn tortilla chips.

 Ummmm, so good!

And now, a little collage to recap some of February:

February 2017

GF Blueberry & Chocolate Chip Scones
Emma Bridgewater Mugs
GF Cranberry Almond Muffins
Snow disappearing
Visiting St. Paul, MN
Trimming the Huge Maple
Walks in the Neighborhood
Kitchen Advice

We were also supposed to be having a family birthday party this weekend to celebrate our daughter's birthday, but you-know-what dashed plans, yet again.

 And to think that it was all gone as of yesterday.
Back with more snowstorms coming next week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Linking to Mosaic Monday

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hodgepodging Along The Mississippi

Penguins on a Minnesota farm
Probably wondering where all the snow went

Join Joyce and the Gang
She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

 The same penguins are next to the little milkhouse above.

I went fishing once, a very long time ago, but have never caught a fish. I hate the idea of putting a hook through a poor fish's mouth just so I could throw it back into the water. Maybe if I were going to actually eat it, that would be different. But it seems cruel just to catch and release. That doesn't seem like fun to me.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

The only one that remotely fits is 'fish out of water,' and only when in large groups of people.

 Do you think this is some sort of chicken coop?

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

I seem to always be fishing around for a pen that actually works.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

Two fish movies that come to mind are Pinocchio and Finding Nemo, but my favorite is the George Gently episode where he takes the little boy fishing in the River Wear below Durham Cathedral.

 I think this was a photo of our TV screen some months ago.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

I am definitely sunrise. I love everything about early morning. Sunrise is so positive, so full of hope, anticipation, promise. When I hear the birds singing in the summertime at 4:30 AM , it is a delightful sound. Then comes good coffee, very likely a glorious sunrise, so MUCH to thank God for, a great attitude, lots of energy to start my day, and then... ... ... late afternoon I'm winding down. I'm definitely not night. And I'm definitely not rainy day.

 Sunrise February 19
View from our front porch

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

I have a coat that I've had for years and years and can't bear to pass along to someone else or pitch. Also, probably blue jeans. If they get too tight, I put them on a shelf in the closet for the days in the future when they will fit again. LOL And I know very well that I'm not alone in this. Don't even try to tell me otherwise. :-)

And a windmill!

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

I was definitely feeling the need for a getaway in COLD, DARK, DEPRESSING January. But this month we've been given the gift of a warm streak. Tuesday was 62 degrees and sunny, and nearly all of our snow is gone. Unfortunately, the forecast is for a free refill on the weekend, but that reprieve from the cold and snow was just what we all needed. It was a major Wisconsin cheer-up. So, to sum it up, the worst part of winter was all of January. The best part of winter has been the past week that took all of our snow.

See? No snow!

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

I've never had a margarita, and alcohol always gives me a headache, so it's really not very appealing. Okay, I would try a frozen margarita if I could be guaranteed that I wouldn't get a headache. Even a small amount of alcohol has the same effect as CherryBerry frozen yogurt, which something I avoid. Now for some reason, I was caught at a weak moment and talked into CherryBerry yesterday afternoon on the way back from Rochester. I was told that we were celebrating a good doctor's report. Aside: Why do I have NO willpower??  Because it was a sneak attack and I wasn't prepared! Anyway, I don't know what on earth I was thinking, but I'll have to say, ... ... ... ... ... was mighty great going down: Chocoholic, Strawberry, and SeaSalt & Caramel, topped with chopped pecans. It was all over in about ten minutes. And there the delight ended. As for JB, I know Jimmy Buffett even less than I know Warren Buffett. 

 Look at those cute little grain bins with the rusty tops

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

We drove to Rochester, MN on Monday night, stayed over, went to Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, and then took a leisurely trip back home. Most of the photos in the post today came from the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River. We stopped in Lake City, MN for a bit and then to Wabasha, where we crossed the big river to the Wisconsin side at Nelson. More photos coming later. With such gorgeous weather, I marveled again at what beauty surrounds us in Minnesota and Wisconsin, especially along The River. It is such a reminder of God's beauty, power, generosity, and love in Creation, and that he delights in sharing all of this with us, his image bearers. Let us praise Him!!

'The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.' - From Psalm 145

Lake Pepin, basically a big bulge in the Mississippi River
At Lake City, MN


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

White Crackle Cookies Recipe

This is a recipe my mom used to make, and I remembered the tangy taste of the cream of tartar - a pleasant little bite to the cookie. Since I made these over the weekend, I thought I'd share the recipe here.

White Crackle Cookies, Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Beat together the following ingredients:
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shortening
1 egg
1/2 t. salt.

Mix together the following ingredients, then mix into the above ingredients:
2 c. flour
1 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda 

Now stir in
1 t. vanilla. 

Mix well, Roll into 3/4" balls.
Dip tops in cold water, then in white sugar.

Bake on greased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet for 8-12 minutes
(It all depends upon the size of the cookie ball and the pan you're using. I used heavy jellyroll pans and the cookies needed almost 12 minutes.) They should be a very pale golden. Remove from oven and let them finish cooling on the cookie sheet before removing.

I got 2 1/2 dozen cookies out of this batch.

Next time I wouldn't dip them in the sugar before baking, but that's simply a matter of taste.

Note: Since I was making these cookies for someone else, I did not make them gluten free.

Cookie and muffin testers
(cute son and grandson) :-))

This post is linked to: Cooking and Crafting with JJ


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Front Yard, Early Morning, February 15

 'Search me, O God, and know my heart.
Test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me
And lead me in the way everlasting.'
-Psalm 139:23-24

'Create in me a clean heart, O God
And put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence
And do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the Joy of your salvation,
And sustain in me a willing spirit.'
- Psalm 51:10-13

Great verses to ponder, memorize, sing, and pray.

The same Psalms sung by Jesus, of course.

How Great is Our God!

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Remembering Summer


Five things I love about summer:

Water - in its liquid state (above)

Pea-pickin' days in June

Great warm days in July
(and beautiful puffy clouds)

My August birthday family reunion
at our place

 Flowers in the garden

Summer flowers in my garden
How I long to see you again!

There are many more things I like about summer,
but I'll have to share them in a different post.

Joining Amy's Five on Friday
and Maggie's Mosaic Monday


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Westminster Dog Show Winner - FROM WISCONSIN

 Cropped slightly from

I know that it's old news by now, but Rumor, that beautiful German Shepherd you see pictured above, won Best In Show in the Westminster Dog Show. I am thrilled. I'm always cheering for the German Shepherd. Isn't that a beautiful dog! German Shepherds are so loyal and smart. And I bet they don't feed her ProPlan, unless it's ProPlan Natural without wheat, corn, or soy. And I still seriously doubt it.

But did you hear that this was only the second time since 1877 that a German Shepherd has won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show????? How on earth can that be. Maybe they think that the other dogs will all revolt if the German Shepherd is allowed to win.

Bridger (R.I.P.)
 What German Shepherds do in their off time.
I'm surprised that they're not out there organizing against the Westminster Dog Show.

P.S. Okay, I was just kidding. But those of you who know me already know that I love [almost all] dogs :-)

 'You what??'

Linking to Eileen's Saturday's Critters


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hodgepodging Impatience and a Quiz

I regret to say that I didn't have time to upload the phone photos I took of St. Paul, so I decided to just go with a theme this time, and you'll have to figure out the theme. It is a good four-letter word. Can you guess which word all of my photos have in common today? And yes, you've seen some of these photos before.

Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called them Grandma and Grandpa Nelson and Grandma and Grandpa Hazelhuhn. Grandma Nelson called me Obnoxious. I learned that word when we were on a road trip to Florida with them and I had just learned to chew/snap my gum. I thought it was an amazing skill. Apparently she wasn't impressed. Other than that, Grandma Nelson had a great sense of humor. My grands call me Grandma. I am happy with that. There are lots worse things to be called.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

I've been on a short road trip along the California coast. The highlight was seeing the ocean. I would love to take a long road trip along the California coast in a convertible on a very warm day - as long as they're not in the midst of mud slides or earthquakes. Beach and ocean are what I'd like to see.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

I don't know how to knit and watch TV at the same time.
I don't know how to play violin.
I don't know how to rollerskate in a buffalo herd.

 In Sutton on the Forest, England

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

No matter how much I celebrate summer, I don't seem to get more of it. I celebrate gorgeous sunrises but they don't seem to last any longer because of it. However, I think that if we praise people (including our husbands) for doing something kind and good, we will get more of that behavior. So it depends upon what Tom (Who is Tom Peters? Am I supposed to know him?) means.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I love almonds. I would prefer a Mounds bar with almonds. I don't know why Mars hasn't come up with that. Almond Joy would be okay if it were covered in dark chocolate rather than way-too-sweet milk chocolate. I use almonds in many things, from sprinkling them on top of a chicken stirfry to stirring them into the batter for cranberry/almond scones.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturday morning looks like every other morning of the week except maybe a little later. That doesn't mean that I sleep later, mind you, but that I might have stayed in bed reading later.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I've already shared with you that I've read the book, 'The Day The Revolution Began' by N.T. Wright. This is not a fast and easy read, but so worth every minute. It's like read, think; read, think; read, think; Then there was Shakespeare's King Lear, which I read on my Kindle. Other than that, my next favorite book that I read this winter was  A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton. What a cute kids' picture book! It's a very fun read aloud. And there are some other things I have on my Kindle that I read or read parts of, but I don't recall them offhand and my Kindle is in my purse because I took it to the Social Security office in case I had to wait in line for hours. I like to download articles before I go somewhere too, and read them while waiting. One such article was by Michael Horton. As far as I know, he has no connection to Horton Hears a Who or Horton Hatches The Egg. And I bet he doesn't know Tom Peters either. I might be wrong on that.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last week I got an email from the Social Security office. There was some question about my online application. What?? What question could there possibly be? I had carefully filled out every single blank on that application. Anyway, I phoned them and was told that the current wait time was 15 minutes. I put my phone on speaker so I could listen to a horrid few measures of 'music' and then repeated apologies for it taking so long (on a loop, of course) - and proceeded to occupy my '15 minutes' with checking blogs, reading online articles, petting Tuppence, trying to lick one last drop of coffee out of my mug, etc. After waiting FORTY FIVE minutes, a live voice finally came on the phone. 'Hello?' I IMMEDIATELY said, 'Hello' in response, and then heard a click. I was cut off. I cannot tell you how annoying that was. Then I phoned the office in Chicago, twice, and each time was told that 'the number you have called is not in service.' Then I called the Rice Lake office and was transferred to the number I had called in the first place - the one with the 15 minute wait time that actually turned into 45 minutes and being cut off.

So yesterday, I went to my local SS office and waited less than 10 minutes to talk to a real live person. Surprisingly, they still make those.

Have you guessed the four-letter word?  Okay, this was an easy one, wasn't it.   Next time I'll have to make it a little more difficult.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

 Bonus pic

This post is linked to Eileen's Saturday's Critters


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