Saturday, December 31, 2011

My New Years Resolutions for 2012

I don't as a rule have New Year's Resolutions, but I am willing to not be as mean as years past:

So for 2012:

I resolve to:

Not be so mean to Justin Beiber- I still can't stand him as a celebrity, but he has shown the ability to laugh at himself, and he has given much back to charity.
And For 2012, I resolve to not be so mean to Martha Stewart- That Bitch has everything. And she shares her DIY Ideas... so who am I to criticize?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Booze Free New Year's

First, I think we drink too much in this country. That being said , if you go out on New Year’s Eve, make sure someone is the Designated Driver. That means no alcohol for that “designated” person. Here are a few ideas on how to make the evening a little more DD friendly. And trust me- you do not want a DUI to start the new year. First- make sure where you are going has non alcoholic drinks. This may include Sodas, Sparkling waters, coffee, tea. My thing is to go to bars that have an espresso machine. And you would be surprised how many bars now cater to non- drinkers. They have to. Most states now have laws that include the bar that served DUI people. Call ahead to find out. If you are going to a private party or staying home… then the world is your oyster. There are a number of sites that have non-alcoholic cocktails or “mocktails”. I will list some of them at the end of this post.

One of the best things I have seen (and use) for the home “Dry bar”… A Soda Stream soda maker. It makes sodas for pennies a glass. And if you are adamant about no plastic, you can make Sodas using flavored syrups. They come in glass bottles. That is how I make Crème Soda- I jigger or 1 oz. of Torani’s Sugar-Free Vanilla Crème syrup to 8 oz of soda on Ice. Or try making your own syrups. Ginger Ale is easy

Good places to find "Mocktail" Recipes:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Roast Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk

* 1 Brussels Sprouts Stalk
* 3/4 cup Maple Syrup
* 1/4 cup Olive Oil
* Freshly Ground Black Pepper & Sea Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Trim the stalk down to the fullest, best looking part. Trim sprouts off one side to make a flat bottom. Trim any "tough" leaves from the sprouts. Rinse stalk and trimmed sprouts well in fresh water. Wrap damp stalk in cling wrap and heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Place the trimmed loose sprouts in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Whisk maple syrup and olive oil together. Place stalk flat side down along with any loose sprouts on a roasting pan and pour the maple syrup mixture over. Use a pastry brush to mop the maple syrup onto all sides of the sprouts and stalk. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until sprouts on stalk are fork tender and caramelize to a golden color. To serve: Place stalk on a holiday platter, pour any syrup from roasting pan over and garnish with something bright and tart such as dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

REVIEW: The Non-Toxic Avenger By Deanna (Crunchy Chicken) Duke

This was a hard book for me to read. Not because Ms. Duke used words that I don't understand. Quite the contrary- she writes her prose in a way that flows and is easily understood by the lower classes (of which I am proudly one of!). It was hard, because I have read her blog almost every day for four years. And I didn't want to find anything to be critical of.

Well I can relax. There is nothing in her book that is particularly frightening. Well nothing, but the subject matter itself. I don't know about you, but I don't like to think of toxins in my pure body. Deanna does. And she likes to talk about it. Deanna has no secrets. She honestly talks about those nasty things that get in our bodies, often using her own body tox test results. She also talks about Hank's (Mr. Chicken) myeloma. And her son Henry's (little rooster) aspbergers, and the possibility that toxins are the cause. But talking about ones health and body toxins and doing it in a no nonsense, easy speak manner is a gift. I was able to read this book in one good sitting. Which says a lot considering I have trouble reading this type of book. Maybe it's because I have harassed Deanna for years in the blog-o-sphere, or maybe it's because I consider her a friend... but I can really suggest this book to help find out what's in your system!

Suffice it too say, it was really a good book to read. I learned a lot. Thanks Deanna!

I rate the Non- Toxic Avenger Three and a half green thumbs up!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Re-Cycled Baked Beans

No- it is not what you are thinking! I was looking at the left over sauce from my last batch of Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts I made for Christmas eve, and got an Idea- I got 2 cans of Pinto Beans and mixed them with the sauce in the same pot that I use to serve the chestnuts ... Baked Beans in a flash! A great "re-use" for food.

Monday, December 26, 2011

What was on your Christmas plate?

Don't know if this is traditional in Scandinavian homes through out the U.S., but here is our traditional Christmas Dinner- Clock wise from top- Potato Sausage- A sausage made with potato, pork and beef; Klub (pronounced Clüb) a potato dumpling; Side Pork; and Lefse (a traditional Norwegian potato flat bread)

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Dogs "woof" Santa Claws and why Jack Russel terriers are so friggin cute!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Romeo Photo Shoot

You know I couldn't finish the year with out a "Cute Dog" post. Here are the proofs from Romeo's Photo Shoot, there are over 90 photo's; theses are the photographer's picks; 

 This is my favorite Romeo on one of the posts in front of the suncatcher statue in Town Square Park

Goodbye Old Paint... Hello New Sweetness

Hello Einstein!
Well I finally bought a new ride.. say hello to Einstein, my new Scion IQ. It was sad to say good bye to Ichiro, my old Suzuki... it had served me well for 16 years- I hope his new owner will appreciate it as much as I did. NOTE: I still haven't realized my dream of owning and driving an electric car, but until the car companies make it easier to buy them (Without involving the useless GEEK squad) I am guessing that there is no market for me in them.
Good bye Ichiro!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Favorites!

Every year it happens - people post some of the most creative things. Here are my Favorites for this year...

Ok, if I had seen this Grinch Tree prior to putting up my artificial one, I would have done it as well. I am loving this whimsical tree that  you can plant after the Holiday
 I have an old sled, made by my grandpa for my dad, used later for ME by my mom to cart her baby to the town grocery and post office (they installed a wooden box on it) and I still have the sled! While it is too big to use as a centerpiece in my dining room, it could be used to put my grinch tree on next year! I love this centerpiece from Tammy Hodges, one of my fellow contributors at Junkmarket Style!
This little "Solar-Powered Santa" can be found at Even with a pompom instead of an LED light, he would be a jolly old elf to put on my tree!
Looks like I will be busy next year. I know how to make tied dyed looking glass ornaments with clear glass ornaments and tempera paints, but ChrysN explains how to make these cool ornaments with Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol!
 Finally, we come to another sled- an ornament made from popsicle sticks!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Would you like to fly in my beautiful Balloon?

One of the advantages to joining Craft parties is you get so many great Ideas from the other bloggers, Like my hot air baloon ornament, which I found on The Cheese Thief. Very simple to make, I substituted a small jewelry type box for the basket. I got my plastic ornament from Ikea "As-Is", plastic is so easy to drill into. I think it makes a smart looking ornament... Cap'n Jack likes it too!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trader Joe's DIY Gift tags and a Bow!

Note: I know, i know -  this is the second DIY Gift tag post I have put up, but when I saw the printing on the bag I had to do it~

I was looking at a Trader Joe's paper bag, before dissassembling it for gift wrapping paper, and noticed the front had gift tags printed on the kraft paper. Well never one to leave a greener freebie alone I got out my trusty scissors and proceded to cut out some gift tags. A little jute twine and I was ready.

Then I read on, the side panels are printed too- for making paper chains. "Well I am not a kid so I a'int making no paper chains", I frowned. So I made a bow to go with the tags! Making a bow is easy just follow these simple instructions found at How about Orange blog.

 And the back of the bag is perfect for wrapping a small present! A Re-Use Hat trick!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Stockings were hung by the Chimney with care...

Well this year Romeo and I are going all out for Santa. I ordered some canvas stockings from Oriental Trading Company, and used my Sharpie Stain Fabric Markers to decorate. I have stockings leftover... maybe they will turn into gift bags for next year? Speaking of Romeo and christmas... I just got his christmas pic with the old elf. Cute dog, No?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


 This year, as last I made my own gift tags- the above are made out of a christmas card from my dentist... simple- just cut and punch a hole
This are made from some mini ornaments I found at Big Lots and some cut up coffee sleeve protectors from a local espresso shop. I like the "cardboardy" look.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Member of Paperback Swap? Donate those Credits!

Harney Elementary, Vancouver, WA

If you are a member of the Paperback Swap kudos to you! You are helping the environment by recycling your used books, CD's and DVD's. But now there is a way to help out Schools in your area. Paperback Swap has a Books for Schools program, And if you have been gaining credits at Paperback Swap, you can now donate them to the school or schools of your choice to put books in their Libraries and classrooms. They also have a Military Book donation program to donate books to members of our military. But the donation is quick easy and only cost you credits made while actively participating in the book swap,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pig Kisses... A cookie Elvis would love

I was sitting around, without much to do, and started thinking about cookies and how I could kick my peanut butter kisses up a notch... so of course I thought "BACON". So in true Elvis fashion I came up with a   cookie I simply call Pig Kisses

1 c. peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (I use a 16 oz. Jar of Adams "no stir" Crunchy and double the recipe)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
12 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled
 Combine above ingredients. Roll into small balls, about 1 inch. Place on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper, Bake at 350 degrees until done (about 7-10 minutes). Top with a Hershey's Kiss while cookies are still warm. Let Cool on pan or place in a refrigerator for 10-15 minutes
(Note there is no flour in this recipe. Not an omission on my part- just doesn't call for it! So happy Gluten free cookie break!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frozen Pea Salad

Easiest salad to put together ever! I use Ranch dressing to kick it up a notch. Great with or without bacon!

2 c. frozen peas (uncooked)
1/2 c. green onions chopped
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon bits or crisp bacon broken into pieces if desired (TVP "morningstar farms" soy bacon works good- I think the salad is fine without bacon)
1/2 c. ranch dressing or mayonnaise

Mix together with salad dressing or mayonnaise. Garnish with a rosemary sprig if desired. Serve

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Great Re-Uses for Common Kitchen Items

The ladies over at Two Frugal Chicks put up their top three re-uses for common kitchen items from Real well, here are my favorites!
Cocktail Shaker Egg Scrambler
Binder clip as a chip clip
Gravy Boat as a unique soap dish
Aluminum Foil as a fixture protector
Bundt pan as a Vertical Roaster
Dish towel as a Wine Gift Bag!
Coffee filter as a snack server

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Dear Santa-

I, as last year, have been very good this year. Yet last year I didn't see a new Tesla Roadster under my tree. I ask for so little. So see if you could do a little better this year, Okay? Now on to my list...

  • A new Rockler Versacut Saw- this would be so good to do those jobs around the house. Lightweight and easy to handle (I bet that Lisa at Condo Blues could use one too. But send mine first please. She has enough tools already.)

  • Buckyballs- because you can never have enough mind numbing toys. Besides I think it would be fun to play with my balls at work!
  • And one more thing... My dog, Romeo, would like a Zack and Zooey Jacket as we take long walks and it can get cold! He, like me, has been especially good this year!
So that is my 2011 list for Christmas. So see if you could better than last year and get me one of each. You don't want me to come up to the north pole, you darn old sonofabitch!