Monday, October 26, 2015

Comfort Food Redone.

 Good Morning! How was your weekend? Mine was packed full of fun. Little miss is always a joy, but after not seeing her for a month I really enjoyed this weekend. I put the computer, phone, and camera away and simply enjoyed every minute with her. My house looks it too; there are toys every where and many chores that where left undone still to do. I don't care not a little bit, the laughs,hugs,and kisses were worth the extra mess and effort it will take to get it all back in order. The above photo is from years ago and my first attempt at portraits, something I still struggle with today.
  Today I want to share a recipe with you that is so interchangeable that you can completely make this your own recipe. Thats exactly what I did; the ingredient list is my doing the idea and instruction are my friend Lynn's doing. She is an awesome cook and has more then 100 recipes posted on the recipe web site called Just A Pinch.
Lynn's recipes
   The original recipe or the first time I saw Lynn post a picture of this was a simple 3 or 4 ingredient recipe and it used only one pan and a cutting board. Quick and easy with very little mess.
 The 4 ingredients that never change are Sliced potatoes, Sliced onion red or white,  a pepper of your choosing , and cheese. I don't think the original recipe had cheese, I really can't remember. 
  Lynn layered the ingredients around in a circle in a cast iron pan drizzled it with oil and baked them until the potatoes were tender and slightly browned. 

  I tried the recipe just as Lynn had pictured it and we gobbled it down like we hadn't eaten in a week. The recipe stuck in a corner of my brain and just sat there for a week or two; until we invited friends over to see the new house and I made a ham for sandwiches. Even while everyone had 2 healthy sandwiches there was a lot of leftover ham. 
  Standing in the kitchen one morning shortly after our little gathering; trying to decide what to make for dinner a light bulb went on in my head and the potato circle bake popped right into view, and that is how the potato circle became potato Au gratin circle bake. Is it scalloped or Au gratin when you use cheese? This recipe has no cream or milk in it and is still warm and cheesey like a good comfort food should be. I personally think this way of making potato Au gratin is better tasting.

 You will need 
a cutting board
an oven safe skillet, size depending on how big you want it.
a sharp knife
a 400 degree oven
potatoes sliced ( bigger sized potatoes are best ) Depending on the size and how many people your serving I used 5 medium size and had leftover to use for something else.
 Left over ham cut into pieces a little smaller then your potato slices.
At least 2 Peppers, I used a green bell and a poblano cut into medium sized chunks.
1 large onion sliced into rounds
A handful of mushrooms sliced ( he likes mushrooms in everything)
Cheese I used block sharp cheddar cut into medium thick squares and sliced American divided into 4 squares ( use as much or as little as you like )
 Olive oil for drizzling about 2 tbs give or take.
   To begin layering drizzle a little oil into your pan and spread it around. Start with a potato slice propping it up slightly on the pan edge, next is the ham, the pepper, the onion, mushroom and then the cheese. Continue layering like that all around the pan until the bottom is completely covered. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle oil on top covering all the potatoes lightly. Place the pan in preheated oven and let bake until potatoes are tender and lightly browned, and most importantly the cheese is all melted. About an hour.

 Keeping the 3 original ingredients you can turn this idea into a dozen different delicious easy meals.
  Hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we did.

    Enjoy you Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Back In The Saddle.

It is hard to believe that I have been away from my blog for almost a year. It was for good reason, a happy reason, but a long time to be away none the less. Let me just say if you have a personality like mine; before you go house hunting and eventually buy a house, you should see your doctor and get a sedative or two. I was unable to do anything else except concentrate on house hunting all spring and summer. First you do the research and find homes to look at and then you do the actual looking; the bidding comes next, and after bidding and losing on 2 houses, your new home the one that's been waiting for you appears and then the hard part begins. Oh I thought I was going to go crazy during this stage. Your waiting with bated breath as it is praying nothing falls through, and by day 3 of the 30 day wait you are praying that your phone just won't ring. Because you know if it does it will be the Realestate agent telling you the house isn't going to be ready for closing, or the mortgage guy needing just one more bank statement or signature or maybe just your left arm and a blood sample. Then 10 more calls from both of them and the selling agent just to reassure me that everything will be ready for closing.That is how my days went for what seemed like forever.Until finally one day we all sat down in an office where 10 pounds or more of paper was signed, at last all the searching, waiting, and worrying was done; the house was now our home. Now I could finally breath again and think about something other then finding a house to make our home. I could think about taking pictures again, blogging, as well as walking and all the other fun stuff I like to do. Well I could think about them any way; I still had a few things to get done before I could actually do any of this fun stuff; like I had to move. If you have ever moved before you know without my telling you, moving is a beast, a big burly ugly beast. Moving after living in the same storage unlimited space for over a decade is a big ugly beast that refuses to die. I am not sure we will ever be done moving; I am sure however we are happy.
  And I had decided my first blog WAS NOT going to be about the trials and tribulations of house hunting and buying. Oops. 
  What I had planned for my first writing was actually less writing and more pictures. I have between unpacking boxes managed a walk or two and I have indeed unpacked my camera. I have more then a few pictures for my welcome back post. All the photos are from the area around me, we moved into a gated community with lots and lots of homes; located right in the middle of farm land and preserved woodlands. It is like living in the burbs and the woods all at once.

There are barns everywhere I look. I found all of these less than a mile from my doorway.

This picture is for my friend Christine Peckelis. She passed away suddenly this year, she is not forgotten; just sorely missed. Christine always loved the photos where I got down on the ground and tried to peek between the trees.
Here are some random pretties that Autumn always brings.

Last but not least the front of my house as I get ready for Halloween and a visit (finally) with the little miss. Yes that is Trevor the pig basking in the sunshine on my front lawn. He has always graced the sail boat that I grew herbs in, now he is my guardian pig. He's happy as always.

It feels good to be writing again and it feels even better to have the worry free time to do it.
  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Short Story Continued

   Joe quickly ducked back behind the big ole tree trunk he had been hiding behind, as Lily Mea fainted. Sinking down to the ground Joe smiled to himself to see Lily Mea was alive and looking well. He wished she hadn't said his name but that just couldn't be helped. Joe was also very happy to see Lily Mea was no longer wearing that God awful dress. He had felt so bad for her along the trail between the heat and the dirt Lily Mea had no chance of being comfortable. And then again he did warn her more than once to get some sensible cloths, but she didn't listen. " Oh well thats no worry now, my worry now is how do I get her out of there with out getting us both killed." 
    As Joe sat thinking behind the tree, the ladies were reviving Lily Mea all talking at once making no sense, not that Lily Mea understood them or even really heard them, she was to busy trying to catch another glimpse of Joe. Lily Mea wasn't sure if she really saw him or if her mind was playing tricks on her. Just as she was about to convince herself she was seeing things, Lily Mea caught a quick glance of the back of Joe's head as he hurriedly made his way deeper into the forrest. Unfortunately Lily Mea wasn't the only one to see Joe moving into the trees. Unseen by anyone including Joe, Reo had been standing a short ways away when Lily Mea fainted, he was about to approach the group of women when he noticed Lily Mea franticly looking around as if she were looking for something or someone. At the very moment Lily Mea spotted Joe so did Reo. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cut and Paste A learning Experience

 At this point I haven't been brave enough to purchase a software program for editing and altering photos. For now I use the free ones out there. As you can imagine the free ones aren't as advanced as say Photoshop and don't offer as many options but it is a good place to start. I use 4 different editing programs each offering me something a little different as well as many tools that are exactly the same. piZap for instance offers cut and paste editing, something I would like to get good at.
  Here are my first 3 attempts. Crud and simple I know but you got to start some where.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

 Dog sitting this weekend so my kids could go enjoy a little mini vacation. Perfect opportunity to play with my camera.