Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Inanimate Life of Objects - I have always believed that objects have a life to them and power. It's probably why I have been drawn to second hand shops most of my life. I love knowing that the item whatever it is had a past life. The last couple years - I have inherited so much from my Parents and Grandparents and Uncle and Aunt. The basement is full as I try to find new homes for these objects in our house which have tremendous power and memory for me. As painful as the process of editing their belonging was - so is incorporating these newly transplanted objects. Making room for all of this stuff you cannot part with is a huge undertaking. My mom lives part time with us and I fill her bedroom with as much of her transplanted life as I possibly can since she can't have much in the nursing home that she lives in during the week. I had several of her old lamps rewired and re-shaded to put in our house to make her feel at home. The first pair were from our time in Japan - white ceramic lamps that have been on my parent's bedside tables since I was 5 that now sit in her bedroom here in Bovina. I had them rewired and updated them with new red linen shades. The second pair of amber mediterranean style lamps which are a little dated were a gift from my Dad to my Mom in the 60's in California. I still have to replace the shades but they are so big I have had a time trying to find replacement shades and will probably have to have them customized. They now sit in a guest room. I couldn't part with either pair and make Mom feel at home and that her things are a part of our lives now. There is so much more to edit and add. However, everywhere I look - there are these things that are so full of memory - good or bad - they have such a hold on me.


With all this healthy eating lately - we weren't having any of that for Mom's birthday.  Tim spent the entire day in the kitchen poor guy whipping up one of his award winning dinners - Rio Grande Enchiladas because Mom wanted mexican food for her birthday dinner.  They are so delicious and we miss Tex Mex food badly.  For dessert, he went all out and made this awesome Banana Pudding Ice Box Cake.  Fragile, quick to melt especially on a day like yesterday - it was so delicious!  Thanks Tim. Happy Birthday Mom.  Enjoy!

Vanilla Filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Banana Filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk
3.4 oz package of dry banana cream instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Additional Ingredients
Vanilla Wafer Cookies
1/2 cup milk
3-4 Bananas
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. To prepare the vanilla filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until smooth.
2. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Set aside.
3. To make the whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken.
4. Add powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
5. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
6. To prepare the banana filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until smooth.
7. Add milk and beat until smooth.
8. Add dry banana cream pudding mix and mix until smooth. Mixture will be sticky. Set aside.
9. To make the whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken.
10. Add powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
11. Fold whipped cream into banana mixture. It might seem like it won't come together at first, since the cream cheese mixture is sticky, but carefully fold the two together and they will smooth out.
12. To layer the dessert, first line the sides of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, to make removal from the pan easier. The parchment paper will keep the sides of the dessert from sticking to the pan. Then spread half of the banana filling evenly in the bottom of the pan.
13. Top the banana filling with half of the vanilla filling.
14. Dip vanilla wafer cookies into the milk, one at a time, and add them in a single even layer on top of the vanilla filling.
15. Spread a very thin layer of banana filling on top of the cookies. You should still be able to see the cookies. This layer is primarily to fill ing the gaps left around the cookies.
16. Add a layer of sliced bananas.
17. Top banana slices with remaining banana filling and spread into an even layer.
18. Add remaining vanilla filling and spread into an even layer.
19. Place pan in the freezer until firm, 4-5 hours.
20. Once firm, remove icebox cake from springform pan and place on serving plate.
21. Add additional heavy whipping cream to a mixer bowl and whip until it begins to thicken.
22. Add powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
23. Pipe whipped cream around the edges of the icebox cake and top with additional wafer cookies and banana slices.

Happy 79th Birthday Mom!

Guess who's birthday it is this weekend?  Happy 79th Birthday Mom!  Tim slaved all day making his award winning Rio Grande Enchiladas because Mom wanted mexican food for her birthday dinner.  We all mis Tex Mex food!  For dessert, Tim made a Banana Cream Ice Box cake which was incredible!  Such a nice day and evening spent together.  Love you Mom!  Love you Tim!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

New Skill

Sometimes I am so butch it scares me!  I learned a new skill today!  The garden sheds are over 10 years old and it's time to replace some of the wood siding that has gotten wood rot.  I looked at a couple you tube videos and it seemed easy enough.  The scoring and prying up was the worst part. Then, I cut the patches, caulked and nailed in place and Voila I got it done!  A couple more coats of paint and you would never know I patched them.  Awesome!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Watermelon Feta and Mint Salad

Trying to catch up with my neglectful postings.  As part of our new clean healthy living diet - Tim (Mr. Beach Body himself) has been experimenting with a lot of recipes which we have been enjoying and here is another one I have forgotten to post.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce ( Tabasco)
31/2 cups cubed watermelon
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsp chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1. Combine oil, lemon juice, salt, peper, and hot sauce ( if desired) in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. Combine watermelon, cheese, onion, and mint in a large serving bowl.
3. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to blend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shawarma Spiced Chicken with Yogurt

This was another chicken recipe Tim made recently that I just haven't had the chance to post. The flavor combo of the chicken was so incredible. I could eat this over and over again.  Served with Sautéed onions and riced cauliflower - again - a delicious healthy meal!


  • 1 pound (2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 (7-ounce) container 2% Greek yogurt 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • Chopped parsley (for garnish)

Place the chicken breasts, 1 at a time, in a Ziploc bag.  Pound each breast to an even thickness, about ½-inch thick, being careful not to puncture the bag. Place pounded chicken breasts back into bag and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil and lemon juice.  Whisk until combined.  Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper, salt and black pepper and whisk again. Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken, massaging it to evenly coat.  Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. In a small bowl (or right in the container), combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt.  Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to use. Over medium-high heat, grill the chicken for 3 minutes or until it no longer sticks to the grill. Turn the chicken and grill an additional 3-4 minutes.  Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes then slice it thinly, across the grain.  Top each breast with 2 tablespoons sauce and a sprinkle of parsley.  

Summer Projects

Once July 4th gets past us, we can get on with serious business - summer projects.  We are putting in a new vegetable garden and we got a lot of help from Tim's Dad clearing the land.  We have to build the fencing to protect it . I am working on and in my new wood shop and that is a huge undertaking in itself.  Plus, we have a lot of older projects that just seem to go on and on.  This past weekend I managed to assemble the older home made storage drawers that my Grandfather had built 50 years ago with the shelving unit, my Uncle had added. I had to resize the shelving unit to fit the height of the wood shop and I got that put together. I am working on various tables, flooring and other projects that have to be completed.  I hung vintage garden tools in the back mud room which is a project with no end in sight.  However, I also managed to get the new veggie garden gate built and I will hang it next weekend.  Tim is doing a lot of gardening - cleaning up and re-planting older beds that need to be completely overhauled and planning and implementing the new garden.  I feel that we get so much done over the summer and less done over the winter so having the wood shop will give me some space to work on projects over the winter.