Don't forget to double click on pictures to enlarge

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tues. night dinners

Well I am so far behind that I don't know which dinner I fixed when so I will just post them as they come back to me:)

Spaghetti Bolognese
Bacon bits
Olive oil
Onions, diced -1
Celery stalks, dices-2
Garlic-2-3 cloves
Dried basil -2 tsp.
Dried oregano-2 tsp.
Dices tomatoes, canned-2x14oz.
Small can tomato sauce
Ground beef-2lb.
Handful of fresh mushrooms halved
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: I chopped the veg. large and not diced small
In frying pan sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bacon bits and hamb. in small amount of the olive oil and cook for about 5 min.
Pour in canned tomatoes and ground beef and tomato sauce and one can water. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle in the oregano and basil. Bring to a boil and then cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms about 30 min. before done.
Serve over cooked spaghetti.
Note: I am not a big sauce fan so this hits the mark for me.

Cheese Bread
I Italian-style roll (6 inches)
1 Tb. butter melted
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tb. grated parmesan cheese
Cut roll in diagonal slices. Combine butter, garlic and cheese and spread on cut sides of roll. Broil 4 inches from heat 2-3 min.
Serves two

Buy grapes when in season and freeze in single layer, then put in freezer bags. They are delicious and if you are a red wine drinker add some to your glass...yummy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Castle Hot Springs

This is one of my favorite places to go so I am going to first tell you about the place and then about our little jaunt there last Sunday. This is a copy of a recent magazine.


Castle Hot Springs Resort, as seen in the March 1974 issue of Arizona Highways.
Tucked away in the shadow of the rugged Bradshaw Mountains, not far from Lake Pleasant, Castle Hot Springs once boasted a dazzling guest list — from Rockefellers to Carnegies to a Kennedy. Yet for 40 years, the resort sat empty, frequented only by a caretaker and countless owners whose grand plans for the site fizzled.
The place boasts the kind of rugged beauty that can’t be found at urban resorts. It’s an oasis — a canola-yellow mansion in the mountains, surrounded by natural hot springs, fruit trees and hiking trails. But it sits at the end of a rough, rocky road that Arizona’s official historian calls “not really passable, and not even jackass-able” after heavy rainfall. It endured fires and floods after it opened in 1896; after a 1976 blaze, it closed to the public. It had been maintained by ASU for years and of course no one could get inside but apparently some local business partners are going to endeavor to revive this first Arizona resort and bought the property for $1.95 million at a online auction in 2014. There have been many people that have tried to accomplish this for over 40 years and trust me if it happens I will be first in line. The original drawn guests traveled on private Burlington Northern Santa Fe train cars, hopping off at the Morristown station and climbing onto stagecoaches that transported them to the resort. where guests enjoyed accommodations that included swimming, golf, hiking, horseback-riding and tennis — and, naturally, Arizona’s beautiful weather.
Today, only a few structures remain. Fires claimed the Palm House and the Wrigley Building (named after another famous family that stayed there). The bright-yellow Kennedy Building still stands although mostly gutted. The second floor of the yellow building — referred to as the Kennedy Building, after future President John F. Kennedy, who recuperated there after World War II — once served as a greeting and check-in area for guests. It’s gutted now, but there are a few historical gems that remain, including a telephone booth that reportedly housed the phone with Arizona’s first telephone number: 1.Here are a few pictures from the past...

For more information you can go here

Now here are some pictures of our little jaunt there...

Rough dirt road but look at all the mailboxes!!
 How about these wild donkeys..

You can see the palm trees and the yellow house here.
 Just another abandoned house along the way and
 more palm trees...
This is not a mirage but is Lake Pleasant. A man made lake.
The real problem with restoring Castle Hot springs  is the getting there. The road is very rough and all dirt. Someone said they studied building a cable car from Lake Pleasant but that doesn't sound very feasible either.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tues. dinners

Chicken with mushroom sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup milk

2 boneless chicken breast
1 tbl. olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 med. onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 tbl. butter
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and milk until smooth, set aside. Flatten chicken to 1/4 in thickness. In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in oil over med. heat for 5-6 min. Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms and onions in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch mixture into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened.

The chicken was a bit flat so should maybe add some seasoning to it before cooking it. Loved the sauce and think it would be great over a steak!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tues. night dinner

I am so far behind on this posting that I can't remember when I cooked what lol....

One night I fixed baked cod with a very easy recipe. Wash and dry fish and simply rub some soy sauce over the fish and sprinkle with veg. seasoning. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 min.
but the real hit was the Creamy orzo with asparagus & parmesan
1 cup orzo
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Cook orzo in boiling water until tender, about 10 min. After the orzo has been cooking for about 5 min. add the asparagus to the same pot and continue to cook until all is tender. Drain off the water and quickly add the parmesan cheese and butter. Stir thoroughly, allowing both the cheese and butter to melt. Slowly add the cream to the mixture, while stirring. Continue to stir and add the cream until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

The carrot salad was from the deli:)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My contrubution to fall

I can't tell you how many plants I have planted in this planter and they all die. This is a weed and of course he is thriving.
I decided to take the plunge and simply slip pots of plants for the seasons in the hole starting this fall with this one.
I fell in love with it but it is prettier at close range...
Isn't it amazing?

Monday, October 9, 2017

My new love


 borrowed this picture from the internet.

When thinking about yoga, you may immediately picture Spandex-clad young people in seemingly impossible body contortions. But there's much more to yoga than advanced positions. In fact, yoga is a quiet and relaxing activity that can become a way of life.

If you are a senior, regular yoga practice (2-3 times/week) can play an important part in keeping you healthy, because yoga helps:

  • Reduce swelling in joints
  • Increase joint mobility and strength
  • Improve balance and stability
  • Reduce chances of having a fall
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Aid digestion and elimination
  • Improve sleep
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improve blood flow
  • Improve mood and well-being
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Aid in the grieving process
  • With depression and anxiety

 I have tried yoga in the past and I never was able to connect to it until I recently bought this audio cd

from (there are many different cd's or downloads available).

I have discovered there are three major requirements for yoga:
It is for the above reasons that I never was able to benefit from trying it when I was younger.
I can't tell you the difference it has made in my life now. I feel so much better, stronger and more balanced ...this captures it all.

but since I am at home it matters not and who knows....maybe someday I will be able to do this....
but no matter; what is important is I look forward to doing it and I have never felt that way about exercise before.
ps...there are modifications of the poses if you are heavy or if you can't stand of don't want to get down on the floor there are chair yoga programs.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Horse Trotting Park

This elegant 1,500 seat glass-enclosed grandstand building was built in 1965 on a 194 acre plot of land in the middle of nowhere at the time in Goodyear, Az.  Only someone from New York (James Dunnigan) would think this was a good idea and it lasted for only a little over 2 seasons and then was abandoned for 51 years. Hubby and I went in the forbidden area a few years ago and looked around and oh it must have been something to see it in its day.

Here is a picture I found of the escalator when it was open...

and abandoned   

A fantastic view of the trotters and lit up like a Christmas tree

A unique and elaborate building for sure....

It was for sale for 16.5 million dollars but no one wanted to try to restore it or make it into something else so after sitting all these years they are now tearing it down.

For some it was nothing but a eyesore but for others a point of conversation as you whizzed by on the current freeway................ I will miss it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tues. night dinner

I am still behind on my dinners:)
This was a few weeks ago..

Stuffed Flank Steak
A box of dressing fixed according to directions (I already had this made and in the freezer)
1 1/2 pounds of flank steak pounded thin for easy rolling (I froze some of the meat for a future lunch)
Chopped green onions
Chopped bell pepper
Pkg, of brown gravy mix. I used Pioneer gravy mix and it was really good, I added mushrooms sautéed is butter.
Pound steak and spoon stuffing to within 1 inch of edge of steak, then and the green onions and bell peppers. Roll from the long side and secure with toothpicks. Prepare the gravy and pour over steak. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand before slicing.

I baked a tray of potatoes, carrots and green beans to accompany our steak.
It was a nice dinner and easy to prepare.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Sharing a little sunshine with cooler temperature here.
In the 80's and we call it.....fall

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tues. night dinner

I sure seem to have a hard time keeping up with my Tues. night dinners so here I am trying to play catch up...
One week I fixed a chicken pot pie with biscuits from a old recipe I had and it was just okay so I am not going to post the recipe.

But the next week I fixed all new things and it was great...
The picture doesn't do it justice but here are the recipes
Breaded Pork Chops
1 egg
1 Tbl. BQ sauce
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp. onion salt
2 bone in pork chops (3/4 inch thick)
In a bowl, combine egg and bq sauce and mix well. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, oregano, lemon-pepper and salt. Dip chops in eggs mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Placed in a greased 8 in square baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Bake, uncovered at 325 for 1 hour or until juices run clear. Yeild: 2 servings

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
1 can (14 ounce) whose tomatoes, drained and quartered
2 tbl. Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or 2 tbl. bread crumbs and 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl. shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tbl. butter or margarine
Place the tomatoes in a greased 1 qt. baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs and seasonings and sprinkle over top. Top with the Parmesan cheese and dot with butter. Bake uncovered at 325 for 15 - 20 min. or until lightly browned. Yield: 2 - 3 servings.

Florentine Rice
1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 tbl. pine nuts (optional)
1 cup cooked rice
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 tbl. grated Parmesan cheese

On a microwave-safe place, microwave spinach in package on high 2 - 3 min. Remove from package. Break apart;drain. Reserve 1/2 of spinach for another use. Place nuts on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer. Microwave on high 30 sec. In a small bowl combine all other ingredients and mix well. Microwave at 70% 4 to 5 min or until mixture begins to set. Makes 2 servings.

The pork chops could be served with anything but the tomatoes and rice definitely complimented each other.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Granddaughter was in town

My granddaughter is going to college in Colo. and was here for a volleyball tournament.
She is the one in the red shirt
Think it is so funny that they are called "the Spartans" and when I was in high school that was our name too.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Something new

If you have followed my blog you know that I have knitted for babies in need for many years and the chapter I donated to here closed so I have been trying to make other things that might be needed. Here is my latest project....
It is called a twiddle muff and it is for people with dementia. There is things inside to twiddle with as well as the outside and helps keep down anxiety. They can be make in crochet or knitted and even quilted into a lapghan.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tues. night dinner

This was last weeks dinner:
Smoked pork chops, fresh green beans and a baked yam.
If you can believe it I had never cooked a fresh yam, only canned and had this idea that I wanted to try one fresh. I bought a really big one and cleaned it and poked holes in it and cooked it in the microwave until soft. I melted 2 tsp. butter and to it added 1 tsp. cinnamon, 3 tsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Mixed that all together and halved and opened the potato and poured evenly over each half. Popped two to three marshmallows on each one and put under broiler until melted. It doesn't look so good in the picture but oh my it sure did taste good.
For the green beans I had a old recipe that I used and just cut way down. Only bought one slice of bacon and just a few boiling onions. The man in the meat market got a big kick out of my big purchase haha. I am learning to make it work for us.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tues. night dinners catch up

Two weeks ago I had one steak in the freezer so I came up with the idea of  slicing it in strips and cooking it in butter. I then make a Parmesan steak sauce:
I cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
garlic powder and a little dried basil
Heat cream but not boiling, add cheese and spices and stir till all mixed smooth.

I had cooked noodles ready and added the strips of steak on top and the sauce on top of that.
It was really good:) A side of cooked peas rounded it all out.

Then last week I prepared a new recipe of stuffed chicken breast with provolone cheese and asparagus. I was not impressed with it so won't bother to share it however the sides I came up with were a big hit.
cherry tomatoes
all sliced to your liking.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little lemon pepper. Drizzle just a tab of Italian dressing and mix well.

Small pencil asparagus washed and placed in a elongated dish. Drizzles with olive oil and salt and pepper and cover and microwave until tender.

Now on to shop for tonight's dinner...................

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Paper money (2)

The first printing of $2 bills was in 1862, just one year after the U.S. Treasury began printing paper money. Initially, the bill featured Alexander Hamilton, but in 1869, the first Secretary of the Treasury was replaced with Thomas Jefferson, whose portrait still graces the tender

 and the back has Declaration of Independence.

The seeming rarity of a $2 bill can be attributed to its low printing numbers as a Federal Reserve Note. Hoarding of the series due to lack of public knowledge of the $2 bill has resulted in very few bills seen in circulation.
Today, there is a common misconception by the general public that the $2 bill is no longer in production. According to the Treasury, it "receives many letters asking why the $2 bill is no longer in circulation". In response, the Treasury stated: "The $2 bill remains one of our circulating currency denominations... As of April 30, 2007 there were $1,549,052,714 worth of $2 bills in circulation worldwide."

Here is a interesting tidbit....Heather McCabe runs a blog, Two Buckaroo, where she documents the reactions of unsuspecting cashiers when she uses $2 bills in everyday transactions. I checked and her blog is still up and running if you are interested.

I believe hubby and I have a few of these put in the safe, how about you?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tues night dinner

I seem to have gotten behind on my Tues night dinners so this is week before last....
I fixed it all just like the picture

Salisbury Steak
Makes 4 servings

I pound ground beef
1 egg
1 tbl. tomato paste
1 tbl. yellow mustard
2 tbsl. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste.

1 large onion diced (about 2 cups)
2-3 tbl. flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tbl. soy sauce

Combine all of the first ingredients and mix well. Form into four steak like patties. Melt butter in frying pan and brown well on each side (four or five min.). Remove and place on plate covered with foil.
Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook until caramelized, stir to coat. Sprinkle the flour  and cook another few seconds. Add the broth gradual stirring until thick. Add the meat patties back and heat till all is warm.

There is plenty of gravy for the mashed potatoes and the peas add just a smudge of sweetness. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paper money

There is such history in our paper money that if you are bored one day you can just start looking it up and I guarantee you will be  captured for some time. Especially how the value's changed but I want to focus more on the actual notes for my adventure.
We will start at the beginning of course...

Well actually,the first bill tenderer was in 1862: issued as Legal Tender note with a Portrait of Salmon P.Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln and many other designs came along until 1929 when all bills were made into a smaller design and this became our one dollar bill. You can read more about this here.

The portrait of George Washington on the current U.S. one-dollar bill is actually an unfinished work by the artist Gilbert Stuart.

Stuart painted several portraits of the first U.S. president, but the one that is on today’s one-dollar bill was commissioned by Washington’s wife, First Lady Martha Washington. In the course of painting, George Washington passed away.
This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. That is why if you wash it,you can dry it and use it again as it is actually material. The life span of a one dollar bill is approximately 4.8 years. Worn out money is shredded and recycled.
Have you ever wondered how the Presidents were chosen to be on our money?
It requires a Act of Congress,  Secretary of Treasury on the advise of the Engraving Office. After the design is chosen, it's reviewed by Fine Arts Commission. There was talk a while back about President Obama being put on a bill but only dead top leaders get their portraits on currency so this probably won't happen in our lifetime.

On the front you will see the United States treasury seal....

The green seal stamped over the word “one” to the right of Washington’s portrait is the United States Treasury Seal, which contains balancing scales to represent justice, a key (the symbol of office authority) and a chevron with thirteen stars to represent the 13 original states. This seal is found on all denominations of bills. All the other things like the K and the numbers represent different things and you can read up on it if you are interested but the back on the one dollar is far more interesting.

" In God we trust" was as added in 1957 to the back of all our bills. The pyramid....

The pyramid on the dollar bill represents strength and duration. Some interpret the missing top as a sign that the country wasn’t finished yet. Similarly, the western face of the pyramid is in a shadow while the front is lighted, which some say indicates that the nation hadn’t explored the West or figured out what it would do for Western civilization yet but When Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams gathered to design the seal (they were the first of three committees to make suggestions), they didn’t suggest a pyramid, but they did discuss an eye. They wanted the seal to have a symbol of divine providence, and the all-seeing eye shaped like the top of the pyramid is an ancient symbol of divinity.
In Latin above the pyramid reads “annuit coeptis,” which means “God has favored our undertaking and below the phrase “novus ordo seclorum,” which is interpreted as “a new order of the ages.” 

Across the bottom bricks of the pyramid are the letters “MDCCLXXVI.” These letters are the Roman numerals for 1776, the year America declared its independence.

Eagle's Shield

In front of the eagle—a uniquely American bird—is a shield, which is unsupported to signify Americans should rely on their own virtue. The horizontal top bar of the shield symbolizes the federal government, and it holds together yet is supported by vertical bars that represent individual states (13 at the time it was designed).
It’s no surprise that the stars over the eagle represent the 13 colonies. But what’s surrounding them? The official description says it’s glory “breaking through a cloud” above the eagle, but current versions have a cloud surrounding the rays.
The eagle holds an olive branch (representing peace) in its right talon and arrows (symbolizing war) in its left talon. But on silver coins from 1801 to 1807, the eagle held them in opposite talons. European diplomats and journalists claimed putting the arrows in the eagle’s dominant talon was a symbol of aggression, and called it a reason to start a war, so America decided to switch the peaceful symbol to the dominant side on the dollar.
Note: The number 13 is very unpopular due to the belief that it is bad luck and in fact many hotels have no number thirteen room yet isn't it interesting that here on the dollar bill the number 13—the original number of American states—appears many times. There are 13 arrows, 13 olive branch leaves, 13 olive fruits, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 steps of the pyramid, and 13 bars on the shield.

Our dollar bill is becoming as insignificant as our pennies these days but I hope that now, like me, you will never look at one quite the same.
Stay tuned for paper money 2...............................