Thursday, July 15, 2010

Miscellaneous Cleaning, Cooking, Meal Planning and Baking Week

 The creek is low, but there are still some fish in it!

This past week has been kind of busy but really interesting too.  It all started with our return from Denver after Bob had his preliminary check up and preparation for his upcoming radiation treatments. (A whole other subject for a future blog) We will be staying in a hotel for 7 weeks and decided we could not afford to eat out every meal.  We are planning on eating most meals in the room using a microwave and refrigerator.  It will kind of be like living in a dorm during summer school all over again!!!  Anyway, with that in mind I have been preparing meals I think I can freeze in small amounts and and then reheat in our tiny hotel microwave.  So far I have some homemade enchiladas, spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken salad (leftover from the hot chicken salad in my last blog--not sure how that freezes up)  individually wrapped brownies, big cinnamon streusel muffins and caramel bars, sliced ham and I'm thinking probably sliced prime rib which I will be discussing.

 These enchiladas will be great!  I freeze them often and they still are really good.

 All ready frozen and ready to take to Denver.

 Muffins should work well for breakfast!  Brownies are ready to be a snack!

 An assortment of foods to use while in Denver!

Meanwhile, we are trying to save money by not going into town for anything except maybe once a week or less.  So, we ran out of bread and I decided to make bread one day.  I made my favorite English muffin bread (3 loaves) and then finally made a bread machine loaf of Ginger Lemon bread that I have been wanting to try but never had the right ingredients.  It needs crystallized ginger and candied lemon peel.  Since I had decided to devote my day to this bread baking event, I made my own candied lemon peel (Ozzie had bought a few lemons when they were here plus someone had left an orange here and I needed to get them all used up).  I found a recipe for candied orange and lemon peels on my old faithful  They turned out really good and I even have a bunch left that I saw where someone had dipped them in melted chocolate for a great Christmas treat!  Might just have to try it for a nice summer treat.

My candied orange and lemon peel.  I think I'll dip it in chocolate for a nice treat!

 The crystallized ginger I got on our trip to San Antonio last winter.  I saw this big bag--maybe even a lb. of it for $2.29!  Way cheaper than those little bottles you get on the spice shelf!  I couldn't resist so I have this huge bagful in my cupboard now.  It worked great for the 1/2 cup I needed for the bread!

 Crystallized Ginger.  This is after 1/2 cup has been used, too!

  The loaf was huge and almost pushed the lid open on my bread machine!  It tastes great and there will be no leftovers to freeze by the time we leave for Denver in 1 1/2 weeks!

 Ginger lemon bread.  Very yummy for breakfast.

  There are 2 loaves of the other bread still in the freezer so we might have some of that bread left.  I have been having trouble lately with that recipe because the loaves don't seem to be raising as high as they used to.

The kind of small, but still tasty, bread loaves.

I thought it might be the yeast was getting old even though I keep it in the freezer but then my lemon loaf did a lot of raising and it was the same yeast!  I'll have to work on this problem some more I guess.

Ok, while I was doing all this cooking and baking my cousins who I hadn't seen since Marianne and Pat's wedding were coming to Steamboat for a family reunion and wanted to come see us.  First, Jonathon and a friend who are in the Marines and are stationed in San Diego came a day early and spent it up here fishing and hiking around.  They caught some fish and seemed to have a great time.  Jonathon was here when he was about 5 or so but doesn't remember anything.  That was the only time I ever saw him until this week!  We had a real enjoyable visit.  they went over Buffalo Pass to Steamboat for the reunion.  A few days later, Jonathon, his mom, Patti  and his brother Cory all came over to visit.   Patti, Bob and I had a nice visit while the boys fished and 4 wheeled.  I was hoping they would stay for dinner and had taken out a prime rib roast to thaw, but they were scheduled in for dinner in Steamboat so Bob and I ended up with 5 lbs. of perfectly delicious Prime Rib to eat!  I'm thinking some of it will make it down to Denver with us!  The brownies and spaghetti that are in the freezer came from the dinner I had for Jonathon and his friend.

The cleaning came when I thought maybe Patti and her family might be able to stay overnight.  I finally tackled the Red Room and got it kind of cleaned , vacuumed and beds made ready for guests.  Now I need someone to come stay and use all my cleaned up rooms! I also found a product that removes all the rust scum from my bathroom fixtures.  It's "The Works" shower cleaner and also "The Works" toilet cleaner.  Barkeeper's Friend also works but you need to use more elbow grease with it!

The Red Room after I straightened out the collected storage stuff,

Now I need to get someone to help me find a spot for all this stuff that needs storing!

The Honeymoon Suite (a story for another blog!).

Skyler's favorite bed in the Blue Room.

 The favorite bed (except for Skyler) in the Blue Room.  Old Nintendo game is still there, too.

During all this activity Bob and I went over to Steamboat for a CSU Alumni get together at the Town Pub (Marianne and Pat's favorite eatery over there).  They had Cam the Ram outside on the sidewalk and all kinds of people were stopping and getting their pictures taken with the ram but I had left my camera in the car so no pictures for us.  I still don't think to use the camera phone I now have!  They had THE BEST deep fried mushrooms.  Bob had a whole plateful of them and I had to go back and get one last one just as we were leaving!  It inspired me to try to make some for dinner one night with the sliced mushrooms we had from Sam's.  They were good, but not as crunchy as the coating on the ones at the Town Pump.  Maybe I'll try Panko crumbs next time but I don't think that is quite the answer.

One last thing before I end this.  Matt Shuler came out with a friend and his 4 year old daughter to do a little fishing last weekend.  They fished in the creek which is extremely shallow right now and caught 4 fish about 7 or 8 inches long!  I now need to go down and see what I can do!  I was going to put on a recipe for my old standby Pizza Burgers but this is too long already so maybe tomorrow......

Taken in the same area where it was flooding not so long ago!  You can walk across without getting your feet wet now!

We actually saw some fish jumping where the old dammed up pool was.

What's left of the beaver pond.  I think this is where the little girl caught her fishes


  1. I guess Jim and I will be the first visitors to stay in the cleaned up bedroom. Or we may stay in the honeymoon sweet. Who knows.


  2. Thanks for your stories Penny - always enjoyable!
    The Red room look great.

  3. The read room does look great, but you know that Ozzie would rather stay in the honeymoon sweet, If it is not out of order.


  4. I meant red room.