Menu Plan Monday May 26 – Sesame Cucumber Salad and Four Layer Delight

May 26th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

A week of eating (and cooking) simply.

Potato and Leek Casserole
Rice with Twin Oaks Chorizo Sausage
Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

No pictures today, but I do have two recipes for you.

I have been a bit excited to finally get a wee harvest of radishes. No lettuce, just radishes. So what do can you do with radishes? Sesame Cucumber and Radish salad (which my husband has been thoroughly enjoying.

The recipe – more or less:

Two Cucumbers – peel the cucumbers, slice in half long wise, scoop out the seeds and then slice the halves short wise into thin pieces

Radishes – cut into thin slices

Dressing – 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2/3 cup sesame oil, 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar, sprinkle of salt. Whisk together and pour over cucumbers and radishes. Let sit overnight.

Another recipe from “the vault” that is my recipe box. This is a good dessert for warmer weather (or a Memorial Day BBQ).

Four Layer Delight

This all goes into a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Layer 1 – Mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup oleo (margarine). Pat into pan and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool.

Layer 2 – Mix 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping (9 ounce, er, 8 ounce container).

Layer 3 – Make 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding (the recipe calls for French Vanilla – do they make that any more?) with 3 cups of milk. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Layer 4 – Top with the remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.


What’s on your menu?


A Dollhouse Miniature Room Screen

May 25th, 2014

I am totally empathizing with Brae’s latest post right now. Moving and getting a house ready to sell is practically a full time job (especially, for me, after living in the same place for almost 30 years.)

At any rate, somebody somewhere (I sure wish I remembered who and where) had a challenge to recreate a magazine picture in miniature. I thought I might do the one below, but alas, it didn’t work out.  Among other things, I couldn’t duplicate the fabric on that sofa.

So, I thought I would share the room screen I started to put together. What I had in mind was to print out the three sections on card stock or on paper and then glue to wood pieces. Simple hinges could be made from glued strips of fabric or even (not showing) duct tape. For the dedicated or the good of eye sight, there are mini hinges available.

Maybe you will have better luck with this project than I did. Enjoy! (Be sure to click the pictures to get the full size images.)


Menu Plan Monday May 19

May 19th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

This week I decided to make a big old batch of rice and a variety of goodies to go on top.

Kung Pao “Chicken”
“Beef” Chow Mein
General Tso’s Tofu

And for lunches some Lentil Soup.

I also went on a bit of a pie crazy. I thought it was time to use of some of the pumpkin in the freezer (that I grew) so it didn’t languish there until I got the new batch of pumpkins for this year. I also made (since I got some whipped topping for the pumpkin pie) some Easy Lemon Pie.

Easy Lemon Pie really is.

The official recipe is:

1 – 6 ounce can frozen lemonade
1 – 13 ounce can evaporated milk
1 – 9 ounce container of whipped topping
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 drops of yellow food coloring

Mix everything together and place into a graham cracker crust. Chill overnight.

Now the funny thing about this recipe I have (yes, it’s that old) is that I can no longer find 6 ounce cans of lemonade and the evaporated milk is now 12 ounces and the whipped topping is 8 ounces. So the adapted recipe would be:

a little less than half a 12 ounce can frozen lemonade
1 – 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 – 8 ounce container whipped topping

And then I tend to forget to get a lemon so I skip that and I also skip the food coloring. The thing that can not be skipped is the graham cracker crust. The secret to this pie is that it becomes pie like because the extra juice gets soaked into the crust. I highly recommend it, gentle lemon flavor and tastes like Summertime.

(By the way, you can use this basic recipe and fill in other frozen concentrate juices for variety – lime and orange are good, too.)

My main occupation this May, aside from painting painting painting has been getting in a raised bed garden. I am pretty pleased with the start of things and it is still a work in progress. Some warmer weather veggies are stumbling with the ups and downs in the temperature, but I have high hopes that Summer will indeed come.

My peas have done very well.

The raised beds keep things containerized <grin>. Here’s my strawberry bed.

The big piles in the background are from cleaning out the bottom of the garage for some additional, temporary storage space.

Can you see the toy tractor in background? I found that under the garage and decided it would fun to have it as a garden ornament.

That’s it for this week. What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, get ready for the end of school with some Graduation Clip Art at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday – Cinco De Mayo Version

May 5th, 2014

Painting. Painting. And more painting.

That’s what I have been doing and doing and doing.

How’s this for neutral – Oat Straw. (I keep calling it Oatmeal to my husband by accident.)

Still, I didn’t want to completely miss Menu Plan Monday even thought this is a very short post.

This week was an ode to Cinco De Mayo with:

Taco Casserole

And to change it up a little, Zoup. (Remember to add water to the Zoup!)

I’m looking forward to finally getting some vegetables into the ground in the actual out of doors this week. Hooray for warmer weather!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Mother’s Day is May 11. An emergency Mother’s Day Card and another emergency Mother’s Day Card at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday April 21

April 21st, 2014

Happy Menu Plan Monday!

Last week I cooked, I just didn’t write about it. A bout of warmer weather here brought out BBQ grills, guys in shorts, flip flops, and, for me, a salad frenzy. Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Sesame Noodle Salad, Tomato Salad, and Broccoli Salad.

My Favorite Broccoli Salad

(Measurements are up to you.)

Raw Broccoli chopped fine
Bacon Bits (the soy kind)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
Mayonnaise to moisten

Mix and let sit so the bacon bits soften. That’s it. This could easily be veganized with soy cheese and a vegan mayo.

A day of ridiculously cold weather added some Split Pea Soup to my menu last week. (Enough with the cold days, please!)

This week:

Tofurkey Kielbasa and Pierogies
Spaghetti and Meatballs (vegetarian, of course)
Chickpeas and Homemade Paneer Curry with Roti

No pictures as I won’t be cooking this until tonight. More painting to do today!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, get ready for some May Day fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Dollhouse Miniature Tie Dyed T-Shirt Printable

April 20th, 2014

So I think I mentioned a while back about my Spring Fling fail. The 1970’s head shop that wasn’t. One of my plans was to, of course, have some tie dyed t-shirts for sale. Here is a printable for personal use. The idea was/is to print this on a fabric sheet and sew or glue stitch the shirts together. But feel free to use your imagination! (Be sure to click the image to get a full size printable version.)



Menu Plan Monday April 7

April 7th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

I’ve written before on my Catzlover Cooks site about how I grew up in the 1960s and meals meant meat and potatoes. This week will be a little meat and potatoes flashback – veggie style.

We’ll be eating Shepherd’s Pie and Seitan Brisket (loaded with onions, celery, and red potatoes).

There are a lot of recipes online for seitan brisket. Wine, chipotle powder, all sorts of fancy out there. I used to cook for a Hillel and brisket (we’re talking 20 pound slabs of brisket here) was done with ketchup. Yep, ketchup. And it smelled amazing. So that is how I did my seitan brisket. And it also smells amazing. (And always tastes better the next day – just like the other kind.)

To finish things out for the week, Pasta and Pesto and Italian Herbs Tofu. Those white chunks are top are whole milk mozzarella that will melt into the pasta when it is reheated and will be ooey gooey yum.

I had some fun this week at the Huffington Post. They had a quickie quiz to determine how hardcore a vegetarian you are. My results:

I’d say that sums me up pretty well. <grin>

What’s on your menu?


Menu Plan Monday March 31

March 31st, 2014

Another Menu Plan Monday!

On the menu this week:

Enchiladas Con Mole
Soba Noodles/Tofu/Peanut sauce
Falafel/Hummus/Pita bread
Scalloped Potatoes/Field Roast Apple and Sage Sausage

I actually did my cooking yesterday because we are off to paint again today.

But where are the food pictures? Well, after I finished cooking, I took a good hard look at everything and all I could see was brown. Mole – brown. Falafel – brown. Soba Noodles and Peanut Sauce – brown. Scalloped Potatoes – not brown, but I not that long ago posted a picture of scalloped potatoes and, let’s face it, scalloped potatoes does not merit a second picture.

How about some green pictures? I think of these as my dinners TO BE.

To be chili:

To be marinara with eggplant:

To be pesto with pasta:

What’s on your menu? (Or your menus TO BE?)


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the Easter Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

How Do I Know If A Blog Comment Is Spam?

March 29th, 2014

When I first started a blog I was a little confused about blog spam. I mean, the comments sounded so sincere. But, then I realized that the commenter went by something along the lines of “acid reflux” or “wholesale bags” and that had to be fake, right?

Well, I was completely amused to receive this comment one day recently. There is the blog spam formula for all the world to see.


{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than
{three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting
article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site
owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you
did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can’t}
{in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.

Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in
order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe. Thanks.|
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between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
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for something {completely unique|unique}.
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but I had to ask!|
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letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say this blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then most.
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to let you know. The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!
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{site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for {a long time|a while|some time} now and finally got the {bravery|courage} to go ahead and give you a shout out from  {New Caney|Kingwood|Huffman|Porter|Houston|Dallas|Austin|Lubbock|Humble|Atascocita} {Tx|Texas}!
Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!|
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it. {I have|I’ve got|I have got} you {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} {to check out|to look at} new {stuff you|things you} post…|
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a {comment|leave a response}|{comment|leave a
response}} {each time|when|whenever} I {appreciate|like|especially enjoy} a {post|article} on a {site|{blog|website}|site|website} or {I have|if I have} something to {add|contribute|valuable to contribute} {to the discussion|to the conversation}.
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by|caused by} the {passion|fire|sincerness} {communicated|displayed} in the
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And there you go!


P.S. Wait for it…NEW spam is on the way!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

March 26th, 2014

Just like I have go to recipes, I seem to have go to miniatures artisans.

When I began making minis, my go tos were House of Miniatures kits and Chrysnbon kits. They were affordable and easy to find.

As time went on, I was fortunate to be able to afford some special pieces by Dennis Jenvey, Jean Yingling, George Becker, Warren Dick and a few other artisans I discovered through Nutshell News. I would have loved for some of these folks to be go to too, but alas and alack, the money wasn’t available.

Fast forward two children and a few (cough cough) years. Now I have a few new favorite miniatures craftspeople.

One of these is Kris Compas. Kris makes the BEST upholstered furniture. I saw this green furniture set and simply could not resist it.

If you notice in the pictures, I have a few pieces from Pati at minisx2. Incredible stuff and the best part is that she (as well as Kris) do custom orders.

I was a total sucker for cats for a bit. Represented are Bridget Mccarty –

And Teresa Summers – (I just love what I call the Mardi Gras cat)

And if you look close, the kitten by the coffee table is by Reve. Now I say good on her, but I totally can’t afford Reve anymore. (The kitten was thirty some dollars “back in the day”.)

I can’t remember who made a few of these pieces. There are some super fun acrylic vase turners on eBay. The white cup and saucer are part of a custom made service for 8 of plain white china from Jean Yingling. (I really treasure this set and it made through our move with out breaking.) (knock on wood)

Cue the Sound of Music – these are a few of my favorite things.