Friday, October 28, 2011

Le Pumpkin Genie

It's that time again....

The company's annual pumpkin decorating contest.

Steve and I did decorate a pumpkin.....
Just don't think I'll be taking it to work.
I think I would rather debut him at my soap show on Saturday.

I googled decorating ideas, and BHG had pumpkins decorated
with old, rusty, junk, hardware components.
Right up my alley as I have old,
 rusty junk, hardware components in my stuff stash.

Le Pumpkin Genie...

The old, rusty, junk, hardware components, from top to bottom.

The hair swirl:
I don't know where it came from or what the hair swirl is.
I think these might be decoration for behind a drawer knob.
Old, painted screws.
Glass drawer pull from Steve's grandpa's stash.
Old painted screws.
Bent, rusty cabinet hinge.
Also from Steve's grandpa's stash.
Old, painted screws.
Rusty handles from screen door, AKA/Alien Room Divider.
Old, painted screws.
Genie Lamp:
Tea Pot, I think I got this at First Monday
Spotted Plate:
McNutts, purchased at Bygones, a locall antique store.

What do you think?

What's Your Wish?
Gotta go,
I'm getting the last minute stuff together
for Saturday's craft show.
Wish me luck.

Till next time,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MOO, First attempt!


Today I needed to make soap and other products for our upcoming shows,
but I really wanted to cook some of that cow….

What to do, what to do?

Both of course!

I started by getting some of the said cow ready for the slow cooker.
I had the pikes peak roast defrosting in the fridge,
along with some Chicken thighs.

I had googled recipes for this cut, aka heel of round,
and they were all pretty much the same.
Steve and I aren’t big beef eaters because of the cost,
so I’m counting on google and you guys to help me on my way
through cooking this cow.

With help from The Texas Beef Council and
I was ready to go.
Picture from Culinary Arts

I deviated from the original recipe due to not having the proper ingredients.
Here’s what I did and it turned out super tender and flavorful.

4 lbs. Pikes Peak Roast

1 cup canned tomato juice
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. prepared brown mustard

2 tsp. dry mustard (I didn’t have dried mustard, so I used mustard seeds. I ground the seeds with the salt and sage with my mortar and pestle)
2 tsp. dried sage
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. Super Nate spice (I think this batch was rosemary, lemon balm, thyme & oregano)

Small hand full of dried ground garlic
Small hand full of dried ground onion
2 beef bullion cubes

Olive oil for browning roast

Preheat slow cooker on high.
In a large skillet, heat three turns of the pan of olive oil on medium heat.
Add first five dry ingredients. Using tongs, brown roast on all sides in olive oil/herb mixture.
Transfer roast to slow cooker and cover.

Add last three dry ingredients along with all the liquid ingredients to the skillet.
Bring to a simmer stirring constantly.
Transfer liquid to the slow cooker.
Cover the slow cooker, reduce temperature to low and cook for about 6 or 7 hours.


I cooked the chicken thighs in my electric roaster with
lemon balm, lemon pepper, canned bean sprouts and a little water.

I wanted some cookies too so
I made up some brown sugar drop cookie dough.

I split the dough,
half a batch with grated white chocolate and dried coconut,
the other half with raisins and dried cranberries.

Between making the roast, chicken,
soap and the other Blue Moon products
I ran out of time on the cookies.
(It’s still too hot during the day to turn on the oven).
I just saran wrapped the cookie dough bowls, refridgerated and I will
bake them in the morning when it's cooler.

I just love cookies for breakfast!!!

You' all probably have way more experience cooking beef than I have
so feel fee to Email me with any recipes/suggestions or posts.

Can't wait for the burn ban to be lifted
so I can try my hand at grilling a steak!
(We don't have a normal bbq grill).
Don't even ask!

Till next time,

Beef, it's "what's for dinner"!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Cow

Steve and I have been wanting to raise our own beef .
Not just any beef either.
Yummy, hormone free, grass fed beef!
Steaks, roasts, ribs, that’s what I’m talking about!

That requires a fence to keep said beef, aka cow in
and the cattle rustlers out.
The fence is about ¼ done.
Seems the most important thing at the time was to
make the property unappealing to would be crooks.

Phase one,
the fence down the driveway with a gate.
If you want in bad enough, you’ll have to go cross country.
We now need to complete phases two through
four to actually keep a cow or two.
Go figure!

Opportunity knocks…
Friend of a friend has cows, hormone free, grass fed.
Brangus? (Brahma, Angus mix)
We are now the proud owners of  ½ a Brangus.
Or were,
it’s now resting quite comfortably in my freezer.
All 156 pounds of it!
(Other ½ split with a friend).

What can I say?
I’ve had a steak or two at the restaurant on special occasions
in my entire adult life, I don’t ever recall purchasing
a steak at the market.
Is that sad or what?

The rundown.
15 ½ lbs-hamburger, 1 pack-brisket, 3 packs-chuck roast, 2 packs-arm roast,
1 pack-pikes peak roast, 1 pack-rump roast,
7 packs-round steak, 3 packs-short ribs,
4 packs-rib eye steaks, 5 packs-t-bone steaks, 7 packs-sirloin steaks,
1 pack-soup bones, aka dog bones.

$381.25 or $2.44 average, per pound.

The Cow!!!!
It's our first time,
did we do good?
Till next time, moo...I mean,


Hope we don't experience any
power outages this winter...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Life & Soap Shows

Nathan's pomegranate tree


It's soap show time!!!

You never know what is going to sell.
For the last several years, our dominant category in all products was floral
and that's where I concentrated my efforts.
The trend this past spring was fruits and spices, seems that trend is continuing.
Our demographic is widening, we're all over the page now.
Customers that were hard sells previously are now purchasing our products.
Not just the soaps either, all our products are selling better.
Personally, I've been feeling the earthy vibe for awhile.

Something I have noticed is,
when I'm formulating a new scent, and purchasing
the scents for it from my local supplier,
a few months later they are selling "that" scent pre-blended.
I've even noticed them naming the scent pretty close to, or the same as mine.
I order under my Co. name, pretty easy
to go to my site and see what I'm up to.
 My husband says I should be flattered.
Again, whatever!!

Yesterday's show was great with lots of sales and today was spent
making more soap, etc.
I have four more shows for the year and I foresee my immediate future
filled with soap bubbles.

Oh yea,
I was contacted yesterday by a local B&B for soap.
We shall see where that goes.

My morning view from the surreal world (work)
Till next time,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jesus H Christ!

Please excuse my language!
Just when I'm thinking things are settling down
 around here all hell breaks loose.

We haven't had any wildfires as of late so I thought,
OK, back to normal....

Ellis County...
Ennis has been all over the news.
Seems a teacher at the high school has TB.
Every student is being tested along with their parents and siblings.
They're even testing last years graduating class.
How scary is that?

Next on the list....
A massive fire broke out in Waxahachie today at a chemical plant
across the street from where my husband Steve works.
My daughter works at Target in Waxahachie,
five miles away from where the fire was. 
Everyone in about a ten mile radius was evacuated.
Fire departments from all over were called in.

Something I thought was interesting...
The water runoff from the fire was contained and collected.
I didn't know such a thing was possible.
Best to be contained and treated rather than be in the creeks and lakes.

the EPA is out there conducting tests.
How safe is it to breathe?
What about the flora and fauna?
Lots of livestock and crops in this area!
I could see the fire from my deck and I live twenty miles away.

Imagine the job loss...

How was your day?