About The Country Wife Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cukes on a Bale

The hay bale gardening plan seems to be working.

When I came back from my trip to visit children and grandchildren I did not know what I would find as far as this novel gardening plan.  As luck would have it, the cucumbers were merrily growing away!  So nice.

Last year we planted four cucumbers.  The woodchucks kept shearing them off so they never did much at all.  This year we may have a harvest!  This makes me happy since I developed a bit of a taste for fresh-from-the-garden when I was at my sister's home last year after her motorcycle crash.

This is what the cukes look like that today:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Fiber Spinning Group

Several weeks ago the Listserv in our town published an email inquiring if there was interest in starting up  a fiber spinning group in town.  IMMEDIATELY I responded in the affirmative.  After much back-and-forthing we made a plan and now have had our first get-together.

It was so enjoyable to meet at our local library for a couple of hours one evening.  It was a particularly hot and humid day.  The group met in the basement of the library which was quite cool.  Five of us brought our spinning wheels and fiber that we were working on.

As it happens, I had NOT been working on any fiber.  In fact, I needed to invest a fair amount of time removing dust from my Ashford Traveller spinning wheel.  Like most of the other spinners, I too, have more than one spinning wheel.  My other wheel is probably a Canadian production wheel.  It looks like a traditional wheel but is quite heavy and is a double drive wheel.

Ashford Traveller wheel

This lovely little wheel was a gift from a very dear friend who has since crossed the veil. Every time I use this wheel I am filled with love and gratitude to this lady for her great kindnesses to me and especially for the many hours we spent knitting together with others  as well as spinning together on a Thursday afternoon from time to time.

In recent years I have wished that the wheel had a double treadle so I could use my feet and legs equally.  I have just sent a note to Ashford in New Zealand to inquire.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was such a thing available and at a price that I could afford!!

You will notice that there are two bobbins of singles yarn ready to ply as well as a hank of two-plied yarn that I previously spun and is now ready to roll into a center-pull ball to start knitting.  This will probably be a mitten project.

The white fiber hanging down is a small bit of merino lamb's wool that was shorn off a lamb at the Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts.  I have spent a good deal of time carding the wool to make the rolag to spin.  It still is not very clean wool.  There is a LOT of vegetable matter still in it.  It was also shorn from a lamb so the fibers are pretty short.  Somewhat difficult to spin, but worth the effort, I think...

At the spinning group one of the ladies--all of whom were strangers to me on that night--told me that to clean an un-skirted fleece I should put it in a tub of water for two weeks or more.  She said that much of the filth would dissolve and the vegetable matter would disappear.  I hope this is true because I took her at her word...More about that later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Papercrafting: Another Card

It is so much fun to make cards for people.  Because this time of year often brings announcements of various kinds, it is a perfect time to make cards to honor those occasions.

This time I made a graduation card:

This card was made using the Cricut Expression and the Create A Critter: Let's Party cartridge.  The graduating critter was cut at 3.5 inches.  The sentiment was cut at 1.5 inches.  That taught me more about the way the Cricut die cuts are created.  I thought that if I left the size at 3.5 inches the sentiment would work.  Not so.  I had to keep decreasing the size of the sentiment before I could get it to fit onto the page.

Even though I made this card last week, it is still on my table!  I sincerely hope I get the inside message written and an inclusion added so the person receives it before heading off to college...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Newsy Bits: The Walk--Started...

This morning it was blessedly cool and comfy when I woke up.  I decided to go for a long walk before breakfast.  I collected the house key on a lanyard, camera, ipad, and headphones, my stroller, and set off.

It was a glorious early morning with birds still singing their praises to Heavenly Father for the gorgeous earth He gave us all to enjoy.  The sun was bright and cheery.  There was a tiny breeze which kept any hardy bugs away, though I DID think about the possibility of ticks who had climbed the trees being borne onto my clothing or head by that breeze. Icky thought...

As I stepped on the road from our driveway, ahead of me, walking up the little hill, was a large black creature!  I stopped and watched it wend its leisurely way about twenty feet up the hill, then turn, and head back my way.  I took out the camera and, with shaking hand, I snapped a couple of bad pictures.  Of course, I was too scattered to take off the small lens and replace it with the long lens so I could get a really good picture....

Well, as the animal came closer, I knew absolutely that it was one of the "local bears".  (We have had a lot of bear activity in our neighborhood this spring.)  A few feet closer to me (about 150 feet away from me) the bear left the road and entered the neighbor's property by their pond.  I also turned around, and FLEW up the driveway to get home!

Actually, my thought, besides safety, was to get up on the porch and see if the bear came to our old compost pile that he had visited three weeks ago. There, from the security of the porch and an open door into the house, I could take a close-up picture of the bear. 

Well,  that picture idea turned out to be a fruitless hope as Dear One had started putting the compost into the nasty barrel instead of the convenient compost pile we started last year so there was no fresh compost to tempt the nose of that big, but skinny, bear.  He did not show up at the house after about twenty minutes so I went into the house and made a smoothy for Dear One's breakfast. I ate a nice kale salad with black beans.

Here is a poor picture of the bear in the distance:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Food Friday: Ditilini, hot and sweet peppers, and red sauce

We had some ditilini pasta in a jar in the pantry.  We also had some Hot and Sweet Cherry Peppers one shelf below the pasta.  As I was trying to use up the food in the pantry and in the refrigerator, I decided that ditilini pasta and Trader Joe's Hot and Sweet Peppers were a match made in heaven.  For me, at least.

2 cups dry ditilini pasta (small round tubes)
4 hot and sweet peppers, finely chopped
2 cups prepared red pasta sauce

Cook the ditilini to your preferred done-ness in heavily salted boiling water. (You really do want a lot of salt in pasta cooking water. It makes a HUGE difference in taste.  Try it next time!) When done, drain, then put back in the same pot and immediately add the chopped peppers and red sauce.  Stir well and serve.

You can top it with lots of things.  I put grated Parmesan cheese on one and kale chips on mine.  It was pretty good.  Dear One went back for seconds and was very happy to eat the remaining bits the following day!

Ditilini Bowls.  There is Parmesan on the right.  Kale chips were eventually added to the left bowl.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Temple Bunny in the Roses

We were at the temple and as we walked out to our car through the glorious rose garden I saw a little movement.  Stopping, I saw that it was a small brown bunny.

The bunny was not very skittish but it DID move so it was hard to snap a good picture.  See if you can find him!  I am calling Waldo so....Where's Waldo?

After watching Waldo for a little while I went on to the car.  When I turned from Waldo, on the other side of the walkway in the greenery was his sister just getting ready to cross over to the roses.  When she saw me, she immediately turned and ran back into the security of the tall leaves.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Watercolor Fun: Balloons!

When I was teaching a family history class this spring I had the blessing of having a famous watercolor artist (Ann Semprebon) in my class.  She offered watercolor lessons to me in exchange for more family history helps!  Is that a deal, or what!!!

So on Tuesday I went to her class for the first time.  She is starting from the beginning with me:  how to use the brush. I have loved each of the few classes I have previously attended but have never learned this stuff.  I have a LOT of work to do in learning how to manipulate the brush to get the effect I want.  Of course,  that assumes that I know what effect I want to achieve, I guess.

At this point I just want to put paint on paper and make it look like something.

When I finished playing with color at the end of the class I had about seven or eight cards full of color....not nice washes and not glazes but still, color.  One of the class members said, "You could make that into balloons!  That had never occurred to me but when I looked at the card with open eyes, there were some balloons!

Here they are:

Balloons discovered in color play at watercolor class.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Watercolor--The First Cardinal

One night while I was visiting M came home from work and said, "Let's paint tonight!"  I was thrilled.  I opened YouTube and went to a tutorial.  She wanted a bird to paint so we found one.

This cardinal is my cardinal.

Because I try very hard not to make comparisons,  I will just say that I am happy enough with this guy. 

Our process was to watch the YouTube all the way through.  We liked it and thought it was do-able so we went back to the beginning and started watching again.  Megan stopped it after a few brush strokes and kept it up until we were done.  She took a great deal of care with her painting.  I more or less slapped it together. That is what it looks like, too!

When I got tired of the cardinal I just drew some pine needles without remembering what they looked like on the original.  I sort of don't mind how mine came out....

Perhaps I will do more work on this bird.  Especially the beak.  I love M's beak.

PLUS, I like her green Frog Tape!  I use blue painters' tape, which works great, BUT don't you just love the green tape?!

This is the video we used as our inspiration...

In looking at the original and then looking at our paintings, I see that both of us have birds sitting very dignified and upright.  The cardinal in the YouTube is more relaxed and bent over on the branch.

When I showed our birds to Dear One, he said they were too fat, that they did not look like the slim and sylph-like cardinals at our bird feeder (when our bird feeder was still up.  No bird feeders now because of the bears...).

My thought is to try this again, after I have re-worked the beak on the current painting.  Of course,  I need to get the kitchen cleaned and tidy, the workroom organized, the garden weeded, and so on or I will feel guilty painting...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Newsy Bits: The Airport--Not Very Interesting

So recently I was flying home again.  Yay!  Always wonderful to go on a visit but getting home again is such a blessing.

This time I had found a wonderful "businessman's carry-on" at a large thrift store. I had seen such a bag when a scientist was in one of the genealogy classes I teach.  He brought his computer and other stuff to class in it.  I always have such a struggle getting stuff from Point A to Point B.  This rolling bag really caught my eye. I started investigating on the internet to see what I could find.

WELL!  Every bag I saw seemed to be of inferior quality or VERY expensive. I kind of gave up on the idea of purchasing one.  Unless I found one in a thrift store....which I did.

On Thursday I mailed home all the books I had acquired on this trip, along with several other rather heavy items that would fit in the flat-rate box.

Packing was a matter of sliding my clothes and medical items, etc into the large bag that I was going to check.  I had purchased some WONDERFUL freezer containers which took up a large part of the bag, but which were so light as to make the bag only 46 pounds at the airport.  That was good news. I had hoped not to have to remove anything and carry it on.  Leaving stuff was not an option!

Putting my computer, watercolor paints, low-tack tape, cardinal painting still on the plexiglass board, along with my camera and lens into the "new" businessman's rolling carry-on made me very happy.

The second piece of carry-on was my black zippered duffle-sort-of thing.  Into that I put the small red zippered bag the nice lady at AAA gave me when I stopped in at their office for maps and tourist books some years ago.  In the red bag I had the food for the next morning since I did not want to have to buy food on Sunday morning even though my favorite airport food place (Currito---they have a fabulous Asian salad and dressing--probably 90 percent sugar) is at the arrival airport.  I also had my headphones and planned to add my purse so I could shove the whole thing in one piece under my seat on the airplane.

On the way to the airport we had stopped at Franz's Bakery Outlet to pick up some raspberry-filled cake donuts. Yes,  filled cake donuts.  I discovered these at a Franz Outlet in a different city and just knew Dear One would love them.   I purchased an extra box and gave to daughter and grandson who gave them a solid thumbs-up.  So far I have managed to avoid eating one.  Anyway, these were also stowed in the small red zippered bag.

Finally I am getting to the point.

The big bag was checked through.  I had my stroller, businessman's bag, black duffle, and purse.  The stroller was taken away from me by the TSA agent to be scanned manually at great length. I shot all three other items through the x-ray rollers and stepped  through the x-ray portal.  Surprisingly I stepped through and was not asked to go back through or step aside to be wanded.  Yay! That never happens.

My luggage was not so lucky.  Every. Single. Piece. caused problems!  That has never happened before.  I was TSA Pre-checked so I should have been able to just walk through with no problems BUT that option apparently closed at 5 PM.  At this point it was 8:30 PM.  The computer in the bag had to be checked for explosive residue.  No problem. I am glad they do it.  However,  the bag was seriously packed. It was a pain to get the computer out to check and even harder for the checker to put it back together.  The black duffle had the food, as I mentioned. I did not mention that part of the food was in an insulated bag with a bottle of ice to keep it cold.  The ice had melted.  That is a no-no, so that was thrown out.  I never did find out what the issue was with the purse, though as I am writing this it occurs to me that it might have been the small bundle of paintbrushes I got at Dick Blick's.

So, another exciting airport adventure.  Well, it does pass the time.  Two more hours until lift off...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Food Friday: Kale Chips

Two years ago or so I heard of kale chips.  Daughter-in-law A made some for me.  They were fabulous.  I tried making them along the same lines as how you roast other vegetables.  Obviously I had not listened to the directions because cooking them at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes did NOT work!  Nothing but ashes left.

This morning I arose, cleaned the kitchen where I was staying, and started again making kale chips.  I could not find olive oil.  So...I used the spray bottle of some kind of unknown oil.  I could not find the kosher salt.  So...I used the mineral rock salt that was in a grinder which grinds exceedingly fine.

This time I set the oven temperature at 350 degrees F.  I put the washed, dried, and broken-into-bite-sized-pieces of kale that had previously been stripped from the kale ribs on a Silpat-lined pan.  After spraying them with the no-name oil, I sprinkled them with a mixture of equal amounts of granulated garlic, granulated onion, and salt then some ground black pepper.  I sort of fluffed everything up in hopes that the kale would be coated on both sides with the oil and seasonings.

After five minutes in the oven, I removed the pan and moved the kale around then returned to the oven for another five minutes.  It was pretty close to done. I gave it another 2-3 minutes then pulled it out to cool and finish crisping.

A bunch of kale made two pans of kale chips...because you want the kale to be in a single layer.  You really do.  Don't kid yourself that it will come out really well if you have the kale piled thickly on the pan.  It only takes about ten minutes to bake so do yourself a favor and divide it into two pans...

This is a picture of half of the kale.
When the second pan  was done, the container was heaped with kale chips.  Nice green crispy kale chips.  The only problem with them was they did not taste very good. I was using someone else's recipe and alternate ingredients.  Do yourself another favor by using olive oil drizzled over the kale and perhaps add some chili powder to the garlic, onion, KOSHER salt, and black pepper.  This stuff tasted like nothing. What a disappointment.  Totally my fault for not waiting for someone in the house to tell me where to find the right ingredients.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gardening: The Front Garden As I Left It

With the planned trip to visit granddaughter G's graduation I had to rush some plants into the ground in the front of the house.  These plants had been languishing beside the house underneath the water spigot for more than a week and were beginning to look rather wimpy.

Finally I put them into the ground.  Hope springs eternal and all that stuff, so I hope when I get home they will look better than they do here.

Front Garden: 27 May 2016

To the left you can see the flourishing rhubarb plant.  In the background are four tomato cages with tomatoes inside, one of which is Amish Paste Tomato for the first time, the others being heritage tomatoes of some kind whose names I have forgotten.  In the middle you can see green leaf lettuce interspersed with marigolds to keep the bad bugs away.  Hope, again!  To the right you can see red leaf lettuce.  In the sort of empty-looking part are some itty-bitty leeks, some garlic planted from seed last summer, and some chives that have been divided.  In the front of the garden you can see the lawn...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

First Attempt At A Lighthouse: Unfinished

One of the blessings of volunteering to teach a class for a lifelong learning program is that for every class you teach, you are allowed to take a class for free.  This spring I participated in an amazing watercolor class.  The teacher was wonderful.  The subject matter was inspirational.  I learned a ton.  I also learned that practice is critical to becoming any kind of artist.

This is my first attempt at a lighthouse.

In the future I think I will have an actual picture of a lighthouse in front of me. 

There is a nifty trick to making the lighthouse sides work right.  We took painters' tape, the low-tack blue stuff you get at the hardware store which is about an inch wide, and put it down on the paper before you start.  Shape it the way your want your lighthouse to look and cover all the space with the tape.  Now, go to town on the beach, rocks, ocean, spumes of crashing waves, clouds in the sky, and whatever else you want in the picture.  Have fun!  You can make it anything you want since it is your picture.

Since beginning this painting in class I have seen some really nice paintings.  When we visit the ocean again, I will take my camera along!  I  might even bring this painting along so I can renovate it into something more worthy of viewing...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Paper: Embossing Folder Fun

When M gave me her Cricut machine nearly two years ago she got me into a new "thing"!  Since then I have had so much fun working with paper.  Over this time frame I have become interested in the beautiful embossed designs one can make with embossing folders.  Some are very detailed and others are wonderful backgrounds.

On my recent trip to visit, I took the Texture Boutique machine which allows the use of about 4 by 5 inch sheets of paper for embossing.  When I was looking into what machine to use for embossing I posted a question on Facebook on the subject.  A very very kind lady from Wisconsin (I think I remember...) asked me for my mailing address and promised to send me her Texture Boutique!  That was so wonderful to use.  Since then I have added a Big Shot to my work room and now am passing this wonderful little tool on to M.

Here are a few samples of the embossing on 24-pound multi-purpose paper which I hand-tore, not having my cutting device here.

 When I make these at home with all my equipment I cut these embossed sheets down a little and mat them on a slightly larger contrasting sheet then glue to a card blank.  They make nice simple cards.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Newsy Bits: Yellow Roses

All week at son #1's house there was a beautiful rose bush by the front steps.  All around the neighborhood where were lovely blooming roses in reds, pinks, and rose-colored hues.  They were so beautiful.  I loved looking at them.

The morning I moved to only daughter's home as we were packing my duds in the back of the car I noticed that the roses had opened.  They were truly a glorious rich yellow.

Yellow Rose with Bug!

Of course I had to take photos!  When I looked through the photos I found this magnificent rose.  It had a BUG on it!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Food Friday: New Dish:Sauerkraut and Sweet Onion Sandwiches

After spending a fair amount of time listening to interviews on the FoodRevolution Summit added to my successful experience at Parkview Adventist Medical Center and their Liftstyle Choices Program, I started moving in the vegan food choice direction.

Having been raised on a dairy farm and eating plenty of beef, poultry, and pork on a regular basis I have had to do a lot of re-thinking.  Sadly, I really LIKE dairy products.  Who does not like butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs?

Having done a lot of listening to YouTube and other health videos and interviews with smart people I had been eating yogurt to improve the fauna in my belly.  How do I replace that fauna if I don't eat yogurt?

Well,  what about sauerkraut?  I have LOVED Reuben sandwiches and thought I would try just eating the guts of that sandwich without the meat.  So...toasted rye bread with drained sauerkraut on top then a thinly-sliced sweet onion slice covered with a solid sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning.

This is a very good sandwich and quite satisfying.  One slice of toast with cabbage and onion, no mayo, no cheese, no meat. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Garden: Hay Bale Gardening

Last year I heard about straw bale gardening.  It sounded intriguing to me until I went to the grain store and saw that the straw bales were $13.00 apiece!  No way!

During the winter my sister sent me an email which mentioned hay bale gardening.  I followed the link to Suzy's video and watched it.  This was exciting since hay bales are only about a dollar apiece depending on quality.

When I inquired on the Listserv to see if anyone had any bales to sell, I received only one reply and only after an appreciable amount of time.  The bales were now FOUR DOLLARS a bale, but that was so much less than the straw bales that I was happy.  Instead of getting twenty bales, I purchased ten bales.

Two bales I set up at the end of the side garden where we had some cucumbers eaten by woodchucks last year.  Twice eaten by woodchucks.  I am hoping that having them planted higher up that the plants will have a chance to really get a great start before the woodchucks notice them.

The other eight bales I put out in the Mittleider Grow Box, or rather, what used to be the grow box.  They were place with one bale perpendicular to the tomato fence, five bales along the tomato fence, and two more bales perpendicular to the fence again.  The plan is to plant one tomato there along the tomato fence, one zucchini on the one perpendicular bale and yellow string beans along the tomato fence with lettuce growing on the two perpendicular ones.

Preparing the bales for planting takes a while.  If this does not work, it is all my fault as I did not follow the directions precisely.  Because our vacation came at a bad time, I started watering the bales a week late, only watered them for 10 days then sprinkled on one cup of the fertilizer for three days and a week later shoveled on the compost.  Watering all the time.  Then I left town.  The interiors of the grow box bales were still very hot so I did not plant the started plants out there. I left that job for Dear One to do.  Of course, he wants specific directions which I have still not emailed as of this date.  I do hope that the started plants have not died, nor have they started growing into the ground where they wait!

Four cucumber plants on two hay bales under Latasha's cucumber trellis
Before my dear friend Latasha moved away she had a fabulous garden.  She built a wonderful cucumber trellis which worked really well for her.  She gave it to me when she left.  I am so grateful for it and really look forward to a good cucumber harvest this year.

You can see part of the trellis 'tented' over the two bales.  We used Moo Doo compost on top of the bales which we purchased at Mill Gardens, a wonderful garden center.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Handwork: Ten-Stitch Spiral Blanket

Last year I did a LOT of knitting. I loved it. I was so happy to do that project.  Sadly, procrastination meant that I had a too-close deadline which caused too much knitting to be done in too short a time.  Thus, now I can only do a small amount of knitting before my hands and wrists complain.

Small projects and projects that are meant to go slowly is the new norm for me as I try to heal my knitting appendages.  A project I saw that caught my eye was the ten-stitch spiral blanket.  It takes ten stitches, as luck would have it...

Ten-stitch Spiral Knitted Blanket
A nice thing about this blanket is that you can use up dribs and drabs of yarn you have left over.  Having said that, however, it would be a good idea to have the yarn be the same weight.  Since there are lots of bits of yarn in my house, this seemed like a good way to use it up.  I am using US size 7 straight needles but that is only because they were in my knitting basket without any project on them. You could use whatever size needles work best with your yarn weight.

This blanket is worked in garter stitch so every stitch is the knit stitch. A great project for a beginner.  You start with a several-pie-wedge sections that you knit together into a circle then start the spiral outward by knitting 9 stitches then picking up and knitting together with a stitch from the previous "round".

It is pretty simple and rather mindless which is a great use of time at the end of the day when you want to accomplish something while just sitting like a lump in your wonderful rocking chair...perhaps all by yourself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

First Tulip Watercolor Painting

One of the best parts of spring is the glorious color after the white winter and gray and muddy early spring.  I love tulips and daffodils particularly.  Next will come the lovely fragrant lilacs.

In an effort to begin painting spring flowers I watched a YouTube video on painting tulips.  Mine look very little like the lovely loose tulips in the video, but they were fun and a pretty good first effort, in my view.

Loose tulips, first effort...
Because I wanted to make a greeting card for a friend, I looked at the different card blanks that I had and likes the Kraft card blank the best.  This is that card with an envelope behind it.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Newsy BIts: Furry Friends

Recently there has been a lot of furry activity at our house.  In fact, in the whole community there has been a lot of black bear activity and controversy over the last six weeks or so.

Well, for our two cents:  last Friday night we had gone to bed and around 10 PM I heard a couple of thumps.  I asked Dear One if he had heard the noise.  Since he was asleep, he had not heard it.  Even so, he crawled out of bed and went to the east side of the house.

When he turned the light on, there was a big black bear going through our large wheeled trash bin....the thumps having been when the bear pulled the bin off the porch and down the steps to get a better handle on the contents.  He continued his trash-picking project, then, not finding anything but some crumpled up aluminum foil of any interest at all, he sauntered off to the compost pile.

Dear One finally came back to bed and fell instantly back to sleep.  I could not sleep...

The next day Dear One decided we should bring the wheeled trash bin into the kitchen at night, so that is the current evening activity just before bed.

Last night he had just gotten ready for bed and heard a noise.  This time it was a fat raccoon who was working on our closed recycling bins next to where the wheeled trash bin stays during the day.  Tapping on the window did not dismay the raccoon so Dear One opened the door and off trotted the creature.  A few minutes later:  more noise.  The coon was back!!  More encouragement to leave and he went away for the night.  I wonder if he will be back tonight.  There really is not much interesting in the recycling bins since everything is rinsed before inserting into a bin so I don't understand the attraction.

For myself, the furry friends that I am nearest are very enjoyable! 

On my trip to visit with our Western children and grandchildren I am at the middle portion of the trip and am with son number one and his family including his daughter who graduates high school soon.  They have three very darling little fur balls who have to be closed up in a room behind a shut door if I am to sleep without kami kazi foot attacks all night!  They are so cute....sleep all day, racket around all night.
Taiwan, Moscow, and Geneva

Tai--black,  Mossie--gray striped, and Gennie--white with black feet and face, are the sweetest, cutest little creatures.  Son number one said he would send two of them home with me. (They already have three adult cats, though one is 20 years old and close to expiration...) When I sent that message home in an email the response was: "No."  Just no.  I will enjoy them while we are together.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Breakfast Banana Oat Bites

Creating a treat for our early morning friends can be a daunting challenge.  It is nice if the treats are at least a little bit healthy though sometimes I just go with easy and fun.  These Breakfast Banana Oat Bites are a little of all three.

Breakfast Banana Oat Bites
Makes 12 bites---depending on what size scoop you use.  I used the 2-2 1/2 Tablespoon scoop.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup oat flour--make this by putting 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats in your blender and blend until it is powdery.
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pureed overripe banana -2 or 3 depending on size.  Blend these in a blender so they are really a slimy banana puree!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup sweetened coconut shreds

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cover a rimmed baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Feel free to spray grease the paper to insure that the bites will release from the pan. (That is the whole reason for putting something under the bites: so they will release from the pan.  With no oil, butter, or other greasy thing, they don't have a real mind to leave that pan...)

In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, i.e. the oats, oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until well blended.  Add the chocolate chips and coconut at this point and blend again until chocolate and coconut are covered with floury mix. Add the banana and vanilla to the dry mixture, and stir well until combined. Use a portion scoop and place scoops of the batter (about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons) on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 14 to 15 minutes.  They should be set and a very light brown.  If necessary, cook another two or three minutes.  Let cool on pan for 1-2 minutes then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack

The original recipe is found at:

http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/   Deena Burton called these treats Banana Oat Bundles.

Breakfast Banana Oat Bites

These were somewhat popular.  I think the addition of the chocolate chips and coconut actually made these very nice.