Rex Hotel

On our last night of our Land That We Love Tour we had our favorite meal at the Buffalo Block Prime Steakhouse at the Rex in Billings, Montana. The barbecue we had in Kentucky was real good, too, but Buffalo Block won out with the ambiance.

We chose this spot to eat because the Historic Rex Hotel caught our eye. Dear’s dad’s name is Rex and he was born in Montana and we enjoyed paying homage to him while in the Treasure State of Montana. Montana is also known as Big Sky Country.

French Onion Soup

Bone in Chop crusted in all kinds of yumminess on top of garlic mashed potatoes.

Prime Rib Sandwich with horseradish, aujus, coleslaw and fries.

creme brûlée

Lemon Pound cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

If you are ever in Billings and want some upscale food at upscale prices this is the place.

I’ll be recapping our trip with lots of photos starting at the beginning soon.

Granola Chews

Granola Chews

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups granola
  • 2 cups dry oatmeal
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, soda and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla till creamy.
  4. Add one egg at a time to the creamed mixture beating after each egg.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Stir in granola, oatmeal and walnuts.
  7. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, watch after 10 minutes.

I like to use a dough scoop because the dough is easy to drop onto the baking sheet and the cookies are uniform.

Honey Raisin Bran Muffins

This is a recipe from the Kellogg’s page and the reason I chose to do this recipe is because it’s easy and I don’t keep bran in my cupboard. We enjoy this cereal and usually have a box of it in the cupboard. All the rest of the ingredients are always in my pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk, I used 2%.
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
3. In large mixing bowl, combine Kellog’s Raisin Bran cereal, milk and honey. Let stand 3 minutes or until cereal softens.
4. Add egg and oil. Beat well.
5. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined.
6. Portion batter evenly into twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray, or use muffin paper liners.
7. Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Serves 6-12

Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins are easy to make and they aren’t overly sweet. Enjoy them any time of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the oats with the milk and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. Combine the beaten egg, oil, sugar and oatmeal mixture.
  5. Add all at once to the sifted dry ingredients stirring just to moisten.
  6. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full. I used muffin cup liners.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Picking Cherries

Today my baby sister and her hubby are stopping overnight before they venture home to the west side of the Cascades.

We had such a wonderful church service on the 4th of July.

Have you ever sung the 4th stanza of our National Anthem? We sang all 4 stanzas in church on Sunday.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Praising the Power who hath preserved our nation. Thank you Lord!

Last week during our heat wave we tiptoed to our neighbor’s Cherry trees very early to help him out by picking. Our neighbor had his leg amputated below the knee this past year and understandably is unable to do what he’s done in the past. We didn’t want to wake him up or get his little dog barking so we were as quiet as could be.

They are very tall trees and Dear is on a 10 foot ladder.

There are still more cherries to pick so we’ll sneak over early today to pick some more.

Check for Cobwebs Hodgepodge

Since Jo From This Side of the Pond brought up the subject of cleaning in this weeks Wednesday Hodgepodge I had to dig up this photo of me ready to clean the house sometime in the past. Thank you Jo for asking the questions!

When serious cleaning needs to be done including washing the floors on my hands and knees this would be a picture of readiness. LOL. Knee pads. Three pocket apron where I like to keep glass cleaning rags in one side and on the opposite side non glass cleaning rags. Never mix chlorine and ammonia as in bleach cleaners and window cleaners! Middle pocket I use for trash and other things I pick up along the way.

People have a wide range when defining clean.  When we rent a place to stay and someone says it’s clean and I can see dust bunnies and all other kinds of things that are not clean, I get miffed, especially when they add in a $200 cleaning deposit!

That said, I enjoy a cozy home, it does not have to be perfectly cleaned, unless I’m paying for it to be clean.

On to this weeks questions!

1. Your favorite cleaning product?
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Amway used to have a product called Zoom and it was a great all purpose cleaner. I have different favorites for different tasks today. Dawn for dishes, Comet for toilets, Tide for laundry, Windex for glass or Vinegar and water. Kitchens are a little more complicated now with the added granite surfaces that you need a special cleaner for, stainless surfaces with their own special cleaner, glass top ranges with special cleaner. OYE! 
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Do you clean your own house or hire out?
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I clean my own home.  We do hire out window cleaning since we moved to the country…twice a year. 
I used to have a housecleaning business, Fresh Start, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
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Most disliked household chore?
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Dusting has always been a bit tedious for me but at this country bungalow with hard well water our shower that has 10 years of deposits on the glass doors etc. is very frustrating to clean. I’m looking forward to replacing the whole thing. 
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What one chore do you not mind so much? 
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Believe it or not, I don’t mind toilets. They are small and straight forward. 
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 2. It’s Canned Food Month…do you use a lot of canned goods?
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We use a fair share of canned goods.
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What are the three canned items you purchase most often?
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Many varieties of beans, many varieties of tomatoes, and chilies.
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Last thing you made using a canned ingredient? 
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A pot of chicken chili with black beans and pinto beans and chilies. 
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 3. Can of worms, anything can happen, can you imagine?, as best I can, kick the can down the road, more than one can take, no can do, not if I can help it…choose an idiom and tell us how you currently relate.
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I’m going with ‘can you imagine’. Lately more and more I’ve been wondering about the Rapture and find myself saying, come Lord Jesus come;
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“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (ESV)
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4.The last Tuesday in February is National Spa Day. Are you someone who enjoys a day at the spa?
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I’m really not a spa kind of gal but I do like a good massage. I’m not comfortable being naked anywhere but home! 
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Last time you visited a spa? Do you have a favorite spa?
*
May of 2014 in Orlando Florida was the last time I visited a Spa. Dear was at a conference and I tagged along. His company booked him at the Hyatt Regency and I scheduled myself a massage at the hotel spa which had a sauna, etc. I relaxed by the pool all by my lonesome after the massage. I do not have a favorite spa.
10407572_10203869646889863_8486215410183000260_n
Are salons open for business in your area?
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Yes, salons are open.
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Have you made changes to your hair and nail routine since Corona hit? In what way? 
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I probably could count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a manicure or pedicure. That happened generally in relation to the weddings of our children. I’m the kind of person who messes up the polish before it dries without even trying. 
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Since Corona hit I have gone back to single length of hair instead of layered. 
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 5. Believe it or not this is the last Hodgepodge of the month. In one sentence sum up your February. 
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February: A month of freezing and thawing, then in mid span some love thrown in with restaurants finally re-opening and ending with a sigh of relief. 
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 6. Insert your own random thought here.
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Here’s our latest ‘Corona’ puzzle and let me tell you it’s a dousy!
Thank you to everyone who came by here and took the time to read and an extra thank you to anyone who commented!

Day Four ~ Love

 

Continuing with the August challenge to post a  Bible verse or section of scripture with a word prompt. Today the 4th of August is Love.

Romans 12: 9-10 (ESV): “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Feel free to share a Bible verse on love in the comments or on your blog. If you post a verse on your blog please let me know. Tomorrow’s prompt is Jesus.

Happy One at Life is Good posted verses on the theme of Love.

There are also some verses in the comments.

On Saturday morning I harvested our garlic and hung it to dry in our laundry room. I mentioned on Facebook that our laundry room was smelling like a good Chinese restaurant. This is the first time ever I have seen or harvested garlic growing. It was a fun experience for me.

St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Celti

It’s time to get ready for our annual Corned Beef and Cabbage meal for St. Patrick’s Day.

We got all the ingredients on our way home from Spokane Valley on Sunday. Do you make a Corned Beef meal on St. Patrick’s day or any day?

An Old Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you –
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

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I was not able to upload any new photos today from our weekend away. I hope to be able to do that on Monday. On Monday I’m having a massage which was a Christmas gift to me from my Colville kids. Looking forward to that even though it doesn’t qualify as social distancing.

Golubstzi (Cabbage Rolls)


We grew up enjoying Golubtzi, Голубцы, a Russian version of cabbage rolls. I didn’t develop a taste for cabbage until my adult years so I’d peel off the cabbage and just enjoy the filling. Today I really enjoy cabbage in all it’s cooked or uncooked forms! Once you get the cabbage leaves ready to go this is a simple recipe to make. This is my mother’s version. There are many other recipes that differ from hers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 15% fat or higher
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked rice cooled
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup, (approx. 10-3/4 ounces)
  • 1- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups water

Method:

  1. Core the cabbage leaving it whole.
  2. Boil the head of cabbage in a pot of water until leaves separate easily.
  3. Drain leaves and let them cool while you prepare the filling.
  4. Combine the ground beef, rice, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley.
  5. Once the leaves are cool enough to handle you can trim some of the thick vein of the cabbage leaf to make it easier to fold.
  6. Place about 1/3 cup of ground beef mixture onto a cabbage leaf and fold edges over and roll up.
  7. Place in baking dish with folded seams down.
  8. Continue until you use up the ground beef mixture and cabbage leaves.
  9. Saute the chopped onion in a little oil until it is translucent.
  10. Add soup, tomato sauce, ketchup, and water, mix well and bring to a boil.
  11. Add a little of this sauce to the sour cream to temper it and then add the sour cream mixture to the sauce and mix well.
  12. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls.
  13. Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or longer, till hamburger is fully cooked.
  14. Yield: 12-18 Cabbage Rolls depending on size of your meat balls.

Serve with your favorite green side dish and some good bread to soak up the sauce!

Tips:
You may need two baking dishes to accommodate more than 12 rolls.
While the whole head of cabbage is cooking in the pot I use tongs to remove the leaves gradually as they start to release from the head of cabbage and put them on a kitchen towel to cool. I keep checking as I prepare the other steps in the recipe.
I use a sharp paring knife to trim the vein starting in the center of the thick vein away from me to the outer thicker part of the vein. This makes it easier to fold the cabbage around the meat.

One of our sons doesn’t tolerate milk products so I made a small batch of the Golubtsi and covered them with the sauce before I added the sour cream to the rest of the sauce. We find that using hamburger that is 15% fat or more is better for these as the meat that has less fat in it can be dry.

I originally shared this recipe on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog but wanted to have it here on my blog, too.

Enrich:

:to improve the quality of (something) : to make (something) better, etc.

Our family has been enriched with the addition of another daughter in law this year. Dan and Jamie are a team that yield new things for our family to enjoy.

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Don’t tell anyone but I do not can. My mother canned but it’s not something I’ve tried or am comfortable trying. Jamie does can. Dan and Jamie plant a garden and they have fruit trees on their acreage in the country. They have apple trees. They use their bounty well by canning some of the excess.

Snow 2016 012

Snow 2016 015

Their salsa is amazing and we have gone through 3 of these large jars of it in the last few weeks. We are so happy they shared their canned bounty with us! Their land is not a farm at this point so instead of farm to table we’ll call it land to table!

We appreciate the fact that our son is not alone on his acreage anymore but has a lovely wife by his side to enrich his life and ours!