Black Sheep Dancing

Why be like everyone else when you can be yourself?

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Me and Betty

IMG_5527This is my Betty…Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book. Copyright 1950, it was my grandmother’s. By the time I came around she preferred going to Amish Country for dinner as opposed to using the book. However, I remember hiding under the desk that held it and had a built-in book rack under it when we played hide and seek. It is fond memories of games and of her.

I pulled it out today to make a regular around here: pancakes. I have it memorized, but I still like to pull the actual book out. I love the photos and how simple the recipes were. For example, there is a base recipe for muffins and then it gives you a couple of other ingredients to make different flavors. So simple.


Here we have today’s batch of Monkey Pancakes. It’s the basic recipe with some walnuts, bananas, and chocolate chips added to the batter. I like to double the recipe and freeze the extra for a nice warm breakfast on those busy mornings.

True story: In high school I went through a phase where I made chocolate chip pancakes nearly every day. That era was much more successful than my try at pole vaulting.


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Avocado, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Toast

Avocado, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese ToastLately I have been on an avocado kick. I put it on toast, salads, even eat it plain. Today’s new creation was so supper yummy! Light, yet delicious. Mmmmm.

Like many recipes lately, this one is super easy.

Avocado, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Toast

  1. Toast a piece or two of bread
  2. While it is toasting take a whole avocado and smash it up just a bit.
  3. Spread on the toast when it is ready.
  4. Add goat cheese crumbles on top
  5. Slice strawberries and place on top
  6. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar. If you are feeling fancy, you can cook it on the stove top for just a bit until it is more like a syrup.
  7. Eat. Eat. Eat.

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Foodie Pen Pal: April 2012

Recently a friend of mine joined this amazing thing…Foodie Penpal! A product of the genius of Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean, this fun project pairs people with penpals…that send food to each other. How cool!

I immediately had to sign up.

I eagerly awaited my pairings, and was lucky to get Melissa from as the person who would write to me. I could not wait for my package to arrive! And then the day came! What would be inside???

It was so fun to open it up!

There was coffee (she must know me so well!) and chocolate (really, REALLY well), and chocolate peanut butter, granola bars, and seasonings. She even sent some homemade chocolate oatmeal chunk cookies with a recipe. Seeing as my five-year-old gobbled up the cookies before I could even finish unpacking the box, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of these in our household.

Mom even tried some of the goodies. Mmmmm…chocolate peanut butter!

Funny, my neighbor got my package, so not only did I get some cool food, I met a new neighbor too!

I can’t wait for my Foodie Penpal, Emily over at Gliz Glam Granola, to open her box. Check out her blog to see what Ohio goodies are now feeling the California sunshine!

Want a foodie penpal of your own? Learn more about it here.

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Some bunny’s been here

Happy Easter!



Yes, I’m a little behind the ball in life, but sometimes that is how life goes sometimes.

Easter was lots of fun. It’s a very important time, as the Easter Bunny is Santa’s helper too. He reports directly to the big man (year round) to let him know who is being naughty and who is being nice.

You have to build you bunny nest:


And make some eggs:


Oh, and of course you have to wear your Easter bonnet!












And eat some yummy dessert:


I think it turned out pretty cute!

I used

Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake from


Half a recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting IIĀ  from

Directions to make the bunny:
1. Bake a cake round (flavor of your choice) and let it cool. Slice in half so you have two semicircles and glue them together with frosting with the cut side down.

2. Cut a v-shape about 1/4 of the way up the top so you make a small notch to separate the head from the body.

3. Ice the cake and use shredded coconut to cover so it looks like fur. I used a marshmallow for the tail and nose thing, jelly beans for the eyes and nose nose, and toothpicks for whiskers.

4. Cut ear-shapes from paper and color with pink crayons. Place these at the top of the “head”.

5. For grass, toss shredded coconut with green food coloring until color you desire. I used chocolate eggs and jelly beans tossed around for added decoration.

6. Eat.

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Boozy Watermelon Slushy

Since I moved back up north, I have blossomed into a full-blown foodie-wanna-be. I say that, as I am not a total food snob, but I do love to cook, and I do love good food. Since my munchkin would prefer to eat peanut butter and jelly every day, and Riley shouldn’t really be eating people food, I have guests over for dinner so we can enjoy yummy food. Food like my Boozy Watermelon Slushy. Okay, maybe that’s a drink, but hey, those are good too.

With that never-ending watermelon (Think pickles, and more pickles), I still had about two gallons of watermelon puree I froze into cubes and have been storing in the freezer. And then we had that heat wave. That just screams refreshing drink.

Boozy Watermelon Slushy


  • Watermelon cubes (puree frozen into cubes)
  • Mint Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Sprite or Soda Water

Directions – Combine cubes and syrup and blend. Add vodka. Pour into glass and top with sprite for a sweet drink or soda water for something a little lighter in taste. For a thicker drink add regular ice as well to the blender stage. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a sprig of mint.

I purposely did not do amounts – that’s up to you. It’s up to you how boozy/sweet you want your drink.

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The watermelon makes another appearance

So, remember the other day when I made these Watermelon Rind Pickles? I ended up with way too much watermelon for just the two of us, so I needed a way to use some of it up. After searching around the web I made another discovery. It turns out you can make pickles from the pink part too!

I found this recipe and this recipe, and kinda mixed the two together. Spicy watermelon? Had to try it.

Aren’t they beautiful? Just looking at them is good enough for me. They contain watermelon, pickle juice, garlic, hot pepper, bell pepper, dill heads, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

I did try them, and boy, are they spicy. I’m pretty much a weakling when it comes to spices though. I got a mixed reaction from others trying them. Many liked the taste, but not the texture. They don’t really retain very much of the watermelon taste. However, my spicy-food-loving-friends all seemed to enjoy them.

Will I make these again? Possibly. They are just so darn pretty.

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Vegetables and Rice


I have a very tiny garden to go with my very tiny apartment. Half of it is in pots, and the other is growing over the sidewalk. But, me and the munchkin make the most of the space and were able to fit in tomatoes, carrots, beans, egg plant, lettuce, herbs, bell peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, and even some potatoes. Every morning we go out and water our garden and pull some weeds. Well, I pull weeds and water while the munchkin digs in the dirt and terrorizes some poor bug.

Our hard work is paying off. Our cherry tomatoes have started to come in, and we’ve gotten quite a few beans. Today we thinned out the carrots, as they were a little forest growing in our garden. Luckily, munchkin is more apt to eat veggies when he picks them himself, so he pulled the carrots and picked the beans. Score one for mom!

Vegetables and Rice

  • 1 clove garlic
  • carrots, chopped
  • onions, chopped
  • green beans, snapped into 1-inch pieces
  • red bell pepper, chopped
  • Muenster cheese
  • Rice


  1. Put rice and water in a pot in a 2:1 ratio and cook to directions on package
  2. saute garlic, carrots, and onion in pan. Add green beans and cover and cook on medium heat for five minutes
  3. Add in bell pepper and cook to desired crispness
  4. Spoon hot rice onto plate and cover with a slice of muenster cheese, allowing the cheese to melt and top with veggies.

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Fancy Fried Egg Sandwich

On my last visit home I was exploring my parents’ garden to see what they were growing, and instantly became envious of their super lovely rainbow chard. It’s large and gorgeous, and I knew as soon as I returned home I MUST make something with chard.

Luckily, I recently started a Pinterest account. Have you seen this? It keeps track of random things you find on the web in a pretty board that is fun to look at. Because this is what I need, another way to occupy myself with looking up recipes. Anyways, I started a board for all kinds of chard recipes, and so for dinner I decided to create my own. Thus, the fancy fried egg sandwich.


  • bagel
  • egg
  • muenster cheese
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • chard, any variety, chopped
  • Mayonnaise


  1. Heat skillet to medium low heat. In an oiled pan, break your egg and let it cook. Meanwhile, toast the bagel.
  2. When ready, flip the egg and place piece of muenster cheese on top. On side of pan place chard and tomatoes and cook just long enough to wilt chard.
  3. Spread some mayonnaise on the bagel. Assemble egg and chard mixtures on top of bagel.



Watermelon Rind Pickles – Who Knew?

The internet is a wonderful thing. At times when I should be doing laundry or washing dishes, I can look up all sorts of yummy, delicious recipes. Thus, that is what I was doing this past weekend when I happened upon a recipe for watermelon rind pickles. Wh-what? I did a search and found many more recipes for this alien pickle. You can eat the rind? People WANT to eat the rind? Well, immediately I knew I had to try it.

So, this past weekend on a trip to Aldi’s I included one huge watermelon for only $2.99. I forgot how huge watermelons are. I set to work cutting it up and processing the various parts – some to eat plain, some I put in a blender and froze as ice cubes for future smoothies or cocktails, some were made into popsicles, and the rind was cut into chunks…maybe 1/4″. The recipes all said for 1″, but what can you do with that? I’m thinking this might be good on sandwiches or desserts or something. Well, at least I think that is what I am going to do.

Something is wrong with this picture.

It took a long while to cut it up. It was made even longer after cutting it all up and realizing I forgot to peel it before cutting it up, so after soaking in brine I carefully sliced off the green peel from EVERY SINGLE PIECE. Boy, did that take a long time.

Following the brine it was time for the syrup making and processing. It was supposed to make about five half pints, but I got two. I’m blaming it on the relish-like quality.

Not the prettiest in jars, but everyone who has had these say they are totally awesome. I’m a wee bit weary, but again, here’s to trying new things!

Adapted from a recipe.


  • 4 lbs watermelon rind
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cupswater
  • 4 cupssugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoonwhole cloves
  • 1 teaspoonsliced, fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  1. Cut up melon rind, peel off the green part, and remove all pink portions.
  2. Cut rind into 1 inch pieces for pickles, smaller for relish.
  3. Weigh
  4. Soak rind overnight in enough bring to cover all pieces, made by dissolving 1/4 cup salt in each quart of water
  5. Drain rind, wash in fresh water and drain again.
  6. Combine remaining ingredients, with the spices in cheesecloth, and boil together 5 minutes.
  7. Add rind a few at a time so it doesn’t spash and cook until rind is clear.(simmer about 30 Min.). Meanwhile, prepare jars.
  8. Remove cheesecloth and put in bottom of prepared jars evenly.
  9. Pack rind on top of spices in hot sterilized jars.
  10. Cover with boiling syrup, remove air pockets, and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

I’ve also discovered recipes for the pink part along the way, so I might have to try that next. Again, I haven’t opened these yet. I think I’m going to wait a few weeks and then give it a go.