Monday, January 31, 2011

Barn Friends

Barbara is one of the barn owners - she's been helping Annie with her 2 year old baby Arabian.

This is Annie with her "baby" Sparty.  Look at those ears!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ice Fishing??

I can't say that fishing has ever been something I really enjoyed doing but ice fishing?  THAT I just don't even understand.  But apparently lots of other people love it because yesterday our lake was filled with people in a big ice fishing tournament.  Because it's been so darn cold, the ice in the lake is extra thick so many people took advantage of that fact to drive every size and shape vehicle out onto the ice to save themselves the chore of lugging all their equipment out to the middle of that frozen tundra.

I have to admit, they did have a decent day weather wise with 28 degrees and very little wind but it was dark and gloomy and still looked like it was going to snow some more, even though that had quit early in the morning.  When Equestrian Girl and I left for a tack show at 7:30 a.m. the lake was already filling up.  By the time we came home at 1:30ish and took these pictures, a whole town and grown on the lake!

This pic is slightly edited to lighten the image as are most of the others.

This one is unedited - you can see how dark and gloomy it really was outside.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brrrrrrr it's cold out baby!

I like winter.  I like snow.  I even like it being pretty cold.  But single digits...not so much so.  With a whopping high of 9 degrees yesterday, staying inside seemed like a good idea.  I had stocked up on the groceries and decided I was going to cook.  I was going to prep 30 meals in freezer bags come hell or high water or bitter cold.  I've done it before and I was doing it again.  And I did.

I made use of the bitter cold too.  Figured there was no point in putting all those room temp bags of food in my freezer right away and making it work 10 times as hard to freeze all that food so...

Yes, that's bags of dinners laying outside my back door - you can see the edge of my truck tire at the top left of the pic and yesterday's ran over newspaper!  Tossing that stuff outside on that cold concrete had it all frozen up right quick!  My freezer was quite happy with me.  I stocked her chock full but with nice cold stuff that she didn't have to freeze for me.

But now I have 30 meals ready to go with all the ingredients packaged right up with the meat.  Many are crock pot meals but not all.  And of course, some will need added veggies, rice, noodles, etc.  Today I have a few more to do.

The funny thing yesterday was the temp in the house had fallen to 62 degrees while I was cooking but I never noticed until I was done and sat down and then man o' man was the house freezing!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cold Weather - Warm Tummy

Anyone who knows me well knows I don't particularly like to cook or bake.  I do because we need to eat and I have kids that I have to feed semi-healthy and nutritious food.  So most nights I manage to cook something.

Last night I made a casserole that was very easy but everyone loved it.  I wish I had taken pictures because it sort of looked good too and there was a ton left over.

I'm not much into measuring but I don't think any of it much matters.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

About 3-4 cups of cooked rice (I used leftovers)
About 3-4 cups torn up cooked chicken (I bought a whole cooked chicken from Costco for $5 and tore all the meat off it (tossed the skin).  I kept about 1/4 of what I had to use for chicken salad later)
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
A couple big spoons of sour cream (you could skip this if you didn't have any)
About 1/2 an onion - chopped and sautéed in a bit of butter (this could be skipped too but we like onions and I think it counts as a vegetable)
Some shredded cheese (anything with some orange color to it would work)

Mix everything together except the cheese in a big bowl.
Dump it all in a casserole dish.  Smooth it out and sprinkle the cheese on top.
Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it's hot all the way through.

You could also dump it all in a big crock pot to heat up.

Or put half in the crock pot/casserole and freeze the other half because this does make quite a lot.

This meets all my requirements - it only took 2 bowls/pans/cooking things, all are ingredients I usually have around, it was quite good, and the kids loved it.  Served with green beans and it was probably fairly nutritious too...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review

I don't get to read "real" books nearly as often as I used to or as much as I'd like to.  I do manage to finish one every month or so on my iPod listening on my commutes to work or meetings around the state.  I've found myself turning away from the thrillers and mysteries that I used to like so much to historical fiction, and even biographies.  I recently finished the Keith Richard's biography...and I wasn't ever even a big Stones fan!

Not Without My Sister   wasn't anything like I've read in the past.  It's a true story about three little girls born into a cult that had spread world wide in the 70's.  To say it was good wouldn't be the right word.  It was disturbing.  It was heartbreaking.  It was awful.  Not the writing.  What was awful was what happened to these children as their parents sat back and ignored it all under the guise of religion.  Horrible.  It's a book that you don't want to keep reading but have to find out if these sister are okay.  But could anyone actually BE okay after living that kind of life?

It makes you very thankful for your very normal, very boring, very middle class childhood.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drill Teams

Many years ago Equestrian Girl and I both did some drill team work and had a blast!  It was so much fun but a LOT of work.  We both wanted to join the drill team at the barn this fall but the practices conflicted with too many other things we had going on including shows.  When they formed a winter team, we just plain missed the boat.  But the six that did join put on a great show for us at the post-Christmas party/New Year's party at the barn last weekend!