Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sketching on the Trail





Walked a little over 5 miles on the nature trail this morning.  The goldenrod is in full bloom.


I sat on a bench towards the middle of my walk and sketched the close-up of the

goldenrod….when I lifted my head to put away my paints, I saw a deer peeking out,

watching me.  I was so engrossed in painting the flower that I have no idea how

long it had been there watching.

An unexpected moment of beauty.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I love you a latte…

It’s been a while since I’ve made any “food” posts.

I’ve been TRYING to eat healthier and I want YOU to

be healthy too.

So I feel that spreading food porn of my occasional treats such

as cream cheese ice cream is really not helpful to anyone,

but honestly, I’ve made homemade cream cheese ice cream

about 4-5 times this summer…..I just can’t help myself!!

I have a new recipe I’ve run across and it’s simple and easy and chock

full of fat and sugar….if you want it you’ll have to e-mail me….it’s sinful.


Oh no, I’ve digressed……I’m here to talk about something healthy….

and a bit odd….

with lots of fat….

a touch of sweet…

bizarre actually….

it’s become my new morning best friend….


She looks fairly harmless with her foamy top, but a lot of magic lies beneath….

think of her as you in the 80’s with your teased and ratted up hair, layers of Aqua Net to make

that big hair happen!!

Ah, the big hair….such a long time ago!!


Flashback…..Yes, I lived through it!! Me and two of my besties at our senior prom!!

Any-who….here is how to get that foamy top…’re going to be surprised…..

Start with organic, grass-fed butter….my favorite is Kerrygold,


but Kenny used the last of it last night

when he was making our scrambled eggs. By the way, they were DELICIOUS…that man makes

the best scrambled eggs ever…..I’m sure it’s the butter!!

Instead, I have organic butter (which I’m guessing comes from soy or corn fed cows….it’s just not as yellow

as the grass-fed variety)….which is good, but really not AS GOOD as grass-fed,

grass-fed has the “good fat”.

“Grass-fed butter is much healthier than other butter.  It doesn’t make cholesterol levels worse,

it optimizes them!  Starting your day with grass-fed butter will give you lots of energy

and it will give your body healthy fats that it will use to make cell walls and hormones.”


Wow! I really keep getting off track this morning, but I’m going with it…..

So here we go….

1 tsp grass-fed butter (organic, but maybe not grass-fed in a pinch…like today)


1 tsp raw, cold pressed coconut oil


(normally this is fairly solid, but the house is a bit warmer, so of course it dripped

on the counter….oh well)

Next, I like to add 3-4 drops of Sweet Leaf liquid Stevia (you can skip this if you want,

but I tend to love it….my favorite flavors are Vanilla Crème, Hazelnut, and Chocolate…

I keep the chocolate in my purse so I can add it to a Starbucks coffee if I’m out and

about….way better than sugary stuff or fake stuff…and it saves a ton of calories)




Now, you’ve got your butter, coconut oil and flavoring…you could also add cinnamon

or a square of really good dark chocolate if you wanted.

Depending on what kitchen equipment you have here is how to blend…

If you have a blender, add in your hot coffee and blend until foamy.

I’m too lazy to always have to clean the blender afterwards, so I use a

hand blender.

Just barely cover the butter and coconut oil with hot coffee…


Yeah, this is why it needs to be blended….otherwise, it’s an oil slick!!


This is what you want….the foam! Once it gets foamy, then you can start adding the

rest of the coffee….just go easy on the blender speed or you’ll have hot coffee

spraying all over you!!! NOT a good thing!!

You’ve been warned!


Okay, who’s game?!

Oh yeah, why is this healthy? Why would I skip breakfast and have this instead?! Seriously folks, I’ve

always been a big breakfast eater… always!!

This won’t raise your insulin levels, it keeps you feeling full and gives you lots of energy.  The original recipe

calls for 1 Tbs of each instead of 1 tsp. I’ve used the tablespoon before and it definitely keeps you feeling full.

I’m watching my calories, so most days I just do the teaspoon of each, but with the tablespoon of each

it’s absolutely decadent!! Now, I don’t drink this in ALL my coffees….just my first morning coffee of the


No, I don’t drink coffee all day long…..sometimes I’ll have one in the afternoon as a pick me up, but

mainly I just drink water or iced tea.

For more information on this coffee concoction, go HERE

Saturday, August 23, 2014

An Amazing Legacy

Yesterday we went to “Top of the Rock” near Branson, Missouri…..actually in Ridgedale, Missouri.

Top of the Rock restaurant had a fire back in 2006, I think, and it had been years since we had been there, because it had been closed and we heard they were “re-building”.

We used to love to go, because you can dine alfresco and look out over the lake.

They finally re-opened this spring, but we hadn’t found time to go.

We missed our turn-off  (because it was no longer there, we found out later on) and ended up in Arkansas and had to back track for a bit.

Yes, I was driving, and we ended up calling On Star to get us back on track.

Oh well, a little driving around the countryside in the summer never hurt anyone….right?!

Needless to say, when we arrived, it was NOTHING like it had been before… wonder it had been closed for over 6 years

while they were re-building.

Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, gets a big kudos for taking the time to create such a wonderful legacy for his family and all of Missouri!


The Arnold Palmer driving range is made with synthetic turf, so it would be easier on the environment with

no mowing, watering or chemicals. Instead, it is vacuumed!!


There is a carbon dated Wooly Mammoth skeleton.


American Lion


I think this is a prehistoric bear….all prehistoric animals that roamed the Ozarks years and years ago.



A beautiful chapel that overlooks the lake.


Beautiful statues…


A great bar with a huge black marlin caught by Jack Nicklaus (the golfer). This is located in Arnie’s Barn.

Arnold Palmer’s grandpa’s barn which was disassembled in Pennsylvania and brought to the Ozarks

and reassembled.  Click HERE to see a video of the before and after.








You can sit outside to eat….however, on Saturday, it was 98, so we sat inside!


Kenny had the braised short rib enchiladas and street corn.


I went for the braised short rib nachos…..I just can’t say no to chips and a good margarita!!


They were still working on making more golf cart roads around one of the ponds.


You drive over Amish built bridges and see the wonderful Missouri bluffs with waterfalls.


Other than the 98 degrees, it was a wonderful day!!


If you want to see a fabulous video showing the new “Ozarks Heritage Preserve”

click HERE and be sure to make it into the big screen option….it’s really beautiful!

Monday, August 18, 2014

On Down the Trail


I’m sorry….I just had to post more pictures of the Nature Trail….

I walked 6 miles on Saturday morning as the sun was still coming up.


The trail is so peaceful….yes, you run across other walkers, joggers,

bikers, and dog walkers, but everyone is always so great.

They give you a low wave as they jog past or stop and let you

pet their dogs,

it’s nice.


In the picture up above, I’ve put an arrow to point at a

water bird who was hunting for food.

I tried to get a closer picture, but the bridge I was on,

was a ways away, so it’s sort of blurry.




For me, it’s seeing sights like this, that make it worth it to get up

at 6:30 in the morning on a weekend and hit the trail.




It’s also fun to step off the trail and get pictures of trees with

such great character.


There are always lots of ducks and geese on the pond.


Some of the fowl scatter into the water when you get close.


However, this little group had probably learned that people

mean food.


They let me get really close to them….this little black one is so

cute and scraggly looking.


I loved this one’s blue beak….so handsome!


Of course now, we are moving into our “end of summer heat wave”

with temperatures in the high 90’s most days….we’ll see what next

weekend brings.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Garden Edibles



Kenny is growing a few edibles this year in the garden…..

variegated lemon…..


Calamondin…..(yeah I didn’t know what it was either).  Here you go…..

The Calamondin bears a small citrus fruit that is used to flavor foods and drinks.

Despite its outer appearance and its aroma, the taste of the fruit itself is quite sour,

although the peel is sweet. Eating a whole fruit has a surprise with the combination of sweet and sour.

Calamondin marmalade can be made in the same way as orangemarmalade.

Like other citrus fruits, the calamondin is high in vitamin C.[4]

The fruit can be frozen whole and used as ice cubes in beverages such as tea, soft drinks,

water, and cocktails. The juice is extracted by crushing the whole fruit, and makes a

flavorful drink similar to lemonade. A liqueur can be made from the whole fruits,

in combination with vodka and sugar. In Asian cuisines, the juice is used to season fish,

 fowl, and pork. It is commonly used as a condiment in Filipino dishes like pancit.[4]

Calamondin halves or quarters may be served with iced tea, seafood and meats,

the acid juice is often employed like lime or lemon juice to make gelatin salads or desserts,

custard pie or chiffon pie. In the Philippines, the extracted juice, with the addition of

gum tragacanth as an emulsifier, is pasteurized and bottled commercially.

The fruit is used in local recipes in northern Indonesia, especially around the

North Sulawesi region. Fish are spritzed with the juice prior to cooking to eliminate

the "fishy" smell. Kuah asang ("sour soup") is a regional clear fish broth made with calamondin juice.

In Florida, the fruit is used in its fully ripe form with a more mature flavor profile than

the unripe version. Tasters note elements of apricot, tangerine, lemon, pineapple and guava.

The peel is so thin, each fruit must be hand snipped from the tree to avoid tearing.

The entire fruit minus the stems and seeds can be used. It is hand processed and

pureed or juiced and used in various products such as Calamondin cake, coulis and jam.

The peels can be dehydrated and used as gourmet flavoring with salt and sugar.

The fruit was popular with Floridian home bakers in cake form from the 1920s to 1950s.

Once women joined the workforce, the labor-intensive nature of processing the fruit

caused its diminished use. Now that commercially made products and fruit are available,

it is experiencing a resurgence.

Floridians who have a Calamondin in the yard often use the juice in a summer variation

of lemonade or limeade, as mentioned above, and, left a bit sour, it cuts thirst with

the distinctive calamondin flavor. Also it can be used on fish and seafood,

or wherever any other sour citrus would be used.

More than you ever wanted to know, huh?



Cherry tomatoes…..these plants just make GOBS of

cherry tomatoes….raw or roasted or in salsa,

they are the best!!


Kenny is also growing a papaya tree this year….

you can just now see it’s tiny fruit coming to life.


Also, ornamental dwarf peach…..guessing these are not edible….


Last but not least, the banana tree! It’s huge!!


It has a huge impressive bloom!!



Growing bananas in Missouri….who knew?!