a little getaway~

Dear Hubby and I had the nicest 2 days AWAY from home.  What a luxury! We didn't get to go that often before because we had the bait shop; which pretty much kept us home.  We took a little drive over to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan to visit my sister Cher and her hubby Thom. 

When we left home Sunday morning, the sun was just coming up and trying to peak through the rain clouds.

About half way there the sun finally won out over the clouds and it quit raining for about an hour.  It was such a pretty drive this time of the year with the tree leaves turning color.

We didn't get to stay long; but none the less... it was  a great trip.  We had the nicest visit and shared a LOT of laughs.  

 We even played some UNO ~ I forgot how much fun that game can be; maybe it was the alcohol consumption that made it so much fun; or ... maybe not??  Whatever it was ... Cher and I are awesome partners!!  We lost; but we didn't go down without a fight!! 

Yesterday we took a little drive and did some shopping while Thom and Cher's vehicle was getting serviced.  We stopped in at this little cafe for lunch.  On their menu (2 pieces of paper stapled together) they have 101 Burger selections!!  The waitress said they were getting new ones printed up so she let me take one of the menus home.

Here's a scan of it: (CLICK on it to enlarge) Some of those burger names and combinations are too funny!  Especially number 50.


What really cracked me up over this though was that Thom and Slim both ordered the same thing; without being aware of what the other had ordered.  They both ordered a #6 Meat Lovers Pizza Burger out of 101 choices.  Then ... to further confirm how much Cher and I are alike ~ unbeknownst to each other... the two of us had both  passed on the hamburger option and we both ordered a meatloaf special.  How weird is that?

Cher and I find ourselves doing the same thing so many times it's spooky.  Example:  When I saw her computer screen I just about flipped out. 
Out of the millions billions trillions kazillions of photos on the internet to choose for a wallpaper on our desk top ... we both have the same one.  How weird is that.  I guess great minds just think alike.

Oh well... until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.



My Dear Hubby and his brother went mushroom hunting this morning.  They came home with 4 pails full of honey mushrooms.

After I had them all cleaned I had a big dishpan full.

So that's how I'll be spending my afternoon ...
cooking up 'shrooms ...
and putting them into the freezer for use throughout the year until next fall when it'll be time to get some more. 


Here's a great recipe to use wild mushrooms in.



     1 cup cooked wild rice
     3 tablespoons butter
     1 onion, chopped
     1 cup chopped celery
     2 cups chopped fresh or frozen mushrooms (thawed)
     2 chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
     3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
     salt and pepper to taste
     4 cups chicken broth
     2 cups milk

   1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
   2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until almost tender.
   3.  Add the cut up chicken breast and cook another 10 minutes; stirring and lightly browning the chicken.
   4. Stir in the four and salt and pepper to taste. Add the broth and milk and stir until soup thickens.
   5. Add the rice and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.

Note:  Because of the longer cooking time of wild rice I like to cook it up in a big batch.  I then put it into either pint size or quart size freezer bags.  Then whenever I need it all I have to do is just thaw it out in the microwave for a few minutes. 

Here's my mushrooms after I cooked them down this afternoon.  Now to get them in to the freezer.

I also made up a kettle of the Wild Rice/Chicken Mushroom Soup for supper... the same recipe in this post.

So it goes in my neck of the woods.


a kickin' chocolate cake~

If I could describe a cake as butt kickin' it would have to be this one!

Seriously... it turned out that good.  It's moist, tight textured, light, has a walnut chocolate filling between the layers, the cake and frosting is full of flavor, smooth and creamy... here's the recipe:


2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Crisco
1/2 Cup cold black coffee
1 tsp. vanilla emulsion
2 large eggs


1 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla emulsion
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 plus 2 Tblsp. warm water
4 Cups powdered sugar
1 Cup chopped walnuts ~ divided


Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Add the shortening, milk, coffee, eggs and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed 3 minutes.

Pour into pans and bake 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack or plate to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

Combine the cocoa, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the water and powdered sugar alternately.  Beat until smooth.

Place one pan of the cake on a plate.

Take 1 Cup of the frosting out and put into a separate bowl.  Mix in 2/3 Cup of the chopped walnuts.  Spread this on the first layer of the cake for a filling.

Top with the second layer of cake and add the remaining frosting.  Garnish the cake with the remaining walnuts.

Use emulsions instead of extracts with better results! 
If your recipe calls for 1 tsp. extract, substitute 1 tsp. emulsion.

Emulsions have a more potent flavor than an extract used in a 1:1 ratio because the flavor is encased in a gum base.  It's very thick like a syrup.
  • Emulsions have a more potent, robust flavor.
  • Won't "bake-out" when exposed to heat

  • Alcohol free

  • Gluten Free

 Use emulsions to flavor:

  • Cookies

  • Cakes

  • Sweet breads & pastries
  • Frostings & glazes
  • Fondants, fillings, cream centers and other confectionery items.
Where to buy:  most high end grocery stores will carry it or it can be found at bulk food stores


On a lighter note ~

Last night grandlove #2 gave me a big hug and she's nuzzled right into me and she's sniffing me. lol  I asked her, "are you sniffing me?"  She says, "You smell like dough."  "What?" I said.  She says, "Grandma... you smell just like fresh bread dough.  I have a very sensitive smeller on me and that's what you smell like.  It's a good smell to have."



The doughnuts are made.
Come for coffee .