Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wow, What a Difference a Week Makes!

It's hard to believe we were buried in snow last week! My lilac is in bud, and various plants managed to keep growing beneath the snow.
This daffodil managed to emerge, and the roses are all turning that pre-flower shade of burgundy. Note just a few of the broken limbs we need to cut up in the backround...

Difficult to believe those chairs on the hill were buried in several feet of snow...

So exciting to see that the arugula survived! The burning bush and blueberries are all in bud, as well as my cotone aster (not in photos). If you look at the photos, you can spot various toys dropped by the dogs (kind of like "Where's Waldo?"). Yay for spring!!
Yikes! How could I forget to mention, that a pair of Stellar Jays are making a nest at the house?!? Sure sign of spring...

Friday, March 25, 2011

French Onion Soup is Perfect Winter Fare!

What to make for dinner, when it is snowy, and you have some onions and stale bread? French onion soup, of course! We had this for dinner last night (except the monkey, who had to have spam/rice/nori).
   I have the BEST classic French cookbook, At Home with the French Classics (I just saw on for only $4.00!! Crazy price!!). This cookbook has all the sauce recipes (e.g. Béarnaise, Béchamel, etc.), & all the bones you need to make classic French dishes.
   Anyway, I rarely follow a recipe exactly, so you can make this inexactly as well!
Easy French Onion Soup:
Recipe calls for 5-6 onions (I used 3, since we are a small family). Halve, chop thinly. Saute in 2-3 tbsp. butter in a dutch oven, or similar heavy-duty pot. Going to keep cooking for at least 20-35 min. until onions are brown, but not burned. Bottom of pot will get a thick brown coating; that is essential, do not remove, but do not allow to burn. Add some salt/pepper (careful not to oversalt). Add 2 tbsp. flour to onion mix, cook 10 more min. Then add beef stock (recipe said 9 cups, I used 6 or so). Be sure to deglaze pan while adding stock. Bring to boil, simmer at least 1/2 hour.
   When ready to serve, set oven to broil, & ladle into ovenproof bowls, leaving 1" or more at top. Top bowls with stale 1/2"  thick bread slices (I used that wonderful bread from Mountain Mercantile), like sourdough baguette. Then generously sprinkle on grated Gruyére cheese. Hey! This is the mountains; no Gruyére to be found here! No problem: I substituted mozzarella, which one should always have an ample supply of for pizza making. Broil until cheese bubbles, just a few minutes.
   Voila!! Yummy yum yum...It was soooo good!
WOOPS! Forgot: you are supposed to add cognac near the end. I added a splash of red wine instead!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Easter Snow Bunnies & Miscellaneous

Forgive me, those who already saw this on Facebook, but had to share the snow Easter bunny & eggs on my blog! Just used food coloring & water & Easter egg color kit, brush & spray on. Safe for environment. Will probably paint some more snow today. Kosmo snuck up & stuck his face in the camera!

This is what our street looked like when I came home from taking the monkey to school. That's a lot of snow!!

Tell your friends: Moose needs a new home. Wonderful with people, but cannot get along with our big weim, Henry (keeps beating him up). Big love bug, but should be an only dog (despite how well he gets on with the little weim). Neutered, trained, sweetie boy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

SNOWY Spring!

Here is a photo the hub took yesterday afternoon; you can see huge downed tree...

Pre-power outage: remnants of a homemade, part pepperoni, part pesto/chicken/asparagus pizza; happy times in the den (note the huge snowpile outside the window). Then, power outage for 19 hours! Can't complain, though; PMC still out...

Heavy, snow-laden branches hanging ominously over our sleeping porch during the storm, & snow-buried Prius this am...

Just buried in snow!! Happy Spring!! LOL

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Falling branches!

If this is not the biggest snowfall we have experienced, it is certainly one of the most destructive. So many branches are falling in Pinon Pines, you can sit on our front landing, and hear them all over. Sounds like fireworks. This is what has happened right next to our house...

Springtime in the Mountains!

   I just planted a cherry tree, arugula, pansies and some raspberry canes. My apple trees and the wisteria I planted last fall are just showing leaf buds. Bulbs are popping up, & my two potted blueberries have leaf buds. Took photos of the pretty signs of spring, in anticipation of the growing season...First photo is the cherry tree I planted (bare cane) ...Then, WHAM! Snow is from today...

The first day of spring brings the heaviest snow we have had all this winter (if it were still officially winter). Feels like some weird Wayne's World time-travel to what January should have been like (wiggling fingers, "blublublurr, blublublurr").

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March Storytime/Craft at Chatterpillar

   Yesterday, we enjoyed a lovely storytime and craft at our wonderful local toy store, Chatterpillar. We read two books by Mo Willems: Knufflebunny and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Then the children made birds out of old paper towel rolls, and enjoyed some yummy cookies.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring is Almost Here-the Monkey & Doggies are Having Fun!

   Although I love the snow, it was a pretty dud of a snow season, with way too much rain and mud. I'm looking forward to trying to plant a vegetable garden, and to see how well my two new apple trees do this year.
   The dogs, in particular Moose, have been hard at work excavating. He has a burrow in the hillside that he has created for lounging.
   Today, my neighbor-friend's goats were right by the street, and SO cute! The grey one was so curious and friendly. I want some goats!!