Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bits of Spring

The weather in Northern California varies greatly. Lately our weather has been sunny, with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Spring is in the air.

Apricot Tree blossoms

Pear Tree buds

Plum Tree blossoms

Apple Tree buds

Nectarine Tree blossoms.  
New spring chicks. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crazy Busy

I've had a lot going on lately. I finally realized it's been a while since I did a post. I thought it would be best if I caught everyone up on all the happenings. 

I've spent a lot of time with my new friend Kat. We've been visiting and going places together. It has really been enjoyable to have a new friend to share things with. 

I went to the orthopedic doctor on March 21st. He thought my knee fracture was healed because it had been six months since the injury. He had me start walking without the crutches and gave me a prescription for physical therapy. I tried walking for one week and the pain and swelling increased. I ended up having another x-ray on March 28th. It showed the fracture was healing but wasn't fully healed. I went back to using the crutches until this past Saturday. Now I am finally able to walk and tolerate some discomfort. 

I began physical therapy today. The therapist was very pleased with the mobility I have in my knee. He stated my knee should make a complete recovery. My back and spine are a whole different story. Having not been able to walk normally for so long, has put my spine and hips out of alignment. I have lots of work ahead of me. I will be relearning to walk normal.

This past Saturday, my husband began work on a new project in our bedroom. We knocked out the wall between our bedroom and our son's bedroom. Now we are in the process of building new closets, bookshelves and storage shelves inside the closets. I'm so excited! I can't wait until my husband finishes. 

Our room before construction (Original Closet Side)

Our room before construction (Original Wall Side)

Our Son's room before construction (Original Wall Side)

Our Son's room before construction (Original Closet Side)

Partial construction of closet in our room

Partial construction of bookshelves in our room

Also, this past Saturday on our way to get more building supplies for our remodeling project, we stopped at the local feed store "just to look at" baby chicks. Needless to say, we came home with eight new chicks: two Brahmas, two Barred Rock and four Crested Polish (Mixed varieties). They are so cute! The Brahmas and Barred Rocks are pullets. The Crested Polish are straight run; mix of male and female. We are hoping for females. We aren't allowed to have roosters in the city. 

Bringing home our new baby chicks. 

Our new baby chicks learning to roost. 

Princess saying "Hi" to the chicks.  (Her head's in the way)

Life has been really good. I enjoy hobbling around without crutches; love having good friends and a husband who is an incredible carpenter. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Banana-Honey Cake

I purchased a cook book several years ago and have only used it a couple times. I decided the book was under used and I needed to try one of the recipes. I looked through it and tried to decide. I kept in mind the ingredients I already had so I wouldn't need to go shopping. I was in the mood to bake or cook.

I finally found a recipe I wanted to try. It was a Banana-Honey Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. It looked yummy. The recipe can be found in "The illustrated Encyclopedia of American Cooking."

Banana-Honey Cake Recipe

1 C. honey
1 tsp. soda
1 C. rolled oats
3/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. Sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. mashed bananas
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. sifted all purpose flour
3/4/ tsp. baking powder
2   3oz. packages of cream cheese
2 1/2 C. sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 ˚. Bring honey to a boil in medium saucepan; add 1/2 tsp.  soda. Pour hot honey mixture over oats; stir and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes. Beat butter until creamy; add sugar gradually, beating until fluffy. Blend in eggs. Add oats mixture and bananas; beat until blended. Sift salt, flour baking powder and remaining soda together. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Pour batter into 2 greased and waxed paper-lined 8" round cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool. Soften cream cheese; beat until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually, beating until frosting is of spreading consistency. Spread between layers and over top of cake and refrigerate. Garnish with banana slices just before serving.

Required ingredients.

Sifted dry ingredients.

Creamed butter, sugar and eggs.

Honey and baking soda.

Boiled honey and baking soda.

Butter mix, bananas, honey and oat mix. 

Batter ready for oven.

Offered Lil' Red a banana while I waited for the cake to bake. She refused. 

Goldie liked the banana. 

Finished cake. 

Cream cheese frosting. 

Ready to serve with no garnishing. I gave the garnishing to the chickens. 

The cake has a strong flavor. One can definitely taste the bananas and especially the honey. It is a very sweet cake. Next time I will probably leave the frosting off.

I didn't have two round cake pans and used a 9"x13" pan instead. The cake ended up thinner in appearance. Next time I need to either borrow the pans from a friend or purchase them. I believe the cake will look better.

 Comments from three other tasters; "good", "strong and sweet", "I liked the cake."

Hope you enjoy trying it.
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