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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wildlife at Cypress Lakes Resort

The head, eyes and snout of a young alligator in Florida.
One of the things I like at this resort is the variety of wildlife you can see right in your backyard. I will admit to not being terribly good at grabbing the camera every time I see a new critter, and because my main camera is so heavy to carry I don't take it very often when I'm walking for exercise. I probably should :)

A white ibis with it's distinctive curved orange beak and orange feet and legs.The variety ranges widely from birds of many types, to aquatics (turtles, frogs, gators, fish, etc.) to everything in between (including deer). The first deer we saw was when we first bought the house in Florida. We were putting down red cedar shavings along the side garden when a doe and fawn poked their heads out from behind the back of the house. We stopped to watch, and after a few minutes they casually strolled out from behind the house, past the back of the neighbours house and disappeared up the grassy knoll to the forest at the end of the road.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Roast Chicken Soup

Last week we had friends for dinner, and I wound up with a bunch of left over roast chicken. Under normal circumstances, I'd just use up the left-overs in another meal but since we were leaving for several months, I had to either toss the food, or find a way to use it. I hate tossing out good food so I turned to the fridge and freezer to see what I could come up with (yeah, we had to use or give away all the food in the fridge and freezer too).

The soup turned out pretty good by all accounts - for my husband to eat anything with spinach in it, the food has to be very good (he hates spinach and won't usually eat it).

Because I made it on the fly, I don't have exact measurements and in truth, exact measurements aren't really necessary for soups unless it's some sort of gourmet recipe and this one isn't. Just good, old fashioned homemade soup.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ultimate Bars Cookie Brownie

Rather than this being a recipe for baked goods, it's a bit of a plug for a package mix that I tried for the first time. Yeah, I know - it's from a box, it isn't made from scratch. That's okay sometimes though, and when you have a surprise visit and need something to be in the oven fast, this (by all accounts) is a worthy package to have in your cupboard.

The instructions are simple, and it seems pretty foolproof (I bet even my non-cooking husband could do this), but the baking time is sort of long compared to a standard brownie. The box contains 2 packages of mix - one for the brownie bottom, and one for the cookie top. The brownie mix requires an egg, water and melted butter - pretty easy, you just dump the liquid in on top of the dry and mix it up by hand til it's reasonably smooth. Spread that in an 8" X 8" greased pan (even if it's non-stick you'll want to grease it).

Then the cookie mix - add water and softened butter (not melted butter, just soft). It doesn't say this, but it's best if you mix the butter with the dry cookie mix until it's sort of crumbly, then add the water and continue mixing til it's a somewhat stiffer dough without big lumps. Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto the top of the brownie mix. Try to cover the top evenly with clumps of cookie dough.

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