Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mango Tree- An Indoor Gardening Experiment

For those of you wondering the status of our mango tree that was planted exactly one year ago today here is a little update.

It is now about twenty inches tall and has a bunch of nice bright green leaves. It does need a stake for support, but the bottom of the tree is starting to look like it may be getting rough bark like spots, so hopefully it will stand on it's own soon. I plant to move it outside again this summer once it is warm enough, that seemed to give it a growth spurt when I moved it outside this past summer.

Not exactly what I was hoping for when I originally planted it. It seems that if I want mangoes from it it will probably take til Bubba is in college, but it was a fun experiment that taught me a pretty dependable way to sprout seeds.


This is another half written post from when we were still at my parents. As I was finishing it up, I remembered why I had a couple of half finished posts. I reached the free image size limit for my blog page on blogger. After a bit of research I found a way around it: the image space limit doesn't count for pictures under the 800 x 800 pixel size. Normally my posts have images with sizes of about 2000-ish pixels so the picture quality goes down a little, but I really like having step by step pictures for recipes so I think it's better than nothing.

Anyway a while back, I found a recipe for Churros on this blog, and my brother and I decided we had to have some! Having never made Churros before, we just followed the recipe exactly.

1 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon 

 Mix up the eggs and vanilla.

In a sauce pan heat the butter, brown sugar, water and salt to a boil.


Remove from the heat and add the flour.

Stir well. Then add to the egg mixture. 
Now the original blogger says that this part is a work out, 
but it isn't with the help of my trusty kitchen aid mixer!

If you don't have a piping bag (or don't want to wash one afterward), 
put the batter in a ziplock bag 

Carefully squeeze it to the bottom corner...

And cut and 'X' in the bottom tip of the bag. 

Squeeze out 4 inch-sih sections of batter. (it's hard to stop it once it starts going!)

Fry til golden brown.

Sprinkle with the sugar mixture while still hot.

Bubba was so excited to have this special treat after dinner.

"WHAT!? Cinnamon sugar before bed!"

"You have been holding out on me!"

"One more churro, and I'll forgive you."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Great Mouse Hunt

Late at night, the second week that we were in our new house,
my husband came to me and said, "I found a mouse in the garage."
"Alive or dead?" I asked.
"Alive. He's stuck in a cardboard box."

So like any normal people we caught him and transferred him to a plastic storage bin filled with a shredded paper towels, a bowl of water and a bowl of squirrel food. We punched air holes in the top and clamped down the lid. Then went to bed. The next morning I went to the pet store and bought and aquarium, nesting bed, running wheel, water bottle and proper mouse food, and of course gave him a name.

Meet Mozzarella:

I know what you are thinking. We are not normal.
We couldn't send him out in the snow! It was after midnight, and like 10 degrees out there!
I admit it sounds crazy, but I had pet mice as a kid, and two separate times we caught them the same way. The were nice little pets and each lived for almost two years.

I thought Bubba might enjoy him since he used to love going to the pet store and watching all of the furry animals, but our pet store here in Wisconsin is more of a pet food warehouse, with no furry critters to watch. I found that someone else seems to enjoy watching Mozzarella a little bit more, though: one of our cats Dora. The first week we had him, she could barely tear herself away from the cage to eat breakfast which is very unlike Dora, who has been known to go to drastic measures to get breakfast whenever she sees fit. Luckily Mozzarella is bold, and doesn't seem to mind the attention, staring her down and standing his ground.

Only problem is the other day I found some more of his friends in the garbage can in the garage. One was dead, but the other was very much alive.
Well crap! I can't put every field mouse I find in an aquarium. The whole house will be full of tiny aquariums. We live in the country. There are fields all around us. Probably with thousands of field mice. So we decided we should just try to free him, it was almost 40 degrees out that day, not as bad as the night we caught Mozzarella. We set up a box on it's side in the driveway (cause it was raining, and I didn't want him to get wet), filled it with a little food and a paper towel shredded up to keep him warm. Then we moved the trash can up to it and he ran in! Yay!

Then he ran back past us and into the garage. Sneaky bastard.
Then he climbed up the studs and into a hole near the ceiling of the garage. We figure they are either in between the walls of the garage, or they made it to the attic. Something must be done. But clearly I can't kill them.

Ah, the joys of home ownership!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


It has been a bit busy unpacking so I haven't gotten to write many posts lately, but don't worry they are coming soon. I happened to come across a couple of half finished posts from while we were still at my parents in Illinois so I figured I should post them before too much time goes by!

Popovers have always been a family favorite since I was a kid. I actually remember before my brother liked soup, he used to just make a popover sandwich for dinner while the rest of us had soup. Since they were so popular, we always made a double recipe, which makes twelve popovers.

6 eggs
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons of oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

First pre heat oven to 450, and spray the popover pan generously with oil. 
(a popover pan is basically a large deep muffin pan, you'll see in a minute) 
Mix wet ingredients in a bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing just til incorporated do not beat.

Spoon into pan, about 3/4 full (maybe a little less). 

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 til they rise, then turn down heat to 325 and bake for 25-30 minutes, 

til nice and golden brown.

Great with a nice bowl of soup.

Or just plain with melted butter

Like all bread products, Bubba loved them!