Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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The Welcome Mat is Out – RV Life

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The snow that has fallen would easily reach the second step, but diligent shoveling makes finding the welcome mat possible!

The welcome mat is out. Snow covered. But out.

Bundle up, jump in the one-horse open sleigh, and drive over the river and through the woods to Nana’s house. I mean Nana and Papa’s RV.

First, we’ll visit and catch-up. Of course, in our tiny space, this may require sitting in shifts or booting a cat off the chair. Speaking of cats, the floating fur is free.

For the exercise portion of our gathering, shall we shovel some snow? As it seems to fall continuously, there are a couple of acres ready for your attention. We’ll add in a bit of slip-sliding our way up the hill to the irrigation ditch, view the wildlife, and sled back down into the pasture.

To conclude our fun times together, toasty hot tea or coffee and perhaps a snack or two shall be served.

As we wave you out of sight, know our hearts and RV are warmer and happier. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.

Just aim for the welcome mat.

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The Christmas tree that shall stand in place until probably March – or until the snow melts enough to get to the base. It’s still beautiful, so I shall enjoy it until then!

Snow, glorious, snow.

Falling, drifting, growing

Into mountains

And triathlon driving adventures.

 

Snow, fabulous, snow.

Beautiful, peaceful, blanketing

Covering all

And putting to bed those who live under.

 

– By Angie Quantrell


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Favorite Summer Recipe ~ Stuffed Squash

Crispy stuffed squash, a summer favorite!

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Ahh. The bounty of summer awaits my growling tummy!

Though I am posting this recipe today, I made this dish several weeks ago. Due to the odd weather this year and very early and hot spring temperatures, the produce schedule is very early or entirely off schedule!

I know. But we take what we get and have a fancy meal. I also acknowledge that I post this recipe in some form almost every year. It is that good.

This year, on July 1st (so early), I harvested a zucchini and a yellow squash plus wax and green beans. So delish!

 

Stuffing for the squash

Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey

washed and chopped green and wax beans

2 squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, and scooped out

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 cups chicken broth

parsley

black pepper

crushed peppers

salt

Mrs. Dash

onion powder

olive oil

grated cheddar cheese

Prepped squash. I sometimes like to add olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper before I stuff them.

1. Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil. Add turkey meat to brown it.

2. After turkey is browned, add black beans, beans, tomatoes, and spices (to your taste). Add enough chicken broth to make a thick mixture. Let cook until bubbling and fragrant.

3. Stuff peppers with stuffing. I love them full and overflowing. You will probably have leftovers, which makes a tasty soup or casserole base. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

4. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Check often as you near the end of your cooking time to make sure squash ingredients are not overcooking. We like a crispy cheese topping, so we let them cook the full time.

5. Remove and enjoy!

Ready for the oven.

You can add almost anything to this dish. If I have quinoa, it goes in the mix. At times I’ve added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms – you name it, I’ve probably had it in my stuffed squash.

I just love summer gardens and their tasty treats, don’t you? What’s your favorite summer dish?


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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

The cow who climbed a tree!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Story and Illustrations by Gemma Merino

(Albert Whitman & Company, 2015)

 

Aha! Who wouldn’t love a cow who climbed a tree?

And why would this cow climb a tree anyway? Really? Just picture it.

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree is a wonderfully illustrated book about a cow who was insatiably curious. About everything.

Her sisters? They were only interested in grass.

But this cow had more exciting things on her mind. What about this? Or that? Why not this?

One could say that this cow, Tina, had a great and wondering imagination, to which her sisters always replied with scorn: Impossible, ridiculous, nonsense.

But The Cow Who Climbed a Tree did not give up.

I love this story about a cow who kept dreaming and exploring and doing in spite of the lack of belief from those around her. I think young readers will be encouraged to hold onto and follow their dreams regardless of what others think.

Go, Cow!

KID KANDY:

Climb a Tree

(If you don’t have a tree, paint one with watercolors! I fell in love with the illustrations in this picture book. Paint me a tree like Gemma did!)

Head outside and find a strong, tall tree. Make sure you have good pants and a shirt on to protect your knees and skin.

Climb that tree! Pretend you are Tina, a cow, and you are going to climb that tree. Of course you don’t have a tail or cloven hooves, but you can pretend!

Look for finger and toe holds. Rest against the trunk and sitting on top of branches. Watch out for pitch – it’s very sticky. See how high you can get before you are too far.

Was it fun?

I used to be a champion tree climber. I’ve put holes in many a pair of pants from stray branches and broken off bits. And it was never as easy getting down as it was getting up. So do be careful.


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Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread Recipe

Yummy Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Last week our cupboards resembled Old Mother Hubbard’s.

Yet I adamantly resisted going grocery shopping. Because it is not my favorite thing to do. You can read the post here.

Bread was in zero supply, so I looked in the cupboard and we had yeast packets! I decided to make bread. I know, lots of work. But anything to avoid hitting the supermarket aisles.

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread

Ingredients:

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water

2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded and cooled)

1/4 cup honey

3 T. shortening

1 tsp. salt

4-5 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups white flour

3/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and almond flour (mixed together)

1/2 cup oatmeal (lightly ground in coffee grinder)

softened butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, honey, shortening, salt, white flour, and 2 cups whole wheat flour. Mix together.

Add oatmeal and grains plus enough whole wheat flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough out onto floured counter. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Roll into a ball. Put in a shortening greased bowl, turning once to cover all sides with shortening. Cover. Set bowl in warm spot and let rise until double (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough. Divide in half. Roll each half out into a rectangle. Tightly (but gently) roll the dough into a loaf and place seam-side down in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with second loaf. Lightly brush tops with butter. Cover and let rise for another hour, or until doubled.

Heat oven to 425 and put oven racks on a lower setting so the bread tops rest in the center of the oven. Bake until loaves are toasty brown and sound hollow when thumped, about 30 minutes.

Remove loaves from pans, place on cooling racks, and spread butter on top. Cool and enjoy!

My well-loved and much used pre-marriage cookbook

The original recipe came from my Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (Golden, New and Revised Edition) that I’ve had since before I was married (pre-1985). The name inscribed on the inside front cover is Angie Hill.

In fact, there is no title page, as it has fallen out during some previous cooking escapade. We now start things off on page 7 and discuss how to care for and prepare meat.

***My recipe for Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Bread has been adjusted and adapted to our tastes – less salt, more grains, and a mix of whole wheat and white flour.


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Smorgasbord Health – Brain health – A nutrient packed shopping list.

This is my shopping list and each week I try to find as much variety as I can amongst the seasonal foods.  There are two lists.. .one with the nutrients you need to be healthy and the foods that pr…

Source: Smorgasbord Health – Brain health – A nutrient packed shopping list.

One way I remember great posts is to repost them on my blog. That way I can go back and refer to them when I need to. Love this shopping list! Thanks, Sally!


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The Plank – 10 Steps to Success

My idea of a perfectly-formed plank.

By Angie Quantrell

No. Not that kind. The exercise kind. Planks are hard to do.

I don’t like them.

Does anyone really like them? This is what it looks like when I try to do a plank.

1. Gear up. Avoid doing planks following a recent meal.

2. Collapse to floor level.

3. Set timer. Otherwise, I will be positive that 15 seconds is a full complete minute.

4. Start timer.

5. Assume position. Elbows and forearms on floor. Toes on floor. Nothing else on floor.

6. Tighten stomach, back, and buttock muscles.

7. Immediately begin to breathe harder. At 5 seconds in, notice trembling limbs.

8. Sweat.

9. Fight the feeling of giving up or falling on my face.

10. At 30 seconds, convince self to keep going. Or pause for a rest (I like that one better).

1 minute? DONE.

What a workout!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences these physical manifestations of pain when doing a plank. I mean really, shouldn’t a 53 year-old be able to handle this?

True, I haven’t even done a sit-up since, well, I don’t know when. Maybe shortly after my last baby was born. She’s 25. Years-old. Wanna know an embarassing fact? When I started this new build-core-strength-workout-program I could NOT do one sit-up. Not one, folks.

But I digress.

Planks are not fun, easy, or pleasant. But I have to admit to a certain joy in knowing that I can hang in there and do a minute. On most days.

Care to join me? On to sit-ups.

What is your most hated, feared, or dreaded exercise? Let’s commiserate.

Planks AND flowers.


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Smorgasbord Health – Vitamin of the Week – Vitamin A – Beta-carotene

Source: Smorgasbord Health – Vitamin of the Week – Vitamin A – Beta-carotene

We love sweet potatoes! Boiled, mashed, and combined with a little bit of butter, sour cream, and cayenne. Tasty and spicy. Thanks, Sally.