The Cabin View

The Cabin View

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Silicone Lids

I don't know how many of you are getting away from storing leftovers in plastic containers.  It never occurred to us that using empty plastic containers to store leftovers was a bad idea.  That is what we always did.  In fact, you still see cartoons showing people searching in the refrigerator for the butter, but all the containers look the same so they have to look in each one. Only one has the butter and the rest have other things.   I didn't think anything of using an empty lunch meat container or a cottage cheese container.  Now the trend is to use glass or at least a BPA free plastic.  Apparently bad cancer causing chemicals can eventually leach or migrate out into the food.  Heating food in plastic seems to increase the amount that's transferred to food.  Migration also increases when plastic touches fatty, salty, or acidic foods.  I have glass storage containers, but they seem to disappear or I don't have the proper size.  That is why I was so happy to get the gift I received from my sister this Christmas.  They were Silicone lids.


They work great.  How many times do you have a serving or so of something you don't want to throw away?  Now I can put it in a cereal bowl or any bowl or glass and put on a silicone lid.  The suction formed by pressing down, forms a seal.  It can be reheated with the lid on.  It's much easier than covering with foil or saran wrap, and they are reusable.  The best part is that you don't have to search for a lid or cover that fits.  As we know, all containers have a different size lid even if they look similar.

They seal so well I picked it up even though the instructions say not to do that.


This size seals a cereal bowl perfectly.

I have a lot of silicone items.  I have spatulas, cake and muffin pans and now these lids.  Hopefully they will continue to be deemed safe for future use.  I have eliminated my old plastic food containers which also eliminated some clutter.  These lids snap together for storage and take up very little room when not in use.  So far, I really like these silicone lids.  Anytime we can eliminate even a minuscule amount of bad chemicals from reaching our bloodstream, I'm all for it.  There are so many things we have no control over.  Even the food we eat is tainted more than the food we had fifty years ago.  It's too bad everyone can't grow their own food, but that isn't possible plus the seeds are probably treated anyway.  We only can help where we can and hope it's enough.  I think adding too many extra vitamins and supplements or worrying about everything only messes with the body's ability to regulate itself.  Enjoy life or it will be over before you're ready no matter what you eat or drink (within reason).  Someone once told me that moderation is the key to life.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My New Year's Resolution

When I first started writing this blog, I posted some trail camera pictures of me wearing my pajamas and wearing my husbands boots.  It was fun and some people started calling me Big Boot instead of Big Foot.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/11/fox-on-trail-camera.html  and http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/01/critters-of-night.html  We joked about how I looked in some of the photos.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/03/this-weeks-action-on-trail-camera.html Today I caught another picture of myself and posted it on facebook.


I posted this picture in a feeble attempt at humor and to bring back Facebook to what I thought it was when I joined.  It used to be posts about our friends and personal experiences.  It used be filled with family pictures and interactions.  Now there is a very small percentage of that.  I don’t want to see all the tragedy in the world, disfigured individuals, people struggling with all kinds of diseases and people bashing.  Have you checked the facts or truly believe what is being posted?  I have learned I can’t eat anything or drink anything except lemon juice, turmeric or vinegar.  Everything else will make you sick or kill you before your time.  I don’t care who you want for President or if you want to carry a firearm.  You aren’t going to change my mind and I’m not going to change yours.  It will just make me feel angry and my ideas will do the same for you. We all know that we won’t win fame and fortune for liking a post.  All it does is put you on a list to see more stuff on your newsfeed that you may not care about. People can’t possibly like everything they say they like. Facebook has become a platform for people who like everything and are happy all the time or sympathy seeking individuals who need reassurance and attention.  Is this their true self or just an image they want to portray?  So, my New Year Resolution is to only post things I value.  I will truly be sympathetic of a family tragedy or illness, but I don’t care if your second cousin twice removed stubbed their toe.  I love seeing your children, grandchildren and family weddings but not some photoshopped unbelievable photo.  I don’t mind some of the cartoons or jokes.  There are some words of wisdom, but it takes hours to sort through.  Emails have become the same thing.  Everyday I go through and delete without reading hundreds of emails.  I’m sure I delete some important or interesting things, but I don’t have time or the attention span to read every one.  I save the emails from people I know unless your name is Macy or Kohl’s.  I will read your private message and I will reply in a reasonable period of time.  Some will think I’m being negative, but I’m just being is realistic.  With so much junk being posted I often miss things I really am interested in.  It would be nice if Facebook would have a personal page and a separate sharing page.  Until then let’s take our Facebook back to sharing our personal lives.

Happy New Year to all my friends and family and to any of you who read my blog, but I haven't met.  Please continue to post your family stuff.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our December 28, 2015 Snowstorm

We had our first measurable snow of the season yesterday.  As hard as it is for some to believe, we actually like it.  As the winter drags on, it can get old, but for a lot of us Wisconsinites there is nothing better than the first snowfall of the season.


Snow totals varied depending on where you live.  There were areas north of us that received a foot or more of snow.  Some areas got sleet before the snow so their totals were less.  The wind was very strong so the drifts were deep in the open areas.  I think we had about eight inches which is an estimate because of the drifting .  Other areas of the country could be crippled by that much snow, but we are prepared and can clean up that much without skipping a beat.  Our snowblowers didn't start so my husband just packed down the snow in the driveway by driving back and forth with the truck.  It isn't the best solution, but it worked for this amount of snow.  He is not happy because the snow pack will turn to ice and cause problems later.

Packing down the driveway snow with the truck.

During the storm, the birds hunkered down to keep warm.

This is a Male House Finch

Female House Finch

Junco

A male Cardinal and a Bluejay hanging out together.


The day after the snowstorm is cloudy and gloomy but warm enough to have open water.

My grandchildren loved playing in the snow today.  They made forts and tunnels, and had a wonderful time.  They should sleep good tonight.

Our 5 year old grandson has been waiting for this first snowfall.
 

A fun way to spend Christmas vacation.

My daughter  got in on the fun.

Even the dog loved the day.

I have to say that this was my impression of this storm.  I realize that many people struggled with getting stuck or having to drive on treacherous roads.  My husband says I live in a lollipop world as far as seeing the beauty of the storm.  I wasn't the one who had to deal with digging out the mailbox or the frustration of not having the snowblower start.  I admit my cup is half full, but that's how I like it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Soup is the Perfect Comfort Food On A Snowy Night

It's December 28th, 2015.  I believe winter has finally arrived to our part of Wisconsin.  We are having a snowstorm.  It is the first snow we have had in our area this season.  It is blowing in every direction and starting to accumulate.  We won't know the total accumulation until it ends tomorrow, but I think it will be substantial.  It is the perfect night to snuggle in with the warm fires burning.  We are so lucky to be able to be warm and safe.  So many people in the country are having a very bad time, and my heart goes out to them.


In my last blog I mentioned overeating during the holidays.  I said I was getting rid of everything and could not imagine ever feeling hungry again.  Well, that only lasted a couple hours.  I did get rid of most of the sweets, but fortunately I kept the soups I made.  I made the Pot Roast soup I posted quite a while ago.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/01/slow-cooker-pot-roast-soup.html

I love this Pot Roast soup but I have a lot leftover.  The broccoli slaw I bought had long pieces, and I should have chopped it up a little before putting it in the soup pot.  I also forgot the peas, but overall it was very good.  I may have that tonight.

My husband's favorite was a soup I hadn't made before.  When we were Christmas shopping a couple weeks ago, we stopped at the Olive Garden for lunch.  We had the unlimited soup and salad.  The soup we chose was called Chicken Gnocchi soup.  It was very good.   I wanted to duplicate this soup for Christmas so I searched the internet.  I came up with a Copy Kat recipe which was delicious.


Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 T. olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 quart half and half
1 quart box of chicken broth (32 oz)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t.dried parsley flakes
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1 16 oz. package of ready to use gnocchi

Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring until the onion becomes translucent.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in the half and half.  Simmer until thickened. Add the chicken broth and stir until it thickens again.  Stir in the salt, thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, chicken and the gnocchi.  Simmer until the soup is heated through.

When the soup sits in the refrigerator it gets quite thick.  If you like a chowder like consistency it is perfect.  If you like it a little thinner, just add a little milk when you reheat it.

Both soups are the perfect comfort food on this blustery winter night.  I put a few home made croutons on top.  In case you missed that blog, here is the link for them along with a recipe for stuffed pepper soup.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/02/stuffed-pepper-soup-and-croutons.html

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Krumkake Will Not Go To Waste

Christmas 2015 is in the books.  All that is left is a disorganized mess.  I have receipts and boxes saved in case anything has to be returned, I have new things to put away and way too many sweets left over.  I don't know why I feel the need to make so much.  We are all so stuffed, it doesn't even look good at this point.  I called one of my daughters and asked if she wanted all the gluten free goodies I made for her.  She said to throw them away.  My other daughter left behind a lot of cookies because she didn't want to be tempted.  Then there is my husband who usually eats all the excess.  He is sick in bed with a cold and cough, so he isn't interested in eating much.  That leaves me, the person who has gained 10 pounds in the last few months.  The last thing I need is thousands of extra calories sitting around.  That is what got me in trouble in the first place.  I know there are starving people in the world, but I don't know what else to do.  It looks like the raccoon, possum, fox, feral cats and crows will be having a smorgasbord.  No matter how you look at it, the food will be going to waist or waste. 

I am keeping a few things and putting them into the freezer.  Who knows when we may need a sweet treat, even though it doesn't appeal to us right now.  One of those things I will try to freeze is the Krumkake I made.  They are just too pretty to give to the wild animals.  I am including the recipe so I will know where to find it next year when I make too many goodies again. I lost my last recipe and my friend Mary Jo was kind enough to share her family recipe with me.


Last year I wrote about finding an electric Krumkake iron.  It worked beautifully.    http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/10/my-latest-thrift-store-find-electric.html

Krumkake

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla or cardamon seed (I put both in) ...

Beat eggs lightly, then add sugar (it says do not over beat)  Add cooled melted butter and flavoring... Sift flour and add to egg mixture. Dough will be sticky enough to drop by spoon.

Drop only 1 tablespoon of dough on griddle.

Bake in griddle for 90 seconds.

Remove and roll immediately.

Eat plain or fill with whipped cream.

Yum!