Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Just wanted to say Happy Halloween to all of you! Our family made a cute little pumpkin cake. It's fun when the children and grandchildren help along. My grandson came over on Wednesday evening and we decided to make a round cake. We baked in a round bowl, two layers of cake dough. Then Thursday, a few of us decorated it. I was hoping to decorate the side with a face but it didn't hold the frosting, so we made the face on top. I still think it turned out cute. Next year, I'll bake a regular cake.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3 Starters

Just wanted to put on pictures of my three starters. It is hard to keep up with them, but has been fun making the different breads. The starters in the bowl are being refreshed and the starters in the jars is how I save them for the next time. I like them in the glassware, as to me it looks prettier. Enjoy!

A Wheat Bread

I made some wheat bread with the wheat levain and decided to make some rolls, along with the bread. The bread was beautiful until I took it off the towel and put into the oven. Once that happened the bread sunk a bit.
But the rolls and bread tasted just fine. Here are the pics. A picture of the dough, ready for the 1st rising.
The rolls and bread rising, doesn't that look yummy. Then the finished rolls, some with buttered tops, some without. I've decided it didn't matter if there was butter or not. And the bread not as pretty, but tasted great!
Any hints on how to take the bread from the tea towel to the oven without falling?

Temple Trip Oct 2008

Our church youth group went to the Oklahoma Temple this past week-end, what a great trip! The fall colors were just beautiful, which made the 2 1/2 hours trip even more special. Afterwards, we had a picnic at a place called, "Pops". The store sells over 400 types of sodas, most of them the orginal recipe. It is in Edmond, Oklahoma. Fun place. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Autumn Time

Finally went driving around with my son. So he and I took some fall pictures. This is the best part of living in the mid-west, the colors of the seasons!


Thursday, October 23, 2008


In autumn, the leaves in the mid-west are beautiful. What is amazing to me is some of the different sizes.
I need to remember to take my camera when I am driving about and take some pictures before the trees are bare for winter, as some are already losing their leaves too fast.

Today, I noticed this big leaf in our front yard. It is not from any of our trees, but we rake them up. It is from our neighbors tree, I guess they just love our yard. We do compost them for next years garden, so I guess that is a good blessing, just a lot of work.

Here is a picture of the leaf I was talking about.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Small Trip

My cousin asked me to go with her and her children to visit, the little house of the prairie. So I did.

Here are some pictures. We had a great time and it was a long driving trip to see what little there was, but we all enjoyed it. Hope you enjoy our pictures!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oldies but Goodies!

To the ‘cousin-n-laws’, that I like to think of as my cousins.
I went to the web site and decided that since I lived during that time period I would just put on some of my pictures. Let me know what you think.
Fun times!

The first is when I started Kindergarten. My brother and I went to this private school for about a month, then our parents switch us over to public school as it was a block away versus about 5 miles or so.
The second picture is just a close up of the Kindergarten.
The third is a picture in my grandmothers’ back yard when I was in 7th grade around 1963 or 1964.
The last is my senior picture. Of course the picture was taken in 1968, but I graduated in 1969.
What hair-dos.
Thanks for my memories, this was a fun little project to do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Family Names

I have been working and working on family names today. There are so many to correct. I usually have 3-4 web pages opened up to check for correct spelling, dates and the census records. Once you get into the 1800 and back if is very confusing on what records to rely on.

I worked on 11 names and have been working for about 6 hours, just verifing what I have. I hope someday to fine more distant relatives and share information.

Here are some of my family's last names: Utterback, McKenzie, Armstrong, Dilbeck, Riggs. But their spouses names that I did work on today are: Jesse Elax Casey, Nancy Clowers, Margaret Eveline HolcombCoomer, Juanita Davis, Mary Davenport, Blanche Elizabeth Duncan,Elce Fridder, Eliza Selina Goss, Margaret Hamilton, Alice Udorah Brinks Brown, Hannah Burgess, and a baby Armstrong.

If you have any of those last names, maybe, just maybe we are related.
As I mentioned before it is enjoyabe to do, but very time consuming.
Here is a picture of my grandfather, Harry Armstrong, taken about 1971.


We love pancakes and make many different kinds and use different recipes, here is just one of our favorites!

Zephyr Pancakes from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook, is quite delicious!
The recipe is on page 4 in that book. Where does the word Zephyr come from? The recipe says it comes from the Midwest, what part, as I have not heard of this.

Here is what I did different:
2 cups unbleached flour
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 whole eggs
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend well, it is ok if there are a few lumps.
Preheat a lightly greased griddle. Pour on the batter with a large spoon, about ¼ cup pancake. Make sure the heat is slightly less than medium, although mine is medium high, (gas stove is much different than electric, make sure you watch and don’t burn the pancakes). The pancakes puff up nicely. When first side is golden brown flip with spatula and heat other side until golden brown. Serve and eat.

My syrup recipe:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the 2 sugars, corn syrup and water together. Cook until mixture starts to boil, keep at a low boil for 4 minutes. (* Keep an eye on this as it can boil over the pot fast.)Turn off heat and add the maple flavoring and vanilla. Any leftovers can be kept in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

I know you may have wanted a picture, but most pancakes do look alike, so I thought a recipe would be better. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Family History

Family History, genealogy, pedigree charts, pictures of our ancestors, I am into it! I love it. It is fun and enjoyable to find out about ones’ ancestors. The time periods bring history alive through our families! I wonder.... If being able to do family history through history classes, would it have opened up the enjoyment of some of the schooling when we were children.
My youngest daughter did a senior project on: “My Family Was There” and so she started with an ancestor on the Mayflower, in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and other time periods of our country through the present time, ending with herself. It really made her and I appreciate our fore fathers and how they helped build this country. As I continue to do more and more names of relatives I want to know about the countries they came from. I call myself ’57 Heinz’, as we have so many different countries.
My relatives came from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Prussia. Most of the closest lines are here in the United States, a relative in every state, except Hawaii and Alaska. Haven’t found any relatives born in those 2 states, but I might someday. I can go back on one line into the 1300’s. Most are through the 1500’s. It is said if you can go back to English Royalty, you should be able to trace back to ‘Jesus Christ’. I think that would be cool and who knows maybe someday I will.
Here is just a sample of my family that traces to different places. I was born in California, also my mother, my father in Washington, his father in Missouri, back to Virginia, then from Germany and Prussia. On my mothers’ side, her mother in Oklahoma, grandmothers parents from Tennessee and the Carolinas to England, Ireland. The aunts, uncles, cousins, great-grand parents, is just amazing to me the different places they have all lived.
As I gather stories, I will probably put some on my blog and see if possibly you are also related.
Wouldn’t be interesting if we all did our own family history and find out how really united we all are? Would there be more peace in the world because we would respect each other as family members and be excited from where we came, to truly understand each others countries and cultures. We really are our Heavenly Father’s children and doing genealogy proves it!
*The picture is of my father in the cart along with his older brother and sister. I love having a copy of this picture not only because my father is in it, but seeing the time period. How exciting!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Other cakes

Here are the two pictures, one of the wedding cake, (a different idea from Martha's cake) and the grooms cake.  The grooms cake was different for me, as his mother makes the frosting with flour. There are recipes online. And another cake in which I did at cake class:
I will add my frosting recipe, so that if someones needs it, I will know where to find it.
Glenda's Icing Recipe
1 pound powered sugar
1/2 cup shortening - I use 1/4 Crisco and 1/4 store brand (with 3 grams trans-fat) *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoon  meringue powder (Wilton brand)
1/3 cup water (may need a drop or two more, depending on the consistency you like)

Mix all this up well, enough to frost double layered  8" cake or 9"x13" pan.
*Notes: I use the Crisco and store brand vegetable shortening together because Crisco alone with the trans-fat taken out, doesn't hold together well. You can use half and Crisco and half butter. Can use milk in place of water, it is just safer with water in the heat and humidity.

Picture of the books

Martha Stewart Books

Thought today I would do my review of Martha Stewart books that I have.
First I will say that yes, I do watch the Martha show, I like it and I am always learning new things. Like using cold, cubed butter instead of soft butter in cakes and cookies, it works! I like her little food magazine too, the books are too cute and have quick ideas for meals. I also have checked out some of her other books from the library; it’s a “good thing” to do, when you can’t afford to buy them.
I mostly want to talk about the wedding cake book, as I think that is one of the best books out there for many different type of cakes and frostings. I enjoy the different ways people have put together new types of wedding cakes and can use them for other occasions. It inspired me to take a cake class on fondant which gave me more techniques.
In the ‘Baking Handbook’ on page 210, I made a cake for my daughters’ friend wedding. (To which I can't seem to get the picture off the disk, so will add it sometime later, sorry.) Since then I have made a couple more wedding cakes and used some ideas from the ‘Wedding Cake’ book.
When my family or other friends have come over they too love the ideas in the ‘Wedding Book’.
I like the ideas on the different types of cakes and frostings with pictures. The book goes into great detail with pictures on how to make the perfect wedding cake for the wedding couple. It also goes into some detail on how to work with chocolate.
What a great book!
Here are a few pictures of the cakes I have done, two of them are practice cakes.
Not perfect by any means, but they sure tasted great and the bride and grooms love them.
Go to Martha’s blog or web page and get great ideas on most anything!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Mom

This past week was my mother and my birthdays.
So, here is a little tribute to my mother.
She was born back in the 30’s in lower part of California. In her teen years they moved to Los Angles area and she attended Garfield High.
My parents married soon after she graduated. My father being in the Navy at that time.
All four of us children were born at Montebello Hospital, near LA. We moved to Azusa. My parents lived in that home for about 30+ years and moved to retirement type housing. My father past away 7 years ago and it has been hard for my mother to live by herself and go on without him.
My mom has many talents. She is a great cook, made many of beautiful cakes, sews and has great artistic abilities.
No one is perfect, but I will tell of my good memories.
She drove many a time, us children and friends to the beach in the summer time. One of our many cars was an old 1949 Plymouth chocolate brown station wagon. We would pile into the wagon, oh about 14 of us or so, on the way to the beach, before the freeway was in. We would have to get out and push this car up over the hill and hurry to get back in and cruise down the hill. I enjoyed driving on Beach Blvd. and seeing all the cows and then stores, until finally there it was…. Huntington Beach. Most times when we went we would see some old friends and even some of my mother high school friends.
We also had an old ugly green Oldsmobile (I think it was 1958) and usually two of us would ride in the trunk and hold open the lid with our feet, so to have air, again as a bunch of us would pile in for another beach trip. One time we had to picked up my grandfather (my mother’s father) and we didn’t have good brakes, so my mom would just use the emergency brake and the car would stop, my grandfather was needless to say a bit shocked when she did that the first time and then got use to it.
On the old brown Plymouth, my brother and his friends would wax that station wagon and it shined like a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. In the passenger side of that car was a big enough hole to where we could put our foot out, so we would pretend to stop the car that way, like in the Flintstone cartoons. It was a miracle we never got hurt doing those things, and not having safety belts back then.
My mother could sew most anything. If something wasn’t working out, boy we couldn’t watch or be around when she was sewing. She made many outfits for me and most of my formals for all the high school dances that I went to. I can remember when I went into high school my brother asked my mom to make sure I had in-style clothes as he didn’t want a little sister without the hippest outfits. So back to the sewing table (which was our kitchen table) to cut and sew away. I wouldn’t say I was in style but I had good clothes. She did sew for all of us and made my brother some of the coolest hippy shirts and jams for summer you wish you had.
We had two of the coolest parties during our teen years. My parents put together a Halloween party and a Surfing Safari party, we were envied by our friends who came, they thought my parents to be cool or should I say ‘Groovy’.
My mother could make and decorate any kind of cake you wanted, at least that is what we all thought. I think it was my 13th birthday I wanted a doll cake and purple! She didn’t like purple, but my Granny asked my mom to do and she did. I had the prettiest doll cake, and of course it tasted great! She usually made what she thought was our favorite dinner for our birthdays, so every year I would get meat loaf and scalloped potatoes. I liked meat loaf, but it wasn’t my favorite.
Another great dish we all liked, especially our friends was rolled-up tacos. We would have contest on who could eat the most, I never won. But, my dad, brother and his friends could down a dozen or so. My mom made a lot of tacos back then.
During one of my high school years, we had a week-end evening paper route. We all worked together and folding 1000 papers then delivering them, (they were throw-away, meaning advertising type newspaper). We would stay up into the wee hours of the morning, so my mom cook up hamburgers, fries and bananas shakes. That was a lot of work, as it also included extra friends, this was usually done after delivering the papers. We finally got to bed around 3 a.m.
This is just a few of the good times. Most of the summers when my dad would have vacation time, we went camping up the coast line of California.
My parents were married for a little over 51 years, before my father passed. Here are a couple of their cute pictures.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Time

The fall is such a beautiful time of year when the mid-west colors change. I love the autumn colors. I need to go around and take some pictures, but I am sure you have seen fall colors before. One that I have enjoyed this year is looking out my living room window and seeing the pretty orange marigolds.
Fall is a time where we get ready for the winter. I went outside in the backyard and starting digging up our little garden, putting away our tools and summer toys in the garage, ‘til next spring.
It a funny thing the seasons, as the end of the year or sometime in January, I start looking at the seed catalogs for spring planting and get all excited for the many shades of green to come out.
Here is a picture of our marigolds.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Local Breads

Here is a picture of the book.

Whole Wheat Genzano Country Bread

This bread is great!!! I have been baking and searching for a good crunchy bread on the outside and delicious and soft on the inside. So far, this is it. I am so glad these loaves turned out, yummy!

The recipe comes from the book, “Local Breads”, by Daniel Leader. I love this book and have made about 4 of the recipes. I wish I could print the recipes on the blog but it would take too long. If you get a chance, check it out from your local library and see what you think!
Here are some of the pictures:
Picture 1 is the 'Biga Naturale', see the netting of the dough?
Picture 2 is the underneath side of the bowl, see the air pockets?
Picture 3 is the fermenting stage, with tiny bubbles on the top.
Picture 4 and 5 are the finished product, one round and one loaf style.