Calling All Bakers!

I am bring to you the first installment of Saturday Oven Lovin! (Yeah, I know it is Sunday, but I just had this idea this morning... Saturday from here on out!) We have Harvest Monday, TidBit Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard, Sunday Scribbles, and I am sure that there are things for Friday, but I don't know about them yet... I thought with winter coming up, and the holiday season, and dare I say that dreaded 4-letter "s" word, baking would be a warm and cozy thing to get going on Blogger so everyone would have some tried and true recipes to call on. Anyways, if you want to participate, just leave your link and a comment at the bottom of the post and please try to link back from your own blog so other readers can have access to all of the soon to be (hopefully!) recipes. Recipes don't have to be original, they just have to be tasty! Sweet or savory, dinner or dessert, you pick!

Today, I bring you Banana-Orange-Nut Bread. TASTY! This recipe came to me via a Google search where I found Mind-Over-Batter and this recipe for Banana cranberry bread... I didn't have cranberries and I don't like rum, so I made some slight alterations.... Here is my version....


  • 3 to 4 very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Healthy pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried banana chip pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
You know the drill here - mix all of your wet ingredients (that means the sugar too!) in an electric mixer (or use those big strong arm muscles) and then add all of your dry ingredients (sift the flour with the baking soda and spices beforehand so that everything mixes well) and then pour the batter into a loaf pan, and bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!!!


The Aftermath...

Hubby and I do our Thanksgiving whenever we so feel like it because that is what my job makes us do... Anyhow, I ended up working yesterday, but getting home at around 5, then hitting up his family's Thanksgiving. Good times, good times. Then this morning we went for a run (Hubby went with me!!!!!) and then we went out and ventured into Black Friday. We went to the uber-popular-suburb-shopping-center, and were not at all surprised to drive around for 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot... And then we went in... And honestly, it wasn't that busy. I couldn't believe all the cars and the lack of bodies. I mean, of course I had to wait in line forever, but really, there weren't that many people...

So when we got home, I decided it would probably be a good thing to work on a paper that is due next week when I found that my computer mouse (the touchpad thing on the laptop) had officially died (I have been fighting it for, oh, near 6 months) so I ventured BACK out into the chaos. So, good thing about BF? I got a sweet wireless mouse for $10. Darn good day for that to happen, eh?

So anyways, in the aftermath of it all, I give you a rare photo of myself, Tiny G, and my little snugglebug, Oliver, taking a nice snooze...


Glad We Don't Have A Dead Cat

Just in case you have never been introduced to Charlotte, she our token "flake" of the homestead... As cute as she is, she has a TON few wires loose in her brain and is a, well, total flake. Today was flea drop day. Yes, I am still continuing the flea fight (WAR.) Anyways, so here is how the story goes... Charlotte hangs out in the basement a lot because well, no one goes down there. So our plan was to chase get her to run out, and the person guarding the door would catch her. Turns out that little flake is FAST. So up we run from the basement, looking on the main floor. Then we decide that she is up on the 2nd floor under the bed (which she was...) So now the plan is to get her to run out from the bed and into the bathroom, and we would trap her in there and go in with "the goods." That didn't work either... So this goes on like, 3 or 4 times, all 3 floors of the house... Yeah... we were tired...

So finally, she goes into the office and lays in the paper basket. At this point, we are so tired, and she is so scared, she let Hubby just walk up to her, grab her neck skin, hand her over, and I put on the drops. As I was applying the drops, Hubby said, we should cut her nails. She was so traumatized at that point, I said no because I seriously thought she was going to have a heart attack... After the drop application, my little babe tucked away in a dark corner for about 30 minutes, and then emerged to go find another dark corner on the 2nd floor... (This next part is just for my conscience) Really, she puts this upon herself... If she would just let me put the drops on and clip her nails once a month, all would be well!!!

So, conclusion? Drops accomplished, and we don't have a dead cat.
She is so elusive, I pretty much only have pictures of her from the back....


It's Gonna Be a Warm Warm Winter

It's here! The pellet stove has been installed and is up and running! Just in the nick of time too, as they are calling for possibly some (dare I even say it) snow... Its so pretty! I am in warm heaven!


Putting the Yard to Bed

Yesterday, Hubby and I spent the first half of the day putting the day getting the yard ready for winter. He insulated the coop using that foam board stuff (rather than the fluffy insulation - someone told me they got terrible mites in there, yuck!) and I cleaned up the yard. I pulled out all of the tomatoes, cleaned up the cages, moved the compost to the other bin, added leaves and stuff to the compost, and cleaned out the chicken run. I had some leftover straw from my garlic planting project, so I tossed it in the run, and boy do The Golden Girls love kicking it around! I hope it is able to keep them occupied... I took down the ghetto-fied chicken fence, so they don't have free range anymore, unless we are outside. They don't seem as eager to run away when we are actually outside with them. I thought about putting up some old windows as a cold frame, but considering that The Bastard Groundhog has decimated my pac choi and radishes, I figured it wasn't worth the effort. Maybe next year...

I hope everyone remembered to "fall back" last night! I know this may sound weird coming from someone who is NOT a morning person, but I am happy to be up-and-at-em before 8. Definitely gives me some more time in the day. I am sure this will change soon as my body gets used to the time change, but I am going to take advantage of it for now!

Running update: Today is my first "mile test" and I am going to wear my new shoes! Yes! I have appropriate and designated shoes! I am super psyched about them! They are silver and purple. Love them! Next week will be scary... This week was simply run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes. Seriously, anyone can do that.... Tomorrow starts run 2 minutes, walk 1 minuet... I am kind of scared, but oh well!!! Get over it!!!

This weeks mile test: 00:11:20
Pounds lost this week: 2
Pounds lost total: 2


Cleveland Marathon

Ok ok... I did it... I registered for the Cleveland Half Marathon...

Now, I am not a runner, but I am determined to be one. This week, I started a 10 week program for people who don't run to be able to run for 30 minutes straight without dieing. I am on day 3 and loving it... Most of the time... Now, if only I will be able to motivate myself to get out and run when it is like, 20 degrees...That will be the biggest challenge...


Chicken Stalker Has A Posse

I talked to Hubby today, just as usual to talk about the day, work, etc... He informed me that Chicken Stalker has some friends. He said that when he went upstairs to get dressed for work, there were a few cats in the driveway. Then when he got upstairs and looked out the window, there were 7 or 8 cats lined up along the fence watching the chickens. Chicken Stalker was sitting inside a roll of chicken wire (don't you love how if a cat hides it head, it thinks you can't see it?) So anyways, nothing big happened... He went outside, chased the cats away, and put the Girls back into their (totally covered) pen. and then went to work. So yeah... now we have a Bastard Groundhog, Chicken Stalker, and now her Posse.... Oy!

I wish I had some photos for you, but uh, my work schedule is just not allowing me to be home for more than 1 day at a time (and it is starting to take a toll on my sanity.)


Bastard Groundhog

That bastard groundhog completely decimated my pac choi. I came home from my last trip hoping to harvest mounds of greens to eat with dinner, and low and behold, I had none. Then yesterday (my only day off this week) that little bastard dared show his face! And let me tell you what, he is HUGE. Im talking like, maybe 2 of my cats. That is like, 15-20 pounds (depending on which cat you choose.) I hate him. Can I shoot him now???

Then, chicken stalker tried a fast one. We were inside, the sun was setting, and the garden was in the shadows. Being her stealthy gray self, Chicken Stalker creeped her was INTO the chicken run, and UNDER the chicken shelter... Then I went out to close up the Golden Girls, and Chicken Stalker went running out of the yard. Little Bitch Chicken Stalker. Can I shoot her now???