Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chain "Linky" CLIMB has been RESCHEDULED

I am so sorry - but I have done it again - confused everyone even more than before!!

I began laughing hysterically at myself because the more that I said and the more I tried to explain the "CLIMB" the more confused I made everyone!  I felt like I was Inspector Clouseau in the "laughing gas" scene from "The Pink Panther Strikes Again"
(see below)


 "I have pulled the wrong tooth!!"

I am not willing to give up on this idea (the blog CLIMB) yet.

So, the Chain "Linky" CLIMB has been rescheduled for March 31st, 2013. 

Thank you for visiting and please don't give up on the CLIMB yet. (I will contact all of the people who showed interest in co-hosting by email).

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

Chain "Linky" CLIMB #1

 Chain Linky Climb, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

I would like to start by apologizing for the confusion 2 days ago when I introduced this blog hop (blog CLIMB).  I didn't do a very good job at explaining and by the end of the day on Tuesday - I was even confused myself ;-) 

However, this confusion did help me "Tweak" the climb a little

"Chain Linky Climb" by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbIntro_zpse00fce0d.jpg


There are 2 different ways to "Climb" around:

1.  If you want to be a co-host - then simply enter your blog in the "Thumbnail Picture Linky" below (next to my blog button) - By entering here you agree to post this blog hop on your blog (once I have sent you the information).  This is a "first come first serve" spot - the first person to enter here will be the next CHAIN (the next co-host).  Once Chain#2 posts this blog hop (blog CLIMB) on their blog then I will take the first person linking up to this Picture Linky after that -  for the third Chain spot (co-host).  We will keep going all month and see how many Chains that we can add!  (NOTE- this linky requires my approval - so your link won't show up right away)

2.  The "Text Linky" is like a normal blog hop where anyone can link up their family friendly blog.  This will also last all month & we will see how many links we can add here. 


 photo Climbthumbnail_zps9128169f.jpg

___Follow each member of the CHAIN GANG below ___

"Chain Linky Climb" by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbRules_zpsad4209e1.jpg

Copyright, Permissions & Disclaimer

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbSig_zpsb98765b4.jpg

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbText_zps327b92a1.jpg

Please Link up your family friendly blog below!!- (in blue where it says "click here to enter") 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

photo 6aca1001-4c3b-4c62-91a2-bf66b75c0642_zps88ad8f59.jpg

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

This is my newest Cookie Creation using some blueberries that I just dehydrated (I know I know - the purpose of dehydrating is to store that fruit or vegetable NOT to use immediately - hahahaha).  The finely ground pecans and the lemon juice both enhance the flavor of the blueberries.

If you want to learn How to Dehydrate Blueberries (click HERE to view)

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 001-4_zpsd250c76d.jpg Lemon Blueberry Cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 003_zpsaedc2b93.jpg

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/4 cup lemon juice
lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt (I used salted butter - if you are using unsalted butter then add 1/2 teaspoon salt instead of a dash)
1 egg
1 cup oatmeal (I used old fashioned rolled oats but you may use quick oats instead)
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup dried blueberries (you may substitute blueberry juice infused dried cranberries - see below)
1/3 cup finely ground pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
With an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl - cream together both sugars & the butter until fluffy (a few minutes).  Now add in the egg, lemon juice & zest & mix until combined.  Using a wooden spoon stir in the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & the ground pecans and continue stirring until combined.  Finally stir in the dried blueberries.  

Lemon Blueberry Cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 006_zps39cad199.jpg

Drop by tablespoon full onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until desired color & texture is achieved.  Cool on a wire rack & then serve!

This recipe makes about 25 cookies.

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 004-6_zps3a0c5516.jpg

SUBSTITUTE:  If you don't have any dried blueberries then substitute these "Craisins" - Blueberry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries by Ocean Spray
or any plain dried cranberry may also be substituted.


Lemon Blueberry cookies by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 011_zps77c6d10b.jpg

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NEW Starting this Thursday- Chain "Linky" Climb


Chain Linky Climb, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

NEW!  Starting this Thursday:  Chain "Linky" CLIMB

It's a blog climb which is even better than a blog hop!!

"Chain Linky Climb" by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbIntro_zpse00fce0d.jpg

I choose the second "chain" (host blog) after me, then the second chain picks the third chain of their choice, the third chooses the fourth & so on & so forth until the end of the month.
We start fresh each month!!

If you would like to be the first CHAIN (co-host) after me in months to come - then please either leave a comment below or email me at:


Please join us on February 28th 2013 for the first Chain "Linky" CLIMB
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo ClimbSig_zpsb98765b4.jpg

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Calla Lily Birthday Surprise

Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 005_zpsa9dfaf82.jpg

My Calla Lily Birthday Surprise

I had a birthday last week - I'm at the age where I'm not yet "over the hill" but I'm definitely either at the top or nearing the top of the hill.  So, right now it's really just best to ignore my birthday (no - not really).  Anyway, it was late afternoon on my birthday & I heard the UPS truck barreling down my street (as they often do during the week).  My Great Pyrenees dog child was barking his head off since he hates all UPS, Fed Ex and furniture delivery trucks (USPS trucks seem to be acceptable to my canine protector).  I was busy upstairs on the computer so I ignored the noise - there was NO knock or door bell ringing so I figured that the devious truck had not stopped here.

About an hour passed by - my dog had stopped barking otherwise I would have been down earlier to check on him.  I went into the garage & noticed a package sitting at the edge of the open door.........I hadn't ordered anything - what could this be??
It was this beautiful Calla Lilly from by wonderful sister, nieces & brother-in-law - thank you Thank you THANK YOU!!

ENJOY the following pictures (all photos taken by Angie Ouellette-Tower - see Copyright at the bottom of this post).

Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 004_zpsb985559f.jpg   Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 002_zpsee25c67c.jpg

Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 001_zpsecc8628f.jpg

Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 009_zps61af40ff.jpg

Calla Lily Birthday by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 013_zps7bcee727.jpg

Valentine Signature, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for 

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love Your Enemies

"But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who mistreat you."  Luke 6:27 & 27

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."  Luke 6:31

This is the most difficult part of loving others: to love your enemies.  Those who hate and mistreat us......hate is such a short word but an extremely strong word - let's define the word "hate". 
"Hate - intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury" Merriam-Webster
Synonyms:  abhorrence, detestation, revulsion, disgust, loathing, dislike & animosity.
How in the world are we supposed to love someone who hates us so strongly?  I'm going to be honest - it's not easy but it is something that we must do as Christians. 
Let's look at the verses above - we are to "do good" to those who hate us & "pray for those who mistreat" us.  I have found that good acts become much easier if you pray first.  Spend good quality quiet time with our Lord God Almighty and focus on this person who is your enemy - it will be amazing how God will soften your heart towards that person.  Be honest with God - after praying you might be surprised to see your enemy in a whole different light and understand a little better where they are coming from. 
You won't always be able to pray before acting.  There might come a time when your enemy is a stranger.  For example - someone who hates all Christians.  You might only have 5 minutes of contact with that stranger and that might be the only 5 minutes of Jesus' love that the enemy will ever see.  We need to be prepared to love others in a split second.  This is where I fall short & struggle constantly - I am more of the "react & fly off the handle" kind of person.  There have been many times where I have been hot headed & not reacted in a Christ-like manner - Afterwards (in that type of situation) I had to ask God for forgiveness for my behavior.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  Proverbs 17:17
What happens when a family member or a friend becomes an enemy?  For example - When a husband is physically abusing his wife-  Is that wife supposed to stay and continually "turn the other cheek" for more abuse?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What the wife in this situation is NOT supposed to do is get even - don't fight fire with fire.  Also, she shouldn't just leave and ignore the problem.  She needs to remove herself from that situation but pray for her husband and do good by getting him some professional help.  This husband is not treating his wife as he would want to be treated - he needs to repent and the wife needs to stay away until he does repent.  And of course she needs to forgive him but she can forgive him without continually placing herself back into that situation.

As we see in Proverbs 17:17 both family & friends love us & are there for us both in good times and bad.  If a "friend" starts to mistreat you when times are getting tough, then maybe that person wasn't really a true friend in the first place.

Always try to treat "others" as you would want to be treated.  "Others" means family, friends, neighbors, strangers & enemies - that's EVERYONE!

Valentine Signature, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dehydrating Blueberries

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 001-4_zps9258f380.jpg

Dehydrating Blueberries
I had never tried dried blueberries before dehydrating them myself.  I had seen them in the store but never bought them to try because they are so expensive - well now I know why.  It took my dehydrator more than 3 days to dehydrate these blueberries!!!  But WOW are they ever delicious!! 

On Wednesday of this coming week I will be sharing with you a new cookie recipe that I created using dried blueberries - so check back if you can.

STEP 1:  Discard/compost the bad (or rotting) blueberries.
STEP 2:  Wash, drain & lightly pat dry the good blueberries.
STEP 3: Arrange the blueberries on the dehydrator tray and then turn the dehydrator on - at the manufacturer's specified temperature and time. (It took my dehydrator 3 1/2 days to dry 4 racks of blueberries).
STEP 4: (see picture below) Once they are dry like raisins (still a little "spongy") then they are ready to be eaten or stored.  I placed them in an airtight container for later usage. ENJOY!

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 009-4_zpsa42b7347.jpg

Valentine Signature, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Egg Basics - SOFT BOILED

Soft by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 010-5_zps0cea65cb.jpg

Egg Basics - SOFT BOILED

On this blog I have reserved Thursdays for "Beginners." For the next few months (on Thursdays) we will be concentrating on the Basics of Eggs. (I know that many of my readers are experienced cooks but there are just as many readers who are new in the kitchen and might desire some simple instruction on the basics).

Eggs are wonderful and so versatile! - - - They can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, deviled..........etc.   Many people have never had a soft boiled egg but this is actually one of my favorite ways to eat an egg. Today we will be learning how to cook a perfect soft boiled egg  - if you prefer the egg soft instead of runny  don't worry - I will give you those instructions also.

There is a controversy over the egg yolk - many people only eat egg whites and believe that the yolk is too fatty. I am from the opposite school of thought - I believe that the yolk is the healthiest part of the egg. The Yolk contains all of the fat-soluble vitamins like A, E & K & the yolk is one of the few foods that naturally contains vitamin D, the yolk also has lutein (good for the eyes), and is a good source of lecithin. (again - I'm not a doctor - please see my "disclaimer" at the bottom of this post).
photo Opaampme_zps4e5c59c1.jpg
Opa & Me

My Opa (Grandpa in German) was a carpenter and he made these sleek & modern looking egg cups out of wood (see picture below).  He made them years & years ago (probably in the '60's).  The first soft boiled egg that I ever ate was in these egg cups while I was sitting in my grandparents' dining room - I remember that room clearly:  it was open to the living room which had that textured wallpaper in gold with raised brown felt and the dining room windows were clad with dark olive green velvet curtains that draped to the floor (Oh the 1970's!!).  And you can't forget about the Berber carpet that they kept from the 60's.  I fell in love with soft boiled eggs that first taste when I was 4 years old.
My grandfather lives on in my memory through his handy work - these Egg Cups sit on display in my China Cabinet (when I'm not using them of course).

photo 004-6_zps51499506.jpg

Step 1: Fill a medium size saucepan with cold water (when I say fill - leave at least 2 inches head space - you might need to pour out some water after you add the eggs - you don't want the water to boil over)
Step 2: Gently place the uncooked eggs into the cold water in the saucepan
Step 3: Place the pan on medium heat and bring the water to boil.
Step 4: As soon as the water begins to boil - set your timer for 3 minutes & 30 seconds exactly (this amount of time will cook the white but leave the yolk runny) (If you don't like a runny yolk & just want it soft then boil for 1 extra minute).
Step 5: After the desired time (3.5 minutes or 4.5 minutes - see step 4)- Immediately remove the egg(s) from the hot water & place in a bowl with cold water.
Step 6:  Take the egg(s) out of the water and place in an egg cup.
Step7:   Lightly tap the top of the egg with a knife (as seen below)

photo 005-8_zps551ce262.jpg

Step 8:  Take off the top of the egg, salt the egg & eat with a spoon.


soft by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 009_zps83fe40cd.jpg
1.  Runny Yolk but Whites are solid (boil for 3.5 minutes)

photo 006_zpseaabc0c9.jpg
2.  Yolk is soft not runny (boil for 4.5 minutes)
Many "experts" will say that you can soft boil an egg between 1 to 3 minutes but I find that if it is boiled for anything less than 3 minutes and 30 seconds then the egg white is runny -
I only want my yolk to be runny - NOT the egg white.

photo 014_zps5f0400af.jpg

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten Free)

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a unique Gluten Free recipe for those of you who have to eat Gluten Free and are stuck in a rut.

IMPORTANT:  If you are on a strict Gluten Free diet then please make sure that all of the other ingredients in this recipe are Gluten Free also - for example - some Tomato Paste is thickened with wheat - just check and make sure that the brand that you are using is not thickened with wheat.

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

1 cup millet (a little olive oil for sauteing first)
2 cups water
2 cups shredded cheddar or colby cheese
2 packages of mushrooms (or about 20 mushrooms)
olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 onion (peeled & finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon+ ground cayenne pepper
salt to taste (but be careful because the cheese is salty)
lemon juice to garnish the top

Begin by cooking the millet - (In a medium saucepan) first saute the millet in a little oil for a few minutes or until the millet is a light golden color (sauteing gives it a nutty flavor).  Then add 2 cups water and bring to boil.  Turn down to simmer & continue cooking until done (about 15 - 20 minutes but keep checking so that it doesn't burn).
Prepare the onions (peel & chop) and the mushrooms (for the mushrooms:  remove the stems & save for later.  Then wash the mushroom tops, drain & then pat dry with a paper towel.  In a mixing bowl lightly coat the mushroom tops with some olive oil (about 2 tablespoons).  Place these mushroom tops in a Pyrex dish with the top of the mushroom facing down (see the second picture below).
Wash & chop the mushroom stems from the step above.  Saute these chopped stems with the chopped onions until the onions are almost transparent.

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for
Now the millet should be cooked - in a large mixing bowl combine the cooked millet, tomato paste & 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese (save the last 1/2 cup to garnish the top after the mushrooms have been filled).  Stir these 3 ingredients until the cheese has melted (NOTE- this step should be done while the millet is still warm/hot so that the cheese melts).  Now stir in the sauteed onions & mushroom stems (see picture above).  Add the black pepper, basil, cayenne pepper & salt (to taste) - and stir until combined.

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.comMillet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

Now you may fill your mushroom tops.  Using a melon baller or your hands - scoop or press some of the millet mixture into the mushroom tops - see top right picture.  Continue filling until all of the millet mixture has been used. Drizzle a little lemon juice on top and finally spread the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on the very top of each filled mushroom (see picture below).

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired "doneness" is achieved.
Serve immediately & ENJOY (careful - they are hot)

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for
Valentine Signature, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

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