Saturday, February 29, 2020

It's Cookie Time

It's that time again when you can get your Girl Scout Cookie Fix. Do you have a favorite? 
Their #1 seller is Thin Mints.

Despite the fact I am a former Camp Fire Girl I can still support the efforts of the Girl Scout organization and buy their cookies. What’s inside the box is super tasty, but it’s the amazing experiences that happen outside the cookie box that make Girl Scout Cookies extra special. When you make a Girl Scout Cookie purchase, you’re helping the next generation of young female entrepreneurs get an important taste of what it takes to be successful—teamwork, planning, and a positive outlook (and that’s just the beginning).
The newest cookie in the line-up 2020 is Lemon-Ups

I am dazzled with their newest marketing device that supports girl empowerment. Each bag contains cookies with a stamped short inspiring message.
The newest issue of Food Network Magazine gives a nod to the Girl Scout Cookies with some fun and creative ways to use their cookies in easy to assemble recipes.  
Thin Mint Ice Cream Pies won me over. It's a super easy and a fun way to serve cookies with  ice cream. My notes give some adaptations and options.  

Cook's Notes: The published recipe called for a graham cracker base. 
The grocery store was out (hard to believe) so I made my own pie shells using Oreo cookies. The recipe makes 6 ice cream pies. 
  • You will need 2 rows of Oreo cookies crumbled in a food processor. Add in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mix well. Divide cookie crumbs between individual oven safe containers. Bake cookie shells @350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool. 
  • Beat 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.  Coarsely chop 5 Thin Mints and fold into whipped cream.  Another option is using a can of Reddi Wip and fold in crumbled 5 Thin Mint cookies.
  • Place 1 small scoop of chocolate mint ice cream into each mini cookie pie. Place a dollop of whipped cream mixture on top. Push one Thin Mint into the ice cream before serving. 

Samoas, also called Caramel del Lites, are the second best-selling cookie behind Thin Mints. Food Network developed a recipe using these cookies called Samoa Magic Bars.  They sound delicious. 
Be considerate and take an extra minute to return grocery cart to the cart corral or back inside the store.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

It's All About the Cactus

Gumby is a green clay humanoid character created and modeled by Art Clokey in the early 1950's. He also created Davy and Goliath. Gumby has been the subject of a 233 episode series of American television as well as a feature-length film and other media. Since the original series' run, he has become well known as influential cultural icon, spawning many tributes and parodies, including a video game and toys.
Gumby was a favorite toy that could be pulled, punched, stretched and twisted.

I couldn't help but think of this icon as we walked the trails of Saguaro National Park. These cacti seem to take on different personalities with a variety of shapes. Saguaro National Park is part of the Tucson area. The Saguaro can live more than 200 years attaining heights of 40-60 feet high. It grows only in southern Arizona, in California along the Colorado River and in northern Mexico state of Sonora. 

In the background of this photo above are hundreds of cacti dotting the landscape and up the mountain. They appear to be standing at attention like sentinel guards. 
It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 1 inch in height. By 70 years of age, a saguaro cactus can reach 6 and a half feet tall, and will finally start to produce their first flowers. By 95-100 years in age, a saguaro cactus can reach a height of 15-16 feet, and could start to produce its first arm.
This impressive looking cactus with many arms is in front of the Ritz Carelton Hotel   Marana area Tucson. 
 This is a very rare type of cactus called  Cristate. Occasionally a saguaro will vary from normal growth patterns and develop unique and sometimes grotesque growth patterns. There are 18 parts to this one. I have seen one in downtown Tucson near the Presido. 
and enjoy a poem

author unknown

Thorns are my language.
I announce my existence
with a bleeding touch.

Once these thorns were flowers.
I loathe lovers who betray.
Poets have abandoned the deserts
to go back to the gardens.
Only camels remain here, and merchants,
who trample my blooms to dust.

One thorn for each rare drop of water.
I don’t tempt butterflies,
no bird sings my praise.
I don’t yield to droughts.

I create another beauty
beyond the moonlight,
this side of dreams,
a sharp, piercing,
parallel language.

Buy a box of Lemon-Ups (new #girlpower Girl Scout Cookies) share with a friend

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Out and About in SE Arizona

Needed to hang on to that hat as it was "A wild and blustery day" as Winnie the Pooh 
would say. Even holding the camera still was a challenge for our first stop Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, 2 hours away. It's an extensive open water area. marshland and mudflats that attract birds throughout the winter. The featured attraction sandhill cranes, some 20,00 we are told stand all night in the Whitewater Draw's shallow water to evade predators, fly out each morning to feed and socialize and then return in the afternoon  and evening.  
It was feeding time late morning when these photos were taken. Quite the sight with so many birds clustered in one place.

In addition to sandhill cranes, Whitewater Draw's waters attract many kinds of geese, herons, egrets, shorebirds and ducks.  Note the Mallard ducks enjoying a swim nearby. 

Next stop Bisbee. AZ 
Bisbee may have declined in size and vigor from its glory days as a thriving silver and copper mining town, but a fun place to visit offering underground mining tours, museums and lots of quirky shops.  

A view of open pit mining 

and random placed houses dotting the hillside seemed like a mystery how to even reach some of them.  
Bisbee, a place that beats Duluth MN for hilly, winding streets where parking is at a premium.

Mining may have stopped a long time ago but they did leave behind one useful item. 

(a mining pan turned toilet paper handle)

 We needed to make an afternoon stop at Wisdoms, a favorite watering hole for locals,

as we missed celebrating National Margarita Day on Saturday. Their iconic chicken caught my husband's attention. And they even had one of the painted javelinas I previously posted  Chasing Javelinas in Tubac
RAK Sharing a plate of butterscotch brownies with friends.  
Try the recipe below and share with neighbors/friends/family.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Ham and Egg Cups

But don't despair make Monday your day to rise and shine
with another muffin tin meal-Ham and Egg Cups 
Recipe adapted from BHG
Cook's Notes: This recipe is versatile. You can make as many or as few Ham and Egg Cups needed with customized toppings.  
You will need the following: 
  • Medium size eggs (large eggs work but note egg does comes right to top of muffin pan well) 
  • Deli ham (medium thickness) 
  • 1 package of Mexican 4 cheeses or Cheddar
  • Grape tomatoes. halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Options add on avocado slices, toast, fruit 
  • Lightly grease muffin pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Shape ham slice like a cone or funnel shape and place in the muffin pan.
  • Sprinkle ham cup with cheese and place a few halved grape tomatoes on the cheese. 
  • Place muffin tin on  a baking sheet to prevent any spillage. 
  • Crack an egg into each ham cup. 
  • Salt and pepper and cook 18 minutes or until egg white is set and yolk thickened.  
  • To remove ham and egg cup use a butter knife to loosen all edges and then use a fork to gently remove. 
Monday RAK
If you have had exceptionally good customer service e.g. restaurant or at some store take a few minutes to find a manager to pass that information along. 

Meet Minnesota Author Barbara Saefke

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