Big Sky Country of NE PA

For my Friday post this week I thought I’d share some of the splendor I see outside my front door in God’s country.  Let’s begin with the big sky pictures.

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How amazing it that?  And then there was this…

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We got three new trees this summer, so hubs has been babying them along with their own dedicated water troughs.  He took a 10-gallon paint bucket and drilled a hole in the bottom side of it. He fills these every night, which allows a slow, steady, even water stream to escape above the tree root ball over the span of a few hours.  We will be removing these soon, and putting some bark chips at the bottom of the tree to protect it this winter, then encircling the trees with fencing. We have a momma deer and two babies that get the munchies in the winter and regularly come to our yard to satisfy their cravings.  Darn, deer, anyway!

 

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The sun rising over NEPA is indeed a gorgeous sight.  This beauty of a sky predicted rain and it came later in the morning. What is it the sailors say?  Just this, “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight.”

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My gorgeous autumnal driveway.  On the upper side of it that third tree hubs has been babying along, and our light house set atop our well head.  Just the other side of the road from this spot is our old donkey, Rosie, and two riding horses that belong to my sister-in-law. She is lucky enough to live on a plot of land adjoining our pasture, so has benefited from the green grasses that grow there almost all year long.

I love my camera. What a great shot!

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A red sugar maple growing at the end of the house.  Yeah, she’s braggin’!

I wish the fall colors could march on and on, but I know winter white is headed our way soon so I’m enjoying these crisp cool mornings as much as I can.

What is it like where you live?  What do you love most about the fall?

 

First World Problems

Under the heading “Are You Kidding Me?!”, this:

Textaphrenia: A disease found in teens, in which they have heard or felt a new text message vibration when there is no message.

It’s a real thing, people. Look it up!  Ugh!

Here is an example of real trouble:

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Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters

When have you been tempted to lament first world problems?  Couldn’t textaphrenia be cured by simply shutting one’s cell phone off?

To Remember Me By

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Here we are: Mr and me in all our blurry glory!

Sorry about the blur, the lighting in my bedroom is not that great, so my camera struggled to get this right.

My love and I had our pictures taken for a directory sponsored by our church.  We had not done this sort of things in years, and we decided to have fun with it.  It shows through in the images they captured, I think.

I usually take a horrible picture, but these turned out pretty nice.  Wearing lip gloss was a good idea.  It somehow made me sparkle, which adds to the illusion of beauty in the final product.  Okay, maybe not beauty, but a certain hint of youth that maybe might not be there otherwise.

Mr always takes an incredible picture. The camera lens loves this guy!!!  No kidding.

This shot shows the framing a little better…

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I love the note as to when our “company” was established. We haven’t started a union in our company as of yet, never needed one.  We settle all disputes among us with single sticks.

It’s amazing what a good whack on the head can do to change one’s mood!

When was the last time you had professional pictures taken of you and your love?  Did you like the end results?

Meatless Monday

Hanni asked me to post the recipe for the Brownie Walnut Pie I baked for Thanksgiving Day this year, and I thought, “Why not do it on Monday and make it a Meatless Monday post?”

Why not, indeed!

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Below, is the recipe that I used to make this pie, courtesy of my Betty Crocker Cookbook at home.  The link provided above takes you to the Betty Crocker site, where the recipe is also provided, but I noticed that the ingredients and baking times are different there from what I have in my cookbook. Weird.  Well, maybe pie testers in the BC kitchen decided to tweak the recipe a bit.  Either way, with my old recipe or their new one, I think you will be happy with the results should you choose to bake this pie for a special occasion of your own.

Betty Crocker suggests you use a chocolate sauce as a drizzle for the topping, or some raspberry sauce. I think either would be heavenly, but we ate ours plain. It was rich, custardy, and full of chocolate flavor. I used Ghirardelli chocolate morsels instead of unsweetened chocolate in my pie. The morsels were bittersweet, but they worked fine.

More than fine! Yum!!!

There are two recommendations I would make when baking this pie for your family, and I don’t know if this would enhance the finished product or not, but I would do it next time.

1.  Put a pan of water in the oven while baking the pie. The pie top turned out more dry than I like, and I think this would help moisten it a bit.

2.  Put a clean dish towel on the pie while it is resting (but not until after 30-45 minutes out of the oven). Because the top crust was dry on my pie, it stayed puffed when it cooled, making for a crunchy topping when I would have rather have had it moist, like a brownie topping.  On a brownie, you want that lil bit of flakiness/crust, but without it being too dry.

This pie did what a lot of apple pies do when you use sugar crystals on the top crust before popping it into the oven.  That maneuver makes the crust stand stiff after the pie filling sinks into the bottom crust, leaving air between the pie filling and the raised, crunchy crust (which is oh, so good, but I want it resting on the pie filling when I cut into it with a fork).  That’s just me.  If you don’t mind the air between your filling and your crust, this step can be skipped.

Note: Do  not cover pie with dish towel right out of the oven.  It will make the pie sweat and wet the top, and nobody likes a wet brownie.

Moist, yes. Wet, no!

Other than these two tricks, that I think would help to make the completed pie even more luscious, I would make no alterations to either recipe.

This pie was very chocolate-y and definitely a recipe I would make again, but not until company comes over to share it with us. Too much pie for a man and his mate alone. Enjoy!Brownie Walnut Pie

Lunch

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Lunch today was packed at home and eaten in the car.

Lunch yesterday, packed at home.

Lunch Monday, yeah, packed and brought from home.

Why am I eating lunches packed from home so much these days? Because I’ve made a conscious decision to cut back on the amount of food I purchase from vendors (convenience purchases, good or bad), and I’ve made more of an effort to plan ahead and make meals that I can easily eat without all the expense and calories.

Today’s Lunch: Sweet potatoes, a tad bit of leftover succotash, and quinoa with raisins and carrots.  Yum!

Side Note:  I had the most delicious quinoa salad bowl while in Lake Placid on my recent get-away vaca with the girls.  If you are ever in Lake Placid, definitely look up The Good Bite Kitchen. You will NOT be disappointed, I promise.  😉

In other news:  I’ve also been walking nights, after work.  About time, right?  The slacks are loose again, and I’ve been able to cut down on the amount of pain killers I take to sleep. All good news. Yay!

And:  I have a new tablet, which I’m hoping will make photographing my food a lil easier to do.  If it does, you can look forward to more food posts here in the future.

Also: I took some pics while strolling the boulevard last night.  Almost all the leaves are now gone from the trees, and for that I am sad, but the snow has not yet arrived, so I was dancing as I walked along last night.

I know the snow will soon appear in NEPA, but for now I’m happy to have it linger in the mid-west a lil longer.

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I found ole Barky on the footpath last night.  I predict he is going to be wayyy cold this winter, especially in his spot along that river. Burrr…

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What sights are you seeing as you stroll around town these days?  What does your favorite packed lunch contain?