Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Low Fat Chewy Fruit and Oatmeal Bars

I am the world's laziest cook, I don't like cooking especially in the morning. I'd find myself eating junk. So, I started looking around for a recipe, something I can make ahead of time and when I get hungry I can just glab it and go...but it needed to be at least a little bit healthy.

I came upon this recipe on the Quaker Oats website and gave it a try. I really like it and so does my husband. It almost has a nutty apply kind of texture and flavor to it.

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 oz vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt
2 egg whites lightly beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp skim milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups oats (quick cook or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup dried mixed fruit, raisins or dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk and vanilla, mix well. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mix well. Add to yogurt mixture, mix well. Stir in oats and fruit.
2. Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tighly covered.

When I make these I cut down 1/4 cup on both of the sugars and add more fruit. Soon I will try substituting whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. Its good and filling and fast!

A peek at what I've been working on

Last week, I started a special order for one of my best customers. Its a stained glass panel with a red biplane flying through the clouds.

The plane is made using a bright red glass along with black, gray and amber for the wheel and the engine and propeller. For the clouds I've used a textured streaky white glass and for the sky I've used two different textures of a pale blue glass. One of the textures of blue, called Artique is transparent with slight squigly lines throughout. The second blue is a type of glass called Baroque which is just a beautifully textured glass with randoms squirls. I've used the Baroque following the path of the plane to create a feeling of movement.

The picture shows all of the glass pieces cut and made to fit along with some of the pieces wrapped with copper foil. Once the entire piece is soldered I'll tack solder skinny copper rods from the top wing to the bottom wing to look like supports. I'll also hand paint features near the propeller to give an appearance that it is also in motion. Overall, this piece will measure 16" tall by wide.

Once the piece is complete I'll be sure to post a picture of it here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bubba-my 3 legged wonderboy

Here is the story of my sweet little Bubba, rescue kitty number 3.

One day in the Spring of 2000 I had left my house to run some errands in a little town down the road. As I was approaching a bend in the road, a little black and white head popped out of the tall grass--I could tell it was a little kitty cat. I pulled the car over, got out and this little bundle of love comes charging for me. He was so cute and so small, I figured only about 6 weeks of age. And he was dangling his little back leg.

Oh no, this was not good! This poor helpless little baby by the side of this highway, posted speed limit of 30 that's usually not true. What was I going to do? I couldn't leave him behind. We had just moved into a new home with 2 other kitties and the week before my husband finally found homes for 3 puppies he found (we kept the momma, her name is Suzie). I didn't know what the reaction at home might be. I didn't care. I loaded this little injured cat up in the car, took care of my errands and headed home. This cat was an awesome traveler! He stayed in place on the floorboard and didn't freak out at all.

When I get home, hubby and Suzie (the new dog) are both outside. I get Bubba from the car and Suzie takes an instant liking to the new addition. Her puppies had just left her and perhaps her motherly hormones were still flowing. He licks him, perhaps knowing he is hurt? Bubba takes an instant shine to Suzie as well.

Time to get this kitty to the vet. Luckily it was a Saturday and the vet was still at the office. The vet checked Bubba out and decided that he might be able to save Bubba's leg. He would need to keep the kitty for the weekend and I could pick him up on Monday. When I picked Bubba up the vet had put a cast on Bubba's leg and I was to give him antibiotics every 6 hours.

No problem. I was the boss at work and I brought Bubba with me every day to keep an eye on him and give him his meds. This went on for a few days.

But, Bubba didn't seem to be getting stronger, he was very weak and lethargic. By the forth day home I knew something else had to be done.

I brought Bubba back in to the vet. The infection in his leg was spreading throughout his body and the leg was too far gone for saving, it was rotting. Please, please, take his leg--I begged. The vet feared that this little 6 week old kitty wouldn't make it through anesthesia. But, the alternative was bleak, too.

The vet finally agreed. He performed surgery that afternoon and called us the next day to let us know that Bubba seemed to be doing fine. We could pick him up in a week. So much time this little guy was away from us at the beginning.

Finally, the day came to bring the new little baby home. He was in excellent spirits. When we got him home and let him out of the carrier he ran up to Suzie and gave her a rub. She was his new pal. For the first 6 months they shared the garage (heated) until we finally decided that Bubba could no longer be an outside cat--he was far too mischievous. We feared that rescue kitty number #2 would freak--#2 is a bit radical. These two became instant friends also. There's something special about Bubba-everyone loves him. Nearly 9 years later and Bubba is still going strong!

Since Bubba's rescue, 4 more kitties have found their way to us when they were in need. We love all of them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Here's what I'm working on now

I needed something easy to build before I start working on two more complex projects soon so I pulled together some favorite elements for this stained glass panel:

glass bevels-glass pieces that are like prisms

Waterglass-lightly textured type of stained glass

curves and straight lines

a shade of green like lime Jello-yum!

The center is a clear glass star shaped bevel surrounded by light green Waterglass and clear glue chip glass. The border is the same color green but in a different texture along with 1 1/2" bevels as accents in the centers and corners of the border.

Monday afternoon I drew out this design. Although it is similar to a design I've done in the past, I've made this panel to be slightly smaller to better accomodate the size of the small green teardrop shaped glass accents in the body of the panel.

Yesterday, I started cutting all of the pieces that I need for this project and today I have all of the pieces fit in place. Tomorrow I'll foil all of the pieces--that is, all of the pieces except for the outside border edge will be wrapped with copper foil and with any luck I'll have this panel soldered on Friday. When I'm at this point I just can't wait to see what this piece will look like finished. Right now I have a severe craving for anything lime flavored!

Once completed this piece will measure approximately 13 1/4" tall by wide.

Snow on Sunday

This past Sunday we woke up to find snow! This is only our second snowfall of the season and the most snow we have had all winter as we usually just receive a dusting here in this part of Tennessee. By the next day it was all gone...