Jim and Denise’s Wild Rice Casserole

1 lb sweet italian bulk sausage
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 T minced onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup mix
1.5 cup water
2 packages Uncle Ben’s Wild/White Rice mix (only use on seasoning packet)
4 oz  diced pimientos – drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the sausage , stirring to crumble.  Add celery, onions and peppers and saute until tender.  Drain off pan drippings and stir in mushroom soup, water, pimientos, cheese and seasonings.  Pour into a greased 12″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees.


Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 T vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water
1 cup red enchilada sauce
16 oz Velveeta cheese – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin

Saute the chicken breasts to brown ( about 4-5 minutes).  Remove the chicken and add onions and garlic to the oil, sauteing until they are translucent.  Add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, salt, chili powder and cumin.

Add the masa harina to 3 cups of water and stir to blend.  Add to the soup, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the cheese and simmer to melt.  Shred the chicken and add to the soup.  simmer until thick and serve with corn chips.

Basic Scone Mix

This recipe is great for blueberry scones, chocolate chip scones, oat scones, or leave it plain and add a little jelly filling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 cup flour (I usually use a mix of white and whole wheat)
1 T baking powder
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt
5 T chilled butter cut into small pieces
1  to 1.25 cups buttermilk (I sometimes use 1 cup milk and 2 T lemon juice if I don’t have any buttermilk)

1.5 cups frozen berries (for blueberry scones)

mix the dry ingredient and cut in the butter.  Mix the buttermilk in, add the berries and kneed a few times (don’t over do this – they will get tough).  Shape into a 1/2 thick circle and cut into 8 wedges.  Brush on buttermilk and bake about 20 minutes.  Turn the baking tray after 10 minutes.

Cakes and Jam

fig-orange preserves

8/25:  Finally rid of another migraine I was able to get started early this morning. I was able to make two batches of fig-orange preserves and three loaves of zucchini bread.

zucchini bread


I painted the final coat on the railing on the second floor deck and started coating the clothes line posts.  I need to finish that later this afternoon or evening.  We were hoping there would be more zucchini on the plant today, but it’s not doing very well this year and we only had one small one.  We’ll leave it on and hope it get bigger soon.

Fig and Orange Jam

  • 1 1/2 cups diced figs (fresh)
    1/2 cup diced orange sections
    1 1/4 cups of sugar
    1 1/2 t  orange peel
    3 T lemon juice
    1/4 t ginger
    1/4 t cloves
    1/4 t cinnamon
    1/2 t butter


Combine the ingredients in microwave safe container and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Microwave on high until the fruit starts to boil and stir. Keep cooking and stirring every few minutes for a total of about 15 minutes or until thickened.  I have also tripled the batch and done this on the stove top.

Pour into sterilized jars and can as normal.

Painting Fences and Making Syrups

8/21: Today I finished painting the last coat of paint on the front side of the pasture fence.  I still need to do primer and paint on the back side and the other 2 sides of the chicken yard.  It looks fantastic but I HATE PAINTING FENCES!.  We also went to a wine tasting and art exhibit at the Chehalem Winery.  We went on a tour and Harry was great about answering all of my questions about pruning grapes.  I was a lot of fun and they has some very good wines.

8/19:  FInish up the kiwi syrup today.  I’m also working on some wild blackberry and blueberry jelly.  Joe picked the blackberries the other day and I found the blueberries (a little dry) while cleaning out the freezer for defrosting.

I also harvested the garlic and it is drying in the garage. This was my first try at garlic and I learned that elephant garlic does not like my garden during a very wet spring – it rotted. I waited a little to long to harvest the hardneck garlic, as the scapes had straightened before I cut them off. We’ll try again next year and see if we can get a better harvest.