May 292016
 

Well, I did it. I raided my mother’s books and wound up with more Dean Koontz to read!

With the books I borrowed from my mother and the handful of books of mine I have left to read, it should be a few months before I have to raid my husband and my dad’s books.

I first heard about Twilight Eyes on Dean Koontz’s podcast and knew I had to read it. Of course, I completely forgot about it every time I bought new books. Thankfully, Mom had it or else I’d probably always forget and never read it.

Speaking of Dean Koontz’s podcast, I wish he had continued it, but if you’re a fan it’s well worth a listen. The first episode is still my favorite. Check out On Working with Editors and you’ll see what I mean. If you’re a writer, you might find it particularly amusing.

They’re out there.
Waiting. Watching. Unseen by normal eyes, but all too visible to Slim MacKenzie, a young man blessed―or cursed―by Twilight Eyes…

They’re out there

Lurking in the darkest shadows of an eerie, moonlit carnival. Feeding their twisted needs with human suffering. And fiendishly plotting the downfall of the human race…

They’re out there
But don’t scream.
They’ll hear you.

Summary from Amazon.com

May 292016
 

Spaghetti is an easy meal for my husband to take to work with him, so I make quite a bit of it. With my current obsession with the crock pot, I decided to see what would happen if I added the uncooked noodles directly to the slow cooker and cooked them with the sauce. I expected to wind up with a gooey, nasty mess but was shocked to find that it turned out great. The noodles were plump and filled with flavor.

I haven’t found a jarred spaghetti sauce that I like, they’re all too sweet or bland, so I played around with tomato sauce and spices until I came up with something that I thought tasted pretty good. Not sweet, tons of tomato flavor and just a tad spicy. If you like the jarred sauce, you can always replace the tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices with an equal amount of your favorite sauce. That should be somewhere around 85 ounces of sauce.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti
Serves 10
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Cook Time
4 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds Italian pork sausage or hamburger or a pound of each
  2. 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 cups chopped onions
  4. 16 ounces (2-3 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  5. 1 green bell pepper (optional)
  6. 3 cans (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  7. 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  8. 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  9. 1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
  10. 1 can (12 ounce) tomato paste
  11. 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried basil
  12. 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  13. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  14. 1 teaspoon pepper
  15. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  16. 1-2 cups beef broth
Instructions
  1. Cook sausage/hamburger, garlic, onions, mushrooms and green bell pepper until browned. Drain.
  2. Empty 2 cans tomato sauce into slow cooker.
  3. Break spaghetti noodles in half and place on top of sauce. Cover with last can of tomato sauce.
  4. Add sausage/hamburger mixture on top of noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. On top of cheese, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs and spices.
  6. Cook on high for 3 hours. Stir well and add 1-2 cups beef broth depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce. Cook for remaining hour or until ready to eat.
Notes
  1. If you like your sauce thinner, you can always add more beef broth or water.
  2. This recipe fills a 6 quart slow cooker. If your largest size is 5 quart, consider waiting to add the sausage/hamburger mixture until you are ready to serve.
  3. If you don't like your spaghetti spicy, make sure to leave out the crushed red pepper flakes.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Spaghetti

Update: June 21, 2016
I tried this recipe with rotini instead of spaghetti noodles, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. The rotini was mushy and didn’t hold up well. I think the rotini might have been too “thin” and a thicker noodle type would have worked. I doubt I’ll try it again with rotini or noodles like it.

Update: July 13, 2016
I tried the recipe this time with macaroni noodles and it worked wonderfully. Noodles weren’t mushy this time. I had to add 2 cups of beef broth, 1 wasn’t enough. The noodles soaked up all the liquid making it an even thicker dish. It was more like Spaghetti Macaroni Casserole. I will probably make it this way from now on because macaroni would be easier for the hubby to eat at work than spaghetti noodles.

I’m going to try it with penne next.

May 152016
 

A century into the future, humanity lives mostly on the sea. Gigantic whale herds are tended by submariners, and vast plankton farms feed the world.

Walter Franklin, once a space engineer, now works on a submarine patrol. This novel tells the story of his adventures, including Franklin’s capture of an enormous kraken at 12,000 feet under the sea; his search for a monstrous sea serpent; and the thrilling rescue of a sunken submarine-all set against the backdrop of a futuristic world that’s both imaginative and believable.

Summary from Amazon.com

The Deep Range

May 132016
 

Slightly smoky and full of flavor, this easy baked beans recipe is great for a small meal or can be doubled, tripled or more to feed a crowd. If you double the recipe, it just fits in a 1.5-quart slow cooker.

Make sure to add extra time to the minimum if you double, triple or quadruple the recipe. The sauce will thicken the longer it cooks.

You can use your favorite BBQ sauce. I use KC Masterpiece because that’s what I usually have on hand.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 ounce) can pork and beans, undrained
  2. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  4. 2 teaspoons dry minced onion
  5. 2 sliced crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  6. 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  7. 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  8. 2-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a 1 or 1.5 quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Notes
  1. Sauce thickens the longer it cooks.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Baked Beans

May 102016
 

I wanted to do something special for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day this year. She loves things that are handmade, so I’ve beaded and crocheted gifts for her in the past. This year, I decided to do something a little… less simple.

I poured through both patterns I had and patterns I’d collected online, but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I did find something I could modify to incorporate a focal piece I’d been saving specifically for her.

This Rojo Necklace from Beads Magic was the basis for my design. I didn’t change it much, but just enough that I could add the focal in the center.

The whitish and clearish looking beads are Malaysia Jade and the pink drop in the center is pink dyed howlite, I believe. The rest are Czech silver lined seed beads.

I’m not a fan of pink myself, but I was pleased with final product. I’m calling the modified necklace design Beth, after my mother-in-law.

If you’d like to duplicate this design, most of the pattern is the Rojo Necklace. If you need a hand with the modifications, comment on this post, use the contact page or drop me an email and I will do my best to help.

May 092016
 

Happy Birthday, Zander!

I can’t believe he’s already two years old! Time passes even faster when you’re a grandparent. I didn’t think it was possible.

It’s not like I wasn’t warned. I know. Shhh… let me have my delusions.

I swear it was just yesterday that he was this little…

Crazy Hair!

 

And now he’s this big…

Zander-Hoodie

Someone invent a machine to stop time already!

And a teleporter while you’re at it. Pwease?

May 082016
 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I wish you a relaxing day filled with adulation, food you didn’t have to cook and lovely handmade presents from grateful kids.

Or maybe just the relaxation, a hot, quiet bath and lots of wine.

Whatever your heart desires today… 

Happy-Mother's-Day

May 062016
 

I had a couple boxes of stuffing and wanted to find something to do with them other than just following the box directions. I happened to run across a recipe for crockpot chicken and stuffing, but I didn’t have any chicken. The stuffing was pork flavored, so I decided it was a sign and substituted pork for the chicken.

I’ve made this several times now. Sometimes I only use one can of soup and I’ve even used no soup and twice the sour cream. I don’t always add water or wind up adding it more towards the end depending on how liquidy the mixture is. I don’t like the stuffing too wet or too dry, so I modify it while it cooks, but I don’t always have the chance. If I’m not able to keep an eye on it, I follow the recipe below and it works well.

You can replace the pork loin with 4 chicken breasts, 2-3 pounds of turkey, 2-3 pounds of pork chops or any other meat you like with stuffing. Use your favorite stuffing flavors or make your own.

Slow Cooker Pork and Stuffing
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Cook Time
8 hr
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 pounds pork loin
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 2/3 cup celery, chopped (optional)
  4. 2 (10.5 ounce) cans cream of mushroom, onion or celery soup
  5. 2 boxes of pork stuffing mix
  6. 1 cup sour cream
  7. 1 (12 ounce) bag of frozen green beans or french style green beans
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. Olive oil spray or Non-stick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Spray slow cooker with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Place pork loin in slow cooker. Add onion and celery.
  3. Pour dry stuffing mix on top of pork and vegetables.
  4. Stir together soup and sour cream. Spread over stuffing mix.
  5. Dump green beans on top.
  6. Add water on top of green beans.
  7. Cook on high for 4 hours or cook on low for about 8 hours.
Notes
  1. Add less water if you like your stuffing dry, more if you like it very moist.
  2. You can shred the pork into the stuffing or slice it and serve the stuffing mixture on the side, as pictured. It's good both ways.
Adapted from Jennifer
Adapted from Jennifer
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Pork&Stuffing

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