Fall Fun on Lookout Mountain.

“It’s too early. It’s not time.”

I hadn’t gotten the words out of my mouth before Jake, the chow hound, decided that he would climb in the bed to make sure that he got his breakfast. It is always a battle with him. He thinks I should be on his stomach’s schedule and I think his stomach should be on my sleep schedule. Needless to say, I think he won this battle.

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 As I made my way through the living room to the back porch, it was apparent that “the monsters” helped themselves to the garbage.  Ugh. I forgot to put the trash bin up. I also left the bedroom door open.

While I was making quick work of retrieving the trash, the rotten monsters  inhaled their breakfast and completed their morning rituals. Then they came back to the bedroom , went back to bed and promptly went to sleep.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky. Listening to them snore, I sipped my coffee, deciding on what I needed to accomplish.

After a quick trip into town, to deposit my checks and other errands, I decided that I needed some shutter therapy. Since it was raining I decided to review some of the shots I had taken earlier in the week when my brother, his son and  grandchildren came to visit and enjoy some of the fall colors.

Fall hike

I was out hiking and walking Max, rotten monster # 1 when they came by.They waited until I got back with rotten monster #1. We all went on another hike. We took Jake, rotten monster # 2 with us. Jake was well behaved

jake  Rock climb   Hiking  the Grands

Curious Greyson was determined that he was going to walk the whole way. He refused to let anyone pick him up and carry him.  

Greyson hiking

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A great time was has by all. Having some Fall fun. NOTE: I started this post back in November. I am just now getting back to it.

After a long hiatus…

After a long hiatus… Where has the time gone? I haven’t posted anything since mid summer. I just didn’t find or make the time to do it. Life seems to get in the way of some things.

These are some photos of our recent trip to San Antonio and the Alamo.  I had never had the opportunity to visit this shrine until this fall. It is well worth the trip.

 

July flew by.

July started out with a bang. We celebrated the Fourth of July at the Stone Cottage on the Sunday following.. Not only did we celebrate summer, we also celebrated a few July birthdays. Mine, Leslie’s, Carla (SIL) and Uncle Bills are in the first two weeks of July. Here are a few photos from the day. Parker, Riley Clair and Curious Greyson seemed to enjoy the water fountain.

Curious Greyson is growing so fast. He is funny too. I love to hear him say “ball” Here he is playing follow the leader and the leader is Jake the snake.

We have been enjoying fresh blackberries. They taste awesome and so worth the scratches and bug bites. I have been lucky not to meet a snake during my blackberry gathering. Blackberry cobbler anyone?

So last night, Jake the Snake started barking his alarm bark and I went to investigate. Jake was on the terrace, pacing, barking and generally being excited. He had cornered a toad. He is such a goober. He was trying to catch it. I grabbed the camera. Here are a few of Jake. When he finally gets a chance to taste the toad, he starts shaking his head and running in circles. The toad tasted bitter I am sure. Silly Jake, Toads are for snakes to eat. Fortunately, Jake didn’t have a reaction to the toad. He did drink a lot of water though.

I will post more later.

Low-Carb Cheesecake Recipe

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Hi Everyone!   This is Leslie pretending to be George.  I don’t have a blog, so I thought I could hijack his for a little while.

Several people this weekend asked me for the recipe for low-carb (no sugar) cheese cake.  There are a couple of things you need and need to know:

  • Remember, this is low-carb, NOT low-calorie.
  • Spring-form pan – really.  They aren’t too expensive, and there is no real way to make this without it.
  • Pan big enough for the spring-form pan to set inside (casserole or similar), at least a few inches deep.
  • Stand mixer – really can’t do this with a hand mixer.
  • Instant-read meat thermometer – it is how you will know when it is done!
  • Hazelnut meal/flour – look with the gluten free flours on or near the top shelf above the regular flours.  You can also use pecan meal/flour, which is available around Christmas with the baking goods.  Both should be stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer, where they last practically forever so don’t be afraid to stock up.
  • It always looks like it is going to overflow the pan as it bakes and rises.  It never has on me, but if you are the cautious type a cookie sheet on the shelf below might be comforting.
  • It rises, so remove the rack above the cheese cake if there is one.
  • It needs to be cool (chilled) before cutting.  Make the morning of or even the day before needed.  And make sure there is room in your refrigerator to store it.

Low-Carb Cheesecake

Prepare your pan by assembling it with the flat bottom.  Wrap the bottom and at least halfway up the outside of the pan with tin/aluminum foil.  If your foil isn’t wide enough, fold two pieces together along one long side and press firmly to make a seal.  Spray the inside of your pan with cooking spray.

CRUST

2 cups                   Hazelnut meal

2 tbsp                    Splenda-type sweetener

½ tsp                     Pumpkin pie spice or Apple pie spice mix

4 – 6 tbsp             Butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add melted butter, starting at the low end, and stir.  The mix should clump together when squeezed in your hand.  If it is too dry, add the remaining two tbsp butter.  Dump your mixture into the pan, and press it firmly into the bottom and about ¼-½inch up the side of the pan, enough to seal the seam at the bottom.  Use a measuring scoop or flat bottomed glass or similar to smooth and seal the crust evenly across the pan.

FILLING

3 lbs                       Cream cheese – room temperature

1½ cups                                Splenda-type sweetener

1 cup                     Sour cream – not light or fat free

7                              Egg

2                              Egg Yolks

¼ tsp                     Salt

2 tbsp                    Lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325°F.  In the stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add Splenda and mix again until smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add sour cream and mix thoroughly, scraping down sides of bowl to ensure an even mixture.  Add eggs and then yolks, one at a time, mixing thoroughly on low speed, scraping sides of mixer often.  Add remaining ingredients and mix on low until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, tapping lightly on counter a few times to release air bubbles.   Place pan into casserole dish and set on center rack in oven.  Add water to casserole, at least 1 inch (2 inches if possible).  Bake for 75mins and start to check.  Eggs are cooked at 160°F.  When the center of your cheesecake is between 150°-155°F, remove it from the oven and water bath, setting on a rack to cool.  It usually takes between 90-100 mins in my oven, but sometimes longer.  It will continue to rise for a few minutes after removing from the oven, and this will ensure it doesn’t come out overcooked.

Cool on the counter for 30mins, and then run a thin knife around the outside edge of the pan.  Release the catch on the spring-form pan and pull it away, leaving the cheesecake on the base on the rack to continue to cool.  Let rest another hour or so on the counter, then move to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before cutting.

Awesome as it is, but for the carb-eaters in your group can be topped with chocolate sauce, any jams/jellies or fruit syrups of their choice.