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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Color By Shape! Coloring page


Color by shape example done in Progress Pride Flag colors

I'm still working on getting back in the habit of drawing and this was an idea I had recently for coloring by shape. There are 6 different shapes in the circle, and my example was colored in using rainbow colors for each shape. 

It's fussy and hopefully calmly meditative for people who like coloring in simple designs with a lot of small areas.  

Click the images below for larger versions to print and color. 

Small jpg version: 

Color by shape coloring page- available in jpg and png versions.

Large png version: 

Color by shape coloring page- available in jpg and png versions.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Love and Hearts Coloring Page


heart coloring page- example rainbow colored hearts in a circle pattern with the word love

OH! It's been a while since I drew and posted a new coloring page. I'm learning how to use the graphic program on a different computer and this is the first one I've done on that computer. 

Click the images below for larger versions to print and color. 

Small jpg version of Love and Hearts Coloring Page- 

blank love and hearts coloring page- small jpg version, also available in transparent png

Large transparent PNG version of Love and Hearts Coloring Page- 

blank love and hearts coloring page

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Smoking Cheese - Electric smoker


smoked cheese in an electric smoker

Oh! It's been a long time. Sorry about that. 

But hey, it's that season again and my family is gathering food and doing summer stuff and one of the big summer things is smoking cheese. 

We don't have a cold smoker. Our smokers are both electric, and both are Smokehouse Products smokers. One was bought off season at a heavily discounted price- but honestly, it would have been worth full price for how much we use it. The other one is smaller and I got it from a garage sale for free. 

The primary thing we use our smokers for is CHEESE. My family loves smoked cheese but it's expensive. Locally it's about 17 dollars a lb. With a coupon, I can get cheddar cheese for about 3.00 a lb. 

So when it comes to smoking cheese, I've used green apple wood that my son and I whittled into chips, purchased chips, and purchased hardwood for smoking and grilling- also whittled into chips. 

The Chief line of smokers from Smokehouse Products use chips in a small pan on top of an electric element. Fairly low voltage at 450W in my Big Chief model. You set it up on a non-combustible surface for smoking. 

The big issue for smoking cheese in this kind of smoker is that it is NOT a cold smoker. In fact, it runs about 165F, and cheddar melts at 150F. Well, that's kind of a big problem if you want pretty and yummy blocks of smoked cheddar. 

So what we do is get blocks of cheese and cut them down to the sizes we want and put them on the top two racks ONLY. Then under that on a shelf, we put a big pan of ice. The ice helps cool the smoke- and we leave the top open an inch or two so it draws the smoke out of the top across the cheese. 

We like our cheese a little smokier, so we run 3 pans full of chips through it then let the cheese cool a bit before wrapping it in plastic wrap. 

I can do 4 or 5 lbs of cheese this way at a time, and it might be 3 dollars worth of wood chips if I used purchased chips instead of apple wood or other types of woods that are good for smoking that I can get for free, and at 450W, for a full 2 hours costs less than 20 cents to run the smoker. So if I get the cheese for 3 lb a lb, and do 4 lbs, finished cost is less than 4.00/lb to smoke it myself. 

My youngest LOVES our smoked cheddar. So it does get more expensive that way. She eats about twice as much cheese when it's smoked! 

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Amazing Turnip Girl's Very Special Birthday Cake


Oh that's a mess isn't it? It's also very delicious. 

See, for the Amazing Turnip Girl's birthday, being in July, we do either ice box cakes or ice cream treats. 

This year has been well, interesting. To say the absolute least. 

She asked for a "Twinkie Cherry Cheesecake". And I was going to give her whatever she wanted. 

So that meant coming up with a recipe for an icebox Twinkie Cherry Cheesecake.

Recipe first! Then all the story. 

TG's Twinkie Cherry Cheesecake

  • 1 box of Twinkies, sliced in half across the top, lengthwise. (so both sides have the round top and flat bottom and creamy filling) 
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 can tart cherries packed in water (drained
  • 1 box cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • whipped topping or whipped cream
Mix cherries. 
Blend together milk, instant pudding and cream cheese. 
In a 9x13x2 inch pan, put a layer of twinkies, cream side up. 
Spread cherries on top. 
Second layer of Twinkies
Spread cheesecake layer on that.  

Cover and put in the fridge for at least 4 hour. Serve with a spoon and add whipped topping as you like. 

It's honestly just that simple. No cooking involved. 

So icebox cakes, as per the name, started before refrigerators were affordable and common. Most recipes are teeth achingly sweet though. Which makes sense. When it's very warm, we want sugar for the energy rush, or at least that's the theory. 

That said, I definitely needed this cake to not be too sweet, which is why I added the can of tart water packed cherries to the pie filling layer and the whole brick of cream cheese to the cheesecake layer. That helped balance out the sweetness of the Twinkies. 

Honestly, it was DELICIOUS. I was kind of impressed. TG was thrilled of course, and the rest of my family enjoyed it a lot.