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Recipe for Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Garlic

There are many tricks to making Brussel sprouts palatable. But I haven’t tried them all. However, once I tried the one below, it’s been my go-to for difficult flavored veggies. Thus, this recipe for sautéed Brussel sprouts with garlic is a great base for many vegetables. Plus, it’s easy to make. And you could also incorporate it with different additions, if you want. Try it and see if you don’t like it.

Ingredients for Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Garlic:

clear casserole dish of halved Brussel sprouts
  • 2 lb package of pre-washed Brussel sprouts
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • ~ 2 tbsp each avocado oil and salted butter
  • and ~ 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic salt

Recipe for Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Instructions:

square copper pan of sautéed Brussel sprouts
  • First, cut the Brussel sprouts in half lengthwise before placing in a microwave safe casserole dish.
  • Next, add 2 tbsp of water to Brussel sprouts, cover with plastic wrap, and steam in microwave for 5 – 6 minutes.
  • Then, before turning stove on medium heat, add avocado oil and butter in the pan. After draining water from Brussel sprouts, place those in pan as well.
  • At that point, sprinkle fresh minced garlic and garlic salt over Brussel sprouts. And stir.
  • Continue stirring occasionally. Further, cook for only 5-10 minutes, depending on how firm or soft you want them to be.
  • Finally, remove from heat, and serve with your favorite meal.
top down view of chicken and Brussel sprouts on a white plate

So, you might be wondering where I got this particular recipe. Well, as it happens, a friend Hannah’s (20 year old daughter), made a different vegetable, and seasoned it in this way. Therefore, I thought, why not Brussel sprouts? And the rest is history…

Many thanks for reading this. Please comment and share. And if you don’t already follow me, please do so.

Extras Uncategorized

Christmas with Covid

Well, by Wednesday my work week was done, and plans had been made to go to Dallas to visit family. All I had left to do was wrap presents. However, Hannah, my middle daughter, got back from visiting friends in Dallas on Tuesday and was feeling under the weather. One Covid test later, on Thursday, and now we’re spending Christmas with Covid.

a person wearing medical gloves holding a test tube and a medical swab
Photo by Thirdman on

So far the rest of us are symptom free. And hopefully we’ll remain that way. Hannah thinks maybe she got a false positive result, because she doesn’t feel bad at all. Really like a cold. And she still has her sense of taste and smell. Though it could be the new variant, Omicron. Regardless, she’s staying in. And after I bought some things from the grocery store, with my mask on, the rest of us are remaining home too.

Dallas landscape lights skyline buildings
Photo by Pixabay on

Just so there’s no doubt or questions, my daughter was at a party while she was in Dallas. Some of the people she knew, but some she did not know. And while at the party, she drank after people, and vice versa. So she wasn’t being safe. She wasn’t even thinking about it. There’s a chance she might have gotten Covid anyway while at the party. Although I hope she doesn’t share cups or utensils with anyone again, using this experience as a teacher.

Last year my younger sister’s family had Covid around Christmas. That was when my dad was still alive. In fact, it was his last Christmas with us. Due to Covid, we had to rearrange dinner and presents with my sister’s family. But it was ok. And now it’s our turn. It kinda feels like an annual thing. Though I’m sure other families are similarly affected.

sliced meat on stainless steel plate with asparagus
Photo by Roy Sloan on

Usually for Christmas my mom makes Prime Rib. However, because prices on meat have gone up, my mom is making a different roast this year. But it looks like I’ll get to have Prime Rib anyway. Around Christmas Sam’s Club puts Prime Rib on sale, thus I take advantage of it. Typically I’ll buy one ~ 5 lb rib roast, because that’s plenty for my family. But if I’m having company, I’ll buy two.

orange sweet potato pie in a clear pie pan

Furthermore, I have a recipe that I’ve used for 20 years for the Prime Rib; the wine sauce makes it delicious. Though I didn’t get the recipe from my mom; I got it from a small cookbook back when we lived in Dallas. However I no longer have that cookbook since we’ve moved too many times. And I don’t remember the name either. Additionally, today I made two sweet potato pies and a cranberry salad. Exactly like I did this past Thanksgiving, because my husband asked me to.

cranberry salad in a white bowl

So it’s going to be only the four of us, with our spread. It’s not a huge spread, but we’ll have leftovers. And who knows, maybe we can make it to Dallas next weekend?

All animals Extras Uncategorized

Pet Gift Ideas for Christmas

Dogs account for the bulk of pets in the United States. And according to the American Pet Products Association pet statistics (APPA), dog owners spend ~ $1400 annually on their pets. While cat owners spend ~ $900 annually. These numbers represent medical, food, services, gifts and supplies. Also, the average that was spent on gifts last year on both cats and dogs was ~ $300 combined per a survey by TD Ameritrade. 51% of pet owners reported buying Christmas gifts for their pets last year, while 56% affirm they will do so this year. And ~ 80% of pet owners buy gifts regardless. With that in mind, we’ll look at some pet gift ideas for Christmas.

We too have gotten our dogs gifts for Christmas over the years. Like bones or rawhide. But this is the first year I’ve bought costumes and special toys, intended as gifts for my cat and even chickens! Have I gone off the deep end?

Reasons for the Rise in Pet Gifts

woman hugging a puppy
Photo by Nana Lapushkina on

Many companies joined the ‘pet gift’ bandwagon, like Target and Walmart, stocking their shelves in hopes of competing with online retailers. Which makes sense in light of the fact that during last year’s lockdown, many people adopted pets as pandemic companions. Again, American pet owners spent a whopping $99 billion on their fur babies last year. Moreover, that included medical, food, services, splurges on gifts, plastic surgery, and even the pets themselves.

Dog Gift Ideas

Aussie by an indoor Christmas tree and TV

There are numerous gift ideas to get your pooch, but these are just a few that I’ve come up with:

I’ve been seeing these dog beds on my Google feed for a few days. They advertise that they support better sleep, superior comfort and anti-anxiety. And it sells on

With the smart dog collar you can keep up with how much exercise your dog is getting. And you can keep track of their whereabouts.

rubber Zisc flying dog toy

Ok, this is similar to a frisbee, but a lot more durable. And it’s not intended to be a chew toy, but with the Zogoflex it’s made out of, it can endure tugging, chewing, fetch, etc. Also, it’s gentle on your dog’s mouth.

Cat Gift Ideas

Similarly, there are a number of items you can find for your kitty. However, just like with your doggy, these are just a sample of what I found:

A self cleaning litter box with crystal litter that’s supposed to eliminate odor 5X more effectively than traditional litters. What cat owner wouldn’t want that?

box of flick and frolic cat toy

This is a Leaps and Bounds interactive toy that features a wand with a feather on the end.

multicolored fuzzy balls on brown surface

These are just what they sound like, and they’re the right size for your feline friend. This is Itty Bitty’s favorite toy, other than my hand and her backpack.

You could get your companion pet a treat or treats, however make sure it’s something they can eat. Although, if your pet has a weight issue, like they’re on the chubby side, you might want to skip the treats and get a toy instead.

Other Pet Gift Ideas

There are loads of sites out there, the most popular. However, Chewy is gaining ground, and they have amazing customer service. Along with the sites are numerous choices on gifts for your fur babies: Santa hats, reindeer antlers, sweaters, and clothing in general, if they can tolerate it. And make sure the clothing isn’t tight or restrictive. Though, you could go all out and send your pet to the pet spa. That is, if they don’t have separation anxiety.

Gift Ideas for Backyard Chickens

black rooster in Santa hat w/chickens in background outside

My last suggestions are for any pets you might have in your backyard. Chickens and ducks are not demanding, but they are curious. And they like to eat. So if you have some chickens and you want to splurge on them, you can get:

multi colored xylophone
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Attach a xylophone to the coop at their level. And see if one (or all of them) will develop an ear for music. *Mine never did, but that was a long time ago. So maybe I’ll try it again.

  • cabbage
whole ripe fresh cabbage arranged on blue surface
Photo by Laker on

Hang cabbage from the ceiling/rafters of the run. Chickens love cabbage, and it takes time for them to eat it this way, because it’s a challenge. It also stimulates their natural foraging instincts.

Try adding a mirror to the run, or side of the coop, and watch the birds entertain themselves.

In conclusion

couple kissing dog in the snow
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

There are a lot of gift ideas for your fur or feather babies, either online or in-store. And you don’t have to spend a ton to get them. Your pet loves you no matter what, and more than anything, they want to spend time with you.


Cream Cheese Frosting with Whipping Cream

There are a lot of choices when it comes to frostings.  But I personally find that most are too sweet.  However my favorite is cream cheese frosting with whipping cream, and that’s because it’s a light and fluffy frosting, with just a hint of sugariness.

female mixing ingredients in bowl with whisk
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Generally, when I bake, I substitute Truvia for regular sugar, and I’ve been doing that for almost 10 years.  Furthermore, I don’t notice that my desserts taste any differently than they did before making the switch.  And no one else has either.

Although, regarding cream cheese frosting with whipping cream, I only add a couple of tablespoons of Truvia, so there’s only the slightest trace of sweetness.  But that’s why I think it’s perfect.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting with Whipping Cream

  • 1/2 cup of softened (room temperature) butter
  • 8 oz softened (room temperature) cream cheese
  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 2 – 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar to taste or 4 – 6 tbsp Truvia to taste
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
pouring of mixture on a stand mixer
Photo by SHVETS production on

Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting with Whipping Cream

  • First, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it’s smooth.
  • Next, add the cream cheese until both are well mixed.
  • Then mix in either the confectioner’s sugar or Truvia, in small increments at a time, ie. 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar or 1 tbsp of Truvia. 
  • And add vanilla, beating mixture until creamy.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

There you have it, an easy recipe for cream cheese frosting with whipping cream.  You can ice cakes and cupcakes with this, the most popular flavors being carrot and red velvet cakes.  However I think this frosting also tastes amazing on Devil’s food.

decorated red and white frosted cupcakes

Additionally, if you omit the butter, you can get a stiffer frosting to decorate cakes, cookies, and top ice cream.

Thanks for stopping by!  Please like, leave a comment, and share this post.  And don’t forget to follow!

Extras recipes Uncategorized

Berries with Pound Cake

I got this pound cake recipe from my mother-in-law. However it was originally her mother’s. But, because my husband’s Aunt Ruth was the one able to get the recipe from his grandmother, it was referred to by her name. She also was the one who predominantly made it. So I hope you enjoy this recipe of berries with pound cake.

Ingredients for Berries with Pound Cake: the pound cake

  • 3 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 Crisco
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c buttermilk

Instructions for Berries with Pound Cake: the pound cake

  • First, grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 standard loaf pan with either butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  • And pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • With a beater, cream the butter, Crisco, sugar, and egg yolks until light and fluffy.
  • Next, add the vanilla or lemon extract.
  • In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients. And then add them alternately into your sugar mixture with the buttermilk.
  • Beat the remaining egg whites till stiff white peaks form. After that, fold them into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. And bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
sliced pound cake on a brown plate
This is what your pound cake will look like once it’s cooled.

While your pound cake is baking, you can prepare the berries and whipped cream. For the berries, I typically go with strawberries and blueberries. But if you prefer, you can use raspberries and blackberries.

Ingredients for Berries with Pound Cake: the berries

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, de-stemmed, and cut into bite size pieces
  • 18 oz fresh blueberries, washed
  • 1/2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions for Berries with Pound Cake: the berries

bowl of fresh blueberries and strawberries
  • In a medium size bowl, mix your fruit together.
  • Next, add the sugar and the lemon juice to the fruit, stirring it all together.
  • Finally, cover and refrigerate.

At this point, you’re almost finished making the berries with pound cake recipe, even though the pound cake is still in the oven. However all that remains to prepare is the whipped cream. You could use Cool Whip or Reddi Whip if you’re going for convenience. Before I started making my own whipped cream, I would use either of those other options. But then I started noticing that if I left my dessert (that had either Reddi Whip or Cool Whip) out for any length of time, then the topping would just fall apart. Or be watery. Maybe you’ve witnessed this yourself.

So then I found some recipes for diy whipped cream. And I experimented. Additionally, over time I came up with my own recipe that contains just 2 ingredients. Thus, I learned how easy it was to just make my own whipped cream. And it never falls apart when I take it out of the refrigerator. I can’t claim that homemade or diy whipped cream is healthy, because it’s fattening. Since it’s straight cream and sugar. But it doesn’t have anything else in it, unless you add something else to it. And the benefit of that is you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

Ingredients for the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp of either white sugar or powdered sugar

Instructions for the whipped cream:

homemade whipping cream in an orange bowl
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the whipping cream on medium-high to high until it’s thick.
  • And then mix in the sugar.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the pound cake is finished cooking, turn off the oven. And remove the loaf pan from the oven, allowing it to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, to make sure the cake is loose. If it is, then flip the pan over onto a serving platter to cool completely.

Once your pound cake is cooled thoroughly, slice and serve with the berries. And top with your diy whipped cream.

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Very Cute Dog Pictures

Last week’s blog was of cute baby bird pictures. Today I’m posting very cute dog pictures. Whatever your preference for pet, these photos of man’s best friend will warm your heart.

very cute picture of lab mix dog


This is Charlee. She’s a cute lab mix, who’s full of personality and high energy. And she likes to chase bunnies, frogs, and to dig. Things her owners swore they would disown her for. But they can’t, because they are crazy about her.

2 very cute, big dogs lying on top of each other

Bentley and Nikki

Nikki is the shepherd mix on the left, while Bentley is the lab mix on the right. She’s the boss in their relationship. However, when it comes to their owner, they’re both very attentive and faithful.

very cute picture of dog licking face


This is Samson, otherwise known as Courage the Cowardly Dog by his parents. Because, even though he’s almost 7 years old in human years, he’s still just a puppy at heart. That’s since he’s afraid of every little thing. But still we think he’s really cute!

picture of very cute pit bull mix dog


Ozma or Oz is a really cute half pit, half lab who loves to carry her own leash when out on walks. And she also loves to cuddle.

very cute pic of Sheltie driving


This is a really cute picture of our late dog Moses, in the driver’s seat. He loved to run around outside, and he was a great pet. We miss him very much!

really cute picture of labradoodle


Tessa is a sweet labradoodle. She loves everyone and thinks a stranger she meets is her new best friend.

really cute pug


This is a picture of Maddie, an absolutely sweet pug, who also is no longer with her family. But when she was, she would wait for her human to get home before she would eat her food. And she loved to get as close to her human as was physically possible.

cute dog with its tongue out


This is a very cute picture of London, who likes to lick faces. However, she knows she’s not supposed to. So, when her face is near her human’s face, she licks her own face, religiously.

cute labrador


Minti is another cute lab. And when her human is sitting down, she takes small steps, one at a time, to get closer till her head is in her human’s lap.


Getting Started

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Our first hen Natalie was actually a broiler.

Our First Chickens: Not What We Were Expecting

I live in a small town southwest of Oklahoma City, but originally I’m from Dallas, so I’m more familiar with fashion and makeup trends than I am with a farm and chickens. My first experience with chickens was several years ago on my mother-in-law’s ranch in East Texas, unless you count eating chicken. She ordered some Rhode Island Reds, which at the time I had no idea what that meant. I certainly wasn’t aware of all the breeds out there or that I would end up having my very own flock.

We inherited our first birds when we moved into our home on an acre. We were told they were Leghorns, were supposed to be good layers, so we were excited, however they didn’t do very much, just laid around most of the day.

We didn’t have a coop either, just more of a temporary shelter which kept critters from getting them.

We didn’t so much as inherit the eight chickens as someone my husband worked with gifted them to us. The local feed store where he lived, 12 miles from us, told him the birds were Leghorns.

Well, shortly thereafter we did some reading and educated ourselves and soon discovered that what we had were not, in fact, Leghorns at all, but broilers!

Well, after the kids recovered from their disappointment of having named the birds, we changed their diet to what they were supposed to eat, and three months later might have signaled the end of that adventure, but in course of time my daughters and I learned some things about chickens in our time with our lazy, fat broilers.

We soon realized that most of them were cockerels, who I might add, wouldn’t live to see adulthood, although there was one pullet in the mix that we were determined to save from her fate. We called her Natalie.

Our chickens, such as they were, liked to sit or lie in the shade at the fence-line that separates our neighbor’s property from ours. Our neighbor has a couple of dogs, cats, goats, etc. Well, one day when all but Natalie and one cockerel were gone, one of my neighbor’s dogs was busy digging under the fence to get at the broilers.

Natalie was smart for a broiler, smart and different. She didn’t stay in the shade at the fence. She would walk around the property and stop sometimes to look at the chickens on the other side of our property. I often wondered what she would think. Well, when the neighbor’s dog attacked, she got up and ran for cover while her brother got snatched under the fence and perished.

Our neighbor felt very bad about it and vowed to repay us for our loss. With another rooster.

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This is our first official rooster Casanova, a cream Legbar.

Natalie laid her very first egg during the few months that we waited for our new rooster. He was a short little thing, but very colorful, with beautiful tail feathers. Being a broiler, Natalie was a lot bigger than Casanova, so it was interesting to watch them together, especially at first.

They seemed to get along, and our first experience with a rooster overall was not a bad one, although that started to change when we got chicks.

I’d love to hear your stories about your first chickens or your experiences with them, so please leave comments or feel free to ask questions.