Change is Good

Some of you may remember a saying about how God works with doors, windows and such. Well, I have a variation for you: When God closes a door, sometimes there isn’t a window to open.

That’s where I found myself over Christmas. I had gotten it into my head to move my blog to a bigger, better, faster server so as to accommodate the growing traffic I was experiencing. Well, the supposedly seamless transfer hit a glitch and my blog disappeared from the internet for about a week. As it started coming back, the pictures wouldn’t load right, the layout was squirreled up and some past posts were lost.

During this period in which I had absolutely no control over the circumstances, three proverbial light bulbs came on in my head. 1. To my humbling surprise, no one wrote or called saying their lives also went on the blink while my blog was down! ( a few people did subsequently write and I appreciate the encouragement – thank you!). 2. Many members of my family expressed their appreciation to have their wife and mother back full time. 3. My unrecognized elevated stress level dramatically dropped and I began sleeping soundly once again.

So…. It is not that I don’t care about positively impacting your lives – I do. But right now I see a tremendous value in re-simplifying my life and focusing more intently on my family. I plan to leave the blog up for a year (it’s already paid for) and for those who want to follow our family’s vineyard adventure, my husband started a facebook page, Oswald Vineyard.

A New Beginning!

happy new year 2014


Photo credit: Depositphoto/JoKolar01

From Our Home to Yours

Merry Christmas

Week in Review

bamix immersion blender

Can you believe it is only four days until Christmas? I have already planned my menu which is the same from year to year so, there is really nothing to plan. How about you, do you have a traditional menu?

Smoked Turkey takes front and center on our table along with stuffing, Broccoli Nut Casserole, Sweet Potato Souffle, mashed potatoes, creamed onions and Pumpkin Pies. We do have a Christmas birthday boy so birthday cake (Lazy Woman’s Cake) is also on the menu.

I am an early shopper and like to begin my shopping in the spring. I know it is early but this allows me to take advantage of sales throughout the year. Wrapping, though, is another subject. Often, I am up most of Christmas Eve wrapping – coffee works wonders!

Our second oldest son and daughter-in-law arrive for the festivities this afternoon and my mother and sister will arrive Christmas Eve. Are you staying home or travelling for the holidays?

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Heavy Hearts

sprinkles the shihpoo as a puppy and older

Have you ever noticed how situations, circumstances and lives can be changed in a matter of minutes? Life is fleeting and this was brought home in a very real way to our family this week through our little shihpoo, Sprinkles.

For our family, Tuesday began like any other day. We woke up and began preparing breakfast. While breakfast is being prepared, our 5 yr old feeds the outside dogs, Snowball and Cotton, both Great Pyrenees. This particular morning, Sprinkles was also outside and decided to help Snowball eat her food. This was never a problem when she shared the dish with our cat Lolli. As you can see, they would both plunge their heads into the bowl at the same time![Continue Reading]

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

chocolate zucchini bread recipe

Knowing that our second oldest son and daughter-in-law (who is gluten-free) would be home for the holidays, I needed a gluten-free snack. After looking at various recipes, a reader came to my rescue with the Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Making it well in advance to tweak as necessary, the family members at home enjoyed eating and taste testing!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread

gluten free chocolate zucchini bread

Do you like Zucchini Bread? I know there are plenty of good recipes out there but…

This is not just a plain old zucchini bread recipe, it is a Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe!

Having a gluten-free family member, I was searching for something to bake special for her when a reader came to my rescue. She introduced me to a product which is available from my affiliate partner, Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour – thanks Liz!

I know there are many recipes online to make your own gluten-free flour but, since I do not normally cook gluten-free, the store-bought option was the easiest. And, by the way, the Gluten Free Pantry all Purpose Flour is available with a Subscribe and Save option which makes it even more economical. If you are not familiar with Subscribe and Save, it allows you to sign up for scheduled deliveries at intervals you select at a reduced price. You may change, delay or even cancel subsequent shipments at any time (even after the first delivery).

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Pardon the Dust

Welcome to all you new readers! In an effort to accommodate the growth experienced here at Cultured Palate, I have migrated to a new and larger server. Unfortunately, during the process, problems occurred and information was lost. The result so far has been loss of photos and several weeks of posts. Thankfully, the photos have been recovered and now we are working on the other data. I appreciate your patience with all the dust and look forward to having this resolved shortly.

Week in Review – November 23

Le Creuset Jar Scraper

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?

I don’t know about you, but I am already getting prepared – my menu is ready (not that it changes that much from year to year) and groceries are bought.

I really enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, a time set aside to remember all our blessings and what we have to be thankful for – not to mention the time spent together as a family. So, with the season in mind, this Week in Review will give seasonal links around the blogosphere.

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Butchering A Cow

Brisket - soon to be butchered grass fed beef

“Butchering a Cow” might sound like a step-by-step tutorial, but I really just want to share with you how we butchered our steer Brisket (while encouraging you to also branch out beyond your comfort zone).

We purchased Brisket when he was a few days old from a local dairy (and steer-ified him soon thereafter). As his name implies, we considered him not as a pet but  future meat for our table. Last week, that happened – Brisket was re-located to our freezer.

Now, before I go to far, I want you to know that I took lots of photos and had trouble deciding which ones to show you! Those selected will hopefully help you get an idea of the actual process we went through. The described event is not something we dream about nor relish, but our farm life has become very practical, very real and a million miles away from the Douglas’s and Green Acres. We have taught our children to realize that not all animals are pets and there is a cost for everything. They know that most cows are raised for milk and meat – hamburger tastes delicious, but it is because the cow is no more! It is important to be reminded, in our society of instant gratification, that there is more to our food than the sanitized, FDA approved packages on the shelf at the local grocery store.

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