October 30, 2017

Jalapeño Bread

Friday night my bread machine finally decided it had had enough. I’d replaced the pan once already and as my son pointed out, I’ve had it for at least 10 years. After bidding it a final farewell, I bought myself the top of the line bread machine I’d been coveting for a couple of years now. The Zojirushi Virtuoso. I have to say though I was leery about spending that kind of money on a bread machine, I am impressed.  So far I’d say it’s worth it, though I’ve only used it twice. It sure beats the other bread machine I had.  It mixes better, it cooks better, and it looks a whole lot better.  Not that looks are really that important, but hey...  It will also do a whole lot more than my old bread machine. This thing makes jam, cakes, sourdough starter, etc. You can even set this thing up to make things custom, like set your mixing time, rest time and bake time. I doubt I'll use half of the things this machine does, but it's pretty cool anyway.  So, in celebration of my new bread machine, I thought I’d share a recipe.  This actually happens to be the 1st one I tried in the machine.  It's an old recipe but boy it sure tasted good in this new machine  LOL. Enjoy!

Jalapeño Bread

yield: 1.5 lb. loaf


1 cup water
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 tbsp diced jalapeños
3 cups all purpose flour (I do 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
2 tsp yeast


Add water into bread machine first, followed by the other ingredients. Add yeast in last.  Bake on Basic Bread cycle.

October 27, 2017

How I Saved A Fish Named Homicide

I have a fish pond in my backyard.  The family joke is that the pond is my husband’s, the fish are my youngest son’s (he wants to be a marine biologist), and the plants are mine. We have seven goldfish in the pond. There is Carl, Quinn, Scout and four others who don’t have names. Then there is also Homicide.  

Homicide is a pleco. He was named Homicide because when he first went into the pond he had a brother.  A brother we could not find so it was assumed the brother (or sister...how the heck do you tell the sex of a pleco?) was murdered and that Homicide was the killer, so that is how he got his name. 

Turns out he was falsely accused. We discovered the other pleco’s body when cleaning out the pond in the spring.  Pleco’s do not do well in cold temps.  If it gets below 50 degrees they’re toast.  Homi got taken out of the pond for the winter and brought inside, but unfortunately we didn’t realize the brother (or sister) was still alive.  Because pleco’s like to stay hidden. They are nocturnal.

Tonight is the first night below 50 degrees here in north Texas and I completely forgot about Homicide. As luck would have it, my youngest son was going outside to clean the smoker for our weekly steak night.  He just happened to see Homi pop up to the surface. It seems he too had forgotten about Homicide. He came running inside, telling me he saw the pleco and we had to get him out of the pond.  Plecos are not easy to catch in ponds.  I was thinking yup, this fish is doomed. It’s 51 degrees outside.  I know I know. I can hear you northerners yelling at me that isn’t cold!  Well for this Texan it is. 

The youngest grabs his net and heads back out.  No sooner than the door closes it opens again, and I hear,  “Mom!  Come quick!  I see him! Come catch him.  He’s at a weird angle.”  Which translated into, “Come get this fish so if he gets away and we don’t catch him, his death is on your head not mine.”  He is just as capable as I am.  He is the one who wants to be a marine biologist after all. 

Sure enough I went outside and there is the pleco not moving.  I thought he was dead. I scooped him up in the net and brought him inside and stuck him in my son’s tank and low and behold. Homicide is swimming around safe and sound now.  Although, Jaws is not thrilled with his presence. You can see her in the bottom left hand corner.  

Never fear, Jaws will be happy again tomorrow because Homicide will go into the hospital tank. That should make her happy.  Homi is just too much of a bioload on the main tank, so he will go into his own tank until spring.  

And that is how I saved a fish named Homicide.