Spring Coleslaw Salad

This delicious recipe was copied from a Better Homes and Garden Salad Book that my mother-in-law gave me in the 1960’s.  Normally sugar and vinegar would be added, but this recipe gets a natural tartness from the pineapple and it’s sweetness from the apples.

Spring Coleslaw Salad                                                       Spring Calico Coleslaw
3 cups shredded crisp green cabbage                             ½ cup shredded red cabbage
1 9-ounce can (1 cup) Pineapple tidbits drained            1 cup diced un-pared apples
½ cup mayonnaise                                                              ½ cup chopped celery
1 cup tiny marshmallows (optional)

Combine by mixing mayonnaise until it coats all ingredients.  Apple wedges can be added for trim around the bowl, for this healthy salad.  Serves 4 to 6 people.  As a shortcut, I bought a package of pre-shredded coleslaw and then chopped and added red cabbage.

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Our bucket list includes a quest to visit all 59 National Parks.  The Capitol Reef National Park is in an isolated area of Utah, which allows for a peaceful hiking experience.

It’s located on the Scenic Byway 12 route which travels through 3 national parks, 3 state parks, a national recreation area, and a national monument.  Yes, I will be linking these areas for your enjoyment in future story’s about our travels through the 124 miles of the Scenic Byway 12 route.

Capitol Reef natl park

The trails in the Capitol Reefs National Park took us up and around some cliffs for a panoramic view of the many spires, ridges and domes.  The park was named Capitol Reef, because the whitish sandstone domes resemble the Washington D.C. “Capitol” Building.  The “Reef” refers to the high uplifted ridge, which presented a considerable barrier to early settlers.

Capitol Reef red flower

I’m always amazed at how flowers manage to bloom in such inhospitable environments.

Capitol Reef white cactus flower

Capitol Reef purple flower

I would appreciate your helping me identify these cactus beauties for me.

I believe the red flower is the Crimson Hedgehog cactus, but the white cactus and the bluish lavender flowers are a mystery to me yet.

Rhubarb Spring Dessert

It’s spring time and one of the first things from my garden is rhubarb, just ready for the cutting.  My family’s favorite rhubarb dessert is a recipe given to me by my mom.

blog recipe copy

I have a bad habit of getting my recipes looking “spilled on” when I bake.  So I typed all my favorite recipes that were in her hand writing, printed and inserted them into page protecting sheets.  This way, I can add more pages to my binder of recipes and also print more for the recipe binders that I gave to each of our children.  Now my mom’s recipes will be handed down to the future generations.

rhubarb dessert

                                                  Rhubarb Torte

2 cups Flour                             1 cup Water
½ cup Oatmeal, quick             1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar                  8 to 10 cups cut Rhubarb
¾ cup Butter, melted              1 cup Strawberries, sliced
3 Tbsp. Cornstarch                  ¾ cup Walnuts, chopped

Mix together flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, & chopped walnuts (optional) for a crust.  Put into a 9 x 13 pan.  Save ¾ cup for topping.  Place cut (1/2 inch pieces) rhubarb & strawberries (small pieces) into pan.  In a large glass mixing bowl, stir cornstarch, water, & sugar together.  Place in microwave on high until thickened, but not lumpy.  Pour mixture over fruit.  Add remaining crumbs as a topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until fruit is baked and crumbs are a light brown color.  Let cool and can be served with whipped cream.

On our bucket list, Gliding in a Sailplane

My husband and I took our first ride in a Sailplane over 15 years ago at Lake Pleasant, near Phoenix, Arizona.  We enjoyed it so much that instead of crossing it off, we’ve kept this on our bucket list.

On a recent trip through Arizona, we returned to the Turf Soaring School at Lake Pleasant for what is now my fourth sailplane ride.Getting strapped in Glider

It was like stepping back in time, when we were greeted again with hello’s from Bebop, their white parrot mascot.  The owner claimed that this (blankety, blank) parrot can live for 100 years.  Well, Bebop must be almost as old as I am.

Release Glider tow rope

Part of the pre-flight check list is making sure the release handle will detach the 200 foot rope from the tow plane.  As you can see, I got to practice this important task of tugging the yellow, ball shaped release handle.  The training includes all aspects of gliding, but I wanted to relax(?) and enjoy the flight.

Glider LiftoffCarl Baxter, the aerobatic instructor, asked what kind of G-force ride I wanted.  Since he would be seated behind me, I would have to verbally let him know if and/or when I needed to stop the aerobatic ride.

Glider under tow over Lake ParadiseI’m a confirmed adrenalin junkie and like to get my money’s worth.  Well, I certainly did!

He performed some loops, rolls, wing overs, a cloverleaf (90 degree turn), and my favorite, a hammerhead stall.  Buzzing the airport

I have to admit that a few times while my mouth was saying “oh wow, this is fantastic”, my brain was thinking “oh crap, this is scary.”  Then he flipped the plane to an inverted flight and watched the ground zoom by, as we hung upside down.  Glider returned to earth

Since there weren’t too many thermals to keep us airborne, we did a low (dive bombing type) pass.   This then took us up and over the airport buildings, so Lee could get our photo.

We then turned back towards the runway and came in for a smooth landing in front of the airport.

I found this video on-line of a flight that was taken last year at the Turf Soaring School.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WtEpVE5_aE   This will give you an idea of what we saw and some of the aerobatics we enjoyed.  Note: the creaking sounds are the plane’s wings, not my body.

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

My twin grandsons decided that, although they will always share their birthday date, they shouldn’t have to share the same cake.  The one thing they both agreed on was that both cakes should be chocolate,

Dinosaur cake 3 copy
His twin brother loves trains and requested the train cake.   My dinosaur loving twin grandson chose a Stegosaurus cake.

Dinosaur cake birthday 2

His chocolate cake was baked in two round cake pans.  The dinosaur body is a round cake cut in half, with frosting holding the body together.  The tail is a crescent shape cut from the second round cake.  Then four feet were cut to fit next to the body.  A square piece was used for the front of the body’s neck base.  The head was cut and wooden dowels were placed into the cake pieces for support.

All pieces were frozen, so the cut edges frosted easily with less crumbling.  I  tinted white frosting green and used a spoon to help give the frosted body some scales.  The eyes are yellow yogurt candy and more candy was placed on the toasted coconut that I scattered around the dinosaur.  I colored some fondant yellow and cut triangles for the spikes on his back.

The little guy was made from Rice Krispie treats. The bars mold easily and stick together perfectly.  I cut ½-bar for the body and ½-bar to make the two legs.  Another bar was cut up to shape a round head, two arms and feet.  I used colored fondant to cover him and Wilton FoodWriter pens to draw fine lines for the eyes and other details.

To keep your fingers from looking yellowish green for the next week, wear disposable gloves while mixing the colors into the fondant.  Also, a little oil keeps the fondant from sticking to your gloves as you wrap and shape the Rice Krispie bars.

My inspiration for this dinosaur cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please leave a comment, if you have any questions on the assembly of this cute cake.

Model Train Room Celebration Cake

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  This meant fixing the railroad track, so the model trains would run again.  Also, an ongoing project is to create scenes that bring back our childhood memories of an era when we paid 59 cents a gallon for gasoline.

train room copy

After many months of time and effort, our train room was ready to be shown off to visitors, including our city’s Mayor and Council Members.  The Salt Lake Tribune reporter labeled our accomplishments, “a gem in the heart of West Valley City.”

In celebration of our Model Train Room grand re-opening, I created a special cake for the occasion.

train cake copy

The bottom layer is two lemon cake mixes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans with green tinted whipped cream for grass color and white whipped cream with graham cracker crumbs for the ground coloring.

The train engine is a chocolate cake mix baked in two loaf pans and a mini-loaf pan.  I filled one loaf pan 3/4 full, so it would puff up higher and rounder to make the boiler.   The second loaf pan was filled 1/2 full to make the coal tender.  The mini-loaf pan cake was tipped on end for the engine.

Three mini-donuts were covered with chocolate frosting for the smoke stack.  A gold foil wrapped Rollo candy is the train bell and red licorice added trimming.  Oreo cookies (without the filling) were used for the train wheels with life savers in the center.  Crushed Oreo cookies were used for the tender’s coal.  Carmel Corn was threaded on a stiff wire that was bent to simulate the smoke and then inserted into the mini-donut smoke stack.  Licorice created the train track and a picture of Mickey Mouse was inserted for the train engineer.

My inspiration for this train cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please let me know if you have any questions on the assembly of this fun cake.

On my bucket list, a Paraglide Flight

Paraglide 1Paragliding is one of the easiest ways to “share the air” with our feathered friends.  To soar with the eagles has been one of my on-going, bucket list wishes.

We arrived at sunrise on top of the Point of the Mountain launch area for a “Tandemonium Paragliding” lesson and enjoyed watching gliders sail off the cliff.

Paraglide 2

A non-motorized, foot-launched paraglider is designed with an inflatable wing to keep you aloft for extended flights and soaring, while riding with the currents in the air.

Paraglide 3We made lazy circles in the sky just like a large hawk, with me as his linked prey.  This is considered the simplest form of human flight and my tandem master made it seem effortless.

Using air currents and shifting our body weight from side to side, we searched for thermals that would lift and extend our flight.

Paraglide 4The landing area is smooth and noticeably clear of any rocks.  We  just lifted our feet and glided to a stop on a pad that’s built into the bottom of the paragliding apparatus.

If you are also an adrenalin junkie, go to the website: www.tandemoniumparagliding.com and sign up for a fun experience in Salt Lake City or a flight center closest to your area.