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    Honey Wheat Bread

    This bread is EASY! Just relax-A-con. You can make bread! Lovely little loaves of floury goodness. Tighten UP and let’s make this happen. First of all don’t let that Flour + Water mixture fool you. It can be intimidating when … Continue reading

  • Squash Cover

    Pancetta Squash Risotto

    Over the summer I attempted to grow Butternut Squash in my garden for the very first time. These little beauties have been waiting for the perfect dish and I will tell you without hesitation. This DISH is Effing amazing! The … Continue reading

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    In The Kitchen

    We’ve got some unsettled weather tonight so we’ll be cooking in-doors. We love seafood in this house and tonight’s dinner was so delicious that I got “this is wicked awesome” from G. Always glad to hear. Living in Southern Maine … Continue reading

  • dogtreats

    Dogs Need Treats Too!

    Some of you may know that I am the owner of two German Shorthair Pointers named Oskar and Steve: this is an older picture of the guys. stevah was just home a few weeks at this point. A few years … Continue reading

It’s All Malarky

Recently I’ve been introduced to the world of Twitter. I know, I know a little late to the game but I always found it to be complicated and confusing with #tags and @ symbols blah blah blah. But I’m slowly integrating myself into the world of it and I have to say I’m slightly torn between “awesome” & “I call BS.”

From a music stand point it’s great. I can follow all kinds of new artist and be introduced to new stuff. I can follow friends and get little sniglets of their daily life. TV shows, Movies you name it. It is slightly more entertaining vs. the drama of Facebook and FML, and booefinhooo I’m having a crappy day. Or the my life is so perfect nothing ever goes wrong. Not that I really need another Social Media Outlet to trap me in cyberspace. Which leads me to my point. (Yes sometimes I get to it.)

I saw this post from a widely known program that is a Network that promotes Food. The tag line was come to Vegas and enjoy real Clam Chowder. Which made me laugh because the last time I looked on the map Vegas was smack dab in the middle of the desert with no access to lets say Haddock, Clams, Shrimp, Lobster, Potatoes or Dairy. In their very next post they had Six Ways To Be Green on St. Patty’s Day. Which is kinda catchy. But what they were promoting was how to be more Environmental.

So I started thinking how ridiculous this was because in one post you are promoting how to transport Chowder ingredients to Vegas and in the next breath you are telling us to be more Earth Friendly. It’s one or the other people. Or is it?

Here is what causes me great concern. Social Media has such a hold in our daily lives. We are bombarded by messages, images, personal opinions almost every moment of our waking hours. There are bandwagon’s out there with no scientific proof that these things actually make a difference. Yet as a society we share, forward, retweet the information that makes us say YES HALLELUJA!!

There is an old saying (and I don’t know exactly how old but I’m kinda getting old and it was told to me growing up) Practice what you preach. It’s like people have social media bipolarity. I want to be more animal conscious but I still buy my meat from the grocery store. I want to be vegan but I eat fish. I love mother earth but I leave my plastic wrapped dog poo on the path. I want to save the Ozone so I drive an electric car. But plug it into my home which burns coal to provide electricity so I’m now using more power than I was before.

I’m all for doing my best to be a good person. To do the right thing even when the right thing doesn’t feel right at the time. Do we actually need an organization called Random Acts to help us do a good thing once a day? I mean Jesus Christ!!!!! What planet did you grow up on that nobody taught you to be a good person?

We actually have so much crap being thrown in our face every day that when we slide or we can’t commit 100% we tend to feel guilty for not pulling through. (Or is that just me being raised as Catholic?) We take pictures of our lives and document our ever so healthy lives but the reality is it’s all bull shit. We all know that we scarf down a candy bar once in a while or eat an ice cream cone. We sit on the couch and have Marathon Sessions of a television program. Maybe we even wear the same jeans two days in a row. But on the exterior of our true selves we promote the fact that I had Flax Seed & humus with stone ground hand-made crackers and worked out for 17 hours of my 24 hour day.

I want real. I want life. The trends, the mind numbing b.s. that is thrown in my direction about what makes me a “good” person vs. “bad” you’re gonna die nobody’s going to give you life insurance, a loan, a job, a car because it’s a crime to pay more than a dime. No more crap can be hammered into this brain. Its MY brain and I want it to do what I want it to do.

I am guilty of these things too! Instead of trying to meet the Social Media expectations I challenge myself and you to start being JUST YOU. What we are getting is hypocrisy at its finest and we are all falling for it. Like mommy always said. You are unique just like everybody else. 

Holy CrapSticks Its BACK!

Yeah you read that right. The Renee Chronicles is back in full swing 3D action. So as a true and real introduction back into this space let me start off by saying this. This weather can SUCK IT! Enough already. I’m certain that I could be certified as a meteorologist at this point. Tracking weather patterns. Determining FIVE DAY forecast. Doppler Radar reviews. If I hear one more weather report that says “don’t shoot the messenger” I may just scream directly into the interwebs whilst pulling all my hair out. PISS OFF!!!! Mother Nature. It’s time to change your tune.

Not to complain but I totally am. The Pike compound has managed to forge more paths of never-ending hell then is reasonably expected. I have blazed new paths, had snow up to my hips, boobs, walked, crawled and rolled my way out of snow this winter. I want a big flame thrower and melt every last pretty ass snowflake that’s still sitting on the ground. I’m actually close to having a brain snap. You wanna know why? I’m gonna tell you! On this second beautiful day of SPRING, it’s snowing and a balmy twenty something degrees out. I hope you get ingrown toenails this summer MOTHER NATURE BECAUSE I HATE YOU.

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So while I’ve been plotting and dreaming of all the glorious things I’m going to do when the weather finally turns I decided to bring back TRC. I’ve missed this space and I’ve missed sharing the hilarity which seems to follow me around at will.

The Dude and JerkDog (previously known as Steve) are still with us. I can assure you these two mis-fits are as entertaining as always. So, on this shitty weather Saturday with die-hard joggers running by enjoying the snow. I will sit and stare at my crock pot of Ribs and Beer yell at my dogs to stop yelling at the joggers going by and attempt to get my house in order once again.

Enjoy your weekend and as always I will leave you with a little musical inspiration for your day.

Under Pressure – Chicken & Dumplings

Every time I hear the song “Under Pressure” I’m reminded of the time that Vanilla Ice was trying to explain that his song was not a rip off and that the chords were different. It was quite the interview and remains one of my most treasured 80’s moments ever. If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can see the 15 second clip here!

A few months back I was gifted a Pressure Cooker that dates back to roughly the same time. I’m quickly falling in love with this little gem of cookware. The lid locks and holds a weight of 5 – 10 or 15 lbs of pressure. My goal for this object is to learn how to make my own canned dog food. In the process I have to say we have made some incredibly awesome meals. No Joke.

Over Christmas my wicked cool guy got me a cookbook called Great Food Fast. I’m enjoying this cookbook because it’s designed for beginner Pressure Cooker people like myself. Recently we made Chicken & Dumplings and I’m here to tell you that I’ve made this dish in the oven, dutch oven, iron skillet and crock-pot. None of these options compare to the magic that came out of this pressure cooker. If you’ve considered using one, DO IT. You will not be disappointed. You will quite frankly be completely blown away.

This recipe does not need a large section of photos. Its very self explanatory. Here are all the ingredients I used.

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Under Pressure Chicken and Dumplings

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 28mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

credit: Great Food Fast

What You Need:

3 tablespoons of butter

1 1/2 pounds of Chicken Thighs

Salt & Peppah

1 yellow onion diced

6 cups of chicken stock

1 1/2 cups of carrot

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning

1 3/4 cups of bisquick or jiffy baking mix

2/3 cup of milk (i used half n half)

What You Need To Do:

Melt the butter in your Pressure Cooker until it bubbles (with lid off of course )

Season Chicken with Salt and Pepper (don’t be shy with this coat those legs up) place in cooker and cook until lightly browned. Maybe 5 to 8 min

Add onion, stock, carrots seasonings and securely lock your pressure cooker set on HIGH for 8 min. (if you are using a weight put that to 15 control temperature until weight starts to wiggle 4 times a min. Your 8 min mark starts at that point. )

Perform a quick release

Whisk together Baking mix and milk. Drop spoonfuls of batter into pot. Let dumplings simmer for 8 – 10 min.

Baking Bagels!

Maybe you’re home today riding out yet another storm. Maybe you’re not! Today we’re gonna talk BAGELS! I have to say this recipe is so straight forward and awesome. I’ve doubled up the ingredients for this because I really enjoy a large-sized hunk of chewy bread toasted with whatever topping! Orange Marmalade worked perfect for me. If you’ve ever been at the store looking longingly at those homemade bakery bagels and saying to yourself, “I wish I knew how to make that” I’m here to tell you that your wish has just come true!!

HOMEMADE TOTALLY AWESOME PLAIN & CHEESE BAGELS

  • Time: 2hr 45mins
  • Difficulty: not to hard chummy
  • Print

What You NEED:

3 cups warm water

4 1/2 TSP yeast

3 TSP salt

4 TBS sugar

7 cups of Flour (white, wheat whatevah)

Decent sized pot to boil water

1 egg + water for topping.

What YOU”RE GONNA DO IS….

In a mixer add water and yeast let that fizz up. (just like making bread.) Once the yeast has poofed add in your sugar and salt. With your mixer on low-speed add one cup of flour at a time. Your dough is going to be sticky. If its to dry add a tablespoon of water. If its to wet add a pinch of flour. Change to a large bowl (be sure to spray with non-stick whatever you got. Cover with a warm wet towel. (sometimes depending on the weather when it’s cold I will pre-heat my oven to the lowest possible setting. When it comes to temperature I will shut it off and put my bread to rise in there) Let this rise for about one hour.

When the rise has completed punch down your dough and let this rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll the dough into twelve pieces. This will be sticky so be sure to have some flour on your hands. (pictures below to show this process) Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using your thumb create the hole in the center. Once all twelve pieces are done cover with warm towel and let it rise for about 15 minutes.

While your second rise is happening bring a large pot of water to boil add a little sugar to the water. Pre-Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once your water is ready use a slotted spoon or slotted whatever you have available and add ONE or TWO pieces at a time! DO NOT OVER CROWD. Be patient grass hopper this is where it gets fun. Boil for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove with slotted spoon and place back on parchment paper.

When all twelve are boiled. Mix your egg with a little water and coat those babies up! If you are using – cheese, sesame, or any kind of topper you MUST do this part otherwise its over my friend. Sprinkle your stuff on top and pop those babies in the oven. Because I doubled in size it took mine about 25 minutes to bake. Set for 15 minutes and do 5 minute increments until they are gorgeously golden.

Set on a cooling rack and try….just try not to eat them all. I fail at this part but I figure it was worth a shot. Photos are below for reference! Trust me when I tell you if you bring these to breakfast your peeps will be TOTALLY AMAZED!

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StormBomb! Stormagheden!

Well as most of you in the area are aware we are about to get dumped on. It has been a crazy weekend of picking up from Saturdays storm in order to prepare for who knows how many inches of snow. Today was a preparation of cooking foods for the week that don’t require the use of an oven. If the powers gonna go Ole Jennie can support heat, lights and the fridge.

I made an amazing Rye Bread and My Guys favorite Honey Wheat Bread. Cooked and cut up some Chicken Breast for Sammies. And tossed in a Beef Stroganoff for good measure.

The patio is free from ice along with roof scraping and My Guy even did the grocery shopping today! I’m exhausted with lots more to finish up for Monday.

Be safe! I will leave you with this……..

 

remember not to walk into a glass door when it’s closed. or when you tell the person to put the sticker on PUT THE STICKER ON!

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Brew Review – Stoneface Brewing Company

OUR VERY FIRST STOP! Stoneface Brewing Company

This place has a lot to offer when it comes to getting to know your Local Beer Crafter. The tasting room is quaint and rustic like an old cabin where you can pop on in and chat it up with the Server. Large windows give you a view of the magic that is happening and also the growth potential they are planning.

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The beers available on tap were their IPA and Porter. The IPA ROCKED!. On the lick the penny scale it was a one. Not overly bitter. Very nice and mellow. Exactly what I like. Their Porter was delicious! I thought coffee and chocolate right away. I could be all wrong with that but I think this beer would go really good with CHOCOLATE CAKE. It was fun to see the rotation of people coming in and out, sampling and buying growlers. We got to chat with the employees for a few minutes and learn about the brewery itself. Considering that they just started in January of 2014 I’m very excited to see what they will have to offer in the coming months. Or weeks as the case may be. Of course we left with a growler ourselves filled with their IPA. I’m sure you can imagine how long that lasted once we got home. Should have bought two for safe measure!

We will definitely be going back to sample and refill. Well worth the visit and experience of a Local Business. What a great way to start this trip!

Our Beer Rating Experience – AWESOME!

QUIET TIME IS OVER!

It’s been a few months of soul-searching, brow beating, flogging and mental melt downs over the last few months. In the end when I saw the twinkle of light I just said piss on it. Put on my big girl pants and decided to move the fuck on.

The one thing I know deep down in my heart is that I love to blog. I love to post about pretty much anything that I think is fun and shiny. So that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to blog my little heart out and cook fun foods that you can share with your family and friends. Because I do believe that food brings us all together. It’s what I love and it’s what makes me happy.

For those of you who frequent this page you will notice that I’ve added some new titles to the menu bar. This year the PIKES are on a mission to frequent the Local Breweries in Maine & New Hampshire. Yeah, I like Beer it makes me a jolly good fellow dammit! Coors and Miller can suck it! I’m over you both. I’ve also added a DOG section. I’ve got lots of ideas and plans for this title and I want more than anything to share that with the entire world! Sewing is also up there because I like to stitch things together and go HOT DAM! look at that. I will also be working on hitting up some local craft fairs this summer so if you wanna meet this face live you know where you can find me!

Even though I can’t feed you directly I will feed you with creativity, some funny stories and we can skip through the days blowing glitter at all the other negative things in the world.

Peace my friends! Try something new today and don’t forget to smile.

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