Thursday, November 26, 2009

Loved Ones Here and There

Thinking about those I have spent this day with; everyone in my heart who is elsewhere, or even those who are no longer with us. I feel such a connection to those in my ancestry that have lived long before me. Especially, as it is a day of cooking, it's as though with every spice I sprinkle, they move through my hands.







Thankful for My Turkeys!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful Mistakes

I’m a big believer in mistakes. As a matter of fact I make them at least twice a week, okay; truthfully, every day. Some mistakes turn into the best thing ever. How so? I once tried to make homemade Polenta (essentially grits) to go with a dish for dinner guests, but I was out of Corn Meal, so, I used Corn Flour. It turned into a big blob and obviously would not work for my meal. I then tried to cover my mistake by adding more flour to create dough, rolling it out on the counter, cutting it into long strips, baking it with a drizzle of Olive Oil until golden brown. My guests just gushed over the “breadsticks” and asked for the recipe. That mistake went pretty good. Unfortunately, there have been others that have not gone over so well. I once placed a pot of eggs on the stove to boil and totally forgot about it until the smell of burning eggs began to fill the house. It took two days for that smell to dissipate, and I’ll never live that one down as my husband still wonders how in the world anyone can burn a boiled egg? Then, there are those famous cooking mistakes that people make when cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. Leaving the bag of gizzards within the Turkey is a common error that first timers make, only to be discovered at the magical moment in which everyone is gathered around the table hungrily watching the Turkey being carved. Luckily, that one has never happened to me because I either fill my Turkey with a sage stuffing, or herbs, apples and even oranges which helps give flavor and tenderness to the bird. A good cook always seems to learn through trial and error, although if you are not up to that challenge this year, there are restaurants that would be happy to serve you up a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings!

Alaska’s Best 8th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
November 26, 2009, 12:00 – 4:00,
Rupert Elks, 85 South and 200 West, Rupert

A delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings is free of charge to anyone. If you need a ride we will come and pick you up. If you are unable to come, we will deliver. Call 431-5899, 260-1848, 436-2447 before 3:00 p.m. any day after Nov. 15th thru Nov. 25th. On Thanksgiving Day Call 260-1848. If you can’t make it to the Elks Club on Thanksgiving, check out Alaska’s Best for a great Halibut meal!
Alaska’s Best Restaurant
Wild Alaskan Halibut and Chips
504 7th Avenue
Phone: 436-2447/ email:

JB’s Restaurant Thanksgiving Buffet
Begins at 10:30 A.M. and runs until 9:00 P.M. so you can get an early start and still have time for a nap. If you go, you will most likely need a nap after feasting on Turkey and Ham, stuffing and all the fixings including Pumpkin, Cherry and Apple Pie. It’s all you can eat and the price is $9.99 for adults and kids under 11 can dine for $5.99.
136 East 5th North Street
Phone: 678-0803

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grateful Moments

I am happy that everyone one in this world is totally unique, just like every rock within the river!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Delicious and Nutritious Banana Muffins- Submitted By "Sunshine" in CA

These Banana Muffins are so tasty, you won't even know how good they are for you!

1 1/2 Cup White Flour
1 1/2 Cups Wheat Flour
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Mashed Banana
1/4 Cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries or Raisins
Pam/ or Olive Oil for Muffin Pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Incorporate the remainder of ingredients and mix. Spray or line your muffin pan with Olive Oil or Pam. Fill muffin pan halfway with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean! Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Take the River-Rose Thrifty Christmas Challenge!

This year is a tough financial year for all of us and with the holidays creeping upon us take the River-Rose Thrifty Christmas Challenge!
For all of the adults within my gift giving range, I am only going to give gifts that are either, homemade, from a thrift store, or the occasional dollar store item. I have already found a few really unique and meaningful items worthy of giving as a gift from the local thrift stores. I really wish I could post pictures of them, but that would blow the surprise for the recipients.
A Few Tips to Keep in Mind:

1.) Know your brand names. Go to your favorite stores and get to know the items that you really love. Once you have those brand names in mind you can keep your eye open for those brands in a thrift store.

2.) Everyone loves edible gifts.

3.) Presentation of the gift is everything. Let your creativity shine!

What ideas do you have For the River-Rose Thrifty Christmas Challenge? I would love to hear all of them!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Russian Sage- Settling Roots

I LOVE Russian Sage (Perovskia) for outdoor planting. It is a gorgeous bush that can get very big depending on if you trim it back every year, which helps in its growth. Many people think it is called a purple heather. Nevertheless, they are pretty, barely need water, smell so good, the bees love them and they bloom purple all Summer long. I bought 4 plants about 3 years ago and wanted to divide them although, according to my research, it is quite difficult to split this plant to transplant elsewhere.
Don't worry about it! The picture above is taken from cuttings of the plant, and soon I noticed that there was life beneath the water. This is good. I may be able to plant more on River-Rose's barren bank! Soon will try this on the cuttings of Rose bushes!
***NOTE: Russian Sage is actually not a sage and it's leaves are not edible.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Said The Rose

Little bit of snow today. Will this be the last Rose of the Season?

I am weary of the Garden,
Said the Rose;
For the winter winds are sighing,
All my playmates round me dying,
And my leaves will soon be lying
'Neath the snows.

Excerpt of poem titled "Said The Rose" written by George H. Miles

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Old School Cleaning Tips


Save money on cleaning supplies and invest in a big bottle of distilled white Vinegar!

Carpet Stains- Mix 1 Teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled Vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water. Apply it to the stain with towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry.

The Microwave- Fill a spray bottle with 1/4 cup white distilled Vinegar and water. Spray the interior of the microwave and turn on for 1 minute. Use a damp cloth to wipe down, then go over it with a dry cloth. Repeat if necessary. The Vinegar will loosen grime and neutralize odors.

Sink and Windows- Keep a spray bottle filled with 1/4 cup white distilled Vinegar and water under every sink in the house. When the sink needs to sparkle or a bathroom window needs cleaning it's handy to have around!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day- Grateful Moment

I have a very old book of poems my Grandmother gave me. This morning I searched for a poem to say Thank You to all of those who have fought for our Country. I looked through the fragile pages, in the chapter called "Patriotism and War", and there I saw The Unknown Soldier, Land of The Free and many more, but none called out to me. Then I looked through the chapter called "Childhood and Youth" and found this beautiful poem that I would like to present to you!

Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy axe shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea,
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
O, spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies!
When but an idle boy
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
Here too my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here;
My father pressed my hand-
Forgive this foolish tear
But let that old oak stand!
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,
And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot,
While I've a hand to save,
Thy axe shall hurt it not.
-George Perkins Morris

Thanks to all who have sacrificed to keep our land safe!
**Photos Taken on Rupert Square, Idaho

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

When Gramma Rings The Dinner Bell -It's Time To Eat!!

Gramma's Kitchen/ The Checkered Flag, I-80, Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa

Last Summer during our driving adventure across the USA one of the things we did not want to miss was the big Iowa 80 Truckers Jamboree. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, located on I-80 Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa, is the worlds biggest truck stop and since 1979, the Truckers Jamboree has been celebrating America’s Truckers. Country music stars have been know to play, not to mention that just about everyone with a classic or tricked out big rig shows up to show off! The Iowa 80 Truckstop is also a chrome lover's dream come true and has a huge array of chrome fixtures as well as souvenirs, art, eateries and a trucking museum, so if your ever on I-80 near Exit 284- don't miss it or check out their website for future events:

We arrived to Iowa 80 the first night a bit late so the festivities were just winding down, but that was okay because we happened to have the whole next day to enjoy this two-day event. We decided to crosss the street to get a bite to eat at Gramma's Kitchen/ The Checkered Flag Bar and Grill. This restaurant is actually two restaurants under one roof. One side is Gramma's Kitchen, which has the decor of comfort and home and the other side is the Checkered Flag Bar and Grill which has a modern racing decor. In the middle of the two sides is an area where one can find unique and hard to find traveling souvenirs, which is really neat to look through. That night we ate at the Checkered Flag and I have to tell you that eating their Baked Potato Soup is almost an out of body experience! It is very hardy and thick with rich, creamy Potatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Chives and Bacon Bits served with Garlic Toast and comes in two sizes, a cup for $3.29, or a bowl for $4.29. If you plan on eating anything else, just get the cup! There is a wide array of satisfying dishes on their menu and their prices are reasonable. Also, totally fantastic is a dessert which I do not see on my copy of the menu, but it was essentially an Apple Baked into a Dumpling and covered in a rich Caramel Sauce, with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side. This is a dessert not to miss!

The next morning we awoke to the hardest, thickest, most consistent rain I have ever seen. It was really bad out there and one walk from the big rig across any parking lot would leave a person completely soaked. We had hoped the rain would lighten so we dove into Gramma's Kitchen for a bit of breakfast. Since the weather was so inclement, we opted for the Gramma's side of the building looking for a little extra coziness and love. We definitely got it- they even had teapot chandeliers! We had breakfast that morning, which consisted of fluffy home-made Biscuits and Gravy with Eggs. The service was great. They even offered to charge my dying cell phone, which was really sweet. Drinking hot coffee, eating a great breakfast, all the while wishing the rain away so we could go check out the awesome trucks. Turns out the Jamboree was cut short due to the weather, but I'm glad for the experience because Gramma's Kitchen and the Checkered Flag took good care of us and this is not a secret that should be kept. If your in the area, this is definitely the place to go to get a great meal! Hopefully we will see you next Summer!

Gramma's Kitchen/ The Checkered Flag

I-80 / Exit 284

Walcott, IA 52773

Phone: 563-284-5055 Fax: 563-284-6503



Thank you for the compliment. Grammas Kitchen was opened in 1884. It is owned by a gentleman named Mike Whalen. He started out in 1978 with the Iowa Machine Shed in Davenport and has gone up from there delivering great experiences for guests and employees. Gramma's food is prepared in a way that you may remember your Grandmother did or still does. Connected to Grammas Kitchen is the Checkered Flag Bar and Grill. It offers the same down home cooking' along with Happy Joes Pizza , and some other fun items. Jeff Grunder plays a big part in the operation and always has great new recipes ready to try. Our current Chief Operating Executive is Mark Bierman who keeps us all in line and is always coming up with great marketing ideas to continually keep everything fresh and interesting. Myself, as the front of house executive, I have a lot of fun playing with the new and unusual items we carry in our country store and singing along with the oldies on the radio. We have Jason Stumpy as the Kitchen Executive who comes up with some of the tastiest feature items to surprise our guests with. John Beaver has been with the company forever ( or close to it) He is the Lead Kitchen Executive and a pretty good baker I might add. You need to come in and try some of his chocolate covered bacon!!!!!! We have a fun staff and great team going on out here in little Walcott, Iowa. We also offer catering and have our Parlor to feed your guests for any occasions. We will fit your needs.You may visit our website at while you are there you can check out the Checkered Flag. Mike Whalen runs his company as Heart of America . You may check out his other fabulous places at I hope to hear from you again and please stop in and see us again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Just Ducky!" Tasty Musings by TEX MEX

Things are quiet as we all prepare our recipes for next March. Our recipes for the World comp are due the end of December. I am working on a 3 layer triple chocolate cake with bananas foster as the filling, and for my Main I am working on a duck breast with a red grape sauce, with Saba , and white wine. I will attach my duck pictures as I did a trial run yesterday. I do not have a name for it yet but, it is duck breast with grapes and Saba. I will be serving it over rice (Dirty Rice ) possibly with duck liver in the rice.............. The world competition will be held in Sandy,Utah on March 18-20,with the semi-finals on Thursday -Friday and the finals on Saturday the 20th. I believe we have 26 teams qualified to compete, only 10 will move on to Saturday to compete against last year's champion. The International Dutch Oven Society's World Championship Cook-Off ,is held at the Sandy Convention Center in conjunction with the International Sportsman Expo. As of today there will be five teams from the Burley area competing................

Submitted By: Tex Mex


Dear Master of Dutch Oven-Tex Mex,

The dishes are already making my mouth water and I know you will do great. By the way if you ever need anyone to help in sampling your creations....


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read All About It....


Check out the Horizon Program's Community Blog where you will find events and community information!

(Heyburn Education and Renewal Team)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grateful Moment- Heart and Soul

Have I ever mentioned that River-Rose is not a person, but rather, a place? It is a home. The reason it is a home is because of the hearts, souls, and spirits who live here that makes it a beautiful little corner in this great, big, world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Old School Cooking Tip

Actually, I'm not sure how old this tip is, but it's a good one!

When your done using your plastic Ketchup dispenser bottle, clean it, then use it when cooking pancakes. Just fill it with your pankcake batter and squeeze the batter onto the grill. It will help to portion perfectly sized pancakes, without the usual mess of transferring batter from the bowl.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It Ain't No Thang But A Chicken Wang!

These Spicy Chicken Wings are hot! Hot and sweet! Shortly after the fire dims in your mouth, you can't help but say, "Maybe just one more!".

1- 4 lb. bag of Chicken Drummettes

1/2 cup of Rice Vinegar

1 Stick Unsalted Butter

1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar

1/3 cup of your favorite Habanero Pepper Sauce or Tabasco

1/3 Can of Tomato Sauce

4 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar


Set your oven to 400 degrees. Place thawed Chicken Drummettes into a big bowl and douse with 1/2 cup of Rice Vinegar, 1 stick melted, Unsalted Butter and Kosher Salt. With your hands, mix all of the ingredients with the Chicken Drummettes. Cover a broiler pan with Tin Foil and drizzle the foil with Olive Oil. Arrange them onto the broiler pan and place into the oven. Allow to cook for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
While that is cooking place your brown sugar, Habanero Sauce, Tomato Sauce and Red Wine Vinegar in a bowl and mix. It will look very sugary and less like a sauce but that's okay.
Remove Chicken Drummets from the oven and place all of them in another big bowl. Apply your Brown Sugar mixture over them while they are still very hot. Place a lid onto the bowl and shake them up! Really mix them well. The heat from the wings will melt the sugar and give the wings a caramelized look.
I'm old school about the dipping sauce and prefer Blue Cheese Dressing, although if you are out of that, try mixing 1 cup of Mayo or dare I say Miracle Whip with lime juice and Dried Parsley, until creamy. Sour Cream or plain Yogurt works well, too. If you are out of lime juice, try a bit of Dill Pickle juice. Trust me, you will need something cool, creamy and tart to create a yummy balance with the sweet, hot Chicken Wings. Dig in!