Rhubarb & Recipes

Its spring time and the rhubarb is growing like weeds. Of course my brand new puny plant isn’t producing yet. Might be because of the attack of the weed eater? I was saved from a spring without rhubarb by our neighbor who offered some of his! Thanks Chuck!

Yesterday I tried a new rhubarb crisp recipe. It tasted great and would have been better had I thought about adding vanilla ice cream. Or maybe even Cinnamon ice cream. 

Rhubarb Crisp

  • 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Place rhubarb in an 8×8 pan or divide between 6 ramekins.
  2. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stir in water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over rhubarb.
adapted from Fresh with Anna Olson
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Mix together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Stir in melted butter until even distributed. Crumble over filling.
  2. Bake at 350ºF for 45 min or until rhubarb is cooked through and filling is bubbly.
Makes enough for an 8×8 inch square (9 inch round) baking pan or 6 ramekins.

Rhubarb bread is a family favorite. I really don’t have one recipe I like best. I’ve found things I like about all the different ones I’ve tried. This particular recipe is one of the best.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together milk, lemon juice and vanilla; let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, oil and egg. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda, stir into sugar mixture alternately with the milk mixture just until combined. Fold in rhubarb and nuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the unbaked loaves.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean. (I found it took mine an additional 20 minutes to be done – 1 hour total).

Perfect Day

Today was a beautiful day. Great way to start the Holiday weekend! 
We sat outside in the warm sunshine.  Cailin explored her big backyard and hung out with her mom and cousin Candace.

We worked on the garden.
Even the dogs took the time to relax and enjoy the sunny day.
We finished off the day with a cozy bonfire.

Another visit with the Oncologist

Grandma and Cailin – December 20, 2010

Oh the memories. The photo above was taken the day Cailin was born. It was also just a few days before my last chemo treatment. Seems like a lifetime ago and I am so happy to report that I’ve now struggled with bad hair days! 
Yesterday I had a visit with Dr. Garino at Minnesota Oncology. For the most part it was a very positive visit. My lab values are good and she has no real issues after the physical exam. We spoke about a set of lab work Dr. Marier (my GP) did a couple weeks ago. One result was elevated and between that and the other million tests the conclusion was that Fibromyalgia is an appropriate diagnosis.  I’m happy she agreed. Fibromyalgia is a frustrating diagnosis and having two medical professionals with the same opinion makes it a little easier to consider. 
One issue is the continued weakness and now increasing pain in my hip and legs. The Arimidex I take daily is known to cause joint stiffness which makes sense for my hands and knees in particular. It’s the odd pain we are wondering about. Dr. Marier is considering it a possible symptom of the fibromyalgia. He prescribed me Amitiptyline which has been found to be effective with easing the pain associated with Fibro. Dr. Garino has ordered an MRI (scheduled for next Friday) just to rule out a cancer recurrence in the hip (NOT worried about that) and to also see what could be going on in my lower back and hip. She will order Physical Therapy after we get the results to help me get my strength back and to limit the pain.
I guess it’s all good – except I detest the idea of another MRI. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! Yes, I’m a chicken but this chicken has versed! I’ll update once I get more results!!

Monterey Chicken Tortilla Recipe

Monterey Cheddar Chicken

This is going to be a family favorite! Everyone enjoyed it when made for the first time. It is quick and easy so a recipe right up my alley! The following would be for a 1 quart (or 9×9) casserole/dish. I double it for my family. Serve with rice!

2 cans of chunked chicken or turkey

  • I used 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks. I then cooked them on the stove top in a little lime juice. Be careful to not overcook or the chicken will dry out.
Tortilla Chips

  • Any kind can be used. I used Tostidos Brand “Hint of Cracked Pepper.”
1 can cream corn
1 can Black beans, drained
3/4 cup Picante Sauce/chunky Salsa
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup cheddar cheese
fresh tomatoes, chopped
Green or  Red Peppers, chopped
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream

Layer crumbled chips (enough to cover the bottom), chicken, cream corn, drained black beans Picante Sauce (or salsa), olives and cheddar cheese in a 1 quart dish. (I used a cake pan when doubling). Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Allow a few minutes to cool. Serve with fresh tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and/or sour cream. 

Catching up

Happy middle of May! At least I think its May. This weather has been crazy! One day the heat is on and the next day the air conditioning is on and then the heat again with frost warnings. Good grief! But, it looks as if spring is finally here!

The Victory Garden
The Victory garden continues to bloom. I can’t wait until next year when it fills in a bit. We’ll add some more tulips in the fall now that we can see where to ones we planted have appeared.
Hummingbird planters & feeder
I saw a hummingbird the other day at the living room window. Thought it would be neat to add a hummingbird  feeder. You can see it hanging in front of the window. On either side of it are those silly Topsy-Turvy Hummingbird planters. I found them super cheap and thought I’d give it a try. I planted Nicotiana and hopefully they’ll take and begin to grow. At the bottom of the Shepards hook you can see three pots. I planted dill, heather and catnip in those. Right behind that you can see the iris’ growing in! 
Topsy-Turvy Hummingbird planters 
This is a closer view of the planters. Interesting to think it is suppose to work and grow upward. Well, we’ll see!
Cailin – Easter 2011
Cailin is doing well. She started the toddler program at Minnesota Renaissance School (the Montessori school I work at). What a blessing this has been for her and us! I wish I had been turned onto Montessori when my three were young!
Cailin – May 17, 2011
This is Cailin today (17 months old). Check out the road rash on her nose. She gained a little more momentum than expected on the driveway and slid face first! Oh – the hazards of learning to walk!
Bones. Don’t let this picture fool you! He is NOT normally looking so cute being all sleepy on the couch. He is all 7 months of puppiness. We started obedience but ended up putting training on hold due to my back/hip injury. He is pretty good at the sit. He is pretty good at the recall. Everything else? Forget it! I’ll continue working with him and start training again in June. I;m excited for Sunday….it is BBR’s Spring Into Summer event and  there will be an agility demo. I’ve meet the training doing it at the dog park so he is familiar with Bones and wants to try him with agility! He certainly has the energy for it!
This adorable little guy is the newest addition to the family! No worries…he isn’t mine! Anna and JT are the proud parents of Kal….a 6 week old black lab. They were looking for a dog that would be very active to keep up with them. eventually he will be active. For now he just sleeps. He’s just a baby! 
Coming up next…. the Spring Into Summer recap!

Dedication & Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today didn’t go exactly as planned but it was a blessed day nonetheless. I had planned on participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure….but that was not possible because on my back/hip injury. With that said – I ended up raising over $500 for the Race for the Cure! That makes me proud!

Cailin was dedicated at church today! It was amazing. What exactly is dedication? No, it isn’t baptism. Here is what our church, Constance Free Evangelical Church, says about dedication:  Public child dedication to God is based scripturally from Hannah’s dedication of Samuel (I Samuel 1:19-28) as well as Mary and Joseph’s dedication of Jesus (Luke 2:21-22).  It’s a holy time of heart commitment by parents who desire to offer their children as a living sacrifice to the Lord – for His use and glory.

After Paster Randy asked for the parent’s promise to be dedicated to making sure their child is raised in the Lord’s family he blessed the children and our celebration continued (as Cailin went to the nursery – she was getting a bit crabby).

Afterwards we had Perry’s mom over for dinner. After a glorious morning….and then a rainy afternoon…the sun is now out this evening making it quiet and peaceful. Life is good. God is good.