Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have never made this before and decided to give it a try.  It would be great for anyone on a low carb diet as there is a lot of cheese.  It smells horrible while cooking the cauliflower, lol, but it tastes really good.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 ts. garlic powder
1 ts. Italian seasoning
1 egg
dash of salt
2 cup mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce
toppings you like

Grate the head of washed cauliflower until powder/rice like(I used the smaller part of my box grater)
Put in a covered glass bowl and microwave 4-6 minutes.
Spread out on a clean kitchen towel, wrap up and squeeze all water out.
Put the cauliflower in a bowl and mix with Parmesan, seasonings, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 egg.
Spread out on parchment paper about 1/4" thick.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Add sauce, the rest of cheese and toppings.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Quickly broil of you want it crisper.


Grate the cauliflower:

Spread it out on a clean towel, close up and squeeze all water out:

Put the dried out cauliflower back in the bowl and add dry ingredients:

Mix in the egg:

Spread out on parchment paper:

Bake about 15 minutes.  I like it darker:

Add sauce:

And toppings:

Bake 10-15 minutes more and broil for crispiness:

Overall this was pretty good.  I would make this again but would like to cut back on the amount of cheese.

Back Home 2017 and Getting The Building Ready for New Solar Batteries

Ahh...finally 2017.  It was a hot hot year down in Florida.  We were supposed to stay until at least February but one morning Mike said to me "do you mind if we go home"?  We were ready so we ventured back home in January.  We were very brave considering we had no idea if we would be able to make it to the top of our mountain.  As long as we arrived during daylight hours we would handle whatever happened.

Looking back now the driveway was the least of our problems, lol.  Everything "looked" good and the house was great.  After the unpacking of the van and the huge mess made from all of our stuff we got some rest.  Almost right away we noticed a problem with our system.  The batteries were not holding a charge.  While I stayed in the house putting things away Mike went up to check on the system.  Lucky for us he has been researching new batteries and planned to change them out this year...just not in the winter.  Oh well.  Looks like we better order them because it will take time to get them.  Mike is going with two Industrial Fork Lift batteries.  So while we wait we get things ready.

We start taking the old batteries out of Mike's building.  He hosed them down and is now drying them off:

We need to clear it out and repaint it:

Batteries are out and we are running the house on the generator:

While Mike preps the building I load up the trailer to take the batteries down to the barn:

We checked all of the batteries and they were still good but we knew we were close for a change anyway.  When Mike checked the system it turned out the water pump was running when it shouldn't have been.  This is what was draining our batteries not a problem with the actual batteries.

Back to the building and getting it ready.  We cleared it out and pressure washed it:

Mike is drying to with the blower:

We are fighting the weather here and trying to get everything done on the "nicer" days.  We need to get it painted and then we will cross our fingers for no snow when the batteries arrive.

I'm on paint duty.  I'm mixing all of the oddball paint for the walls and ceiling of the building:

And grays for the floor:

We used the paint sprayer for the walls and ceiling.  Mike is rolling the floor after I cut in the edges:

Niki enjoying the sun while we work:

The building is ready for us to move stuff back in:

Now we wait.  The batteries are coming on a big truck and we asked our friends at the farm supply if we could have them delivered to their store.  Thankfully they said yes as they also have a forklift.

I'm a little nervous about Mike and I moving these batteries by ourselves because each of them weighs 735 pounds.  Mike told me not to worry we can do it.  Uh oh....wish us luck.

The batteries have arrived.  We go to the farm supply with the trailer and they load them on the trailer for us.

Back home Mike is cutting the metal straps:

We are going to chain one up at a time and move them the the building using the tractor:

Mike lifts the first one up:

And brings it to the edge of the building floor.  Once he got the battery in the building with my guidance we had to get it into place and on top of two pipes.  We are going to use the pipes to roll it into place.  It wasn't "too" bad and we did get it into place:

Second battery coming in:

Mike setting it down on the pipes so we can roll it:

Using a little leverage to move them into place:

Mike setting up our new batteries:

Working on the system:

Mike put some insulation around the new batteries for winter:

The top and so few connections:

Much neater than the old.  We went from 24 smaller batteries to two large batteries that are actually much better:

Whew that was a rough month back.  We got the important things finished now we can move onto the non necessary things.

See you soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Delicious Triple Chocolate Cake

This cake really is awesome.  It is a dense cake but so sweet and moist.  It is not low calorie by any means but that's what makes it taste so good.  It's a doctored cake so it's easy to make.

Delicious Triple Chocolate Cake
1 box of Devil's food cake mix
1 small package of instant chocolate pudding mix(sugar free is fine)
1 cup sour cream(light is fine)
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix all and add the chips for last.  Fold those in.  Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 9x12 pan for @50 minutes.  You may frost any way you like.  Powdered sugar is enough or you can go for the sugar rush and add frosting:)


Mix it all together:

After about 2 minutes:

Fold in chips:

Spread in greased pan:

Baked and out of the oven...it smells so good:

A frosted piece:

I haven't met anyone who hasn't loved this cake.  My mother-in-law in NY actually had this for breakfast with me while visiting, lol.


Work on The Van and Traveling From TN To Texas and Then Florida

This will be my last story from 2016.  First we did out trip up to visit family in NY and back to TN. Then Mike and I left TN in October last year to make a trip to different parts of TN, down to AL, to MS, LA, and then to TX and back to Florida.

But first Mike had to work on the van...

It's crazy what RV companies do.  On our van the drinking hose hookup is in the same compartment as the sewer hook up.  How gross is that?  So Mike is going to fix that for us.

He has to take out all of the old outside plumbing:

All of this is not needed:

The compartment is clear and ready to be fixed:

Mike runs new water lines and adds a water filler to a new spot:

Tightening the water line:

Our new water connection:

Niki at Mike's mother's house in NY.  She stays in the laundry room....until she sneaks her way into the kitchen:)

Getting ready for our long trip.  The night before:

Mike enjoying breakfast at our first rest area:

Niki and I hanging out at our first campsite in Crossville TN:

Mike enjoying some fishing:

A stop at Lenoir City Park for lunch and a break:

The Lost Sea in Sweetwater TN was the neatest place we saw on our trip.  It is a cave but with a 6 acre lake underground which is the largest in the US.  We got to ride in a boat inside the cave.  The Lost Sea


Outside in their little village:

Then it was off the the Mayfield Dairy Tour...Yum.  BTW, there is a new ice cream flavor for chocolate lovers, Extreme Moose Tracks.  Check it out:)

We drove from TN into Alabama and stopped at some parks to see the waterfalls.  Sadly because of the drought everything was dry...so no falls to see.

Next we drove through Mississippi and they have the most awesome rest areas we have seen.  Behind the buildings they have small sites with a table and grill.  Niki likes it:

From there we drove through LA and into TX.  We spent a few weeks traveling around Texas.  Sadly it is not a state for Mike and I.

We did stay at a park that had a flea market attached...we were the smallest ones there:

Next we drove along the coast and back to Florida.  We have done this trip before so we didn't really see anything new.  Although Mississippi has a beautiful road right along the beaches where you can pull over and enjoy.

A goofy picture:

Mike's turn:

Our very cool campsite in Pensacola.  We lucked out as this is the only site like this.  It's the beach site:

Mike at the big Cruise In in Panama City Beach:

We went with our good friends toSilver Springs State Park:

View from the glass bottom boat:

Back at the campground we got to see turtle laying and burying her eggs.  First she digs the hole:

And then lays her eggs:

After that she spread some dirt over the top.  It would have been cool to see them when they hatched but we were long gone by then.

That was the condensed version of our trip.  I didn't want to bore you with every detail.

Next up....back home for 2017.