Texas, Black and White Photography

Posted by admin on 01/02/2015 in Photography |

Whether you are from Texas or a transplant doesn’t matter. Whether you are holed up in one of the larger cities like Fort Worth, Austin or San Antonio doesn’t matter either. Once you have gone down a country road the ghosts of yesteryear cry out to share their lives. Here are some places that have a story. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear what the people in here had to say?


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A & S Test Kitchen: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted by admin on 12/27/2014 in A & S Test Kitchen |

This fall it seemed like pumpkin filled the air. This was my latest addition to the pumpkin season. Hope you enjoy them too. This is a nice muffin to have with cup of coffee or tea.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Yields approx. 2-dozen large or 3-dozen small muffins)


I froze two-dozen for later use.


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup pecan chips*

1 cup vegetable oil

1 can pumpkin puree (15 0z.)

4 eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice

*I added the pecan chips, recipe did not call for it.


Preheat over to 350 deg. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

  1. In a bowl: sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl (I used my Kitchenaid), beat eggs and sugar together. Mix in pumpkin puree and oil.
  3. Then mix into this the dry ingredients. Mix well and fold in chocolate chips with the pecan chips.
  4. Fill muffin tin about ¾ full for small muffins. Baked for 20-25 minutes. Or when you touch the top and they are springy.
  5. Remove from oven and cool.

(Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything, http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/09/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-muffins.html)



A & S Test Kitchen: Lemon Poppy Seed Cream Scones

Posted by admin on 05/10/2014 in A & S Test Kitchen |

DSC_0086Cooking has become a part of life. It is how I am sustained myself daily. Each time I cook I find that I can draw on past experience. No matter what recipe I find I always use it as guidelines. This one I found on social media and changed a few things.

One thing I would add is this is not a fast and easy recipe. If time is of the essence you may want to wait for another day. And my choices to change ingredient was because I found the recipe a tad too sweet for my “super taster” buds. Changes are indicated with a *. Enjoy!


3 ½ cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbs baking powder

2 tsp kosher salt, *used sea salt

2 Tbs poppy seeds

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup lemon juice, *about two lemons squeezed

*Added zest from one lemon


  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add poppy seeds and lemon zest.
  2. In a separate: blend cream and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir.
  3. Line a 10-inch baking cake or pie pan with plastic wrap. Leave enough over hang to fold over top. Press scone dough into pan. Pat dough into an even layer, about ¾” thick. Fold wrap over dough to freeze until dough is firm, at least 3 hours, or up to 4 weeks. *Froze mine over night and use a 8” cake pan so they were thicker
  4. To bake scones: preheat over to 350 F.
  5. Spray baking pan and thaw dough about 10 to 15 min. Cut dough into10 equal pieces. *I used an 8” cake pan it was somewhat thicker and cut in 8 pieces
  6. Place pieces on pan about 2” apart. Bake until bottoms are golden and scones are cooked. About 35-40 min. *I inserted a toothpick to test for doneness because they were thicker
  7. To make glaze; stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice until very smooth. Spoon glaze of scones. Let glaze set for 10 min. before serving. *I made ½ the recipe and added the zest of one lemon

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The dough filled this pan. It is very thick. If you are familiar with scones then you know that this is perfect.





Overnight freezing is all that was needed to get them just right.
The scones will fill this cookie sheet. If it is too much then cut them in half and share. That is what my tall guy and I did.


I have a soft spot for…..

Posted by admin on 03/25/2014 in Boomer Musings |

If anyone has known more than five minutes they know I have a soft spot for dogs. It doesn’t take any time at all to get me talking about my current pup, Lizzie.

My soft spot, Lizzie

My soft spot, Lizzie

Another couple of animals I go “awww” for when I see them are meerkats and otters. If it isn’t otters splashing around or showing off their babes then I can’t help but smile when a social mob of meerkats are checking out their latest curiosity.

Meerkats checking things out.

Meerkats checking things out.


Awww, love baby otters.

Awww, love baby otters.








I have a soft spot for tacos. Yum, I take them anyway I can I find them. Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos. Homemade, Taco Bell or any local taco shack will work. I can eat those babies anytime.

And I have a soft spot for a good morning cuppa Joe. I take my black, thank you very much. I never was into sugary coffees. I save my sugary moments for other things like my soft spot for Rocky Road ice cream.

Without a soft spot for something life isn’t balanced. That’s me soft spot all over the place! Ha!


My Name Is…..

Posted by admin on 03/03/2014 in Boomer Musings, Photography |

When I was in college I had an assignment to describe my family, my tribe. What my professor wanted from me was to tell her my ethnicity, my religion, my culture and family. It seems to be important these days to be defined by your culture. But when I was in college I no longer had children at home. And my family is so diverse in all these areas it was almost difficult and complex to bring this assignment down to what she wanted. So I decided to start from where I was and am. Me.

My “name”.  I was born as Amanda Jane Edwards. As I began to travel through life I was known as “Mandy” to my peers and Amanda to my various school teachers. At one time in grade school my teacher called me “Armanda” and I was just too shy and timid to tell her that wasn’t my name. So that fell to my mother to do.

Growing with my sisters as "Mandy"

Growing with my sisters as “Mandy” (in the back, red tee)

As I grew I became “Mom”. Or more directly MoQ and MoM. This stands for Mom of Q and Mom of Micah. By then I had changed back to using my given name “Amanda”. But still when you are a parent there is a period when you are only known someone’s mom and identified as Q’s mom or Micah’s mom. I do like the endearing name some have given me as “mother of Q”. It makes me feel a part of where I am now in life.

My Mom of Q and Mom of Micah tee.

My Mom of Q and Mom of Micah tee.


Beginning my travels as Mom.

Beginning my travels as Mom.








Because I have continued to use my birth name instead of a married name that is traditional when married sometimes people address my husband as “Mr. Edwards”. He is not Mr. Edwards and that really confuses Americans who expect married women to take their husband’s name. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was welcomed and normal when I lived in Europe.

Why did I decide to keep my birth name? Because, you see, I am proud of my personal heritage. It is many generations of Americans who have lived with the name “Edwards”. I am proud of that. I like my name. The whole name is very simple, non-complex and direct. Easy to spell, easy for people to remember and a reminder of who I am and where I came from.

Many people still know me as “Mandy”. Which is fine. I don’t mind they use it. It has a certain familiarity from years of long terms relationships with friends and family. Many times people get me confused with my daughter because I named her Amanda. Both Amanda and Jane are family names. I like tradition so that is why I named my daughter a family name.

Who I am now.

Who I am now. And so today and forever my name is Amanda Jane Edwards.


A & S Test Kitchen: Reuben Crescent Bake

Posted by admin on 01/21/2014 in A & S Test Kitchen |

I got this off of social media to try. The flavors are good but the next time I will try a couple of things differently. For example the crescent rolls are too much dough for me. I will do a piecrust that is thinner. The corned beef was good but I think chopping it up in smaller pieces with be more dining friendly. Other than that, it is delish!!!!! Served with salad and sparkling water. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Reuben Crescent Bake

Reuben Crescent Bake

2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls (use pie crust if the dough is too heavy) 1 pound sliced Swiss cheese 1-1/4 pounds sliced deli corned beef 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained 2/3 cup Thousand Island salad dressing 1 egg white, lightly beaten 3 teaspoons caraway seeds

Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

Bake at 375°, 8-10 minutes or until golden brown for bottom crust.

Layer with half of the cheese and all of the corned beef. Combine sauerkraut and salad dressing; spread over beef. Top with remaining cheese. On a lightly floured surface, press or roll second tube of crescent dough into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle, sealing seams and perforations. Place over cheese. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until heated through and crust is golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.


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