Wednesday, June 22, 2016

White Clam Sauce

Hunter Man has loved Linguine with White Clam Sauce forever.  But, we rarely find ourselves at restaurants that have it on their menu.

One weekend, after we had gone out to dinner, he said he sure wished he could have some really good Linguine with White Clam Sauce.  So, I decided to come up my own recipe for it.  I did a lot of research and combined several recipes together and changed the things that I knew I would not like to have in it.   The first time I made it, I didn't know whether he would like it or not, but he really did.  I love it, too. Restaurant versions have clams in shells on it, but my recipe used canned, minced clams. His favorite pasta is Angel Hair Pasta so we usually have it with that instead of linguine.

Then, last summer we went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the 4th of July and ate at a great little Italian Restaurant located on the main highway into Jackson on the south end.  I wish I could remember what it was called so that I could give them some credit. Their menu actually had Linguine with White Clam Sauce on and Hunter Man immediately said that is what he was going to order. When it was served, we were surprised to see that the sauce was topped with roasted tomatoes.  I would have never thought of adding those to this dish, but they added such a wonderful flavor to it!.

To make my own roasted tomatoes, I line a baking sheet with foil, place tomato pieces on it, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle them with Mrs. Dash garlic and then place the baking sheet in the oven on 200 degrees until the tomatoes start to shrivel up like dried tomatoes.  This could take two hours or more--you just have to keep checking them. Then, I put them in a freezer bag and defrost them whenever I need some.  Last summer, I used whatever tomatoes came off of our garden plants--Romas, little yellow pear tomatoes, etc.  Whenever I have tomatoes that we aren't going to use fast enough, I roast them!  The house smells so good while they are roasting.

I decided to make Angel Hair Pasta with White Clam Sauce as a Father's Day dinner this year.

Here is the recipe.   My picture does not do it justice, but trust me--it is good!

(Remember:  I am not a professional cook or chef or anything like it, so don't hate me for using dried herbs and for not using real garlic, etc.).


Prepare Angel Hair Pasta according to package directions, depending on how many people you are cooking for.

This clam sauce recipe should serve about 4 people.  We love it so much that by the time we are done eating it, we only have about 1 serving left.

1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
10 oz sliced, fresh mushrooms
4 cans minced clams with juice (tuna fish sized cans)
1 T parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1//2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 pinches red pepper flakes
1/4 c cooking wine
4 T lemon juice
1/4 c water mixed with 2 T cornstarch
1/4 c Parmesan cheese.
1 cup heavy cream

Over medium heat, melt butter.  Add olive oil.  Saute the mushrooms with the garlic paste until the mushrooms are tender.

Stir in clams, juice, and herbs.  Then, stir with  a whisk to incorporate the clam juice and the butter/oil. You will know that you have stirred it enough when there is no separation of the liquid and the oil. When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium low and add the cooking wine and lemon juice.  Again, stir with the whisk to make sure that the liquid does not separate from the oil. Add the water/cornstarch mixture and stir until it begins to thicken.  Reduce the heat to low and add the Parmesan cheese and cream.  Let it simmer for just a few minutes.

At this point, you made need to do some tweaking.  The sauce might get too thick and you may need to add some water or milk to thin it.  Also, make sure you taste it and decide whether it needs a little bit more garlic, Parmesan cheese, or oregano.  My favorite part of making this sauce is taste-testing it!

Serve over the prepared Angel Hair Pasta and enjoy!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Redneck Pool

I came across a snap side swimming pool that had probably been in a box for about 10 years, but never used.

I thought it would be great for my grandkids to play in this summer.  We were babysitting for the weekend and luckily, it was hot enough to swim in the yard.

We had a TERRIBLE time getting the sides of the pool to stay up!  We would get one side to stand up and it would seem like the water was going to hold it up while we held up another side and just as soon as we moved, the first side would start falling down.

But, my grandsons and I persevered and we thought we had it.  The pool was full, but the water was cold, so we hoped by the next day, the water would be warmer.  Then, overnight, the sides fell down and the water drained out.

The next day, we tried to fill it up again and had the same problems.

As I was looking around trying to figure out what to do to keep the sides from falling down, I saw 3 plastic garbage cans on the driveway that my husband uses for recycled items and I thought that I could put them in the pool and put rocks in the bottoms of them to keep them in place.  Then, the cans could hold up the sides of the pool.  It worked!  We did find that we also had to put water in the cans to keep them from floating, but we were finally able to fill the pool all the way up and the boys had fun!

I was pretty proud of my Redneck pool!

This looks like it is not going to turn out well for Brex!

They had a lot of fun!

While I am patting myself on the back for my ingenuity--did you know that a 12 x 12 parachute makes a great fort?  I had ordered one when it was on sale on Amazon and thought it would be fun to play with, but then when the boys wanted to build a fort to sleep in, I thought of using the parachute!
Usually, we set chairs up in a circle and put blankets over them and then the inner area of the fort is not very big.  But, with the parachute hooked to two bar stools in the front and to two chairs that were standing up on the coffee table in the back, we had a great fort for a sleepover!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


We have a big screen TV mounted on the wall.  I had one picture hanging on each side of it, but it just seemed to look awkward.  I wanted to do something to make it look better, but I had no idea what to do.  Usually, I just decorate with whatever I happen to have (pictures, gifts, things we have had forever, dead animal heads....).

Here is how it looked on one side of the TV.  (I put this picture back up and took this photo so that I would at least have a "before" to show).

I started seeing people talk about gallery walls on local TV shows and saw pictures of them on Pinterest and I wondered if I could do some kind of big screen TV gallery wall.  

I looked and looked at pictures of gallery walls, but every idea gave me the feeling that it would look too cluttered around the TV.

So, started going to stores like Michael's, JoAnn's, Gordman's, and Hobby Lobby to look at decorating items that I might be able to use on a gallery wall.

The first thing I found was a square sign with a saying on it that really touched me because of the struggles and trials that we have gone through in the last six years.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say...

It is well,
It is well, 
With my soul.

So that sign became my starting point.

I thought that some black and white canvas prints would look good on the left side of the TV.  But, canvas prints are expensive, so I searched online to see if I could find a way to make your own canvas prints.  Sure enough, you can make canvas prints with with canvas from the craft store, 8 x 10's from Sam's Photo, and Mod Podge.  

The top photo is me with my sons.

The second one is of three of my grandchildren.

The third photo is me with my daughter.

And the fourth one is of the other two grandchildren.

I hung the canvases with Command Strips so that I can change them out as often as I want to (since they are so cheap and easy to make).  

I knew that something needed to be above the TV, but it had to be something that seemed open and didn't fill up the space.  

I found some shelves at Target that seemed like they were perfect and I was so happy when I came home and held them up there and thought they looked exactly like what I had in mind.

I had a metal letter B (to represent our last name) that had a rusty finish.  I thought that metallic silver would fit in better with the black and white theme that just kind of happened.  So, I spray painted it along with a wooden arrow that I had.

I think I made a pretty awesome gallery wall.
Even with a moose head sticking his big nose into it.

Dirt Fishing

Hunter Man has a new love.

He used to be all about hunting and fishing.  He still is.

But, in the last few years, he has become even more enamored with metal detecting.

He calls it dirt fishing.

It has become his passion.

He is even the president of a club of metal detecting nerds.  ha ha

They kind of compete at their monthly meetings for who found the best things during the last 30 days.

This makes him want to metal detect as much as possible.

One day, a few weeks ago, he came back after metal detecting with the best thing he has ever found. At least he acted like it was.

Since the name of this blog is My Crazy Life as a Hunter's Wife, I thought I should post something about this new thing that occupies his mind and heart most of the time these days.

Here he is with the find of his life (so far):

It is a rifle from the late 1800's.  

Sticky Chicken Pizza

I love buffalo wings.

I love  sticky chicken fingers from Wingers.

I love pizza.

I love pizza and wings.

One day, I had a brilliant idea that combined these two delicious things.

Here it is:

Sticky Chicken Pizza

If you love hot wings and pizza, then this is the combo of your dreams! With a sweet and spicy sauce your taste buds will go for a ride. Add blue cheese dressing or ranch dip to your plate to feel like you just sat down at your favorite restaurant for some chicken wings!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1 ½ Cups Chicken Pieces (from a Rotisserie Chicken)
1 ½ Cups Sliced fresh Mushrooms
1/3 Cup Blue Cheese or Feta Cheese Crumbles
2/3 Cup Sliced Olives
1 ½ Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Sticky Sauce
½ cup Franks Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
2 cups Brown Sugar

Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
 2 Cups or more flour

(for 12” pizza)
Pizza Crust:  (You can use pre-made crust but home-made crust is like the icing on the cake!)

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Wait for it to bubble up. Add canola oil and salt. Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead dough for a few minutes until it is soft. Place in oiled bowl, turning the dough until it is coated on all sides. Cover and let rise until double. When ready to use, punch down the dough and form into a pizza crust.
When using a home-made crust, make sure that the edges of the crust are higher than the main part of the crust to keep the sauce from running off the sides. Pre-bake the crust on a foil lined pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray for about 6 minutes on the top rack of the oven.

Sticky Sauce:
Pour 1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce into a small saucepan. Sprinkle in 2 Tbsp cornstarch and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar,
3 Tbsp light corn syrup, and 2 cups brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low.  Continue to simmer until ready to use, stirring occasionally. 
Put it all together:
Spread 2/3 cup Sticky Sauce over the crust. Top with chicken, mushrooms, Blue cheese, and olives. Drizzle a little bit more Sticky Sauce over the top. Then, cover with the Mozzarella Cheese.

Bake at 425 degrees on the center rack of the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.  
Serve with carrot and celery sticks and either Blue Cheese or Ranch Salad Dressing.