Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Time

I'm almost on schedule for my Christmas cards. I finished making my cards, and now I just have to write the "dreaded" newsletter. I have the rough draft written, but I need to find a way to spice it up a bit. I have an idea or two, but haven't settled on anything definite. I have a few more days before I start to panic!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Eve

I was debating with myself if I should blog today or not. As soon as I sit down at the computer, it seems like my derriere is super-glued to my chair. The next thing I know, the day is half gone. I'm sure you have never experienced anything like that. But, today I have promised myself that I will only blog--no reading other blogs (even though I deperately want to! I hope you understand.) --no checking email, no checking facebook. I refuse to get involved in Twitter.

Today I will be busy baking for tomorrow. Thanksgiving will be at my niece's house, so I don't have to worry about the house being in order, Thank Goodness!

I'm making Butternut Squash Rolls, Coconut Cream Pie, a new recipe that I'm trying for the first time. I hope it turns out! (The picture looks pretty.) I also have a "secret recipe" to make Cheesecake Factory's Carrot Cake Cheesecake. (Another first timer!) And, a mint chocolate pie, which, believe or not, I have made before.

Also on the menu is a mushroom sausage stuffing. I fell in love with this recipe ten years ago (yikes!!) when I was trying the low-carb diet. This is a low carb recipe, but delicious. I'm still eating it, and I'm not on a low-carb diet anymore.

Mushroom Sausage Stuffing
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 - 4 TBSP olive oil
4 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms (about 1 lb.)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBSP. butter
2 lbs. spicey sausage (I use 1 lb. regular, and 1 lb. spicey)
1 bunch fresh tarragon, leaves only

Saute the onions in olive oil over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until crisp on the edge, about 10 - 15 min. (I've recently learned that the trick to crisping mushrooms is not to crowd the mushrooms in the pan.) Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high and add the wine. Let the wine cook off for a couple of minutes, then lower the heat and simmer with the mushrooms for another 10 minutes. Stir in the butter 1 TBSP. at a time until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

In large skillet, brown the sausage. When cooked through, about 5 - 7 minutes, add to the mushroom mixture along with the tarragon and combine thoroughly.

Well, there you have it.

I'm going to take a break from reality, keep the radio turned off (I'm addicted to talk radio), and let my three favorite men - Michael Buble, Rod Stewart (the Great American Songbook) and Barry Manilow (Singin' with the Big Bands) serenade me while I busy myself in the kitchen.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebration, as we remember all the blessings the Lord has showered down on us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Try it, You'll like it! Tuesday - Sweet Potato Rolls

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and maybe you're looking for a new roll recipe to try.  This recipe is originally for Butternut Squash, but I had some leftover sweet potato, so I used it. This is good with butternut squash, but the sweet potato made the rolls a little sweeter. Either way, they are yummy.

Sweet Potato Rolls

1 pkg. (1.4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (110 - 115 degrees)
1/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
3 TBSP. butter, softened
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato OR butternut squash
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in milk and water. Add the butter, salt, sugar, sweet potato or squash, and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 min. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Form into rolls; place in two greased 10-in. cast-iron skillets or 9-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 min. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Yield: about 2 dozen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Try it, You'll like it! Tuesday - Bunko Food

I'm a Bunko Babe. If you want to know the ins and outs of Bunko, click here. Tonight is Bunko, but I'm not hosting. I hosted back in June, but never got around to blogging about it, and since I'm sure you are dying to know the details, here they are!

The host is responsible for the food (most important detail) and the prizes (the second most important detail - although, depending on who you talk to, these could be reversed!)

Salad from my garden

This is embarrassing, but I have no idea what I made!

Lemon Herb Chicken Ring

Raspberry Pretzel Dessert

The Tables

The Prizes: Aprons made by Amazing Daughter

Here's the recipe for Lemon Herb Chicken Ring. If you have a Pampered Chef cook book, you will find it there, as well.

2 cups coarsley chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 lemon
3 TBSP. chopped, fresh parsley, divided
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Intalian seasoning
1/2 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine chicken, bell pepper, 1 tsp. lemon zest from lemon, 2 TBSP. parsley, pressed garlic, mozzarella cheese, mayo and seasoning, mixing well. Grate Parmesan cheese. Reserve 2 TBSP, add remaining cheese to chicken mixture. Mix well.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a large round pizza stone with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in center.)

Spoon chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.) Springle remaining Parmesan cheese over ring. Backe 28-30 min. or until golden brown. Garnish with remaining chopped parsley and lemon slices.

Yield: 10 servings

Raspberry or Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Mix together and put into a 9 x 13 pan; bake 10 min. at 350 degrees:
2 cups crushed pretzels 
3/4 cup softened butter
3 TBSP brown sugar

Mix together and put on cooled crust:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. cool whip

Stir together, refrigerate until partly set, then put on top of cream cheese mixture:
1 - 3 oz. box stawberry or raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
10 oz. frozen strawberries or raspberries

Refrigerate for several hours until set.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Breaking and Entering to Feed a Cat

My parents recently took a vacation to Lily's home state of North Carolina. But, Lily was not invited to come along. (How Lily got from North Carolina to Ohio is for another blog.) I live only a few minutes away, so I would be keeping Lily fed, collecting their mail, and stuff like that.

Mom left the key on the dining room table for me, leaving their back door unlocked until I could get there, later that day. A good plan. Except that my Dad didn't know about the plan. He locked the door. 

Mom has been trying (unsuccessfully) for years to make sure all us kids  (there are five of us) have a key to their house. I don't have one.  So, I started calling around. Bro 3 does not have a key.  Bro 2 does not have a key. Bro 1 has a key! Yay! I'm amazed at how quickly and easily this problem has been resolved. Things never happen that easily. But, wait. I ask Bro 1 if the key is for the front door or the back door.  (Hubby has been doing some work on their house, and recently replaced the back door. Of course, Bro 1's key is for the back door. I'm not surprised. My last hope is for Sis to have a key. Yes, she does. For the back door! ACK! 

The house is locked up tight, and we certainly don't want to break anything. 
Hubby has one last hope, before we have to do anything drastic. Last year, he replaced some windows on the 2-story side (in the back, thankfully!) Mom likes to keep those windows open. Maybe, just maybe they are not locked. 

Hubby pulls out the laddder and climbs up to see. They are not locked. Happiness! So, he begins the painstaking work of inching this way, prying that way. I really don't know how he did it. I was busy looking in the grass for an earring that fell out. (Amazingly, I found it!)

He was able to get in without breaking anything, got the key, and I was able to keep Lily from starving to death. 

Later, I called Mom to tell her about the fiasco and how we averted disaster. I told her that Bro 1 and Sis have keys, but to the back door.

Her words? The back door and the front door...wait for it....use the same key!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Double Nickel Today!

Today is my birthday, and I've hit the "double nickel" as Hubby and I have been calling it. Hubby hit the double nickel in January. So, we are both, officially, Senior Citizens. It was bad enough getting that first letter from AARP, a month before I turned 50. That happened way before I was ready. Now, I'm trying to wrap my arms around the fact that I'm a S.C.  But, I guess now I can look forward to getting my Ohio Buckeye card. I can flash that everywhere I go and get a 10 % discount on coffee, meals...whatever. (To tell the truth, I don't even know where to go to get my Buckeye card! Come to think of it, Hubby doesn't even have his Buckeye card. Guess I'll have to do some investigating.)

We celebrated my birthday on Sunday. Hubby started the day by making me breakfast. 

That Hubby of mine can make some pretty good breakfasts. This is our version of Egg McMuffins. I think you'll agree, that ours is superior! Yep, that was a very tasty breakfast.

After church, Amazing Daughter and Son went with us to the best Mexican restaurant in the state! It is almost an hour's drive, but worth every minute. It's called Nuevo Acapulco, in North Olmstead, Ohio. Ever since we discovered this place, this is where I request to go for my birthday!
 This was my plate of deliciousness. Tacos el Carbon. I order this almost everytime, but, it is just so yummy that I can't order anything else. There is some kind of spice that is so distinctly different, and I absolutely love it.  

 BD ordered the gigantic burrito. I wonder how they came up with that name? Yes, he ate the whole thing!

 Hubby ordered the super mucho burrito. He ate the whole thing!

 Jennee also got the Taco el Carbon! She may kill me for using this picture, but, I think she's too busy with NaNoWriMo to be reading my blog!

 And, here's me and Hubby. Try as he might, he kept closing his eyes for every picture!

If only son, JT, and granddaughter, Sweetie Pie, could have been there, the day would have been complete!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Face it Friday

Check out Jennee's and Karen's Face it Friday posts.

I have been a bit of a slacker on working on my goals. However, and surprisingly, I'm getting a little closer in the book reading department. One of my goals was to read...ummmm....(searching, searching, now where did I put that dad-gone goal list???) I thought for sure that I put it where I wouldn't lose it or forget where it was. OH, here it is! I might have a heart attack from the shock of actually finding it!! I need a moment to catch my breath.

So, here is the list of goals I made back in January.

Goal #1: Read 10 books, at least 1 classic. 

And, here is the list of books I have read so far this year:
1. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a bit of a disturbing book, and can really mess up your brain until you get it figured out. Screwtape is one of Satan's "Top Guys". Screwtape is writing letters to his nephew, giving him pointers on how to bring his "project" over to the right side, which is really the wrong side. "Our Father" is Satan, not God; and the Enemy is God and not Satan. So, you see, how it can get uncomfortable. It's written from Satan's perspective, how he and his demons work to turn their projects (us) away from God.
I'm counting this as my classic, unless I  get around to reading another classic.

2.  The Mysterious Life of Private Thompson: The Double Life of Sarah Emma Edmonds by Laura Leedy Gansler - Sarah enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War and served 18 months (I think) as Private Frank Thompson. A very good book!

3.  Butterfly effect - Your life, my life, may affect others in ways that we may never know.

4.  Miracle at Philadelphia - The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen - This was a very interesting, and challenging read. She brought the Founding Fathers to life by quoting their words. Our Constitution really is a miracle. I could barely go a page without finding a word that I had to look up. (Yes, I actually look words up, in the dictionary, and write the definition down in the book. I have my nerdy moments.)  It took me awhile to get through the book, but I liked it, and plan on reading it again. After all, the definitions will already be in the book!

5. Garnet by Carolyn Brown - a historical romance,  a relaxing, fun read

6. Where the Spirit of the Lord is... by Jim McGuiggan - I haven't finished this one, yet, but I'm working on it.

Goal #2: Get my passport - Have not done this one, (yet)
Goal # 3: Mail birthday cards to friends - I'm workin' on it.
Goal #4: Host family get-together for July 4th - We took a vacation over the 4th, so, no party this year.
Goal #5: Lose 10 pounds--I don't wanna talk about it!
Goal #6: Read the Bible everyday--wellllll, haven't quite made it every day.
Goal #7: Travel somewhere new Wow, FINALLY, I get to cross one off! Hubby and I went out West this summer (over the 4th) We went through Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana and Minnesota.
Goal #8: Edit Jennee's book from last year's NanoWrimo. I've editted it not only once, but twice.
Goal #9: Do yoga It has taken me almost the entire year, but I have started yoga again. And, I have to say, that after only the third workout, the pain in my joints has almost disappeared. Why did it take me so long to get back to yoga? I don't know. (Yes, I do. I'm lazy.)
Goal #10: Learn the (Latin) words to TeDeum by Haydn - this was my first completed goal, but only because I had a deadline for a concert!

Well, that's how my list of goals has been shaping up. Nothing to brag about, but, considering tht I'm not a goal maker (or a keeper), it's a start.

Next year will be better.

How are you doing with your goals?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I know I'm not alone!

No, this post has nothing to do with the ghostly visits I've experienced. Shiver!

I know I'm not alone in my love of Fall. This Fall seems to be exceptionally colorful. The sky has stayed blue and we have had an abundance of sunshine, which is a rarity in Northeastern Ohio, at this time of year. As I look out the window, I see more trees with leaves than without--also a rarity for this time of year. Usually, by now, a cold, windy, rainy day has defrocked the trees of their beautiful colors. But, November is here, or as we like to call it, "Monsoon Season", and that means cold, rain, wind, and s- - -. 

While I love, love the colors of the leaves, and cooler (note: I did not say freezing, sub-zero) temperatures, and brisk air, what I really love are the sunsets that come with Fall. They are breath-takingly beautiful and colorful.

I get to see a masterpiece of color painted by God, every night from my kitchen window. The sky turns pink, purple, yellow, orange, red.

It's difficult to get a good picture of the beauty, which is probably a good thing, or I'd have about 1000 pictures by now. 

But, last night I did try to get a picture or two to share. Here's a tiny taste of what I get to see every evening. (OK, I have to apologize for the poor quality of my pictures. I 've been waiting for tonight's sunset to retake some pictures, and, naturally, it's not very impressive. So, you'll just have to look beyond the blurriness. Sorry! But, you can see that it was, indeed, colorful!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Happened Next Was...

Well, since you asked, here's what happened next!
But, first, a sidenote: Many years ago, I saw a  TV movie with Lindsay Wagner, "The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan". She found an old dress in the attic of the Victorian house she and her husband had just bought. Whenever she put it on, she found herself in a different era, but in the same house. When the glass on the hutch was broken in the older era, and she came back to her era, the glass was broken on her hutch for no apparent reason. I was intriqued at the feasiblity of  multiple dimensions existing at the same time, and traveling back and forth from one to the other. (How cool would THAT be?)

Anyway, that brings me to my experiences. After the initial freaky experience, I can tell you that I never left my bed to sleep on the floor again. EV-ER! But, then I started having weird experiences in bed. No, not THAT kind of weird!

Hubby had to get up at 3:00 in the morning for work. (No one should ever have to get up at that ungodly hour!)  After he had left--this never happened whild he was at home--I would sense that there was someone standing by my bed. I can't say for sure if I was awake, asleep, dreaming, awake dreaming, or what, but I saw a transparent form of a man standing right beside me. Sometimes there would be a little boy standing with him.  Sometimes they would have a cat. Weird, I know. I decided that they were living in a parallel dimension, and they couldn't figure out who was sleeping in their bed.

Of course, the thing that made it even more freaky was that it seemed so real. I felt like I was awake, even though I kept my eyes closed, because I didn't want to see "them" standing there if my eyes were open.  One time, the cat jumped up in my face, and I jerked my head back to avoid it. Another time, I actually felt the bed give way. I was half asleep, and I thought one of the kiddos had come down and gotten in bed with me. I threw back the covers, felt whoever it was get in bed, then threw the covers back over them. In the morning, I woke up. No. One. Was. In. Bed. With. Me.  CRRREEEEEEPPPYYYYYY! This stuff happened on a regular basis for several years. The getting in bed thing happened "only" a few times. Usually, I just saw "them" standing around me.

But, then we started our own business, and Hubby was home everynight until morning. And, then we started a major remodeling over-haul of our house, which was a cute "cape-cod", not a Victorian haunting-type house at all.  Then, the "visits" stopped.

I don't believe in ghosts, but I can't explain the hows or whys of my night visitor. I don't know why they started, but I'm glad they ended. Maybe I was asleep and dreamt the whole thing up. It seemed real--and I hope it never, EV-ER, happens again.

And, now you know the rest of the story!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I'm guest posting for Awesome Daughter over at Cheap Therapy. So, head on over and say "HI".
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...