Saturday, November 29, 2008


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! It's been a quiet weekend around here just catching up on cleaning and laundry and relaxing.
This is what we woke up to this morning. It started snowing last night but I was surprised when I got up and saw the winter wonderland. It only snowed a couple of inches but the trees were so pretty.
I made a batch of Turkey Minestrone today. I have plenty for lunch this week which will be a nice take and grab in the morning.

Turkey Minestrone
2 tsps olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup green beans trimmed and sliced in 1" pieces
1 clove minced garlic
chicken stock to cover
2/3 cup small elbow macaroni
1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup cooked diced turkey
Heat oil in a heavy dutch oven. Add next 4 ingredients and saute a couple of minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, and simmer until veggies are done. Season with salt/pepper. Add cooked pasta and turkey.
I sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope everyone has a wonderful thankful day.
As some of you know I work in a Physical Therapy Clinic. One of the patients brought a gift in for everyone. I thought it was so cute I wanted to share. It is a bag of microwave popcorn with the following poem attached.
The Thanksgiving Turkey
The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air.
It knocked every plate off the table
And partly demolished a chair.
It ricocheted into a corner
And burst with a deafening boom.
Then splattered all over the kitchen
Completely obscuring the room.
It stuck to the walls and windows
it totally coated the floor.
There was turkey attached to the ceiling
Where there'd never been turkey before.
It blanketed every appliance
it smeared every saucer and bowl.
There wasn't a way I could stop it
That turkey was out of control
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure
And I thought with chagrin as I mopped
That I'd never again stuff a turkey
With popcorn that hadn't been popped!!
I am behind on visiting but wanted to answer a couple of questions I haven't had time to respond to. I bought my fancy loaf pan at Williams Sonoma. It's fun baking bread in this time of year. I'll try to post a picture of it later. I have my orchids in the kitchen window which is supposedly not a good place but they seem to like it.
Have a wonderful Turkey day!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pumpkin Bread and Cranberry Ginger Jelly

Look what happened today!! Isn't it pretty? I can hardly wait until the rest of the buds open. I think it likes my kitchen window even though from what I've heard it's the worst place for them because they get too much direct sun.
I made two batches of pumpkin bread today. I always get so many compliments when I make these. I put some in my freezer too. I got these recipes years ago from a magazine advertising Libby's Pumpkin.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

3 cups flour
1 T plus 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries. I always use fresh cranberries.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. I use the Pam Baking Spray.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and orange juice in large mixer bowl. Beat until blended. Add flour mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in cranberries and spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake 60 minutes, cool 10 minutes and remove from pans and cool completely.

Orange Spice Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
10 Tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin

Bake 350 for 55 minutes. Grease and flour loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.

Beat together butter, brown sugar, sugar and orange zest until well blended about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and pumpkin and beat 2 or 3 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture in two additions.

Pour in prepared pan and bake.

These are both very good and easy recipes. I hope you enjoy.
Next I made my cranberry ginger jelly. This is a new recipe from Martha. It was in one of her special holiday magazines. Don't you just love the color?
I did sneak a taste and it is tart and really yummy!! A lot better than the canned cranberry sauce. My daughter even likes it. I can hardly wait for Thursday!!

Cranberry Ginger Jelly

2 bags fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cups water

Combine cranberries, sugar, ginger and water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer; cook stirring occasionally until berries have burst and softened about 10 minutes. Pass through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

Meanwhile sprinkle 1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Let soften 5 minutes. Add to cranberry mixture, stir until gelatin is dissolved. Put in air tight container and refrigerate 4 hours.
Can be made ahead 1 week.
Bon Appetit!!
Enjoy and have a great week!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

100th GIVEAWAY WINNER IS..........

Good Morning, Good Morning!! I hope you all had a wonderful week. I finally got over my cold or at least almost. I'm not whining as much anyway.

I am so thrilled I had such a wonderful response to my giveaway. Thank you all so much for entering. This has been so much fun and I'm so sorry you all didn't win. I tried to pick all of your names but Anna and Bailey would not let me. So we will just have to be happy with the winners they picked.
Every one's names in the basket neatly folded.

Anna is really helping this time. Bailey is laying in his bed watching!! Anna is trying to find Anna's name I just know it. Anna NO CHEATING!!

Where is Anna's entry. I can't find it!!

Maybe if I get in here and do some reading. Anna NO CHEATING!!

I got one, I got one....did I draw Anna?? No Anna it's not and she will probably NOT be happy with you. She was really depending on you too!! The winner is Lisa at Reflections in A Gazing Ball!! Yeah!! Lisa is one of my new blogging friends. We haven't been visiting each other very long.

Oh good grief Anna, if you can't do any better than that, let me do it.
OK I've got one!!! Mommy please read it!! Yeah!! It is Randi at I Have to Say!!!

OK one more!! Yeah!! It is Lydia at Lydia's Organic Gardening.
OK you have to be wondering what is going on!! Three winners??? I've decided to have two runners up. So if you three wonderful ladies will email me your addresses I will get your goodies in the mail. Lisa will get the giveaway items and Randi and Lydia will get a surprise!!

I've got a busy busy weekend as I'm sure you all do getting ready for Thursday. I'm making some pumpkin bread and I hope to get the recipes posted this weekend. One is a Cranberry Pumpkin and the other is an Orange Spice Pumpkin bread.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Congratulations to all the winners.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Favorite Desk

I love my desk. Whenever I look at it I smile and it makes my happy. I probably paid way too much for it but I didn't care. It is an 1800 Lakin Secretariat in really good condition.

I decided to give it a good cleaning and thought it was a good time to take some pictures because you could really see it. It is usually full of stuff. Someone put a lot of love in it. The pull down shelf was broken and repaired. If you look closely you can see it. It is under the decrorative piece. One drawer is a little different also but all this just gives it more character.
Anna likes to sleep under it so I made her a bed. They have a basket full of toys too!! The baby buggy I'll have to post about later. I think I've posted pictures of Anna and Bailey in the buggy. I was living in Dallas when I bought my desk. There is a First Monday Flea Market in Canton once a month and I went with some friends of mine. I went several times while living there. It is a lot of fun and you can find so many many treasures. The first time I went my friend told me if I wanted something to buy it because we'd never find it again. The Market is huge. I actually decided on something after leaving it behind and we found it again. I got this look but they helped me find it. I was so happy but now I could not tell you what it was. I'm sure it's around here someplace though.The desk has lots of slots and a small drawer to put things. Below is a closer look at the inside.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my desk and don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already. Remember it closes Friday night.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Food and Orchids

I've had a lot of questions about my tea blooms. I get mine at Sur La Table. For those that don't have one it is a gourmet kitchen shop and they do have a website here. I've seen them other places too but off hand I don't remember where.
I made this wonderful Shrimp dish last night. It is so easy and very good. I saw it on Alosha's Kitchen a while back. She had actually gotten it from Rachel which made me skeptical but since Melissa said it was good I trusted her. She has some fantastic recipes. This is one of the best shrimp dishes I've made. I couldn't believe how fast it went together. I'm not posting the recipe because I didn't change it and this will give you a chance to check out Melissa's blog. She is beginner cook and is doing very well. She comes up with some fantastic recipes.
This morning I made Gingerbread. I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour. Click here.

And I made some Twice Baked Potatoes for dinner tonight. I'm baking a chicken later this afternoon. All I'm going to do to the chicken is shove a lemon and garlic up his little butt and lay him on more of the garlic and lemon and bake. This is my favorite way of roasting a chicken. It's always juicy and it's easy so when you are getting your daughter's cold you can take it easy. Bless her little heart for sharing!! To the potatoes I added cheese and scallions. I made extra and they went in the freezer. I didn't put scallions in the freezer batch though.

And now for the orchid update. They are really getting big aren't they. Do you suppose we will have flowers by the end of the week?
I hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Snow and a Gift

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for all the nice comments on my giveaway. I wish you all could win!! This has been a fast week and I'm glad the weekend is here. I have lots to do too and hopefully I get through half of my "To Do" list.
I had my massage tonight so if I don't make any sense just realize I'm very very very relaxed . I had such a lovely surprise today too!! I had a package in my mail box from Deb at Garage Sale Gal. Isn't she the sweetest friend. Look at all the lovely gifts that were in my package. There are stickers, a small notebook that is already in my purse, sticky notes which I love, tea which I have water on boiling for, a cookie cutter and see Minnesota and a beautiful hanky to add to my collection. I know I've forgotten something but if you enlarge the picture you can see it all. She wrote me a special note in the "Mary" card. Thank you so very much Deb. I love everything.
The first exciting thing that happened today was getting up to SNOW!! Not much and it was over by 9:00 but it was pretty. Nice big flakes falling slowly and softly.
I took this from my kitchen window. See the squirrels and bird enjoying the snow?

Aren't they the cutest? The closest in the picture was sitting there watching me taking the picture, I think he was posing for the camera. Now I have a Diva squirrel who lives in my tree.

We did get a little on my patio. Bailey enjoyed the snow. I think he was watching it fall to the ground.

I really like this picture. I took it right after I got up (yes I went outside in my jammies and yes it was cold). It was not that dark out though. You can see the snow really well. It looks like the stars and planets but it is really snow.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


YEAH!!! It's finally here!! My 100th post, can you believe it? Sometimes it feels I've been blogging forever and then it's like I did my first post yesterday. I remember writing my first one and wondering how long it would take for someone to actually read my blog. I even offered a prize to the first comment thinking I really didn't have to plan anything right away because it would probably take awhile. I had been reading and commenting for about a year before I took the plunge so I figured everyone would know me as a non-blogger. Well lo and behold my friend Crystal came to visit and I had to scramble to come up with something. I was so pleased Crystal was my first because I have been visiting her for a long time.

I have met and made so many new friends and you all mean so much to me. If you don't post or comment for awhile I get worried. I want all of you to know how much you mean to me.

OK Shut Up Judy and get down to business....SHEEESH!!! Since this is the middle of the week I'm giving extra time to comment. I will close the giveaway on November 21. I think that is next Friday. Maybe I should look do you think? This is everything that will be included. Whoops sorry you can't have my babies. I was getting ready for work this morning and they were both watching me as usual so thought I would take a picture of them. So do you suppose Anna sits on the commode so I can't lift the lid and throw her in? This is an everyday occurrence. They are usually in whatever room I am. And remember these aren't part of the giveaway. I don't want anyone to be disappointed.

The 12 days of Christmas towel is though. Don't you think it's cute?
You all liked my fall spatulas so I thought you might like a Christmas one or two. The little one is awesome for getting into small jars. The large one has candy canes and peppermint candies and the small one has a reindeer.
And last but not least is the Holiday Baking book by Linda Collister. It's a great book and she gives advice on making ahead which is always nice this time of year. And as a bonus I'm giving you two of the beautiful tea flowers.
OK everyone, please comment and I will have Bailey draw a name on Saturday November 22 and will post the winner. And I looked, it's the right date!! He did such a fantastic job for the honey giveaway I thought it would be fun to let him do it again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Orchid Update and a Play Along with Nola

Do you think the buds are getting bigger? You can actually see the pink in them now. I took the picture this morning and I think they are bigger tonight. OK it's my imagine!! Or maybe "old age" and I'm delusional? Please don't answer that. Thank You.
I was reading Nola's blog this morning and she did a Meme from Dianne so thought I'd play along since I'm at 98 now!!! NO not my age, my number of posts!!
1. Where is your cell phone.~~ ~In my purse and off as it should be.
2. Where is your significant other?~~~Don't have one, don't want one
3. Your hair color? ~~~Well I used to be a brunette and colored it for years but one day I decided to see what color it actually was and I let it grow out. I decided I liked it so I'm very silver today.
4. Your Mother? ~~~She'll be 90 next year.
5. Your Father?~~~ He died many many years ago.
6. Your favorite thing?~~~ Cooking...Shock huh?, reading, and visiting all you
7. Your dream last night? ~~~OK now you are going to call the men in the white jackets. My dream was a continuation of the nights before and it was really weird. Do you have serial dreams?
8. Your dream goal?~~~To stay healthy and always be happy
9. The room you're in? ~~~Living room
10. Your hobby?~~~cooking
11. Your fear?~~~ Not being able to take care of myself
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? ~~~Here
13. Where were you last night?~~~Home
14. What you are not?~~~ 40
15. One of your wish list items?~~~ to visit France where my ancesters were born.
16. Where you grew up?~~~Mostly Denver, I was born in MO and moved to CA. I came here when I was 12.
17. The last thing you did?~~~ Dishes
18. What are you wearing?~~~ Sweats
19. Your TV? ~~~~~Living room and bedroom
20. Your Pets?~~~ Anna and Bailey
21. Your computer? ~~~ My friend made it so who knows
22. Your Mood? ~~~Happy
23. Missing someone?~~~not right now
24. Your car?~~~ 2008 Nissan Versa
25. Something you're not wearing?~~~No shoes, no bra, no makeup
26. Favorite Store?~~ Macy's
27. Your summer?~~~ Serene
28. Love someone?~~~ My kittens and my children
29. Your favorite colors? ~~~ Purple, blue
30. When was the last time you laughed?~~~ Today when Anna and Bailey were being silly
31. When was the last time you cried?~~~ When my back was soo soo painful
Hope you enjoyed and please play along. It's fun!! Have a great week!!

A Weekend Laugh

My daughter sent me this email and I thought you would love it too!!

How to wash a toilet. This was simply too much of a time saver not to share it with you.

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.
2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.
4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.
5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash' and rinse'.
6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.
7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift the lid.
8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, And run outside where he will dry himself off.
9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

The Dog!!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I love tea. I think I've been hanging around Mandy and Debbie too long. Have you tried the ones that open up into flowers when you put them hot water? So much fun and so pretty. I love tucking them in gifts as an extra little bonus.

I love my teacup. I bought it from several years ago.
Isn't it pretty when it opens up? Ok this is my 97th post...we are getting closer and I'm planning my 100th giveaway!!! It's going to be fun!!! Maybe I'll add one of these little flowers too! Good idea!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Almost 100th Post and An Award

I hope everyone voted today!!!

Did you know this is my 96th post? Isn't that awesome? I can't believe I've rambled on this long. I'm trying to think of something awesome for a 100th stay tuned!!

Marie Antoinette Award- a real person, a real award! Thank you to Nola of Alamo North. Here are the Rules for the Award:
1. Please put the logo on your blog. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.

I am going to pass this on to all you. It is so hard to choose and you are all so deserving so please grab the picture and post it on your blog.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Orchid Update

I actually have more buds on my orchid and I think they are bigger don't you? I've had lots of advice mostly PATIENCE!! Oh good grief please send me some!! I have absolutely NONE!! You can't see in the picture but the ends are a darker color. I wish I could remember the color but we will just have to wait. Debbie thought I should have a contest as to what color it will be. She said it would be white with yellow centers. I had a dark pink, light pink, white with yellow center and a lady slipper. That is the only one I remember the name of. I think this was a pink one, well no on second thought maybe it was the white one. I hope we find out soon.
This one actually has new leaves and doesn't look too bad. I have one more that looks kind of sick so I didn't take a picture of it.
I cooked all weekend. Don't know what possessed me but I couldn't leave my kitchen. I made a pumpkin cake that is just OK. The one I usually bake is a big cake so I don't like making it unless I know someone will be around to eat it all. I'll have to post the recipe because it is the best. I got it from Molly at Orangette a few years ago.

This one came from Martha. I changed the icing a little by making a cream cheese icing with honey. Hers was a little different.

It does look good though doesn't it and yes, I took a bite.
I also made Theresa's chocolate cookies. So easy and so good. I have seen recipes using cake mixes but never tried one until now. I will definitely make these again. I told her I was going to post her cookies and to expect extra company. I did add nuts too!!

Have a great week and thank all of you for your visits and comments. They mean so much to me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

White Chili and Chocolate Cake

Doesn't this chocolate cake look delicious? It was a very easy recipe to make and very chocolaty and good. Of course what made with chocolate isn't? It is one of those forbidden recipes that I tested but since I changed a couple of things it's mine now!!!
Easy Chocolate Snack Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt or table salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 oz chopped fine bittersweet chocolate
1 cup hot coffee
2/3 c mayonnaise
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
Lightly spray pan 8 inch square pan with Pam.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in large bowl. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder and chocolate. Pour hot coffee over cocoa mixture and mix until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in mayonnaise, egg, vanilla into chocolate batter. Stir mayonnaise mixture into flour mixture until combined.
Bake 350 for 30 minutes.
Let cool and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Cheryl and I were emailing and I mentioned making white chili and she said she wanted me to post it because she had never had any. I got this recipe from my sister in law years ago. It is so easy to make and leftovers are even better so make a big batch. I usually double it!!
White Chili
12 oz ground turkey
1 med chopped onion
1 garlic clove minced
1 can Great Northern Beans rinsed and drained
1 4 oz can green chili's diced
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
salt/pepper to taste
Cook turkey, onion and garlic. Drain fat off and add rest of ingredients and enough additional broth and/or water to cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
If you want it a little thicker stir 2 Tbls flour in 1/4 cup water. Stir into chili and cook until thick. I usually don't thicken mine.