Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Being from Buffalo, N.Y.....this is always a big thing for me!!!....it was just lovely this morning....especially pretty against the back drop of the colorful fall leaves.....these big huge flakes falling down.....there is always something magical about the first snow....silent, white and beautiful.....even if it doesn't stick to the ground and accumulate....you know there will be bigger and better snowfalls to come.....hopefully a big, huge storm!!...there ususally isn't the massive lake effect storms around here that I was used to growing up....but every year I hold out hope that a big one will rip through and we'll all be trapped home for the day....all tucked in cozy and nice, sipping hot cocoa, playing board games and watching it swirl around outside......maybe this year mother nature will treat me to a big snowstorm....or at least a white Christmas!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
My dad and sister were coming for the night this past week and I wanted something warm and comforting to offer them after we got home from the kids activities....hhhmmm...how 'bout some soup!!! :)...I was going to use the roaster chicken in my freezer that jennifer juniper gave me when her power went out to make chicken noodle soup....I got out some cookbooks because believe it or not I've never made it!....and instead I came across this one from the barefoot contessa cookbook...my dear friend Liz gave me two of her books years ago and I treasure them.....this recipe called for fresh corn...and I just so happened to have bags full in my freezer.....remember the post about the corn zipper??....well, everytime I got corn from Deener's this summer I "zipped" a few ears to put in the freezer and have another time.....well, this was the other time!
8 ounces bacon-chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 large onions-chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
5 cups diced white potatoes, unpeeled...about 2 pounds
10 cups corn kernels
2 cups half and half
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese-grated
In a large stock pot on medium heat cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the flour, salt , pepper and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. Add the corn to the soup, then add the half and half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The term o'dark hundred stems back to my flight attendant days where all you use is military time....generally on extremely early departures when we would have to meet in the lobby of our hotel at 5am.....that meant getting up in the middle of the night....for anyone who knows me, I am generally not a morning person....I usually stay up very late every night and getting up early is torture ,and the only thing I don't miss about leaving my job as a flight attendant......well this is the first year my daughter has had to ride the early bus for school....it arrives at our bus stop at 6:43am...and she is an even worse morning person than I am!!!.....several weeks before school started she and I would comment about what time she would have to go to bed, how hard it was going to be to get up etc.......then about a week into school it dawned on me how hard it was going to be for me!!!!!!!!!!!!...I'm still going to bed after midnight every night and by Friday I feel like someone poured sand into my eyes!!.....but it is amazing how much I can get done before 8am...yet still feel like I'm not getting anything done!!!...how is that???...this view of the sunrise from my deck is beautiful every morning and I like to catch a glimpse of it to start my day.....it makes me take a deep breath and appreciate all things simple and wonderful.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wow!!.......I truly needed a little girlie craft time!!!!!!!!!......on the agenda was goldleafing pumpkins and crafting some fabric pumpkins similar to the ones I saw at Shakerwoods a few weeks ago....the goldleafing process is soooo stinkin' easy I can't believe it!!!!....another whole realm that I had never entered!...in the span of a few weeks I've tie-dyed and goldleafed!!!.....who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!...
...then of course we dined on scrumptious homemade carrot cake that our own wonderful marzipan mom whipped up for us......and presentation is always an added woo-hoo!!!...and jennifer junipers cupcakes were gone before I could get a picture......
..."don't panic...you can't mess this up"....is what I kept hearing...and it's true!...
...just look at the truly wonderful pumpkin treats we made!!!.....fall treats just for us!!....we certainly crammed a lot in from 9:30-11:30...and that doesn't even count all of the chattering that was going on about karaoke at T.J.,s Hideaway , a junk emporium, the auction barn, and a full blown getaway weekend!!!!! Wheh!!! Thanks again girls!!!!!!! I'm fullfilled for now.........
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I'm sure there have been hundreds of articles in Goodhousekeeping, Real Simple and Martha Stewarts magazine about the proper way to wash windows....but here is the way I do it!!!!.....I know my mother will be proud....I think of her whenever I am doing it.....she's the Queen!!!.....it's very easy to just call the guy and write the check....but he always seems to show up the morning it's going to rain and I don't have my screens out yet!....one of the last times he came to my house I picked his brain so I knew exactly how he did it... one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to do this....but I do have to thank my wonderful friend Tammy for getting my shoulders in shape....it does take some elbow grease!!...pictured above is the supplies you'll need....a buckey of hot water with a few drops of any dish detergent you have......no vinegar...can you believe it???....a good squeegee...he recommended the Ettore brand....they come in several sizes....I use the big one on my windows and sliding glass doors and the littler one on the french doors going into my study......I have this terry cloth thing that fits over a handle that I use to dip into the water and then squeeze out really well......but an old wash cloth will do fine....and then a few absorbent towels.......
I usually do all of the insides one day while I take out my screens and then the outsides another day.....it's easy, but takes along time if you do them both on the same day.....so you just scrub them down and then.....
pull your squeegee across...drying it after every swipe........then when you're done go around the frame of the window with your towel to sop up any remaining drips......even if you don't give your guy up....it's nice to touch up your sliding doors or french doors in between.......NEVER a streak!!!!!!!......it is SUCH a nice feeling when they are done.....but I have to warn you...it is a thankless job....probably no one will notice but you!!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
The occasion was my niece and nephew home from college on their fall breaks......pretty mums and my smiling sister in law greeted us at the door...candles were lighted....football was on t.v......the pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes were delicious......but it was before and after the meal that was wonderful!!!!.....you may recoginze the brie baker I got at Shakerwoods.....I didn't think I'd be able to try it out so soon.....I'm thrilled!!....it was delicious....just put the 8 oz. wheel of brie in it ....pour about a 1/4 cup of caramel sauce over it and top with chopped pecans....we baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and served it with wine and a baquette......
......and the apple pie my niece baked was as scrumptious as it was gorgeous!!!.....she made these little itty bitty cinnamon rolls to put on top.....the whole evening was a much needed treat!!!...thanks again!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Cubby loves rubber boots!!.....he got his first pair....the fireman boots on left a few years ago for valentine's day....I had forgotten all about that until I came across the picture of him opening them the other day....he LOVED those boots and wore them every day.....even in the summer with shorts....even to the Cranberry pool in his bathing suit.....he outgrew them and we still have them.....he wanted to plant flowers in them this summer....and we never got to it.......hopefully next year!......I thought it was a cute idea because I just can't part with them!....the Thomas boots were a gift for his birthday last year when he had a Thomas birthday party.....the frog boots were from a shopping trip to Target with Gigi.....they are about the same size as the Thomas boots and he didn't wear them as much.....not really his favorites....and the black pair were Parker or Micaela's that I found in my huge Rubbermaid boot bin.....I have several pair of these same boots in different sizes.....I'd buy a pair every year for Micaela and when they didn't fit her, Parker got them... they were perfect when we were building our last house...hiking in the woods....hayrides etc.......and his friend got him the Cars boots for his birthday this year....you guessed it!....he had a Cars birthday party!!!......when he opened them he yelled, "Just what I needed!!!!" :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
A dear friend told told me about the Pumpkin milkshake at McDonalds and it is extremely well worth it!!!!.......I held off for several days before giving in and ordering my first one.....I've been trying to be good.........but these shakes may put a serious dent into my willpower!!!.....I'm not a big milkshake fan by any means.....except for a few weeks in March when they have the Shamrock shakes....and when the end of the season looms near I have been know to cruise several McDonalds until I find one who still has them....the thought of not getting one for a whole year drives me crazy!!!.....well.......now I'm onto the Pumpkin shakes......go ahead try one!.....they are well worth it.....a wonderful fall treat.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I know it isn't chilly enough to be making chili....but I'm sick of waiting...so I made my first batch of the season today.....this is my own recipe and I'm so happy I wrote it down as I was making it last year....I've tried a ton of recipes over the years and this one is just right!!!....maybe I should do one of those chili cookoffs someday????....anyway.....here it is....a wonderful treat for a chilly...or not so chilly day :)
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 medium onion - diced
2-3 stalks celery - diced
2 cans chili beans
2 cans chili ready tomatoes
packet of chili seasoning
1 jar Tostitos picante sauce
1 large sweet potato - peeled and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn - I just use frozen
Brown the hamburger with the celery and onion. Put in crockpot with the chili beans, chili ready tomatoes, seasoning, picante sauce, sweet potatoe, brown sugar and corn....and one jar full of water...cook on low all day or on high for 4-5 hours.....garnish with shredded cheese and Fritos.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A while ago I wrote a post about the dilemma of getting a new camera.....there were highs and lows....I did my homework, I checked consumer reports, went to Best Buy, Costco and Ritz.....talked to everyone I knew........went on ebay a zillion times.......I finally settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.....she was the one for me!!!......I found the perfect one on ebay and went to Giant Eagle and got paypal gift cards.....because of course I was going to get the fuelperks for this baby.....and got busy bidding on my camera.....I felt very anxious...was I making the right choice???...well I got outbid in the last 30 seconds and I just looked at the screen and thought....it's okay....it wasn't meant to be......well, it wasn't!......because the VERY next day I was at my son's football game and a family that I always sit with was there, and Dave stood up to take a picture and I couldn't believe my eyes!!!......he had the camera I wanted!!!!....I freaked!!.......well, I didn't know that they had just come out with a brand new model with significant upgrades!....the DMC-FZ28.....he said down and showed me whole camera inside and out..I hugged him!..he obviously read the book a few times...and I could see THIS is the one I really wanted......I couldn't believe I missed out just hours earlier on the old model!!!.........and a big misgiving I had about getting a new camera was that I would be losing the gerberagirl as my tech support girl!!!.....but now I have Dave!!!......perfect!!!!...he doesn't know it yet.....but I promise not to be too painful!! :)......she arrived late yesterday afternoon and I got the battery charged and too late last night I started to play around...I got the date set and that's about it!........as with every camera and cell phone I get I truly want to know how to do everything with it...and I have a delusion that I really will....but it usually turns out that I just scratch the surface.....and that's fine.......it's enough for me!.....this is the biggest treat I've had since I got my laptop for Mother's Day and brownie pans from my Dad!!!!.......and just in time for the last few football games of the season and our trip to Florida at Thanksgiving.....oh, and gerberagirl, I'll let you know how it goes....you may want this one!:)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
If you haven't heard of Shakerwoods, it's an incredible craft show....literally in the woods!!!.....these past few days the weather has been just beautiful ....with so many choices of things we could do we decided to take to take a field trip......it's been a few years since I've been out out there....you take the PA turnpike out to Ohio...then it turns into the Ohio turnpike...you get off at exit 232 and head south on rt. 7.....you go about 4 miles and you can't miss it!!......I have been here on perfect crisp fall days, chilly rainy ones and today was hot and sunny.....but being in the woods here gets you into the fall mood!!...it is just perfect when a leaf floats down before you signally that fall is here!.....here are a few pics of our afternoon.....compliments of my daughters cute new camera she got for her birthday.....I just had to snap one of the big, huge acorn on the roof......I have a thing for acorns.....they are just so cute to me!
....this wagon cart of pumpkins was beckoning us over....we looked and looked for a long while for one to bring home.....but could only narrow it down to six and that was too many!!!....so I took a picture to bring with us! :)...the prettiest velvets and brocades........could this be a craft for a few special girls??!!.....
Then a stop at the rootbeer shack.....we saw people walking with big bags of kettlekorn and we searched for it.........but by the time we saw it on the way out there were about 20 people in line and we had to pass.....
This is the view I had while I was on the phone with marzipanmom.....the little display is where I got my treats........check the picture further down......
.....I was trying to capture the sun flickering through the trees and warming up the day.....but without the sounds of the live bands playing and all the smells of the outdoor food courts with sweet potato fries, italian sausage sandwiches, lemonade shakes, chili, and cookies to name a few.....it doesn't do it justice!
These are my lovely treats......I first saw the tumblers in a beautiful shade of celery green...and then as I browsed the wares Zach explained to me what a butter keeper was....that is the crock on the right...it's amazing because just last week I was stumped at the grocery store between going back to butter which I always used, but hated because it never spread and my usual tub of Land o'Lakes spread.......I went with the spread...but not anymore now that I have my butter keeper...the concept dates back to the 1700's before there was refrigeration...you let your stick of butter get soft and then put it in the crock with a little bit of water and it stays fresh for weeks because the water forms a seal and keeps the bacteria out.....so says Zach!.....I'll keep you posted!!......and the dish on the left is a Brie dish......I have never made brie in my life...but I will now!....apparently a wheel of brie fits perfectly in this dish and you can bake it...it came with a few recipes...the one I want to try is the Caramel Almond.....just pour a jar of caramel topping over the top, sprinkle with almonds and bake for 2o minutes and then serve with your favorite bread......sounds like a treat to me!!! ...you can check out more on this fabulous pottery at their website http://www.brownbearpottery.com/ ...they do several shows a year and one of was at the apple festival in Franklin, PA!!....hhhmmm...that could be a field trip as well!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I came across this reciepe in a magazine several years ago and always try to make it at least once or twice during the fall season.......just five days ago after eating birthday cake for almost ten days straight over here I swore I wouldn't eat it for month.....well, I just got a taste for something "pumpkin" this weekend.....
1 package spice cake mix
1 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white chocolate chips
white cinnamon glaze (recipe follows)
Combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for two minutes; stir in morsels. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 25 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cake.
Heat 3 tablespoons evaporated milk in small saucepan over medium heat until just to a boil; remove from heat. Add 1 cup morsels; stir until smooth and melted. Stir in 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
Friday, October 10, 2008
This recipe is so wonderful and easy...I got it from my dear friend next door.....she is one of the most fabulous cooks I know!....actually last year her sister from New York and I called on the exact same day to refresh ourselves on the process...these are the peeled apples...you peel and core a dozen Fugi apples....
....then you put them in the crockpot with a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and add a little bit of lemon juice.....you cook them for about 6-8 hours on low in the crockpot and mash them when they are done........
It is just scrumptious!!!!!...a wonderful treat anytime!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
What a glorious weekend for a pumpkin patch!.......We were invited to a birthday party at Yeck's Farm last fall and fell in love......it is small, quaint, clean, family owned and filled with pumpkins!!......the big kids had other activities this weekend...so we took Gigi, who is in town from Florida for the weekend, to check it out....we rode the hayride, got some cute pictures, checked out the animals........and picked out our pumpkins!!.....they have radio flyer wagons to use to load up your pumpkins....what a great day!!.....and check out the shirt!!!...a perfect treat for the afternoon.