Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019....

On March 23, 1869, a group of women met in the basement of a Methodist church in Boston and created the Women's Foreign Missionary Society.  Through the years, this organization has had a few name changes, and today is known as the United Methodist Women.  Their focus has continued to be on mission with children, youth, and women worldwide.

Today's Mission Focus is the Epworth Children and Family Services in St. Louis, Missouri.

This is the Third Sunday in Lent.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this day!  Special blessings to all!

Friday, March 22, 2019

If it's Friday....

....you probably suspect a recipe is on the way!  You would be correct on this day!


It started out this way....slices of bacon in the iron skillet; fry until crisp; drain on paper towels; crumble, and set aside for later.


Saute onion in the bacon fat until it is tender.  Meanwhile, simmer 1 pound of fish (we like cod or flounder) in 1 1/2 cups water.


This will take about 15 minutes, probably, but you will want to watch it until it is almost ready to flake.  It may take less time, or it might take a little more.

After you remove the fish from the pan, add 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes.  I used Russet.  They hold their shape better as they are cooking.  Cook them until they are tender, abut 8 minutes or so.

Add the flaked fish and 1 1/2 cups of milk.  If you want to combine half and half or whole milk with skim, that will work.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  


Oops!  Did I leave out the step of adding the sautéed onion and crumbled bacon?  That goes in with the milk, as the pot is simmering away.  You will also want to add a little salt and some pepper.  We go easy on salt in our house, so you decide how much you need. 

After all that, here it is!  Ready to enjoy!  We call this Fish (or Seafood) Chowder at our house.  I have made it for years from researching different methods of preparing this kind of soup.  It is one of my favorites, and I am always excited when my favorite market has a special pricing on cod! 

Happy Friday! 
The weekend is on the way!






Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Paper work....


Are you a fan of college basketball?  If so, be prepared for exciting times ahead!  March Madness is upon us!



This is the kind of paper work to which I refer!  Do you follow the games and fill in the brackets?



Do you have a favorite college team?  Do you agree with the #1 seed selections?  

We will be watching the games, especially those in which the #2Vols will be playing.  They are scheduled for Friday afternooon at 2:00 with #11Colgate as their opponent.

Not only will we be keeping up with the Vols, we will be watching the Lady Vols as well!


As a #11 seed, they will be playing #6 seed UCLA on Saturday at 1:00.

Living in this area, we will definitely be cheering for both the Vols and the Lady Vols as they play in the NCAA tournament!

Happy first day of spring!  Watch for that full moon tonight!




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Time for a book review....

There is a group of us over on Twitter who have connected through our following of Susan Branch, and a number of months ago, we began a book club.  We have read a variety of selections through the months, of course including the latest three of Susan's own books.

Our most recent selection was this one....

 I have read other selections by Sue Monk Kidd....The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (autobiographical)....and have enjoyed each one.  The Invention of Wings is a work of fiction, though inspired by actual historical facts.

Sarah Grimke and her sister Abigail are historically known as abolitionists during the years before the Civil War when slavery was widely practiced in the Charleston, SC area where their home was located.  The Grimke family was no different from others in their area, and Sarah was presented with her own personal slave, Handful (or Hetty), as a 12th birthday "gift."

There was something about the whole slavery issue that didn't set well with Sarah, and she attempted to cancel that sort of relationship with Handful.  She quickly learned, however, that her approach was not accepted by the family.  Neither was her desire to embark on an educational path that would lead her in her father's footsteps.  These were the days when women just didn't enter the professional world that was dominated by men.

Sarah was not to be deterred, however, and becoming an influence on her younger sister, Abigail, the two of them eventually set out to mount opposition to slavery and calling for the freeing of slaves.

The novel inserts fictional accounts, though based on what has been learned through the years, of the interaction between slaves and their "masters," as well as their fate as they maneuvered through their difficult existence.  It is my opinion that one of the darkest spots in our history is the practice of slavery.

Are you giving yourself time for reading these days?  What are you currently reading?  Have you read anything you would recommend recently?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019....

Today is the Second Sunday in Lent.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, peace, and love on this special day.  Blessings to all.

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is the Dumas Wesley Community Center, Mobile, Alabama.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Weekend wishes....


I know....St. Patrick's Day isn't until tomorrow, but why not honor and celebrate all weekend?  My ancestors would be happy! 💚🍀🍄👒🌈 Still looking for that pot of gold among my emojis!  It isn't here on my iPad.

"Pi Day" was a couple of days ago, and you've already seen the "pie of the day" from here.  I was, however, motivated to continue the pie baking....

Since I had the Bisquick out already, it just made sense to make this quiche.  I've had the recipe jotted down from an unnamed source for awhile....Country Quiche, it's called there.  Later, I saw the recipe in a book called "At Our Table."  In that book, it is called Kinderhook Quiche.  Whatever you call it, I call it delicious!

After blending 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup Bisquick (add some salt and pepper, if you wish), pour that into a dish that has been lightly oiled/greased.  Then, add 1 cup of shredded cheese and 3/4 cup cooked ham (could use bacon, sausage, or even make it veggie and use steamed broccoli), and lightly press them below the surface.  It will look something like this....


Then, place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until set.


Voila!  Delicious for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner!

Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 15, 2019

The cooking continues....


Do you wonder what I've been doing recently?  Are you surprised that the cooking has continued?

I recently volunteered to provide some soup for a gathering at our church.  It was a great opportunity for me to make what has become my favorite homemade soup!  Turkey Wild Rice Soup is a Taste of Home recipe that I found on the Internet in 2014, and I have made it many times since then.

I started with 1/2 cup butter, cubed, melting it over medium-high heat.


Also needed are 2 carrots, finely chopped; 2 celery ribs, finely chopped; and 1 medium onion, chopped.


Four cups of chicken or turkey broth, 2 cups cooked wild rice, 2 cups cubed cooked turkey, 2 cups half-and-half cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper are also needed.


Saute the carrots, celery, and onion until tender.



Stir in flour until blended; cook until bubbly.


Gradually whisk in broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.


Stir in the remaining ingredients; return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Here is the finished pot of soup!  This makes about 3 quarts, with one cup equaling 222 calories!  It is so delicious and comforting to me!  Oh....there were no leftovers to bring home, so I'm going to make another pot for us to enjoy here!  

Wishing all good things for you today! 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pi?....

I hear this is National Pi Day!  I do not pretend to know much about the "pi" that applies to ratio, circumference, and diameter, but I do know about this kind!

Now, you may be thinking about a sweet pie.  We love those here, too.  However, this time I have gone the savory route with two cups of turkey in the pie dish, topped with two cups of peas and carrots, then that cream of chicken soup mixed in.  This is a favorite Bisquick recipe, and I've made it many times through the years.  For the topping on this one, I used 1 1/2 cups of Bisquick, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 egg.  I added some sage to the dry Bisquick before mixing the milk and egg into it, giving me a batter that became something like drop biscuits.  The recipe for drop biscuits is on the side of the box, but I added the sage and egg.

This was baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check it at 15 to be sure it isn't becoming too brown.

Here we are....
For some reason, I'm unable to enlarge this to the same size as the other two pictures!

What is your favorite pie?  Savory or sweet?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Today is....

....National Earmuff Day!

Do you remember wearing earmuffs when you were a child?  I didn't ever have any, that I recall.  However, a few years ago, The Husband brought these in for me.  We seem to need them at this stage of our lives!

I'm remembering this date in 1993.  We were in the midst of a huge snowfall - 18 inches total when all was said and done!  That was a record snowfall total for this area!

No chance of snow here today, however.  We currently show 55 degrees where we are!

Happy Hump Day!  The week is moving right along!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday's meanderings....

A new week begins!  Do you have a full schedule ahead?  We seem to stay rather busy here, so we carved out some time during a slow week to take in the Car Show.





Are those colors bright enough for you?  There were cars galore and more, as you can see!  Do you see one you would like?   Though not pictured, there were several electric models displayed and one that we saw that would give up to 88 miles per gallon using both electricity and gasoline!  Amazing!  It was a great way to spend some time on a drizzly day!


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday, March 10, 2019....

Today is the First Sunday in Lent. 

The Mission Focus for the United Methodist Women is the Della Lamb Community Services in Kansas City, MO. 

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this special day!  Blessings to all!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Winter projects....

Do you schedule time for special projects during the winter season?  The Husband has had a special winter project for several years now.  It involves this....


That's right!  Boxes of hardwood flooring!  It has been a plan to replace all the carpet in the house with hardwood, and The Husband has one more room to complete.  You may be able to see the room just ahead in the 2nd picture.


He first began this project a few years ago with the hallway.  What a place to begin!  All those doorways and thresholds into rooms!  That was beginning with the most difficult step!  Now he has reached the last room!  Whew!  The carpet is being removed, and it won't be long before I will hear that nailer at work!

Enjoy your Saturday!  We will take time to watch the Vols play Auburn on TV!  Go Vols!

Oh!  Remember that silly clock action tonight!  Spring forward!


Friday, March 8, 2019

No pie....

While February gives the idea of cherry pie....you know, George Washington and that cherry tree story....we didn't get around to pie here.  Instead, it was time for this favorite chicken salad!

Here we have 1/3 cup chopped tart apple, 1/2 cup sliced celery, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup toasted pecans, 1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon honey mustard, and 2 1/2 cup cubed roasted chicken breast.  I toasted the pecans while I was roasting the skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  Just mix these all together.

Make this several hours ahead of time and refrigerate.  The moistness of the dressing is just enough to help the dried cherries plump a bit.  What a fantastic flavor when they blend with everything else!  Those plumped cherries are a surprise when they pop in your mouth!  This salad is good served on a croissant or scooped over a bowl of salad greens. 

This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home; not sure when it might have first appeared.

The weekend is ahead!  I hope you have some good plans for fun and relaxation!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Oops!

Oops!  I managed to click on an inaccurate key, and it appears there should be a new post!  I was pre-posting for Monday, so check back for Monday's then!😜 

Thursday thoughts.....

How do you reach out to those you know when they are experiencing sorrow?  Do you wonder what are the "right words" during this time?  Do you feel like there must be something for you to do to help offer comfort, and you aren't sure what that "something" is?  There will be times when you might have these thoughts, as there will be friends/family who will be in need of comforting.

Sadly, we found ourselves on the receiving end during the month of February.  During a time of bereavement, we became very aware of those who reached out with several comforting gestures.


Whether in the form of cards......

....or the gift of flowers or a plant, such gestures become very meaningful and comforting.

In addition to the voiced expressions of caring, there was something else that continues to be a comfort.

Have you heard of a Prayer Shawl Ministry?  Our church has a group that gathers and knits, crochets, or quilts shawls which then have prayers offered over them for the recipient of the shawl.

This is one that was given to my husband, and it has brought - and is continuing to bring - great comfort to him.

Sometimes we are unable to come up with words that we think are just right for the occasion.  Often, a special hug or a simple "I'm thinking about you" will be appreciated more than you might think.  One of the greatest blessings we have is knowing that there are others who care.  Being present for others during their difficult times is always a good thing! 


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A tasty Tuesday....

I made an effort to delay the closing out of the sweetest month.....


.....by enjoying one last Valentine cup of hot chocolate with those yummy marshmallows!  Once I had that consolation, I was able to proceed into March with this....

.....the St. Patrick's Day (aka March) tree, with a bit of Mardi Gras added for good measure! 

Today happens to be Mardi Gras!  In some areas, Carnival season began just as soon as Epiphany was over, and it has continued until the beginning of Lent, this year coming on Wednesday.  There are lots of special treats as Carnival season is celebrated, I understand.  It's fun to come up with things that will have a bit of that Carnival flavor.

CREOLE SHRIMP

I began with a couple of Tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan.  You could also use butter, if you wish.

Add 1/2 cup chopped onion, and saute until tender.

Next, the recipe specifies adding 1/2 cup green pepper and 1/4 cup sliced celery.  I didn't have green pepper, but had these delicious multi-colored mini-peppers that I used instead, and I increased the celery to 1/2 cup because we love celery!  Also, 6-oz. of tomato paste, 2 1/2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon dried parsley along with a bay leaf were added to the onions in the pan.  Oh....and a dash of cayenne!  Can't forget that!


After cooking slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, it's time to stir in this....

That's one pound of shrimp, shelled and deveined.  At this point, only cook for about 5 more minutes.  Too much longer will cause the shrimp to toughen, and I think we all prefer to bite into tender shrimp!

 Now it's ready!  Yum!  I served this over Jasmine rice.

Here it is!  I also added some peas to the rice, and they seemed quite at home with this dish!  There is that piece of baguette that worked well to soak up any extra juice!

As I prepared this a few days ago with the idea to post it today, this isn't going to be our dinner tonight.  I believe we'll try Creole Red Beans and Rice!  I'll have to let you know how that goes!

Some communities customarily have pancakes on this day.  While we have been known to eat pancakes on occasion, we're actually not big fans.  There may have been posts in the past showing a King Cake attempt here; not trying one of those this year, either. 

Do you have any Mardi Gras food traditions? 


Monday, March 4, 2019

Marching along....

How has March been for you where you are thus far?  I read somewhere that for around here, if we liked February, we would like March as they were expected to be about the same as far as weather is concerned.  Well, we have had record-setting rainfall during February with approximately 10 inches coming within one week.  There has been flooding in several areas, and schools never did resume a regular routine last week. 

On a recent neighborhood walk, I took these pictures....


The blooming of daffodils is usually associated with the arrival of spring.  However, we are expecting to have low overnight temperatures into the teens for the next three nights!  I predict some drooping heads on these lovely blooms come Wednesday!

Are you having signs of spring where you are?