Friday, November 20, 2020

For Friday....

 How are you doing, blog friends?  Are you staying well?  Has your state begun any new guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID?

Unfortunately, my county experienced record setting one-day totals for new cases, as well as deaths during this week.  I extend my sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones.

1)  The first thing that has brought pleasure this week is the announcement from Pfizer that a vaccine is near approval stage!  

2)  The second thing that has brought pleasure was the announcement by Moderna that they have an effective vaccine, also near approval stage!

3)  Although there have been some cool nights, we’ve had gorgeous weather!  These blue skies have brought me pleasure.

4)  Country Girl came for a short visit, and we enjoyed a walk in a nearby lakeside park.

 5)  Signs of the season are all around us.  Spied this sweet gum leaf, perfectly “doing its thing!”

The weekend is before us.  Do you have special plans?  How are you staying safe while still taking care of  usual routine?  

Take care, wear your mask, be safe, and stay well!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Better late than never....

 How was your weekend?  Were you able to include something enjoyable that contributed to your relaxation and restoration?

The weekend began on a familiar note....a UMW activity!  It was time for our District UMW Annual Meeting, and that meant I had to be up and ready earlier than a usual slow moving Saturday.  It also interfered with taking time to come up with something special for Saturday breakfast.  It was good to be able to connect via Zoom!

I was not interrupted, however, with plans for Sunday Lunch....just didn’t manage to have a blog post about it.  Here it is....only two days late.:-)

On the menu for Sunday....Country-style Ribs (a touch of bbq sauce), roasted butternut squash (from Country Girl’s garden), succotash (with green pepper from our very tiny garden), rolls (a recipe I’ve had for over 50 years).....and pumpkin cake!

Extra rolls are always appreciated....

The Pumpkin Cake recipe is one from a small town newspaper 48 years ago.  It has become a tradition; I’ve baked it at least 48 times!

I hope you are still taking appropriate precautions during these pandemic days.  Today’s totals for our local county for the virus have set a record.  We continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.  We avoid large crowds and wash hands frequently.  We continue to wipe down groceries.  It is encouraging to hear news about the development of vaccines, though it will be a number of months before they are available.  We need to continue to take precautions!  

Stay well!


Friday, November 13, 2020

Time for the Friday five....

 Hello, all!  Have you had a good week?  Are you staying safe and healthy?  What about the progression of the season where you are?

That leads into one of the things that I have enjoyed this week....

1)  We have a couple of dogwood trees that we ordered from the Arbor Day Foundation several years ago. They aren’t native, and have a different “schedule.”  This is one of them this week....

The season of fall has been especially lovely here this year.

2)  I’ve been reading several books, and this has become a favorite....

Reflections on patriotism, as viewed by Dan Rather, a well-respected journalist.

3)  Simple things, such as Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top....

Spaghetti and meatballs!  Always a favorite! 

4)  A surprise included in our curbside order from our favorite market this week....

5)  The Husband has a really strong liking of cornbread!  Planning to bake it lends to other ideas of things in the oven as well.  It was very enjoyable to have this cozy meal on a very rainy day this week....
As he had a favorite, I included one of mine....cauliflower with cheese sauce!  

Today is World Kindness Day.  There are a few hours remaining.  How could you show kindness to someone today?

As always, be sure you are taking appropriate precautions during this pandemic.  The local numbers are not going in a good direction.  Be safe, stay well, wear a mask, avoid large crowds, and wash your hands often!


Monday, November 9, 2020

Good and easy....

 The weekend here was beautiful, and today that great weather continues!  It’s almost like late spring/early summer.  Hopefully there will be nice weather two weeks from now when we’re hoping to be able to have Thanksgiving outdoors!

For Sunday lunch, this is how the meal appeared....

My favorite market came through with a good and easy choice this week!  The Chicken Cordon Bleu rollups were perfect, and it was great to have some roasted zucchini and yellow squash!  I continued that “good and easy” theme with the following dessert....
Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake, ready for the oven....

....and here it is, ready to serve!  Topped ours with ice cream this time as it’s definitely the season to celebrate with ice cream!

As always, I send wishes for safety for each of you!  Be smart, and make wise decisions!  Stay healthy!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

On the menu......

 We have had a busy day here.  It was good to begin it with this breakfast....

In my mission to focus on pumpkin, these Pumpkin Pancakes were a great choice!  Bacon!  Always great, too!

I’m relying on a lot of help from my favorite market for Sunday Lunch.  On the menu....chicken roll-ups, macaroni and cheese, roasted vegetables, and as always....dessert!  I’ll be back on Monday with details.

It continues to be vital that we follow those guidelines for protection from COVID-19.  Wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands!  Are you still wiping down your groceries?  Do you wipe down your counters daily?  Have you been out to eat, or do you opt for carry out?  Making wise choices about your activities will protect not only yourself, but also others.  Numbers are not going in a good direction in our country, and we need to be consistent in our efforts to ensure we stay healthy! 

Take care!  Be safe!  Stay well!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Five on Friday....

 Has this week passed quickly for you, or have you felt like it has been extra long?  I feel like it hasn’t been a week since I posted last week’s list, and here it is....time to post for another Friday!

These are a few things that have brought me joy this week....

1). It’s true that Halloween 2020 is now behind us, though this barrel of happy pumpkins has made me smile for many weeks when out walking!  This is the happiest gathering of jack-o-lanterns I have ever seen!  In fact, their smiles really give a non-frightening response to that “BOO!!”  Message.

2)  Have you ever heard of Election Day Cake?  In my daily email is a message from Farmer’s Almanac, and a recipe for this cake was included earlier in the week.  I thought I would give it a try.  It’s a yeasty cake, with dried fruits and nuts, not like a usual cake.  This series of pictures will illustrate progress....
In the pan, ready for the second rise....
After the rise, and ready for the oven....

Out of the oven, and ready for a little sneaky glaze....

3)  We are fortunate to be able to witness some wonderful evening skies.  This one was a source of pleasure....

4)  It was a special pleasure when Country Girl was able to come to town for awhile!  We enjoyed a walk in an area with this backdrop....

What a great opportunity for some walking in a lovely area, masks and social distancing at work!

5)  Because we could all probably use a little Christmas about now, seeing this in the new issue of Yankee Magazine brought joy!
Susan Branch has been busy again!  This is a wonderful little book!

Just as I have been closing my posts during this pandemic, I once again leave you with the caution to observe wearing a mask, watching your distance from others, and washing your hands frequently!  Avoid large gatherings!  We’re in a very serious time!  Take care of yourself, and stay well!

Monday, November 2, 2020

The weekend....

 Another weekend passed quickly for us here!  How about you?  Did the weekend seem to crawl along or zoom along at top speed?

The “spook parade” only gave us around ten spooks.  We were ready with individual bags with candy.

This was one way to use the Turquoise Table.  We’ve not been able to gather neighbors here at all this year due to the pandemic.

We were eager to see that full Blue Moon on Halloween night.
It did not disappoint, once it cleared the trees, and we were able to see it clearly.

Sunday was the first day of a new month....November!  Dessert, however, was a nod to Halloween weekend.
Spiderweb Crunch has been a favorite for a number of years!  With ingredients such as milk chocolate chips and peanut butter, how can one go wrong?

What fun it was to have this for the final course following this meal!
Gold Medal chicken breast, candied sweet potatoes, green peas, and these rolls....
                                                         Pumpkin Rolls!

Munchkin #1 is 17 years old today!  I remember being in that hospital waiting room with family for most of the night as he chose to arrive at 2:30 a.m.!  He is now in the 11th grade and running cross country!  No trip to help him celebrate, unfortunately.  When we are able to safely travel again, we’ll have a huge celebration.

Such serious times are with us!  It is important that you remember to be safe....those three w’s....wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands!  

Tomorrow is Election Day.  Have you voted?  Be sure to go to the polls to vote, if you haven’t already voted by absentee or taken advantage of early voting.  

Stay well!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

On the menu....

 Happy Halloween!  How are things going where you are on this last day in October 2020? 

We have had sunshine here all day, and the frost that was expected overnight didn’t find us here, though it has been cool outdoors.

We have word that there will be a “Parade of Spooks” on our street later today.  Our residential area isn’t large....only one the spooks won’t have far to go on their parade.  We’re told that they will all be wearing masks.

It has been in my plans to prepare a Halloween breakfast, part of which required beginning on Friday evening.

This was the beginning of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, steel cut oats with a bit of cinnamon in the slow cooker overnight.
This is the first appearance this morning....
....and this is after adding the pumpkin and giving it a needed stir for the cinnamon to be absorbed.

A recipe for Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts has been in my file for a few years.  I finally decided that today was the day to try it.

It was the first time I had used my doughnut pans, and they worked really well!

After adding a little bacon, breakfast was served!
Oh, I also added a few walnuts on top of my oatmeal, and that Pumpkinhead cup was soon full of coffee! 

For Sunday Lunch, there will be Gold Medal Chicken Breast, a recipe that uses stuffing mix, candied sweet potatoes (probably), and peas.  Of course, there is always dessert! 

I will be back Monday with an update.

My wish for you, as always, is that you make wise decisions for your safety and that you stay well!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Another five on Friday....

 There were a number of years that I greeted Friday with great joy!  It seemed to take forever for a Friday to arrive!  Now, I hardly turn around twice, and here we are at another Friday.

What are some things that have brought me joy this week?

1.  Did you know that National Chocolate Day was Wednesday?  That means, of course, that enjoyment of all things chocolate was strongly encouraged!  I celebrated with this....

Hot chocolate with smashmallows!  Such a treat!

2.  I may have mentioned before that my “green thumb” is severely lacking.  Plants actually run the other way when they see me coming!  I was at first skeptical; however, it’s evident that the petunia that bloomed so cheerily during the summer reseeded, and we have blossoms!
It will need protection tonight!  Freezing temperatures are predicted!

3.  We had a visit on Sunday from the Country Girl, and she brought along our grand dog!
Gwen is her name.  Isn’t she pretty?  

4.  We’ve had rain this week, compliments of Zeta.  This was a view we enjoyed when we took advantage of a break in the rain to work in our daily walk.

5.  Since childhood, I have been a fan of baseball.  In the past number of years, however, following the game has been something only done during the World Series.  This year, the Dodgers and Tampa Bay played six games.  That’s how many games were needed for the Dodgers to win the World Series!  I was a childhood Dodger fan, and the Dodgers winning this year brought me joy!  

What about you?  Have there been special things that have brought you joy this week?  

Are you staying safe and healthy?  Take care of yourself!

Monday, October 26, 2020

No points earned....

 .....for presentation, but here is our Sunday lunch....

The platter would have looked nice with some parsley sprigs around; a pineapple slice or two centered with a maraschino cherry, perhaps.  Though missing some garnish, we didn’t seem to let that deter us from enjoying it.:-)

We were ready for dessert when the time came, too.

Susan Branch has a wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake in her Autumn book, and as National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day was last week, I was ready to try that recipe.  Halved and baked in a pie plate, it is just enough for The Husband and me.  I attempted to atone for a serving platter lacking garnish by drizzling caramel on the plate for the cheesecake and topping the serving with fresh whipped cream!  

It’s not surprising that today is National Pumpkin Day!  This is pumpkin season, you know.  In honor of the pumpkin today, this is the action in our kitchen....
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread!  This is from a recipe I clipped from an advertising folder a few years ago, and today is the first time for me to try it.  We’ll see if it becomes one of those that is retained. 

I have it on good authority that Wednesday, the 28th, is National Chocolate Day!  Busy with planning something special for that special day!

Take care!  Be safe, and stay well!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

On the menu....

 On our menu today has been some football watching.  Alabama is here to play the hometown team, the Vols.  The sports menu will continue tonight when we watch the 4th game of the World Series.  

The “Saturday special” was this....

Pumpkin Biscuits!  I added apple butter to mine, and it was delicious!  

For Sunday’s menu there is grilled ham steak, grilled asparagus spears (or roasted), and sweet potatoes in some fashion.  Never fear!  There will be dessert!  Tune in on Monday for a recap!

May you experience all good things!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday’s post....

 We continue to be in the midst of very serious times.  COVID-19 is still very much with us!  No cure has been discovered!  It is not on the way out!  Yesterday, the United States hit a record number of reported cases, highest since a few months ago.  We have not “rounded the corner!”   In our local county, deaths are barely short of 100, and the hospitalization count is not far from 70!  

The Husband and I continue to follow strict guidelines.  We wear masks when we are out for curbside pickup, although we have no need to be out of the car and in public.  We haven’t been with any groups, either small or large, since March 12.  Even when our family visited in early July, we wore masks and followed social distancing guidelines.  We continue to place orders for groceries and other items via Instacart, and we continue to wipe down our purchases.  This is definitely a stressful and anxious time!

We make an effort to find that which brings joy to our days through this time of self-isolation, and I keep a journal - of sorts - daily to detail our activities and current feelings.  This Friday post is an effort to keep those things which bring us joy in the forefront of our minds as we finish up this week.

(1)  This week, we were happy to be able to have one of our cars serviced - safely!  There was definitely ample disinfecting spray applied to the interior of the car when we went to pick it up, and minimal time spent - wearing masks, of course - to take care of any needed transactions.  

(2)  The unexpected arrival of this package brought joy....

Handmade by a friend in New Jersey, this seasonal mask will add a real designer touch when out and about, although we will stay in the car!

(3)  It is always a pleasure to receive greetings of the season....

These from friends in Pennsylvania and North Carolina brought a smile to my face!

(4)  I nearly always have my coffee black; however, when this appeared on the Aldi order screen for the Instacart shopper, I knew I had to try for this treat!

It isn’t October without Pumpkin Spice, is it?  This has a really good flavor!

(5)  Another surprise arrived through the mail, and it will receive daily use!

A great way to begin the day is with a focus on that which is greater than we are!  It has been a real help to keep our eyes on our faith, and this gift from a friend in Pennsylvania will assist us in that!

(6)  Adding an extra one today....having to do with baseball!  We have enjoyed watching the World Series this week, though I will confess that it stays on later than we are accustomed to staying awake; therefore, we don’t know the final score until the next morning.  With the series tied at 1 and 1, we hope to be watching some baseball again this weekend!

May you find that which brings you joy in the days ahead!  Be safe, and stay well!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Why not?

 If one is making pastry for a savory pumpkin dish, why not make that a two-crust effort and make one for a sweet pumpkin dish?  Well, why not use up all the leftover pumpkin and make TWO desserts rather than just one?

That’s how we came up with TWO desserts for Sunday Lunch....the first Pumpkin Pie of the season, and another recipe for Pumpkin Brownies!  There are still lots of pumpkin goodies to be enjoyed this month.  What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

There was a main course to experience before dessert time....

We had not enjoyed Chicken Parmesan in a very long time!  Green beans are hiding in that covered pumpkin.  Not shown in the picture is a little sautéed spinach, a favorite of mine!  

Oh!  That Pumpkin Quiche....the new recipe?  It was a hit!  It will be added permanently to my recipe file!

Are there any baseball fans out there?  The World Series begins on Tuesday with the Los Angeles Dodgers from the National League playing Tampa Bay of the American League!  Are you ready for popcorn and cracker jacks?  Do you have a favorite team?  Play ball!

Continue to take proper precautions!  We are at a very serious time with this pandemic!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

On the menu....

 For many years, October weekends have been scheduled with UMW meetings and college homecomings.  Those activities would nicely fill a Saturday....sometimes a Friday, too.  That has not been the case this year, due to the pandemic.  

Emory and Henry has created a Home Staying with virtual activities for us to enjoy.  The UMW meetings have relied on Zoom for our gathering.  

That was the case this morning when there was a UMW Executive Committee meeting on the calendar.  That meant things had to be moving along quickly today; therefore, there was no special homemade creation for a Saturday treat.  Instead, this was a nice substitute....

This is Pumpkin Brioche, available on the order screen when I placed my curbside grocery order for Friday.  I will admit, it is very good!

Later, I baked this....thinking ahead to Sunday morning, when it will once again be necessary to move quickly for our online worship service.  It will be good to have this available for some microwave action.

This is Pumpkin Quiche, a new recipe I came across this week.  As this is the season for all things pumpkin, it was the perfect choice to use part of the remaining can of pumpkin for some previous baking.  What do you do with leftover pumpkin when the recipe you might be using doesn’t specify the entire can?

We are still planning Sunday Lunch here.  On the menu for tomorrow is Chicken Parmesan and green beans, most likely.  Rolls, of course, and dessert, too.  I’ll be back on Monday to let you know how that goes.

As is usual, I suggest that you be safe, stay well, wear your mask, avoid large crowds, and wash your hands often!  We are still wiping down our groceries, too!  Take care!