Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saying goodbye.... these little guys....

Napkin rings.

They served their function very well.

Love how they look!

They really looked sweet on the table.

Music box.

Love the music from this one!  Though it is "Jingle Bells," and  usually thought of as a song for the Christmas season, it is really suitable for anytime one wants to sleigh ride!:-)

What about this one?

I believe I'll leave this towel out for awhile.  The snowflakes are red, after all, and this is the month for red and white coming up next!:-)

What will the "red and white" month bring us?  That will be the subject of the next post.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recipe time....

On Friday, January 25th, my sister (who follows this blog) and her husband celebrated their 44th anniversary!  A belated Happy Anniversary to you, dear Sister!

Over a week ago, we welcomed a few good friends to our home for brunch.  One of the items on the menu was Crustless Quiche.

Chopped herbs.

I had intentions of taking pictures of the entire process.  However, I became so involved in preparations that I failed to photograph the steps!  I created the plate to show you, though.

Ham and Crisscross Potatoes.

Glazed Fruit.


2 Tablespoons snipped fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, and/or thyme
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk, half & half, or light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped cooked ham, roasted or grilled chicken, and/or steamed or stir-fried vegetables
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese - or - 4 oz. cubed Brie
1 Tablespoon flour

Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 2 T. herbs on bottom of plate; set aside.  Stir together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.  Stir in meat or vegetables.  In a small bowl, toss togethre cheese and flour.  Add to egg mixture; mix well.
Pour egg mixture into prepared pie plate.  Bake in a 325 F. degree oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges.  Six servings.

I have had this recipe for a number of years.  It was in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine more than 10 years ago, and I don't remember the issue.

1 package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
1 can peach pie filling
1 15-oz. can chunk pineapple, drained
1 large banana, sliced

Combine strawberries, pie filling, and pineapple.  Stir until blended.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Add sliced banana just before serving.


Baking Potatoes, halved, the number depends on the servings desired.
Melted butter, salt, pepper

Halve baking potatoes (that have been washed, of course).  With a knife, mark the cut side of the potatoes in a diagonal fashion, just barely through the surface, until you have crisscrossed the potato surface.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake at 350 F. degree oven for 45 minutes.  Salt and pepper as desired.  Sprinkle with paprika, and bake for 15 more minutes.

On the subject of recipes, I was given the day off this month for cooking for the adult day care program at our church, something I have been doing on the first Tuesday of the month.  The day care was closed on New Year's Day, and that was the first Tuesday.  February is fast-approaching, though, and I will be cooking for Tuesday, February 5.  More recipes are on the way in a few days.

The next post - Saying goodbye....

Thank you for reading.   I appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What a difference....

......a day makes!  The previous post was about our ice storm, complete with pictures of our miniature icicles!  This is what greeted us on Saturday morning.

The temperatures had warmed during the night, the ice was melting, and there was fog so dense that I couldn't even see as far as the intersection at the end of our street, a distance that isn't far at all!

Looking across the street.

I couldn't even see the car in the driveway across the street!

In the back.

The ice was no longer our problem!  Now it was the fog!  We had nowhere to be on Saturday, either, and the fog did lift by midday.  We have been in the midst of warming temperatures since then.  However, that will not last long.  It is expected that we will have some more winter weather by Thursday!  That is how it is here in my hometown!

We recently entertained a few people for brunch.  The next post will be about that - and - there may even be recipes!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our ice....

Those of you who live in colder climates will probably be amused with this post.  I am sharing a few pictures of our ice on Friday.  I should remind you that we live in an area where the coldest temperatures in the winter rarely are lower than the high teens, and those times are not long-lasting.  Last year, our winter was very mild.  Rarely were our temperatures even as cold as freezing!  So, that is why something like Friday's weather happening makes the news.  I can't even remember the last time we had icicles here!


All right - I know they are tiny!

From the front gutter.

To the west from the front.

Icy in the back.

Icy in the front.

We were fortunate in that we didn't ever lose our electricity.  The ice was short-lived, too, and I have some other pictures to share with you showing what it was like "the day after."  That is for another post!

Thank you for reading.   I appreciate your comments. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thoughts for today...

On this Sunday, I'd like to present this quote from "The World According to Mister Rogers," a book given to me for Christmas in 2003 by someone who follows this blog!  She actually had a birthday this past Thursday, so I'd like to wish her a belated happy birthday! 

                                            "Some days, doing 'the best we can' may still fall short

                                            of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect -

                                            on any front - and doing what we can with what we have

                                            is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else."

I send wishes for a blessed Sunday to everyone!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A little more....

I am composing this post on Friday afternoon at 2:30.  The ice came as expected this morning.  We thankfully have not lost power.  Perhaps we won't.  I just want to take advantage of the situation and see about getting a post or two scheduled while I know we DO have power.:-)

There are a few more snowmen lurking about our house.

Waiting for the popcorn!

This makes a good popcorn bowl, of course!  I used it recently, though, for a green salad when we had some company for brunch. 

Mixing bowls.

The mixing bowls are ready, so there is no excuse for all the empty dishes you have been seeing in recent posts!:-)

Another table.

There is even another table option, complete with those snowman napkins!

The Husband commented awhile ago that today marks one month since Christmas!  That means it is eleven months until NEXT Christmas!:-)  It seems to me the time will pass more quickly than we would like.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hanging around....

Holding up the books.

Standing guard over the dictionary!

Even one in a framed picture.
Waiting and watching.

Giving some spirit on top of the pie safe.

Oops! Almost lost his head.

Haven't even had any snow here to build one of these!
I am composing this post on Thursday evening and scheduling it to publish on Friday morning. An ice storm has been predicted here overnight, and we could be faced with a covering of ice on Friday morning.  Local schools have already announced they will be closed, and trucks have been on the roadways spreading a brine solution to slow down the formation of ice on the roads.  Ice concerns me because of the possibility of it coating power lines and trees, increasing the chances for a power outage.  I would definitely rather have snow than ice!

In the meantime, I took some pictures of things "hanging around" the house.  Well, some of you have wondered how I am getting along with the new computer.  I am leaving this post the way it is so you will see that THIS experience was a bit annoying!:-)  Not good cooperation with loading my pictures properly this time.:-(  This little guy is in the desired place, but the pictures above were supposed to have been below him.  There is the unexpected skittering about of the cursor that is a "test" of my patience.  When that occurs, strange things have been known to happen!

Just hanging around.

So, this post is a tribute to the snowman, unseen in our area thus far this winter.  You have probably seen most of them earlier when I lined them all up on the mantle for their first picture of the season.

One more week of January, and I still have some January pictures to share.  Stay tuned for the next post!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Before it's over....

The month of January is passing quickly, and I need to share these pictures before the month is over!  It will soon be time to change "the look!"

Blue and white!

I have always liked blue and white, regardless of the season, and I think it is very appropriate for January.  This is the table setting in the dining room.  The china is Strawberry and Vine by Wedgewood, the crystal is Lady Anne by Gorham, and the silver is Rondo by Gorham.

Blue and white teacups and saucers!

I have been collecting the Wedgewood china for just a few years, and I only have one cup and saucer.  It was a stroke of luck to find 8 dinner plates and salad plates a couple of  years ago at a local antique store - at a terrific price!  Since I had been collecting blue and white teacups and saucers in varying patterns, I have found that they in fit nicely  with the table setting!

Winter mugs!

 The winter mugs are displayed in the kitchen shelf, not usually in a straight line.:-)  I grouped them together so it would be easier to take a picture.:-)

Covered with snowflakes!

Whew!  Taking all those pictures was tiring!:-)  Won't you join me in a cup of tea?

Well, the weather forecast is a bit ominous for Friday around here.  This time, the word "ice" is being mentioned!  Yikes!  I certainly don't like ice storms!  I'll keep you posted!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It starts with this....

As promised, here is the recipe used for the last post.  Of course, it is readily available on the Internet on the Food Network, as well as through Munchomom's blog.  That site can be reached through Wordpress by simply searching for

First, you need one of these!:-)

1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
36 small square wonton wrappers

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss together the squash, 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil, the herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper.  Bake until soft and golden, about 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of o live oil in a small suate pan over medium heat.  Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- In a food processor, combine the roasted squash, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend.  Add the crushed amaretti cookies and the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pulse until smooth.
-Lay out 6 wonton squares, keeping the remaining squares inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel to prevent them from drying out.  Place 1 spoonful of filling in the middle of the square.  Using a small pastry brush, wet the edges of the square.  Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are o air pockets inside.  Dampen the corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure.  Place the formed tortelloni on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.  Be careful to dry the work surface before laying out more wonton squares; this will help keep the tortelloni from sticking to the baking sheet.  Continue until all the squash mixture is used.  The tortelloni can be frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container, and stored  for up to one month.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  As it heats, make the sauce.
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I used less - probably about half as much)
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or a mixture of both
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt plus ore to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the sage and cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the cranberries, walnuts, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
- As water comes to a boil, place the tortelloni in the boiling water, and gently stir.  When they begin to float, they are done, about 3 minutes for fresh, 5 minutes if they've been frozen.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the tortelloni to a serving platter  Top with the cranberry walnut sauce, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  4 to 6 servings

This recipe is listed in Giada's book "Everyday Pasta," published in 2007.  It has a place on my bookshelf!:-)

We have been able to use butternut squash that the Country Couple grew in their garden last season, so that gave this dish an extra special touch.:-)  The good thing about the preparation is that it can be done in steps.  The filling can be done the day before, and - as mentioned earlier - the tortelloni can be frozen until it is time to cook them.

We have had some cold temperatures here for the past day or so, and once again there is the mention of the chance of snow later in the week.  Many of you are living in areas where it is already snow-covered, with temperatures much colder than we have here!  My hope for you is that you will stay safe, and keep warm!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A few steps....

Happy Tuesday to you!   Is your week off to a good start?

Several of my recent posts have been about my time at Lake Junaluska last week-end.  Before I left, I had a cooking project in the kitchen.  There are quite a few steps to it, but it is well worth the effort.  I received my inspiration from Munchomom who included the link to the recipe on her blog awhile ago.  It became our "favorite food" for the holiday season.

Won ton wrappers.

Butternut squash filling.

Moisten edges with water.

Fold over, moisten to hold shape.

Ready to add to boiling water.

Cooking process complete.

Brown butter sage sauce on top.

Parmesan cheese adds the finishing touch!

This is from Giada deLaurentis - Butternut Squash Tortelloni.  It is a bit time-consuming to assemble, but the different parts of it can be put together at different times.  Just stay tuned, and I will post the recipe in the next post!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Last Sunday, I was at Lake Junaluska, NC for UMW Leadership Development Days.  Much of my blog this week has been about my time there. 

This was the worship center that greeted us when we went to the auditorium for worship on Sunday morning.

Our worship emphasis for the time there was on the Ruth and Naomi story.  We were challenged to be alert to the Ruths and Naomis of our own time.

In the UMW Prayer Calendar for today, the Mission Focus is Camp Aldersgate Inc., Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Today is observed as Human Relations Day in the United Methodist Church.

Think about this quote today - "A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange."
Source - Anonymous

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Last week-end....

Well, this is the second try.:-)  I'm trying to keep a smile in place.:-) 

I mentioned in the last post that last week-end was spent at Lake Junaluska for UMW Leadership Development Days.  Before leaving town I stopped at the gas station.  While filling up, I took this picture.

The new fire station.  

I have had a couple of pictures of the new fire station on the blog before.  This is how it looked last Friday.  I don't know when they plan to be ready for opening, but it really looks nice!

Because the weather was mild last week-end, it was a good chance to walk around the grounds a little bit.  I took these pictures of the lake.

Hungry ducks!

The ducks were anxious to come toward us; however, none of us had any bread to feed them.:-(  I believe they are accustomed to catching some bites of bread!:-)

There were some attractive bushes.

Is this Nandina?

Sometimes, when we are at Lake Junaluska in the spring or early summer, we are fortunate enough to see a mother duck setting on her eggs.  They are usually in the area of the bushes in the top two pictures here. 

I hope you are having a good week-end.  I will probably spend a portion of mine continuing to be wary of those features on this computer that caused the first writing of this blog to disappear!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our winter....

As I mentioned in the last post, our rain gauge has measured over eight inches of rain since late Sunday afternoon.  I was skeptical of the weather forecast that had the mention of snow for Thursday afternoon.

A little on the ground....

On the rooftop....

Then - the sunset to the west....

....and moving to the east.  
Our snow began about 2:30, and it took a little break before resuming.  It had stopped by the time the sun would set.  This is the first sunset we have seen here in several days!

The local schools are closed today.  Some parts of the county have much more than we have here.  In fact, there was quite a mess for traffic in other areas yesterday afternoon. 

Anyway, this is about the story of our usual winters here.  There were some years when the girls were young that we had much more winter-type weather.   The hill on our street would sometimes be a solid sheet of ice, with no traffic anywhere in sight!  Sledding was the only activity that would take place then!:-) 

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.