Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just spotted....

Some of you have mentioned having daffodils blooming for awhile already.  Well, on Monday afternoon, this is what I discovered here.


Peeking through the ground.

Hydrangea buds.

Dutch Iris are waking up!

Last year, I had purchased some mini-daffodils (in bloom) to use as part of an altar arrangement for our District UMW Day Apart.  Once the event was over, I transplanted the bulbs into our yard.  It was a real surprise to see that they are actually blooming again!

The hydrangea bush is full of buds!  That is one of my favorites!  They are really pretty when they bloom.

I hope you are able to see the green that indicates the Dutch Iris are coming up, too! 

We have colder temperatures coming, with a chance of snow flurries in the forecast.  Hopefully these first "signs of spring" around here will be able to withstand the colder weather.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More of the same....

Happy Wednesday to everyone!  It is that mid-week point for all of us.  Are you having a good week?

As promised, here is the second installment for the dessert tray next Tuesday.

Ready to bake!

Out of the oven.

Glaze added.

This recipe comes from a Land O' Lakes butter box from a couple of years ago.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl.  Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls two inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake in 400 degree F oven for six to eight minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
- Combine all glaze ingredients in small bowl; stir until smooth.  Frost warm cookies with glaze.  Sprinkle with grated lemon peel, if desired.
5 dozen cookies (I had a few more)

These are also waiting in the freezer for Monday night!

Next post - just spotted!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sneak preview....

Just a week from today is the first Tuesday of March.  That is my day to prepare lunch for the adult day care program participants and staff at my church.  Because of a crazy schedule here between now and then, I have tried to get a head start where it is possible.  In this post, you will have a sneak preview of - what else?  Dessert!!

Just out of the oven!

Topping added.

Drizzled with glaze.

I have probably shared this recipe with you before.  It has been in my files for around 35 years - or more!  One of the mothers in the Mothers of Twins Club brought these to a tasting party we had years ago.

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsifted flour
dash salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) - I omitted these.
- Melt butter and chocolate together.  Beat eggs and stir in sugar.  Stir into chocolate mixture.  Add vanilla, flour, salt, and nuts.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.  Cool.
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon cream
drop oil of peppermint (not peppermint extract)
food coloring, if desired (I added a bit of green; St. Patrick's Day and all that).:-)
- Blend all together.  Spread over cooled brownie.  Let set or refrigerate till firm.
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 Tablespoon butter
- Melt together; drizzle over topping; chill; cut into inch-wide strips

These freeze very well, so they will be fine when I thaw them on next Monday evening.

These will be served in an arrangement of other cookies, so you have the second installment of "sneak preview" coming up next!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Monday, February 25, 2013

"All that jazz...."

Happy Monday to you!  Did you have a good week-end?  Is  your new week off to a good beginning?

We had a really good week-end here!  Munchomom and family came on Friday afternoon, and City Girl soon after.  The Country Couple also came in, and they even were able to spend the night, too!  It was a busy time, and a good time for all of us!  They all left on varying schedules, so our routine is almost back to "normal," whatever that is.

Another event that made the week-end a special one was the Youth Auction and Dinner at our church.  With the theme "All That Jazz," we had a real treat when we returned to church on Sunday night.

The entryway.

There were many decorative touches inside.

Wasn't a good job done with the decorating?

This was a major fundraiser for the youth at our church.  They are involved in ambitious mission trips during the year, and the funds raised will help finance these trips.

The Silent Auction feature gave us an opportunity to bid on some items of interest.  We brought home two of them.

Full of cat goodies.

Love these colors!

So - you can see that we had a very good week-end!  The weather even cooperated, and we had sunshine with high temperatures in the low fifties!

I hope the week ahead will be a good one for  you!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A thought for today....

                  "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy,

                        but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure

                           you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."

                                                                                      G. H. Larimer

On this second Sunday in Lent, I send along wishes for a blessed day to each of you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

That robin....

Happy Saturday!  How is your week-end going?  Do you have some exciting plans?

Have you heard the song, "When the red, red, robin....comes bob, bob, bobbin'  along?"  t is a song from years ago, of course.:-)  Recently I paid a visit to a "red robin."

Do you have one of these near you?

 Several from the bridge group enjoyed lunch here last Tuesday.  It was my first time here, although the restaurant has been open at least two years.

Part of the decor.

Inset in the floor.

My lunch!
It was a really good time having lunch out with some of the group from bridge.  I hope it happens again!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A birthday....

Happy Friday to you!  There is one more week remaining in February.  How can that be possible?  This month seems to have passed quickly for me.

On this day, we honor the birthday of George Washington, the first President of our country.  What better way to honor him than with a cherry pie!

No red food coloring here!

Ready for the oven.

Out - just in time!

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker's trusty cookbook from the eighties!

Pastry for 9-inch Two-Crust Pie
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (16 ounces each) pitted red tart cherries, drained
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 Tablespoons butter ( I used less)
-Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Prepare pastry.  Mix sugar and flour.  Stir in cherries.  Turn into pastry-lined pie plate; sprinkle with almond extract.  Dot with butter.  Cover with top crust that has slits cut in it; seal and flute.
- Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, 35-45 minutes.

Company is coming by dinner time, and this pie will be dessert tonight!  I will try to remember to take a picture of it when it is cut for serving, but I make no promises.:-)

I haven't included a recipe for pastry, as I'm sure you probably have your "secret recipe" handy.  I will mention that I used half whole wheat flour in my recipe, so I watched it closely to be sure the crust didn't brown too much. 

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No candy....

It has been a week since Valentine's Day, and some of you have mentioned you are clearing away the red and white in favor of the looks of spring.  I haven't ever shared my Valentine surprise with those of you who follow this blog, so before any more time passes, here is what The Husband gave me.

Last Thursday morning.

The flowers were a surprise!  He can be rather secretive when the occasion demands it.  He kept them in the car overnight since I was sure to see them had they been refrigerated.  Yes, it was cold in the garage last Wednesday night.:-)

That is a Longaberger trivet on the table, once again a long-ago purchase.

Monday afternoon.

The flowers are still looking very nice!  Keeping fresh water in them helps, of course.:-)  And - I like that the mug will go in my collection after the flowers are no longer around.

As I write this, another winter storm is heading across the United States.  I hope those of you in its path will come through the storm without any ill effects.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cleaning out....

Am I the only one with a freezer where things become lost on the back of shelves?:-)  I'd say I'm not - unless some of you are really organized and compulsive.;-) 

Recently I took time to do some clearing about of those things that were on the back of the shelves, and I discovered some frozen apples!   Let's just say that they were not from last season, and leave it at that.:-)

Anyway, I said to The Husband, "I will just make a cobbler!"  So, that is what I finally did!

Forgot the "before" picture....

As you are able to see, not only did I forget the "before" photo, I almost forgot the "after!":-) 

This is not a very complicated recipe.  In fact, I may have posted it at sometime earlier.  It is simply called "Batter Pie."  I doubled the recipe for this pie.

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
desired fruit pie filling (a can of pie filling, or as much fresh fruit as you like in your cobbler-type pie)

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place butter in baking dish; set in oven to melt while making the batter.
- Combine dry ingredients; add milk, stirring to make a batter.
- Remove dish from oven as butter has melted; pour batter over butter; DO NOT STIR!
- Spoon fruit/pie filling over batter; DO NOT STIR here, either!
- Bake in oven 30 minutes, or until top is golden.

We had about four cups of apples, and I believe I remember that they had been cooked a little before we put them in small freezer jars.

Check your freezer!  You may have some wonderful treats that you have forgotten!:-)

Oh!  That baking dish?  It is a Longaberger product, too.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On Monday....

Monday was President's Day, so, in observance of that day, I made Macaroni and Cheese!  What?  You didn't know Macaroni and Cheese was suitable for President's Day?  Didn't Yankee Doodle call that feather in his hat "macaroni?" 

Have a heart....
February gives us several options to become festive!  Heart-shaped pasta just seemed to be in order for this day's celebratory meal of Macaroni and Cheese!

Ready for the oven....
The thought of President's Day just gave me reason to bring out this patriotic baking dish.

The Stars and Stripes....
The baking dish is a Longaberger Pottery design.  I don't think it is available any longer. 

There is a lid to the casserole dish and also this ramekin. 


It is good to have leftovers!:-)  The Husband really enjoyed this on Monday night!  It is just a plain and simple recipe that I will share below.  I have had it in my files FOREVER, probably from a newspaper clipping at some point.

4 cups cooked macaroni
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup milk
6 oz. cheese, cheddar, grated
- Cook macaroni; drain.
- Make sauce: melt butter in saucepan, add flour; cook till bubbly.  Slowly add milk; cook and stir till boiling.  Boil one minute; stir in 1/2 cup cheese; stir till melted.  In greased 2 qt. dish place one layer of macaroni; pour half of sauce over; sprinkle with half cheese.  Repeat.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

I sprinkled some bread crumbs on top and sprayed with an olive oil spray.  There have been times when I have added some chopped ham.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another new one....

A few weeks ago, another new grocery store opened.

This is the second Publix to open in our area since August.  I haven't been to either one of them yet, which surprises me, since grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do.:-)  Do you have a Publix in your area?

That gives us quite a list of new options.  Trader Joe's opened last August, just about the same time the first Publix opened.  Costco then opened in early November.  Kroger has opened a new Marketplace store, and Aldi's has a store just across from Kroger.  There has been mention that Whole Foods plans to open a store in our area in the future.  I am wondering just how many grocery stores we really need.:-)

Not much going on here today.  I need to spend some time researching for the blog.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Words for today....

George Eliot wrote these words:

                                "I like not only to be loved,

                                   but to be told that I am loved......"

 Look for loveable qualities in the people you meet today.

This is the first Sunday in Lent.  I hope this day will have special blessings for you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Winter dreaming....

Some of you have indicated you are enjoying winter, while others have mentioned how ready you are for spring.  Do you do anything in the winter to help you prepare for spring?

The Husband has been studying these:

Plans for plants.

Yes, he has been looking through seed catalogues for some inspiration for planting once conditions are right.  Since we have had an extremely wet year - over seven inches above normal rainfall for this time of year - it will be awhile before the ground will even be dry enough for working and planting.

The Husband is not the only one dreaming.

Oops! Are you able to read sideways?:-)

These are the selections we are rehearsing in chorus, so you may be able to tell that there is a bit of dreaming going on there, too.:-)  We began rehearsals, after the Christmas break, four weeks ago, and we already have six performance dates on the calendar.  We are going to be busy again this season!

I hope you have plans for something enjoyable for the week-end!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, February 15, 2013

More memories....

Happy Friday to everyone!  Are you glad to have the week-end just around the corner?

As the last post gave me opportunity to bring back some memories, so does this one.

One of my favorite times when I was teaching was reading.  It was such fun to introduce the students to different authors and different kinds of books.  Here are some from one of my favorite authors.

Patricia MacLachlan's books.

Patricia MacLachlan is one of my favorite authors for children.  I cannot say what her most recent books may be.  After retiring, I lost my Scholastic Book Club connection, and that was the way I was able to keep up with the latest in children's literature.

"All the Places to Love" is a really pretty book and a good story about the arrival of a baby sister for the older boy.

This is the first page, showing the new baby sister.

Here is big brother showing little sister "all the places to love."

February was also a time to study the Presidents and the government.

Those Raspberry Roll-Ups....

I wish I  could have you join me for another cup of coffee and one of these roll-ups! Someone needs 
 to see that they disappear very quickly.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.  

Now - you can see that I have activated something on this computer while working on this post.  Something that I would prefer to discover how to de-activate.:-)  Oh, well.  Thank you for staying with me.:-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is the day....

Here we are!  Today is February 14th!  Happy Valentine's Day to each of you!

I want to share some other "Valentine decor" from around the house.  Well, not really from around the house, just around the kitchen.:-)

Many of you know that I was an elementary school teacher for 25 years.  I have many memories of those years.  Of course, memories are better if they are aided by something visual.:-)

This was a gift from a student one Valentine's Day.  I immediately washed it and had my hot tea in it at snack time that morning.

I chuckled when I opened up this one.

The little bear jumps right out!;-)

From a member of the Sunday School class we were teaching years ago!

Can't forget Mary Kay!  That's responsible for my "youthful appearance!":-)

And these I won last year from Nann's giveaway!

I love this little basket!  This is from the same person who gave me the Garfield mug.

That just about does it from here!  I plan to continue using these things all through the month.

May you have a beautiful day!

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.