Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019....

This is the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany.

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus is Crossroads Urban Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this day.  Special blessings to all!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Is it a surprise?

Is it a surprise to you to learn that I love breakfast?  Today's post will illustrate yet another recipe that is good for breakfast!  I served it recently when a friend came for breakfast.

These are the ingredients you will need....except for the water that is needed to cook the grits!

Cooking the grits as directed on the package, this is 1 1/2 cups grits (3/8 tsp. salt) and 5 cups of water.
They are ready for the next step....

....adding that yummy cheese - 3 cups shredded medium-sharp Cheddar cheese - and 1/2 cup butter!
Stir until the butter and cheese are melted.

Then, add 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, mixing well.

Now, we are at the point where we need to temper some eggs, so slowly add a small amount of hot grits to three eggs, stirring all the while.

Here we are!  Ready to slowly stir this egg mixture into the remaining grits.

Pour grits into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon paprika.

Now, this is the part I like!  Cover and refrigerate overnight!  Then, remove it from the refrigerator 15 minutes before baking.

Yes, this is a different baking dish!  I had too much grits mixture to fit into that one dish, so this second one was needed for the "overflow!"

What a wonderful bowl of grits with that paprika woven through!

CHEESY GRITS CASSEROLE (recipe from a magazine or newspaper; can't remember which; have had it for years and years!  I glued it onto a recipe card, and the adhesive has yellowed!)

1 1/2 cups uncooked regular grits
1/2 cup butter
3 cups (3/4 pound) shredded medium-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika, divided
3 eggs, beaten

- Cook grits according to package directions.  Add butter and cheese; stir until melted.  Add Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon paprika, mixing well.  Add a small amount of hot grits to eggs, stirring well; stir egg mixture into remaining grits.  Pour grits into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon paprika.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Yield - 8 servings (I find this to be very generous servings!)

Now, you're ready to invite a friend to breakfast this weekend!

Oh!  By the way!  It may be a good time to bake a cherry pie, too!  Happy birthday to George!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

An unexpected pleasure....

On the first day of January of this year, I posted a picture, though not a very good one, of amaryllis blooms that had appeared on what was a gift from a friend.  Through time, those blossoms began to fade and die away.  It was a great surprise to me when that same amaryllis grew another stalk with a bud, and this is how it looks today!

This is a great spot for this plant, apparently!  It has brought us extra Valentine pleasure!  What a wonderful gift!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Would you rather....

....pack up your things in boxes, prior to changing residences....

.....or would you rather be packing your suitcase for an exciting travel adventure?

Actually, you would need to be packing suitcases (make that a plural) for the adventure that takes place in this book.

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes was a recent choice for the Happy Readers Book Club on Twitter.  It is the story of three women who meet while touring a senior living community.  Is this really the decision these individuals are ready to make at this point in their lives?  Selling their property, packing up, and moving into this ready-made neighborhood?

It is Susan's expertise from years of working in real estate that launches them on the trip of a lifetime!  Susan, Camille (both widowed), and Julia (divorced) first "test the waters" by a weekend trip to Susan's beach house, and the plan is made to head across the ocean for a year in the Tuscany region of Italy!  It is the perfect spot for Camille to resurrect her art, and Julia's career with a publisher who specialized in cookbooks gives her the knowledge of food in the area!  Susan is a natural at taking care of all the arrangements, and they are off across the ocean! With a dog!(Susan's)  For a year!  Meeting the locals! Living in a marvelous house!

They are seen arriving by Kit, an author who lives nearby, and a friendship ensues.  The group goes from one exciting experience to another, encountering and becoming acquainted with all kinds of welcoming and helpful local experts!

You may be familiar with another book by Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun.  If you have read and enjoyed that one, then you will enjoy reading this one.  Under the Tuscan Sun became a movie, and I have recently seen news that Women in Sunlight may also be seen on the screen in the future.

Happy reading!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019....

This is the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany.

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus is Community Development for All People in Columbus, Ohio.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this day.  Special blessings to all!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

After the chocolate....

Oh, my!  Have you been surrounded by chocolate in recent days?  What's a body to do, anyway?  How can one say, "No!" to chocolate?

Perhaps it's time to make a change in our meal plan to help correct some of the negative of that indulgence.  Is it salad time for anyone?

Now, everyone most likely has worked out this salad thing already.  Just in case you haven't, here is a step-by-step guide to salad at our house!

First, I started with this package of organic Romaine hearts.  Notice the instruction on the bag says that we are to "wash before eating."  That refers to the lettuce inside, though it also applies to YOU if you have been working at something that has rendered your hands unclean!

Then, I placed the Romaine on a cutting board (oops! not a good idea to touch lettuce with a knife as it hastens browning of the lettuce) and cut it crosswise.

Next, I plopped it into this handy dandy salad spinner!  How many of you have one of these?  Turn on the spigot, and add water to the Romaine in the spinner.

It has this nice push top that spins the inner bowl, swirling off the water that you have run into the spinner!  That water gathers in the bottom of the clear plastic bowl, and when you lift out the spinner, the water can be poured down the drain!  Do the spinning process again, if the lettuce isn't as dry as you prefer.

There!  That looks just about right!

One head from the package of three was just enough to divide between these two bowls!  Now what?  Well, toppings, of course!

On this particular salad, I chose the goat cheese, saving the other varieties for another day.  I sliced some organic mini-peppers (love these!), added some walnuts and cranberries, then topped with some rotisserie chicken breast! 

"Where's the dressing?" you may be asking.  I am actually able to eat a salad without any dressing drizzled over the top.  On some occasions, I will simply drizzle a little olive oil over all of it, and sometimes I will dip the lettuce into some balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, ranch, or whatever is on hand.

This lettuce lends itself to many salad variations.  Adding shaved Parmesan, some Caesar croutons, and a good Caesar dressing on the side gives a tasty salad!  How yummy a Greek salad would be!  Then, there's the usual garden salad with wonderful grape tomatoes and radishes!  Toppings could be avocado, chicken, tuna, shrimp....the possibilities are endless! 

What is your favorite salad? 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On this day....

February 14, 2019 is here!

Sending you sweet wishes for this Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's time....

Wow! February is speeding right along!  It's time to bring out the cheerful red again!

Yes, it's time for those cheerful Valentine mugs!  I remember the source of many of these, gifts from students while I was teaching.

Always, this special book from Susan Branch is front and center.

The Valentine tree, aka the Tree of all Seasons, is trimmed and ready!

It even appears that the Christmas amaryllis is going to get in on the action, too!  You saw this earlier during Christmas when it was sporting beautiful blossoms.

A bowl of cheery shapes and colors sits as the centerpiece on the table.

Do you do special decorating for Valentine's Day?  This is the sweetest month!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019....

This is the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.  The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock, Arkansas.

May this be a day in which you are surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace.  Special blessings to all!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

More from the pineapple....

Earlier this week, I posted information about the pineapple being the symbol of hospitality.  There is some more wisdom from the pineapple that I have seen in a couple of places, so this is not original.  I'd love to know who listened to what the pineapple was saying.

These are words to consider:  "Be like a pineapple.  Stand tall.  Wear a crown.  Be sweet on the inside!"  If we are "sweet on the inside," this is sure to spill over into our daily routine.

That's how I want to begin this weekend....working on standing tall and being sweet, both on the inside and out as well!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Another recipe....

If you kept up with the post from Thursday, you know that I am in a breakfast mood.  This Panettone Stuffed French Toast is a great recipe to plan for a special time.

I was really pleased when I found this Pumpkin Spice Panettone on after Christmas discount at World Market!  It became the perfect choice when I needed to make something to take to church when my Circle was responsible for Sunday breakfast that is served to anyone who wishes to partake.  This is a 16-oz. loaf.  You are really able to substitute other breads of your choosing, if you wish.

Be sure you have milk, eggs, cream cheese, and pure maple syrup on hand!

After slicing and cubing half of the loaf, arrange it in a buttered 9x9 baking dish.  Top with 4 oz. of cubed cream cheese.

Here it is with the other half of the loaf cubed and spread on top of the cream cheese.  Look at that!  Yes, we need 8 eggs, beaten, for this along with 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and there's that butter again!  We need 1/4 cup of butter melted and cooled.  Mix all this together and pour over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

This is one of my favorite parts of the recipe.  Now is the time to cover the dish and refrigerate it overnight!  When you are ready to bake it the next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, remove the cover, and bake for an hour.  If the edges seem to be browning too much, cover with a bit of aluminum foil.

Here is a serving ready to offer for breakfast!

I had hoped to have some leftovers to bring home, but alas!  I must now make another to have here.😊

I'll review the recipe here -

1 loaf (16-oz.) panettone, cubed
4 oz. cream cheese
8 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled

- Grease a 9x9x2 baking dish; add 1/2 of bread cubes.
- Cube cream cheese and sprinkle over bread.
- Top with remaining bread cubes.
- In bowl, combine eggs, milk, maple syrup, and butter.  Carefully pour over bread mixture.  Refrigerate overnight.
- Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, covering with aluminum foil if edges brown too much. Cut into squares to serve. 

Enjoy!  This might be the weekend to plan a special breakfast!

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Though we presently have temperatures that are more like spring than winter, I am still focused on beginning the day with something warm and comforting.

Like this Whole Grain Cream of Wheat with bacon.  I hadn't tried Cream of Wheat is a number of years, and was surprised to see that it was now available in this whole grain version.  Yes, that is butter you see on the top of that cereal because, why not?

Or this bowl of deliciousness!  Following a recommendation from Susan Branch, I picked up a box of Cream of Rice from the market.  Topped with walnuts, cranberries, and yes, that little bit of butter peeking through, it was a great way to begin the day! 

Dishes in the first picture are Pink Dogwood Depression glass, a favorite of mine.  The bowl in the second picture is Strawberry Fair, now discontinued, by Johnson Brothers.

Are you a loyal breakfast eater?  What is your favorite?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


How many of you have a mat at the entrance to your home?  Is it a plain one, or does it have some words?  Does "Welcome" appear on it?

Did you know that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality?  On this pillow is the word "welcome."  If a guest reaches this point, he/she has already been invited to enter, as this is past the welcome mat at our front door.

Of course, our Turquoise Table efforts are "on vacation" during these cold, wintry times.  They will begin again when the weather warms.

A gift from a friend, expresses perfectly how we extend hospitality.

It is our desire to create a larger table and be bridge builders!  Creating community!  Extending hospitality!

How do you extend hospitality?  Who is welcome at your door?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Meatless Monday....

Have any of you become part of the "Meatless Monday" effort?  When I consider a meatless meal, my first thought goes to Macaroni and Cheese!

This version follows a recipe I jotted down, listing no source in the process.  What appealed to me was the fact that it is made all in one pot on top of the stove.

Ingredients needed are milk, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, and elbow macaroni, of course.  Not pictured, but added are a healthy pinch of both cayenne and nutmeg, along with salt.

First, place four cups of whole milk (I used a combination of whole and skim) and 3 cups of macaroni in a deep pan.  On medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the macaroni from clumping together.  This takes awhile, particularly if you are starting with milk that is cold from the refrigerator.  You will have to taste test the macaroni along to see when it reaches that just tender stage.  Stir often, checking for consistency.  It will thicken as it cooks.

In this picture, you are able to see that the macaroni is beginning to show signs of gradual cooking.

Cube 2 oz. of cream cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter to be ready to stir into the pan of macaroni.  Also, measure out one cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese.  These will be added, along with 8 oz. of shredded mild Cheddar cheese when the macaroni tests done.

Here it is, ready to add the cheeses, butter, cayenne, nutmeg, and desired salt. 

Grab your plate, and serve yourself!  It's ready to eat!

I found a need to thin this just a bit with some hot water as it seemed to set up quickly! 

Accompany this with your choice of vegetables/salad!

What is your favorite meatless meal?

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019....

Today is the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this special day.

Today's United Methodist Women Mission Focus is Bethlehem Community Center, Winston-Salem, NC.

Special blessings to all!

Friday, February 1, 2019

A recipe....

When winter weather greeted us this week, I knew it was time for a pot of soup.  The first that crossed my mind was Potato Soup!

Sure enough, I discovered I had all the needed ingredients!

I melted 1/4 cup of butter in a pot.

Next, I added 1/4 cup of flour, stirring it until it bubbled slightly, about a minute or so.

Then came the addition of 4 cups of milk....

....along with 2 cups of diced potatoes and 1/2 cup diced onion.

Do you ever use Himalayan Pink Salt?  This is what I chose for that soup.  The peppercorns are available at the market packaged in a grinder, just in case your pepper mill is not functional.

Add the desired amount of salt and pepper to the soup, and bring it to a boil, cooking and stirring until the soup has thickened a bit and the potatoes are done.  (I use a cake tester to check the cubes of potato).

Is it soup yet??

You'd better believe it! Garnish with a little shredded cheese and bacon bits, if desired.  Sour cream could also be added.  Served here with a Corn Bread Stick. Thank you, Bisquick!

What is your favorite cold weather soup?