Monday, November 30, 2020

A mini-tutorial....

 Hello, everyone!  Just as with so many of you, this has been a very busy time here.  

If you are trying to avoid anything with any kind of corn syrup in it, and you still want to have the taste of pecan pie, this may be an option for you.

This recipe for Tea Time Tassies was in a recipe book compiled by the aunt of a neighbor.  It is probably very evident that the recipe card has received much use.  At some point, I began to see the wisdom in having plastic sleeves for my recipes.:-)  The mini-muffin pans are necessary for this recipe.  The little wooden tool is to help with pushing the cream cheese pastry into the cups.
This illustrates the steps in the process of adding chopped pecans and filling to the pastry-lined cups.
All baked and ready to remove from the pan.  They are really easy to serve, as you are able to see from this picture....

That was our dessert for Sunday Lunch yesterday!  

Turkey Pot Pie!  I look forward to having turkey left over to make some favorites.  

Today is the last day of November....Cyber Monday, it’s called.  That’s a day that didn’t exist when I was a child.  Are you doing much of your shopping online?

I continue to listen to the experts and believe science!  Taking proper precautions is one way to do our part to keep this pandemic under control!  Take care of yourself!  Stay safe and well!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Five things - a day late....

 Has it been a busy week for you?  It has definitely been a busy one here for us!  We’ve tried to “take time to smell the roses,” though, and that leads into my list!

#1)  Although we have had several frosty mornings and temps below freezing a couple of times, the Knock-Out Rose is letting us know it isn’t ready to be the “last rose of summer!”

#2)  The beauty of this Autumn is still quite evident in our neighborhood.
#3)  This was a huge help as we proceeded with a masked, socially distanced Thanksgiving.
Small Town Girl, formerly known as City Girl, arranged this rental, which was delivered to our place.

#4)  There were no S’Mores on this night....too much feasting earlier....but this was a lot of fun.

A fire in the fire pit!  One of the things I love on a chilly evening!

#5)  I managed to surprise some robins earlier....

I couldn’t get the camera ready in time to show him taking a bath!  I had to act really quickly before it was discovered that I was outside watching!

I’m hopping off the routine this week, and there’s no menu posting today.  I’ll try to catch up with that after the fact on Monday.

Good wishes to all for the remainder of the weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2020

This was on the table....

 Hello, blog friends!  What kind of Monday have you had?  Has it been busier than usual, or have you had less to do?

The past few days have been busy here.  I realize that I let Saturday pass without a blog post; therefore, this is a combination of that day’s entry plus today’s!

On the menu for Sunday Lunch....boneless pork loin roast, carrots, and roasted potatoes along with those tasty cheese rolls from our favorite market.  Yes, there was dessert!

Here was the table as lunch was served....

There was even a little gravy to go along with the meal!

Dessert was this Pumpkin Cake Roll....

It has been awhile since I’ve made one of these, and it was enjoyed....

The weather has been a little cool here recently, and it seemed to be time for this....

                                                       White Bean Turkey Chili, a favorite!

I’ve been thinking about why I blog.  I’m not sure how your screen shows my post, but it may show all the entries I’ve had since I first began blogging, almost nine years ago.  I remember how I designed the page - with three pictures of different berries around our property at the top - and the lettering for the name of the blog on top of those pictures.  It wasn’t easy to read the name, and I very soon did some redesigning.  Then, I wondered what direction I should go with the blog and eventually realized that I would blog about what I do most.....and that’s cooking.  

About a year after I began the blog, I joined Twitter, and today is my 8th “Twitterversary!”  I joined there to follow Susan Branch as she travelled across the country on a train....twitter from the twain.  Are any of you on Twitter?

For a long while, I lacked motivation to keep the blog current.  During these pandemic times, I seem to have had more time to ease into blogging again.  With the really serious concerns we have about this virus, it often seems a little trivial to post about food as though there are not other important issues.  

That said, I imagine food will continue to be the focus of the blog; however, I encourage you to take this virus seriously.  Over the weekend I learned of the passing of two acquaintances due to COVID-19 complications.  I consider it vital that we follow guidelines of the CDC to prevent/slow the spread of this disease.  Wear your mask!  Do you have friends or family who refuse to do this?  Are you able to speak to them about why they need to wear one?  Are you able to avoid large groups?  When you are with smaller groups, do you remember to continue to wear your mask?  Are you remembering to wash your hands frequently?  Have you altered your plans for later this week?  The number of hospitalizations in my county was reported today at 99 - a record high!  There is promising news about a vaccine from more than one source, though it will be months before the entire population will have access.  We have a real crisis on our hands, and we must be vigilant!

Stay safe and well!

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!