Monday, June 14, 2021

Another project....

 Happy Flag Day, Blogger friends! 


It was good to enjoy my cup of hot coffee earlier today.  The predicted high temperature will call for something that is icy cold later.

It seems appropriate to share this new project with you on Flag Day.  


This jigsaw puzzle was a gift from Mucho Mom and family.  One of my very favorite places to visit is Martha’s Vineyard, and it was fun to work this puzzle with that theme.  If you look closely, you may be able to see a flag or two.


This was also a gift from a dear friend.  It is a Charles Wysocki design, the first of his that I have ever worked.  This was almost addictive, and I could hardly wait to have it completed!  It may be possible to spot a flag in this one, too.

There are several completed puzzles that have been framed.  Perhaps that’s a subject for a future post.  

Be safe!  Stay cool!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Progress....

 I am able to report some progress with the project mentioned in the last post.



There are many spots that need that “touch up.”  Country Girl volunteered to come and assist us with that part of the project.  

You may notice those frames that are leaning against the mirror.  The goal is to have the frames mounted over the mirror.  There is one small complication.  The mirror is attached to the wall with screws and clips that create a hindrance to the frame fitting flush against the wall.  Efforts to create a “slot” for that (in the underneath side of the frame) have not been a rousing success.  We will keep at it!

Other projects await!  It will be a busy summer!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Project....on-going

 May’s project here has become on-going.  The “new face” I thought that was needed in the bathroom after moving into our house seventeen years ago will take awhile before it’s totally picture ready.  

Before....


During....


....and almost after....


We do like the change.  That’s a good thing!:-)  It’s also a good thing that the project had no need of interfering with any plumbing already in place and working well!

Have you had any special projects recently?  This one has kept us indoors from the heat and out of the sun, so that’s been a good thing!  It’s like summertime here now!

Staying cool....that’s the order of the day!

Take care!



Monday, May 3, 2021

A visitor....

 Several days ago, we looked out our back door and were surprised to see this visitor....




Mr. Groundhog was happily chowing down on the dandelions and other green growth in our patio area!  He looks quite healthy and happy, doesn’t he?  He paid little attention to the spillover from the bird feeder. While he was definitely not invited, his behavior indicated that he felt quite welcome!  This is the first time we’ve seen a groundhog on our property!  I wonder where he was on Groundhog Day. :-)

I hope you are continuing to stay well.  What is your vaccination status for protection against COVID?  I am grateful for scientists daily!  Our vaccine immunity became effective on February 23, and it has made a huge difference for us!  We are continuing to wear our masks and remember social distancing while taking care of our shopping needs.  Take care, and be safe!



Monday, April 26, 2021

Which one?

 Hello, blog friends!  I’ve a question for you today.  Which of the following would you choose?

This one....

Or....this one....?
It is “birthday season” around here, and my sister treated us with this delicious strawberry cake!  She also brought the numerals to go on top of the cake.  Which arrangement is appropriate for our situation? 

Well, if you chose the top picture, that would be very flattering.  Going for honesty here means the bottom picture is the correct one.  Thankfully, not a lot of effort was needed to blow out those two candles!

Grateful to be able to celebrate another birthday!

Take care, be safe, stay well, and enjoy spring!

Friday, April 2, 2021

A tradition....

 For the past forty years, baking Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday has been a tradition.  This recipe is one that appeared in our local newspaper in the early eighties.  I think it has been featured on the blog in past years. I have baked hundreds of these through the years, often multiplying the recipe!  This year is no exception!


Here is one pan, just out of the oven and awash in glaze, studded with currants!  


Perfect with bacon alongside and a cup of tea!

Be safe, stay well, and may your Easter season hold special blessings for you!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April already....

 Rabbit, rabbit friends!  It’s April already!  First, let’s send along Happy Birthday wishes to my sister!  You may have read her comments on my posts.  Many good wishes to you, Sister!

It has been awhile since I’ve posted here, and I need to catch you up on the last half of March.

I suspected the pictures wouldn’t transfer in the correct order, and I was right.  This is our Irish Soda Bread from St. Patrick’s Day, baked in an iron skillet!
The table is set for Easter.  I’ll most likely leave this setting through the month.
Tulips have begun to bloom!  It’s easy to see we have a good growth of violets, too, all around the yard!  Landscape people will stop with their suggestions on clearing such loveliness.  Our response is that we like it this way.
Back to the Sunday Lunch serving.  This is from this past Sunday....Chicken Cordon Bleu roll ups, baked potato, and roasted asparagus.  I was amused to find this butter last week while shopping.
After much persistence, birds were successful in building this nest on an outdoor motion sensitive light!  Round and slick, it’s not an easy task to mount a nest on it!
This, of course, goes with the Irish Soda Bread above.  Corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and turnips from the garden of the Country Couple!  We’re always happy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
This is the first year for the hyacinths.  We planted the bulbs last fall, and they have bloomed nicely.  I’m a bit concerned about tonight’s predicted freezing temperatures, though.  Will these blooms be hardy enough to survive, or should we put some sort of cover to protect them overnight?
Now, this is the picture that should be in the first spot!  This is Chicken Parmesan Soup, a recipe from the calendar of our hometown bank.  First time for this one for us, and it’s definitely going in the file.  In fact, it feels like a good day for soup today! 

I hope all is well with you.  Take care, be safe, stay well, and wear your mask!


Friday, March 12, 2021

A year ago....

 Do you remember what was happening a year ago?  The call for “lockdown” was to come very soon.  Now, a year later, there have been prompts to post those last pictures taken before lockdown.  Some of these may have appeared on the blog earlier.  I have decided, however, to post them again.  



On the last weekend in February of 2020, we were in Asheville, NC where we visited the Downton Abbey exhibit at Biltmore.
This is the lovely wedding dress worn by Lady Edith in the TV series.  
This view is from the back.
This is the dining table that was set for Lord/Lady Grantham, family, and guests.
This was my favorite of the dresses that had been worn by Lady Mary.
On the first Sunday in March, we were treated to brunch at Grove Park Inn.  No pictures of the marvelous food, for some strange reason.  This is the view from the outside patio.
Just a day earlier than our March 12 “lockdown,” I had brought these home from the grocery.  Daffodils are one of the favorite flowers I like to have for St. Patrick’s Day.  

Do you have special plans for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?  Is there a traditional menu you prepare for the day....or the season?  Corned beef and cabbage seems to be a popular choice.  I believe that’s what I’ll have on our menu!  It’s a favorite here!

Take care, be safe, and stay well.


Monday, March 1, 2021

A new month....

 Rabbit, rabbit!  A new month!  Is March coming in like a lamb or a lion where you are?  May the month ahead be filled with all good things for you!

I have read that this is National Nutrition Month!  It is always a good time to take inventory of our eating habits, just to be sure we are receiving the nutrition we need.  A good rule to follow is to “eat the rainbow!”  How colorful are your choices when you plan your meals?

This has green and yellow covered nicely.  These veggies are prepared for roasting.  This was a generous amount, and there are leftovers to enrich our meals for a couple of days.  I used what was on hand and really wish I had been able to add some purple onion and some cherry tomatoes!  Now, thinking of other colorful foods to add to the shopping list!

Sending wishes for good health to you!  Take care, be safe, and stay well!


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Special days....

 While February is the shortest month of the year, there is no shortage of special days during the month.  As February winds down, I’ll review a few of the special “food events” that weren’t covered in the last post.

I have never considered the groundhog to be a reliable predictor of much of anything, though it is fun to recognize Groundhog Day on February 2.  This appeared in Susan Branch’s blog early in the month....

As I had never honored Groundhog Day with anything special on the menu, I decided to correct that lapse this time around!  This Punxsutawney Pudding was delicious!  In fact, it was so tasty to me that I chose to use some of it a couple of mornings later....

It was an ideal “bed” for a fried egg for breakfast!

The Lunar New Year also came in February....the Year of the Ox.  For that celebration, we enjoyed this....

Shrimp Stir-Fry!  In my opinion, stir-fry dishes are an excellent way to work in lots of extra vegetables!  This one even included some cauliflower florets!

There were even fortune cookies following!  Happy to send you some!  Have lots more!

Of course, our favorite day of the month is Valentine’s Day!  Not an ideal time for going out to eat in a restaurant, that’s for sure.  This was a good substitute....

 Bacon wrapped scallops and cheese fondue....in front of the fireplace!  Quite cozy and relaxing!

Shrove Tuesday gave an opportunity for this....

Pancakes for dinner!  This brought back memories of years past of youth pancake suppers on the night before Ash Wednesday.  

Our vaccine immunity “kicked in” earlier this week, and we have made a gradual reentry into the general public.  Following the same safety precautions is still necessary, and that’s what we’re doing.  So far, so good!

I send good wishes for your health!  


Thursday, February 18, 2021

In the kitchen....

 ....that’s where I’ve been!  The long absence in posting on the blog might indicate that I somehow became stuck behind the stove. LOL  Never fear; all is well.

This may....or may not....be a long post, full of pictures, and “peppered” with a little dialogue.

As we continue to follow pandemic protocol, we’ve been staying home.  For almost the past year (this is Day 344), we have kept ourselves out of stores and the general public.  I have filled my time with efforts in the kitchen....such as these:



 Cook once, eat twice....at least!  From a Sunday roast chicken came these two more meals....chicken noodle soup and chicken pot pie.  Even the cranberry casserole was worthy of an encore!  


Using a recipe of several years ago from the Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN, this has become a new addition to our favorites.  It was the perfect addition to our Sunday roast beef dinner!

Then, that Sunday roast beef reappeared as a classic “leftover....”

Beef and gravy over mashed potatoes with peas on the side!  True comfort food, and a perfect example of that “Cook once, eat twice” philosophy.  

While not huge professional football fans here, I will confess that we watched a bit of the Super Bowl.  It was a perfect excuse for some special snacks.
Cheese tortellini and ground chicken meatballs for dipping in marinara sauce, along with lightly steamed cauliflower and carrots for dipping, too!  Some strawberries and chocolate, also for dipping!  Some of these “leftovers” reappeared as this:

The tortellini and meatballs, blended together with more marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, created a dinner later in the week. 

There is still more, though I will save it for another time.  

I hope you are continuing to be well.  Double-masking is the order of the day, and that’s a policy we follow even when we only go for curbside pickup....and definitely also when we go for medical appointments.  The good news is that we’ve been able to receive both doses of the vaccine, and we plan to gradually re-enter the public in a few days when immunity is said to be effective.

Take care, and be safe and well!




Monday, February 1, 2021

A new month....

 Rabbit, rabbit!  It’s late in the day, but better late than never!  That expression is a wish for a month of good luck ahead!

We were greeted with a slight ground cover of snow this morning.  At this point in the day, it has almost completely disappeared.


This is looking down our street when I went for the newspaper this morning.  Do you have snow where you are?  Do you have a favorite treat for a snow day?  I think hot chocolate is a good choice for a snowy day!  Have you ever added a scoop of ice cream to your cup of hot chocolate?  It might be a tasty experiment.:-)

We celebrated by making this a “Muffin Monday!”  Also, tried my hand at creating my own sausage by adding herbs and spices to ground pork!  All the way around, it was a great way to begin the day!

I came across a recipe that had been in my files for a number of years....Lemon Raspberry Muffins!
Fresh raspberries went in these delicious nuggets!  
Using ground pork from the meat department of the market that takes care of our curbside pickup orders, and adding seasonings as desired, gave us a sausage that contained less sodium and was leaner than usual sausage.  Not a bad breakfast for the first day of February!

Special appreciation for workers who clear the roads in snowy/icy conditions!  Be safe if you have to travel!

Be safe, stay well, and follow necessary precautions!  Then, remember to choose joy!


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wacky Cake and Waffles....

 Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  Is that something you think you could celebrate?

We celebrated Wednesday with waffles for breakfast this morning, and that has made this day feel very special!




Have you heard of Wacky Cake?  I may have featured it on the blog some time ago.  Hoping the steps will stay in the correct order with this one.







This is such a simple recipe that I don’t know why I don’t bake it more often!  Ingredients are sifted directly into the baking dish; little “hollows hold vanilla, vinegar, and oil; then, a cup of cold water is poured over all.  It can be frosted, though we prefer it just like it is, adorned with ice cream!  Sometimes I will sprinkle powdered sugar on top. 

Anyway, Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!  The recipe needs 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp soda, 3 Tbsp cocoa, 1/2 tsp salt sifted all together into the baking dish.  One Tbsp vinegar in one “hollow,” 1/3 cup oil in another, and 1 tsp vanilla in the other. Pour the water over, stir well with a fork, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes!  Enjoy!

Sending special thoughts to all our healthcare workers!  Let’s do our part to help make their work less demanding!  Remember to wear a mask....and I’m hearing that it’s time we might want to wear more than one!  Be safe, and stay well!