Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NO High Fructose Corn Syrup!

I have tried to eliminate HFCS from our diet. But there are some things you "need" that contain it like syrup and soda. I am down to ONE Dr. Pepper a day. Some days I don't even have one. But Little P loves pancakes. What to do about syrup? Robin over at "A Little Greener Every Day" is in the same predicament. Check out her post http://robinshreeves.blogspot.com/2008/11/almost-giving-up-green.html

I got a great idea, well it is Nigella Lawson's idea!

I put 5 or 6 frozen strawberries in a bowl and nuke them to soften them up a little. Then I add some powdered sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the sweetness of the berries.
Then I take my immersion blender* (you can use a regular blender) and grind it up!
Voila, strawberry sauce.
*I always wanted an immersion blender but they were too expensive. Then last year some time I was looking on KitchenAid .com for a price on a pasta maker to attach to my mixer. I looked at the clearance section. There was one for $15. Baby, I snatched that right up! 2 weeks ago i got a cooks catalog in the mail and they listed the same blender for $150. Outrageous!


"Lovely" Weather

Well, guess what the weather is today? You got guess it! It's raining again! But at least it is in the 50's. Over the weekend it was cold and windy (no sun) and in the 20's.

Last week right after one of our storms blew by we had this beautiful sight!











I could not get the rainbow in the whole shot!

But check this out!

A double shot!

Christmas Shopping

How is your Christmas shopping going? I am almost done. I have a few small things to get and that's it. It will be a small haul this year.


I knitted this scarf for one of my nieces. She likes pirate stuff. The skull and crossbone pattern I got out of the first Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook book by Debbie Stoller.
http://www.amazon.com/Stitch-N-Bitch-Knitters-Handbook/dp/0761128182

The designer put this design on the sleeves of a sweater (which I made for P#1 a few years ago).
I hope she likes it!
I have to make a crocheted bag for Little P for Christmas PLUS I did not get her dress finished yet. I must do that tomorrow.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mourning

My father died 3 weeks ago today.
My father was not sick. It was very sudden and quick. He was only 70.

Saturday night my church had a winter carnival. (Little P and I had already volunteered and then a thing happened and I unvolunteered us. She got over it.) I was going to revolunteer when my dad died.
Yesterday, when I went to Sunday school a couple of remarks were made by an older woman about her having to work all 5 hours because no one else would volunteer. I felt they were directed at me. **Last year I worked all 5 hours.**
Am I not allowed time to be sad and mourn? Am I supposed to tuck it all away once the service was finished? Am I supposed to forget what happened?
AND it doesn't help that the sun is never out. It was for maybe 1 hour yesterday. MSN says it is sunny here but it's not! I cannot remember the last time we had 3 sunny days in a row!

Thank you to everyone who sent cards, notes, emails and good thoughts to us! It is deeply appreciated.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Wish List

http://familyfun.go.com/printables/season/printable/christmas-wish-list/christmas-wish-list.html?campaign=NLC-NL_Print&link=Section3Link3

This is a really cute page to print out for your kids' wishes. My girls give me a list every year and they know they are going to get only a few gifts. I found that they appreciate gifts more if they do not receive too many. Plus we don't have the cash for alot of gifts.

Ravioli Vegetable Soup

I made this soup last night. It was really good.

Ravioli Vegetable Soup

RECIPE INGREDIENTS:2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrot, peeled and diced
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil (more if fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes - pour half in food processor and grind up
1 can cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 to 9 ounces fresh or frozen bite size ravioli (cheese or meat filled)
Black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot or large saucepan. Add the onion and carrot. Saute over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is clear.
2. Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes, beans and salt to the pot. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Add the ravioli and bring the soup back to a low boil. Cook it for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes longer. Add the pepper during the last minute or so. Makes about 5 servings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Pause in Blogging

I won't be blogging for awhile. My father died yesterday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Classic Gingerbread

Yesterday I was going through my lastest issue of AllYou magazine. I make sure I don't miss any coupons or good articles.
I came across this recipe. The recipe calls for it to be baked in a Bundt pan but I used 2 -8 inch pans and popped one in the freezer for later use. My small family cannot eat a whole Bundt cake. Plus we will have one for later if company comes.
I like to serve my gingerbread with whipped cream!
Classic Gingerbread
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl, mix applesauce with baking soda. In a third, large bowl, whisk eggs, egg white, molasses, brown sugar and oil until smooth. (HINT: Spray the measuring cup with PAM or whatever before you add the molasses. It will slide right out.) Add to dry ingredients and gently stir to form a smooth batter. Fold in applesauce mixture.
3. Pour batter into Bundt pan. Bake in center of oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack, then unmold to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sewing a Christmas Dress


When Little P was born, my friend Michele, gave me some patterns. So I decided to use one to make a Christmas dress for Little P.


We decided to make the first one but add a gathered flounce to the bottom of the dress. I have the jacket almost done and I realized I messed up just below the collar. I have to rip it out and resew it. I am almost done with the dress.



She chose these fabrics. A green shimmery fabric with glitter for the dress. A red background with penguins and a saying "Jump For Joy". They are nice fabrics!

Some People

Today when little P and I were doing her Literature schoolwork we read this poem by Rachel Field.

Some People

Isn't it strange some people make
You feel so tired inside,
Your thoughts begin to shrivel up
Like leaves all brown and dried!
But when you're with some other ones,
It's strange still to find
Your thoughts as thick as fireflies
All shiny in your mind!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Fun For Kids


I saw this really cute craft on Family Fun.

Create a flock of these bright votive holders: they're a great project for kids and, filled with battery-operated tea lights, a luminous addition to your table.


CRAFT MATERIALS:
Hot glue
Glue gun
1 1/4-inch wooden doll head (available at craft stores)
Small glass bubble votive holder (ours is 4 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches high)
Brush
Mod Podge
Tissue paper
Scissors
Tacky glue
Beads
Time needed: About 2 to 3 Hours
1. Apply a dab of hot glue from a glue gun to the wooden doll head. Then adhere the head to the votive holder.

2. Brush Mod Podge over the head and body, then cover them with overlapping tissue paper scraps. Apply another Mod Podge layer and let it dry for at least 45 minutes.

3. To make the tail feathers, cut 9- by 2-inch strips of tissue paper, bend each in half without creasing it, then twist the ends together. Use a dollop of tacky glue to attach each feather to the body.


4. Cut a beak from a double layer of yellow tissue and affix it with tacky glue. Add two beads for eyes. Cut a long oval of red tissue, twist one end, and affix it as a wattle. Allow the turkey to dry.


Friday, October 31, 2008

30 Days of Night


I watched this movie last night. P#1 reminded me that when it was advertised for the theaters I said I wouldn't want to see it. Then I found out that Sam Raimi was the producer along with Rob Tapert (Lucy Lawless' husband). I was so excited. I appreciate his work. I knew it wouldn't be really scary. I just can't take that anymore.


Vampires come to Barrow, Alaska (no one had funny accents!) where they have 30 days of night! They wreak havoc and kill a lot of people! They are very ugly too!


I was grossed out by the movie "Hostel". I used to love this stuff. I was there when the slasher films got their start - "Terror Train" and "Halloween". But some of the films today are to evil and cruel for an "old" lady!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Muffins and cold mornings!

Saturday morning it was rainy and drap so I fired up the ole computer and got a recipe off of Eat Better America. Banana Cranberry Spice Muffins http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/recipes/global-flavors/banana-cranberry-spice-muffins.aspx
But of course I changed it! I have boxes of Fiber One cereal that got for almost nothing at CVS. I wanted to use it up.
I used 3 bananas that I had stuck in the freezer when they were getting too ripe. I just popped them into the microwave for 1 minute to thaw. The muffins were so good.

Banana Cranberry Spice Muffins


1 cup Fiber One® cereal
1 egg
3/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray, or use paper baking cups. Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor).

2.In medium bowl, beat egg, milk and oil with fork or wire whisk until well mixed; beat in bananas. Stir in cereal; let stand 5 minutes.

3.Stir in remaining ingredients except cranberries until blended. Stir in cranberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

4.Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm.

This morning it was the same rainy, damp yuck! So I thought I will make muffins again. I didn't want to make the same ones so I used a recipe that I bought off of someone's website. They were horrible. I composted the whole dozen. I was bummed! Oh well next time i will make the same recipe!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Have you read any of these books?

The other day I was reading blogs and I found an interesting post over at Belated Eloquence.
There is a list of 100 books. How many have you read? I have read 56.
I never had the opportunity to go to college. And high school from the middle of 10th grade on was a loss. So I was never assigned any of these books to read. Check out the list and see if you have read any. I have to admit there were some that I had never heard of.

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE. (I cannot underline so I will put them in blue)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible I have read some but not all
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare I have read some
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis I tried to read it!
37.The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini didn’t finish – too grusome
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan didn’t finish
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – A. S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chili Mac

I was so hungry for something last night so I made Chili Mac. Next time I make it I will increase the chili powder and maybe add some cumin.
I got this recipe from Laura's Lean Beef.

Chili Mac
Ground beef and macaroni skillet recipe with beans and other chili seasonings.
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
· 1 pound lean ground beef
· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
· 8 ounces elbow macaroni
· 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, undrained
· 1 large can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
· 1 cup water
· 1 teaspoon chili powder
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preparation:
In a large skillet, brown onion with ground beef. Add macaroni, kidney beans, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese; cover and continue to heat until cheese is melted.Recipe Serves 4.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Green Eating"

The other day I was reading this post http://robinshreeves.blogspot.com/2008/10/buy-ingredients-and-save-money.html . Robin writes about how much cheaper it is to buy ingredients to make meals with than it is to buy processed foods. This is SO true. I agree with her 100%, plus it is better for you. Less junk that your body does not need, like High Fructose Corn Syrup and preservatives.
I had posted a comment about making two meals at once or doubling the amount you are making and freezing the second meal to thaw on a day you don't have much time.

I was thinking about my comment just now as I was vacuuming the house. My store has whole chickens on sale this week. I am planning to buy one tomorrow. I had a thought! Yes, it does happen some times. You can roast 2 chickens at once. It does not take anymore energy or time (in fact it is a time saver) to make 2. The first one you can have for dinner that evening. The second you can use the next day or so for another meal such as Chicken Soup or my Chicken Gumbo soup http://litlequeenrules.blogspot.com/2008/09/chicken-gumbo-soup.html.

There are a lot of recipes out there that call for cooked chicken.
Here's one from Giada - Fresh Fettuccine with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli Rabe
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/fresh-fettuccine-with-roasted-chicken-and-broccoli-rabe-recipe/index.html
You can substitute dried Fettucine and broccoli and have the same taste.
Paula Deen's Chicken Empanadas http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chicken-empanadas-recipe/index.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cooking with Kids


I saw this cute recipe on Family Fun. Little P is 9. She loves to cook. If I would show her this recipe we would be making it!
You could make it for Halloween or Thanksgiving!




Edible Indian Corn

Ears a sweet fall treat that's great for a classroom or scout meeting -- marshmallow cobs filled with colorful fruit kernels.
4 tablespoons of butter
4 cups of mini marshmallows
5 cups of puffed corn cereal
1 1/3 cups diced dried fruit (we used raisins, papaya, cranberries, and apricots)
Popsicle sticks
Fruit leather
Step 1 In a large pot, melt butter and mini marshmallows over low heat (about 5 minutes).
Step 2 Remove the mixture from the stove and use a wooden spoon to stir in puffed corn cereal and diced dried fruit. Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 3 Using buttered hands, shape each treat by pressing 1/3 cup of the mixture around a Popsicle stick. Add fruit leather husks to the bottom of the ear, slightly moistening them to help them stick if needed.
Makes 15 treats.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Risotto with Sausage and Spinach



Last night I made this recipe for dinner. It's from AllYou magazine.

It was very good. I did not have white wine. So I added 1 T of apple cider vinegar. I used regular Italian sausage.
This recipe made A LOT! If you have a small family, I would cut back on the rice and liquid.






Risotto with Sausage and Spinach - Serves 6
  • 6 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb. turkey sausage with Italian seasonings, casing removed
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 5 oz package baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 3/4 c grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt

1 Bring broth and 2 cups water to simmer in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to low to keep warm.

2. Warm olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, stirring often and breaking up into small pieces, until it loses its pink color, about 5 mintues. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until alcohol evaporates, about 2 minutes.

3. Add about 2 cups warm broth mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until rice absorbs liquid. Continue to add liquid, about 2 cups at a time, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and soft, about 20 mintues (you may not use all of the liquid). Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.

4. Remove pot from heat, sitr in cheese and butter and season with salt. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Beautiful Fall Day


This weekend was certainly beautiful as is today. We awoke with some frost this morning.


The glass on this table is clear. Frost was coating everything. More leaves have come of the trees.

Saturday evening little P and I had a great time with a kids group from church. We went for pizza and then to a corn maze. I had never been in a maze before. It was a trip. It was all dark and spooky!

Then on Sunday we found out that little P won a prize for being the youngest person to have an entry in our church's quilt show! Fantastic! She was so proud!

Today we finished school and I am working on her costume. I must get back to it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quilt Show

Our church had a quilt show today. Little P and I each entered an item for it. Little P made me a hot pad for my birthday which is the item she entered. I made a fall table runner. We looked at all of the quilts shown there. They were are really nice. Some were old - like pre 1930 and some were new. There were all different styles: wholecloth quilts, patchwork, cross stitch, and applique. A few were machine quilted. There were baby quilts, full size, table runners and wall hangings.
Here are photos of what we entered.

Monday, October 13, 2008

BUSY WEEKEND

We had a very busy weekend. The King and some of his friends poured a concrete floor in our basement. We have lived in this house for 12 years without one. It took a lot of saving! So you savers, hang in there! I did not get any photos because the lighting isn't good enough. But we are very happy! Now the King needs to put in the windows and our house will be much warmer.
2 weeks ago, it was very cool at night. The heater ran a few times. We even had frost one morning but it has warmed up again hitting the mid 70's during the day! I hope we can go the rest of the month without running the heater.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday - No Bake Cookies


When I was a kid, my sister and I called these cookies Suzi Cookies. In 1971 we got to go on a long vacation, driving here and there visiting people. We got to our Aunt Kitty's house in Massachusetts and Cousin Suzi was making these cookies! It was a real treat for us when Mom would make them.
No Bake Cookies
2 c sugar
3T cocoa powder
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter
3 c quick oats
1/2 c peanut butter
Melt together sugar, butter, milk and cocoa. Boil one minute. Turn off the heat and stir in peanut butter and oats. Drop quickly by teaspoon onto waxed paper. Cool. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Addition to our family


The King's nephew and his wife gave birth a baby girl on Saturday at 2:40pm in Sicily. Her name is Rosa. She weighs 6 lbs, 3 oz and her length is 17.7 inches (pesa 2.820, ed รจ lunga 45cm). Isn't she beautiful!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fun For Kids


Frank 'n' Friends From Family Fun
Dried citrus rinds give this seasonal squash -- and his companions -- their un-natural good look

CRAFT MATERIALS:
Craft knife
Hole punch
Glue dots
Spaghetti squash
Two limes
Black craft foam
Duct tape
Toothpicks
Large bolts
Black permanent marker
Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Use a craft knife to cut a circle of rind from the top and bottom of an orange or lime for the eyes (a parent's job). Cut a slit in the remaining peel and remove it intact to use for ears, teeth, and other features. If you're making the witch, reserve the larger pieces of orange peel for the hair.
2. Clean the fruit from the rinds, then use scissors to snip out your character's facial features, as shown. Cut them a little larger than you want; they will shrink as they dry. To dry the pieces, bake them on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 175 degrees for 20 minutes, then allow them to air dry for about 1K hours (or until glue dots will stick to them).
3. Use a hole punch to make a pair of pupils from the craft foam, then adhere them to the white side of the rind eyes with glue dots.
4. Attach all the pieces with glue dots, as pictured. To make the ears stick out (for Frank and the Count), tape a toothpick to the back, leaving about 1K inches of the toothpick exposed, then insert it in place.
5. Finishing touches for Frank: Cut the hair from craft foam following the diagram at right and attach it with glue dots. Bore a hole on each side of the squash with a pencil, then insert the bolts. Use a permanent marker to draw the teeth.
6. Finishing touches for Witch: Cut a small mouth from the craft foam. To make a hat, cut the shapes shown at right from a piece of black craft foam. Roll the half-circle into a cone with a base slightly larger than the center of the ring, and secure the edge with glue dots. Tuck the cone's base into the center of the ring. For the buckle, double-fold a sheet of foil to create a square shape. Snip out the center, then adhere it to the hat with glue dots.
7. Finishing touches for the Mummy: Wrap the pumpkin in gauze, using glue dots to attach the fabric as you go.
8. Finishing touches for the Count: Cut a collar and hair from the craft foam, following the diagram at right. Wrap each around the pumpkin and attach them with glue dots, as shown.
Go to the site to see the finishing touches and the cut outs. http://jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=12055

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No More Rain, Please!

It has been raining on and off, mostly on since Thursday night. I am sure we needed rain but it is enough. The sun is sort of peeking out but it will soon be dark!





P#1 and I started on her Halloween Costume. It will be a lot of work. She picked the costume on the top left.





In between I need to work on little P's! She is going to be the purple and green mermaid.




Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman dies at 83


He dies at his home in Connecticut on Friday due to cancer. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26913988/?GT1=43001



What is your favorite Paul Newman film?
"The Hustler"
"Hud"
"Cool Hand Luke"
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
"Winning"
"The Sting"
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
"The Verdict"
"Slap Shot"
"The Color of Money"
"Towering Inferno"
"Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"
"The Hudsucker Proxy"
"Nobody's Fool"
"Road to Perdition"
"Rally Round the Flag, Boys"
"Empire Falls"
"Cars"
"Harper"
"Exodus"
"The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"
"Absence of Malice"
"Hombre"
"The Long, Hot Summer"
"Young Philadelphians"
"The Secret War of Harry Frigg"
"Sweet Bird of Youth"
"From The Terrace"
"Paris Blues"
"Harry and Son"

These are but a few. I think the first movie I saw Paul Newman in was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". AND "The Sting" AND "Slap Shot". I was the kid that watched movies on Saturdays. So I have seen a lot of his work. I just resaw "Empire Falls" the other day on HBO. Paul was great in that. Plus Josh Lucas played him as a young man in a scene.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Freaky Friday

I haven't found anything good for this theme in awhile. Bit today i found this.

I call it Stupid Motorists

Drivers recently hit by their own cars: A woman parking her car in Athens, Ga., in July, opened the door to tell another driver that she was not leaving her space when she fell out and was run over. [WSB Radio (Atlanta)-AP, 7-12-08]

A man in his 60s was pushing his car out of a ditch in July in Montreal, Quebec, when it started to roll, and when he jumped in to hit the brakes, the car jerked, ejected him and ran over him. [Montreal Gazette, 8-1-08]

A 24-year-old man, fleeing police in a stolen U-Haul truck in April in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., leaped from the vehicle but failed to clear the door, sending him out head-first, where he was crushed to death. [KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City), 7-24-08]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Love Thursday

APPLES - I love 'em!

Tomorrow, if the weather is nice, P#2 and I are going apple picking with the homeschool group from our library. I know I am going to be baking something on Saturday. Then I got an email from Pillsbury with this recipe.

Easy Apple Foldovers with Apple Glaze

INGREDIENTS:

Filling
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 medium apples, peeled, finely chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crust
1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Glaze
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons apple cider or apple juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix walnuts, brown sugar and butter with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. In medium bowl, stir together apples, flour and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.
2. Unroll crusts on work surface. Cut each crust into quarters. Place about 1/4 cup apple mixture on one half of each pie crust wedge. Sprinkle with walnut mixture. Fold untopped half over filled half (foldovers will be full). Press edges with fork to seal. Prick top with fork. Place on ungreased large cookie sheet.
3. Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over foldovers. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 18 to 22 minutes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 46th birthday! I am on that downslide to 50! haha
My mom is taking me out for lunch. But I don't know where we are going. I guess I better think of something!
I know that I want to run to the kitchen store and look for some glass containers to put drinks in. The King saw a report on TV last night about plastics. How much of the chemicals actually leach out into the drinks they hold? Almost every drink you buy comes in plastic. I refill water bottles for him to have at the building. But I think that is not good to do. It's a catch 22.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicken GumbO Soup

Chicken GumbO Soup is my recipe for O Foods for Ovarian Cancer. All the info on this is listed below my recipe.



Chicken Gumbo Soup

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 bell peppers, sliced – green, red, yellow or orange
1 medium onion, sliced OR ½ bag of frozen peppers and onions (sometimes called stir-fry mix)
1 tsp olive oil
1 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes OR a can of Ro-tel OR diced toms
1 10 oz box frozen okra, sliced
28 -32 oz of chicken broth or water
½ cup rice
Salt and pepper to taste
5-10 drops of Tabasco (optional)

Saute the peppers and onions in the oil in a large pot until soft. Add okra, tomatoes and broth. Simmer until okra is thawed. Add chicken, rice and seasonings. Ready to serve when rice is thoroughly cooked.

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via FirstGiving.org)
and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:
1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;
OR
2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
AND
3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you've made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.
We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.
Prizes:
1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
———
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fundand help spread the word!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Banana-Sour Cream Coffee Cake



I forgot to take a photo before we cut into it!

I got this recipe somewhere on the internet and changed it a little. Next time I make it I will use another pan and not start the layers with the streusel mix.

Banana-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Streusel Mix:

2/3 c Pecans; chopped 1/4 c Sugar 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 c Shortening

1 c Sugar

2 Eggs, at room temperature

3-4 bananas, very ripe

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 c Sour cream OR greek yogurt OR plain yogurt

1 ½ c white wheat flour mixed with some white flour

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Combine 1/4 c sugar and cinnamon, then add pecans; mix, and set aside. Combine shortening and sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs (one at a time), bananas, and vanilla; stir in sour cream. Batter will look funky. That’s ok. Combine remaining dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, and stir just enough to blend. Sprinkle half of reserved cinnamon mixture into bottom of a well-greased 10inch Bundt pan; spoon half of batter into pan. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over batter; spoon remaining batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Loosen edges of cake, if necessary. Invert cake on serving plate; serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

I received an email from Bleeding Espresso about this. Please read the post and if you can donate please do so!

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via FirstGiving.org)
and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:
1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;
OR
2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
AND
3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you've made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.
We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.
Prizes:
1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
———
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fundand help spread the word!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Travel Thursday



Here are some photos from our trip to Cleveland. We went to Lake Erie one day. It was a beautiful site to see. You sit on the sandy area (is it a beach?) and look out on the water, watching the waves gently rolling in. The breezes felt wonderful. I liked watching the kids playing in the water. We had ice cream from the stand that was up the hill. I had banana. Oh, it was sooo good!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pecan Pie Bars/Snickerdoodles

This morning I was checking my emails and I got my monthly email from Eagle Brand. This recipe was in it. It looks tasty! I think I will try it this weekend.



Pecan Pie Bars
Add these moist and flavorful pecan pie bars to your cookie collection.
Servings: Makes about 3 dozen barsServing Size: 1/36 of a recipeNutrition: See Below
Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 15+25 minutesTotal Time: 0

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly.
Press mixture on bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes.
In small bowl, combine pecans, EAGLE BRAND®, eggs and lemon juice; pour over crust. Bake 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool. Cut into bars. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

This afternoon P#2 and I are going to make Snickerdoodles. I wonder where in the heck it got that name! These are my favorite cookie!

Snickerdoodles

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt

Coating: 4 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoon cinnamon

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and beat well. Sift flour. Add baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Sift again. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Chill dough for at least 1 hour. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll in coating. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes.
Yield: Approx. 5 dozen

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Travel Thursday

On August 13th, while we were visiting my sister, we went to the Cleveland Zoo. It is a nice zoo. They have a great selection of animals. Most we got really good looks at! The one thing I appreciated was no stinky cat cages like at Philadelphia! Here are some shots of the day!



I will post more of the animals another day! The Cleveland Zoo is a good place to get some exercise! We walked and walked and walked. We went on a really nice day. It was warm but not hot!



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tomatoes!

My good friend, Beth, gave me 2 huge boxes of tomatoes yesterday. I spent most of the day coring, chopping, putting them through the food mill and cooking down the sauce. Then canning the jars of sauce. I got 6 quarts. FROM ONE BOX.
Today the same thing! I am hoping to get 6 quarts from this box. Currently, I am in the cooking down stage. And I am in the middle of baking bread. I am some white whole wheat flour instead of all bread flour. Boy, does that change the consistency!

We planted 12 tomato plants but they are not doing well. We are getting some tomatoes but they are very small. I got a few green peppers and I think they are done. I don't know what is up! Only a few of the corn stalks got ears on them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

West Side Market

On Wednesday, August 13th, while we were visiting my sister in Cleveland, we went to the West Side Market.


Here's a photo I got from the internet because I did not get one myself. This building was originally a train station. Isn't it magnificent!?! I love it when cities keep their historical buildings intact.

This is a photo that I took inside. The ceiling is amazing. It is an inside farmer's market. The food was so beautiful. We bought some fresh perogies, chicken sausage, veggies and some great bread. I got a fantastic Italian Percorino Romano. Delizioso!





I bought one of these bagettes. Yummy!
Check out this blog that I found which has a video of when my man, Tony Bourdain, went to Cleveland. He and Ruhlman went to the market. You get to see the inside!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Movies

I have a secret!


But I will share it...I love Simon Pegg.


http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0670408/

He's the star/writer of "Shaun of the Dead' and "Hot Fuzz". I am waiting for "Run, Fat Boy, Run" to come on DVD. I saw another of his movies the other day, "Big Nothing. At first, I thought this bites, but I stuck with it and laughed my butt off!









We watched this movie last night. It is based on a book, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. I really liked the movie.
Will, turns 14 and wierd things start happening to him. He is told that he is the seeker and must find 6 signs to save the world from the Dark.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Love Thursday


My youngest loves pancakes. I would buy the frozen kind for days when I did not feel like making them. But what are those ingredients! Plus I want her to eat whole wheat. So here's my recipe for "Buttermilk" Pancakes that I make for my little honey!
"Buttermilk" Pancakes
Wet Ingredients
1 1/3 cups of milk with 1 T apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 beaten egg
1 T light tasting olive oil (or whatever vegetable oil you use)
1 t vanilla
Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 cups of white whole wheat King Arthur flour
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Mix wet ingredients into the dry and mix to incorporate. May be slightly lumpy. Pour into hot pan. Cook until done.
I love King Arthur Flour. It costs more but it is worth it. The company is American and it's owned by the employees. Do you know if your flour comes from America?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Last week, we were visiting my sister and her family in Cleveland. On Tuesday, we went to the Rock Hall as they call it .

The Rock Hall is very interesting. We got to see a lot of Rock Memorabilia. There were costumes - some of Freddie's (From Queen), Stones, George Clinton, Bowie and more. On the top floor, there was a room filled with stuff from the Doors. I wish we could have taken photos in inside.

I was a little disappointed that much of the space inside was taken up with a store and a restaurant. There was only an album cover from Led Zeppelin. I would have liked to have seen some of their stuff.

One area had signatures from the inductees. It was cool to see their names. Check out the list. http://www.rockhall.com/inductees/inductee-list/

The only performer I don't think belongs in there is Madonna. Who even remembers her songs? Certainly not me! It's ROCK and ROLL not POP! Who are they going to let in next Shania Twain? Someone needs to build a Pop Hall of Fame.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Anyone love red velvet cake? Here's a link for a cupcake recipe!
http://ciaoitalia.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Waterproof Beach Bag


I get emails from Family Fun and they had the directions for this cute bag!

This colorful, rinseable carryall is the perfect beach bag for kids -- great for packing up gear, collecting sandy treasures, or toting wet suits and towels.
CRAFT MATERIALS:
13-gallon garbage bag
Scissors
Colored duct tape (we used red and white)
Marker or pen
Yardstick or measuring tape
4 (2-foot) pieces of white cotton cording
Time needed: About 2 to 3 Hours
1. Turn the garbage bag into a large sheet by cutting along one side seam and the bottom seam. Tape the sheet flat to your workspace and draw a 16- by 30-inch rectangle on it. Cover the rectangle with slightly overlapping strips of red and white tape.
2. Cut out the tape rectangle and flip it tape-side down.

3. Lay 2 pieces of cording across the rectangle about an inch from one of the shorter ends. Fold that end over the cording and tape it down to make a casing. Repeat this at the opposite end with the other pieces of cording.

4. Fold the rectangle in half and tape the sides together to form the bag.

5. To make the drawstring, pair up one cord from each casing and knot them together at both ends. Repeat with the remaining 2 cords, then pull one knot at each side to cinch the bag.