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
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
· 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
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 . 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

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
You can substitute dried Fettucine and broccoli and have the same taste.
Paula Deen's Chicken Empanadas

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


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 knife
Hole punch
Glue dots
Spaghetti squash
Two limes
Black craft foam
Duct tape
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.