Tuesday, March 29, 2011


For some reason the photo for yesterday's blog did not upload to the blog. So I will try again. Not that it is that important but it went along with the blog. I will finish working on this project today as once again it is a gray drizzly day outdoors.
I want so much to be outdoors even if it is pulling weeds!
Till later

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is a project I started yesterday. So the dining room table is off limits for a while. I have needed to sort photo's for years. I have six photo boxes with pictures tossed in with no rhyme or reason.....quite ridiculous really.
So I went through two boxes yesterday. I thought perhaps the best way to sort them would be categorize them by events such a trips, getaways, holidays etc. Then family photo's are categorized by dates. So that is what I did and then I label the zip lock and boxes accordingly. Maybe now I can find a photo I am looking for instead of looking through the masses.
Of course now we download all of our photo's on the computer into a photo program. We then put them onto disc to save permanently. This is a fun project though as it takes you down memory lane. I linger over most photo's and memories flood into me. So it will take me a while to do this project as I want to enjoy the process.

We had chicken, veggie soup with dumplings last night. The day had been cold and bitter and it looked so grim outside I thought soup would soothe the soul. Hubby agreed it was a very good night for soup. I had chicken broth frozen in the freezer from the last chicken I boiled up for enchilada's. To that I added sauteed carrots, onions, celery, diced potatoes, salt and pepper to taste, a little tarragon and thyme. Then when all was bubbling and hot I added the little dumplings to the top. I ladled into deep bowls and added a little chopped dill to the top. The soup was wonderful and satisfying.

Well it is Monday and the day is already disappearing much to quickly considering how much is on my plate today.
Blessings wherever you are and make a good soup to nourish your soul as well as your body.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Well darn, one jar left of our wonderful zucchini relish. I will hoard it a while longer. Just knowing it is there gives me comfort. It is sweet savory and goes so wonderfully with all kinds of meats, on burgers it adds so much flavor and makes them juicy.

We had powerful rain storms late afternoon. As I sat reading by the living room windows the showers started lightly, just a soft patter, then the showers came in harder and the plum tree blossoms were giving way and blowing onto the street. Then I heard the rain wild on the roof and the windows were so blurred I cannot see out. I opened the door and the rain blew at me cold and furious. I closed the door in a flash. It was hammering out there and so it went for about an half hour. I must say though I loved sitting in my chair reading a good book and listening to the assault on the house. I love being cozy inside on a day like this.
Well as can be expected here in the valley when all passed over it was totally calm out and all was cleansed. Streets, sidewalks, driveway all washed clean. Natures power washer!

Tonight in my kitchen we are having a fave of my hubby's. He makes special trips over to this meat market in the country and buys sausage that reminds him of what his father used to make. He truly loves this sausage. We fix it the old European way, just boiled and served with boiled potatoes with a good helping of butter and a veggie to the side. Tonight I am making sauteed spinach with onions slices. This is tasty I saute the onions till limp and then add the spinach and cook till wilted(a few minutes) then add salt and pepper to taste and a little more butter. We love spinach and have it quite often.

Well no more chatter as I have nothing to say. Our life is pretty quiet right now.
Till later.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011


Here I am at wine country holding a bottle of wine. This little adventure will be coming up for us again soon. My birthday is coming and this is my fave thing to do..........go to wine country. What is not to like? Gorgeous scenery. beautiful facilities and the most important amazing wine.
This year we will tour a few winery's and then finish off at King Estate and have a lovely lunch there and share a bottle of their pinot noir. A perfect day.
This photo was taken in the parking lot at Sweet Cheeks winery. We are so fortunate that we have these world renown winery's at our door step. A half hour drive and you are there. There are many and all different in what they have to offer as well as their facilities. We usually try to go twice a year.

We had my Mom in law for dinner last night. I worked in the kitchen all day as I knew she would love the meal. I made creamy, cheesy chicken enchilada's with black beans and mexican salad with sweet and sour dressing. For desert we had pineapple upside cake, just like my Mom made it in a black iron skillet. Wow, with a dollop of whipped cream on it it was an yummy mouthful. I will add the cake recipe at the end of this blog. I took a photo of it but it turned out to light and hey half of it was gone!

Another day of springs breath. It was chilly today though but the sun came out this afternoon after a brief shower.
I took a short walk. In one yard I passed there was a profusion of color all was doing so well considering the cool days we have had of late.
In another month we should be getting our veggie garden beds ready for planting. We will do the usual which is zucchini, tomatoes and peppers. This year we are adding scallions, butter lettuce, beans and maybe peas. I always have a herb barrel going with chives, rosemary, basil, lemon thyme and parsley. Believe me I am no gardener so if things do well it is certainly a blessing from the universe.

Pineapple upside down cake in a black iron skillet.

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple slices drained
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg at room temp

Preheat oven to 350 F
Melt butter in iron skillet
Sprinkle brown sugar over butter
Arrange pineapple slices on the top of brown sugar/butter.
Place a pecan in the center of each slice( optional) you can put any kind of nut, or a cherry , I put pieces of granola bars once and it was good.
Beat remaining ingredients till well blended.
Pour over pineapple slices and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and turn onto a heat proof plate. Now this is the most complicated part. As an iron is skillet is heavy I enlist the help of my hubby. You want a plate to fit just inside the skillet, I hold the plate there and hubby turns the skillet. Perfect!
Serve with a big dollop of (real) whipped cream.
This is good and an ol fashioned desert I remember from childhood. Mom always did a cherry!

Well tomorrow is another day and hubby is working all week. So I want to accomplish much this week. So till the next blog have a good day.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This was fun to make and good to eat! Took no time at all.
We have been eating so much asparagus these past few weeks. It is so small and tender and the price has been amazing. Cheap!
I will make this recipe again. It is out of 'Everyday with Rachael Ray" mag. Here is the recipe.
Asparagus Popover.
1 pound of asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs at room temp
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
paprika for sprinkling on top
1 cup loosely packed Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Position rack in bottom third of your oven and preheat to 425 degrees
In a med saucepan add cleaned asparagus and add water just to cover. Cook until crisp tender and remove from pan and drain and rinse in ice cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the spears into thirds.
In a medium cast iron skillet, add the butter and stick in the oven to melt the butter(do not burn the butter) just takes a few minutes to melt it.
In a medium bowl microwave the milk on high for 30 seconds. Whisk in the eggs, flour, salt and pepper and the sugar till well blended. Add the asparagus pieces to the cast iron and pour the batter over the top and sprinkle half of the cheese over the top and then sprinkle paprika. Bake until puffed about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven top with remaining cheese and slice and serve.

This is very similar to a baby German pancake. We make those quite often. I will do the recipe and photo soon for one of those as I am getting so hungry for one. My daughter brought me the best pure maple syrup I have ever tasted, I have a craving for that baby German........what can I say?

We have partially clear skies here today. Makes this gal happy.
Hubby is putting in a long day today so I have the day to myself and I need to accomplish a lot of things. I also need to take a nice long walk and see what has sprouted up in neighboring yards. I have not walked for a couple of days so there will be new things to look at. This time of year all changes so fast it seems. I am anxious to get out and weed the garden beds. It is to soon though as weeds would find their way back before planting time. So best do it just once as I am not crazy for weeding. I just get so antsy wanting to be outdoors and do something, anything at all.

Have a nice day wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Make this popover if you like asparagus it is good, just a chicken breast along side or something else simple is good as the popover is the star. It is tasty with a splash of hot sauce drizzled over it or if you prefer a squeeze of lemon.

Till later.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011


The day is early spring. Plum trees are pink and the color litters the streets.
Daffodil's have bloomed, have been pelted by rain and hail and have been chilled and beaten to the ground.
Tulips are up but no faces will peak out until the chill is gone and the sun is bright on their heads.
Spring, oh spring how lovely a tease you are.
The sun shines and the streets steam and ah it feels so good that warmth.
Then the shadows crawl in and all turns dark and the winds breath is angry and howls. The showers come swiftly in torrents, sailing sideways washing down the streets. Then all is quiet and the sun appears and steam rolls off the streets once more. You can smell it in the air, you can feel it on your skin, you can see in in all that is. Stay, come, let us be warm we yearn, let the sun touch our upturned faces, heat the earth and bring forth life.
Let us rejoice and rake the havoc from our yards and sweep our porches and prune our plants and wash winters grim from our windows. We want to set out patio furniture bright and festive and load our decks with potted flowers and herbs. We pine to sit on our porches with our nose in a good book and listen to the chirps of birds.
How can I wait another day?
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Sunday, March 13, 2011


The plum tree's are in bloom. As far as the eye can see up and down the street pink prevails. It is a lovely time of year here in the valley. Daffodil's are up and bright in every yard. Tulips will be next, already their heads are well out of the ground reaching for the warmth of the sun.
Today we have battering wind gusts though it is fairly mild and yes gray. I am hoping it will mellow out so I can get my walk in.
Yesterday we had many tiny birds converging on the deck railing to chatter. They flitted about for most of the afternoon socializing.

As I have mentioned before, we love Sunday's. I just now got dressed as we lallygagged away the morning. I love reading the paper and on Sunday's it is huge. So that takes over an hour there. It is not that I read every article nor do I even retain much that I read but it is a ritual.
We were cozy by the fire as I sipped my coffee and hubby drank his tea in the morning quiet.

My daughter is off on a trip to Boston next week. She will be gone for over a week. I certainly hope the weather will be agreeable. The east coast has had a very nasty winter. She is looking forward to this trip with her guy. He has a conference there so part of the trip will be work related. Gina has done a lot of traveling these past few years. Mostly in the USA from the west coast to the east coast, to the Midwest, to the southern states. She has experienced and seen a lot of new country. She was never much of a traveler when she was young so that has certainly changed.

I made the best meatballs last night. They were so tender and juicy and filled with flavor.
I used about a third of a pound of seven percent lean burger added an egg, two cloves of minced garlic, italian seasonings,black pepper and salt to taste. A good splash of Worcestershire, a squirt of ketchup, grated asiago cheese and two slices of tiny bread crumbles. Mixed and formed into small balls. I then browned them in a little canola oil to form a little crust on each one. Then I added them to my sauce and simmered them very slowly for about an hour or so. These were such yummy little balls with a wow factor from the asiago cheese. So last night we had a plate of spaghetti with meatballs and crusty garlic bread. Nothing unusual there but very satisfying on a windy black evening.

Now that I have taxes done and have all sent off to the accountant I need to clean and reset the office for 2011. I need to do some serious deep cleaning in our office storage closet. I am almost afraid to open that door at this point. As I have mentioned many times before I am not and I repeat NOT a office minded, paperwork person. So I plan on doing a little each day to make all user friendly in this office.

Well enough chatter for today. I am looking forward to a day of reading and pulling up some spiritual information that I am interested in on the Internet.

Have a beautiful Sunday wherever you are. I know I just need to look at those plum trees on my street and it makes my heart leap!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011


These are wonderful tender light mouthful's of bliss. I bet you cannot eat just one!
I have made these several times in the past year. They are a little Spanish doughnuts. Easy to make and a delight to pop in your mouth with your morning coffee or tea.
The recipe
1 cup of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into piece
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
Grated zest of one orange or lemon
Canola oil for frying
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a medium saucepan combine one cup of water, the butter, brown sugar and salt over medium-high heat until it just begins to boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until incorporated; remove from heat. Stir for a minute then beat in the eggs one at a time, until the dough is glossy and smooth. Stir in the zest.
Fill a saucepan with enough Canola oil to reach one inch in depth. Heat to 350 degree's if using a deep fry thermometer or if not heat till oil shimmers or dipping a wooden spoon into the oil sizzles.
Working in batches drop in rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough and cook, turning until golden about five minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon transfer to paper towels or parchment paper to drain.
In a brown paper bag combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Working in batches of 4-5 add the bunuelos and shake to coat. Eat with a smile.
Note* you can also use powered sugar or cocoa.

Today is laundry day for me so I must get back to my chore.
I tried walking this morning. I had to change my route as it started showering and then raining. So I only got in a fifteen minute walk. My face was wet, my bangs plastered to my forehead and legs were quite damp. But I liked it and I felt quite refreshed after having my natural outdoor shower.
Till later
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Monday, March 7, 2011


Here is brother Jack and his little great grandson Jack. How sweet is this picture?
The photo below is a proud mama Jana and baby Jack.
Sorry to say that I could not download other photo's of baby Audrey, Diana, Jana and baby Jack to my photo program but I will keep trying so I can post those as well. I am still a newbie when it comes to computer knowledge.

My intended trip to meet up with Jana and Diana and their new little ones went array.
Hubby and I had to postpone a trip to see Mike and brother Jack due to weather conditions as well as a scheduled job for hubby. So we had to go on our getaway the same time the girls were getting together. So the timing was off. I was very disappointed as I wanted to meet baby Jack and Audrey and spend time with the girls. We will have to work at making that happen in the future, before the babies get to old.

We had a fun trip spending time with my son and my brother. While at my son's we played with his big bear dog. What a sweet big gentle giant that dog is.
I took a gigantic potato salad as Mike said, Mom please bring a lot you know how I love it. So I assume he ate on that salad for a few days after we left. We had hot wings and baked beans to go with for dinner that evening. The next morning I fixed us all a breakfast of farm fresh eggs scrambled with onions and munster cheese and lots of crispy tuscon bread toasted. Then we were off to Jack's.

Jack was happy to see us it had been since Thanksgiving. I have to say for a man 81 years old this man is amazing. He has no health problems that we know of. He is active and strong and quite fit.
He had hubby's fave beer in the fridge for him. There was my favorite red wine waiting for me and his fridge and pantry were stocked with all that he thought we may desire.
I catered a meal for one night. My polenta. sausage casserole, fresh green salad with cheesy garlic dressing and a crunchy loaf of filone bread. The following day we all went out to pizza. The berg where my brother lives has a great little pizza parlor. The crust is crispy, not too much sauce, the toppings are fresh and it is also reasonable. It is always on our agenda when we go that way.
We woke to snow and wind each morning. Jack has many fir trees surrounding his property. It was quite the picture from his living room window watching the huge old fir limbs swaying to the wind gusts and the snow falling sideways driven by the wind. A blur of green and white.
We were cozy indoors with a crackling fire blazing in the fireplace. We listened to music and snacked and sipped drinks and visited non-stop. We three can keep up the chatter and talk about everything imaginable. So we had a great time with my brother and felt sad once again when we left for home.

The weather here today is grim. Gray low sky pressing in on us. I started a walk but quickly returned it started raining lightly and the wind was picking up. So I bagged it, guess I will walk in the house today it is better than doing nothing.

I am starting on taxes today......oh yeah not a favorite of mine believe me! It usually takes me two full days to get all ready for the accountant. I am always so uplifted when that chore is completed.

We had my hubby's Mom for dinner last night. I took the backbone out of a whole chicken and rubbed olive oil over all and then applied my spice rub. The chicken is then put on a baking sheet in a splayed fashion breast up and roasted uncovered. It is a wonderful way to roast chicken, it roasts quicker so therefore stays juicier. I have the photo and recipe on a previous blog. I served it last night with fresh asparagus so tender and tiny also we hummed over garlic mashed potatoes with chicken gravy. I baked puglisi bread till crispy and golden. Hubby's Mom brought desert. It surely was comfort food. It was nice evening after dinner we watched that old movie "Seven Years in Tibet". We have seen that movie a couple times before but not for quite a few years. We always enjoy it.

Well that is enough chatter for today. I suppose I am putting off the taxes for as long as possible.........ugh!

Have a nice Monday
Till later.

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