Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Posted by PicasaLeft over turkey finds a home in a buttery crust with veggies and turkey gravy. Hubby just loves this pot pie. I still have turkey left enough for a small casserole of turkey cheesy enchiladas so will put the turkey in the freezer at this point and will have those enchiladas to look forward to in a couple of weeks. A good thing about turkey it just keeps on giving.
Here is how I make my pot pie.

Square pot pie.
One single pie crust homemade or Pillsbury  
Approximately 2 cups left over cubed turkey
1 cup of frozen mixed veggies
1 can of sliced potatoes drained
1/2 onion sliced thin and sauteed in butter
2 cups leftover turkey gravy or two packets of turkey gravy mixed with two cups water
4 scallions sliced thin include the green parts
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

Use a 9x9 square or 9x9 round casserole dish. Butter the bottom and sides.
In a skillet add a dollop of butter and saute the onion slices, when translucent add the frozen mixed veggies(hubby just likes the peas, corn and carrot mix) saute for a few minutes longer. Then put in the casserole dish add the potato slices on top, then sprinkle with approximately a teaspoon of Italian dressing and salt and pepper. Then add the gravy and sprinkle the scallions on top of the gravy. Roll the crust to accommodate the casserole dish and lay over the top and crimp the edges. Prick the crust top with a fork a few times.
Place in 425 oven and bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and let sit for ten minutes before serving.

Note. I do want to say the canned potatoes are easy and taste fine if you do not want to slice and boil potatoes or if you do not have left over potatoes to use. 
I made up this recipe when we had our motor coach as I wanted to make pot pie with just simple ingredients and with little effort in a small kitchen. It has become a family favorite with left over turkey or chicken. However I have boiled up frozen boneless chicken thighs and then chopped them up, they are amazing in the pie.

Foggy here this AM. Also it is chilly. I am hoping that the fog will lift and we will enjoy some sun and blue skies this afternoon. I do so want to take a long walk for some fresh air and exercise. Sometimes it is hard to step out the door but once I get walking and breathing in the fresh air and feeling the chill on my face it exhilarates me. I find I have more energy when I return home and I feel good mentally because I made the effort.

I am looking forward to today. I caught up on many needed chores yesterday so today other than the daily to-do's I am free to do some extra things I have been wanting to do.
I think I mentioned my messy overfilled linen closet some time back. That issue still has not been addressed. 
There is much in there that can go to the the thrift store. I am looking forward to this project really. It is good to take things to St. Vincent De Paul. They do a lot for our community. Items that have just been sitting idle in my linen closet will have a new lease on life and someone will appreciate them. My linen closet it huge so other than linens I have appliances, and large cooking items that do not fit in my kitchen cupboards. I keep my gift wrapping in there and lots of other goodies. So that is my project for the day and I will drop the items off tomorrow when I am out and about.

My husband is working long hours this week on a large floor refinishing project for a client he does a lot of work for. It is good to have the jobs come to us this time of year.

My niece Sarah brought me a little gift yesterday. She had spent the Thanksgiving holiday with her friend in Santa Rosa. So Sarah brought me a neat candle cork for a wine bottle she had purchased in the Napa Valley. Just stick into a empty (pretty) wine bottle and lite it and the wax drips down the sides of the bottle.  I will save it and use if for Christmas eve when hubby and I celebrate our Christmas eve alone together. We always make it special with gourmet food and a nice bottle of Oregon pinot noir, some favorite music and simple gifts. 
I remember one Christmas eve when we were living in Central Oregon in our house of glass as I called it the windows went from the floor high into the vaulted ceilings. The table was set and appropriately festive the snowflakes falling outside were huge and the ground covered quickly. The fire, the music, the coziness of the whole scene just touched our hearts. We had our dinner and opened our gifts and then bundled up and took a long walk about midnight. The snow had stopped but the ground was covered white with sparkling diamonds and the sky had cleared. The moon was a bright wedge and crystal stars hung in the black sky. It was magical. I will always remember that Christmas eve. 

Well with those lovely thoughts still floating around in my head I will leave you for the day.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Posted by PicasaAs day fades to night and light rain dampens the streets the fireplace glows orange accompanied by soft lazy jazz.
The lamps omit a buttery glow and the rich warm spices of the Thanksgiving candles fill the house with the promise of Christmas.
All is mellow and I am so content to be here, right now at this moment.

I hope you have a private moment of your own this holiday season that brings gratitude for all that gives you pleasure in your life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Posted by PicasaIt has been so long since I blogged. It has been a busy past week or so.
 The holiday was so nice. My son Mike and my grandson Tyson arrived about nine-thirty Thanksgiving morning. They were only here for overnight so we wanted as much time to spend together as possible. 
After everyone got settled and the excited voices quieted somewhat I made hot buttered rums for us all. I made the low fat mix I love (not!) Let's see.......ice cream, brown sugar, butter and powdered sugar. A Fat Fix for sure. But who is counting right? I only had one with one small teaspoon of mix so I guess I was.
I put out a spread on the bar to wet appetites and keep the men content while I prepared in the kitchen. My son said, this like a meal Mom, I guess it was a lot but we never want anyone to go hungry at our house. Food is love you know.
So while they grazed at the bar I worked on our main meal.

This was our menu this year.
Roasted turkey with a rub of warm earthy spices and stuffed with fresh rosemary, lemon slices and unpeeled granny smith apple wedges
Smashed potatoes with garlic, sour cream and butter salt and pepper.
Sausage, apple, walnut cornbread stuffing.
Turkey gravy
Sauteed brussel sprouts with crispy bacon bits, shallots and toasted walnut pieces.
Cranberry orange relish
A relish tray with pickles, green uncured olives and black olives and my homemade pickled peppers and veggies.
Sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon nutmeg sprinkle
Butterfly dinner rolls with creamery butter

Desert. Mom's apple pie with my homemade crust. Rum cake (hubby's fave) both served with Umpqua vanilla bean ice cream.

There are two things that I like and dislike about Thanksgiving dinner if you are doing a turkey. The first thing is good. If you get a lot of prep work and things made up ahead you need only do the last minute things on Thanksgiving day and once the turkey goes into the oven it leaves several hours of bliss. Just puttering and peeling potatoes, doing the veggies and the relish plate. So it gives you plenty of time to enjoy your guests.
The part I dislike is when the turkey is pulled from the oven and is resting, the buns then are popped into the oven to bake or brown and gravy making proceeds and the last minute dishing up into the pretty serving dishes for the table, all this while craving the turkey. A lot of multi- tasking and believe me if anyone is talking to me while I am attending to all the above who knows what will make it to the table? One year I left the relish plate and the cranberry/apple salad in the fridge. We never missed it and I never noticed it until I went to put things away after the meal. So it is best my guests stay out of the kitchen and let me proceed alone. I would ask hubby to crave the turkey but I do a much better job  :)
We finally relax once we are seated at the table, then hold hands and say our thank you's. Then of course we dish up way more than we should. Then complain and moan later as our tummies hurt.

I find cleaning up after a turkey dinner a nightmare. Even if there is not one dish in the sink when we sit down to dinner once the items start coming off the table it is chaos. There are pots and pans to be washed, then there are the serving dishes to be washed because I put all items into plastic wear after they come off the table. So the bottom line is the counters are filled with a huge mess.
Everyone pitched in and cleared the table for me and put away what they could. Hubby took all the meat off the carcus and stored the remainder in a big plastic bowl with snap lid. Mike wanted the carcus to go home with him. He was going to boil it down for the scraps of meat that still clung to the bones and make turkey broth with meat bits for his dog. So there was no waste. I sent some things home with Mike and Tyson and we will finish the rest off in a couple of days.

I realized after our guests left the next morning that I did not take one photo on Thanksgiving day. No pictures of my son and grandson or hubby. Also  Mr. Turkey we took from the oven all browned and perfect in every way did not have his picture taken either. I suppose I was so caught up in the moment I did not think.  Those photos that never happened can never be repeated. That makes me very sad indeed.

Well right now I am feeling tired. I went for a long walk today in the cold air under deep blue skies with little whisps of feathery clouds. I talked to my brother as I walked. It was an exhilerating walk this morning but my energy was down so it took effort. But I am glad that I followed through with my daily exercise.

Now it is time to lounge in my comfy chair and polish off a book that I have very much enjoyed. It is a light and entertainng read. I like a book that is not too weighty sometimes.

Till later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Posted by PicasaI love this photo. Hubby and I are visiting friends and having a jolly ol time.
My husband no longer has his mustache. I always thought he was very handsome with it. Well he is still that way without it!

I am back from my running this morning. Seems all I have been doing of late is shopping and I do not like it one bit.
I needed a cell phone. So today was the day for that. It is always a process and takes time. Then I was off for a few staples at one store then on to buy a armload of new to me books. Tomorrow I will be out and about once more. The weekly grocery shopping and banking. Then the rest of the week home sweet home,  ah yes!

I made chicken veggie soup again last night. We had that about three weeks ago but the pantry and freezer were lacking so did what I could with what I had. This afternoon I will be putting the menu together for the next seven or so days. I think tomorrow night I am going to make for us a flat iron steak seared in a black iron skillet. I will put my usual steak rub on and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Then into the oiled hot skillet and let it do it's thing, bakers and fresh asparagus will round out the meal. Asparagus is a deal now at least this week.
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and all the planning and prep. That is the most alluring part for me. I always do get the biggest thrill out of the planning and anticipation more than the actual event. How silly but it is the way I am. There will be no surprises for my holiday meal. If I changed things up I think some folks would be disappointed that their usual favorites are not on the table. The only thing I change up every year is the brussel sprouts.  Some years I roast them whole with seasonings and olive oil and butter. Other years I slice or halve them and saute them in a skillet with either lemon and  garlic. Or sometimes the same method with bacon, shallots and walnut pieces. There are many variations and all are tasty. When I was a girl at home I do not recall brussel sprouts it seems to me we usually had green beans that my Mother had put up in summer. Seems we may have had fresh yellow squash of some type. I do know our table was piled high with food and all seemed very festive. She also would wear her holiday adorned aprons that she made herself throughout the holiday season. 
My Mother was a wonderful seamstress. She made all my clothing from the time I came into her life until I was in my teens however at that point I did not want home fashioned clothing. You understand. I have so many amazing memories of my Mother and when I start to write of one or two my mind is filled with a abundance of memories of that sweet precious Mom of mine. I was a lucky girl and so loved.

Well if I am going to get a walk out of the way today it best be taken quickly as my back is starting it's edgy nag again. I may have waited to late today. I am thinking it may be time to just relax my back in my little red plaid chair and start a new book. It will be about three hours before hubby comes through the door. I also want to call my son on my new cell phone. Hope it works!

Till next time have a lovely fall Tuesday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Posted by PicasaYou see this beautiful tree? Well I am glad I took photo's as it exists no more.
A sad state of affairs really. This tree is beyond our back yard in the neighbors yard. It was a huge sprawling tree probably a couple of hundreds years old. 
Yesterday morning I woke to the sound of saw and other equipment. I went to the kitchen window and looked out. There were ropes attached to the various tree limbs and there was a bucket with a man in it high in the branches. I thought at first they were just topping it. But I looked a little later and now there were several major large limbs that had been stubbed off. Hubby got home and confirmed they were taking it down all the way to it's death. My eyes filled with tears and my throat felt so full. Every time a limb would fall my heart would hurt.
This is a tree that many wildlife inhabit. An abundance of squirrels live in the tree as well as an assortment of birds at different times of the year. It is also where crows have a nest and we listen to their chatter and squawks as they feed their little ones and the adults coo to one another.
So now our back deck is bright and we see sky that we have not seen before and our kitchen and nook at brighter but at what cost?
The tree was healthy and magnificent the highest fullest tree in our neighborhood. 
This morning the crows were circling in the sky behind our house above where their tree had stood. They were silent not their usual chatter just circling in and swooping. When I walked I missed this familiar landmark in our area towing over everything.
Well it is what it is at this point. But this morning when I looked out and knew I would not see that blaze of gold and red filling the sky I was sad all there was empty space. 

Our OREGON game with Stanford is this evening. A nail bitter for sure. I put on three coats of nail polish as to not nibble at my nails during the game.
I surely hope we win. They are a very tough opponent especially with their quarterback Andrew Luck. We are fast and we can keep up the pace as we have so much depth. But it will be a close game I fear. Go Ducks work your magic and win! So much depends on this very game.

Well I am ready to go plop on the sofa with my hubby. I have had a busy morning but now I will be queen. Hubby is cooking for us and family that are joining us. All I need do is make a side dish then put my feet up sip my wine and cheer my Ducks on.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Posted by PicasaThis was a juicy succulent chicken. The best part was the vegetables. This is what I did.
Ingredients needed.
One roasting chicken
1 each of yam, sweet potato, russet potato
1 onion, 4 large cloves of garlic,
4 carrots(however use whatever root veggies are your fave)
1 pepper of your choice. I used a cubano(mild with a hint of spice)
extra virgin Olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter
1 teaspoon Italian spices
1 teaspoon cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Chop all the veggies in approximately same size pieces. Use the garlic cloves whole. Put all in baking pan and drizzle with the olive oil and mix.
Mix butter with the Italian spices and garlic powder in a small bowl. Lay the chicken breast side up on top of the veggies and tie the legs. With your fingertips loosen the skin of the breast and rub some of the butter mixture under the skin. Then rub  the butter mixture rub over entire chicken. Any remaining butter dab onto the veggie mixture. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over the veggies and chicken and then sprinkle paprika over the chicken. This will make a pretty deep red on the crust as well as adding flavor.
Put in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 375 degree's and roast until a instant read thermometer inserted into the chicken registers 165 f and the vegetables are tender about one hour.

That is it! Easy and so delicious. 

Tonight we are having chicken taco's with the left over chicken. The taco's is why I baked the chicken in the first place. 
So I will take that chicken tonight and shred it and sprinkle it with cumin add a bit of mild salsa and simmer in a frying pan to make it a little moist and add a tad of spice. Sometimes if we feel like some real heat we will use hot sauce or cayenne or whatever will give that heat boast.
Then we will load the crispy taco's with the usual, grated cheese, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream and more hot sauce if desired. I am making pinto beans but not from scratch tonight.
I will just open a can of pinto beans and drain and rinse them. Put them into a skillet add a little salt, pepper, cumin and about a 1/4 cup of milk. Then when heated I will slightly mash some of the beans to break them open. They will be creamy that way. If you like your re-fried beans thinner just add more milk. We are going to have some guacamole and chips for a little appetizer. Hubbies favorite kind of meal. Now this man of mine is Hungarian, but he surely loves his mexican food.
So now that whole chicken has provided us two easy dinners.

It will not be long and I will start planning our Thanksgiving fare. It appears there will just be four of us this year. I am hoping for dry cold weather so we can use our fire bowl outdoors for evening campfire under the stars. That is fun in the evening with full tummy's to sit by the warm fire with a drink of choice and chat, reminisce and tell tall tales.

My daughter was here this past weekend. We had a grand time. I so love having her here with us. She surely brightens my small world. My Mother used to say the same to me. She would say, Zo you just bring so much energy and life to my little life. Generation to generation I guess is the same.

I do have a few things to attend to this afternoon. I have not been diligent about blogging lately but I have been busier than usual. I will do better in the future.
Till next time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Posted by PicasaI have absolutely no time to be blogging this morning. However this will be short. I made Chow mien, Zo style last night. We have our fave way of making it that we like.
It did not use any meat. We were in the need for a veggie fix.
So what I do is this.

Zo's Chow mien.
Grab your wok drizzle some canola oil in the bottom of it and swirl to so the oil runs up the sides of the wok. I do all my chopping in advance. Make a large bowl full of veggies.
What we use varies but the basic's are the same.
This is what I used this time. red pepper, green pepper, onion, celery, carrot and savory cabbage. Slice all on the diagonal, add a package of rinsed and drained bean sprouts and a can of water chestnuts. Get the wok to smoking and toss all into the wok, stir every once in a while. The veggies will cook quick and you want them still crispy. Also if you like you can add a bit of Chinese 5 spice. Now at this point when they are a bit still crunchy you can take them out and serve them over rice or noodles or just put in a bowl and top with your fave soy sauce and a little sweet and sour sauce and crunchy noodles if you like.
But I made chow mien last night, so shortly after I stir fried the veggies I added a can of chicken broth and a little water to the veggies in the wok. Then in a side bowl I added two tablespoons of cornstarch and soy sauce. We use Bragg's amino acids instead of soy sauce it is a good alternative as it taste better and is good for you. Stir the cornstarch and soy together with a little water. Add slowly to the wok and stir in well.  Keep cooking until the sauce thickens. I will not take long. That is it!

We like to use our Chinese bowls and put sticky rice in the bottom ladle over the chow mien, then add the soy or anmino's,sweet and sour and then top with crunchy noodles. This is a yummy bowl.
You can make yours however you like with whatever you like and serve it up anyway you like.
We do add chicken and shrimp at times or beef steak strips.....whatever. Always a winner.

Well that is it for now.
My daughter is coming Friday the house is a mess and I am up to my neck in office work.
Have a lovely Wednesday and eat your veggies!