Thursday, January 28, 2010

Delicious Magazines

Today I found a superb amount of the delish Taste of Home magazines. Lots of 2009, plus the newest 2010 issue. I paid .25 each at my local thrift store, Save-n-Serve. Love this store. I guess this means I don't get to complain about finding recipes to cook? All right, I give in. I even started a weekly menu plan last evening. I tell you, there will be food on my table! haha.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cooking Blahs

I'm tired of everything that's in my cupboard. When I go to the store, I mindlessly browse the aisles and put the same things in my cart -- every time. I'm in a rut. Some days when it comes time to decide what's for supper, my mind just goes blank. I love to cook, and my kitchen is very organized. It just seems the same things scroll through the empty brain and I cook on auto-pilot. This has got to stop. My husband chuckles at me because I love to browse through cooking magazines, and cookbooks. Why don't you make that, he says. Or this looks really good, handing me some tearout from a magazine. Bless his heart, he's such a good husband. He will eat whatever I set in front of him. I'll admit this week has been a little better. On Monday I made Shepherd's Pie and it was delish. Yesterday I whipped up my own concoction of a creamy Spaghetti & Ham cheesy, yummy dish. We ate that Rachael Ray pan clean. I love my Rachael Ray pans. After our house fire several years ago, (Go here to read about that) (and also here), I was browsing Elder-Beerman (!) with some coupons hot in my hands. I found the Rachael Ray set of stainless steel with orange handles. It was $199.99. For me, I would normally have a hard time spending that kind of money. But with insurance money burning a hole in my checkbook, I started looking those pans over, drooling all the way. They were on sale for 179.99, I had a 20% off coupon, and to top it off, they were offering a $20 mail-in rebate. Needless to say those puppies went home with me that day, and I have loved them with a passion. Many lovely soups, stovetop dinners, and scrambled eggs have been made in them. I cook my chicken enchilada sauce in them, and bubble the chicken until it's nice and tender. Maybe I cook more than I think. I guess it's just the tedium of looking for recipes. I think I'll just wing it from now on. I'll take whatever is in my pantry and throw it together. Sometimes, the most delicious things come from that. Now, if I had only gotten the Rachael Ray knife set....

I guess remembering the fire makes me glad to even have a kitchen to cook in. I needed that reminder. :) Hmm...what shall I make today?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nothing & Everything

New blog post up on Amish Country Living. Check it out.


Some pretty good reading if I do say so myself. ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Club and Company

Try these out: Melissa's Tome Talk, Missy's Beautiful Books, Book Hashing with Melissa Kay. I don't know, they all sound kind of cheesy. Regardless, I think I'm starting a book club. Don't get all worried now, you don't really have to read anything if you don't want. It's just I've been such an avid reader for so long, and have a HUGE collection of eclectic books. I really want to share my favorites with you all. So, starting next Friday I'm going to pick one book, maybe two, and tell you why I think you should read it. Either that or you can just hear me expounding on the glory I found in between it's pages. Get ready to travel to some funky places, because I just can't read your typical "girl-goes-west-and-falls-in-love-with-the-cowboy-with-the shady-past". Although I have read those earlier in my reading career. :)

We're having company over tonight for mexican food. It's the lovely people from Switzerland, the ones whom George is redoing their house. I need to get off the comp so I can descend into the nether regions of my home and do a little deep cleaning. All this as my chicken breasts start bubbling merrily, waiting to be turned into enchiladas. Yesterday, I had Selena and Hunter go out and pick up some random trash that had gathered under the snow. All the snow melted now, so I could see the trash. Selena proceeded to say to me, "Why are we trying to be something we're not? Why are we cleaning this up just because company is coming?" It was a nice try, Selena. Maybe I want you to pick it up because THERE IS TRASH IN THE YARD! Then again, and I know you all do this, we clean like crazy when people are coming over. I even wash down the trash can, because God forbid they would see that there once was trash in it. She definitely called me on it. Maybe I shouldn't use those new wineglasses I bought yesterday -- my kids gave me the evil eye and asked if our OLD wineglasses weren't good enough..... I just smiled and told them to be quiet. And we all laughed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bargain Shopping & Basement Junk!

I'm a little late in posting my link to Amish Country Living. I came down with the strangest 24 hour bug on Friday. Heavy fever, chills and the next day I was fine. That happened back in December too. I could feel the chills coming on during the day, just little flashes of them. By the time I had gotten groceries, picked up pizza, rented movies and drove home --- I couldn't wait to lay down. Not sure what's causing these little time frames of flu. I don't like it. :(

I'm feeling fine now. Yesterday we drove to Grove City, PA to shop at the Outlet Mall. We haven't been shopping in m-o-n-t-h-s! We found the best deals. Gap, American Eagle, Rue 21, Old Navy --- usually our shopping is contained to school shopping in August, and Christmas shopping. The kids were in heaven. My favorite kind of deal is when something that regularly runs for 39.99, marked down to 14.99, with 60% off of that yet! Woo hoo -- that's some shopping right there.

Check out my new blog post on Amish Country Living. Posted are some pictures of the "junque" in my basement -- hey! where else can I store it?!

"Lovely Junque"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Laura Ingalls & Winter

Even though fall is my favorite time of year, winter has to be second best. Alot of people talk about depression in winter, and needing sunshine to survive. I guess I'm made up of something different, more hard-scrabble. Whenever I say "hard-scrabble" it reminds me of the pioneers that packed their whole life up and headed west. They plodded forward, covered wagon swaying not so gently, into a life unknown. They also headed into some of the worst winters and blizzards. Imagine this: you're tucked securely into a log cabin, mud chinked into the cracks, and in some cases the shelter may just be a little soddy -- a little shelter made of sod. The winds start howling and you know a blizzard is starting to rev up. You carry more wood in from outside, and hunker down to weather the storm. In the Laura Ingalls books, she always conveyed such a picture of family togetherness, taking the storm in stride, playing checkers. I know, out on those prairies, winter is wicked. It was never taken lightly, and people prepared all year to be ready for winter. I recall moments in those books when Laura woke up to frost covering her quilt -- can you imagine that? Even with all these descriptions, and bone-chilling wake up calls they still had fun in winter. They had ice-skating parties, sleigh rides through town. They gathered in the schoolhouse, heated with a coal stove, and had singing get togethers. They hitched up their horses in mind-numbing weather, digits deep below zero, and went to the store to purchase sacks of coffee and sugar. I found it very enthralling reading.

Laura Ingalls aside, I sometimes tire of hearing people complain about winter. There is a purpose for it. It gives the earth time to rest, to gather strength for the coming spring. As I look out at the blanket of snow on my front lawn, I imagine the tiny blades of grass sleeping soundly --- nurturing themselves for when it's time to wake up. The tulip bulbs, encased in a frosty cocoon preparing for their bursting out. I think people sometimes feel dead in winter. But why? The flowers and trees aren't dead, they're just resting. We should see winter as a time of cleansing. The cold air fills our lungs, and pushes clean, cold air into them. The chill makes my skin tingle and feel alive! We can take a break from most outdoor activity and commune with out family. When I know a snowstorm is approaching, I run to the store in anticipation of being stuck at home for a few days. Excitement builds when the flakes start to fall, and my husband and kids get infected by this merriment. I've made winter not a time of the doldrums, but a time of relaxation and hibernation. When spring and summer come, I'll be ready to head outside into the dazzling greenery. For it wouldn't be so green and lush if it hadn't taken the time to rest. ;)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Amish Country Living Blog Post

Here is the link to check out my new blog post on Amish Country Living. It was interesting and enlightening!

"Seeing through the Blinding Snow"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some Random Pix

We have had so much snow lately it's unreal. I never clean off my picnic table outside so I know how much snow has actually fallen. On the news they said Holmes Co. had received about 2" of snow. Ha Ha! I should have sent this picture in to them. Do you like my Christmas tree I set out back? It's gotten new life as a beautiful snow sculpture!

This is Belle's thumbs up on the day before she left to go back to college in Florida. Even though she's 19 years old, she asked me that morning if I could make her dippy eggs the way I made them for her when she was 3! I had to oblige that request.

This is Belle and I at the airport before she left. She looks excited, I look a little wistful, but ready to let her go. It's always hard, but necessary.

Enjoying the snow! Look for a link to my new blog on Amish Country living. It's a little more of the story of yesterday. Much drama at the airport!