Sunday, January 31, 2010

PBS Masterpiece Theatre


One of my favorite Jane Austen books and movies is Emma.

I can tell you that I've read the book numerous times and have watched every single version of the movie on TV. I even thought the Gwyneth Paltrow version was my favorite, until now.

Screenwriter Sandy Welch retooled the story and came out with this absolutely amazing version of Emma.

Now I'm not sure if you're aware that PBS Masterpiece Theatre is currently showing this wonderful movie, but if you're not, don't worry. It's being brought to us in 3 episodes, the first of which premiered here in the US last Sunday and you can watch on the right here.

Tonight we will be delighted with Episode 2 at 9pm and February 7th Episode 3. What I love is that you can watch them all online, the first one is already available and here is the line up for the other two.

Episode two of Emma is available for online viewing Monday, February 1, 2010, through Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Eastern time.
Episode three of
Emma is available for online viewing Monday, February 8, 2010, through Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Eastern time.

Emma walks with Miss Taylor

As you may recall the book starts with Miss Taylor's wedding to Mr Weston but in this version it starts with Emma's birth, which personally I loved. It made it more real to me though at first I was a little scared that it wasn't following Jane Austen's story but it was quickly forgotten once I got to admire little Emma with her sister and Miss Taylor, and, also got a glimpse of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill as little ones.

I can't even describe the music, the colors, the costumes and the visual appeal of this new Emma, it's an overload of the senses in every way and I'm absolutely smitten with it, I am counting down the minutes until the second episode starts.

I was a little skeptical at first watching Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley, not quite sure if it would work but within the first 5 minutes, I can safely say that he is now my favorite George Knightley of all time and right up there with Mr Darcy as my favorite Jane Austen male character.

Romola Garai impressed me, I love this Emma, she is very animated and bubbly and I think she portrayed the spoiled strong personality girl, extremely well......and then of course there's the chemistry between the two actors which is enough to make anyone blush.

Romola Garai as Emma and Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley

One of the other characters in the book which are not exactly my favorite, is Mr Elton but I was drawn to him in this script, maybe because he was portrayed by Blake Riton who I adored as Edmund in Mansfield Park (2007).

Mr Elton and Emma, with Mr Knightley watching from the window. I think at this point he knew exactly what Mr Elton's intentions were, but of course Emma is completely oblivious.




The above slideshow was made by Katherine of November's Autumn and it features the new soundtrack which you can download here, or on Itunes (search for Emma Soundtrack and Samuel Sims who is the composer).

Here is the trailer:

Oh and when you're done watching the first Episode of Emma, while you wait these long hours until the next one starts, you can always spend a little more time at the Masterpiece Theatre with Dame Judi Dench in Cranford and Return to Cranford. I will talk about these two a little more on another post.

Screencap courtesy of Emma Adaptations. There are tons of wonderful images, info, reviews etc, be sure to check out the website.

And before I forget, you know what just started too? Lark Rise to Candleford Season 3 and oh my word, is it ever as good as the first two Seasons :)

Before I leave, I'm giving you a link to the Masterpiece Classic Schedule, this way you know exactly what is coming up and when. Enjoy and if you do watch these shows, won't you come back and tell me what you thought? :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Personalized CD/DVD Covers!

DVD Covers

I always have a stack of DVD's and CD's on hand for when I want to backup photos or movies or music etc.

The one thing that I really don't like about it is that they don't bring any sort of box or cover, you always end up with a gazillion discs just laying around, waiting to be scratched and filled with fingerprints from sticky little hands. Blech!

At first I started buying the little white sleeves, but then I realized, you know, I want to personalize them, using different colors and lettering and pictures etc.....besides, it's cheaper to make them myself.

I'm sure most of you already know how to do this but in case you don't, here's a super simple tutorial to show you.

I now use these for birthdays and Christmas gifts too, even Valentine's day to hold a CD filled with mine and hubby's favorite songs, the ones that have special meaning or take us back to a certain place and time.

DVD Covers

First thing you need to do is grab one of the old white sleeves and carefully pull it apart, so now you're left with the template.

DVD Covers

I'm going to use the polka dot paper. You can use whatever paper you have on hand, but I like using Scrapbooking paper which is a little sturdier.

Turn your paper around with the front facing down. Lay the template on the back and trace with a pencil. Cut out the template.

DVD Covers

Then using a little bit of glue, fold the paper following the template.

DVD Covers

DVD Covers

At this point you can go ahead and either keep it really simple and just add the title, or you can go all out and add printed pictures or lace or buttons or whatever. For these I kept them super simple.

DVD Covers

DVD Covers

They're are so much fun to make and really fast too, I'm going to continue making mine and once I have them all done I'll post another picture.

Go on now, go have some fun, get the kids involved too, I've actually made two plain white sleeves that my kiddos are drawing pictures on after school, how fun will that be?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cooking Thursday


I've been doing the Slow Cooking Thursday for so long now, years actually, and it's had a good run but I've noticed lately that everyone seems to be running out of crockpot recipes to share and I don't want to completely do away with the feature, so I thought it time to change it up a bit.

Cooking Thursday will now replace our weekly crockpot feature to include not only those recipes but also any kind you may wish to share......breakfast, main dishes, desserts etc.

So won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.

Photobucket

CREAM SCONES

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) whipping cream or milk


Glaze:
Cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.

The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream, beaten egg and vanilla.

Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix.

Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round. Then, using a 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds.

Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.

Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.

Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with Devon cream or softly whipped cream and your favorite jam.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My safe haven.......

Wedding Rings

Everyone has that special place they go to, that special item that brings back good memories, that makes it all better when things seem a little too much too handle.

For me, it's these rings.....my wedding rings.....my one safe haven in this crazy world.

Some may see it as a simple wedding band, a promise to love each other forever, to be there through thick and thin and good and bad and sickness and health, and while that very well may be, they've also become a beacon of light during my dark days.

From the very moment that Curt slipped these rings on my finger, there they have remained, I have never removed them, not for anything, not for anyone, I do everything and go everywhere with them, because they've become a part of me, a part of who I am, they're just there. I slipped them off to take the above photo and felt empty, naked, I could not wait to put them back on my finger.

Sometimes it's easy to forget they're even on, I've gotten that used to wearing them, but then I'll have a bad day and all I do is reach ever so gently with my thumb and feel the cold metal and BAM, it brings me a smile to my face, brings me peace, makes me calm down.

If these rings could talk they would no doubt fill your mind with stories.

The first time they slipped onto my finger, it was exciting, it was new, it was a little weird not being used to wearing a ring.

They've touched my swollen belly when we were expecting our first child, they've caressed our unborn daughter and felt the first kick.

They've felt the rough itchy growing beard of my husband's face when I've reached up to touch him.

They've held onto my belly through both my miscarriages.

They've become wet with tears of grief, with tears of joy.

They were there for our second child, holding our son in my hands, thanking the Lord for a healthy baby boy after the bitter sweet pregnancy.

They've held spoons when I prepared our first meal as husband and wife, keys to my first car, luggage as we travel, bills, books.

They've nursed runny noses and scraped knees.

They've been there through it all, true to their vows and most of all as a comfort during long lonely months while my husband is deployed.

Yes, they're rings, jewelery, and some may see them as nothing more than that, but for me, they're my life line.

They're a reminder of the love my husband and I share and the family we have together.

And during those days where I'm sick, or sad or missing him terribly because he's away, I touch them and kiss them and let them get me through that moment. They will always be a part of Curt that I have with me, at all times.

So next time you look down at your wedding rings, don't think of them as just a piece of gold, think of them as a reminder of your husband's love.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm sick :(

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2261/2407252089_4715a60651.jpg

I am hoping that it's a short little cold just like the last one, but for now, I don't feel well so I'm in bed, with the laptop on my lap, vicks on my nose and kleenex in my hand.

I'll be back soon!

Happy Homemaker Monday!

hhm



The weather in my neck of the woods:
It's finally stopped raining but I think we are getting a little more this week.


One of my simple pleasures:
Walking barefoot in the grass


On my bedside table:
Twenties Girl
The Thirteenth Tale


On my TV:
Stargate SG1 Season 10
Stargate Atlantis


On the menu for tonight:
Flatbread Tacos


On my To Do List:
Put away laundry
Sweep and Mop floors
Dust


New Recipe I tried last week:
Chai Tea Concentrate


In the craft basket:
I don't even remember anymore, it's been ages since I've looked in there.


Looking forward to:
Being alone in the house for the day so I can get my housework done without interruptions. What is it with weekends? It's like Tornado Alley!


Homemaking Tip for this week:
Instead of using plastic wrap to cover bowls in the microwave, cover a round heatproof glass bowl with a round heatproof glass casserole cover or with an inverted heatproof glass bowl of the same size. A heat-resistant round glass pizza pan also works well, and the overhang makes removal and recovery both safe and easy.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
None this morning, I haven't caught up on my blog reading yet.


Favorite photo from last week:

Rain for two weeks non stop



Lesson learned the past few days:
That I'm a worrier, no matter how hard I try not to, it's just who I am and it's been one of the hardest things to overcome.


On my Prayer List:
Family and Friends


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 16:32

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What a crazy week!


It's been absolutely nuts around here, I guess that is what happens when you live in a State that is not really used to seeing a lot of rain. When it does come down everyone panics.

The rain has been pouring down for almost two weeks straight, there are floods, there are huge puddles, there are streets that if you're not careful you end up driving on the sidewalk because you just can't see the road.

Schools have been closing down early as the buses can not reach certain areas. All in all it's just been crazy.

Thankfully this morning we woke up to beautiful blue skies, not a single cloud and warm sunshine.....welcome to Arizona! *snicker*

Time to get out of the house, run errands, hit the local Goodwill and just enjoy the good weather, I'll come back later and show you whatever I find.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cooking Thursday #4


I've been doing the Slow Cooking Thursday for so long now, years actually, and it's had a good run but I've noticed lately that everyone seems to be running out of crockpot recipes to share and I don't want to completely do away with the feature, so I thought it time to change it up a bit.

Cooking Thursday will now replace our weekly crockpot feature to include not only those recipes but also any kind you may wish to share......breakfast, main dishes, desserts etc.

So won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.

Chicken Poulet
CHICKEN POULET


2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 C Mayo
1/4 C Green Onions
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 stick margarine
1 cup water
16 ounce pkg Peppridge Farm corn bread stuffing mix
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Sprinkling of salt
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Butter casserole dish. Make chicken mixture in one bowl and set aside.

Melt water and butter together in the microwave. In a large bowl, add stuffing mix, butter and water mixture, chicken broth and 2 eggs. Stir until well combined.

Add half of the stuffing mix to the bottom of the casserole dish....layer with chicken mixture and then top with the remaining stuffing.

Beat 2 remaining eggs and add milk. Pour over casserole (do not pack or smooth down, leave loose). Let chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Before baking, pour cream of mushroom soup over top and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Take out and sprinkle cheese over top of casserole. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Chicken Poulet



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A love to last forever by Tracie Peterson


All Beth Gallatin has really wanted out of life is to settle down in one town, with one man, and raise a family. But with her father's roaming ways, she's always been denied that dream; instead, she found solace in reading romantic books. With her father's passing, she can, for the first time, dare to claim the rugged Montana frontier as her home. Nick Lassiter has loved Beth since she first came to town, but she's always seemed to think of him more as a brother. Just when he finally gets Beth to consider him, however, a challenger threatens the affection growing between them. But neither Nick nor Beth is prepared when they must face the consequences of Nick's complicated past. As a past fraught with unwise choices and guilt invades their world, can Nick and Beth find a love that will last forever?

If I'm looking for a good book to sit down with, this is it. Little did I know that my very first Tracie Peterson book would result in an immediate love for the writer.......I can safely say that she's quickly climbed to the top of my list for favorite authors.

One of my favorite book genres are historicals and Christian fiction and this one brings both of those together.

The main character is Beth and from the get go she had me smiling, she's a huge book lover, dime novels to be exact. She's also a dreamer and a hopeless romantic, dreaming of the day Prince Charming will come into her life and sweep her off her feet.

Along the way we will watch as Beth comes to realize she's in love with Nick Lassiter while having to discourage the advances of Adrian Murphy.

Set in 1870's, the book is full of exciting characters, I really could not put it down and even though I read it out of order this being #2 of the Brides of Gallatin County, Ms Peterson writes in a way that you don't get lost or wonder who is who and what is what.

I can not wait to get my hands on book #1 - A Promise to Believe in and #3 - A dream to call my own of this series. Have you read any Tracie Peterson books, can you suggest any that you think I would enjoy?

What's Cooking?

Why don't you go on over to my Food Blog and take a look at some of the things we've been munching down on and drinking over the past few days.

There will be more recipes up tonight but for now:

CHAI TEA CONCENTRATE - Let me tell you, it's SO good and much cheaper than having to get a Chai Tea at Starbucks.

Chai Concentrate

FUDGE BROWNIES - My first run with the KitchenAid Mixer....oh we're going to be really good friends I can already tell.

Fudge Brownies

ROAST BEEF & MOZZARELLA SANDWICHES
- Quick, easy and just what the kids and hubby like, a good ol' meat sandwich with cheese. YUM!

Roast Beef & Mozzarella Sandwiches

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday!

hhm



The weather in my neck of the woods:
Raining, raining and more raining. It's the reason this post is so late getting up, because there's no school or work and with the sound of the rain I completely overslept. Feels good though :)


One of my simple pleasures:
Listening to the rain, I could stand near my bedroom window and watch and listen to the pitter patter all day long.


On my bedside table:
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Kleenex


On my TV:
Stargate SG1 Season 10
Stargate Atlantis


On the menu for tonight:
Chicken Poulet (recipe will be up on food blog tonight)


On my To Do List:
Laundry
Sweep and Mop floors
Dust
Ironing
Baking with my KitchenAid *snicker*


New Recipe I tried last week:
Bama Sandwiches (will have the recipe up this morning)


In the craft basket:
Granny Square blanket - It's been in there forever, I need to get back to it.


Looking forward to:
Watching some movies this afternoon, after all the housework is done, I want to get on the couch with a big thick blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie.


Homemaking Tip for this week:
I know most of us ladies have pierced ears, but how many of you sometimes go long periods of time without wearing any earrings only to find that when you do want to put some on, it's a bit of a pain to get the earring through?
I have this problem especially with Jasmine and I hate hurting her, so I started using a little dab of antibiotic ointment on the tip and they slide right through while also keeping it nice and clean and disinfected.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
"She deserves some TLC" from Sandra at Sister Faith. Such a good post :)


Favorite photo from last week:

My new baby

2010_01160005


Lesson learned the past few days:
That sometimes it's ok to have your kids miss one day of school even if they're not sick. Why? Because Friday we all needed that extra time together, that bonding, that TLC and it's exactly what we got. I used to get so upset when the kids missed a day of school even if they were sick, I just didn't like doing that but I quickly realized that I'm the mom and I know better than anyone if a day at home whether due to sickness OR not, is what is best for them.


On my Prayer List:
Family and Friends


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Best Husband in the World!

Oh I know some of you are reading this and going "whatever, MINE is the best in the world", but, I think mine is. Hahah

I have one of the most unselfish, thoughtful husbands there could ever be and it makes me smile and thank the Lord every day for him.

Since we've been married, going on 12 years this year, there are a few things that I've always wanted but due to circumstances or financial obstacles, I just couldn't get, and it was fine I mean having children has immediately shifted my priorities and made everything about them and their happiness and well being.

I very rarely, if ever, go to a store and buy something for me and when I do I get that guilty feeling, like "did I really need that? I'm sure I could have used that money for something for the house".

My husband has always been behind me saying "Buy it, spoil yourself, you deserve it" but I just never did.

Anyway, one of the things I've always wanted seeing that I spend most of my time in the kitchen, was a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. That was like my dream.

You know how some guys dream of that shiny sports car with all the bells and whistles? Well this was my dream sports car.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when my husband bought me one? I about died, you could have sworn someone handed me a check for a million dollars, I was THAT happy. Then the silly man apologizes because he bought me a white one instead of a red one to match my kitchen, saying he looked through every single one he could find and there were no red. Are you kidding me? It could have been a purple with yellow polka dots and I wouldn't have minded either.

2010_01160005

Isn't she beautiful? There she sits waiting patiently for me to plug her in and take her for a ride, which I plan on doing this afternoon. What to make, What to make? I'm actually a little nervous, how funny is that?

Oh I know a lot of you already have one and are probably laughing at me right now. LOL

But if that little gem in itself wasn't enough, he bought me KitchenAid utensils and all kinds of gadgets, the man knows what I love and he loves me which in turn just makes me love him even more. It's a big ol' circle of love which I'm so happy to be a part of. *snicker*

2010_01160008

Wanna laugh a little more?

See that big ladle? Well since we moved here from Idaho which his going on 3 years in July, I lost my ladle and it was one of those "I'll buy a new one next week, I'll buy a new one next week" kinda thing. Well here we are a gazillion weeks later (don't ask me to do the math, I still count on my fingers and toes and that would take f.o.r.e.v.e.r) and I still didn't have one.

So guess what he got me? A ladle. LOL

Now maybe another woman would take the said ladle and whack him upside the head and ask what kind of a gift that is, but again, I grabbed it and screamed "AHHHH a ladle, I love you honey". I think at this point he was just staring at me, shaking his head and laughing.

But that's not all, because by now I was literally feeling like I hit the jackpot in kitchen items AND husband wise.

Little did I know that I was about to get 2 more things that I've been wanting forever.

Back in Idaho, the base we were stationed at had yard sales every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here NOTHING.

They recently started having one, at one of the parking lots near the Commissary, the first Saturday of every month. Kinda lame, but whatever LOL

So we went to get groceries and decided to just walk across to the Yard Sale and I came face to face with two items I've been coveting for a while.

2010_01160006

I've been wanting white and blue dishes but can never seem to find them. I found these two for a dollar, I mean....ONE DOLLAR!

I think I may have snatched them out of the seller's hand and muttered something along the lines of "MINE". I don't know, the details are kinda hazy LOL

But I love them, they are so beautiful and they only make me want more, oh and if you know of a place I can get some please let me know.

I was walking back to the truck with these safely tucked under my arm and then suddenly BAM, I see a lady starting to pack her stuff away and in her hand she had something else that I have really really wanted for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy because they do tend to be a little expensive.

Apothecary Jars. Oh yeah, I said APOTHECARY JARS, big, tall, fat, beautiful jars, for $10 for a set of 3. When I say big, believe me, you could fit a puppy in there or a newborn baby, they are THAT big.

2010_01160003

Oh the possibilities with these. Throughout the year I'm going to fill them with items according to the holidays. I'm thinking hearts and candy for Valentine's day, all sorts of eggs for Easter....yeah, this will be fun.

I wish I could stay and chat but my KitchenAid is glaring from the counter and raring to go, so I'll go and make it happy just like it made me, I'll let you know later what I made.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recipes and Grocery Lists!

EDIT: I've noticed that some of you were having a problem getting the meal planners so I put new ones up. I honestly didn't realize that the others were linking to a Mormon site. My apologies.


It's that time of the month for me......now don't go getting any weird ideas, I'm quite an open person but not THAT open about things LOL

I mean it's that time of the month when I sit down and write up my Menus and the grocery list.

I have received quite a few emails asking me how I go about getting my Menu Plans and the grocery list done, many of these emails are from newlywed women just trying to get a handle on the whole cooking thing.


Thankfully as I've shared in the past, I learned from an early age about Menu Planning, there was never a time when my stepmom did not have everything organized and written out and planned for the meals.

Let's face it, nowadays we really don't have time to run to the supermarket at 5pm racking our brains for that night's dinner and honestly the whole daily routine can become boring and old real fast.

I'm not saying that if you don't menu plan, it's a bad thing. Not at all, different strokes for different folks, but for me over the past almost 12 years of marriage, it works and I can't see myself doing things differently.

But going back to the how's.

Being military we get paid every two weeks, so I shop every two weeks, but if that seems too much for you right now, then start small, just think 7 meals for next week and only 1 supermarket run.

To get you started, here are some charts you can print out INCLUDING meals, all you need to do is switch it up here and there. Obviously it's just an idea, you don't HAVE to make the meals suggested, feel free to add your own.

Weekly Meal Planner - Portrait (.pdf)
Weekly Meal Planner - Landscape (.pdf)
2-Week Meal Planner (.pdf)
Monthly Menu Planner (.pdf)
Weekly Menu Planner (.pdf)


It's Cheaper
- That's the great thing about menu planning for me, the money we save by cooking from scratch and going to the store once instead of every day, is far worth the time it takes to sit down and draw up your menu.

Using the Internet - I like to sit in front of my laptop and open up my Google Reader, I have a bunch of wonderful food blogs, everything from Portuguese to Southern Cooking, all kinds of great blogs where I can get ideas.
When I find a recipe I want to try I bookmark it. I have a folder named "Recipes to Try" and I just add them there as I find them. When I'm planning my menu I first go to that folder and take a peek through, see if anything catches my eye and then once I've made that dish and written down the recipe, I can remove it from that folder. Easy Peasy!

Using Family Favorites - there is absolutely no need to make these elaborate menus, yes if you want to try something special that's fine, but for the most part, keep it simple. There are quite a few recipes that we always have like Spaghetti, Homemade Pizza and Soup etc. If you like, you can also do theme nights....

Monday - Mexican
Tuesday - Soups and Sandwiches
Wednesday - Italian
Thursday - Crockpot
Friday - Kid favorites

Lunches are usually leftovers, and if there aren’t any, then it's easy stuff, like sandwiches, ramne noodles, chicken nuggets etc.

For breakfast, it's either cold cereal, muffins, pancakes or toast.

Grocery Lists - I make my grocery list as I plan the menu, the reason is that while I'm adding a meal to the menu I can jot down any ingredients that I may need to buy. I usually go over it again just to be sure I am not missing anything.

Once I've written down the list, I go through my refrigerator and pantry and check off any items that I may already have on hand, sometimes you think you need to buy something only to return home and see 1 or 2 of the same already in the pantry. Yeah I've done that many times.

Hope this answered some of the questions and maybe just motivated you to try menu planning.

Cooking Thursday #3


I've been doing the Slow Cooking Thursday for so long now, years actually, and it's had a good run but I've noticed lately that everyone seems to be running out of crockpot recipes to share and I don't want to completely do away with the feature, so I thought it time to change it up a bit.

Cooking Thursday will now replace our weekly crockpot feature to include not only those recipes but also any kind you may wish to share......breakfast, main dishes, desserts etc.

So won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.

2010_01130020


1/2 cup dried onion flakes
2 pounds ground chuck- 80/20 ground beef
1/2 t. seasoned salt
6 slices cheddar cheese
24 small party rolls- I use Martin's Potato Bread Party Rolls
24 dill pickle slices

Evenly spread the onions on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Gently press the ground beef on top of the onion flakes. Press evenly making one giant pattie.

Sprinkle with seasoned salt. At this point you can use a drinking straw and poke holes throughout the meat. That is what they do with the original white castle sliders.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Using a paper towel, pat the excess grease from the top of the pattie.

Top with cheddar cheese, return to oven for 2 more minutes.

Remove from oven, let set 5 minutes then cut into 24 patties. Slice open and separate each party roll. Place bottom of rolls on a large platter.

Using a spatula lift pattie with onion layer onto each bun bottom. Top each slider with a pickle slice then the bun lid. Serve immediately. Makes 24 Sliders.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

National DeLurking Week!


Did you know that it's National Delurking week?

So I'm just going to ask you to please leave me a comment and it doesn't matter if you're a new reader or one who's been with me for years....I promise to come visit your blog and leave you a hello too.

With all the followers I have, it would be wonderful to get an hello, I'm always up for making new friends :)

My favorite time of day.....


As I sit here doing the dishes, I have the most beautiful sunset outside. It always makes me smile and it kinda brings the day to an end for me, sort of like packing my life into a little box for the night.

All the stresses, all the daily activities, everything just neatly organized and stashed away until the next morning.

So today Jasmine had a field trip, they visited some Heart Center to learn about the Heart and how to take care of it etc.

I don't think I have to tell you moms *and dads* that every time your child is not with you, you think about them and you wonder where they are and what they're doing and if they're safe.

I guess you could call me a mother hen, because I truly get nervous when one of the kids goes anywhere that is not with me or my husband or another family member.

The thought of bus rides and being in an unaccessible area to me, drives me completely bonkers. Sometimes I feel just ridiculous for feeling this way, but what can I do, it's the mommy in me wanting my babies near all the time.

One thing that I'm extremely proud of is the fact that my children know responsibility and they know the importance of keeping in touch no matter where they are, so it didn't surprise me when my cellphone beeped just before lunch time with a message from Jasmine letting me know that the tour was over and they were on the bus heading back to school.

And then, another text about 45 minutes later, just a simple few words "I'm back at school".

Nothing special about what she texted but it made me smile, the fact that my 10 year old had the sense to send me the messages knowing that I would be worried, just warms my heart. Truly makes me think that I'm doing a good job with my children, which of course again, if you're a parent you know how we constantly question ourselves and our choices. We judge ourselves far too harshly at times.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you what I've been up to today.

I was contemplating watching American Idol but for the first time in years I don't even feel like watching it....how weird?

I may just read or make it an early night and hop into my warm bed and wait for the rain to start.

Have a great night!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday

hhm



The weather in my neck of the woods:
Still getting cold mornings and warm afternoons. I really don't like it, would rather it be cold or hot, not both LOL


One of my simple pleasures:
Sleeping in


On my bedside table:
A Love to Last Forever by Tracie Peterson - Almost done with it, loving the book
Couple books from library and one to review for you all


On my TV:
Stargate SG1 Season 9
Living with the Dead


On the menu for tonight:
Chicken Curry


On my To Do List:
Laundry
Sweep and Mop floors
Dust
Ironing


New Recipe I tried last week:
Baked Cheese and Ham Sandwiches


In the craft basket:
Granny Square blanket


Looking forward to:
Getting back on track with my weight loss, I was doing so good and then this weekend fell off the wagon. Too much junk food and laying around.


Homemaking Tip for this week:
I got nothing today, maybe I'll think of something later and come and edit LOL


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
No blog reading last week, I'll have to catch up today.


Favorite photo from last week:

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Lesson learned the past few days:
Not to be so hard on myself. I was so upset earlier this morning when I realized I had actually gained weight over the weekend, but I had to remind myself that it's ok, I'm not perfect and the weight loss journey is never without a little hiccup here and there.

It's far to easy to criticize ourselves rather than think positively all the time.


On my Prayer List:
Family and Friends


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
http://www.thedailybibleverse.org/images/dbv-main.jpg

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quiet Weekend!

Won't you come on in and sit with me for a little?

I wanted to post the last few days and for some reason my internet was not allowing it and I could have gone to the library but to be quite frank, I'm too cold to go anywhere Hahaha

But come in, I have the heater on and a hot cup of tea, I'm also nibbling on some shortbread which is hitting the spot.

So it's been coldish and cloudy here the past few days and the tips of my fingers and my toes are actually freezing. It's so weird makes me feel like I'm not in Arizona though just one look out the window at the cactus around here quickly squashes that thought.

We've been home all weekend, hanging out, watching tv, reading and laughing and playing games like Dominoes Mexican Train, such a fun game to play.

We've also been enjoying comfort food, you know the kind, the stick to your ribs and sop it up with a bread roll kind, like the delicious beef stew I threw into the crockpot and has been cooking all day.

YUM!

I'm almost done with the Tracie Peterson book "A love to last forever" and Oh my goodness, if only I had found this author before, I'm loving the book it's so good, I can't wait to finish and review it for you all.

Another thing I've been doing this cold weekend, other than laying under warm covers and cuddling, is watching a bunch of Paranormal shows on YouTube. I love the Living Channel on BBC and unfortunately I don't get it but they have so many good shows, so I'm thrilled that I was able to find a bunch on YT.

Like Living with the Dead and Most Haunted (so irked that they don't show it anymore).

When it all comes down to it, I think the biggest reason I enjoy all these shows is because I get to virtually visit all these amazing, gorgeous cottages in England. I want so badly to one day build our own home and make it exactly like one of those cottages.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3095/2642874540_7fd1bc4119.jpg

Like that one, so pretty

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41202000/jpg/_41202224_cottage_stein416.jpg

Or this one, yes this one.

It's just a dream, I can have them whichever way I want them right?

Anyway, my tea is getting cold and there's nothing I dislike more than a sip out of a cold cup of teat or coffee. So I'm going to make a new one, grab some more cookies and finish my book.

Triaminic Cold Strips Winners!

My internet has been acting up and I couldn't get on before to draw the winners, I apologize.

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway and congratulations to the winners.

I used Random.org to select 3 winners from the 13 comments and the numbers pulled were:

#5 - Laura at Infinitely Blessed
#9 - Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes
#12 - Terri at Terri and her Talk

Thanks again ladies, please email me your address so that I can pass it on to the folks at Triaminic.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cooking Thursday - #2


I've been doing the Slow Cooking Thursday for so long now, years actually, and it's had a good run but I've noticed lately that everyone seems to be running out of crockpot recipes to share and I don't want to completely do away with the feature, so I thought it time to change it up a bit.

Cooking Thursday will now replace our weekly crockpot feature to include not only those recipes but also any kind you may wish to share......breakfast, main dishes, desserts etc.

So won't you join me and share with us one of your new recipes, or an old family favorite, you can even throw in a recipe for homemade soaps or detergents (just remember to specify).

For the guidelines, you can go here.

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SAMBURGERS

1 ¼ lb. ground beef
3 Tbsp. A1 sauce
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
¾ tsp. dry oregano
1 Tbsp. dehydrated onion

Combine ingredients. If you want big burgers, shape into 4 patties, I used 2 lbs of ground beef and made 8 burgers.

Grill for about 7 minutes on each side over medium. I didn't have charcoal in my grill so I used my griddle which I've done before to make other burgers and they always turn out wonderful.

I like toasted buns (haha) so I do that while the meat is grilling. If you want cheese on your burger, and we always do, place it on top of the patties about 2 minutes or so before they're done cooking.

When done just place on your toasted buns (I can't say this without laughing today haha) and add whatever toppings you wish. I like grilling some onions on the griddle at the same time the patties are cooking. Delish!