Sunday, September 2, 2018

Week 141, 9-2-2018

Sorry. I have Blogger's Block. I haven't a thing to talk about this week. I've decided to take a blogging break for the month of September while I regroup. 

If I find anything worth posting, I'll save it to put in one big long post for October 7. See you then.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Week 140, 8-26-2018

Thoughts and Quotes: Each day, I'm thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love. 
     I don't know who said it. I saw it on a poster in a photo of a bedroom on Facebook. 

The dog days of summer: They're upon me. Spent most of my week gommin' and piddlin'. But guess what?! The dog days of summer have nothing to do with heat and humidity. Who knew? Read HERE.

Theme Dining: The new pumpkin dishes I bought for the Pumpkin Patch theme dinner (photo on last week's post) came with a flawed mug and plate, so I spent a lot of time on the computer "talking" to Walmart. End result - they sent me a replacement set and told me to just keep the others. 

Does this make you wonder about the markup on merchdise? Or the rise in shipping costs? In the past few years, I've been told to keep a new kitchen sink with a minor flaw, a microwave because I wouldn't accept it due to a damaged box which I wouldn't open (the microwave turned out to be unharmed), and now a set of dishes because two out of sixteen pieces had minor flaws, all because they didn't want to pay return shipping.

Tasting: Remember the simmering sauces I bought at Aldi? I stored them in alphabetical order and tried the first one.

The instructions said to marinate skinless, boneless chicken thighs and then grill them. I wanted to use some legs, so I opened the jar and decided to taste the sauce in case I didn't like it. Well I loved it. I wanted to just eat it with a spoon. I saved a little, used the balance to marinate my chicken legs, and cooked them in a skillet. I wish I had baked them in the marinade. They were really good anyway.

I went to two Aldis looking for more of this heavenly green sauce, but it's a special buy and alas, all gone. So I went online and Googled "chermoula cilantro and parsley herb sauce". I left off the brand name, thinking that other companies might make it. Up popped recipes to make Moroccan chermoula sauce. Wow! I can make my own. So can you. Click HERE. Or just Google "chermoula sauce recipe" and you'll find lots of recipes to make your own.

I mixed the part I saved with ranch dressing and used it on a salad made from the leftover chicken. Yum!

Thrifting: I was running errands on senior discount day at the thrift store, so I thought I'd just pop in and see if they had anything outstanding. Of course. There's always something I just must have.

Just last week I was wishing I had some pretty cream soup sets. The quality of my white ones leaves a lot to be desired. The pattern is not one I would have chosen, but for 80 cents per set, I'll make do. They're Villeboy and Boch - excellent quality and big bucks.

I needed these to go with either the Farmer's Market or the Cabbage Patch Tablescape. They're rather small, so a little glass cup for the middle can hold a votive candle or condiments. 20 cents each.

I have no idea where I'll use these. I have limited peach-colored dishes, but I do have blue. They could sit on a meal salad plate for dressing on the side. 20 cents each.

My plastic corn holders have seen better days, so I grabbed these for 8 cents each.

Perfect for my Lunch with Herb theme lunch (if I ever get it off the ground). 20 cents each.

I told you I'd find some more of these. Now I have three. 20 cents.

This is a small trinket box, but perfect to go on my Literary Lunch table. Still just an idea. I had a heck of a time coming up with a menu for the Lyrical Lunch, and this one will be even more difficult. 20 cents.

Four of these for 80 cents total

The Apple Orchard Soup and Salad table needs a makeover. One of my earliest efforts - I can do better. The napkins might work.

Five of these for 80 cents total. I have no idea what I'll do with these, but I was remembering they might go with some maroon dishes I have. 

I think a maroon and ivory table would be pretty. Maybe use my ivory lace tablecloth with burgundy roses for a centerpiece. Might not match. We'll see.

I also found a roll basket for 20 cents and a crochet book for 20 cents. I know what you're thinking, but not to worry. I'm planning to live to be 105. Maybe longer, now that I heard someone lived to be 117 recently. Wow! What I could do with an extra 12 years.

The Pepper and Pals Report: Stormy continues her goal to take the world apart, one little piece at a time.

I had these papers set aside to punch holes and put them in a binder. Stormy is working her way to the middle.

I bought a couple of cheap chair pads for the screened patio, because Stormy likes to nap there sometimes. She learned to untie one of them so she could turn it over to work on her goal.

When it rains, I leave the screen open for the outside kitties to eat inside out of the wet. I just got this mess cleaned up, and Flower decided to help Stormy.

But how do you scold a kitty this cute?

Teas: Those of you who skim my blog posts have missed a real treat, so I'm including the link again. It's only 7.22 minutes long and absolutely beautiful. Sometimes I start it just so I can hear the music while I check my emails. Click HERE. 

Tea Cups and Cupcakes Group: Bev told me about this group on Facebook and I joined. No requirements - just sign up on their Facebook page. I've loved the photos, the recipes, the anecdotes, the discussion. As a matter of fact, the link above came from this group. 

Anyway, someone mentioned how much they enjoy Great British Baking Show on PBS, and I think it's entering a new season. I'd not seen it, but in checking with the library, I discovered they have all the past seasons on DVD. I picked up Season 1, and I love it. 

I have hundreds of cookbooks, a four-drawer file full of clipped recipes, and 1,000's of recipes pinned on my Pinterest boards, and I'm seeing things I've never run across anywhere in all my years of reading recipes. Have you ever made boiling water pie crust?

They also mentioned Call the Midwife, so I decided to do some checking. Did you know that for $5 a month you can stream tons of PBS shows, including the Great British Baking Show? Just go to and sign up. Call the Midwife has been licensed to Netflix, so you can't stream past shows, but I found that my library has all the past seasons on DVD.

See? You can teach an old dog new tricks.

That's all I have for this week. Must finish that DVD. 










Sunday, August 19, 2018

Week 139 8-19-2018

Thoughts and Quotes: Fashion is inspired by youth and nostalgia and draws inspiration from the best of the past.             Lana Del Rey

Showing my age. I had to Google to find that Lana Del Rey is a 33-year-old singer and songwriter. I'm not so sure she knows of which she speaks, because I have to think really long and hard to find a way the past fashions have influenced today's. 

Bev and I went to a "Nostalgia Vintage Fashion Show" at the Henry County Museum in Clinton, Missouri. It was their annual fundraiser presentation. Do you see anything here which inspired the pants and tops we live in today?

When Carolyn Miller made her presentation, she accessorized each outfit and talked about the clothes in relation to present circumstances. For instance, notice the slim skirt of the gray suit in the middle photo. Then check out those football shoulder pads and the military look. This was from the 1940's when WWII was in full swing. There was little fabric available, so skirts were trimmed down.

The war is over, so notice the flared skirts from the 1960's and 1970's in the photo above, when fabric became available once more. See what I mean?  I think present circumstances have more influence on fashion than nostalgia. But who doesn't love seeing and hearing about it? I know I did.

Lunch was included, and the centerpieces were accessories and sewing notions, etc.

The ladies of the museum committee made the food for a salad bar buffet - 18 in all. My plate looked like leftovers by the time I took a little of most of them. We also had bread sticks and assorted desserts.

The recipes for the salads came from the fundraiser cookbook compiled by the museum ladies. Of course, I had to have one. I especially wanted to see the recipe for Champagne Salad. Guess what? No champagne! But it's a very sweet little cookbook of nice quality, and afterall, it is for a good cause. The museum is worth the time to visit - really large for a city of 9,000 people.  

Carolyn has been collecting vintage clothing since the early 1980's. Her presentation is informative and very enjoyable, as she tells many little stories about her journey. She passed out brochures and some invitations to her September presentation at her store and museum in Sedalia. If you decide to check out the store (not just clothing), the address on the invitation is the correct one. Click HERE for more fun photos. Due to a prior commitment, I can't attend.

Carolyn's little trailer was parked out front, and when we drove away, this beauty pulled up to the other museum building.

Frankly, I'm happy that I can pull on my elastic-waist pants and a stretchy t-shirt to go to Walmart. Can you imagine going in a corset (or girdle), hat and gloves?

Thrifting: We passed a thrift store on the way, so decided to stop in on our trip home. I got all of this for $4.50. 
I'll add this to the June tea dishes.

 Remember the one from Week 136?

I already have one of these. Now I can have a quiche tea lunch.

I'm collecting these for a teen's hope chest.

Six of these.

And six of these. I think they're new.

And six of these.

Thrifting (AGAIN): What happened to down sizing? Well, I kept thinking about the chili peppers tea set, so I checked on Wednesday, and it was still there, except now it was $4 because it was senior day.

And now it's mine. What do you serve at a Mexican tea?

I'm ready for Christmas. New with $14 stickers on each. I paid $2.40 for the pin and $1.20 for the earrings.

40 cents each, and I'll find two more.

Five of these for 80 cents total.

A little boo-boo on the roof, which I can fix. 40 cents. I still need to redo the Sailing, sailing..... theme dinner, so I can use this.

Tasting: Here are the recipes from Mim's brunch I promised you last week.

Fruit Salad

1 large peach
1 banana
3/4 cup fresh pineapple tidbits
6 strawberries, halved
2 tsps sugar

Mix together and serve in stemmed dessert glasses.

Tomato Quiche
1 9” unbaked pie shell
2 cups chopped or sliced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbs flour
1 cup evaporated milk

Heat oven to 375°.

Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes.

Place tomatoes in pie shell and sprinkle with seasonings and scallions.

Scatter cheeses over tomatoes.

Whisk together eggs, flour, and milk and pour over cheese layer.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Bacon-Cheddar Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
6 oz center-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
6 oz. baby spinach
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 eggs
1/2 cup grated extra sharp white Cheddar cheese
Chopped chives for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 350°.

Spray a 9” pie plate with cooking spray. Spread sweet potato slices in pie plate, completely covering all surfaces; 5-7 layers when finished. Spray potatoes with cooking spray. Bake crust for 20 minutes.

Fry bacon in a large skillet on medium heat until brown and crispy. Place on paper towels. Drain grease, reserving 1 Tbs.

Cook onion in bacon grease on medium until translucent. Add spinach, cover for 1-2 minutes and then stir until wilted.

After crust is baked, increase heat to 400°. Put spinach and onion in crust, and sprinkle bacon over spinach. Scatter cheese over bacon.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and pour over quiche to fill. Discard balance.

Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ham and Cheese Rollups

1 8 oz can refrigerated crescent rolls
16 slices deli smoked ham
4 slices American cheese, cut in 1/2 on diagonal
Poppy seeds

Heat oven to 375°.

Separate dough into 8 triangles.

Place on each piece of dough with two ham slices, wrapped around a cheese triangle.

Roll up and place seam-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Mom’s Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped nuts, optional

Heat oven to 325°.

Grease and flour two 8” x 4” loaf pans.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.

Whisk together dry ingredients and add to bowl. Beat well.

Stir in zucchini and nuts.

Pour batter into pans and bake 40-60 minutes, or until bread tests done.

Cool in pans 20 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

 Blueberry Streusel Muffins

1-1/2 cups blueberries
2-1/2 cups flour + 1 Tbs (divided)
1-1/8 cups sugar + 1 tsp (divided)
2-1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tsps vanilla

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 stick salted butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 425°.

Spray a regular muffin tin, or line with paper liners.

Whisk 2-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together 1-1/8 cups sugar with eggs until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until well combined. Stir in milk and vanilla.

Gently fold egg mixture into flour mixture; do not overmix. Fold in blueberries, mixed with 1 tsp sugar and 1 Tbs flour.

Fill muffin cups. Mix streusel ingredients and sprinkle over batter.

Bake until tops are golden and barely firm – 17-18 minutes, rotating tin halfway. Cool in tin 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool 5 more minutes.

Tips: You know those little stickers on produce which have a number? Did you know they also have a code; not just a number for the cashier?

If the number has four digits, it was grown with the use of pesticides. If it has five digits and the first number is 8, it has been genetically modified. If it has five digits and the first number is 9, it has been organically grown. Who knew?

Tidbits: Next Sunday, the 26th, is the night of the Green Corn Full Moon or the Grain Moon. The Native Americans called it the Sturgeon Moon because they were most readily caught then. Whatever you call it, be sure to make a wish.

Tales: I'm reading some of Hope Callaghan's cozy mysteries on my Kindle, and I highly recommend them.

I'm reading about Millie Sanders and the Cruise Ship series right now. Millie is in her 60's. Her husband left her for another woman, and on a whim, she applied for the job as assistant cruise director on the Siren of the Seas and was hired. 

Of course, there's always a murder, but nothing Millie can't handle. I'm into the third book in the series and she's picked up two accomplices along the way - Annette from the kitchen, and Cat from the gift shop. 

There are lots of boxed sets of cozy mysteries for Kindle for 99 cents. Just go to Amazon and search for Kindle cozy mystery boxed sets. First you'll get lots of things for several dollars, but if you click on one of them and then scroll down, you'll find plenty of boxed sets for 99 cents on the carousel.

Tips: We were discussing the Great Britsh Baking Show in the Tea Cup and Cupcakes Group on Facebook, and I've discovered that my library has all four seasons on DVDs. I'd never watched it, but it gets such high marks, I'm going to give it a try. The same with Call the Midwife. Seems I'm the only one who isn't a fan. The library has all seven seasons.

If your library doesn't have the DVD's, you can pay $5 a month to your local PBS station and view lots of past shows. This includes the Great British Baking Show, but you have to get Call the Midwife on Netflix.

Right now our PBS station is having pledge break, so today I watched Johnny Mathis (my favorite of all times) and Andre Rieu in Mastricht.  When watching Rieu, it's difficult to decide who has more fun; the audience or the performers. I love watching both. Watch one show, and you'll be hooked. The music is great as well.

The Pepper and Pals Report: Nothing new here. BJ is still making herself scarce. Stormy Weather Prettypaws and Roly Poly Pepperpot are still finding it difficult to relax.