Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week 50, 12-4-2016

Thoughts and Quotes:  The recognition of a desire within an individual is evidence that the gratification of that desire is within the abilities of the person who recognizes it.  Quite simply, if you have what it takes to recognize a desire, then you also have what it takes to gratify the desire.  Only your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and perceptions can prevent you from realizing your dreams and desires.  When you begin to affirm positive statements about yourself and visualize yourself succeeding in various endeavors, you begin to reprogram your mind.  And as you think, so will it be.
                                                                        Duke Tufty, Unity Minister, Kansas City, Missouri

Read this several times. Powerful stuff. This will make you brave. If you think it, you can do it. Wow! After I thought this over, I realized it could just possibly be true. For instance, I've never thought of being an artist or an astronaut, and I certainly haven't the talent for either. But I did think that I'd like to do a blog, but I didn't know how. I got an online class through my local library, and Voila! you're reading it. 

So what haven't you accomplished because you're afraid to take that first step? Now you know that you can't fail. If you thought it, you can do it. Add it to your goal list for 2017.

Tablescapes: Remember the invitations? We finally had the lunch on Monday. 

Nothing special - just a soup lunch as an excuse to use all the Quackers I'd accumulated. We had Library Soup (Week 3) with grated cheese and tortilla chips; crackers with bacon spread; radishes, celery, carrots, cucumber slices, pickles, and olives; iced tea; Lemon Custard Pudding Cake.


5 green onions, chopped
8 oz (about 3 cups) finely shredded sharp cheddar
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.

Cover and chill at least two hours.

Spread it on crackers or celery, dip Frito chips. I'll even use it to make finger sandwiches.


6 Tbs flour
6 Tbs butter, melted
2-1/2 cups sugar, DIVIDED
1-1/4 cups milk
Zest of one lemon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, and 2 cups sugar.

Beat the egg yolks with a fork and add, along with milk and lemon zest. Mix well.

Add lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.  Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

Fold into batter.

Pour into a 2 qt. baking dish or individual ramekins.  Place in shallow pan of hot water.

Bake 55-60 minutes.

Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Tales: I'm always reading what everyone else read ages ago. I just discovered Patrick Taylor when I bought several of his books at a thrift store. Alas, the first of the series was missing, but I got it from the library. It's James Herriot all over, but people, not animals who receive the doctors' services. Loved it. If you haven't discovered Patrick, give him a try.

Tasting: The cool weather makes me want to make soup. Monday was Library Soup. Tuesday was Potato-Corn Chowder, Wednesday was Ham-Navy Bean Soup for Kathy. Here's the recipe for the Potato-Corn Chowder.


½ lb. bacon – I just count the slices in a pound and then take half of them
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
5 cups small-cubed potatoes – about 2 lbs.
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained – or use 1-1/2 cups frozen
2 cups whole (4%) milk
½ stick (4 Tbs) butter, cut into cubes
2 tsps salt
½ tsp pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Sliced chives, optional

Cook bacon until crisp, blot and set aside. Save grease.
Cook onions in bacon grease until very tender but not caramelized.  Set aside.  While onions cook, tear bacon into small pieces.
Put potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water.  Add salt.
Cook a few minutes and then add onions.
As soon as potatoes are almost tender, add corn.
When potatoes are tender, add milk and pepper.  Heat slowly, but do not boil.
Add butter and it will melt.
Adjust seasonings.
Put soup in bowl and top with bacon (and cheese and/or chives, if desired).
Enjoy soup.
Have cholesterol checked soon.

This is how much Ham-Navy Bean Soup I took to Kathy and David. They ate it in two days.

Tidbit: This is the mystery of the year. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know. On Monday, when Joey was here for lunch, she told me that a friend had told her about buying an air fryer and how much she loved it. Joey was thinking of buying one, so I said that we should look it up on Amazon. Let me give you some background info first.

Joey uses a computer, an I-Phone, an I-Pad, and a Kindle Fire.

I use a computer, a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Paperwhite.

We both have Wi-Fi in our homes.

We were in my home and we went to my office to use my computer. I logged into Amazon and we looked at all the air fryers. It was Cyber Monday. Joey said, "Can you buy that for me so I can get the lower price, and I'll give you a check"?  I bought it online on my computer with my address as the billing address and Joey's address as the ship to address. I paid with my credit card.

Joey had her I-Phone here in the office, but all her other devices were at her home.

On Tuesday, Joey (in her home) used her Kindle Fire to buy a $1.99 e-book from Amazon. The book was sent to my Kindle Paperwhite and I received an e-mail from Amazon confirming the sale and showing me an invoice. The $1.99 was charged to my credit card. The book did not show up on any of Joey's devices, and her credit card was not charged.

On Thursday I went to Joey's to see if we could figure it out. I told her to buy a "free" e-book on her computer. My Kindle did not show up. She bought a "free" book on her Kindle Fire and it showed her devices. We checked her phone and found a little window which said, "Send to" and showed Patsy's Kindle. We were able to delete my device and then hers came back. 

My computer somehow transferred my account to her phone, but how did it get to her Kindle Fire (where she bought the book) and her Kindle Fire still show her devices, not mine? It's mind boggling. Help!

Tidbits: I received this from friends Ceil and George, and wanted to share. You'll love it.
Click HERE.

The Pepper Report: You want him? He's yours. I'm glad I don't put sugar in my iced tea. I put it down for only a minute while I went to get the card I was making.

How do you cook with your Sous Chef right under your feet?

His wound is looking so much better. He hates that collar and so do I. I've been spoon feeding him several times a day so he doesn't smear any more cat food all over the house. Sure cuts into my work time, but so does cleaning up cat food here, there, and everywhere.

We have an appointment at 3:00 tomorrow with the vet to see if we can remove the collar.

Things That Grow: And change colors. Can you believe? I took the photos on December 3rd. Normally, these trees would be bare at this time of year. There surely must be a climate change going on.

Tidbits: I went to UPS yesterday to drop off a box for my son, and this is their clever Christmas tree. It's sitting on a UPS box, the white things are styrofoam peanuts, the garland is styrofoam (have never seen this before), the stars are cut from cardboard. 

Tales: I finally finished the Sanders book I've been reading for weeks - not because it isn't a good book, but because it's the one I'm reading in bed and I fall asleep after just a few pages. I liked this book a lot, but I get frustrated with the protagonist, because he's a slob, he drinks too much and smokes too much and feeds his kitty garbage. His name is Timothy Cole hence The Timothy Files. His employer investigates other companies for clients interested in a merger, a takeover, or an investment. The book came in three parts and each part is one file, one investigation, and Cole solves lots of mysteries and murders. A really fun read if you're not squeamish about the living conditions of the people in the book.

Tasting: Lots of tasting. First of all, I was so happy to find the bacon dip recipe, that I began to wonder if there weren't other fast and easy recipes just waiting to be discovered. When I was shuffling things in the garage to put away the Quacker dishes, I ran across a cookbook put together by Home Economics teachers called 5 Ingredients Or Less. Perfect!

First I tried Quicky Mexican Casserole. I used regular corn instead of Mexicorn because I'm not a big fan of peppers. It called for a can of Sloppy Joe Mix. I keep seeing commercials for Manwich on TV, so thought I'd try that. It is for making sloppy joes, isn't it? I don't know. They did have cans which said, "Sloppy Joe Mix". Maybe I should have tried one of those. This Manwich stuff is too sweet. Anyway, here's the altered recipe and next time I'll use a different sloppy joe mix. It's so easy to put together and only bakes 15-20 minutes. Besides, I love-love-love those cheap canned biscuits. No class!

5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook
1 lb ground beef
3 green onions, sliced thin with tops (optional)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
15.5 oz can Sloppy Joe mix
16 oz can whole kernel corn
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
6 oz can refrigerated biscuits

Heat oven to 375°.

Brown ground beef, seasoned to taste. About halfway through, add green onions. Drain grease.

Add Sloppy Joe mix and corn. Cook 3 minutes until heated through.

Spoon mixture into an ungreased 8” X 8” baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.

Cut biscuits in half, place cut side down over cheese.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are browned and casserole is bubbling.

If I make this again, I'll use those flaky-style biscuits which come in layers and halve them by separating layers. The cheese keeps the biscuits from soaking up the juicy part, and you'd get a crustier topping.

And it really was only five ingredients. I added the onions and seasonings.

Then I made Peachy Strawberry Salad which I would probably use as a nice summer dessert.

5 Ingredients or Less

3 oz package strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
6 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
8 oz carton Cool Whip, thawed
16 oz can diced peaches, drained

Dissolve jello in boiling water.

Add lemonade concentrate and chill until slightly thickened.

Fold in Cool Whip, then peaches.

Pour into a 13” X 9” baking dish and chill until set.

Cut into squares to serve.

Note: I used two cans of peaches. You could use one can peaches and one can pears, or large can of fruit cocktail. 

You could serve squares of this on lettuce with a garnish of a strawberry half on a dollop of mayonnaise for a salad OR in a sherbet dish with a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry with a mint leaf for dessert. Either way, it’s very refreshing and very festive for summer.

I tried the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving buffet, but it was weird. Those commercial pumpkin pies always taste as if they're made using ingredients from the pharmacy. I decided to make one for myself, but then I remembered that I hadn't made the Pumpkin-Eggnop pie for my new recipe files. And since I already had the eggnog, I made an Eggnog Custard Pie as well. I wanted to drink it, but I already had my quart for this year. I finished it off in two days.

Taste of Home

1 unbaked piecrust
1-1/4 cups eggnog
15 oz can pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375°.

Line 9” pie pan with crust.

Whisk together all ingredients and pour into pie shell.

Bake 60-65 minutes.

I suggest Southern Comfort eggnog. The cheap stuff doesn’t work as well.

Pillsbury Pie Crusts
1 unbaked pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups eggnog
4 eggs

Heat oven to 425°.

Line 9” pie pan with crust. Weight, if desired. DO NOT PRICK. Bake 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. I usually don’t weight my crust, but might have to press it down half way through baking.

Reduce oven to 350°.

Combine eggnog, sugar, and eggs and blend well.

Pour into crust. I usually cover the edges of my crust right from the start to prevent over-browning.

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Bake 30-40 minutes or until set. Center will still be slightly jiggly.

Cool two hours before cutting.

Things That Grow: Remember the little yellow tea roses which Mim gave us as party favors back in June? 

 I thought it needed more sun, so I moved it to the outdoor patio. I put it in a bigger pot. Last week I moved it to the indoor patio with all my indoor and outdoor furniture piled up in there, but that little darling just continues to bloom. I'm afraid to move it indoors. Hope it survives the winter. I'll move it up into the corner later. See - it even has a new bud.

 Still didn't get back to Togs.  Maybe next week.







  1. Hi Patsy,

    Poor Kitty, I know they hate those Elizabethan collars...and so do we, so hopefully it can be removed soon. I love your tablescape and your meals, especially the potato-corn chowder, sound delicious! That book by Patrick sounds quite good. The Autumn colours in your photos are amazing!

    1. The chowder is good, but not the most healthful kind of soup. Very filling. Makes a meal.

      If you get a chance, try the dip/spread. Everyone who tries it falls in love. And so easy if you use pre-cooked bacon. You can make it in no time, but it does need to chill for two hours. I don't know why, because I think it tastes best at room temperature.

      December 4 and our colors are still holding. We're in USA Zone 6. Trees should be bare by now.

  2. Love the look of the dip, perfect for this time of year when we have so many visitors popping in. The tablescape was a real delight, it look amazing with all the little elements put together. Take care.

    1. You must try that dip/spread. Everyone loves it. So easy and you can make it ahead because it needs to chill. I put leftovers in the refrigerator and it's still good the next day. You can spread it on crackers to bump up the protein if your soup is mostly veggies; I like it as a dip with Fritos or tortilla chips. The next time I make it, I'm going to use it as a filling for finger sandwiches and see how that works.

  3. Oh dear poor Pepper hope all goes well at the vets and that he can finally loose the collar. All your recipes look good and I love your table settings in blue and white to match the invitations for your special lunch:)

    1. Pepper thanks you for your good wishes. We'll let you know next week.

      Thank you for noticing that I matched the invitations to the table.

  4. Love those powerful words. You my Friend are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

    Oh I wish we lived closer to each other! I would so be inviting myself (although hoping for an adorable invite) to a tea lunch (quackers or otherwise) at your house!! Just love it all! The invites, the table, the food. Delightful my Dear.

    And that is so whackadoodle about the crazy amazon/kindle mix up!! I have no idea what happened there. You need to find someone that works for the Geek Squad from Best Buy or something to explain that one.

    You have SO many yummy things going on this post! I need to just create a "Patsy cookbook" that I can refer to because I'll have so many from all the ones I keep! Lol! ;)

    Uh oh. Pepper was being a naughty boy. I hope and pray he healed up an will be able to take the cone off too.

    Crazy about all the leaves on your trees yet. It's been so mild here this winter too! No leaves, but still warmer temps and hardly any snow.

    I think I'm going to go dream on that eggnog pie now. ::sigh::
    Blessings. xoxo

    1. You would definitely be on my guest list.

      One of my main goals for 2017 is to figure out how to put a recipe header on my blog so that you can go there and see the week where it appeared.

      You can always copy and paste recipes into your Word program. I create my recipes in Word when I find a new one I like. In Word I have a folder for each: Beef, Chicken, Poultry, Salad, Salad Dressings, Soups, Cakes, Pies, etc. When you add a new recipe to a folder, it automatically appears in alphabetical order. You might have to input the photos separately. Word has an Insert command for photos just like your blog.

      Pepper is a naughty boy. The Dr. took his collar off, and the minute we got home and my back was turned, he scratched and made is wound bleed AND he even scratched the one over his other eye (which had healed) and made it bleed also.

      Oh, well. As soon as they scab over, the collar goes back on. At least I had a chance to give it a good scrub.

      Love to you, Dear One.

  5. That is the cutest 'quacker' table setting, Patsy! Love all the delicious recipes and inspiration. I think all things having to do with computers, etc. are a mystery, so can't help you there. I am still learning how to use my I-phone! I saw some trees last week with fall color here, too, although I think they must be gone this week with our freezing snow. I just found a Patrick Taylor book at the thrift store, too! I haven't read it yet. Hope I get a chance to dig in after the holidays. I'm looking forward to relaxing. Those kitty cones are mess makers, aren't they? My vet calls them 'The cone of shame'! haha! I always feel bad for the poor little patients that have to wear them. Hope it's not for long. Take care and hope your week is full of blessings. xo Karen

    1. My brother said that my quackers look as if they're fighting over blueberries. And can you believe? I had the cutest little ceramic basket with a goose on the side which I could have used for sweetener packets. Oh, well. Next time.

      Update on Pepper above. Collar is still off, but for how long is anyone's guess.

      Patrick Taylor has a website, so you can see his books in the order written. Which one did you find? I recommend checking your local library to see if they have the first one, which will lay the groundwork for subsequent novels.

      Thanks for your kind comments. Big Christmas hug, Patsy

  6. Nice pictures ! I love eating but not cooking , lol !

    1. Unfortunately I like to do both; hence, the diet in 2017.

      And fortunately, in this day and age you can find plenty at the market which is already prepared so that you don't have to cook if you don't want to. I sometimes take advantage of these things when I'm super busy, and some are pretty good.

  7. You have wonderful recipes and your table setting is so beautiful as always! Your pot flowers are happy, you always think of their best places!They will survive the cold.

    1. I recently discovered that the USA is one of the few countries not on the metric system. I'm thinking I should start converting my recipes in case someone in the rest of the world wants to try them.

      I hope you're right about my little yellow rose.

  8. All the delicious things, I want to visit you and taste...
    Poor Pepper, he looks not amused!
    I had subscribed by email your posts, but it wasn't working, tried it again today.
    I always read old books, mostly random finds from a public bookshelf or buy them second hand. The newest are to expensive, I can wait... At last I've read "Altar of Bones" by Philip Carter, really trash and full of corpses, but very exciting. Will search for P. Taylor in German.
    Nice to see these red trees, although it's not the season.
    Have a great new week :-)

    1. You're welcome at my table anytime.

      Pepper got his collar removed and immediately scratched his wound again AND the other eye which was healed. He's a very Bad Boy.

      Can you believe that on December 11 some of those trees still have most of their leaves. We haven't seen snow yet except in the roof crevices on the north sides of houses.

      Don't know Philip Carter. Will check him out. Like you, I buy used books and use my local library.

      New post later today, which will cycle overnight. Short one.