Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 14, 3-27-2016

Where has the week gone?  Most of my week was spent on Things That Grow, and in my yard, the things that grow are weeds, weeds, and more weeds. And Tales.  I finished another Covington book.  Five down and two to go, but I have to wait until April 12 for number 6 to be returned to the library.

But most of my time spent on Tales was reorganizing my many, many books.  When I changed computers, I couldn't get my book files to transfer.  Recently, I had my computer worked on and the guru figured a way to transfer my Access file.  In the meantime, I've bought books, disposed of books, read books, moved books around in the house and in the garage, so my files are severely out of date.  This is going to take many more hours to get it straight.  I'll give you the sad news of the total count then, but I'm sure I have well over 3,000 books, plus the 900+ on my Kindle and my 500+ cookbooks.  Reality has finally set in, and I've reconciled myself to the fact that I can't live long enough to read all the books and cook all the recipes.  A rude awakening.

Time For Others:  On Monday and Tuesday I made and mailed nineteen Easter cards.

I ran out of bunnies and switched to chicks on Tuesday.  Here's a sample.

Tidbits:  Our weather turned cold enough that I used the fireplace one day.  I was so shocked, I made a note of it and took a photo for future reference.

Saturday was warm enough to get back to the yard.  And then rain, clouds and cold for Easter.  We went to Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks.  The students work their way through and leave with no student debt.  They raise the food, animal and vegetable, they have a dairy (even make ice cream), run the hotel and restaurant, cook the food, serve the food, and do the dishes.  They also have a mill, green houses, and museums.  They even have a child care center and have recently started a high school on campus.  The grounds are beautifully kept.

The court house at Forsyth, Missouri, was blown up by the Union during the Civil War, so the stones were carted over to Hollister to build the chapel.

Stained glass windows surround the main area, ten in all.

Faith, Patriotism, and Hard Work seem to be the foundation of the college.  They even call it Hard Work U.

The memorial is for all the Missouri servicemen and women who died in the Viet Nam war.  

There are always flowers, and swans are nesting in the little house in the lake.

The campus borders the lake.

And then it was Tasting.  The buffet tables were beautiful.  

There was a breakfast buffet table plus an omelet bar.  A pasta station.  A chef's station with salmon, chicken, veggies and sides, plus carving stations for ham and prime rib.  I especially liked the look of the peeled shrimp and oysters on the half shell table.

I loved the cheese and salad tables with carved watermelons and flowers made from thinly sliced turnips dyed with food coloring.

They saved the best for last.  Oh, the desserts!

The last time we were here for Easter, we sat outside with this wonderful view, but today was too cold and dreary.  

Next week is supposed to be spring-like, so it will be back to Things That Grow - weeds.

Tidbit:  Friend Joey and her sister, my Friend Kathy, and their two cousins Billie (girl) and Larry and their spouses celebrate their birthdays together.  So all eight go out to dinner and then to one of their homes for cake and coffee.  Joey made this beautiful cake and table for Billie and I just had to show you because they're so beautiful.

One last Tidbit:  Next Friday is April Fool's Day, so we should make a fool.  I'll probably make cherry or blueberry.  Just Google "blueberry fool" and you'll get plenty of links.  It's really just a fruit puree and whipped cream swirled together, but I've never made one, so now's the time.

In the meantime, let's collectively think SPRING!!! We've had enough dreariness.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 13, 3-20-2016

Forgive me, but this week's post will be another hodge-podge.  No time to sort it, but I promise to do better next week.

Tasting:  So what kind of pie did you make on Pi Day?  Friend Joey made apple.

And I made blueberry - actually, it was sort of a blueberry soup pie.  I added extra blueberries, but didn't put enough extra thickener to compensate.  I gave the pie to Friend Katie Sue, and fortunately, she's a good friend, so we had a good laugh together.  She said the filling was good, though, so she was going to eat it with the top crust and call the bottom crust a garbage item.

Things that grow:  Things are sprouting in my garden.  These are radishes on Monday.

And here they are on Saturday.

I see that a bug already took a bite.

Taking Care of My Health:  I actually started out the week on a good note.  My salad had green, red, and purple veggies (or maybe olives are fruit).  Then things fell apart.

Time For Others:  No, I didn't make cards, but Friend Katie Sue did.  She makes cards for the church and for nursing and senior homes, as well as teaching a class to anyone who is interested twice a month and for no fee.  She said that I could share some of her recent creations.

Tasting:  The original Neighbors Mill is in Harrison, Arkansas, but now we have one in Springfield.  Mim from the VECC gave us gift cards for Christmas, and I finally got to use mine.

I bought dinner rolls for St. Patrick's Day dinner.

And the most delicious strawberry-pecan bread.  Perfect with a cup of tea.

Tasting:  I talked about Carol's Zuppa Toscana so much that Friend Joey said that we should go to Olive Garden so I could have some more.  Great idea, so four of us went for lunch.  Their recipe is very similar to Carol's.  I was happy.

And then I had chicken Parmesan, so I was happy some more.

And the next day I was happy again, because I took half of it home for another lunch.

Tasting:  I know, Tasting again.  I'm afraid this week was an eating marathon.  I made corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots, lime Jello salad and the hot rolls for St. Patrick's Day.

Tablescapes:  I couldn't find shamrocks this year, so I told them that this is My Wild Irish Rose and her friends (aka birthday roses).

No photos of the food, because I was pushed for time and just dumped it on the serving plates.  And we had Pistachio Pudding Cake and Pistachio Ice Cream for dessert.  Gotta go green on St. Pat's Day, right?

I liked the cake recipe which came from Taste of Home, submitted by Suzanne Winkhart of Bolivar, Ohio.  I believe I found it on Pinterest.  Here it is:

Taste of Home

1 yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz instant pistachio pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 350°.

Mix all but the nuts on low speed for 30 seconds; then on medium for two minutes.  Add nuts.

Pour into a greased and floured tube or Bundt pan. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Cool for ten minutes before removing from pan.  Frost and garnish with more nuts, if desired.

I used pecans in the batter and chopped pistachios for garnish.  I frosted the cake with Pudding Frosting, using pistachio pudding.


1 small instant pudding mix of your choice
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
8 oz Cool Whip

Add powdered sugar to pudding mix in large mixing bowl.

Whisk in milk.

When pudding is set, fold in Cool Whip.

Refrigerate cake after frosting.

This will cover a 9” layer cake.

Tasting:  Yes, I'm afraid so.  I wanted to show you that I tried eating right during this feeding frenzy.  I picked up a birthday lunch for Friend Sally from Neighbors Mill, and I ate salad, too.  However, I did eat my entire muffin right after.  But it was pumpkin instead of raspberry, so I would have my yellow/orange fruit/vegetable.  Do I get points for sort of trying?

Tales:  I finished another Covington book.  Friend Joey is reading these also, and we both think they're lots of fun, in addition to being  a great source of information about handling relationships. 

Things That Grow:  My violets are blooming, but I wish they were the deep purple type I remember from my childhood.

Tasting:  I told you it was a week of food.  We're going to the Keeter Center for the Easter buffet, so I'll have great photos next week.  In the meantime, I felt the need to cook and discovered that Friends Bev and Bill had no plans for Easter but they don't like buffet, and Friends Joey and Robert go to their son's house, and they have casual Easter (pulled pork sandwiches this year).  So - Easter Preview Dinner

We had Ham and Pineapple with Raisin Sauce:

(Southern Living’s Creole Cookbook)

This recipe was submitted by Deanna Brosten, McFarland, California, which proves that people all over the country love Southern Living, but how this qualifies as Creole cooking is a mystery to me. 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbs cornstarch
1-1/2 tsps salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Dash of mace (note)
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon rind (note)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1-1/2 cups water

Mix the first eight ingredients in a saucepan.  Add the lemon zest, raisins, vinegar and water and cook to syrup stage.  Serve hot. 

I made this to go with ham, but I’m a purist when it comes to meat.  However, I think it would be fun to put it over poached pears or baked acorn squash.  Best raisin sauce recipe I’ve found.  Good old SL.

Note 1:  I don’t care for mace and omitted it.
Note 2:  I misread the recipe, which called for 1/4 tsp lemon zest, and put in one teaspoon and loved it.

And Cheesy Potatoes:

From: Simply Potatoes

1 pkg Simply Potatoes shredded hash browns
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 375.

Spray an 11 X 7 or 8 X 8 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir together potatoes, salt and pepper.

Spread half in bottom of pan and top with one cup of cheese.

Add remainder of potatoes and top with remaining cheese.

Mix chicken broth and cream and pour over.

Dot with butter pieces.

Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes.

Note:  To double, use a 13 X 9 baking dish, double each ingredient, and Increase baking time.

And Baked Beans:


1 12 oz package bacon
2 large onions, chopped
3 15 oz cans pork and beans
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 Tbs prepared mustard

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove from skillet and add onions.

Sauté onions for 8 minutes and then remove from fat and place in a large mixing bowl.

Crumble the bacon and add it, along with all the other ingredients, to the mixing bowl.

Mix well and pour into a casserole dish with a cover.

Cover and bake for 2-1/2 hours.

Sweet Potato Casserole:


3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (3 15 oz cans)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsps vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs flour
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 11 x 7 baking dish.

Beat all ingredients (except topping) until fluffy.

Pour into baking dish.

Combine brown sugar and flour.

Cut in butter.  Stir in pecans.

Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Green Beans (Frozen, from Aldi):

Deviled Eggs:

Fruit Salad:

For dessert we had ice cream and a fresh batch of Pecan Chews, plus brownies and strawberry cupcakes from the freezer.


My Easter egg tree looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, but hey! busy week!  I meant to cut some daffodils for the center of the table, but ran out of time.  But don't you just love these little bunnies?

Temptation:  I broke down and had bacon and eggs for breakfast with potatoes, AND tomatoes, AND an English muffin.  But look - I ate only one egg.  

Miscellaneous T:  Trees.  All the Bradford pears broke out in beautiful blossoms, and we have lots of Bradford pears.  Spring was in the air, and then the temperatures dropped and we're right back into winter.

Tasting:  I know.  Hard to believe there's more, but my Nephew Kelly and wife Claudia were in town on Saturday and took Brother Bill and me to a Mexican lunch.  Yummy!

I can pretty much sum up the week in one word:


My apologies to Blogger Carrie B.  I messed up.  And my apologies for all these different fonts.  I do this in Arial and all these mystery fonts show up.  

Tidbit:  Be sure to make a wish on the Full Worm Moon on Wednesday, March 23.  Very appropriate.  I feel like a worm.

For next week's goals:  Carry on.  Don't do as I do, do as I say.