Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week 70, 4-23-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. Chinese Proverb

And weeds recognize it best. We've had three days of rain and more to come. However, today we finally have sunshine, so today's post will be brief, so I can participate in the War of the Weeds.

Teaching and Learning: I had another session with Brandon at the library, and the recipe pull-down tabs are ready to go. They're at the top, under the heading. I've arranged them in the order I usually find in cookbooks.

Click on a category - a list of recipes will drop down. Click on the recipe you want to see. You will be taken to the WEEK where I posted the recipe. You'll have to scroll down to search for the recipe. You'll be in a new window, so you must close it to go back where you started. Then click on "Home" to close the drop-down tab.

My next step will be learning how to alphabetize the recipe names in each category. Baby steps - we'll get there.

Time for Others: More cardmaking. Results of FS63.




Results of FS64:




And we made three cards in Katie's class

The Pepper report: We had to make a little trip to the vet. Pepper has been scratching his hair out and even making bald spots. Dr. said he probably has an allergy and gave him a shot. Let's hope it works.

And now the dilemma. Pepper wants a kitty and I don't want him to have one. Remember the photo of Pepper and Stormy from last week?

I decided to open the screen and see what happened. My boy is such a gentleman.

I haven't opened my indoor patio yet, so all the outdoor furniture and pots are still there with the indoor patio furniture. Stormy climbed over everything, sitting awhile in a pot.

Now remember that this little girl is a feral kitty, never touched by a human. I opened the slider, which leads into my family room. I was sitting on the couch, reading. Stormy walked right in, looked at me, went on into the living room, explored everything, went into the kitchen where she helped herself to most of Pepper's dinner though she'd already eaten hers.  

The next day, I left the screen and the slider open again (raining, raining), and Stormy walked right in. Pepper followed her and joined me on the couch in the family room. Stormy came over and plopped down under the coffee table in front of the couch and started watching television.

After a bit, she went into the living room and Pepper followed. When I took a little peek, she was lying on the couch and Pepper was on the floor in front of her. He adores this little lady. I went back to my book in the family room and then I heard a crash. Stormy had climbed into the middle of a pot of hyacinths on the coffee table and knocked it over. Dirt everywhere. 

I know she'd love to be a house kitty and Pepper really wants her, but can I put up with the mess of another kitty? She's still young and wants to explore and climbs everywhere. What to do, what to do? 

Things that Grow: Not my things, but Peter has given me permission to share some of his photos. 

A Bluebell Glade in Ireland

And photos from the Japanese Garden at our Botanical Center in Springfield, MO

Kudos to Peter for his excellent photography.

Theme Dining: I've scarcely started on the final theme meal for April. I'm definitely going to do A Celebration of Citrus - my refrigerators are full of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes.

I'm deciding on the tablescape, and I don't have anything lemon yellow. Guess butter yellow will be okay. We'll see. I have no idea what to do for a centerpiece. Any suggestions?

I have plenty of pictures to make the invitations, and the envelopes are finished (made from pages of a produce calendar).

I have some tag ends from tea bags to decorate the menus; being inspected by my supervisor, as you can see.

The tentative menu follows. I haven't tested even one of the recipes yet.

Grapefruit Salad with Lemon Cream Dressing

Game Hens A L'Orange

Orange Rice

Lime Beets

Lemon Muffins

Citrus-Mint Iced Tea

Orange Meringue Pie

And for party favors, Lemon Fudge

So this week is going to be very busy. Status report next week. And as this is a short post, how about a preview of May Tablescapes?

May Flowers

Pansies Plus

Cabbage Patch

Blue Asian


Taking Time for Fun: Some days have more than one National Day, but you just knew I'd choose the ones about food, didn't you? These are American, but I hereby extend a welcome to readers from other countries to join us.

Monday, April 24: National Pigs in a Blanket Day - click HERE.

Tuesday, April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day - click HERE, but don't use that recipe. Use this one -

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease two regular-size loaf pans and set aside.

Mix eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in zucchini and pineapple.

Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl and then stir into zucchini mixture.

Bake 1 hour.

Note: This is a nice quick bread to slice for afternoon tea or for making zucchini-cream cheese finger sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 26: National Pretzel Day - click HERE, and if you're not going to be near a mall to buy one, there are some recipes on the link. OR you can skip the pretzels because it's also National Kids and Pets Day. I'm sure Pepper is going to want lap time (and maybe some little bits of pretzel).

Thursday, April 27: National Prime Rib Day - click HERE. Go out to a restaurant or make your own from the recipe on the link. If you're a vegetarian, you can watch a baseball game because it's also National Babe Ruth Day, and if you can't find a game, it's also National Tell a Story Day. If you don't know any stories, as a last resort, it's also National Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day (if you can spare a day where you won't accomplish a thing). 

Friday, April 28: National Blueberry Pie Day - click HERE. There's a recipe on the link, or you can plant a tree because it's also National Arbor Day. Click HERE for the foundation website and information on how to get some free trees.

Saturday, April 29National Shrimp Scampi Day - click HERE. And if you're allergic to shellfish, you can plant a rose because it's also National Peace Rose Day - click HERE. Antonia Ridge wrote a lovely non-fiction book about the Peace Rose called For Love of a Rose. You can find it HERE.

Sunday, April 30: National Oatmeal Cookie Day - click HERE. There's a recipe on the link or use the one on the Quaker Oats box. It's also National Raisin Day, so add some to your cookies or fix a Ham with Raisin Sauce. The sauce recipe is under "Sauces" above. And if you just don't want to cook, it's also National Honesty Day (but I thought that was every day). 







Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week 69, 4-16-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?
                                                                               Burma Shave

If you're old enough, you remember these signs along the highways. Each line of the little rhyme was on a separate sign, so that you had plenty of time to read them. I always looked forward to Burma Shave when we went to visit my grandparents who lived thirty miles away.

Burma Shave is long gone, but you can still read the jingles HERE. And not only is Burma Shave a thing of the past, the country of Burma is no longer - it's now called Myanmar.

However - I know the answer to the question. I know where the flowers is, and they're all around us; one of the blessings of Easter. And I was lucky enough to be the recipient of pots of yellow hyacinths, purple hyacinths, and yellow tulips. Thank you Bev, Mim, Lil' Bro and Lil' Sis'.

Thank you also: To the cardmakers who created these fun Easter cards:

The blessing of family: I spent the afternoon with Jim and Becky, and puppy-dog Miss Elie. We skipped the traditional ham, and had shrimp (from their last trip to the Gulf) boil with potatoes and corn on the cob, salad, and Becky's good homemade wheat rolls. I took cake for dessert and beef stew, Cole slaw, and corn muffins for another day. As usual, Becky set a pretty table.

There's always something new in the backyard. This time it's a flower bed - literally.

Becky's a great gardener and preserves much of her produce by canning. Things are already popping up.

 And Jim's 1967 Thunderbird is almost finished. It looks and smells like new.

Tasting: Back to the Hula Hawaiian Kitchen for more delicious food.

Crab topped sushi

Spam Sticks Appetizer

The Chicken-Fried Chicken or Pork is always a winner

On Tuesday, April 18, at noon we're going to Jimmy's Egg on Campbell. It's part of a chain, so maybe one in your area. Check them out HERE.

Tasting: Lots of food this week. My turn to host the Very Exclusive Cooking Club.  

The Table


Fresh Fruit Salad

Ranch Chicken

Rice Pilaf

Mixed Veggies: Carrots, Peas, Green Beans

Corn and Corn Muffins

Peach Quick Cobbler with Whipped Cream

Iced Tea                 Coffee


(Jan’s sister’s mother-in-law from The Philippines)

Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup sugar
2 apples, cored and finely chopped
Fruit chunks of choice

In a large mixing bowl, squeeze lemon juice and remove seeds.

Stir in sugar and add chopped apples.

Add your choice of fruits and mix well so that lemon apples are distributed throughout.

Note: If adding fragile fruits such as strawberries or watermelon, stir everything first and then gently stir in.

Canned pineapple works well. If adding bananas, stir in just before serving.

Taste of Home

8 (2 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the green can)
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing mix

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease a 9” X 13” baking dish.

Mix cornflakes, cheese, and salad dressing mix.

Dip chicken pieces in melted butter and then in mix.

Put in baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup raw rice
2 cups hot beef or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish, optional

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan.

Add onion and sauté until transparent.

Add rice and toast briefly, stirring constantly.

Add hot broth all at once.

Cover and simmer over lowest heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally after first ten minutes.

Garnish with almonds.

Note: You may add anything else you like: sautéed celery, mushrooms, herbs, etc.

BHG Jiffy Cooking

1 14 oz pkg corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
1 scant cup cream-style corn
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheese (your choice)

Heat oven to 425°.

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir to blend.

Pour into a greased 12-muffin cup tin. They’ll be about 2/3 full.

Bake 12-15 minutes.


3/4 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 cup milk
1 large can or 2 regular cans fruit (your choice)
Sugar for fruit, if needed

Heat oven to 375.

Melt butter in a 13 X 9 baking dish in the oven while it heats.

Put fruit in a saucepan, with sugar if needed, and heat while butter is melting.

Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over melted butter.

Add heated fruit.

Bake 35-45 minutes.

Party Favors

From the "Special Buys" freezer at Aldi. Not too sweet. 

However, after lunch we decided to go to the book sale at the library, where we loaded up on more books. We were so excited about books, we forgot the cakes in the freezer, so they'll have to wait until next lunch.

The Pepper Report: Pepper and feral kitty Stormy have become best buddies. I can leave the slider from the house into the screened-in patio open right now because temperatures have been very mild. Pepper has a footstool which I move in and out of the house, depending on the weather, and it comes in at night. Last week, Pepper was in the house, but when Stormy starting meowing, he made a beeline for his stool. Stormy takes up his perch on the ledge by the screen, and Pepper takes up his post on his stool, and they just "hang out". 

Time for Others: I finally finished these Christmas cards for Katie's shut-ins. She needs LOTS, so I need to start another batch.

Sorry, not much excitement this week. Got my taxes finished, though, and took a day off and finished my book. Will try to step it up. Hang in there with me.