Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week 79, 6-25-2017

Thoughts and QuotesSummer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

Summer has arrived in all her glory. I love the bright blooms, the fireflies, the long days; I don't like that ice cream truck that goes by every day, very slowly, so that we can be sure to have Turkey in the Straw playing in our heads all day.

Thank you: To my Chosen Niece Terri, who gave me these three bright baskets. Perfect. Exactly the colors I already had in straw, but probably forty years old - faded and ratty. Aren't they beautiful? And plastic, so I can wash them. What a difference.

The Stormy Report: Remember this little darling?

I've been opening the screendoor to the screened-in patio, so she can eat inside because Midnight (Pepper's sister) is mean to her. I put Pepper's carrier in the patio with the door down, hoping she'd get used to it so I could trap her to get her spayed. Dr. won't spay or neuter until the kitty is six months old, and I thought she was close. 

She didn't show up for dinner on Tuesday, breakfast on Wednesday, and dinner on Wednesday. Thursday morning she came to the door, I let her in, she ate a few bites, and went into the carrier and stretched out. She didn't run when I approached the carrier, so I knew something was wrong, so I zipped up the door, and took her to the vet.

When they x-rayed, they found she had a large kitten inside and was trying to go into labor. When Dr. operated, the kitten was dead, and now Stormy has been spayed. I left her at the hospital until Monday to make sure she's okay. I'm to call the Humane Society on Monday morning to see if they have an opening so they can take her in for adoption. She's such a cute little girl and wants a home. She runs in my house if I don't get the slider closed quickly enough. Then Pepper chases her around HIS house. He's okay with her in the indoor patio, but not the house. 

If you know anyone who would like this sweet little girl, let me know. And then we'll start trying to figure out what to do with what turned up in Martha's backyard yesterday.

Things That Grow: I'm enjoying my glads this year. When they start to topple, I don't stake them - I bring them in the house.

Thrifting: I stopped in a thrift store yesterday, and came home with the things I said I'd never buy more of - dishes and books and cookbooks.

These are Johnson Brothers, Summer Chintz. Six each dinner and salad plates - $10. They're beautiful. The photos don't show the little yellow flowers very well.

I also bought a Marjolein Bastin mug for 75 cents. She's on of my favorites, and Chosen Niece Terri and Friend David are always sending me cards using her artwork. You can see her HERE, and here's my mug. It says, "Enjoy the simple pleasures that each day brings".

And I saved myself a ton of money, because now I don't have to take a trip to The Greenbrier. I paid $1 for this BIG book instead, so I can see it from the comfort of my couch.

And I also found a book to add to my series. I've read only Book 1 - An Irish Country Doctor, but I'll get back to them one day.

And these were free.

Then I went across the street to another thrift store and bought a CD to play on the way home. I discovered Gabriel Faure by accident, and don't know anything about him except that I love his music. He's a French composer, but I couldn't find a book about him when I searched while I lived in California. This CD was made by an orchestra in Paradise, California, population 26,000. Pretty amazing they have an orchestra this size. I love the CD. It was taken from recordings of actual performances and every once in awhile, someone coughs. This just adds to the feeling of a live performance. A $1 bargain.

I bought this for the pot to make the flowers for my cousin's grave next Memorial Day. She loved country music and I hate it. We always teased each other about it. Though she lived in California most of her life, she wanted her ashes brought back to Missoouri for burial.

When she had cancer and I was going back and forth to California, we had lots of time to talk. One day I mentioned something about what I'd do "when I take you back to Missouri with me"  She said, "I can't travel in this condition". Then I explained that I meant later. She realized I meant her ashes, but still in good spirits, she said, "Oh good, I can sing country music to you all the way". So I told her, "You do, and I'll put you in the trunk". We had a good laugh, and you can't imagine how much I miss her.

This is actually a music box which plays corny fiddle music and the flowers twirl around. Some flowers are missing and it's really dirty, but I thought it perfect for next year.

These are thick hardback books and only $1 each

A gardening book - also $1.

An exciting art book - $1.

I've had pageviews of my blog from sixty countries; some I couldn't even begin to tell you the location. When I found this atlas, I grabbed it - $1.

And I found a little onyx sea turtle for brother Bill to remind him of his trip to Mexico when he got to release baby turtles.

And a book by one of his favorite authors,

And a bowl for Joey because I always buy her whatever I find in this pattern.

And a book for Katie because she loves children's books, a carryover from her teaching days.

And a cookbook for Hannah who is learning to cook.

Theme Dining: The first July theme dinner is finished; actually, I can use all the photos from the real dinner. The title is Say Howdy.

The Invitations

The Table

The Menu

The Food

The Recipes

For the salad, just add cooked wagonwheel pasta to your favorite tossed salad; Ranch dressing from the market. 

Harter House

2-1/2 lb tri-tip, with fat on one side
Santa Maria seasoning (available at Harter House) Rub all over tri-tip, all sides, or have Harter House season for free.

Oven Roasted
Heat oven to 350°.

Place tri-tip on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up, no water, and no cover, do not turn

Roast 1 hour and 15 minutes

Bring charcoal to high heat

Sear tri-tip 15 minutes with fat side down

Push coals to one side, cook tri-tip with fat side up away from the coals, for 1 hour

Can also be cooked on gas barbecue

Adjust cooking time according to weight

Tent tri-tip with aluminum foil and rest ten minutes before cutting

Starting at point end, cut across the grain into thin strips

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.

Family Circle

1 unbaked pie shell
7 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
Whipped cream, banana slices for garnish

Heat oven to 325°.

In large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined.

Pour into pie shell and bake 40 minutes or until glossy and set.

Cool on rack.

Note: Bake on bottom shelf to brown bottom of crust.

Good served with vanilla ice cream and sliced banana.

Guests took the bandana "napkins" home as party favors. 

Tales: I picked up these books at the library. I ran across these when searching Amazon for a book for a friend. Yes, I have thousands of books of my own, but these just caught my fancy.

Thoughts and Quotes (again): There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.  Alan Cohen

So I'm taking a vacation. This week I'm going to ignore all the things which need to be done, and do only the necessary chores. I'm going to have a "Staycation". I'm going to read, make cards, watch TV, and go out to eat. Yes, I'll have a post next week to tell you how it worked out.








Sunday, June 18, 2017

Week 78, 6-18-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: The greatest gift I ever had came from God; I call him Dad!
                                                                                        Author Unknown


Time to Reflect: Watch this and you'll be proud to be an American. Remember the patriotism we felt right after 9-11? Click HERE. Thank you, Jeanne, for sharing this.

Tasting: Thursday was Cooking Club day at Mim's. 



Spinach and Feta Quiche

Black Bean Salad

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

Apple-Raisin Cole Slaw

Crescent Rolls

Lemon-Blueberry Cake

Iced Tea


(Cooking Light)

Cooking spray
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8” slices
1 tsp Canola oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 (5 oz) bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 tsp each kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper
4 eggs
2 egg whites
1/3 cup feta cheese

Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 9” pie plate or quiche pan with cooking spray.

Overlap sweet potato slices in circles on bottom. Line sides with half-slices. Spray with oil

Bake 20 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack and increase oven temperature to 375°.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach and sauté 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk together milk, seasonings, eggs, and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Arrange spinach and onions in crust. Pour egg mixture over and sprinkle with feta.

Bake 35 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.


1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
Pinch of ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs salad or olive oil
3 Tbs honey
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for the corn to fully defrost and the flavors to combine.


2-1/2 cups bite-sized pieces of broccoli florets
2-1/2 cups bite-sized pieces cauliflower florets
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins


1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs red wine vinegar

Mix broccoli and cauliflower together in a large mixing bowl.

Mix dressing and pour over.

Cover and refrigerate.

Just before serving, add cheese, bacon, seeds, and raisins. Mix well and put in serving bowl.


1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 head purple or Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and shredded
1/3 cup peanuts
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, stir together the raisins, mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar.

Add the cabbage and apples and toss to combine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbs vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest and juice of 3 medium lemons
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
1 Tbs flour

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease three 9” round cake pans with nonstick spray and flour lightly.

Beat butter on high until creamy, about 1 minute in a large mixing bowl.

Add sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium until well combined, 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well mixed and creamy; 2 minutes.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt. Fold into butter-egg mixture; beat on low only 5 seconds.

Add buttermilk, lemon zest and juice. Mix in with a spoon very gently.

Toss blueberries with the 1 Tbs flour and fold in. Batter will be very thick. Do Not Over Mix.

Divide batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans and bake 21-25 minutes (until they test done).

Cool completely before frosting with lemon buttercream frosting. Decorate with berries.


Himalayan Salt and Mini Zucchini-Nut Bread Loaves

Things That Make Us Smile: You don't have to be a Senior Citizen to enjoy THIS.

Tidbits: I found this very interesting. Pretty boring until you get to California and Hawaii. Click HERE. You can also scroll down to see statistics on your name.

Those Talented Kids: I found this painting in the entrance to the food court at the mall. The artist is in middle school. Notice how he painted the trees/bushes. It's called The Happy House.

The Pepper Report: He doesn't like spiders.

Thrifting: I found these trivets at a church sale for $1 each. I don't know if they're stainless steel or polished aluminum. 

And these fun wooden napkin rings - $1 for the set

And last week I told you I'd show you why I need to do the Lazy Daisy Lunch table again. On Craigslist, I found these beautiful dishes. Service for eight plus lots of service pieces and six matching glasses. Total cost - $30.

Time-out: Time to fix lunch. No, I didn't eat three chicken legs. One is for Pepper. Yes, I took the skin off and gave him little bites.

Things That Grow: We have radishes. I turned my back for a minute, and they got really big. I ate some yesterday with bread, butter, and salt. (I hear that's the French way). They're a little hot, but okay for salads.

The gladiola are starting to bloom.

The flowers on the outdoor patio are doing fine. Don't ask me what they are, because I forgot. It will be a surprise.

I replanted the one in back which didn't sprout. I think I put petunias.

I know this is rosemary in the center with Moss Rose (Portulaca) in front.

The English cress is doing okay so far. I wonder if I should thin it?

From Plants



Two other tomatoes - each plant is a different kind of tomato

This is the 99-cent banana pepper I got at Aldi. I planted it one day, the next morning it was just a stem. Don't know what ate the leaves, but it seems to be recovering.

Bell Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

From Seed

I ate a cantaloupe from the market and buried the seeds. I don't know if this will ever produce, but it certainly looks as if it means business.

Yellow crook-neck squash - don't know why I planted them so close together.

I had this labeled "Marjoram", but it looks like "Basil" to me.



Spinach, which is too close to the zucchini

Mystery guests - I get so confused

Failures: Icicle radishes, Watermelon radishes, Carrots, Turnips. The Farmer in the Dell most certainly would not have proposed to me.

Tablescapes: Can you believe it? These are July tablescapes and we're in the middle of June.

I found a plastic bag all taped up around some strange-looking pieces at DAV. I had no idea what was inside, so I bought it just to see. If anyone knows the game these pieces belong to, please let me know. 
Beware the Jolly Roger


Cape Cod

This table is full of good memories. I bought the placemats on Cape Cod for $1 each; I bought the beige and blue shells at the same drugstore where I bought the magnolia dishes in Mississippi; my friends in Jefferson City brought me the great pitcher.