Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift for the neighbors

I'm not a great gift-giver. I can never think of anything and when I do, I don't know how to present it. My next door neighbors have a son who plays with my daughters a lot and they really like him. Guess what? The mother is the "gifty" type!

In the past I've managed to come up with appropriate Christmas gifts which have included a small flannel quilt for the son and a Starbuck's gift bag for the mom.

Today I came across a family gift on a blog. Doesn't this look fun? I think it would be the perfect family gift for them (along with a batch of The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls like last year).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Menu Plan Sunday

Monday: Split pea soup, cornbread

Tuesday: Chicken & biscuits

Wednesday: Spaghetti, spinach salad, garlic toast

Thursday: Quiche--maybe with a pastry crust, carrot sticks

Friday: Pizza, maybe Thanksgiving pizza?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

What a great holiday! We had a fine selection of family here for bits and pieces of the week. Our family gets along really well and it all was a pleasant, intriguing, and fun week.
This picture shows a number of families: my mother with two of her three children, me with my husband and our three daughters, my brother with his wife and child, my dh with his two older sons, including the one who is living with us and the other one with his wife and her service dog.

I'm putting some pie pictures here because some of my Korean friends were wondering about pumpkin pie.
This is what the pumpkin pie looked like once it was cut:
It was a little chunkier than it was supposed to be because I used "homemade" pumpkin instead of canned. Here is a picture of what it was supposed to look like:
Sorta the same, right?? Haha, the taste was the same because I used the same recipe that is on the Libby's website. Mine just had a little more texture. :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Menu Plan Sunday

Monday: Gingery carrot soup

This turned out to be very mild and needed an additional punch of salt and pepper. The sour cream added to this was delicious.

Tuesday: Korean Spicy Pork

Wednesday: Pizza (not sure if this will be homemade as usual, or Papa Murphy's, due to the large number of guests)

Thursday: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, homemade rolls, cranberry sauce
Dessert: Pecan pie bars I cut the margarine in the crust back to 1/2 cup and it was fine. I substituted walnuts for the pecans and overall this is a fantastic dessert!
Dessert: homemade apple pie from the freezer
Dessert: MC turtle pie from the freezer
Dessert: MC peach pie from the freezer
Dessert: Pilgrim Hat Cookies that the girls are going to love making

Friday: Pulled turkey sandwiches on whole wheat buns

Saturday: Turkey Lasagna Soup

The first visitor has arrived . . .

It's my step-son Conor. He had a two day bus ride, but arrived in good humor and ready for our traditional big Sunday waffle lunch. He said he was up to his eyeballs in Subway sandwiches during the trip. Conor is planning to stay awhile and we are happy about that.

Yes, I know he's a bit out of focus, but rather than have him pose again, I'll just post it as is. :-)

We had a little scare this week when one of our chicken girls was sick. We kept her isolated in a cage we made out of a plastic storage container topped with an inverted laundry basket for two days. She got better and now you can hardly even tell she was sick. It's the Rhode Island Red in this picture. Doesn't she look healthy?

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm happy about the coming holiday!

Thanksgiving (a week from Thursday) is one of my favorite holidays for two reasons: little focus on commercialism and big focus on family and friends.

Bill and I are especially looking forward to Thanksgiving this year because his oldest son and new wife are coming to visit. I was trying to remember the last time I saw his ds and it was when he returned from Iraq with the USMC and that would have been about 4 years ago. W and his wife L have been married less than two years and although I have talked to her on the phone, we have never met. Dh says she is smart and well-spoken, and I agree.

The three little girls are going to love the visit because they always love to have company anyway, but in addition to W & L, they'll be bringing L's service dog, Sandy. We'll have to get some firm rules in place about not bothering the dog when she's working, but the girls will think their dreams have come true.

I'm already working on the Thanksgiving menu. It features turkey. :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meal Plan Sunday

Monday: Hot dogs in blankets with carrot sticks and applesauce.

Tuesday: Sticky broiled chicken (The recipe is at but they are having problems with their system and I can't access it there. Luckily the paper copy is in my cupboard. :-) )

Wednesday: Taco bake

Thursday: Italian pasta and bean soup

Friday: Pizza

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Double treat for me this week

On Thursday my ladies' group at church is having a pressure cooking demonstration. I've had two pressure cookers over the years. One went into the yard sale after I was thisclose to not getting my dinner out of it (ultra-tight lid) and the other was a cool Brazilian one I had that over time stopped sealing. No seal, no pressure.

Everyday Food Storage has a video that shows how easy it is to use a modern electric pressure cooker. If I can figure out where I could store such an appliance, I think it will appear on my Christmas wish list.

The double in this treat is that the same page has a recipe for low-fat harvest pumpkin brownies made from food storage items. I am so into pumpkin this time of year! In fact, when I make these brownies I'll probably have to call them Jack 'O' Lantern brownies because that is where the pumpkin I'm using came from. Let's just say the day after Halloween 20 neat packages of homemade pumpkin puree made it into the freezer. ;-) This recipe uses bean puree instead of added fat, so I guess that makes it a triple for me.


So check out this page for the brownie recipe and a video on how to use an electric pressure cooker.

Linked to Everyday Food Storage.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Plan Sunday

Monday: Cheddar & Bacon Fondue Food storage recipe

[This one turned out to be so-so. Won't make it again.]

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Orange-Cranberry Pork Roast with brown rice and vegetables

Wednesday: Ham and cheese egg rolls , plus extras for the freezer

Thursday: Cream of Harvest Soup from the freezer (didn't get to it last week) + biscuits

Friday: Pizza

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Activity Day again so soon?

I was sitting in church last Sunday and glanced at the announcements and saw another Activity Day scheduled for only a week after the last one. This is an every-other-week deal, not weekly!

I did the math and figured out the writer of the church bulletin probably saw that the second one in November would fall on Thanksgiving, which we obviously wouldn't be keeping, and decided to change the dates. A call to me to confirm would have been nice.

That said, I decided to just go ahead and move the schedule up a bit, so today my partner will give the lesson/lead the activity. I hope she comes. She forgot last time. When I was the assistant I was always afraid I'd do the same thing, but somehow never did!

Today is housecleaning day. The cleaning lady has the day off, so it is me, me, and me.