Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Last week it was cold and dreary here and this meal was perfect for that weather!  It's a recipe that can be made on the stove top or in the crock pot. I made it in the crock pot and it was so nice to come home from work and find supper all ready for us.  This one is a favorite at our house, it's so good!

Southwestern White Chili

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 jar (48 ounces) Great Northern Beans
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces cheddar cheese

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Saute celery, onion and green pepper until translucent.
In stockpot or crockpot, combine chicken, beans, cumin, salsa and chicken broth.  Stir in celery mixture.  Simmer uncovered in stockpot for about an hour stirring occasionally, or in crockpot for 6 hours on low.  About 5 minutes before serving, stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

(Still a little color left!)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Turkey Pumpkin!

I got something cute in the mail last week from my friend Jenny at 'I'm Having a Thought Here'.  She had shown some pictures of a cute turkey that had a pumpkin body and wooden feathers. She put it together with her adorable granddaughter. I left a comment that I'd never seen one before and how cute it was.  The package I got in the mail was the turkey kit, with instructions to put it together with Alaina and Ruby.
This weekend, I got the chance to do that.

 Here's the kit, and the pumpkin, ready to get started.

 Here's the girls, getting the pieces ready.

Alaina putting one of the feathers into the pumpkin.

Ruby takes a turn too.

Here's their cute pumpkin turkey.  They were so excited about this!  Thanks Jenny!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sisters shopping day!

Any of you who have been with me for any period of time, will remember my annual shopping trip with my 2 sisters. We've been doing this for years.  We go Christmas shopping, early in November. We go on a Friday, spend the whole day shopping, then stay in a hotel at night before heading back home.  We have a blast and get so much done.

The day was sunny, but cold and windy.

Here we are at the mall.  At this point we had already been to 2 other stores already.

We had a lunch break at Panera Bread in the mall.  I have a yummy tomato mozzarella basil grilled sandwich.

Here's how my trunk was looking after the mall.  We still had shopping to do, but there was room in the back seat.

More stores to visit...  When there are 3 of you, 9 kids, 4 in-laws and 2 grandkids, it means a lot of shopping!

We have a local Italian restaurant that we eat supper at each year. It was as good as usual!
After eating supper, we made a few more stops and headed to the hotel.

Finally it was back to the hotel, hauling all our stuff in with us.  These are Cheri's and my bags.  We haul them all in, then sort through them, and make sure we have what we think we have.

Here's Terri and Cheri, sorting away.

After all that we treat ourselves to a piece of dessert, and then finish the night talking and laughing.
We had so much fun again this year, and - my shopping is about done!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Friday fun - and a little break...

I am blessed with 2 wonderful sisters, and I'm about to spend some time with them.  Every year we plan a day early in November to go Christmas shopping.  We spend all of Friday shopping and then spend the night in a hotel.  This Friday is the day - we'll be shopping, having fun and laughing!  I'm taking a break over the weekend and will be back on Monday!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is a simple classic recipe that has stood the test of time.  It can be made ahead and works well when feeding a group.  I think I've had this recipe for about as long as I've been married which is 36 years, and I'm still using it! You can change it a bit to fit your tastes and make as many or as few as you need.  (I make 1/2 of this recipe to do 8 buns)

Ham on Buns

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup mustard
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
shaved ham
sliced cheese of your choice
hamburger buns

Stir butter, mustard, onion and poppy seeds together.  Spread on buns.
Place ham and a slice of cheese on each bun.  (I like Swiss, Bob likes cheddar)
Wrap in foil.  You may refrigerate them at this point and bake them later, or put them right into the oven.
Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Party Time!

My girlies both had a birthday recently!  Ruby turned 3 on Sunday and Alaina turned 6 the week before.  It's hard for me to believe, they are growing too fast!
We had a birthday party for both of them this weekend.  The whole family, including Aarons family met at a local restaurant that had a room we could use.  We had a yummy supper and fun celebrating.

 Ruby was enjoying a bread stick.

Alaina was making faces when she saw me with the camera.

Everyone enjoying the meal.

Ruby with her other Grandpa.

Then it was time for presents!

Opening presents is such fun!

Playing with presents is even better!  Here is Ruby with her cousin, checking things out.

Both Alaina and Ruby got a doll and some clothes that they were quite excited about.

 They each got a "mermaid" blanket too.  It's a blanket with a mermaid tale, that they thought was great.

Ruby was having fun with her blanket too.
It was a fun night with lots of nice people, celebrating 2 special little girls!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A day in my life - November

We had such a warm Fall here, that it doesn't seem possible that November has arrived!  We did have some snow on the 31st though, so I guess it really is here.

I was up at 6, walked on the treadmill, got ready and was at work shortly before 8.

Here's my desk at work; the computer is on and ready for the day.

On Wednesday, our Physician Assistant comes for the afternoon.  He sees our new admissions, anyone who has something going on, goes over lab results and does other paperwork.  I get the list of people together, get charts and paperwork ready and have it ready for him when he arrives.
I had this all ready, but then got a call shortly before noon that his Dad had passed away unexpectedly and he wouldn't be coming.  That put a pall on the afternoon.
I had lots of other work to do, and continued with that.

We had a nurse call in for the afternoon shift and I was asked to stay late and help with the supper med pass, so I went to the floor around 3 to do that.  Someone came in to relieve me at 5 and I headed home.

It had been a dreary day, and it was still pretty gray outside as I drove home.  However, some of the trees had a nice bit of color to enjoy!

 Bad news!  When I got home and went to empty my pockets, I found that I had taken the keys home.  These are the keys for the med cart, the med rooms..., not something they can be without, so it was back into the car and back to work.  I'm glad I'm not too far from my work!

We had chicken noodle soup for supper.  Here's a tip for you...   this soup is from Costco.  It's their rotisserie chicken noodle soup.  It's so good, and I don't think I could make it for the price they sell it at.   And after a long day at work, it's nice to just have something to heat and eat.

Bob left after supper to go to a class at church and I worked on my Bible study, which is very good.  Who would have thought the book of Numbers could be so interesting?

After that I settled in to watching Survivor, which is one of my favorites,
All in all, not a bad start to the month!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Cooking Thursday

So... I have a wonderful recipe to share with you today!  However, it's not one you'll want to make very often, maybe just for an occasional treat.  And don't even look at how much butter is in these bars.  That being said, they are rich so you only need a little piece - and they are yummy!!!

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

1 lb. salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups flour

1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
Bake crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
Once the caramel is melted add in the ½ tsp vanilla and stir until combined.Pour the caramel filling over the crust.
If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

A little more Fall...

Fall is coming to an end here; the temperatures have dropped and we've had lots of wind and rain so the leaves are falling.
Here's a few pictures I snapped during some brief moments of sunshine.

This is our street.  Soon all those leaves will be on the ground, waiting to be raked!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Supper and a carousel ride!

We haven't been able to have the girls overnight for a few weeks because of crazy work schedules and some sickness at their house.  Friday night we decided that if we couldn't have them overnight, we could at least have supper with them.  We picked them up and they thought McDonalds would be a great place to go.  We weren't too excited about that plan and were heading for the mall, which worked out well because Alaina suddenly decided that we should eat at the mall!
Eating at the food court has the benefit of lots of places to choose from.  Bob went to pick up Chinese food for the two of us, Alaina chose tacos, and Ruby wanted chicken fingers.

(Excuse the poor pictures - I had to use my phone)

While we were eating, Alaina asked Ruby if she wanted to trade some of their food.  Ruby didn't want to, and Alaina said, "I just wanted to try your chicken!"  I asked Ruby if she could share a little piece with Alaina, and she said yes.  So, I tore a little piece off and gave it to Alaina, then told Ruby thank you for sharing with your sister.  Her reply?  "Well, you just grabbed it!"   Funny kid!

She tried a fry too!

Ruby was ok with sharing though!

The other good thing about the food court at the mall, is the carousel! They got on it with Grandpa and first were just going to sit on the bench...

but then decided to ride a horse.

A good time was had by all!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is another one that's a comfort food recipe and it so good in cold weather!  It's one I've made for some time, and I really don't know where I got it from originally.  I use this recipe quite often when I'm bringing someone a meal because it's easy, it always turns out good and it's kind of a classic food that most people like.

French Oven Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 large onions, cut into eight pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
4 large carrots, quartered
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups tomato juice

Combine tomato juice, tapioca, sugar, salt, pepper and basil in bowl.  Set aside
Place meat, onions, celery and carrots in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Pour tomato juice mixture over top and cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.
Add potato chunks and bake another hour.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.