Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did You Look Outside Yet?

Those are the words The Captain said this morning. Wow! Beautiful white blanket. I don't recall it snowing this early before. It was certainly more than a few furries. Just have a look.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving, Birthdays and the Such – Part 1

My, oh, my. It’s been a busy and exciting time around here lately! Christmas is fast approaching and I’m gearing up to make a few presents, but Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations took center stage last week. My daughter Traci and her husband Zak celebrate their birthdays within 3 days of each other. So in addition to eating our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening, we also celebrated the first of the birthdays, Traci’s!

I had a blast preparing dinner on Wednesday. My parents brought me a turkey breast they had fried and I used my Mom’s dressing recipe. The only twist was that I cooked the dressing in large muffin tins. It turned out fabulous! Thanks Mother!






Other accompaniments to the turkey and dressing were:
Glazed Sweet Potatoes (courtesy of The Neelys)
Fresh Green Beans (thanks to my parent’s garden and canning abilities)
Baked Macaroni and Cheese (courtesy of Alton Brown)
Deviled Eggs
Chicken and Dumplings
Banana Pudding

Traci requested apple pie for her “birthday cake” and I found a great recipe for making mini-apple pies in muffin tins. Not only was it fun to make, it was pretty good! Now, it would have been better IF I hadn’t forgotten to take it out of the oven on time. I actually overcooked it by about 10 minutes. I didn’t burn it, but you could certainly taste the over-doneness in the crust. I plan on a do-over soon!















This little pie made a great substitution, don’t you think?





























After dinner we had a little photo time. Here are a few of the funny ones! Someone was really getting into the piano playing mode!
















And now some cute ones!























Guess you could say she was done, over and out!

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Early last week brought a few days of rain, cloudiness and an overall gray day or two. One morning as I opened my eyes, I saw the beautiful window pane reflection that graces our wall as the rising sun filters through the window. I walked through the hall and saw a ray of light in our den. As I walked closer toward the den, I saw this beautiful light. What a welcome sight!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Hot Mess

This area has been a hot mess for a couple of weeks now. I just can bear to clean up this visual inspiration.


















Located in our combination den/kitchen, Cupcake Girl loves her little craft area and I love to watch her create when she stays with us. She painted the wood chips, in the picture below right, blue, black and purple, then proceeded to make different kinds of patterns.









Her note below says I am taking this home. She wanted to write herself a reminder to take a picture home she had made. I wrote out the words and she copied them (she asked me to write the G).
































When I’m working on a project she paints, tapes, cuts, tapes, jabbers, tapes, stamps and tapes some more. Do you get the feeling she likes tape? Yep, girl likes her some tape! Thanks to her sweet Aunt Reb she has decorative tape and she knows how to use it to its full capacity.
















She asked me to cute out a leotard and tutu from some fabric then she pieced them together with her beautiful matching tape. Gorgeous work Cupcake Girl!

JUST A LITTLE NOTE: Not only does she create her hot messes at my house, she does the same at her house! Take a look at my sweet daughter’s blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Along the Tennessee River


























































































































Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Sculpture in the House

What a beautiful weekend here in southeast Tennessee! My sweet Captain and I took a little fall color cruise on the Tennessee river. I will have a blog post about that this week, but first I have to show you what I found and share a recipe.

After returning from the store today, I was putting up the groceries and opened the drawer where I normally put onions and potatoes. Now it had been quite a while since I had actually opened the drawer, well maybe more than quite a while. To my surprise I found the following. Not one, but two!


















I had to laugh, but these two blooming onions really intrigued me. As I looked at them I wondered if I could maybe shellac them, bronze them or even coat them with polyurethane. Hmmm, they are quite artsy.





































And now for a great recipe share.

I did some searching for new recipes this weekend. I ran across one that looked really good for Slower Cooker Pork Chops from The Country Cook blog. It looked easy and delicious. Here is the recipe:

4 Bone-in Pork Chops (you can use boneless)
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix (1 Oz. Packet)
1-½ cups Chicken Broth 1 can (10.5 Oz) Cream Of Chicken Soup (low Sodium)
1 envelope Dry Pork Gravy Mix (1 Oz. Packet)

Place pork chops in slow cooker. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over chops. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (NOTE: I started this a little late so, I cooked mine on high for 2 hours then low for about 3 hours)










It really was that simple! And the taste? My, oh my! It was fork tender and had a great flavor! I served it with a side of sautéed French green beans and pearled couscous from Near East (I love all their products). This will certainly be a repeat!