Saturday, February 28, 2015

Week 59 Saturday (2/27/15)

               What the Beck?

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Asparagus with Dill Hollandaise        
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
                  Pages: 104 - 105      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

         Lately, I hear so many people talking about their love for asparagus.  This is one food that I just can’t handle. When my niece, Rachel, lived with me at five years of age, she loved asparagus. One night while we were getting ready for dinner, and she announced that all she would be having was asparagus. The funny thing was that she meant it. I had to call my Mom to find out how to cook the veggie. My Mom found it funny that Rachel really wanted this dish. She didn’t even want the cheese sauce that I offered to make for her.  I was actually quite pleased that she was eating in such a healthy manner.  Who knew that at five years old, she loved something so GGGRRREEEEEEENNN?  It definitely came from her Mom.

Random Reflections

         On February 19th I was reading the Kane County Chronicle. I was saddened to learn that Henry Funk who owned Grimm’s Pharmacy in St. Charles had passed away from dementia and health related problems. My sister, Kim and I, worked at Grimms for years. It was a great job at the time.
         I will always fondly remember working with Nancy Anfinson, Phyllis Brown, Annie Matthys, Verneda Walsh, Henry Funk, Paul, Carol Vial, Bunny and Dar Regelbrugge, and Austa. What a great bunch of people.

Helpful Home Hints

Check out this website:

         I was looking for a list of home maintenance jobs to do during the year. It is helpful to have a base list, and then add personal topics to it. I found this one on the above site and wanted to share it with all of you.
          I think we all need to be proactive and not reactive. I don’t want to wait to replace a board until it is rotten and the area leaks, when I can change it when I initially notice the problem. The difference is that it will save money in future repairs if you are proactive. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 59 Friday (2/26/15)

What the Beck?

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:   Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
                  Pages:  56 - 57     Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 155 calories per serving, if 5servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         For someone who doesn’t eat cherries, I must say that I LOVE this dish. I think it didn’t make me itch, because it has a lot of milk and yogurt in it to lessen the acidity. I made five servings and can’t wait to have them for breakfast this week.  I love another new meal. (I also adore the chocolate grating on the top).

Here is what I need to prepare
this wonderful smoothie

It is such a pretty color and
that chocolate makes it so yummy.

Fabulous “Family and Friends” Food

(recipe card with no name)

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium stalk celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c. chopped fully cooked smoked sausage
1 Tblsp. parsley flakes
½ teasp. salt
¼ teasp. pepper
½ teasp. dried thyme leaves
¼ teasp. red pepper sauce
¾ pound uncooked, peeled deveined med. Shrimp
         (thawed if frozen)
4 cups hot cooked rice, for serving

         Mix all ingredients except shrimp and rice in 3.5 – 6 quart slow cooker.
         Cover and cook on low setting 7 – 8 hours (or high heat setting for 3 – 4 hours) or until vegetables are tender.
         Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook on low setting about 1 hour or until shrimp are pink and firm.
         Serve Jambalaya with rice.

Ingredient Substitution: spicy, heavily smoked Andouille sausage is traditional for Jambalaya. You may use any sausage. Turkey sausage has less fat.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 59 Thursday (2/25/15)

What the Beck?

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Sticky Cherry Cake
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
                  Pages: 83 - 85      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

         I hope these two recipes are the same. In the book it is called Sticky Cherry Cake, but in her blog it was called Sticky Cherry Pudding. Oh well, if it isn’t, then you get two recipes in one.
         The recipe looks so good, but I am not big on eating actual cherry pie filling. So, I leave this one to all of you to make and enjoy. Since it came from Ree it
will probably be outstanding like almost everything else she makes.  

Random Reflections

         Since I needed my cookie cutters this week to make the Huervo in the Heart, I thought I would share with you how I store them. I dump them in a clear box, all jumbled up and hard to locate quickly. In other words, they are a jumbled mess, but all in one place. I have many that are extremely large. I also ordered several of Martha Stewart’s cutters that are huge, but fantastic.  This is going to be a goal to find a better way the store them in the future.

It is overflowing and the lid doesn't stay on it

This is one of Martha Stewart's cutters
It is amazing

This giant snowman was purchased at a big box store
Irksome Ideas and Images

         This is a stupid annoyance, but it happened this week and it really bugged me. I was trying to open a can of black olives and I pulled the ring off the can. This was a pain. Why didn’t I think to get out my can opener, and do it the old fashion way. No – I had to try to break the seal with a butter knife. Of course, I did open it, but wore a lot of the juice afterwards. Some things I such a pain.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Week 59 Wednesday (2/24/15)

What the Beck?

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Huevo in the Heart        
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
                  Pages: 54 - 55      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 461 calories per serving, if 1 serving are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         I am absolutely shocked how much I enjoyed this dish. I think it may be the butter fried flour tortillas mixed with the egg that just made me so happy.  Why?  I really don’t know. I couldn’t find a heart cookie cutter so I used a clover. So much for the Valentine’s Day theme.

It isn't a heart, but it's cute
(and it belonged to my Grandma)

There's a big ol' hole ready for the egg

Add a little butter

Ree's looked so much better than mine.
Oh well, I tried.

Gabbin’ About Gratitude

         I am so thankful for my life. I hear people talk about their frantic lives and I do that, too. They run all over delivering kids here and there, but the difference is that I chose to live alone, and not have children, and that makes my life less stressful and my home a place of peace. I am so thankful for those choices. When I want to be surrounded by people I can be, but when I want to be alone, my home is the place to be.

Memory Musings

         I recently found my calendar from 1986. I had written in it, how I finished college on June 12th and had to leave for Florida on June 14th.  In those days, my life was very fast-paced. I needed to get to Florida quickly because the Capt. Anderson would be ready to begin their season. When I think back to the craziness at ending a college year, and beginning my whirlwind summer in Panama City Beach, I can’t believe the stamina I had in those days. I loved college, and I adored working for the Anderson family. I have had such great adventures in my life. I can’t wait to have new ones in the coming year.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week 59 Tuesday (2/23/15)

What the Beck?

Recipe Review      
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Cheddar-Bacon Wedge Salad        
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
         Pages: 78 - 79      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

         I will never understand this type of a salad. What is the point of giving someone one fourth or sixth of a head of lettuce and then putting an amazing dressing on top? By the time you cut or slice up the lettuce, a lot of the salad did not even get any of the dressing. What happened to tearing up the lettuce. I am sure this came from some fancy dancy restaurant, but this girl just prefers to the old way to make a salad. I would love the dressing however!

John Wayne
         I was telling Jenny the other night about finishing a book about the end of John Wayne’s life, which was written by Pat Stacy his final love. I was surprised to learn that he had a defective mitra value, just like I do. I don’t know if it was reading this part, or just being sad that he died that made me cry. I have always been a big fan of the Duke. I love a good western, and he made the best ones. It always amazes me what triggers emotion. Who knew an old book could make me cry?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 59 Monday (2/22/15)

What the Beck?

Recipe Review       
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Red Velvet Pancakes        
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
         Pages: 51 - 53      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 212 calories per serving, if 20 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         These are really fun to make. They are made with cake flour instead of a pancake mix. The recipe is easy to create and tastes great. This recipe uses a Maple Buttermilk Icing instead of a syrup. I am personally not a big fan of really sweet breakfasts, but I can see that it would be a real favorite of children everywhere.

First, I mixed the dry ingredients

Here are the wet ones

The next step was to add the
wet to the dry ingredients

Here is the food coloring

The final item to create is the
Maple Buttermilk Icing

I just love it when the bubbles form

I pink stack of pancakes
Look at that icing

Random Reflections - Bucket List #47

       I have nothing new to add today, but I did cross off remodeling the kitchen. Since I am moving, I have no need to remodel this kitchen. (Yes, Steve - I figured out how to cross it out all by myself!)

·    Write a book on organizing a home
·     Using my dogs and possibly my great-nephews, and design a series of greeting     cards
·      plan my funeral
·      spend a fun day with each of my nieces/nephews (Alaina has volunteered to be     first!)
·      Take a formal cooking class
·      Organize and host a Christmas Caroling Party
·      Watch the IMBd list of the best 250 movies
·      Vacation in Colorado
·      create a list of home repairs
·      Prepare to teach a new course at Aurora University
·      Visit Brookfield Zoo and photograph the animals
·      Have absolutely no debt
·      Set up a schedule for next summer to visit area cities
·      Organize and purge the basement
·      I am going to learn as much as I can about large animals
·      Make repairs in each and every room of my home to prepare to sell
·      Research Hadrian’s Wall for visit to Scotland
·      Enter a quilt in a local fair
·      Write a book about school for parents
·      Host a game party
·      Purchase a truck
·      I would like to learn more about fostering animals
·      Visit the narrowed list of Kentucky towns each for a weekend
·      Have a B.M.I. of 24.9 or lower
·      Return to Florida/Alabama and see old friends
·      Play tennis again
·      Learn to play bridge
·      Have an in-ground pool
·      Finish writing a book on the Scent Family
·      Save up enough money for a down payment on my Kentucky house
·      Research every town in Kentucky in hopes of relocating
·      Work on learning calligraphy and bettering daily penmanship
·      Begin making my own clothing using a mannequin
·      Volunteer at an animal rescue
·      Visit all 50 states
·      Photography courses
·      Complete all of Mom’s and my scrapbooks
·      Go skiing again in Colorado
·      Meet the Duggar family
·      Watch every nominee and winner for the Academy Awards to date
·      Remodel my kitchen
·      Take piano lessons
·      Write 2 books for my great-nephews
·      Travel to Wales
·      Travel to Scotland
·      Alaskan cruise

Wants and Wishes

         I was sitting here thinking about what I want and I realized that I want to successfully finish cooking Ree’s recipes.  I am about halfway through the last book, but there are also so many recipes to cook from her blog. I am really enjoying the cooking and reviewing her recipes. When I take on a challenge such as cooking her recipes, I will make sure I achieve that goal. I am feeling really good about how much I have already done, but I still have a ways to go. At least this is really fun.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 58 Sunday (2/21/15)

Recipe Review      
Today’s Recipe and Location:    Chocolate Covered Strawberries        
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
                  Pages: 66 - 67      Copyright:  2013  Harper Collins

         These strawberries are beautiful. It is really a shame that I don’t eat them, but oh well…..I don’t. These would be great on a breakfast buffet. She decorates with both white and semisweet chocolate which makes for a better looking finished product.  When was the last time you decorated strawberries??

Trivial Triffles

         This morning I was watching a CNN clip of an interview with Robert Redford about the changes over time in The Sundance Film Festival. He was talking about an upcoming movie he was in that is entered in the festival. He recounted how he wished he and Paul Newman had made the film together because of the chemistry they shared in life that came out in the movies Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting. It is such a shame that they didn’t make a third movie together. Paul Newman died in 2008 of cancer. I loved these two movies.

Memory Musings

         One of my early jobs after returning from Florida was working at Rich Port Realty. I obtained a secretarial position that was really fun. I worked with Realtors Sue Sisco, Cindy Pearson, Kathy Wilson, Norma Metcalf, Margaret Minalga, Dick and Shirley Newman, Sandi Wilcox, and Lee Scheidenhelm. I loved these people who always treated me with respect and shared a friendship. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. I have extremely fond memories of Rich Port and these wonderful people who influenced my life in a positive manner.