Friday, December 31, 2010

Send off

I’ve been perusing the net this morning looking for ideas of what to make for New Year’s Eve tonight. We tend not to go out on New Year’s Eve….it just feels safer staying put.

Right now it’s warm….in the 50’s, but the temperature is supposed to start taking a nose dive about 8pm…..YIKES….down to 18 they say.

Considerations for tonight’s meal…..

We have frozen crabcakes in the freezer, so I’m thinking of getting those out and toasting those up for our main course….maybe a little steak as well.

Then, I came across this recipe from Paula Deen….it’s surprisingly not swimming in butter :)

Portabello and Asparagus Salad (click HERE for recipe)

 

Next, I found a “new to me” website….. “Chili Cheese Fries.net” …. oh my….this website really tests my resolve to be “good”

I think this “Kentucky Beer Cheese Toast” sounds divine! Cheesy bread and any kind of chips and dip are my total un-doing!

 

Then I ran across this “Ultimate Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Jalapenos” recipe there too…..but I’m thinking I’ve already got pasta with the other salad (the healthier one) and cheese with the toast, but I did print it out for future reference (when only creamy cheese and pasta will soothe your woes)

 

So what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Okay, I’d best get to the gym and then run by the store and pick up my ingredients that I need……stay safe!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after

Sitting here this morning, drinking coffee with whipped cream on top…..yes the kind that sprays out of a can…..the can was ALMOST empty this morning….making the spraying a bit messy as it sputtered and spitted out the last of the whipped cream…..yes, I’ve consumed the entire container during the holiday season….all on top of my coffee!

I think the spray whipped cream kind of sums up the day after Christmas….I’ve run on caffeine and tried to put a fluffy, sweet finish on gifts, decorations, food….now that it’s over, I’m kind of sputtering…….

….tomorrow it will be back to the skim milk in my coffee.

If every day was topped with whipped cream it was cease to be special!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Late breaking news! Brownie has found a forever home!  I actually saw this sweet dog, Saturday, at PetSmart…..totally not surprised that someone wanted to take her home with them…..what a sweet dog!

 

So, early this morning, I found this baby who needs to find a home as well…..Rosie…..

She looks so forlorn and she really needs someone to fatten her up and make her smile!

Click on her picture or on the sidebar to read more about her.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Checking in and checking out

Just wanted you all to know that I’m still around and I’m just stepping back from the computer a little bit more to enjoy the holidays.

Some nights are like tonight when you get home from work and the store and bring home “take and bake” pizza from Papa Murphy’s….tonight we’re having Chicken Bacon Stuffed Pizza and Chicken Mediterranean Pizza….

no, I don’t cook from scratch every night….and yes, we have fruitcake and nuts and chocolate and christmas cards and mail waiting to be opened on our kitchen counter, like I hope everyone else does too….perfection is way over rated!  But that being said, I also whipped up some of this spinach artichoke dip, which is supposed to taste like the spinach artichoke dip from Applebee’s…..if it’s good, then I’ll share the recipe with you.

Lonnie is waiting for Kenny to come back from the library so we can eat,

and Cleopatra is chillin’ on the sofa.

Enjoy the holidays and be as forgiving with yourself as you are with others.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Geometric Hooked Rugs

I don’t know how many of you are on the auto-ship program with Rug Hooking Magazine, but I received a copy of “Geometric Hooked Rugs” about a week or so ago and now that I’ve found time to look through it, I’d have to say that this is one of the best books that they’ve put out in a while.

If you have ANY interest in hooking a geometric rug in the future, I think this is a must have for your rug hooking library!

 

I’m still working on my garden rugs….I have the second one ALMOST completely bound and the third one is about 1/2 hooked, but I think my next project my be a geometric.

Here are a few pictures I’ve culled from the internet for inspiration…..

I don’t think this would be considered geometric, but it’s just so odd and free-form that I’m drawn to it!

 

I think the best thing about geometric rugs, is that they look equally at home in traditional OR modern interiors.

 

Maybe I’ll start with something smaller, like a pillow….maybe something Pucci-esque like this….

 

or this….

I have hooked one geometric rug, which I gifted….I like how it turned out, but I got really bored hooking it…..

….but after working on the garden rugs for so, so long, I think I’m ready for a quick project like a pillow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake for Tracy

This is the cake that I made for Tracy’s birthday (my co-worker).  It is yet another recipe from “Barefoot Contessa at Home” called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, you can find the recipe HERE.

If you like chocolate and coffee this is the cake for you!

It’s great working with people you truly enjoy! I’m so blessed!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A great time!

Sheri’s (Shabby Sheep) Christmas hooking party was SOOOOO wonderful!

Her house is absolutely adorable and can that girl decorate or what?!  I took gobs of pictures that I’ve sent to her, so hopefully in the next few days she’ll be posting her holiday decorating.

There was tons of good food and Sheri made us mimosas…..YUM-O!  Then later we had spiked coffee…..okay, I did, but I’m a lush, what can I say!

Need decorating ideas when you’re having a party? Just call Sheri…..this is just a sneak peek!

Champagne on ice…..so festive!

 

She also made all of us little snowmen….AHHH-Dor-ABLE!

 

As promised here is a recipe for what I took, French Chocolate Bark, from Barefoot Contessa

French Chocolate Bark
Ingredients

6 ounces very good semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews 
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger-diced
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots -diced
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
Directions
Place semi-sweet chocolate and half of the bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds, stir, and continue at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is just melted.  Add the rest of the bittersweet chocolate and stir by hand until melted and completely smooth.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the ginger, then cashews, apricots, cherries and raisins over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

 

The other day, when I was catching up on my DVR watching of Martha Stewart, she had on a guest, Johnny Pigozzi,  who was talking about ALWAYS having your camera with you.  He takes lots of pictures of himself with friends with a digital camera at arms length. I decided to give it a try today….here are a few shots of me and some of my bloggy friends.  He’s big on black-and-white, so that is how I did mine too!

Me and Sheri of Shabby Sheep


Me and Dulcy of Dulcy’s Doorstep

Yes, some of us did hook just a little bit, I worked on binding one of my garden rugs, Sheri tried to work on her rug, but Jimmy Dean kept crawling up into her hooking, so I don’t think she got very far!

However, Marsha has her big rug almost finished…

What a great time!  Okay, gotta run….I’m making another recipe from Barefoot Contessa…..this time it’s a chocolate cake that has coffee stirred into the batter and instant coffee stirred into the frosting…..taking that with me to work tomorrow for a co-worker’s birthday!  What can I say, when it’s cold outside I like to have things baking in the oven to make the house smell good!  Looks like me and the treadmill will be getting re-acquainted on Monday after work!

Creative Endeavors

Along with decorating, I’m trying a few other creative endeavors….that have to do with decorating….I suppose that’s my mode of the moment.

In a decorating magazine, I saw a throw that was knitted from wide pieces of silk fabric, …..that has got me knitting a pillow made out of a “silk-like” fabric.

 

I also made slip-covers for my pillows on the front porch….they were lime and turquoise….now they have slip-covers to look more “in season” for Christmas.

 

Cleopatra doesn’t care what I’m doing as long as she gets her spot on the sofa!

 

As for Lonnie, he fell asleep on his dad’s lap by the fire last night.

 

We woke up to snow this morning and a chilly 14 degrees……just a quick snapshot out the backdoor…

…..getting ready to head out in the brisk weather to go visit Sheri of Shabby Sheep for her hooking Christmas party!

Can’t wait to share the recipe of what I made to take….I snuck a bite last night and it’s good!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vintage Love!

As time goes by, Kenny brings out and puts up more of our Christmas décor…..this year we seem to have a vintage theme.

He’s put lots of bottle brush trees and vintage ornaments on our mantel.

 

The tinsel tree from the 60’s complete with color wheel is in our front window.

 

The wreath is a bottle brush wreath with ornaments attached (not vintage, but looks vintage)

In the dining room we have a turn-table where we can play a collection of vintage Christmas albums.

 

 

The mantel in the den has an old Santa that we found in an antique store in St. Louis as well as a little vintage snowman. Lonnie’s stocking has little vintage Santa’s that were in a box of things that we got at an auction or flea market, my stocking was made by Kenny’s mom.

The Santa on this side of the mantle was Kenny’s as a child, as well as his childhood stocking.

Someone made this snowman….he comes apart into three pieces….I suppose the bottom is for cookies and the middle has a spout for pouring tea….the little container in front has fruitcake in it…..one of Kenny’s favorite holiday treats….he is a true connoisseur of fruitcake!

The tablescape that I showed a few days ago has been added to…..little molded plastic reindeer that we’ve collected over the years….

 

Kenny brought home these little vintage glass birds in a nest earlier this week and they are now on the table as well.

You would think with all of this how could we possibly make room for more……well, last night we went “junking” and came home with several wreaths and old ornaments that Kenny is going to transform into something spectacular no doubt.

Then there is me….guilty as charged….I found this little nativity set that someone had made and for $5 I couldn’t pass it up…..now I just have to find a spot for it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Lion Tamer and a Non-Recipe



The holidays are making the dogs frisky! Lonnie is so brave to put his head in Cleopatra’s mouth!
Tonight, when I got home from work I made a “non-recipe” chicken pot pie.
“Non-Recipe” Chicken pot pie (just threw it together with what I had)
Chopped up some onions, carrots and celery because that is what I had in the fridge (use what you have….didn’t have peas or mushrooms or I would have added those in too)…..sautéed them in butter until they were soft.  Then I added in a can of cream of chicken soup and a can of cream of celery soup.  Added some salt and pepper and celery seed and also a little poultry seasoning….it was a little thick so I added in some fat free half and half.  Next I added in some shredded chicken that was left from a chicken I roasted a few nights ago…..also defrosted some hashbrown potatoes and added those in as well at the last minute.
Okay, this was going to go in a round pie dish with crust on the bottom and crust on the top, but there was soooo much it wasn’t going to fit.  I found another pie crust….you know…those Pillsbury pre-made jobbies….so I was able to put 1 and a half of them on the bottom and up the sides of a casserole dish….poured in my chicken pot pie concoction and then used the other 1 and a half pie crusts to cover the top…..okay, so it wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but it was certainly DELISH!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don’t you just hate it….

….when the paparazzi interrupts your nap?!

 

Seen while Kenny and I were out running around yesterday (FYI, it was really cold outside and this looked like a perfect place to nap)