Monday, January 31, 2011

Easy, but looks hard

Isn’t that what we all want?  To be able to make something that is easy and impressive looking, but looks like you spent hours in the kitchen?!

I call it Easy Ass As Pie

Take 2 apples and core them and slice them into really thin slices. (I used Granny Smiths because I love tart)

Squirt some lemon juice over them so they don’t turn brown.  I would have used a fresh lemon, but this is what I had! So shoot me!

Now to that add about 1/3 cup sugar….this can be white sugar, brown sugar….probably NOT powdered sugar…

and a little bit of cinnamon and let them play around and get it juicy for a bit.

Get out a sheet of puff pastry dough and when it’s thawed, divide it into thirds.

Next, I put a dollop of apple butter on each of the slices…..not sure I would do this next time as it kind of made a mess on my pan, but luckily I had one of those Silpat thingies underneath it, so it really wasn’t a big deal…’ll see what I mean in upcoming pictures… this step at your own risk….if I were to do it again, I would brush the tops with the apple butter once it was cooked…..take heed!

So anyway, I put a dollop of apple butter on the puff pastry and then spread it about like so….

Then I put my apple slices on top…..all nice and pretty….

Oh yeah, if you like nuts, you might throw a few walnuts into the left-over sugar concoction and them sprinkle those on top of your apples.  I used walnuts…

Then pop these into the oven at 415 for about 15-20 minutes….until the pastry browns….

Here I am at 10 minutes…..when I’ve found the apple butter has thinned out and ran everywhere….

Here they are out of the oven……see the mess on the Silpat baking mat?!

But see how pretty once they are on a plate?


See? I told you….. Easy Ass As Pie! Looks like something you’d get somewhere fancy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Waiting for blooms!

My progress since yesterday………

I’ve decided to leave the leaf “as-is” for now and just work on the background, then I’ll go back and fix it….I’m tired of spinning my wheels on fiddling with one thing that is making me crazy….I got quite a bit hooked yesterday…..the background is looking a little stripey, but will go back and tweak that last as well.

Do you think Kenny is ready for spring to get here?


This is a vignette he created last week with lots of his vintage pottery.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Millionaire Mocha

If you are in Springfield, MO stop by my local coffee shop and try the Millionaire Mocha……dark chocolate and orange……YUM!

I always use the drive-thru on my way to work!

It’s taken a lot of coffee to get me through this past week….how much coffee do you have to drink to overcome the drowsy effects of Benadryl?

A lot!

Today I’m staying in and hooking on the last garden rug.

Here it is this morning up next to the other two….remember, I was going to have it TOTALLY hooked by the end of the month…..I’ve got a LOT of work to do here folks! Better get with it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miss Harley has a home

I did my daily check-in on the dogs that I feature on my sidebar who are looking for homes and it looks like Miss Harley has been adopted!


Life is unsure

Just a little note to say that I think I am finished feeling sick.  I stopped by the library and picked up a few new books to start….

“Making Toast” by Roger Rosenblatt….started reading it aloud to my dogs last night ….it’s sweet.

“Heart of the Matter” by Emily Giffin

“Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” by Janet Evanovich …..with a title like that….who knows?!

I have not been hooking on my rug…..perhaps this weekend.

Work is a bit unstable….they are talking of sending us home when we are slow…..I see it as a blessing for myself, but for others who are on their own and have kids to raise and kids to put through college, not so much…..

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Body, Mind and Soul

Yesterday I spent my morning participating in a  2-hour “Yoga Flow” event for National Yoga Day.

We did lots of downward dogs…..


And then I learned the 3 legged downward dog into the…..

flipped dog.  I’m still much the beginner in yoga, but the more I practice the more I love it.

One thing I did learn is that my hips are really, really tight, but I did listen and learn and will be incorporating this “fire log” pose into my daily life.  I think all of the weight training and cardio has me really tightened up this area. When I had seen people sit like this before in yoga, I thought they were just sitting cross-legged…not so. Click on the picture to read more about this pose. (I can get my bottom leg down, but when I try to put my top knee on top of my bottom ankle, it’s closer to my elbow or the middle of my upper arm)

I spent the rest of my day reading this book….finished it in one day…’s really a tear-jerker! I’m talking tissues and mascara running down my face!

I’m fighting off a cough (I hate being sick!) and all the yoga has left me pretty sore, so I just lounged and read for the rest of the day.  We had left-over ham and beans (sometimes not having to cook can be a good thing….I’m a big fan of left-overs!) that I had made the night before last and we watched a movie with Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci. “Love Ranch”…..we really enjoyed it! Is there anything Helen Mirren has been in that HASN’T been worth watching?



Heading to a flea market when Kenny gets home from the gym…..guess I’ll get out of my “sweats” and put on some real clothes!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

As Predicted

As predicted, we got snow!


What could be better than hooking by the fire while it snows outside!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


When we walked the dogs this evening there were gobs of birds on the ground feeding…..I definitely think we are going to get snow.

Every time I walked by a computer today at work, someone had a weather map up, looking at the radar, trying to guess if and when we are going to have snow….when will it get here? How much will we get?

Of course, Kenny is wanting to know because he has to go out and drive around and deliver the mail regardless of what it does. (He used to love the snow….before he had to go out and work in it)

I like the anticipation of getting snow….it makes me feel giddy….like a kid who gets that unexpected snow day….which I kind of did…..I’m off Thursday…we are slow at work, so I volunteered to take a day off…..secretly wishing for snow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Play time

It seems most of the time, the only time I can get pics of my dogs is when they are lounging around (they do that a lot), but today I caught them playing with each other.

Cleopatra: Wanna play with me?

Lonnie: Sure

Lonnie:  I’ll make myself smaller for you

Cleopatra: Thanks, you are kinda big!

Lonnie: Promise you won’t get too ruff?

Cleopatra: I’ll seal the deal with a kiss.

Cleopatra: Get me!

Cleopatra has a mean upper cut!

Lonnie: I thought you said you wouldn’t be ruff!

Lonnies left upper cut is not as strong as Cleopatra’s

Cleopatra: He’s fast!

Lonnie: Neener, neener, neener       You can’t get me up here!

Cleopatra: You are so crazy!

Lonnie and Cleopatra: That made us tired.

Lonnie and Cleopatra: Lounging is always a good pastime.

Giving me fits!

This last rug is giving me fits.  I can’t decide what to do with the lower section of the big leaf….

I tried green, but it melded in too much with the big long spikey grass, so I used purple, but I think it’s too much purple. I’m thinking I might have to get in the dye pots and try to make some sort of transitional wool that goes more from green to purple. I got this green and purple wool from my friend Sandy, but there is just not enough of the wool that goes between the purple and green to make the transition and I’m not even sure that it would work….I’m feeling rather lost.  Any ideas?


I also think I’m going to have to outline the pink flower with something darker to make it POP a bit more.

Okay, for now, I’m just going to keep hooking in more of the yellow background and keep thinking about that big leaf!


“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself."
– Miles Davis

On a brighter note, I made this:

Broccoli, Cannellini Bean & Cheddar Soup

for lunch yesterday when Kelly came over to hook with me….great taste, low in calories!

(not my picture….we were too busy hooking and eating to take pics, but it really does look like this)

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed (see Tip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I used mild cheddar…that’s what I had on hand)
  1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in beans, salt and pepper and cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute.
  2. Transfer half the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining broccoli mixture and cheese. Serve warm.
Tips & Notes
  • Tip: While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (These recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.

Per serving: 153 calories; 7 g fat (4 g sat, 0 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 437 mg sodium; 435 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (94% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv), Calcium (21% dv)

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat


Then, last night for supper I splurged and made Bacon n Egg Quesadillas

(again, not my pic….I’ve been a little pic lazy lately huh?)

  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 hass avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • One 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  1. Place the tortillas in the oven in two stacks; heat to 200°. In a bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

  2. Working in batches, in a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the skillet, reserving the rest of the fat. Cut the bacon strips in half.

  3. Working in 2 batches, in the skillet, cook the eggs over easy; transfer to a platter. Reserve the skillet.

  4. Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese; top with beans, 1 egg and bacon strips, then fold to enclose.

  5. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add 4 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with more bacon fat and the remaining quesadillas; serve with the avocado mash


*I was making mine without the recipe handy and totally forgot the black beans, but they were still delish! What a great comfort food! Breakfast for dinner!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


It’s been so cold that all I want to do when I get home from work is hunker in and STAY in!  I’ve done way too much TV watching and movie watching and reading…..well, not too much, but way more than I’m used to!

I haven’t even been going to the gym….just the thought of having to get out of the car once it finally gets warmed up,  breaks me down.

About the only time we okay, make that I get out is to walk the dogs (Kenny drives around in this freezing weather delivering mail all day) ….here are a few pictures from Wednesday night’s walk.

Cleopatra is modeling a sweater that her Aunt Donna made for her a few years ago…..she really likes it!  It’s so cute, it has little pom-poms that tie under her neck, but she’s so low to the ground that it’s hard to get a good picture of that feature.

Lonnie got a puffy coat for Christmas….actually he got two….a rust one and a blue one….he loves being warm and snuggly.

I lightened up most of the pictures, but in this one you can see that the sun is already going down once we get home and get everyone dressed to walk.  I think this evening it was about 11 degrees….brrrrr!

Hope you’re staying warm!  Of course it’s toasty and warm here in the house… of Kenny’s hyacinths is starting to bust open!