Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Cafe

Welcome to Sunday Cafe.

The table is set for family and guests.

The entrees:
Goulash, from Mommy's Kitchen. This is a Paula Deen recipe. It makes lot, I should have read the recipe in full before I began. I would of opted to only make half. We will be having this as leftovers, I am glad it will freeze.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup, from Sunday Nite Dinner. This was tasty, I will enjoy this for tomorrows dinner.

My apologies to Tastingspoons. I never did get to the Salmon Cakes. I even baked a potato while making the desserts. But they will have to be made another time.

I also made chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese, for everyone, but especially for young miss Olivia.

There was also tossed salad and the Pumpkin black bean soup, from Closet Cooking. The soup was a hit, the leftovers went home with a guest.

The Desserts:
Peach crisp, from Jane's Garden.

Just one serving left.
This is another Applesauce spice cake with chocolate chips, from Noble Pig. I don't care if this comes out of the pan and is not pretty, it is that yummy.

Bread pudding cut into small squares, and covered with lemon sauce. So easy to serve this way.

I am glad there is leftovers of this, I hear lunch calling for tomorrow.

Time for clean up.
This is not pretty! This dishwasher is running now, and there is a large sink of hand washing to do.


Another fun time with family.
As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and take a peek!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday Cafe Menu

From this,

Today was busy, I got the garden ready for winter and spent some time with young miss Olivia. I have missed our Thursday evenings together since work has picked up so.

We will be having a simple Sunday Cafe, some comfort foods and a couple of things I had wanted to make and never got around to or forgot!

By request this Pumpkin and Black bean soup, from Closet Cooking.

Salmon Cakes (with bacon), from tastingspoons. These were planned for another cafe, but I forgot them, and from the write up, they are too good to miss.

Goulash, from Mommy's Kitchen. This is for Honey, we know how he feels about "fussy" food!

Stuffed Cabbage Soup, from Sunday Nite Dinner. This may be overkill with ground beef, but it will sure taste good later in the week.

Any fruit crisp (I will be using fresh peaches), from Jane's Garden.

Bread Pudding, and fresh lemon sauce.

Add a tossed salad, some chilled wine and everyone should be well fed.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I love this pear butter

My plans to return to meal planning (and actually eating what is posted) have been set aside.

The reason?


Honey is still quite ill with this virus. He is not contagious, but He is very, very tired and says that "everything tastes like dirt". Now Honey is a good man, no doubt. But he is not easy, when sick. Nothing is good, nothing tastes good, nothing is fun, nothing is worth anything.

Whew! Whew indeed.

So my plan is to just keep on keeping on, and mind my own business!

I know lets make pear butter. I made this recipe about 25 years ago. I have remembered it and wanted to make it again. When I came upon these pears at the market, I knew it was time to get cooking and make some. The orange and nutmeg combination is both delicious and fragrant. As you can see from the photo above, I only had half of the pear puree needed for a full recipe. But a half recipe will work fine for tonight. I won't complete the water bath process, because this will go into the fridge and be eaten right away.

Pear Butter
Ball Blue Book

6 - 7 pounds of pears (about 20 medium) You will need 2 quarts of cooked mashed pears.
4 c sugar
1 t grated orange peel
1/2 t fresh nutmeg
1/3 c orange juice

Wash pears, peel and core. Combine in a large sauce pan with 1/4 c water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until soft. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in sugar, cook until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and cook until thick enough to round up on a spoon. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle into jars, cap. Boil 10 minutes in water bath. Makes 4 pints.

This will make a great stir in for my daily serving of yogurt, Yum I can't wait for breakfast.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday night brights

This is the most beautiful tree, year round, but especially now. These leaves will be carefully gathered for compost. This is the only leaf tree in the backyard. Everything else is an evergreen.

It was time to change the hearth. I really enjoy having a fireplace. It is warming in the winter and fun to decorate all the year through.

The ever expanding stawberry bed. I got a lot of growth after planting, I am hoping for lots of berries next year.

The poor deceased tomato plant. Those small maroon tomatoes were so delicious.

The monster overgrown raspberry plants. They produced very well. Lots of jam to enjoy this winter.

The weather has not been too cold and as of yet not too wet. So far the only problem for working out side is when it is dry I am at work!

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Green onion and cheddar garlic beer loaf

Beer bread is everywhere, and for good reason. It is delicious and it is easy! Also, you can't go wrong with bread, it is always a hit and it will round out that meal just right.

Cheddar and Green onion garlic bread

1 bunch green onions sliced
1 c diced cheddar cheese
3 c flour ( I used 2 c all purpose and 1 c white whole wheat)
1 T baking powder
2 T sugar
1 t garlic salt
1 12 oz bottle of beer

Heat oven to 350Combine flour(s) sugar, garlic salt and baking powder in large bowl. Stir in sliced green onions and cheddar pieces, mixing in with the flour mixture. Pour the beer over and mix. Spoon into a prepared loaf pan (or you can free form on a baking sheet), bake 45-55 minutes until done. Serve sliced and buttered. Leftovers toast well.

Makes 1 loaf

I enjoy using this danish style loaf pan, it holds the same amount of dough as a standard pan, it is simply longer and more narrow than a standard pan. It is especially helpful for little appetites, like the grandkids or folks that like to have 2 pieces.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


October is about gone

October is about gone, and where it went is beyond me. I looked in the backyard this early morning, and it looks like a garden war has taken place and no one stayed around to clean up!

The raspberries need to be "retrained" to lay upon the support fence.

The last of the rhubarb needs to be picked and used or composted.

The tomato plants needs to be composted.

The soaker hoses need to be gathered and coiled and stored away for winter.

The strawberries that have wondered out of the raised bed, need to be redirected to the bed or pulled out and composted.

Then everything needs a big helping of compost (especially the rhubarb) and or mulch and let sleep for the winter. It needs to be done, but probably not today. It is wet and cold outside, and I have lots to get done on the inside. And the flu I had last week has progressed to a bad cold, so outside is not a smart option for today.

The inside of the house is not as bad, but not much got done last week inside the house either! I have some clean up in the kitchen, then I want to get some things cooked.

I want to make the red grapefruit and rhubarb jam. I did not get enough of my own rhubarb to cook much this year except one little pie. I was fortunate to be give a sack of rhubarb from my DIL, that she had been given from some friends. Thankfully we will have our jam!

I want to make a loaf of green onion and cheddar chunk beer bread.

And I want to go through the refrigerator and make sure nothing will go to waste soon, and see what needs to be used up.

Next Sunday is Sunday Cafe, I have called for requests and we shall see what rolls in. I know the one thing that I want to make is the Cauliflower Soup from Food in Jars. Another dish I have not gotten around to making is the Salmon Patties from tasting spoons. This Cafe might be a celebration of recipes I have meant to try, but have not gotten around to doing so yet!

The vinegars that I set out last month will need to be decanted. I searched a couple of stores yesterday and no one carries little bottles with a hasp closure. I have not kept plastic bottles when they have been emptied, and glass ones are fewer and fewer to be had. I will begin to keep all glass bottles that I have emptied of another product. It is a hard line to walk, what to keep or toss. You become cluttered if you keep too much, or you are caught without what you need if you keep too little.

I am certain I have yammered on long enough! As always thanks for taking the time to stop and say hello.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just a little of this, and a little of that

What a week, and it is only Wednesday evening. It has been a long time coming!

Today I returned to work after being home for 2 days with this virus. Now it is possible it is the "swine" flu, but no one will say. And it is possible it is regular (if there is such a thing) flu, again no one will say. Do you know why? Because the symptoms are all the same. Although I no longer have Kaiser as my medical insurance provider, I still get the health updates. I got a very interesting newsletter regarding flu strains, the symptoms and when it is OK to go back to work*. The H1N1 strain sounds scary but only because it is new. In the same way that every last year's flu was new when it first arrived, made contact or invaded. In times as urgent as having the flu can be, soon the new flu does became the old flu.

And now Honey has it. The headaches and body aches are pretty stiff, I was surprised.

When I got to work, I was not sure I would be able to make it for the full day. I even started early so that I could get as much done as possible before I had to leave due to fatigue or possible additional symptoms. But I am a tough old bird because I worked 6:15 am to 5:00 pm. People that arrived after me, left before me. Got a lot done, and tomorrow there is more.

That clear envelope contains 2 sets of my fingerprints. They will be needed for a training seminar I will attend. I will be in a class in Tualatin to be the designated alternate to obtain and process a background check for all new hires that come to work at the SNF, where I currently work. I got those extra sets when I first was hired on 09.15.08. The plan was for me to take the training at that point. But the building is so busy, that push come to shove, and I am now getting it done. Over a year later. I don't know.......maybe it is a little late? But the day will have a fun side. I have a friend that works in Tualatin. She is the administrator of an Assisted Living Facility, I will stop and see her building after the training.

OK, yes that is a check made payable to me and yes it is from the district court of Multnomah County. You see it goes like this.

There are red light camera tickets in Portland. I leave Portland every evening and I use to take a certain route, but all that changed when I got a red light ticket mailed to me here in my home state of Washington. And I knew when I got the ticket I was guilty. Guilty by OMG, the traffic moved and my little red car was in the middle of the intersection and the light turned red. Innocently, I was guilty.

I can think of better times to shell out $242.00 and I can think of items of desire that I would rather spend it on. But I remember the moment and I remember thinking how lucky I was that I did not hurt anyone or have anyone hurt me. So the $242.00 was cheap compared to pain and suffering. But still, $242.00. I did the right thing, I wrote a check to the court, but I did plead "no contest". Because in many ways I was not guilty. I think the amount I got back is probably the court costs, $36.00.
I would not head west bound on Stark St towards I205, I'm just sayin!

Oh and now *

According to the CDC, you can go back back to work 24 hours after your fever breaks. (Unless your other symptoms worsen - but that part is just the old bird talking.)

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop and say hello.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday night brights

Guess who has put in too many hours at work and got her flu shot too late? Yes that would be me, this is a doozie of a virus. I have not had the flu in about 20 years. This goes along with my decision to change jobs, you must remain stronger than the stress you encounter each day.

October is such a happy month. My DIL and I share something very special. We each have a daughter that was an October baby. The lovely Jess was birthed on 10.10 (78) and young miss Olivia was brought into this journey on 10.12 (04).

Many thanks to Janelle for hosting the birthday dinner and all the baking, YUM!

And yes I did give that whoopee cushion to Olivia for her birthday.
Funny, funny times!
It is so fun being a grandmother!
Glass tubes of delicious vanilla beans. I don't know what yet, I don't know when yet, but I will do something delicious with them. Maybe it is time to trade out my sugar beans and make extract and start a new jar of vanilla sugar. I will keep you posted.

The wedding in Spokane was simply lovely. A traditional Mexican wedding with the father of the bride's approval ( a two year wait for the marriage) and then sponsors that were guests of honor. The food divine, and I had Tres Leches Cake, so so wonderful. But honestly the 12 hour day on Friday, the early drive to Spokane (5 hours from Vancouver for a 11:00 am ceremony) a bit of sleep and a return for Honey to go to work at noon. Too much I think for me.

As always thanks for taking the time to stop by,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It has happened again......

.....I'm so busy making a living, I don't have the time to make a life.

Or at least the life I want. The life I know can exist, and be enjoyed.

A life where there is energizing work away from the home that includes the accumulated product or investment of time that will produce a paycheck. Work that leaves enough energy that the end of the day is a joyful return back home. To begin and enjoy the tasks that when completed, fund a life well lived.

I have good intentions, and I am not lazy. But I do not have enough day at the end of my work day, to live the life I want and need on a deeper level.

So I have made the decision to search out a different job. I know, I know. The economy is not good now, but may not get better for months, maybe longer.

And I do not want to wait any longer.

My quest for this life that I want/need to live began many years ago.

I have accomplished many of the things on my list, that needed to be done. But there is more I want and need to get done. Including more serenity.
So if you find my posts infrequent, please don't go away. Please understand that I am working harder than ever. My current "shift" is 10-12 hours everyday, before I get home. It is a bit easier in the last 2 weeks of each month. The time sensitive reports etc that must be done, have all been completed and sent to upper management.

I have peaches in the fridge, waiting to be cooked, or jammed or something.

I have sauerkraut I want to try to make.

I have ginger beer and/or other fermented foods to try my hand at.

I have homemade gifts for my family that I want to make.

I have recipes to scan and get organized.

I have a garden that needs to be cleaned up for the winter.

And a granddaughter I have not been able to spend time with on "our" Thursday evenings.

I have many many things, too many to list here. But I think you get my point.

I thank you for taking the time to stop and say hello.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday night brights

It was hard to go back to work today, but I cam home to a plate of chocolate chip cookies, thanks Honey!

Another (very sweet) chore completed, we are Craigslist folks and this table was a great find. Now with a newly refinished top, it is so pretty. Honey does great work, don't you think?

Here is the story about this cat, He begs! It is really hard to get a shot of him begging but you can tell from this shot that He is up on his back legs and his front paws are touching in a "beg" posture. He is the cutest cat when He does this.

Here are some shots from our Seaside getaway, Olivia written in the sand, by Olivia.

Walking on the beach the first day there. She still had her school clothes on, she was too excited to change.

Olivia and me feeding the seagulls, this was the second time on the beach to feed. We used up 3 1/2 loaves of bread. The seagulls were fun, some of them very gifted at catching bread thrown up high in the sky. Next time I am sure we need to take 5 loaves of bread!

There was a stranded seal on the beach. It had been there for several days and the area was posted by the Marine board. Apparently they need to get out of the water when they are ill. It was making it's way back to the water, and in about 5 days had move from where high tide dropped him, back to the waters edge. I did not get a photo, my camera was back in the travel bag at the beach cabin.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by,


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guess who

Gets to go to Seaside,

and walk on the beach,

and sip coffee and play with a granddaughter?

Yes it is true, me!!!

It has been a few tough weeks at work,

and I am getting the "cold" that is going around,

but I get to go and walk on the beach.

See you back here for Monday Night Brights.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello,