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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

We were so thankful in a change with some family jobs this past year so that we could have several days with both kids home.  Mostly it was God’s placements in giving us more family time and to Him we are thankful!!

JP arrived about 2 on Saturday after leaving his apt at 4:30 a.m.   K arrived about 6, being able to get home a bit earlier with a boss that values family time.  (so thankful!)

We had Sunday church together and then Christmas Eve service together.   Can’t say I didn’t shed a tear (or 2…) to have them both with us.

Sunday afternoon we had a few hours with the in-laws as that was Gpa’s 87th birthday.

Gma had collected drawings and writings from Miss K over a large piece of her childhood and glued it into a spiral notebook. (Part of K’s birthday gift earlier in December.)  They had such fun looking at it!  The next day we scanned everything and Miss K is going to make it into a printed book that will last vs the glue stick and notebook paper.  It is precious!  Gma M is very good at these savings in her own unique way.

We had Christmas Day at home.  ♥ Throughout the weekend, K & I had started the sewing project and it was fun to do that together.  Everyone helped cook meals and with dishes.  We enjoyed movies and an online game JP has that we play on the TV but with each of our phones.  It is fun and hilarious.  I have no idea the name or link for that.  You’ll have to ask him.

 

Good food and fun new recipes!

Hot-Buttered Apples and we served them over ice cream!  Yum! (gluten-free!)  This was dessert for Christmas dinner at noon with the in-laws.   I took this photo which was my supper that evening while under my electric throw on the couch!

Also a great new recipe is Tex-Mex Queso!  We had this Christmas Eve after church!  We added a pound of browned ground pork/sausage to make it more of a meal.  Yummy and easy to get ready quickly.

 

 


Sunset on December 23.  Wonderful color!

I offered to make my farmer a gift wish list with email links in early November but he said, “I thought we don’t do gifts.”  Hmpf!  So I shopped for myself on Thanksgiving weekend with the great sales online and the kids had gone back to their own homes.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas he asked for ideas!!!  #smackmyforehead  I sent a link to The Featherweight Shop and I think I included a few suggestions but he chose other things as well to make it to $100 and get his free shipping!  🙂  This is what I got!!  He excitedly told me they had things on sale and he got free shipping!

The needle threader/inserter is great!  As well as the thread cutter that sticks to the face plate.  So tiny but works super and just like my Bernina that I’m used to using!  The earrings are darling and don’t bother my ears at all.  Socks are calf-length (just above ankle a few inches for me) and a medium weight. Great quality shirt!!  Usual sizing.

I got him a new wallet as his in in shreds… but as usual, he didn’t like it and I sent it back.  He isn’t into gifts so that is fine.  At some point, he’ll decide he NEEDS a wallet and will find something!  LOL!

We had a wonderful time all together!  Saying good-bye is hard….

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Ok… here is a wrap-up ~~

One of the last mornings before vacation was over, I lamented to my mom about all the recipes I’d printed out to try that needed redone to go into my cookbook.  Mom asked if I had a 3-hole punch and notebook.  “I could do that!”

This only entertained her for 20 minutes but how wonderful to have this!! Sorted by categories, I had a new package of tabs that she labeled.  A brand-new 3-ring binder.  So easy!  Why don’t we take 20 mins to do these things to make looking for recipes a bit easier?  (and the cupboard to look a bit neater?)  If your mom isn’t there wanting to help, I bet you have a child or grandchild to help you!

I’ve continued to print recipes and I save up only about 3 before I go punch the holes and add to my book.  (…which now needs to grow!)  And for right now, in this busy season of our lives, I’m OK that the pages aren’t all retyped and formatted the same!  🙂

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I continued to sew and she had her knitting and a snack as the morning progressed.  I have a master pattern (mostly) ready to make some tops and jackets. Hopefully, now I can get some clothes made even though I’m not there to tailor to her all the time.

A going-away lunch out with friends who wanted a chance to  visit with my mom before she headed home.

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Early the next morning, we met DBrother & DSIL at a parking lot to switch Mom’s seats and bags.  (….ummmm – where did that tank top weather go???)  DSIL was quite pleased with the new artwork coming to their house!

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We all had good vacation time.  They headed for a long drive home!  I did a bit of shopping and then chatted with a NY sister on my drive home.
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P was gone for work on Monday and then Tuesday was to check all the equipment for a good day to run on Wednesday.

He went back to a less expensive fertilizer because of the low market prices and applied that all day Weds, Thursday, and Friday.  Just a bit he is putting in other areas to empty the tank and it is already here for today.

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He would like to spray his cover crops but the wind is supposed to get to be too much today so we’ll see.  Yesterday was 70′ bright blue skies!  The dog & I sat outside and I brushed her.  Too bad she’d prefer the shade and I want to sit in the sunshine!  She wins…. she is hard to move and has much more fur than me!

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When I got a photo of the tractor back home, I found a sleepy dog on the porch.

Earlier while I was out brushing her, I also checked on the lilac bushes.  We trimmed them after blooms last year, as I learned online to produce more blooms this year, and it looks like it is working!  This area of bushes is packed with little buds of blooms growing!!

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We tried winter garlic for the first time with planting in November 2015.  So far … all right.  One of 3 varieties is doing well.  Another has fair population, and the 3rd is all but absent!  Thankfully we marked our rows when we planted.

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Friday night supper was homemade pizza.  Not totally healthy but better than take-out!

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I make 3 small pizzas when I do this so we have one fresh and now I have 2 in the freezer for that night where all I can imagine doing is heating a frozen pizza!

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Easter 2016

I was thankful that one’s spring break was the traditional week before Easter this year so he was home about 10 days.  🙂   The other one just had Sunday off but got off work a bit earlier on Saturday than normal and was home by 6:45 p.m. so we had time to visit and sit before I turned into a pumpkin and headed to bed!

We all went to the early service at church so dinner would not need to be so late.  By the time we were home, P’s parents were home from their service and came over for dinner.

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We had —
— home-grown ham (I never have served this for a holiday before as it is a regular free food for us.  But free was key and the kids don’t get it all the time anymore!)
— smashed potatoes (usual recipe, just unpeeled yellow yukon potoates and smashed not whipped in the mixer)
— gravy  (from homemade chicken broth)
— french style green beans
— Gma brought pickles, olives, and cheese cubes
Cheesecake with toppings – the yummiest and lightest cheesecake I’ve ever made!  Gluten-free as well for one.  It disappeared and I have a new & 10″ springform pan on my wish list as my pan leaks in the water bath even with 2 layers of foil!  (And 9″ is really very small for this!)
Toppings:
*I made a cooked, dried fruit mix for a topping and apparently I’m the only one interested in such an idea.  Not that I’m supposed to eat dried fruit! (too much sugar)
* I had out a can of cherry pie filling for a topping and that vanished!
*Gingersnap cookie crumbs with vanilla & butter and toasted in a pan a bit for those that were missing crust to the cheesecake.

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The grands enjoy it when the kids are home.  They get to have a meal here and have plenty of time to visit.

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Pumpkins

Finally in January there are some days at home to cook pumpkins that we harvested this fall.  They’ve been happily waiting their turn in the basement and garage.  One day I cut and deseeded 2.  I roasted them in the oven until soft and then processed in my Victorio strainer.  Love it!!  I had close to 8 cups of pumpkin!  In the evening I made a double batch of muffins with fresh ground wheat.  I was short 2 eggs so read and chose a banana for the substitute.  I put in 1/2 chocolate chips and half pecan pieces.  I don’t need all the amount of chocolate chips to cloud my thinking of how many muffins I consume!

I also announced that night that I needed someone else to cut pumpkins!  So while the muffins were in the oven, my farmer cut 3 more pumpkins for me.  And in the meantime, I had looked at the Victorio book closer and it said to cook in 1″ – 2″ cubes and then process.  Yippee!!  That takes away the scooping hot flesh out of the rines.  The next morning, I cut one more pumpkin.  I was glad to have the oven on most of the morning since the temperatures outside were struggling to find only 0’F that day!

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With the pumpkins cubed before cooking, I was able to get 22 cups of pumpkin in the freezer and had only about 7 cups of trash of skin.  The skin came out all dried and cleaned of the nutrients.  I’m glad to have more pumpkin in my puree than back to the trash.

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Using 10 pumpkins has barely made a dent in what P grew this summer.  He did admit last night that I don’t have to cook them all.  🙂

Here is my whole wheat muffin….. ummmmm…..

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I’m done with processing pumpkins for now.  Three days worth gave me about 40 cups of pumpkin puree in the freezer and 4 batches of pumpkin muffins (most in the freezer).  I think that is plenty really.

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For several reasons, I actually cooked a real meal (vs wraps or leftovers) for lunch and on a holiday, no less!   I’ve realized that often my in-law’s Christmas “day” is on Jan 1 but it wasn’t this year.

Meanwhile, the men were watching a movie, I was moving from this to that, left a burner on, checked the oven, put the hotpads on the stovetop, went to another room….

A bit later, P asked if lunch was ready.  It did smell a bit burnt…

I went to the kitchen and the hot pads were laid onto the just turned off burner and were smoking!  I threw them in the sink with water and then they were sent to the deck so they wouldn’t keep smelling.

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No volunteer firemen were invited for dinner.  Whew!

Lunch was fine – Cheesy Chili Chicken.

They were my favorite hot pads so if you recognize them and know where I can buy them… let me know.

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Christmas Food 2014

We were 4 on Christmas Day and thankful to have the day together.  We had all talked about ideas for dinner, simple is my mantra, and everyone helped out.  🙂

Menu:
Garlic Butter Lemon Shrimp

Noodles

Zucchini noodles — made with K’s tool and I soon bought my own!

marinated vegetable salad

mashed potatoes – because I love my husband and he loves mashed potatoes

Cheesecake with raspberries

The shrimp was so easy to make!  And the best ever!!  Best meal I’ve had in a long time!!  P helped me peel the shrimp and that took awhile… we had 3#.  JP cooked regular noodles and K cooked the zuke ones.  I had the mashed potatoes in the crockpot.

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And seriously… you know I don’t spend extra time in the kitchen… and I made this cheesecake!!

And it is gluten-free.

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JP suggested raspberries for the cheesecake topping.  I bought 3x the amount of frozen ones as we could have paid with buying “fresh as Illinois gets…” so all could have plenty!

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There are no words for how good this was!  I think K & I were stuck on our chairs unable to move after all this.

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via P’s cell phone….

There were leftovers of everything  — the kids had to-go boxes for a few more meals and P & I ate several more meals as well.  And seriously, what is better for supper on Christmas Day than a piece of cheesecake?

 

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