Friday, November 28, 2008

More Thanksgiving 2008

We spent Thanksgiving afternoon at Nina and John's home. After a great meal, we headed outside for family pictures. My brother, Bert, took these with a camera on a tripod with a timer. I think they are great!

This one is in the backyard.
From left to right back row
My brother Bert, me, my dad, husband Jeff, my mom, brother Rex
front row, Nina, John, Jimmy, Bobby and Bridgette

This one is in the front yard
All the girls in the family
Zerbie, the girl Doberman, Nina, Mom, Me and Bridgette

Thanksgiving 2008

For some reason, blogger and my computer are not in the mood to upload any more new pictures, so here is just 1 picture from Thanksgiving 2008.
This is our daughter in law Bridgette and our son Bobby - yes, his current choice of hair is not what I would prefer, but after I got used to his mohawk, it is a little cute.
This is what he looked for 7 years while he worked as an animal welfare officer. Now, Bobby is a college student, works part time on a sod farm.
Bridgette does the public relations for a heat and air manufacturer and is the singer for a band. Bobby does the bands lights and roadie-type stuff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

getting ready for Thanksgiving

I did a little cooking ahead tonight to get ready for Thanksgiving.
In the fridge are the 2 discs of pie dough and a bowl of peanut butter cookie dough - both are easier to work with after chilling.
For the dressing, I made a double batch of cornbread, then crumbled it. I also cubed up part of a loaf of bread. Both will be drying out and will go in a big batch of cornbread dressing.

Mrs. Homemaker asked if I was posting this dressing recipe, I loosely followed my daughter's recipe and you can see her version here
I used more cornbread and less bread than her recipe specified though.

Are you doing any cooking ahead?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall wreath from my brother

My brother, the professor, surprised me last December with a handmade wreath.
He surprised me again with a new fall wreath, and yes, he made it!

Isn't it pretty? Jimmy suggested I hang it over this mirror in the entry way and I think it looks great there. He made a wreath for Nina too, she said hers has pumpkins on it and I can't wait to see it.
Thank you, Bert!
Em, do you see my white turkey, inspired by yours?

Tagged - twice!

I've been tagged twice by Maisie at Our Green Year.
The first one is about pictures.The rules:
Find the 6th folder in your photos folder and then the 6th photo in it.
* Pray that you remember the details *
Post it on your blog
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged

I think I have posted this pic before, it is a stack of scrap fabric from a recent garage sale.

Maisie also tagged me with this one and it means I have to tell you 6 things about myself and then tag 6 more people.

1. My favorite class in school was home economics. I took it all 4 years in high school and also once in summer school, not because I needed the credit but just because I liked it.

2. People tell me I have a very noticeable Texas accent. But I think I talk just normal.

3. I like things to be really organized - no clutter please!

4. I broke my collar bone when I was 1, I fell off my the top bunk in my brothers room.
I broke a bone in my foot in 1986 answering a wrong number in the middle of the night, the phone was in the kitchen and I was trying to get there before that ringing phone woke my children.
Other than that, I have never been really sick or needed medical care.

5. I've had some odd odd-jobs. My favorite was working as a merchandiser for American Greetings, doing the cards and gift wrap at a big Wal-mart.
I've also cooked for 2 fraternity houses, that was hard work but it was never boring!

6. I am never bored, I can always find something to do.

I am not going to tag anyone specifically - but please feel free to join in and just leave me a comment if you answer these on your blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baking day

Money Saving Mom is hosting a Baking Day linky so I joined in.
I baked a batch of pumpkin muffins similar to her recipe.
I changed the original recipe a little and just made a 1/2 recipe. It think they are delicious! low-fat and high fiber too.

Pumpkin Muffins
2 1/3 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C milled flax seed - (I buy this at Walmart, with the baking things, for about $1.30 a box)/
3/4 C sugar
3/4 t of baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger
3 eggs
15 ounce can of pumpkin
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin pans, grease or use papers, I sprayed my papers with a little Pam type spray.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then add the pumpkin and applesauce until smooth.
Add both mixtures together, stir thoroughly and then stir in nuts.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20-28 minutes until they test done.
(I got 23 muffins from this batch)

Another batch of freezer biscuits
Sausage patties on Grands biscuits for Jeff's workday breakfast.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Porcupines for supper

First, I can't take credit for this picture. I did make porcupine meatballs for supper and I thought I took a picture, but when I downloaded my camera, no meatball picture! Mine did look just about like the above picture except I didn't use a dish like that.
Porcupines are an old recipe and there are lots of variations.
My recipe is adapted from the one in my 1980 Betty Crocker cookbook. My mom gave me this book at one of my bridal showers. Can you tell I have used this book a lot?

My Porcupine Recipe
3/4 pound very lean ground beef
1/2 C uncooked regular rice
1/2 C finely chopped onion and bell pepper
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
a few sprinkles of celery salt
2 small cans tomato sauce (8 ounce cans)
water, 1/2 cup and 1 cup, divided

Mix ground beef, rice, 1/2 C water, onion, bell pepper and spices. Shape into meatballs - I use a scoop to start them.
Place meatballs in a greased baking pan - I use an 8x8 or 11x7.
Top with tomato sauce and 1 Cup water.
Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

This recipe is thrifty and to be even thriftier, don't use aluminum foil to cover them while baking, use a casserole that has a glass lid.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Mom's green kitchen

I thought you all might like to see my mom's pretty green kitchen. Green is her favorite color. The counters have avocado green Formica tops. And if you look close, you can see the handles of the avocado green fridge in the very right side of the picture. It amazes me that an appliance can still be in perfect working order after 38 years. (Our major appliances seem to last just about 5 years)
The floors are red brick tiles. The cabinets are just plain door fronts with white porcelain knobs.
The kitchen window was 3 glass shelves and Mom changes out different colored glass collections there. They look really pretty when the sun is shining through.
Mom always said her style was "Early American" and she liked the Country Living magazine style long before it was so publicized.
Mom and Dad planned custom built their home in 1969 and we moved in right after New Years in 1970.
This picture is a few years old, even still Mom always has looked very young.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun pictures for Veterans Day

Serving in the Military is a serious duty but I remember having lots of fun while Jeff was an active duty Marine. One of his biggest Marine accomplishments was being promoted to Warrant Officer. He was away at school for about 6 months. When he graduated, my dad rented this sign and put it in his front yard.
Having a light up sign in the front yard was lots of fun. We were all pretty happy to have Jeff back too.
I made these cross-stitch pictures while Jeff was gone. The first one is the Marine mascot, a bulldog. The second one is an officers sword, gloves and cover (or hat to all you don't know Marine talk) The third is the Marine seal with the eagle, globe and anchor in the center.
And the cutie in the red USMC t-shirt is Nina at 3 years old.
This was at a family day and the kids all got their faces painted in camouflage. They thought they were pretty tough looking.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Today is the 233th birthday of the United States Marines. You probably won't find it on your calendar but the Corps birthday day is a big deal for all Marines.

Jeff in Boot Camp, 1975, in MCRD San Diego.

Jeff and I at one of the many balls we went to - this one was in 1984 in Oklahoma City.

Jeff was stationed at the reserve center on staff as an active duty inspector/instructor. This is a group picture of all of that staff and their wives. Don't laugh at the dresses too much, it was 1985 after all!

Jeff out doing Marine work.

If you know a Marine, tell him Happy Birthday today.

And thank all the Veterans and current Military members tomorrow for their service to this country on Veterans Day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I need your advice

This will be a queen size quilt for a Christmas gift.
All along as I pieced the 72 squares for this quilt, I have been planning on setting them together in a zig zag pattern. I laid out some of the squares today, both with the black center stripes making a zig zag and with the black center stripes making X's.
I am not sure which I prefer, so which do you like best.
Please leave me a comment and/or vote in the poll on the side.

This one is the X pattern
This one is the Zig Zag pattern

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quaker Sampler

I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch but have not done any big projects in years. I recently found this free, printable Quaker sampler on a French site and am really enjoying working on it.

The pattern is 4 pages and really easy to read.

I am stitching mine in all black thread so it is really simple, no different symbols for different colors. I bought the big piece of Aida cloth at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.

So far, I have used one entire skein of black DMC embroidery floss.
I had never heard of a Quaker sampler until I came across this one. According to some of the cross-stitch blogs I have read, Quaker samplers are really popular and are usually stitched in just one color, like red or blue or black, or with variegated thread.
I don't know the reason, but this alphabet does not have the letter "J" Does anyone know why?

If you want to print this pattern, or some other free counted cross stitch patterns, this is the site

The site is in French but has lots of pictures and I had no trouble looking at her beautiful projects. She also sells patterns and offers about 6 free ones.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meals for a group

We had a fun weekend with visits from my parents, Jeff's parents and our 4 children and our 3 inlaw children. They were not all here at the same time, but there were 9 of us here for 1 meal and 8 of us here for 2 meals.
I planned out the menu ahead of time, did some of the cooking and prep work ahead of time and it worked out nicely that I was not really in the kitchen very long getting each meal ready at meal time.
I thought I would share this menu since it worked so well for us.

Friday night
homemade beef stew with crackers and cheese
assorted desserts

Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
freezer biscuits with butter and jam
bacon, sausage and fried eggs. The eggs were free-range eggs from chickens raised by my step-son and his wife, aren't they cute?
Saturday lunch
smoked pork from the freezer heated in a crock pot with barbecue sauce served on buns
baked beans
cole slaw
Saturday night
we had supper at Garber Dinner Theater
Sunday lunch
Jeff grilled 4 chickens
Ranch style beans- straight from the can
WW potato casserole
Apple salad
Four-Layer Dessert - this is a new recipe from Kraft and lower calorie than most desserts and was really good.
Yellow Bundt cake with chocolate frosting
Peach Crisp
Pumpkin cupcakes made by Nina
My other tip for feeding a group - keep a big stack of disposable plates on the counter, it just makes clean-up so much easier!

Cookie Jars

I just got these cookie jars. They belonged to my husband's grandmother. My sister in law, Gail, got them when they cleaned our grandma's house. Gail has had them for several years but was planning on selling them at her recent garage sale. My mother in law got them out of the garage sale and brought them to me keep for my children.

Nina wants the house one but I don't think Bobby and Jimmy will ever want pink cookie jars and tea pots.

For now, I think they look great on top of my kitchen cabinet. If I get tired of them, I will put them in the attic and Bobby, Jimmy and Nina can have them when they want.

The cow is Borden's Elsie the Cow. My father in law was a Bordens milk man. And when I was growing up, we had a really nice Bordens milk man named Burt. So Elsie is my favorite of the batch.