Friday, January 30, 2009

Be Prepared!

One of the still active volcanoes in the Cook Inlet, Mt. Redoubt blew about 20 years ago and made a huge mess with all the ash. Well, it's threatening to blow again. The activity is similar and increasing in force. So, we are checking our our 72 hour kits to make sure we have everything we need in case of an emergency. At the very least we would be stuck at home for a while, and at worst we would probably have to set up shop at the meeting house or something and share our stuff. So I am prepared. But they better now even look in the direction of those Godiva chocolates! Actually, it's an empty box, but I made you look! A sister in a church meeting asked one day if "in an emergency" we just all go to the church and everybody shares their stuff with the people who don't have any. Um. The unanimous answer to that was "No!" That's not really the definition of "being prepared" but I'm sure no one will sit and eat in front of a hungry person. I digress. Don't forget the extras. When I asked Cooldad if that knife was for self defense, he looked at me and laughed. NO, I'm such a silly girl, a person can chop down trees with that knife. And to think I never knew! Don't forget personal hygiene and no kit is complete without the Shrek donkey watch.
First aid kit before I went to Wal-mart.
First aid kit after. I hope you all are prepared and ready for anything.
P. S. I forgot something important. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed cash you are right! Always have as much cash as you can afford in small donominations in a safe place.

Monster Pie

Here's a highly recommended recipe from Chef Robin, my personal egg supplier. Notice that the veggies are "prepped" not chopped, as us commoners do. Enjoy!

Monster pie

Pre heat oven @ 425

2 eggs beaten
½ c. white flour
¼ c. wheat flour
½ c. milk
Mix together and let stand while prepping veggies and cheese

1 c. cubed cheddar cheese (or your choice)
2 cups coarsely chopped veggies
(broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, leeks, peppers or any combo)
1 c. onion

Grease a 9” cast iron pan (can use a glass or metal pan)
Place veggies and cheese in pan

Beat in ½ cup more milk into the flour mixture along with some herbs, salt and pepper
Pour over veggies
Top with grated parmesan cheese

Bake 25 min. or until golden brown

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Robin's Eggs!

Our friend Robin, who lives and works in Seward with Dick, sent me half a dozen eggs from her chickens today. What a lovely gift! They are the prettiest eggs I have ever seen and I almost hate to eat them. But they are going to be my breakfast and I am so excited! You just can't get any fresher than from the nest. Robin is so cool!
While I was in my office cooing over the eggs, another friend brought us loaves of homemade bread. Lynne teaches an Institute class in the building where I work (I was working late to attend a meeting) and was practicing to take over as the new Friday lunch "bread lady". I think the bread gets an "A". I have such wonderful friends. Life is full of the best surprises.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Southern Livings Southwestern Soup

This was the cover of the January Southern Living magazine. My mom keeps me supplied. I was looking for a quick easy meal too!
The recipe calls for beef but since we are trying to be kinder to cows, I opted for the last of the leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkey pieces. So I popped them (frozen) into the crock pot last night before bed on low and they are ready to debone this morning. The rest of the goodies will go into the crock pot as well to simmer til lunchtime.
I had every ingredient in the pantry or freezer (and you could just a easily use a can or corn as well as frozen, or other forms of garlic) so it make a perfect food storage meal. There is room for variations as well. Recipe follows.
Southwestern Soup
1 pound cooked meat (beef, chicken, turkey, even moose!)
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans beans ( I used red kidney, pinto, & black)
2 cans diced tomatoes (one with green chilies and one with japelenos)
2 cups frozen white and yellow corn
1 can beef broth (we will be using chicken to go with the poultry theme)
1 package taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro with more for topping
Sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed chips for garnish if desire.
Bon appetite!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Resolutions #2-5

New Years resolution #2 . Get back into yoga, which I desperately need after being absent from it while I was on the mend from a very serious "luggage" accident. I picked up my luggage. Bad idea. It happened on June 12 (yes, that is Jenny's birthday!) when I got home from visiting my mom in Louisiana. Dick was in Seward and I picked up my suitcase and carried it upstairs and all the way to the bedroom. The result: tennis elbow. Did you know that most cases of tennis elbow happen to people who don't play tennis? Well, my guess is most doctors know this. So, after six months the pain has finally mostly gone away. Yay! My favorite yoga instructor is back from retirement and we begin in March.

Resolution #3. Clean out the closets, which is done, again. Five more bags are on their way to the curb. One is on it's way to goodwill. No, you don't get pictures of the closets, just take my word they are improved. OH, and a box of nice-ish tablecloths, place mats and napkins, along with a few other things are soon to be on their way to Jenny.

Resolution #4. Dust and reorganize the curio cabinets in the living room. Nasty job. Lots of dust. Done! I figured since I was organizing one to hold all the nativities, then it was an okay Sunday activity. Probably faulty thinking but oh well.

Resolution #5. Put away all Christmas decorations. This was so hard this year. I still just want to keep buying those clearance things! They are so hard to resist. But, I must stop. I'm off to find some more tissue to pack up the last of the ornaments.

Now that all these cleaning and organizing tasks are almost complete, I can focus on more rewarding projects! Good luck with all of yours!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Years Resolution #1 - Learn to Knit

I have been wanting to learn to knit for a while now because so many friends and family are making wonderful things and I want to make wonderful things too! So my first order of business this year was to take a knitting class. There is a new place just down the road from my house called "The Tangled Skein" and it's very small and very cute. I never dreamed there was so much knitting paraphenalia out there. I signed up for a two hour class and I am now making a scarf. And my instructor is wonderful. I was the only person in the class so I had two hours of undivided attention. I love it so far. Now I have something new to do while I watch movies or just have some free time and carrying around a scarf is a lot easier than carrying around a quilt! I have a whole list of things I want to make, hats, mittens, booties, socks, the list goes on and on. Maybe one day I will get brave and make a sweater!The yarn is wool, 90% Peruvian Highland wool and 10% tweed. I love the little multi-colored flecks, I think it gives the item personality. I know the pictures looks a little funny on the bottom, but blocking will fix that. So, at last, I am a knitter!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome Home Dave!

Yes, that's Grandma on the bike with Uncle Dave! It was a great time. All mom's should be so lucky to go be able to go biking with their kids. Since we don't have any Christmas pictures of David and Valli yet, and I am impatient to post about Dave's homecoming, I borrowed a few from our trip to Tennessee from last year that I dearly love. I hope no one minds.
David and Valli with us in Memphis to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it. It was a great addition to our holiday festivities.
We were also able to travel to the Nashville Tennessee temple just south of the city and spend some time. It was a very nice day with dinner following at P.F. Chang's. And a little shopping at one of their really nice malls. Shopping in Tennessee is very good.
One of the highlights was visiting the neighboring Amish community and doing a little shopping there at a wonderful little grocery store. Here is what's soon to be in the meat case. They raise their own elk for meat sale. We had a great holiday and we are so glad that Dave make it home this year to celebrate with Valli! It was the best gift ever.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Brunch Rocks!

Especially when someone else does most of the cooking! Our dear friends the Nuila's invited us over for brunch, consisting of a wonderful strata and homemade waffles.
The waffles were nothing short of heavenly!
Add some fresh fruits.
Some cute babies.
Some hot guys.
And lovely blondes, and you've got all the fixin's for a great morning. Bon Appetite!

Visiting with Kids in Utah

Due to technical difficulties, the photos are out of order. This should be stop #2 on the roadtrip agenda. Thanks for bearing with me while I learn all the pitfalls of blogging.
First stop on what would become the roadtrip of 2008, we met up with Megan and Adam in Logan to have lunch at Hamilton's. Wonderful food. It was a fun afternoon. We spent the rest of the day shopping at Costco and wrapping presents.
(This is where you should see the photo of Stephanie and Cortney.)

That evening we met Stephanie and Cortney at Gateway Mall in Salt Lake for dinner at Flemings. We realized later that the only time Dick has spent any time with Cortney has been in restaurants. First, the man lunch the day before the wedding, followed by the post wedding lunch, and now dinner. Hmm. Maybe we should spent some more time with these two. But they do tend to be a bit allusive.
Finally, Provo to meet up with Megan (she migrated down for a few days) and Mike. Good times. We were supposed to have a dinner with the Provo group but some were under the weather so we ended up sharing P.F. Chang's with Mike. Thankfully, we were seated in the adult section and not the section with all the screaming todders numbering approximately 1-2 per table.
Finally, some down time with Jenny and Ed and gang. Lots of fun here. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful, hospitable family.

Mary, Donkey and Baby Jesus

Each Christmas Eve since the kids were little we have always done our little family nativity. This year we decided to keep it simple by only casting Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Only, the male lead insisted he was a donkey, not a Joseph. So, knowing how tricky animals can be, mom had to keep rewarding the donkey with treats to maintain his stage performance. Here is the donkey grazing on a few of them. We humans identify them as M&M's.
Mary and the donkey (on all fours of course) in a dramatic moment. It was really a beautiful adaptation along with Grandpa narrating the story from Luke. Merry Christmas.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

The kids thought that since Grandpa's birthday is in December it would be a good idea to throw him a little belated birthday party and have some extra special celebrations. Ethan really got into this idea so much that he planned the cake. Ethan thought Grandpa would really love "the dump cake in a dump truck"!
He was especially proud of the outcome. Gotta love those worms. And the chocolate covered cherry rocks! They were the best part.
It would appear that Grandpa needed a little help blowing out those candles as well.
No party is complete without a rousing game of Slap Jack! To the victor go the spoils!
And topped off with having Grandpa throwing Ethan up in the air, playing "earthquake" and every other form of giggling and tossing.
Fun was had by all.
Especially Ethan!