Thursday, March 31, 2011

Slow return

Well I'm slowly making my way back to blogland.  I have been away for so long because last week we lost my mother in law.  She was a gentle soul filled with love and kindness who fought a long complicated battle with her health.  She was a strong person and model example for our family and friends.  During this time of sorrow we cried and laughed it was like cooking a stew and mixing in all our emotions and letting it simmer all day long.  At the end of the day we were hungry after being stirred all day and we relished the faces we saw and the stories that were remembered.  Some of my favorite moments were seeing familiar faces who shared stories and meeting people I have never met who were truly touched by her kindness.  
There has been a lot of slowing down in our home.   While we miss her geniune smile and truthful and funny soul we share as much as possible with our children so they can savor these memories. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny's yarn along and checking out what everyone is reading and making.
This week just finding comfort in a new book Mudbound by Hillary Jordan and the same grey cozy throw.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Away for a few days

I'll be away from this space for the rest of the week and begninng of next while our family remembers durning this time of  loss.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A wintry spring day

 I would love to say happy spring but today it looks more like a nice winter day.  Yes first spring day and we get a nice dusting of snow with beautiful snowflakes.  As lovely as it looked today I'm ready for spring.  Today was one of those days where I kept the stove busy baking a birthday cake and trying a new soup.

This was warm and yummy for lunch while watching the snow outside.  I modified this recipe from People magazine. 
Swiss Chard Soup
2 lbs swiss chard cut leaves and stem into small pieces but discard the tough ends of the stem
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 can cannellini  beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling water add swiss chard and simmer over medium heat for 8 minutes till tender.  Drain and cool slightly.  Then squeeze out excess liquid. 
2.  In the same pot heat oil then add garlic and red pepper.  Keep heat low so garlic doesn't burn 1 minute. 
3. When garlic is tender add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Cook on high heat for 3 minutes.
4.  Add the beans, swiss chard and black pepper.  Keep on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
Great for wintery spring day :)
A note on the swiss chard from my mom's kitchen.  The day it's bought she boils it, cools it down and then squeezes the excess liquid. Then it goes in the freezer so it's ready for another time.  I thought this would be helpful in the summer. 
Enjoy on a winter spring day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Origami cranes for Japan

Today I came across a post which sent me to another blog then to this blog about a Japanese woman living in Madrid.  She is trying to collect 1000 pictures of origami cranes to send encouragement to the people of Japan.  With all the tragedy on the news an enouragement or a wish with 1000 cranes seems really sweet. 
So while dinner was cooking G. showed me how to make a crane.

 He then showed me how to make a box. I like making cranes more.
So I hope you'll join in and make a crane or pass along the post.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Needing some blog pep

Well friends it's been a week that I have been absent from this space.  There really was no reason at all just that there was not much too say, no new recipes, slow reading.  Nope nothing just day to day things and who really wants to read about laundry and cleaning.  I guess I lost my blog and media spunk.  I haven't been on the blogs writing my posts or reading.  I might think of something to post but if it's not done first thing in the morning then there is no chance for a post the rest of the day.  As for tv I have a few shows a week I like to watch in the evening but lately they are either repeats or just boring.  On the upside of a media funk I am on my third book this week.  It's also my way of avoiding paperwork that needs to be sorted.   
Today was the first day in a while where I was going to sit down this morning and share what I have been up to the past few days.  So forgive me for my late and lengthy post. 

 For breakfast this morning started another Alice Hoffman book so far so good Blackbird House reminds me of her latest book The Red Garden
 This picture was supposed to be for the Wednesday Yarn Along.  Another thing I missed lately. Finished the hat that I saw on Field Wonderful.  Last week I started knitting fingerless gloves that look more like a cast.  I didn't follow a pattern just started knitting and made 4 rectangles and stitched them together and left a thumb hole.  I really need to follow patterns these came out a little big.  Earlier in the week read Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts she also wrote Where the Heart Is.  Both books are good reads. 

Next are kids books that have come into our home.
 We got a lot of classics but in a starter series. I'm a little torn about them because they are rewritten by someone else and taken from the orginal authors. May have to skim some of these myself but I still think we should have the orginials for later on. 
 These books were a treat.
The next group of pictures are canvases that finally got hung up.
 This one for the play room

 A picture of  a city  intersection with a fire truck perfect for my younger fire truck loving girls.

This one went in the older girls bedroom. This is my favorite picture 3 girls by a pond drawing.  Love it wish it was 4 girls.

Ok I know a lot to throw at you in one post but to be honest this has been the only excitement that I  could show through pictures. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yarn Along

My favorite Wednesday ritual joining Ginny's yarn along.   
After unravelling the grey throw I started it all over again and I am so happy it's going quickly and it's the right size. Yes!!  Since the throw isn't handy when I'm on the go I started fingerless gloves.  I'm not following a pattern I cast on 16, knit 4 purl 1 to make a rectangle.  Once I have two rectangles I'm going to stitch them together and leave an opening for the thumb.  Hope it works out.
No new books this week but did finish Sing You Home and now browsing this catalog for home inspirations.
Can't wait to see what you're making and reading. 

A bit of cleaning lately

Been away from this space because I'm getting that spring time itch. I know it's still cold outside but with all the beautiful sunshine I have been dreaming of warmer weather, planting and yes reorganizing inside so I don't have to do it later. I started  with the playroom because somethings need to be sorted and donated.
After I cleaned and organized I made this mess. Couldn't blame the kids because I decided to tackle the kids library over the weekend.  It longer than I expected.
But it was well worth it.  Magazines and books all organized and handy.  Now I'm thinking rag rugs would be cozy but that's going to have to wait a bit.  Here's what I'm tackling next.

Need to log in all these books into librarything and finally put them away.
Oh great it's tax season and there is a lot of paperwork in my library.  I haven't shown this space before and was hoping to make it all pretty before I took pictures.
But it looks like it's going to be a while longer before it looks pretty in my library.  lol.  I hope to be back in this space soon , visiting everyone's blog and post at 5 Good Reasons but for now real life calls me and it's saying clean me up.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Morning Applesauce Bread

I wanted to share this bread I made earlier in the week.  A friend passed along a recipe for peach puree bread.  My first question was how about using applesauce.  I still have some in the freezer from the fall. I took a look at the recipe and finageled my version.

Applesauce Bread
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
Baking powder mixture: 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 cups applesauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Grease 2 5x9 inch loaf pans.  In bowl cream together margarine and sugar.  Then add baking powder mixture and vanilla.  Next add the dry ingredients.  Stir till thick and smooth then stir in applesauce.  Pour into greased loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes or when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.  Cool for a few minutes in pan then take out of pan to cool completely. Great with orange juice or a cup of coffee :)

Note: I was thinking of trying this with fruit sauce I have in the freezer for next time.  Even with the substitutions it cooked evenly.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining in on Ginny's yarn along.  Not much going on with yarn lately just unravelling the grey one.  But there has been plenty going on with books.  Started Jodi Piccoult's new book that came out yesterday.

 These were my thrifty finds yesterday for less than $5.  My favorite is the vintage book The Magic Friend Maker.  At least I think it's vintage because it's from 1966 and in good condition.  The story is so sweet.
This last book I may have mentioned on Monday but we really like it around here and it was worth mentioning again. 
Can't wait to see what your reading and making :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's for lunch today...

There has been some coughing, a few sore throats and 1 fever lately so yesterday I thought to make a potato and leek soup for lunch today and tomorrow.  I made it last night while making dinner and then instead of dessert I had a small bowl. It was yummy and perfect for colds and these last winter days.  Here's my version that I made up.
Potato and Leek Soup
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large potatoes peeled and diced
2 large carrots or 6 small ones chopped
2 garlic chopped
2 leeks diced
32 oz of  vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup collard greens (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a pot heat olive oil then add leeks cook till almost tender then add garlic.  Stir and make sure they don't brown. When leeks are tender add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil then let it simmer for 20-25 minute till all vegetables are tender.

A note about this recipe if you forget the salt and pepper it's ok it still tastes good.  I added collard greens because I had some in the freezer and thought the soup needed some more color.  Enjoy!
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