Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie With Leftovers

Turkey, turkey, and more turkey.....what's a woman to do?

My sister-in-law had a great idea to make a pot pie with some of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  So, I thought I'd give it a try.  This recipe certainly isn't low fat since I'm using the leftover gravy, but it will put a lot of the leftovers in my fridge to good use. 

Turkey Pot Pie With Leftovers

9" pie plate coated with cooking spray
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Leftover turkey cubed
Leftover vegetables (such as green beans, carrots, peas, and corn)
Leftover gravy*
Salt & Pepper to taste
9" pie crust (I made Crisco's pie crust recipe)
  1. Mix first four ingredients together and pour into prepared pie plate
  2. Place the crust over the top and turn the ends under into the pie plate
  3. Crimp crust and cut slits in the top of the crust
  4. Bake 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes (or until crust is browned and contents are hot and bubbly) 
 *Note:  If you don't have enough gravy leftover, you could easily thicken up a little chicken stock.  My "pie" could have used a little extra sauce and I'll do this next time.

Since I was mixing together the pie crust, and I had an extra can of pumpkin in the cupboard, I figured I'd throw together a pumpkin pie.  All our pie was gone and how can you have turkey leftovers without a slice of pumpkin pie!  :-)

Joy in leftovers!


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Winter Day...

A Winter Day
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The air is silent save where stirs
A bugling breeze among the firs;
The virgin world in white array
Waits for the bridegroom kiss of day;
All heaven blooms rarely in the east
Where skies are silvery and fleeced,
And o'er the orient hills made glad
The morning comes in wonder clad;
Oh, 'tis a time most fit to see
How beautiful the dawn can be!

Wide, sparkling fields snow-vestured lie
Beneath a blue, unshadowed sky;
A glistening splendor crowns the woods
And bosky, whistling solitudes;
In hemlock glen and reedy mere
The tang of frost is sharp and clear;
Life hath a jollity and zest,
A poignancy made manifest;
Laughter and courage have their way
At noontide of a winter's day.

Faint music rings in wold and dell,
The tinkling of a distant bell,
Where homestead lights with friendly glow
Glimmer across the drifted snow;
Beyond a valley dim and far
Lit by an occidental star,
Tall pines the marge of day beset
Like many a slender minaret,
Whence priest-like winds on crystal air
Summon the reverent world to prayer.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Day After Thanksgiving...

Yesterday we started out the "Christmas" season with a wonderful day filled with poinsettia's, Christmas trees, and a "festival" of lights.

We took our out-of-town family to the Krohn Conservatory to start the day.  I've been there multiple times, but never tire of it's beauty.  It's a very cheery and colorful place to visit with tropical plants and flowers; a "Thanksgiving" feast for the eyes.

I think they own the rights to the tallest cactus in the world (I don't really know whether it is or not, but it sure appears large).

After the Krohn Conservatory, we headed downtown to take in the Christmas decorations and the annual Duke Energy train display.  It was a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

It was a very chilly day, with temperatures in the low 30's, but we bundled up and enjoyed the activities that a "downtown" atmosphere affords.

After leaving the city, our brother-in-law treated us to dinner and we closed the day with the "Festival of Lights" at the Cincinnati Zoo.

I wish I had taken more pictures at the zoo as the lights were really pretty.....

Once home, we all crashed in front of the fire with some homemade hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the day after Thanksgiving; what a great day!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Just a few short days away and Thanksgiving will be here.

I have family coming in from out of town, so things are going to be busy for me from here on out.

The next couple days will be consumed with cleaning, baking, and taking care of my family. 

I have so many blessings to count and am grateful for each and every one.  

Sending Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you.....And, don't forget to count your blessings.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Fireside Cheerful Complete

There is a chill in the air and the skies are overcast and gray......

But, no matter the temperature outside, the warmth and coziness of a blanket can always be close by.....

This is my Fireside Cheer or "Cheerful" as I like to call it.  The colors are bright and cheerful and favorites of the person for whom this was made.

The pattern is Fireside Cheer designed by Anne Halliday, one of my very favorite designers, and can be found in Afghans For All Seasons  page 106.

This particular blanket is headed to upstate NY to a lady that used to babysit my sister and me as infants.  I hope it will bring her lots of warmth and happiness through the cold north country winter.

This was a large project.  I'm happy to have completed it.  I just need to give it a wash on gentle with a little Woolite and get it packaged to ship to it's destination.

Joy in completion.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Soup...

...really is good for the soul.
Yesterday, I made good old-fashioned chicken soup.  I put it together in the crock pot and let it simmer all day.  The soft aroma wafted lazily through the house and had me looking forward to dinner!  Chicken soup is comfort food at it's finest. 

My mom used to make her chicken soup on the stove top.  I like to use the crock pot, as once you put it all together, you don't really need to watch it.  Occasionally, I'd give it a stir when I would walk through the kitchen (or want to lift the lid and "drink" in the scent from the steam), but it isn't really necessary.  My recipe is an adaptation of my Mom's.  It is simple; but good.  I hope you'll like it.  If you have a food processor, this is a great recipe to put it to use....who wants to chop, slice and dice all those veggies by hand!?!

Heather's Chicken Soup for the Soul

49 1/2 oz Can Chicken Broth (I prefer Swanson's); plus...
14.5 oz Can Chicken Broth
1 - 1.5 lb cooked chicken breast or chicken tenders chopped into bite size pieces
1 Onion diced
4 Stalks celery cleaned and sliced
6 Carrots cleaned, peeled and sliced
1 - 2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic (to taste)
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more or less to taste)

1/2 Cup Rice* (not instant)

  1. Combine all ingredients except the rice in a 4 qt round crock pot
  2. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours (or until vegetables are tender)
  3. Turn crock pot to high and add rice approximately 15 min. prior to serving (test to ensure the rice is tender before serving)
*I used Barilla's Stelline pasta in place of the rice this time.  I thought my son might like the star shape.  :-)

I usually serve the soup with a quick bread, dinner rolls, or fruit muffins.  Last night was cranberry orange muffins.  Yum!

Joy in simmering soup!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thinking About Christmas...

...shopping that is!  

I officially started my Christmas shopping today....from the privacy of my own home.....from the comfy coziness of my ergonomically correct desk chair.  And, it all happened with the click of a mouse.  

One of my favorite ways to shop is through Amazon*.  

 I have a "wish list" set up on their website and as I see things throughout the year, I add them to my list.  Then when special occasions roll around, the saved item is right there, waiting to be purchased.  I'll usually do a little online comparison shopping to ensure that Amazon has the best price; if not, I'll note the other location and take into account their shipping costs.  Most of the items, that Amazon sells, have FREE standard shipping (when you have a minimum purchase of $25).  

There is an air of anticipation as you await your parcel.  Even though I've ordered a gift for someone else, there is still a thrill, an expectancy for the arrival of my package; be it large or small.  The sound of a delivery truck pulling up in front of the house sets my heart astir.  If I'm quick enough, I can yell out a hearty "thank you" and give a broad wave before they get back into their truck.  Nothing says Christmas like the little brown box with the sweeping arrow; or is it a smile?

Now my wait begins....but it won't be long......they reported 2 - 5 days!

Joy in the start of the holiday shopping!

*Note: In no way am I affiliated with Amazon.com, nor do I get any type of commission for writing this little blurb.  I just like to shop there!  :-)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Missing In Action...

My "muse" is MIA...

If it were summer, and I were eating a popcicle, I'd call it a brain freeze.....

If it were a novel, and I were a writer, I'd call it writer's block...

But, my output's a blog, and since the words aren't flowing, I'll call it blog jam...

Oh how I wish.....

I wish I had some exciting crochet projects to share with you...

Or an inspirational and uplifting message to share...

But since I don't, 
I'll wish you a happy day,
bid you adieu,
and be on my way.

Here's hoping my "muse" returns soon.

Happy Tuesday, November 16th


Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Back......

....in the "saddle" again.  Monday's reared her pretty little head and it's time to get back in the saddle of my routine again. 

Here's a little Gene Autry to brighten your morning.

Hope you have a saddle-rific day.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sound of Silence...

I'm going on a women's retreat with a group of ladies from my church this weekend.  We are headed to Clifty Falls which is in Madison, Indiana.  I'm looking forward to hearing the speaker and if time allows exploring the town.

With this in mind, my blog is going to be silent for a few days. 

Hope you enjoy the remainder of your week and have a relaxing and peaceful weekend.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's The Little Things In Life...

..like strawberry jam...

I spread jam on my son's toast this morning to accompany his scrambled egg.  I usually give him grape jelly.  He said, "Have I tried this before?"  I said, "Yes, you like it."  He took a bite out of his toast and said, "Yummm, I like strawberry jam."

It's the little things that bring joy and it's a joy to watch others experience joy in the little things.

Joy in strawberry jam.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Best Coffee Cake In The World...

...well, I might be exaggerating just a bit.  :-)

I made this for my MOPS meeting today (Mothers of Preschoolers); it was my group's turn to bring breakfast.  This recipe is easy to follow and I've never had one not turn out.

This is one of my Mom's recipes and a family favorite. I usually make it for Thanksgiving morning as I know I'll be busy with early morning cooking and I can make it the previous day.  I also like to make it for Christmas morning to go with our traditional oven omelet.

Family Favorite Coffee Cake 

1 Pkg. yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines works best)
1 Pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 Cup sour cream
½ Cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

½ Cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Cups chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts)

  • Grease 10” tube or Bundt pan
  • Combine cake ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix and beat for a full 10 minutes on high speed. 
  • In the meantime, combine the topping ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well; set aside. 
  • Pour ½ cake batter into tube pan. 
  • Sprinkle half the topping onto the batter. 
  • Pour the remainder of the batter into the pan and top with the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nut mixture.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Hope the ladies at MOPS like it and if not, I'll have plenty to bring home.  It certainly won't go to waste! 

Joy in baking!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Attack of the Killer Fringe!

Well, not quite...

These are the "million and one" ends that need to be woven in on my current afghan project. 

Four hundred sixty-two to be exact......No, no, I didn't count each one.  There are 231 rows in the pattern and there are ends on each side to be woven in....

This is going to take a while....

Let's see, if I work on weaving these ends in each day for the next five days, that 92.4 ends each day.....

Good news is the body of the afghan is complete.......now what am I going to do about all these ends?

Joy in completing a major milestone and moving on to the next!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Gift...

A friend I used to work with recently turned 50.  I don't get to see her as often as I used to as our lives have taken us in different directions.  We exchange e-mails to stay up to date and finally arranged to get together last night for dinner at The Olive Garden.  I love their salad and bread sticks (yum)!  But, I digress.....

With her recent birthday in mind, I wanted to give her a little something to celebrate the occasion.  So, I made her this hat and scarf set.

I wasn't sure the color of her coat, but she has black hair and I thought this color blue would compliment her nicely.

The pattern is from Lisa Naskrent's book (2008) Hats, Scarves & Mittens for the Family.  The pattern is called "Snow Crest" and is very pretty and feminine.  It's a repeat pattern and the items work up fairly quickly. 

With the cold snap that just arrived in our area, it won't be long before she can put these to use!

Joy in the making and in the giving.


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Potter

But now, O Lord,
You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter,
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 (NKJV)
Things are starting to get busy, more busy than I personally like.  The holidays are fast approaching and while it is a season to celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends it can also be stressful and hectic.

I tend to be a routine person.  I like the ebb and flow of the predictable "tide" of my days.  I get up at the same time each day and do the same things each day.  I like it that way.  Lately though, different "pebbles" have been thrown in my path that take away from my routine and throw off my predictable schedule. 

I've been praying for God to help me be the person He wants me to be.  I can't do the things He wants me to do in my own strength.  It's only when I give up myself, my wants, that He can work His will in my life. 

I've been feeling a lot like clay lately....not really sure which direction I'm being shaped, but I can feel the work that is being done.  It's not comfortable, but I have faith that it is all for good and His glory down the road.  He is the Perfect Potter and although my pot may never be perfectly formed, I know He is working in my life......and that's all that really matters.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just a Little Update...

On the crochet front....

The body of my Fireside Cheer afghan is close to completion; I have the last two fair isle panels remaining.  Once the body is complete, I have a gazillion ends to weave in and then on to the border...

I finished the scarf that is part of the hat and scarf set I'm working on and started the hat last night.  The scarf is really pretty in the steel blue color.  I'll posts some pictures once the hat is complete.

Haven't picked up the doily I'm working on in a couple of days.  Trying to finish up the hat and scarf set.

On the homeschooling front...

Today we are introducing the letter "P" into our word families.  We'll be learning how to sound out "pit", "pen", "pet", "pin" along with "sip" and "tip".  We'll be making the letter "P" with popcorn.  :-)  In math, we are talking about the number "9".  A lot of the math seems to be review for my little guy so far.  Hopefully, we'll get into a little more meat soon.

Next week we are going on a "field trip" with our homeschool group.  We are going to tour a VERY large grocery store that carries items from around the world and then we are going to be making gingerbread houses once the tour is complete.  Should be a fun afternoon.  

Joy in progress.....on all fronts!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm On The Hunt...

for a blue bedspread......

You would think a twin, blue, old-fashioned bedspread would be easy to find.  Wrong!  I went to four stores yesterday and completed numerous on-line searches for a simple blue bedspread to no avail.  Google, Yahoo, and ever faithful Amazon have been no help in my  pursuit for the unattainable prize.     

Now, if you want a character comforter, they are a dime a dozen.  Woody, Buzz, or Sponge Bob are around every heavily stocked corner.  But no navy, wedgewood, or light blue as far as the eye can see.....

Finally, after dinner last night, I headed to a Wally World (aka WalMart) that I typically don't frequent.  Fingers crossed and lucky rabbit's foot in hand, I found what I wanted!  Whew, what a relief.  Leave it to the giant super store to stock my highly sought after item.  May you rest in peace Sam Walton.

Said bedspread is in the washing machine as I write this post and will soon be adorning dear sons new bed. 

Joy in finding the simple, but obscure.   

(Oh, and just so you know, I don't really own a rabbit's foot.)  :-)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Forget To Vote!

It is election day...

No matter your political affiliation, today is a day to flex the muscle of freedom and exercise one of the privileges that makes our country great. 

So, this afternoon, with son in tow, I'm going to wave old red, white and blue with my signature and an electronic ballot. 

May the best man or woman win and.......

Don't forget to vote!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Steps Toward Success...

My first week on the big "D" (diet) went pretty well.  I'm striving each day to do something toward my weight loss goal.  It's going to be a lengthy journey, but it will be worth it. 

I'm down 3 pounds!  Yeah!  Yippee!  Hurray! 

My successes for the week were in recording what I ate 5 out of 7 days (I always struggle on Saturday and Sunday with portion control and choosing healthy foods) and I walked on the treadmill Monday through Friday for 15 minutes each day.

All in all, a good first week. 

It's Monday again, so a fresh start to a new week.

Joy in success!  (Even in small increments.)