Saturday, November 3, 2012

" Get out of town!" ..........and I did!

I went to Mountain Home yesterday for lab and doctor and it was a gorgeous day!  I wish I could have taken pictures of Lake Norfolk which is HUGE and going over the HUGE bridge that spans it.  I used to "white-knuckle" that bridge driving over it but I'm better now....not much but I get over it and back! LOL!
Of course, when you drive over an hour up and down and around mountains and hills it is VERY tiring but I managed to squeeze in a little shopping.  It was reward for going through it all! LOL!
I got a new book.........
I needed a new book like I needed a hole in my head but..........I was totally drawn in by the illustrations and the story sounds interesting too.  It is a best seller and  I got the impression it is along the lines of Harry Potter or one of those books that both children and adults enjoy.  Of course, I do love children's books so who am I kidding!  I looked the artist up on the internet and lo and behold the author and illustrator are husband and wife!  This is the first time they are collaborating on a project.  I have visions of designing some needlework along these lines as I love her artwork....well mostly the creatures and woods. Let's put it this way...I'm not going to trace her artwork but it is inspiration for a project I have in the works...along with Snow White and a few other inspiring tales from my youth.  They all have to do with animals.  Unfortunately,  I find inspiration every time I turn around I just need to DO something with it all! LOL!
I also picked up a couple magazines.....who can resist when there are no book stores near me and as long as I had to spend the gas money I needed to make the trip worthwhile, right?
Ruth, are you out there?  Do you see this? Ruth is a blogger friend who is REALLY Irish (not just wannabe) and lives there.  She also does beautiful needlework of all kinds and has a big family and another on the way.  Please check out her lovely blog at Ruth's Little Leprechauns .  I'm so excited!  I was especially interested in the article...."The Last Witch Burned in Ireland"...hmmmm.....I thought my relatives left because of the potato famine but now I'm beginning to wonder!?!?!  And of course "an Irish Christmas"...I'll be having one of those for sure this year!

 And who can resist this precious gem from Stampington and Jo Packam.............
I was so tired from all the driving and shopping (the 2 things that literally tire me out the most) that I got my jammies on right after supper and slipped beneath the covers with my new treasures and this........
ahhh....a caramel pumpkin spice latte (decaf) is good!  I was asleep by 9:00 p.m.! LOL!
I hope you had a great Friday for yourself and a wonderful Saturday today!  TTYS!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!!!!

All set for the Trick or Treaters!  In fact, I've already re-filled the bowl!  They're so cute....I just love them when they come to the door!  Halloween was always a BIG DEAL at our house when my children were growing up.
Tonight my Halloween will be a nice fire going in the fireplace..........

A little needlework.................
And a nice pumpkin latte...recipe compliments of Barbara over at 21 Rosemary Lane

Please go visit her for the recipe..........I felt bad enough copying the picture but trust me I could never make one as pretty as hers. Her website is FAB and she does great decorating and makes yummy lattes!  I'm on my second now! LOL!
Have a great evening and stay safe!
P.S.  I EARLY voted today too!  It feels so great considering when my Mother was born women did not have that right.  Please, women, use your vote!  There are many issues concerning women this year so make your voice heard whichever way you lean! get out and vote too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still praying for those affected by Sandy.........

I think the concern gave me extra energy and extra appreciation for the simple things in my life....I remember when we had our ice storms here and I went 8 days without power.....I know what those people are going through to some extent and I pray they remain warm, dry and safe.   I haven't been scared too many times in my life but I was then!  All alone, dark, cold, couldn't get out, nothing in the local stores when you did and green wood that wouldn't burn for 8 days.  It was an ordeal at my age and several of the elderly around here didn't make it.
 So today I got busy and did a little more decorating for Halloween..............
I baked some bread.............
did a little needlework................
 and had some REALLY GOOD hot cocoa!  It is Starbuck's Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa......YUM!!!!
I actually got it at go Wal-Mart!
I wish I could be there to help in some way....all I have anymore are prayers and well wishes.  But I know there are other Arkansan's on their way there as I type!  And I KNOW I'm not the only one praying by a long shot....I live in "the Bible Belt" after all!  LOL!
Happy Halloween to all and to all a good night!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cooking up a not Sandy!

 I started with squash not pumpkin but squash!  You can use them just like pumpkin seeds just wash and clean off any squash material, spray a pan with some butter flavored oil, salt and bake at 300 degrees for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown.
I baked the squash after 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a fork inserted pierces the skin easily.  I scrape out the flesh after cool and put in a container for using as a side dish throughout the week.
I made a recipe from a book I'm presently reading and it was perfect for a Fall dinner.  The recipe was Cider-braised pork loin with apples and onions.  I couldn't find a pork loin so I bought a pork butt roast instead and it was DELICIOUS!!!!  The best Fall dinner ever!  Here's the recipe compliments of Robin Mather, the author........

8 C cider
3 large apples
1 (3-5 pound) bone-in pork loin
2 onions, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
1/4 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour the cider into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil the cider until it reduces in volume by half, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
Core the apples, but do not peel.  Cut the apples into eighth's.  Put the pork in a Dutch oven or heavy pot.  Surround the pork with the apples and onions.  Sprinkle everything with the thyme, salt, and pepper.  Pour the reduced cider over all.
Bake the pork, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting once or twice with the cider, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F on a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast.  Transfer the pork, apples, and onions to a platter, cover and keep warm.
Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring the juices to a boil.  In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in a little cold water and whisk the mixture into the juices in the pot.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Slice the roast and serve immediately, passing the sauce at the table. 
The picture above is just before I placed it in the oven.....I was so hungry when it finished cooking and salivating over the smell that I forgot to take a picture of the finished recipe!  I served it with brussles sprouts and the squash.   
This is the first time I am doing a review BEFORE I finished the book.........
Robin was living in Chicago, working for the Chicago Tribune and married but within several months her husband asked for a divorce and she lost her job.  She retreated to a cabin on a lake in Michigan and The Feast Nearby is her journey and since she was trying to be frugal she allowed herself only $40 per week for groceries.  Robin is a food writer so eating well was part of her life but her book shows how you can eat very well, healthily and locally within a budget!  She  is not only a great writer but her recipes are amazing, not complicated and not requiring complicated or hard to find ingredients.  She has recipes and instructions for making your own sauerkraut, hard cider and even roasting your own coffee beans!  I just started reading it and I look forward to it every night....I hope she keeps writing!
I will be praying for the people in the path of Sandy and blessings to all of you!  Stay safe!