Saturday, December 1, 2018

Blogmas Day #1 - December 1st

Hi everyone!  I so enjoyed NaBloPoMo that I decided I would do a Blogmas for December!  Granted most Blogmas's are all about Christmas but since so much of my "Christmas" is secret I will try to add something Christmas themed each day.  The above cross stitched picture can be purchased at Everything Cross Stitch
Isn't it cute?
Now, for what I've been up to since we last visited yesterday.............first of all remember when I said the pumpkin cream cheese bread asked for 1 1/2 cups of filling on the bottom and that was more than was left for the top?  Well.....I think there is a reason for it.........look at a slice of my bread...........
see how the cream cheese filling sunk down in the bread dough?  The cream cheese filling is heavier than the batter and it you put it halfway in the middle it will 'hit bottom'.  At least that's what I'm follow the recipe and pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain!
My next picture is Jenny's (at Jenny Can Cook) no knead bread recipe for 1 turned out perfect!  The girl is genius I tell you...genius!  Look at this bread!  It's gorgeous inside and out and tastes terrific!  And it is not too 'tough' like I found the other recipe to be........this is a keeper for sure!

Today I needed to plan and make another meal so I chose an old soup recipe that I hadn't made in years............Supreme of Chicken and Olive Soup Eureka.............
All prepped and ready to go......just waiting for the broth to thaw.....yes, that broth I just froze the other day! LOL!  But of course I will use it before the canned broth in the pantry.

  I love prepping in the morning because I get the most time consuming part out of the way and it uncovers anything I might have forgotten and I still have time to run to the store which I did at 8:30 this morning!  The recipe is from this book by Crescent Dragonwagon...yes, that's her real name.  She used to run a bed and breakfast in Eureka, Arkansas.  Eureka is an old town filled with beautiful Victorian "painted ladies" and is quite the tourist attraction.  Anyway, she had a bed and breakfast there and she did the cooking and wrote several cookbooks this being one of them.  She had several famous people that would stop there including the Clintons.  This was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself and also the first cookbook that told a story with every recipe.  It got me hooked on 'reading' cookbooks!  I highly recommend this book if you can find is huge and has the best soup, bread and salad recipes!  I imagine Thrift Books might be a good place to look.
 After getting all the turkey I needed for the soup, I froze the remainder using my Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer.  I bought this several years back and then it took so much room on my countertop I put it away and promptly forgot about it.   Until, I pulled out some items that had freezer burn and I could have kicked myself......I have a Foodsaver....NO EXCUSES!  So, I got it out and froze the remainder of the turkey..............
I had to watch a video to remember how to use!  It worked great...and now no more freezer burn!  Great invention!
Oh, I got my first Christmas card today from Betsy over at A Queen's Life....thank you Betsy!  I forgot to take a picture of it but I will show it tomorrow!
We had big storms last night and a tornado watch and I was asleep several times when the weather radio went off with warnings.....but today it is sunny and high 60's or 70's....amazing how a few hours can make such a difference either way.
Well, I'm off to throw my soup together and then hopefully do a little sewing for Santa!
 Happy Trails!!!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Day #30 NaBloPoMo

This is what greeted me this morning when I looked outside..........for a minute I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! LOL! 
Days like this I am so glad I am retired and don't have to be somewhere.......I pray for those having to go to work in that pea soup....keep them safe Lord!
I have little to show as I am busy working in Santa's Workshop.........
I cut some material up today for sewing tomorrow...........which of course I cannot show you.....Santa makes us sign a contract that we will not divulge any workshop secrets!  The man is a stickler!
I also made bread which is baking as I type.  Remember the no-knead bread  I make and it makes a big bunch of dough that you can keep in the frig?  Well, I don't like keeping extra anything in the frig so I found this recipe that makes one loaf and I found it here
I think I mentioned her site before and she has videos on You Tube.  Her name is Jenny Jones and she is as cute as a bug in a rug and funny too plus....boy can she cook!  I wanted to find out more about this fascinating individual and lo and behold she had her own talk show years ago!   I sort of remember hearing the name now but I was never home during the day and it was one of those day time talk shows.  No wonder she did such a professional job of podcasting!   I love her sense of humor and she is so passionate about cooking and fun too.  I plan on watching and making many more recipes from Jenny!  She's my new BFF!
Here's a frugal Friday tip:  save your plastic bottles and fill them with your own filtered water and refrigerate.  I have never bought bottled makes no sense to me so save some money and bottle your own!
   I'll show you the bread's still baking!  Have a fun Friday night!
Happy Trails!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Day #29 NaBloPoMo

I did a little bit of everything today.  It was a good day and I got to talk to my son Ben for a good long time this morning.  That rarely happens as he is usually busy morning and night so it was really nice.  It was cloudy but warm today so I got the rest of the outside cleaned up from Fall decorations and took the pumpkin out back for the deer.  I wonder if they'll eat it whole or should I smash it up for them?  I'm not even sure deer like pumpkin.  Does anyone know?
I made some Christmas gifts too and then I went to make my pumpkin roll.....remember that was going to be for Thanksgiving?  Well, in looking closer at the recipe it called for 2 smaller size cookie sheets/jelly roll pans.  I only have the big ones so..............I had seen a recipe for pumpkin bread with the cream cheese filling in the middle so I opted for that instead.
It turned out great and I've tasted it too and yummo!  Much easier than a roll so I think this will be my recipe from now on.  The only problem I had was he said to put 1 1/2 cups of batter in the pan and then the cream cheese mixture and then the remainder of the batter....well...that was too much on the bottom and not enough batter left for on top so instead of the cream cheese mixture being in the middle it is near the top.  Just put half on the bottom and half on top and don't measure! LOL!  The cake is moist and fine crumbed and so good.  I even found a recipe for how to make your own pumpkin pie spice as it is pricey to buy.
I'll be making this again for sure.  I'm on my second piece and I haven't had supper yet.  Life is short....dessert first!
The storm clouds are moving in for the rain we're supposed to get yet there is nothing on the radar or even in the whole state.  I'd like to know what those weather people are looking at.
Those gusty winds we had took the remainder of the leaves off the trees.................
Winter cometh!  What were you up to today?
Happy Trails!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day #28 NaBloPoMo

Today was a much better day and I didn't push myself.  I took a nice leisurely bath when I got up and then watched some YouTube videos and printed off some crafting recipes.  I made a small list and went to Walmart but before that I took my books back to the library and got some more.  I only have 12 books to go to meet my Goodreads Challenge of 75 books.  I got more books at the library and I cannot tell a lie....I am looking for smaller books to help meet my!

I did have some finishes that I hadn't told you about.............
I'm pretty sure this was a re-read but it was so long ago that it was really good to read it again.  I want to read her latest book that was published after she died so I thought it would be good to re-read this one.  It is the one book that won awards that I agree was a great book!
There is a little town in Iowa, Wilton, that I visited because they had a famous ice cream parlor where Gregory Peck stopped many years ago.  They had all the original booths and soda fountain equipment and even the menu hadn't changed.  They had me sit in the booth where Gregory Peck sat and I ordered the exact same meal that he had......I think it was a patty melt, fries and a chocolate malt (a real malt with malted milk powder which no one makes anymore) it was good!  So, if you're ever in Wilton, Iowa stop by the only ice cream parlor in town if it's still open and have The Gregory Peck Special!
 I read this one and it was good as all Janette Oke books are....her books give you hope in people and our world or at least take you back to a gentler time.  It also shows that everyone has problems but it's how you surmount them with God's help that makes all the difference..........
 This was an audio book I listened to and he is funny once you get used to the English accent........
 I bought this book at the Duluth Nautical Museum some years back but never read it....go figure!  Now I have and it was very interesting...........especially since I've been there...just to the lake....not in a shipwreck.....thank goodness!

 I also finished a magazine....Real Simple December 2011 issue...the recipes were the best part....I'll be cutting those out...............Christmas cookies!
 Plus, I try to do a Sodoku puzzle every night to keep the neurons firing! LOL!

 Now, as to what I am currently reading............I started this but then put it down because it was so huge and I was behind on my challenge..........but I really wanted to read it so I started over reading it and I will read it along with my 'smaller' books to meet my challenge.  It is the 2nd book in The Outlander is violent and explicit and there are sex scenes but the story is historic and the women are strong and it is darn good reading!  I usually don't care for any explicit language or scenes or violence but for some reason I am able to overlook it as the story is so fascinating and the writing is so good.  It is historic fiction and I think the author is an historian or a professor of history....don't quote me on that but she sure knows her stuff!
This is another book that I re-read every once in awhile.  It is really the first book I read that led me to creating a 'cozy' atmosphere in my home.  She can be a little too 'la de da' for me but I take from it what fits for me.  It is very inspiring and you can emulate it on any budget....I have. 
Before I show you my future reads and what I got at the library.....I forgot to show you this darling  card I got from my daughter and her precious and so thoughtful!

Now for 'coming attractions'...............another Janette Oke
and another..............
Time to start reading and watching those Christmas books and movies!
and a knitting book I had never seen before..........I will enjoy perusing it tonight when I get into bed......
I watched a cute Christmas movie the other night.  I think Betsy recommended it and it was cute.  I enjoyed it.  I think it was The Christmas Chronicles?  It was on Netflix.  I've also been watching Roots and Refuge podcasts and Priscilla and Chelsea.  Lots of tutorials on sewing and making and another one called Farm Hunter who visits old abandoned farm houses in Minnesota.  That's it for now!  I hope you had a great day.  It was cloudy, windy and cool the 40's but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 66F then Friday it!  I like variety in weather.....a good storm is something I look forward long as the power stays on! LOL!
Happy Trails!!!  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Day #27 NaBloPoMo

Whoa Nellie!  I almost forgot to blog!  I had so much on my mind today and was pulled 'hither and fro'.  Yesterday the car guy said to bring the car in at 9:00 so I was there my usual 15 minutes earlier than expected.....waited 45 minutes in the freezing waiting area and he finally said he would drive me home.  I asked when the car would be done and he didn't know....sometime in the afternoon.  He said he would call me.
 So I got regular chores done and then the propane company called me and said they had my check but it wouldn't get mailed to corporate in time to avoid a late fee.......WHAT?  Why didn't you have me mail it to corporate?  They finally said if I gave them permission they could send an echeck.  I said......then I have paid you twice!  I finally did it to avoid a late fee and hope they rip up the other check. 
The cost of the car after my son paid it in full originally as my Christmas present was going to cost $65 more as he didn't quote me the right I budgeted for it but when I went to pay it was $109!  WHAT?  Well, he didn't quote me labor or having to go pick up the part is what he said.  That's almost twice what I budgeted for!  It was not a good day.  Then he called me and said the car was finished and he would be by in a few minutes to pick me up...........45 minutes later he pulls in the drive!  God was definitely testing my patience today or rather these people were!
So, needless to say I have no pictures and no progress on anything to report because I literally got nothing done with all the 'nonsense' I had to put up with.  These are honest people.  I don't doubt that.  They're not trying to rip me off but they are extremely disorganized businesses!
So, here's some more Thanksgiving humor.....I hope you laugh as I haven't laughed all day.
Happy Trails!!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Day #26 NaBloPoMo

Since I am still celebrating Thanksgiving I am still cooking it too! LOL!  I finally got the homemade cranberry sauce made and once you make homemade you will never want to buy the canned stuff ever again.  It is easy too....the hardest part was the orange zest and cutting up the orange.  It wasn't hard but it takes time and after that it's smooth sailing.   It smells divine while it's simmering away on your stove too.  The recipe I used was from Susan Branch's Autumn book but I'm sure you can find it on Pinterest because I see lots of her 'pages' out there.  I think this would be great over ice cream too! LOL!
  Today I made the Bacon and Blue Brussels Sprouts.....omg!  Love this so much!  I got the recipe from All Recipes website.  If you like Brussels sprouts and bacon and blue cheese...this is the recipe for you!   It doesn't look like much but the taste?  Oh baby, oh baby!!!  I did use a 1/2 lb of bacon instead of just 4 strips and the blue cheese came in a 5 oz. container and the recipe called for 4 guessed it...I threw all the blue cheese in there.  Can you really ever have too much blue cheese or too much bacon?  Me thinks not!
  I got my Christmas shopping done today on Cyber Monday!  I make some gifts but then I was able to get some really cool things that I think the grands will really like....I hope anyway.  I have a couple more things that will be ordered and sent directly later in the month but for today...I scored!!!  BTW, I have saved some money using Wikibuy on my pc.  If there is a lower price on something on the internet that you are looking at they will let you know!  They saved me over 50% today on 1 item!  It was on Amazon but the cheaper item was on Ebay....and it was a highly rated seller.  I was doing my happy dance for sure!  I have also heard good things about the Honey app too.
Here's some more Thanksgiving Humor before the end of the month.........
 I hope you had a great Monday!
Happy Trails!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

YOP Week #22

 and Day #25 of...............

 YOP 2018-2019

 1)  I finished Uriah's Cubs hat for Christmas.............
2)  I also managed 2 more 12 Days of Christmas bought and one handmade...........
the bought was this......paper scent beads in Pumpkin Pie and Lilac
The handmade was my first try at Bath Bombs (thank you so much Lucy for the idea!) and although I didn't have a mold (I used a muffin tin) and the recipe was supposed to make 12 and I got more like 2 1/2 it is all good!  They turned out and hopefully will be appreciated.  I definitely want to refine my technique and I've already found a better recipe and next time I will have the right tools.....they're scented with cinnamon.  I could have sworn I had lemon essential oil which is what I had planned on using.....oh well.....better luck next time but with the scent beads that takes care of 2 more gifts.....which makes a total of 8 with 4 more to go!  I'm thinking of lavender sachets and some lemon curd....bought or homemade...I haven't decided yet..............

Oh, I printed off these cute free labels for the 12 Days of Christmas gifts..........there are lots out there for free.....aren't they cute?

WIP's (works in progress) for this week:
1)  I'm all over the place because of Christmas gift making so please excuse me but I will get back on the YOP wagon after all the holiday making is over......I started a shark wash cloth for Uriah..........

2)  I started my first pair of finger less mitts for Ben's girlfriend for Christmas (this seems pretty serious.....they're talking marriage).........I hope they turn out looking nice...the mitts that is.  LOL!  I'm using the black tweed wool I made my sweater from as I had an extra skein.  Wish me luck!
 3) I did start my Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving Day and I may have a Turkey Tuesday or Thursday to add to my cross stitch schedule...........I haven't worked on him since then..........

That's all for this week and the weather is around 60 but overcast and very damp....they say it's going to rain and now the sun came out....but there are wind warnings out as it is Mother Nature cleaning all the leaves off the trees have lost many since last week and do they always start at the top and the bottom loses their leaves last?  I've never noticed it before  but my trees do that.....
Finishes so far:
1.  4th of July xs pillow
2.  Hitchhiker shawl
3.  Felici Hibiscus self-striping socks
4.  Felted wool loafer slippers with leather soles for me
5.  washcloth (extra large) and back scrubber for Christmas or birthday for SIL
6.   Iowa Hawkeye hats for Sam and Grayson
7.  Techniques learned so far this year: a) knit cast on, b) reading a knitting chart, c) lace work, d) inserting and using a lifeline e) charting a graphghan
8.   dishcloth(s)...I need to count them
9. Cubs hat for Uriah
10. 2 more presents for 12 days of Christmas.....8 out of 12 now

That's it for this week!
I hope you had a wonderful week and enjoyed working on your projects.  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday for those who celebrate in the U.S. Please stop by and see all the other fantastic projects that other  YOP'ers are working on.
Happy Trails!!!