Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gettin' His Groove On

I was sent this really cute video today by a friend of mine.  It's too cute not to share.  This certainly should bring a smile to your face.  Enjoy!

Down memory lane with my cookbooks.....

Lately it's hard not to think about cooler weather, pumpkins, holidays and family gatherings.  Fall is in the air even here in Texas.  One of the things that I really enjoyed doing years ago when I was a stay at home mom to my 3 precious little boys, was to curl up on the couch with a warm cup of coffee, cocoa, or apple cider and pour over cookbooks.  Yep, cookbooks!  Nothing made me happier.  I've always had a passion for cooking and baking, really mostly baking.  Ask any one of my boys and they will tell you that they fondly remember the evening meal together as a family.  Rarely was there a meal served that did not include homemade bread of some sort (before I owned a bread machine), and a wonderful dessert of something gooey and delicious.  

It's so easy now to jump online, type in a specific ingredient and have hundreds of different recipes at a clicks notice.  Don't get me wrong, I use the internet for recipes all the time and love that I can find a recipe for anything quickly.  I just miss the slower paced life of living in a very small town, going to the public library on a regular basis, checking out a new to me cookbook and looking for that delicious goodness that might find a permanent place as a family favorite.  

A few years ago I ran across a book that I just had to have, so I added it to my collection.  Yes, it is a cookbook.  It's called "A Return to Sunday Dinner" by Russell Cronkhite.  Oh what a lovely cookbook it is.  There are beautiful pictures and amazing recipes from around the country to remind you of the indelible memories a simple menu can bring your family.  

I think today will be a perfect day to snuggle up with a fuzzy throw, a warm cup of coffee and my precious cookbooks..... here's hoping you too will will find a simple past pleasure to revisit today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well the weather in Texas is milder but not what you would consider fall weather yet.  I'm ready to start making delicious warm comfort food but it's just too hot right now.  Here's what I have planned for my menu this week:

Monday - Oven BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob (from my freezer), Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, Too Much Chocolate Cake

Tuesday - Chicken Fettucini Alfredo, Salad, Left Over Cake

Wednesday - Tacos, Mexican Rice, Black Beans, Vanilla Ice Cream with Fruit

ThursdayAlmond Crusted Chicken with Scallion Rice, Green Beans, Homemade Bread, Coconut Cream Pie

Friday - Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, Tossed Salad, Left Over Bread, Left Over Pie

Saturday - FFY or Leftovers

Sunday - Hamburgers, Chips, Apple Crumble

If you haven't made it over to Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie you have to go check out all the wonderful meal plans and links to recipes.  I love it and you will too!

Always Count Your Blessings,

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Bug Makes Brownies

My sweet little 2 year old grand girl Bug spent the evening with me yesterday.  We had lots of fun.  She wanted to show everyone how to make brownies since she is quite the little baker.  We have a really great time when we are together, as you can tell.  She belongs to my middle son and she also is the spitting image of her dad.  She and Gracie are cousins.  Her older sister is Roo.  Okay, here goes the brownies.......

First put your apron on and wait on Mimi to get all the ingredients together.

After you put the Duncan Heinze Brownie mix in the bowl; you pour in one egg that has been cracked in a separate bowl just in case you get shells in it when you open it.....

Then you pour in the oil and water.....

Then you mix it all up.......

You pour it in the greased pan with Mimi's help, then.....

Then you spread it evenly in the pan and finally you......

Put it in the oven at 350 degrees to bake for 35-40 minutes. After that you eat it with a fork cause it has fallen apart since you are eating it before it has a chance to cool completely. (Mimi made sure that she blew on it really good before every bite!)

Yum, Yum.  Bug you certainly know how to make good brownies!!

Sorry about the picture quality, I am certainly not a pro and Bug messed with the camera taking pictures too.  I think she changed some settings, teehee.  Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with us for a little while......

Always Count your blessings,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Honor of Grandmothers and Fall

My husband's grandmother J was a very fine cook and baker.  I have many of her recipes, some that I can do quite well, others not so much.  I'm sharing her pumpkin bread recipe because it is Fall, ya'll (can't help it, I'm from Texas).  I have been part of the family for darn near 30 years. This recipe was everyone's favorite fall treat when we would visit her before she passed away in the 90's.  I'm guessing that this pumpkin bread recipe has been around for more than 70 years.  It is NOT diet friendly, so I will just be having a taste (got to watch my girlish figure, teehee).  My husband, on the other hand, will indulge with gusto, I'm sure!  Enjoy, cause you only live once......

Grandmother J's Pumpkin Bread

3 C. Sugar
1 C. Oil
4 Beaten Eggs
1 Can (16 oz.) Pumpkin Puree
3 1/2 C. Flour
2 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tsp. Allspice
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Cloves
2/3 C. Water
1/2 C. Raisins
1/2 C. Pecans (chopped)

Cream sugar and oil together, add eggs & pumpkin puree.  Mix well.  Sift together all of the dry ingredients.  Alternately add the dry ingredients with the water to the pumpkin mixture.  Fold in the raisins and pecans.  Pour into well greased and floured 9 X 5 loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until it tests done with a toothpick inserted in the middle of loaf.  Let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Makes 2 generous size loafs.

I'm participating in the Fall Favorite Foods event at Life As A Mom.  There are some amazing foods already linked, go check it out!

Always Count Your Blessings,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Wreath Updated

I love it when there is a bit of a chill in the air and the stores are busting with fall decorations and color.  I think I've said this before but I'll say it again, fall is my favorite time of the year.  Our family has a lot of happenings in the fall and around the holiday season.  It's hard to be in a bad mood or be sad in the fall.  Okay, well enough of that.  I wanted to show you my fall wreath makeover.  I've had this little wreath for several years and while I loved its simplicity when I got it, I'm ready for a change.  I went to JoAnne's Fabric a few days ago to get an apron pattern (more about that later) and ran across some vibrant red and orange fall leaves and flowers that were very cheap ($5.99 for B1G1 free).  I HAD to have them.  I am not a really creative person, I wish I was.  I can however do little creative projects here and there.  This will be a wreath in progress because I know I will tweek it for several days until I am completely happy with it.  Tell me what you think of my $5.99 project!

Old Wreath - Plain and Simple

New Wreath - Screams Yippee it's Fall!

Okay yeah, I have a country blue front door.  When we bought the house 7 years ago EVERYTHING about the house was blue.  I've redone most of the house on the inside to reflect a more updated style, but I haven't made it outside yet.  Time and money.......

I'm participating in DIY day Thursday over at A Soft Place To Land.  Go here to see everyone's great projects!  Thanks Kimba for hosting DIY day for all of us, you rock!

Always Count Your Blessings,


Yep, my littlest grand girl is 1 year old today!  She is such a joy to be around, always smiling and happy.  She is ever moving.  She hasn't started walking on her on yet (although it looks like any day that could happen), but stands alone and walks with the aid of her push walker thingy.  She is the spitting image of my son, which simply melts my heart every time I look at her.  I think there is no better job in the world than being a mommy, well...except....being Mimi.......

My son doesn't get to be with his sweet little girl on her special day.  He is proudly serving our country in the Navy.  He is on his way back to the US after being on cruise to the Middle East.  He is a F-18 pilot and has been flying missions over Afghanistan for the past 4 months.  I am so relieved that he is on his way home.  He will arrive the end of October and will leave again (and take my precious Gracie and her mom) in mid November to serve in Japan for 2 1/2 years.  

Friends, hug your children tight, enjoy every precious moment you have with them.  Life is short and time flies.  You blink your eyes and they are all grown up with precious little ones of their own.  

Happy Birthday, Gracie........your Mimi loves you so much!

Always Count Your Blessings,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am late getting this posted for the week.  It's been busy around here.  It's raining again right now, ugh...I am very tired of the rain (it's been raining off and on for two weeks now).  I know that we need it but wow enough already. Tomorrow is the beginning of fall.  It's my favorite time of the year.  Yippee!  Here's what is on our menu for the week:

Monday - Stew (made in the pressure cooker, fast and easy!)

Tuesday - Cobb Salad, Strawberries and Whip Cream (DH has a meeting at church and I am baby sitting Gracie!)

Wednesday - Oven Beer Can Chicken, Buttered Noodles, Sugar Snap Peas, Best Ever Bread Machine Dinner Rolls, Cantaloupe (Didn't get this meal made last week.)

Thursday - Leftover Chicken to make Chicken Salad for Sandwiches or FFY Night

FridayGrilled Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa, (Cooked on the inside grill)  Rice, Green Beans, Peach Cobbler

Saturday - Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, Leftover Peach Cobbler

Sunday - Hamburgers (cooked on the George Foreman), Chips, Brownies

Don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for hundreds more menu idea posts.

Always Count Your Blessings,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Homegoods Shopping Spree & Giveaway

Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality is hosting a giveaway.  Go here to see the transformation of her guest bathroom. I'm sure you will want to enter for a $100 gift card giveaway to Homegoods as well.  I just discovered this store and I love it!  Finally, you can also take the StyleScope Quiz to find out what your decorating style is.  Here's what the quiz revealed about my style:

Brenda, you are a GLOBAL CASUAL

Your home is warm and inviting, and expresses your curiosity and zest for life. You have wide-ranging interests, and an appreciation for many different cultures and ways of life. You bring a sense of the far-flung world into your home through its d├ęcor through unique or artisan-made treasures. Objects in your home tend to reflect your personality, your passions, your values, and your eclectic interests. This gives your home a sense of intrigue and comfort.
You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Pretty good!  I think it is a bit more about what I really would like to have more than what I currently have but still reflects me.  Go check out Rhoda's blog.  She has a ton to see there, very inspirational.

Always count your blessings,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well it's that time again!  Laura over at I'm An Organizing Junkie, is hosting her weekly Menu Plan Monday.  I did pretty well last week staying on schedule, only one meal will transfer over to this week.  Here's what's cooking at Mimi's House:

Monday - Crock Pot Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Texas Toast, Tar Heel Pie (This is heavenly but pretty heavy so a little dab will do ya.)

Tuesday - Glazed Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Black-eyed peas, Cut-up fruit, Cornbread, Left over pie (This meal is carried over from last week that I did not cook.)

Wednesday - Oven Beer Can Chicken, Buttered Noodles, Sugar Snap Peas, Cantaloupe, Bread Machine Whole Wheat Dinner RollsChocolate Chip Cookies (These are huge and just like you'd find at the mall, yummy!!) Note:  I have a ceramic cooker that has the shape of a beer or coke can made into it, very handy!

Thursday - Easy Chicken Tetrazzini (using the left over chicken from Wednesday meal, Salad, Cut-up Fruit, Left over dinner rolls

Friday - Grilled Sirloin Steak, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread Machine Bread, Apple Crumble Pie

Saturday - This is the day of Gracie's 1st Birthday Party, so we will have left overs to eat and of course cake and ice cream at the celebration!  

Sunday - BBQ Brisket (made the week before and frozen for later meals), Corn on the cob (from the freezer), baked beans, left over bread from Friday's meal, left over dessert.  This will be a breeze to throw together after church.

If you like what you see, leave me a comment.  I'd love hearing from you.  What's on your meal plan for the week?

Always Count Your Blessings,


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inspiring Frugal Find

I found this beautiful piece at HomeGoods a couple of days ago.  It was $24.99.  Can you believe it?  I thought it would work nicely above my bed in the master bedroom.  I really love it and think it fits perfectly.  Now I only have one problem.  I really don't like the rest of the room.  My bedding is okay (and will have to do for now).  It's a very neutral cream with a pretty pattern, but my lamps, wow they need work.
Hey bloggy friends can you help me out with some suggestions for warming up my room and updating the very old lamps that I currently have?  Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm thinking that I really want to stay within the Chocolate color family to keep DH happy. (He doesn't want a frilly, girl room.) 

Here's a close up of my very old, antique brass and wood lamps that I am sure are at least 25 years old.  They've served me well and I really want to be frugal and keep them.  What shall I do?  I promise to post an update of what changes I make as soon as they are done!

Always Count Your Blessings,

Recipe Sunday

Although it is nearing fall and I am looking forward to making fall friendly meals such as soups and stews, I still like my burgers. I make them on the weekends or if I need a quick meal on a week night.  This recipe from WW is really easy and tastes great with fresh fruit or sweet potato fries.  I seem to make it most often on Sunday after church if I am not having company for lunch or dinner. Fast meal = longer Sunday afternoon nap, hee hee.  Try it, even if you aren't on a diet, it's healthy and good!

Juicy Hamburgers (Low in WW Points)

1 spray of cooking spray
1 pound of uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. table salt
¼ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
4 reduced calorie hamburger buns

Coat a large griddle, outdoor grill rack or stovetop grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1-inch-thick each. (To retain juiciness, be careful not to overwork the meat.) Place burgers on hot griddle or grill and cook 5 minutes per side for medium (or longer until desired doneness).

Serve burgers on rolls with your favorite toppings.

Always Count Your Blessings,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Preserving A Last Little Bit Of Summer

Yummy, Yummy corn on the cob.  One of my summertime favorites.  I didn't have a garden this year but I did fully take advantage every time any of the local grocery stores had corn on sale.  I'd buy a bunch and freeze it so we could enjoy it in the cooler months ahead.  This is my attempt to show you how to prepare fresh corn for the freezer so that you too can enjoy it later in the fall.

First clean the corn of all the husks and silk.  Rinse it off really well to make sure that you get as much of the silk off as you can.

Place a few ears in a pot of boiling water.  I like to package my servings in four, so I always do four at a time with each process.  Hey it works for me!  Let it boil for 7 minutes for small ears, 9 minutes for medium size ears and 11 minutes for large ears.

After it boils for 7, 9 or 11 minutes, immediately place the ears of corn in very cold, ice water for the exact same amount of time that you boiled them.  This process is called "blanching".  It is very important because it stops the production of enzymes.  If this is not done and the corn is simply put in the freezer without doing this process, you will likely have corn that will have an off flavor, look different in color and be tough.

After the cooling off time, gently drain on a paper towel, and place in freezer bags. (I like the vacuum seal kind.) Date it and place it on a flat surface in the freezer to freeze and store.  You will want to cook and eat these ears of corn within 3 months for maximum freshness.  I use my handy dandy steamer to prepare my frozen corn on the cobs for dinner.  I put it in frozen and steam for 30 minutes.  Comes out perfect and so, so good!

I'm linking this tip over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday and over at Blessed with Grace for her Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Always count your blessings,

Monday, September 7, 2009

This is my very first post to Menu Plan Monday.  Having a menu for the week makes life so much easier.  DH and I have been sick for the past couple days so our "meals" will actually start on Tuesday this week.  Here's what's cooking.

Monday - Labor Day! FFY (I'm sick!)

Tuesday -  Lighten Up: Fettuccine Alfredo, Tossed Salad, Bread Sticks, Brownies

WednesdayGlazed Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Cornbread, Microwave Banana Pudding

Thursday - BBQ Brisket, Corn, Green Beans, Best Ever Bread Machine Rolls, Leftover Dessert

Friday -  Dinner Out with Friends - DH will be on a hunting trip

Saturday - Leftover Buffet - DH still on hunting trip

Sunday -  Grilled Burgers, Baked Chips - I'll post the recipe for this on Sunday!  Lower fat and yummy!

Don't forget to check out many other meal plans this week at Organizing Junkie.

Always count your blessings!

I think I can, I think I can......

Wow, I started this blog and then never really got going. I really think I can. Be patient with me as I learn the blogging ropes and try to make my little space be continued.