• 27Sep

    Well, I am off in the morning for a long weekend out of town with my husband.  I cannot wait!  We are really in need of a bit of time away, as it has been a stressful day for both of us.  Hubby’s car needs to make it into the repair shop for a new brakes, so he borrowed his dad’s car for the day…only to end up with car trouble that sent me driving 40 minutes each way to where he works and back again.  We got home late and are tired.  I, on the other hand, spent my morning at the hospital having tests done that were reminiscent of a torture chamber with a mad scientist presiding.  I never want to go through that again, so I hope the results are good. 

    So tomorrow morning I will be off to enjoy the cool autumn weather and the early fall foliage.  We will have the first two days to ourselves, and my in laws and niece will be joining us late on Friday night for the rest of the weekend.  I will post pics and details when we return.

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  • 26Sep

    This recipe is excellent for those chilly fall evenings and cold winter nights, a “comfort food” or stick-to-your-ribs type meal that is so satisfying in cool weather.

    Shepherd’s Pie

    • 2 lb ground beef
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1-2 cans beef broth
    • 2 tbsp parsley
    • 1 tbsp catsup (I sometimes add more to taste)
    • 3 dashes garlic salt
    • salt
    • pepper
    • mashed potatoes

    Saute onions in oil. Brown meat. Drain excess oil.

    Add remaining ingredients (except potatoes) and simmer for ½ to 1 hour. (I do not used instant potatoes, so I normally cook and mash the potatoes while the beef/gravy mixture is simmering.)

    Now most people place the meat in a casserole dish with the potatoes on top and then bake it for a bit, but our family does it differently. We eat it “messy style” or “homestyle” by putting mashed potatoes on each plate and topping it with the meat/gravy mixture. It is faster and tastes wonderful.

    At first my husband was turned off by the “messy” look of the meal, but after I convinced him to try it, my Shepherd’s Pie became his favorite meal.

    Note: This recipe may be halved. The whole recipe can feed a good sized family, like the family of 8 that I grew up in. I cut it in half and have enough for my husband and I, as well as leftovers for lunch the next day. Green beans make a great complimentary vegetable, or you can lighten up the meal with a salad.

     

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  • 26Sep

    Want to see some fantastic new fabrics?  Heather Bailey’s debut line Freshcut is going to be offed by Free Spirit in the future.  The fabric prints and colors are wonderful, mixing vintage and modern inspirations with interesting color combinations.  I cannot wait until it is available.  I now have a new favorite fabric designer!  Check it out!

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  • 23Sep

    self portraitI do not like pictures of myself, which is probably why I am usually the person behind the camera.  I have even gone out of my way not to post a picture of myself on my blog.  I know we all have our insecurities and also things we like about ourselves, and I am very critical of the way I look.  But there is really nothing I can do to change my features, although I know there are things I could do to alter some things about myself.  I decided to fling my insecurities to the wind today and I took this shot.  It’s not the best picture of me nor the worst, but I figured it was time to stop hiding on the other side of the camera lens.

    Edit:  My husband was not at home today, but let me know via phone that he dislikes this picture and wants to take a better one of me.  When (if) that happens, this one shall be replaced.  Lol.  I think my husband is more of a perfectionist than I am sometimes.  I am trying to let go.  Maybe I am rubbing off on him…

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  • 23Sep

    This pie crust is perfect for apple and pumkin pies.  My family always requests pumpkin pies in pecan crusts at Thanksgiving.  I have even used this recipe for a lattice crust, but the dough is a bit thick for that so I prefer to put a crumb topping on my apple pies.  Another decorative touch is to use a cookie cutter to cut out leaves and decorate the rim of the pie with those. 

    Pecan Crust

    • 2 c All-purpose flour; unsifted 1/2 c Pecans; very finely chopped (I use a food processor.)
    • 3 tbsp. Sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. Salt
    • 2/3 c Vegetable shortening; chilled
    • 4-5 tbsp. Ice water
    • In a medium bowl, combine flour,pecans, sugar and salt.
    • With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

      Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir lightly with a fork just until a soft, manageable pastry forms.

      Divide pastry into 2 balls. Roll out between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper. Makes enough for 2 open pies.

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