Happy St. Patrick's Day from my little green kitchen to you! Don't you just love this holiday? Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and Easter but they both involve a lot more work and thought. St. Patrick's Day, at least to me, is about the food and fun. No pressure for gifts or decorating or shopping or any of that.
So at least for today and because there is a Kelly somewhere in my ancestry, I'm 100% Irish! I have the corned beef in the crockpot soaking in a pool of Guinness loveliness.
I don't know how I ran across this but look what I found!!!
Kaitlyn Dunnett writes mystery books that are Scottish inspired and the main character in this series is Liss MacCrimmon. I love a good mystery so I ordered it just now on Amazon. I'll be honest with you. With a cover like this I really don't care how good the book is. But if it is, indeed, a good read I'll check out the other books in this series.
In the past there have been lots of blog posts written about cute little things like cake stands from World Market or Target. Some new item that everyone just has to have. I usually don't get in on stuff like that as they are usually sold out before I can get to the store. However, the other day I was at Cost Plus World Market and spied these little cuties.
They are little - only about 6 1/2 ' wide. The best part is they were only $1.99 a piece. $1.99 people!!!!!
They also have them in light blue, bright yellow and what I call "Nikki" green which is a bright lime green. It's my best friend's favorite color, thus the name. It was too bright for my kitchen so I got the mint green. They are the perfect size to actually use for kitchen stuff. I put mushrooms in the white one the other day so they wouldn't get all mushy.
I'm using the red one right now as a Valentine candy dish but admit I put the candy back in just for the picture. The hubs was eating way too many so I hid them. LOL! I can see using them for Christmas decorations or for holding "whatever" in your sewing room.
Some of you may have wondered just where the heck have I been since my last post was the end of July. A lot has been going on in my little corner of the world - some good, some bad. I just haven't had the wherewithall to post anything. Not to say I haven't been perusing blog land.
On a good note, this past year our son got a new job, a new house and got married to a wonderful woman that we all love. He had been staying with us and since he moved he took the pugs with him. I admit I cried. However, our Scotties are so relieved that they don't have to deal with those pesky pugs! Even Mollie, our rescue Scottie, has come out of her shell. I didn't realize how much more work they were making for me and how much they were taking over the house. Dogs have a "pecking order" and it has been restored here with Maggie in her place of head Scottie and mistress of the house. I can go visit the grand-pugs anytime I want as they are only 20 minutes down the road.
Our daughter and two grandsons came to visit us for Christmas from California. It was so good to see them and see how tall the boys are now - taller than me! They are such quiet, respectful young men. I'm so proud of them and the job their parents have done raising them. We didn't do a lot of site seeing as we had one of the coldest Decembers I can remember in a long time. They plan on coming out this spring or summer so we can do more then.
Now the bad part. One of reasons our daughter and the boys came to visit was primarily to see their dad. I'm not sure if many of you know but he had a stroke in 2005, and along with his diabetes, has not had the easiest past ten years. But we managed and made do. He was ill in September and was put in the hospital so he could be administered IV antibiotics for an infection. When he got home he got pneumonia which they attributed to his hospital stay - lots of germs there you know. So September through now has been doctor visits, hospital stays, rehab stays, physical therapy, tests and all manner of medical involvement. I think for November through December he was only home at the most two days.
Then we got the diagnosis that we never saw coming. Lung cancer. It was right out of left field and has turned our world upside down. Our oncologist is staging it between three and four non-operatable terminal Adenocarcinoma. He has had as much radiation as his body can tolerate because of the location of the tumor. His latest pet scan has shown that the tumor has shrunk 30-40% which is amazing. Because of that, the oncologist wants to hold off on chemotherapy for at least two months while he gains more strength and the residual affects of the radiation keep working.
Now, I did say the doctor says it is terminal and that the chemo is only for comfort, not a cure. However, I have a secret weapon that is not so secret. I have a God who heals, a God who knows way more than our doctors, a God who knows how many days we have a lot more than we do and a God of MIRACLES. With that, I 'd appreciate all of your prayers as we go through this journey. We have had so many people praying for us and I have seen the results. God has sent so many angels in the form of medical personnel that is humbling to us because it is so very obvious where they are from.
I will try to keep you posted on how his is doing in the months ahead. I'm not, however, going to turn this blog into a cancer blog. Cancer is a part of our life, but I don't want to make it to be all of our life. It's a bump in the road - not the entire highway.
I haven't been able to garden much since moving to Colorado. One reason being is we have a 1/3 acre lot and the soil is terrible. It's more like ground rock with no organic matter. I do have a nice planter area on one side that gets a lot of shade which I would like to use for shade loving plants. I friend of mine gave me some divisions of some of her perennials but they lasted one night. Dug up by either the local rabbits that are everywhere or by our dogs. I want to put in raised beds around the back patio which should solve that problem. Until then I am content with a few pots on the porch. Like California, we have water restrictions which makes it almost impossible to have the lush gardens like we used to anyway.
Even though it hasn't been much, my hanging pots of petunias has been a real treat. You see, this is the first time I've been able to grow them. The area I lived at in California was largely agricultural. Our small tract was surrounded by fields of almonds, hay, and peaches which means you have a lot of insects. It was a constant battle to keep the worms and spider mites off the petunias, marigolds and geraniums. I finally just gave up and stopped planting them.
Well here in Colorado we don't have the agriculture in this particular area. With our high altitude we don't have as many insects and because of the snow and cold temperatures we don't have snails. We don't even have to treat our dogs and cats for fleas!!!
So even though it's not much right now, I'm content with my two hanging baskets of petunias. Getting back to basics and being grateful for the little things.
I don't know what brings back sweet childhood memories more than a plate of warm peanut butter cookies and a glass of milk. I have had this particular cookbook forever! I don't even remember where I got it. I've only made one thing from it - Peanut Butter Cookies. Let me tell you, that is enough!
This particular book was published in 1948 by Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc.. I don't know if they are still in business, but they published a line of "encyclopedia" books such as cooking, gardening, sewing, fishing, shooting and even a medical reference book. I have the gardening book and I want to order the sewing book.
Back to the cookies. These are the cookies my children remember. When they were little I made them often. When my son was in the Navy, these are the cookies I sent to him when he lived back east and the cookies I made for him to take back when he was home on leave. I recently made a batch for him to take to work. "You're mom should make these and sell them!"
I can't take any credit. It's a great recipe.
This is not the best fancy staged picture. But oh, are they good!!!
Here's the recipe for you all!!! One thing to note. Since the published date is 1948 you have to remember one thing. Back then portions were small. No super sizing like we have today. So the least I do is double the recipe and most times I quadruple it. I also make them bigger than they suggest. I have found at our altitude (5,280 feet) 13 minutes is perfect. I also add a tablespoon more flour for each batch and smidge less baking powder. It's an altitude thing! " If you are anywhere near being a flatlander, you should do fine following the recipe just like it is. Oh, I also add more peanut butter than it calls for. To quote one of my favorite chefs, "how bad could that be?
Make them and please let me know how they turn out!!
I've been attempting to more sewing done and also use up some of the many precuts I have stashed away. This is a Disappearing Nine Patch, a pattern I've made many of. Easy peasy. The fabric is Paris Flea Market, soft and romantic. I just have to add borders and quilt it up and it's done.
I laid it out on the couch to take a picture to send to a friend and like magic - dogs appear. This is Bonnie on the left and Allie on the right. We still have the Scotties, Maggie and Mollie but they are by no means as social as the pugs so it's more difficult to get their pictures.
Those close to me know that I don't love to cook. Eat, yes. Cook, no. I don't mind baking, although I'm having to work on my skills since moving to a high altitude location. I have quite an extensive collection of cookbooks and I tell people they are for staging so people won't think to badly of me. Actually, my cookbooks are more like fictional novels to me. I think if I was living alone I'd subsist on egg sandwiches, peanut butter and granola bars.
I get too busy doing other things like cleaning and quilting and playing with the dogs. All of a sudden the family wonders where dinner is. What's up with that? Our son (and his two pugs) is staying with us while his house is being built so I have to please two men and actually.......cook! Oh, the horrors!!!
One of my favorite fictional reality shows is The Pioneer Woman on Food Network. Who doesn't love Ree Drummond? One of the things on my bucket list is to either meet her or win something from her. She makes everything seem so effortless and fun! Yesterday I watched her show and decided I had most everything to make this fabulous casserole. I quickly ran down to the store and got the other things I needed and - voila - dinner! Easy peasy!!! She advised that you can make this and serve it right away, put it in the fridge and bake for the next day or freeze it for later.
Cheesy Sausage Rigatone
by The Pioneer Woman
Our son really loved it and I got a hug and a "well done, Mom!" He even took some to work for his lunch. I hope he doesn't think I'm going to start doing this "cooking thing" everyday! Seriously, it would be a good idea to at least try one new recipe a week. The recipe was easy and delicious. It would be great for a pot luck or after church Sunday supper. Here's the recipe. If you don't care for Italian Sausage (I used the mild) you could use ground beef. If you are a vegetarian, you could skip the meat all together. Serve it with garlic bread and a salad and call it a day!
In a few days I'll share my famous peanut butter cookie recipe. Easy peasy and addictive!