Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Florida Makes Room

Florida has made room for us and we are feeling settled in our cozy new home.  We are renting a wonderful two bedroom Condo from our daughter Elizabeth and son in law Benjamin. Here is a post of some pictures of when they lived here, and our daughter Marie and family lived next door.   It is the perfect starting place for us, and we are looking forward to this season of being here close to our children and grandchildren.  We want to live here for a few months, and get a good feel of where we would like to settle permanently; as we get our bearings, and learn our way around,  this will work out wonderfully…. and we feel like kids again; we are having a great time exploring our new world.

We are unpacked now….and just about caught up.  The girls and I have even had some days to work on a few projects and Christmas decorating ideas.. I can tell you I am loving every bit of that. Working together with them,  and making Christmas decorations with the little grandsons of mine is at the top of my list. 

The beach is beautiful even in Winter.. yes, I can get used to this.  Shorty found out that she likes being a beach bum as much as being a ranch dog, and wearing a leash has become a positive thing to her, it means she gets to go for walks and sometimes to the beach, rather than the vet or groomer. Chasing Seagulls is as much fun as chasing cows, and she doesn't get into trouble for chasing Seagulls. On her first trip to the beach she went a little cuckoo; she ran after those birds, and probably would have kept running to Georgia if Luke hadn't caught up with her.

Here is the front of our cozy home.

…. the front entry.

Shorty on patrol in our front entry.

A view of our kitchen and dining room.

This little condo of Benjamin and Elizabeth is lovely and full of happy memories.

The family room has a nice gas fire place, and opens onto the deck which over looks the pond.

A happy memory of our chickens;

A Florida Rooster?  Well perhaps not, but he is a neighborly fellow who instead of a "cocka doodle do",  stands quietly by and gives us his company while we have our coffee  in the morning (unless Shorty sees him first…. then she goes after him like she did those Seagulls, and away he flies.  On the other side of this deck railing, is the little pond where we enjoy the coming and going of Egrets and other beautiful water birds.

Luke and Shorty at the beach.

Shorty is gazing off into the distance at the Seagulls.

Toby is napping as he stands in the sun.. haha.

The ocean is just beautiful to me… do you see the Cruise ship in the distance?

 Here are a few of my Christmas Presents;
Ezra (left) and Zane (right)  are Marie and Jon's boys, and Winston (in the middle),  is Elizabeth and Benjamin's boy.

More Christmas Presents
 From Left to right, Elizabeth, Luke and Marie.

The Lord reminds me of the Joy of "New Beginnings"

Have a great week everyone!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A New Adventure

I had mentioned a couple of months back that some changes were in  the works for us, and here is the post that I will tell you what we are up to.  We are moving to Florida.  Yes, can you believe that?  We have been working on this since June, and the time is finally here.  Steve and Luke head out in the morning with the moving truck, and the dogs, and car towed behind.  I will fly out Tuesday.  We are moving in the direction of 3 of our kids and our 6 grandkids, (Luke is moving with us and will finish school in Florida). We will  be living in the same town as our daughters, Elizabeth and Marie and their families and only a half a days drive from our son Nathan and daughter in law Himilce and family.  What joy we feel.   We are exhausted tonight after packing all week, and loading the last two days… but we are almost there.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year at our friends Roxy and Danny's house. It was truly one of the most delicious Thanksgiving meals ever.  We have had many happy memories together with Rox and Danny and have celebrated many Thanksgivings together.   Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving.  I had a little trouble with my camera this time, so only a few pictures came out half way decent.

From left to right, Steve, Danny, Roxy, Jo (Steve's Mom) and Luke.


  I might not post for a week or two… but  I will be back as soon as we get settled in.  Until then.  Have a great week everyone.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Cup Overflows

I am giving thanks today for the many blessings in our lives.  I look around and though the world is in a  turmoil, I can still find so many things to be thankful for.  I pray for blessings for you all dear friends, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy precious moments with your families and loved ones.  Thank you all for your friendship… you have all been a blessing to me…. and speaking of that, I am enjoying a delicious cup of Cocoa and Coffee (I often like to mix them) this morning as I write this post, compliments of the Mayo family; You see, I won the give away that they hosted a couple of weeks ago   What fun was that?!!!!  Here is a picture of the goodies that were included:  I loved every last thing.  Also, all the Fall colors were perfect in my kitchen, because that is what I have decorated with.  Love the homemade dish cloth… loved it all.  Thank you Mayo family, for your sweet gift.  You are a very precious family.  I love the encouragement and light that shines from you and from your precious blog. 

This week also, I was featured in a creative website called "Cut out and Keep".  I was featured for the week, with a recipe for every day.  I felt very honored  and wanted to thank Kat for the feature .  I will also put the link on my side bar, so you can check out the various creative projects that are posted each day and each week.

May your travel be safe, and your families be blessed, and your joy be full, and your table abundant and your cup overflowing with His many blessings,

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 107: 1

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

My favorite part of planning the food for a Thanksgiving dinner, is thinking about what side dishes to make.  I love the side dishes don't you?  We all have our favorites, and there are some side dishes we make every year, no matter what, because that is what our family has always done. Those sides are connected to the pattern and family traditions that return us to the happy memories of years gone by.  I am no exception to that.  I love to repeat those favorites, and remember how we always made "this one" or "that one", and who loved it, and where we were that year when we made it.  Yes, there is a definite connection with food, and memories. Whether your feeding a crowd or just a small group, You're going to serving up some side dishes.   Here is a list of our traditional favorites.  

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Green Bean Casserole with Mushroom Soup and Fried Onions
Frog Eye Salad
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mom's Stuffing
Cranberry Salad
White Dinner Rolls

Each year, in addition to doing  something the "same" as every other year, I also like to do something a little bit "different"… I like to say "what can I do to mix it up a little?"  These are some of the recipes I love to make for the "different" category…. of course, I have made many of them every year, and now they are falling into that "traditional" category, but oh well, here they are to share with you just incase you want a little bit of inspiration for your "side dish planning"

Eggplant Stuffing

Carrot Souffle

 What do you like to serve For Thanksgiving.  I love hearing what you ladies cook up and what your family loves the most. Leave me a comment and tell me what your fixing.

 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Eggplant Stuffing

This is a favorite recipe of ours that is inspired from one of Steve's Mom's recipes.
This is a stuffing, a dressing, a casserole or a delicious side dish. I have, made it for our Thanksgiving stuffing on many occasion and it was enthusiastically devoured by family and friends.  This recipe makes me think of my friend Barbara, who always enjoyed it when I made it at Thanksgiving meals in years gone by.  I was thinking of her the day I made this recipe for the blog, and she called me that night.  When I talked to her she said she had been sorting through her recipes and found my Eggplant dressing recipe. It just amazed me, because I hadn't made it for a long time, nor had it with her for years, but the day I was making it and thinking of her, she found the recipe and was thinking of me.  It is interesting how our lives intertwine, and memories are weaved.. quite often around the table.

This recipe is a great way to eat eggplant when you have an abundance of it.  I have sometimes added chicken to it, and then I have a main dish. I grew quite a bumper crop of Eggplant in the garden this year, and so I have made this several times already.  But with Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to post it as a yummy "Stuffing" option… if anyone was looking for a little inspiration.

Peel, cube and boil 2 medium eggplant until tender (Its a good idea to soak your eggplant in a little salt water for 20-30 minutes before cooking, to remove any bitterness).

Drain and set aside.

Finely chop green peppers, onion and celery and place into a large skillet where you have melted 1/3 cup of butter.

Saute vegetables in butter until tender.

Add dry bread cubes or bread crumbs.  Stir and sauté until just lightly beginning to brown.

Add Eggplant and mix thoroughly.

Add 2 beaten eggs and pimentos and stir thoroughly.

Stir half the cheese into the mixture and add the milk.  Stir well.

Put all into a casserole dish.

Top with cheese.

I always seem to add more cheese than the recipe calls for.

Bake in a preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes.

Eggplant Stuffing
2 mecium sized Eggplant
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green peppers (optional)
1/4 cup chopped celery (optional)
3 Tbsp. pimiento (1small jar)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 pound dried bread cubes or crumbs
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half and half
2 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. grated cheese (divided in half).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.   Peel, cube and boil eggplant until tender.
2.   Saute onions, peppers and celery in butter. 
3.   Add cubed bread to onions and sauté until just beginning to brown.
4.   Drain eggplant well, and add to sautéed vegetables.
5.   Allow mixture to cool about 10 minutes.
6.   Pour beaten eggs over mixture and stir until well combined.
7.  Add Pimentos half the cheese and mix well.
8.   Pour and mix in milk. Stir until well combined.
9.   Place in a casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
    Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and Bake another 10-15 minutes uncovered (until cheese is melted).