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Preview: My Little Corner of the World

My Little Corner of the World

Updated: 2017-11-17T16:46:43.943-05:00


Friday Funny


Cooking Thursday


Last week it was cold and dreary here and this meal was perfect for that weather!  It's a recipe that can be made on the stove top or in the crock pot. I made it in the crock pot and it was so nice to come home from work and find supper all ready for us.  This one is a favorite at our house, it's so good!

Southwestern White Chili

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 jar (48 ounces) Great Northern Beans
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces cheddar cheese

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Saute celery, onion and green pepper until translucent.
In stockpot or crockpot, combine chicken, beans, cumin, salsa and chicken broth.  Stir in celery mixture.  Simmer uncovered in stockpot for about an hour stirring occasionally, or in crockpot for 6 hours on low.  About 5 minutes before serving, stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Wordless Wednesday


(Still a little color left!)

Turkey Pumpkin!


I got something cute in the mail last week from my friend Jenny at 'I'm Having a Thought Here'.  She had shown some pictures of a cute turkey that had a pumpkin body and wooden feathers. She put it together with her adorable granddaughter. I left a comment that I'd never seen one before and how cute it was.  The package I got in the mail was the turkey kit, with instructions to put it together with Alaina and Ruby.
This weekend, I got the chance to do that.

 Here's the kit, and the pumpkin, ready to get started.

 Here's the girls, getting the pieces ready.

Alaina putting one of the feathers into the pumpkin.

Ruby takes a turn too.

Here's their cute pumpkin turkey.  They were so excited about this!  Thanks Jenny!

Sisters shopping day!


Any of you who have been with me for any period of time, will remember my annual shopping trip with my 2 sisters. We've been doing this for years.  We go Christmas shopping, early in November. We go on a Friday, spend the whole day shopping, then stay in a hotel at night before heading back home.  We have a blast and get so much done.The day was sunny, but cold and windy.Here we are at the mall.  At this point we had already been to 2 other stores already.We had a lunch break at Panera Bread in the mall.  I have a yummy tomato mozzarella basil grilled sandwich.Here's how my trunk was looking after the mall.  We still had shopping to do, but there was room in the back seat.More stores to visit...  When there are 3 of you, 9 kids, 4 in-laws and 2 grandkids, it means a lot of shopping!We have a local Italian restaurant that we eat supper at each year. It was as good as usual!After eating supper, we made a few more stops and headed to the hotel.Finally it was back to the hotel, hauling all our stuff in with us.  These are Cheri's and my bags.  We haul them all in, then sort through them, and make sure we have what we think we have.Here's Terri and Cheri, sorting away.After all that we treat ourselves to a piece of dessert, and then finish the night talking and laughing.We had so much fun again this year, and - my shopping is about done![...]

Friday fun - and a little break...


I am blessed with 2 wonderful sisters, and I'm about to spend some time with them.  Every year we plan a day early in November to go Christmas shopping.  We spend all of Friday shopping and then spend the night in a hotel.  This Friday is the day - we'll be shopping, having fun and laughing!  I'm taking a break over the weekend and will be back on Monday!

Cooking Thursday


Todays recipe is a simple classic recipe that has stood the test of time.  It can be made ahead and works well when feeding a group.  I think I've had this recipe for about as long as I've been married which is 36 years, and I'm still using it! You can change it a bit to fit your tastes and make as many or as few as you need.  (I make 1/2 of this recipe to do 8 buns)

Ham on Buns

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup mustard
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
shaved ham
sliced cheese of your choice
hamburger buns

Stir butter, mustard, onion and poppy seeds together.  Spread on buns.
Place ham and a slice of cheese on each bun.  (I like Swiss, Bob likes cheddar)
Wrap in foil.  You may refrigerate them at this point and bake them later, or put them right into the oven.
Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Wordless Wednesday


Party Time!


My girlies both had a birthday recently!  Ruby turned 3 on Sunday and Alaina turned 6 the week before.  It's hard for me to believe, they are growing too fast!We had a birthday party for both of them this weekend.  The whole family, including Aarons family met at a local restaurant that had a room we could use.  We had a yummy supper and fun celebrating. Ruby was enjoying a bread stick.Alaina was making faces when she saw me with the camera.Everyone enjoying the meal.Ruby with her other Grandpa.Then it was time for presents! Opening presents is such fun!Playing with presents is even better!  Here is Ruby with her cousin, checking things out.Both Alaina and Ruby got a doll and some clothes that they were quite excited about. They each got a "mermaid" blanket too.  It's a blanket with a mermaid tale, that they thought was great.Ruby was having fun with her blanket too.It was a fun night with lots of nice people, celebrating 2 special little girls![...]

A day in my life - November


We had such a warm Fall here, that it doesn't seem possible that November has arrived!  We did have some snow on the 31st though, so I guess it really is here.I was up at 6, walked on the treadmill, got ready and was at work shortly before 8.Here's my desk at work; the computer is on and ready for the day.On Wednesday, our Physician Assistant comes for the afternoon.  He sees our new admissions, anyone who has something going on, goes over lab results and does other paperwork.  I get the list of people together, get charts and paperwork ready and have it ready for him when he arrives.I had this all ready, but then got a call shortly before noon that his Dad had passed away unexpectedly and he wouldn't be coming.  That put a pall on the afternoon.I had lots of other work to do, and continued with that.We had a nurse call in for the afternoon shift and I was asked to stay late and help with the supper med pass, so I went to the floor around 3 to do that.  Someone came in to relieve me at 5 and I headed home.It had been a dreary day, and it was still pretty gray outside as I drove home.  However, some of the trees had a nice bit of color to enjoy! Bad news!  When I got home and went to empty my pockets, I found that I had taken the keys home.  These are the keys for the med cart, the med rooms..., not something they can be without, so it was back into the car and back to work.  I'm glad I'm not too far from my work!We had chicken noodle soup for supper.  Here's a tip for you...   this soup is from Costco.  It's their rotisserie chicken noodle soup.  It's so good, and I don't think I could make it for the price they sell it at.   And after a long day at work, it's nice to just have something to heat and eat.Bob left after supper to go to a class at church and I worked on my Bible study, which is very good.  Who would have thought the book of Numbers could be so interesting?After that I settled in to watching Survivor, which is one of my favorites,All in all, not a bad start to the month![...]

Friday Funny


Cooking Thursday


So... I have a wonderful recipe to share with you today!  However, it's not one you'll want to make very often, maybe just for an occasional treat.  And don't even look at how much butter is in these bars.  That being said, they are rich so you only need a little piece - and they are yummy!!!

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

1 lb. salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups flour

1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
Bake crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
Once the caramel is melted add in the ½ tsp vanilla and stir until combined.Pour the caramel filling over the crust.
If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into squares.

Wordless Wednesday


A little more Fall...


Fall is coming to an end here; the temperatures have dropped and we've had lots of wind and rain so the leaves are falling.
Here's a few pictures I snapped during some brief moments of sunshine.

This is our street.  Soon all those leaves will be on the ground, waiting to be raked!

Supper and a carousel ride!


We haven't been able to have the girls overnight for a few weeks because of crazy work schedules and some sickness at their house.  Friday night we decided that if we couldn't have them overnight, we could at least have supper with them.  We picked them up and they thought McDonalds would be a great place to go.  We weren't too excited about that plan and were heading for the mall, which worked out well because Alaina suddenly decided that we should eat at the mall!Eating at the food court has the benefit of lots of places to choose from.  Bob went to pick up Chinese food for the two of us, Alaina chose tacos, and Ruby wanted chicken fingers.(Excuse the poor pictures - I had to use my phone)While we were eating, Alaina asked Ruby if she wanted to trade some of their food.  Ruby didn't want to, and Alaina said, "I just wanted to try your chicken!"  I asked Ruby if she could share a little piece with Alaina, and she said yes.  So, I tore a little piece off and gave it to Alaina, then told Ruby thank you for sharing with your sister.  Her reply?  "Well, you just grabbed it!"   Funny kid!She tried a fry too!Ruby was ok with sharing though!The other good thing about the food court at the mall, is the carousel! They got on it with Grandpa and first were just going to sit on the bench...but then decided to ride a horse.A good time was had by all![...]

Friday Funny


Cooking Thursday


Today's recipe is another one that's a comfort food recipe and it so good in cold weather!  It's one I've made for some time, and I really don't know where I got it from originally.  I use this recipe quite often when I'm bringing someone a meal because it's easy, it always turns out good and it's kind of a classic food that most people like.

French Oven Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 large onions, cut into eight pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
4 large carrots, quartered
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups tomato juice

Combine tomato juice, tapioca, sugar, salt, pepper and basil in bowl.  Set aside
Place meat, onions, celery and carrots in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Pour tomato juice mixture over top and cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.
Add potato chunks and bake another hour.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Wordless Wednesday


Decorating pumpkins


I saw an idea for decorating little pumpkins and thought I would try it out with the girls.  It involves the tiny little gourd pumpkins and nail polish.Here they are at the table ready to start.First, you put water in a disposable plastic container, then drip nail polish on top of the water.Then you run a tooth pick through the polish to swirl it.  Next, you take a little pumpkin by the stem and put it into the dish on the side and pull it up through the swirls so the nail polish ends up on the pumpkin.The pumpkin then has to sit out on wax paper for some time to dry completely.The girls each got to choose which colors they wanted, and then swirled their colors.  Alaina is all about pink and purple, and Ruby tried a little of everything.Here's Alaina with a few of her pumpkins,and a few of the shots I got while attempting to get a picture of Ruby with hers.Here's our finished projects loaded up to go home with the girls.  I found that it was hard to get the whole pumpkin coated with color, but the girls had fun and that's what counts![...]

Scenes around town...


Fall is a pretty time around here.  Our colors are not as brilliant as usual, but it's still very enjoyable to drive around and enjoy the sights.The colors around here aren't only on the trees, but in the fields of pumpkins that are being harvested,and in the many roadside stands that are selling them!I have to point out these crates.  The last time I shared a picture of them, a lot of you thought they were bee hives, but when you see them close up, you can see that they are wooden crates.  We see them a lot around here - full of pumpkins, squash, gourds and even onions that are being harvested.When they are full, they are stacked up and covered, before being loaded onto a semi. This is one of my favorite barns in our area, and I love the way it looks in front of all those colorful trees!Speaking of gourds, there are some pretty ones in my house too.  Friday, I came home to a package in my mail.  Inside were the 3 colorful gourds and this hand printed card from my friend Mildred from Twenty Seventeen.  She sent them to add to the wooden tote on my dining room table, which is where they now are, adding a nice spot of color.  Thanks Mildred for that sweet surprise![...]

Friday Funny


Cooking Thursday


One thing I like about the change in weather is making soup.  It's a regular on my winter menu.  The recipe I'm sharing today is one I got from an aunt many years ago.  It's always good!

Vegetable Meatball Soup
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Accent
1 pound ground beef in 1 inch balls
1 1/4 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 small potatoes, diced
1 can chopped tomato
10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables for soup
2 envelopes Lipton Beefy Onion soup

Bring water to boil.  Add salt, accent and meat balls.  Bring back to a rapid boil and skim off meat sediment.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours.

*I often prepare this in the evening and instead of simmering it for 2 hours, I put it in my crockpot and refrigerate it overnight.  Then when I go to work in the morning, I turn the crockpot on low and come home to a wonderful pot of soup!

Wordless Wednesday


It's looking like Fall!


I decided it was time to give in and let Fall take over in the house.  I always fight it because I dread winter coming, but it's time.  :)Here's what it looks like around here.On the front steps is a huge mum, some pumpkins and some gourds.At the back door, this cute sign has taken up residence in the old milk jar.On my table is this old wooden tote.  I got it on an auction site.  It's about 2 feet long and I love the charm.  I want to get a few more pumpkin and gourds to fill it up.This is in the living room, hanging over some side chairs.I changed out the things in the candle holder to make it feel like Fall instead of summer.The tabletops get a redo too.This is another living room wall.And a close up of one more table top.It's always fun to change things out and see new things.  The house feels nice and cozy now![...]

Grandma goes to school!


I had such a fun experience last week.  Alaina's teacher does something called 'Mystery Reader'.  Parents or grandparents can sign up for this, and I had signed up for last week.  The mystery reader chooses a book their special child likes and comes to school to read it to the kindergarten class.  The kids don't know who it is until the door opens!When you get to school, the secretary calls down to the class to tell them that the mystery reader is there.  The kids then sing a song that talks about who the reader might be, and then the reader knocks on the door.When the door opens, all the kids are looking to see who it is, and when Alaina saw it was me she ran up and gave me a hug. She got to tell her class that the reader was her Grandma, and then we all went to the reading area.The readers special kid gets to sit up front with them while the story is being read.  I read a story about Audrey, a bunny who had a spot on her and was worried that her little girl wouldn't like her if she saw it.  But the little girl loved her, spot and all.  The kids sat and listened quietly and seemed to enjoy it.Here is the whole class. Alaina and I after the reading.Alaina's bright and cheerful class!The kids each made a thank you card for me. This is Alaina's sweet teacher.Because this was done at the end of the day, I got to take her home afterward.She had to show me her classes owl pictures.  The one she drew is on orange paper above her head.Here she is outside her school.She was excited to show me these painted rocks that were done by the teachers.  They have them arranged in a little stream throughout the landscaping.Instead of going right home, we thought we should go have a treat first.  She chose a donut place.  She asked if we could get one for Ruby and take it home to her, which I thought was very sweet.Here's Alaina and Ruby waving goodbye to me after I brought Alaina home.I had a great time and thought this was a great idea.  It's exciting for the kids, and I think the mystery readers like it just as much!Before I go, I have to share a Ruby story.  I know some of you really enjoy her antics!When I dropped Alaina off, Laura told Ruby to tell me what happened that day.  When there was no answer, she said "tell Grandma how you fell".  I asked her if she was getting into trouble when she fell, and she said no, but I could tell by the look in her eyes that she had been.Apparently she had been playing downstairs.  Laura went down to check something and arrived just in time to see Ruby in the bathroom down there.  She had her step stool on the toilet seat and was standing on it, trying to throw a ball and hit the ceiling!  Guess what?  It didn't work, and just asLaura walked in, the stool and Ruby fell down and much wailing ensued.  Thankfully she wasn't really hurt, just bumped up.  Who but Ruby would think of such a thing?  Hopefully she learned, but there are always new things that can be climbed on![...]