Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oops, I Did It Again

Missed my blogiversary, that is.  But oh, well... It's a harmless 'forget.'

It's an interesting opportunity to look backward for a minute or two, though, through the last 2 years I've been sharing our lives with you.
First, I checked into posts of November 2011.  There was some baking going on, and I was in the midst of my kitchen zone series
and slipped in a shorter series on our few days of Thanksgiving prep.  I also found that not only do I forget about recipes I find on other blogs, 
I forget about new discoveries of my own.  The delicious pumpkin muffins haven't been made since the ones I wrote about on November 28.

Next, I went back to my maiden-month, November 2010.  

So recent, but forever ago, too.  I spent some time explaining our weekly pizza feasts, and the recipes used.  We had a terribly long power outage and low temps outside; an experience I've been happy not to do over. I also note that I began the blog with My Bucket List of many, many items and goals.  --I can't remember the last time I checked it, updated it, or did ANYthing on it.

My plan now, is to readjust that list and reset my personal compass.  There will be a lot of things I will give up, I'm guessing, and am not at all sure what I might add.  I think I'm less focused now, and more inclined to follow where the Lord leads on a day-to-day basis.  But I promise a new Bucket List in the nearish future.  

You've been warned.  ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Tale of Two Thanksgivings

I know it might have been more helpful to discuss Thanksgiving menus before the big day... But there has been a request to see what was on Princess Bossy's fancy Thanksgiving menu I showed in a photo in my last post, and I'm glad to oblige.

While Princess Bossy expressed her passion for Thanksgiving through a more complex, gourmet type of meal, I enjoyed Thanksgiving more than ever, preparing more simply.  So before I unveil her menu, I thought I'd share ours, which was based on everyone's Thanksgiving favorites, and desires for less fuss and mess:


  • Crackers and various cheeses
  • Hot Shrimp dip with small French bread slices
  • Taco dip and chips


  • Turkey, prepared using Safeway's 2-hour recipe... So easy!
  • Croissants from Costco for making the aforementioned turkey into sandwiches
  • Whole cranberry sauce (thanks to Costco again)
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Grapes
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy (A late addition.  Apparently, it's necessary to keep this one, traditional, fuss and muss item.)
  • Dill Pickles and Black Olives

Dessert (Prepared by Princesses Eager and Artiste):

Now, with royal permission, of course, I am happy to share (show off) Princess Bossy's wonderful menu:

Thursday, November 22, 2012


....we're only fighting off a minor virus around here these days, and otherwise, our family is so healthy!

...we're warm and dry in the midst of the very stormy weather of this week.

...we're never really hungry.

...we're living in a country where we don't hear bombs overhead, have the freedom to vote, and are free to worship the Lord without fear for our lives.

And for so, so many other  of the 'big things' of life.  

Sometimes I like to stop and notice the smaller things that make my life special, too, like 

...flannel shirts love songs

...the interplay of colors and textures in the materials in our home

...the warm and comforting smell of cinnamon

And that I have the time to think and write about such fun trivialities.

Enjoy your turkey, your day, and your loved ones!

Happy Thanksgiving

The photos are of Princess Bossy's beautiful Thanksgiving table.  
I'm so proud of her, and marvel at the decor gene she has that I don't!  :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I've Owed You

I have been meaning to post updated pics of the garage addition for quite some time.  I suppose you think it must be finished, or nearly so, by now.  Nope!  Broken shoulders and just the busy, busy schedules of Hubby and the kids have kept progress moving at a snail's pace.

Most of these are from a couple of months ago, when it was still sunny...  

This is today's dreary contrast...   It may not look like much, but it's covered and dry.  The cars can park in it, and it's already been used as work area for auto and bike repair projects.

And, it's so nice to be able to walk to the cars without going out in the mud and rain.

The connector between house and garage

We intend to order windows this week.  The plumbers were here for a consultation yesterday, declared it an 'easy job,' and will be back to install the rough-in plumbing.  

Hubby and I have been discussing the idea of a hired gun (former student of Hubby's, who has run his own home construction business for several years now) to help speed things along.  VERY unusual for us, but Yay!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Move-In Ready Kitchen

You may remember that in TKO Tuesday: Jazzing Up a Stock Plan, I first introduced this kitchen plan, and explained how Hubby has taught homebuilding and cabinetmaking for the last 18 years or so.  The construction class builds a home in the community for which the cabinetmaking class builds and installs the cabinets.  I told you, also, that Hubby had passed on the construction class to another teacher, but he is still in charge of cabinets.

Well, his fall off the ladder in early June and the resulting broken shoulder, severely changed his cabinet installation schedule, and instead of by the end of June, he just got finished this past weekend... In time for the new homeowners to close on the sale Monday night!

I thought you might want to see the result.  It's not my choice of colors and styling, which is what happens when men in a hurry (who are most excellent craftsmen/husbands/fathers/community service guys, but aren't exactly Totally Kitchen Obsessed and up on all the latest trends) consult only the layout 

and not the rendering.  ;-)

But since this is likely a starter home for a young couple who are happy to be moving out of an apartment, I think they will be thrilled with their new house and kitchen.  And maybe they'll appreciate the clean lines of this more transitional style, anyway.

Taken at night, with flash, the colors aren't quite accurate.  The island is quite gray, leaning a little
toward taupe, rather than bluish

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rolling with the Season

I started at 6:45 AM so that I could get this task underway
and not worry about it all day.  Highly recommended!
It was our turn to host our Bible study group, so I needed a treat idea, and was craving something pumpkinish.  Somehow, pumpkin cake rolls popped into my mind, and I searched the web for a recipe. and are both favorite sites for finding highly rated recipes, and they didn't let me down this time.  I settled on one from Taste of Home (here) with a couple changes taken from others I'd read through.

Baking sheets sprayed lightly with oil spray, and lined with
parchment paper, also sprayed lightly

I chose this particular recipe because of its denser cake, compared to those with separately whipped egg whites for a "floofier" cake.  (Not a word, I know, but descriptive, and I happen to use it a lot...)  Anyway, I prefer a moister, more substantial, less fly-away cake texture.  Without that extra step, it was also an easier/quicker process, which was welcome, as I needed to make 2 for the gathering, and 2 for the family, who would revolt if I made goodies only for guests without enough for them.

One change I made to the original recipe was to sprinkle 2 of the cakes with chopped walnuts, adding nutrition and balancing some sweetness.  I preferred the nutty cakes, as did most of the guests and family members.

Baked cake inverted on towel lightly dusted with
powdered sugar
Cake and towel rolled gently from a narrow end

The kids got up and wondered why I had a bunch of rolled
towels on the counter, since the cake was in hiding

You can see I got a couple of minor cracks, but on an inner
roll, it didn't show when finished.  I came back to make the
filling and spread it about 4 PM, well after the cakes were
cool and I'd run around doing my daily tasks and errands

The comments on this recipe indicated that it was easy to roll, then unroll without a lot of cracking, which was also a big plus, since I haven't made many rolled cakes in my life, and none lately.

The other change was to use 8 oz of cream cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter per cake, instead of the 6 oz and 1teaspoon, respectively, for more volume and richness to the filling.  

Wrapped in plastic wrap to refrigerate or freeze
for an hour or more so that they form more solid
logs, giving me time for making coffee,  and
doing other last minute set-up

These were a huge success with both groups.  The recipe and process are easy, and the result is attractive for entertaining.  Tasty, too, which is, of course, what counts most!

Sprinkled with powdered sugar and sliced... Pretty!

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