Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Turning Old Into New (Bow Making 101)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Cold Season Is Coming-Have 3 Ingredients In Your Kitchen
1 package ramen noodles (remove the seasoning packet, and throw it away)
1 can chicken broth or ½ of a 32 oz. carton (I use low sodium, but any will do)
1 can chicken (on the store shelf near the tuna)
Boil the broth either in a pan, or in the microwave. Crunch up the block of noodle and put them in the boiling broth. Drain the can of chicken and dump it in. You have chicken soup, and you will be amazed how good it tastes when you are sick. If you have time and feel good, make the good stuff from my other recipe.
Where Has “Mom” Been?
We ate too much!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Short, Sweet and "Peanutty"
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Over the past few years I have noticed that people tend to ignore the RSVP on an invitation. I confess that I’m guilty of it myself when I get invited to one of those parties where I’m supposed to buy something. I tend to wait until the last minute to decide if I’m going (because I don’t really want to) and/or I simply tuck the invitation somewhere and forget about it. It isn’t the right thing to do, but I justify it by the fact that the hostess wants something from me and most likely will just be serving drinks and cookies anyway. If I show up or not won’t really matter to her, other than in her sales figures. Really, there is no excuse for my being rude.
I have learned that you should never assume that someone isn’t coming, simply because they didn’t call. My own opinion is that if you haven’t heard from your guests and it is time to buy the food or prepare party favors, call them. If they are too rude to let you know, it certainly isn’t too pushy to call and ask them. I resent it when I have to do that.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Mom's Homemade Vegetable Soup
I actually used a nice pot roast to make my soup. I cooked it the night before (slow roasted in the oven with potatoes and carrots) and used the leftovers for the soup. You can do that with any kind of beef roast. I haven’t tried it with chicken, it would probably be different, but good. When I was newly married I couldn’t afford a pot roast. So I would make this same soup with a pound of ground beef that I browned. It was delicious. I still do it that way on occasion, simply because we like the flavor.
½ medium head of cabbage, chunked into pieces
2 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large bag of frozen mixed vegetables (you can use canned veggies, or fresh ones…frozen is easier)
1 cup V8 or tomato juice
Approx. 7-8 cups water
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Mom, Why Don't My Rice Krispy Treats Taste Like Yours?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Travel Tips I Learned The Hard Way
I slept in my ugliest pajamas, the gray ones that my husband put in the dryer and turned into highwater pants. After all, it was just for the hotel on the way there. I was still sleeping when he went out to take something to the car the next morning. The first thing I heard was my husband opening the door to our room, looking at me and saying “it is all gone, I have to go to the front desk” and then he was gone. Stunned isn’t the word for how I felt. I couldn’t process what he was saying. I called my dad and couldn’t even speak. He talked to me while I walked (in my pajamas and barefoot) out to our SUV which had a broken window…and everything inside was gone. All of our Christmas presents, all of our luggage, my husband’s laptop which he had hidden under the seat, the CD’s which I had downloaded from iTunes, they even took our dirty clothes bag from the night before. They took the bag that held my scissors, and extra wrapping paper in case we bought more gifts while in Florida and my knitting bag. We had nothing left. We had the clothes that we had in the room to wear that day. They left our winter coats and our cooler. Everything else was gone and we were alone in a strange town on a Sunday morning, 8 hours from our destination, with a broken window.
I wandered into the lobby sobbing, where the front desk manager offered nothing except saying “bless your heart” way too many times. The desk clerk told us the same thing had happened to someone else parked in the same spot the week before. I found they were a bit late with that information. My husband went to a Home Depot store nearby and got plastic and tape to cover our window, the store opened early for him. The manager on duty didn’t even offer to help with covering the window, on a blustery cold morning with winds of 50 miles and hour, so I helped in my pajamas. He did finally offer us breakfast for free, as if we could swallow food. The actual manager of the hotel eventually gave us a free night’s lodging, and was very nice. That was after I wrote a letter complaining when I got home. The front desk manager should have been fired. He never walked out to look at our car, nor did he go talk to the police when they arrived.
We were lucky that we had a long-term relationship with our insurance agent. I could call her on a Sunday morning. She told us to start making lists of everything we had with us and go replace it. Our homeowner’s policy covered everything except for a $500 deductible. Our automobile policy covered the window repair, after a $100 deductible. We found kindness in the hearts of strangers as the hotel we checked into (another Marriott) guarded our car overnight, until it could be repaired. They also offered to go get us toiletries or things we needed. The salesclerks in the Chicos store that first night, asked my size and what I needed and liked, and they brought things to me…enough to get me through a few days of shock. The waitress in the restaurant that night asked a simple, “how are you”? When we told her, she used her discount on our meal. People really stepped up to help strangers in trouble, and we were so grateful.
We never leave anything in the car that we care about now. It is a pain to carry in all of our luggage for a long trip for just one night, but we do it. I make a list now as I pack of what I have with me. It isn’t easy to remember exactly what you have and how many of each if you have to provide it to the insurance company. We were able to replace all of the Christmas presents with almost identical items. We didn’t let it ruin our holiday, just the first few days of it. We counted our blessings that my husband hadn’t caught them in the act, or they might have killed him. We realized that stuff is just stuff and that isn’t what matters in life. We also learned that there are horrible people who will steal someone’s Christmas without batting an eye. We decided that they must need those things more than we did, although I’m sure that iPod, computer, cell phone and all those gift cards were cashed out pretty quickly. We also realized that there are wonderful people, who will step up and help a stranger.
1) Take everything into a hotel room that you care about.
2) Carry your insurance agent’s phone number (and home number) with you when you travel.
3) Make a list off what you have in your car and in your suitcase.
4) Save receipts when you buy clothing, it really helps when you are filling out the paperwork for the insurance company if you can prove what you spent on your shoes, jeans etc.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
One Bowl Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
½ pound (2 sticks) of butter softened (you can use margarine, but butter tastes better)
½ cup sugar
1 cup of brown sugar packed
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 cups of uncooked oats (old-fashioned or quick oats)
2/3 cup raisins (or chocolate chips, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips)
½ cup walnut pieces (or pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts)
*Mom hint-when I make them with chocolate chips, I use more than 2/3 cup. I like chocolate. I also use more of the fruit or chips if I leave out the nuts.
In a large bowl with mixer (or by hand) cream the butter and sugars until blended, add the eggs and vanilla and keep mixing until creamy (about 2 minutes). Blend in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until well blended and do the rest by hand. Stir in the oats. Now is when you should split the dough if you are making 2 flavors of cookies. If not, stir in the raisins and walnuts (or whatever you have decided to add). Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 11 minutes or until lightly browned.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Curling Ribbon + Cello Wrap = Gift
You can mix the colors for special occasions. I use white with pink or blue for baby gifts; red, white and blue when I'm taking a treat to the hostess of a 4th of July party, orange in the fall, red and green during the holidays and so on.
I found this leaf dish at Wal-Mart for $2.50. I added a few pieces of fall colored chocolate, pulled out my cello and ribbon and turned it into a great little birthday gift for a friend.
I always use a generous amount of ribbon of different lengths. Curling the ribbon is simple. As you can see, I simply placed my thumb under the ribbon and drag the scissors under the ribbon, leaving a curled tail.