Friday, October 29, 2010

A Wonderful Thing...

I found out a wonderful thing this morning after Mom and I had another heart to heart conversation.  My dad owned a dry cleaning business which Mom now runs. Every fall they participated in a coat drive for kids and Dad cleaned the donated coats before they were given out.  The wonderful thing:  the coat drive now bears his name and the dry cleaning business still cleans the coats.  Dad might be gone, but his example to the community lives on.  Very cool!

"Give thanks to God and bless his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."  Psalm 100:4,5

Today's Recipe - Wonderful Easy Roasted Chicken

1 whole roasting chicken (hormone free and cage free is best and tastes better,too)
2 tablespoons organic olive or coconut oil
4 organic garlic cloves, crushed
seasoning mix:
     1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
     1/2 teaspoon black pepper
     1/2 teaspoon sea salt
     1/2 teaspoon Tony's Creole Seasoning

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Wash chicken; place on a rack in a roasting pan.  Cover in olive or coconut oil, slit skin in four places and slide in garlic.  Mix ingredients in seasoning mix and sprinkle over all sides of the chicken.  Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until chicken reached 180 degrees inside (use a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the chicken breast, removing the thermometer after you get the temperature reading). Your house will be filled with a wonderful aroma!

Option:  Toss baby carrots, quartered potatoes and onions in salt, pepper and olive oil.  Place in pan around the chicken before roasting.

The roasted chicken can be cut apart and served in pieces with vegetables or removed from the bones and shredded or cubed to make chicken noodle soup, chicken tacos or any other dish that uses cooked chicken.  Yummy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Talking through hard things...

After a good night's sleep, I enjoyed breakfast with my mom.  Then, over a second cup of coffee, we began talking about Dad and feelings that surprised us while he was in the hospital when he began having complications and then when he left us for heaven.  It's been hard to go through. We both have been dealing with guilt over things we didn't do for Dad in the hospital that we wish we had done.  Beth Moore's book, So Long Insecurity, has been wonderful to help me work through those feelings.  Mom is reading that book, too.  I look forward to hearing about the healing God will work.  I'm also going to go to Grief Share with her this Sunday night at her church.

I told Mom that God had been teaching me the last few months that what I consider a hard thing is not necessarily God's perspective of the same event.  I am at a place now where I am beginning to trust God again even though I am a little fearful of the hard things that He could allow.  At least I am no longer angry with God.  Believe me, it is such a relief!

II Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." God has comforted me and I was able to openly talk with Mom so we could both share what has been on our hearts without fear of judgment.  God is good!

It's hard to believe it's almost been a year since Dad passed away. I miss him but am so glad that if he can't be here with us, he is with the Lord, whom he loved and served.

Today's Recipe - Mexican Quiche Appetizer
Mom made this for breakfast today - it was one of Dad's favorites because of all the cheese.  It comes from the Colorado Cache Cookbook.

1/2 cup butter
10 eggs
1/2 cup flour (you can use gluten-free all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt
3 - 7 oz. cans of diced green chiles or 2-3 Anaheim chiles, grilled
16 oz. cottage cheese
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I use 2 cups)

Melt butter in 9 x 13 baking dish.  Whisk eggs in a large measuring cup.  Add next three ingredients, stir.  Add melted butter, chiles and cheese. Pour into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted in center. Cut while hot, but let cool slightly before removing from pan.  Makes 24 appetizers.

You can make this quiche ahead and refrigerate after it is baked and cooled.  To reheat, bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the road again...really!

Ok, so today's road trip should have taken about nine hours, but took thirteen instead.  My mom, daughter, granddaughter and I drove to drop my daughter and her daughter off at their home, pick up my mom's car and drive two hours to my mom's house.  We ran into lots of construction with two "put the car in park" waits, a long stretch of 45 miles per hour and rush hour in a major city.  Oh, boy!
All that to say, this will be a very short post.  I'm so sorry, but I am just out of energy for the day.  Hopefully, there will be better reading at Nanna's Kitchen tomorrow...after a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homemade Goodness...

I grew up on homemade food.  My mom rarely bought mixes and we raised our own vegetables, chicken (eggs) and beef.  Dad's hunting added venison to the menu.  Mom even made the jam we ate on toast or peanut butter sandwiches.  In fact, my youngest brother ate so many PB&J sandwiches that my mom taught him how to make jam. She got tired of making jam every three days!  The best food has always come out of Mom's kitchen and her recipes have inspired me and now my daughters to provide homemade tasty nourishing food to family and friends who sit at our tables.

Today's Recipe - Homemade Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almond slivers
1 cup raw pecans
 1/2 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix oats and nuts in a large bowl. Put syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until honey dissolves.  Pour syrup on oats and nuts and mix until all is well coated.  Put mixture on a large jelly roll pan that has been oiled and bake for 25 minutes.
Cool, break up, and add dried fruit of your choice. Wonderful with yogurt, with milk, or as a snack.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On the road again...

Our two year old granddaughter was so good during today's car trip and didn't hint of a meltdown until we were in the last half hour of the 11 hour trip. She has played and run since we got back and is currently being put to bed.  I plan on going to bed myself within the hour!  Our trip was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed loving on both my grandchildren and spending time with my girls.  My mom was excited to meet her great-grandson, as well.
I will leave you tonight with a delicious recipe from Angie Halten.

Today's Recipe - Seasoned Rice with Pecans
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup minced parsley (I use 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
8 cups cooked rice
2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon celery seeds ( I leave this out)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chopped pecans

Melt butter in a pan. Saute the parsley, onion and celery in the butter until transparent and soft. Next, add in the rice and mix together.  Add the remaining seasonings and pecans and mix together until combined and heated through.

Note:  I used half the butter and sauteed the vegetables. Then put uncooked rice and water to make 8 cups of cooked rice, the sauteed vegetables and the rest of the ingredients in my rice cooker and turned it on.  Delicious and easy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A fall Friday...

It is a beautiful southern fall Friday.  It is a day full of possibilities - most of them having to do with cuddling with my grandchildren. Nanna will be perfectly content!
Family time means yummy food.  We are eating healthier these days but will splurge in little ways during holidays. One of our favorite special occasion muffin recipes came from Taste of Home.

Today's Recipe - Sunshine Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
(Note: for gluten free muffins use GF flour)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon orange marmalade (I use peach or apricot jam)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add remaining ingredients; stir just until moistened (batter may be lumpy).  Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or until top of muffin springs back when lightly touched.  Makes 15-18 muffins.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road trip...

Today's post will be short and sweet. We spent 11 hours in the car with my mom, our middle daughter and our granddaughter to spend a few days with our youngest daughter. Tomorrow our oldest daughter and her husband and our grandson will join us for about 24 hours. It will be so much fun...just missing one son-in-law who is in seminary and couldn't get away.

Lana, dear, this recipe is for you -

Today's Recipe - White Chili

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 - 15 1/2 oz cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
14 1/2 oz can of chicken broth
8 oz chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream.  Serve immediately with tortilla chips.  Makes 7 servings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Martha Washington...

Recently, I was reading Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss (which is a really good book, by the way), and found this wonderful quote from Martha Washington. "I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.  We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds, wherever we go." 
I know that I thought for years that if circumstances were different then I would be happier.  It is such a relief to discover that that isn't true.  I can choose to be happy no matter what.

Finally pictures for my lamp project:


The two brass lamps after:

Spray Painting Tips:
Put the lamp chord in a sandwich baggy. Use some clear packing tape to cover the chord where it comes out of the lamp and overlap the tape on the baggy where the chord comes out of the baggy.  Make sure to fold over each end of the tape onto itself to make it easier to remove the tape when the new paint is dry.

Use shipping tape to cover the cream colored plastic piece at the top of the lamp.  Again, turn each end of the tape on itself to make it easier to remove later.

Take the lamp outside and place on a large piece of cardboard or a large plastic sheet.  Wear a protective mask to keep from inhaling the spray paint. Shake the can well - you will hear a ball rattling inside the can. Spray back and forth putting light coats on the lamp.  Continue spraying until the lamp is completely covered.  Make sure you tip the lamp by putting a finger where the light bulb goes as you paint so the whole surface gets covered.
Tip:  purchase one of the plastic handles shown below to use when spray painting.  It makes the job so much easier.

Let paint dry completely before removing tape and baggy.

Today's Recipe - Four Step Dinner (Next Food Star Chef Melissa D'Arabian
So many delicious options...

1.  Dredge your choice of meat in flour and spices.  Saute in olive oil until cooked through.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
2. Saute your choice of aromatics - onion, leeks or garlic in the same skillet.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
3.  Add liquid to skillet - chicken broth, vegetable broth, lemon juice, or red wine vinegar...simmer to reduce.
4.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to sauce and whisk until smooth.

Plate the meat, putting aromatics on top of meat.  Spoon sauce over meat and aromatics.  Serve with your choice of vegetables, potatoes or salad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The corner of an attic...

It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home. 
                                                                                    Proverbs 25:24

I enjoy having a lovely home.  In fact, I decorate with the specific purpose of making our home a very welcoming and nourishing place for anyone who comes through the door.  But, I have to be careful to make sure my relationship with my husband is a higher priority than what projects I am working on for the house. He is the one who should feel most welcome and nourished every day. When I become cranky or too tired to meet his needs because all my energies have been focused on what I want done, then I fall into the contentious wife category.  And that happens way too easily!
My husband and I share the gift of hospitality and we love having people in our home.  He appreciates what I have done to make it a comfortable place.  He loves when I figure out how I can reuse something we already have instead of spending money to buy something new.  He is a great help, too, because he can make beautiful and practical things out of scrap lumber.  I draw or show him a picture and he makes it.  I love that you can walk through any room in our house and see projects we have done together.  And I think that is the point - this is his house, too.  I don't want him to feel like it is my house and I allow him to live here. Hmm...the corner of an attic...

Today's Recipe - Bev's Corn Dip
This is delicious with Fritos Scoops and is perfect for watching football.

2 cans Mexicorn - drained
1 can Rotel (Mexican Festival w/ lime and cilantro), drained and juice saved
1 cup mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip)
1 cup sour cream
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
1 pinch sugar or stevia

Mix all ingredients, chill and serve.  If you want dip to be hotter, add reserved Rotel juice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So much to do...

I realize that working outside the home, even part-time, forces a homemaker to cut corners when it comes to deep cleaning the house, keeping closets organized and taking care of little home maintenance projects.  The things that have to be done, get done...most of the time.  The things that are not urgent get put off.  One of those little things is the grout between the tile in the bathroom.  I really don't think it was sealed when the tile was put in and it is an unfortunate 1/2 inch wide.  I spent several hours scrubbing with a grout brush that looks like a giant toothbrush.  I actually think the grout looks worse now that I've scrubbed it!  Aaaaaugh! 
I had a lot more fun spray painting two brass lamps that were looking a little poorly and a chair from the attic for my craft room.  I will take pictures of the lamps and post before and after pictures...probably tomorrow.  I'm done for today!

Today's Recipe - My New Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Multi-Grain Bread
Sliced Provolone or Swiss Cheese
Sliced deli meat
100% fruit raspberry jam
Real butter
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

Heat up a skillet on medium or a George Foreman grill. Spread jam on two pieces of bread, put cheese on one and meat on the other. Put the two pieces together and spread butter on the outside of the sandwich. 
Sprinkle the Creole Seasoning on both sides of the sandwich and cook.  Yum!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The aroma of eternity...

One of the things I love about fall is the delicious aromas, especially the ones having to do with apples, cinnamon and pumpkin. I pull out my fall scented candles and room sprays and relish the sensory pleasure for my nose and the images they pull up from my memory - cuddling under blankets on the couch, crunching fallen leaves, a fire in the chiminea on the patio, enjoying a cozy meal with friends and family.
As women we can determine the emotional "aroma" of our home.  Our attitude can make our home a welcome refuge or a place where others, including family, aren't sure they are loved - a sweet aroma or a selfish odor.
I like this quote from Dr. David Jeremiah and use it as a check for my daily attitudes.  "Would you rather have a life everyday with the smell of death all over it, or a life every day with the aroma of eternity poured all over it?"

Today's Recipe - Fragrant Fall Cabbage
From the Globe News

4 slices uncured bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced (I like to use a sweet yellow onion)
2 apples, halved, cored and sliced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly browned, but not crispy, about 4 minutes.  Add the cabbage, onion and apples.  Stir well to coat with bacon drippings.  Cover and cook until the vegetables and apples are limp, about 15 minutes.  Add the vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.  Stir well, then season with salt and pepper.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes.  The dish now can be served or held at this stage for an hour or more.  If holding, add several additional tablespoons of vinegar or water to keep it moist.

Be a sweet aroma this weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are you inspired?

I had sprayed the poster frame for my inspiration board a glossy white, but it was too white next to the woodwork and doors in my craft room.  So I went out to the garage and dug around on the paint can shelves until I found the right paint.  The result:  my inspiration board looks so much better in the room. Not bad for under $20!

Today's Recipe:  Peach Salsa

This salsa is excellent on any kind of meat or fish.

1/2 small sweet onion,diced
1 jar Smuckers Simply 100% Fruit Spread - peach or apricot
10-15 slices canned jalapenos, chopped

Saute onion in olive oil until soft.  Stir in fruit spread and jalapenos.  Bring to a boil.  Cool and serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just one of those days...

I have been so thankful today and it has to do with not feeling well.  Ok, I know that sounds a little odd, but let me explain.  About four years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease after several years of mysterious illnesses for which there were no explanations, which is very common for people with this disease. I had not been tested for Celiac even though it was noted in my charts that Mom had this hereditary disease.  Hmmm...
I also have Epstein Barr which causes chronic fatigue.  I never know when it will hit and wipe me out for several days.
Now for the thankful part - I am so thankful that I don't have to take medicine on a daily basis.  I could be dealing with much worse. And now that I am no longer working, if I don't feel well I can just sit in the recliner until I have enough energy to do something.  That is such a relief!  And I know what a blessing it is, as well, because there are people living with chronic illness that have to go to work to survive, even when they aren't feeling well.  My honey told me last night that I have been much more pleasant and he likes it!
I am also thankful for the First Place 4 Health Bible study that my hubby and I attended.  It got us on the right track with exercise and eating healthy balanced meals.  We both are feeling so much better and I have fewer days of illness, for which I am extremely thankful.
So, when I have one of those days when I'm not feeling well and don't have the energy to be creative, I count my blessings and tell the Lord what I am thankful for. 

We will have a conversation one of these days about the food and allergies/intolerance so many people live with.  Food does not have to be your enemy!  More to come...

Chicken Thighs With Chunky Tomato Sauce - my new favorite recipe! So yummy!
Southern Living

22 oz pkg frozen mashed potatoes (or you can make your own)
2 lb. skinned and boned chicken thighs
1 Tbsp Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
2 Tbsp butter, cut up
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Prepare the mashed potatoes and keep warm.  Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with Greek seasoning.  Cook chicken in hot oil in large skillet over medium-high heat 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium.  Add zucchini and onion to skillet, and saute 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.  Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, 7 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and next 3 ingredients.
Serve chicken over potatoes.  Spoon sauce over chicken and potatoes.  Serve immediately. 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Tis God-like to create...

"'Tis well to borrow from the good and the great. 'Tis wise to learn; 'tis God-like to create."  J.G. Saxe

One of the things I love most about being a full-time homemaker again is the time and energy to be creative - in food preparation and menus, household organization, crafts and decorating... Even thinking about a creative project gets me excited.  Could it be because I am imitating my creative heavenly Father? Hmm...
So when I saw several ideas for an inspiration board, I knew that would be one of the first projects I worked on for my craft room.  I had a large 2'x3' poster frame from which I removed the poster, the cardboard back and the glass.  I then bought a 2'x4' roll of cork (least expensive at Walmart) and fabric that coordinated with the color scheme of the room to cover the cork that I cut to size. (I saved the extra cork and fabric for future projects.)  The next step was to spray paint the poster frame a glossy white.  When that was dry, I put the covered cork and cardboard back into the frame and secured it with the tabs on the frame.  I hung it on the wall and began pinning on pictures of ideas, little notes that I had jotted ideas on, the above saying, pictures of my get the idea.  I rummaged through drawers and found clear and pink pushpins and pulled all the pink, white, and black tipped straight pins out of my sewing box to use on my inspiration board.  All for under $20! 
Another project I did was to reuse a picture I had in a closet that hung in my room when I was growing up.   The color of the frame didn't go with the color scheme of the room, so I got out some black acrylic paint and painted the frame leaving the inside ledge white.  It immediately looked so much better and it brought out the colors in the picture.  But the matte finish didn't look finished, so I brushed on some glossy Mod Podge. Perfect!  And I didn't spend any money!
I wanted some great curtains for the room but didn't want to spend a lot of money.  So I was excited when I found some Waverly black and white panels at Lowe's.  I ended up putting grommets in the top of them because they were a little floppy.  The end result is an elegant look for the room.  I will post pictures as soon as I can get my honey to teach me how to download pictures to the computer from my camera and my phone.

Putting grommets in curtain panel tops:
This sounds a little intimidating, but if you have a sharp pair of scissors and can cut a traced circle, you can do grommets.  You will need to buy a set of plastic grommets at Hobby Lobby or JoAnne's Fabrics. They come in several colors. You will need one set for each curtain panel.  The instructions are in the package along with a stencil template.  Some tips: only cut one circle at a time and put the grommet in before you cut another circle. Also, when putting grommets in more than one panel, use the first panel as a template to determine where the grommets go.  Then you only have to do the math once! You will be amazed at how easy it is. 

Today's Recipe - Good Soup
This recipe comes from my friend, Sharon, and is so easy and yummy!

2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
1/2 onion, diced and sauteed
1 can mild Rotel
2 cans Zesty mild diced tomatoes or Mexican stewed tomatoes
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
2 cups shredded Velveta cheese

Put all ingredients, except the cheese, into a crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Just before serving, stir in the cheese.  Serve with a layer of tortilla chips, sliced avocados and sour cream.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am part of a small group studying Priscilla Shirer's Bible study, Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted.  I knew when I saw the title of this study on the list offered by our women's ministry that I would be participating.  God has been taking me on a journey to understand that He has a different perspective on the "interruptions" that happen in life.  This has been a tough journey that really began with Celiac Disease and the years it took to diagnose, the realization of an empty nest three years ago, the helplessness I felt when our youngest daughter had a serious accident ten hours away, and then I was overwhelmed with the unexpected death of my wonderful dad three months later.  That was the hot water that showed me the "tea" of which my heart was made.  It was toxic.
I grew up hearing the story of Jonah and always thought, "Why was he so rebellious?  Why didn't he just do what God asked of him?"  I knew it was coming, but I still was shocked when the Spirit pointed out to me that I was not so different from that ancient prophet.  That I, too, had a rebellious heart and would willingly serve God as long as He didn't expect me to be uncomfortable in any way or let anything "bad" happen to my loved ones. Strangely enough, as soon as I understood that, I felt like the big fish of frustration and anger that I had been caught in spit me up onto dry land. It's time to move on in obedience to the works God has prepared for me.  Should be an interesting adventure!  I will keep you posted...

One of my favorite fall snack recipes -

Apricot Nut Popcorn
12 cups plain popped popcorn
1 cup raw nuts, any kind
3 tablespoons coconut oil or real butter
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons apricot jam
Put the popcorn in a large bowl and spread the nuts over the popcorn.  Melt the oil or butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the jam and honey.  Drizzle over the popcorn/nut mix and stir carefully to coat the popcorn and nuts.  Spread on a jelly roll pan.  Bake at  300 for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Let cool and break into bite-size pieces.

Decorating Idea

I love having fresh flowers in my house, but they don't fit into my budget.  So, I wandered out into my yard to see what interesting plant material could be found.  We have bushes along the back fence that send up branches of deep red leaves in the fall. I simply cut 12 - 8 inch branches and pulled the leaves off the stems below the water line.  I've had the "bouquet" on my coffee table for a week and it looks just as fresh and beautiful as when I brought it in the house.  Not bad for free!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A great day to start...


I tend to be a perfectionist, so beginning this blog has been put off again and again.  But, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to start posting on a beautiful fall day with such a great date - the perfect 10.  So...welcome to my kitchen! The little details on this blog page will change just as the details in my physical kitchen change when great ideas come my way.  There will also be pictures, as soon as I can figure out how to get them here.  So much to learn, so little time!
Fall has always been my favorite time of year.  I love the colors of the changing leaves, the warm golden sunshine and the crisp morning air, the cinnamon aroma of fall scents, enjoying great soup recipes and getting to wear the sweaters and jackets that have been patiently waiting in my closet. The last three years I have begun to realize that I am living in the fall season of my life and am very grateful for a God who is so gracious and patient with me as I adjust to the empty nest and learn to recognize and love the blessings He has given me during this season. God has provided my husband and me the opportunity to revitalize our relationship without the distraction of child-rearing.  It gets sweeter every day as I remember why I fell in love with this man in the first place.  And we now have grandchildren...they are my treasure and my heart is constantly overwhelmed with love for them.  I wish they lived closer...
In the meantime, I quit my part-time job at the church and am now a full-time homemaker.  My first project was turning one of the bedrooms into a craft/sewing room.  That, of course, entailed the cleaning and reorganizing of several closets before I could begin the creative stuff - painting, curtains and re-purposing items from around the house to make the room functional.  It has been great fun and is far from finished thanks to the Dave Ramsey way of financing such a project.  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining - even though I love to get projects done, I don't like debt and that actually gives me time to scour the second hand shops in town to find unique items (like the fabulous fuchsia chair I discovered in a consignment shop) that will give the room those creative touches.  It also gives me more time to look for ideas in blog world...such great ideas and it's free to look! I can't wait to make the first craft project in my room with my girls.
Ok, I don't like reading long posts - I prefer to see pictures or recipes. So, I leave you today with this wonderful fall recipe from Colorado Colore:

Creamy Autumn Vegetable Soup
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
6 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup butter
4 zucchini, sliced
3 medium carrots, sliced
14 oz can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup half and half
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped  (I frequently use 1/2 tsp dried basil)

Cook onions and garlic in butter in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat for 8 minutes or until onions are tender but not brown, stirring frequently.  Stir in the zucchini and carrots.  Add the broth and water and mix well.  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low.
Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.  Process the soup in batches in a food processor until slightly chunky.  Return to saucepan and stir in half and half and salt and pepper.  Cook just until heated through, stirring frequently.  Stir in the basil just before serving.  Makes 8 servings.

Yummy with fresh hot cornbread muffins!