I’m Still Here!

September 14, 2010

Hi everyone!  Miss me?  I know my blogging lacks….consistency. But I look at other blogs, and it’s tantamount to trying on bathing suits with Heidi Klum- I’m intimidated.  But I will persist!

I have also had a stinky summer.  Two deaths in my family, helping with funerals and cleaning and hosting relatives, lots of driving, and right before the kids came home from grandparents’ house my hubby hurt himself at work and has been way-laid on bed rest and loopy pain drugs!!  So I’m striving to “let go, and let God.”  At times you really need to just surrend and realize you have no control over life.

Moving on- school has started, and I found a great granola bar recipe.  I tried it last night- in true Sam-fashion, my changes are: grape nuts and milled flax seed instead of wheat germ (didn’t have any in the pantry), 1 cup of Craisins for the dried fruit (decided to guess an amt.) and I threw in a small handful of choc. chips I had left over from another recipe. Yummo!  Next I will make a tropical dried fruit and nut bar with coconut.

If you still have real tomatoes available, I suggest making pasta sauce. The other week I made tomato sauce the crockpot.  I didn’t follow a recipe- I just blanched*, peeled, seeded** and chopped up tomatoes, threw them in the crockpot with some sautéed (in olive oil) onion, green pepper, garlic and carrot (all diced in food processor), some tomato paste, fresh rosemary, s&p, bit of sugar, Italian seasoning, red wine and a few meatballs for flavor.

* Cut a shallow X in the bottom of the tomatoes, drop in a pot of boiling water for 15-45 seconds, then quickly drop in ice water.  the peel will slide right off. Works the same with peaches.

** Just squeeze a cut tomato till the seeds squoosh out!

If you have access to REALLY good real tomatoes, I suggest making an open-faced tomato and feta sandwich with basil.

It’s quite scientific- mix some feta with mayo, pepper and chopped basil.  Slather the mixture on your bread (this was homemade bread), place a layer of tomato on top- CHOW DOWN!

Back soon with a new post- I want to show you some of the junk wonderful new treasures I acquired this summer.



September 22, 2008

Well, today is the first day of Fall, school has been in session for a few weeks, and I’ve been back from my trip for a week.

The trip- that was the big tour of France, then it was going to be Scotland, then a road trip through the Bayou.  Until Hurricane Gustav, which threw a wrench into the plans- AGAIN.

So, my stepmom and I got in her car and drove from Atlanta to Alabama, to Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio (and back to Atlanta).  Over a span of 12 days- and 2,000+ miles.

It was GREAT fun- we had a general idea of where we were going to go, but we were very loose and adaptable.  As we went we met people, talked to them, got advice, and traveled from there.

I’ll update this post and list all the places I visited- right now the HEROES preview and season premiere is on!!!  Gotta go………

Outta Here

July 16, 2007

It’s late, but I’m up doing some last minute things before we leave tomorrow on vacation.  I’m really a pack-and-have-everything-ready-before-you-go-to-sleep person, but I asked DH to help me carry some heavy things to the car, and he convinced me to wait until early in the morning.  I’m not comfortable with that, but I’ll do it.  I like going to sleep with a clear “conscience” or whatever the word is, that everything is finished.

I’ve been going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays- I’m happy to say my daughter told me she likes beets better than potatoes!!!  We’ve been buying little beets and roasting them whole in the oven.  They look like baby rats- seriously!!- with the tails and everything.  I’ll post a picture when DH downloads it off his camera.

I also picked blueberries alone Saturday morning- more berry therapy after VBS!!!!  I can’t wait till I can make my blueberry cherry jam– it reminds me of Michigan.

Tomorrow we are off for MI- with a stop at a friend’s house in Ohio, so no non-stop 14+ hour trip.

I’ll write if I can- I know I can go to the tiny little town library and use the computer.  I’m taking some sewing projects to work on up there.  I hope to make a skirt out of old jeans- see directions in the book Alternacrafts or here.

I guess I should try to get some sleep.  Bye!


Strawberry Therapy

May 11, 2007

I’ve had one of those weeks- the kind you wish you could get back some how?  Dealing with my MIL and all her “stuff,” etc.  Trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $&@#.  A no-win situation when the person who needs help fights you tooth and nail!  As with all of life, it can only be fixed by- da-da-da-DAAAAA!!!  GOD!!!  I just pray that nothing tragic happens to her and he will change her heart.  God was the only thing keeping me strong and sane these past 7 days……

So, what did I do today to soothe my nerves? Some Strawberry Therapy!!  I went berry picking at Adams Acres in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.


It was great- warm day in the 80*s, breezy, very quiet.  I had some nice “alone” time.  The fields were brimming with berries- I made one pass down a row and picked this much.

I plan on making jam at some point this season, but tonight I will make an awesome dessert- strawberry pudding.  The name leaves a LOT to be desired- I’d rather call it “strawberry delight” or something.  And if you use low-fat or no-fat and sugar products it’s not that bad health-wise.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!  Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Pudding

1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg. strawberry jello
3 boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 c. cold milk
1 c. sour cream
1 large container cool whip (I used 2- 8 oz. containers)
1 box vanilla wafers
Combo first 3 ingredients in saucepan and heat until jello dissolves. Set aside.Mix pudding with milk. Fold in sour cream and 3/4 cool whip (I did 8 oz.).Use a 9×13 dish. layer vanilla wafers in dish and then put layer of pudding mix, then layer strawberries (including liquid)- continue to layer wafer, pudding and strawberries until all 3 ingredients are used up. Put in fridge to let the strawberry layer jell- about 15 minutes. Top with remaining cool whip. (I add fresh sliced strawberries on top as decoration.) Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

I saw this as I drove through the country- cracked me UP!! Nope, can’t tell at all what’s there.

I’m working on a baby quilt for a friend- SHHHH!!! It’s a secret!  And now I’m behind because of the MIL fiasco…… But anyway- this is the mock-up.  I’m still trying to decide what else to do- I want it to be baby-sized, which is much bigger than what i have so far. Work in progress!

 The kids are hungry and that dessert won’t make itself…. talk to you later!



April 20, 2007

All kinds of stuff is going on right now- Cursillo is next week, my MIL is in the hospital with a blood clot, little boy has a touch of stomach “thing”- if it’s not one thing it’s another.  And the ultimate sadness across the state at VA Tech.  We all need to be grateful for the blessings God gives us.

I did get the McD Wizard of Oz dolls-the good news is, besides just getting them is that the manager gave me the WHOLE display background too AND sold it to me for $5!!! (I think it was under the table- just a hunch- whatever)  Unfortunately Glenda the Good Witch is missing, so I’m inquiring at another McD to buy their display.  I want a complete set!  I did a quick Google search- people are crazy for them….. I saw a single doll on eBay for $9.99!!!

Here are a couple of diversions-

printed linen fabric– I’m a sucker for pansies- the clover looks like crown vetch to me- very pretty too

Beautiful site– whether you know French of not

Sugared flowers– I say I’m going to sugar my violets every year- maybe this year

Off to face the day!

Free at last!!!

April 9, 2007

Well after a hectic Lent and jam-packed Easter, the kids are off to grandparents’ and I’M here home with hubby for four days!!!  I need to decide what on my monstrous to-do list I will get done……..


One awesome thing I made for Easter- actually my Dad’s birthday- was an ice cream cake, or bombe.  I sort of winged it and it turned out great.  Here is a picture- sorry for the messy plate.

I lined a metal mixing bowl with plastic wrap and then brownies, all pieced to fit.  Then I filled the center with Breyer’s raspberry chip ice cream (MMmmmm!!!!). After it was re-frozen overnight I put it on a plate, iced it with Cool Whip and drizzled chocolate over the top to look fancy.  IT was a big hit.

Also on the Easter table was  60 minute rolls- my mom sent me the recipe and they are HEAVEN!!! They taste like Ukrop’s White House rolls or good southern rolls and they really only take 60 minutes- from start to cooling rack. AND it makes 2 dozen!!!!!

60 minute rolls

For Saturday night I made linguine with clam sauce– thanks John for the recipe! It rocked! (It’s the closest to his mother’s he could find for me- )  Easter dinner included Smithfield spiral ham, roasted fingerling potatoes, cold dilly beans (they are sort of pickled), spinach with hot bacon dressing, the rolls, deviled eggs, and later the bombe and Is it Really Better Than S*x? Cake by Paula Deen (bad girl!).

I guess I’ll go make myself another ham sandwich for dinner!  DH will be home soon…… talk to you later!!

Thought I'd post on my last night in Atlanta, Georgia. The kids and I have had a great time.

Today we went to the High Museum downtown to see the Gee's Bend quilts– very cool.

Tomorrow we start the long trek back home for Easter weekend. I hope you have a meaningful rest of Holy Week and a joyful Easter Sunday!