Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I love the Holidays!!

I am very happy about this Thanksgiving since my daughter Christina and her husband Suj and my grandson Kavi are currently living a half mile from here! The first holiday since we moved to Alabama where we didn't have to make a 9 hour drive to Florida (nor Christina having to make the drive here) We are also having some friends over as well, and they are some of the nicest people you could ever know. We knew them in Florida and they also made the move to this area in the last few years.
Life has changed for the better for me as you can imagine! I have seen Christina and Kavi almost every single day since they moved here.Fun, fun, fun, let me tell you! Kavi is very happy to be living so close to us too, you can tell. He loves seeing us all the time and he has two good little kid friends that live across the street and around the corner that he loves to see and play with. Every so often I say to him in an excited voice, "Kavi, guess what??" "You live in Alabama!" to which he adds, "FOREVER!!" and gives me a really big hug!!
My crafting has been on the back burner for the past month with excitement directed towards the family and also having a sinus infection that knocked me for a loop. Actually, it was the antibiotic that made me feel worse than just the sinus problem. Way to many trips to the little girls room and exhausting dizziness. Not cool. I am all better now, though and raring to go with Thanksgiving and getting some hats and scarves listed in my etsy shop and mailing some to an awesome blog friend (who I met in real life and LOVE her) Angela, in Mississippi, who has a booth in an antique mall.
Hope you have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all your encouraging posts and comments through the year which has been such a blessing to me! Hugs to you all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thank God for Pinterest!

Hopefully, you have all discovered the joys of pinterest! I guess, for those of you who never heard of it, it is like a virtual bulletin board where you can post various pictures and recipes that were found on the web. Believe me, it is fun and addicting.
I have especially enjoyed the recipe aspect of it, as I am always looking for inspiration to liven up our family's dinner time. Several years ago, the acquisition of cable tv and the newly formed FOOD network helped me out of the cooking doldrums, then a few years after that, came my way, followed by just plain googling for ideas for simple dinners. And, as of late, pinterest has rocked my world.
Last week, I found 4 new recipes to try out, heavy on crock potting and surprisingly they were all a big hit! Of course, I tweak just about everything I make, looking at recipes as more like guidelines rather than hard and fast rules.

Zuppa Toscana
Today I made this, only in a regular pot rather than a crockpot and it was absolutely delicious. My husband raved about it and I really loved it as well! I used half and half instead of heavy cream and mustard greens instead of kale!

Crock Pot Falafels
I made this last week and also loved it! I would season the falafels a little more than the recipe called for next time with fresh garlic, onion and cilantro, but they really crisped in the crock pot and I made a yogurt sauce with onion, garlic powder, parsley and lemon juice and it was a good accompaniment.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
This was also yummy! I substituted neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese to lower the fat in this recipe! And added half a bag of peas!

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
made crock pot chicken and dumplings, adding a bag of mixed veggies. delicious!

Smoky Red lentils
I used Tandoori spice mixture from an international market instead of the paprika and it was scrumptious!

So... get your butts over to pinterest and get some inspiration of your own, you won't be sorry!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An owl in a tree and tea kinda day

Today was one of my favorite kind of Fall days. It was rainy, windy and chilly and it made the leaves on the trees even more vibrant yellow and orange. Right before dusk, I drove to some nearby stores and on the way there I had the thought that it felt like the kind of day to spot an owl in a tree. A few Autumns ago, my daughter Jenny saw a big one in a tree on our corner with the street light shining right on it. It was gone by the time I ventured out to take a look but I thought it was pretty cool that it was right in our downtown neighborhood. Last year in the Fall I spotted an owl in a tree as Ray and I were driving on the highway and it was right before dusk that day . (umm...I never saw one , but I still could imagine seeing one on a day such as today)
I love dusk in the Fall because of how the golden hues of sunset enhance the warm colors of the foliage. For some reason I find that time to be so warm and cozy
We have officially transitioned into the hot tree drinking zone in this house and I just love it. The heat in our house hasn't been working too well (waiting for the heat guy to get a part he ordered for us) so several steaming cups a night help warm the bones. Our favorite around here is Twinings Decaf Irish Breakfast tea with some fresh ginger and local honey. Just hits the spot!

Sweet Home Alabama

Kavi having fun at the Corn Maze
Christina's neighborhood
That's her house on the corner!
So, it has been almost three weeks since my daughter and her family have moved here from Florida and I have been pinching myself everyday to make sure it is not a dream. For the first six months, they are living only a half mile away, so I have been able to see Stina and my grandson everyday! Last weekend we all went to a Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze and Kavi had a blast! The ride up there was gorgeous with all the fall colors on the hills and we stayed until the golden sunset.
I am really enjoying this Fall, which is already my favorite season, but having family here has been the icing on the cake!