Sunday, June 29, 2008

Celebrating Annie's 1st Birthday

Today is a special day! It is a day to recognize that God has allowed us to spend one whole year with you, Annie. You brought us so much joy in our hearts, when you arrived. We walked into the room at the hospital, met you, and immediately, you stole our hearts.
Now, this evening we celebrated your 1st birthday. Your smile, your bright and shining eyes, your bit of shyness...we love it all.
Watching you enjoy your birthday cupcakes and candles, was our privilege. The chocolate cake you so carefully picked up and ate, was just like "you" and your delicate and thorough personality.
It seemed only right, for a grandma to give you, your first baby doll. "Baby Katie" can be given a bottle and even a pacifier. Oh, the blessing of a little, precious granddaughter. Happy 1st Birthday!!
Looking forward to watching you grow up and loving you through all of your days.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A New Use for Ceramic Tiles

A few months ago, I saw a great idea in my "Somerset Life" magazine. It was a new use for the ceramic tiles in the local home improvement store. Since my memory, at times seems to be getting worse and sticky notes do not look all that good on my kitchen cupboards, it struck me as a perfect idea to go this route. The article did stress the need to use only the high gloss tiles. My daughter and I made a trip to the local Home Depot to purchase the 3 tiles that I needed. My total bill was $4.45, which helped me realize that this idea would be a good ones to use for gifts for friends, also. Especially, those who might be struggling with their memories , too. I brought them home, got out my trusty glue gun, a few embellishments, and I then I decorated them however I wanted to. The stands that I put them on, I had purchased previously at the dollar store and the craft store.
Since my kitchen seems to be the place that I spend alot of time and the gathering space for family and friends, I decided to place my decorated tile on the counter at the one side of my kitchen. The other two will be used for gifts in the future.
A dry erase marker works well to write on this tile. A wet paper towel works well to wipe it clean. Also, I sometimes use my spray bottle with water and vinegar to clean it. Either way, it wipes off easily. I use it for so many different messages, notes to me, reminders to my family and special verses that help get me through my days.
If you ever want to replace your sticky notes on the cupboards, or if you need a gift for a friend, this might be an idea you could try. It would even be fun, to write a message to your friend and put it outside of her back door. What a blessing it would be, to know someone is thinking of you, in such an unique way. Judy

There are so many different ways to decorate these tiles. Whatever, your decorating style, and whatever your color scheme, the choices are endless. My kitchen happens to be pink, white and green, so thus my choice of embellishments.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More detail to go with the last two previous blogs

Okay, by now you are absolutely convinced, that I have NOT mastered this posting of blogs. I cannot believe that I have just totally messed up the last two postings. They were all to be just one posting...and here I am on the third one. How in the world do I expect you to be able to put this all together? I have discovered that once you hit the enter key, it is gone. Your posting is done. So now, you are probably more concerned than ever, about me and my well-being. Please be sure that I will get this down, and hopefully soon.
Now, I want to share the "Easy Beef Stroganoff"recipe with you, so in case you ever need to create a quick meal, you can try it. This recipe is for 6 people. I sauteed frozen, diced onions and baby bella mushrooms . In a separate bowl I mixed 1 1/2 cups of sour cream with 1/2 cup of dry white wine. The recipe then calls for 2(17-ounce) packages of Hormel Always Tender Beef Tips. You follow the easy instructions of microwaving each package for 4 minutes, let set for two minutes, then add to the sauteed mushrooms and onions. Add the sour cream and white wine, and you will have a delicious stroganoff sauce. I serve this over buttered noodles, mashed potatoes of rice. Add a salad and a green vegtable, and there you have it, a dinner ready to serve.
The photo of the "Mud Pie" that is pictured below in one of the previous postings, is the dessert that I served with my dinner. It took me about 10 minutes to create, and it too, tasted so good on a warm, summer evening. I often make one ahead of time and keep it in my freezer, in the case of friends stopping by. I used a "Oreo" pie crust from the grocery store. I added on box of coffee ice cream. Smoothed the ice cream and added cool whip. I drizzled chocolate syrup over the top, and put it back in the freezer until serving time. I always serve it with almonds on the side. Hopefully, these ideas might help make your life less stessful, as they do mine. Judy

Detail to go with previous posted blog

Saturday, June 21, was a beautiful day, a fun kind of day and a very busy day!! It started out with a brunch on the porch. A "Mother's Day" gift that I gave to my daughter. She was to invite a few friends to brunch on the porch, and I would cook and serve it. All of the girls were busy mothers, so it was a real treat for me to serve them in this way. The one mother was there on her first outing with her brand new, 3 week old little girl. They all relaxed, shared and laughed together in this rare Saturday morning happening. I loved seeing their joy of being together. They were where I felt I had just been, only a few short years ago.

Saturday afternoon, I had the privilege of attending my nephew's future wife's bridal shower. It too, was an elegant and filled with joy occasion. The food was delicious and I loved being with so many of my family and friends.

Saturday evening, was another porch event at my home. A dinner for some of John's family. You see, I love having people into my home. I loved sitting at the table and eating together. But, as you can see, I often have very little time to prepare. I truly believe in creating simple meals, that taste like they took long to prepare. This leads me to share with you a recipe I found, that is so good and yet so easy and quick to make. It is from another one of my favorite cookbooks, "From Storebought to Homemade" by Emyl Jenkins. The entree' that I made was "Easy Beef Stroganoff". It serves 6 but I doubled it.

Saturday Brunch on the Porch, Dinner on the Porch, and a Bridal Shower in the afternoon

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fun, delicious ideas for sharing "July 4th" with friends and neighbors

Whether it is for a "thinking of you" gift, a hostess gift, a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift or just a "July 4th" celebration, here are a few quick, delicious and inexpensive ways, to show that you care. "July 4th" has always been a special holiday, celebrating our wonderful country and ALL of those who have fought and are fighting for our freedom. Any time of the year, is a good time to share food from the kitchen, with others. Nothing is better than warm chocolate muffins, just out of the oven.
For these chocolate,chocolate chip muffins, you will only need the dry mix, and 1/2 cup of milk. As soon as you remove them from the oven, I put a peanut butter Hershey kiss or a Andes Mint on top of each muffin. In a short time, they will melt. Then I take the back of a soup spoon and smooth the melted chocolate over the top of each muffin. We think it is the perfect touch to these muffins. They do freeze well. Add a small flag, and it is a special gift.
The apple cinnamon muffins are just as quick and easy. The dry mix is added to 1/2 cup of milk, stirred and then baked. After removing them from the oven, let cool. Take a sharp knife and cut a small "x" in the top of each one. Put whipped cream cheese icing in a small zip lock bag and cut a tiny hole in the bottom corner. Squeeze a small amount into each small "x" on each muffin. The combination of these two flavors, is so good.

Baking quick breads in empty soup cans is something I do quite often. I bake this tasty cranberry bread in the soup can, let it cool after removing from the oven, then decorate the can. Perfect quick gift for anyone. My friend Sally did a great job of decorating this can. I added a flag and it looks just like "July 4th". Now you can see how all of these muffins and quick breads will be ready in minutes, and those you give them to will remember you for a long time. Hope you will find some creative ways to celebrate the summer holiday of "July 4th", it will be here before we know it . Judy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grandmothering joys in the midst of a busy life

The weekend has been a busy one, ever since Matthew and Ashley have arrived from Dallas. It is sooooo good to be together as a family again. Lots of activities, meals to prepare, conversations and laughter,and in the midst of it all,is my over whelmingly special privilege of having many small "grandma moments" to store in my mind and treasure in my heart. Rick graduated from Middle School on Friday. We celebrated, by me making his favorite "strawberry shortcake", which we all ate together at lunch that day. Congratulations Rick!! I am proud of you and so thankful for the kind, caring guy that you are to me.
And, then there is the little, growing, curious and genuinely Sangrine boy, Christopher. He is so curious, wanting to know how everything works, and always wondering if food is involved in anyway. The tin that he found in this photo had candy in, and he desperately needed help to get the tin open and retreive the candy contents from inside. Once again, I was there to help. Oh, the disappointment when he realized that the corn candy was too old and too hard to eat.
Friday afternoon, everyone went swimming at their cousin's pool. I stayed home with Annie, so that she could get her nap. Oh, the joy of that precious time we had together. She went right to sleep for me. Both of us had the privilege of a nice, cool afternoon nap. When everyone came back from the pool, this photo was taken without my knowledge of it happening. It is one I will treasure for a long time, because I know how quickly these "grandma moments" will disappear. Thank you God, for every single one of them. Judy

This is one of the rare times that all of the grandchildren sat down together, for a group photo. With four grown-ups in the background creating a true circus show, the picture actually turned out to be a presentable one. Oh, how I look forward to meeting my next "little blessing from Heaven" in September.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Grandma's legacy lives on.

Grandma, This dish looks just like yours did, those many years ago. It is
amazing how one little box of " Danish pudding "can bring back a flood of memories. I remember the linens, the china and the crystal on your beautiful table. I remember the delicious food you served to your "bed and breakfast" guests each morning, and always with a warm ,gracious smile.
And yes, Grandma, I also remember that you would have me go out to your rose garden and pick some roses to grace the table as a centerpiece.
How did you do it all, Grandma? The farm, the gardens, the "bed and breakfast", the mounds of laundry each day, the meals, the canning of foods from your garden,and all with a song in your heart, at least that is what I remember. Thank you for life long lessons that you taught me, as a young teenage girl. And, tonight as I serve the strawberry "Danish pudding" to my family, I will once again, thank God for you. Judy


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