22 September 2014

Apple Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding and P.E.O.

Tonight's meeting was the first meeting of our new year.  I co-hosted the meeting with Peggy Grote, who was the chapter president when I moved to St. Charles.  Such a welcoming lady!  We met at the First Christian Church and had our social hour first.  I served up the warm cinnamon roll bread pudding and poured a little of Deb Othic's Warm Vanilla Sauce and the combination was magical!  So many compliments on the dessert!

P.E.O. is so very important to me.  I joined in Jefferson City (Chapter FS) and instantly became friends with all the members.  Attending meetings and sharing programs and memories were some of the highlights of my time in Jefferson City.  When I was recuperating from my double mastectomies, P.E.O. was a godsend to Bob and my family during that time as they supplied meals, cards, did errands, cleaned house, made phone calls, whatever they could think of to do to help out. When Ashley moved to Indiana, I made sure she found a P.E.O. chapter in her new community.

When we moved to St. Charles, one of the first things I did before I even moved was to find a chapter in St. Charles.  The first person I met was Liz Kallestad who worked hard to get me to one of their meetings.  Again, it was instant friendship with the ladies in this chapter (KQ).  I haven't attended as many meetings as I wanted, but I have done our Dinner Out and our Book Club.  I promised myself that when I retired, I would find more time for this chapter.

The recipe as I made it for tonight:

3 c half and half
4 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 T good vanilla
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored ad chopped into 1" pieces
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 lbs of Tasty Kake premade cinnamon rolls, cut into 2" pieces

Heat oven to 300.  Grease a 9 by 13" pan.  Whisk together the half and half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a very large bowl until smooth and well incorporated.  Add in the apples, cream cheese and cinnamon rolls.  Gently toss until the cinnamon rolls absorb the liquid.  Be gentle so that the bread doesn't turn to mush.  Pour into the greased pan.  Bake until the custard is set, about 60-70 minutes.  The top will be lightly browned.  Cut and serve with Warm Vanilla Sauce. Serves 15. 

Warm Vanilla Sauce
(Thank you Deb Othic!)

Freshly ground nutmeg.  It is so fragrant and pretty!

1 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
2 c hot water
1/4 c butter
2 t nutmeg
2 t good vanilla

Combine sugar and cornstarch, slowly incorporate into hot water.  Boil 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in butter, vanilla and nutmeg.  Yum.

I'll be making this again. 

18 September 2014

Updated News for New Town Residents

New Town Residents, please read the following updates on the rezoning issue between the City of St. Charles and TR Hughes.  Please come to a meeting Sunday at the Town Hall to learn more about the next City Council meeting.  See you at 7:00!  Thank you, Sheila, for getting this in print!

Good day Newts!
The day is almost here, September 23rd, when the City of St Charles council members will vote on the rezoning of the 92 acres next to Boschertown Road and Island Harbor Drive.  This vote changes the property from mixed-use zoning to single family zoning. 
Come to the Town Hall on Sunday, the 21st, at 7 p.m., to hear progress reports and ask your questions.   
Here’s a brief synopsis on the progress to date:
1.      Created a petition to encourage the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) to vote against the zoning changes.  Signed by almost 900 resident Newts as well as the UCBA businesses in New Town!   Filled the auditorium at Lindenwood with Newts and passionate representatives who spoke eloquently against this zoning change.  The Planning and Zoning Commission sent the proposal to the City Council with a recommendation of non-approval!  SUCCESS!  Thanks to all who participated in that meeting.
2.     Encouraged Newts to attend the City Council meeting held on September 2nd.  Again, Newts rallied with huge support and filled the Chambers!  That evening instead of gaining support from the Council members, we lost support.  More Council members that night signed their name onto the document advocating passage, even though P&Z had recommended and voted to keep the original zoning!
3.     A group of Newts then regrouped to strategize on the next move(s).  Until this group could form a strategy, these Newts decided to keep the group small in numbers.   
4.     Searched for an attorney to guide concerning any legalities on affecting rezoning/new urbanism issues.  Mr Gary Feder, of Husch-Blackwell, was instrumental in winning a similar zoning issue in Dardenne Prairie.  A small group of Newts donated monies for his retainer. 
5.     We anticipated convincing the Orchard Farm School Board to ‘go it alone’ with asking for rezoning versus marrying the zoning with a new housing development.  The Board, while some members were sympathetic to the request, overall voted not to withdraw from the current zoning request. 
6.     One of the ‘finds’ after many hours of researching City documents is the City Comprehensive Plan of 2002, with an update in 2012.  This document speaks about ‘Smart Code’ being utilized in the New Town at St. Charles development and the Streets of St. Charles. Mentions that The City should continue to seek ways to incorporate form-based code in the Zoning Ordinance and encourage its use for major developments and redevelopments.
7.     Wide media coverage was vigorously discussed.  Two spokesmen were elected to speak and ensure our message was positive and we supported the city's commitment to planned development within New Town and the city of St. Charles. The message is we will be disappointed if the zoning is changed.
8.     A twitter and Facebook campaign has started and supplements our fliers. This Facebook page provides a repository of information to interested citizens of St. Charles.
9.     Newts developed a branding architecture that links New Town and the St. Charles community. This has resulted in merging our key messages into the flier we see today.
The flier on Benefits of Mixed-Use Zoning is posted on this web page.  We encourage you to forward to any friends in the City of St Charles.

15 September 2014

Cookie Cutter Swap

I participated in a cute swap hosted by Deb at the Garage Sale Gal blog.  We were to take an antique cookie cutter and make it into a cute Fall or Halloween decorative item.  I found my cookie cutter at Artichoke Annie's Antique Mall.  Such a great place to find all kinds of fun things!  Check it out if you are in Columbia, Missouri, anytime soon!

Deb sent the cutest box.  Even the colors were fallish and the label was decorated with fall stickers.

 The box was lined with orange tissue paper.  After you opened the tissue, you saw....

This cute subway art for fall!  Then there was a card, a beautiful homemade card! and loads of goodies to unwrap and savor.

 This was what the swap was all about... these darling cookie cutters transformed into tiny works of art.  Here is the one Deb made for me.  I love it!

 Here are other wonderful goodies found in the box, these cute tissues...
 Scented pin, alphabet stickers, fall stickers, a cute hanging flower in fall fabrics, cute push pins, tiny stamps...
 An antique postcard, two darling playing cards with fall scenes on the back...

 This darling can which was filled with candy corn and the cute candy corn M and Ms.

 Isn't this package adorable?  It is wrapped in an old dress pattern.  Loved that idea!

 This adorable metal box perfect for storing a cute pebble or seeds, so tiny and perfect for the small space on my fireplace mantle.

 Loved this darling leaf candle holder and cute fall candle.  I placed it beside Bob's cigar box, and I love that it looks so warm and inviting there!

The sweet cookie cutter is sitting by two wine decanters from Europe that Bob purchased when he was there in the 70s.  They have made it all that time and have been in every house we own.  Love how cute the cookie cutter looks with them!

 Thank you, Deb, for the attention to detail you gave with this wonderful swap box.  I hope you love yours as much as I love mine!

14 September 2014

Naturescaping Open House

Today Bob and I enjoyed going to an Open House for naturescaping.  This is a landscaping project using mostly native Missouri plants.  The intent is to educate citizens about what native plants do for conservation of butterflies and birds.  The gardens on tour belong to Sue and Andy Leahy of Brentwood.  Sue happens to be an advisor for the Columbia College campus where Bob is the director.

The St. Louis Audubon Society had tour guides to walk you through the garden and explain the various species of flowers and to answer questions.  It was a wonderful tour and we both learned a lot about native Missouri flowers.

I took photos of my favorites, hoping someday to include these plants in my own garden.

This is Cardinal Flower.  What a fun flower to have in the garden!!

This is American Beauty berry.  Those purple berries really show up!

This is trumpet vine.  My grandmother had this growing in her backyard.

This is goldenrod and butterfly bush together.  What a pretty combination of flowers.

Sue gave me some great advice about my gardening.  As plants I have die out, replace them with a native Missouri plant.  I love this idea, as I don't want to go and pull out plants that are growing just fine.  This year we planted purple coneflowers.  We need to replace a few plants that didn't make it and I am hoping we can add a coreopsis, smooth asters, butterfly weed, or american beauty berry. 

One of the best sources that Sue shared was Missouri Wildflowers Nursery at www.mowildflowers.net.  This site will answer many questions about planting Missouri wildflowers in your garden.

13 September 2014

New Town: Bash at the Farm

For the last month New Town residents have been taking up the cause of asking the City of Saint Charles to vote against allowing a popular developer to rezone land that is already zoned for the higher density homes like New Town.  Unbeknownst to the residents, the Founder, WBI, has sold acreage out of New Town and asked the developer not to connect it to New Town, which is against all principles of a New Urbanist design.  What the motive is for WBI to do this is unknown, but what is for certain is the Founder does not represent New Town residents' best interests.

The New Urbanist design, walkable neighborhoods of mixed use areas, many public spaces, community institutions framed with lovely architecture, designed landscaped areas, shops and offices within walking distance of home, playgrounds, sustainable living right in your neighborhood, isn't a lifestyle but a quality of life issue.  NewUrbanism.org says that "taken together, these add up to a high quality of life well worth living, creating places that enrich, uplift, and inspire the human spirit."

New Town is just that, and proof of that was the Bash at the Farm event held at New Town's own farm, GlenMark.  GlenMark is owned by Glenda and Mark Ell, two well-known and loved residents of New Town.  The Bash is a fall event where residents of Saint Charles and others, come to listen to good music, eat, drink, dance and celebrate.  This is the third one that we have known about and the first one we have attended.  It was fun saying hello and chatting with those we have come to regard as friends here in New Town.

I wish WBI could have seen The Bash tonight. I believe they would have truly understood the New Urbanist principles by which the residents hold dear.  I also wish the City of Saint Charles Council would come to understand that we are requesting the zoning of the acreage sold by WBI to remain the same, for the betterment of Saint Charles.  Isn't that what we all want?

09 September 2014

Waste Not: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Our garden is literally overran with cherry tomatoes!  This is a good thing but keeping up is getting challenging!  I had ten cherry tomatoes with my lunch, five scrambled with my breakfast eggs and tonight we are having roasted cherry tomatoes!

The tomatoes are so good roasted!  The roasting process intensifies their sweetness and they make a great addition to soups, pasta, sandwiches, and eggs!  It also adds time to your tomatoes, a batch of roasted tomatoes will last up to five days in your refrig!

Here is my recipe for roasted tomatoes

1-3 cups of cherry tomatoes, left uncut
olive oil

Destem tomatoes, place tomatoes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper.  Place in a 425 degree oven until the tomatoes burst.

I have a pan roasting as I write.  Cannot wait for their yummy goodness!

02 September 2014

Today in the Garden

Today I took a stroll in our backyard garden to assess what, if any, damages happened during the storm last night.  All looked fine, so I decided to take a couple of pictures of the plants.  Summer has treated the plants well, in addition to the constant attention Bob gave them this summer.

This plant has grown huge since the Garden Tour in June.  The coleus has gotten big and the rose moss was a great choice for the hot and humid August.  There are two colors of coleus, Coleus Big Red and in the back Coleus Chartreuse.  I love working with coleus because of the color selection and because it typically can handle Missouri weather.  The zebra grass in the center was for height and color variation.  The rose moss is red. 

The tomatoes loved their new garden.  Bob built this using materials from Lowes and a special order for the corner brackets.  He filled the garden bed with topsoil and a mix of Miracle Gro soil.  It was a good combination for the purple cherokee tomatoes, the plum tomatoes, and the cherry tomatoes we bought.  We have had a pounds of tomatoes this year and from the looks of the bushes below, we have many more coming!

Even though it isn't growing, it is in the garden.  I am referring to this lovely piece of art, purchased in Indianapolis at an Art Fair there.  I love that it moves with the wind.  It is a lovely sculpture in our garden and something we enjoy while refreshing our energies.