Showing posts from February, 2015

A Little Piece of Sunshine

I went to the Mail Center today in New Town.  I needed to grab a couple of things from Marsala's after we had breakfast at The Crossing and decided to stop by and check our mail.  Since the mail isn't delivered to our homes, it is easy to forget to check it.  Bob and I went to the Center and sure enough, there were keys in the mailbox, meaning that there was a package there for us! As soon as I got to the house, I set the package down and since I knew who sent it and what was probably in it, I got out a pair of scissors and carefully cut across the taped edges. Inside was this! Lemons from sunny Arizona from our friend Cheryll.  Cheryll and her husband are friends that we met in Jefferson City.  Our mutual friend, Zoe introduced us.  Bob and I purchased some stained glass ceiling panels from her husband when they decided to move to Arizona for above the bar in our first home in JC.  Happy memories! Sue sent two of her favorite lemon recipes with the lemons and

Tipsy Tuesday

Today I am linked up with Pam's Tipsy Tuesday linky party where you will find all things alcohol!  Pam and I share many of the same likes: we both are retired educators, we both like photography although she is much better than I am, we both like to cook/eat/drink and we both read!  I know you will like her blog, Gray is the New Black .  Go check it out! First, I am linking back to my Tipsy Chocolate Cherry Cookies .  I posted these last week and our organizer told us about the Tipsy Tuesday party.   These are a spin off of my Tipsy Cherries that I make at Christmas.  This year they were (unhappily) forgotten, but to not waste the cherries, I made this recipe to utilize those delicious cherries. I also wanted to do a Wine Review.  Yep, me.  Bob, Ashley and Eric are the ones who know a good wine in this family, but I had the opportunity to go to dinner with some friends to a quaint, family owned Sicilian restaurant.  This is the only bottled wine they carry, and it is so del

Oscar Night!

Love my award shows!! I watch all the award shows I can, Golden Globes, Country Music Association Awards, the SAG, The Grammys and tonight, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, affectionately known as "The Oscars." How did the Academy Awards get the nickname of The Oscars, you ask? Here's how, according to Google: In 1929, a group called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to give awards for the best movie and acting performances of the year. The award trophy was a statuette of a man. When a secretary at the Academy first saw the statuette, she said it looked just like her uncle Oscar. In 2013, however, the Academy Awards were rebranded as The Oscars, so now the name is official!  I'll have my TV on, Twitter loaded on my iPhone and Facebook opened on my iPad, commenting back and forth with friends who are also watching at home. Good times! In case you think I am ignoring my dear husband, he will be at band practice during this

Quick and Easy Hummus

Have you heard this poem? Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's child works hard for a living, But the child who is born on the Sabbath day Is fair and wise and good in every way. I heard this poem from my Grandma Holt when I was little.  She used to sing it as a song to me, but I don't recall the tune.  I was born on a Monday and I remember Grandma telling me this.  Well, today I was a Saturday's child, working on food items for the busy upcoming week.  I made two kinds of hummus and some turkey sausage for quick breakfasts.  The hummus recipes were easy and so much less expensive than buying premade hummus at the store.  My recipes made twice as much hummus for less than half of what I paid for it premade.  I made two kinds: Avocado Hummus and Sundried Tomato Hummus. Top is Avocado Hummus, bottom is Su
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Snow Day Banana Bread

On Presidents Day we had a lovely snowstorm that kept most of the Saint Louis area home from school, including me!  I took the opportunity to catch up on some blogging and to cook.  For me, that is a perfect way to spend a snow day! I had two ripe bananas on hand, which led to the choice to make banana bread. I chose banana bread over muffins because I had used the muffin tin to make baked eggs, which is my new fast food breakfast.  Another recipe for another time. This banana bread is moist, and fairly low in Weight Watcher points.  Only 4 per slice!  It is a one bowl process, which I like for clean up, too! For the recipe, click this link:  Banana Bread
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Tipsy Chocolate Cherry Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

I am participating in a new to me adventure with a group of ladies who like to make cookies!  If you are a hashtag follower, check out #CreativeCookieExchange! The theme this month is Drunken Cookies! Cookies made with booze and/or inspired by booze, we have them all! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.   This month's theme, Drunken Cookies, was actually quite a relief for me.  Many of you might remember that I made the Tipsy Cherries that my friends and family like so well but forgot to actually dip them in chocolate!  So I had two jars of maraschino cherries soaking in cherry vodka for nearly two months.  When this theme came about, I was sure I was going to find a way to incorporate these cherries into my cookie. I did. I based my recipe on a version of an oatmeal cookie, but I wanted it to be chocol
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Good-for-You Chocolate Mousse

For Valentine's Day I made our dessert, as both Bob and I are counting either calories or WW points.  We had dinner out at White Castle (you can read about it by clicking the link) and then went to see The Beach Boys in concert!  What a great night! This dessert caught my eye for the unusual ingredient: avocados.  I LOVE avocados but have never considered them a dessert item.  Until now. Let me start off by saying that this dessert caused me a great deal of effort, all of it which was my own fault.  I admit this freely and without any arm twisting from Bob. I got my blender out, halved my avocados and scooped out the flesh and put it in the blender.  I added the cocoa powder, the agave liquid and almond milk and proceed to pulse away as per recipe directions.  I even took this "before" shot to entice you to the goodness of this yummy dessert. I began to blend it, but I noticed it wasn't blending like I thought it would...there were tiny flecks of avoc
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The Beach Boys and White Castle

Our Valentine holiday went spectacularly well!  We had a fun time at White Castle.  The restaurant was closed to the general public, only those with reservations could come in, so we were greeted at the door, our reservation checked, then guided to our table, which was decorated with a white plastic tablecloth, a red Valentine's spray and a bowl of cute mints.  Our drink order was taken first.  We ordered our food (from a table menu!) and it was brought out to our table pretty quickly.  Our serve wore a black suit and a red bow tie.  He was pretty dashing! White Castle is the home of the slider, which you can see in these little boxes.  They are big enough to have one pickle slice cover the whole burger.  I love their crinkle fries.  The little nuggets are fried shrimp. Those were pretty tasty, too. After dinner, we headed to the Lindenwood University's theater to hear the Beach Boys. Boy were they fantastic!  We sang our way through most of the program.  They
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Valentine's Day Fun

Love seeing the red hearts and pink lace floating around the internet. Red is my favorite color, with pink a very close second.  Pink roses are my favorite flower.  I don't really believe one needs a holiday for saying "I love you" to your honey, but I do like that we have one! I made our Valentine's plans for Saturday.  I took a bit of a different twist on it:  we are doing some more casual type things.  First, I booked our dinner at.... White Castle. Bob was stunned.  No, I mean the type of stunned that converts to being speechless.  Not a usual pattern for Bob, nope, not at all.  What might have made me book at White Castle? I read a bunch of fun articles last year in the newspaper about how White Castle goes all out to decorate for Valentine's Day, including tablecloths and napkins, prints a menu and seats you at a table.  I also talked to a New Town friend who has actually gone to White Castle on Valentine's Day. That sound like FUN to m
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Spring Garden Planning

With those warm days we had last week, I got the itch to plant something.  Way too early in Missouri to plan anything but I started the conversation with Bob about what we are going to do in our vegetable garden.  He's obviously been thinking about it, too.  His answers came pretty quickly:  we'll try brussels sprouts again, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and asparagus.  The asparagus is in its own bed, the potatoes will go in the potato bags, and the tomatoes and bell peppers will go into our raised bed.  We will do the usual herbs as well, and plant a few new ones that we discover when it is time to shop for plants. I found a fun and easy way to mark our plants:  with clothespins !  We used corks last year and I was going to have to remark them as they faded.  I saw this adorable idea and decided I would do them instead. To find out how to make these, go to the link provided on the word clothespins above!  We will move the herb garden closer to the veggies as we
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Crazy about Cookbooks

I have always loved cookbooks.  As a little girl, my Grammy bought me my first cookbook, a Junior Better Homes cookbook that I loved.  I did every recipe in the book.  Maybe you had one, too? I still have mine.  Ashley and I cooked a couple of things from it when she was little and I plan to use it again when I (hopefully) have a grandchild. I have strayed from buying cookbooks in the last couple of years.  For one, we downsized and moved, so I really went through my books and only kept the ones I really loved.  For two, recipes and ideas are so readily accessible on the internet that I haven't felt the desire to purchase any. Until now. Look at these beautiful books.  I found them at one of my favorite stores in Columbia, Tallulahs .  Who could resist these covers?  These titles?? This one caught my eye.  Remember my homemade ketchup escapade? This one just says "Ashley Hasty" all over it.  Ok, maybe it says "Mom" too!! I love
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January Wrap Up (2015)

One of the things I want to do more of is to keep track of the things I am doing that will grow me as a person. I hadn't planned to do my work events, but now I am thinking I should... Below are the things that I plan to track.  I will possibly add in sports (participation and observation) when the spring seasons start.  Maybe I should track great bottles of wine, too? Books Read:  Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes Euphoria by Lily King The Pecan Man by Movies Seen: The Wedding Ringer Unbroken Selma We'll Never Have Paris Boyhood Shows: Exhibition at the Foundry: Recycled Art Vintage is the New Black: Dr. Ashley Hasty student work showcase Russian Ballet:  Cinderella Extension: Cooking Class: Lemon Sponge Cake (hands on) Book Club: discussing Wild by Cheryl Strayed Saint Louis Auto Show Fun Dining: Great wings at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company (Kirkwo