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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My pretty Bee Balm, in purple, is blooming joyfully in my little back garden.
Another block finished in my quilt club. I really like this one.

The curtains-with ric-rac-hanging on the window. Another step towards finished.
Below-I brought a pie over to share with friends & was blessed with this bounty, to take home!
Last night, I made a "Strawberry & Cream Tart". I pre-baked a pie shell,let it cool. I then whipped cream & set aside. After that, I beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and almond
extract together (& taste-it is soooo yummy!) & mixed in the whipped cream. ( Taste again, your tongue will thank-you & your teeth will smile) Smooth that delicious cloud into the cooled pie shell. (Shhh! Don't offer your hubby the spatula, quietly, lick till your hearts content )Slice washed strawberries (you should also eat one or two of these, you know, checking for sweetness.) in half & arrange them on top of the cream mixture. Melt chocolate chips( These are also mighty dandy to pop a few down the hatch.) with a little shortening & drizzle over the top. Chill for thirty minutes..... call friends to help you eat this, if all the ingredients were that good, you will have no will power once it is finished !! To find this recipe go to
Can you guess what lunch was? Fresh, tender lettuce, a sliced kirby cuke, diced ham & salsa. I added a sliced cheese stick, light Ranch dressing & some crumbled Ranch Dorito's chips. So very good-will that count as healthy ?!!
Because I just pulled a Chocolate-orange zucchini cake from the oven, Made with that nice zucchini-Thanks, Erin & Brenda!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blog-worthy foods I have ate!

I've made some simple but really delicious dishes I want to share with you all. Above, in my ever-so-nifty pan for our grill-an assortment of fresh veggies. Zucchini, broccoli, Portabella mushrooms, a few carrots & red potatoes, drizzled with olive oil & liberally sprinkled with Seasoned Salt. Cooked till tender on the grill with leftover chicken mixed in. Absolutely perfect for a Summer evening!
This is another dish with chicken that was fabulous! I soaked some sun-dried tomatoes ( From Pine Ridge! ), in a little chicken broth for 30 min's or so. On the stove, I sauteed some Vidalia onion & chopped garlic in Burgundy wine. The aroma & taste from the wine is sensational. To the veggies I added the tomato-broth mixture, pre-cooked chicken I cut in strips & let them simmer together for awhile. I thickened the broth with a bit of cornstarch & milk. At the last moment, I threw in some chopped tomato, just to slightly warm. I served it over Ronzoni's healthy spaghetti with fresh chopped basil. This is super!! Another "light" dish that I will make again!
And this bit of sugared love....ahhh! It is a recipe for Caramel Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. A new recipe I tried off the Betty Crocker site. Sooo good, I'd like to make this one especially for Travis, as Snickerdoodle cookies were his favorite! Full of bright cinnamon-y flavor & smells just like the cooky while baking. It's worth buying the bundt pan for!! Find the recipe at Enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The NEW Project

The paper & Old Village paint that were on the dining room walls.
Color choices.Our lamp fixture came defective. We are not redoing it. It is off so many things in our house...&!!!
Still, in the kitchen, Dan, my darling, did the shoe molding yesterday. I still need to get cafe rods for the curtains.... and order the ric-rac. I should sand & paint the kitchen door & find a colorful runner for the floor. Maybe something for the walls & we're done!! Phew! Alot of time & effort but well worth it.
And before I've got the kitchen completed...... I've started on the dining room-
our NEW Project, otherwise known as a continuing episode of "Will this ever end?" !!! Am I nuts??? What was I thinking?! When the temps & humidity levels were in the high 80's & 90's, it must have created a meltdown in my brain..... who would think it was a good time to strip wallpaper, scrub painted walls....& let me interject here, about that. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda & a green Scotch Brite pad are the best things for prepping a wall, at least, my dining room walls, that were painted with Old Village paint in Rittenhouse Ivory,which is really a brown.
It all started with a friend, bless her heart, who came over to help me paint. One coat of primer. Two coats of paint. #3. Three. Three. THREE. Did I mention it needed 3 coats of paint??!!! In all its painstaking groove-iness? Not to be confused with getting "your groove on", whatever that means, this was painting with a 1 1/2" & 2" brush, getting into the grooves,the many,many grooves with White Chocolate.....paint, that is. So that I can have chocolate all year round,every single day! It is done!! Thank-you, Joyce.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Ohhhhh, ice cream isn't good for me???"

Look at this darling button picture! I LOVE it!! Mom did this when she was a little girl-it's my new treasure. The little thimble & scissors are part of the original kit.

A piece of fame from our family-the Jenkins-Special!! Not too many of these were made,but isn't that great?

On my Reading Shelf. Loved "My Mother's Hope" by Francine Rivers. I haven't read a single thing of hers that I haven't loved-this was a new great read.

Some fun & good summer reads. Hope you get to read something good this summer!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Anti-Scrapbook Scrapbook

What is an "Anti-Scrapbook Scrapbook" all about?? Come hither & I will tell you. When I was young, think elementary school age, I had a scrapbook. A much beloved scrapbook, filled to overflowing with all the important memorabilia of a young girl.
The cardboard insert of a Doeskin purse pak of tissues with the race car drivers autograph from Utica-Rome Speedway-In there. The birthday cards from Parents,Grandparents,siblings & friends-Got it. Tickets, brochures from places we had visited. Words to the Christmas music we sang at school, all in there & more.
The really special Valentine card from Mom & Dad, a paper cut-out of a blonde girl in a pink dress, called "Molly" with a pocket in her dress with a tiny replica doll in it, so that "Molly & her Dolly" could wish me a Happy Valentines Day. Molly & Dolly had their very own page, pasted in with , you guessed it- school paste. Remember the white paste with its applicator in the center of the jar & the strong odor? Do children still use paste? It seems you invariably didn't close the jar tight enough & then you had hard dried paste that was good for nothing. (Except for small children eating a chunk now & then....& why do kids eat odd & nasty things that can't possibly taste good anyways? But that is rumination for another day.)
My Scrapbook had a simple,lightweight cover,much the same as you'd find on coloring books, filled with plenty of newsprint paper pages. I didn't worry about how it looked. I recollect I used every kind of adhesive in it- tape,paste,liquid glue, rubber cement that came in a brown plastic bottle with a rubber- red slanted tip, slit, so the yellowish glue could be smeared all over the approximate designated spot. I used staples, too. Not the artistically arranged & promoted staples of today, but simply to hold those tricky pieces onto the page.
The pages became quite heavy, according to how many interesting things I felt had to be preserved. Ripped,torn pages were easily acquired if you weren't fastidiously careful how you turned the pages.
I kept that Scrapbook for a long time. But, as most vestiges of our childhood are discarded, so went the Scrapbook. I did pull out one thing & kept it for awhile longer, it was my favorite card-"Molly & her dolly". I would take it out every now & then, pull "dolly" out of the pocket & then replace it.Eventually, she ended up in the scrap heap also.
The book had no planning, pages weren't color coordinated nor dressed up in the latest scrap booking accessories. There weren't any no-acid, low-acid papers or adhesives. No page protectors. Pages got ripped. Yellowed tape hung off the edges of cards & pictures. The backs of staples were evident on the other side & could catch & tear at your skin if you weren't careful. Pages were bubbled & rippled with glues & paste... and yet,it never failed to give me delight. Whether the process of attaching my newest treasures or carefully flipping through the pages, it brought joy. A simple childish pleasure.
See that lovely covered scrapbook pictured above- it's my "Anti- Scrapbook". It's not like my expansive one from childhood, but I'm just filling it any old which way. It does have page protectors, & I've got some scrapbook paper. But I'm not matching colors or rearranging pages. I'll put something "cute" on it only if I'm in the mood. I'm going to put the flotsam & jetsam of my life in paper & pictures in there. The tickets to the play I saw with Dan. A picture I was given of me & my siblings over ice fishing on Oneida Lake, all bundled up in our snowmobile suits. A newspaper article about my Great Grandparents. The little things that touch my day & bring forth a fond memory, a gentle smile.
So, go ahead, you modern day scrappers. I admire you. You are artistic. I love looking at your albums. You're talented, with matching colors & photo themes. Your scrapbooks are works of art that carefully preserve moments of life.
Even though this new, little scrapbook I'm tossing things in isn't quite that primitive, it still gives me the simple pleasure that my newsprint girlhood one did.... without all the glue bubbles!
Whatever or however you're holding onto your memories, whether a box with things tossed in or a carefully made & treasured Scrapbook, the important thing is to enjoy the moments of your life! God bless, Jill