Thursday, October 16, 2014

Annual pumpkin painting giveaway...

My friend Polly Jones is having her annual pumpkin painting giveaway.  Visit her blog, Small Wonders Daily Paintings by Polly Jones and enter.  And check out her Etsy shop...I love her work!

She painted the two above in 2012 just for me.  The pitcher in them is a family heirloom that I especially love.  I am blown away by the way Polly paints glass...with her pumpkins being a very close second.  I really want to win this giveaway one of these years!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

I just finished The Good Girl.  After Peggy at A Primitive Plot mentioned it on her blog last month, I found that it was available as an ebook from my library's website, so I put myself on the reserve list.  I did enjoy it, but I had some issues with it also.  The chapters were in the voice of three different characters...four if you count the last chapter which was in the voice of the title character.  The chapters were further divided into past and present Eve Before, Colin Before, Gabe After, Colin get the drift.  Took me awhile to get used to it, and I really don't like reading this kind of story structure on my Kindle where I can't easily flip through twenty or thirty or a hundred pages to remind myself of relevant details.  The surprise at the end was satisfying even though it felt a bit rushed.

After I finished the book, I read some of the reviews by others who had read it to see what they thought of it.  Some of the negatives that were mentioned I have to agree with, but won't go into them as they might be spoilers...and the details weren't major enough to ruin the story for me.  Mostly it had really good reviews.

Next up is one from my 2014 Goals list.  I haven't decided if I will go with Love in the Time of Cholera or The Hobbit.  I'll decide when I crawl into bed tonight.  I was hoping to get them from the library, but never seemed to catch them on the shelf and they weren't available as ebooks, so I made a run over to Half Price Books this afternoon and found what I needed...and a few more to boot.  :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kitchen prep...

I've hinted a little, but I'll come right out and say it.  We are about to begin a kitchen remodel.  They've measured the kitchen, and we've chosen the cabinets.  We will hopefully put the order in later this week, after which there is about a five-week wait for them to be delivered.  After they are installed, we begin another wait time for the counter tops.  I haven't chosen those yet.  In the meantime, Carey will begin removing the current cabinets and appliances.   We could be without a kitchen for a LONG time.

I don't want to spend all that time eating out.  Luckily we have a sink in the laundry room.  So my plan is to put the microwave and the slow cooker in the laundry, and have that be my interim kitchen space.  There's not a lot of counter top in there, so cooking from scratch wouldn't be all that easy.

Like a good little prepper, I have begun preparing meals ahead.  Last week I cleaned out and defrosted the chest freezer.  (I've been trying to use up things from it for awhile, so everything left fit in the refrigerator's freezer section.)  I also planned exactly what I would be cooking to fill it back up and made a shopping list.  Friday I did a gigantic shopping trip.

I filled up all the pantry staples.  Do you cut the cooking instructions off the package and put them in the canister so they don't get lost?  My mother taught me that handy tip an eon ago.

So far I've made 3 batches of Beef and Vegetable Soup.  We will just have to open the bag, pour it in the slow cooker, and add a large container of V8.

I've also assembled and packaged:
3 batches of Jambalaya Casserole
2 batches of Jalapeno Lime Chicken (thanks for the suggestion on that one, LB).  
6 batches of cooked rice to accompany main dishes
5 pounds of cooked ground beef for later use

Tomorrow (and Thursday) I have to work, so I won't be back in the kitchen until Wednesday.  I've still got so much to do!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Matinee idle...

I spent the morning going through recipes, planning a massive menu plan and grocery shop.  (I plan to do the actual shopping trip tomorrow.)  Then I hunted down an out-of-the-way paint store (it was much further away than I expected) to pick up special paint, along with some tape and rollers.  My son has agreed to paint my laundry room (even the cabinets!), and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.  I think I've mentioned before that no one uses my front door..everyone comes through the laundry room...not my choice of a first impression for guests.

Then a friend and I took some down time this afternoon to go see Gone Girl.  Fun to steal a little idle time in the middle of a weekday.  I still like the book better, but was happy when the movie stuck very closely to the novel.  My friend had not read the book, so seeing the story unfold and her reactions was cool.

I don't think the movie was stellar, but I did enjoy it.

I was pleasantly surprised when the matinee price was only $5.50 per person.  I think I've been patronizing the wrong theater.  

I need to call it a night.  A professional is coming at 8 in the morning to measure my kitchen!  Doing a little bouncy happy dance and clapping my hands.  I will be writing more about it soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday Desserts...

 It seems all I manage to post lately are Sunday's desserts.  This was yesterday's...Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  Made from the instructions on the box.

It looked beautiful.  And I thought it tasted divine.  Unfortunately we had some who don't like pineapple, and some who don't like cherries, so I brought the left overs home.

It's in the kitchen calling my name as I type.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Secret Life of Objects by Dawn Raffel

If your family has ever accused you of hoarding (cough, cough) this book will keep you from feeling all alone in your tendency to hang on to sentimental possessions.  Written as short descriptions of the author's objects and their history, it is easy to read a few minutes at a time.  

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

I found a used copy of one I haven't read by Susanna Kearsley.  I have a lot to get done today, so I'm holding out starting this one as my reward.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday desserts...

This was a winner: Debbie McG's Carrot Cake.  I hadn't made it for over five years.  Not sure why, it's pretty darn easy.  Last week Beau, who usually forgoes desserts because his sweet tooth is not as highly developed as ours are (wink), mentioned that he liked carrot cake.  I knew I had just the one in my recipe arsenal that he wouldn't be able to resist.

It looks pretty harmless in the top photo, and the piece in the photo below looks pretty ragged, but we weren't cutting for beauty, we were cutting for immediate consumption!

Mmmmm...  Made from scratch, moist, cream cheese frosting, and hey, it has 3 cups of shredded carrots, so I think each piece counts as a vegetable serving.  :)

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